There are many reasons that a plot might go stagnant. Perhaps the players are simply finding themselves in a rut that they can’t get out of, or perhaps, the story has grown old to them. The best part of simming within the Starbase 118 fleet, however, is that we all control this outcome. If you feel that your ship’s story is growing dull, then change it! Don’t wait for someone else to do it; throw your ideas into the mix and see what happens.
In part 2 of Lieutenant JG Blackwoods overview of simming, we learn how to advance the plot so that everyone can enjoy a rich, deep storyline without the dreary predictability that comes with waiting for someone else to take up the torch. If you feel ‘stuck’, consider one of the following courses of action and breathe life into any plot.
2) Advance the Story
It is important to keep up with your tags and try to answer them in a timely fashion to keep the flow of the game running smoothly. The difference between a good sim and a great one is in taking a little extra step to carry it on a bit. This doesn’t have to be something enormous and there are different ways you can interact with the plot to achieve this. The example above showed some different routes you can take when faced with a situation. When you are getting ready to write a sim think about what situation your character is in, thinking about it in simple terms can help you think of options.
Here is another example:
Ensign Craig is in engineering. The ship is in a battle, there has been some light damage. The Chief Engineer has assigned you to a “repair crew.” What can you do? Here are some ideas to get you started.
# Perform an action:
# Go to a console and pull up a damage report to see where you are needed.
# Find a damaged system and begin repairs on it
# Use an NPC or PNPC to help you do your duties. Or make one to boss around.
# Create a problem – tag in other players/departments and get them to help fix it:
# Get injured in the line of duty, tag medical to get assistance.
# An un/important system just took damage and it will require help to fix. Notify chief engineer and begin to assess the damage – perhaps give them clues about what “might” be wrong and then hand it over for them to play with.
# Solve a problem – remember if there is more than one problem don’t feel you have to solve them all at once. There is fun to be had in sharing the problem and fixing it as a team but sometimes someone has to take the bull by the horns and get the problem dealt with so the sim can move on.
# Get a system back online.
# Find out the source of a problem and find out who, if not yourself (other player/PNPC/NPC perhaps) can fix it.
# Find a “work around” until the main root of the problem can be overcome.
# Discuss a problem/situation
# Hold a conversation reporting a new issue or update on a current one.
# Share ideas about what is causing a problem or how to fix one.
# Perhaps a less formal chat about what characters think of feel about a situation they are in.
# Discuss similar situations/problems faced and draw upon experience.
# Discuss previous background/training/interests and draw upon expertise.
# Ask a question – especially good if you are “left hanging” and totally stumped or have no tags etc.
# Ask the department chief/senior officer what they want you to do about the problem/situation.
# Ask more about the nature of the problem/situation.
# Ask something personal (but somewhat relevant).
# Ask what they (whoever) think about an idea/something you have contributed to the situation.
# Reflect – I know we have some players who are especially good at reflecting sims, and use them as little fillers. See Eerie’s posts.
# Thought bubbles and actions to show what you character thinks and feels about a situation.
# Use of flash backs. Current events reminding you of previous experience, can be revealing and fun.
It is always good to add a little reflection where appropriate to your sims. These are the little telling things that show the characters personality. Without it they may come over as bland. You can do a whole sim reflecting on a situation, these are generally short with your character making mostly observations. There may be a little action going on as well.
Read the guide in its entirety on the forums: https://www.starbase118.net/forums/index.php?/topic/6346-simming-tips/