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Old 01-21-2010, 11:38 PM
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Default Night travel

kcdusk 11-07-2005, 05:37 PM What sort of factors come into play when PCs are travelling at night?

Are there more or less encounters?

Is there more chance of getting lost (how do you rule for this?)?

Is it easier or harder for NPC's chasing the PC's to track them?


ReHerakhte 11-08-2005, 06:57 AM If I remember correctly, Targan gave a damned fine reply in another thread that brought out some of the real world aspects of this sort of thing but in game terms, I tend to do the following for night travel: -

1. I have included an Awareness (INTELLIGENCE) skill that covers all the other senses becauses no matter how you try to dress it up Observation obviously only covers sight. I stole Awareness from something like Cyberpunk 2020 and it covers not just sound, smell, taste and touch but also sense of balance.

2. Increase the number of Awareness checks in comparison to Observation checks when the PCs are moving at night.

3. Reduce observation range and sometimes increase the difficulty for the Observation skill.

4. Increase the ease of the Awareness skill in relation to sound. Sound travels a hell of a lot further at night simply because there is less ambient noise to muffle it.

As for encounters, I slightly increase the number of animal encounters but decrease the number of human encounters with two exceptions.

1. Elite troops will still patrol aggressively even if they have lost their night vision gear.

2. Locals very familiar with the area (for example, a group of smugglers who had been operating long before the war began and are still in the area are going to be very confident at night due to many years of practice).

Getting lost... hmm, they should have learnt to navigate better! If they have a compass and a map and can find a few visible landmarks I let the checks for Navigation go as normal but if they can't see any landmarks then the difficulty goes up one level. If they are missing either a map or a compass then that's another difficulty level harder.

If they have none of them, they'd be better off staying where they are and waiting for morninglight...

In regards to any sort of tracking attempts, I automatically make them two levels of difficulty harder at night because you simply cannot see as well to spot the sign left behind. Trackers might decide to use night vision gear but it has limitations at close range (image blurs) or they might try to use white light to check out the area and this will obviously draw attention.

And that's about it.




pmulcahy 11-09-2005, 01:17 AM Well, you sort of get used to operating at night if you have to do it a lot and you get the right training. The 82nd is basically light infantry, and light infantry are night fighters. To conserve our batteries, we didn't generally keep our NODs turned on; you just learned to get better vision at night (even a contact lens/glasses-wearing person like myself). Night land nav isn't much harder than day land nav once you know how to do it (and forget all that stuff about using the stars and moon; your compass, protractor and map are far better tools). You also learn to keep your ears open, move quietly but quickly, and even use senses like your sense of small (it was funny as hell at the time, but I once cracked an ambush because someone in the OPFOR farted, and I smelled it. I think something died and crawled up the guy's...) Sound carries far better at night, and little things like glints off metal you didn't notice was exposed during the day can be noticed. I wore my contacts as much as possible because I didn't want light glinting off my glasses (I've had really good luck with contacts in my lifetime). You tape things down that could clink, and sometimes we even wore Ranger Bands around our pants legs and sleeves so they wouldn't rustle. Little things you can get away with in the day will give you away at night.

And shame on anybody for using white light at night! You'll ruin your night vision instantly, and it can be seen sometimes (depending on terrain) for miles! Red or blue lenses are the rule at night, and just to be sure, you duck under a poncho or at least have someone cup a hand around the end of the flashlight when you read the map.


ReHerakhte 11-09-2005, 03:10 AM ...And shame on anybody for using white light at night! You'll ruin your night vision instantly, and it can be seen sometimes (depending on terrain) for miles! Red or blue lenses are the rule at night, and just to be sure, you duck under a poncho or at least have someone cup a hand around the end of the flashlight when you read the map.

Absolutely! But I have seen people use white light and unfortunately, they were part of the Company I was with... they said "But it's only a mini-mag, no-one's gonna see the light!"

Except for the rest of the Company... oh, and the training staff... and the exercise badguys...

My platoon sergeant was pretty pissed, he had been doing all his mission planning with a small flashlight using whitelight but under a blanket in a shellscrape so even the blanket was below ground level. He had stressed the absolute "NO" of whitelight in the open but this dumbass did it anyway!

The more I think on that the more I start to chuckle, the dumbass was also the same guy who wandered off one time on a recce mission to answer a call of nature. He dumped his webbing, pack and rifle in our harbour (the team was only Section/Squad strength) and walked across to a tree some 10m away whistling... he was enjoying the stroll in the bush! I could have shot the idiot but my corporal gave him a very angry bollocking in whispered tones when he got back to the harbour!



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