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[2E] What Skill+Attribute do you use to represent "Senses"

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  • [2E] What Skill+Attribute do you use to represent "Senses"

    I'm an old player of VTM20 and I'm really troubled by the senses in Scion.
    In VTM20 you have the same combo of Skill+Attribute as in Scion but, in VTM, there is a mental Attribute called "Perception" which is used to detect anything.
    In Scion2E, there is no such Attribute and it also lacks Skill such as Alterness or Awareness.

    Which Skill+Attribute do you usually use for the 5 senses ?

    Here are a few scenario in which I usually used Alterness/Awareness + Perception :

    - Detect poison while drinking/eating
    - Detect that someone is following you
    - Smell gaz/a feint odor
    - While in a noisy environment (a club, a battelfield...) detect someone screaming for help
    - Detect a trap

    I'm most confused because of the "Ambush" part :


    When attempting to surprise
    someone with a prepared ambush, the ambushers roll
    Agility + Dexterity vs. the opponent’s Integrity + Cunning
    to represent sneaking up on them.
    Scion Origin p118

    Like why integrity to detect an Ambush ?

    Integrity is described like this :
    Integrity reflects a character’s emotional fortitude
    against outside influence or to resist Leadership or
    Persuasion. A character uses Integrity to resist emotional
    swaying and to hide her own emotions and intentions from
    others. Integrity can be represented by some training techniques
    in military, special operations, or performing arts, or
    it could be an innate Skill of certain characters.
    Scion Origin p59

    Last edited by GaryO; 03-31-2020, 01:38 PM.


    English is not my native language, please forgive my mistakes

  • #2
    Integrity would represent your ability to avoid being distracted by extraneous sensory input.

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    • #3
      Perception in Scion, as far as I understand, is different from other RPG systems (like D&D and Storyteller). While any attempt to hide in D&D will be fought back with a Perception (or Spot, if you are old school) check, Scion only does so if someone is actively searching for it.

      So even the ambush attempt would be resisted by Integrity only if you are actively trying to perceive the Ambush. So, if someone is keeping an eye on the surround, like when watching for security while the rest of the Band sleeps, he rolls Integrity because this would be his "concentration" on the job. It basically supposes that everybody can see/hear as well as anyone else, but those with better Integrity will get distracted/bored/fall asleep less, which would allow someone to pass unnoticed.

      Also, it would assume that, if nobody is trying to guard or vigil, anyone who rolls Subterfuge successfully is automatically undetectable, which I think is fair. The difficulty of such a roll, however, I would consider depending on the situation, like if the place is dark or illuminated, or if there are alarms, noise floor, etc. If there is someone who could see them but isn't actively trying to see them, like someone a hero in the next room chatting or something, I would consider that the difficulty of the roll is increased (or maybe a complication, that if they fail the hero hear some noise, even if the hero can't automatically places where or what).

      Also also, another thing important for Scion perception is: should they perceive such? If it is something the heroes should notice (either by natural perception, or need of narrative) then just give them the perception. Heroes are supposed to be amazing, and some small amazing feats of perception aren't that big of a deal in the grand scheme.

      On the examples you gave:

      - Detect poison while drinking/eating

      If actively trying, I would consider how is the hero trying to identify it, and what poison it is. If the poison is natural and/or the hero is trying to identify by taste/smell or something similar, them Survival. Otherwise, I would say Science, but I could see a hero arguing that, if it is a famous poison, noticing with Academics or even Culture.
      Also, if the poison isn't perceivable, I would just consider they can't perceive without using some scientific or mythical ability.

      - Detect that someone is following you

      If the hero isn't being paranoid, then they just don't roll, the stalker rolls Subterfuge. In this case, I would consider that there is a complication equal to the hero's Cunning, that if not paid, the hero notices something weird is going on. If the hero is being Paranoid, then I would ask him to roll Integrity against the stalker's Subterfuge. But even so, a hero could roll Subterfuge too, if it is a "need to be one to notice other" kind of situation.

      - Smell gaz/a feint odor

      Odds are, in this case, they should notice. Like if the room is filling up with explosive gas or venomous gas. If they shouldn't notice, or couldn't notice, then there is no roll that would allow, without super abilities. If it is something like "trying to smell the faint perfume of the murder" is part of an investigation roll (Subterfuge + Cunning, would I guess).

      - While in a noisy environment (a club, a battelfield...) detect someone screaming for help

      Again, should they hear it? I would give that they notice anyone in the place, just so to increase the drama and the hero has someone to save. After all, if the hero can't notice them, what is the point of putting someone in danger?
      If they are looking for someone in the middle of chaos, I would go with Integrity + Resolve, to concentrate and filter the much external input going on.

      - Detect a trap

      If attempting to locate it, Subterfuge + Intelect/Cunning. If not trying to see it, odds are the trap is well hidden, and no one would notice it.

      I don't remember if there is something like that now, but could there be a Knack for particularly perceptive individuals, that would increase the difficulty to hide things and notice stuff, maybe calling for a test or something like that.

      Hope it helps.

      EDIT: I forgot to put the Attribute for each Skill. Most cases would be Cunning to active notice or analyze, but Resolve, Composture or Intellect could also be possible, respectively in case of long lookouts, perceiving something while trying to look like not perceiving something, or for a straight-up direct investigation.
      Last edited by Manbat; 03-31-2020, 02:34 PM.

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      • #4
        I believe in Scion (and Trinity), the specific sense being used would be less important than the context, especially as everything you do will almost always automatically involve your various senses anyway. This is why you'll take penalties to rolls when a relevant sense if penalized/negated; it is assumed you're already using your senses to the best of your ability.

        Was your Scion travelling through the woods when he encountered a trashed campsite and the dead bodies of some scientists? Cunning+Survival may help you quickly figure out whether they were killed by a natural animal or something else. Intellect+Science could help you study their equipment to figure out if things were stolen or tampered with. Resolve+Subterfuge could keep you alert during a guard rotation as you wait for the authorities to come collect the bodies. All these checks will involve your senses, and it generally doesn't matter if you see, hear, feel, or smell the appropriate clue.

        edit: Trinity has the Keen Sense Edges, with each version granting 1 Enhancement to rolls involving a single sense.
        Last edited by Shepherdboi; 03-31-2020, 05:22 PM.

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        • #5
          Firearms + Mental could be used to spot a Sniper.


          Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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          • #6
            Im not sure im able to 100% explain why. But i really like to use mental resistance (instead of mental finesse) to uncover subterfuge and hidden stuff.
            I guess i square it with the idea that you are resisting an attempt to trick you into believing there is nothing there.
            Skill of course depend on the context.


            Completed campaign: Scion 2nd Edition. Les Légendes Currently playing: Being a dad for a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
              Im not sure im able to 100% explain why. But i really like to use mental resistance (instead of mental finesse) to uncover subterfuge and hidden stuff.
              I guess i square it with the idea that you are resisting an attempt to trick you into believing there is nothing there.
              Skill of course depend on the context.
              I like the way you are thinking.

              My approach on the attribute selection is if you are going to stay there and wait or at least take some time to complete the action, use resilience, if it requires a fast action it is force, and a precise use of tools is finesse.

              So, if the idea is to sit and wait just to shoot when the target is on reach, you should use Stamina to shoot. If you are going to make a long speech to convince people you should use Composure. If you are waiting for something to happen to detect if, it should use Resolve. In the 3 examples the standard option would be finesse by the rules, but I don’t think it should be the case.


              The proper answer to “Hello There” is, obviously, “General Kenobi”.
              Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
              Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                Im not sure im able to 100% explain why. But i really like to use mental resistance (instead of mental finesse) to uncover subterfuge and hidden stuff.
                I guess i square it with the idea that you are resisting an attempt to trick you into believing there is nothing there.
                Skill of course depend on the context.
                Yeah, I call for Composure fairly often for perception checks. That might be a leftover from CoD in my brain, though.

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                • #9
                  That's exactly the question I'm having: say my character does a mixed action Subterfuge + Dex (Stealth) and Close Combat + Might; I have several Enhancements to both, and I inflict Complications in the mix as well. So I hit, then move, then hide. Sure, the difficulty would be pretty high, but what can the enemy do?

                  I'm talking about a character with let's say 9 dice of CC and +3e, and 8 dice of Subterfuge with +1e and inflicting Complication 3 with the Walk Unnoticed Boon. The pool would be 8 dice, because of mixed action, I'd get enhancements on both sides, applying respectively to their side of the equation, but what would my opponent roll to notice me after I attack?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BarbeChenue View Post
                    That's exactly the question I'm having: say my character does a mixed action Subterfuge + Dex (Stealth) and Close Combat + Might; I have several Enhancements to both, and I inflict Complications in the mix as well. So I hit, then move, then hide. Sure, the difficulty would be pretty high, but what can the enemy do?

                    I'm talking about a character with let's say 9 dice of CC and +3e, and 8 dice of Subterfuge with +1e and inflicting Complication 3 with the Walk Unnoticed Boon. The pool would be 8 dice, because of mixed action, I'd get enhancements on both sides, applying respectively to their side of the equation, but what would my opponent roll to notice me after I attack?
                    That would depend on whether they have any specialized training in noticing hidden attackers or not... If they're a bodyguard or some other professional trained in this user their Primary Pool, if they're someone untrained but who, say, grew up on the streets, use the Secondary Pool... If they have no particular training or knowledge in this area roll their Desperation Pool.

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                    • #11
                      I admit with NPCs vs PCs I try not to do a roll-off unless it's a Chase or some other competitive roll-off. When it's like, PC Stealth vs NPC Notice or the other way around? I try to use Static Difficulties.

                      "Do you want to sneak up on the NPC? Make a Subterfuge+Physical, Difficulty 3."

                      "Are you trying to spot someone moving odd, like they're trying too hard to not be noticed? Roll Empathy+Mental, Difficulty 2."


                      Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                        I admit with NPCs vs PCs I try not to do a roll-off unless it's a Chase or some other competitive roll-off. When it's like, PC Stealth vs NPC Notice or the other way around? I try to use Static Difficulties.

                        "Do you want to sneak up on the NPC? Make a Subterfuge+Physical, Difficulty 3."

                        "Are you trying to spot someone moving odd, like they're trying too hard to not be noticed? Roll Empathy+Mental, Difficulty 2."

                        I almost exclusively do this too, unless they're an "NPC with description". A thing I took from the Lord of the Rings RPG that Cypher (I think?) put out is the idea that regular folks aren't there to be big challenged to the players. They're a one-hit-and-done thing. They're largely flavour. It's the ones set down to mean something (like the Uruk carrying the bomb to Helm's Deep or any leader in a throng) who get the full "roll-off" package.

                        Want to slip past a bored mall cop? Simplicity itself., As Kyman says, a simple roll vs a chosen difficulty. Want to sneak past the fallen Scion of Nuada's eldritch body guard? Now you have yourself a roll-off because the stakes are real.

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