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> How to deal with Critter Concealment Power?, One of my players is playing a pixie (sapient critter)
Grimflayer
post Aug 12 2013, 01:03 PM
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One of my players wants to play a pixie, a sapient critter. It's a tiny elflike creature
with some critter powers, most notably the ability to fly and the "Concealment" Power.

Critter powers can be switched on and off at will and have no Sustainment penalty.
Also Concealment is not possible to dispel it and it works against astral perception too.

Since the char has Magic 6, concealment will work as a permanent invisibility spell (-6 penalty),
without the few flaws that spell has.
So i have a flying spellcaster that can hover invisible over a battlefield and all opposition
can only Blind Fire at -6 at him.

I'm somewhat concerned, we are starting a new game, and at the moment not all of my enemies
even have 6 skill to attack with.
I can raise the level of opposition, so they have more skill to have at least a chance to hit, but i
fear i will kill my other players doing so.

I would be grateful for a few tipps on what to do. Perhaps someone has had a similar situation?
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Kliko
post Aug 12 2013, 01:05 PM
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Area of effect munitions and spells? (grenades, suppresive machine gun fire)
Invisibility =/ Improved invisibility (drone sensors come to min).
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DWC
post Aug 12 2013, 01:08 PM
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It's not Invisibility. It's just a -6 penalty to Perception tests to locate the Concealed subject. Someone will make the test eventually. From there, fire a few airbursting gas grenades, or airbursting flashbangs, or plain old ordinary airbursting explosive grenades. Or just make liberal use of suppressive fire. Can't go prone or take cover while hovering in mid-air.

Or just say "no" to sapient critters.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 12 2013, 01:13 PM
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QUOTE (Kliko @ Aug 12 2013, 09:05 AM) *
Area of effect munitions and spells? (grenades, suppresive machine gun fire)
Invisibility =/ Improved invisibility (drone sensors come to min).


Concealment is not invisibility. If the player is horrifically abusing it, you need to start enforcing Concealment's flaws, which most GMs seldom do, when they're being used by spirits.


Concealment still requires the player actually hides. If you use Concealment but then stroll down the middle of the street with a machine gun or slinging spells, right out in plain sight, you aren't concealed, literally nothing needs to roll to notice you, see you, and target you. It's a Cloak of Elvenkind, not a Ring of Invisibility.

And things a pixie's size hovering over a fight are going to be high priority targets, because she's going to be just in the right size category to make everything's brain shourt Drone!


However, I will point out that the Concealment power works against everything, when it is applicably used. If someone is properly hiding/sneaking under cover of Concealment, their Concealment field penalizes everything attempting to detect them, including electronic sensors and non-optical sensors. It still works against, for instance, ultra wide-band radar and milimeter wave radar.
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Makki
post Aug 13 2013, 06:28 AM
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we eventually got bored with the stupid writing (and linear progression of some critter powers) and made a Concealment a roll. Roll Magic and the Perception penalty equals hits rolled.
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blaze2050
post Aug 13 2013, 08:03 AM
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There is of course the problem that people with less than 6 dice in INT+Perception do not have dice left to see the pixie.
In all cases remember the Perception Modifier on the table on page 136 SR4A "Perceiver is actively looking for it" for +3 dice to Perception.
This will help professional guards who should have Perception 3 (Professional) and Intuition 3. If there is any hint that there might be something there, they have these additional 3 dice, because they are searching.
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DerWish
post Aug 13 2013, 09:35 AM
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In SR4 a party is gimped if they do not use Concealment power whenever they want to sneak around and in general resolve the run without bloodshed.

I am not in favor to fully limit a character from using it as a natural power, but as always, how your player uses it will be the deciding factor.

How I would handle the various ways this can play out, just to give you two examples...
(i) Scout and Silent support.
Using the the char's magic for nothing fancy, like team support or the occasional stunbolt.
No probs, no serious bloodshed, quite in character for a pixie (IMHO). After-event-reports will highlight how smooth the runners reacted and were prepared for the response teams.
Character and team will gain street cred for professionalism and I will give them less bloody work... and will try to trick them to do some wetwork for a conflict.

If I have to send a team to capture the party the pixie won't be the priority target and will count on surrender after other party members captured.

(ii) The hidden assassin or the invisible artillery.
Street will tell how dangerous the party is. A Pixie combat mage is really a force to be reckoned with. After a particularly bloody run, the offended corp will try to hire the pixie (alone) for an easy kill... or... If a series of runs are targeting a corp, they will pull in specialized personal to counter and frag the character... like a 20+ perception DP adept or drop a strong spirit targeting the Pixie alone (force 9 air spirit in concealment).
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Umidori
post Aug 13 2013, 10:44 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 12 2013, 06:13 AM) *
Concealment still requires the player actually hides. If you use Concealment but then stroll down the middle of the street with a machine gun or slinging spells, right out in plain sight, you aren't concealed, literally nothing needs to roll to notice you, see you, and target you. It's a Cloak of Elvenkind, not a Ring of Invisibility.

This is flat out wrong.
QUOTE ("SR4A @ p. 298)
This power refers to a critter’s ability to mystically hide itself or others, or alternatively to hide something that people are looking for. Concealment subtracts a number of dice equal to the critter’s Magic from any Perception Tests to locate the concealed subject.

Emphasis mine. First point, it's mystically hiding things. They don't have to be hidden in the mundane sense, they are being magically made unnoticeable. Consequently, it's like they're under the effects of an SEP Field.

Secondly, while ordinarily you don't need to roll a Perception Test to notice someone who isn't hiding or otherwise obscured, being Concealed means you are being hidden, albeit magically. This means you always need to roll Perception to detect a Concealed person or object.

And even if you were to flatly refuse to accept that explanation, I have an entirely separate tack that is just as compelling - ordinary objects that are sufficiently difficult to spot can still require a successful Perception Test, regardless of the fact that they are in no way "hiding" or "being hidden". A microdrone sitting on an empty table, for example, still requires a successful Perception Test [4] to notice. For something "Obvious/Large/Loud", the threshold is only 1, and consequently any drekhead should be able to buy the hits necessary to notice it. Not so for something "Hidden/Micro/Silent". You'd need 16 dice to buy the 4 hits (22 if we factor in Concealment), so you're forced to make a roll.

~Umi
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Isath
post Aug 13 2013, 11:30 AM
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That's the thing, it is mystically hiding things, making them harder to find. That ofcourse would be, if I have to look for it.

I would rule that floating above a battlefield raining down death, makes you easy to spot, if not hard to miss.
In my book offensive behavior goes against everything concealment is about.

But even if one were to allow such use, someone explicitly looking for something that especially stands out in that way, could receive quite some boni on their perception.
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Kliko
post Aug 13 2013, 11:42 AM
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Guys, you're not helping the OP by nitpicking.

Let's get back on track.
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Umidori
post Aug 13 2013, 12:07 PM
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QUOTE (Isath @ Aug 13 2013, 05:30 AM) *
That's the thing, it is mystically hiding things, making them harder to find. Thatm of coursem would be if I have to look for it.

Which you do. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

QUOTE (Isath @ Aug 13 2013, 05:30 AM) *
I would rule that floating above a battlefield raining down death, makes you easy to spot, if not hard to miss.

In my book offensive behavior goes against everything concealment is about.

So do you also prevent Chameleon Suits from working if someone acts offensively? Do you also prevent Invisibility from working if someone acts offensively?

Concealment is essentially a magical ability which induces a "blind spot" effect in living observers, making them fail to observe what is physically right in front of them. You can use Concealment on objects, things which cannot hide, and thus force people to roll their Perception to spot them. "I could have sworn I left my carkeys on the table...", they say, and in fact they did! It just so happens that a tricky spirit placed them under Concealment, so the poor key-seeker overlooked what was there all along. Meanwhile, his Emotitoy's sensors plainly saw the keys and could have easily pointed them out to him if he had thought to ask it.

QUOTE (Isath @ Aug 13 2013, 05:30 AM) *
But even if one were to allow such use, someone explicitly looking for something that especially stands out in that way, could receive quite some boni on their perception.

They can, which is one of the primary ways to combat Concealment, right after using technological sensors.

~Umi
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Isath
post Aug 13 2013, 01:14 PM
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You pointed out an important difference, between physical invisibility (i.e. stealthsuits) and concealment.
Concealment has to do with state of mind and I agree, it creates a mental blindspot. This is why I do not think, that it is all to compatible with obvious offensive behavior, or better said, a lack of effort to hide.

Admitted, I may see concealment uses for a Sniper; those usually are not out in the open though.

I think it is a call of common sense, for the GM to make.
Also I agree, that for a rulewise approach, a perception bonus is the best way to go as it stands. Pixies, may be tiny, but they do stand out (I wouldn't allow for the distictinctive style quality for example), even more so if they are trying to hurt you. I guess, these guys realy need concealment, to not catch everyones attention where ever they go.

The example of keys (moving away from pixies) is a nice, yet unfitting one. Sure, I would, without any protest grant keys the power of "Concealement(self)", such things are so tiny and common, we have a tendency to overlook or misplace them. They usually are neither very obvious, nor do they try to kill you though. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) We probably could learn a lot about stealth from such objects.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 03:39 PM
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QUOTE (DerWish @ Aug 13 2013, 02:35 AM) *
In SR4 a party is gimped if they do not use Concealment power whenever they want to sneak around and in general resolve the run without bloodshed.


No, they are not. Been doing it for years, and never once felt gimped. *shrug*
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 03:46 PM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Aug 13 2013, 05:07 AM) *
Concealment is essentially a magical ability which induces a "blind spot" effect in living observers, making them fail to observe what is physically right in front of them. You can use Concealment on objects, things which cannot hide, and thus force people to roll their Perception to spot them. "I could have sworn I left my carkeys on the table...", they say, and in fact they did! It just so happens that a tricky spirit placed them under Concealment, so the poor key-seeker overlooked what was there all along. Meanwhile, his Emotitoy's sensors plainly saw the keys and could have easily pointed them out to him if he had thought to ask it.
~Umi


So wait a minute Umidori, there is an issue with your example here... Why would the Emotitoy see it and not the guy? Concealment works against Sensors just as well as it does against people.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 13 2013, 04:58 PM
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Concealment is not a mental power. It does not create a mental "blind spot," it subtly but potently alters reality to effect a character's being much sneaker, in the way the Accident power allows for the unlikely but theoretically possible event of all of the bad guys' guns jamming at the same time. It affects conditions such that a character's own stealthy efforts, whether they are as clumsy as those of a one-centaur band, or as efficacious as those of a pajama ninja, are much more likely to succeed.

But they still have to try. There is no roll to notice something which is blatantly obvious and not attempting to conceal itself in any way, shape, or form. Concealment 6 would let a Pixie hide in a pile of dolls and go unnoticed despite the fact she's over three times the size of any of them and her chest is rising and falling. It would let her straighten her body and hide in the shadow of a a lamp post, or cling to the roof of a speeding Lone Star squad car and hide in the dazzling light of the light bar.

It will not let her hover over the battlefield like a goddamn Strato-9 drone spitting out fireballs and lightning bolts and manabolts and stunballs and be fucking invisible. There is no roll to notice something which is blatantly obvious, and spell-slinging is obvious, as is hovering over the field of battle.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 13 2013, 10:58 AM) *
Concealment is not a mental power. It does not create a mental "blind spot," it subtly but potently alters reality to effect a character's being much sneaker, in the way the Accident power allows for the unlikely but theoretically possible event of all of the bad guys' guns jamming at the same time. It affects conditions such that a character's own stealthy efforts, whether they are as clumsy as those of a one-centaur band, or as efficacious as those of a pajama ninja, are much more likely to succeed.

But they still have to try. There is no roll to notice something which is blatantly obvious and not attempting to conceal itself in any way, shape, or form. Concealment 6 would let a Pixie hide in a pile of dolls and go unnoticed despite the fact she's over three times the size of any of them and her chest is rising and falling. It would let her straighten her body and hide in the shadow of a a lamp post, or cling to the roof of a speeding Lone Star squad car and hide in the dazzling light of the light bar.

It will not let her hover over the battlefield like a goddamn Strato-9 drone spitting out fireballs and lightning bolts and manabolts and stunballs and be fucking invisible. There is no roll to notice something which is blatantly obvious, and spell-slinging is obvious, as is hovering over the field of battle.


Indeed, which is how our GM runs it as well.
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Raiden
post Aug 13 2013, 06:29 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 13 2013, 11:58 AM) *
It will not let her hover over the battlefield like a goddamn Strato-9 drone spitting out fireballs and lightning bolts and manabolts and stunballs and be fucking invisible. There is no roll to notice something which is blatantly obvious, and spell-slinging is obvious, as is hovering over the field of battle.


improved invisibility as a matter of fact lets me do this (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Ruby
post Aug 13 2013, 06:34 PM
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I've been dealing with a mage who likes to use Physical Invisibility AND a spirit's concealment power on him and the gun adept EVERY game. I've been trying to think of ways to thwart them and make them sweat a little because they've been too good at avoiding combat (although I know this IS the point of Shadowrun...)
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 06:37 PM
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QUOTE (Raiden @ Aug 13 2013, 12:29 PM) *
improved invisibility as a matter of fact lets me do this (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)


Not if I have UWB Radar it doesn't. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Sendaz
post Aug 13 2013, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE (Ruby @ Aug 13 2013, 01:34 PM) *
I've been dealing with a mage who likes to use Physical Invisibility AND a spirit's concealment power on him and the gun adept EVERY game. I've been trying to think of ways to thwart them and make them sweat a little because they've been too good at avoiding combat (although I know this IS the point of Shadowrun...)

Dust the area. Use fine ground highly reflective particles that can stay suspended in the air for moderate periods of time. The invisibile object is still invisible, but will clearly displace the particles, creating visible 'gaps'. Shoot the gaps.

You will still take penalties to hit and high winds or other air turmoil will prevent this from working well, but can at least give you an idea of what's out there.
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Ruby
post Aug 13 2013, 06:49 PM
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Do you think using some astrally reactive FAB (not the stuff they used in Chicago) or plants would work as well? I know my next run is going to involve stealing some magical stuff.
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Sendaz
post Aug 13 2013, 06:59 PM
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QUOTE (Ruby @ Aug 13 2013, 02:49 PM) *
Do you think using some astrally reactive FAB (not the stuff they used in Chicago) or plants would work as well? I know my next run is going to involve stealing some magical stuff.

Sort of .. pages 126 & 127 in Street Magic will explain the various FAB, but FAB I and II only react to astral presences. FAB III would attach to the spell using/astral spirits and drain off their energy, but wouldn't reveal anything really.

Haven Lily will cause a Mana ebb and thus reduce magic in it's presence, but is pretty stationary. Glomoss is not really exact enough other than maybe saying something magic is nearby.
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Ruby
post Aug 13 2013, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 13 2013, 10:59 AM) *
Sort of .. pages 126 & 127 in Street Magic will explain the various FAB, but FAB I and II only react to astral presences. FAB III would attach to the spell using/astral spirits and drain off their energy, but wouldn't reveal anything really.

Haven Lily will cause a Mana ebb and thus reduce magic in it's presence, but is pretty stationary. Glomoss is not really exact enough other than maybe saying something magic is nearby.


I'll have to remember this. I'm fairly certain he doesn't have his ally spirit manifest on the material plane so it could in theory cause FAB to react. And really, causing the security to realize there's something magical going on would be enough to put them on a higher alert if I play it right.
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Sendaz
post Aug 13 2013, 07:12 PM
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Another thing you can do is add doors with handles (not electric and thus spoofable).

All the concealment/invisibility in the world will not make opening that door any less visible. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

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Neko Asakami
post Aug 13 2013, 07:18 PM
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QUOTE (Ruby @ Aug 13 2013, 12:34 PM) *
I've been dealing with a mage who likes to use Physical Invisibility AND a spirit's concealment power on him and the gun adept EVERY game. I've been trying to think of ways to thwart them and make them sweat a little because they've been too good at avoiding combat (although I know this IS the point of Shadowrun...)

In my game, any decently secured facility will have pressure sensors for exactly this reason. Invisible does not mean weightless. Yes, Concealment will make them harder to perceive visually, but the massive bonuses the guards get due to the computer telling them that there is a weight there that shouldn't be will overcome any penalties.

To help the OP:
QUOTE (SR4A @ page 179, "Noticing Magic)
Noticing if someone is using a magical skill requires a Perception Test (p. 135) with a threshold equal to 6 minus the magic’s Force. More powerful magic is easier to spot with the gathered mana normally appearing as a disturbance or glowing aura in the air around the caster. The gamemaster should apply additional modifiers as appropriate, or if the perceiver is Awakened themselves (+2 dice), astrally perceiving (+2 dice), or if a shamanic mask is evident (+2 dice).


Okay, so they can't see the pixie, but they can see the magic they pixie is casting? Allow me to present a scenario:

Guard 1: Hey, there's someone over there casting huge spells!
Guard 2: But I don't see anyone...
Guard 1: They must be using an invisibility spell! FILL THE AREA WITH BULLETS!
--both guards start using suppressing fire to make your pixie's life miserable--
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