Today we’re talking with Jon, who you may know as Captain Nugra formerly of the USS Victory, now playing the character Tribune Shiarrael aboard the USS Columbia.
With his new role on the Columbia, and his position as Captains Council Magistrate, we have lots to learn about his history in the group and what he looks forward to. Let’s get started!
FIORR: You are a member since 2003 no doubt you have seen a lot happen over the years. Could you tell us about one of your greatest moments in the fleet so far?
That is not an easy question to answer. I have seem a lot of great things in my time and I have enjoyed every moment of it. If I had to pick one, I would say the greatest moment in my time here in the fleet was when I was given the opportunity by the Executive Council to assume command of the USS Victory.
The USS Victory was the first ship that I ever served on. I had taken a hiatus in simming between 2006 to 2012 because of real life and when I returned I found that she was still around. Since then, I worked towards becoming a Captain and the day that they gave me the keys to her was the most important moment in my career.
FIORR: After 12 years of writing I can imagine at times you have to make a few moves to keep things fresh. How do you avoid simming something you already did a few years ago? In other words what keeps you inspired?
It is more like six years of simming total due to the six year hiatus, but the way that I avoid simming something I already have is by sitting down and studying my character. To me, characters are much like us, we go through life experiencing things and though some might be things we have done before, it is never the same way. I try to show that same thing with Nugra.
I always try to look at him and think, “What life experiences can he experience” or “what are the consequences of some of his life decisions?”
FIORR: In the past year you made a new character. While we all do that from time to time you came up with something special. The Romulan Shiarrael Ei-Ihhliae she is quite different from Captain Nugra. Why did you make the change?
I made the change because of where Nugra was in his life. His past has been haunting him and it was coming to the point that he was either going to collapse in on himself or snap. When my RL situation changed to the point I could no longer command the USS Victory, I took this opportunity to have Nugra step aside and recover from all the things he had been through. He needed the rest.
Shiarrael is very different from Nugra as she has been his nemesis, my friends at the Duronis II Embassy who simmed with me when I was stationed there would remember her as T’Ana, the woman who defected from the Romulan Empire. She was such a strong and fascinating character, I could not resist playing her full time.
FIORR: Besides your important role as a writer you are also the Magistrate of the Captains Council, can you tell those not in the Council what that role is all about?
The best way that I can explain it is that I am the mediator for the captains on the Council. As you may know the Captain’s Council works and discusses things that affect our world in character, like new awards, special approvals, etc.
As Magistrate, my job is to make sure that votes are counted properly, enough conversation on the subject has been made, and to make sure that things are on schedule. It is more of a guiding position where I make sure that we come to a resolution on a subject as the Captain’s Council discusses everything that comes to us in great detail.
FIORR: As an experienced captain you no doubt know how much comes with the job. Could you give us a rough estimate about how much time you need to invest in leading a group?
More than you would think. A ship goes through phases where it runs smoothly or it hits rough points. Dependent on what stage you are and how much your crew has integrated, will determine the amount of time it takes to run it. When I was in command of the USS Victory, on good weeks, I just needed three or four hours a day to keep up on the IC, OOC, and Captain’s Council items, on rough weeks (when we’re low on crewmembers or that something has happened in OOC), it could much more just to keep on top of it all.
For anyone considering a role in command, I not only applaud you, but want to warn you that there is much more than just simming when it comes to managing a ship. It can be hard at times, but I would never trade that opportunity for anything!
FIORR: It’s time for a final question. No doubt many of our writers dream of a career like yours. What you advise all the new people thinking about that kind of career?
Love your character and love what you do. The only reason that Nugra has stayed around as long as he has and I have is that I love UFOP: StarBase 118 RPG and my character. I have experience many good crews, from the original Victory under Captain Jordan Hurne, to my new, great and fearless leader Commander Brek of the USS Columbia. You need to love what you do, treat your character with respect, and love what you write!
FIORR: Thank you very much for sharing some of your time with us and best of luck in what we hope will be a long career at StarBase 118!