Rogues and concealment (from spells like Blur)


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What is the impact for a rogue of having Blur cast upon them?

- besides the 20% miss chance for attacks on the rogue character (and the inability to sneak attack or use other precision attacks upon the rogue character while blurred)

Does having blur cast upon provide for an ability to sneak & later get sneak attacks upon enemies (i.e. attacking from concealment)? If so what mechanically has to happen for this work? If not, why not?

(specifically I'm considering a big ticket purchase for a 10th level PFS character - possibly buying a cloak of displacement (minor) - the 20% miss chance alone is pretty solid as an always on ability - but if it also allowed this character to get his sneak attacks in more frequently that would make it quite valuable - though whether it is more valuable than say buying a Cloak of Resistance +5 is somewhat debatable.)


Under RAW, I don't believe that the concealment effect will give you any additional benefit. While the concealment would probably allow you to make a stealth check to hide, I'm not certain that this would give you your sneak attacks against a foe.

It would allow you to snipe from a distance, however.


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You cannot sneak attack just because you're stealthy.

You can only sneak attack when you flank an enemy or when that enemy is denied his DEX bonus to AC. Stealth does neither. Admittedly, you may be able to use Stealth to get into a flanking position, or to sneak up on someone out of combat so you can sneak attack in a surprise round while he is flat-footed.

So the cloak of displacement will do nothing for your sneak attacks.

Some DMs (like me) will also not allow Stealth from this kind of concealment. My reasoning is that the Blur spell says "The subject's outline appears blurred, shifting, and wavering." That specifically means the enemy can see you, but it's hard to exactly know where you are which makes a chance for attacks against you to miss. Furthermore, this spell has no effect if the opponent cannot see you (if you're invisible, or it's pitch black, or you're in an Obscuring Mist, etc.) which means that for this spell to work, the opponent CAN and DOES, in fact MUST, see your blurry self with your wavering outline, which in my opinion means you are still in his plain sight. Stealth rules say you cannot attempt stealth while being observed.

That's just one interpretation. The alternative interpretation is that the spell says it grants concealment and stealth works with concealment.

I see these two interpretations as mutually exclusive and both of them are directly written in the rule book. Some DMs see it the way I do, others don't. It's something you should keep in mind for PFS - you might be at a table one day where the DM says you cannot use the cloak to make a Stealth check, and he would be right (and wrong) according to the rulebook, so it's really his call.

(Unless there's been an official ruling on this of which I'm unaware)


Note there's a possibility that in a future revision of Pathfinder, the stealth rules might be changed to allow you to use stealth to deny a target its DEX bonus.

There was a playtest 'recently' on a possible revamp of the stealth rules to include that utility. I understand the decision was made that the changes were too broad to include as an errata, but might be included in a future full revision of the rules.

None of that will help in PFS of course (unless for some mad reason PFS adopts that optional ruleset, which I find highly unlikely).


They really do need it...i feel sorry for all the people in PFS that can't get SA by attacking from stealth lol


Pretty sure no GM is going to NOT let you sneak attack if you're using stealth. The whole point of stealth is to not be seen, and when you cannot see your attacker you are flat footed to him.

Under the description of armor class it states if you cannot react to your opponents attack you are denied your dex bonus to your AC.

PRD on Armor Class wrote:
Sometimes you can't use your Dexterity bonus (if you have one). If you can't react to a blow, you can't use your Dexterity bonus to AC. If you don't have a Dexterity bonus, your AC does not change.

I would like to know how that does apply to a character that cannot be seen from invisibility, but does NOT apply to a character who is successfully using stealth.


asthyril wrote:
Pretty sure no GM is going to NOT let you sneak attack if you're using stealth. The whole point of stealth is to not be seen, and when you cannot see your attacker you are flat footed to him.

From a PFS standpoint, they won't - can't, really.

At a normal gaming table? It's going to be up to the GM.

I can understand to an extent why it's not 'allowed'; it makes the feint maneuver and the relevant feats far less desirable (although arguably, using stealth requires some form of concealment so...)

Perhaps they could deal with the issue that way? Just make a feat chain that allows you to use various levels of concealment to 'hide' from an opponent and deny them the target its DEX bonus.


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asthyril wrote:

Pretty sure no GM is going to NOT let you sneak attack if you're using stealth. The whole point of stealth is to not be seen, and when you cannot see your attacker you are flat footed to him.

Under the description of armor class it states if you cannot react to your opponents attack you are denied your dex bonus to your AC.

PRD on Armor Class wrote:
Sometimes you can't use your Dexterity bonus (if you have one). If you can't react to a blow, you can't use your Dexterity bonus to AC. If you don't have a Dexterity bonus, your AC does not change.
I would like to know how that does apply to a character that cannot be seen from invisibility, but does NOT apply to a character who is successfully using stealth.

Simple.

From the Core Rule Book, Skills, Stealth: "It's impossible to use Stealth while attacking, running, or charging."

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

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

When you're magically invisible, your opponent can look right at you and not see you.

But when you're simply trying to be sneaky, but you're right in front of him in plain sight, he automatically sees you. For this not to be true, you must find cover or concealment and then make a Stealth check to become stealthy again, but the moment you try to attack him, you become unstealthed because you cannot use stealth while attacking.

Now, I admit, many DMs, myself included, are fairly lenient about this so that we can approximate leaping out of stealth and getting in at least one sneak attack. But the rulebook is quite clear on it - you cannot use stealth while attacking so if you want to be "unseen" while attacking, you need something more effective than stealth.


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asthyril wrote:
Pretty sure no GM is going to NOT let you sneak attack if you're using stealth. The whole point of stealth is to not be seen, and when you cannot see your attacker you are flat footed to him.

Agreed. I house ruled this since the first Pathfinder game I ran.


Using blur for concealment to make stealth is iffy. Expect table variation.

1) If you're standing in the middle of a soccer field, there's no way to miss the 5 foot tall blur coming towards you. You're going to see it. Blur is you look a little hazy, if you want klingon cloaking technology, you need invisibility.

2) Concealment is not effective under normal lighting conditions, you need cover. Most creatures do not spend a great deal of time in lighting conditions that aren't normal or bright to them.

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.


DM_Blake wrote:
But the rulebook is quite clear on it - you cannot use stealth while attacking so if you want to be "unseen" while attacking, you need something more effective than stealth.

Well, not exactly. The rules also allow for 'sniping' - taking a ranged shot from concealment and then effectively hiding again before the target can pinpoint your location. So it contradicts itself in implying that you can never use stealth in combat.

But that is admittedly is a different situation than a melee attacker.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Well, you can "sneak attack from stealth" IN THAT if a creature is not aware of you and you ambush him, you get a sneak attack. But you DON'T get a sneak attack because you are in Stealth per se, you get a sneak attack because you successfully got a surprise round off, and your target is flat-footed and thus without his Dex bonus to AC. It is the flat-footed condition in this case that is allowing you to make the sneak attack; the Stealth merely enabled you to start the surprise attack that led to that condition.

If you are mid combat, your target is not flat-footed, and you hide and then attack, you do not get a sneak attack because you are hiding, and I would not house rule otherwise, personally (with rules-allowed exceptions like sniping).

Now, if you're invisible (total concealment), the target's Dex is denied, so you can sneak attack then (which is why taking vanish with Rogue Major Magic can occasionally come in handy). For the OP's "big ticket" 10th level character, note that the cost of a cloak of minor displacement is equal to that of 60 potions of invisibility.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I just ran a PFS scenario last night where, as written in their tactics, Gremlins were supposed to hide behind a statue and sneak attack from a distance with their tiny-sized shortbows. I took one look at that and concluded that the author wasn't familiar with the Stealth rules, because I had never heard before that a rogue could Sneak Attack from concealment (unless Invisible, obviously).

Where is that written in the Core Book?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Or for that matter, a ring of invisibility is only 20,000 gp and has unlimited activations (although that is a standard action to activate after you "decloak"). But hopefully all you'd need it is to get into position to flank or feint anyway.

Sorry for double post boards are being slow and it was easier to type into quick reply than wait for the edit to load up.


DeathQuaker wrote:
For the OP's "big ticket" 10th level character, note that the cost of a cloak of minor displacement is equal to that of 60 potions of invisibility.

And more expensive than a ring of invisibility.

I think it depends on what the OP wants; based on his description it sounded like he was more interested in avoiding damage, and wondered if coupled with that he might get some benefit from the cloak's concealment to allow for extra sneak attacks.


"You can't defend against what you don't know is there."

-Rogue's Handbook, 345th edition, page 342


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

For the person asking about ranged sneak attacks look up sniping.

The nice feature of the minor cloak of displacement is that as an always on a ability it doesn't need you to waste a standard action to activate (and I don't have a free ring slot currently). Potions or a ring require more action to use. Blur also has the nice effect of preventing sneak attacks on me in most cases (the exception being a rogue with the feat allowing a sneak attacks on concealed targets or a rogue with true seeing)

But if if doesn't offer me a way to get sneaks in myself then I'll probably buy something like gloves of dueling that will have a bigger impact on my character's effectiveness (he has 5 levels of fighter)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:

I just ran a PFS scenario last night where, as written in their tactics, Gremlins were supposed to hide behind a statue and sneak attack from a distance with their tiny-sized shortbows. I took one look at that and concluded that the author wasn't familiar with the Stealth rules, because I had never heard before that a rogue could Sneak Attack from concealment (unless Invisible, obviously).

Where is that written in the Core Book?

That possitioning gives the Kobolds one sneak attack... if the target(s) fails it's Perception rolls

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm familiar with the Sniping rules, but my question is different.

Where does it state that a Rogue can Sneak Attack from concealment?

I'd love to know, because my Tengu Rogue in PFS is about to hit level 10. Two claws and a bite = a lot of Sneak Attack dice.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
LazarX wrote:
That possitioning gives the Kobolds one sneak attack... if the target(s) fails it's Perception rolls

The scenario was written to imply that they could keep getting such attacks each round, which I did not run because I knew that was wrong.

Unless there's something else I'm missing.


I'm not familiar with the specific scenario, but it sounds like it's the equivalent to an ambush. If the characters fail their perception checks, then the gremlins would get a surprise round, and would get sneak attack damage since the PCs would be flat-footed.

[edit]
If it stated they were supposed to get them each round, then I'd have to see the specific scenario write-up or know the specific creature type. Is there perhaps some creature trait that was allowing it?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

in the Stealth rules:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/skills/stealth.html#_stealth

Quote:
Sniping: If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.

A couple of key points to keep in mind when/if you run snipers (as a PC or GM):

- don't forget the penalties for distance to Perception (often neglected)
- don't forget cover and/or concealment (from the environment) that is also needed and may effect perception checks (i.e. sniping from concealment from underbrush or dim light or even darkness)

And don't forget the distance requirements for Ranged stealth (unless you have the rogue talents /feats/magic items that modify things you can't sneak attack at distances over 30')

Sniping is hard to pull off (that -20 is pretty huge) but creatures with a high stealth and the right conditions can pull it off. At higher levels the "one ranged attack" limitation is also worth noting.


Nefreet,

Many players and GMs allow Sneak Attack from stealth while Sniping even though the Stealth Rules don't explicitly allow it.

I think some people get hung up on the notion that when you're sniping and make the roll to re-stealth at -20, you remain "invisible" to your target and therefore you can deny him his DEX. Not true, but many people read it that way.

I think their confusion comes, at least in part, from the Sniping wording that says you can use Stealth again at -20 to "maintain" your obscured location. The rest of it might come from the innate desire that we all have to help out our poor gimpy rogues and give them something to do in combat.

In any case, the rule that explicitly says "You cannot use Stealth while attacking" still applies to Sniping.

How Sniping should work:

If you have cover or concealment, you can attempt to use Stealth. If you have successfully used Stealth, you can expose yourself to your enemies (Stealth is gone), make a ranged attack, and now attempt to reacquire Stealth. Doing so would normally take 3 actions (moving out of cover to get line of effect, attacking, moving back into cover) but the Sniping rules allow you to do this in 2 actions but with that steep penalty to the Stealth roll.

I say "expose yourself to your enemies" because if you have line of sight to them, they have line of sight to you (except for unusual cases where you might have total concealment against them). The Stealth rules specifically state that seeing an enemy in plain sight is a Perception check with a DC of 0 (not a DC of an opposed Stealth check). Since you cannot use stealth while attacking, even while sniping, you are in plain sight. Exposed to your enemies. But you can reacquire Stealth at -20.

Alternatively, if you have total concealment from your enemies and also line of effect to them, such as you are in pitch black darkness but they are in good lighting, then you can simply fire your ranged attack and then re-stealth from concealment at no penalty whatsoever. This would not have helped your Gremlins because they had no concealment, only cover, so they might have found sniping beneficial, but still would not have gotten sneak attacks.

So you are right, the Gremlins could not have sneak attacked by hiding behind statues, even with Sniping.

That said...

Many DMs interpret this stuff differently. They seem to think that sniping and "maintaining your obscured location" means you are unseen, and they additionally think that being "unseen" is mechanically identical to being invisible, therefore, an unseen sniper is invisible and can sneak attack according to these DMs. Heck, some DMs let you sneak attack by simply beginning your round in stealth, even if that means running up to your enemy, in plain sight, across open ground, and sneak attacking them while they watch you approach the whole way - just starting with stealth gives you that sneak attack, according to these DMs. All because some DM's prefer to ignore the "you cannot use Stealth while attacking" rule and some DMs prefer to assume that stealth = invisible, neither of which preference is explicitly accommodated by the actual rules.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:


Many DMs interpret this stuff differently. They seem to think that sniping and "maintaining your obscured location" means you are unseen, and they additionally think that being "unseen" is mechanically identical to being invisible, therefore, an unseen sniper is invisible and can sneak attack according to these DMs. Heck, some DMs let you sneak attack by simply beginning your round in stealth, even if that means running up to your enemy, in plain sight, across open ground, and sneak attacking them while they watch you approach the whole way - just starting with stealth gives you that sneak attack, according to these DMs. All because some DM's prefer to ignore the "you cannot use Stealth while attacking" rule and some DMs prefer to assume that stealth = invisible, neither of which preference is explicitly accommodated by the actual rules.

You are aware of This Right? Its not just DMs that seem to think it ought to work that way. The playtest hasnt panned out, but it has definately coloured alot of peoples view on how stealth should work.


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DM_Blake wrote:
Heck, some DMs let you sneak attack by simply beginning your round in stealth, even if that means running up to your enemy, in plain sight, across open ground, and sneak attacking them while they watch you approach the whole way

Are you mad? That totally works. See? I have proof!


DM_Blake wrote:
So you are right, the Gremlins could not have sneak attacked by hiding behind statues, even with Sniping.

Unless, as I mentioned earlier, this was the start of a combat and the hiding gremlins were essentially an ambush, in which case failure to notice the gremlins via a perception check would have resulted in them receiving a surprise round.

That would not have applied in an ongoing combat.

Just to correct something: I do not assume that stealth is equivalent to invisibility. The reason invisibility grants sneak attack is for the same reason I allow hidden foes to get sneak attack - because the defender doesn't know they are there, and can't actively defend against them.

While I wholly agree that RAW stealth does not allow you to get sneak attack damage, my logic behind allowing it in a house-ruling is based on my interpretation of why flanking grants sneak attack damage: The defender can only be aware of so much going on around him, and thus his ability to actively defend against attacks from those quarters is limited (since his peripheral vision doesn't extend behind him), leaving him more vulnerable to attacks from that side. By extension, if a character can successfully avoid notice to close to a position where he\she can attack the defender - by using stealth in this case, in an opposed check - I allow him that same benefit.

It's not a baseless ruling. I do have logic behind it, and implemented it because I feel it fits the thematic 'feel' of the rogue in combat. I admit the logic isn't (currently) backed up by RAW - but based on the recent playtest for changes to stealth it seems like maybe there's some thought that the RAW might not be working as intended.


Kolokotroni wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:


Many DMs interpret this stuff differently. They seem to think that sniping and "maintaining your obscured location" means you are unseen, and they additionally think that being "unseen" is mechanically identical to being invisible, therefore, an unseen sniper is invisible and can sneak attack according to these DMs. Heck, some DMs let you sneak attack by simply beginning your round in stealth, even if that means running up to your enemy, in plain sight, across open ground, and sneak attacking them while they watch you approach the whole way - just starting with stealth gives you that sneak attack, according to these DMs. All because some DM's prefer to ignore the "you cannot use Stealth while attacking" rule and some DMs prefer to assume that stealth = invisible, neither of which preference is explicitly accommodated by the actual rules.
You are aware of This Right? Its not just DMs that seem to think it ought to work that way. The playtest hasnt panned out, but it has definately coloured alot of peoples view on how stealth should work.

I am aware of that. I would completely support a huge upgrade on the Stealth rules. I would completely support allowing rogues (and others) to find ways to use Stealth in combat to gain bonuses on attack rolls, deny DEX, even sneak attack.

All I'm saying is that per the existing rules, such things are not possible but many DMs do it anyway, either because they flat out misunderstand the rules, or because they forget that Stealth cannot be used while attacking, or because they interpret "If you can't react to a blow, you can't use your Dexterity bonus to AC" to apply to Stealth in ways the rules don't really support, or maybe a combination of the above.

Or maybe they fully understand it and just make their own houserules for their benefit but then sometimes forget to say so when responding on a "Rules Questions" forum.

The writer of the encounter in the adventure path seems to have fallen into this Stealth trap.

Sovereign Court

Wait you're telling me that if I manage to successfully Stealth in round 4 of combat say at the corner of hallway intersection (using cover to hide) and someone moves to the square diagonally to me I can't step out of hiding and make a single sneak attack? That's ludicrous.

You're not using Stealth while making an attack, you were already hidden from the opponent thus denying them their Dex to AC. You should get a single sneak attack. Using Stealth during combat is much harder to pull off than using a feint or the Improved Feint feat. You have to have cover to break LOS, then you have to manage to get to position where you can strike from Stealth. It's far easier to do this with a ranged or thrown weapon, but it should be possible with melee under RAW.

--School of Vrock


What you should get, and what the rulebook says you get, are two different things.

That guy has eyes, right? He sees you when you see him. Unless your sword is faster than light, he'll see you the instant you no longer have cover between you, specifically, the moment you "step out of hiding" - your words, not mine.

Once you have "stepped out of hiding" you aren't hiding anymore. Then you make an attack. You are not invisible, he is not unable to react to your attack, he is not denied his DEX, and your post makes no mention of flanking him.

Therefore no sneak attack, per the rules. Simple as that.

As I said, some DMs are pretty lenient about this stuff. But the rulebook is not.


King of Vrock wrote:

Wait you're telling me that if I manage to successfully Stealth in round 4 of combat say at the corner of hallway intersection (using cover to hide) and someone moves to the square diagonally to me I can't step out of hiding and make a single sneak attack? That's ludicrous.

--School of Vrock

technically you do not. Its probably intended that you do (and i run that you do), but by raw you do not. Your character is not invisible, your foe is not flat footed, and there's nothing to say whether the stealth breaks when you start or finish the attack, so there isn't any concrete raw ground for the sneak attack to occur.

Sovereign Court

This section would be most relevant...

Stealth 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.

If nothing else you should be able to use the -10 penalty to Stealth to quickly move out from cover and make an attack.

Note it mentions using Bluff, but it is not limited to Bluff. "Such as" being used to show an example, not limiting the examples. Being in Combat is enough to warrant the "creature making the check is distracted" penalty under the Perception charts.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This thread is a ridiculous over analysis of stealth


Sure, use Bluff, or anything else your DM will allow, to create a momentary distraction - but your own bolded quoted part clearly states "if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind". So, this momentary distraction can let you duck into cover or concealment (unobserved place of some kind) and then attempt a Stealth Check.

It still doesn't say anything about attacking the guy, but the part that says you cannot use Stealth while attacking still does explicitly forbid it.

Sovereign Court

While they're distracted you can do the reverse just as easily. You don't need the rules to spell out every single action you're allowed. That's absolutely what the GM is for.


The big problem with the Stealth skill is that by RAW, the stealth skill doesn't seem to do anything at all.

The rules don't go into what actually happens when you successfully use stealth.

There's only the fluff line "You are skilled at avoiding detection, allowing you to slip past foes or strike from an unseen position." that appears before the rules text itself.


blur allowing stealth checks to gain sneak attacks?

i'd allow it

think of a damned Mirage. those blurry hallucinations you see in the desert when you are tired and thirsty. you see them one moment, and they are gone the next.


Again, like I said several times, many DMs are lenient on this. That is absolutely what the GM is for.

But the rules say:
1. No Stealth while attacking.
2. You can distract your opponent and then go somewhere unobserved to Stealth.

You are modifying #2 to allow it to do something it doesn't say you can do, in direct opposition to #1.

You can say all you want that it's easy, or that the book doesn't need to spell out every single action, but at the end of the day, the book spells out that you cannot use Stealth while attacking and the distraction rule doesn't override this, so anything else you're doing is a houserule.

Which is fine. Just be clear that you know the difference and, more importantly, be clear about the difference in a "Rules Questions" forum where the OP is asking about whether he can sneak attack with the concealment from a Blur spell (the answer is explicitly "No" by the rules, but often "Yes" by generous houserules).


DM_Blake wrote:

Sure, use Bluff, or anything else your DM will allow, to create a momentary distraction - but your own bolded quoted part clearly states "if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind". So, this momentary distraction can let you duck into cover or concealment (unobserved place of some kind) and then attempt a Stealth Check.

It still doesn't say anything about attacking the guy, but the part that says you cannot use Stealth while attacking still does explicitly forbid it.

RAW, you would be better served by attempting a feint against the opponent.


Seraphimpunk wrote:
This thread is a ridiculous over analysis of stealth

If the RAW of Stealth wasn't ridiculous, Paizo probably wouldn't have tried to re-write it, hm?


Forseti wrote:

The big problem with the Stealth skill is that by RAW, the stealth skill doesn't seem to do anything at all.

The rules don't go into what actually happens when you successfully use stealth.

There's only the fluff line "You are skilled at avoiding detection, allowing you to slip past foes or strike from an unseen position." that appears before the rules text itself.

This is only a big problem if think of Stealth as a combat skill. It isn't. It's a role-playing skill. Like almost every use of every skill, they're almost all really only useful in non-combat situations.

In a game like this, many, many, many things are possible. In fact, I daresay there are more things possible in a Pathfinder game than there are in real life (our characters can do anything we can do, plus heroic stuff we can't, plus use magic). No rulebook will cover all of that. Some of it has to be assumed.

Conflict (or challenge) resolution, such as combat, picking locks, finding a trap, etc., usually have explicit rules. Here's how hard it is, here's what you roll to attempt to resolve the challenge, now make a roll and we'll see whether it works or not.

Everything else is open-ended, up to the DM to figure out.

Stealth falls somewhere in the middle.

If you're all alone with nobody around for miles, you don't even need stealth because nobody can possibly observe you. Stealth is, like the fluff says, only needed when it's possible that you might be detected, which means someone (or something) is there that can detect you. That someone (something) will have a Perception score. Under the Perception skill, it lists all kinds of modifiers for lighting, distractions, distance, etc. It also explains that you roll Stealth and the someone (thing) rolls Perception, applies appropriate modifiers, and detects you if his/its roll is successful.

That's actually pretty specific, but most of the rules are under the Perception skill, not the Stealth skill.

As for when you can try it, or when you must try it, and what modifiers apply, that's still up to the DM, as well as what that someone/thing does if it succeeds and/or if it fails that roll.


Seraphimpunk wrote:
This thread is a ridiculous over analysis of stealth

It's very ridiculous if you and everyone at your table all play it the same way.

It's even more ridiculous if you realize that the rules are very specific and the overriding consideration is that you cannot use Stealth while attacking. Period. Nobody needs to analyze it further if everyone would just understand this rule.

It gets less ridiculous if one of you goes to some other game and they play it differently - especially if that's the guy who wants to make a stealthy character and suddenly finds out that this new group won't let him do all the stuff his old group allows.

It also gets less ridiculous if you consider PFS - ideally everyone there is running the exact rules right out of the book which, in this case, is very easy to be confused about.

In this case it doesn't matter which table is right, or even if both are wrong - it's very frustrating to expect the rules/houserules to work one way and find out they don't, especially if you were depending on them to work and built your character concept accordingly, only to find out your character can't do what you wanted.

The confusion comes from rules that are fairly (unfairly?) confusing, compounded by every player having a different expectations of what a stealthy character should and should not do and therefore interpreting the confusing rules in ways to support their expectations.

Sovereign Court

How is it direct opposition to #1. The creature is not trying to Stealth while attacking. The creature has already successfully used Stealth against a foe close enough to reach quickly (within half the creature's speed at the furthest).

If you have enough time to distract a foe then reach cover to Stealth, you have enough time to leave cover and reach a distracted foe and attack before they notice. Once I've attacked I don't make any supposition that I'm using Stealth. At that point I don't care, especially if I have Spring Attack.

That scenario should be legal by RAW. The game is modeled on all manner of cinematic tropes we've seen or read about in books and film. This is as classic a trope as getting a job at a tavern.


King of Vrock wrote:


That scenario should be legal by RAW. The game is modeled on all manner of cinematic tropes we've seen or read about in books and film. This is as classic a trope as getting a job at a tavern.

The pathfinder stealth overhall playtest was an attempt to do this , but the devs felt the changes were too big to do as an errata.


DM_Blake wrote:
This is only a big problem if think of Stealth as a combat skill. It isn't. It's a role-playing skill. Like almost every use of every skill, they're almost all really only useful in non-combat situations.

I'd agree (with the part of your post I didn't quote as well) if there hadn't been a specific mention of a combat application in the rules text.

And that snippet is horribly vague as well, with the aforementioned "maintain" implying that stealth never actually breaks while sniping and no clear indication of any concrete advantage gained from being in an "obscured location". Are you considered to be concealed? Fully concealed? Invisible? We can only guess at it.

Sovereign Court

I've read the Stealth Playtest... it was way too complicated. KISS. I agree with James Jacobs in that Stealth as written is fine with just a dash of common sense from the both players and GMs.

I understand PFS GMs need to try and stay a wee bit homogenized, but if a player can explain his action citing how its possible under the rules the GM at the table should at least give him a roll for it. Rule Zero and the Rule of Cool should always be something a GM can fall back on even in organized play.

That being said, in regards to the OP... IMO blur should not allow for a Stealth check, no way, no how. It should be rewritten to provide a straight miss chance, not concealment.

--Schoolhouse Vrock


You said "Wait you're telling me that if I manage to successfully Stealth in round 4 of combat say at the corner of hallway intersection (using cover to hide) and someone moves to the square diagonally to me I can't step out of hiding and make a single sneak attack? That's ludicrous."

I replied that the rules don't support that.

Then you quoted the distraction rule and said "If nothing else you should be able to use the -10 penalty to Stealth to quickly move out from cover and make an attack."

To which I replied that the rule allows you to return to cover/concealment but not to step out, approach, or attack. The rules also require a distraction.

You then said "While they're distracted you can do the reverse just as easily."

I pointed out that the rules specifically say no Stealth while attacking and that your example requires you to, from Stealth, step out into plain sight (which makes you visible, no Stealth), approach (still visible, no Stealth), and still consider yourself Stealthed while attacking (impossible by the rules), in direct violation of the no Stealth while attacking rule.

Now you post:

King of Vrock wrote:
How is it direct opposition to #1.

Because you cannot use Stealth while attacking.

King of Vrock wrote:

The creature is not trying to Stealth while attacking. The creature has already successfully used Stealth against a foe close enough to reach quickly (within half the creature's speed at the furthest).

If you have enough time to distract a foe then reach cover to Stealth, you have enough time to leave cover and reach a distracted foe and attack before they notice.

Not according to the rules.

In the first case, you can distract an enemy and then run away from a him to a place of cover/concealment AND attempt a Stealth check at the end of it, with a penalty.

How is this the same thing as starting with Stealth at some distance from the enemy, then running up to him without attempting any distraction, then attacking him, all in plain sight, and assuming that the stealth you used to have way back before you started still applies the whole time?

Side note about distractions. In the first case, you rely on your enemy seeing you, observing you, so that you can attempt to Bluff him as a distraction. In the second case, your enemy is not seeing you, not observing you, so it might be very difficult to distract him, especially given this game's "No Facing" premise so presumably tossing a rock "behind" him would be visible to him in the first place, by the rules.

King of Vrock wrote:
Once I've attacked I don't make any supposition that I'm using Stealth. At that point I don't care, especially if I have Spring Attack.

All fine and good, but you lost the Stealth the moment you stepped out of your cover/concealment and began approaching the enemy, long before you got close enough to attack him.

King of Vrock wrote:

That scenario should be legal by RAW. The game is modeled on all manner of cinematic tropes we've seen or read about in books and film. This is as classic a trope as getting a job at a tavern.

I'll grant you, to some extent, that you're right. I don't know if it should be possible, some DMs might like it, others might not, so it's hard to speak about "should", but it definitely would allow for a cool cinematic trope and it would be fun to do.

Nevertheless, the rules don't permit it.

Sovereign Court

That's what the skill check is for, even if I have to take a -10 penalty. Yes creatures face every direction, but if distracted by a thrown rock or even if they're engaged in combat with another creature the check (be it Bluff or Stealth) to move up to them is no different than the check to move away from them. The movement portion of a creatures turn is not attacking, that's the standard action. It's only the notion does the foe notice you or not.

Is the creature distracted? If yes, the sneaky creature can quickly move unobserved to/from place of hiding. If no, when a creature breaks cover or breaks for cover they are automatically Perceived.

If they are not observing you and they do not beat your Stealth check then they should lose their Dex to AC. Thus you'll be able to get in a single sneak attack. Its really no different than being invisible other than you don't get the +2 to attack rolls.


I'm with the camp with JJ on this one, I mean it makes perfect sense to be able to "sneak up" on someone and get one sneak attack on them. Yes, there are no facing rules but really its something a GM could and should easily put in. If I'm hidden on the ceiling and drop down and attack someone that had no clue I was there, they should not just "know" I was there since I moved.

Things like this are why I hate PFS. I see what they wanted to do with it, and while it sounded like an amazing idea, there are WAY TOO MANY issues that can come up at a table that can change from GM to GM to have everyone follow the exact same rules. Especially when the greatest thing about RP games is imagination of the players and the GM. Breaking the game down to what you can exactly do and not do takes away the greatness of roleplaying and makes it feel like WoW.

(off subject but had to mention it)
It's expensive feat-wise and gold-wise, but my favorite home items along with my rogue/assassin was a ring of truesight, a dagger that had Deeper Darkness permanently cast on it (when sheathed had no effect), and the Dimensional Agility feat line. Allowed me to walk into a tavern, pull the dagger (along with another one), and do a full attack on one person, or to hit multiple people in the room without ever being seen :)


Rycaut wrote:

What is the impact for a rogue of having Blur cast upon them?

- besides the 20% miss chance for attacks on the rogue character (and the inability to sneak attack or use other precision attacks upon the rogue character while blurred)

Does having blur cast upon provide for an ability to sneak & later get sneak attacks upon enemies (i.e. attacking from concealment)? If so what mechanically has to happen for this work? If not, why not?

(specifically I'm considering a big ticket purchase for a 10th level PFS character - possibly buying a cloak of displacement (minor) - the 20% miss chance alone is pretty solid as an always on ability - but if it also allowed this character to get his sneak attacks in more frequently that would make it quite valuable - though whether it is more valuable than say buying a Cloak of Resistance +5 is somewhat debatable.)

I would not let Blur grant Stealth rolls. They make you harder to "target" accurately in a bright or normal light situation, it doesn't make you that much harder to see. You are still a plainly visible blurry figure.

Also if you look at the rules for light and vision, concealment doesn't qualify to grant Stealth rolls in bright or normal light. In bright or normal light only cover or invisibility will grant Stealth rolls. And if you are in dim light or darkness you already have concealment and therefore don't really need Blur.

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