We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.
This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ens. Delan Han playing a joined Trill assigned to the Duronis II Embassy.
WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
HAN: I grew up in Western New York, (while not from Buffalo New York, I do judge restaurants on what they consider Buffalo Wings), but currently live near Boston Mass. I’m an academic research biology, and as will be able to tell from the rest of this interview, I love parenthetical statements and commas.
Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?
So I’ve simmed for about six or seven years back in the early 2000’s. I’m also an avid D&D (and Pathfinder, and White-Wolf) role player. I’m also an active LARPer in the New England area both playing and running large (for our area) boffer games.
What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?
That it is a community. I’ve seen a lot of other communities made up of creative folks devolve and have lots of struggles with ego. It is really nice and encouraging to land in a community that supports each other has an active membership base and is generally full of people that actively enjoy everyone else’s writing. Being creative is hard, being creative in front of strangers can be downright harrowing. That this is a community that makes you feel welcome makes the creative process so much easier and therefore so much more fun.
Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?
I don’t really pull from fiction (or non-fiction), I tend to make characters up to fit interesting templates.
My characters in any RPG always end up being designed around looking at personality types that aren’t mine, or situations I’ve never been in. Delan is me but with a big and close knit family, where as my family in real life is smaller and more spread out doing our own thing. Also, as a joined-Trill he is a way to look at what the world is like when you have memories that are and aren’t yours in your head informing your decisions. For example, Delan has a pretty strong reaction to fire based on events that happened to a previous host. It’s going to be interesting to see how he deals with that moving forward.
Karl Wagner, my Marine SNPC, is calm and reserved and is far more serene that I will ever be able to pull off. He treats every action no matter how small as something worthy of ritual and ceremony and something worth understanding exactly why you are doing it before you start. From polishing the buttons on his dress uniform to maintaining his weapons, actions have reason and meaning and no matter how small should be done with care and focus.
I enjoy writing characters and left to my own devices write and archive characters for later use.
What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?
Delan is a Science officer. Honestly, I chose it 50% because I’m a scientist myself and I love thinking about what the various fields would be like in the future, and 50% because there were a lot of openings for Science officers and I was already writing my bio while I was filling out the application, and figured getting my first choice what a sure thing and I won’t have to shelve the Bio I had written.
Because of my real life background science is where I feel most comfortable being creative right off of the bat. Science is where I knew I could contribute while I found my footing and got a feel for my fellow players.
I’ve also have a Marine Staff Sergeant name Karl Wagner who is there so I can get in on the good fight scenes, and allow me to explore a more regimented side of Starfleet life.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?
Ask questions, small or large, don’t be afraid to email your mentor or your FO/CO, or really anyone else on the ship. Everyone here has been super helpful, mentor, First Officer, Commanding Officer, everyone has answered all of the questions I’ve peppered them with. Everyone here is just waiting to help.
(An extra shout out to the Image Collective, they’re some form of wizards, and ridiculously good at what they do. Ask them to work their magic, you won’t be disappointed.)
Thanks for your time, Ens. Han!