Stealth in Combat: Sneaky Bugbear vs. Elf Rogue


Rules Questions

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Quote:
Is the assassin hiding in the rafters suddenly no longer hidden because you now have line of sight to him?
If you flick on the overhead lights and the room lights up like a bloody Christmas tree, no, no he isn't.
Wait, you mean all I have to do in your games to automatically spot hidden enemies without a Perception check is shine light on them?

Wouldn't this imply that the Light or Dancing Lights cantrips automatically cause a Perception check to pass?

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Quote:
Is the assassin hiding in the rafters suddenly no longer hidden because you now have line of sight to him?
If you flick on the overhead lights and the room lights up like a bloody Christmas tree, no, no he isn't.
Wait, you mean all I have to do in your games to automatically spot hidden enemies without a Perception check is shine light on them?

If they don't have any cover or concealment yes. The ninjas in the rafters would have at least partial cover from the rafters I assume.

Caedwyr wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that the Light or Dancing Lights cantrips completely nullify non-magical stealth?

Stealth requires concealment or cover.


0gre wrote:


Caedwyr wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that the Light or Dancing Lights cantrips completely nullify non-magical stealth?
Stealth requires concealment or cover.

Or a distracted oponent.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
0gre wrote:
If they don't have any cover or concealment yes. The ninjas in the rafters would have at least partial cover from the rafters I assume.

I'm suddenly going back to the 'Ghostface standing in the open field' comment.

Liberty's Edge

Bah, ninja'd by caineach.


0gre wrote:


Caedwyr wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that the Light or Dancing Lights cantrips completely nullify non-magical stealth?
Stealth requires concealment or cover.

Can't stealth also work when the target is distracted?


TriOmegaZero wrote:


Wait, you mean all I have to do in your games to automatically spot hidden enemies without a Perception check is shine light on them?

Not just my game, but any game! It's like magic!

Or rules.
Quote:
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.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
0gre wrote:
If they don't have any cover or concealment yes. The ninjas in the rafters would have at least partial cover from the rafters I assume.
I'm suddenly going back to the 'Ghostface standing in the open field' comment.

I didn't think you were being serious with that earlier. But since you appear to be, I will resort to being facetious. Again.

The answer is: Plot Invisibility.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
0gre wrote:
If they don't have any cover or concealment yes. The ninjas in the rafters would have at least partial cover from the rafters I assume.
I'm suddenly going back to the 'Ghostface standing in the open field' comment.

I didn't think you were being serious with that earlier. But since you appear to be, I will resort to being facetious. Again.

The answer is: Plot Invisibility.

I thought it was Bad Writing(Ex). :)


Sorry, Cartigan, but bright light means bright light, not Dancing Lights or a torch.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I thought it was Bad Writing(Ex). :)

I'm pretty sure once you get into slasher movies the ability moves from Extraordinary to Supernatural.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Wait, you mean all I have to do in your games to automatically spot hidden enemies without a Perception check is shine light on them?

Not just my game, but any game! It's like magic!

Or rules.
Quote:
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.

So no Perception check to notice death from above? Poor little assassin doesn't get any chance to study for 3 rounds?


AvalonXQ wrote:
Sorry, Cartigan, but bright light means bright light, not Dancing Lights or a torch.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
Dancing lights (torches)

Next.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it being claimed that by simply taking a light into a room, one automatically perceives all non-concealed elements in the room?

Is it also being claimed that distraction does not matter when entering said room, and that it is therefore impossible to sneak up behind someone stealthily without the use of magic or supernatural abilities to achieve the same effect?

Shadow Lodge

Caedwyr wrote:
0gre wrote:


Caedwyr wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that the Light or Dancing Lights cantrips completely nullify non-magical stealth?
Stealth requires concealment or cover.
Can't stealth also work when the target is distracted?

Indeed. But the question was about whether shining a light on someone would break their stealth. If you are shining a light on someone you aren't distracted, to me that implies that you are looking for someone. Maybe he meant "Having a light in the room disrupts stealth"?

The problem with distraction is that other than feint there is no real clear way to define when someone is 'distracted'. Some modules talk about enemies being distracted or unattentive when you encounter them but in general it's a judgment call on the part of the GM.


Normal light is not bright light. The two are different, and the exceptions to the Stealth rules specify bright light.
I'm sorry, Cartigan, but you are absolutely and incontrovertably wrong on this point. The "bright light" exception to Stealth does not, RAW or RAI, apply to normal light -- that's why it's specifically listed as the bright light exception, not the light exception. That's why it specifically lists direct sunlight and the Daylight spell, not much more common normal light sources like the Light spell or a torch.


Caedwyr wrote:


Is it also being claimed that distraction does not matter when entering said room, and that it is therefore impossible to sneak up behind someone stealthily without the use of magic or supernatural abilities to achieve the same effect?

Yes. Unless it's dark.


0gre wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
0gre wrote:


Caedwyr wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that the Light or Dancing Lights cantrips completely nullify non-magical stealth?
Stealth requires concealment or cover.
Can't stealth also work when the target is distracted?

Indeed. But the question was about whether shining a light on someone would break their stealth. If you are shining a light on someone you aren't distracted, to me that implies that you are looking for someone. Maybe he meant "Having a light in the room disrupts stealth"?

Ah, it was a semantics issue. I read it as "exposing the person to a light" and not as "pointing the light at the person".


AvalonXQ wrote:
Normal light is not bright light. The two are different, and the exceptions to the Stealth rules specify bright light.

Wrong.

Quote:

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.

Normal light is exactly like bright light except it does not frazzle people with light blindness.


Cartigan wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:


Is it also being claimed that distraction does not matter when entering said room, and that it is therefore impossible to sneak up behind someone stealthily without the use of magic or supernatural abilities to achieve the same effect?

Yes. Unless it's dark.

Doesn't that seem like a problem to you?


Cartigan wrote:
I disagree with "mildly realistic" stealth rules in a highly arbitrated game. "Mildly realistic" stealth rules would require a complete game redesign.

Oh, yeah, that's right, because...

...

um...

...

...OK. So, that about sums it up!

Right now, the rules are mildly unrealistic. Obvious Troll wishes to see a slight paradigm shift to mildly realistic. Obvious Troll fails to perceive (quick, you can all roll stealth now! Or can you?) why this necessitates a complete game redesign. Is the concern that characters relying on Stealth may actually become (gasp!) worthwhile?!? Right now, Stealth-reliant characters are almost universally perceived (pun intended, this time) as being among the weakest classes. Mildly realistic rules revisions might actually fix this part of the game, as opposed to breaking it.

Not Trying to Hide,
Obvious Troll


You would have to work "facing" into the game at all points.


AvalonXQ wrote:

Here are the points which I believe are disputed and which cause the different interpretations.

1) The Sneaker is 'unobserved' until a Perceiver observes it.
2) If the Sneaker ends its turn in plain sight (meaning no cover or concealment) and does not have Camouflage, an undistracted Perceiver automatically observes the Sneaker. If the Perceiver is distracted or the Sneaker has Camouflage, Perception vs. Stealth to observe the Sneaker.
3) Creatures in combat are distracted.
4) Once a creature is observed in plain sight, it cannot Steath until it finds cover or concealment (unless it has Hide in Plain Sight).
If we accept #1-#4, the bugbear scenario works, and it doesn't imply the bugbear has either Ranger ability. I believe this is more-or-less Caineach's position.
Scenario B: Bugbear Stealths out of bushes and ends its turn in plain sight. Rogue is not in combat. Rogue observes bugbear without opposed check, unless bugbear has Camouflage. If rogue observes bugbear, bugbear cannot Stealth until he moves back into the grass unless bugbear has Hide in Plain Sight.
Scenario C: Bugbear Stealths out of bushes and ends its turn in plain sight. Rogue is in combat. Rogue succeeds opposed check and is now observing bugbear. Even though rogue remains distracted, bugbear is observed and cannot Stealth until he moves back into the grass, unless bugbear has Hide in Plain Sight.

That's a Bingo! +1


Cartigan wrote:
You would have to work "facing" into the game at all points.

Not really. Just in your opinion.

Shadow Lodge

Obvious Troll Is Obvious wrote:

Right now, the rules are mildly unrealistic. Obvious Troll wishes to see a slight paradigm shift to mildly realistic. Obvious Troll fails to perceive (quick, you can all roll stealth now! Or can you?) why this necessitates a complete game redesign. Is the concern that characters relying on Stealth may actually become (gasp!) worthwhile?!? Right now, Stealth-reliant characters are almost universally perceived (pun intended, this time) as being among the weakest classes. Mildly realistic rules revisions might actually fix this part of the game, as opposed to breaking it.

Not Trying to Hide,
Obvious Troll

Right now the stealth rules rely heavily on GM judgment which many people perceive is a horrible flaw in the rules. I don't have a problem exercising judgment when I'm in the GMs seat so it's not a huge issue for me or my players. Likewise as a player I haven't run into all these horrible issues which people rant about on the boards. This is both in multiple private games, and in organized play.

IMO the bigger problem here is that there is almost a requirement in the stealth rules that judgment be involved. What is distraction? Well that's something the GM needs to make a call on, you can't really make rules about something like that that make sense.

Footnote:
I don't know where you get that stealth related characters are 'almost universally' seen as weak. The two 'stealthy' classes are Rogue and Ranger and I don't see a lot of people complaining those classes are weak. Very few people if asked what the weakest classes in the game is would list those. Rogues and rangers are still hugely popular classes and get plenty of screen time in games. If they were perceived as weak they wouldn't get played; Monk I'm looking at you!


calvinNhobbes wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
You would have to work "facing" into the game at all points.
Not really. Just in your opinion.

You can't "look at" or "not look at" something by the rules without introducing facing into the game.


LoreKeeper wrote:

I hope this helps:

Stealth, what is overlooked

...but the rogue already knew the bugbear was around somewhere so he was not distracted from looking for him. I have said before if one of my enemies disappears in combat I will be trying to find him. If the bugbear was a new combatant that might apply.


PathfinderEspañol wrote:
Cartigan wrote:


The OP STATES that the bugbear was in the open for 6 squares. Even if we PRETEND that the horse grouping is cover, that is still going to be several squares of open terrain.

Apparently PathfinderEspañol has decided to skip the stretching the rules and just plain disagree with the OP in order to keep making the argument he wants to make.

Read the rules and the original post, it doesn't matter if the bugbear is IN the open or IN plain sigth if there is a source of concealment BETWEEN the bugbear and their foes, the OP hasn't said it wasn't the case, and for the description of the situation (grass long enough to have a creature hiding on it once the combat ended, everyone out of the road) it was the case.

I'm not paying attention about what the OP calls LOS because he is saying that LOS is blocked by creatures and distance, which is not the case, I wonder if he even remembers that LOS is blocked by concealment.

You are asumming some things that you don't really now and that's not fair for that DM (as the dog behavour before, that has been clarified by the original poster)

So you will ignore the OP himself saying there was clear LOS, but you will make up the length of the tall grass to assume it was tall enough to matter. You seem to be believing what you want to believe.


wraithstrike wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:

I hope this helps:

Stealth, what is overlooked

...but the rogue already knew the bugbear was around somewhere so he was not distracted from looking for him. I have said before if one of my enemies disappears in combat I will be trying to find him. If the bugbear was a new combatant that might apply.

Wasn't the rogue distracted by the big axe being utilized to kill him?

Original Post wrote:
As the combat played out, the rogue managed to get in for the sneak attack, but got low damage. The enraged leader of the bugbears drew his greataxe and proceeded to give the rogue two nasty wounds, reducing him to 1 hp...

I would personally find that the process of being wounded badly in close combat would cause some pretty severe tunnel vision and reduce my chances of noticing someone sneaking around 70 feet away. Maybe I'm strange in that I would rule that the rogue was distracted by the enraged axe-murdering bugbear leader up close and personal attempting to remove the rogue's face.


Quote:


PFSRD wrote:

If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth. Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth. If your observers are momentarily distracted (SUCH AS by a Bluff check), you can attempt to use Stealth. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.

Bluff tests arent the ONLY kind of 'distraction' that can occur, the words "SUCH AS" clearly allow some degree of movement in this regard and these situations are up to the DM.

A character focused on doing anything in particular (such as the example Rogue being reduced to 1hp by a still active and angry bugbear) isnt neccisarily 'distracted' to the point of being flatfooted, but they SHOULD recieve Perception rolls against the Bugbears Stealth in this situation.

Ordinarily, the Bugbear would not be able to stealth out in the open, but everyone was very busy at the time - especially the Rogue. In this instance, a Stealth test would be appropiate (he is NOT automatically stealthing and beating everyones Perception, the rolls were made by the DM, so it is NOT the same as hide in plain sight because that allows you to use the skill WHILE OBSERVED even if the target is doing nothing but looking at you....the target rogue in this example is engaged in a life and death struggle, is barely living with 1hp and should be panicing right about now).
The Bugbear should have needed to do a Handle Animal test on the Horse without a doubt, to keep it calm while he liberated the Goblin. All the while the party should recieve Perception tests while they are still busy (if any of them werent busy and had LOS to the Goblin/Bugbear he should be automatically spotted), assuming they didnt notice him and he got away with the Goblin.

Not to mention distance being a factor, regardless of the -5 distracted penalty, a -7 alone from the distance is significant, and in the examples above the Rogues rolls added to his perception would be extremely low, too low to see the Bugbear.

End result?, there are several events that could cause a character to make a perception roll when they would otherwise automatically pass if they were free to act as they pleased.
Types of examples?, a Rogue is busy disarming a trap, which takes 1d4 rounds on average. Lets assume something sneaks up (albeit) poorly behind him from a hiding place, he doesnt have cover and lets assume theres enough light to see by. Since the Rogue is busy, without anything watching his back, he'd get a Perception roll to 'listen' to whats going on around him while hes working, if he passed he could stop what he was doing and confront his attacker, otherwise he might get caught out (though since hes likely got Uncanny Dodge hes not going to be too bothered).


LoreKeeper wrote:
Cartigan wrote:


Such as
Quote:
additionally, when “distracted” the DC for perception increases by +5 – I think we can agree that when fighting for your life you are going to be distracted;
I didn't agree the first time he said it and I don't agree now that he has a blog.

Core rules, page 102. Are you suggesting that you are not distracted while fighting? If say, your character wanted to read the fine print on a contract while being attacked, this would not constitute distraction on the perception check?

Cartigan wrote:


I just realized that I FURTHER disagree with the very position he is taking - that position being that because the character can't automatically beat the DC to see the bugbear, the bugbear may use stealth. But the bugbear still has no cover or concealment for the purposes of stealth as a matter of fact. I would put forward the position that the DC to spot a visible creature is the DC required to beat to see the bugbear because he is a visible creature, although in less than favorable conditions. If the Rogue can beat the set DC, the bugbear will be spotted regardless of his bonuses to stealth or his stealth check because it is impossible for him to stealth without cover or concealment. The abstraction of the game is that anything that isn't behind cover or under concealment can be seen assuming the flat DC ids beat. However, the inability to beat that flat DC does not grant the ability to use the Stealth skill without the limitations thereof. Mr Magoo the Rogue may not see the horseman charging toward him with a halbred, but that doesn't mean the horseman can disa-fracking-ppear.

Are you suggesting that you are observing a creature that you failed to perceive in the first place?

The DC to perceive the visible bugbear at 70ft while in combat is DC 11. (If you disagree with the distraction penalty, suppose it is true for the sake of argument, or increase the distance to 120ft for the sake of the argument - as I'm sure you're point is not...

Why do we keep assuming the rogue rolls a 1 on the open area check. Everytime we have opposing debates on these board the numbers 10 or 11 are used as the default numbers because the average roll of a d20 is 10.5, but there is no 10.5 on the dice.


Caineach wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
The Speaker in Dreams wrote:
Hide in plain sight is more along the lines of Batman's just up and disappearing when you're standing 5' (literally) away from him. He's got like "favored terrain: urban environment" or something. Point being, a guy sneaking to a point of cover (woods) and another one (massing of 4 horses and dogs) and being all sneak-like is not even close to Hide in Plain Sight. HiPS guy just drops his "smoke bomb" and waltzes along the road because he's THAT damn good! This bugbear, and the scenario is CLEARLY not even close to HiPS. Not by a long shot. Not at all

'

Mechanically Hide in Plain Sight is being able to hide in plain view of everyone. That is exactly what the bugbear did. You can label it what you want, but all that matters is the mechanical affect. Being treated like you have an ability is no different than actually having it.

The Bugbear didn't HIPS though. He snuck past people who were already not paying attention to him. HIPS is the ability to disappear in front of people who are paying attention to you. These are 2 very different things with 2 very different power levels.

Now, if the bugbear wanted to disappear in the grass and then attempt to sneak up behind the rogue and jig him, I would allow that too. The rogue loses track of him once he makes his stealth check in cover. The bugbear then gets to attempt to stealth up to the rogue who is focused on annother opponent. He has a pretty large penalty to his stealth checks, but if he succeeds he does not draw attention to himself while he is moving up to the rogue. Once again, I see no problem with this, since its not difficult to do in real life and does not violate any of the rules. You have cover to initiate the stealth check and are unobserved, and then people fail their perception check to observe you even once you are out in the open, so you are still unobserved, allowing you to continue to stealth.

I am not talking about the failed perception checks. I am talking about the part where he is out in the open untying the without cover for at least a round untying the goblin. You can't just stand out in the open without being seen.


wraithstrike wrote:
I am not talking about the failed perception checks. I am talking about the part where he is out in the open untying the without cover for at least a round untying the goblin. You can't just stand out in the open without being seen.

Unless everyone is too distracted to notice?


wraithstrike wrote:


Number of checks aside, he did use DM Fiat, and if the player is expecting a by-the-books game he should be upset. If the DM likes to run outside the rules a bit to enhance the story there might need to be a group discussion.

PS: I am not saying not following the rules to a T makes anyone a bad DM, but such things should be noted up front so nobody is surprised when the story usurps the rules.

Arguing during a game is not to be encouraged, that is when DM Fiat takes precedence, I discourage interrupting a game mid-combat just to look up a non-combat related rule.

The rogue player acted like a baby, by sitting out the rest of combat, and I probably would have had an enemy take advantage of his flat-footed state to get an attack in. I don't even put up with my 10 year olds acting like that during a game...much less an adult.

I'd review the rules after the session was over for the night, if I was wrong I would admit it and we'd correct it in the future. I'd probably also award additional XP for my mistake.

In addition, who's to say the sneaky bugbear didn't quaff a potion of camouflage or invis?


Caedwyr wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:

I hope this helps:

Stealth, what is overlooked

...but the rogue already knew the bugbear was around somewhere so he was not distracted from looking for him. I have said before if one of my enemies disappears in combat I will be trying to find him. If the bugbear was a new combatant that might apply.

Wasn't the rogue distracted by the big axe being utilized to kill him?

Original Post wrote:
As the combat played out, the rogue managed to get in for the sneak attack, but got low damage. The enraged leader of the bugbears drew his greataxe and proceeded to give the rogue two nasty wounds, reducing him to 1 hp...
I would personally find that the process of being wounded badly in close combat would cause some pretty severe tunnel vision and reduce my chances of noticing someone sneaking around 70 feet away. Maybe I'm strange in that I would rule that the rogue was distracted by the enraged axe-murdering bugbear leader up close and personal attempting to remove the rogue's face.

He could also be planning his retreat, but he wants to make sure not to retreat into that sneaky bugbear that is out there somewhere, better keep an eye out for him.

If you want to use hp as an excuse to not see someone. I will use retreating as an excuse to look for them actively.


Caedwyr wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I am not talking about the failed perception checks. I am talking about the part where he is out in the open untying the without cover for at least a round untying the goblin. You can't just stand out in the open without being seen.
Unless everyone is too distracted to notice?

D&D/Pathfinder has 360 degree vision. You are always in direct line of sight unless you are hiding behind something. Would you let a rogue walk up to someone and stab them in the back just because they are fighting someone else? At what point do you get to see person B when you are fighting person A, if person B is not making a stealth check.


wraithstrike wrote:


Why do we keep assuming the rogue rolls a 1 on the open area check. Everytime we have opposing debates on these board the numbers 10 or 11 are used as the default numbers because the average roll of a d20 is 10.5, but there is no 10.5 on the dice.

bump

The open area check is when the bugbear is unobserved and the other poster assumes the rogue rolled a 1. I am betting the DM did not give the rogue this check. He actually said he did not give him a check, but by the rules he is allowed one. Distraction does not mean the rogue does not get a perception check so the DM was incorrect.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
D&D/Pathfinder has 360 degree vision. You are always in direct line of sight unless you are hiding behind something. Would you let a rogue walk up to someone and stab them in the back just because they are fighting someone else? At what point do you get to see person B when you are fighting person A, if person B is not making a stealth check.

If the victim failed to make his Perception check to notice the newcomer to the battle, yes. Of course, if the victim is fighting someone else, the rogue probably gets him in the back due to flanking and SA anyway.


Sorry, this is going to be a gigantic post.

I definitely subscribe to Caineach's interpretation on this. Others seem to be misreading or misinterpreting the rules. I would lay most of the blame on this sentence in the PRD's description of Stealth:

Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth.

So people are making two mistakes:
1. They are equating "use Stealth" with the entire move action taken after the Stealth check, when it really only refers to the Stealth check itself.
2. They are twisting the logic of "cover or concealment allows" to mean "cover or concealment is required".

They then conclude that "cover or concealment is required at every point along the movement made after the Stealth check", which is untenable in gameplay terms.

So how do we arrive at a workable set of RAI given the poorly worded RAW? By deconstructing several different cases and applying consistent logic and extrapolating from game rules of which we are more certain.

Maybe we try to define some terms first, so we're working from the same vocabulary.

"Visible" - Well, given that the spell Invisibility exists, this seems straightforward. Visible = Able to be seen, invisible = unable to be seen. Visible gives you a +0 to Stealth checks; invisible gives you a +40 to Stealth when immobile, +20 when moving. Why would you want to make Stealth checks when you're already invisible? Because creatures can still make Perception checks (DC 20 to notice that an invisible creature is within 30', +20 on top of that to pinpoint location, with various modifiers for specific actions the invisible creature might be taking - see PRD Glossary) to perceive the invisible creature.

"Observed" = "Perceived" - And I think we have to treat these as equivalent terms. Once any creature succeeds on its Perception check (whether it's a passive DC or opposed by Stealth) to detect a target, that target is observed/perceived and remains so until something happens to break that "lock". Whether the target is visible only affects the Perception DC/Stealth bonus.

Case 1: Regdar the human fighter and Lidda the halfling rogue wish to fight and begin moving directly toward each other from a starting point 1000ft apart, in clear open (Plains) terrain and day(bright)light. At what point does the encounter begin? When one or both perceive the other. Neither can employ Stealth in bright light and with no cover, so passive Perception DCs are rolled against every round, with all distance and circumstance modifiers factored in. Maybe the encounter begins at 250ft apart, maybe at only 40ft; maybe there's a surprise round, maybe not - it depends on the rolls. Both are visible the whole time and in direct line of sight, but only after a successful Perception check is made can the encounter begin and one character take action against the other. This case by itself disproves the notion that observation/perception is automatic when a creature breaks cover/concealment; i.e. in the OP's scenario, the rogue doesn't automatically perceive/observe the bugbear when the bugbear moves into the open.

Case 2: Regdar and Lidda begin the encounter underground, 30ft apart, line of sight, in normal lighting, both aware of the other. This is a common scenario in a dungeon crawl and most DMs won't even bother to roll Perception checks at this range and these conditions. But for our thought experiment, let's consider both PCs Perception checks to have been implicitly rolled and made. Initiative is rolled and combat ensues normally. How could Lidda make use of Stealth under these conditions? Only by turning invisible or by reaching cover/concealment while Regdar is distracted (e.g. Lidda makes a Bluff check, or someone else jumps out and attacks Regdar). Can she just move behind cover/concealment without Bluffing/distracting Regdar? Nope, because he is aware of and is observing her, or looked at a different way, if she could just do that, why would they call out the distract/Bluff as a separate case in the rules?

Case 3: Same as case 2 above, but they start around the corner out of line of sight from each other. Lidda makes her Perception check so is aware of Regdar; he fails his and is unaware of Lidda. Lidda is unobserved by Regdar and has cover from him, so she can choose to initiate Stealth. Regdar immediately gets another Perception check to detect her, but this time against her Stealth check instead of her passive DC. If he wins, he knows she's there and combat ensues normally. If she wins the opposed check, she can Sneak Attack Regdar, as long as he is up to her normal speed (halfling = 20') away (although she'd take a penalty to her Stealth check if more than 10' away). The key point is that she maintains Stealth throughout her move, until after she attacks.

Case 4: Same as case 3 above, but Lidda successfully initiates Stealth and chooses to Snipe, waiting until Regdar rounds the corner and putting a light crossbow bolt in him. Now that Regdar is in line of sight, unless Lidda is behind cover/concealment, she's exposed to a normal Perception check and will probably be perceived. But if she has the benefit of cover/concealment, she can re-Stealth as a move action at a -20 penalty. If she wins that check, Regdar still doesn't know exactly where she is or where the attack came from. This case raises an odd side-effect -- unless either Lidda has Rapid Reload, or Stealth can also be employed with move-equivalent actions, she'll be unable to continue Sniping. Lidda's action sequence: standard - attack, move - re-Stealth, move-equiv - reload crossbow without Stealth check, standard - attack (no more Sniping). Only if you allow the Stealth check during the reload or if reloading is a free action does Lidda get to continue Sniping.

Case 5: Same as case 1 above, but Lidda has the Camouflage ranger ability in Plains terrain. Now if Lidda makes her Perception check first and gains surprise, she can use Stealth - she is unobserved and does not need the benefit of cover/concealment in her favored terrain. She should also be able to maintain Stealth over multiple rounds by winning the check for every move/move-equivalent action she takes. If she is observed first or simultaneously, Camouflage does her no good.

Case 6: Same as case 2 above, but Lidda has the Hide in Plain Sight ranger ability in Underground terrain. At any point during the encounter, even though Regdar (implicitly or explicitly) made his initial Perception check and is observing her, she can initiate Stealth without the benefit of distraction/cover/concealment, and if she wins the opposed check, she has broken Regdar's Perception-lock. While he's still aware that she's probably near, he no longer knows her exact location. And if she waited to engage Stealth until Regdar was within 20', then she has the opportunity to Stealth, move in and Sneak Attack. This case best refutes the assertion that Stealth is negated at any point during movement when there is no cover/concealment. If that were true, HiPS would go from being an awesome offensive or defensive ability to being strictly a defensive one.

I think you'll agree that these cases are logically consistent with each other and are the best fit to the spirit and flavor of the rules. If you disagree, please try to come up with a logically consistent set of cases that explain the use of Stealth and Stealth-related abilities.

The big question left unanswered by all this is whether after a successful Stealth check and move action, can one continue to maintain Stealth by winning the opposed checks on subsequent turns and move actions, even when ending a turn in open terrain with no cover or concealment? The existence of the Camouflage ability would indicate to me that the answer is "no", but the question is probably best decided by individual DMs until we get official errata/clarification/new rules.


coldkilla wrote:


Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth.

So people are making two mistakes:
1. They are equating "use Stealth" with the entire move action taken after the Stealth check, when it really only refers to the Stealth check itself.
2. They are twisting the logic of "cover or concealment allows" to mean "cover or concealment is required".

And what else would it mean? "finding cover or concealment allows you to use stealth" is the entire sentiment. Against most creatures this applies. Against some creatures neither concealment nor cover will allow you to use stealth!

Quote:
They then conclude that "cover or concealment is required at every point along the movement made after the Stealth check", which is untenable in gameplay terms.

Lolwhat?

Did you miss this part of the rules?
While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.

You must end your movement in a place where you can stealth in order to use stealth. If not, you have just made several class abilities moot.

Not only that, but your assessment of how stealth is used is wrong. Stealth is a free action or taken as part of the move action. You don't make a Stealth check and then move. Well you can, but you have to make a Stealth check as part of the move action.
Normally, you make a Stealth check as part of movement,
Your interpretation is make a Stealth check then apparently do whatever you want and still be stealthed.


Quote:
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.

Okay I read the entire thread (which was a damn chore) and couldn't find anyone on the pro-stealth in the middle of an open field side who gave a convincing reason this line would not negate it. I did see it was brought up before and everyone on the pro-Stealth=HIPS side ignored it.

I would like someone to explain to me why this clause would not have invalidated the bugbear's use of stealth outside, in sunlight, without cover (which as already noted, the horses did not provide).


Cartigan wrote:
You can't "look at" or "not look at" something by the rules without introducing facing into the game.

Except that perception covers more than just "looking", so ya.... facing is not a necessity despite your opinion on the subject.


wraithstrike wrote:


The open area check is when the bugbear is unobserved and the other poster assumes the rogue rolled a 1. I am betting the DM did not give the rogue this check. He actually said he did not give him a check, but by the rules he is allowed one. Distraction does not mean the rogue does not get a perception check so the DM was incorrect.

The point about "rolling a 1" is to determine the point in time when the bug bear can/cannot be considered to be in plain sight. I agree that if the bugbear was standing in plain sight of the rogue, then the rogue would not have needed a perception check to spot the bugbear - however, in the argument, the bugbear is just out of range of the rogue and would therefor be able to maintain stealth. He'd still have to maintain stealth every round and the rogue still gets to roll perception every round; but by not being in plain sight, he'd have the right to keep on stealthing.

It's important to note that in lieu of the printed words in core that the reading of "in plain sight" is equivalent to not being able to fail to "notice a visible creature".

...

Aside from that, I still feel that people are mixing up their distractions:

1. A distraction can exist where an observer is not paying attention to the target at all (such as created by a bluff check, or when in some other - often roleplay related - way preoccupied). This form of distraction allows for stealth checks to be made.

2. A "milder" form of distraction exists that doesn't preclude the possibility to observe everybody (listed as a +5 increase to perception DC in core) - just that the perception is hampered by factors (like the observer is engaged in combat). After all, in combat there is a need for the combatant to try and remain aware of everybody around him - but at the same time it is harder to do than in normal conditions due to the sword that is cutting you into pieces. This form of distraction doesn't allow stealth checks to be made if still in plain sight of the observer (though what constitutes plain sight is a smaller area).


Coriat wrote:
Quote:
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.

Okay I read the entire thread (which was a damn chore) and couldn't find anyone on the pro-stealth in the middle of an open field side who gave a convincing reason this line would not negate it. I did see it was brought up before and everyone on the pro-Stealth=HIPS side ignored it.

I would like someone to explain to me why this clause would not have invalidated the bugbear's use of stealth outside, in sunlight, without cover (which as already noted, the horses did not provide).

The reason is that the implied rule is: "(An observed) creature can't use Stealth in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover."

A creature that is not observed (say by the observer being distracted) needs no invisibility or cover even in bright light.

Remember, the basic rule about stealth: If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can’t use Stealth.


Coriat wrote:
Quote:
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.

Okay I read the entire thread (which was a damn chore) and couldn't find anyone on the pro-stealth in the middle of an open field side who gave a convincing reason this line would not negate it. I did see it was brought up before and everyone on the pro-Stealth=HIPS side ignored it.

I would like someone to explain to me why this clause would not have invalidated the bugbear's use of stealth outside, in sunlight, without cover (which as already noted, the horses did not provide).

Stealth is a combo of hiding and move silently from 3.5, and that line was kept, but in 3.5 it only applied to hiding not move silently. The act of stealth against a distracted target in bright light without cover would fall under move silently and not hiding in my interpretation, and therefore completely RAW in 3.5. Now the question is, do you use the PF rule even though it has been copied without context from 3.5 making it ambiguous? That's up to each DM to interpret for themsevles


calvinNhobbes wrote:
Now the question is, do you use the PF rule even though it has been copied without context from 3.5 making it ambiguous?

It may have been copied from 3.5 but I don't see how it is at all ambiguous. It seems very clearly and directly worded to me and I don't see how there's any ambiguity there... no stealth in the middle of a field in broad daylight.


Coriat wrote:
It may have been copied from 3.5 but I don't see how it is at all ambiguous. It seems very clearly and directly worded to me and I don't see how there's any ambiguity there... no stealth in the middle of a field in broad daylight.

Because that line was copied from the Hide skill. So is it only stealth involving hiding in bright light, or ALL stealth, including move silently? I honestly don't know. Did they just copy the text and not realize they were changing the existing rules, or did they want to change the existing rules? I don't know. If I can't interpret something that has been changed because the intent is ambiguous, then to me, that is ambigious. Therefore, I simply use it how I always have.

For me personally, it makes sense that I should be able to sneak up behind someone sitting on a park bench on a bright sunny day while they are reading a book while listening to their IPOD.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
D&D/Pathfinder has 360 degree vision. You are always in direct line of sight unless you are hiding behind something. Would you let a rogue walk up to someone and stab them in the back just because they are fighting someone else? At what point do you get to see person B when you are fighting person A, if person B is not making a stealth check.
If the victim failed to make his Perception check to notice the newcomer to the battle, yes. Of course, if the victim is fighting someone else, the rogue probably gets him in the back due to flanking and SA anyway.

TOZ I was not counting flanking. I am speaking of distraction only. I want to see how far they think this distraction thing can be taken. For the purpose of this question I will see the person can't be flanked.


Cartigan wrote:
coldkilla wrote:


Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth.

So people are making two mistakes:
1. They are equating "use Stealth" with the entire move action taken after the Stealth check, when it really only refers to the Stealth check itself.
2. They are twisting the logic of "cover or concealment allows" to mean "cover or concealment is required".

And what else would it mean? "finding cover or concealment allows you to use stealth" is the entire sentiment. Against most creatures this applies. Against some creatures neither concealment nor cover will allow you to use stealth!

Quote:
They then conclude that "cover or concealment is required at every point along the movement made after the Stealth check", which is untenable in gameplay terms.

Lolwhat?

Did you miss this part of the rules?
While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.

You must end your movement in a place where you can stealth in order to use stealth. If not, you have just made several class abilities moot.

Not only that, but your assessment of how stealth is used is wrong. Stealth is a free action or taken as part of the move action. You don't make a Stealth check and then move. Well you can, but you have to make a Stealth check as part of the move action.
Normally, you make a Stealth check as part of movement,
Your interpretation is make a Stealth check then apparently do whatever you want and still be stealthed.

To build off of Cart's post what is the point of trying to find cover quickly if you can just stealth out in the open?


LoreKeeper wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


The open area check is when the bugbear is unobserved and the other poster assumes the rogue rolled a 1. I am betting the DM did not give the rogue this check. He actually said he did not give him a check, but by the rules he is allowed one. Distraction does not mean the rogue does not get a perception check so the DM was incorrect.

The point about "rolling a 1" is to determine the point in time when the bug bear can/cannot be considered to be in plain sight. I agree that if the bugbear was standing in plain sight of the rogue, then the rogue would not have needed a perception check to spot the bugbear - however, in the argument, the bugbear is just out of range of the rogue and would therefor be able to maintain stealth. He'd still have to maintain stealth every round and the rogue still gets to roll perception every round; but by not being in plain sight, he'd have the right to keep on stealthing.

It's important to note that in lieu of the printed words in core that the reading of "in plain sight" is equivalent to not being able to fail to "notice a visible creature".

...

Aside from that, I still feel that people are mixing up their distractions:

1. A distraction can exist where an observer is not paying attention to the target at all (such as created by a bluff check, or when in some other - often roleplay related - way preoccupied). This form of distraction allows for stealth checks to be made.

2. A "milder" form of distraction exists that doesn't preclude the possibility to observe everybody (listed as a +5 increase to perception DC in core) - just that the perception is hampered by factors (like the observer is engaged in combat). After all, in combat there is a need for the combatant to try and remain aware of everybody around him - but at the same time it is harder to do than in normal conditions due to the sword that is cutting you into pieces. This form of distraction doesn't allow stealth checks to be made if still in plain sight of the observer (though...

For the distraction thing, what exactly are you distracted from? Is it noncombatants? Does it include obvious combatants? If the horse decides to walk away do you notice that? I think distraction needs to be better spelled out as far as how much leeway is given so it can't be applied at random.

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