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Old 10-15-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
JMD
 
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Default PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

Should a player know what a foe's status is? If the foe is stunned (mentally or physically) should the player know that for free, or maybe have to take a ready action or free action to roll vs perception?

The question is important, because a PC with the stun spell at level 20 can cast it for free in 1 second, and if they don't know who on the field is stunned (or STILL stunned) that will change the spell's effectiveness dramatically.

I'm not only asking if there is a ruling on this, but also (if there isn't) what your house-rules or personal take on this might be.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:27 AM   #2
DouglasCole
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

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Originally Posted by JMD View Post
Should a player know what a foe's status is? If the foe is stunned (mentally or physically) should the player know that for free, or maybe have to take a ready action or free action to roll vs perception?

The question is important, because a PC with the stun spell at level 20 can cast it for free in 1 second, and if they don't know who on the field is stunned (or STILL stunned) that will change the spell's effectiveness dramatically.

I'm not only asking if there is a ruling on this, but also (if there isn't) what your house-rules or personal take on this might be.
Make some sort of Per roll at a penalty to make the evaluation a "Free Action?"

From my watching MMA fights, it's often pretty obvious that a fighter has just had his bell rung, and is now looking glazed in the eyes, unfocused, and flat-footed.

It's usually pretty clear from the "you just jarred my brain" aspect.

For magical stun, I suppose in general that what GURPS considers serious enough to be Stun (capital S) is probably pretty obvious if the person looking isn't in combat. If he is, I'd give it an unpenalized Per roll on an Evaluate maneuver, or a Free Action by taking a penalty.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

I try to describe the enemy in such a way that gives players a good idea.
e.g. if someone fails a Knockdown and stun roll after being smacked in the chest (major wound) with an axe, I might say 'he is knocked back a yard and tumbles to the ground. He remains there, feebly holding his shield up, his head rocking back and forwards in a confused manner.'

If a mage is casting a spell, perhaps they feel the target resisting, and then either feel the resistance push them back, or crumble?
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

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If a mage is casting a spell, perhaps they feel the target resisting, and then either feel the resistance push them back, or crumble?
IIRC, a mage does know if the subject of a spell resisted. The precise sensation conveying that information is up to the GM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

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IIRC, a mage does know if the subject of a spell resisted. The precise sensation conveying that information is up to the GM.
I figured as much on that front, but what if they fail their initial roll to resist the spell, but on the next round succeed in their roll vs HT to become un-stunned? The mage obviously knows they failed to resist, but does he then know when the subject becomes unstunned? Does he know this regardless of whether he can still see the subject? Is it a magical 6th sense, or does he need to visually look at the subject in that case, and, if so, is there a roll to determine the state of the enemy?

Also, can you use a roll to determine an enemies status for sickness, blindness, deafness, etc?
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

Well I'm starting to become a fan of rolling vs stun at the start of turns instead of at the end, that way nobody knows he's out of stun the next turn and to see if the enemy is still stunned, well is he doing any thing :)
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

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I'm not only asking if there is a ruling on this, but also (if there isn't) what your house-rules or personal take on this might be.
The player would be given the information upon asking.

The player-character would have to succeed at a penalized (-4 usually) perception check (as a free action) or take an evaluate maneuver to be able to make an non-penalized perception check (as well as gain the normal benefits of the maneuver) in order to be able to use this information.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:55 AM   #8
Kromm
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

The following results in combat are obvious without any dice rolling:
  • Knocked back.
  • Knocked down.
  • Stunned; the heart attack mortal condition; and the agony, choking, daze, and ecstasy incapacitating conditions.
  • Crippled.
  • Hallucinating incapacitating condition.
  • Retching incapacitating condition.
  • Seizure incapacitating condition.
  • Dead; unconscious; the coma mortal condition; and the paralysis, sleep, and unconsciousness incapacitating conditions.
However, it would require a Concentrate maneuver and a skill roll to distinguish between two conditions on the same line above in a fight (stunned vs. daze, dead vs. merely unconscious, etc.). Ditto to distinguish between two causes of the same condition (knocked down by failed HT roll vs. knocked down by failed DX roll, mental vs. physical stun, etc.). And ditto to identify shock (the penalty due to injury), irritating conditions (coughing/sneezing, drowsy, drunk, euphoria, nauseated, pain, or tipsy), or wounds (missing 1 HP vs. missing 4 HP, etc.).

I would allow several skills to work here. Diagnosis is obvious, but other possibilities might be Body Language (to notice shock, tell types of stun apart, etc.), Physiology, Streetwise (to spot drunk, euphoria, etc., and to distinguish ecstasy/daze due to drugs from combat stun), and anything else the player convinced me made sense. For instance, I'd let a boxer make a Per-based Boxing roll to assess the results of his beating. The important part is the turn spent scrutinizing the target, not the skill. I'd probably give a bonus equal in size to the largest relevant penalty to notice irritating conditions and shock, too; drunk, with -4 to self-control rolls, would be +4 to spot, compared to +2 for tipsy. Likewise, -4 in shock would give +4.

However, the simple answer about stun is, "Yes, it's obvious when somebody is stunned." In general, if somebody wants to fake still being stunned (or any other status above), the onus is on him to win a Quick Contest vs. observers' IQ or relevant skill.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: PC's Recognition of Enemy Status

A good list. In the flurry of combat, I tend to put Knockdown (in the sense of 'Knocked down and Stunned', not just falling over from Knockback or Sweep or whatever) in that last line, but otherwise that's very much how I treat things.
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