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> Worse than blind?, Maximum visibility penalty
Moon-Hawk
post Jul 16 2007, 05:42 PM
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I've seen a lot of examples on the board about shooting penalties where people stack up fog, glare, partial light, and possibly even blind fire for a ridiculously high penalty.
If you've got fog (-4), glare(-1), and partial light(-2) for a total of -7, you're better off just closing your eyes and taking the -6 for blind fire. Right? I mean, how can your visibility penalties be worse than blind?

Of course, you use Intuition instead of Agility when you're firing blind. This raises the initial concern of what happens when you have a high intuition character who closes their eyes to shoot more accurately? Well, this fear is quickly put to rest when you realize that the -6 blind fire penalty keeps you safe, since no one has more than 7 Intuition and less than 1 Agility, so you're okay. Right? Well no, not really, if you rule (logically) that the max penalty is -6.

So:
You're using agility as long as your pool is greater than your blind fire pool, obviously, otherwise you'd close your eyes to shoot better.
Agility+Skill+Visibility Mods+Non-visibility Mods >= Intuition + Skill -6 +Non-visibility Mods. Right?
Algebra happens:
Agility + Visibility Mods >= Intuition -6
More algebra:
Intuition-Agility-6 >= Visibility Mods
Everything on the left side is known, so let's take a normal non-munchy example of Intuition 5 and Agility 2.
Plugging into equation, as long as their visibility modifiers are -3 or better they are okay, but below that point they might as well aim, close their eyes, and fire using the -6 for blind fire and intuition, they'll actually get more dice!


So either:
1) I'm wrong, and visibility penalties can exceed -6, so firing blind in smoke is harder than firing blind.
2) There are situations where you are more accurate if you close your eyes.
3) Each character has a maximum visibility penalty equal to their Intuition-Agility-6, or -6, whichever is greater.

Sorry for the long winded explanation. Thoughts?
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ludomastro
post Jul 16 2007, 05:48 PM
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I'm not following your algebra. Please provide a deffinition for the following:

visibility mods vs. non-visibility mods.
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Talia Invierno
post Jul 16 2007, 05:50 PM
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Math notwithstanding, "worse than blind" would be when there is active visual distraction: eg the sudden glaring headlights in the heavy fog and low light, when you're trying to identify an entirely different target such as the line on the road which keeps you from driving off it.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 16 2007, 06:09 PM
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QUOTE (Alex)
I'm not following your algebra. Please provide a deffinition for the following:

visibility mods vs. non-visibility mods.

Visibility mods would be things that affect your visibility. Glare is only effective when your eyes are open. Partial light doesn't matter if your eyes are closed.
Wound modifiers are non-visibility modifiers, since they hurt whether your eyes are open or not.

@Talia: So you're saying, in that case, that you could close your eyes to block out all those annoying distractions like glare and have your dice pool increase, right? Obviously you wouldn't be affected by the smoke and glare if your eyes were closed. Essentially my option #1. Performance improves with eyes closed.
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Naysayer
post Jul 16 2007, 06:23 PM
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I don't think that performance really increases.
It might just be that closing your eyes and trusting your intuition can sometimes be more helpful than trying to get a shot at your target with stuff not only impairing your vision, but actively distracting you...

And if some smarmy player gets the idea to have his high-int char run around and constantly blind-fire the opposition into submission? You stab him.
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Talia Invierno
post Jul 16 2007, 06:30 PM
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I suspect that many perception modifiers also take into account other senses, even when they might seem not to. However, in heavily visually-oriented people (most of us!), the data from your eyes often drowns out what your other senses are telling you. Most times we automatically filtre out what we don't immediately need, but where senses are already impaired, we tend to try to focus hard on whatever we can make out -- and a distraction or two in there (glare) can completely throw us. In the vehicle-driving example, most non brakes-related accidents in fog or heavy snow happen either from accidentally driving off the road (often when approached by on-coming vehicles in the other lane), or by following and focusing tightly on the taillights of the car ahead of you (which cuts out both distance perception and periphery).

The vehicle-driving example is inappropriate for this next part: but when you're on your feet and learning to fight in a dojo, you're often taught to react independently of what your eyes are telling you: because your eyes simply can't process all the information fast enough. By the time you see and visually process an attack coming at you, it's too late. Close your eyes, close out distractions to focus on what is immediately relevant: and yes, your performance might improve.

And yes, Naysayer, we might well call it intuition. It's just that the game mechanic does not. You could say it's not logical ;)

This could work in different ways as well. For example, in a noisy or highly smelly environment, people tend not to react to visual stimuli as well as they normally would. A different kind of distracting sensory stimulus is pain, which has been shown to impact specifically on the same parts of the brain that govern visual processing.
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Unarmed
post Jul 16 2007, 06:35 PM
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Hmm, time to make a completely blind gun-adept with high intuition and the blind fighting adept power.
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James McMurray
post Jul 16 2007, 06:39 PM
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I'd rule that there are no worse penalties for vision than blindness. That might make it so that some characters shoot better with their eyes closed, but I'm not overly concerned with that.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 16 2007, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE (Talia Invierno)
Close your eyes, close out distractions to focus on what is immediately relevant: and yes, your performance might improve.

Okay. I agree that under certain circumstances that can be cool and potentially realistic.

My point is, in a more extreme case, such as Intuition 6, Agility 1, if there is any vision modifier at all they're just as well-off with their eyes closed as open. Heck, give them Intuition 7 and it doesn't matter in any condition whether they're looking or not. Isn't that...odd?
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Naysayer
post Jul 16 2007, 06:43 PM
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Yes. And exploity.
Which is why, as a GM, it is your responsibility to maintain a sharp knife.
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Talia Invierno
post Jul 16 2007, 06:43 PM
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There, I would have to see your math in detail.

Btw -- have you realised how ironic your signature is, in this thread?
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James McMurray
post Jul 16 2007, 06:52 PM
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Someone with Intuition 7 and Agility 1 spend a lot of points for a cute trick, and will still suck at tons of Agility based skills unless they spent an inordinate amount of resources upping them.

Let them have their one upswing. It won't make up for the downsides.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 16 2007, 07:37 PM
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Naysayer: Sharp knife. Check.
Talia: What math?
James: Good point. Little Miss Closer-her-eyes-when-she-shoots isn't going to be ruling combat, it's a question of total suckage vs. near-total suckage, so throw the poor dog a bone. I like it.
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redne
post Jul 16 2007, 07:49 PM
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If you just imagine a person with Intuition 7 and Agility 1, it suddenly becomes not strange at all that closing eyes might do good for his/her aim.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 16 2007, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE (redne)
If you just imagine a person with Intuition 7 and Agility 1, it suddenly becomes not strange at all that closing eyes might do good for his/her aim.

Which is why I hesitated to use the example in the first place.
The problem still occurs with Intuition 5 and Agility 3, just not quite as often.
In any case, I'm happy with the results. I like Talia's explanation for why visibility penalties can be greater than -6 with your eyes open, and I like James' explanation for not worrying about it when someone shoots with their eyes closed for a bigger DP.
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Talia Invierno
post Jul 16 2007, 07:57 PM
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Wait -- you're considering the negatives solely in the context of negatives to combat hits, and not also more generally in the context of Perception and "perceiving in detail"? We've found the latter essential in combat situations: which is why your INT / AG example threw me.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 16 2007, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Talia Invierno)
Wait -- you're considering the negatives solely in the context of negatives to combat hits, and not also more generally in the context of Perception and "perceiving in detail"? We've found the latter essential in combat situations: which is why your INT / AG example threw me.

Yeah, I'm talking specifically about ranged combat tests with firearms, although it applies just as well to any other test that is affected by visibility modifiers, although perception tests can easily logically go past -6 when multiple senses are involved.
In all cases I'm already assuming that the target has been spotted and their approximate location known.
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Talia Invierno
post Jul 16 2007, 08:18 PM
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Ah, there's the confusion. Because I'm used to the kinds of combats where two sides are not clearly defined, and concealment/stealth/invisibility/masking/high signatures further make havoc of trying to identify opponents.

I dream of clearly spotted targets with known locations :)
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Apathy
post Jul 16 2007, 08:19 PM
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A related question would be whether you could get the benifit of positive modifiers with your eyes closed? Does spending actions aiming with your eyes closed give you bonuses? How about smartlinks - do they provide any bonus if you're shooting eyes closed?
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James McMurray
post Jul 16 2007, 08:27 PM
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A smartlink is a vision enhancer. It's be incredibly hard to use if you've got no vision.
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Apathy
post Jul 16 2007, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)
A smartlink is a vision enhancer. It's be incredibly hard to use if you've got no vision.

Should that also apply to characters attempting to target using Astral Perception?
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mfb
post Jul 16 2007, 08:30 PM
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well, closing your eyes doesn't turn off your smartlink. it just gives your opponents full cover (from your eyelids), which is less of an impediment than certain combinations of other mods.
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TheDrake
post Jul 16 2007, 08:37 PM
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No, they get full Concealment from your eyelids. Cover is something that can stop or deflect a round.
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Naysayer
post Jul 16 2007, 08:40 PM
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The smartlink might actually foil your wannabe Rutger Hauer char, assuming it works with eyes closed (and I don't see why we would assume otherwise).
The smartlink comes with a camera, so even when YOU close your eyes, your gun still stares right into that smoky cloud of glaring heavy rain.
And then displays that mess right into your fov.
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mfb
post Jul 16 2007, 09:07 PM
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concealment and cover are the same thing, in SR. if i were an instructor, drilling new troops on basic combat techniques, i'd use the 'proper' terminology. as we're discussing SR, the proper term is the one the book uses.
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