Change background image
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Accepted Player complaint - Thomas Calloway (Calloway)

Discussion in 'Archived Player Complaints' started by flying_loulou, Dec 27, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. flying_loulou

    flying_loulou Senior Enlisted Advisor

    Their BYOND username: @Calloway
    Their character name: Thomas Calloway

    Your BYOND username: Flying_loulou
    Your character name: Marine Blanchet

    Date, time, and game ID of incident:
    27 December 2019, between 02:45 and 06:00 AM, UTC (roughly).
    Game ID: b4U-avar
    Several other rounds.

    Who else can vouch for the situation: @Ozwell , @Hephasto , many others.

    What happened: So, to start with I would like to say that I would usually solve this more ICly than OOCly. Yet I did not play command recently, and the CO was too busy to handle it during this particular round. Yet, this is a recurrent issue, and the play himself asked for a player complaint, so he could get a hard answer. He also stated that he will keep playing his SCGR this way unless told to do it differently via this complaint, or by a member of the staff.

    Basically, Calloway plays a very, very hands on SCGR. What's bad in that, will you ask ? well my issue is that he's not really playing as an advisor, but instead, playing nearly as an executive officer (or BO, eventually), actually trying to manage and delegate. Which is, in my opinion, nothis its job. This behavior is getting painfull for command staff to deal with, hence my remarks on discord, and this complaint. I sadly didn't keep logs the other times I saw him act this way, but it's pretty much every single round.

    Evidence that shows the incident fully (logs, screenshots, recordings, etc.)[/b]:
    The full logs from his point of view (which he provided) are attached.

    (Note that we had a CMO awake and active, and that medical has been aware and preping for at least 20 minutes)

    I take that as being quite bossy for an advisor.

    Again, I feel that would be more something a bridge officer/XO/CO would say

    Here he's just straight ordering security, which is clearly not his job.

    There are many other examples of him playing as a command staff rather than a SCGR during this round, and most of the other rounds he played, even though I don't think it's any usefull to stockpile these evidences.

    Note that he agreed that I use our private discussion in this complaint.

    Attached Files:

  2. Calloway

    Calloway Bartender

    Alright, I said to myself I wouldn't reply to this issue until the morning, but I'm likely not getting much in the way of sleep due to unrelated reasons anyway. I was told to go ahead and reply to this before an administrator claimed it, as some player complaints have been claimed in the archive.

    So then, broadly, my point of view can be reduced to three points. First, I do play a very, very active Sol Central Government Representative that often tries to play a meaningful role in the decision-making process. Second, the structure of Space Station 13 as a "threat of the three-hours" serial makes extraordinary situations commonplace. Finally, third, this round was an even more unusual situation that was driven by the threat of the SEV Torch becoming the flashpoint for a new SCG-GCC military conflict. Accordingly, I do not think that any actions taken to date have crossed any OOC lines, these are wholly IC concerns that are best handled IC if command does not like Calloway's style.

    I. Calloway is a very active SCGR whose primary contributions in most rounds are social in nature.

    The character in question, named after my account, is "Thomas Calloway." He is an attorney-turned-diplomat who
    , after serious issues with his second job out of law school, blew the whistle on the corporation he was working for. He then assisted the relevant colonial prosecutor's office with a successful, if not well publicized, prosecution of some of the perpetrators of various crimes. He used the trust that he gained with specific government officials to find a post with advisory positions to various pan-sapient-right SCG legislative committees, a role as Assistant General Counsel with the Office of Interstellar Intelligence Office of General Counsel, and,
    finally landed a slot with the SCGEC as the SCGR aboard our SEV TORCH. His chief, mechanical contributions in virtually any given round are talking a lot, writing a lot, and doing both of those things very well.

    Given this background, he is not used to sitting on the sidelines; he chooses instead to actively attempt to improve the situation around him by whatever means are available to him. In the course of his work on the Torch, that usually means: 1) giving relevant, useful legal advice to command, 2) assisting command with managing major situations that arise, and 3) using his communications skills to drive toward the objective that he feels will best help the Torch in accomplishing its mission. In extraordinary circumstances, the second and third points trend toward helping the Torch succeed in managing whatever crisis presents itself. True to his character, he does this by being forward with communications, by reaching out to departments with questions, and by using his office's limited mandate where appropriate. All of this, hopefully, encourages a ton of otherwise-unspoken dialogue and builds a sense of tension and excitement out of character.

    II. Calloway's normal course of business does not involve the coordination issues addressed in the Complaint, SS13's pattern of gameplay leads to significant crises arising in almost every round, and his responses to significant crises are by and large in keeping with his character and the SCGR role.

    How his activities play out in round depends on whatever crisis evolves. In the normal course of business, Calloway is actually quite passive. He visits departments, audits them, talks to people about their jobs, makes friends (or tries to), helps people avoid voiding the warranties on their prosthetic limbs, writes forms, and sends Exploration explicitly nonbinding recommendations on what to explore given SCG's (made up) priorities for that system, etc. The trouble is that SS13's model is built on extraordinary things happening in almost every shift, triggering Calloway's "do what you can to help" drive.

    Oftentimes, the thing at issue is wholly within his wheelhouse: diplomatic contact is made with someone of consequence and he has to talk to them, or relations with an alien race are strongly implicated. There, SCGR's diplomatic mandate all but requires an active, participating role in directing the Torch's response because the Torch itself is acting on behalf of the civilian government. The operational priorities of the ship take less precedence, in his mind, than the needs of the billions back in Sol who will be directly affected if the Torch gains the malign attention of the Ascent.

    At other times, the issue relates to the Torch's operations that are somewhat removed from diplomatic issues. There is "a mutiny," there are "pirates," there are "explosions near the Supermatter Crystal," and so forth. These still trigger the drive to do something, so he looks for angles to implicate the interests of the civilian government. Are the mutineers captured? If so, what were their motivations? Best go talk to Security, explain the importance of rapid interrogations, and ask them a whole bunch of questions to determine if they were part of a larger cell that poses a threat to SCG. Are the pirates dealt with? We need to get on their ship and get access to their computer files so OII can have a look at them when we get back to Sol.

    That Engineering example is a bit different. Honestly, better let Engineering handle that because Calloway knows he knows nothing about the Engineering department. If the rest of command staff is really busy, then ask Engineering directly if things are alright or if they need any help. Otherwise, remind command that Engineering might need some help and we should really check in.

    All of those examples implicate matters that are outside his office's direct mandate, so the extent of his influence is limited to what he can convince command is necessary. Usually, this is a lot of talking and trying to persuade command to Do The Thing that he thinks is most important. Often, that thing isn't tied to the normal course of resolving the emergency, such as getting computer systems off the pirate ship, to hopefully add a bit more excitement and variety to the rounds. The same is true for all the announcements, interactions, and other little tidbits that he does in communication with people; they are aimed at spicing up and providing everyone with the opportunity to roleplay.

    In this vein, statements that LouLou identified from this most recent round to Medical ("Medical, this is Calloway; we are hoping to avoid casualties in this crisis, but you are ready and prepared otherwise?"), Command ("Captain, is Security as well-equipped as we can manage for this crisis, if it comes to a hostile action?"), and Engineering ("Engineering, thank you all for diligent service during this crisis. Please keep Captain Richards apprised of any anomalous alarms, just as you have been; if they breach somewhere other than the fore airlock, we need to know as soon as possible") are par for the course. Similar statements have cropped up across a number of different rounds and I'm certain that my chat logs are filled with examples throughout various crises.

    They're certainly not direct orders, or if they look like orders they're just restatements of SOP or previous CO/XO/ROIC commands. They're usually just leading questions spiced up with some general encouragement (because "you're doing great, guys, and I'm very proud of you") when the rest of command is extremely busy dealing with the ongoing crisis and the outreach is consistent with command's objectives. These statements don't crop up outside of Code [Usually Red] Alert because on Code Green, Calloway is busy talking to someone about something that I hope is interesting, or making announcements telling people about some SCG initiative. There's simply no need for active participation in the style of those examples outside of a crisis.

    III. The round that generated these complaints, including the cited message to Security, involved unique circumstances that implicated the SCGR more than most of the Torch's crises.

    Which brings me to this specific round, which was actually unique in the rounds of SS13 I've played. Calloway made a statement that was indeed a no-nonsense direct order, which I don't believe he's ever done before, on Security's comms: "Security, they're claiming no affiliation with ICCGN. They're hostile boarders and you're weapons-free if this goes south. But /do not/ precipitate that, as they do have hostages." There were a few in-character reasons for this, which the logs should bear out. I don't think the other communications need terribly much in the way of justification, to be frank, but this one most certainly does.
    • The Torch was embroiled in a crisis where GCC-flagged personnel were going to board the Torch, leading to a tense standoff while we tried to negotiate with them. The Command statement referenced above actually took place when Calloway was waiting with Security as the first-point-of-contact for the armed intruders. He was going to try to prevent the potential of a new conflict from breaking out with his life, if needed, by approaching (with command's authorization) the boarders on sight. Any shots fired could have been a diplomatic incident that spiraled into interstellar war. This impacted his mandate directly; not only was he personally involved, but under no circumstances could he allow the Torch to be the spark that re-ignited the Gaia Conflict (or the "Torch Affair").
    • Someone, I believe the XO, gave an order that Security was to listen to Calloway, as neither the XO nor the CO were down at the D4, Fore Docking Bay where Calloway was waiting for the GCC personnel with security. As this was essentially a high-stakes diplomatic contact between SCG and the GCC aimed at preventing war, I think the XO wanted to make sure that Calloway could coordinate that effort. That is what Calloway assumed IC.
    • A hostage crisis developed on the bridge as the GCC personnel went in through some access point on B-Deck rather than meet Calloway and the Security team down below. As he thought that the CO and XO were both on the bridge, the SEA was nowhere to be seen, and the CO had been taken captive, there was still a chance for a diplomatic resolution that might avoid any SCG or GCC personnel dying and potentially sparking that war. Given the XO's previous statement and the need to avoid deaths unless the GCC personnel started causing them, Calloway did indeed give that order, which he thought was in line with command's general mandate from SCGECC at the time to deescalate. It all happened in literally seconds; moments later the GCC personnel started shooting, and the matter was moot. But IC, telling Security not to do anything rash when the CO is held hostage is not an unreasonable statement from an SCGR, even as a heat-of-the-moment order, and the weapons-free statement was a restatement of orders already given by the CO or XO regarding what to do if boarded and fired upon.
    I agree that this would be beyond the pale--clearly not his job--were it not for the significant, extraordinary circumstances of the round. The remainder of his conduct was otherwise bog-standard Calloway, pushing his influence wherever it can reach without giving direct orders to the crew; I see this as an in-character issue, where command staff who explicitly do not trust Calloway to do his job well can tell him to butt out. Granted, he will probably try to butt back in, but that's just cause for roleplay and exciting drama.

    As LouLou pointed out, I am entirely on board with getting an answer to this complaint, as I do want to know whether my general conduct as observed by moderators and admins across a number of rounds treads too far. I don't think it does, of course, for the reasons that have been stated above. I would like to avoid having to make up a circumstance where Calloway gets an SCGEC commission and hops into the driver's seat; working without the ability to directly command someone to achieve objectives is so much harder, generates more opportunities for roleplay throughout the Torch, and is more fun for me in general than simply giving orders. Nevertheless, I've been told many times that I play a fairly active SCGR compared to the norm and I'd like feedback on that approach generally and on any points where I've crossed an OOC line.
  3. Calloway

    Calloway Bartender

    As a point of clarification, when I say that I intend to keep playing a very active SCGR, command staff can simply rein him in IC.

    I assume that there is some carryover in interactions between non-antagonist characters between rounds. So if XO so-and-so says to Calloway, "I need you to respect the boundary between your office and mine by staying off department comms in emergency situations," or even, "get the #%^$ off my comms, you meddling @^*&$," that has some carryover effect between rounds. If Calloway has a good reason to push back based on the circumstances of the round, those will be round-specific. When that pushback happens, we get roleplay and drama, where the command staff get to show off their people-management skills. Dealing with large personalities is part of what command has to deal with.

    This is properly regarded as an IC issue. Every single issue stated above can be resolved through conversations where command susses out the boundaries between their roles and learn to work with one another. That leads to different sorts of interactions with different COs/XOs, which is spice and flavor in roleplay. That already happens; Blair, for instance, is very different compared to Richards in their dynamics with Calloway. They've used their words in different ways and can continue to do so in developing their relationships.

    What I do not want to see is an OOC imposition saying "don't do this, this, and that." OOC criticism is not a good way to address IC concerns unless I have so far overstepped that it's unacceptable from a gameplay/setting perspective. I don't think I have, of course, for the reasons stated in my original reply.
  4. Spookerton

    Spookerton Head Administrator Director of Administration Head Administrator Game Administrator IPC Species Maintainer Donator

    Hi @BunkyB @Roland410 @Ozwell @GunnarRecall - I've hidden a number of unrequested posts of yours from public view, although they remain visible to staff members. Please recall that unless you are explicitly asked to post in a complaint by the handling staff member, you may not.
  5. Persona E

    Persona E Game Administrator

    Hi, I will handle this one. The poster and subject of the complaint can continue to add their comments until I get around to taking a closer look.

    Everyone else, opening it up to brief factual statements about specific logs quoted here if you were online to see them.
  6. GunnarRecall

    GunnarRecall Bartender

    In order to trim the fat down from my earlier post and be in compliance with forum rules, I'll just affirm here that even when given instruction by the Bridge staff to be in charge of the Sec staff on D4, Calloway issued no orders other than to remain alert and to not instigate. There were no misunderstandings in this regard on my end at least. Further, the one direct order in question where we were "weapons free" was in fact during the height of the assault on the Bridge and certainly in the heat-of-the-moment, occurring only mere moments before ballistics weapons fire could be heard on the Bridge a few tiles away.
  7. flying_loulou

    flying_loulou Senior Enlisted Advisor

    So to be honest, he shouldn't have been ordered to lead security (by the XO, should it be added), but that's out of this thread's topic. If I'm ordered to do something I shouldn't do, I'd just refuse, but that's only me.

    I posted the quote you're refering to as an example, but let me go through the logs a bit more :

    Note that all the quotes following are after the negociations failed...

    The SCGR clearly isn't supposed to declare code red out of nowhere, may the bridge be taken, some heads weren't hostages, and could have swiped from their offices. He is also again directing medical (which was already standing by the bridge, iirc), while there is a CMO for that, which wasn't hostage either.

    Again trying to command medical, overstepping the CMO, while I was already doing triage and sending the informations I had to the ETC via radio. At this moment I already had Woodward dispatched on someone, I was working in the bridge proper (the "Yas', got more here" bit), and Walker was sent as reinforcement to the port side of the bridge. Note that this particular bit clearly isn't related to any negociation at all, again.

    Again some orders, this one was given when we were treating the woundeds on the bridge, I think he ordered us to clear them of the bridge. Again, not related to any negociation duty.

    To understand the context, the CMO reminded us (as he already ordered it earlier) to prioritize the Torch crew over the boarders (for the triage). Calloway is, again, giving orders (and now, he is clearly just going against the CMO, on matters purely regarding his department). (Again, not related to the negociation duty since the situation has passed).

    ... Wasn't the XO in charge ?

    Asking for a sitrep, not his job, and not related to negociations, again.


    There are many others, and I could continue for ages, but I'll stop there. The logs are on the Original post (attached as .txt) if needed. But excuse me, I clearly take that as leading, and managing departments, rather than negociating.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  8. Calloway

    Calloway Bartender

    Each of the above is an outgrowth or extension of the supremely unusual circumstances of the round, which from SCG's perspective could have resulted in a proper war between SCG-GCC if it had been mismanaged. We did need a prisoner alive for interrogation, we did not know if there were additional boarders (two were apparently lost to carp), XO's status was unclear for a time, bridge had already explicitly delegated to Calloway, CO was unconscious/in surgery, and a false step could have had ramifications far beyond the Torch, etc. They were wholly justified as an IC response given the stakes and situation.

    The end result of this was a successful negotiation between SCG and GCC personnel, with literal flag officers from both sides aboard the Torch. I've never seen a round with such high stakes for SCG, where SCGECC was involved at every step of the way. If the quotes above were representative of anything other than that unique situation, but rather happened round-to-round, I would agree that a problem exists. They do not, however, and I refer to my original post above.

    None of this is a round-to-round, OOC issue. This specific round was unique. Command is fully capable of talking things out through IC interactions, as anyone playing a CO/XO is certainly capable of, in the course of normal crises that Torch faces. Their various styles will lead to different sorts of dynamics depending on the CO/XO involved, which is flavor and an opportunity for good roleplay; it is not a justification for the Complaint, for reasons stated here and in my First Reply and Second Reply.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  9. flying_loulou

    flying_loulou Senior Enlisted Advisor

    That doesn't mean it's on you to make sure things don't go south. When I play CO, if the supermatter explodes, it pretty much fucks my round up, as I intend to lead it, as it fucks many people's round in the mean time. In addition it would be terribly detrimential for the SCG if their peak exploration ship comes back with a hole in its aft, on any level, may it be scientific, economic, or just for public relations. Yet, despite me knowing how to set it up, and despite my CO having some engineering knowledge, I don't set the SM up myself. Nor do I order the CE/SE/engineers what setup they should be using.

    That is not up to the SCGR to decide. There was a CMO to take such decisions, plus an active XO, if needed. You could have suggested (not ordered) to the CMO to prioritize one prisoneer over the command channel, or face-to-face. Directly going against him on his own department's channel is, imo, out of the SCGR's bounds.

    You tell the crew the XO is in charge while being unaware of his status ?

    Because something is critical doesn't mean you have to step out of your job's role to make sure it goes the right way. I already gave an example above, but let me give anotherone : I'm way more often playing MT than physician, and, I think, I have a good grasp on the medical mechanics. When i see a physician player fucking up his surgery, well I just shrug and carry on. It may fuck up someone else's round, but it's not within my character's authority to correct a doctor on surgery (unless he makes really obvious mistakes, like, idk, cutting the wrong leg off).

    So, as Ozwell said in his post (which was hidden from public view), no, this is a recurrent issue, and you are often seen requesting for sitreps/being directive towards some department, despite having a command staff active (I didn't keep logs, I'm affraid).

    For the "as anyone playing a CO/XO is certainly capable of" bit, no, and this is exactly what makes it an OOC issue in my opinion. For example, I play a rather calm BO/pathfinder (which I haven't been playing those days). She wouldn't ever tell you to shoo from her department comms/stop ordering her around, yet she would suffer from it in game (and it would piss me off OOCly). I wouldn't have complained if such a thing was done as a junior character, but you're playing an SCGR, meaning you are, by position, given some authority, which you shouldn't missuse (that's my take). In this particular case, some people are either forced to accept the authority you're granting yourself (OOCly frustrating), or step out of the what they want their character to be (just as OOCly frustrating), which is, imo, detrimential.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  10. Calloway

    Calloway Bartender

    Nothing in the above is terribly new or unaddressed by my First, Second, or Third Replies.

    Unique circumstances of the round; asking for status updates is not on the same level as the quotes you've identified above. In other rounds, if you believe there is misuse of authority, inform your superiors so they can address the matter IC. If XO-so-and-so clearly says "don't do this," that sort of thing persists as part of the dynamic between those two characters. The gameplay issues that have been described as arising in the normal course of things are just general difficulties with human interaction, that is, roleplaying. I really think that "Say" and "Me" messages ingame are a better forum than this.
  11. flying_loulou

    flying_loulou Senior Enlisted Advisor

    I wrote : asking sitreps and attempt to direct some departments, exploration mainly, even if you don't forget the others.

    A CO ordering/commenting the SM setup of the engineering department would also be "just general difficulties with human interaction". Yet that kind of "intrusions" are bad from an OOC point of view.

    I did witness some people asking your character to be less intrusive (IC), yet, he still is. Hence why this has been brought up OOCly.
  12. Calloway

    Calloway Bartender

    I think this is all addressed effectively by my replies above; whether this is an IC or OOC issue is ultimately up to the admins. I'll let this lie unless something new arises or admins request clarification so that we can avoid going in circles.
  13. Persona E

    Persona E Game Administrator

    I will bring up the wiki description of the SCGR role, since I feel it's a good baseline for what the SCGR absolutely should feel empowered to do:

    Primarily, the SCGR is responsible for advising the Commanding Officer with the aim of keeping the SEV Torch's mission focused on opportunities for diplomacy, exploration, and potential colonization efforts... Secondly, the SCGR is responsible for providing legal counsel on request... Finally, the SCGR is responsible for acting as a watchdog for the Committee for Diplomatic Relations by submitting reports on the mission's progress and its Commanding Officer and crew's actions.​

    To spotlight part of Calloway's post:

    At other times, the issue relates to the Torch's operations that are somewhat removed from diplomatic issues. There is "a mutiny," there are "pirates," there are "explosions near the Supermatter Crystal," and so forth. These still trigger the drive to do something, so he looks for angles to implicate the interests of the civilian government. Are the mutineers captured? If so, what were their motivations? Best go talk to Security, explain the importance of rapid interrogations, and ask them a whole bunch of questions to determine if they were part of a larger cell that poses a threat to SCG. Are the pirates dealt with? We need to get on their ship and get access to their computer files so OII can have a look at them when we get back to Sol.​

    I understand this perspective and the concept you're going for. This is exactly the goal of the SCGR, to advance civilian interests into the chain of command. But the leap to "Best go talk to Security" is what is on the line here as far as what the SCGR should be doing to address this stuff, in my mind, and I think going through these examples is going to highlight that as a pattern.

    The SCG Representative represents the SCG on the command team and is a voice in the conference room or on the Bridge for the interests of the mission, the CDR, and the civilian government at large. The SCGR has no authority or responsibility to go talk to a group of masters-at-arms, unless first the SCGR has gone and talked to the CO or COS and the result of that conversation is "sounds good, go tell the MAAs what you told us."

    If there is a CO or COS and the SCGR does that, it's a wild overstep and is both ICly disrespectful and against the rules. If the SCGR does that in the absence of the CO or COS, it's questionable at best - was there any way to accomplish that goal without directly managing a bunch of grunts? A brig officer, XO, bridge officer, or SEA that could have helped? In my opinion, when something needs to get done, the SCGR should find the nearest point of entry into the conventional chain of command and inject civilian interests there, not at the deepest level possible.

    I'm just going to go down the line and talk about some of these examples, in no particular order, accepting that they were pulled from their context to illustrate a point but also having checked the logs to verify each of them:

    [Medical] Thomas Calloway asks, "Medical, this is Calloway; we are hoping to avoid casualties in this crisis, but you are ready and prepared otherwise?"​

    Personally, I would avoid this kind of stuff directly on their comms. The SCGR, even moreso than a bridge officer or SEA, should be directing this stuff to the line officer or CO unless neither option is present. Even then, it's a bit of a stretch.

    [Medical] Thomas Calloway exclaims, "Medical, port B-Deck hallway, NOW!"
    [Medical] Thomas Calloway shouts, "Captain is here and down!"​

    Only a small issue: to avoid confusion and to avoid looking like you're giving people orders, this kind of stuff can just go over Common.

    Thomas Calloway says, "Get them the fuck off this bridge, please."​

    Fine. The SCGR is not prevented by any OOC rule from being rude, and "get them out," said in person, is really not something that you need to run by the CMO. That wouldn't be a bad idea if they didn't listen to you, though.

    [Medical] Thomas Calloway says, "Medical, I need at least /one/ of the boarders alive for interrogation and as a hostage. Prioritize at least /one/ of them."​

    This one sucks. Again, inject this as high up in the chain of command as you can. The SCGR's need to interrogate people is not something medical needs to give a fuck about. It should come from their CMO, not you.

    [Command] Thomas Calloway asks, "Captain, is Security as well-equipped as we can manage for this crisis, if it comes to a hostile action?"​

    This is absolutely in line with the SCGR's primary objective of "advising the Commanding Officer." I certainly have given the CO even more strongly worded advice when playing the SEA role. I'm confused as to why this one was posted.

    [Engineering] Thomas Calloway says, "Engineering, thank you all for diligent service during this crisis. Please keep Captain Richards apprised of any anomalous alarms, just as you have been; if they breach somewhere other than the fore airlock, we need to know as soon as possible."
    Calloway's doing three things with this message:
    • Patting engineers on the back. Could be weird, but it's not an actual problem.
    • Explaining the need to know if a specific event occurs. Cool and good! It should be explained to someone whose job it is to care what civilian leadership wants, like the CO, XO or CE.
    • Instructing engineers to "keep Captain Richards apprised of any anomalous alarms," not appropriate. The SCGR should not be giving an instruction like this directly to the grunts.

    Here's an example of a radio message that fulfills the same use case and is perfectly appropriate for an SCGR who is particularly actively concerned about something: "Lt. McCrowbar/Ens. Bunny/Cdr. Fuckface/etc., I am concerned that they will breach somewhere other than the fore airlock. Would you keep in touch with the Engineering team to ensure that Lt. McHarmbaton is kept apprised of any anomalous alarms?"

    [Security] Thomas Calloway says, "Security, they're claiming no affiliation with ICCGN. They're hostile boarders and you're weapons-free if this goes south. But /do not/ precipitate that, as they do have hostages."​

    Just to repost Calloway's explanation for this one:

    Someone, I believe the XO, gave an order that Security was to listen to Calloway, as neither the XO nor the CO were down at the D4, Fore Docking Bay where Calloway was waiting for the GCC personnel with security. As this was essentially a high-stakes diplomatic contact between SCG and the GCC aimed at preventing war, I think the XO wanted to make sure that Calloway could coordinate that effort. That is what Calloway assumed IC.

    But IC, telling Security not to do anything rash when the CO is held hostage is not an unreasonable statement from an SCGR, even as a heat-of-the-moment order, and the weapons-free statement was a restatement of orders already given by the CO or XO regarding what to do if boarded and fired upon.​

    I really dislike this log in particular. Your explanation makes sense, and yes, it is in the SCGR's interest that Security doesn't do anything rash. (I think that even "Security, don't do anything rash!" would be appropriate here or at least not present an OOC issue.) I hate to appear to be nitpicking tone, but it is a real problem that the SCGR is on security comms appearing to be giving orders like this, or really even relaying them if anyone else can.

    Not only that, but the SCGR should not, by default, feel comfortable controlling a squad in a tactical situation, just like the SCGR should not feel comfortable setting up the supermatter engine. If your character accepts that responsibility, it should probably end up looking and sounding like a civilian bureaucrat has just been put in charge of managing a tactical situation.

    [Common] Thomas Calloway says, "Staff and crew, we are engaged on the bridge, we are functionally at Red Alert; medical, prepare to receive casualties."​

    This is fine. Anyone can step up like this in a dire situation. It is not micromanaging anyone or bypassing links in the chain of command. I'm willing to assume that Calloway had a good reason to say the ship was "functionally at Red Alert," and the rest of this is literally the same as a crewman saying "help, someone is hurt" or "I heard gunshots" which are both unproblematic. The SCGR has no more restrictions in that regard than anyone else does. Reporting information over Common is not stepping on anyone's toes.

    Let me outline what I believe is not OK:
    • The SCGR taking the initiative to directly make requests of departmental grunts that have a line officer, senior team member, or supervisor active.
    • Any command role going over the head of a responsive and competent department leader without a reason to do so.
    What is on the line:
    • The SCGR using departmental comms to relay orders and information the same way that a bridge officer or XO might. In general, a character outside of a department's chain of command using that department's comms without some reason to do so.
    • A character in a soft-power role accepting hard authority over a situation or department.
    And what is OK or good or expected:
    • The SCGR making requests of command staff, including specific demands of specific line officers, whenever appropriate for the SCGR's IC goals.
    • Any command staff taking initiative to bypass missing or unresponsive or incompetent links in the chain of command when necessary.
    • Any character in any role notifying a department of new information or making a request of a department that is in the crew's general interest, like notifying medical that someone is hurt.
    • Any character in any role being demanding or rude within the rules.
    • Any player occasionally making mistakes in the portrayal of their character or role.

    I am leaving this open: did I provide an adequate explanation for why some of this is not appropriate for the role? Do you understand what specifically I might find problematic about these lines that I did not highlight above?
    1. [Security] Thomas Calloway says, "Thank you /all/. Please report the status of your team at this time, we need to know who is still combat capable."
    2. [Security] Thomas Calloway says, "Security, please continue to stand by. Understand that /I/ am an expendable asset in this situation, as much as I hate to say it."
    3. [Medical] Thomas Calloway says, "Medical, please strip the hostiles of any personal effects, including suits."
  14. Calloway

    Calloway Bartender

    I think this is all very reasonable, yes, and generally in keeping with my understanding of SCGR's role and its limitations. I would only emphasize that in this specific round, Calloway was:
    • Acting under the reasonable belief that the situation could have immense ramifications for SCG-GCC relations, up to and including open conflict, which was a concern that outweighed virtually any other;
    • Acting under constant pressure in an extremely chaotic round with directions from SCGECC to help coordinate the effort with Captain Richards;
    • Under the belief that his role with security was generally managing an imprompteau diplomatic security team, per the specific direction of the XO, not giving tactical commands other than various "please do not engage unless the CO is shot or I am shot" statements, paraphrased; and,
    • Under the belief, for most of the high-intensity security-related statements, that the CO, XO, and BO were injured and out of action or held hostage on the bridge, and that the security team was still in diplomatic escort mode per the XO.
    I would chalk most of the statements made up to IC errors of decorum made under pressure, with a few exceptions.

    For example, I don't think I mentioned above: I did not recall in round that we had a proper CMO in charge of Medical. That was my error and I would have gone through command comms first had I remembered that. The round was constant effort with virtually no downtime and I closed the manifest at some point. Those statements to medical were generally aimed at obtaining the boarder's equipment so that we could catalogue and photograph it as GCC gear for use in the upcoming negotiations. I do try to go through senior staff whenever possible.

    This was a difficult, stressful round that we nevertheless resolved very well. All of the quoted, potentially over the line statements above were an outgrowth of those peculiar, unusual circumstances; they're not representative of other rounds of my play. I do think I had good, IC justifications based on the need to avoid military conflict with the GCC as an overriding concern and that, while questionable, his conduct was not over an OOC line given the very specific context of the situation. With that said, I don't expect that a similar, perfect storm of a situation will occur again. I understand why they are otherwise problematic.

    The usual course of my roleplay falls within the "on the line" examples of SCGR play noted above. I like the suggested variants of the statement to Engineering, moreover, and that fits with the concept I'm going for. I have no issues with the general approach outlined here.

    (Minor edits for grammar and clarity, I am on mobile.)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  15. Calloway

    Calloway Bartender

    Just to emphasize, there are a couple of more significant edits to the previous reply for clarity that go beyond grammar/spelling.
  16. Persona E

    Persona E Game Administrator

    This is where we disagree. Suddenly knowing how to manage a squad in a combat situation isn't an in-character mistake, it's either an out-of-character conceptual misunderstanding of the role or a miraculous in-character stroke of genius. By the same token, I don't think it's better to describe Calloway somewhat consistently overshadowing line officers as an IC managerial mistake than as a playstyle. An overwhelming concern with avoiding diplomatic incident does not suddenly change either of these.

    Occasional OOC mistakes are not what I'm taking an issue with. I don't see these as occasional mistakes but as examples of a playstyle which you have developed and which you say that you plan to continue to employ unless told otherwise. I am telling you otherwise.

    These are not "otherwise" problematic or only problematic in certain circumstances, and I don't agree that the sorts of examples here are necessarily constrained to the round, other than the particular instance of micromanaging security. There is a playstyle here that is not entirely appropriate for the role. There is a change in playstyle required here, not just hoping that extraordinary situations simply don't crop up again:
    I am glad that you agree with the approach I have suggested as an alternative. Occasionally forgetting the role is fine, but there is a pattern here that I believe does extend outside the round and should be addressed. I will note a summary and mark this valid.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.