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Message no. 1
From: Lars Ericson <lericson@****.EDU>
Subject: Discussion of Alertness (Was Re: Mage Character)
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 10:08:24 -0500
David Foster wrote:
> ->Page 96 SR3 softbacksecond paragraph
> -> "The Alertness specialization is best treated as a Complementary Skill
> ->(see p. 97) for Perception Test. Characters can use this Complementary Skill
> ->only when applicable to stealth in some way: spotting a tail, keeping
> ->someone they are tailing in sight, spotting a camouflaged person or item,
> ->recognizing that the waiter is really a disguised assasin, and so on."
> So, in effect, it is saying it can be used to assist in the
> detection of things hidden (as all the examples are items or persons
> hiding or hidden). It would not assist if an object is in plain sight
> (like a bunch of papers on a desk, but looking for only one sheet).

Something that has not been mentioned, but that I want to point out, is
that Alertness is a specialization of Stealth. So, a general stealth
skill should be usable as a complimentary skill to Stealth. Since
everyone is going to have stealth as a shadowrunner this could get
abusive. Here some examples that some people might think fall under
Alertness, but probably should fall under Stealth Background.

Player1: "I want to try and notice if the cars behind us are changing
lanes at an unusual pattern as if trying to hard to be normal."
Player2: "I want to pay closer attention to gaps in the skyscraper
horizon to notice if a drone is using that for concealment."

Both of these situations are techniques people would use to be more
stealthy, so knowing about them helps you spot inconsistencies and
patterns. These examples would be covered by Stealth Background and not
Alertness in my opinion. Alertness would be an instinctual feeling for
the positions of people and their body language. Maybe Alertness needs
to be a seperate skill altogether.

Thoughts? Comments?

Lars Ericson: Professional Vagabond
Smalley Research Group, Rice University
E-Mail: lericson@****.edu

"Raisin Hell -- a million raisins in every can."
-- Sifl & Olly Show

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