I have a Barbarian 5/Shadowdancer 1 (plan to get to Shadowdancer 3 for an unusually "beefy" shadow companion). I was wondering if I can hit an opponent, use HIPS, and be effectively invisible until I attack next round (assuming my stealth beats the opponent's Perception) - I mean, the opponent can guess my square easily enough, but I could still get a 50% miss chance.
But since a lot of my opponents will be using darkvision, is Hide in Plain Sight even going to work at all on them, or am I wasting a move action trying it?
There's a history of a huge debate over this, so I'm sure you'll get responses differing from mine.
Since HiPS just requires the dim light condition for you to use it, and Darkvision does nothing to change the lighting conditions in a room overall, Darkvision shouldn't foil HiPS.
Just remember, you can't use HiPS in total darkness, only in areas of dim light (unless you're close to any dim light patches, of course). Darkvision will make your life difficult in that regard, but that's nothing against the ability itself.
From Hide in Plain Sight:
A shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.
The presence of light does not spoil darkvision.
From that, I would think Darkvision pierces the area of Dim Light making you completely obvious to the viewer. The shadows of the dim light area would act as cover to conceal you from creatures with low-light and normal vision, but a creature with darkvision isn't seeing the shadows. It just see you standing out in stark black and white. That's how I rule it in my game anyway.
Ask your GM about getting a Ring of the Darkhidden. It's a 2000gp ring from the 3.5 Magic Item Compendium that makes you invisible to darkvision.
darkvision doesn't 'look' the same as normal vision, it's black and white for one,
but i don't think 'dim lighting' invokes shadows to begin with, it can be totally uniform dim lighting,
if there is some area ruled to be Darkness that is adjacent to Dim Lighting, then Shadowdancer HiPS would seem to allow Stealthing there even vs. those with Darkvision (this is rationalize-able by that there is probably 'light seepage' making said area a little closer to Dim Lighting), but I would not normally assume that any Dim Lighting area has such areas of Darkness within or adjacent to it.
Velcro Zipper wrote:
From that I get, that darkvision sees in the dark, not shadow, since shadow is only dim light, shadow is not total darkness - so Darkvision does not apply.
If you were in a lit room looking into a hole or hall in darkness, Darkvision applies. The 'presence of light does spoil darkvision' regards the previous sentence.
It does not refer to a shadow in dimly lit area. Looking into a shadow is not looking into darkness - there's plenty of ambiant light in a dimly lit area. Darkvision does not apply.
Make a high enough Perception DC check and you can see the guy hiding in HiPS. Fail that you see nothing, but shadow, Darkvision or not.
HiPS would have to state specifically that Darkvision sees through it, it does not, so HiPS works.
Velcro Zipper, do you rule that someone with Darkvision never sees shadows? Even in the light of day?
It's a good question, and the answer is no. I look at Darkvision as being an enhanced version of Low-light Vision. The way I run it, shadows don't offer the benefit of cover or concealment when viewed with Darkvision because, as the light level drops, the Darkvision gradually changes the contrast of what's being viewed. Low-light vision, to me, works on the same principle but it isn't as developed.
In a large, brightly lit area, the creature's eyes don't need to rely on Darkvision so it can tell a thing casts a shadow. The difference is things within the shadowed area would stand out more to the creature because its eyes are pulling more detail out of the lowered light level. That's why a creature with Darkvision doesn't have the 20% miss chance when fighting creatures in dim light. It's target pops.
From Vision and Light:
"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."
Based on that, it seems to me Darkvision trumps Dim Light.
Items or creatures inside the shadow might become brighter or grayer based on the level of darkness but, essentially, it's seeing through the darkness to what's on the other side. In the same way, a creature with Darkvision would see through the concealment provided by a shadow to the shadowdancer on the other side.
I hope that makes sense. I'm not saying my answer is the right one, but it's the one that makes the most sense to me.
On the reverse, because it's a supernatural ability, I could see a valid argument that the shadowdancer is actually somehow briefly hiding within the Plane of Shadow or becoming a shadow itself (not an undead shadow but an actual shadow) in order to avoid detection but the ability description leaves that kind of vague. If that's the case, then I'd rule the other way since Darkvision doesn't extend into the Plane of Shadow or allow the creature to pierce illusions or transmutations.
How about as it applies to a rangers hide in plain sight (Ex), which is not a superior power?
Rangers and Rogues are a little easier to suss out since they just use some enhanced rules for Stealth.
"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."
From Ranger, Hide in Plain Sight:
"Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any of his favored terrains, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed."
So, as long as you're in your favored terrain and can either move to an unobserved location or behind cover, you can hide even if somebody is looking right at you. You just have to wind up somewhere the bad guy wasn't looking.
i don't think Ranger HiPS means you have to end up in an unobserved location.
That's true for the Ranger since he can use his Camouflage ability to hide without cover or concealment. A rogue could do the same thing if they take the Camouflage talent and spend the minute preparing thier camo ahead of time. In those cases, the camo is providing the necessary concealment and the HiPS is allowing the ranger or rogue to hide while observed.
Velcro Zipper wrote:
On the reverse, because it's a supernatural ability, I could see a valid argument that the shadowdancer is actually somehow briefly hiding within the Plane of Shadow or becoming a shadow itself (not an undead shadow but an actual shadow) in order to avoid detection but the ability description leaves that kind of vague. If that's the case, then I'd...
You don't need the 'valid argument', as nothing in the Shadowdancer's HiPS even suggests that is the case - you are putting words into the meaning that doesn't exist. You are adding conditions to HiPS by suggesting this is the case -- which it is not. The shadowdancers other abilities work with shadowstuff, however HiPS does not, is not suggested to work that way. RAW states it plainly.
And the Ranger HiPS doesn't suggest it is working in concert with Camo, that again is an assumption you are making, and not RAW.
There's no need to add extra explanation, RAW states it plainly.
Velcro you are needlessly complicating things. Even if a creature has darkvision and can see through the Dim light it does not change the fact that there IS an area of Dim light. If there is dim light and the shadowdancer is within 10 feet of it they can use Stealth regardless of if they are being observed or they have anything to hide in or behind.
Darkvision cannot trump dim light. And a shadowdancer could be in an open area of normal light with no cover at all and still use HiPS as long as an are of dim light was within 10 feet.
Hence that bit about it being vague. The description doesn't say exactly how the ability works. It just says the shadowdancer can hide while being observed, while in an area of dim light. That's why I don't actually rule that it uses some Shadow Plane magic to work. That was just an example I came up with for why I'd allow it to work against Darkvision.
Stealth says you need cover or concealment to hide, Camouflage says the ranger can hide in favored terrain even if it doesn't provide cover or concealment and Hide in Plain Sight says he can hide in favored terrain while being observed. To me, Hide in Plain Sight lets a ranger hide without cover, while being observed because Camouflage sets it up to work that way. I see that as a progression of skill and not a set of singular abilities. It shows the ranger has gotten better at hiding in his favored terrain as he'd gained levels. Without Camouflage, the ranger would stil need cover or concealment to hide even with HiPS. Camouflage eliminates that requirement and Hide in Plain Sight takes it a step further by eliminating the requirement to hide while no one is watching. Otherwise, it'd be simpler for the RAW to just say Hide in Plain Sight makes you invisible. It doesn't say that in any description of the ability. If it did, I doubt this would need a discussion. Since it doesn't, I rule the character still has to follow all the normal rules for Stealth with the additional benefits of his class abilities.
A shadowdancer's Hide in Plain Sight is a Supernatural (Su) ability. It doesn't require that the person can't see in dim light to not see the person who is attempting to hide, it requires that the person attempting to hide be in dim light.
Whether someone can see in dim light or not doesn't matter. Being a supernatural ability, a shadowdancer's Hide in Plain Sight is a magical effect, so logic of whether the observer can observe the dim light or not is irrelevant.
Velcro Zipper wrote:
Hence that bit about it being vague. The description doesn't say exactly how the ability works. It just says the shadowdancer can hide while being observed, while in an area of dim light.
NEAR an area of dim light. Like King of Vrock said, the shadowdancer can be standing in an area of NORMAL light, and still be hiding.
Of course, I'm sure you could argue that hiding in an area of normal light obviously doesn't work because everyone can see as well in normal light as someone with darkvision can see in dim light / darkness, and darkvision obviously negates hiding in dim light.
In the days of Infravision, I would argue that hiding in plain sight would not mask your heat signature. But when it changed over to Darkvision, this is no longer the case. The definition itself provides you with the answer. Invisible things are still invisible. When you stealth, or Hide in Plain Sight, you are effectively invisible to anyone's vision unless they have True Seeing or some other detection ability such as Scent or Tremorsense.
Heck even Stealth's definition mentions it. "If your observers are momentarily distracted, you can attempt to use Stealth". Does that mean that the observer "lost" his Darkvision for that moment? No. It means that the person hid in a shadow or behind a box.
Unless you can show me some kind of RAW that says Darkvision eliminates shadows, let's not try to pick apart the semantics of Stealth, HiPS, and Vision and Light just because you may not like the answer.
To the OP, the answer to your question is yes, your HiPS works against your Darkvision opponents. They cannot see you.
King of Vrock wrote:
Velcro you are needlessly complicating things.
Wouldn't be the first time ^_^
and it wouldn't be the first I was wrong about something in this game.
I hope I haven't actually frustrated anyone. I'm a peace-loving magical beast. I just came in to offer an opinion on how I translate the rules and explain why I see it that way, not "win" any debate. The way I do it makes sense to me and my players haven't complained so, until I see something from somebody who wrote the rules...actually, let me check...oh, found something:
James Jacobs wrote:
James also said that isn't the Official Ruling, but it's what he does. Of course, that only seem to cover the ranger and rogue version of the ability so darkvision isn't even an issue.
I think I'm going to continue to view the ranger and rogue stuff the way I've been doing it. It doesn't change the way the ability works at all anyway.
note to self::
Yeah, ranger HiPS (and by extension rogue HiPS) and shadowdancer HiPS are two similar things that share a name but work differently. One is Extraordinary (Ex) and based on terrain, the other Supernatural (Su) and based on light level. Sometimes I think the former is more powerful than the latter though, which seems weird.
Velcro Zipper wrote:
I knew it! He also has a unicorn with a....potato?...on his horn as his avatar picture. That's clearly what gave it away.
It doesn't matter who can see the Shadowdancer--they can use it while being observed. The dim light is not a prerequisite for concealing vision, it is a prerequisite for the Shadowdancer to activate the ability only.
The only advantage a creature with darkvision has is that they do not have a miss chance due to concealment, but that has nothing to do with the Shadowdancer being able to attempt a Stealth check. If the Shadowdancer has used his mystical attunement with the shadows to activate a supernatural ability that allows him make a Stealth check right in front of the creature (again, "even while being observed"), and the creature with darkvision does not beat the Shadowdancer's Stealth check with his Perception check, then the Shadowdancer has still successfully hidden.
Barry Armstrong wrote:
Is it a Potato or a Pear?
@DeathQuaker: Do they even have that advantage?
The Ranger's HiPS is like a ghillie suit. You don't see him in his environment without need of concealment because he looks like the environment.
The Shadowdancer's HiPS does a similar thing. If he's near dim light, he can make himself look like shadows and hide regardless of concealment, because he now looks like his environment.
The person with darkvision can see through dim light, but when he looks at a hidden Shadowdancer, all he'll see is... a bunch more dim light area. It's not "infravision" for a reason.
The reason you still get a perception check though is because the Shadowdancer still has to hide his humanoid looking shadow shape so that people don't spot that arm-holding-a-sword shape of shadow hanging out of the area of dim light.
Or, at least that's how I look at it, since the last time this was hashed over.
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Does who have what advantage? If you mean does a creature with darkvision ignore concealment granted by dim light, yes it does, per what Hogarth quoted above:
But the question as to whether a shadowdancer can hide from a creature (not get a miss chance to hit) with darkvision is entirely separate (mechanically, hiding and being concealed are two different things, although you normally can't do the first without the second). Especially since shadowdancers don't need to be concealed to use HIPS -- they need to be near dim light, aka near some shadows, but they don't need to be IN it. That's what "hiding in plain sight" means -- they can disappear even in broad daylight (as long as they're 10 feet from a shadowed area--say, an area darkened by the shadow of a nearby copse of trees--with everyone looking at them.
In the RAW, being hidden or using stealth does not make your foe Flat Footed or lose his Dex. Being invisible does.
“It's impossible to use Stealth while attacking, running, or charging.”
(Sniping is a special exception)
Thus, darkvison doesn’t mean anything one way or the other.
Mind you, as far as RAI goes, they were trying for a change on how Stealth and perception works, there’s a great blog on it (in fact two blogs). But it opened up a huge can of worms, and they never changed anything.
Now, in the case of the OP, yes, you can get away using Stealth, darkvision or no.
While the poorly written sections of Stealth rules carried over from 3.5 and thus didn't explicitly say that attacking from Stealth is similar to attacking from Invisibility and grants things such as Sneak Attack. That was the intent of Stealth even from 3.5 when it was still hide/move silent. It was addressed in 3.5 FAQ. So while it would be great if PF put out explicit rulings, the rules and FAQ carried over from 3.5 do in fact allow that.
Two links for you to take a look at:
THE FIRST ONE is a detailed post I wrote of how and why HiPS trumps DV.
THE SECOND ONE is a thread that has several other Stealth threads linked to it. Worth looking through if you have questions regarding Stealth.
Wolf Munroe wrote:
That is predicated on an unfounded assumption - that a supernatural power can't be foiled by a exceptional one.
For me, the convincing text is that the shadow dancer can't hide in his own shadow. That implies that he is hiding in a shadow, just that his supernatural power allows that shadow to be a small distance away, Since the character with darkvision sees through the shadow, no hiding is possible as long as that shadow is within the range of the darkvision.
I recognize that not everyone is convinced by my interpretation. But that is the way I run my games.
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Darkvision actually allows you to see through darkness, so darkvision foils HiPS for those who have it. making the shadowdancer next to useless because darkvision is handed willy nilly.
So that also makes the Rangers HiPS useless if they are in normal light and being watched.
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
@Bill_Dunn: Your argument is good. Unfortunately it seems RAW allows them to hide against Darkvision.
Ultimately, the issue hinges on what the significance of the statement about not hiding in one's own shadow. That too is in the RAW, so is my interpretation the rule as written or not? Both interpretations, I believe, are RAW, though I would admit mine seems to be a minority position on these boards.
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Since the ranger's HIPS ability doesn't depend on shadows at all, I would say no.
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
a ranger merely needs to be within his favored terrain. which is very different from the shadowdancer ability which is dependant on darkness. the shadowdancer ability is in factl a nonability because anyone can hide in darkness due to concealment. the concealment doesn't affect people with darkvision.
if there were some ability called forest sight that allowed you to ignore the visibility penalties in forests, than you could ignore the HiPS of rangers with Favored Terrain (forest) while they were in a forest.
I would vote for them being allowed to HiPS versus Darkvision because a Ranger can HiPS as long as they are in their Favored Terrain. The Shadowdancer will have a quite a few more opportunities to use their HiPS.
@Lumiere: The thing is they are going Stealth either way. If the Ranger is in Normal or Bright light they can still hide. So why can't the Shadowdancer? after all the SD instead of having the concealment of the dim-light they instead have the concealment of Hiding.
We had a looooooooooong argument over this one at the game table.
An area of dim light is problematic enough -
'I can't hide in my own shadow, but what I can do is flip a coin in the air and hide in ITS shadow... because thats not MY shadow'
Frankly my view is that your HiPS works just fine in a shadowed environment, except against the guy with Darkvision, however against the rest of his friends who don't have Darkvision (ie normal, LL etc) you hide just fine.
The Ranger HiPS doesn't rely on a 'shadow', although it can in some circumstances, so is a different conversation.
HiPS + Stealth =/= 'Invisibility'.
The Shadowdancer requires an area of dim-light, yet to the dwarf there is no dim light.
The problem here is that for one perspective (the observed), the requisite conditions exist, yet the other perspective (the observer), the conditions don't exist.
The Shadowdancer could merrily hide from the Dwarfs friends, because to them the conditions exist, but not from the Dwarf himself, for whom the conditions don't.
You are hiding from the 'observer'.