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Old 08-12-2020, 11:46 PM   #1
transmetahuman
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Default Spirits & Cell Phones

Something struck me as I was going through the various Spirit meta-traits in Template Toolkit 2... None of them have the Affects Machines enhancement on Invisibility, much less the Extended enhancement for sonar and whatever else. Same for the original Spirit Meta-Trait in Basic p.263.

Am I misunderstanding basic Invisibility? Or is YouTube actually full of genuine videos of ghosts and supernatural phenomena shot on cell phones? If so, why are they all so blurry? 😋
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:33 AM   #2
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

Yes, that is an oddity in the spirit templates. In general, I add Affects Machines (+50%) [+20] to all Invisibility builds off the bat. Of course, a spirit with Insubstantiality does not really need Invisibility, as they can just hide within objects, though it is thematic.

One possibility that would explain the blurriness of video would be to give spirits Invisibility (Substantial Only, -10%; Switchable, +10%) [40] and Invisibility (Affects Machines Only, -50%; Fringe, -10%; Substantial Only, -10%) [12]. While ghost are capable of becoming fully visible to living beings, they will only be blurs on film and photo. If ghosts are capable of becoming substantial, add Accessibility, Only while Insubstantial, -10%, to the two forms of Invisibility, which would save 8 CP on the build total.
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Old 08-13-2020, 05:31 AM   #3
Gumby Bush
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

My assumption is that the Spirit meta-traits are built with a low tech world in mind, where machine sensors aren't in play and thus Affects Machines would be worth no points... Still, would've expected TT2 to at least have a note about it.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:10 AM   #4
Refplace
 
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Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

Good catch, yeah I also figure its because Low Tech and fantasy is the default assumption. A few in GURPS Horror have it, though not most of them.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:38 AM   #5
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmetahuman View Post
Something struck me as I was going through the various Spirit meta-traits in Template Toolkit 2... None of them have the Affects Machines enhancement on Invisibility, much less the Extended enhancement for sonar and whatever else. Same for the original Spirit Meta-Trait in Basic p.263.

Am I misunderstanding basic Invisibility? Or is YouTube actually full of genuine videos of ghosts and supernatural phenomena shot on cell phones? If so, why are they all so blurry? 😋
Yes. Youtube is "actually" full of genuine ghost pictures in a setting where ghosts are real. To be specific the reason why by default Invisible doesn't affect machines is because being able to be photographed even though invisible to the naked eye is part of ghost mythology. It is after all easy to make mistakes that produce what looks like a ghostly apparition or deliberately fake one so there have been a lot of ghost photos.

As to why they look blurry, well they are blurry. Just because a machine can see them doesn't mean that the machine can see them all that well. The invisibility just doesn't work well enough to hide.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:09 PM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

Well, ghostly fiction, not ghostly mythology. Ghosts is mythology were almost always visible to the living but would not cast shadows or reflections, indicating their supernatural nature. In fact, the idea of spectral ghosts are a relatively modern invention, with many ghosts in folklore being physical entities that haunted the living in very concrete terms.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:37 PM   #7
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

I consider it an oddity of the Invisibility advantage, rather than an oddity of spirit templates, and just assume that invisibility works on cameras unless otherwise limited.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:58 PM   #8
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
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Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I consider it an oddity of the Invisibility advantage, rather than an oddity of spirit templates, and just assume that invisibility works on cameras unless otherwise limited.
It does seem odd that you can be invisible in the electromagnetic spectrum, yet machines can still see you.

However, it is also odd that you can be invisible in the electromagnetic spectrum, yet still perceive things using normal vision.

Tropes, I guess?
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Say, it isn't that bad! View Post
Tropes, I guess?
Being invisible only to people and visible to cameras isn't really a trope; both that and the reverse do show up, but the most common form is invisible to everything.
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:35 PM   #10
Ejidoth
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Default Re: Spirits & Cell Phones

As mentioned earlier, ghosts-show-up-in-photos is sort of the standard lore for ghosts, so I can see how that might have ended up being in the basic rules for Invisibility when it was introduced to GURPS.

GURPS advantages, especially legacy ones that have been around for a while, have a tendency to be built for one specific purpose (in this case, probably ghosts!), with modifiers to adapt them to others, rather than having the basic build as actually the most generic form of the effect.
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