The Problem of Group Stealth

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Ilina_Young
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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#21 Postby Ilina_Young » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:31 pm

there is also the Clever use of Disguise, which is a Stealth check modified by Applicable Charisma Modifiers as well as the Accuracy and Detail of the Disguise. Charisma Modifiers from a pretty trapping wouldn't apply, but ones from a confidence or personality based trapping would. for Example, a Very Attractive Actress who draws her attractiveness from her confidence and her charms, would apply said bonus to the roll in Question. but she wouldn't apply it if it merely came from her looks.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#22 Postby Zadmar » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:58 am

Freemage wrote:OTOH, trained and actively alert guards turn that TN 4 into a TN 6-ish (d6 Notice + Alertness), which makes failure at least a possibility again.

If they're actively alert then it would be an opposed roll, and that starts becoming a lot more risky.

Freemage wrote:And... now my analysis is completely sideways, because that means that you need to make multiple rolls for each character (since you'll get 10" each roll, and if we're talking about 'sneak past the gate', you're dealing with at least 30-40" of movement).

It's obviously going to depend on the GM's discretion, but 10" represents 20 yards, and I think that would be fine for creeping past a guard post, or sneaking over a wall. Personally I tend to assume there's only a limited area where the characters are at risk of being spotted, and just call for a single Stealth roll. In my opinion, calling for lots of Stealth rolls goes against the FFF principle.

Ilina_Young wrote:there is also the Clever use of Disguise, which is a Stealth check modified by Applicable Charisma Modifiers as well as the Accuracy and Detail of the Disguise.

Disguise would be Persuasion if you want to mimic another person, or Stealth if you want to appear nondescript. However Charisma doesn't apply to Stealth rolls.
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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#23 Postby screenmonkey » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:16 pm

Dont forget that there is nothing that says that if one person in a group fails the stealth roll, that automatically everyone in the group is discovered. Which works along the lines of sneaking past a guard post one at a time, because who in their right mind would do it in a pack all at the same time?

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#24 Postby Ilina_Young » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:39 am

Zadmar wrote:
Ilina_Young wrote:there is also the Clever use of Disguise, which is a Stealth check modified by Applicable Charisma Modifiers as well as the Accuracy and Detail of the Disguise.

Disguise would be Persuasion if you want to mimic another person, or Stealth if you want to appear nondescript. However Charisma doesn't apply to Stealth rolls.


Charisma doesn't apply to all stealth rolls. but certain charisma bonuses would apply to a stealth roll made to disguise yourself. dependent on the trapping, a character with a high level of confidence, high level of charm, training in acting and a strong level willpower (represented by a high charisma) has an easier time pulling off a persona. an actor needs both stealth and persuasion, and also needs a decent charisma. an actor or public speaker has an easier time keeping a level head when they play a role.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#25 Postby Jounichi » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:00 am

Ilina_Young wrote:
Zadmar wrote:
Ilina_Young wrote:there is also the Clever use of Disguise, which is a Stealth check modified by Applicable Charisma Modifiers as well as the Accuracy and Detail of the Disguise.

Disguise would be Persuasion if you want to mimic another person, or Stealth if you want to appear nondescript. However Charisma doesn't apply to Stealth rolls.

Charisma doesn't apply to all stealth rolls. but certain charisma bonuses would apply to a stealth roll made to disguise yourself. dependent on the trapping, a character with a high level of confidence, high level of charm, training in acting and a strong level willpower (represented by a high charisma) has an easier time pulling off a persona. an actor needs both stealth and persuasion, and also needs a decent charisma. an actor or public speaker has an easier time keeping a level head when they play a role.

That's something of a loose interpretation. In the above example, Stealth is about not being noticed and there's no chance for a direct personal reaction. Charisma can passively influence how NPCs perceive the character, but by RAW it's not affiliated with Stealth in any way. If you run it differently, then that is either a house or setting rule which fundamentally changes the dynamic of the conversation. And really should be its own conversation in another thread: can/should Charisma impact non-standard rolls like Stealth?
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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#26 Postby Freemage » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:15 am

screenmonkey wrote:Dont forget that there is nothing that says that if one person in a group fails the stealth roll, that automatically everyone in the group is discovered. Which works along the lines of sneaking past a guard post one at a time, because who in their right mind would do it in a pack all at the same time?


Except that, for the situations we're talking about--where the entire group MUST get past the guard/zombie-filled mall/what-have-you--one way or another, a single person failing the roll means you go to the non-Stealth option; that was the issue I indicated at the start of the thread. If the guard spots any of the PCs, or the zombies sniff out even one of them, then either the party splits up, or everyone deals with the issue, same as if they'd gone in guns blazing to begin with.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#27 Postby Zadmar » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:05 am

Ilina_Young wrote:Charisma doesn't apply to all stealth rolls. but certain charisma bonuses would apply to a stealth roll made to disguise yourself.

By the RAW, Charisma only applies to Persuasion and Streetwise, unless you have a specific Edge or setting rule that states otherwise.

Ilina_Young wrote:dependent on the trapping, a character with a high level of confidence, high level of charm, training in acting and a strong level willpower (represented by a high charisma) has an easier time pulling off a persona. an actor needs both stealth and persuasion, and also needs a decent charisma. an actor or public speaker has an easier time keeping a level head when they play a role.

Disguising yourself as someone else would require a Persuasion roll. See here.
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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#28 Postby Deskepticon » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:23 am

Freemage wrote:
screenmonkey wrote:Dont forget that there is nothing that says that if one person in a group fails the stealth roll, that automatically everyone in the group is discovered. Which works along the lines of sneaking past a guard post one at a time, because who in their right mind would do it in a pack all at the same time?


Except that, for the situations we're talking about--where the entire group MUST get past the guard/zombie-filled mall/what-have-you--one way or another, a single person failing the roll means you go to the non-Stealth option; that was the issue I indicated at the start of the thread. If the guard spots any of the PCs, or the zombies sniff out even one of them, then either the party splits up, or everyone deals with the issue, same as if they'd gone in guns blazing to begin with.


That may be the GM's call, but I think it is ultimately up to the players as to how it turns out. There's no reason for the whole mission to go titsup if the one guy that was spotted can just run away, distracting the guard, and let the others slip by much more easily.

Unless the party is cramped together in a small dungeon corridor, I always assume they spread out when making Stealth rolls, finding their own little hiding spots and whatnot.

Of course, group Stealth is not the only option. The one sneaky guy in the group can slip up to the guard unnoticed and incapacitate him. The rest of the group can now Charleston their way right past the tower.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#29 Postby Freemage » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:30 am

Deskepticon wrote:
Freemage wrote:
screenmonkey wrote:Dont forget that there is nothing that says that if one person in a group fails the stealth roll, that automatically everyone in the group is discovered. Which works along the lines of sneaking past a guard post one at a time, because who in their right mind would do it in a pack all at the same time?


Except that, for the situations we're talking about--where the entire group MUST get past the guard/zombie-filled mall/what-have-you--one way or another, a single person failing the roll means you go to the non-Stealth option; that was the issue I indicated at the start of the thread. If the guard spots any of the PCs, or the zombies sniff out even one of them, then either the party splits up, or everyone deals with the issue, same as if they'd gone in guns blazing to begin with.


That may be the GM's call, but I think it is ultimately up to the players as to how it turns out. There's no reason for the whole mission to go titsup if the one guy that was spotted can just run away, distracting the guard, and let the others slip by much more easily.

Unless the party is cramped together in a small dungeon corridor, I always assume they spread out when making Stealth rolls, finding their own little hiding spots and whatnot.

Of course, group Stealth is not the only option. The one sneaky guy in the group can slip up to the guard unnoticed and incapacitate him. The rest of the group can now Charleston their way right past the tower.


Yes, these scenarios exist. The thread was not written with scenarios where having one person succeed is a viable route, because in those situations, you can just let Sneaky McSneakface take care of it.

I'm specifically discussing situations where the group is trying to get their fighting force past a particular location without raising an alarm. I've played in enough scenarios where this was a thing to have the issue of 'low stealth guy' and 'cold dice guy' be an issue.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#30 Postby Deskepticon » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:47 am

Freemage wrote:Yes, these scenarios exist. The thread was not written with scenarios where having one person succeed is a viable route, because in those situations, you can just let Sneaky McSneakface take care of it.

I'm specifically discussing situations where the group is trying to get their fighting force past a particular location without raising an alarm. I've played in enough scenarios where this was a thing to have the issue of 'low stealth guy' and 'cold dice guy' be an issue.


Well, in a "cramped corridor" situation it might be best to just give the opponent a simple Notice roll to detect the intruders. If you're already presenting an "all or nothing" scenario then one roll succeeding is less likely than one out of 4-5 rolls failing.

When the field becomes more "open," there are too many situational modifiers to give this a simple answer. Taking "the long way around" can make Stealth rolls completely obsolete, for example.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#31 Postby zgreg » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:16 am

Freemage wrote:I'm specifically discussing situations where the group is trying to get their fighting force past a particular location without raising an alarm. I've played in enough scenarios where this was a thing to have the issue of 'low stealth guy' and 'cold dice guy' be an issue.

In such situation, is this really the problem with the rules? Assuming that the players know how Stealth works, why would they want their characters to sneak past someone when they suck at it and have low chances of success? I can see following reasons:
  • There is no other choice, GM "railroads" the players towards Sneaking, knowing that they aren't proficient - in such case the GM sucks, not the rules,
  • Players insist on sneaking (they fail to see other options or they've tried them and fall-back to "Plan D") thus *accepting* the odds - that's their choice, the mechanic is not the problem, if they choose to press their luck instead of giving up then again, they are to blame (if the retreat is not an option it is the railroading case).
Putting it in other words: if it happens on the session that characters who suck at Stealth *do* attempt to sneak through an open field in full daylight with alert guards then there's definitely something wrong, but I wouldn't look for the problem in the rules ;)

That said I can totally see that you may dislike this mechanics and wish it to work differently (I dislike the Chase rules, for that matter). I find it to work fine (it's just as I imagine the Stealth should work). :)

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#32 Postby Ndreare » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:25 am

While the official rule works for me here is an alternative that may work for others.

The characters make a single roll for the whole group rolling 1 die for the lowest Stealth score and 1 die for the highest Stealth score as if it was the wild die. If the lowest score had a penalty such as d4-2 for no skill then the modifier is applied to both dice. The players then take the highest roll. The roll applies to 10" or success and raise. This represents how a skilled person can guide, direct, and help. But the clumsy person could still hold them back.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#33 Postby Phasma Felis » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:19 am

Sorry for the necro. :) I don't think anyone has mentioned that there's already an official rule for Group Rolls (SWDEx, page 71). It's meant for Extras, but there's no reason it couldn't be adapted for PCs. With a group of identically-statted Extras, you roll one stealth check (or fear check, or whatever) along with a Wild Die. With PCs, I guess the most obvious thing to do would just be to roll the lowest Stealth in the group.

Ndreare's solution is similar, and also seems solid.

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Re: The Problem of Group Stealth

#34 Postby JackMann » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:37 pm

Phasma Felis wrote:Sorry for the necro. :) I don't think anyone has mentioned that there's already an official rule for Group Rolls (SWDEx, page 71). It's meant for Extras, but there's no reason it couldn't be adapted for PCs. With a group of identically-statted Extras, you roll one stealth check (or fear check, or whatever) along with a Wild Die. With PCs, I guess the most obvious thing to do would just be to roll the lowest Stealth in the group.

Ndreare's solution is similar, and also seems solid.

I've done something similar, but I go with the average, rounded down to the nearest die (untrained treated like a 2). So, if you have one character with a d10, another with a d4, and two untrained, you'd get an average of 4.5, which you'd round down to d4. If you have two with d8, one with a d6, and one with a d4, you'd roll a d6. The idea being that the characters who are better at sneaking around are helping the others stay quiet by pointing out loose stones, letting them know when to move, and so forth. If I have active guards, I do the same with their roll.

It does depend on the genre I'm running, though, and how much I want to encourage stealthy characters, and how much I want to make things tough.


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