THe Missing Owner’s Manual: Obfuscate
Obfuscate is a very powerful Discipline, but only if used properly. The basic idea is that renders you (and at Advanced, your chosen allies) unable to be detected except by those who have as much, or more, Auspex than you have Obfuscate. The most obvious use is for spying, but an attack from Obfuscate is in almost all circumstances deemed to be from surprise – which renders your opponent bereft of their Celerity, Potence, or other offensive Disciplines.
In general, Obfuscate doesn’t involve you initiating challenges; others initiate challenges against you to try to break through your concealment. The only time you initiate challenges for Obfuscate is if you try to disappear when someone’s looking at you using Vanish from Mind’s Eye (Intermediate 2).
Who’s the best at Obfuscate: Malkavians. With both Dominate and Obfuscate in clan, they have the lowest costs to get overlapping abilities, and indeed, all of their Disciplines use Mental traits.
How to win Obfuscate challenges:
- Maximize your Mental traits.
- Buy up the Stealth ability to the maximum for your generation.
- Take an ability specialty on Stealth for “sneaking around,” which will give you 1 bonus trait for most Obfuscate challenges.
- Take Dominate to Intermediate 2 (Conditioning). The effects of this Discipline in Riverside Opera are applicable to any attempts to manipulate someone’s mind, so they apply to Obfuscate. This gets you a free retest and the Conditioned trait for Obfuscate. This is relatively low on the list because, in general, Obfuscate challenges aren’t common.
How to best use Obfuscate:
- Take advantage of the fact that no one can detect you, period, if you’re not moving. This means settling into rooms and waiting for people to arrive, standing by doors instead of moving to the center of rooms when following people, and generally using the environment to your advantage. Movement is your enemy in Obfuscate – do everything you can to minimize the amount you need to move.
- Stay near corners so you can drop line of sight to people to quickly activate your Obfuscate. Remember: you can’t activate Basic Obfuscate if anyone can see you.
- Avoid “forced interactions” that can break your Obfuscate or, at the very least, force you to move and risk discovery. That means don’t stand in front of doorways, don’t stand in the middle of hallways, and don’t sit in chairs where others might want to sit.
- If you have Cloak the Gathering, you and all your associates should pick up Language: ASL so you can communicate silently while under the effects of Obfuscate.
- Mute your phone! A phone ringing IC, or delivering a text message, is interacting with your environment and breaks your Obfuscate. This is also true of a bright phone screen in a dark room.
- Identify Auspex users and either avoid them or Dominate them into not using Auspex to detect you.
- Ensure you always have a convenient escape route, which can include tricks like smoke bombs to force people to lose line of sight on you.