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MarkNstein's thoughts on character-creation and antag-behaviour in SS13
#1
These are my personal thoughts, NOT Admin Directives or New Rules!

MarkNstein's thoughts on character-creation and antag-behaviour in SS13:

SS13 is a 2D farty spaceman game that plays out in roughly 60-90 minutes, with each person having a small umwelt of the rounds. SS13 is not a good medium for exploring complex or sensitive topics.
  • When exploring or roleplaying topics it's important to be respectful; doubly so when trying to make a backstory to explain antagonistic behavior. When making an "excuse" for antag behavior: less is safer. "The captain overcooked my tuna casserole during NT training and orientation" or "I'm a god-damned vampire!!" or "My character but evil!" or "I want the stations entire blood on the floors".
  • Trying to make a persistent character-trope that leads to antagonistic behavior is harder (but not impossible). "I'm an evil mob-boss sweet old granny, unless I'm not-antag then I'm a mob-boss on vacation" is not-great. "I'm secretly a syndicate operative" everyone might be, we have an event that triggers that, you need not write that. Trauma also isn't a good excuse "when I'm evil it's because my parents died, so some rounds I'm evil for it" is bad.
  • Do not use neurodivergence as a "trope" or "reason" for antagonistic behavior as it is disrespectful to neurodivergent people; same as it would be that any other identifying trait would be disrespectful.
  • Do not play a "friendly" antag. Security (and crew) is meant to be your fun-making antithesis, being a "good evil person" is muddy, unclear, and bad. I strongly encourage you to be LETHAL or at least EVIL.

In my above attempt to be concise, some points were inferred that I did not intend. To be explicit:
  • You can absolutely use your character's traits and history in your antaging. I didn't write that you can't or shouldn't. My intention was: DON'T STRESS making your backstory match-up to all your innocent & antag behavior in the game - It's MRP not HRP. 
  • I'm not writing that you MUST kill people or are otherwise obligated. I have NO intention of modifying RP Rule 4. If you have a no-kill gimmick: great! But if you roll antag please but SOME effort into driving the round. (Again don't stress that either, I've rolled antag while being low-energy too)


So if you're looking for "a reason to be evil": I strongly suggest making "short improv excuses" for antag behavior rather than trying to worry about baking-it-in to a persistent character. Own the rise and fall of your mini character arc in a round - do not worry about multiple-round consistencies.


Quote:Jacob von Uexküll created the term Umwelt to describe the world an animal perceives and experiences. An Umwelt is not shared by all animals.


I bring this up partly because I've picked this game up after a 16 month hiatus and I observed two rounds last long-weekend that were a bit slow, and I'd like to encourage more "lively" rounds. 

In one I made a ghost critter a Macho Man despite their concern that they've only had one previous antag rounds; gave them a little mentoring (with that casserole excuse) and let them loose. They did so well picking a fight with the captain and security that after they died from a rad-storm the crew was verbally wishing them back-to-life.

In a later round I rolled Vampire and used a fortune cookie in my backpack as my prompt "The (chef) Bo Bo is feeling lonely" - guess I'll try to make them a thrall! (I showed them the fortune before my attempt). I'm rusty at combat to say the least so I lost 3 rounds of combat (one with the priest who was disguised!). By the time I died-via-butcher-knife the chef, priest, and M.Dir were fighting over my body and what to do with it.

I've since been encouraging thru OOC in every pre-round that antags should be LETHAL while they RP, and that they don't need any thorough or character-background excuse. It's Medium RP not Hardcore RP.

Feel free to post improv-like ideas for Antag-Reasons and Antag-Prompts in this thread.

I want to stress:
I don't want players to feel road-blocked by making their antag-excuses align with their character bios.
I have no issue with people using their character-bios to further they RP rounds. Nor any issue harekning to previous rounds, call-backs are fun!
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#2
I used to be big on making grandiose plans. Typically, I just made swarms of syndicate robots, performed assassinations, killed people who slighted me, and above all, rogued the AI. My characters reason for this was simply my character is two people. One of them was a loyal, brainwashed, morally corrupt and ethnically banrkupt person who had their own ideology buy weas completely convinced that this was fine.

Roleplay rounds play out longer then classic. And often different. While I know many people enjoyed the chaos and grandstanding i could bring, I felt it created this sort of....

Let us call performance hole, for me. I felt I had become pidgeonholed by expectation and action, and I didn't think me doing the same evil scheme(s) all the time was 'fun' for everyone else. One of my rounds something I did not make happen, but by my action, created the opportunity, to happen, and I felt it soiled the round.

But also, I made a mistake, in a way. Or a blessing?

I developed the villian character. My Syndisona became a person and not a strawman. This left my normal brand of evil and wickedness feeling....Wrong.

So I unsigned from the most common antags types. I signed off everything, then slowly added a few back.

Paladin is not a murder master when she is an antag. But I do like to use it to represent just how hard it is for her to ACT as the goodwilled and empathic officer she has become. That its not natural to her, and that deep down no matter how much she wants to change, she is still in her own eyes at least, a murderer.

When I antag now I've moved towards other gimmicks then the big kills. I still kill if I think its dramatic, or interested. I take or steal anything I decide to take or steal. And I take on anything and anyone that fits within the padagrim of what she considers something she would..well. Kill.

Since my change from super villian to morally grey, I have made people doubt their beliefs, given tours and pitches for syndicate recruitment, argued against ethics, assasisnated or murdered people, sold illegal weapons, and taught people how to be better criminals.

If I get an antag role and a situation thats suited to a silent killer, I will go for that, or a loud killer. But the nature of combat, and the antag types I have enabled, makes any attempt at 'loud' a short run till I'm gang stomped by tasers.

If I am my ALT, however, she's just horrible when she's an antag. I mostly concentrate on ruining the station but give her an avenue and she'll bite.


But for me it's not just the 'kill' I like anymore, it's the tension.

That SAID? the loud antag is a treat. And never feel compelled to overthink it if you don't want to! Canon is what you make of it.
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#3
I whole-heartedly agree that there has been an issue on RP with antagonists not realising that the greatest power they have is to drive the round forward. Eating humanized monkeys in a corner for 60 minutes is pretty uninteresting for everyone involved and causes no buildup of tension or dread.

There's something to be said about a question i often see on the RP discord channel, and it's about people wondering if they escalated enough when usually a few sentences to provide a quick or silly explanation as to what is happening is plenty enough to make it an enjoyable fight. Kills have so much more lasting and interesting impact than a simple mild inconvenience and allows things to naturally escalate. The vast majority of the most fun interactions i had interacting with an antagonist was with them trying or suceeding in killing me or my crewmates.

When the antagonist cap was higher on RP, it tended to be very chaotic on pretty much any shift and i think this is due to antagonists using the chaos that other antags caused as an excuse to add even more mayhem. Now that the antag cap is lower, if a single antag decides that they want to remain "friendly", it kneecaps the pace of the round and also makes it harder on their antagonist allies since it means that security wont have to spread their attention and they only have to check in on the antagonists posing an actual threat.

An example that is sometimes stated on the rp channel of a fun justification for backstory is;
"Hello. I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
It's short, to the point, explains in less than twenty words who you are, what your story is, and what your intent it. It can be more complex than that, but i think that you can just as well use a simple explanation like this one to have fun.
As silly as it may be, i like mark's "casserole" example alot. It's simple, but it feels personnal and fun.

Other examples of fun justifications i've seen:
- "I'm a clown and i have no concept of good or evil. If people get hurt by my pranks, that makes it even funnier."
- "I've been drunk all shift at the bar and someone DARED ticket me for it. I'll show them the extent of my drunken fury."
- "I have a vague description of someone i have to interrogate and kill for the syndicate. I'm going to ask them a few questions, realise they aren't the one, then kill them anyways for wasting my time."
- "My eyes have been open to big pharma's tricks and i see that medbay is actually corrupt. I'll try to get doctors to quit their job, or end them if they refuse."
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#4
Ah this reminded me one time I rolled spy thief doc. Someone has lend me a "hand" for katana. When I give "medicine" to patients, did some necessary surgery then medical director decided to fire me. I begged medical director to hire me again. He told me to the only way I can be in is doing some desk work. Went ronin, draw my katana and killed medical director for insulting my honor.
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#5
Whenever I am an antagonist I tend to try "minor" annoyances or be slightly more obnoxious.
Just so I can have more interactions with security and such.
But when someone crosses me... I will hunt em and fight em or kill em.

That or.. if I am a clown antagonist...Murder/annoy/harras anyone who dresses as a clown.
ITS MY CLOWNYRIGHT!!

But can I say this?
RP ROUNDS ARE 90 MINS! NOT 60 XD!

I guess classic is more action orientated and yes.. if someone kills me on that...I will not be upset.
But in RP.. if an antagonist runs into my room, draw a rocket launcher and kills me with it... I would be like: "Dude I was open for a role play come on"

So on 3/4 you just run up and gun me.. I would be upset.. on 1... I would be like: "Well I signed up for this"

Also on the topic of "FRIENDLY ANTAGS"
On classic I can see it being a big no but on RP. It's not frowned upon... especially since in RP if things go to shit...it's not fun dealing with antagonists ontop of it.
I consider Friendly Antags, antagonists who will be provoked to do antagging or "inactive" so another antag can have the spot light.

I have killed many players as a "Friendly antag" for stepping out of line or being near self-antagging.
Heck I killed a vampire as a changeling before and ate them cause... they were causing too much noise for me to do anything.

If you wanna be "Friendly" and use antag abillities to kill other antags.. do it as messy and collotaral as possible. It's just more funny.
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#6
While I get your point and I agree with a lot of it, I don't agree with all of it.

No one has to make a backstory to their antagging, however, for some people, they feel it makes their RP more enjoyable. Yeah, it's harder and it's definitely not required, and silly gimmicks can be very fun, I've done plenty...but, I feel that people should be allowed to do it either way, as long as it's not rule-breaking or disrespectful to anyone. Short improv excuses are fun, just as backstory lore is! Both can be good.

On the topic of "friendly antags", I strongly disagree with the sentiment that antags have to be lethal. Sometimes you can be a non lethal antag, and it's more fun than a murder spree. One of the most fun rounds I had as an antagonist recently was me violently forcing everyone on the station, on 4, to make a collaborative soup and then we all ate it. I threatened to kill people if I didn't like the soup or if they didn't participate, I forced the RD to put his portasci remote in the soup by holding a gun to his head, I twirled around my Orion and my Butcher's Knife, I had a full Syndicate outfit on and an agent card and voice changer, but in the end I didn't actually harm anyone physically. My reasoning for doing this was simply that it was in the spirit of Thanksgiving. And the gimmick went wonderfully. From what I could tell, everyone had fun with it, and I know I did. My point is, you don't have to be lethal as an antag. You can be an effective and threatening antagonist without harming people. What is needed as an antagonist, however, is to be notable. Try to create a story and bring fun interaction to the table!

Just like, don't be disrespectful.

Okay so I actually misunderstood completely what this post meant, I have gotten clarification now, I actually agree completely and my comment was kinda just me saying the same thing in a different way without realizing.

Human communication is funny like that!
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#7
I've edited my post adding a big red disclaimer at the top (better 24hr late than never) and also adding two clarification bullet points. I will paste copy them immediately below:
In my above attempt to be concise, some points were inferred that I did not intend. To be explicit:
  • You can absolutely use your character's traits and history in your antaging. I didn't write that you can't or shouldn't. My intention was: DON'T STRESS making your backstory match-up to all your innocent & antag behavior in the game - It's MRP not HRP.
  • I'm not writing that you MUST kill people or are otherwise obligated. I have NO intention of modifying RP Rule 4. If you have a no-kill gimmick: great! But if you roll antag please but SOME effort into driving the round. (Again don't stress that either, I've rolled antag while being low-energy too)


(11-15-2022, 01:39 AM)Silent Majority Wrote: I used to be big on making grandiose plans. ... I felt I had become pidgeonholed by expectation and action, and I didn't think me doing the same evil scheme(s) all the time was 'fun' for everyone else.  ...
I developed the villian character. My Syndisona became a person and not a strawman. This left my normal brand of evil and wickedness feeling....Wrong.
So I unsigned from the most common antags types. I signed off everything, then slowly added a few back.
Paladin is not a murder master when she is an antag. ...
When I antag now I've moved towards other gimmicks then the big kills. ...
Since my change from super villian to morally grey, I have made people doubt their beliefs, given tours and pitches for syndicate recruitment, argued against ethics, assasisnated or murdered people, sold illegal weapons, and taught people how to be better criminals.

If I get an antag role and a situation thats suited to a silent killer, I will go for that, or a loud killer. But the nature of combat, and the antag types I have enabled, makes any attempt at 'loud' a short run till I'm gang stomped by tasers.

If I am my ALT, however, she's just horrible when she's an antag. I mostly concentrate on ruining the station but give her an avenue and she'll bite.

But for me it's not just the 'kill' I like anymore, it's the tension.

Yes! Intrigue! Subversion! Tension! Escalation! All good things!

Thanks for sharing your character development process! I'll never claim that there's an ideal process to making a character, but starting with few antag options enabled and building the character up and building your own comfort up is a very good process. I hope your writing on this inspires others.

And as you wrote at the start: while it's A-OK to self-limit your play to a character's traits, your character shouldn't feel like a significant shackle (pidgeonhole). There's a nuanced difference between playing a character and feeling restricted by a character; it's the latter that I want to dispel.

I don't have much else to write as a response: Very good reply, thanks again for sharing!


(11-15-2022, 04:24 AM)Bartimeus Wrote: ... The greatest power [antagonists] have is to drive the round forward. Eating humanized monkeys in a corner for 60 minutes is pretty uninteresting for everyone involved and causes no buildup of tension or dread.
... a question i often see on the RP discord channel, and it's about people wondering if they escalated enough when usually a few sentences to provide a quick or silly explanation as to what is happening is plenty enough to make it an enjoyable fight. Kills have so much more lasting and interesting impact than a simple mild inconvenience and allows things to naturally escalate. The vast majority of the most fun interactions i had interacting with an antagonist was with them trying or suceeding in killing me or my crewmates.

When the antagonist cap was higher on RP, it tended to be very chaotic ... that other antags caused as an excuse to add even more mayhem. Now that the antag cap is lower, if a single antag decides that they want to remain "friendly", it kneecaps the pace of the round ...
..."Hello. I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." ...

On the "eating humanized monkeys for 60 minutes" comment: I don't want anyone reading this to feel shamed. There's good intent on wanting to keep other players in the round, AND it can be intimidating to be an antag, AND it takes a good amount of effort to antag; all that said - Bartimeus is right to write "it makes no tension". (It IS good at getting you blood-points that you may otherwise lack from a small crew-size)

I agree wholeheartedly that some of my favorite rounds have concluded with my own death as antag, followed by the rest of the crew then recovering overall and/or desecrating by corpse. Similarly I've also partaken in some very comical funerals for characters who died early in the round; Both the service of the funerals and people messing up with the mass-ejectors.

The RP cap and chaos correlation have me thinking.

Good antag-prompts, thanks for sharing!


(11-15-2022, 04:45 AM)According_tome Wrote: Ah this reminded me one time I rolled spy thief doc...

Good story with antag-inspiration, thanks for sharing!


(11-15-2022, 11:28 AM)Kotlol Wrote: Whenever I am an antagonist I tend to try "minor" annoyances ... so I can have more interactions with security and such.
But when someone crosses me... I will hunt em and fight em or kill em.
That or.. if I am a clown antagonist...Murder... ITS MY CLOWNYRIGHT!!
... RP ROUNDS ARE 90 MINS! NOT 60 XD!
... classic ... But in RP.. if an antagonist runs into my room, draw a rocket launcher and kills me with it...
So on 3/4 [hours] ... on 1 [hours] ... I would be like: "Well I signed up for this"

Also on the topic of "FRIENDLY ANTAGS"
On classic I can see it being a big no but on RP. It's not frowned upon... I consider Friendly Antags, antagonists who will be provoked to do antagging or "inactive" so another antag can have the spot light.

Heck I killed a vampire as a changeling before and ate them cause... they were causing too much noise for me to do anything.

If you wanna be "Friendly" and use antag abillities to kill other antags.. do it as messy and collotaral as possible. It's just more funny.

Nothing wrong with minor annoyances and keeping the round rolling!

I'll admit many RP rounds stretch to 90 minutes; I've edited my post.

writing as an admin: if someone "walks in and RPGs you - Ahelp that! Regardless of their Antag status!"  In no way am I trying to encourage RP-less murdering. (I suspect you were just making a hypothetical - but I'd be remiss to not address it)

HOWEVER! In 2d farty spacemans there are many causes for death in the round -some random events, some player actions-. I strongly encourage you NOT to be upset at dying 30 minutes into the round - especially if it furthers the round. Sometimes janitors or in the wrong maintenance tunnel at the wrong time and get gobbled. Missing Persons make intrigue all the more potent than insults and broken windows.


You have a different definition of "Friendly antag" than me. When I write "Friendly Antag" I mean "An antag that is friendly to the crew" for the majority of the round.
  • "I consider Friendly Antags, antagonists who will be provoked to do antagging" - sometimes people are uninspired in their antag round - nothing wrong with them waiting for an opportunity to present itself. I also wouldn't necessarily call this "friendly" behavior towards the crew - perhaps they are "playing along until their trap springs" etc.
  • One antag playing a quieter round so that another can have the spotlight is a kind gesture player-to-player. Not what I'd call being "friendly to the crew"
  • "I have killed many [characters] as a Friendly antag for stepping out of line" - You were not necessarily friendly to the crew - unless you were acting as security while being an antag which is a HUGE nono.
  • "Ate a vampire too loud for me to act" I'm gonna level with you: that reads as self-centered and intentionally mean to the other player, but you only wrote a one sentence summary and I don't have full context of the whole round. (And neither of those are rule breaks)
(As an aside, I try to consistently write characters referring to the fictional crew, and players referring to the fleshy emotional people behind the other screens. I encourage everyone to do the same)


(11-15-2022, 05:02 PM)LuciliusMothboy Wrote: While I get your point and I agree with a lot of it, I don't agree with all of it.

No one has to make a backstory to their antagging, however, for some people, they feel it makes their RP more enjoyable. ... I feel that people should be allowed to do it either way, as long as it's not rule-breaking or disrespectful to anyone ... Both can be good.

On the topic of "friendly antags", I strongly disagree with the sentiment that antags have to be lethal. Sometimes you can be a non lethal antag, and it's more fun than a murder spree. One of the most fun rounds I had as an antagonist recently was me violently forcing everyone on the station, on 4, to make a collaborative soup and then we all ate it. ... My point is, you don't have to be lethal as an antag...

Just like, don't be disrespectful.

Okay so I actually misunderstood ... Human communication is funny like that!

I wouldn't have made it a forum post if I didn't want to hear disagreements! Though as it turns out we're mostly already on the same page.

Two posts in a row are highlighting a difference in understanding of what a "friendly antag" is. A "friendly antag" is NOT a non-lethal one! A "friendly antag" is one that is friendly (to a fault) to the crew. (And there's nuance to "being friendly for a while to build trust - then break trust", etc)

And as you already know: I never wrote that antags are obligated to kill - but I do think antag players should feel less insecure about killing the crew.


I also feel compelled to write: "being respectful" doesn't preclude a (innocent) character insulting and being rude to another character. But players shouldn't dis-respect other players. blah blah, I'm not saying anything new.

I don't know why there's so much space between paragraphs. I tried doing a "source-edit" and they stayed. (attempt #2)
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#8
I'll explain the changeling killing the vampire scenerio in more detail...

The vampire was very aggresive and loud as a vampire killing and thralling players. This didn't allow me to do anything as a changeling since I was also the Chaplain.
So I got dragged into hunting him down. After all chaplains are the bane of vampires.
Eventually security was hunting him down hard and naturally he ran into me looking for a victim, security came right after and well fights break out.
I decided to kill him by drugging him and dragging him into the chapel.. since security was gonna execute him probably anyway after 3 thralls and a rampage.

I ate him as a changeling cause I am like: "Well it's my only victim right now" ...This is what I mean with being too loud. I decided to wait till he had his fun and ate him since well he was gonna be destroyed anyway... he still got play as an antagonist after as my minion and wooh boy did he had fun being my critters.

That's the whole context. Basicly saying..."He was too loud so I killed him" is the shortened version...cause yes, he was being a loud antag getting attention and moving around swiftly wich disallowed me to do anything and being roped into hunting him down with security too (though I didn't follow them).
To...killing him in the end since he was rampaging on the station including me.
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#9
:thumbs-up:
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#10
My last few antag rounds I just try to convince people to drink highly dangerous but not instantly fatal alcohol mixes by telling them are not strong enough, good enough, or powerful enough to drink them. My gimmick for a few rounds has been Hells Tavern where I serve drinks that make you experience hell. Its mostly psychological evil but, weirdly, I get quite a few kills just by telling people not to drink the drink I gave
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#11
something that i find aggravating and only drives me to be a silent killing machine if i become an antag is because even if i play my hand slightly you get people screaming their head off or becoming hostile towards you. something that i will not soon forget is a round i played as a changeling and i tried to keep this guy talking while i stung him and he immediately stops and starts screaming over the radio and runs to the brig "HELP I'VE BEEN INJECTED WITH SOMETHING!" repeatedly. just really sucks the fun out it for me and just makes me not want to bother and bulldoze people instead. i also go for pacifist vampire rounds if i can because it is honestly not worth the trouble of dealing with it if somebody catches you or the chaplain won't fuck off and leave you alone if somebody accuses you (whether you are one or not) of being a vampire. it's all so tiring and people still go "man this shit is so boring!!!" when they immediately go into valid hunting mode.
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#12
If players are behaving poorly like that they need to be course-corrected, they need to be ahelped against RP rules 2 and 5.
"Pacifist" is a vague term; you might mean "doing something non-violent to lead the round" or you might mean "be kind to the crew". If it's the former - OK. If it's the later - please either become a round-leader or turn vampire off in character-creation until the situation improves.

On a similar note, I and a couple other admins have been playing security / HoS on the RP servers lately trying to course-correct security-responses & escalation. (I've also been experimenting with having more antags than normal)
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#13
Very new player here, only played about a month so far (joined mid-october). For new players, like me, antag rounds seem far and few between though as time goes on I notice the gaps less and less. However, when I first rolled antag I did want to be loud and proud but noticed something with security, especially in the more peak hours. It tends to be that the moment you show your hand a lot of sec are rather heavy-handed in that they will pull out the baton first without any real talk and hit you with a 30 second stunlock before you even get a word out. All in the name of 'interrogation'. Even when cornered and no escape and you WANT to roleplay it out. Especially when cornered with no escape.

Being new I have not really learned much in the ways of tricks, yet, or how combat works so this tended to be the end. As such I started to try to play a lot more stealthy and, at times, nearly pacifistic. Players with YEARS more experience in the ways of the stick make it rather difficult. I have had a couple good moments (RP wise), and a couple good chases, but I usually find even if you want to roleplay it it becomes 'nope, you're going to talk in the interrogation room, not here.' Though said in action rather than words.. and once you're in that interrogation room it's usually 'You're caught. You're [insert antag here]. Brig.'

I know to some they likely think that the 45 seconds - 5 minutes in the brig is not so bad and you'll be out and on your spree again, but to me I feel as though as an antag I should not think like that. I want to roleplay the entire event, even the getting cornered and trying to talk my way out or figure out a way to escape. It's especially hard since it seems so easy for people to figure out who you are with the tools granted to security. One blown APC or one mistaken grab and they either have your fingerprints or glove prints and instantly know it's you.

I will also admit that I feel guilty killing people outright. I have had a couple rounds where, as changeling, I ate someone and they were rather not happy about it. I probably shouldn't care so much but to hear their frustration in the hivemind made it difficult and stressful, especially when you know they likely think they could be doing a better job than you. (This goes beyond antag, as well, in attitude. I have noticed quite a few with the thought of 'stay out of my way, I know everything better than you do' but that discussion would be for a different thread.)

I dunno, there's likely more to say but that's just a new player's opinion on things currently. Hard to roleplay with a secoff that's out for blood and knows exactly who you are and isn't willing to listen. The moment they see that speech bubble or ellipsis it's over and they win (or that's usually what their actions seem to speak toward) and I dislike that mentality.
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#14
(11-22-2022, 11:02 AM)Rhassalan Wrote: I ate someone and they were rather not happy about it. I probably shouldn't care so much but to hear their frustration in the hivemind made it difficult and stressful, especially when you know they likely think they could be doing a better job than you.

There is an ability that silences someone in your hivemind, ahelp and use that.
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#15
(11-14-2022, 07:03 PM)MarkNstein Wrote:
  • Trying to make a persistent character-trope that leads to antagonistic behavior is harder (but not impossible). "I'm an evil mob-boss sweet old granny, unless I'm not-antag then I'm a mob-boss on vacation" is not-great. "I'm secretly a syndicate operative" everyone might be, we have an event that triggers that, you need not write that. Trauma also isn't a good excuse "when I'm evil it's because my parents died, so some rounds I'm evil for it" is bad.

I got around this issue by writing Selna as being a brand of clones, each Selna being a modified individual more suited to the role, be it doctor, or Chief engineer or the shy/somewhat cowardly staff assistant Selna. This also means she is a different character depending on the role although sharing some common traits. 

The real o.g Selna works for the syndicate and specifically joined it (particularly, wafflecoinc) to get revenge against NT as she was turned into this brand of clones without permission, the peak canon depiction of her is a nuke op (commander ideally) but since most syndicate versions of her appear in RP, its as a lone operative/spy, still somewhat reflecting her role (doctor antagonist Selna is usually still a follower of the hypocratic oath, so far far less likely to attempt murder). She views her clone siblings as essentially being mind hacked thralls of NT and wants to free them vaguely.
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