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General Questions About STSF
- I've heard a lot of people talk about ‘STSF.' What does this mean?
- Where do games take place?
- What makes STSF different from other Star Trek simming groups?
- I don't live on the East coast of the United States! Can I still play? When are the games?
- I can't make any of the sims scheduled. Can you schedule one for a different day and time?
- Who's in charge of all this/What is a GM?
- What do the GMs do?
- How do I become a GM?

Okay, I want to join. Now what?
- How do I get started?
- I looked at the schedule and want to join the U.S.S. Arcadia! How do I do it?
- I hold the rank of Captain in one group and Lieutenant Commander in another sim group. I have a lot of experience. Do I have to play in the Academy?

Life In The Academy
- Why do I have to go through the Academy?
- Do I have to create a screen name like cdt_james?
- I've attended 3 Academy sims and I haven't graduated! WHY!?!
- What do GMs look for in a graduate?
- It's all right to go around and have some REAL fun, right?
- What posts are on a sim and what does each one do?

Life In The Advanced Fleet
- What's the difference between an Advanced sim and an Academy?
- Can I see an Advanced sim?
- Once I graduate, how do I get aboard an Advanced sim?
- How long do Advanced sims last?
- Great, I graduated! Now what does Ens. and the rest stand for?
- Can I continue to play in the Academy after joining an Advanced sim?
- Can I join more than one Advanced sim?

Help! I'm having problems with the chat rooms!!
- What are the STSF.NET chat room system requirements?
- What are the STSF.NET emergency chat room system requirements?

More Questions
- I have questions about my personal simming style, who can I ask?
- My Question is not on here!





Section Title: General Questions About STSF

Q: I've heard a lot of people talk about ‘STSF.' What does this mean?
A: The abbreviation ‘STSF' is what many people use when referring to the group, Star Trek™ Simulation Forum. STSF is a simming/role-playing group.

Q: Where do games take place?
A: All of STSF's gaming activities take place in stsf.net's
chatrooms. All of the Academy Training games are held in the Holodeck chat room. Most Advanced games are held in the Ready Room chat room. In the event these rooms are having technical problems, events are held in STSF's on-site emergency rooms. These will be set up and announced by the GMs in the case that the main chat rooms are down.

Q: What makes STSF different from other Star Trek™ simming groups?
A: STSF works hand-in-hand with Paramount Digital Entertainment and
startrek.com to provide players with the very best online role playing experience. The group is managed by a GM Council that has years (for some, a decade) of experience in running online games. They have the skill and experience to coordinate a successful group that is fun for all who participate. The biggest factor that sets STSF apart from other groups is it's community. Without the players there would not be a forum, STSF never forgets that.

Q: I don't live on the East coast of the United States! Can I still play? When are the games?
A: STSF lists its schedule of events in both Pacific and Eastern time zones. There isn't enough space on the schedule page to list every time zone available and when a game would be in that part of the world. However, there are several sites on the Internet that can help convert times from one time zone to another. One such tool is the
TimeZone Converter. This can be found online at http://www.timezoneconverter.com/cgi-bin/tzc.tzc. The games are listed on STSF's schedule, which is located at http://www.stsf.net/schedule.php

Q: I can't make any of the sims scheduled. Can you schedule one for a different day and time?
A: STSF offers a wide range of days and times for their sims, but please remember the GMs are volunteers with off-line demands on their time as well. Consequently the forum cannot accommodate all requests for particular days or times, though simmers are always welcome to make suggestions.

Q: Who's in charge of all of this/What is a GM?
A: Each game is operated by a team of trained individuals. These people, called Game Masters or Game Moderators (GM) are STSF personnel who are responsible for the operation of their assigned sim. GMs are experienced Role Players who enjoy helping other players have fun during their events. If a player has any questions about STSF or how to play, the GMs are the people to ask! A senior administrative body called the GM Council oversees these individuals for the Forum. This group is responsible for such things as the scheduling, new GM recruitment, processing of graduates, maintaining the forum's website, preparing and presenting new sim games, etc. At the head of this body is the Forum Leader, or Admiral, and Assistant Forum Leader, or Vice-Admiral.

Q: What do the GMs do?
A: GMs lead Academy and Advanced simulations. They act as examples and as teachers for simmers. They keep order in the chat rooms, create new and interesting plotlines, organize sims, answer questions, give advice, encourage, support, and are generally all-around helpful and friendly people.

Q: How do I become a GM?
A: While STSF always welcomes people who want to help others learn the ways of simming, there are several requirements a person must meet to qualify as a GM. They must be at least 18 years of age. They must hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander on an STSF sim for at least six months and have been an active member of the game during that time. In addition, any GM candidate must be sponsored by a current GM in good standing in the Forum. Finally, the GM Council will only bring candidates through the Interview screening and GM Training process when there is a Forum need for more GMs on the schedule.


Section Title: Okay, I want to join. Now what?


Q: How do I get started?
A: A user must register an account at
our Message Boards. Once they have successfully done this, they would look at the STSF schedule at http://www.stsf.net/schedule.php and find an Academy sim to attend. They should show up in the chat room at least five minutes before the sim is set to begin and follow the onscreen instructions from the GMs to get a post for that Academy. That's it! The GMs will help teach the user how to role-play and how the games work. If anyone has any questions during the games, they can send the GMs a private message.
(Note: All of the STSF training and advanced games take place in stsf.net's chat rooms. You can find them at http://www.stsf.net/chats.php)

Q: I looked at the schedule and I want to join the U.S.S. Arcadia! How do I do it?
A: In order to participate on an STSF Advanced sim, such as the U.S.S. Arcadia, a player must first graduate from the STSF Academy program. Graduation from the Academy is required of everyone before they can participate on an Advanced game. However, anyone is free to stop by and watch an Advanced sim as long as they do not disrupt the sim.

Q: I hold the rank of Captain in one group and Lieutenant Commander in another sim group. I have a lot of experience. Do I have to play in the Academy?
A: Transferring ranks from another simming organization is not permitted. All persons must go through and graduate from the STSF Academy. A player's previous work in other forums can help them greatly! It'll make it that much easier for them to graduate because they'll already know the ropes.


Section Title: Life In The Academy

Q: Why do I have to go through the Academy?
A: The STSF Academy program is designed to help ensure that anyone joining an Advanced sim has a basic understanding of how to play the game and interact with other players. Given the wide variety of games that exist on the Internet, this system is in place to make the player familiar with STSF's unique style of role-playing.

Q: Do I have to create a screen name like cdt_james?
A: This is not required. However, this is simple to do and may make things easier for the player and the GMs.

Q: I've attended 3 Academy sims and I haven't graduated! WHY!?!
A: STSF requires that all persons attend a MINIMUM of three Academy games before being considered for graduation. This is a minimum number and does not mean that once a player meets this requirement, they will automatically graduate. Some people are ready to leap right in after their third sim, and some take several months before they graduate. It is very rare for someone to graduate after their third sim. Most people take much longer than three. A simmer can refer to STSF's help documents for hints on how to graduate, or ask a GM how to improve their performance – the GMs will be happy to help! Remember that like any other learning experience in life, people progress at different speeds. Cadets should have patience, and keep trying.

Q: What do GMs look for in a graduate?
A: When a player is simming in an Academy, the GMs are looking at many things. In general, they look for individuals who have attended at least three Academy sims, and displays, at least:
    1.) They can interact with a team and be a team player.
    2.) They can follow the main storyline without getting sidetracked.
    3.) They can keep themselves occupied when the story doesn't involve them.
    4.) They can follow the chain of command.
    5.) They can participate actively and creatively.
    6.) They can demonstrate respect and courtesy to GMs and fellow simmers alike.
    7.) They have a good understanding of the game commands, grammar, spelling and can interact properly with other players.

Q: It's alright to go around and have some REAL fun, right?
A: If a player thinks that disrupting a sim or acting in an immature manner is fun, then the answer is No. Disruptions in Academy sims are reported to all GMs. Disrupting an Academy will have a negative effect on a player's chances for graduation from any Academy. Any Advanced player found to be disrupting an Academy will also be reported to that player's Advanced sim GMs.

Q: What posts are on a sim and what does each one do?
A: All of the various roles available to players are based on the positions typically found in the Star Trek ™ world. For the most part, this would be a military role. However, there are times that other positions will be added by the GM.
Below are the most common posts you will find in an STSF event:
  • Command {GM} - The Captain is the person in charge of the ship or station. He/she makes the final decision on all important issues the sim faces.
  • Executive {GM} - The First Officer is the Captain's "right hand." He/she serves as the liaison between the Captain and the rest of the crew. Generally the XO is responsible for crew discipline. The XO will generally lead most away team missions.
  • Tactical - The Tactical Officer controls the ship's weapons and defensive systems. Depending on the event, this player may also serve as the Chief of Security.
  • Operations - The Operations Manager coordinates the allocation of the ship's resources. He/she makes sure each department has access to the materials they need and also has been known to serve as liaison between the Bridge and the other departments on the ship. Depending on the event (and the GM), the ship's communication system may be under the control of the OPS officer. (If not performed by OPS, the TAC officer will be the one responsible for communications.)
  • Helm - The Helmsman controls the ship's navigation system.
  • Security - Security Officers , are responsible for protecting the ship, its crew, and cargo. They also generally accompany Away Teams to assist with security issues.
  • Engineering - Engineers , are the ship's miracle workers. They are responsible for keeping various systems functional. They fix broken systems, perform diagnostics on existing systems, and help install new hardware.
  • Science - The Science department , is the investigative body of the ship. They run various scans and control the ship's sensors. In addition they are also involved in many research projects.
  • Medical - The ship's Medical staff , is in charge of the overall health of the crew. They help heal injured officers, do preventative checkups, test medical equipment, and also assist in medical related research.



Section Title: Life In The Advanced Fleet

Q: What's the difference between an Advanced sim and an Academy?
A: An Advanced sim is one that is a lot more complex than anything seen in the Academy. Academies tend to have simpler plot lines that can be finished within the hour allotted. They are open to any and all comers, and they are meant to be a training ground where new simmers can learn and make mistakes. In an Advanced sim, each person holds the same position week after week, they are a regular member of a permanent crew. Often, missions can last several months.

Q: Can I see an Advanced sim?
A: Yes, anyone is welcome to observe Advanced sims at any time. Players are asked, however, to remember that they are there as guests and to be courteous. Anyone can ask questions before or after the sim, or by private message.

Q: Once I graduate, how do I get aboard an Advanced sim?
A: After someone has graduated, their name and e-mail address are submitted to the administration of STSF. An application is then e-mailed to the new Ensign. They fill out the application (which includes a listing of sim times and which ships have openings) and then send it in and get assigned to an Advanced sim.

Q: How long do Advanced sims last?
A: Advanced sims last just as long as an Academy sim. Unless otherwise specified, all games last one hour. However, participation in an advanced sim will require more than one hour of involvement per week. Checking and responding to e-mail, writing duty logs, reading chat logs are just some of what may be expected.

Q: Great! I graduated! Now what does Ens and the rest stand for?
A: These are abbreviations for ranks. They include variations on the following:
    Cadet (Cdt)
    Ensign (Ens)
    Lieutenant Junior Grade (LtJg)
    Lieutenant (Ltn)
    Lieutenant Commander (LtCmdr)
    Commander (Cmdr) {GM}
    Captain (Capt) {GM}
    Rear Admiral (RAdm) {GM Council}
    Vice-Admiral (VAdm) {Asst. Forum Leader}
    Admiral (Adm) {Forum Leader}

Q: Can I continue to play in the Academy after joining an Advanced sim?
A: Yes! In fact, this is welcomed and encouraged. Help in the Academy by graduates is always a great asset to the GMs. However, do remember that the focus will be on the "undergrads" or cadets. Also, no player is allowed to be disruptive. If an Advanced player become a disruption, their behavior will be reported to their Advanced sim GM and there will be repercussions.

Q: Can I join more than one Advanced sim?
A: The simply answer is yes. However, the STSF Personnel Department strongly recommends that new graduates wait at a few months before taking on an additional sim. It takes time to figure out how much a sim will demand from a person's schedule. A person shouldn't hurry to join a second sim, only to find out a week later it's too much for them to handle.



Section Title: Help! I'm having problems with the chat rooms!

Q: What are the STSF.NET chat room system requirements?
A: While not the official requirements, here is what STSF members have observed to be the most reliable system requirements for using the rooms. The browser should be Internet Explorer 5.0 (or higher) or Netscape Navigator 6.0 (or higher), no pop-up blocking software running and the latest copy of Java available for download at
http://java.sun.com/.

Q: What are the STSF.NET emergency chat room system requirements?
A: While not the official requirements, here is what STSF members have observed to be the most reliable system requirements for using the rooms. The browser should be Internet Explorer 5.0 (or higher) or Netscape Navigator 6.0 (or higher), no pop-up blocking software running and the latest copy of Java available for download at
http://java.sun.com/.

Section Title: More Questions

Q: I have questions about my personal simming style, who can I ask?
A: Any GM would be happy to answer questions. It's probably best for a cadet to speak with one who's seen them sim. No one should feel that asking questions will hurt their chances of promotion. The GMs are involved with STSF specifically because they want to help people learn to sim and perfect their simming styles.

Q: My question is not here?
A: If there is a question that is not answered in this FAQ document, please check the STSF message boards, which hold a wealth of valuable information, as well as the STSF Help Section at
http://www.stsf.net/howto.php. Also, any GM can answer questions or point a player in the right direction to get their question answered.


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