Players and Characters

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In simple terms, a "player" is you, the real-life person involved in the game. A "character" is the in-world avatar living in the fantasy world of the UFS universe.

Players know that UFS is a game based on interacting with other players through game characters in a common place such as an online metaverse. The player will usually have knowledge that the character does not. In other words, if someone types about what their character is thinking, but does not say it directly to another player's character, then there is no way for the character to know about it. However, the other player does read what is being thought by another player's character and this helps that player gain a clearer picture of the thought processes of the character and will help make for richer interactions. A player must always be cautious to make sure that their character is acting on information that the character knows, not extra information that the player knows.

Character Creation

Every character within UFS has a service jacket file which is essentially a summary of your character's physical traits, educational experiences, service history, and personal chronology. There are many experienced players within UFS who will help you with writing up your bio should you need it.

There are other things that need to be considered when creating a bio. Certain characters, certain races (such as Q), and certain powers are simply not allowed. When players give their characters special powers it is commonly referred to as ‘god-modding’. Disruptive characters include those characters with active connections to terrorists, the underworld, and/or rival intelligence communities (members of the Romulan or Cardassian secret services, for example); extraordinary psionic capability; 'hard' immortality (Q-like beings), felony criminal records, training as an assassin, etc. These types of characters are generally not conducive to good role playing.

The above restrictions may at first seem limiting, but there is good reasoning behind them. Your character is a Starfleet officer and, therefore, must have some characteristics reflecting that fact. Starfleet Academy would not, for instance, admit any criminals; neither would it tolerate "troublemakers" and those with murky backgrounds.

The important thing to keep in mind is that your character should be believable. This means that he or she should NOT necessarily be "the best ever" at anything (the chances of this are extremely small). Please remember at all times that you are playing with other people; if they can't take your character seriously, then it will likely hinder and limit roleplay opportunities for you.

If you are not sure about which species to choose or whether your character is acceptable or not, then consult the UFS Intelligent Species Index and/or contact the office of the Chief of UF Starfleet Operations for guidance.

Backstory

As far as your character’s back-story is concerned, most officers entering service with UFS have attended Starfleet Academy for four years (even though it’s only circa 4 weeks in real time). Nearly all will be Starfleet Navy option; however, it is also possible to have a character that is in the Marine Corps either in the infantry or aerospace division.

In order to facilitate the time the time your character would have spent at Starfleet Academy, the minimum age for a human character is twenty years. Alien characters may have different ages, but must also be adults by the standards of their society.

If you want to play as yourself in UFS, that is fine. You know who you are, where you are from and your history. If you want to become someone new or different, then the Star Trek® universe is yours to play in but a bit more research work is required on your part. You have to create this new person. Where is he/she from? Where did he/she go to school, what are their fears, what are their parents like? All of this does not need to be decided right at the beginning, but it can be built on and expanded as you and your character grow.

In order to describe your character, you will need to create a biographical record ("bio" for short). A bio provides information about your character. Your character's bio tells other people what you think your character is like. Your bio will be stored on the wiki as part of your characters UFS Service Jacket.

Remember, UFS can only have so many hot-headed helm officers, introvert genius science officers, or young security officers raised by Klingons. You also might want to take a look at the timelines (UFS and UFP) to see what events might have contributed to making your character who he or she is. Once you’re ready, here’s a brief rundown of all the areas of a typical BIO you’ll need to consider.

Age/Date of Birth

Remember to make your character’s age correspond to your rank. Your character won’t be too long out of the Academy. (For officers, that is. Enlisted and NCO’s will have greater freedom with their age, since they could have enlisted at any age.) Keep in mind, once you’re roleplaying, you’re going to have to act your age. If you’re in your early twenties, guess what? You’re not going to have it all figured out. You’re going to be green, inexperienced and maybe make a mistake or two.

Place of Birth

Obviously, be familiar with whatever planet country or region you have your character hailing from. Make sure you know the culture and speech patterns. Also, the vast majority of players have their characters come from Earth or born to Starfleet officers on a ship, so if you want a quick way for your character to stand out from the pack, here’s an easy place to start.

Species

Very important. There are a lot of species besides human to choose from, even though few players ever venture beyond them. If it’s from a species that’s not a Federation member or hostile to the Federation, you better have a good reason and a damn good back story. The UFS Intelligent Species Index provides guidance on all Star Trek® species and whether they can be played in-game.

Marital Status/Family

Nearly all characters in UFS are single, for whatever reason. If you want a dose of originality then why not go for someone who’s married. As for your family, that’s going to be one of the areas that shape your character’s personality, especially his or her parents.

Appearance

This area is for the benefit of other players who might run into your character. What you should focus on is making certain your character’s appearance reflects or complements his or her personality traits. For instance, if your character is focused and duty oriented, maybe they don’t have time to eat or do their hair. If your character is haunted by times passed, maybe they have a weariness or apathy about them. How do they stand? How do they carry themselves? What do people see when they look into your character’s eyes? All these would be helpful to your fellow crew members.

Interests

This often gets too little attention and its one area that can really make your character unique and three dimensional. This is where eccentricities can shine through. Yes there are people who are only focused on their work, but that is boring. Who’s his favourite author? What’s his favourite music? Real people have hobbies, you know.

Background

This is the cornerstone of your BIO and your character. If you get one thing right, it should be this. So spend some time on this part. Think it through. Look at the backgrounds of other people’s BIOs. You’ll find that in many, its several paragraphs long and sometimes separated into sub-sections like “early life/academy/adulthood”. What was your character’s childhood like? What formed their world view? Why did they join Starfleet?

Personality

This section should in fact be a little superfluous, in that if done right, someone should know exactly what kind of personality your character has simply by reading about their background and record. Nevertheless this is a good place to spell things out for anyone who might be a little thick *smiles*.

When your character joins a starship/starbase, your bio is one of the first things the existing crew will want to see. It's a resume and a character sheet all wrapped up in one. Keep your service jacket handy and get it updated periodically.

The following service jackets have well developed bios that may serve as inspiration...

Mulgrave Dwi

Jatan Rodas

The thing that each of the bio’s above have in common is that they are full and well rounded. They describe a complete person with hobbies, fear, hopes and dreams. And when you are here in UFS, work hard to BE that character. We are all just ordinary beings, whether we are hoofed, blue, or have horns.

Amnesia

UF Starfleet Academy runs an interactive 'in-character' class called Amnesia which will also provide you with additional assistance in buidling a backstory and developing your character. It is part of the College of Medical Sciences and is fun and highly recommended.