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Basic Sim Guide


IRC simming involves live participation over IRC. You and the rest of the crew will meet in a specific IRC channel at a scheduled time each week. You will write from the viewpoint of your character and basically ad-lib an "episode" of Star Trek.

Your CO will give a "Mission Briefing" before beginning the simulation. In most cases, you have a goal to accomplish; twists and turns are written by the members of the simulation, and you can often end up going in directions you did not anticipate. The sim ends when your CO dismisses you.


Email simming involves writing at least one quality log each week and submitting it through your sim's website. You will write these logs from the viewpoint of your character, generally in the third person. To help you do this, visualize a room with 20 people in it. Each person is in charge of a character in this episode of your sim. As a team, you must work together in order to write the story. Once something has been written, you cannot change it. You must adapt what you wish to write in order to fit what has been written.

Your Commanding Officer (CO) will send a Sim Report each week to summarize what has occurred since the last report. This generally includes information you may need to know over the coming week. It is important to remember that an email simulation is ongoing. Missions and plots can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. There is never a certain and clear ending to the story. Any conclusions, if there are any, depend solely on what happens as the weeks pass.


  1. Creativity is key; creativity gives life to your character.
  2. Pay attention to detail. Keep up with what others are doing and writing; it just might affect your character.
  3. Be flexible. Anything can happen in a sim.
  4. Remember the Golden Rule. Treat others in your logs the way you would want to be treated in theirs: with respect.
  5. For every action, there is a reaction. If you put a phaser to your head and fire, chances are that you're dead. Don't do dumb stuff.
  6. Words are powerful. Use them carefully and write so others understand what you're doing.
  7. Communicate; talk out of character (OOC) with other crew members in email. It builds cohesion and can add to creativity.
  8. Stay involved. You can't always be the center of attention... but that doesn't mean your character can't do anything. It is a big ship.
  9. Develop your character. Make sure you explore your character's traits in your logs. Don't just write a BIO and then play your character completely differently.
  10. Be consistent; that way, others know what to expect of you. Over time, it can be like ESP.
Lieutenant L. Horatio Hawke
Email Academy Commandant, Starfleet Academy, 1998
"We are smarter than we know." - Emerson


Please note that Post Duties may differ based on the sim. Please ask your CO for more details.


  • Runs the ship and guides the story on a day to day basis.
  • Keeps track of what is happening on the sim at all times.
  • Maintains discipline on the sim.
  • The only person who may order weapons fired and/or send Away Teams.
  • The only person who may use the ACTION command (see below).
  • The only person who may cancel a log or event.
  • The final judge in all disputes in a sim.

On IRC, the ACTION command (type "/action" or "/me") is used to further the plot without having to actually SIM it out using the crew and the phasers. This speeds unnecessary parts of the plot along during the sim and provides a direction for the sim to go. It is also used to clarify points of contention between two crew members whose sensors show two different things.


  • Responsible for raising shields during an imminent battle situation.
  • Keeps tabs on how the crew feels about the CO.
  • Advises the CO during times of both battle and diplomacy.
  • Leads Away Teams.
  • Ensures the CO's personal safety on rare occasions when the CO must be on an Away Team.
  • Assists the CO in any way necessary during a sim.
  • Observes all ship-to-ship communications.
  • Receives status reports from all departments and passes them along to the CO.

The XO is expected to give alternate points of view on a given situation. The CO typically turns to their First Officer for another take on a situation. There may be times that an XO believes that the CO is making an error -- it is THEIR JOB to make sure the CO understands their objections so that the CO can consider the XO's viewpoint. HOWEVER, once the CO's decision has been made, it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the XO to carry it out, no matter how he feels personally.

All Cadets and Ensigns will someday rise to higher posts. This section has been included because it is vital that members of the simulation understand the relationship between the CO and the XO.

Ideally, COs and XOs function almost as one body. Close communication in character (IC) and out of character (OOC) is key. The more trust they build between one another, the more smoothly their ship runs. A strong in-character relationship between the CO and XO also helps the sim by fostering narrative confidence in the crew and a feeling of cohesion.

COs: Pick an XO from your crew who you have worked with, whose judgment you know to be sound, and who is quick-acting during emergency situations. Keep in contact with him, especially OOC. Your XO will help you tap into the crew psyche keep your ship running even more smoothly.

XOs: You will assume a wide role of responsibilities regarding everyday bridge functions and small problems inside the ship. The XO must learn to do the small things the CO usually does not have time for. He may call for shields to be raised in battle situations or report new information to the captain from unplayed, non-player character (NPC) personnel--for example, repair crews.


  • Lays in a course at the direction of the XO or CO.
  • Performs evasive maneuvers during battle.
  • Executes maneuvering commands after the order to engage is given--not before.

For those of you who recall Star Trek COs saying, "You have the conn," this is an ancient maritime reference which hearkens back to the days when the Captain physically steered the ship and when they gave up control to someone they literally steered the ship. Now, since the only person who may give the CONN officer orders is the Commanding Officer on the bridge, the Captain is handing over control of the CONN, not the actual CONN itself.


  • Declares all planetary sensor readings and notifies the Science Department.
  • In the absence of a Science Officer, takes over for Science.
  • Declares in-ship sensor readings that would not be caught by engineering, such as minor drops in sensor efficiency or electrical interference (including all reasons for interference during communications between ships).
  • Declares all onboard damage during battle--but not the enemy's.
  • Declares status of the ship and non-combat status of enemy ships.
  • Monitors ship-to-shore sensors.
  • Monitors non-combat long range sensors.


  • Maintains balance between the ship and enemy damage in battle situations.
  • Controls weapons and shields, but only when ordered to do so by the CO.
  • Controls the cloaking device (if there is one) and coordinates with Operations in running the tachyon beam to scan for other cloaked ships.
  • Opens hailing frequencies and informs CO of incoming hails.
  • Only Tactical may detect ships in the vicinity.
  • Monitors ship-to-ship sensors.
  • Takes over for Security when the Chief is not present or unavailable.


  • Responsible for the proper functioning of the Science Department in a simulation.
  • Performs detailed planetary scans, i.e. for life signs.
  • Scans for temporal anomalies, wormholes, and other spatial discrepancies.
  • Takes over for Operations when operations is unavailable.


  • Responsible for the proper function of the engineering department.
  • Responsible for keeping ship's systems running smoothly.
  • Monitors power output and usage, keeping the shields and engines in balance.
  • May be called upon to eject the warp core in cases of an imminent breach.
  • May be called upon to solve non-ship related engineering or mechanical problems.


  • Responsible for the proper functioning of the medical department.
  • Ensures the ship is protected against any and all biological hazards.
  • Approves and helps coordinate any possible beam downs for Away teams into possible biohazardous situations.
  • Coordinates the Medical teams in emergency situations.
  • Fills in for the ship's counselor when there is no counselor or the counselor is unavailable.


  • Responsible for the proper function of the security department.
  • Responsible for the internal security of the ship, detention cells, weapons lockers, and the alert status of the security teams.
  • Makes maintenance schedules for the security systems on the ship, and lets Tactical know the week before the work needs to be done.
  • Selects members of the Security Department on every away mission.


UCIP includes both email and IRC simulations, and you should be familiar with the procedures for both.


  • Arrive to the simulation on time, but preferably 15+ minutes before the sim is scheduled to begin.
  • At the scheduled sim time, the XO will call the crew to attention, saying, "Attention on Deck." You should then type "::attn::" so that the CO and XO both know you are paying attention.
  • The CO will give the Sim Briefing, summarizing the mission of the simulation. If there are empty posts, the CO will organize people to fill them.


  • Due to the nature of email simulations, they often have no clear beginning or end.
  • When you join a simulation, its mission will most likely have been under development for some time.
  • Watch the logs that the other crew send out to see what they are doing.
  • Read the Sim Report that the command team sends out each week. It will summarize the week's events and clarify any confusion. If you're still confused, contact the CO and the XO for advice.
  • Watch the CO and XO for direction in the simulation.
  • Write a log. If you are unsure about it, send it to the CO and XO for approval or suggestions.
  • In most cases, crew will be permitted to log whenever they please. In a few cases, you will be asked to hold on to your log until some one else has finished theirs in order to avoid conflict.
  • Jump in when you feel ready.



Stardates are written in the following format: 24YYMM.DD

The 1st of January, 2014 would be 241401.01

UCIP sims are in the 25th century. As such, you must add 400 years to all dates within UCIP. This would make the "correct" century for Stardates 2400. This is standard for both IRC and email simulations. If you have any more questions, please ask your CO. They will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


  • ::walks into the turbolift::
    • Indicates that your character has performed the action between the colons. Actions should be written in the third person, present tense. DO NOT USE the /me or /action command during IRC simulations under any circumstances.
  • {{Hello, Bethany}}
    • Indicates your character has telepathically sent a message to someone. When combined with colons, this indicates an action performed telepathically: {{::sends privately to Bethany:: Hello Beth}}
  • [Please restate the question.]
    • Indicates that the computer is speaking.
  • =======> Enemy Ship
    • Indicates phaser fire. Though not often used, it is good to know this classic symbol.
  • *=*=*=*> Enemy Ship
    • Indicates torpedo fire. Though not often used, it is good to know this classic symbol.
  • +taps+ Riker to Picard, we have detected a hostile vessel.
    • Indicates intraship communication using the combadge or the internal comm system.
  • +com+ Enterprise to Away Team, status report.
    • Indicates ship-to-ship or ship-to-planet communication.


  • Procedures are basically the same as IRC, when used.
  • 3rd person, past tense narrative is preferable to communicative style logs.
  • Use " " marks to speaking parts and be sure to show who is saying it.
  • Use Italics to show thought and be sure to show who is thinking it.


  • Will always be enclosed in brackets: <>.
  • Used for clarifications during the sim.
  • In IRC sims, use of OOC brackets should be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • In email sims, use it to tag other people, ask questions, and resolve points of confusion. Make sure to edit it out before you send your log to the mailing list.


  • In IRC sims, it is standard procedure that when you are not on the bridge, you use a location symbol in front of everything that you say. These cut down on confusion during the simulation. The abbreviations are as follows:
Location Designations
*> Non-Specific In-Sim Location
AT> Away Team
BB> Battle Bridge
E> Engineering
M> Medical/Sickbay
HD> Holodeck
Q> Quarters
S> Security
SB> Shuttle Bay
TR> Transporter Room
TL> Turbolift
  • A CO may also specify alternative designations for things that are not listed here.
  • In email, a line at the beginning of your log which states your location will suffice.


  • Behind the Scenes is often the most crucial element of a sim.
  • BTS work is the stuff that goes on "behind the scenes." This is the work that goes into creating a plot, keeping track of the sim roster, writing briefings and reports, and keeping track of which crew are excused or on leave.
  • BTS work is encouraged. It can be as simple as asking the CO if a particular plot twist will be okay, or as complex as coming up with a subplot involving the collaboration of multiple members of the crew.
  • During an IRC sim, the CO or XO may send you a message with a specific set of directions because they wish to steer the plot in a certain direction. What results is an apparently seamless story line. The more BTS is used, the smoother and more enjoyable a sim can be.
  • In general, if you need to clear something with the CO or XO by email, you will receive a response from them with 24 to 48 hours. It is perfectly acceptable to use email for BTS work.



  • There are two types of written sims: communicative and narrative.
  • The Communicative simming looks something like this:
    • ENS> ::enters the turbo lift, heading to his quarters:: Deck 12!
    • Cmdr> (TL)>::enters the turbo lift at deck 5, smiling at the cadet:: finally heading for some rest I see ensign.
    • Ens> TL> Aye sir, its been a long shift!
    • Cmdr>TL> I want to finish that gamma study of this quadrant tomorrow, report to the bridge at 1100 hours.
    • Ens>TL> Yes Sir ::exits lift::
  • The narrative sim, however, is the writing style of choice for email sims. A narrative log will look something like this:
    • Ensign Joe's shift was over. He decided to head back to his quarters. Entering the turbolift, he asked to be taken to deck 12, where his quarters were. The turbolift stopped at deck 5, allowing Commander Tom to board. Smiling as he entered, the commander looked at the ensign's exhausted appearance. He asked if Joe were retiring to his quarters. Joe replied that he was, and that it had indeed been a long day. As Joe disembarked the turbolift, the commander asked him to meet him on the bridge at 1100 hours to complete the gamma study of the quadrant. Joe agreed.
  • Make sure that if there is a conversation in your log, it's clear who is saying what.


  • The CO generally expects one quality log per week. A quality log adds to the current plot, develops your character, or starts a new subplot. In a quality log, length does not matter as much as the content. That doesn't mean you can write a few sentences for your log and get away from it. A typical quality log is a mininum of three good, solid paragraphs. This equates to approximately two typed pages. As you gain experience, your logs will tend to grow much longer.
  • If you are unsure about your log, always contact the CO or the XO. They will generally get back to you within 24 - 48 hours. In most cases, your log is fine, and your CO will tell you to go ahead and post it. If not, your CO will write you back and tell you what you may wish to change. Your CO is there to guide the story and help the entire crew have a good time.


  • It has happened to everyone. You need to write your log for the week, but you cannot think of anything to write. The first step you should take is figure out where you left off in your last log. The next step is to determine what, if anything, has happened to your character since then.
  • Once you find something, copy that information and write from that point. This gives a good reference point.
  • If you can't find a place to start, ask other crew members for suggestions. If you still need help, go to the CO and XO and ask them for suggestions.
  • Failing this, write a character development log. Be creative. Reach back into your character's history, look for things that are happening on the sim, or start up a new subplot.


  1. Talk through log ideas OOC and make sure you're on the same page as your partner(s).
  2. Wait your turn. If there are four people working on the same log, do your best to ensure that everyone has fair time to contribute.
  3. Keep the action moving. When you tag another person, try to give them something to work with.
  4. Don't metagame. When you read a log, you may become privy to information that your character should not know. Here's a handy rule of thumb: if it's not in quotation marks, your character doesn't know it.
  5. When necessary, it never hurts to remind a player of pertinent details about your character. You can do this OOC or by dropping IC hints in your writing.
  6. Never do anything to another person's character without their permission.
  7. ... but react realistically when the actions of another player affect your own character.
  8. Always follow the chain of command. Your department head and command team have the final say on story direction.

Always keep this list in mind to roleplay with your crewmates in a courteous manner. While exceptions exist, they don't usually excuse you from being respectful.

Over time, excellent simmers learn the fine line between believable interaction and going way too far. For example, true telepaths can sense thoughts and feelings that other characters may not wish to state. However, it would not necessarily be appropriate for the telepathic character to dig into another character's mind without permission. That's rude!


  • You will post your logs as your CO instructs. All of the email ships in UCIP use their Nova websites to generate logs. Nova automatically sends these logs to your ship's mailing list. Ask your CO for details on this.
  • One extremely important thing to remember, as this often is a pet peeve of many people who are on multiple mailing lists, make sure you title your posts appropriately.
  • The typical format is:
    • Log Type - Position - Rank LastName - Title(Optional)
      ex: Joint Duty Log - CO & XO - Capt Smith & Cmdr Doe - "Whispers"
      ex: Duty Log - CMO - LtCmdr Watson - Autopsy Report
      ex: Personal Log - Ops - Lt Bond
  • The sim name and the current stardate will be added in automatically by the sim's website and associated mailing list. You will not need to have those in your titles.
  • Note: Each sim may favor a log subject format that differs slightly from this one. If you are ever confused about the correct title format, ask your CO or XO for help.

Final Notes From Previous Authors

Resist the urge to zero in on insignificant details. This may cause you to lose sight of the main goal. On a related note, sims run the risk of becoming far too technical to be fun. Make sure that when you write something technical, you know what you're talking about. If you're not sure what you're writing, it could cause a hiccup in the sim later as everyone tries to sort out exactly what happened. Above all, remember that simming is supposed to be FUN. This is a form of recreation: to be a Starfleet officer for one hour each week.

This sim guide may make simming seem hard, but once you have done it a few times it will become second nature. Someday, you may find yourself with your very own ship to command, teaching new Cadets the same things you're learning right now.

  • Commodore Jeremiah Soran
    Academy Commandant Stardate 950625.5
    UCIP Internet


  • Adapted from the UCIP Internet SIMGuide
    • Commodore Jeremiah Soran Knight, UCIP Internet
    • Version 4.3 Update by David Bussard, UCIP Internet
    • Version 4.6 Update by Horatio Hawke, UCIP Internet
    • Version 5.0 Update by Evelyn K Hawke, UCIP Internet
    • Version 6.0 Update by Jaeneva, UCIP Internet
    • Version 7.0 Update by Donald Davis, UCIP Internet
  • Adapted (with permission) from "A Guide to IRC Star Trek Role Playing" by Nikeseqis. (Summer 1994)
  • Ideas, info and other from "UCIP NEW APPLICANT GUIDE 1.0" by Fleet Admiral Mark Miller, UCIP International (Summer 1994).
  • Former Simguide versions (1, 2, and 3.x) by Vice Admiral Daniel "Mech" Brown (ret.), UCIP Internet (Fall 1994 - 1996).
  • UCIP Starfleet Simguide version 5.1 by Vice Admiral Thomas Magdiarz (ret.) UCIP Internet.