General Rules

From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki

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Star Trek: Theurgy is kind of a progressive novel, composed of large long-lasting story arcs that can go on through several Episodes, as well as the more common plots produced by character interaction. All of this is written cohesively by the writers, edited and corrected by the group and the Game Moderator (GM) to ensure a consolidated storyline. (See this page for more info about the GM's role)

Star Trek: Theurgy has Episodes that can take up anything from six months to over a year depending on the writers, the amount of writers, and their drive to develop and write that particular Episode. These greater brush-strokes of the Episodes are planned out to begin with, but tend to work out else than originally intended. This means that there is no obligatory script followed unless the writers wish to follow one through certain points in the storyline.

For this space opera to be well played, we have some rules.

I. Post length should consist of more than two hundred (200) words per post (equals roughly 3 paragraphs), and our writers should always try to reply in all their current threads within one (1) week. The goal of minimum post lengths is to encourage you to develop the storyline, setting, and characters within your posts. If a writer can't keep up their posting frequency for Real Life reasons, they should always communicate with their co-writers and the GM and tell them when they might be able to post again.

More important than post length, however, is writing a good reply. This includes:

  • Reacting to the other character's actions and speech. If a character does something, have your character react. Otherwise, it looks like your character is ignoring the other characters, or that you as a writer are not fully reading the replies you are given.
  • Giving the other writer enough to react to. This ties in very heavily with length. Be sure to describe various aspects of your character's interaction for clarity. (Examples: If your character speaks, does s/he speak in a particular tone? Does s/he use a facial expression? Does s/he physically react to the other character's words or actions?)

Every single post you write should always be spell-checked and proofread for proper grammar and accuracy. Mistakes are human, but a quick read-over is an easy way to ensure the whole group enjoys the story even more. The immersion of the scene shouldn't be broken by too many errors when reading up on the development.

II. As this is a forum-based message board role-play, the GM will mostly be working with solo-posts on the board in the main storyline. Yet this does not forbid joint-post (play-by-email interactions) between two or more writers in the group on the following conditions:

You will be expected to write a mix of both joint posts and solo-posts. Joint posts will seldom be a part of the narration for the main storyline, so joint posts would - consequently - work best for one-on-one scenes (counselling sessions, conversations, sex-scenes, etc.) that are not directly related to the main storyline. Of course, there may be exceptions to this. The ground rule is that you are expected to post solo-posts when applicable, and joint posts when applicable.

The problem with a mix of both ways of posting is that the other writers and the GM - who are not involved in the specific joint post - have no insight as to how events evolve. Therefore, the GM is to be CC:ed in each individual reply (admin(a)uss-theurgy.com) or via Personal Messages on the Forum (messaging Auctor Lucan) by those who write joint posts. This, so that he may forestall that the storyline gets broken by two groups of writers that might be dictating contradicting events. Those who write joint posts are expected to still keep track of the development on the board. If the development on the board contradicts the joint post before it is posted, the joint post has to be changed (this works the other way too, of course). Lastly, the signature of the joint post should also include the names of the writers that have been working on the joint post.

III. The main storyline is run by the Game Moderator, who is ultimately responsible for the well-being of the group and the story. Any problems, concerns, questions, or complaints may be directed to the GM via PM (Contact Auctor Lucan). If a writer is inactive, it may affect the whole RP if s/he has characters in key positions. The GM may put the characters of inactive writers in stasis, remove them from the ship, or end their lives for the sake of opening positions for new applicants to the RP. The GM may write the actions of these characters, or ask another writer to do so.

If a character is essential to the current or overall plot of the story, the GM may also give another writer the opportunity to inherit the abandoned character to write as their own, with a creative license issued to this new writer in terms of character specifications and traits. If the original writer specifically doesn't want their characters to be inherited, then the GM will still write the actions of these characters to expediently remove them from the story by whatever in-story means are available.

IV. Any group member may start a new thread for individual scenes. These threads are fully private; no one else should post in them without being invited by the person who started the thread. Please make sure you specify which Chapter/Day/Etc. the scene belongs to in the Episode, and that the board's threads have the same title layout. Example: CHAPTER XX: The title of the scene you write (Character 1/Character 2/Etc.) The GM can also help you with the current thread title standard for new threads.
V. Characters need not appear in a single thread at the time, and are thus free to be in several different scenes at once (provided that the scenes follow each other in the story and do not happen simultaneously). To avoid confusion, crew members are to specify in OOC notes when scenes takes place in relation to others if the thread title doesn't specify this. Furthermore, it is encouraged that individual scenes are handled so that they correspond with ongoing missions in as realistic a manner as possible (for the sake of not disrupting the space-time continuum). Logic and common sense are the rules-of-thumb here.
VI. While the core purpose of this group is to create fan fiction in a Star Trek setting that follows a storyline, it is also the intent to allow full creative freedom in terms of character development and relationships on board the USS Theurgy. Whatever affairs between line officers occur may and may not, be prone to a discussion with their closest superior officer (given Federation polices) - yet only when in agreement with each involved writer. The OOC suggestion for such a discussion or disciplinary action may be kindly suggested by any involved party for sake of story-development.
VII. Just as it is expected that no writer will be harassed or judged for submitting explicit writing, judgement will also not be passed - or a player harassed - if a character, plot-element, or random notation is not 100% in alignment with Star Trek canon. While the setting remains in the Star Trek universe, a creative license has been issued to applicants in combining elements from the series, novels, and fan-fiction spanning the world wide web. All who wish to participate in the USS Theurgy story have chosen to do so to write good stories of their own design, and to do so in peace. However, it is strongly encouraged that each writer - to the best of his or her abilities and knowledge - strive to keep themselves within Star trek canon (See Memory Alpha). If in doubt, contact the GM.
VIII. One thing that is highly frowned upon is writing other characters without their consent. Characters are considered the property of their writer and may not be used without the writer's consent. One of the pillars of role-playing is remembering you are writing an interwoven story with many other writers. Though your character is important to you, others' characters are equally important to them.

Though there is great freedom in role-playing, please remember others' characters will also be affected by your actions. It is expected that writers will respect the characters and creations of other writers; those who have been around role-playing groups know of the golden rule to write only for those characters they themselves have created. Only the GM, or another writer the GM designates, may write for your character, and this is typically only to move the storyline along. If there are other instances where you require another writer’s character to participate in a story development, you have one option: contact that writer!

IX. Star Trek: Theurgy is an adult community, but extremely story driven, so the focus is not the intimate relations of the characters in the story. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that it is still rated 18+ and has some sexual content. You must be 18 or older to be a member. If we find anyone who is younger than that, it will result in an immediate ban in the interests of protecting minors. Upon registration, you verify that you are of age, and at the discretion of the GM, an age verification process will be conducted if there is cause for doubt to your claim.

Yet it's not enough that you are of age, but your character(s) must be so as well. All characters involved in sexual, erotic, and mature scenes must be at least 18 years of age or older, both mentally and physically. This applies even in In-Character backstories and Out-of-Character conversation about real-life events. There shall be no reference to sexual activity of underage persons. Underage sexual photos (including drawn images, etc.) or other evidence of the exploitation of minors will be reported to the authorities. No visual content with graphic pornography featuring sexual acts - including masturbation, penetration or phallic arousal - is allowed to be posted either.

X. Furthermore, you agree that you will not post any Out-of-Character material which is defamatory, abusive, hateful, harassing, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of US Federal or International Law. Spam, flooding, advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are also forbidden on this forum. Anyone who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to notify the GM of this site immediately. The GM reserve the right to remove objectionable content, within a reasonable time frame, if he determines that removal is necessary. This policy applies to member profile information as well. You remain solely responsible for the content of your posted messages.
XI. This role-play group functions solely as a non-profit entertainment for writers where no economic gain is perceived by any of its members as a result of the available media. Star Trek, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, the Star Trek movies, etc. are © Copyright Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios.