Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

Stealth and Concealment and Cover


Rules Questions


Is there any kind of bonuses one gets from being behind cover (partial or total) or being in concealment in anyway for making a stealth check?

Sczarni

No on both counts. Only fair to note that invisibility is a form of concealment which grants you +20 to stealth when moving and +40 when still, but this is an exception to the rule specially noted in the CRB. Concealment on it's own allows you to make the stealth check but provides no bonus thereto.


yes. it allows you to make a stealth check in the first place. stealth requires cover or concealment in order to make the check.


You do not get a bonus to stealth for being behind cover. You do, however, get the ability to roll for stealth in the first place. Without cover to stealth behind, you have to cast Invisibility or Fade, or have the Hide in Plain Sight ability.


Ok great thank you, currently away from my books and needed to know for my notations as I prep for next session


Barry Armstrong wrote:
You do not get a bonus to stealth for being behind cover. You do, however, get the ability to roll for stealth in the first place. Without cover to stealth behind, you have to cast Invisibility or Fade, or have the Hide in Plain Sight ability.

or blur. or have a darkness spell you can hide in. anything that gives cover or concealment, magical or mundane, has the capacity to allows you to make stealth checks.

(it's why i like lesser cloaks of displacement so much, even though theyre very expensive and take your normal saving throw boost slot)


asthyril wrote:
Barry Armstrong wrote:
You do not get a bonus to stealth for being behind cover. You do, however, get the ability to roll for stealth in the first place. Without cover to stealth behind, you have to cast Invisibility or Fade, or have the Hide in Plain Sight ability.

or blur. or have a darkness spell you can hide in. anything that gives cover or concealment, magical or mundane, has the capacity to allows you to make stealth checks.

(it's why i like lesser cloaks of displacement so much, even though theyre very expensive and take your normal saving throw boost slot)

Hmm, I didn't consider blur or displacement effects. I suppose, since your target isn't actually observing YOU (instead your altered image), it would indeed allow Stealth checks...well played, sir.

I wonder if Mirror Image would have a similar effect...


Ruuak wrote:
Is there any kind of bonuses one gets from being behind cover (partial or total) or being in concealment in anyway for making a stealth check?

well, there is a +5/+10 DC increase to Perception for trying to Perceive thru a closed door/ a wall, and that is pretty much the same thing as a +5/+10 bonus to Stealth. Otherwise, the GM may apply +2/+5 DC increases to Perception for Unfavorable/Terrible conditions, also helping your Stealth roll beat their Perception. Given the examples of those, I would say that Dim Lighting should reasonably at least apply a +2 penalty (torchlight/moonlight) to those without Darkvision, perhaps up to +5 if it's extremely dim (candlelight).

Yes, I agree that info should also be re-stated when Dim Lighting is discussed in the context of Stealth, especially given that the info isn't even clearly presented in Perception itself: it doesn't have it's own table entry, but just appears in the smaller post-script note for 'Unfavorable' conditions. If the game otherwise just distinguishes between normal and Dim Lighting and Darkness, it would probably be best to follow that convention here and just have an entry in the Perception Table giving a set DC increase for Dim Lighting, albeit having different ones (moonlight vs. candelight, for instance) is relevant in-game, even if it may require more GM adjudicating.

I don't think the general consensus is that Blur can be used to either initially 'enter' Stealth, or 'maintain' Stealth in areas of normal or bright lighting, but if you can have Dim Lighting (providing the same Miss Chance as Blur), that DOES allow the 'maintenance' of Stealth after initially 'entering' Stealth when you haven't been perceived yet or you have Cover. Hypothetically, on a wide open plain during dusk hours with Dim Lighting, you could enter Stealth with no Cover what-so-ever (you are just un-observed because your distance is too far for anybody to succesfully notice you even without Stealth... or even because they happened to roll low and not notice you for that reason), and then walk closer to the enemies while continually using Stealth in the Dim Lighting.


Barry Armstrong wrote:
asthyril wrote:
Barry Armstrong wrote:
You do not get a bonus to stealth for being behind cover. You do, however, get the ability to roll for stealth in the first place. Without cover to stealth behind, you have to cast Invisibility or Fade, or have the Hide in Plain Sight ability.

or blur. or have a darkness spell you can hide in. anything that gives cover or concealment, magical or mundane, has the capacity to allows you to make stealth checks.

(it's why i like lesser cloaks of displacement so much, even though theyre very expensive and take your normal saving throw boost slot)

Hmm, I didn't consider blur or displacement effects. I suppose, since your target isn't actually observing YOU (instead your altered image), it would indeed allow Stealth checks...well played, sir.

I wonder if Mirror Image would have a similar effect...

warning: read the descriptions of both cloaks of displacement before you come to conclusions like that. one gives the actual displacement effect, but that is the major version. the minor version recreates the blur spell which is entirely different. it actually bugs me that they used 2 completely different effects and lumped them both into the major and minor versions of the same item. you can make stealth checks with the minor one, you cannot with the major one. here ill make it easy for people to tell the difference:

cloak of displacement, minor actually gives concealment through a blurring around you identical to the blur spell, which ACTUALLY gives concealment (hence the ability to stealth)

cloak of displacement, major gives a 50% miss chance AS IF you had full concealment, but NOT ACTUAL full concealment, so no stealth checks.


Quandary wrote:
Ruuak wrote:
Is there any kind of bonuses one gets from being behind cover (partial or total) or being in concealment in anyway for making a stealth check?

well, there is a +5/+10 DC increase to Perception for trying to Perceive thru a closed door/ a wall, and that is pretty much the same thing as a +5/+10 bonus to Stealth. Otherwise, the GM may apply +2/+5 DC increases to Perception for Unfavorable/Terrible conditions, also helping your Stealth roll beat their Perception. Given the examples of those, I would say that Dim Lighting should reasonably at least apply a +2 penalty (torchlight/moonlight) to those without Darkvision, perhaps up to +5 if it's extremely dim (candlelight).

Yes, I agree that info should also be re-stated when Dim Lighting is discussed in the context of Stealth, especially given that the info isn't even clearly presented in Perception itself: it doesn't have it's own table entry, but just appears in the smaller post-script note for 'Unfavorable' conditions. If the game otherwise just distinguishes between normal and Dim Lighting and Darkness, it would probably be best to follow that convention here and just have an entry in the Perception Table giving a set DC increase for Dim Lighting, albeit having different ones (moonlight vs. candelight, for instance) is relevant in-game, even if it may require more GM adjudicating.

I don't think the general consensus is that Blur can be used to either initially 'enter' Stealth, or 'maintain' Stealth in areas of normal or bright lighting, but if you can have Dim Lighting (providing the same Miss Chance as Blur), that DOES allow the 'maintenance' of Stealth after initially 'entering' Stealth when you haven't been perceived yet or you have Cover. Hypothetically, on a wide open plain during dusk hours with Dim Lighting, you could enter Stealth with no Cover what-so-ever (you are just un-observed because your distance is too far for anybody to successfully notice you even without Stealth... or even because they happened to roll low...

blur can be used to make stealth as long as you are not in bright light. it gives concealment, and if you are not being observed, there is nothing to stop you from making stealth checks OR MAINTAINING them.

i have several characters, either halfling or elf, that took the racial alternative to be able to stealth at normal speed without the -5 modifier for doing so. wearing a minor cloak of displacement means they can effectively stealth all the time and still not slow down the party they are traveling with. as long as it is not in bright daylight, you can use the concealment of the cloak to allow you to make a stealth check, then maintain it indefinitely by continuing to take 10 on stealth as you walk around.

Sczarni

I wonder how is blur of any use in stealth if, considering for a moment you aren't being observed, because usually since you aren't observed, you already have cover.

Blur wouldn't help you much unless you have additional talent to hide in plain sight, so essentially, it's useless.


it gives you concealment. all you need to make stealth checks is concealment, not bright light, and not being observed. if you start making stealth checks when you are alone, not in bright light, using blur for concealment, you continue to maintain it. as long as you are not being observed, which means your stealth checks are beating your opponents perception checks, blur allows you to maintain stealth until you do something that breaks it, like make an attack. you can then move behind cover later in the fight to make a stealth check again, then use blur to stealth back into the fight and do the same thing. blur is incredibly useful for stealth.

Sczarni

@asthyril
I keep getting the feeling that you rush to fast to your own explanations without actually seeing the rules per RAW.

Vision and Light:

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.

Conclusion: You need dim light level at least to use Stealth.

Stealth rules:

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.

Conclusion: In order to use Stealth you need cover more often then concealment, but concealment would also do it fine if you aren't observed. Being observed means to be in creature sight range since in pathfinder creatures have equal sight range in all directions. The moment you step out of cover or concealment into his sight range you are visible and you can forget about Stealth checks unless you have feat or special ability which nullifies this rule.

Blur without HIPS is useless.

This is per RAW, you are welcome to claim houserules since Stealth is rather underpowered skill.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

i don't really know what the rules say, they could just be hopelessly borked, after all paizo admitted they needed errata, even if they didn't follow thru on that completely (although their playtest seemed to have reached a pretty good point).

i think there is a good case that blur COULD work, not to enter stealth when observed, but after you are already stealthed... basically if you are not observed (behind cover, too far away) then you can stealth... if you then activate blur (or already had it activated) you can move around, and continue to stealth, because you are still not observed: you weren't originally observed, and your successful stealth check means that you are not observed. after all, dim lighting doesn't prevent people from observing you either (other than a penalty to perception/DC increase). i don't think there is actually any line directly saying what a successful stealth check specifically accomplishes, but it seems pretty clear that it accomplishes: the Perceiver CAN'T OBSERVE YOU. on that basis, blur could work to 'continue'/'maintain' stealth.

ultimately, it comes down to a conflict in the rules, which are written badly:

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. (dim lighting and blur don't have any difference regarding that section, both can normally be observed)

A creature can't use Stealth in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover. Normal light functions just like bright light, but characters with light sensitivity and light blindness do not take penalties. A creature within an area of dim light can make a Stealth check to conceal itself. this section sets up a difference between dim light concealment and blur concealment, while also introducing the concept that cover or invisiblity (full concealment) both enable stealth in bright light (no concealment)... i.e. vision is more important a sense for observation than the other senses (which is mentioned as 'all senses' in the Stealth skill itself).

EDIT: and of course the concealment rules themselves say that concealment (of any kind) enables stealth. so if you want to take that and the stealth rules as 'over-riding' the lighting and vision rules because 2 is more than 1... knock yourself out :-) OR there is the viewpoint that a disallowance is stronger than an allowance... but should that sort of negative thinking really be rewarded!?!? ;-)

personally, if the only partial concealment that enabled stealth was dim light, it seems like that should be stated in the stealth and concealment rules, otherwise those rules are actively unhelpful for no real benefit or purpose. like i've said before, even if paizo didn't want to wholesale modify the stealth rules, they could easily 'clean up' the rules so they are internally consistent and one section doesn't contradict or wholly over-rule another section.

i don't have any 'flavor' problem with 'continuing' stealth with blur in normal/bright lighting, it's giving less concrete visual stimuli to draw attention, and you still need to beat their perception check with your stealth: if they want to 'actively stand guard' they can take 2 or 3 perception checks every 6 seconds (1 round) if they want, eventually they will roll a 20 and you will roll a 1. i don't think the game falls apart if some uber-high-level rogue with maxed stealth AND A BLUR SPELL GOING can somehow maintain effective invisibility vs. low level commoners with no ranks in perception. there's still alot of limitations on what you can do in stealth and what breaks it. even if average characters have a VERY LOW chance of perceiving the stealther, walking around with impunity because you assume you are invisible will eventually put you in a situation you shouldn't be when somebody does beat your stealth check. you can't always be aware of or foresee 'favorable situation modifiers' to perception which effectively reduce your stealth roll.

but just using RAW i don't think one can fully get a conclusive answer. HAVE FUN IN PFS KIDS!!!


Malag wrote:

@asthyril

I keep getting the feeling that you rush to fast to your own explanations without actually seeing the rules per RAW.

** spoiler omitted **

Conclusion: You need dim light level at least to use Stealth.

** spoiler omitted **

Conclusion: In order to use Stealth you need cover more often then concealment, but concealment would also do it fine if you aren't observed. Being observed means to be in creature sight range since in pathfinder creatures have equal sight range in all directions. The moment you step out of cover or concealment into his sight range you are visible and you can forget about Stealth checks unless you have feat or special ability which nullifies this rule.

Blur without HIPS is useless.

This is per RAW, you are welcome to claim houserules since Stealth is rather underpowered skill.

RAW is hopelessly confused about Stealth.

According to the Vision and Light rules, even in bright or normal light you can use stealth if you have cover. Only in dim or less light can you use concealment. Of course dim light provides concealment, so it's not clear what use other forms of concealment are for stealth.

OTOH, the Concealment rules say Concealment allows Stealth and gives no qualifiers.

Sczarni

Quandary wrote:


i think there is a good case that blur COULD work, not to enter stealth when observed, but after you are already stealthed... basically if you are not observed (behind cover, too far away) then you can stealth... if you then activate blur (or already had it activated) you can move around, and continue to stealth, because you are still not observed: you weren't originally observed, and your successful stealth check means that you are not observed. after all, dim lighting doesn't prevent people from observing you either (other than a penalty to perception/DC increase). i don't think there is actually any line directly saying what a successful stealth check specifically accomplishes, but it seems pretty clear that it accomplishes: the Perceiver CAN'T OBSERVE YOU. on that basis, blur could work to 'continue'/'maintain' stealth.

I can understand your case, but you can't Stealth around the target with Blur claiming that he doesn't observe you. Stealth can't give you invisibility like that and you are completely throwing other feats, which are supposed to help you with this, back into the Recycle Bin.


if a stealth check doesn't mean that they can't observe you, what does it do?
what is the difference between stealthing and walking around behind a wall, and not stealthing when doing so?
what is the difference between stealthing and walking around in deeper darkness, and not stealthing when doing so?
(hint: you being observed)

also note that that there is a fixed DC to notice invisible creatures active within 30 feet of you (DC20),
i would say that should also apply to ANY creature that wasn't detected by normal perception check.
(that check just doesn't let them locate your exact position, or know what you look like/sound like/smell like, or how many squares you take up, etc)
that isn't necessarily DIRECTLY suggested by RAW, but it seems reasonable to allow. that rule also seems EXTRA appropriate for cases when you can't SEE the opponent, and can't use other senses accurately enough to pinpoint their square (sometimes the case, sometimes not), but CAN hear/smell/whatever enough to know that something/somebody is within range of your senses. That really brings up a crucial difference in the nature of sight vs. other senses that unified Perception rules have covered up (but don't need to, if the supporting auxilliary rules are there)
(this is something that errata could clear up)

the idea that magic spells can overlap in functionality with feats is not new to the game.
finally, stealthing in dim light is superior to stealthing (however you do so) in normal light,
because dim light affects the DCs for perception, effectively giving you a +2 to +5 bonus to stealth.
(the exact wording of the RAW there is sketchy, which i just wrote up in the CRB errata thread, but intent seems fairly clear on dim light)

i did acknowledge before that blur working to stealth in normal light isn't necessarily the consensus understanding, but given the broader issues, e.g. of what a stealth check actually does and how that relates to the 'not observed' rule (of which cover and concealment are just examples), i think the scales are tipped towards blur. but the rules are still borked no matter what :-)


Malag wrote:
Quandary wrote:


i think there is a good case that blur COULD work, not to enter stealth when observed, but after you are already stealthed... basically if you are not observed (behind cover, too far away) then you can stealth... if you then activate blur (or already had it activated) you can move around, and continue to stealth, because you are still not observed: you weren't originally observed, and your successful stealth check means that you are not observed. after all, dim lighting doesn't prevent people from observing you either (other than a penalty to perception/DC increase). i don't think there is actually any line directly saying what a successful stealth check specifically accomplishes, but it seems pretty clear that it accomplishes: the Perceiver CAN'T OBSERVE YOU. on that basis, blur could work to 'continue'/'maintain' stealth.
I can understand your case, but you can't Stealth around the target with Blur claiming that he doesn't observe you. Stealth can't give you invisibility like that and you are completely throwing other feats, which are supposed to help you with this, back into the Recycle Bin.

It doesn't? Blur gives you concealment, just like dim light or undergrowth. Granted it might not work in bright/normal light and shouldn't be needed in dim light, so I'm not sure what the point would be.

If in a suitable forest, could you Stealth around the target using the undergrowth for cover?
If in dim light, could you Stealth around the target using the low light for concealment? Assuming he doesn't have darkvision.

Low-light vision:
This doesn't actually help you in large areas of dim light. It extends the radius of normal and dim light around a light source, but nothing else. Elves can't see any better than humans on a moonlit night. That's annoying.

Sczarni

I quoted the rules and said it. If you wish to house rule, it's fine by me and your free choice to do so.

Maintaining Stealth with Blur on the other hand is out of question in my games. You can use Invisibility and move free if you wish to be invisible.

You can check the messageboards for Blur rules debates if you wish for more insight.

Sczarni

Blur = concealment. Concealment = an allowed stealth check. So where's the confusion? o.O

I think you're the one with the house rule Malag. Hide in plain site isn't necessary with blur because blur grants you the concealment you need for a stealth check. You can dance around all day with blur on and nobody would notice you so long as you made your stealth checks. If you're going to say you can't make a stealth check with blur then you can't make a stealth check in dim light, underbrush, with invisibility, etc. either.

Either you can make stealth checks with concealment or you can't...


In my game, I clarify that Blur isn't Concealment. It's Miss Chance.

However, I'm open to constructive criticism regarding how this might affect other feats, spells or effects that logically should affect Blur. I made the original change because I thought it was silly for a creature to benefit from Blur out of sight, enter stealth, then walk into the middle of a well-lit ballroom floor and stay hidden among a masquerade dance.

Sczarni

Hidden may be the wrong term to use. The person moving about would be visible, certainly, but with a successful stealth check would be able to move about unnoticed, a bit of movement in the corner of a person's eye, hand waved off as the glitter on another person's dress, etc.

In all honesty the odds of actually pulling that off are slim to none. when you figure the number of stealth checks it would require to move through the dance floor and the number of perception checks that would be triggered, the sneak is failing eventually. The odds of the GM rolling high are better than the sneak's and once one person makes their check the sneak can no longer stealth. Once he's found by one he's found by all.


Corren28 wrote:

Hidden may be the wrong term to use. The person moving about would be visible, certainly, but with a successful stealth check would be able to move about unnoticed, a bit of movement in the corner of a person's eye, hand waved off as the glitter on another person's dress, etc.

In all honesty the odds of actually pulling that off are slim to none. when you figure the number of stealth checks it would require to move through the dance floor and the number of perception checks that would be triggered, the sneak is failing eventually. The odds of the GM rolling high are better than the sneak's and once one person makes their check the sneak can no longer stealth. Once he's found by one he's found by all.

Which is also silly, though true by RAW. Sure if that one yells out "Look at that" it gets harder, but technically even if you're being observed by an ally who'll cooperate you can't stealth.

The thing that actually breaks blur by RAW is that according to the Vision & Light rules you can't use concealment to stealth in normal or bright light. And since dim light already gives concealment, blur isn't needed there.
Of course, other sections state that Concealment allows Stealth with no exceptions for lighting conditions.

I'm not convinced it's possible to run stealth by RAW. I'm pretty convinced that trying is a bad idea.

Sczarni

Truth.

You can use stealth if you have cover, but you can't use stealth if you're being observed. If you're being observed you can't use stealth even if you find cover even though it says you can use stealth when you find cover. So you find total cover, now you can stealth, but when you return to cover the target knows where you are and sees you so you can't use stealth because you're being observed again even though you made a stealth check and have cover. /head hurt

And yes I know this isn't "exactly" correct, but it's a good example of how convoluted stealth is. :P


i still want to know what a successful stealth check is supposed to accomplish if it isn't making you count as unobserved.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff, it explicitly says that someone with low-light vision can see as well on a moonlit night as someone without can see during the day.

I take this to mean that someone with low-light vision can see all dim light as if it was normal light, and darkness turns into dim light for the same radius as the standard dim light area.

Quandary, Stealth requires you to be unobserved when you first make your stealth check. After that, I presume you should be able to enter areas where you would normally become observed, but now will not be if they fail at their perception check.


Serum wrote:

thejeff, it explicitly says that someone with low-light vision can see as well on a moonlit night as someone without can see during the day.

I take this to mean that someone with low-light vision can see all dim light as if it was normal light, and darkness turns into dim light for the same radius as the standard dim light area.

technically, i think the 'see as well' part is distinct from the 'how far you can see' issue... even though in normal english 'how far you can see' would be included within the concept of 'how well you can see', the game treats the issues distinctly:

for the latter, the glossary definition of LL vision just says you can see twice as far (which i might normally take to mean you should have distance penalties), but the Light & Vision rules goes further and specifies that LL vision folk can double the effective radius of the light levels emitting from a light source... thus, I DON'T think one should halve distance penalties, since it doesn't seem like that is the definition of 'how far one can see' that is being used here. I wish the Glossary version of LL vision also mentioned the light source radius aspect.

for the 'seeing as well on a moonlit night' part, i take it to mean that LL vision folks don't suffer from the Unfavorable or Terrible Conditions Perception modifier for Dim Light(Moonlight/Torchlight) and Dim Light(Candlelight) that normal folks do.

Quote:
Quandary, Stealth requires you to be unobserved when you first make your stealth check. After that, I presume you should be able to enter areas where you would normally become observed, but now will not be if they fail at their perception check.

This is how I understand it. Dim Light isn't any different regarding potential observation, compared to Blur, except that Dim Light grants an effective bonus to Stealth Checks... and you still have to beat their Perception score with Stealth, obviously.

Shadow Lodge

If you look at how light sources work, someone with low-light vision will never see a dim light level that someone with normal vision also sees as dim light. That is, for every single light source, someone with low-light vision sees all of the dim light as normal light.


yeah, what you said about the light source ranges is true, except for candlelight of course (or other sources that can only create dim light). i suspect that the light source range doubling isn't meant to 'stack' or 'doubledip' with seeing in low-light as well as normal, i.e. the doubled 'increased' light radius (e.g. the area that normal characters see as dark, not dim light) isn't meant to ALSO be seen as well as normal light (no Perception modifiers, no Miss Chance - which I didn't mention before) by LL vision folks... Rather, the doubling of the 'normal' radius to cover the radius that normal vision folks see as Dim Light is meant to cover 'seeing as well in dim light as normal lighting'. Certainly the rules seem to get kind of messy there.


Ruuak wrote:
Is there any kind of bonuses one gets from being behind cover (partial or total) or being in concealment in anyway for making a stealth check?

Strict answer... NO.

Full answer... Yes, sort of, but part of it is based on distance and the other part is strictly at GM discretion.

Read carefully the description of Perception, particularly under the Perception Modifiers section. Firstly, Perception DCs are modified by distance. The DC to see something with Perception increases by 1 for every 10 feet between the seeker and the object they are trying to see. Secondly, the GM could consider your cover/concealment, plus rain, fog or any number of other possible factors to be giving the seeker Unfavorable or even Terrible conditions for their Perception roll which increases the DC by +2 and +5 respectively.

That said if you score a 15 on your Stealth check and are 30 feet away that becomes an 18 and then if your GM rules that the seeker has unfavorable or terrible conditions, the DC to spot you is now a 20-23.


I wouldn't say it's solely at GM discretion...
Perceiving thru a door or wall (typical Cover), is explicitly given it's own modifier.
'Sensing a burrowing creature underground' has a distinct base DC.
Dim Lighting conditions are explicitly mentioned as Unfavorable/Terrible Condition Modifiers.
Even if OTHER un-named situations may also qualify for those modifiers at GM discretion,
Torchlight/Moonlight and Candlelight (as well as Bright light) are explicitly mentioned as associated with the modifiers.
I guess you can claim that the 'may' language allows GM discretion, but they are explicitly mentioned.


Serum wrote:
If you look at how light sources work, someone with low-light vision will never see a dim light level that someone with normal vision also sees as dim light. That is, for every single light source, someone with low-light vision sees all of the dim light as normal light.

And then they also get a dim light (to them) radius around that. Double the normal dim light radius.

And yes I missed the line saying low light vision sees normal moonlit light as normal light. I was looking at the light and vision rules where some of the low light stuff is repeated and expanded, but that isn't in there. Very badly laid out.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
Very badly laid out.

What else is new? >.>


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

yeah. either section can confuse you. and it's not like either section would make you think 'i really need more information on this, i should look more'.

my point with the last post is that the 'doubling of light radiuses' doesn't say that the increased dim light area (the normal light area 'subsumes' the original dim light area) still applies the normal penalties for dim light to LL vision characters: the RAW says they can see normally in dim light, and this enhanced radius IS dim light to them, so per RAW it would seem they could double dip, even though i'm sure that's not intended.

so it's not just a problem of we the reader being likely to overlook that crucial information about low light vision is split up in multiple sections, the writers themselves didn't really make sure the separate rules matched up with each other well. i really think that fixing Perception itself (with adjunct rules like low light vision) is as important as fixing Stealth to be clearer, given they are opposed checks and thus are really one system... one system, split up into 5 or 6 sections of the rules, that don't agree with each other... 8-/

i get that they want to write new rules books like this mythic play-test, but simply fixing the core rules is really the most signifigant improvement to the game, whether you play with only core rules, or want to use their latest and greatest. when even their contract writers don't seem to be sure what the RAW says or means, they have a problem. since the Core Rule Book seems to be a major seller of theirs, i'm not sure why they think it's Errata deserves less effort than other books... certainly they must be selling alot more Core Rule Books then they originally planned for, and thus should be able to re-invest in the product, while keeping the same return on investment goals. if they really went 'all out' with errata, to the point of releasing a 'revised [errata] edition', many existing CRB owners would probably repurchase it as well... especially if they went 'beyond' their current more 'limited' scope of errata, and allowed themselves to do things like the stealth blog playtest.

Shadow Lodge

I think the key here is that the section of darkness that they see as dim light is still darkness, so they don't "see normally" in it.

Remember that vision types don't change the actual lighting levels of an area, just how they are perceived.


Quandary wrote:

yeah. either section can confuse you. and it's not like either section would make you think 'i really need more information on this, i should look more'.

my point with the last post is that the 'doubling of light radiuses' doesn't say that the increased dim light area (the normal light area 'subsumes' the original dim light area) still applies the normal penalties for dim light to LL vision characters: the RAW says they can see normally in dim light, and this enhanced radius IS dim light to them, so per RAW it would seem they could double dip, even though i'm sure that's not intended.

so it's not just a problem of we the reader being likely to overlook that crucial information about low light vision is split up in multiple sections, the writers themselves didn't really make sure the separate rules matched up with each other well. i really think that fixing Perception itself (with adjunct rules like low light vision) is as important as fixing Stealth to be clearer, given they are opposed checks and thus are really one system... one system, split up into 5 or 6 sections of the rules, that don't agree with each other... 8-/

Where does it say they can see normally in dim light?

Low Light Vision wrote:

Characters with low-light vision have eyes that are so sensitive to light that they can see twice as far as normal in dim light. Low-light vision is color vision. A spellcaster with low-light vision can read a scroll as long as even the tiniest candle flame is next to him as a source of light.

Characters with low-light vision can see outdoors on a moonlit night as well as they can during the day.

Vision and Light wrote:
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.

They can see "outdoors on a moonlit night as well as they can during the day", but that doesn't apply to other dim light. Other dim light they can see twice as far so double the radius.

Is there another source I'm missing?

By RAW, this would not let them see better in large areas of unsourced dim light that were not "outdoors on a moonlit night", but that's fairly minor.


well, yeah, i believe that is the intent, but it's saying the radius of the light source is actually changing for them... it isn't changing what the 'increased' light radius DOES (increase Darkness to real-deal Dim Light), it's just changing the radius or AoE. that needs to be qualified somehow. if the 'see dim light (moonlight) as normally as daylight' part was actually mentioned in Light & Vision (and vice-versa), the concepts would plausibly be better integrated, and there wouldn't be this problem.

Shadow Lodge

I guess the problem I have with the Perception/Stealth/Light rules is that they aren't general enough. They seem to give rules for the most common examples (torches in a dungeon or outside at night, as lighting examples) without expanding to other cases that are less common, but still likely.


thejeff wrote:
Where does it say they can see normally in dim light?

Yeah, it does just specifically say that for moonlight, per RAW that isn't even extrapolatable to Torchlight (which otherwise shares the same modifier for Perception). The Glossary does mention reading in Candlelight, but that isn't exactly the same thing as saying you 'see normally'. So I would say this is another weakness in the rules here, given I don't believe moonlight has some special signifigance for all low-light vision characters.


Quandary wrote:

well, yeah, i believe that is the intent, but it's saying the radius of the light source is actually changing for them... it isn't changing what the 'increased' light radius DOES (increase Darkness to real-deal Dim Light), it's just changing the radius or AoE. that needs to be qualified somehow. if the 'see dim light (moonlight) as normally as daylight' part was actually mentioned in Light & Vision (and vice-versa), the concepts would plausibly be better integrated, and there wouldn't be this problem.

thejeff wrote:
Where does it say they can see normally in dim light?
Yeah, it does just specifically say that for moonlight, per RAW that isn't even extrapolatable to Torchlight (which otherwise shares the same modifier for Perception). The Glossary does mention reading in Candlelight, but that isn't exactly the same thing as saying you 'see normally'. So I would say this is another weakness in the rules here, given I don't believe moonlight has some special signifigance for all low-light vision characters.

It doesn't extrapolate to torchlight. Torchlight is handled by the expanding radius section. For low-light vision within 40' of a torch is normal light, within 80' is dim light.

All the normal modifiers and exceptions apply.


Quandary wrote:
I wouldn't say it's solely at GM discretion...

Let me explain.

Quandary wrote:
Perceiving thru a door or wall (typical Cover), is explicitly given it's own modifier.

I skipped this one as it seems to be pretty straight forward. I pointed the OP to the section of rules dealing with what he asked; I didn't feel like I needed to spell out each line.

Quandary wrote:
'Sensing a burrowing creature underground' has a distinct base DC.

Same reasons as above and unrelated to the OP's question (Unless you make several assumptions that go well byond the OP's actual question).

Quandary wrote:

Dim Lighting conditions are explicitly mentioned as Unfavorable/Terrible Condition Modifiers.

Even if OTHER un-named situations may also qualify for those modifiers at GM discretion,
Torchlight/Moonlight and Candlelight (as well as Bright light) are explicitly mentioned as associated with the modifiers.

Ofcourse they are explicitly mentioned, that's why I used those examples. However, it is still up to GM discression (IE: GM Arbitration of the rules) and what the GM determines that Perception check to represent.

PRD wrote:

1 Favorable and unfavorable conditions depend upon the sense being used to make the check. For example, bright light might increase the DC of checks involving sight, while torchlight or moonlight might give a penalty. Background noise might reduce a DC involving hearing, while competing odors might penalize any DC involving scent.

2 As for unfavorable conditions, but more extreme. For example, candlelight for DCs involving sight, a roaring dragon for DCs involving hearing, and an overpowering stench covering the area for DCs involving scent.

I want to avoid leading the OP into arguing with his GM about whether or not dim light gives him a +2 on the DC to spot him when he is outdoors on a moonlit night trying to hide and he doesn't realize the creature he is hiding from is an Elf. Or from saying the guard dog should recieve a +5 to the DC to hear him through the door when there is an open window two feet away and the dog is percieving him based on scent.

This is just scratching the surface of the complications of what the GM (who sets the DC and rolls the Perception of enemies) may know that the player (who only sees his own roll and modifiers) doesn't realize. For instance, maybe the thing he is trying to hide from has the scent ability, maybe the creature is totally blind and this is a hearing based Perception check, or perhaps the creature is under some sort of spell that is augmenting his senses in some way. There are a number of possible scenarios and the player may not always realize everything that is going on. So, it is important for the player to know that there are some possible bonuses out there for his use of Stealth but it is ultimately up to the GM how each scenario unfolds and what comes into play; therefore I say, GM discretion.

Quandary wrote:
I guess you can claim that the 'may' language allows GM discretion, but they are explicitly mentioned.

I wasn't claiming anything; I was stating my point of view on the matter.


IIRC, the rules for Low-Light Vision are dealt with in three or more places;

* Under the race description for Elves, Half-Elves, and possibly Gnomes;
* In the Additional Rules chapter, near Exploration;
* In the Index

We've had this same discussion in my group, where certain people were also of the opinion that people with LLV treated all Dim light as if it were normal.

For example, they thought a torch (20;40) would give them forty feet of bright light, then eighty feet of dim light, which they then treated as if it were normal light. So seeing perfectly for 120 feet.

However, they couldn't actually justify that last bit. LLV users don't see Dim light as well as Normal light; they see moonlight or starlight as well as day.

As a general rule, they double the radii of light sources. As a specific exception, they see as well under starlight and moonlight as if it were day.

If you want to reconcile the apparent conflict with that exception, you may think of it this way -- Golarion's sun sheds bright/normal light onto Golarion's moon. When it is night on Golarion, its moon reflects Dim light onto Golarion. LLV users double the shed light of that sun and receive Normal lighting benefits instead of dim.


Troubleshooter wrote:

IIRC, the rules for Low-Light Vision are dealt with in three or more places;

* Under the race description for Elves, Half-Elves, and possibly Gnomes;
* In the Additional Rules chapter, near Exploration;
* In the Index

We've had this same discussion in my group, where certain people were also of the opinion that people with LLV treated all Dim light as if it were normal.

For example, they thought a torch (20;40) would give them forty feet of bright light, then eighty feet of dim light, which they then treated as if it were normal light. So seeing perfectly for 120 feet.

However, they couldn't actually justify that last bit. LLV users don't see Dim light as well as Normal light; they see moonlight or starlight as well as day.

As a general rule, they double the radii of light sources. As a specific exception, they see as well under starlight and moonlight as if it were day.

If you want to reconcile the apparent conflict with that exception, you may think of it this way -- Golarion's sun sheds bright/normal light onto Golarion's moon. When it is night on Golarion, its moon reflects Dim light onto Golarion. LLV users double the shed light of that sun and receive Normal lighting benefits instead of dim.

Actually, per RAW, low-light vision doesn't help with starlight. The specific exception is
Quote:
Characters with low-light vision can see outdoors on a moonlit night as well as they can during the day.

With starlight, they can see twice as far, since it's dim light, but don't treat it as normal light.

Most GMs will house rule that, I suspect and extend the moonlight exception to any similar widespread dim light situation.

Shadow Lodge

Troubleshooter wrote:

We've had this same discussion in my group, where certain people were also of the opinion that people with LLV treated all Dim light as if it were normal.

For example, they thought a torch (20;40) would give them forty feet of bright light, then eighty feet of dim light, which they then treated as if it were normal light. So seeing perfectly for 120 feet.

Well, you can still rule that people with LLV see all dim light as if it were normal. It's just that they see some distance of darkness as dim light. Since the darkness lighting level can't actually change to the dim light level with regards to how you see it, LLV users don't get to treat darkness as normal.

Most of this is confusion as to how vision interacts with lighting levels (see the Darkness and HiPS thread. the same confusion is going on there as well).

Vision modifications don't actually change lighting levels. It just give you the ability to see differently.


I am currently writing up a Mystic Theurge Guide <3

There is a spell that provides both concealment and a + to stealth:
Chameleon Stride (Ranger 2, 1 min/lvl): (+4 Stealth, 20% Concealment)

The cost to create Boots of Chameleon Stride (Command Word) is 2x7x1800 = 25,200g base price.

The cost to create Boots of Blur (Command Word) and Skill (Stealth) +4 is (2x3x1800)=10,800gx1.5 = 16,200g + (4x4x100)=1,600g = 17,800g base price.

The cost to create a Cloak of Displacement, Minor and Skill (Stealth) +4 is 24,000gx1.5 = 36,000g + (4x4x100)=1,600g = 37,600g base price.

So, I would suggest going with option B if you want to create the item.


I've often found the light/perception/stealth/encounter distance rules odd, confusing, unrealistic and tend to fudge around them, but thinking it through in writing this reply, I cam up with what I think is a decent idea - change the per 10 foot perception increase modifier to be terrain dependant and be explicit that a creature is unobserved until it has been observed.

I'm fine with the whole light radius issue, normal vision characters see the defined distance and low light vision characters see twice the stated distance so, taking the torch example:
A normal vision character has normal brightness from 0 to 20 feet and dim light from 20 to 40 feet with darkness beyond. A low light vision character has normal brightness for 0-40 feet and dim light for 40-80 feet.

When it comes to moon or starlight, it becomes somewhat unclear. I'm fine with a low light vision character being able to see as if it was daylight, but how far can a normal vision character see? Is this literally their perception check -2 for the unfavourable moonlight condition?

Lets assume I'm playing hide and seek with one other person and we are in a large flat field. I close my eyes and count slowly to a 100, whilst the other person runs away and then stops but makes no attempt to hide. I turn around slowly and look for the person. The perception DC to notice a visible creature is 0, for the purposes of this exercise I have no modifiers to my perception score. Even if I roll a 20 I cannot see the person if they are 230 feet away, as even with favourable conditions (-2) the distance modifier (+23) makes it impossible. Lets say the person walks back towards me on average take 10) I should be able to notice them from 120 feet away during the day or 80 feet on a moonlit night (favourable/unfavourable conditions).

So by the perception rules I should not be able to see anyone on the other side of a field - unrealistic. But looking through the terrain descriptions, the maximum encounter distance is 1440 (6d6*40) feet on plains terrain, which is more reasonable but still short. I can see birds from further away and would expect to be able to see a dragon from about the same distance I can see a plane. But at night I would not be able to see nearly so far - perhaps the perception distance is reasonable under these conditions?

Perhaps the problem is with the flat +1 per 10 feet perception modifier?
If the modifer was changed to +1 per <terrain modifer> feet which could be anywhere between say 5 feet and 100 feet depending on the terrain. This could be modified by always opposing with stealth, but with the stealth role being 0 if not attempting to be stealthy, this enables the stealth size modifiers to come into play.

E.g. spotting an airborne colossal dragon on a clear day (range modifer 100) the dragon could be spotted on a take10 perception check 2600 feet away. A patrol of 4 mounted soldiers (a single gargantuan unit) riding down a lightly wooded path (10 feet increment), would be seen at 220 feet with a take 10. A viper (tiny creature) lying on the same path would be unnoticed on a take10.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hugo Rune wrote:


Lets assume I'm playing hide and seek with one other person and we are in a large flat field. I close my eyes and count slowly to a 100, whilst the other person runs away and then stops but makes no attempt to hide. I turn around slowly and look for the person. The perception DC to notice a visible creature is 0, for the purposes of this exercise I have no modifiers to my perception score. Even if I roll a 20 I cannot see the person if they are 230 feet away, as even with favourable conditions (-2) the distance modifier (+23) makes it impossible. Lets say the person walks back towards me on average take 10) I should be able to notice them from 120 feet away during the day or 80 feet on a moonlit night (favourable/unfavourable conditions).

Hugo, I think you are leaving out an important factor in your calculations.

There is a BIG difference between someone standing openly out in a flat field minding their own business vs someone attempting to actively use the "Stealth" skill to remain hidden from your "Perception" check.

The person not using "Stealth" is standing around openly and can easily be spotted at whatever the terrain encounter distance is.

This same person actively using "Stealth" is likely lying flat on the ground and may have covered their clothes/skin in dirt/grass/leaves and is likely lying very very still.

Encounter distance and opposed Stealth/Perception checks are two very different things.


This thread is almost a year old. And the rules on stealth have actually been errata'd since then.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Stealth and Concealment and Cover All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.