Rekindling the invisibility debate


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Silver Crusade

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Ok, so this happenned in a PFS scenario this weekend, and I think I got the short end of the stick and I want to see what you think. So I'm playing my inquisitor which just happens to be the only character in the party that has stealth capabilities. So we're approaching what we know to be the BBEG's room. I tell the rest of the party to wait a little ways back and decide to scout ahead. I cast invisibility on myself and move around the corner to where I can see the BBEG. Now for the mechanics.

I have +7 to my stealth skill, rolled a 16, and have +20 to stealth from invisibility. That gives me a stealth skill of 43. The GM declares that the BBEG spotted me and kicks over a barrel of acid creating an obscuring mist in the room. I ask him how the BBEG managed to see me with my stealth score of 44. He says he has see invisibility up and rolled a 20 on his perception check. I asked if the BBEG had a perception modifier of +23 or higher and he said no. I explained that I should not have been spotted then.

So, what do you think? What was the DC on the BBEG's perception check to notice me? Was it a DC 23 or a DC 43?

The Exchange

I don't have the CRB right in front of me, so I cannot say for certain that the spell description specifically states that an active see invisibility effect negates the usual +20 modifier to Stealth, but I'd have to figure that negating that penalty is the whole point of having see invisibility on the spell-lists. Otherwise, it'd only be good for seeing invisible objects (and unconscious invisible creatures, I suppose).

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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If he has see invisibility on the bonus to stealth from being invisible is no longer valid as he is not fooled by it. Therefore the DC for his perception check would be a 23.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Invisibility, Core Rulebook wrote:


If a check is required, a stationary invisible creature has a +40 bonus on its Stealth checks. This bonus is reduced to +20 if the creature is moving.

To this character you were not invisible, therefore there is no bonus. It's pretty plain.


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See invisibility negates the invisibility, including the +20 to stealth. In addition since you were no longer invisible you probably could not use stealth at all (unless you had cover) and the GM would not even need a perception check. The BBEG would just see you walking up to him.

Silver Crusade

Lincoln Hills wrote:
I don't have the CRB right in front of me, so I cannot say for certain that the spell description specifically states that an active see invisibility effect negates the usual +20 modifier to Stealth, but I'd have to figure that negating that penalty is the whole point of having see invisibility on the spell-lists. Otherwise, it'd only be good for seeing invisible objects (and unconscious invisible creatures, I suppose).

Not every creature that is invisible is stealthing.

Robert Brookes wrote:
Invisibility, Core Rulebook wrote:
If a check is required, a stationary invisible creature has a +40 bonus on its Stealth checks. This bonus is reduced to +20 if the creature is moving.
To this character you were not invisible, therefore there is no bonus. It's pretty plain.

Have you read the description of see invisibility? I could certainly see how a stealthed invisible character could still get a bonus to stealth against a character with see invisibility up. The description of see invisibility notwithstanding, the argument I would make is thinking you are invisible makes you focus more on the other aspects of stealth and that is where the bonus comes from. I didn't know the BBEG had see invisibility up, so why would I not still be focusing more on those other aspects of stealth?

And if you want a strict reading, I was invisible. At the time of the perception check, my character had the insible condition.

Lab_Rat wrote:
See invisibility negates the invisibility, including the +20 to stealth. In addition since you were no longer invisible you probably could not use stealth at all (unless you had cover) and the GM would not even need a perception check. The BBEG would just see you walking up to him.

I had concealment from dim light and I started stealthing when I was around the corner from the BBEG.


Yes, if you were relying on Invisibility as the thing that kept you in stealth, then a creature with see invisibility can spot you without a roll. Invisibility is what is allowing you to make a stealth check in the first place, if the bbeg gets past that, he doesn't even have to roll perception.

Suppose you're a guy using stealth to hide in some fog. Suddenly, a massive gust of wind blows the fog away (maybe magical, maybe not, doesnt matter). No more fog, no more stealth. You're spotted automatically. It doesn't matter how hight you rolled on your stealth check.

This is exactly the same situation.

Silver Crusade

awp832 wrote:

Yes, if you were relying on Invisibility as the thing that kept you in stealth, then a creature with see invisibility can spot you without a roll. Invisibility is what is allowing you to make a stealth check in the first place, if the bbeg gets past that, he doesn't even have to roll perception.

Suppose you're a guy using stealth to hide in some fog. Suddenly, a massive gust of wind blows the fog away (maybe magical, maybe not, doesnt matter). No more fog, no more stealth. You're spotted automatically. It doesn't matter how hight you rolled on your stealth check.

This is exactly the same situation.

Read my last post. I wasn't using invisibility to be able to stealth, I was just using it for the bonus to stealth because my inquisitor isn't the most stealthy old man on the block. I still had concealment from dim light at the point when the BBEG spotted me.


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You put up invisibility, the BBEG counters with see invisibility. Thus you do not gain any stealth bonus. However, as you said the light was dim so you could still stealth without being invisible.
So the new question is:
Did the BBEG have Darkvision?
If no: The BBEG needs a DC23 (+1 per 10 feet) perception check to see you.
If yes: The BBEG sees you. No perception check required.


See Invisibility means that he sees you as if you were visible.

Your bonus when visible is +7.

Concealment allows you to make a Stealth Check. It doesn't give you a bonus.

You rolled a 16. That means your result was a 23.

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See Invisibility, Core Rulebook wrote:


You can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as well as any that are ethereal, as if they were normally visible. Such creatures are visible to you as translucent shapes, allowing you easily to discern the difference between visible, invisible, and ethereal creatures.

See Invisibility negates the effect of invisibility as far as the seer is concerned. There's no gray area here, the spell itself was designed to negate all aspects of invisibility. If you are not invisible to a target, you do not gain the bonuses for being invisible to them.


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Invisibility only gives a +20 to stealth because you can't be seen. With See Invisibility, you can be seen. Therefore, no +20 bonus. It's very simple, and I can't see how you're arguing it could possibly work any other way.


See Invisibility: "You can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as well as any that are ethereal, as if they were normally visible. Such creatures are visible to you as translucent shapes, allowing you easily to discern the difference between visible, invisible, and ethereal creatures."

As if they were normally visible. This removes the +20 for being invisible. Therefore the DC was and should have been 23.

The Exchange

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Although I do commend you for thinking ahead and taking advantage of your concealment to make a regular Stealth roll as well, just in case he could see invisible creatures. If not for that lucky Perception roll...

Silver Crusade

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Just gonna add a "me too" to the consensus here. See Invisibility cancels out the Invisibility for that bad guy. Thus, the +20 doesn't apply to him, and the Perception DC to spot you was 23.

Silver Crusade

I guess I'll just have to sit over here by myself in DC 43 land then.


Lab_Rat wrote:
See invisibility negates the invisibility, including the +20 to stealth. In addition since you were no longer invisible you probably could not use stealth at all (unless you had cover) and the GM would not even need a perception check. The BBEG would just see you walking up to him.

Right. You’re in plain sight. Invis doesn’t even come into this, he’s negated that with See Invis. You only get s stealth check when you are not in the open, which you were.

Scarab Sages

If this is the scenario I believe you are referring to, the BBEG's precombat tactics do not include drinking his see invisibility extract. Certain other extracts and his mutagen, yes, but not see invisibility.

Spoiler:
My Enemy's Enemy

There is no auto succeed on skill checks. A natural 20 would not work without see invisibility.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
the argument I would make is thinking you are invisible makes you focus more on the other aspects of stealth and that is where the bonus comes from.

Nope, you get a +20 bonus because the other guy can't see you. That's it. You're hard to see. Very hard. +20 hard. Stealthy people don't sometimes step on twigs or kick rocks because they're busy crouching behind bushes; it's not like being harder to see suddenly makes you magically aware that you need to also not step on twigs or kick rocks. You already know all that and with +7 stealth, you're a little bit good at it but not great. Getting invisibility doesn't teach you to be 4x better at not stepping on twigs or kicking rocks. It just makes you very hard to see.

Except this time you weren't hard to see because he could see invisible, so no +20.

Silver Crusade

Artanthos wrote:

If this is the scenario I believe you are referring to, the BBEG's precombat tactics do not include drinking his see invisibility extract. Certain other extracts and his mutagen, yes, but not see invisibility.

** spoiler omitted **

There is no auto succeed on skill checks. A natural 20 would not work without see invisibility.

That's the scenario. The GM said we had done something to warn them we were coming so the BBEG prepped by drinking a see invisibility extract. Had he not used that extract, I would have gotten a surprise round attack off on him (full attack, inquisitor w/ Lookout teamwork feat) and I went before him in initiative so that would have been another full-attack against flat-footed AC. Chances are I could have come close to finishing him off before the rest of the party even got into the room, lol.

DM_Blake wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
the argument I would make is thinking you are invisible makes you focus more on the other aspects of stealth and that is where the bonus comes from.

Nope, you get a +20 bonus because the other guy can't see you. That's it. You're hard to see. Very hard. +20 hard. Stealthy people don't sometimes step on twigs or kick rocks because they're busy crouching behind bushes; it's not like being harder to see suddenly makes you magically aware that you need to also not step on twigs or kick rocks. You already know all that and with +7 stealth, you're a little bit good at it but not great. Getting invisibility doesn't teach you to be 4x better at not stepping on twigs or kicking rocks. It just makes you very hard to see.

Except this time you weren't hard to see because he could see invisible, so no +20.

Except that's not what the rules say. The rules say if a creature is invisible, it gains +20 to its stealth rolls. I can only assume that "is invisible" equates to "has the invisible status". I had casted invisibility on myself and therefore had the invisibility status, thereby granting me +20 to stealth rolls. My argument up above is just the fluff reasoning for why it works.

The +20 bonus to stealth checks is completely separate from the +20 DC modifier for perception checks when the target of the perception check is invisible. There was recently a massive thread about this very argument, which is why I titled this thread the way I did.


Well, technically being invisible gives you a +40 to stealth check (reduced to 20 if moving). There's nothing in the rules about this bonus going away if the other creature can see you (indeed, what with RAW invisibility making it more difficult to hear an invisible creature speak or an invisible bow being drawn, PF Invisibility is effectively an all purpose stealth field that laughs at all senses (other than scent).

I don't believe that it's RAI, but by RAW you should have a bonus to your stealth check from being invisible, even against See Invisible.

Scarab Sages

Bigdaddyjug wrote:


That's the scenario. The GM said we had done something to warn them we were coming so the BBEG prepped by drinking a see invisibility extract.

The precombat tactics take place only if the BBEG is forewarned, and do not include drinking the see invisibility extract.

RAW, I would grant no bonuses to stealth if see invisibility was being used. The only problem I see is, published tactics were altered.


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Is this argument for real? "Thinking" you're invisible makes you more stealthy so you should still get the bonus? I could argue the other way, that because you're invisible you don't take as great care to hide because you're freaking invisible.

The bonus to invisibility is from the magic preventing creatures from seeing you. Ninja in the Rye has a point about RAW somehow hiding the other aspects of you (sound), but if someone has see invisibility, to them only, you lose that stealth bonus against their perception check.

I'd have a bigger problem with the idea the BBEG is just sitting staring at the door. Unless he had good reason to expect you.


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Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Except that's not what the rules say. The rules say if a creature is invisible, it gains +20 to its stealth rolls. I can only assume that "is invisible" equates to "has the invisible status". I had casted invisibility on myself and therefore had the invisibility status, thereby granting me +20 to stealth rolls. My argument up above is just the fluff reasoning for why it works.

Even if that's the way it works, see invisibility is quite clear in stating that you can see invisible creatures (by your thinking; "creatures with the invisible status") as if they were visible (so; "as if they didn't have the invisible status").

Either way, you don't get the +20 bonus.


It comes down to this by RAW:

I go to make a stealth check, I ask myself, "Am I invisible?" If the answer is, "Yes," I get the bonus to my stealth check that is listed under the Stealth Skill. It says nothing about being negated if another character can see me. See Invisibility says nothing about negating this bonus (it probably should, but it doesn't).

From a fluff perspective, See Invisibility says that you see invisible creatures as "translucent shapes", that certainly sounds like something that would make it easier to remain unseen if you had a source of cover.

Silver Crusade

Artanthos wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:


That's the scenario. The GM said we had done something to warn them we were coming so the BBEG prepped by drinking a see invisibility extract.

The precombat tactics take place only if the BBEG is forewarned, and do not include drinking the see invisibility extract.

RAW, I would grant no bonuses to stealth if see invisibility was being used. The only problem I see is, published tactics were altered.

It ended up not mattering. We took down the BBEG without anybody dying or suffering any other long-lasting effects. Had my character died and I found this out, I would be sending an email to Mike Brock right now.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:

It comes down to this by RAW:

I go to make a stealth check, I ask myself, "Am I invisible?" If the answer is, "Yes," I get the bonus to my stealth check that is listed under the Stealth Skill. It says nothing about being negated if another character can see me. See Invisibility says nothing about negating this bonus (it probably should, but it doesn't).

From a fluff perspective, See Invisibility says that you see invisible creatures as "translucent shapes", that certainly sounds like something that would make it easier to remain unseen if you had a source of cover.

This is the crux of my whole argument. To get the bonus to stealth, it just says you have to be invisible. I can only assume invisble means "has the invisible status". It doesn't say you have to be functionally invisible.

And Coarthios, I'm not saying that's the way it works, just a fluffy way to explain why it works. If your explanation was the correct one, invisibility might cause a penalty to stealth checks, which would make no sense.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
That's the scenario. The GM said we had done something to warn them we were coming so the BBEG prepped by drinking a see invisibility extract. Had he not used that extract, I would have gotten a surprise round attack off on him (full attack, inquisitor w/ Lookout teamwork feat) and I went before him in initiative so that would have been another full-attack against flat-footed AC. Chances are I could have come close to finishing him off before the rest of the party even got into the room, lol.

Minor sidenote: Lookout only comes into play if you are adjacent to an ally with the feat. You said you had the rest of your party hang back, so you wouldn't have gotten off a full-atack on the surprise round anyway.

Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Except that's not what the rules say. The rules say if a creature is invisible, it gains +20 to its stealth rolls. I can only assume that "is invisible" equates to "has the invisible status". I had casted invisibility on myself and therefore had the invisibility status, thereby granting me +20 to stealth rolls. My argument up above is just the fluff reasoning for why it works.

The +20 bonus to stealth checks is completely separate from the +20 DC modifier for perception checks when the target of the perception check is invisible. There was recently a massive thread about this very argument, which is why I titled this thread the way I did.

Under the invisibility special condition, it states if the Invisible creature is Using Stealth the perception check is Stealth check +20.

Under see invisibility spell, it states: "You can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as well as any that are ethereal, as if they were normally visible."

Now, I'm sure you are going to say that under stealth, it gives you a +20 for being invisible, and under invisible, it states you get ANOTHER +20 for being invisible. That is not the case. There is only one bonus, and it is because you are invisible.

Because see invisibility lets you be seen as if you are normally visible, you do not get any benefits of the invisible condition. Or do you think he would still be denied dex due to your invisible condition even though he can see invisible?
"Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents' Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). See Invisibility, under Special Abilities."

Silver Crusade

Tarantula wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
That's the scenario. The GM said we had done something to warn them we were coming so the BBEG prepped by drinking a see invisibility extract. Had he not used that extract, I would have gotten a surprise round attack off on him (full attack, inquisitor w/ Lookout teamwork feat) and I went before him in initiative so that would have been another full-attack against flat-footed AC. Chances are I could have come close to finishing him off before the rest of the party even got into the room, lol.

Minor sidenote: Lookout only comes into play if you are adjacent to an ally with the feat. You said you had the rest of your party hang back, so you wouldn't have gotten off a full-atack on the surprise round anyway.

Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Except that's not what the rules say. The rules say if a creature is invisible, it gains +20 to its stealth rolls. I can only assume that "is invisible" equates to "has the invisible status". I had casted invisibility on myself and therefore had the invisibility status, thereby granting me +20 to stealth rolls. My argument up above is just the fluff reasoning for why it works.

The +20 bonus to stealth checks is completely separate from the +20 DC modifier for perception checks when the target of the perception check is invisible. There was recently a massive thread about this very argument, which is why I titled this thread the way I did.

Under the invisibility special condition, it states if the Invisible creature is Using Stealth the perception check is Stealth check +20.

Under see invisibility spell, it states: "You can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as well as any that are ethereal, as if they were normally visible."

Now, I'm sure you are going to say that under stealth, it gives you a +20 for being invisible, and under invisible, it states you get ANOTHER +20 for being invisible. That is not the case. There is only one bonus, and it is because you are invisible.

Because see...

I forgot about the adjacent part of Lookout, but that would have only meant I got off 1 shot in the surprise round at full BAB rather than 2 at BAB -2 (Rapid Shot).

The second half of your post is what was argued in that massive thread I reference earlier. Where you stand on that argument can be answered by this question:

If you are standing in a room, do not have a way to see invisible creatures, and an invisible creature stealths into the room, what is the perception DC for you to notice that creature if it is NOT standing still?

My POV is that your perception DC is 20 + their stealth check + any applicable modifiers for movement/talking/combat/distance and that their stealth check is d20 + bonus + 20.

Your POV is that your perception DC is just stealth check + applicable modifiers and that the stealth check is d20 + bonus + 20.

But ask yourself this. Should a stealthy creature get more of a bonus from insibility than a non-stealthy creature? If no, why not?


What do you mean by " Should a stealthy creature get more of a bonus from invisibility than a non-stealthy creature?"

Give an example.

Before we go any further the perception DC is generally equal to the stealth total before distance comes into play.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:

The second half of your post is what was argued in that massive thread I reference earlier. Where you stand on that argument can be answered by this question:

If you are standing in a room, do not have a way to see invisible creatures, and an invisible creature stealths into the room, what is the perception DC for you to notice that creature if it is NOT standing still?

My POV is that your perception DC is 20 + their stealth check + any applicable modifiers for movement/talking/combat/distance and that their stealth check is d20 + bonus + 20.

Your POV is that your perception DC is just stealth check + applicable modifiers and that the stealth check is d20 + bonus + 20.

But ask yourself this. Should a stealthy creature get more of a bonus from insibility than a non-stealthy creature? If no, why not?

Lets go to the glossary for the Invisible condition:

"PRD wrote:

Invisible creature is... Perception

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

So, invisible creature is moving at half speed (normal stealthing speed) -5

Using stealth they get stealth check result+20
Distance away +1 as appropriate

So, assuming a 30 foot room. You end up with stealth check + 18 is the perception DC to notice them.

Additionally, in the invisible condition rules is this part:

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

The bonus to the stealth check comes from the invisible condition. See invisibility lets them treat you as if you were visible. Read that as "not invisible".

You never answered, do you think you still get the bonuses of the Invisible condition in the glossary against a creature using see invis?

These are the ones I am talking about:

"PRD wrote:
Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents' Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). See Invisibility, under Special Abilities.

Silver Crusade

Actually Tarantula, the DC to notice an invisible creature is 20 before stealth even comes into play. Then invisibility gives a +20 bonus to stealth.

Wraithstrike, what I mean is that if you go by Tarantula's example, a stealthy creature is getting the exact same benefit from invisibility that a non-stealthy character is, despite the fact that the invisibility table in the CRB glossary says stealthy characters should have a 20 higher DC to notice.


The DC to notice an invisible creature is within 30' that is not using stealth is 20.

The DC to notice an invisible creature using their stealth skill to stealth is the stealth result + 20.

It is NOT 20DC + Stealth Result + 20 bonus for being invisible.


Actually, if you want to be pedantically strict about it:
The Invisibility table says Stealth Check + 20, but the rules for Stealth say that you get a +20 for being invisible, so the Invisibility table can be read as (normal Stealth Check +20) + 20.

We know those are different because the one in Stealth is specifically a Stealth bonus, while the one on the Invisibility table is part of a modifier to Perception DC.

So I think that's a total of DC20 + (normal Stealth Check + 20) +20 = DC 60+normal Stealth Check to notice you're there.
It's at least another 20 to pinpoint you.

Personally I think that's crazy and all those +20s are really supposed to be the same +20. It's all just badly phrased.
IE: The Table says Stealth +20 meaning the DC to notice you is your normal Stealth check +20. If you weren't stealthy it would be 20, because your stealth is 0.
Similarly for other +20 bonuses.

Stealth +20 to notice. Stealth +40 to pinpoint.

And it all goes away if they can see you.
It also doesn't apply if they already couldn't see you. If they're trying to make a perception check listening through a door or something, being invisible doesn't help you.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:

I can only assume invisble means "has the invisible status".

No, you could assume it means "is invisible to the observer."


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This is really easier than you're all making it out to be. The Invisibility spell says you get +20. If it wanted you to get +20 and your observers to get ++20 on their perception DCs it would have said so. It didn't. So you get ONE +20 modifier to make it harder for the observer to see you. Just ONE. It DOES NOT MATTER whether you put it into the Stealth roll, or on the Perception check, since they're all just creating a harder DC for the observer. Once. Just like the Invisibility spell says.

If the Invisibility spell worked the insane way that some people want it to, then the spell would say this:

"If a check is required, a stationary invisible creature has a +40 bonus on its Stealth checks and anyone trying to perceive him has a 20 DC to observe and a +20 DC to pinpoint him, resulting in a +80 bonus to the total Steatlh DC to pinpoint an invisible creature. This bonus is reduced to +60 if the creature is moving."

It obviously doesn't say that.

Further, if it did, Nobody, Nothing, NEVER, would ever be able to use Perception to overcome an Invisible stealth check, so what the Invisibility spell would actually say is:

"Invisibility is AWESOME!!!1!! If a check is required, don't bother, Invisibility is too awesomesauce for any living thing to ever perceive anyone using it with Perception, so fahgetaboutit. Just assume your invisible super death ninja can coup de grace all living things whenever he's Invisible; it just saves time."

Silver Crusade

Why in god's name should it be easy to use perception to notice an invisible stealthy creature? Oh, that's right, it shouldn't. Have you guys have finished reviewing the table in the CRB that I referenced that clearly shows it is DC 20 to notice an invisible creature AND stealthy creatures get a +20 on stealth checks for invisibility?

Thejeff, you have an extra 20 in your figuring. To notice an active invisible creature is DC20. If the creature is using stealth, they get a +20 bonus to their stealth check. That makes it:

DC20 + (stealth check + 20) to notice. You would add another 20 for both pinpointing and the stealthed creature is not moving.


You can see invisible creatures as if they were normally visible. Normally visible creatures don't get a +20 bonus to stealth. It really is as simple as that.

I realize you want the opposite to be true, and you're coming up with arguments that seem halfway convincing. But the 'translucent' rule is there to indicate that you know when creatures are invisible. If an invisible aristocrat is sneaking through your ballroom, there is no chance that you're going to smile and wave at him without ever realizing other creatures can't see him. The rule is not to indicate that the spell grants you an unremovable +20/40 bonus to stealth even against creatures that see invisible creatures.

Silver Crusade

Actually, I've moved on from that because the boss shouldn't have had see invisibility up anyway. Now we're discussing the mechanics of invisibility and stealth when see invisibility doesn't come into play.

Liberty's Edge

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Come on guys, Pathfinder is a game for humans, by humans. We're required to read and interpret what we read just a tiny bit. It isn't that hard really.


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Just so we're clear here, if an NPC has something like see invisibility prepared, and one of his minions comes back and warns him "invisible adventurers are coming!" is the GM really not allowed to have that BBEG cast the spell unless the statblock dictates it?


Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Why in god's name should it be easy to use perception to notice an invisible stealthy creature? Oh, that's right, it shouldn't. Have you guys have finished reviewing the table in the CRB that I referenced that clearly shows it is DC 20 to notice an invisible creature AND stealthy creatures get a +20 on stealth checks for invisibility?

Thejeff, you have an extra 20 in your figuring. To notice an active invisible creature is DC20. If the creature is using stealth, they get a +20 bonus to their stealth check. That makes it:

DC20 + (stealth check + 20) to notice. You would add another 20 for both pinpointing and the stealthed creature is not moving.

No. I explained that. If you're being pedantic about bonuses and modifiers and how they add up, you get what I said:

The Invisibility Table says the Perception DC modifier for an invisible creature using Stealth is "Stealth check +20"
If you look at the Stealth rules, that Stealth Check includes a +20 bonus for being invisible. (+40 if you're immobile). So the Stealth Check includes a +20 bonus, to which you add another +20 to get the Perception DC modifier, which you add to the base DC20 to notice a stealthy invisible creature.

You can argue that those two are the same +20 and that it makes no sense to get both of them, but that same logic can be used to argue that the +20 to stealth is the same thing as the +20 to Perception DC.
Which is my actual preference.


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All that being said, might it be easier to take an approach from the other side.
Considering your very wishful, clingy and blatantly abusive of the DM's patience and good manners take on invisibility+stealth:
I just hope he says fine, have it your way. And then next day you get ambushed by 3 ogres with invisibility cast on them with 1 rank in Stealth(obviously stealthing while invisible). Good luck with that Perception 40+ DC.

As ShadowcatX mentioned, we are humans, so let's use our head a bit before making ludicrous assumptions that momentarily favor our PCs.

I don't see any mentions of the bonus to stealth mentioned in various places stack(unlike precise statements of DR, AC stacking for example).
Invisibility is just a spell that gives you the invisible status. For all lazybones' convenience, they just doubled their +20/40 to stealth text, to make sure that people with invisible don't forget that.
NOW, the big part: had the boss cast See Invisibility , you would be treated as visible, so straight Stealth check vs. Perception check, no bonus from Invisibility. Your case : 23 Stealth vs. whatever total Perception he had.
This may have been a problem of lack of reasoning abilities, or meek character, or something else, but for all purposes and intents, See Invisibility TOTALLY counters Invisibility(consider having ONLY this 2 spells cast, to keep it simple).
Any other way around is just you pushing the DM to something not RAI(and somewhat arguably RAW) and into the "I WIN" button territory. And remember, for every Invisibility you have, he can cast 10 and handwave the sudden surge of spellcasters. Are you sure you want an arms race?
Does it matter that much ? You said the fight ended without much loss regardless, why stir the bee's nest now ? Learn to accept DM decisions without crying "foul" on every corner.

PS. To address your "moving on"
Invisibility grants a static +20 to Stealth checks(you know, the stuff you roll opposed to Perception). That's the static +20 in the table for Stealthing characters(d20+20 check). That's the DC20 perception to spot creatures NOT using Stealth. It's not a double dip. You don't get to add up various parts of the table together however you see fit. If you did, a city wall(DC30) with a knotted rope(DC5) next to it might have a Climb DC of 35, not 5. See where I'm going at ?


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My Enemy's Enemy:
There's a guy who watches the party in gaseous form, so if gaseous guy saw the party using invis, or the inquisitor casting invis to start sneaking, it would have been a reasonable and allowed adjustment of tactics to drink it. If gaseous guy saw nothing of the sort, then not.


Ignitorius wrote:


Invisibility grants a static +20 to Stealth checks(you know, the stuff you roll opposed to Perception). That's the static +20 in the table for Stealthing characters(d20+20 check). That's the DC20 perception to spot creatures NOT using Stealth. It's not a double dip. You don't get to add up various parts of the table together however you see fit. If you did, a city wall(DC30) with a knotted rope(DC5) next to it might have a Climb DC of 35, not 5. See where I'm going at ?

The argument is that the Table showing Stealth Check + 20 is a table of Perception DC Modifiers, therefore that can't be the DC, but has to modify the DC.

Though a counter argument might be that all the other modifiers on that table are given as "+x" or "-x", while the stealth one has no "+" or "-", suggesting that despite the title of the column, that one isn't a modifier.

I'm not as sure as I used to be that the RAW supports the stealth bonus being the same as the DC modifier, but I'm still sure that's the intent.
It's still a +40 bonus to stealth to pinpoint an invisible creature. That should be enough for anyone.


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Even if the RAW is (hardly) murky, the RAI have GOT to be clear here. What would the point of See Invisibility be if it didn't negate the bonus for being invisible? In most situations, simply having that bonus would allow you to sneak by anyone of an appropriate CR (assuming you have even a moderate stealth score).

You could look at some other rules that work both for the person under an effect and the beholder thereof, such as Fog Cloud. You have concealment against anyone within 5 feet of you, and total concealment against anyone further away. In this case, you may have both concealment and total concealment at the same time. Your having TC against someone 10 ft. away doesn't mean that you gain a 50% miss chance against the guy next to you.

There's nothing in the rules or fluff to support the argument that the bonus to stealth from Invisibility stems from your focusing harder on other aspects of stealth. In fact, the spell, as it originated in 3rd edition D&D, granted a +20 bonus to HIDE, and none to Move Silently, which made the intent fairly clear. (As an aside, situations like this are among the reasons that I really don't like the folding together of Hide and Move Silently, Spot and Listen.) See Invisibility doesn't NEED to expressly state what its effects are; it obviously counters Invisibility, so all you have to do is ignore the benefits of THAT spell/condition. This is a case of the writers saving some space by not having to print the obvious.

We have a fairly strong consensus here as to how Invisibility and See Invisibility interact. You came asking a question, got your answer, and don't want to accept it, because you don't like it?


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Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Why in god's name should it be easy to use perception to notice an invisible stealthy creature? Oh, that's right, it shouldn't...

It should indeed not be easy.

However that's from the perspective that you are actually invisible to the things you're hiding from.

See invisibility makes invisible things visible to you. If you'd like to be incredibly-strictly adhering to the rules as written, then yes, technically See Invisibility does not outright state it negates the bonus to stealth granted by the invisibility status.

...But adhering to RAW as such requires assuming that you, as an invisible character, can somehow manage to maintain your invisible status to such a degree that you somehow stay invisible to a character to a character to whom invisible things are visible.

Since invisible things are visible to him, and you are an invisible thing, from his perspective you are visible. You can't be invisible and visible to the same person simultaneously; if invisible things are visible to him, then you are visible to him. Your stealth is thus calculated from his point of view, as though you were visible. You still get whatever bonuses you would have from distance and hiding in the shadows, but you're not reasonably going to get anything from invisibility while he has THE invisibility-negation spell active.

You would still of course be invisible from the perspective of anyone else who doesn't have see invisibility, and would retain your bonuses to stealth against them. To this one baddie however, you would not.

Silver Crusade

Ok, I'm just going to stop arguing in this thread and refer everybody to a thread in the Rules Questions forums called "Invisibility fun". Grick and a couple others explain the position much better than I am obviously doing.

And Thejeff, you're being intentionally pedantic just to make my argument look silly. All it's doing is making me skip your posts on the subject from here on out.

The base perception DC to notice a creature is 0 modified by distance away from you the creature is. We'll ignore the distance thing since that is the same whether visible or invisible. When the creature you are trying to notice is invisible, you add 20 to your perception DC. If that creature is stealthed, you add their stealth check to your perception DC. Invisibility says that it grants a +20 bonus to that stealth check if the creature making it is invisible.

The only other +20s you add are if the creature is standing still or if you are trying to pinpoint them instead of just notice them. There are other modifiers for things like moving, talking or combat, but those do not seem to be the point of contention here so they are irrelevant.

Enemey's enemy stuff:
Rogue Eidolon, I'm not sure who the guy in gaseous form is or where he starts so I don't know for certain if he would have seen me cast invisibility. The first time we found him was after the entire party was in the BBEG's room he was standing off in 1 corner.


So, since we're moving on, let's question whether the bad guy had just reason to use See Invisibility.

The DM said he had reason to know you were coming. But did he have reason to believe whoever was coming would be invisible?

I would justify that level of bad guy preparedness if you had been known to use invisibility earlier in the adventure, especially if whatever had alerted him (scrying, an NPC, etc.) had directly observed your use of invisibility. Not just the inquisitor, but anyone in the party.

So, had invisibility been used by any PC earlier in this adventure?


This is a problem caused by failing to update see invisibility from it's 3.x version to account for the new invisibility rules. The invisibility spell itself was significantly changed (to account for Hide and Move Silently being rolled together, I guess), but See Invisibility along with all the rest of the invisibility rules seem not to have been updated to clarify or harmonize how they interact with the changed spell, beyond a quick replacing of the words "hide" and "move silently" with Perception.

It seems that many of the vision related rules have these problems that can be traced back to changes made during 3.5->PF that were incompletely or dysfunctionally implemented (the recent darkness threads, the Stealth rules as a whole...)

I think that in this case, unlike some, it's fairly self-evident how the rule is *supposed* to work. I think your GM was correct not to give you the stealth bonus. In this case it requires interpretation of a line's rule effects (does "as if they were normally visible" mean without a +20?).

In this case, that line is fortunately open enough to interpretation to allow a GM to say "yes" and bend a spell with obsolete wording into functioning in the current system, without technically veering from the realm of interpreting the rules into the land of the houserule. Which I guess is important in PFS.


thejeff wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Why in god's name should it be easy to use perception to notice an invisible stealthy creature? Oh, that's right, it shouldn't. Have you guys have finished reviewing the table in the CRB that I referenced that clearly shows it is DC 20 to notice an invisible creature AND stealthy creatures get a +20 on stealth checks for invisibility?

Thejeff, you have an extra 20 in your figuring. To notice an active invisible creature is DC20. If the creature is using stealth, they get a +20 bonus to their stealth check. That makes it:

DC20 + (stealth check + 20) to notice. You would add another 20 for both pinpointing and the stealthed creature is not moving.

No. I explained that. If you're being pedantic about bonuses and modifiers and how they add up, you get what I said:

The Invisibility Table says the Perception DC modifier for an invisible creature using Stealth is "Stealth check +20"
If you look at the Stealth rules, that Stealth Check includes a +20 bonus for being invisible. (+40 if you're immobile). So the Stealth Check includes a +20 bonus, to which you add another +20 to get the Perception DC modifier, which you add to the base DC20 to notice a stealthy invisible creature.

You can argue that those two are the same +20 and that it makes no sense to get both of them, but that same logic can be used to argue that the +20 to stealth is the same thing as the +20 to Perception DC.
Which is my actual preference.

Actually you're shorting your pedantic reading of the rules ... It's an effective 80 + Stealth roll.

Base DC 20 (Invis section)

+20 for being invisible (Under Perception Skill)

+ [Stealth roll+20](Stealth Skill)

+20 (Using Stealth under Invis Mods)

Then it's an extra +20 to pinpoint (for a nice round DC 100).

Good times.

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