Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of 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 Major Wes Greaves playing a Human male, First Officer, Marine Detachment Commander, and Chief Security & Tactical assigned to the USS Thor. He won the Luminary: “given to members holding the rank of ensign, lieutenant junior grade, or lieutenant who show great promise in their future endeavours in UFOP: Starbase 118 RPG.”
DeVeau: Hi Wes! Please tell us a little about the real you? Where are you from, what your interests are, anything you’d like to share?
Greaves: Hey! I’m Jacob and I hail from the Pacific Northwest in the United States. That being said, I’ve been active duty Marine Corps for the last decade, so I’ve lived in a bunch of places all over the states. I’m married to a lovely woman who puts up with me and my shenanigans, and we have three fluffy pets: two dogs and a cat.
As far as hobbies, I think Star Trek roleplaying ranks up there! When I’m not pretending to be a space Marine online, I also play a lot of PC games. For those times when I get outside the house, you can usually find me up in the air flying (as I’m a private pilot as well), or out with coworkers on a range or hunting.
Did I mention my wife puts up with all this?
How did you get into roleplaying and how did you come to SB118 specifically?
Well, for me it all started in high school. Like many of us, I was exposed to tabletop RPGs back then, D&D specifically, although I didn’t get to play that much until later in life. I did, however, start playing Star Trek MUSHs, which my friends and I were pretty into for a few years.
Fast forward a decade and a half, and I was hankering for that feeling from high school of Star Trek RPGs, so I opened up the google machine to find out if there were any MUSHs still active. While I found a few, I stumbled on this site called Starbase 118, and they were doing this crazy thing called play by e-mail! Maybe you’ve heard of it? Anyway, I was really intrigued by the concept as I’d never done an RPG like that before. I gave it a shot, and the rest, as they say, is history.
How have you involved yourself in the SB118 community at large, and what is one thing you like most about this group?
Well, let’s see. I started here with the Embassy to Duronis II, and when that turned into the Thor I poured myself pretty hard into helping to flesh out that ship. With the help of a few other writers, we came up with a deck layout (with pictures) that I’m really proud of. That entire process led me into the ADSB Task Force, (where I will admit, I’ve been a slacker lately).
I also really enjoy taking part IC with the group. One of the coolest things I see about SB118 is the sheer number of simultaneous stories going on at any given moment. As of now, we have upwards of 80+ active writers. That’s a ton of opportunities to explore new relationships and stories with folks. I like to reach out to writers on other ships to do JP’s with just to get an excuse to interact with more people, characters, and stories throughout the fleet.
Seriously, readers. DM or e-mail me. I want to JP!
In the presentation of the Luminary Award, Commodore Kells stated you are a “natural leader who seeks challenges both IC and OOC”. In what ways have you challenged both your character and yourself?
Oh boy. That’s one heck of a question. I think the answer is easy when discussing Greaves IC. He’s a character that has become unnervingly close to me in a lot of ways. I have a lot of strongly held beliefs about leadership and the role leaders should play in an organization. That has carried over into Wes. I also have a terrible tendency to take on more and more until I reach a breaking point, which I have also fallen into with Wes Greaves. The character is currently a department chief for three departments, for heaven’s sake! Greaves is a Marine through and through, and that is not a traditional duty post one finds on the bridge of a starship. A la Counselor Troi from TNG, Wes has also pushed into command training with Commodore Kells, so he is qualified to sit in the big chair occasionally. I’m always looking for that next “thing” to do with the character IC.
This IC overload has also bled into some OOC things that I think are important. While Graves will take on everything that comes his way, well, no one is Superman. People have limits, and I make it a point to hit that limit at inopportune times for the character.
As far as more straightforward OOC challenges, like Greaves (or maybe Greaves like me…) I am a chronic workaholic in my hobbies. One of the big draws of SB118 to me was the professionalism and structure of our onboarding process. I’ve sought a lot of OOC responsibility for becoming a mentor for new players on the Thor, as well as pushing since I was an Ensign/2ndLt to get onto the Training Team. It’s a wonderful group we have, and I want to give back to it where I can.
Recently you’ve become the first officer of the USS Thor. How have you met this new challenge and what do you hope to learn from it?
The rumors are indeed true! Wes Greaves is the acting First Officer for the Thor! Thankfully, I could transition into this role fairly seamlessly. In my efforts to contribute, Tony (Aron Kells) brought me into the fold as the ship’s Second Officer several months before they offered me the First Officer role. That let me peer behind the curtain of senior ship leadership long before I was in a position where the responsibility fell on my shoulders.
There is certainly plenty of paperwork to manage things on the backend, but it’s really not too different from just being a positive influence on your ship as a whole. I’ve always told the people around me you don’t need to be in a leadership position to lead. Leadership by example can be done at all levels. Be the role model you want others to follow. I feel like accomplishments and reputation should speak for themselves through your actions. As I’ve learned the ropes here in this group, I’ve also tried to live that ideal, and being the first officer just has awarded some authority to what I had already been trying to do through example.
That being said, we never stop learning. The role has opened my eyes to much of what SB118 does behind the scenes to keep the lights on and keep the game fun. It’s a ton of dedication from a lot of talented people who I’m excited to keep learning new things from.
What sort of goals, both long and short term, do you have for Wes and for you OOCly?
You know, I really have nothing concrete I can say off the top of my head. I’ve been interested for some time now in being a First Officer and seeing what all goes into senior leadership here, and have recently achieved that. I’m just going to take a tactical pause to get my bearings. There’s a lot to take in, and I’m in no rush to get anywhere. Especially when I have so many fun writers to engage with where I’m at.
IC, I’m excited to let Greaves settle into the First Officer role a bit more. He’s doing way too much, and I’m about to have him hit a breaking point again. His leadership style needs to continue to change to fit the role. As a junior officer, Greaves was the epitome of “No better friend, no worse enemy”. When it was game time, he was the face of go-get-em professionalism. When the crew wasn’t in crisis, he was mister happy-go-lucky. He really never transitioned away from that into a senior officer role model. I’m looking forward to exploring that transition with him.
Thanks for your time, Major Greaves!
You can read more about Major Wes Greaves on the wiki.