Special thanks to Captain Kellin Reynolds of the USS Eisenhower for these rules.
For your enjoyment the following charter has been initiated to ensure that every writer of this simulation is treated in a fair and equal manner, while having the opportunity to enjoy their time spent participating in this online role-playing game (RPG). It is encouraged that all current and prospective simulation writers become familiar with these protocols. Remember, this writing community is a place to have fun and enjoy the universe of Star Trek, let us please make sure that we are able to enjoy ourselves by adhering to the following guidelines.
If a simulation writer is encountering a conflict of some kind, their first point of contact should be the duty stations immediate Executive Officer (XO). If a viable solution to the presented concern(s) cannot be reached through the deliberation/mediation of the Executive Officer, the writer may proceed to the Commanding Officer (CO), who will have been notified of the situation via the Executive Officer. The situation will be resolved by the Commanding Officer, please note that all decisions made by the Commanding Officer are final and will not warrant further discussion.
The current out-of-character (OOC) Chain of Command (CoC) is as follows:
(1.) Second Officer (2XO): Lt. Commander Krogan Xerax
(2.) Executive Officer (XO): Commander William Crawford
(3.) Commanding Officer (CO): Vice Admiral Kellin Reynolds
Very few concerns should ever need to proceed above the Executive Officer, and every attempt should be made to arrive at a positive and beneficial solution of some kind.
**Please note that the Second Officer is the Executive Officer in training. Under normal circumstances, their duties out-of-character (OOC) are little more than observational. However, there may be times when a third vote is required to finalize a decision; because of this, the Second Officer remains an active participant of the Command Staff. Additionally, they could be asked to step up to the role of Acting Executive Officer when necessary.
Dependent upon the quality of the applicants submission, the Commanding Officer reserves the right to enroll the applicant in the Horizon Fleet Academy. This is a non-negotiable stipulation of becoming a part of the simming community. Proceeding through the Academy will help to better reinforce the fundamental principles, etiquette and guidelines for a person wishing to participate in an online role-playing game. Once the applicant has been enrolled, they'll work with a member Instructor from the Academy in establishing and developing the above attributes. Throughout their time in the Academy, the applicant may still contribute to the active storyline for the current mission; however, they'll retain the rank of Cadet Senior Class and each submission will need to be approved by the Commanding Officer. Once the applicant has completed the Academy with an acceptable approval rating by the Academy Commandant, they'll be granted the rank of Ensign and instated in the position they designated on the original application or a grade lower for a probationary period of at least one full mission.
Each writer of this simulation has the opportunity to be nominated for a promotion and/or commendation in regards to current position and/or rank. These nominations are deliberated and decided upon by the duty station's Commanding Officer. Viable reasons for a character to receive a promotion may include constant and detailed posting, continued active participation within the current mission, continued plot and character development, continued active participation outside of the mission, simulation recruitment, active contributor to the simulation, its writers and resources, etc.
This simulation and its Command Staff believe that rank is a privilege and benefit that must be earned in time and with constant, consistent and active participation within the simulation (in-character and out-of-character). Please understand that promotions will not always be awarded at the end of each mission. Rank should be something that is worked into the development of your character.
A character that holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander or above is considered a senior writer of the simulation.
All writers should want to be active simmers. The following is a general idea to keep in mind when anticipating how often to post:
As a member of the Command Staff or a member of the Senior Staff, one is asked to actively post a minimum of one - two (1-2) mission posts per week and a personal log twice (2x) a month. As a member of the Junior Staff, Warrant Personnel or Enlisted Personnel one is asked to actively post a minimum of one (1) mission post per week, however two (2) per week is highly encouraged and one (1) personal log a month.
Please keep in mind that there are very active participants in this simulation who like to see a mission proceed onward. If one is waiting an excessive amount of time for a reply, then the mission cannot proceed with further development. It is because of this reasoning that active posting must occur. Active posting will allow all writers to continue to have an enjoyable time within the simulation and as active participants. Please note that if your character is tagged in a post, you are asked to please respond to that tag within a forty-eight (48) hour time period. If you are unable to do so, the plot will proceed past that tag. When you are able to respond, that post will be considered a back post.
Writers are encouraged to post as frequently as possible; there is no set maximum amount of posts that one can write.
Sometimes it is difficult to know what is considered to be appropriate posting etiquette. At times, we often forget that we are a conglomerate of writers from various role-playing game backgrounds that often use different ethics in posting. This section while detail what is considered appropriate posting etiquette for our simming community.
(1.) Proper Spelling and Grammar: It is believed to be understandable that none of us are current or prospective literary scholars, hoping upon hopes to be published and made famous by our manipulation of the written word. For some of us, the English language is secondary to what we normally speak. However, it is also believed and should be understood by each prospective and current writer within this community, that proper spelling and grammar are to be used whenever possible (which should be always). The misuse of a comma or semicolon every once in a while, does not warrant an infraction of any kind. However consistent and incessant mistakes that are not corrected due to an inherent form of laziness will not be tolerated. Almost every computer now comes with a word processing program installed; whether this program is the Microsoft Word suite, Word Perfect suite or some other program is completely dependent upon the actual computer and the pre-installed operating system. The best tip of the trade is to type your post in a word document prior to its final submission. Almost 90% of the time, the word processor's built in spellchecker will identify incorrect items and with a quick click of the mouse, you will have each corrected in no time at all. The same can be said for grammar mistakes, although they are a bit more difficult to identify in a word processor, the built-in grammar check will identify those that require immediate attention. If, for some reason you do not have a word processing program, web clients such as Firefox does have a built in spell check add-on that one can utilize. As a general rule of thumb, after running your piece through a word processor, re-read it out loud one last time ... doing so will actually help to identify areas of the piece that could use a bit of attention and/or development.
(2.) Writing for another Character: Let us just quell this topic right from the start. Under no circumstances are you, as a writer of this simming community, to write for another community member Primary Character (PC) or NON Primary Character (NPC). This includes writing minor actions, basic verbal exchanges, etc. The only exception to this rule is when you have obtained written authorization from the appropriate parties to do so. Under every circumstance, the Game Manager and subsequent party members are able to over-rule such agreements, no matter the circumstance(s).
The Simm Management System incorporates a wonderful posting tool called "Write a Joint Post". Writing a joint post is, essentially, including your character and another writers character in the same plot. You come together via the website and compose a post with one another, playing off of the other writers written dialogue and actions for the character involved in the post. This will, ultimately, allow each interested party to write for themselves. Writing a joint post can take as long or as short as the included writers desire. Which brings us to our next point ...
(3.) Contributing to a Joint Post: Nathan Foster from Bravo Fleet's Relay Station Bravo defines a joint post as the following:
"A collaboration of posts between two or more people put into one big post, used both because it engenders more efficient and effective character development, and also because it eliminates two-line, back and forth posting between a few characters."
As it states from above, writing a joint post is a collaborative effort between two or more writers. With this collaboration comes a certain etiquette that must be adhered to.
(A.) When writing a joint post with another writer, please do so in a considerate manner. Each writer is encouraged to take as much time to respond to another writers reply request as is deemed necessary (when in a joint post). I encourage each writer to remain patient when waiting for a response; as many of us have real life obligations outside of the Star Trek simming-verse, it is only natural that it may take a bit longer to reply to a joint post reply request. However, as a joint post is a work in progress until its final submission, the standard "twenty-four hour" reply need not apply.
(B.) A joint post may not be posted without the final tag of all character's involved. Posting prematurely can cause a bit of unease among the other writers included in the joint post. Before you submit a joint post, it is best to ask each active participant if they have anything more to add. If they do not, then it is safe to finalize and submit the joint post.
(4.) Active Communication: The final point that every writer should keep in the back of their mind is that open and active communication with their fellow writers is essential. Stay up-to-date with the current events of your fellow writers, remember to ask questions, submit concerns and express your comments if you are ever unsure of anything related to this simming environment. But above all, always remember to say hello and remain engaged.
The Command Staff completely understands that real life obligations take precedence over the simulation. This is, after all, just a game. We want all writers to have fun and enjoy their time spent here.
If, for any reason, a writer cannot post under the indicated guidelines specified above, then they should notify the simulations Executive Officer and Commanding Officer as soon as possible. With this notification, their character will be placed under a Leave of Absence (LOA), the duty station will be notified and posting will continue around that character.
Please be specific regarding what type of absence you require as there are two variations: Leave of Absence (LOA): typically one to two (1-2) weeks away from the simulation, and an Extended-Leave of Absence (E-LOA): typically two (2) or more weeks away from the simulation. A form is available to all simulation writers through the Control Panel (simply click the "Request Status Change").
Do not abuse the LOA system to get out of posting. This is not allowed and will not be tolerated.
If a writer has not posted under the indicated guidelines specified from above, they will be given a written warning and issued a strike notice by the Command Staff. If the Command Staff does not receive a reply within one (1) week of notification, a second strike will be issued as well as a demotion in rank and removal from Department head position (If applicable).
If no response is given or posting has not been attempted then a third and final strike will be issued and the player removed from the Simulation and a note placed in their permanent record in the Pegasus Fleet IFS.
All strike may be appealed by contacting the Commanding Officer and XO with reasons as to the inactivity.
A new writer can indicate preference as to which primary or secondary position they wish their character to occupy, as long as that position is vacant. The final decision is decided upon by the Command Staff.
A senior member has the right to change their current position to a different department, granted the position they wish to fill is vacant and it is approved by the Command Staff of that duty station. Departmental transfers may only happen once every six (6) months and must occur at the commencement or conclusion of the current mission.
Should a prospective writer wish to play a position not currently listed on the active crew manifest, he or she should contact the Commanding Officer prior to the submission of an application. New positions are unlikely to be created while there are important or similar vacancies, only if appropriate cause has been identified and a unanimous consensus among the Command Staff achieved, will a new position become instituted.