I am going to try my darnedest to submit a post a month. This month I am going to touch on Star Trek pbems again. A few months back I wrote a post concerning the cliched Star Trek characters I have come across over the years. I was talking to a friend mine, Dave Zyn, and he mentioned one neat idea he never saw before was rather than the guy from the past, what about a guy from the future? He is an arrogant prick who claims the science those of the "modern" era learned at the academy is learned in grade school in his time. He is a know it all jerk and keeps people wondering whether or not he is there to fix some critical error in the timeline, is some sort of temporal fugitive or is just a highly intelligent mental case. Such a character would be interesting and would require a lot of work with the GM to insure they were on the same page, and it could conceivably create numerous interesting story lines that may or may not involve time travel. Perhaps parts of the character's memory have been wiped, for example. Or he is from an alternate timeline entirely?
How about Mirror Universe guy? In this world his counterpart is a mass murderer or some other total bastard, and he/she has wound up here through some misadventure? Imagine them having to deal with not only their own past, but the past of their infamous evil twin? Goatee optional.
Another character concept I never saw was the colonist. Just about every single human featured in Star Trek is from Earth. How boring! Why not have someone from Mars or from an even harsher world? Imagine them feeling that "Earthers" are soft and weak compared to his/her rough 'n ready upbringing? They are adventurous and self reliant and sneer at luxuries like holodecks.
The un-joined Trill. More than that, the un-joined Trill who thinks placing a slug in their chest is as creepy an idea as you can have.
Mister under achiever. This is the lieutenant Barclay type, the guy who just skates by until something/someone kicks him in the ass. Maybe the department head dies or is suddenly transferred and he is the only guy available to take his place. To quote Gregory Peck from The Guns of Navarone: "You're in it now, Mister! Right up to your neck!"
The Civilian. Not the bartender, but someone who was recruited during the Dominion war or through some other sort of circumstances and stayed on in Starfleet. I am currently playing a doctor who volunteered and decided to stick around. After a couple years at the academy she is now a lieutenant at age 40. I like to role play her as being a bit out of joint in regards to rules and regulations. This might be interesting to play an older ensign who has seen the world and who views superior officers with respect, but not necessarily walking on water.
The mustang. In the Navy, a Mustang is an Officer who has promoted up from the ranks of Navy enlisted personnel through an in-service procurement program, with no interruption of his/her active duty status. It is also understood that the Mustang Officer was a career Sailor, and normally wears one or more Good Conduct Medals.
From Navy Mustangs dot com.
Your character again would be older, possibly promoted due to an emergency or the like. Older, wiser, with their own perspectives on how a starship runs, the mustang might be viewed with mistrust or contempt by other enlisted NCOs and derision from Academy graduates.
So next time you are playing Star Trek, think of different ways to make your character stand out, not just to be different but to also provide yourself and your GM with potentially interesting subplots . Perfection is boring, so is copying something that has already been done to death.