Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Invisible characters
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Pages: 1, 2
BlacKat
Greetings,

I have aplayer that spends his whole time invis during a run. His character has a focus for the invis spell and just works at bringing it up before they start running and does not drop it unless they absolutly need to until after the run is over.

The question here involves melee combat. The character is based around being gods gift to the katana ( I know how original wink.gif ). So he uses the invis to attack undetected. My question is would the people he is attacking get the usual reflex + melee skill/dodge/unarmed combat in response to the attack or do they just have to sit there and take it? If they do get the responding rolls, what kind of modifyer should I use. Mind you by the time the character makes its first swing someone has already taken a shot or done something else to alert the victems that there are runners in the area. This is not a pure surprise situation, just a possible surprise from the invisible mage.

BlacKat
mintcar
Roll perception if the victim is allert. He may hear something and figure out what's about to happen. If it fails, roll surprise. It's still a surprise situation if the attack is coming out of nowere. (Btw, this should be concidered for characters attacking from behind cover too, if they moved when out of sight it's a new surprise situation. This really ups the possibility for strategy in combat.) If the victim is not surprised I would let him dodge as normal, but with a visability modifier (as if blind). This is all assuming he did not manage to resist the spell, in which case none of above would be necessary.
UndeadPoet
In SR3, negative visibility modifiers were divided by 2(round down) for melee combat. Total invisibility would be -3.
To let them spot him and allow them a melee defense roll, I would suggest a perception (1) or (2) test to let them use their other senses in order to realize someone is there.
If you have problems with this player, remember, when invisible, he burns like a torch in the astral realm and is still totally visible to someone with ultrasound vision.

Also tell him his character is unoriginal. I bet he does not even have a background story giving reasons for his katana skill, hm?
TBRMInsanity
Attacking an invisible target (or getting attacked by one) in 4th just applies serious modifiers. There must always be an opposition test in 4th combat. You may want to eliminate the number of dice from the defender's dice pool equal to the force of the invisibility spell. That would accurately represent the difficulty of hitting an invisible target.

As pointed out there are also other ways to combat an ivisibility spell, one of my favorite was if the guy only uses invisibility, have a guy with cyber eyes (ie non-natural eyes that see through the spell). Paranomal animals like hell hounds also work wonders. And my personal favorite is the force eating salamanders from 3rd. They are the best way to neutralize a mage and his/her spells. Plus if you just want to be mean induce a huge background count. Drain will be a b!%*#.
UndeadPoet
Drain would not be a problem, unless you use a chicago-level background count. If he only uses his invisibility, there is no real problem for him with a (reasonable!)background count.
If you fail your resistance test against invisibility spells, you plain do not see the person. No -1 per net success, but a straight -6.
Cybereyes do not work, since they are used by a (meta)human and, through essence loss, have become part of his body, which is cheated by the illusion. Also, if it is a physical illusion, cameras or other non-living stuff won't help, either.
Butterblume
After the first victim, there will most likely be blood splatters on the katana, and possibly on the invisible guy...
UndeadPoet
Right. In our group, we had a same situation with our mystic adept. He was invisible and killed an enemy, the remaining ones started firing at the place their dead buddy had stood a second before. I have no idea which penalties the gamemaster gave them for firing at the invisible target, but the adept was scratched good when he came back to the group.
And that, determining the position by the bloodshed(remember, he uses a katana... His unoriginality works against him here), will be the easiest way to harm him.
Dashifen
Smoke, sprinklers, mud, paint balls, etc. are all also effective ways to spot invisible types. I still recall a character with a home-built gun with the modification from SR3 that allowed you to have two clips of different ammo for the same gun. He'd load capsule rounds with paint in them in one clip and lethal ammunition in the other. He'd literally spray the area with paint to try and detect incoming invisible combatants. 'Course, the only time I actually assaulted him with an invisible "ninja" like character, the character dropped on him from a balcony ....... he never did think to fire up.
Rotbart van Dainig
There are many nice suggestions here, but why not look at the RAW?

Oddly enough, Melee does not include any penalties attacking invisible targets.
However, defending against any attack the character isn't aware of isn't possible - that would call for a perception test, at the usual -2 distraction penalty.

Whether or not being invisible in melee qualifies as Superior Position is up to GM, so the invisible attacker might get a bonus.
hobgoblin
either give the defender a "blind fire" modifier (as he does not know what he is defending against but he may get lucky) or just give the attacker a "superior ground" modifier.
Aaron
According to the RAW, the defender get to defend unless he or she is unaware of the attack. Also, as is the case for shooting blind, you may wish to replace the attribute with Intuition, although that's a GM call.

Anyway, the use of Invisibility (Improved or otherwise) is fairly moot when a corp (or whatever) shells out the extra grand for ultrasound.
Red
Many of the mentioned tactics for detecting invisible characters depends on the source of the invisibility. Invisibility spells render the subject, his clothes, and weapons invisible. Including the paints and dyes that give them color. Depending on how your GM interprets the spell, it might be valid to claim that the invisibility spell now conceals the new pigments since they have become part of the subject of the spell. You couldn't paint your target in that interpretation, but you could aim at the "hole" where your paint vanished. However a GM could also rule that an invisibility spell only applies to the paints/dyes at the time of casting. Thus an invisible character could accumulate dust, dirt, blood, paint, etc...

There is no concrete rule for this yet. I can only recommend that you discuss this issue with your GM before the situation arises. But there is room for comprimise. One could argue that the ability of an invisibility spell to cope with new factors like paintballs depends on the net hits, and force of the spell.
hyzmarca
The invisibility spell has always worked like a visual only SEP field (except for improved invisibility in 4th). It isn't that you can't see the target it is that you can't notice the target with any visual sense.
Rooks
did the guy even roll to sneak up on someone? if not I'm pretty sure the guy would hear the footsteps coming a be aware thus roll perception and ya invisibility always seemd to be a cloaking field around the person a person standing int he rain would still be noticeable when they are invisible just not as noticeable as if they were not invisable since the rain kinda forms around the invisable person showing its outline
hobgoblin
if its a gun battle in the same room. im not sure if he would even hear a truck comming thru the wall...

and no, i do not base this on the hollywood style sound effects. the avarage gunfire make about as much sound as a firecracker. but a firecracker going of right beside your head, even more so multiple, will play havoc with your ability to hear.
BlackHat
QUOTE (BlacKat)
Greetings, [...]

Lol, off-topic but when I saw this post I ws like, "I don't remember posting anything like this..."

BlackHat != BlacKat
BlacKat
Thanks for all the responses.

Right now we are going with blind fire rules. If its a surprise situation I will deal with it as such.

The game has been going on for almost 2 years now so the characters are in the 100 karma range so its hard to challenge these guys regularly. The campaing wraps up this year though as it has gone on long enough.

BlacKat
Edward
Bering in mind the invisibility spell is resisted, I will assume the target has failed to resist.

Until the target is aware that there is an invisible opponent in the room he is unable to make any defensive roll. The target may become aware ether with a successful apposed stealth/perception check (audio enhancements and distraction modifiers apply) or when the GM determines its obvious (he is attacked, observes somebody being attacked or the attacker makes a battle cry)

Once the target is aware of the presence of an invisible opponent he may roll defence as normal taking the same penalty as for attacking an invisible opponent (-6 dice if I recall correctly)

This is based on logic, I donít have my book in front of me but I donít think it was covered.

Also you can equip security guards with ultrasound vision witch will effectively counter his invisibility and make him look very suspicious.

Edward
CONAN9845
Do you mean to tell me that there are people who think that there is no penalty to attack an invisible character in melee because the "Target Hidden (Blind Fire)" modifier is only on the Ranged Combat Modifiers Table, and not on the Melee Modifiers Table?

Are you kidding me? Fine. In the description for Invisibility, it states that attacks against invisible targets suffer the Target Hidden modifier. Since it doesn't make a distinction, that applies to both Ranged and Melee.

If the defender is unaware of the attack, then there is no defense. Treat the attack as a Success Test instead. Characters who are engaged in combat are not unaware of an attack. They have to actually be surprised. Attacking from behind gives the Superior Position modifier regardless, but in order to surprise someone engaged in combat, you have to use Infiltration to sneak up on them.

Spraying someone who is invisible with something doesn't help. In order to percieve a character that is under an Invisibility spell, it must be resisted. The whole point of the illusion is that you are invisible, regardless of environmental circumstances. Other senses work as normal, of course.

Ultrasound only works in the absence of a Stealth spell, and any invisible character worth anything will have both. White noise generators can also mess up ultrasound. It's not a cure all against invisibility, just like SR3.
Edward
Dose the SR4 invisibility spell describe what happens when you pick something up while invisible

Putting clothes on, picking up a briefcase, getting dirty.

At eth very least a light smoke field will leave a void giving an opportunity to fire at -6 (with no indication of location I would not allow an attempt)

Edward
CONAN9845
Please keep in mind that everything that I post is my own interpretation of the rules, and by no means meant to be what the developers intended.

The smoke field would do nothing. The person under the influence of an Invisibility spell is non-detectable by visual means... period.

"Anyone who might perceive the subject [visually] must first successfully resist the spell." That's all there is to it.

Picking something up may cause you to be seen without them resisting the spell, so whatever you pick up or or are in contact with cannot be seen. It's like the stealth spell, but applies to vision instead of hearing.
James McMurray
QUOTE (CONAN9845)
Picking something up may cause you to be seen without them resisting the spell, so whatever you pick up or or are in contact with cannot be seen. It's like the stealth spell, but applies to vision instead of hearing.

That wouldn't cause you to be seen, it would cause something to look like it was just picked up by something you can't see.
CONAN9845
To me, that's the same thing.
Dranem
If your player is using invisibilty waaay too much, start adding astral barriers, watchers, spirits, dual-natured critters. As potent as magic is, it should not always go unchecked, awakened characters need to learn that over-relying on magic can come at a cost.

For every bit of magic, there is often (not always) some way to defend against it - that is life in the 6th world.
James McMurray
QUOTE (CONAN9845)
To me, that's the same thing.

Cool. Everyone's got their own interpretation of stuff. If yours works for you, great! smile.gif
CONAN9845
QUOTE (James McMurray)
QUOTE (CONAN9845 @ Apr 26 2006, 02:09 AM)
To me, that's the same thing.

Cool. Everyone's got their own interpretation of stuff. If yours works for you, great! smile.gif

That's been my point the whole time.

Dranem, I agree entirely. I like those ideas more than trying to limit interpretations.
hobgoblin
another way to look at the problem of a invisible person picking up a object is that if a person is lookin in that direction they get a automatic resistence check for the spell. why? because at one moment the object is there, the next its gone.

now, if the persons have their back turned, nothing happens.
Aku
conan, with the smoke screen, you're not seeing the person, you're seeing the disturbance that they're leaving in the smoke. you can identify them (beyond metatyle, maybe, based on height and shape of the hole in the smoke) but thats about it
Edward
The smoke field doesnít require you to perseve the invisible character, your observing the particles of smoke and inferring from there presence and absence where the invisible target must be.
CONAN9845
Edward and Aku, I disagree. Seeing someone due to smoke not being in there place is still seeing them. In our games, Invisibility means you can't see the character, period, unless the magic is overcome somehow. In this case the illusion would just fill in smoke instead of empty air.

Keep in mind, this is just my interpretation. It's not meant to be RAW.
Aku
ahhh, opinions, we all got one, dont we?

but think of this conan put a fan on in a steamy room, and while, you can still see the fan, watch what happens to the steam. then, put your hand to the side of your face, and see if the steam suddenly stops moving from the force of the fan.

ofcourse it doesnt, but thats what your suggesting, that the invisability spell alters the phtsics around the person beyond the normal sight.

Or consider this, what happens when your invisable runner walks in mud or wet sand? does he not leave foot prints?
James McMurray
He isn't sayign anything about altering physics, he's saying that the illusion in the viewer's mind encompasses more than just the target's body, it also makes the onlooker see the world in a way that won't reveal the invisble guy's presence.
CONAN9845
That's pretty much the interpretation that we use, James, yes. We use the altering of the viewer's mind with mana as opposed to the changing physics thing. Like I said, it's just an interpretation. It makes it much simpler to us. It's just like Stealth, but for vision.

If the character took something out and put it down, breaking contact with it, it would become visible. The character would also leave footprints behind him, as this has nothing to do with seeing the character. You would not, however, see the mud on the character's shoes once he is no longer in the mud.
Aku
well, then, imo he's changing the very, ahem, fabric of the spell. to me, determing how much a spell does should be taken from one extrem and working inwards until a decent comprimise is found. if the walking in mud/sand idea doesnt prove the point, then consider quicksand, would you see the person sinking into the quicksand, or do you think that the spell would cover up that as well?
James McMurray
It sounds to me like their group has found a decent compromise. That it doesn't fit your group's (or mine) is immaterial. smile.gif
Big D
Makes sense to me, after all, it's in illusion, not manipulation.

If it were the latter, I'd argue that you're bending light, not playing jedi mind tricks.
CONAN9845
If the viewer didn't resist the spell, then no, he wouldn't see the character sinking in the sand. That doesn't mean that the character isn't sinking, or that the sand isn't touching him. It just means that the spell is causing the viewer to not see him, which is it's intent. You are trying to disprove my interpretation with physics, and I am trying to prove it with magic, both of which are impossible, considering that there is no actual thing as magical invisibility in real life. Keep in mind that I said several times that it's just my opinion. Not that I mind a good debate. It's just worked for us in this manner, and I've never had anyone question it in my group.
CONAN9845
BigD, you can't say that it's not bending light. According to the description, that's exactly what the physical spell Improved Invisibility is doing to technological sensors. We just use it as "Jedi mind trick" against living things, and "illusion" to non-living things. Either way, it's magic, and we choose to not allow simple physics to cheat the character out of his magic. That doesn't mean that it's the right way to do it, just that it's right for us.
Glyph
That's the screwy thing about improved invisibility. It's bending light, but it's still a resisted spell. So if you resist and determine that the illusion is "not real", then what happens? It doesn't say, but if resisting the Silence spell (which physically dampens sound) lets you hear things within or across the affected area, then logically resisting the improved invisibility spell should let you see the invisible character. But if it's bending light rays, that doesn't make sense!

And if you say, instead, that you are aware of something invisible but still can't see it, then that makes improved invisibility way too powerful. Not to mention, what would be the point of having a resistance roll against the spell? You could say that it represents noticing sound or other clues to an invisible character's presense, but characters who have failed their resistance roll can do that, too.

The old rules for physical illusions, the "false sensory input" ones, were a bit hard to grasp, but they did logically separate physical illusions from manipulation spells, such as light, and made a plausible resisted illusion spell. The rules as they stand now don't really make much sense. For improved invisibility, they should either go back to "false sensory input", or do away with spell resistance rolls altogether, and treat it similarly to ruthenium sneak suits.
Edward
Conan, buy your interpretation what would an observer se when an invisible person was sinking into quicksand, standing in the rain, piked up a suitcase of the floor.

What about if the your looking at an invisible (not improved) target with a drone putting an AR overlay of the target on your system, that is as much seeing the target as seeing a void in the smoke would be

I think if the spell is successfully resisted you see the person fully and donít need to worry about sneaky tricks

Edward
CONAN9845
If the spell is successfully resisted by someone, however that is accomplished, then they would see the character just fine... as normal.

The viewer would see quicksand and rain in those instances, and would see the suitcase disappear if he was watching it when it was picked up.

We don't ever have the problem of looking at a non-Improved Invisibility cloaked character. Who in their right mind would even learn such a stupid spell as Invisibility?

In that example though, I would simply say that since the drone, and it's sensors and cameras, can't be affected by the spell, then neither can anyone looking at the character through those systems. They aren't within direct LOS anyway.
Edward
[qupte=conan] The viewer would see quicksand and rain in those instances, and would see the suitcase disappear if he was watching it when it was picked up.[/quote]

some people hav a problem with that, it makes sneak in and steal the protototype quite easy, even if the prototype is large, you could even cover 2 people with a single spell if one was carried buy the other.

[qupte=conan] We don't ever have the problem of looking at a non-Improved Invisibility cloaked character. Who in their right mind would even learn such a stupid spell as Invisibility?

In that example though, I would simply say that since the drone, and it's sensors and cameras, can't be affected by the spell, then neither can anyone looking at the character through those systems. They aren't within direct LOS anyway.[/quote]

my intent in that situation was that the invisible person would be within line of sight of the person observing threw the drone sensors.

How about this situation, somebody is invisible but there COM link is transmitting an ARO body armour (there playing miracle shooter) this will be coming up in a game soon.

Edward
Aaron
QUOTE (Edward)
How about this situation, somebody is invisible but there COM link is transmitting an ARO body armour (there playing miracle shooter) this will be coming up in a game soon.

Depends on what you think invisibility means.

If it means that you can't see it because the spell bends and blocks electromagnetic radiation, then the spell would also act as a jammer (at rating equal to the Spellcasting hits, let's say), and the ARO would not be visible to the commlink.

If it only blocks visible light, or it's the mana version of the spell, then the ARO would be visible to the commlink, and displayed on the image link, but the user wouldn't see whatever it is to which the ARO is attached.
Shrike30
I interpret the whole "bending light" thing to include infrared and ultraviolet (the most common "alternate vision modes" i could think of) but that's about it. It most certainly is going to be letting radio signals through, because it doesn't indicate anywhere in the spell description that being invisible shuts off your commlink's connection to the group PAN, or anything along those lines.

If a character or drone made enough successes to percieve Invisiboy, and put Inisiboy's location onto a PAN, anyone trying to spot Invisiboy would get the full +3 AR bonus trying. Anyone firing at Invisiboy would be at -6 for blind fire, but +3 for AR bonus (a net -3). This is one of the reasons that having mages astrally perceiving, and then relaying that data to the PAN, is very, very convenient.
GrinderTheTroll
QUOTE (BlacKat)
Thanks for all the responses.

Right now we are going with blind fire rules. If its a surprise situation I will deal with it as such.

The game has been going on for almost 2 years now so the characters are in the 100 karma range so its hard to challenge these guys regularly. The campaing wraps up this year though as it has gone on long enough.

BlacKat

I might suggest introducing scenarios where there are more Astrally aware opponents, Barriers, Wards, patrolling Elementals or Watchers. Also adding more social aspects to your game where being invis is not helpful will force him out of hiding too.

If you are looking to make a behavioral change in the player, then only offer karma rewards where they do "something original". If they always win because of invisibility, then what have they learned or how to handle new situations? Yes there should be karma, but no as much as their could be. For every 10-karma haul, there should be as many or more 2-3 karma award runs where things don't go as planned.

If you want to make the players like miserable, you could have some wronged target find his astral signature and start hunting him down, methodically destroying foci, sending elementals or goons his way. Best time for an elemental to show is during a run, when he goes invis, hehe.

Sessions don't always have to be mired in logic, unexpected things happen all the time, especially in an RPG game or any good story. wink.gif
Shrike30
Other things that work against invisibility are pheromone sensors, pressure plates, metal detectors, and cyberware detectors. Pheromone sensors seem specifically made for it, pressure plates go off when you step on them (and don't care how visible you are), metal detectors pick up the guns/ammo/gear your invisible guy is carrying, and cyberware detectors use millimeter-wave radar... even if he's not cybered, he'll trip the "dude standing in the scanner" mode when he walks through it.

There's some debate as to whether or not it works against things like IR or laser trip beams. My group says that it bends light, so no. I feel that trip beams already have things like mirrors and fiber optic tubes making their day hard, so they would have built in countermeasures that figure out how long the light is spending in transit to determine the distance travelled (being bent around the target would trip this sensor). I'm thinking about a compromise along the lines of an opposed device check, with the invisible character's "device" rating being the number of hits on his Imp Invisibilty spell.
Kanada Ten
If your group says it "bends light" then it should work against mm-radar, too - actually all radar. Hell, make it so it turns the comms off - after all they are otherwise giving the character a way to be spotted.
Shrike30
It doesn't make the character undetectable, it makes him invisible. Given that a number of things "see" in the infrared or ultraviolet, I don't have a problem saying that those things get bent... you hear the term "ultraviolet light" on a fairly regular basis. If you start saying that it pretty much covers anything on any part of the electromagnetic spectrum that might hit the character, you start getting bizarre issues far beyond being able to pick the guy up on a cyberware scanner...

It makes the spell both more generally accessible (Deckers won't want to be invisible if it prevents them from hacking a door open for the team) and more manageable by having oddball things be able to pick up the invisible guy.
Kanada Ten
Then I guess a good RF scanner could pick them up, triangulate their position, and then pop smart link targets where the signals are coming from, match that to camera feeds and alert the place to invisible characters - not to mention giving the security forces a way to shoot them.
Galmorez
Most security are trained to understand they may face invisible intruders or assailants. In a case where somebody knows what they are looking for, they get 3 extra dice to perception tests.
(Check the perception modifiers table.)
i.e. If you're looking down a hall, expecting somebody invisible to walk down it, you get the extra dice to try to detect them, because you are paying more attention to floor creaks, shadow anomolies, and "predator outlines" than usual.

Also, suppressive fire work pretty well for pinning down invisible people. Being invisible doesn't help if there is a hallway that gets sprayed with fletchettes every time a motion sensor is tripped.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012