Need an Appeals Magistrate

Hi all, in our campaign we had a character misbehave and land themselves a 10 year sentence for mutiny. The PC has decided an appeal is in order. I decided it would be good to have an outsider decide their fate. The appeal is going to be entirely a paper appeal. I will email you the papers, you can read them and decide their fate. Obviously you may have questions for the party’s after you read them which is fine.

In the campaign there is a starfleet review tribunal which acts as a first level appeal court. The convicted one will provide a basic argument and in reponse the prosecutor will do the same.

First person who replies gets the gig. Just make sure you PM your email address.

Thankyou for accepting the commission, Magistrate Sparky.

If the OP has replied, assuming they took note of the address, I’d just delete your reply now tbh. The discord forum is a better place for being able to pass personal details

Thats not a bad idea, I now have the learned Magistrate’s details.

I don’t currently have Discord but I have taken your advice about deleting my original reply after the OP acknowledged receipt of the email address. :slight_smile:

@■■■■■■■ I await your email with the information required for my new duty as your Magistrate. :slight_smile:

This is very academically interesting to me. Are the rules/procedures the campaign is using going to be sent? Star Trek has loads of Starfleet directives or Federation laws, etc. etc., but just as often would pull one out of a hat for the episode. Is the magistrate meant to read only the items sent and judge based on that, or to take a more holistic view based on amorphous “Starfleet principles” as they understand them?

I’m also interested in knowing what people think, generally, of letting a random outsider decide the fate of a PC in a campaign. It makes conceptual sense, but… a 10 year prison sentence means that PC is gone from the campaign. And if that’s the way the group runs things, then sure, go wild, but… I don’t know. Seems a bit extreme to me.

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What did he do to get sentenced for ten years?

I agree, such a sentence would mean that the character is out of the game, ecxept you plan to do a “Tom Paris” with him.

Yeah, I agree that defintely a PC is out of the game for good with a 10y sentence. In this case they screwed up, deserved a court martial. Now it was not a foregone conclusion they would be convicted, they did have defences. However the PC indulged in some ridiculous behaviour at the court martial.

As to the framework, I use a fairly orthodox legal framework and apply that to the setting. So for example in the common law world, appeals cases are not meant to retry facts they are meant to be confined to very specific grounds that address defects in the original trial.

Some of the starfleet general orders are relevant as well. In the original court martial the PC had a good defence around general order 28. How did that go? Well after they chucked a tantrum , sacked their counsel and demanded summary judgement, not far lol. CORRECTION: Not GO28, it was something else I cant recall now.

Oh. Yes. Yesyesyes. :smiley:

While I would totally do the arbiting, I would never require one myself, neither as GM nor as a Player. :smiley: Neither am I that simulationist (GNS-model terminology, here), nor is STA a simulationist game, nor would I expect this to be a good solution for the groups I play with. Playing RPGs is, first and foremost, a social activity, depending on a social contract within the group - that outsiders are not part of. I’m convinced that this sort of conflict cannot be solved purely by rules.

While the concept of resorting to an impartial outsider is a very cool idea, I would at least include an outsider everybody (or, at least the parties to the conflict/trial) know. Could be a friend of another gaming group, a former member of the gaming group, a partner, etc.

On that note, there was a thread about Appropriate Discipline Onboard a Starship long ago, and one on Court Martials in-game. I also started a thread on Court Martial Episodes some time ago, sharing some experiences I had with a group gaming another RPG system. :slight_smile:

@■■■■■■■ @Sparky I would love to read about the case and its outcome! :slight_smile:

I have said most of what I have to say in the topics above including a video on strange Star trek laws.
What can you do if the player was sentenced to jail:

  • A solo adventure with the player to resume his ten years in jail. Some therapy with betazoid. Continue 10 years later give other players 1 arc milestone a normal milestone and a medal. Add a refit to their ship.Reincorporate the guilty player with just a jail survival focus.
  • Jennaway messed the timeline again. After some time in jail he goes back in time but remember the past (only him can?) Try to avoid mistakes. Later Jennaway will ask to help against Borgs.
  • The player is a bad guy. Is his mirror universe counterpart a good guy?
  • testbed for psychic punishment, like O’brien. The 10 years scenario was in fact only a 10 days sentence that look like 10 years
  • prison is attacked. Time to repent and be heroic.
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How amusing, OP’s name gets censored so they can’t be tagged (potentially more amusing that it’s only censored because it’s a UK company).

Anyways, it sounds like the player of this criminal PC might not want to play a Star Trek game? It sounds like there may be some real-world and in-game dynamics that didn’t go well? Was the player blindsided by the court martial? Why did their character throw a tantrum? If all is well in the game out-of-character, then this is a very interesting, very cool thing to consider, but I have doubts. Lots of assumptions on my end to be sure, but the scenario seems odd, and makes me question the bringing in of a random outsider even more.

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@MisterX I have not yet received the paperwork from @■■■■■■■ but when I do, you can be sure that he and I will be in touch for what he seeks as far as the type of outcome that he and his crew may desire.

@betatester You and I have similar thoughts, especially about O’Brien and the psychic prison sentence (DS 4x19 “Hard Time”). When @■■■■■■■ first mentioned this case in the forum, that was one of the first things that popped into my mind so as to allow the player to continue with his character and not disrupt the game’s progress, crew, or ship operations. We’ll see how this plays out. :slight_smile:


If it was a conviction for mutiny then the only way to come back to actual service is to be exonerated.

It is not just a matter of the bureaucratic side of the organization. No ships crew at any level officer or enlisted would want you on board due to the inability to have any trust. If you got a sentence reduction that would only mean that the character would be allowed to go somewhere that was not remotely related to Starfleet.

Conviction of mutiny is one of the few crimes that there is no such thing as a come back. Even the Federations enemies would only take on a Starfleet mutineer long enough to extract any useful information.

Unless the plot of the story was some kind of “he was framed” intrigue style game, being convicted of mutiny is the same as “Your character dies when the planet blows up, make a new character”.

One should take into account, in my opinion, that this is a game relating to a TV series, not reality. If we agree to ignore the fact that FTL-travel and transporters aren’t real, we can probably ignore some facts around human behaviour.

Even when planets blow up, characters can survive - if it fits the story.

True, but even then, things have to make sense in order to stop the show jumping the shark. If Spock’s parents had somehow survived the destruction of Vulcan, it would take a lot of convincing for it to make sense and not rob the “TV show” of meaning and consequence. There’s a reason why Janeway is not infrequently described as a “war criminal”. I highly doubt that was the intention, it was an untended consequence of mostly just trying to force plot points through that made Janeway…less than rigid in her principles.

Things don’t have to be 100% realistic, but be careful when forcing things through, or it can create unintended depictions.


I didnt even realise that my name was censored lol

I mean this is a UK company and forum, now I’m Australian. When did the Old Country start to act like the puritan paradise across the Atlantic.

Modiphius Jim, could I have that reversed. People actually have “■■■■■■■” as a surname.

I can also confirm that the initial lot of appeal papers are now in the hands of Rear Admiral Sparkes.

@■■■■■■■ I acknowledge receipt of the initial round of paperwork and will review the documents as today’s docket allows. :wink:

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I am only a silent reader but I have to confess I am a curious one:
We will be informed about the verdict and the substantiation of the verdict?

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