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Getting the Best Out of Your Sims – Part 3

Don’t forget personality! Perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts about simming our individual characters is the personality that we each give to them throughout the story. One character may act radically different towards a specific situation, as opposed to another. One character may have a rather interesting quirk, whereas another might have a hobby that lends to who that character really becomes. Regardless of what you can dream up, the life that enters the characters that we create is something that this game wouldn’t be the same without.

To that end, in part 3 of Lieutenant JG Blackwood’s Guide to Better Simming, she takes us through some of the more important points when it comes to simming personality within your characters.

3) Personality

This brings me on to personality. We want to read about your character, so show us what s/he is like. There are different ways to do things. Use descriptive words, adjectives to put personality into your characters.

Example of Ensign Craig at a large table in the Mess Hall.:

Ensign Craig sat at the table drank his coffee. (Pretty bland and reveals nothing.)

Ensign Craig sat at the table sipping his piping hot coffee and stealing glances at his colleagues. (Maybe a bit nervous or shy? )

Ensign Craig sat at the table with his coffee, stealing sips from it as he talked excitedly with the others. His drink grew cold as the others grew bored and restless… yawning and tapping their fingers. (He’s so excited and focused on his monologue he doesn’t even realise people can’t get a word in edgeways, or that they want to talk about something else….)

Ensign Craig sat glowering at the table. He gulped his coffee down in such a hurry he nearly spilled it down his front. He slammed the mug back down onto the table, and pushed it away from him before folding his arms and huffing. (Could he get more grumpy?)

This reflects their reaction to events and feelings in the moment. Over the course of your sims you can establish personality by having your character react to situations consistently. A shy character will have different thoughts, actions and body language to an outgoing bubbly one. Is your character an empath or telepath? How does this affect their views on privacy and emotions? Are they a Vulcan or logical being? How would they react to characters who are very illogical or eccentric? Are they religious or spiritual? How does this affect their view of the world and situations they find themself in? The great thing about this is that all characters are different and have their own opinions, experiences, view of the world and way of doing things. How does your character react to people who are very different? For example how would a workaholic with a strong sense of duty and pride in work react to someone very work shy? Would they try to convert them to a better way of thinking, or maybe avoid or ignore them, or maybe even try to get them in trouble?

Use your characters background, experiences, senses and personality to it’s fullest. These are things not just to think about but to show us as you write your sims.

Read the guide in its entirety on the forums:

Getting the Best Out of Your Sims – Part 2

There are many reasons that a plot might go stagnant. Perhaps the players are simply finding themselves in a rut that they can’t get out of, or perhaps, the story has grown old to them. The best part of simming within the Starbase 118 fleet, however, is that we all control this outcome. If you feel that your ship’s story is growing dull, then change it! Don’t wait for someone else to do it; throw your ideas into the mix and see what happens.

In part 2 of Lieutenant JG Blackwoods overview of simming, we learn how to advance the plot so that everyone can enjoy a rich, deep storyline without the dreary predictability that comes with waiting for someone else to take up the torch. If you feel ‘stuck’, consider one of the following courses of action and breathe life into any plot.

2) Advance the Story

It is important to keep up with your tags and try to answer them in a timely fashion to keep the flow of the game running smoothly. The difference between a good sim and a great one is in taking a little extra step to carry it on a bit. This doesn’t have to be something enormous and there are different ways you can interact with the plot to achieve this. The example above showed some different routes you can take when faced with a situation. When you are getting ready to write a sim think about what situation your character is in, thinking about it in simple terms can help you think of options.

Here is another example:


Ensign Craig is in engineering. The ship is in a battle, there has been some light damage. The Chief Engineer has assigned you to a “repair crew.” What can you do? Here are some ideas to get you started.

# Perform an action:
# Go to a console and pull up a damage report to see where you are needed.
# Find a damaged system and begin repairs on it
# Use an NPC or PNPC to help you do your duties. Or make one to boss around.

# Create a problem – tag in other players/departments and get them to help fix it:
# Get injured in the line of duty, tag medical to get assistance.
# An un/important system just took damage and it will require help to fix. Notify chief engineer and begin to assess the damage – perhaps give them clues about what “might” be wrong and then hand it over for them to play with.

# Solve a problem – remember if there is more than one problem don’t feel you have to solve them all at once. There is fun to be had in sharing the problem and fixing it as a team but sometimes someone has to take the bull by the horns and get the problem dealt with so the sim can move on.
# Get a system back online.
# Find out the source of a problem and find out who, if not yourself (other player/PNPC/NPC perhaps) can fix it.
# Find a “work around” until the main root of the problem can be overcome.

# Discuss a problem/situation
# Hold a conversation reporting a new issue or update on a current one.
# Share ideas about what is causing a problem or how to fix one.
# Perhaps a less formal chat about what characters think of feel about a situation they are in.
# Discuss similar situations/problems faced and draw upon experience.
# Discuss previous background/training/interests and draw upon expertise.

# Ask a question – especially good if you are “left hanging” and totally stumped or have no tags etc.
# Ask the department chief/senior officer what they want you to do about the problem/situation.
# Ask more about the nature of the problem/situation.
# Ask something personal (but somewhat relevant).
# Ask what they (whoever) think about an idea/something you have contributed to the situation.

# Reflect – I know we have some players who are especially good at reflecting sims, and use them as little fillers. See Eerie’s posts.
# Thought bubbles and actions to show what you character thinks and feels about a situation.
# Use of flash backs. Current events reminding you of previous experience, can be revealing and fun.

It is always good to add a little reflection where appropriate to your sims. These are the little telling things that show the characters personality. Without it they may come over as bland. You can do a whole sim reflecting on a situation, these are generally short with your character making mostly observations. There may be a little action going on as well.

Read the guide in its entirety on the forums:

Forums Roundup: February 2012

We’re already one whole month into the new year! Can you believe it? It seems like time really is flying, but that’s probably just because we’re having so much fun. A big part of that fun can be seen on the Starbase 118 forums; where people from around the Fleet come together to have fun, chit chat, and show off their skills in various areas. From the ship specific forums, to welcoming new members to the Fleet, make sure that you keep your eye on the following threads for more than your average level of excitement!

The first Writing Challenge of the year is well on its way. There are no submissions yet, but we know there are plenty of keyboards out there getting a workout on this month’s topic: ‘Masks’. Learn more about the challenge for January and February, or find out how to enter here:

New officers are joining every week and the Fleet is growing. Join the welcoming committee by heading over to the welcome thread to say hello to some of our newer officers. It’s a great chance to show new members that we really are one community:

There are tons of Fleet activities that need volunteers. No matter what your talent or interest might be, there is a team or task for everyone. Check out the comprehensive list here:

Looking for something else Starbase 118 related to read? Want to post a story you’ve thought of that doesn’t exactly fit into the plot on your ship? Head on over to the Starbase 118 Lounge and share some free form writing with others from around the Fleet:

This month, we get to see Captain Jaxx and the USS Apollo off on their maiden voyage. Drop in their forum to say hello and wish them bon voyage!

Don’t miss out on the fun going on right now all over the Starbase 118 forums. Jump in, get involved, and become part of the community that really sets this organization ahead of the rest.

Well, until next month, we’ll see you around the forums!

Getting the Best Out of Your Sims – Part 1

Lieutenant JG Evanna Blackwood recently created some very nice pointers for simming. As we are always looking for ways to improve our writing and simming abilities, finding a concise resource such as what she had put together is always helpful. Her series comes in five parts, each covering a different aspect of simming within the Starbase 118 fleet. Read on to learn some things that you might not have realized already.

Presidential Hopeful Promises the Moon

What would you do if you could, quite realistically, take a trip to the moon? If the US Presidential contender, Republican Newt Gingrich gets his way, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing.

According to the GOP potential nominee, during a speech given in a city quite close to the ‘Space’ action – Cocoa – if he is elected, America will have a working moon base and new engines that would easily get us to Mars by the year 2020.

That’s only eight years away.

He claims that the space program only needs a kick in the rear to get it restarted, but is that all that America’s space program really needs? With China boosting it’s space program to the point where a Chinese station is planned for the same year, and the entirety of the American Space Transportation System officially decommissioned, it might be hard to think that such a goal would even be close to something we could accomplish.

At the same time, America once said the same thing about the giant rock that seems attached to our planet via an invisible string. Only in their day it wasn’t a man named Gingrich – but a man named Kennedy instead.

Will the bold plans of one GOP hopeful put the US back on track towards an awe inspiring, and an international path into space? Or have the American days of space glory fallen by the wayside in time for another space power to rise?

If true to his word, an America under Gingrich may begin to see much more Trek tech as the magic year approaches. With the Tricorder Xprise contest in full swing and touch screens already being developed to read DNA and other human electronic signals, how far off is the world that we all write in and create in everyday here on Starbase 118?

How long will it be before we can really touch the stars?

Photo Credits:

Ten Million Dollar XPrize Contest Kicks Off

Medical TricorderWant an extra ten million dollars in your pocket? Well, it’s up for grabs – and all you have to do is design a working tricorder.

The newest X-Prize contest has officially kicked off. While it was announced back in June of last year, and the final details won’t be available until September of this year, entrants are now able to officially register and participate in the tech race to develop a piece of technology that could change the face of modern medicine today.

It won’t be easy, and the requirements will be stiff, but the Chairman and the CEO of the X-Prize foundation still state that they will be happy to lose this ten million dollars.

Among other things, in order to win the contest and claim ten million cool ones, a functional machine must be presented that:

  • is capable of measuring key health metrics
  • weighs less than five pounds
  • is able to diagnose 15 to-be-determined diseases
  • can be used at home by the common person

Is it possible?

There was a time when people said it wasn’t possible to fly, but today, jets and various types of aircraft fill our skies. There was a time when people said man couldn’t travel to space. Just a few short steps later in the grand timeline of mankind, man not only went into space, but walked on the surface of the most inhospitable surface to ever be felt by humans. Designing and then building a tricorder, or a similar machine, is not only possible, but highly probable.

For the first time in history, man has the technologies to match his thoughts. We can send data on streams of light, live and work in a station positioned miles above the Earth, make a phone call from the middle of the ocean, transport thousands of people in steel tubes that fly through the air, and chat in real-time with people who live on the other side of the world. And more advances come daily. We already use a variety of non-invasive and even wireless scanning and diagnostic equipment throughout the medical world; combining them all might be the only real hurdle involved.

Still, only time will tell, but I’ll bet that ten million won’t be sitting around for too long.

Forums Roundup: January 2012

Welcome one and all to the year 2012! The holidays are behind us now, allowing us to return our focus to our day to day grind. Our forums are exploding with activity as new members continue to join and bolster our Fleet. This month, here are some of the things that you can get into around the Starbase 118 Forums:

Vote in the Poll of the Week and let your voice be heard. This week we are discussing our plans for the ‘coming’ apocalypse:

Join in the conversation on your ships and welcome new members or just join in one of the many ongoing conversations that will help you learn more about the people you sim with every day:

How do you sim your Duty Post? Learn how others are doing their jobs around the fleet and share your own experiences here:

Keep your eyes on the Writing Challenge forums as the last winner of 2011 is announced and the contest moves on to the 2012 year:

Help the fleet spread the news of just how great it is to sim with Starbase 118. You don’t have to be a member of the publicity team to help; check out the list of quick and simple tasks that anyone in the Fleet can help with:

And there’s always so much more! Why not take a moment today and join in one of the many Fleet wide conversations going on right now? It’s not only a great way to get to know officers from other ships, but it’s a great way to have fun too! The new year is here; let’s make it one of the best we’ve had yet.

Resistance is Futile! Join The (Image) Collective Today!

The (Image) Collective is Seeking New Members!

Part of what makes the Starbase 118 fleet so great is the fact that we have so many graphics to enrich the text based experience. From the creation of avatars for our characters to the decor around our site, the Image Team is hard at work making the experience of everyone in the fleet that much better. Now, the team is seeking new members to help make our environment even more visually appealing, and we need your help!

We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.

You don’t have to have a lot of graphics design experience to join. We welcome everyone in The Image Collective, including graphics gurus and those who just want to have a say in how the designs look. Want to learn more about how to make your graphics look even better? We can help there too! Many of our members are more than happy to share information and help new members learn more about how to make a Trill, Bajoran, or other Trek related species. No matter what your level of experience, if you are interested, you are welcome to jo

Why do you resist? Become One with The Collective!

Some of our recent projects have been to create and design the ribbons for the annual awards ceremony, to make various avatars for new ensigns coming into the fleet, and to create new banners and graphics for the forums as well as the website. Sound like something you might enjoy being a part of? Joining is easy! Just email Lt. Commander Kalianna Nicholotti at to be added to the team.

Photo Cr:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

To each and every member of the Starbase 118 Fleet,
we hope that you have a wonderful and enjoyable holiday! While some of us celebrated yesterday, and some will celebrate today, we hope that the season is bright and full of wonder and love for everyone, no matter where in the world you may be.

The Night Before Christmas – Starbase 118 Style.

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the station,
Not a creature was stirring not even a Caitian.
With day quickly fading and nighttime ahead,
The officer’s on duty were thinking of bed.

But nothing stays quiet in Starfleet for long,
And soon our computers were singing their song.
Something had shown up, causing the sensors to shout,
But the officer at the station said ‘This I do doubt’.

But the sensors insisted, the intel was real,
And more officers looked carefully, unsure of the deal.
At the word of the Captain the screen did turn on,
Showing an image that humans had long assumed gone.

Darting across the inky black sky,
Was a man in a red suit, with reindeer that could fly.
Frozen, they stared at the unbelievable sight,
Remembering the date and the holiday that night.

Then the man at the comm exclaimed from his chair,
‘I’ve got a message from Starfleet if anyone should care.
The Captain then ordered the Sound to be played,
And the voice of an Admiral was heard as he obeyed.

They all stopped to listen despite the image on the screen,
As the voice started speaking about what they had seen.
It told them of Christmases long, long ago,
Of naughty, and nice, and green trees that glow.

The voice spoke once more, saying ‘I hope you’ve been good,
Cause he only gives to those who do as they should.’
With smiles the officers finally stood down,
The explanation had eased fears and erased all the frowns.

As the next shift arrived to keep the ship well,
The Captain stopped us all to wish us Noel.
He waved and smiled as he disappeared from sight,
‘Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night.’

Image Cr.

A Call to Arms: The SB118 Publicity Team

From the desk of Lieutenant JG Evanna Blackwood

I know we have some very active crews that love this fleet as much as I do. What you all might not be aware of are some of the ways we can get the SB118 Fleet name out there and let more people know we’re here – this is what the Publicity Team is working hard to do. For those of you who want to do well and move up in the fleet here is some food for thought; according to Fleet Admiral Wolf, the Publicity Team is perhaps the most important team there is right after the training group. As I said, it brings in new players and helps us grow but the more members we can attract (and keep), the better your chances of becoming a Captain. Think of it like this, without new members we cannot open new ships and promotions slow down. I know we have the best Star Trek sim, indeed RPG that there is, so lets see if we can get the word out there.

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