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Butterrobber202

A Guide to Antagonist

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Preface:
 

Spoiler

 

This guide is intended to help prospective Antagonist Players work through the mental gymnastics required to be a good antagonist, it is not a PvP optimization guide or a guide to own Security epically. 

 

I’m writing the guide because many players, new or old, don’t have a lot of experience with antagonists, many don’t want to deal with the spotlight being on them for 2 hours, that’s fine. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But for those that want to give it a swing and know nothing, this should be some decent kindling to get you started.

 

If you’re curious about my credentials, I’ve been around on Aurora for awhile now. Most of the things I’m telling you not to do in this guide are things that I have done and gotten slapped for it. I’ve played the holy hell out of almost all of the Antagonist Roles, and I’m a contender for the most notorious Antag Main. When I started, I was young and stupid, and for that reason my Player Notes and Adminstrive Action List is a mile long, and that reputation still follows me around. Hopefully with this guide I can spare you my fate and help you be a productive and fun antagonist!

 

 

Spoiler

 

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A Developed Villain: 

 

Before we begin, let’s go over what an “Antagonist” is. Many books and sources will call the Antagonist “the one who opposes.” For the sake of getting your mind in the right spot, let’s make this our definition. The Antagonist is “one who brings change.” Where the Protagonist is “one who reacts to change.” In the standard SS13 setup, the crew are the Protagonists. 

 

One of the most critical parts of being a good antagonist is having a fully fleshed out character under the hood. Aurora’s setting is incredibly rich in lore and the dystopian setting provides ample scenarios where a person could be made to turn bad. You absolutely do not want to have an extremely basic character that is just a body for you to pilot while you be the Bad Guy™. This leads me into my first major point.

 

Have a Reason

 

Only enable Antagonist Roles on a Character that would have a valid reason to be that type of antagonist*. If you are playing a nice, stable person who leads a pretty happy life, you’ll have trouble with developing a good story as you act like a Villain. You want to have the other players have the thought: “Yeah that tracks.” when the mask comes off.

 

I’m going to write some examples of lore-driven antaggory below in spoilers.

Spoiler

 

Antonv Rrrinkov, a Zhan-Khazen Tajara from the Democratic People’s Republic of Adhomai. Antonv currently resides in District Six of Mendell City, within the Little Adhomai Liberator’s territory. He only works on the station as a Cargo Technician because he has few other choices of employment. He loathes Nanotrasen and most of Humanity for exploiting his people and home, but for the most part keeps such feelings under wraps to keep his job. 

 

Traitor Antonv has snapped from one event or another. Be it the Little Adhomai Liberators promising his family a large chunk of credits for his actions or he has simply decided that he will be spearhead of Vanguard Natediism and put these Xenos to the Sword. He goes to work with intent to kill and destroy. 

 

 

Spoiler

 

Adam Spence, a solarian-native Human currently residing in the Republic of Biesel. He made the hard decision to give up his Solarian Citizenship to stay in Biesel for his job with NT, so he could continue providing for his family. Due to corporate restructuring of his division, he was demoted from his lucrative position to a low-wage job. He resents Nanotrasen, feeling like they trapped him in Biesel before demoting him. Having little other employment opportunities in Biesel due to his contract, he stayed on to keep some credits rolling in. 

 

Traitor Adam has gotten desperate, his wife/child has come down with a serious illness and he doesn’t have the credits to cough up for treatment. During his work on the Station, he’s walked past the Vault several times and knows something valuable has to be in there. Not to mention, if the Miners are doing their jobs, Gold and Phoron will be moving through the station at some point. He goes to work with the intent to steal and escape undetected.

 

 

 

* Some Antagonist Types are by their nature are NOT your character. This would be off-station antags and Changelings. Some Antagonist Types imply your character has undergone events before the shift that have radically changed their mentality such as Revolution or Cult. 



 

Have a Goal

 

This one has some overlap with the last, but it’s a good step to think about. Before you turn your antagonist roles on you need to have, bare minimum, a goal in mind for the character it’s switched on for. Using Antonv as an example, he would want to hurt NT as much as he can, be it killing Command Staff or sabotaging the Aurora’s profit margin by destroying Science and Mining. 

 

You don’t necessarily have to have a bullet point plan when you go into a round, as the Butterfly Effect is going to punch about fifty holes into any plan you make. But these goals will guide your actions throughout the round and careful observers of your actions (read:Security and Admins) will begin to pick up on your theme if you think logically about what you do. For that reason, you need to make sure your goals are being furthered with every action you take. 

 

Acceleration of Actions

 

We’ve all been there, it was voted secret but everyone is convinced it’s extended because the round duration is at 1:45 and nothing has happened. Then suddenly, BAM, shit is exploding, people are convulsing, halls are flaming. 15 minutes later a CT is called and boom, it’s over. What happened? The Antagonist lost too much time. You will learn very quickly as an Antagonist that the clock is your worst enemy. Two hours is not a lot of time, and that’s going to be your standard time frame.

 

When you pop into any round as an antag there is a setup phase. It varies wildly from gamemode to gamemode, but it’s there. A Traitor needs to get away from his colleagues to get their equipment in order, Mercenaries need to gear-up at their base, Vampires need to lure a target away from others and get their initial powerset. You need to finish the setup phase as quickly as you reasonably can, and it differs from Antag Type to Antag Type. 

 

If you want to get the ball rolling before people are mentally packed up for the round, you need to hit the ground running. Allot yourself about ten to fifteen minutes to handle your department stuff, after that you need to be working towards your Antagonist Goals. Everything you do is going to take longer than you thought, and random stuff you forgot to think about will hinder you as well. If you reach the 1:25 mark and haven’t caused any kind of radar blip for Security, you need to do something so the other Players get involved. I’m not suggesting you get caught, but if you can get spotted or cause some kind of disturbance, it’ll go a long way for keeping the crew mentally checked in.

 

Intensity of Actions

 

This may seem counterproductive to the last point, but certain actions need to wait until later in the round. While everyone who joins a secret round is accepting the risk of being involved with an Antagonist, no one wants to get off’d by the 20 minute mark. A good rule of thumb are these guidelines I try to use:

 

If:

  • It will end someone’s round
  • It will damage a heavily trafficked area
  • It will definitely provoke Code Red

 

Then whatever the action is, it needs to wait until forty minutes have passed if you can help it. This may seem short to some people, but every round is different and there’s no accounting for the myriad circumstances that antags can be put in. 

 

For the record, ending someone’s round doesn’t count if they choose to ghost out of their circumstances, as long as you made sure they could still RP with people or would in the near future, it’s not your problem. Also, if someone acts stupid with you, don’t feel bad if you end up killing them, as long as you gave them the choice to stand down before you opened up on them. Finally, killing someone’s character doesn’t always mean the round is over for them, those absorbed by the changeling can live on inside the Hivemind or as Morphs, those killed by Cultists can be turned into Constructs, these types of things give people the opportunity to stay in the round. 

 

The minds of Command Staff will also vary constantly, so you may not be able to accurately predict code changes. More importantly, there’s no way to know exactly how they will react to your actions, but you can safely assume if you did something violent, you can expect violence in return.


 

Involvement

 

One of your goals as an Antagonist is to get people involved in the round. Do not go into a round with the mindset that you will involve everyone, sometimes the ball just won’t roll that way. You just need to do as much as you can in good faith.

 

Involvement doesn’t always mean direct interaction with the Antagonists either, you will send shockwaves through a round based on what you do. Creating an Aura of Fear by murdering crew members is involvement, just as much as using all your antag items to throw a big party in the bar is. As long as you give everyone something to work with, even if they just sit around a table and talk about it, the mission is complete. 


 

Failure and Aurora Antagonist Culture

 

You’re going to fail before you succeed. Space Station 13 is a crazy game with so many minute variables, something is going to go wrong in most of your early attempts. Don’t sweat it, but don’t abandon a round because you failed either. If you get arrested, roll with it. Let Security interrogate you, it’s a great moment to deliver your manifesto if you have one. Good Wardens and Investigators will keep RPing with you even when you’re in the Brig! It’s a two-way street really, Antagonists cause trouble for Security to deal with, and if the Antagonist is captured, Security should give their prisoners some mental stimulus as well. Even if you die, congratulations! You played another round and learned a thing or two about the game.

 

Sometimes when you’re acting out your goals and objectives, (often called your “gimmick”) the crew is just not going to vibe with it. It happens, it’s unfortunate, and it can hurt your feelings. The best thing to do is to roll with the punches and try something different next time. Usually, the more unique and fresh your objectives are, the more receptive the crew will be. 

 

One of Aurora’s standout characteristics is the Antagonist Player Pool is rather small. So it’s a frequent occurrence that the same players are the antagonists over the course of multiple rounds. If you start playing antagonist frequently, this phenomenon will quickly become apparent to you. There are certain members of the community, who for better or worse, will pick on you for being an “Antag Main”. Some of them are joking in good fun, some of them are not. Regardless of what is said, as long as you are trying to drive a narrative that fits in with the lore, you’re doing what is asked of you, don’t let their comments bog you down!

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* The Guide has been looked over by Staff before posting to prevent false information.

Edited by Butterrobber202
can't use words right
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