Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2021 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write and imagine their characters.
This month, we’re interviewing the writer behind Lt Commander Cadfael Peters playing a human male Helmsman assigned to the USS Chin’toka. He won the Pilot’s Sextant, an award given to those Helm officers who have proven themselves to be the best of the best. From finding a safe route home to flying an emergency atmospheric landing, pilots who have earned the right to this award know the importance of staying focused, and puts their ability to make spectacular manoeuvres at the service of their ship and its mission.
DeVeau: Hi Cadfael! Would you mind sharing little about you, the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? What hobbies do you have? Anything you’d like to share.
I was born a 6th generation Californian and spent a sizeable chunk of my early gaming life in San Jose, known as the heart of Silicon Valley. My father worked for several computer companies and my mom was your not-so-typical stay-at-home parent with weekly pizza parties to socialize with people her own age that weren’t her kids.
I make chain mail jewellery and trinkets, go play at Legacies Live Action Role Playing, and do a bit of graphics work on the side, making pretty pictures for 118 once in a while.
How did you get into Star Trek originally? What is your favourite thing about this universe?
When I originally started watching the show, it varied between episodes of TNG and Voyager depending on what was on after school. I would typically watch and do homework in between commercial breaks, as long as I had it finished before bed.
How did you first get involved in role-playing, and what brought you to SB118?
I was looking for games to play on the internet. Star Wars play-by-posts were okay, but they were all slowing to a halt. I couldn’t handle how dead they became, so started looking into other genres. After 28 hours of looking at the 118 wiki, which (in 2390, anyway) differed from what it is now, I tried it out.
You’ve been a member of SB118 for quite a few years. Could you tell us a bit about where you got started and how you play a helmsman?
Oh sure! When I was coming aboard, Kali Nicholotti was in charge of SB 118 Ops at the rank of captain, and my first character was Dr Chythar Skyfire. In August that year, she (Nicholotti, that is) was promoted to fleet captain, and I became part of the launch crew for the USS Excalibur-A. Over the years, I’ve played unique characters to accommodate the needs of whatever ship I’ve served on. I am now on my 6th player character, though in fact he was my first secondary.
What was your inspiration for the character of Cadfael Peters, and how has he evolved since you began playing him?
This is a mashup of childhood favorites. Tommy Oliver was my favorite Mighty Morphin Power Ranger (as green and white); played by the actor I chose for his face claim, Jason David Frank. I was watching the mystery series Cadfael with my mother a lot when I began giving consideration to the secondary, giving him the first name, which was based on a 12th century medieval monk who solved crimes, which was based on a series of books by Ellis Peters, which is where I got the last name.
His evolution into a secondary was much the same way many people begin, where you have a vague idea for a character and you will learn more about them as you sim. He had a bit of an anger management problem in 2393 and I had to drop him as a secondary for a bit, so during that time I assigned him to Utopia Planitia fleet yards where he began taking up post-graduate work for a tactical major. He has also served as chief operations officer during Project Capstone and a brief stint as a tactical officer on Duronis II. Still currently single, and (I think) one of the most eligible bachelors on the Chin’toka.
Captain Mei’konda mentioned that “helm can present a challenge for players, because of the occasionally limited nature of the role”. How do you realistically sim this duty position and overcome this challenge?
I’m not even sure how I do it, but a lot of inspiration I get for this is watching various piloting clips, reading books, and extensively using the wiki to design something interesting.
For example, take something like Galaxy Quest where the pilot knew how to fly as a young kid but when he returned to the convention didn’t know how to fly at all because he’d forgotten all of it and re-learn that, writing into the sim how you would go about executing the manoeuvres and be very verbose in your narrative.
In flying, a lot of it is “buckle up and improvise” but really your words have to speak volumes about how and why Cadfael does what he does in order to get them out of a sticky spot.
What do you hope to see for Cadfael in the future?
Good question, and the answer is… I have no idea. I will figure it out, eventually. At some point I hope to break his bachelor streak, but I’m still figuring out the best way to do that. Perhaps at some point I would like to pursue commander, but it’s hard to tell if that’s near-future or distant future.
Thanks for your time, Lt. Commander Peters!
You can read more about Lt. Commander Peters on the wiki.