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Disguise Layering
The cheese is real.

Brought this up in the Town Hall, was asked to make a post about it.

It's not an uncommon situation to find characters wearing 3 or more disguises because of how the system was changed. I've personally had encounters with characters literally wearing every disguise item in the game, layered correctly, as well as instances of characters wearing 2-3 hoods and then a poncho.

Why it's a problem:

-It greatly devalues the skill of disguise, which, based on comments at the town hall, many others also seem to be in agreement is way too much profit for too little UE expenditure.

-It encourages players to solve problems with chyen instead of roleplaying and building their characters to reflect the need to remain hidden for various reasons. If you're not good at it, take the chyen from your layered disguises funds and hire someone who's a ghost. You've already made 5X more roleplaying for people and have introduced significantly more risk into the equation.

-With even a modest investment in the skill and stats for the skill, it's extremely easy to keep a disguise up in a large hectic battle with even 2 layers stacked.

-People wearing four layers of disguises just promotes necksnapping people when it's already become way, way easier to necksnap people when you're attempting to strip them than it is trying to knock them out 15 times. I don't see this as a good thing.

The Solution:

-You can't see someone's eye color or hair style under their mask, their helmet, their hood, and their poncho. Let the more 'corporate' disguises where you're disguised by changing your appearance, not hiding it, not stack with items that hide your appearance.

-Make it so that there's a hard cap on the *benefit* you can get out of disguise layering. I'd personally say that it should be capped at two items. A face covering such as a mask or helmet, and then a body cover, such as a hood, robe, poncho or shroud.

Thoughts?

People tend to adapt, but there is a much simpler and logical way to restrict this which has been done for other skills but disguise being the most popular non-skill of the game, would probably make a lot of people unhappy if it got this nerf.

Put a skill wall entry for the different types of disguises, much like with make-up, but for every disguise. The more complex the disguise, the more coverage, more expensive, requires more skill to use. This will also kill layering, or require more skill for using it.

However, if you do this most people will just get skillsofts down the road or don't use disguises at all.

Many skills have entry requirements, chemistry, medical, driving, flying, forensic, etc. Disguise is pretty much on of the only useful skills I can think of which can be capitalized with almost no investment for the characters.

That's overthinking it. It's already balanced as it is, just cap the layering bonus to the first two things you put on.
I personally think it's fine as is currently. Yes, you can stack a lot of items, but then you're walking around with a shitload of chyen to risk. If we're talking every disguise item that's in the ballpark of 40-50k+, likely more. Some of which are consumables. That's a lot to be risking walking around on a regular basis. If you get popped carrying all of that you're going to to need to reinvest in a big way.

I'm not sure if we're talking about getting to a name change here, or just general slippage, but it does take stats and skills to become OK enough to be comfortably disguised (in my experience).

There are other items that provide huge benefits with little to no stat gateways (high-level armor, certain offensive consumables, chrome, etc.) Are those "solving problems with chy instead of RP" too? Armor is heavily layered as well.

Honestly this system is one of the most unique and fun aspects of SD. I'd be really bummed if it was nerfed into oblivion.

I don't think there's a problem here at all. There are some combinations that can absolutely make sense and those that might seem less so are balanced by the time you have to spend to get anywhere decent with disguises, the relevant stats and the cost of all those items.

With the last update Slither made to how they work you need to have a reasonable amount invested so you don't blow your cover every few blocks. And I also disagree with hiring people who are better at disguising than you are because it's usually a skill people use in combination with others.

@floored

We're not talking about nerfing the actual mechanics of disguise as a skill. Right now, you need very little UE invested to stack up a couple of disguises enough so that with a couple of weeks of training and some chy, you can run around and murder people with damn near impunity, because you have to fail numerous skill checks to get caught. If anything, cutting down on layering is a nerf to items and a buff to the skill itself.

Finally, regarding the 'other items that provide huge benefits with little to no stat gateways' the examples are kind of.. not good. You can't effectively stack dough without a serious stat investment. You really cannot stack chrome without a serious stat investment. Consumables I agree with you on, but they're intended to try and equalize the playing field between UE gaps, so that's working as intended.

If I could see two changes made I would like to see:

1. Have where you can effectively don disguises sharply limited

2. Adjust things so that a character with middling relevant skills and stats can't use layers to achieve what should require significant skill and stat investment (getting a disguise name and

I think the rest is mostly fine.

Of course I typoed!

If I could see two changes made I would like to see:

1. Have where you can effectively don disguises sharply limited

2. Adjust things so that a character with middling relevant skills and stats can't use layers to achieve what should require significant skill and stat investment (getting a disguise name and maintain a disguise for extended periods)

I think the rest is mostly fine.

I see what you're saying there Talon. Chances are though that they're "murdering people with impunity" they must have significant investment in combat skills, strength for armor, and appropriate stats as well right? Otherwise the solution would be just to kill them? Then their investment in disguising wouldn't matter. If that can't be accomplished then theyre probably already a killing machine. It's difficult to parse out one factor when someone is very powerful and adds something in. If someone spends a day of ue and can do combat with that many layers with no issues then that's not great. I don't know the code though so I'm not sure how that goes down.

I've made a significant investment into disguising so maybe it's easier than I'm thinking though.

(If this posts goes too far into IC info, please do delete it.)

I invested a decent amount in Disguise and associated Stats. It is not to the point where I can change my character's disguised name. I can RP / pose a fair amount without disguise slippage. I don't do much combat, but I don't remember the disguise dropping during the little combat that I do, do.

My experience with layering does not align with what people are talking about in this post.

Specifically if I layer a few disguise items, the lower layers (those put on first) do not seem to matter. By that I mean, if I put on 3 items, as soon as I remove Item #3, my character's @name becomes visible again. Although the description might still include a disguise item such that their @nakeds in the covered location(s) are not visible, the character @name is ALWAYS visible.

From that, I'd infer that if the first layer 'slipped' for whatever reason, the char @name would become visible. If that's not the case, then it might be worth looking into why manually removing a layer of disguise does more to 'break' the disguise than involuntary slippage does.

Hek, in regards to removing layers, that's part of the system as it is currently. When it was first implemented the GM post floated the long term idea of 'taking off a layer' keeping yourself disguised if your score was high enough. I think that would be super dope. That's not in the game right now as far as I can tell.

It would be awesome to pull off a hoody to 'show your real face and have that be a disguised name'! With high stats and skills of course.

@floored

I realize what I said was a bit ambiguous when I said 'murdering people with impunity.' I did not mean to say that there are characters who can just stomp on people in one sided fights using disguise layering. Of course this is happening, however, I think it's a natural assumption to make that those characters have a pretty good investment in the stats and skill required to make disguises effective.

What I did mean is that the people committing crimes with disguise stacking are doing so without recourse for their actions, because they are able to get away 'clean' from crimes as a result of some, but not all of their disguises failing in the process.

Just wanted to clear that up!

After the disguise update, I was competing 30-60 minute scenes...

- without my disguise dropping

- including getting back to my apartment

- wearing only a hoodie

- with less than two weeks' investment in the skill & almost no investment in any stats

I strongly feel I shouldn't have been able to do that. I felt guilty every time, because that's just too good.