16/12/2019 at 17:29 #33053
Do we have have a map somewhere that sets out the different departments within the TSN whether OOC or otherwise? Along with the staff and Chain of Command therein?
I just spotted a really good thread about the state of roleplay in the TSN (it’s two years old so, don’t wanna bump it). I was curious as to whether any progress had been made on what looked like a lot of consensus. Unfortunately, I’m not sure which would be the best team to pester.
R&D seems focused on in-game technical and support for equipment / modelling and the like.
ONI seems to have be focused on Storyline and ‘Delivering’ but I can’t find the… ‘course design cell’ that ensures delivery meets aims. I suspect HQ but again, I don’t really wanna bother the Fleet Captain with a nause like this.
If someone could point me in the right direction would be much appreciated :). I may have some thoughts about encouraging ‘immersion’ but if we’re no longer aiming for that, then I’d be making suggestions that’ll go nowhere.
Thanks!17/12/2019 at 01:56 #33057Matthew VajParticipant
Senior officers in general are the right people to talk to about ways to engage in roleplay. Feel free to throw them in this thread. Also link the thread you mentioned.
As for division organization, we have:
Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), currently headed by me.
ONI is subdivided into Intelligence and CIC
Intel are the masterminds behind long-term plotlines.
CIC are people who actually run missions from the Command and Control Deck.
Research and Development (R&D), also currently headed by me.
There are five areas within R&D, for details see https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UgQxwlBaDz6GamPXkVrqF8E_s5os_JMiao8X0SD8wt0/edit#heading=h.2ybkogdrh68b
Training Dept, headed by Commander Aramond
Training officers administer exams and work with new officers to help them get up to speed.
Personnel, which doesn’t have a formal head right now, though I anticipate that changing in the near future.
This is mostly just keeping the Central Officer Records up to date.17/12/2019 at 10:41 #33059
((Looks like I’m not allowed to post links))
Very well so there are two threads, one I think forked from the other
Promoting more RP in the group – by Xavier
Making TSN RP more engaging – by Nhaima
I see a lot of resources in the TSN Data Network that appear to not be utilized and I haven’t actually seen much role-play on the ships (although to be fair, I haven’t had that much experience of the Lancer). In fact the only ‘role-play’ I tend to see at the moment is limited to the Scramble-brief (I hesitate to call it a Mission Brief but that’s because of personal experience). It’s true attack formations are used but aside from that everyone appears to be concentrate on winning the game (and not dying).
It may be that the TSN was much more USN focused way back and a great deal of progress has been made and I know it’s certainly not my place to demand or recommend this or that be changed/added/removed but I hope that it is within my gifts to ask for information where we’re currently at if we’re ‘at’ at all.
I’d like to ask if a formal standing order has been created (do we have a collection of those anywhere?) with regards to these two threads, do we have any measurable objectives. Is there any progress to more ‘role-play’ missions as Nhaima has suggested? Is this still a direction that the Fleet Captain wishes to pursue? Has anyone thought about encouraging additional ‘small scale’ GMs to work with individual ships for smaller missions/story-lines?
Honestly I’d have preferred to ask quietly and behind the scenes but we seem to be missing a DivHQ!17/12/2019 at 12:10 #33060Matthew VajParticipant
Roleplay is inherently an objective as we are the Terran Stellar Navy Role Play group, but it isn’t required, per se. The extent to which non-gameplay Roleplay on the bridge exists is largely dependent on the captain and, to a lesser extent, the crew.
I think you are accurate in your assessment that as a whole we currently have more of a focus on winning the game instead of roleplaying the game. I won’t say whether that’s a good or bad thing; it just is, for better or worse, though I do think it is largely an artifact of the game itself not being particularly conducive to keeping all members of a crew engaged aside from combat situations. There’s a lot we can do with the sandbox, but only so much maintains interest for any significant period of time.
I will note that if you have an interest in more roleplay, in my experience if one person is engaging in it, others will join in, so I would encourage you to roleplay as much as you like. Back when I was a lowly engineer I liked to report damage with comments like “Hull breaches on deck 3!” which I think helped a lot with immersion. Tbh it’s a lot harder to RP about anything non-combat related as a commanding officer.
This has been one of the long-standing questions of the group, and I doubt that anyone will mind if you throw out ideas for how to expand on roleplay if you have them.17/12/2019 at 13:21 #33061
Thank you very much for the replies, I will endeavour to role-play more. Being new to this aspect of role-playing it’s going to be a touch difficult for me initially as I have a distinct lack of self-esteem when it comes to these things (and no small amount of stage fright).
Do the Game Master’s reward role-playing? I’ve only ever seen someone drop into a crew once to observe (Starry) so I’m not sure how possible this would be.
Secondly I do note that there is a ‘bar’ to assist with character building (not that I ever know what star date it is). We don’t seem to utilize any character building tools either, which may tie into Game Masters rewarding good role-playing. Is there any direction from above if this is likely to come back, if not, are there any barriers preventing it?
Are the ships encouraged to undertake ‘unsupervised’ or rather ‘routine’ patrols? Time, crew and volunteered GM willing? I mean we have permanent crews but we don’t seem to utilize them much. The reason I ask is because smaller groups can often add a lot to the lore and raise morale and pride for the ship.17/12/2019 at 20:13 #33063XavierKeymaster
I’d like to hear your ideas and view of what we have at the moment.
At this time, we are developing the next “Season” as it were. A season is basically a plan of episodes that create a story (think about it like a season on TV). Within each episode, there are specific events that occur that create the overall story, and these are broken down into key missions. When were are in the midst of these seasons, we try and create missions that allow for some more roleplay. These include missions where we don’t necessarily “win” the mission. Of course, these missions have to be carefully planned so that we don’t lose ships regularly (ships are treated like a character within the game, rather than just the ship you are on – you can’t kill them off without considering the consequences).
At the moment, we are in a bit of an “in-between” period – we aren’t really into a full season, but are instead progressing towards one.
I would love to hear your ideas on getting the roleplay going and keeping it stimulating. A fresh perspective would be great, and could stimulate ideas on how to give things for people to “tie into” as it were – things they can bounce off to be able to roleplay.17/12/2019 at 22:40 #33064
At the moment, I am looking at gaining a full understanding of the TSN and how it operates. We have between 15 and 25 interested parties during a given shift, three commanders a number of competent and willing Game Masters. The TSN is a success in its own right and I don’t want to detract from that in the slightest. If I do make a suggestion I want it to be right for the TSN and preferably not a half thought through. I want to avoid re-suggesting things as well.
With that said plenty of good and well reasoned suggestions have been put forwards by competent and proven individuals. So I’d like to refer to my earlier post and ask whether any of these suggestions have been taken forward and if so what kind of progress has been made?
So some of the things that were raised in those topics were (and I summarize, paraphrase for what I hope is clarity):
1. Reducing game manipulation: Would a Kralien realllly run headlong into a mine? Reward in game communication and co-operation between ships in character. *
2. Utilize the Sandbox instead of Solo Mode (done I think).
3. IC Discord/Teamspeak Bar (we don’t have an IC Teamspeak bar imo).
4. Increase opportunities for non-combat footing interactions between ship and crew.
5. Context is for Kings ~ More frequent ONI reports (After Action Reviews), pre-briefing briefing notes and encourage ‘free-form’. **
6. Rewards and Consequences – Role-playing should be rewarding for different actions, provide choices.
7. Get GMs to provide specific ship ‘events’ or problems to solve. So some ships may have different activities at any given time.
8. A possible separate chain of command from TSN role to ‘In Character Rank’ to allow characters to be different, while allowing the players to contribute to the TSN. (I don’t think this necessarily needs to be out of character but Nhaima make a valid point I think).
9. Allow for different levels of role-play within the TSN.
10. Encourage literate role-play around the Mission arcs (though I can’t do this without the ONI brief as I’m notoriously bad at listening…).
11. Encouraging players to come up with their own stories – (May need to take a more direct approach and teach them how they can do this).
12. Background RP stuff to promote ship chatter
13. Prepare a brief for Commanders to give to their ships.
14. Either have a per ship GM or make the Captain of a ship a ship GM giving them responsibility for making the ship more interesting without burdening the global GMs
15. Activities for crews outside of standard Duty Shift.
16. In Char: Discussion of events (possibly move to the Ship’s briefing room to get a status update or thoughts?)***
* We don’t seem to have a standard hailing and hailing response procedure and this seems to often fall into OOC sharply. I hardly hear a yes sir to the Flagship for example.
** It may be nice to focus the ‘Briefs’, so a pre Duty Shift OOC brief (i.e. from here on you’re role-playing you can be as creative or not as you wish), an IC ‘Orders’, IC ‘De-brief/After Action Review’ and then an OOC Debrief (How did the role-play go this time, any thoughts?). It may make it useful to take those responses it and use it revise the development process.
*** Normally these things would not be discussed on the bridge, except in a pressing circumstance where time was of the essence but at that point the CO likely already knows what they want to do.
I tried to gather as many of the suggestions I could and yes, I’ve added my notes. A good many of the suggestions off the top of my head have already been covered (and I have found myself recommending them once or twice) but as yet I don’t know what direction the TSN is moving in, it may be a decision has been made to go a different path.
Thanks again for your responses much appreciated.18/12/2019 at 18:21 #33066XavierKeymaster
Much of the chatter back and forth between ships is very much “operational” chatter. I.e. it conveys orders and key tactical information between ships. Hailing other ships isn’t often done. The are a couple of sticking points with it. First, the interaction is only usually between the commanding officer of the ship and the hailed vessel. This leaves other crew members to listen, and possibly chip in bits, but otherwise become observers. It is also usually limited to one ship hailing back and forth, with the rest of the division being the observer. Another is the time it might take – it does slow the pace of the mission/ game down and for some this can feel tedious. This doesn’t mean it is never done. I have heard hails to other ships for surrender or to exchange some information, and it has been done well. It is definitely something that can be planned and tried out in missions. And I like the idea of bringing together some standard hailing and response procedures that we could use when interacting with GM controlled NPCs. There are standard communication procedures in place between ships, but sometimes they slip.
The Sandbox is used almost exclusively now for simulations and missions.
Discord is predominantly OOC due to the nature of the discussion there. There was an IC bar, but it didn’t quite work out well enough and lots of OOC slipped into it. In the TS channels though, there are only one or two actually specifically OOC. The rest are supposed to be IC, but talking in character isn’t strictly enforced. There are plenty of people that will engage with that (and to be honest Lt. Cmdr Hall is a real pro at it), it just takes people to speak up 🙂
We are always searching for Non-combat interactions between crews in a mission. Trying to make these interesting for all positions is tricky. The shuttle provides possibilities, and has been used brilliant for RP in the past. It is just making sure we come up with fresh ideas, or keep on using the ones we have to make RP really engaging.
The rewards and consequences often happen through a season. There is a plan overall, with possibilities built in to deviate off the main story line. The reason why things are planned though is simply time. To come up with new story and missions each week takes a lot of time and effort from ONI, and having the overall plan already mapped out (even if there are no REAL rewards/ consequences, and instead just perceived rewards and consequences) makes for a much better season and set of missions I have found. It also makes it easier to feed in extra bits and tweak here and there based on the actions of the division.
We’ve always kept the in-character ranks and actual ranks tied together. It has worked out well so far. The way we have allowed others to advance along specific “career paths” has been to run departments, where officers could earn secondary ranks/ qualifications. For example, there is a rank system within the ONI department that runs parallel to the TSN Rank system. Also, with the main rank system, you can always tell those players who have been around longer and are generally more experienced at playing. That helps to keep things clear (hopefully) for those who are new. Captains in the TSN have truly earned their stripes through years of being in the TSN and making the greatest contributions.
There were some roleplay “rules” developed for proper “play-by-post” on the forums some years back. It did have promise, but uptake was limited. Some people wanted more freeform RP, whereas others didn’t engage with it. It was based on the Mythic RP rules and aimed to allow people to play against the system, collaborating and coming up with questions. People developed characters, and everything is still recorded. Take a look at the “Forum RP” documents in the Data Net and the threads about it all. Part of it was to come up with a system that would allow missions to be played out between duty-shifts, without them running over the time limitations, or going off on odd tangents.
In terms of background stuff to RP, I think you have joined us in a relatively “quiet” patch. There has been an interim period between our last season, where we explored “beyond the frontier” and our next major season. Hopefully, with the next season which is currently being written, you will see more of the RP elements coming in to shift.
Anyway, I hope that goes some way towards giving you a greater insight into what we have done in the past, or what you might be able to expect in the future. I do appreciate you taking a fresh look at all this, and it is reminding me of some awesome RP events and times that we have had in the past. All this helps inspire future events!18/12/2019 at 19:36 #33067
Thank you very much for your time in answering that especially with that thoroughness! (Tbf, I wasn’t expecting the Fleet Captain to answer these kinds of queries!). Though just to be clear it’s not that I see anything wrong with the TSN.
Your advice and indeed prods are taken on board, thanks to conversations with staff stemming from my enquiries I generally only chat IC’ly now during duty shifts (I shall be improving that but my acting skills are none-existent). You’ve already given me a lot to digest. So…
I’ve done various stints with the Obsidian, Bravo and Pegasus fleets (simming :D) my time there was spent getting to know how they worked and one of the things I’ve noticed is that those simming fleets tend to give their ships a lot of independence, where they were challenged to come up with their own stories with task force stories being a little rarer.
From my perspective, usually a ship only gets together during the duty shift but largely follow immediate direction of the Flagship. Do ship captain’s have the independence to take their ships out on ‘independent actions’? If so, I think I might need to go pester a couple captains to see if we can whisk something extra up, (assigned crew willing of course) as I haven’t seen that happen yet.
05/01/2020 at 23:05 #33088
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Sabasti.
After some interrogation and investigation of the reference documents I have put together a map of the Divisions. I’ll put it in nested lists here.
- Division Command: SO Xavier
- Office of Naval Intelligence: SO Matthew Vaj
- Combat Information Center
- Research and Development: SO Matthew Vaj
- Stellar Cartography
- CIC Systems
- Starship Systems
- Starship Structural Engineering
- Personnel: Unknown
- Academy: SO Aramond
- Operations: SO Xavier
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