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 - What type of story is the Terra Nova?
 - I don't even know what a PBeM series is! How do I get more information on how it works?
 - I'm a Veteran PBeM player. Should I read the manual?
 - How many player ships are there in the Terra Nova?
 - What sort of Director or Game Master involvement is there in the Terra Nova?
 - How much freedom do I have in the Terra Nova story?
 - How do you use NPC’s in the Terra Nova?
 - What would the expectations be if I were to join the Terra Nova?
 - How do I join the Terra Nova sim?
 - What is the history behind this series?


 - What is the Terra Nova series about?
 - What is the Ryalli Sector?
 - What is the Ryalli Expanse?
 - What is the Valadis Corridor?
 - What is Liberty Station?
 - What role do the major canon powers play in the Ryalli sector?
 - Where can I find out more about the story, races, ships of the series?


 - What is an e-mail roleplay?
 - Why create a character?
 - What goes into a character?
 - How does e-mail roleplaying work?
 - I generally have limited access to the Internet each week, is this a problem?
 - I am going on vacation, or will be away from my computer for a while. What should I do?


 - Learn the ropes of the sim, and who to contact.


What type of story is the Terra Nova?
The Terra Nova exists within the universe of the popular television franchise, Star Trek. It takes place in the late 2370s, a few years after the events of the Dominion War (as seen in the television series “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”).

This story is primarily a fiction series that focuses on the original premise that Star Trek was built upon -- exploration. While there might be occassional combat and conflict, the main focus of the Terra Nova remains exploration and charting of the mysterious Ryalli Sector.

I don't even know what a PbeM series is! How do I get information on how it works?
For the answers to all of your basic questions about a PBeM ("play by email") series, please visit the Terra Nova's Sim Manual. The Sim Manual contains an overview of how PbeM roleplaying works and how to get started. This manual will walk you though everything you need to know in order to participate as a character in our "Star Trek: Terra Nova" series.

The Terra Nova Sim Manual can be found here: Sim Manual.

I'm a veteran PbeM player. Should I read the Sim Manual?
For those who are veterans of roleplaying, a review of the manual is definitely worth it, as there are some things discussed there that are unique to the Terra Nova. It also provides an invaluable source of information about the series in general.

How many player ships are there in the Terra Nova?
Currently, the Terra Nova story consists of one player ship, the Defiant-class USS Terra Nova, and the planet based Liberty Station. Although, there are other vessels in the region. The Terra Nova is where most player characters are eventually assigned.

Liberty Station is used as a buffer for our new players, and acts as a realistic way to get new players into the story without breaking continuity. When a new player joins, they serve on Liberty Station for about a month or two until that player gets their feet wet. It serves as a proving ground of sorts.

What sort of Director or Game Master involvement is there in the Terra Nova?
The Terra Nova currently has one director (also known as a Game Master, or GM) who coordinates the story and each episode. He also maintains and updates this web site as new details and information become available.

The Terra Nova series prides itself on its imaginative players, their writing abilities, and the cohesive story lines they've created. As a result, continuity is very important to us. All story posts are moderated and occasionally edited for content. Most of these edits are to preserve continuity, or correct minor spelling errors when noticed. Most posts are sent through untouched. Any major changes to story posts (for example, the post will not fit in with the current direction of the story) will usually be referred back to the player for rewriting.

Occasionally the director will send players directives or story suggestions regarding what their character might encounter.  Usually, however, players are encouraged to be inventive and not be afraid of adding new elements to the story on their own.

How much freedom do I have in the Terra Nova story?
The Terra Nova prides itself on being open to player innovation. While there are elements of the series that are set in stone, such as Federation ships in the sector and npcs on a ship, etc, player involvement in changing the current direction of the story is accepted and encouraged. 

Most things will be allowed without comment. If it is a major story change (such as characters dying or a ship being destroyed) or a long reaching idea, it is wise to run it past the director before proceeding.

The Terra Nova series does have two things that will usually be rejected. These are the Borg and Q. The Borg were overused in such television series as "Star Trek: Voyager", and the director wishes to avoid that here. The Borg may be used, but their appearance in this series will be limited. Similarly, the director has no intention of making Q or the Q Continuum a regular part of the overall Terra Nova story.

How do you use NPCs in the Terra Nova?
Yes. Because the USS Terra Nova has such a small crew, the use of non-player characters (NPCs) is commonplace. Players are expected and encouraged to use them frequently. To help players (especially new players) keep the details of the NPCs straight, an NPC bio list has been created that lists basic, established details about each NPC. The NPC bio list is not as through as regular bios since it only provides established details. It will be added to as players continue to flesh out the NPCS. 

This system isn’t foolproof, but it has helped to provide interesting and dynamic NPCs. For players who would like more control over the development of a single NPC, or would like a foil for their character to play off of, controlled NPCs are available if a player wishes to hvae more control of an NPC.

What would the expectations be if I were to join the Terra Nova?
Players in the Terra Nova are expected to post at least once a week. Posting more often is strongly encouraged. As we are a small cast, this is an extremely important point. The failure of just one or two players to participate regularly can have a large impact upon the flow of an episode.

Players are also expected to be imaginative and have some ability to write. While the director will occasionally give directives, more often than not, players are encouraged to have their characters react to situations, and not be afraid to create their own plot elements in-between.

How do I join the Terra Nova sim?
Simply write an e-mail to the director and ask to join. He will respond and tell you what positions are open. You will then be asked to put together a bio for your character (See Terra Nova manifest page for sample bios) and submit it to the director for approval. You may be asked for a writing sample as well. Be creative with your character, but also be realistic. No vampire characters; no fantasy magic, no mechanical androids -- you get the idea.

For more information about how to create a character and how to create posts, see the Sim Manual.

What is the history behind this series?
The USS Terra Nova is developing its own unique history here on the internet. We are an independent series and not part of any RPG fleet or literary organization. We have a long reputation of originality and self-governance. Our director plans to keep it this way.

The Terra Nova series originally began as your basic, ordinary roleplaying game, but over time it has grown and developed into what it is today. The original concept formed back in early 2001 as a creative divergence from the typical plotlines of other RPGs, namely those focusing on war and combat. The Terra Nova creator wanted to go back to the concept that made Star Trek great -- exploration.

It was his idea to try something new. Why not place the crew on a small Defiant class vessel, converted to other non-military uses after the Dominion War? Television series' such as "Star Trek: Voyager" and "Star Trek: TNG" depict exploration vessels as luxury liners in space. The Terra Nova was an attempt to return to the gritty days of Kirk and Spock, and thereby create a new level of character conflict -- small ship, small crew, limited supplies. Thus, the Terra Nova found itself set aboard a Defiant Class starship.

Over time, the concept of the single Defiant-class vessel exploring the unknown evolved, and other elements such as the Ryalli Sector, Liberty Station and various races and powers in the region also emerged.

The Terra Nova RPG was launched in November of 2001. It averages a total of 10 players and 4-8 posts a week.


What is the Terra Nova series about?
The Terra Nova place in the last 2370s, and follows the missions of the Defiant-class USS Terra Nova. The USS Terra Nova was built shortly after the end of the Dominion War, and was refit for use as a short range exploration vessel. Despite the limitations of this class for exploratory purposes, the Terra Nova was assigned to the distant Ryalli sector to help chart a completely unknown region of space. Based out of Liberty Station on the planet Gideon, the Terra Nova’s mission is much the same as her more notable predecessors, “To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

What is the Ryalli Sector?
The Ryalli Sector is the unexplored region of space beyond the Valadis Corridor and the Tholian Empire. Bordering the "galactic edge", it is completely unknown to the Federation and ripe for exploration and trade. Its name comes from the designation human astronomers gave to a large nebula that can be found in the region.

The Federation has a small presence in the Ryalli Sector, including a planet-based station and several starships. Two planets in the region have expressed interest in joining the Federation.

See the map of the Ryalli sector.

What is the Ryalli Expanse?
The Ryalli Expanse is an immense nebula that spreads across a large portion of the Ryalli sector. For thousands of years, it has been inhabited by a non-corporeal race known as the Ryalli entities. The presence of the Ryalli Entities warped space and time within the nebula, making all ships which entered it, subject to strange and bizarre manifestations of people and objects from other times and realities. This same effect appears to have damaged ship equipment as well, trapping most ships that enter within the Expanse and eventually leading to the death of their crews.

The USS Terra Nova was one of the few ships to escape. It's escape had the unexpected effect of causing the Ryalli Entities to leave the expanse, making it free for travel. It has since become a salvager’s paradise and a hiding place for pirates and the more hostile races of the Ryalli Sector.

What is the Valadis Corridor?
The Valadis Corridor is a narrow region of space on the Tholian border that connects Federation space to the Ryalli Sector. It is controlled by a race known as the Valadis who have the distinctive trait of being almost as alien to the Federation as the Tholians are. The Valadis are suspicious of the Federation and have a tenuous relationship with them.

The Valadis Corridor is of great interest to the Federation because of natural properties in the region that allow starships to travel at speeds far exceeding normal limits. Travel time to the Ryalli Sector through the Valadis corridor is significantly less than via other routes.

Unfortunately, in mid April 2378, the Valadis closed the Valadis Corridor to Federation traffic, effectively stranding all Federation forces in the sector 750 light years from home (roughly 150 day's travel travel at warp 9).

For more information on the Valadis, see the Valadis racial profile.

What is Liberty Station?
The Galaxy class starship, USS Liberty was the first Federation starship to enter the Ryalli Sector in 2372. After a half year of exploring, they came upon a warp capable species known as the Yetanni. After sacrificing her drive section to deflect an asteroid that was on a course to destroy the Yetanni home planet of Gideon, the saucer section crash landed on a remote area of Gideon’s mountain region. The inhabitants of Gideon, out of gratitude for the Liberty’s sacrifice, granted the stranded Liberty crew a 100 square kilometer preserve on which they could live. The crashed saucer section of the USS Liberty became Liberty Station, the embassy of the Federation on Gideon and later, the headquarters of all Federation forces in the sector. 

After repairs, Liberty Station is home to nearly 700 starfleet personnel and their families. It is a bustling community that also serves as a neutral ground-based trade port for several races in the surrounding region. Other notable features of Liberty Station include the nearby rustic Liberty Village (made entirely of stone to survive the brutal Gideon storms) and the rather unusual Earick Golf Course.

Liberty Station is commanded by Captain John Kelso, the local CO for all Federation forces in the sector.

For more information on Liberty station, see the Vessels page or read the Yetanni Racial Profile.

What role do the major canon powers (Klingons, Romulans, etc) play in the Ryalli sector?
Aside from the Federation and the personnel based in the Ryalli, none of the canon races (with the exception of the Tholians) have a presence in the Ryalli sector. The Ferengi have been sighted in the sector, but their presence is negligible. For the most part, the Ryalli is inhabited by races that have been previously unknown to the Federation. 

For more information about races in the Ryalli Sector, visit the Racial Profile page.

Where can I find out more about the story, races, ships of the series?
More information can be found on the following pages:

Episode page - Links and summaries of all of the missions and episodes so far.
Racial Profiles Page - Detailed profiles of all the Ryalli races in the story. Profiles based on in-game revelations.
Vessels page - Listings (manifests, specs, etc) of all notable ships in the Ryalli Sector.
Sector Map - A map of the Ryalli sector.


What is an e-mail roleplay?
E-Mail roleplaying (also known as a PBeM, or E-Mail simming) is the process of creating a character, then portraying that character in situations set up and run by the Director/Gamemaster (GM) and his/her crew. The emphasis in an e-mail roleplay is on developing your character to make him or her more realistic and to better interact in his/her environment.

Why create a character?
Creating a character instead of just being yourself gives you the chance to broaden your horizons and see things a different way than you normally see them. In essence it's an interesting way of putting yourself "in the other person's shoes", and it also gives you a place where you AREN'T expected to be yourself. It is highly recommended, however, that you be realistic within the environment.

What goes into a character?
For the most part, anything you want. Most GMs have a list of information about your character that they want as a minimum; the information you provide is called a bio, or biography, and essentially serves as a "cheat sheet" on who your character is. This information will be placed on the series website so that other players can learn more about your character. Again, most GM's prefer realism within the environment. In other words, a one eyed titan would be out of place in a Star Trek environment. By the same token, a vampire or werewolf officer is inappropriate as well.

For more information on creating a character, see the Terra Nova's Sim Manual.

How does e-mail roleplaying work?
Each person is expected to write a log (or addition to the story) using their character at least once or twice a week. You may have your character do just about do anything within the logical realm of the story environment. There are several suggested rules you need to follow, though, when you write. Respect for other player’s characters is important.

E-Mail simming itself takes place through either a mailing string, which is a list of addresses that every crew member must send a log to, or via listservers, which is a program that you send the log to, and it in turn sends it to the other players.

I generally have limited access to the Internet each week, is this a problem?
It can depend on several factors. On average, you can receive anywhere from 5-10 emails from the story during the course of a week. In addition to contributing a minimum of one to two logs a week, you should read all other logs and emails you receive. With limited access, that can be a lot to do in a short period. So more frequent access is advised.

I am going on vacation, or will be away from my computer for a while. What should I do?
For one, let the director know. Most director/GMs are flexible with posting, and will sometimes let someone else take over for you while you're away. Your director will keep an eye on your character to keep him/her out of trouble. 

If you plan on being gone for an extended period of time, or you lose internet access, please talk to the direction about it. It may be possible to turn your character into a non-playing character for the time you're away.


The USS Terra Nova Sim Manual is a guide designed to help introduce new and potential members to the sim. The manual contains extensive information about creating characters, bios, how to write good story posts and other useful hints. All new players should read this guide to gain a basic understanding of how the Terra Nova series works.

---Additional Sim Information:

If you need to contact the Terra Nova director for any reason, please feel free send any comments, questions, suggestions and character sketches to Jon at Additionally, any queries about the website itself can be sent there as well.

To reduce the risk of any Terra Nova players receiving unwanted emails, I have chosen not to place member addresses in public view.

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