Steve Jackson Games Forums Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls?
 Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

 01-05-2023, 11:42 AM #1 thom   Join Date: Oct 2011 Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls? OK, in my Fantasy campaign, I've got a Hearing/Vision contest coming up in my next session, and I want to do it right. Situation: PC on night watch for a caravan, and a 10-man group of orcs (with Night Vision 5) is heading towards the PC for an attack. • the Orcs are not using stealth; they're moving at Speed of 4. • I'm figuring this gives a +2 on hearing them, accounting for the size of the group. • It's a cloudy night, so -4 to the PC's Vision rolls. • the PC is standing behind a torch, and doesn't have any Night Vision (I'm expecting they'll learn from this mistake-assuming they survive ) With a Perception of 12, and +2 for hearing based on group size, and -4 for a cloudy night; IF the PC rolls a '12' HOW FAR AWAY does he see or hear the orcs?? thom
 01-05-2023, 12:15 PM #2 Varyon   Join Date: Jun 2013 Re: Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls? If he's standing behind the torch, his night vision is nonexistent. The torch itself, based on the "Illumination Levels Table" from Powers: Enhanced Senses*, produces light that gives a -1 to see at 1 yard away, and a further -1 per +2 SSR to Range - -2 at 2 yards, -3 at 5 yards, and -4 at 10 yards, at which point there's no difference between the light from the torch and the ambient light (which is also -4)... but I'd apply a -2 beyond that 10 yards, on account of the character has non-adapted night vision (because he's staring at a torch). The orcs are in plain sight, for +10 to see them, and a net +4 (not counting Range) if further than 10 yards away, net +6 if further than 5 yards away, net +7 if further than 2 yards away. For a roll of 12 to succeed, the character's effective Sight needs to be 12; net +4 would negate -4 for Range, which conveniently is 10 yards away. So they'd be spotted around 10 yards away - unless you decide to treat them as easier to see due to the size of the group; 10 orcs could potentially be justified as being up to SM+4 (10x the size of a typical orc) if they're all walking side-by-side; I'd call them SM+2 instead, in which case they'd be spotted around 20 yards away. In terms of noise, I don't currently have access to the Hearing Table (from High Tech as well as Powers: Enhanced Senses), but a bit of searching online indicates a "normal conversation" (which further searching puts around 60 dB) can be heard at 1 yard with a roll against Hearing+0, and I know it's +2 SSR to Range or -10 dB per -1 to Hearing. If the orcs are talking, then if they're all talking things might rise to around 5x as loud as that "normal conversation," which is around +25 dB - +2 to Hearing at 1 yard. Most likely they aren't that loud, but let's go with that. At +2 to Hear at 1 yard, and -1 per +2 SSR to Range, a roll of 12 for a character with Hearing 12 would result in them being detected at 5 yards away. So, they'd be seen before they are heard, if I'm remembering the Hearing rules correctly (if you haven't received other responses by then, I'll try to remember to check my books when I get home and give you an update), and would probably be seen at around 20 yards away. Note they'll see the caravan much sooner than that, as that torch will be visible from a long ways off. *EDIT: There's some language in the table about having a light source in a dark area rendering you unable to see outside of the illuminated area at all, but without further guidelines, I don't really know how to use that, so I'm ignoring it here. EDIT2: Considering the character is making the rookie mistake of having the torch in front of him while on watch, does he happen to have any relevant skills such as Soldier? If so, I'd be inclined to allow an IQ-based roll for the character to realize that's not a good idea. __________________ GURPS Overhaul Last edited by Varyon; 01-05-2023 at 12:25 PM.
01-05-2023, 03:31 PM   #3
thom

Join Date: Oct 2011
Re: Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Varyon If he's standing behind the torch, his night vision is nonexistent.... *EDIT: There's some language in the table about having a light source in a dark area rendering you unable to see outside of the illuminated area at all, but without further guidelines, I don't really know how to use that, so I'm ignoring it here. EDIT2: Considering the character is making the rookie mistake of having the torch in front of him while on watch, does he happen to have any relevant skills such as Soldier? If so, I'd be inclined to allow an IQ-based roll for the character to realize that's not a good idea.
OK, so let's put him 2 yards to one side of the torch - how does that improve things? I kinda figured spotting the orcs is gonna be more likely than hearing them - especially without any hearing advantage...

 01-05-2023, 04:53 PM #4 Varyon   Join Date: Jun 2013 Re: Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls? At my books now, looks like my only error there was that I forgot Hearing ranges don't follow SSR, but are true doublings. Turns out that even if they aren't talking, someone who isn't trying to be stealthy would probably be around 60 dB, as the table in Loudness Levels (P:ES21) notes this is where a failed Stealth roll would be. If we treat it as around 80 dB for there being a group (equivalent to a loud conversation; note 90 dB is for a shout, and that's probably too loud for just ten orcs walking), it's an unmodified Hearing roll at 4 yards. For vision, there actually aren't any rules related to where the light source is at (I was misremembering, and going off of a playtest-formatted version of the Illumination Table - from when we were discussing errata on the forums - which wasn't quite as readable as the publication-formatted version in Powers: Enhanced Senses), so it being behind you, in front of you, to the side, etc, doesn't matter. The text states the +10 for Plain Sight only applies within the illuminated area, and that you're at -7 to see anything outside of it... but doesn't define what the illuminated area is. Is it the area where the light source makes a difference? That seems rather excessive - a 120W lightbulb (+0) being on within your line of sight during Sunset (-1) certainly shouldn't make everything more than a yard away from that lightbulb be at -7 to see! Is it everything the light reaches? The light reaches everything if there isn't something in the way (in fact, going off of the Illumination Table, the only way to actually have a -10 to see is if you're in an area that is completely enclosed by light-blocking barriers). Without clarification, I'm going to ignore that rule. So, ultimately, I think that the -2 I assumed beyond 10 yards shouldn't be in play. Again, light levels with a torch are at -1 at 1 yard, -2 at 2 yards, -3 at 5 yards, and -4 beyond that. Orcs who aren't sneaking should count as in plain sight, for +10 to see them, so beyond 5 yards we're at a net +6 to Vision, ignoring Range. This means a roll of 12 for a character with Vision 12 will spot an orc at 20 yards away. If we give the orcs an effective +2 to SM for there being 10 of them, they'll be spotted 50 yards away. __________________ GURPS Overhaul
 01-05-2023, 05:48 PM #5 whswhs   Join Date: Jun 2005 Location: Lawrence, KS Re: Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls? I think the question is, not "are you within the circle it illuminates?" but "are you looking at the light source?" If that light source is within your field of vision, your eyes will adapt to it, and thus be handicapped in seeing things that are darker. __________________ Bill Stoddard I don't think we're in Oz any more.
01-05-2023, 08:10 PM   #6
Varyon

Join Date: Jun 2013
Re: Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs I think the question is, not "are you within the circle it illuminates?" but "are you looking at the light source?" If that light source is within your field of vision, your eyes will adapt to it, and thus be handicapped in seeing things that are darker.
Are you saying the rule from Powers: Enhanced Senses is meant to be something like "You are at +10 to see the light source, as it counts as In Plain Sight, but are at -7 to see anything else, in addition to any darkness penalties"? That still runs into the "lightbulb at sunset" issue. Or would you need to be close enough to the light source that you are more visible than you would be with ambient light alone for this to come into play - I could certainly buy that having a 120W lightbulb only a yard from your face blinds you to everything else.
EDIT: On second thought, that doesn't quite work either - a quick bit of reality checking shows me that I can still see things elsewhere in my room even when looking directly at the computer monitor, which is by far the brightest thing here (when it goes off, the only notable source of light is the dimly-glowing LED on my PC). Certainly I can see things in my room better when just using the light of the monitor rather than looking directly at it, but I wouldn't say by any more than would be covered by the -2 for my eyes not being appropriately adjusted.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul

Last edited by Varyon; 01-05-2023 at 08:15 PM.

01-08-2023, 12:13 AM   #7
Kaslak

Join Date: Oct 2022
Re: Distance for Hearing/Vision rolls?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by thom OK, in my Fantasy campaign, I've got a Hearing/Vision contest coming up in my next session, and I want to do it right. Situation: PC on night watch for a caravan, and a 10-man group of orcs (with Night Vision 5) is heading towards the PC for an attack. • the Orcs are not using stealth; they're moving at Speed of 4. • I'm figuring this gives a +2 on hearing them, accounting for the size of the group. • It's a cloudy night, so -4 to the PC's Vision rolls. • the PC is standing behind a torch, and doesn't have any Night Vision (I'm expecting they'll learn from this mistake-assuming they survive ) With a Perception of 12, and +2 for hearing based on group size, and -4 for a cloudy night; IF the PC rolls a '12' HOW FAR AWAY does he see or hear the orcs?? thom
For hearing rolls, as an alternative, you might consider also the alternative rules in Mysteries, making use of the SSRT instead of doublings.

The focus there seems more about recognizing the sound, and what a witness can describe, also based on his attention level, but I like to use them in general.

 Tags hearing, vision

 Thread Tools Display Modes Hybrid Mode

 Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts BB code is On Fnords are Off [IMG] code is Off HTML code is Off Forum Rules
 Forum Jump User Control Panel Private Messages Subscriptions Who's Online Search Forums Forums Home Illuminati Headquarters     SJ Games Discussion     Daily Illuminator     Forum Feedback and Help Warehouse 23     Warehouse 23 General Discussion     Warehouse 23 Digital     Pyramid Munchkin     Munchkin 101     Munchkin     Munchkin Collectible Card Game     Other Munchkin Games Roleplaying     Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game         DFRPG Resources     GURPS         GURPS Resources         GURPS Character Assistant     Transhuman Space     Traveller     The Fantasy Trip         The Fantasy Trip: House Rules     In Nomine     Roleplaying in General     Play By Post Board and Card Games     Car Wars         Car Wars Old Editions     Ogre and G.E.V.         Ogre Video Game         Ogre Scenarios     Board and Dice Games     Card Games     Miniatures The Gnomes of Zurich     The Industry     Conventions     Trading Post     Gamer Finder

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:08 PM.

 -- Default Style ---- Classic Forum Colors Contact Us - Steve Jackson Games - Privacy Statement - Top