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Old 02-16-2019, 09:14 PM   #11
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: Battle Start Distance

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Originally Posted by Neveron View Post
In the dungeon, then, you can generally expect to hear the monsters from a sizeable distance (given a base-stats-only Knight/Wizard/Cleric/Thief layout, there's ~51% chance to hear someone standing still within 31yd or movement within 127yd).
I think your numbers* are off.

Unseen foes standing still (-2), at 31 yards (-4), at base stats only, gives the...

Cleric an 8 (Per 14), Knight a 4 (10), Thief an 8 (14), and the Wizard a 6 (Per 12).

At 127 yards (-6), with movement (-0), it's the same. Your best roll is an 8.


* Maybe there's some weird statistics going on where two rolls at 25% yield a 51% chance...
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Battle Start Distance

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I think your numbers* are off.

Unseen foes standing still (-2), at 31 yards (-4), at base stats only, gives the...

Cleric an 8 (Per 14), Knight a 4 (10), Thief an 8 (14), and the Wizard a 6 (Per 12).

At 127 yards (-6), with movement (-0), it's the same. Your best roll is an 8.


* Maybe there's some weird statistics going on where two rolls at 25% yield a 51% chance...
If they all roll (as per the Example of Play in Exploits), the chance of nobody noticing at 31 yards is 98.15% * 90.74% * 74.07% * 74.07% ~= 48.9%.

Flipping the formula, then, you get a 51.1% chance of someone hearing - probably the Thief or Cleric, to be honest. Taking the guidance of the Example of Play, however, that is more than enough for them to warn the rest of the party and avoid surprise.

The important thing to remember whenever you're figuring statistics with multiple rolls is that if you only need one success then you can just figure out what the chance of nobody succeeding is and subtract that from 100%. The more straightforward 25%*25% is only useful when both need to succeed.


In any case, the chance is lowered if up against a monster with good Stealth or Camouflage. And there's a few of those that are really nasty - good luck beating the Stealth-25 of a motionless Demon from Between the Stars in the dark!
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Battle Start Distance

Encounters start at roughly when the two sides can identify each other. For most dungeon rooms, this is when someone opens the door.

Outside … well, I chose to ask that on the OSR group on G+ a few years ago. I'll have to post the answers to my blog sometime as some of them were outstanding (one was especially so), but on a flat, featureless plain, you can not identify someone's facial features from 60 yards away, but can identify that someone is swinging a sword from three times that. I came up with something like 10+biggest SM (from height) involved on the first side+biggest SM (from height) involved on the other side-Lighting penalty-Weather penalty. From there, you multiply, based on terrain. I would say something like tenfold the Travel Speed modifier, for which GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures, p. 22, has a summary. This means twofold in Jungle, Mountains, and Swampland or twelve-and-a-half-fold in level Plains and hard-packed Desert. That's starting distance in yards, so two groups of humans in flatland in broad daylight are 125 yards away, while a group of humans (SM -1 and 0) with horses (SM +1, but Horizontal, so effective SM 0) meeting an ibathene (SM +6, but Horizontal as well, so effective SM +5) in Swampland on a starlit night (-7) in bad weather (-1) is 14 yards.
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Last edited by Rasputin; 02-18-2019 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Battle Start Distance

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
No, no formula. It's too situational.

If you kick in a door, you'll see the bad guys (you hope) within the room, where they're standing.

If you're wandering through a forest, you'll hear, see, or smell the other guys at some point, depending on the quality of Perception rolls. Since these rolls are penalized by distance, you can theoretically work out how far away average detection might be, but there's no easy way.
That's how I work it. You roll vs. Perception (or Observation if it seems relevant), and the margin of success vs. the Range/Speed Table (or the Hearing Distance Table, HT158, for sounds) says how far away the other side is detected, after applying a sanity check for line-of-sight (you aren't going to be seeing far in solid rain forest regrowth, no matter how good your roll).
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Battle Start Distance

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
That's how I work it. You roll vs. Perception (or Observation if it seems relevant), and the margin of success vs. the Range/Speed Table (or the Hearing Distance Table, HT158, for sounds) says how far away the other side is detected, after applying a sanity check for line-of-sight (you aren't going to be seeing far in solid rain forest regrowth, no matter how good your roll).
That "sanity check" is my main unkown thing :P
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