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> How Invisible is Invisible?, Concealment and Chameleon Suit
AngelisStorm
post Sep 5 2007, 12:19 AM
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Our player group has been batting around a question regarding Concealment and the Chameleon Suit. How invisible are they?

We've so far been treating the Chameleon suit similar to the cloaking armor in Ghost in the Shell. Effectively invisible, but less of if your moving.

Concealment I've been purposely not using (as a player) so we wouldn't have to deal with it. But finally we've decided we need to.

How many hits on a perception check do you require from your player to notice someone who is standing directly in front of them? Stupid sounding question, but depending on how the armor works, it might be a valid one. And the concealment power. Don't even know where to start on that one. I hate the "it's magic" arguement as sole justification, but the fact stands, it is magic.

How does everyone treat/handle these two? It's a silly question to ask if someone can see someone standing in the middle of a football field, but when special equipment/powers comes into play, where to start?

(Hope this was coherent, I have two people who just came home talking to me.)
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toturi
post Sep 5 2007, 12:25 AM
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Are you taking the person as an object(as in not actively hiding) or as someone who is actively trying to hide?

Object:
1 person(normal pedestrian) - 2 hits
Many persons(running crowd) - 1 hit

Active:
Opposed roll

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adamu
post Sep 5 2007, 12:45 AM
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For the Concealment power - it is clearly not invisibility. Yet there is no reason for its bonuses not to apply when in otherwise plain view.
I treat it as a "people just kind of don't notice you" effect. Get yourself a F6 spirit and thus take six dice off someone's perception pool - that will leave Joe average with zero dice to notice you - so even if you are standing right in front of him (Perception threshhold zero), they won't spot you. (Now, if they have a perception pool of seven....)

One thing, though, of course, is that pedestrians will bump into you, cars will hit you...friends will accidentally shoot you - great glitch material when playing around with this sort of thing.
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Wasabi
post Sep 5 2007, 12:58 AM
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My own 'take' on it is that if the oppposing party has zero dice in listening and spotting type Perception dicepools then you are invisible. All it takes to counter it is motion sensors or astral perception, though...
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DTFarstar
post Sep 5 2007, 12:58 AM
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I treat them both as a reflective light field- kinda, either the spirit or the armor does it's best to make it look like there is nothing there. The armor uses it's rhodopsin coating to mimic the surroundings. The spirit defracts the light around the target so it doesn't reflect it. The Invis spell actually alters what the target is noticing. In my opinion.


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Eleazar
post Sep 5 2007, 01:02 AM
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Some food for thought. It was some advice I got a while back from hyzmarca about how to properly use concealment and other such negative modifiers to perception.

The question I asked:
How exactly is a test done against concealment to tell if someone is seen or not?

hyzmarca's reply:
"Concealment only works if the enemy characters have to make a perception test. No perception test is required to see things that are obvious, which is why it is very important that you use a Stealth skill in conjunction with Concealment, usually Infiltration.

Also, it is highly important that you don't rely on Concealment alone, if you do your enemies will get a +5 modifier to spot you because the guy shooting at them is kind of obvious (+2) and they'll be making an effort to find you (+3). This makes Concealment rather useless. You need to stack other modifiers with it, use bright lights (flares or portable flood lights) (-1 if they don't have flarecomp) and thermal smoke grenades (between -2 and -6) to conceal your positions. Use throwaway comlinks as noisemaker grenades, simulating the muzzle flash and gunshots to provide further distractions (-2).

SInce you'll be dealing with Spirits and magician's, you'll want to use living biomass help lower astral visibility. FAB grenades are useful for this, but a few devil rats tied to drones should be enough to provide distraction penalties.

Remember, it is a test of your Infiltration+Agility vs their Intuition+Perception+Modifiers and they get to make a test every time you take a shot, if not more often. You have to go out of your way to stack up the modifiers against them."

The only real question I guess is, are people wearing chameleon suits considered obvious? If you see them as Ghost in the Shell suits, then most certainly not. I don't think the game mechanics reflect this though. If that were the case, I would think they would have a -6 or -8 modifier. That, and when people stood still it would work like the invisibility spell. The chameleon suit doesn't bend and manipulate light to make the subject appear invisible. It scans surroundings and replicates them as an image onto the suit. I think we might have to wait till Arsenal to get the chameleon suit of the Panther Moderns. Though even theirs had limitations.
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Wasabi
post Sep 5 2007, 01:07 AM
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The penalty isnt too detecting infiltration its to Perception so it affects anything using the perception dicepool such as the perception skill, any specializations in same, intuition, and any bonuses from cyberware, any gear with vision/hearing mods, etc.

If you could see the runner in a Force 30 darkness spell* then you could see them with zero perception dicepool.




*with max hits
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nathanross
post Sep 5 2007, 05:06 AM
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Unlike the physical masking/invisibility devices, I think concealment requires some imagination.

To someone you are not concealed from, you appear exactly the same as at any other time, but other people no matter if you make funny faces in front of them will just plain not see you (this is of course if the spirit's force overcomes their perception DP).

Kind of like the veil in the Mists of Avalon or in the manga Berserker, where some people just cannot see magical beings like Faeries, no matter what the faeries do, it is just somehow outside the realm of possibility for them and their brain will not recognize it.

I forget where I read or saw it (I think it was What the Bleep) but supposedly, when Christopher Columbus first came to the Americas, the natives did not even see the ships until the Shaman whom everyone trusted, told them the ships were there. After that point everyone could see the ships.

You don't have to write things off as being Magic, as magic has it's own kind of logic, rules and limits, even if they are not completely understood.
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Buster
post Sep 5 2007, 12:45 PM
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I think Concealment and the chameleon suit work more like the movie Predator than Ghost in the Shell. The chameleon suit will hide you if you are some distance from the viewer and have some "background noise" breaking up your silhouette (success based on your Stealth and concealment mods), but only the Invisibility spell works when you're standing right in front of someone or in a barren hallway.

However, if you want to downgrade the importance of mages, maybe you could houserule that if the concealment rating is 6 or higher, you get full invisibility.
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Ol' Scratch
post Sep 5 2007, 02:15 PM
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QUOTE (AngelisStorm)
Our player group has been batting around a question regarding Concealment and the Chameleon Suit. How invisible are they?

We've so far been treating the Chameleon suit similar to the cloaking armor in Ghost in the Shell. Effectively invisible, but less of if your moving.

Varies on the number of net hits (obviously). It's a lot like the Predator's suit in the movie of the same name as far as descriptiveness goes. Once you realize they're there, you'll likely catch them if they're being careless, usually as a ripple in the scenery. But if they're cautious and using Stealth, sticking to shadows, and otherwise trying to be inconspicuous, you're going to have a hard time noticing them.

QUOTE
How many hits on a perception check do you require from your player to notice someone who is standing directly in front of them?  Stupid sounding question, but depending on how the armor works, it might be a valid one.  And the concealment power.  Don't even know where to start on that one.  I hate the "it's magic" arguement as sole justification, but the fact stands, it is magic.

How does everyone treat/handle these two?  It's a silly question to ask if someone can see someone standing in the middle of a football field, but when special equipment/powers comes into play, where to start?

If it helps, compare the modifiers to other Perception modifiers. A Chameleon Suit, for instance, provides a -4 dice penalty. That's the same as noticing someone while a hot stripper chick is walking by as the sun's setting (Distracted, Partial Light). Not very concealing at all, but enough to give you an edge.

Concealment used at Force 6 is equivalent to Full Darkness being in full darkness but standing right in front of you. You may not be able to see them if/when you do detect them, but you'll know they're there if you do, usually through some other means (such as hearing leaves rustle, smelling their perfume/cologne, or just "feeling" them next to you).

QUOTE
(Hope this was coherent, I have two people who just came home talking to me.)

Half my posts are incoherent. Don't be afraid to hit that SEND button. :)
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hyzmarca
post Sep 5 2007, 02:24 PM
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QUOTE (nathanross)
Unlike the physical masking/invisibility devices, I think concealment requires some imagination.

To someone you are not concealed from, you appear exactly the same as at any other time, but other people no matter if you make funny faces in front of them will just plain not see you (this is of course if the spirit's force overcomes their perception DP).

Mechanically, this is untrue. Dice pool penalties only matter in cases where a test is necessary. No penalty, for example, will prevent you from cutting yourself because this does not require a test. Likewise, no penalty will prevent you from walking to the store to get a carton of milk.

If you are obvious, then no perception test is needed and if no perception test is needed then Concealment will not work. Concealment, I believe, like Accident and Movement, tends to alter the terrain around the subject rather than the subject itself. It makes hiding more effective, but it does nothing if you are not hidden.
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toturi
post Sep 5 2007, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE (hyzmarca)
QUOTE (nathanross @ Sep 5 2007, 12:06 AM)
Unlike the physical masking/invisibility devices, I think concealment requires some imagination.

To someone you are not concealed from, you appear exactly the same as at any other time, but other people no matter if you make funny faces in front of them will just plain not see you (this is of course if the spirit's force overcomes their perception DP).

Mechanically, this is untrue. Dice pool penalties only matter in cases where a test is necessary. No penalty, for example, will prevent you from cutting yourself because this does not require a test. Likewise, no penalty will prevent you from walking to the store to get a carton of milk.

If you are obvious, then no perception test is needed and if no perception test is needed then Concealment will not work. Concealment, I believe, like Accident and Movement, tends to alter the terrain around the subject rather than the subject itself. It makes hiding more effective, but it does nothing if you are not hidden.

Something obvious/large/loud still has a Threshold of 1. Something that does not require a Perception Test is immdiately noticeable. If you are immediately noticeable, no Perception test should be necessary.

But noticing an average pedestrian has a Threshold of 2.
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Eryk the Red
post Sep 5 2007, 02:47 PM
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The chamelon suit is, as I understand it, reactively altering its coloration to match the environment, beyond simply camouflage. It actually creates the illusion of transparency, by displaying what is on the opposite side (this works from multiple angles because a number of images are being recorded and projected narrowly).

Concealment is necessarily non-specific in how it works. Not merely because "it's magic!", but rather because different spirits, from different traditions, would use different means to conceal the target. A forest spirit might be manipulating foliage to shield the targets. Other spirits might actually be directly affecting the target, making him less visible, clouding the minds of others, or whatever. The net effect is the same for the sake of simplicity. The reason is, really, up to the GM and players.
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hyzmarca
post Sep 5 2007, 03:05 PM
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I think I just failed a spot check.

I must assume that the perception rules do not require that an average person with no perception skill and no Edge be completely unable to find their own keys under any circumstance.
Likewise, I must assume that a person covering his face with his hands during a conversation does not make him invisible to 0 Perception characters who are older than 4 months (or equivalent).

Perception tests, like all tests, are only required in situations that are already difficult or dangerous. For the most part, they are meant to be narrowly applied towards spotting clues and threats. It isn't just about noticing details, it is about noticing that those details are important.
Seeing an average pedestrian in normal circumstances should be easy for people who aren't blind. Knowing that you should pay attention to the pedestrian is the difficult part.
The perception skill is more about knowing what to look for than it is about having functioning senses to look with.

I was using obvious as a synonym for immediately noticeable, of course. Even in a firefight there would be no test to see the guy who stands right in front of you making faces. The Threshold of 1 is better applied to something such as locating a shooter who is using stealth.
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toturi
post Sep 5 2007, 03:22 PM
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Obvious is not a synonym for immediately noticeable as it means threahold 1 while immediately noticeable means no need for Perception test, essentially Threshold 0.

An average person has Intuition 3. Default -1, observe in detail + 3. An average person has a chance of making the 3 hit Threshold.
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Big D
post Sep 5 2007, 04:59 PM
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We've been through this several times. Could we get an official ruling, by any chance? Even if it's just "you have two choices, pick one for your campaign", it might settle this issue down for a bit.

Personally, I like the idea that Concealment is not the same as invisibility, but has the same effect--but only as long as an active Perception roll is required. If I'm standing in front of you, making faces, you don't have to roll. If I'm sneaking up on you in a crowd, you have to roll to see if there's any reason to pay attention to me. If I'm invisible or wearing a chamsuit, you have to roll because I'm hard to see--possibly even if I'm 10' away shooting at your face.
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DTFarstar
post Sep 5 2007, 05:04 PM
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I would like to interject that I should HOPE the average person has a perception of at least 1.


Chris
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James McMurray
post Sep 5 2007, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (DTFarstar)
I would like to interject that I should HOPE the average person has a perception of at least 1.

He doesn't if he's a bartender or mechanic contact. None of the professional rating 2 or lower grunts has Perception 1 either. If a basic Corporate Security unit doesn't have training in how to better perceive their surroundings, I'd assume your standard butcher, baker, or candlestick maker wouldn't either.
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Naysayer
post Sep 5 2007, 06:23 PM
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In fact, he does. He is assumed to be "untrained" - skill rating 0.
/nitpick
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Hartbaine
post Sep 5 2007, 06:24 PM
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Concealment-
"Concealed subjects can see each other if the critter allows it." Cut and dry. Objects concealed are removed from sight. Breaking the threshold for perception means simply enough that the perceiver was unaffected by the aura concealing the object they were looking for.

Treat it like Improved Invisibility with a force equal to the magic rating of the critter.

Sometimes publishers give us too much credit, god forbid we put 2 and 2 together... the power's stats are identical to ImpInvis.

Chameleon Suit-
"A full body suit made from ruthenium polymers." "A chemical compound that can change to such a wide array of colors."

Gecko Gear, does not make you invisible! It alters the color of your clothing (not gear, not bare skin, nothing but the suit itself) to allow you to blend in with your surroundings better. It's all purpose actively changing camouflage, not anime cloaking technology.

Invisibility completely bends light around a target and makes them disappear. Predator style. The rules for this are simple, they're detailed under the spell.

Perception-
Like driving, everyone can do it, a rank in the skill simply means the person is skilled at 'abnormal' driving. Perhaps they speed a lot and weave through traffic like a complete ass, or they are Shadowrunners and deal with high speed chases on an almost daily basis. No ranks? You can still drive, congrats...

Perception is the same; it's training the body and mind to 'know what to look for'. Obviously detectives could walk onto a crime scene and get to work and chances are Average Joe would only get in the way.

Can Average Joe find his car keys? Yes. Can Average Joe have any hope of seeing the concealed, invisible Naga wearing a Chameleon Suit remaining perfectly motionless outside his window?

NO! Why? Cuz he is an average Joe... who gives two farts in the wind what he can see? He's not supposed to see it because in two seconds he'll be naga bait.

Bartenders don't pat people down for weapons, they serve drinks they don't need perception on a trained level. They have no need to look for the 'abnormal or strange' in a bar filled with the 'abnormal or strange'.

Actively looking for someone invisible? How? If you can't see them how do you know something is out of place? Now if they made a noise or the goons know the person is 'around here somewhere' sure, but for all intents and purposes if the person has no reason believe that there is an invisible man making faces at them then they simply do not get a roll to notice it (until they have reason to reconsider).
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James McMurray
post Sep 5 2007, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE (Naysayer)
In fact, he does. He is assumed to be "untrained" - skill rating 0.
/nitpick

My entire post was about how the people mentioned have no training, and you nitpicked to tell me that his rating is considered untrained? How does that make sense?
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Hartbaine
post Sep 5 2007, 06:53 PM
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Cuz it's true. :P :D
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Naysayer
post Sep 5 2007, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)
QUOTE (Naysayer @ Sep 5 2007, 01:23 PM)
In fact, he does. He is assumed to be "untrained" - skill rating 0.
/nitpick

My entire post was about how the people mentioned have no training, and you nitpicked to tell me that his rating is considered untrained? How does that make sense?

Because in SR4, a skill rating of 0 is still a skill rating, and "untrained" does not neccessarily mean "not trained at all". Those guys know the basic concept of "looking for something" and usually, they get by. If a twinked out shadowrunner sneaks up on them all dressed up in camos and hidden by some magic hooya power, well, that's something else.
But they still get to make a test, defaulting to their intuition. Unlike somebody with no skill rating at all.
Hence the nitpickery. Sorry if taht rubbed you the wrong way. It was just that - nitpicking.
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hyzmarca
post Sep 5 2007, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE (Hartbaine @ Sep 5 2007, 01:24 PM)
Concealment-
"Concealed subjects can see each other if the critter allows it."  Cut and dry.  Objects concealed are removed from sight.  Breaking the threshold for perception means simply enough that the perceiver was unaffected by the aura concealing the object they were looking for.

Treat it like Improved Invisibility with a force equal to the magic rating of the critter.

Sometimes publishers give us too much credit, god forbid we put 2 and 2 together... the power's stats are identical to ImpInvis.


No it isn't. The Powers stats are explicitly nothing like Improved Invisibility.

With Improved Invisibility, you get to make a Spell Resistance Test. If you pass that test, you then get to make a Visual Perception Test without modifiers. If you fail, you don't even get a Visual Perception Test. Audio, Tactile, Olfactory, and Gustatory Perception Tests are unaltered.

With Concealment, Perception Tests are modified by a penalty equal to the Magic of the Spirit or Critter using the power. There is no Resistance Test, all Perception Tests are modified, even Tactile and Gustatory.
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Hartbaine
post Sep 5 2007, 07:35 PM
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I meant in terms of it being a physical magical effect that removes objects from sight, not that it should be rewritten to be like invis.

If functions as the power states, but the objects are not visible. A physical invisibility effect.

I should have clarified.
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