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Thread: Ghost rules discussion

  1. #676
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    I believe it was added yes. It wasn't long after the first release though, but there might be a few reports that violate it. I will look at those reports later and might change it to failed status, just to keep it updated to modern rules. Let me know if you find more.

    I didnt join the Eidos forums until 2002, then TTLG in 2003, so I dont know all the details.

  2. #677
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Have you seen this archived website, Galaer?
    https://web.archive.org/web/20151007...s.com/old-ubb/

    Look at "Thief Modes of Play - Final Rules to Suggested Styles of Play" and "Question about ghost/perfect" on the left. Those are the first draft of the rules released way back in 2000. It seems from those rules that property damage was included from the first version, or at least from very early on. Before those reports you talked about at least, although I read through Vanguard's report on the Enterprise and I couldn't see him talking about breaking wooden boards. This is the T1 version though, which I haven't played. Maybe there are no wooden boards to break in that mission?

  3. #678
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    I watched Nexus Letum's video of Enterprise and both Master key and wooden planks are in the same places like in T2 version.

  4. #679
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Suggestion for rule #5 clarification:

    5a. Garrett must not cause suicides of AI, for example by blocking a patrol path so an enemy falls into water, or luring an enemy underneath a crushing elevator.
    5b. Garrett must also not cause enemy infighting where AI start attacking each other or make them run away, with the exception of rule 12. Examples: You are not allowed to leave a door open so enemies spot each other and start fighting; and you cannot use a device to create friendly AI that start attacking enemies for you.

  5. #680
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2013
    "5b. Garrett must also not cause enemy infighting where AI start attacking each other or make them run away, with the exception of rule 12."

    I am just wondering if this could get misunderstood to mean: Garrett must not cause in-fighting AND Garrett must not make AI run away?

    If you wanted to be extremely careful you Might say:
    "5b. Garrett must also not cause enemy infighting where AI start attacking each other or AI runs away from other AI, with the exception of rule 12."

    I only mention this because of the recently discussed rule-misunderstanding of fights being specified as having been caused by AI suicides.

  6. #681
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    Suggestion for rule #5 clarification:

    5a. Garrett must not cause suicides of AI, for example by blocking a patrol path so an enemy falls into water, or luring an enemy underneath a crushing elevator.
    5b. Garrett must also not cause enemy infighting where AI start attacking each other or make them run away, with the exception of rule 12. Examples: You are not allowed to leave a door open so enemies spot each other and start fighting; and you cannot use a device to create friendly AI that start attacking enemies for you.
    I think this is much better.

  7. #682
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    I'm a bit divergent when it comes to ghosting in that I tend to view the whole rationale and purpose for it from a seemingly different perspective than most one which inherently makes certain rules obsolete or only situationally relevant whilst creating other complications that don't exist in any official standard among the Thief community. For instance, these are my personal ghosting rules which I impose on my own gameplay:


    1. If realistically possible (that is, without utilizing game exploits and unrealistic quirks or limitations of the game engine more on this below), avoid detection by all humans and any other intelligent adversaries who might conceivably report noticing an intruder (this includes first alerts, as well as any alerts by mechanical faces or automatons who can sound alarms or by craymen, apebeasts, or bugbeasts, who can alert other intelligent creatures to your presence). Spiders, zombies, burricks, and fire elementals are not subject to this rule unless they, in turn, could alert humans to your presence. Haunts and ghosts are intelligent, so must not detect you directly, though they may be destroyed without violating these rules provided you eliminate them before they can alert other intelligent creatures.

    2. Do not rely on any form of concealment which would not realistically hide you from sight even if it is effective in concealing you in-game. This means, for example, that crossing into someone's line of sight in a lit area, at a far enough distance that they do not notice you in-game is still a bust under these rules, and you must assume that they do, in fact, see you. If there is no realistic and plausible way for you to remain undetected in a given area (for example, if there are no shadows dark enough to plausibly hide you, or no spots where you could conceivably blend in with your surroundings without posing a conspicuous silhouette that others should notice irrespective of whether they actually do detect you in-game), then you must either avoid such areas or in the event that the mission cannot be completed at all without traversing those spaces treat your ghosting objective as null and void (i.e. a bust, and thus no longer useful or applicable to your present mission).

    3. Since people would realistically notice missing keys, purses, and other items carried on their belts that go missing, do not pickpocket anyone unless you absolutely must in order to complete your mission objectives (Perfect Thief and other playstyle-specific objectives that require you to pick pockets do not qualify as "mission objectives"; stealing Ramirez's belt purse is an example of what qualifies). This will mean deliberately not collecting all available loot in the mission if doing so would realistically risk arousing suspicion from those with missing belt purses or simply risk causing them to begin searching the area for their lost valuables, which would add unnecessary complications for you. "Returning" stolen keys and other items by dropping them on people's patrol routes does not satisfy this requirement (keys don't just fall off of key rings, nor will someone just dismiss their worries if their missing item later inexplicably reappears somewhere on their patrol route, in spite of it not having been there for the past five minutes whilst they were looking for it).

    4. Do not take any valuables or other items that someone should realistically notice missing (or worse, notice being taken) unless their absence would not be discovered until after you've completed your mission and are long gone from the premises. This means no taking loot that should be visible in someone's line of sight or which they pass by on their patrol route. Items on display which are explicitly required to be stolen by your mission objectives (such as Constantine's sword) are exempt from this rule, as Garrett might conceivably replace them with fakes (for instance, his own non-magical sword might suffice in the case of swapping Constantine's sword with it so you can assume that's what you do in that scenario).

    5. Do not take any valuables or other items which would realistically be too noisy and/or bulky to carry around with you when combined with the rest of your loot and other gear. This means avoiding taking large plates, goblets, cups, wine bottles, candlesticks, vases, Lost City artifacts, and other loot not worth its weight, bulk, and noisiness in value whenever possible. Regrettably, Expert mode's loot objectives will often require taking at least some amount of these items, so strive to minimize them. If you can satisfy your loot objectives without taking something bulky and noisy, you must do so. If you cannot, then that item will be considered an exception and will not bust your ghosting objective (Garrett might conceivably carry a few felt or velvet wrappings to mitigate loot clatter, so this is not necessarily implausible).

    6. Do not leave any evidence of your presence or tampering which anyone might conceivably notice while you are still on the premises. Obviously, stealing anything is going to be noticed by someone at some point, but ideally not until long after you're gone. Snuffing out torches and gas lamps, turning off or on lights, leaving doors and chests open, leaving items elsewhere than they should be, slashing banners, leaving moss patches on the floor, and all the traditional busts to ghosting break this rule except in cases where those things would not likely be noticed by any humans or intelligent creatures until long after you're gone.

    This is one instance where my personal ghosting rules diverge significantly from the popular standard. Under my own code, "evidence" of your presence is only a material concern in so far as it significantly risks alerting others to your intrusion while you are still on the premises. A professional definitely wants to avoid that. However, it's not as if people will never realize a thief was ever there if you leave even a single sign of theft or intrusion which you almost always will, so in many cases absolute ghosting (that is, leaving no trace that anyone ever broke in) is impossible, and therefore further evidence of break-in that will be discovered eventually (after you're gone) is realistically a moot concern.

    This means you don't really need to worry about re-locking locks, returning keys to where you found them, leaving banners intact, and so on unless you think it's possible that those things might be noticed by someone while you're still on the job, and thus it could create actual complications for you. Otherwise, don't bother Bafford will know a thief broke in and stole his prized scepter, the Hammerites will know someone looted their valuables and freed Basso, Ramirez will figure out who cleaned out his mansion, and the undead in the Bonehoard and the Olde Quarter... well, they won't really notice anything anyway, will they? And so on.

    7. Never kill or be in any way responsible for the deaths of any humans (Karras and the masked servants summoned to Soulforge Cathedral are exceptions, of course).

    8. If realistically possible, avoid harming any intelligent creatures who might conceivably either immediately or eventually alert others that someone harmed them (this includes blackjacking, which would potentially cause brain damage, and which would eventually be reported after the victim regains consciousness).

    9. If forced to knock out someone (either due to mission objectives explicitly requiring it or due to the implausibility and impracticality of alternative measures), conceal their body where it will not be found until well after you have completed your mission and are long gone from the premises.

    10. Since your aim is to avoid causing any lasting brain injuries to humans (seriously injuring or even killing non-humans when necessary is acceptable), you must assume any human you've blackjacked will regain consciousness after no more than five to ten minutes at which point they will alert others if it's possible for them to do so. Therefore, you must either reasonably be able to gag and bind them to some heavy fixture where they will not be found or heard (and from which they cannot free themselves by rolling or inching across the floor), or you must complete your mission and disappear from the area within ten minutes of blackjacking them. Knockouts via gas arrows or gas mines are not subject to this restriction.


    The intent behind all of these restrictions is to make you truly believe that you ghosted each mission to the best of Garrett's abilities, and leave your conscience clear of potential immersion breakers like nudging, crate stacking, taking objects from right in front of people without them noticing, being invisible in places where you know you really shouldn't be hidden, and various other things which the game itself allows but which sound logic and the laws of physics would not. And that means that sometimes ghosting a particular mission under these rules won't be entirely possible, and wouldn't realistically be possible and that's okay. It also means relying a lot more on your own subjective guesswork of what should and shouldn't be possible; no one's going to tell you you broke the rules except you (well, not unless you choose to discuss your techniques here, I suppose). The overall aim is to employ ghosting for wholly practical means for the very reasons Garrett himself would be incentivized to do so: avoiding raising alarms and bringing heat after him. After all, for a thief, discretion isn't about being stylish and cool it's about making it out alive.

  8. #683
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Is it against Supreme to unbar a boarded-up door?



    Obviously there is no way to put those boards back in place, otherwise I wouldn't be asking.

  9. #684
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    No you're not breaking anything per se,so I think you're good. I dont see a difference between this and moving boxes out of the way that cannot be put back. Are you using a weapon, puzzle item or other inventory, or just frobbing the boards?

  10. #685
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Just frobbing them. In-world, the boards are nailed to the doorframe, and they make a crunchy sound like you're ripping the nails out of the doorframe when you pick up the boards. The nails stay attacked to the boards themselves though. Not sure if that changes anything.

  11. #686
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Nah, that's too detailed and going beyond the rules. Nothing is broken and no lock is sprung, so all good. I imagine I would have ruled it as ok without even asking here first.

  12. #687
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2021
    Quote Originally Posted by The Shroud View Post
    I'm a bit divergent when it comes to ghosting in that I tend to view the whole rationale and purpose for it from a seemingly different perspective than most — one which inherently makes certain rules obsolete or only situationally relevant whilst creating other complications that don't exist in any official standard among the Thief community. For instance, these are my personal ghosting rules which I impose on my own gameplay:


    1. If realistically possible (that is, without utilizing game exploits and unrealistic quirks or limitations of the game engine — more on this below), avoid detection by all humans and any other intelligent adversaries who might conceivably report noticing an intruder (this includes first alerts, as well as any alerts by mechanical faces or automatons — who can sound alarms — or by craymen, apebeasts, or bugbeasts, who can alert other intelligent creatures to your presence). Spiders, zombies, burricks, and fire elementals are not subject to this rule unless they, in turn, could alert humans to your presence. Haunts and ghosts are intelligent, so must not detect you directly, though they may be destroyed without violating these rules provided you eliminate them before they can alert other intelligent creatures.
    Your style of ghosting is pretty similar to my own, in the sense that I try to do things that would make sense in-world, and the goal is to leave a minimal presence. Mostly I avoid the 'ridiculous' actions like moving a crate in front of people to fool them, but it can be great fun to see just how far you can push the level/engine sometimes.

    This segment I quoted is of interest because while when ghosting I avoid all enemies, I'm using the 'intelligent enemy' concept for my own style in which I knock out everyone that I consider a 'reliable reporter', which would basically be the same class of enemies you listed. (The challenge in the style is that you can't move bodies and no bodies can be discovered). In that style I kind of needed some way to account for the enemies that cannot be KO'd. That means I have to consider ghosts unreliable, even if they can speak -- my own cover for that is that most people wouldn't believe what a ghost tells them anyway. Though in similar fashion, I have the rule that a non-sapient cannot cause an alert of one of the reliable reporters.

    That brings me to a realization that the general principle I like to use, and one that might apply to your rules, is that if you can justify why this action would not cause you to be detected, you can do it.

  13. #688
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    Your style of ghosting is pretty similar to my own, in the sense that I try to do things that would make sense in-world, and the goal is to leave a minimal presence.
    Right. Basically, my golden rule is to think like an actual intruder whose survival depends on not being caught, which also means not being traceable after he's left the area. But that actually leaves plenty of room for outright eliminating adversaries whose companions are never going to report a break-in to the authorities, follow your trail, or otherwise create complications for you after the mission (such as spiders, zombies, burricks, fire elementals, apparitions, haunts, etc.). This, aside from actual moral concerns, is the reason a professional "doesn't leave a mess," as the game puts it, and avoids killing humans while having no reservations about killing or destroying non-humans. But where as there are usually no official objectives prohibiting the killing or destruction of any non-humans in the game, there are often very practical reasons why a professional would want to avoid doing so. For instance, shut down or destroyed automatons, turrets and cameras are likely to be discovered while you're still in the building or elsewhere on the premises, so that is very much 'leaving a mess' — where a "mess" in this context is anything that poses a threat to your invisibility and anonymity by creating a trail others could potentially trace back to you. But no one is going to care about finding destroyed zombies in the Olde Quarter, for instance (not even other zombies), so what you can and can't get away with really depends on each individual scenario.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    Mostly I avoid the 'ridiculous' actions like moving a crate in front of people to fool them
    Yeah. I also consider things like frobbing doors and other objects from 10 feet away to be pretty ridiculous, so I don't really rely much on what the game lets me get away with. Instead, I try to use my own common sense and critical thinking as much as possible. Sometimes this actually means there are things I should be able to do that I can't in the game (like turning off gas lamps instead of dousing them with water arrows, or moving banners aside instead of slashing them), but I tend to find ways to get around that with role-playing. 95% of the time, though, I encounter the opposite: things the game will allow that I shouldn't be able to do, and therefore avoid doing, pretending they weren't possible (like staying hidden in a distant guard's line of sight in spite of having a lit light gem, opening or closing doors in front of someone without them noticing, stealing something directly in view of a person without alerting them, and so on). This requires a lot of self-discipline because I have to stay constantly cognizant of what's plausible and implausible instead of just focusing on what actually alerts AIs or what the game will and won't allow, but with enough concentration and immersion it's definitely doable — and rewarding. Because when I do actually ghost a mission, I know I really did avoid detection the way a real thief would have done it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    but it can be great fun to see just how far you can push the level/engine sometimes.
    Sure, I have nothing against those who enjoy fiddling around with that sort of thing, or doing anything else that's fun for them. I just don't personally consider that viable "ghosting", because I define ghosting differently than just avoiding alerts by the engine (or satisfying the other ghosting requirements widely agreed upon by the Thief community).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    This segment I quoted is of interest because while when ghosting I avoid all enemies, I'm using the 'intelligent enemy' concept for my own style in which I knock out everyone that I consider a 'reliable reporter', which would basically be the same class of enemies you listed. (The challenge in the style is that you can't move bodies and no bodies can be discovered).
    Hmm. So in your style, you can knock out people but can't drag or carry them to another spot? What's the rationale behind that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    In that style I kind of needed some way to account for the enemies that cannot be KO'd. That means I have to consider ghosts unreliable, even if they can speak -- my own cover for that is that most people wouldn't believe what a ghost tells them anyway. Though in similar fashion, I have the rule that a non-sapient cannot cause an alert of one of the reliable reporters.
    I tend to approach things a little differently when it comes to various creatures. I have absolutely nothing against shooting spiders unless doing so would alert a more intelligent creature who might shout, "Watch out! I think there's someone down here!" or something. Similarly, I'm totally fine with killing zombies, apparitions and haunts if I can do so without alerting any additional intelligent beings or entities in the area (unless I intend to quickly eliminate them as well, in which case I don't consider it a problem). In fact, I don't even mind resorting to really noisy and conspicuous things like holy water arrows, fire arrows, flash bombs and explosive mines if that will clear an area of undead without being overheard by anyone who opposes me. That is not to say I consider that "ghosting" exactly, but rather I don't consider it a bust to ghosting either, unless (again) it would alert someone who actually matters.

    To me, ghosting itself becomes kind of irrelevant when it comes to most monsters because I end up asking myself, "Why should I care about leaving them unharmed?" unless killing them or leaving their corpses lying around might lead to being detected by someone I should be concerned about. Likewise, if I've got the resources to destroy every monster that poses a threat to me, it begs the question, "Why not use them?" I have absolutely no compunctions about shooting spiders or killing zombies, apparitions, haunts and fire elementals anywhere in TDP or TMA (except for one dormant zombie in the Cragscleft mines whose destruction would alert a few nearby Hammerites, and a few zombies in Trace the Courier and Life of the Party whose destruction would create similar disturbances).

    I'm more sympathetic toward burricks and craymen (who are merely territorial, usually avoidable, and really more trouble killing than they're worth) — particularly burricks, who are slow runners and whose defensive gas attacks are easily evadable — so I never harm them under any circumstances. I'd sooner allow myself to be spotted and forced to flee than attack them (or just distract them with noisemaker arrows and slip away unseen). Either way, they're not going to cause any real lasting problems for me unless I persistently threaten their territory, so I just leave them alone.

    Apebeasts and bugbeasts, on the other hand, get no sympathy from me — but I avoid attacking them simply because they're almost never alone and doing so would alert their companions. Better to just avoid them altogether.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    That brings me to a realization that the general principle I like to use, and one that might apply to your rules, is that if you can justify why this action would not cause you to be detected, you can do it.
    I completely agree with that perspective. Ultimately, everything a professional thief does or doesn't do should be evaluated with a critical mind: Does it matter? Why or why not? What is the reason for doing or avoiding doing something, from a thief's perspective? Is worrying about leaving evidence behind important if the only witnesses to such evidence will be mindless zombies? Is returning a stolen key to the room you found it in beneficial if the manor lord will discover his other possessions missing the next morning regardless? Is snatching a guard's purse worthwhile if acquiring another 50 or 100 gold means risking a guard growing suspicious of a possible thief in the building? Is taking ceramic plates, goblets, vases, wine bottles and candlesticks prudent if they're likely to clatter noisily in your loot sack and be overheard by someone? Is stealing the house servants' meager wages really worthy of a master thief, or is it better to limit your victims to the rich and leave less privileged people unharmed? And so on. Everything should make sense if the object is truly to play as a pro thief would really operate (if a player just wants to screw around and have fun, then all this is irrelevant of course).

  14. #689
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2021
    I think something that leads to people playing with some style (and this shows up in traditional Ghost rules) is the sense of being a 'professional' or having a certain code of honor/ethics/etc. Garrett conveys a certain level of that, but playing him as being a bit more focused on the thieving job is an interesting take, and one consistent with his character. Although one of his clear characteristics is that he's always willing to be a bit flexible, or compromise his principles if need be (e.g. when money gets tight, or when teams up with former enemies to defeat a larger threat).

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shroud View Post

    Hmm. So in your style, you can knock out people but can't drag or carry them to another spot? What's the rationale behind that?
    The net effect is that everyone in the area went unconscious at more or less the same time, but nobody was aware of anyone being there. It would seem as if someone cast a spell, or a sleep gas bomb over a large area.

    Alternately, Garret got so excited about finding the exact way to knock people out with his blackjack that he just can't stop doing it.

    If you want more details on it, I posted them in this recent thread or you can read my ongoing playthrough notes.

  15. #690
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    I think something that leads to people playing with some style (and this shows up in traditional Ghost rules) is the sense of being a 'professional' or having a certain code of honor/ethics/etc.
    Yes. I also find that my own sense of ethics is quite compatible with what's hinted at in Expert mode's objectives. For instance, in addition to not killing any humans, I'm a firm believer in avoiding serious injuries to any human peasants or guards (this includes brain damage resulting from blunt force trauma to the back of someone's head which leaves them unconscious for more than 10 minutes, as well as any trauma to anyone I don't absolutely have to knock out or who doesn't really deserve it), avoiding taking possessions particularly money of common folk who've done nothing to justify it (ordinary working class citizens, indentured servants, cooks, butlers, underbutlers, housekeepers, even guards who are just trying to earn a living like anyone else), avoiding harm to mostly peaceful and defensive creatures who can't or won't chase me very far from their territories (like burricks and craymen), and anything else I consider either immoral or unbecoming of a master thief like Garrett. As he himself puts it, he has standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    Garrett conveys a certain level of that, but playing him as being a bit more focused on the thieving job is an interesting take, and one consistent with his character. Although one of his clear characteristics is that he's always willing to be a bit flexible, or compromise his principles if need be (e.g. when money gets tight, or when teams up with former enemies to defeat a larger threat).
    Well, sort of. I mean, Garrett probably never considered the Hammerites his enemies per se, and definitely never regarded the Keepers as such just "unreliable friends" and people he wants nothing to do with. The one exception, of course, is Viktoria and her ilk, since she wronged him terribly and her lilac and thistleaid friends almost devoured him. They absolutely are his enemies, and as I discussed in another thread, I really don't believe Garrett would have let that slide had the screenwriter stayed true to his character. I will grant that Garrett is a bit flexible in certain regards (willing to push his softer limits to a certain extent and do some things he'd rather not do, but is not necessarily committed against), but I also see evidence that he has other, harder principles which are nonnegotiable such as being "a thief, not a murderer." That being said, part of the fun of playing as such a man is deciding which rules can be bent, which can be broken, and which define the very essence of who he is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    The net effect is that everyone in the area went unconscious at more or less the same time, but nobody was aware of anyone being there. It would seem as if someone cast a spell, or a sleep gas bomb over a large area.
    Well, sure, but as soon as they discover all their valuables are missing they're going to know they were robbed. And the aching bruises on the backs of their heads will make it pretty clear what knocked them out wasn't a magic spell. So at that point, what has truly been gained from the efforts to create this mass effect, other than a lot of really severe and likely permanent injuries (any knockout lasting more than 15 minutes is considered moderate brain damage from a medical perspective)? Granted, I suppose you could use gas arrows and gas mines without injuring anyone, but those are terribly expensive and probably (almost always) not worth whatever is gained by using them.

    This is not to say I think knockouts can always be avoided either I would argue at least a few Hammerites would realistically have to be knocked out (and subsequently bound, gagged, and securely tied to something from which they can't free themselves) in Break from Cragscleft Prison to avoid their overhearing various cell doors being opened; blackjacking Ramirez in Assassins is arguably the only realistic approach to stealing all the valuables in his counting room without him noticing them missing; and knockouts are explicitly required in Running Interference (so excessively, in fact, that I prefer to play that mission on Hard instead of Expert, just to avoid all the unnecessary knockouts), to give a few examples. But if you avoid taking anything whose absence would be noticed, and don't leave any other obvious signs of your intrusion where they're likely to be discovered in the next hour or so, why knock out anyone you don't have to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangra View Post
    Alternately, Garret got so excited about finding the exact way to knock people out with his blackjack that he just can't stop doing it.
    Somehow I doubt that.

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