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The USS Dallas uses the Starfleet ranking system for officers, as established by Star Trek: The Next Generation. In several Star Trek games and even in some of the published novels, there are mention of a Starfleet Marine Corps. As a GM and a fan of Star Trek, I have always found such a concept to be completely incongruent with Starfleet's established purposes and therefore do not allow them in the Taskforce 121 scenario.

Promotions
The Dallas is currently using a 'performance points' system to gauge a character's promotions throughout the game.  Points are awarded to each player on a weekly basis depending on the quality and quantity of participation that they contribute to the game.  The points are tallied and presented to the players on a bi-weekly basis. Each week a player can 'earn' a maximum of 5 points.

Following is the breakdown of the weekly point awards, and the requirements for receiving them:

  • 1 Point: 1 filler post.  A filler post is one that is short, usually no more than several lines or a couple of paragraphs.  It often serves little more than to just meet the minimum weekly posting requirements or does not include the main player character.
  • 2 Points: 1 full post. A full post is one that is in-depth, engaging, or thoughtful.  It usually, but not necessarily, pertains directly to the main plot(s), or to an existing/emerging sub-plot.
  • 3 Points: 1 amazing post. An amazing post is in-depth, engaging, AND thoughtful.  It usually, but not necessarily, pertains directly to the main plot(s), or to an existing/emerging sub-plot.
  • 5 Points: Simmer of the Month award. Each month the players of the USS Dllas SIM elect one of their own to receive this reward. These points are EXTRA to the normal weekly count.
  • 2 Points: Post of the Month award. Each month the players if the USS Dllas SIM elect a log from last month that has in some way touched them. In other words, a post that cannot be forgotten and that is marked in the archives. These points are EXTRA to the normal weekly count.

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  • 0 Points: No posts due to an absence from the sim in which either the GM or AGM were notified/given permission for.
  • -2 Points:  1st week of no posts due to an absence NOT granted/agreed upon by either the GM or AGM.
  • -4 Points:  2nd consecutive week of no posts due to an absence NOT granted/agreed upon by either the GM or AGM.
  • -6 Points:  3rd consecutive week of no posts due to an absence NOT granted/agreed upon by either the GM or AGM.
  • Dismissal:  After four consecutive weeks with no attempt to contribute actively within the sim, and without prior notice of such an extended absence to the GM or AGM, the GM will arbitrarily decide to withdraw the player and his character from the Dallas sim.  Also, if within an 8 week (2 month) period, a player is inactive for a total of four or more weeks and shows a decided lack of effort when the player does contribute within that time span, the GM reserves the right to arbitrarily withdraw the player and his character and his player from the Dallas sim.

Promotions Schedule

0 points To the left is the Promotions schedule for Officers as based on the above Points system. Each ensign starts at 0 points. Looking at an average player who receives 2 to 3 points each week and an average mission length of 8 weeks, a character will be promoted to lieutenant (jg) after 1,5 missions.
40 points
120 points
240 points
480 points
960 points

=/\= A Final Word =/\=
Promotions are about ability and dedication. The two go hand in hand the whole way through. It takes a lot to stick it out and bring a character through the ranks. Sometimes you get lucky and a character will die or leave and you will be promoted into their slot, but sometimes not. Sometimes you just have to stick it out. And I promise you that those who do stick it out earn their promotions. There is nothing that makes a player prouder than to write that log where you finally get to put on that second or third pip, be it black or gold. I've even stood in front of the mirror myself.