Column Archives | UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

Column

Category Archives

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!


Captain’s Corner: Mei’konda, CO of the USS Montreal

Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles.

This month, we’re interviewing Commander Mei’konda, the CO of the USS Montreal, one of two new ships launched last month.

WOLF: The last time you were here on the news was June 2017 as part of our First Officer in Focus column – welcome back! How have you been since then?

MEI’KONDA: I’ve been very well. I found the role of first officer a fun one to play, especially under Rich (Captain Roshanara Rahman), who was and still is a great mentor to me.

You’ve just recently launched the USS Montreal as part of a fleet expansion due to an influx of members. How are you settling in to your new role as commanding officer? And what was it like to launch a new ship under these circumstances?

This is the first time I’ve been so involved in the launch of a new vessel, and it was pretty chaotic for the first one or two weeks because it was on short notice. But I welcomed that particular challenge, because I felt that if I could handle such a busy launch, I would be able to handle Captaincy itself. Thus far, I’m enjoying the role of commanding officer. I’ve been lucky enough to have some extremely creative writers on my crew, and I can’t wait to see where they take our stories.


Poll of the Week: Most Aesthetically Pleasing Ship by Species?

There’s something quintessentially beautiful about Federation starships. Their curves, symmetricality and proud bearing provide a sense of awe. With the exception of a few, special cases (looks furtively at the Yeager class) most of these vessels carry on a long lineage of amazing designs. With that said, Starfleet isn’t the only organization that knows how to sculpt a shapely ship. The Klingons, and their bold, imperious designs have struck fear into the hearts of enemies for centuries. Romulan warbirds dwarf their competition with sweeping wings and imposing, almost beak-like hulls. Even the Borg offer something to the obsessively compulsive- who doesn’t enjoy perfectly geometric shapes?

This week’s poll asks you which galactic civilization has the most pleasing ship aesthetic. Do you enjoy the horseshoe shaped crafts of the Ferengi? Or do the jagged, asymmetrical combat barges of the Breen catch your eye?

Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and be sure to leave a comment in the thread.


Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Esbrun Vardai, USS Montreal

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 Ensign Vesbrun Vardai, playing a Betazoid male Science Officer assigned to the USS Montreal.

GALVEN: First off, thank you for sitting down with me and answering a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

VARDAI: Thanks for inviting me. I’m Connor, from the UK. I work in software development, and have liked Star Trek since I was very young. Starbase 118 is my first foray into this format, but I do have a good deal of wider rpg experience.


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!


Lower Decks interview: Ensign Kayla Drex, USS Eagle

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 Ensign Kayla Drex playing a Human female science officer assigned to the USS Eagle.

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

DREX: I’ve lived in Virginia essentially my whole life. I’m currently in the Richmond area. I moved up here to attend Virginia Commonwealth University (go Rams!), where I studied history.

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

I’m playing a science officer. Honestly, the creation of Kayla’s character came first. Who is she and what makes her tick? What made her start ticking that way? Once I felt like I knew her, I just asked her what made most sense. IC, her father is a theoretical quantum physicist and her mother is an artist. The balance of the two grew in her an unusual lens through which she sees the world. OOC, after graduating from VCU I taught high school at a REALLY small school. They needed teachers to take on multiple subjects. I’ve always loved and had a knack for science, so I was landed with Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, World History, and US History. All that coupled with my love of creating things … yeah, I guess I’m Kayla IRL.


Poll of the Week: Best Friendship Started From Adversity?

Embracing others, despite cultural differences, is a key aspect of Star Trek’s message and enduring legacy. Though Gene Roddenberry was loathe to include any sort of strife, negativity, or conflict among crew members in his scripts, there have nonetheless been some superior character relationships that blossom from early dislike.

In The Original Series, Spock and McCoy quickly despised one another’s perspectives and mentality, but over time, despite (or because of) the many arguments between them, mutual admiration and respect starts to underpin their association. Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien are good examples of this phenomenon as well. The grizzled, business-like chief found Bashir’s outgoing and excitable nature almost intolerable, but sharing in danger and serving together for a period of time sees them grow into acquaintances, than friends, then inseparable brothers.

Which friendship started through adversity did you find most enjoyable and compelling? Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll and be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Species Closeup: Lorillian

“The Borg came and our world died in flames. Lost beyond recovery our past must make way for our future or all will have been lost.”

The Lorillians are a humanoid species who are distinguishable from humans by the vertical cleft between their brow. Approximately 15 years ago in 2381 their homeworld was destroyed by the Borg and about three-quarters of their population was lost. The survivors lived off-world in Lorillian colonies, ships or on other worlds. The two main Lorillian colonies have established their own unique self-governments since the destruction of their homeworld.

Their species have subsequently undergone massive social change with each colony developing its own culture and smaller groups integrating with other species. Over half their remaining population has abandoned their traditional beliefs and there has been a large increase in mental illness.

The Lorillians have an unusual aspect to their development in that up until the age of 4 they can only breathe methyl oxide and must be gradually weaned onto oxygen. Lorillians can also breathe methylacetylene.

As the Lorillians are a playable species, there are lots of opportunities to grow and explore the interactions of the two main colonies now that their homeworld is gone. Learn more about this species from their wiki page.


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: Security Officer You’d Want The Most?

The worst has finally happened – the alternate future seen in The Next Generation episode “Parallels” has come to pass. The Federation is no more, the Borg are swarming the Alpha Quadrant, and the only thing holding them at bay is Riker’s uncontrollable beard. Amidst this madness, you are determined to survive at any cost. But you can’t do it alone!

In this desperate hour, you need a security officer by your side that you can trust, someone who has served Starfleet faithfully. The list is long and varied, and you may use any canon security officer from any time period. With that in mind, who would you pick? The disciplined yet somewhat trigger happy Malcolm Reed? Worf, who’s hand to hand skills might be extremely useful? Maybe a Changeling might be your style – Odo would be a formidable ally. Or perhaps you’d prefer a random redshirt from The Original Series? Hey, if they’re focused on him, they’re not focused on you!

This week’s poll asks you which security officer you’d want at your side the most in an apocalypse. Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and let us know your rational in the thread.


Page 1 of 82123...Last