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Stealth and Espionage Ninja Mechanics


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It would be nice if ninjas had more stealth and espionage related abilities.

But Kaed, I hear Disagreement Strawman saying, they can turn invisible already, that's pretty stealthy!

Yeah no. Being able to vanish from sight is indeed really useful, but it's not actually much of a stealth element. In the first place, it's heavily tied to a battery in their suit, so can only be used for short periods before you have to decloak and spend several minutes molesting an APC or wire. So, it's more of a tool to avoid being seen for a short period than a 'stealth' mechanic.

What I'm talking about is the concept of not being noticed by the crew. Right now, ninjas are probably the most overt antag in the game. Even wizards have some setups available for them where they can try and blend in with the crew. But the ninja? They pretty much wear a 'I am an antagonist' sign over their head from the moment they spawn. Anyone who sees them immediately knows they are a ninja.

What I propose is adding more subtle mechanics to the ninja hardsuit. For instance, every portion of the suit, including the actual rig on your back, should be able to change its appearance like a chameleon set, allowing you to impersonate any role on the station. Combined with your traitor ID and voice synthesizer, you could easily make up an identity for yourself. There might need to be a feature of some sort of 'identity screen'/'holomask' that you can toggle that effectively works as an invisible helmet concealing your identity, to prevent people from metagaming when your fake ID and voice doesn't match your facename.


Crimson Fury (as Bob Sagan) says, "Hello I am an ordinary human and not a spy."

Urist McMetagame says, "Security! We have an intruder! They stole Bob Sagan's ID!"


Bob Sagan says, "Hello I am an ordinary human and not a spy."

Urist McMetagame says "Hello Bob, I remember from orientation because I like to pretend I know people on the crew's faces even if I've never met them."

This could also allow situations where you conceal your identity while being somewhere you shouldn't be, so people see you and you just show up as 'Unknown'. Then you escape and change your clothes and hair and ID, and they can't even track you by description.

It would also be nice if they had a hacking tool for doors and certain electronics, that utilized both Hard and Soft hacking settings. On Soft, it acts like a door hacking tool, letting you open a door after about 30 seconds, and saving the last ten or so doors you hacked. On hard, it consumes some of your battery, and emags the thing you are hacking. Yes, you COULD just go rush the captain's ID at round start and scan it or steal it, but:

-That's getting real tired. You're supposed to have an advanced rigsuit, why do you have to steal access from the spare you technically shouldn't know is around to go for to get anywhere on the station?

-Increasingly more these days, ninjas appear in rounds with wizards. Wizards have far better movement tools and can reach the captain's ID more quickly than you, so once they get to it first, you're SoL for the rest of the round as far as access to places you shouldn't be, with the current setup.

-When you are caught doing this, it undermines the entire 'stealth' mechanic you might be going for and puts everyone on high alert. People don't like it when strangers show up in the captain's office unannounced, for SOME reason.

Also, the ability to place actual spying gear would be incredibly useful for them. As it is now, traitors have a rarely used item called a 'Bug Kit' that lets you place a small object that acts as a camera and microphone. It's got amazing potential, but usually falls flat due to traitors rarely being able to get into vital places where they could put bugs for useful strategic purposes. Giving ninjas, who would have, with this update, far more general access to the station, a similar mechanic would allow them to gather information on what a lot of the heads and security are doing. I think it should be based on power usage to manufacture the bug objects rather than a limited supply, but there should probably be some kind of cap on the number of active bugs allowed. Maybe 10? I can't see anyone reliably keeping track of more than that, and that's only if they are really good. Unwanted bugs can be quietly self-destructed, destroying the bug object but not creating any kind of explosion or sign that it just disabled itself to people around.

You know what else would be kind of cool, though maybe unfeasible? If the bugs could just do a sort of pAI thing and project an innocuous holodisguise while allowing you to remote control them. Hey, maybe you could even insert a pAI into one of these. Wouldn't that be a kind of cool use for the currently underused pAI system? Then you could create a mobile spy drone, though in that case, there is a risk of discovery if someone tries to kill or eat the 'mouse'.

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Chameleon-projecting holo-nanomachines sounds like an interesting concept for ninjas. Being able to adopt any sort of disguise (and maybe change their own specialized entry in records) to suit them being an infiltrator on the station would be really interesting as a concept.

To keep their general access balanced while still juggling the aspect of maintaining the ninja's power cell in order to operate their unique ninja suit, changing their own identity and clothes should each independently take some charge away from the capacitor as an expenditure. Not a "gradual drain" effect but more of an immediate expenditure. Opening certain airlocks depending on their security level should also take energy away from the ninja suit given the nature of how expensive brute-force cracking can be.

It shouldn't act like an emag but it should at least open the airlock in question as its own tool.

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I don't know if it's possible, but if there is a way to let the suit change other variables of your character, such as fur/scale/skin color, while still preserving your original colors, that would be useful. That way xeno races won't be at a tremendous disadvantage on account of their coloration being the same no matter how they change their horns or kitty ears.

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It would be nice to have more Ninja stealth capabilities rather than getting caught then resorting to "OH NO! HE SAW ME! HE MUST DIE!" [mention]Kaed[/mention]. Although, I wish to understand your view on this. I want to be on the same page. Would you be implying the same mechanic as a character Spy from Team Fortress 2? See spoilers for special abilities.




If so, +1.

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From the suggestion, it looks like the ninja's individual hard-suit pieces would be able to function like the traitor's chameleon clothing set, able to mimic any other clothing item in the game. This leaves a little bit of a glaring weakness in the lack of being able to change the jumpsuit, but that could either be changed or just left as something the ninja needs to work around. Personally, considering the basis of the antagonist is to be a ninja, I'd support just giving them a cham jumpsuit as well. If the hard-suit requires power to use the chameleon features (on activation/changing it, not constant-as-used, please), then that is only 1 out of 5 articles that is 'free' chameleon changing.

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