Interraction vs godlike stealth

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Kuildeous
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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby Kuildeous » Wed May 23, 2018 2:53 pm

You can absolutely taunt/intimidate/trick someone you can't see. I'd wager that maneuver is unlikely, but it may be possible (moving behind cover, zig-zagging, dropping peanuts on the floor).

Consider the iconic scene in Return of the Jedi when Luke is hiding from Darth Vader in the Imperial throne room. Even with the help of the Force, Vader cannot find Luke. So he monologues. He just keeps taunting Luke more and more until he gets a villain's call and forces Luke out of hiding. Luke even has the -4 for being Very Stymied, though he compensates for that handily with all-out attacks. If you think someone is out there somewhere, then you can absolutely threaten, mock, or cajole that person; you don't even know who that person is. And I wouldn't even assign a penalty because this is drama at its finest.

The Gloater ability is great for this, and I would let that happen even if the hider remains unknown. If anything, a villain's call could remove that character's action by scaring him enough to just stay hidden for another round.

And I think the point on stealth itself is important. Stealth is not invisibility. Too many people conflate the two. I witnessed this in my Pathfinder game last night. My character had darkvision and also the spell see invisibility. One of our scouts went ahead while invisible, and when he came back up the hallway, my character told the others that he's coming back. The player said that he still had a Stealth total of 39. I didn't want to waste the time pointing out that he's walking through a straight corridor with no shadows to obscure him.

And that's even in a game that specifically points out that hiding can only be done behind cover or under concealment. I see this skill misappropriated all the time.

In fact, I would argue that in Torg, you can't use Stealth during combat—aside from special tricks. You can start off in hiding, but in the heat of battle, everyone is busy looking around. Unless it's dark or in a cluttered space, I'm not allowing it. Stealth is mostly a utility skill used to get from Point A to Point B without alerting the sentries.
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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby TorgHacker » Wed May 23, 2018 5:49 pm

Using stealth offensively like that sure sounds like a decent Prowess/Elf/Ki Power Perk. :)
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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby Wotan » Wed May 23, 2018 7:48 pm

Kuildeous wrote:You can absolutely taunt/intimidate/trick someone you can't see. I'd wager that maneuver is unlikely, but it may be possible (moving behind cover, zig-zagging, dropping peanuts on the floor).

Consider the iconic scene in Return of the Jedi when Luke is hiding from Darth Vader in the Imperial throne room. Even with the help of the Force, Vader cannot find Luke. So he monologues. He just keeps taunting Luke more and more until he gets a villain's call and forces Luke out of hiding. Luke even has the -4 for being Very Stymied, though he compensates for that handily with all-out attacks. If you think someone is out there somewhere, then you can absolutely threaten, mock, or cajole that person; you don't even know who that person is. And I wouldn't even assign a penalty because this is drama at its finest.

The Gloater ability is great for this, and I would let that happen even if the hider remains unknown. If anything, a villain's call could remove that character's action by scaring him enough to just stay hidden for another round.

I'm totally with you about all of this, it's bang-on in terms of cinematic action drama.

And I think the point on stealth itself is important.

I'd be 100% with you in a simulationist system, but TorgE's cinematic action movie genre is one of heroes who pull of stuff which might push the limits of audience credulity, until they remember that it's heroic action.

Stealth is not invisibility.

But what is invisibility in TorgE? The spell makes the target "barely visible." it's standard effect is +2 to Stealth, an Outstanding tops out at +6 Stealth. Even with the latter effect a mage could easily have a much lower Stealth Skill Value than the "Stealth Munchkin" discussed on P1. Should a mage, with no optimisation beyond one skill pick, really be better at sneaking than the character that has min/maxed their stats (to the point of leaving easily exploitable weak spots,) & spent two Perks (with limitations) in order to become "Mr Stealth"?
The latter player's making a clear statement about the kind of character they want to play. Doesn't it kind of crap on their character concept if Stompy MacNostealth the wizard rocks up with invisibility & is able to overcome some stealth related challenges more effectively?

I'd still want some kind of genre-plausible explanation for how a PC might achieve apparently impossible feats of awesome*, and I might go off the top of the DN difficulty mods chart (it only goes up to -10 Nearly Impossible!) possibly to -15 or even -20, but if they can hit the DN, congrats to them, they just had an awesome moment of demonstrating supernal competence. If a player's built their PC around the skill in question, these moments will probably make them very happy. *shrug*

*Using Mr Stealth as an example: maybe Dex 15 characters can move so fluidly and gracefully that they don't set off the the motion detection part of vision; it's not that they're invisible it's just that they don't draw conscious attention so quickly as a normal moving target would; maybe +7 Stealth means that the character's an expert at reading potential spotters, so they can time their movement perfectly for a moment when the watcher's not paying attention. There are probably tons of scene specific genre-plausible explanations which could be used too, if the character can't come up with a more widely applicable piece of character fluff to explain how/why they're so darn good at stealth.
I'd treat Invisibility as just another plausible explanation for achieving the impossible. A Super-Skill Pulp power could easily include a similar level of fluff, maybe the PC was bitten by a radioactive shadow or some such?

In fact, I would argue that in Torg, you can't use Stealth during combat—aside from special tricks. You can start off in hiding, but in the heat of battle, everyone is busy looking around. Unless it's dark or in a cluttered space, I'm not allowing it. Stealth is mostly a utility skill used to get from Point A to Point B without alerting the sentries.

Yeah, I'd be stricter on stealth in combat too, at least without specialist Perks. If someone wanted to do it, I think I'd want them to at least get out of sight of the Villains before they could attempt to reestablish Stealth. It is very in genre for a pursuer to chase a target round a corner only to find that (by dint of finding an unexpected hiding place) they've mysteriously vanished.
A second stealth attack would certainly tip Villains off that it's the PC's MO, & they'd be on the look out for subsequent attacks, but the first time a PC looked like they were disengaging, & trying to get away from the fight, Villains could easily count themselves lucky & focus on the remaining PCs.
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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby mystic101 » Wed May 23, 2018 11:08 pm

Kuildeous wrote:In fact, I would argue that in Torg, you can't use Stealth during combat—aside from special tricks. You can start off in hiding, but in the heat of battle, everyone is busy looking around. Unless it's dark or in a cluttered space, I'm not allowing it. Stealth is mostly a utility skill used to get from Point A to Point B without alerting the sentries.


I can see someone using Stealth during combat as their MO, if they've built the character for it. One of the character concepts I considered but ultimately discarded was an Elven Warden kitted out to be a run 'n gun sniper during fights. She wouldn't have had the same godly stealth as mentioned in the first post, but it would've been decent enough for what I had in mind.

My thinking was that she could have practiced her combat style previously while in natural surroundings like forests, where there's often plenty of cover large enough to completely break a line of sight, and it's often distributed close enough together to allow for repositioning. Other environments encountered during adventures that meet that criteria would work, too. Libraries, furniture stores, labyrinthine labs, you never know where the players will end up.

Anyway, I figured the character could often angle for starting the engagements in stealth, and while also behind some obstacle that provides Full Cover. A big tree, a boulder, an office desk, whatever. No body parts showing at all. Then they would multi-action pop up from the cover, fire off a shot, drop back down behind total concealment, re-stealth, and move away, all in one action. The attack and the re-stealth would each be at -2, and the half-speed repositioning would just be the "free" movement any character gets during their turn.

If the stealth check succeeded, it would indicate that the attackers lost track of the character. She'd be free to try the same stunt again next round, from a new firing angle at the new position, and npcs would have to adjust their actions and tactics to address the loss of an eyes-on target lock. Again, it's not something you could do every fight. You'd require the right environments, but those would come up not infrequently, I'd imagine. I even toyed around with the idea of starting with the Darkness spell in order to create my own "sniper's nests" to shoot from, whenever the natural surroundings didn't break the lines of sight enough for the tactic to work. Then later, working my way up to the Invisibility spell for even more freedom.

Done that way, the character would still be contributing to the action each round. And not just by always attacking, either. I imagined using the stealth/action combo for interaction tests, too. Throw a rock while in hiding to trick someone, by creating a distracting false noise somewhere else. Make a spooky sound to intimidate them, then stealth-reposition so they don't find anyone there when they investigate. Pop up to staple someone's shirt to the wall with an arrow, or shoot out a chandelier's rope to drop it on them, then duck back down and reposition. The storyteller would have to be willing to allow a "long-range maneuver" via the arrow for those last ones (they're not 100% by-the-book since they're not within arm's reach, but it's following the spirit of the skill. It's reaching out to "touch" someone with the arrow, and hinder them with it. Some storytellers would allow it, others wouldn't.)

Ultimately I abandoned the idea because, while it seemed fun, it also seemed too limiting to me. I like to interact with the different npcs we meet. Question them, persuade them, banter with them, whatever. Skulking around in the shadows more often than not seemed like it would really get in the way of that, so I went with something else. Still, if someone thinks it'd be fun for them to try, and they built the character accordingly, I don't see anything in the rules that would stop them. They shouldn't even need any brand new, offensive stealth perks to do it either, I'm guessing. Just a cooperative storyteller.

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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby utsukushi » Thu May 24, 2018 8:07 pm

Wait... I have another question about this PC.

How did he get a Dex of 15? If he's using his Perks for Mastery and Super Skill, that doesn't leave one for Super Attribute, so his maximum should be 13, shouldn't it? Although Mastery, as I understand it, doesn't do anything for a starting character anyway, so they should probably go with Super Skill/Super Attribute for their Perks and pick up Mastery later.

And of course, a Stealth total of 20 still leaves all your questions, but I think the character is totally viable. Stealth is definitely usable in combat - it's mentioned right in the Skill description. But its effect is also pretty clearly defined: Attacking from Stealth makes your target Very Vulnerable. So assuming he does constantly re-Stealth, he's basically getting a +4 to all his attacks, but he could have done that by putting his Super Skill in his combat skill anyway. And if he is constantly re-Stealthing, he has to Multi-Action, which means he's actually getting a +2 to all his attacks, and anybody can do that.

Since both Stealth and Find note that they're opposed actions... well, here's a question.

TorgHacker - I'd assume that the "Action" side of that, in either case, comes from whoever is initiating the act. So does the other side make an "opposed roll", or do you just make a roll with their base value as the target? Eg., when he rolls Stealth, is it against their Mind or Find value, or do they roll? When someone is making the opposed test to break out of a grapple, does the grappl-er roll her Strength, too, or does it just provide a passive target number like Dodge? And if it's the second case, then if someone is Stealthing past a group of guards, is their passive total just whatever their individual Find is, or is it Find + the Combined Action bonus for having a group of them?

I never noticed this before, but I can't find actual rules for opposed tests anywhere, just a handful of things that are that. I always kind of assumed opposed tests meant opposed rolls, but the more I think about it, the passive-defense model is probably right, since, like, Firearms vs Dodge is pretty clearly an opposed test and that's how that works.


Anyway... the defensive side of it is a little bit trickier since I'm sure the player assumes he'll be completely invincible if no one can see him. But do remember those penalties that Stealth gets all the time. If you've just stuck a knife in someone, they probably know where you are. Even if you kill them, their dying "Argh!" is probably worth a +4 or so to anyone trying to figure you out. At best, I agree that Invisibility seems to provide a good model for this kind of supernaturally-enhanced Stealth giving a "Cover" defense based on just how good his roll is, each round, vs their Find. But there really aren't any rules for it. I just... I know it's possible to try to attack someone with only a fuzzy understanding of where they are, and that seems to be what Cover.. er... covers.

And if he is doing the attack-and-re-Stealth-Multi-action thing, remember that enemies can use the Wait option to hit him as soon as he comes out from cover, even on the PCs turn. Yes, forcing any number of opponents to do that every turn is a powerful effect, but it's equally true for someone with Flight making swooping attacks, or using Portal to pop in and out of battle, or whatever.

There's nothing this PC can do that others can't. It does combine a few things, but they'd all do it better if he were actually doing those things. (eg., Super Skill: Melee Weapons would give you the same attack bonus but like, all the time with no multi-action penalty or anything. Invisibility works in those brightly lit featureless hallways. Flight against melee attackers really leaves them no other option than to Wait and strike.) And of course, like many concepts, he's going to find himself stumbling a lot when he Disconnects, and using his Super Stealth is going to be risking that every time he does it. Those 5% chances come up... geeze, I don't know. It seems like about once every twenty rolls, give or take. That's likely to be about once an Act, and, um... I know you said Mind and Charisma were his real dump stats, but with that 15 Dex, how good is is Spirit again?

...There's always an instinct, when a player tries to build something godlike that's not as godlike as they think, to demonstrate how foolish they were and murder them. But the build isn't as godlike as he thinks it's going to be.

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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby TorgHacker » Thu May 24, 2018 8:24 pm

[snip]

utsukushi wrote:I never noticed this before, but I can't find actual rules for opposed tests anywhere, just a handful of things that are that. I always kind of assumed opposed tests meant opposed rolls, but the more I think about it, the passive-defense model is probably right, since, like, Firearms vs Dodge is pretty clearly an opposed test and that's how that works.



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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby Atama » Thu May 24, 2018 8:51 pm

utsukushi wrote:Wait... I have another question about this PC.

How did he get a Dex of 15? If he's using his Perks for Mastery and Super Skill, that doesn't leave one for Super Attribute, so his maximum should be 13, shouldn't it? Although Mastery, as I understand it, doesn't do anything for a starting character anyway, so they should probably go with Super Skill/Super Attribute for their Perks and pick up Mastery later.

They could be an Elf. They have a max Dex of 15.

They couldn’t take any Nile perks though. Basically the character as described in the OP violates character creation rules.

You could make the character with +3 Stealth, as an Elf give them either the Warden or Shadow Step perk (either which makes Stealth a Favored skill), and that would make it a base 18 and Favored roll. Not what the OP described but pretty formidable. And with some XP invested into more adds and the Mastery perk, you could eventually have 15 Dex and +8 adds, for base 23.

Of course that seems like a huge waste of points for something so situational.

Also, it’s not that Mastery “does nothing” for a starting character. You just can’t take it. You need 5 adds to be eligible for it and you can’t start with more than 3 in one skill.
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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby Wotan » Fri May 25, 2018 5:04 am

Atama wrote:
utsukushi wrote:Wait... I have another question about this PC.

How did he get a Dex of 15? If he's using his Perks for Mastery and Super Skill, that doesn't leave one for Super Attribute, so his maximum should be 13, shouldn't it? Although Mastery, as I understand it, doesn't do anything for a starting character anyway, so they should probably go with Super Skill/Super Attribute for their Perks and pick up Mastery later.

They could be an Elf. They have a max Dex of 15.

They couldn’t take any Nile perks though. Basically the character as described in the OP violates character creation rules.

You could make the character with +3 Stealth, as an Elf give them either the Warden or Shadow Step perk (either which makes Stealth a Favored skill), and that would make it a base 18 and Favored roll. Not what the OP described but pretty formidable. And with some XP invested into more adds and the Mastery perk, you could eventually have 15 Dex and +8 adds, for base 23.

Of course that seems like a huge waste of points for something so situational.

Also, it’s not that Mastery “does nothing” for a starting character. You just can’t take it. You need 5 adds to be eligible for it and you can’t start with more than 3 in one skill.

FWIW, In my previous I was assuming a Mr Stealth starting PC with Super Attribute enhanced to +2 with limitations, & Super Skill enhanced to +4 with limitations.

In general, Nile Characters seem to be the way to go for those who want a character that's godlike at one skill. Without Limitations, it would take 6 Perks (Super Attribute x2, Super Skill x3, & Mastery,) and 30 XP on skill adds, but a NE PC could theoretically Max out at a Skill Value of 27, with the skill Favoured.
Without Limitations they can hit this point at 62XP. If they buy all their Enhancements with Limitations they can get there with only 35XP; the Limitations are going to mean that their Pulp Powers wouldn't always be available, leaving them with a Skill value of "only" 21 (the normal Attribute 13 + Mastery maximum.)

Of course, this level of focused optimisation is likely to lead to a pretty one-dimensional character with lots of (exploitable) flaws, which I think will balance things out. I'm half expecting that one of players will create such a monstrosity at some point, but I think TorgE's mechanics can probably handle it. *shrug*
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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby TorgHacker » Fri May 25, 2018 10:24 am

Unless otherwise stated you can’t take a Perk more than once. You HAVE to take Limitations (well...for now).

Edit: DISREGARD.
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Re: Interraction vs godlike stealth

Postby ZorValachan » Fri May 25, 2018 11:09 am

TorgHacker wrote:Unless otherwise stated you can’t take a Perk more than once. You HAVE to take Limitations (well...for now).


Umm, i dont see where the core rules state that limitations must be taken. only that if you want an enhancement, 1 major or 2 minor limitations or even by spending another perk. Not that limitations are needed for non-enhanced pulp powers... Did i completely miss something somewhere? It even seems you can get the +4 super skill, or +2 attribute with 2 perks each and avoid limitations altogether as written on pg 99.
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