Partial and Complete Darkness (+ now stealth too!)

I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction for rules on fighting in partial and complete darkness - I can only seem to find rules on partial cover (behind objects) for some reason. I could do with them as I have a player who is playing a ninja with the friend of darkness fu power and the alt. power from back for seconds.

The cover rules say that cover that obstructs vision but doesn't stop attacks only applies half of the penalty of the same amount of hard cover. That's the closest there is to official rules for it, as far as I can remember.

On the other hand, the Fu Power 'Shelter of Darkness' (or one of the ones on the same path, anyway) says that the cloud of darkness it produces imposes a -4 AV penalty. You can interpret that to be only for the 'magical' darkness of the fu power or suitable for all forms of darkness.

Personally, I prefer so levy a penalty only on attacks and not on dodges in darkness (I guess if someone could see in darkness, their targets could get the dodge penalty). I think a high whiffle factor in darkness is entirely in keeping with the source material, and can make a good comedy break.

The problem I have is that not only are there no real rules for "fighting blind" but the ninja template (esp. inc back for seconds) actively encourages stealth fighting but then doesn't give a break down of rules on how to do this.

The thing is if you're in full darkness, you can't see which would mean that you are going to have one heck of a penalty to your attack or defense unless you're a ninja/have app. fu power etc.

I'm also wondering what modifiers for partial/full darkness would actually be and whether they are added to cover modifiers. i.e -2 to attack/defend in partial darkness, -4 to attack/defend in full darkness - but if say the mook is behind partial cover of say -2 does this now equate to -4 (partial) or -6 (full) modifier to any non-ninja type to attack?

hope that makes sense...

[edit - oh and if someone can't see at all, wouldn't they be subject to something akin to a critical hit as they're basically prone to those who can see in the dark. - I am talking full darkness with no light source]

Just to add to this: rather than start a new thread on a similar topic...

-how do other people implement stealth, stealth difficulties/modifiers etc?

Do you just run it off opposed perception vs intrusion rolls +/- darkness/tools (night vision goggles for example) modifiers

I think it depends, at least in part, on the dramatic purpose of the darkness.

If it's to make life a living hell for the players until they take steps to mitigate it, then no penalty is too harsh. If it's to skew matters in favour of character who can see in darkness, or use melée attacks, then you need to be careful. Bear in mind that levying and attack and dodge penalty makes very little difference if people who can't see one another attack each other. The reason I said only levy it for attacks is so that blundering about unable to see leads to fewer attacks connecting overall. Someone with the advantage of being able to see could possible get a bonus to attack, but it depends on how much of a bother you wants the situation to be. If the darkness is just for flavour, then don't bother with any bonuses or penalties.

As for stealth, just roll Intrusion vs Perception + (whatever seems appropriate). Thieves and Ninja have enough Intrusion to get away with all kinds of crap in broad daylight, but if they're up against an Ueberkid or someone else with excellent Perception things don't go their way quite so often.

When stealth is used to start a combat with an ambush, I generally rule that taking out a mook is much easier, but named characters gets that cinematic 'I notice the ambush just in time' effect. On the other hand, if a player takes special measures to surprise someone, but spending actions in combat making Intrusion rolls rather than attacking, I have been known to rule that when they strike, their target has their Dodge reduced to 0 for that attack only.

I guess you could houserule some kind of Dodge penalty based on how much they missed their Perception check by.

Thanks queex, that works for most general situations.

I'm currently asking because I'm doing a one on one game with the misses who's generated a ninja character.

She was asking me because, as she envisions it, she wants a character who:

"as several mooks walk into a room, I turns out the lights without them seeing, take a few of them down whilst the others scramble for their torches. One by one they get taken out (think predator 2 meat factory scene) and then there's just one mook left sweating in the dark, lighting cracks and there's a lone ninja standing silently behind them, it goes dark again and a curdled scream is silenced by the ninj' garotte o' slicey neck death.

That bit, I'd certainly consider as nothing more complicated than descriptive colour when ploughing through mooks. The good description and genre reference might well get an AV bonus.