The problem with stealth


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I tend to not play stealth-based classes. Can someone sum up what the horrible problem with stealth is that everyone seems to acknowledge exists?


The Stealth rules are wonky and make it hard to actually BE stealthy and gain some benefit from it.

Meanwhile, Invisibility goes ahead and kicks it in the teeth while it's down.

I think that about sums up the basics, perhaps someone would like to fill in the details.


I won't.

Not again.

Been down that road.

There are several active threads debating this stuff right now, and if you do a search that uses the terms Stealth, Invisibility, and Sneak Attack, you'll find a hundred threads arguing about this.

Here's one of my personal favorites, though I might be biased.


Just use this and you will be fine. The problem can be summed up in the following official sentence.

"You cannot use stealth while attacking."

Various forums posts have danced around what that actually means, and the various ways that different parts of the book support various interpretations.

My position is there are better playtest rules given to us by the devs, which seem like a fresh approach to the RAI. But hey different strokes for different folks.

Edit- Part of the problem is also that being "stealthed" and "stealthing" is being bandied about and really what was needed in the rules is what the playtest rules provide, a condition for when you are hidden, with definitions of when it applies and when it does not. The use of proper grammar with regards to the word "stealth" is an added plus.


Never had any problems with it.

It seems kind of obvious to me, the players and dms I know.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Anburaid wrote:
The use of proper grammar with regards to the word "stealth" is an added plus.

I was going to say this but you ninjaed me.


Well, when you get enough bored forumites to start looking at it, and this is what happens. Honestly I think its because we all wish we could be rolling stealth, rather than talking about it.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
The use of proper grammar with regards to the word "stealth" is an added plus.
I was going to say this but you ninjaed me.

How apropos :D


There’s several dozen thread son this, two of which are active, and the Stealth Blog II. Read them and then if you have any more questions, fire away.


There’s several dozen threads on this, two of which are active, and the Stealth Blog II. Read them and then if you have any more questions, fire away.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

DrDeth, are you trying to 'stealth' in a double post?


Good one! ;-)

No, just a glitch.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Never had any problems with it.

It seems kind of obvious to me, the players and dms I know.

I've never had problem with either but I play loose with the interpretation. I think I'd drive rules lawyer insane.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I think what drives the rules lawyers insane is that 'observing' is never actually defined. So it's up to the DM to determine when a character is observed.


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voska66 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Never had any problems with it.

It seems kind of obvious to me, the players and dms I know.

I've never had problem with either but I play loose with the interpretation. I think I'd drive rules lawyer insane.

I suspect that's pretty much true of all who claim to have no problems with it.

Didn't 3.5 Loyalist admit to using his own house rules in the other thread.

Quote:
Ah yes, pardon me. We do facing,

Which basically changes how all the stealth rules work.

My personal theory is that no one actually plays strict RAW Stealth rules, because the Stealth rules, if read strictly, are confusing, mutually contradictory and full of undefined terms and weird corner cases.
Everyone figures out their own interpretation, calls that RAW and then may add house rules to make it work.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
thejeff wrote:

My personal theory is that no one actually plays strict RAW Stealth rules, because the Stealth rules, if read strictly, are confusing, mutually contradictory and full of undefined terms and weird corner cases.

Everyone figures out their own interpretation, calls that RAW and then may add house rules to make it work.

I think you're probably right and that it's much wider than just the Stealth rules.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I think what drives the rules lawyers insane is that 'observing' is never actually defined. So it's up to the DM to determine when a character is observed.

Which brings in facing and where the target is actually looking.

As a fan of stealth games, situational context is very important for me, not so much the rules (as it just comes down to a roll).


thejeff wrote:
voska66 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Never had any problems with it.

It seems kind of obvious to me, the players and dms I know.

I've never had problem with either but I play loose with the interpretation. I think I'd drive rules lawyer insane.

I suspect that's pretty much true of all who claim to have no problems with it.

Didn't 3.5 Loyalist admit to using his own house rules in the other thread.

Quote:
Ah yes, pardon me. We do facing,

Which basically changes how all the stealth rules work.

My personal theory is that no one actually plays strict RAW Stealth rules, because the Stealth rules, if read strictly, are confusing, mutually contradictory and full of undefined terms and weird corner cases.
Everyone figures out their own interpretation, calls that RAW and then may add house rules to make it work.

You work with what makes sense, and sometimes the situation matters more than the rolls. If the target is looking away and doesn't hear you, and you are quick, why should a pc be shot down making a stealth attempt?

I've walked quietly behind people, why can't a hero?


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
thejeff wrote:
voska66 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Never had any problems with it.

It seems kind of obvious to me, the players and dms I know.

I've never had problem with either but I play loose with the interpretation. I think I'd drive rules lawyer insane.

I suspect that's pretty much true of all who claim to have no problems with it.

Didn't 3.5 Loyalist admit to using his own house rules in the other thread.

Quote:
Ah yes, pardon me. We do facing,

Which basically changes how all the stealth rules work.

My personal theory is that no one actually plays strict RAW Stealth rules, because the Stealth rules, if read strictly, are confusing, mutually contradictory and full of undefined terms and weird corner cases.
Everyone figures out their own interpretation, calls that RAW and then may add house rules to make it work.

You work with what makes sense, and sometimes the situation matters more than the rolls. If the target is looking away and doesn't hear you, and you are quick, why should a pc be shot down making a stealth attempt?

I've walked quietly behind people, why can't a hero?

I didn't say it didn't make sense. I didn't say it wouldn't work. I said it wasn't RAW.

In fact, I postulated that no one plays stealth RAW, that those who think they do are glossing over at least some parts of the mechanic.


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Stealth classes are really just really just the greatest victim of the "selective realism" school of declaring what RAW is.


Hiya

MyTThor wrote:
I tend to not play stealth-based classes. Can someone sum up what the horrible problem with stealth is that everyone seems to acknowledge exists?

I think it primarily comes down to people misinterpreting "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" as "Pathfinder Combat-Minutia-and-Rules-Lawyering Game". I come to that conclusion because when I play other roleplaying games, like, say, BECMI (Basic D&D), the Thief class basically does the same thing as the Rogue class, yet we never have any "rules fights" over weather or not the Thief can sneak up behind the guard and backstab him in the middle of the day.

So...talk to your GM about how he likes to roleplay. If he's more "make stuff up" than he is "but the rules say", you'll have a lot of fun playing a stealthy character. If he's more of the later type...well, using the PF rules, you may run into some problems.

^_^

Paul L. Ming


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PFS ostensibly uses the RAW, so some people go out of their way to try to define what that is. I like knowing what the RAW is, so I get drawn in. Its a sickness, I admit.


As a GM, I want to know what the real rules are so that the burden of ruling on the fly is lessened. I want the players to have an objective set of rules to work with, not just what I feel like saying at the time.

It does get out of hand sometimes.


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Honestly, after going through half the pages on the stealth playtest 2 blog, I still don't know what "holes" were poked in the playtest rules. It still seems pretty straight forward. Can anyone point to any specific examples as to why the playtest rules didn't fix stealth?


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Saint Caleth wrote:
Stealth classes are really just really just the greatest victim of the "selective realism" school of declaring what RAW is.

This is my big problem with the whole issue: Not only do we have all kinds of magic floating around, but we've also got barbarians diving off 100' cliffs, fighters who can punch out elephants, etc, etc.

But nope, sneaking up on people from behind is just to "unrealistic" for our super-hero game.
Unless it's a moonlit night. Then, if I've got a high enough stealth, I can walk right up and stand next to you without being seen or heard. In the daytime, not a chance. No matter how quiet and stealthy I am, it makes no difference. Mind you, there's a chance you won't notice me, depending on distance and other circumstances, but it won't depend on my stealth skill at all. You're just as likely to see Stealthy McSneak as Clanky the Paladin.

I hate rules like that. It should be hard to sneak up to someone in daylight. Make it harded. Throw a penalty on stealth if you don't have cover or concealment. Make it a big one. Don't just ban it.
Follow the basic metarule of "Yes, but..."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll repeat what I've said on other stealth threads: I don't see anything wrong with the rules as they're written. We've been using them for years at my table, with three PCs that regularly use Stealth, and have never had any problems with the rules.

No, they're not spelled out enough that you could write a program to aducate them. That's by design. This is why PF is a tabletop RPG aducated by an actual living person rather than by an algorithm running on a computer.

Weird corner cases? That's why the game has a GM to make a judgement call for the specific case. That's why players and their GMs need to have a reasonable level of trust betweeen them. No trust? You might want to play "World of Warcraft" instead.

And that's why I hate excessive lawyering of the rules regardless of which side of the screen I'm sitting on: It erodes the trust between GM and players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Anburaid wrote:
PFS ostensibly uses the RAW, so some people go out of their way to try to define what that is.

Yet another reason why I am uninterested in PFS play. (But I do love the scenarios, and use them frequently in my home games!)


There is nothing wrong with stealth perse (apart from some of the corner cases which the spot/listen/hide/move silently consolidations have created). People just tend to expect more from it than it can provide, especially in a game without facing. People want/expect hide in plain sight ... and yet stealth is not.

You could argue that you should have DCs/penaltys for it, but meh ... what's the point in normal games? At a -20 penalty it's just not going to come up enough ... leave that stuff to an epic level handbook.


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So, for those saying "There's nothing wrong with rules":
How do you run it?
Can you leave cover and sneak attack if you can reach the target in a round?
Can you cross between two areas of cover without losing stealth?


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Pinky's Brain wrote:

There is nothing wrong with stealth perse (apart from some of the corner cases which the spot/listen/hide/move silently consolidations have created). People just tend to expect more from it than it can provide, especially in a game without facing. People want/expect hide in plain sight ... and yet stealth is not.

You could argue that you should have DCs/penaltys for it, but meh ... what's the point in normal games? At a -20 penalty it's just not going to come up enough ... leave that stuff to an epic level handbook.

The thing is, I don't think most people do expect Hide in Plain Sight. The whole point of that ability is to be able to "disappear into the all-concealing shadows" like Batman even when people know you're there. No one expects to be able to do that without the ability of the same name.

What people want is for their rogue to not be automagically spotted as soon as they stick their toe out from behind a corner. They want to be able to lurk in the warehouse rafters and then drop down behind a foe with a timely back stab or slip from shadow to shadow without the alarm going off just because some half asleep guard happens to be standing nearby.


If you're in his field of vision then nothing short of magic will prevent him from seeing you while slipping from shadow to shadow. The alternative where you can always make the check results in stupid side effects as much as never being able to make them.

You need facing/scanning/distraction house rules.


Stealth also becomes problematic if only one character in the party is somewhat stealthy. Others have to hang back and hope the scout doesn't get caught.

High levels can render stealth useless as well with constant Detect Invisible, Arcane Sight and so on. Special abilities such as scent, darkvision,tremorsense also negate stealth. Certain creatures can even detect you by your heartbeat and blood!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

So, for those saying "There's nothing wrong with rules":

How do you run it?
Can you leave cover and sneak attack if you can reach the target in a round?
Can you cross between two areas of cover without losing stealth?

Okay, I'll bite...

Here's how I play these situations in my game:

1) Yes.
You can attempt to move to a target to to attack them while unaware of your presence. Doing so requires a new Stealth check opposed by the target's Perception. I would likely apply some kind of situational modifier depending on the exact circumstances (lighting, distrations, etc). As soon as you make the attack (whether or not it lands), your target is immediately aware of your presence.

(I take the wording from the skill description "it it impossible to use Stealth while attacking" to mean that you are no longer stealthy as soon as your first attack action is resolved.)

2) Yes, but success is hightly dependent on situational circumstances.
In general, you need dim light or concealment for this to work. You take a -10 penalty on the attempt because you're moving. This is easiest when the people your're hiding from don't realize you're there. I'll generally give the player a clue as to how tough it will be to pull off and let him decide whether or not to go for it.

If the people you're trying to hide from have a good idea of where you are and/or are actively looking for you, then it becomes pretty much impossible to sneak by them without causing a distraction (via a Bluff check) or using magic (like invisibility).

I don't see how the above conflicts at all with RAW.


Pinky's Brain wrote:

If you're in his field of vision then nothing short of magic will prevent him from seeing you while slipping from shadow to shadow. The alternative where you can always make the check results in stupid side effects as much as never being able to make them.

You need facing/scanning/distraction house rules.

Why? Why is Golarian (or whatever world you're playing) somehow populated with super-observant beings that never fail to notice things?

Must be a nice place to live. No one ever misplaces their keys, or bumps into anyone on the street or trips over a root or rock in their path.

By that logic, PCs would never need to roll Perception checks to find a specific item in a messy room, so long as it wasn't obscured by something else.

For that matter, why bother to roll to find traps? They have to have a line of effect in order for them to affect the characters, so they must be in line of sight as well.

I'm also confused about the supposed silliness that would ensue. I have yet to see anyone arguing they should be able to sneak across an open courtyard in broad daylight or anything of that nature.


The stealth rules work fine. People that have issues with them are over complicating the issue. Simply put, it works like this:

PRD wrote:
Perception has a number of uses, the most common of which is an opposed check versus an opponent's Stealth check to notice the opponent and avoid being surprised. If you are successful, you notice the opponent and can react accordingly. If you fail, your opponent can take a variety of actions, including sneaking past you and attacking you.

That is the only part of the perception rules that apply to stealth. The remainder of the description only applies to unopposed perception checks. As you can see, if the perception check fails, you are surprised when you are attacked by a character using stealth.

PRD wrote:

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.

...

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.

That is all you need to follow for normal stealth rules. If you succeed on your stealth check, you are not noticed by anyone who failed their perception check against you until you perform an action that requires you to perform another stealth check (basically taking an action) or someone is actively looking for you (move action perception).

Notes:
You can sneak into a room, and if the person inside doesn't observe you doing so, you can stand still in the room doing nothing until they look around and notice you (active perception).

You can move between two pillars in an open well lit area if you succeed on your stealth check.

You can attack someone with surprise (flat footed) if your stealth check beats their perception check. The perception rules specifically state this.


Haladir wrote:
thejeff wrote:

S

Can you cross between two areas of cover without losing stealth?

2) Yes, but success is hightly dependent on situational circumstances.

In general, you need dim light or concealment for this to work. You take a -10 penalty on the attempt because you're moving. This is easiest when the people your're hiding from don't realize you're there. I'll generally give the player a clue as to how tough it will be to pull off and let him decide whether or not to go for it.

If the people you're trying to hide from have a good idea of where you are and/or are actively looking for you, then it becomes pretty much impossible to sneak by them without causing a distraction (via a Bluff check) or using magic (like invisibility).

I don't see how the above conflicts at all with RAW.

I should have added concealment to the question.

If you have dim light/concealment, you can use stealth without problems. A -5 penalty if you move faster than half speed. On a moonlit night you can, given a sufficient Stealth advantage, walk right up to someone without losing your ability to sneak.
You would not allow it in normal lighting without some other cover or a bluff or magic, then?
And you seem to make it harder than RAW if you do have concealment.


The_Big_Dog wrote:

The stealth rules work fine. People that have issues with them are over complicating the issue. Simply put, it works like this:

PRD wrote:
Perception has a number of uses, the most common of which is an opposed check versus an opponent's Stealth check to notice the opponent and avoid being surprised. If you are successful, you notice the opponent and can react accordingly. If you fail, your opponent can take a variety of actions, including sneaking past you and attacking you.

That is the only part of the perception rules that apply to stealth. The remainder of the description only applies to unopposed perception checks. As you can see, if the perception check fails, you are surprised when you are attacked by a character using stealth.

PRD wrote:

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.

...

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.

That is all you need to follow for normal stealth rules. If you succeed on your stealth check, you are not noticed by anyone who failed their perception check against you until you perform an action that requires you to perform another stealth check (basically taking an action) or someone is actively looking for you (move action perception).

Notes:
You can sneak into a room, and if the person inside doesn't observe you doing so, you can stand still in the room doing nothing until they look around and notice you (active perception).

You can move between two pillars in an open well lit area if you succeed on your stealth check.

You can attack someone with surprise (flat footed) if your stealth check beats their...

This is incorrect. You get perception check against observable stimuli as a reaction(non-action).

You are also trying to use stealth while moving across an open area aka between two pillars, but you must have cover or concealment to use stealth unless the potential observer is distracted.


wraithstrike wrote:


This is incorrect. You get perception check against observable stimuli as a reaction(non-action).

You are also trying to use stealth while moving across an open area aka between two pillars, but you must have cover or concealment to use stealth unless the potential observer is distracted.

What I stated above is indeed correct. You are using the rules for unopposed perception checks instead of opposed checks. There is no requirement for me to remain in cover, only that to perform a stealth check you must be unobserved and in cover or concealment.

After the stealth check is successful, you may move however you want under the stealth guidelines. The only qualifiers on movement during stealth are

PRD wrote:


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.

and do not include requiring cover or concealment during your move, only when you make the stealth check at the beginning of your move action.

After you succeed on a stealth check against someone, you remain unobserved by them until you take another action or they actively look for you. Reaction to stimuli requires stimuli, the first perception check against stealth roll means you are unobserved, and there is no stimuli during that action.


Kalshane wrote:
Why? Why is Golarian (or whatever world you're playing) somehow populated with super-observant beings that never fail to notice things?

Noticing stuff that moves is one of the main things our visual system is optimized for ... of course it doesn't work too well on stuff outside of our limited FoV, but you can't reasonably rely on being able to find time windows where that happens all the time.

That's why you need facing/scanning rules, so you can reasonably decide whether the opportunity exists or whether the guard is just looking straight down a long corridor with bugger all chance for reasonable stealth checks ... now of course you can use "common sense" but if you're consistent as a DM doing that repeatedly tends to result in house rules.


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Pinky's Brain wrote:
Kalshane wrote:
Why? Why is Golarian (or whatever world you're playing) somehow populated with super-observant beings that never fail to notice things?

Noticing stuff that moves is one of the main things our visual system is optimized for ... of course it doesn't work too well on stuff outside of our limited FoV, but you can't reasonably rely on being able to find time windows where that happens all the time.

That's why you need facing/scanning rules, so you can reasonably decide whether the opportunity exists or whether the guard is just looking straight down a long corridor with bugger all chance for reasonable stealth checks ... now of course you can use "common sense" but if you're consistent as a DM doing that repeatedly tends to result in house rules.

Of course, you could argue that one part of the Stealth skill is timing your movements to match the observer glancing away.


The_Big_Dog wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


This is incorrect. You get perception check against observable stimuli as a reaction(non-action).

You are also trying to use stealth while moving across an open area aka between two pillars, but you must have cover or concealment to use stealth unless the potential observer is distracted.

What I stated above is indeed correct. You are using the rules for unopposed perception checks instead of opposed checks. There is no requirement for me to remain in cover, only that to perform a stealth check you must be unobserved and in cover or concealment.

After the stealth check is successful, you may move however you want under the stealth guidelines. The only qualifiers on movement during stealth are

PRD wrote:


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.

and do not include requiring cover or concealment during your move, only when you make the stealth check at the beginning of your move action.

After you succeed on a stealth check against someone, you remain unobserved by them until you take another action or they actively look for you. Reaction to stimuli requires stimuli, the first perception check against stealth roll means you are unobserved, and there is no stimuli during that action.

You make an opposed check whenever there is stimuli.

And you are using the entire time you are moving, so if you are moving so you must remain qualified for stealth the entire time.

If you are not using stealth the entire time you are moving, then your stealth roll is not applying to the situation. No matter how you slice it once you leave cover that stealth check does not apply with a distraction.

The book does say you use stealth as part of a move action if you use it while changing location, so that means you are using it while you are moving.

The book also says you need cover or concealment to use stealth.

PS:There is no pseudo invisibility going on.


thejeff wrote:
Of course, you could argue that one part of the Stealth skill is timing your movements to match the observer glancing away.

As I said, you can not realistically rely on that (in a 6 second window). It creates silliness in the same way that never being able to do it does.


I am bowing out of the debate for now.


Pinky's Brain wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Of course, you could argue that one part of the Stealth skill is timing your movements to match the observer glancing away.
As I said, you can not realistically rely on that (in a 6 second window). It creates silliness in the same way that never being able to do it does.

No more silly than "Oh I jumped off a 100 foot cliff. Better just shake it off." or "I am so angry I could just GROW WINGS and EAT MAGIC FOR BREAKFAST. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"


wraithstrike wrote:


You make an opposed check whenever there is stimuli.

And you are using the entire time you are moving, so if you are moving so you must remain qualified for stealth the entire time.

If you are not using stealth the entire time you are moving, then your stealth roll is not applying to the situation. No matter how you slice it once you leave cover that stealth check does not apply with a distraction.

The book does say you use stealth as part of a move action if you use it while changing location, so that means you are using it...

The rules do not agree. You use stealth as part of your move action, if you are not observed and in cover/concealment. These are conditions to begin the use of stealth. Nowhere is it qualified that you must remain in cover/concealment throughout the duration of your move. It only specifies how far you can move and still use stealth. You are adding additional qualifiers that do not exist in the rules.


pming wrote:

Hiya

MyTThor wrote:
I tend to not play stealth-based classes. Can someone sum up what the horrible problem with stealth is that everyone seems to acknowledge exists?

I think it primarily comes down to people misinterpreting "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" as "Pathfinder Combat-Minutia-and-Rules-Lawyering Game". I come to that conclusion because when I play other roleplaying games, like, say, BECMI (Basic D&D), the Thief class basically does the same thing as the Rogue class, yet we never have any "rules fights" over weather or not the Thief can sneak up behind the guard and backstab him in the middle of the day.

So...talk to your GM about how he likes to roleplay. If he's more "make stuff up" than he is "but the rules say", you'll have a lot of fun playing a stealthy character. If he's more of the later type...well, using the PF rules, you may run into some problems.

^_^

Paul L. Ming

Yeah I recall people have said they found the thief and stealth rules in AD&D wonky, with backstab hard to pull off. I never got that, it was a d100 roll, make it and move on and inside them with your short sword.


thejeff wrote:
Pinky's Brain wrote:
Kalshane wrote:
Why? Why is Golarian (or whatever world you're playing) somehow populated with super-observant beings that never fail to notice things?

Noticing stuff that moves is one of the main things our visual system is optimized for ... of course it doesn't work too well on stuff outside of our limited FoV, but you can't reasonably rely on being able to find time windows where that happens all the time.

That's why you need facing/scanning rules, so you can reasonably decide whether the opportunity exists or whether the guard is just looking straight down a long corridor with bugger all chance for reasonable stealth checks ... now of course you can use "common sense" but if you're consistent as a DM doing that repeatedly tends to result in house rules.

Of course, you could argue that one part of the Stealth skill is timing your movements to match the observer glancing away.

I think that this would describe someone being distracted. They scratch an itch, they check in their bag for rations, they turn to take a leak against a tree.

For pacing reasons, as a GM I would go to the stealth works between areas of cover/conceal, just so that we don't get into the minutia of waiting for a guard to need to take a piss before moving on. Also PCs might rely on the pebble throwing bluff check t get by and that eventually gets old as a story feature.


The_Big_Dog wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


You make an opposed check whenever there is stimuli.

And you are using the entire time you are moving, so if you are moving so you must remain qualified for stealth the entire time.

If you are not using stealth the entire time you are moving, then your stealth roll is not applying to the situation. No matter how you slice it once you leave cover that stealth check does not apply with a distraction.

The book does say you use stealth as part of a move action if you use it while changing location, so that means you are using it...

The rules do not agree. You use stealth as part of your move action, if you are not observed and in cover/concealment. These are conditions to begin the use of stealth. Nowhere is it qualified that you must remain in cover/concealment throughout the duration of your move. It only specifies how far you can move and still use stealth. You are adding additional qualifiers that do not exist in the rules.

Accept for the perception roll, which as Wraith said is a reaction, which was caused by you leaving cover/conceal. If you never left cover/conceal, it would still be a perception roll, but stealth would factor. Since you are leaving cover/conceal, stealth does NOT factor. Either way, the guard or whoever, technically still "rolls" perception.

And all that rolling is another reason why the playtest rules are better.


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Anburaid wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Pinky's Brain wrote:
Kalshane wrote:
Why? Why is Golarian (or whatever world you're playing) somehow populated with super-observant beings that never fail to notice things?

Noticing stuff that moves is one of the main things our visual system is optimized for ... of course it doesn't work too well on stuff outside of our limited FoV, but you can't reasonably rely on being able to find time windows where that happens all the time.

That's why you need facing/scanning rules, so you can reasonably decide whether the opportunity exists or whether the guard is just looking straight down a long corridor with bugger all chance for reasonable stealth checks ... now of course you can use "common sense" but if you're consistent as a DM doing that repeatedly tends to result in house rules.

Of course, you could argue that one part of the Stealth skill is timing your movements to match the observer glancing away.

I think that this would describe someone being distracted. They scratch an itch, they check in their bag for rations, they turn to take a leak against a tree.

For pacing reasons, as a GM I would go to the stealth works between areas of cover/conceal, just so that we don't get into the minutia of waiting for a guard to need to take a piss before moving on. Also PCs might rely on the pebble throwing bluff check t get by and that eventually gets old as a story feature.

Unfortunately by the common interpretation of RAW pebble throwing automatically gives away your location under 360 perfect-o vision.

Character throws pebble from behind cover/concealment to try to get the guard to look in another direction, Guard immediately makes a DC 0 perception check and sees the pebble flying out from behind cover giving away the location of the pebble thrower.


Ninja in the Rye wrote:

Unfortunately by the common interpretation of RAW pebble throwing automatically gives away your location under 360 perfect-o vision.

Character throws pebble from behind cover/concealment to try to get the guard to look in another direction, Guard immediately makes a DC 0 perception check and sees the pebble flying out from behind cover giving away the location of the pebble thrower.

No, the rules about creating a diversion are far more abstract than that. Roll your Bluff vs. his Sense Motive. Done. You have now created a diversion that will allow you to find cover or concealment and use Stealth. The guy doesn't automatically see your pebble because the rule doesn't give any Perception checks to defeat the Bluff vs. Sense Motive roll.

If you're standing there in plain sight, a diversion like this can be used to get into cover (although as a DM I would want you do be more deceptive than flagrantly throwing a pebble while he's watching you pick it up and throw it).

If you're already using Stealth behind cover or concealment then I am not sure what you have gained here other than the ability to use Stealth. However, a diversion like this could be used to dash across an open area that otherwise would be in plain sight, as long as you ended your move action in cover/concealment, just like the rule requires.

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