Monday, April 13, 2009

Summary of Events Stardate 0409.13

Would you like to do more than just read? How about shaping the story? Start your career in the Center Seat. Get started right now with the Quick Start Guide:

To get started, answer the following questions:

Game Type:

Pure Combat
(Do you play for pure combat? You know that other events might decide the nature of that combat, but you just want to blow things up. And think about this: Do you like to micromanage combat, allocating power to personalize your attack/defence strategy, making combat a personal match of wits, or do you just like quick matches that can be over in minutes?)

(You don't care about the combat. You like to write and you want to explore.)

(You appreciate both aspects of game play. You accept that the ship you love to write about may lose battles from time to time.)

Other (specify)

Ship name:

Command crew:
(You can stick to the TOS crew configuration of science officer, helm, navigator, communications officer, etc, or you can use the TNG idea of Operations Officer combining some duties.You can also customize your bridge crew configuration. You're the Captain)

Note: unless you have something else in mind, all players in this stage of the game get a Heavy Cruiser to start. The 'something else in mind' I mentioned is if you decide you want a mission-specific ship like a scout or police ship, which is likely to be a frigate or destroyer. Just remember that you might be limiting yourself in a case like that. And don't be intimidated by the need to create a command crew. If you're a story-teller, you're used to this, but it isn't necessary to start. And if you're in it for pure combat, the command crew is recommended but not necessary.

That is really all you need to start. I will happily walk any new players through the first few missions. If you are concerned that you don't have enough time to contribute, don't be. This game is as casual as you want. Exploring takes as much or as little time as you want. Write once a day or once a week. A hundred words or a thousand. The most intense level of this game, heavy combat takes a commitment of no more than one email a day. And even in that case, if you miss a day, it's forgivable. Even the moderator has a RL and the occasional computer issue. The game is turn-based. Combat results will be posted online daily. And if it still doesn't make sense, think of it like your favorite role-playing/writing group gathering for some table-top, Dungeons and Dragons-style game playing.

Summary of Events:

TNG Era:

Negotiations between Ambassador Endara Khan and the First Majes of the Kazon Ogla and Oglamar are proceeding well, according to Captain Reggie Farrell on the USS Exeter in orbit of Oblissa III. Captain Farrell was advised that the ambassador expects to issue a statement soon detailing agreements reached, as well as a proposal for future agreements between the Federation and the Kazon.

Captain Murphy of the USS Guadalcanal reports astonishing findings in his examination of the biomechanical DNA recovered from Romulan soldiers on Oshionian VI. Microcellular scans of the biomatter revealed uniquely human DNA deeply encoded in the cellular structure, and analysis of the decay in the DNA strands suggests that the biomatter is more than two thousand years old. Quantum dating of the biomatter confirmed that finding.

In the Coramonde system, the science ship USS Lily Sloane discovered a faint subspace disturbance consistent with the passage of one or two Federation starships passing through a wormhole or other phenomena. It is attempting to probe the disturbance using a tunneling neutrino beam.

The Triangle Zone continues to be a center for hostilities between forces of the Klingon and Romulan Empires. The USS Archer and USS Arizona report four squadrons of 'Etlh Class Battlecruisers engaging and destroying a Romulan Carrier Battle Group. The Federation starships transmitted all relevant sensor data to the nearby Starbase Lighthouse in the Durandal system.

TOS Era:

Starfleet Command is denying reports that a group of starships crossed into Klingon space and destroyed a Klingon freighter. It also denies further reports that the crossing is part of an illegal military move to reinforce the outpost at Archer IV. Captain Lionidas reports that Klingon forces are beginning to pull back from their move toward Romulan space.

The USS Magellan has abandoned its search for the USS Coramonde, which disappeared on a mission towards the center of the galaxy. There are no warp trails to indicate passage of a Federation starship through the region, nor was there any subspace displacement readings to indicate the passage of other ships in the area.

ENT Era:

There have been no further communications from, nor reports of the Challenger NX-07 on its mission to circumnavigate Romulan space.

Challenger NX-02 is sweeping the Denobulan system for traces of Romulan passage through the system

The two Sloane Class light cruisers pursuing an ion propulsion exhaust trail from the last known position of the EX-01 Roddenberry report that it is leading in a general direction along the course that the Roddenberry was first assigned to, towards the center of the galaxy. The ion exhaust is consistent with advanced long-distance sublight craft.

Command College

"What Are Your Orders, Captain?"

(TNG Era) "Contact" Resolution

The Away team proceeds safely through the dark and sharply tilted corridors of the USS Coramonde. Scans show no humanoid forms, but as they move further into the ship, they find small patches of the biocircuitry along the deckplates and bulkheads. More of the small patches move seemingly randomly until Hazard team member Lieutenant Keller accidentally steps on one. The patch reacts violently, trying repeatedly and frantically to break through the personal forcefield covering Keller. In minutes, there are dozens of patches converging on the team. Captain Decker calls for an emergency beam out, but the Agamemnon's scanners cannot penetrate far enough inside the Coramonde. The team will have to get back to hull breach they've created.

Moving quickly, the away team retreats to the hull breach as more of the patches begin to surround them. Soon they are all being attacked by the patches. As Lt. Keller's personal shield finally fails, the away team reaches the hull breach. Captain Decker must quickly decide how best to care for Lt. Keller, safeguard the ship and crew, and continue the investigation...

Captain Decker ordered Lt. Keller beamed up separately and suspended in transport while the rest of the team was transported to a Class Three quarantine field in the Agamemnon's sickbay. Then she ordered the science officer to program nanites to infiltrate Lt. Keller's pattern, stored within the transporter's transport pattern buffer, and extract the alien biotech. It represents radically experimental surgery, but the only way to extract the biocircuitry without allowing it to further infect Keller.

(TNG Era) "Answers and New Questions"

After hours of waiting, the nanites signal that they have extracted and analyzed the alien biotech from Lt. Keller's pattern, and the Hazard team member is safely reenergized in the Agamemnon's transporter room. Then the science department begins to examine the findings of the biomechanical cirtcuitry that had attempted to infect Lt. Keller. They discovered trace DNA that was unmistakably human, but also unmistakably two thousand years old. This presents the first clue in the mystery, and links the one hundred year old USS Coramonde to findings of the USS Guadalcanal in the Delta Quadrant. But it also presents new questions. Who or what was integrating human DNA into biocircuitry two thousand years ago, and how is the Coramonde connected? And of course the original questions still remain. What brought down the Coramonde? Does the same threat apply to the Agamemnon?

Captain Decker determines that the answers can only be found within the protected memory core of the USS Coramonde. That is located near the center of the Coramonde's saucer section, far too deep to attempt to reach with the transporter. She also knows that a Hazard team would never be able to safely reach that deep within the ship on foot...

Choose what you think should be the next course of action, and write a brief summary. You can also feel free to join the investigation with your own ship.

There are no predetermined right or  wrong answers. Feel free to discuss the challenge with other players. Every player who submits an entry receives a "Command College Point". Ten of those equal an experience point. The most popular choice will determine the next step taken.

Captain's Log

(From last week) "...something we have in common..."

Class D Asteroid/Moon
Age: 2-10 billion years
Diameter: 100-1,000 km
Location: Hot Zone/Ecosphere/Cold zone. Found Primarily in orbit of larger planets or in asteroid fields
Surface: Barren and cratered
Atmosphere: None or very tenous
Life forms: None
Example: Moon (Sol IIIa), Lunar V (Bajor VIIe)

7) A member of the crew becomes trapped on the planet.

(ENT Era)
Captain Matthew Von
EX-02 Patterson
Roddenberry Class Science Ship

Something we have in common with most species is a natural desire to protect those that we care for. That turned out to be what saved my chief engineer from an unfortunate fate on the single moon of Triacus I. While the moon has no indigenous life, its proximity to the unusually active local sun makes it a natural stopping point for a space-borne species that feeds on solar radiation. The species, which we are calling 'Jellies', for lack of a better word, is gelatinous in nature, but completely sentient, and has a neurochemistry strangely similar to ours. So similar, in fact, that the universal translator had no difficulty in understanding its thoughts. That unexpected common factor was instrumental in saving the life of Chief Science Officer McClellan. The chief had beamed down to the moon during a brief window of solar 'shade' to take a core sample when a mile-wide colony of the Jellies dropped to the surface and accidentally landed on top of him. As that side of the moon was not exposed to the sun at the time, the Jellies were unable to move, and McClellan was trapped on the surface. Fortunately, our plea for help, expressing the danger to our shipmate was easily understood, and the Jellies somehow summoned the energy to disassociate, freeing the chief before he was caught unprotected from the deadly radiation. Fortunately for the Jellies' sake, the sun came back out soon, and they were able to renew their strength and resume their migratory habits.

(Expand the following into a log entry of at least 100 words. Members post answers to the yahoogroup or the 'comment' feature on the blogsite. Lurkers feel free to leave comments on the blogsite)

For Next Week: "...before somebody gets hurt..."

Developer's Diary:

The simple combat tourney is finished. As I reported a few days ago, I decided to complete the tourney with simple combat instead of heavy. As far as I know, nobody had any vested interest in the outcome, and I wasn't feeling up to a grueling knock down drag out between two battered ships. The USS Guadalcanal was fortunate to get a good roll against the RIS Romulus, and it won on the first volley of simple combat.

Nasty old Section 31 is rearing its sneaky head in the TOS era, in the form of five heavy cruisers pushing through Klingon space to reinforce the Archer IV outpost. In the first system, they encountered and easily destroyed a Klingon freighter. As I take those ships through Klingon space, I'll roll for an encounter, then roll to see what they encounter.

I'm redesigning the STD's to reflect things like warp nacelles, computer cores, and transporters. They'll specify which systems are required to control your ship, and which systems you can control the ship from. Here's an example:

Command and Control Systems (CCS): (Bridge, Aux Bridge)
Auxiliary/Tactical Control/Countermeasure (ATC): (Fire Control, Sensors, Tractors, Hanger Bay, Transporters, Computer Core)

Control Capable: CCS/ATC
Control Requisite: Sensors/Computer Core/Power or Aux Power(1 battery per turn)

Another changing aspect of the STD and heavy combat is that systems that you can target are located in specific facings. I'm also putting guidelines out for ship and hull classes that will allow customizing and lead to different STD's for different ships and ship types within the same class. Here's an example, the Fed Destroyer STD:


Hull Rating 2

Shields: 108 available (6 Arcs)
Armor: 8 available (6 Arcs)
Hull: 10 available (6 Arcs)
Command and Control Systems (CCS): (Bridge, Aux Bridge) 1 each
Auxiliary/Tactical Control/Countermeasure (ATC): (Fire Control, Sensors, Tractors, Hanger Bay, Transporters, Computer Core) 7 total
Class A Weapons: (Defensive rated weapons) n/a
Class B Weapons: (Beam weapons) 1/2 total (B and C Class weapons are interchangeable.)
Class C Weapons: (Launched/Tracking weapons) 1/2 total (B and C Class weapons are interchangeable.)
Class D Weapons: (Super Heavy) n/a
Sublight Propulsion: (Impulse) 1 total
Power: (Warp) 3 total
Auxiliary Power: (Batteries) 3 total

SHIELD GENERATORS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (1 IN 10 NEEDED)

DORSAL SHIELDS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
VENTRAL SHIELDS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
PORT SHIELDS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
STARBOARD SHIELDS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
FORE SHIELDS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
AFT SHIELDS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Fore 1 2
Aft 1 2
Port 1
Starboard 1
Dorsal 1
Ventral 1

Fore 1 2 3
Aft 1 2 3
Port 1 2
Starboard 1 2
Dorsal 1 2 3
Ventral 1 2 3

Bridge (DORS)1
Aux Bridge (VENT)1
Fire Control (FWD, PORT, STBD)1 2 3
Computer Core (FWD)1
Photons (FWD) 1 (AFT) 1
Sensors (OMNI/FWD, AFT)1 2
Tractors (OMNI/VENT)1
Phasers (OMNI/FWD,AFT,DORS) 1 2 2
Impulse (DORS)1
Hanger Bay (AFT) 1
Transporters (DORS)1
Batteries (VENT)1 2 3 4
Warp (VENT)1 2 3 4
Warp Nacelles (Port) 1 2 (Starboard) 1 2

Control Capable: CCS/ATC
Control Requisite: Sensors/Computer Core/Power or Aux Power(1 battery per turn)

Note: Warp refers to warp power capacity and system redundancies.. 

It's still very much a work in progress. There'll have to be allowances for ships like the Achilles Class heavy cruiser that is loaded with photon launchers but will have to be balanced with some weakness. Maybe limited ECM capability. In the end, it'll be a nicely customized and customizable game. And by the way, in order to target systems located to Dorsal (on top), you'll actually need to get above the ship. That means heavy combat in a 3-D environment, which means a second tactical map to show relative elevation.

I still need to update the links on the website to reflect changes. In the meantime, if you're playing, either go with the rules you have or leave a comment so I can email you updated rules. Most things actually haven't changed. It's just the important stuff, like heavy combat rules and STD's. And if you joined late and don't know what I mean by "STD", its Starship Technical Database. All the pertinent data on your ship.

Fleet Action. Head-To-Head Bare Knuckles Naval Combat. Boarding Party Action. Solid Interactive Storytelling Like No Commercial Game Can Offer. How Much Star Trek Can You Handle?
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