Players work together to create a story. However, without any organization, this would not work, and so each sim has two people designated as Hosts. A Host is similar to a Games Master (in D&D fantasy roleplaying) in that they guide the story, as well as setting the general scenario. In the case of a Star Trek sim, the scenario is generally the mission that the ship or starbase has been assigned. The Captain and First Officer on the ship or starbase are the two Hosts, and they are responsible for guiding the story in a positive direction, and keeping the whole thing making sense. Other players are permitted to create story developments, but a perception of what is allowed, and what is pushing it too far is another important aspect of email or MB simming. It is up to the Hosts to pass on that skill to their crewmembers.
For example, a development of your own character is allowed ? as long as it is within reasonable constraints. Your Vulcan character discovering that he is actually half Romulan is fine ? but discovering you are actually a member of the Q Continuum is not (unless you intend to leave the sim!)
The same applies to writing about your character's interaction with other crewmembers. Saying that your character is in love with another crewmember is allowed? but announcing that the other crewmember shares those feelings is not, unless you have discussed the matter with the player first.
Whenever you write about what other player's characters say and do, try to keep in mind certain things about those people, for example:
- Whatever race they are ? don't have a Vulcan saying ?Sure thing, boss!? etc.
- What profession they are ? don't have a Doctor going on a merciless killing rampage.
- What they have said and done before ? don't have a character who has made it clear she has a deep rooted distrust of Cardassians suddenly announce that she's having a friendly dinner with their Ambassador.
The same principle goes on with most situations in the sim. The most important thing is to just think how likely an idea is. Pitting a Defiant class ship against a Borg cube is going to result in lots of Federation debris floating in space ? unless you can think of something clever to pull off. If you want to do something like that, check with the Hosts first, and together, you'll work out if it's possible.
The most important thing to remember is: if you're not sure about your character development, ASK the Hosts. If you're not sure about what another character might say or do in your post, ASK the player who controls them. Nobody will ever tell you off for asking, and as long as you take a rejection without incident, compromises can always be found.
Keyword: Posting Standards