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KHZ's Guide to Fun Times (AKA everything about science)

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Alright, listen here you scrubs. You want to do science? Here's how to do science. First, some ground rules:


  • Rule number one: this is science. Not "generic station helping department". The goal is not just to finish Research and make bombs. DISCOVER shit. For reference, here's a link to one time someone actually discovered something inherently useful and documented it.
  • Rule number two: the threshold for a stupid idea is VERY high. Which means unless you outright kill someone/yourself (or harm someone that didn't sign up for it), GO FUCKING NUTS. I mean - just to list a few things that I, a RD, did in the name of science:

    -Almost accidentally exploded myself by playing with smokes because IPCs absorb chemicals. I was wounded but it's all good.

    -Accidentally got a CMO drunk, after signing a waiver.

    -Accidentally almost plasma-poisoned two of my scientists while setting up the test for the link above.

    -Killed god knows how many protohumans testing new weapons/tools/stuff.

    -OBLITERATED the Toxins test area. As in, there was nothing left.

    -Accidentally filled Misc Science's test area with flammable fluid while testing something

    -Accidentally caused a breach, in the same event, by trying to ignite the fluid without taking out the welder fuel tank that spawns in there

    -Got 33% damage, twice, by letting myself get shot with a pneumatic cannon. That was loaded with glass shards. And that had an overpressurized container. Just to see how far I could be from the shooter/wall before I got pinned. And that was to test it's efficacy against IPCs.

  • Rule number three: What happens in Science stays in science. Don't leak anything that shouldn't be leaked - stuff that could panic the crew, dangerous equipment, so on.
  • Rule number four: Always warn the crew when you're playing with explosives, and always explode explosives either in the toxins test range or in a remote area of the asteroid.
  • Rule number five: For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE let the RD know if you're going to mess with Telescience. So much can go wrong it's not even funny. (Just kidding it's hilarious but seriously it can fuck things up)


Alright, now that's out of the way. Now let's get to the heart of it: SCIENCE. And how to properly man every department for maximum fun/usefulness, by role.

Lab Assistant: If you're picking this, you're most likely very green. Ask some other scientists (or, if available, the RD) to show you the facilities and maybe teach you the basics of some departments. As Sybil, my RD IPC character, I've already helped five people get directed to learning proper roles in Science. One xenoarcheologist, one anomalist, two xenobiologists and one telescientist (which also happens to be an AI). Seriously though - unless the science crew is particularly indifferent, you're bound to find someone to teach you. If there's not - just try messing around with the research console in the Research and Development laboratory - which is the only place you have access.

Scientist/Researcher/Plasma Researcher/other titles that I might be forgetting: So you decided to be part of the soul of the department. Good. First thing you want to do, to maximize the fun for EVERYONE, is to max out as much as you can the research levels. You can seek an optimal route, or you can throw things at the destructive analyzer and see what sticks to maybe discover something new. Personally, I'm 90% certain that with a fully staffed (and cooperative) science department (or as a RD teehee :3), you can elevate ALL tech branches, except plasma (which maxes out at 3 - xenobiologist or chemist, in medical, can help you get there) to at, or above five just with things that are found, or made, in the area (Robotics is your friend, by the way. So is the autolathe and circuit printer. Use all of them.). Yes, that includes 'illegal' tech because of two main loopholes explained later. Don't forget to synchronize your machines, for two reasons: one, Robotics need your data for new parts in the fabricator and the circuit printer - two, if there's a power failure or antag action or anything that resets the console, any data that's not in the Research servers is gone.

And so you finally maxed out tech and synchronized servers. From there, depending on your definition of fun, you can assume three technical roles in Research:


  1. The Technician - Definitely the most laid-back role. Ever played Cargo? It's pretty much the same, except that you're distributing Science equipment within (and sometimes, for very specific things unless the RD approves it, outside) Research. That includes, but is not limited to handing out PDAs to those that broke them, things from the autolathe (with a proper NCF-1000, or whatever the equipments form is) or even nanopaste to the various IPCs of the station, giving Robotics certain components, and managing the distribution of any eventual materials yield from Mining - and dealing with the RD to distribute more limited equipment. Otherwise, lounge around, make friends, watch other people work until either the RD gets mad at you for not really doing anything, or you find something that piques your interest.
  2. The Researcher - My favorite. The motto of this role is 'It's not chucklefucking if I note it down'. Yes, pretty much Mythbusters in SS13 - you just think about things to try, try them and note the results down. That includes finding ways to make things that shouldn't happen, like having an oxygen tank reach huge pressures (my record is 1200kPa), or testing different kinds of grenades, or find new, exciting ways to brutally murder protohumans with use tools for new, unexpected purposes.. Research is your playground - you have access to a small chemistry lab, usually lots of materials, a toxins bay, and more. Find new things. Break the game's code if you can. But above all else - have fun and learn. And quick reminder: the Research and Development laboratory has two components. Research, which you have completed by now most likely. And development. The RnD lab has BOTH a protolathe and an autolathe to create whatever components you might need. And for research's sake, most RDs I know will allow you to make the paperwork to hack the autolathe for more fun stuff.
  3. The Telescientist - You can also wander off to Telescience and learn it's mysteries. If you were lucky, in phase one, you got the materials and technology to create more teleporter crystals, which allow you to find even more things! Just don't forget to make people sign an expedition waiver before sending them through. Just two things to note: crewmembers generally don't like you to target the station itself with the teleporter (especially when you accidentally steal things or accidentally send risky materials to unwanted places), and your range is pretty limited without telecrystals.


Xenoarcheologist/Anomalist: Most RP-based Science role. As a Xenoarcheologist, you don expedition clothing and go seek out artifacts on the asteroids. Most of the time, you'll find mundane things - decorative items, pottery, plant fossils. Note them down properly and move on (if you need a bit of help, the Baystation wiki has a rather comprehensive guide on how to do Xenoarcheology). Sometimes you'll find more interesting things - bear traps, components. Scientists like those because sometimes they give a head-start. And then, there's two class of REALLY fun artifacts.

There's the weapons. Sometimes laser/ion pistols/rifles, sometimes swords of all kinds (even cult swords!). Science loves these as well, because they provide them with two very important things: essential weapons tech data, and sometimes illegal tech (which is the first loophole mentioned above). Either way, once you get your hands on one of those (if it works fine), you get to watch Science either tear it apart or test it on some protohumans for giggles.

The second class of artifacts that are really fun are the machines. They come in different shapes - but they can never be picked up, and their effects are various - and almost always useful to someone in the station... once you figure out how it works. Which is the second thing to do (the first being making sure that it is not immediately harmful and does not interact with atmosphere) when you get one of those - get them to the anomalous materials laboratory and find out what it does (if it's not already known), and how it operates. Then you discuss with RD/the rest of command and the rest of science as to how to use it properly. Examples of machines that I have met on Aurora: a machine that forced nitrogen to become nitrous oxide - laughing gas. Even remotely, through walls. Then there was an alien autolathe which seemingly randomly generated items - useful for materials. And finally, there was this annoying object which projected a 5x5 force field - which meant you had only 3x3 (minus the middle because of machine) to move into when active, and it randomly toggled when touched with ungloved hands. Absolutely amazing.

Xenobiologist: If Scientists are the soul of Science, Xenobiology is the heart. You deal with slimes, you probably knew that much already. But the fun thing is, with RD approval, you also technically have a small operating table to experiment with doing things to the inside of protohumans, AND there's a lot of chemicals you can test on slime cores as well (unless you looked in the code, cheater. I haven't, but all of the reactions are probably somewhere in there). The best part about Xenobiology is that if you're lucky, you can easily become EVERYONE's friends because of how useful slimes are. Telescientists and Science will thank you for bluespace slimes. Robotics and Engineering will adore you if you manage to get metal slimes. Science, medical, cargo and engineering will revere you if you breed purple slimes. OR you can ask for protohumans and feed them to the slimes for valuable data to Medical as to how to treat you if you get mauled. Overall, a pretty calm job if you don't do many mistakes.

Roboticist: I'm not going to lie. Aside from occasionally repairing robots/IPCs that were damaged, and making mechs, there isn't much to this job except talking and trying to hook up a laser cannon to a Ripley somehow. And even then, you have to wait on the Scientist to do that. So until then, just hang around - and if you hear the scientists having trouble, try to print them about two super-capacity power cells and three syringe guns (your power cells are immune to scanning failure, and your mech syringe guns cover high levels of about four or five tech branches). And then when they have a lot of good research, give them an energy relay to get them started on illegal research (the second loophole of Research). Though I suppose, if you were so inclined (and had the supplies to do it), there's nothing preventing you from requesting an autolathe in Robotics then making five hundred Cleanbots and Medibots.

Geneticist/Bioengineer: See, you're in a unique position. You're part of both Medical and Research. Anything to do is up to you - want to see a scientist blow up a protohuman? Give them one. Want to figure out the next magic pill that can fully restore someone from crit? You can ask either Chemistry or a scientist to get you the chemicals you need. Or you could go old-fashioned and actually do genetics research. Or team up with either the roboticist or xenobiologist to see what happens when you graft the groin and legs of a proto-unathi onto the torso and upper body of a protohuman. The choice is yours.


But whatever you do, the bottom line is always this: unlike most other roles (I can see Engineering being an exception because of the construction area, and eventually more when they fix the APC code), there IS no pre-determined way to do science beyond the very basic research and robotics. You make your own science - you make things happen. And as long as you document it properly to the RD and get the right authorizations, it's not technically chuckefucking!

Anyone got any thoughts to add to this?

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