Author Topic: Mdesc-hiding masks  (Read 1653 times)

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 452
Mdesc-hiding masks
« on: February 11, 2019, 12:21:21 AM »
...because this discussion was beginning to get derailed!

I had originally suggested a way to re-implement masks, because I actually liked the idea, in general. I just hated how it worked, at the time.

Disclaimer: One of my very first characters, and one of my favorites, was murdered by someone (or maybe two people) wearing one of those famous mdesc-obscuring yellow masks. It was a heart-poundingly amazing death and I honestly had no idea who was behind those masks until a couple of years later. The person who did it, told me in AIM, and said they felt horrible about it. It was my character's boyfriend. But I was totally cool with the death (after I had a cry and rolled up my next character) and learning the hows and whys of it years later was pretty neat.

My idea, was to reconfigure mdescs. You'd have two of them. One when your face is obscured, and one when it isn't. Perhaps we might just have to use templates, adjusted for the RPI setting. So the face/hair/ears/eyes are all described first. And the rest of the body, from the collarbone down, is described second. When the mask or hood or facewrap is raised, that entire first part is hidden by the code. When the mask/hood/facewrap is lowered, that entire first part is revealed.

It would still show the normal sdesc over the Way and there would still be that risk that someone in the room will "out" you by trying to "contact mask" if you're in the same room they're in. But there has to be some risk of discovery, otherwise it would just become as twinky as it became before the masks were removed from the game.

I like the concept behind this idea. I'd be for having two main descs., though that might not be appealing to newer players. I'm just not completely keen on putting descriptions through templates. I'm usually writing what might be the most noticeable aspects before everything else when it comes to descriptions, and that's not always going to be the face/hair/ears/eyes.

For the second main desc., which describes the person when successfully masked, I'd lower the minimum number of lines to 2 -- or even 1. The main point of that desc. would be to point out features that are visible even when completely covered, after all. That's usually the general body shape, height, weight, maybe some protruding mutations, and so forth.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5303
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 01:24:09 AM »
There ARE masks that hide your entire face and can even hide ankle length hair [ever hear of a bun?].  Pull some pantyhose over your face and tell me you recognize yourselves.

Masks SHOULD hide who you are, their completely useless now, might as well be an earring.

I think IF staff is actually considering reintroducing them into the game now that we have better ability to code things there should be various levels of masks. Here's my proposition:

Have different types of masks.
     a) Half-masks - worn on eyes - absolutely does not hide wearer's desc but changes sdesc much like they do now.
     b) Full face masks - worn on face - changes sdesc and shows your set masked description made upon creation.  Must includes eye color and hair color. The exact same eye color you pretty up in your mdesc. Amber waves of grain? Yep, that's the eye color you're going to see if the mask hides almost everything.
     c) Full head criminal masks - worn on HEAD (means you lose helmet) - hides everything - illegal - REALLY hard to get - super fucking expensive - like that kemen expensive - created by supersekrits and sold on black market only or if you have enough pull to actually request it from supersekrits then accountability will happen, documented if the ability exists.  This was actually on my agenda on my last sponsored role, heh.

These were always a petrifying addition to Zalanthas.  I really wish they'd be brought back.
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Jihelu

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 01:32:29 AM »
In what world would a mask that covers your entire face require super secret plot knowledge? I can do this shit IRL with a hood and a facemask I buy for 5 dollars on the internet. I'm fine with full MDESC hiding gear but jesus.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5303
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 01:44:29 AM »
In what world would a mask that covers your entire face require super secret plot knowledge? I can do this shit IRL with a hood and a facemask I buy for 5 dollars on the internet. I'm fine with full MDESC hiding gear but jesus.
This isn't the real world, it's Zalathas.  The problem is/was player accountability.  Is it easy to hide your face? Sure, pull that hood up and wear a mask, but guess what, PLAYERS don't act accordingly.  Just ask any raiders that are hunted like a sorceror after that first raid... by an entire city. Hell, by every city and outpost and village.

This change alone would increase conflict and fear factor 10 fold.

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azuriolinist

  • Posts: 452
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 02:09:21 AM »
I love the idea of having different types of masks. I'm iffy about making it this an incredibly rare and super sekrit kind of item, though. As you point out, all it might take is some pantyhose to become unrecognizable. Instead of making it extremely rare, I'd go with a full-coverage kind of mask being stigmatized -- maybe even illegal -- in city-states. I mean, why would any normal person go around in something as concealing as a ski mask?

Also, along with those different types of masks, maybe we could go with separate description fields for eyes, ears, hair, body shape, and 'other notable physical features' instead of an entire 'masked' description. At chargen, the player inputs, for example, "blue, almondine-shaped" as a description for their eyes, and "short brown" for their hair. When wearing a face-covering mask, all that's seen is "He has blue, almondine-shaped eyes, short brown hair,..." and so forth with the description of his ears and body shape.

It'd be a lot more flexible than an entire masked description.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 02:12:29 AM by azuriolinist »

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2758
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 02:49:34 AM »
In what world would a mask that covers your entire face require super secret plot knowledge? I can do this shit IRL with a hood and a facemask I buy for 5 dollars on the internet. I'm fine with full MDESC hiding gear but jesus.
This isn't the real world, it's Zalathas.  The problem is/was player accountability.  Is it easy to hide your face? Sure, pull that hood up and wear a mask, but guess what, PLAYERS don't act accordingly.  Just ask any raiders that are hunted like a sorceror after that first raid... by an entire city. Hell, by every city and outpost and village.

This change alone would increase conflict and fear factor 10 fold.
Your comment doesn't address the situation at all. I was saying I can raise my hood and wear a mask and hide myself, and that it should hide my MDESC. The situation shouldn't be player accountability at all. (Unless there's something wrong with hiding mdescs, but I don't think so.) Their MDESC would be hidden. If MDESC hiding gear is hidden by some stupid clan lock or costs 1k when I can accomplish the same thing IRL, and in game, with a bunch of towels, something is wrong.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5303
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 02:54:10 AM »
Also, along with those different types of masks, maybe we could go with separate description fields for eyes, ears, hair, body shape, and 'other notable physical features' instead of an entire 'masked' description. At chargen, the player inputs, for example, "blue, almondine-shaped" as a description for their eyes, and "short brown" for their hair. When wearing a face-covering mask, all that's seen is "He has blue, almondine-shaped eyes, short brown hair,..." and so forth with the description of his ears and body shape.

It'd be a lot more flexible than an entire masked description.

That is what I mean by a masked mdesc.

Must includes eye color and hair color. The exact same eye color you pretty up in your mdesc. Amber waves of grain? Yep, that's the eye color you're going to see if the mask hides almost everything.

I don't see a lot of ears put into mdescs but A LOT of detail put into eyes and hair so that's what I'd require, nothing more. You can ass -v and get height weight and approximate age. A face covering mask would just show hair and eyes.
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azuriolinist

  • Posts: 452
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 03:24:44 AM »
That is what I mean by a masked mdesc.

Then I agree!

Quote
I don't see a lot of ears put into mdescs but A LOT of detail put into eyes and hair so that's what I'd require, nothing more. You can ass -v and get height weight and approximate age. A face covering mask would just show hair and eyes.

Fair enough. It could be entirely optional or, by default, the 'ears' description could be based on the PC's race.

Height and weight don't necessarily always equal body shape. It's hard to tell by assess, for example, whether 10 ten-stones and 62 inches in height means this particular PC is thickly muscled, or is rotund and has a round gut.

Nao

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 04:51:23 AM »
Do you never recognize anyone from behind, without seeing their face?

Nothing short of a burqa is going to stop me from recognizing someone I spent the majority of the last few years with for more than a five minutes. Anything that hides your full mdesc will also let your Byn buddy or girlfriend that has seen you every day for a prolonged time not recognize you, with no more effort than changing your outfit.
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RogueGunslinger

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 06:01:22 AM »
Sometimes you think you recognize someone from behind and end up pinching a complete stranger on the ass. And sometimes you completely overlook someone who did nothing but get a new haircut or put on some glasses.

Treating the mdesc like an IC extension of your familiarity with someone despite their attempts to conceal themselves is bluring the IC/OOC line a bit too much, in my opinion. A person who wants to conceal their mdesc should be able to.

I'd rather the onus be on the deceiver to roleplay their traits in a familiar way than it be on the person detecting them by reading an infallible OOC mdesc.

Mercy

  • Posts: 75
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 06:15:34 AM »
Do you never recognize anyone from behind, without seeing their face?

Nothing short of a burqa is going to stop me from recognizing someone I spent the majority of the last few years with for more than a five minutes. Anything that hides your full mdesc will also let your Byn buddy or girlfriend that has seen you every day for a prolonged time not recognize you, with no more effort than changing your outfit.

I didn't really want to comment on this topic before because of thread derailing, and where I'm about to go is potentially thread derailing but I tend to recognize people before I ever get a chance see their face, so just stick with me.

I'm relatively new and unseasoned, but I've felt there is a weird balance between player-memory and character-memory. Maybe it's just because I'm relatively busy and scattered brained, but I write down a LOT of information I know my character wouldn't forget, that I genuinely can't keep stored in my brain for longer than a day if I'm lucky. Personally I feel like this makes the act of choosing who you should/shouldn't remember kind of awkward, especially if you have a garbage memory in general.

It would be nice if there was a command, maybe tied loosely to wisdom and/or watch, that allowed you to appended a name to someone, shown in brackets after their sdesc. Items that obscure sdescs (and in this case, mdescs) would reduce the chance that the [nickname] would show next to their sdesc. That way if you don't see your [nickname] you can reasonably go "I don't think I know this person". And alternatively you don't need to be an mdesc/equipment wizard (I'm not, I tend to recognize people off of feel more than anything honestly) to recognize your pal with their hood up.


As for the exact topic of the thread, it seems to me that it'd makes the most sense to have a 'masked' mdesc. I had a whole thing written up but it's pretty much been said here so I just want to throw a +1 at that. Granted, I can see the idea of coming up with two mdescs being daunting to new players, so maybe make it optional, and have a flag for mdesc obscuring items so you just can't wear one if you don't have a masked mdesc created? or it just defaults to your standard mdesc maybe.

Nao

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 06:57:08 AM »
Sometimes you think you recognize someone from behind and end up pinching a complete stranger on the ass. And sometimes you completely overlook someone who did nothing but get a new haircut or put on some glasses.
How often does that last for more than half a minute? This happened to me... on two instances I can't remember. Both with people I had not seen for 5+ years.

Also, how often do you talk to someone on the phone and recognize who is on the other end without even seeing them, just by voice? Yes, some people can disguise their voices, but throwing on a mask should not automatically make you a master voice actor.

I remember having items that hid your description completely on SOI. It was annoying very overpowered. There was this guy who made a habit of sitting in the bar with his helmet on for RL weeks and even the people living with him had no better chance to recognize him than complete strangers.

On Armageddon? I rarely see anyone make an effort to hide their identity that goes beyond throwing on a facewrap, or at most, a different cloak. If you keep wearing the same armor and clothes that you had on every day of the last few years? I'll remember you, whether or not I can see your face.
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Greve

  • Posts: 144
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 07:15:28 AM »
     c) Full head criminal masks - worn on HEAD (means you lose helmet) - hides everything - illegal - REALLY hard to get - super fucking expensive - like that kemen expensive - created by supersekrits and sold on black market only or if you have enough pull to actually request it from supersekrits

Why should they be insanely expensive and hard to get? That seems like an OOC construct. It could be nothing more than a canvas sack with eye holes. Or, as you said yourself: some pantyhose. If we want it to be something that people can barely obtain, we might as well not have them at all. Then it's just gonna turn into this bizarre OOC chase that you can't explain IG, just like lockpicks and sheaths, except apparently much worse if you must be granted permission by "supersekrits" to even own one.

Masks have been used probably throughout all of civilized history. It's some cloth over your face. If we don't want this to be readily available to anyone who has a reason to use one, it shouldn't be available at all. Two-bit muggers and raiders are precisely the kinds of people who need them. Making them illegal in lawful areas should suffice. You could even make it so soldiers will block your way if you're masked, just so people can't ignore this when there isn't a PC law enforcement presence.

As for recognizing people from behind and stuff like that, I once took part in a study on this. It actually comes down mostly to two things: hair and clothes. Unless they have a very unusual body shape, you don't see someone's silhouette and go "that's Joey!" You see Joey's hairstyle, you see jeans and a flannel shirt which is what Joey always wears, and if they're also about the same height and build as Joey, you make the connection. If he's not wearing something you associate with Joey and you can't see his hair, recognizing him from behind is very unlikely. If someone were to actually wear a cloak with the hood raised, recognition from behind is absolutely impossible unless you recognize the outfit itself and know who the wearer must be.

You could see your own mother like this and not have a clue:


Or like this:


Unless that's the kind of outfit you associate with her (I don't judge), or you recognize her voice or some other unique feature, you simply wouldn't know.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 07:48:52 AM by Greve »

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7925
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 08:22:39 AM »
If these were my parents, my boss and her husband, my next door neighbor, or the couple I see at the bar every Nekrete for the past five years, I would recognize them.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiM9r7h4LPgAhXLdN8KHQXSB6EQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mtairynews.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fsurry-scene%2F55952%2Fwho-are-those-masked-people&psig=AOvVaw3s00KQZR90mv4_b_HK52iY&ust=1549977051797922

Masks cannot, and do not, obscure bodies. Furthermore, you'd still see their eyes. And so if they have two different colored eyes (happens often in Armageddon) maybe you wouldn't know WHICH of the PCs you know it is with 2-colored eyes, but you'd know it's one of them. And you can easily deduce: Amos of the 2-colored eyes does not know a hefty woman almost a foot shorter than he is. But Malik's sister is a hefty woman almost a foot shorter than he is. And now we know it's Malik and his sister.

There is a difference between mask and disguise. People don't sit in bars fully robed, without lifting their hands and thus revealing them - or their gloves, to the world. Also don't forget that no matter what you're wearing, even if it's a big fluffy scarf around your neck - NOTHING covers a gem. This is intentional, and it is/will always be visible to anyone who looks at the person.

So at the absolute least, you would know that the masked person is, or is not, a gemmed person. And then you'd know they're taller than you. And you'd know that Talia the gemmed always wears a cloak exactly like that, but Jimbob the gemmed hasn't worn one like that since before he took the gem. You know Talia has a pair of gloves just like that. You also know that Jimbob always wears tons of rings, and never gloves. You know Talia has big boobs, which stick out (similarly to the photo in another post in this thread) and you know Jimbob has very broad shoulders but is otherwise not particularly large in size or girth. You know Jimbob has blue eyes. You know Talia has brown eyes. You know Jimbob has a deep husky voice. You know Talia used to sing soprano in the choir before she got the gem.

You know Jimbob has a limp. You know Talia does not, but her left hand is missing her ring finger.

You know that full-facecovering masks make it impossible to drink without a straw. And straws don't exist in Armageddon so if they're going to drink at the bar, they should be removing those masks. And then you'd be able to see exactly who they are and none of this would matter.

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The7DeadlyVenomz

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 11:16:17 AM »
Granted, I can see the idea of coming up with two mdescs being daunting to new players, so maybe make it optional, and have a flag for mdesc obscuring items so you just can't wear one if you don't have a masked mdesc created?
I'm cool with that.
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RogueGunslinger

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 12:29:04 PM »
Is anyone really arguing for masks that fully obscure everything about you? Because all I am saying is there should be some way to hide your mdesc. A lot of people's issues seem to be with an ability to detect someone you know so they can't just be some conspicuous mummy at the bar who is completely  impervious to discovery. I don't think anyone really wants that though I'm sure that wouldn't really fly with any Militia Soldiers around regardless. I just don't want it to be impossible to hide your mdesc as it currently is.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 12:30:46 PM by RogueGunslinger »

Brokkr

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2019, 12:58:56 PM »
What would the mechanic be to reveal the identity of the mdesc-hiding mask wearer?

Jihelu

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2019, 01:01:00 PM »
What would the mechanic be to reveal the identity of the mdesc-hiding mask wearer?
Subdue
Remove mask -person-

Brokkr

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2019, 01:05:01 PM »
You can't perform actions when subduing someone.

Veselka

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2019, 01:32:59 PM »
My feeling is that it should be automatic when subduing someone when it is a hood.

For a mask, someone else has to do it to an already subdued person.
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mansa

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2019, 01:51:51 PM »
I would be interesting if there was a chance to be criminally flagged by wearing this mask in populated rooms.

Or

Something else to help limit the abuse inherent in anonymity.
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ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5303
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2019, 04:00:44 PM »
On Armageddon? I rarely see anyone make an effort to hide their identity that goes beyond throwing on a facewrap, or at most, a different cloak. If you keep wearing the same armor and clothes that you had on every day of the last few years? I'll remember you, whether or not I can see your face.

You rarely see it because masks don't work the way they used to before. How much time do you spend in Red Storm? There are characters that NEVER take down their hood. Ever.
If you see someone every day you MIGHT recognize them by their usual clothing, sure, but if that person is leading a double life and raiding you and you can't see their mdesc you can't guarantee it's him, no soldier will believe that that person sitting next to you is the one that raided you. Do you have proof? Your word against his/hers? How big is your bribe to get that person pinched?

Conflict. It does Armageddon good.

     c) Full head criminal masks - worn on HEAD (means you lose helmet) - hides everything - illegal - REALLY hard to get - super fucking expensive - like that kemen expensive - created by supersekrits and sold on black market only or if you have enough pull to actually request it from supersekrits

Why should they be insanely expensive and hard to get? That seems like an OOC construct. It could be nothing more than a canvas sack with eye holes. Or, as you said yourself: some pantyhose. If we want it to be something that people can barely obtain, we might as well not have them at all. Then it's just gonna turn into this bizarre OOC chase that you can't explain IG, just like lockpicks and sheaths, except apparently much worse if you must be granted permission by "supersekrits" to even own one.

Because they are a powerful criminal tool that would be illegal to have in the city states.  You know that *strange shadow* you see? With the right mask that IS all that you'll see.


They'd probably be legal in Red Storm, they may not bust your balls in Luir's but both the big cities would probably ban them. The OOC metagaming with masks is what removed them in the first place. Having different types and making it ICly really hard to obtain will be an entertaining feat in itself. It will create a lot of roleplay and force a lot of conniving and dealings to occur. It will be massively profitable for Kadius, Salarr and Kurac to make those illegal masks and sell them on the black market. It's all about the sid. It is absolutely an ooc construct to control the possibility to ic be a twink. Easier to police if, like psis and sorcerors and nilazi and [redacted item most don't know about that exist and are super rare], the availability of these cool as fuck items is limited.  I think our coding capabilities have advanced enough at this point for it to be an easy addition and for a code to be designed to support it. Staff has to approve your character ANYWAY which means they have to read your mdesc. If they have to read a two or three line maskdesc will it really be THAT much of a pain in the ass? I mean all you're doing is making sure the same exact wording is used for eye color and hair color.  Literally, that's it. You're not gonna see a cerulean-eyed pfafna haired motherfucker have a blue-eyed white haired maskdesc.

What would the mechanic be to reveal the identity of the mdesc-hiding mask wearer?
Subdue
Remove mask -person-
You can't perform actions when subduing someone.
My feeling is that it should be automatic when subduing someone when it is a hood.

For a mask, someone else has to do it to an already subdued person.

Agreed which is why I proposed a reveal command.

I would be interesting if there was a chance to be criminally flagged by wearing this mask in populated rooms.

Or

Something else to help limit the abuse inherent in anonymity.

My proposition is that fully hiding masks are illegal as they were back in the day. This is also subject to:
Confiscation and arrest if found on your person upon entering the gates, like spice.
Crim flag is a soldier sees you masked in the street.


I really do think our coding abilities have progressed to be able to support this type of code.  I would even volunteer and be willing to go through and fix all in game existing masks.




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Brokkr

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Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2019, 04:43:59 PM »
It isn't about code.

It is about coming up with solutions for the problems that got them removed in the first place.

Which is harder than just throwing out 'what if' code scenarios.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5303
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2019, 05:02:16 PM »
It isn't about code.

It is about coming up with solutions for the problems that got them removed in the first place.

Which is harder than just throwing out 'what if' code scenarios.

And you don't think the proposed changes do that?

The different tiers of masks.
The addition of a reveal command for someone having been nabbed (keeping in mind that only soldiers can subdue in the city and in the wilderness if you're grabbed and held tight you're sol anyway)
Making them extremely rare
Making them crazy hard to acquire
Making them extremely expensive
Making them crim code supported illegal so you don't have shmucks at the bar being cute. Hell, lets take it further, make them illegal to be worn even in the criminal capital of the world.

Let's do more.

Let's make it like steel forging and spice making, let's make it GMH proprietary and render independent crafters completely unable to determine how to make it or what materials it's made of. Impossible to replicate so you know it's source.  Make the GMHs ledger every sale, every request documented.

I wonder what I'm not covering.

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Nao

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mdesc-hiding masks
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2019, 05:16:05 PM »
On Armageddon? I rarely see anyone make an effort to hide their identity that goes beyond throwing on a facewrap, or at most, a different cloak. If you keep wearing the same armor and clothes that you had on every day of the last few years? I'll remember you, whether or not I can see your face.

You rarely see it because masks don't work the way they used to before. How much time do you spend in Red Storm? There are characters that NEVER take down their hood. Ever.
If you see someone every day you MIGHT recognize them by their usual clothing, sure, but if that person is leading a double life and raiding you and you can't see their mdesc you can't guarantee it's him, no soldier will believe that that person sitting next to you is the one that raided you. Do you have proof? Your word against his/hers? How big is your bribe to get that person pinched?

Conflict. It does Armageddon good.

You can't have much conflict with someone when you have no idea who they are, and no way to find out. Any interaction is going to be extremely one-sided. A soldier can chose to believe you or not either way - it's always going to be your word against his or her word.
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Someone says, out of character:
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