The Core Rulebook

RULES OF PLAY

As of this writing, the Star Trek: New Adventures RPG (aka Star Trek: Magellan) is over 4 years old. We are a semi-active role playing game, but as of May, 2015, membership in the SIM is by invitation only. One of our players has been targeted by a stalker. We are willing to allow new members, but only if at least two of our members know the individual, and trust him or her without question. We apologize if this comes off as rude, or mean-spirited. But, there was a child involved in the original stalking incident (which occurred between January, 2013, and May, 2015).

In case any new players do manage to join, of course, there are a few rules. Hopefully these rules will not seem too strict, or demanding. But, the GMs of this RPG have learned from experience not to be too lax in running the game.

In traditional SIMing; internet roleplaying via fan-fiction: the person, or persons running the game was referred to as the Game Master, or GM. Since we try to give or SIM the feel of a session of play in a table-top roleplaying game, we prefer the term, Narrator. And it goes along with the term, Narrator, used to identify the GM in the Star Trek roleplaying games published by Last Unicorn and Decipher.

Part 1 - basics -

1 - Be congenial and civil towards other members at all times, especially when communicating off list. Do not argue religion, or politics on the list. Any comment considered to be racist, homophobic, or misogynistic made by any member of this group, to another, on or off the list will result in immediate removal from the group.

2 - Do not criticize, or ridicule other members' characters, or writings. If you don't like what someone else writes, don't read their posts. Do not complain on list about another writer's posts, or characters. If you feel you have a legitimate complaint against what someone is posting bring it to a Narrator's attention, not the player's.

3 - Do not criticize another player's spelling. There are some members of this group who, for whatever reason, cannot use a spell-checker on their posts. One of our players is disabled due to a stroke, and cannot use spell-checking software, or type manually, very easily. At least one other player often sends in posts from their cell-phone. They don't even use spell-checkers on CNN, so, give it a rest.

4 - Do not use this group as a dating service. Hey, it's cool if two people meet in an on-line game, hit it off and fall in love. But if your only purpose for coming here was to meet someone, hit it off, and fall in love; go somewhere else. This list is about writing and roleplaying. This is not eHarmony.

If any player on this SIM feel they, or any of their friends or family, have been targeted for unwanted romantic, or sexual attention, by another player; please bring it to the attention of the Narrators. After we have proof of this, the offending player will be removed, and we will contact the proper authorities if necessary.

5 - Do not write for another player's character(s) without their permission. And always -always- get the other player's approval for anything you write regarding their character(s). Even if someone gives you the go-ahead to use their character that does not mean they give you the go-ahead to do things to their character they wouldn't want done to them. Posting for someone's character, or about someone's character without their permission is a huge no-no, and will result in immediate removal from the group.

6 - Do not attempt to play an established TV/Movie character as a player-character. You can't play Worf as your PC, or have your character dating Will Riker. It's OK to play characters directly connected to established characters (relatives, friends, etc.), as long as the connection does not cause this character to become so involved in the PCs life that their involvement in the role-play begins to overshadow original characters. Just remember to keep these characters in an NPC, or "guest star" position - think Lwaxana Troi on TNG.

Part 2 - creating characters -

1 - Please send in some type of character-bio. It can be in the form of a short article (as most SIMs did back in the heyday of SIMing), in the form of a Wikipedia-style article, or a "character sheet" from a table-top RPG. But, we need some information to go by when it comes to deciding if your character fits in with the other characters on the game. If you chose the "character sheet" method, please use the CODA system, designed by Decipher, for their Star Trek Roleplaying Game.

2 - Keep in mind that this is Star Trek writing and role playing. Try to keep your characters as close to what you see on Star Trek TV and movies as possible. All alien characters are welcome, including any possible hybrid combination. Original species are welcome as long as the species is described in detail either in the character's bio or in a separate file sent to the Narrators. Do not make original alien species too hard to illustrate. If you want to use a species from the Gamma or Delta Quadrants, simply come up with a good explanation for their presence in the Alpha Quadrant/Starfleet/etc.

We do have Starfleet Marines on this SIM as a natural evolution of the MACOs of Star Trek: Enterprise. Our marines function closer, in style, to the Royal Marines of Great Britain, or UNIT, from the BBC series, Doctor Who. And Starfleet Marines serve without any restrictions concerning gender, sexual orientation, or species. We also have Starfleet Intelligence, as a division of Starfleet. They function similar to Naval Intelligence, in the US and UK (James Bond is a Commander in British Naval Intelligence.)

The group known as Section 31 often appears as a "Big Bad" in the SIM.

3 - No Brass Babies ! If you want to play a character of high rank and position, they need to be old enough, and experienced enough to have actually reached that rank. All Starfleet Officer characters will start out no younger than 22 (Academy graduation age), unless their species requires otherwise (such as an Ocampa) and the following time-frame will be used to determine the highest possible rank a character can have reached:

RANK TIME IN SERVICE
Lieutenant, jg. 1 year
Lieutenant 3 years
Lieutenant Commander 7 years
Commander 10 years
Captain 13 years
Admiral 18 years
Of course there will be exceptions. If a character distinguishes herself in a heroic way (saves the life of the Captain, saves the ship, prevents a war, saves a species from extinction, etc.) this will be taken into account.

4 - No Baby Machines ! If you want to play a female character (or a male or androgynous alien the can give birth), who is an officer, make sure her time in active duty accurately represents the rank she has achieved. For each child born to a PC prior to their entry into the game add a year, cumulatively, to the service time required for promotion. For example, a character with 5 kids, who began having children during her first year of service would require 18 years of service, and not 13 to reach captain (if all of her children were born before she achieved that rank). A Lieutenant Commander with 5 children would require 12 years to reach the rank, not 7. Even in the 24 century, Starfleet is a military organization and promotion goes hand-in-hand with an active, aggressive tour of duty, and an ability to devote one's self to their duty. Marriage, and family is actually rare among the top echelon of command officers (Kirk, Picard, etc.). Pregnancy is hard work. Raising children even harder. And both require a lot of time and devotion.

Part 3 - illustrating characters -

When you join, you will be requested to pick an actor/actress/etc., to illustrate our character. The Narrators here have had a lot of trouble in this area, and so the rules governing character illustration on this SIM have been completely revised to avoid both pitfalls and pratfalls in the future. Please read them carefully.

1 - Do not try to use yourself as your character. Not only is this just a wee bit off-putting, but if we did allow people to post their own photos on our site, and something bad were to occur as a result the Narrators could be held responsible for allowing it in the first place.

2 - Do not try to use controversial figures to illustrate your character(s). No politicians. No celebrities who spend most of their time trying to be politicians. And no one who publicly espouses values that could be considered racist, homophobic, or misogynistic.

3 - Before making your request for a character illustration visit the various crew-rosters on our website. If you see an actor or other celeb already in use on the site then 99% of the time they are not available. The only exception to this rule is if your character is noticeably different in appearance and personality from the character already active on the game. A good example would be two James Marsters: one Andorian, the other human. But, this is only allowed at the discretion of the Narrators, and the player playing the already established character will be consulted.

4 - There are certain celebrities we kindly request you don't even ask to use to illustrate your characters. The issue of some of these celebs being used as character avatars was what one might call a "sticky wicket" on our previous site. We also received an average of 90% more requests to use one or two of these people, more than anyone else during the run of our previous SIM.

The people being requested were the exact same people being used to illustrate very similar characters on other websites. We would like to see a wider variety of choices; and more unique concepts from our players than simply choosing the same celebrities everyone else is using on other SIMing sites. It also makes it almost impossible for characters from several SIMs to interact, if everyone is using the same people.

If a person's image is currently in use on the site to represent a Player Character, or important non-Player Character's avatar; then they would not be available for use by new players, or new characters. Many of our characters are very significant, central characters to the SIM's story-lines. And having to illustrate a character to placate the whims or whimsy of a player may be detrimental to the over-all writing and gaming process.

This is why this section of these rules is necessary.

If any negativity arises from the use of celebrity avatars for character-illustration, then out of respect to the people whose likenesses are being displayed; it will be necessary for the Web Mistresses of this site to remove all celebrity avatars, leaving the site very drab and boring. It is hoped that this rule, although very strict in it's wording, will serve to prevent that necessity.

5 - Try to pick someone who can accurately illustrate your character. If your character is a male, 6' 4", and 320#; the late John Candy is more suitable than Dennis Leary. If you're playing a female, 6' tall and muscularly built, with dark hair; Lucy Lawless is a better choice than Heather Locklear.

6 - Do not make unusual or impossible requests. "I want my character to look like a blonde Rosanne Arnold with Jennifer Lawrence's figure, and wear a yellow spandex uniform" would create hours of work for the person who makes our pics for the site. The primary artist (as of September, 2015) is a teenager, and often busy with school, and other teen-things.

I mean we've all been teenagers at some point or other. And we know that only Archie Andrews, Carly Shay, Zach Morris, or Marcia Brady can deal with math, trig, dating, Football/Cheerleader practice, algebra, Mr. Howard, slaying Vampires, SATs, Principal Snyder, learning to drive, English lit, band-camp, The Bee, chemistry, Gibby, detention, report-cards, and Mr. Belding; and still keep a website up to date.

It should be assumed that characters on the SIM will look like most characters on Star Trek shows, or in the movies. This means standard Starfleet uniforms, or basic civilian clothing. And there is a limit to the available body-shots usable in "Trekking" someone. This means that the head shots must fit, so in choosing someone to illustrate your character please keep this in mind. Good quality, high-res portrait shots will always result in the best character pics.

7 - If you are planning to create a pre-adult character (child, "tween", or teenaged) please use someone who is an established "personality" (actor, singer, etc.). You can find tons of child actors and actresses on the IMDb. Don't just use a pic of your neighbor's kid, or some 14 year old stranger from Facebook. If a child, or someone representing a child (especially a parent) asks that we remove the child's images, it will be done immediately.

8 - No Stalkerazzi pictures will be tolerated. A stalkerazzi is a Paparazzi who violate their targets' privacy in the manner of a stalker. We take pride in respecting the celebrities we use to illustrate our characters. Many celebs frown upon stalkerazzi pics being displayed on a website. Most of the time, an actor, actress, or singer can't do anything about stalkerazzi pics being shown on a webpage. If it weren't for the celebs we use to illustrate our characters, our site would very dull, to say the least.

A No Stalerazzi policy, on this site, is our way of saying "thank you" to the people we are using to illustrate our characters.

Part 4 - creating ships -

1 - All rules for character creation apply to the creation of characters in a closed-ship scenario in which one or more players create and control the crew of a starship as a sort of PC.

2 - Please submit all plans for ships, and their crews to the Narrators as you would a character bio before posting anything to the group. If you wish to include statistics (shield-strength, weapons, etc.), please send them in the format used in the Star Trek Roleplaying Game, by Decipher (CODA system). None of the Narrators understand the FASA Starship Combat system, and Spacedock is ridiculously complex.

3 - Do not use established canon ships (Enterprise, Voyager, Defiant, etc.), but feel free to use established starship classes (Galaxy, Sovereign, etc.) and ships mentioned in canonical sources but not detailed as per their missions, assignments and personnel.

4 - If you intend to illustrate your ship with a design you've downloaded from a website that included credits or copyright information, please include this information in your submission of your ship to the Narrators.

5 - If you decide to try and create your own original ship design and class, keep it true to Star Trek. And try to keep the design as original as possible as per the other vessels in use on this SIM. There is a fairly detailed back-story surrounding the original ship designs used here, and the Narrators will stick to that when approving ships or allowing new ship classes in posts.

6 - Try to keep ship-designs, and especially original starship classes concurrent with the established Star Trek timeline. Use available tech from the 2260s-80s for a TOS/Movie Era ship, for example. Tech from the 2380s for a ship created in line with the timeline established by TNG/DS9/Voyager. Although most of us enjoy the recent Star Trek movies (2009's Star Trek, by J.J. Abrams, etc.), the Narrators have not incorporated the events, or technology from those films into the SIM.

Part 5 - writing stories & posts -

1 - All stories and posts should be written in either the 1st-person or 3rd-person. Most people are familiar with these styles, and it makes interactive writing a lot easier. For anyone not familiar with the terms "1st-person", and "3rd-person": 1st-person is the style in which the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were written, with the stories being told form the point of view of Dr. John Watson. 3rd-person is the style used in most novels, with the story told form the point of view of a "behind the scenes" narrator. We do not use "2nd-person" (story told to the character by a narrator - "You are walking down a street…" etc.).

2 - As stated above, no writing for other people's characters/ships without their permission.

3 - Please try to post at least once a week. There are no audits on this SIM - a roll calls after which players will be removed from the SIM for not posting a story - but we do ask that players be ready, and willing to participate. Any player playing a presumably significant character - a command officer, or "star character" on a particular ship for example - should be able to post responses to important events within a reasonable period of time after those events are posted to the list (24 - to 48 hours). If you cannot do so, please try to inform one of the Narrators so that we can take measures to move a story forward in your absence without simply writing your character out of the game.

In most cases this will involve one of the Narrators writing for your character in your absence (and with your permission). If you'd rather, you can designate another player to play the character for you.

4 - If a player with a character in a significant position (Ship's Department Head, major villain, or major civilian protagonist, etc.) is contacted and asked to participate in a story-line that cannot move ahead without their participation, and they do not respond to a Narrator's request to participate after being sent a reasonable number of e-mails letting them know their character is needed, then that character will be dropped from that story-line (eg., if the Chief Engineer can't or won't post, he may be replaced by the Doctor's know-it-all kid, or the Ship's Cook !). This does not mean the player will be removed from the list, and they will be able to post the character at their leisure in other story-lines.

5 - Depictions of consensual sex is allowed, within reason (and in a romantic context - think The Fault in Our Stars) . But, posts containing strong sexual content is not allowed. One of our founding members has a teenage daughter that reads, and often writes posts here. And one of the Narrators is a teacher. All posts should be able to carry the PG13 rating, as per the MPAA guidelines for motion-pictures. No Star Trek film has ever been rated R. There's no reason for a Star Trek themed roleplaying game to wander into R or NC17 territory for reasons of sexual or other graphic content. "R-reated" language is allowed, within reason.

6 - Do not post any posts or stories containing descriptions of torture, period. A character having been tortured in their past, or even during their current adventures is quite acceptable. Even necessary sometimes, for dramatic effect. But we do not allow the actual description of torture in posts on the SIM. If a character must be tortured, please refer to the 21st and 22nd episodes of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where Rupert Giles is tortured by the evil Angel - the actual torture is never shown on screen.

7 - No posts containing depictions of rape, sexual abuse, molestation, child abuse, under-age sex, or the abuse of animals is allowed on this list, under any circumstances. A character may have been sexually assaulted in their past to strengthen their backstory and provide detail to their psychological profile. But no rape-based or stalking-based story-lines are allowed on this SIM.

8 - No player is required to write anything they are uncomfortable with, nor is any player required to allow something to happen to one of their characters if they do not want it to happen.

Part 6 - the site & the group -

1 - Only the Narrators have memberships on the Wikidot site that serves as the homepage for the SIM. This is not meant to slight other players on the SIM, but to prevent unwanted edits to SIM-information, posting of images, or vandalism of pages on the site. To join this SIM, please join the Yahoo Group using the link provided in the sidebar. Please do not try to join the Wikidot site itself.

As of May, 2015; no new memberships on the list will be considered. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is due to a stalking incident involving one of our founding members, and her daughter. To join this SIM, you must be someone known to at least two long-time members of the SIM, and you must be someone these two people trust without hesitation.

2 - Players are encouraged to make their own character and ship images for the site. And these will be uploaded, along with text information (character bios, etc.) by the Narrators. Please make sure you have the rights to use any images you send to us to post. And let the Narrators know how to credit any material that should be given credit on the site. If the Narrators receive any complaints involving copyrights, etc., regarding anything uploaded to the site it will be immediately removed.

3 - If you have any objections to anything posted on this website, please contact one of the Narrators. We will remove any offensive content immediately. Content under copyright will either be removed, or properly credited on our Legal Information page, at the discretion of the copyright holder.

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