Invisibility and Stealth - what do the rules INTEND???


Rules Questions


As briefly as possible, according to the RAW :

"Noticing" an invisible creature means just being aware that it is somewhere within 30 feet of you.

"Pinpointing" an invisible creature means knowing exactly what square it is in.

An invisible creature's DC to be noticed while moving at half-speed is 15.
An invisible creature's DC to be pinpointed while moving at half-speed is that +20, or 35.

We have a difference of opinion in our group as to how Stealth interacts with this.

For Stealth by itself, if the other creature makes its Perception check against your DC, you are "pinpointed" - the creature knows exactly what square you're in.

It's my opinion that ANYTIME you use Stealth, you are always pinpointed if you fail (that is, if the other creature makes its Perception check).

So if you're using Stealth to move at half speed while invisible, the DC is (according to the Stealth rules) 20+[your Stealth roll], but if you fail, you are pinpointed (in my opinion).

That makes sense to me because there has to be a tradeoff for using Stealth while invisible, otherwise every invisible creature can just say "I'm moving with Stealth" and get at least +20+d20 to their DC.
The tradeoff is, if you fail you are not merely noticed, but pinpointed.

Comments? Opinions? What I'm asking here is not for a re-iteration of the RAW, but how to combine the rules with invisibility with the rules for Stealth, which doesn't appear to be explicitly defined anywhere I can find.

Thanks!


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So you want to penalize a person for trying to be sneakier (using stealth) while invisible?


Pinpointed really only applies to invisible creatures. This is because you can figure out where an invisible creature is with a sufficiently high perception check (this is pinpointing) but you still can't see it and still suffer a miss chance against it as well as being denied your dex against it. Basically pinpointing an invisible creature just means now you can attempt to hit it because you know where its at. A creature not using invisibility and just using stealth receives no benefits (vs a specific creature) if its stealth check is lower than the perception check of that creature.

Also, you can't "fail" your stealth check. Other people will merely succeed on their perception check against your stealth check.

I'm also not sure what you're really asking because your original post is kinda confusing. Invisibility adds a +20 to your stealth check if your moving, or instead, a +40 if the creature is standing still.


Jarl -
I'm not *trying* to do anything, I'm wanting to understand the combination of the two rules. What you call penalizing an invisible creature for using Stealth, I see as a huge advantage that can always be used with no down-side to it.

Claxon -
I understand that you can't fail a Stealth check, if you read my post carefully you'll see that I first worded it as "the other creature makes its Perception check against your DC". "Fail the Stealth check" was just an abbreviation.

I also said in my post that "if you're using Stealth to move at half speed while invisible, the DC is...20+[your Stealth roll]", which is exactly what you said. I don't understand how that is confusing.

And, what I'm 'really asking' is (again straight from my original post, at the end) : "how to combine the rules with invisibility with the rules for Stealth"

Anyone -
Ignore my suggested interpretation if needed; how do you think Stealth should be combined with invisibility?

What are the DC's for being noticed and pinpointed if moving at half-speed, using Stealth while invisible?

Thanks!


The beef that I have with invisibility and stealth is that some inept goofball wearing half plate will very possibly get a penalty to their invisibility check instead of a bonus when stealthing. That makes no sense. The person should have that penalty while they are invisible whether they are stealthed or not.

No, I don't buy the whole "bad luck" excuse, or whatever junk it is that somehow justifies someone always fumbling around specifically only when they are actively trying not to do so. It's stupid.

That is why I like to say that an invisible creature is always treated as stealthed. I personally think it can be consider this stealth to be part of the 40 DC to pinpoint that invisibility has (just without stealth modifiers, so stealth modifiers should be applied to that DC 40, but no stealth roll)

It may not be RAW, but as far as I'm aware, there's no true/clear way to deal with stealth and invisibility by RAW (while still making sense and being compatible with darkness/blind rules as well).


Joesi wrote:
That is why I like to say that an invisible creature is always treated as stealthed. I personally think it can be consider this stealth to be part of the 40 DC to pinpoint that invisibility has (just without stealth modifiers, so stealth modifiers should be applied to that DC 40, but no stealth roll)

The only trouble with that is how do you handle the cases where you explicitly can't use stealth: Attacking, running, charging, etc?

Sure there are penalties to go with them and the inept goofball in half-plate with be worse off, but should my extra-sneaky rogue get the benefit of his +30 stealth, even when he's charging?

Maybe always apply penalties?


Wait, are you are talking about the penalties from the chart in the Invisibility section in special abilities? Because if so, those apply to your invisible character so long as he/she/it "is moving or engaged in noisy activity". What penalty are you suggesting will get applied to the person with half-plate only if they stealth?


GreenMandar wrote:
Wait, are you are talking about the penalties from the chart in the Invisibility section in special abilities? Because if so, those apply to your invisible character so long as he/she/it "is moving or engaged in noisy activity". What penalty are you suggesting will get applied to the person with half-plate only if they stealth?

Dex and ACP?

Of course, he'd still probably come out ahead, given the roll.

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ZenFox wrote:
What are the DC's for being noticed and pinpointed if moving at half-speed, using Stealth while invisible?

Well, remember that, unless you are a Rogue (or other class with access to rogue talents) with the Fast-Stealth feat, you can only use Stealth without penalty if you are moving half speed. So in my games I generally assume the stealthy creature, invisible or no, is moving half speed. If they say they are moving faster, it is a -5 penalty for moving faster than half but slower than full speed. The core book isn't exactly clear on what the penalty is for moving full speed; I would guess -10. (And you cannot run or charge, period.)

So looking at that and at the penalties and bonuses in the invisibility description in the glossary:

If an invisible target is moving half-speed and using Stealth, the target's Stealth check is their Stealth modifier + 20 (for being invisible and moving at all).

The table in the glossary says there is a -5 to the Perception DC to notice the target if the target is moving half speed. When dealing with opposed rolls, I would re-describe this as a +5 bonus to the roll, for simplicity's sake.

Since the target is using Stealth, we ignore the DC 20 to notice the target, as that's if the target is not using Stealth (that DC 20 in my opinion is the same thing as the +20 bonus to Stealth rolls--it's the base DC before Stealth is put on top of it. My interpretation). We're just working opposed rolls.

So Invisible Guy Rolls 1d20+Stealth+20. Seeking Guy rolls 1d20+Perception+5.

For pinpointing, what I would do is simply say is that if Seeking Guy beats the Invisible Guy's Stealth check by 20 or more, then he has not only noticed Invisible Guy, but also pinpointed him (since pinpointing adds +20 to the DC). This would be very hard since Invisible Guy has a +20 bonus to his roll. But possible.

But I do not agree with the OP's proposed auto-pinpoint just if the Perception check beats the Stealth check, because as muddy as the rules are, they are very clear that pinpointing adds +20 to any Perception DC, so the Perceptor would have to beat that additional +20 to succeed on that.

Stealth IS a powerful thing to do of course while invisible, but that's kind of the point. It shouldn't have a "tradeoff." Since by 3rd level, the party should have access to spells that beat invisibility, and barring that a bag of flour or two, it shouldn't be game breaking to say the least. Creatures with scent also get a bonus, IIRC... unless the invisible creature's scent is masked somehow.

As an example of the above... let's assume both parties have a 10 in their respective skills.

Stealthy Guy Stealth check 1d20 + 10 + 20 ⇒ (2) + 10 + 20 = 32
Perceptive Guy Perception check 1d20 + 10 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 10 + 5 = 24

So in this example, Stealthy guy wins and is unnoticed. And with his roll of 32, Perceptive Guy would have needed a result of 52 to pinpoint him.


Stealth is never automatic. Someone has to actually try to be stealthy. And that means a stealth roll, unless you have the something like the advanced rogue talent that lets you take 10 on skill checks in stressful situations.

Moving while invisible gives a +20 to stealth roll. But things like armor check penalty might bring it down. A bad roll means your half-plate user is really bad at stealthing and even while invisible he can easily be pin pointed or at least know that he is there.

Back to the OP: There doesn't seem to be a specific rule to cover this case but extrapolating from the invisibility rules it looks like it should work something like this:
Being noticed DC = normal Stealth roll (without the +20 from invisibility). The perceiver knows something is there but doesn't know quite where.
Being pin pointed DC = Stealth roll + 20.

By RAW the only overlap between stealth and invisibility is the +20/+40 modifier.


Avianfoo wrote:

Stealth is never automatic. Someone has to actually try to be stealthy. And that means a stealth roll, unless you have the something like the advanced rogue talent that lets you take 10 on skill checks in stressful situations.

Moving while invisible gives a +20 to stealth roll. But things like armor check penalty might bring it down. A bad roll means your half-plate user is really bad at stealthing and even while invisible he can easily be pin pointed or at least know that he is there.

Back to the OP: There doesn't seem to be a specific rule to cover this case but extrapolating from the invisibility rules it looks like it should work something like this:
Being noticed DC = normal Stealth roll (without the +20 from invisibility). The perceiver knows something is there but doesn't know quite where.
Being pin pointed DC = Stealth roll + 20.

By RAW the only overlap between stealth and invisibility is the +20/+40 modifier.

So invisibility doesn't help you go unnoticed at all? That seems strange.

Also, if I don't have a high stealth skill, can I not use it and get the normal DC20 to be noticed? Does that make sense? Not trying to be stealthy makes me more so?


thejeff wrote:
So invisibility doesn't help you go unnoticed at all? That seems strange.

Its best looking at actual examples of how it might play out.

Lets say you are sneaking past a guard post and the guard is seated at a table facing the other way.

He makes a perception check and hears your footsteps behind him (invisibility doesn't make a difference for this one since its based on hearing).

Turning around, he either sees you if you are visible, or sees nothing.
Having heard footsteps though he might be suspicious (especially if on high alert) and makes another perception check for any sign of an invisible person.


Jeven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
So invisibility doesn't help you go unnoticed at all? That seems strange.

Its best looking at actual examples of how it might play out.

Lets say you are sneaking past a guard post and the guard is seated at a table facing the other way.

He makes a perception check and hears your footsteps behind him (invisibility doesn't make a difference for this one since its based on hearing).

Turning around, he either sees you if you are visible, or sees nothing.
Having heard footsteps though he might be suspicious (especially if on high alert) and makes another perception check for any sign of an invisible person.

Sure, you can come up with explanations for how it might make sense in a particular case, but the mechanics work the same in all cases.

Take a different case: I'm trying to sneak past a more alert sentry. He's up and pacing around a bit, looking in all directions, but there's only one torch, so I could use the surrounding dim light to get by him. Does it still make sense for Invisibility to not help me get past him without raising an alarm?

And of course, does it make sense for the lower stealth character to be harder to notice(DC20) or pinpoint(DC40), if he doesn't try to sneak? Or does he have to? In which case, why have those base DCs?

Lantern Lodge

thejeff, I think you might be missing something...

There's two ways to do this (one is incorrect, but my DM goes by it)

1. The should be way:
not using stealth = dc(20) to notice, or dc(40) to pinpoint.

using stealth = 1d20 + stealth skill + 20 if moving

or 1d20 + stealth skill +40 if stationary.

2. Optional rules to involve pinpointing and noticing
not using stealth = dc(20) to notice, or dc(40) to pinpoint.

Using stealth = 1D20 + stealth skill + 20 to be noticed (unless sight is not involved, then its just 1d20 + stealth skill)

or 1D20 + stealth skill + 40 to pinpoint.


thejeff wrote:
Take a different case: I'm trying to sneak past a more alert sentry. He's up and pacing around a bit, looking in all directions, but there's only one torch, so I could use the surrounding dim light to get by him. Does it still make sense for Invisibility to not help me get past him without raising an alarm?

Isn't that the difference between an (unopposed) Skill Check and an Opposed Skill Check?

So:
1. You are invisible, moving but not sneaking. Guard makes a DC20 check to notice you. (His skill check is unopposed.)
2. You are invisible, moving and sneaking. He must beat your d20 +stealth +20invisibility skill check. (His skill check is opposed by your stealth check.)


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

thejeff, I think you might be missing something...

There's two ways to do this (one is incorrect, but my DM goes by it)

1. The should be way:
not using stealth = dc(20) to notice, or dc(40) to pinpoint.

using stealth = 1d20 + stealth skill + 20 if moving

or 1d20 + stealth skill +40 if stationary.

2. Optional rules to involve pinpointing and noticing
not using stealth = dc(20) to notice, or dc(40) to pinpoint.

Using stealth = 1D20 + stealth skill + 20 to be noticed (unless sight is not involved, then its just 1d20 + stealth skill)

or 1D20 + stealth skill + 40 to pinpoint.

I was responding to Avianfoo's post above, which suggested:

Quote:

Being noticed DC = normal Stealth roll (without the +20 from invisibility). The perceiver knows something is there but doesn't know quite where.

Being pin pointed DC = Stealth roll + 20.

I was pointing out why that didn't make much sense.

Your case 1 has a similar problem: For people with low stealth it may be better to not use stealth and have a lower Notice DC (20 vs d20+Stealth+20), but keep the need to pinpoint at DC40. Situational, but often useful.


Jeven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Take a different case: I'm trying to sneak past a more alert sentry. He's up and pacing around a bit, looking in all directions, but there's only one torch, so I could use the surrounding dim light to get by him. Does it still make sense for Invisibility to not help me get past him without raising an alarm?

Isn't that the difference between an (unopposed) Skill Check and an Opposed Skill Check?

So:
1. You are invisible, moving but not sneaking. Guard makes a DC20 check to notice you. (His skill check is unopposed.)
2. You are invisible, moving and sneaking. He must beat your d20 +stealth +20invisibility skill check. (His skill check is opposed by your stealth check.)

Agreed. As should have been clear in my initial post, I was responding to Avianfoo's claim that the Notice check while using Stealth should just be d20 +stealth, the +20 only coming in to Pinpoint.


thejeff wrote:
And of course, does it make sense for the lower stealth character to be harder to notice(DC20) or pinpoint(DC40), if he doesn't try to sneak?

Basically a character will usually have a better chance to raise his DC to be noticed if he tries to stealth. Half-plate fighter (-7 acp) will still get a 1d20+20-7 on his stealth roll. Which, granted, could work out worse for him because he is not trained in being stealthy. I would chalk this up to "trying too hard". But, on the other hand, it could work out better too.

Does it make sense for a half plate invisible fighter wielding a tower shield (-17 acp) to get a DC 20 check to be noticed over if he tries to stealth? No, not really. But that is a worse case scenario. Most characters that are actually built for stealthing would rather take the stealth roll. Effectively invisibility gives a minimum stealth result of 20 (if you want it), but allows stealthy characters to be even more so. Does it make sense thematically? Kinda. It's magic. Does it make sense from a gaming point of view? Giving the non-stealth characters to have a chance of "auto-stealth" is more inclusive than denying them.


Avianfoo wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And of course, does it make sense for the lower stealth character to be harder to notice(DC20) or pinpoint(DC40), if he doesn't try to sneak?

Basically a character will usually have a better chance to raise his DC to be noticed if he tries to stealth. Half-plate fighter (-7 acp) will still get a 1d20+20-7 on his stealth roll. Which, granted, could work out worse for him because he is not trained in being stealthy. I would chalk this up to "trying too hard". But, on the other hand, it could work out better too.

Does it make sense for a half plate invisible fighter wielding a tower shield (-17 acp) to get a DC 20 check to be noticed over if he tries to stealth? No, not really. But that is a worse case scenario. Most characters that are actually built for stealthing would rather take the stealth roll. Effectively invisibility gives a minimum stealth result of 20 (if you want it), but allows stealthy characters to be even more so. Does it make sense thematically? Kinda. It's magic. Does it make sense from a gaming point of view? Giving the non-stealth characters to have a chance of "auto-stealth" is more inclusive than denying them.

I thought you had said
Avianfoo wrote:

Being noticed DC = normal Stealth roll (without the +20 from invisibility). The perceiver knows something is there but doesn't know quite where.

Being pin pointed DC = Stealth roll + 20.

In my understanding, 1d20+Stealth+20 is correct and will almost always be worth it -> average roll without extreme penalties is better than DC20 to Notice.

Your proposed 1d20+Stealth (no +20 from invisibility) to Notice, will quite often be worse.


First post was incorrect.

Invisibility rules: here

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