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I was working on making a sniper/covert ops character, and I came up with an idea. Using a varient of sod (sheets of grass replacement) knitted into a blanket that could be worn to provide astral cover. Any thoughts?

A how too guide I found; suit
creative -- i'd be inclined to provide some benefit to it simply because you're thinking outside of the box. However, the astral cover would also require you to maintain the sod layer. If the grass dies, then you don't have any more astral cover. Also, remember that sod can be very heavy, encumberance could become a problem. And, finally, even the best guillie suit only helps hiding and sneaking. If someone's perception test is great, then they might see you as you aim, especially on the astral because a portion of you -- i.e. the front of you -- is uncovered by some of the suit in order to aim and fire the weapon. Not a cure-all, but I'd run with it for a while and see where it goes.

Great idea!!
As I've understood it, the reason clothes don't hide your aura is because the aura extends some distance from your body, past where the clothes are, not because the clothes don't have an aura themselves. In order to mask your aura, your ghillie suit would have to extend further away from your body than the aura did.
True, but the living sod would have an aura of it's own. I'd consider that the mixed sod aura -- as long as the sod's alive (see above) -- would mask the character's aura to some extent. Depending on the health of the sod, maybe a +2 or +3 to the perception test. However, you'd also have to be hiding in a place that it makes sense to have a living aura. If you're on a roof and a mage looks over and sees a barren roof with a pile of living sod at the edge it could bring up other complications eek.gif
But because the sod is a living organism, wouldn't it's aura mask yours if it was dense enough? Perhaps instead of a suit, a blanket, rating x .25 square meter? Unless properly cared for, will begin dying in 1.5 x rating hours.

New concept: A blanket made of two layers, one solid (warn against the body) and a mesh treated with nutrients which the grass actually grows on.
Chia-sniper. I like it. MitS already has rules about discerning an aura in dense foliage or other "living" terrain. I forget the details, but +2 or +3 sounds about right.
There's also the overall issue, that in an urban environment a patch of living sod on the corner of a building roof would also be out of the ordinary. Not as out of the ordinary as a sniper, but still. Since the majority of urban environments is grey and lifeless astrally this still inherintly does not blend in.
Ol' Scratch
Based on the table on page 82 of Magic in the Shadows, there wouldn't be enough material there to have any appreciable effect beyond a +1 modifier at best.
It's a neat idea, but any place the spot of biomass wouldn't immediately raise eyebrows is probably a spot it wouldn't be needed anyway.

Not really. A nice rooftop garden is probably not uncommon on the nicer buildings, if you can manage access.

That's my point.

If there is enough bio-mass that a man-sized organic ghillie suit wouldn't raise flags from astral critters, odds are the sniper wouldn't need the suit to begin with.

Ol' Scratch
Any benefit it would provide would be minor next to just being mundane (a +2 modifier). Your Stealth skill works just as well on the astral as it does on the physical, too, even though the modifiers will be slightly different (not as many pluses, but no negatives that I can think of either).

Hiding on a rooftop near a vent from the boiler room will give you a +4 bonus to your Stealth Test, not including any ambient Background Count in the area.
It's an interesting idea but there are two problems 1)as already ponited out you have to keep the grass alive. 2) if it doesn't blend it with the rest of the terrain the mage won't see you but everyone else will.
haveing some ruthy polymers over the bio-mat grass thing would help in not bing seen.

why not just a reason for being where you are?
I admit this is a one trick pony. You'd never want to use it in an urban enviroment, but could be used to cross non urban areas. Based on the feedback I received, I'm thinking a blanket would work better than a suit.

As for keeping the grass alive, well you could by simply adding complexity. A camel-pak bladder hooked to a small processor that controls the release of the water based on soil dampness.

So, next revision:
Layer 1: thermal dampening/absorbing material (its gonna get hot under all this weight). The water supply and processor are located here.
Layer 2: some kind of canvas that will contain most of the soil.
Layer 3: the system of tubing that will supply water and nuitrients to the roots.
Layer 4: a mesh out of which the grass will grow.

I know it's putting alot of effort into a fairly non-functional idea, but when it works, it should help.
Its also about prep time.

Why use soil? Use a hydroponic gel layer, this would both feed and water the grass whilst helping boost the effectiveness of the thermal insulation layer.

Any reason it has to be grass? If you are using a hydoponic layer you could go for a algae/microbe/moss mixture. I have seen a lot of flat roofs with some very scummy water pools, this might be a little less obvious.

Still neat idea tho.
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