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Dracomicron wrote:
Uncle Altronus's Ship Stop and Gunnery Shop

That's what those Kasathas are hiding under those scarves: moustaches.

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You know those threads...

But nothing has changed. RAW still makes it so that an invisible rogue behind a wall gets +20 Stealth to... move silently. That's the "ghost steps bug".

Also, rules lack consolidation between the invisibility SA and Perception rules. There are modifiers that differ, which is annoying.

This whole affair is very obviously caused by the merging of Listen/Spot. 3.5 Invisibility was very clear. PF made it muddy because handling multi-modality Perception seems hard. It need not be so, because we've got the conceal/cover mechanics...

Suggested easy fix/clarification
Scrap the +20 stealth, and the 3.5-throwback invisibility move bonusses.
In fact, scrap all numeric perception rules that appear in the Invisibility SA entry. Then clarify the Perception rules thusly:

A) "Plain Sight". Creature has no conceal/cover.
Usually, just assume you're seen.
Straight DC to notice is 0/-5/-10/-20 for an immobile/½spd/full/running creature. This might matter if distraction + long-range piles up.

B) "Hiding". Creature has partial conceal/cover.
Use Stealth (-5 for full speed). {"sight"+"sound"}
A running creature would be a straight DC-20, in case it ever matters...

C) "Hidden/Invisible". Creature has total conceal/cover (behind a wall, or invisible).
Use Stealth (-5 for full speed). {"sound" only}
+20 bonus if immobile.
A running creature would be a straight DC0.
Also, if you beat an invisible check by 20, you confirm its presence visually.

Lengthy balance, rationale and comments in the spoiler below..


No +20 from invisibility seems unfair? It's crucial to remember that an invisible creature has a huge advantage on being able to always hide in plain sight. Also, if your opponent beats your Stealth by less than 20, he's still only "aware of something". But if you're not invisible, he knows you're somewhere behind cover, which is close to a pinpoint. If you're invisible, you could be anywhere! So, it's almost like having +20 already.

As in 3.5, an invisible creature *can* be visually noticed. This is the "Predator Cloaking Clause". But it's hard. In 3.5, it was a straight DC20/30/40. To makes things more homogenous, and in line with the suggested PF ruling, this could be replaced with Stealth+20, +20 for being immobile, and modified for speed. (again, think about a running vs. sneaking vs. immobile Predator).
However, as in 3.5, and as clearly specified in the spell desc, invisibility does not affect sound.
Therefore, in most cases, sneaks will be noticed by sound rather than sight. That's why the DC to notice an invisible creature has no +20 bonus! If you beat the DC by 20, then you've a) pinpointed the creature by sound *and* b) visually noticed something weird.
The -5/-10/-20 speed mods come from a mix of the new PF invis SA and Perception entries.

Corner cases
* Invisible creature, no cover, with deaf onlooker / sneak behind glass wall / "deaf" remote magical sensor.
--> You can see but not hear. In that case, just slap the normal "deaf" Perception malus, and grant the sneak the normal +20 "Predator" bonus.

The "visual cues" argument
There's a counter-argument that says you can use visual cues to analyse sounds, hence the +20 bonus to not hear you when invisible. I just can't figure this argument.
An invisible creature still produces visual cues, such as dust and moved objects. The only difference is shadows, which he doesn't cast. But the rules basically don't cover lighting and shadows (it would be highly complex) anyways.
Also, plus twenty for visual cues!! Mmm.... I really don't think that's RAI!

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Here's a PDF file to help the GM manage the chase scene and the NPC attitude!

Goblin Guild GM aids

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(This is about Aid Another when used for a skill, not an attack)
(Also, I'm posting here because it's more of an issue in PFS, where you get larger groups and you can't house-rule)


P1) Anybody can help an inspired expert and push him further. Good points have been made elsewhere about the notion that a journeyman can help an expert at times. Sure, when he underperforms. But what if the expert excels?

P2) It's risk-free. Shouldn't totally clumsy PCs hamper the expert?

P3) It destroys the balance of hard DCs in those specific skills where you can use it (e.g. diplomacy) relative to the others (e.g. knowledge).

Example 1: the half-elf bard does a brillant speech, rolling 30... and not only can the rude dwarf barbarian actually improve that result, also there's no way he can make any misplaced comment or rude noise.

Example 2: nobody's good at Intimidation in the party, but don't fret: even the skinny wizard and the bland cleric can help push the bard into Difficult DC territory, risk-free.

Result= seasoned players always ask for Aid and the "everybody roll for Aid!" drill becomes dull and involves no planning nor reflection whatsoever. Also, tasks where Aid is possible become a joke.

Simple maths shows you that Aid adds on average at least 5 to the check result for a 5-PC party, which is a very large bonus. The average level 2 party can succeed on "difficult" DC20 at least 80% of the time. Worse is the fact that it is independent of the DC. So that the obtuse fighter can actually help see through elaborate lies, for example.

Here are fix ideas. The problem is the RAW leaves little wriggle room

Fixes that don't involve rule change:

F1) Put drastic limitations on the number of aiders. Flaw: doesn't address P1 nor P2.

F2) Forbid Aid and use Group Checks (take the best result) instead. Prevents P1 and is easy to apply. Flaw: doesn't fully prevents P3. Doesn't address P2.

Fixes that involve rules change:

F3) D&D4 style. Failing the Aid gives -2 to the expert. Advantage: minor change, simple to use, self-regulating. Flaw: requires some GM oversight. Doesn't really address P1.

F4) Group Checks with Hamper. Make a group check for all active participants, but substract 2 to the best result for each result under 10 (min=worst result). Good for e.g. Diplomacy checks. For e.g. stealth checks, use Weakest Link with Help: take the worst result, but add 2 for results above 10 (max= best result). Self-regulating, still allows constant usefulness from decently-skilled PCs, but does not imbalance the challenges, while allowing risk-taking ("I'll try and help anyways!"). Flaw: longer to explain and resolve

What do you think? What's your experience with aid?