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Visibility modifiers in close quarters

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  • Visibility modifiers in close quarters

    Hello!

    A thing we run into last night: when a character using a short ranged weapon (pistols etc) is in melee range with an opponent they shoot against their Parry, not 4. But does that mean that the visibility modifiers for bad lighting don't apply anymore like in regular melee (Illumination is mentioned under ranged attacks) or does the shooter have to bite the Parry difficulty along with darkness?

    While wrestling with a grizzly bear in a dark forest my group argued heavily that if the bear is close enough to parry then darkness shouldn't be an issue and I ruled for it, but just wanted to check what the official interpretation is.

    Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fnorder View Post
    A thing we run into last night: when a character using a short ranged weapon (pistols etc) is in melee range with an opponent they shoot against their Parry, not 4. But does that mean that the visibility modifiers for bad lighting don't apply anymore like in regular melee (Illumination is mentioned under ranged attacks) or does the shooter have to bite the Parry difficulty along with darkness?

    While wrestling with a grizzly bear in a dark forest my group argued heavily that if the bear is close enough to parry then darkness shouldn't be an issue and I ruled for it, but just wanted to check what the official interpretation is.
    Let's start with this from Illumination <italics added>, "Dark: Normal darkness with some ambient light (starlight, partial moon) inflicts a –2 penalty, and targets aren’t visible outside of 10”.

    Pitch Darkness: Targets aren’t visible at all in pitch blackness, but if a character knows roughly where a victim is (he can hear him, target is in a confined space, a glint of light shines off his blade, etc.), he may be attacked at –4."

    So in Dark conditions, the -2 penalty only applies if the target is within 10". They have to be close to even have a chance of seeing them, otherwise, it's like they're in Pitch Darkness.

    And in Pitch Darkness, a character can only attack if they know roughly where the target is from a situation such as them being in a "confined space" which definitely would include the area adjacent to the character.

    Basically, yeah, the penalty would apply to attacks in close combat because many times those would be the only attacks even possible. In short, trying to shoot a bear attacking you in the dark is harder than shooting it in daylight.

    Moral of the story: flashlight save lives. *

    * Well, maybe not for grizzly bears.
    Clint Black
    Forum Admin & Rules Answer Guy
    Savage Worlds Brand Manager

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