Simulation Rules and Regulations
Herein are contained the Rules and Regulations as set forth by the OOC Command Team of the USS Black Hawk.
This errata will be updated on a timely and as-needed basis. Any update to the posting requirements or any rules and regulations will be notified in writing to all crew before taking effect. Crew members will have the chance to object or otherwise influence all changes to the rules and regulations.
- 1 Rating & Etiquette
- 2 Posting Policy
- 3 Non-Playing Characters
- 4 LOA & Time Off Policies
- 5 Code of Conduct
Rating & Etiquette
The USS Black Hawk simulation operates under a 212 rating. As part of this rating, the following stipulations apply:
- Language - 2
- Swearing is generally permitted, with some limitations.
- Sex - 1
- Mild sexual innuendo and references permitted.
- Violence - 2
- Explicit violence is permitted.
Any post found in violation (meaning going beyond these limitations) will either be deleted or revisions asked for. Any player continuously violating these guidelines will be dismissed from the simulation.
Out Of Character Etiquette:
- We are a community of writers who work together to complete a story. As such, players will be responsible for reading all posts critical to the mission in order to adequately add to the plot. Should a player fail to read before posting or tagging, the appropriate errors will be highlighted and a revision requested. If a player will continually tag without reading and following the story, the player may be dismissed.
- No player will be allowed to write for another player's character unless written permission is obtained by the character's owner and the CO/XO.
- No player will be allowed to modify/edit a tag (even for grammatical/spelling reasons) that was written by another player. Only the CO/XO can make edits, and these will be done to eliminate confusion, make grammatical/spelling corrections. Should the CO/XO have to do this, the player will first be notified.
In Character Etiquette:
- Players who chose to play Starfleet officers are expected to remember that a certain caliber of person is required to be a Starfleet officer. We do allow for some leeway in this regard as we do believe that not every character is perfect and is most certainly flawed. As we have seen in Star Trek, it is the pursuit to overcome those flaws that has created the 24th Century that we love to explore. Characters who continually show conduct unbecoming of a Starfleet officer will be dealt with both In Character and Out of Character.
- Godmode/Mary Sue/Superhero Characters are not permissible under any circumstances.
- Understand that as in real life, actions for your characters will have consequences. For example, do not injure your character or get into a bar fight if you are not willing to spend days in sickbay and/or the brig.
It is our goal to create and encourage a healthy, friendly and creative environment. On occasion, however, there comes a player who seeks to take advantage of this environment or looks to always have his/her way.
As such, any player who has a conflict with another player is encouraged to bring any and all grievances or complaints to the XO and/or CO. We will investigate and deal with the situation accordingly. Often times, this is a matter of miscommunication and is easily cleared up. In the event of a larger complication, the command staff will seek alternative means to bring the conflict to the end, including, but not limited to, moderated posting and possibly removal from the simulation.
The Command Staff, at any time, reserves the right to remove any player from this simulation who has violated the Rules adopted by this simulation.
All players are expected to publish a post every two weeks. This does not mean to log in once every two weeks and hit tags. We also understand that real life can change on an instant with each and every one of us. If, for some reason, this requirement cannot be met, please contact the CO and we will be more than happy to waive requirements or make other arrangements for you.
Over the course of each mission, players will participate in Joint Posts in order to collectively overcome the obstacles and challenges given. In order to keep the sim moving at a pace favorable to the crew, please respond to tags within 72 hours.
We all have lives, and we do understand that not everyone will be able to respond in that window all of the time. If you find yourself unable to tag, please inform the other author(s) in your Joint Post, as well as the Captain, immediately so that alternate arrangements can be made, if necessary. Acceptable notification methods include the use of our Discord server, a PM to the author(s) involved via the Nova site, or even just a quick email.
If you cannot consistently meet this requirement, you may be asked to make alternate arrangements with the sim's command staff, which could include the forfeiture of your position to a more active writer (demotion).
We at the USS Black Hawk love to write. We love to write so much that there are times when our characters can't participate in certain stories, whether it is by design or circumstance. Therefore, we have adopted the following protocol for NPCs (Non-Player Characters) and PNPCs (Player-Controlled Non-Player Characters).
- Players are only allotted up to 4 PNPCs.
- Exceptions will be made for Mission-Specific PNPCs. Clearance to do so must be obtained by the GM.
- You may create NPCs and PNPCs throughout the ship, as long as they don't outrank you (Unless permission is obtained by the Commanding Officer). Bear in mind that NPCs are not to usurp any Player Characters in each department.
- A player may not create an NPC in a Chief Role. Assistant Chiefs will be approved by the GM only.
- Only the GM is allowed to create NPCs in place of department heads while a department head position is open.
- Any player who creates and utilizes NPCs / PNPCs are not to allow those characters to overtake their PC, or to outright ignore their PC or the PCs of others. For example, please consult the Chief Engineer before using an Engineering NPC.
- During the mission, the GM may create spots for players to create a PNPC specific for the mission. For example, if there are to be treaty negotiations on a planet, the GM will, in an OOC comment in his post, will state that a certain character is needed to be an ambassador, administrator, adversary, or something else. Usually, the opportunity is given to the person who jumps at the role first, or sometimes who can come up with the best idea for the character.
- Only the creator of a NPC can declare if that character will or will not be Player-Controlled by inputting their name in the bio of the character. Once a NPC is declared as a PNPC, only the player who created that character can control it. Otherwise, the NPC is declared unowned, and any player is allowed to use any NPC.
- PNPCs belonging to any Players who depart the simulation are considered owned by that Player and will be deactivated and removed.
- NPCs are considered as property of the USS Black Hawk and may be deleted when their use has been fulfilled.
LOA & Time Off Policies
Real life happens.
And it happens to all of us, especially when we least expect it.
At the end of the day, this is merely a game, not something that should take the place of your real life activities. Should you absolutely need to get away, knowing that you won't be able to post for a period of time, please consider the following:
- SEMI LOA: If you need to be gone for less than seven days, no sweat. Simply PM the Captain and accommodations will be made.
- LOA: A Leave of Absence (LOA) will be granted if you need to step away for 8-30 days. During this time, you may keep the position you hold on the simulation and your character will temporarily take a side seat to the action. Upon your return, the Captain will give you an entrance to the story.
- Extended LOA: An Extended LOA will be granted for 31-60 days only. During this time, your character may be temporarily written out of the story as to not affect gameplay for those already involved.
If you require longer than 60 days, you may be asked to resign to allow another player to fill your position. You can always come back, and if the position is still open, you may apply for it again.
Code of Conduct
This is a game. Have fun.
We're all here to have fun, and I want to encourage the maximum fun possible. This is why I only have a few rules. I don't ask much, so I'll say this as plain as I can: Have fun. If you find that you can't have fun with the crew of the USS Black Hawk, then I wish you well on your gaming endeavors and it was nice to get to know you.
Don't step on anyone's toes.
We all come from different role-playing backgrounds, and these rules were created simply to minimize the confusion. With that in mind, the system that we use in our JPs (Joint Posts) is sometimes called the "tag" system. Someone says something, and then says "tag." It's simple, and it can be abused. Tagging is okay to give a conversation a push, but not okay to force it into your direction. Personally, I like to tag a player no more than twice. Rarely a third time. Also, if you don't like being tagged multiple times by the same person in the same post, just say so. I'll stop immediately, and I ask that everyone else respect that players' wishes. Our format will be discussed below.
This also includes writing for the characters belonging to other players, including player-controlled NPCs. Writing for other players is NOT ACCEPTABLE, even if a JP has stalled due to non-response.
Should a writer "stall" in a JP, please first reach out to that player to see if there is an issue preventing them from participating. Please wait for up to 72 hours before reaching out. If the player still does not respond, please refer the issue up the chain of command as they will be able to advise you on how to proceed. Depending on the situation, you may be advised or allowed to seek alternative methods to continue/complete the JP.
No superhero characters.
Don't do my job if you're not the captain. Don't do the medic's job if you're not a medic. Don't do the engineer's job if you're not the engineer. It's simple. Just don't do it. We all contribute to finishing a mission, and we all attribute equally. If you come along and solve five different mission objectives in one post, you don't just ruin the mission, you cut off everyone else's chance to be involved, crush creativity, and you yourself will most likely be looking for a new game to join.
Acceptable Tag Lines
When tagging another player, use one of the following formats:
- TAG Geisler?
In a tag, it is also appropriate to give the next player an indication of what you're thinking, or where you'd like the post to go. It is also appropriate for the person you're tagging to ignore that suggestion should they see fit.
When tagging multiple people in the same post, you must include that character's name in a tag.
How it works is completely simple. When interacting with other PCs or PNPCs, you write for your character, and tag the other when it is his/her turn to provide input. For example, if the Chief Engineer and Chief Tactical Officer are assigned to recalibrate the targeting sensors, most likely the Chief Engineer would handle the physical modifications to the equipment while the Chief Tactical Officer would handle the targeting computer's controls. So, if the Chief Engineer, Lt. Casey writes first in the JP, it should go something like this:
Lieutenant Casey crawled underneath the open access hatch. Using his toolkit, he quickly and carefully increased the power flow to the targeting computer. Once he was finished with that, he used both of his hands to slightly shift the sensor relay into a more proper and stable position so that it wouldn't move around in the future.
Calling out to Ensign Long, Luke said, "Give that a shot, ensign."
It is now Ensign Long's chance to respond.
Ensign Long gracefully moved her fingers across the console, attempting to align the sensors. After what seemed like forever, she had successfully completed the task. "Looks like that did it, Chief," Ensign Long told Lieutenant Casey.
Shao tapped her combadge. "Ensign Long to the bridge. Targeting sensors are back in alignment."
The following is an example JP with Captain Geisler and Ensign Hathaway that was deemed unacceptable.
"On screen, ensign," Captain Geisler bellowed.
Ensign Hathaway pressed the button to open the channel. The Andorian captain immediately appeared on the viewscreen.
"We meet yet again, captain," Captain Schrel sneered. "This is the end of the line for you. Surrender now, and perhaps we will spare the lives of you and your crew."
"I can handle this captain," Ensign Hathaway said, rushing out in front of their leader. "Captain Schrel, we're not going to surrender. We'll fight you to the end."
"Then prepare to die."
Without a moment's hesitation, Ensign Hathaway ran back to his station to raise the shields and power up the torpedo bays. It was unfortunate that the phasers were offline, along with the targeting sensors. Thinking it would give him the best advantage, he rerouted helm control to his station and began to fly the Black Hawk so that he could fire the torpedoes straight on.
Ensign Hathaway piloted the Black Hawk past the Andorian ship, taking fire as she flew by. Quickly, she flipped the ship around and fired three quantum torpedoes at the Andorian ship's engines. The firepower was too much for the Andorian ship and it exploded into a million pieces.
Smiling in celebration, Ensign Hathaway paused to hear an alarm coming from the engineering console. He ran over to the station. "We're two minutes from a warp core breach!" he shouted, seeing the damage inflicted by the Andorians. He quickly ran his fingers over the controls, and with almost a minute to spare, just down the warp core. "We're safe now, captain!"
That's an example of a "superhero" post. Posting like that takes away the captain's job, the helm's job, and the engineer's job, not to mention a good round of posting that could have become an awesome battle. Instead, it was all over in a matter of moments because one person wanted all of the glory.
Notes from the GM
I'm an easy-going, laid-back guy. I see my role as GM as this: I keep the game moving, and under control. If there's a long pause in the game (more than a couple of weeks), I take the liberty to give it a push, sometimes by stepping on a toe or two. If that happens, I'm sorry, but the game must go on. If there's a dispute, I'll settle it. Plot-wise, if I'm the one who comes up with the mission, I put all the pieces in place and I let go of the reins. It's OUR job to complete the mission, not my own. We're all in this together, and I love it when everyone contributes. There is great potential with this crew. I can't wait to see what happens, I really can't.
There will be opportunities later for NPCs. As I set up a story, I leave holes for NPCs. We'll have recurring characters I'm sure, but that's up to you guys. NPC holes are filled by first come, first serve. By first come, I always mean assuming the role IC unless I allow exceptions. You are all great writers, I can see that clearly, and I want to give you every opportunity to show what you've got. That is why I don't always come up with the jobs. If someone comes up with an idea for a job, run it past me. 99 times out of a 100, I say yes. And, as an added bonus, I let you set it up.