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StarBase 118 Staff

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  1. We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border. This month’s interview is with the writer behind Lieutenant JG Ben Garcia playing a Human male HCO officer assigned to the Embassy of Duronis II. GALVEN: Thank you for accepting this interview! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? GARCIA: Hi! I’m Wes, and I write for Ben. I post from the U.K and always get caught out with post counts and time differences! I enjoy Trek, especially those episodes that make you think … I guess that’s what got me into Trek: I have great memories of watching TNG after dinner with my mum (many, many years ago!), and I’d marvel at how the characters grappled with high ideals and moral dilemmas. I was fascinated with Picard. Great stuff! You joined the community in February. How did you find StarBase 118 and what made you ultimately choose to stay with us? I re-joined in February; I found StarBase 118 a few years ago – maybe four or five? I’d done table top RPG when I was a kid, and wanted to find an online group. I cannot remember how I stumbled across StarBase 118, but I’m thankful you were there among those search results! When I first joined I was at University, and for one reason and another couldn’t keep up posting, so I took a LOA … or two. Fast forward to this February, and I’d made the decision to carve out time for things that I enjoy. That meant figuring out what I enjoyed! That’s when all those really positive memories about how friendly and organised the StarBase 118 community are came to the fore. So, I decided to get back involved. I’m grateful to the Embassy for finding a place for me to sim (thanks guys!), and really enjoy the freedom we have on the installation to sim planet side or on one of the Embassy’s ships. This is my longest stint as an active member, and I’d put it down to two things: the community ethos of StarBase 118 and my mind set about why I sim. On your wiki, there’s quite a bit about Ben’s backstory especially applying for a full apprenticeship at his mother’s company. Do you take any inspiration for your writing from any TV shows/movies/books? It was important to me to create a character with a history that challenged me and kept my interest. So, Ben’s parents are non-Starfleet: his mum is a Property Manager and his father a ‘Director’ (I’ve not decided of what yet). Both Ben’s mum and dad are motivated by achievement and creating value. I’d guess they’d be capitalists in today’s money. Ben joining Starfleet has opened up a bit of a culture gap in the family, and I’m going to enjoy simming how they cross that gap together. At the minute, the parents are happy as Ben was recently promoted, so that should keep them quiet for a bit! Ben’s backstory refers to the ‘Lunar Lake’ incident – an ecological disaster at a development covered up by his mum’s company. The event occurred during Ben’s apprenticeship. I kept the details vague to give me something juicy to write about and develop during quieter shore leaves. I watch a lot of SciFi, apocalyptic dramas and Trek: it all mingles together and inspires a lot of my ideas. Recently though, I’ve started reading crime fiction, and I’m taking lots of inspiration about how to shape and frame ideas from this genre. Two faves at the minute are Michael Connelly and Carol O’Connel. Out of all the duty posts out there, you chose the HCO (Helm,Communication,Operations) position. Could you tell us why you picked it and any type of advice for anyone who would want to consider it? HCO is fun. It was also the post I felt most scared by … because in one sense it’s so vague. Don’t let that put you off though! You get to sit in on the action as a Bridge officer, and dip your fingers into as many pies as you want – it’s such a versatile post. Plus, it leaves you with lots of opportunities on away missions – once the flying is over you can jump in and help out a range of departments. I really like this open aspect to the posting. It’s a posting with oodles of untapped potential. If you really think about what an Operations Officer does, or what would be involved in sustaining comms, you realise the simming potential for those background details are immense. If you get bored? Just jump back in the driver’s seat and engage the engines! And lastly, where do you see your character in a few months from now? Also, would you like to join any of the OOC activities 118 has to offer? Ben will hopefully pick up some more responsibility for Operations – at the moment he is still finding his feet at the Helm, but I’m really looking forward to simming Ben dealing with things like power allocations between departments. Mundane maybe, but a fascinating part of any ship’s daily business that I’d love to read more about in sims. As for me? Yep, I’m up for getting more involved with OOC activities, and will certainly be pitching in where I can help! Thanks for your time, Lieutenant JG Ben Garcia! You can read more about Lieutenant JG Ben Garcia on the wiki. The post Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Junior Grade Ben Garcia, Embassy of Duronis II appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  2. It’s almost impossible to divide the vast variety of personalities in the world into relatively solid, distinguished chunks. There will always be wiggle room, and ways to break the mold. I myself was skeptical about the Myers-Brigg test when I first heard of it; the claim that a simple test could categorize me into one of 16 subgroups was difficult to take seriously. Nevertheless, I attempted it, and was quite surprised at the accuracy of the results! It wasn’t too long before I began to wonder how my 118 character would fair on such a test. This, by extension, led to curiosity regarding the results of my comrades in quill. For those unfamiliar with the test, or unsure of the results, there’s a surprisingly enjoyable free test available online that can be found here. I would strongly recommend answering the questions as your character would for maximum effect. So this leads us to this week’s question; what Myers Brigg category would your character fit into? Head to the forums to register your entry in the poll. And be sure to leave a comment! The post Poll of the Week: Your Character’s Myers-Brigg alignment appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  3. Each week, our Poll of the Week editors – Randal Shayne and Anath G’Renn – come up with creative new questions to ask the fleet about their favorite (or least favorite) aspects of Star Trek. Now we’re asking for your help in adding more questions to our weekly polls. If you have a great idea for an upcoming poll, drop it in the form below to let us know! Your informationYour preferred email address Your primary character nameYour fleet writer IDYou can find your writer ID on the wiki.Poll suggestionWhat should we ask?*Suggested answers* body .ginput_container_list table.gfield_list tbody tr td.gfield_list_icons { vertical-align: middle !important; } body .ginput_container_list table.gfield_list tbody tr td.gfield_list_icons img { background-color: transparent !important; background-position: 0 0; background-size: 16px 16px !important; background-repeat: no-repeat; border: none !important; width: 16px !important; height: 16px !important; opacity: 0.5; transition: opacity .5s ease-out; -moz-transition: opacity .5s ease-out; -webkit-transition: opacity .5s ease-out; -o-transition: opacity .5s ease-out; } body .ginput_container_list table.gfield_list tbody tr td.gfield_list_icons a:hover img { opacity: 1.0; } Any other thoughts, comments, or questionsCommentsThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Save and Continue Later The post Do you have a Poll of the Week in mind? Suggest it here! appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  4. Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Ravenna Carter, Kel Tarren, and returning member Solaris McLaren! The post New Academy Graduates appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  5. Join us in the chat room for our monthly OOC chat today (Sunday, July 14) at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm London / 3am+1 Sydney (AUS). (See your timezone here.) Click here to join the chat on Discord. It’s fun and easy, and only takes a minute to get set up if you’ve never signed up on before. Our monthly chats are a place to meet other members of the fleet, catch up on current fleet events, share stories, and talk about Star Trek. Especially if you’ve never attended a chat before, we hope you’ll participate this month! The post It’s time to chat! Join us today for our monthly fleetwide party. appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  6. The Star Trek galaxy is full of alien worlds and while some may be very similar to Earth, many of the more developed planets have a distinct feeling all their own. Whether you want an Earth-like planet full of beautiful art and architecture or a smog-filled metropolis with near-constant rain, there’s a planet for you somewhere in the galaxy. Some, like the pressure domes of Luna or the underwater cities of Bolarus IX offer very different environments compared to Earth. If you were to pick one of the planets in the galaxy as a place to live, where would you begin your search? Perhaps a small house overlooking the Vulcan Fire Plains. Is a large city like those on Ferenginar or Qo’noS more your speed? If you’re looking for a breathtaking view, seeing the Bolarus ocean floor outside your window is tough to compete with. Or maybe you’d be more than happy right where you are, as there’s no place like home. This week’s poll asks: Which Star Trek world would you most like to live on? Click here to head to the forums now and vote – be sure to let us known which planet you would choose in the thread below the poll! The post Poll of the Week: House Hunters appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  7. Every month, the Academy staff works to compile the statistics about our recruiting and training for the fleet’s informational purposes. Let’s take a look at how we did as a fleet in June. This first graph depicts the number of applications that we have received each month this year. The month of June was the second month in a row with a decline in the number of applications. As a fleet, we finished the month with nine new applications. The following chart shows how our new members found us, according to their application: This final graph shows how many people graduated from the Academy during the month of June. The fleet saw only four graduates during the month of June, tying it with March for the lowest number this year. This includes two applicants who applied during the month of May. We also had four applicants whose training did not start until the beginning of July. These new recruits are the lifeblood of our community. Without them, it becomes difficult to keep our ships fully crewed and even more difficult to grow the fleet. If you’d like to help us recruit more members and grow our fleet, you can join the Publicity Team using this form. The post Applications and Academy Graduates for June 2019 appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  8. Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Nali Talia and Artinus Serinus! The post New Academy Graduates appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  9. The staff of UFOP: SB118 would like to congratulate all who saw their hard work and dedication pay off this month. Please be sure to congratulate these members when you see them around the forums and chat room! ASTRAEUS Sheila Bailey to Lieutenant JG Kawakame Shin to Lieutenant Tiria Hamasaki to Lieutenant German Galven to Lieutenant Commander ATLANTIS Esa Darkkdust to Lieutenant JG Kiliak Jo to Lieutenant Alexander Williams to Commander VERITAS Addison MacKenzie to Lieutenant JG Geoffrey Teller to Lieutenant G’Var to Lieutenant Jansen Orrey to Lieutenant Commander The post Promotions for July appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  10. We invite all members of our community to join us in the Discord chat room this coming Sunday, for our regularly scheduled get-together, where we’ll talk about what’s happening around the fleet, learn more about each other, and discuss Star Trek! The chat starts this Sunday, July 14 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, 6pm UTC. Click here to see the start time in your zone, and add this event to your calendar. This chat is open to all and casual, so feel free to come and go as you please. See you there! The post Join us for the fleetwide chat this coming Sunday appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  11. It’s the 25th anniversary of the 118 fleet and the Podcast Team is working harder than ever to bring you an entertaining show! Check out these fun segments: Montreal in Focus: Chloe Waters interviews Mei’konda Announcements and Team ads read By Lael Rosek Moments In Time: Important events in 118 history by Toryn Raga Legacy: Embassy at Duronis II by Toryn Raga Welcome to the Fleet, covering graduates from January 2396 through May 2396 read by Kelrod Roshanara Rahman interviews Geoffrey Teller What’s New With The Fleet? (Snippets of Mission Reports from the USS Eagle, the USS Montreal, and the USS Columbia) read by Lael Rosek “Reach the Light,” Filk Written by Lael Rosek and Riley Delar, Sung By Kelrod Voiceover and editorial contributions were provided by Lt. Commander Lael Rosek, Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman, Captain Mei’konda, Lt Commander Toryn Raga, Commander Kelrod, Lieutenant JG Chloe Waters, and Lieutenant Geoffrey Teller. Video edited by Lt. Commander German Galven. Click here to listen to the June 2396 podcast on YouTube. The post Celebrate our 25th anniversary by listening to our podcast appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  12. This month, in the second of our series of interviews with staff members who recently received a flag officer promotion, we’re talking with Quinn Reynolds – our newest Vice Admiral – to learn more about what she can teach members of the fleet with her long years of experience. FORTUNE: Thank you so much for joining us today! REYNOLDS: Thank you! I’m delighted to be here. A promotion to Vice Admiral is not something to sneeze at! Looking back on all these years with the fleet, what do you believe is one piece of advice you would give to a new Ensign or a Cadet thinking of joining us? Embrace the community. I’ve always found that the most fun I’ve had with 118 are the times that I’ve been sharing active in sharing story, character development and OOC ideas with other members. Other people can spark ideas in directions you would have never imagined by yourself, and give you confidence to try things you might never have dreamed up alone. I’d like to know more about your mission-writing ideas. What gives something that pop, that ding to it that sends you mashing on the keyboard long into the night to bring it to life? Really, I think it’s any idea that gives me more ideas; a mission seed that instantly sets the imagination spinning off in a dozen different directions. When a proposal instantly prompts lots of ideas for scenes, plot twists and outcomes, I can be fairly sure it’s something that everyone in the crew will be able to get their teeth into and have a fun time with. Interesting! Hitting Vice Admiral is admirable (hah). Let’s roll back the years to when you first began: Was command your goal? Or has it changed? I came into the group just wanting to roleplay in the Star Trek universe, though I did already have an established history as a tabletop GM. My interest in command was really something that evolved over time, as I saw how we told stories in such a collaborative, freeform setting and learned what role the captain played in making sure everyone had a great time. Wow! Never would have known. Can you give us a little insight to any future plans you have for Quinn? Well, she’s getting married! That’s a huge deal for her as she never thought she’d find a relationship that could weather her many and varied quirks, as well as her career. From a professional standpoint, she’s recently been drawn back into the murky world of Romulan conspiracies and Orion Syndicate shenanigans, and I’m looking forward to exploring that with my crew. What has been your favorite – or least favorite – event that has happened with Quinn on her journey to the stars? I really don’t think I could choose just one, there’s been so many wonderful stories I’ve been a part of. Perhaps one of the most influential was as an ensign, very early on in my career, when I got to spend a mission alone with the CO’s PNPC, which paved the way for one of the most defining relationships of Quinn’s life. As a member of the Executive Council, the Captains Council, the Academy Commandant, and the CO of the Gorkon, I’d imagine you have learned how to really manage your time. How do you make that work, and what would you recommend for others who are wanting to grow their involvement in the community? It’s easier than it used to be, what with smartphones being so ubiquitous! I’d recommend that anyone looking to grow their involvement seek out the publicity, news, and – if they’re Lieutenant and above – the training team. These three teams really form the core of our OOC efforts, as they’re vital to drawing in and acclimatising new players, and only ask a little time every month to help. Wonderful! Well thank you so much for our interview and just for being here on SB118! We very much appreciate you, Vice Admiral Reynolds! Thank you! I’m fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful community. And thank YOU, everyone, for reading our article today! Have a great day and see you amongst the stars! For more information about Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, check out her bio on the wiki. The post New flag officer interview: Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, USS Gorkon appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  13. We’ve seen a slight drop in sims throughout the UFOP: Starbase 118 fleet, as we count a total post count of 1,541, which can be attributed to a normal summer slowdown. The average per ship sim count is 171, reflecting a summer full of good weather and plenty of typical vacations! This month, the USS Astraeus – the new ship which the crew of the Montreal transferred to – leads the pack with 221 sims written. Following close behind is the Gorkon, with 203 sims. Without too much of a gap after that, the Constitution clocked 192 sims for the month of June, and the USS Eagle came in with 188. Check out some of the highlights of this past month’s simming through our Appreciations forum, where you and your fellow members can nominate sims, great quotes, and other memorable moments for the rest of the fleet to enjoy! The post June 2019 Post Counts appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  14. The way we write our sims is an important part of our culture here in UFOP: SB118. Learning how to write in the “modified script format” is a big part of training, and acclimating to it can take some time. But it’s a powerful method of collaborative writing, making it easy to pull out dialogue and separate it from exposition so that we can “pass around” the story as quickly and easily as possible. We’ve had this format of writing since the founding of our group 25 years ago, in 1994. It was the dominant mode of writing sims among people who roleplayed on AOL, like I was doing when I founded the group with some folks I had met in AOL’s “Red Dragon Inn” chat room and some Star Trek chat rooms. Since then, other groups have come and gone, and this format – despite its clear benefits – has become less popular. We’re still “all-in” on this way of writing, but the Executive Council recently did some thinking about how it works and decided to make one big modification that we’re announcing to the fleet today: We’re going to be dropping the ::action:: signifiers from our game almost completely. Let’s talk more about why, and what this will look like. Why are we doing this? The simplest and most direct explanation is that in many cases these signifiers don’t actually add anything to your understanding of what you’re reading. For example, consider the following excerpt from our fleet’s example sim that’s available on our website for prospective members: ((Aeroshuttle Beethoven)) ::Another blast rocked the tiny shuttle and a warning alarm sounded about some system that was failing; but Tressa wasn’t focussing on anything but setting up a channel to the Victory. She spoke aloud as she worked, partly so Eisaran knew what she was doing, and partly to try and keep herself sane. She was aware of the shaking in her voice and as the channel to the Victory opened she did her best to swallow her fear and sound partially in control of her emotions at that point…:: TRESSA: =/\= Aeroshuttle Beethoven to USS Victory, a Romulan Warbird has decloaked approximately 3 minutes from your last recorded location with us. It appears th- =/\= The ((location)) signifiers help the reader understand where the character is, and the dialogue signifier, with the character’s name, helps you understand who’s speaking – and makes it easy to grab that section for when you write your sim and drop it in. But even without those ::action:: signifiers, you’d still recognize that what you were reading was exposition, because otherwise what would that text be? It’s eminently clear that paragraph is scene-setting, and by removing ::these::, we don’t lose any context or readability. And in fact, what we gain is lot. These signifiers are one of the most alien parts of our sim writing, and it takes some getting used to, especially if you’re an experienced fiction writer. We’ve heard from some prospective members and cadets that our format was simply too difficult for them to understand or get in the habit of writing with, and we think that dropping these signifiers will go a long way toward making our sims easier for the untrained eye to read, but also easier for new people to adopt the other simple parts of our writing style. Perhaps even more importantly is that these signifiers can cause make it difficult to both read or hear our sims, and write or dictate them, with the kinds of tools that differently abled people use when they’re not able to see or type. Dictation software struggles with these symbols in particular. You may have also noticed that if you’re typing on a soft keyboard (like the one on your mobile phone) that these symbols can add a significant amount of time to your writing, as you’re forced to switch back and forth from the symbols to the letters to add them. So by removing them, considering they don’t add anything particularly helpful to a sim, we potentially make it easier to write, and easier for prospective members to read and learn how our sims work. One caveat: In-line actions There is one place that offsetting actions is particularly important, and that’s when they appear “in line” with dialogue. Here’s an example: TRESSA: ::Smiling:: I’ve located the freighter. In this case, an aside showing us the action needs a clear signifier so we know that it’s not a part of the dialogue. But the question is how we do this in a way that makes most sense. Unfortunately some options for signage that might seem more natural – like *these* or _these_ are off-limits due to the rise of Markdown language in chat and blogging software, which uses those symbols to signify italics and underlined text. That leaves us with two other options: Continue using the double colons for in-line actions Use parentheses. As parentheses are never used in speech, any appearance of them within a line of dialogue will be clearly an offset or aside. The first option is pretty clear since we’re all so familiar with it. But it doesn’t negate obvious downsides to use double colons – hard to use with dictation software, somewhat difficult on soft keyboards, and very alien looking to new and prospective members. The second option has the benefit of being easier to use, as parentheses are a common part of writing, but they look rather alien to those of us who have been using colons for a while! After a spirited debate among the fleet’s staff members, we’ve decided to open this debate to the fleet and allow everyone to decide how to proceed. We’re running a poll on the forums where everyone can both vote, and weigh-in. We’re going to give the fleet a month to land on the option that they think makes the most sense, and then we’ll announce to the fleet how we’re proceeding. What happens next? We’ll run our poll starting today and ending on Sunday, August 4. Once that’s done, we’ll begin our transition to the new format. The transition period will last three months, and will look like this: Phase 1 (Thursday, July 4 -> Sunday, August 4): In this phase we’re notifying the fleet about the impending change and polling about how people believe we should change the action signifiers for in-line actions. Everyone should still use our current format. Phase 2 (Monday, August 5 -> Sunday, September 1): In this phase, we’ll be asking everyone to begin using the new format. We know there will be lots of times when folks forget to transition their writing during this phase, so your ship staff will provide gentle reminders throughout the month. We’ll ask everyone to share any “edge cases” we hadn’t considered with the new format and provide public guidance where helpful about how to proceed. And any tips that make it easier to transition will definitely be welcomed! Phase 3 (Monday, September 2 -> onward): In this final phase, everyone will be required to write in the new format. Staff will provide clear and direct reminders to everyone. Folks that aren’t able to transition after multiple reminders may have their sims moderated on their ship list until they can consistently submit sims using the new format. Click here to vote in the poll now: https://www.starbase118.net/2019/script-format-modification/ The post We’re making some changes to the script format appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  15. To be made a captain in Starfleet is to be recognized with trust, respect and appreciation. Despite a variety of episodes in which our heroes encounter less scrupulous colleagues, for the most part, Captains Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and Archer performed their duties with honor, dedication and courage. Emphasis on the “for the most part.” Even the best of us slip up or do something we regret from time to time. The pressures of commanding a starship and protecting ones crew can lead to a variety of ethically grey areas. No captain has been immune to this. Captain Kirk’s (somewhat understandable, if not commendable) bigotry toward Klingons was well documented. Captain Picard’s strict and uncompromising adherence to the Prime Directive lead to deep, lasting consequences on several occasions, and on one occasion, his refusal to order his tactical officer to donate blood to a Romulan doomed that Romulan to a slow and painful death. Captain Sisko was the first to engage in conspiratorially illegal actions, which included becoming an accessory to murder and a blatant violation of the Prime Directive. He was also responsible for utilizing a weapon of mass destruction on a civilian Maquis population. Captain Janeway’s decision to destroy the Caretaker’s array left the entire crew of Voyager stranded in an unfamiliar quadrant, and her obsession with exploration brought incalculable danger into their midst. Captain Archer’s often entitled attitude underlied actions with potentially disturbing implications, such as his refusal to give an entire civilization the cure to a mortal disease, and a desperate attack on an innocent alien vessel when diplomacy failed. This week’s question is: Which captain do you believe was the most morally dubious? Click here to head to the forums now and vote in the poll. Let us know your thoughts in the thread below the poll! The post Poll of the Week: Most Morally Dubious Captain? appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  16. With the Annual awards over for another year, it is now time to present the badges. This year we are delighted to announce the addition of four new badges, including a one off special edition legendary badge! 25th Anniversary Badge This legendary badge recognises members who are active during the annual Awards Ceremony on the fleet’s 25th year anniversary. To be awarded, members must be active and in good standing on the date of June 30, 2019. This is a one time only award. Awards Ceremony Nominator The Awards Ceremony Nominator badge is presented to an individual who nominates fellow players during the annual awards ceremony. There are three levels that can be awarded: Standard: A player must submit at least 1 nomination for a fellow player during an awards ceremony, in any category. Elite: A player must submit at least 5 nominations for fellow players in any category. Legendary: A player must submit at least 10 nominations for players on more that 2 vessels in any category. This badge can be earned multiple times; however it is only awarded once per year. A player earning an elite or legendary badge is not eligible to receive the lower level badges in the same year. For instance, if you receive the legendary badge during the awards period, you will not be able to receive the standard or elite badges that year. Head over to the forums now for the list of badge recipients! The post Claim your 2019 Awards badges! appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  17. Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail. This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Montreal, Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, a female Al-Leyan. GALVEN: Thank you so much for accepting to do an interview with me out of your busy schedule! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? ROSEK: I’m always happy to help. I’ve been writing with the fleet on and off for 14 years and love the sense of community here. In real life, I work as an instructional aide in an elementary special education classroom and believe with all my heart that a good education can change a person’s life. I’m the mother of two amazing young boys who are the light of my life. What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career? I’ve served on any number of ships over the years. My very first assignment with the fleet was the Independence at the time under the command of Jessa Anassasi. At that time, I was writing for a Human woman named Rebecca Hollendale, a security/tactical officer. She also served aboard the Ronin under the command of Idril Mar. A bit later on, I switched characters to a Human woman named Elina Kincade. She was an interesting character because I started writing her as an Engineer who eventually became a trained nurse. While writing for her, I served aboard the Eagle and the Challenger-A. My most recent, and perhaps my favorite, PC, Lael, started her career as an Engineer before switching to Helm and later back to Engineering. She served aboard the Victory, the Gorkon, the Za, the Veritas, and the Montreal. I also have a menagerie of PNPCs and secondary characters in a variety of duty posts. I’ve played in the fair majority of available duty posts over my time with the fleet. What’s been your favorite plot you’ve been involved in? There are so many to choose from. Our captains and crews have really come up with some excellent ones over the years. This might be a bit biased since it was my proposal, but my favorite in recent memory is the Havley’s Hope mission back when I was still serving aboard the Veritas. It was great to see so many of the newer writers getting into the story and throwing twists in. A new race came out of it, one that I’d like to see a Shoals crew use in the future. Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim? Well, a lot of it for me is first getting my last sim into a document and adding in everyone’s dialogue. I highlight the actions of others in yellow so I don’t forget to change or remove them. Beyond that, it’s looking at the scene and thinking about the history of the character that I’m writing for. What’s their experience been with the kind of situation they’re facing? What might that experience make them feel? How do they react to those feelings? Is there a particular aspect of your role of First Officer that motivates you in your position? In my opinion, one of the most rewarding duties of a First Officer is crew relations. Both Mei’konda and I believe a writing environment should be a nurturing place where writers can feel free to be themselves and where they can feel valued. One of the first things I did in taking on the role of First Officer was create regular opportunities for the writers behind the characters to get to know each other and become comfortable with each other. We have watch-alongs and threads in the forums to showcase good writing. We celebrate birthdays and other special events, always building each other up. When disagreements arise, as they inevitably do with such a diverse group, we work to resolve the issues respectfully and honestly. We really are like a big family, supporting one another with both in and out of character challenges. Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined? Don’t be afraid to get to know your fellow writers out of character, too. The supportive relationships a community like ours offers sets us apart from so many other roleplaying games out there. We have some amazing, kind, compassionate people here who are always looking to be helpful. We want new writers to enjoy their experience and to pass their passion on to others. As so many of us say: we come for the game, but stay for the people and the relationships we build along the way. Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek! You can read more about Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek on the wiki. The post First Officer in Focus – Lael Rosek, USS Montreal appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  18. On behalf of the Executive Council, we hope that you thoroughly enjoyed the 2019 Awards Ceremony and that you feel like everyone who should have been recognized got their moment in the spotlight. We like to do a retrospective of how things went, each year, both with our general membership and the members of our staff to see if there’s anything we can improve for the next year. This has led to some innovations on how our nominations process works, as well as new awards when they’re needed. We’d really appreciate your input on the survey about how things went: https://www.starbase118.net/2019/tell-us-what-we-can-improve-about-the-awards-ceremony/#more-34773
  19. Welcome to our final day of the annual Awards Ceremony! So far we have announced the recipients of the General, Length of Service, Special, and Staff awards. On this final day we’re excited to announce the Duty Post award winners. These players fully realize the duty posts in which their character sims, and act as examples to other simmers. The nominations in these categories are reviewed by a panel of three staff members: one commanders and two members ranked captain or above as a way of ensuring that we have the best lineup of winners each year. We also share our thanks for everyone who participate in putting together the ceremony, and we hope you’ll take some time to read through those and add your appreciation for all the hard work contributed. Find out who won each of the Duty Post awards by heading to the forums, where you can read about and congratulate our talented award recipients. The post Awards Ceremony 2019 – Duty Post awards and finale appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  20. Welcome to day three of the annual awards ceremony! So far we have announced the recipients of the General, Length of Service and Special Awards. Today we’re proud to present the Staff awards, which are only for those members who have achieved the rank of commander or higher. These awards recognize the hard work of our staff, who do the behind-the-scenes work required to keep the engine of our community running, and smoothly at that! They help foster the fun simming environment we all enjoy. Find out who won each of the staff awards by heading to the forums, where you can read about and congratulate our talented award recipients. The post Awards Ceremony 2019 – Staff Awards appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  21. Welcome to day two of the annual awards ceremony! Yesterday we announced the recipients of the General Awards. Today we’re proud to present the Length of Service and Special Awards. Our Length of Service Awards recognize folks who’ve hit one of our membership tiers in the last year: 1-year, 3-years, 5-years, 10-years, 15-years and 20-years! Incredibly, we’re recognizing two 15-year members this year and three 10-year members! Special Awards is a catch-all category for awards that don’t fit elsewhere, but mostly entail OOC community innovation and dedication. This is where awards like the Rising Star and Community Champion fit, recognizing members who are putting in incredible effort. Just like with the Staff and Duty Post awards, only one of each award is given each year – only the very best are chosen so they are highly coveted awards that every player has a chance to be considered for by getting involved and giving it their best. (With one notable exception: The Xalor Clan Xifilis award is given to any player who has overcome any sort of disadvantage while simming. We don’t compare and weigh one person’s struggles against another but rather award this to all eligible and deserving candidates who are nominated for it.) Head to the forums now to see who received each of the Length of Service and Special Awards from each ship across the fleet, and be sure to congratulate the winners! The post Awards Ceremony 2019 – Length of Service and Special Awards appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  22. It can be difficult to imagine a Starfleet that is even more advanced than what it is today. Already, ships can fly at preposterous speeds, massive arsenals can be unleashed, and vast starships can be protected from seemingly anything that can be thrown at them. Humanity has proven that collaboration can bring about an age of prosperity and progress hitherto undreamt of. Even now, that progress continues, highlighted by the introduction of the Warp XV engine and the designing of new vessels at the hands of our Advanced Starship Design Bureau. Even so, it seems that despite our capabilities, there are a plethora of mitigating factors that can throw crews for a loop. The shields are never quite strong enough, or are easily circumvented. Phasers, though powerful weapons, barely put a dent in some of the stronger foes the fleet has faced. Ships are constantly suffering from hull breaches, explosive decompressions, and rocks being blown out of consoles. The list goes on and on. Fortunately for us, the research division of Starfleet is always in motion, bringing new and better technologies to our fingertips, but they need your help! Your experiences in space are absolutely vital, and they want to hear from you. With that said, this week’s poll asks you to name the area of technology you want Starfleet R&D to study most urgently! Do you think our ship designs and materials need to be advanced? How about our weapons? Perhaps amenities aboard need improvements- nothing like a holodeck failure to take you out of the moment! Or maybe you want to fly past even Warp XV. Head to the forums to vote in the poll now, and be sure to leave a comment below the poll to tell us your thoughts! The post Poll of the Week: What tech is next? appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  23. Welcome to the 2019 Awards Ceremony, where we honor the people who have contributed time and effort in the past year to make this a great place to sim, and a great community to be a member of. Over the course of these four days, we’ll present to the fleet five categories of awards: General: Honoring the members who’ve won this year’s General, or ship-based awards Length of Service: Honoring members who have been with us for a year, all the way up to 10 years and more Special: Honoring specific aspects of simming or OOC work Staff: Honoring the work of our fleet’s staff members Duty Post: Honoring the best simmer from each duty post To start, we’re very excited to present the General Awards. The winners are chosen by the fleet’s commanding officers (or in cases where the commanding officer was also nominated, the first officer was called in to decide) from the nominations made by you! This is your chance to see how each of the other ships did and see who picked up what award. Find out who won each the general awards by heading to the forums, where you can read about and congratulate our talented award recipients. The post The 2019 Awards Ceremony starts today! appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  24. Just recently there were some pretty big promotions within our fleet. One of those community members – who, with great determination and pride, was just promoted to Fleet Captain was the commanding officer of the USS Constitution-B: Jalana Rajel. We’re here today to talk more with her about her time in UFOP: SB118, what experience she brought to the game, and how she rose through the ranks. Let’s dive in. GALVEN: It’s an honor and a privilege that you accepted to do an interview with me. Before we get started, could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? Rajel: It’s a pleasure and honor to be asked to be honest. There isn’t too much to tell about me really. I’m Jessica, a month away from being 40 years old even though I feel more like I’m still 18 in many ways. I live in Germany with my boyfriend of 17 years and if I don’t write in SB118, I write on my own stories and novels, play computer games and, as of recently, dig into my studies of the Korean language. I’ve been a roleplayer since I was 9 years old and bombed my uncle’s D&D group with my annoyance and am still loving it. Congratulations on being promoted to Fleet Captain, which must’ve been exciting for you! What do Fleet Captains do – are there more responsibilities IC and OOC wise? Thank you very much! It really is exciting, I assumed that I’ll be at the rank of Captain forever, since I am not taking on more OOC responsibilities than I can shoulder, which isn’t too much. I don’t think that I have been doing anything differently than I have before, so I hope nobody realizes that they want the rank back. I serve on the Constitution with my secondary character, and you do an extremely job well done as captain! Can you give the readers some insight into what it’s like commanding a ship in UFOP: SB118? Thank you, that’s very kind of you. I’m thrilled to have you on the Conny. What is it like… every CO might answer this differently, so here is my own view of it: Basically, you are having all the fun, but have to put in the work for it. I see my crew as a family and hope that they feel like that, but that doesn’t just happen. Consistent writing, putting out fires, planning behind the scene, making sure everyone is involved, has fun and feels at home is pretty much what I do, but not alone. My staff helps me tremendously and they are a fantastic bunch of people without whom I’d be lost. Another important part to me is that you want others to shine, so I try to give them opportunities to tell their stories, to have their moments and balance it with having my own fun in many ways. You give so much of your time and are available to those when they need you the most which is quite praiseworthy! What has been the greatest challenge, in character and out of character, with the command experience? I think the biggest challenge is to make everyone happy and to keep everyone involved at all times. I am not always successful with that. Sometimes we have missions that, while liked by the majority, have been disliked by a minority. So trying to find ways to make the minority enjoy the mission as well is a challenge. Also, even if a mission is the best mission in the world, sometimes they don’t kick off or our crew members have real life things going on that will come in the way of writing. So we, as staff, deal with the challenge to keep things interesting and engage everyone. That can be a balance act and sometimes – no matter how hard we try – we drop into the safety net, while other times we soar into the skies. Now, I was reading your profile and saw that you joined only seven years ago. Is that right? Where do you get your much talented inspiration from? It’s been seven years already? Oh my. It doesn’t feel that long! Indeed, it’ll be eight years in June, amazing! My inspiration comes from everywhere, to be honest. It comes from looking around with open eyes, watching people, reading books, watching TV… I don’t believe that there is anything in this world that can’t be inspiring. Out of all the OOC activities 118 has to offer, there’s The (Image) Collective which you’re the co-facilitator of. How did you get so talented in creating graphics, and what’s the best kind of advice you can give someone who is hesitant in exploring their image skills? I got where I am through practice. As everyone else I want to pick up a hobby and be immediately awesome at it, sadly that doesn’t work. My first image manipulations were horrendous but I was so proud of them and didn’t know how bad they are! So I’ll tell you what I did in the beginning: I watched video tutorials on YouTube, followed them for months and months. I got Photoshop and played around with all the options to figure out what is doing what, and even now – after 10+ years – I still find new tools and ways to do things, so never stop learning. We also have a tutorial section in the wiki, some video tutorials and the like so check those out too. (http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=The_(Image)_Collective:_Tutorials) Keep practicing and if you are curious what you can do better, you can ask anyone in the Image Team and they will gladly help you. We are not only here to provide images for the members, we also aim to grow and improve together by helping each other out. More than anything, enjoy yourself, don’t be afraid of mistakes, there is an undo button! And lastly, Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined? Have fun! Seriously, I know that especially in the beginning it can be intimidating. All these strangers to write with, stories that have been going on for such a long time, friends have been made already and then you come in as the new person and have to find your footing. We’ve all been there. But one thing that always helped me was to just jump in, join the fun, make up your stories and don’t be afraid to tag others. And most importantly if you are stuck, have no ideas, RL hits you hard… communicate with your mentor. You are never alone and we are all here to make sure you are having as much fun as we do so you as well can form these friendships, write these stories and be part of this amazing community. Thank you for your time, Fleet Captain Jalana Rajel! You can read more about Fleet Captain Jalana Rajel on the wiki. The post New Flag Officer Interview: Fleet Captain Jalana Rajel, USS Consititution-B appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  25. We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border. This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Addison MacKenzie playing a Human female medical officer assigned to the USS Veritas. GALVEN: Thank you accepting this interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? MACKENZIE: Thanks for the invite! My name is Matt, I’m 31 and from Cleveland, Ohio (in the United States). I’m a professional musician and love all things Trek – but I have to say I’m more a fan of the TNG and VOY eras. I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t seen any of Discovery yet (I know, I know), and I never finished the final season of the Enterprise series. Rest easy, though – they’re on my list of things to get to before the summer is over. How did you find out about StarBase 118 and what made you choose to ultimately stay with the community? Well, I’ve been writing [for a lot of] sims/organizations since I was in high school. …I was figuring it out the other day, and I think it’s been about 18 years. Recently, I had been writing for a few sims in another fleet, but the progress was so slow (it took about a year to finish a mission), and the quality of the writing wasn’t that great. I got bored quickly and started looking for other places to write. Google came through for me. As a seasoned writer, I have to admit I wasn’t big on the idea of needing to go through training, but when I got in and saw the formatting was different, I totally understood why. The quality of the writers here is fantastic, and the commitment to detail on an organizational level is something to really be respectful of and admired. What Starbase 118 can offer a potential writer to develop a character (or characters) is something special. I haven’t encountered anything quite like it anywhere else. When writing as a medical officer, is there any TV show, movies, books, anything else you take inspiration from? Definitely. I remember watching TNG when it was originally on… (I was born the same year that the first season debuted, but I remember watching some of the later seasons, and then catching the beginning in syndication.) I remember very vividly being struck by the Beverly Crusher character, especially as they started letting her have more significant character development. Looking back, I’m still struck by the display of her knowledge, which was not typical of many female roles at the time, and the humanity she exhibited. She’s still one of my favorite characters in the Trek universe. I’m also a big fan of Grey’s Anatomy, especially the earlier seasons. My character is physically (and perhaps loosely emotionally) based on one of the characters who had a brief stint on that show. I’ve always been fascinated with medical shows, both fictional and those based closer to reality, and I’m a voracious reader – I’ll read anything I can get my hands on. One of the things I love about portraying a medical officer is that I have absolutely NO medical experience, so when it comes to writing the detailed medical scenes, I have to really do my homework. What’s been your best simming experience so far? I love the sense of community here. All of the writers are very collaborative and really open to the development of your ideas. For example, one of the other writers on the Veritas had an idea for a small bit of character development, and what was originally just going to be a tiny collaboration between the two of us turned into a much larger plot arc involving a lot more people. Here, one person’s idea, even a junior officer, can be transformed into something even they didn’t envision. I’ve never been involved with any other writing community where something like that is possible. And lastly, what kind of advice can you give to people who are thinking about joining our community and want to choose the medical duty post? If you’re interested in SB118, I think you have to have an honest conversation with yourself about how much you want to invest in developing your skills as a writer. This is a very high-volume community, so if you’re looking for something more casual, this might not be the place for you. That having been said, the total opposite is true – if writing and character development is something you really enjoy, and you want to be around writers who are serious in their knowledge of the Trek universe, then there’s really no limit to what you can achieve here. As far as medical posts go, I think they’re definitely not the easiest officers to portray (even though they’re the only type of officer I’ve ever written for). Medical issues aren’t as easy as throwing a band-aid on a cut and sending someone on their way… You have to really be committed to digging deeper and doing your homework for the writing to be successful, or you’ll get burnt out quickly. Thanks for your time, Ensign Addison MacKenzie! You can read more about Ensign Addison MacKenzie on the wiki. The post Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Addison MacKenzie, USS Veritas appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
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