Roleplay Tips and Tricks
So you're interested in playing on the RP server and want to have lots of roleplay with your fellow crewmembers? Sweet! This wiki page is a collection of tips put together by the wonderful people in #rp-server on the official Goon Discord, and is meant to help people roleplay better and make the round more fun for all!
The RP Rules And You
- Main article: RP Rules
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of things, let's discuss the RP Rules. Most people have no problem with them, but there are a few things worth discussing.
- Don’t use OOC information or knowledge that your character would not reasonably be aware of just to give yourself an advantage...
A lot of people interpret this rule to mean that only certain jobs know about certain antags, e.g. "Chaplain has intimate knowledge about vampires" or "a Staff Assistant wouldn't know much about changelings besides hearsay." However, this generally isn't how the administration sees this rule. When investigating incidents related to this rule, admins don't consult a list of roles and their knowledge levels about certain antags; rather, they consider the circumstances of the situation and make a judgement as to whether the OOC info/knowledge was acted on wisely.
That means this rule, like many others, depends highly on context. If for example a Vampire and their coterie of thralls was sucking people's blood in public and inducting them as thralls like a (possibly literally) unholy combination of The Warriors and Phantom Blood, it'd be pretty reasonable to scream over the radio about vampires and start asking for holy water. Conversely, if you stumble upon a vampire just chugging a glass of blood, trying to convince you they have a rare medical condition that requires them to physically ingest hemoglobin, then it might be more fun to play along and see where it goes instead of running to Security demanding they be put to death for being a vampire. In the end, what it really boils down to is, are you using your knowledge of antagonists to create a better RP experience for everyone?
That said, it's not against the rules to roleplay having limited knowledge. If that's how you want to play it, go for it. A lot of people like RPing the process of discovering how, say, a Spy Thief gets all their fancy equipment, and doing things like holding emergency meetings to educate the crew or asking the AI to "download" information about antagonists. Some people even deliberately get things wrong for comedy value, like throwing a bag of rice at a Vampire or asking a Traitor to show off their blowgun.
- Have you been made an antagonist? Treat your role as an interesting challenge...
This actually isn't all that different from the general policy towards antags; on both the Classic and Roleplay servers, antagonists are allowed to ignore their objectives and do their own thing, and they can be as friendly or nefarious as they'd like. The difference is, on the Roleplay servers, the rules encourage antagonists to look out for everyone's fun, not just their own. You can for example bomb places on RP or even do rampages; those are indeed allowed, but you need to make it enjoyable for everyone involved. What happens is that, in practice, making rampages and bombings entertaining tends to be pretty hard to get right, and so you usually don't see people doing them.
As silly as it is, Inigo Montoya's "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." speech in The Princess Bride is, unironically, a good example of antag RP. It succinctly sets up the RP scenario, shows obvious intent, and gives the other person an opportunity to respond and RP back. That last part is crucial; SS13 is at its finest when it plays like a game of improv, where people respond and react to each other and get to unleash their creativity to create a story like no other.
By the by, one of the caveats of this rule is that antagonists are discouraged from killing, draining, or otherwise harming people who have gone braindead/SSD. While it's fine for the Classic servers, it doesn't fly on RP.
While the Goonstation Roleplay servers don't have a formal RP level designation, many people consider them Medium-Roleplay, or MRP. "MRP" can be a pretty vague term though, since many SS13 servers that brand themselves MRP enforce radically different sets of roleplaying rules, so here are some specific standards regarding roleplay:
- If you didn't already know, there is an extra set of rules for the RP servers, the RP Rules.
- Yes, the Rules still apply and no, you can't be a racist genociding freak, because RP is not an excuse to break the rules.
- Goonstation RP places much less emphasis on following Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) than other SS13 RP servers. You still need to act like your character wants to keep their job with Nanotrasen (when applicable), but there aren't specific guidelines to follow beyond simple common sense. On a similar note, since this isn't a military RP server, you don't need to obey any sort of military justice code, and the chain of command is fairly loose.
- Antagonists are not restricted to their objectives. They can choose to disobey them and do something else entirely. In particular, they can kill people even if their objectives don't ask them to murder someone, and if they do get murder-related objectives, they can kill people who aren't listed as targets. Of course, they still have to roleplay with the person and allow them to RP back.
- While there is section for character profiles on the forums, you don't need to make one to play. They're completely optional and mostly for fun.
- There aren't any roles blocked off to a whitelist for sake of RP standards (some roles are whitelisted but for different reasons.)
- There is lore, but admins are pretty lenient when it comes to enforcing the canon in regular gameplay. For example, the year is canonically 2053, but you aren't going to get banned or even warned if you claim it's a different year. In fact, a lot of lore is deliberately loose so as not impede RP or concerns events outside of normal gameplay. Essentially, lore is a framework, not a ruleset.
Generally, whatever style or degree of roleplay you do, you're free to go about it however you wish. You won't get yelled for not roleplaying enough and you won't get yelled at for roleplaying too much. Just try to be respectful of others as different people have a different outlook on roleplay and will play it differently from others.
If you're playing with a low population or want to encourage more roleplay, try and be the change by interacting with people and their needs. Look at motives for example. Invite fellow co-workers out for lunch breaks to the Space Diner! Order some food, get some beers and hang around and have fun. Some maps have break rooms integrated into their departments. Why not use those as an opportunity to relax with people and drink some coffee? Remember that if you stand around waiting for the roleplay to happen, it's not going to. Once you start an incentive and openly invite people to interact, they'll be more than happy to join you.
You don't have to roleplay stuff that's in the game you know? You can always use make believe. Think about stuff that doesn't need to be done but you could still do. Quartermasters don't need to keep invoices and manifests of everything, but they could. Janitors don't need to constantly sanitise places like bathrooms, but they could. Heads of Personnel don't need to carry out inspections of the premises, but they could. Let your imagination run wild, the more you do to make the game more of living workplace the more people will be happy to join you in working in it.
- BUREAUCRACY: Almost every room has paper and office supplies and the computers have a lot to offer as well. Leave a paper trail and keep up with electronic records.
- If you didn’t notice, there is a department inter-comm outside each department that you can use to talk on a department radio without being in that department.
- Pay attention to comms! Going about your business as normal when someone is having a mental breakdown over the radio or there's a ship-threatening event is an option, but it's boring. Never be afraid to try to get involved!
- Take advantage of the PDA messenger. Not only is it a useful tool for interdepartmental communication and coordination, but it can be a personal way of communicating with someone. Text your buds about how things are going throughout the round.
- Treat your round like a work day: Take short breaks away from your work area. Go get a snack or drink from the bar. Smoke a cigarette. Make idle chit chat with someone. Complain about coffee prices.
- Utilize station facilities. If your clothes get dirty wash them in the laundry machines. Make stops to the bathroom after eating or drinking. Get a haircut. Play cards with someone. Take a pool break.
- If you are a head role, coordinate interaction and cooperation between departments.
- Proper punctuation is important, but improper punctuation can be useful. There’s a difference between “We’re all going to die!” and “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!”
- Use CTRL+M or *custom or me custom to perform a custom emote! Pretty nice if you want to get a little more in depth with your descriptions of actions. Example: “Danthony Crimbo shivers.” versus “Danthony Crimbo shivers violently, drops of cold sweat visible on his forehead.”
- All maps have industrial cryogenics units you can use to leave the round at any time. Use of these is much preferred to just logging out, which leaves you exposed. Be sure, however, to place any valuable equipment in your place of work before you leave!
Job Specific Tips
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The following information may be incomplete.
Some tips need fleshing out
As the engineer you have lots of freedom to roleplay, work on new expansions, redo piping, and keep the station running well! The sky and your imagination is the limit!
- Keep in mind: RP rounds tend to last longer than ones on Classic, so slow, sensible burns are far better advised than hellburns, which can cause carnage. If you decide to do a hellburn PLEASE ensure you properly vent it, move any nearby welding fuel tanks and have some sort of RP reasoning for it. Remember, your job isn’t only to set up the engine!
- Idea: Run departmental inspections for safety issues and give suggestions. Is chemistry storing fuel tanks too close to lights or dangerous machines? Is toxins doing dangerous tests or burning stuff too hot? Try to help keep the station safe!
Playing the security role on the RP server isn’t just about finding the antagonist in the most efficient way. It’s about creating an interesting experience for the antag, yourself, and the crew. That doesn’t mean that you can’t catch the antag, just remember to keep it fun for all!
- Idea: RP as the station sheriff/constable and recruit a staff assistant as the “deputy”. Talk westerny and get drunk in the bar often.
- Idea: Roleplay as a mall cop and hand out tickets for littering/running in the halls. Other titles: Hall Monitor, Paul Blart Jr., Segway Champion 2008
- Idea: Go undercover and ask the botanist for weed, then arrest them when they give it to you.
- Idea: When you do catch the antag have fun with them! Hold a public trial for a traitor! Lock up the ling in medbay for research! Don’t just gib them/space them/permabrig them.
- Idea: Be a bit shady/corrupt, people aren’t perfect, and there’s nothing wrong with being a little...dirty. Being THAT cop no one wants to deal with can be fun, as long as it’s kept reasonable. Taking a bribe here and there to look the other way or "finding" drugs on someone you don't like can improve RP. However, avoid accepting bribes when dealing with more serious crimes, like murder. Also remember if you decide to do this keep in mind there's a fine line between being corrupt IC and being griefy (Note: If you can be and are the HoS, for the love of god do NOT do this. The HoS is the one person on the station trusted to not be incompetent/corrupt.)
Remember, your role as Detective is only nebulously related to Security. You're better suited for information gathering rather than arrests. So avoid becoming a mini-officer and keep in mind your revolver is for self defense.
- Tip: Information and misdirection are the biggest weapons in your arsenal. Spy on everyone. Periodically use the cameras to check areas of interests. Take photographs. Slap microphone stickers in places or on people you want to keep an eye on. Record conversations. Wear disguises.
- Idea: Take on private investigation work outside of Sec. If someone gets their ID stolen, offer to track it down for a fee.
- Tip: When you've found out something worth an arrest, coordinate with Security rather than take them on yourself.
- Tip: A good detective should always be a bit shady. Unlike Security Officers, they're still eligible for traitor. Play off of that by being selective with the information you share.
- Tip: Try to use info and evidence to manipulate people into taking a desired action, whether or not you're an antagonist.
As a doctor, you hold a special place on the station. While you can make your care simply reactive, being proactive is also great for RP! Encourage crew to come in for checkups! Give out prescriptions if somebody has a issue! Hold first aid training! Just have fun with it and try to help others enjoy the round more!
- Idea: Host first aid training for the crew; teach them how to use stuff like syringes and patches, and don’t be afraid to go into detail about how you use them!
- Idea: Use the patient rooms for treating patients
- Idea: General well-being checkups
- Idea: Therapy
- Idea: Produce vaccines for the flu/other illnesses!
The custodial technician is one of the most significant jobs on a RP server. Why? Because they are in charge of making sure it doesn’t look like everything has dissolved into chaos!
- Idea: Be weird and unnerving
- Tip: Put down the damn floor signs
- Idea: Handle things outside of just cleaning. Do general repairs like replacing light bulbs or damaged floor tiles. Keep a belt full of tools for this.
You are ostensibly here to assist. Load up on light tubes and sheets and throw yourself at minor problems no one else has time to deal with. Interact liberally with higher-ranking crew and demand tasks to be set on.
- Idea: Be an annoying bugger who won’t stop pestering the same person nonstop for something to help them with. If they ignore you for too long throw a temper tantrum.
- Idea: Assistant has a wide range of meaning. You can act as something of an intern for an understaffed department. You can run tasks for people who don't have the time or ability to perform them. You could be a personal assistant for a high profile figure like the Captain.
- Idea: With the CEs/MDs/RDs permission act as a engineering intern/medical resident/scientific observer
- Idea: Try inventing your own job role that the station lacks and running it as a private business. For instance, there are a lot of critters running around and no exterminators.
- Idea: Play games!
- Hide and seek
- Scavenger hunt
The chef is a role that shines on the RP server, so have fun with it! Remember, people need to eat food on 1, so by extension they need you.
- Idea: Make people sign waivers to eat your food
- Idea: Create a menu for people to order from. List several entrees and side options
- Idea: Employ a waiter, the bartender, or staff assistant to take orders to run back to the kitchen and to serve guests
As the QM, your main job is keeping every department well supplied, and ensuring that people get what they need quickly. However, don't be afraid to deny orders; does the clown really need 10 costume crates?
- Idea: Be the King of Red Tape. Write up supply request forms and insist they be filled out before any goods are requisitioned. Demand signatures from department heads. Issue receipts for both yourself and the poor sod in question.
- Tip: Turn a profit by reselling items you've bought at a slightly higher price to the crew.
You are a role that really shines on the RP server!
- Idea: Write up artifact research reports.
- Idea: Recruit crew members to explore ruins on the lava/ice moon
- Idea: Develop risky experimental drugs and test them on willing crewmembers
- Idea: Develop your scientist character; are you a mad scientist or a safety-obsessed timid researcher just out of grad school?
A gimmick job with some authority, the regional director can be played in a lot of different ways depending on what other crew are available.
- Idea: If the captain’s around, go bother them with paperwork about performance reports, quarterly updates, and give them the latest information about what corporate is focusing on.
- "We’re focusing on plasma research this quarter, I’d like to see what your current facilities look like and how we should direct funding.”
- “We noticed a 10% increase in your ship’s medical supply expenses in the last month with only a 2% increase in crew, can you explain or look into why and get some people together to work out how we can get that back down?”
- Remember, you do have the authority to relieve the captain if he is being incompetent, however keep in mind that he may decide to have security arrest you, so be careful. If you do decide to go down this path have a good RP reason:
- Awful “LOL fired”
- Bad “He isn’t doing his job correctly”
- So-So “He’s refused to work with NT to improve productivity”
- Good “The captain has on multiple occasions disrespected senior officers and under his command the clarion has failed numerous productivity goals, he is incompetent and a drunkard that continually smears our reputation, we need him out of the picture”
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The following information may be incomplete.
Could always use more tips for the other antags
Interact with your victims and be creative with their deaths! As an antagonist, you're the driving force of the fun/chaos of the round. 10 wordless revolver shots to the head is less fun for you and your victim then a long Bondsian monologue in a secret outpost on the debris field, ending in a complicated death. The enjoyment in RP doesn't come purely from winning, but the interactions.
Just because you're an antagonist doesn't mean everyone has to be your enemy. Make friends with certain players. They can be useful in helping you out of a situation by vetting you as someone who is helpful. In turn, you can use your antagonist status to take out people giving them grief.
The fun being antag is that not only do the regular rules of being a good person not apply to you, there's no rules saying how a particular antag needs to be played, only that it be fun. Feel free to break the mold of what’s expected for your antag type: lings that don’t eat, vampires that are trying to kick their blood habit, NT-contracted traitors.
Just remember: Objectives are optional. You should always consider ignoring them and doing your own gimmick instead; if you feel your gimmick might have some problems, remember that it never hurts to talk it over with an admin!
Changeling can seem like a antag that goes against what RP is (chatting and talking while ling at it's most effiecent is silently taking people out) however, that doesn't mean you can't have fun and be dramatic! Make use of your Morph Arm ability and go on a rampage when your cover is blown. Give your victims control of their charcter, not only will they know how to play themselves to the best they can, you'll also give them a chance to be more than just a spectator.
In the lore, Changelings are an alien species from another planet. Play around with that idea and see what kind of stuff you can do with it.
- Idea: Leave husks out to be found. Use the voice mimic ability to increase paranoia
- Idea: Roleplay as a scared creature that just escaped from a lab and kill scientists for their involvement in what happened to you.
- Idea: Hint at the fact that you aren't human in conversation, make little mistakes. Example: "Hellllo... Captaiin" Think G-Mans voice from the Half Life franchise.
- Manipulating, extorting, and bribing crewmembers can get you way farther than using a gun; tell crewmembers that you know what they did that night on Mars and you’re not afraid to tell everybody! Pay off the HoP to give you a bit of extra access! Steal an item with sentimental value to a crew member and hold it hostage! The sky, and your imagination, is the limit!
- Try to create a motivation for your traitor round. Are you a infuriated worker, angry with lower pay and trying to start a working class revolt? Are you an agent of a rival corporation, spying on science and trying to steal artifacts? Or are you just a random joe who can’t pay the bills with his janitor salary and needs a bit of extra cash, so he took up a offer from the syndicate? Your imagination is, again, the limit!
This is RP's version of Revolutionaries. While the lack of a rev flash can seem discouraging, it's actually a good thing. Now instead of using brain washing technology to have people join your cause, now you can use good old fashion negotiations. Does that make betrayals more probable? Yes, but that's the point! Convince people why their loyalty is so important, or perhaps what your group does to people who betray the cause.
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