I've been thinking lately of making perception as real as possible and I began to think about my player's characters moving around the catacombs they are currently in. No one is rolling a stealth checks, they are simply in a marching order and just walking around. How do I figure out when their enemies would hear them? Are there numbers to go by when it comes to how loud a person in scale armor is while walking, what about leather? I do understand that it would be based off the enemies passive perception and that there are penalities to it like for every 10 squares it's a -2 etc, but I need some way to know when they hear the party and vice-versa.
Enemies would be aware of someone tromping in their dungeon roughly after first combat (clash of swords carries really deep in narrow stone tunnels), so no surprise rounds for anyone unless players start stealthing by (monsters will still know someone is somewhere in their home, but not sure where or how close after successful stealth).
Heck, after first combat they might start sending more patrols or some such.
> Use their passive Stealth scores for a basic idea, and then assign the party
> Stealth score as the lowest (not the average) number.
Given that 4E emphasizes group action rather than "worst of...", I'd say use the average. If you want to be a little more detailed, consider it a passive group check - they remain unnoticed if at least 50% of the party would succeed at Stealth with a 10. (Likewise, they automatically detect the enemy as soon as least 50% of the party would succeed at Perception with a 10.)
I'm thinking the lowest passive stealth will work for me. I actually impliments this into my game Saturday and it really gave the group an incentive to use their stealthy assassin to scout ahead a bit at times. When it comes to averaging, it doesn't seem realistic because those who are quieter aren't going to cover up the Dragonborn Fighter walking around in Scale Armor in a dungeon with stone floors. Over time I think I'll fine tune this a bit and get a better idea of perception in different situations and I plan on making a sheet of paper with tons of variables dealing with different types of walls, doors, the echoing related to stone in comparison to plaster or wood walls, etc. I've seen a few lists already, but hopefully as time goes by I'll add to my own as I learn from experience.
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