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> Assensing countermeasures
jeeger
post Jul 18 2011, 08:50 AM
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Greetings!

I've searched in the forums, but found nothing regarding my question, so here it goes: What are viable countermeasures to assensing/astral perception? Magical Barriers do impede astral perception, but they are visible themselves. Another solution is hiding in the background energy (we're currently in a huge forest).

Are there any other ways to "hide" from astral perception (preferably with low karma requirements)?
regards,
jeeger
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Hagga
post Jul 18 2011, 08:56 AM
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I think the technical term is "Sweet fuck all".

There's even some fiction (In Survival of the Fittest, I think) suggesting that even such Big Boogie Woogies like Lofwyr can't hide their emanations. Although they can certainly control THEMSELVES. Best bet is simply to stay out of sight and use trees - they can't see your aura through another. Unless one of you has such an impressive aura that it acts like a lighthouse thanks to all that stored up magical energy.
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Ascalaphus
post Jul 18 2011, 09:25 AM
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Against specific assensing of your aura, there's the Masking metamagic series.

Against random astral sight to see your surroundings, there's Infiltration: using obstacles and camouflage.
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UmaroVI
post Jul 18 2011, 10:39 AM
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You must be astrally perceiving to hide from astral observers, RAW; if you can't astrally perceive on your own, but are an adept or mystic adept, you can take Deepweed to hide but are then super vulnerable to anyone who can snipe you from the astral.

Some GMs houserule that Infiltration works against Assensing even from mundanes so ask your GM.

If by Assensing, though, you actually meant the Search critter power, put up a mana barrier ward and summon a spirit of your own with Concealment.
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Ascalaphus
post Jul 18 2011, 10:40 AM
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QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Jul 18 2011, 11:39 AM) *
You must be astrally perceiving to hide from astral observers, RAW; if you can't astrally perceive on your own, but are an adept or mystic adept, you can take Deepweed to hide but are then super vulnerable to anyone who can snipe you from the astral.

Some GMs houserule that Infiltration works against Assensing even from mundanes so ask your GM.


This comes around now and then; care to provide a quote and page reference to this RAW?
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UmaroVI
post Jul 18 2011, 11:03 AM
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The FAQ (nothing printed since then has made any reference one way or another to how this works, so the FAQ is still the most up-to-date rule on this):
Can you use Stealth Group Skills on the astral?

Yes, but it isn’t easy. All living and magical things in astral space display vibrant auras which make most attempts at stealth useless. Astrally projecting Characters attempting to hide in astral space may use Infilitration + Logic, Palming + Logic, or Shadowing + Intuition as appropriate—the character makes an Opposed Test against the target’s Assensing + Intuition; dual-natured characters may use Logic or Agility when attempting to using Stealth Group Skills against astral observers. Apply any appropriate Astral Visibility modifiers (p.114, Street Magic) to the target.

I've seen some people make deeply asinine "but the rules don't say I can't!" arguments about this, so to lay it out:

1) The first bolded part indicates that most attempts at stealth are useless. It then goes on to list not-useless attempts. Thus, if something is not on the list, it is useless.
2) The second bolded part is what indicates that dual-natured characters get to use Logic+(Stealth) or Agility+(Stealth) to hide from astral observers.
3) Mundane characters may X is not on the list, and in particular is not mentioned in the second bolded section.
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Mäx
post Jul 18 2011, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Jul 18 2011, 02:03 PM) *
The FAQ

So nothing in the actual rules of the game, thanks.
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Makki
post Jul 18 2011, 12:36 PM
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moonlight as a beekeeper and always have a big cloud of bees around you.
or
always run around in a cardboard box with small holes or fiber optic cable or cameras
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HunterHerne
post Jul 18 2011, 06:06 PM
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I rule in favour of using Infiltration, but the observer gets a bonus (around +2 sounds good) to represent the relative ease at spotting someone who can't know how to hide from you effectively. In the forest, astral observers should always get a -2 to -4 to their astral perception, and thats the basics.

I am also not opposed to the idea that lots of life=increased Background count. As such, in many forests I run, the Background count can be from -1 to +2, depending on the season, without any additional factors (like the site being ground zero of a native American massacre numbering in the hundreds or more. Then the BC would be around 3-5, depending.

All together, that would give an astral observer an effective -4, against your hiding PCs who can't astrally observe, and a -6 against the ones who can.
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Fyndhal
post Jul 18 2011, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE (jeeger @ Jul 18 2011, 03:50 AM) *
Greetings!

I've searched in the forums, but found nothing regarding my question, so here it goes: What are viable countermeasures to assensing/astral perception? Magical Barriers do impede astral perception, but they are visible themselves. Another solution is hiding in the background energy (we're currently in a huge forest).

Are there any other ways to "hide" from astral perception (preferably with low karma requirements)?
regards,
jeeger


Infiltration Skill check works. Being astral, they get a bonus to their pool, but in general, Infiltration works.

EDIT: Specifically, apply the Astral Observer bonus to the observer (+2, I believe) and the unseen target penalty to the Infiltrator (AFB, but I think that's -6). So, it's damned hard, but possible.
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Warlordtheft
post Jul 18 2011, 06:20 PM
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Also in addition to infiltration:

FAB Walls (The astrally active bactieria--theres also a grenade that does something similar irrc.)
Walls prevent LOS (though the astrally active can poke their heads through it)
Increase the background count
Trees and other shrubbery



As to infiltration vs assensing-I'd say it works, but certain visual modifiers would not be applicable (like the reuthenium or camoflage).
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CanRay
post Jul 18 2011, 06:23 PM
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Rabid attack spirits that eat astrally viewers?
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Miri
post Jul 18 2011, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Jul 18 2011, 12:20 PM) *
Trees and other shrubbery


A shrubbery you say?

How about a living ghillie suit?
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Warlordtheft
post Jul 18 2011, 07:13 PM
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Might work, but lugging around the water needed to keep it alive would be the main feasibility issue. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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Miri
post Jul 18 2011, 07:20 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Jul 18 2011, 01:13 PM) *
Might work, but lugging around the water needed to keep it alive would be the main feasibility issue. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)


I dunno.. a suit made with that anti astral stuff you can put in walls in some kind of hydroponics mesh thingie.. with a small box on the belt for the nutrients.. try to avoid any sharp objects and fast moving blunt ones..
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LurkerOutThere
post Jul 18 2011, 07:38 PM
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We can read and write signals to peoples brain through their skull, we should be able to figure out a way to keep moss alive on a set of pants.
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Miri
post Jul 18 2011, 07:41 PM
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I can imagine that age old question.. A dryad wearing a pair of those pants.. asking if they make her look fat.
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Tanegar
post Jul 18 2011, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Jul 18 2011, 03:13 PM) *
Might work, but lugging around the water needed to keep it alive would be the main feasibility issue. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

Er... so, you're hiding your aura under a suit that glows brightly in the astral plane and is (necessarily) humanoid in shape. Yes, that totally fits the definition of "inconspicuous." (IMG:style_emoticons/default/silly.gif)
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Brazilian_Shinob...
post Jul 18 2011, 09:16 PM
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Solid Snake was right all along.
Hide inside some cardboard box.
There, problem solved.
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KarmaInferno
post Jul 18 2011, 09:49 PM
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Hell, we can keep cloned living tissue alive indefinitely on a vehicle. The Mimic vehicle mod is actually living tissue layered over a endoskeleton. Presumably a humanoid endoskeleton or it'd kinda look weird.

There should be a way to keep moss automatically watered.

Hm. Come to think of it, the Mimic mod should look bizarre on the Astral.




-k
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CanRay
post Jul 18 2011, 10:54 PM
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Geek the mage. No more worrying about the issue.
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Rubic
post Jul 18 2011, 11:43 PM
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QUOTE (KarmaInferno @ Jul 18 2011, 05:49 PM) *
Hell, we can keep cloned living tissue alive indefinitely on a vehicle. The Mimic vehicle mod is actually living tissue layered over a endoskeleton. Presumably a humanoid endoskeleton or it'd kinda look weird.

There should be a way to keep moss automatically watered.

Hm. Come to think of it, the Mimic mod should look bizarre on the Astral.




-k

Chi-Chi-Chi-Chiacar!!
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Dakka Dakka
post Jul 19 2011, 04:37 AM
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QUOTE (Fyndhal @ Jul 18 2011, 08:14 PM) *
EDIT: Specifically, apply the Astral Observer bonus to the observer (+2, I believe)
Where is this modifier? I only found it on the Noticing Magic test. So it only applies there.
QUOTE (Fyndhal @ Jul 18 2011, 08:14 PM) *
and the unseen target penalty to the Infiltrator (AFB, but I think that's -6). So, it's damned hard, but possible.
Since when does this modifier apply to the infiltration test? This would mean that mundane stealth is incredibly hard as well, unless you see all observers before you start sneaking (which happens almost never)
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Fyndhal
post Jul 19 2011, 05:43 AM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 19 2011, 12:37 AM) *
Where is this modifier? I only found it on the Noticing Magic test. So it only applies there.
Since when does this modifier apply to the infiltration test? This would mean that mundane stealth is incredibly hard as well, unless you see all observers before you start sneaking (which happens almost never)


I was working off the cuff with that post. Looking into more tonight, I came up with the following.

There aren't any specific rules anywhere stating there are penalties, aside from the FAQ which only says "Yes, but it isn't easy." As show above, it lays out two specific cases where it can be used, but does not exclude other uses beyond saying "All living and magical things in astral space display vibrant auras which make most attempts at stealth useless" which sounds dangerously like fiat to me. It is also contradictory to the "it isn't easy" statement, so let's treat it as 'fluff' rather than 'crunch' and ignore it. Let's see if we can make a case for it not being easy.

Assuming your sneaking through a facility at night and the mage is on patrol:

Observer:
+3 for Actively Perceiving
+2 for Object Stands out (lack of Aura Noise)
+0-+2 Background Illumination
-n to +2 based on the size of the facility (we'll assume 5,001 to 10,000m^2) for a +0

There isn't really a "typical" character in SR, but let's say the Mage has Assensing 4 and Intuition 4. That's 13-15 dice against the Infiltrator. A typical 'sneaky' character is likely to have Agility 5, Infiltration 5 and say an additional 3 points of bonus from ware or Powers. That's less than a 50/50 shot. That is pretty close to matching my definition of "not easy." Even a highly skilled and specialized character isn't likely to break 20d on Infiltration -- still not easy, but odds of success are at least in your favor. Even an absolutely maxed out elf with 15 Agi tops out around 27-29d, which could pretty much sneak past the patrolling mage any day of the week and twice on Sundays...but that's so far outside the scope of "normal" as to require revising out patrolling mage, as well.
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jeeger
post Jul 19 2011, 06:54 AM
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Heh... Regarding background count: We are actually at the site of some UCAS native american concentration camp (if that's possible), so there's a good case for background radiation. However, our DM did not know about background radiation at that point, and so there is none^^.

Actually, Fyndhal's solution sounds feasible: Just use Infiltration vs. Assensing, with the necessary modifiers. I'll go recommend that to our DM, and mention it's a tricky topic^^.
Thanks for your help!
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