The rules; and why we have them
The rules - or guidelines, if you come from the Golden server ghettos - are intended to support an enjoyable experience for all, player and admin alike. We try to keep limitations on personal playstyle choices as minimal as possible while still allowing for a fair and entertaining game for the players. They’re not intended to gate certain people out of the community, but to keep the community a place people want to be.
Remember, not reading the rules isn’t an excuse for breaking them
1 - use your brain
If everyone used their
uncommon sense, none of the other rules would have to be here.
If you think doing something will lead to you getting Yelled At, it just might. If you’re still on the fence, that’s what adminhelp is for.
2 - BNBR
Be patient with people and do assist them when you can.
Random murders are not acceptable nor is the killing of other players for poor or little reasoning such as ‘My character is insane’.
Unprovoked grief (occasionally known as greytiding), repeated cases of minor unprovoked grief, and unprovoked grief targeted towards specific players or groups (i.e. metagrudging) fall under this. Admins may follow up on grief with allowing the affected parties to ignore normal escalation policy or measures such as warnings or bans.
No harassing players OOC/outside the game. You have some wiggle room in character (IC), but don’t be surprised when you get
#robusted beat the fuck up for being a prick.
3 - valids
I’m gonna keep this short
If you’re valid, it’s slang for being valid for in character punishment.
If you do antagonistic shit, you’re valid, simple as that.
Admins can deem a player valid, mimes breaking their vow of silence are valid, spamming communications makes you valid.
Sec and heads can’t actually declare people to be valid, but they can call for their arrest.
4 - Do roleplay somewhat
Realism is not necessarily required, and you are allowed to be silly within context. Clowns, farting on people, people spontaneously exploding, and whatnot, they’re all a vital part of the game world. At the end of the day, it is very likely your character wants their employment with Nanotrasen to continue. They should act like it. So please avoid major crimes without reason.
Playing as a violent or otherwise psychologically unstable character is not a valid reason to cause harm to others or damage to the station unless you are an antagonist, which in that case, would lead to some R O L E P L A Y for security.
Do let others do their job before you do it for them
While you are capable of doing anything within the game mechanics, allow those who have selected the relevant job to attempt the task first. As an example, busting into medical and self-treating would be a very strange real-life event if there are doctors literally standing there, and while a janitor mixing up some more space cleaner is believable, if there are scientists working in chemistry you should consider asking them to make you your space-cleaner beaker bombs. Choosing captain just to be sure you can go and cheese the away mission is not necessarily very honorable behavior.
Please be considerate of other players, as their experiences are just as important as your own. If you aren’t an antagonist and yet you really want to play out a hostage situation, or deep-fry someone, or be a rude dude in whatever way, confirm with the involved and affected players either IC or in LOOC first. If everyone agrees to being subjected to harm or terrorization, then you’re good to go. Please keep in mind that this rule does not protect you from IC consequences, such as getting beat the fuck up by security. If you are going to RP as a rude dude, given that your victims have given you the okay, you still have to own the responsibility that comes with your decision. This means, no, you can’t kill a security officer because they tried to arrest you for murdering the clown, even if the clown agreed to being attacked for a LiveLeak video.
5 - no being a griffon
What is and isn’t crappy behavior is a long, nuanced discussion, so please don’t take this guide as a 100% inclusive list of everything that is considered crappy behavior, and by extension anything not mentioned here must, by definition, be perfectly acceptable. Rule lawyers get the fuck out.
The basic concept of griff
Grief is basically anything that removes or significantly hampers the ability of others to enjoy the game without a good reason to do so. Things like murdering or permanently imprisoning other players, forcing them to ingest toxic or game-changing substances, or destroying parts of the station - that sort of thing. If you’re not sure if something is considered griefing or not, think of it this way: If some other chungus did it to you, how would you react?
Of course, not every situation would these be grief, context and reason matters.
Murdering another player or engineering circumstances such that their death is extremely likely. Dismemberment too. Also converting a human player into a cyborg or a monkey against their will. For that matter, giving someone genetic disorders against their will as well.
Imprisoning or keeping another player hostage for a significant amount of time. Security are obviously exempt from this, provided that it’s all within reason.
Destroying (or rendering areas uninhabitable) parts of the station either intentionally or through massive negligence. Walling off or otherwise preventing access to significant parts of the station without a good reason falls under this as well.
Assisting an antagonist beyond the scope of your role on the station falls under this as well. e.g. the CMO is allowed to heal a known antagonist (maybe if they haven’t been DEswording the entire station), but isn’t allowed to assist them in their evil deeds. That’s what brainwashing and hypnosis is for.
Uploading antag-only laws (anything that alters who is considered human, anything that permits silicons to kill, maim, or otherwise wreak havoc) to the silicons
As a silicon; The shape and condition of the station is supposed to be roughly what it starts out as, but the humans/crew might want to change it. That’s what the station blueprints are for. But no, this doesn’t mean that you can wall off cloning or fuck up other people’s constructions because your laws don’t prohibit you.
Anyone who attempts to break into the captain’s office, HoP office, head of staff offices, or the bridge at roundstart for no legitimate reason put themselves at risk for being legitimately killed by the captain, heads of staff, or security
As a brainwashed slave you are expected to support and protect your master. This means you should not do anything that might cause them to come to harm unless you are very explicitly told to do so. Even if you are told to murder everyone you should not do something like set off a bomb while your master is standing in harms way.
Spamming, this goes for radio spam, AI vox announcement spam, paper at camera spam and other forms. Non-antagonists doing so aren’t supposed to defend themselves and may suffer from IC or OOC consequences. Antagonists can to a certain extent, moreso with reading things like WGW over the radio, but may be told to stop if it becomes excessive. Spamming can result from in-game admin intervention ending in you dying, to admin warnings, to bans for excessive or repeated spamming.
The edge case - depends on the admin
Stealing someone’s ID (generally only going to get you Yelled At if there isn’t an easy way for the victim to replace it)
Theft - if the item either isn’t really important or can be easily replaced, we let the station handle it (sec n heads). Security taking your toolbelt and insuls really isn’t that big of a fucking deal. Meanwhile, If it’s not either of the two, such as in the case of traitor steal objectives (every staff member here is familiar with the case of the clown slipping the HoS and spacing his multiphase gun) you might get Yelled At.
Assault - it’s really hard to tell beyond the third circular saw slash if you’re going to kill them or just softcrit them.
Cutting the AI’s cameras - clipping a camera so the AI can’t watch you steal the cloak from the HoP’s locker is PROBABLY okay as long as everybody isn’t doing it. (It might be nice to reconnect it afterwards though.) Indiscriminately running around clipping cameras just to be an anus will get you Yelled At.
Not griff - when griff is OK
Pretty much anything an antagonist does short of breaking the rules against ERP, crashing the server, metagaming or otherwise abusing the game engine (using multiple BYOND accounts), or ignoring admin PMs is A OK. Brainwashed slaves count as antagonists as long as they’re still under the brainwashing effect, and aren’t ignoring their orders. Taking a break to kill cloning when your master told you to steal the secret documents counts as ignoring orders, so get back to work you boob
There are certain situations where normally antag-only laws can be used by non-antags. For instance, if a player somehow becomes a monkey, a law that changes the definition of humans to include monkeys would be fine.
You are welcome to bomb the shuttle, beat other players or generally cause problems once the shuttle has arrived at Centcom, but ONLY after you get the bold pink message stating that you were awarded beecoins for your status in the round
Silicons (The AI, borgs) take great pleasure in finding ways to be the biggest assholes possible under their current laws. Note that silicons will follow the LETTER of the law, not the SPIRIT of the law, so don’t come crying to the admins when you make a one human law with your name on it on the Sage server where the silicons run on crewsimov, and you end up getting robusted by security when the silicons snitch on you.
You are allowed and strongly encouraged to fight back if someone is attacking you.
Making food, drinks, patches, and pills that contain all sorts of horrible shit and leaving them in a public area is a longstanding tradition and a protected form of political and religious expression on this space station of ours. If you consume some random item sitting on a table or lying somewhere, and suddenly turn into a lime green gibbering monkey with Tourette’s syndrome, no tongue, and a crippling addiction to bath salts, that’s on you. Maybe you’ll be smarter about eating floor pills next time. However…
On the other hand… If you purposely mislabel it as something beneficial (e.g. labeling a patch with heparin as “synthflesh”), it is not protected by this rule and thus is considered grief. Yes, people should still always be cautious about the things they put in their body, but you’re going beyond just leaving dangerous stuff around in the hallways for kicks and actually doing self antagonistic shit by trying to convince people to ingest dangerous stuff by deceiving them about its true nature.
You may defend your department or workplace from trespassers who damage or steal property within that space with significantly greater force than elsewhere. If someone is severely disruptive and returns after ejected, this opens them up to the fun that is workplace themed retribution
because no one ever exits the viro dungeon, not even the virologist
How to stop the griff
Use a little judgment - if this is something other players can resolve, try that first. Report minor theft and assault to the heads, if there’s only a tile or two that’s damaged, get the assistants on it, that sort of thing. If it’s bad, and it takes more than 10 minutes for the station to reasonably fix once work has started, it’s probably griff and that’s ahelp material
Nominally, self antag is an IC issue until the station can’t handle it, because it’s security’s job to lynch the greytiders, not the admins
Anything that breaks the no ERP rule is automatically ahelp material
6 - antagonists are immune to the griff
Basically, antagonists can do whatever the fuck they want
The caveat being that if you have a team objective you gotta do it
Non-antagonists are allowed to assist antagonists given sufficient IC reasoning but assisting an antagonist doesn’t mean you get to act like one. If in doubt, that’s what ahelp is for.
Depending on the level of assistance, sufficient IC reasoning could be simply treating everyone who goes into medbay regardless of them being a murderer or not, all the way to being threatened under pain of death by an antagonist to do something
The relationship between xeno queen and xeno is treated the same as malf AI and borg, and are considered team antagonists. Xenos should prioritize following the directions of their queen where possible.
Brainwashed slaves and other related roles have a couple of very important rules that should be followed. You mustn’t reveal that you have been brainwashed/hypnotized/whatever unless your master tells you to, and you have to obey every command your master tells you. Of course, if things start getting a little weird or creepy or are clearly in violation of our main rules, please ahelp right away. As a brainwashed slave you are expected to support and protect your master. This means you should not do anything that might cause them to come to harm unless you are very explicitly told to do so. Even if you are told to murder everyone, you should not do something like set off a bomb while your master is standing in harm’s way.
7 - no evading admin justice
If you’ve been banned, you probably deserved it. Accept responsibility for your actions and wait to be unbanned. You can file an appeal or admin complaint on the forums if you genuinely feel you didn’t deserve it.
Do not attempt to bypass a ban by using another account, using another IP address, or any other means. Don’t be surprised when all of your accounts get permabanned.
The only exception is if you were banned for having an offensive ckey, and you created a new account with an inoffensive ckey.
No multikeying. Multikeying is defined as logging into the server with two or more separate accounts during the same round. Multikeying will result in a permaban. If you’re Jimmy Poo, and you get killed, don’t jump right back in as J. Fred Bloggs. You are welcome to use multiple accounts so long as you only connect to a given round with ONE of them and no other. If you for some reason want to roll up a completely new BYOND account for each and every round you play, we won’t stop you, though we may wonder about your sanity.
8 - be nice to admins
Leaving and ignoring an admin PM will automatically label you guilty.
Showing respect and patience with admins has proven to make them more lenient.
Do not immediately ask if the person who killed you is an antag. If you are still uncertain if your death was valid, spectate them and see if they are performing additional unruly behavior before reporting.
If you are preoccupied and cannot send a detailed reply at the moment, send a short reply making the admin aware of that.
Lying in adminhelps, misrepresenting facts deliberately, or logging off when an admin has asked a question may result in permabans. Admins will not automatically place bans for players logging off however, and will generally wait a while in case real life situations caused a player to disconnect or go AFK.
When to use ahelp vs. mhelp vs. pray vs. let it go
If you have a question about the rules, or are reporting another player who you believe has broken them, or you have discovered a bug/exploit, or you have been spawned as a special role (AI, antagonist) and are unable or unwilling to stick around and fulfill your role, “help, i got AI and have to leave / help, i rolled traitor and really just want to play with botany / help, i rolled chief engineer and haven’t got the first clue about how to run the engine” then use adminhelp.
If your question is about game mechanics “help, how do i do genetics / help, where’s the bar / help, what does a chaplain even do” then use mentorhelp.
If you want to complain about a player who hasn’t broken a rule but you think they’re annoying, or you want access to an area or an object that you don’t have, or you want to talk about some totally sweet music you just heard, or something else that doesn’t involve the rules, game engine, or game mechanics, then please just let it go, or pray to the admins.
Use this when 97% of the time you want to be ignored, with the remaining 3% divided between being blown to smithereens, having your request answered in either the most evil genie way possible, or a literal roll of the Die of Fate.
9 - no metagaming
Metagaming is a cardinal sin in roleplaying games like SS13.
Don’t metacommunicate with other players outside of the game.
Chatting on Skype with your bros is OK, but relaying or talking about IC information with your friends is forbidden. Don’t tell them you are a traitor, gang up together to kill people, call for help over TeamSpeak if you are attacked etc. Even telling your buddies that you’re dead is trouble - after all, what kind of friend wouldn’t try to come to your rescue?
Metacomms is a very serious rule violation and may be met with permanent bans for all related accounts. If players are sharing the same IP or know each other in real life or the like, inform the admins first, otherwise it may look suspicious. Players are allowed to introduce new players that they know to the game but all communication and explanations should be done in game if possible.
A huge part of the gameplay of SS13 hinges on lies and deception, and that goes all to hell when you’ve effectively got two pairs of eyes and ears. If you want to communicate with another player, use the radio, PDA messaging or the mail system (nobody uses the mail system except to send bombs).
Sure, we don’t know what other programs you’re running, but when one players starts getting robusted and another one immediately comes to his rescue when not a word was spoken and the second person had no way to know the attack was happening… yeah, it’s not hard to tell what’s up. If you are caught doing this, you will likely receive a ban.
Don’t use information you shouldn’t have.
This kind of shittery occurs in many different scenarios. It mainly entails doing preemptive actions to make the lives of antagonists harder, which is widely considered to be a dick move.
As a non-security or non-command crewmember, you’re not an experienced soldier. Do not rush into danger without reason, so no collecting dangerous items, weapons, or tools “just in case” or things like wearing a hardsuit, riot suit, or similar bulky/uncomfortable armor for the entire round. Do not run around with all of the genetic powers, three buffing viruses and the entire armory in your backpack. This is an example of severe powergaming.
Deadchat is considered OOC, and so you should not be using the information you learned from there to inform your IC decisions. Conversely, the changeling hivemind and syndicate radio channel is considered IC, and so you should not be bringing in OOC content or information.
Shouting “LING” right after you get the “you feel a tiny prick” message.
As a member of security, you immediately roam around the maintenance tunnels to sniff out traitors and scream your brains out, describing what’s occurring. Generally, give things at least a few minutes to brew or wait for radio calls to respond to.
As an AI, you find a suspicious person walking around and decide to lock them into a room and scream for security to arrest them, refusing to let them out for any reason. This one is most definitely not okay, and will be violating your laws if that person or anybody else orders you to open up. Your laws can be stretched but not broken like this, and it’s just really shitty anyway.
As a head of staff, you decide to take all of the AI law modules and hide them to prevent people from using them.
When you continuously log in at roundstart and then leave the round by suiciding/logging out if you are not an antagonist. Everyone has to log out near roundstart from time to time and that’s fine, but if we notice that there’s a bit of a theme whenever you’re an antagonist or not, there’s a problem. Antag fishing may lead to an antag ban.
Editing the atmos loop to cut the plasma/N2O/CO2 out of the mix loop solely to prevent a rogue AI from plasma flooding, and while this might not make sense IC, it’s necessary OOC wise for some game mechanics to work. However, you’re allowed to cut the distro in the event that the atmosians believe they have reasonable suspicion that the silicons are rogue.
Overall, this generally boils down to the fact that you shouldn’t talk about the current round outside of the game and you shouldn’t start off the round by doing things whose only purpose is to screw over the bad guys. Doing reasonable things like an AI bolting its upload is okay, but otherwise acting as though you’re not expecting to be brutally murdered in four minutes will make things more enjoyable when things do start to happen. Use your judgement and if most people think it’s metagaming, then don’t do it or risk everyone’s wrath. People really hate this.
Lots of people on SS13 like to keep a persistent name, character and/or gimmick running round after round. It may be easy to target them for actions taken in previous rounds, but don’t do it. That’s metagaming too. If someone was a tremendous jerk in one round, and you didn’t get to enact your revenge before the round ended, kiss it goodbye. If you try to get back at them in a later round, that’s considered meta grudging, because you’re bringing grudges from past rounds into this one for no good reason.
Characters are allowed to have persistent knowledge/relationships/friendships with the caveat that knowledge of a character being an antagonist from a previous round is not used. Character friendships should not be exploitative in nature or be used to gain an unfair advantage. Having an IC friendship with another player does not, for example, justify giving them all-access each round.
If the person is a shitlord for ten straight rounds, adminhelp it instead of trying to deal with it in-game, because what you’re doing probably isn’t too effective.
There is a difference between being a griefer and being a dick.
Being a jerk to people is expected and almost necessary in this game - minor theft, slipping, etc - basically stuff that either doesn’t severely impact someone else’s ability to enjoy the game, or is otherwise handleable with in-game resources like the security force. This is something of a moving target and probably the one where the theory of ‘different admins have different styles of justice’ will be the most relevant for. If it’s a relatively calm round, the HoP hasn’t vanished yet, and someone steals your ID, that’s not so big a deal. If all hell is breaking loose, the round has been going on for a good couple minutes/ maybe an hour, and the HoP has vanished into the ether, and therefore you can’t really replace your ID, then ID theft is a MASSIVE dick move and absolutely worth adminhelping for. Feel free to adminhelp if you really do think something isn’t okay, but if we tell you ‘IC issue’ then at least give it a try. Besides, bored HoS players rarely find ways to amuse themselves that the rest of the station would call ‘useful’.
10 - heads and sec matter, even if you think they don’t
The head of your department is your boss and they can fire you; security officers can arrest you for stealing or breaking into places. The preference would be that unless they’re doing something unreasonable, such as throwing you out of an exterior airlock for drawing bees on the floor of the robotics lab, you shouldn’t freak out over being punished for doing something that would get you fired or arrested in real life. This also means that if you are someone in the chain of command or security, you are expected to put in effort and try and do your job.
Minimum levels of effort for heads of staff, security, silicons, and team antagonists generally include not logging out/going AFK at or near round start due to the importance of those roles within the round for progression. Constant logging out or going AFK may be given warnings by admins, and may progress to job bans.
Ghosting out, going AFK, suiciding, or logging off when converted to a team antagonist position can result in warnings from an admin; extending to bans for repeated behaviour from an individual. This also extends to when Command/security deconverting or mindshield implanting an individual to their side in said modes. At most within team antagonist, it is expected players to not maliciously harm their team’s progress and assist if they are able to the best of their abilities, so no ragequitting when you get mindshielded as a rev.
Let an admin know if you cannot or do not want to play any of the above mentioned roles. Admins will attempt to transfer the role to someone else. Obviously, if an admin does so for a player, the player must not use knowledge of that antagonist position existing.
No abusing your position; as in being deliberately incompetent or malicious in your job. Deliberate incompetence or malice can result in warnings or bans, depending on severity. Example would be a chemist or CMO constantly abusing the position to make space lube and lubing hallways, they may be warned and then job banned if further abuse happens.