NEWS

Chameleon Armour V's Thermographic Vision

  • 18 Replies
  • 1454 Views

Samflint1

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 3
« on: <01-09-20/0620:53> »
Does anyone know if Chameleon Armour is resistant to thermographic vision? Reading the rules it is not clear since thermographic vision is fairly common and the suit grants you edge then surely it would? Otherwise, it seems like a fairly pointless system if you blend into your surroundings but can be seen anyway.

In previous editions you could buy thermal damping however this has now been removed.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 3656
« Reply #1 on: <01-09-20/0830:50> »
I'm not quite sure what you're asking.

If you're asking "Does having Thermographic vision mean you can spot hiding people just by their waste heat, thereby ignoring what could have been a potentially good Sneak Test" then the answer is "No".
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Samflint1

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 3
« Reply #2 on: <01-09-20/0916:50> »
The answer you have given is exactly what I was asking, thank you. My GM pulled me up on my heat signature when I was hiding yesterday and I thought it didn't sound right but couldn't find anything in the book. I thought at the time "what is the point in chameleon armour when they can see my heat signature anyway?". But as you have clarified they can't so I'll update my GM.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 3656
« Reply #3 on: <01-09-20/0930:46> »
The answer you have given is exactly what I was asking, thank you. My GM pulled me up on my heat signature when I was hiding yesterday and I thought it didn't sound right but couldn't find anything in the book. I thought at the time "what is the point in chameleon armour when they can see my heat signature anyway?". But as you have clarified they can't so I'll update my GM.

Ok, well first of all that's my interpretation, by no means an official answer.

And also don't take it to mean thermographic is useless.  The GM can still say that depending on the circumstances, yes thermo can be a factor.  Just like hearing or smelling you despite your chameleon suit is possible.  Now, since thermo is a visual sense and the chameleon suit's fluff says (in other words) it works on the visual spectrum, it makes sense to say the suit's optics and polymers ALSO work in wavelengths beyond 700nm, rather than aribitrarily stopping at "red".  Infrared (aka thermographic) is afterall so common, it doesn't make any practical sense to NOT expand the capability into those wavelengths... I agree with you there.

However, the GM is always right.  If, in the GM's view, your body heat is making a discernible impact on the ambient environment (say, you're hiding behind cover in the corner of the room, after 30 mins or so that whole corner of the room IS gonna be hotter than the rest of the room...) then being able to see thermo should come into play.  Should it mean your roll is obviated? IMO, only in extreme circumstances...basically "No."

IMO, if thermo ends up being relevant (and it usually shouldn't, so long as you keep moving from place to place), then the potential advantage in possessing thermographic vision SHOULD manifest as the observer getting circumstantial edge. (but you're still getting edge from the third leg of the edge triad: AR vs DR (irrelevant in a sneak vs perception), circumstances, gear!)
« Last Edit: <01-09-20/0937:16> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

adzling

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #4 on: <01-09-20/1105:52> »
Chameleon suits never stopped thermal in prior editions.

Infrared is not visible light.

The mechanisms the chameleon suits uses to fool viewers involves changing the surface colors of the garment to blend into the background.

All of the above clearly indicates chameleon suits do not conceal thermal signature.

Thermal signatures that differ from the background are very easy to spot.

Ergo having the chameleon suit grant edge to an observer with thermal vision is incorrect per common sense and precedence.

However 6e does not follow common sense or any semblance of reality so you may as well grant edge.

Michael Chandra

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 9481
  • Question-slicing ninja
« Reply #5 on: <01-09-20/1128:33> »
There are no rules stating you do not get to roll Stealth checks against Thermographic Vision. So the bonus will apply.

As the description of Thermographic Vision makes clear, it's not that you see like night goggles do, it's that the thermographic vision augments your normal vision in some cases.

Game Effect: You can see the heat of objects
in total darkness (assuming they are
warmer or colder than the ambient temperature),
allowing you to operate in such
conditions.

As a guideline, consider low-light circumstances
where one character has either lowlight
vision or thermographic vision and the other
combatant does not. The character with the vision
enhancement should gain an Edge in that circumstance.

This enhancement enables vision in the infrared
spectrum, enabling you to see heat patterns. It’s a
very practical way to spot living beings in areas of
total darkness, to check if a motor or machine has
been running lately, and so on. This modification
offers a bonus Edge if the opposition doesn’t have
a vision enhancement to mitigate limited light and
even total darkness.

Those are the only rules that matter for Thermographic Vision. None of them allow you to bypass a Sneaking test. Yes, in bad-light circumstances TV might give an Edge to the spotter (or just prevent Edge to the sneaker, since the darkness bonus is mitigated by the vision-type), but those do not in any way relate to the description of the Chameleon Suit. So common sense, based on what Thermographic Vision is and always was within the Shadowrun rules, is that you still get the CS bonus against Thermographic Vision.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 3656
« Reply #6 on: <01-09-20/1159:19> »
I don't know that this discussion needs to go down into physics.. but the difference between visible light and infrared is, literally, a slight shift in wavelength of EM radiation.  Infrared is merely another color. A color that augmented human eyes cannot perceive, is all.  The term "visual spectrum" is, to my knowledge, not formally redefined to include the color "Infrared" but it still does make sense that in an in-universe sense, and therefore when the term is used in fluff, that "visible light" and "visible spectrum" does or can include IR.  Since seeing shades of IR is after all rather common in the Sixth world.

a fun note, as of 6we even non-magically active humans are potentially able to naturally see IR energy. Anyone, even humans, can buy the Thermographic Vision quality with karma...
« Last Edit: <01-09-20/1202:22> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

adzling

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #7 on: <01-09-20/1221:42> »
Sometimes I wonder what you guys are smoking.

An infrared signature is due to the heat signature of the object in question.

If that heat signature is not dampened it's very visible.

sure sneaking is still possible, it's just highly unlikely to succeed.

Hobbes

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 2766
« Reply #8 on: <01-09-20/1240:58> »
Sneak skill needs to work vs Thermographic, Ultrasound, Astral Perception, or whatever exotic senses are out there.  Having some enhanced sense could certainly make it harder to Sneak successfully.

Earlier editions would give dice bonuses and penalties, 6th Edition the GM could chose to grant a point of Edge to the observer if they have some kind of advantage or asses some kind of dice penalty/bonus as appropriate. 

For 6th, IMO, grant the point of Edge to the observer, move on. 

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 3656
« Reply #9 on: <01-09-20/1410:49> »
Sometimes I wonder what you guys are smoking.

An infrared signature is due to the heat signature of the object in question.

If that heat signature is not dampened it's very visible.

sure sneaking is still possible, it's just highly unlikely to succeed.

There's a bit to unpack, and if I appear condescending I apologize in advance.  I'm actually trying to be thorough, not patronizing.

So first of all, the difference between heat and "visible light" is merely a minor variation in wavelength.  They're both Electromagnetic energy. At a certain wavelength range (700 to 400nm), EM energy is perceptible to the human eye and we call this range of wavelengths "visible light".  Just offscale-high is Infrared, aka heat. When the EM energy gets slightly higher frequency than what we perceive as Red, it's what we call Infrared.  Real live and in-universe unaugmented humans can't see IR, but all it is, afterall, only a color adjacent to Red that we simply cannot visually perceive.  Visually perceiving IR is literally no different than perceiving EM energy in the ROYGBIV spectrum. IR is just another letter to the left of "R" in ROYGBIV.

Now, pedantry on the chameleon suit: The fluff says "A head-to-toe suit with a ruthenium polymer
coating supported by a sensor suite, allowing it to
scan its surroundings and replicate the images at
the proper perspectives."

Note that this language doesn't actually use the term 'visible spectrum'.  It's clearly implied that energy between 700 and 400nm wavelengths are being broadcast from the suit, to mimic what's on the other side of the suit, in a sort of invisible-ish effect.  I find that since the band of wavelengths was not specified (i.e., it didn't say "visible spectrum") there's no reason to say it is excluding the wavelengths >700nm (i.e. Infrared).  Detecting and broadcasting images in those wavelengths would extend the illusion into showing the heat levels of things behind you rather than your own heat levels.

Additionally: while other senses completely unrelated to sight are unaffected by the chameleon suit (like smelling you, hearing you, etc) it still doesn't mean that just because I can hear, your sneak roll is invalid and I automatically hear you.  The sneak roll gets however many hits, and not only is that how hard it is to SEE you it's also how hard it is to HEAR you, and etc.  Even if, for whatever reason, the chameleon suit's benefit is moot the sneak roll result is still what it is.

And lastly: back on the topic of body heat radiating into the surrounding area: even if someone notices that "hey, the air is hotter over there" it doesn't mean they realize it's because there's someone sneaking there.  And even if they DO realize the air is hotter because someone is sneaking/recently sneaked through it, it still doesn't mean they've SPOTTED you and know where you are.
« Last Edit: <01-09-20/1413:29> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Reaver

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 6206
  • 60% alcohol 40% asshole...
« Reply #10 on: <01-09-20/1855:06> »
Here is some Vids of thermo/infrared and what you see/ how they work...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpx7hsoYEt4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unZJR02bPIU&list=PLQJW3WMsx1q3VRcPYRONDLBaAcMn3YNu3&index=49

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF6jqS7h1pA&list=PLQJW3WMsx1q3VRcPYRONDLBaAcMn3YNu3&index=46

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZPZfrgbkUQ&list=PLQJW3WMsx1q3VRcPYRONDLBaAcMn3YNu3&index=47

and a more entertaining, longer view of a thermo camera and the human body..

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj3hJSlK3Nk&list=PLQJW3WMsx1q3VRcPYRONDLBaAcMn3YNu3&index=48


Remember, all that gear does is improve your chances to use a skill successfully, you still have to use your skill, and can fail for just the simple, mundane reason of "they rolled better then you"... -Now, the gm might add some fluff in there about why you failed, and that may not make sense to you... So its important to know what exactly happened...

After all, if you only rolled, say 2 successes, and the NPC rolled 3... "I see you..." (or smell you, or feel you, or sense you)


@SSDR

Quote
So first of all, the difference between heat and "visible light" is merely a minor variation in wavelength.  They're both Electromagnetic energy. At a certain wavelength range (700 to 400nm), EM energy is perceptible to the human eye and we call this range of wavelengths "visible light".  Just offscale-high is Infrared, aka heat. When the EM energy gets slightly higher frequency than what we perceive as Red, it's what we call Infrared.  Real live and in-universe unaugmented humans can't see IR, but all it is, afterall, only a color adjacent to Red that we simply cannot visually perceive.  Visually perceiving IR is literally no different than perceiving EM energy in the ROYGBIV spectrum. IR is just another letter to the left of "R" in ROYGBIV.

All true. But an important detail here is that Thermal radiation (basic heat generation, either through metabolism, kinetic release, EM transmission) all still obey the laws of thermo dynamics. (Important later). And it is this Thermal radiation that is the source of the EM wavelength. So while you eye and the normal visible spectrum is only visible due to the reflection and refraction of light off a surface; It is the thermal source that the is the source the transmission. Basically, when looking at the body, you are looking at the sun, instead of the reflected rays from the sun bouncing off and object and refracting into your eye.

For the Sleeping Tiger Chameleon suit  to do as you are suggesting, it would have to due either 1 or both of 2 things.

1: it would either have to COMPLETELY seal the human body in a thermo reflecting material, as to not allow the thermal signature to bleed through the outfit, and allow thermal image presented by the now infrared spectrum casting cameras to "paint" the suit. And... the person inside the suit roasts to death from heat exhaustion in about 1 hour because he now has no way to dump his body heat (as it is now contained in the suit)

2: Super cool the body to the exact point of room temperature to allow the cameras to then "paint" the suit in the correct thermo pattern to match the area.... which implies there is A LOT more to the suit then the write suggests. What is this cooling material? how is this cooling achieved? (Laws of thermodynamics again)... The 2 basic ways this could work would be to increase the surface area by a factor of 1000, or through the use of a Peltier device. There are problems with both of these. If you increase the surface area, that means you need a LOT of extra material... think a 4 week old baby in Fat Albert's cloths. If you go with Peltier style, then you need both power (a lot of it!) and you end up with very bright spots where the Peltiers are... (and considering the level of heat to dissipate, these would be akin to spotlights on the Thermal graphics)
This would also lead to hypothermia very quickly as you are dropping the surface temperature of the human body by 20 degrees for an average office area (98 to 72). Or even frostbite for colder areas (say, a refrigerated Server Vault, or fall/winter outdoor use)   

I just don't see the Sleeping Tiger Chameleon suit, as it is written up, to be a hindrance to Thermographical sensors. Now, that is not to say that thermographic beats  the good ol' sneak test.... just that I don't see Sleeping Tiger Chameleon suit as a benefit here.


edited for spelling and Chameleon suit.
« Last Edit: <01-10-20/1342:05> by Reaver »
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 3656
« Reply #11 on: <01-09-20/2113:08> »
Actually, we're talking about the 6we version of the Chameleon Suit (not Sleeping Tiger).

Its mechanical benefit is:

"You gain a bonus Edge
when performing Stealth tests to hide while wearing
an active suit."

The question at hand is "Is Chameleon Suit useless if the observer has thermographic vision?".  And depending on the specific context of the OP's scenario, it may also be "Is Stealth pointless if the observer has thermographic vision?"
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Samflint1

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 3
« Reply #12 on: <01-10-20/0433:49> »
Sometimes I wonder what you guys are smoking.

An infrared signature is due to the heat signature of the object in question.

If that heat signature is not dampened it's very visible.

sure sneaking is still possible, it's just highly unlikely to succeed.

There's a bit to unpack, and if I appear condescending I apologize in advance.  I'm actually trying to be thorough, not patronizing.

So first of all, the difference between heat and "visible light" is merely a minor variation in wavelength.  They're both Electromagnetic energy. At a certain wavelength range (700 to 400nm), EM energy is perceptible to the human eye and we call this range of wavelengths "visible light".  Just off-scale-high is Infrared, aka heat. When the EM energy gets slightly higher frequency than what we perceive as Red, it's what we call Infrared.  Real live and in-universe unaugmented humans can't see IR, but all it is, after all, only a colour adjacent to Red that we simply cannot visually perceive.  Visually perceiving IR is literally no different than perceiving EM energy in the ROYGBIV spectrum. IR is just another letter to the left of "R" in ROYGBIV.

Now, pedantry on the chameleon suit: The fluff says "A head-to-toe suit with a ruthenium polymer
coating supported by a sensor suite, allowing it to
scan its surroundings and replicate the images at
the proper perspectives."

Note that this language doesn't actually use the term 'visible spectrum'.  It's clearly implied that energy between 700 and 400nm wavelengths are being broadcast from the suit, to mimic what's on the other side of the suit, in a sort of invisible-ish effect.  I find that since the band of wavelengths was not specified (i.e., it didn't say "visible spectrum") there's no reason to say it is excluding the wavelengths >700nm (i.e. Infrared).  Detecting and broadcasting images in those wavelengths would extend the illusion into showing the heat levels of things behind you rather than your own heat levels.

Additionally: while other senses completely unrelated to sight are unaffected by the chameleon suit (like smelling you, hearing you, etc) it still doesn't mean that just because I can hear, your sneak roll is invalid and I automatically hear you.  The sneak roll gets however many hits, and not only is that how hard it is to SEE you it's also how hard it is to HEAR you, and etc.  Even if, for whatever reason, the chameleon suit's benefit is moot the sneak roll result is still what it is.

And lastly: back on the topic of body heat radiating into the surrounding area: even if someone notices that "hey, the air is hotter over there" it doesn't mean they realize it's because there's someone sneaking there.  And even if they DO realize the air is hotter because someone is sneaking/recently sneaked through it, it still doesn't mean they've SPOTTED you and know where you are.

As Stainless Steel Devil Rat says we are referring to 6we, regardless I think these ideas are worth addressing. My thinking was roughly the same sort of lines, however, with this thought, I also installed armour upgrades to include heat and cold. While these systems do protect against sudden extremes to their rating level and as per the rules only do as stated, it would also make sense in the fiction that these same systems could augment the suits systems to negate any thermal leakage which would be visible to a third party and making the suit cold to the touch. Effectively keeping these protection systems on tick over rather than having no additional benefits. These ideas though I think, fall under speculative homebrew.

As for the rules as written and their interpretation, it does not say visible spectrum

"A head-to-toe suit with a ruthenium polymer
coating supported by a sensor suite, allowing it to
scan its surroundings and replicate the images at
the proper perspectives."

My interpretation is anything that can be imaged, whether that be infrared, standard vision, ultrasound or whatever else. This suit can then replicate. I could still be heard, or possibly be seen if I moved too quickly to account for the suits effective "refresh rate" (Think the cloaking tech from the predator films, invisible but when he moved there is a sort of distortion). Like the fluff says "....scan its surroundings and replicate the images..."

I just also want to say a quick thank you to everyone who replied and did copious internet and youtube research this has really helped me understand. It's my first time playing 6we, and my first time playing SR too as I usually play other TTRPG's and despite its flaws and development issues we are still enjoying it.

Leith

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 94
« Reply #13 on: <01-10-20/0934:18> »
"allows you to see differences in temperature on and around objects and people, though most of the time ambient regular light overrides the heat signature"
From the thermographic vision quality in 6we core book. Reave makes a good point about the generation of visible light vs infrared. The human body emits very little visible light but thermography shows us lots of infrared. How would you conceal a lightbulb? Stealth checks vs thermographics (in the dark) without specifically blocking the infrared radiation should be penalized maybe?

Edit: the chameleon suit doesn't have to seal in heat though. It must instead be amazing at absobtion of heat and infrared while being terrible at emitting it. Two qualities that don't usually go together. Figure that out and then you'll know if the suit can help you sneak past a troll in the dark.
« Last Edit: <01-10-20/0949:56> by Leith »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 3656
« Reply #14 on: <01-10-20/0946:53> »
The mechanics for edge cover this.

Is thermographic vision advantageous in the circumstances? Then you should get an edge point.  IMO, that should be the extent of it.  In the case of someone sneaking around with a chameleon suit, that person gets an edge point for the sneak test from gear.  The observer, if the GM deems thermographic vision being advantageous in this scenario, ALSO then gets an edge point for the perception test.

Edit: the chameleon suit doesn't have to seal in heat though. It must instead be amazing at absobtion of heat and infrared while being terrible at emitting it. Two qualities that don't usually go together. Figure that out and then you'll know if the suit can help you sneak past a troll in the dark.

The suit works against visual detection.  "Works" is defined in this case by giving a point of edge when making a sneak test.   Since thermographic vision IS visual, the suit "works" against thermographic vision.

Can the suit's benefit be potentially negated? Sure.  Obviously, it doesn't do squat for sound.  A blind person is utterly unaffected by how hard you are to see.  If you're trying to sneak past an attentive (or robotic) sentry down a path where there is no cover, whose attention is firmly set on the task of seeing someone, ok maybe your sneak test roll is ignored.  Simply having thermographic vision though, doesn't by itself rise to the level of "you don't even get to roll sneak against me".  I would presume, at best, thermographic vision might simply negate the suit's bonus.  Although I'd lean towards what I said above: simply giving the thermographic vision-enhanced sentry/sensor a point of edge rather than penalizing the sneak-er.
« Last Edit: <01-10-20/1008:39> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.