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The spell blur used with the skill stealth


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

If someones casts the spell blur:

"The subject's outline appears blurred, shifting, and wavering. This distortion grants the subject concealment (20% miss chance)."

Can you attempt to use the stealth skill indiscriminately during combat as if you had the hide in plain sight ability due to the concealment blur grants?

"If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth. Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth. If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check), you can attempt to use Stealth. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast."


2 people marked this as a favorite.

There have been several discussions along these lines and you are most likely going to see some extremely varied answers but I believe by RAW: In regards to using Stealth, the Blur spell will never come into play. Why? Because of the way the rules for lighting interact with Stealth. In conditions of Dim Light or Darkness you may use concealment to attempt Stealth. So, in those two lighting conditions you could use Blur to hide, but you don't need it since you already have concealment based on the lighting conditions themselves. On the other hand, in Bright Light or Normal Light conditions, it is specifically stated that you may not use concealment to attempt Stealth. You must instead have cover or invisibility.

So, in Bright and Normal light you cannot use concealment to attempt Stealth and therefore could not use Blur. In conditions of Dim Light or Darkness you can use concealment to attempt Stealth but you don't need Blur because you already have concealment from the conditions themselves.

Here is the section of PRD that I am getting this from:

PRD/Additional Rules/Vision and Light wrote:

In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly. Some creatures, such as those with light sensitivity and light blindness, take penalties while in areas of bright light. A creature can't use Stealth in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover. Areas of bright light include outside in direct sunshine and inside the area of a daylight spell.

Normal light functions just like bright light, but characters with light sensitivity and light blindness do not take penalties. Areas of normal light include underneath a forest canopy during the day, within 20 feet of a torch, and inside the area of a light spell.

In an area of dim light, a character can see somewhat. Creatures within this area have concealment (20% miss chance in combat) from those without darkvision or the ability to see in darkness. A creature within an area of dim light can make a Stealth check to conceal itself. Areas of dim light include outside at night with a moon in the sky, bright starlight, and the area between 20 and 40 feet from a torch.

In areas of darkness, creatures without darkvision are effectively blinded. In addition to the obvious effects, a blinded creature has a 50% miss chance in combat (all opponents have total concealment), loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and takes a –4 penalty on Perception checks that rely on sight and most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks. Areas of darkness include an unlit dungeon chamber, most caverns, and outside on a cloudy, moonless night.

Characters with low-light vision (elves, gnomes, and half-elves) can see objects twice as far away as the given radius. Double the effective radius of bright light, normal light, and dim light for such characters.

Characters with darkvision (dwarves and half-orcs) can see lit areas normally as well as dark areas within 60 feet. A creature can't hide within 60 feet of a character with darkvision unless it is invisible or has cover.


I see... :)

thanks for the response, after reading those excerpts, I would have to agree with you.

Andoran

I think that it does work as RAI though, in that the concealment referenced was only about the lighting conditions, not general concealment (blur and fog cloud are the only non-lighting based concealment I know of). However, you still can't hide in combat because they are watching you, and you need a distraction or a place where they can't see you at all to make the stealth check.


ryathas ruyonin-shar wrote:

If someones casts the spell blur:

Can you attempt to use the stealth skill indiscriminately during combat as if you had the hide in plain sight ability due to the concealment blur grants?

"If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth."

The answer is no. And the reason, you've quoted.

The blur spell does not make you invisible. So as soon as you are observed you cannot use stealth to hide again even when blurred.

Now you can, while blurred remain hidden without any other form of cover or concealment by using the stealth skill, but once observed you would need to become unobserved to do so again.

Hide in plain sight grants two differences from the normal rules:

1. You don't need cover/concealment to hide via stealth.
2. You can use stealth while being observed.

Really it would have been great if they had really worked on changing the wording to be more intuitive.

-James


of course, they did do that, but it was over-ruled :-)


i disagree. primarily based on comparing 2 spells, invisibility and blur.

both spells are the same level - 2, the same school - illusion, even the same subschool - glamer. hell they even have the same duration - 1 min/level

one gives total concealment, and a +20 to stealth checks, and in no way has any special wording to allow you to make stealth checks apart from when you could normally make one. but obviously no one can say that you cannot use stealth while invisible standing in the open. the reason you can make stealth checks is because it grants concealment.

the other gives only 20% concealment, no bonus at all to stealth, but it is still concealment. why would you not be able to make stealth checks? why should it be so much less powerful to an almost identical spell? sure it doesn't go away when you attack, but you need to move to another square after 1 attack to get stealth again, because you are noticed when you attack (unless youre using sniping rules)

if you read the rules on stealth, people like to quote

prd wrote:
If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth.

but i'd like to point out the very next sentence

prd wrote:
Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth.

the basic fact remains : stealth requires cover or concealment, blur gives you concealment, so you can use it to stealth.

Grand Lodge

asthyril wrote:

i disagree. primarily based on comparing 2 spells, invisibility and blur.

both spells are the same level - 2, the same school - illusion, even the same subschool - glamer. hell they even have the same duration - 1 min/level

one gives total concealment, and a +20 to stealth checks, and in no way has any special wording to allow you to make stealth checks apart from when you could normally make one. but obviously no one can say that you cannot use stealth while invisible standing in the open. the reason you can make stealth checks is because it grants concealment.

the other gives only 20% concealment, no bonus at all to stealth, but it is still concealment. why would you not be able to make stealth checks? why should it be so much less powerful to an almost identical spell? sure it doesn't go away when you attack, but you need to move to another square after 1 attack to get stealth again, because you are noticed when you attack (unless youre using sniping rules)

if you read the rules on stealth, people like to quote

prd wrote:
If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth.

but i'd like to point out the very next sentence

prd wrote:
Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth.
the basic fact remains : stealth requires cover or concealment, blur gives you concealment, so you can use it to stealth.

You are mistaken...invisability lets you make a stealth check in bright light or normal light not because of concealment but because the invisability condition allows you to. The exception is cover or invisable...NOT concealment. The general rule for stealth is that cover or concealment works. The specific rules for lighting says in bright or normal light, you need cover or be invisable. Specific beats general.


please cite rules stating you cannot make stealth checks EVER in bright light, even when you have concealment. Especially i would like to see where it states that invisibility can specifically break that rule if you can use it to make stealth checks in bright light.

also please cite where it differentiates that you can make stealth checks in any situation where you have cover, or being invisible, but NOT when you have concealment.

prd wrote:
In an area of dim light, a character can see somewhat. Creatures within this area have concealment (20% miss chance in combat) from those without darkvision or the ability to see in darkness. A creature within an area of dim light can make a Stealth check to conceal itself. Areas of dim light include outside at night with a moon in the sky, bright starlight, and the area between 20 and 40 feet from a torch.

the bold text simply states you can make stealth checks standing in the open, because the illumination level is granting you concealment, therefore you can make stealth checks.

it does not mean in normal or bright light you cannot make stealth checks if you have some other way to get concealment, if it meant that, it would mention something about it.

that is like saying on a bright day outside you cannot make a stealth check from behind a bush simply because of the light level. the bush provides concealment because it blocks sigh, but not cover because it is not a solid object capable of stopping attacks. it provides concealment, therefore you can make a stealth check.

you cannot cite a rule that says you need the specific condition of invisibility to make stealth checks. it does not exist. it is the concealment that BOTH of these spells, these spells that are almost COMPLETELY identical, that gives the ability to make stealth checks.

any concealment = the ability to make stealth checks. there is no other rule that states otherwise.


i really wish that even if paizo didn't want to change the stealth/perception rules significantly,
they could have re-organized/edited them to make clear the existing functionality that is buried/spread around too much.
even if that functionality still isn't 100% satisfactory, it would be better to have it clear than the status quo.


+1

A finalized blog post would be good - including the results from the two dealing with stealth and related issues.

Ruyan.


The thought of Blur turning you into a bush to hide in Solid Snake style is kind of humorous though.

More seriously though, is that what is effectively being suggested? I might grant a bonus to a creature that Blur was cast upon while they were already hiding via Stealth and then wanted to move around (within reason). But if a Wizard were to cast Blur 10 feet away from a Barbarian that wants to murder them, how would that Barbarian not be able to see them walk from point A to point B, assuming Blur was the only thing granting concealment? Does the Barbarian suddenly become blind to the smudged watercolor figure walking around 10 feet away from them?


if you start out with cover, are stealthing, then you can break cover with Blur concealment and continue stealthing until somebody's perception beats your stealth. tower shields are a rogue's best friend :-)

heck, you know what, barring any errata or FAQ to Stealth/Perception at all, I'd just like to hear from Paizo's mouth how they expect people to run it in PFS, with a few scenarios to showcase important distinctions. that could be a rules blog item, i guess, basically an extended FAQ.

Grand Lodge

asthyril wrote:

please cite rules stating you cannot make stealth checks EVER in bright light, even when you have concealment. Especially i would like to see where it states that invisibility can specifically break that rule if you can use it to make stealth checks in bright light.

also please cite where it differentiates that you can make stealth checks in any situation where you have cover, or being invisible, but NOT when you have concealment.

Dude, the rules for that was posted ALL over this thread already...read the rules for stealth and bright light in any of the previous post instead of DIM LIGHT which we already agree gives you concealment and auto stealth ability...blur or not.


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

I've always thought of using spells like blur to hide would result in you being hidden (in that they can't quite make out who or what you are or where you are within the space), but they could still pinpoint your square and attack you.


It bothers me more that you can't hide in bushes or fog clouds in bright/normal light. Do fog clouds actually do anything in normal light?

I guess granting concealment is useful even if you can't use it for stealth.
Seems really odd though.

Qadira

there have been mods written where ambushers are hiding behind the concealment of a hunter's blind, or in the concealment of foliage. So don't say lighting is the only thing that can give concealment enough to hide in.

because rogues have another problem: when everyone is in dim lighting, the rogue included, without low light vision or darkvision, that poor rogue can hide: but he can't sneak attack without a special feat.

Qadira

the stealth skill itself says that if you can find cover or concealment , you can use stealth to hide:

Quote:
If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth. Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth. If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check), you can attempt to use Stealth. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.

So BLUR would allow you to use stealth against most creatures.

In combat, you would be able to get one attack before another creature noticed you, but it wouldn't break your concealment. and if you distract your opponent, you could get more attacks. ALL of your attacks would NOT be striking from invisibility, as only your first one would be against a flat footed opponent, the rest would be just attacks delivered from concealment.

think of it like the predator: you might not notice his ripples as he approaches, but once he sinks a dagger in your chest, you're sure going to pay attention to them. If he runs around a wall though, you could be S.O.L. as you look around and try to spot him again.

Blur is important though, as it allows you to hide, and approach a target with a good chance of being undetected, whereas normally the rogue would need something to hide behind. And it has the added benefit of providing some protection after the first attack is struck.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

there have been mods written where ambushers are hiding behind the concealment of a hunter's blind, or in the concealment of foliage. So don't say lighting is the only thing that can give concealment enough to hide in.

because rogues have another problem: when everyone is in dim lighting, the rogue included, without low light vision or darkvision, that poor rogue can hide: but he can't sneak attack without a special feat.

Except:
Quote:

A creature can't use Stealth in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover. Areas of bright light include outside in direct sunshine and inside the area of a daylight spell.

Normal light functions just like bright light, but characters with light sensitivity and light blindness do not take penalties.

IOW, the RAW for stealth is inconsistent. Or at least patching together the various pieces of RAW requires adding large exceptions into statements without exceptions to make them fit together and/or ignoring common sense.

I mean: total concealment = You can't see them. But, if it's bright light they can't use stealth to hide from you? Even though you can't see them? What?

Shadow Lodge

You wouldn't let anyone hide in a fog cloud in bright light conditions? In a bush?


Serum wrote:
You wouldn't let anyone hide in a fog cloud in bright light conditions? In a bush?

I would. Damned if I could tell you if it was RAW or not.

Qadira

granted, the bits of RAW regarding stealth are inconsistent, they require a lot of common sense and exceptions.

i mean, total concealment/ they're hiding behind a brick wall. common sense: your character can't see them. yeah if they make a 40 on their perception check they might notice a bit of mist from their breath, or slight shadow, etc. but they'd have concealment if not surprise, when they start peppering you with arrows within 30 ft.

a normal character can't use stealth in bright light without invisibility or cover.
but I think Blur falls into Invisibility, since its magically granting you concealment, even in bright light.

Otherwise you have conditions where a character can't hide in a bush, or in fog. So while 20 ft. away he's got total concealment, you'll never not know where he is because he can't hide. =x eh no, it just doesn't work cinematically. ninjas use fog all the time! =)


If it is a nice sunny day (bright light), but you are in a forest with a heavy canopy of foliage that blocks out the sunlight, do you consider yourself in bright light?

If you are in a fog or a bush, you are by definition, not in bright light.

Shadow Lodge

Treesmasha Toothpickmaker wrote:

If it is a nice sunny day (bright light), but you are in a forest with a heavy canopy of foliage that blocks out the sunlight, do you consider yourself in bright light?

If you are in a fog or a bush, you are by definition, not in bright light.

I don't think you quite understand how lighting conditions work in Pathfinder.


Serum wrote:
Treesmasha Toothpickmaker wrote:

If it is a nice sunny day (bright light), but you are in a forest with a heavy canopy of foliage that blocks out the sunlight, do you consider yourself in bright light?

If you are in a fog or a bush, you are by definition, not in bright light.

I don't think you quite understand how lighting conditions work in Pathfinder.

Well, I'd agree with the "forest with a heavy canopy of foliage that blocks out the sunlight", but not with hidden in a bush by the side of the road. Even using PF definitions of lighting conditions. And normal light works as well as bright light for this.

Or consider two rooms in a castle, both brightly lit, with a heavy floor length tapestry in the connecting doorway. If you're standing by the tapestry listening to someone in the next room you have total concealment, but you're in bright light so you can't hide.

"That's what tapestries are for."


Seraphimpunk wrote:
i mean, total concealment/ they're hiding behind a brick wall. common sense: your character can't see them. yeah if they make a 40 on their perception check they might notice a bit of mist from their breath, or slight shadow, etc. but they'd have concealment if not surprise, when they start peppering you with arrows within 30 ft.

Your examples seem to be ignoring that Perception (and Stealth) cover more than visual senses, even if vision/sight is given certain priorities given it's centrality to 'Line of SIGHT', (visual) Concealment, and Cover for Stealthing. The normal means of sensing somebody on the opposite side of a solid object would be Sound/Hearing, I suspect. Characters should plausibly be making Perception checks ALL THE TIME vs. events that they cannot see but can hear. Plausibly the Perception penalties for Deafened SHOULD apply when Silence is in play, but per RAW they don't (the penalties for Blindness don't exactly square up with Darkness either AFAIK).


Quandary wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
i mean, total concealment/ they're hiding behind a brick wall. common sense: your character can't see them. yeah if they make a 40 on their perception check they might notice a bit of mist from their breath, or slight shadow, etc. but they'd have concealment if not surprise, when they start peppering you with arrows within 30 ft.
Your examples seem to be ignoring that Perception (and Stealth) cover more than visual senses, even if vision/sight is given certain priorities given it's centrality to 'Line of SIGHT', (visual) Concealment, and Cover for Stealthing. The normal means of sensing somebody on the opposite side of a solid object would be Sound/Hearing, I suspect. Characters should plausibly be making Perception checks ALL THE TIME vs. events that they cannot see but can hear. Silence helps Stealth checks for this reason. Plausibly the Perception penalties for Deafened SHOULD apply when Silence is in play, but per RAW they don't (the penalties for Blindness don't exactly square up with Darkness either AFAIK).

True, but beside the point. The problem is that it being bright light has nothing to do with them being heard, but they still can't use stealth without cover or invisibility, even with concealment. According to the Light and Vision rules, anyway.

This (brick wall) was actually a bad example, since it gives cover not concealment, so it would work. Assume hiding behind bushes, a fog spell or a tapestry instead. Sure, there are ways of noticing someone, sound being the most obvious, but by this section of RAW, they can't even try to hide.


asthyril wrote:
why would you not be able to make stealth checks? why should it be so much less powerful to an almost identical spell?

Because you are observed, and thus cannot use stealth. Period.

Its not 'so much less powerful' but rather does something different.

The first line of the stealth skill gives an absolute. You might not want it to be there, but selective reading like that is not honest reading.

-James


james maissen wrote:
asthyril wrote:
why would you not be able to make stealth checks? why should it be so much less powerful to an almost identical spell?

Because you are observed, and thus cannot use stealth. Period.

Its not 'so much less powerful' but rather does something different.

The first line of the stealth skill gives an absolute. You might not want it to be there, but selective reading like that is not honest reading.

-James

The problem with the whole stealth sub-system is that there are far to many lines that read as absolutes. You have to prioritize which ones really are.

For example:

Concealment wrote:
You can use concealment to make a Stealth check.

Note that it doesn't say: "if you are unobserved" or "if you distract the watchers."

aside:
That line of the stealth skill:
Quote:
If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth.

if read literally means that you cannot use Stealth if anyone is observing you. You can't hide from one person but not another. The pair of Orc rogues can't sneak through darkness to reach the humans because they can see each other. etc. Obviously not intended, I hope, but it is what it says. Period. It doesn't say, "You can't use Stealth to hide from someone if that person is observing you."

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Blur is a really nice spell, since it gives you concealment.
But you cannot just go into hiding then if someone observes you.
You need to:

-bluff/feint
-use hips
-use hellcat stealth.

Anyway, i guess it´s in UE, but there is now an item called a darklight lamp or something like that decreasing light one step. It´s pretty cheap and mundane^^ perhaps it´s Shadowcloy?


Those who don't think blur permits stealth consider just what concealment means.

If you are shooting a bow or crossbow or firearm at someone blurred they are so blurred that you have only 80% confidence that what you think is their center of mass is within their torso. If you are in melee with them you have only 80% confidence that what you think is their head is anywhere within their body. They are so hard to see that you cannot find a critical point to sneak attack even if you have them pinned.

That's a lot of blurring.

Grand Lodge

Serum wrote:
You wouldn't let anyone hide in a fog cloud in bright light conditions? In a bush?

Fog cloud within 5 feet...no...further away and you can't be seen anymore so you are in fact invisable and so perfectly capable of hiding in bright or normal light. Behind a bush...not with somebody watching no. You try and duck behind a bush while somebody is looking at you in broad daylight and see how well your hiding works. That is what bluff is for...hey look over there and then duck under the bush.


Imagine an open field. It is free of foliage, the day is bright and sunny, not a cloud in the sky, yet, there is an obelisk out in the middle of it (or if you prefer, a large pillar, a stone wall, etc). You see me run behind it. You KNOW I am there.

But, I now have cover. I now go stealthy. You might expect me to exit the other side, but maybe I double back. Perhaps I move away from you keeping the obstacle between us. Maybe my "stealthiness" means I used camouflage and I am now low-crawling towards you, but unnoticed.

I think sometimes we get lost in some of the mechanics of the game vs some of the roleplaying of the game. Yes, we do function off a common set of understood rules, but various GM's will run their games with different flavors. Obviously some small isolated shrub in the open will not really provide much, if any, concealment for someone to go "stealthy" in, but then there were hedges in France that tanks could not go through during WWII. My point being is that not every shrub is equal.

This is, in part, why we have the opposed roll to see if one PC's stealthiness if good enough to beat another PC's sensory perceptions. Or, GM caveat to explain if something is even possible.

ymmv


PRD wrote wrote:

Concealment

To determine whether your target has concealment from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target's square passes through a square or border that provides concealment, the target has concealment.

When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has concealment if his space is entirely within an effect that grants concealment. When making a melee attack against a target that isn't adjacent to you, use the rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks.

In addition, some magical effects provide concealment against all attacks, regardless of whether any intervening concealment exists.

Concealment Miss Chance: Concealment gives the subject of a successful attack a 20% chance that the attacker missed because of the concealment. Make the attack normally—if the attacker hits, the defender must make a miss chance d% roll to avoid being struck. Multiple concealment conditions do not stack.

Concealment and Stealth Checks: You can use concealment to make a Stealth check. Without concealment, you usually need cover to make a Stealth check.

Total Concealment: If you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight, he is considered to have total concealment from you. You can't attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with concealment).

You can't execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with total concealment, even if you know what square or squares the opponent occupies.

Ignoring Concealment: Concealment isn't always effective. An area of dim lighting or darkness doesn't provide any concealment against an opponent with darkvision. Characters with low-light vision can see clearly for a greater distance than other characters with the same light source. Although invisibility provides total concealment, sighted opponents may still make Perception checks to notice the location of an invisible character. An invisible character gains a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if moving, or a +40 bonus on Stealth checks when not moving (even though opponents can't see you, they might be able to figure out where you are from other visual or auditory clues).

Varying Degrees of Concealment: Certain situations may provide more or less than typical concealment, and modify the miss chance accordingly.

Here's the concealment rules from the combat chapter


Cold Napalm wrote:
Serum wrote:
You wouldn't let anyone hide in a fog cloud in bright light conditions? In a bush?
Fog cloud within 5 feet...no...further away and you can't be seen anymore so you are in fact invisable and so perfectly capable of hiding in bright or normal light. Behind a bush...not with somebody watching no. You try and duck behind a bush while somebody is looking at you in broad daylight and see how well your hiding works. That is what bluff is for...hey look over there and then duck under the bush.

But according to the vision/light section, you can't ever use the bush in bright/normal light. Not even with a bluff check. Not even if they haven't seen you yet.

OTOH, according to the Concealment section, if you have concealment you can use stealth. No other conditions.
Both RAW.

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