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UFOP: StarBase 118 RPG

MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 16 2012, 7:31 am

 


Strange Species: Kazazi, a Caitian


By Aron Kells


 


Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, I explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.


from Starbase 118 Ops,  Makombo M’kazazi (Kazazi), a Caitian


How and why did you decide to sim a Caitian?


The first reason that comes to mind is Star Trek Online. They included the Caitians as a playable character, but I suppose that doesn’t really explain why I choose the species for my character here.
To answer that I need to say that I am what is called a furry. Therefore I was quite exited that I could actually play a character that way rather then being one of the more standard species.
Of course I could have chosen from a few others, but since the dolphin was not listed and there were also no foxlike species I chose the easy way out so to say.


What canon or non-canon material did you draw upon to create Kazazi’s background?


I tried to use as much canon material as i could, but I started the background when I hadn’t researched anything yet; the more flaws I found out, the more I had to change. Of course there are a few inconsistencies within the Star Trek universe – M’ress never had cubs, but there is a large gap in her history so it could have happened.


What unusual or interesting species-based quirks or traits does Kazazi display?


Well, Caitians are carnivores, still Kazazi would never eat raw meat in public, but would prefer it as rare as possible. She also likes to eat bread and rice from time to time as they are easy to digest and also easier to eat in public without getting weird looks.
The other thing is she hates getting dirty. And when not in uniform she wares a collar as most Caitians if not all do.


Why wouldn’t Kazazi work as a human, a Vulcan, etc?


The things that could make a difference are the better sight and hearing and being more agile then most standard species, but other then that this character could have been from any species. The thing just is that this character would feel ‘naked’ without her fur.


The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


 

MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 17 2012, 3:59 am

 



The Guild of Uncommon Species





Guilds, within UFoP: StarBase 118, are a special type of taskforce that seek to bring together members of the group at large to gather, discuss, and exchange ideas on a central topic. Existing guilds include the Guild of Vulcans and the Lambda Alliance, and now the Guild of Uncommon Species has joined that short list.



The GUS is very new and is currently trying to find its feet — build up membership, encourage idea exchange, and plan activities. Ensign Aveunalliv, of the USS Avandar, has been influential in codifying the GUS, and hopes that the GUS ”can become a very active, and important, guild in the fleet – after all, the Federation is made up of a lot more than just Humans and Vulcans. There are countless species, many of which we don’t really know about aside from that they exist because they were in the background on an episode of the show.”



The GUS hopes to provide new members with extra choices of species, too, and not just serve as a meeting place for existing members. “Many new players will likely choose something they are already familiar with, such as Trill or Betazoids, but I want to make sure they have a much wider selection to choose from. I know there is already quite a lot of races a player could choose to be, but assuming they randomly pick one from the ILI – somewhat like I did when I chose Caitian for my character – they will have what they need to make an informed decision about what race to play.”



The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 18 2012, 4:36 am

 



USS Mercury Plot Summary





The USS Mercury NCC-99812 has been assigned a temporary Cardassian liaison officer, Gul Kerena Vetak, who has been assigned to observe the way that a Federation starship crew conducts missions of exploration. A lucky find in the form of a dilithium-rich asteroid close to the Cardassian border initially raised questions as to why it had not been previously mined, but with Gul Vetak’s approval granted, a mining survey was undertaken, and an away team was sent down to the asteroid’s surface to begin mining operations. With many of the Mercury’s crew now on the surface of the asteroid, the procedure should have been routine.



However, the crew remaining on the Mercury now find themselves cut off from their away team, who are experiencing terrifying visions of memories past. Lieutenant (j.g.) Scott Reed had to be stunned after he believed he saw armed Cardassians preparing to attack the away team and reacted violently. Lieutenant Sky Blake began to follow the same path before being talked down by Lieutenant Commander Hannibal Parker. Meanwhile, Ensign Misha Yates and the rest of the away team are struggling to understand exactly who, or what, are causing these visions, as Yates claims to be able to sense the presence of “guardians”, who seem none too pleased at the presence of intruders.



With three dissident Hideki-class ships on their way to intercept the Mercury and lay down their objections to the treaty with the Federation with their disruptors, the chances of survival for the away team look bleak…



The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 19 2012, 4:42 am

 



Getting the Best Out of Your Sims - Part 2



By Kaliana Nicholotti





There are many reasons that a plot might go stagnant. Perhaps the players are simply finding themselves in a rut that they can’t get out of, or perhaps, the story has grown old to them. The best part of simming within the Starbase 118 fleet, however, is that we all control this outcome. If you feel that your ship’s story is growing dull, then change it! Don’t wait for someone else to do it; throw your ideas into the mix and see what happens.



In part 2 of Lieutenant JG Blackwoods overview of simming, we learn how to advance the plot so that everyone can enjoy a rich, deep storyline without the dreary predictability that comes with waiting for someone else to take up the torch. If you feel ‘stuck’, consider one of the following courses of action and breathe life into any plot.





2) Advance the Story



It is important to keep up with your tags and try to answer them in a timely fashion to keep the flow of the game running smoothly. The difference between a good sim and a great one is in taking a little extra step to carry it on a bit. This doesn’t have to be something enormous and there are different ways you can interact with the plot to achieve this. The example above showed some different routes you can take when faced with a situation. When you are getting ready to write a sim think about what situation your character is in, thinking about it in simple terms can help you think of options.



Here is another example:



Situation:



Ensign Craig is in engineering. The ship is in a battle, there has been some light damage. The Chief Engineer has assigned you to a “repair crew.” What can you do? Here are some ideas to get you started.



# Perform an action:
# Go to a console and pull up a damage report to see where you are needed.
# Find a damaged system and begin repairs on it
# Use an NPC or PNPC to help you do your duties. Or make one to boss around.



# Create a problem - tag in other players/departments and get them to help fix it:
# Get injured in the line of duty, tag medical to get assistance.
# An un/important system just took damage and it will require help to fix. Notify chief engineer and begin to assess the damage – perhaps give them clues about what “might” be wrong and then hand it over for them to play with.



# Solve a problem - remember if there is more than one problem don’t feel you have to solve them all at once. There is fun to be had in sharing the problem and fixing it as a team but sometimes someone has to take the bull by the horns and get the problem dealt with so the sim can move on.
# Get a system back online.
# Find out the source of a problem and find out who, if not yourself (other player/PNPC/NPC perhaps) can fix it.
# Find a “work around” until the main root of the problem can be overcome.



# Discuss a problem/situation
# Hold a conversation reporting a new issue or update on a current one.
# Share ideas about what is causing a problem or how to fix one.
# Perhaps a less formal chat about what characters think of feel about a situation they are in.
# Discuss similar situations/problems faced and draw upon experience.
# Discuss previous background/training/interests and draw upon expertise.



# Ask a question – especially good if you are “left hanging” and totally stumped or have no tags etc.
# Ask the department chief/senior officer what they want you to do about the problem/situation.
# Ask more about the nature of the problem/situation.
# Ask something personal (but somewhat relevant).
# Ask what they (whoever) think about an idea/something you have contributed to the situation.



# Reflect - I know we have some players who are especially good at reflecting sims, and use them as little fillers. See Eerie’s posts.
# Thought bubbles and actions to show what you character thinks and feels about a situation.
# Use of flash backs. Current events reminding you of previous experience, can be revealing and fun.



It is always good to add a little reflection where appropriate to your sims. These are the little telling things that show the characters personality. Without it they may come over as bland. You can do a whole sim reflecting on a situation, these are generally short with your character making mostly observations. There may be a little action going on as well.



The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 21 2012, 7:28 am

 


Andrus Jaxx Launches the USS Apollo


 


The USS Apollo is the newest vessel in the UFoP: StarBase 118 fleet, and the fleet’s only Achilles-class ship. With her launch, the fleet brings its number of total playable ships and installations up to eight. Jay, the writer behind Captain Andrus Jaxx, the Apollo‘s commanding officer, was kind enough to answer some questions about the launch of the ship, and what makes it so unique.


How did you choose the Achilles-class Apollo, and what can you tell us about her?


When looking over the different classes I was faced with many choices.  My first thought was to take the USS Challenger-A out of drydock.  I started my career on that ship, and for me it would have been a full circle thing.  We already had a Sovereign-class ship in the fleet, the USS Discovery-C, so I elected to go for a little more diversity.  The character of Jaxx is given a strong background in tactical areas, as well as psychology.  As a tactician, I wanted a ship that played to his strengths.  While Jaxx has become a pretty decent diplomat, he knew that there were times you had no choice but to fight.  The Achilles-class ship tipped the hand in the crews favor just a bit.


With StarFleet focusing more on their core of exploration, the Apollo was the first in a redesign of the Achilles class to adapt it for deep space exploration. It received a few more decks, as well as upgraded science sections.  It was designed to have adequate diplomatic facilities to ensure success in first contact missions.


The Apollo will depart from Utopia Planitia on a one year mission to the Typhon Sector.  She is scheduled to report back to Deep Space 5 at the conclusion of that year, for debriefing and reassignment.  I plan on rotating the area of operation around each year.


What will your first mission be?


Jaxx and four other officers were recalled to Utopia Planitia for reassignment.  I have been B-plotting the background for our intitial mission.  Jaxx is given command of the Apollo because of his background.  Over the past few weeks StarFleet had lost contact with 3 ships on patrol in the Typhon Sector.  No sign of the ships or debris have been located.  Their whereabouts are a mystery.  Their first task will be to solve the puzzle.


How will the Apollo‘s split from StarBase 118 Ops be handled?


IC and OOC it is rough to split sometimes.  You get used to writing with a lot of people and you now are faced with the realization that you will no longer get any of their sims coming across your inbox.  I have had the honor of writing with some very talented and creative writers on Ops.  I do find comfort in knowing they have solid characters and at anytime I can check out their group page to follow what is going on.  IC, Jaxx is taking things in stride.  The night before his reassignment he became a father.  Lieutenant Tressa had given birth to their twins, in the early morning hours.  It is a lot for him to process right now, but he is working on it.  He knows there is a lot he has to focus on, in addition to parenthood.  One day at a time is his philosophy right now.  He is very confident the station is in good hands, and more focused on what lies ahead.  He realizes they are just a subspace message away.  The crew was currently on shore leave on a vacation world not different than Risa.  All of the orders were transmitted together, and Jaxx and 4 others would set out the next morning when the arrived at the station.  At which point, Jaxx will hand command over to Commander Nicholotti.  We figure a nice quick runabout cruise will get us to Mars rather zippy, where we can meet up with new officers, and other transfers from around the fleet and launch the ship.


The split will leave Ops fully staffed.  The Apollo will actually be launched with a combination of transfers and Academy graduates.  With the success of the Avandar launching, we decided to give it another go, but on a smaller scale.  There were a handful coming from Ops, and we just received a couple from the Academy.  There are cadets coming through the system very rapidly, and we will quickly reach launching capacity.


Tell me more about the birth of Jaxx and Tressa’s twins, and how Ops’s new CO Kali Nicholotti fits in.


The Tressa, Jaxx, and Kali story is a sad one.  Jaxx and Kali have like a brother and sister relationship.  On her first away mission she put herself in between Jaxx and a Hirogen hunting blade.  She got a prosthetic heart for the deed, and Jaxx never forgot about it.  They are as close as close could be.  Tressa as also bonded with Kali, considering the woman her best friend.  She is the godmother of the twins, so it is very hard on Tressa to lose that person to talk to.  Oddly enough, it is the same thing Jaxx will miss.  Kali has been a voice of reason for a couple of years, it is hard to move on after that.



We wish Jay’s Captain Andrus Jaxx and the writers behind the crew of the USS Apollo the best of luck as they begin their mission to the Typhon Expanse! If you’d like to know more, you can always visit the Apollo‘s wiki page, or keep up with her adventures on her Yahoo! group.


 

MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 23 2012, 6:20 am

 


Lacuna: Demons of the Void


 


A decade ago, becoming an author was not an easy task.  Publishing companies across the globe have had brilliant novels sit on their desk, and fill their trash cans.   The books that made it to store shelves were dictated by those that published them.  Rarely did authors finish a book and not get a round of suggestions from the company on what might sell more books.  At times, they even forced the writer to change the story so it fit the taste of the publishers.


Now, writers have the ability to publish their own books.  They can produce eBooks for their stories, or they can go a more expensive route and actually have the book published in paper form.  The cost is obviously much higher, but it can be done.  Now, writers are able to conjure up the stories they wished they could publish, and publish them.  The readers can now dictate what is a great story.  Nooks and Kindles are becoming hugely popular with all age groups.  It gives the reader the ability to switch books without a trip to the store, or library. 


Our very own David Adams(Lt. Alleran Tan) did not let the hurdles stop him.  Armed with his imagination and a computer, he has been able to write and publish his own book, Lacuna: Demons of the Void.  With Dave writing in our group, it was easy to track him down for an interview.  Like many Amazon users, I grabbed my daughters Kindle Fire, and downloaded the book.  Diving in, I started to read the book and quickly was intrigued.  I found myself having to put it down as my daughter began to ask when she could have her Kindle back.


From there, the interview started.  I had questions that would have to be answered.  My mind was turning inside this world that Dave created and I wanted more.  It went beyond just the fiction world, and to the core of his thoughts behind them.  To find out what makes the world in book tick, I had to find out Dave’s base for it.   I thought a nice interview would help me get to the bottom, and though there is a sequel in the works…that is all he would tell me about the future of his franchise.  Until then I will just have to read the first one a few more times.


For the full Q&A check out the interview for Lacuna: Demons of the Void!

MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 24 2012, 4:13 am

 



USS Drake Plot Summary





Placing the USS Drake NCC-1987 in the care of the orbital shipyards of Utopia Planitia the crew spent most of the month on shore enjoying the sights and experiences of Earth. An award and promotion ceremony was held where Ensign Weston was promoted to Lt Jg and various awards and service ribbons were given out.
The crew then went their separate ways. Some took the opportunity to escape the often tightly packed environment of the Drake to go off by themselves. Significant B plots were the continued relationships that have developed over the last few missions.



The ships CMO is now set to marry the wounded ex Security Crewman Vera Anderson. The explosive tension this has caused between the CMOs’ ex fiancée and his new bride to be is yet to be resolved. LtCmdr Rogers and the CEO Lt Pandora continued to explore the nature of a human / android relationship in the unusual setting of a nude bathing beach. LtCmdr Kells and Ensign Stennes continued to torture each other emotionally over their future failed relationship from another time line. This timeline has ceased to exist with the return of the Kells from that future. Kells Grandfather aka the” Infernal” once again evades arrest and transports Kells to a vessel where the LtCmdr is forced to undergo a mind meld. The LtCmdr’s memory of the incident is wiped clean and he is returned to the Drake. Preparing for a shakedown cruise it is discovered that LtCmdr Whale has gone missing.



The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 25 2012, 3:57 am

 



Getting the Best Out of Your Sims - Part 3



By Kalianna Nicholotti





Don’t forget personality! Perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts about simming our individual characters is the personality that we each give to them throughout the story. One character may act radically different towards a specific situation, as opposed to another. One character may have a rather interesting quirk, whereas another might have a hobby that lends to who that character really becomes. Regardless of what you can dream up, the life that enters the characters that we create is something that this game wouldn’t be the same without.



To that end, in part 3 of Lieutenant JG Blackwood’s Guide to Better Simming, she takes us through some of the more important points when it comes to simming personality within your characters.





3) Personality



This brings me on to personality. We want to read about your character, so show us what s/he is like. There are different ways to do things. Use descriptive words, adjectives to put personality into your characters.



Example of Ensign Craig at a large table in the Mess Hall.:



Ensign Craig sat at the table drank his coffee. (Pretty bland and reveals nothing.)



Ensign Craig sat at the table sipping his piping hot coffee and stealing glances at his colleagues. (Maybe a bit nervous or shy? )



Ensign Craig sat at the table with his coffee, stealing sips from it as he talked excitedly with the others. His drink grew cold as the others grew bored and restless… yawning and tapping their fingers. (He’s so excited and focused on his monologue he doesn’t even realise people can’t get a word in edgeways, or that they want to talk about something else….)



Ensign Craig sat glowering at the table. He gulped his coffee down in such a hurry he nearly spilled it down his front. He slammed the mug back down onto the table, and pushed it away from him before folding his arms and huffing. (Could he get more grumpy?)



This reflects their reaction to events and feelings in the moment. Over the course of your sims you can establish personality by having your character react to situations consistently. A shy character will have different thoughts, actions and body language to an outgoing bubbly one. Is your character an empath or telepath? How does this affect their views on privacy and emotions? Are they a Vulcan or logical being? How would they react to characters who are very illogical or eccentric? Are they religious or spiritual? How does this affect their view of the world and situations they find themself in? The great thing about this is that all characters are different and have their own opinions, experiences, view of the world and way of doing things. How does your character react to people who are very different? For example how would a workaholic with a strong sense of duty and pride in work react to someone very work shy? Would they try to convert them to a better way of thinking, or maybe avoid or ignore them, or maybe even try to get them in trouble?



Use your characters background, experiences, senses and personality to it’s fullest. These are things not just to think about but to show us as you write your sims.



The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 26 2012, 6:37 am

 


The Next Generation (of Enterprise)


By Mackenzie Ingram


 


Star Trek Online has released their newest class of starship: the Odyssey class. Its most famous member? The new USS Enterprise-F. Cryptic Studios and CBS collaborated to create a contest that allowed fans to compete in order to design the concept for the new Enterprise. Cryptic then developed the concept into a complete 3D model that has been introduced into the game.So what goes into choosing a new Enterprise? According to the development team at Cryptic Studios, it’s a careful balance of traditional features, such as separate saucer and engineering sections, and a new concept, like the split neck of the winning entry by Adam Ihle. Read more about the design process of the Enterprise-F in a series of articles by Cryptic Studio’s designers and artists.


The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/

MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 28 2012, 6:20 am

 


USS Discovery-C Plot Summary


 


Discovery remains trapped within the Dyson Sphere. With Eriksen, the former Captain of the USS Melbourne, now in custody in Discovery’s brig, pending court martial, the crew of the Discovery begins to run food and medical supplies to other ships prioritized by greatest need. Meetings provide data accumulated over years by other crews and slowly, the crew begins to put together a picture of what’s going on.  


However, for all their efforts, no clear resolution presents itself until the senior staff of the Discovery are transported off the ship to an unknown location where their ‘host’ is revealed, Trelane. Somewhat older but no more mature, the former Squire of Gothos is displeased that the Captain has been interfering in his fun. The sphere had been created by his parents to contain him; in retaliation, Trelane admitted to murdering them both. Using similar tactics to that employed by Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise, the senior officers work to overtax Trelane’s abilities. Lt. Inarr Rogg d’Squamos, now in command of the ship, orders a direct hit on the planet. Trelane is sufficiently weakened and communications are restored. The crew is returned to Discovery and fires a full torpedo spread, fore and aft, at Trelane, presumably destroying the machine he uses to augment his abilities.


The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.

MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 30 2012, 8:46 am

 


Species Close-up: Laudean


By Aron Kells


 


The Laudeans are a humanoid species and the only native sapient species on Til’ahn (also known as Luxis II or Duronis II). Laudeans feature three sexes – male, female, and lomale – and while, as with most humanoid species, the male provides a sperm and the female the egg and carries the child, the lomale is required to copulate with both the male and the female in order to provide essential gene sequences and enzymes that neither the female nor the male can synthesize naturally. Lomales comprise only 3% of the totally Laudean population.


The United Federation of Planets maintains an embassy on Til’ahn, although it was abandoned in 2381 and Romulan displaced by the Hobus event occupied the planet until the Federation reopened the embassy in 2388. The Laudeans are technically advanced, but the Duronis system, due to a natural process, does not allow for the creation of a stable warp field, and so the non-warp-capable Laudeans were unknown to the neighboring Romulans, Zalkonians, and the Federation for many years.


To learn more about the Laudeans, visit their wiki page!

MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Mar. 31 2012, 6:55 am

 



Getting the Best Out of Your Sims - Part 4



By Kalianna Nicholotti



One of the most overlooked aspects of any sim is the polish that takes a good sim and makes it great. Everything is more enjoyable to read when it is polished up and sims throughout the Starbase 118 Fleet are no different. Though this section of the guide is shorter than the others, it is more vitally important to the overall creation of a sim. Ask anyone in the Starbase 118 fleet; making sure that you don’t just send out your first draft, but put some time and energy into making sure that it is polished, will go a long way towards making the game enjoyable and fun for all.



Check out the rest of the article at http://www.starbase118.net/blog/2012/02/20/getting-the-best-out-of-your-sims-part-4/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Apr. 01 2012, 6:27 am

 



Duronis II Embassy Plot





King Qalan, leader of the Zalinians on Lavon, contacted Laudean Prime Minister Vail Daysa regarding five Zalinian/Laudean hybrid teenagers who crash landed on Lavon in a unique ship. The joining of these two species was of concern to both Qalan and Daysa, since both races had agreed to avoid creating a life form with Laudean fielding and Zalinian telekinesis.



With the Federation’s more advanced means of examining the teenagers, both Qalan and Daysa approached Captain Toni Tuner about sending Starfleet personnel and an expert Laudean fielder to Lavon to learn more about this mystery. Captain Turner agreed, and the USS Thunder, NCC-70605, was dispatched to Lavon under the command of Lieutenant Commander Miles Unum, while Captain Turner remained at the Duronis II Embassy, since Federation Ambassador Boyd Lee was away.



The Thunder arrived at Lavon, and the away team, lead by Commander Tal Tel-ar, met with Qalan. A Zalkonian ship, the Betesh, in orbit of Lavon and commanded by Captain Mella Lanis, sent a special operations team to Lavon to kidnap the five hybrids. Four of the five were captured, and the fifth escaped. The Betesh left orbit and accelerated to transwarp speed with the Thunder in pursuit. Unum ordered maximum warp and sought options from the crew to stop the Betesh. As the Betesh neared the maximum range of the Thunder’s sensors, an incoming Zalkonian torpedo penetrated the Thunder’s shields, and the Thunder was damaged. The Thunder’s mission continues as the crew attempt to learn more about the hybrids.



The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Apr. 03 2012, 4:46 pm

 



Strange Species: Eerie, a Brikar



By Aron Kells





Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. Spiced throughout are the uncommon species, and this series hopes to investigate those unique characters and the writers who decided to explore the strange new worlds of Trek.



from the USS Avandar, Eerie, a Brikar



Writing for a Brikar is a unique challenge because the Brikars have never appeared in canon Trek; they have to date appeared only in the spin-off book series Star Trek: New Frontier. However, this nonorganic, rocklike race appealed to Mark, the writer behind tactical officer Eerie aboard the Avandar, and he set off to make the character his own. According to Mark, he already had the basic profile for Eerie before he decided to make the character a Brikar; indeed, it seems that the primary New Frontier source was not his principal guide. “I did a web search on the species and used some of that in creating the character; one of them was a Star Trek board game. I tried to keep it all of it in mind when describing the species.”



It is interesting to note that while the Brikar are noted as physically imposing, “statue-like,” and very strong, it is their temperaments — cold and closed-off — which seem to have informed Eerie’s character the most. “He still has a way to go, but after his time at the Academy, he knows he must open up more with others on his ship. It is slow road, but a fun on to see the development.” And the species-based physical quirks are not based solely around Eerie’s strengths: “He finds Starships cold, and likes the tactical position , as he doesn’t particularly like to sit down, as prefers to stand on duty and even off.. He is somewhat formal, and all business on duty, but will warm up a bit with close friends while off duty.”



What advice does Mark have for players interested in investigating uncommon species? “Perhaps, try to create some type of envelope for that species and work inside of the box. I like to ask myself how would the species react to certain situations, environments, etc. I try not to stray outside of the envelope, both character and species. It is a lot of work but I have really enjoyed seeing it all come together.”



The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


MilesUnum

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 344

Report this Apr. 05 2012, 6:56 am

 


Lower Decks: Ensign Harold Foster


By Viktor Lanius


 


We’ve all heard the names. The names of those who’ve made this community great are plentiful, but there are quite a few other names that we may not hear about day in and day out in the world of UFOP. New recruits, academy graduates and newly commisioned officers are the rising stars that will continue to help the community grow in so many ways. In this column, we’re going to explore some of those names; from the writer all the way down to the character, in order to give you a feel for what the future of the UFOP community may hold. In this edition, we’ll delve into the life of a curious young scientist aboard Starbase 118 in the Operations section: Ensign Harold Foster.


Throughout the character building process, some writers may find that there is an inevitable crossover between themselves and the character they’re forging. We try to avoid this for a few reason, first and foremost being that there should be a definite distinction between what is real, and what is simply fiction designed for pleasure. Other times we seperate ourselves so that the creative process can flow uninhibited by any other outside forces. on the contrary, some of us are perfectly fine with giving a bit of ourselves to our characters, so long as that crossover doesn’t become a problem.


The writer for Mr. Foster, one Mr. Dziugas Parsonis or “D” as he often signs his OOC posts, decided to tackle this epic decision head on by creating a character that was totally different from that of himself. “Harold Foster is very different from myself  both physically (age, build, hair, eyes – everything) and emotionally. Foster is a more reserved fellow, while I am very outgoing. Foster is thoughful, and I am impulsive etc. So I guess, yes, I was sort of creating an opposite of me.” Additionally, D threw in the fact that making a character that was opposite him was something he had in  mind right from the start by saying, “Foster is not my ideal – not by a long shot. I’m quite happy the way I am. I just thought that simming somebody very different from myself would be a great experience.” Clearly as writers we can see where that could be a challenging and fulfilling experience. But what challenges lie ahead for our Ensign?


Challenges such as interpersonal feelings and actions are a common experience with a character/writer combo such as this one. “There are times when I find difficulty in trying to figure out how my character would react to stressful or complex situations. There’s a natural urge to mix my true self  in and react in a way that I myself would. Simming my alter ego would be easier in such cases, but I try to be my character best as I can.” Ensign Foster does harbor some challenges that other writer’s may not have had to face in their time with their characters. “There are situations that no one has had to deal with. For example, Foster carries an artificial symbiont in his brain (machine code really – not Trill-like symbiont), which he is at odds with. Obviously I have to invent his feelings and reactions to it and their mutual interactions, and It’s challenging, but it’s fun.”


D finished his commentary on Ensign Foster by saying, ”Despite our differences, Foster and I could be soulmates. I am a technology and science enthusiast (Harold Foster is a Science Officer); I like science fiction very much and have dreamt about space travel and undiscovered worlds since early childhood. We both judge people by their merits only and value honesty and true friendship. I am not as good as my character in hacking hardware and building home-brewed science projects, but I am fascinated by the things we could build ourselves. And we both are workaholics…” All in all there seems to be a clear and working relationship between Mr. Parsonis and his character, one that has been more than beneficial to his current crew.


Ensign Foster is currently assigned to Starbase 118. When asked about his crew’s current mission, he retorted with a rather enlightening response. “Yes, well… I am astonished what our commanding officers let us run with it! On the very first day, after graduating from the Academy,  my character got an assignment to check the ship’s sensor arrays. He found them to be faulty, of course (causing dismay for officers responsible for the ship’s operations I’m afraid). That routine job eventually developed into a sub-plot, and again into a full mission that our team is on now. I did the concept for the mission – an accomplishment I am unashamedly proud of.” And as an Ensign, and a writer to who English is a second language, this is certainly a wonderous accomplishment in the eyes of other junior writers looking for greatness. A rising star in the world of UFOP indeed, but what else is next for the young ensign? Surely his commanding officer can atest to the diligence of her Ensign, eh Commander Nicholotti?


[Says jokingly] “I hope to make Foster’s life miserable.  He is an honest, unassuming and hardworking science officer who hopes to one day have his own science lab and devote himself to scientific study. But I’ll try very hard to interfere and test his loyalty, courage, capacity for love and sacrifice as well as his ability to lead people – all the things he hopes to avoid.  We’ll see what develops. Though to be honest, I would like to see Foster at the very center of the bridge some day…” A lofty, yet noteworthy goal for someone who’s just starting on his path into the unknown. I find the comments in this last section from D to be quite centering. He describes a role as the writer to be one of goal setting and creating challenges for his character. This concept in itself seems to be a great way to look at things in the simming world. It seems to be a constant see-saw relationship between writer and character that makes this whole thing work, and also makes it fun in the process.


The young Science Officer seems to be making his own way in the Federation, and his writer seems to be challenging himself with every post. This already sounds like the making of a great CO. Will Starfleet give him a shot? Will Foster achieve all the things he’s set out to do? Will Mr. Parsonis continue to challenge himself differently each day and learn a little more about himself? These are all questions that we as the audience may see the answers to in the near future. A rising star among others. Hopefully here we can see that even in the Lower Decks, greatness is always cultivating new talent to enrich our strong-running community.


The Star Trek adventure continues at http://www.starbase118.net/.


 

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