Guide: USS Columbia Rules

From Bravo Fleet

The purpose of this guide is to set community expectations for participation in USS Columbia. For information on how to join and how to post, consult the USS Columbia guide.

Citizenship Guidelines

  1. We will not always agree on everything, but when we do disagree it’s important that those disagreements are handled respectfully. It’s also essential that when a moderator (generally, a voting member of the BFC) asks for a discussion to stop, it stops.
  2. Bravo Fleet’s Non-Discrimination and Harassment policy applies to every interaction you have as a member of this organization, whether it occurs directly on the fleet's server or not, so please be courteous and respectful in your interactions with your fellow authors.
  3. Membership on the Bravo Fleet Discord server is required to participate in USS Columbia.
  4. Unsolicited negative/"critical" feedback of others' writing is not appropriate.

Content Guidelines

Content written for USS Columbia must comply with the intel policy, which allows for a broad range of stories and interactions.

  1. Content written for USS Columbia must comply with the Canon Policy, which allows for a broad range of stories and interactions. Consult the Bravo Fleet Timeline or the USS Columbia in-character article. for more information on our specific canon setting.
  2. The Intelligence Officer has the final say on what content is appropriate for any Bravo Fleet story, so if you have a question about this policy, you may wish to consult with them before posting.
  3. Proofreading is encouraged as a courtesy to your fellow authors, and posts that are unintelligible or gibberish may be removed by the Intelligence Officer. With that being said, it's never appropriate to mock someone for spelling or grammar "mistakes."
  4. Posts are encouraged to be in third-person prose, from a past perspective.
  5. Do not use other people's characters without permission. Ask for a joint post instead, especially given that the point of this sandbox is to encourage interaction!
    1. It's rude to start a joint post without first asking if the player owning the character wishes to write with you.
    2. Try to respond to a tag within 48 hours, or at least reach out to the other author(s) to discuss your situation. Repeatedly agreeing to joint posts and then leaving other authors hanging could result in a warning, as described later in the retention section, but we understand that life happens so just communicate!
    3. It is okay to reference other characters, though, especially the ship's senior staff, as long as you aren't implying actions not consistent with their biographies.
  6. Do not alter the environment of the ship without permission from staff, which would include any event that would impact characters outside of the post you are writing. Examples include ship-wide illnesses, major security threats, severe accidents, or anything that would likely result in the ship's senior-most staff needing to be informed about it. This ensures that anyone can join at any time without needing to take into account the actions of every writer—and keeps our sandbox intact for everyone to enjoy.

Explicit Content Rating

USS Columbia is rated 111 on the RPG Ratings Scale, which is intended to be suited to members as young as 13, the minimum age to be a part of Bravo Fleet. This means that references to violence, cursing, and sex should be no more graphic than they are on shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Discovery. When writing with others, always ask before writing content that includes swearing, sex, or violence. Posts that do not follow these guidelines may be deleted at the Intelligence Officer's discretion.

  1. Language: Infrequent, mild swearing is permitted.
    1. Mores differ on how much swearing is appropriate, and different regions treat different expletives differently (c.f. The word ‘cunt’ in American English vs most of the Commonwealth countries’ regional Englishes.) so this policy will be enforced with grace, but, unfortunately, is an instance where American English will serve as the standard, as that is the dialect most prominent in Star Trek.
    2. Picard brought us the first instances of “fuck” in Star Trek, which is the limit of how crass one should be on USS Columbia, but it should be extremely infrequent.
      1. Generally speaking, fuck should be used to express exasperation not to describe sexual behavior. “Fuck!” versus “He fucked him.” Use your common sense, here.
    3. Keep in mind that Starfleet officers, while explicitly not part of any military, are disciplined professionals. Regular swearing on duty is not something that would happen, and it’s likely something that could have (mild) in-character consequences.
  2. Sex: Mild sexual innuendo and references permitted.
    1. This is not Game of Thrones but we’re also not the Brady Bunch. If are referencing sex, consider why you are doing so and what it’s adding to a particular scene.
    2. References to specific sexual acts should generally be avoided (and, again, think about why you would make them at all) but you don’t have to pretend a couple is celibate either. Fade to black when Star Trek would.
      1. “You were great last night.” ← OK. It references sex (maybe), but doesn’t get too specific.
      2. “He [blanked] my [blank] in the Jefferies tube.” ← Pushing it, as it’s a reference, not a description.
      3. “The two of them [adverb] [sex act verb] each other, starting with their [adjective] [body part, pl.], and working down to the [body part]...” ← Just no.
    3. This restriction is not meant to be regressive or prudish in nature, but to make sure that our content is appropriate for all members. Sex and love are great–and our characters are sentient beings who are likely having it. We don’t have to ignore that, but we also don’t need to read the play-by-play of your cybering.
    4. Sexual violence is never appropriate content for this sandbox.
  3. Violence: Mild violence is permitted
    1. One of the great things about energy weapons is that they don’t tend to leave gruesome wounds. Either it stuns, kills, or vaporizes a being entirely. As this is what we deal with most, leaving the description to ‘a dead body’ is sufficient, as there wouldn’t be maiming and that sort of thing. There’s just no need to go into a lot of blood and gore to get the point across, because that’s not a normal feature of the genre.
      1. That being said, why would there be a dead body on the USS Columbia at all?
    2. Phaser fire fights are to be expected when the story calls for them, keeping the above in mind.
      1. Probably unlikely to occur off of the holodeck or in training scenarios in the heart of the Federation, though.
    3. There shouldn’t be references to or uses of modern day firearms, on the holodeck or not.
    4. Self-harm, sexual violence, and domestic violence are not appropriate content for this sandbox

Player Retention and Removal

Membership on USS Columbia is open to all Bravo Fleet members (ranked midshipman and above), but it is a privilege not a right and can be revoked in certain circumstances.

  1. Members who AWOL out (i.e. are inactive for sixty days or more) will have their characters removed from the sandbox. While this will not prevent someone from re-applying when they rejoin or force them to re-earn the tier they last had when they return to active status, it does open any restricted positions back up for grabs. This is to keep people from hoarding important roles.
  2. Members who break the rules listed here or other fleet policies may be removed from USS Columbia through the judgement of the Operations Officer.
    1. Content or Citizenship Offenses not rising to the level of a magistrate complaint will be handled administratively based on the number of offenses. Members may appeal to the Bravo Fleet Executive Officer if they feel their conduct has been unfairly judged.
      1. Initial Offense: Warning
      2. Second Offense: Removal and 30 day probation on re-applying
      3. Third Offense, following reinstatement: Removal and 60 day probation on re-applying.
    2. Content or Citizenship Offenses rising to the level of a magistrate complaint will be referred to JAG, with the member suspended from USS Columbia pending the conclusion of any proceedings.