A pink horizon behind the Potemkin during an atmospheric crews

About Simming

Star Trek is an adventure. Worlds are created and destroyed. Heroes rise and fall, only to rise again. Peace yields to war, chaos finds order, and the boundaries of our knowledge are ever-changing. Star Trek is ideal for role-playing.

Over the years, we have perfected our simming methods to best suit a Star Trek format, both in the chatroom and in our many written logs. The Potemkin is a live-action sim, but there is an important written element not implied by that phrase. For many, the weekly opportunity to read and write Star Trek-based stories about life aboardship is just as important as the hour spent with fellow crewmates in our chatroom.

Whether you prefer writing or role-playing, the Potemkin has something for you.


Table of Contents

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Characterization

The first and quite possibly most important step in joining a sim is the establishment of the unique character you will portray. Your initial design for this character can be as simple as a name and a race, or a fully developed person with likes, dislikes, family, character traits, and a myriad of other carefully-crafted traits. It is up to you to decide how you wish to initially define your new character. We can promise you, though, that no matter how simple or complex a character is, he or she will begin to grow from the very first sim. We do have a few guidelines and recommendations about creating a character for simming:

An important part of the characterization process is the character biography, or "bio" for short. A bio should at least include information on the character's name, species, age, gender, rank, service record, and personality. All new crewmembers are given a user name and password to allow them to log in to the Potemkin website and place this information online.


Simming

The primary focus of the Potemkin has always been the hour each week when the crew comes together to play off of one another at the sim. Each sim has a unique storyline designed for the crew's enjoyment. The background of the plot will generally be available a day before the sim in a mission briefing or teaser log e-mailed to the crew. If not, a briefing will be presented at the beginning of the sim.

When simming, we use certain symbols to represent various events and actions. These symbols, as well as common variations, are listed below.

Be sure to arrive for the sim a few minutes early to allow the sim to start on time. When the pre-sim briefing begins, either the captain or first officer will announce, "ATTENTION ON DECK." After this, each member of the crew replies, "::AA::," which means "at attention." In order to make things go quickly during the briefing, it is asked that comments be kept at a minimum and all comments be placed inside of less-than and greater-than symbols as explained above for OOC text.

Once the mission has been explained, the captain or first officer will announce, "BEGIN SIM." Once this has occurred, everyone's character is at his or her post, or at a location specified in the briefing.

During a sim, the use of red, bold, or ALL CAPITALIZED text is reserved for the captain and first officer. Please do not use any of these text styles during the sim.

The sim may be paused momentarily and continued, but generally, once "PAUSE SIM" has been called by the captain or first officer, the sim is over. Each crewmember replies, "::paused::" and then "ATTENTION ON DECK" is called once more. Promotions and post-sim comments are handled here. Once they are complete, "DISMISSED" is announced and the crew departs.


Logs

Between sims, many crewmembers write logs and e-mail them to the crew. Our definition of a "log" is broad, and one person's logs may be written in a completely different format than that of another. Generally, a log is either done in the style of the shows, simply describing the events by having the person speak, or done in the style of fan fiction writing, as though the events are a story.

There are three classifications for logs: personal logs, duty logs, and joint logs. They are explained below.

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing logs out of courtesy to the entire crew.

First, if you are going to include someone else's character in one of your logs, ask that person for permission first. You shouldn't make any major character developments relating to a character other than your own unless you have express permission.

Second, please don't make any major alterations to the current plotline or the ship's state in your logs without discussing it with the captain or first officer. Sometimes those changes can derail a plot or affect a story arc.

Logs are used as a criteria for promotions and commendations, but they're also simply fun to write. It is suggested that you write one duty log and personal log per week. In practice, numbers vary, but the optimal weekly number to increase your chances of a promotion is at least two.

For examples of logs, you can visit the Featured Logs section on the Potemkin website, or browse our forums. Links to both can be found on the sidebar to your right.


Promotions

Promotions are some of the events that the crew anticipates most. They are earned, and although the requirements for promotions vary from ship to ship, promotion requirements will never be excessive or unreasonable. Generally, the requirements for the promotion of an ensign will be four weeks of attendance (consecutive) and two logs per week. The requirements increase as you move up in the ranks, and are, of course, at the captain's discretion.

The following is a list of the ranks used aboard the Potemkin, in descending order from captain to ensign. Included is a list of abbreviations for each rank. If possible, simmers should create an AOL or AIM screen name for their character beginning with an abbreviation for their rank. (e.g. EnsThompson)


Conclusion

Simming is an extremely exciting and creative activity that will allow you to explore new worlds and to truly make a difference. The Potemkin prides itself on offering a nurturing environment for new simmers, giving them the opportunity to expand and develop their simming abilities and their characters as they become familiar with the format and the premise of the sim.

The information above covers all of the basic aspects of a sim. If anything comes up that is not explained here, don't hesitate to contact your department head, the first officer, or the captain and ask questions!

Welcome aboard!