Locating an invisible creature


Rules Questions


I didn't want to post this in the tactics thread. Sorry if this has all been argued before - I am not a frequent board-er.

By rule, invisibility modifies stealth checks so that creatures are visually undetectable (barring special abilities, spells, etc.)

Also by rule, it is impossible to use stealth while attacking, running, or charging. Therefore, while an invisible (assumed greater, whatever) creature attacks, it cannot have this bonus to stealth because stealth does not apply.

reality (whether or not it belongs is up to you)
Creatures with the basic 5 senses can pinpoint things aurally. Try it. Find a large room. Stand in the middle of it, blindfolded, and have people move around you. Have someone speak as if they were casting a spell. I know I could easily move over to them and find them with a decent "perception" check. /reality

Hearing someone walking is a DC10, modified for distance and conditions of course.

A tactic for locating an invisible creature for a party could be everyone immediately holding and readying an action to move to or attack the square from which they hear sounds of the invisible creature when it attacks. This would eliminate the excess noise of combat interfering with the party's perception check to hear the invisible creature.

Break that one up and tell me why it doesn't or won't work.


Some Random Player wrote:

Hearing someone walking is a DC10, modified for distance and conditions of course.

Break that one up and tell me why it doesn't or won't work.

Because the perception DC is modified by Invisibility.

In combat, it's a DC 40+Distance Perception check to pinpoint an invisible creature's location.

Base DC 20, +20 from invisible, -20 due to in combat, +20 due to not moving, +Distance (+1 per 10 feet away)

That's without stealth at all.

There's a thread discussing this (though it's more about casting than melee combat) here: Invisibility Questions


Just to clarify - I am not talking about negating the miss chance - only pinpointing the square.

What I am saying is that there does not seem to be any reference to invisibility (as the spell) "without stealth at all" since the invisibility bonus *IS* a stealth bonus.

From the spell, invisibility (bold mine): "Of course, the subject is not magically silenced, and certain other conditions can render the recipient detectable (such as swimming in water or stepping in a puddle). If a check is required, a stationary invisible creature has a +40 bonus on its Stealth checks. This bonus is reduced to +20 if the creature is moving. The spell ends if the subject attacks any creature. For purposes of this spell, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe."

The -20 to the perception check, according to the rules on the invisibility spell, is a stealth bonus which is opposed by perception.

Stealth cannot be used if the creature is attacking, also as described above.

From the glossary (invisibility): "The ability to move about unseen is not foolproof. While they can't be seen, invisible creatures can be heard, smelled, or felt.

Invisibility makes a creature undetectable by vision, including darkvision."

There is no rule that states PCs cannot detect things using sound. In fact, there are several situations given under Perception that would suggest otherwise. Pinpointing the square is the obvious issue there.


Some Random Player wrote:
What I am saying is that there does not seem to be any reference to invisibility (as the spell) "without stealth at all" since the invisibility bonus *IS* a stealth bonus.

The modifiers in the chart under invisibility in the glossary are modifiers to the perception check to locate/pinpoint the creature. It has nothing to do with stealth. See that thread for details.

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For added convenience, here are some of the rules from the Glossary of the CRB:

Quote:

A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that “something's there” but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack. It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check. Even once a character has pinpointed the square that contains an invisible creature, the creature still benefits from total concealment (50% miss chance). There are a number of modifiers that can be applied to this DC if the invisible creature is moving or engaged in a noisy activity.

Invisible creature is... Perception
In combat or speaking –20
Moving at half speed –5
Moving at full speed –10
Running or charging –20
Not moving +20
Using Stealth Stealth check +20
Some distance away +1 per 10 feet
Behind an obstacle (door) +5
Behind an obstacle (stone wall) +15

So if Mr. Greater Invisibility attacks/casts/otherwise engages in combat, but isn't using Stealth (since he can't, as you noted) then the DC to notice him is:

20 (base)
-20 (in combat/speaking)
+20 (if not moving)
+X (distance)
For a total of 20+distance.

Pinpointing him is more difficult by 20.


Yeah, I get that. I'm still pointing to the spell where it explicitly states that the invisibility bonus is a stealth bonus. I have not seen invisibility as a condition that does not eventually refer back to the invisibility spell. Yet -- if someone could show me where.

If an (greater) invisible wizard is in combat, he does not receive the +20 stationary bonus (or it is negated by the -20 "in combat" penalty, whichever). That leaves the invisibility +20 bonus, plus stealth check. If he attacks or uses an attack spell, he cannot make a stealth check.

Therefore, pinpointing the square should be a maximum base DC 20, modified only by distance and conditions.

Pinpointing by sight (visible) = DC 0
Pinpointing invisible, stationary creature by sight = DC 40 + stealth
Pinpointing invisible creature in combat by sight = DC 20 + stealth
Pinpointing invisible creature in combat that is attacking by sight = DC 20 and stealth cannot apply.

The rules already state that within 5' pinpointing an attacking invisible creature is automatic. The only way to prevent pinpointing the square is if the opponent attacks from reach or range. I'm saying that should be a maximum of a DC 20 perception check (+/- distance/conditions) since stealth can't apply and they are both "in combat" and attacking directly.


Hmmm, generally see this played that you can tell the square the invisible attack came from without rolling, but need perception checks to tell if the enemy has moved...

(Never had this happen with invisible gits with reach weapons though, I'd just let that give the direction of the strike not the square itself...)

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Some Random Player wrote:
I have not seen invisibility as a condition that does not eventually refer back to the invisibility spell.

Then I guess you didn't click my link. No reference to the spell whatsoever.

If you click it and read it over, you'll find that there is a base DC and a whole list of modifiers that have nothing to do with Stealth at all. If a creature does use Stealth, there's an entry on the table for it, but if not, you use the prescribed base DC and appropriate modifiers.

Read what's been linked. The issue you're talking about doesn't exist. There are set rules in place for Perception DCs without Stealth, with no reference to the spell.


Some Random Player wrote:
If he attacks or uses an attack spell, he cannot make a stealth check.

Just for clarity: this is incorrect.


The bonuses in the prd are exactly the same as the ones given in the spell, first of all. Just because it doesn't specifically use the word "spell" doesn't mean they aren't exactly the same conditions.

I was referring to any invisibility ability on any creature. Is there one that does not eventually reference the spell?

Secondly, using the glossary, the numbers I gave match. The maximum DC given (not including conditions not discussed here) is 40+ stealth, as I stated above. Since being in combat negates 20 of that and stealth doesn't apply when attacking, the maximum is DC 20 +/- distance and conditions.

And as for stealth being impossible while attacking (Oladon), running or charging, the skill states exactly that.

"Check: Your Stealth check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone who might notice you. You can move up to half your normal speed and use Stealth at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than half but less than your normal speed, you take a –5 penalty. It's impossible to use Stealth while attacking, running, or charging."

I'm trying to clarify the intent of the rule here.

Jiggy wrote:
Some Random Player wrote:
I have not seen invisibility as a condition that does not eventually refer back to the invisibility spell.

Then I guess you didn't click my link. No reference to the spell whatsoever.

If you click it and read it over, you'll find that there is a base DC and a whole list of modifiers that have nothing to do with Stealth at all. If a creature does use Stealth, there's an entry on the table for it, but if not, you use the prescribed base DC and appropriate modifiers.

Read what's been linked. The issue you're talking about doesn't exist. There are set rules in place for Perception DCs without Stealth, with no reference to the spell.


also, detect magic will see the aura of the spell after 3 rounds of concentration (if the invisible opponent doesn'y leave the area in that time or is an enclosed area) allowing you to see the square he is in, even if it doesn't allow you to see them.


You can't use Stealth while attacking. That doesn't mean that just because you attack, you can't use Stealth. See the "Action" part of the Stealth skill: it's quite clear.


Yep - and if you'd read my original post about readying an action for the invisible creature's attack, you'd know that using stealth as a separate action after the attack isn't germane to the discussion.


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As a skimmed other posts above, they are correct in that the most reliable way to locate an invisible creature is to wait for it to attack you. For that split second you know where it is, and if you are smart and held your action you can strike at it before it moves from its known location.
CRB Page 563: "... If an invisible creature strikes a character, the character struck knows the exact location of the creature that struck him ..." until it moves, and/or unless it has reach :D

They are also correct in that ...

Stealth:
As you stated, it is impossible to use stealth while attacking or running.
Also note stealth checks are made free with a move action.

This means you can still stealth after you attack if you still have a move action left.

More then you wanted to know: Other ways to locate Invisibles

Perception:
"NOTICE a creature using stealth." There are some fun modifiers to come up with a DC, but the important part is you haven't located anyone, just know they are there.

This is clarified for us later.

Targeting a creature means you have to know their exact location.

We have a few more things to look up:
Invisible (Appendix2: conditions)
Blinded (Appendix2: conditions)
Invisibility (spell)
Invisibility (Appendix1: special abilities)

Invisible(Appendix2: conditions) (CRB Page 567)
Nothing relevant to locating.

Blinded(Appendix2: conditions) (CRB Page 565)
Not applicable, but can be if creatures are invisible because you are in complete darkness :D

Invisibility(spell) (CRB Page 301-302)
"... Ofcourse, the subject is not magically silenced, and certain other conditions can render the recipient detectable (such as swimming in water ... ) ..."
Detection is different from locating. The bonuses to stealth here are to not being DETECTED. The spell points out some ways that perhaps you could know their exact location. A light source on them, displacing water etc. And I would add/say that creating an aerial displacement could do the same, blanketing the area in ash, creating other clouds of visible aerial debris.

Invisibility(Appendix1: special abilities) (CRB Page 563-564)
" ... creatures can be heard. smelled, or felt. ..."
" ... A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 perception check"
" ... It's practically impossible(+20DC) to pinpoint an invisible creatures location with a perception check. ..."

Modifiers from the chart I think are a little screwy. But we will use common sense to work through this.

To copy it as its written in my CRB

Invisible creature is.................Perception (DC modifiers)
--------------------------------------------------------
In combat or speaking.....................-20
Moving at half speed.........................-5
Moving at full speed........................-10
Running or Charging.......................-20
Not Moving......................-40 (should be +40?)
Using Stealth....................Stealth check +20
Some distance away.............+1 per 10 feet
Behind an obstacle(door).................+5
Behind an obstacle(stone wall)......+15

It should be fairly obvious that "In combat or speaking" should be a penalty as well as the Moving at half, full or running. Not moving should NOT be a penalty so we have to consider if this is +40 to the DC. I would argue that although it is a HUGE bonus, it makes sense since not moving in this case refers to ANY movement, and not just move actions.

Locating an invisible creature happens in two ways an at two levels of success.
1) know something is there.
2) know where it actually is.

The DC is going to vary slightly depending on how well you understand how to build a perception check, but don't worry about this to much. The point to make is, that the DC is +20 for being invisible. If they beat THAT dc by 20, then they also know the creatures exact location.(until it moves)

Example:
creature is walking 20 feet from you.
To hear the sound of a creature walking is base DC 10. This creature is invisible so DC is 30(10+20). Invisible bonus is reduced according to the above chart conditions in this case walking is -5 so DC is 25(10+20-5) 20 feet away is +2 so DC is 27 (10+20-5+2)

one might argue that the distance modifier is doubled since it is on both charts, but then you would also double behind a door, and that makes no sense. (Of course you shouldn't really get the +20 invisible bonus behind the door either, but it's just a rule, and we have to allow it to be imperfect)

So DC 27 to know it is walking near you. But DC 47 to know its exact location.
(There are other correct solutions using modifiers differently. just use your judgement and then stick with it as a house rule.)

Stealth just changes the base DC. You still add 20 for being invisible and still add 20 more to locate.


asthyril wrote:
also, detect magic will see the aura of the spell after 3 rounds of concentration (if the invisible opponent doesn'y leave the area in that time or is an enclosed area) allowing you to see the square he is in, even if it doesn't allow you to see them.

So three rounds of concentration and even then you only get a 60' cone. Best hope you havent been murdered in the meantime and that you pick the right quadrant and that they are within range which being a spellcaster they probably aren't.

Its not a very effective tactic.


andreww wrote:
asthyril wrote:
also, detect magic will see the aura of the spell after 3 rounds of concentration (if the invisible opponent doesn'y leave the area in that time or is an enclosed area) allowing you to see the square he is in, even if it doesn't allow you to see them.

So three rounds of concentration and even then you only get a 60' cone. Best hope you havent been murdered in the meantime and that you pick the right quadrant and that they are within range which being a spellcaster they probably aren't.

Its not a very effective tactic.

No -- on the first round you get "magic in this cone" on the second round you get the number of auras and strength of the strongest and on the third round you get precise spot and strength of each aura in the cone.

Still not highly effective, but then again it's a second level spell against a 1~4th spell level effect.


andreww wrote:
asthyril wrote:
also, detect magic will see the aura of the spell after 3 rounds of concentration (if the invisible opponent doesn'y leave the area in that time or is an enclosed area) allowing you to see the square he is in, even if it doesn't allow you to see them.

So three rounds of concentration and even then you only get a 60' cone. Best hope you havent been murdered in the meantime and that you pick the right quadrant and that they are within range which being a spellcaster they probably aren't.

Its not a very effective tactic.

on the third round you can pinpoint the square they are in. that is why i mentioned the invisible creature not leaving the area (which they probably would)

and i never claimed it was the best tactic or even a good one, but if youre level 1 or 2 that is about all you have. and it will eventually find an invisible creature.


I said that incorrectly, it's a 0 level spell against a 1~4th level effect


Some Random Player wrote:
Yeah, I get that.

It doesn't seem like you do.

Some Random Player wrote:
I'm still pointing to the spell where it explicitly states that the invisibility bonus is a stealth bonus.

The invisibility spell grants you a stealth bonus. It also makes you invisible, which includes all the things that being invisible confers, such as being undetectable by vision, and being difficult to pinpoint.

You can make a perception check to notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet. The DC is 20. This has nothing to do with stealth.

You can make a perception check to pinpoint an invisible creature's location. The DC is 40. This also has nothing to do with stealth.

If the invisible creature is in combat, there's a whole table of modifiers to that DC. One of those modifiers is "Using Stealth" which applies when the invisible creature is using stealth.

Some Random Player wrote:
I have not seen invisibility as a condition that does not eventually refer back to the invisibility spell. Yet -- if someone could show me where.

Core Rulebook, Glossary, Invisibility.

Some Random Player wrote:
Pinpointing invisible, stationary creature by sight = DC 40 + stealth

You cannot pinpoint them by sight.

"Invisibility makes a creature undetectable by vision"

Some Random Player wrote:
I'm saying that should be a maximum of a DC 20 perception check (+/- distance/conditions) since stealth can't apply and they are both "in combat" and attacking directly.

To pinpoint an invisible creature, in combat, not moving, not using stealth, is perception check DC 40.

Base DC 40, modified by:
In combat or speaking –20
Not moving +20

Some Random Player wrote:
I'm trying to clarify the intent of the rule here.

Is there a particular reason you think the intent of the rule is different from what is written?

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