Sim Summary

Stardate 201204.22

Synopsis: [ED April 13, 2388] A few loose ends need to be wrapped up after foiling Trillian's plans. The XL is still in the Atlai system with the fleet. Two of the fleet's ships take care of doing negotiations with the farming colony on the surface of Atlai, while the Captain and XO have a meeting with Admiral Rohnok and Commodore Fyrstk about the recent happenings. In the meantime Doctor(s) Harris and Bailey have a chat about what to do with the bodies in the morgue, including Harris' late husband, and where Bailey can set up an office. Other officers, like Tev and McMillian, get a little time off duty to spend with their families, while most Engineers, like Ensign Gram, have repairs to make. All seems fairly quiet, even when a Federation vessel arrives unexpectedly, well... by most; Captain T'Ashal knew it was coming. After the matter of transferring the changeling prisoner, Trillian, off the XL and to the Dauntless to be taken back to Sector 001 is settled, the Captain quickly excuses herself to meet with the newly arrived ship's CO, who is there to pick up the Starfleet officers that have been rescued from the Nelvara prison facility. The XL is handing off a big load, before getting ready to head to their last scheduled stop, Abraxas.


Crew Handbook

Sim Roles and Responsibilities:
Command Staff | Operations | Helm | Tactical | Security | Science | Medical | Engineering

A Little Advice on Simming

Writing Logs


General Conduct:
Chain of Command | Basic Sim Etiquette

Sim Roles and Responsibilities

Knowing how to contribute to the fun and success of a sim is an important aspect of simming. This is a role-playing game and we are a team. Team play can only be done with success if everyone on the team knows their roles and responsibilities. If you don't know what you're doing, you will confuse everyone else.

While the USF Sim Guide goes into more detail about the different positions on a starship (and we encourage you to read that), it is important that everyone knows the general roles of each department and the role of their specific post in particular on the USS Excelsior. (Suggestion: Make yourself familiar with your character's position first, then read about others.)

Command Staff

The command staff, Commanding Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (XO) work as a team. They are responsible for plot writing, development, and implementation. In view of that, they are the only ones that can initiate events outside their character's influence. Both will use action commands in sim to direct the plot when necessary by informing the crew about various circumstances and/or outcomes. These action commands should not be ignored!

Pay close attention to the logs and mission briefs the command staff will send out. They usually contain important information about settings and/or characters appearing in the plots.

CO: The CO is the most senior officer and is usually a Captain by rank (but can be higher). He/She has the final say in any decision made in connection with the ship (sim).

XO: The XO is the second most senior officer (but will be Acting CO if the CO is not present) and is usually ranked as a Commander. He/She will take the lead in Away Team missions, unless the CO is not there to stay with the ship, which then means the responsibility might be delegated to another crew member (commonly the Second Officer, a Department Head, or other higher ranking officer).


The Operations (OPS) Officer is basically a jack of all trades and has to be able to monitor all that goes on in the sim in order to advise the Captain on various situations. OPS has to see the big picture, while all other departments focus on their piece of the puzzle. Most of the time, comms (internal and external) are monitored and controlled by the OPS officer as well. At times though, when OPS is very busy with other matters, Helm may handle that function. Since OPS coordinates with all stations, this position can be a real challenge in a battle.


The Helmsman controls the speed and heading of the ship. A Helm Officer has to be familiar with the meaning of headings, warp and impulse speed, and have a general idea of distances. When given orders to engage and take the ship somewhere, the Helmsman should acknowledge those orders by repeating them (this is especially vital in battle), and be ready to report the ship's status like speed, heading, and ETA to destination to the Captain when queried. If need be, Helm can also handle sensors, access communications, operate functions pertaining to the viewscreen, and monitor ship-wide status (though usually this falls to OPS). This position gets most exciting if there is a lot to do, like in a battle situation.


Tactical (TAC) is all about offense and defense. The Tactical Officer has direct control of phasers, torpedoes, shields, and even the tractor beam. He/She also heavily relies on sensors to give reports on our own ship and those we encounter, which might include data about distance, engine and overall power output, weapons and shield status, type of weapons used, hull configuration, damage, and tactical analysis. In a battle situation, Tactical (just as Helms) is one of the most exciting positions on the ship and can be quite challenging. However, reports about damage we have sustained can fall to OPS then, especially if the Tactical Officer is fully engaged in keeping up with heavy battle (multiple enemy ships, etc.).


Security (SEC) oversees any aspects involving the personal safety and security of any persons or objects in their care. Security officers are responsible for handling such matters as guarding against intruders, supervising security on away teams, providing unobtrusive but safe escort for guests (such as diplomats), weapons registry and inventory, upkeep of the brig, guarding prisoners, routine security patrols, drills and much more. The Security Officer on the bridge monitors the ship's internal security grid (while TAC handles the external one) and directs Security forces toward trouble spots during Red Alert. If crew is lacking, SEC and TAC can be combined.


The Science (SCI) Department focuses mainly on the scientific aspect of any situation facing the crew (specifically any natural phenomena and/or life forms, unknown species, or substance). Science officers use sensor readings, tricorders and any other data collecting/analyzing equipment at their disposal in order to gain an understanding of the situation. Science often works in conjunction with Medical, Tactical, and even Engineering to resolve problems.

For example: When encountering an unknown ship, Tactical might report on the ship's power and weapons status, while Science would focus on any life forms on the ship and their general health/status (like how many crew, what species, if they are injured, or even dead, etc.); or while analyzing a bio-chemical weapon, Science can add to the information that Tactical reports by bringing out the scientific aspects of the power of this weapon, or how it might be neutralized.


Medical (MED) is responsible for maintaining the health and physical well-being of the crew by performing routine physicals. A Medical Officer is also tasked with treating the injured, pronouncing the dead and performing autopsies when required. Commonly at least one Medical Officer will accompany an away team. If an away mission deals specifically with expected casualties, like victims of a disaster or an outbreak of a disease, more Medical officers will be required on the away team.

Counselor: The Counselor is responsible for the mental and emotional well-being of the crew, and periodically conducts routine psychological exams on all crew members, just like Medical performs routine physicals. He/She is tasked with crew readiness and duty capability, which also means that he/she can relieve any officer not fit for duty from their position, including those outranking him/her (i.e. CO and XO, though this will also have to be approved by the Medical Department Head/CMO). Many Counselors have emphatic and/or telepathic abilities (which are not a requirement for the position) that can help when advising the CO in First Contact situations.


Engineering (ENG) handles installation, repairs, and maintenance on all power generation, computer systems, and propulsion systems aboard the ship. While most ENG Officers work all over the ship, there may be only one ENG Officer at the bridge Engineering console. That Engineer monitors all engine systems and power, re-balancing and rerouting power as necessary, and directs and commands other Engineering personnel as appropriate. Damage Control efforts (to shields, hull, weapons, etc.) are directed by the Engineering department, specifically the Chief Engineer, from either the bridge console or from the Engine room (TAC does not interfere with this, but can monitor).

A Little Advice on Simming

While we (the hosts) direct some aspects of the sim plot, i.e. results of scans or data on something we encounter, with action commands or in IMs to specific crew members, we leave our crew much freedom with many other aspects. That is the great thing about simming - when you're asked for recommendations or input, you can answer however you wish! Show your creativity and offer a unique solution to a problem or maybe some specialized knowledge you have obtained in extra studies. However, remember that we play in the Star Trek universe and your answers should be plausible within that setting. Many times, we will purposely write a problem into a sim plot and not have a specific resolution in mind. So, when we consult our crew, we are looking for a direction to take the plot and often use the most creative and/or believable idea to solve the problem at hand - it could be your idea!

Unfortunately, not every sim plot can directly involve all departments at once. Our sim is telling a story as a team, and every story has lead and support characters. We will try to spread the action around to everyone as much as possible, but more often than not, you'll find yourself cast in a supporting role. As a result, you will frequently be without specific orders. Please, don't just sit around. Take the initiative! Remember, you're playing a Starfleet officer. Consider your rank and position and what is happening in the plot - what would your character do if he/she was on duty on an actual starship without having specific directions? The answer should NEVER be, "play a game" or "sit around"! (Your character would have never made it into Starfleet to begin with.) Instead, immerse yourself into your role and use the resources available to your character to contribute to the plot.

Also, be aware of other character's actions and locations. If someone is not in the room with you, please don't talk to them as if they are - use the comm instead. Of course, we understand it's not easy to keep up with a sim when a lot of actions are going on. Don't be offended if someone informs you OOC (in parenthesis or IM) that your words have not been heard, or you seem to have lost awareness of the current situation. If you must inform someone else of that, please be polite. There's no reason to be rude.

And finally, if you have an idea that involves doing something outside your character's influence while we are simming, please ask us in IM about using it. Due to the demand of us having to pay attention to the sim, we won't be able to give you an elaborate answer, but most likely only reply with "yes" or "no", which will indicate if you may implement your idea or not. If you received a "no", ask us after the sim why, not during. Sometimes, we might answer your request by simply putting out an action command using your suggestion, which should serve as the answer.

Writing Logs

Logwriting is another important aspect of simming. Through logs your crew mates get to look into your mind, so to speak. We learn more about your character's background, opinions, thoughts, habits, quirks, and fears even. Logs will let you develop your character to the full, engaging in those aspects you are not able to touch on during sim.

DLs (Duty Logs) can be either written as a report on the current mission or as a story log about ON DUTY events (what you do while performing your duties). PLs (Personal Logs) can be diary type logs (character thoughts) or story logs about OFF DUTY events (what you do during your personal time). We also encourage JLs (Joint Logs), where two or more officers collaborate in writing a DL or PL together. JLs are most commonly written in story style (third person perspective) and can aid greatly in making connections to other crew members.

All logs should be send out to the crew mail list and posted on their respective message boards. Once posted on the message boards, logs can also be voted on (vote on your own or other people's logs). The USF main page at keeps a weekly list of highest voted logs. This is to expose our logs more directly to the public and generate more interest in our sim group, and in turn in each individual sim. A sim with a good writing staff usually attracts more simmers to it, which means we all benefit!

Log Writing Awards

We will pick and award outstanding logs once a week. The time frame for this goes from Sunday to Saturday. The best DL will receive the "Gold Pen" award; the best PL will receive the "Silver Pen" award. Icons to signify those awards will be displayed in the log posts on the message boards.

There will also be an award for the log of the month, which we will pick from the weekly winners of the log writing awards. The time frame for this will of course run from the first to the last day of each month. The log of the month will receive the "Latinum Pen" award, with the corresponding icon in its message board post.

Only logs that are posted on the message boards will be considered for awards.


USF fleet-wide requirements for promotion are directly connected to log writing and attendance. The exact minimum requirements are outlined in the USF Sim Guide. These requirements cannot be bypassed.

(Note: Please keep in mind that those are MINIMUM requirements. Do not expect to be automatically promoted when you reach them!)

The bottom line is, the command staff must be convinced that you are ready to be promoted, which means you might have to meet additional requirements. We do not have a list of such requirements set in stone, but we take the abilities and performance of each individual simmer into account when we discuss promotions. You will notice it will be easier to be promoted in the lower ranks, while the requirements and expectations will increase exponentially the higher you climb in the ranks.

(Note: If you have not been promoted in a while and you feel you have met all requirements, please don't hesitate to ask us about it. We'll be glad to explain.)

General Conduct

Chain of Command

The CoC (Chain of Command) is the hierarchy of ranks on a sim. On the USS Excelsior it is as follows:

  1. Commanding Officer
  2. Executive Officer
  3. Second Officer
  4. Department Heads
  5. Assistant Department Heads
  6. Crew

During a sim, anyone above you on the CoC outranks you and is authorized to issue orders to your character. Starfleet is a military-based organization, so please conduct yourself accordingly. Keep in mind that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If your character defies orders or acts in other ways unbecoming of a Starfleet Officer, don't be surprised if he/she ends up being relieved of duty, confined to quarters, or worse... in the brig! (Of course, that is all part of role-playing, and depending on the situation some orders might need to be ignored, as has happened in Star Trek lore before as well.)

Basic Sim Etiquette

  • When attention is called, the proper responses are: a) acknowledge by typing ::AA:: (at attention), b) refrain from speaking unless you are asked a question, and c) keep OOC comments in ( ) and to a minimum. This is the time when we will address the crew with announcements. The faster we can get through this, the more time you will have to actually sim.
  • We are a Star Trek simulation! We exist in the Star Trek universe! Please, keep within the established Star Trek settings and technologies, and do not mix in things from other Sci-Fi shows.
  • Bold or red lettering is reserved for hosts only (if we choose to use it).
  • Do not write for other players' characters unless you have permission to do so.
  • Do not plagiarize someone else's Bio!

And last but not least...

...some encouragement and an invitation to all crew members!

If you have an idea for a plot, please don't hesitate to approach us about it. Though, be advised that we will ask you to give us an outline to it. If you need to brainstorm with us about a particular aspect, we're always willing to help you flesh out parts and give you input as to implementation into the Excelsior's story arc.

Also, if you know someone that might be interested in simming with us and/or that you feel would make a great crew member, please let us know and invite them to visit our sim. We don't mind having audience as long as they don't interrupt the sim.


The Command Staff