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Old 10-19-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
Peter Knutsen
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: Trouble with Night Vision/Colour Vision model in Sagatafl

Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Humans with poor senses may not sprain their eyeballs, but they definitely can see things that aren't there through miss- or over-interpretation of poor-quality data. Optical illusions can cause these effects for normal senses, and people are used to the idea of ignoring or discarding information from those. People with poor senses get those effects from things that aren't designed to trick them.
That's true. I've just opted to ignore that, because I can't see a way to simulate it objectively. It'd have to be the kind of rules subsystem that the GM can choose to invoke when he wants to hose the players or their characters, and can choose to "forget" to invoke when he doesn't want to.

So to my mind it's better to leave it out.

Besides, Sense rolls are relatively passive in nature, compared to Skill rolls, yet a fair amount of Sense rolls can be called for during a typical adventuring campaign (dungeoncrawl, espionage, et cetera), so there could be a rather large amount of Fumbles cropping up, which the GM is then forced to deal with even if he doesn't want to. Especially if his inclination is to say that 95% of those Fumbles aren't Fumbles after all, then he'll still have to devote brainpower to determining which of the ones those are.

Attribute averages, including Perception and Sense values, also tend to be a bit lower than Skill averages. Even if the average adventuring PC has a higher Perception that the 3 of an average person (and a spy, rogue, detective or assassin could very reasonably be 5 or 6), his skills are likely to be much higher still (Stealth of 8, 9 or even 10, e.g.). And during adventuring you'll occasionally face some really hairy Sense rolls RD, like 11 and even 12, which if they are all Safe Rolls constitute opportunities to get "early warning" about approaching danger, e.g. first an RD 11 roll to notice the slimy goblinoid shadowing you down in the Mines, then an hour later an RD 10 roll, then an RD 9 roll, as more and more of the Fellowship become aware of it.

If all those rolls are not Safe Rolls, then you'll end up with a lot of sprained eyeballs and nostrils and ears. Or a lot of cases of the GM needing to override the roll mechanic outcome. Me, I'm lazy. I'd like to avoid having to perform that kind of work, as a GM.

Of course it would be desirable to be able to have Sense Fumbles. Characters with strong prejudices or outright mental disorders (like the female thief character from the TV show "Leverage", who's extremely afraid of horses) ought to occasionally perceive all sorts of things that aren't there. Black-skinned youths who look like they might be carrying concealed knives or even guns. Women who look like they might enjoy being grabbed, pulled into a dark alley, and ravished. Cats who look like they're secretly trying to cast a Dark spell on you.

Misperceptions are also more likely to occur in a stimuli-rich enviroment or situation. If that black-skinned youth is stark raving naked, and is smiling and looking like he's madly in love with the entire world, because he's high on one of a particular category of recreational happy-drugs, then you'd have to be extremely racist to truly suspect that maybe he's got a tiny weapon stashed away in his rectum, and that he's going to pull it out and use it to murder you, if you fail to maintain vigilance.

On the other hand, if you're in a dungeon, afraid and wounded, and there are all sorts of noises from geology, dripping water, creaking rocks due to a nearby semi-dormant volcano, and everybdoy is carrying torches throwing wild shadows everywhere, and nobody has had a bath for the last 4-5 days, wearing clothes filthy with blood and slime and worse, then it's fairly easy to start imagining that you're percieving all sorts of things that aren't there.

There's no tweakable "noise" factor in Sagatafl's roll mechanic. If you raise the RD, you increase the chance of failure and of Fumble, and decrease the chance of Success, or if you lower the RD, you increase the chance of Success and lower the chance of failure and of Fumble.

It's not like in GURPS, where as a house rule, you could sometimes roll 2d9 or 1d20-1 or 4d4+2, or 6d3, instead of 3d6, if you want some rolls to be "more chaotic" and other rolls to be "more reliable". Or in FUDGE where you can (and I believe the text actually mentions that as a possibility) sometimes roll 3dF or 5dF instead of the recommended norm which IIRC is 4dF, to tailor the variance to the situation.
Peter Knutsen is offline   Reply With Quote