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Old 02-15-2014, 05:04 PM   #1
BraselC5048
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Default 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?
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:08 PM   #2
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen

See Basic Set, p346.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
BraselC5048
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Default Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:03 PM   #4
Captain Joy
 
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Default Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen

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Originally Posted by BraselC5048 View Post
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.)

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Originally Posted by BraselC5048 View Post
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.

Last edited by Captain Joy; 02-17-2014 at 03:10 AM. Reason: html syntax
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:33 PM   #5
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default 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.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:44 AM   #6
whswhs
 
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Default 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
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:56 AM   #7
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
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...
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:51 AM   #8
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Bonus to hearing rolls - specifically taking several seconds to listen

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
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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