As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Security and Tactical, with Lieutenant Jarred Thoran of the Andaris Task Force ship USS Blackwell.
To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?
Jarred Thoran: My name is Richard and I’m originally from the UK, but for the past year have been living in Germany.
What first drew you to the Security and Tactical post?
My first choice on joining was tactical. It was only when posted to the USS Blackwell I found out I’d be playing a dual role of Security and Tactical. I chose tactical initially as I’ve always had an interest in tactics and strategy, plus I’m useless with any scientific, medical or technical so it seemed the best choice for me.
What is your favorite thing about the post?
I really enjoy the variety that it brings and not being limited to one role. I can spend one mission on the bridge, engaging enemy vessels at the tactical station, then the next mission as part of the security detail for a visiting ambassador.
One great thing about security in particular, is as it is a duty post that was rarely seen in it’s full capacity on screen, it really gives you the chance to make it your own.
How do you split the Security and Tactical portions? Do you prefer one over the other?
I’ve only taken part in two missions so far and each one has been wildly different. The first one involved boarding a friendly vessel that had been struck down by a plague, which was more of a security role. The second mission found us trapped in a spatial minefield, needing more of a tactical outlook.
Surprisingly I’ve very much enjoyed the security aspects more. As I said before, it allows you to explore the role on your own, make of it what you want.
How do you play your character (quirks, ideals, drawbacks, etc.)?
Jarred is a fairly quiet individual who prefers not to use any form of violence and would rather find any other solution.
At the moment he has survivors guilt, as he blames himself for the Blackwell getting trapped in the minefield and some of the crew losing their lives.
Any interesting encounters you’ve had in the course of your duties?
During the first mission, Jarred had to talk down a phaser wielding Caraadian woman intent on killing her former commander, who she blamed for the her shipmates death.
It was a fun experience, essentially playing a hostage negotiator. It was that experience that caused me to write a “Crises Negotiation Tactics” journal.
Have you managed to do anything with those encounters in game, or do you plan to in the future?
I hope that one day Jarred will catch up with her. She had been a tactical officer, so it would be interesting to exchange notes and explore how the experience had affected her.
Any advice to new players interested in this position?
If you ever find yourself stuck for something to sim, just sim a normal day in security. It can be something as simple as a patrol around the ship, bumping into other characters, or recalibrating the phasers, to running a full scale boarding simulation.
Also, don’t always go in ready to fight with phasers blasting. Sometimes it can be more fun to find alternate solutions to problems!
Have you seen (or written) any sims that highlight a good Security or Tactical officer?
One of my favourites that I’ve written was Jarred in the negotiation situation (and its follow-up). For that I had to refresh myself on nonviolent handling of situations, including things like speech and body language.
Thanks again for your time.