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Game Rules

USS Valkyrie Group Expectations

This document aims to establish a code of conduct for RPG members in and out of character regarding Bravo Fleet and game regulation.

Bravo Fleet RPG Statement & Policy Notification

This is a Bravo Fleet Star Trek Role Playing Game.  The rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines govern us.  Those are listed below for your review.

Player Posting Policies

  • Players will write in the POV of a third-person limited past.
    • This means they will narrate their parts in joint posts and solo posts only from their character’s perspective.
  • Posts must have a definite date in the Date field.
    • The date range will be set by the GM.
    • For example, the mission may take place over the month of April 2400.
    • Players would need to identify the date of their post.
    • Posting format –
      • Location – Location where the post takes place
      • This will be located in the location and date fields in BFMS.
      • It is important for this ship to track where characters and actions occur.
      • Use the ship interior section on the Bravofleet site and the list located in Discord to help describe the onboard spaces.  If you have questions about a space not described, ASK!

Player Population Policy:

  • The number of players is from 4 to 8.
  • When players apply, their species of alien and application will be reviewed with the GM in a private discord room in an evaluation and workshop kind of setting – ensuring the character created is a good fit for the RPG and has a strong biography built.
  • Players can play up to 3 characters on the ship.  The additional two characters are counted as SPCs’ versus PCs (Primary Characters)
  • For the second character, they will need to discuss with the GM about their writing ability with time and quality to ensure the RPG isn’t impacted by additional writing needs besides the primary PC.  A second character cannot be a Chief position or an Assistant Chief Position.
  • For the third character, it will need to be discussed with GM and approved on a case-by-case basis, given the writer’s current load of writing and open positions on the ship.  A third character cannot be a Chief position or an Assistant Chief Position.
  • The GM will act more as a moderator and writing coach to help keep the mission on track.
  • The GM will write joint posts to bring in the command team on mission starts, and then the players will continue with solo posts using NPCs on the ship or their own characters.
  • Players are encouraged to JP with each other in order to move the plot and their character development forward.
  • A list of NPCs on board will be kept to ensure we have names and ranks correct. These characters are background characters and can be used by other players.
  • Missions will be discussed by the group with the GM guiding discussions and addressing any concerns with the plot, direction, or ideas through positive feedback and seeking ways to adapt ideas that may need strengthening.
  • There will be a general idea and scaffolding for missions.  There is not a set ending to missions but an expectation that all players will participate in engaging with the plot and plan to help move, enrich, and expand the story onboard.

General

  1. We will not always agree on everything, but when we do disagree, it’s important to handle those disagreements respectfully.
  2. Bravo Fleet’s policies apply to any interaction you have as a member of this group, whether it occurs directly on Valkyrie’s server or not.
  3. Membership on the game’s Discord server is required to participate in discussions. You must also be a member of Bravo Fleet to join.
  4. The game manager reserves the right, as specified under the fleet’s RPG policy, to remove any player at any time.

Activity Plan

  1. Members are required, at minimum, to post at least twice a month. This can be joint posts or solo posts. TAGs are to be responded to within 48 hours.
    1. Solo posts should be at least 250 words long.
    2. Joint posts should’ve at least 250xP where p is the number of players involved.
  2. With this activity in mind, Valkyrie will have around five to ten completed missions a year and a collective of 4 to 14 stories posted a month (~168 annually).
  3. Leave of Absences should be given to the GM in advance through Discord with an approximate return date.
  4. Write with purpose.
    • What this means is what your character does, says, and is should move the development of your character forward as well as the ongoing mission.
    • Be thoughtful in your writing.
    • Your character’s voice, actions, and thoughts are important and impact the world around them.
    • The GM will work with you on your writing and improving your craft

Content Guide

The Valkyrie is rated 222 on the RPG Rating Scale, which is intended for members as young as 16. This means that references to violence, cursing, and sex can be no more graphic than those in Star Trek: Discovery but more graphic than those in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Application & Character Guide

Your character should not be a Mary Sue. Think about the compelling characters we enjoy watching on screen and reading in our novels—they’re imperfect! A mix of strengths and weaknesses helps tell a story worth reading. Your character should be a professional in their department but also have some things they need to learn and work on. Characters should have arcs, progress, and evolutions over time. If you need help, direction, or advice, contact the CO on Discord!

Story Creation Guide

As the GM, I’m tasked with developing the overarching story.  I am a collaborative GM and am open to ideas from members – with the right of refusal within my power.  I will have the big ideas that will not change, and there will be several smaller ideas or plot points that we can work together on charting a direction.  Any major story changes must be discussed with the GM first – I’m open to ideas and brainstorming.

Tagging & TAGs

Tags are pretty standard.  Once you are ready for the other members to engage, you can simply write tag and then the character name(s)

Mary Sue Policy

Originally written by Morgan Jackson for her Simulation: Rivendell, ME – http://rivendellmerpg.pbworks.com/ and adapted to the USS Mercy via online copy at USS Elysium :: Wiki – Mary Sue Policy

Mary Sue (.n)- (Classic definition) Someone who defines herself as the most beautiful, most powerful, most intelligent, most loved in every way and is more or less perfect yet somehow manages to be perfectly modest so everyone loves her and she would do no wrong. This type of character is the type that does nothing more than attribute to her own qualities and make posts centered around them and herself.

Why We Not Fans of Mary Sues

Mary Sues slow down the plot.

Mary Sues scare off other potential players.

Mary Sues tend to post aimlessly.

Mary Sues glorify themselves.

Mary Sues are extremely annoying,

Mary Sue posts generally have no point.

Mary Sues tend to want all the attention.

Mary Sues seem to have no weaknesses.

Mary Sues are generally perfect and therefore boring.

Mary Sues make RPGs slowly and painfully die!

How we address Mary Sues

Typically, it’s easy to spot a Mary Sue by the profile. If this occurs, your profile will not be accepted, and you will need to revise your application to the USS Mercy in order for your character to have flaws and imperfections.  If you are unwilling to revise, edit, and resubmit, then your application to the USS Mercy will be denied with detailed notes containing our attempts to address the concerns with your character.

If, during play, you Mary Sue your characters in your stories, you will be warned and have a discussion with the GM on a first offense with a request for revising the story you’ve written.

If you Mary Sue your characters a second time, a conversation with the GM will occur, and a request to edit your story will be made along with a written warning that a third Mary Sue occurrence will necessitate game removal of a player.  All of this will be fully documented in both communications via Discord and emails as well.

This is the only way to keep an RPG active and fair to all.  As a note – Mary Sue is not just a female character; it is a metaphor for all genders and species of characters.

Mary Sue Definitions

Several varieties exist. All are equally unacceptable. Below are descriptions of Mary in her various incarnations. Keep in mind that while characters with flaws and interesting, well-developed histories and personalities will undoubtedly resemble these descriptions to a limited extent, what makes a Mary a Mary is her absolute specialness and uniqueness in regard to whatever trait is being described… in other words her “most-ness.”

  1. Classic Mary Sue

This is the first characterization brought to mind when we think of Mary Sue. This character is often the most beautiful/handsome, funniest, friendliest, smartest, most athletic, wealthiest, most psychically/magically gifted, most beloved, strongest, most heroic, most virtuous, sexiest, and best-dressed character in the entire game. Classic Mary Sue has no faults, and she makes no mistakes. She can do anything (even if she’s never attempted it before) and end up doing it better than anyone else. She has a host of abilities that are very unlikely for someone with her experience or place in life. She often comes into very superior abilities in the middle of the game, with no preamble, and is often even surprised by them herself. She is extremely insightful and often has trouble distinguishing between character and player knowledge.

  1. Tragic Mary Sue

This Mary Sue is subtler and is the pitfall of some writers who, in a genuine attempt to avoid the Classic Mary Sue, have heaped way too many tragedies onto their characters (she is referred to in some circles as the “Anti-Sue”). The Tragic Mary Sue is viewed as a pity-beggar, an attention-getter. She usually comes from a very terrible and lamentable existence–usually as a slave, an abused servant, a prostitute, or some other lifestyle most of us couldn’t imagine being in. At every turn of her life, she has met with one ill fortune after another–from torture, rape, poverty, becoming an orphan, having the only person who ever loved her murdered… you get the idea. Sometimes this Mary is hideously ugly or strangely deformed. Other times, if the author just can’t seem actually to let go of the compulsion to be classic, Tragic Mary Sue will still be, underneath all her dirt and heartbreak, very beautiful if only the right person would reach out to her. This Mary Sue begs for pity. She is designed to tug on the heartstrings of the other characters so that they will approach her, work really hard to pull her out of her jaded, reclusive existence, and elevate her to a higher status. She fulfills the need of her creators to have other people “save” them and make them feel loved.

  1. Belligerent Mary Sue

Just like all great warrior princesses, the Belligerent Mary Sue is tougher than anyone else, she has unmatched (and often unexplained)fighting skills, and she has an extreme “won’t take crap from anyone” attitude. She can immediately defeat any adversary single-handedly. She’s often well muscled and athletic, but even if she is petite, she can still inexplicably beat the crap out of any other character; she never loses any in-game encounter she is a part of. She has a tough exterior, she flaunts authority, she doesn’t make friends easily, and she doesn’t care about anyone, knowing that she can only depend on herself. Other characters must really, really work hard to befriend her. This Mary Sue is the epitome of overly done independence. She is our need to lash out against social convention and the ties that bind us.

  1. Copy Cat Mary Sue

Copy Cat Mary is most easily spotted in fandom games, especially by those who know the fandom very well. She is basically the description, history, personality, and destiny of one of the well-known cannon characters, only with a different name and some minor adjustments. She’s also usually related to an already famous character in a way that would be impossible based on the canon material. In Harry Potter games, she might be Harry’s long-lost twin sister, who also bears a scar on her forehead from the night Voldemort killed their parents. In Star Wars, she’s Luke and Leia’s younger sibling who was hidden away from the Emperor and trained on a remote planet by one of the last Jedi Masters, destined to lead the Rebellion after Darth Vader killed his mentor. Duplicating a Cannon Character or closely relating your character to one is often viewed, at best, as unimaginative and at worst, as an attempt to make your character more important than she would be if relying on her own merit.

  1. Transplant Mary Sue

Transplant Mary is similar to Copy Cat Mary in that she is some modification of a well-known canon character from a particular fandom. The difference is that the character is passed off as an original character in either an original game she has no business being in or in a non-crossover, canon game of a completely different fandom. For example, some players attempt to use “Buffy Summers” from the BTVS fandom in anything from Star Trek to Twilight games. While some legitimately original characters might be inspired by a favorite canon character, Transplants have several characteristics that are very obviously taken straight from the canon character. Most commonly, these characteristics include: Name, Physical Description, Personality, Background (often modified to fit the game), Occupation, Family Members, and Celebrity “Play By” Image. One or two similarities, alone, does not mark a character as a Transplant Sue, but in combination, several of these “borrowed” traits can be very obvious to someone familiar with the canon character. A sub-species of the Transplant Mary is the Transplant Celebrity Mary Sue, for whom many traits are clearly based on those of a popular celebrity or are a hodge-podge of television and movie characters the celebrity has portrayed.

  1. Inside Mary Sue

Some Mary Sues are “inside jobs,” meaning a player (usually the game’s owner) creates a new Race or Species for use as PCs and gives a detailed description, including all of the things the race can do and all of the things they definitely cannot. Then, the creator turns around and immediately introduces a new character of that race who happens to be the exception to the rules. The logical progression is that the creator is not satisfied by any of the currently existing races and, therefore, needs the added specialness of his/her character being an entirely new species. Because they created the species, they’re now presented with the danger that a new player will create a new character of the same species, thus, reducing the original character’s specialness. The solution is for the creator to “build in” a rule for the species that, as it happens, doesn’t apply to their character for some strange and rare reason (and which would be unlikely to have occurred to other subsequent characters created from the same species). This preserves the character’s “uniqueness” no matter how many new characters are created of the same species. The character is now special because it is of a previously non-existent species (and the only member of that species upon entrance into the game) and because it is, remarkably, also an exception to its own species’ characteristics. This two-fold specialness actually makes it a Double-Layered Mary Sue–it’s a Mary Sue with a fail-safe backup system.

Telepathic Moral Laws

Adapted from https://sites.google.com/site/startrekussdominator/specwar-database/telepathic-moral-laws and https://www.stf-wiki.com/index.php?title=Telepathic_Moral_Laws

1st Moral Law

An officer will not invade the mind of another without permission or very good defendable cause.

2nd Moral Law

A Counselor can use his/her abilities in a therapy setting only if the patient is willing and has submitted themselves to a full evaluation or treatment.

3rd Moral Law

An officer or Counselor may use their abilities in a first contact setting in an empathic manner only; no unauthorized entry of the mind will be allowed unless…

  • The group in question is obviously hostile.
  • Communication is impossible, and the group in question may get hostile
  • The other group is telepathic, and that is the only means of communication
  • The other group makes initial telepathic contact.

4th Moral Law

Full telepathic abilities may be used in combat only if the other has signified the intent of no mercy or the combatants only communicate by telepathy.

5th Moral Law

Under no circumstances whatsoever should ‘mind blasting’ be used unless the ultimate security of the Federation is at stake or the Prime Directive is threatened, and NO other course is available.

6th Moral Law

Only general empathy may be used in Interrogations, with no exceptions, excluding the direct orders of the top command of Starfleet.

7th Moral Law

An officer may use telepathy or mind-meld if it is absolutely necessary to sustain the life of an unresponsive individual. A Doctor or other qualified person MUST be present.

8th Moral Law

Telepathy may only be used in negotiating only if all sides are informed and agree, or the negotiations can turn hostile with relative ease, and one or more sides absolutely cannot be trusted.

9th Moral law

No officer may be forced into using their abilities if they do not wish to (including mind melds).