Can you Take 20 to hide an object?


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Hey everyone,

Do you think it is possible for a character to Take 20 when performing a Sleight of Hand check to hide an object on their body? I am assuming they are in a safe place away from observers, and not, say, under the threat of combat. The SRD says "When you use this skill under close observation, your skill check is opposed by the observer's Perception check". But if you know someone is going to frisk you could you spend a long time (20 minutes) hiding something well?

A long time ago Sean K. Reynolds made this page, which says you can't Take 20 on Pick Pocket rolls in 3.0 because there's a penalty for failure (the +10 increase to the DC for successive attempts). But if you're hiding the object while in the safety of your own house and, say, the castle guard only gets once chance to frisk you it doesn't seem like you're giving him multiple chances, or failing any sort of check right in front of him. Does it seems reasonable to allow Taking 20 on checks to hide objects if you have a safe place to do so?

Thanks,
culix


dndculix wrote:

Hey everyone,

Do you think it is possible for a character to Take 20 when performing a Sleight of Hand check to hide an object on their body? I am assuming they are in a safe place away from observers, and not, say, under the threat of combat. The SRD says "When you use this skill under close observation, your skill check is opposed by the observer's Perception check". But if you know someone is going to frisk you could you spend a long time (20 minutes) hiding something well?

A long time ago Sean K. Reynolds made this page, which says you can't Take 20 on Pick Pocket rolls in 3.0 because there's a penalty for failure (the +10 increase to the DC for successive attempts). But if you're hiding the object while in the safety of your own house and, say, the castle guard only gets once chance to frisk you it doesn't seem like you're giving him multiple chances, or failing any sort of check right in front of him. Does it seems reasonable to allow Taking 20 on checks to hide objects if you have a safe place to do so?

Thanks,
culix

As long as the roll is not being opposed when you make it you should be able to take 20 since you have a long time to keep trying until you get it right.


dndculix wrote:
Do you think it is possible for a character to Take 20 when performing a Sleight of Hand check to hide an object on their body?

I would say no, because you don't know when you've "succeeded". I'd definitely allow taking 10, and probably give a circumstance bonus if they took care while hiding the object.

If you had another party member with a reasonably high Perception modifier, I might allow someone to take 20 - you hide the object and they try to find it. You keep doing this until they can't find it. Presumably they can take 20 on their Perception check since in this case, there's no penalty for failure.


I know in my games we frequently take 20 on things like this, or on hide checks to set up an ambush. Not sure what is in the rules though.

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Good question. On a related note, which skill would you all use to hide an object somewhere other than on a person, like to conceal a trap or hide something in the bushes?


fanguad wrote:
dndculix wrote:
Do you think it is possible for a character to Take 20 when performing a Sleight of Hand check to hide an object on their body?

I would say no, because you don't know when you've "succeeded". I'd definitely allow taking 10, and probably give a circumstance bonus if they took care while hiding the object.

If you had another party member with a reasonably high Perception modifier, I might allow someone to take 20 - you hide the object and they try to find it. You keep doing this until they can't find it. Presumably they can take 20 on their Perception check since in this case, there's no penalty for failure.

Taking 20 does not mean you succeed. It means you take enough time to get the best possible result, an example is using the perception skill to search a room.


The big requirement I recall for taking 20 (probably was from 3.5) is that you're only allowed to if:
you take 20x the normal amount of time
there is no penalty for failure

The second one would come into effect here, since there's a penalty for failure.
Though having someone else assisting you by trying to find it would take something like 400x normal amount of time (20 attempts, and 20 attempts to find it for each) and if the players really want to do it, I'd allow.


I think that I see your problem. The player wants to take some time and avoid any obviously stupid mistakes and the guards deserve that the player make a roll.

I suggest that you offer the player 1d10+10 for the Sleight of Hand roll. That way you eliminate any obviously lame attempts and still leave it up to a roll to determine how well he has done.

Hope that helps.


dndculix wrote:

Hey everyone,

Do you think it is possible for a character to Take 20 when performing a Sleight of Hand check to hide an object on their body?

No. You can take 10 to give it an average effort. Your DM should give you a bonus for taking additional time (say, +1-5), and someone helping you could also use 'aid another' to chip in another +2. Take 20 symbolizes dong the same thing 20 times in a row in order to get it exactly right. You won't know, however, until the guardsman checks you out whether you have succeeded the first time or not. In fact, unless you take 10, you shouldn't even know what you rolled. The easiest way to simulate this in the game is for your DM to either make the roll him/herself, or for you to make the roll when the guard checks you. You should still get the bonuses for aid another and taking your time, tho.

Generally speaking you can't take 20 on opposed rolls, altho there are some exceptions. You can take 20 to search for traps because there isn't any reason why you can't just keep staring at the same 5x5 spot for two minutes. It's a lot easier to say 'take 20' than it is to say: "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything? I rolled a twenty" "Yes. There is a trap."

You can't take 20 to spot someone sneaking up on you, because you aren't going to have them standing in the same place long enough for make 20 rolls against their Sneak skill.

You can't take 20 when you are hiding (or hiding something) from the guardsman. You simply won't know how well you're doing until the guardsman get's a chance to roll. Your friend can help, thus the bonus, but your friend can't substitute for the npc.

Hope this helps.

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Ben Adler wrote:
The second one would come into effect here, since there's a penalty for failure.

Not really. The "penalty for failure" aspect is more like "you can't take 20 on your Climb check up the cliff because if you fail the check, you fall and aren't at the same starting point as you were before."

The "penalty for failure" on taking 20 on a Stealth check would have to be something like, "if you fail the check, the death ray that activates every round and shoots everything it sees will kill you." Without such a death ray, the failure of the check is meaningless because nobody has spotted where you've tried to hide*, and you can try again.

Now, it is perfectly reasonable for a GM to say, "even with taking 20, the lack of really good hiding spots in this room means the best you can do is a 15." But if I'm trying to hide an Easter egg in my house, I should be able to take 2 minutes to look around and find a really good place to hide it.

*Given, of course, that you aren't being observed trying to hide it, as the person can just watch where you put it. In that case, there is an observer, and the penalty for failing the check is "the observer sees where you tried to hide," and thus you can't take 20.**

**That is, unless you use something like Bluff to distract the target while you try to hide, which is why expect pickpockets (like Bob Arno) are able to talk to a mark, untie the mark's necktie, and remove the necktie without the mark even noticing. Compared to a necktie, lifting a wallet is easy.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Ben Adler wrote:
The second one would come into effect here, since there's a penalty for failure.

Not really. The "penalty for failure" aspect is more like "you can't take 20 on your Climb check up the cliff because if you fail the check, you fall and aren't at the same starting point as you were before."

The "penalty for failure" on taking 20 on a Stealth check would have to be something like, "if you fail the check, the death ray that activates every round and shoots everything it sees will kill you." Without such a death ray, the failure of the check is meaningless because nobody has spotted where you've tried to hide*, and you can try again.

Now, it is perfectly reasonable for a GM to say, "even with taking 20, the lack of really good hiding spots in this room means the best you can do is a 15." But if I'm trying to hide an Easter egg in my house, I should be able to take 2 minutes to look around and find a really good place to hide it.

*Given, of course, that you aren't being observed trying to hide it, as the person can just watch where you put it. In that case, there is an observer, and the penalty for failing the check is "the observer sees where you tried to hide," and thus you can't take 20.**

**That is, unless you use something like Bluff to distract the target while you try to hide, which is why expect pickpockets (like Bob Arno) are able to talk to a mark, untie the mark's necktie, and remove the necktie without the mark even noticing. Compared to a necktie, lifting a wallet is easy.

Okay, I'm confused. Are you saying that you can, in fact, take 20 on opposed rolls like Stealth or Sleight of Hand (for hiding things) or Linguistics (for forgeries) if you have sufficient time to prepare? 2 minutes in the case of Stealth. Doesn't that mean that a group of 1st lvl rogues (1 rank +3 bonus) would force a minimum of a 24 dc (before dex or circumstance bonuses) for a Perception check? That seems awfully high. I can see allowing them to aid each other, but 20?

Contributor

There's a difference between hiding an inanimate object (the OP's question) and hiding a living, breathing, can't sit in one position for a long time, humanoid. You should be able to take 20 on hiding an object because it's not going to shift over time. If you're trying to hide a person, then your suggestion of a +2 from aid another is a perfectly good solution, as even if the Best Hider in the World tries to hide you somewhere in the room, you're going to be breathing, making subtle shifts to avoid getting a cramp in your leg or your butt, and so on. In other words, while you can find a "perfect hiding spot" for an object, finding one for a creature is much more difficult.

To use a silly example: say I have a life-sized cardboard cutout of myself. I stand it up in the middle of a room. If I have a second, identical cutout of myself, I can take 20 minutes to position it behind the first one so that anyone entering the room can't see the 2nd one because it's behind the first one. Now, if I were to attempt to hide MYSELF behind that cutout, I could take all the time I wanted adjusting my position and posture to match the cutout, but the moment someone opens that door we need to roll opposed checks because I can't simply freeze in place forever, and the moment the guy opens the door I might be breathing out or bending my arm wrong or have a cough or something that wrecks the take-20-perfection of the setup.

And if some of this seems to be fine lines of distinction or somewhat arbitrary: that's why the GM is a human rather than a robot.


Ah, got it. Thanks, Sean.

Altho I encourage 'take 20' and 'take 10' in my games (especially take 10), in the case of 'take 20,' I generally don't allow it for things like Stealth, Disguise, concealing objects, and forgery checks, but I do give bonuses (+1-5) for taking additional time to accomplish them. My thought process is that, in the case of stealth, a character will benefit from having someone help, but it is still the character's skill, and a dose of luck, that is the prime determinant for success. You, and your helper, may think you're perfectly concealed, but you really can't know until it's tested. Stealth is something you can try to perform perfectly, but not something that you can do over and over until you get it exactly right, like forcing a door, for example. A knowing observer can help, but his or her presence can't determine your actions; they can only aid them. Besides, the helper knows you're there. The way he or she looks at things is going to be different from someone who doesn't.

In the case of attempting to conceal an item or a forgery, having someone examine it for you to look for errors can help, but just because they help doesn't guarantee it is perfect. As with Stealth, it hasn't really been tested until someone who doesn't know it's a forgery has examined it, and even then, you never know how closely they looked, or even what they were looking for. The proof is the pudding, so to speak.

Again, thanks for your input. Your participation on the boards, and the participation of others at Paizo, really means a lot to the community.

Jacob

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Mynameisjake wrote:
In the case of attempting to conceal an item or a forgery, having someone examine it for you to look for errors can help, but just because they help doesn't guarantee it is perfect. As with Stealth, it hasn't really been tested until someone who doesn't know it's a forgery has examined it, and even then, you never know how closely they looked, or even what they were looking for. The proof is the pudding, so to speak.

With all due respect, Sean, Mynameisjake's logic makes more sense to me. When you take 20, you're making 20 attempts. There are no consequences for failure, so it doesn't matter, except for the time it takes. But when you hide something, there can be all the prep time in the world, but there's only one check. And either it's hidden well enough or it ain't.

Maybe the DC for hiding an object is lower to account for the not moving stuff Sean brought up, and you can assign some heap big bonus for assists and having time to really hide something well, but luck (i.e., a die roll) still plays a part and you won't know 'til you try. I'd say "no" to taking 20 on hiding objects.


You do know that Game Developers can 'develop' lightning bolts to smite you with, right?

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;)

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Mosaic wrote:
When you take 20, you're making 20 attempts.

Not true.

"Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform)."

You're making the assumption that it's exactly 20 tries, but it is an incorrect assumption.

A movie makeup artist can spend HOURS putting on a set of prosthetics and layers of paint to turn John Rhys-Davies into Gimli. She's going to make mistakes, and she's going to correct them. And the end result is a make-up job that will make you think that a 6'1" man is a dwarf.

Using the Stealth example, if you're trying to hide an egg in a room, you look around, find a good place, set the egg there, step back, see if you can spot the egg, and repeat if it's too easy to see. Many attempts. Many failures. And the end result is a very well-hidden egg.

Or are you saying that I can't spend 2 minutes hiding an egg in my living room, and there's a chance I actually rolled a 1 on my Stealth check for it? A chance that an idiot child will walk right into the room and point right at it?

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Or are you saying that I can't spend 2 minutes hiding an egg in my living room, and there's a chance I actually rolled a 1 on my Stealth check for it? A chance that an idiot child will walk right into the room and point right at it?

I might be. Jeez, you rolled a 1 after all. Just as you step away and the child enters the room, the egg wobbles and rolls into view. Or, Stealth is Dex based, not Int or Wis; maybe you did a really good job hiding it, but not in a very clever place - like under the candies in the candy jar or under the table where the idiot child likes to hide and rock himself. I'm just sayin', a 1?

My point was that with an opposed check like that (with possible negative consequences), you only get one try, so it doesn't seem to me that you ought to be able to take 20. Jazz it up all you want with assists and circumstance bonuses, but at some point, there will be a single moment of truth. (I confess, though, I also just prefer the tension of players rolling as opposed to auto-success.)

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Or are you saying that I can't spend 2 minutes hiding an egg in my living room, and there's a chance I actually rolled a 1 on my Stealth check for it? A chance that an idiot child will walk right into the room and point right at it?

Man, do you know how many times I spent long minutes reviewing a note only to have glaring errors pointed out to me by the first reader ?

Contributor

The black raven wrote:
Man, do you know how many times I spent long minutes reviewing a note only to have glaring errors pointed out to me by the first reader ?

Yeah, but that's YOU. We're talking about ME, hear!

(Yes, that is a deliberate typo!)


The other thing to consider is that if you allow Take 20 on opposed rolls, even for something like hiding an object, then someone who is only very slightly better at hiding an item can be 100% effective against someone who is only very slightly less skilled at spotting them.

If character A has a total of +10 to his Stealth skill (inc. ranks, stats, and class skill bonuses) and hides an item from character B who has +9 to his perception skill (inc. ranks, stats, and class skill bonuses), then B has no chance of ever finding any object that A hides, if A can take 20. Even if B takes 20, he will still always be 1 short, even tho the two of them are actually quite close in skill. If they have the same level of skill, with both taking 20, then character B will always succeed, despite both of them being equally skilled.*

Since the searcher clearly can take 20, the hider shouldn't be able to. This is also, btw, why two characters should never both take 10, either, on opposed rolls.

On the other hand, if character A gets a maximum of +5 for taking additional time and +2 for being aided by his friend (or whatever bonuses the DM decides is appropriate), then the hider will succeed 40% of the time and the searcher about 60% of the time, assuming the searcher takes 20 on every 5' (10'?) square. That just really seems like the better (and more realistic) option to me.

*Assuming the hider sets the dc for the seeker.

Aw man, I can't believe I'm arguing with a Paizo Game Developer. I am sooo going to Pathfinder Hell for this.

Edit: Added asterisk and note.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The black raven wrote:
Man, do you know how many times I spent long minutes reviewing a note only to have glaring errors pointed out to me by the first reader ?

Exactly. Stealth has a consequence for failure (hiding in an easily-spotted place), so you can't take 20 on it. You can't practically evaluate your own success at hiding something, whereas you can tell when you've exhausted your ability to try the various skills that allow taking 20.

But even if your stealth mod is +0, an egg is a tiny (or even arguably diminutive) object. That idiot child may not be able to make the DC 9 or 13 check to spot your abject failure to hide the egg.

Quote:
Aw man, I can't believe I'm arguing with a Paizo Game Developer. I am sooo going to Pathfinder Hell for this.

Don't get in the habit of assuming people are infallible.


Mynameisjake wrote:

Aw man, I can't believe I'm arguing with a Paizo Game Developer. I am sooo going to Pathfinder Hell for this.

Not so bad, if you think about it. Lot of Pathfinder Erinyes and homecoming Pathfinder Kytons (the female ones, of course)...


A Man In Black wrote:


Don't get in the habit of assuming people are infallible.

I will also not get into the habit of assuming people have a sense of humor.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

With hiding an object (no matter if you can take 20 or not - I´d say you can, but YMMV), the size should come into play, lke the size mods given for stealth. It should be easier hiding an egg than, say, a shield.
It depends on other circumstances as well (hiding an egg in a kitchen is obviously easier than hiding a book there, and hiding something in a cluttered room is easier than in an empty hall).

Stefan


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

As a general rule, I don't allow taking 20 on opposed checks. Taking 20 assumes you're going to fail - probably several times - before you achieve maximum results, but there's no way to fail until the opposed check determines that.
Given plenty of extra time to hide something, set up an ambush, rehearse a lie, make a disguise, I'm just going to apply some favorable condition modifiers and leave it at that.


Mynameisjake wrote:

You can take 20 to search for traps because there isn't any reason why you can't just keep staring at the same 5x5 spot for two minutes. It's a lot easier to say 'take 20' than it is to say: "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything? I rolled a twenty" "Yes. There is a trap."

Hehehe :D


Mynameisjake wrote:

You can take 20 to search for traps because there isn't any reason why you can't just keep staring at the same 5x5 spot for two minutes. It's a lot easier to say 'take 20' than it is to say: "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything?" "No." "Do I see anything? I rolled a twenty" "Yes. There is a trap."

Actually I am of the oppinion that you definetely cannot take 20 to search for traps. In this case, if you fail you set it off.

Mynameisjake wrote:


If character A has a total of +10 to his Stealth skill (inc. ranks, stats, and class skill bonuses) and hides an item from character B who has +9 to his perception skill (inc. ranks, stats, and class skill bonuses), then B has no chance of ever finding any object that A hides, if A can take 20. Even if B takes 20, he will still always be 1 short, even tho the two of them are actually quite close in skill. If they have the same level of skill, with both taking 20, then character B will always succeed, despite both of them being equally skilled

As for this, I have no problem with someone who is better and takes their time always beating someone else.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Caineach wrote:


Actually I am of the oppinion that you definetely cannot take 20 to search for traps. In this case, if you fail you set it off.

By the rules, failing to find the trap isn't what sets it off. It's engaging in whatever activity sets the trap off once you've failed to find and then disarm it that sets it off. So, taking 20 on searching for the traps is still kosher.

I can sympathize some, though. Some methods of searching, arguably, could set off certain kinds of trap. But I can also see the argument that shouldn't apply to all kinds of traps or all forms of searching. The rules implicitly make the assumption that the searching PC is astute enough to not be searching in ways that will carelessly set of the trap while performing the search. The rules then leave it to disarm attempts to accidentally set off the trap for certain levels of failure.

Contributor

Mynameisjake wrote:
If character A has a total of +10 to his Stealth skill (inc. ranks, stats, and class skill bonuses) and hides an item from character B who has +9 to his perception skill (inc. ranks, stats, and class skill bonuses), then B has no chance of ever finding any object that A hides, if A can take 20. Even if B takes 20, he will still always be 1 short, even tho the two of them are actually quite close in skill. If they have the same level of skill, with both taking 20, then character B will always succeed, despite both of them being equally skilled.*

And if you let that second character take 20 on their Perception check, they'll eventually spot the hiding person. Thus, it evens out.

I'm just saying if you have two identical rooms, and you give a guy 6 seconds to hide in the first room and you give his twin 2 minutes to hide in the second room, the guy in the second room is going to do a better job of hiding is presence from the test-perceiver who opens the door and looks in. And he's going to RELIABLY do a better job (as in, this level of sucess is repeatable) because he has more time to prepare.

Quote:
Since the searcher clearly can take 20, the hider shouldn't be able to. This is also, btw, why two characters should never both take 10, either, on opposed rolls.

Characters shouldn't be allowed to half-ass their effort on a skill when their opponent is also half-assing it? :)

Quote:
On the other hand, if character A gets a maximum of +5 for taking additional time and +2 for being aided by his friend (or whatever bonuses the DM decides is appropriate), then the hider will succeed 40% of the time and the searcher about 60% of the time, assuming the searcher takes 20 on every 5' (10'?) square. That just really seems like the better (and more realistic) option to me.

Like I said, that's an acceptable solution when you're talking about hiding a person.

Bill Dunn wrote:
By the rules, failing to find the trap isn't what sets it off. It's engaging in whatever activity sets the trap off once you've failed to find and then disarm it that sets it off. So, taking 20 on searching for the traps is still kosher.

Correct. You don't even need to be in the same square as the trap's trigger to search for it, thus it's possible to search a square for hours without engaging the trap's trigger.


I think the problem with taking 20 is that it is assumed to be an auto success. I see it as your best possible result giving time to do so. If I happen upon a guard and try to sneak past him I should only get one roll. If I am trying to hide to ambush the guard, and I have a lot of time to set up I should be able to achieve my best possible result.

While I am taking 20 I might realize my finger is visible. On the second roll maybe my foot is out to far. On the 3rd roll...... You get the point. By the time that guard gets there I should have everything covered within my ability anyway. That is what "taking 20" is to to me.


Well, since I'm going to Pathfinder Hell, I might as well go to as deep a level as possible.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


And if you let that second character take 20 on their Perception check, they'll eventually spot the hiding person. Thus, it evens out.

Nope. If the hider has 1 more point is Hide than the seeker has in Perception, and both take 20, then the hider always wins, 100%. If the seeker is equal to the hider, and both take 20, the seeker always wins.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I'm just saying if you have two identical rooms, and you give a guy 6 seconds to hide in the first room and you give his twin 2 minutes to hide in the second room, the guy in the second room is going to do a better job of hiding is presence from the test-perceiver who opens the door and looks in. And he's going to RELIABLY do a better job (as in, this level of sucess is repeatable) because he has more time to prepare.

Yeah, nobody would dispute that (I hope). It's the different mechanics for simulating it that we disagree on. Person or object, if the hider and the searcher both take 20, then instead of a X% vs Y%, you end up with either/or. Either one side succeeds all the time, or the other succeeds all the time. This seems especially egregious when both the hider and the searcher have similar levels of skills.

We can all agree that the searcher should be able to take 20, otherwise the game bogs down in the searcher calling for reroll after reroll, trying for a twenty. What we disagree on, is whether they both can take 20. Your way makes sense in plain language, but I think it breaks down when converted into game mechanics.

In re: both taking 10:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Characters shouldn't be allowed to half-ass their effort on a skill when their opponent is also half-assing it? :)

Well, again, that's a point that sounds better in plain language than it does when converted to game mechanics. If both are half-assing it (taking 10), you again, run into the position of one side always succeeding and the other always failing, just as with both taking 20. If the hider has a Stealth of 5, and the seeker has a Perception of 5, and if both are giving an average effort, then they should each succeed about half the time. But if both can take 10, one side or the other (whichever is used to set the dc) will always fail.

*sigh* I hope whatever demon lord finally claims my soul appreciates the effort that I've spent digging myself as deep a hole as possible.

Contributor

Honestly, if you have all the time in the world, or at least much more time than average, you should be able to Take 20 even when there is a penalty for failure.

Consider the Disguise skill, which has a secret check for how good you do which sets the difficulty for everyone to see through that particular disguise. Then consider a thieves guild getting ready for a really big caper. Every thief in the guild is able to observe every other thief, and is able to make checks to spot a bad disguise, and you know that they're not going to let anyone out the door with anything less than a perfect 20 even if it takes 20 times as long.

The slap-dash disguise check should be for the rogue who runs into a broom closet for a quick change, not the thieves guild preparing for a grand caper or even the actress at her dressing table checking herself in the mirror before she takes the stage. (In fact, anyone with enough time and a large mirror should be allowed to at least take 10 if not take 20.)

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Mynameisjake wrote:
Nope. If the hider has 1 more point is Hide than the seeker has in Perception, and both take 20, then the hider always wins, 100%. If the seeker is equal to the hider, and both take 20, the seeker always wins.

Then the seeker should move to a different part of the room so he can see into all parts of it from a different angle--like an angle that lets him see the hider's hiding place. The seeker taking 20 just means they're standing in place using Perception; if they want to move into the room, that has the potential of negating the cover/concealment and thus making the Stealth check irrelevant.

Mynameisjake wrote:
Well, again, that's a point that sounds better in plain language than it does when converted to game mechanics. If both are half-assing it (taking 10), you again, run into the position of one side always succeeding and the other always failing, just as with both taking 20. If the hider has a Stealth of 5, and the seeker has a Perception of 5, and if both are giving an average effort, then they should each succeed about half the time. But if both can take 10, one side or the other (whichever is used to set the dc) will always fail.

Take 10 is for "I know I should be able to do this on average, so rather than spending several rounds rolling for a result we know I'll get in a couple of tries, I'll just assume a roll of 10." IF you suspect there's a guy hiding and your Take 10 Perception check doesn't notice him, on your next turn make a normal Perception check--actually roll the die. You're not "locked in" to using 10 once you've done it once.

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Then the seeker should move to a different part of the room so he can see into all parts of it from a different angle--like an angle that lets him see the hider's hiding place.

Have I mentioned lately how dumb "no concealment = no stealth" is? RAW hiding is damn near impossible.


For the sake of avoiding useless dice rolling we allow people to "take 1" on skill checks as well. Basically if you are so skilled at a task that you can succeed with your bonus +1 you don't have to roll.


*digging for an even deeper level of Pathfinder Hell*

@Sean

Let's try a different scenario. Guard is at the gate, taking 10 on Perception checks, maybe he's the PC, maybe he's the NPC. He has one rank and a class skill bonus for a 14. A Rogue, also may be the PC or the NPC, is trying to sneak past, taking 10 on his Disguise skill, with 1 rank and a class skill bonus for a 14 on Disguise skill checks. Since they are both putting equal effort and have equal skill, then the odds of either one succeeding should be 50/50. But if the guard sets the dc, then the Rogue succeeds 100% of the time. If the Rogue sets the dc, then the guard succeeds 100% of the time.

Now you could house rule that in the case of such ties, neither sets the dc, but a dice roll is used instead, but even then, if either of them has a single rank or bonus point higher than the other, even tho they are still almost identical in skill level, then the one with only the slightest edge wins every time.

It works the same way if both are allowed to take 20, the Rogue preparing his disguise well in advance, and the guard stopping everyone for 2 minutes for a thorough examination. With the same exact skill, one will always succeed, and the other one will always fail. If a tie-breaker house rule is used, then, again, if one of them has a single point better bonus, that character, PC or NPC, is going to succeed 100% of the time, and the other will fail 100% of the time.

Situations like these are why I only allow one side or the other to take 10, and also why I always have the NPC set the dc (since doing so gives the PCs a slight edge).


A Man In Black wrote:


Have I mentioned lately how dumb "no concealment = no stealth" is? RAW hiding is damn near impossible.

What were you trying to hide behind then? :p

Personally I dont have an issue with take 20 on Stealth for 'hiding' or even (to some extent) sneaking.

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Shifty wrote:
What were you trying to hide behind then? :p

It's very difficult to hide without something to hide behind, in real life. This is different from it being impossible to hide without something to hide behind. It's retarded that no matter how good a rogue's Stealth modifier gets, he'll never be able to hide from a 5-year-old child without an obstacle at least as large as he is.

Poor Jack still doesn't get his chicken.

Contributor

A Man In Black wrote:
Shifty wrote:
What were you trying to hide behind then? :p

It's very difficult to hide without something to hide behind, in real life. This is different from it being impossible to hide without something to hide behind. It's retarded that no matter how good a rogue's Stealth modifier gets, he'll never be able to hide from a 5-year-old child without an obstacle at least as large as he is.

Poor Jack still doesn't get his chicken.

5-year-old children tend to be a pretty perceptive lot, and have a distinct advantage of having their eye level where your average rogue's waist would be. Sneaking past their field of vision is a lot more difficult than sneaking by an adult who doesn't happen to be looking down.

If the rogue wants to hide, he should likely ask the 5-year-old where the good hiding places are, rather than attempting something dumb like walking down the aisle in the middle of a wedding right in front of the bride. I don't care what your Stealth check is, if you made it, you figured out that this was not a place you could hide short of using magic.


A Man In Black wrote:


It's very difficult to hide without something to hide behind, in real life. This is different from it being impossible to hide without something to hide behind. It's retarded that no matter how good a rogue's Stealth modifier gets, he'll never be able to hide from a 5-year-old child without an obstacle at least as large as he is.

Yeah umm I don't care HOW good your stealth is; if you are standing in front of me, 5 feet away, I have just seen you.

The Rogue does not need a 6'x2' plank to hide behind. He just needs enough to cover his silhouette, which may be quite small if he is prone and facing front on etc. In a a natural environment we use the base of wild grasses, small shrubs and trees, or even small depressions in the ground to obtain very effective cover and concealment from enemy obs.

You can even leopard crawl along at a decent rate if you can get a decent size depression or along the edge of a fallen tree etc.

Your Stealth will work just fine on that 5 year old if you are creeping in from behind - but what you can't do is hide in the open.

It's stealth, not invisibility.

Even the best of the best require something

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fchxuYczK_o

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Shifty wrote:
Your Stealth will work just fine on that 5 year old if you are creeping in from behind

The problem is that there is explicitly no such thing as "behind" in PFRPG.

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A level 20 rogue still can't sneak past a 120-year-old nearsighted man in a rocking chair without a solid, unbroken line of concealment/cover, if you prefer. Nor can he sneak past a dog, ever.

The Stealth rules break down hard core as written.


tejón wrote:
The problem is that there is explicitly no such thing as "behind" in PFRPG.

There's no rule for gravity either.

Your GM will have to look at the way your miniatures, or 'scene description' fits and make a call... 180 degrees of frontal vision is being generous.

/pantomime voice: HE'S BEHIIIIIIND YOU!


A Man In Black wrote:

A level 20 rogue still can't sneak past a 120-year-old nearsighted man in a rocking chair without a solid, unbroken line of concealment/cover, if you prefer. Nor can he sneak past a dog, ever.

The Stealth rules break down hard core as written.

Only if he has an attempt at 5' range. It's stealth, NOT invisibility.

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Shifty wrote:

Only if he has an attempt at 5' range. It's stealth, NOT invisibility.

So why is a level 20 skill specialist's key ability less powerful than a level 2 spell? Why can't a level 20 rogue sneak up on someone and stab them in the back without unbroken cover all the way up to the target? Why can't any rogue ever sneak up on the family dog? You can say, "Well, GM fiat can fix it" but if GM fiat is needed to fix it then it's broken in the first place.


I'm talking about 'invisibility' as you'd find the RAW of the nearest dictionary; not as per PFRP :p

Even in PF, a 2nd level spell doesn't eclipse the 20th dude, even IF that's what we were talking about.

Aside from that, he can SNEAK up behind a target.

Aside from that, it is nigh impossible to hide from a dog - which is PRECISELY why they are used IRL for hunting and searching... that's the whole point.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Shifty wrote:
Aside from that, it is nigh impossible to hide from a dog - which is PRECISELY why they are used IRL for hunting and searching... that's the whole point.

It's nigh-impossible to shatter a steel door with a sword. It is impossible to fly under your own power or throw fireballs or curse people.

This is a fantasy game and yet using its stealth rules it's still impossible for a level 20 rogue to sneak up on the equivalent of my 5-year-old nephew without cover all the way up to him.


A Man In Black wrote:
This is a fantasy game and yet using its stealth rules it's still impossible for a level 20 rogue to sneak up on the equivalent of my 5-year-old nephew without cover all the way up to him.

Well if we can deal with the suspension of disbelief, just about all of the things you mentioned - flying/fireballs etc, rely on magic to happen - Stealth is mundane. Hence Stealth, Augmented with a 2nd level spell will render you practically undetectable.

Stealth does not convey the ability to refract and bend light around you.

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