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Negativ900x

Guide to Negotiation

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Posted (edited)

Welcome shitcurity, this is a guide to negotation. This guide aims to help members of the ISD to handle negotations with hostiles.

For cadets and non-ISD members: Run before you get two warning shots in the back. Try to give room to members of the ISD who will be handling the situation try to give them atleast three tiles of distance and listen to their orders.

For assigned negotiator: There are a few things you need to keep in mind at all times.

  • Communicate with your team and especially with your superiors. You are an officer not the Head of Security respect their authority and follow their orders.
  • Make sure you are adequately armed/geared . (The cute dress every female head of personnel wears may make you look like a waifu but it won't stop Unga McDungason's 5.56 round that he fired because he was getting bored.)
  • Talking down a armed hostile is the preferred choice of negotiation. Establish that you do not want to hurt them and want to talk.
  • If there are hostages your first priority is not the arrest of hostile but the safety and well being of the hostage.
  • Do not draw your weapon or fire your weapon unless provoked with equal force first.
  • Avoid crowding the area. Negotiations should only have the people needed present on the scene no more. You will do no good spooking the hostile.
  • Always be in a position to move in if the situation goes poorly. This means a clear path of entry and firing lines.

 

These things are crucial components of any negotiation and will almost always turn up in a situation where negotiations may be needed. Below will be a checklist of what you should aim to do in order to have successful negotiations:

  1. Establish a line of communications.
  2. Locate the hostile
  3. If possible use cameras to get eyes on the hostile or go there in person. If not possible that can still work but is not desired.
  4. Check for weaponry. If he hostile is armed respond to them with weaponry on your person. Do not draw your weapon unless they have drawn theirs.
  5. Introduce yourself to hostile and announce your intent to peacefully resolve the situation. (If guns are drawn your first priority is to lower weaponry and keep them stowed away)
  6. Check for hostages, if there is a hostage. Your first priority is getting them treated if they are injured. A dead hostage is useless for both parties involved.
  7. Establish mutual benefit it is an important part of building trust.
  8. Plan out a plan B in case things go south and you need to forcefully intervene.
  9. Talk to the hostile and see if you can arrange a deal of sorts where both parties can agree to.(if it isn't anything outrageous.)

The above are the primary step negotiations should go trough. Below are a few worst case scenarios:

  • No deal can be struck due to outrageous demands.
    • Well you are shit out of luck. This is where your plan B comes in.
  • Hostage is being harmed.
    • Intervene forcefully if possible and retrieve the hostage and get them treated.
  • Hostage is at risk of death due to injuries.
    • Have a impartial member of the station come to the scene and treat the injuries at the scene or stabilize them. Think of station bounds or generally any medical personnel.
  • Situation is out of control and escalating into a fire fight.
    • You die. You must try to regain control be re-stating you do not want to fight them, you want to resolve this peacefully. If guns are drawn you follow suit. You must never escalate the situation first.

For the Warden:

1. Issue any equipment as requested by the Head of Security or the acting Interim.

It is important to issue weapons and armors to ISD, to ensure they can get an edge should the situation escalate to the point there is a firefight going. You are equipped with a megaphone you can lend to the negotiator for easier broadcasting to the hostage takers, plus, there are medical supplies at the Brig you can hand to the responders to be ready to give first aid should the situation require such. There are deployable barriers in your armory. Those are useful to block off tunnels or create hold-ups for your team. You can also have them place and flip tables and tape off the area for further area control, wich is an important part of an hostage situation.

 

2. Remember your role on the ISD.

You are not a Security Officer, you are the Warden in charge of the Brig, the fortress you must guard and defend at all times. A good Warden is not taking all them good guns and running at the hostage like an hero. Usually, a Warden is not supposed to respond to calls, only doing so when there's no prisoners in the Brig and they got permission from their heads or command staff to do so. Of course, if the situation is dire, you can give some backup, but remember that your main concern during a shift is the brig and the prisoners.

 

3. Prepare processing for incoming prisoners, if any.

Sometimes your brave officers will bring you back a trophy, either an accomplice or the hostage taker. They are usually HuT (Held until Transfer), given that "i304 - Kidnapping and Hostage taking" is a red HuT charge. (More info here) As the Warden, you will be mostly in charge of their processing, introduce yourself as the Processing Warden and ensure they are aware about the situation. Try and be nice with them, but authoritarian too. It is important to mantain a balance between being nice and showing strenght, because this way they are less likely to cause trouble in the brig.

What should you do:

Tell them their charges, explaining that they will receive a proper trial after the shift, at the Odin.

Explain that being cooperative, not causing hassle inside the brig, will result in benefits.

Ask them if they are hungry or need water or medications.

Process them in a timely manner, removing their ID to register the charges. After that, move them to their cells, removing their gear that must be stashed in the closed locker, making them wear the prisoner outfit. PDA should be removed if your boss thinks it is a good idea. Usually radio comms can be left on, if you did not get proofs that comms were compromised. If you think they are using an hacked radioset, give them a replacing one with common channel access. Prisoners should be able to use the common channel, so they can call for visitations and/o request something from you or other people (cook, barkeeper, librarian, priest etc).

Allow them into communal brig, and be ready to revoke that privilege should they misbehave.

What you should not do:

  • Insult them or make fun of them.
  • Beating them with your baton or anything else if they are cuffed or downed.
  • Deny them medical aid.
  • Cuff them to a bed.
  • Send them straight into a cell without processing their charges into the console.
  • Leave them without any food or water.

 

4. Guarding the prisoners for the rest of the shift

If a shift keeps on going after the hostage situation, then you will most likely have an HuT prisoner that will spend the rest of the shift inside your brig. This is an important responsibility for a Warden, because you will have a person to look after for the rest of the shift: ensure they are safe, fed and content. Guard them from time to time to ensure they are not running away attempting escape, and talk with them, keep them company, not sitting alone in a cell with no one around for the rest of the shift. If the brig gets vented or is by any mean declared unsafe, ensure to drive them to safety. Treat your prisoners with respect and eventually you will have theirs, if they try to betray you, hit them where it hurts: revoke any privilege you granted them, showing them your dominance on the brig and the importance of a trust relation.

 

5. Preparing for the transfer

Eventually, a transfer shuttle will be scheduled to end the shift. At that point, you will need to transfer your prisoners from the brig to the red dock. Coordinate with your fellow officers to get some help moving them. Usually, at this time every prisoner is cuffed to ensure they do not try anything during the transfer, and they do not beat eachother inside the holding cells, to avoid chaos. Ensure they reach their destination without attempting escape or causing trouble, and stash them in the holding cell of the dock until shuttle arrives. At that point, move them to the shuttle's holding cell and ensure they are guarded until the whole transfer. When the shuttle docks with the Odin, you might need to move them to the holding cell of CentComm, or the checkpoint might be closed for security concerns. Anyway, you did it for the shift! Take out some booze and celebrate! give some of that sweet booze to the prisoners too you violent cop arsehole

Tips:

  • "Sometimes it's best to present yourself as an overwhelming force that will crush them if they don't comply, but if they do you will treat them well. Sometimes it is best to let them have the physical power, or at least the illusion of it." - Nantei

 

  • "it can be a very good idea to have non-ISD people do the negotiating sometimes. Some people just don't trust security. So find someone you can trust to negotiate, and be ready to bail them out if things go wrong and they try to take them too. It's a lot easier to believe the HoP won't hurt you than the guy with a laser rifle and riot gear. " - Nantei

 

  • "if you've got a character who would frequently break a large number of these tips, it's probably important that you examine your characters believability within our setting. But OOCly, your objective shouldn't be to make sure that the hostage gets out unharmed, but instead to ensure that the story continues to develop in a natural and interesting way. Attempting to save the hostage can be and often is a part of this, but don't be afraid of imperfections in the pursuit of this goal if they strengthen your character or the developing story." - Ornias

 

  • "Every second you keep a solo/team antagonist talking is one second they aren't using to prepare for a security assault or their next nefarious deed. This helps buy the ISD and any cooperating departments time to counter them." - NewOriginalSchwann

 

(WIP: more will be added give suggestions and criticisms below)

Edited by Negativ900x
Partial suggestion of NewOriginalSchwann

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Posted (edited)

Establishing mutual benefit is an important part of building trust, and trust is very important. Giving them lots of space helps. Don't make it obvious if you are blocking off their exits. Establish to them that you don't want to chase them down after they flee because it means you could get hurt or killed. Try and find common ground and empathize with them.

I would also add to avoid crowding the hostage taker, this can make them anxious and make them act irrationally.

Also if they harm the hostage in any significant way, it's usually time to go in and stop them. A lot of this also comes down to being able to read people and the situation. If you can figure out why they are doing this, it helps a lot. Because now you know what to offer them to make them go away. If you can empathize with them, you are going to have a dramatically easier time. Also it helps to be a third party of sorts. It's a lot harder to convince someone to trust you when you've already done something aggressive to them. You need to let yourself be vulnerable to them in both the physical and emotional sense, offer up sensitive things about yourself to help them connect.

A lot of this is very much a play by ear, psychological thing. Sometimes it's best to present yourself as an overwhelming force that will crush them if they don't comply, but if they do you will treat them well. Sometimes it is best to let them have the physical power, or at least the illusion of it.

 

Also as a general rule I will add that it can be a very good idea to have non-ISD people do the negotiating sometimes. Some people just don't trust security. So find someone you can trust to negotiate, and be ready to bail them out if things go wrong and they try to take them too. It's a lot easier to believe the HoP won't hurt you than the guy with a laser rifle and riot gear. 

Edited by Nantei

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For the Warden:

 

 

1. Issue any equipment as requested by the Head of Security or the acting Interim.

It is important to issue weapons and armors to ISD, to ensure they can get an edge should the situation escalate to the point there is a firefight going. You are equipped with a megaphone you can lend to the negotiator for easier broadcasting to the hostage takers, plus, there are medical supplies at the Brig you can hand to the responders to be ready to give first aid should the situation require such. There are deployable barriers in your armory. Those are useful to block off tunnels or create hold-ups for your team. You can also have them place and flip tables and tape off the area for further area control, wich is an important part of an hostage situation.

 

2. Remember your role on the ISD.

You are not a Security Officer, you are the Warden in charge of the Brig, the fortress you must guard and defend at all times. A good Warden is not taking all them good guns and running at the hostage like an hero. Usually, a Warden is not supposed to respond to calls, only doing so when there's no prisoners in the Brig and they got permission from their heads or command staff to do so. Of course, if the situation is dire, you can give some backup, but remember that your main concern during a shift is the brig and the prisoners.

 

3. Prepare processing for incoming prisoners, if any.

Sometimes your brave officers will bring you back a trophy, either an accomplice or the hostage taker. They are usually HuT (Held until Transfer), given that "i304 - Kidnapping and Hostage taking" is a red HuT charge. (More info here) As the Warden, you will be mostly in charge of their processing, introduce yourself as the Processing Warden and ensure they are aware about the situation. Try and be nice with them, but authoritarian too. It is important to mantain a balance between being nice and showing strenght, because this way they are less likely to cause trouble in the brig.

What should you do:

  • Tell them their charges, explaining that they will receive a proper trial after the shift, at the Odin.
  • Explain that being cooperative, not causing hassle inside the brig, will result in benefits.
  • Ask them if they are hungry or need water or medications.
  • Process them in a timely manner, removing their ID to register the charges. After that, move them to their cells, removing their gear that must be stashed in the closed locker, making them wear the prisoner outfit. PDA should be removed if your boss thinks it is a good idea. Usually radio comms can be left on, if you did not get proofs that comms were compromised. If you think they are using an hacked radioset, give them a replacing one with common channel access. Prisoners should be able to use the common channel, so they can call for visitations and/o request something from you or other people (cook, barkeeper, librarian, priest etc).
  • Allow them into communal brig, and be ready to revoke that privilege should they misbehave.

 

What you should not do:

  • Insult them or make fun of them.
  • Beating them with your baton or anything else if they are cuffed or downed.
  • Deny them medical aid.
  • Cuff them to a bed.
  • Send them straight into a cell without processing their charges into the console.
  • Leave them without any food or water.

 

4. Guarding the prisoners for the rest of the shift

If a shift keeps on going after the hostage situation, then you will most likely have an HuT prisoner that will spend the rest of the shift inside your brig. This is an important responsibility for a Warden, because you will have a person to look after for the rest of the shift: ensure they are safe, fed and content. Guard them from time to time to ensure they are not running away attempting escape, and talk with them, keep them company, not sitting alone in a cell with no one around for the rest of the shift. If the brig gets vented or is by any mean declared unsafe, ensure to drive them to safety. Treat your prisoners with respect and eventually you will have theirs, if they try to betray you, hit them where it hurts: revoke any privilege you granted them, showing them your dominance on the brig and the importance of a trust relation.

 

5. Preparing for the transfer

Eventually, a transfer shuttle will be scheduled to end the shift. At that point, you will need to transfer your prisoners from the brig to the red dock. Coordinate with your fellow officers to get some help moving them. Usually, at this time every prisoner is cuffed to ensure they do not try anything during the transfer, and they do not beat eachother inside the holding cells, to avoid chaos. Ensure they reach their destination without attempting escape or causing trouble, and stash them in the holding cell of the dock until shuttle arrives. At that point, move them to the shuttle's holding cell and ensure they are guarded until the whole transfer. When the shuttle docks with the Odin, you might need to move them to the holding cell of CentComm, or the checkpoint might be closed for security concerns. Anyway, you did it for the shift! Take out some booze and celebrate! give some of that sweet booze to the prisoners too you violent cop arsehole

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Posted (edited)

I think it's important to clarify that you shouldn't be afraid to subvert any and all of the above when it would be appropriate for your character and the story.

If you've got a character who would frequently break a large number of these tips, it's probably important that you examine your characters believability within our setting. But OOCly, your objective shouldn't be to make sure that the hostage gets out unharmed, but instead to ensure that the story continues to develop in a natural and interesting way. Attempting to save the hostage can be and often is a part of this, but don't be afraid of imperfections in the pursuit of this goal if they strengthen your character or the developing story.

Edited by Ornias

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Building on what Nantei said:

- Please give your designated hostage negotiator body armor of some variant. The cute dress every female head of personnel wears may make you look like a waifu but it won't stop Unga McDungason's 5.56 round that he fired because he was getting bored. A vest will save lives, and doesn't look that threatening to mercenaries in hardsuits.

- Every second you keep a solo antagonist talking is one second they aren't using to prepare for a security assault or their next nefarious deed. This helps buy the ISD and any cooperating departments time to counter them.

- Every second you keep one or more members of a team antagonist talking is one second they aren't coordinating over the radio or plotting in the back.

- If negotiating with a team antagonist, try to keep as many of them visible as possible.

- Security: Always be in a position to move in if the situation goes poorly. This means a clear path of entry and firing lines.

- Observing Visitor in a Pencil Skirt: Don't stand between security and valids, this is how you get eviscerated. For an idea of how well your cute skirt will hold up against bullets/lasers/shrapnel/a thrown energy sword due to being on the wrong intent please refer to my first point.

- If you wish to be an exceptionally robust memester and end up in the hall of fame do a "hostage exchange" with a protohuman made to resemble the captain with hell grenades stuffed into its pockets. This should not be attempted against people with a brain, but we're fortunately dealing with antagonists so it might just work.

- The above strategy may also work by using a tracking beacon, an (un)aware hostage, the command teleporter, and several boxes of flashbangs.

- I make no promises about not getting bwoinked.

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Alright, getting back to it, I'll finally add on the elements of Negotiation from what I've learned so far. This will cover several situations, but will not be comprehensive.

Most tactics of negotiation is playing it by ear, but I'll lay out three situations you might want to be aware of, then some advice for general situations. I prefer the advice more than the situations.

Situation 1: We Probably Shouldn't Be Negotiating

You're here and the antags are saying something ballistic, like that they'll execute the Janitor if you don't empty NT's bank account or fork over the Captain. So, is this a call to "alright, fuck u buddy" and start gatting them there and then?

Fuck no.

You are not only a negotiator, you are a distractor. Try lessening the value of what they want, but do not risk falling into a worse trap. If you see them going to leave a situation that is more advantageous for them to be stuck in, either force them to be stuck there, try to distract them further, or just let them go to avoid you dying. That third option is incredibly viable. Don't assume non-compliance means you have to start shooting, living another day is an incredibly beneficial thing.

Also, try not to trust an enemy which has already done some scummy tactic or has lied to you in negotiations before.

Situation 2: How to Absolutely Die

There's a few scenarios which just spell "instant death" to a negotiator, notably scenarios that pertain to TransfersTime Limits and Improper Positioning. If you are requested to perform a hostage trade, or believe so lovingly that you can pull off a hostage trade as the traded target, one of five things will happen:

1. The enemy will fork over the hostage and you fork over yours. Absolutely nothing is gained or earned unless the enemy was VERY STUPID and handed over a very important asset who knows things (e.g. the only Surgeon in exchange for the second Janitor) or they didn't search them for good stuff (e.g. the nuclear authentication disk). Somehow, this is still bad, unless you're stalling for time. However, even then it poses its risks.

2. The enemy will fork over the hostage and you don't fork over yours. You have officially played the enemy, but now they're going to book it as soon as they see you become shifty. This is the only real "good" solution, but still causes immense amounts of violence, pain and death. Potentially for you. Also will make antags more likely to OOCly mistrust your given faction on later rounds. 

3. You strapped your hostage with a bomb. You will fork over your hostage and they fork over their hostage, or the other way around. You forked over a hostage strapped with a bomb. They die, so does the hostage, you now have a new hostage. Note: If you're Security and you do this, you've got some serious 'splainin' to do.

4. You will fork over your hostage and they fork over their hostage, or the other way around. They forked over a hostage strapped with a bomb. You die, so does the hostage, and they now have a new hostage.

5. You will fork over your hostage. They laugh a lot and now they have two hostages. This is the most common version.

The only times that hostage trades are most easily done is when you have someone they care about, e.g. a Teammate Merc or Sec Staff. In that case, they might try to strap a bomb to the hostage and do the trade, or you might do the same thing. You might both pass over bombs. But more likely, with a good Negotiator, you can come to a compromise (we'll speak more about this in a moment) and trade your respective teammates across.

Time Limits are brutal. Transfers and Evacs both pose opportunity for death and peace, if you play your cards right, you can hopefully get the latter. Peace can be achieved by agreeing to a compromise (again, we'll speak more about this in a moment) and carefully handle each other to an evacuation where you can be both present. Otherwise, expect your opponent to be far more agitated, and you to now need to come to a conclusion soon.

Finally, Improper Positioning. Have some damn cover. If you don't have cover, you are already a hostage. This isn't a joke. The amount of times I've seen a negotiator walk down a hallway, or get backed into a corner, and then get aimed at with absolutely NO backup plan or wall to quickly duck around (or room to quickly duck in) you have officially bungled up your negotiations. If they want you to walk into a room, it is a trap, especially if they have no obligation to do so. Remember, you have radios! Switch your radio to a new frequency, switch a station-bounced radio to the same frequency, and chuck it at them if you are far too apart. It is best that you are not screwed placement-wise when you want to be doing the screwing, e.g. by backing them into a corner or something like that.

Situation 3: Compromise or Emotions

Emotions are a bitch, and so are compromises. When you have an obviously emotional target, you want to press those buttons. You want to make them feel guilt, feel sadness, and allow yourself to be empathetic (at least appear empathetic!) in order to handle the situation. If you can do that, you can get a target to stand down from a position of complete power. An emotional target can be negotiated with on how they feel, and how they are affected by the people around them.

But sometimes you've got a stone cold son of a bitch with a crazy ninja hardsuit and a glowy sword. You can't do emotions on its own- You have to come to a compromise. Understand each other's boundaries, understand how they feel about the situation. Do not lose your ability to empathise, but also do not lose your grip over the scenario. Compromising is coming to terms you both can agree with, and the only way you can do that is to understand what they want to agree to.

The longer the conversation goes out, the longer you can mold their ideas to what they want to agree to and the longer you can understand exactly what will cause them to lash out at you. With everything in mind, this is the obviously very "play it by ear" scenario, so you need to see into their head and understand what makes them tick. With that understood, you can finally come to a situation where you are both happy.

If you succeed in making both parties happy, still do not put the boots to them, and do not let them run around willy-nilly! You have to keep a cautious eye on them, making sure all of the danger they can pose is as mitigated as possible. (If you're coming to compromises while they still have a grip over a hostage, you've screwed up pretty hard.) If you've both developed mutual trust, this is exactly the kind of scenario you want to be in.

Misc Advice and Content

Don't allow yourself to be transported! Chance of getting captured increases the moment you allow yourself to be within their grasp.

Understand what makes people tick and work on exploiting exactly where they can be pressured the most. While this is important, if they understand they're also being pressured, expect them to react. Potentially, very violently.

Negotiation is difficult. Don't be worried if you struggle. An attempt and keeping yourself safe is still incredibly valuable, especially for situations which require stalling more than negotiating.

You can't negotiate with everybody. Have a backup plan.

People are durable, except when you crucially need it. EMT should be behind Security staff and close to the scene, but not enough to be disruptive. On that note, don't allow EMT to treat a hostage unless you can guarantee both of their safeties.

People aren't dead in two seconds. If you have a slight window to stop the entire enemy team (e.g. teargas, flashbang, or CO2 gas) you might be able to risk damage to them. It's very dangerous. Preferably have EMT with you. But probably less dangerous than you think. ON THE OTHER HAND, VERY PROBABLE DEATH IF YOU FUCK THIS UP.

Try to keep clear communications. If they want to speak over radio, for the love of Glorsh, have them speak over a different frequency than Common!

That's all I've got. Feel free to quote at me if you think I'm an idiot, I'm always open for feedback, suggestions, and ways to improve!

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@NewOriginalSchwann

Parts of this have been incorporated. The parts that were not incorporated you can argue over if you disagree with this decision.

Primary reason for refusing to incorporate the below parts: Several of these are already incorporated but in a different way, others fall under common sense such as the "visitor in pencil skirt" example. Lastly, the mechanical difficulty and parts required to execute the example of a "hostage exchange" involving a protohuman is very rare and something I am not convinced is a proper method of hostage exchange due to its complexity and low rate of success.

Parts:

2 hours ago, NewOriginalSchwann said:

- If negotiating with a team antagonist, try to keep as many of them visible as possible.

- Observing Visitor in a Pencil Skirt: Don't stand between security and valids, this is how you get eviscerated. For an idea of how well your cute skirt will hold up against bullets/lasers/shrapnel/a thrown energy sword due to being on the wrong intent please refer to my first point.

- If you wish to be an exceptionally robust memester and end up in the hall of fame do a "hostage exchange" with a protohuman made to resemble the captain with hell grenades stuffed into its pockets. This should not be attempted against people with a brain, but we're fortunately dealing with antagonists so it might just work.

- The above strategy may also work by using a tracking beacon, an (un)aware hostage, the command teleporter, and several boxes of flashbangs.

- I make no promises about not getting bwoinked.

 

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