The Clueless And Stealth (Part One)
STEALTH: n. 1. Secret or sly action. 2. The act of stealing or going furtively into or out of a place.
(The World Book Dictionary, 1976 edition - yes, 1976... my family used it for school... what? Alright! Fine! So, I'm OLD, dammit!)
Call me crazy, but that definition seems pretty clear to me. However, it's known that the clueless have difficulties understanding the above. Consider the following as cases in point:
The job was to break into a small corporate research facility and get our decker inside, where he would plant a virus into the corporate mainframe. No problem, right?
The light security we had been informed of was, in reality, a lot heavier than we had expected (basilisks), but we had cased the place pretty thoroughly, got blueprints, and formulated a plan.
The physad and the decker slipped through security into the building while the elven mage and troll street sam waited outside to cover us in case anything went wrong. Everything was going according to plan...
Until one of our number decided to join the legions of the clueless, that is.
The elven mage happened to spot a door and, breaking from plan, he decided to check and see what was behind it. (Is it Murphy's Law of Gaming #238 that states one must ALWAYS check behind doors?). Totally forgetting about taking an astral look-see, he used his Maglock Passkey, entered a hallway, and stopped at the first door he came to.
Mage: "I stop and listen at the door." (Karen note - I think this guy's played too much DnD, don't you?)
GM: You can hear regular breathing on the other side of the door. From the looks of the area, this is probably the groundskeeper's quarters.
Mage: Maybe. I'd better check. I'm opening the door.
GM: You see a bedroom. There's a man asleep on the bed. It's bloody early in the morning after all.
Mage: OK, I'll close the door quietly.
GM: Make a stealth roll for that.
Mage: Errr... I don't have stealth.
So the mage defaults to quickness (with a modifier). Rolls. No successes.
GM: The breathing stops for a moment, then resumes.
Mage: OK... maybe he woke up and is just pretending to be asleep. I'm going to open the door again and check.
Nothing, still asleep. So he rolls to close the door quietly. No successes.
At this point, the rest of us, wandered off to find large solid objects to bang our heads against. We all had a good idea where this run was headed...
The mage yet again decides to open the door to make sure that, when he closed it with no successes, he hadn't woken the groundskeeper up. The guy seemed still in dreamland, so he closes the door AGAIN with no successes. He botches his listening roll, so can't hear if the guy is still breathing or not.
Disgusted, the Mage gives up on 'all this stealth crap.' He throws the door open and SHOUTS at the groundskeeper, who wakes up and reaches for his glasses. Feeling street-samish, the Mage decided not to use his mana bolt or sleep spell, opting instead to silence the groundskeeper in a more permanent fashion.
Mage: He's going for his gun! I pull out my Uzi and shoot him!
Other Players: groan in pain
Mage: Hey guys, no problem! Don't worry. I've got a silencer on my Uzi.
Other Players: feel slightly more relieved.
GM: The man is no more than five feet away. Target No. 2.
Mage: (rolls) Can't miss. I hit him with the burst so that means he takes... No, wait! I forgot. The damage level goes up on all three shots. I'm using explosive ammo!
Other Players: Drop their heads to the table.
Well, at least the rounds were quiet as they left the barrel...
The gentleman who submitted this story did say that the run continued, but eventually resulted in the decker infecting himself with his own virus
So, let's move on, shall we?
So, the runners are sneaking (this is important, they are SNEAKING) through the plumbing system of an ancient temple. They can hear a low murmur from around a sloping drop ahead of them.
After a whispered discussion, they decide to lower one of their party members around the slope to see if he can tell what's ahead.
10 meters... 15 meters... 20 meters... 25 meters.
GM: "You can hear the murmuring is increasing and there are definite, almost musical, rises and falls. It could be a chant or even a song being sung by a number of people. Or it could be a weird acoustical effect. But it sounds like a chanting murmur to you."
Player: I whisper this information to my team-mates."
GM: "They're 25 meters away and can't hear you whisper."
Player: (cups his hands to his mouth and yells) "It's definitely chanting!"
GM: (without missing a beat) "The chanting stops."
The silence at the table was TANGIBLE. Then it was broken by the sound of three hands simultaneously slapping foreheads (all the other players except one) and one slapping sound as the idiot was bitch-slapped by the remaining player.
Then, again simultaneously, every player cupped ONE hand to their mouth and put a single finger from the OTHER hand over their lips in the universal "shut up!" gesture and said, "SHHHH!"
GM: "Did anyone tie off the rope?"
Four players smiled and shook their heads.
The idiot player plummeted fifty meters to his death.
Let me take this opportunity to thank all the GMs and players who, in their commitment to CLUE, keep us informed of actions of the Clueless from around the globe.
Next month: The adventure 'Breaking into the Temple' continues. Same GM, same adventure setup, different players, and even more cluelessness. Join me, if you dare, for: Stealth, Part Two.
Karen - email@example.com