I received permission a long time ago from the Zulu Fleets USS Pegasus CO to use the rules stated there.. Because I loved how he worded them. I have gone through them, using some of them, possibly modifying some, and of course there is some of my own rules added in here.
A guide to happy simming...
There are two sets of rules for the smooth sailing of this simm: The Posting Requirements and The Code of Conduct.
What are the Posting Requirements?
Players in the SIMM are required to meet a few stipulations when it comes to 'quality posts'. It's from the quality and quantity of the player's posts that performance is judged. The reasoning behind this is that even an extremely cooperative and personable player with a well thought out character must actually contribute to the SIMM (post) to be an asset. Players who are not active can hold plots up, delay resolution of character issues, and generally run the game down...it's truly amazing how non-participation can slow the posting rate of everyone in a SIMM to practically zero.
Players are required to meet the following:
Quality of Posts:
More subjectively the player's posts must be substantive and contain quality writing. This isn't to say that mundane or everyday events cannot be covered ... just that the post should reflect the character's thinking, feelings, and generally provide some insight into the person who is the character. Over the course of time the character should mature or develop ... be changed by the environment and events surrounding them. Additionally, this doesn't stipulate that the player must write with a caliber equal to that of an Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clark. It does indicate that the player's posts must be legible and imaginative. Grammar and spelling should always be good ... more than a handful of spelling errors in a document will negate it as a part of your total for the month (just hit the spell-check button, okay?).
Quantity of Posts:
All Non-Department Head Players are expected (try to the best that you can) to generate at least 1 'detailed' post or two 'short' posts once every two weeks (we'd always love more if possible). These posts must be of substance (no posts saying, 'Bob got up and looked out the window ... another rainy day ... he went back to bed') and a minimum length of 3 paragraphs is prerequisite for credit. Characters who hold a high rank in the SIMM are expected to contribute more often due to the fact that other characters often depend on the input of their commanding officers. To keep posting active we hold to a standard of the number of posts that must be turned in by a player in order to stay with the SIMM.
Leadership Roles (Department Heads):
To every rule there is an exception ... and the retention of rank has one large exception when it comes to players in leadership roles. Leaders must be *very* active in order to be effective. It's not unreasonable to expect a leader to post 3 or more times a month... and these aren't small, one line posts either ... they must be detailed and focused on moving the SIMM and the current plot line forward. Due to the sort of impact a 'bad' or inactive leader can have on the SIMM, the GM reserves the right to remove leaders who are lagging behind on a regular basis.
Even with the above rules, I know there will always be times of a low activity on the simm..but the above rules are something to think about, to strive for without stress..as this simm is about having fun...but too much inactivity can ruin the fun of others and needs to be considered.
If there is a time of inactivity, no contact from a player for a month or more, I may have to remove them from the simm. There is always a chance of returning for this reason.
Chances can always be given, let's talk it over. I would rather work any problem out.
Code of Conduct:
The following Codes of Conduct are in place at all times for players of the USS Armstrong. A breach of any of the following will result in us trying to work it out, and if not, a possible removal.
1. Character species preferably to be from Federation member worlds. No Delta Quadrant species, as of yet. Non-Federation citizens are welcomed although not from Federation enemy worlds unless there is some unique story to them, such as there was for Worf or Nog. Hybrid officers are subject to approval by the command staff. Made up Trek-like species are fine, but basic species information must be included in the sample post to be placed in the Academy data base, and are also subject to approval. This is the same for Canon Trek races with very little to no info. There is help available for either. You only need to ask. No androids. Full Borg are not allowed and ex-Borg are subject to approval. No Q-like races, nor races that are unbalanced and stifle the abilities of other characters will be allowed. Any characters or races deemed unsuitable or unbalanced will be refused at the discretion of the game manager. Also, no cross genre species. No application will be accepted that includes Yodas, wookies, werewolves, Harry Potter centaurs, vampires, goa'uld, Jaffa, Asgard, Frankenstein monsters, Holograms or "Jar Jar Binx."
2. No god modding or superhero syndrome will be accepted. You cannot be alone and unarmed and surrounded by Borg and magically incapacitate them all with the Vulcan nerve pinch. It wouldn't happen in the series and it's not going to happen here. Also, you cannot solve the entire mission by yourself and leave nothing for anyone else to do. This is a joint writing effort and everyone deserves their time in the limelight. Also, one writer cannot tell another how to play their character nor can one player tell another how to play their department. Each player has their own PC, NPCs, and department and cannot make demands on how others should play theirs. This is called god modding and will not be tolerated.
3. The chain of command is..working on this..
4. This is a PG-18+ SIMM and it does not need to degenerate into Sex Trek: The Next Penetration. We don't expect to be reading vulgarity on this site. It's called fade to black and have some class. If it is necessary to get graphic to make your post work, it's okay to an extent, just don't make a habit of it. Explanation of walking the fine line is within the join app.
5. As stated before this is a PG-18+ SIMM but please watch the swearing and violence. If you must swear please keep it to a minimum as most Starfleet officers are well mannered people. Swearing in foreign languages is allowed as most of our players likely will not understand it. Please do not use great detail to describe the color and consistency of the blood gushing like a fire hydrant from your severed limb or any other body part. We don't need to know that much detail.
6. The Armstrong has a zero tolerance policy on all OOC harassment...... No player can harass another, but if both players are willing one character can harass another in character. This is called using your common sense which is to say you cannot take the harassment IC into your OOC relationship. Acceptable character harassment is things like a doctor hitting on a young female ensign, a bunch of marines who decide to jump a security crewman, or harassing a bartender because he gave you the wrong drink, etc., but please remember to keep it in character and that your character will be held accountable for their actions and to not get upset when this happens. If you commit OOC harassment despite warnings, you will be removed.
7. That said if your character is going to do something stupid in character you need to be ready to deal with the consequences. If your character decides to show up for duty drunk, unshaven, with a bottle in his hand then you need to be ready to deal with his superiors giving him a talking to IC. No one would get away with it in the series and no ones going to get away with it here.
8. Players are expected to conform themselves to proper writing etiquette at all times. This does not only include proper grammar and spelling, but also good manners. Changing another player's content, grammar or spelling without both their knowledge and consent is not only wrong but just plain rude so please don't do it. However, if it is a simple typo, go ahead and change it, just be sure to make a note.
9. This SIMM accepts the comm badge symbol ( =A= , =^= ) as appropriate punctuation even though it is not required. No one is to remove another player's use of this 'punctuation' from their posts. I would prefer not using =/= with the slash marks but rather the other two because the slash marks mess with php. Usage is not required.
10. If the captain or executive officer wishes to make an NPC in a department or two, that is fine. The department head has the final decision on who has NPCs in that department barring the command staff. If someone else wishes to put an NPC in that department they must ask the department head.
11. All original works not written by players (lyrics from songs, quotes from books/poems, etc) are to be given proper credit at the end of the post after the signatures. This does not have to be long. "When The Sun Goes Down" by Kenny Chesney feat. Uncle Kracker, or Book Quote from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling is sufficient.
Lt JG John Smith
Chief Operation Officer
"Leaving On A Jet Plane" by Peter Paul and Mary
Book Quote from The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
12. LOA's are needed from time to time. But extremely long ones, or if you repeatedly go on LOA for extended periods is harmful to the simm and will be looked at by the command staff. Whether or not something is done will depend on the reasons. Extended bouts of LOA may be grounds for removal from the simm.
Rank & Promotion:
Rank Upon Joining Magellan Campus:
Rank of your character depends on their position, history and Command approval of your bio and writing from the other SIMM.
Along with all the things we've mentioned up to this point there are several other factors that go into considering a players posts. These are things you should keep in mind when you write your posts...they help make your writing not only effective, but enjoyable ... and that's what SIMMing is all about!
In general all the rules of good grammar apply here. We're not insisting that you have to become Hemingway or Shelley to write logs in the SIM but your writing has to be clear enough for the other players to understand what your intentions are and what you're doing. Separate your paragraphs with a double space. Don't run ideas together, good grammar dictates that one paragraph deal with one idea or subject. Descriptive paragraphs will always be more effective than under-developed ones ... try to make the reader feel as if they are witnessing what you're writing about.
Delete all those nasty email-centric markings '>' before every line gets irritating to read. Your text should essentially come across as paragraphs on a page. Even 'on list' posts can be cleaned so that they're easy to understand and follow.
Always check your spelling with a spell checker ... even the best speller makes the occasional typographical error! Add variety to your work by using a thesaurus instead of repeating the same word. You are always free to reference the work of your fellow SIMers to see how they write or to emulate the style of your favorite author. This, of course, doesn't mean you should plagiarize their work, though! Take your time to create a good log ... not many bad ones! At the rate of 1 log per week your quality should be your first concern.
Possibly the most important factor when writing logs is exposition. Naturally, as a reader, you will have access to information that your character could not possibly possess. Separate what you're reading in other character's logs from what your character can and does know. Also don't fall into the trap of concocting contorted reasons that your character might know about what's going on (this includes wire taps, bugs, informants, telepathy, and a host of other instant answers). It's often difficult to do this, especially when the story line is interesting and you'd like to be a part of it. The best answer is always to consult with the players involved, tell them you like their story line and would like to be a part of it, nine times out of ten they'll be willing to work with you to create a logical means of getting your character involved. Abuses of this issue should be met by rejection by players and can even result in retractions by the CO.
All people develop over time ... they are changed by their environment and their acquaintances. Good logs will reflect this fact about the character involved. Share the motivation that drives your character to do what they do. This doesn't mean you must keep some secrets to keep your character interesting ... but you must share enough to make people interested in interacting with your character in the SIM. Often characters that are too sour or too secretive to associate with other players wind up dying off as a result of player boredom. You're better off not playing Scrooge unless you're willing to write a lot of solo posts until you've developed your character to the point where he'll associate with the Bob Cratchets of the world!
In the original version of this SIM Manual there was a phrase that I don't think I can better no matter how I try. 'If your ultimate concern is with the welfare of the group, then you can't go far wrong.' In all interactions within the SIM you, the player, must endeavor to respect your fellow players. Know that everyone is different and each of us has differing strengths and weaknesses. This isn't the place to practice one-upmanship, sarcasm, or to poke fun. A SIM is, by nature, a cooperative exercise ... without mutual support we are nothing. Acknowledge the effort and creativity of those who play with you. Praise them when they deserve it, help them when they need it, and in the end we'll all be better for the experience. You must respect the game for what it is a tapestry that is created by many hands to tell a singularly wonderful story. Help those who are new to the SIM, help one another, share information and insight, and there is no more beautiful thing in the world.
Our Promise to You...
As we draw near the end of this document the staff of the USS Armstrong wanted to clearly state what we promise to you, our players, when you sign up with this SIM:
To the best of our ability, we will keep your information confidential. In an age of data-mining and spiders that search the web for email address that can be overrun with SPAM, we've gone to some lengths to try to limit the amount of exposure you suffer. To this end we will not:
Air any of your personal information outside the SIM mailing group. This includes your real name, your age, or any other information you provide on your application or through conversations with the staff of the USS Armstrong.
We will withhold any personal information you request remain private in so far as our ability.
We will not attempt to sell you anything ... this is a game not a market place.
We will not post inappropriate or offensive content.
We will not re-use your creative property (posts, characters, etc.) to promote this SIM without your express permission.
Some Closing Thoughts:
Finally a few words that aren't specifically devoted to understanding the details of how the game works. Magellan Campus is a game and as such it's devoted to one thing ... having fun. Whether you garner your enjoyment through working with others to create interesting stories, by creating your own alter ego and living out their life, having a chance to 'be' in the world of Star Trek, or simply through being a member of a virtual community in a futuristic world it's all about having fun. The staff of the USS Armstrong strive to create a fun environment for all ... it's our challenge to make the world of Star Trek seem real ... or as real as the 24th century can be to us living in the present day. The important thing to remember is that this is a game ... it's not an arena for petty politics, for macho bullying, or for harassing others for whatever reason.
The the USS Armstrong supports diversity in all its forms. We do not and will not discriminate based on ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, religion, or engage in any other bias. If this offends your sensibilities, such is your right ... however it is our right to politely decline your membership. We are committed to providing a friendly environment where players can express their creativity in the secure knowledge that they won't be harassed, hassled, or brow beaten for any reason. Any incident of abuse, no matter how small, should be reported to the CO so that it may be handled. We promise discretion in all affairs.