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Old 04-13-2018, 01:49 AM   #1
VariousRen
 
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Default [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

A large number of dungeon fantasy creatures rely on non-standard senses like Detect(life), Vibration Sense, or some sort of scanning sense. This usually conveniently explains how they sense invisible enemies, attack in the dark, or get away with not having vulnerable eyes. Many of these senses also seem to work uncontested (make a Per roll and you know all life within 10 yards, or sense all vibration, etc.)

Thieves have the very cool power up Nondetection available, which gives such supernatural senses a -1 to Per for each level, but there are no written options that let you use Stealth to hide from senses like this. No access to stealth makes it fairly expensive to get up to effective levels with most creatures. I'm curious how these supernatural senses are intended to interact with Stealth, or with rules like Backstabbing which assume Stealth will get you within striking range.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

If there are materials/energy-sources a sense does not penetrate (or otherwise interferes with the sense), you can still hide behind things. If the sense is not 360, you can try to move from cover to cover when the guard glances away from your direction.

Therefore you can use Stealth, more or less like you use it normally - if you have a good understanding of what counts as "cover" and how to tell if it's "looking" your way. If you don't have Radar yourself, it's hard to visualize what blocks Radar. If you have no idea where its eyes are or what its field of vision is, you can only gamble on if it's looking your way. This suggests you need complimentary skill rolls on knowledge skills to use Stealth without penalties - otherwise you could be facing pretty bad penalties, depending on how unlike your own senses the sense is.

The Scanning Senses (except perhaps Para Radar, which is kinda funky) by default fall under these conditions. They can be enhanced to be 360 which is difficult to defeat.

Vibration Sense is 360, but it is low resolution, and it can be blocked by air currents or by not being in contact with the ground/water (depending on the version of Vibration Sense). If you have some way of not touching the ground/water, or you can perceive the air currents well enough to know what you can disguise your signal with, you can Stealth past Vibration Sense (with penalties)... Levitation is easy and will give you complete invisibility, sensing air currents at range is hard and makes finding cover tricky.

Detect (Life) and its ilk by default aren't blocked by much and are 360. That's trouble right there that is, and I don't think Stealth is the right way to deal with them.

Either you suppress your signal with Nondetection or magic, or you enhance your Stealth with Cosmic (I'd call it +300% cosmic myself, if you want it to work against everything with no mode penalties)
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:05 AM   #3
Kromm
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

Many such creatures fall into the category of those that would not be vulnerable to sneak attacks/backstabbing in The Other Game. Which is to say, they're intended to render Stealth useless. Bruno offered a pretty good breakdown.

Most enhanced senses don't obviate Stealth – they just reduce the number of things that give you bonuses. For instance, you can use Stealth vs. 360° Vision, but being behind your target won't give you a bonus or eliminate an "in plain sight" penalty, or force your target to rely on Hearing instead of Vision. You can use Stealth vs. Infravision or Dark Vision, but low light won't penalize your victim or give you a bonus. You can use it against Subsonic Hearing, but now it's Hush and Mage-Stealth that won't help you. You can even use it against de facto vision replacements such as Scanning Sense (e.g., Sonar) and Vibration Sense, but you'll most likely be denied the benefits of being behind your target, sneaking up in low light, and using spells that eliminate noise but not vibration.

The simplest way to deal with all that is to have Stealth high enough that you don't need darkness or magic or a turned head to use it. Take your current level and add 10. That should be good enough. It will offset the "basic -5" for backstabbing and the extra -5 anywhere but in bush or shadowy tunnels – which is to say, the -10 for trying to use Stealth in plain sight.

The brutal sense is Detect – and as the developer, I can confirm that Detect is just code for "This monster kills thieves." Don't waste time trying to sneak up on it; it's a monster you have to confront toe to toe. This includes Demons of Old, electric jellies, ice wyrms, jellies, slimes, and undead slimes. In all cases, there are ways to eliminate the thing being detected, but that relies on having very specific magic that renders you cold, inorganic, unliving, or whatever, most probably through "Body of" spells.

This is why Nondetection is such a cool ability, by the way. It lets thieves work around the major limit (monsters with weird senses that obviate Stealth . . . oh, and magic) on their primary role (sneaking and backstabbing). It is for thieves much as Mana Enhancer is for wizards, and has a comparable cost when maxed out.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Detect (Life) and its ilk by default aren't blocked by much and are 360. That's trouble right there that is, and I don't think Stealth is the right way to deal with them.
If you had a lot of time to prepare, the right topology, and the right access to resources, you could try flooding the dungeon with purchased hog’s blood and wait for it to attract enough flies, maggots and other carrion-eaters to serve as ‘chaff’, so to speak. That would probably at least permit a roll.

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Old 04-13-2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
If you had a lot of time to prepare, the right topology, the right access to resources, you could try flooding the dungeon with purchased hog’s blood and wait for it to attract enough flies, maggots and other carrion-eaters to serve as ‘chaff’, so to speak.
... Ew.

Gotta say, if my players tried something like that, I'd be calling for... let's just say "many"... rolls to resist infection. And good luck selling any loot that isn't made of stone or metal, and even then, thoroughly cleaned. And the regular HT rolls to resist nausea could make stealth tricky too.
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:42 PM   #6
Toptomcat
 
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

I'd give them +1 to +3 to their HT rolls on the grounds that their profession regularly exposes them to blood and viscera anyway, but other than that I'd be in the same boat. Also penalties for slippery terrain. It's more of a Crazy PC Plan than anything that you'd ever want to make your plan A- but there is a certain breed of Dungeon Fantasy PC that will do anything for an advantage in combat.

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Old 04-14-2018, 12:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

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Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
If you had a lot of time to prepare, the right topology, and the right access to resources, you could try flooding the dungeon with purchased hog’s blood and wait for it to attract enough flies, maggots and other carrion-eaters to serve as ‘chaff’, so to speak.
e.g. slimes and undead slimes. Certainly what the dungeon needs more of... (as a GM, I would probably find the need to come up with unique stats for whatever you managed to spawn).
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #8
Kromm
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

The idea of jamming a signal with gore is clever enough that I'd let it work. Oh, sure, there would be consequences . . . the delving life is all about making tradeoffs. ;)
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:59 PM   #9
VariousRen
 
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Default Re: [DF] Hiding from the Unhideable

Thanks to every one for the great responses, my goblin thief will thank you when he thunks something unusual on the back of the head/eye/mass of tentacles with his mace!
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