Thursday, November 1, 2012

Reflections on GMing after Simulations; Random Generating Flaws and Perks

There are a lot of ideas that come to me from converting my airsoft experience into GMing. One thing that just came up was, how Perception Checks should be handled.

My Captain has excellent perception, everyone else has average. from his description of how his perception works in GURPS its Tactics+Perception roll. He tells me that he uses a process of elimination going through all the best hiding spots in his field of vision. I've tried it and it really needs practice to get good at, but also it makes more sense than a raw perception roll.

My first time to play airsoft, and as we bring in newbies, confirms that there is a BIG default penalty. There is a -4 to -6 default penalty in seeing opponents in cover and concealment. Tactics+Per (or Soldier+Per -1) roll is not an option, its the only way to make sense of information overload. A high perception is not enough, you need to efficiently go through your field of vision as quickly as possible.

A person having at least 1CP or a familiarty will be much better than someone who doesn't know what to look for.

How to resolve Perception Checks with Group effort. 
- first players have to declare what they are doing, what they are paying attention to.
- the GM can roll the average of everyone's Per. The margin of failure tolerance is equal to the highest relevant skill+per. Its like having one roll and checking who would have made that roll.
- Filter who would have made it, by the relevance of their current activity. GM adjudicates, adding bonus or penalty based on their current actions - by how specific the character is looking for it. The more specific the better; the more general the more ambiguous the threat or data.
- This allows Van and Flank guards are able to react better; people busy with logistics worse; and fatigue penalty affects mental performance (unless one is a believer of substance dualism; then why does alcohol change one's behavior?).

These set of rules/guidelines allows me to fit what I have observed and experience, to in the game. Of course, players who don't clearly and definitely focus on what they should be focus would be a more unaware and flatfooted group.

Which brings me to why was a group of soldiers so easily ambushed in this show i was watching. EASILY ambushed.

I actually got "killed" in a game taking the time to tell allies to cross their vision and firing arcs. Talking and command is an action, I was in 90% cover BTW.

When covering 35' angle I notice I can catch anything that occurs within a second, any wider and my mental FPS is much slower than a second. at 90' i can be easily ambushed by a quick pop-up attack. at 180' even easier. This basic FPS rule, emphasizes the economics of mental resources. Unfortunately it takes practice for a pair or a group to optimize their alertness. If only there was a way to practice it without looking to weird.

In a GURPS second by second game, this would be an awful amount of detail. I run my gurps in 6 second rounds, like DND. In a narrative combat, as opposed to tactical combat, a perk should cover this, otherwise I'll throw penalites. When this mode of activity (room clearing) is on, players should be allowed to dodge or wait-attack.

Here is a funny side note about Keen vision in real life, it may be 2cp but if your asian it might as well be 5cp advantage. 70-90% of ethnic asians are near sighted. At least if your asian Bad Sight (mitigation glasses) is definitely easy to justify. What is weird is that in the Philippine Mil. Academy, you need unaided 20/20 vision (since Lasik is best taken in your mid 20s, when vision changes less)... that removes up to 90% of potential candidates(its modeled after the US, funny how it fails to take into consideration ethnic biological circumstance). 

Murphy's Rule makes me biased for Randomly Generated Characters. 

I see my RPGs as problem solving exercises more and more. It comes to the point that my bias towards some randomly generated characters are a necessity for the game. People really need to have the expectation MOST of the time they screwed by circumstance  but with in that situation their choices matter a whole lot more.

Its a head ache making a table for random disadvantages and advantages. That should be my first python exercise if I get around to it. a program that allows me to randomly generate a list of flaws and advantages for my open system.

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