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Disguise and Disguise Meta advice
A guide for how to interpret data and avoid meta

First of all, this is entirely something you should self police. Not something you should tell people how to play unless it's a massive issue or you notice consistent issues with it and they ignore IC solutions. Leave that shit to staff.

Thus disclaimed.

In the first section here I'll be discussing camera's, and the usage of them.

Camera's, in the crowded streets of the mix are limited and limiting for a reason.

When I hear descriptions discussed, I often here the 100 foot gaze rule be brought up, what can you see about a person from 100 feet away in a crowd.

Think of cameras like that but magnified through a grain filter and an inability to focus your gaze.

I'm gonna give you a quick three relatively high res relatively grain free pictures here, of large crowded slums in real life. I want you to think about these shots in motion, and then think about getting a feel for any one person, in totality within these crowds. Enough to get a solid ID through something like a heavy hood or cloak.

Do you think, if you were forced to pull someone out of a line up. That you could identify definitively anyone in these pictures if the crowds were moving? Do you think your character could, depending on their INT and PER and Forensics levels?

So the next thing I want to discuss, is granularity of contact?

Because really granularity of contact, is what makes or breaks a claim of Disguise Meta. I tend to use a 3 detail rule, but I'm quickly realizing that this can often be too under-detailed. And wishywashy. So. Here's my advice for this. If you cannot identify 5 key granular aspects that you've taken note of ICly and OOCly? Don't ID a target immediately.

What's a key granular aspect?

Voice

TP or LP

Skin Color

Hair color

Specific Nakeds

Description

Scent

Clothing colors and style

Attitude

Allies

Weapon variety or style

Armor coloring and style

Short desc

probably some things I'm forgetting about,

Any single aspect, SINGLE aspect, can be a granular feature. If you can grab 5 of these, you should probably, given stats and time around this person, be able to identify them. At the same time... Be very aware sometimes your character may simply be too dumb to figure it out. Keep the idea of the information relayed in help stats firmly in mind for situations like this. Someone with an int below around M may require prodding to figure identities out. Someone with an Int below like P might just have no chance at all of that.

So that all said, what's next? How do you as a disguised person, improve your chops?

The first is, all those individual granular key factors? You can change 90% of them, often times without much issue. Do that.

Think about disguise less as a blanket of security and more as a paranoiac matter of life and death. Have 2 shrouds rather than one, and never get seen in the one you use for work outside of work. Have three voices you practice consistently icly. Use one for daily life, one for anonymous phone calls and one for time spent working in your work shroud. Start wearing a certain variety of perfume or scent that you put on for daily life, but change for ops work.

Become as good at manipulating the disguise systems OOCly as your character is ICly at disguising.

This ended up a wall of text, but I hope it helped.

An example of what I mean by 5 aspects by the way, Johny Crimsonshroud(1) White walks into a bar with Jenny Whiteshroud(2) Crim and Jackie Greenhoodie(3) Bladez, They all wear the same disguises every time, and always come into the bar on the same day(4), at the same hour relatively speaking(5). Jackie doesn't wear gloves(6) and has a tattoo that reads DEAD BOOK on his hands(also 6), Johny speaks with a Irish Brogue(7) and does the ordering of their drinks every time(8), Jenny tends towards silence and always has the same LP set as she enters(9), Jackie is boisterous and loud and tends to make heavy beatboxing noises in between the sets of the local musicians(10). They always sit in the corner booth, and shoot the shit(11).

The bartender has a H in intelligence, and a M in forensics, he's training his way into Terra, and is a 3 month in character, he's worked here for 6 weeks now. He's got a feel for his customers. And can likely recognize this set by their copious amounts of identifying features. He can likely give enough of a description of them that someone else could give him names and paydata on them from. However, take him out of that situation, where he knows these people, he might be able to ID just Jackie. Because Jackie has the most identifying features.

Let's take a step back, and look at the situation from someone with say, Q int and U forensics. Droog. And think about what he might know. Droog knows nice lady is quiet. Funny voice man likes his drinks, but he keeps giving them away to his friend with squigly things that mean things to people not Droog. he doesn't care what they are outside his customers. And he's unlikely to remember them beyond their orders.

Anyway, just a corollary to show how good RP around disguise might look, from an internal perspective.

I appreciate this post but I have to admit when someone starts to breakdown OOC game mechanics for me ICly to describe who a potentially disguised person is or what they're capable of - I find it extremely discouraging.

I don't think anyone is perfect in this regard but the amount of incorrect information that percolates throughout the game which people use as shortcuts to arrive at the solution they've crafted OOCly - flays my soul.

Hammering square pegs in round holes don't look right no matter how you play it.

Hmmm. That is definitely something that I need to work on as well. And yeah. That's a solid bit of advice, don't describe mechanics, describe the situations.

It's something that many people get poorly advised on early on... When I was really young to the game, I got things like certain mechanics described in a way that made it seem very mechanical to describe, and I think that resonates down.

It's a bit of a training gap. And it's hard to define the like.

I think excellent advice is to take a step back and not use shortcuts. Think through the entire process and describe the situation. And if you find yourself using mechanical knowledge, rather than world knowledge your character has. Scrap that explanation.

I forgot an entire two sentences there.

It's hard to define the like. Thoughts and knowledge of your character, in a narrative when, when all you know is the mechanical expression of it. So people default to a very nitty gritty mechanistic style.