In the same manner as Presence and Perception, Stealth is a bundle that encompasses a number of skills: Padfoot, Skulker, Stalker, Cache/Conceal, Hide/Conceal. Since it represents a pretty common everyday activity that should in fact be open to all characters in the game to attempt during play with some reasonable hope of success, the entire Stealth bundle is included in the class called “Open” skills described in Step 4. of character creation. While all of the skills in this bundle are Open skills, available to be developed by all characters equally, certain trades make a practice of emphasizing some of them during the character’s apprenticeship to make their trainees more successful.
The Padfoot aspect of Stealth enables the character to move or perform various actions without making any untoward discernible sound that might alert any others in the vicinity to his presence or alert them to his activity.
The Skulker aspect enables the character to move without making any discernible sound in shadows while taking advantage of whatever cover is available in order to appear so unobtrusive as to be effectively invisible.
The cover required to exercise this skill may be virtually anything from thick foliage to deep patches of shadow or darkness alone, but the player will please note that it is difficult to practice this skill during the day, extremely so without cover. This skill assumes the character has done everything possible in the manner of his dress to blend with his surroundings, according to the time of day or night. When exercising this skill in areas with little or no cover, the character is ‘hiding in plain sight’. If he is successful he will blend in with his surroundings completely and be so unobtrusive as to be totally unnoticed.
Through the Padfoot skill, characters may perform their other skills with silence of action, but they is limited to no greater than (Padfoot AV) in effective skill AV.
For every point of the AV for the skill exercised beyond (Padfoot AV), the character’s effective AV for Stealth (Padfoot) will drop by one (1).
If the AV the character is exercising reduces his effective Padfoot AV to zero or less, no attempt at Stealth may be made.
Likewise, for every mph (or equivalent in scale tactical movement) of the speed at which the character is moving as a Padfoot above his normal “zero” movement rate, his effective AV for Stealth (Padfoot) drops by two (2).
If the AV the character’s speed reduces his effective Padfoot AV to zero or less, no attempt at Stealth may be made.
For the Skulker aspect of Stealth, the character will not be allowed the base movement of the “zero” rate, but is penalized for every mph beyond the first of the speed he moves, as it is assumed that this aspect of the Stealth skill is being exercised due to the fact that the character stands in danger of being observed and perhaps apprehended if discovered and his movement will attract the eyes of any observers, even if any protective coloration prevent immediate identification.
If the speed the character is travelling reduces his effective Skulker AV to zero or less, no attempt at Stealth may be made.
Thus, this aspect works best when used to dive for cover and/or freeze in position and take advantage of protective coloration and surroundings (cover) to hide the character himself whilst not moving (Hide/Conceal).
The Stalker aspect is a skill of subterfuge and subtlety, enabling the character to take advantage of the prevailing cover, be it crowds, vegetation, buildings or the like, and a certain distance between the character and the subject, to follow an individual at roughly an equal movement rate (if doing so lies within the character’s personal abilities) without alerting the subject and allowing him to become aware of the fact that he is being tailed.
If the character cannot keep up with his subject, he will of course be left behind eventually, naturally.
The character is required to make a Stalker check every time his target changes direction, doubles back, turns a comer, passes into or through a building, enters a crowd, any time he passes out of the pursuers direct line of sight (GM’s discretion). The same is required every time the Padfoot or Skulker does the same
The Stalker must keep his quarry within [(AWA + SL) + (bonus based on his Perception SL, as applicable)] feet (in town) or the same number of yards in rural or wilderness settings. If his quarry should slip beyond this distance, the Stalker will require a successful Stalker check vs. the quarry’s [(AGL) + (AWA att. mod./Perception AV) + (bonus based on the quarry’s own Stalker skill, as applicable)] to get him back in his sights within the prescribed limits.
IF he should ever find himself within [(quarry’s AWA) + (bonus based on Stalker SL and/or Perception SL, as applicable)] feet or yards (as appropriate to the setting), the quarry will automatically be allowed an AWA/Perception check on d100 vs. the character’s Stalker AV to determine if he has been spotted by his quarry.
IF the Stalker does not have sufficient skill to maintain a distance greater than this it will simply be a matter of time before his quarry spots him and tries to actively evade or confront his Stalker.
When exercising the Stealth skills the character will need to pay strict attention to what he is carrying on his person, especially weapons rattling about in their scabbards and/or knocking about freely on their baldrics and armor, the clink of chain and/or plate, the sliding of small plates against one another from jazeraint, laminated or brigandine armors, or the creak and moan of dry, aging or unbroken new leather, both are naturally noisy.
The character must compensate for any weapons or armor he wears if he plans on having any chance of exercising his Padfoot skill while armed and armored. All leathers must be kept supple, well oiled, and all metals kept muffled. Most players may find it easiest to put by a special suit of gear for playing the Padfoot, to assure themselves and the GM that all necessary precautions have been taken.
For every object from weapons to belt pouches sacks and packs the character wears that isn’t snugly secured to prevent swinging, shifting and clashing against each other, slapping against the character’s own body, or knocking against other objects the character may brush past as he moves, his (Padfoot) AV will go down by one (1).
The average DC of the armor worn all over the character’s body, as determined in Step 6. of Character Creation, is subtracted from the AV of his Stealth skill, regardless of the aspect used.
If the armor the character is wearing reduces the effective Stealth AV employed to zero or less, no attempt at Stealth may be made.
In regards to the Skulker aspect, the character will also be penalized for every article of clothing showing that is not of a color compatible with the time of day and the surroundings (midnight blues, black, dark grays, dark browns, etc. at night, greens and browns for wilderlands, whites, pale blues and grays for snowy settings, and so forth) and every shiny metal object not painted flat, each according to their size. Most players may find it easiest to put by one or more special suits of gear for Skulking, to assure themselves and the GM that all necessary precautions have been taken.
Having metals blacked to keep them from flashing and reflecting light will cost an additional (Size, rounded to the nearest foot) farthings per weapon (1/3rd this for hafted weapons OR 1/6th for polearms) or for armor, 3fg. per AoD covered per piece (3/4 or 1/2 for 3/4 and 1/2 BP areas, respectively).
Armor can be given a black matte finish when originally made which will only have to be touched up (at the same cost noted) when that finish is marred during battle or hard use. This will always be important to the Skulker but not the Padfoot, and for the Skulker only when tailing a subject in the dark/at night in lonely settings when flashes of reflected light might give him away.
The need to so black armor and other shiny, metal surfaces can be eliminated by wearing some sort of clothing over it.
The Cache/Conceal or Hide/Conceal aspect of Stealth enables the character to take the best advantage of whatever cover can be found anywhere outdoors, in a room, or on his own person and hide the locations of any object(s) that he does not want to be found, or to appear so unobtrusive personally as to be effectively invisible as long as he remains still.
Insofar as hiding things, anyone can choose an out-of-the-way spot to stash something so it lies out of sight, in such a way that might take some imagination for anyone else to root out again, the skill just makes the character more creative and imaginative at it, and much better and accurate at making sure everything looks as it was before he started, cultivating a real eye for detail.
As far as the application of hiding things on one’s person goes, anyone can put something under their clothes, the smaller and less rigid it is, the less likely it is to be found if the person is searched. If it hinders the natural movement of the body, it is obvious to onlookers that there is something hidden and approximately where.
With or without skill, the standards of cover assumed for the use of this skill depend on the setting in which the object(s) have been hidden. In the outdoors, a minimum standard of scant foliage is assumed. This includes scattered clumps of grasses or reeds, bracken, brambles, scattered saplings or shrubs, gorse, broom, heather, or other thin, low herbage (GM’s discretion).
Indoors, the standard is a rather spartanly furnished room (the prevailing style in the period), a few pieces or furniture situated about the perimeter, a bench, a storage chest, hurdles and trestles for a table, a domestic implements hanging on the walls, a few herbs, meat, and vegetables hanging from a rack by the fireplace, no rushes or other floor covering, such as might be found among the average run of landbound households or in servants’ chambers (dormitories) in common or better households.
For Concealing things on one’s person, a long-sleeved shirt or shift (no other sort is worn, though the sleeves will commonly be rolled up out of the way by the working classes when about their work or in the summer), and leggings or hose with small clothes (underwear) alone define the standard.
Where the cover is greater than the standard, the DV provided by the character’s skill is increased. The greater the native cover (foliage, furnishings, layer(s) and looseness of clothing), the greater the increase.
Where these minimums aren’t present, the DV provided by the character’s skill may be reduced. Whether or not it is reduced will depend on what resources are present for the character to make a cache and whether or not he takes advantage of them to do so.
Caches are different from Concealment only in so far as Concealment is simply using the cover present to cover an object up, put it out of sight, whereas a Cache is the actual making of a hidey-hole, a hollow place whose very nature and presence is Concealed where the object(s) to be hidden can be stored. Where there are sufficient goods about, stacked books, piles of goods in a storage room, scattered rocks and debris, hollow logs or rotted out trees, or the like, a Cache can be easily made. A Cache can easily be used instead of simple Concealment in any setting where sufficient cover for Concealment exists. Using a Cache will double the bonus gained from heavier cover, but its real advantage is in allowing the character the full measure of his skill in bare settings where it would otherwise be reduced.
Where there isn’t much cover available, the character who has the time to spare might be able to improvise a hiding place, or Cache, especially if the object to be hidden is small enough. Carefully cut sod can be replaced over a small depression dug out underneath in an out-of-the-way corner of an otherwise bare expanse of manicured lawn and will remain undetectable until precipitation should cause it to sag in. Floor tiles or walkway flagstones can be similarly pried up or dug out and recesses hollowed out underneath, or hearthstones or facing bricks from a fireplace, floorboards can be pried up to reveal the space beneath in upper storey floors, or in the ground floor of a common dwelling that has a floor but no cellar, allowing access to the crawl space beneath, and so on, and so forth. If the character is a Craftsman who deals with the medium attacked, so much the better (add a bonus based on the SL). If the Craftsman character is being employed there to do some other job, the hidey-hole can be installed as a part of the job being done.
Making a Cache may depend on having some sort of tool to do so.
Digging in the dirt takes something to scrape with, like a spoon, sharp like a knife or fork or the pin of a cloak clasp or brooch to break it up when the ground has been beaten by the passage of feet to the hardness of concrete. To separate boards and pry up those that have been nailed requires something strong and metal to do the prying, perhaps a dagger if the boards are not too heavy, and then something to knock them back into place, remove the nails, or the like to restore its original appearance.
The GM or the player whose character’s AWA skill is involved will roll in these cases to determine whether the NPC or PC observer is able to detect the signs of something having been Concealed.
When combined with the Craftsman trades, especially the smithy, mason, and/or carpenter specialties, the Conceal skill can become subtle, indeed. With this combination, characters can hide anything, make a door appear as part of a wall’s wood or stone work, hiding its hinges, the seams of the panels, turn thumb-latches into near-invisible buttons hidden amid the elements of a patch of carven trim, make hidden panels through which the working parts of traps strike, hide the buttons that disengage traps for the owners’ safe passage, make a spring-loaded grappling hook that collapses down into a wooden nightstick casing (with the Artificer subskill), a cloak clasp whose chain pulls out as a garrote, a belt buckle that is really the hilt of a short-bladed knife or bodkin, or two, make a chest with a false bottom that conceals a hidden recess underneath, or make a secret drawer that slides out from the side of a chest or any other piece of furniture or architectural fixture, a brooch, medallion, or set of hair combs or pins that contain, or which are in reality, lock picks, the old standard sword-in-the-cane. The possibilities are limited only by the player’s imagination. The degree to which the feature described is hidden by the Craftsman’s skill is limited by either his SL as a Craftsman or that of his Conceal SL, whichever is less.
The att. mod. to make a Cache is based on the character’s CRD and STR scores. The greater the amount of cover or materials present for the task, the lower the DV is.
The DV against which a Cache or Concealed item may be found is determined in the same manner as an AV, with a base equal to the SL.
For every object Concealed on the character’s person beyond (AWA ÷ 4) in number, the DV provided by the character’s skill is reduced by 1.
The DV provided by his skill is similarly reduced by I per 4 inches of the length of objects beyond (CRD ÷ 4) inches, by 1 per 2 inches of the width of relatively flat objects beyond (CRD ÷ 4) inches, or by 1 per inch of depth or thickness beyond one inch of each object Concealed on the character’s body. It is also lowered by the number of mph of the speed the character moves beyond his 1/4th rate.
IF used in conjunction with the Craftsman trade, the character is limited in SL to either Conceal or his Craftsman SL for the job, whichever is lower, in determining the DV provided by the effort for those attempting to discern the presence of that which is hidden after the job is done.
Modifiers due to inclement weather that affects the vision, or extreme bright lights or dim light (Glare/Gloom), may be compounded on top of the DV provided by this skill to make the Concealment or hidden Cache even more effective. The prudent player will pick areas to Conceal objects or in which to make his Caches where these conditions are common to make the most of his skill.
The Padfoot, Skulker and Stalker skills will take no appreciable time to implement in play, except perhaps the time to don appropriate apparel for Skulker, and perhaps to make sure all gear and clothing carried have been adequately secured for the purposes of silence of movement (Padfoot). In regards to the Stalker aspect, the character will simply have to be able to keep up with his quarry at the distance he is required to maintain in shadowing him.
The time required to implement the Hide/Conceal or Cache/Conceal aspects to Hide an object either on one’s person or in a certain location should be equal to the DV divided by 10 and read in CS’s, rounded to the nearest whole number.
The att. mod. for Padfoot and Skulker is based upon the character’s AGL.
The att. mod. for Stalker is based upon the character’s AGL score, minus 1 pet point of BTY above or below average for the character’s race.
IF the character also possess’ the Masquer skill or Courtier/Courtesan trade, he may be able to counteract any penalties due to extraordinary comeliness or ugliness by use of Cosmetics and/or Masquer disguises.
The DV’s for the use of all aspects of the Stealth skill is always be against the Perception skills of those in a position to hear (Padfoot, Skulker) or see (Skulker, Stalker) the character(s) using those skills, and those potential observers is granted a bonus to the DV they provide based upon their own Stealth AV’s, if they should have developed such skills (as applicable, GM’s discretion).
Any PC or NPC coming within (AWA) feet of the character using the Padfoot, Skulker, or Hide/Conceal or Cache/Conceal aspects of the Stealth skill should automatically be granted a Perception/AWA check vs, the character’s Stealth AV, if they are looking for or at the character (GM’s discretion). If they aren’t paying attention on atleast some level they will not notice anything out of the ordinary.
If the d100 roll for the observer within this distance is made, he will notice the approach or passage of the character.
In crowds, crowded chambers, and other noisy conditions, or extremely rainy, misty, or foggy weather conditions (to which a Gloom modifier of some sort applies), an even smaller safe distance (as low as (AWA ÷ 2) feet) should be allowed.
The base DV for Padfoot or Skulker is equal to the [(AGL) + (AWA att. mod./Perception AV) + (bonus based on the quarry’s own Padfoot or Skulker skill, as applicable)] of the one who may note the character’s attempt to pass unnoticed.
If there are more than one who may take note, for the ease of handling NPC’s, the GM may add the total number who may take note, and use the highest AWA, Perceive SL (as applicable), and Skulker SL (as applicable).
The base DV for Stalking is equal to the quarry’s [(AGL) + (AWA att. mod./Perception AV) + (bonus based on the quarry’s own Stalker skill, as applicable)]. If the target being Stalked has company, the additional persons’ AWA and Perceive, and Stalker SL’s should be taken into account in the same manner described for the Padfoot and Skulker skills above.
For the purposes of the Skulker aspect, the actual circumstances of the use of the skill may reduce the DV provided, to such a degree that under some circumstances the character may have no chance of getting past those he would dupe.
The Simple degree of difficulty in the Skulker skill requires optimum cover when the character is attempting to hide his own presence, such as very heavy foliage and underbrush, tall grasses, abundant trees, and the like in the wilds or vendors’ stalls, alleys and doorways, crowded buildings, or embrasures, wall-hangings, chairs, settles, and other furnishings, sacks, crates, carts, and other such man-made articles in town environs for hiding oneself away.
For hiding articles away about one’s person this degree of difficulty indicates voluminous clothing, of multiple layers, such as formal outdoors court garb of 3 layers or more, such as formal robes, or a full shirt, long tunics, and a cloak, etc. (GM’s discretion).
When dealing with less than optimum conditions in these skills, the DV provided by the character’s skill is reduced. The reduction will depend upon the level of difficulty represented by the circumstances. This area requires the GM’s consideration.
Wearing layers of close-fitting clothing when attempting to conceal objects, or using heavy grasses and underbrush or more scattered and open man-made environs when hiding oneself, adds (d5 + 5) to the DV.
Lower class clothing, more blousy but of fewer layers and less bulk, scattered scrub and brush and low-growing grasses, or the clutter of a room furnished with light furniture will add 5 to 14 to the DV.
When left with only hose and shirt or shift, a manicured lawn, or a spartanly furnished room, raise the DV by as much as 15 to 24.
Those without skill must specify the spot in which they hide an object with the Cache/Conceal aspect, those with the skill must simply point out an area, unless they are hiding something on their bodies.
The character’s skill is too likely to be greater than any specific choice the player could make, and his skill would certainly make a better job of it than the player could do of describing it. here again, the Gm is faced with a situation in which the character’s skill can soon outstrip the player’s personal knowledge of the substance of the skill or his ability to effectively describe what it is exactly the character is doing.
For the sake of the game this skill must be handled without the greatest amount of detail. The character’s CRD att. mod. provides the AV to hide the item vs. the DV based on the size of the object, and then provides the DV for AWA/Perception checks afterwards for those coming within [(AWA) + (Perception SL, as applicable)] feet
When the players start talking about secret pouches and special harness or clothing adaptations to allow the character to conceal things more creatively and less detectably, weighting hems to smooth clothing lines, counter-weighting the other side of the garment to prevent tell-tale creep from one side to the other, hollowing out heels of boots or shoes or platforms of pattens and pantofles, and the like, they will have crossed the line and entered the sole province of the character with skill. In regards to items with hollows for concealing thing within, the skill of the Craftsman at concealing such features will provide the DV for determining whether the hidden pocket or chamber in them may be found vs. a Search check. The item(s)hidden in it simply have to fit within (GM’s discretion).
In the same manner, any form of harness to he used to enable the wearer to carrying anything without it showing to the casual observer must be rigged by a character who has achieved atleast SL1 with the Conceal aspect of Stealth, or the special harness and clothing made by a Craftsman who has the skill who has also fitted it to the specific character and instructed him on any limitations in range or speed of movement.
The DV to make a Cache will depend on the size(s) of the object(s) to be stored in it, and the setting or materials at hand/the availability of cover.
The base is equal to the height + width + depth of the space which the GM deems necessary to contain the object(s) to be stored in it.
Vegetation in or over the exact site of the Cache or its immediate environs (GM’s discretion) will cut the DV by 10 per level of cover (Scant, Middling, Heavy, Dense, Extreme, as per table 3-3., Chapter 3., Part Ill).
An abundance of rocks, scrap wood, sand, or household goods like books, boxes and bales, rolls and barrels, furnishings and draperies, and the like, can also be used. To determine their effect on the DV, the GM should apply the standards of vegetation as expressed on table 3-3, already cited. The more the character has to work with, the better able he is to make his Cache.
Time requirements for making Caches is a little more difficult.
Masonry walls commonly have rubble cores (if greater than 2ft. thick) which must be hollowed out. Picking at solid stone is another matter entirely. It will either be impossible due to lack of tools of sufficient hardness, or it may take a very long time due to use of a very light tool. Using proper mason’s tools is another thing entirely, taking only a few hours to accomplish. Digging grout out around tiles or blocks of masonry or bricks can be done slowly with a light metal tool, or quickly with something approximating a hammer and chisel, though care must be taken not to break the tile, stone or brick. Digging out the dirt underneath a floor tile or paver (as applicable) shouldn’t take more than one Action (as defined in the rules for combat, according to the character’s RoA as determined by his Init.) per (CRD) cu. in’s.
In the same manner as the Craftsman trade, the GM is largely on his own here. The STP’s explained in Chapter 3. of Part II. will probably be the GM’s best guide to determining how long digging or chopping at wood takes.
The general assessment of foliage cover in wilderness can be found in Chapter 3. of Part II. (pg _), the minimum standard for this skill is the Scant entry, the lowest on the table, for purposes of indoor/city use and clothing for caching stuff on one’s person the Middling, Heavy, Dense, and Extreme entries need to be given equivalents.
The Extreme category in clothing requires especially voluminous clothing, usually formal or worn by performers (designed to appeal to audiences). This generally applies to clothing of 5 layers, shirt/shift; tunic or robe/gown; over-tunic, jerkin, or tabard; robe/coat, and cloak/mantle (yes they were worn indoors, too), such as formal court garb or such as a well-to-do commoner or nobleman might wear outdoors from autumn through spring.
People of the period did not keep such collections of belongings around them in the areas of their homes in which they actually lived as would be described by this category. This category of clutter in furnishings, knickknacks, and what-not’s should generally be reserved for storage rooms for seasonal goods, wine, grain, cloth, and household goods, broken furniture or furnishings awaiting repair, hand-me-down clothing and shoes awaiting beggars in need or children to grow into them, or excess plate or jewelry (beyond the household’s need for everyday use or wear), and coin (in a locked treasury chamber), all packed away in chests, sacks, barrels, and so on, and empty or damaged spare chests, casks, and barrels.
Aside from these sorts of goods in cellars and storage chambers, this category should only really be applied to eccentric NPC’s in regards to the single chamber or small set of rooms devoted to housing some trade, craft, hobby, or other pursuit with which they are obsessed, a collection of some sort, an alchemical laboratory, or research library, a collection of books, scrolls and other scholarly tracts, sculpture or carvings, painted panels, religious idols and icons. The possibilities are endless, but NPC’s so obsessed should not occur very often, nor should those with rooms stuffed to this level be often encountered. Those with multiple rooms so stuffed should be rarer still.
The Dense category in clothing applies only to those wearing 4 layers of clothing, as above, generally omitting the outer robe/coat, which the well-to-do free folk or simple knights might not be able to afford, or omitting the cloak/mantle while indoors in cold weather.
In building interiors, this category indicates a richly furnished and/or ornamented room, including a centerpiece set of furnishings appropriate to the function of the room, ample seating for a numb[!r of guests as well as residents with abundant cushions and throws or furs, sideboards, cabinets, and the like for displaying belongings, a full complement of fixed draught-screens, fully shrouded windows and doors, swagged fabric accents and full curtaining around main gathering places and full sets of tapestry or wall coverings to keep out the chill, and woven mat, fur throw, or carpet-covered floors.
The Heavy category in clothing applies only to those wearing 3 layers of clothes, as above, generally omitting the robe/coat and cloak/mantle as might be done indoors in the company of a fire, or omitting the over-tunic or robe and the coat, as might be done by the common run of folk who might not be able to afford them.
In building interiors, this category indicates a well-furnished room, seating for a modest number of guests as well as residents, sideboards, cabinets, and the like for displaying belongings, a centerpiece piece of furniture appropriate to the function of the room, one or two full-sized wall hangings (c. 8ft. x 10ft.), a full complement of draught-screens to be moved about the commonly occupied rooms and windows fully shrouded with curtains, and rush and/or woven mat-covered floors.
The Middling category in clothing applies only to those wearing 2 layers of clothing, a single layer of clothing over the basic shirt/shift. and leggings or hose, generally omitting the over-tunic or robe, the robe/coat and cloak/mantle as might be done indoors in the company of a fire or in the summer, by the wealthy in private, for comfort’s sake, or by common folk and the landbound in the streets (weather permitting).
In building interiors, this category indicates a room furnished to normal “middle class” (common working freeman) standards, one central piece of furniture if appropriate to the room’s function, a few ancillary pieces about the perimeter including seating for the residents (separate chairs for head of household and Wife or deputy alone, benches and settles or small stools for the rest) with a portable draught-screen or two or curtains of some sort at window(s), maybe a small decorative textile wall hanging or two.
The quality of the layers, the quality of cloth, use of furs, and fineness of cut aren’t the only factors of clothing influenced by wealth, but the number of layers worn, as well. Clothing that is cut especially close to the body, to show off its contours, very popular among ladies and gentlemen of means and nobles who have the figure for it, should be counted as only 1/2 a layer for the purposes of cover for Concealment. On the other hand, those layers of clothing that are cut extremely baggy, with many folds, pleats, and gathers (strategically located through the use of this skill by or with the aid of a Tailor-Craftsman) should be counted as 2 layers, or a maximum of 3, for the purposes of cover Concealment.
This should be based on the amount of cloth contained in the garment, and the price of such special garments should be multiplied appropriately, according to the amount of fabric, and the time required to make them and the cost of the labor should similarly be multiplied.
Out in the streets, the GM will need to find city equivalents in vendors’ stalls and alleyway huts, recesses, alcoves, and embrasure, recessed doors and doorways, gates, alleys, close ranged buildings will have variable frontages, in and out, according to how well the builder was able to fight the city council (unless a given block of buildings are all owned and have been built by the same owner at the same time), man-made articles like sacks, crates, carts, barrels, wagons, various types of furniture and furnishings, especially in side streets and alleyways.
From Middling cover on up to Extreme, the character should be granted a +1/4th bonus to the effective DV provided by his skill or CRD (ie., + 1/2 for Heavy, +3/4th’s for Dense, double for Extreme).
A bare, blasted rock plain or room is nearly impossible for objects and extremely difficult for characters using this skill. The GM will need to make a judgment call on settings that offer less than the standard, to determine where it falls between the standard and the bare-rock worst-case setting, in fractions from 1/4th to 3/4th’s. This fraction should be applied to the character’s efforts, reducing the DV supplied by his skill once he has successfully applied it and raising the DV for exercising it successfully in the first place. Even a bare room with no alcoves or ornaments (the worst) allows the character can hide behind the door (if door opens in) or behind the jamb by the handle (door opens out) vs. a cursory glance into the room.
The GM may call for a series of AWA or Perception rolls to scout about until some suitable anomalous variation that might be exploited in the otherwise featureless setting should present itself to be enhanced and put to use for the character’s purpose.
When the object hidden has a reflective finish and the character has nothing in which to wrap it to prevent the reflections from giving it away, the GM should raise the DV for hiding it in the first place by 1/4th and cutting the DV against which it may be found again by other by 1/4th, but only when the setting is dark and those coming near are carrying a light, or under similar circumstances where the reflective quality of the object and the prevailing light might conspire to give the object’s location away (GM’s discretion).
The DV’s provided by this skill/activity for others to find afterwards, once the skill has been used to successfully hide them, assume that those who come within line-of-sight of the location of the Concealed object or the Cache are within (observer’s AWA) feet of it. No check should be allowed for any who remain farther away than that.
The GM should generally allow only one check vs. the DV provided by the character’s skill for the initial encounter or a cursory or preliminary search. Additional checks should only be allowed for further, more in-depth searches, by those with skill only when they state they are checking the actual location of an object hidden or Cached there (and then only one check), for those with the Questor/Sentry skill only when the players indicate further, progressively deeper and more intensive levels of searching, and then only when the area searched includes a Concealed item of Cache of items.
If the d100 roll for the observer within this distance is made, he notices that the character is hiding something or that something has been moved, not necessarily exactly what it is the character is hiding or that has been hidden there, though most guard or official-types and their assistants will no doubt be made curious enough by the realization to venture closer to challenge the character to see what is going on or what may have been disturbed.
For every check failed, the DV for further checks should be increased, normally.
- The AWA/Perception AV of observers who also have the Hide/Conceal skill should be allowed a bonus based on their own SL with that skill, as applicable, to discover those things hidden by the use of this skill.
Due to the nature of the skill, bumbles may cause a horrendous ruckus or spotlight the presence of those wishing to escape notice with the Padfoot, Skulker, or Stalker aspects, and any damage inflicted is strictly incidental, the twisting of an ankle the breaking of a toe, falling for a bit of damage, as might be suffered from bumbles of any similar movement-based skills.
For the Cache/Hide/Conceal aspects the Bumble may simply indicate that the character believes he has succeeded in hiding the object in question when in fact it is barely concealed at all, to be quickly spotted and discovered by the first person to happen by its location.