Terminology

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Like many other games and things in life, various words might have a specific contextual meanings. Here is a list of some words you might hear when playing on Polaris, or SS13 in general.

OOC Terms

A lot of these terms you will hear in OOC contexts, such as in the OOC chat or on the forums. It may not be appropriate to use them in IC contexts, so beware.

Admin

The people who run the server. They are charged with making sure things run smoothly, people are having fun, and griefers aren't ruining it for everyone. Has a variety of power-abuse buttons to keep the game from being fun.

Adminhelp/Ahelp

A command which lets you send a message to the admins. Can be accessed by typing Adminhelp in game or by pressing F1.

Use this (instead of the OOC-channel) if you think someone is griefing or if you otherwise have something to ask the admins about.

These can include questions about etiquette, the rules, or in-game procedures such as the starting the engine, etc.

It should be noted that even when no admins are online, any messages sent in adminhelp are logged.

Additional Access

Under certain circumstances, such as a low server population(Coming Soon), or simply set in the server configuration by the host, jobs may be granted additional access when they join the round.

Aft

Nautical term. It means the back of a ship, or in our case, south.

AI

The Artificial Intelligence, the station's computer which can access machinery on the station.

Analyzer

Most often refers to medical's Health Analyzers, but can also refer to Atmospheric Analyzers, Botany's Plant Analyzers, or Research's Destructive Analyzer.

Antag

Antagonist. The "opponent", "enemy". Every Game Mode (except extended) has at least one.

APC

The Area Power Controller, a square box on the wall that provides power to the room and is the purview of Station Engineers.

Asimov

A lawset available to install onto the AI and their robots. Taken from Isaac Asimov's short stories and the Three Laws of Robotics.

Note that unlike most servers, on Polaris, the AI's laws are not Asimov by default.

Atmos

Short for Atmospherics, generally meaning the big room full of pipes. It is found inside Engineering.

Ban

Blocking a person from access to the server. forum, discord, etc, for a period of time. This can happen if a person is not obeying the given Rules.

Badmin

Bad Admin, refers to an admin who abuses their powers runs events.

Beepsky/Officer Beepsky

A Securitron that used to start in Security, however due to mapping issues, Beepsky is on an extended vacation. Will chase, stun, and handcuff anyone set to be arrested in the security records.

Blob

A big, gooy thing that can spawn randomly. It spreads quickly, causes enormous damage, beats the shit out of people, and should be removed posthaste.

Bolt/Bolted

A feature of Airlocks, also known as locking/unlocking. When the bolts are dropped, the door cannot move from its current position, be it open or closed. They can be lifted by the AI or hacking the airlock.

Borg

A Robot that is bound by a lawset and slaved to an AI. Short for Cyborg, however other kinds of bound Robots exist, such as Positronics and Drones.

Borging

Making a Robot out of someone, turning them into a Cyborg. Done in Robotics usually.

Bridge

The command center of the ship, where the Station Director and Head of Personnel start. Found in the center of the station.

Brig

An area of the station north of the Bridge, where people are held by Security after being arrested.

BYOND

The shitty, laggy platform SS13 was coded on. You need it to be able to play the game, unfortunately.

Cargo

A shortened version of either the cargo bay, or the whole of the supply section, not including mining dock and mining outpost.

Clone/Cloning

To revive someone back to life through cloning their dead body, usually done in the Cloning Lab.

Corporate

A lawset for the AI, which makes it a ruthless profits-maximizing, efficiency-enforcing machine.

Cuban Pete

They call me Cuban Pete, I'm the king of the rhumba beat.

When I play my maracas I go

Chick chicky boom, chick chicky boom

A notorious griefer, from another server in pre-Polaris history, who applied the bomb-making knowledge of a mysterious first scientist mentor who had invented ludicrous sized bombs. The station was turned into nearly dust every round he was on, antagonist or not. Because of him, there was a bombcap hardcoded into the game.

CE

The Chief Engineer.

Centcom

Short for "Central Command", the administration branch of NanoTrasen which is likely to be your boss's boss. They can be contacted with the Communications Console in the Bridge and Colony Director's Office, or with a fax machine scattered around the station.

CMO

The Chief Medical Officer.

CO2

Carbon Dioxide, an invisible gas kept in black canisters. Will knock you out and suffocate you. A small trace amount of it makes up breathable air.

Coder

A developer for the server's code.

Crit

To be in a critical state. At this point, your character has lost consciousness and will slowly die from lack of oxygen, unless someone manages to save them.

Cryo

Can refer to one of two things.

  • The big green glass things in Medbay. Putting dying people in here can save them.
  • A place where people go to be placed in cryogenic storage, so they can leave the round.

Cult

Refers to either the Cult game mode, or the cultists within.

Deadchat

A chat channel dead players speak on using the say command. Can only be seen by other dead players and admins.

Note that what you learn here is forgotten by your character if they're revived.

Deadmin

Most commonly read as dead-min (as in dead admin), but actually stands for de-admin, meaning the action of removing administrative powers from an administrator.

Drone

A type of Synthetic. Generally, Drones are less intelligent compared to Cyborgs or Positronics.

Emag

Another name for the Cryptographic Sequencer traitor item, which permanently opens doors and has myriad other uses.

Emagged/Emaged

Used either as a verb to describe the action of using an emag on something, or as an adjective to describe an object that someone has used an emag on.

Electrified/Shocked

Another feature of Airlocks. If an electrified airlock is touched by someone without insulated gloves, they will receive an electric shock, taking damage and being stunned for some time.

The AI and airlock hacking can activate or disable electrification. Some grilles are also electrified -- cutting a cable without wearing insulated gloves will also shock you.

Engine

The large area in the south-west of the station that is used to generate power.

ERP

Erotic Role Play (ERP) is the action of when a player or players engages in roleplaying that is erotic in nature.

On Polaris, ERP is against the Rules.

EVA

A room where space suits, magboots, jetpacks, and suit cyclers are kept. Stands for Extra-Vehicular Activity.

Fore

Nautical term. It means the front of a ship, or in our case, north.

Ghost

Refers to a command you can type when you have died to become a ghost, and to the actual ghosts themselves.

Ghosts can speak on deadchat, move around the station freely, see everything, and can't interact with anything meaningful.

They are used to observe the game after you have died. Cannot be seen directly by living players unless something is very wrong.

Gibs

The bloody, torn apart remnants of a former living being. Created by people and monkeys exploding. A cyborg that blows up has its own version of gibs: robot debris.

To gib something is to turn it into gibs, usually by a bomb.

Grief

A.K.A. Griefing/Griefer/Griffed/Griff/Griffon/Gruffer/Grover/Shitler/Chucklefuck/(Pulling a) Cuban Pete.

Intentionally ruining the game for others without the metagame pardon of being an antagonist.

Note that this is subjective and up to the admin's interpretation, not yours. Report this using adminhelp to keep the servers tidy!

Hacking

The act of breaking the security measures on equipment such as Airlocks or APCs by illicit means.

Heads

The station's Heads of Staff, each in command of a department.

HoP

The Head of Personnel.

HoS

The Head of Security.

Husk

A corpse which has turned into a gray, ugly... mummified thing.

This has either happened by extreme heat (fire), extreme cold or other horrible things. Husked corpses cannot be Defibbed, but can be cloned.

Hypo

Generally refers to the CMO's Hypospray.

IC

In Character. Stuff that is happening in the game.

IC in OOC

The act of describing anything happening in the game over the OOC channel. The rule of thumb is if a person not involved in the incident or not observing the game can still tell what's going on, it's IC in OOC. Usually comes with a chastising and a thousand mini-mods squawking out "ICKY OCKY!!!" but excessive use results in a ban.

If you got a question that might result in IC in OOC, it's best to ask the admins with Adminhelp (hit F1).

Internals

Usually an oxygen tank of some sort and a breath mask. Basically any worn item that lets you breathe when you otherwise can't.

Internals Box

That box which comes in a spawned player's backpack containing a transparent breath mask, and one emergency-sized tank of pure oxygen.

A great place to keep things you don't access a lot but want to keep on you.

Job Ban

Similar to a Ban, except in this case you'll be prevented from playing a specific role, such as an antagonist or a head of staff. You may even get banned from playing an entire department if you demonstrate an inability to follow the Rules.

Lathe

Short for the Autolathe, located in Cargo. Could also be Protolathe, located in Research.

Ling

A Changeling.

Mod

Could be used to refer to Moderator, the rank, or any admin.

MMI

A Man-Machine-Interface, which contains a brain. A Cyborg has one inside it. Enables the brain to speak and see.

Put a brain into an empty MMI, insert the whole thing into an empty Robot and you can bring it back to life!

Notes

A command which displays "Notes" kept in your character's memory, which you add with the "Add-Note" command. Some notes are automatically added depending on the circumstances, such as IC bank account details. Also refers to the top secret notes Staff keep on players, usually if they get banned.

N2

Nitrogen, an invisible gas kept in red canisters. Mostly useless but makes up a certain percentage of breathable air. Not to be confused with chemical reagent nitrogen from chemistry.

N2O

Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas or anesthetic. White gas kept in red canisters with a white stripe, that will knock you out and suffocate you at high enough concentrations.

NanoTrasen

The Trans-Stellar Corporation that owns the facility you're at, and most likely is your employer.

O2

Oxygen. Invisible gas usually kept in blue and white Canisters. Vital for reasons that you should already know.

One-Crewmember(ed)

Referring to a custom AI law that designates only one member of the crew as being the only crewmember, generally making the AI their personal slave.

OOC

The blue bolded chat channel which is shown to all players. Don't use this to talk about anything going on in the game (until right at the end of the game generally).

Might get switched off occasionally if it gets too loud or heated. You can toggle the visibility of the ooc channel by using the corresponding command.

OOC in IC

The inverse of the much more common IC in OOC. Whenever a game mechanic, metafeature, or player-to-player conversation is referenced in the say or emote channels.

Generally against the Rules. If you need to use OOC terms to someone nearby (e.g. asking how to do something), you should use the LOOC command instead.

Talking ((Like this)) is still OOC in IC.

Paladin

A lawset for the AI, your stereotypical white-knight good-guy role.

Parapen

A pen that can inject a mix of chemicals to knock someone out for awhile, which Traitors can buy in their uplink. Can only be used once.

PDA

Short for Personal Digital Assistant, a handheld device that acts as a pager, flashlight and other useful functions, depending on what cartridge is inserted.

Perma/Permabrig

The Prison Wing, where prisoners are kept until round-end.

Phoron

A gas kept in purple canisters. It is very poisonous and flammable. It can also be found as a solid, obtained by mining, and has various uses besides killing people.

Plasma

The term that other servers use to refer to Phoron.

Port

Nautical term. It means the side of a ship on the left when one is facing forward, or in our case, west.

QM

Usually refers to the Quartermaster.


Radio

Normally refers to the headset on your head which can be used with the command 'say ";Hello everybody."', for example. Can also refer to station bounced radios and intercoms. Shows up as green text with a symbol and frequency appended to it. Additional department-specific radios also exist. To use the equipped department radio's default department frequency use 'say ".h Hello Department!"'. (See Radio for details or how to use the radio when it has multiple department frequencies available)

RCD

Rapid Construction Device. A piece of equipment that can quickly make and break floors, regular walls, and airlocks. The Chief Engineer starts with one.

RD

The Research Director.

Robust/Robusting

The game's ROBUST COMBAT SYSTEM. To robust someone is to beat the shit out of them or at least win in a fight.

The definition of what exactly makes a crewmember robust varies from person to person, but it's almost universally agreed to mean being skilled despite the inherently clunky interface.

RP

Role Play. Basically acting within the mental/emotional confines of your in-game character and not yourself. This is required on Polaris.

Spacing

The act of forcing or throwing something or someone out an airlock into space, usually for malicious purposes.

SS13

Space Station 13. Generally used to refer to the game itself rather than the specific server.

Starboard

Nautical term. It means the side of a ship on the right when one is facing forward, or in our case, east.

Tabling

The act of grabbing someone, then clicking on a table to slam then onto it, stunning them.

Tele

Teleportation.

Tcomms/Telecomms

Telecommunications, the room holding servers that allows headsets to work. Does not affect Intercoms or Station Bounced Radios.

Thermals

Optical Thermal Scanners. Green glasses which let you see people through walls and in the dark. The only thing they can't see through is hiding in closets. Can be obtained by Traitors and Mercenaries.

Traitor

Used to refer to the mode or an actual Traitor (assigned by the game mode or by admins).

Z-Level

Another area/map which the game consists of. Gameplay-wise, it's just a level.

Z-levels are areas you randomly spawn into when you go over the edge of an area. Part of BYOND's functionality. Going off the edge of one Z-Level will take you to another, random Z-level.