Jarred Thoran

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Bring Your Friend To The Fleet Day

This year is a big year for Star Trek, with several new Star Trek shows premiering, reigniting the passion for our beloved franchise worldwide. Many of you have probably being basking in this joy with your Trek-fan friends. Perhaps you have friends who love role playing or sci-fi and would be interested in a Star Trek based RPG?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to share our amazing hobby with your friends? To devise devious plots for shore leave? To boldly go adventuring into the unknown, encountering new species or fighting old adversaries? How fantastic would it be to have the opportunity to share the sims you take great care over with your friends?

Word of mouth is one of the greatest ways of spreading the word about UFOP: StarBase 118. By sharing your love of our community YOU can inspire them and pique their curiosity on what goes on in our community.

Share your experiences with your friends. Let them know how you visited a mining community, where a member of the crew was bitten by an insect. You and your crewmates had to then capture and study one of the insects with the hope of treating the downed crewman. Or regal them with tales of your Marquis alter ego, a result of a dreamlike induced state.

You’d be surprised how infectious your enthusiasm can be!


Writers Workshop: Writing Physical Descriptions

Whether you are reading a novel or a sim, visualisation is a huge part of the experience. We allow our minds to imagine the scene we are reading, the descriptions helping to form the pictures in our head. We are fortunate to have an incredibly talented bunch of people who help create images for our characters, but what about side characters – those specific to a mission, or a background character for example? Whilst we may have an idea of how our crewmates look, we may not always know just how those around them look.

In this article, we are going to be looking at how you can improve the descriptions that you write about characters.


2020 State of the Federation Address

Each year, the Executive Council – as required by the community Constitution – pulls together a “State of the Federation Address” intended to inform the fleet about the challenges facing our community, and what we’ve accomplished in the past year.

The EC is very happy to announce the 2020 address has been completed, which you can find on our wiki.

Thank you to Lt. Cmdr. Sky Blake for spearheading the project this year!

The Executive Council is always happy to hear from our members with feedback or questions, and a thread has been opened on the forum about the State of the Federation Address for that purpose.


Get ready for Star Trek in 2020

On September 19, 2017 – 12 years after Enterprise last aired – Star Trek was back on our screens with Discovery. This time we were transported to 2255, 10 years before The Original Series was set. Since then, Star Trek has seen a resurgence in popularity and it looks like 2020 is going to be most exciting year yet!

Not only can we expect the third season of Star Trek: Discovery, but we are being treated to not one, but two more new shows!


Writers Workshop: Interviewing Your Character

During your time at the academy, you were required to provide a short biography about your character, giving a brief overview of them and their history. This time we want to take things a step further, to help you create a living, breathing character that acts like a real, genuine person. To achieve this, it is important that you know as much as possible about them.

Today we are going to ask questions about our character and answer honestly from their point of view. Think of it as interviewing your character, which is a great way to get inside their head. Feel free to use as many or as a few as you want.


Writers Workshop: Token Tags

What is token tagging?

Token tagging is a phrase that you probably have never heard of before, but have probably been taking part in without knowing it. Put simply, token tagging is when somebody is tagged in a scene, without fully engaging them. Let’s look at some examples:


How can I help find new members?

New members are the lifeblood of our community. They help to replenish the fleet and allow us to launch new ships, allowing our community to become stronger and provide exciting and new opportunities for our players. Without new members it is hard to sustain recruiting levels to replace those who go on leave or retire from the group.

Finding prospective members and bringing them to us can be a challenge, especially when there are so many other things vying for people’s attention – which is why we need you help – and with all the announcements of new Star Trek series’ what better time to start spreading the word of our community?

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?

There are a variety of tasks that anybody can do – whether you are a member of the Publicity Team or not. Here are some ideas:


Trained by the best: Jocelyn Marshall

We’re here with another interview with a member of the Academy Training Team for insight on how our training works, and as recognition for all the hard work that goes into training new members each and every week of the year!

This month’s interview is with the writer behind LtCmdr. Jocelyn Marshall playing a human female assigned to the USS Gorkon. LtCmdr. Marshall is also the most recent recipient of the Boothby Award, an annual award for trainers who go above and beyond their Academy Training Requirements. These trainers display an outstanding example of dedication to bringing new cadets to our community.

THORAN: Hello LtCmdr. Marshall! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for the folks who may not know you?

MARSHALL: Hey! I’m Em and I write for Jo Marshall, the XO of the USS Gorkon. It’s the only ship I’ve written on since graduating from the Academy myself back in 2016. I live and work in Belgium as an Ops Officer for NATO, which is a lot more boring than it sounds. I’m from the UK and so, like most fellow expats, I have to smuggle tea across the border through France. Baked beans taste strange here and fish and chips cost a fortune. I’ve been roleplaying for years, I’m often found with a book in my hand, and if I haven’t got at least one 15-page JP going on, it’s cause for concern. And I have a slight addiction to coffee, but doesn’t everyone?

How long ago did you join Academy Training Team, and what was it like getting started?

I definitely don’t have to look it up… It’s been about a year now! I joined the training team as a Lieutenant in September 2018. Getting started was the easiest bit about the whole thing! For the first two sessions you volunteer for, you’re the resident ghost. You read the sims and feedback sent in, observe how the cadets are performing, and join in with the discussions in the staff group. All that prepares you for the real test. Writing as a mock cadet is both really rewarding and challenging. I think for the first time round, I was more nervous than the cadets! Like a PNPC, you develop a character ready to take their final examination with real cadets. It’s your job to set an example of how we do things, so every sim has to be scrubbed and polished for cadets to emulate — and they will! It’s so much fun to do.

What’s been your favorite part about training so far?

My favourite bit is always seeing a cadet I’ve helped to train graduatinge into the fleet and enjoying themselves. It sounds like a textbook answer, I’m aware, but there really is nothing like it. Over this year I’ve been in classes with some amazing writers graduatingslipping into our community who are now shooting up the ranks with boundless energy and enthusiasm. It’s a privilege to be one of the first people to sim with and get to know them before they’re all wearing Admiral tricorners.

How do you approach the role of CO of a training class – what’s going through your head as you’re simming?

I try and jump in with a lot of energy and create a welcoming atmosphere for the cadets to feel comfortable in. Coming into a group knowing you’re simming alongside existing members can be quite daunting for some, and having to roleplay in a format you’re not used to can be challenging. So, from the offset, my efforts go into making sure the cadets know they’ve got time to get used to it all, can ask questions when they like, and just have FUN! It’s a week where anything can happen — create a new species, get chased by a xenomorph through the vents, cure a plague, go back or forward in time — and I’m there to ensure they’re getting the best out of training by demonstrating those creative skills. If I’ve done my job right, they’re confident in taking their first steps into the fleet.

For some technical specifics, when I’m putting a sim together for the team, I make sure I’ve read and delved into everyone’s posts, capturing those small details they’ve included. I ask questions in character to tease out creative answers and solutions, and aim to ensure everyone knows how important they are to the story we’re crafting. Absolutely none of it could be done without a great XO and mock cadets. They help bring it all to life and make the role of CO insanely easier.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever had from my CO is, “If you take an interest in someone’s character, they take an interest in yours.” Regardless of whether we’re together for a week or a year, you’ve got a character and a story, so tell me about it.

What’s your favourite memory of your time on the training team?

Oh man, that’s a question! There’s so many classic moments! I’ve given the XO the run around on a haunted ghost ship, I’ve been the XO having issues with man-eating ankle-biting tribbles, and I’ve been the CO stranded on a planet with werebears scratching at the door and a full class of eight with no where else to go, slowly going mad.

If I had to pick just one, it would be writing for my mock cadet with Lieutenant Commander Shayne as the XO, where Shayne and my mock were trapped in a station room with a spider thing that was definitely out for eating them. The scene was eerie, the real cadet loved it and really got into it. It’s now a running joke that every class I do with Shayne or Commander Thoran becomes a Lovecraft homage.

What advice would give to those who are coming up through the ranks and headed toward the Training Team?

If you’re not quite at the point where you can volunteer for the training team, you can still start to put together those skills that you’ll need. Start thinking about facilitating the plot for your fellow crew members, how do you make it interesting and push the story forward, and observe how others around you write. It’s often said that writers improve by reading, practice and feedback, so don’t be afraid to ask for input from your mentor on how you can start preparing for the training team.

If you’re in two minds now whether to volunteer, think back to how your academy training went. Remember how you felt during that first week. Did your team make you feel welcome? Did you enjoy writing with them? Did you make friends? You can do that all over again on a monthly basis. Your time, effort and dedication to the team will be absolutely invaluable and so very appreciated. It’s one of the most important teams we have in the group — bringing in new members into the fold — and if you’ve got the experience and time to do so, you won’t regret it. As a team, we work well together, we volunteer when we can, and we have a laugh. It’s always fun, it’s incredibly rewarding…

…and you can wrestle a nine-foot tribble into the path of a xenomorph maw, if you really want to.

Thank you so much for your time — we’ll let you get back to training!

You can read more about LtCmdr. Marshall on the wiki, and learn more about joining the Academy Training Team on this page.


StarBase 118, III: The Search for New Members

New members are the lifeblood of our community. They help to replenish the fleet and allow us to launch new ships, allowing our community to become stronger and provide exciting and new opportunities for our players. Without new members it is hard to sustain recruiting levels to replace those who go on leave or retire from the group.

Finding prospective members and bringing them to us can be a challenge, especially when there are so many other things vying for people’s attention – which is why we need you help – and with all the announcements of new Star Trek series’ what better time to start spreading the word of our community?

WHAT DOES THE PUBLICITY TEAM DO?

In short the Publicity Team is responsible for raising awareness of our community to the outside world with the aim of bringing in new members. There are a number of ways we do this – through social media posts, word of mouth recommendations, real world and internet events as well as online and offline advertising.

Within the team itself we share ideas on how to raise awareness of our community and put those ideas into action. Participation in the can range from finding interesting content to share on our social media channels to writing articles that we can share with the wider world on various websites. Most of the task take no more than an hour a month, with no commitment, so you can join today and step back later if you find that it does not fit your schedule.

What have you got to lose?

WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

We need all the help we can get to spread the word. If the above sounds interesting to you and you want to be a part of expanding the fleet then get in touch. You can sign up with the below link, where you will be added to the Publicity Team email list, introduced to the team and then jump straight in. If you have any questions or would like to know more, then contact the team’s facilitator Jarred Thoran.

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Starbase118 logo on a purple starry background

Claim your 2019 Awards badges!

With the Annual awards over for another year, it is now time to present the badges. This year we are delighted to announce the addition of four new badges, including a one off special edition legendary badge!

25th Anniversary Badge

25th Anniversary Badge

This legendary badge recognises members who are active during the annual Awards Ceremony on the fleet’s 25th year anniversary. To be awarded, members must be active and in good standing on the date of June 30, 2019. This is a one time only award.

Awards Ceremony Nominator

Awards Ceremony Nominator Badge
Awards Ceremony Nominator Elite Badge
Awards Ceremony Nominator Legendary Badge

The Awards Ceremony Nominator badge is presented to an individual who nominates fellow players during the annual awards ceremony. There are three levels that can be awarded:

  • Standard: A player must submit at least 1 nomination for a fellow player during an awards ceremony, in any category.
  • Elite: A player must submit at least 5 nominations for fellow players in any category.
  • Legendary: A player must submit at least 10 nominations for players on more that 2 vessels in any category.

This badge can be earned multiple times; however it is only awarded once per year. A player earning an elite or legendary badge is not eligible to receive the lower level badges in the same year. For instance, if you receive the legendary badge during the awards period, you will not be able to receive the standard or elite badges that year.

Head over to the forums now for the list of badge recipients!


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