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RPG Superstar 2015

Stealth Playtest

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Illustration by Yngvar Apslund

Here at Paizo, the design team has a host of challenges. Some of the greatest challenges come when dealing with the rules of our game that don't work as well as we would like. For a number of weeks we have been talking about the issues concerning the Stealth skill. Over the course of those conversations we have come up with many ideas to improve this skill and make its use both clearer and more playable.

So, here is our crazy idea: We are thinking about just rewriting the skill. This is our first stab at a rewrite, but before we make any definitive change, we want to unleash our crazy ideas to you—the Pathfinder players—to poke holes in, give us input on, and playtest. The following changes to the Stealth rules are by no means final, nowhere near official, and definitely not usable in Pathfinder Society. They're here for you to read, think on, playtest, and then for you to give us feedback. We will be listening for the next week. Have fun!

Stealth

(Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
You are skilled at avoiding detection, allowing you to slip past foes or strike from an unseen position. This skill covers hiding and moving silently.

Check: Your Stealth check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone who might notice you. Usually a Stealth check is made at the start of a free, move, or swift action when you start that action with either some kind of cover (except for soft cover) or concealment. You can always spend a swift action to stay immobile and make a Stealth check. You cannot spend a free action to initiate a Stealth check, but if you spend a free action while under the effects of Stealth, you must make a new Stealth check in order to continue the effects of Stealth. You can move up to half your normal speed and use Stealth at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than half and up to your normal speed, you take a –5 penalty. It's usually impossible to use Stealth while taking an immediate action, standard action, or a full-round action, unless you are subject to greater invisibility or a similar effect, you are sniping (see below), or you are using a standard action to ready an action. When you make your Stealth check, those creatures that didn't succeed at the opposed roll treat you as invisible until the start of your next action or until the end of your turn if you do not end your turn with cover or concealment. When you use Stealth, creatures that are observing you (creatures that you didn't have cover or concealment from) or that succeed at the opposed check do not treat you as invisible.

A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Stealth checks depending on its size category: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large –4, Huge –8, Gargantuan –12, Colossal –16.

Attacking from Invisibility: Usually making an attack against a creature ends the invisible condition. If during your last action were invisible to a creature, you are still considered invisible when you make the first attack of that new action.

Other Perception Checks: If a creature makes a Perception check as a move action to notice an invisible creature, the DC of the Perception check is the invisible creature's last Stealth check. This is also the case if a creature makes a Perception check to notice an invisible creature because the perceiving creature is entering an area where it could possibly notice an invisible creature.

Sniping: If you already are invisible to a target and you are 10 feet from that target, as a standard action, you can make one ranged attack against that target and immediately make an opposed Stealth check to stay invisible. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check when attempting to snipe.

Creating a Diversion to Hide: If you do not have cover or concealment, as a standard action, you can attempt a Bluff check opposed by the Perception of opponents that can see you. On a success, you become invisible to those creatures and can move up to half your speed. When you do this, you take a –10 penalty on the Bluff check.

Action: Usually making a Stealth check is not an action. Using Stealth is part of the action are taking.

Special: If you are subject to the invisibility or greater invisibility spells or a similar effect, you gain a +40 bonus on Stealth checks while you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Stealth checks while you're moving. If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a bonus on Stealth checks (see Chapter 5).

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Design Tuesdays Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Playtest Stealth Yngvar Apslund
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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:

I would likewise turn the tables on your argument and ask why these other combatants aren't distracted as well. If all of those enemies are focusing their attention on the rogue as he attempts to do his duck-out-for-stabbity-justice move, why is he even bothering with the attempt in the first place instead of retreating for a better tactical situation.

I'm not sure if what I just said will make sense to anyone but me, so I'll try to put it another way.

If the rogue is the focus of 4 other orcs, why is he choosing to attack the 5th one, distracted by the fighter instead of tumbling his way up to the more squishy shaman?

The orcs in your counter-example are not distracted by combat because they are attacking the rogue, correct? Wouldn't that mean they are distracted as far as OTHER combatants are concerned? And if the rogue is focused on performing his own actions, he is already distracted by combat and may not even notice these other orcs coming after him, so they may not even factor in to his calculations, if he's single-minded about it. Why isn't the rogue's wizard or cleric helping with crowd control? Lots of lower-level mooks? Then they should be a non-issue to the rogue.

To accurately portray the scenario I suggested, I would like to assume that there is a logical reason for the rogue to want to sneak up on the combatant and some reasonable circumstances under which it could be attempted (it doesn't have to favor the rogue, just be workable), because I'm not trying to prove the EFFECTIVENESS of this use of stealth, merely the fact that it could be done within the rules, which Vendis says it can't. I honestly can't think of a reason to want to do it, but he insists that stealth should be usable in combat. I say it already is, it just isn't practical.

I am not going to sit here and say "Well, if the rogue has X, Y, Z, and a ring of invisibility, you can do [this!]" because that's creating a scenario built to prove my point - I don't NEED a scenario built for that, because again, I'm not trying to prove effectiveness. It is far easier to say "Well, X, Y, or Z would keep a rogue from doing just that." because any scenario may or may not be conducive to any given course of action.

No, your scenario make sense only to you I think.

The orcs aren't focusing on the rogue, the orcs are focusing on whoever they are focusing on, he can be the rogue, his cleric companion or whoever.
The rogue problem is that he can't assume that the people aren't focusing on him, or will not focus on him if he was moving near them while he try to sneak around.

From your description every combatant seem to suffer from tunnel vision where he focus only on a single adversary and all the other be dammed. It is a great way to be killed.

"Perfect" combat awareness isn't possible, but in a battle you need to track as much enemies as possible. Not doing that will kill you.

Shadow Lodge

Very late to the board I know but great news on the revision :)

Personal thoughts:

Invisibility Condition. I don't mind the invisibility condition being used. It means there is less rules/ spells need a rewrite. I don't have a problem with characters with invisibility detecting spells being able to detect creatures using stealth.

Minimising checks. I am a big fan of the passive perception where onlookers take a 10 in their perception unless they are actively looking for someone. Thus I want to sneak up on 10 people in a camp, I only have to beat the highest perception skill +10. By contrast 10 people searching for me get to make 10 perception checks against my stealth check. It does make it harder to hide if you have sniped as everyone will be looking for you.

Scent: If you were minimising checks, Scent would let you know someone was there so you could actively look for them, but would not immediately locate them unless they were within 5ft.

Has anyone played these yet? I'm not gaming until 4th september so won't beable to give real play feedback until then...


Diego Rossi wrote:

No, your scenario make sense only to you I think.

The orcs aren't focusing on the rogue, the orcs are focusing on whoever they are focusing on, he can eb the rogue, his cleric companion or whoever.
The rogue problem is that he can't assume that the people aren't focusing on him, or will not focus on him if he was moving near them while he try to sneak around.

From your description every combatant seem to suffer from tunnel vision where he focus only on a adversary and all the other be dammed. It is a great way to be killed.

"Perfect" combat awareness isn't possible, but in a battle you need to track as much enemies as possible. Not doing that will kill you.

I never said that anyone had tunnel vision, I said they were distracted, applying a penalty to their perception. Have you ever been in combat? It's stressful to keep track of everything that's going on. Combat awareness is a huge deal in the military because of it.

EDIT: I should note that in Classic Stealth, there is a clause that specifically says "If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check), you can attempt to use Stealth." This is the foundation of my argument.

You're exactly right that perfect combat awareness isn't possible, and that is exactly the point I was making. I never said that the rogue should be granted cover or concealment because enemies are distracted, just that the distraction should allow for stealth checks. And based on the fact that we agree that one can't be perfectly aware of everything going on in combat, I think you agree with me on my main point as well.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vendis wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Foghammer wrote:

stuff

stuff
stuff
Here's a good situation: The party is trying to take down a generic BBEG wizard. Combat starts. The rogue of the group decides he wants to sneak over next to the BBEG's throne area where he knows there is a lever to drop out part of the floor, right where the giant construct is standing while fighting the party. The rules as written here and as proposed say that there is no way for the enemies to NOT know exactly where that rogue is going, barring an incredibly conveniently placed wall or something akin to that. The rogue just has to hope that the enemy (including a BBEG -wizard-) doesn't realize his intent; otherwise the golem might move or the wizard might stop said rogue. I think a rogue should be able to use stealth to some degree in combat, because while I can't present you a whole mess of situations where it'd be useful, there -are- situations that exist and as much as we've all played the game, we know that they will come up eventually, either through clever thinking on players' parts or some unintended series of events.

To do that the rogue need to move out of sight of the current combatants and find a route to move near the throne while benefiting for some form of concealment.

If there is none there is no way for him to sneak to the lever.
He can try to get there and if all the combatant are busy he can do that (or he can benefit from mobility and acrobatics) but he can't become invisible and waltz along the main hall unseen.


Foghammer, I totally agree.
When you're engaged in combat with someone, it's easy for someone to sneak up behind you. I've seen it many times, and fell victim to it a few times myself.

If I can't notice them coming up behind me, how the heck can I notice them quietly walking away, or taking a sip of a drink (quaff a potion), or similar?

When you're faced off against someone who's a threat, such as an armored, fit, and well trained person who is trying to murder you with a 3' long piece of sharp metal, you tend to not notice (or care) about someone else trying to hide behind a couch to the side.

Being attacked by someone else should count as a sufficient enough distraction to allow stealth.

The Perception vs. Stealth contest should account for all the other awareness training or situational factors.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A Few things listed here that I'd like to address.

1) Rogue Advanced Talent for Hide in Plain Sight.. is there any reason that it mimics Ranger Hide in Plain Sight rather then Assassin or Shadowdancer since the latter two are more "Roguish"?

2) With the Fast Stealth talent for Rogues, would it technically be possible to run while stealthed? Technically you can already double move.

3) How does Hide in Plain Sight work to someone with Darksight? Do they still see Shadows? If not, is it some sort of supernatural effect that supersedes that?

4) Have you come up with any rules as to how Invisibility works and whether it only affects sight based stealth checks?

5) If one would normally have to make a stealth check due to the sound of their movement or the activity they're trying to perform does Silence give any sort of bonus, or would it be considered an automatic success?

6) If in the above mentioned situation of stealthing from behind cover, running to attack a target and moving behind cover using Spring Attack, would you be able to make another stealth check or would your original check count?

Pre-Thanks for all of the replies!


Malignor wrote:

Foghammer, I totally agree.

When you're engaged in combat with someone, it's easy for someone to sneak up behind you. I've seen it many times, and fell victim to it a few times myself.

If I can't notice them coming up behind me, how the heck can I notice them quietly walking away, or taking a sip of a drink (quaff a potion), or similar?

When you're faced off against someone who's a threat, such as an armored, fit, and well trained person who is trying to murder you with a 3' long piece of sharp metal, you tend to not notice (or care) about someone else trying to hide behind a couch to the side.

Being attacked by someone else should count as a sufficient enough distraction to allow stealth.

The Perception vs. Stealth contest should account for all the other awareness training or situational factors.

And not only does it make sense, but how often do we see the sneaky character in a movie dip off to the side while everyone else clashes, only for them to reappear on screen minutes later with some helpful contraption or a better vantage point?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:
Spahrep wrote:

I think people are playing too many video games where rogues go invisible when stealthed.

Stealth is about being perceived / detected, not about being invisible and walking in plain sight to something without anyone seeing you.

That is not at all what we are talking about.

But it is exactly the message you send.


Is there any way we could move this out of the blog and into an actual playtest forum? It keeps flaking out on me and taking me to the store page...

Could have one thread like Jiggy's post and discussion in another...


I have no problem with using the invisibility condition for stealth if the "hidden" condition would be giving the exact same modifiers. Having two identical conditions is more confusing than having a single condition that can exist for different reasons (magical or mundane)

I also don't think see invisibility/true seeing/etc should or would reveal a character using stealth. These can be easily reworded to only pertain to magical invisibility (as opposed to mundane accomplished through skill).

I'm also a fan of take 10 on Perception unless specifically searching for a particular creature. I've been using it for years.

I'd still like to see official rules where a stealth check is good until conditions worsen or new observers are encountered.


Diego Rossi wrote:
But it is exactly the message you send.

Not at all. That you fail to understand what I have so plainly spelled out in the simplest language I can manage is no fault of mine.

New!Stealth allows a character to become invisible like a video game.

Classic Stealth allows a character to use an opponent's lack of focus (a penalty to Perception) - in this case, being locked in melee combat - to his advantage and make a Stealth check (which can fail, btw, I'm not sure if you're aware of that). If this Stealth check succeeds, the observing creature simply isn't aware of the character using the Stealth skill or his actions. Other creatures may be aware, the target is not. Simple.

Nowhere, in any of my posts, did I imply that a rogue should be able to vanish into thin air by virtue of simply being in the middle of a combat arena. You cannot claim to defend against points I am not making.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
But it is exactly the message you send.

Not at all. That you fail to understand what I have so plainly spelled out in the simplest language I can manage is no fault of mine.

New!Stealth allows a character to become invisible like a video game.

Classic Stealth allows a character to use an opponent's lack of focus (a penalty to Perception) - in this case, being locked in melee combat - to his advantage and make a Stealth check (which can fail, btw, I'm not sure if you're aware of that). If this Stealth check succeeds, the observing creature simply isn't aware of the character using the Stealth skill or his actions. Other creatures may be aware, the target is not. Simple.

Nowhere, in any of my posts, did I imply that a rogue should be able to vanish into thin air by virtue of simply being in the middle of a combat arena. You cannot claim to defend against points I am not making.

I don't fail at understanding your suggestion, but then you pretend that the your rogue would be capable to hide in the middle of a room full of combatants without anywhere to hide, and that is where your message fail.

This for example:

Foghammer wrote:

[

And not only does it make sense, but how often do we see the sneaky character in a movie dip off to the side while everyone else clashes, only for them to reappear on screen minutes later with some helpful contraption or a better vantage point?

Is perfectly covered by the rogue finding a spot where he is hidden by some furniture, pillar or other item and then snaking aroudn the battle to find the gizmo. So it is perfectly doable with teh current rules.

Your rogue instead seem to be capable to disappear while in the middle of a bare room simply because the combatant ate "distracted".


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like Jiggy's condensation of the thread. :) Makes it easier to chew on.

I don't like hidden/invisible/detected/etc. I still like Observed or Unobserved. You are either observed (by some sense, be it darkvision that negates the shadows you are hiding in, or tremor sense, or blind sense, or scent, or hearing), or you are unobserved. If you are unobserved, you are can sneak attack, move with stealth, etc.


Diego Rossi wrote:

Is perfectly covered by the rogue finding a spot where he is hidden by some furniture, pillar or other item and then snaking aroudn the battle to find the gizmo. So it is perfectly doable with teh current rules.

Your rogue instead seem to be capable to disappear while in the middle of a bare room simply because the combatant ate "distracted".

I see where the confusion is then.

You seem to think that I'm saying a rogue can effectively "hide" (in the strictest sense) in a room because people are distracted. In a way, what I'm saying is that the rogue is ALREADY hidden because he is only being observed by means other than sight. If you're fighting a man, you don't really want to take your eyes off of him. You agreed with me already that perfect combat awareness is impossible. Hence why I say the rogue has a chance to already be going unnoticed. The stealth check I am calling for is for cues other than sight (foot falls, armor-induced noises, etc).

Perhaps a good example would be to say that a rogue and fighter are flanking an orc. The rogue is also flanked by another orc. In game, the orc between the fighter and rogue should be considered reasonably distracted. The rogue, by my reckoning, could make a stealth check opposed by the flanked orc, even though the orc flanking HIM can still see him.

The idea is that stealth is subjective to the observer.

Vendis is the one who thinks you need a way to vanish mid-combat.

EDIT: Gotta go to work. I'll be back to argue some more tonight around 10:30 CST. :D Keep this discussion going strong, Forumites!


I read Jiggy's summary, and it did not contain my 2 biggest gripes.

These rules do nothing to address the invisibility/total concealment disparity. If I am in a fog cloud, 10 feet from my opponent, I make a stealth vs perception check. If I cast invisibility, I get +20 to my stealth check, even though my opponent does not have line of sight to me. Total concealment from any source should grant the same bonus as being invisible.

Second, the bonus for being invisible is way out of line with bonuses from similar spells. Vanish is a level 1 spell that grants +20/+40 to stealth for up to 5 rounds. Invisibility gives you a +20/+40 to stealth for 1 minute per level. Innocence is a level 1 spell that gives a +10 to a limited group of bluff checks. Crafter's fortune is a level 1 spell that gives a +5 to craft checks. Glibness is a level 3 bard spell that gives +20 to bluff checks. I hate that a level 3 wizard can cast a single spell and out sneak a level 8 rogue. The bonus to stealth from invisibility should be about half what is currently is based on the bonuses granted by similar spells.


Finarin Panjoro wrote:

I have no problem with using the invisibility condition for stealth if the "hidden" condition would be giving the exact same modifiers. Having two identical conditions is more confusing than having a single condition that can exist for different reasons (magical or mundane)

I also don't think see invisibility/true seeing/etc should or would reveal a character using stealth. These can be easily reworded to only pertain to magical invisibility (as opposed to mundane accomplished through skill).

Right. The thing is that, apart from hypothetical invocations of the Invisible condition by usage of the Stealth skill (why not re-name it the Invisiblity skill then?), there are several ways to invoke the Invisible condition:

Invisibility spell (or Sphere, Greater, etc, versions of)
¨¨ SLA
Invisibility as Supernatural Ability (or Sphere, Greater, etc, versions of)
Invisibility as Extra-ordinary Ability, i.e. natural ability of creature`s physique (or versions of)
...and all of the above can be presented in special versions which differ from Invisibility in one specific way, e.g. also defeating Blindsense, or Tremorsense, or being uniquely vulnerable in some way.

So adding de-jure Invisible condition to what Stealth does means that all other mechanics which interact with Invisibility will need to be looked at as to how they interact with Stealth. On the other hand, if `Stealth` Condition (or `state` ala Rage) is just defined in the Stealth skill (or wherever) to have specific qualities of Invisibility, but not count as Invisiblity as such, that may not have to be done... But realistically, it will have to be looked at how many things it should functional identically for, and how many things Stealth should function differently for.

IMHO, detection of Invisibility shouldn`t apply vs. Stealth, since a good point of it is skillful evasion of Perception, not BLANKET immunity to Perception, and although Detect Invisibility may and should work fine vs. Extraordinary Invisibility, Stealth is a different beast: of course, you can always beat it with a high Perception check is the other side of the coin. There is also the case of Stealthy Rogue with Invisibility: if your Perception check actually beats the Stealth check, you still face the Full Concealment of Invisibility (barring Blindsight/Detect Invisibility). I`d rather not confuse that more than it is (to many players) by equating Invisibility with Stealth, thus a failed Stealth check negates the Invisible condition - You can write around that, and do so relatively clearly, but I think the art of good rules is avoiding such situations entirely as much as you can.

EDIT: God, I hope that was even half coherent...

--------------------------------------------------------------

BTW, along with Stealth, what is being rubbed up against here are the Pereception rules.
Somebody mentioned how that using solid cover to Stealth isn`t depending on visual Stealth at all: the cover already blocks Line of Sight... So the Stealth check in that case is covering Sound and other senses. It seems useful to at least make sure that the Perception rules are solid here, and other stuff that impacts on ALL senses is solidly integrated. Silence spell/effects is an obvious one. Scent has been mentioned... It would be nice to have that better written, both in terms of what it automatically does, and what it needs a check for. In that case, you would still be making Perception checks vs. Stealth... Which reminds me, it seems like it should be obvious, but many cases seem they call for specific bonuses/penalties to be removed (for not being relevant to the dueling perception senses and stealth capabilities). And in some cases the rules are just wierd: Invisibility seems to give a different bonus/ DC increase compared to the room just being totally black, OR there being a solid curtain blocking sight between the Smell/Perceiver and the target.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

I think invisible is a nice status. We know exactly what it does and it automatically integrates with other aspects of the game. If a new condition were introduced then we'd have to play 20 questions with how it interacts with other abilities.

For example, if it is an unknown condition then a rogue can effectively ramp up his stealth skill so high that he is undetectable with by any means, magic or otherwise.

One thing this doesn't seem to cover is spring attack which is a full round action which I would think is a natural pairing with stealth.

Otherwise I haven't really poked at this too much. I am a little concerned about the idea that someone can hide behind a pillar and you can walk around the pillar and never 'see' them because they are 'stealthed'... really brings up a very mickey mouse feel to things. I would prefer to just have the 'invisible' effect end on your turn and if you have cover or concealment you they don't know where you are due to that.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Charender wrote:

I read Jiggy's summary, and it did not contain my 2 biggest gripes.

These rules do nothing to address the invisibility/total concealment disparity. If I am in a fog cloud, 10 feet from my opponent, I make a stealth vs perception check. If I cast invisibility, I get +20 to my stealth check, even though my opponent does not have line of sight to me. Total concealment from any source should grant the same bonus as being invisible.

Second, the bonus for being invisible is way out of line with bonuses from similar spells. Vanish is a level 1 spell that grants +20/+40 to stealth for up to 5 rounds. Invisibility gives you a +20/+40 to stealth for 1 minute per level. Innocence is a level 1 spell that gives a +10 to a limited group of bluff checks. Crafter's fortune is a level 1 spell that gives a +5 to craft checks. Glibness is a level 3 bard spell that gives +20 to bluff checks. I hate that a level 3 wizard can cast a single spell and out sneak a level 8 rogue. The bonus to stealth from invisibility should be about half what is currently is based on the bonuses granted by similar spells.

If I'm understanding your two points correctly, they're actually two aspects of a single point, which seems to be a gripe with the stealth bonuses granted by the spell invisibility. Discussions about the power level of that spell should be in a different thread, not here where we're discussing the implementation of new stealth rules.


My point is not to be able to vanish mid-combat, though that is what Foghammer keeps coming to the conclusion of when I try to make my case, and apparently the rest of you do to. I'll try to spell it out.

My point is that currently you can make two interpretations of current RAW:

1) General combat doesn't count as a distraction in terms of granting you Stealth check. In this, anyone wanting to use stealth is unable to. A'course, in situations in which concealment is available, they can, but that's a moot point to this discussion - it's specifically about combat.

2) Combat does count as a distraction in terms of granting you a Stealth check. In this, anyone could essentially be permanently stealthed, given luck of the dice; regardless, it would allow stealth to be used constantly, fuddling up combat with lots of stealth vs. perception checks.

I think that rogues should be able to use stealth in combat, though not the "*pop* invisible" video game method. There are a number of situations in which stealthing in combat could be advantageous, and I'm not going to give you a list.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

Quote:
I have no problem with using the invisibility condition for stealth if the "hidden" condition would be giving the exact same modifiers. Having two identical conditions is more confusing than having a single condition that can exist for different reasons (magical or mundane)

If we were writing from the ground up i'd agree with you, but there are already a dozen spells and abilities that interact with invisibility, and you'd either have to check.rewrite them ALL for consistency or just write in stealthed as its own option.


Jiggy wrote:
Charender wrote:

I read Jiggy's summary, and it did not contain my 2 biggest gripes.

These rules do nothing to address the invisibility/total concealment disparity. If I am in a fog cloud, 10 feet from my opponent, I make a stealth vs perception check. If I cast invisibility, I get +20 to my stealth check, even though my opponent does not have line of sight to me. Total concealment from any source should grant the same bonus as being invisible.

Second, the bonus for being invisible is way out of line with bonuses from similar spells. Vanish is a level 1 spell that grants +20/+40 to stealth for up to 5 rounds. Invisibility gives you a +20/+40 to stealth for 1 minute per level. Innocence is a level 1 spell that gives a +10 to a limited group of bluff checks. Crafter's fortune is a level 1 spell that gives a +5 to craft checks. Glibness is a level 3 bard spell that gives +20 to bluff checks. I hate that a level 3 wizard can cast a single spell and out sneak a level 8 rogue. The bonus to stealth from invisibility should be about half what is currently is based on the bonuses granted by similar spells.

If I'm understanding your two points correctly, they're actually two aspects of a single point, which seems to be a gripe with the stealth bonuses granted by the spell invisibility. Discussions about the power level of that spell should be in a different thread, not here where we're discussing the implementation of new stealth rules.

If the +20/+40 was only written into the invisibility spell, I would agree, but since the bonuses from magical invisibility(and only invisibility) are actually written into the core stealth rules, I feel it belongs here.

The core of my 2 gripes are
A. Any form of total concealment(being 10 feet around the corner or in a fog cloud for example) should grant the same bonuses as magical invisibility. That should be part of the core stealth rules IMO.

B. The bonus is out of line with the power of similar spells. For reference, +20 stealth modifier is a level 8 rogue with max ranks in stealth, a 20 dex, and a cloak of elvenkind. The +20/+40 is a carry over from 3.5 when the skills were spot vs hide, and thus entirely visual in nature. The bonus should have been halved when hide and move silently were merged together into stealth.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Charender wrote:
If the +20/+40 was only written into the invisibility spell, I would agree, but since the bonuses from magical invisibility(and only invisibility) are actually written into the core stealth rules, I feel it belongs here.

This thread is for evaluation of the proposed new stealth rules, not the current core stealth rules (Paizo already knows there are problems with the existing stealth rules - hence this thread existing). And under the proposed new stealth rules, the +20/+40 would only be part of the spell description, not the stealth rules.

Quote:

The core of my 2 gripes are

A. Any form of total concealment(being 10 feet around the corner or in a fog cloud for example) should grant the same bonuses as magical invisibility. That should be part of the core stealth rules IMO.

Sounds more like you want it to be part of the definition of total concealment, not stealth rules.

Quote:
B. The bonus is out of line with the power of similar spells. For reference, +20 stealth modifier is a level 8 rogue with max ranks in stealth, a 20 dex, and a cloak of elvenkind. The +20/+40 is a carry over from 3.5 when the skills were spot vs hide, and thus entirely visual in nature. The bonus should have been halved when hide and move silently were merged together into stealth.

But as I mentioned above, those bonuses would be (under the proposed rules) left out of the stealth rules and merely referenced as part of the spell descriptions, at which point it becomes a power level debate for that spell.

Sounds like you have some (arguably legitimate) points about some things related to stealth, but they're not really topics for the rewrite of the stealth rules themselves.

Paizo Employee Designer

Hey all,

I just wanted to poke my head in for a second to let you know that even though I am not being nearly as active on this board as I was yesterday, that doesn't mean I'm not reading and will not have more comments and clarifications later.

The reason I'm being a silent today is because I am frantically working on some wrap-up on Bestiary 3. This may also be the case tomorrow (but hopefully less so). On Friday I'll be running Pathfinder at PAX Prime all day, so you will not hear much from me on that day either.

But keep going with the comments, discussion, and any playtest results. Thanks for keeping the conversation helpful and interesting. I appreciate it!


I think looking at and fixing things `related to Stealth` is what it seems like they plan to do, and a very good idea given that Stealth has pretty strong interactions with several other rules spread around the book. Acknowledging that something may involve these other areas is a good idea, but saying that just because it`s outside the Stealth skill per se doesn`t seem a good basis to exclude discussion. Just because only a mock-up of the Stealth skill itself has been previewed doesn`t mean that is the only thing up for modifications.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Quandary wrote:
I think looking at and fixing things `related to Stealth` is what it seems like they plan to do, and a very good idea given that Stealth has pretty strong interactions with several other rules spread around the book. Acknowledging that something may involve these other areas is a good idea, but saying that just because it`s outside the Stealth skill per se doesn`t seem a good basis to exclude discussion. Just because only a mock-up of the Stealth skill itself has been previewed doesn`t mean that is the only thing up for modifications.

But wouldn't it be better to keep those discussions to separate threads, letting this one stay devoted to feedback on the mock-up?


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:

I think invisible is a nice status. We know exactly what it does and it automatically integrates with other aspects of the game. If a new condition were introduced then we'd have to play 20 questions with how it interacts with other abilities.

For example, if it is an unknown condition then a rogue can effectively ramp up his stealth skill so high that he is undetectable with by any means, magic or otherwise.

I don't. Because he's not invisible. He's just hiding. There is a difference between being invisible and being in hiding.

1) Scry : I can scry you if you're hiding, and I'll see your sneaky little butt hiding in the bushes. If you're invisible, I'll see a bunch of bushes, but not your sneaky butt.

2) Unusual Senses : Invisibility does not work against tremmor sense, and other unusual senses. Stealth does. Invisibility ONLY works against sight.

3) Confusion : We already have tons of things that are confusing in the system because we used similar names for similar things. Traits for example? Enhancement bonuses (which work kind of like other bonuses, but not, since they really enhance an existing bonus, instead of stacking on top of other bonuses directly, which is similar but not). Level (class level, caster level, character level) and all of those get shortened to 'level' in too many places and cause confusion. Attack Bonus (Base Attack Bonus? Melee Attack Bonus? Ranged Attack Bonus?).

If we use invisibility, all your going to do is make Sean K Reynolds answer FAQ after FAQ on whether arcane sight affects the invisibility stealth grants, or 'Can I run a circle around someone as a double move while invisible and not get an AoO on me, cause I'm stealthing', or 'Does invisibility purge work on Stealth, if so, how, if not, how come?'. And there'll be GMs confused to by the same nomenclature, who have T-Rexes's pop out of thin air to bite people on the head because they were stealthy invisible ninja t-rexes (Grant you, James loves those).


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mdt wrote:
stealthy invisible ninja t-rexes

Ssshh.. you are muttering the words that will summon James to these threads. Be careful of the words you speak for they may be your last.


ProfPotts wrote:

Pinpointed (they can see you)

The issue here is that blindsense and tremorsense use the word pinpoint, but they only detect what square you are in, even though the miss chance is still there.


Dennis Baker wrote:
Forgive me if this has been asked but how would is interact with detect invisible?

There is a detect invisible spell?

Liberty's Edge

Elorebaen wrote:
I don't have anything informative at this stage, but I do want to say that I respect the whole approach to this idea. Thanks.

I only have one problem with this.... WHY DOES THAT INSECT HAVE BREASTS?

Seriously...

Rules wise I kinda like that rewrite... but then again no rules system is perfect.


Malignor wrote:

Foghammer, I totally agree.

When you're engaged in combat with someone, it's easy for someone to sneak up behind you. I've seen it many times, and fell victim to it a few times myself.

If I can't notice them coming up behind me, how the heck can I notice them quietly walking away, or taking a sip of a drink (quaff a potion), or similar?

When you're faced off against someone who's a threat, such as an armored, fit, and well trained person who is trying to murder you with a 3' long piece of sharp metal, you tend to not notice (or care) about someone else trying to hide behind a couch to the side.

Being attacked by someone else should count as a sufficient enough distraction to allow stealth.

The Perception vs. Stealth contest should account for all the other awareness training or situational factors.

If the hider has not been noticed I can agree, but if you know the hider is there you still have to aware of them. I can be in combat, and still keep an eye on the surrounding area. We had to do so in the military during "war games", in order to not get ambushed. I think making a bluff check to make someone look the other way is a good idea though.


@Steven: Thanks for the opportunity!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

First, really happy to see you looking at the problems with Stealth and getting public hashing over of the rule.

My main feedback is that I would like to see the rule be a bit more simple and streamlined than this. I read through it and if a skill description has to mention every single kind of action in the game, there's a problem. Same if the skill is going to require a bunch of checks against the same skill in one round.

The way it's written just seems so specific and limited. I don't know about you, but I have a lot of Stealth and Perception checks rolled in my game. And most of them are while people are freeform wandering around, not while they are all in combat rounds spending "swift actions" to stay hidden... Just saying, don't make the definition all tortured and make it not let me swipe a beer from the fridge while no one's looking.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

mdt wrote:
I don't. Because he's not invisible. He's just hiding. There is a difference between being invisible and being in hiding.

This is where I don't quite get it. My understanding is if you are 'hiding' ie have total cover, you don't need stealth.

Quote:
1) Scry : I can scry you if you're hiding, and I'll see your sneaky little butt hiding in the bushes. If you're invisible, I'll see a bunch of bushes, but not your sneaky butt.

This is one of my concerns here, if someone is 'stealthing' behind a barrel and you walk around the barrel, can they see you? Shouldn't the benefits of Stealth be limited to your turn? So you are 'invisible' while you sprint between one pillar and the next, but if someone suspects you are there and looks behind the pillar "Oh look, there you are!"

Quote:
2) Unusual Senses : Invisibility does not work against tremmor sense, and other unusual senses. Stealth does. Invisibility ONLY works against sight.

Maybe tremorsense *shouldn't* work against stealth? (unless you are flying)

Quote:
3) Confusion : We already have tons of things that are confusing in the system because we used similar names for similar things. Traits for example? Enhancement bonuses (which work kind of like other bonuses, but not, since they really enhance an existing bonus, instead of stacking on top of other bonuses directly, which is similar but not). Level (class level, caster level, character level) and all of those get shortened to 'level' in too many places and cause confusion. Attack Bonus (Base Attack Bonus? Melee Attack Bonus? Ranged Attack Bonus?).

It is confusing if it has the same name but a different effect. If it has the same effect and the same name it's not confusing.

Quote:
If we use invisibility, all your going to do is make Sean K Reynolds answer FAQ after FAQ on whether arcane sight affects the invisibility stealth grants, or 'Can I run a circle around someone as a double move while invisible and not get an AoO on me, cause I'm stealthing', or 'Does invisibility purge work on Stealth, if so, how, if not, how come?'. And there'll be GMs confused to by the same nomenclature, who have T-Rexes's pop out of thin air to bite people on the head because they were stealthy invisible ninja t-rexes (Grant you, James loves...

This is exactly why I LIKE the idea of using invisibility. You don't have to answer those questions all over again. The answer is "its invisibility, follows all the rules for invisibility.

As I said above though, It has to be limited to working during the character's turn for that to really make sense. If you run from someone and 'hide' behind a tree, they should be able to find you by looking behind the tree.

As soon as the effect starts to last past the end of their turn then you get the invisible, impossible to detect rogue. I think that's the case with any other version of stealth also though, it's far too easy to ramp up stealth so you have Unger the undetectable. Who can't be found anywhere. If you add some new previously never seen status then he truly IS undetectable because there are no feats/ spells/ whatever that will allow you to see him.


Jiggy wrote:
Quandary wrote:
I think looking at and fixing things `related to Stealth` is what it seems like they plan to do, and a very good idea given that Stealth has pretty strong interactions with several other rules spread around the book. Acknowledging that something may involve these other areas is a good idea, but saying that just because it`s outside the Stealth skill per se doesn`t seem a good basis to exclude discussion. Just because only a mock-up of the Stealth skill itself has been previewed doesn`t mean that is the only thing up for modifications.
But wouldn't it be better to keep those discussions to separate threads, letting this one stay devoted to feedback on the mock-up?

From the original article

Stealth Playtest wrote:


Special: If you are subject to the invisibility or greater invisibility spells or a similar effect, you gain a +40 bonus on Stealth checks while you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Stealth checks while you're moving. If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a bonus on Stealth checks (see Chapter 5).

The stealth rules in the playtest directly mention magical invisibility and it's effects on stealth checks. How is that not related to the playtest, and feedback related to it?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Charender wrote:

From the original article

Stealth Playtest wrote:


Special: If you are subject to the invisibility or greater invisibility spells or a similar effect, you gain a +40 bonus on Stealth checks while you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Stealth checks while you're moving. If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a bonus on Stealth checks (see Chapter 5).
The stealth rules in the playtest directly mention magical invisibility and it's effects on stealth checks. How is that not related to the playtest, and feedback related to it?

Because that's not part of the proposed stealth rules; it's a reference to the rules of those spells (just like how the Craft skill references the Gnome's "obsessive" racial trait, but it's not actually part of the craft rules). It's just a convenient addendum. Changing the stealth rules won't change those bonuses, because they're in the spell descriptions. Conversely, changing the spell descriptions would consequently change the reference in the proposed rules.

But anyway, I guess maybe you guys have a point that peripheral rules are also worth calling into the spotlight while we're at it.


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I am not sure I see where Stealth does not work properly, but then again I may not be following the rules as intended and that may be the case. My group generally does not take, nor do they really know about, free actions and usually only use Move and Standard actions. Stealth is largely rolled well in advance to sneak around, and the rogue and ranger understand that attacking, talking, signalling, or any other action that would make themselves noticeable will either give the enemy an opposed check or take them out of stealth. To re-enter stealth the player has to break line of sight with all enemies, or be a Shadowdancer. Reading through the re-write of this makes the entire skill appear unwieldy and undesirable. I would avoid any character that uses it if we were to follow the suggested re-write.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The wording makes it look like if I want to stealth across town, I have to roll dice each round.

I'm EXTREMELY sad about the choice to use the "invisible" tag. This will create more problems than it is worth. Seriously, create and define a "stealthed" tag, which can explicitly include things such as scent, etc.


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He stated they're using the "Invisible" condition to make it easier to remember any modifications, it is NOT invisibility, per say.

See Invisibility (and the like) are magicks that pierce through illusions that conceal. The idea of being stealthy is your movement is so inconspicuous, the targets simply just don't perceive you yet. See Invisibility and the like don't increase your Perception, they just unveil what's magically hidden from sight.

Stealth isn't magical, it's a skill. Meaning you've mastered methods and techniques to stay out of sight and to move with little to no noise in order for your enemy to accept you as nothing to notice as any threat (or to not notice you at all). See Invisibility has nothing to do with that.

Grand Lodge

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I take issue with the idea of stealth not working when you are out in the open. Even without face, hasn't anyone walked up to you without you noticing, and scare you before?

I don't know how many times I've walked up to someone, didn't get their acknowledgement, said something, and started laughing because they jumped, like a giant spider came crawling out of the woodworks or something, for no reason discernible by me, because I was standing directly in their line of sight the whole time!


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Razz wrote:

He stated they're using the "Invisible" condition to make it easier to remember any modifications, it is NOT invisibility, per say.

See Invisibility (and the like) are magicks that pierce through illusions that conceal. The idea of being stealthy is your movement is so inconspicuous, the targets simply just don't perceive you yet. See Invisibility and the like don't increase your Perception, they just unveil what's magically hidden from sight.

Stealth isn't magical, it's a skill. Meaning you've mastered methods and techniques to stay out of sight and to move with little to no noise in order for your enemy to accept you as nothing to notice as any threat (or to not notice you at all). See Invisibility has nothing to do with that.

Unfortunately by RAW both See Invisibilty and True Sight specifically say you see Invisible(the condition) creatures. Neither indicate that it has to be part of a magical effect.

A creature point. A Will-o'-wisp and Invisible Stalker both have Natural Invisibility (Ex). Nothing magical. If your argument is correct that it See Invisibility and True Sight only work against magically (spells, spell-like, supernatural) generated Invisible (condition) then neither would work on these creatures.

Considering I've never seen either spell ruled that way nor does it have really have a strong RAW backed reading, I can't agree with your analaysis.

Natural Invisitibly (Ex) on creature like Will-o'-wisp and Invisible Stalker are a primary reason I object to using Invisible (condition) as a blanket part of Stealth rules. I back a "Hidden" rage-esque pseudo condition that has many of the same features (when it comes to denying foes Dexterity to AC on an attack) as Invisible, but is not actually Invisible (condition).


Vendis wrote:
General combat doesn't count as a distraction in terms of granting you Stealth check. In this, anyone wanting to use stealth is unable to. A'course, in situations in which concealment is available, they can, but that's a moot point to this discussion - it's specifically about combat.

Why do you want or even need to use stealth in combat?

Give us a compelling reason as to why a rogue would need to be stealthy once combat has been initiated.

If he wants to get a good flanking position, he should use acrobatics.

If he wants to run away, he should use the withdraw action and run like hell, though honestly, I can't think of a way for him to keep from drawing any attacks of opportunity ALL of the time.

If he's going for the lever in the wizard's throne room, then he doesn't have to be in combat, and the DM has to set up the room for stealth to be viable.

So tell me what application you have in mind for using stealth in combat. I can't see a single one, because what I understand of stealth is that the entire purpose is to AVOID CONFLICT.


Dennis Baker wrote:
Quote:
2) Unusual Senses : Invisibility does not work against tremmor sense, and other unusual senses. Stealth does. Invisibility ONLY works against sight.
Maybe tremorsense *shouldn't* work against stealth? (unless you are flying)

What about hearing? Because as written, Stealth no longer includes Move Silently. Invisibility only protects you from being SEEN, and that's it. If it's changed to also protect you from being HEARD, that changes way, way too many things; creatures, spells, items, etc.

And, as has already been mentioned several times, it has really funny interactions with spells. For example, invisibility purge would provide absolute automatic no-save no-check Stealth prevention in a 25-100 foot radius. For minutes per level.

Invisibility is a bad choice precisely because there are already a lot of things that hook into it. All of the things that currently hook into it consider it to be "auto-win visual-only Stealth", so having non- auto-win, non- visual Stealth hook into it adds way too many additional points of interaction to be a good idea.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fozbek wrote:
What about hearing? Because as written, Stealth no longer includes Move Silently. Invisibility only protects you from being SEEN, and that's it. If it's changed to also protect you from being HEARD, that changes way, way too many things; creatures, spells, items, etc.

I totally agree with your points, but - just for the record - Stealth does currently include moving silently ...

PRD wrote:
You are skilled at avoiding detection, allowing you to slip past foes or strike from an unseen position. This skill covers hiding and moving silently.

Invisible and stealthing characters being detected by other senses have caused several arguments in my groups and is one of the things I hope to see cleared up with the Stealth re-write. Maybe we need an inaudibility spell as a companion to invisibility.


Eh....won't be using these I don't think. But then we've never had problems with the stealth rules either.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

So tell me what application you have in mind for using stealth in combat. I can't see a single one, because what I understand of stealth is that the entire purpose is to AVOID CONFLICT.

-Or to come at someone from an unsuspecting angle. Sometimes the fighter has charged up to meet the foes and you can't move around to the other side, sometimes the druids animal companion is in the middle of something you'd rather avoid, and sometimes the BBGED keeps his keister to the wall and a mook at his side.

So with stealth you want to do what the ninja does with their trick, vanish, and pop out of the shadows with a backstab because flanking isn't guaranteed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I just wanted to comment that the way the blog post uses Stealth is how I have been using it (with some hesitation at times) for quite a while. The intended use works, in my opinion. The precise language will need hashing out of course.

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:

• Some are calling for less frequent rolling of stealth checks, though I suspect the majority of these concerns result from a misunderstanding of the ways in which take 10 should be used for long-distance stealthing.

Could you elaborate on this ?

Because :

1) RAW : "Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10". How would you argue that attempting to sneak past opponents does not include distractions or threats (of being detected for example) ?

2) Even if you could take 10, and unless your Stealth modifier is at least +10 over your opponent's Perception modifier (an unlikely event in most appropriate CR encounters), one opponent is bound to spot your stealthy Halfling (ie roll a nat 20) if he moves 60 meters (20 checks). If you have 2 opponents (usual guard configuration), make that 30 meters (10 checks each also makes 20 checks total).

Note that I am talking about sneaking past sentries here, ie opponents who are actively searching for something and thus do not use the "Take 10 on Perception" routine.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Fozbek wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
Quote:
2) Unusual Senses : Invisibility does not work against tremmor sense, and other unusual senses. Stealth does. Invisibility ONLY works against sight.
Maybe tremorsense *shouldn't* work against stealth? (unless you are flying)

What about hearing? Because as written, Stealth no longer includes Move Silently. Invisibility only protects you from being SEEN, and that's it. If it's changed to also protect you from being HEARD, that changes way, way too many things; creatures, spells, items, etc.

And, as has already been mentioned several times, it has really funny interactions with spells. For example, invisibility purge would provide absolute automatic no-save no-check Stealth prevention in a 25-100 foot radius. For minutes per level.

Invisibility is a bad choice precisely because there are already a lot of things that hook into it. All of the things that currently hook into it consider it to be "auto-win visual-only Stealth", so having non- auto-win, non- visual Stealth hook into it adds way too many additional points of interaction to be a good idea.

So then is stealth to be undetectable to anyone anytime? You just vanish *poof*, you are gone, no magic can detect you, no spells reveal you... because there are none that work with this new condition we've added to the game.

That's the big problem I see, maybe invisibility isn't perfect, but it's something people know how to deal with.

Currently continual light reveals all stealth so why should invisibility purge not work (instead)?

I think a big part of the problem is there was so little agreement on what role stealth actually had in the game previously.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

Quote:
So then is stealth to be undetectable to anyone anytime? You just vanish *poof*, you are gone, no magic can detect you, no spells reveal you... because there are none that work with this new condition we've added to the game.

Fight steel with steel, magic with magic. If someone turns invisible you cast invisibility purge. If someone hides, you LOOK.

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