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Stealth and you: An introduction for first timers in Traitoring.

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Posted (edited)

To start off, I want to make clear that this is not an in-depth guide with super cool, ultra hidden traitor tips that only the most robust players know. Rather, this is to serve as a “read before you go” guide before a “new” player in SS13 ventures himself down the dark, glass shard filled aisles of traitoring, specifically traitoring alla stealth.

SS13 is a hard game, it’s learning curve will probably shatter your bones if you descend it with a skateboard. The wiki has a ton of information, but that’s just a glimpse of all the game has to offer. That means that despite having a decent grasp of the mechanics and your surroundings, more than often you still have to die many horrible deaths in order to still learn a valuable lesson from each one.

That happens even more often when traitoring for your first time, since you’ll often find yourself handling stuff you’ve never touched before or having to get to places you’ve never been in, or at least not on the pants of a criminal mind. Now, with enough of a presentation, let’s jump straight to the matter.

Your gear:

Without intending to get much into antag gear, you have some equipment depending on your role and job. Although more or less, every job has some items or social position that can serve you on your purpose. A mix of your tools, your social position and the areas you have access to is what you are without any antag gear, you have to get the max out of it, detect where you’re lacking and improve it as a preparation before getting to your actual mission, whatever it is.

Now, getting to the antag gear itself, at round-start, or when you’re suddenly assigned as a traitor, you’ll get a code you should put on the ringtone of your PDA to access a super secret terminal where you can get a vast array of items. An Agent ID, an emag, a voice changer or a sleepy ring are just a few of many stealthy options to go by. Remember to close it to get back to your normal PDA cause you don’t always get PDA messages, but when you do, it’s the antag code ringing.

Don’t buy your antag items too early, I’d recommend buying them either when the moment to use them comes, or either set a base near your workplace where you store it all, or you can separate them according to their functionality and divide them on two or three lockers instead of one, but you risk yourself to reach a situation where you may need one of those items, so think before acting. Remember that you can hide things in a toilet, in plant pods, in some pieces of clothing, and that storing something in a container leaves a message, but doing so in your pockets don’t.

Lastly: food. Maybe you haven't noticed it, but once you start running around the station through maint as a headless chicken, you'll get tired, hungry, thristy and eventually even a granny will catch you. Carry some food and drinks, coffee specially.

Yeah, okay, stealth, but how?

I’m going now on some general tips about how to be stealthy, and the different kinds of “stealthiness” you can try.

- Unless you’re walking a mostly empty area, maint tunnels are your friends. You can get almost anywhere on the station through them, so make sure you’re at least fluent on their knowledge and layout

- Returning to the gear aspect, you should have a couple lockers, ideally one in each station half, with an EVA suit prepared. Going outside the asteroid plus knowing the layout can make you go from one end of the station to another pretty fast. Put the oxy tank in a canister to full it to the max capacity just in case.

- Bothering yourself to get a security headset is usually worth the risk. Act in advance of the ISD, but make some intended mistakes so you don’t make them think their comms are compromised. Some times leaving an item you won’t need (even an internal box) behind will motivate the ISD and make them think they’re actually on the right path.

- Value your inocence, the most difficult task you have will get even more difficult if you’re on the lookout. If you have the time, consider creating distractions or leaving false evidence.

- Break cameras, but beware: while being unseen, you can just shout where you are immediately. If you just break a camera, the AI will easily locate you on the nearby areas. Continuously, but subtly, break cameras until the AI has a very narrow vision, and can’t really track you based on what cameras are broken.

Now, while you can use stealth in your modus operandi rather than going fully armed on everyone’s sight, you can also use stealth to cover your own name. This is when things get a little complicated.

Having a double life isn’t easy on real life, neither it is on SS13. The main variable to success in this is your job. Some jobs expect you to be on your office most of your time, while others require you to be walking around the station. Some jobs take place on a more or less seen area, while others happen on authentic autism bunkers where no one will really notice nor care if you’re gone.

So, the first thing you should know is to acknowledge your level of freedom of movement. If it’s too restricted, give yourself half an hour to act normal and non-suspicious. Even if you’re expected to stick to your office, go out, greet everyone, pay a visit to the bar, the garden, the vending machines, the holodeck, the library… Make sure someone is watching you, even if out of pure MG, and play it cool.

Once you think your outgoing routine is just a normal issue, and when you’re not really required at your workplace, think of a place for your ops base and the gear you’ll need. Go there, store it all and get back to your workplace. Now that’s your phone cabin where Clark Kent transforms into Superman, so make sure that no one is watching you enter one of its maint access nor follow you there.

Now you have everything ready, you just have to wait for the right moment to act and accomplish your goal, which means hurrying to your phone cabin, getting out as Mr Badman, rushing your goal and getting back as Mr. Everyman without any weird look. To do that, either pick a moment of peace among the crew or create a distraction or series of distractions far from where you’re going to operate. Venting, welder bombs, fake bomb announcements, a slime breakout, the sky’s the limit. You can also use the distractions to furtherly tighten your social position/image, as in for example you detonate a welder bomb and then as an ISD member you attend the scene, making yourself go way low on the suspect lists. Having credibility is a must when being an antag and still wanting to get out of the station on the shuttle as a regular crew member.

Now, to finish this guide, some words of wisdom:

- It’s really hard to get a significant antag presence on the round and still not be caught at all, walking in the shuttle without any hassle. A clever ISD investigation team and a nosey AI can be voicing your name even when you think you’ve done everything right, have a plan B just in case.

- Don’t be too ambitious with your gimmick when antagging for the first times if you actually want to pull it off. Nevertheless, remember that getting caught is not losing, since this is an RP game.

- Despite there’s no command around and the bridge seems ghostly empty, the AI, if present, is watching you. Hurry for that ID and leave before it can notice you. Alternatively carry an Agent ID or disable comms. If officers are already rushing for you, vent the area so they have to turn back for EVA gear.

- Feel free to try a vault dash, bunker dash or AI subverting gimmick, but if this is one of your first times, you’ll probably fail miserably. Be prepared to leave it mid-assault or have a plan B, cause besides highly-secured, those areas are like a dead end street.

Edited by Gangstafary

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Addition: You and your identity.

Identity hiding is vital while on stealth. In SS13 there are 3 parts to your identity: face, ID and voice.

If you have your head visible and carry another one's ID, you show as" yourID (theother'sID)".

If you are masked, you show as the ID you're wearing. If you're not wearing an ID, you show as "Unknown"

If you are masked and speak, you will reveal your true identity. Use a voice changer to avoid this.

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Posted (edited)

Actually, putting your antag code in the PDA doesn't actually leave the code there. If it does, you made a typo.


Also, I recommend just stealing an ENCRYPTION KEY from a security headset. That way, you can pop it into your normal headset and not seem suspicious. If you have two Encryption Keys already in there, remove the 'Standard Encryption Key', it mechanically does nothing as Common (145.9) and Entertainment  (146.1) are public, non-encrypted frequencies.

Edited by GreenBoi

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Don't break cameras when you're either incognito or using an Agent ID. The AI can't easily track you with the latter unless you break cameras, and in the former it's better to maintain stealth by not leaving such clues even if there's no AI (Security can easily see when a camera is broken). Having knowledge of camera wires is far more helpful than breaking cameras, which sends out a camera alert. Learning the wires isn't as easy.

You don't need to steal a headset if you spend (4) TCs on an Encrypted Radio Channel Key, via your uplink. It will let you listen in on every channel with ease. Stealing an encryption key without being a member of security is far, far harder than one might think seeing as they're all in ID-locked lockers or on active members of Security.

Don't speak if you don't need to. Silence is key and unless you're attempting to appear active, people will often assume you're busy/SSD/etc. when you're merely being quiet. Helps if you're a job that tends to be reclusive like a Virologist (aka biochemist who ignores chemistry) or any sub-level based Science role. Bonus points if your character isn't talkative to begin with.

If you're adept at imitating the way paincrit mechanically alters the text of someone's voice, you can easily fake your own death with that and maybe a little (of your own) blood. Blood splatters can easily be made by just taking a syringe, getting the tiniest bit of your blood, putting it in a glass or beaker and just splashing it on the floor. The messier the more convincing.

Learn the layout of the map, and I don't mean the z-level you're on either. You can readily memorize the layout of z's above and below you to better navigate and create sneaky passages via cross-z travel. This will also make walking to the escape pods/command shuttle trivial if you can apply knowledge of the main deck's layout to your traversal of the surface.

Escape pods are your friend for a getaway, but mind that getting to them and launching stealthily is the single hardest part. Pods don't need an emergency shuttle to launch, they can also launch during crew transfer if they're armed. They will launch roughly at the same time the transfer shuttle departs.

If you want a free jetpack or proper voidsuit (that can't hold large oxygen tanks on it's suit slot), break into telecomms. It's not at all hard to break into and if you have engineering or security access you don't even need to break in. There's an airlock very close to the area as well that you can use to escape onto the asteroid.

E-magging a suit cycler will let you cycle your voidsuit into having the appearance of a Nuclear Operative/Mercenary/Syndicate voidsuit. You can also just e-mag the cycler to disguise as that department's voidsuit, I guess.

Stealing the Captain's ID is stupid and obvious, never do it unless you're already revealed and known. If you must get all-access, purchase an Agent ID from your uplink and swipe the Captain's Spare over it (click on the agent ID with the spare) to gain it's access. This should be obvious but I see more people just outright stealing the ID haphazardly and giving themselves away (Security checks the Captain's Office regularly over cameras). Wizards and Ninjas, IIRC, spawn with Agent IDs. Nuclear Operatives/Mercenaries spawn with Agent IDs. Changelings and Vampires cannot get Agent IDs, and if they alter their personal ID, said alterations will show on Security HUDs (if they give themselves captain access then rename their rank to appear as the old, it will show the captain's HUD icon. don't be a lazy fuck, add the access manually), as well as the manifest and records (if they just rename their rank or change to another rank without renaming it to their old one).

Thermal Optical Scanners are your best friend for stealth, you'll see anyone coming well ahead of time and will have good opportunity to hide from approaching individuals or prepare for the confrontation.

If you have insulated gloves, you can throw them in a washing machine with a crayon of your choice to recolour (and rename) them. It's still fairly obvious to anyone aware of this mechanic when Jon Arbuckle is wearing bright red gloves randomly, so it's mainly helpful if your character regularly wears hideous coloured gloves through the shift whether or not they're an antagonist. This doesn't work for force gloves, I tried, don't bother.

Take off your shoes. Bare feet are much quieter (or silent, I don't wholly remember which) and if you stain your feet with oil/blood, you can easily put the shoes back on to hide this. Beware of walking on shrapnel or broken glass. I believe there's a silent set of shoes but I can't immediately recall which set of shoes it is.

For the love of God, set your suit sensors to nothing higher than Binary. There's a chance you'll spawn with it higher than this.

Robbing the Vault is never something you can stealthily get away with no matter how many fake walls you set-up or how well you plan. Someone will eventually notice over cameras. No, you can't tape photographs over the cameras either, sadly.

Subverting the AI will never last and you will, eventually, be found out. It'll take longer than someone figuring out the Vault, generally, unless you're stupidly obvious about it or the AI is fairly obvious about it. The more extreme/unusual the laws, the more likely the AI will be obvious. Keep it subtle and safe.

You can hide things in toilet cisterns by using a crowbar on the toilet. It will fit more or less anything, most notably uniforms and weapons. This is very loud and you should remember to close the cistern with the crowbar after doing this. If a member of Security is aware of the mechanic and clever, they'll check the toilets. A majority of players either are unaware or forgot it exists.

Tools are very loud. Welders and wrenches are the loudest, screwdrivers and wirecutters follow up, crowbars are loud only depending. Crowbarring a toilet cistern is very loud. Crowbarring a door is extremely loud.

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If I remember correctly, cutting the camera wire still makes an alarm, it's just that it doesn't make much of a noise to people around you. You're better off breaking cameras if you have something to hide in once they check or if you can go inviisble right after.

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Use the hacking guides in regards to cameras. If you don't cut the alarm wire you don't create an alarm. You can find the alarm wire by pulsing wires, just hope the AI isn't watching when you pulse the focus wire or you've just given yourself away.

Regarding loud thefts, be ready and quick and have reasonable escape options lined up. Making use of the false walls and the like can help you have a clean getaway. Causing a distraction moments before you go loud, such as a bomb on the other end of the station, could help. Be careful not to cause too much trouble when you do, if sec can't get to the location to investigate they will just beef up in other areas and watch cameras more.

I'm a newbie antag, but I've gotten away with quite a bit, such as stealing from the vault and even carding the AI to leave with it. Play smart, but remember that at some point you should be making the round fun for the server, interacting with people other than security is a good method I'm trying to figure out. Find characters with exploitable information and use it. If they made the effort to type it up, more often than not they will RP with it. Bribe and coerce the crew to help you get away with your goals.

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