Invisible combat


Rules Questions


Okay, so I've read through the rules and I've tried browsing through some of the threads around here but I'm not sure on how to rule on invisibility in my game. Here is the situation: An 8th level sorcerer with greater invisibility walks up to a group of 4 lvl 12 guards sitting in fron tof a 20 ft wide gate and lobs a fireball in the middle of them. He then takes a move action at half speed to move over to the side and attempts to stealth while moving. His stealth modifier is 4 (3 ranks, 1 dex). He rolls a 10, so the DC for the guards to even notice him is 10 + 4 + 20 = 34 and the DC to pinpoint the square he is in, they would need a 34 + 20 = 54. A couple of the guards, who are well trained for guard duty have a 17 perception check (12 max ranks + 3 class + 2 wisdom) - the others are less trained and have a 13. So the two guards with the best perception check would need to roll above a 17 to even NOTICE the presence of a creature in the area and have no chance of pinpointing the sorcerer, and the other 2 guards are completely useless. What is to prevent the sorcerer from doing this for the next 4 turns lobbing more fireballs into the area with impunity?

I would like to rule that the sorcerer is ruled as "in combat" so he takes a -20 penalty, bringing his DCs to 14 and 34 to notice and pinpoint... but the player argues that the sorcerer is no longer casting or doing anything obvious at the end of the round, so the biggest penalty he would take is the -5 for moving half speed, leaving his DCs at 29 and 49...

Help! I'm not sure how I can prevent a single 8th level sorcerer from wiping the floor with an encounter worthy of a group of lvl 14 adventurers.

Additionally, I'm a big fan of turning around player tactics and doing the same thing back to them, but I have a feeling everyone is going to cry foul as soon as they realize they're getting wrecked by a single sorcerer several levels below them.


Is the sorcerer waiting for his turn in the initiative order to make another attack? Did the sorcerer just make an attack in the initiative order? Yes, and yes, right? This sorcerer is clearly IN COMBAT. I don't think his argument holds and water. He cannot simply declare that because he is no longer casting and no longer moving that he is now 'not in combat'.

'Not in combat' was that state that existed before his first attack, when he was sneaking up on them unaware. The guards were guarding, moving around, perhaps being a little bored. Now that they are clearly under attack, their senses are honed and they are bending there entire will to finding this invisible creature that is killing them. This is what results in the 20 modifier. Keep in mind that casting a spell with a verbal component can be heard fairly easily at close ranges, and that the spell effect itself {which originates from his current square} is NOT invisible, and seasoned {12th level} guards will know that there is only SO FAR a caster can move after he drops the fireball on them.

Your ruling was, in my opinion, correct. It just makes sense; after all, one improved invisibility spell should not, in and of itself, be that over-powering. One 8th level sorcerer should not be able to wipe out 4 12th level guards without even the threat of reprisal. Let common sense prevail. You have it right; even without the fact that you are the GM.

If you want to eliminate this argument in the future, I would suggest that you clearly define the term 'In Combat' as you and your players are concerned. For instance, any time initiative is being counted, and characters are waiting for their turn to take an action, they are considered 'In Combat', but you will know what will work best for your group.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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