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Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:09 PM
First, assume that the D&D planet is much like Earth in size, the size of its sun, and its distance from the sun.

1: Our sun is very big. According to the size tables, anything over 64 ft tall is considered "colossal" and has a -16 to Hide. Let's be charitable and houserule that every doubling of its dimension equals a doubling of its Hide penalty. , and is 865,000 miles away. This is roughly 26 doublings past Colossal. The sun has a Hide penalty of -1,073,741,824. Roughly d20 minus 1 billion.

2: The sun is 96,000,000 miles from Earth. This accounts for a -50,688,000,000 to Spot. That's d20 minus fifty billion.

3: Go ahead and roll. Your modifiers don't matter. You have a net -49 billion to your Spot check.

In fact, by the time you got close enough to the Sun to see it, you would have already burned up.

The numbers play out for the Moon too. And all those stars in the sky? Too far away to be visible.

Fact is, when you look out over a forest at the mountain beyond it, the mountain is invisible. This is counterintuitive to those of us who are actually able to look out a window and see a mountain without actually standing on it.

So what do you think? One could houserule for the Sun's luminosity. Then a human carrying a torch would be more visible. Which makes sense.

Human Paragon 3
2009-01-12, 06:11 PM
Ah, but the sun doesn't have cover or concealment, making it impossible for it to hide without Hide in Plain Site, which the sun doesn't have.

Fan
2009-01-12, 06:13 PM
Wait, the sun is trying to hide from us? Last I cchecked you only needed spot if something was A: Difficult to see such as a key buried in a rubble, or B: Actively attempting to hide.

averagejoe
2009-01-12, 06:15 PM
1) Spot modifiers don't work like that. You don't need to make a spot check to see things that are plain to see.

2) Your houserule for size modifiers leaves much to be desired, as it plainly makes things work how they're not supposed to work.

Illiterate Scribe
2009-01-12, 06:18 PM
Ah, but do we see the sun, or do we only see its light?

Wait. That's not a helpful question. Go away, Kant.

Waitaminute - if we're playing by the simplified rule that once one party member can see something, the entire party is aware of it, and we're also using critical 20 = success skill rolls, then perhaps we, the adventuring party known as the human race, can see the sun because, every six seconds, someone is looking up at the sky and rolling a natural 20? It's a D&D reworking of the 50 45 30 20 10 righteous men (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah#The_Biblical_text) story.

Heliomance
2009-01-12, 06:22 PM
1) Spot modifiers don't work like that. You don't need to make a spot check to see things that are plain to see.

2) Your houserule for size modifiers leaves much to be desired, as it plainly makes things work how they're not supposed to work.

Actualy, no. His houserule for the size penalty to hide actually makes it easier to see. Without that, the sun only has a -16 to its check.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:25 PM
As for my houserule for size mods not being good enough, I'm here pointing out how the Spot rules suck even when I make concessions. Just going by the rules it's even worse.

As for the sun not having concealment, you can plainly see the sun in real life even when there's high fog - which would count as at least partial concealment.

And finally, what I'm really trying to show here is how when you blow the problem waay up you see the obvious problems that might not be so obvious in smaller ranges. That problem is that someone trying to hide and failing spectacularly is still invisible in the middle of an empty public square if his outline is a little Blurry.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:27 PM
critical 20 = success skill roll

Then I can hear a baby cooing in Argentina if I listen for 20 minutes.

holywhippet
2009-01-12, 06:28 PM
and we're also using critical 20 = success skill rolls

What DM in their right mind allows that rule? Some things are simply impossible without enough skill ranks. Would you allow a level 1 rogue to pick the lock on a door which was sealed by an ancient race 10,000 years ago to safeguard their most dangerous treasures, just because they rolled a 20?

Fax Celestis
2009-01-12, 06:29 PM
Spot is only for creatures, and only for those that are hiding or disguised.


Check
The Spot skill is used primarily to detect characters or creatures who are hiding. Typically, your Spot check is opposed by the Hide check of the creature trying not to be seen. Sometimes a creature isnít intentionally hiding but is still difficult to see, so a successful Spot check is necessary to notice it.

...Spot is also used to detect someone in disguise, and to read lips when you canít hear or understand what someone is saying.

monty
2009-01-12, 06:31 PM
Ah, but the sun doesn't have cover or concealment, making it impossible for it to hide without Hide in Plain Site, which the sun doesn't have.

You know why you can't see the sun at night? Because it's hiding.

That makes much more sense, doesn't it?

Draz74
2009-01-12, 06:31 PM
I think the sun is a magic item that gives anybody or anything a +60 billion unnamed bonus to Spot it. :smalltongue:

Draz74
2009-01-12, 06:32 PM
You know why you can't see the sun at night? Because it's hiding.

That makes much more sense, doesn't it?

I retract my own attempt at humor in the face of this post, which wins the thread.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:35 PM
Spot is only for creatures, and only for those that are hiding or disguised.

I see what you quote, but it does say it's mainly used to do those things. What about spotting a key lying on the ground when it's in dim lighting? Search is much too specific and is used in a different way. You have to be within 10', which suggests that you cannot use Search to notice a building. And there isn't an alternative, is there?

The building is an excellent example. How far away in clear air does a building have to be before you can't see it?

And the object vs creature point is moot. Let's assume a creature of equal size and properties to the Sun pops in and swallows it, taking its place instantly. It tries to hide and fails spectacularly. But it's still invisible from Earth.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-12, 06:38 PM
I see what you quote, but it does say it's mainly used to do those things. What about spotting a key lying on the ground when it's in dim lighting? Search is much too specific and is used in a different way. You have to be within 10', which suggests that you cannot use Search to notice a building. And there isn't an alternative, is there?Rules-wise, no, there's no way to determine that sort of action. Find me a DC chart for spotting objects with the Spot skill and we'll talk.


And the object vs creature point is moot. Let's assume a creature of equal size and properties to the Sun pops in and swallows it, taking its place instantly. It tries to hide and fails spectacularly. But it's still invisible from Earth.

Well, of course it'd be not visible. It's not illuminating itself the way the sun does, so now it's dark.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:39 PM
Also, as for using Hide with cover, it suggests that simply having some measure of cover is enough to make a Hide check. Observe:

I walk behind a low wall. It goes up to my hips. It counts as cover. You turn around and wait until I say OK. You turn back around and look for me. I'm still standing there, in broad daylight, but you have a pretty good chance of not seeing me. Especially if you're a 100-foot city block away :/

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:42 PM
Rules-wise, no, there's no way to determine that sort of action. Find me a DC chart for spotting objects with the Spot skill and we'll talk.

There is no reason why a statue of a dude is any different from the dude himself standing next to it in a powdered wig. I present that and suggest that to spot a Tiny object is as difficult as spotting a Tiny unmoving creature.




Well, of course it'd be not visible. It's not illuminating itself the way the sun does, so now it's dark.

Nope, I said including all its properties, including luminosity. It's exactly like the Sun but a creature, and thus able to make Hide checks.

BobVosh
2009-01-12, 06:44 PM
I think you forgot to mention the sun's penalty to hiding. It is using a light source.

Also omnimancers, microbots, and punpun can see the sun. But noone else. How awesome is that?

monty
2009-01-12, 06:45 PM
Nope, I said including all its properties, including luminosity. It's exactly like the Sun but a creature, and thus able to make Hide checks.

It still has no cover or concealment. Except at night.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-12, 06:46 PM
Despite the fact that to your eyes and my eyes, there is no difference between the man and the statue, the game differentiates the two. It makes the assumption that when you are making a Spot check, your target is both attempting to Hide and is using some means of concealment (cover, concealment, invisibility, or otherwise) to do so. It's a mechanic aimed at versilimitude, not perfection, and as such is not going to work absolutely perfectly.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:47 PM
It still has no cover or concealment. Except at night.

I answered this one. High fog or thin cloud cover. That's full concealment according to the Fog rules in SRD. You can still see the sun irl though.

Matthew
2009-01-12, 06:47 PM
Spot is only for creatures, and only for those that are hiding or disguised.

Whilst I agree with you, and have argued this position many times, it is only fair to point out that the confusion over this arises from that stupid DC 0 example in the PHB (p. 64):


Very easy (0) Notice something large in plain sight (Spot)

The example of the spot check as a highly abstract game rule in the DMG (p. 32) also does not help matters.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:49 PM
Despite the fact that to your eyes and my eyes, there is no difference between the man and the statue, the game differentiates the two. It makes the assumption that when you are making a Spot check, your target is both attempting to Hide and is using some means of concealment (cover, concealment, invisibility, or otherwise) to do so. It's a mechanic aimed at versilimitude, not perfection, and as such is not going to work absolutely perfectly.

If the mechanic leaves the man invisible, not doing anything but somehow partially covered or concealed, but leaves his identical statue next to him visible under the same conditions, simply because one is breathing and the other isn't, is just kind of funky.

Say a dude is paralyzed in place. He's still a creature and he's standing behind a low stone wall, top half visible. At some range you simply cannot see him. Yet as soon as someone kills him, assuming he's still paralyzed and just a frozen corpse standing there, same arrangement of tissues and fluids as a moment ago, he suddenly pops into view plain as day.

EDIT: So what's the point of this if not to give an alternative that's hopefully better? This one is a toughie. I've been struggling with stealth rules for a long time in my D&D project and rules that work well are typically too complex to use in a tabletop game.

I think every 10' of distance should have a penalty, but the penalty could be different based on what happened in that 10'. If it was fog, give a decent penalty. If it's clear, no penalty. Then in my Sun/Moon example we can ignore all the empty space in between. This would work the same as Listen giving a penalty for every door the sound passes. But while sound weakens quite quickly as it travels, and -1 per 10' of clear air might be appropriate, light is hardier through clear air.

I guess my original point was the system as it stands doesn't work very well. It does barely hold itself together if you don't poke it much. But right now I don't have an answer. Maybe you guys do.

BRC
2009-01-12, 06:53 PM
Pointing out flaws in RAW is pointless when such a flaw exists on account of a houserule.

In fact, the oppostite is true, according to RAW, you could meet somebody for the first time, then an hour later, look at a crowded mall that they were in from 100 feet away and spot them instantly with zero chance of failure provided they wern't activly trying to hide from you.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-12, 06:54 PM
As I stated, when you're making a Spot check it is assumed that your target is attempting to Hide. Voluntarily failing a Hide check (something that an object automatically does, as it does not carry a Dexterity score) allows your target to see you without a Spot check, especially since you are supposed to be attracting attention, therefore making you more noticeable.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 06:58 PM
As I stated, when you're making a Spot check it is assumed that your target is attempting to Hide. Voluntarily failing a Hide check (something that an object automatically does, as it does not carry a Dexterity score) allows your target to see you without a Spot check, especially since you are supposed to be attracting attention, therefore making you more noticeable.


And as I stated, in response to what you said the first time you said this, even if the Sun were a creature trying to hide it would still be invisible.

And the dude just standing there trying to hide, able to do so by virtue of being behind a low stone wall or with a blurry outline, is able to hide standing next to his statue buddy even though there is no difference between them.

Heck, animate the statue and tell it to stand still and "try to hide". Suddenly it disappears for no reason.


Pointing out flaws in RAW is pointless when such a flaw exists on account of a houserule.

In fact, the oppostite is true, according to RAW, you could meet somebody for the first time, then an hour later, look at a crowded mall that they were in from 100 feet away and spot them instantly with zero chance of failure provided they wern't activly trying to hide from you.

Going straight by RAW here you'd have an extra -1 billion chance to your d20 roll to see the sun-creature while it's hiding. Or trying to hide. No houserule.

TheCountAlucard
2009-01-12, 06:58 PM
It's exactly like the Sun but a creature...

...how do you know the sun isn't a creature?

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa100/TheCountAlucard666/Sunisplottingagainstus.jpg

Fax Celestis
2009-01-12, 07:04 PM
You missed the important part:


Voluntarily failing a Hide check (something that an object automatically does, as it does not carry a Dexterity score) allows your target to see you without a Spot check.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 07:07 PM
Fax. The Sun is replaced by a completely identical creature that is just like the Sun except it's a creature and thus able to hide. Not an object. Thus we get around the tedious mistake in the rules that you pointed out and continue talking about how Spot is bŲrkend. Even when trying to look at creatures.

TempusCCK
2009-01-12, 07:09 PM
Uhh, what about the huge modifier against hide for being so intensely bright?

Do you make a spot check to see a torch? No, because it grows very brightly in a sea of darkness. The sun, if statted for some inane reason, as a creature, would have a natural negative modifier to hide due to the fact that it's a big burning ball of gas.

Why is the sun even making a hide check?

This is not a very well thought out thread. Seems to me like you want to hop onto the "3.x is fundamentally broken!" bandwagon, but you're ignoring some of the fundamentals, such as, the system assumes that inanimate objects aren't making freaking hide checks and that if something glows brightly, especially as brightly as the sun, it's going to have a huge negative mod. But, I mean, it's alright to use only part of the system to justify your ideas, and not the whole thing right?

Epic Fail.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-12, 07:09 PM
At which point I hearken back to my preceding statements and indicate that Spot is not designed to work that way.

Matthew
2009-01-12, 07:11 PM
You missed the important part:

Surely, the more important part for seeing things in plain sight is this:


You need cover or concealment (see pages 150Ė152) in order to attempt a Hide check. Total cover or total concealment usually (but not always; see Special, below) obviates the need for a Hide check, since nothing can see you anyway.

Meaning that spot checks that are not opposed by hide checks are simply a matter of game master fiat. Presumably a monster the size and illumination of the sun could attempt to hide behind a cloud or something. No problem in that case, since the sun routinely disappears behind such things.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 07:16 PM
Uhh, what about the huge modifier against hide for being so intensely bright?

Nothing in the rules for that.


*Other stuff*

You did not read the thread, you responded to the first post.



Epic Fail.
You do indeed fail. But I don't think it was very epic.




Meaning that spot checks that are not opposed by hide checks are simply a matter of game master fiat.

All your passage is saying is that if something has total cover, it's guaranteed to be invisible. Not that there's any special relationship between Spot and Hide - except the obvious that the Hide check result is the DC for Spot.


EDIT:
@Fax:
I understand that Spot was designed as a simple, slipshod, stopgap method for adjudicating Hide in the presence of people with varying perception. And I say it does that poorly. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it appears you like how Spot works and think it's alright. Please tell me I'm wrong about that!

Matthew
2009-01-12, 07:18 PM
All your passage is saying is that if something has total cover, it's guaranteed to be invisible. Not that there's any special relationship between Spot and Hide - except the obvious that the Hide check result is the DC for Spot.

No, it is saying you must have cover or concealment to even attempt to hide. The sun (or equivalent) cannot hide if it is in plain sight. How you use a spot check after that is up to you.

Furthermore, the penalty for distance only applies when the DM is calling for a spot check to determine the range at which an encounter begins (PHB, p. 83).


The Dungeon Master may call for Spot checks to determine the distance at which an encounter begins. A penalty applies on such checks, depending on the distance between the two individuals or groups, and an additional penalty may apply if the character making the Spot check is distracted (not concentrating on being observant).

The game master may apply those penalties in other situations, if he deems it appropriate, but the rules are not written so that a −1 penalty for distance always applies in ten foot increments.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 07:22 PM
No, it's saying you must have cover or concealment to even attempt to hide. The sun (or equivalent) cannot hide if it is in plain sight. How you use a spot check after that is up to you.

[Chilling effect of forum rules causes self-censorship]

Alright. If there is high fog, or thin clouds, those at ground level would count as at least partial concealment yet the Sun is often visible through them. Which means that even though the rules say you shouldn't be able to see the sun at all, if there are thin clouds, you can still see it in reality. And the rules would suggest that you cannot see the sun at all if it were behind high fog, yet when it came out it would pop up completely visible.

You guys have seen the sun behind clouds, right? I know some clouds do block the sun but those are a lot thicker than you'd need for 20% conceal.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-12, 07:23 PM
I'm not saying it's perfect, but I am saying you're using it wrong. Yes, the Spot mechanic does not model the way the real world works very well. It's not meant to. It's meant to be an adjudicating mechanic between a player who wants to see something and a DM who does not want him to.

TheStranger
2009-01-12, 07:23 PM
At the absolute worst, this is not a flaw in the 3.x rules, it's just a case that falls outside of what the rules are designed to model. IMO, this is analogous to arguing that the idea of representing an area of the earth's surface on a 5-foot grid is fundamentally flawed because the curvature of the earth makes it impossible to grid the entire earth that way. While it may be true that the system breaks down in extreme cases, any system that models reality well enough that it takes such an extreme case to point out potential flaws is probably doing a pretty good job of it.

Not that 3.x doesn't fail to model reality in other ways, but I don't think this is one of them.

TempusCCK
2009-01-12, 07:23 PM
Uhh, sure is in the rules. Hide in Plain Sight wasn't in the rules until someone gave it to a class. You're trying to duplicate the sun, but you're convienently ignoring the fact that a monster that duplicates the sun completely would probably have an Extraordinary ability that models the mechanics for what I'm talking about.

You're talking about creating a brand new monster that models the sun. I.E, soemthing that can make Hide checks, but you're ignoring the fact that you're not actually modeling the sun if you don't include mechanics for how bright it is. You're creating something new there, but leaving out everything that doesn't support your argument.

"well, my sun can make hide checks, but it isn't bright because nothing else in the game is bright!"

Kurald Galain
2009-01-12, 07:25 PM
Well, if objects can't make hide checks, then anyone can find the proverbial needle in the haystack instantly. That's also really not what you want.


Speaking of which, assuming that size doesn't go smaller than "fine", how high-level must a ranger be in order to spot bacteria? (which, yes, are creatures)


Also speaking of which, I'm sure there are some spells out there with a range of "line of sight"? How easy would it be to nuke the sun, without resorting to major creating anti-osmium?

Matthew
2009-01-12, 07:25 PM
Alright. If there is high fog, or thin clouds, those at ground level would count as at least partial concealment yet the Sun is often visible through them. Which means that even though the rules say you shouldn't be able to see the sun at all, if there are thin clouds, you can still see it in reality. And the rules would suggest that you cannot see the sun at all if it were behind high fog, yet when it came out it would pop up completely visible.

You guys have seen the sun behind clouds, right? I know some clouds do block the sun but those are a lot thicker than you'd need for 20% conceal.
Again. You do not apply the rules you are applying in that situation, because the penalties for range only apply when determining encounter distance. Perhaps if you decided that encounters can occur between an object the size and distance of the sun and a character standing on the earth you might have to deal with this, but by the RAW such an encounter cannot happen.

To be clear, I am not telling you the rules are good at modelling reality, I am telling you that you are using them wrong.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 07:27 PM
Furthermore, the penalty for distance only applies when the DM is calling for a spot check to determine the range at which an encounter begins (PHB, p. 83).

Matthew, thank you, you're right about this in that section. It appears that according to the Spot rules it's as easy to see a man hiding while standing behind a low stone wall, whether he's standing 10' away or 5,000' away. I misread that to apply to all spot checks in the same way the -1/10' applies to listen checks.

So unless someone can see a place where it actually says you get the penalty for range, we have a different problem:

You're standing on a mountaintop. The sun is setting in one direction, and you can see it. In the other direction is a spaceman at the same distance from you as the Sun is.

So:

Sun ------- Earth (Observer) ---------- Spaceman

The spaceman is standing on an asteroid. Slightly behind it. His torso is visible. But he's 93 million miles away. The average human Commoner can see him?

monty
2009-01-12, 07:27 PM
Speaking of which, assuming that size doesn't go smaller than "fine", how high-level must a ranger be in order to spot bacteria? (which, yes, are creatures)

I would argue that they aren't. For example, plants are not creatures (I'm talking about trees and such, not plant creatures), and they're considerably more creature-like than bacteria.

Also, I think TheStranger's post applies to this.

RS14
2009-01-12, 07:31 PM
EDIT:
@Fax:
I understand that Spot was designed as a simple, slipshod, stopgap method for adjudicating Hide in the presence of people with varying perception. And I say it does that poorly. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it appears you like how Spot works and think it's alright. Please tell me I'm wrong about that!

I'm not Fax, but I do think spot works fine, unless your campaign regularly features combat with Monstrous Suns.


You missed the important part:
Voluntarily failing a Hide check (something that an object automatically does, as it does not carry a Dexterity score) allows your target to see you without a Spot check.

I'm all for DMs trying to rules lawyer the rules into working, but this presents just as many problems as Tacoma's example: I can now see any object, no matter how small, within line of sight. That's just not right either.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 07:32 PM
At the absolute worst, this is not a flaw in the 3.x rules, it's just a case that falls outside of what the rules are designed to model.
Not that 3.x doesn't fail to model reality in other ways, but I don't think this is one of them.

I'm using this as a large scale example to show how silly the rules are because when we talk about distances of 30' or 50' the silliness isn't as evident.
You could use the same example at a distance of one mile, quite within what the game should be modeling.



Uhh, sure is in the rules.

Nope. Use of lighting as a Hide penalty or Spot bonus isn't anywhere I can see. For example, if you have a torch you aren't easier to notice. That's what I meant when I said there was nothing in the rules about luminosity. Aaand that has absolutely nothing to do with HiPS.

Simanos
2009-01-12, 07:34 PM
Also, as for using Hide with cover, it suggests that simply having some measure of cover is enough to make a Hide check. Observe:

I walk behind a low wall. It goes up to my hips. It counts as cover. You turn around and wait until I say OK. You turn back around and look for me. I'm still standing there, in broad daylight, but you have a pretty good chance of not seeing me. Especially if you're a 100-foot city block away :/
No. Your friend can still see you. You didn't say you attempted the action HIDE (and rolled dice). You must first declare (to the DM) and attempt the action (skill) Hide before you become "hidden". That attempt is what the other guy meant. And it signifies more than just standing there like a fool.

END OF THREAD - YOU LOSE :smallcool:

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 07:36 PM
No. Your friend can still see you. You didn't say you attempted the action HIDE (and rolled dice). You must first declare (to the DM) and attempt the action (skill) Hide before you become "hidden". That attempt is what the other guy meant. And it signifies more than just standing there like a fool.

END OF THREAD - YOU LOSE :smallcool:

Er, not really. Because if you hid totally behind the wall you'd have full cover and not need to roll. The partial cover is enough to allow Hide usage. Which means you can hide while showing much of your body above the wall.

monty
2009-01-12, 07:41 PM
Er, not really. Because if you hid totally behind the wall you'd have full cover and not need to roll. The partial cover is enough to allow Hide usage. Which means you can hide while showing much of your body above the wall.

Right, but using the "Hide" skill would entail some sort of effort to conceal yourself, not just standing there with a goofy grin on your face.

TheStranger
2009-01-12, 07:41 PM
I'm using this as a large scale example to show how silly the rules are because when we talk about distances of 30' or 50' the silliness isn't as evident.
You could use the same example at a distance of one mile, quite within what the game should be modeling. .

Then give an example that's likely to come up in gameplay, rather than one that's well outside the scope of anything the designers would have considered. If you make ridiculous claims, you may find that people are not sympathetic to your argument.

Another interesting point with regard to spot/listen checks is how incredibly easy it is to fail them IRL. I once walked to within 5' of a deer (presumably a Medium creature) without noticing it, despite the fact that it was standing in the open in a fairly well-lit area (I have a huge Wisdom penalty, evidently). Clearly, this is not a common occurrence, but it happened. Just because you should be able to see something doesn't mean you will - hence, the spot check.

Simanos
2009-01-12, 07:46 PM
Well, if objects can't make hide checks, then anyone can find the proverbial needle in the haystack instantly. That's also really not what you want.
The needle has Total Cover if in a haystack, thus can't be found. If you place it on top, it will glint in the sun and be spotted (otherwise search check) :smalltongue:
Plus this is why we have DMs (rules are guidelines to help, not hard facts to restrict).

Simanos
2009-01-12, 07:51 PM
Er, not really. Because if you hid totally behind the wall you'd have full cover and not need to roll. The partial cover is enough to allow Hide usage. Which means you can hide while showing much of your body above the wall.
I know you're doing this for fun, but stop being a troll (and a moron at that).
I didn't talk about Total Cover (because you didn't and that would be an idiotic fallacy). I used the exact example you gave. Allowing HIDE usage is NOT the same as USING HIDE. Otherwise half the people in the tavern would be invisible to the rest and vice-versa. But not everyone is trying to hide!
You failed to provide counter arguments to the requirement of USING the ACTION (skill) HIDE.
YOU LOSE AGAIN :smallcool:

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 07:57 PM
Alright, given the turnabout in the problematic nature of the Spot skill: that is, distance is not an issue, here is a problem that would commonly occur.

You're on a plain. At the edge of the plain is a sheer cliff face, 100 feet up. Certainly in reality you might be able to notice a dude standing at the top unless he were hiding. His silhouette alone could be a giveaway.

A guy at that distance can't just hide. He has to be halfway behind something to hide. Even though it makes perfect sense that you might just miss noticing the dude sitting up there on the rocks, he MUST have partial cover / concealment.

Anyway, a dude is up there and his lower body is behind a stone wall. You can roll against his Hide check to see him. Cool, we think, there's a chance he can ambush you or there's a chance you notice him.

The problem comes when you put some small ruins along the road leading up to the cliff. You pass by this low wall where there's a dude standing on the other side. He has partial cover, so he is eligible for a Hide attempt. But here's the kicker: the dude atop the cliff is just as easy to see as the dude on the other side of this hip-high wall.




Now let's take another common example. You're on a prairie wandering along with a very bright light source. Everything else is pitch black. It's overcast and there are no stars or moon out because of the clouds. You should be the most obvious thing on that prairie. And you should not be able to see out of your light radius.

In the game, an orc on a hill in the prairie could not see your group. He cannot see you because you're not within his 60' darkvision. He should be able to see your light and see everyone in it clearly, but the rules don't address that.

MickJay
2009-01-12, 07:58 PM
If at least one person writing in this thread was actually dead serious, then I'm starting to worry. :smallbiggrin:

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 08:01 PM
I know you're doing this for fun, but stop being a troll (and a moron at that).
I didn't talk about Total Cover (because you didn't and that would be an idiotic fallacy). I used the exact example you gave. Allowing HIDE usage is NOT the same as USING HIDE. Otherwise half the people in the tavern would be invisible to the rest and vice-versa. But not everyone is trying to hide!
You failed to provide counter arguments to the requirement of USING the ACTION (skill) HIDE.
YOU LOSE AGAIN :smallcool:

I actually thought you were joking the first time. By saying "OK ready! Turn around and fnid me now!" I was expecting that you'd understand the person standing behind the wall was using his Hide skill.

Of course everyone in the tavern isn't trying to hide. The dude behind the wall is.

*Sigh*

I censor myself to avoid violating the forum rules, as in calling people names. I'm not "trolling" as in trying to just stir up trouble. I'm making a point that the Spot rules are funky. And strangely enough, virtually everyone took that as an excuse to defend the Spot rules in any way possible. My life for the King! Can nobody just say, "hey you know, the Spot rules are kind of funky!"

It might be agianst the very nature of this board, perhaps the Internet. Who knows?

shadowfox
2009-01-12, 08:03 PM
I am amused at how, at certain times, people start to obscure the defined line between Search and Spot.

In either case, the sun isn't that hard to see on a clear day. No spot check is needed. Now, if it's a partly cloudy day, and there are quite a few clouds the sun could be behind, then I'd say you'd need to do a Spot check to find which cloud the sun is behind (assuming the cloud has more coverage than the sun we see in the sky). However, the spotter would get a bonus, because, chances are, the cloud would start to reveal the sun over time, and the sunlight escaping from behind the cloud would hurt the spotter's eyes (and possibly when he looks at the right cloud, too; however, it's been quite a few years since I've done that, so I can't remember quite well). Having partial cover does nothing to hide the fact that the sun is there. Total cloud coverage makes it impossible to find the sun. At night, the sun isn't even there, so no Spot check can be made to find it.

It's a game system. If it were more like real life, there would be an obscene number of complicated rules. And not everything in real life can be taken into effect. (Ever try making Asperger's Syndrome into a game mechanic? I tried to, once, when challenged to make a character based off of myself. I never completed that character, nor the Asperger's Syndrome "trait.")

TheStranger
2009-01-12, 08:11 PM
Alright, given the turnabout in the problematic nature of the Spot skill: that is, distance is not an issue, here is a problem that would commonly occur.

You're on a plain. At the edge of the plain is a sheer cliff face, 100 feet up. Certainly in reality you might be able to notice a dude standing at the top unless he were hiding. His silhouette alone could be a giveaway.

A guy at that distance can't just hide. He has to be halfway behind something to hide. Even though it makes perfect sense that you might just miss noticing the dude sitting up there on the rocks, he MUST have partial cover / concealment.

Anyway, a dude is up there and his lower body is behind a stone wall. You can roll against his Hide check to see him. Cool, we think, there's a chance he can ambush you or there's a chance you notice him.

The problem comes when you put some small ruins along the road leading up to the cliff. You pass by this low wall where there's a dude standing on the other side. He has partial cover, so he is eligible for a Hide attempt. But here's the kicker: the dude atop the cliff is just as easy to see as the dude on the other side of this hip-high wall.

That all sounds pretty reasonable to me. A guy a couple hundred feet away taking cover behind a waist-high wall should be fairly hard to see. Furthermore, it should be entirely possible to walk right by him and not notice him (see my real-life example above). Can you clarify on what you see as the problem here?


Now let's take another common example. You're on a prairie wandering along with a very bright light source. Everything else is pitch black. It's overcast and there are no stars or moon out because of the clouds. You should be the most obvious thing on that prairie. And you should not be able to see out of your light radius.

In the game, an orc on a hill in the prairie could not see your group. He cannot see you because you're not within his 60' darkvision. He should be able to see your light and see everyone in it clearly, but the rules don't address that.

I agree with this. The spot rules do not model the effects of light well. However, the orc could see you even if you're beyond his darkvision, because you're not in the dark. Even so, the ease of spotting light sources is an area where the spot rules fail. The rules, however, do reflect that you can't see outside your light radius, at least without darkvision.

Matthew
2009-01-12, 08:14 PM
I censor myself to avoid violating the forum rules, as in calling people names. I'm not "trolling" as in trying to just stir up trouble.

Mate, everybody censors themselves on this forum to abide by the rules of posting, but they don't say so at every turn, because that is a form of passive aggressive behaviour also frowned upon here. That guy definitely shouldn't have called you a "Troll" and you should certainly report it (just click the report button on his post), but we're expected to otherwise ignore folks who misbehave.



I'm making a point that the Spot rules are funky. And strangely enough, virtually everyone took that as an excuse to defend the Spot rules in any way possible. My life for the King! Can nobody just say, "hey you know, the Spot rules are kind of funky!"

It might be agianst the very nature of this board, perhaps the Internet. Who knows?

Thing is, most people know that you cannot apply the abstract spot rules as though they are the physics of the game world. You are not the first person to point out this scenario, but the latest in a very long list (I am certain this isn't the first time Fax has had this discussion here). Some folks have tried to correct your understanding of the rules where you have erred, and some are certainly willing to admit the limitations of the D20/3e system with regards to situations it was not expected to handle (and seriously, there are loads of ways in which the system sucks if played RAW). No need to tar us all with the same brush.

There are better ways to go about things than this.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 08:16 PM
Stranger: My problem with it is that the guy 100' up is just as hard to see as the guy right next to you. Sure in your own experience (mine too) it's easy to miss things right near you. Yesterday I tried to put a pair of scissors in a mug full of pencils, but I had a different mug in mind when I was looking for it. I tapped that shelf with the scissors as I was asking my girlfriend if she had the pencil mug off the desk. I turned away, turned back around, and realized the mug was there the whole time. I had tapped that pair of scissors not three inches from the mug.

I'm saying the guy 100' away, or 200' away, or a mile away, should be harder to see. Our failure to spot something simple IRL would be a result I'd expect from a failed roll, perhaps a natural "1". But I don't commonly do that, you know? You don't just misplace your car or your house.

lisiecki
2009-01-12, 08:19 PM
First, assume that the D&D planet is much like Earth in size, the size of its sun, and its distance from the sun.

"the d&d planet"?
Abeir-Toril
Urth
Krynn
Mystara
Eberron
Athas
Aebrynis

What one you talking about friend?


Frankly i think this works best for Ravenloft, hey has ANYONE EVER seen the sun there?



1: Our sun is very big. According to the size tables, anything over 64 ft tall is considered "colossal" and has a -16 to Hide. Let's be charitable and houserule that every doubling of its dimension equals a doubling of its Hide penalty. , and is 865,000 miles away. This is roughly 26 doublings past Colossal. The sun has a Hide penalty of -1,073,741,824. Roughly d20 minus 1 billion.

Well then, it really is a good thing that the Suns in the Crystal spheres are designed to transmit light through the Phlogiston

Matthew
2009-01-12, 08:20 PM
Stranger: My problem with it is that the guy 100' up is just as hard to see as the guy right next to you. Sure in your own experience (mine too) it's easy to miss things right near you. Yesterday I tried to put a pair of scissors in a mug full of pencils, but I had a different mug in mind when I was looking for it. I tapped that shelf with the scissors as I was asking my girlfriend if she had the pencil mug off the desk. I turned away, turned back around, and realized the mug was there the whole time. I had tapped that pair of scissors not three inches from the mug.

I'm saying the guy 100' away, or 200' away, or a mile away, should be harder to see. Our failure to spot something simple IRL would be a result I'd expect from a failed roll, perhaps a natural "1". But I don't commonly do that, you know? You don't just misplace your car or your house.

You have to go and take a look at the environment rules for this stuff. There are specific guidelines there for spotting distance and stealth, etcetera. Between 3.0 and 3.5 a whole bunch of encounter rules changed, and frankly both versions fail in various ways (the 3.0 rules are maybe a bit better, as they actually have rules for determining encounter distance when nobody is hiding).



"the d&d planet"?
Abeir-Toril
Urth
Krynn
Mystara
Eberron
Athas
Aebrynis

What one you talking about friend?

The "D&D planet" would be Oerth, otherwise known as the Greyhawk campaign setting. Everything defaults to Greyhawk in third edition.

Canadian
2009-01-12, 08:23 PM
If you stare at the sun long enough you'll go blind and you won't be able to spot anything. :smallsmile:

TheStranger
2009-01-12, 08:25 PM
Stranger: My problem with it is that the guy 100' up is just as hard to see as the guy right next to you. Sure in your own experience (mine too) it's easy to miss things right near you. Yesterday I tried to put a pair of scissors in a mug full of pencils, but I had a different mug in mind when I was looking for it. I tapped that shelf with the scissors as I was asking my girlfriend if she had the pencil mug off the desk. I turned away, turned back around, and realized the mug was there the whole time. I had tapped that pair of scissors not three inches from the mug.

I'm saying the guy 100' away, or 200' away, or a mile away, should be harder to see. Our failure to spot something simple IRL would be a result I'd expect from a failed roll, perhaps a natural "1". But I don't commonly do that, you know? You don't just misplace your car or your house.

The guy 100' away is harder to see, due to distance modifiers on Spot checks - the whole point of your original post, I thought. Am I missing something here?

Llama231
2009-01-12, 08:29 PM
Isn't there a rule that decreases the hide check signifigantly based on how much light something puts out?
Like fire monsters in 4e?

Matthew
2009-01-12, 08:29 PM
The guy 100' away is harder to see, due to distance modifiers on Spot checks - the whole point of your original post, I thought. Am I missing something here?

Yep, the revelation that distance modifiers only explicitly apply in encounters. As long as the terrain and weather allows for spotting at a distance of 100' ala pp. 86-101 of the DMG then they do apply. In any other circumstances the game master has to adjudicate.



Isn't there a rule that decreases the hide check signifigantly based on how much light something puts out?
Like fire monsters in 4e?

Maybe in the Underdark sourcebook? They go into way more detail there, apparently.

lisiecki
2009-01-12, 08:35 PM
The "D&D planet" would be Oerth, otherwise known as the Greyhawk campaign setting. Everything defaults to Greyhawk in third edition.

Oh,

Well were good then. Oerth ISNT the same size as Earth.
The year is shorter.
Celene takes twice as long to orbit Oerth as Luna takes to orbit earth.

oh ya

and in Greyspace the SUN orbits Oerth

Matthew
2009-01-12, 08:38 PM
Oh,

Well were good then. Oerth ISNT the same size as Earth.
The year is shorter.
Celene takes twice as long to orbit Oerth as Luna takes to orbit earth.

oh ya

and in Greyspace the SUN orbits Oerth

Right, but for the purposes of the excercise, he asked us to assume that it is exactly like earth. So, no need to worry about the differences between Oerth and Earth in this instance.

monty
2009-01-12, 08:43 PM
Oh,

Well were good then. Oerth ISNT the same size as Earth.
The year is shorter.

What does the year length have to do with the size of the planet?


and in Greyspace the SUN orbits Oerth

Relativity says that's effectively the same thing. A few undetectable differences in acceleration, but otherwise identical.

lisiecki
2009-01-12, 08:46 PM
Right, but for the purposes of the excercise, he asked us to assume that it is exactly like earth. So, no need to worry about the differences between Oerth and Earth in this instance.

True,

He did.
But the fundamental structure, function, and natural laws of Relmspace are in no way the same as in the Solar System. Now, I'm no astrophysicist but it would seem that comparing how light travels through the vacuum of space, compares to how light travels through luminiferous aether is like... "Lets assume that light travels through luminiferous aether in the same way it travels through a vacuum"

lisiecki
2009-01-12, 08:47 PM
What does the year length have to do with the size of the planet?



Relativity says that's effectively the same thing. A few undetectable differences in acceleration, but otherwise identical.

Nothing, your right, that's my bad
The fact that there of different sizes, is really the only factor that say's there of different sizes

TheStranger
2009-01-12, 08:52 PM
Yep, the revelation that distance modifiers only explicitly apply in encounters. As long as the terrain and weather allows for spotting at a distance of 100' ala pp. 86-101 of the DMG then they do apply. In any other circumstances the game master has to adjudicate.

Ah, right - my bad.

Matthew
2009-01-12, 08:52 PM
But the fundamental structure, function, and natural laws of Relmspace are in no way the same as in the Solar System. Now, I'm no astrophysicist but it would seem that comparing how light travels through the vacuum of space, compares to how light travels through luminiferous aether is like... "Lets assume that light travels through luminiferous aether in the same way it travels through a vacuum"

No doubt, but I get the feeling we are being asked to assume earth like conditions in a more general way. It may be the case that residual magical energy from one of the cataclysms Oerth experienced in its distant past causes mountains to be invisible if partially covered by trees, or something, but I guess we are being asked to consider this in the light of the "How Real Is Your Fantasy?" sidebar in the DMG (p. 136).

lisiecki
2009-01-12, 08:57 PM
No doubt, but I get the feeling we are being asked to assume earth like conditions in a more general way. It may be the case that residual magical energy from one of the cataclysms Oerth experienced in its distant past causes mountains to be invisible if partially covered by trees, or something, but I guess we are being asked to consider this in the light of the "How Real Is Your Fantasy?" sidebar in the DMG (p. 136).


Ok i can see where your going with this.
The only point I'm trying to make, is that there are already explicit reasons given for how light travels from Liga to Oerth, and why it can be seen.
So for Oerth we already know EXACTLY why the sun can be seen, and how it would bypass any die rolls needed to see it.

TheCountAlucard
2009-01-12, 09:06 PM
I'm not Fax, but I do think spot works fine, unless your campaign regularly features combat with Monstrous Suns.

Best. Campaign idea. EVER.

BRC
2009-01-12, 09:08 PM
Best. Campaign idea. EVER.
My question is, what happens when you Kill a Monstrous sun... Nothing good, which is why the campaign should take place between Players playing as Suns.

JaxGaret
2009-01-12, 09:10 PM
You know why you can't see the sun at night? Because it's hiding.

That makes much more sense, doesn't it?

So what you're saying is... if one could somehow get a +50 billion bonus to their Spot check... they would be able to see the Sun hiding behind the Earth?

That's some Spot check.

Matthew
2009-01-12, 09:11 PM
Ok i can see where your going with this.
The only point I'm trying to make, is that there are already explicit reasons given for how light travels from Liga to Oerth, and why it can be seen.
So for Oerth we already know EXACTLY why the sun can be seen, and how it would bypass any die rolls needed to see it.

No doubt, and that is a totally reasonable argument to make, in my opinion. I am not learned enough in third edition D&D cosmology to comment on the precise significance, but you are entirely correct to say "the default rules for D20/3e are intended to model (abstractly and within certain game premises) conditions on Oerth, which are not earthlike in various interesting ways."

monty
2009-01-12, 09:54 PM
So what you're saying is... if one could somehow get a +50 billion bonus to their Spot check... they would be able to see the Sun hiding behind the Earth?

That's some Spot check.

If you could get that sort of bonus, I'd let you do it.

Vexxation
2009-01-12, 10:09 PM
If you could get that sort of bonus, I'd let you do it.

So... the Omnicificer could do it? Interesting.
Granted, there's nothing he can't do. But even so, interesting...

chiasaur11
2009-01-12, 10:12 PM
So... the Omnicificer could do it? Interesting.
Granted, there's nothing he can't do. But even so, interesting...

So, what's the modifier for seeing why kids love cinnamon toast cruch?

monty
2009-01-12, 10:14 PM
So, what's the modifier for seeing why kids love cinnamon toast cruch?

I'm going to guess it's at least nine thousand.

woodenbandman
2009-01-12, 10:19 PM
Wait. Back the hell up.

So you mean to tell me that a colossal creature being assaulted by a fine creature automatically sees it? WTF?

Zeful
2009-01-12, 10:31 PM
You do not apply the rules you are applying in that situation, because the penalties for range only apply when determining encounter distance. To be clear, I am not telling you the rules are good at modeling reality, I am telling you that you are using them wrong.

So I can stand 3300ft away with a Composite longbow of Distance, and shooting at random, shot at a fight and see everybody involved no check?

Matthew
2009-01-12, 10:42 PM
So I can stand 3300ft away with a Composite longbow of Distance, and shooting at random, shot at a fight and see everybody involved no check?

No, because at 3,3000' there is no encounter. On an open plain the maximum distance at which you can spot a hiding opponent is [6d6 x 40' = 1,440'] (DMG, p. 92). There are no specific rules for starting an encounter (and therefore a combat) at a greater distance than that (as far as I can see). The game master will have to adjudicate based on the situation, coming up with a spot check as he sees fit if he wants to start an encounter farther away than 1,440' (or even if there is no hiding going on). It is one of the oddities of 3.5 that it has no particular rules for spotting characters who are not hiding in the context of starting an encounter (unlike 3.0).

To put it another way, even if the suggested DC for spotting something in plain sight is used (0), if you apply the rules literally, most humans (spot 0) don't notice other humans on open fields if they are farther away than 200' [i.e. 1d20 − 20].

To be clear, I do not play the game this literally (Hell, I don't even play D20/3e anymore), but we're talking RAW here. :smallbiggrin:

Job
2009-01-12, 10:52 PM
I think we need to stop for a minute and review the real issue here:

You see, the sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace, where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.

Yo ho itís hot, the sun is not a place where we could live; but here on earth thereíd be no life without the light it gives.
Ö

OracleofWuffing
2009-01-12, 11:14 PM
Personally, I think that "Seeing the sun" would be a DC 15 Survival check to predict the current weather (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/survival.htm) (assuming it is a sunny day), rather than a spot or search. Though I have to second the monstrous sun idea.

Defiant
2009-01-12, 11:15 PM
Also, as for using Hide with cover, it suggests that simply having some measure of cover is enough to make a Hide check. Observe:

I walk behind a low wall. It goes up to my hips. It counts as cover. You turn around and wait until I say OK. You turn back around and look for me. I'm still standing there, in broad daylight, but you have a pretty good chance of not seeing me. Especially if you're a 100-foot city block away :/

Even though I want to get in on this, I'd rather start anew on it.

What happens depends on whether or not you attempted to hide. If you are in plain sight, I turn around, and turn back around and you are still in plain sight, I will see you.

If you attempted to hide, then we make opposed Hide-Spot checks. If your Hide check is atrocious, such as a 3, you think you're well hidden, but in fact your head is sticking up from the edge of the wall. If your Hide check is good, such as a 25, then you've managed to put most of yourself behind that wall, and I will probably not be able to see it.

There's nothing wrong with that.

In regards to seeing things far away, it is generally accepted that vision extends to 120' and presumably penalties occur after that. In regards to seeing the sun, the brightness penalty far outweighs the distance anti-penalty. If you look up at the night sky, you will not see every star out there. Those you don't see are those whose brightness penalties do NOT outweigh the distance anti-penalty.

pingcode20
2009-01-12, 11:40 PM
The problem here is that you're trying to apply Spot on a scale it breaks down at.

[Galilean / Newtonian] It's possible to go faster than light

First, assume that c is equal to 300,000,000 m/s.

1: An object in motion will continue in motion unless acted on by an opposing force.

2: There is an object in a vacuum weighing precisely 1kg.

3: Go ahead and give the object a push. It doesn't matter how hard you push it. It'll exceed the speed of light anyway.

In fact, any object with any amount of force applied to it will eventually break the speed of light in a frictionless environment.

The numbers play out for the Moon too. And all those stars in the sky? One push, and they're on their way to going faster than the speed of light.

Fact is, when you give an object any amount of force in a frictionless environment it will eventually break the speed of light. This is counterintuitive to those of us who have actually studied physics and know that an object cannot go faster than the speed of light.

So what do you think? One could houserule for relativity. Which means that as an object approaches c it would increase in mass until it takes an infinite amount of energy to accelerate it further.

Matthew
2009-01-12, 11:47 PM
The problem here is that you're trying to apply Spot on a scale it breaks down at.

That's not really the problem. The problem is that a character with spot 0 cannot "spot" another character at a distance of greater than 200' in order to start an encounter, even if there is nothing between them. Conflating the "spot" skill with the ability to "see" is frankly silly.

As an aside, after digging a bit through the PHB and DMG, I managed to establish the following:

1) regular vision extends until itís blocked (DMG, p. 67).
2) In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly (PHB, p. 164).
3) A creature canít hide in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover (PHB, p. 164).

Demented
2009-01-12, 11:58 PM
Ahem. A frictionless environment does not cause moving objects to accelerate. It simply means moving objects will neither accelerate or decelerate. You're thinking of an environment with negative friction...


Anyway, from the previous posts in this thread, it sounds like it has become clear to everyone involved that you can, in fact, see the sun by RAW.

You can also see Pluto by RAW. ...Unless it's hidden in the darkness of space, but we haven't quite gotten into that yet.

monty
2009-01-13, 12:00 AM
You're thinking of an environment with negative friction...

:smallconfused:

Demented
2009-01-13, 12:08 AM
:smallconfused:

You are now entering the Twilight Zone.

pingcode20
2009-01-13, 12:12 AM
Yes, I picked that one up about ten minutes ago. Damn it and all. (Was too preoccupied with format.)

Assume 'Negative Friction' was taped in. Or something.

Point is, it's a similar case to Newtonian Physics, only on a far smaller scale.

Jayabalard
2009-01-13, 12:34 AM
3: Go ahead and give the object a push. It doesn't matter how hard you push it. It'll exceed the speed of light anyway.<snip>
Fact is, when you give an object any amount of force in a frictionless environment it will eventually break the speed of light. If you apply 1 N of force to a 1kg object for one second in a totally frictionless environment you will accelerate it to 0.5 m/s2; That's as fast as it goes. So it does indeed matter how much force you use.

Perhaps you mean that if you apply a continuous acceleration/force indefinitely? That seems to match up more with what you're talking about, but it doesn't jibe with the phrase "give the object a push. It doesn't matter how hard you push it"

Ahh... well, if you assume negative friction, you don't even need to give it a push... some other outside force will have already imparted some motion on it so it will have already accelerated it past the speed.

pingcode20
2009-01-13, 12:39 AM
Like I said - I was trying to get at constant acceleration, but got caught up in trying to preserve the format for effect.

Silly me, should have added 'Just keep pushing it' or something.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-13, 01:29 AM
Quoting the Hide and Spot skill descriptions isn't enough to understand the actual rules here.

Yes, we can start with
The Spot skill is used primarily to detect characters or creatures who are hiding. ... Sometimes a creature isnít intentionally hiding but is still difficult to see, so a successful Spot check is necessary to notice it. ... but this all follows the important part of the Skills chapter you've been overlooking, in the Difficulty Class Examples (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm#difficultyClass):
Difficulty (DC) Very easy (0) - Notice something large in plain sight (Spot) The sun doesn't need to try to Hide, but the great distance makes it not just difficult, but impossible to Spot.

The DCs opposing Spot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/movementPositionAndDistance.htm#bigandLittleCreatu resInCombat) go down by -4 for each doubling of primary dimension (i.e. each size category), so that's 4.5 x 10^9 feet, or about 2^32 feet. 2'-4' is the size range for a Small object, so the sun is 32 size increases from Small, or 30 size increments from Large, making the DC to Spot the sun in plain sight -120. The problem is, that's the DC to spot it within 10 feet. You penalize your Spot check by about -49,000,000,000 for the number of 10' increments separating the observer from the sun.

Fundamentally the D&D Spot DCs work properly, being proportional to the perceived image size -- but the Spot penalties, being linear with distance, are just whacked. Each doubling of distance should impose the same penalty to Spot, but that's not RAW.

Dervag
2009-01-13, 01:43 AM
My partial solution went like this:

Make the range increment for Spot depend on the size of the object.

Fine: +2/5 feet
Diminutive: +1/5 feet
Tiny: +1/10 feet
Small: +1/20 feet
Medium: +1/40 feet
Large: +1/80 feet
Huge: +1/160 feet
Gargantuan: +1/320 feet
Colossal: +1/640 feet

If you plug in reasonable examples of objects in those size categories, and think about the level of vigilance implied in taking 10 on a Spot check, I feel that this gives you fairly good estimates for the distance at which an object is visible. For instance, it's plausible that you could overlook a human being at 400 feet if you weren't actively scanning your environment, or that an ant could be hard to spot at 30 feet, even on a bare floor. Whereas an office building should be easily seen from a mile away.

Now, the size categories cap out at Colossal. But if we extend the process, I think that the sun's Spot range increment should work out to be measured in many millions of miles.

Of course, this doesn't take into account that the Sun is a light source. :smallsmile:

lisiecki
2009-01-13, 05:14 AM
No doubt, and that is a totally reasonable argument to make, in my opinion. I am not learned enough in third edition D&D cosmology to comment on the precise significance, but you are entirely correct to say "the default rules for D20/3e are intended to model (abstractly and within certain game premises) conditions on Oerth, which are not earthlike in various interesting ways."

The only other relivent factors i can think of are that Oerth is some where between 40-80% the size of Earth, and that its 10% farther away from Liga than Earth is from Sol

Matthew
2009-01-13, 07:38 AM
Quoting the Hide and Spot skill descriptions isn't enough to understand the actual rules here.

Yes, we can start with ... but this all follows the important part of the Skills chapter you've been overlooking, in the Difficulty Class Examples (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm#difficultyClass): The sun doesn't need to try to Hide, but the great distance makes it not just difficult, but impossible to Spot.

The DCs opposing Spot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/movementPositionAndDistance.htm#bigandLittleCreatu resInCombat) go down by -4 for each doubling of primary dimension (i.e. each size category), so that's 4.5 x 10^9 feet, or about 2^32 feet. 2'-4' is the size range for a Small object, so the sun is 32 size increases from Small, or 30 size increments from Large, making the DC to Spot the sun in plain sight -120. The problem is, that's the DC to spot it within 10 feet. You penalize your Spot check by about -49,000,000,000 for the number of 10' increments separating the observer from the sun.

Fundamentally the D&D Spot DCs work properly, being proportional to the perceived image size -- but the Spot penalties, being linear with distance, are just whacked. Each doubling of distance should impose the same penalty to Spot, but that's not RAW.
As has been pointed out several times in this thread, by the RAW there are no distance modifiers unless you are starting an encounter with the sun. The DC to spot something in plain sight is the same no matter the distance between the object and the viewer, unless you are determining at what range an encounter begins.

The penalty for distance only applies when the DM is calling for a spot check to determine the range at which an encounter begins (PHB, p. 83).



The Dungeon Master may call for Spot checks to determine the distance at which an encounter begins. A penalty applies on such checks, depending on the distance between the two individuals or groups, and an additional penalty may apply if the character making the Spot check is distracted (not concentrating on being observant).

The game master may apply those penalties in other situations, if he deems it appropriate, but the rules are not written so that a −1 penalty for distance always applies in ten foot increments.

Kurald Galain
2009-01-13, 08:51 AM
As has been pointed out several times in this thread, by the RAW there are no distance modifiers unless you are starting an encounter with the sun.

Elf: Can I see the sun?
DM: Sure.
Elf: Ok, I shoot an arrow at it.
DM: Wait, make a spot check first to see if you can find the sun.

:smallbiggrin:

Matthew
2009-01-13, 10:27 AM
Elf: Can I see the sun?
DM: Sure.
Elf: Ok, I shoot an arrow at it.
DM: Wait, make a spot check first to see if you can find the sun.

:smallbiggrin:

Amusingly, in the case of the sun, you probably don't have to rely on spot checks to detect it and start an encounter, since it sheds light and heat on the world. Now, if you were trying to start an encounter with a cloud or, say, a Death Star things are a bit different...

Eldariel
2009-01-13, 11:54 AM
For the game purposes, how is emitting light really different from reflecting light? I mean, as far as everyone on whatever-planet-we're-talking-about is concerned, the sun is shiny, the moon is shiny and every visible celestial body is shiny. Regardless of whether they're planets, moons, space stations with lazers or stars.

Matthew
2009-01-13, 12:02 PM
For the game purposes, how is emitting light really different from reflecting light? I mean, as far as everyone on whatever-planet-we're-talking-about is concerned, the sun is shiny, the moon is shiny and every visible celestial body is shiny. Regardless of whether they're planets, moons, space stations with lazers or stars.

For game purposes, it is like the sun is a torch with greatly inflated area of effect. I don't know about the moon (maybe it would be like a candle), or what kind of light a death star would reflect (I don't remember it being very shiny as viewed from Endor in Return of the Jedi, but maybe it was).

Kurald Galain
2009-01-13, 01:01 PM
the sun is a torch

You fail physics forever (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouFailNuclearPhysicsForever) :smalltongue:

monty
2009-01-13, 01:02 PM
Now, if you were trying to start an encounter with a cloud or, say, a Death Star things are a bit different...

PC 1: *rolls spot check*
DM: You see what appears to be a small moon.
PC 1: I shoot an arrow at the moon.
PC 2: That's no moon...

Matthew
2009-01-13, 01:31 PM
You fail physics forever (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouFailNuclearPhysicsForever) :smalltongue:

Hey, don't blame me, blame D&D (as the song goes); bright light → shadowy illumination → darkness, and that's your lot. :smallbiggrin:



PC 1: *rolls spot check*
DM: You see what appears to be a small moon.
PC 1: I shoot an arrow at the moon.
PC 2: That's no moon...

Heh, heh.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-13, 04:56 PM
As has been pointed out several times in this thread, by the RAW there are no distance modifiers unless you are starting an encounter with the sun. OK, let's address this nonsense. There's an explicit mention of needing to apply the distance penalty when determining when an encounter starts. But there's nothing in the RAW saying that's the only time you should make use of the Spot Check Penalties (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/spot.htm#spotCheckPenalties) table. That table is part of the overall Spot rules and generally applicable, which is why the name. If it were supposed to be limited in scope, the name would be something like "Encounter Start Spot Check Penalties".

Lappy9000
2009-01-13, 05:59 PM
1: Our sun is very big. According to the size tables, anything over 64 ft tall is considered "colossal" and has a -16 to Hide. Let's be charitable and houserule that every doubling of its dimension equals a doubling of its Hide penalty. , and is 865,000 miles away. This is roughly 26 doublings past Colossal. The sun has a Hide penalty of -1,073,741,824. Roughly d20 minus 1 billion.
Don't know if anyone's mentioned yet, but there's things bigger than Colossal. I know there's at least Colossal ++ which is four times the size of your average neighborhood tarrasque.

monty
2009-01-13, 06:06 PM
your average neighborhood tarrasque.

You forgot "friendly."

Matthew
2009-01-13, 06:11 PM
OK, let's address this nonsense. There's an explicit mention of needing to apply the distance penalty when determining when an encounter starts. But there's nothing in the RAW saying that's the only time you should make use of the Spot Check Penalties (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/spot.htm#spotCheckPenalties) table. That table is part of the overall Spot rules and generally applicable, which is why the name. If it were supposed to be limited in scope, the name would be something like "Encounter Start Spot Check Penalties".

There is no mention in the RAW* of using the distance penalties unless you are using spot checks to determine encounter distance. That is the only time those penalties are called for by the RAW. It is not nonesense to look at the rules and relate what is there. It is nonesense to look at the rules, invent circumstances to which they do not apply, and then complain that they are unrealistic. The RAW says "use this table when determining encounter distance," it does not say "use this in any circumstances where an object is more than 10' away" because that would be ridiculous.

To play turnabout with you, the DC (0) example does not say "DC (0) an object in plain sight within ten feet", it says DC (0) an object in plain sight.

More importantly, though, is the fact that the terrain limits the distance that anything can be seen at. By the RAW you cannot spot the sun because there is no guide for terrain type "open sky". The most generous spotting distance given in the game is 6d6 x 40 (for plains, max 1,440'). The presence of characters beyond that distance cannot be detected using spot, regardless of whether they are flying, floating, invisible or 100' high, because those are the rules of the game.

To put it another way. If there is a rainstorm and spotting distances are reduced by half (DMG, p. 94), what exactly are you halving when looking at the sun? Infinity? The spotting rules are a mess, but that is nothing new, if you use them the way they are written you get some halfway decent results. If you start trying to use them to model reality you have gone beyond the parameters of the RAW.

In brief:

1) You can call for a spot check to see the sun, but you are not obliged to by the RAW.
2) You can apply a penalty of −1 per 10 feet to spot checks in any and all situations (excepting terrain types that alter that penalty), but you are not obliged to by the RAW.
3) You can use spot checks to determine encounter distance, and when doing so you are obliged by the RAW to apply a penalty of −1 per 10 feet (depending on terrain type).


* To be clear, the Hypertext SRD is not the RAW. No such table heading as found there at the link you provide exists either in the 3.5 PHB or in the actual SRD hosted by WotC. It appears to be an accretion on the part of whoever maintains the Hypertext SRD. It was a poor argument on which to hang your case anyway, so I won't hold it against you. :smallwink:

chiasaur11
2009-01-13, 08:03 PM
You forgot "friendly."

You've got weird Tarrasques, sir.

Defiant
2009-01-13, 09:51 PM
Quoting the Hide and Spot skill descriptions isn't enough to understand the actual rules here.

Yes, we can start with ... but this all follows the important part of the Skills chapter you've been overlooking, in the Difficulty Class Examples (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm#difficultyClass): The sun doesn't need to try to Hide, but the great distance makes it not just difficult, but impossible to Spot.

The DCs opposing Spot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/movementPositionAndDistance.htm#bigandLittleCreatu resInCombat) go down by -4 for each doubling of primary dimension (i.e. each size category), so that's 4.5 x 10^9 feet, or about 2^32 feet. 2'-4' is the size range for a Small object, so the sun is 32 size increases from Small, or 30 size increments from Large, making the DC to Spot the sun in plain sight -120. The problem is, that's the DC to spot it within 10 feet. You penalize your Spot check by about -49,000,000,000 for the number of 10' increments separating the observer from the sun.

Fundamentally the D&D Spot DCs work properly, being proportional to the perceived image size -- but the Spot penalties, being linear with distance, are just whacked. Each doubling of distance should impose the same penalty to Spot, but that's not RAW.

All you say is true and accurate, if the sun were a ball of rock. However, it is not. It is emitting light, giving a ridiculous penalty to hide. For example, a simple glitterdust (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/glitterdust.htm) spell will give a -40 penalty to hide. How much do you think all that sun's nuclear energy will give?

monty
2009-01-14, 12:56 AM
You've got weird Tarrasques, sir.

They're just your average everyday friendly neighborhood Tarrasque!

They also wear sweaters and sing "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" every morning.

horseboy
2009-01-14, 04:17 AM
Well, if objects can't make hide checks, then anyone can find the proverbial needle in the haystack instantly.
That or one source of fire later.
As an aside, after digging a bit through the PHB and DMG, I managed to establish the following:

1) regular vision extends until itís blocked (DMG, p. 67).
2) In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly (PHB, p. 164).
3) A creature canít hide in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover (PHB, p. 164).
*ahem*
I can see for miles and miles.
I can see for miles and miles.
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.

Cause we all know the only way to get a song that's stuck in your head out is to get it stuck in someone else's.

On a slightly more serious note, yeah you can see miles and miles on the plain. A more fun question, how far away could a player see an incoming tornado? Not that the party rogue has to worry about tornadoes, what with his evasion and reflex save.

Eloel
2009-01-14, 05:10 AM
Technically speaking, if you shot 20 arrows at the sun, 1 would hit, in the rules. Now, how possible is THAT?

Heliomance
2009-01-14, 07:38 AM
No it wouldn't. Maximum range for a bow is ten range increments - for a composite longbow, 1100 feet.

Nightson
2009-01-14, 08:15 AM
You don't see the sun, the sun gives off light that you see. Put a non-lightshedding ball where the sun is and you would never see it.


Also, if you're looking for a ruleset to accurately map every facet of existence, take a physics class.

Kurald Galain
2009-01-14, 08:35 AM
You don't see the sun, the sun gives off light that you see. Put a non-lightshedding ball where the sun is and you would never see it.

You mean like the moon? :smalltongue:

Oslecamo
2009-01-14, 08:42 AM
You mean like the moon? :smalltongue:

When the sun isn't reflecting directly on it, indeed the moon becomes impossible to see. Excellent example.

Reaper_Monkey
2009-01-14, 08:54 AM
This,

For example, a simple glitterdust (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/glitterdust.htm) spell will give a -40 penalty to hide. How much do you think all that sun's nuclear energy will give?

and this,

You don't see the sun, the sun gives off light that you see. Put a non-lightshedding ball where the sun is and you would never see it.

Also, if you're looking for a ruleset to accurately map every facet of existence, take a physics class.

It doesn't matter how far away it is, if its producing enough light to allow things 10 foot away on the floor to be seen, then the light is bright enough to allow you to see the sun which is actually closer than the distance the light travelled to allow you to see it that object on the floor.

If you want to stat sol out as a monster, it has the ability Sun (Ex): Produces omni-directional bright light continuously at a range of infinity, all creatures that have any light based vision automatically detect the suns presence as long as either they or any object within visible range (subject to distance and terrain as encounters are) are not granted Total Cover from the Sun. Any object without cover to the sun is considered to be fully illuminated, as is any object without cover from this object, cover from all objects (including the sun) reduces this to shadowy illumination. Any creature attempting to spot the sun may do so with a spot check of 0.

...and if you dont like it being a monster is a natural magical item that has the same ability =P

Now stop being so naive by trying to literally apply the rules the everything, they're more like guidelines anyway.

Heliomance
2009-01-14, 09:40 AM
I think Rule 0.5 applies here: "Don't take the ****"

Kurald Galain
2009-01-14, 09:50 AM
Any creature attempting to spot the sun may do so with a spot check of 0.

That means that roughly 6.9% of humankind has trouble finding the sun :smallbiggrin:

:mitd: Sun? What sun?

The Glyphstone
2009-01-14, 10:58 AM
You've got weird Tarrasques, sir.


The key word there is Tarrasques, plural. Once there's enough of them, they can have alignment variations just like any other race.:smallbiggrin:

Reaper_Monkey
2009-01-14, 04:48 PM
That means that roughly 6.9% of humankind has trouble finding the sun :smallbiggrin:

:mitd: Sun? What sun?

Yup, sadly there is a small part of humanity that really should've just rerolled to begin with :smallfrown:

monty
2009-01-14, 04:57 PM
That means that roughly 6.9% of humankind has trouble finding the sun :smallbiggrin:

:mitd: Sun? What sun?

Well, since a disturbing number of Americans can't find their own country on a map, this wouldn't surprise me too much.