Rules Of DS5

Created by Civilian 'Key Holder' Yolanthe Ibalin on Tue Jan 6, 2015 @ 5:42am


The rules given on this page are the official rules for simming on DS5, and are Out-of-Character rules, rather than in-universe rules and regulations (e.g. the Prime Directive) Any queries or disputes over the rules should be put to the command team in the first instance

General Rules

  • DS5 does not accept players under the age of 15. Some posts will contain strong language, sexual encounters or vivid descriptions of a sexual nature, and violence. (If you are over 15 and this may offend you, please inform the Commanding Officer).
  • Be flexible when you're simming, as anything can happen, and have fun.
  • Be creative and realistic, as creativity is key. Creative posts give life to your character.
  • For every action there is a reaction. If you put your head in the warp core, chances are you're dead. IC Actions will have IC consequences.
  • Stay involved, talk OOC with other crew members in email, private message, or the Google Hangout. It builds cohesion and can add to the creativity of DS5.
  • Players are expected to read all posts and be aware of what is currently going on in the story. If you are confused or don’t know where your character fits in then speak to a member of the Command Team. Going silent and sitting things out may result in your removal from the sim.
  • Respect goes a long way onboard DS5, not just for the Chain of Command (COC) but for every player. Remember the Golden Rule: treat others in your posts and communications the way you want to be treated in theirs -- with respect.
  • If you have an OOC disagreement with another player, the Commanding Officer (CO) will act as mediator and will have the final say in the matter.
  • If you have an issue or need clarification, politely PM or email the Commanding Officer.
  • The CO can change the mission's ending at any time. It is the CO’s sole right to start or end a mission. You should not interfere substantially with the storyline, such as finishing the mission early.
  • We are very open to subplots, and people do not need permission to run a subplot that doesn’t interefere with the current mission, or involves the two plot points on the planet Pangea (the portal complex, and the small northern continent) If you feel your intended subplot might interfere with the running of the mission please contact the CO/XO before beginning it. We might find your idea to be just the plot twist we’ve been looking for!
  • All characters must be original and have a full biography created by their players.
  • They must not copy canon Star Trek characters.
  • They must be played broadly as written in the bio, but must also be developed over time.
  • It is for the CO/XO to determine the final acceptability of any character information.
  • The CO reserves the right to amend the Rules and guidelines without warning if the change is in the best interest of the simulation.

Posting Rules

  • In order to be a member of DS5 you will be expected to have a decent level of writing ability and a good understanding of the English language.
  • One line posts and those that do nothing to advance character or plot are not allowed.
  • A post requires a beginning, a middle, and an end to make sense. For more details please refer to The Writing Guide
  • All posts and communications must be written in English (UK, US, or any other national variant) and must use proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and, where appropriate, make appropriate use of Star Trek phraseology. Netspeak in posts or communication is frowned upon.
  • A minimum post count of at least TWO posts per month is required. This may be a joint post, a solo post, or a personal log. Ideally these should be joint posts, as writers should be writing with each other. Any player who wishes to post more is encouraged and more than welcome to do so, especially Department Heads. Players who persistently write only solo posts may receive a strike.
  • Joint post tags should be answered within 48 hours. If you are unable to respond within that period, please have the courtesy to notify your co-authors. Failure to tag on time without notification may result in a strike.
  • Any player who continually fails to respond to tags in joint posts in a timely manner will be removed from the game WITHOUT WARNING.
  • All posts must adhere to the simulation timeline and appropriate use of time stamps is required.
  • All posts must abude by the formattimg rules, and include signatures at the end of the post.
  • Post length: A solo post should be around a minimum of 500 words in length. A JP should be a minimum of 1000 words in length (Where applicable). This is not a rigid minimum but is representative of the length most writers need to develop plot or character in a meaningful way.
  • Joint posts should show a contribution from each writer involved. In other words no joint posts where one or two players do the bulk of the work and the other players’ contributions amount to little or nothing. Any player who is tagged in a joint post but contributes nothing will have their name removed from that post when it is finished.
  • If your post is long, 2000 words or more, it’s a good idea to split it into more manageable chunks of 1000-2000 words. This is easier for other players to read in digestible chunks with the added bonus that it increases your post count.


    • Write for another character. If you require the input or use of another player character you MUST ask that player for a JP. If they refuse (rare) then find another player to JP with or use an NPC. The only exception is that the CO may write for a character that has left the sim or has gone on leave in order to expedite plot.
    • Make up details about another player’s background, thoughts, or feelings. If you see an interesting and original piece of backstory in another player’s bio UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES may you associate your character with that backstory without the prior written permission of the player.
    • Assume or write another character’s reaction in a JP. If you are writing a JP with another PC or NPC and the character does not react the way your character wants them to, then suck it up. It’s up to the player to keep their reactions in character, not to react the way your character hopes they will. If you do require a specific reaction use your own NPC or ask the command team to write a suitable NPC.

      A Note on Telepathy:

      If you are playing a character of a telepathic or empathic race (e.g. Betazoids), it is perfectly legitimate to reference emotions that are described by another player. The key is that you can point to actual text to justify your detection.
    • Example 1: “We lost her three years ago,” Commander Ryan said, thinking of his dead wife. -- Do not ascribe any emotions to this, as none were given, even if you think it should be implied.
    • Example 2: “We lost her three years ago,” Commander Ryan said sadly, thinking of his dead wife. - You may detect emotions in this scenario.

      Remember that most telepathic species have cultural strictures on using telepathy to read someone’s mind against their wishes and play your character appropriately. Also keep in mind that some species, such as Cardassians and Ferengi, are naturally more resistant to such abilities. If another player requests you to not pick up on something or use an ability on them, please alter your text accordingly. Whilst we know there are numerous canon examples, for game play purposes no telepathic or empathic ability should be able to detect out at a range of hundreds of kilometers or over communications devices such as between ships via the view screen unless you are reading mundane facial expressions and such. Even contact with someone not in the same room should be limited to those your character is very close with or with whom they know exactly where they are located. You may detect large scale emotional events on such distances when millions of minds are having similar reactions, such as in the case of a planetary disaster and the associated fear and panic.

      Activity and Leave of Abscence

    • You are required to visit the site and log in at least once a week. Failure to log in for a month or more will lead to being removed without notice.
    • All players are considered active unless stated otherwise. Any player who is not able to write/log in for more than seven days is required to request a Leave of Absence (LOA) or Extended Leave of Absence (ELOA).
    • Any player who goes LOA must announce this via writing a News Item using the category LOA.
    • Once you have completed your Probation Period (PP) if you are unable to post you may request a Leave of Absence (LOA) or Extended Leave of Absence (ELOA).
    • An LOA relieves you from posting for ONE CALENDAR MONTH from the date of request, e.g. if you request LOA on 15th June then you are expected to start posting again or request an ELOA by the 15th July.
    • An ELOA relieves you from posting for THREE CALENDAR MONTHS from the date of request. You may not request LOA more than once in any period of three consecutive months. If you think you need longer please request ELOA. You are still welcome to post on LOA or ELOA if you find you had more time than you thought.
    • If you will be unable to participate for longer we prefer to retire your character until you have more time. This allows us to recruit active players. You will always be welcome to return and in your previous role/rank if the position is still available.
    • Once an (E)LOA is completed, you must reset your status to active.
    • Any active player who does not log into the website and participate for a period of three (3) consecutive weeks will be considered AWOL and removed from the sim.
    • Activity will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Command Team reserves the right to dismiss crew members who are considered inactive without cause.

      New Player Rules

      • ALL new players are accepted on a probationary basis. This Probation Period lasts to the end of the next full calendar month, e.g. if you join on the 15th May, probation lasts until 30th June. Your first posts will be moderated to ensure that correct posting format and style is being used.
      • On joining, you are expected to log on and make your initial post within SEVEN days of acceptance. Failure to do this will result in your immediate removal from the sim.
      • Depending on quality of posts/application, you may receive posting advice from the Commanding Officer or Executive Officer. Regardless of your simming experience, the Commanding Officer may require you to attend the Academy.
      • You may not request LOA or ELOA until you have passed probation. If you know you cannot post in your first calendar month then we would prefer if you delay your application until you have time. If you have met the requirements, your probationary period ends:
        • On meeting the basic two post per month posting requirement in your first full month of membership. One of these posts should be a JP with your Department Head if you have a Starfleet Character (see below).
        • One full calendar month after your acceptance.
        • Once you have begun your Academy course (if required and subject to instructor availability).
      • If you do not meet the above requirements during your first calendar month your character may be removed from DS5.


        • New Starfleet characters should check in with their Department Head (DH) for a JP as soon as possible, NOT with the XO or CO unless the DH slot is vacant. In this case either the XO or CO will provide an NPC to play the Department Head.
        • Your DH will give your character an initial assignment to help get you started.
        • All new Starfleet characters will start with the rank of Ensign. If you apply for a DH position you will begin in the Assistant role (the DH position will be held for you). Once your probation period is complete you will be moved into the DH position and promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.
        • Further promotions will be at the discretion of the Command Team and based on participation.
        • Further promotions will be at the discretion of the Command Team and based on participation.


        Much of the colour and drama of DS5 is generated by the civilian population. The requirements to pass your Probationary Period are the same as for Starfleet characters, only there is no requirement to meet your department head. Someone will probably contact you, but if you want to get in first feel free to ask any player for a JP.


        If you want to play an official representative of an alien power then your check in JP should be with the Ambassador if there is one existing. They are essentially your Department Head. If you are applying to be the Ambassador follow the Civilian rules for your inaugural JP.

        Non-Player Characters (NPCs)

        • No player may have more than one Player Character (PC) on a sim. If there is an important character you wish to use it is possible to use an NPC.
        • During your probationary period we ask that you limit NPCs to family members/love interests. This is to encourage interaction with other players whilst giving you the flexibility to add depth to your solo posts.
        • Once you are through probation, if you have an NPC who will appear regularly, family or otherwise, you are welcome to create a bio for them. We can add it to the site for you.
        • If you want to create an NPC in a different department to yours, please speak to the head of that department first.

          Awards and Promotions

          We want to keep our players motivated so there are two ways we give recognition on DS5: Awards, and Promotions


          These are third party awards from Fleets or other bodies and will be logged in your character’s permanent record.

          Type 1: These require a nomination (from any player) and are awarded by the CO. Type 2: These awards are for more in-depth action, character development, or contribution. Again, these are awarded by the CO. Type 3: These tend to be quarterly or yearly awards, such as Sim of the year or player of the quarter and are awarded by third parties. Anyone can nominate themselves or any other player to be put forward for an award, and all players are encouraged to do so.


          Through the promotion system we try to reward activity and participation IC and OOC. This means that if you consistently post more than the required minimum to advance to the next level your promotion may be accelerated. Outstanding actions In Character are also recognised, but otherwise there are no criteria beyond what fits in with the story. As such, we cannot guarantee a regular promotion schedule, or to promote at the end of each mission. The IC timing of the promotion will be at the CO's discretion. Posting about your promotion prior to it occurring IC is not allowed. IC promotions are dependent on your PC having no active Strikes. There are some general guidelines:
          • A new Department Head will be promoted to minimum of Lieutenant JG or the Marine equivalent on completion of probation and moved into the DH role.
          • If a Department Head slot becomes available we welcome requests from existing members of the department to move into that role. It is also acceptable for a player from another department to make such a request. However, priority will be given to players with a PC already in the relevant department.
          • At all times the CO retains the right to promote on other grounds.

          Main Ranks of DS5

          Starfleet Marine Corp Civilians
          Ensign 2nd Lientenant Arrival
          Lieutenant (Junior Grade) 1st Lientenant Resident
          Lieutenant Marine Captaint Citizen
          Lieutenant Commander Major Alderman
          Commander Lieutenant Colonel Key Holder*

          * As in "Key to the City"

          Civilian ranks exist only to give an OOC framework for Civilian Players to have their contribution recognised. They are not applicable IC.

          Promotion path

          For an understanding of how your character can progress please refer to the next table using the relevant Short Form for your character type:


          This really only applies to Department Heads. If not on LOA/ELOA and are struggling to make post count or tag frequently, you may be demoted to the assistant department head role to free the position for more active players. Persistent failure to post will result in dismissal. For character development purposes the Commanding Officer is always happy to arrange in character ‘demotions’ by request.


          Players on probation are not part of the strike system. Failure to meet probation requirements will result in removal from the sim at the end of or before the end of the probation period as detailed in the NEW PLAYERS section of the rules.


          • Full players not on LOA/ELOA who fail to meet minimum post requirement of two posts per month will receive one strike per month. At the end of three months, if they have three strikes, they will be removed from the game.
          • A FIRST activity strike may be removed by meeting minimum post requirement in the following month. This does not apply to accumulated strikes.
          • If a player with more than one Activity Strikes improves their posting record the Commanding Officer may opt to remove existing strikes at their discretion.


          • Writing for another character, or making up details of their background or personality without consent. Should you inadvertently make a mistake and another player asks you to amend what you have written, assumed, etc., you have ONE chance to avoid a double strike. That is to amend what you have written as requested immediately and without fuss. Double strikes are not given lightly. The Commanding Officer will require written evidence from the appealing player that 1) the abuse of character has occurred, and 2) the request to amend was ignored.


          • We do not tolerate personal abuse on DS5. This includes offensive, racist, sexist language used to or about any other player OOC. We expect your OOC communications with other players to be polite and respectful at all times. No one is saying swearing and banter is not allowed. Use your common sense.
          • Conflict is allowed between characters IC but should NEVER carry over to real life. If any player experiences such abuse I encourage you to let me know directly, along with documentary evidence.
          • ANY player that has been personally abusive to/about any other player, they will be removed from DS5 without warning and the record of their behavior escalated up to the TGCO and TFCO.

          If you are in any doubt about the above rules and guidelines questions can be sent to the Commanding Officer at:

          Categories: Overview