Characters and their Behavior

There is a great deal of freedom and flexibility in character concepts on Prospero. We'll allow almost anything you can imagine. But with that comes an expectation of responsibility. For instance, if you're allowed to portray a telepath, it doesn't mean your character can read others' thoughts whenever it's convenient. Self-restraint is the key. Restrain yourself and it becomes more challenging, and ultimately more rewarding.

You are expected to portray the character you choose realistically, in detail, on a recurring basis. Abide (but don't feel constrained) by what's been established as "canon" (in series, movies and other "official" source material). Advances and changes in the Star Trek continuum, as well as in Prospero continuity, affect the makeup and circumstances of any character. Make sure you know what they are before taking a bold direction. Explore this website thoroughly to get a "feel" for our atmosphere, and if you need help, ask!

This is not an outlet for egos/attitudes that elevate characters at others' expense. Nor is it a playground for sexual escapades. While conflict (drama) is good, there is a limit, a fine line not to be crossed among our people. This can only be achieved with modesty and maturity--you have it or you don't. It will come across in your writing. Our characters aren't here to fight, argue, outdo each other, or compete for attention (nor behave like porn stars), but to cooperate towards a story line that is satisfying for all. Ask yourself if this applies to you before you apply. Always remember: When you join, you become part of a group. Don't expect the group to bend to your whims. Be a team player, and play a character who is a team player, rather than a "lone star" or "rebel" or "superhero". Observe the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be civil and mature. Respect others and play by the rules. (The same goes for out-of-character discussions.)

The point of our group is to continue perpetuating adventures in the Star Trek realm with a genuine "Star Trek" feel--and then take it up a notch, to a realistic level. There is a certain style and mode of behavior, uniquely "Star Trek". The best way to see it is to watch the episodes and movies. Reading the books also helps; however, screen material is considered "canon". If it's been established there, it's official here.

Please observe the following restrictions, stipulations and conditions regarding characters:

No "super-heroes" = Characters with powers beyond normal men or women, or abilities enabling them to solve every problem, or violate what's scientifically plausible. This is called "superhero syndrome", and it will make you unpopular.

No "uber" characters (overachievers) = Those who've graduated "top of their class", always get their way, never get sick or injured, have been present at (nearly) every event in Star Trek history, have umpteen medals for everything, single-handedly saved the Federation/the world/the universe, and so on. This is also superhero syndrome.

"Immortals" (long-lived species) and older characters can be tricky to write. They require experience, maturity, insights into life and the ways of the world, to seem convincing. There is a noticeable trend: Younger people may try to play older characters, and older people may portray younger characters. While the latter is acceptable, the former is NOT. Young people who try to portray such characters do not come across realistically. Write what you know--play who you know how to play. (Also remember, our group is for mature adults. You're expected to be both, if you join. If you're an adult... act like one.)

• If you play an alien, BE that alien. Characters from other worlds who have human views, observe current-day human customs, listen to modern music, use human slang terminology, and the like, are not believable, and appear rather silly. Aliens are not humans. Nor are they likely to have Earth-human names. Think about this before you submit them. If your alien character talks, sounds and acts human without cause--then just be human.

• The same applies to human characters: It's doubtful that people of the 24th century (or any future era) will observe all of the same customs, habits and speech as we do. Music, dress, food, modes of thinking and socially acceptable behavior, will all be at least somewhat different (probably very different). (Ask yourself how many people today talk like they did 400 years ago, or dress the same way, or do the same things.) A different time + a different world = A different culture. Consider the details when creating and writing any character for this future world, including humans.

• Federation citizens, growing up in an enlightened, responsible society, are supposed to be better people than we are, representing the best humanity has to offer. They shouldn't be mean-spirited, trigger-happy, obnoxious, destructive or any of the lesser qualities which plague modern humans. It's unlikely that such types would be accepted into Starfleet, much less assigned to a starship. Keep this in mind. Characters who display negative qualities aren't believable (or tolerated). The same applies to any Federation race, who had to meet "qualifications" in order to join the Federation.

• Races from beyond the Federation, while not automatically denied, may be harder to accept. There are other criteria to follow in establishing such characters. Know what they are. (To wit: It's unlikely to find Jem'Hadar or Ocampa in Starfleet--half of their life-spans would be spent in Academy training.) They will also have views different from those of Federation races. Soon there will be links to alien culture's web pages.

Hybrids (half-alien/half-human, half-one species/half-another): These have been done often for no apparent good reason. Take for example, a half-human/half-Vulcan who shows emotions. If your half-Vulcan is emotional, what good is the Vulcan half? If you make a hybrid character, have a good reason for it. Be convincing.

• No Section 31 and no "Starfleet Marines". Star Trek's true theme is not espionage, war or combat (regardless of how often they've battled it out in the movies & TV-shows). Some exceptions may be made for storyline purposes but these need to be cleared by the GM in advance.

Telepathy/telekinesis/other mental & "Force"-like powers: These will be the hardest to get accepted. There are obviously races with telepathic and telekinetic abilities in the Star Trek universe (Betazoids, Vulcans, et al.), but on a sim they must be played with care and reservation. Should you choose someone with these attributes, 1) it had better make sense, and 2) use such attributes sparingly. Too many people use these options to bolster their self-image, conveniently know what others are thinking, achieve impossible feats (punching holes in walls, moving objects with their minds), etc. Do it tastefully, or not at all. It's best to choose someone without such powers, if you're not sure.

• While there is great room for character interaction and development, we expect members to play their character's position. If you're playing an engineer, then play an ENGINEER. Have your science officer character doing scientific things. Show aptitude for the role you choose. Don't think position titles are excuses to pump out material that has nothing to do with your character's job. If you can't write your character doing that job, then don't choose it. None of these rules are meant to stifle creativity or artistic freedom. These are "common sense" rules, hard-learned after years of experience, in place to stimulate those very qualities, to ensure enjoyment for all, and to enhance and elevate the experience of Star Trek simming.

Posting Guidelines

The USS Prospero is a full post Pbem (play-by-email) or sim. The posts should be of a decent length, generally 5k or so. Anything more than 10K should be broken up into parts and sent as as series (for example, Part 1 followed by Part 2, etc.). It's not necessary but those with mail with limited downloads or those on slower connections appreciate it.

We do not practice round robin (cut/paste, tag, turn or roll of dice) style posting. So, if you get all happy and join, don’t bent out of shape if no one replies to your post with some sort cut/paste response or you make it clear that you haven’t read these rules and have decided to be lazy and yell ‘TAG’ at the end of your post rather than finding someone to do a joint post or discussing plots or possible interaction on the OOC list.

All posts are to be written in third person, past tense. Again, there is an allowance for dream posts which can be done in first person or present tense. Otherwise, please adhere to third person, past tense.

Writers are expected to spell check their posts before sending to their posts to the list. If we can’t easily read it, then there’s really no point is there? Yes, this game is supposed to be fun. Many readers don’t find wading through misspelled posts or bad grammar all that fun.

What is a joint post (jp)?

Posts are your stories. Write them up and send them to the mailing list for others to read. Joint posts (or JP's) are co-written stories with another member, keeping in mind that you can't write for the other member's persona (that's why it's called a 'joint' post). Don't post-pass, as in write a post and leave it open and request another member to continue it through the list.

Symbols used to denote speech, thought, etc.
Speech Example: "We need to leave now."
Thought Example: 'Why is she doin this to me?'
Telepathic Example: **I can see you.** or ~I can see you.~

What should the post header look like?

Title: (Title of your post)
Characters: (Again, this should be obvious)
==Location and/or Time Of Day==
OOC Notes: (anything else of interest you’d like the writers to know?)

The part you've written comes next.

How do I find someone to co-post with?

Easy! Simply visit our OOC list, introduce yourself and indicate your interest in posting with someone. As stated in our introduction, it is usually a good idea to have a general idea of what you’d like your character to be doing or have at least a rough plot idea in your head. Random posts can generate many ideas, but having a plan never hurts!

Requirements—what are they?

They are the number of posts you are required to send each month. In order keep the game active, viable and moving. Writers are required to post at LEAST once every two weeks.

There are exceptions—aren’t there always? If you have a reasonable real life issue or illness, of course we want to honor this. However, you are expected to be mature enough to also send out a notice to the OOC list (or at least email the GM) indicating you will be taking either an LOA (leave of absence) or will have LIA (limited internet access).