Stealth in Combat: Sneaky Bugbear vs. Elf Rogue


Rules Questions

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Caineach wrote:


No, you use the bluff to become temporarily unobserved

By distracting the opponent.

AvalonXQ wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
So everyone automatically has the 12th level Ranger ability Camouflage?
No. As I have explained about five times now, Camouflage would allow you to do it even if observers were not distracted by combat.

Ok. Fine. They are distracted by combat relative to people not in the general combat. Why are the not distracted by combat relative to people in the general combat but that they are not in direct combat with?


Cartigan wrote:
By distracting the opponent.

Yes, by using a SPECIFIC indication of the Bluff skill. Specific rules supercede in their applicable scenarios.

Cartigan wrote:
Ok. Fine. They are distracted by combat relative to people not in the general combat. Why are the not distracted by combat relative to people in the general combat but that they are not in direct combat with?

It doesn't matter if they are distracted at that point because they are already aware of those combatants as outlined in the rules for combat.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Can someone please point out to me in the rules that stats Combat is a Distraction? Cause I can't find it..


Dragnmoon wrote:
Can someone please point out to me in the rules that stats Combat is a Distraction? Cause I can't find it..

Can you point me to the rules that say it is not? Cause I can't find that...


Cartigan wrote:
No. As I have explained about five times now, Camouflage would allow you to do it even if observers were not distracted by combat.
Ok. Fine. They are distracted by combat relative to people not in the general combat.

No. They are distracted by combat relative to unobserved creatures.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
calvinNhobbes wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Can someone please point out to me in the rules that stats Combat is a Distraction? Cause I can't find it..
Can you point me to the rules that say it is not? Cause I can't find that...

ummm... Absence of a rule does not make a rule..


Dragnmoon wrote:
Can someone please point out to me in the rules that stats Combat is a Distraction? Cause I can't find it..

It's not in the RAW whether or not a creature engaged in melee should be considered distracted for purposes of being able to use Stealth checks against them when unobserved. The RAW doesn't spell out what makes a character distracted at all.

The problem is that "distracted" and "observed" are both used by the Stealth and Perception rules without ever being well-defined.


calvinNhobbes wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Can someone please point out to me in the rules that stats Combat is a Distraction? Cause I can't find it..
Can you point me to the rules that say it is not? Cause I can't find that...

What constitutes distraction for purposes of stealth is left entirely up to the GM. It is not defined anywhere.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
AvalonXQ wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Can someone please point out to me in the rules that stats Combat is a Distraction? Cause I can't find it..
It's not in the RAW whether or not a creature engaged in melee should be considered distracted for purposes of being able to use Stealth checks against them when unobserved. The RAW doesn't spell out what makes a character distracted at all.

Thanks.

Just making sure...

So mostly this argument is based on DMs interpretation on rule but not on specific details on how the rule is stated.

That is a lot of posts arguing on opinions, and a House rule.


Caineach wrote:
stormraven wrote:
Cartigan is not alone in his 'more strict' interpretation of the rules regarding stealth. While I don't squarely fall into his camp, my adjudication of the rules would be closer to his version of stealth than to any of the others sides presented.
Raven, can you provide any rules that disprove our interpretations as valid ones? The only things I have found so far are GM arbitrations on distraction, and therefore leave the issue squarely up for debate. As long as a GM acts consistently, I don't see a problem with it any way, but feel my interpretation allows for people to do things that they are able to do in real life, while Cartigan's strict interpretation prevents me from doing things I personally have done before.

Hi Caineach,

I'm not trying to be an ass. Tempers are running high. Please take a deep breath and re-read the relevant section of my post (shown above) and, if you want, all my previous posts in this thread - there are maybe 7 of them. A few are humorous, some are trying to understand RAW, and a couple are about how I personally DM. In neither this most recent post, nor in any of the others, do I say your interpretation is invalid or wrong. I think, as has been said by all 'sides' IIRC, that the lack of definition of key terms like "observable" prevents this issue from being concretely answered. As you put it succinctly, "the issue [is] squarely up for debate". I agree. That being the case - I see all sides presented as valid interpretations of what RAW we have. I was merely stating (as a point of fact not a proclamation on what is 'right') that my method for handling stealth is closer to Cartigan's method with (I think) a bit more flexibility in regards to situational modifiers.

Now, after reading this and perusing what I wrote previously, if you feel like I'm gunning for you or that I've insulted you - please let me know. I'd be happy to try to convince you I'm not saying you're wrong and more pleased to apologize if my comments caused offense.

Warm Regard,
SR


Dragnmoon wrote:
ummm... Absence of a rule does not make a rule..

Actually, it does. If there is no law that states I have to pay taxes, then I do not have to pay taxes.

If there is no rule that states combat is NOT a distraction, then I can rule combat is a distraction.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Caineach wrote:
calvinNhobbes wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Can someone please point out to me in the rules that stats Combat is a Distraction? Cause I can't find it..
Can you point me to the rules that say it is not? Cause I can't find that...
What constitutes distraction for purposes of stealth is left entirely up to the GM. It is not defined anywhere.

so A House rule?...

And not fully true.. There is a rule for Distraction, very detailed rule. Called Bluff.


Dragnmoon wrote:
So mostly this argument is based on DMs interpretation on rule but not on specific details on how the rule is stated.

Depends who you ask. I think it is merely an issue of interpretation. Cartigan would argue that is specifically forbidden by RAW.


Dragnmoon wrote:
So mostly this argument is based on DMs interpretation on rule but not on specific details on how the rule is stated.

... I think so. I couldn't quite parse that sentence.

Quote:
That is a lot of posts arguing on opinions, and a House rule.

How Stealth works when you have an unobserved guy trying to sneak past a pitched battle is an important question. If Stealth folks are spotted the second they step out from behind their cover, Stealth is seriously weakened relative to requiring an opposed role.

And being able to be instantly and fully aware of your surroundings even during combat is very powerful for characters as well.
But, yes -- because the rules are completely ambiguous, you as the GM are going to have to house rule one way or the other in this situation.


Dragnmoon wrote:
so A House rule?...

No more a houserule than saying it is not.

Quote:
And not fully true.. There is a rule for Distraction, very detailed rule. Called Bluff.

No, there is a rule for using Bluff to distract. No where do the rules state this is the ONLY method to distract.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

By RAW you can not Stealth based solely that a person is distracted by Combat. Because there is nothing stating that Combat is a distraction.

I agree with anyone that states in the thread that you can't stealth in the open if the only distraction is Combat, especially since there is no facing rules in D&D.

By RAW that is the stronger argument. That said, GM can rule against RAW, nothing against that.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
calvinNhobbes wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
so A House rule?...

No more a houserule than saying it is not.

Quote:
And not fully true.. There is a rule for Distraction, very detailed rule. Called Bluff.
No, there is a rule for using Bluff to distract. No where do the rules state this is the ONLY method to distract.

any rule made by the GM on what is a distraction other then those in the rules is solely a rule made by the GM, therefore a House rule.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
calvinNhobbes wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
so A House rule?...

No more a houserule than saying it is not.

That is wrong, since I am fully using the rules on what a distraction is I am not house ruling.


Dragnmoon wrote:
And not fully true.. There is a rule for Distraction, very detailed rule. Called Bluff.

Bluff creates a momentary distraction where there otherwise wasn't one.

Under what circumstances is there normally a distraction? The rules don't say.
Both "distracted" and "observed" are important, but poorly-defined, parts of the Stealth rules.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
AvalonXQ wrote:

.

But, yes -- because the rules are completely ambiguous, you as the GM are going to have to house rule one way or the other in this situation.

And I have no problem with that, as long as the DM realizes that it is a House rule.


Dragnmoon wrote:
That is wrong, since I am fully using the rules on what a distraction is I am not house ruling.

Because whether or not a person is distracted is undefined, any time you decide that a person is or isn't distracted outside of the special Bluff action, you are making a GM call. The rules don't say either way.


Dragnmoon wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:

.

But, yes -- because the rules are completely ambiguous, you as the GM are going to have to house rule one way or the other in this situation.
And I have no problem with that, as long as the DM realizes that it is a House rule.

And I have no problem with what you're doing, as long as you realize that it is a House rule.

There is no way to avoid making a House rule in a situation where the rules themselves are unclear.


stormraven wrote:
Caineach wrote:
stormraven wrote:
Cartigan is not alone in his 'more strict' interpretation of the rules regarding stealth. While I don't squarely fall into his camp, my adjudication of the rules would be closer to his version of stealth than to any of the others sides presented.
Raven, can you provide any rules that disprove our interpretations as valid ones? The only things I have found so far are GM arbitrations on distraction, and therefore leave the issue squarely up for debate. As long as a GM acts consistently, I don't see a problem with it any way, but feel my interpretation allows for people to do things that they are able to do in real life, while Cartigan's strict interpretation prevents me from doing things I personally have done before.

Hi Caineach,

I'm not trying to be an ass. Tempers are running high. Please take a deep breath and re-read the relevant section of my post (shown above) and, if you want, all my previous posts in this thread - there are maybe 7 of them. A few are humorous, some are trying to understand RAW, and a couple are about how I personally DM. In neither this most recent post, nor in any of the others, do I say your interpretation is invalid or wrong. I think, as has been said by all 'sides' IIRC, that the lack of definition of key terms like "observable" prevents this issue from being concretely answered. As you put it succinctly, "the issue [is] squarely up for debate". I agree. That being the case - I see all sides presented as valid interpretations of what RAW we have. I was merely stating (as a point of fact not a proclamation on what is 'right') that my method for handling stealth is closer to Cartigan's method with (I think) a bit more flexibility in regards to situational modifiers.

Now, after reading this and perusing what I wrote previously, if you feel like I'm gunning for you or that I've insulted you - please let me know. I'd be happy to try to convince you I'm not saying you're wrong and more pleased to apologize if my comments...

Stormraven, I wasn't offended by you at all. I was just hoping to hear an opposing argument from someone other than Cartigan. Sorry if I came accross as insulted or mad at you, I was a little more terse than I was trying to be.


AvalonXQ wrote:


No. They are distracted by combat relative to unobserved creatures.

Which is either illogical or inconsistent. Especially when your definition of "unobserved" hinges solely on "aren't noticed due to combat."

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
AvalonXQ wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
And not fully true.. There is a rule for Distraction, very detailed rule. Called Bluff.

Bluff creates a momentary distraction where there otherwise wasn't one.

Under what circumstances is there normally a distraction? The rules don't say.
Both "distracted" and "observed" are important, but poorly-defined, parts of the Stealth rules.

not really. There are specific situations that state when you are unobserved. In coverage and under darkness. Being in full view, is not being unobserved. You need to be in poor lighting or behind something during stealth are the beginning and ending of stealth, unless you are distracted from a bluff.

A bluff allows you to distract so you can quickly jump behind cover to be hidden from view.

If you start Stealth, in full view, without a distraction, and a distraction as described by the rules then you can't be stealthing, according to RAW.

A DM can decide that others things can cause a distraction other then those in RAW, that is fully in his power, but he needs to know the ramification of doing so. For example, making Bluff a less powerful ability and feats based on it.


Dragnmoon wrote:
By RAW you can not Stealth based solely that a person is distracted by Combat. Because there is nothing stating that Combat is a distraction.

That is a fine interpretation, but not the only one. Also by RAW you can use Stealth based solely on ANY situations the DM deems is a distraction, INCLUDING combat.

Quote:
I agree with anyone that states in the thread that you can't stealth in the open if the only distraction is Combat, especially since there is no facing rules in D&D.

That is fine interpretation. Not the only one, of course.

Quote:
By RAW that is the stronger argument.

In your opinion, which is think is wrong. Moreover, it limits game play making the game less fun.

Quote:
That said, GM can rule against RAW, nothing against that.

Or in this case, interpret it in a different manner, since RAW is unclear in this situation.

Quote:
any rule made by the GM on what is a distraction other then those in the rules is solely a rule made by the GM, therefore a House rule.

So you really believe any statement made by the DM to fill in rule gaps is a house rule? Wow, who knew I was houseruling that humans have 10 fingers all these years... eye roll...


Cartigan wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:


No. They are distracted by combat relative to unobserved creatures.
Which is either illogical or inconsistent.

It is neither. You're no longer presenting arguments; just groundless opinions. Give explanations for your judgments, please.


Dragnmoon wrote:
That is wrong, since I am fully using the rules on what a distraction is I am not house ruling.

Yep, you are house ruling by your own definition.


AvalonXQ wrote:


How Stealth works when you have an unobserved guy trying to sneak past a pitched battle is an important question. If Stealth folks are spotted the second they step out from behind their cover, Stealth is seriously weakened relative to requiring an opposed role.

Stealthed characters are spotted the second their round ends with them outside of applicable situations where one may stealth. Which is why there are explicit rules for getting from cover to cover through open areas.

Liberty's Edge

I'm at a football game, have seats right behind my teams end zone. The ball is on our 24 yard line, the other team has possession. I have my two year old with me, who is insistant on being a two year old... running around, picking up random things off the ground and sticking them in her mouth, etc. Would you consider me being distracted from paying attention to the game, or am I able to pay full attention and notice the offensive line just gained another lineman from the sidelines, no calls, no nothing, he just decided to step over the line and join in.


Cartigan wrote:
Especially when your definition of "unobserved" hinges solely on "aren't noticed due to combat."

No. My definition of "unobserved" is "hasn't yet been observed". I've explained under what circumstances an unobserved creature can become observed, and under what circumstances an observed creature can become unobserved. They're consistent, they fully fit the RAW, they give real and accurate benefits to the Ranger feats, and they make sense.

You're welcome to disagree, but if you would argue with any of the above claims regarding the rules as I've described them, please be detailed and not conclusory.


Dragnmoon wrote:
but he needs to know the ramification of doing so.

So does a DM that refuses to make other things count as distractions other than those in the RAW, because doing so hinders the function of Stealth and those parts of game play related to it.


AvalonXQ wrote:


It is neither. You're no longer presenting arguments; just groundless opinions. Give explanations for your judgments, please.

I will hazard to repeat myself

Quote:
OK, if I accept an opponent in combat is distracted, then any creature that opponent is not in direct combat against is "unobserved." You are making up an inconsistent scenario. An unobserved creature may stay unobserved because the opponent is distracted by combat. That is your argument. Therefore, an opponent distracted does not observe creature that are not distracting it, such as creatures it is not directly in combat with. Thusly, any creature it is not in combat with, regardless of whether or not it was previously observed, becomes unobserved by the in combat creatures. That means that a creature that was previously observed may stealth against any creature that is not in combat against it. That is using your logic in a consistent and "realistic" manner.

Now. You, you, explain to me why a creature not previously observed but not meeting the prerequisites for stealth outside of the nebulous term of "unobserved" may Stealth in regards to a creature in combat but a creature previously observed may not stealth in regards to a creature it is not engaged in direct combat with.


Cartigan wrote:
Stealthed characters are spotted the second their round ends with them outside of applicable situations where one may stealth. Which is why there are explicit rules for getting from cover to cover through open areas.

What are those explicit rules for getting from cover to cover through open areas? Can you quote them for me please?


AvalonXQ wrote:


No. My definition of "unobserved" is "hasn't yet been observed".

Therefore I may, because I have no been previously observed, walk out of a house, stroll around in an empty, barrne courtyard for an hour in broad daylight, and then walk up to you and sneak attack you in the face because the movement I take to exit the house is combined with a Stealth check in addition to every movement made thereafter.

Quote:
I've explained under what circumstances an unobserved creature can become observed, and under what circumstances an observed creature can become unobserved.

Which are patently circular.


Cartigan wrote:
Now. You, you, explain to me why a creature not previously observed but not meeting the prerequisites for stealth outside of the nebulous term of "unobserved" may Stealth in regards to a creature in combat but a creature previously observed may not stealth in regards to a creature it is not engaged in direct combat with.

The same reason there are surprize rounds, it depends if you are aware of the creature or not.


AvalonXQ wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Stealthed characters are spotted the second their round ends with them outside of applicable situations where one may stealth. Which is why there are explicit rules for getting from cover to cover through open areas.
What are those explicit rules for getting from cover to cover through open areas? Can you quote them for me please?

FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. This has been posted ver-fracking-batem at least 5 times.

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.


Cartigan wrote:
Stealthed characters are spotted the second their round ends with them outside of applicable situations where one may stealth. Which is why there are explicit rules for getting from cover to cover through open areas.

Does this mean that if the bugbear had a tower shield with him.......

lol


Cartigan wrote:
Now. You, you, explain to me why a creature not previously observed but not meeting the prerequisites for stealth outside of the nebulous term of "unobserved" may Stealth in regards to a creature in combat but a creature previously observed may not stealth in regards to a creature it is not engaged in direct combat with.

Sure.

"If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth."

That's it. Observed can't use Stealth, unobserved can.

And the inconsistency is... where?


AvalonXQ wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Now. You, you, explain to me why a creature not previously observed but not meeting the prerequisites for stealth outside of the nebulous term of "unobserved" may Stealth in regards to a creature in combat but a creature previously observed may not stealth in regards to a creature it is not engaged in direct combat with.

Sure.

"If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth."

That's it. Observed can't use Stealth, unobserved can.

And the inconsistency is... where?

And round and round the wagons of logic circle against the native reasoners.

Why are the unobserved characters not observed if they do not meet any other requirements to use Stealth


Cartigan wrote:

FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. This has been posted ver-fracking-batem at least 5 times.

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.

That is explicitly a rule that allows you to Stealth while being observed. The rules do NOT indicate, AT ALL, that such a check is needed when you are unobserved.


AvalonXQ wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. This has been posted ver-fracking-batem at least 5 times.

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.

That is explicitly a rule that allows you to Stealth while being observed. The rules do NOT indicate, AT ALL, that such a check is needed when you are unobserved.

No, that is explicitly a rule that lets you get from "stealth-viable location" to "stealth-viable location" through a "not stealth-viable location"


Cartigan wrote:
And the inconsistency is... where?
And round and round the wagons of logic circle against the native reasoners.

Snark without substance.

I've presented my position. It works, it's consistent with RAW, it makes sense, and it's internally consistent. And you can't find a single flaw with it from any of those angles, and you know it.
So state your own position and move on.


Cartigan wrote:

FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. This has been posted ver-fracking-batem at least 5 times.

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.

Of course, an unobserved place does not necessarily require cover or concealment, as has been pointed out.


Cartigan wrote:
No, that is explicitly a rule that lets you get from "stealth-viable location" to "stealth-viable location" through a "not stealth-viable location"

No. You've mis-read the rule. The starting location for the Bluff check is not a stealth-viable one.

The whole point of the check is a "Hey, look over there!" moment; the assuming is that you begin the check observed, or how can they see you Bluffing at all?


AvalonXQ wrote:


Snark without substance.

That is a very snarky statement to make when you explicitly removed the substance from the post.

Here, for your benefit, is the substance of the post you ignored.

"Why are the unobserved characters not observed if they do not meet any other requirements to use Stealth"


AvalonXQ wrote:


No. You've mis-read the rule. The starting location for the Bluff check is not a stealth-viable one.

When the bluff check is made successfully, you are now in a stealth-viable location. See "Creating a Diversion to Hide"


Ah! I see the problem! You believe that the Bluff action is designed to take you from cover to cover, when in fact that Bluff action is designed to allow you to reach cover when you're seen (a "Which way did he go?" moment). With that misinterpretation on your part, your other beliefs regarding the rules make more sense.


AvalonXQ wrote:
Ah! I see the problem! You believe that the Bluff action is designed to take you from cover to cover,

Considering that is not the position I am espousing at all, I gather you don't see the problem.


Cartigan wrote:
"Why are the unobserved characters not observed if they do not meet any other requirements to use Stealth"

Because the condition that eliminates your ability to use Stealth -- being observed -- doesn't apply.

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