Camouflage (sage ability)

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Camouflage is a varied-status sage ability in the studies of Scouting and Smoke that enables the character to achieve crypsis (avoid detection by animals) or mimesis (imitation of surroundings) through clothing and the application of colour and carefully chosen materials. The ability teaches how to mix paints, apply dyes to clothing, add materials to the body (such as mud, vegetable material, animals skins and the addition of natural odours to mask the character's smell), in order to better approach or remain unseen at a given distance, as defined by stealth.

The character must purchase or obtain these materials, spending a plausible amount of time shaping them and applying each to his or her person. This cannot be done hastily; for game purposes, assume that an hour, at minimum, is spent. Afterwards, they cannot be gotten rid of easily; blacking to darken skin and other materials fixed to clothing or rubbed in will remain as evidence, should the character be caught and interrogated.

Use in Play

Camouflage allows the character to approach enemies more closely, or remain unobserved for long periods. The ability adjusts the character's stealth by 2 hexes, which is a meaningful advantage under the right circumstances. When used in combination with limited illumination, camouflage effectively puts the character two hexes further away from those wishing to hurl or fire missiles.

Camouflage is not only a means of not being seen. During the day, even in plain sight, the character is able to adjust their appearance so as to seem unworthy of attention. A "beggar" in the marketplace would not be noticed, nor would an apprentice of some sort. One more lawyer, courtier or soldier would be dismissed among a plethora of like others — assuming those lawyers, courtiers or soldiers were not well known to each other. In short, with time to assume the proper clothing, the character is able to appear appropriate to the place, with the stance, tone of voice, mannerisms and general demeanour that would be expected of a drunk, a goodwife or a labourer. This allows the character to loiter about, under the right circumstances, without being "seen."

This relies somewhat upon the character's inventiveness. If the character acts in a way that brings attention — such as asking questions, moving about too much, hanging about for an overlong period of time — then eventually someone is going to notice and investigate. The DM should be flexible; and the character should understand there's a limit as to how much inattention camouflage can reasonably provide.

See Also,