Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-01-2015, 12:49 PM   #1
ArchonShiva
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default [Skill] Human Echolocation

A podcast about human echolocation gave me the idea to give the Thief character in my upcoming campaign the ability, so I needed to come up with a reasonable skill for it. It's meant to at the edge of realism, much less cinematic than Blind Fighting. Note that heavy penalties mean that a lot of the things listed as possible will seldom work without lots of training, but you can avoid bumping into walls and falling into pits.

The simplified modifiers for combat use are meant to mirror both normal melee and ranged combat rules, Visibility (p. 394) and Blind-Fighting (p. 180).

So basically, how does it look?

Echolocation Per/Very Hard
Default: Per-10
Prerequisite: Blindness (or Unusual Training)


You have learned to navigate by using sound and reflected sound. An Echolocation skill roll lets you get a general feeling for the shape and texture of your surroundings.
Combat use: Only use modifiers for size, range and non-battle background noise. You may use Echolocation skill instead of Hearing-2 to discover a foe's location. When fighting an unseen foe whose location is known, you may use the lower of Echolocation or your weapon skill at no vision penalty, and may target specific hit locations at an extra -2. A successful Echolocation roll makes you aware of an attack you cannot see and lets you defend at -2. This lets you defend against an attack from the back at -6!

Modifiers: Appropriate modifiers from the Size and Speed/Range Table. Background noise adds a penalty: -1 for rain, -2 for heavy rain or a storm, -3 for a crowded, noisy area or heavy machinery, -4 for a full football stadium, or -5 in the middle of an artillery barrage. When detecting a silent target through reflected sound, -3 if you don't have a distinct, familiar sound to work from, such as the tapping of your cane or the snapping of your fingers. If the target emits sound, +1 per step on the Hearing Distance Table (p. 358). Add your level of Acute Hearing to the roll.
ArchonShiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 05:30 PM   #2
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

How does this overlap with the Blind Fighting skill?
__________________
"Life ... is an Oreo cookie." - J'onn J-onzz, 1991

"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 05:32 PM   #3
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
How does this overlap with the Blind Fighting skill?
It's a real-world technique that allows some blind people to do such things as ride a bike. In other words, it's for things besides making your murder stick connect with your opponent.
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 05:45 PM   #4
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

Underground Adventures has a note on doing this with Blind-Fighting.
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 06:07 PM   #5
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

I'm kind of reminded of vibration sense. Have you looked at that?
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 06:43 PM   #6
ArchonShiva
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
How does this overlap with the Blind Fighting skill?
If you have access to Blind Fighting (which is a cinematic skill requiring an expensive advantage), use that for all attacks and defenses- it's meant to be much better. Use Echolocation for avoiding pits and walls, maybe.

Blind Fighting doesn't say anything about range, but is written as if everything was within reach. Depending on your GM's interpretation, you could use Echolocation to spot enemies at some distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Underground Adventures has a note on doing this with Blind-Fighting.
See, I knew this had to be somewhere, but I did not think of UA! It's on my buy list anyway, so I might check that out. Thanks! We need an online searchable index of GURPS, seriously.

However, the combat applications of Blind Fighting are way too great for a mundane blind person skill - and to waive Trained by a Master. I guess "Unusual Training: Blind Fight except in combat" would be legal, but the name just boggles the mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I'm kind of reminded of vibration sense. Have you looked at that?
I did, as well as scanning sense (since Echolocation is basically sonar), and I think they're both really meant to be exotic advantages, not something an ordinary person could learn from training - although I did consult these entries in writing up the skill, and the mechanics are quite similar to Scanning Sense.
ArchonShiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 07:10 PM   #7
Flyndaran
On Notice
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

I define human echolocation as Scanning Sense: Sonar with hefty limitations.

One thing is that the higher the frequency of emitted sound the better the resolution. So anything detectable by human hearing will have to result in very poor quality but wider "image" arc.

Realistically, I doubt humans could get any even vague sonar like qualities past a dozen feet or so. As well as the obvious "strobe" effect from from slow signal and echo compared to real bat clicking.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
FireTigeris
 
FireTigeris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Jax, FL
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

Knowing a good friend that uses this, it will not keep you out of holes or off of single steps, (the sounds don't do 'down' well at all- you can find 'tall' (over waist high) 'reflective' things like buildings, cars, poles... stuff outside in a city, (but fire hydrants not so much) also where a stairwell is inside or outside (echo is different according to her) She has retrolental fibroplasia from being a premature twin.

Also Hearing people and IDing them based on (a small set of people - like whoever's in the house) how they walk when she's stationary.

SHe loves roll-playing so I bet she'd answer questions if a list was made
__________________
Apocalypse: A1, A2, MA.
Cthulhu: C1, C2, C3, C4.
Holiday: SS, HS, TT, EE, N&N, GC*, LSB, dazed.
Star: S0D, SS.
Zombie: Z1, Z2, Z3, Z4.
Fantasy: M0D, M7, M8, L1, L2, L3, MP, MgP, KB, SK, PA.
FireTigeris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 08:22 PM   #9
Flyndaran
On Notice
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

It's a skill and talent that most blind people don't have yet some sighted people do.
My best friend is legally blind. We let her believe she has better than average hearing.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 08:31 PM   #10
somecallmetim
 
somecallmetim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default Re: [Skill] Human Echolocation

My first thought is to use the Unusual Training Perk for Blind Fighting (Only to navigate around obstacles.)
somecallmetim is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
skill

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.