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"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time" - T.S. Eliot

Rules for Players & Characters

Rules and Guidelines for Playing a Character in Theta Fleet

1. Be Respectful of Other Players
We don't expect you to be perfect. We just expect you to be kind when dealing with other players. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Simply, treat others as you wish to be treated. Be nice, be courteous, and be fair.
Also remember that frequent complaining is generally not appreciated and is not respectful. It can lead people to not want to deal with you in or out of character. If you have a legitimate complaint, take it to the CO.
Respect, patience, professionalism, and courtesy are the watchwords of social and fictional interaction in this fleet.

2. Hate speech and character assassination.
Out of character hate speech and character assassination of ANY flavor are not permitted in any degree in Theta Fleet. This includes but is not limited to: racism, religious persecution (either against established religion or atheism), derogatory comments concerning gender or sexual preference, questioning someone's loyalty or patriotism, or just plain bad-mouthing another individual. If in doubt, don't.
In character speech and actions may have repercussions, so use caution. You may want to talk to your CO about your character first. And PLEASE, if your character is an arrogant jerk, make sure that is spelled out in your character's bio.
The CTF, DCTF, and JAG have the final say as to what is and is not hate speech.
This extends to other fleets and/or players in other fleets. The sim community is small and we all know people in other fleets or sim in other fleets ourselves. Please be mindful of your words and their potential impact.

3. Disagreements
Occasionally, characters have disagreements. These should be kept IN CHARACTER. If you have problems, the CO or XO will be happy to help mediate. Please don't bring real life problems into the sim. Real life and sim life should be kept separate. At least on the sim itself. You are welcome to talk to other players outside of the sim, i.e. in chat, text or voice. Many of the players in TF chat in one way or another outside of their character interaction.
3A. Out of Character Disagreements
Out of character (OOC) grievances on the sim that affect the sim should go to the CO.
Most of the time, problems will be resolved on a sim level. If the problem persists or involves more than one sim, feel free to take it up the chain of command.

3B. In Character Disagreements
In character disputes should go up the chain of command. Department head, XO, CO, etc. For example: If two lieutenants in Engineering have an issue with each other and start a dispute, they should address their issue to the Chief Engineer first. If their department head cannot resolve their issue to their mutual satisfaction, then they go to the XO. If the XO is not able to resolve their issue, then they go to the captain. On the rare occasion where the captain's resolution is not satisfactory, they have the right to bring their case to the TGCO (Task Group CO), then their TFCO (Task Force CO), then the Fleet DCTF (Deputy Commander in Chief) and at last, the CTF.
This is to keep the CO from dealing with all in character grievances and give the players more to post about. However, the CO will determine if a problem goes up the chain of command, or directly to the Captain.

4. Language/Content
No explicit/vulgar language or descriptions. Regardless of the rating of the sim, no pornography. Period. (Mild profanity is acceptable.)
If in doubt, consider what is used in the Star Trek movies and TV series. Starfleet officers are well-educated people who do not usually suffer from a shortage of vocabulary, so they don't need to use vulgar language. (And you can always make up a word to use as an expletive.)

5. Spelling and Grammar
Use proper spelling and grammar. It doesn't matter if it's British, American, Canadian or Australian, but please make sure your English is as correct as you can make it. Use a spell checker. Word programs have them. So do some browsers like Firefox. Typos happen to all of us. All we ask is that you do your best.

5A. Regional Variations in Spelling
It is acceptable for one player to use American English and another to use British English (or any other regional variant) in the same post as long as you are consistent in your usage.
5B. Other languages
It is acceptable to use words and an occasional sentence in another language as long as you either make sure it is understandable in context, or put a translation after the sentence for other players so they know what is being said.

6. Writing Tense
Please write in third person, limited omniscient and past tense. For example: Mark walked down the corridor and turned into sickbay. While he walked, he thought about the recent mission and the problems it would cause with the new strain of grubs he was testing. If he was successful, they would be a viable source of protein for the colonists.

7. Character Ownership
Don't play (write for) someone else's character without their permission. The same goes for player-specific NPCs (PNPCs occasionally have the player names after theirs) and Linked NPCS (Nova).
By the same token, don't rewrite another player's addition to a post.
You can refer to another character in your post or have them walk by, etc. You just can't have them talk or act without the player's permission.

8. No Superhero Characters in Theta Fleet
A superhero character is one who goes above and beyond what is plausible for Star Trek or other universes. They can do anything and everything, have superhuman abilities, or have been augmented in some way. Vulcans, Betazoids, and many (but not all) canon characters are not superhero characters.
Some examples of superhero characters are:
A character who can read the thoughts of everyone in the room at will, or force his/her will on another through telepathy.
A character that can adapt to any atmosphere and drop 30 feet with no damage because he/she has been augmented.
A character who is half Klingon and half Betazoid and the only surviving head of both an honorable Klingon house and a powerful Betazoid house. Or a human whose father is so respected by the Klingons that he has been given an honorable Klingon house and his descendants are recognized throughout the galaxy for their prowess as fighters.
That being said, there can be exceptions as there are players who can take what looks like a superhero character and play it as a flawed, realistic character. Exceptions will be taken on a case-by-case basis and must include equally compelling weaknesses.
Superhero characters can also be referred to as SHS (SuperHero Syndrome) or OP (Over Powerful) characters.

9. Player Characters in Theta Fleet
Although Theta Fleet does not mandate the number of player characters a player can have in the fleet, we strongly recommend that you keep it to 5 or so characters.
We recognize that there are people in the fleet who are able to handle multiple sims.
Basically, if you're struggling to write two posts a month on EACH of your sims, you should consider cutting back. If you have no trouble keeping up, go ahead and join another sin. No one is going to count how many sims you're on, but if you can't keep up, you're likely to be dropped.

10. Avoid Affiliations with Canon Characters
Do not tie your character to a Star Trek canon character. No children of T'pol and Trip, no working on Romulus with Spock, etc. You can be on a ship with them, but you can't be their friend/mentor. An Ensign on the Enterprise might see Picard, but he's not likely to do more than greet him in a corridor in passing. That is fine. Having your character be friends with Geordi LaForge isn't. This can make you or others want to bring in the canon characters into posts. It is better to not refer to them at all in relation to your character.

11. No Godmoding
Godmoding is where you try and control the story or another character through what you write in a post. This can be done through having a superhero character who hijacks the story (and not letting other players help determine the outcome) to posting a huge JP and leaving tags for others where they have limited or no options to write more than a token comment. (There ARE times when it is okay to leave two or three tags in a post for someone. Most often when the reply is a simple "Come in," etc.
Godmoding is also when a character always wants to be the hero or the center of attention. Or when he/she knows best and doesn't let other people have a chance to shine.

12. Complete Bios
Fill out your bio completely. Have weaknesses as well as strengths. This makes your character more believable and more fun to play. Pictures are helpful for you and other players to have a good idea of what your character looks like. Histories are important, don't leave them out. If you MUST have something classified in your bio, it must be approved by the CO. It is generally better to put it in your bio with a disclaimer that it is classified so that other players have an idea OOC of what happened.
This goes for PNPCs and Linked NPCs as well. Pancake characters (those who have name/race/gender and little else) are discouraged and may be deleted by your CO.

13. Player Characters Per Sim
Only one PC (player character) per player per ship. You are, however, encouraged to have PNPCs and NPCs. PNPCs are player-specific NPCs. They are secondary characters that a player plays quite often. In Nova they can be linked to your user so you can post with your PNPC as well as your PC. Don't create an NPC if you don't plan to use it fairly often. You can have NPCs named in posts without putting them in the manifest.

14. Specialized Characters
Characters like the Medusa, Borg, most Delta Quadrant species, modified Angosian (Angosian super soldier), Vorta, Organian, Android, etc. are not allowed in Theta Fleet.
Certain creatures such as Centaurs, serpents, fish, etc. are also discouraged as it makes it very hard to get through the ship and interact with other characters.
Non-Trek species like the Ascendant/Ancients, Wraith, Shadow, Vorlon, Dementor, Ori, Goa'uld, Replicant, etc. are also not allowed.
There can be exceptions. If you can justify the reason for the character, make it plausible, and can be trusted to not make the character too powerful, the CO might make an exception. This will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and can be revoked if necessary.

15. Section 31
Section 31 was the name of an officially-nonexistent clandestine organization within Starfleet Intelligence that claimed to protect the security interests of Starfleet and the Federation. The original Section 31 (ENT) was an information-gathering organization under Starfleet Intelligence.
Because of Sloane and others just before and during the Dominion War, Section 31 became more of a problem than an asset. Starfleet curtailed much of their previous authority, pulling them back to more of an information gathering organization.
There are no Section 31 departments on starships or Section 31 operatives assigned to starships. This is a clandestine department tasked with information gathering and will be rarely (if ever) seen.
Instead of Section 31, we use Special Forces, Black Ops and covert ops.
All characters, including special ops, must conform to the rest of the Theta Fleet rules.

16. Ownership of PCs and PNPCs
When a player leaves a ship, their PC is to be moved to departed crew/inactive crew. The PNPCs (linked NPCs) should be sent to inactive crew if they've been in JPs. DO NOT delete any characters that have been in JPs as this causes problems with the post archive. They do not belong to the sim but remain in the sim's archives and will not be used by other players.
Pancake NPCs can be deleted if they have not been used in posts or have been in only one or two posts.

17. Children of Two Player Characters
The child of two player characters belongs jointly to both players as long as both players share in writing the child in posts. If the two characters separate, they share joint custody as long as they are in the same fleet. If the players end up in different fleets, then the child belongs to both players and can be played as an NPC in both fleets.
Special circumstances may require a child of two player characters to become a player character himself and be played by one of the two parents on a sim. If the child has previously been played by both players as an NPC, it remains in joint custody as listed above.
For example, two players have a child on ship A in fleet A. Parent A stays on the ship with the child while parent B goes to ship B in the same fleet. In this case, the child will belong to both parents and spend time with both parents, just like in real life. Work it out so the two players have joint custody. If parent B goes to ship C in fleet B, then both parents (characters) have full custody and the child exists on both ships in both fleets.
If, however, the child is created and played FROM THE BEGINNING by one player only, then and only then does the child belong to one person as their PNPC.

18. Playing the Same Character on Multiple Sims
Players cannot play the same character on more than one ship in Theta Fleet. Specifically, you are not allowed to have a character on a sim in Theta Fleet and then apply for another Theta Fleet sim with the same character.
However, it's perfectly acceptable to use a character you play in Theta Fleet on a sim in another fleet. It is also okay to apply for a sim in Theta Fleet with a character you play on a sim in another fleet.
EXCEPTION: As we recognize that players occasionally play the same character/s on multiple sims in multiple fleets, it is remotely possible for that other sim to join Theta Fleet. So, if you have the same character established on two different sims and they both end up in Theta Fleet, you can keep both characters and justify the duality. This has been done in canon with parallel universe characters, mirror universe characters and transporter malfunctions.
For example, if you have Joe Average on the USS Runabout in Theta Fleet, you can use Joe Average on a sim in Jerry Fleet. Or you can have Julie Normal on the USS Get Moving in Lora Fleet and use it on a sim in Theta Fleet.
If the USS Get Moving joins Theta Fleet, you will then have Julie Normal on two Theta Fleet sims at the same time. But as they both existed on their sims before they were in the same fleet, you can keep both and come up with some IC justification for the duality. (You don't have to do more than add an item to your characters history in the bio.)

19. Who's the Boss?
Military vessels in real life and Theta Fleet vessels in character are NOT democracies. They are Military Dictatorships. The Federation is a Constitutional Republic. In Starfleet, you take orders from your superior officers. Your character does not have a "vote" when deciding whether or not to follow the course of action prescribed by a senior officer.
Most COs leave missions open enough to allow each player a part in shaping the mission. Players are welcome to PM or email their COs with questions and ideas. Participation in missions and mission development is encouraged.
If your character chooses not to follow an order from the captain or to do what the CO says, there will be in character consequences. If you as a player choose to not follow the prescribed mission set out by the CO of your sim, you can be removed. Unless you get permission first. Then it's a side mission. :)

20. Insubordination
Disrespect of superior officers in character will have consequences, just like in the real military. If someone feels like being insubordinate, their superiors have the right to bring them up on charges. Watch a few episodes of Classic Trek like "The Corbomite Maneuver", or "Balance of Terror" to see how a commander deals with disrespect.
Although it isn't recommended that you do this on a regular basis, a little insubordination can make a mission more interesting. So can a stay in the brig.

21. Leave of Absence (LOA)/Extended Leave of Absence (ELOA)
If a player will be unable to log into their sim and respond to tags/posts for anywhere from one week to one month, he or she should request a Leave of Absence (LOA).
If a player will be absent for one to two months, he or she should request an Extended Leave of Absence (ELOA).
In Nova there is a link in the Control Panel that allows a player to put himself or herself on LOA or ELOA. This sends an email to the sim Admin. That same link takes a player off LOA or ELOA> A PM can also be sent to the CO and XO.
It is up to the CO if he or she will accept any absence over two months.
If a player will be gone for more than three months, it is suggested that he or she requests that his or her character be placed on inactive status and rejoin the sim when he or she is again able to participate.
Repeated abuse of LOA and/or ELOA may be cause to remove someone from the sim.

22. Signatures in JPs
A signature is added to the bottom of a JP to show which characters participated in the post.
It is generally:
Rank Character Name
Sim (optional)
For example:
Ensign Chris Expendable
Security Officer
USS Redshirt

A signature is generally a good idea -- even if the character is listed in the authors list. Sometimes, if a character is deleted from the sim or if it's an NPC that isn't in the manifest, the only way to know who that character is and what department they are in is by looking at the list of signatures at the bottom. Also, if the character gets promoted over time or changes position, the signature lets the reader know what rank and position the character had at the time of the post.

23. Departments, PCs and NPCs.
Each sim has various departments with department heads (Senior Staff) who oversee and run the day-to-day workings of that department. If the sim is set on a star base or starship, there may be time spent in the command center or on the bridge. There will also be away missions and on-site responsibilities. One person — or character — cannot be everywhere at once, nor can he or she do everything.
For this reason, it is a good idea to use NPCs along with your PC. These are secondary characters that appear from time to time to add to the breadth and depth of the sim and give the player more chances to write and get involved in the story.
NPCs allow a player to write in multiple stories at the same time. The PC can be on the away team, an NPC on the bridge and another NPC can be working in the department.
Generally, each player creates a few NPCs in his or her department to use as recurring characters or secondary characters.
Please avoid putting more than six NPCs in any one department in your manifest as that makes the department look crowded and may discourage new players from joining the sim.
Do not create an NPC if you don’t plan on using it on a semi-regular (recurring) basis. There will be many NPCs who are never put in the manifest but still show up in JPs. This is perfectly acceptable. They can be listed at the bottom of the post in the signature list. They don’t need to go in the manifest.

24. Playing an NPC in Someone Else’s Department
Sometimes, a player will wish to create an NPC in someone else’s department, or one without a department head. Check with the CO first to see if it is permissible or if the CO has other ideas for that department.
If there is a PC as the department head, the player should also ask permission from that player as it is their department.
Department heads often have their departments set up in specific ways, or have NPCs with their own secondary story arcs. Or they already have descriptions and personnel that were used in previous posts. For this reason, it is always important to ask first.
If the department does not have a player character (PC) as the Department Head, it is preferable to have an NPC as the Assistant in the manifest and let the NPC run the department until a PC shows up. If it is an NPC department, then an NPC will be the Department Head and PCs will not be able to apply. Thus, check with the CO.

January 21, 2018



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