ORIGINS: New Player Training Setup and Guidelines
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This guide is simply to provide some basic information on the process of training- how it is set up and conducted. If you are looking for an actual instruction manual to serve as a textbook for how to write in ASR: ORIGINS, please see the Alt.Starfleet.RPG_Player's_Manual- that volume is as comprehensive as one could want on the ins and outs of life in ASR.
Once a new player joins ORIGINS, he/she will immediately assume the role of a recent Starfleet Academy graduate about to embark on his/her "Cadet Cruise"- his/her final training mission before posting to his/her new ship. This is done without exception, for whether one joins ASR Prime or ASR: ORIGINS, 18 years of experience (ASR Prime was founded in 1991) has taught us that OUR way of doing things is somewhat different than the other simulations and RPG's out there.
The Cadet Cruise
When you report to Spacedock, you will report to the Training Officer assigned to you; this information will be given to you by either your future Captain or the Chief of Starfleet Operations, the person in charge of player assignments across ASR. Once you- and any "classmates" you might have- have reported in, you will "launch" and begin your orientation into the world of ASR.
One of the things your Training Officer will go over with you is the format- the way your post should LOOK- for posting in ASR. This will include learning how to write a proper subject line, learning how to figure out our mission date and stardate systems, and writing a proper signature at the end of posts. It sounds easy enough to be certain; no one says it is hard to learn. However, it is one of those things that, if not done correctly, can make it very confusing for those reading your posts to know who wrote it and for what unit. So, while not hard, it IS important to get right.
Learning How to Hook
The other thing that new players will learn during their cruise is how to interact with others through their writing. See, ASR is a shared fiction environment- meaning multiple people combine together to tell one common story. In order to do so effectively, new players must learn how to do things like play off of another player's "hooks"- hints and openings left by one player for others to join the scene, and how to create "hooks" (hints or openings) for the other players.
This is one of the most difficult things for new players to learn. Many new players do not have experience doing this kind of thing; they are used to writing as individuals, or writing a few lines at a time. ASR is more like writing whole chapters or scenes at a time,a nd to do that effectively, players must learn to work with one another instead of going off in their own direction all the time. That's the nature of sharded fiction: we sometimes sacrifice our specific wants and desires at the moment in order to work as part of a larger group. The satisfaction is in cooperative storytelling here, not in individual achievement or brilliance.
Creating and Polishing the Character Biographical File
While new players are learning HOW to write for ASR, they will also need to spend time creating, editing and polishing their character's biographical file, or biofile. The good, playable biofile- one that is balanced (not a superbeing), has the right amount or lack of experience, and has the proper personality and background detail- is absolutely critical here in ASR: not only does it confirm your commitment to writing in ASR, it also gives your shipmates something to work from, helping them to write more accurately for your character. Ins hort, if one wants to avoid having his.her character portrayed "out of character," he/she would be wise to make sure his/her biofile is of good quality.
The Training Officer will all new players on the specifics of biofile creation. However, if interested, ORIGINS has created a biofile template for anyone who wishes to use it.
Finishing the Cruise
The Cadet Crusie will usually last only a few posts- 3-5 at most- after which the ship will turn around and return to spacedock, where the new players- now (most likely) officially Ensigns in Starfleet- will then either board their new ships or a shuttlecraft which will rendezvous with their new ship.
As mentioned, almost all new players will end up finishing their Cadet Cruise being commissioned as Ensigns (O-1, or officer grade 1). There are, however, a couple of exceptions:
New players playing a doctor will end up with characters holding the rank of Lieutenant (O-3); this is because of the shear amount of education one needs to have in order to become a doctor. Starfleet recognizes this, and awards a higher commission as a result.
Special Recognition on the Cadet Cruise
At the discretion of the Training officer, new players who play their character exceptionally well, or do a superlative job in acclamating themselves to "The ASR Way," can be commissioned as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade (O-2). It should be mentioned, however, that this is a rarity; only those whose performance is exceptional will be granted such an award, and such an award is given SOLELY at the discretion of the Training Officer- there is no appeals process involved here.
Other Special Cases
Sometimes, players create characters that have numerous advanced degrees; typically, these would be found in either sciences or engineering. Starfleet, in much the same way as they do with medical personnel, recognises these advanced degrees and would award such officers higher commissions. However, in practice, no such commissions are granted at a higher grade than Lieutenant (O-3).
Final decision on thiese matters would lie with the head of ORIGINS.
I hope this was somewhat enlightening. Again, welcome to ORIGINS!