We will not always agree on everything, but when we do disagree it’s important that those disagreements are handled respectfully. It’s also essential that when a moderator (generally meaning the GM) asks for a discussion to stop, it stops.
Bravo Fleet’s Non-Discrimination and Harassment policy applies to every interaction you have as a member of this group, whether it occurs directly on the Europa’s server or not, so please be courteous and respectful in your interactions with your fellow authors.
Membership on the game’s Discord server is required to participate.
The game manager reserves the right as specified under the fleet’s RPG policy to remove any player at any time, especially for conduct that does not align with these rules.
Authors are expected to post or respond to a tag at least once every two weeks.
Solo posts should be at least 250 words long.
Joint posts should be at least 250 x n words long, n being the number of players writing in a joint post.
Authors are expected to respond to tags within 48 hours.
If an author has a secondary character, the requirements are per character, so you need to use both of your characters at least once every two weeks.
Applications and Characters
No El Aurian, Q, Borg, ex-Borg, cyborg, Augment, Mirian, Jem Hadar, Founder, Vorta, Breen, Tzenkethi, Metron, Medusan, Caitian, Kzinti, any Delta Quadrant species, or any non-canon/custom species characters will be accepted aboard the Europa.
Only characters with complete biographies will be accepted aboard the Europa. If you are unsure of what “complete,” means, the Character Creation Program through Bravo Fleet’s academy is heavily encouraged.
The sample post is required for everyone and must be written with the character you are applying with.
Before submitting an application, you should join our Discord and discuss your character idea.
Please select a rank for your character that is appropriate for their age, the position you are speaking, and the ranks of other characters on the game. For example, if the Chief Operations Officer is a Lieutenant JG, you should not then apply to join that department with a Lieutenant Commander. We may request that you modify your character’s rank as part of the join process.
Players may have a secondary character, but it should go through the same application process as a primary character, and is subject to the same activity requirements.
A player may not hold more than one department head position or more than one position in the same department between their primary and secondary character. For example, if you’re the CMO your secondary character can’t be the Chief Science Officer or the Head Nurse. This rule may be waived on a temporary basis, for example, to fill a need in the middle of a mission.
Beyond a player’s primary and secondary character, additional characters will be approved on an extremely limited basis, at least in terms of what will be approved for addition to the game’s actual manifest. Named NPCs are preferred to random, disposable NPCs and we will keep track of them in a document, not on the website. This allows us to be economical with the website’s resources and to avoid needing to constantly update the manifest with infrequently used NPCs.
The Europa is rated 111 on the RPG Rating Scale, which is intended to be suited to members as young as 13, the minimum age to be a part of Bravo Fleet. This means that references to violence, cursing, and sex should be no more graphic than they are on shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Discovery.
Language: Infrequent, mild swearing is permitted.
Mores differ on how much swearing is appropriate, and different regions treat different expletives differently (c.f. The word ‘cunt’ in American English vs most of the Commonwealth countries’ regional Englishes.) so this policy will be enforced with grace, but, unfortunately, is an instance where American English will serve as the standard, as that is the dialect most prominent in Star Trek.
Picard brought us the first instances of “fuck” in Star Trek, which is the limit of how crass one should be on the Europa, but it should be extremely infrequent.
Generally speaking, fuck should be used to express exasperation not to describe sexual behavior. “Fuck!” versus “He fucked him.” Use your common sense, here.
Keep in mind that Starfleet officers, while explicitly not part of any military, are disciplined professionals. Regular swearing on the bridge is not something that would happen, and it’s likely something that could have (mild) in-character consequences.
Sex: Mild sexual innuendo and references permitted.
This is not Game of Thrones but we’re also not the Brady Bunch. If are referencing sex, consider why you are doing so and what it’s adding to a particular scene.
References to specific sexual acts should generally be avoided (and, again, think about why you would make them at all) but you don’t have to pretend a couple is celibate either. Fade to black when Star Trek would.
“You were great last night.” ← OK. It references sex (maybe), but doesn’t get too specific.
“He [blanked] my [blank] in the Jefferies tube.” ← Pushing it, as it’s a reference, not a description.
“The two of them [adverb] [sex act verb] each other, starting with their [adjective] [body part, pl.], and working down to the [body part]…” ← Just no.
This restriction is not meant to be regressive or prudish in nature, but to make sure that our content is appropriate for all members. Sex and love are great–and our characters are sentient beings who are likely having it. We don’t have to ignore that, but we also don’t need to read the play-by-play of your cybering.
Sexual violence is never appropriate content for this group.
Violence: Mild violence is permitted
One of the great things about energy weapons is that they don’t tend to leave gruesome wounds. Either it stuns, kills, or vaporizes a being entirely. As this is what we deal with most, leaving the description to ‘a dead body’ is sufficient, as there wouldn’t be maiming and that sort of thing. There’s just no need to go into a lot of blood and gore to get the point across, because that’s not a normal feature of the genre.
Phaser fire fights are to be expected when the story calls for them, keeping the above in mind.
There shouldn’t be references to or uses of modern day firearms, on the holodeck or not.
Anything between characters aboard the ship itself more serious than a fist fight should be run by the GM.
Self-harm, sexual violence, and domestic violence are not appropriate content for this group.
Perspective and Point of View
Perspective and Point of View are closely related, both referring to the point from which a reader is viewing our stories. The Europa is written from a past perspective (as in the events that happen in a post have already happened by the time it’s published), with a limited omniscient point of view (as in from one character’s narration for each post).
With the exception of content framed as a personal or official log, (and obviously within dialog), posts should be written from a past perspective, not a present perspective, i.e.:
“The Europa opened fire,” rather than “The Europa opens fire.” or “Captain Logan had come aboard in the middle of the night” rather than “Captain Logan has come aboard in the middle of the night.”
Each post should be written from one point of view, generally the point of view of the first character that is introduced in a particular post. This is the easiest style of writing for audiences to read. In this examples, imagine Lieutenant Commander Forrest is the POV character:
“Captain Logan appeared to be frustrated, as he read through the report that Forrest had flicked over to his PADD. The older man’s brow was furrowed and Forrest recognized the glint of anger in his eyes as he saw the casualty report from the away team.” VERSUS “Captain Logan was frustrated as he read through the report that Forrest had flicked over to his PADD. He furrowed his brow, furious about the casualty report from the away team.”
This style is opposed to the types of post where every character’s thoughts and feelings are indicated directly in the text. The POV character has no idea what the internal thoughts of other characters are, so it’s up to you as you’re replying to a tag to describe how a character is acting and how they appear, from the perspective of the POV character.
Combining these two ideas, it’s bad form to spend time explaining where your character was before answering a tag. For example, if they are tagged on the bridge, it is assumed that they are already there, so there’s no need to describe their trip from wherever they were to the bridge, as this breaks the point of view and slows down the narrative.
These rules are designed to make the stories we create easier for others to read; bouncing between 10 different characters’ thoughts is jarring and amateurish.
Tagging and Stage Directions
Tagging is the practice of indicating that you are leaving room for someone else to respond. An open tag is open to anyone in the post, and it’s not obligatory for everyone in that post to reply to it. A closed tag is open only to a particular person or a limited group of people, and is necessary to be addressed before the post can be submitted.
Tags should be placed in square brackets, with either “Open”, a character’s name/position title, or a selection of appropriate position titles for a response, when the post involves more than just two people. As a courtesy to your fellow authors, it’s good to put tags in bold, so they are easy to spot in a longer document. For example:
[Tag Logan] [Open Tag] [Tag Ops or Science]
Stage directions are instructions within a tag to give the player guidance on how to appropriately reply. These are most often given by the GM or the person leading the post, especially for things that are outside of a character’s control, like the results of a sensor scan or the efficacy of an attack, as they would be in a traditional table-top RPG. For example:
[Tag – Ops or Science – The hull of the alien vessel is irradiated, which prevents our sensors from getting internal readings.]
You could also use this in a situation where you’re providing help with a character’s motivation, when such a hint might not be best suited to the text itself.
[Tag Logan – Forrest is obviously upset, even though he said he’s ‘fine.’]
If you would like to write a joint post with a fellow player, please ask them first before starting a post. Essential story posts created by the GM will sometimes not follow this rule.
Avoid situations where you write an entire conversation, leaving blanks for another author to respond to, as this is extremely rude and presupposes answers for the other person. In the same vein, avoid tagging someone into a post just to say “yes sir” or “no sir,” when you could just ask that person on Discord if it’s an appropriate response.
After leaving or responding to a tag on the BFMS, please make sure to also tag the person or people who need to respond on Discord in the tagging channel. Please do not use the @everyone tag unless it’s literally everyone on the server in a particular post.
Provide as much stage direction as you think you need within a tag, especially if you are in the lead for a particular story beat, but avoid situations where you’re giving a character only one possible course of action to follow. When in doubt, consult with the GM.
When a stage direction is given by the GM, but you think that something else should happen, it’s not necessarily set in stone, so ask before proceeding. Some beats are pre-planned and impact the course of the mission, while others are more situational.
Language, Style, and Formatting
Proofreading is important to make sure that everyone is understood in our stories and to make them accessible to the widest possible audience. It is highly recommended that you use Grammarly or a similar proofreading aid as you write.
Regional spelling variations will be respected, but a post should be consistent, so if it starts in UK English, make sure that continues throughout the post across various authors’ tags.
It is both appropriate and expected that the primary author of a post or the GM will edit it for spelling, style, etc. before posting. Please do not be offended if a tag you submitted is cleaned up for spelling and grammar; the content of your response will not be changed, though.
Avoid unnecessary line breaks, especially two or three between paragraphs. Some word processing programs will add this when pasting into the BFMS so be sure to go back through and remove extra spaces.
Repeated instances of excessive errors will result in a player being removed from the game.
Don’t start your post with any sort of location/time tag. Put that information directly into the post’s Location and Timeline boxes. The location should be as specific as possible. The time should always be a combination of the mission day and the time, and should never be a stardate or something like “After the previous post,” e.g.:
USS Columbia, Main Bridge | MD01 – 0840 Hours
For clarity, keep the following formatting, courtesy, and address rules in mind:
The names of starships and small craft that have proper names are indicated in italics, such as “USS Enterprise” or “Shuttlecraft Galileo.” Vessels without proper names or which use alphanumeric designations are indicated in plain text, such as “Shuttlecraft #7,” or “the cargo shuttle.”
The names of space stations that have proper names are indicated in italics, such as “McKinley Station.” Space stations that have alphanumeric designations are indicated in plain text, such as “Deep Space Nine,” “Starbase 4,” or “Starbase Bravo.”
Prefixes (USS, HMS, etc.) are not italicized, and shouldn’t have punctuation between the letters.
Ranks and positions are only capitalized when appended directly to a person’s name or in direct address, other than in lists:
“Welcome aboard, Commander.”
Lieutenant Commander Forrest is difficult to please.
Forrest was promoted to lieutenant commander just a few months prior to the Europa’s assignment to the Badlands. He is Fleet Captain Logan’s adjutant.
While aboard their own command, a commanding officer is always addressed as “Captain” regardless of their actual rank. This courtesy does not apply when an officer is not aboard their own ship.
A captain in command of their own ship, as well as other subordinate starships, would appropriately be addressed as “Commodore.”
All admirals are addressed as “Admiral,” except in the most formal circumstances.
Commodores, captains, and commanders are addressed by their rank.
Lieutenant Commanders are addressed either as “Lieutenant,” “Commander,” or “Lieutenant Commander,” whichever is less ambiguous in a given situation.
Yes, in the US Navy and other real-world militaries, a LTCMDR would never be addressed as “Lieutenant,” and would only be referred to by their full rank in the most formal situations, there are many, many examples of all three versions being used in Star Trek with no apparent disrespect inferred or received.
Lieutenants and Lieutenants Junior Grade are addressed as “Lieutenant.”
Ensigns are addressed as “Ensign.”
Chief Petty Officers and above are addressed as “Chief.”
Miles O’Brien was called “Senior Chief” so few times that it’s clear that “Chief” is the general form of address for anyone at CPO or above.
Petty Officers and Crewmen are both generally called “crewmen,” but may be addressed by their job title instead, i.e. “Technician” or “Specialist.”
Cadets are called “Cadet.”
Generally speaking, avoid using rank abbreviations in posts. If it’s worth indicating the person’s rank, it’s worth writing out.
Medical officers and counselors are generally referred to by their professional title not their rank, but science officers are generally referred to by their rank, even if they have a doctoral degree.
“Mister” is a gender-neutral term available to superiors to refer to any line officer, but is most common for lieutenant commanders and lower. Similarly, “sir” is used as the term of respect for all superior officers regardless of gender, unless the senior officer requests another term.
Starfleet Officers don’t salute each other or wear “covers,” because this is not the military.
When writing dialog, keep these rules in mind:
Each time a new speaker is introduced, you should start a new paragraph.
It’s acceptable to have short narration between two segments of dialog coming from the same character without making a new paragraph, but for clarity, it’s best to keep them short.
“Engage!” Captain Logan said, sitting back in his chair and watching with satisfaction as the stars stretched before the Europa. He was eager to get this assignment over with. “I’ll be in my ready room. Commander, you have the bridge,” he said.
Quotes go outside of any other punctuation. Dialog with a speech tag has a comma then a quotation mark before the “said [name.]” Speech tags are not always necessary, if it’s not ambiguous whose turn it is to speak, by the way!