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Augmenting Sneaking

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Is my understanding correct in that an attempt to "sneak" cannot be augmented at all?

 

As there is not a "Sneak" skill, this is instead accomplished by using either: 

  • The Hide skill augmented by Move Quietly or
  • The Move Quietly skill augmented by Hide

My reading of RQG is that only one augment can be applied to an action.  Thus a further augment cannot be applied to a sneak attempt.

Is that correct?

Thanks

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1 hour ago, Sumath said:

I'm really not convinced I would distinguish between 'sneaking' and 'moving quietly' for game purposes.

I'm guessing that the TC views "sneaking" as a combination of being quiet while moving and being concealed while moving (a combination of sound and sight). And there is a game situation where a Gamemaster expects both to be tested.

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Yes, but how often is an adventurer going to try to move quietly and yet be perfectly happy to be seen? For MGF I'd assume Move Quietly means Move Stealthily. 

 

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3 hours ago, Sumath said:

Yes, but how often is an adventurer going to try to move quietly and yet be perfectly happy to be seen? For MGF I'd assume Move Quietly means Move Stealthily. 

We observe that "sneaking" implies both, but there is no "Sneak" skill.

To "sneak" you need to Move Quietly (a skill) AND you need to Hide (a skill), making the overall chance to "sneak" much lower; for example, if each is a 75% skill, your overall chance (success in BOTH) is only 56% (!?!) ...

This... kind of sucks.  Not seeming MGF'ish.

OTOH, it may be crunch-simulationist "realistic" -- if you are moving through a space where people COULD see you and COULD hear you... doing so unseen and unheard SHOULD be really really hard!  And RQ has always leaned into that "crunchy-simulationist realistic" vibe.

I think maybe the solution -- the heroic, Gloranthan solution -- is to use magic.

I'm off to ponder this a bit longer.

 

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I would say, it depends on what you want to achieve.

If you want to travel unnoticed at night, being silent may prove more useful than being hidden. If you make some noise and your enemies are looking for you, standing still and hiding (thus requiring a Hide check) would be the obvious way to go. Generally, you won't need both.

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I'd use 'Hide' for situations where the adventurer is static and avoiding detection, and 'Move Quietly' for situations where the adventurer is mobile and avoiding detection.

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And if by chance, you must use both you have three options, depending on how hard you want the check to be:

1) Tell your players to pick the highest skill

2) Tell your players to pick the lowest skill

3) Tell your players to succeed at both skills

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There are other senses that can pick up your presence when you approach clandestinely. There is no straightforward skill for "Mask Smell" or "Hide from Darksense/Earthsense/Heat Sense/whatever". Thankfully...

There are lots of situational modifiers with this activity. Moving unseen and unheard across a well-lit maze of strings with bells attached should be a lot harder than keeping to the shadows on soft ground or clean rock surfaces.

Magic will make all the difference. Invisibility takes care of being seen directly, although indirect detection from stuff disturbed or displaced will still be possible. Silence spells will take care of the worst audible blunders. Nothing of that will be worth anything if you tread on someone's limbs (e.g. an earth elemental covering the entire floor of the corridor you just crossed). And nothing will get you inside a Market spell with malign intentions without triggering both the alarm and the defenses, except successfully banishing those intentions. (Befuddling or Sleeping yourself, then have someone innocent guide or carry you to your target before the spell expires, but you'll still suffer both the alarm and the magical attack when returning to your senses and remembering your nefarious scheme, but the damage can be avoided with a sufficient dose of Countermagic applied to you shortly after knocking you out, I suppose.)

46 minutes ago, jps said:

And if by chance, you must use both you have three options, depending on how hard you want the check to be:

1) Tell your players to pick the highest skill

2) Tell your players to pick the lowest skill

3) Tell your players to succeed at both skills

There is nothing to stop an evil GM to demand multiple skill checks or to apply hefty situational modifiers if he has to fill an unforeseen plot hole quickly. Premature detection of a sneak may be a good way to avoid a certain TPK in the hands of a not so evil evil GM.

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

We observe that "sneaking" implies both, but there is no "Sneak" skill.

The conversion rules are quite clear, as are hide and move quietly, one augmenting the other for sneaking.

3 hours ago, g33k said:

To "sneak" you need to Move Quietly (a skill) AND you need to Hide (a skill), making the overall chance to "sneak" much lower; for example, if each is a 75% skill, your overall chance (success in BOTH) is only 56% (!?!) ...

I'm not sure the maths is right here. If you succeed in your augment you get a bonus to your skill. Surely it's not a straight multiplication (.75 x .75)

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17 minutes ago, David Scott said:

The conversion rules are quite clear, as are hide and move quietly, one augmenting the other for sneaking.

I'm not sure the maths is right here. If you succeed in your augment you get a bonus to your skill. Surely it's not a straight multiplication (.75 x .75)

I will need to double-check the Conversion doc to get the exact maths*; but you are AFAIK correct that A(aug)B or B(Aug)A does not appear to be the same as AxB.

 

 

* unless another mathematically-inclined user gets to it before I do.

 

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I think Move Quietly is Sneak. Hide is just hiding. In some respects augments get too much attention, bear in mind that until you are over 50% you are more likely to hurt your chances with an augment than to help. Augments should not be taken for granted or baked into a mechanic, like "Sneak is Move Quietly augmented by Hide", because starting characters are likely to end up with a negative chance due to failed augments.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think Move Quietly is Sneak. Hide is just hiding. In some respects augments get too much attention, bear in mind that until you are over 50% you are more likely to hurt your chances with an augment than to help. Augments should not be taken for granted or baked into a mechanic, like "Sneak is Move Quietly augmented by Hide", because starting characters are likely to end up with a negative chance due to failed augments.

Pretty sure we always played that move quietly was sneak as well. 

 

And yes, I see augments as a tool to be used on rare occasions when you are desperate to succeed in a specific roll. 

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10 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think Move Quietly is Sneak. Hide is just hiding. In some respects augments get too much attention, bear in mind that until you are over 50% you are more likely to hurt your chances with an augment than to help. Augments should not be taken for granted or baked into a mechanic, like "Sneak is Move Quietly augmented by Hide", because starting characters are likely to end up with a negative chance due to failed augments.

As a mechanic, I can see the Augment chance being negative as a feature, not a bug. Any time a character wants to do two things at the same time that require both to work, making her augment one with the other and either get a bonus or a minus makes a lot of sense.

EXAMPLES:

Um has Hide at 75%, Move Quietly at 80%. He's trying to sneak up on a Lunar camp at night. He needs to both move in cover and be quiet, so the GM says he has to pick one skill, roll an Augment check, then use it on the other. Um Augments Hide with Move Quiet, hoping to roll under 80 and boost his Hide to 95%. Unfortunately, he rolls an 82, lowering his Hide to 55% because he's making noise. Luckily he rolls a 32 and manages to get up to the sentry undetected.

Kat has Jump at 50% and Climb at 60%. She wants to move quickly through the trees to attack the Lunar camp from behind. She decides to augment Climb with Jump. She rolls a 42 and gets +20% Climb to 80%, then rolls 03. Crit Climb! She comes at the Lunars from the trees, surprising them and attacking without warning. 

Seems like a bit more fun and a bit more forgiving to the characters than making them roll both skills and succeed at both. With a miss on the Augment, Kat's Climb would still be 40% but requiring her to make both lowers her chance to 30%. Breaking it down, with Augment, 3% of the time she's got a 110% Climb, 10% of the time she's at 90%, 37% of the time, she's at 80%  Climb, 47% of the time she's at 40% and if she fumbles (02%) she's at 10%. Rough math gives her about a 58% chance in the end. So the required Augment is definitely in her favor.

With Um, forcing him to make two checks gives him a 60% chance of success, despite his high skills. With mandatory Augment, 80% the time he'll have a 95% Hide or better, 19% at 55% and 1% at 25% for a rough chance overall of 87%. He's rewarded for having two skills that synergize instead of punished.

TLDR:

Mandatory Augment is more fun and more player friendly that having them roll two skills separately to achieve a single result.

Edited by RHW
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4 hours ago, RHW said:

Mandatory Augment is more fun and more player friendly that having them roll two skills separately to achieve a single result.

That sounds logical and interesting take. I will try that on our games (when our RGQ campaign starts)

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