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Smoke. Drink. Monologue.
The Detective is responsible for investigating crimes on the station. While security will hopefully quickly note a rampaging traitor with a bloody c-saber in their hands, stealthy antagonists can easily slip beneath the radar and carry out their tasks without regular officers noticing. The detective is well-equipped for investigation but not for actually going out and arresting people. Detectives should remember that while they are part of security, they are not security officers and lack access to the security equipment lockers.

That said, the detective is encouraged use the security headset to stay in touch with the team. To use it, simply type:

  • say :g Just found a husk in disposals, stay alert!

The Office

So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.

The detective's office, in addition to its sleek noir style, features a few useful items. The security computer (looks like a filing cabinet) is a much easier way to adjust and check security records than the ThinkDOS security computer. The surveillance camera (looks like an old TV) allows you to remotely monitor the station, though without the ease of switching between cameras the AI enjoys. Surveying hot spots can occasionally let the detective spot trouble before it happens, or help him coordinate security efforts from the safety of his office. The closet contains most of your portable equipment as well as spare investigation items.


Noteworthy starting equipment includes:

  • Optical Thermal Scanner
  • .38 Special revolver
  • Flash
  • Forensic Scanner
    • Scans fingerprints and blood on items, players, doors, machinery, etc. Players who wear gloves do not add complete fingerprints on items, but generally do leave fibers along with an unique ID (see below).
    • Blood analysis gives the DNA of the blood, for which the detective's file cabinet (Search Records) or a regular security terminal can be used to find a match.
    • Ballistic fingerprinting is another of the scanner's applications for weapons which leave physical evidence behind. The scanner will indicate gunshot wounds on a body, and a forensic profile can then be created for bullets dug out of said corpse, or in other words link that revolver you found on a suspect to the murder in question. The forensic signature of kinetic firearms as well as certain energy guns (e.g. lasers and phasers) can also be isolated from bullet holes in the walls of the station.
    • Firing a kinetic firearm leaves detectable residue on the shooter, as well as spent casings (see next paragraph) on the floor. Consider that only a handful of jobs (for instance the HoS, Medical Director and barman) have legitimate access to such weapons.
    • The scanner shows the contraband level of certain items, such as Syndicate gear or guns. Securitrons use the same value for their target algorithm and will usually give chase if the value is 4 or higher and the suspect isn't authorized to carry weapons.
    • The PDA has the same functionality, with one exception. The non-PDA version can be used to look up names, fingerprints and blood DNA on the go. Just click on the scanner or use the key to activate something in-hand (usually C or Page Down) to search through the Security database.
  • Detective's VR Goggles
    • Spawns in your backpack. This particular pair sends you to a private virtual beach fully equipped with a security computer, camera monitor and cigarette machine. When used in conjunction with the forensic scanner, you are provided with the means to remotely manage the security records with surprising efficiency.
  • Camera and spare film cartridge
  • Tape recorder
    • Will record your voice, and yours only, if you hold it. Will pick up anything said in a room if put down. Can be hidden under a backpack or something to surreptitiously record a conversation.
  • Evidence box
  • Secure briefcase
    • A good storage place for your gear or any sensitive items you pick up. Can be set to any 5-digit code you like. A locked case can be emagged or hacked open by those in the know.
    • Your office is also has a wall safe that works the same way.
  • Spy sticker set
    • Works just like Syndie spy stickers, but without the video feed and audio fixed towards the Security Channel, 135.9. Has a 7 tile range, i.e. it can pick up someone talking 7 tiles away from the sticker. Stick on someone to bug them! Stick on a random item, put it in a pile, and use Move to Top on the other items to hide it away!
    • Just remember: right click the sticker to tune it to the Sec channel.
  • DetGadget hat
    • A fashionable, novel toolkit for your detective essentials, found in the locker in your office. Shove any of the items accepted below, and when you say/mention the hat's activation phrase with the name of the item, the hat will put it in your hands (or, in the case of cigarettes, your mouth or your hand) or drop it on the floor if your hands are full.
    • Accepted items:
    • By default, the activation phrase is "go go gadget" but using the Set Activation Phrase command will allow you to change it.
    • The hat will only listen to its wearer...but due to the way the hat is coded, it will also listen to anyone standing on the same tile as you, e.g. someone farting on your face.
  • BloodTrak scanner
    • Scan a puddle of blood. If you stand still, and the blood scanned/injected into the scanner is still fresh, the scanner will give you a rough direction of where the blood DNA match is located relative to the scanner.

Investigation Tips

A good detective should be familiar with the abilities and gear of the station's varied antagonists as well as the fundamentals of forensic systems. Many interactions with objects, crew members and the station at large are traceable:

  • Picking up and using items
  • Operating computers and other machinery
  • Bumping into or clicking on doors to open/close them
  • Pulling objects or bodies
  • Melee attacks (disarm, grab etc)
  • Accessing somebody's inventory
  • etc.
Blood DNA
  • Open wounds
  • Attacking somebody with a sufficiently powerful weapon covers both the assailant and victim in blood
  • Gibs can contain blood traces
  • etc.

Gloves obscure the fingerprints of the wearer, but at least provide you with a couple of clues. Aside from an unique ID, every pair of gloves is made of fibers that can be attributed to a certain material:

Type Material Typically worn by
Fingerless gloves N/A. Doesn't mask prints. Radical dudes.
Latex gloves N/A. Partial prints obscured by junk symbols. Medical staff
Black gloves black leather fibers Detective, botanist, miner, QM
SWAT gloves high-quality synthetic fibers Syndicate operatives
Boxing gloves red leather fibers Boxer, Staff Assistant
Insulated gloves insulative fibers Heads of staff, engineer, mechanic, QM
Stungloves [material], electrically charged Ditto. Also vigilantes.
Power gloves insulative fibers and nanomachines Traitor
Concussive gauntlets industrial-grade mineral fibers Miner
Cursed white gloves greasy polymer fibers Cluwne

There's more to be learnt from spent casings than the forensic signature. Looking at them closely can give you a rough idea of the caliber, type of ammunition and firearm used to commit the crime:

Type Caliber Typically fired by
CasingSmall.png Small handgun .22 .22 pistol, zip gun
CasingMedium.png Medium handgun .38, .357, .41 .38 and .357 revolver, zip gun, derringer (casing looks "fat and stumpy")
CasingRifle.png Rifle .308 AK, tranquilizer and hunting rifle
CasingShotgunBlue.png Shotgun blue 12 ga Shotguns (rubber slugs)
CasingShotgunOrange.png Shotgun orange 12 ga Shotguns (Frag-12), flare pistol
CasingShotgunRed.png Shotgun red 12 ga Shotguns (buckshot)
Casing40mmGrenade.png Grenade 40mm Grenade launcher

Everyone's prints and DNA strings are already on file in the security database, though these records can be deleted or tampered with and don't include non-NT personnel. While the detective will sometimes be fortunate enough to find a traitor item with a complete set of prints, they often have to work out traitors based on suspicious behavior, tailing people and listening to the communications from the rest of the crew. Occasionally checking in on really sensitive areas such as the armory, AI upload, or mixing lab can avert serious disaster. Checking out waste disposal or garbage chutes can uncover murder victims or hastily stashed gear.

The camera is a great tool if you can catch traitors in the act of doing something suspicious. Some traitors, when aware that the heat is on, may clean and/or ditch their gear, take a shower to wash off forensic evidence and then attempt to bullshit their way out of imprisonment. Solid evidence is much harder to argue against.

If you have enough evidence to support arresting someone who has not committed an overt act of treason, alert security over the secure frequency and set their status to Arrest in the security records. This will have Officer Beepsky and other active securitrons attempt to detain the target. The detective can assist in arrests, but with no armor or taser, should leave the heavy lifting to security officers.

The detective has the option of having their thermals scanned at electronics, giving the crew many more eyes against cloakers.

Crew Objectives

As a loyal crew member, you can sometimes be assigned some strictly optional objectives to keep yourself busy while you wait for something to happen. As a detective, you can expect to see the following:

Ensure that you are still wearing your coat, hat and uniform at the end of the round
Just don't get mugged, which is very unlikely.

Make sure you are smoking at the end of the round
Just make sure you have your smokes and your zippo, and light up when you're in the escape shuttle.

Make sure there is alcohol in your system at the end of the round
Keep your Bo Jack Daniels on you and take a swig on the shuttle. Before or after lighting up.

Syndicate Detective

The Syndicate detective may order custom ammunition for his revolver. Aside from that, he has a lot of other options to work with. Most captains and HoPs won't object to giving you security access, letting you load up on weaponry. The AI can generally be convinced to let you in wherever if you say it needs investigating. The security records can be tampered with to accomplish a variety of tasks, not just sending Officer Beepsky after the captain and deleting your own record, but also altering fingerprints to frame someone else for possession of traitor gear. Cloaking devices are also handy, as you already control one of the two thermals on the station.

Supplementary Video

Playing Detective on SS13

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 - Flockmind - Gimmick antagonist roles
Special Roles:
Artificial Intelligence - Cluwne - Critter - Cyborg - Ghost - Ghostdrone - Monkey - Santa Claus