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"Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Ask and discuss policy about game conduct and rules.

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Skillywatt
 
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"Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:37 pm #477102

So I was perusing the ban appeal forums bored at work and was reading a particular instance a HoS caught a note for being sorta meta-gamey by searching bolted doors in a bathroom and catching a tator tot.

In a vacuum yes, this is pretty lame and meta-gamey, but in the appeal the player stated he was investigating the warden being "dragged off". Now, after investigating logs, the noting admin said the warden was never dragged so the player is lying, but said he would have been keeping the note anyway as he believes the warden being dragged off is not sufficient IC reasoning to ask the AI to unbolt the bathrooms at arrivals and see what's behind door #2.

I could be misunderstanding the admin here (and hope I am) but if not, I'd like some discussion about this.

As a SEC player, the warden being dragged off is near the top of the list of "things that scare the shit out of me". Obviously he has access to the armory which is a huge problem if even a lone traitor gets access, but you also have to consider team antag modes which makes this 1000x worse.

So, from my perspective, investigating every nook and cranny in the general direction of a warden being dragged off should indeed be enough IC reasoning to ask the AI to unbolt bathroom doors.

If this is not the case and this is going to be precedent moving forward (bathroom doors are powerful OOC shields against investigation without actually watching a confirmed traitor walk in and bolt it), then I really need to know or I'm going to end up catching a note for this or something similar, too.

Thoughts? Did I misunderstand the noting admins logic?



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Screemonster
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Screemonster » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:55 pm #477105

Even if he found someone behind the bolted door, if that person wasn't in there with the warden then it's kinda poor to go full valids and search and execute the guy instead of continuing your search for the missing warden.

People getting valided for going into dorms/bathrooms because "the only possible reason anyone could ever be in there is to spawn their traitor gear therefore they're inherently suspicious" is a pretty clear break of the rule about non-antags not being allowed to pre-emptively search for antags.

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Mickyan
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Mickyan » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:39 pm #477106

It is ridiculous that whenever I'm playing detective and patrolling the station I have that nagging instinct that tells me not to check the bathrooms or dorm rooms because if I do find something I risk getting punished for metagaming, nobody would have batted an eye if this happened in the middle of a hallway or any other place

Screemonster wrote:People getting valided for going into dorms/bathrooms because "the only possible reason anyone could ever be in there is to spawn their traitor gear therefore they're inherently suspicious"

Nobody's ever made this argument but for some reason people keep bringing this up. It's not even true in a OOC sense, people use the dorms and bathrooms to go AFK all the time.
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Skillywatt
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:25 pm #477117

Screemonster wrote:Even if he found someone behind the bolted door, if that person wasn't in there with the warden then it's kinda poor to go full valids and search and execute the guy instead of continuing your search for the missing warden.

People getting valided for going into dorms/bathrooms because "the only possible reason anyone could ever be in there is to spawn their traitor gear therefore they're inherently suspicious" is a pretty clear break of the rule about non-antags not being allowed to pre-emptively search for antags.


Depending on the time frame, I disagree.

If it was bang-bang and within 30 seconds of seeing the warden, then yeah you have a point. If it was in the 2-3m time frame, that's plenty of time to space a body and take his bag/stuff to loot through behind bolted doors.

It's perfectly reasonable to search someone in the area to see if they have warden shit on them at that point, at least in my opinion, because of how impactful a looted warden can be on the round

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Cobby
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Cobby » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:49 pm #477141

This seems like a no-brainer.

If you have a justified IC reasoning it's hard to consider metagame which is explicitly doing actions for OOC reasoning.
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Skillywatt
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:23 pm #477172

Well I thought so too but we had an admin saying it doesn't matter if someone is searching for a dead warden

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NecromancerAnne
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby NecromancerAnne » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:28 am #477226

One of my first stop-offs for finding dead bodies is dorms because the wardrobes can be locked to a specific ID, so you can hide the body from people not willing to waste time opening them up. It's also not often trafficked, so it's fairly useful. That said, I don't see a reason to do it early in the round at all other than metagaming.

That said don't buy shit in dorms, dumbass, you have all of maintenance to work with.

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Gigapuddi420
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Gigapuddi420 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:58 pm #477235

Skillywatt wrote:Well I thought so too but we had an admin saying it doesn't matter if someone is searching for a dead warden

Policy Discussion is not a second ban appeal. Rulings on metagaming are always going to be contextual to the situation and what Cobby says is right. If you can provide sufficient In-Character reasoning to your searches you won't get in trouble. The issue then is working out the barrier for sufficient probable cause; for me I'd expect the your reason to follow events on the station. Don't search someone 'because they are an assistant' search them because you saw the assistant fighting/breaking in/trespassing or because you have reports of a assistant killing people but don't have a name. In times of crisis this sort of thing becomes really lax; if you have confirmed there are revolutionaries or cultists you have much stronger IC reasoning to be searching people. Don't just search someone for leaving a locked dorm room. That stinks of 'he probably spawned something so I'm going to check him for traitor gear'. You can search these people if they were involved in some kind of crime or fight you're checking up on, just don't search them because you meta'd they are traitors.
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Skillywatt
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:05 pm #477237

I'm not sure why you even say this forum isn't a second ban appeal.

I wasn't the person who got noted. I'm a passerby who could totally see myself getting a note for the same scenario (that ended up being a lie, but the admin said it wouldn't have mattered if he was telling the truth, hence the thread), and wanted to know if this is something I'm going to have to worry about moving forward.

Are bolted doors in bathrooms ooc shields that require more specific ic justification than general searches for a dead warden or his gear?

Obviously since the player who generated the appeal is lying, he wasn't able to articulate a good justification regarding the dragged warden.

I've been playing on tg awhile now and have always known not to just randomly search bolted dorms/bathrooms without at least some kind of reason, but a warden being dragged in the vicinity to me would have been "some kind of reason". I'm just trying to get a better understanding of how we're supposed to be treating bolted doors in dorms/bathrooms.

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Gigapuddi420
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Gigapuddi420 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:20 pm #477241

Skillywatt wrote:I'm not sure why you even say this forum isn't a second ban appeal.

Doesn't seem like it would be hard to see why I would say that, you've taken issue with one note appeal you didn't like and you're using it entirely as the basis for the thread instead of talking about the general issue at hand. I even told you cases where you could search someone coming out of a bolted door. The purpose here isn't to discuss one specific admin's actions but rather discuss policy as a whole related to the issue. You completely ignored the rest of my post describing what I expect from players in a search just to harp on more about it.
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Skillywatt
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:25 pm #477242

I promise you I read it. It just wasn't relevant.

Let me rephrase my question to better get across my intent.

If I search a bolted arrivals bathroom door because I heard someone say over coms "stetchkin at arrivals" and find an unrelated player, is that something I would get in trouble for, typically? Or is that enough IC justification?

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Gigapuddi420
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Gigapuddi420 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:35 pm #477243

Personally? I'd probably be fine with you checking locked cubicles for the suspect. It's not the choice I would make as a officer as the guy probably run off into maint instead of waiting for security to catch up to him, but if you found some poor unrelated sod while looking for a suspect then that's just bad luck. That said, it's not always clear cut. Like what if the cry "stetchkin at arrivals" came from some douchebag assistant who has been crying out fake calls for the last few minutes and you find no bullets around arrivals? Searching everyone in the area would pretty over the top but to some that would be sufficient IC reasoning.

Dealing with metagaming means dealing with intent and dealing with intent is always sort of tricky. Typically it means looking for evidence to support your claims.
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Skillywatt
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:38 pm #477244

Also, I've tased/searched people who were just standing around brig right after it exploded and found traitor shit on them. Is that something I could have gotten ahelped for?

I'm sorry if this came across as a specific jab at an admin ruling. It's just the onus for the discussion of what is the actual line that you said exists between probable cause and a meta search.

Where is the generally accepted line that something isn't too broad of a search?

Obviously you can't search random assistants. That's stupid.

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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:43 pm #477245

Gigapuddi420 wrote:snip


Thanks. Yeah, I know there is a lot of context around this particular issue and it's difficult to frame an actual discussion because of that. I have no doubt the main reason the note mentioned in the op stood was because the guy who caught it was lying about the warden and, therefore, couldn't actually give a sufficient reason.

I just wanted some clarification on just how strong of an ooc shields those doors are and a general discussion on when probable cause isn't that probable.

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Gigapuddi420
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Gigapuddi420 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:50 pm #477248

It will always be contextual. Just follow what cobby said: If you can provide a good IC reason for why you are searching someone it will pretty much always be fine. If security blew up and you decided to check people around security at the time that's pretty reasonable. It follows cause and effect. You didn't search them because you felt like it, you searched them because something bad happened and they were around when it did.

The barrier isn't very high, if you get reports of a botanist shooting people with a revolver and decide to search all botanists then you're fine. I can't describe to you hard rules on what is probable cause and meta because it comes down to proving the intent of the player, however I can say if you can reason your search well when asked you'll most likely never ever get in trouble for it.

I just wanted some clarification on just how strong of an ooc shields those doors are and a general discussion on when probable cause isn't that probable.

It's pretty simple; do you have a good reason to demand a bolted door is opened? A locked dorm/cubicle in of itself isn't suspicious. If something big happened nearby it might be reasonable to check it. If there is blood leading into the locked room you have damn good reason to check it. If you were told a suspect went in there you have damn good reason to check it.
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Skillywatt
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:55 pm #477250

I appreciate the input. It's just hard to have these sorts of discussions without using examples/hypotheticals.

I'll just keep trucking along then and doing what I've been doing.

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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby WarbossLincoln » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:04 pm #477262

If I think someone kidnapped the warden and I get the AI to open a bolted toilet, only to find no warden and 1 dude, I'm not going to waste time searching the dude while the warden is probably getting drug to his doom.
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Skillywatt
 
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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Skillywatt » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:18 pm #477263

Gigapuddi420 wrote:
Skillywatt wrote:I'm not sure why you even say this forum isn't a second ban appeal.

Doesn't seem like it would be hard to see why I would say that, you've taken issue with one note appeal you didn't like and you're using it entirely as the basis for the thread instead of talking about the general issue at hand. I even told you cases where you could search someone coming out of a bolted door. The purpose here isn't to discuss one specific admin's actions but rather discuss policy as a whole related to the issue. You completely ignored the rest of my post describing what I expect from players in a search just to harp on more about it.


I would like to point out that discussing a specific admin's actions is explicitly allowed according to the sticky at the top of the page, if that were indeed my intent, as long as it isn't in the form of a complaint/ridicule, which it wasn't. I was using the admin's statements to initiate a broader discussion on policy.

Asking for clarification on existing policy
You saw a bad ban that waded through some grey area rules, or just aren't sure you're fully clear on a rule in the Rules page. Perhaps a rule is just worded too poorly. Your post should clearly state your question: We shouldn't have to figure out what you're asking through vague implications.

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Re: "Probable cause"; definition and limitations

Postby Lazengann » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:34 pm #477275

If you can reasonably explain it in character then it's fine. If a warden recently was kidnapped I would say busting open bolted doors is fine. If you open a bolted dorm because "traitors always spawn their gear here round start" then you have fucked up. This is not a comment about that ban appeal, I didn't read it and I am unaware of the facts of that ban.


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