Perception vs. Stealth

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I've thought about Stealth v. Perception a lot, and one conclusion I've come to is that it's not, or should not be, a directly opposed roll. Stealth determines the quality of your hiding, but being really good at hiding doesn't preclude someone who is really perceptive from making an exhaustive search and finding you. It's okay for something like DC Heroes where almost all actions are about the hierarchy of who is better, but it's a problem in something like a d20 game or BRP where characters have ratings based on probabilities. Something like Pathfinder 2 is kind of in the middle. It's also questionable how trainable innate perception is, but you can definitely train searching. Stealth is trainable, but ultimately good Stealth is based on when and how to Stealth, and using the environment and knowledge of the enemy to maximize your odds.

So in a system that allows it, I think it's better if Stealth operates by being successful or not, and then giving you grades of success. Innate perception should be fairly "flat" but should make some allowance for trained observation and search skills that involve some kind of routine and effort.
a Mythras style differential roll might work here, but I think it's going to be quite heavy for one off stealth checks. I could see a Task Roll for some of these, or if the searcher wins a special effect they get alerted. Winning, say, 2 special effects would be enough to make it by them.
 
I'm not familiar with these movies.
...you should acquaint yourself, then:shock:!

You'd be in for a treat, too:shade:.

I've thought about Stealth v. Perception a lot, and one conclusion I've come to is that it's not, or should not be, a directly opposed roll. Stealth determines the quality of your hiding, but being really good at hiding doesn't preclude someone who is really perceptive from making an exhaustive search and finding you. It's okay for something like DC Heroes where almost all actions are about the hierarchy of who is better, but it's a problem in something like a d20 game or BRP where characters have ratings based on probabilities. Something like Pathfinder 2 is kind of in the middle. It's also questionable how trainable innate perception is, but you can definitely train searching. Stealth is trainable, but ultimately good Stealth is based on when and how to Stealth, and using the environment and knowledge of the enemy to maximize your odds.

So in a system that allows it, I think it's better if Stealth operates by being successful or not, and then giving you grades of success. Innate perception should be fairly "flat" but should make some allowance for trained observation and search skills that involve some kind of routine and effort.
IME, innate perception is absolutely a learned skill. Some just start at a higher level than others.
 
Would love some details.

In ForeSight there is a system for classifying terrains depending mostly on how rough they are and how much vegetation they have, but with suburban, urban, water surface, and submerged sprouting off to the sides of the table.

The Environment modifier E appears in BEFs of skills dependent on perception. since a good idea of what to expect in a place allows a person to concentrate on worthwhile subjects for his/her attention. Environment familiarities are expressed on a table to allow the great variety of possible environments to be compactly expressed. In general the environment is expressed as a contour (BR: broken, UN: uneven, FL: flat) and a surface feature (BN: barren, LV: light vegetation, MV: medium vegetation, HV: heavy vegetation. MA: marsh, IC: ice); there are also miscellaneous environ- ments tacked onto the (in my opinion on the day) most appropriate places (SF: surface of water, SB: submerged in water. SU: suburban, ie. scattered build- ings, UR: urban, ie. built up). Wherever a value for E is called for, the most appropriate is chosen.

Each character has a degree of familiarity with each terrain, for none to 3, which are set out in a little table on the character sheet.

Screenshot 2024-02-28 at 13.05.47.png



The character's familiarity with the terrain they are in enters into the ease factor for each of the Scan skill and the Stealth skill. Each terrain type also has a Terrain Value, set out in a table in Ch. 5. And there is a table in the section on "Resolving Wilderness Encounters" in Ch. 3 that gives a contact range and an observation range for each terrain value.

To resolve the circumstances of a wilderness encounter, the character with the worst Stealth (lowest PCS times modified Ease Factor) and the character with the highest Scan (highest PCS times modified Ease Factor) on each side rolls the skill, getting a Quality Rating 1 to 4 (or 7 on a fail, 10 on a botch).

[3.10] Resolving Wilderness Encounters
Procedure: Both the sides involved make a Scan roll (using the best SC - EFxPCS in the group) and a Stealth roll (using the worst) and add the QRs together (this sum is reduced by four if the party was attempting an ambush, by two if the characters were proceeding cautiously, ie. at half speed, and is unadjusted otherwise). If one side's sum is four or more lower than any other side's then the former is said to have surprised the latter (if an ambush was attempted, then the latter walked right into it); if one side's total was three lower than the other's, that side may surprise the other at observation range, or start with the initiative at contact range; if one side's total was two lower, it may start combat at either contact or observation range (its choice) and determine initiative normally, or it may have the initiative and leave the choice of range to the other side; otherwise, the initial range is determined randomly (25% chance of contact range, 75% chance of observation range). See Combat Set-Up [4.1].


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I'm goin to start a discussion with heresy - stealth isn't a skill. Stealth is a lack of perception. I'm wondering if it should even be there. Is there any skill in walking slow? In being behind cover?

I believe so. And I am very clear that it is so in fantasy and adventure fiction and movies.

There are some people who are good at stealth and others who are poor. Note, for example, the incident where the party are intercepted by the elves on the frontier of Lorien, in Lord of the Rings. Consider ninja whereever they are represented. Consider troopers in long-range reconnaissance units. Consider military snipers.

Stealth is typically something that people are taught. It's common in rural parts for people to be taught how to move quietly and without being noticed, how to advance on game stealthily by keeping to cover and using the lie of the land, when they are being taught to stalk game (hunt) by their fathers and uncles. I'm not sure about other armies, but in the Australian army stealth is taught to the infantry as part of "fieldcraft".

Stealth is something that can be improved gradually by training and practice. Infantry practice it in field exercises. The SASR train in it a lot. It takes years of experience to become a really good stalker (hunter).
 
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Where does that Terrain Value come from? Dividing encounters into contact or observation range sounds good.
It comes from a table at the beginning of chapter 5, and I think originally from some SPI wargame:

Screenshot 2024-02-29 at 10.24.gif

I always thought that table ought to have been in Ch.1 (definitions) or ch.3 (resolution system), but it's main purpose was its effect on vehicular movement, so it was in ch.5 (travel & pursuit).
 
The basic problem with having a perception type skill is that your players will know there is something up whether they roll well or not. It is the GM saying " OK LISTEN UP! SOMETHING IS SNEAKING AROUND NEARBY. ROLL TO SEE IF YOU NOTICE IT." :errr: Roll or no roll, everyone knows that something is afoot.
For a campaign I am planning ( modified OSE rules), I am creating a perception stat based on INT+WIS/2. The key part is that stat will not be on the character sheet and the players will not be aware that it exists. I can compare things to possibly notice to their PER stat which functions as a passive check. Specific actions by the players that would give a bonus to PER score for a given instance are noted. The players simply state what they are doing ( moving ahead quietly and taking time to listen, looking very carefully at something specific, etc) This way the players can just naturally play and not go into high alert mode because a check is called for.
This is where pre-rolls come in, or for me just roll as the Referee, or if a player prefers I can just use the average for their roll in such situations. I'm usually about player choice, but could easily see just using the average especially in situations where they are passively detecting a sound.

I can see this adding into play, in that if a player wants to use a possibly more advantageous roll that means their character is more alert, stops to listen often when walking, can't be doing much work around the campfire, etc.

Meta-knowledge in these situations is always something to consider. There is the old idea of throwing in rolls randomly when there is nothing sneaking up on them. That too has its play element, as if the players react to every roll as real is good verisimilitude for a party on the edge jumping at every little sound :smile:
 
This is where pre-rolls come in, or for me just roll as the Referee, or if a player prefers I can just use the average for their roll in such situations. I'm usually about player choice, but could easily see just using the average especially in situations where they are passively detecting a sound.

I can see this adding into play, in that if a player wants to use a possibly more advantageous roll that means their character is more alert, stops to listen often when walking, can't be doing much work around the campfire, etc.

Meta-knowledge in these situations is always something to consider. There is the old idea of throwing in rolls randomly when there is nothing sneaking up on them. That too has its play element, as if the players react to every roll as real is good verisimilitude for a party on the edge jumping at every little sound :smile:
And here I just roll for them instead, and make them narrate how they do what they do regardless of whether anyone is sneaking...:gooseshades:
 
One thing I do when two groups might bump into each other (as they might in dungeons or wilderness in your classic D&D-like game) is to roll each side's perception check once, adjusted for all the usual things (environment, stealth, etc.) except distance. I then work out how much of a penalty for distance they could've had and still suceeded. This distance or the maximum for the terrain (allowing for line of sight, etc.) is then the distance they first notice the other group at. If one detects the other at a greater range, they get to act without the other side being aware of them, as you might expect. Obviously this method only works if the game has spotting increase in difficulty with distance. However, even games that don't generally have some way you can use this - letting the side that gets the better success, or more, or whatever, spot first (but with a cap in close country so there's a good chance they spot each other at the same time as they come round a corner or the like).

This isn't a particular innovative or radical system, being much like the results you'd get from any number of games. I've just somewhat generalised it so I can port it to any game. Among its advantages is that it removes any need to roll round-by-round as groups close.
 
What are the vegetation levels?
Barren, Light Vegetation, Medium Vegetation, Heavy Vegetation, Marsh, and Ice? They are not further defined. It just says

The Environment familiarity E appears in BEFs of skills dependent on perception. since a good idea of what to expect in a place allows a person to concentrate on worthwhile subjects for his/her attention. Environment familiarities are expressed on a table to allow the great variety of possible environments to be compactly expressed. In general the environment is expressed as a contour (BR: broken, UN: uneven, FL: flat) and a surface feature (BN: barren, LV: light vegetation, MV: medium vegetation, HV: heavy vegetation. MA: marsh, IC: ice); there are also miscellaneous environments tacked onto the (in my opinion on the day) most appropriate places (SF: surface of water, SB: submerged in water. SU: suburban, ie. scattered buildings, UR: urban, ie. built up). Wherever a value for E is called for, the most appropriate is chosen.
 
Seems simple enough - decide how rough the terrain is and how much vegetation (or buildings) are on it. Cross-reference on the table, and you're done.
 
Seems simple enough - decide how rough the terrain is and how much vegetation (or buildings) are on it. Cross-reference on the table, and you're done.
That much work just for terrain types is pretty much the definition of crunchy. It's not like the rest of the system is going to be light and just this one bit is crunchy.
 
"You're in a thick forest, in broken hill country."

Now, unless you never go with adjustments for situation, the above would surely call for adjustments for visibility. If you make some effort to be consistent, and to make smaller adjustments for more open and less rugged country, you're being just as crunchy even if you don't have a formal system. You're just not writing down a formal system.

To my mind, crunchy is when the game says you should track the type of trees, and cares whether 'broken' means 'badlands' or 'rough hills'.
 
"You're in a thick forest, in broken hill country."

Now, unless you never go with adjustments for situation, the above would surely call for adjustments for visibility. If you make some effort to be consistent, and to make smaller adjustments for more open and less rugged country, you're being just as crunchy even if you don't have a formal system. You're just not writing down a formal system.

To my mind, crunchy is when the game says you should track the type of trees, and cares whether 'broken' means 'badlands' or 'rough hills'.
You are in the minority there I think. It's not about tracking terrain types, but also character familiarity with all those different terrain types. That's high crunch. Frankly, I don't care to know that my PC is 4.23% more familiar with light woods and sun dappled glades than he is with Moody woods with shadows and lots of sticks.
 
You are in the minority there I think. It's not about tracking terrain types, but also character familiarity with all those different terrain types. That's high crunch. Frankly, I don't care to know that my PC is 4.23% more familiar with light woods and sun dappled glades than he is with Moody woods with shadows and lots of sticks.
Yea, that's another dimension of crunch. I feel like there should be some distinction in familiarity with terrain, but I'm not quite sure how to best represent that. Currently in Cold Iron, I indicate Survival skill should come with a terrain/region specifier, but I don't think that's actually workable.

I do think there should be different sorts of woods, but I don't know if we need the terrain distinctions of Swordbearer (primarily movement related, but a good example of a maybe overboard set of terrain distinctions).
 
Yea, that's another dimension of crunch. I feel like there should be some distinction in familiarity with terrain, but I'm not quite sure how to best represent that. Currently in Cold Iron, I indicate Survival skill should come with a terrain/region specifier, but I don't think that's actually workable.

I do think there should be different sorts of woods, but I don't know if we need the terrain distinctions of Swordbearer (primarily movement related, but a good example of a maybe overboard set of terrain distinctions).
From a design standpoint I only want that level if detail its something that the game in question is really going to focus on. None of the game I play, even the OSR ones that are at least somewhat focused on wilderness survival, need that level of granularity (never mind for parts of the game that are foci of play). I really hate terrain tags for survival skills. It doesn't make any sense and it often makes the skill borderline useless.
 
From a design standpoint I only want that level if detail its something that the game in question is really going to focus on. None of the game I play, even the OSR ones that are at least somewhat focused on wilderness survival, need that level of granularity (never mind for parts of the game that are foci of play). I really hate terrain tags for survival skills. It doesn't make any sense and it often makes the skill borderline useless.
Yea, I'm moving in the direction of terrain tags on survival being not a good thing. That said, I think it would be fair to require the PCs to do SOMETHING to learn new terrain if they moved to a radically different part of the world.

But having a few densities or types of forest I think is reasonable. So the terrain distinctions in Foresight seem reasonable to me, though they are cryptically marked and come with little description.
 
Yea, I'm moving in the direction of terrain tags on survival being not a good thing. That said, I think it would be fair to require the PCs to do SOMETHING to learn new terrain if they moved to a radically different part of the world.

But having a few densities or types of forest I think is reasonable. So the terrain distinctions in Foresight seem reasonable to me, though they are cryptically marked and come with little description.
A standard unfamiliarity penalty would work I think. PCs can get rid of it through practice and talking to locals. Most people who are practiced in survival aren't limited to a specific kind of terrain anyway. Desert might be an exception I guess, which probably falls under your descriptor radically different.
 
A standard unfamiliarity penalty would work I think. PCs can get rid of it through practice and talking to locals. Most people who are practiced in survival aren't limited to a specific kind of terrain anyway. Desert might be an exception I guess, which probably falls under your descriptor radically different.
Yea, an unfamiliarity penalty is the direction I'm thinking. The question is the mechanics of working it off in Cold Iron. For RQ (not that it has a survival skill), I'd be inclined to start a new skill as needed at 1/2 or even 1/4 the current sill, and then you improve it. Only introduce a new skill for radical changes. Back in the 80s, I had survival, desert survival, and arctic survival. It might also be worth distinguishing between temperate and tropical (and then arctic just becomes part of the spectrum from tropical to arctic, with desert as a special case outside the spectrum).

But without treks way across the world, I'm not sure it's worth putting much energy into distinction. I guess I might need desert and arctic for Cold Iron Blackmark Adventures as there is arctic and desert terrain within conceivable travel time of where the PCs are operating looking at robertsconley robertsconley maps.
 
Separating off just desert and arctic makes good sense. Those are both very different skill sets.
 
Only introduce a new skill for radical changes. Back in the 80s, I had survival, desert survival, and arctic survival. It might also be worth distinguishing between temperate and tropical (and then arctic just becomes part of the spectrum from tropical to arctic, with desert as a special case outside the spectrum).
I would categorize things as follows
  • General
  • Desert
  • Arctic
  • Jungle
  • Sea
I read a lot of books over the years about extreme adventures like climbing mountains, underwater exploration, space, caving, etc. Certain environments have more specific things you have learn in order to survive. While others can be handled with a good grounding in overall survival.

General survival covers pretty much the broad band of temperate and subtropical environments in the northern and southern hemispheres. Desert, Arctic, Jungle, and Sea are different enough that specialized training would be an advantage in a fantasy setting.

It also important not to overthink this. Some stuff is more area knowledge. Survival always works out better with specific knowledge of the region with its quirks. The Survival skill should be the baseline from which one applies as you learn the specific of the region you are in. IMO, deserts, the arctic, etc., have a different enough baseline of knowledge from general survival to warrant a specialized skill.
 
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And we're back to a whole library of survival skills. I guess that's just what some people want. :thumbsup:
TBH, most PCs simply would have the "right" survival skill for the terrain of the game, much like how in a Midwest game you'd be likely to get a lot of people familiar with Midwest terrain, a small number of people familiar with deserts due to oversea deployment (but they'd usually be familiar with Midwest terrain as well), and a vanishingly small, probably around 0, number of people familiar with tropical jungles and Arctic conditions:grin:!
 
And we're back to a whole library of survival skills. I guess that's just what some people want. :thumbsup:

TBH, most PCs simply would have the "right" survival skill for the terrain of the game, much like how in a Midwest game you'd be likely to get a lot of people familiar with Midwest terrain, a small number of people familiar with deserts due to oversea deployment (but they'd usually be familiar with Midwest terrain as well), and a vanishingly small, probably around 0, number of people familiar with tropical jungles and Arctic conditions:grin:!
Yep, I think that's the way to go. However survival skill is presented in the game, make sure everyone who should have the skill has the right skill for the campaign region. If someone explicitly wants a character with broader knowledge, help them pick the right set. If the PCs wander into some new region that justifies a different skill, they should expect to hire local guides.

That said, if you really want a single survival skill, go for it.
 
Yep, I think that's the way to go. However survival skill is presented in the game, make sure everyone who should have the skill has the right skill for the campaign region. If someone explicitly wants a character with broader knowledge, help them pick the right set. If the PCs wander into some new region that justifies a different skill, they should expect to hire local guides.

That said, if you really want a single survival skill, go for it.
Oh, I'm not saying you should get a single survival skill. What I'm saying it, in 99% of cases it won't matter, and for most of that 1%, it's going to impact you negatively by design!
 
A standard unfamiliarity penalty would work I think. PCs can get rid of it through practice and talking to locals. Most people who are practiced in survival aren't limited to a specific kind of terrain anyway. Desert might be an exception I guess, which probably falls under your descriptor radically different.
Sea vs not at sea as well.
 
If I was to want to not have many types of survival skill, and to not have to track what types/regions a character is familiar with surviving in (may as well have separate skills, or cascades, or something at that point), I think doing something like averaging Survival and Area Knowledge would satisfy me. I'd then expand that and have Area Knowledge do that for lots of things (streetwise, navigation, etc.). The the PCs 'just' need big lists of the Area Knowledge skills/familiarities they have...

It seems if you want detail, you get crunch, and if you avoid it by saying things like 'just use their backgrounds', well that's just another format for the crunch (and canny players will have a background that's seen them travel the world and the seven seas).
 
And we're back to a whole library of survival skills. I guess that's just what some people want. :thumbsup:
To be clear I mean if you want the detail then go that route. Unlike some systems, there is no need to account for the entire range of Köppen climate classification when you want that detail.

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For my Majestic Fantasy Rules, I just have Survival. A player can take Area Knowledge for a specific region (or terrain type) to gain further advantage or bonuses.
 
A few issues with "survival skill" for me; 1. In adventure games survival is assumed. 2. There is a level of "find food & shelter in the wilderness" skill that is generally applicable everywhere. 3. There are a few extreme environments (space, ocean, deep desert, deep arctic) where specialized skill is important because the generalizations for everywhere else don't always apply.

#1 is an issue because it fucks with what we're trying to talk about with "survival skills". The games want to have desert nomad PCs & camels teleported to a iceberg in the mid-winter arctic to have a good chance of survival because "game" and "TPK". Its also an issue when there's only one damn option for wilderness survival & exploration in the whole game. Does having it mean you're safe everywhere? Does not having it mean you autofail everything once you leave the city & farm land? Its like having a game with just a single "fight" skill or a lone "know everything" skill.

#3 is the cause of the "many different survival skills" stuff because there really is super important stuff specific to certain environments that will kill you. The skill of surviving winters on tundra & permafrost does not translate to surviving in the middle of a 140°F every day of the year desert.

Personally I'd look at the overall granularity & tone of your game. Do you have 5 fight skills, 4 talking to people skills, and 5 knowing stuff skills? Then you can go with three or four types of survival skills. Are your PCs expected to always have enough money & knowledge to find a decent hotel in the city and keep up on 3 meals a day plus incidental clothing, without rolling or tracking anything? Then you can skip all the basic survival stuff and only worry about the extreme weather and total gear loss events. Last, ask if any of the current skills encompasses "survival skill" type activities. If there's already skills that cover navigation, hunting, identifying poisonous plants, cooking, finding water and a dry place to sleep, then why do you even need a "survival" skill?
 
From a design standpoint I only want that level if detail its something that the game in question is really going to focus on.

ForeSight was designed as a replacement for Universe, which has an even more elaborate system of environment familiarities. Its designer, Tonio Loewald, was a bit keen on the literature of exploration (he admired Shackleton, for example) and thought that ForeSight might be used for Man vs. Environment adventures of planetary exploration. So, for example, the planet-map generator detailed planet's surfaces in terms of the ForeSight terrain types. When it turned out not to be he produced (in the misleadingly-named ForeSight Enhanced) a simplified set of environment types, which I found disappointing because I did use the overland-travel rules in my [fantasy] adventures, and found that the loss of the ruggedness dimension diminished the results.

ForeSight made the array of Environment familiarities a feature of the character, which took up a little time and attention during character generation and a bit of space on the character sheet. But systematic treatment of Environment familiarity obviated the need for separate skills, skill specialisations, or skill flags on Climbing, Groundcraft, Initiative, Navigation, Riding, Running, Scan (the alertness/notice skill), Search, Stealth, Survival, and Watercraft — thus saving time and space overall. If you don't want to take account of environmental effects in your game — for example, if your adventures are nearly all in urban areas and building interiors, or if they are nearly all subterranean — then this is needless. But it you do want environment effects this is in fact a less complicated way of doing them than the usual alternatives.
 
Yeah, focused design like that is a different thing IMO. Especially as compared to high crunch games that are, in essence, trying to do this but for every aspect of the game. Frontloading into char gen helps too, but a lot of those games aren't to my personal taste.
 
For Cold Iron Blackmarsh Adventures, basic travel and camp in the wilderness doesn't require skill. The Survival skill adds to perception checks, tracking, sneaking in the wilderness, and dealing with extreme events. I think ultimately there should be some tracking of specialized environment knowledge.

When I first started with Hero, I was excited about Knowledge Skills, and then as time wore on, I became less excited about them. One issue with the advancement systems of many games (Cold Iron included) is how easy it is to get new knowledge.

That leaves me considering that maybe outside a few specialized areas of survival that knowledge should just be informal. Your character has a background (and no "I've already seen the world" backgrounds). If you move to a new area, there might be a penalty to Survival until you have a chance to acquire knowledge.
 
It comes from a table at the beginning of chapter 5, and I think originally from some SPI wargame:

View attachment 78671

I always thought that table ought to have been in Ch.1 (definitions) or ch.3 (resolution system), but it's main purpose was its effect on vehicular movement, so it was in ch.5 (travel & pursuit).
Universe, I know it well. It is overkill for what it is trying to do.

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[5.2] The player uses the Habitat Table to determine the natural environment in which his character grew up and in which he will be most effective during play.
The player rolls one die to determine the column of the Table used and rolls a second die to determine the entry referred to in that column. The second die result is modified by adding the character's Physique Multiplier and subtracting his Coordination Multiplier. A multiplier of 12 is considered 0 for this purpose. Each entry on the Home Environ Table contains the following information:

• The specific type of environ from which the character comes. Each environ type is stated as a two-part
abbreviation, explained on the Table. The first part represents the contour of the land (flat, hills, mountains,
or peaks). The second part represents the major features of the land (volcanic, craters, barren, light vegetation,
woods, forest, jungle, marsh, or ice). Exceptions to this two-part system include the three water environs (inland waterways, sea surface, or sea submerged). Certain characters may be able to choose a deep-space environ (see 5.5).

• The character's Home Environ Skill Level. Each character receives a Skill Level ranging from 1 to 6 in his
home environ. This level may be reduced if the player chooses to increase his character's Gravity Skill Level
(see 5.4). A character's Skill Level in his home environ affects his Skill Level in other environs and may be
improved during play of the game.

• The gravity on the character's home planet. Each gravity type is stated as an abbreviation, explained on
the Table. Near weightless gravity represents from 0.0 to 0.4 G, light gravity represents from 0.7 to 1.0 G,
heavy gravity represents from 1.3 to 1.7 G, and extreme gravity represents from 2.0 to 2.5 G. Each character is
considered to be at Skill Level 1 in his own gravity type and at lesser Skill Levels in other gravity types (unless
his Gravity Skill Level is increased per 5.4). Gravity Skills may also be improved during play.

• The temperature range in the character's home environ. Each temperature range is stated as an abbreviation,
explained on the Table. Cold ranges from -50 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-45 to -18 degrees Celsius, 228 to 255
Kelvins); normal ranges from 25 to 100 degrees (-4 to 38 degrees C, 269 to 311 K); and hot ranges from 125 to
175 degrees (52 to 79 degrees C, 325 to 353 K). Characters receive no Skill Level in their temperature range.

• The character's Urban Skill Level. Certain results give a character an Urban Skill Level ranging from 1 to 4.
If a result from the Table lists no Urban Skill Level, the character receives none. A character's Urban Skill may
be improved during play.
 
I had a look through this one yesterday. Some nice statistics on ranges of observation in a variety of terrains. From the summaries of the data provided, it looks like I can assume the outlier results are about 2 standard deviations out, which is great because then I can map to Cold Iron's normal distribution so I can use margin of success which with open ended can expand to any number of standard deviations, though I'm thinking the curve should be such that past two standard deviations there wouldn't be that much expansion of the range but not quite sure how to manage that. Maybe the margin of success should see an inverse exponential for how much additional range (margin of failure pretty much mins out at 1 hex...).

I'm also thinking both sides make a roll which then lets you know surprise (group A got a larger margin of success so it spotted group B before group B spotted group A). Depending on what group A does with that will determine when group B becomes aware of group A.
 
Yeah, as long as we don't treat fire building as a separate skill from survival….

I had a sudden vision of walking up to the Kempsey Central Shopping Mall in Belgrave Street with a pink slip in a plain brown envelope and saying "I'm sorry, but we've decided to let you go"….

What building would you fire?
 
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Anyone have good stats on perception numbers for night time? Or dungeon darkness? Modified by campfires and torches and the like...
 
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