Take 10 with stealth


Rules Questions

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Can you do this? And under what circumstances if so? I don't see anything in the rules saying no, but I've had it come up several times where I'm just told no even if I'm not being watched or don't know if anythings around. Also, how does stealth work with sleeping foes? And can I take 10 if they're the only threat? Can I coup de' grace if theres no combat taking place?


This is not RAW but how I run it -

You can not take 10 on a active stealth check, example: sneaking up on someone. I will allow taking 10 for setting up a ambush site if you have the time to do so.


RAW, as I understand it, is that you can take 10 on stealth, like most other skills, whenever you're not dealing with some other threat or distraction.
Sneaking past the guards who haven't seen you yet, Take 10.
Bluffing and dashing to cover in the middle of a fight, no Take 10.


thejeff wrote:
RAW, as I understand it, is that you can take 10 on stealth, like most other skills, whenever you're not dealing with some other threat or distraction.

Yeah, your right about that much. Threat or distraction is ill defined sometimes, but the example given is combat. Which if your sneaking around probably hasn't happened yet.


MrSin wrote:
Also, how does stealth work with sleeping foes? And can I take 10 if they're the only threat? Can I coup de' grace if theres no combat taking place?

Here is what the PRD stats

"When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10."

Logically, this is from the character's perspective. So if you aren't aware of a threat, then you can Take 10.

Is a sleeping enemy a "distraction?" It's certainly within the discretion of the DM to say so because if it wakes up, it's going to kill you.

Technically, the immediate anger or distraction provision can preclude T10 in a lot of situations...like climbing a wall where you'll take damage if you fail.


N N 959 wrote:
Is a sleeping enemy a "distraction?" It's certainly within the discretion of the DM to say so because if it wakes up, it's going to kill you.

I have hard time being afraid of someone who's asleep. I could see it being a distraction, but I could see it being a little bit of a threat. The threat of him waking up making you lose take 10, especially at a distance is a little crazy though. Especially if not taking 10 is the only reason you failed stealth anyway.

N N 959 wrote:
Technically, the immediate anger or distraction provision can preclude T10 in a lot of situations...like climbing a wall where you'll take damage if you fail.

Heres one I disagree with. If you cease to take 10 then thats why you would fall in the first place. If this is how it worked you could almost never take 10 with climb checks. Among other issues with other checks such as swimming and acrobatics.


Note the use of the Skill Mastery rogue advanced talent letting you take 10 with stealth.


GM Arkwright wrote:
Note the use of the Skill Mastery rogue advanced talent letting you take 10 with stealth.

Erm... It works with all skils. What makes stealth special?


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N N 959 wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Also, how does stealth work with sleeping foes? And can I take 10 if they're the only threat? Can I coup de' grace if theres no combat taking place?

Here is what the PRD stats

"When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10."

Logically, this is from the character's perspective. So if you aren't aware of a threat, then you can Take 10.

Is a sleeping enemy a "distraction?" It's certainly within the discretion of the DM to say so because if it wakes up, it's going to kill you.

Technically, the immediate anger or distraction provision can preclude T10 in a lot of situations...like climbing a wall where you'll take damage if you fail.

I believe there's been comments clarifying that if needs to be danger other than from the skill use itself:

Climbing a wall over a long drop: Take 10.
Climbing the same wall while being shot at: No take 10.

Sczarni

thejeff wrote:

I believe there's been comments clarifying that if needs to be danger other than from the skill use itself:

Climbing a wall over a long drop: Take 10.
Climbing the same wall while being shot at: No take 10.

Can you cite this source?


You almost can't, at least in normal playing circumstances.

You can't take ten when in immediate danger. If you need to sneak past something, its probably dangerous.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

You almost can't, at least in normal playing circumstances.

You can't take ten when in immediate danger. If you need to sneak past something, its probably dangerous.

Alright, how do you define immidiate danger? If I'm stealthing through a castle or forest can I just take 10? Do you make a difference between a sleeping gaurd and an awake one?


MrSin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

You almost can't, at least in normal playing circumstances.

You can't take ten when in immediate danger. If you need to sneak past something, its probably dangerous.

Alright, how do you define immediate danger?

Loosely.

Quote:
If I'm stealthing through a castle or forest can I just take 10?

when you're first level and you're going past a pack of wolves no. When you're 9th level and going past a pack of wolves I'd say yes.

Quote:
Do you make a difference between a sleeping gaurd and an awake one?

No, just whether they're dangerous or not.


Abadar wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I believe there's been comments clarifying that if needs to be danger other than from the skill use itself:

Climbing a wall over a long drop: Take 10.
Climbing the same wall while being shot at: No take 10.
Can you cite this source?

There are some contradictory comments out there, but I think this is the one I was remembering A practiced climber (5 ranks in Climb) should never, ever fall when climbing a practice rock-climbing wall at a gym (DC 15) as long as he doesn't rush and isn't distracted by combat, trying to juggle, and so on. Take 10 means he doesn't have to worry about the randomness of rolling 1, 2, 3, or 4.


While I am a big fan of Taking 10 and Taking 20, Sean's example is a disanalogy. There's difference between climbing a wall at REI and climbing over a 60ft chasm with sharp rocks below.

The problem is how the T10 rule is written. Falling to your death if you lose your grip is a distraction. Sorry, there's no way around that. NBA players miss lay-ups with nobody guarding them, but they are distracted by the fact that someone could be coming to block their shot. I've seen pitchers in MLB overthrow the 1st baseman and they aren't in immediate danger or threatened. It's the game time environment that causes the distraction.

That having been said, I would allow T10's on climb checks and probably on the sleeping guard. :)

But Sean's post reads more like a plea to be reasonable. Unfortuantely, RAW has a gaping hole that any DM could use to preclude a lot of T10's.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Designers have already clarified one example of what ISN'T immediate danger: jumping over a 10-foot wide pit a thousand feet deep doesn't qualify.

The've also said what IS an example of immediate danger: trying to climb a wall while being shot at by an archer.

This leads me to believe that, if they aren't attacking you, you aren't in any immediate danger and can take 10. Not sure how this would apply to stealth though. I'd probably allow it in my games if there isn't an ability that allows it already.


N N 959 wrote:
Falling to your death if you lose your grip is a distraction. Sorry, there's no way around that.

Blindfold. If you can't see it it can't distract you! Only downside is your blindfolded.

Kidding aside, yeah I like using take 10 or 20 when I can. Really speeds up gameplay. The biggest problem has been when a DM thinks its too easy to just take 10 and wants me to roll until I succeed. Defeats the whole purpose of take 10/20 in the first place! But you just can't beat DM fiat most days.

Was sort of hoping for a clear answer to my question. Looks a bit all over the place and highly dependant on the individual situation and current DM.


Ravingdork wrote:
Designers have already clarified one example of what ISN'T immediate danger: jumping over a 10-foot wide pit a thousand feet deep doesn't qualify.

Except the rule has one other key word..."distraction."

Game designers are not really able to universally rule on what constitutes a distraction in all situations. A pit with lava could cause you to lose your nerve. Pit with pillows, not so much.

Get rid of the word "distraction" and it would be a big help...if you're a player.


Ravingdork wrote:

Designers have already clarified one example of what ISN'T immediate danger: jumping over a 10-foot wide pit a thousand feet deep doesn't qualify.

The've also said what IS an example of immediate danger: trying to climb a wall while being shot at by an archer.

This leads me to believe that, if they aren't attacking you, you aren't in any immediate danger and can take 10. Not sure how this would apply to stealth though. I'd probably allow it in my games if there isn't an ability that allows it already.

Oh! thats nice to know. Now... to extend this how dangerous is a sleeping foe and can I coup de grace them if I reach them?

N N 959 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Designers have already clarified one example of what ISN'T immediate danger: jumping over a 10-foot wide pit a thousand feet deep doesn't qualify.

Except the rule has one other key word..."distraction."

Game designers are not really able to universally rule on what constitutes a distraction in all situations. A pit with lava could cause you to lose your nerve. Pit with pillows, not so much.

Get rid of the word "distraction" and it would be a big help...if you're a player.

Well, I'm not going after this becuase I think the player is entitled or anything, but part of the purpose of take 10 and the like is to bypass it when you otherwise wouldn't have trouble.

No one clarified what was in the pit, but I don't think lava vs. pillows vs. empty really mattered when it was 1000 feet deep. You still have time to think and concentrate on whats at hand and you aren't in a collapsing cave or in combat so its not that stressful.

Distraction could mean you know, the arrows wizzing by you, or the ghost you were cursed with taunting you anytime you tried to do something. I doubt it meant lava that isn't moving in a pit becuase its not going out of its way to hurt you unlike most other examples.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Jumping a pit is NOT distracting. Jumping a pit with a swarm of flies swarming around your eyes likely is, however.


Ravingdork wrote:
Jumping a pit is NOT distracting. Jumping a pit with a swarm of flies swarming around your eyes likely is, however.

I agree. The act of jumping is not a distraction.

But jumping over a pit where failure means you will be burned to a crisp before anyone can get you out...sorry that's not the same as jumping in your living room.

The "distraction" is most likely put in there as a way to empower DM's to ultimately decide whether they want a player to T10. As you suggest, a single fly is a distraction and could be sufficient to disallow a T10 in just about any situation.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Designers have made it clear that, that is not enough. If they meant otherwise, they wouldn't have used the example of a deadly pit where falling most certainly means death.

Here are related discussions that involve the game designers' input.

Jumping the Pit

Sean explains the purpose of the Take 10 rule


N N 959 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Jumping a pit is NOT distracting. Jumping a pit with a swarm of flies swarming around your eyes likely is, however.

I agree. The act of jumping is not a distraction.

But jumping over a pit where failure means you will be burned to a crisp before anyone can get you out...sorry that's not the same as jumping in your living room.

Perhaps to you or me. Sure. But we're not heroes.

The fantasy characters in the game represented as a collection of stats on that sheet of paper that you roll dice on, however, are heroes and they jump over pits of lava for breakfast.

I make a general distinction of only not allowing taking 10 whenever we're taking turns in initiative as it's pretty clear that initiative = danger. But that's just me.


Remember, Take 10 is the act of performing a task with extra caution and concentration to succeed at it. An example would be climbing a wall a bit slower, making certain that your hand and footholds are secure. The risk of falling isn't a distraction from the activity you are performing, it's the REASON you are taking this action. The length of the fall and the dangers at the end of it are irrelevant for determining whether you can concentrate on climbing, other than to say that, if you are simply climbing 5 feet up, you probably won't care enough about falling to take 10.

Similarly, the whole point of taking 10 while using Stealth to avoid detection precludes the act of the same act being a distraction. You are taking extra care to focus on NOT being detected. The only thing you're paying attention to is whoever you are trying to sneak by, and making sure that you do so silently and out of sight.

How can you be distracted from performing a task with greater concentration by the very task that you are performing?

No, distractions should come from something unrelated to the task you are attempting to perform. In Pathfinder, that is most often going to be overtly hostile actions directed at you: someone attacking or casting a spell upon you, but it could also be something like a swarm of bees, ants crawling over your skin, an intrusively bright flashing light or loud noise.


So... Thats good for jumping and climbing. How about stealthing and coup de gracing, eh? That would be a thing for assassins and the like, and its come up several times before for me so I'd like to know what people think.

Most of my DMs to date have been against taking 10 on a stealth ever because it infers a risk of danger, mind you others are against taking 10 on balance or climb so... YMMV. I'd like to have something to use in the moment so I'm not rolling every 10 feet.

Edit: sorry, just throwing it onto tracks. Didn't see your post Yeti.


If you're not in combat, you can take 10 to stealth up to the sleeping mark and cut his throat. Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

That's why people who don't want to die in their sleep pay for bodyguards with Skill Focus: Perception.


something deliberately trying to take your attention away is a distraction. anything else is not. usually being in combat/initiative is the only thing that keeps you from taking 10 on skills.

every halfling and elf character i have that has stealth as a class skill, takes the alternative racial trait that lets them move faster while using stealth without penalty, then constantly stealth any time they have cover or concealment (which is technically all the time, since nothing stops you from using stealth against people on the other side of the planet. of course it may not work against someone standing in front of you, but anyone else you have cover from can't notice you)


yeti1069 wrote:
Remember, Take 10 is the act of performing a task with extra caution and concentration to succeed at it.

nothing states that taking 10 has anything to do with extra concentration. if you were being so careful you would get higher than a 10 on your check.


Ansel Krulwich wrote:

If you're not in combat, you can take 10 to stealth up to the sleeping mark and cut his throat. Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

That's why people who don't want to die in their sleep pay for bodyguards with Skill Focus: Perception.

Well hopefully your gaurds arent' asleep on the job and you have them in the first place. I've had several missons where I walk in on sleepers though.

asthyril wrote:
something deliberately trying to take your attention away is a distraction. anything else is not. usually being in combat/initiative is the only thing that keeps you from taking 10 on skills.

Thats sort of the way I see it. Most things that throw you into initiative are the time based stress things like collapsing walls and attacking foes.

asthyril wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Remember, Take 10 is the act of performing a task with extra caution and concentration to succeed at it.
nothing states that taking 10 has anything to do with extra concentration. if you were being so careful you would get higher than a 10 on your check.

Takes no extra time either! Its only six seconds work at a time, if your in rounds anyway. Few ways to use them in rounds.


yeti1069 wrote:
No, distractions should come from something unrelated to the task you are attempting to perform.

Whether they "should" or should not, nothing in RAW requires that.

A distraction can be anything the DM decides is such, which could be a single fly.


N N 959 wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
No, distractions should come from something unrelated to the task you are attempting to perform.

Whether they "should" or should not, nothing in RAW requires that.

A distraction can be anything the DM decides is such, which could be a single fly.

Except that GM may in fact be a jerk and flies are easy to deal with. I think your taking an extreme on this, why is that?


Even the most lax rules for letting people take 10 don't let you take 10 in combat.

1. When combat begins, all combatants roll initiative.

2. Determine which characters are aware of their opponents. These characters can act during a surprise round. If all the characters are aware of their opponents, proceed with normal rounds. See the surprise section for more information.

3. After the surprise round (if any), all combatants are ready to being the first normal round of combat.

4. Combatants act in initiative order (highest to lowest).

5. When everyone has had a turn, the next round begins with the combatant with the highest initiative, and steps 3 and 4 repeat until combat ends.

_____
Note that determining awareness (that would be the stealth vs perception check usually) happens inside of combat.


Has anyone said otherwise? Thats pretty clear in the take 10 rules.


I am not taking the extreme, I'm simply providing an unbiased interpretation of what is written. The fact that something as simple as a "distraction" can preclude a T10 means something. The game designers absolutely wanted to make sure you couldn't do it during combat so they spelled that out. By including a word so broad and undefined as "distraction" means they wanted to leave a ton of leeway for DM's to force players to roll if the DM felt the need.

What you have is bunch of people trying to limit the scope of what counts as a distraction, when no such limitation is indicated.


N N 959 wrote:

By including a word so broad and undefined as "distraction" means they wanted to leave a ton of leeway for DM's to force players to roll if the DM felt the need.

What you have is bunch of people trying to limit the scope of what counts as a distraction, when no such limitation is indicated.

Lets not turn this into a player entitlement thread...

I feel that thats a little too open and it leaves room for the DM to abuse it, and it creates a precedent that you just can never use it. Regardless I had an original question you never weighed on. How about the sleeper?


As I said above, I am strong believer in T10/20. As a GM, I'm probably going to allow it unless you're in combat, scenario authors specifically state you can't, or it's beyond obvious the situation prevents it.

Shadow Lodge

"Distraction is the divided attention of an individual or group from the chosen object of attention onto the source of distraction. Distraction is caused by: the lack of ability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; or the great intensity, novelty or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention. Distractions come from both external sources, and internal sources."

The act of going stealth basically implies that there is a distraction you are trying to avoid. Even if you were in your own dark room practicing being stealthy i'd imagine your attention would be divided enough to negate taking 10. Not to mention the negative modifier you'd take against the observer.


Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
The act of going stealth basically implies that there is a distraction you are trying to avoid. Even if you were in your own dark room practicing being stealthy i'd imagine your attention would be divided enough to negate taking 10.

If thats the case then you could never take 10 with stealth and it would help if that was spelled out by the skill. It however is not, and that sort of thing denies being able to take 10 with anything. Sort of like what was posted earlier by Yeti.

Shadow Lodge

I don't know. I'm looking at the description and the +40 modifier from invisibility kind of leads me to believe that they want a roll on this one.


Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
The act of going stealth basically implies that there is a distraction you are trying to avoid.

I'm not seeing that. If I'm sneaking down an empty hallway, what is the distraction I'm trying to avoid? I'm fully focused on moving quietly across the room.

Now, if there is a sleeping guard dog, I agree that would serve as a distraction as you'd constantly be looking at the guard worried he might wake up.

Using Stealth isn't causing the distraction, but the sleeping guard is.

I'd probably still allow T10 because otherwise Stealth is too much of a crapshoot to use at low level.

Shadow Lodge

N N 959 wrote:
Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
The act of going stealth basically implies that there is a distraction you are trying to avoid.

I'm not seeing that. If I'm sneaking down an empty hallway, what is the distraction I'm trying to avoid? I'm fully focused on moving quietly across the room.

Now, if there is a sleeping guard dog, I agree that would serve as a distraction as you'd constantly be looking at the guard worried he might wake up.

Using Stealth isn't causing the distraction, but the sleeping guard is.

I'd probably still allow T10 because otherwise Stealth is too much of a crapshoot to use at low level.

The percieved threat you are trying to avoid is the distraction. The sleeping guard would be a +whatever modifier to your check with a -modifier to its sense motive check. Not much of a crapshoot there you basically have a 95% chance of success instead of 100%.

"Bartender! The next round's on me. I'm playing craps at this table."


Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
The percieved threat you are trying to avoid is the distraction.

I can't say I really understand how one is considered to be trying to avoid a distraction when using skills, but that side, the rule doesn't actually talk about "perceived threat." It says,

Quote:
When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted...

While immediate danger is a threat you would perceive, that doesn't mean all perceived threats constitute immediate danger.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Outside of combat, what DM vehemently denies taking 10, with such a degree, that only when doing so, would be meaningless?

This push to make a difference between a sleeping guard, and a sleeping wolf, makes no sense.

You should not be denied something, that failing a Perception check would allow.

At such a level of ridiculous excuses to deny one from Taking 10, that it might as well be Houseruled out of existence, as it's meaning is lost, and no longer serves any purpose.

This "your familiar farted, so you can't Take 10 on your Acrobatics check, due to distraction" type of madness is sign of bad DMing, at it's worst.


I would allow T10 in most out of combat situations. If someone was preparing an assault from a hidden position and had plenty of time to do it i would even allow T20 for that stealth, assuming the location offered good hiding places.


I would allow someone to take 10 out of combat nearly all the time. It's an opposed check. If a +10 is going to auto succeed, more power to the player. But they don't know that it will succeed beforehand. Maybe there is a very perceptive guard. Maybe there is a stealthy guard? They won't know that until after they make their stealth check, take 10 or no.

Same with coup de grace. If they get to a sleeping opponent, they can make the attack roll. The DC of a sleepers perception check is your stealth check + 10. If they are very perceptive they might make that. No reason to punish a player for wanting to take an average roll.


Ravingdork wrote:

Designers have already clarified one example of what ISN'T immediate danger: jumping over a 10-foot wide pit a thousand feet deep doesn't qualify.

The've also said what IS an example of immediate danger: trying to climb a wall while being shot at by an archer.

This leads me to believe that, if they aren't attacking you, you aren't in any immediate danger and can take 10. Not sure how this would apply to stealth though. I'd probably allow it in my games if there isn't an ability that allows it already.

I'd say it's quite situational.

If you are just sneaking through a castle or camp and the danger of being spotted is a guard asking you what you are doing there, taking 10 should be okay.
Trying to sneak up on a crossbow sniper who is trying to track your movements to get a good shot at you would be a situation where you don't.

I see "immediate danger" mostly as "you are in combat".


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Why do so many people confuse taking 10 with taking 20? The "threat" of "bad things" from failure is what prevents taking 20, not taking 10.

Taking 10 is basically simulating an "average" (actually slightly below average) roll on a d20. It exists to speed up play in situations where random events that would make success difficult (such as in combat, swarms of insects, windy conditions, etc.) are not usually a factor. For example: If someone is trying to sneak past a bunch of guards before the alarm is raised and/or there is no combat going on, having the sneaking character take 10 on Stealth and the guards take 10 on Perception is a whole lot faster than making all those opposed checks for pretty much the same result.

Taking 20 is, as specifically stated in the rules, effectively making twenty different skill checks. It exists for situations where you can "take the time to get it right;" it cannot be used if a failed check would by itself cause "bad things" or you can't take the extra time. You cannot take 20 with Climb (failed checks cause falls), Craft (failed checks ruin the base materials), etc.; you can take 20 with Appraise and Perception to examine an object or area thoroughly (in most cases).


Aureate wrote:

I would allow someone to take 10 out of combat nearly all the time. It's an opposed check. If a +10 is going to auto succeed, more power to the player. But they don't know that it will succeed beforehand. Maybe there is a very perceptive guard. Maybe there is a stealthy guard? They won't know that until after they make their stealth check, take 10 or no.

Same with coup de grace. If they get to a sleeping opponent, they can make the attack roll. The DC of a sleepers perception check is your stealth check + 10. If they are very perceptive they might make that. No reason to punish a player for wanting to take an average roll.

You don't roll an attack roll when you coup de' grace. Sleeping foes are helpless and are acceptable targets for the insta-gib. We never know if a take 10 will succeed, if it doesn't we start rolling. I've seen players fail a DC 10 or 5 climbcheck all the time.

Yora wrote:
I see "immediate danger" mostly as "you are in combat".

Apparently not everyone agrees? I'm sure there are other dangers than combat, but I'm not normally in a collapsing cave or trying to outrun boulders.


N N 959 wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
No, distractions should come from something unrelated to the task you are attempting to perform.

Whether they "should" or should not, nothing in RAW requires that.

A distraction can be anything the DM decides is such, which could be a single fly.

That's not contradicting my point. You aren't trying to pay attention to the fly; it is unrelated to whatever task you are trying to perform (unless you're making Perception checks to find the fly), and could be a distraction.


MrSin wrote:

You don't roll an attack roll when you coup de' grace. Sleeping foes are helpless and are acceptable targets for the insta-gib. We never know if a take 10 will succeed, if it doesn't we start rolling. I've seen players fail a DC 10 or 5 climbcheck all the time.

Obviously, I misspoke regarding coup de grace. What I meant is that they get to make their melee attack. No problem with that if they win their opposed stealth vs perception of the sleeping opponent. It is possible that taking 10 fails.

As for players failing a DC 10 climb check. Were they in any sort of hurry? Or in combat? If not, why did they roll rather than take 10? I would say that it is because either the GM didn't LET them take 10, or that they weren't aware that they could.

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