How to Play a Security Officer

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Introduction

Welcome to Star Fleet Academy, Cadets. Here you will learn what it takes to be a Security Officer, and why it's among the best career choices you can make. There are far too many positive reasons as to why Security is an excellent field to be involved with, and I can’t list them all here.

Just to name a few though -

  • There will ALWAYS be something to do. The protection of the ship and management of any potential threats, such as prisoners, will always be in demand.
  • While other areas of work require a vast technical knowledge (such as an almost constant use of techno-babble, which while fun, can get tiresome), Security is a good field for Novice RPG players and all the way up to the most skilled of us.
  • Work in Security opens up doors to all kinds of advancement. Having to protect and look after the entire crew means you’ll get a chance to know everyone. Sometimes the people you encounter will help lead to all new positions you could never imagine.
  • No matter what some people might think, even in this format, it's still fun to know you’re the one with a phaser, you’re the one there to make sure everything's all right. I find it a comfort to know that when an emergency situation arises, I’ll be the one to be called upon to help solve it instead of just standing around letting others do the work. If you feel the same way, you’ll enjoy the challenges Security can offer you.
  • You will be called upon to do a variety of things at any given time. Just because you’re in Security, doesn’t mean your job is limited to shooting the bad guy. There have been situations where Security personnel have had to act as emergency medics or even make-shift Engineers. Quite simply, whatever the situation dictates, a Security Officer may be called upon to do it.

Technical Knowledge & Equipment

While many other areas require quite a bit of technical knowledge, Security does not. If you have a working understanding of what it is you are doing, then you're fine. This isn’t to say you can come in with no idea what Security is or does and be all right, far from it. It does, however, mean you won’t be expected to explain the inner workings of the warp core, or what a self-sealing stem bolt is.

Basically, Security protects the ship. If you understand what that kind of Security means, and you are up to defending your ship if and when necessary, you can be a Security Officer. You don’t have to know what the starboard interlock is, but you do need to know what a phaser is, and how it works.

For the most part, while other departments can have a ton of tools, you have 3 main ones: a communicator (or combadge) used to keep in contact with your fellow Security Officers and command crew, a tricorder to help pinpoint areas of danger or potential situations from a distance, and most importantly a phaser (either the hand weapon or rifle variation) to defend yourself and others.

The nice thing about the standard Security equipment is their function is basic and easy to understand unlike a hydro spanner, which you have to sit back and wonder what it does. Thanks to this, you can be a novice at role-playing and still get an easy handle on what to do, while at the same time, the work is interesting enough that highly experienced role-players can still have a good time doing it.

Workload

Security is among the most active divisions of play we offer. While obviously your ship won’t always be in a crisis situation requiring personnel to prepare for intruders etc, that doesn’t stop Security Officers from having something to do. Protecting the ship is a constant and always continuing process.

During down time, when nothing Security related is happening, you’ll find there are still more then enough things to do. For example, you may wish to work on repairing or augmenting the Brig Detention Center (though any modifications should always be cleared though the Chief of Security and GM). This isn’t actually as difficult as it sounds. Brig systems are rather straightforward, so if you can type force field, than you can post doing work on a holding cell.

On the other hand, that might not always be an option, or you may be uninterested in it, so go to 10 Forward, or the holodeck. Go talk with other players because R&R time can be among the most enjoyable. You’ll find that the sharing of life and death situations brings Security Officers together, gives them a sense of camaraderie other department members may not have. Because of that, while interacting with people all over the ship is recommended, you always know there will be someone to talk with, someone to help you along.

Having a drink with a fellow crewman in 10 Forward might seem trivial at first, but even that basic act could lead to a lasting friendship. Character subplots are often more interesting and involving than the main plot, so I highly recommend you work on making one between you and another, or even group of officers. Keep in mind though that all subplots need to be cleared by your CO and GM to make sure they don’t conflict with the main plot.

When acting in manners concerning Security, keep in mind that open-ended posting is a MUST. If you are calling a fellow officer over your communicator, don’t post what they say; leave it open for them to respond. If you are scanning for something, request GM input instead of just saying you found something. If you shoot something or someone with a phaser, request GM input yet again, instead of just saying you stunned or vaporized your target. You’ll find that in doing so, it adds a new level of expectation, surprise, and fun to posting, besides which, it makes sure posts don’t contradict each other and stay true to the plot at hand. Basically, assume nothing, expect nothing, and roll with whatever hits you. If you do so, it's hard to go wrong.

Despite the wide variety of activities open to a Security Officer, it's possible you may find yourself in a situation where you feel there to be nothing to do. Interaction throughout the game is very important, if you do it consistently, it's hard to get bored. However, in the event you do, contact your Security Chief, the First Officer, the Captain, the GM, whomever you feel most comfortable with, and request help, or a suggestion as to your next course of action. For them, the most important thing is keeping everyone involved and having a good time, so you can be sure they’ll help. I would suggest contacting your Security Chief first in such a situation, as they know their department the best, and can give you the most relevant information, but feel free to get in contact with whoever you think best. Email is recommended for this kind of contact, as it helps expedite the process (the majority of people include there email in some way on the site, so if you look, most likely you’ll find the email for who you want to contact).

Use of Non-Player Characters (NPC's)

The use of NPC's is encouraged (though I personally suggest waiting until you feel established and comfortable in what you are doing before making any NPC's), and even if you don’t have one yourself, you’re bound to see others using them at some point. The fastest and easiest way to tell which characters are NPC's is by looking at the top of the post. If it is an NPC, there will be an OOC (out of context) notation like this: == Lt. Blair - NPC ==

The creation of NPC's is easily done. You need a name, rank (usually equivalent of your PC character or below), species, gender, and a brief 1-5 line description. You must then also select a Department to serve in. Keep in mind though, NPC creation must be first cleared with your CO.

Now, you may find yourself asking, why would anyone want to make an NPC? Well, there are a number of good answers to that. First off, there are supposed to be an average of 200 Officers, in Security alone, on any given ship. Despite this, there may only be around 5 or so active players in Security on a ship. So what about the remaining 195 Officers? Well obviously they can’t all be represented, but with NPC's, the number of Officers can be expanded, using existing characters as a base. Second, and I think most importantly, an NPC gives you a new perspective on game play. You may play another Security Officer, but you are just as likely to play someone from another department. The experience you learn from that NPC, will give you a new understanding of game play, and even help you in playing your main character.

NPC's can even get promoted, so remember, having an NPC is like having a second character, treat it, and NPC's controlled by others, just as you would anyone's main character. Another thing to bear in mind is to keep your NPC's rank low, start with Ensign, and go from there. If you are currently low in rank, or just starting when you make this NPC, you’ll find the extra character a fun and extra learning experience, if you have been around awhile, then having a low ranking NPC helps ground you, and allows you to play all angles of a situation.

Interaction with Other Players

Interacting with other players is the most important part of playing this, or any other RPG. Odds are you will quickly make friends among those in your own department, in this case Security (though you still have to work at it), but it's also important to expand beyond Security, and get to know people from all over the ship.

If you know everyone, or at least most people, you can better work in a team, and that's important to keeping game play moving and enjoyable.

Another large part of character interaction is developing subplots with other characters, you may, for example, have your character develop a strong disliking for another character, or by the same token, you might have your character fall in love with another one. When you do this, remember to clear it with the other character and your CO and Department Head. If you do it right, and you work together, the subplots you play can become just as enjoyable as any mission.

These relationships are what make Federation Space so much fun. Without it, the game couldn’t be the same, and once you begin, you’ll quickly pick up on this fact.

Don’t limit your interaction to people of your own department, and don’t be afraid to get to know your superiors, doing this helps you and those you interact with have more fun.

The best reason, at least at the beginning, for this kind of interaction, is it helps flesh out and explain who your character is. How do you work with people? How do others respond to you? As you establish this and friendships, new levels of play emerge, and it makes going through whatever the GM gives you a lot more interesting and enjoyable.

Loyalty, devotion, trust are all important parts of real life, and you’ll find they also are for this RPG.

Things To Keep In Mind

If you remember your place in game play, work as a team with others, interact with the crew, and remember that the GM controls all plot (mission) points, and everything related to the plot must be run by them, then you know all you need to.

Assume nothing and act towards others with the same respect you do in real life, and you can’t go wrong. This is for fun, and if you work to keep it that way, no one can fault you for it.

Conclusion

Playing a Security Officer is both hard work and a lot of fun. People depend on you to keep them safe, and to make their lives better. That's a good feeling, even in a game like this. Even when you don’t know it, acting in the interests of ships Security affects the mission.

You’ll get to chase down alien invaders, interrogate captured enemies, lead investigations into any unexplained incidents aboard ship, and so many more things, I can’t even think of them all.

Acting in the defense of the ship means people will look up to you, and look to you for answers when things start to heat up. The responsibility and faith placed in you will help you to create a realistic and interesting character. With that responsibility, comes the knowledge that you will be noticed, there's no way around it, and if you do your job to the best of your ability, then you can look forward to a long and impressive career with Star Fleet. Who knows, someday you may be leading an investigation in a murder, or even Commanding a Starship. With Security, all of it is within your grasp.

I know you’ll enjoy a career in Security, and I wish you the best of luck. Have fun!

Credits

Written by Daniel Wueste