Security and You: An OOC Guide

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[THIS DOCUMENT IS IN A DRAFT STATE.]

Security is in a somewhat awkward place in the IC/OOC spectrum. You act ICly to enforce IC rules which many people interpret as interrupting their OOC enjoyment of the game, or even OOC malicious intent to stop them from enjoying the game.

This guide isn't about how to perform the technical part of a security job, or how to avoid getting caught by security. It's to explain how security can fit into the game while still maintaining fun for everyone. This guide attempts to explain the reasons why things are how they are, how it relates to the workings of real-life jobs and police, and the optimal way to accomplish what you want to accomplish OOCly.

To start off, if you are playing security specifically to stop people from enjoying the game: please find another game. If you are playing the game specifically to annoy security, and to avoid IC repercussions using OOC methods (logging out, complaining OOCly that you got caught, blaming sec for being fun police when you committed a crime in public): also leave.

For Security Characters

Playing security can be fun, or a nightmare, depending on the shift. Arresting people for committing crimes is part of the job, but there are few things more complicated than the feelings around heated scenes involving security.

A friendly reminder: You are protecting characters, not players. Player ERP prefs and such have to be respected by rules, regardless. If you see someone being eaten unwillingly, both players are enjoying it. Keep that in mind when carrying out your job as sec. If someone calls for help while being eaten, that means they're gonna enjoy getting their scene busted in on. Unless they don't. In which case that's the pred and prey's problem to work out, not yours.

As a Sec Officer

You have a sort of imaginary default order of 'enforce corporate regulations'. Nobody needs to tell you to do this, it's just something your character probably knows since they're in sec. But this doesn't mean that you need to actively disrupt scenes to accomplish your goal. You shouldn't try to get into every nook and cranny on the station to root out criminals. This is a game, and letting other people have their fun, even if it's illegal, is a good thing. Finding the balance between letting people get away with things, or leaving areas where criminals could get up to no good, and stopping them from doing that will result in happy players on both sides.

For instance, while you could spend your shift actively looking for people to bust and immediately alerting the sec radio and investigating every time you see a maintenance door open because "crew don't have any business being in there", or scouring maintenance for all the items and "securing" them the moment the shift starts, most other players are going to interpret that as being a no-fun-allowed busybody. As a pred player gearing up for a scene who hasn't actually done anything illegal yet, there are few things more annoying than having some security officer relentlessly patrolling the tunnels, stumbling across the room you're setting up, and making it plain that they're going to "keep an eye on you" and cockblock your scene before it even starts. Shutting down clandestine poker games because someone might do something illegal, treating a locked door to a hidden room as an instantly and inherently suspicious thing that warrants an immediate raid and investigation by a full sec team and the captain in code green (or even if the door isn't locked, barging in anyway and hanging around like a bad smell), following a predatory character around and ensuring they never get a moment's peace to set up a scene, or otherwise going out of your way to find crime with no prior cause are all things that tend to rub people the wrong way.

Be aware that your mere presence in an area can put an immediate dampener on scenes, and a lot of people find it rather awkward to have to LOOC "can you go away so we can get started?" - especially in the case of prey that have it in their OOC prefs that they like to be grabbed without warning and nobody's giving them two seconds alone with a predator that wants to grab them and can't ask the cops to go away without spoiling the surprise for the prey. This goes for all players, not just security. If it's the bar or something then feel free to hang around, but semi-secluded public areas like the back of the library, the garden, pool area and the like are common spots for people to hang around who are looking for scenes but won't get them if there's a third wheel hanging around. This is a difficult thing to enforce, but it's always a good thing to bear in mind.

When to Bust People

If you see a crime committed in plain view of virtually everyone, just arrest them. They clearly want to be caught. If they didn't, their character must be not the brightest.

If you see a crime committed via a camera by someone in a room by themselves in some secluded part of the station... well. It might be prudent to make the OOC decision that what your character can see on the camera isn't necessarily as incriminating as it might appear. Maybe they are just cleaning the door, not hacking it, or helping someone in engineering, or something. Yes, you don't need to 'clean' doors in the game, but surely it must happen in-universe, right? You can create reasons that don't make your character ignorant, while allowing someone to get a little further into their mischief.

Maybe let them do whatever they're doing, and come back and check the camera again in a while, THEN get suspicious. GOOD, FAST criminals should be OOCly rewarded, essentially. People should improve at doing the crimes, if they want to do them without being caught.

As always, dorms are off-limits if the crime was committed entirely in the dorm. When someone interacts with the outside world either from inside a dorm, or then retreats to a dorm, these restrictions are removed.

Troublemakers

Some people enjoy making 'troublemaker' characters who repeatedly cause problems for staff on the station. This is a bit of a complex subject, since they derive their OOC enjoyment from being a troublemaker, and completely depriving someone of their enjoyment of the game by just immediately and always brigging them isn't appropriate. They don't have free reign, however, to do whatever they want just because they're allowed OOC enjoyment.

Troublemakers should generally be treated like any other character breaking the law, however if you notice a pattern, you should start petitioning CentCom's HR department about them (aka faxing). There's no reason that CentCom would repeatedly send a criminal, moreso if they are a dangerous criminal, to the station as an employee. They may be more lenient to a visitor or resident (though this also makes it harder for the troublemaker to actually get into trouble, requiring them to commit more obvious crimes to gain access).

How many shifts you should wait before starting to send faxes detailing the troublemaker's issues is a difficult thing to pin down, however you should not send faxes just for one or two crimes unless those crimes are particularly heinous and would draw CC's attention faster.

Do not expect them to be fired right away after the first fax, either. Admins will add player notes about their characters, when they've gotten faxes, discuss and leave notes for themselves elsewhere, and so-on. You might be the first to fax them, or the fifth, but we'll go back and look at the incidents that we've been told about to determine if this was the last time we'll tolerate that character in that job, or on the station, "as NanoTrasen".

The Use of Force

Your actual IC regulations, much like the police department in the real world, require you to use the minimum amount of force necessary to apprehend a suspect. Your job isn't to dispense punishment, but rather to make arrests and relocate them to the Warden/brig for processing. Shooting at them isn't supposed to be the punishment, just the method used to stop them from evading the punishment.

However, those are all IC regulations. Abuse of authority is a fairly common thing for people to enjoy doing in games, though, and some people may have a kink for having someone in a position of authority, like a security officer, abuse them physically. The nature of this is that you as an officer need to know when someone is going to gain OOC enjoyment from excessive force, and if you are willing to deal with the repercussions (IC and OOC) to your own sec character from providing that. Unless you're in the dorms, you're just like anyone else: vulnerable to the law and being arrested for breaking it.

As a Sec Leader

HoS, HoP, or CD can all give orders to security personnel, depending on which of the three are present. CD should not give orders to sec officers directly if an HoS is present. HoP should not, either. However if there is no HoS, then the CD is in command of security, and if there's no CD, then the acting captain, the HoP, is.

As a leader, you can order your staff to do basically anything you want. Order them to shine your shoes, arrest people for no reason, and gun down people in the hallway. Don't be too surprised if they refuse, though. And you can demote them for it, too! And don't be too surprised when we ban you from playing that job. It's the only way we can permanently have NT fire you from being that job, you know? There's really no way that NT would, in-universe, allow a horrible manager to remain in a position of power for long. They want money. Chaos, disruption is not money. Also the station is expensive.

Mismanagement

If you are the HoS and the CD or HoP keeps going over you head, ordering your staff around, talk to them about it ICly. If they ignore it, fax CC. It's against policy for them to circumvent their direct reports. Not only is it rude ICly, it's depriving someone of what they wanted to play, OOCly.

If YOU mismanage your staff repeatedly, you are liable to be demoted by CC. Head positions are held to a higher standard than others, and the leash is a little more short. CC might know you on a first-name basis, and while they might just expect someone on-station to deal with a lower-ranked employee and not think too much of it, reports of repeated abuse of power in a head position tend to draw attention more quickly. You can read this OOCly as: you can screw off as a head position for fewer shifts than if you were a lower ranked employee. Maybe as few as ONE if you do something really crazy.

Again this should be seen as NT firing you, rather than the admins being mad at you. Really, we'll usually try to ask you to stop playing a job for a while before jobbanning you if it's for a reason like that. The mechanical jobbans are for people who don't listen.

For Annoying Characters

So you want to make a character that is annoying to everyone and gets attention all the time? Well... alright... just keep in mind that it's only tolerable in small doses.

When to be an Asshole

Joining every shift and committing crimes will get you fired so fast your head will spin. You will be politely asked to stop playing that character, or at the very least, reserve them for special occasions. If you don't, you will face more mechanical repercussions (job bans, etc).

Sec can get bored, and stirring things up can generate fun for them, but knowing WHEN to do so is important. Being a shitter during events or when there are already other pressing matters sec is dealing with will draw IC and OOC ire much faster than otherwise. Pick some downtime, then break into places or do whatever you're going to do.

Don't Whine About It

If you made the character with the intent of having them be a lawbreaker, you need to come to terms with the fact that you will be arrested, and maybe even forced to stop playing that character if your character is particularly offensive to people. This is something you have to accept. There is no "But I'm OOCly enjoying being this way" or "I'm just playing my character" defense for frustrating everyone else OOCly with the same antics every shift making the game predictable and boring.

If you were breaking a law, and you were arrested, you void the right to complain OOCly about the fact that you are being arrested. You can complain about other technical things... if the sec officer no-RP robusts you into submission after you no-RP ran through twelve maintenance corridors, then you can't complain. But if you were surrendering in RP and they just walk up and bludgeon you to death with a flashlight, that's against the server rules.

Just keep in mind what's ICly fine to do, and what's OOCly fine to do. Roleplay everything, and if that breaks down, that's an OOC problem, even if you're being arrested. The moment you run, though, you skip the roleplaying part and ask them to stop you with force.

Being a Technical Asshole

You can shout random stuff over the radio and break some windows, but that will get you booted quite a bit faster than if you were actually creative. The more effort you put into your shittery, the more involved it is, the more sec will enjoy hunting you down. The game is supposed to be fun for everyone, and if you enjoy being hunted by sec or getting attention, at least make sure the people giving you the attention are enjoying themselves.

Break into places, use devices for creative purposes, and create interesting stories for sec and you to tell your buddies OOC. The only thing people are going to say about you if you just spam the radio over and over is "Ugh". If you're here to make people say "Ugh" about you OOCly, please see the opening paragraphs again.