The Captain is in charge of the station and everyone on it. They make sure the crew is working and productive and any potential threats are seen to. They are expected to be able to command their Heads of Staff effectively, and have the highest authority onboard the station, except in cases where Central Command directly countermands this, and whenever the Magistrate presides over a case, as they can overrule you on Space Law matters. While you possess access to every radio channel, the most important one you'll be utilizing is 'c' for the command channel.
Captain on deck!
The Captain is the top of the power chain. They command the Heads of Staff and have the final say in station decisions. They hold an all-access ID, a large amount of unique equipment, and a luxurious cabin. The only one with potentially more power is the AI. This is a very important role and should only be played by experienced players.
Lonely at the top...
The Captain's main job is to lead and direct the station. The Captain, therefore, has direct authority over the Heads of Staff, changing the alert level, contacting Central Command, calling the evacuation shuttle, and coordinating station-wide emergency evacuation and defence.
In the absence or lack of the head of a department, effort should be made by you, or the Head of Personnel to appoint one to each department. Please note, you can only assign acting command staff to be relieved at the time a full-time member is sent, Central Command reserves the right to send you full-time staff. You should always have a fully functioning command staff, even if some members are only acting.
It is the Captain's job to make sure that all the Heads of Staff are communicating and leading their departments properly. They should not involve themselves directly in departmental matters unless asked by the Head of Staff responsible or when the situation becomes unmanageable by that Head of Staff; any potential captain must be careful in doing so as too much of this can be seen as micromanagement.
For example, the Captain should not have to tell the Chief Engineer to start the engine, a competent chief should be able to do this themselves. If they can't, it falls to the Captain to decide as to whether to demote the current head, promote someone to a head, or consult with that department as to the best course of action. The Captain's job isn't to do others' work for them, but to make sure that everything is being done correctly.
Showing your best side
As Captain, you are in charge. There is no way to tell you exactly how to run things, many people have different leadership styles. However, as Captain, there are some things you should be aware of:
- Only involve yourself when there is nobody else available to do the job. If you get involved in every security matter when there's already a Head of Security, it is suggested you get a job change. If there isn't a head of staff for a specific department, get your Head of Personnel to assign a new one. The only exception to this rule is when your Head of Personnel is "absent", as you are the only other Head who can assign people.
- Delegate whenever you can. If someone says 'Captain, there's a plasma leak!' then you order your Chief Engineer to go fix it. Do NOT attempt to fix it yourself. You will put yourself unnecessarily at risk. You must remember that you are a very important part of keeping the station running.
- Do NOT Delegate Everything. This may seem counterintuitive to the last point, however, it can determine your success as a Captain if you pick and choose which situations you delegate and which you take a more active part in. It should be noted that in any situation, you should rely on other crew to perform direct actions such as ordering the implanting of a terrorist or ensuring patients are seen by doctors (it should be noted, yet again, that you should be delegating the treatment to a doctor unless under duress).
- Follow the Chain of Command. You command the Heads. The Heads command their departments. Try not to skip them in the decision-making process unless absolutely necessary. They are the ones who should know their own departments best.
- Keep calm and carry on. As Captain, every shift should be a normal and productive working day. However, be prepared to deal with any or all of the following: Incompetent or absent Heads, subversive elements, angry crew members banging down the bridge door trying to get in, corrupted AIs on the warpath, killer meteor strikes, plagues, and the occasional aftermath of an armageddon against the ship. And it's your job to manage it all. Good luck.
These pointers are incredibly important, especially with regards to Delegation and Chain of Command.
Stay in Touch
The most important thing for a Captain to do: Be Known. The crew should know who the Captain is, know that they are available to address complaints and give advice, and know that their Captain isn't a baldie/snowflake/chucklefuck. That is the number one thing required for a station to function when things hit the fan.
- You have all channels on your headset, be present on them. Inquire how work is going. Be specific ("How is robotics production going?"), rather than just saying "Status Report" over the department channel.
- Know all your command staff, make sure they know who you are. Ask them if they are having any issues, or need direction.
- Overlook the Station Economy. You are responsible for the Command Budget and have access to all Department Account information. Discuss monetary conditions with other heads of staff.
- Announce important things where appropriate. This can be the CC orders for the day, accompanied by directing the personnel accordingly; it could be warning the crew why you declared code red (the HoS is often too busy to do this. Be sure that you know all the facts); it could be announcing a notable achievement of a crew member - which leads to the next point...
- Fire people that do not meet the standards - make it well known that you had a good reason for doing so. If people do exceedingly well, see that they are given a medal and/or promoted.
- Keep in touch with the Librarian, make sure they keep their news feed filled with NT propaganda, encouraging stories drawn from the crew's successes.
- Have a good dialogue with the NT Representative, Magistrate, the Heads of Security and Personnel and the IAAs. Take their input seriously unless patently untrue, but do not allow them to overstep their authority.
Alerts and SOP
You have control of the station's alert level. The following is a summary of what they are and when they should be used:
- Code Green - All Clear. Low alert level. No threats to the station or suspected threats have either been dealt with or simply vanished on their own.
Default operating level. No immediate or clear threat to the station. All departments may carry out work as normal.
This is how the round starts, and you should do everything in your power to keep it that way. It can be changed to this from the Communications Console on the bridge.
- Code Blue - Suspected Threat. Heightened alert level. There is a suspected threat to the station or the confirmed threat hasn't had any enemy activity in 15 minutes. Issued by Central Command, the Captain, or a Head of Staff vote.
If you feel that there is a threat to the station either from the environment (large atmospheric breaches, meteors, etc.) or people (organized attacks against the crew, theft of high-value property, unknown invaders, etc.). Code Blue can be raised from the Communications Console on the bridge.
- Code Red - Confirmed Threat. High alert level. A confirmed threat to the station or severe damage. Issued by Central Command, the Captain, or a Head of Staff vote.
Code Red should only be called when there is a confirmed threat to the station; confirmed meaning to the best of your knowledge. This can only be raised by swiping two Head of Staff ID cards at the same time in the Keycard Authentication Devices in each Head of Staff's office. In emergencies, your spare ID can be used as well. An Emergency Response Team and full maintenance access for everyone can also be called from these devices if you think the situation requires additional help.
- Code Gamma - Massive Threat. Maximum alert level. The threat is severe enough to threaten the existence of the Cyberiad. Issued by Central Command.
Code Gamma only happens if the threat is considered massive, but Central Command still wants to protect their assets (that being the Cyberiad and its crew members). Martial law is now in effect and the gamma armoury may or may not be sent at the discretion of Central Command. Do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of your crew members. This can only be done either by using the Communication Console and messaging Central Command about the situation and the reason why Gamma needs to be called or via fax explaining the situation and reason aforementioned, signed and stamped by the Captain or Acting Captain.
There are many items in your cabin but not all of them should be used all the time. Captains are not supposed to involve themselves in station matters, such as security, and you should not expect things to go wrong, so wearing your special armour and carrying lethal energy on green alert is not expected or encouraged. You are allowed to carry a weapon for self-defence, though it should not be lethal. The 'chain of command' item is a novelty, and should not leave your office. The telescopic baton does more damage than a stun baton but stuns for a shorter amount of time.
Your Captain's armour and helmet function as a spacesuit, but this does not mean you should be wearing it all the time. It should be noted that your speed is reduced more while wearing this armour than while using the standard chest armour in your locker. The antique laser gun in the glass case is an antique and should be treated as such. It is highly valuable and shouldn't leave its case.
The spare captain's ID, handheld teleporter, and nuclear authentication disk should be kept on you at all times.
"You DARE question my Authority?!"
The Captain has the final say on almost every matter on the station. If the Captain tells someone to do something they better do it or have an exceptionally good reason to not do so. Captains should follow Space Law and Security has the power to arrest the Captain if they do not. The only time Space Law may be overridden is if there is an immediate and overwhelming threat to the station.
Situations where the captain's orders are overridden are rare but may include orders that would cause unnecessary and large amounts of damage to people or property or are simply outrageously stupid. For example, ordering the Chief Engineer to vent the bar of the atmosphere as people are getting slightly tipsy. This is not the norm, however, and generally, people should follow whatever the captain says.
Standard Operating Procedure
1. The Captain is not permitted to perform regular Security Duty. However, they may still assist Security if they are understaffed, or if they see a crime being committed. However, the Captain is not permitted to take items from the Armory under normal circumstances, unless authorized by the Head of Security. In addition, the Captain may not requisition weaponry for themselves from Cargo and/or Science, unless there's an immediate threat to station and/or crew;
2. If a Department lacks a Head of Staff, the Captain should make reasonable efforts to appoint an Acting Head of Staff, if there are available personnel to fill the position;
3. The Captain is to ensure that Space Law is being correctly applied. This should be done in cooperation with the Head of Security;
4. The Captain is not to leave the NSS Cyberiad unless given specific permission by Central Command, or it happens to be the end of the shift. This includes via space. To do so is to be considered abandoning their post and is grounds for termination;
5. The Captain must keep the Nuclear Authentication Disk on their person at all times or, failing that, in the possession of the Head of Security or Blueshield;
6. The Captain is to attempt to resolve every issue that arises in Command locally before contacting Central Command;
7. The Captain is not permitted to carry their Antique Laser Gun or Space Armor unless there's an immediate emergency that requires attending to;
8. The Captain, despite being in charge of the Cyberiad, is not independent from NanoTrasen. Any attempts to disregard general company policy are to be considered grounds for instant contract termination;
9. The Captain may only promote personnel to a Acting Head of Staff position if there is no assigned Head of Staff associated with the Department. Said Acting Head of Staff must be a member of the Department they are to lead. See below for more information on Chain of Command;
10. The Captain may not fire any Head of Staff without reasonable justification (i.e. incompetency, criminal activity, or any action that endangers/compromises the station and/or crew). The Captain may not fire any Central Command VIPs (i.e. Blueshield, Magistrate, NanoTrasen Representative) without permission from Central Command, unless they are blatantly acting against the well-being and safety of the crew and station. The Captain must also follow HoP SOP point 5.
NanoTrasen vessels are often under threat from various criminal organisations and natural space disasters. As Captain, is it your job to manage these threats and make sure that they do not interfere with normal activity aboard the station.
Most of the time, your onboard Security, Medical, and Engineering forces should be sufficient to deal with the threat. Therefore, you are not expected to have to deal with such matters by yourself, save for when you have not been supplied with them or you feel they are incompetent.
You are the captain and you are expected to put your ship and your crew ahead of you. It is your job to keep this station alive with as few deaths as possible - letting the station die in exchange for your life is a very poor decision and may lead to your execution. A captain isn't a captain without his crew. It should be noted, however, that a dead Captain can be more of a detriment to the survival of any survivors of any horrible
attacks accidents than a live one. Do Not sell out your station, but Do Not sell yourself (figuratively).
Round-Start antagonists are ineligible to be be matched to the job of Captain.
Note that if you are selected as antag, but your character's job preferences are set such that the round is unable to match you to any available non-mindshielded job, you will be instead be assigned to a random job.
As a mindshielded crew member, you cannot be converted into an antagonist through thralling, unless you have lost your mindshield implant, either to cloning or surgical removal. If, however, you are somehow unshielded, thralled, and then re-implanted with a mindshield, you will remain thralled.
- In terms of roleplaying, you have a lot of freedom. You should have some basic knowledge of how each department runs and who the heads of them are but, outside that, you could have as much (or as little) knowledge as you want. You can play with a background in a certain field, but you should NOT be able to do everything (i.e. Being able to set up the Engine singlehandedly AND also knowing how to clone people AND knowing how to make bombs is probably going too far). Just remember though, a very incompetent Captain doesn't make too many friends.
- Leave security matters to Security, you don't (and shouldn't) need to step in on every criminal situation. You are above the Head of Security in terms of command, but you should defer security matters to him. Only step in if you think that a decision could endanger the station or crew.
- Don't think that just because you're the Captain you can do anything you want. That's the absolute worst thing to do. You're there to make sure everyone else is doing their job, not to do it for them.
- Your armour is heavy, protective armour that is space capable. It is not for walking around in all the time and would be anywhere from extremely uncomfortable to debilitatingly exhausting depending on your captain's physical strength and stamina to do so. There is an armoured vest in your locker if you feel the need to wear armour when the full set isn't appropriate, but keep in mind you're on a research station, and you shouldn't be expecting to need the armour under the majority of situations.
- Thy office is thy Castle. Thy office is thy Noose. It can shelter you when Revolutionaries are bashing in the bridge, or it can pin crosshairs on your head for any Nuclear Operative attacks, be aware of this and pay attention to your radio while in your office as it is your figurative eyes while you are blind to the sufferings of the crew.
- Gotta go fast! Whether just walking through your station or running for your god-damn life, keeping fast WILL save you. Reduce your armour encumbrance and keep yourself fed. You never know when that burst of speed puts you one tile too far for that bomb, bullet, laser bolt or toolbox-wielding assistant.
- You are NOT the hero the station deserves, and you most certainly are NOT the one it needs. Just because Operatives are bashing down your door looking for your disc (Which should be in your bag, RIGHT?!) does not mean you should be making a heroic stand against them. Run as fast as you can out the other way and run even faster again away. If you lose your life, as pointed out earlier you will, at the very least be handing antagonists the skeleton key to all unbolted doors, and at the very worst the nuclear disc to Nuclear Operatives. Even if you are certain that you can take them on with a team of reliable(?) people behind you, then proceed with caution, and be prepared to yackity sacks it out of there, should things turn for the worse.