From: Bill.McKinley_at_mailhost.dpie.gov.au
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 11:20:07 +1000

                      Darksense                                    10/7/97
<<Submarines use sonar to find very large objects like ships and subs, have a lot of trouble with even tiny changes in the density of the water their trying to sound through, >>

The darksense debate continues.

There is an important distinction between passive and active sonar that is relevant here. Active sonar (pinging) is very effective, and can be used (in the case of submarines) to map the bottom of sea ice or (in another application) to determine the sex of an unborn baby.

The obvious disadvantage of active sonar is that the pulses can be detected - bad news if you are lurking around in a submarine - and passive sonar provides much less information.

All of the above leads me to a couple of conclusions about darksense and trolls:

(1) Trolls would have to adopt careful tactics if they planned to ambush other trolls, because the ambushees would (presumably) be able to detect the darksense pings of the ambushers. You would therefore expect that the lurking trolls would be hunkered down, listening for their victims, trying to guess exactly where they were before they gave their position away by pinging.

(2) It should be quite feasible to develop a 'detect troll' spell that would enable a human (for example) to tune in to the frequencies used by trolls, and in that way spot active trolls in the darkness.

Bill McKinley

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