First Officer in Focus – Karrod Niac, USS Arrow

First Officer in Focus – Karrod Niac, USS Arrow

You'll Always Be My Number One

Each month we interview a First Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” column to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.

This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Arrow, Commander Karrod Niac, a male Joined Trill. 

DeVeau: You told us a little bit about yourself in a previous interview.  Would you be willing to share more about yourself?  Perhaps how you got started roleplaying and came to SB118? 

Sure!  A few months after my son was born I was on the ‘late shift,’ handling evening feedings while my wife tried to rest and recuperate.  I discovered SB118 quite by accident via a Reddit thread and, having no experience with play by email simming previously, didn’t really know what to think at first.  It seemed like a good way to keep my brain functional during a time of intense sleep deprivation and quickly became a community which provided valuable support, feedback and encouragement during challenging times.  

You were previously First Officer of the USS Thor before you took an LOA for a couple of months, then came back to SB118 with Karrod Niac as Chief of Operations on the USS Excalibur.  Now, as Karrod, you have taken over as FO of the USS Arrow.  How do you feel about being back in this position?

It’s at once a significant responsibility and a great opportunity, both for me as a writer and for the Arrow as a whole.  We’re taking the opportunity to introduce some new ideas and new mechanics that our players are really enjoying so far and it gives Karrod, a character that I had originally written as near the end of their career, a whole new lease on Starfleet life.  It’s an incredibly rewarding challenge.  

What was Teller up to off screen during your LOA and time playing Niac? 

An opportunity recently presented itself on Amity Outpost for a bit of joint simming where Teller was brought back for the first time since my original LOA.  As it turns out the past year went by in the blink of an eye for him because he was kidnapped by an old antagonist from his Veritas days and tossed into a prison outside of time.  He was joined by a number of his friends and colleagues from the Veritas who currently serve aboard Amity and, after they escaped, Teller is now coming to terms with a galaxy in which he is a year out of date.  He’s presently on the way back from the Delta Quadrant for debriefings at Starfleet Command but don’t be surprised if he turns back up on Amity before too long.  

What do you think will be the biggest challenge being FO on a completely new ship?

Every ship & station in our fleet has its own culture and way of doing things so learning that and becoming a part of it is my first priority.  As I get to know the crew, our campaign region (the Alpha Isles) and Karrod’s new boss, Captain Randal Shayne, I look forward to getting involved in their existing story threads and starting up some new ones.  

Being a first officer is an important job in the life of an installation in our community.  What are some of the skills that have best served you in this position?

Above all, patience.  Beyond that you have to be organised and self-motivated to do whatever you can to improve things for ship and crew.  You no longer have the luxury to sit around and wait for the senior staff to give you things to do – you need to look around, find the things that need doing and get them done.  Maybe that’s a kind word to a player that’s struggling or maybe that’s a wild mission idea to invigorate storytelling – it’s a constantly moving target.  

Would you share some tips for those who are serving or wish to serve in the role of First Officer?  

The role of First Officer is in every sense a significant responsibility.  You’re there to support and execute the Captain’s vision and at the same time provide stewardship and guidance for the crew both IC and OOC.  Beyond developing and guiding scenes and making sure that momentum is being maintained in the ship’s narrative, you’ll be mentoring crewmembers or figuring out how to balance the needs and desires of the dozen or so people that are now looking to you for creative leadership.  The FO role is not for folks interested in self-aggrandisement, it’s about making a serious and sustained contribution to our community. 

Thanks for your time, Commander Niac!

You can read more about Commander Karrod Niac on the wiki.

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