FAdm Action : The USS Annihilator is approaching the planet Vulcan to pick up diplomatic representatives for a major conference. Begin Sim
RAdm Data : Romulan decloaking off the port bow!
FAdm Action : Red Alert! Worf, target the Romulan!
VAdm Worf : Intruders in the engineering hull!
FAdm Action : Modulate shields! Intruder alert! That Rom has likely beamed a team aboard!
Adm Scott : +Bridge+ Captin. Deres sumtin wrong wida warp core. She gonna blue! Canna holda any longa.
FAdm Action : Helm, all stop! +Scott+ I expect sabotage. A Romulan intruder group is in your area. Security is coming!
Adm Bones : I've got people coming into sickbay with high fevers. Some kind of plague.
FAdm Action : Check for a very fast acting Romulan bio warfare agent or toxin! We have intruders aboard!
While there are many variations on the action - adventure style, the above is an example of the extreme. Everyone except the captain has action authority. The captain gives orders. The captain's job is to make sense of the various plot elements which are being inserted by the players, and get everyone responding as a team to neutralize the threats.
The players have to help. If the story is to remain believable, we cannot have a Romulan ship decloak, Klingon intruders, and a Ferengi bio warfare agent. On most successful ships where everyone has action authority, this authority is used in moderation. Players will watch the first plot line develop, only add new plot lines if there are players left idle by the already active plot lines, and attempt to connect the new plot lines to the old in a way that makes sense. While some might say a shared action authority player has no discipline, in fact some of the better action ships show admirable discipline. It takes skill and restraint to properly insert new plot elements, while players on other styles of ships never get this chance.
While the shared action authority style is enjoyable for small ships, it would require highly disciplined players to work it with a 12 to 20 man crew. It can be done, but many sim groups accustomed to running larger ships will assume implicitly that captains must firmly control plots. If one enjoys the shared action style of gaming, and encounters a captain or sim group which insists on limiting action authority, it is likely time to look elsewhere. One player should not try to change the style of a ship to answer his taste, but should seek a ship which plays his or her preferred style.
The shared action style is most common in pick up games in private rooms, though it is not uncommon in regularly scheduled sims. Many of the captains advertising "If you want to sim, meet me in PR USS Ship Name" will work variations on the action theme. As a result, new players just discovering sims often learn the shared action authority style first, and believe this is the proper way to do things. In fact, they have learned only one of many sim styles. When they start attending academies of larger fix script story telling sim groups, the culture shock is often traumatic.
Not all action-adventure oriented sims use shared action authority. There are many fix script story telling captains who have lots of fighting in their scripts.