Beyond Styles

Mr. Sulu, Third Star from the Right...

Lt Alice : <Helm> ~~ Have we shared action authority? ~~ Is that a Klingon, decloaking?

Cpt Gleason : <CO> No Klingon! One of these days, Alice... One of these days...

Ens Curly : <ASec> ::Executes perfect block against single handed double eye strike.:: Nuck, Nuck, Nuck...

Lt Alice : <Helm> ~~ Not shared action style tonight. Is he a problem solver? Does he accept suggestions in good grace? ~~ We might get there faster at warp 6, captain?

Cpt Gleason : <CO> Stay at Warp 5! To the Moon, Alice! To the Moon!

LtCdr Scot : <CEng> Gotta visit the lavatory. Canna holda any longa!

LtCdr Moe : <CSec> ::Executes double handed double eye strike.::

Lt. Alice : <Helm> ~~ Must be a story teller, then. Better do just exactly what he says. ~~ Setting course to the Moon, captain.

Ens Curly : <ASec> OWWW! Ooooooohh! :: Runs in place. Picks up a convenient hammer. :: Wo wo! Wo wo! Wo wo!

Cpt Gleason : <CO> Alice? Are you looking for a transfer to security?

There are other elements in simming worthy of mention. Humor might be an example. Some ships take themselves more seriously than others. Again, the key skill is listening. On a strange ship, insert no more comedy or out of character commentary than the natives.

Another distinction might be the difference between cooperative and competitive games. While the crew on Star Trek ships are in general cooperating, Star Wars sims often have Imperials and Rebels in conflict. Competitive sims have another set of problems and solutions. How are conflicts resolved? Do characters die? How is balance between the sides maintained?

There is no One True Way. There is no perfect sim that all will enjoy. Even if you have a ship that pleases you entirely, a time might come for a change. Less experienced players are often drawn to the action - adventure style early, but shift towards the other styles as they seek greater challenges, or learn to role play more complex characters.

It is thus useful to be able to recognize styles, and to adapt to them. If you know the type of ship you are looking for, it is good to be able to identify it cleanly. If you are not sure what you are looking for, it is even more necessary to shift cleanly into a sim's home style. This is really the only way you can learn what a ship has to offer.

In memory of Glenn Blacow, author of a far earlier Four Aspects of Role Playing article.

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