ASR Player's Manual Appendix A: Second Character FAQ

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What is a *second* character?

'Second character' is the term used in alt.starfleet.rpg for any additional player characters (not non-player characters) beyond the first one you created when entering the club.

What are the differences among 'primary character,' 'second character,' and 'non-player character?' What sorts of NPCs exist and how are they treated?

Well, these differences fall into two categories: administrative and role playing ramifications. In general:

Your primary player character is the one you took through ALB. Sometimes people retire their primary characters. In that case, their highest ranking characters are their primary characters.

Second characters are additional player characters created after you have entered the club and have been playing on a ship. They have all the rights, opportunities for advancement, etc. as yourprimary player character.

At present, most (ninety-five percent) of our player characters are commissioned officers in Star Fleet. A very few civilians, some cadets, a few warrant officers, and the occasional high-ranking non-commissioned officer have this designation. However, that requires the consent of either the Chief of Star Fleet Operations (CSFO) or your fleet commander.

Non-player characters fall into two categories: generic and protected. The differences are as follows:

Generic Non-player characters are NPCs. They belong communually to the ship, station, or starbase where they are played. They may be used or abused by all writers unless the CO dictates otherwise.

Protected/registered/special NPCs are non-player characters created in a certain environment (usually a ship or starbase) as part of a long term thread. They belong to the person who created them and are not to be abused. Most often, they are junior officers, warrant officers, or high ranking non-commissioned officers.

At one point these characters were referred to as 'secondary' characters. However, since that is easily confused with 'second' character, the nomenclature changed.

The salient point remains that if you really like a NPC, please register him with your unit commanding officer so that no one is permitted to abuse him without your consent. This saves everyone a lot of trouble down the line.

May I make my favorite NPC a second character?

As long as you abide by the rule that permits only one player character per person per ship (deep space stations and starbases are different) then you are welcome to develop a full bio for your favorite NPC and have him assigned to another rp unit. In fact, some of the better player characters in ASR came into existence this way.

How many "secondary characters" can I play?

In practice, we have found that trying to play more than three characters is very time consuming. We strongly encourage that you make sure that you can focus enough time and energy to your existing characters before considering creating more. We also highly recommend a limit of three characters per player.

I've heard the term, 'admin character.' What is that?

"Admin" is short for "administrative" or "administration", and refers in ASR to all the business of the group that goes on beyond the individual RP Units (Starships, etc.). Admin characters are characters used to flesh out these administrative functions for the benefit of Unit RP.

All flag officers (Admirals) are admin characters, save the occasional *breveted* commodore. The executive assistants to the various Admirals and the Staff departmental officers are also admin characters though they are of lesser rank. If you hear character names or story lines attached to CINCSF, CSFO, or a CINCFLEET, those are admin characters in action. If you have need to create an administrative character, you will be so informed. Rules do apply to them but are not within the scope of this FAQ.

What are free thread characters?

Those are characters created for free threads. Direct all questions about them to the CINCSF and CSFO. Currently, the free threads are not active in ASR, but any interest should be directed to the Flag Council, as they can always be reformed should sufficient interest exist.

How do I create a *second* character?

Second characters fall into two categories:

Solicited second characters: This means that a commanding officer, or a higher ranking admin player, comes to you and asks you to create a second character for his ship, fleet, or unit. That CO or admin player is responsible for making sure that your commanding officer(s) are notified of the creation of the character.

Solicited second characters are common to fill command slots on ships or to provide a permanent department head position on an established RP Unit. They are almost always created at a given rank (or rank range) desired by the commanding officer in question.

Moreover, the commanding officer who solicits the character is the one who approves the content of the character's bio. Either he or his fleet commander may require revisions if they believe the character is unsuited to the position for which he was solicited.

They *may* be promoted and moved on to additional billets. However, most stay on the RP Unit for which they were solicitied.

Unsolicited second characters: This means that you want to create another character for ASR but don't have a billet in mind yet. The rules are the following:

Your commanding officer(s) must approve the creation of the second character, and must agree that you are contributing to your current billet. The CSFO (or CINCSF) may override this requirement if he/she rules that non-contribution in a current billet is not the fault of the player.

You must create a character whose rank does not exceed your highest ranking current PC by more than two grades. This does *not* apply to solicited second characters per above. For example, if your highest ranking PC is an ensign, you may not create a character ranking higher than full lieutenant.

You must submit a bio to the Chief of Star Fleet Operations and report to the CSFO's office on SB ALPHA. You will then be assigned to a fleet and eventually a ship or space station.

Can the Chief of Star Fleet Operations refuse to assign my character or make me change my bio?

YES. Just as the Fleet Commander can make you change the bio of your primary player character, the Chief of Star Fleet Operations can compel you to make changes in the bio of your additional characters before assignment. In rare cases, the CSFO can refuse a character outright.

Why? This is to make sure that we don't have disruptive characters assigned to ships. Disruptive includes things like active connections to the mafia/underworld and/or rival intelligence communities, extraordinary offensive psionic capability, "hard" immortality (Q like beings), felony criminal records, training as an assassin, etc. These are precisely the same things that would cause MUSH/MOO wizards to refuse to approve you and are generally not conducive to good role play.

The CSFO also looks closely special "red flags." These include enlisted service experience (mustang or fleet appointments), special operations training, marine/naval commensurate commissions, awards/medals/decorations unexpected at current ranks, unexplained leaves of absence, obscure racial origins, shapechanging/shapeshifting ability, soft immortality, extensive psychological problems, and other such exceptional characteristics.

The character probably *will* be approved and assigned but you are encouraged to -balance- characters and use such backgrounds *only* if you are responsible with them. Things that confer 'status/advantages' over others are subject to a certain scrutiny. We expect you to remember that you are playing and writing with other people.

Nevertheless, some of these "red flags," if used *responsibly* do make for very interesting characters. We are not trying to limit creativity, but we have a responsibility to make things fair and fun for *all* players. Demonstrated good judgement and maturity go a long way.

If you believe the CSFO has unfairly or inappropriately refused to approve your character you may appeal the decision to the CINCSF.

What if the position I want is not open?

You will be informed if the position you want to play is not available. You may either wait until such a position is available or take a different position with the character. All reasonable efforts will be made to accomodate you.

How can I contact the CSFO or CINCSF?

That's easy. You can contact the CINCSF here, and the CSFO here.


  • 3.0- Minor updating to reflect the closing of ALB (SD 190422)
  • 2.0- Minor editing to reflect FC policy change regarding the number of players recommended (SD 161003)
  • 1.0- Original Creation (last modifed SD 160127)