Lesson #4 - "Inspiration"

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With Prof. Dr. Fritz von Stossenbaum Alkaseltzer

What to do? What to do? Should we go here or should I talk to you? I thought it would be good for the publicity and quality of these lessons to let others have a say in this lesson. I don’t like the idea myself but when I told the CO he was itching to jump in and take over these lessons, so that’s why this lesson contains several other players telling their experiences and give you tips and tricks on how to get some real good inspiration, and consequently good posts.

First I made up a couple of questions to ask all the veteran, and some new, players, since I thought giving them complete control of this lesson, because that would end up in utter chaos. Therefore, questions!

Question One: You have no idea what to post but the 1 post Bi-weekly deadline is approaching, what do you do?
Question Two: Is there any special thing that gives you inspiration for the posts onboard the Obsidian Fleet simms?
Question Three: The Current Mission is War… war and some more war… while you have a post as a Science Officer… what do you do to stay active in the simm and participate in the plot line?
Question Four: What is the most absurd thing you had one of your characters do on shore leave/ in his free time?
Question Five: Conclusively, do you have any suggestions for starting (or even more experienced) players, any suggestions as to how to keep their characters interesting and realistic for both the readers and themselves?

I asked these question to the following people:
Commodore Thelek Uvar – Commanding Officer on the USS London
Lt. Cmdr. James Conrad – Commanding Officer on the USS Katana
Lt. Kristiana Petrova – Executive Officer on the USS Pegasus
Ensigns T’Rell & Ronald Evans – Chief Flight Control and Chief Operations on the USS Pegasus

Where there is Inspiration there is Clichés, so what are the biggest clichés in Star Trek Role Playing? Is it drinking Earl Grey tea? Is it blowing up yet another Redshirt? We asked the players themselves! And this is a top four of most named clichés (you can use them in posts but you could also try to be original):

- A JP with a Crewmember who has some spare time as well they will meet in the lounge or on their way there.
- All JP's involving meeting the commanding officer take place in the captain's ready room.
- Any single posts involving free time always take place in the character's assigned quarters.
- The Senior officers always play poker with each other.

Why only four you ask? Because we couldn’t think of any more clichés really…

To tickle the inspiration and imagination a bit more we have listed the Most Common Problems/Spare Time Activities in the different departments:
In Command:

  1. Talking to Admirals and being nice to them.
  2. Actually thinking that the admirals are a bunch of pencil pusher that don’t know the first thing about space exploration.
  3. Calling a committee of department heads at every available opportunity, junction, decision, and/or minor crisis that pops up.
  4. Drinking tea (earl grey is especially well drunk) or coffee (for us rebels out there!)
  5. Barking orders at innocent redshirts
  6. Barking orders at not so innocent player characters
  7. Barking orders at the general public

In Flight Control:

  1. Having the automatic pilot fail inside an asteroid/mine field and fly out manually.
  2. Taking the Rundabout out for a spin.
  3. Resisting the urge to do a Warp 6 flyby, 4 ft from the Admiral's flagship bridge.
  4. Resisting the urge to pull the Starship in a looping
  5. Resisting the urge to a quick shocking motion to let everybody fall flat on their behinds.
  6. Generally resisting many urges.

In Engineering/Operations:

  1. There is Never enough power
  2. Plasma Leaks around the hour
  3. Take care of the systems failing during combat, while dead bodies fly across, and into, the warp core.
  4. They always need to do emergency repairs
  5. finding new ways to improve efficiency of the warpcore and ship.

In Security/Tactical:

  1. Fighting with Bat’Leths. Though likely less than 1/10 of the Security/Tactical officers in Obsidian Fleet have any Klingon blood in them, they all know how to use one and enjoy exercising using Klingon swords. Damn you Worf.
  2. Solving little incidents with the crew
  3. Patrolling the vessel
  4. Maintaining the brig
  5. Fight off boarding parties
  6. Spearhead the Federation away teams and boarding parties.
  7. Keeping the Phasercannons and Photon torpedoes polished and ready to rumble.
  8. Keeping the shields up under pressure of weapons fire or asteroid fields.

In Medical/Science:

  1. During battle: wounded/Injured
  2. During peacetime: the common cold, light headaches, a reasonably exotic flu if you're lucky.
  3. People being afraid of Sickbay and/or the Chief Medical Officer and not wanting to come in

In the Marine Detachment:

  1. Fighting combat drills in the holodeck
  2. Straining muscles in the Gym
  3. Cleaning and checking weaponry
  4. Being send to the surface of an unknown planet to kick some ass
  5. Being put in a fighter plane and shot into space to kick some ass
  6. Being send on patrol through the ship to fight boarding parties and kick some ass
  7. Kicking some ass in general.

Well that was it ladies and gentlemen… but especially the ladies… I hope this helps the players of all experience classes to get inspiration in those dark times of the writers block. If you need inspiration for an original post or even a cliché one then this will most probably be a page to visit every once in a while.

As always, if you have any Comments, suggestions, remarks or fan mail please don’t hesitate… go Bug The CO… he loves fan mail…

Until Next Time,
Prof. Dr. Fritz von Stossenbaum Alkaseltzer
L.I.S.P. Professor
Starfleet Headquarters
"Inspiration hits when you least expect it, try to duck in time when it does..."


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