Stealth Playtest

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Illustration by Yngvar Apslund

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

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

Stealth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Design Tuesdays Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Playtest Stealth Yngvar Apslund
551 to 600 of 641 << first < prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next > last >>

A "distracted" condition would be fantastic. And rather common, I should think. The vast majority of people spend long and not infrequent periods of time distracted. Might even be a good argument to include both "unaware" (for people who are busy doing something they often do) and "distracted" (for people who are being actively interfered with by another character or effect) but I assume that would be too cluttered to be accepted.

I think a "hidden" (or simply "stealth") condition would be a better option than the "invisibility" condition being extended to stealth due to the aforementioned issues with confusion and non sight-based perception checks.


This does bring up a new problem - with perception. The rules talk about how cover/concealment interact with attacks and using the stealth skill, but not with perception checks.

There is only a +5 modifier for through a door, and +10/foot thickness modifier for through a wall.

What is the DC to notice you on the other side of a 1 foot thick wall from 20 feet away? 17?

Notice visible creature....0
1 foot thick wall..........+10
20 feet away...............+2
Terrible circumstances.....+5

(I counted the lack of line of sight as terrible circumstances)

A door would drop the DC by 5.

No line of sight, no line of effect, yet you can notice someone in a completely sealed box with 1 foot thick walls.

There are too many artifacts from Spot and Listen being separate skills. What is needed is a unified DC with a modifier for cover/concealment, and a flat penalty for impaired senses (blinded or deafened) along the lines of the favorable, unfavorable, and terrible conditions modifiers.


Similar to how we've always resolved things so +1. My major change would be that you only make a single stealth check (rolled in secret by GM) and use the same result until you no longer try to keep sneaking. This makes it easier for sneaky types to sneak, which is a good thing because sneaky types are already among the least powerful class options. This also cuts down on paper work, which is always a plus.

Ideally you guys would also find a way to bring in your lighting rules and take this opportunity to revamp them. As GM, few things get in my way and make me fudge the rules worse than when I suddenly need to know the lighting level in a given area. Sneaking and lighting level seem like they should go hand in hand.

EDIT: I also wish you would extend the lifespan of this discussion another week, because those of us on the Eastcoast are having our weekend games disrupted by hurricane Irene. I'd like to test these rules on my players.


Quote:
Ideally you guys would also find a way to bring in your lighting rules and take this opportunity to revamp them. As GM, few things get in my way and make me fudge the rules worse than when I suddenly need to know the lighting level in a given area. Sneaking and lighting level seem like they should go hand in hand.

The changes have to start and stop with stealth or its even less likely that they're going to happen. If you change lighting then you need to change low light vision and darkvision. If you change those you need to change the races, and before you know it cats and dogs are cohabiting and your fighter is required to wear a tutu in combat. Tweaking one thing that tweaks another that tweaks another causes the whole yarn to unravel. Its something to consider for a new edition, not a much begged for rule patch. This IS possible, we can do it. Stealth changes. Stealth is the only thing that changes.

Cover and concealment shouldn't give bonuses, they're requirements so people don't just start hiding while you're trying to stick a sword in them. Improved cover (such as an arrow slit)might give a +4. Total cover i'm not sure on, since you can't see them at all that sounds like invisibilities +20, but it seems ridiculous to say that someone invisible around the corner is THAT hard to hear in full plate. So mayby +6?


Ravingdork wrote:

Do people easily miss things even while looking directly at them? Yes. Yes they do.

Hiding in combat should be possible, though not easy.

Watched, loled, saved, will be showing to small children at next opportunity.

In a way it does make Epic Meepo's suggestion about stacking everything into basically a perception DC a valid one. Notice a visible creature is a base 0.

The question then becomes what is the penalty on the reactive spot check to notice the {omitted} when you're spending two to three rounds of Standard actions trying to count passes. Kinda makes one think that two or three creatures deep of "soft cover" should be a penalty on perception.

Grand Lodge

I like Helics approach to perception and distraction, its abstract, as is the way of these rules without bogging things down with sight/sound/smell/etc mechanics,something Im strongly against (but I am aware that some situations need to be addressed regarding them, noticeably with regards to certain creatures and abilities).

His approach also fits in nicely with my concept of making perception and stealth a unique mechanic like AC or CMB/CMD. Distracted could be a condition marked similar to flat-footed AC.

I personally think keeping the rules abstract is key here. I know alot of people here are hoping to see a fix for the many questions that frequently come up like tremorsence and scent. I personally am hoping for an abstract ruling that provides a way to explain their effect on those abilities without creating new rules for each.

Anburaid wrote:
I wonder if there will be conditions in combat that would allow for a rogue to treat an opponent as distracted, such as if they are stunned, or maybe even dazzled.

Dazzled would provide a penalty to perception anyway so the chances of sneaking are increased vs them automatically.

Stunned, as well as Dazed, prevent the recipient from taking actions thus making them distracted.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

My impression is that Paizo wants to keep the scope of this pretty small. Most likely, the scope of any changes are going to be very localized.

So while a rewrite of a lot of other rules would be nice... they seem pretty unlikely.

Grand Lodge

Helic wrote:

Man that's a lot of posts to sift through. My thoughts:

This cannot be corrected by addressing JUST Stealth alone. Perception and several of the existing standards need adjustment. It's probably not TOO much that needs changing, however.

We need a Distracted Condition. Its effects: -5 on Perception Checks. What makes a person distracted? Good question. I propose that people on guard duty (i.e. taking 10 on Perception) use their Swift Actions to do so. They are not distracted. People observing in detail is a Move Action as normal - also not distracted. People making reactive perception rolls are 'distracted'.

This would make Perception rolls by PCs more difficult, especially in combat, as they would want to save their Swift Actions for things other than taking 10 on Perception checks. All I can say is combat should be distracting. Actually, combat should automatically be distracting and probably not allow taking 10, but we could easily allow people to employ their Swift Action in combat to avoid the -5 penalty (keeping an eye out in the fight), which lets people actually employ their Swift Actions who might otherwise have no use for them.

This lets you do a bunch of things...

I'm gonna examine the distraction aspect a little more.

I think the most common distraction should be combat but a swift action is a little common even for someone executing a full attack. how about making it a move action with the following rules.

Move Action Rule wrote:

Awareness: as a move action you can remove the distracted condition from yourself, negating the -5 penalty to perception checks and allowing you to take 10 on perception rolls for the round.

If you have at least 1 rank in Perception, you may remove the distracted condition as a free action combined with a regular move. If you have the Alertness feat, you can remove the distracted condition as a swift action.

Note that these rules would have to clarify that any condition that allows stealth doesnt affect the distraction condition or prevent/allow stealth against them. someone who is not distracted can still be sneak attacked by a rogue hidden in the shadows or behind cover.


There's a lot of things that adventurers do that's pretty extraordinary. (living through being steped on by a 15 ton dragon for instance) Paying attention to everyone trying to poke them with sharp pointy objects is pretty far down the list as to what they can do. (living through being steped on by a 15 ton dragon for instance) While average people might miss something in front of their noses, i don't think that PC class holding adventurers would.

If someone wants to do the combat fake out or hide in the middle of a fight there's already a mechanism for it: bluff. No point in reinventing a wheel that works.


First, sorry if I missed something in the previous heap of posts, I"m coming to this late.

I think we can fix our problems if we look at this in a different way. We're okay (mostly) with skill vs. skill, stealth vs. perception. We're having issues where the skill system interacts with spells and abilities.

But we've already got precedent in the rules system for how to deal with this, namely Sleight of Hand. So I propose the following...

New Feat: Improved Stealth

Normal: You can use the stealth rules normally

Benefit: You can use stealth to hide in a crowd of people, as long as there are squares of people equal to your size between you and your target. You can use stealth to overcome scent, or magic effects that reveal invisible creatures at a -10 penalty. You may gain a +5 circumstance modifier to your Stealth check if you are also currently invisible of silenced (+10 for both)

New Feat: Greater Stealth

Pre-req: Improved Stealth

Benefit: You can use stealth to overcome tremorsense, lifesense, blindsense, or true seeing (-10 penalty). You may use stealth in combination with spring attack or with sniping freely, as long as you are hidden before and after your attack. If you also have hide in plain sight, you may use stealth against blindsense and other non-epic means to directly reveal your location.

With three tiers of Stealth, we'll be able to spread things out so that it isn't all or nothing anymore. It doesn't really matter to me which aspects of stealth go where. And for those of you worried about game balance, you can give the above feats pre-requisites. I consider them a draft only.


Greetings latecommer: a few things.

Rogues (the ones who get the most benefit out of sneaking around) already need their feats and talents for customization to meet the players concept and to be able to contribute in combat.

"Crowd" is rather undefined.

See invisible and true seeing are still essentially granting a +10 vs stealth.

The feats also don't help with the big problem, namely the requirement for cover or concealment to sneak up on someone.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
stuff

The changes have to start and stop with stealth or its even less likely that they're going to happen. If you change lighting then you need to change low light vision and darkvision. If you change those you need to change the races, and before you know it cats and dogs are cohabiting and your fighter is required to wear a tutu in combat. Tweaking one thing that tweaks another that tweaks another causes the whole yarn to unravel. Its something to consider for a new edition, not a much begged for rule patch. This IS possible, we can do it. Stealth changes. Stealth is the only thing that changes.

Cover and concealment shouldn't give bonuses, they're requirements so people don't just start hiding while you're trying to stick a sword in them. Improved cover (such as an arrow slit)might give a +4. Total cover i'm not sure on, since you can't see them at all that sounds like invisibilities +20, but it seems ridiculous to say that someone invisible around the corner is THAT hard to hear in full plate. So mayby +6?

I agree that that this little beta experiment isn't the best time to re-examine the lighting rules, but before these new rules show up in an officially printed form, I think it makes sense for them to reexamine how they interact with darkness the same way they are examining how they interact with cover and concealment.


Quandary wrote:

Yes, and there are/should be modifiers for all of those things, or modifications of the ranges of those senses (e.g. for upwind/downwind scent). Those are already factored into stealth in general, or just need some minor tweaking.

I think my main point IS exactly that most of the non-visual senses are rather less accurate than vision, which is the reason why vision is the ´main sense´. But taking that into account, besides dealing with how ´standard´ cover/concealment does/doesn´t affect these other senses, it seems like what should be addressed is that the DC to completely see and localize somebody enough to take AoO´s vs them, etc, seems sustantially different than the DC to notice that SOMEBODY IS IN THE GENERAL AREA, i.e. their presense and possibly general direction (just not exact square).

This really goes beyond just stealth, i.e. even when characters aren´t using stealth, the normal Perception checks will reveal very different things if you can use vision to localize them, or are just using what you can hear to detect the general direction or merely presense of something ´within range´. Stealth is just a modification on top of that, increasing the...

This is why God invented Dungeon Masters. They can tweak things. Not ever last scenario needs to be codified. We're not dealing with a computer game that requires all of these details to have rules or else they don't exist. There is a human element.

They're also trying to fit this into the _exact_same_space_ as it currently exists in the core rulebook. If you add all of those different scenarios, then you have to cut other things to make it fit otherwise they have to redo all of the pagination for the pages following that section.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Epic Meepo wrote:

Actually, if a Stealth check doesn't grant any condition, but instead merely increases Perception DCs, then you don't need any rules for actions that end Stealth. Just a few Perception DC modifiers for things like cover and making a melee attack.

Say that Stealth increases Perception DCs based on your roll, and all Stealth modifiers are rolled into Perception DCs. Say also that we add a +5 DC modifier for cover to the Perception skill, and a -20 DC modifier if you made an attack since the beginning of your last action, increasing to -40 if it was a melee attack made against the creature trying to notice you.

Interesting. This goes along with ideas in an Ultimate Skills thread about defining what you can do with a DC 40 or 50 skill check, because after a while, those DC 25 checks are auto success. So we said add skill tricks and stuff That heroes might do at high skill levels. Epic Meepo's idea of just assigning DC mods works with that. It also help with the others senses too. Ex: cover gives +5, or +10 if it block the special senses - hiding behind a dead horse gives cover and block sight and Scent. Might be ALOT easier and more compatible with current RAW to just define a bunch of Stealth related DCs.

Scarab Sages

The black raven wrote:
If the sentries take 10, having more than one sentry will not improve their ability to detect a hidden opponent (since all sentries have usually the same stat block and thus the same Perception modifier).

Having stood watch profesionally both alone and in a group I'd say that having a few guys around to talk about last nights arena match does in fact not improve the chances of being able to spot an intruder. Respond effectively yes, but spot no.


Playtest report

Due to the pre-hurricane weather here in Maryland, only three players showed up to my Saturday Pathfinder game. They played a 11th-level half-elf wizard/lore master, a 9th-level lyrakien bard, and an 8th-level dwarven bard. They were continuing their ongoing adventure path, but it did have its moments of stealth, so I used it for the playtest.

Their informant had told them that their goal was in a cave "past the spiders." The first moment of stealth came when the lyrakien scouted to the cave mouth to make sure that it was the right cave. She had +28 to stealth. She flew to the cave mouth and looked in with her 60-foot darkvision.

This is the point at which I deviated from the new!stealth rules. The game store would be closing early due to the storm, and I did not want to delay the game with gratuitous die rolls. I had her roll for Stealth once during the scouting. The deathweb spiders 100 feet inside would not have been able to see her even on a natural 20. She spotted traces of spidersilk as thick as cables, so she decided this was the right cave.

The wizard cast Fly on himself and the dwarven bard, and the bard cast Invisibility Sphere enclosing everyone. They flew into cave. In eighty feet the cave forked, one branch partially enclosed in webs. They peered into that branch and examined the three gargantuan deathweb spiders. I had the wizard roll a Perception check because he had only low-light vision. The wizard make a Knowledge(arcane) check to identify them and their abilities. They each made one Stealth check , at an additional +20 for invisible yet moving, and the spiders each made a Perception check and the spiders did not detect them (they could have detected the wizard if any had rolled above 18).

The party flew down the other branch of the cave, found that it dead ended 40 feet in. They whispered to discuss whether to battle the deathweb spiders and the swarm of smaller spiders around them. They rolled for Stealth again for talking, and I informed them that they got +40 for invisibility because I was trying to stick to the experimental stealth rules in the Paizo Blog and those rules said +40 for invisibility while not moving with nothing distinguishing sound from sight. With that bonus, the spiders had no chance of overhearing them.

They moved in for the attack--one more set of Stealth and Perception rolls--and I switched them onto round-based timing. The lyrakien started a midair Inspire Greatness dance to buff the wizard. That was a move action, so she was still in Stealth. The wizard cast Wall of Force, so he lost his Stealth. The dwarf cast a buff spell and lost Stealth too. The spiders started after them, and ran into the wall of force that the wizard had cast across the mouth of their branch of the cave--with a five-foot gap too small for the gargantuan spiders but large enough to cast spells through. No more stealth after that.

I learned three things from the playtest:
1) I am not willing to put up with excessive die rolls for Stealth while I am the GM. I will house rule them away.
2) The new!stealth rules were written for round-based timing, but scouting occurs on travel-based timing.
3) Not distinguishing between sight and sound leads to unrealistic stealth.


Quote:
The lyrakien started a midair Inspire Greatness dance to buff the wizard. That was a move action, so she was still in Stealth.

As clarification for Steven and the play-test in general, wouldn´t this run into problems of ´targets´ of Inspire Greatness/Performance needing to see/hear (Perception) the Bard´s Performance, yet if the Bard is ´Invisible´/Stealthed, they wouldn´t be able to do so?

Quote:
3) Not distinguishing between sight and sound leads to unrealistic stealth.

Besides the moving/not-moving bonus disparity of Invisibility (+20/+40), a whole number of effects (Shadow Armor) that only effect visual detection seem absurd to apply if the potential observers don´t even have Line of Sight (which should have it´s own penalty, but you shouldn´t also have to suffer other random visual perception penalties). Perhaps what would be good here is certain modifiers (e.g. for cover, full concealment) specifically saying that they don´t stack with other visual perception penalties, i.e. you only use the highest (modifiers for distance would be independent, and always stack). Of course, just because the observer DOES have line of sight shouldn´t mean it´s harder to detect the Stealthy character via their hearing, but that should generally just give one the information of presence and general direction (not specific square/pin-pointing/negating concealment).

That also reminds me of the possibility of vision also being able to reveal ´merely presense and/or general direction´ in certain conditions (Partial Concealment) which would thus have lower DCs than full pin-pointing, although using specifically vision for that result only comes into play in certain conditions, e.g. Silence. But it seems plausible that a ´partially succesfull´ Stealth check in certain conditions (Partial Concealment) could prevent ´pin-pointing´ but still allow the Observer to be aware of the general direction or presence of a Stealthy character, even when visual line-of-sight is available to the observer (probably not in full light though)... i.e. they ´saw something move´ but can´t react to it exactly as if the Stealth wasn´t attempted, or was a complete failure.

I liked what was coming out my own and Eric Meepo´s back-and-forth, and the only thing I can think to add / emphasize to it at this point is that not having any specific action to trigger/enter Stealth, but rather retain the ´as part of action´ approach, allows much more flexible usage of Stealth: If you are in open light/sight, you can´t enter Stealth right away, but you can start your Move action, and DURING that movement at the exact point you enter a Concealment square you can also roll for Stealth, while continuing the movement freely past that point (although you may need to move slower to maintain Stealth after that point). With a specific action for Stealth, you can only do it before actions, not during them, as per the last example. I also think Stealthing at some point during a Withdraw is more than reasonable, but dis-allowed by the Blog rules (as I understand them ;-)).


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Greetings latecommer: a few things.

Rogues (the ones who get the most benefit out of sneaking around) already need their feats and talents for customization to meet the players concept and to be able to contribute in combat.

"Crowd" is rather undefined.

See invisible and true seeing are still essentially granting a +10 vs stealth.

The feats also don't help with the big problem, namely the requirement for cover or concealment to sneak up on someone.

I would allow these feats to be taken with talents, or even made a rogue class feature

Crowd is undefined, but I feel it should exist as a possibility. I'm open to ideas

I wanted to separate the tiered feat idea from my dislike of hidden=invisible. Plus, the numbers are just a first attempt, and will adjust with play testing.

But I feel you're missing the big idea, which is that the feats COULD do away with the need for cover and concealment. I don't have exact wording, but having tiers allows you to have different rules for different folks. If you dislike needing cover to hide, create a feat that lets you ignore that requirement. That way, specialists can do it but regular people can't.


rkraus2 wrote:
Crowd is undefined, but I feel it should exist as a possibility. I'm open to ideas

Actually it would not be to hard to define a crowd mechanically. You could use intervening bodies in combat. Using 4 as starting point. Make slight rule change to soft cover. If there are 4 times "your space" between you and the observing creature, you have cover (okay maybe not cover 20% miss cover, but the option to hide). A Medium sized creature could hide behind 4 other medium sized creatures, provided the line of effect is drawn through those squares. He could also hide behind a Gargantuan (20 ft space, 4 squares deep) creature.

In non-combat situations once you have the "is behind 4 occupy squares" you can make a better guess as to how the crowd is working. One point is that in a crowd there are often people sharing spaces, and if combat came out they would likely be in conditions described by the "squeezing" rules. In that case I'd use total number of intervening creatures and not just spaces. At best you cut the number of intervening spaces in half, so only 2 occupied spaces between you and the observer (if the crowd is packed that tight).

Running with Stealth modifying of DC Perception, each intervening occupied square is a -1 or -2 penalty to Perception.

(Yes I know there is rule for hiding in crowds currently, however this tread seems to have take a bit of a wander away from strictly play testing the given suggested changes. *note: I have not had my morning stimulants so may not be even 60% coherent with this post.)


I understand that a few people are concerned about other rules needing some rewrites as well and the potential hazard it poses to the already fragile game balance, but I do not think all of these rewrites need be as sweeping in change as to encompass racial abilities.

Redefining light conditions would not require a new definition of Low-Light and/or Darkvision. I do not have the time this morning (as I get ready for work) to sit and thumb through my books, but I think a simple series of well-defined light conditions could solve a lot of these problems.

Off the top of my head:
* Bright Light
* Daylight
* Low-Light
* Darkness
* Magical Darkness

Perception also needs some rewriting. There are set DCs for things which to me, seem rather low. This bit about light and perception has me thinking though, it might be better if there was a sweeping rewrite... Brainstorming here, so riddle me with holes if I sound like a madman.

Human-level perception seems to be the baseline by which these things are measured. What if, instead of basing it on humans, baseline perception was set around a certain number of ranks in the perception skill? (I already see intensive rewriting of skill entries, but consider it for a minute.) Maybe each rank adds on a few feet to your visual perception radius per light category. Humans might be able to see detail reliably in Daylight up to 30 feet away, plus 5 per rank in perception (maxes at 130ft), but in Low-Light conditions, only see 30ft, plus 5 every 4 ranks in perception. Elves would then have the same Daylight vision, but would instead increase their Low-Light vision by 10 feet at 1st level, and with every 2 ranks instead of every 4 in perception. Darkvision could work similarly.

Just a thought. Key realization is that the baseline perception is a human (probably a commoner, of course) who may or may not have a Wisdom bonus or ranks in Perception. Low-Light vision, IIRC, states that the creature can see twice as far as a human in dim light, etc. Darkvision has a set distance.

Probably better for PF 2.0. We still need SOME work done on the Perception skill, regardless. Perception and Stealth are too closely related to ignore this issue or to think that one can be fixed without involving the other..


But I feel you're missing the big idea, which is that the feats COULD do away with the need for cover and concealment. I don't have exact wording, but having tiers allows you to have different rules for different folks. If you dislike needing cover to hide, create a feat that lets you ignore that requirement. That way, specialists can do it but regular people can't.

-They could. My problem with that is that the rogue is already feat and talent starved. Being able to sneak is a huge part of the class, and the rogue shouldn't have to blow valuable resources in order to use his stealth skill than a wizard should have to blow feats in order to use spells. Making usable stealth a class feature would have been an interesting idea pre APG, but now that class features are swapped in and out i think it would take too much of a rewrite.


Now that I have electric power again, I can read and respond to comments.

Quandary wrote:
Quote:
The lyrakien started a midair Inspire Greatness dance to buff the wizard. That was a move action, so she was still in Stealth.
As clarification for Steven and the play-test in general, wouldn´t this run into problems of ´targets´ of Inspire Greatness/Performance needing to see/hear (Perception) the Bard´s Performance, yet if the Bard is ´Invisible´/Stealthed, they wouldn´t be able to do so?

Stephen Radney-MacFarland's Stealth said, "When you use Stealth, creatures that are observing you (creatures that you didn't have cover or concealment from) or that succeed at the opposed check do not treat you as invisible." I used this to mean that party members can see each other while the entire party is sneaking together.

This is a major improvement over the Core Rulebook Stealth wording, "If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth." This implies that for the party Ranger or Rogue to sneak ahead in a hallway to scout, the remainder of the party has to look away for him or her to use stealth. Oh, wait, the game has no facing rules for looking away, so they have to close their eyes instead.

Selective invisibility has precedent in the Invisibility Sphere spell.

I'll write more on sight versus sound after I return home from work.


Yeah, that makes sense... Still, a good case to cover on how the rules work / should work.


When was the last time the OP was edited? Curious if there have been any further desired revisions.


lastspartacus wrote:
When was the last time the OP was edited? Curious if there have been any further desired revisions.

I believe that it was edited once to correct formatting errors, and other than that it is not a living document.

I hope once the schedule is under wraps we'll see a phase 2 of playtesting, because I would very much like to introduce a usable version into my game before it goes to print so that I can actually playtest.

The current wording was strangled in the cradle, I don't think I could use it in my game.

Senior Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey everyone,

First off I want to thank you all for all the great conversation and feedback. You are the greatest!

After reviewing all the feedback, I've come up with a second draft of the Stealth changes, that we will be kicking around the office next week, and you will see up on the website maybe as soon as the week after, depending on schedule and the results of the internal review.

I may be speaking a tad prematurely, but I think you will like what you see in the second round of the playtest. It tackles all of the issues brought up, is clearer, and explains how Stealth works with blindsense, blindsight, scent, and tremorsense.

Again, thanks, and I look forward to the second round of the Stealth playtesting!

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

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Hey everyone,

First off I want to thank you all for all the great conversation and feedback. You are the greatest!

After reviewing all the feedback, I've come up with a second draft of the Stealth changes, that we will be kicking around the office next week, and you will see up on the website maybe as soon as the week after, depending on schedule and the results of the internal review.

I may be speaking a tad prematurely, but I think you will like what you see in the second round of the playtest. It tackles all of the issues brought up, is clearer, and explains how Stealth works with blindsense, blindsight, scent, and tremorsense.

Again, thanks, and I look forward to the second round of the Stealth playtesting!

Let me be the first to say that I'm totally stoked by this post! Go Paizo!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We wait with trepidation for the update.

Senior Designer

Diego Rossi wrote:
We wait with trepidation for the update.

Trepidation? Really?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
We wait with trepidation for the update.
Trepidation? Really?

Well, some around here consider the Stealth rewrite as equivalent to Rapture in magnitude and significance, so... :)


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
I may be speaking a tad prematurely, but I think you will like what you see in the second round of the playtest. It tackles all of the issues brought up, is clearer, and explains how Stealth works with blindsense, blindsight, scent, and tremorsense.

Great, look forward to seeing it! One question: You`re NOT going into the differences of sound/hearing vs. visual stealth at this point?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
We wait with trepidation for the update.
Trepidation? Really?

It give us a chance to experiment upon ours players and blame you if something go wrong, not something you get every day ;)

Senior Designer

Quandary wrote:
Great, look forward to seeing it! One question: You`re NOT going into the differences of sound/hearing vs. visual stealth at this point?

Probably not.

Senior Designer

Diego Rossi wrote:

It give us a chance to experiment upon ours players and blame you if something go wrong, not something you get every day ;)

LOL. Well at least I can be your blame guy. That's fun!

Grand Lodge

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
We wait with trepidation for the update.
Trepidation? Really?

I'm going to steal a phrase here:"You changed it now it SSUUUCKS!" while I do disagree with this phrase, it's the response these things tend to get.


Ooo, another round!

Looking forward to it, thanks Stephen!

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Just want to applaud Paizo again for being willing to re-examine one of the clunkier sections of the rules. At first, the idea of keeping 3.5 intact was at the top of most of our lists, but a few years into I think we're ready to see some more flaws improved upon.


I think this is a great start, and I look forward to the revisions and further discussion of stealth.

While I appreciate the effect of rerolling Stealth at the beginning of an action that might be noticable, is this roll made at the beginning of each actions that might cause you to be discovered or one stealth check made per round?

I would suggest streamlining this to once per round as a stealthy person using quick draw, sleight of hand, etc might have to make multiple (5 or more) stealth rolls during their turn.

While it is fine to strive to be realistic, PFRPG has made efforts in other areas to fit these kinds of realism situations into the PF game framework rather than making the game a Simulation.


I'll let people who are better at breaking rules dissect these rules. My only comment is I'm glad Paizo is "officially" looking at the rules for Stealth, I haven't been using the rules for quite a while.

The offocial rules are so bad that classes with Stealth are fairly useless when you run into a PFS GM that wants to run everything by the book.

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

Stynkk wrote:

I think this is a great start, and I look forward to the revisions and further discussion of stealth.

While I appreciate the effect of rerolling Stealth at the beginning of an action that might be noticable, is this roll made at the beginning of each actions that might cause you to be discovered or one stealth check made per round?

I would suggest streamlining this to once per round as a stealthy person using quick draw, sleight of hand, etc might have to make multiple (5 or more) stealth rolls during their turn.

While it is fine to strive to be realistic, PFRPG has made efforts in other areas to fit these kinds of realism situations into the PF game framework rather than making the game a Simulation.

Given that they're already working on the next round of the rewrite - with this concern already in consideration, as it's been discussed plenty in this thread - I think your question is a little late to the party. ;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Take 10 solves a lot of the multiple-roll problem for both Perception and Stealth. For what it's worth, I use those static numbers to give me hard numbers when judging encounter distances in MapTool, and the results are very consistent. Why, you can even establish the set distance that the rest of the party needs to keep from the rogue to share a DC, which is terrific!


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Take 10 solves a lot of the multiple-roll problem for both Perception and Stealth. For what it's worth, I use those static numbers to give me hard numbers when judging encounter distances in MapTool, and the results are very consistent. Why, you can even establish the set distance that the rest of the party needs to keep from the rogue to share a DC, which is terrific!

+1

THis is just the sort of advice on how to use the rules AS THEY EXIST that I think would be a GREAT ´adjunct´ to the actual change in the rule that they plan. A Blog Post of ´advice´ how to handle different situations in ways that fully use the RAW, but still manage to vastly simplify game play and work-load on GM. A huge number of people AREN´T going to automatically think of exactly how Take 10 can be so helpful in different situations, but if Paizo can give clear-cut examples, it will help ALOT of people get more out of the game (or get LESS frustration out of it).

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

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quandary wrote:
A Blog Post of ´advice´ how to handle different situations in ways that fully use the RAW, but still manage to vastly simplify game play and work-load on GM. A huge number of people AREN´T going to automatically think of exactly how Take 10 can be so helpful in different situations, but if Paizo can give clear-cut examples, it will help ALOT of people get more out of the game (or get LESS frustration out of it).

Frankly, even just a blog post familiarizing readers with the concept of taking 10 (and taking 20) would work wonders. Take 10 and take 20 are either vastly understood or totally unknown to what seems like the majority of players.


I don't think you should be taking 10 when stealth really matters. You're not supposed to do so while in immediate danger.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't think you should be taking 10 when stealth really matters. You're not supposed to do so while in immediate danger.

That phrasing is up to interpretation, and I've arrived an interpretation that saves me work and results in a more fair roll for the hiding PC. That's all the citation I need.

To elaborate a bit, being "noticed" is not danger, in my interpretation of the take-10 rules. It really depends on what happens if you are noticed — for example, if the PC was actually sneaking within the threatened area of an NPC, then being noticed is actually extremely bad and likely to induce bodily harm. No take 10 there.

Again, the rule isn't unambiguous on this point, so this is the way I've chosen to run it. If your interpretation of "danger" is wider than mine, that's fine. But bear in mind, the narrow definition of danger solves two other problems (too random, too many variables in the party).


It opens up more problems than it solves, and i don't mind taking the better option between two equally viable alternatives but i dislike having to twist meaning an intent to avoid a problem with a different rule.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
It opens up more problems than it solves, and i don't mind taking the better option between two equally viable alternatives but i dislike having to twist meaning an intent to avoid a problem with a different rule.

Well, it's not actually twisted intent though. It's just how I interpreted it (prior to being motivated by solutions).

I'm not really looking to have a dispute about it here, since we're going to have to digest a new wording of the stealth rule and take 10 may or may not be relevant. It suffices to say, the rule is a little ambiguous. You're not wrong and neither am I.

If it turns out relevant in round 2, we can spar about it then, BNW.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't think you should be taking 10 when stealth really matters. You're not supposed to do so while in immediate danger.

Keep in mind that a lot of the "there are too many rolls" arguments involved being hundreds of feet away.


I'm with BNW, I don't believe that take 10 should apply in a most stealth situations (unless no one can discover you that is).

If you allow it then you just killed the Skill Mastery Advanced Rogue Tallent regarding Stealth.


Jiggy wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't think you should be taking 10 when stealth really matters. You're not supposed to do so while in immediate danger.
Keep in mind that a lot of the "there are too many rolls" arguments involved being hundreds of feet away.

Imagine that a character with +5 to Acrobatics wanting to long jump over a 10-foot-wide gap between two tall buildings (DC 10). He does not want to roll a 4 or less. Can he Take 10?

Core Rulebook wrote:
Taking 10: When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.

When a person jumps between two buidlings, is he in immediate danger? Yes, if he fails the roll, he will fall and get severely injured. If he succeeds at the roll, he is in no danger. For this example, assume nothing distracts the character, no pursuers, no need for stealth, plenty of time to compose himself. The Take 10 rules also describe "in immediate danger or distracted" as "Distractions or threats," a phrase that does not include the danger of failing the roll. Moreover, the rules describe Taking 10 as "a safety measure." If this is literal rather than a metaphor, it means that Taking 10 is fine if Taking 10 prevents the danger. The character can Take 10 as he jumps between the buildings, because Taking 10 means he has no danger of falling and, therefore, he is not in immediate danger.

Does this argument apply to Stealth?

No.

It ought to have applied, but Stealth has another problem. Stealth checks are opposed die rolls. A single d20 roll against a Difficulty Class threshold has 20 different possible outcomes. Some outcomes are success and the others are failure. Taking 10 selects one definite outcome, and the players and GM can see in advance that it is safely successful. An opposed pair of die rolls have 400 possible outcomes. Taking 10 narrows them down to 20 outcomes, all based on the opposed check. The character Taking 10 in stealth would need a Stealth modifier 11 greater than the opposed Perception modifier to guarantee success. Okay, a 10th-level rogue sneaking past a 1st-level watchman can Take 10. It would be routine for him. But anyone else with a less overwhelming Stealth modifier would be in danger of being spotted even if he Took 10.

Furthermore, questioning why Stealth is an opposed roll is answered with game-design psychology about making the game fun. Rogue versus watchman can be a key confrontation in the adventure. The player wants to do something at key moments, and the iconic act of doing something in D&D and Pathfinder is rolling a die. If the players says, "This is a matter of life and death. So I had better not risk a die roll. I'll take 10," then the drama of the successfully sneaking has just been shot down. The player can still take pride that his rogue is so sneaky that he can treat such a confrontation as routine, but the excitement is lost.

Taking 10 as a solution to too many die rolls would make Stealth less fun for the players.

On the other hand, too many die rolls would make Stealth less fun, too. I sneak down the hallway and I roll for Stealth, I open the door and I roll for Stealth, I carefully scan the room from the doorway and I roll for Stealth, I drink my potion of Spider Climb and I roll for Stealth, I climb toward the skylight in the ceiling and I roll for Stealth, I continue climbing toward the skylight and I roll for Stealth, I open the skylight and I roll for Stealth, I poke my head out the skylight and scan the roof and roll for Stealth--awk! There is a guard on the roof! All those Stealth rolls and only the last one was a confrontation. When almost all Stealth rolls are meaningless, running into a meaningful one is surprise rather than excitement.

551 to 600 of 641 << first < prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Stealth Playtest--Stealth All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.