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Old 09-25-2014, 08:09 AM   #21
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
The problem of such a rule, then, is that it would become clumsy...
  • First, it would enforce to know the number of dB of a lot of things. I had to search in the web to know that a normal conversation is about 60 dB. What about a charging big animal like a rhinoceros or an elephant? What about a cat's meow? And what about a gun like an ordinary revolver compared to a sniper rifle? The GM would need a huge list of different sounds...
No need to search the web - High-Tech p. 158 has a table of volumes. It seems to indicate that each tenfold increase of volume is worth a doubling of distance (or a +1 to hear at the same distance).
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:11 AM   #22
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Camouflage doesn't help people move quietly. Stealth doesn't help people be unseen while standing still. Camouflage would help if you were sneaking up on something that couldn't hear.
Don't you consider it a Murphy if Stealth would help being unseen while moving, but suddenly become useless once you stop moving?
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Stealth prevents being seen and being heard. Its main uses are hiding from sight behind concealment or in shadow, and treading lightly. [ . . . ]

Camouflage only prevents being seen. Its main use is hiding from sight by breaking up outlines and disguising oneself as part of the environment. A lot of gear gives a bonus in that situation. [ . . . ]
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:05 AM   #23
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
To clarify, I mean that "specifically on the alert for intruders" makes the most sense, IMO, if you interpret it very liberally to mean "concerned with intruders and unlikely to ignore them if detected". Otherwise you get all kinds of weird puzzles with what "on the alert" actually means. If there's a sentry (even a bored one and even an accidental one), you need to roll a Contest, IMO.
Hmmm. Found this bit by Kromm:
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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Skills like Camouflage and Stealth normally go up against straight Per (or Vision or Hearing, where applicable). If your Observation happens to be at Per+1 or better, you may use it instead. That isn't the main use of Observation, though, but a nice side-benefit having the skill. Observation's principal use is covertly gathering intelligence in the manner of a spy, a detective on stakeout, a military scout, or a gangster casing a mark: defenses, security, staffing levels, alertness levels, shift changes, objectives of strategic interest, etc.

As for when it's a Quick Contest, the easiest way to think of it is like this:
  • When Stealth could actually achieve total surprise, roll a straight success roll. Success grants total surprise.
  • When Stealth could at most grant the sneaky party partial surprise, roll a Quick Contest. Victory grants partial surprise.
This decision is necessarily subjective . . . the GM may or may not accept "I'm on alert!" as good enough to shift the first case to the second, and might even wish to tie the choice of mechanics used to a plot point, not rules action.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:12 AM   #24
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Don't you consider it a Murphy if Stealth would help being unseen while moving, but suddenly become useless once you stop moving?
Yes. it wouldn't be logical...

Actually, as a GM, I use Stealth whenever the character tries to hide himself, even without moving: a child playing a hide-and-seek game, a thief standing quietly in the shadows of a dark corridor, a lover trying to hide himself in the wardrobe or under the bed when the jealous and bad-tempered husband comes back home, and so on...

And I use Camouflage whenever the character modifies his clothes, chair, equipment shapes and colors... Even if he is moving!

So, logically, Camouflage could be used with the Complementary Skills rule to improve the odds of Stealth and vice versa - trained soldiers don't content themselves to camouflage themselves... They also hide themselves in bushes, behind trees, and so on.

Thus, after reading this thread and thinking a bit more about it, this is how I will handle that kind of situation, even if Camouflage definition (Basic Set, page 183) says the contrary. After all, Camouflage definition has been written far before the rule of Complementary Skills... But, of course, my player will have to think about using both skills at the same time if they want to see the Complementary Skills rule being applied.

Last edited by Gollum; 09-25-2014 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:26 AM   #25
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
No need to search the web - High-Tech p. 158 has a table of volumes. It seems to indicate that each tenfold increase of volume is worth a doubling of distance (or a +1 to hear at the same distance).
Thank you for this reference.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:39 PM   #26
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
Yes. it wouldn't be logical...

Actually, as a GM, I use Stealth whenever the character tries to hide himself, even without moving: a child playing a hide-and-seek game, a thief standing quietly in the shadows of a dark corridor, a lover trying to hide himself in the wardrobe or under the bed when the jealous and bad-tempered husband comes back home, and so on...

And I use Camouflage whenever the character modifies his clothes, chair, equipment shapes and colors... Even if he is moving!
An interesting point as sometimes camouflage provides a penalty to hit instead of preventing someone from being seen. That seems to be meant for a combat situation, and, judging by the retellings of people who participate in strikeball (airsoft) and third-hand texts by actual combatants (someone correct me on the latter) is actually one of the reasonable effects of camouflage.
(Kromm also once said that Chameleon should provide a penalty to enemy vision instead of a Stealth bonus.)

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
So, logically, Camouflage could be used with the Complementary Skills rule to improve the odds of Stealth and vice versa - trained soldiers don't content themselves to camouflage themselves... They also hide themselves in bushes, behind trees, and so on.
Thus, after reading this thread and thinking a bit more about it, this is how I will handle that kind of situation, even if Camouflage definition (Basic Set, page 183) says the contrary. After all, Camouflage definition has been written far before the rule of Complementary Skills... But, of course, my player will have to think about using both skills at the same time if they want to see the Complementary Skills rule being applied.
Camouflage says it doesn't give a bonus to Stealth. So the CSR mechanic seems to be unsuitable. So some other mechanic is probably better-fitting. Perhaps rolling both QCs, or rolling both and using the better result.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:58 PM   #27
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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(Kromm also once said that Chameleon should provide a penalty to enemy vision instead of a Stealth bonus.)
That would make it actually worth its cost; as-is it's worth considering if you're planning on putting more than 4 points in Stealth, but it's extremely rare that you'll actually want to do that.
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:08 PM   #28
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
An interesting point as sometimes camouflage provides a penalty to hit instead of preventing someone from being seen. That seems to be meant for a combat situation, and, judging by the retellings of people who participate in strikeball (airsoft) and third-hand texts by actual combatants (someone correct me on the latter) is actually one of the reasonable effects of camouflage.
(Kromm also once said that Chameleon should provide a penalty to enemy vision instead of a Stealth bonus.)

Camouflage says it doesn't give a bonus to Stealth. So the CSR mechanic seems to be unsuitable. So some other mechanic is probably better-fitting. Perhaps rolling both QCs, or rolling both and using the better result.
The rules in DF 16 already cover the differences.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:15 AM   #29
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Camouflage says it doesn't give a bonus to Stealth. So the CSR mechanic seems to be unsuitable. So some other mechanic is probably better-fitting. Perhaps rolling both QCs, or rolling both and using the better result.
The problem of such rules is that it is what makes GURPS harder and harder to play... Sorry to say it so frankly (I hope I won't hurt any author or person in charge of GURPS line; it is not at all my intention), but I think that it is really important to say it.

Indeed, when there is a generic rule that applies to everything, things are easy to remember and to get. But as soon as each specific situation or skill begins to have its own rule, the game becomes harder to play, the books become thicker and newcomers become more and more uncertain. Those who already know GURPS by heart just have the new rule to learn and so, it is really easy for them. If they don't pay enough attention to it, they don't even notice that it could be difficult for someone else. But those who don't yet know GURPS have a game with one more rule to learn. And if it is repeated to many times, it really becomes a problem.

I already noticed that with the Forgery skill. It doesn't use the usual Contest of Skills rule but its own very specific rule. This one works well and is well tested; no problem with that. The problem is only that it is a new rule to learn. And that a usual Quick Contest could have make the job as well - please, don't discuss about the Forgery example here; it is just an example and had its own thread... that you can resuscitate if you wish).

And now, just because it is written that Camouflage can't help Stealth (while common sense sounds to say the contrary), a new rule would have to be designed to do it differently from the very good Complementary Skills rule?

In GURPS introduction, Steve Jackson wrote: "Most other RPGs started out as a simple set of rules, and then were patched and modified, ad infinitum. That makes them hard to play. GURPS, more than ever in the Fourth Edition, is a unified whole." (Basic Set, page 5). It would be a pity if GURPS became more and more patched...

Like Sherlock Holmes once said to Dr Watson: "The exception doesn't prove the rule; it infirms it."
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:22 AM   #30
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Default Re: [RAW] Compendium of Sense Rolls clarifications (looking for one . . .)

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
The rules in DF 16 already cover the differences.
Which is exactly what I am meaning. To cover success rolls, buy and read Basic Set. To cover Complementary Skills, buy and read GURPS Action 2, Exploits. But to cover the specific case where Camouflage could be complementary of Stealth, buy and read Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures... Don't you think that it makes GURPS harder and harder to get for newcomers?

No... here, I'm exaggerating a lot. But it is still what could happen if a new rule was created just for the case where Camouflage would be used as a complementary skill of Stealth. Something in the FAQ like: "Basic Set says that Camouflage cannot be used to improve Stealth. It is not what common sense sounds to say and was written far before the Complementary Skills rule you can find in Action 2... You can now use Camouflage as a complementary skill for Stealth roll." would perfectly makes the job.

Also note that, statistically, giving +1 or +2 to the Stealth roll or -1 or -2 to the Vision roll give exactly the same result in a Quick Contest. So, since the latter is a new rule, why not just using the former which uses a well established one?

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