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Written by: T’Rennek Yuitza
Reviewed and Amended by: Kermie Mistwallow
Last Revision Stardate: 130211
Intended Audience: All UFS Members
Reviewing Authority: UF Starfleet Command
The UFS Playbook is designed to help you get the most from roleplaying within United Federation Starfleet (UFS). Most of us are aware of what Star Trek® means to each of us. We have seen the shows, watched the movies and/or read the books. Either we are all fans or interested in becoming fans, or we would not be here. However each of us will be at different levels of experience when it comes to roleplaying (RP), or acting out these parts we have chosen to play. This guide I hope will help put all of us on a level footing.
Not all of us are die-hard Trekkers, our players come from all walks of life. What brings us together is the common enjoyment of interactive drama and the opportunity to play in a cooperative and structured environment. Experience in traditional role-playing games, creative writing, naval protocol, military decorum, or Star Trek® trivia are NOT required to join or to flourish in UFS. We have a fantastic academy in place to help new players become acquainted with our rules and procedures, and many experienced people ready and eager to assist in getting you settled into life as a Starfleet officer.
I am sure many of you have heard of, seen, or played a table-top roleplaying game (RPG) such as Dungeons & Dragons®. Roleplaying has progressed somewhat over the years and these days takes many different forms. The internet is awash with Star Trek® themed Play-by email (PbEM) and Play-by-Forum (PBF) roleplaying groups which focus on roleplaying through writing.
What we are doing here within UFS takes us another step forward with a type of Live Action roleplay (LARP). You do not need to use dice, you do not need to consult manuals, and you need not be an expert writer. You do not even have to take turns. Everyone can play and contribute at once in an awesome Star Trek® themed three-dimensional environment. UFS roleplay is a complete team activity. If the team does not contribute, then there will usually be no resolution to our stories.
A big part of being a Starfleet officer is understanding key concepts and philosophies. One of those philosophies is IDIC, which stands for ‘Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations’.
IDIC is a Vulcan philosophy stemming back to the days of Surak that carries great weight here at UFS. The 24th century is a time where people of a multitude of differing species from all corners of the galaxy live and work together. Here at UFS you will meet people with diversity of race, species, age, gender and sexual orientation. We encourage you to express yourselves and enjoy the experience; however we require you to be polite, tolerant and respectful of others. Bigotry, discrimination and hatred have no place here and will not be tolerated.
Becoming a member of UFS means you have agreed to play as a Starfleet officer or enlisted recruit according to the conduct we have seen in all versions of Star Trek®. As such, you agree to abide by the rules of UFS and laws of the United Federation of Planets.
You acknowledge that Starfleet’s primary mission is not a military one. Despite its military ranks and procedures, its frequent space battles, and its ships which carry enough firepower to bake the crust of a planet, Starfleet is devoted primarily to the peaceful, scientific exploration of space and the policing of Federation space lanes. The universe we play in is based on realistic scientific possibility, physics, and reason.
In essence roleplay means playing the part a fictional character. Since UFS is a Star Trek® fan group, we try to play the lives of Starfleet officers and enlisted. What is important to understand is that when you watch a TV show....everything is being squeezed into a 45 minute episode. Of course they only show exciting highlights, but in reality those 45 minutes comprise days, weeks or even months and the life of a crewmember aboard a starship/starbase is not just fun, games and exciting adventures; most of the times it's just plain hard work.
While we want you all to have as much action as possible, to make our RP as realistic as possible we do need to understand that life on a starship/starbase is not a 24/7 action movie, so we do want to incorporate those more mundane moments into our RP as well. This can be simple maintenance, routine inspections, console malfunctions, experiments, or training drills... basically simple day to day activity in the life of a Starfleet officer.
One of the most important things to remember when doing any roleplaying is that there are other player characters to consider. They, like you, have their own character personalities to work with, and their own development to control. In order to be able to work with these players, without compromising their characters, it is important to have an idea of how they would react to the situations you will face.
When you receive your ship or starbase placement, after your final Academy assignment, it would be a good idea to take a look at the service jackets of your fellow crew members, found on your UFS's wiki. These profiles will give you a better idea of the other players in your specific game. Once you start interacting with the other players, pay attention to how they play their own characters and how they respond to the situations you are facing. The further into the game play you get, the easier it will become to guess or anticipate how others will respond to you.
What follows are a set of chapters that lay down some general guidelines on both getting started and living your Starfleet life, which we hope will prove useful.