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StarBase 118 Staff

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  1. Every year, we take time to celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of our members. This is a core tradition that was started in 1996, just two years after our group was founded, and has continued every year since then. Here’s how it works: You nominate your fellow community members for awards that will honor their hard work and achievements in simming and OOC participation over the last year. Members of the staff will review your nominations and select the best ones for the ceremony. In late June, we’ll start our annual awards ceremony, a multi-day event to present the awards to the winners and recognize all of their hard work. Ready to get started? Click here to open the award nomination panel. You’ll find full instructions, including a link to a list of all the awards and their descriptions. Here are a few things to keep in mind about nominations: Duty Post, Special, and Staff awards are given to only one officer per year in the entire fleet. Only one person per crew can receive each of the General awards in each ceremony. You can find a list of past recipients on the wiki in the Hall of Honor. Remember that some awards were created just last year, so there may be no previous recipients for those awards. Don’t forget that your Commanding Officer also does a lot of hard work behind the scenes to keep the fleet and the community running. Our staff are not paid for their work, and it is their endless hours of devotion that keep things going smoothing. Keep this in mind as you are submitting your nominations and consider nominating your Commanding Officer for an award as well! We rely on each and every member of the fleet to submit nominations so we can recognize the best members of our community who are putting in the time and effort to make this a fun place to be. So we need your help! If you don’t nominate your peers and mentors for awards, they won’t get recognized. We want to encourage everyone to be really free with their nominations – there’s no penalty in putting in a nomination that doesn’t ultimately get the award. But ships that have fewer nominations tend to end up having fewer award winners – so don’t be shy! Multiple nominations from members of a ship for any given award can help send a signal to reviewers that a certain person is really deserving, but also one really great nomination can be the deciding factor for someone to win an award. If you have any questions, talk to your Commanding Officer or First Officer, or head into the chatroom’s #awards2019 channel to ask other members. Click here to start your award nominations now! Nominations close on Monday, June 10 at 11:45pm Pacific time. The post Award nominations open for 2019 ceremony appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  2. Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2018 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters. This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant Valin Dermont playing a Human male Chief Engineer assigned to the USS Atlantis. He won the Phoenix Award: “a duty post award that recognizes engineers. Named for the vessel that legendary engineer Zefram Cochrane piloted during his historic first warp flight, this award goes to those Engineering officers who continue this tradition of excellence in the field of engineering. By performing their tasks with enthusiasm, imagination and diligence, by managing to make their equipment perform above and beyond its rated capacities, the officers meriting this award further the mission of their ship by their superior know-how. In short, miracle workers.” GALVEN: Thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? DERMONT: I’m just a guy doing his best outside of Trek. I am married with a daughter and spend far too many hours working. Writing and D&D are my two biggest passions when I can find the time! Your duty post is an engineer. Could you explain why you chose that and is there any show/movie/book that take inspiration from? The idea of making things work just really appealed to me. No matter what is going on….sooner of later in an episode of Star Trek something is going to need to be fixed. I feel Dermont is a blend of Scotty, Torres, and my own inner thoughts that I would never be so coarse as to say out loud. Captain Brell said in his presentation that Dermont’s family life and friendships are thoroughly explored to the crew’s enjoyment. Can you give us an example to what he means by that? Oh sure! I think the biggest would be the time a Nausicaan enforcer for a Ferengi money-lender showed up to bother Dermont’s son (an ensign on DS26). Dermont owed from his time before Starfleet. It was supposed to just be something fun for me to toy with on shore leave. But most of crew got involved and ended up being an entire mini mission about saving his son and catching this Nausicaan! On your wiki, there’s a lot of tragedy and heartbreak before Dermont joined Starfleet. How have you used that for character development? It think about all of his issues before I write a sim. How would a man broken but trying to rebuild view a situation? He comes off as openly bitter and cynical. But on the inside cares so damn much…he fights with himself. It has been amazing to watch how he slowly opens up and makes friends. What’s been your favorite part about simming an engineering officer so far? The realistic and gritty side of it. The Atlantis has been beat up pretty bad almost every mission since relaunch. So there have been a lot of damages to repair. You never see Dermont just in engineering bent over a console. He is dragging away debris or on his back in the tubes covered in grime replacing a slagged pathway. And lastly, what kind of advice can you give new people that want to go into the engineering department? Remember it is a living organism! There are a dozen people down there with you! Those NPCs make it real. Get Johnson on the other end of that cable and head to the crawlspace. Have Nevok keep on eye on power conversion levels while you recalibrate the warp inversion field. The more moving parts you add gives your engineering sims that extra touch of realism. Oh, and never tell the captain how long a job will really take. Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Valin Dermont! You can read more about Lieutenant Valin Dermont on the wiki. The post Duty Post Award Winner – Valin Dermont, USS Atlantis (The Phoenix Award) appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  3. If this is your awards ceremony with us, welcome! This is a tradition that dates back to 1996, wherein we honor the people of the fleet who are simming really well, or contributing OOC. To determine who wins awards, we ask for members across the fleet to nominate their fellow crewmates and ship’s staff to recognize their great work in simming and OOC activities. Every member of the fleet is allowed to make nominations for the following award classes: General awards: Any member can receive a general award. One general award, per vessel, is allowed per ceremony. Duty Post awards: Duty post awards are awards given to individuals in a designated duty post, department, or division. Only one recipient from the entire fleet is selected for recognition with a duty post award each year. Special awards: A special award is an OOC award that is awarded during the annual fleet awards ceremony. Any member can receive a special award. However, only one of each award is allowed per ceremony. Staff awards: A staff award is an OOC award reserved for officers ranked commander and above. Only one of each award is given per ceremony. We highly encourage you to include a sim attachment for nominations on General and Duty Post award nominations. All nominations require a well thought-out explanation for the nomination. Keep in mind that in most cases, your award nomination may be vying against another nomination for someone else. For example: If two members of your fleet are nominated for the Prantares Ribbon, your nomination will have to be good enough to ensure your candidate wins! So start thinking about those nominations now, and get read for the nomination period to open next week, on Monday, May 20. Bookmarking great sims and drafting some rough nomination text will help you get a jump-start. More information about our yearly awards is available in the Hall of Honors on the wiki. Click through to learn more now. The post Awards Ceremony 2019: Get ready for nominations! 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: R’rraww Hontrú, Tamyr Ioe, and Qrath! The post New Academy Graduates appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  5. 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 April. This first graph depicts the number of applications that we have received each month this year. After a slower month for new applications in March, April saw substantial growth. The month of April brought in thirteen 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 April. The fleet saw only nine graduates in April tying the month with January as the second highest so far this year. This includes three applicants who applied during the month of March, while two of April’s applicants did not finish training until after the start of May. 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 April 2019 appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  6. If there was a single recurring character that (at least upon first glance) seemed to embody the very antithesis of Star Trek’s sweeping vision, it would be Quark. The scheming, capitalistic, sexist Ferengi is truly despicable from the very beginning of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and shamelessly displays his materialistic mindset at every turn. Even so, over the course of seven seasons, Quark managed to work his way into the hearts of viewers. His development throughout the series is undeniable and one of the many treats audiences were able to enjoy. What was once a mostly shelved idea for a villainous species was given life through Quark and his fellow Ferengi characters. His popularity is best exemplified by the numerous episodes that had Quark as a focus. Though some of them were truly malignant (looking at you, “Profit and Lace”) the vast majority were effective, meaningful, and often hilarious. This week’s poll asks which Quark moment or episode you found most enjoyable. Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and be sure to let us know below the poll what you think! The post Poll of the Week: Best of Quark? appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  7. 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! DURONIS II EMBASSY Ben Garcia to Lieutenant JG Quen Deena to Lieutenant JG STARBASE 118 OPS Malko to Lieutenant JG Arturo Maxwell to Lt Commander GORKON Corliss Fortune to Lieutenant JG The post Promotions for April appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  8. 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 Maddi Hyden playing a Human Female Tactical Officer assigned to the USS Atlantis. GALVEN: Thank you for taking the time out of your day to do an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there? HYDEN: Thank you for giving me the honor to be interviewed. My name is Stephen I’m 21 years old and I hail from West Virginia. I’ve been writing for a little over 4 years now never expected to enjoy it as much as I have, but wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m excited for some things that will be happening soon in the meantime just biding my time and waiting. Are there any movies, shows, and/or books you take inspiration from? Not exactly I’ve got a lot of my inspiration from multiple Star Trek shows. Usually though I have a very creative mind so I take quite a bit of time to refine my character into what I want them to be in the end. Being a relatively new member having joined in November, what has been your favorite moment IC wise aboard the Atlantis? That’s actually a tough one to to say. I’ve been playing a villain and the interactions with the ship has been something I’ve really enjoyed. I have enjoyed everything on the Atlantis. It’s a great ships and has a great crew. Brell is an amazing Captain and I enjoy serving under him. On your character’s wiki, it shows some great milestones regarding Hyden’s family as well as some tragedies including her mother dying as Maddi began her Academy entrance exams. How have you used this for character development? It’s actually where all of her development began. Her mom’s death made her strive to do her best in the Academy. And some tragic events made her become the fighter that many respect. Character development comes from so many different aspects and I’m continuing to find more ways for character development. Out of all the number of duty posts, you chose security officer. What advice can you give new and older members who want to choose that particular duty post? I would suggest they be interested in the duty post before anything else because if you don’t like your post then it’s harder for you to enjoy writing. Security can be a challenging post, but it can also be a fun one it all depends on how you look at it. Take the post seriously because the lives of your ship and crew are in your hands, but also have fun with it and make the best of even the worst situation. And lastly, do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join? I honestly haven’t decided fully what I want to do at the current time I’m going to work towards Commander, but there might be more after that. I am indeed! I am part of the fleet Publicity Team, I help write the summaries for Atlantis missions and do other side things to help the ship out if the Captain asks me too. When I hit full Lieutenant I really am considering about joining the Training Team, but I shall cross that bridge when I come to it. Thanks for your time, Lieutenant JG Maddi Hyden! You can read more about Lieutenant JG Maddi Hyden on the wiki. The post Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant JG Maddi Hyden, USS Atlantis appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  9. Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Kyrrha Tereen! The post New Academy Graduates appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  10. Due to the Mother’s Day holiday in the United States – during which we usually have a depressed turnout to our monthly chats – and the fact that the 2019 Awards Ceremony nominations are opening later this month, we’re moving the fleetwide OOC chat to the third Sunday (instead of the second Sunday) to give folks the opportunity to ask questions about the upcoming ceremony and submitting nominations. This chat will begin on Sunday, May 19 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, 6pm UTC. Click here to see the start time in your zone, and add this event to your calendar. All members of the fleet, and those in training, are welcome to join us in the Discord chat room. See you there! The post This month’s fleetwide OOC chat is on May 19 appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  11. If you’re new to simming you quickly learn that strong sims include description alongside dialogue to create a whole scene rather than just a threadbare script. But how do you set a good scene? What elements should you include? And where in your sims should you put this description? Today we try to answer those questions to help you practice this important writing skill. If you’re working on strengthening your simming skills, a good rule to follow is to start every sim with description. The start of a sim lets you set the scene moving forward – it’s a great place to draw your reader’s attention to the situation your character is in and a way to help other players understand where in the action your sim falls. Another integral place to add scene setting and description is any time the scene changes or important action happens. Even if your character is not part of the action, if your character is aware of the action you should describe how they sense the action and how they react. This not only helps keep continuity in the sims, but it helps develop your character by allowing them to feel and act not just speak. So now that we know where description should go, how do we create a good setting for the scene? Any scene setting is responsible for answering the following questions: What characters are in this scene? Who is there? Where are the characters? What does it look like? What is the most important piece of information that needs to be revealed in the scene? The first question should be the easiest to answer. Your character will be in the scene and mention which other characters are present. Describe where they are in relation to your character and what they are doing. This doesn’t need to be detailed, especially if the other characters are doing something mundane like taking scans with their tricorders; but mentioning that you have a team and everyone is scanning for lifeforms allows the reader to quickly understand what is going on. The second question can be more creative because you as a writer have the ability to help flesh out the setting you are playing in by describing the scene your character is in. Build from the description given by other members of your team in the same area and add your own creative touches. You might want to describe alien flora or the strange markings on a derelict vessel. Small details might spark the imagination of your fellow players allowing you to build the mission in new ways. The third question is the most important and can be the most difficult, but focusing on this will help you become a better writer. Figure out what is the most important information in the scene. This might be the focus on the mission (‘find the source of the strange emissions’ means that strange emissions would be an important detail in the scene). It might be a source of drama (the away team was ambushed by threatening Klingons, so Klingons with weapons is an important scene detail) and it might be personal to the characters (Commander Hiker was bitten by an alien bug last mission and he is slowly starting to hallucinate from undetected poison. Important details might be Hiker describing his hallucinations or other characters describing the sudden odd behavior of their away team leader.) Once you know what the most important information in the scene is, make sure you mention it in the description! Not only will this make your description more vibrant and engaging, but it will help you as a player focus on the most important aspects of the drama as the scene moves forward. Try this out at the start of your next sim! Can you identify all three aspects of the scene and add them into your opening description? Let us know how it goes in the Writing Improvement forum. The post Witty Wordsmith: Setting A Superb Scene appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  12. If you’re enjoying our community and gaming experience, there’s a great way to show your support – besides simming regularly and participating our OOC activities! – by donating to keep our website online. It costs about $1,455 a year for our web hosting and the software that runs our site, and all of those funds are contributed by members like you. Donating takes just a few minutes, and we never seen your credit card information (everything is handled securely by Stripe, a leading payment vendor). Click here to donate $10, $20, or $50 now toward our 2020 fundraising goal. If you choose to donate, you’ll join the ranks of other generous members who have earned the donations badge and forum title, as well as the satisfied feeling of keeping your favorite hobby fun and free for all! Those who donated last month in April include: Oddas Aria, Yito Seja, and Ferier Kian! Many thanks to them for their generosity. We still have about 85% of our goal to go before May of 2020, but we’ve got a running start. Join these donors to help push us forward in May. The post Thank you to our April donors – can you join them? appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  13. 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 USS Gorkon, Lieutenant Commander Jo Marshall, a Human female. Let’s get started! THORAN: Tell us a little bit about the writer behind Marshall. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming? MARSHALL: Thanks for having me! I’m Emily, forged a Royal Navy brat and swiftly moved up to Manchester in the UK – so I wouldn’t try to take over the Admiralty, I suspect. My plans for military domination successfully hampered, fast-forward and I’m working in Belgium (where the chocolate is good and beer is plentiful) as an ICT minion for a General who whistles full Madonna albums. When I’m not putting everyone in simming peril, I’m going out on my bike to get some sunshine, playing volleyball, throwing myself at video games, or strumming guitar in the garden to the consternation of my neighbours. How is the FO position similar or different from your previous posting? Ah, you can take the Marshall out of Ops but you can’t take the Ops out of Marshall. As the writer, it’s been interesting exploring this new realm of emotion and thought for Jo. She’s a laid back and happy soul, so to have the weight of the crew she considers her family now partially on her shoulders is sobering for this kid that came on the Gorkon as an Ensign straight from the Cadet Cruise. In Ops, she didn’t have that. Life was a breeze. In some ways, it’s wildly different. There’s a lot more admin to do and it really opens your eyes to just how much the Captain of your ship does, and the rest of the fleet too! It’s crazy. Like the old iceberg philosophy – you see the top, but not the groundwork that goes into making it what it is. It’s also a huge privilege to be selected for the role and I’m massively grateful for the chance to do it for the Gorkon. There’s so many good writers on our ship, so it’s a real heartwarming thing for me to be able to support us in any capacity. Is there a particular aspect of your role of First Officer that motivates you in your position? It’s all about people and what the variety of personalities we have bring to our RP, so what motivates me is helping others develop and achieve their goals and aspirations for writing and developing their characters. I love chucking people into the limelight to demonstrate how creative they can be when they know they’ve got back up. Encouraging and lifting people up is something you can do from any role on the ship and I’ll still be attempting to do just that in any role I’m in. It all comes back to being a team player and an effective leader, inviting everyone to take this journey with you and striving to be an example. Facilitating is a great aspect of this role, so if you throw yourself into the process, the results are amazing. I’ve also had the opportunity to collaborate more on plot development, and help get the ship achievements implemented, which has been a lot of fun in that it’s given everyone some inspiration to think outside the box and throw themselves (and their characters) into new situations they wouldn’t necessarily have done before. I’ve been actively involved in our ship mentoring, and through that I’ve got to know the people I write with a lot more, mash some ideas together and get some epic writing out of it. The kicker is that I could’ve done all that without being FO too, so if you’re reading this and you have something in mind that you think would benefit your ship, talk to your CO! What’s been your favourite plot you’ve been involved in? Any of my Gorkonite family reading this are going to expect “Skarbek” to come up here and they wouldn’t be wrong. We all woke up as Maquis Resistance fighters, still believing the Dominion War waged in 2395, with memories of living a completely different life. It was a wild mission and prompted some incredible writing from the Gorkonites. It brought everyone together so well – we even got a collaborative playlist out of it! For me, it was the standout mission (so far!) that ramped everyone up to eleven on the amplifier, challenged to see what they could really do when given a blank page, and most, if not all, poured out a glass of gasoline and set it on fire. Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim? The old tried and true method of copying the latest sim into Google Docs and slamming it with a sledgehammer. I tend to go along, writing in my narrative descriptions and dialogue in a splurge of creativity fuelled by coffee, copious music, and croissants, then go back and edit. Reread it, revisit a selection of narrative, and taper it down so you’re writing with the reader. My aim is to stick a sentence in there that carries the weight of two – what I mean, and what the reader interprets. A boiled down method of “show, don’t tell” and I don’t always get it right, but I like to think that when I do, it resonates. It also depends on which character I’m writing as to how it all comes out as well – Jo tends to be funny, with humorous observations of everything going on around her and interspersed with witty dialogue, while my other characters could be more emotional and grumpy. One character I write for is a dancer, so getting the chance to relate some of what he sees, feels and thinks into dancing is challenging, but it’s worth it when it comes together. Following all of that, I throw it through a grammar editor to clean up any mistakes I’ve made, give it a final once over, then send it. It takes time but you get a finished sim that’s polished and easy to read. Hopefully. Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined? Just one?! Man, that’s tough. It’d have to be integrate and communicate. Technically two but I’m going to duct tape them together since they feed one another. Your ship is a living, breathing, lively entity with real people behind the characters they write for. Take a running leap off the cliff into the denizens of your fellow writers, make friends (and you will make lifelong ones), communicate with everyone you can find, and learn why they do what they do. Fall in love with the journey you’re about to undertake and the pages will fill themselves. Thanks so much for your time! You can read more about LtCmdr Marshall on the wiki. The post First Officers in Focus – Jocelyn Marshall, Gorkon appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  14. One of the biggest steps in a Starfleet officer’s career is the promotion to the rank of captain. Given that such a promotion might come with a change in assignment and a ship or station to command, this isn’t a promotion we often see in the middle of a series. While members of the senior staff may evolve as characters and move through the ranks, we don’t really see them take that final step. However, we occasionally see glimpses of the possible future where a character like Nog or Doctor Crusher has become the captain of their own ship. These alternate timelines only last for an episode or two before things return to the status quo. A new series is currently in the works that follows the continued adventures of Captain Picard. Michael Dorn has pitched a series that follows Worf as a captain. This week, we want you to imagine that you are making a new sequel series and choose which character you’d promote and put in command. Would you want to see more of Captain Sulu? Perhaps a series set further in the future with an older and more experienced Nog or Harry Kim would be more to your liking. Which character would you cast as the captain for a new Star Trek series? Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in the poll! The post Poll of the Week: Promotion to the Center Chair appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  15. Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2018 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters. This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lt. Commander Rune Jolara playing a Al-Leyan female Intelligence Officer assigned to the USS Columbia. She won the Order of the Valiant Award: “This award is given to those ship’s Counselor who have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of their crewmates, clearly demonstrating superior ability to care, assist, and comfort those in need. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting their crewmates with their problems, and in preventing future problems from occurring.” GALVEN: Thank you so much for accepting this interview! Could you tell us more about yourself for our readers out there? JOLARA: Thank you! I started this life in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River in Southern Illinois. I left that town as soon as I was old enough to escape and I never looked back. I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing in one form or the other. Even during my childhood I would sneak away and write. Writing, along with painting and drawing, has helped me through some pretty dark times in my life. My earliest memories of Star Trek is watching TOS with one of my uncles. When TNG came out (yes, I am that old), my interest (almost obsession) in all things Trek was reignited and hasn’t really stopped. Way back in 2005, I found SB118 and jumped at the chance to join a group that combined two things I love. I ended up taking a few years off but came back in 2012 as Rune Jolara. Out in the real world, I’m a Front End Web Developer with a job I actually love… most of the time. I’m also (slowly, very slowly) working on a sci-fi/supernatural novel. You’ve played a few duty posts in the time you’ve been with the fleet, but mostly a counselor. Where do you get your inspiration from? Counseling is a tough post, it can be emotionally draining at times if done right, and it’s certainly not for everyone but for me, I just keep getting drawn back to it. I’d have to say some of my inspiration comes from real life experience. I’ve never been a counselor in real life but I have had counseling. When writing, I just try to think about how my own counselor would approach a situation. I also try to put myself in the other person’s shoes, what would I want or think a counselor should do to help me. Captain Theo Whittaker said in his presentation that you find a way to bring people out of their shell. Could you explain how exactly you do that? Part of the challenge of writing a counselor is also making it fun because let’s face it, just as with real life, counseling can get pretty heavy and dark depending on the situation. Plus not everyone is willing to just sit down and spill their guts. So I take some unique approaches, such as sneaking a counseling session into a sparring match or having drinks outside the office or even purposely push a person’s buttons to get them to open up. It makes for more interesting writing than just the standard counseling sessions. With nearly seven years being in the fleet, you’ve been on nine ships and have won several awards. In those years what’s been the most memorable? There have been so many, it’s hard to name just one. But… One of my favorite is when Rune had her baby and her frenemy, Lt. Commander T’Lea was forced to deliver him. We actually won sim of the year with the joint post we wrote so that was a super bonus. Captain Theo Whittaker also mentioned in his presentation that he fondly recalls his first encounter with Jolara and how she deals with Klingons. In what ways does she approach them? Ah yes, there is a rich history between Al-Leyans and Klingons. There were decades of conflict between the two species. Because of this, she isn’t fond of Klingons and she certainly doesn’t trust them. However, since joining Starfleet she has learned that not all Klingons are the same and it’s wrong to blame all for the actions of a few. She still has difficulty trusting them but she no longer hates them. So I would say, she now approaches them with caution, trying her best to give them some benefit of the doubt. However, if they are hostile toward her, she will openly show them the same attitude. What advice can you give other writers that want to play a counselor? Even an Intelligence Officer and a Federation Ambassador? Never forget it’s all about having fun. It’s important to bounce ideas and playing off other writers, especially as a Counselor. Things won’t always go the way we expect or even want, but go with the flow. Sometimes that can create the best stories. Explore your character inside and outside of their duty post. Don’t be afraid to get into a little in character trouble or show your character’s flaws. Thanks for your time, Lt. Commander Rune Jolara! You can read more about Lt. Commander Rune Jolara on the wiki. The post Duty Post Award Winner – Rune Jolara, USS Columbia (The Order of the Valiant Award) appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  16. Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Sakinth and T’Gan O’Sullivan! The post New Academy Graduates appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  17. If you’re not following us on Tumblr, you’re missing out on lots of fun Star Trek content that we don’t post anywhere else! From Star Trek show gifs (Tilly!), ship schematics, and more, there’s tons of stuff you probably can’t catch on Facebook or Twitter: ufopsb118.tumblr.com Click the link above to check it out, and be sure to click “Follow” if you have a Tumblr account already. You can also get to the Tumblr from the forums, where it’s linked near the top right-hand side of the page with other social media links. The post Follow our Tumblr for a tons of great Star Trek content appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  18. 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 Chloe Waters playing a Human female Helm Officer assigned to the USS Eagle. GALVEN: Thank you for taking the time in doing an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there WATERS: ::waves:: Hello everyone. Most of you know me by my character name, or by Gar. Perhaps some of you may know me by a few other identities. The person with the stories, the crazy person, or the blind person. Whatever the case, all of those descriptions are true. In any case, I’m eighteen years old, pal, and let me tell ya aboot my proud Canadian background, eh? Since this will definitely come up, my history with sight, and/or lack there of, is complicated. I am a cancer surviver even though, statistically, I shouldn’t be here. I was diagnosed at six months old and was in treatment for a couple months. I lost one eye to it and the other was saved, even though the doctors didn’t think I could see out of it at the time. A few years later they discovered otherwise. When I was in the fourth grade my vision started to deteriorate and I had to have surgery to get a cataract removed. What vision I had shot back up until I had to have some residual scarring removed two years later because I was starting to lose it again. Two years after that, the cataract began to grow back, and I started to lose my sight so I needed surgery to correct for that again. My sight was restored, until I went to bed one night a few months later and woke up the next morning… with all of it gone. To this day no one understands why, or why I have since regained some of my light perception. Despite what issues being blind has caused me, it isn’t as bad as it seems. Being without sight allows me to get to know people on a more personal level, because I judge people based on who they are, rather than what they look like. As for my relationship with Trek, I’ve been a fan since I stumbled on it ever since I was eight years old. The show struck a cord with me immediately, thanks to a certain chief engineer aboard the Enterprise. I’ll let you all figure out which one. In any case that love of Trek has lead me to joining various roleplaying groups, trying out different characters. And now I’m here. How did you find out about Starbase 118 and what made you ultimately choose our community and stay with us? I found out about Starbase 118 primarily thanks to Galven here. To be honest, I think I hung around for… three weeks before I decided to join. Because of some bad past experiences I prefer to observe a group for a while before deciding if I want to take part in it or not. Since people have welcomed me, I figured… may as well give this group a shot. What really sold it though, was after I joined up and was browsing the wiki. I mentioned some accessibility issues one morning, and a group of… three or four players, maybe more, spent close to an hour and a half trying to make the wiki more accessible. Thanks to Sevo and others, that is still being looked in to. With the care and open mindedness people have shown about this… my choice to stay has been solidified. Your character is a mute which means she doesn’t talk. Why did you decide for her to have that and how are you going to use it for character development? To be honest? I don’t actually know what gave me the idea to play a mute, but I’m doing it for a couple reasons. Firstly, it’s something probably very few people have seen before. Secondly such a character presents interesting roleplay opportunities for me as a creative person. As for character development, if you’ve read Chloe’s wiki, you know she has had her fair share of difficulties. I designed her this way deliberately. My intent isn’t to explore Chloe primarily, though I have no doubt that will happen. My intention with this character is to cause other characters, and by extension their players, to explore themselves. How do they react to someone who can’t talk naturally? Do they ask about it or leave her alone? What about her social oddities? Do people tolerate them, try to be understanding of her background? Or do they let those oddities influence their perception of her? There is endless soul searching potential here, not just for my character, but for others as well. That’s what I think makes her great. A character you can explore is fine, but one who you can create, who can cause other characters, and thereby their players, to look inside themselves and think… and consider how they would react to someone so different… there is something beautiful in that to me. I hope that, through playing this character, I can help bring out the spark of life which made Trek so memorable, so meaningful to so many people. Peaceful coexistence with those who are different than you are, acceptance, and perhaps some social commentary. Only time will tell how this goes, but I’m looking forward to exploring Chloe’s relationships with others. I think it’s really awe inspiring that you don’t allow your visual impairment to hinder you. You use a reader that helps you read out everything. How does that process work? While I do not know the specifics of how a screen reader actually works behind the lines, I do know this much. A screen reader, such as NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) on Windows, or Voiceover on the Mac and IOS, cannot function independently. The screen reader relies on whatever program you are using for the information, as it can’t always pick something out on its own. If a program isn’t coded properly, a screen reader may have some difficulty functioning within it, provided how the program is coded allows it to work at all. The screen reader converts whatever text it can in to spoken words. Sometimes it can even convert images in to spoken words which actually make sense, if said image is coded with a description for the screen reader to detect. Do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join? I have a lot of free time outside of classes. There are a couple things I want to do. Things which people like Sevo have made significantly easier. The problem with gaming is that so few games, in the grand scheme of things, are playable by people like me. When one comes along, it’s usually popular for a little while, in my opinion because there’s very little else. Then the game fades away and is forgotten. A new game comes out and the cycle repeats. Why? In my opinion, because there are so few games which allow for interaction with others. Online communities like this one are very different. But people don’t know they exist until they really go searching for them. So I want to do a few things. Firstly, I want to make sure that the website here is, eventually, completely accessible and clear. Now, while I did code in a limited capacity for a little while, this is way out of my area of expertise. But there are some people I know who might have better luck. My reasoning behind this is, and this sounds strange, but it’s all about appearances. To us as blind people, a website’s appearance is all about how it reads to our ears. If it doesn’t read well, we tend to avoid that website whenever possible. So the first step in tapping into a whole community of people that few realize is out there, is to minimize the head scratching nature of the online environment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing anyone here. I completely understand why things are the way they are. Until now there have probably been few, if any, screen reader using players here. As such, no one has really had a reason to test the website with a screen reader. But in a way, the fact that there haven’t been any blind simmers here to my knowledge is part of the problem. I’m hopeful that we can resolve the accessibility issues here, so that when I tell other blind friends about this sim group I’m a part of, I can say with pride that this was the way things started out, and this is how they’ve changed since then. Aside from helping to contribute to the website by testing accessibility, I am hopeful that, in time, I can contribute in other ways. Only time, and the community, will tell what those ways are. And lastly, I saw on Discord that you have a great cackle. Would you humor me and send a audio recording of this, please? You can listen to it here! I know there are many of you — out there with questions of your own. My Discord, and myself, are always open for questions. If there is anything you, the reader, want to know, feel free to satisfy your curiosity in the lobby. Or, if you’d prefer, send me a dm. Thanks for your time, Ensign Chloe Waters! You can read more about Ensign Chloe Waters on the wiki. The post Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Chloe Waters, USS Eagle appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  19. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Star Trek: Discovery has been enormously polarizing, both for critics and the dedicated fanbase. The controversy stems from almost every part of Discovery itself; the appearance, the story, the characters, and much more. For all the debate it creates, Discovery is hardly the first Star Trek series to stimulate some level of discord. The Original Series was the first of its kind, both in story style and in presentation. The racial equality, ethical musing and divisive political perspectives presented made it a bold and, in some cases, threatening television show. The Animated Series generally featured decent stories, but the animation itself was a turnoff for some of the audience. The Next Generation was greeted with disgust and apprehension from many old school fans, who couldn’t believe that it would match the original. Deep Space Nine’s grungier, darker tone bucked the utopian staple that Star Trek so firmly clutched. Voyager and Enterprise are both loved and hated by various fans, mostly for the content and direction of their stories. So which series did you think was the most controversial? Click here to head to the forums to vote on this poll, and be sure to leave your comments below the poll. The post Poll of the Week: Most Controversial Series (Besides Discovery)? appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  20. The Executive Council of UFOP: StarBase 118 is pleased to announce that Oddas Aria and Mei’konda have completed the requirements for promotion to the rank of captain! Three cheers for our newest captains! Click here to head to the forums and add your congratulations. Mei’Konda Currently the commanding officer of the USS Montreal, Capt. Mei’konda is a member with a very long history in the group, having been part of the crew of the Starwind, an community-affiliated ship commanded by Ciara Randor. After a long leave of absence, he returned to the USS Mercury as the helmsman, followed by the Garuda, Invicta, and Veritas playing operations roles until being promoted to the position of First Officer. The writer behind Mei’konda has been highly decorated as a recipient of the Russ Bar, Scotty Cross, Geneis Award, Nebula Bar, and B-Plot Award. You can read more about him in these interviews: CAPTAIN’S CORNER: MEI’KONDA, CO OF THE USS MONTREAL FIRST OFFICERS IN FOCUS – MEI’KONDA, VERITAS LOWER DECKS: LIEUTENANT MEI’KONDA Oddas Aria Currently the commanding officer of the USS Eagle, Capt. Aria has been with our community since 2016. After graduating from the Academy, Aria was assigned to Duronis II Embassy as an engineering officer before being promoted to the position of First Officer. The writer behind Aria has been involved in the Advanced Starship Design Bureau team, and is currently a Deputy Academy Commandant – having been a very active member of the training team. Also highly decorated, he’s received the TOSMA, Russ Bar, Pathfinder Award, Rising Star Award, Boothby Award, Trailblazer Award, Phoenix Award, Neelix Award, Sheathed Sword, and Strange Medallion! You can read more about him in these interviews: TRAINED BY THE BEST: ODDAS ARIA LOWER DECKS INTERVIEW: LTJG ODDAS AIRA, DURONIS II EMBASSY The promotion to the rank of captain is a momentous occasion in our community – the result of years of writing, mentoring, and learning the ropes. This multi-step process starts with nomination from two members of the fleet at or above the rank of Commander, an initial vote from the Executive Council followed by a written exam, a practical exam, an interview with the Executive Council, and a final vote from the Executive Council. Candidates must show that they have mastery of the art of leadership, a strong knowledge of Star Trek, the ability to teach, and great simming skills. The post Congratulations Capts. Oddas Aria & Mei’konda appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  21. One of the greatest things about StarBase 118 is the community, and all the hard work that goes into making it such a fantastic place to be a part of. It is for this reason the Captain’s Council has approved the creation of four new badges. Appreciation Forum Nominator The Appreciation Forum Nominator badge is presented to an individual who submits a fellow players sim to the appreciations forum. There are two levels that can be awarded: Standard: Awarded to a player who submits a sim highlighting a fellow player to the appreciations forum. Elite: Awarded to a player who submits at least 1 sim per month for a 6 month period that highlights a fellow player in the appreciations forum. This badge can be earned once every 6 month period. Players submitting their own sims do not count for this badge – they must appreciate a fellow player. Joint posts do count, even if one player is a contributing member. Players may submit sims from any vessel. Read an exciting sim from a fellow player? Open up a new thread in the Appreciations forum and share it now! 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. Whilst the Annual Awards are still a short time away, why not use the time to start thinking about who to nominate? Poll of the Week Team Member The Poll of the Week Team Member badge is a standard badge awarded to individuals who have served on the Poll of the Week task force for a minimum of a year, with badges being awarded in 3 & 5 year increments. You can find out more about the Poll of the Week Team on their wiki page. Ponder Prompter The Ponder Prompter badge is awarded to individuals who have contributed ideas for future Poll of the Week segments. There are two levels that can be awarded: Standard: Presented to a player that has suggested at least ten different poll ideas, and has had at least two accepted and utilised. Elite:Presented to a player that has had ten poll suggestions accepted and utilised. If you think you’re eligible for a badge, let your Captain know, who will verify your contributions. Once this is done you’ll be presented with your new badge which you can display with pride for your efforts at recognising your fellow players. Want to learn more about our badges? Head over to our badge page on the wiki to find out more. Who knows you may be eligible for badges you didn’t know existed! The post One…Two…Three…Four New Badges? appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  22. Insurance for Starfleet ships would be a nightmare. The ships are constantly investigating dangerous anomalies and getting into fights. But that’s not even the most dangerous thing that a Starfleet ship does – there’s a less obvious danger hidden in plain sight on most Starfleet ships: A piece of technology that is so ridiculously prone to failure or malfunction that it is one of the best-known Star Trek cliches. The holodeck. It would seem that every time an episode centers on the holodeck, something has to go wrong with it. This could be as simple as the doors locking and the safety protocols turning off. However, that is only the start of what could go wrong with the holodeck. It could even, with a little outside interference, take on a mind of its own and actively try to hunt you down and kill you. We can only assume that the engineers responsible for the holodeck safety protocols are the same engineers responsible for the tendency of bridge consoles to explode. There are a lot of problems that could be pointed to in the holodeck’s safeguards. This week’s poll asks which holodeck malfunction you think was the worst. Click here to head to the forums and vote. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the thread. The post Poll of the Week: Safety Protocols Disengaged appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  23. Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Nabihah Abu El Sayid, Andy Monroe, Charlena Vanlith, and Karen Stendhal! The post New Academy Graduates appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  24. The Captains Council is pleased to announce that Alexander Williams, First Officer of the USS Atlantis, has been promoted to the rank of Commander! Cheers to Commander Williams, and here’s to many more years of simming with UFOP: SB118! Click here to head to the forums and add your congratulations on this promotion. Williams joined the fleet in June of 2013, and was assigned to the Apollo as the tactical officer. He continued playing in the tactical role, transitioning to the Chief Tactical Officer, on a number of ships including the Aegis, Apollo-A, Constitution-B, Excalibur-A, and Za. He has played the First Officer on the Athena and his current ship, the Atlantis. The writer behind Williams has been highly decorated with the Genesis Award, Russ Bar, Q Award, Laudean Commendation, Neelix Award, as well as the 1-Year, 3-Year, and 5-Year member awards. You can read more about him in this interview: “First Officer in Focus: Alexander Williams, Atlantis“. The promotion to the rank of commander is a joyous occasion in our community – the result of years of writing, mentoring, and learning the ropes. The multi-step process in a promotion to Commander starts with a nomination from two members of the fleet at or above the rank of Commander, followed by an initial vote from the Captains Council to allow the examination process to begin. Then, the member must pass both a written exam, and a practical exam. Finally, another vote by the Captains Council confirms the promotion. Candidates must show that they have great simming skills, strong knowledge of Star Trek, and the foundations of leadership and teaching skills. The post Alexander Williams promoted to commander! appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  25. 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! EAGLE Kayla Drex to Lieutenant Hal Mika to Lieutenant Krindo Pandorn to Lieutenant Commander MONTREAL Lieutenant JG Jacob Harkrow to Lieutenant Ensign Tiria Hamasaki to Lieutenant JG Ensign Stennin to Lieutenant JG STARBASE 118 OPS Reema Poq to Lieutenant JG VERITAS Wil Ukinix to Lieutenant JG The post Promotions for March appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
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