Critters are life forms with simple behavior patterns. They come in a variety of forms, ranging from benign to horrific monsters that will destroy you instantly. Critters do not take damage in the same way humans, cyborgs and monkeys do. They are immune to atmospheric conditions. They can move through space as if they had a jetpack and can safely stroll through a room full of knockout gas. The only way to harm a critter is through brute force damage, lethal guns, such as energy guns or phasers, and fire. Because many hostile critters can quickly overpower a human at close quarters, the latter two are generally the only safe way to engage them.
Some critters appear normally on the station, such as George the dog, the chef's sidekick Remi, RD's Heisenbee, the docile bat Dr. Acula in medbay and the captain's lovable pet cat Jones. Rock worms have a way of showing up around miners. Skeletons can pop up when a wizard or wraith descends on the station. Bats tend to follow when there's a vampire around. Telescience can summon critters through teleport accidents, and other beings lurk in the various dark corners of space on other z-levels. And of course, critters can also be spawned by a bored admin.
Critters can appear in varying degrees of quality. It will be part of their name. The best of their breed will sparkle to indicate that they're a pretty big deal in the space animal kingdom. Food made from these critters will retain their full name, e.g. healthy cockroach-meat taco.
These are a subgroup of mobs (distinct from critters) who are more evolved than your stock cockroach. Robust NPCs are mobile humans who operate by the same rules of existence as human players. They take damage like humans, drugs work on them, and they can be grabbed, disarmed, restrained and dressed like human players. They're advanced enough to pick up anything they find lying around, and they're violent jerks so they'll try to kill people with it. The only thing that doesn't work on them that works on regular people is borging and cloning.
Robust NPCs come in many forms. Monkeys are the most common form encountered, though they tend to be passive and only fight like violent jerks when provoked. Their evil barrel brethren, on the other hand, skip the "when provoked" part entirely. Hyper-aggressive humans can also rarely appear from telescience accidents and certain chemistry reactions.
Because of how dangerous they can be, you should avoid making these guys unless you're an antagonist.
Some creatures fall outside the previously mentioned groups. Some are not technically critters, but rather mobs, because they are affected by the same things as players aren't not robust enough to have wills of their own. Most of them exist to tie the place together like a good rug. The seas around Oshan Lab, for example, wouldn't be nearly as lively without all those exotic fish. One of your first stops on the way to space adventures in a pod is the space diner. It is the adopted home of Shitty Bill, Father Jack, and ol' Donald "Don" Glabs, a rather talkative trio with rich personalities and the inclination for drugs and alcohol.
Like the aforementioned monkeys, these critters are distinct from regular NPC critters like mice and roaches, which actually fall under objects, and actually count as mobs, albeit as a subgroup confusingly also named critters. Though they can't bleed, get infected with pathogens or diseases, or be buckled to a chair (well, except for one), they still share many qualities with humans. Almost all of them can be stunned or knocked unconscious, and experience the TOUCH effects of chems. Set them on fire, and they will burn. Grab them, and you may suplex them. Feed them floorpills, and they can go on bad trips and vomit, though most lack chemical reservoirs for more lasting damage.
PC Critters are created through various machinations throughout the station. Some are bored Ghosts loitering about in the corporeal plane, some are Baleful Polymorph victims, some are living changeling limbs, some...are something in-between.
Congratulations! You died and, by choosing to forgo any chance of being cloned or made into a cyborg to Respawn as Animal, have reincarnated as a critter! You have the unique ability to simply phase through people and doors, open windoors if they're not-access locked, and breath in space! Unfortunately, like Krampus, you are also an ungodly nightmare that haunts the dreams of gods, shackled solely by an social obligation to not be a dirty metagamer and various mechanical restrictions:
- Very little health (A few bare-handed punches will instantly kill you.)
- Too simple-minded to use most computers or fly Space Pods.
- Limited to just one hand slot and a nonfunctional Bite/Gnaw slot.
- Too weak to pull or hold most items bigger than small in size.
- Even then, can't hold potentially dangerous weapons, like flashes, screwdrivers, or beakers.
- Cannot read or write anything beyond basic pictographs.
- Humans and silicons cannot understand what you are saying (though you can understand them just fine).
- Can't strip people who are alive.
- Can't Point at people or things. (So you can't point at the Traitor that killed you or their discarded bag of gear.)
- Can't punch people into critical condition.
- Disarms and grabs do nothing.
||Cockroach||Prove that Franz Kafka was wrong and live a comfortable, fulfilling life as a modern human in a cockroach body. Use the fact that your exoskeleton color matches your corpse's hair color to prove your individualism.|
||Space mouse||Your fur color will be the same color as your corpse's hair. Be the envy of all the space mice and live knowing you died and dyed fashionably.|
||Butterfly||Flutter around. Make strange chirping noises. Attempt to be a vague notion of rebirth and reincarnation .|
|Do The Robot. Dance the night (?) away. Literally be a "ghost in the machine".|
|Squeak. Burp. Fart. Be the most realistic doll ever.|
Getting Baleful Polymorphed by a Wizard will randomly turn you into one of these critters. Like Ghost Critters, these animals can breathe in space and have little health (albeit much more than a ghost critter would). Unlike Ghost Critters, these animals can actually pull everything a regular human can and can pick up a much wider range of objects (generally tiny- to small-size, with some able to do normal-size.) Some of them even have dedicated attack abilities with names like Gnaw or Bite. However, they can't phase through doors, and they're still not antagonists, unless the polymorph victim actually was an Antagonist beforehand.
||Space Dog||Pounce on people. Bite the Mailman. Hang out with George. Shoot guns and perform surgeries despite having no thumbs.|
||Space Bird||Wear hats. Be the cool critter on the block with a headset slot. Screech over the radio. Peck the Wizard's (or the person who forcefed you feather fluid) eye out.|
||Space goose||Honk to your heart's content. Migrate to another station when the Clown slips you out for taking his job.|
||Space Timberdoodle||Scream. Eenk adorably. Eenk entertainingly. Eenk viciously. Eenk!|
||Space Seagull||Squawk. Hang around the Pool. Furiously squawk the Chef for fish.|
||Space Bat/Angry Bat||Hang around the local bloodsucker, inevitably get downed by a toolbox. Screech cheesy stock scary music tracks and 60s superhero shows themes.|
||Space Possum||Play dead, whether it's because you've genuinely been hurt or you've just seen someone scream for whatever reason. Die. Revive. Repeat.|
||Space Raccoon||Scour Disposals and the station's hallways for leftover Discount Dan's and coffee. Be the four-footed version of a Staff Assistant.|
||Space Bee||Bee cute. Bee adorable. Bee kind. Sting whoever dares to mess with your beeloved owner and give them the itch of their life.|
||Space Bumblespider||Coo adorably when hugged. Use your six hand slots to become the physical embodiment of "many hands make light work". Or, just annoy monkeys and other pests with your poisonous, itch-inducing bite.|
||Baby Spider||Nibble on people. Drain the fluids of a human or monkey to become...|
||Ice Spider||Wonder why you have an intermediate stage as an ice spider, but not any other spider. Drain another victim to become...|
||Queen Spider||Trample, bite, spawn more spiders, drain your victims, coat your victims with your webbing (or cotton candy if you're a clownspider) and have eight arms of shit to do it with. Convert Genetic's monkey pen into your personal spider nest.|
||Space Wasp||Literally sting like a bee while floating like a butterfly. Give some poor soul a life-long supply of itching powder with your sting.|
||Space Mouse||Wish you had an exquisite coat color like your ghost version. Engage in literal cat-and-mouse games with Jones. Embark on a quest for the greatest cheese.|
||Cockroach||Constantly quote Kafka. Write e.e. cummings poems everywhere. Get squished by a scared Assistant.|
||Space Snail / Slug||Coat the whole station with (harmless) slime trails. Drive the poor Janitor to suicide despite having no arms. Lament your state as the lame, uncool brother of the snake.|
Main Article: Changeling
Through certain abilities, the Changeling can detach various organs from themselves, creating autonomous minions controlled by select members of its hivemind. Eyespiders can't attack, but see behind walls and in the dark. Handspiders can gather DNA points from bodies living and dead. Legworms can robust the crap out of everybody and everything they see. All three can boil their own blood to go out in super-hot explosion of gibs and changeling blood.
Various other critters don't quite fit into the Polymorphed, Changeling, or Ghost Critter categories. They're more like objects than mobs; they can't be set on fire, grabbed, or stunned, and chems have no effect them them.
||Living Soulsteel Object||Soulsmithery||Float around ominously. Play yourself as a soulsteel instrument. Play with wacky container code as a soulsteel locker.|
||Meatcube||Trash Compactors, Confined LDM detonations, Life reactions||Squirm horrendously. Fart terrifically. Accidentally get stuck in space, without anybody to welder-pop you of your mercy.|
||Mini Singularity||Admin screwery||Suck out the tiles from every floor and the sheets from every wall with your immense gravitational pull. Somehow be unable to suck in the rest of the floor with you. Embark on an epic quest to merge with the one who begot you.|
||Syndicate Drone||Admin screwery||Tear down everything in your path like a murderous robotic Kool-Aid Man. Blast/cut up/ion shock the crap out of anything that moves and occasionally anything that doesn't.|
||Space Owl in a Bikini||Admin screwery||Champion the cause of Wonkmin. Hoot seductively.|
|Jobs on Space Station 13|
Staff Assistant - Chef - Barman - Chaplain - Janitor - Botanist - Clown - Job of the Day - Gimmick jobs
Engineer - Mechanic - Miner - Quartermaster
| Medical & Research:|
Medical Doctor - Geneticist - Roboticist - Scientist
| Command & Security:|
Security Officer - Detective - Chief Engineer - Medical Director - Research Director - Head of Security - Head of Personnel - Captain
| Antagonist Roles:|
Changeling - Nuclear Operative - Traitor - Wizard - Vampire - Wraith - Blob - Werewolf - Predator - Grinch - Krampus
Gang Member - Revolutionary - Spy Thief - Wrestler - Flockmind - Gimmick antagonist roles
| Special Roles:|
Artificial Intelligence - Cluwne - Critter - Cyborg - Ghost - Ghostdrone - Monkey - Santa Claus