The Captain is the head of the entire station.
As Captain, your most important power isn’t your All-Access ID card or fancy self-charging laser gun, but the fact that you usually have about six Heads of Staff you supervise under you to deal with problems that you don't want to deal with.
The Chain of Command
In an ideal chain of command, you'll be able to hear about problems in specific departments from your Heads and delegate tasks and assignments throughout the ship to get them handled. In turn, your heads of staff should be directing their personnel to solve issues as needed. While this is the ideal scenario, this is usually difficult to obtain due to your heads of staff or their personnel being incompetent, missing, dead, clueless, or possibly a combination of all four.
Typically, if fully staffed, you have six heads of staff to rely on:
- Head of Personnel - Usually seen as your second-in-command, though this is not strictly enforced and is generally only a formality. The HoP manages all service personnel (Chef, Bartender, Botanist, Passengers, Clown, Mime, etc.) on the station and handles transferring personnel to and from departments. They are great as a lookout for individuals requesting suspicious levels of access and can help you keep tabs on other heads of staff or help around in general.
- Head of Security - The second-to-final (next to your own) say on Security matters. The HoS will look to you to clear executions of particularly foul prisoners and may also make requests for things like distributing the armory to officers. The HoS will usually know who their troublemakers this shift are and it can be good to check on them every once in a while to make sure criminals aren't running amok.
- Chief Engineer - The boss of making sure you have air to breathe and station to stand on. The CE will be very useful to make sure atmosphere is running and his subordinates are patching gaping holes in the station like they should be.
- Chief Medical Officer - The CMO handles all of Medbay and personnel within. They are a good point of contact for medical concerns such as who should and shouldn't be cloned and how overwhelmed Medbay is with the injured/dead/dying.
- Quartermaster - The QM overviews all of Salvage and Cargo. Generally they should keep the station supplied and running, though more practically they may be spending exorbitant amounts of station funds on nonsense. If there is critical need for something, like new Anti-Matter Engine parts, you may want to double check with your QM to make sure they get ordered and that certain personnel aren't ordering 20 gorillas.
- Research Director - The RD will try to ensure scientists are not being overly destructive with the various toys they produce and that anomalies are somewhat managable disasters. If you or another department needs specific gadgets printed, try getting with your RD.
If you find that you don't have a head of staff in a specific department, it can be a good idea to promote someone within that department to the new head of it. If nobody shows interest, you may have to see if anyone on the station wants to jump at the opportunity. Just try to make sure they are a good fit for the job.
Try not to personally micro-manage departments, be overbearing, bossy, or otherwise unpleasant to be around. You'll get the most from your heads of staff by communicating well and respecting their input, or they won't bother bringing up concerns or doing anything for you (or worse, they may collectively decide you are unfit for command).
The Captain's Authority
You have a wide (but not infinite) range of authority as the Captain. You hold the following special privledges:
- Executions of any prisoners must be approved through you (you will be expected to at the very least make a cursory check of if the execution is warranted or not)
- You may demote heads of staff you deem grossly unfit for duty or insubordinate in the interest of the station as a whole (though the heads of staff may majority rule you unfit for command and demote you)
- You carry an ID with access to every door in the station, and a spare one with the same. Use it wisely and don't lose it.
- Generally, you make the choice to evacuate the station and deem it a loss, however any head of staff can also exercise this privilege in an emergency. Be aware that evacuating the station prematurely or for little reason will get you in trouble.
- You are responsible for the Nuclear Authentication Disk. This disk must be present in a nuclear warhead to active it, alongside a randomized five-digit activation code. Nuclear Operatives require and will seek you out for this particular item, so guard it well.
There Is No Air and I Must Breathe
Don't despair if things are falling apart at the seams, rapidly, all around you, and none of your heads are answering the radio! Odds are there is a team of nuclear operatives looking for you so they can pry that silly little authentication disk from your cold dead hands, whether you wanted to hand it over or not. Part of the game is things not going quite right and managing disaster scenarios, some of which you won't come out on top of. Do your best and take care of as much of your crew as you can.