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Thread: M&M 3e Concealment in combat

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    M&M 3e Concealment in combat

    The rules say to target a concealed character, one needs an idea or guess where to aim. If a character with the Concealment power for visible light (and/or other ranged accurate senses) moves after firing a ranged attack or using move-by-action, then the position of the attack is known but the character may be some distance away from there at the end of his or her turn. If the character doesn't also have concealment from normal sound (and/or other ranged inaccurate senses) then one might handle this as a stealth versus perception contest, but otherwise the enemy has no sense to use. Guessing seems like it might be an insight versus stealth or insight versus insight contest. So the character might roll stealth and the enemy both perception and insight against it if he or she has an inaccurate sense to use or just insight if not, or the character might roll stealth and insight and the enemy perception and insight against them. I also wonder if hide in plain sight is needed. Obviously, the character is not in plain sight, but the advantage seems to involve a skill beyond normal stealth which might be needed here. How do people handle this?

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    Protomolecule Host grimmshade's Avatar
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    Re: M&M 3e Concealment in combat

    I don't have any advice, but I'm also interested in this as my group has mass concealment due to illusions.
    I generally just go with a -5 penalty.

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    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: M&M 3e Concealment in combat

    The 2E Mastermind's Manual offered the following Skill Challenge for Notice, which I think was repeated in a few books:
    Accurate: In return for a Ė5 penalty to your Notice check, you can treat a normally inaccurate sense (such as hearing) as accurate for one round. A successful check tells you the exact spot a subject occupies. A failed check means you donít notice anything.

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    OPA Belta JDRook's Avatar
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    Re: M&M 3e Concealment in combat

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    The 2E Mastermind's Manual offered the following Skill Challenge for Notice, which I think was repeated in a few books:
    I like that challenge idea. It fits with how fighting invisible opponents usually works in the source fiction, with the hero trying to "open their senses" to get a fix on them. However, mechanically it feels a little too easy to overcome concealment this way, so I might also require the Perception/Notice check to use a Move Action as well; not a huge limitation, but it means the attacker is effectively Dazed when attacking the concealed target.
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    OPA Belta Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: M&M 3e Concealment in combat

    I use this method: If you have a non-accurate but acute sense unaffected by your target's Concealment (hearing vs invisibility, for example), you can make an opposed Perception check vs the target's Stealth (with circumstance modifiers as the GM sees fit). If you win by 2+ degrees, you can pinpoint the target's position for 1 round. The -5 attack penalty for Total Concealment remains, though (that's what the Precise Attack advantage is for).

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    Re: M&M 3e Concealment in combat

    Quote Originally Posted by DeanH View Post
    The rules say to target a concealed character, one needs an idea or guess where to aim. If a character with the Concealment power for visible light (and/or other ranged accurate senses) moves after firing a ranged attack or using move-by-action, then the position of the attack is known but the character may be some distance away from there at the end of his or her turn. If the character doesn't also have concealment from normal sound (and/or other ranged inaccurate senses) then one might handle this as a stealth versus perception contest, but otherwise the enemy has no sense to use. Guessing seems like it might be an insight versus stealth or insight versus insight contest. So the character might roll stealth and the enemy both perception and insight against it if he or she has an inaccurate sense to use or just insight if not, or the character might roll stealth and insight and the enemy perception and insight against them. I also wonder if hide in plain sight is needed. Obviously, the character is not in plain sight, but the advantage seems to involve a skill beyond normal stealth which might be needed here. How do people handle this?
    On occasion I find a rule subset I don't like, which are often problematic in other game systems. Generally I view stealth and "making friends" to be the most problematic rule issues.

    I like 4th Edition D&D, and they kept invisibility under tight control, unlike every other version of D&D.

    In 4e, invisibility is total concealment, and is mainly a defensive ability. Invisibility does not give you a numerical bonus to Stealth, but it does let you hide without any (other) concealment, and with no cover (so Hide in Plain Sight is not necessary).

    Because there's no numerical bonus to Stealth, you probably want to put points into Stealth. If you try to walk past someone, they can still detect you with their passive Perception, and if they succeed, they notice a distortion (or whatever, it depends on the descriptor). You don't have to walk behind a filing cabinet or hope the light has been turned off, however, and an inattentive and distracted NPC (distracted because they're keeping their head down, staring at a computer screen and working) not only can only use "passive Perception" (no roll), but a -5 penalty due to the distraction is pretty reasonable. An invisible character only really needs to worry about alert guards, or people accidentally bumping into them.

    In combat, you need to follow all the Stealth rules, such as taking a penalty if you move too fast (unless you took a power something like "Faster Than The Eye Can Follow", that is Limited to while moving fast). So if you attack, and move 10 feet, and then stop, you can make a Stealth check without penalty, but people can still detect you with Perception. If you attack, and move 30 feet, and then stop, you can make a Stealth check with a -5 penalty, and people who succeed at Perception will still notice you. (In D&D, moving more than 10 or 15 feet was considered "fast" for Stealth purposes. In 4e, there was a rogue build that specifically took away that penalty. In M&M terms: Benefit: "Fast Stealth, do not take a -5 penalty to Stealth checks due to movement".)

    Note that making the Perception check does not "turn off" Perception. You're still enjoying the other benefits of total concealment, so enemies still have -5 to hit you or a 50% miss chance (to hit that vague distortion they can barely spot if they squint), and that's effectively a circumstance bonus to Defenses. Of course, this does not apply to area attacks. Because you're not clearly visible, you cannot be targeted by Perception effects (unless your opponent has an accurate sense that can detect you).

    This might be an overreaction to other versions of D&D's problematic Stealth rules, of course. In other versions of D&D, invisibility gave large bonuses to Stealth (+20 in 3rd Edition) and these were circumstance bonuses. Worse, the class skill system meant very few characters could have a Perception score high enough to detect you. A 3rd-level wizard, with no Stealth training, and an invisibility spell was better at being stealthy than a 3rd-level rogue. A fighter trying to spot them had a low chance of noticing the rogue (which is fair) but no chance at all of detecting the wizard, if the wizard had a Dex bonus of greater than +1. (The generic fighter had a Wisdom [Awareness] of +1, and no ranks or training in Perception. A level 1 wizard with Dex [Agility] +2 would have a Stealth bonus of +22 while invisible. If the fighter rolls a natural 20, they get a 21, and still can't see the wizard.)

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