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Does anyone believe their is a correct way to write for Section 31?   I’ve seen it abused in the past way to much which is why so many sims leave it to fleet management or game masters to run them. 
 

however I believe if a group actually discussed it and there were rules in place a section 31 mission or arc would bring out some great game play and character development (minus all the abuse).  
 

 

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Even with rules in place, I feel people would find a way to abuse it. Personally, I'm not all that crazy about Section 31. It taints everything Starfleet and Star Trek was supposed to be. Just my honest opinion.

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I think the critical thing is to consider what Section 31 could add that Starfleet Intelligence couldn't.  As @Devon Romjin (Rune) wrote, essentially the whole point of them is to accomplish missions that the Federation's moral compass won't allow them to, which all by itself implies that it's impossible to maintain that sort of utopian society without someone resorting to being dirty and underhanded.

If the idea is telling a spy type story, I think doing it as Intelligence rather than Section 31 allows that just as well - while adding the added challenge of a moral and good character trying to do work like that without violating what it means to be part of the Federation in the 24th century.

I do think that they can potentially serve as fun bad guys now and then, but that it has to be made clear through storytelling that the Starfleet officers, the ones sticking to the values that the Federation espouses, are able to accomplish their objectives just as well or better than the Section 31 folks for the very reason that they're being true to what made the Federation strong in the first place.

 

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On 10/31/2020 at 12:55 AM, Mei'konda said:

I think the critical thing is to consider what Section 31 could add that Starfleet Intelligence couldn't.  As @Devon Romjin (Rune) wrote, essentially the whole point of them is to accomplish missions that the Federation's moral compass won't allow them to, which all by itself implies that it's impossible to maintain that sort of utopian society without someone resorting to being dirty and underhanded.

If the idea is telling a spy type story, I think doing it as Intelligence rather than Section 31 allows that just as well - while adding the added challenge of a moral and good character trying to do work like that without violating what it means to be part of the Federation in the 24th century.

I do think that they can potentially serve as fun bad guys now and then, but that it has to be made clear through storytelling that the Starfleet officers, the ones sticking to the values that the Federation espouses, are able to accomplish their objectives just as well or better than the Section 31 folks for the very reason that they're being true to what made the Federation strong in the first place.

 

Agreed. Darker projects did something similar to this with audio dramas.  Obviously it gets weird when riding timeline agents from section 31 but If designed correctly could be some great storytelling.  

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I think the problem with Section 31 from a wider standpoint is that it's hard to write the "greater good" type missions without walking the tightrope of "when do you violate your morals and how do you avoid quoting Nietzsche all the time?"

That said, I tend to agree that Section 31 is best used extremely sparingly, and not as an GMPC/PC or anything.

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The problem I ran into in the past is someone new would come on and take a yeoman position and somehow end up trying to take control of the ship for the “greater good” without the game master knowing.   I have been working on something that is more dark intelligence that floats the line but not like crazy.   

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Hm. That would be difficult in the format that 118 uses, but honestly, in a format like that, the point of the CO/GM is to step in and go "Please don't. Only warning."

That said, there are solid thematic reasons to remove Section 31 entirely, depending on your view of Trek.

 

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In the direction of IC and 118 lore, I think Section 31 is mostly dead now as the guidelines on the Intelligence Duty post is that "Section 31: As far as your character is concerned, it doesn't even exist unless your commanding officer has given specific, time-limited permission to introduce it. Even on Deep Space 9, the staff who we saw onscreen interacting with Section 31 did not discuss it regularly or certainly speak with others about it. This is an exclusive, rogue organization with no public persona, and as such, it's not something almost anyone would know about – even intelligence officers."

So, they don't exist unless the CO chooses to have them exist and they aren't common knowledge.

That doesn't mean you can't explore the storyline idea you have. I just recommend working with your CO and ship staff to make sure it's balanced as it is a very fine line. :) I have my own intel character that is a PNPC that is like that and in my OOC opinion, a villain in the long run. So, it is possible! 

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On 11/4/2020 at 4:31 AM, Kchage said:

The problem I ran into in the past is someone new would come on and take a yeoman position and somehow end up trying to take control of the ship for the “greater good” without the game master knowing.  

And that, in a nutshell, is why Section 31 is banned in 118😎

Edited by Blake
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