Ghostdrone Laws

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Hi! This is a semi-inclusive list written by an admin(SageAcrin) of what Ghost Drones Can and Cannot do, based on inferrance by multiple years of watching different admins handle them. There may be some variation on how Admins view the rules; Ghost Drones are one of the most nuanced and strange items in Space Station 13, and opinions vary on exactly how they should be handled. But this should be about 99% safe for behaviors.

You Are Dead

  • Let's start with something here. First off, you are the most "powerful" dead role. As such, do not try to mess with the round too much, particularly with antagonists or people chasing them. Just be a tangential player doing something else. Yes, you have a lot of restrictions, and yes, clever players have done offensive actions around them. Do not do this. It shows a lot of intent in your actions and admins will come down on you like a sack of potatos. You're here to do repairs and be quiet and mostly unseen. Since unseen is a function of players as much as your effort, there's only so much you can do-but you're not here to run a zoo or run the bar.
  • If you generally try to stay out of people's way and generally don't mess with antagonists or players much-just have nice little things pop up in some form or another-on the whole no one really cares what you do. There's some errata there, but this is a good core rule to take in.
  • Lore-wise, I've always seen Ghostdrones as an erratic machine made for obscure purposes and the ghost is the motive force It just doesn't care about people. So if it does some odd stuff, as long as it's consistent with not focusing on interaction with people, it's fine, as I see it.

Law 1

  • Law 1: Do not hinder the freedom or actions of the living and other silicons or attempt to intervene in their affairs.
  • So this law is phrased like this mostly so it doesn't break the fourth wall as I understand it. It really should read thisly;
  • Law 1: Do not hinder the freedom or actions of players, or attempt to intervene in their affairs.
  • It's sort of a problem, because you want Ghostdrones to never mess with say wraiths or blobs, but there's no way to phrase that without it sounding awkward. Maybe "Do not hinder the freedom of intelligent beings"? That's worth running by people....
  • Regardless, the idea here is simple and yet so complicated, and has produced arguments down the line from the moment they were made until... now. Essentially, the idea is that this is meant to prevent a ghost drone from finding any way to destroy its killer or ruin its day. Outside of endless lawyering attempts, the intrinsic abilities of a ghost drone seem designed to counter some antagonist actions. So what do?
  • Breakdown of Law 1.

  • First, don't mess with the living! Don't troll them, hurt them, steal their stuff, just don't. If you need supplies, you can get some that no one seems to be using. Absolutely do not mess with your killer. It looks bad and makes admins sad. Don't mess with antagonists of any flavor. Just... ignore those jerks.
  • Second; you are a repair bot, so some of your actions may conflict with that. All I can say is try to use your judgement on what seems "planned" and what seems "possible accident". I'm not gonna get annoyed at you if you floor a big hole... except if you just saw a guy pipebomb it open. That guy wanted some ventilation! Maybe make a nice lattice, or a non-restrictive wall around it? Do some remodeling with them! Be clever! RCD cuts are clearly player made-don't fix them, they wanted a hole there!
  • Similarly, there are some sabotage types that can be confusing. All I can say is, if people hotwired, they wanted electricity to be really strong. Anything that required construction to do, you absolutely do not mess with. If someone did something like knock over a drink machine and you want to mechanics scan it and replace it? No one is going to notice this. That is a fine ghost drone repair project.
  • Third, try to repair the stuff that no one else is repairing first, if you can-it's less social with the fleshy. I think it's more fitting when ghost drones spruce up some back maint no one is caring about than medbay, and honestly is more of a good use of their traits(like being a ghost just before and being able to see that a back maint got accidentally vented).
  • Fourth; again, some of this has overlap and the best I can say is do your best. Like many rules areas, it's not clear cut.

Law 2

  • Law 2: Do not willingly damage the station in any shape or form.
  • This one's, thankfully, pretty easy. Accidents happen, and as long as you fix those accidents it's not too bad-though there will be some very strong frowning if you're playing with plasma most of the time.
  • Do note I consider this to also apply to break-ins, if you need to-if no one is around to get into a place you are breaking into for a specific thing, and you replace whatever wall you took down(Let's face it, you're taking down a wall), and the area you're going into isn't vented, I see no problem with popping into an area with an RCD, getting what you need, and popping out. Obviously, don't use this on high traffic areas. Security is right the hell out. These days you really shouldn't have this come up...

Law 3

  • Law 3: Maintain, repair and improve the station.
  • This is part of why you shouldn't be doing social stuff. You should have A Plan to mess around with. Note that I am very liberal personally on "Maintain(...) and improve", and there is some debate on what is legit for a ghost drone to do and what isn't where I basically fall on "Yeah that's okay that's not actually messing with the living or damaging the station". We'll get to this more with the examples I give of What A Ghostdrone Can and Can't Do, but Law 3 is, to my mind, more imperative than a Cyborg's law 3. It's basically saying it's your job. I don't have a problem with a player putting you in a funny hat and dragging you around for a while, but if you see something to fix you should fix it.

What Ghost Drones Can Do

  • Can a Ghostdrone repair an antagonist's bombhole?
  • Yes, if they aren't sure what it is. Remember, "explosion" and "crater" can be a lot of things, many of them accidents. Repairing an artbomb going off is repairing SS13 wear and tear. Repairing an artbomb you saw someone drag to the cloner.... she may have wanted that hole there. If you are definitely sure it's an antagonist's crater, optimally I'd rather you do some decor with it, spruce up the hole, make it look nice, or just work on something else. And yes, that can be maddening if you're trying to keep up the station perfectly. But remember; it's not just your station!
  • Footnote though; This is such a weird thing, where the laws are practically in conflict intrinsically, that I tend to not worry about it much. I used to hate Ghostdrones constantly fixing every single hole I made, but over time I see a lot of value in it, and also a lot more players learning to fix holes because of it. Similarly, in discussion I saw multiple admin comments in discussion along the lines of "no one else ever fixes a TTV(major bomb type), it's too much round time for a living player, why worry about it? It's nice to see a TTV actually get fixed and it's nigh impossible to fix the venting anyways.". Having said that, opinions do vary, so I feel like the former's the absolute safest route.
  • Can a Ghostdrone provide power to the station?
  • Interesting question this one, seen it a few times. On base; yes, generally-Law 3, "maintain"... if the area is utterly empty and neglected. Swing by the Solars at 25 minutes... oops, they're off? Sure, set 'em up. Setting up at 2 minutes? Not really your job. Setting up after a power sink? Absolutely not your job. With the TEG, I suggest never doing a hellburn; either use a full plasma burn chamber or the furnaces, and in both cases this is something to do when engineering is very, very empty. You have done this correctly if no one is quite sure why there's still power, in my books, not if you're Hero Drone the Savior.
  • Can a Ghostdrone mine/collect goodies?
  • Hotly disputed! I've had players get quite angry for giving a yes on this, and some admins disagree I think. I think it falls under improvement so long as it is left quietly at a public area(so that no one specific gets it, just the station at large), and I've also had players and admins agree. I'll never yell at you for it. Do note; in my opinion tele-sci is mostly out, unless they set up a portal, 'cause you need a human cooperating buddy. But you can just "walk" to debris and do your mining. (Mineral magnet isn't a good place to mine, you're just stealing their stuff basically then. Go deep space if you want to do this!) Oh, and obviously never ever bring people the dangerous mining stuff they'd probably want most, like plasmastone or erebite....
  • Can a Ghostdrone be a mechanic and set up machines?
  • This is an obvious "why not"-they have the gear for a reason, and it's clear station related non-interferance-I'm just pointing it out so more people will do it. It's a great thing to do as ghost drone when you're bored to add more medical machines to the station. Or more Zoldorfs. Just don't block anything off!
  • This is not an inclusive list!
  • This is just meant to help you out if you're confused about your role. You are a silent repair, maintenance and coffee shop building robot-and you can extend that role pretty far as I'm concerned, so long as you stay within your general ideal of being a quiet secondary actor to the round. You died; you lost your "beat on the antagonist" token, as it were. But you can enjoy being a constructive worker still-in a body that doesn't have to worry a lot about the station's chaos.
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