Anath G'Renn, Author at UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

Anath G'Renn

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Poll of the Week: Ready for Command

Captains and first officers all start somewhere – most of the time at the rank of Ensign! With time and experience officers climb up the ranks, and may one day find themselves sitting in the center chair.

There are captains who have come from every Starfleet background imaginable. Captain Picard was originally the flight controller aboard his first command, the Stargazer. Before serving on the Enterprise Captain Kirk worked on a phaser crew. Captain Janeway was a science officer during her early Starfleet career.

This week’s poll asks for your opinion on which duty post you think would best prepare a person for a command role. Is there a specific duty post that provides unique experience that would be useful to a member of the command department? Maybe experience with multiple departments is better and makes for a more well-rounded skill set? Do you think that no department holds the advantage?

Click here to head to the forums and register your vote now. Make sure to leave a comment once you’ve voted!


Poll of the Week: Kobayashi Maru scenario

The Kobayashi Maru Scenario is the most notorious test at Starfleet Academy. This test is the famous no-win scenario that tests the character of a Starfleet officer as much as it tests the technical skills of command – not to mention that no matter what course of action you take, the outcome is always the same. Only one Starfleet officer ever beat the Kobayashi Maru, and it’s only because he cheated.

While the exact elements of the simulation have changed from era to era the basic setup remains the same. The version that we are most familiar with strands the civilian freighter Kobayashi Maru in the Klingon Neutral Zone after striking a mine. Once the cadet’s ship enters the Neutral Zone multiple Klingon battle cruisers converge on them and attack. It’s considered impossible to both survive the attack still intact and save the crew of the Kobayashi Maru. In a possible variant in the 24th century, a Ferengi transport and an ambush by Romulan warbirds are used in place of an attack by the Klingons.

It is obvious that there is no “right” answer when it comes to facing the infamous scenario. That’s why it is considered unwinnable, and what makes it an excellent tool for teaching command-track cadets. How the cadet chooses to proceed is more important than finding a path to a complete victory.

This week, we’d like to know what you think is the best answer to the no-win scenario, if there is one. While you might not be able to win, do you see a strategy that is superior to the others?

Click here to head to the forums now and register your entry in the poll. And be sure to comment in the thread on what you think is the best approach to the Kobayashi Maru scenario!


Flag of the United Federation of Planets

Poll of the Week: United We Stand

The United Federation of Planets is a union made up of hundreds of member worlds. Starting as an alliance between Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites, the Federation grew outward as more and more worlds joined. Planet by planet and sector by sector the United Federation of Planets expanded its reach across the Alpha Quadrant. Hundreds of species live in harmony and cooperate together to operate the Federation and its military arm, Starfleet. Many governments of varying attitudes and governing styles call the Federation home.

But some governments aren’t well-suited to giving up their autonomy and becoming just one part of a larger whole. They may be too paranoid to give up their power to a higher organization. Others might consider some of the core ideals of the Federation too restrictive. Joining the post-scarcity Federation without a strong unified currency would be a hard sell for the business-friendly Ferengi. Many of the enemies and allies of the Federation probably wouldn’t smoothly transition from autonomous government to Federation member.

This week’s poll asks you which government you think could make the change easiest. Would the Klingon Empire be able to set aside their more aggressive military policies and merge together with Starfleet? How much work would have to be done to reform Cardassia’s government until it could be accepted? The change would be difficult for any of them, and some might not be able to do it.

Which government do you think would make the easiest transition into Federation membership? Click here to head to the forums now and respond to this poll of the week.


Poll of the Week: Haunted Places

Happy Halloween everyone! Previously, a poll of the week asked what your favorite scary episode of Star Trek is. This week we wanted to envision what a pure horror story would look like in the Star Trek universe. Typically, when an episode tells a horror story it is usually through a monster or strange anomaly haunting the crew. However, horror is not traditionally focused on powerful characters in an advanced military ship. Horror is about the characters being forced to overcome an unknown superior force, be it a masked killer or a ghost haunting their home.

One of the most important parts of a horror story is the location. Often these places are secluded, dangerous, or associated with bad history. Haunted mansions, abandoned hospitals or asylums, and isolated places out in the woods are all popular choices. If Star Trek ever produced a standalone horror story, what would be a frightening or secluded setting? Space provides no shortage of hazardous environments that could make for threatening settings for a story. Perhaps a ghost-like anomaly could haunt the two-person crew in the cramped quarters of a relay station or some alien monster of the week could try to drive a group of colonists off of its planet.

What location in the Star Trek universe do you think would make the best horror story setting?

Click here to head to the forums and register you vote in the polls. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: Best Friendship of Star Trek

In Star Trek most members of the crew interact off duty as well as during their regularly assigned duties. Entire stories can be based around the interactions between the crew when there isn’t a Romulan Warbird or an exploding star driving the action. While some members of the crew are simply colleagues or may even dislike each other, others share a much stronger bond.

Aboard Deep Space Nine, if you see Doctor Bashir it’s a good bet that Chief O’Brien is nearby. Whether they are storming the Alamo together or playing darts in Quark’s, the two are almost inseparable. Meanwhile, aboard the Enterprise-D, Captain Picard could always turn to his old friend Guinan for advice. In the 23rd century, Captain Kirk and Commander Spock went through a lot together. They stuck together throughout their historic mission of exploration that saw them encounter all manners of hostile aliens, new civilizations, and even sent them back in time on multiple occasions. These trials forged a strong friendship between the two that went far beyond colleagues or even captain and first officer.

This week’s poll asks you to look back at the friendships between characters that developed throughout the franchise and pick your favorite.

So what was your favorite Star Trek friendship? Head to the forums to register your answer in this week’s poll, and be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Small Craft in Star Trek

The transporter was originally invented out of necessity. With away teams going to-and-from alien planets regularly, the team behind Star Trek needed a way to get them to the ship and back again. They had shuttles that could solve this problem. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a feasible option. Landing a shuttle every episode would have been too much for the show’s limited budget. Instead the transporter was born. In the years since the transporter has remained, but small craft of all kinds have gained a more prominent role in the series with new shows.

Starfleet has access to more than just the normal shuttles used to ferry landing parties from the ship to a planet. They also have larger runabouts for longer trips, attack fighters for combat, and workbees and other maintenance craft to name a few. The runabout did play a major role in Deep Space Nine, but attack fighters and workbees rarely play a part beyond appearing in the background. Both the Enterprise-D and Voyager featured special auxiliary craft (the captain’s yacht and the aeroshuttle respectively) but neither were ever used. Are the small crafts of Star Trek underutilized? Would you like to see shuttles and fighters used in new and interesting ways, or do you like them the way they are?

So what do you think of the way Star Trek uses small craft?

Click here to head to the forums and register your opinion in the poll. And be sure to leave your thoughts in the forum thread!


Poll of the Week: One More Season

Due to declining ratings for season two of the original Star Trek, it was rumored that NBC was planning to cancel the series. This prompted a letter-writing campaign that kept the show on the air for one more season. While not every Star Trek series was faced with such an early ending, no television show can go on forever. One by one each new Star Trek series told its story, aired its final episode, and the franchise moved on to new things. The staff behind these shows did their best to wrap things up well. However, that doesn’t stop us from asking what they would do with another season on the air.

The upcoming Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind hopes to share the original plan for the story of a hypothetical season eight. For the most part it is up to the imaginations of fans to guess how future seasons of Star Trek could have unfolded. We may never know for sure what any particular series would have done if it stayed on the air longer, but it is interesting to envision what could have been nonetheless.

We want to know which main Star Trek series you would have most liked to see be given a little more time to tell its stories. The possibilities are endless. Deep Space Nine left the galaxy recovering from an incredibly destructive war with all the possible stories that situation could spawn. Enterprise could have gone on to give us our first real look at the war between the Romulan Star Empire and humanity. Which series do you think had more incredible tales to tell?

Which Star Trek series would you want to see have one more season? Head to the forums and register your vote, and then tell us more in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Star Trek is…

On September 8th, 1966 the original series of Star Trek premiered on NBC. Despite being intended as a later episode in the series, the episode “The Man Trap” was chosen to be the premiere episode for its horror-like plot. As the anniversary of Star Trek’s US premiere approaches, we reflected on how much the franchise has grown over the past fifty-one (a few days away from fifty-two) years. Star Trek has expanded to include a handful of television series, fourteen movies, and countless other spin-off works. The franchise has many fans across the world, presumably including the members of this group.

Each of us got our love of Star Trek from somewhere, and we all have our own reasons for liking it so much. Why anyone is a fan of a particular series is a matter of personal feelings and how they look at the series. We want to hear from you about why you love Star Trek. Given how personal the answer to that question will be for everyone, this week’s poll is going to be a bit different. There are no answer choices. There is only the question.

What is Star Trek to you? Click here to head to the forums and let us know what the series means to you and why you love!


Poll of the Week: Klingons and Visual Continuity

The looks of many visual elements in Star Trek have changed over the years. One of the most prominent and famous changes is the design of the Klingon species. At first, Klingons were barely distinguishable from humans. This stayed the same throughout the first series but first changed in the original Star Trek movie when Klingons got their trademark forehead ridges. The look of the Klingons remained mostly the same from that point until the movie Into Darkness, which changed the look of Klingons but retained the basic design scheme. The next change came with Discovery, where the Klingon species went through a major redesign. That brings the current count of Klingon makeup designs to four.

These sudden changes in the appearance of a major species did not go unnoticed. A few episodes even tried to explain where these sudden forehead ridges came from. The question of visual continuity is a complex one. Each series of Star Trek has made changes and introduced its own visual style, but for the most part major elements of Star Trek remain relatively visually similar. Special effects and prosthetic makeup have improved since Star Trek first aired. Some people might argue that these innovation should be used, while others would prefer that the vision of Star Trek’s original creators be preserved.

This poll of the week asks you what you think: Do you care about the visual continuity of the Klingons? Let us know what your take on the issue is by clicking here to head to the forum poll!


Poll of the Week: Doing the Impossible

So often, Starfleet officers are asked to do the impossible. Life in Starfleet is full of daunting challenges that would push anyone to their limits. At any moment a temporal rift or a surprise attack by the Borg could test the worth of the crew of a Starfleet ship. You could fill a book with strange encounters and difficult missions just by following the career of a single ship. Across the entire organization of Starfleet the impossible happens every day. While these herculean tasks often test the entire ship, they can also be the responsibility of a single officer.

There is perhaps no greater example of this trend than Scotty. Every other week he was being asked to pull the Enterprise from the jaws of defeat to victory. Scotty truly earned his reputation as a miracle worker through the countless times he saved the day at the last minute with his technical skill and unbelievable luck. This week’s poll presents several scenarios that would challenge the best of the best and asks you to choose which you would find to be the biggest trial. The challenges included cover a variety of different specialties from the nightmares of catering for a galactic diplomatic reception to packing the punch of a Galaxy-class into a vessel that’s well over a century old.

Which do you think is the most difficult to handle? Let us know your thoughts below!


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