Anomaly TrekMUX


  • Pitcrew

    Anyone here ever play on the original Anomaly? I'm hoping to reconnect with some old friends (or frenemies, that's cool too).

    I played Poole. (I'm sorry. And yes, it was my fault.)

    What's prompting this? Well. For one, reasons. Reasons that are totally not that I'm in the beginning stages of building a Star Trek game. For sure.

    So if any of you are Anomaly players/staffers/survivors: well hello there!

    And if you aren't, but love Star Trek (especially TNG/DS9/Voyager era): hi, how you doin'?

    (P.S. Thank you MUSHing community for tolerating my lunacy for nigh on 20 years now).


  • Pitcrew

    Also, if you don't want to be the first person to out yourself as a Star Trek nerd, but you are interested in this Totally Not Doing A Star Trek Game, I am on Discord as goodstarbuck.


  • Pitcrew

    @goodstarbuck Just a note that people will need your full Discord ID (name and number) in order to find you on there!


  • Pitcrew

    @roz Thank you. I changed careers and am now computers/technology/etc dumb. In addition to just being plain dumb. :)

    goodstarbuck#0777


  • Pitcrew

    I was on Anomaly for a bit. I can't remember the name but I was an Alpha Centaurian Medical officer. I was around for the whole pregnancy drama, but dropped off a while after that. Honestly, I'm at an age where I have trouble remembering what happened last week, much less years ago on a game :)

    Overall, I liked the set-up and setting for Anomaly, it was just the Reports system that drove me up the wall. It was like having a second job; and one I wasn't getting payed for, at that.

    That said, I'd love another LUG-Trek game; it's my favorite out of the 3 published TTRPG systems. Just so long as there's no mandatory Reports system ;)


  • Pitcrew

    @runescryer Oh God, the pregnancy drama. I am so so sorry.

    I think of Anomaly fondly, but I was (still am???) a lunatic.

    I have no plans on incorporating a +reports system. My thoughts on that are:

    You are a Starfleet Officer.

    Of course you are going to file a report.

    Do you need to actually write one? No. No you don't. It can be assumed. The only time you'd need to change that assumption was if in that particular case it was not true (IE, not writing a report, reporting a different version of the story than the truth, or some sort of classification on the report).

    Right now I am looking at AresMUSH and modifying the FS3 system for Trek use (most of it seems to translate fine).


  • Pitcrew

    @goodstarbuck Really, it was more 'Okay...WTF?' :) No apology needed. Being mostly on the outside of the RP until the 'event', the only thing I saw was that there had been a miscommunication/misunderstanding at some point that ended up...well...

    At any rate, it's in the past. And it's not like I haven't made my own epic drama-ramas on a game. It happens to us all sometimes.

    And I'm still interested in giving whatever game you come up with a whirl :)


  • Tutorialist

    Hi! Poole was before my time, I came pretty late to Anomaly but was around for the spiritual successor that uh... Daedalus and Ronan (I can't remember Halmar's Anomaly name) did -- Gamma One. I'd love a new Star Trek game to play on that wasn't filled with strangeness. (I've tried a few that are out and have yet to be able to make a character.) The +reports system really didn't bother me that much, for like organizing shit that was going on on plots. I thought it was helpful for recapping what happened on scenes folks couldn't be on, or ongoing plots that folks might need information on.

    The reporting for duty +reports and reporting for duty physicals, however, I found asinine af. It's p pointless to have them check for changelings since y'know staff isn't going to approve a changeling so why does EVERY NEW PC HAVE TO have a scene with a medical officer before they can do duty RP?

    Dumb.

    tl;dr: I don't think +reports are all that evil or bad. They're good for helping folks stay connected to active plots. But not required for day to day minutia that you shouldn't have to RP anywise.


  • Pitcrew

    @Cobaltasaurus I was on Anomaly from the beginning and I feel comfortable saying that while +reports added a layer to role-play, I think it bogged down things as much as it helped generate RP.

    That being said, I think a happy medium where only certain types of things are actually reported might work.. Though exactly how I'd get a +report system up and running on AresMUSH, I'd have to do further research on.



  • @goodstarbuck said in Anomaly TrekMUX:

    I think it bogged down things as much as it helped generate RP.

    Like many systems, it isn't the system itself at fault. It's how it was implemented and enforced.



  • @goodstarbuck said in Anomaly TrekMUX:

    Though exactly how I'd get a +report system up and running on AresMUSH, I'd have to do further research on.

    I've seen other games just use the bbs forum for it, but creating a custom system wouldn't be too bad. You could crib a lot from the bbs code because it's so similar of a concept.


  • Pitcrew

    Well, I suppose I should stop lurking and duck in here. I was Watters on Anomaly, Ryn/Markalov/the staffer Decius on Gamma One, and Mercier/Alindar on... whatever came after that.

    Speaking as someone who was on the staff side of things for a good while, I think @Tinuviel has it about right on the reports system. The intent of many of those things was to foster RP and create more engaging topics of conversation than "Nice space weather we're having": Initial reporting for duty was intended to prove new players with hooks to get out and meet people and a way for department heads to get people drawn into ongoing plots, mission reports were intended to support RP around the events of the mission (and provided Staff a good way to see what plot info we had given out to players had actually been shared), etc. I'd say that they certainly fell short of meeting those goals, and there may well be better ways to achieve some of those ends, but that's the direction we hoped things would point. (I'm happy to talk about my thoughts on what we were trying for and where we fell short, but I don't want to highjack Poole's thread more than I have already).


  • Pitcrew

    @Decius Homeskillet, feel free to highjack it all you want. :) I do not mind a little discussion on what worked and what did not on all those old Star Trek games. (I'm taking notes!)


  • Pitcrew

    @Decius I totally understand what the goal of the +report system was, and I approve of those goals. However, Hell, good intentions, and all that....

    My personal example, as far as I recall. I was playing a Med Officer; not the Department Head, but one of the Shift Heads. I finished up CharGen, arrive on board the station...and wait for my physical scene. The only other Medical Officer in the game at the time was the DH. I waited for the DH to log on, to no avail. In the meantime, there's actual RP & TP scenes going on that I could be participating in; but, no Physical, no Active Duty. I wait. I mention to Staff that I'm good to go aside from my Report for Duty Physical scene; I was advised to hang in there and wait for the DH to show up. Eventually, after about a week of the DH not showing up, Staff agreed to handwave my Physical. By that time, there had been a couple of events/scenes that could have used a Med Officer, but instead I was stuck with social scenes only.

    Like I said; I understand the goals of what was trying to be done. The problem was it was implemented in a way that was all too susceptible to break-down and impasse when RL inevitably comes knocking and key players can't meet the expected commitment.


  • Tutorialist

    @Runescryer Not sure if you're talking about Anomaly or Gamma One, but that was one of my biggest frustrations with GO. I kept trying to play medical officers specifically so I could funnel people through quickly b/c at the time of GO I had a lot of time to RP. ...and I kept letting Rapier/Daedalus convince me to take my characters in "more unique and interesting" directions, only to have him turn around and say: Oh yeah, your character is a nurse/counselor/whatever so they can't do medical stuff.

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻



  • There was a lot I loved about Gamma One but the reports were really frustrating. Though I get the impression staff didn't WANT them to be an impediment.

    Story: I tried and failed Gamma One a handful of times but this one really stands out. I apped an ensign and my getting out of cg happened to coincide with this passenger shuttle based event scenes that one of the senior officer NPCs (maybe even the station head) was at. There was some IC drama, it was quite fun, and bottomline the staffer who ran said NPC told me I could skip the reporting for duty +report stuff because it already would've been done in the wash of all that.

    Cut to a day or do later when I mention this to my department head and they're like 'No sorry I'd really rather you did this reporting for duty +report it is how it's done.'

    Godddddddddddd.

    I mean obviously there was just a miscommunication which I should have explained but instead I logged out forever on that character because for serious I did not want this to be my life.


  • Pitcrew

    @Runescryer Oh, I'm totally with you about the road to hell and good intentions. There were a lot of things I feel that Gamma One did well, and that I'm proud to have been a part of... and I can also promise you very few of them have to do with reports (Stories like the one from @Three-Eyed-Crow make me want to throw something sharp through the nearest temporal vortex...)

    With that said, I think there might be value for @goodstarbuck in looking at some the intended benefits, and trying to craft something that captures some of these without repeating the mistakes we made (not making RFD a 'mandatory before you can do anything' step is probably a good start).

    Here's what I see as some of the ideals of what we were going for with +reports:

    • Provide new players with a structured first few activities to get them engaged
    • Provide an IC way for multiple people to track research on a topic (and for other people to view that research)
    • Provide an IC way for people to 'tell their story' of plot events
    • Provide a way for staff to know what information players are 'officially' sharing.
    • Allow plot continuity in the event of a player absence
    • Provide a continual source of RP hooks beyond hanging out in the bar/holodeck/fitness center.
    • Allow players a way to express interest in engaging with a particular ongoing plot

  • Pitcrew

    @Decius said in Anomaly TrekMUX:

    @Runescryer Oh, I'm totally with you about the road to hell and good intentions. There were a lot of things I feel that Gamma One did well, and that I'm proud to have been a part of... and I can also promise you very few of them have to do with reports (Stories like the one from @Three-Eyed-Crow make me want to throw something sharp through the nearest temporal vortex...)

    With that said, I think there might be value for @goodstarbuck in looking at some the intended benefits, and trying to craft something that captures some of these without repeating the mistakes we made (not making RFD a 'mandatory before you can do anything' step is probably a good start).

    Here's what I see as some of the ideals of what we were going for with +reports:

    • Provide new players with a structured first few activities to get them engaged
    • Provide an IC way for multiple people to track research on a topic (and for other people to view that research)
    • Provide an IC way for people to 'tell their story' of plot events
    • Provide a way for staff to know what information players are 'officially' sharing.
    • Allow plot continuity in the event of a player absence
    • Provide a continual source of RP hooks beyond hanging out in the bar/holodeck/fitness center.
    • Allow players a way to express interest in engaging with a particular ongoing plot

    And I can totally agree with those points.Now, I can only speak for the Medical side of things here, so I don't know how successful/unsuccessful +report was for other Branches. But, Medical tended to be the 'easiest' in for casual RP beyond the standard 'Ten-Forward/Coffee Shop/Kitchen' scenes on other games. You suffer a minor injury, you go to Medical and chat with the Officer on duty while they patch you up. We see it dozens of times from TNG onwards. The problem on a game like Anom/GO is, that you had to +report these encounters; or at least, the more serious ones. The idea was that +reports could lead to long term plot ideas, so even something as trivial as a cold had to (I was lead to believe) have a +report in case it became the basis for a station/ship-wide alien plague TP. If Lt. Player Character came in because they dislocated a shoulder in the Holo-Suite's Denali Expedition sim, that had to have a +report, if only to let the Lt.'s supervising officer know that they need to be on restricted duty for a bit to let things properly heal.

    Like @Three-Eyed-Crow mentioned/hinted and I have said before, +reports became almost a second RL job...

    Now, with all that said, I think that a +report system could work. The key is to make it less intrusive. Again, speaking only Medical Branch here...

    -If it's something that could just be hand-waved, like the RFD Physical, just assume it was done.
    -Use a +reports system for the things that are actually going on, RP/TP wise, instead of an RP/TP generator. Using the 'cold to alien plague' example, you shouldn't have to write up a +report for the Trek equivalent of handing out a Day-Quil capsule to a PC. But, if there is a pre-planned 'plague' event TP, then +reports to chronicle the TP are reasonable. Similarly, you shouldn't have to +report injuries that are used as an 'in' for casual RP. But, if the player is wanting to do a personal TP about struggling with an addiction to pain killers, then +reports can further that TP.

    For me, it's all about the context of the scene. To borrow a line from Voyager, before requiring that a +report has to written up, it should be asked, 'What's the nature and purpose of the Medical RP scene?' If it's a casual/social scene, no worries; handwave that report. If it's a part of a larger TP/Event, then yes, a +report should be done.

    My .02 credits



  • FWIW I think you could look to the Battlestar games for a less-onerous +report paradigm here. Some folks liked to do a full-fledged IC "After Action Report" detailing a combat scene, but all that was really expected was a brief "Hey there was a fight and Bob died..." bbpost for a plot scene.



  • If Star Trek games divide their crew into particular departments, then it seems reasonable that a BBoard could be used as a "report" repository as well. Timed-out reports can be uploaded into a Wiki somewhere for posterity.


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