Hide in Plain Sight


Rules Questions

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ZappoHisbane wrote:

I know I'm going back a ways in the thread here, but I don't agree with this interpretation. I think that a character with the Shadowdancer version of HiPS can still hide from a character with Darkvision, even without cover or invisibility. The HiPS ability specifically states it can be used even when being observed.

Even if the shadows can't be seen by a creature with darkvision, they're still there, and their power can be tapped by the shadowdancer. I picture this as the shadowdancer not just blending in well with the shadows, but actually becoming part of the shadows themselves. Not enough to become insubstantial or even invisible, but it goes beyond a simple 'hide in shadows' check. That's why it's a supernatural ability, albeit one whose effectiveness is determined by skill.

I can still see my original argument. If a creature's vision is unhindered by shadow (IE: they see through shadow) how can you effectively use shadows to hide from them. It would be like trying to use shadows to hide from a creature with blind sense.

:: OFF TOPIC - Which oddly enough is possible = Darkstalker::

I think it is written differently in the 3.5 DMG, I can't check it right now but I believe it specifically states HiPS doesn't work against Darkvision. It is not written as clearly as I would like in the PRD. While I am not 100% sure on this subject I could be easily persuaded to see your view. I agree that a (SU) ability, which is magical in nature, does seem like it would trump a natural environmental adaptation.

However, if it is explicitly written in the 3.5 DMG that HiPS does not work against Darkvision. Then if that wording has been changed in the PF rules, it would seem, their intent was to change that rule. I would have to find it in the DMG and compare. If anyone could find that and post it in the forum that would be much appreciated. I think it was in the DMG under Darkvision but I could be wrong, it may be in the PHB.

I really wish I had my books with me, it would make all these things so much easier .


You mean in the 3.5 DMG entry for the shadow dancer? It should be the same as the one in the 3.5 SDR. I don't see any direct referances to darkvision negating it HiPS. Nor do I see anything in the entry for dark vision itself. Most clearly it says they can't see without the ability.

This would reveal someone using the concealment of the darkness to hide, but not someone using a special ablility to hide without cover and concealment. In the case of the shadow dancer in PF darkvision does not change the lighting condition. As it is still dim light the SD can use it's ability. Now if someone cast darkness the spell and moved into the area of dimlight the SD was in.... Well it's no longer dim light is it?


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Now if someone cast darkness the spell and moved into the area of dimlight the SD was in.... Well it's no longer dim light is it?

*sigh* By the RAW, you're quite right. A shadowdancer cannot hide in plain sight in darkness, only in dim light (or within 10' of it). The moment anyone actually tries to use that arguement in a game is when I stop playing that game though.

It's the same nonsense as the 3.5 darkness spell that some extreme literalists (or those intent on bashing 3.5 vs 3.0) used to claim that it *created* light in otherwise pitch black areas. At least PF has fixed that idiocy.


ZappoHisbane wrote:
Dorje Sylas wrote:
Now if someone cast darkness the spell and moved into the area of dimlight the SD was in.... Well it's no longer dim light is it?

*sigh* By the RAW, you're quite right. A shadowdancer cannot hide in plain sight in darkness, only in dim light (or within 10' of it). The moment anyone actually tries to use that arguement in a game is when I stop playing that game though.

It's the same nonsense as the 3.5 darkness spell that some extreme literalists (or those intent on bashing 3.5 vs 3.0) used to claim that it *created* light in otherwise pitch black areas. At least PF has fixed that idiocy.

A simple Erratta would fix that nonsense. "A shadowdancer can use hide in plain sight in areas of Dim light or darker." or some such.

(at least it's an easy houserule :)


Isn't that half the point. The need shadows which are the interplay between light and darkness. If there is no light there are no shadows. That is why I suspect that it was dim light only. You could use the shadow dancers ability in total darkness in 3.5, no shadows. True it was easy to bring up light to create shadows.


I agree that HiPS would work against Darkvision. Darkvision is generally a natural occurrence and only an (EX) ability. A (SU) is likely more powerful and thus would win. In addition it also says in the Glossary of the PRD under Darkvision, that this does not allow a creature with Darkvision to see something they otherwise couldn't.

So yes, I do think HiPS trumps Darkvision.


I think this subject is going to start majorly dipping into opinion. By the strictest interpretation of RAW you are absolutely right IMO Dorje Sylas. It does say dim light which does not specify darkness. Also in the Shadowdancer's description it says they exist between light and darkness, so I can even see this as the potential RAI. I definitely see your POV and I think that if you played it that way there would be a great potential for very interesting role play. However, even under these interpretations a Shadowdancer could absolutely use HiPS in an area of darkness, as long as he was still within 10' of an area of dim light .

I do see this as a debate of RAW vs. RAI and I don't know that there is a clear winner here because there are several situational things in the rules and descriptions themselves that point to a potentially different RAI than what is actually written in the HiPS description. I will explain the points that come to mind in the best way that I can. Understand however, I am not arguing RAW, the strict interpretation of the rules support your stance IMO.

1) Many of the Shadowdancer's abilities draw power from pure darkness (IE: the Plane of Shadow): Shadow Illusion, Shadow Call, Shadow Power, Summon Shadow. They even get Darkvision vs. Low-light vision. If I were a Shadowdancer who knew that THREE of my main ability didn't work in darkness I would not travel into the darkness all too often, and when I did I would bring a source of light to create dim light. Low-light Vision would in this case actually be a far better fit because it allows you to see twice as far in bright light, light, and dim light conditions; whereas with Darkvision, your vision in dim light is not changed at all and even in darkness you can only see out to a certain radius, usually 60 feet.

2) This would not stop a clever Shadowdancer anyway; it would just lead to the commissioning of custom magic items. For instance: A continual light charm that produced light as a candle instead of as a torch. This is easily within the realm of possible and it would be quite cheap to create, so for a DM to deny their player this because there is no spell in the PF rulebook that does it would just be ridiculous IMO.

3) Many abilities or situations are written in a way as to provide you with the minimum requirements to do a certain thing, or prerequisite. Dim light in this case could be considered the prerequisite condition for using HiPS and some other Shadowdancer abilities. Does it mean you can’t use them in darkness, not necessarily, just that all you need is an area of dim light.

4) Compare it with the Ranger's Camouflage and HiPS which is are only (EX) abilities. If a Ranger were to take "Urban (buildings, streets, and sewers)" (any terrain will do) as a favored terrain, using his (EX) abilities he is as good or better than the Shadowdancer who has a (SU) ability. I am all for the Ranger having his edge, and in areas of bright light and light there is no contest, but the night should belong to the Shadowdancer and if you let a Ranger with an (EX) non-magical (raw talent) ability outclass a Shadowdancer who has a (SU) very magical power, which he has had to highly specialize and take a PrC to get, I think you would be doing the Shadowdancer an injustice. The Ranger is already allowed to use his ability in any light condition and the Ranger's ability is impervious to Antimagic fields, so by ruling thus, you have made an (EX) ability far superior in almost every way to a (SU) which I cannot imagine was the RAI in this case.

5) If you open up the door with dim light doesn’t mean darkness I believe you would be opening up the door on a lot of other things too. A player might feel forced to resort to word games and interpretation battles to be able to use his ability in an element that he is supposed to feel right at home in (darkness). What I mean by that is something along the lines of: interpretations and word-gaming area of dim light . The argument could be: "Of course I can hide within 10' of my enemy, even in a condition of light, he has a shadow and the shadow is most certainly not an area of light, so it must be one category lighter, an area of dim light." You can at this point say, "No the rule defines the conditions of dim light as a starlit night or having a bright moon." At which time your player says, "Not at all, those are merely examples of the conditions of dim light, and even in conditions of "light" there can be an area of dim light present, case in point: the Darkness spell, all it does is cause a shadow to cover an area. It is normal shadow, nothing extraordinary about it, creatures with Darkvision can even see through it now. So, if all it does is create an area shadow effect which drops the level of light in that area one step, then why doesn't a normal shadow (IE: my enemy's shadow) also drop the light one step in that small area." Visually, he is right; the light in that area is probably one step less. Mechanically he is right because there is no defined size attached to area of dim light so really, why couldn't a person’s shadow, in a condition of light, create a small, yet suitable, area of dim light. And now, because you have limited the ability of your Shadowdancer to "shine" in "his element" you have created another problem which is, he is using word and interpretations games to use your very own strict adherence to RAW against you. Sure you can just say "NO, a shadow is not a suitable area of dim light" but you have no RAW, that I have seen, to back you up so really you would be doing the same thing he is doing. Ultimately, you just end up with a very unsatisfied player and a very frustrated DM.

6) Your stance is that darkness is not shadow and therefore Shadowdancers cannot use their abilities. I would argue that darkness is indeed shadow and the darker it is the more prevalent and powerful the shadow becomes. In fact, what is the night except a massive shadow cast over half the world?

8) My final point is based solely on flavor and my own view. I would think that both Shadowdancer and Assassin would be perfect fits for a house spy/assassin in a Drow society. But if you live in Underdark your whole life and there are very few areas of even dim light in Underdark, your view has rendered the Assassin quite a bit less effective (especially now that he no longer has spells so he can't just use invisibility) and the Shadowdancer as at least 50% less effective, if not more than that, because several of his major abilities including HiPS, Shadow Jump, and his new capstone ability Shadow Master all say he must be in an area of dim light. So, two classes that I would think would be absolutely perfect fits for a Drow spy/assassin are now both quite inferior to a normal run of the mil Rogue in the same conditions.

So, do I think that RAW is on your side; yes I would say that unfortunately by RAW I think you are correct. Do I think it is RAI to make a Shadowdancer so inferior to a normal Rogue in the darkness, no not at all and I would have to argue that the RAI here is to show that a prerequisite of at least an area of dim light is needed for the Shadowdancer’s abilities rather than that he cannot use them except in dim light.

Dim light is only one of four light conditions and, as it is explained in the rules, probably the least prevalent condition of the four (especially for an adventurer). Why would you build an entire PrC around an idea that he can only operate effectively in one of four conditions. And on top of that make it the hardest condition to find in a dungeon, cave, moonless night, or any number of other dark and dingy places that only an adventurer would tread. I would definitely have to argue that it is not the RAI here.


Dorje Sylas wrote:

You mean in the 3.5 DMG entry for the shadow dancer? It should be the same as the one in the 3.5 SDR. I don't see any direct referances to darkvision negating it HiPS. Nor do I see anything in the entry for dark vision itself. Most clearly it says they can't see without the ability.

This would reveal someone using the concealment of the darkness to hide, but not someone using a special ablility to hide without cover and concealment. In the case of the shadow dancer in PF darkvision does not change the lighting condition. As it is still dim light the SD can use it's ability. Now if someone cast darkness the spell and moved into the area of dimlight the SD was in.... Well it's no longer dim light is it?

I was almost sure there was something in the 3.5 DMG about this; I thought it was under the Darkvision description. I'm not sure if the PHB has a Darkvision description but if it does it could be there. Perhaps, I just read it wrong and it is not unlike the PF description. I will have to look for it when I have access to my books again.

Thank you for looking for it Dorje Sylas, I do appreciate it.


For anyone reading this and interested in reading similar posts and threads check these threads.

All of these are older threads but have a lot of similar discussions:

Nethys has a post on the first one confirming that Rogues do get sneak attack if they attack from stealth.

Can Rogues Sneak Attack when Stealthed? Or Not? Also check out Kyrt-ryder’s post here explains rules for this as presented in Complete Adventurer.

How does Hide in Plain Sight work in Combat?

Hide in Plain Sight – Hey! Where’d she go?

Rogues and Hide in Plain Sight


Shadowlord wrote:

Then you have to put it to the test and use examples. What could a 5th lvl Rogue 10th lvl Assassin do with this feat? Well let’s say he maxed out Stealth +15 ranks, +3 class skill, by lvl 15 he probably has at least a base of 20 Dex, so that is another +5. Let’s say he knew all along he wanted to do this so he got Skill Focus Stealth, that's +6. So we are sitting at +29 to Stealth before ever accounting for magical equipment or rolling the die. Let's give him Shadowed Armor* +10 Stealth and a Cloak of Elvenkind +5 Stealth. And let’s give him a belt that adds +2 to Dex just to make the number even. Now we have a +45 without ever laying a hand on the die.

*These Items both give Competence bonuses and for the life of me I can't remember right now if they stack or not. I can't find the rule on PRD. It is only a +/- 5 difference in the example anyway so I am not too worried about it.

So lets say your Assassin rolls exactly average every time, IE 10. He will get a 55 Stealth check every time.

The Ranger has Perception as a class skill so we will use him for this example. 15 lvl Ranger has 15 ranks in Perception, +3 for class skill, and a Wis of 14 (since that is all he needs for his spells) giving another +2. So, he has a +20 to his skill and if he rolls exactly average every time that will be a 30 Perception.

By this model your Assassin could easily make four attacks without being seen.

OK first off competence bonuses do not stack (Circumstance do).

Now if you are buffing the assassin buff the ranger.

The ranger being an outdoorsy type took alertness and skill focus perception (He is supposed to spot ambushes). His perception is now base of 30. Lets give him the Crystal mask of Insight (magic item compendium) for a +9 insight bonus to perception. Now he is at 39 compared to your 45, a differnce of only 6.

Now the ranger (since he is a spell caster after all) casts primal senses (3rd level ranger spell dragon magic) last 24 hours, +5 competence bonus to perception and has a perception of 44 vs your assassins stealth of 45.

So basically ANY skill can be focused on and buffed.

As a side note rangers (and most rangers I have seen played use all four primal spells as soon as they can) can get improved uncanny dodge by using the first second third and fourth level primal spell. meaning they would not be able to be sneak attacked by a rogue/assassin unless said rogue was 4 levels higher then them.


Ughbash wrote:
OK first off competence bonuses do not stack (Circumstance do).

Like I said I couldn't remember if they stacked or not, it was actually answered for me in another thread but thank you for bringing it up here as it will ensure any readers will know the answer as well.

It is a minor inconvenience really, I don't need the Cloak and could just as easily throw Greater Shadowed Armor on my Assassin and still have the +15 to Stealth.

Quote:
Now if you are buffing the assassin buff the ranger.

You are right and generally speaking I would but neither this Ranger nor the Assassin was meant to represent the epitome of Stealth vs. Perception. I picked Ranger simply because Perception is a class skill for them. I have never seen a character devote as much to Perception skills in 3.5 (IE: Spot & Listen) as to Stealth skills so I didn't buff him up that much. It wasn't supposed to represent the elite spotting Ranger you have described but rather the normal situation you would run into and the average NPC probably wouldn't be as focused as you describe (at least based on my experiences gaming). Nor was my Assassin meant to represent an elite stealth killing machine but rather the things that you normally see on a stealth based character. I also wanted to keep my scenario somewhat basic and core-centric as many things I myself would use are not available to all players in all games.

Quote:

The ranger being an outdoorsy type took alertness and skill focus perception (He is supposed to spot ambushes). His perception is now base of 30. Lets give him the Crystal mask of Insight (magic item compendium) for a +9 insight bonus to perception. Now he is at 39 compared to your 45, a differnce of only 6.

Now the ranger (since he is a spell caster after all) casts primal senses (3rd level ranger spell dragon magic) last 24 hours, +5 competence bonus to perception and has a perception of 44 vs your assassins stealth of 45.

Fair enough. I will go ahead and add Sneaky to my list of feats which will give me a +4. I already gained my +5 from the cloak back with Greater Shadow Armor. I was being very generous with the 20 Dex, it is after all the Assassin primary Stat, and so, by lvl 15 it would not be hard to have 22 as a BASE Dex. Again it is the primary skill so I would really have the belt of Dex +4 as well. Now for a pretty chunk of gold you can get a Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis which will let me gain the Dark Creature template for 10 min/day giving me a +8 to Stealth (among other things) and personally I also think it is very worth it to buy the ritual that adds the Shadow Walker template to your character which is a +2 Dex and another +4 I think to Stealth. That puts me at a +58 to Stealth and IF we say I roll average each time at +68. Now I would consider myself pretty elite in the Stealth department and could easily roll a 1 on my Stealth check and still slip past you. On top of that by lvl 15 I am sure my Assassin would have experienced a few elite spotters so I will probably have invested in a Ring (or at least a few Potions) of Invisibility, possibly even greater invisibility, which will give me another +20 to Stealth while moving around. And now I could easily roll a 1 and still get past you even if you roll at 20. Also if I really just want to get ridiculous with it I can drink a Potion of Reduce Person and get another +2 Dex and +4 size bonus to Stealth.

In total now I am sitting at +83 before I touch the die and assuming I roll about averagely every time I have a 93 Stealth check.

Quote:
So basically ANY skill can be focused on and buffed.

Yes it certainly can, but my example was not to go into elite special cases it was to compare the Average stealth based character with the Average Perception build. I don’t know many characters who would put feats into Perception. Are there exceptions and elite trackers who would do this and have a lot of magic added to their Perception, YES. But I would say that my original example did a fair job (if somewhat flawed by situations and details) of presenting a very basic and average scenario.

Quote:
As a side note rangers (and most rangers I have seen played use all four primal spells as soon as they can) can get improved uncanny dodge by using the first second third and fourth level primal spell. meaning they would not be able to be sneak attacked by a rogue/assassin unless said rogue was 4 levels higher then them.

This really doesn't have anything to do with it, as I said it was just a basic example of average builds, it didn’t even have to be Assassin vs. Ranger it could just as easily be any other class. However, my answer would be "I'm an Assassin; I'll just kill you while you are sleeping." If I really wanted to be sporting about it and try to kill the Ranger while he was awake I would probably use the stealth/strike tactics and see how that went. If it wasn’t going well for me I would most likely immobilize the Ranger with either Iron Bands of Binding or a Scroll of Hold Person or something similar. Also again "I'm an Assassin" and as such I get to use poisons and would make frequent and effective use of them. With a simple stack of Feats + Magic Items + Full Attack Action at lvl 15 I could give a +6 to the base save DC of any poison I care to use, turning even the base DC 13 save for Drow Poison into a much more dangerous 19 save vs. sleep and that is about the least nasty poison I would be using.

Obviously Rangers have other tricks up their sleeves and Assassins as well as other stealthy characters have additional tricks as well. The battle could go any number of ways and there are countless combinations, situations, and considerations which would affect it; not the least of which are the dice which could be for or against you that battle. The point was not to compare elite specimens and try to stack as many things as I could on each side, the point was to try and give a fair representation of average builds, which I believe I did in my ORIGINAL EXAMPLE .


Ughbash wrote:
As a side note rangers (and most rangers I have seen played use all four primal spells as soon as they can) can get improved uncanny dodge by using the first second third and fourth level primal spell. meaning they would not be able to be sneak attacked by a rogue/assassin unless said rogue was 4 levels higher then them.

That is not entirely accurate. I can still get Sneak Attack damage on you; it is just a lot harder. And the 4 lvls higher thing is ONLY for flanking. Uncanny Dodge is the one that says you can't be caught flat-footed or lose your Dex bonus to AC, and it doesn't say anything about a Rogue 4 lvls higher being able to negate that. However, someone who is good at Feinting would still easily get Sneak Attack damage on you every round. And if you were immobilized you would be vulnerable as well. By no means does it make you immune to SA, it just makes it more difficult.


Shadowlord wrote:
Ughbash wrote:
As a side note rangers (and most rangers I have seen played use all four primal spells as soon as they can) can get improved uncanny dodge by using the first second third and fourth level primal spell. meaning they would not be able to be sneak attacked by a rogue/assassin unless said rogue was 4 levels higher then them.

That is not entirely accurate. I can still get Sneak Attack damage on you; it is just a lot harder. And the 4 lvls higher thing is ONLY for flanking. Uncanny Dodge is the one that says you can't be caught flat-footed or lose your Dex bonus to AC, and it doesn't say anything about a Rogue 4 lvls higher being able to negate that. However, someone who is good at Feinting would still easily get Sneak Attack damage on you every round. And if you were immobilized you would be vulnerable as well. By no means does it make you immune to SA, it just makes it more difficult.

Uncanny Dodge prevents sneak attack from flatfootedness, denied dex still counts. If it didn't feinting wouldn't do any good because that's how your getting sneak attack from a feint, by denying dex. (My guess is you typo'd and meant to say what I did, but figured it should be pointed out)


A good number of those conditions are so very similar that it can sometimes get a blurry that they don't all mean the same thing, as many of them can apply at the same time. Not that I'd lump them altogether as that would just create blank yes/no immunity situations.


Again in most campaigns I am in Perception is the skill that is kept maxxed by almsot everyone. Just as you went in for several more items to boost it, so could the ranger.

Heck easiest way to shut down a sneak attacker is armor or shield with full fortitude (again something PC's tend to buy at first opportunity in the campaigns I am in).

As for sneaking in on someone is sneak still automatically negated by blindsense and blindsight?

ANY one shot character and if you specialize in Sneak to that extent (having rituals done etc) you are a one shot character can be defeated by similar and usuallyless expensive means. Now his stealthiness will work great MOST of the time, I dont' deny that. But every now and then something will come up that shuts him down.

Quote:

Some creatures possess blindsight, the extraordinary

ability to use a nonvisual sense (or a combination senses)
to operate effectively without vision. Such senses may
include sensitivity to vibrations, acute scent, keen hearing,or echolocation. This makes invisibility and concealment
(even magical darkness) irrelevant to the creature (though it
still can’t see ethereal creatures). This ability operates out to
a range specified in the creature description.

For every offense there is a defense.


Shadowlord wrote:
That is not entirely accurate. I can still get Sneak Attack damage on you; it is just a lot harder. And the 4 lvls higher thing is ONLY for flanking. Uncanny Dodge is the one that says you can't be caught flat-footed or lose your Dex bonus to AC, and it doesn't say anything about a Rogue 4 lvls higher being able to negate that. However, someone who is good at Feinting would still easily get Sneak Attack damage on you every round. And if you were immobilized you would be vulnerable as well. By no means does it make you immune to SA, it just makes it more difficult.

Yeah this was an afterthought and not worded nearly as well as I would have liked. Again posting right before bed, at least I got it grammatically correct this time.

I do have a question though for those of you who have access to your books. Is the 3.5 Uncanny Dodge entry different than the PF one? I ask because I thought I remembered something in the 3.5 version along the lines of: cannot lose Dex bonus to AC (in addition to never being flat-footed); Then Sage came out and said: Feinting does work against Uncanny Dodge because it was a big argument that Feinting denied Dex bonus but UD said you can't lose Dex bonus to AC.

I believe the spirit of the rule is: You can never be caught flat-footed and normally you do not lose Dex bonus to AC but can still be denied Dex bonus to AC if certain things occur. Am I wrong in this? If that wasn't the intention why would they point out that Feinting would cause you to lose your Dex bonus to AC? If they intentionally took out the part that said you can't lose your Dex bonus to AC then of course Feinting would work, along with Invisibility as long as you weren't Flat-Footed. The Invisible creature might not be able to catch you Flat-Footed, but they would still get all the bonuses from being an invisible attacker.

My reason for asking this is that I re-read Uncanny Dodge in the PRD after I saw your post and it doesn't say anything about keeping your Dex bonus to AC I thought it used to but rather only that you cannot be caught flat-footed. Now there are a couple of scenarios where this small difference would make a big impact. For instance: Invisible Stalker - the first attack would normally catch an opponent flat-footed, but not the case with the Rogue because he has UD. If the Invisible Stalker when first in the first round of combat he would normally catch an opponent flat-footed again, again not so with the Rogue because he has UD. But after that combat continues and the Rogue is no longer facing the problem of being flat-footed but rather that his attacker is invisible and these are two different situations, which I thought, were both addressed under UD but it now only says you can’t be caught flat-footed. An invisible attacker though negates your Dex bonus to AC even when you aren't considered flat-footed. So, is invisibility all it takes to overpower UD now? Or am I reading something wrong. (Keep in mind Blind Fighting is all it would take to defeat invisibility in this way, but I really thought it was taken care of under the UD entry in 3.5)

Posting relevant rules here:

Flat-Footed:
Flat-Footed: A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, unable to react normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity.

Invisible Attacker:
Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents' Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). See Invisibility, under Special Abilities.

Blind Fighting:
BLIND-FIGHT (COMBAT)
You are skilled at attacking opponents that you cannot clearly perceive.
Benefit: In melee, every time you miss because of concealment (see Combat), you can reroll your miss chance percentile roll one time to see if you actually hit.
An invisible attacker gets no advantages related to hitting you in melee. That is, you don't lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, and the attacker doesn't get the usual +2 bonus for being invisible. The invisible attacker's bonuses do still apply for ranged attacks, however.
You do not need to make Acrobatics skill checks to move at full speed while blinded.
Normal: Regular attack roll modifiers for invisible attackers trying to hit you apply, and you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC. The speed reduction for darkness and poor visibility also applies.
Special: The Blind-Fight feat is of no use against a character who is the subject of a blink spell.


I am seeking detailed clarification on the way the rules interact on the OFFICIAL RULINGS NEEDED thread HERE

I will post the answers and a link to the whole conversation when I get my questions are set to rest.


I know this is going way back in the thread again but I have more to say about the HiPS vs. Darkvision discussion.

We discussed, and I believe all agreed, that HiPS (at least the SU version) was magical and therefore you could use it to hide in the shadows without cover even against a creature with Darkvision.

I found further evidence to support this view:

In the Additional Rules section of the PRD right above where it says:

Quote:
A creature can't hide within 60 feet of a character with darkvision unless it is invisible or has cover.

it also says this:

Quote:
A creature can't use Stealth in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover.

This leads me to further believe that these entries as well as the entry under Darkvision are simply referring to a normal use of the normal Stealth skill and not intended to imply that Darkvision would ever override HiPS(SU) and possibly not even HiPS(EX) as they are worded similarly the only difference being one is magical and one is based purely on skill.


Ughbash wrote:
Again in most campaigns I am in Perception is the skill that is kept maxxed by almsot everyone. Just as you went in for several more items to boost it, so could the ranger.

That's fine, I have very rarely seen PC's with max ranks in Perception skills in 3.5 (I haven't played PF yet) and only a hand full of elite NPC guardsmen and scout types. I have never seen anyone waste more than one feat on it and I have only seen a hand full of people buy magic items to boost it. I am sure there are ways to further boost Perception as well, though I’ve never seen anyone with a Perception near 93. Like I said it wasn't about Elite Stealth Killer vs. Elite Tracker it was about showing a general and basic example. And again, I think I did that fairly well.

Quote:
Heck easiest way to shut down a sneak attacker is armor or shield with full fortitude (again something PC's tend to buy at first opportunity in the campaigns I am in).

There are feats in the Complete books, Adventurer or Warrior I think, that allow someone to bypass their targets armor. There is also a necklace in the Magic Item Compendium that will let you do the same thing 3/day. Or maybe just pick up a potion or two of True Strike, or gloves of True Strike. For enough money there is always the Brilliant Energy Weapon enchant (probably wouldn’t have this at 15 though). As for Fortification (I think that was the enchantment you were referring to) it's not going to help against poison , immobilization, or scrolls of Disenchant. If you are spending all of your money buying defensive stuff to protect you from assassins you probably have something that makes you immune to poison too, again, scrolls of Disenchant. If that doesn’t work, well that's fine, again "Assassin" I will just kill you in your sleep; no one wears their armor 24/7. There is also Death Attack to consider.

Quote:
ANY one shot character and if you specialize in Sneak to that extent (having rituals done etc) you are a one shot character can be defeated by similar and usually less expensive means. Now his stealthiness will work great MOST of the time, I dont' deny that. But every now and then something will come up that shuts him down.

I am well aware that there are things out there, both enemies and challenges, that this Assassin would not want to face alone and would probably fail against. I have never seen any character PC or NPC that at lvl 15 could even come close to a 93 on their Perception. And if you have spent enough money to protect yourself from all the OFFENSIVE tactics I just put forth then you will have a very nice defense indeed and next to no offense of your own so chances are the Elite Stealth killer is less of a one shot character than the Elite Spotting defensive character. I think that a character this devoted to a Stealth which is both extremely offensive and extremely defensive would be a lot more versatile than a tracker who seems built around Perception and defensive protections. Once again however, I would like to point out this was not about Elite Assassin vs. Elite Tracker, it was meant to be a general example of likely builds and if I would have said Fighter or Monk or something else this probably never would have come up. I will point out that I think it is funny you insult this build by calling it a one shot concept but have not listed any way to actually get a Perception check high enough to see him.

Quote:
As for sneaking in on someone is sneak still automatically negated by blindsense and blindsight?

Yes it is, funny you should ask, I have seen this more than once recently.

Quote:

Some creatures possess blindsight, the extraordinary

ability to use a nonvisual sense (or a combination senses)
to operate effectively without vision. Such senses may
include sensitivity to vibrations, acute scent, keen hearing,or echolocation. This makes invisibility and concealment
(even magical darkness) irrelevant to the creature (though it
still can’t see ethereal creatures). This ability operates out to
a range specified in the creature description.

For every offense there is a defense.

Yup, and any Elite Stealth killer knows blindsense/blindsight are his major weaknesses. That is why if he is smart and knowledgeable about the subject he will have been trained as a Darkstalker.

Darkstalker feat in Lords of Madness: My Stealth works even against your scent/blindsense/blindsight/tremmorsense. You still have to beat a 93 Stealth check.

As a final note, again, this was not supposed to be about comparing extreme examples. It was about comparing the average Stealth build with the average Perception build. It didn’t have to be a Ranger and like I said before, had I called him a Fighter, Monk, Wizard, or any other class it probably wouldn’t have even drawn your attention. The average PC/NPC will probably (under the PF skill system) max out Perception. However, I stand by my original scenario and my claim that the average PC/NPC is not going to devote as much to Perception as you are saying this Ranger would (some might, very few, and they still wouldn’t devote enough to be even with the average Stealth build) while the average Stealth PC/NPC would probably have exactly what I mentioned in my Original Example.

Grand Lodge

Going back to the original posters question regarding a rangers hide in plain sight, I personally have looked at this ability to work in conjunction with camouflage.

scenario 1# A ranger is setting up an ambush and places himself on the edge of a clearing "infront of a tree". this gives him clear line of sight to the clearing without the need of cover or concealment. This only requires camouflage to do.

Scenario 2# As #1 except that the ranger is wounded in a fight in the clearing and decides to move up to the tree to hide this requires hide in plain sight and the ranger must remain hidden for it to be effective, if he attacks he loses the benefits. to onlookers it would be like he had run into the tree and vanished!

Now regarding the shadowdancer and assassin I simply think that the dim light reference replaces the requirement of camouflage in fact the wording does include the camouflage ability. however vs creatures with darkvision dim light isnt always effective. so in all respects shadowdancers and assassins work like scenario #2.

At no point would I allow HiPS to override the penalties for sniping. the two are significantly different to be used together but HiPS would not reduce the penalties, just remove the need for cover. in scenario 2 a ranger could snipe from his position infront of the tree and if quick enough (snipe difficulty) rehide himself.

now heres some TV/Movie scenarios that remind me of how these two abilities should work...

Alien: creature sits above console in ripleys ship looking like the pipes behind.

Predator: Arnie covered in mud sits still while the predator moves over him.

TV commercial for viera TVs - girl is painted to look like a yellow and red flag to remain undetected.


Quijenoth wrote:
At no point would I allow HiPS to override the penalties for sniping.

Some good examples. I agree with HiPS not negating or reducing the penalty for sniping. The major advantage of using the sniping rule for your ranged attacks is that you don't 'blip' into sight for a moment (needing only a perception check based on your distance from the target, without the benefit of your stealth ranks or die roll). Additionally if the ranger can also get both hight and distance (say 200 to 300 feet) the ranger will have additional advantages, such as a +1 to attack (helping to off set range) and +20 to +30 to his Stealth DC to be spotted.


Quijenoth wrote:
Going back to the original posters question regarding a rangers hide in plain sight, I personally have looked at this ability to work in conjunction with camouflage.

The original poster didn't specify that he was asking about Ranger HiPS or any other specific type. I do agree, however, that the Camouflage and HiPS(EX) that Ranger's get are meant to work together and stack for his use in Favored Terrains.

Quote:
scenario 1# A ranger is setting up an ambush and places himself on the edge of a clearing "infront of a tree". this gives him clear line of sight to the clearing without the need of cover or concealment. This only requires camouflage to do.

I agree. After the combat begins, however, and he leaves stealth he will need either HiPS or Cover and a Distraction to hide again. Unless of course he is actually Sniping, in which case he may never leave Stealth.

Quote:
Scenario 2# As #1 except that the ranger is wounded in a fight in the clearing and decides to move up to the tree to hide this requires hide in plain sight and the ranger must remain hidden for it to be effective, if he attacks he loses the benefits. to onlookers it would be like he had run into the tree and vanished!

I think I understand what you are portraying and I agree. But there are other tactics the Ranger could use. He could move (while hidden using Camouflage and HiPS) to a new location fire off a few arrows and then hide again, moving from location to location under cover of stealth and keeping the enemy guessing as to where he is. Picture the first combat scene in The Patriot, where Mel Gibson is running to different pre-designated locations and the enemy can't get a good fix on him.

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Now regarding the shadowdancer and assassin I simply think that the dim light reference replaces the requirement of camouflage in fact the wording does include the camouflage ability. however vs creatures with darkvision dim light isnt always effective. so in all respects shadowdancers and assassins work like scenario #2.

Shadowdancer/Assassin HiPS(SU) encompasses both Ranger abilities (Camouflage and HiPS(EX)). For example: As long as the Ranger is in his Favored Terrain and has both Camouflage and HiPS he can use Stealth even while being observed and even with no concealment/cover. As long as the Shadowdancer/Assassin is within 10' of an area of dim light/shadow he can use stealth even while being observed and with no concealment/cover. You could think of the Shadowdancer/Assassin HiPS as working the exact same way as a Ranger's Camouflage and HiPS and within 10' of an area of dim light/shadow as the Shadowdancer/Assassin favored terrain. Keep in mind the Shadowdancer/Assassin could easily use HiPS in an area of normal light, as long as they are within 10' of dim light/shadow.

They work almost exactly the same but with a few different requirements/circumstances. There is also another form of HiPS(EX) that Dark Creatures get and I believe it says as long as they are in an area of dim light (or shadow, I can’t remember) they can use stealth even while being observed and even with no concealment/cover. It works the same as the Ranger's Camouflage/HiPS but replace Favored Terrain with area of dim light (or shadow).

I believe Darkvision might detect the HiPS(EX) of a Dark Creature. The reason DV doesn't let anyone hide within 60' without cover or invisibility is because they can see in the shadows within 60' as well as a normal person could see in normal light or bright light. It is no different than saying a character can't hide in areas of bright light without cover or invisibility. But keep in mind HiPS and Camouflage allows a Ranger to do just that using stealth in bright light even while being observed and even with nothing to hide behind, as long as he was in his favored terrain, so why wouldn't he be able to do the same against a creature with DV? I don't think Darkvision in any way was meant to override the Shadowdancer/Assassin HiPS(SU) which is a magical ability to avoid sight. I wouldn't let DV, an (EX) ability, override the HiPS(SU) ability. The only reason I would let DV possibly detect the Dark Creature's HiPS is because they are both (EX) abilities; the Dark Creature isn't using magical means, he is just blending with the shadows. He is blending really well, but it is still non-magical, and so DV might ruin that, or at least have a bonus to detect him. If something can see through the shadow he would likely stand out. But I am undecided on that one instance. I am not sure RAI supports normal DV highlighting Dark Creatures which have a tie to the shadows by virtue of the fact that they have heritage in the Plane of Shadow. Would you let a creature with DV spot a Shadow or Greater Shadow? I'm undecided. I think that by RAW DV would override the Dark Creatures HiPS(EX).

Quote:
At no point would I allow HiPS to override the penalties for sniping. the two are significantly different to be used together but HiPS would not reduce the penalties, just remove the need for cover. in scenario 2 a ranger could snipe from his position infront of the tree and if quick enough (snipe difficulty) rehide himself.

I am not 100% sure what you mean hear, so I will answer to what I think you are saying. If you mean that any time a character uses HiPS mid combat they must pay the -20 Sniping penalty, I believe you would be wrong and I have demonstrated where the rules are against that HERE and HERE and posted some minor corrections to the second argument HERE. If, on the other hand, you mean that a character with HiPS (or Camouflage and HiPS if in the case of a Ranger) would still have to pay a -20 penalty to remain hidden while using the Sniping tactic then yes, those are the rules for Sniping, the -20 is to avoid leaving your stealth position while sniping, and HiPS would not change that. HiPS does not give one the ability to remain under Stealth while they are attacking but that is exactly what you are doing when you are Sniping which is why it is so hard to do (IE: -20 Stealth check).

I don't think anyone has tried to argue that a character could avoid the -20 Sniping penalty while actually sniping, regardless of whether or not they had HiPS. However, a character that has HiPS and is using it to blip in and out of sight while in combat would not be using the Sniping rules and therefore would not pay the -20 penalty for sniping. For instance: (this ex assumes the character doesn't have the Spring Attack feat) Rogue/Shadowdancer uses Stealth during a move action and closes distance to a stationary opponent. Next round (still under Stealth from the last round) the R/SD makes a Standard Action single attack against the opponent (becoming visible) and gets SA damage; he then takes his move action to retreat and uses Stealth as part of the movement, disappearing from sight as he moves away and prepares for another Stealth strike. Alternately on the second round, the R/SD could take a full attack on his opponent (becoming visible) and getting SA damage only on the FIRST attack; then take a 5-foot step and use Stealth. The opponent would likely know which square the R/SD would be in but he would still suffer the 50% miss chance to hit an invisible opponent. This example is NOT sniping and if these actions were taken the R/SD would not suffer the -20 penalty. Likewise the R/SD could make a similar attack at range: Getting into position under cover of Stealth. Next round make a single ranged attack (becoming visible); then use his move action to re-stealth and change locations under cover of stealth. This would also NOT be sniping and not suffer the -20 penalty for sniping. However, if the character wished to remain under cover of stealth throughout his attack and not move, he could sacrifice his move action to make a Stealth check -20 and remain undetected, this would be sniping and he would suffer the -20 regardless of HiPS.

Quote:

now heres some TV/Movie scenarios that remind me of how these two abilities should work...

Alien: creature sits above console in ripleys ship looking like the pipes behind.

Predator: Arnie covered in mud sits still while the predator moves over him.

TV commercial for viera TVs - girl is painted to look like a yellow and red flag to remain undetected.

Nice examples, I personally like a lot of the Military movie versions of HiPS. I think that Jarhead has a really good example where the Marine Sniper Scout is standing next to them the whole time and they don’t see him until he moves. The scene in Basic where Samuel L Jackson is fighting his Ranger trainees is a good example of a Ranger like version of HiPS. There are a couple of good examples in Shooter. And one of my favorites that could even be a good example of the Shadowdancer/Assassin HiPS(SU) is in The Hunted.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Some good examples. I agree with HiPS not negating or reducing the penalty for sniping. The major advantage of using the sniping rule for your ranged attacks is that you don't 'blip' into sight for a moment (needing only a perception check based on your distance from the target, without the benefit of your stealth ranks or die roll). Additionally if the ranger can also get both hight and distance (say 200 to 300 feet) the ranger will have additional advantages, such as a +1 to attack (helping to off set range) and +20 to +30 to his Stealth DC to be spotted.

Yeah I never paid much attention to Sniping before. I always wondered why anyone would risk that. I never thought of it in terms of, "Well if I am up high and 200 - 300 feet off I can pick these guys off easy and never even be seen." It is definitely a lot more useful and powerful when I think of it like that. I don’t know why I never considered that before, probably because I am more of an up close fighter myself, but it is definitely a good tactic, hard to beat if you are well prepared.

As stated above, I don’t think that HiPS (or HiPS and Camouflage) would negate the -20 to the Stealth check while sniping. But I do believe you could Snipe using HiPS (or HiPS and Camouflage) while sniping and negate the need for cover/concealment. What I mean is this: Normally you would have to have Cover/Concealment and be under Stealth before your attack. But with HiPS I think you could be standing right in the middle of a field or forest and use sniping without needing Cover/Concealment.

Let’s say a Ranger was in his Favored Terrain (for the purposes of this example we will use Plains) and he is standing 200' - 300' off wearing a ghillie suit that lets him blend into the terrain (IE: Camouflage & HiPS). He is hidden, so he fulfills the requirement to begin sniping hidden. He then attacks and makes a Stealth check -20 as a Move Action. He can remain unseen and Snipe without actually having cover or concealment due to his Camouflage and HiPS. He still takes the -20 but he doesn’t have to have concealment/cover.

A Shadowdancer/Assassin could do the same using their version of HiPS as long as they were within 10' of an area of dim light/shadow.

Good luck finding these guys before you're dead:
1) Good example for a Ranger in a ghillie suit in the forest.
2) Really good plains/wheat field ghillie.
3) Grasslands ghillie.
4) Tell me you would see this guy 200' off!
5) Nope, not seeing this guy either.
6) There are barely any features to this terrain and I still doubt you would spot this guy 200' out.


One interesting thing I'd like to add to this discussion, is that somebody who is sniping, even if they fail, can still take a 5' step to try to re-hide. They're enemies will know roughly where they are but if the re-hide attempt is successful they won't have him pinpointed, and won't be able to make ranged attacks/targetted spells at him.


Yeah, you are right, but they would need HiPS to do it. If they fail the Stealth vs. Perception, they have been spotted, and cannot hide while being observed, unless they have either HiPS or take their next turn to use a distraction and then attempt to re-hide.

The problem with a sniper getting spotted, even for a moment, is if any of his enemies live long enough to get to where they saw him; chances are his cover will break down. Say they saw him behind a tree, even if he used a distraction and re-stealth next turn, they can run over to the tree and his tree no longer provides cover so he won't stay hidden. Unless, of course, he has HiPS (or Camouflage for Rangers) in which case he could hide even without cover.


A few days ago I posted this HERE on the Official Rulings Needed threa but it hasn’t been answered as of yet. If anyone reading this thread wants a crack at explaining this to me I would be happy to listen. I can't see how these rules fit together as written.

Shadowlord wrote:

I don't mean to press this, I know it wasn’t the intent of this forum to hold debates, but I am having trouble understanding how the rules interact here. Perhaps I am just reading it wrong, or reading too much into it, but I will try to illustrate exactly what I mean and I will throw everything under spoiler veils so the post isn't HUGE.

Relevant Items:

1) Uncanny Dodge:
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A rogue with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against her.

To me this doesn't say that all attacks against you from an invisible attacker make you flat-footed and therefore you are safe. It just says you can't be caught flat-footed even if your opponent happens to be invisible.


2) Flat-Footed:
Flat-Footed: A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, unable to react normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity.

It doesn't say though that an attack from an invisible opponent renders you flat-footed.


3) Invisible Attacker:
Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents' Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). See Invisibility, under Special Abilities.

Again, it doesn't say that the invisible attacker renders you flat-footed but rather that they ignore your Dex bonus to AC.

So my issue with the wording is this: (Warning: this is REALLY long and I apologize ahead of time but I really want to make sure I understand this correctly. Thank you in advance.)

::MY ISSUE::
UD specifically protects against being flat-footed, which means you lose your Dex bonus to AC, among other things. When attacked from an invisible creature, however, you are not necessarily flat-footed and you don't lose your Dex bonus to AC but rather the invisible attacker ignores your Dex bonus to AC. These are two very different circumstances/wordings and it seems like the invisible attacker could bypass your Dex bonus to AC even if you would not be considered flat-footed; but UD only specifically states that it protects you from being flat-footed. UD doesn't state that it prevents an invisible creature from ignoring your Dex bonus to AC.

I think the Blind Fight feat is worth mentioning in this post. Its wording actually does imply that normally you lose your Dex bonus to AC to an invisible attacker. It specifically states that invisible attackers don't get the +2 to attack nor do you lose your Dex bonus to AC to their attacks. But UD doesn't say anything like that, it just says you can't be caught flat footed.

Something else of note would be this post by Nethys:

”Nethys” wrote:

This is something that needs clarifying in a PRPG FAQ. Until then, I recommend going with the 3.5 ruling, which *was* clarified in their FAQ.

3.5 FAQ wrote:
If a rogue has successfully hidden behind some bushes and fires an arrow at a target less than 30 feet away from her, does she deal sneak attack damage?

Yes. The rules don’t come right out and say this, but a character who has successfully hidden from an opponent is considered invisible for the purpose of rendering that foe flatfooted, and thus deals sneak attack damage.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

The part I bolded would seem to indicate that invisible attackers do indeed render their opponent flat-footed and gain a +2 to attack rather than simply ignoring their opponents Dex bonus to AC and gaining a +2 to attack. In this case I could see UD working against ANY attack from an invisible attacker rather than only attacks that would normally render you flat-footed (IE: before you act in combat).

The reason I believe this is important is that IF any attack (whether before you act in a combat or not) from an invisible attacker renders you flat-footed and gives them the +2 to attack, then yes, UD protects you from losing your Dex bonus to AC and you only suffer from their +2 to attack you. However, if invisible attackers don't render you flat-footed but rather ignore your Dex bonus to AC then the following scenario could apply:

Invisible Stalker - the first attack would normally catch an opponent flat-footed, but not the case with the Rogue because he has UD (however, if the invisible attacker ignores the Rogue’s Dex bonus to AC he will still be just as easy to hit as if he were flat-footed). If the Invisible Stalker went first in the first round of combat he would normally catch an opponent flat-footed again, this time with a potential full attack, but again not so with the Rogue because he has UD (however, if the invisible attacker ignores the Rogue’s Dex bonus to AC he will still be just as easy to hit as if he were flat-footed). After that the combat continues and the Rogue is no longer facing the problem of being flat-footed but rather that his attacker is invisible and still gets to ignore the Rogue’s Dex bonus to AC even though he isn’t flat footed (unless an attack from an invisible attacker renders you flat-footed and gives a +2 to attack, but that doesn’t seem to be how the rules read). I thought both were addressed under UD in 3.5 because I thought it specifically stated you could not lose your Dex bonus to AC, and then Sage came in and said that Feint could cause you to lose it but otherwise you were generally safe. But in the PRD it only says you can’t be caught flat-footed. An invisible attacker though ignores your Dex bonus to AC even when you aren't considered flat-footed. So, is invisibility all it takes to overpower UD now?

The other part to this question is: If an attack from an invisible attacker renders the opponent flat-footed and gives a +2 to attack them (or if the opponent in fact loses their Dex bonus to AC) then a Rogue using Invisibility would gain Sneak Attack when attacking an opponent, which is exactly how I always thought it worked. But if an invisible attacker merely ignores the creatures Dex bonus to AC that wouldn’t qualify for SA because it specifically states in SA that your opponent must either be flanked or lose their Dex bonus to AC. They don’t really lose their bonus if you are simply ignoring it; you are just bypassing something that is still in effect.

There are four ways I can see the rules interacting but if there are rules that explicitly support one of these over the others I have not seen them or am reading them wrong. Please point this out to me. Method A is how I always viewed it before but now I am not so sure. Here they are:

A) UD protects you both from being flat-footed and from losing your Dex bonus to AC to an attack from an invisible attacker. Blind Fighting only protects against the additional +2 that an invisible creature gets to attack you.

B) UD protects you from being flat-footed. Attacks from an invisible attacker render you flat-footed to that attacker and give them a +2 to hit you. UD protects you from being flat-footed but they still get the +2 to hit you. This is what it sounds like you (Christopher Van Horn) are suggesting in your post above, and it is really effectively very similar to option A. Blind Fighting only protects against the additional +2 that an invisible creature gets to attack you.

C) UD only protects you from being flat-footed. Invisible attackers can deny you your Dex bonus to AC even without you being flat-footed and so UD doesn't work against them and they can SA you if they have SA. UD will protect you from being flat-footed but Blind Fighting is the only way to protect you from being an easy target and taking a lot of SA damage from an invisible foe.

D) UD only protects you from being flat-footed. Invisible attackers can ignore your Dex bonus to AC even when you are not flat-footed so they can still just as easily hit you as if you were flat-footed but they do not qualify for SA because you do still have your Dex bonus to AC they are just ignoring/bypassing it. UD will protect from being flat-footed but Blind Fighting is the only way to protect from being an easy target for an invisible foe.

If someone could show me what I am missing and exactly how these rules interact I would appreciate it.


I wish I could tell you where the rules explicitly state such, but I haven't seen them. As far as I can tell it's just one of those wording flops we're finding scatterred throughout the core rulebooks.

One piece of circumstantial evidence. Look at the Arcane Trickster's Impromptu Sneak attack. By third level in Arcane Trickster he'll already have access to improved invisibility, and yet he has impromptu sneak attack.

The reason for that is two-fold. Sneak Attacking those for whom invisibility doesn't help (Blindsight, True Seeing, etc), and for dealing with rogues and barbarians.

The whole reason uncanny dodge mentions invisibility in the first place is to let you use your dex mod against them. What does it matter not to be flatfooted against them, when you can't see them (no attacks of opportunity regardless) which is the only other part of flatfootedness beyond losing your dex mod.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

I wish I could tell you where the rules explicitly state such, but I haven't seen them. As far as I can tell it's just one of those wording flops we're finding scatterred throughout the core rulebooks.

One piece of circumstantial evidence. Look at the Arcane Trickster's Impromptu Sneak attack. By third level in Arcane Trickster he'll already have access to improved invisibility, and yet he has impromptu sneak attack.

The reason for that is two-fold. Sneak Attacking those for whom invisibility doesn't help (Blindsight, True Seeing, etc), and for dealing with rogues and barbarians.

The whole reason uncanny dodge mentions invisibility in the first place is to let you use your dex mod against them. What does it matter not to be flatfooted against them, when you can't see them (no attacks of opportunity regardless) which is the only other part of flatfootedness beyond losing your dex mod.

You have some good points. Actually, I do think that UD protects against invisible attackers, at least you don’t lose your Dex to AC. It is just really frustrating not to have explicit rules to back that up. They seem to imply it but it would be nice to have something solid. For the time, without designer comments, I am inclined to go with option B in my post above:

B) UD protects you from being flat-footed. Attacks from an invisible attacker render you flat-footed to that attacker and give them a +2 to hit you. UD protects you from being flat-footed but they still get the +2 to hit you. This is what it sounds like you (Christopher Van Horn) are suggesting in your post above, and it is really effectively very similar to option A. Blind Fighting only protects against the additional +2 that an invisible creature gets to attack you.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Quijenoth wrote:
At no point would I allow HiPS to override the penalties for sniping.
Some good examples. I agree with HiPS not negating or reducing the penalty for sniping. The major advantage of using the sniping rule for your ranged attacks is that you don't 'blip' into sight for a moment (needing only a perception check based on your distance from the target, without the benefit of your stealth ranks or die roll). Additionally if the ranger can also get both hight and distance (say 200 to 300 feet) the ranger will have additional advantages, such as a +1 to attack (helping to off set range) and +20 to +30 to his Stealth DC to be spotted.

Where is the +1 coming from? If you mean from higher ground, sorry but that only applies to melee.

And why wouldn't you get benefits of a Stealth ranks or die roll? The whole point of the Sniping rule is that it allows a Steath check (roll and all, but with a huge penalty) without moving.


ZappoHisbane wrote:


Where is the +1 coming from? If you mean from higher ground, sorry but that only applies to melee.

I am not familiar with the +1 for higher ground rule. Could you please post a link to or a Ctrl+C of the rules here?

ZappoHisbane wrote:
And why wouldn't you get benefits of a Stealth ranks or die roll? The whole point of the Sniping rule is that it allows a Steath check (roll and all, but with a huge penalty) without moving.

I believe you misunderstand his position.

Dorje Sylas wrote:


The major advantage of using the sniping rule for your ranged attacks is that you don't 'blip' into sight for a moment (needing only a perception check based on your distance from the target, without the benefit of your stealth ranks or die roll). Additionally if the ranger can also get both hight and distance (say 200 to 300 feet) the ranger will have additional advantages, such as a +1 to attack (helping to off set range) and +20 to +30 to his Stealth DC to be spotted.

I believe he is pointing out the advantage of using Sniping rules vs. just using the move/Stealth, Attack, move/Stealth tactic for ranged attacks. He is saying that if you used the m/S, A, m/S tactic you would be blipping into sight momentarily at which point your opponents would only need a Perception check based on your distance (without the benefit of your Stealth ranks or die roll) to spot you. However, the advantage of Sniping is that you DON'T blip into sight at all and your opponents never get that opportunity.


Shadowlord wrote:
ZappoHisbane wrote:


Where is the +1 coming from? If you mean from higher ground, sorry but that only applies to melee.
I am not familiar with the +1 for higher ground rule. Could you please post a link to or a Ctrl+C of the rules here?

Table 8-5 on page 195 of the Pathfinder rulebook, or Table: Attack Roll Modifiers in the Combat section of the PRD (first table in the Combat Modifiers subsection).

Shadowlord wrote:
I believe he is pointing out the advantage of using Sniping rules vs. just using the move/Stealth, Attack, move/Stealth tactic for ranged attacks. He is saying that if you used the m/S, A, m/S tactic you would be blipping into sight momentarily at which point your opponents would only need a Perception check based on your distance (without the benefit of your Stealth ranks or die roll) to spot you. However, the advantage of Sniping is that you DON'T blip into sight at all and your opponents never get that opportunity.

Ah I see. Yes, you would be visible momentarily. However if you've got Shot on the Run (which is what you'd need to be able to move-shoot-move in one round), and Hide in Plain Sight, I don't see you ever wanting to Snipe anyway. In fact even without Shot on the Run you could do this:

Round 1: Move+Stealth into position to shoot.
Round 2: Shoot, Move+Stealth
Round 3: Shoot, Move+Stealth... etc.

As long as you can HiPS, why use Sniping at all? You're giving up your Full Attack, but you'd be doing that with sniping anyway. The only way opponents can catch you (assuming crappy Perception/awesome Stealth) is by readying an action to blow you away when you reveal yourself after your shot. Intelligent opponents SHOULD be doing that.


”ZappoHisbane” wrote:
Table 8-5 on page 195 of the Pathfinder rulebook, or Table: Attack Roll Modifiers in the Combat section of the PRD (first table in the Combat Modifiers subsection).

Thank you.

Quote:
Ah I see. Yes, you would be visible momentarily. However if you've got Shot on the Run (which is what you'd need to be able to move-shoot-move in one round), and Hide in Plain Sight, I don't see you ever wanting to Snipe anyway. In fact even without Shot on the Run you could do this:

I didn’t even think about that.

Quote:

Round 1: Move+Stealth into position to shoot.

Round 2: Shoot, Move+Stealth
Round 3: Shoot, Move+Stealth... etc.

This is what I was picturing; I forgot there was a feat comparable to Spring Attack for archers.

Quote:
As long as you can HiPS, why use Sniping at all? You're giving up your Full Attack, but you'd be doing that with sniping anyway. The only way opponents can catch you (assuming crappy Perception/awesome Stealth) is by readying an action to blow you away when you reveal yourself after your shot. Intelligent opponents SHOULD be doing that.

For a Rogue type with HiPS it is probably a better tactic to stay within 30’ and use the m,s / a / m,s approach. They will get SA on each attack and without taking the -20 to Stealth it is likely they would not be seen. However, intelligent opponents would not take long to start readying their actions and catching him when he appears so he would have to be very careful also it is reasonable to assume that AOE damage could be placed in a close estimate of where the Rogue was last seen + his likely movement speed. Possibly resulting in him being caught by a Fireball or some such. Having a high Ref save and Evasion this probably wouldn’t be too bad for the Rogue but what if the enemy Wizard starts throwing out Cloud Kill, that is something to worry about. If you are Sniping, you are effectively never spotted, so the enemy would have no way of readying actions or guessing at where in the battle space you might be. Also if you are more than 30’ away, say 200’ or so, you are still not going to suffer too much as far as attack penalty, depending on the range increment of your weapon (you won’t get SA) and the bonuses to your Stealth based on distance would override the -20 to make your Stealth check. This is a far more valuable tactic for Ranger types or Fighter types who are archers. An Arcane Archer who was sniping at you would be a very dangerous foe, you can’t spot him so you can’t attack/kill him and his arrows are shredding you in the mean time.


Not sure if this was brought up...

But how would a feat like Hellcat Stealth (PG. 27 of the Cheliax Book) work with a Shadowdancers HiPS?

Would it somewhat mirror it only with a little more difficulty?

Be a good back-up?

Allow a Shadowdancer to hide under any conditions?


*bump*


Lokie, could you post a Ctrl+C of the Hellcat Stealth feat here? I don't have the book and have never seen a description.


Campaign Chronicles: Cheliax wrote:

Hellcat Stealth

You are difficult to see in the light.
Prerequisites: Skill Focus (Stealth), Stealth 6 ranks.
Benefit: You may make Stealth checks in normal or
bright light even when observed, but at a –10 penalty.
Normal: You cannot make Stealth checks while observed.


Lokie wrote:
Campaign Chronicles: Cheliax wrote:

Hellcat Stealth

You are difficult to see in the light.
Prerequisites: Skill Focus (Stealth), Stealth 6 ranks.
Benefit: You may make Stealth checks in normal or
bright light even when observed, but at a –10 penalty.
Normal: You cannot make Stealth checks while observed.

Woah... that is hide in plain sight, but for bright light. A shadowdancer/assassin with that feat can HiPS in nearly any lighting condition (though he takes a -10 penalty in bright light)


Well let me start by saying: Wow! That is a pretty impressive feat.

.

Here is my take on it:

1) It isn't going to stack with a Shadowdancer's HiPS (or rather HiPS is not likely going to be a factor in a situation where you use this feat) because the Shadowdancer's HiPS only functions within 10' of an area of dim light and this feat only changes the circumstances of Stealth while in areas of Bright or Normal light. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you are in an area of Bright/Normal light but are also within 10' of an area of dim light then if you had HiPS you would be able to hide regardless of whether or not you had this feat and you could do it without the -10 penalty or a source of concealment/cover.

2) Secondly it doesn't mention anything to negate your need for cover (vs. concealment) to use Stealth in Bright/Normal light and doesn't say "within 10 feet" so you need to be in a position where you HAVE the advantage of cover:

PRD wrote:

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

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

Don't be discouraged, Cover is provided by many situations and what this feat does is let you use Stealth in ANY situation that provides you with cover EVEN while being observed with a -10 penalty. Normally if you are being observed you would have to use Bluff to distract your observer and then run to cover and use Stealth at a -10. With this you can use it even while observed and not have to Bluff first. I'll post part of the rules for Cover and bold some situations that I think make this feat both useful and dangerous, especially in an urban environment:

PRD wrote:

Low Obstacles and Cover: A low obstacle (such as a wall no higher than half your height) provides cover, but only to creatures within 30 feet (6 squares) of it. The attacker can ignore the cover if he's closer to the obstacle than his target.

Soft Cover: Creatures, even your enemies, can provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, such soft cover provides no bonus on Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to make a Stealth check.

Partial Cover: If a creature has cover, but more than half the creature is visible, its cover bonus is reduced to a +2 to AC and a +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws. This partial cover is subject to the GM's discretion.

What this feat represents to me is a serious knack for staying in people's blind spots. It isn't an (EX) or (SU) ability, so it's not like wrapping yourself in shadows and disappearing. Rather it is an uncanny ability to avoid sight even in broad daylight with people looking right at you. Someone chasing you thinks he has you but if he even blinks, you're gone! This ability is the epitome of being able to disappear into a crowd, as you are constantly going to have soft cover. In a heavily crowded street (if you have Spring Attack) you could walk right up to someone, stab them and disappear into the crowd again before the masses even realize your victim has been attacked. Short walls, hedges, barrels, wagons, a surge of the crowd or even a horse passes by and you can disappear never to be seen again. To me this seems like the epitome of urban stealth and being a master of disappearing in that split second when someone blinks or turns to look at the falcon that screeched in the sky above.

Combine this feat with the description of stealth in the Complete Adventurer and you have a guy who not only can disappear behind a horse in the street but can then move under cover of stealth to another, safer, position of cover. Or in a crowd you can be looking right at the guy you are chasing, then all the sudden he disappears into the crowd only to reappear out of the crowd right behind you.

.

I would say it is definitely worth having for a Stealth based character especially if your party intends/insists on traveling during the day. I would also say it is even more of an asset in the urban environments of an adventure.


PRD wrote:
...A creature can't use Stealth in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover....

and

Campaign Chronicles: Cheliax wrote:

Hellcat Stealth

You are difficult to see in the light.
Prerequisites: Skill Focus (Stealth), Stealth 6 ranks.
Benefit: You may make Stealth checks in normal or
bright light even when observed, but at a –10 penalty.
Normal: You cannot make Stealth checks while observed.

Isn't being invisible or having cover equivalent to not being observed?

I believe the feat is meant to negate exactly that requirement of Stealth, so you can use Stealth although you are neither invisible nor behind cover and therefore being observed, but you have to accept the -10 penalty.


Well Zen, the point he was making is he was comparing it to hide in plain sight. Where hide in plain sight specifically says you don't need cover or concealment this doesn't grant that.

Basically he's saying this has the benefit of the Ranger's hide in plain sight ability (which, normally plays off his camouflage ability and as such is more effective.)

However, there are several ways to get camouflage

Being a 12th level Ranger, take the 13th level halfling druid substitution from races of the wild that trades 1,000 faces for camouflage, or be an 8th level scout)

I'll admit it's ambiguous, especially since the hellcat's special ability = invisibility in bright light.

Without an official ruling though, it doesn't negate the need for cover or concealment.

[threadjack]
Am I the only one irritated that camouflage and hide in plain sight were taken away from the Rogue in pathfinder? In 3.5 they were advanced talent options (Though I would argue that camouflage is reasonable for a non-advanced talent)
[/threadjack]


Zen79 wrote:
Isn't being invisible or having cover equivalent to not being observed?

.

Actually, no, that is not at all the case. Being invisible doesn't mean you are beyond detection. Someone could still spot you if their Perception was high enough. All invisibility does is add +20 to your Stealth (+40 if you are being perfectly still) and give you a 50% miss chance even if something knows which square you are in and tries to attack you. Cover also does not mean you are unobserved. Cover can be as simple as a barrel that comes up to your waist. Cover could also be as simple as a water trough that comes up to your knees. Now, you are most certainly still observable if you move from open to a position behind that partial cover, but with a Bluff and a Stealth check you can gain Stealth in that area (Effectively crouching down behind it to avoid detection). Soft cover could be as simple as a young woman running between you and your foe; do you honestly think that you (an armored adventurer) are not perfectly observable behind that tiny framed young woman? You are absolutely observable and normally in that split second it would take a Bluff and a Stealth check to take advantage of that and move to a location where you can’t be seen. This feat allows you to do it without the Bluff to distract your foe first. So hiding in the daylight is now a non-action taken as part of a movement, rather than a Standard action (Bluff) followed by a non-action taken as part of a movement (Stealth) and you now only have to be good at one skill rather than two skills to pull this off.

Quote:
I believe the feat is meant to negate exactly that requirement of Stealth, so you can use Stealth although you are neither invisible nor behind cover and therefore being observed, but you have to accept the -10 penalty.

Barring an official ruing in your favor, I believe you would be wrong. You must keep in mind that this is not a (SU) ability. This is a feat and its only prerequisite is Skill Focus. I am pretty certain that it was not the game designers’ intent to hand out full blown daylight HiPS as a feat who's only prerequisite is Skill Focus (Stealth). Also keep in mind there is already a version of HiPS for use in daylight. There is a PrC that gains this (SU) ability in the Complete (Champion or Devine) and it is worded exactly like the Shadowdancer's ability but replaces area of dim light with area of light.

Having invisibility or cover does not automatically make you unobserved. You are also not automatically being observed any time you are without cover or invisibility; you can move between points of cover using Stealth as presented in the Complete Adventurer and posted up-thread by Kyrt-ryder.

.

The Shadowdancer’s (SU) ability specifically states that it allows use of the Stealth skill 1) while being observed and 2) even without anything to actually hide behind. Those are two separate requirements:

”PRD” wrote:
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.

The Hellcat Stealth feat makes no such claim:

Quote:

Hellcat Stealth

You are difficult to see in the light.
Prerequisites: Skill Focus (Stealth), Stealth 6 ranks.
Benefit: You may make Stealth checks in normal or
bright light even when observed, but at a –10 penalty.
Normal: You cannot make Stealth checks while observed.

All it does is add the even when observed, in bright/normal light circumstance to the list of circumstances under which you can use Stealth. It doesn’t change any other portion of the Stealth description. It even reiterates that this is the only change it is making in the Normal section of the description where it says “Normal: You cannot make Stealth checks while observed.” Note it doesn’t say “Normal: You cannot make Stealth checks while being observed and need Cover/Concealment to make the Stealth check.”

It even gives the exact same -10 penalty as using Stealth after a Bluff check the only difference is you don't have to use Bluff. Which I think is a powerful difference for a feat.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Basically he's saying this has the benefit of the Ranger's hide in plain sight ability (which, normally plays off his camouflage ability and as such is more effective.)

That is exactly right. Note the Ranger's Camouflage ability is what gives him the ability to hide without anything to hide behind. Without that ability his HiPS would only allow him to hide while being observed but he would still require cover/concealment to do so.

Quote:
I'll admit it's ambiguous, especially since the hellcat's special ability = invisibility in bright light.

If I read and understand your post correctly this special ability is the exact mechanic that, for the Hellcat, replaces the need for cover (or the Ranger's Camouflage). He can use invisibility and then use Stealth and be near impossible to detect by any non-magical means.

Quote:
Without an official ruling though, it doesn't negate the need for cover or concealment.

Probably an oversight but in Bright or Normal light concealment doesn't allow you to use Stealth, it must be Cover or Invisibility. But yes I agree.

Quote:

[threadjack]

Am I the only one irritated that camouflage and hide in plain sight were taken away from the Rogue in pathfinder? In 3.5 they were advanced talent options (Though I would argue that camouflage is reasonable for a non-advanced talent)
[/threadjack]

I had never played or even heard of Pathfinder during its 3.5 days. I was not aware that Rogues under any campaign setting were given HiPS, but I honestly think that if a Ranger gets it then a Rogue should at least get an (EX) form of it as well. Actually it has always bothered me that Rangers get it but if a Rogue wants it he has to PrC. A Camouflage type ability while under the concealment granted by dim light or darkness probably could be argued as a basic talent. But even the Ranger doesn't get Camouflage until lvl 12 which is where someone who didn't like the idea would have you cornered.


I agree, it would be nice to have some official ruling on this.

-

However, let me point one thing out. Any class can get into Shadowdancer by 6th level as long as you are willing to spend the feats (1st, 3rd, 5th) And take the 5 ranks in stealth and 2 ranks in dance.

So, having a alternate version of HiPS as a feat selectable by 7th is not too far out there. As well, if it was intended as a alternate version of HiPS, it does come with a -10 penalty that the Shadowdancer's HiPS does not impose. That -10 penalty does somewhat balance out the fact that you are spending two feats to gain the ability instead of 3 for your 1st level of Shadowdancer. Edit: And only 1 skill point less.


Lokie wrote:

I agree, it would be nice to have some official ruling on this.

-

However, let me point one thing out. Any class can get into Shadowdancer by 6th level as long as you are willing to spend the feats (1st, 3rd, 5th) And take the 5 ranks in stealth and 2 ranks in dance.

So, having a alternate version of HiPS as a feat selectable by 7th is not too far out there. As well, if it was intended as a alternate version of HiPS, it does come with a -10 penalty that the Shadowdancer's HiPS does not impose. That -10 penalty does somewhat balance out the fact that you are spending two feats to gain the ability instead of 3 for your 1st level of Shadowdancer. Edit: And only 1 skill point less.

Well, here's the thing. It really has less to do with what's balanced and propper (very well might houserule the feat into being outright hide in plain sight in my campaign, it does impose a hefty penalty, works in fewer lighting conditions than true HiPS, and it would better mirror the fact that, while in bright light, a hellcat flat out is invisible) but more to do with what the Rules as Written state.

Also, as long as your talking balance, the prerequisite feat to get hellcat stealth is a feat you would be taking as a shadowdancer anyway.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Lokie wrote:

I agree, it would be nice to have some official ruling on this.

-

However, let me point one thing out. Any class can get into Shadowdancer by 6th level as long as you are willing to spend the feats (1st, 3rd, 5th) And take the 5 ranks in stealth and 2 ranks in dance.

So, having a alternate version of HiPS as a feat selectable by 7th is not too far out there. As well, if it was intended as a alternate version of HiPS, it does come with a -10 penalty that the Shadowdancer's HiPS does not impose. That -10 penalty does somewhat balance out the fact that you are spending two feats to gain the ability instead of 3 for your 1st level of Shadowdancer. Edit: And only 1 skill point less.

Well, here's the thing. It really has less to do with what's balanced and propper (very well might houserule the feat into being outright hide in plain sight in my campaign, it does impose a hefty penalty, works in fewer lighting conditions than true HiPS, and it would better mirror the fact that, while in bright light, a hellcat flat out is invisible) but more to do with what the Rules as Written state.

Also, as long as your talking balance, the prerequisite feat to get hellcat stealth is a feat you would be taking as a shadowdancer anyway.

Here is the thing... only a Human or Half-elf could also take skill focus (stealth) and still meet the three feat prerequisite to get into shadowdancer by 6th. (outside of any race/fighter of course)

As far as I can tell, earliest you can take the feat would be at 7th level unless you picked up some PrC by 6th that gave a free open feat at 1st level.


Lokie wrote:
Here is the thing... only a Human or Half-elf could also take skill focus (stealth) and still meet the three feat prerequisite to get into shadowdancer by 6th. (outside of any race/fighter of course)

Not quite true. A Rogue can use the Combat Trick Rogue Talent to pick up any one of the three prerequisite feats for Shadowdancer.


I am not saying that this feat doesn't let you hide in plain sight. It absolutely does let you hide with people looking at you, which is what hiding in plain sight is all about. It is NOT however, an *{(EX) or}* (SU) ability, it is a feat. What I am saying is that it doesn't function the same as the (SU) version of HiPS that the Shadowdancer and Assassin gets or even the (EX) version that a Ranger gets. Let me compare it to the other versions of HiPS in the PRD.

*EDIT: This statement was pointed out to me as being incorrect in the post below. Disregard.

Shadowdancer:

PRD wrote:
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.

Assassin:

PRD wrote:
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): At 8th level, an assassin can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, an assassin can hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. He cannot, however, hide in his own shadow.

Ranger:

PRD wrote:
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any of his favored terrains, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.

NOTE: The only reason the Ranger can hide without anything to actually hide behind is a totally seperate ability he gets at 12th lvl. Camouflage specifically allows him to hide without concealment/cover and is NOT part of his version of HiPS.

PRD wrote:
Camouflage (Ex): A ranger of 12th level or higher can use the Stealth skill to hide in any of his favored terrains, even if the terrain doesn't grant cover or concealment.

Hellcat Stealth:

Quote:

Hellcat Stealth

You are difficult to see in the light.
Prerequisites: Skill Focus (Stealth), Stealth 6 ranks.
Benefit: You may make Stealth checks in normal or
bright light even when observed
, but at a –10 penalty.
Normal: You cannot make Stealth checks while observed.

NOTE: The Hellcat Stealth feat is worded similarly to the Ranger's version of HiPS(EX) which does not grant the Ranger the ability to hide without cover/concealment. Also note that this feat doesn't claim to give you an *{(EX) or}* (SU) ability, and you are still taking the normal -10 to Stealth you get when Bluff/Hiding while being observed.

*EDIT: This statement was pointed out to me as being incorrect in the post below. Disregard.

.

There is also a PrC that grants daylight HiPS(SU) which IIRC is worded exactly like the current Assassin HiPS(SU) wording but replaces Shadow with Light.

Finally there is another (EX) version that I am aware of granted by the Dark Creature template in Tome of Magic. IIRC, it lets you use Stealth even while being observed and without anything to actually hide behind while IN (not within 10' of) shadows.

.

Perhaps it would help to think of hiding while observed under normal circumstances and then demonstrate how it would work with each of these other abilities:

When hiding from people who are observing you under normal circumstances you must:
1) Roll a Bluff check to distract their awareness of you. (You can't hide while observed.)
2) Rush to an unobserved area suitable for hiding. (Cover/Concealment depending on circumstances)
3) Make a Stealth check with a -10 penalty.

Now with Hellcat Stealth:
1) There is no Bluff check required to break awareness. (Now you can hide while observed.)
2) In bright/normal light conditions you need cover/invisibility to use stealth. There is no mention of negating this requirement.
3) Make a Stealth check with a -10 penalty.

Now with HiPS(EX): (As granted to the Ranger)
1) There is no Bluff check required to break awareness.
2) Still needs cover/concealment. (Camouflage is how he gets around this requirement.)
3) Make a Stealth check with no -10 penalty.

Now with HiPS(SU): (not going to go through each type of HiPS, using SD version)
1) There is no Bluff check required to break awareness.
2) The ability specifically states I don’t need cover/concealment.
3) I make my Stealth check with no -10 penalty.

.

It seems pretty clear to me that there was a deliberate difference written between the different (EX) and (SU) versions of HiPS and this feat. Is this feat useful and powerful? Yes. Is it full blown HiPS(SU) as granted to a Shadowdancer/Assassin or HiPS(EX) as granted to the Ranger? No. All that said, the “You are difficult to see in the light” portion of the description would lead me to believe it should be explained in a more mystical manner than how I explained it in my previous post. But the mechanic is still the same and you are not simply wrapping yourself in a beam of light and disappearing, you need cover to use stealth, after that you could just as easily explain it as moving in a certain way that makes light pass through you or some such. The mechanic, however, is exactly the same regardless of how you chose to flavor the ability for your particular character.

.

NOTE: Disregard what I said up-thread about the Hellcat's invisibility being comparable to Camouflage for a Ranger. I am fairly certain I misunderstood the relationship between the actual creature with invisibility and this feat.


Shadowlord wrote:
But the mechanic is still the same and you are not simply wrapping yourself in a beam of light and disappearing, you need cover to use stealth, after that you could just as easily explain it as moving in a certain way that makes light pass through you or some such.

You know... I forget what show it was, but I distinctly remember a show about a group of mutants/humans with powers/whatever that was on fox a few years back, where one of the characters had the power to bend light around herself to become effectively invisible.

Tempting to make the feat SU and rewrite it to function as such.

(By the way, the feat IS an EX ability, because all feats, unless otherwise stated, are EX, because everything in the game is defined as EX, SU, or Spell Like.)


Kyrt-ryder wrote:
(By the way, the feat IS an EX ability, because all feats, unless otherwise stated, are EX, because everything in the game is defined as EX, SU, or Spell Like.)

Interesting, I have either never heard that before or had completely forgotten it. That does sound familiar now that you mention it though. I stand corrected on that point. Could you post a copy of that text or where I could find it in the PRD? Or even the page in the PHB/DMG if that is what you have? I just won't be able to read it myself for a while.

I think my argument still stands though. There is a clear mechanical difference in the way the feat works as compared to the way the other versions of HiPS work.

Quote:
Tempting to make the feat SU and rewrite it to function as such.

Honestly, like I stated up-thread, it has always bothered me a little that the Rogue, a master of stealth, has to PrC to gain full HiPS. I am not fundamentally against house ruling that Rogues get a type of Camouflage(EX)/HiPS(EX) or even a version of HiPS(SU) as a Rogue Talent or for that matter house ruling feats like Hellcat Stealth. I just don't happen to think the feat works that way by RAW nor do I think it is supposed to work that way even by RAI.

.

NOTE: I have edited my previous post but not removed the text.


Yeah, I agree with you 100% on the RAW of it.

Also, page 48 of the 3.5 players handbook displays camouflage and hide in plain sight as 'rogue special abilities' available for purchase at 10th level and above. (though those abilities only came at 10, 13, 16, and 19, and the rogue had to choose from a bunch of options)

By my personal opinion, camouflage would translate into a normal rogue talent (perhaps one with various prerequisites to prevent it from being taken before level 6 or 8 or whatever), and hide in plain sight would be an advanced talent, who's only prerequisite is camouflage (hell you don't technically need camouflage for hide in plain sight to have value so you don't actually need to make it a prerequisite either, though the two are deffinitely synergistic)

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