- General Policies
PLAYING TO WIN"The purpose of the game is to have fun roleplaying. Play-to-win gameplay that ruins the purpose of the game at the expense of others is against the rules. " Playing-to-win is to focus exclusively on a competitive victory condition, such as killing all antagonists. It is not empowering yourself to achieve personal goals, or taking measures to survive the shift.
Taking a few items beyond what you need to do your job is usually fine, especially if they're not needed by anyone else. Examples of okay items to take include taking a medkit from the public Medbay lobby or the insulated gloves from tech storage. Hoarding lots of station resources for poor reasons may break this rule and be handled administratively.
Genuine in-character conflict with other players does not ruin the purpose of the game (in fact, it aids it), but don't go out of your way trying to pick in-character fights.
LOSING IS PART OF THE GAMEWhen you play this game your character will often probably die, likely while you still had plans remaining unfinished. This is normal and you should expect it to happen. Events will always be at least somewhat out of your control. No matter how prepared you are, sometimes things just go wrong for you.
As written above, the goal of the game is to have fun roleplaying. Sometimes this may even involve playing along with someone you know is going to kill you instead of running away or outing them, in order to make a better scene.
Treat the game this way, and you may enjoy it more.
ON MECHANICAL ENGAGEMENTSWhile you are opposed in-character, antagonists and crew should make an effort to cooperate out of character, in the sense that we are all playing the game to make interesting things happen (rather than to "win").
Crew should avoid going murder-hungry against antagonists, and make an effort to play along with scenes instead of running away, calling for help, or fighting immediately. This is true on both sides, of course, and there are certain exceptions (in the case of an ambush, or an antagonist that is clearly involved in a violent conflict/involving you in one), but even if you know someone is an antagonist, OOC or IC, it is usually more fun to play along with or around them, rather than immediately lunging for the throat. If you're security or the captain, try to use nonlethal methods whenever possible, unless the conflict has already turned lethal. Your stun tools are strong, and going around murdering people with your sabre, even if they are antagonists, isn't cool. Remember, you can always type "*surrender" (without quotes) into the 'say' menu to enter a prone state, and antagonists are much more likely to be merciful if you signal that you're not a threat. This is in no way guaranteed to work out in your favor, but the extra time might be enough to save you, or allow for a dramatic scene. Mechanical surrender isn't required and you can use emotes (through the 'me' chatbox) but it's less likely that you'll get a free pass.
Of course, it should be clear that in the absence of security or the complete destabilization of the station, you are encouraged to pursue antagonists as non-security crew **once they have gone loud**. If someone is going around murdering people, it's reasonable that you would pick up a tool and fight. Even in this case, you should avoid outright killing people in most cases. If they're particularly violent and show no signs of stopping, sometimes it will be your only option - but it is your last option.
Antagonists, then, should also avoid rampant murder and frequent/early permakills. There are many ways to interact with crew as an antagonist, and you can further your own character's ends by doing so! Holding someone hostage until you get paid, enlisting them to fight for you with blackmail, and other such things. It is always going to be more interesting to play out a scene before a fight goes down (again, this is excepting ambushes/traps and the like, you should probably expect people to not think twice if you're actively being hunted). Try and respect surrender! If someone is pleading for their life, and utilizes the surrender command (or otherwise communicates they are not a threat), it might be worthwhile to change your mind about killing them, or at least put it off. Of course, sometimes you will *need* to kill someone for your goals, but take the chance to make a show of it! Use the space you've been granted to execute on a dramatic finish. People can be frustrated when dying in this game, which encourages antags to play non-lethally, but there are ways to kill someone that are interesting and add to the round, rather than feeling like a simple game-over.
Ultimately, you should strive to play your character as though they were a character in a movie or tv show — typically around the genre of 'comedy-thriller' — so be dramatic, and engage with your enemies on fair footing! It's a matter of both parties extending a level of trust towards the other, that they will not disrespect the other's trust. We are working on mechanical implementations which should help this be made explicit in play, without extensive LOOC chats.
METAGAMINGDon't act on information that you get from outside of the game, or share information outside of it. Similarly, if you die and are resuscitated, don't act on information you saw as a ghost. Characters can be friends or know each other in advance, but don't unfairly team up while coordinating in a discord call. If you die, act as though you do not remember the moments before your death. This means that traitors don't always have to worry about destroying every body and removing players from the game. If you were chased for a long time before you died, that's fine to mention, just the events surrounding your death. If in doubt, ask an admin.
Knowing about the existence of Traitors, Changelings, Wizards, and the like is necessary for gameplay and simply talking about the fact that they might be present does not constitute metagaming. For the same reasons it is fine to recognize the signs of a Heretic, Wizard, or Changeling though you're free to pretend you don't know what those are too if you want. NanoTrasen has likely briefed its employees about all of these various kinds of threats, especially the heads of staff.
KEEP IC AND OOC SEPARATEDon't communicate IC information in OOC, or OOC information in IC. If you get killed and immediately say "My Killer Is Joe Biden!" you'll probably be banned. We have a Local OOC channel that allows for out of character communication between people in a small range. Some examples of when to use this are if a boundary has been crossed, consent for hypnotism or being turned into a cyborg, or just to ask someone for help on how to do something that you don't know how to do! Avoid using this just to complain about mechanical failures, but if you really misunderstood something that was going on it doesn't hurt to try to reach out.
PRE-ROUND ROLE SELECTIONWe don't usually have enough people to expect a lot of players in every department, so it makes sense to discuss what roles people are interested in ahead of time. This can be dangerous however, due to the fact that some roles are immune to antagonist selection. Generally speaking it's not a good idea to mention that you are angling for a specific role which is blocked from antagonism (AI [unless there's at least 18 players], Captain, Security) because if the round starts and you are not in that role it will give everyone information they will need to try and ignore.
Similarly it is for the best to always select multiple job options rather than dedicate specific characters to very specific single jobs. If multiple people want the same job then that is fine and already handled by the pre-round job selection system, just make sure that you have a backup plan if someone else gets it instead.
ADMINHELP AND PRAYUnder the admin tab there is a command called adminhelp (or ahelp), while the IC tab has a similar command called pray. These are tools that you should use when you need to communicate with the in game moderators directly.
Do not hesitate to ahelp if something has happened which you would like a game master to look into in a timely fashion or which can't be an in character request such as rule breaking, unsportsmanlike behaviour, questions about game mechanics, removal of your own antagonist status, reversing the consequences of a very costly mistake or misunderstanding, or a general feeling that the round is running long and needs something to happen. Note that ahelp has a cooldown between uses, but responding to admins messaging you about your ahelp is not.
Consider using the pray command if you want to shoot your shot in character for something you would like to happen but don't think needs an urgent response (or any response) such as equipment your character wouldn't usually have access to, modification of antagonist objectives, trades of one thing for another thing, making something look like something else for a gimmick, or generally anything which you would like but don't need.
In either case, use these tools whenever you feel a situation come up in which intervention could help, admins will not be upset that you asked for something, and the worst that can happen is that they tell you no. Don't let a bad situation linger if it can be resolved just by having an admin help.
ROLEPLAYING CONFLICT WHEN NOT AN ANTAGONISTIt is perfectly plausible for two people who are not antagonists to come into conflict in the course of their gameplay. It is usually impossible for them to know the other is not an antagonist. As a general rule, if you act like you are an antagonist you can expect to be treated as one, and that means that rules about appropriate violent conduct towards you are somewhat relaxed.
As a non-antagonist it is usually valid for you to intentionally start conflict with another player as long as you have a valid reason (for instance they refused what you thought as a valid request, or they won't stop playing a trombone in your workspace) and it does not excessively interfere with their ability to perform their job. The person you are interacting with is free to respond to your actions.
If you are wronged (for instance, someone steals your trombone after you were playing them a calming serenade) you are free to escalate but are expected to handle the situation non-lethally whenever possible and do your good faith best to ensure that you aren't ruining someone else's fun. They should be treating you the same way.
Inter-crew conflicts may become violent with sufficient provocation, but attempt not to murder anyone as a non-antagonist if you can avoid it. If you cause significant damage to someone, make sure that they can get medical care enough that they are not removed from the round.
If they reveal themselves to be an antagonist during this time (for instance, drew an energy sword during your conflict) then bets are generally off at this point.
In the rare case where you've had a long-running conflict with someone during a round which escalated to violence ending in your favour, after which you brought them to medical care and they come back revitalized and try to fight you again, then you have no further responsibility towards their well-being. You can take this as their consent to escalate conflict as far as it can possibly go.
If in doubt about whether something you are planning to do is appropriate, ask an admin.
On a similar note, being hostile towards security unprompted is, IC unhelpful, and OOC draining. Cops are real and they're all shit, but this is a fiction where security aren't *quite* cops, even if they're definitely supposed to be an equivalent. Again, this is unprompted. If security abuses their authority, that's a very good reason to be annoyed. But they *are* there to keep people safe, primarily, and having the people they're protecting be uncooperative can make playing them unpleasant.
The game is balanced around Security being a force of friction for antagonists, to prevent them from just going stealth and not being found, or going loud and having free run of the station. Security's options for dealing with a threat are brigging, pacification, cyborgification, and outright execution. Of these, brigging is actually counter-intuitively the more severe punishment out of game, as it limits your character's ways of engaging with the game significantly. These each have a level of gravity, but as a rule of thumb for a confirmed antag, borging, pacification and execution are all on the table.
END OF THE ROUND
After the shuttle arrives at CentComm and the round end report has been generated, most people prefer to remain in character to finish any roleplay stories they had going on, so don't just blow up a bunch of grenades and gun people down. That will be considered griefing.