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> Question about Spell:Camouflage, (see MITS p.143)
GrinderTheTroll
post Aug 12 2004, 06:21 PM
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Hi all,

Me and some of my players have been questioning what effects Camo has on gameplay. Instant thought was that it adds +4 to TN for attacks and such, but the more we talked about it, the more confused we got.

Here's the text:
QUOTE (MITS p.143)

Camouflage
Type: M -- Target: 4 -- Duration: S -- Drain: (L)

This spell colors the subject in a comouflage pattern that mimics his or her surroundings.  The camouflage coloring adds a +4 target number modifier to Perception Tests to see the subject and to ranged combat attacks made against the subject.

Camouflage works against living viewers, Physical Camouflage also works against technological sensors.


So just based on the text, +4 to TN for ranged attacks, but not +4 vs. melee attacks? That seems kind of odd.

The main bone-of-contention for us, was say, what if the PC with Camouflage on them walked into a room, would someone in that room be required to make a Perception Test (+4) to see the individual? I'd argue "yes" because the PC has made it harder for some "to spot" them, kinda like a cameleon or Predator guy, making you virtually "invisible".

Here's the part that trips us up:

1) If the observer make the Perception Test, does that mean the PC has simply "spotted" and no penalty applies? When would the observer get a chance to "disbelieve" the illusion? Is it safe to assume each time the Camo person passed in and out of an observer's view, they'd need a new Perception Test to "rediscover" the Camo'd person?

2) If the observer fails the Perception Test, would this mean the PC is "not observed" and would be "invisible" to the observer, using Blind-fire rules?

Now that I think of it, is this spell just impossing a Perception Test (+4) each time the PC is observed? You pass the test, +4 TN for ranged, else you don't see them?

Am I making this more complicated that it needs to be?

Thanks for the help.
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Herald of Verjig...
post Aug 12 2004, 06:26 PM
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It increases the TNs involved. The normal TN to spot someone unstealthily opening a door and entering a room is 2 (or 0, something around there). This makes it slightly possible to miss that they are there, but they are still visible when the victims fail to resist the spell.

Number-wise, it's a weaker effect similar to invisibility. An invisible target who is noticed provides a +8 to ranged combat (blind fire) and a +4 to melee, while adding a nasty penalty to notice them at all. This is similar, but provides less of an advantage (specifically, 4 less).
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Backgammon
post Aug 12 2004, 06:43 PM
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Don't forget to roll a resistance test before even making a perception test. If the NPC resists the spell, he sees the PC clear as day.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Aug 12 2004, 07:13 PM
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So each time you observe someone under Camouflage, the observer would need to make 2 tests: 1) to disbelieve the illusion, and 2) the Perception Test (+4) to spot them and (+4) to ranged TN if the spell wasn't disbelieved?

So...

Assuming the observer fails to disbelieve the illusion (#1) and passes the Perception Test (#2), the observer would have a +4 for ranged numbers, correct?

Assuming the observer fails to disbelieve the illusion (#1) and do not pass the Perception Test (#2), the observer would not see the PC and would use blind-fire rules if they wanted to shoot at the PC, correct?
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Babel
post Aug 12 2004, 07:26 PM
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Think of the Camouflage spell like camouflage clothing. In fact it has the same game effects, just slightly improved, as those listed in p. 97 of Cannon Companion (probably due to the fact that the spell produces a camo effect perfect for the terrain whereas camo clothing is generic for that terrain type). This isn't a ruthenium like effect like in the predator movies. In fact were it me I would say that once the spell is cast the patern is set based on the environment you were in when you cast it. If you want a new patern to reflect a new terrain you would have to cast it again. If you want to be invisible then cast invisibility and deal with the higher drain code.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Aug 12 2004, 07:39 PM
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No mention of the spell keeping or changing its pattern, but it's a minor point, just need to resolve the effect. The confusion is coming from how to apply the spell effects in the game.

No cannon companion here, but I am thinking the +4 is applied for perception tests and ranged attacks (pass the test), but if you can't see them (fail the test), then it's like blind fire for ranged attacks if you had some indication they where in the area.

I keep clining to the "cant-see-them-blind-fire-thing" since this is a penalty for observers to make a perception test, which implies they might not be seen immediately.
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Babel
post Aug 12 2004, 07:48 PM
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The +4 to ranged TN's modifier represents the fact that it is hard to see the person, even if you know they are there. Camouflage is designed to break up the human body and make it hard to see. I would agree that the blind fire modifier would apply instead if the target fails a perception test to notice the camouflaged person. Of course depending on what the camouflaged person is doing they may not get the full benefit of the +4 or could give themselves away in other ways. If they are running across an open field for instance they really aren't trying to stay hidden and may not get the whole +4, Cannon Companion actually suggests only a benefit of +1 in a case like that. Also if they are blasting away with an SMG or something then the noise or flash from the weapon could make the perception test easier to make. Camouflage really only helps when you are staying still or moving slowly.
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Herald of Verjig...
post Aug 12 2004, 08:44 PM
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Blind fire is for when you know someone's there but don't know exactly where. If the thugs fail to resist and fail to percieve the camoed prerson, they don't know anyone's there. If they are informed of someone there but still haven't made a perception success, then they can use blind fire to shoot wildy in the vague direction.
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Ol' Scratch
post Aug 12 2004, 08:58 PM
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This spell is worse than conventional camouflage because it gives opponents an easy way to completely ignore it; resisting the illusion.

In a nutshell, all possible targets viewing the subject get to make a traditional Spell Resistance Test. If it fails, the spell has no effect and the subject effectively has no camouflage whatsoever. If it passes, the subject has camouflage and gains the benefits thereof just as if he wear wearing a camouflage suit or something, albeit with the modifiers presented in the spell's description.

That's it. It's not really complicated; targets just get a chance to completely ignore it unlike conventional camouflage techniques. It has its benefits (such as not being restricted to immobile subjects), but that's the payoff for the fact that it can be rendered completely useless by a lucky roll.
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Rory Blackhand
post Aug 12 2004, 10:58 PM
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I'm sure it does, but where exactly can I read up on disbelieving spells, can I seefor myself where the spell is useless if it is disbelieved?

Also, would there be a shadow? I have been meaning to ask this question about ruthinium polymer suits as well. I am thinking there will be a shadow because light is not passing thru the object. The object is just displaying what should be seen if it were not there.
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Kanada Ten
post Aug 12 2004, 11:18 PM
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Not "disbelieved" but "resisted." Believing in an illusion or not has no effect on the spell. Agonizing Pain is just as horrible if you know it is an illusion but have not resisted the effects. Resisting Illusion spells is the same as any other spell per the latest errata.
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BitBasher
post Aug 12 2004, 11:20 PM
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QUOTE
I'm sure it does, but where exactly can I read up on disbelieving spells, can I seefor myself where the spell is useless if it is disbelieved?
It's called spell resistance. You automatically get a chance to resist any spell whether or not you know it's there in SR.
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mfb
post Aug 13 2004, 05:03 AM
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wait, what? invisibility only imposes a +4 modifier to melee? where's it say that?
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Person 404
post Aug 13 2004, 05:12 AM
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Well, blindfire is +8, all visibility mods are halved for melee. At least, I'd assume that's the logic.
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Kickshot
post Aug 13 2004, 05:34 AM
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Blindfire isn't a visibility modifier though. The closest visibility modifier to Blindfire is Full Darkness, which is explicitly stated to be an exception to the rule.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Aug 16 2004, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
That's it. It's not really complicated; targets just get a chance to completely ignore it unlike conventional camouflage techniques. It has its benefits (such as not being restricted to immobile subjects), but that's the payoff for the fact that it can be rendered completely useless by a lucky roll.


The thing that is messing with me, is the fact camo imposes a +4 perception test, so just trying to see someone being rather non-descript in the corner of a room there would be a chance (+4 per the spell), that you wouldn't notice them (+8 for blind fire if you where feeling paranoid).

I think of it like the armor the guy from Predator was wearing, each time you look in his direction, there is a chance to do or don't see him. If you do, then it's +4, if you don't and feel paranoid, then +8 at shooting at whatever you think might be there. This all if the observer doesn't resist the spell.
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