RPG Characters and Roles
The Commanding Officer (CO) is ultimately responsible and accountable to his or her superiors for his command and crew. He is a line officer (an officer eligible for an operational command, that is a command in space), and in case of his absence, disability, or death, he is succeeded by the next eligible officer in the chain of command. Whatever his rank may be, though, the commanding officer is always called "the Captain."
The CO of a large vessel (heavy cruiser or larger) is traditionally a Captain. The CO of a light cruiser is normally a Commander. Commanding officers of destroyers and smaller ships are usually Lieutenant Commanders.
The Captain represents the ship; he speaks for it. He is accountable for it. He does not make excuses or pass blame to others. Since he is accountable for all that the ship does, for the quality of training aboard, and for the conduct of the crew at all times, he is likewise given full power to enforce Star Fleet Regulations aboard the ship and to ensure that the crew behaves accordingly. In short, since his responsibility is complete, his authority must also be complete.
Though all authority, command, direction, and responsibility ultimately rests with the captain, in practice the CO delegates the duties necessary for carrying out the day-to-day functions of the ship to the executive officer, to the heads of the departments, to the officer of the deck, and, through them, to the crew.
Who to watch: James Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Benjamin Sisko, Kathryn Janeway
Executive Officer (also known as First Officer)
The Executive Officer (also known as the First Officer) is the line officer next in rank to the CO. The XO is usually one or two grades junior to the CO of the vessel. Regardless of his rank, he is senior to all Senior Officers (aside from the CO) who are part of the ship's permanent company.
Under the direction of the Captain, the XO has entire charge of all matters relating to the personnel, routine, and discipline of the ship. All orders issued by the XO are considered as coming from the CO. In case of the absence, disability, or death of the captain, the Executive Officer assumes command. The XO is also responsible for the ship's routine and for enforcing crew discipline. All department heads report to the XO.
Who to watch: William Riker, Colonel Kira, Chakotay
Helm / Flight Control Officer
For more detailed information Click Here
Navigation/Astrogation/Helm. These officers are responsible for the navigation of the ship. NAV projects, optimizes and charts courses under the direction of the CONN'ing officer (the officer who has the bridge at a given time). Moreover, as a department head, the NAV officer serves at HELM during alerts, often takes the Alpha shift, and is responsible for the supervision and training of helmsmen.
Flight Control Officer (FCO). On many vessels, the NAV officer also serves as the FCO. However, while the NAV officer is responsible for the ship itself, the FCO is responsible for embarked craft. Often, especially on larger ships, these positions are split. Flight control handles shuttle craft launching, landing, and handling operations, with the service, maintenance, and repair of shuttle craft, and with the handling of shuttle fuel and ordinance.
Who to watch: Tom Paris, Chekov
For more detailed information Click Here
The primary task of an Operations Officer (OPS) is to see to it that the resources of the starship are properly distributed and used. OPS will often accompany an away team and during those times they may find themselves in command if there is no CO or FO present. Alternatively, if the CO and FO are both away from the bridge, it is possible that the Operations Officer will be left in command.
The OPS Officer is in direct control of transporter, replicators and holodeck systems, main deflector and sensor arrays, Starbase gangways/loading connections and computer's umbilicals, Emergency evacuation systems (lifeboats, Captains Yacht), Shuttlebays, bay doors and shuttle craft Medical facilities and using spare cargo bays (mainly done for Medical emergencies/drills).
Who to watch: Data, Harry Kim, Jadzia Dax, Major Kira, Sulu
Engineering Officers are responsible for the repair, maintenance and proper functioning of the ship's physical components including engine, shields, life-support, transporters, replicators, holodecks and shuttles. The Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) handles investigations of problems of a mechanical and technical nature. The Chief Engineer heads the engineering department which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all propulsion and auxiliary machinery, the control of damage, the maintenance of shuttle craft systems, the repair of the hull and its fixtures, and all repairs beyond the capacity of other departments.
Who to watch: Scotty, Geordi la Forge, B'Ellana Torres
Tactical Officer/ Security Officer
Tactical. Tactical officers are responsible for the operation of the ship's offensive and defensive systems. The Chief TAC is the department head responsible for various division officers and the gun crews, and often coordinates damage control efforts. Thus, the TAC officer handles all general maintenance and handling of the weapons systems, fire control computers, shields, targeting systems, electronic countermeasures and other combat systems aboard ship. Moreover, in the absence of a combat information center (CIC), the TAC handles communications with other ships involved in an exercise, and often serves as the communications officer when encountering both neutral and hostile vessels.
Who to watch: Worf, Tuvok
Security. The Chief Tactical Officer (CTAC)quite often doubles as the Chief Security Officer (CSO). The TAC/CSO or CSO (on ships where these are split) is responsible for the security of the vessel and the discipline of the crew. The CSO is responsible for assigning dignitary details, providing coverage for away teams, and affecting reconnaissance, search and rescue. Finally, the CSO conducts criminal and forensic investigations as the need arises.
Who to watch: Worf, Tasha Yar, Tuvok, Odo
Science Officers are responsible for all scientific research aboard the vessel including both mission specific and ongoing study. All ships sensor readings are directed through the Chief Science Officer (CSciO), who is the line officer responsible for routing it to the necessary departments. The Chief Science Officer is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of the bridge science terminals and scientific sensor arrays. The Science Officer is also responsible for investigations into any unidentified spatial phenomena (or technology in conjunction with the chief engineer) that a starship or base may encounter.
Who to watch: Spokc, Jadzia Dax, Data (Did quite a bit of Science)
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is the ship's head doctor. He or she handles all medical matters aboard the ship. The Chief Medical Officer also handles investigation into biological matters and may develop biological solutions to problems. The Chief Medical Officer is responsible for maintaining the health of the officers and crew; the treatment and care of the sick and wounded; the sanitation and hygiene of the ship and its company; the inspection of the ship, food and water insofar as the health of the crew may be affected; and for training and directing personnel assigned to the medical department.
Who to watch: 'Bones' McCoy, Beverly Crusher, Julian Bashir, The Doctor (EMH)
For more detailed information Click Here
The StarFleet Counselor, aslo known as Chief Neurological Scientist (CNS), has the most wide-ranging and flexible job duties of any member of the Senior Staff. In terms of contributing to an ongoing story, this means that the alert writer can legitimately place the Counselor character in almost any part of the plot.
The Counselor's primary position is to be near the Captain to offer advice. Many Captains and First Officers rely on their Counselor players to serve as a wide-ranging troubleshooter, and dispatch them to areas of the story that need an extra boost.
Mission requirements will often dictate his or her presence on Away Teams. Similarly, at any time during the shipboard duty day, Counselors may be found in any area of the ship, visiting among the crew. This may be informal visits, or scheduled inspections or training.
With an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the StarFleet Counselor, the player will have more opportunities to intelligently insert his or her character into any section of the storyline. Here are a few examples:
- Crew / Ship Readiness. As a critical member of the Senior Staff, the StarFleet Counselor has ongoing responsibility to evaluate all departments and divisions of the ship in accordance with established StarFleet standards of readiness. This could include monitoring staffing levels, reviewing duty rosters, conducting official operational readiness inspections, overseeing required technical and career training and education development plans for all StarFleet personnel - officer, enlisted, and civilian etc.
- Rescue Mission to a Damaged Ship. The Counselor goes along to help care for any possible survivors.
- Surprise Attack on your Vessel. The Counselor consols the wounded.
- First Contact. This is the Counselor's area of expertise. The Counselor is the leading specialist in all First Contact situations. First Contact is defined as the initial encounter between alien races. Counselors receive considerable training in the history and most current techniques of successful first contact planning and execution. It is always hoped that First Contact may be resolved peacefully, but the StarFleet Counselor must also be trained to recognize irretrievably hostile situations and recommend Defensive action to the Captain at a moment's notice.
- Diplomatic NeedsCounselors are the primary points of contact in StarFleet's dealings with allied governments, as well as with individual autonomous entities both within and without the Federation. They often give briefings on Alien cultures, and are a critical part of any Survey Team when a planet is either inhabited or potentially habitable.
- Information Critical. Counselors are directly involved with Science Officers in the evaluation of Alien technologies and their potential impact upon the Federation.
- Refugee Evacuation. The Counselor is needed to prepare lists and manifests, answer questions, arrange relief supplies, assessing the emotional trauma and needs of refugees etc.
- Murder Investigation. Counselor is present to take statements, advise people of their rights, act as defense attorney, etc.
- Casualty due to attack or loss of writer. Grief counseling will be critical to maintain peak performance of survivors.
- New CO, XO or Promotion of unit characters. Adjusting to new team configurations and new responsibilities isn't always easy!
Who to watch: Deanna Troi, Ezri Dax