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About lings and knowing of their existence IC
#1
Some random thoughts.
I am not currently in Goon discord and i thought a post in the forum would be better and less confusing. I'll preface this post by saying this is not about new players who may not be very knowledgeable about antagonists.

I have been playing quite a bit in rp servers lately and have noticed how many characters don't know about the existence of changelings. And personally I don't think it is considered meta if my character knows that such creatures exist.
In my opinion:
  •  All members of command should be aware of the existence of changelings. HoS definitely, the captain also. But I personally think that RD and MD should also know.
  •  Security should know. Security officers are the people who keep the station safe, so they should be aware of the existence of these creatures, how they operate, ways to detect them (blood testing), and how to fight them.
  •  Scientists and perhaps doctors should also know what a changeling is. I like the idea of scientists studying alien creatures, and doctors being called in to do blood testing or autopsies on bodies killed by lings.
  •  The other roles, civilians etc? I personally think they may know. The important thing is to roleplay and not yell HELP LING MAINT when you get stung or attacked – but his applies to everyone, as it is also in the rules

In general, I almost have the impression that many people are afraid of saying the word changeling in rp servers. Personally if there is enough evidence (several people with capulettium, drained bodies, etc) I am pretty clear in saying that I think there is a changeling (or an alien creature, a brain eater, whatever) on board.
It's kind of the same with vampires ("vampires? They don't exist!") or arcfiend ("arcwhat? What are you talking about?"). Come on, we all know what they are!

I'm actually curious about other people's opinions. How do you roleplay in these cases, how do your characters act and why. In short what do you think, whether you agree or disagree.
Thank you for reading! bee
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#2
I think it's situational, like you said. Screaming "HELP LING MAINT" doesn't necessarily add extra and cool RP opportunities, but being a doctor that knows about lings and can be called in for a blood test or as a witness in a case is potent stuff.

And to be honest, I'm not sure how there'd be any definite way to clarify what is and isn't in some solid, single-sentence best practice sort of line; so I can only say that I think it's sorta a gut feeling "is now the right time to introduce this?". It has a lot to do with reading a round but people are reading at different "paces", if you will. If I'm an engineer and I've seen three people fall over in the hall and had to carry them to medical, maybe I've decided I know and say as much to command or security/take precautionary measures to not also get stung. If I say something about it on radio, someone who hasn't seen anyone fall over at all might play the "what? What are you on about?" card because from their experience, the read of the round is very different.

Related but not at all a hard-and-fast "you gotta try this", something I enjoy doing sometimes when I dont think I quite meet the knowledge standard for Knowing All Abilities And Everything This Monster Does is to Know, but Know Slightly Wrong. Maybe I learned of changelings from Spacemen the Griffening cards (all monster types are in there, so it's an easy pull for me). I like literature and most cultures have vampires or vampire analogues, so maybe I know of vampires but not /quite/ the Victorian-era Irish type we have in the game; "I learned about this from a movie" is common, but I think it works too! Our little space people dont have to exist in a silo and can know of other pop culture things that might exist around them, like a silly card game, Bram Stoker's "Dracula", or John Carpenter's "The Thing".

I think the biggest thing is something bill reiterates every so often about what level people should be RPing at: just try.

Anywho, interesting thread. As for me personally, I play a lot of sec so I take liberty to know most stuff during those rounds. If I'm Engineer, I'll know about power drainers unless there's other antag types and the round is moving particularly fast, then I might know a thing or two about other creatures. A staff assistant need not know what they fight, only that they can fight it
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#3
My main issue with calling out a ling/arcfiend/vampire, is that said antag might not want to RP themselves being said antag. Like, some people prefer to pass as a syndie with "extra tools", or just something else, literally anything. But when we found someone poisonned with capu, and cap comes in, the suspect says "hey, i'm just a syndie with a sleepy pen, here", and cap is like "no, blood test them, aha, ling, throw him into outer space", it might not lead to enjoyable RP. (The whole situation is of course exageratted, but the point stands)
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#4
To clarify from a server rules standpoint, we intentionally do not have RP knowledge rules in place with regard to the existence of any particular flavor of antagonist.

While players are free to voluntarily impose whatever restrictions they personally want on their own character’s in-game knowledge - provided a player doesn’t start crossing into annoying powergame-y counters like wordlessly mass-blood testing the entire crew, it’s entirely within the bounds of server rules to assume your character has knowledge of the existence of every kind of antagonist.
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#5
I've personally always preferred playing my main guy as a bit of an oblivious, headstrong moron when it comes to knowing the more "out there" antag types exist. this, I hope, gives antags the space to flavor their gimmick as they'd like without having to be a conventional antag of that type. it also allows me to set up opportunities for said main guy's hubris to get the best of him at simply the MOST inconvenient times, which is always very fun for me. I recommend giving this sort of thing a whirl if you haven't already, you can get some great scenes out of intentionally letting yourself lose

that being said, I've seen plenty of characters handle ic antag knowledge well. I think, above all, the main thing that makes it work is a good sense of discretion. being choosy with the situations where you'll reveal that you've watched your parents die to one of these shapeshifters and burned it into the ground or whatever can lead to some excellent, excellent intrigue. why tell any average joe on-station that you know how to deal with them? what if that average joe is one of them that uses it to get the jump on you? treating that knowledge like a topic to be handled with gravity really helps sell it, whereas going "my favorite color is blue and I know what an arcfiend is" makes me worry that it's knowledge your character only has to justify validhunting
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#6
Personally I always try to gimmick these things and have them earn killing me... by being smart and engaging.
Not... "CAPUL INJECTED CAUSE YOU ARE A JANITOR AND AN EASY KILL"
That's when I will scream and run.
But if they do a whole RP to get me killed. Yea I am not resisting, you win!

Funny enough I was once a changeling chaplain and the other changeling came to me, ran up without RPing and injected me and I was like: "OH HELL NO!" and injected them too. They gave up trying to kill me immidently but didn't rat me out either.

But side stories aside.. in my book.. RP wise I think you can have knowledge about Lings on every level as much as you like, BUUUUUUTTTT....

Command and security are the only ones that may use the term "LING" or "VAMP" or "ARCFIEND"
Any other department may not as those are "classified terms"
The reason being... they have to do everything in their power to "make sure to not cause a panic" (cause lets face it, if someone claims a passive vampire is a vamp and shout it.. valid hunters will come)
There for.. if I see a ling/vamp/arc and I am not these roles. I will describe what I see and be vague for engaging RP.
If I am command or sec, I will say in command/security the term of who I think is it and the reason why.
If someone who isn't sec or command starts shouting these things. I will detain them to make sure crew won't go into a panic.

I believe this is the best balance. That sec and command use the term to idenitify antagonists, but will keep em away from public hearing.
But the public may not shout it or else security will detain them and tell them to relax.
This way the antagonist gets time to do their gimmick without being valid hunted by the AI.. and anyone who wants to cry wolf will be detained and questioned.

It also makes a fun way of civlians not being able to say an antagonist's being and a way for sec to keep it out of prying ears.

Cause nothing ruins a changeling RP more then someone shouting: "X is a Ling" over comms.
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#7
I usually play as we can know about them without knowing the game mechanics. Theres obviously aliens that eat us. Vamprism and undeath is a disease that exists in the world. That doesn't mean I have to know the specific mechanics of how they work every inch and the best steps to recognizing them
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#8
Well this thread's opened my eyes a bit. I'll keep this in mind next sesh.
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