First thing I can say, I guess, is thank you for taking the time to stop in here and see what this RPG is all about. I don't doubt the site you are checking out here is a little daunting. Trust me, maintaining it is just as much a task as what I'm sure you are experiencing. Anyhow, I just wanted to express my thanks in that regard.

The Star Trek Galaxy RPG is a collection of writers both new and old who have gathered together in one medium to share their imaginations with each other in the spirit of a collective collaboration and community. Some have been here for years, for others it's their first time. But we're all here to read, write, and escape the troubles of life for the whole monetary cost of $0. I'll make every attempt to clear up what exactly we do here, but if anything still needs questioning, don't hesitate to drop a note in my mailbox - webmaster AT galaxy DOT net.

Table of Contents:
1. What the heck is an 'email simulation'?
2. How does it work?
3. Okay, now explain this mailing list business. Does my address get posted publicly for the world to see and spam with?
4. Is there a certain style of writing that you do here? Or can I just do what I want?
5. What is expected of me if I ask to sign up to this RPG?
6. How do I get promoted?
7. Why should I choose to write on your sim? What makes you stand out over all the others?
8. So where do I go to sign up?
9. Okay, my initial application was accepted. What next?
10. Anything else I should know?

An email simulation is simply put, an environment simulated over email. In this case, Star Trek. In the guise of a character created by you, you involve yourself in an imagined environment created by the writers for everyone's enjoyment in ongoing stories.

On the USS Galaxy Email RPG, we expand on this to incorporate common role-playing games into the concept. If you've ever played Dungeons and Dragons either through tabletop playing or any roleplaying PC or console games such as Baldur's Gate, Elite Force, Rainbow Six, etc, then you've already grasped the concept.

Essentially, you the writer, take on a role that you've created within the Star Trek universe we've created here, and stake a claim within this environment. We write together as a group, following along the GamesMaster's plot that s/he establishes at the onset of each 'mission', or campaign. We could even call it a chapter, if you will. We typically call them Episodes here (we also have 'Seasons'), as we like to align ourselves with the TV status quo of production, and the fact that each writer here is the 'Star of the Show', or cast member, and some members get spotlighted more than others, as evidenced by the 5 television series. Eventually, all get to shine, but a lot of that depends on you, the writer. You only get out of it what you give.

The missions are wide-open, but they do have some limits, which we will get into as we go along. Until then, keep reading! For a more in-depth look at what this RPG is all-about, go check out the Writer's Guide. Be warned, it's a lot of reading.

If you've ever played tabletop, then you are familiar with the scheme of scenarios, campaigns, missions, etc. In our RPG, we refer to them as 'Episodes' in the same vein as the television series. We have a series of episodes just like the television shows, except that due to the length of episodes (2-3 months) we usually run 4-5 episodes per 'season'.

At the onset of each episode, the GM, or GameMaster, sends in an email to the members' mailing list a paragraph or two 'promo', or 'teaser' of the upcoming plot. This is followed shortly by the first official log launching the new episode that sets the tone for the other writers to get involved in.

From that point on, the writers either work with each other in 'Joint Posts' or solo pieces, in furthering their own character development plots along, or getting involved in the episode if so desired either from your own conjecture, or a private note from the GM.

Short answer. No.

The mailing list is a closed and private list. No one sees your email address except those on the list itself. No one can subscribe themselves to the list without approval from the GM, either. I'm anal about protecting email addresses, so you'll never see yours posted publicly anywhere unless it is as a credit to a contribution on this website. And even then, I still ask you.

The mailing list, or listserver, is simply a centralized location for the 'posting' or remitting of RPG pieces, what we call 'logs'. We have another optional Out of Character list (OOC) for various ramblings, requests, and whatever else is on your mind.

We like to see thought-provoking, well-imagined pieces that develop our characters as people. We tend to write flawed, realistic characters as a reflection of who we are, or what we see within ourselves and others. We explore our own psyches in the characters we write. None of this shoot 'em up, I'm superman and you can't hurt me shtuff. Silly, off-the-wall unrealistic writings get pianos dropped on them. We take our writing seriously here for the most part. We're mostly long haul writers who enjoy a *good* story, not a rehash of clichéd crap. You'll not find a larger group of serious writers out there these days. I'd say we're in the top 5% for quality. That's no lie. If that's what you're looking for, then you'll fit in just fine.

Oh, and you won't find any tag-style posts here. That's where one person writes a paragraph and expects someone else to pick it up. That kind of posting belongs on a forum, not an email-based roleplaying game. Too much junk gets clogged in spam filters and excellent mail posts or GM notes get missed by some. If you feel the need for a tag, look at who you want to respond and send them your mail privately to add on their parts. This is called a JP when you go back and forth on it.

The content of your mails themselves are not monitored - we're an R rated game so anything goes - but if you want people to take your writing seriously, show us what you got.

For posting expectations, we'd like to see at least 1 log posted to the listserver per week of at least 2 pages in length, or a pair of 1 page length posts. If you are looking to attain a department head position on the Galaxy, you'll need to work for it. Consistent 2-3 page posts at least twice a week.

Also, before you post to the listserver, you're expected to spell and grammar check your work. As a personal request and not mandatory, I ask that logs *not* be posted in HTML, Rich Text format or doublespaced. Single spacing between paragraphs is preferred.

Before we get you on the listserver though, you'll need to have a character biography approved by the GM. More on that later.

If you are unable to make your posting committments for whatever reason (exams, vacation, etc.), either let the GM know, or post it to the OOC mailing list.

Every so often, I run an audit of the writers on the RPG to verify their participation. If any writer fails the audit, they are removed from the list and the game.

Another simple answer. Participate in the RPG. Show us what you got. You get points for simply posting, but on a scale, you can gather more points for length of the post, if it contributed to the plot, showed character development, garnered public response and recognition, you were nominated and/or achieved Simmer of the Mission, and various wildcards I deem fit to hand out. Lots of ways. Basically comes down to writing though. This RPG is all about writing, so everything, including promotions, revolve around it.

The guidelines to promotion will be posted in the Writer's Guide at a later time.

At the moment the Galaxy is just about 12 years old (since 1996), and that's a fact. There are a lot of sims out there that SAY they're the longest-running, but that's not quite true. There are actually quite few sims out there that last long. Most run the gamut in an average of 3 years. After that, simple life kicks in and it's time to bid good-bye. These days, it's very hard to market an email RPG in the Star Trek environment, so even more die out every day. The Galaxy is a strong core of seasoned writers, one of which has been here for almost 10 years on her own. If you look at the Writers page, those marked with TOS came along for the ride when the original GM retired after almost 7 years. That was over 5 years ago now.

What makes us stand out among the others is our longevity. We aren't going anywhere, either. Nothing I hate more then pouring my heart out into a story for a character only to have the sim fold, losing my works forever. The Galaxy still has the original logs dating back to 1996 as a link off the portal page.

If you sign up, you'll find some seriously good writers. More than you'd likely find except on a handful of RPG's these days.

As of January 4, 2007, our youngest writer is 21, the oldest 47. Average age is around 26.

As a testament to our standards over time, we don't accept every application that comes through our mailslots. Very few actually get past the application stage. So we don't let just anyone on like some RPG's just to boost their numbers. I can honestly state the vast majority of our writers are quite good at storytelling. Don't take my word for it. Read the archives.

Click on the Join link accessible from any of the main pages on this site. Fill out the character portrayal/sketch form link there. That's it. We need the information in there first before we move on the Biography. It's quick and easy for you. No thinking about your character except in the general sense. You can work on the biography on your own time later.

We'll then get back to you in a day or two to let you know if the sketch was approved, and what position and rank you'll submit your biography with.

Off to the biography we go! This is your personal bible. It is the essence of your character. If ever you write with another person on this RPG, I can't stress enough, READ THEIR BIOGRAPHY. I reserve the right to edit the bio to suit consistency. Try and stay with the format in the form, though, and we should be okay.

If your biography passes the meticulous scrutiny it so deserves (just kidding) within a 2-3 day period, I'll have you subscribed to the lists and introduced to your 'Commanding Officer', or whoever is the department head in the area you're a part of. I'll then post an introduction to the list with a link to your character biography on the site, a reference in how you came on board (useful if we're in the middle of an episode), and a summary of where we are in the story so you can jump right in.

There's a ton of info in the other links on the Join page. It expands on everything here. If there any other questions you think should be addressed here, mail me.