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Question on Invisibility

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Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: bidocks » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:27 am

This has come up a few times and I've seen it handled different ways. I wanted to get the official team line on it so I wouldn't play it wrong in the future.


Here's the scene:

A party prepares themselves for a battle, they use invisibility on themselves. Now no one can hear or see each other unless see invisibility is cast also.


Resolutions:

1) Some ignore it and use pink dots on the map (metagamey to me)
2) Some use party chat (commonly done, but.... ehhh, not sure I love that answer either)

My understanding is, that invisibility is supposed to cover your visual part, but you should still be heard should your move silently check be sufficiently low for someone to hear you, or of course their listen check sufficiently high. However, Gorgon recently pointed out (or maybe it was an old post, not sure) that in NWN it actually doesn't work that way. It should, but it doesn't.

So.... does invisibility make you silent as well or is this a fudge we have to work around? And if so, how do we deal with it?

Pardon me if this has been answered before, if it has, I never found it. Also, pardon me if this sounds trivial. It came up tonight and caused a bit of a stir in our party. Never seen that happen before but, everyone wants to enjoy the game. I just believe once we know the parameters, we can all enjoy the game, on the same level playing field.

Thanks for your time,

-B
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Micah » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:15 am

Chalk it up to OOC engine limitations. You can use party chat to be heard while invisible... though be gentle. DMs have to read every line of party chat, and it can be distracting to us.

While we're on the topic, a few quick bullets:

- players can never demand another player communicate the noise they making while invisible, but mutual consent in such communication is fine
- DMs may choose to highlight noises from noisy invisibles as their prerogative, but are not required to

Also, the sound returns as soon as the invisible is close enough to an observing PC to be perceived (evident by hazy, concealment like graphics over their avatar). Take care here. Just because you can see them, does not mean you can tell who it is, for they are still invisible. As above:

- Players can not enforce "not being identified because I'm invisible" with players,
- Many players make a diligent effort to never out an invisible without having a proper See Invis/TS on first. This is strongly encouraged
- Enforcement is once again DM prerogative, including them saying "sorry, you can't tell it was so-and-so", please ask staff@ if there are concerns
- If the accidental identification in question is related to stealth, a proper disguise is a much more compelling to the team than simply being invisible
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Nighthawk4 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:38 am

One more point - please remember that your disguise needs to include something like *Muffled Voice* when you speak. Otherwise, people might identify you by your voice.

Have fun, sneaky invisible types :prost:
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: bidocks » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:29 pm

Wasn't about trying to be secretive at all. In fact, it was simply for cooperative effort during a battle. One of our number felt it was wrong to use party chat and instructed the rest of us not to for this purpose. Another of our member stated that's how its pretty much always been done. I just wanted a team ruling. Thanks Micah.

Micah wrote:
Chalk it up to OOC engine limitations. You can use party chat to be heard while invisible... though be gentle. DMs have to read every line of party chat, and it can be distracting to us.


So its more about annoying a DM than being wrong to do ingame.

To be clear then, invisibility makes you not able to be seen, but game limitations make this apply to being heard as well, so using the party chat clears that up.

That about right?
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Set » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:52 pm

How about this scenario: You're an invisible high-stealth character whose Move Silently is higher than the Listen score of a party member. You're invisible and in stealth mode, and your party member does not have See Invisibility. You sneak ahead of the group and yell "IT'S SORVANOK'S MOM!" without unstealthing. Then it's still okay to use party chat to communicate with the low-listen party member?
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Micah » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:27 pm

In light of the engine mechanics:

A stealthed character's player should not talk or emote anything in party chat.

The engine does not have any bugs that would necessitate that under any circumstances - not even if a hidden scout is a zone ahead and "signalling back". If you want to be seen/heard (and cannot normally be seen/heard by even a single member of your party), you need to drop stealth before using party chat or you are cheesing. If you are playing a sneak even halfheartedly, this is not hard to do. After that is sorted, then you can worry about invisibility.
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: bidocks » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:29 pm

Good point Set, but I would still think that if you are stealthed and you you speak or yell, those around don't need a listen score to hear you. Its "move silently", not "silenced". Personally, I would think speaking or yelling in stealth should break your stealth, but if you have invisibility on, you'd still not be seen, you would be heard. Obviously, your movements would depend on a listen check, but speaking and yelling I would think are VERY easily heard. Game limitations stop the stealth break for speaking though.

All my sneaky pc's come out of stealth to speak, based on that idea of mine by the way. Its just easier.


But I'd like to hear from a team member on this.
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Set » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:35 pm

Micah wrote:In light of the engine mechanics:

A stealthed character's player should not talk or emote anything in party chat.

The engine does not have any bugs that would necessitate that under any circumstances - not even if a hidden scout is a zone ahead and "signalling back". If you want to be seen/heard (and cannot normally be seen/heard by even a single member of your party), you need to drop stealth before using party chat or you are cheesing. If you are playing a sneak even halfheartedly, this is not hard to do. After that is sorted, then you can worry about invisibility.


Thanks for clarifying that.
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Micah » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:40 pm

Yeah, in most cases its not something team members are going to break backs over, but careful attention to details like this enrich the game. General consensus among team members:


"If you do any hand signals, they should be in talk channel"


*shrugs* pretty much everything sorts itself after that.
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Zerub » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:55 pm

You all have me curious now. Sammy's PC said something about this to me not long ago. I don't ever recall not being able to hear someone invisible while playing and my listen stinks I am sure. Maybe I have not paid attention or something. Going to have to test. I also recall being chased by an elemental years ago when I went by one invisibly. From that I assumed it heard me because it was the only one that chased me out of the bunch.


Also, the sound returns as soon as the invisible is close enough to an observing PC to be perceived (evident by hazy, concealment like graphics over their avatar). Take care here. Just because you can see them, does not mean you can tell who it is, for they are still invisible. As above:


Wait, now you really have me curious. I always thought that part was an NWN engine flaw and you still could not see the figure. Are you saying that if they get close enough to see that hazy figure, that you can actually see the person, but may not be able to identify them?

Thanks.
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Micah » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:10 pm

To avoid a case of "Who's on first..."

Consider the following:
Player: Scott
Scott's Character: Zerub
Invisible PC: Micah

Micah walks close to Zerub, and appears as hazy on Scott's screen. Scott can "see" Micah. Zerub cannot. The reason Scott can see Micah is because the engine makes invisible people appear hazy and indistinct when they are close to another PC (Zerub), however, from a role playing perspective, that hazy indistinctness is OOC - all Zerub knows IC is that somebody is nearby.

So, say some invisible warrior carrying a greataxe rolled past you - it would not okay to say "I saw an invisible warrior with a greataxe, but I couldn't tell who it was". All you should do is "somebody just brushed past me".

At that point, it would be wise to quaff Sight Unseen. :)

Yah?
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: NayalaGelbert » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:29 pm

And if they are only concealed, such as after a hostile action with improved invisibility?

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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Nob » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:41 pm

Seriously folks.

Is it really necessary to parse things like this so finely?

There's a reason we don't have subsections and subheaders for every possible contingency in game.

For the love of all that's holy, please, please, please stop with the hair-splitting.
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: NayalaGelbert » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:05 pm

I apologize if my question comes off as hair-splitting or rule-lawyering, that is certainly not my intent. I realised that I was uncertain what concealment really meant while reading this discussion, and while I don't expect an exact definition that allows one to determine at what percentage of concealment you could/could not identify someone, from a qualitative perspective, does concealment mean you're blurry, kind of like displacement, or simply faint/transparent but distinct, more like a ghost, or perhaps an effect like someone in good camo where it's hard for your eye to keep tracking them? Or something else?

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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: Micah » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:22 pm

To get all your questions in one swoop:

Mechanically, concealment just means that something prevents you from being hit as easily, as denoted by a % miss chance. In terms of visual identification (see above discussions), concealment acts no differently than being normal.

When you ask what concealment "is", the answer is "a property of a spell, feat, ability, etc. that causes you to be missed (% miss chance)"

Concealment is not an ability in and of itself, so each ability that grants it can do so for different reasons. Displacement and Blur are easy to figure out. Imp Invis is a little more muddy. Greater Sanctuary is pretty easy to pick out. Self Concealment... no idea.

I hope that helps. It is unlikely that we will go through every concealment granting ability and try to explain precisely what that ability grants concealment.
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Re: Question on Invisibility

PostAuthor: NayalaGelbert » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:34 pm

Heh! Fair cop! Thanks!

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