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Introducing a New Species: A How-to Guide

You’ve decided that you’d like to create and contribute a new alien species to our suite of both canon and novel species available for play in StarBase 118 sims. What is the process for submitting this species for approval and how do you go about it?

Initial Considerations
The first step is to consider what you want achieve with this new species that cannot be achieved with any canon species. What new opportunities will they present and how will they enrich our storylines as a whole? Look through the Intelligent Lifeform Index at all the available species and check that there isn’t already a species available that will allow you to fulfill your goals. There are a large number of underdeveloped species which would benefit from player input!

Once you’ve decided that no species currently exists that will fulfill your goals, your next step is to put together a species proposal.

Species Proposal
This is submitted to your Commanding Officer. It is your case for introducing a new species, and should contain the following information:

  • A summary of your new species suitable for the Wiki. (For examples see the Intelligent Lifeform Index). This should include any special abilities beyond the (Human) norm and any unusual physical and cultural traits.
  • A Character Bio for your proposed PC
  • An explanation of what subjects, areas or issues you are hoping to explore, with reference to the following:
    • Are there any similar species already in the ILI?
    • What is it about this new species that you particularly want to play and explore?
    • Can you play and/or explore those themes with an existing species?.

Your Commanding Officer will then consider your proposal.

90-Day Trail and Final Assessment
If the New Species Proposal is approved, you will be able to create your new species character and then begin a 90 day trial during which your species concept is road-tested through your simming of that character. This is your opportunity to make the character and species shine and demonstrate how they provide an angle of play that is not otherwise available.

Your Commanding Officer will observe closely as your new species is played, and at the end of the 90 day trial period they will submit a report to the Captain’s Council, who will then discuss the new species concept and decide whether it will be approved for play and, if so, what classification it will be.


Lomales: a hitch in Federation-Laudean Relations?

Lokesh City, Lokesh Island, Til’ahn – Could the treatment of Lomales prove a stumbling block on the road to Federation Membership?

Til’han – or Duronis II as it is known to non-Laudeans – is home to one of the Federation’s most intriguing neighbours. Outwardly similar to many humanoid species, the Laudean peoples possess some rare features: their fielding ability which allows them to detect energy fields, and their three-gendered mode of reproduction. Unfortunately the latter may prove problematical should the Laudeans ever choose to seek Federation membership.

It is not the nature of the Laudeans’ reproduction that is the sticking point, rather their treatment of their third gender, the Lomale. Comprising only 3% of the population, the Lomale is necessary for a couple to reproduce, and where male and female Laudeans are monogamous, Lomales are expected to be promiscuous and move from couple to couple. During the invasion of Duronis II by the Romulans, Lomales were kidnapped and their movements controlled by the invaders, severely reducing the native populations, a setback from which the Laudean people had not yet fully recovered. However, once free of the Romulans, the covens have largely taken over control of the Lomales’ activities, leaving this reporter to ask how much has truly changed?


Vulcans: New insight into an old question about Pon Farr

School of Biosciences, Vulcanis University, Vulcan – Controversial research reveals new answers to old questions.

It’s one of those subjects you just don’t talk about at the dinner table; declining Andorian population, Terran dominance of Federation politics, and Pon Farr in Vulcans.

The seven year itch is a known biological peculiarity of our otherwise extremely logical Vulcan brethren, and their reluctance to discuss the subject seems to derive from a collective cultural embarrassment. For much of Federation history information has been sparse and grudgingly granted, and a large part of this particular biological cycle still remains shrouded in mystery.

Since incidents in the early days of Starfleet, it has been known that Pon Farr is an aspect of ever mature Vulcan’s male’s life. But the question with a far less certain answer is: do Vulcan woman undergo Pon Farr? The famous Vulcan Science Academy apparently deemed research on the subject beneath their notice, and it’s only now that their home-grown competitors on the other side of the planet at Vulcanis University are starting to ask questions that others dare not, and shed light on old mysteries.

Professor Saleris of the Vulcanis University’s School of Biosciences has been leading the research, and agreed to talk to us. We asked her why no one had shown interest in performing this research previously.

“It is perhaps due to a combination of factors,” she told us.


Protesters Asking a Hybrid Question

SAN FRANCISCO, EARTH – Protests cause disruption outside Starfleet Headquarters.

Making recent news, a group of protestors who have previously demonstrated several times outside a busy fertility clinic in San Francisco have now switched their focus to Starfleet Academy. What could these two centres have in common that the people from the Species Protection League find so objectionable? The answer is hybrids.

The group made minor headlines some years ago following a series of increasingly disruptive protests in several key Federation locations, objecting to the right of inter-species marriage. After being taken to court over slanderous claims regarding several mixed-species couples, the group largely disappeared off the sensor map. Now they’re back, and this time they have taken exception not with inter-species unions, but with their offspring.

‘Hybrid children are unnatural.’ Their Holonet site claims. ‘Most cannot be conceived without medical intervention, and they require further medical aid themselves in order to procreate, if they are not outright sterile. Children of outcest (sic) have many medical problems and create a huge and unfair burden on the Federation health system.’

In an attempt to gain another viewpoint onto the group’s claims we spoke with Doctor Michael Davis, head of the Frisco Bay Fertility Clinic, previous target of the group’s protests. We asked him whether there was any basis to their claims.

“That’s a complex question,” Dr Davis told us, “because they make a lot of claims. Is it harder for a couple of different species to conceive? Yes it is. The less similar two species are, the harder it is for them to interbreed, and in extreme cases, such as Andorians or Bolians, with pretty much anyone else it’s almost impossible. Terrans and Betazoids on the other hand might almost be the same species. It all comes down to the relative extent of the genetic differences.”

“Do the resulting children, of mixed-species heritage, have a harder time conceiving, themselves? Sometimes. It depends on their heritage, and it depends on the heritage of the person they’re trying to conceive with. And it varies from person to person. And yes, some of them are sterile. But you know what? So are quite a lot of single-species people. I’ve treated far more people of single-species heritage for infertility than I’ve every treated hybrids. The majority of our patients here at the Clinic are couples of the same species, who are having difficulty trying to conceive. Regardless we treat every couple, whether of single or mixed heritage, with the same level of care and respect.”

What about the claim that hybrid children have medical problems?

“You’d be better off asking a Paediatrician, but yes, there is evidence that there is a higher rate of physical and metabolic problems in people of mixed-species heritage, particularly in the second generation, due to genetic reorganisation. However, the claim that they’re a burden on the medical system is absolute rubbish. Do you know why? Because hybrids make up a tiny fraction of the Federation’s population; there just aren’t that many of them out there. That’s the important point here, these ‘protesters’ are deliberately targeting a very small minority group. And the reason that bunch of bigoted loonies are protesting at Starfleet is because that’s where an awful lot of them are.”

“Given Starfleet’s strict intake requirements, that’s got to tell you something about hybrid vigour.”

An enquiry to Starfleet Academy’s intake department yielded a standardised response.

“Starfleet selects its officer cadets on academic merit. No regard is given to the age, sex, sexual orientation, spiritual inclination or species of the applicant.”

We contacted the offices of Professor Ramsey Bakewell, galaxy-renowned Xenosociologist and expert on inter-species relations for comment, and were able to arrange a subspace conversation with the Professor despite him attending a busy conference.

“The problem with the situation, as with many social situations, is that everybody has an opinion, and very few of them are actually entitled to them. That’s the issue with this protest group, they need to shut up.” We were told.

“People ask me what do I think about inter-species relationships, and all sorts of similar, daft questions. Well I’ll tell you. I have a friend who’s a jeweller. Someone once asked him what he thought about this, and he said he thinks the same as he does about inter-racial, inter-religious and same-sex unions. He said ‘Every couple needs two engagement rings, two wedding rings and two eternity rings; beyond that it’s none of my business’. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Unless of course it’s a polyamorous union; then obviously they’re going to need more rings.


Character Creation – Part 1: The Basics

Everyone wants to create interesting, fun and memorable PCs, and there is plenty of advice available online on how to do just that. What makes this guide a little different is that it was created specifically with Star Trek RPGs in mind. Being a very special and distinct genre with a large amount of canon material to draw from, they require a slightly different approach to more free-form games.