Q: What is this about?
A: The USS Artemis is a "Star Trek" Simulation (Sim) set in the 25th century. It's a Play-by-E-Mail game where a group of individuals get together to pour their creative energies into making a science fiction plot based in the "Star Trek" world. Each month, every member of the crew writes at least three logs and gradually the plot advances through these character-based story parts, moving towards an exciting climax. It's a little like "let's pretend", or like acting in one of the "Star Trek" shows.
Q: How is this all organized?
A: The USS Artemis SIM originally started in 2006. The Commanding Officer (CO) is known in some Sims as a Game Master (GM). He (or she) is in charge of the ship, In Character (IC) and Out Of Character (OOC). He is assisted by his Executive Officer (XO) and Second Officer (2XO), as well as the heads of the ship's various departments. He cooks up a plot, unleashes it on the crew, and they write their parts of the story in their logs. Everyone reads each others' logs and then responds in their own writing, which makes for an interactive story that develops every day!
Q: What is a log?
A: There are two sorts of logs: personal and duty. Personal logs deal only with off-duty time, e.g. going to The Longshot, our ship's lounge. Duty logs deal with things your character does whilst on his or her duty shift, e.g. manning a station on the bridge. In fact, many logs are really a mix of both. We write our logs in third person, past tense. ('He did this' as opposed to 'I do that'.) Logs can be submitted at any time during the week/month - at least three a month is required, but many people post more than that. Generally, you should be able to check your mail about twice a week in order to keep up. There are also Joint Logs, which is where two or more crewmembers shuttle a log back and forth between them, adding to it, until it's ready to be posted to the list where all our logs are sent for the crew to read. They are particularly good for interaction, and are a lot of fun! This Sim doesn't work with 'tags' in logs. Logs between two people are written behind the scenes and then are sent to the lists in a completed fashion.
Q: Is there a minimum log requirement?
A: Yes, one log a week--duty, personal, or joint. If you can't, email command for an excusal.
Q: So this sim is in English...does that mean I can't join if English isn't my first language?
A: Not at all - we have crewmembers already who speak English as their second language. Sometimes you might have trouble keeping up, or you might need to refer to a dictionary, but we will support you as much as possible. If you think you can write three quality logs per month, and keep up with everyone else's logs, you are always welcome.
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: Yes, the USS Artemis is an 18+ sim. We do not, however, encourage excessively graphic logging in either sex or violence. These types of logs are permitted, but we ask that they be marked in the subject line with either [18+] or [Adult] before sending, and we don't want to see that be the primary type of logging done. It's all about storytelling here. We simply maintain this age rating for legal reasons.
Q: Do I have to know everything about "Star Trek"?
A: Certainly not! The present CO definitely doesn't and nor do many of the crew. They're just a bunch of fun-loving individuals who like to write stories. You can pick stuff up along the way, learn as you play, and simply use techno-babble where you're not sure. There are resources to help you learn, but this is about fun, not about regurgitating theoretical science.
Q: Where can I find out more?
A: If there aren't answers to your questions on this site, you can always email the command team at email@example.com and they'll get back to you within twenty-four hours. If you'd like to observe the Sim to get an idea of how it works, just give us a buzz and we'll be happy to add you to the list. Often once you start watching the logs fly past, everything becomes a whole lot clearer!
Q: How do I join the crew?
A: Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org ! A member of the command team will soon welcome you onboard and give you more information about getting started. You will more than likely be asked to submit a writing sample for Command review, so that we can help you understand Artemis simming before you actually begin sending logs.
Q: This is all old news to me. I've been simming elsewhere for years! Can I join your SIM with my existing character? Do I have to start as a cadet?
A: In these instances, it is a case by case basis determined by Command, although most Simmers new to the Artemis and to the Command team will begin as Ensign. If you wish to begin at a higher rank, inform us of this and we will consider it, though we will not gaurantee it. You can contact us email@example.com for more information and we can go from there!
DEPARTMENT HEAD POLICY
To be a department head, one must be at least Lieutenant in rank. The only exception is Wing Commander, which requires Lieutenant Commander.
All Department Head positions are to be filled by Class-A NPCs – played by Command or a Command-assigned Simmer – until a suitable player of appropriate rank is available and interested in the spot. If someone joins a Department, they remain an Assistant of that department until they achieve necessary rank. It is then at Command's disposal to offer them the position, if they feel the person is good for the role.
There are two types of NPCs on the Artemis: 'regular' NPCs and Class-A NPCs. Regular NPCs are ones briefly used for particular purposes or background scenes in logs. They also are often used by more than one player. They are one time or frequent oblique references, but are very two dimensional.
Class-A NPCs, however, are ones that are frequently used by the same player, or the same small group of players (like Command, or a Department). These NPCs are ones with character and history. They are developed and can be used as often in logs or joint logs as PCs. For an NPC to be considered Class-A, they need a Bio submitted and are posted as NPCs on the Roster, as well as what person or department they are played by. If someone would like to log with one of them, they must contact the people these NPCs are attached to.
Regular NPCs can be upgraded to Class-A NPCs, or Class-A's can start as such.
A log from an NPC-A will count towards the player's three logs per month count, as will high quality 'regular' NPC logs.
Anyone is welcome to create an NPC or NPC-A. This can be an NCO or Officer, but there are some rules about what ranks they can be.
Only Department Heads and Command can make NPCs with a rank of Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander. Full Commander has to have Command approval. For the NCOs, Department Heads and Command can be the only ones to make CPO NPCs, with SCPO being approved by Command. Anyone can make an Ensign or Junior Lieutenant NPC, or any NPC up to and including Petty Officer First Class.
While it's not required, it's highly encouraged that any NPC Lieutenant or above be made an NPC-A.
Being promoted is a priviledge and not a right. It is at Command's discretion to promote characters, and we will do so based on the level of activity from that player, the quality of logging, the amount of interaction within the Sim and the level of OOC communication. For each rank higher you go, the expecation grow.
We don't keep any sort of 'marker' for this, but if you are curious as to where you 'stand' you may contact Command and ask. We will tell you, and give you advice about what areas to work on to be considered for promotion.
CHAIN OF COMMAND
Chain of Command. Three words that drive fear into the heart of most of those first hearing the phrase for the first time. It sounds big, imposing, and scary. It's not. It's actually quite a simple concept. In a sentence: The chain of command is that chain of authority stretching from the individual member of the service up to the Commander-in-Chief (in short, the President of the UFP).
You step around it at your peril, particularly if you are of low rank.
For everybody except specialized departments (on the Artemis, this means everybody except the Air Group), the chain of command runs like this, presuming the individual member does not have charge of personnel:
Individual Member -> Section Chief -> Deputy Department Head -> Dept. Head -> XO -> CO
Example: Crewman Jones works in the Armory, under the Security Department.
If he has a problem, he goes to the Armory Section Chief, his immediate 'boss'. The section chief can handle most issues. If the section chief can't, the issue goes to the Deputy Chief of Security, his boss's boss. Only if the issue cannot be resolved there does it go to the Chief of Security. At this point, it had best be a really good reason for the issue to head higher.
If for some reason the CSec cannot handle it, it goes to the XO. (Crewman Jones is probably in deep trouble if it's something minor - the XO, by tradition, is responsible for the 'management' of the crew, including discipline matters.) If it can't be resolved there, it goes to the Commanding Officer, AKA the Old Lady, AKA Mistress-after-God of the ship under her command.
If it's the very rare something the CO can't handle, it goes to one of the Commodores and Admirals that make up Starfleet Command. Eventually, the chain of command in all matters traces back to the source of all command in Starfleet, the President of the UFP in his role as Commander-in-Chief.
This can get more complicated, involving different tactical, operational, and administrative chains of command, but this covers 99% of all issues that any person might expect to face and there fore is all that you really need to know when it comes to in-game play.
CHAIN OF COMMAND AND INTERPERSONAL MATTERS
Now what's scary about what I've presented? Nothing, usually.
Except that (especially as you get higher up) relationships between those in the same chain of command tend to get scrutinized more by higher-ups (for example: A relationship between an Element Lead and her wingman is one thing; a relationship between the CO and, er, anybody is regarded quite differently!).
You can pull it off, but it comes with no small amount of tightrope-walking; there's a reason why command is regarded as a lonely thing. It's not unheard of or impossible, but has to be handled with the utmost caution, discretion, privacy and delicacy for those higher up on the chain and can still be tricky.
Relationships where you aren't in the same direct COC? Perfectly Okay, legally speaking.
Most people regard the COC as something scary for precisely that tiny complication. However, that's where a lot of the fun can come in - but remember, to observe and even try to walk the edges of something, you have to understand what it is first, and that's what this guide is there for.
CHAIN OF COMMAND: OFFICERS & ENLISTED
Typically speaking, the Officers and Enlisted are each to their own on board the ship. Any officer - even an Ensign - is typically the superior over any Enlisted, due to their commission, but a wise Ensign will listen to a career NCO who has more experience in the related area.
Although they do not share quarters, Officers and NCOs are otherwise not separated on the Artemis. They share a dining hall and recreational facilities, and work together in their related Departments. There are sometimes separate NCO Chains of Command, but they all end with the Department Head.
Like the rest of the Chain of Command, romantic relationships between Officers and Enlisted is discouraged but not forbidden. Discretion is, as ever, required. (Friendships are freely allowed.)
The Chief of the Boat is something akin to the XO of the Enlisted. He or she is not directly in anyone's Chain of Command - save the Captain - but has vast authority over the Enlisted and has the ear of the Captain on such matters, like the Executive Officer has over the whole ship, and particularly Officers.
If the Chief of the Boat tells an NCO to do something, they do it - unless it's directly counter-ordered by an officer in that NCO's Departmental Chain of Command. With a smooth working vessel, however, such occurrence is unlikely.
The CoB also over-sees those outside the standard departmental break-down, such as the Yeoman staff and the Mess Hall staff.