Trellis Vondaryan

Author Archives

Duty Post Spotlight: Security and Tactical

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Security and Tactical, with Lieutenant Jarred Thoran of the Andaris Task Force ship USS Blackwell.

To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?

Jarred Thoran: My name is Richard and I’m originally from the UK, but for the past year have been living in Germany.

What first drew you to the Security and Tactical post?

My first choice on joining was tactical. It was only when posted to the USS Blackwell I found out I’d be playing a dual role of Security and Tactical. I chose tactical initially as I’ve always had an interest in tactics and strategy, plus I’m useless with any scientific, medical or technical so it seemed the best choice for me.

What is your favorite thing about the post?

I really enjoy the variety that it brings and not being limited to one role. I can spend one mission on the bridge, engaging enemy vessels at the tactical station, then the next mission as part of the security detail for a visiting ambassador.

One great thing about security in particular, is as it is a duty post that was rarely seen in it’s full capacity on screen, it really gives you the chance to make it your own.


Duty Post Spotlight: Intelligence

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Intelligence, with Lieutenant Commander Aitas of StarBase 118 Ops.

VONDARYAN: To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?

Aitas: My name is Heather, and I’m currently living in Houston, Texas with my husband and one cat. Said cat occasionally tries to send messages via discord; if they’re supposed to mean anything I haven’t yet been able to decode them.

I’ve been roleplaying for a while now, in MMOs, on forums, as well as the occasional bit of tabletop. The Starbase is my first PBEM game, so that was a bit of an adjustment at first.

What first drew you to the intelligence post?

I usually play characters related to the intelligence field in some manner or another. Spies, agents, an information broker or two. Choosing what I wanted to play wasn’t the hard part.

When I started looking into the duty post on the wiki I did reconsider a bit, unfortunately some of the information was outdated or confusing. But I’m glad I stuck with my original intent there.


Duty Post Spotlight: Medical with LtJG Anath G’Renn

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Medicine, with Lieutenant JG Anath G’Renn of the Andaris Task Force ship USS Blackwell.

Trellis Vondaryan: To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?

Anath G’Renn: I normally just go by my first initial, J, and I am from Northeast Texas.

What first drew you to the Medical post?

I’ve always loved the sciences and was originally considering between science and medical. I generally tend to enjoy writing and reading about science, so I wanted to give the other blue shirt duty post a try and give myself a little extra challenge. On a more personal note, I have always found the medical officers on Star Trek to be some of my favorite characters in each series.


Lower Decks Interview: Lt JG Chelin Ch’Gabor, USS 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 Lt JG Chelin Ch’Gabor playing a male Andorian Science Officer assigned to the USS Constitution-B.

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

Ch’Gabor: Hello all! I’m Ammiel, and I come from the South-East Asian country of Malaysia, living around the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. I’m currently a student studying my IGCSEs. Been here all my (short) life!

Were you a Star Trek fan before joining UFOP: StarBase 118? If so, what were your favorite shows and/or movies?

Yes! While I am not the most familiar with all the series, I like TNG, as that was the series that reeled me in out of the pond into the bucket of Star Trek. Malaysia doesn’t broadcast any episodes of Star Trek whatever series, so I scout the net. Haven’t fetched the time to watch Enterprise, but it looks promising. Behind TNG would have to be DS9. Yay for a series on an installation.

My favourite movie is First Contact. The Borg+Time-travelling to the past? Yes please! I felt quite saddened at all the Enterprise crewmembers getting assimilated, lol.


Saturday reading: How scriptwriting dialogue is essential in simming

With the official release of Star Trek: Beyond in theatres and announcement of Discovery as the title of the new television show, there’s a lot of new Trek in the air. For all the initial praise the movie and show have received, they had to start somewhere. That’s where scripts come into the picture. A good script can make or break a show or movie. Good scriptwriting has a lot in common with good simming. That’s why this post from the BBC’s series on scriptwriting essentials, focusing on dialogue, is just as important for us as for scriptwriters.

Indeed, dialogue is a common feature of both formats. Who doesn’t have a favorite line from a character, or love the tone or inflection of a character? Dialogue is an essential aspect to creating a good character, whether for a movie or for your own sim. Do you want your character to speak in clear, perfect and precise English phrases every time they talk? Do they have a particularly Vulcan style of logical rhetoric? Maybe they don’t use contractions, like Data in The Next Generation.

However you portray your character in your sims, remember, “Great characters have an identifiable voice.” Can you imagine if Spock had used long, rambling sentences? Or if Sisko didn’t refer to Dax as “Old Man”? How different would their characters be? Their dialogue is an intrinsic part of their character.

The same principle applies in your simming. Your character interacts with others through their dialogue. What they say is as important as what they do, if not more so. Writing consistent dialogue for your character helps bring them to life for you and the rest of the fleet. If your character is normally taciturn and quiet, it will be out of character if they suddenly give a long speech. Remember that when you’re responding to tags or leaving some of your own. Each character in the fleet has their own, unique voice. Use your character’s dialogue, not just your action prompts and thoughts, to bring out their voice.

Head over to the Writing Improvement forum to talk with other players about how you write dialogue.


Duty Post Spotlight: Security

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this new feature, we highlight different players who are in the same position to show how they approach their post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Security.

To start, tell us a little about the writers behind the characters — what are your names and where do you hail from?

Sinda Essen: In real life I’m Chris, from Sheffield in South Yorkshire, UK.

Marcus Dickens: In real life my name is Sergio and I write from the city of Barcelona located in the north east of Spain.


Duty Post Spotlight: Science (Part 2)

This is the second in a two-part article interviewing members of the Science duty post. You can see part one here.

We pick up where we left off, with LtCmdr. Trellis Vondaryan of StarBase 118 Ops interviewing John Valdivia (Chief Science Officer, USS Darwin-A), Merrick R’Ven (Science & Cybernetics Officer, USS Darwin-A), and Ayiana Sevo (Chief Science Officer, USS Gorkon).

Trellis Vondaryan: Any interesting items, species or phenomena that you have discovered?

John Valdivia: For my personal interests (as in real life personal), the most interesting object would be a Dyson Sphere. And during his career, Valdivia has found two! And they are amazing objects in that they have nothing to do with each other. Each Dyson sphere gives you a new world to explore. Actually, something several million times the size of a world. And it’s like discovering a new race. You can take it on a mission, or extend the exploration for several missions, or years. Other amazing things I remember dearly were the Reman Vampires, or the Mini Air Ones, a group of nanobots that were the Star Trek version of an old Catalan legend (the Minairons, hence the name).

Ayiana Sevo: The episodes and sims I remember the most are ones that affect Ayiana in some way. The first mission on the Gorkon, A Sinking Ship, involved us rescuing a Starfleet ship. On board, the crew had been driven insane by escaped parasites. They had set traps all over the ship, severely hindering our ability to save them. At one point, Ayiana found herself and her group, including Captain Reynolds, trapped in a jefferies tube filling with water. She had to use her exceptional swimming skills (which I made up right there) to save the day. Other times, I have thought up fun, scientific ways to turn the tide in a conflict. In the same episode, I came up with a way to nullify phaser discharges using her tricorder.

The thing that fascinates me the most is Quantum Slipstream. Ever since VOY introduced it, I have been enamoured by the concept. It was explored even further in Andromeda (another great sci-fi show). It is the reason why I made Ayiana an expert in it. One of the last missions of the Victory had her doing a shakedown cruise after a major refit. Ayiana was glued to the computer, analyzing every single detail of the new QSD. Speaking of that mission, it saw her engage Tholians, a very interesting race.


Duty Post Spotlight: Science (Part 1)

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this new feature, we highlight different players who are in the same position to show how they approach their post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we focus on Science Officers around the fleet.

Trellis Vondaryan: To start, tell us a little about the writers behind the characters — what are your names and where do you hail from?

John Valdivia: I’m Eric, and I am from Barcelona. My character is John Valdivia, Chief Science Officer aboard the USS Darwin-A. Valdivia is a mathematician, and so am I. However, my Real Life character is not a Starfleet officer, but a future high school professor.

When I was little, a public TV here passed sci-fi shows at dinner time, and that’s how I started, first with TNG, but then Stargate, Babylon 5, Farscape, Voyager… On the other hand, I have been into tabletop roleplaying for years (started with D&D, but I would play possibly any game). My playing mates, however, were not that much into Star Trek, so I did not manage to get any Star Trek roleplaying done, decided to look on my own… and you know how that ends.

Ayiana Sevo: My name is Aaron. I’m from California, in a small town just south of Yosemite National Park. My main character is Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo, Chief Science Officer of the USS Gorkon. She specializes in Quantum Mechanics, Subspace Mechanics and dabbles in Stellar Cartography. We both have a love of science, but my skill ends at math. It hurts my brain.

Star Trek has always been a part of my life. I can’t remember when I was first introduced to it; it was always just “there.” I grew up watching TNG, then later DS9 and VOY. I love pretty much anything sci-fi, from Farscape, Stargate, to Babylon 5.

Merrick R’Ven: My name is Preston and my primary character is Merrick R’Ven, Science & Cybernetics Officer on the USS Darwin-A.

I live in several places along the east coast of the USA, but at the moment I live South Carolina. I started roleplaying in general in middle school in the mid 80’s. Starting off with Dungeons & Dragons (D&D, AD&D, AD&D 2Ed), and progressing into Villains and Vigilanties, Star Frontiers, DC Heroes, Marvel and even a home spun version of Transformers. (Yup the friends I had liked to roleplay!). From 2000-2004 I enjoyed the MUSH/MUX sites which allows you to roleplay with other in real time. I played on Transformer sites, most of which are gone now unfortunately.

However my love for Star Trek goes back to 1979 when I saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture. At that point I was hooked and went back to watch all the other episodes and then later on onto TNG and beyond. I have played at one other Star Trek RPG site before coming here, but I didn’t stay there long. This place is just awesome!


Starbase118 logo on a purple starry background

New and changed awards for 2016

With the annual Awards Ceremony nominations now open (until Sunday June 12 at 11:59pm Pacific Time), it’s time to start thinking about what awards you should nominate your fellow crew members for!

There are numerous new and modified awards for this year’s ceremony. Check out all the updates below:

New Awards in 2016

  • Quark’s Bar (Special Award): Awarded to members who are regularly active on the forums and have been supportive and involved in conversations enhancing the overall forum experience.
  • Luminary Award (Special Award): Given to members holding the rank of ensign, lieutenant junior grade, or lieutenant. For those who show great promise in their future endeavours in UFOP: Starbase 118 RPG. This award is similar to the Rising Star award, which has been modified (see below).
  • Laudean Commendation (Ship Award): Awarded for achievements in exploration with new lifeforms. The recipient will have shown great creativity in many facets of species creation or expansion, including physiological, psychological, cultural, social, and more, and their creativity will inspire their fellow simmers. The Laudean Commendation can cover many aspects of species development, but should primarily be based in IC simming.
  • Q Award­ (Ship Award): Awarded for continually surprising their crew with unexpected, devious plot twists throughout the year. Note, this is now a Ship Award which replaces the Special Kalendra Award, which has been retired this year.
  • Khan Award (Ship Award): Awarded to a simmer who thoughtfully develops a three-dimensional villain over the course of a mission or more.
  • T’Pau Cluster of Distinction (Staff Award): The Shuvalis Diamond of Recognition (Staff Award) is being separated into two awards recognizing the Publicity and Training Teams, with the Shuvalis Diamond now awarded for long-term achievement in leading the Publicity Team while the T’Pau Cluster will be awarded for long-term achievement in leading the Training Team.

Modified Awards

These awards have received slight changes to their wording or recipient.

  • The Nebula Bar (Ship Award): Changed to, “Awarded to a simmer who has shown great imagination when creating or expanding upon planets, stars, stellar phenomena, and other physical environments and settings, such that these settings create a convincing, descriptive, realistic environment that inspires other simmers or enhances the flow of a given plot.”
  • Rising Star Award (Special Award): Now for members of lieutenant commander rank or higher who show great promise in many facets of their participation in the group, and to whom we look to as a future leader. For those of lower rank, refer to the Luminary Award (see above).
  • Sheathed Sword (Ship Award): Changed to, “Presented to those to decide to inflict mental and/or physical trauma on their character, and then dive into the resulting emotions and choices in a realistic manner.”

You can find the complete list of awards in the Hall of Honor on the wiki.


Here’s what’s happened in our Fleetwide Plot Arc for 2016

The threads are weaving throughout the fleet. Each ship has dealt with a seemingly unrelated event that will, at some point, tie together as part of the Fleetwide Plot Arc. To recap so far, here are some of the highlights from each ship.


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