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[IMPORTANT] Massive Disguise Update
Complete overhaul of the system

Hey Everyone -

We've made a massive update to how disguise works. First, let me say a few things before I dive into the details:

1. Mephisto did a TON of coding for this over several months. He did a great job and I'm very thankful to him for all the hard work. I really just came in at the end and helped polish it up, so the credit goes to him.

2. This update WILL cause bugs. It's so big and there are so many new things and edge cases that it's just impossible that there won't be some crazy edge cases. Please report these on xhelp for now, and if a coder can't look into it, or you don't get a response, please submit a detailed bug report with @Bug.

3. If you or someone around you encounters an issue with this code, please be sure to give some wiggle room while we work out the kinks and be understandable if they are like 'waiting on the admin to respond' if there is something that is preventing them from moving forward with the RP. We don't want anyones good time ruined because of bugs.

OKAY. On to the changes.

Disguises are now stackable

The new system allows you to build a disguise out of multiple disguising objects of DIFFERENT types. You cannot, for instance, stack 5 shrouds/ponchos/robes. I mean, you can wear them all, but it only counts once.

New Disguising Items

1. Contact Lenses

These can be purchased at a beauty store. They change your eye color.

2. Wigs

These can be purchased at a beauty store. They change your hair.

Both wigs and contacts are LIMITED use. If you look at them, you'll get a basic gauge of what state they are in and how many uses they might have left.

When they are used up, they are tossed away automatically. Like a cigarette, or used up drug vial.

Their price may be adjusted over time.

Beauty stores will stock them via crates and they are randomly generated, so there will always be different colors/kinds.

These items cover up your existing @nakeds, and LOOK like @nakeds. They appear the same color as them.

Player Creatable Disguises

Wigs and contact lenses can also be created by players with the correct workbench/skill. Right now this is only possible at one place ICly. And we'll be looking to hire players to do this work.

The benefit of a player made contact lenses, or wigs, is that you can have it customized exactly how you want. Right now they are basically the same as the store sold ones, but the store sold ones are randomly generated so it may be hard to find 2 of the same exact kind of wig for instance.

Makeup/Wigs/Contacts/Hair Changes will Disguise You

Part of building a disguise may be wearing makeup, putting on a wig, wearing contacts, and changing your hairstyle. You can do all these things AND wear a poncho/mask/helmet/whatever if you want, but you don't have to. These items alone will make you harder to recognize.

Right now, these types of items will make you appear using part of your short description, like 'a tall man' or 'a short man' or 'a squat man' or whatever. There is no 'disguised' modifier.

We also do not cover up your description when you are just adding makeup. Your description gets locked to whatever it is when you put on the makeup/disguise. If you then wear a poncho or helmet or something, it may then override your disguise like the current system does.

This is all part of making not recognizing someone more IC. If you see 'a tall man' and you read their description and see their nakeds and are like 'that is john I think', then IMO, you can believe it's John ICly and possibly be wrong.

This policy may change over time, but for now, in cases like this, if your character still recognizes the person, it's OK to recognize them. Just don't use meta info like 'only john has a ceramic composite katana so despite not recognizing their description I still know it's them.' That's still against the rules.

Showers fuck up your disguise

If you take a shower while disguised, it's going to fuck up your disguise and you won't be disguised anymore. Seems IC to me.

Disguise Modifiers

All disguising items and things (like changing your hair), now have a disguise modifier which is computed as part of your disguise roll. This means that some items will disguise you better than others. This was actually always the case, but we've tweaked these numbers, so some of you may be better disguised now, or less disguised, depending on what you were using. In general though, your DISGUISE skill plays a HUGE part of your disguise score. It always has.

Disguise Slipping

This works pretty much how it used to. Your 'disguise' will slip as you do stuff ICly. Taking actions reduces your disguise score and eventually it will fall completely and expose you. In some cases, like a new haircut, you'll only show up as 'a tall man' or whatever, for a short period of time before you go back to being you. I imagine this like you got a brand new haircut, and someone on the train that you know looks right past you because they didn't know you got the hair cut.

Speaking of stacking disguise...

So, I mentioned how you could 'build' your disguise up with multiple items. There is a big reason for this change. If you have good enough disguise skill that your disguise score, with one or more items reaches a certain value...

You can change your name (and description) while disguised

You won't be offered this option unless you've got decent disguise or are wearing a REALLY good disguise. But if you are...

You'll be given the OPTION (you don't have to take it) to run two specials command.

@disguise-name me is

@disguise-desc me is

You will then, until your disguise slips or you remove one of your disguising items, show up as the name you have chosen. You can't choose another players name (at least not now, not sure if ever) and normal naming conventions apply.

Caveats & Known Issues

1. If you remove one piece of your disguise, it breaks your entire disguise. So please be careful about how you wear/remove things because it doesn't just subtract the item from your disguise. Perhaps in the future we will make this, but for now, just like the existing system, if you are wearing a helmet and then a poncho, and you remove the poncho, your disguise is completely gone.

2. Getting disguises like contacts and wigs wet will show then as being wet in your description, like regular clothes. We'll work on this. For now, stay out of the shower or the rain in your disguise. Some times may continue to show as wet (like a wig), since it may be more obvious, but things like contacts shouldn't be showing as wet, that's just weird.

-----

That was a lot. We are STILL actively working on this code and actively updating it. So large pieces of what I've said in this post could change tomorrow as we identify issues, rebalance things, realize things aren't going to work and remove / modify them.

For many of you, nothing really changes. Your disguises still work the way they did before. But for some of you... this opens many new doors.

I understand you'll all have questions/comments/etc. Please feel free to offer your feedback in this thread! Just do you best to make it constructive :)

-- S

Amazing stuff. Great job Meph!

Can't wait to see this in action, victim or otherwise!

This is a really exciting change. The potential here is so huge. Great work, Meph, and I'm itching to see how it all comes together.

Great job!

Can't wait to (not) see the SPIES around every corner! :)

I kind of suggested this idea like 3 years ago, so of course I am really happy it came true. ;D

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/ideas/better-disguises-1085

This is super awesome. +1 for fake noses just because I think that would be hilarious to wear. The name change thing is really cool.

Disguise went from being one of the most boring and one-dimensional skills to now potentially one of the most interesting.

Holy shit.

Holy shit! Thank you! And AHHH contact lenses!!!

i may have shitty disguise ability but think of the options! performers can intentionally slip their disguises to just use these as cosmetics. a whole new layer of fashion. I'm loving this so mush since this means -so much more- than just new ways to hide

This is epic. Some thoughts:

* For when you fix disguises getting wet, wigs shouldn't get wet. If this is synth-hair wigs that isn't any different from hair you can get from a hairstyle machine, it would be kind of meta for them to appear as wet when regular hair doesn't.

* Since new disguises have a fixed description, people shouldn't look at players and see it and think, "oh, this person is obviously wearing a wig, they are disguised and up to no good", i.e. disguises shouldn't be obvious until they slip due to poor skills. Maybe a good solution would be to let players choose the description of the @naked, but for the most part I hope for good self-policy.

The descriptions are generic enough that meta would be pretty hard unless you're already suspicious.

There's a bit of meta potential in being able to 'l wig on slither' or 'glance slither' to see the list of what he's wearing. The latter I reported though and the former might be fixable.

1. Things getting wet has been resolved.

2. You can't see things when you glance anymore.

3. We're working on fixing the 'look on ' issue now.

4. Custom wigs/lenses made by a player at an art bench already allow you to set a custom message that will show up. Instead of the generic hairstyle one or 'He has blue eyes.' that the store bought ones do. You could make it '%S has piercing %color eyes.' or whatever.

Also, wigs/contacts/hair do NOT change your description. They lock it in place. If you are going to pretend to be someone else you should update your description before you put on your final disguising component.

Some things I've noticed:

It seems like wigs replace your entire @naked head, so you can't put something about your face features. Are there any ways to help this problem?

If you wear contact lenses that are not custom mades, i.e. black contact lenses your naked gets replaced to "He has black eyes", but the "eyes" word is in default grey, not in naked gold. Also you can't see amount of remaining uses in contact lenses if you look at it, it simply isn't there.

It seems like those items have too few uses. After wearing it just once to see how it'd work, it went from "many uses" to just "some uses". Considering they cost much more than a full-body disguise... (in my opinion it should be increased).

A question: wigs and contact lenses aren't enough for a full disguise. What else is left? Makeup, right? So you'd need an artist character to give you makeup to set the disguise on? And do you need to set your description BEFORE you do this or can't you just use @disguised-desc?

If you build up enough disguise with those items you can change your disguised-desc.

I think it's fine that it replaces the head @naked. How else would it clear your original hair description? Right ear and left ear @nakeds are good for other things you want to describe about the face.

@villa The wig intentionally covers your head naked for simplicity and ease of use. We've fixed the worn msg color and the remaining uses counter. We'll consider balance as we observe how players use these new items, so uses might change. And we are working on further items to aid in disguising your identity, but being able to change your eyes and head naked and set a custom alias is already plenty to go undercover with some fiddling around. :)

We've made it so you can't look at lenses/wigs on another person to meta that they have them.

Hadn't considered that, waddlerafter, I might move my face nakeds to the ear instead so things don't look funny when I use a wig.

Thanks Meph.

'many' == max, some =='not max'. It's just the way our proportionate code works. These currently have like 20 uses. Though that number could change, and it could also be something that we decide to have the artists skill impact when making custom wigs (though that isn't the case now).

And yes, if your disguise skill is high enough, a wig and contacts would be enough to allow you to change your name.

And you can set your description at any point up until the last disguise piece is added (though you won't see it as your disguise description would be overriding it until you add a new disguise component).

Wow, I just had the best idea from reading this. I want to share it because it's not something I'm going to be able to or want to do, at least not with my current character. But it is an idea I really would look forward to see, and it's late here currently so I didn't bother reading all comments. If anyone already thought of this, apologies.

Superhero/vigilante/villain alter egos.

Be Bruce Wayne one day, Batman the other.

Be Peter Parker one day, Spiderman the other.

Obviously your own alter egos, but just imagine running around in your iconic suit and everyone goes HEY IT'S (INPUT IDENTITY HERE)! Imagine the risks of letting it slip. You'd be at the mercy of everyone in your regular identity. Just like how Batman and Spiderman has been.

Evie, I'd really like to see that as well.

Unfortunately, from what I can tell, because of the way Disguises fall off (I don't really know how exactly they fall off, but it's been implied in this thread that they do depending on certain actions), it wont be a super viable option to do when combined with combat-related stuff. At least for now.

But I hope you eventually get the opportunity to pull this off.

@Evie People have done things like that before. It's always been possible. Now it's easier. Just remember this isn't a super hero game :)

@Armingo I think there is some confusion around the language being used. Let me clarify, because I don't want others (or you) to have the wrong impression.

Disguise Slipping

We are talking about two things when we discuss this. You could take 'an action' that slightly reduces your disguise score, this could be many things, like talking, or fighting or grappling or something else.

Or, upon taking an action, your disguise score reaches 0 and your disguise fully slips.

How many actions it takes for your disguise to fully slip and reveal who you are is dependent on the disguise score which is dependent on the disguise skill in conjunction with the disguise compeonts (shroud, mask, contacts, wig, etc) you are wearing.

There is nothing stopping you from engaging in combat in disguise, people have been doing this successfully for years as many of the people on this forum can attest.

Hope that clears things up!

@Slither Of course, it's not a superhero game with superpowers and such, though chrome that to some degree does unnatural things to your body. But what I meant more was the way superheroes 'act' or 'appear'. Basically the alter ego of the same person, and both pretend to be different people. Like how Bruce Wayne would talk about Batman as if he's someone else entirely.

Keeping up this act and in a sense remaining safe in their regular identity, at least most of the time. I think this could be applied the absolute best to vigilantes, bounty hunters, or more gray-zoned characters rather than goody-two-shoes or totally evil. Let's say a vigilante that does things with his own personal sense of morals, even though some may think what he does is absolutely wrong, he'll believe in his cause. Much like revolutionairies in many different instances in history, have mostly been in gray zones of their own personal goals.

I really like how these new changes can make this easier to do and I hope maybe one day tailors can create disguises as well, then you could wear your own iconic looks that hide your face and identity.

Thank you, Mephisto! And the rest of staff involved in all of these recent changes we've been getting. Thank you, Slither, for all your hard work as well. :3

Sorry for posting again in a row but what I forgot I wanted to mention was, an alter ego could simply be you when you're a fixer, or whatever else your speciality is. Whilst your regular self is just a bartender hearing peoples' stories. Doesn't have to be a vigilante or anything special. Your alter ego could just be a robber, or a chemist. Et cetera. Your more 'special' self, so to speak.

This new update is IC, right? We are aware of this new thing in character? Trying to remember if I saw an announcement on it, what position the WJF is taking on it, etc.

This is not an IC 'change', its always been this way ICly.

Also how wild can you get making these contact lenses, because they could be part of some really cool costumes. Black eyes with no sclera, fractal patterns in the iris, little symbols and charms added in, etc.

You can talk about it ICly with your local disguise maker at your local fashion store.

Also as a player I'd really prefer this be a new product rather than something that's always been there just because of how revolutionary it is. This changes a lot of things.

This is a pretty cool alternative to biomods, these lenses. Heck, even today people can get a lot of unrealistic lenses for cosmetic purposes. So it makes sense these still exist as a cheaper option.

@Trickyhottrev I think I'd sort of RP it as them getting new stock in but that it's not overly revolutionairy. Like, 'hey I never saw lenses in this store before, huh'.

@Trickyhottrev if it was revolutionary IC then everyone would have an IC reason to be meta when they see everyone wearing wigs and lenses

Looks like the wigs cover up your head and therefore hide your attractiveness in your shortdesc. Not a huge deal, but I don't know if it's intentional.

Like I said, there's most likely a lot of stores in Withmore IC but not OOC present. I'd just pretend I didn't find lenses in 'this' store before, maybe I skimmed over it or maybe they just started stocking it. I think it can be a little misinterpreted IC as well. But it's not a new invention or anything too unordinary, I'm sure.

Thoughts?

On further inspection it's when you're wearing a wig and contacts and therefore have both your head and your eyes 'covered.' Again not the biggest deal in the world but worth pointing out.

some people have suggested moving your facial desc to one of your ears, vera

might be tough if something covers an ear though

Maybe we'll have to do without having a face, Dani! :o

"We also do not cover up your description when you are just adding makeup."

It's still disguising, if you do this you become unrecognizable for now. I put on lipstick and I couldn't use an item that needed to recognize who I was.

That's how the system is going to work. Yes, it disguises you, but it does not change your description.

Ohhh okay. I misunderstood this.

So with makeup now being a disguise, do we still treat makeup as part of styling or should it be foregone?

If I go out of the house wearing makeup, people might not recognize me. That's all this is. It makes you less recognizable. If you want your name to show up again, just do some talking and it'll drop your disguise pretty quickly unless your disguise skill is super high. Or wear a disguise item that isn't makeup and take it off and it'll remove your disguise name.

Do you folks think we need a command to allow you to drop your disguise right away?

I think we do, there have been a few suggestions about using hoodies without the disguise element to it. Makes sense and it wouldn't be terribly impractical.

+1, would be helpful when you need to identify yourself somewhere with an automated system (like banks!).

Suggestion:

When you change your hair, it should track what your original hairstyle was and undisguise you if you switch back to it too soon. I am also envisioning a perfect world where it tracks how far away from your original style you changed and bonuses it accordingly, but feh.

As is, I can change my style to one thing, then change it back to the original and enjoy my (short-term) disguise even though I look exactly the same.

Yeah, you can do that, but like... don't? We may add a check like that in but then what happens when your hair is A, you change to B, you change to C, and then back to A? We would need to keep all your hairstyles for a specific period of time, which could be tedious and it doesn't really add value to the system, while at the same time adding more data the moo has to store, causing (at least temporary) bloat.

I'd also think a command to force your disguise away would be great, especially for topside roleplayers and people who use terminals or interact with NPC's a lot for work, et cetera.

People with biomods should take penalties to disguise if they're uncovered. Most of them are unique enough that they should be easy to recognize, especially alongside other features.

Ohh, that's interesting. What do others think about that?

As it stands, we allow players to 'see through disguises' if they have a good enough reason. Things like unique birthmarks, scars, tattoos or bio-mods being exposed. I'm not sure if we actually need to lower the disguise score though. If someone does not know that the unique birthmarks, scars, tattoos or bio-mods in question belong to someone specific, they should not benefit from seeing them as they don't necessarily make it any more obvious that a disguise is in use.

Sounds logical.

Agree with you Grey0. I mean by the same logic I' should have a permanent penalty to Disguises if my character has albino eyes, because they are a rarity. *even* if I can cover the eyes with shades or a helmet?

I guess what I'm saying is that having a bio-mod exposed (or similar) does not mean the disguise is poorly done. It just means that someone in the know would have reason to believe that it is a specific person under that awesome disguise.

I humbly submit the following video on bio-mods that stick out of you:

https://youtu.be/e1SmuVwjh04?t=30

AWOOOO!

Aren't biomods a lot more present IC than in player characters? Pretty sure there's some descriptions topside that has those. Either way, biomods are more common than just the players, especially topside. Am I right? It's supposedly trendy with rich people in the lore, if I remember the timeline correctly.

What I mean is, they don't technically have to ruin your disguise, unless the person recognizes them. Especially if they are custom, I'm sure it is reasonable that a character who knows you, can recognize them, whether your disguise slipped or not.

Yes, biomods are common but customized biomods aren't that common because they've been exclusively tailored for customers.

Hence, I feel like biomods don't need to affect your score. If someone recognizes them as yours, I feel like it's okay that they point it out IC.

Sorry for doublepost; but then, again.. how many biomodded people out there are disguised a lot? I don't think this will be a frequent issue is all. :P

The city just got itself a whole lot of new faces...old characters just got new options..and the world just got a lot less small. Bravo, staff.

Just sort of noticed that people casually wearing makeup for reasons other than trying to disguise themself end up disguised. Not sure if that's just me having bad stats, or what, but it seems like a bit of an oversight.

I personally either thing an undisguise command is cool (which I already voted on in the thread), or! A contouring makeup kit, which is actually aimed at reshaping your face and with enough application, does tend to reshape you.

IRL I'm not that super at makeup? But when I contour my face in a certain way, I can give myself a button nose. And my schnoz is like, not a button nose for real. That's what contouring can do for you.

That's my other idea, is to shift disguise in makeup specifically over to contouring so that when people apply it, they really are doing so with the intent of disguise rather than styling.

With the options presented (lipstick, eyeshadow, mascara/eyeliner), none of that is going to make you look like a COMPLETELY different person.

If anything, it should add CHA.

I just noticed this:

If you are disguised and walk across rooms, the person in the room where you arrive sees this:

"Disguised Baka walks in from the north."

But if you aren't disguised, they see this:

An attractive filthy man (Disguised Baka) walks in from the north.

Small detail but people can subconsciously be meta out of it.

Also, I noticed it replaces your @lp with your sleep_place on at least one occasion.

Makeup in and of itself does not make you completely unrecognizable. It does not hide your description. You don't show up as whatever your character name is, but your character name is meta information any way. If someone looks at you, as I've stated before, and see's your description, and recognizes who you are, well, they recognize who you are. It's as simple as that.

We're trying to move away from the confusion of 'knowing who someone is OOCly but not knowing ICly'. That's why some disguising components, like shrouds, cover your entire description. If you can't see any recognizable features about someone, how ya gunna know who they are?

But if someone puts on makeup, you might still recognize them. Now if they put on makeup and a wig and contacts, maybe you don't. It depends on their skill if they are able to provide a 'disguised description' or not. It depends on their skill if they are able to change their display name.

But in the end, even lipstick is going, for a time, to change your appearance. And thus, your display name will show as your short desc, which is completely IC and if you recognize someone based on their description, or visible tattoos or something, that's IC too.

Here's an example of contouring on someone (which I consider a light application):

That's just your average J. Baka using this. If they have high artistry, pick up a contouring kit, and REALLY beat their face for the gawds, they can really look like someone else. That, I think, is where disguise might work better as a mechanic in the game.

*as a mechanic with makeup "disguise" but anyway! I can still live with current settings, that was just my two cents.

By the way, the problem with makeup being used as a disguise is that one, it doesn't compensate for people who wear the same makeup every day, and two, you can't see a person's description if they're, say, on TV.

You can now chose to break your disguise using the new expose command as described here: March 2019 - Bug Fixes & Updates

Now it's up to you if you want your makeup or hairstyle to obscure your identity or not!

I feel like you shouldn’t be able to see spectacular and magnificent miraculous etc health levels with a name change disguise. Is that a thing or was I high? I feel like there’s meta to be had there.

I believe it's only for shroud and ponchos. Hoods, helmets, etc do not hide your health level.

But you can name change with a poncho which sets it that way if I’m not mistaken. It usually plays out like “oh this guy trying act like he’s new to the dome with his poncho and untouchable condition yeah gtfo” . Personally I think it should hide it with all disguise but meh.

While I am not at all against condition being hidden with more disguises, I think an even better thing would be for players to not be meta and assuming that immy == weak. Lots of people immigrate into Withmore. Many of them are far more competent than out new PC characters. Just like most of the 70 mil that live in Withmore are pretty pathetic - some who have likely lived in the Dome for decades.

Still. I'd be happy to have condition hidden more often with disguises.

I agree Grey0. But expectations versus reality

So, people don't seem to be treating disguises very seriously. It's kind of massively devaluing the skill.

For example, the "incidental" disguises (aka makeup, hairstyle changes, contacts, wigs w/o disguise-name changes) are essentially being directly ignored by people even when efforts are made to hide/change nakeds and @describes to accommodate. I've had this happen to my character on three separate occasions. If a character is fully clothed in something they wouldn't normally wear, with a description that they don't normally use and are wearing an incidental disguise of some kind that is codedly blocking their name, you don't know who they are.

Is this strong? Yes. Is it fair? Yes, because these incidental disguises (especially hairstyle and makeup) are extremely thin and break under the slightest interaction even at reasonably high skill caps, as far as I can tell.

If you spot someone wearing a stock wig, it shouldn't nearly be anywhere as near a big of a deal as it currently is. These wigs are readily available, it's not a stretch to think that there's dozens of people in a given room wearing some, even in places like the Mix. It might raise suspicion, but I've literally seen people stopped because they've been wearing wigs. it's ridiculous.

When you are wearing a disguise like a shroud or a hoodie, it is a tacit implication that you blend into an ambpop crowd and are very difficult to spot, even if someone has advanced knowledge of what kind of shroud you're wearing or any distinguishable features it might have. People are already ignoring the dispatched hooded NPC's because they immediately aren't wearing anything but a hoodie. I've seen people walk into rooms mimicing these dispatch NPC mannerisms and get immediately stopped by PCs for it.

Hoodies are practically worthless because people just seem to peg you INSTANTLY in a crowd of hundreds because they can see your pants and hands. It's shrouds or bust. I shouldn't need to angrily rant about how stupid this is. What is even the points of hoodies existing if people just completely ignore the background blend they're supposed to give?

People need to start respecting the meta considerations involved in disguises or we may as well just remove this entire skill. People would be losing their shit if they lost months of UE investment on a combat skill because other players just chose to not pay meta consideration to their attacks.

If people are treating disguises in a meta way you should definitely report it via xhelp or notes. Let GMs ask the potential offenders what their reasoning was.

One possible solution to the shrouds/hoodie problem is to just natively make outdoor movement in heavy ambpop automatically hidden for people in strong enough full-cover disguises.

Kind of like an auto-hide that consumes no stamina and uses your Disguise skill passively instead of your Stealth to hide you from the room on LOOK, entry and exit.

People with these kinds of disguises in large crowds should be nearly impossible to spot. There's hundreds of people's worth of ambpop in some areas. Hiding in plain sight shouldn't be nearly as difficult as it currently is.

I'd rather address the meta issue by educating people first, and look for a coded solution second.

If the disguised NPCs are too easy to spot, then we can update that code to make it more difficult.

I'd like to hear some feedback on what we could do to make those less obviously NPCs from the folks that have figured out the tells.

Also there are two systems currently. One is by J and one is by me. One uses the dispatcher to send disguised npcs to specific places and one just disguises up NPCs with the same shortdesc as an existing player. So we can tweak one without tweaking the other.

Make the disguised NPCs with the most common shortdescs in the MOO. An average man is much more easily blending than a squat woman because there's simply much more average men than squat women in the game.

The hooded folks also need pants and footware. I think the usually immy stuff combined with Du-Wear and NeXuS would cover most bases.

Yeah, if you see a hooded NPC and see they are wearing no pants and they have no @nakeds you subconsciously know they're a NPC.

For every player, make like 20 shrouded duplicates of that player?

Same LP, once you see them use the same, you wind up learning more about their @LPs, and overlook them, but any PC can easily borrow their @LP and merge with the shrouded NPCs.

So this is Grey0's approach to disguises 2.0 - incorporating the new disguise changes. This is simply how I handle disguises and maybe it will be helpful to others. I don't claim that this is Sindome Cannon. I try my best to take in feedback from staff and other players and apply logic but this is what I worked out based on that info. Take it for what it's worth, typos and all!

Also, it's a LONG read. I wanted to try and be comprehensive.

GENERAL CONCEPTS

These are some things I think apply to all disguises or contribute to understanding how disguises work on Sindome.

Character Object Names

Your character is an object in the moo and has a name. I call this your character object name. This is the name you picked during character generation. It is what people see when you are in a room and undisguised.

It also serves as the most general level of description of your character. If I see 'John' in a room and nothing else, then later see 'John' somewhere, I can know it's the same guy. Of course, I wouldn't be able to magically know details about John unless I 'look john'. So if all you've seen is the character object name, it's a "I can't recall details but I'd know him if I see him" kind of thing.

It is generally safe to say that, once you see someone's character object name, you've IDed them - just remember that this doesn't mean know details. That guy who's name shows but is wearing a shroud? You have no idea what his face, hands, or whatever looks like. But you will know it's the same guy if you see that character object name sometime later.

Crowds and Blending In

Crowds and blending in isn't disguise specific. If you are in a busy as all hell room and people are there but not doing anything to stand out from the crowd, it's legit to not notice them. I frequently do this to my own detriment. At one point I let a character (that my character hated and knew by sight) pass through my character's room four times before I decided my character noticed them and mugged them.

At the same time, this is flexible. It's fine to notice other characters and you are not forced to ignore people unless they make a scene. But do keep in mind that Withmore is insanely packed. The entire population of France in a tiny dome. Crowds are crowded. So I don't always ignore people in a crowded room. Sometimes I've decided my character spotted them straight away and other times I wait a bit. I just try to remember how hard it can be to spot bakas in crowded places.

Uniquely Identifying Features

Sometimes a character will have something you can see when you 'look bob' that is pretty damn unique. An exposed birthmark or scar that is fairly distinct. An exposed tattoo that you think is likely to be pretty rare in a city of 70mil. Custom and personalized clothing or gear.

If you see something like this on someone in any kind of disguise and have seen the same thing on someone before, it's a good reason to strongly suspect or even ID them. Just keep in mind that gear and clothing are easily lost and found. And off the rack clothing and armor doesn't usually count as uniquely anything.

Ambient World Scale

The dome is full of 70 million people. This means that you can take pretty much take any element of the game and assume it is far more common than you might think. Did you hear about two muggins today? Yeah. There were several thousand ambient muggings. You've seen three Ruger P93-CDS pistols? There are tens of thousands. You've seen three guys in all black Xo3? There are scores.

There is practically no element in this game in which the coded, seen, NPC/PC visible pieces are the only or even the majority of what is really going on in the city. It's best to constantly remind yourself of this whenever you start to say, "Only X has/does/wants Y." Or anything similar.

Timing

Sometimes timing can be a help or a detriment. Did you get a tip that Bob was in a bar, get there two minutes later and only see a shrouded guy? Great chance Bob took off and you should seriously consider this is a possibility before assuming the shrouded guy is Sam.

Did you see Joe in the bar wearing specific clothing (that would not normally be considered identifiable) then get attacked by someone in the same clothing but wearing a mask right outside minutes later? Good chance it was Jo as the odds of seeing some other guy in the same threads with the same build soon is pretty small, even in a big city.

Just remember that timing can be a reason why you don't ID or suspect someone and it can be a reason why weak evidence becomes stronger.

String Equivalence

Sindome is a text game so we are all forced to describe things in text. We have a sentence to describe our voice, hands, neck, feet and more. But it is the content that matters, not the wording. It is the image or sound you imagine in your head that is important.

Why do I mention this? Because it irks the world out of me when someone has an @naked for their hands like, "Jo has normal looking hands with trimmed fingernails." Then later have someone pass this exact string to another character who then IDs the guy because the strings match. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF BAKAS WITH HANDS LIKE THAT!!! There are probably even a few characters with similar looking hands just described with a different string or words.

Even fairly unique strings like, "He has fat fingers with hair sprouting from the knuckles" are not all that much useful for IDing someone. And the idea of passing someone the exact string a character uses to describe their voice to another character and using it for IDing them? Please don't. I feel this is just silly.

End story? String equivalence shouldn't mean much, if anything anything at all, and you should think twice before copying and pasting these things to others. Have your character use their own words to describe what they saw or heard!

DIFFERENT KINDS OF DISGUISES

As was explained to me recently, this new system kind of needs to be looked at as different levels of disguises. Each with their own pluses and minuses.

0. No disguise

Not much to say here. Either you were never disguised to start with or your disguise slipped enough that your character object name is now visible.

1. Your character's object name is simply omitted

This happens with hairdos, makeup, wigs, contacts and the like. In one way they are the weakest of disguises as players are free to look at you and piece together your identity based on what they can see. Staff has said that they aren't going to be policing the IDing of these disguises as much as they have others in the past.

At the same time, they are more discrete. When you look at someone disguised at this level, it's kind of lame to be all up in their grill for being disguised unless it's really obvious. Maybe they are just trying a new look? Heck, half of the time players don't even realize themselves that their characters are disguised at this level!

I also don't think that people should be singling out wigs or contacts without good reason. In fact, when I look at a character wearing even a store bought wig, there is nothing in their description that suggests a wig in in play. Nothing like, "the hair looks odd" or "fake looking blonde hair". It simply describes their hairstyle. So I have no idea how anyone could think that it is even possible to spot a wig without frisking them or something.

2. Traditional disguises

This is when you are wearing something like a hoodie, poncho, helmet or mask. YOu character's object name is replaced by 'hooded' or shrouded' or whatever. These can mostly be treated as they always have. Expect to provide a really sound reason for IDing someone in such a disguise when asked.

However, these are less discrete. Your character's identity is clearly concealed. There is no way to look at them and not realize this. Maybe it's just a byproduct of trying to stay dry or maybe it is intentional. But you are clearly disguised.

3. A new character object name is picked

These are top notch disguises right here. Why? Because the game told you that your character has IDed the guy as Bob, not Sam. It's really hard to create a logical chain of reasoning as to why your character walks into a room and says, "Yo, there's a guy. I've IDed him as Bob. But I am sure he's really Sam." It rarely makes sense.

I think this is a good thing because if someone can pick a new name for a disguise, it means they have really invested in the skill and/or materials. A disguise at this level is and should be a powerful thing. Unless you have a really, really good reason to suspect them, treat them like you would treat a new character you are seeing at the Drome for the first time.

I like the 'Grey0's approach to disguises 2.0'.. Everything makes sense, and I think it should be really handled like that.

Even if you don't know the name OOCly and see a disguise, IC your character wouldn't mind that at all.

Regarding dispatched NPCs:

1. As has already been said, they need pants, gloves and footwear. A random assortment of these would be great. Even better would be to use some of the review-cloth items and alternate them in and out so that people with tailored gear aren't instantly identifiable as PCs out in the street.

2. They need to move around more quickly. Sometimes dispatched NPCs stay in the same spot for hours before moving. Someone out and about should be moving around like they're out and about - people are metaing the fact that disguised PCs tend to be very quick about their movements.

3. Add the standard @lp (is standing here) to some of the dispatched NPCs.

I would also suggest really being heavy-handed with the older players who aren't treating disguises properly as well. There's a few of them. They know who they are.

I like the Grey2.0 approach as well as the ideas for populating the world with shrouds, hoodies, and helmets.

IRL I live in a city with a population of ~1 million. There's a bar I go to that easily has 50 - 100 people in it at all times I've been there. I can reasonably say that I can recognize a good deal of people from one night to another. How many people actually patron the bar? At least a thousand in a week, I'd guess. Now, if I were looking for someone based off physical description, but half the bar were in shrouds, hoodies, and helmets, It's reasonable to assume I'd approach a good number who match who I'm looking for. If they don't respond, that's enough for me to move on.

But if I didn't know anything about them physically? I'd maybe ask a few, but I wouldn't go around to *everyone* at the bar.

I'm mostly an outgoing person . I get social anxiety, but there's just something exciting about approaching someone new!

On the streets though? Holy crap no no no. That gives people way too much anonymity to think they can do whatever they want. Even at bus stops or parks, there's just some level of weirdness to people who think they can just approach you and tell you their life story and then fall in love with you for just listening to them that makes those places just terrible for ever being comfortable.

Is there any way for Wigs and Contacts to match up with the color text of whatever @skintone a particular character is using?

Hire a tailor that works at the wig store. They can create completely custom versions of these items.

Anyone else think of "Switch Girl" (or Superman/Clark Kent)?

Grey, nice breakdown of disguise lvls.

Switch Girl main characters: