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Stealth Playtest, Round Two

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Illustration by Christian Pearce

In case you missed it, a few weeks ago the Pathfinder design team previewed some changes we were considering making to the Stealth skill. Like any design endeavor, game design benefits from iteration. After letting all of you playtest the rules and let us know what you thought of the first draft, we went back to the drawing board and made some changes based on that fantastic feedback.
In this round of playtesting, you'll find that we've cleared up some action issues. We have opened up the possibilities for using standard actions with the Stealth skill, as long as those standard actions do not attack creatures. In this way, the Stealth skill mirrors the rules found in the invisibility spell; at least as far as what actions you can attempt while you are hidden without automatically ending that condition.

Speaking of hidden, while we have kept the invisible condition, and have even strengthened the wording on that condition a bit, we have also created a lesser, connected condition called hidden. You gain the hidden condition when you benefit from Stealth, and you gain the invisible condition when you use a spell or effect that makes you visually undetectable, like the invisibility spell. Hidden is the base condition, and invisible is an upgrade of that condition.

Lastly, we have added some small language changes to explain how the hidden condition interacts with some universal monster rules dealing with senses—specifically blindsense, blindsight, scent, and tremorsense.
Just like the last round of playtesting, keep in mind that these changes are not yet official. While you are free to use them in your home game—and we would like you to do so—these changes are not yet ready for Pathfinder Society play. This time around we are going to give you two weeks to playtest and comment on these proposed changes, so tell us what you think sometime before October 3rd. We'll announce the final version in the Design Tuesday blog sometime after the playtest is completed, and make changes to the rules using the Pathfinder RPG FAQ system.

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 an action when you have some kind of cover (except for soft cover) or concealment. You cannot spend a free action to initiate Stealth, but if you spend a free action while under the effects of Stealth, you must make a new Stealth check to continue its effects. You can always spend a swift action to stay immobile and make a Stealth check. You can move up to half your speed and use Stealth at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than half your speed and up to your normal speed, you take a –5 penalty on the Stealth check. It's usually impossible to use Stealth while taking an immediate action, a full-round action, or any action to make an attack, unless you are subject to greater invisibility or a similar effect, or you are sniping (see below). When you make your Stealth check, those creatures that didn't succeed at the opposed roll treat you as hidden 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. You are not hidden from creatures that are observing you (creatures that you didn't have cover or concealment from) or that succeed at the opposed check.
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 while Hidden: Usually, making an attack against a creature ends the hidden condition. For purposes of Stealth, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe. Actions directed at an unattended object do not end Stealth. Causing harm indirectly is not an attack. If during your last action you were hidden to a creature, you are still considered hidden 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 a hidden creature, the DC of the Perception check is the hidden creature's last Stealth check. This is also the case if a creature makes a Perception check to notice a hidden creature because the perceiving creature is entering an area where it could possibly notice a hidden creature.

Sniping: If you already are hidden to a target and you are at least 10 feet away 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 hidden. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check when attempting to snipe.

Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to allow you to use Stealth. If you do not have cover or concealment, as a swift action, you can attempt a Bluff check opposed by the Sense Motive of opponents that can see you. If you are successful, you are considered to have concealment from those creatures (but you do not gain the percent miss chance from concealment) until the end of your next action, you make an attack (as defined in the Attacking while Hidden section, above), or the end of your turn, whichever happens first.

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

Conditions

Hidden: You are difficult to detect but you not invisible. A hidden creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents' Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). You do not have line of sight to a creature or object that is hidden from you.

Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature or object gains the benefits of the hidden condition. An invisible object or creature gains total concealment.

Universal Monster Rules

Blindsense (Ex) Using nonvisual senses, such as acute smell or hearing, a creature with blindsense notices things it cannot see. The creature usually does not need to make Perception checks notice hidden creatures or to pinpoint the location of an invisible creature within range of its blindsense ability, provided that it has line of effect to that creature. Any opponent the creature cannot see still has total concealment from the creature with blindsense, and the creature still has the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment. Visibility still affects the movement of a creature with blindsense. A creature with blindsense is still denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against attacks from creatures it cannot see.
Format: blindsense 60 ft.; Location: Senses.

Blindsight (Ex) This ability is similar to blindsense, but is far more discerning. Using nonvisual senses, such as sensitivity to vibrations, keen smell, acute hearing, or echolocation, a creature with blindsight maneuvers and fights as well as a sighted creature. invisibility, darkness, and most kinds of concealment are irrelevant, as is the hidden condition, though the creature must have line of effect to a creature or object to discern that creature or object. The ability's range is specified in the creature's descriptive text. The creature usually does not need to make Perception checks to notice creatures within this range. Unless noted otherwise, blindsight is continuous, and the creature need do nothing to use it. Some forms of blindsight, however, must be triggered as a free action. If so, this is noted in the creature's description. If a creature must trigger its blindsight ability, the creature gains the benefits of blindsight only during its turn.
Format: blindsight 60 ft.; Location: Senses.

Scent (Ex) This special quality allows a creature to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Creatures with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights.
The creature can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range.
When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The creature can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When it is within 5 feet of the source, the creature pinpoints the source's location or notices a hidden creature.
A creature with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry's odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Creatures tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.
Format: scent; Location: Senses.

Tremorsense (Ex) A creature with tremorsense is sensitive to vibrations in the ground and can automatically notice hidden creatures and objects as well as pinpoint invisible creatures and objects in contact with the ground. Aquatic creatures with tremorsense can also sense the location of creatures moving through water. The ability's range is specified in the creature's descriptive text.
Format: tremorsense 60 ft.; Location: Senses.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

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BUMP


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

At the risk public scorn and ridicule, I have taken the liberty to take Stephen's base Round-Two rules and try to incorporate fixes to many of the issues that people have expressed in this forum. For example, I attempt to resolve the problem with too many dice rolls by changing opposed rolls to static DC's. I increase these DC's based on number of opponents. I address miscellaneous problem areas like 5-foot steps, unable to open locks stealthily, detecting creatures without necessarily pinpointing them, addressing DC modifiers from spellcasting, resolving quasi-invisible concealment/miss chance problems, clarifying if one can flank, etc. Sorry if this is too forward, but I figured I would try in my own way to further the goal of this exercise.

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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: A Stealth check is made at the start of an eligible action when you have some kind of concealment or cover (except for soft cover). An eligible action that can be peformed with Stealth is any action that is not a charge, run, or attack (see "Attacking While Hidden" to determine what constitutes an attack). If you are hidden, you must succeed at a Stealth check for any subsequent eligible action to remain hidden. Free and intermediate actions can never be taken to become hidden; they may only be taken to remain hidden. Any non-eligible actions taken cause you to immediately lose the hidden condition.

The DC of the Stealth check is 10 + the opponent's Perception bonus - Perception modifiers + 1 for each opposing ally within 20' of the opponent. If you equal or exeed the DC you gain the hidden condition relative to that opponent 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. You are not hidden from creatures whose DC you did not beat nor from creatures from which you didn't have cover or concealment. If on subsequent rounds you perform no actions and still benefit from cover or concealment you do not make additional Stealth checks. If at any time the conditions change increasing the DC, compare the previous Stealth check result with the new DC to see if you lose your hidden condition.

Moving while Hidden: You can move up to half your speed and use Stealth at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than half your speed and up to your normal speed, you take a -5 penalty on the Stealth check.

Attacking while Hidden: Any attack (melee or ranged) or any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe ends the hidden condition unless you are subject to greater invisibility or similar effect or you are sniping (see "Sniping" below). Actions directed at an unattended object do not end Stealth. Causing harm indirectly is not an attack. If during your last action you were hidden to a creature, you are still considered hidden when you make the first attack of that new action.

Perception Checks: Once per round a creature may attempt a Perception check as a move action to notice a hidden creature. The DC of the Perception check is the hidden creature's last Stealth check. If this check fails but by 5 or less, the creature detects this hidden creature and knows a general area where that creature is.

Sniping: If you already are hidden to a target and you are at least 10 feet away 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 hidden. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check when attempting to snipe.

Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to allow you to use Stealth. If you do not have cover or concealment, as a swift action, you can attempt a Bluff check versus a DC of 10 + the Sense Motive bonus of any opponents that can see you. If you are successful, you may perform a Stealth check as part of a Withdraw action even though you do not have concealment. You can only become hidden relative to those whose Sense Motive DC you beat. If you do not end your Withdraw action within cover or concealment, you are no longer hidden.

Action: Usually making a Stealth check is not an action. Using Stealth is part of the action you are taking. Note that a 5-foot step is not an action but is instead taken as part of another action. Therefore, you cannot make a Stealth check as part of a 5-foot step.

Special: If you are subject to the invisibility or greater invisibility spells or a similar effect, you gain a +10 bonus on Stealth checks. If you are magically silenced as with the silence spell, you gain a +10 bonus on Stealth checks. Casting a non-attack spell with a verbal component incurs a -10 penalty on the Stealth check. 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. If you have the Stealthy feat, you get a bonus on Stealth checks (see Chapter 5).
Conditions

Hidden: You are difficult to detect but you are not invisible. A hidden creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against opponents, and your opponents are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). You do not have line of sight to a creature or object that is hidden from you. Hidden creatures still threaten their opponents (for purposes of flanking, attacks of opportunity, etc.). A hidden object or creature gains total concealment. If a hidden object or creature is hit by a melee or ranged attack (even a touch attack), that object or creature loses its hidden status relative to that attacker.

Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature or object gains the benefits of the hidden condition which do not end if they are struck by an attack.

Clarifications

Ranger's Camouflage: This ability does not work if the opponent is observing the ranger. In other words, the ranger may gain hidden status while benefiting from concealment or cover and then use favored terrain as if it were concealment to sneak forward. But once the ranger's hidden condition is removed the ranger must re-acquire cover or concealment to reattempt a Stealth check.

Hide in Plain Sight: When the conditions are met for this ability, the character acts as if they have concealment for the purposes of being able to use Stealth.


We playtested these rules and they work very well. I've added the following sentence to the "Attacking While Hidden" section immediately after the first sentence to improve mechanics around attackers with greater invisibility. Note that the stealther could still stealth as part of a move after the action to lose pinpointed, but this allows opponents to ready action against them:

"If you retain hidden condition as a result of greater invisibility or similar effect, you are automatically pinpointed by any creature with line of effect to your square."

Without this clarification, one could argue that they could make a melee attack and their opponents still don't know where they are. It is intuitive that a melee attack would result in the person being pinpointed, and I figure might as well treat ranged and spell attacks the same since they are already advantaged in other ways.


My rogue with a reach weapon or throwing knife would like a word with you.


Just wondering if the Stealth Playtest is going to be finalized sometime soon or if this was the extent of it (looking to see if this stuff ends up in the PRD in an official capacity)?


Nice changes, the rogue in our party is going to be so happy lol, he is so tired of stealth not really helping much.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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This is the extent of it for now. We have no plans at this point to put it into the PRD or do much else with it at this point—feel free to use the variant rules of this playtest in your games as you wish... but it's not going to be something we officially adopt into the game, since that type of change goes from errata to re-design.

And the time for re-design is not now.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I liked the blog test. It fixed most rules very well, but as noted it does not mesh with similar stealthy abilities. My take on it is to break down the rolls to the sense you hide from.

Stealth should be a check to remove one of the senses from detecting you. Concealment from the sense through technology (like camo or a wall) or nature (like darkness or plants) allows you to make the check. As long as the concealing situation is present you can be stealthed.

This applies to any sense you can imagine. If you can become concealed from it you can stealth. It takes an accurate sense like sight on most people to pin point and fight you normally. Acute senses can detect your presence (hearing) and maybe find your square (scent). This could vary on monsters like bats and such.

It's one roll fore each sense you want to hide from. If no condition exists to help then you cannot hide. Your skill is only rolled once per sense to determin it's effectiveness. You likely need a stealth kit for each sense or favorable terrain.

What people want to do is be stealthy when doing non stealthy actions, spell casting, running, fighting are things you cannot do while stealthing.

Attacking from stealth gives you a bonus and makes your opponent flat footed. But normally reveals you.

Class abilities (ie ranger and rogue) Spells, and some monsters will modify when the skill can be used.

example:

Sneaking up to the back of the barn is stealth vs sound if the guards are on the front porch. You cannot sneak by walking down the driveway where they can see you. You could ambush from the corn field though.

Sneaking around the barn to the side we there are windows. Stealth sound and sight. Someone could possibly see or hear you. The farmer coming home from the field sees you fine.

The lazy guard dog locked in the barn requires stealth sound, sight, and scent. If it can smell you clearly you cannot stealth scent. Perhaps you stole dirty laundry from the line and smell like its owners tobacco. Now you still need to stealth sight so it doesn't realize you are not the old man. You could have overpowered your scent as well, or maybe a cheap prestiditation powder exists in the stealth scent kit.

You cannot stealth to make the chickens silent, but you can handle animal to calm them down. Now just walk out like you came in.

Additional rules: distractions, distractions are hard to do and have a habit of giving you away,-20 stealth if you directly cause a distraction. Ie who threw that rock, show yer self. Perhaps you let loose an animal to do the distracting for you, at no penalty. This can allow you to ignore one sense for one move action with GM approval.

Stealth in combat requires feinting, sniping, magic, or rules that cover it. Once you start attacking you need to stop and get away. While stealthed you do not threaten, but you can take an AoO but break stealth.

Hide in plain sight targets only vision and sound unless otherwise stated. How quite can you make your heart beat when chased by the vampire hound that hunts heartbeats (blind sight)?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:

This is the extent of it for now. We have no plans at this point to put it into the PRD or do much else with it at this point—feel free to use the variant rules of this playtest in your games as you wish... but it's not going to be something we officially adopt into the game, since that type of change goes from errata to re-design.

And the time for re-design is not now.

James Jacobs, thank you so much for telling us where this stands. Now we can all stop wondering.

Thanks again. :)


Although dismayed to see that this playtest didn't go anywhere in the end, I am glad that a developer finally chimed in to let us know that it'd been shelved indefinitely. At least we know now. Thanks.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

This is the extent of it for now. We have no plans at this point to put it into the PRD or do much else with it at this point—feel free to use the variant rules of this playtest in your games as you wish... but it's not going to be something we officially adopt into the game, since that type of change goes from errata to re-design.

And the time for re-design is not now.

I appreciate finally getting developer input, but that is truly disappointing none of the changes can be made without it being considered a re-design. Makes me really wonder why this was done at this time. I don’t consider this a ‘re-design’ as the base rules are still intact. But it’s a moot point now.

I don’t like how this bodes for other rules that need clean up (i.e. magic item creation), as well. I guess we won’t see any changes for these until PF second edition.

Very disappointing.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hobbun wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

This is the extent of it for now. We have no plans at this point to put it into the PRD or do much else with it at this point—feel free to use the variant rules of this playtest in your games as you wish... but it's not going to be something we officially adopt into the game, since that type of change goes from errata to re-design.

And the time for re-design is not now.

I appreciate finally getting developer input, but that is truly disappointing none of the changes can be made without it being considered a re-design. Makes me really wonder why this was done at this time. I don’t consider this a ‘re-design’ as the base rules are still intact. But it’s a moot point now.

I don’t like how this bodes for other rules that need clean up (i.e. magic item creation), as well. I guess we won’t see any changes for these until PF second edition.

Very disappointing.

You're only disappointed because you're looking at it from the wrong angle; think instead of how Paizo already knows what areas to look at for when PF2.0 does come out!


James Jacobs wrote:

This is the extent of it for now. We have no plans at this point to put it into the PRD or do much else with it at this point—feel free to use the variant rules of this playtest in your games as you wish... but it's not going to be something we officially adopt into the game, since that type of change goes from errata to re-design.

And the time for re-design is not now.

James, I am encouraged by the fact that the staff at Paizo thought enough on the topic to formulate a plan on the redesign of certain issues.

I hope that your efforts on redesign continue and that eventually when Ultimate Pathfinder comes out you'll adopt some of the ideas put forward in this blog.


I think the tremorsense entry should have some mention about creatures standing still. A stationary object doesn't create vibrations, and an immobile creature shouldn't create very much of them, so something with (only) tremorsense wouldn't detect a creature standing still as well as a moving one, right?

Sorry if someone mentioned this already. All those 400+ comments looked too daunting. (I wish there was a way to search in the comments of a specific post...)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:

This is the extent of it for now. We have no plans at this point to put it into the PRD or do much else with it at this point—feel free to use the variant rules of this playtest in your games as you wish... but it's not going to be something we officially adopt into the game, since that type of change goes from errata to re-design.

And the time for re-design is not now.

Thank you for answering on this subject. Not every answer is going to make people happy, and this is probably going to be one of those unpopular answers. In spite of that, I wanted to take the time to thank you for letting the forum know what your intentions are on this subject at this time. I will definitely look forward to the day when some of these changes make it into the handbooks.

Lantern Lodge

Didn't read much of the blog, it's very long and I read slow, so if I am reiterating something, I apologize.

Stealth vs blindsense

I noticed that stealth cannot be used to remain quiet to hide from creatures who have sound based blindsense, but this just implies good hearing which should be just a perception check vs stealth, since being quiet is part of being stealthy, and since this type of blindsense is hearing, they can locate the square of invisible creatures and then they don't get bonuses from being invisible (for locating the square, bonuses still apply when trying to pinpoint invisible creatures) since the blindsense creature is listening, not looking. Of course this does depend on whether a creature's blindsense is sound based or not.

Stealth vs scent

Certain materials and actions should allow one to make stealth checks vs scent. Hunter's often mask their scent against prey, though this does require materials and special actions taken. Possibly allow this use to be made like a disguise check that takes a -1 penalty per half-hour since the check was made.

Flanking

Flanking relies on the opponent trying to defend against two creatures on opposite sides of it. You should get the flanking bonus if the target is defending against an opponent on the other side from where you are striking from (This is why ranged attacks can get flanking bonuses, or at least did, not sure if they still can in PF, the SRD sounds like it at first but then sounds like not in the example) thus a hidden or invisible creature can get flanking bonuses but shouldn't give flanking bonuses unless the target has located the square and is trying to defend against them.

Just a few things I noticed that don't fit well.

Lantern Lodge

No thoughts?

It is funny that I am often the last post on things, I wonder why, curious.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All three things have been commented in several posts about stealth around the forum.

Scent is a lesser form of blindsense (Blindsense (Ex) Using nonvisual senses, such as acute smell or hearing,) but most people treat it as foolproof so there is little reason to make blindsense less efficient than scent requiring a perception check to notice someone.

Scent should be confused by the presence of strong odours or tactics used to mask your odour but again most people like to have a omnipotent scent and are against that.

I agree that a person that hasn't been noticed should not give flanking bonuses but it rise the problem with tracking who has noticed you and who hasn't. A lot of people already has problem with how flanking work AFAIK, making it more complicated isn't a good idea.

Lantern Lodge

First and most important, What is "AFAIK"?

I see your point about scent but should we really make rules based on how people break them?

Personally I say make the rules make sense, and let people house rule things from a solid rules base rather then making things weird and nonsensical because people make house rules.

Though most of these rules could be made simpler if people would use common sense rather then rules lawyering their way into oddities (I.E. pickpocketing people's pants because the rules don't explicitly say you can't do so unnoticed)

My suggestion for layout,:

1. State rule
I.E. stealth check allows one to try to avoid being noticed= check result is the DC for anyone who might notice you with perception

2. State why, how, DCs for common uses and special applications

I.E. pickpocketing, you can try to pick pocket by rolling stealth vs the perception of the target

3. Then include any caveats or common questions
I.E. Can you steal someones pants? Not if they are awake, they would certainly notice(DC -3 perception check) the lack of pants for one and two, to take their pants would require moving the targets legs so you can get the pants off and they would automatically notice someone moving their leg(not even a DC for this one, it truly is automatic) (note; DC -# skill checks are beat even by a natural 1 as long as the final result is higher then the DC)

As for flanking, I referenced how it used to be in 3.5 and noted how the new rules changed that, with the note that I didn't know if PF already changed it from 3.5.


As Far As I Know...

Lantern Lodge

Odraude wrote:
As Far As I Know...

Thanks!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I do very much like the fact that you're trying to tighten up the rules here.

Some things that I think you haven't yet specifically covered, are where Stealth and the sections on Light and Vision and Concealment and Invisibility overlap.

A really silly one that has just never been specifically stated - if a character is in darkness (and thereby normally considered blinded) but his opponent is in a well lit area and has line of effect, does the character have line of sight to the opponent? Imagine standing in the dark and watching the opponent creeping by with a candle.

When in darkness a character has total concealment, not just regular concealment; Skip Williams clarified in the article All About Sneak Attacks back in 3.5e that the character should be treated as invisible. It would be nice to see something like that in these rules too.

As sniping from darkness is such a sane and regular thing for even low level monsters to be doing, I'd like to see it clarified what the intended ruling is for detecting sniping from invisible opponents. Even if sniping from darkness gets ruled as being hidden rather than invisible, I'd still like to see it clarified what the intended ruling is for detecting sniping from invisible opponents because of the spell Greater Invisibility.

I believe under current rulings a character firing from the darkness cannot be targeted - but the square that they're in can be targeted if you can determine it.

Elsewhere: "If a character tries to attack an invisible creature whose location he has not pinpointed, have the player choose the space where the character will direct the attack." - This makes perfect sense if the character is making a melee attack but it seems off for a ranged attack. What does seem like a good idea for a ranged attack, treat it as attacking every square in a line?

Finally, some words upon the subject of whether degree of cover should modify the sniping check would be much appreciated.

Good work so far, guys.

PS Is there a way to subscribe to all play test announcements?


Duncan Forsyth wrote:

I do very much like the fact that you're trying to tighten up the rules here.

Some things that I think you haven't yet specifically covered, are where Stealth and the sections on Light and Vision and Concealment and Invisibility overlap.

Has the Stealth play test been abandoned or did it already become integrated into the rules somewhere?

I just wanted to check your intent with this one: Skip, who would otherwise be in complete darkness is holding a hooded lantern, which provides normal light to 30 feet and increased illumination up to 60 feet (thus making it dim light at 35 feet). Chris, a human Rogue with base speed 30 feet is standing in the first dimly lit square having previously moved there and become hidden. There is no cover. This round Chris takes a 30 foot move action and makes a Stealth check at -5 to move adjacent to Skip and remain hidden (successfully), he then attacks and as Skip was denied his Dexterity bonus, Chris gains the benefit of his ability to sneak attack. Is this a reasonable interpretation?

Should we typically also take into account that Skip may be at a further disadvantage if he was, say, an archer a little back from the fray but being distracted by the nearby combat that Chris's allies are having with Skip's allies? +5 for being distracted, +2 for unfavourable conditions?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Duncan Forsyth wrote:

Has the Stealth play test been abandoned or did it already become integrated into the rules somewhere?

.

No, these rules are not official or have been integrated by any means, they’re on hold at the moment. However, I spoke with SRM at GenCon and he did say the changes on Stealth have not been abandoned, it’s just taking longer than anticipated. They were finding the current changes were not working as well as they liked, conflicting with other class abilities.

For example, he said the changes did not work well with the Ranger’s HiPS. However, he stressed it is something they are still working on, but there is no ETA at the moment.


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Paizo Blog: Stealth Playtest, Round Two--Stealth wrote:
When you make your Stealth check, those creatures that didn't succeed at the opposed roll treat you as hidden 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.

So say my rogue is hiding in some bushes and is unobserved by an opponent can he:

Charge from the bushes at the opponent, attack him and use his sneak attack?

I presume it can because of the second bold line...The opponent is denied it's dex bonus because he treats you as hidden until the end of your turn

IRL it would make sense this way; the opponent is surprised and unable to act appropriately until its "his turn"


I'm holding out hope these will be integrated for PF2 :D make my rogue happy!

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Has any 3rd party published ever taken a look at these, smoothed them out a little and packaged them for sale? I'd buy a "Stealth 2.0" pdf in a heartbeat.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
tjlatta wrote:

How about an explicit interaction with flanking?

When GMing, I've always ruled that you don't provide flank if you're invisible or stealthed because the flanking rules are predicated on the target being "threatened."
If I'm totally unaware of something's existence, it isn't going to be very threatening to me.
A creature threatens under certain circumstances (see page 180 of the Core Rulebook). It may not seem threatening to you, but that's not how threatened squares work in the rules. An invisible or hidden creature still threatens, because it could and might make and attack in a creature within those squares.

That is absolutely true as far as the invisible creature being able to make AO's or launching attacks that require him to threaten the target square. It even makes sense that an invisible creature benefits from flanking bonus if his flank buddy is visible. However, with regard to a visible flanker gaining flank bonuses from an invisible flanker...no.

The target creature between these flankers (assuming he cannot see invisible creatures) doesn't know he is threatened, and therefore he isn't distracted by the invisible flanker, and gives his full defensive attention to the visible one. Now the invisible flanker will get the benefits of attacking from invisibility (+2 to hit, target loses Dex to AC), and I would argue also a flanking bonus, because the target is definitely distracted by the visible flanker.

This was hashed out years ago, during 3.0, by the original devs.


Hm. I never noticed this thread before.

Shanker, the Shadow-Blooded Rogue Goblin, lurks back into the shadows...or flickers in the bright light.

Interesting that if you can HiPS, you can stay still and restealth as a Swift Action with these rules. So stealth up, full attack, swift action restealth.

Now I'm curious as to whether I can use a Swift action within a Full Attack. I think I can. I definitely can because otherwise a few Barbarian Rage Powers wouldn't function well in a full attack.

Step 1)Stealth up to victim of choice.
Step 2)Full attack. First attack gets Sneak Attack.
Step 3)Swift action before next attack to restealth and qualify for Sneak Attack. This leaves us revealed at the end of the round but bursts out some damage. An All In tactic. I dig it.


James Jacobs wrote:

This is the extent of it for now. We have no plans at this point to put it into the PRD or do much else with it at this point—feel free to use the variant rules of this playtest in your games as you wish... but it's not going to be something we officially adopt into the game, since that type of change goes from errata to re-design.

And the time for re-design is not now.

:(

OK...


MoshiMaro wrote:
Paizo Blog: Stealth Playtest, Round Two--Stealth wrote:
When you make your Stealth check, those creatures that didn't succeed at the opposed roll treat you as hidden 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.

So say my rogue is hiding in some bushes and is unobserved by an opponent can he:

Charge from the bushes at the opponent, attack him and use his sneak attack?

I presume it can because of the second bold line...The opponent is denied it's dex bonus because he treats you as hidden until the end of your turn

IRL it would make sense this way; the opponent is surprised and unable to act appropriately until its "his turn"

False.

First, the first bold line indicates that the stealth goes away at the beginning of the next action, in this case the beginning of the charge action. It only lasts until the end of turn if no other circumstances result in you becoming visible, and you lack concealment (cover automatically provides concealment, unless you have clear cover which doesn't seem to be a thing in d20)

Second, anyone with a significant amount of combat training or experience (like most heroic PCs) will be able to react to a threat running from at least 10' away, perhaps not be able to draw weapons, but certainly able to dodge/block/side step/etc. Charging from further away only gives more time to react, 30' charge would even give time to draw a weapon, realistically speaking.

I can attest to this from personal experience.

I will note however that non-combatants do seem to be slow in response times, so it may be applicable to those with little or no combat training/experience.


Shouldn't a hidden creature still have concealment VS a creature with tremor sense? Since on land the tremorsensor only knows the location of the hidden creature, not the details, which is similar to blindsense.

Tremorsense (Ex) A creature with tremorsense is sensitive to vibrations in the ground and can automatically notice hidden creatures and objects as well as pinpoint invisible creatures and objects in contact with the ground. Aquatic creatures with tremorsense can also sense the location of creatures moving through water. The ability's range is specified in the creature's descriptive text.


Yes the concealment is still there if they are still hiding.


It's unfortunate they didn't incorporate these rules. Makes me very sad as these help a lot with stealth.


There is no meaningful differences in the core concept compared to the previous version, so I still can summarize this variant of Stealth rules in two words: Stealth fails.

There is a very big problem with the existing Stealth skill. Right after the fact than it is just so insanely restrictive that in most environments you auto-fail - see for the example the illustration that accompanies the article, by the actual rules the little thief would have had already auto-failed her Stealth against the big evil-looking guard, because there is neither cover nor concealment on the walltop, and the rules assume 360-degree arc of vision at all times. But before the fact that there are like four abilities that negate Stealth near completely. This problem is the fact that the hiding party's disadvantage grows every time another being is added to either the hiding party or an observing party. A situation of one thief trying to sneak past a single guard might be theoretically fair, but if you have a party of five adventurers trying to ambush a five-men patrol, then each adventurer has to beat five opposed rolls, or the whole attempt fails.

Adding A LOT MORE opposed rolls to a contest where Party 1 needs to succeed on every single roll, and Party 2 needs to succeed only once just means that the designer uses a roundabout way to deny Party 1 any possibility of success.

Well that's before considering that adding an extra gazillion of rolls to the game is bad by itself.

I don't know about others, but I do like having "hiding from people" as an option in the game (not that it is a good option at the moment, but at least its low usefulness is somewhat balanced by low investment, so while you absolutely do not want Stealth to be your character-defining trick, you might take it just in case), so I'm competely baffled that anyone could possibly, theoretically consider these rules working, like, at all.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
FatR wrote:

There is no meaningful differences in the core concept compared to the previous version, so I still can summarize this variant of Stealth rules in two words: Stealth fails.

There is a very big problem with the existing Stealth skill. Right after the fact than it is just so insanely restrictive that in most environments you auto-fail - see for the example the illustration that accompanies the article, by the actual rules the little thief would have had already auto-failed her Stealth against the big evil-looking guard, because there is neither cover nor concealment on the walltop, and the rules assume 360-degree arc of vision at all times. But before the fact that there are like four abilities that negate Stealth near completely. This problem is the fact that the hiding party's disadvantage grows every time another being is added to either the hiding party or an observing party. A situation of one thief trying to sneak past a single guard might be theoretically fair, but if you have a party of five adventurers trying to ambush a five-men patrol, then each adventurer has to beat five opposed rolls, or the whole attempt fails.

Adding A LOT MORE opposed rolls to a contest where Party 1 needs to succeed on every single roll, and Party 2 needs to succeed only once just means that the designer uses a roundabout way to deny Party 1 any possibility of success.

Well that's before considering that adding an extra gazillion of rolls to the game is bad by itself.

I don't know about others, but I do like having "hiding from people" as an option in the game (not that it is a good option at the moment, but at least its low usefulness is somewhat balanced by low investment, so while you absolutely do not want Stealth to be your character-defining trick, you might take it just in case), so I'm competely baffled that anyone could possibly, theoretically consider these rules working, like, at all.

You're still wrong.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
FatR wrote:

A situation of one thief trying to sneak past a single guard might be theoretically fair, but if you have a party of five adventurers trying to ambush a five-men patrol, then each adventurer has to beat five opposed rolls, or the whole attempt fails.

This is why you take 10. A decently optimised stealth character should beat almost every opponent's perception roll by taking 10, even if they roll a 20.

The system still sucks, granted, but the situation you propose isn't really the primary issue.

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