Lower Decks interview: LtJG Arturo Maxwell, SB118 Ops | UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

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Lower Decks interview: LtJG Arturo Maxwell, SB118 Ops

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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 LtJG Arturo Maxwell playing a human Tactical officer assigned to StarBase 118 Ops.

WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

MAXWELL: Hey 🙂 As those on Ops will already know, I’m Iain. I live in the UK, in Cheshire to be precise and I’m an avid fan of all things sci-fi, fantasy and historical. I’m also a reenactor of the English Civil War, but don’t tell anybody…

Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?

I used to play a lot of D&D and suchlike many many moons ago, as well as being a very keen player of wargames that involved a campaign element such as GW’s ‘Necromunda’ and ‘Warhammer Quest’. I’ve always enjoyed watching a character grow from simply a name into, well, a character. But this is my first shot at anything via email. The style got me at first and I went through the Academy twice, but here I am!

How’d you choose the tactical duty post for your character?

My first choice was actually the Marines, as I felt it would fit easily with my own homebrew fiction I’ve been tapping away at for the best part of twenty years. Tactical was my second choice and after a conversation about it with a member of the staff, I went for that instead. Roughly nine months on and I now can’t picture Maxwell being anything else! It’s been an interesting ride so far.

Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?

Yes and no, I think? I’d always loved Scotty in the original series, and being from a family of Scots (and a bit of Irish) it was a no brainer that Maxwell would also be – you guessed it! – a Scotsman. Beyond that, there wasn’t any real inspiration or ‘plan’, just a name and a blank slate much like the characters from the wargames I’ve already mentioned. I did make him a single dad from the start but without any details and as cliche as it probably sounds, Maxwell has pretty much written his own background up to this point. After one sim, I recall being told exactly what was thought of Maxwell’s ex-girlfriend!

I do have quite a menagerie of PNPC’s – not all with pages though – and I have taken inspiration from films, books etc as well as real people with them. Sokolov is the stereotypical elite soldier with a shattered past, and the newest one – Aine – is a mashup of my sisters playful humour and my Mothers Irish fire!

What’s it like simming on StarBase 118 Ops, considering the unique simming environment, and what’s been your favorite part?

It’s always humorous! Somebody is always in a jam or making a fool of themselves unwittingly. We’ve had quite a rough time of it with the last couple of missions and a few of the crew are in pretty dark places. But there’s always something to make you smile and laugh. OOC, on Discord, there’s always somebody there, and the conversations are weird, wacky and sometimes outright ridiculous. Just the way I like it! Picking a favourite part? I’m honestly not sure if I could. The whole experience so far has been fantastic. From being helped through the Academy, to building a backstory, the warmth between everybody on Ops and all the way to wrestling with Ferengi and picking up an award at the Fleet ceremony has been a thoroughly enjoyable journey so far. Hopefully it’s one that I’ll undertake for many years.

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! If you aren’t sure about anything, anything at all, there’s always somebody willing to help.
Don’t be put off, you aren’t pestering anybody. Beyond that, relax and enjoy the stories that you will be helping to create.

Thanks for your time, LtJG Maxwell!

You can read more about Arturo Maxwell on the wiki.

About Tristan Wolf

FltAdml. Tristan Wolf, real name Jordan, founded UFOP: StarBase 118 – a Star Trek Play By Email RPG – in June of 1994. He previously served as the Commanding Officer for a number of simming installations, notably the first of StarBase 118 Operations. He currently lives in San Francisco with his partner and their Humane Society rescue dog named Baxter. Jordan works in politics, loves scifi (natch), fantasy, and new technologies.
View all posts by Tristan Wolf