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Captain and HoS Priority
The wiki gives two conflicting accounts of whether the Captain or the Head of Security normally has the greater authority over security. The Head of Security page says that the Head of Security always has priority in security matters:

Quote:The Captain is higher on the chain of command to the Head of Security. However, although the Captain is the boss of the Head of Security, the Head of Security has the final say only on matters regarding station security and punishments given to criminals. In other words, while other Heads can be overruled by the Captain even when regarding matters of their own department, the Head of Security cannot be overruled when regarding matters of the Security department.

In addition, Security Officer's page says -


However, the definite resource on the chain of command, found on the AI's guide to the chain of command, places the Captain above the Head of Security (as opposed to how, for example, the HoS and HoP are in the same "level" and get priority depending on whether it is a security matter or not):

Quote:When you are given different and/or conflicting orders by different humans and don't know what to do, prioritize and review the orders as according to positions on the chain of command. The chain of command is as follows:

    The Captain, and/or anyone referred to as captain by your laws.
    The Head of Personnel and Head of Security. Typically speaking, you should give the HoS priority over all security matters and give the HoP authority over everything else.

Between the two, the admin ruling I have seen is that the latter is correct; however, I don't wish to put any specific examples for two reasons. First, the nature of a "call" in this sort of matter, especially on Discord or in-the-moment means that the admin may not intend, or at least not long-term intend, for their statement to be pointed to as a definitive ruling. Second, not using specific examples helps any admins considering the matter not get overly attached to one perspective or the other.

With all that considered, I'd like to propose two things:

A quick fix of removing that paragraph from the HoS page and sentence from the Security Officer page, or at least a clarification that fits in-line with how it is now.

A slightly bigger fix clarifying this sort of thing in the chain of command section. Maybe even make a whole new page about the chain of command, since it currently only being on the AI page implies it's a silicon-only thing, when I have seen it be heavily implied or stated to also be a thing to at least keep in mind on the Roleplay servers.

Although this is on the forums everyone can comment on, I'd like to ask that responses are largely in the realm of an official stance being put forward, or the go-ahead to do something to remedy the contradiction on the wiki. Not that I completely disregard the place of player input, but this does largely seem like an administrative choice to make; if I wasn't encouraged to put it on the forums (I assume for visibility), I likely would have just put this in through [report.
In the game anything involving sec the HoS takes priority because centcom hired them to do exactly that and to keep an eye on the captain if anything happens. Anything involving like staff things or general station stuff it would be Captain that takes priority.
Like if there is an antag and people want to know what to do with the antag that would be HoS decision and if there are conflicting orders for sec from HoS and Captain the HoS would be the one that sec would follow.
Changing AI laws or telling people what to do job related would be Captain.

Outside of game reasons I'd say HoS takes priority with a lot of stuff because it's whitelisted and generally the people playing HoS would know what should happen and are trusted to know this stuff.

As far as the AI laws go, The AI is not security so the captains orders are top priority.
It is my general understanding that station chain of command and AI chain of command are different, as the former is fluid, where the latter is rigid and also a big part of the rules. I think all those sections need is just clarification that its referring to secoffs/silicons specifically
Captain is the highest authority on the station.

HoS has veto power in the context of punishing people, which can obviously sometimes include punishing the captain if the captain commits an egregious crime:

The full section about listening to the HoS is:
Quote:A Security Officer should try to choose the least severe yet appropriate punishment. For most instances, time in the Brig and confiscation of any contraband should suffice. However, ff a traitor is a lethal and immediate threat to the crew, lethal force may apply. This is not to say that you can execute anyone you want, however. If applicable, you should ALWAYS get authorization for any lethal force from a Head of Security (or, if the Head of Security is unavailable, the captain may suffice). LISTEN TO THE HEAD OF SECURITY ABOVE ALL OTHER HEADS OF STAFF.

In other words, lethal force against someone can be authorized by either the captain or the HoS, but if the captain and HoS disagree, go with the HoS

While we're here, lemme repost this amazing image from the last time we talked about this:

[Image: 16x36sl.png]
I think of it in terms of "What is this job role's motivation?"

While the Head of Security is under them in chain of command, Nanotrasen hired them to keep the station secure. If they feel an order by the Captain goes against that objective, they're free to instruct officers to disregard it, per the task given to them by their employer.

Honestly, I think the same would apply to The Medical Director/Chief Engineer/Research Director and Doctors/Engineers/Scientists and conflicts in their fields.

(10-18-2023, 05:06 PM)Ikea Wrote: It is my general understanding that station chain of command and AI chain of command are different, as the former is fluid, where the latter is rigid and also a big part of the rules. I think all those sections need is just clarification that its referring to secoffs/silicons specifically

I agree with this. It can be fluid with crew. Maybe you do agree with the Captain, maybe you agree with the HoS. Creates a conflict of being loyal to your immediate boss and your job goal, or being loyal to your bosses boss.

Borgs and the AI though, that's locked in place. Gives the Captain an ace up their sleeve for dealing with uncooperative heads since they could rely on the AI to take their side.
(10-18-2023, 07:51 PM)Frank_Stein Wrote: Honestly, I think the same would apply to The Medical Director/Chief Engineer/Research Director and Doctors/Engineers/Scientists and conflicts in their fields.

I think that does not really apply. Because in these cases, the captain can call in security to push through his position in the chain of command. Since command has mostly no option to assert control over security, this isn't the case.

The person who has the final say over security effectively is first in command.

If the secoff guidelines only place the hos over the captain when its about punishments, it's fine. It get's problematic when it applies to all differences between hos and captain.
In a gameplay sense.. you can see it like this.

The HoS is most likely not to be mindhacked. Since they got protections against it.
Where as the captain "might" be mindhacked.

So the HoS has the final say in a lot of cases.
But the HoS CANNOT tell other people how to run their department.

The Captain's Priority is different then that of the HoS.
But if a HoS says to "CUT IT OUT" ...follow their direction NON THE LESS.

Also I like to note: Captains are people who played 20+ shifts and HoS's are approved players by Admins and other players.
So if a captain is being unreasonable with the AI with a freeform law... the HoS can say no to it to keep the peace and "KEEP THE STATION SECURE"

I'd say the HoS "does" not outrank the captain, but is more or less a COUNTERBALANCE to the captain and in dire situations they "Technically" outrank the captain.

I like to call it "the HoS iniative" ...Normally HoS's do not outrank captains, so if they disagree on what sandwiches to have the chef make, captain wins.
But if a bomb has been planted and the captain says way A and HoS says way B. That's when the HoS gets the way of things.

Also security 9/10 should listen to the HoS then the captain regardless of the situation. While the Captain outranks the HoS, the HoS is also there to protect your department and therefore it is in your best interrest to listen to the HoS then the captain when it comes to orders.



In an emergency that threatens the station, HoS "technically" outranks the captain.
In normal situations, Captain is the higher authority.
Many SciFi works "solve" this problem by letting the HoS (or equivalent) relive the captain from their post under certain circumstances.
(Ingame, this could be if the captain is suspected of being an antagonist/mindhacked)

Also, if a disagreement happens, it might be a good idea to ahelp, stating that the Captain and HoS disagree on X, and you are taking the side of the HoS/Captain.
Admins can then look into it or give you advice. Or do whatever. If the captain is for example against the execution of a perpetrator, and the HoS still wants to do it or the other way around, it might be better to not execute them.

For the RP Server specifically, suggesting the HoS and Captain talk it out and come to an agreement might also be a good idea.
Or asking them for a reason why you should ignore the other order.
To be honest they have similar duties with different priorities but this goes for all heads. Captain's main responisibility is not taking a head's job(sometimes is a must but not most of the time since you can assign people to it) but showing assistance if they think that is needed. Main responsibility of hos is treating players fairly while prosecuting, teaching new officers and preventing the security getting out of hand. Captain is tasked(not in literal sense since you can do whatever you want to but this goes for any role) to deal with the station's problems as whole, while hos is responsible to deal with stations security mainly. Since most critical thing about this power balance is execution it is fair to say even though hos has first say in this matter to prevent griefing, captain is allowed to give executions in absence of hos but executions are not captains primary purpose since thats a security matter. So captain is allowed to order anything that benefits the station that hos cannot and that puts captain in higher hierarchy.
Classic player, never been on RP:
I believe that, in general, the Captain has final say over non-security matters (Service, Engi, Med, Sci, and Civillian) but the HoS has final say (above the Captain) regarding security matters (as these are high priority, are high risk, and the HoS has whitelist prestige, and the captain can be a lying dirty traitor, etc...)
The other heads (CE, MDir, RD, HoP, maybe RegDir) don't have this "their matters their orders" privilege as their work isn't as high priority or specially protected, though the Captain should (in general) still listen to what a head of staff has to say on their matters as they are more specialized and fit in that field.

so orchestrated ideal examples for humans:
Medbay blew up and the Detective finds a broken TTV in the wreckage traced to a scientist. Captain demands that engineering come to repair and security also comes for reinforcement and clonescanning. 
The CE objects to this, as the TEG has burst piping, but Captain's orders are higher up than the CE, so engineering goes to medbay.
The HoS objects to this as they've traced the suspect and want to patrol halls and maintenance to catch them, HoS' orders are higher up as it's about a security matter, so security goes on stationwide patrol.
After the evil scientist is thrown out of the airlock, the Captain orders the security team to the bar for a round of drinks. HoS objects because they want their team sober, but Captain's orders because it's a service/civillian matter, so drink up Cadet, tab's on me.

and AI DOOR examples:
Medbay blew up and the Detective (in a spacesuit) wants AI DOOR around medbay to collect evidence. The Captain (in agreement with the CE) orders medbay shut to keep air from leaking out until it's fixed, but the HoS wants evidence in a timely manner to catch the suspect. You should open the door for the Det under HoS' orders.
Captain asks for the door to mechlab to be bolted open. The HoS thinks that's dumb, "keep it closed", but 'tis not a security matter to bolt open some random door, so bolt open mechlab under Captain's orders (or alternatively: put it to a vote! why not?)
The HoS along with their team wants you to release the bridge's lockdown because they've just learned the Captain is kidnapped there (and you can see it's true). The Captain denies this over the radio, and that "everything's fine". This is a security issue, so open the bridge up.
I feel like the best way to resolve these inconsistencies is to model the fictional chain of command after real-world chain of command structures. Broadly speaking, in such a system a person accepts orders only from their direct superior, and issues orders only to their direct subordinates. This is the "chain" in the chain of command, orders have to cascade down the chain from their source to the person(s) ultimately responsible for executing them.

For example, the engineers are subordinate to the chief engineer, who is subordinate to the captain. If the captain wants engineering to do something, they would give an order to the CE, who would then either carry it out themselves or transmit it to their subordinates. This ensures that anyone has exactly one superior, removing all ambiguity.

Of course, this is only really necessary in the context of formal orders. In most scenarios, it wouldn't really be an issue for an engineer to take orders from the captain, as the implication is that the captain could just order the CE to order them to do whatever, and so skipping the middleman is just efficient.

The strict flow of the chain of command matters most in situations where someone needs to deny an order from their superior (ie it is unethical, illegal, or in violation of the duties of their post). In this situation for example, engineers should listen to the CE over the captain when receiving conflicting orders, because the CE is their direct superior. The captain's recourse is to give direct orders to the CE which the CE should follow if they dont have a legitimate reason to deny orders. If this doesnt resolve the conflict, the captain does have the authority to fire another head of staff, and their responsibilities are transmitted up the chain of command.

This should only really happen if the captain and/or CE are antagonists in this scenario, as otherwise the captain should not be giving orders that a reasonable person would deny and the CE should not be denying reasonable orders.

Basically the same situation applies to the HoS or other department heads, except that the HoS may be required to overthrow the captain's authority if they have VERY sound reason to believe that the captain is an antagonist. At this point, the HoP is the captain's lieutenant and assumes their duties for the remainder of the shift (otherwise the other department heads figure it out, which usually leads to the HoS assuming command or just nobody being in definite command since it rarely actually matters).
I don't think there is any issue.

Captain has de jure security authority. HoS has de facto.

The HoS page is correct in saying the Head of Security is in charge of security.

The Security Officer page is correct in saying to listen to the HoS - because HoSs have the experience and trust to lead security, and are the ones to look to for how to play security properly.

The Chain of Command page is correct in laying out the chain and who to follow: Captain > Heads > Crew.

Any ambiguity within is part of the game.
I think it's fine right now.

The AI is programmed by the chain of command and should strictly follow that. This also synergizes well with the make-captain law, as someone can make themselves captain and control the AI for security related stuff without the HoS strictly being the one in charge of security related stuff, no matter what. The AI has no regard for the importance of the person or what department they are in, but ultimately can follow orders for security by the HoP and vice-versa since they hold the same "place" on the chain of command. However, AI are encouraged to follow orders of heads within their own department, but do not exactly have to. But this is where it gets into complicated turf so I'll leave it at that. They are an autonomous program that serves based on how it's program, and is incapable of reason.

Meanwhile, Security are humans, which means they at least have basic logic and reasoning. Because of this, they should be prioritizing the dude who's specialized in security than the jack of all trades, persay.

That's probably the best explanation of what I can come up with as to why I believe it is fine

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