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-   -   Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=123286)

BraselC5048 02-15-2014 05:04 PM

Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
The situation hans't come up, but no doubt it will eventually. If a character takes several seconds (concentrate maneuvers) specifically listening for say, the noise of people talking and someone moving, what kind of bonus to hearing rolls would you get? Obviously (assuming the sound is somewhat continuous), you can't just keep making hearing rolls every second until you make one or decide there's nothing to hear. Going under the assumption of only getting one roll, what kind of bonus is called for?

johndallman 02-15-2014 05:08 PM

Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
See Basic Set, p346.

BraselC5048 02-16-2014 04:24 PM

Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johndallman (Post 1726092)
See Basic Set, p346.

Oh. Time spent modifiers. Somehow it never occurred to me to use them - I was looking for a set bonus from somewhere. I figure a base time of 1 second is about right. I'd cap it at +4 - any more then that, and if you haven't heard it by then, you're not going to.

Well that was the easiest answer to an issue I've ever seen.

Captain Joy 02-16-2014 09:03 PM

Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BraselC5048 (Post 1726507)
Oh. Time spent modifiers. Somehow it never occurred to me to use them - I was looking for a set bonus from somewhere.

Indeed, I'm not sure they're appropriate in this case. My gut reaction would simply be to allow additional rolls with a -2 cumulative penalty. E.g. If they aren't satisfied with the results of the first roll, then they can try again at a -2, then a -4, then a -6, etc. I would rule that a critical fail on one of these additional roles would mean no further rolls are possible. (A critical failure on the first roll and I would give them misleading information.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by BraselC5048 (Post 1726507)
I figure a base time of 1 second is about right. I'd cap it at +4 - any more then that, and if you haven't heard it by then, you're not going to.

+4 seems pretty generous.

hal 02-16-2014 11:33 PM

Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
Having been born hard of hearing as a result of complications of my birth - I think I can add some thoughts to the thread...


Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, no matter how hard I wish - there are going to be sounds that I just can NOT hear, simply because I suffer from nerve damage to my auditory nerves. Think of it as hearing loss at say, -2, with an additional -1 penalty for higher octave sounds (aka the vocal range of women's voices). If I wear a hearing aid, I might gain a +1 bonus at best (technically, I suffer from about 25% and perhaps 30% loss in both ears). In order to help augment my hearing loss, I have to lip read in order to catch conversational cues that I missed with my hearing. My "Alertness" or lip reading skill in constant use, might gain me another +1 bonus, and what I miss conversationally, I can sometimes interpolate due to context of conversation and basic redundancies in language. That isn't a function of my hearing the sound(s), but in interpreting the sounds I do hear.

So, someone might be able to hear the faint sound of a siren in the distance, that I just can't hear. Someone might be able to hear a cat purring from 6' away, that I can't hear from 3'.

My advice? NEVER give player characters more than a +1 bonus unless it is augmented by devices. Always utilize a two roll system where the first roll is to see if the sound is heard, and the second roll is for whether or not the person hearing the sound can make sense of it. It would be like listening to a radio at volume 2, and hearing noise, but not recognizing the sound or even style of music, raising the volume to 3 and maybe being able to figure it is punk or country music or something, to raising the volume to 4 and recognizing not only the artist singing, but also what the song is. Volume two is a recognizable radio like sound, but not make much sense of it. Volume 3 gives more information, but still isn't 100% discernible. It took volume 4 before one could comprehend what one heard.

So, like that example above, think of sound as being hearable, but not necessarily intelligible. A snapped twig that was barely heard and not repeated isn't going to be recognizable as a snapped twig unless the sound was heard, and the person could interpret it in that fashion.

whswhs 02-17-2014 08:44 AM

Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
For what it's worth, in GURPS Low-Tech (p. 49) it's specified that you can take half the usual Extra Time bonus to get a signal through by repeating it: +1 for four or more repetitions, and +2 for fifteen or more. That seems as if it would work the same way for taking extra time to listen, if the sound you're trying to hear continues for that many seconds, or is repeated that many times.

Bill Stoddard

hal 02-17-2014 09:56 AM

Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 1726748)
For what it's worth, in GURPS Low-Tech (p. 49) it's specified that you can take half the usual Extra Time bonus to get a signal through by repeating it: +1 for four or more repetitions, and +2 for fifteen or more. That seems as if it would work the same way for taking extra time to listen, if the sound you're trying to hear continues for that many seconds, or is repeated that many times.

Bill Stoddard

I could see that idea working out nicely...

whswhs 02-17-2014 11:51 AM

Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 1726792)
I could see that idea working out nicely...

It was Kromm's suggestion, but I thought it made pretty good sense.

Bill Stoddard


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