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.
  • Pay attention to detail. Keep up with what others write in their posts, there might be a twist or a storyline your character itches to get involved with.
  • For every action there is a reaction. If you put your head in the warp core, chances are you're dead. Be consistent, that way others know what to expect of you.
  • Stay involved, your PC might not always be the centre of attention but that doesn't mean your character can't do anything. It is a big Station so communicate; talk OOC with other crew members in email, private message, or the OOC section of the forums. 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 along 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 a disagreement with another crew member, the Commanding Officer (CO) will act as mediator and will have the final say in the matter.
    • If you as crew member have an issue or needs 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 sub-plots. If you feel your intended sub-plot 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, and abide by Theta Fleet rules. They must not copy canon Star Trek characters. Develop your character. Make sure you use traits about your character in your posts. Don't write a Bio and then play your character completely different. 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. Words are powerful. Use them carefully, and write so others understand what you're doing.
    • One line posts and those that do nothing to advance character or plot are not allowed. Like all writing 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 written in English (UK, US or any other national varient) and must use proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and where appropriate make appropriate use of Star Trek phraseolgy. Netspeak in posts or communication is frowned upon – it gives me a headache to decipher it and you do not want a CO with a headache, believe me.
    • A minimum post count of at least TWO posts per month is required under Theta Fleet rules. This may be a joint post, a solo post, or a personal log. Any player who wishes to post more is encouraged and more than welcome to do so, especially Department Heads.
    • Joint post tags should be answered in a timely fashion, within 48 hours. If you are unable to respond within that period, please have the courtesy to notify your co-authors – there are few things more annoying then waiting on someone to update a JP for weeks on end. 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 may be removed from the game.
    • All posts must adhere to the simulation timeline and appropriate use of ‘Timestamps’ is required. More on this later.
    • Post length – All players should attempt to engage other players with their writing. A solo post should be around 500 a minimum of words in length. A JP should be a minimum of 800 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 solo or Joint Post (JP) is long + 2000 words 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, make assumptions about their background, or their reactions. 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.
      • 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 too - hard chips – its 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 you own NPC or ask the command team to write a suitable NPC
      • Associate your character with that backstory without the prior written permission of the player. Our players put in time and effort to create unique and original backgrounds for their characters and have first and last call over how their creations are used. If you do this and are asked to amend what you have written you must comply.

      Joint Posts

      • Never write for a Playing Character (PC) or owned Non-Playing Character(NPC) in a Joint Post (JP) characters are the property of the players creating them and may not be used without their consent save for moving the plot on in a minor and acceptable manner.
      • A Joint Post (JP) between two players is expected to be c. 1000 words long – i.e. at least 500 words per character.Please complete your JP BEFORE posting it to the list.
      • When replying to tags when you’re writing a JP please give your fellow writer(s) something to work with – if your replies are all single lines its not fair on the other player(s).
      • Never change a text written by a player (except for minor typographical errors i.e.; spelling/grammar).
      • If your Joint Post (JP) is long + 2000 words 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.

    Activity and Leave of Abscence

    • Regular logging into your account will be expected, as this system logs all your activity on site. As a MINIMUM we require that you visit the site at least once a week. If logging in is too arduous for you then we politely suggest you go elsewhere. Failure to login 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.

    New Player Rules

    • ALL new players are accepted on a probationary basis. This Probation Period lasts O30 days from acceptance e.g if you are accepted on 15th May your probation period will last until 15th June. In this period your posts will be moderated.
    • On joining you are expected to log on and make your initial post within SEVEN days of acceptance – this shouldn’t be too arduous as your sample post can be used as your introduction (unless you wish to write a new one). Failure to do this will result in your immediate removal from the sim.
    • As it’s a ‘getting to know us’ period your introduction post is the only one you MUST post in your partial month of membership. To pass probation you must make the minimum tally of two posts in your first full calendar month.
    • 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. This short course will help you understand how things are done in Obsidian Fleet. As a former instructor I can attest that it is worth the trouble!
    • 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 – this is for the players – we’re always keen to meet a new face and there is nothing more disheartening than reading a luscious bio then seeing the character go on an immediate LOA.
    • If you have met the requirements, your probationary period ends:
      • One full calendar month after your acceptance.
      • Once you have begun your Academy course (if required and subject to instructor availability), and:
      • 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).
    • If you do not meet the above requirements during your first calendar month your character may be removed from DS5.
    • 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 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. Note that this JP is one of the requirements for passing your probation period. Take that assignment and show us what you’re worth!
      • All new Starfleet characters will start with the rank of Ensign. No exceptions – something to remember when creating your character.
      • 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 (this WILL include completing the Academy if required. That means it may be longer than one calendar month depending on instructor availability) 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.


      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 you have more flexibility over your initial JP. 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)

    • Under Theta Fleet rules 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 interest – 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. BEWARE!!! You should be prepared to write your NPC – other players might want to interact with them, not just your playing character.

    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 recognised by Theta Fleet and will be logged in your character’s permanent record.

    Type 1: These require a nomination and are awarded by the CO.
    Type 2: These awards are for more in-depth action/ character development/ contribution. Example posts are required when nominating.
    Type 3: These are quarterly or annual awards awarded at Fleet level, e.g. Captain of the Year. Any nominations must be backed up with posts.

    On a monthly basis we invite all of our players to nominate their fellow players for awards including the coveted community service citation medal.


    Perhaps the most coveted form of recognition is an in character promotion. As in real life these are not doled out on a monthly or on a first come, first served basis. If you are a time server expecting a promotion for being here for three months then we politely recommend you look elsewhere for a sim.

    We do not advise your primary focus is promotion chasing, nor do we appreciate being asked for a promotion. Such a request is almost guaranteed to put your character at the back of the queue.

    Through the promotion system we try to reward activity and participation IC and OOC. To achieve this on a relatively transparent basis we combine a post count and a point system. This means that if you consistently post more than the required minimum to advance to the next level your promotion may be accelerated because your point score has elevated you beyond the minimum tier requirement.

    We aim to make IC promotions once or twice a year. 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. If you post about your promotion prior to it occurring IC you may well be invited to investigate other simming opportunities.

    IC promotions are dependent on your PC having no active Strikes.

    There are some general guidelines:
    • A new Department Head will be promoted to Lieutenant JG or the Marine equivalent on completion of probation and moved into the DH role.
      • Further advancement will be as per the outlined scheme.

    • 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:

    Starfleet Rank Marine Rank Civilian Rank Player Status Next Level Posts to reach next level
    Ens. 2nd Lt. Vis. Moderated/ Probationary Active Member Introductory Post plus 2 more in calendar month
    Ens. 2nd LT. Vis. Unmoderated/Active Player Lt(JG)/1stLT/Res Avg 3 per calender month for 3 months
    Lt (JG) 1st Lt.. Res. Unmoderated/Active Player Lt/MCap/Ctzn/ Avg 4 per calender month for 3 months
    Lt MCap Rtzn Unmoderated/Active Player Lt Cmdr/Major/Aldrmn/ Avg 6 per calender month for 3 months
    LtCmdr Major Alderman Unmoderated/Active Player cmdr/LtCol/KeyH/ Avg 8 per calender month for 3 months

    It should be noted that meeting these requirements does not automatically lead to promotion, but is meant to be indicative of the level of contribution desired at this level. Likewise, not meeting these targets does not automatically exclude you from promotion.


    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 a assistant department head role to free the position for more active players.

    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 in a posting cycle.

    • 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.

    • All activity strikes will be cleared at the end of a posting cycle i.e. when the CO gets the opportunity to make IC promotions.


    • Our players put in a lot of time and effort to create unique characters with original backgrounds. Each player has first and last call over how their creations are used.
    • NO PLAYER may write for another character, make assumptions about their background, or their reactions.

    • 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.

    • After probation there is little excuse for a player to do either the above.

    • 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.

    • If I find ANY player 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:

    Theta Fleet rules

    Rules of Theta Fleet can be found here

    Categories: Overview