This is another document taken ALMOST as is from an e-mail I sent to someone who was interested in joining the Troglodyte.
You don't have to read through all of this info, but if you're interested the more you read the better.
If you have no previous experience with play by e-mail simms you'll want to read this description:
A play by e-mail simulation is a story based rpg where a group of people, play the role of a crew of some sort, just a day in the life of a starfleet officer. The game can be heavily combat based, or socially, whatever, it's up to the game manager. Usually, the captain (the gm) has some very basic skeleton story, or just a few ideas to go on, and he'll start the mission off, and get the plot rolling. In the meantime, imagine that this were a tv series and you were writing for your character at this point... what would you do to make it more interesting? There's room for action, character developement, whatever... Some missions are total free for alls as far as the plot goes, but the gm has authority to guide the plot as he chooses (and the responsibility to keep the story flowing, which doesn't always work) When you're familiar with how the game works you do actually write for other characters frequently (but you don't do anything to drastic without asking the player previously)
Imagine a tv series where we all take turns writing parts... sounds confusing and chaotic, but that's half the fun... (actually it turns out pretty smooth a lot of the time)
But since I'm head director, I'm in charge of the plotline, and I leave your part and some of the action up to you for you deal with however you would like... sometimes there's guidelines to stick to, other times, have a ball.
Another definition: Go with the flow team story writing.
It is overwhelming at first, but if you like writing at all, or you're fascinated with action/adventure stuff, then you should really try it out.
The first time I ever played, the position I wanted was not available, and I was offered the XO's position instead (commander, meaning you also have more responsabilities with the storyline and crew)
I'd never heard of a simm like this but the captain liked my bio so much that he insisted I take the position, even though I was insisting I couldn't do it.... all it took was a few posts to get going, one really horribly done multiship mission, and then we had one of the coolest running simms. Full of puns, action movie parodies, and slightly exagerated action where we'd always make fun of how they do things the same way on all action films...
Gameflow and quality of gameplay is always what you make of it.
If you think it's not interesting, post something.
The game itself is played on an e-mail list which I control, and should you join I'll sign you up to the list. (anything you mail to the list will be mailed to the whole crew)
You don't want more than 15 players in a game, it gets too busy, but you don't want less than 8 or 9, or things can get dry really quick... and usually each ship will have 2 or 3 people who really take charge and get things running. The rest often don't put much effort into it, unless you really spur them on.
(it's a lot of work from the gm's perspective, but for a regular player, it depends on how much fun you want to have with it)
Combat and character survival are somewhat irrelivant. Your character cannot be killed by any situation unless you so choose. Of course don't abuse that fact, if you write yourself taking on 300 guys and don't have a reasonable explanation, I'll have to either really help you out, or tell everyone to ignore the post...
Depending on how soon we get players coming in, the game can't start at least for 2-4 weeks, maybe more... although with enough people we can start posting anyway if we really feel like it...
The crimson troglodyte is part of a storyline that's been running for 3 years. The origional ideas behind it were part of my first characters bio/history, since he was a former federation spy, and had to many scary occurences, and asked to be transfered to a starship position. (that part was simply invented...) From there, every once in a while, the missions of the ship I was on would inlcude sub plots about my old nemesis or something to do with the past organization my character had been in... it's through writing these missions that the syndicate and the troglodyte were invented.
I'll leave it at that for now...
as far as time goes for you should you choose to play, it's depends on how much you get into the game, but there's a bit of a minimum contribution. (if you're away, let me know and I'll make sure things are taken care of, but if you just dissapear for 3 weeks, I'll probably put your character on leave and more than likely kick you off the ship if you don't get back in the game, unless you have a reason you can't play anymore. Quit anytime you want, but always have the curtesy to let me know whether you're in the game or out)
I'm not going to say you have to write a minimum number of posts per week necessarily, but 1-2 posts a week is what I would be hoping for from anyone starting out. A post can take 5-60 minutes to write, it depends on how much detail you're putting into it and how much fun you're trying to have with it.
Sometimes it can take quite a bit at first to think of what to write or what would fit.... you're welcome to start small subplots when it seems like a good idea, but if it's going to affect the mission much, run it by the captain first (e-mail him privately)
The game is played continuously, it's not something where we all have to be online at the same time. You just come onilne, check you're email, and see if you feel like adding more to the story. We do take breaks now and then, but crew members are welcome to keep posting.
In next Star trek next gen the idea is outlined pretty clearly.
On one hand, you have some major diplomatic thing going on, and some spy stuff, and on the other, data's getting ready to put on a concert, and ryker is well, getting into trouble with some girl again... we generally keep the game at a pg-13 level for language, romance, etc. No descriptions of nudity, shower scenes, making out, etc (beyond some kind and careful hints)
The troglodyte is set in a very covert based campaign, scientifically, diplomatically, etc, and at times there's actually a behind the scenes full scale war going on between many of the syndicates, pirates, special ops from all races (the breen, dominion, federation, romulan, klingon, the orion syndicate, etc) And they're trying not to let anyone know about it....
You also have to try and keep the game to a good timeline.... if someone posts and you're post takes place during a portion of what they're writing, you basically just say at the beginning, this is where it takes place.... you'll get the idea when you see other people playing though.
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