First time actually dealing with formatting here. Damn. I’m going to split this guide into a few sections in order to be more concise with everything I want to say:
The detective’s role is an easy one. You are an investigator who looks into crime scenes to find the truth of the matter and relay the information back to security. That in it’s most basic form, is the detective.
Now, you can do many things with this role having that in mind, and due to you not being a security officer, a lot of times you work as the bridge between the underworld of the station and the cops and command. This is why I consider interaction with other crewmembers as the main gameplay of the detective. Going around conversation to conversation, even when not investigating a crime scene, is a great way to get to know both your partners and your soon to be enemies and get a grasp of the people of the station you will be dealing with, and best of all, RP! Which you can add your personal flavor to in any way you wish (as long as it’s within the rules of course). So with that defined, let’s get to…
Information, or intel, is your main resource as the detective. While command is busy with management and bureaucratic matters and everyone else attends to their job or goofs off (yes, even sec does this), due to your aforementioned role you have one of the fastest times on knowing the situation on the station. Knowledge is power, and with each bit more in your hands, the easier you can piece together the whole frame of this noire story, even down to locations, people, time and tools.
Understandably, Without any crimes to investigate, you will a lot of times be cast to the side , and this will mean it’ll be your own initiative which will make you go and investigate crime. We already talked about interacting with other crewmembers, but due to this natural ‘aloofness’ of the detective you can get pretty creative with how you go on with this. I’ve seen detectives go full underworld and be assistant spies, planting radios, spy cameras, take maintenance searches, all things that will aid you in your mission to know the truth.
Top notch priority, keep your information organized. There’s only so much that memory, both IC and OOC, can realistically remember. Note your things! And keep a chronology of them!. I will talk more about ways to do this in the tools section, but it is important that you keep your information CLEAN and CONCISE so you can more easily tell the HoS why a certain guy should get brought in for questioning.
Finally, the search and use of information is a process in and of itself. Depending on the information you get, you do your next move to hopefully find more information. This is an intuitive process, ironically, and a lot of times you will simply have to trust your gut or risk losing the train of thought you had or even worse, your life. So be aware of what you know and of the facts, and use a bit of imagination when putting your hands on the deck of a case.
Tools and strategies to gain intel
- Standard issue
Be prepared. A good detective knows his arsenal and works small to achieve big things (I mean this, a lot of the detective’s equipment is actually pretty small, perfect for organizing in boxes). I’ve seen too many detectives just leave certain equipment on their office that is crucial for their investigations, so we will go over each one in detail.
Crew pinpointer: Helps you track anyone with maxed, and only maxed, suit sensors. Useful for when a running suspect forgets to turn them off.
Sechud: Let’s you add fines and notes, and if needed, certain statuses on anyone you examine. It’s got a bit of range or time after the examination which will let you play with the UI before “it becomes too late to do that.”. It also protects you from flashes and whatnot.
Security radio headset: Self-explanatory, let’s you talk with the sec team. If they get emp’d, after a while they fix themselves, the bowman’s always better!
Your hat: Contains an infinite amount of candy corns with alt-click which makes it so you don’t have to go to the kitchen or buy from vendors anytime soon, with a cooldown of course. Get those legs moving! On the other hand, the actual storage contains your flask, for all your boozing needs. Go get
quad seca random drink from the bartender and save it for when you’re bored!
Black gloves: Good for doing your damn job. It will make everything you touch get it’s fibers instead of your prints. Keep in mind fibers of black gloves usually signify sec, but this is not always the case.
White crayon: Works for outlining bodies, better get used to working with orientation!
Camera: If you didn’t have your notable weapon, this would be the closest thing to shoot criminals with, and you should! Anything mildly interesting to your current train of thought in knowledge should be shot with your camera and stored to check out later, but prioritize criminals in the act and crime scenes. It has 30 film, so don’t worry about saving up. It is very important, do not leave it behind.
Universal Recorder: A very robust tool for spoken info. Will record up to 10 minutes of time per tape and has the ability to replay it, and print it out. You don’t actually need various of these if you plan to do various interviews, you only need various tapes, which is why it’s a good idea to get some from cargo or science autolathe when you have the time. It also skips silence in it’s papers.
Folders and Clipboards: Go hand in hand with the last two previous tools. It’s simple. A folder for pictures, and a clipboard for papers. Don’t forget to put a pen into the clipboard for ease of edit. I usually use the clipboard for notes as well (at some point due to how long a paper gets it starts lagging when you type, circumvent this by typing in a notepad and copy-pasting to the paper.) Be aware that a folder and clipboard might not always spawn in brig or in your office depending on the map. The biggest happiness for me is showing my photo album folder to a co-worker in the shuttle at the end of a round, which works with the next item…
Hand labeler: Works for labeling evidence, boxes, pictures, papers, lockers…you name it. It is a robust tool for organizing your information, so use it consistently if you want to be top-notch, even if most of the time no one looks at your things.
Binoculars: Actual spying equipment. Hold with both hands and stand still to pretty much watch a way longer distance in the direction you are looking at. Useful for looking through department windows, without someone realizing, and the occasional snipe.
Evidence bag box: Any detective that knows how to use this is a master of the role. A combination of these and how to use the scanner and you’ll never have to contaminate evidence in your life. Just click any item you want to put in the bag and you’ll put it in. To get it out without putting it on your other hand, just keep any item on it while you use the bag in-hand. Combine with hand labelers for easy organizing.
Security holotape projector: Use this on entrances to a crime scene while you investigate to make sure nothing gets contaminated. Important note: If there is a body, outline it, scan it (with both pda scanner and forensic), photo it, note it, THEN let the paramedics get it. Just make sure to do it fast so the guys who save lives can do their job, it’s ass behavior to block off the crime scene when it impedes someone from another department to do their job.
PDA: Talking about it, there’s some interesting notes. As I said it’s got a medscanner which will also give the time of death of an individual if they are dead. This information is kept until another individual is scanned, so note it. It’s also got the crew manifest to know who is working for NT originally and the messenger to make quick questions to people. Some programs I like to get are the atmospheric alarms and the newscaster.
Handheld Crew monitor: Let’s you check the sensors of everyone on the station. Found in medbay vendors. You can catch the middle of assaults with this. Takes a minute to update.
Station bounced radio: Useful for when comms are down. It also is robust for listening in on some locations if you got two of them. Just set them to a private frequency, one to broadcast and the other to only hear. Keep the one that hears whatever is said and put the other on a suspicious location, surreptitiously (plants always work for hiding them, guaranteed).
Seclite: Glorified flashlight, I like to keep two.
Mesons: Lets you see through fake walls. Good with seclite.
Now the next equipment I’ll be talking about is what I consider to SOP weaponry to be standard issue equipment for the detective, due to it spawning in their office, or on them, or simply ‘making sense’ to have with them. I’ll explain:
Police Baton: Gives stamina damage when on help intent, otherwise a pretty unremarkable weapon. Will trip someone when aiming at the legs, not sure if it makes them drop their things…
Cuffs: Appear on your office. Also, as being an ‘assistant to security’, it’s good to keep these around for when the cops run outta them for a quicker refill and arrest.
Flash: Use this mostly for self defense, ideally you’d never have to flash a criminal. Use in hand to make it an aoe flash.
use on moths religiously
Pepperspray: Even more defensive use than the flash. Works like a spray that will down anyone not wearing eye protection.
Now your two most notable tools: FORENSIC SCANNER: Your bread and butter and most robust tool for detective work. It is able to scan anything for prints, fibers and DNA.
Prints: Appear when an item is touched without gloves to hide them.
Fibers: Has a chance to appear when an item is touched. Anything from your jumpsuit to your uniform and the gloves you used to hide your prints can be seen here.
DNA: Will only appear when scanning blood.
Prints and DNA can be crossed with the security and medical records respectively (both found on your pda and in consoles on your office or brig) to find your culprit. Fibers is a little bit more tricky, as you’ll have to assume certain areas from what you find. For example, nitrile gloves usually means medbay, while insuls may indicate a tiding assistant or an engineer. If you want actual images to compare the fibers with, only the medical console has them, and going through it is a pain so have a list of suspects to check out beforehand. You also have to put the blood type instead of the whole DNA string when searching for it on the medical records.
When scanning a person, it’ll tell you their prints, even if they’re husked, so you’ll be able to know who they were. It can print a report of it’s last scans, with no discernible limit from what I know, and there is also a button in hud to show you in-chat what it has on memory as to what it has scanned.
Use this tool on everything when investigating a crime scene. It’s very rare that a criminal won’t slip up in covering their trace, and according to Dakae, nothing in the game can remove fibers and prints on items.
THE REVOLVER: The most notable weapon of the detective. I’ll repeat it a second time before divulging though: You are not a security officer, You are an investigator, Your Revolver is only for self defense. We’ve all heard the story of the detective who acted like secoff+ and only ruined the round through doing so because it wasn’t needed, please don’t be that guy, you give the role a very bad name.
And you may say, but DStar, in what case should I really use the gun?
Well, I like how goonstation puts it. It’s to avoid becoming a crime scene. You may be in the middle of something due to an order, like dragging a criminal to brig or going to investigate a hideout, but be ready to draw and stay a distanced fighter when your gut feeling tells you.
Now with that said, the revolver. It’s one of the few weapons on the station to use ballistics in a consistent way, which is useful against certain enemies. I’ll go over the ammo types very quickly, so note them each as different for each situation:
.38 Rubber: Starting ammo, you get 2 speedloaders of this in your holster. Each shot does 10 dmg, 30 stamina, and are known to ricochet.
.38: Each shot does 25 dmg, and ricochets but way less.
HotShot: Does 20 dmg, leaves the target on fire.
Iceblox: Lowers target body temperature to -100 degrees, slowing them down and burning them. In theory it’s good against slimes, but I haven’t tested it.
Trac: Deals 10 damage, and upon impact leaves a short duration tracker on the target, letting you locate them with a bluespace locator and from any prisoner console on the brig. You got to be close to them to locate them though. (My personal favorite, as one shot isn’t exactly lethal and can help against known running criminals you run into.)
.357 caliber: “Wait, .357? Isn’t that traitor ammo?” You’d be right. The detective’s gun is able to be modified with a screwdriver to first shoot out all of it’s bullets out into your face (empty it first) and afterwards allow and only allow .357 rounds into it’s chambers until it is reverted with the same process. For each round in the gun it will have a 10% chance (stacking) of blowing up in your face, up to 60%, which would be lethal for you. This is your ace and a last resort when all is lost. Combine with something to heal you back up once it inevitably goes kaboom. On the second explosion the revolver will literally disappear, so be ready for it to be a one time thing per round. And for your info, you can get .357 on hacked autolathes, at the cost of high iron. There is also some in russian revolvers at the bar.
Now, it goes without saying, but if you want to change ammo to something more lethal, it is usually a good idea to notify your boss, the HoS, beforehand. You usually want to keep it the same unless you want to go russian roulette on your enemies with each type in a chamber of your gun…(thinking about it that does sound fun.). Also, some of these come from research, so they’re not available at the start of the shift. This is a great segway into the second set of tools for the detective, which I like to call:
- Mid-Game Tools
As powergamey as that name sounds, it’s just a way to say that these are not available at roundstart and will come online as the shift progresses. A benefit of sec is that doing your job lets other departments work more efficiently as crimes against the station impede the progress of it, and this can sometimes turn up certain tools useful for you and your colleagues if the situation demands it. As a general rule of thumb, only get these if you need them, as otherwise it would be pretty powergamey, and that is no fun. With that said:
Transcendent olfaction: Gives you the ability to sniff items for scents of those who have held it. This shows up as a list of people you can track. Once you choose someone, next times you use the ability it’ll show a cardinal direction to track them with. It’s to note that it chooses the current name of someone, so if someone is literally ‘unknown’ because they’re a husk, they’ll show up as unknown in the list of scents (I got to fact check this). Next time you use it on an item you’re given a new list. If there’s no scent, no list is shown. 10 Second cooldown. Works like a shorter forensics scanner for scents with a tracker. I would actually get this without having no need for it, as long as the CMO approves. It’s just in-line with the job and helps a ton when wanting to know the people that have touched something.
Space adaptation: No brainer, gives you immunity to space pressure and cold, making it so you’d only need internals to go for a space walk. Useful when there’s a corpse outside and engi and paramedics are too lazy to get it, or for when there’s no confirmation for said corpse aside from sensors saying someone is ‘dead’, or if a crime scene is hulled into space.
Anti-Drop implant: Will make it so whatever item in your hand will be unremovable aside from amputation. Good for keeping the gun in the hand in a fight.
Luminiscent eyes: Flashlight forward, and makes it easy to explore dark spaces.
Rewind Camera: Will only function once. Takes a picture of someone and make it so they’ll return to that spot with that health and state 10 seconds later. Happens twice. Good for shootouts where you’re not instantly killed, as the rewind will not revive you then. If the person is cuffed during the 10 seconds, they will stay cuffed when going back. Using film cartridges will not do the same effect (sad)
Shaft miners >
Eye of god: This will literally only be given when the stars align, and even then you still got to follow SOP. It’ll probably be given to a head anyway if the shaft miner hasn’t taken it for himself. But it’s good to know that you could realistically get literal X-RAY, even if it’s just a 0.1% chance.
Now, for the most fun part of the detective gameplay to get info:
- Interrogations and Witness Testimony
INTERROGATIONS AND WITNESS TESTIMONY
I don’t actually know if there are any rules to interrogations. It must be the same as the fact you detain someone for arrests, so, follow SOP for that, but of course you can skip all that if they give consent to being interrogated. Do not confuse this with small witness testimony though, as that is more small and is to get details at the spur of the moment (i.e, can I ask you a few questions?) WHICH YOU COULD EVEN GET THROUGH PDA TO SAVE TIME. If you’re worried if you’re allowed to interrogate a brigged criminal, just ask the warden or HoS for permission, after all it could make a better use of their time at the brig
So, the reason this part is my favorite is because of how freely and thematic a proper interrogation can go. As rules of thumb, when interrogating you:
- Go out on a hunch/have an objective to prove in mind
- Record ALL the conversation (keep several tapes! It might possibly last more than 10 minutes. Be ready to label them all. You also don’t have to put the recorder on the table, but it helps set the tone.)
- Make it fun RP.
Just imagine a smaller type of trial, happening in a room (not even necessarily the one at the brig!) and a conversation that can change your current perspective on your info. That is basically interrogations.
Have your evidence at ready as you ask questions about crimes and incidents, ask for motives once you pinch their lies, and find the truth! Everyone’s interrogations will be different, so you got to be creative to make it work, and usually a nice interrogation gets more out of the person than a nasty one (Follow space law!). For me personally I like to let them give their testimony and then start asking questions, but a good detective will have each their own flavor to their interrogations, which might only come with time and practice. Remember though: The devil is in the details.
Make note of what is revealed, and let them go. Print the tapes, put in clipboard, take a photo if you want of the interrogation when it actually happened for evidence, put that in your folder, and continue onwards. Reminder that being organized helps when you got to do several interrogations.
Now I’ll give several tips on the ‘phases’ you’ll encounter as you play detective.
> The Rain Falls... on this cold night at the Cafe
For when there is no crime calls, I’ll say it again: Be prepared. This doesn’t mean powergame or sniff out the antags in maints 24/7, you’ll just look like a dumbass, this means to be ready to respond to emergencies or calls immediately while you goof off somewhere else doing something else (for the sake of info! Of course.) With that said, here are some ideas as a plus to those on the wiki if you actually want to be productive:
Check which cams are broken, and fix them. You can also alternatively put cams on maint, although this is useless as the round restarts and all is lost, but hey, it’s a fun project.
The ocassional maintenance search never hurts, but just as said, don’t spam it, and notify your crew when doing one.
Checking suit sensors + cams. If you actually master this I’m 99% sure you can pre-emptively see any crime when it happens, otherwise it’s useful for spying on people inside departments you don’t got access to.
Use a t-ray scanner and find contraband satchels with a crowbar.
Play videogames on yo phone
Talk to people at the bar, test your drunk resiliance.
Do NOT patrol, it is a redshirts job and it’s boring af, you must walk with purpose! Use the cams if you want to do that.
Ask if anyone in security needs help in anything. Tag buddies with a secoff!
I also like to use this time if it’s at the start of the shift to get all my equipment, even some in maintenace, thus a start maint search.
The only limit is your imagination, noire. Have fun in this time calm before the storm…
> The blood splatters... on a blue carpet.
News of a plasma fire, screams for help, calls of the detective…it’s showtime.
There will be some instances which while worth keeping in mind can mostly be attributed to workplace accidents, although that’s not an excuse to not investigate. Shaft miners turning up dead at medbay, Toxins fires which you can watch through cams and see the victim through their burned face thanks to medical records, etc.
Now, first things first, get to the crime scene and secure that shit. As said before you should let the paramedics get the body as fast as possible, but if they’re lazy you can do their job and bring it to medbay after you’re done analyzing it so you can go back to investigating the crime scene faster. Put barriers up with your projector, and start taking photos and scanning like a madman. Note anything interesting and start to formulate a story to put in your notes. If a weapon or tool was left behind of interest, put it into an evidence bag box without even putting your fibers on it.
Don’t know where the crime scene is? Hell, search for it, that unauthorized key extraction must’ve happened somewhere dammit!, I must have something on my notes. Anything!
After you’re done, let janis clean, you’re off to see that revived corpse, you’ll want to ask them questions, and specially get to know if there were any witnesses you can also contact to ask even more questions. Take a picture of this interaction as well, take many pictures, and as always, note any important findings with the person and the witnesses.
Finally got the slightest idea of a name or occupation through a match of prints, a word of mouth, or some other evidence? Tell it to your team, ASAP. Now this usually is the end of your job, but I like to go the extra mile and help them (being an assistant!) locate the guy, usually asking AI or checking sensors or cameras.
Now, was there a victim traumatized here? Are they asking for protection? It’s usually not standard procedure but…giving them the pocket protector of your spyglass and a station bounced radio to your private channel will work wonders to make someone feel safe and so you can catch any suspect trying to do anything on the poor guy.
Cleanse and repeat for every crime that occurs until it is solved and you can leave it to the redheads. If it’s a clear story, don’t even bother, just note it and move on (Take into account the amount of sec)
> I ponder...at the images on my board
This part is short, but I cannot stress it enough. It’s absolutely important to have a smoke break once in a while on the shift to think on what you have. Your brain does not work on analyzing 100% when you’re in the middle of investigating, and you might miss something, so it’s important to have a moment to go over what you already have. Who knows, maybe following the call of that suspicious chef who lied to us while we investigated, going into his kitchen might not be that good of an idea.
But, this is a lot of times impossible, due to there being many crimes at once, but it does not mean you shouldn’t try. One detective will easily be overwhelmed as such.
I’m also going to use this section to talk about when there is too much clear cut crime. News of cultist with red halos? Blob? Xenos?
In this situation you will have to shine as an assistant to security more than anything. Example in cult you’d work on escorting the chaplain to brig and giving him a high capacity water tank, or in blob you’d have to work on getting rechargers to the front lines. Xenos…shoot them from space? I dunno, but telling the active location of the threat if it is not known always helps. Point is, you’re a man of the people who must protect them during these catastrophes, you don’t go deal with the threat yourself unless you’re sure that officer going alone will end up dead in the next 5 minutes. Coordinate with your team, and be effective.
> All is lost...except for my own skin.
There will be instances where you’ll have to become an officer if needed. These usually arise out of lowpop and due to the very lack of a sec team. You must remember to follow SOP though, and remind even your superiors when they want to ask you to do certain redshirt tasks for them, as their permission is crucial to go ahead and do that job.
Now, this is just a point where you’ll basically be a legal secoff+ until you see new officers arrive, and for that, you might want to get more than just your standard issue equipment in order to be effective, preparation.
This situation will also occur when all of the other sec force dies (sec and warden, let’s say) in a way that won’t be recoverable (If you got to be the last member, good job! You didn’t validhunt like a redshirt and probably did your job instead of chasing the bad guys!). Even if the level hasn’t changed, at this point you’ll have to assume your place as a defender, part of sec, and prepare yourself batman style for anything coming your way. Example, those cultists with red halos are winning and you’re this close to being the only survivor? Find others, and find refugee where you can defend them. Offensive strategies are a luxury during this time, but remember you have a lethal weapon, and if the threat passes a threshold, it might be time to draw first than talk, just to save your skin.
I’m also going to talk about the situation where you find a criminal in the act (for example, emagging into bridge), aside from taking photos for evidence and seeing if there were any more witnesses and notifying your colleagues. I’m going to blatantly steal these questions from a forum post in tg, for when you find one and there’s no officers in the area:
Is the criminal dangerous?
Are there vigilantes in the area?
Are you hurt?
Are you ready for a fight if it should break out?
Do you have cuffs to arrest the perp?
Does anyone know where you are, if you should happen to get dragged off?
Do you feel like giving someone a free gun?
Do you feel lucky?
More often than not, it’s better to just keep observing. Remember, you can’t solve crime if you’re dead, so don’t take unnecessary risks and retreat if needed.
Tips and tricks
Just some last notes before this guide ends.
Medhuds lets you do medical evaluation of dead bodies from a distance if you don’t got access to the area it’s in, only sight. There is a threshold of time this stops working in though.
The lawyer is your friend, you practically share half your gameplay with the dude, so keep them updated and be nice to them. Hell, have a franziska - gumshoe relation and let em keep the spyglasses so they can watch you all the time in case something happens to you on your trail.
The AI is a savior. They got a way better chance to find someone if you ask em, even when off sensors, and they’re door openers for any place you got to investigate but don’t got access to. You can even holographically call them to your office and have a chat in your smoke break to have another brain working with ya!
Talking about other brains…PaIs. These things are GODLIKE for a detective. Having another person to bounce back information with and that can possibly note things while you investigate to save even more time is a CRAZY ROBUST tool, consider getting one sometimes, and give em the sec encryption radio key in the headset on your locker if they ask.
Borgs have cameras you can see through the camera console, and these are active, so they’re better than normal cameras.
If you ever get to be prosecution in a trial, keep your story straight and your evidence tight and organized, ready to present. More or less same applies if you are a witness.
The scanner will also give the name of the reagents inside any beaker, useful for when some acid was left in it after someone broke into the vault.
Refund your speedloaders at autolathes, don’t leave em hanging around after changing ammo, hell, use the practice range for once.
You can also use the scanner at a range, useful for not putting it in a bag accidentally and contaminating it.
If someone calls for you that isn’t from the security force, you might not want to go alone.
Your filing cabinet will never be tampered with, and it contains sec records, so it’s useful for when you know someone got sec access and erased their records.
You’ve got a mindshield implant, you also cannot be an antag.
If someone is masked and unknown, ask them to speak. Voice is the one thing you cannot conceal unless you’ve got a voice changer or you’re using a radio in the chapel. Same thing applies to you for when you’re undercover, just shut up.
There are some logs you might have to ask people for to get, like telecomms chat log (HoP) or ore silo logs (QM). Telecomms in specific has a message monitor for all pda messages.
The normal staff always have something to report. So like I said, talk with people.
When a gun is used, it leaves behind the spent shell casings. It’s simple: .38 is yours, .357 is traitor, .50 is syndicate sniper rifle, 7.62mm or 4.6x30mm is cargo, and .10mm, .45 or 1.95x129mm or 5.56mm or 7.12x82mm? Nuke ops
It’s good to keep a toolbox from maintenance in your office in case power runs out or you need to check closed off rooms, although you can also call an engineer to help you with this.
If you need any more equipment, ask the warden.
You can use the compartment in whatever uniform you decide to use to keep extra speedloaders around.
TLDR: If you want to be a good enough detective all you really got to do is be there when you’re called and know how to use the scanner and call it a day, but I made this guide out of the potential for the detective, and how if you master him you can easily become one of the most feared individuals on the station. So go be great detectives people. Solve crimes, break your lungs, slur drunkenly and keep that station secure.
Some good links to keep in your tabs while in-game:
Detective - BeeStation Wiki
Guide to trials - BeeStation Wiki
Guide to security - BeeStation Wiki
Space Law - BeeStation Wiki
Standard Operating Procedure - BeeStation Wiki
Department Standard Operating Procedure: Security - BeeStation Wiki
Contraband - BeeStation Wiki
Paper Markdown - /tg/station 13 Wiki
(The webmap of the current map you’re on, for when you got to check if that sec post has a locker or not.)