Author Topic: roleplaying sneak/hide  (Read 496 times)

650Booger

  • Posts: 354
roleplaying sneak/hide
« on: June 26, 2017, 11:43:17 AM »
Hi all!  I've seen this topic come up a time or two, and thought I'd retouch on it while I consider some future character ideas.  How does one roleplay sneaking and hiding?  especially in an area where codedly you can hide just fine, but perhaps it breaks realism a bit.  for example, you're talking to somebody and hide mid-conversation.  or you're shadowing somebody down an empty hall and into their apartment.  or you're hiding in a busy tavern while eavesdropping.  stuff like that?  any roleplay tips are greatly appreciated!
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Jihelu

  • Posts: 2561
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 11:49:18 AM »
I always roleplay as crowd hiding as me just pulling an Ezio Auditore and group walking my ass around.

Sneaking is just tailing someone, same with shadowing. Least how I do it, less I'm in a quiet sneaky place.

As for doing it mid conversation, you either have to waste time emoting or follow your target. So if you have time give your buddy a 'one moment' finger raise or something.
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11

nauta

  • Posts: 2186
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 11:57:20 AM »
First, sneak and hide are arts not skills.  It can be very tricky to learn them, primarily because the player has no idea if their hide or sneak is successful or not.  There were some threads on this from the past, but I can't find them right now.  Here are some cracks at answering your questions though:

1. In an area where codedly can hide just fine, but perhaps it breaks realism a bit... First, the player won't know if an area 'breaks hide' or not: they just have to engage hide and hope for the best.  This is because sneak/hide according to the help files also work in broad daylight.  In such cases, the sneak is not cleaving to the shadows, but hiding in plain sight through various forms of distraction, blending in, etc.  This is why one common complaint against sneaks falls short: if the code allows you to hide/sneak (that is, your hide roll is a success), you can't fault the player for being hidden.

That said, when you are sneaking or hiding, you should still be emoting (hemote and semote in this case).  What I usually do is pretend that there is some invisible PC in the room with me who has master scan and can see me perfectly.  This keeps me honest. I read the room descriptions, and I pick out virtual objects I can hide behind.  I will also change ldesc liberally to indicate where I am hidden. 

If it happens that upon reading the room description I can't find anywhere that makes realistic sense to hide, I will sometimes just break hide (using the vis command).  But this can be tricky: sometimes you shadow someone and won't have time to read room descriptions.  Grains of salt in those cases.

Hiding mid-conversation... I hate this.  I can't think of a case where this makes sense.  What does make sense is to drop out of a conversation for a bit, hemote slipping off into the crowd or near a tarp, and then engage the hide command. (ETA: One exception here: the drive-by whisper is a legit move.  You hide, hemote slipping over to someone, whisper something, then hide again.  What isn't legit is having a conversation with someone then just typing 'hide' mid-conversation.)

Shadowing... Shadow is tricky, since you can't expect the sneak to be able to anticipate where the opponent is going.  Here you just have to rely on the code to break hide when it needs to be broken.

Hiding in a busy tavern... Again, in this case you would be 'hiding in plain sight'.  In a busy tavern, if I'm dressed like a local, I'll just change my ldesc to something like 'mingles with some dirty hunters in a corner here'.  You don't need to literally crawl up into the rafters and find a shadow (although that works too: you can hide, then hemote or semote crawling up into the rafters).

One last thing:

Play a sneak with interaction in mind.  It gets boring fast when nobody notices you all the time.  One thing I do is slip in the occasional 'emote' when hidden, which will render as:

em sending a few rats scurrying, me shifts from foot to foot near the tarp

"Sending a few rats scurrying, someone shifts from foot to foot near the tarp."

That's my 2sid on it.  There's a good log of someone hiding out there and some other discussions I'll try to dig up.


« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 12:20:47 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 314
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 12:25:07 PM »
It would help if 'visible' were attached to the 'hide' skill in the helpfile in game and on the website. Maybe I'm not seeing it. I didn't know that was a command and have wondered if I were still hidden. (insert eyeroll here on thinking I was hidden in the first place)

Another thing I fumbled with for a second was 'guard'. It takes stamina and when you look for the helpfile in the game and on the website, it directs you to something unhelpful for the skill itself. You have to type 'guard' itself in game to get the syntax to stop guarding someone, which, while not a hindrance, is weird if you just wanted the helpfile.

ON TOPIC! So long as someone is emoting and adding flavor to their actions and not being too out of bounds, I'll probably play along and see where they're going with things for a bit. If the action is too jarring, it's a critical fail and my character will turn around and react, simple as that. I'm sure everyone learning that shadowing skill has had the joy of their target doing this to them:



I have YET to have someone do anything more clever than turn and bolt.  ;)
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whitt

  • Posts: 1650
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 12:37:38 PM »
Caveat... I positively detest the way the sneak and hide code works.  It's better then magickal invisibility, out classes any defenses against it, and is further bolstered by gear that makes it even more broken.

That said, I mostly agree with Nauta's post on how to RP it, with the exception of...

This is why one common complaint against sneaks falls short: if the code allows you to hide/sneak (that is, your hide roll is a success), you can't fault the player for being hidden.

Just, no.  Like all of the rest of the Known, code allowing you to do something does not take into account the world around you.  The code allows you to shadow someone through a hallway that is described as claustrophobically narrow and follow someone through a door they close door (right behind themselves). 

It's on the player of the sneak to take into account the virtual world as much as any one else stealing, insulting nobles, or trying to shoot a bow into a bar full of people over and over.  Nauta even notes further on the code will allow you to hide instantly as you are standing at the bar, in plain sight, while having a face to face conversation with someone.  That's just... no.  And at that, I'll peace out... because I think the code is just broken.
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FantasyWriter

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Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 12:44:48 PM »
I've heard good arguments in the past of being able to sneak into a doorway behind someone actively scanning/listening is a good balance to the problem of not being able to sneak into windows, ledges, balconies, rooftops, basements, etc.

In most cases, city sneak/hide puts you in the same realm as all the VNPCs. You are always surrounded by tons of people.
I always thought the PC limit on apartments is ludicrous... most apartments in Zalanthas would be packed tighter than a refugee/disaster shelter, the hallways going in and out of them equally so.
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Riev

  • Posts: 4722
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 12:49:21 PM »
Not only are apartments packed, but there are probably vagrants who sneak in and sleep in hallways or couches if they think they can get away with it.

I definitely like the idea of occasionally emoting so "someone" does something, but I often just semote, or change my ldesc just in case. There are plenty of areas that ARE !hide and its not a big deal to it.

Sure, Sneak/Hide are a struggle, because at master Hide, you can get gear to supplement it, but master scan caps out regardless. It can be frustrating to not see much of anything besides an occasional rat or an NPC mugger, but I've definitely caught some people's shadows and it has been quite a trip.

I think Nauta hit it on the head, to just assume someone is watching you while hidden, or can see that you ARE emoting. If you're in a tavern, just be "one of the tavern people" and semote shifting between groups.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

nauta

  • Posts: 2186
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 01:02:48 PM »
I agree with Whitt: as with any coded ability, there is an onus on the player to remember the mantra: just because code allows you to do it, doesn't mean you can do it.  It is just that with hide this is tricky because the player won't know if the code allows them to do it, as we have no way of knowing if a room is !hide or not.

There is one other area where the code won't kick in and correct when it probably should (but considering the amount of coding it'd require, it is reasonable it does not): clothing.  There is +hide gear out there, but there is no-hide gear, that I know of, and even +hide gear doesn't make sense in some places.  Examples: I'm dressed up as a Sun Runner in bright pinks.  The code won't give me a negative to hide.  In some situations, if I'm hiding with fellow Sun Runners at camp, this is perfectly fine: I can blend in better.  But if I'm hiding in bright pink at a party at Red's, this is probably not so good.  But those cases are rare.

Another rare case is that you can remain hidden if you shadow a running person.  However, there is a gameplay reason for this: if you suspect you are being shadowed, you can just run.  So it's a balance issue on that one, I guess, although I wish there were a solution to it.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 01:06:57 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Riev

  • Posts: 4722
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 01:29:09 PM »
I'm of the opinion that "Sneak" as a skill is used for moving from one place, to another, while blending in with the surroundings or not being noticed. Darting behind trees, using bushes for cover, stepping in line with a large half-giant.

"Hide" as a skill is to actively hide from view entirely. So if you're hiding and shadowing someone, they might not see you because you're actively out of sight. If the game allowed you to sneak while someone else walked, that'd be fine, but it doesn't.


But let me just say, a LONG-KNOWN code-quirk about shadowing someone and remaining hidden, but they still get an echo, exists and can be quite annoying. I just chalk it up to rolling a natural 1
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

nauta

  • Posts: 2186
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 01:30:31 PM »
Also:

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,47404.0.html

(There's a link to a log there that I found helpful.)

And the Let's Improve the Help Files has some jumbled thoughts (under SNEAK / HIDE entries).

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50232.0.html
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5914
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2017, 01:58:59 PM »
Anecdotally, in my experience, there are only two races that become 'undetectable' by scan.  One of them is unplayable.  I think the fact that scan doesn't -always- work to detect them is absolutely fine; it's a true battle of skill checks.

Hiding while interacting is...annoying.  But the frequency that people ditch using the watch skill to prevent it is also annoying.  If you're keeping that close of an eye on someone, please actually use watch.  It's what it's there fore.  I'm not saying hiding in conversation is admissable, but I am saying that a lot of the frustration comes to me in much the same regard as someone complaining that someone ran out of a room through the direction that they, the confronter, just came through...but yet they weren't bothering to use guard.  Coded skills have their safeguards within the code, refusing to use them doesn't put the more 'grey area' encounters automatically in the other person's camp for fault or poor play.

As far as roleplaying it out, I try to keep my messages as generic as possible to account for the fact that I don't know every virtual detail of every room, but if it allows me to be hidden, then yes, I can be avoiding notice.  That is the nature of it.  It's only in a direct head-to-head emote battle of hide and go seek that I move to real specificity, so that if they happen to search the place I chose, or react in a way that would likely catch me, I can think 'FUCK!' and become visible before putting my emphasis on escape rather than stealth.  Or, in the case it's not an altercation, that awkward moment of staring like a deer in headlights.

Shadow- I presented an idea awhile back for changes to shadow.  I'd really like them to be implemented.  I think shadowing should be set at a certain number of rooms behind them, and require them to be watched.  I think shadowing from the same room should carry a high amount of penalties to hide or sneak from room to room; only the ninja-like elves, who pride themselves on their balls and gumption, should probably feel any level of comfort staying that close.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

manipura

  • Posts: 1490
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2017, 03:00:09 PM »
I could be wrong, but I believe many of those rooms mentioned where hiding is not realistic, the narrow hallways and such...you actually can't successfully hide in them.  You can attempt to hide and you end up being seen as:
Code: [Select]
The very tall hooded figure is here hiding.
I don't imagine there's a way for the hiding player to see what is echoing to the room, but if a room description starts as "This narrow hallway is claustrophobic and barely wide enough for two people to pass" or "This ledge is narrow and requires precision for one to safely cross from one end to the other" it's probably a good bet that trying to hide there is kind of stupid and unrealistic.

I will second (or third or whatever) the statement that interacting while hidden is silly.  I don't mean interacting in a way that shows others in the room that there is someone lurking around, that can be done well and I applaud it every time.

What makes me roll my eyes and walk away is when someone is alternating between hiding and suddenly being there talking directly to you, over and over again.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1755
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2017, 11:34:58 PM »

Almost all of that RP you guys are demanding out of sneak and hide would have resulted in either my victims bolting or me getting ganked by teleporting half-giant militia.

You want the sneakers and hiders to do more roleplay, forgetting that the reason they're hiding and sneaking in the first place is because they don't want to be seen. And what do the victims do when you do get seen? They pop 'watch' on you, close all their bags, and then call the Arm.

I've seen far more unreasonable roleplay from victims than from sneakers/hiders. People get sapped in a complete sandstorm, never getting a look at you and then they way your complete description to a Templar as soon as their eyes flutter open. Or they way YOU and start making threats about what they're going to do to you next time (as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago).

Not to mention the mechanics of trying to catch your victim in one of the three rooms that aren't bordered by a NPC guard that's going to trigger crimcode. Here, let me type out that fancy emote while you spamwalk from the Gaj to Red's and hope that the delay on my command doesn't get me killed or arrested.




nauta

  • Posts: 2186
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 11:38:55 PM »
New tagline: "as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago"
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5914
Re: roleplaying sneak/hide
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2017, 12:00:11 AM »
Quote
Another rare case is that you can remain hidden if you shadow a running person.  However, there is a gameplay reason for this: if you suspect you are being shadowed, you can just run.  So it's a balance issue on that one, I guess, although I wish there were a solution to it.

From help flee:
Using the 'flee self' option will force your character to flee, even if they are not involved in combat. This can be a useful way to escape from someone who insists on following your character.


Quote
Almost all of that RP you guys are demanding out of sneak and hide would have resulted in either my victims bolting or me getting ganked by teleporting half-giant militia.

I don't think anyone is demanding anything out of anyone here.  Someone asked the best ways to roleplay sneaking and hiding in iffy situations, because sneak and hide does indeed create a lot of relativist grey area; a seeker of a hider always feels jipped, and a sneaker and hider always feels justified.

However, there were a few cases noted where things just go wonky. Repeatedly using hide after using say is one of them.  It's not impressive, fun, or necessary, and I think the point is that if you feel justified to interact with other players this way, you're probably doing something wrong.  I'm a huge stealth fan, and fight for it to death, but there are instances where the 'allowance' of code is just pushed to the limit, which is why threads with ideas for stealth come up.  If you're doing this particular thing to avoid soldiers, then it would likely make more IC sense to use the Way and arrange a private meeting.  If you're doing it to avoid being looked at, then use description to show how hard you're working to avoid being looked at, and if it gets out, file a complaint, the same as you do every other misuse of IC information in the game.

I'd love for some touching up to stealth to make it more interesting, dynamic, and risky, but no less useful.  In it's current form, use it where you can come up with sensible justifications for it.  If you can't, don't.  And if you get told it was probably not the greatest use of stealth, make your case the best you can and move on.  I've found there are very few hard lines taken on it when objectivity is the primary goal of the beholder.

Edit:  Basically, if you're being slinky, you're probably fine.  If you're pulling a magickal vanishing act as a mundane, you're probably not fine.  Crowded rooms do not come with obligations that -someone- would have noticed you, but master skills don't make you able to vanish at will, either.  AND!  As a note...as a stealthy, it can sometimes be a -reflex- to hide when caught.  Just...come back out, own it a little bit.  People who don't play stealthies in conflict much might not understand the moment of 'OH SHIT' that can happen.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 12:10:24 AM by Armaddict »
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger