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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Q&A Threads --> Star Trek: The Cassius Incident Q&A
Parent thread: Star Trek: the Cassius Incident
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t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
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Star Trek: The Cassius Incident Q&A

This will be the Q&A thread for the moderated freeform game, Star Trek: the Cassius Incident.

We'll start with posting guidelines.



Posts in a Trek game need to be structured, else things quickly devolve into chaos. Therefore, I ask that you follow some guidelines.

First, start every post off with the date, location, and the time (in 24 hour, or military, format). We will be using "actual" dates insted of true stardates, as stardates are much more difficult for the casual player to keep up with. You will hear Captain Blair reference these in character, however. If anyone cares, our trek tools page include a stardate calculator.

Your post header should look something like this:
Stardate: 2368.07.10
USS Discovery, Main Engineering - 1615

Your text starts here...

The very nature of a Trek game - with everyone working independently - means that there will always be several storylines going at once. If we wait for one another, the game will almost immediately become so mired down that we wo't be able to continue. By giving our posts headers, we're able to back post, change scenes, etc, without too much confusion.

Please stay on the same mission day, except when backposting. In other words, if the rest of the ship is on day three, the CSO doesn't need to be sharing the discoveries he makes on day five. It's okay to go back and post a conversation you might have missed, but don't go ahead. As captain, my main function is to keep the story as organized as possible - I'll do this by regulating mission dates.

Be creative. Improvise. Add wrinkles to the plot. It's perfectly acceptible for the chief engineer to suddenly report a problem with the transporters just as we're about to visit a planet's surface. Maybe he'll need to fix it, or maybe the need for us to go is so pressing that we're forced to take shuttles.

If there's a problem on the table, don't be afraid to come up with solutions. If you have any doubts or questions, email me.

Please, by all means, create NPCs as needed. If you're the chief of security, you'll obviously need security personnel to flesh out your duty roster. We won't be having twenty people playing those roles, so you'll need to create them.

There's no need to go so far as to create a bio for most of them, but if you plan to use them in a recurring role, it wouldn't be a bad idea.


Nw, then... don't be that creative! Don't "God mode" - i.e., don't play your character in such a way that he solves every problem without help, knows the answer to every question, never has any trouble, etc. Share the spotlight - everyone deserves a chance to contribute on the missions. Don't control someone else's NPC wthout conferring with them first.

Never, ever control another person's main character. It's okay to make reasonable assumptions, but post them as such. This is bad:

Captain Blair nodded to Commander BillyBob. "So commander, what is your plan?" he asked. The commander paused for a moment, then spoke, "Captain, we should fire up the xyz in order to make the abc work correctly."

In this case, I'm posting the commander's intentions and speech for him. No, no no.

Better:

Captain Blair nodded to Commander BillyBob. "So, commander, what is your plan?" he asked.

OOC: assuming BillyBob shares the plan...

Blair nodded again. "Carry on," he stated.


I'm reacting to what I anticipate the answer to be, but giving myself edit room if it happens differently than I expect. I am not controlling the commander.


Format your posts.
This is a writing intensive game, and we all have different styles of posting. That's fine, but I want some standards, so that no one is confused.

Speech should always be included in quotes.

"How are you doing today, ensign?" Blair asked.

No bold, no other colors. Just quotes.

Internal throughts should be italicized.

Why does he keep blathering on? his players wondered.


Italics is done by adding the <i> tag before the italicized text, and adding the </i> tag after the italicized text.


Communictions via a communicator or other device is set aside with a special symbol.

Captain Blair keyed the intercom. "Blair to engineering."

=/\\= Engineering, Thompson here. =/\\=

"Thompson?" Noah asked. "Where is Commander Kennedy?"

There was a moment's hesitation before the reply.

=/\\= Commander Kennedy is a little... preoccupied right now, sir. =/\\=


Computer speech uses this same notation. It might seem cumbersome at first, but this makes the posts so much easier to read!



Posted on 2012-10-18 at 16:40:07.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


useful links and info

Some links you may find useful!

Memory Alpha: the biggest Star Trek wiki on the internet. If you need to know canon trek info, check here.

RDI Trek Tools: our own in-house trek tools include the ship's roster and logbook, among other items. Use these to help keep things straight in our game.

Galaxy Class Specs: complete details of the Galaxy class vessel. Use this to figure out what deck a given department is located on, what types of probes the ship carries, what a given security rating is, and on and on. Special thanks to the "Star Trek: a Call to Duty" community for this superb recource!

Galaxy Class Crew Compliment: a full breakdown of all officers and enlisted crew on the ship, by department (Word Doc format).

Bridge layout: The current standard Galaxy Class bridge layout is as follows. In the center is Command area with three common seats, for the Captain, the Executive Officer to his right, and the Counselor to his left. Further out from these are two more seats that can be used by VIP or other non-stationed personnel.

At the front of the bridge is the Conn, starboard, and Operations, port, stations. Conn is the combination of Helm and Navigation, and Operations controls and monitors most vital ship functions. Operations is commonly in control of sensors aboard Galaxy Class starships.

Behind the Command area is the Tactical Rim. Here is the Primary and two Auxiliary Tactical stations. All tactical and security functions can be controlled and monitored from this point.

On the back wall from port to starboard are Engineering, Environment, Mission Operations, Science I, and Science II. These five stations are normally unmanned. The Chief Engineer is in Main Engineering, Environment & Mission Operations can be controlled at the Operations console, and Science I & Science II are the science department's presence on the Bridge. However, normally the Chief Science Officer [if the ship has one] is not a Bridge Officer. The position is a management and authority one, meant to control all the sub-departments which do their work in the various labs on board the ship. It is not uncommon however for some Chief Science Officers to conduct their business directly on the Bridge.

In the case of the Discovery, the captain has standing orders which require the presence of at least one science officer, one security officer, and one engineering officer on the bridge at all times in addition to the normal personnel.



Posted on 2012-10-18 at 16:48:52.
Edited on 2012-10-18 at 16:49:55 by t_catt11

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
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6858 Posts


ino you should know

As you all know, I am the GM of this game. I am playing the role of Captain Blair, but understand that he is as much a plot device as a player character.

Commander Avanti (NPC/possibly Alacrity) and Lieutenant MacTavish (Eol Fefalas) are the executive officer and second officer of the USS Discovery, respectively. This means that they have full authority to issue orders to anyone on the ship, if need be. There are other characters on board (the chief engineer and the ship's doctor are good examples) who technically outrank MacTavish, but in the absence of Blair or Avanti, he is still in charge - Blair, Avanti, and MacTavish are line officers. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, Google can be your friend (check "line officers" and "chain of command"). In the absence of the above, any officer may be given command of the bridge, and thus, the ship - but this is typically designated ("Lieutenant Ames, you have the bridge").

Somewhat coincidentally, Eol Fefalas (and, when if he decides to be active, Alacrity) make up what I refer to as my "command staff". While I am the only person who knows the full details of what will happen in our main plotline, I do share relevant details with the two of them, allowing them to act as co-GMs. If they see an area of the story lagging behind or wandering off into a tangent, they are fully within their rights to help get things back on track. This may result in one of them making a post or contacting you privately. Listen to them - they have the full authority of a GM in pretty much all matters.

Finally, my version of Trek is slightly more military than that often portrayed on the various TV shows. Unless a superior officer has given you leave to act more informally, assume that you should saulte, make formal reports, etc. Pay attention to the standard forms of address (which basically mimic those of Her Majesty's Navy):

Superior officers are always referred to as "sir" (unless you are using the proper rank address below). This is regardless of gender. Likewise, the term "mister" is pretty universal, regardless of gender.

All flag officers are always called "Admiral", regardless of grade. A commodore is called "Commodore".

The captain (or commanding officer) of a ship is always called "Captain", regardless of grade (such as when a commander is in charge of a smaller vessel).

A full commander is always called "Commander".

A lieutenant commander is called "Commander", unless a captain (or higher) elects to refer to him as "Mister". However, doing so is giving offense, as it indicates that the lieutenant commander is a junior officer.

Junior officers (ensign up to lieutenant) are referred to by their ranks or by "Mister" Lastname.

Cadets or warrant officers are referred to as "Mister" Lastname.

NCOs are addressed solely by their rate (the term rate is preffered over "rank" for enlisteds). It is appropriate to address a petty officer (of any grade) as "Petty Officer". A chief petty officer is referred to as "chief", a senior chief petty officer is referred to as "senior chief", and a master chief petty officer is referred to as "master chief".

In addition, note that chief petty officers are expected to assist in the training of junior commissoned officers, so while the lowliest ensign may technically outrank a chief, the ensign would be wise to pay proper respect!

Enlisteds are typically referred to as "crewman" or "yeoman", without the last name attached.


Posted on 2012-10-18 at 16:52:27.

t_catt11
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of department heads and NPCs

Most player characters in a Trek game are department heads.

The fact is that there are just too many tasks aboard a ship like Discovery for one person - or even one group or people - to do.

Odds are that you'll have watches to stand on he bridge. You'll have projects to perform an/or oversee. Perhaps there is research, or day to day operations, or a host of other things.

This is where NPCs come in. As a department head, you have wide freedom to create junior officers and/or enlisted personnel to help fill out those duty rosters.

If you create an NPC, you can treat them as a secondary character - post for them, of you desire (or not, if you simply made them up to give your character someone to command).

Note that if you are really ambitious, it's usually okay to have an NPC in someone else's department.... just clear it with them first. Never post for someone else's NPC, kill them off, etc.

You'll see that Eol Fefalas has created quite a few Tactical officers and crew, and he sometimes posts for them. However, several are just names stubbed in to fill up the roster. Both approaches are fine.

If you have questions about this, don't hesitate to ask.



Posted on 2012-10-18 at 21:34:16.

t_catt11
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timeline

Our new mission date is going to be in July of 2368.

The last game/mission was April of 2368. There was some crew turnover at that time, which presents some interesting continuity questions. Namely, we had new PCs at multiple department head positions: Chief Engineer, Chief Medical Officer, Ops Chief, Helm, Security chief - all of which are once again filled by new characters.

Of those spots, our Chief Engineer was extremely active, and the Chief Medical Officer less so. The other three were hit or miss at best.

It's not really practical, story wise, to have officers turning over so quickly. Therefore, here are my rulings on handing this.

Chief Engineer had been on board for some time. Following that mission, Commander Kennedy accepted a transfer elsewhere. Commander Pantanko assumed this role in May of 2368.

Doctor Solkar was badly injured on that mission and had to move to a non-starship location for long term recovery. Doctor Synklar has been on board since roughly the end of April, serving as our Chief Medical Officer.

The other department heads are hereby retconned out of the Discovery timeline altogether. This means that the rest of you also (a) came on board either in April or May of 2368, and have been here for 2-3 months, or (b) have been here even longer - some time stretching back to early 2367. Pick one and include that in your bio. Might be good to post this info here to the Q&A thread, as well, so that everyone knows how long your character had been here.

If this absolutely will not work for the character concept that you have, let me know and we'll work something out.






Posted on 2012-10-23 at 15:34:37.
Edited on 2012-10-23 at 15:35:34 by t_catt11

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
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Soooo... for our new counselor...

...I suppose that means that Mac's trip to the head shrinker in "No Good Deed" can very well be retconned to have been a session between Mac and Serene as opposed to Mac and Venn.

Mac's been aboard forever, of course. Ye poor buggers.

P.S. That particular trip to see the shrink is probably one of the best looks at Mac in Counseling...


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 15:45:25.
Edited on 2012-10-23 at 15:47:37 by Eol Fefalas

Reralae
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2506 Posts


Retcon? Con? Con the counselor?

Dunno about the answer, but I do recall that exchange...

Mac did not like the sofa


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 16:01:32.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
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yep

That makes sense to me. We did get a few posts from Venn, but I think that counselor still falls into retcon territory. I just don't see a counselor coming on for a month, two months, then leaving.


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 16:13:16.

Teller of Aryn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 21/1
509 Posts


Excuse me

Are you referring to my character?

Not sure what u mean by retcon?

You have me befuddled, which I admit doesn't take a lot.


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 17:20:53.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
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6858 Posts


no problem

Retcon is a comic book term - it means "retroactive continuity". In other words, we change the past to fit a current storyline.

I don't like the idea of so many officers changing in and out so quickly, timeline wise, so we're changing history, so to speak.


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 17:35:53.

Teller of Aryn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 21/1
509 Posts


ok

So how does that effect my character? Did the session Mac did with the old counselor not happen? Is it going to happen with my character instead? My character only came on in May so I dont see how she had the session with him before then.



Posted on 2012-10-23 at 19:43:45.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
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hrm

That does present a problem, doesn't it? I had overlooked the fact that we had a counselor between Averaci and Markus who actually posted a few times.

I guess that Venn had to have served... so I'll consider it a temporary/stopgap assignment until a permanent counselor (Markus) could be assigned.


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 19:47:35.

Eol Fefalas
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Works for me...

...I'm good either way. Just have had a few back and forths with Teller re: Mac, already, and was sort of offering up that bit for "reference" or whatever.

I like the bit about Venn being temporary, as well... Don't figure that Macgot back with the woman regarding that letter before she left, either... What with the events of No Good Deed getting in the way and all.


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 20:12:33.

Duncan74
Dunkelzahn
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Jesse Graham

My character will have come aboard in that April/May timeframe, then. Part of his bio is that he was on the USS Liberator during the Battle of Wolf 359, which occurred in 2367. After that he was elevated from Assistant Chief of Ops to full Chief of Ops on the Liberator, where he served for a bit before being reassigned to Discovery. I want him to have had a little time to get acclimated to the Ops Chief position before his transfer.


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 20:31:07.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
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6858 Posts


cool

Works for me, Duncan.


Posted on 2012-10-23 at 21:32:57.

   
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