Maxwell Traenor, Author at UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

Maxwell Traenor

Author Archives

Duty Post Award Winner – Edward Spears, Constitution (Prantares Award)

We’re starting a new series here on our Community News where we talk with a winner of a Duty Post award from our recent 2018 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.

This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ens. Edward Spears playing a human male assigned to the USS Constitution-B. He won the Prantares Ribbon in this year’s ceremony.

WOLF: Winning a Duty Post ribbon as an ensign is quite an achievement – congratulations! I’d like to hear more about the writer behind the character – where in the world do you hail from?

SPEARS: I’m deeply honoured to have received this award after such a short tenure in the fleet. I am a Canadian, and have had the privilege to live in a few different parts of this country thanks to my service in the Royal Canadian Air Force. I’m currently residing in Northern Alberta, but grew up on the West Coast, and still consider that home.

Captain Rajel, in the presentation for your award, said that you’re not in the medical profession in real life. Was there an inspiration for this medical character? Perhaps a Star Trek character, a doctor from a medical drama, or maybe even a real life doctor?

I draw inspiration from many sources. I grew up watching and loving Star Trek: The Next Generation and always found Doctor Crusher to be an admirable example of a physician. I also watched M*A*S*H when I was younger, and found it powerful that they could mix humour into such serious situations. I try to apply some of that same humour when I write.


Join us in the fleetwide OOC chat today

Join us in the chat room for our monthly OOC chat today (Sunday, August 12) at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm London / 3am+1 Sydney (AUS). (See your timezone here.)

Click here to join the chat on Discord. It’s fun and easy, and only takes a minute to get set up if you’ve never signed up on before.

Our monthly chats are a place to meet other members of the fleet, catch up on current fleet events, share stories, and talk about Star Trek. Especially if you’ve never attended a chat before, we hope you’ll participate this month!


Promotions for July

The staff of UFOP: StarBase 118 would like to take a moment and recognize the following officers on their recent promotions! Please be sure to say congratulations if you see them around the forums!

DURONIS II EMBASSY

  • Delan Han to Lieutenant Commander
  • Gogigobo Fairhug to Lieutenant Commander
  • Daniel Cain to Lieutenant JG
  • Alexander Brodie to Lieutenant JG

Mark your calendar: Fleetwide OOC chat on Sunday, August 12th

Join us in the chat room for our monthly OOC chat on Sunday, August 12 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm London / 3am+1 Sydney (AUS).

Click here to see when the chat starts in your timezone, and add this chat to your calendar with a quick and easy link.

Our monthly chats are a place to meet other members of the fleet, catch up on current fleet events, share stories, and talk about Star Trek. Especially if you’ve never attended a chat before, we hope you’ll participate this month!


Lower Decks Interview: Dave ‘Raven’ Young, Constitution

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 Lieutenant JG Dave ‘Raven’ Young, playing a Human male science officer assigned to the USS Constitution.

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

YOUNG: I’m from a little corner of Scotland where I live with my two kids. I’m steadily weaning them into Star Trek like a parenting boss.

I’m a small business owner, namely I have my own Ice Cream Van where I tour around the local city selling ice cream cones to happy people. (More or less). It’s my own little bright yellow shuttlecraft.

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

This would be my first actually. Well, my first role play with other people. I like many others dreamed of being a Captain when I was a kid and may or may not have acted it out at my local play park 20 odd years ago. Picture the one kid sitting at the top of a slide, barking out orders to imaginary crewmen. Yeah…

SB118 trumps that by far though as now I have like minded people all over the world who actually want to respond to my Sci-Fi geekiness.

What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?

I’m playing as LT JG Raven Young, the Assistant Chief of the Science department on the USS Constitution-B.

I, like Raven thrive on exploring and learning new things so naturally he had to be a Stellar Cartographer. One of the best parts about being a Science Officer is going online and researching things. I’d be a pretty crummy Science Officer if I didn’t know a thing about anything. I’ve found myself googling interstellar nurseries, Gamma Radiation emission sources and more.

Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?

Yes actually. In many of my sims, I try to have Raven add a little bit of humour or light heartedness into the scene. I’d hope that when others read my character, they feel a little uplifted. That can only be a good thing, right?

On the other hand however, I recently brought Raven’s father aboard the Conny as my first PNPC. Whilst Raven is a rather laid back and generally easy going guy much like I am in real life, his dad Jacob Young is the opposite. A tightly strung, cynical guy that tends to rub everyone the wrong way. I enjoy writing for a character like that, particularly if I’m in a bad mood. It’s quite cathartic in a way. Like venting into him.

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

Although my greatest Sci-Fi love will always be Star Trek, I’m also a big fan of the Stargate series, particularly the earlier seasons of SG-1. I’d like to think I’ve taken a few character traits from Colonel Jack O’Neill when I designed Raven. The easy going attitude and humour being right up there.

Another inspiration for my character is actually Mr Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Whenever I watch a video with Mr Tyson in it, I instantly feel inspired. I wanted Raven to have an inspired quality to him too that gives him a reason to be out there in deep space.

Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?

The biggest piece of advice I could give is do NOT be afraid to jump in. For my first couple of months here, I simmed quietly and in the background, reacting to the situations presented to me rather than coming up with new ideas and scenarios myself. When I gained enough confidence to start telling Raven’s story as more than just a background character, I feel like everything just clicked. I knew who the character was. His motivations were clear almost all the time. I have had more fun in the past several months simming as Raven than I have had in years and I am incredibly thankful to everyone who takes part.

Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Young!

You can read more about Lieutenant JG Dave Young on the wiki.

 


Ask the Scientist: Planetary Classifications

Last mission, we visited a Class L planet. What do these classes mean?

The Federation, and Starfleet by extension, recognizes 20 distinct classes of planets. They are classed by factors such as planet age, mass, and distance from their sun, and labeled by an arbitrary alphabetic designation. Here are some of the more common classes of planets:

  • Class M – derived from the Vulcan word Minshara, these planets are among the most habitable in the galaxy. Notable examples include Earth and Vulcan
  • Class L – marginally habitable, able to support vegetation but rarely animal life
  • Class P – glaciated, habitable planets, such as Andoria
  • Class J – gas giants, like Sol VI (Saturn)
  • Class Y – also sardonically called the ‘Demon Class’, these planets are in the habitable zone of their solar systems and have comparable mass and gravity to Class M, yet are highly toxic

If you would like to learn more about Planetary Classifications, visit the wiki for more information!


The News Team is looking for creative writers

We post community news every day here on our website blog, and it plays a vital part in not only showing prospective members how active our community is, but also helping our search engine rankings and, of course, informing our community about what’s happening!

You can help us put together interesting content for our community by joining the News Team – the commitment is about one hour a month, and participating is super easy. Here’s how it works: Each month, you’ll get a list of article ideas. You can come up with your own article, if you have something you want to write about, or choose one of the suggestions.

Then, using the guidance on our wiki area, you’ll put together an article to be posted before the end of the month. You’ll add it to our WordPress site and submit it to the news queue for review by the team facilitator.

Participating on the News Team is a great way to contribute to the overall fleet, and to show your captain that you’re interested in working toward promotion.

Get started by entering your information into the form below. It’ll be sent to the team facilitator who will welcome you to the team and direct you on what to do next!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Robert Duncan McNeill on Directing Star Trek: Discovery

Best known as Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager, Robert Duncan McNeill has managed to parlay his acting career into an impressive portfolio of directing roles. In a recent interview with StarTrek.com, McNeill admitted that though he has actively pursued a chance to direct an episode of the newest Star Trek series Star Trek: Discovery, he feels that the chance will be unlikely, for a worthy reason:

“I wanted to direct Discovery. I met with their producing director. I didn’t know the show that well, but I met with him on their last hiatus to talk about season two. I also produce now. So, I hire a lot of directors. The last few years, there’s been a seismic shift in terms of the priorities toward female and diverse directors. That reality now has meant that what used to be normal, which was a lot of white guys, to be quite honest, has changed. Some shows are mostly women directing. I think Jessica Jones, last year, had all female directors. Handmaid’s Tale. A woman may direct the next Star Trek movie. Most importantly, it’s a wonderful thing that’s happening. I’m proud that on other shows I’ve produced — The Gifted, The Arrangement, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce — I’ve brought in female directors. But, to answer your question, Discovery does a limited number of episodes and a priority there is to get female and diverse directors, so there are fewer opportunities for people like me, which is a great thing. But, yeah, if the opportunity arose to direct Discovery and I fit what they needed and it fit my schedule, I’d love to do it.”

Though it would be a great asset to have another experienced Star Trek director helming an episode in season two of Star Trek: Discovery, we need to applaud the push by the producers and the network to embrace more diversity and inclusiveness both in front of and behind the camera.

TrekMovie.com recently ran an article detailing this interview, and expanded on the diverse cast of directors that Star Trek: Discovery has drawn in to work on the series. It also details a few suggestions for more diverse directors, including McNeill’s former castmate, Roxann Dawson.

It is heartening to know that Star Trek is still aspiring to attain the ideals that has graced our screens for over fifty years!


Wiki Highlight: Intelligent Lifeform Index

We first brought our wiki online in 2004 and since then have been building out a vast store of knowledge both about the In Character universe we write, but also about the Out Of Character community that we’re building. Nearly any question you have about how our group works can be answered somewhere on the wiki, as long as you know where to find it!

In this month’s wiki highlight column, we’re focusing on the Intelligent Lifeform Index. Click here to open this area on the wiki and take a look.

This is a resource that many, if not all, of us referenced when we first joined UFOP:SB118 and decided on a character to play. But have you looked recently at this often-updated and expanded list of species in the Star Trek universe? From fleshing out well-known species with small details gleaned in our own gaming universe to entire civilizations that were created solely by our members, this resource is one-stop shopping for species information!

If you are considering a new Personal NPC or tasked with playing a Mission-Specific NPC, why not flesh out your characters with the small details that bring them to life in your readers’ eyes? You might even learn something new and interesting about your own PC’s lineage…


Join us in the fleetwide OOC chat today

Join us in the chat room for our monthly OOC chat today (Sunday, June 10) at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm London / 3am+1 Sydney (AUS). (See your timezone here.)

Click here to join the chat on Discord. It’s fun and easy, and only takes a minute to get set up if you’ve never signed up on before.

Our monthly chats are a place to meet other members of the fleet, catch up on current fleet events, share stories, and talk about Star Trek. Especially if you’ve never attended a chat before, we hope you’ll participate this month!


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