Created by Captain Tim Williams on Sat May 25th, 2013 @ 8:58pm
Creating a Biography
You'll find simming much more rewarding if you take the time and make the effort to create and develop a defined biography. Use your imagination; use the references on the net for canon races. Picture your character in your mind, then delve into his or her psyche to decide on his/her background and what made your character who he/she is. A good place to reference is www.startrek.com or www.memory-alpha.org - they contain quite a lot of information on various canon species, and also on canon characters if you're struggling for inspiration. Another great and developing source for information, especially on events taking place after those portrayed in Star Trek: Nemesis is the Pegasus Fleet Wiki. Make your character believable, but also unique to you. Helpful links are listed at the end of this guide.
The best way to create your character, from my perspective at least, is:
Select the post you wish to be in, and the race your character belongs to, and then create the character's talents and history to reflect that. The outline below will give you a good basis for creating your character:
- Previous Posting:
- Nickname: (if any)
- Place of Birth:
- Marital Status:
- Physical Description:
- Personality/Psychological profile:
- Family History:
- Personal History:
- Academic record:
- Official Starfleet record:
If you can think up something detailed to put under each of these headings, then you should then have a good base of information to fill out the biography on the join form.
If you are new to Role-playing, it's best to choose a human character and your own gender. Familiarity is the key to successful role-playing; there are times that even the most experienced of role-players will have difficulty with playing an alien race. If you want to tackle an alien race, make sure they are part of the Federation. In some cases, singular individuals of a race or foreign government may be accepted into Starfleet, but these must have a back story that has been thought out very carefully and in detail - usually involving either the gaining of Federation citizenship, or receiving a sponsorship from a serving command-level officer. If you are unsure, discuss it with the CO or XO. Choosing your race can be especially tricky when using mixed races, as some races are physically incompatible with each other. Your race choice may narrow certain aspects of your biography down, such as place of birth.
Physical attributes are next. How old is he/she? Weight? Height? Hair and eye colour? Don't forget to include how the character wears their hair, including length, style, etc. This gives you and your crew-mates something from which to draw upon. Give their general physical build, such as if they are muscular, wiry, etc. Does your character have any other unique attributes, such as a tattoos, big feet, or scars? Some simmers have portraits created, or use existing images from sources found around the internet.
Personality Traits are next. What are your character's strengths? What are your character's weaknesses? Always give a good balance to your character, as "super-characters" are boring to play with and only serve to frustrate you and your crew-mates. If your CO feels your character is too "super" he or she may ask you to balance it out more. As you create this portion of the bio, a clearer picture of the character will begin to form for you. Think about events in your character's life that may have been instrumental in forming his or her personality.
Now that you've got that sorted out, it's time to write your character's history. Personal and Family history is first, and this covers birth through to the time your character entered Starfleet Academy. This is where you can describe their parents, siblings, places they have been in their childhood, etc. Where were they born? What was their childhood like? Any significant events that occurred? What did their parents do? Were they part of a failed colony? Were they in Starfleet? Why did your character decide to join Starfleet? The more detailed you make that history, the more fun you will have playing this character as you will refer to this history the same way that you refer to your own history in your real life.
The second portion of history is their career life, including academic experiences and Starfleet records. This portion will continue to grow as you role play, so keep your biography available for updates. You will want to include past missions and experiences in it with a timeline (the timeline usually goes in the Service Record or Chronology part of the join form). Include their experiences at the Academy, any friends or enemies that they made, what their first assignment was like, as well as any assignments leading up until the point where they joined the Highlander. This portion of your biography will be a big factor in what starting rank you are given on the sim. If you have a particular rank you are aiming for in mind, then make sure to advise the CO of this, and make your biography believable - no-one comes out of the Academy and gets a posting as a Lieutenant Commander. Be aware however, that no matter how you tailor your bio, if the CO doesn't feel it is up to the standard expected, they are within their rights to give you a lower rank and ask you to alter the bio.
Our biography form on the Highlander has a few significant improvements over the standard seen on most sims. As well as providing additional sections to encourage you to write more about each section of your character's history, there are fields to provoke thought on the relationships your character has with family members, relationships that they have had, and their friendships, beyond simply naming names.
When things happen to your character like an illness, a pregnancy, a death, a divorce, a promotion, these should be noted and kept updated on your bio here on the site. Remember to keep a backup at home!
Captain Tim Williams
USS Highlander NCC-74962
Categories: Sim Reference | General Reference | Character-Related