Greater Invis vs Perception


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Okay I'm thinking this is just a jumbled stealth/invis/sneak attack rules issue, but here's the situation:

Archer (A) is under the effects of a Greater Invis spell and tries to sneak up on a PC. A wants to use SA so he gets within 30', provoking the 30' perception check to notice an invisible creature, and passes the perception check. PC should have gotten a straight perception check to notice the stealthed/invis'd A, but we forgot and lets assume it would have failed anyway. Also, this is during an on-going combat, so PC is not otherwise surprised or flat footed, though he is otherwise removed from the melee combat, which is about 40' from him, between enemies and other player characters.

PC has a very high Perception bonus of +36. A fires a sneak attack shot at PC and misses against PC's flat footed AC. DM allows A a second SA shot, as part of a full round attack, at PC which hits. Here's where the issue comes up.

PC contends the second shot should not have been a SA d/t the following:

PC is aware of A's exact location as he saw the first arrow once it was fired, as per invisibility rules, once the item leaves the character's possession, it becomes visible, and no factors would have increased the DC to see the arrow above 37.

PC is aware that A is preparing another shot as, per Perception, to "Hear a bow being drawn" is DC 25, +3 for 30' distance, for a total DC 28, which PC passes w/o requiring a roll.

A's stealth broke when he attacked, even though the Greater Invis is still in place, per Stealth rule "Your Stealth immediately ends after you make and attack roll, whether or not the attack is successful". Therefore, PC beat's A's invis check with his Perception during the second attack: +20 DC for being invis, +3 DC for distance, -20 for attacking (per Invisibility rule "In combat or speaking –20"), so even with an additional +20 for "pinpointing" an invisible character, the total DC is 23 and again, an autopass for the PC.

Based on all the above, PC believes he would have the ability to react normally to the second attack; he knows exactly where A is, what A is doing (preparing another shot) and can see the arrow as it's coming. Basically though A is still Invisible, PC's perception defeat's the attacking advantage (though not the cover advantage) by defeating the invis notice DC. PC contends this allows him to avoid the arrow just as anyone would avoid any shot they know is coming.

I've read a bunch on the stealth/sneak attack/Invis posts on the forums but wasn't sure what the answer would be. Any help with RAW/RAI and FAQ's would be welcome to get what the correct ruling should be. Thanks.

Grand Lodge

As it is a full attack, the PC is still flat footed vs the foe. This rule works for PCs as well, and how a 2 weapon fighting rogue can get multiple SAs in a round.

If it had been another round that the arrow came flying past, it would be a different story.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If A sneaked up behind the PC, then the PC would not see where the arrow was shot from. If it were fired from the front or side, I'd make them roll perception to notice before it went past them, as an arrow is a very small object (Fine, I believe). After that, I believe that the PC is correct about Sneak Attack only applying to the first attack. It would still be a regular attack though, and only the SA bonus would be denied. You can't just say you dodged the whole attack, even if you know it's coming.

Grand Lodge

Krith wrote:
A's stealth broke when he attacked, even though the Greater Invis is still in place, per Stealth rule "Your Stealth immediately ends after you make and attack roll, whether or not the attack is successful". Therefore, PC beat's A's invis check with his Perception during the second attack: +20 DC for being invis, +3 DC for distance, -20 for attacking (per Invisibility rule "In combat or speaking –20"), so even with an additional +20 for "pinpointing" an invisible character, the total DC is 23 and again, an autopass for the PC.

You are missing 2 key parts to the math, the stealth bonus of A's skill and the d20 they rolled for their stealth.

This may easily add another 20 to the DC, I am assuming the invisible attacker has some skill ranks and dex to add, and an average roll of 10 on the d20.


Dafydd wrote:

As it is a full attack, the PC is still flat footed vs the foe. This rule works for PCs as well, and how a 2 weapon fighting rogue can get multiple SAs in a round.

If it had been another round that the arrow came flying past, it would be a different story.

He is not flat footed, but he is denied dex. The two are not synonymous. Flat-footed is a specific condition which means that someone is denied dex, but you can be denied dex without being flat-footed.

If you are flat-footed such as at the beginning of combat, before you have had a chance to act, then you can not make an attack of opportunity against anyone. Well unless you have combat reflexes, but for this case I am assuming no special feats or abilities or in play.

@ the OP: Knowing that someone is trying to attack you does not mean you suddenly get dex to AC. If the opponent has 50 percent concealment aka total concealment which is the case here then you do not get dex to AC, which means you are ripe for sneak attack.

Until the victim has a way to negate the invisibility they are going to continue to take sneak attack damage.


The character is flat footed because he didn't yet act in combat, not because the opponent is invisible. At the time of the 2nd shot, he still hasn't acted in combat. The attacker could have become fully visible and in full view, and the PC would still be flat-footed as part of the full-round attack action.

On the other hand, if the PC is in combat already, then he wouldn't have been flat-footed to begin with, he just wouldn't have his dex to AC against the invisible opponent, even if he pinpointed where the invisible opponent was.

Edit: ninja'd


_Ozy_ wrote:

The character is flat footed because he didn't yet act in combat, not because the opponent is invisible. At the time of the 2nd shot, he still hasn't acted in combat. The attacker could have become fully visible and in full view, and the PC would still be flat-footed as part of the full-round attack action.

On the other hand, if the PC is in combat already, then he wouldn't have been flat-footed to begin with, he just wouldn't have his dex to AC against the invisible opponent, even if he pinpointed where the invisible opponent was.

Edit: ninja'd

OP wrote:
Also, this is during an on-going combat, so PC is not otherwise surprised or flat footed, though he is otherwise removed from the melee combat, which is about 40' from him, between enemies and other player characters.


If he can't actually see the invisible creature, he has his DEX to AC denied and is still a viable target for sneak attack. Pinpointing the location of an invisible creature does not suddenly let you get your DEX to AC again: you need to be able to actually 'see' the creature somehow.


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Now time for the break down by the rules:

Quote:

Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target.......

Note that it says anytime.

Quote:
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.

The rules say that invisible opponents ignore dex to AC. They do not say that if you know the invisible opponent is around that stipulation goes away. Also note that using stealth is not a requirement for invisibility to work. You just have to be invisible.

So since someone is invisible the entire time greater invisibility is in play that means they get to sneak attack the entire time greater invisibility is in play.


Wraith has it. That's why Blind Fight is never a terrible choice for melee types (though you'd need the improved version to possibly counteract an invisible opponent attacking from range).


I guess it was more a question of what happens when you pinpoint, which isn't really covered from a defensive perspective, so per RAW would mean nothing. For instance, the invisibility section of the glossary states "One could coat an invisible object with flour to at least keep track of its position (until the flour falls off or blows away)." Nothing states what more than "at least" is, though I would assume this leads to can detect and defend yourself, but according to RAW, that flour-covered invisible monster still gets full cover and to ignore Dex on attacks against opponents.

I'm still unsure why the PC can't defend against the arrows though, as they are visible, it's known when and where they're originating from, and are usually defended against using a dex bonus all the time in Pathfinder games. I'm assuming if an invisible creature picked up a non-invisible shield and sword and started attacking they'd still get complete cover and ignore Dex on attacks as well, per RAW?

Not trying to attack any posters here with that rant, I do appreciate the responses, it just blows my mind that these holes in the rules exist when it comes to invisibility, which isn't exactly a new spell.

Thanks for the responses.


Pinpointing in Pathfinder just knows you know what square they are in. That is why "blindsense" can pinpoint an invisible creature and stil have to deal with the concealment. You would need blindsight to ignore the concealment, and keep your dex to AC.

With the flour situation I always assumed it took care of the concealment issue, but you are correct, that by the rules there is no mention of it.

Invis is a powerful spell for its level, which is why I try to find a way to negate it as a player as soon as I can.

If an invisible creature pick an object up and you can see the object they still get complete "concealment"(not cover), and yes you still lose your dex against them.


Uncanny Dodge negates invisibility quite nicely.

Holes exist in the rules because a comprehensive list of exceptions, contingencies and perceived hole filling would be an unbelievably colossal undertaking that would be impossibly and needlessly complex. And it would still leave some people dissatisfied. Your 'hole' in the rules is some-one elses 'huh! why wouldn't it work like that!?'.

If it helps (and I'll qualify this with I am not a fighter) I understand that a large part of defending yourself is watching the person not the weapon so you can anticipate the when and where of the next strike.


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You can't really try to inject realism into pathfinder on such a simulationist scale. Holes exist because the game is not meant to handle that level of detail. You could argue something like this into the ground (For example, I would argue an arrow moves too fast to defend reflexively from 30ft without seeing the direction of the bow), but we're on the rules forum and the RAW is, the sneak attack works fine.

Trying to pick apart rule interactions for the sake of 'realism' is troublesome even IN simulationist games like GURPS. In pathfinder, it is setting yourself up for some serious disappointment.


Wraithstrike has the right of it


Krith,

As Wraithstrike has shown, only the person needs to be invisible, not the arrow he shoots.

However, if it helps you you can think of it this way (totally a thought exercise and not anything relating to the rules):
Have someone stand in pitch black darkness some distance away from you. Next, you have a light source with an illumination radius of 30feet.

Now, have them shoot you with an arrow at a target near you. You press a button each time you see the arrow.

I will guarantee you will not see it until after it has hit the target.

At close range when people 'dodge' arrow shots (or gunshots for that matter) they are not dodging the arrow. They are moving from where the person is aiming and thus throwing off the aim.

Since you cannot see where the person is aiming you cannot throw off the aim and are thus denied your dexterity bonus.


Gauss et al,

I understand the RAW.

My issue is the PC in the given situation is not blind to where the Archer is, he knows exactly where he is, that he's firing another arrow and when he's firing said arrow, by both sound and because he can see the arrow once it leaves. So Gauss, your example doesn't work, because the PC is aware of where the arrow is coming from and I guarantee that in your given scenario, if you knew where and when the arrow is coming from, you're going to move out of the way as best you can, which is what the Dex bonus to AC represents.

If the argument is that 30' is too close to effectively move, then that would mean rogues would always get sneak attacks w/in 30', which obviously isn't the case.

My issue is that by defeating the DC to pinpoint the invisible creature, you also effectively defeat the advantage of being invisible (at least for attacks), as you perceive where the creature is, however, nothing in the rules covers this. That same hole in the rules is what allows an invisible creature covered in flour or tar (or visible Full Plate for that matter), to still be "invisible" even though anyone would be able to see them. Per the RAW, you wouldn't even need to know the creature under the flour was invisible, you could just think it's a regular creature covered in flour, but it's still invisible. That doesn't seem right to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wrong. Invisibility has two advantages. 1. Your opponents lose their Dexterity. 2. Your opponents have to guess which square you are in.

Pinpointing you only negates (2).

As for a creature covered in flour or tar, that's got to be up to the DM. I personally would have it negate invisibility, same as glitterdust or whatever that sparkle spell is.


Krith, you missed the point that people can see where you aim and take appropriate action BEFORE YOU FIRE.

I point a bow at you, you can see where the bow is pointed (your head, your leg, your whatever). You can use that knowledge to move, know when and how to dodge, etc.

Now, you take away the bow and me. You know I am 'somewhere' in a 5 foot area. What exactly are you keying off of? Where do you think I am aiming? You don't know.

All you know is that at SOME point, the arrow will appear and it will be moving too fast for you to do anything about (unless you have special skills like...uncanny dodge).

In any case, either these ideas of how you can think about it will help, or they won't. Ultimately, how you think about it is up to you. If you really don't like the rule you can house rule it, but then you are severely nerfing Greater Invisibility.

As for pinpointing: that only tells you approximately where the creature is. You have no idea where in that 5 foot area it is. You cannot see it.


Gauss,
I disagree that the defense against an attack is for what happens before an attack. Aside from what it would mean for shooting on the run or while mounted (not knowing the exact release point), if the target moves away before the arrow is released, the shooter isn't just going to release anyway; they'll adjust their shot to where the PC is at the point of release. Therefore the PC needs to react after the arrow is shot. In this case, however, the PC does know where the bow is based on the sound of the draw. By passing the Perception check to hear, the PC knows the bow is being drawn and where it is. I don't see why this prevents reacting to the arrow (outside of the RAW).

Also keep in mind that no other situation agrees that you can't react to an arrow after it's fired. The very fact that noticing a bow being drawn is listed in the Perception check strongly suggests that RAI is you can react to an archer you can't see, so long as you pass the Perception check to notice them another way. It's also pretty classic fantasy: the hero hears the sound of the bow draw and dives to the ground just in time to avoid the assassins arrow (or some such). You can substitute bow draw for the cocking of a gun just as easily.

The rules fully support noticing things through non-visual means, Perception isn't just vision, which is where I believe their needs to be some common sense applied. Just like I would never expect anyone to play with the RAW rule that an invisible character covered in a visible item (whether flour, tar or armor), as Kain said, I would expect the same common sense to be used that if you are aware of exactly where the shooter is based on other senses, you can react.


I doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with regard to the 'realism' of why/how you lose your dex bonus.

The fact is that you lose your dex bonus against an invisible attacker, even if you have pinpointed the attacker, even if the weapon they are attacking with turns visible during its flight to hit you.

Because that's how the rules work.

If you are aware of exactly where the shooter is using other senses (like blindsight), then he is not invisible to you. However, your perception rolls do not tell you exactly where the attacker is, just pinpoints the square.

If you want a character to respond better to invisible attackers, get the appropriate feats.

Scarab Sages

Krith wrote:
My issue is the PC in the given situation is not blind to where the Archer is, he knows exactly where he is, that he's firing another arrow and when he's firing said arrow, by both sound and because he can see the arrow once it leaves.

None of which matters.

You cannot see the attacker. No dex bonus; yes he can sneak attack you.


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Even if we were arguing realism, it still fails the test. 30'. That's 10 yards. That's ... not very far.

Go stand on the goal line of a football field, close your eyes, have a friend stand on the 10 and chuck tennis balls in your direction, yelling "go" every time s/he throws. You get to open your eyes when you hear him/her say "go", then you get to dodge.

How reliably do you think you can dodge any of those tennis balls? If your friend has any decent kind of aim and arm speed? What if a ball isn't thrown each time s/he yells? What if the throws are made at irregular intervals?

Remember, you're not reacting when your friend yells; you're reacting when you see the tennis ball.

Now, how fast does a tennis ball travel? 50 mph a solid guess for the average person? Hell, that's probably fast. An arrow is travelling at least three times that speed. ~225 ft per second. So, you're talking about reacting to an arrow that will travel from A to B in much less than a quarter of a second. Likely faster. Depending on the bow, maybe less than an eighth of a second.

You want to take a guess at what the average human reaction time is? Based on visual cues, if you're under a fifth of a second you're doing quite well. Note, this is generally reaction time from a visual stimulus to start moving, not move your entire body. Drivers might have reaction times upwards of 1.5 seconds in order to analyze the visual stimuli and react accordingly.

You think you can react defensively to the attack of an unseen assailant standing 30 feet away, when the projectile that's attacking you arrives at your location faster than you can recognize that an attack has even been made?

Good luck with that. Mythbusters did a bit about a guy trying to catch arrows. What do you think happened when they tried it under "realistic" situations? He couldn't do it. Because it's all but physically impossible to react as fast as is necessary to do what you are claiming can be done. Catching arrows isn't the same as avoiding them, but it pretty well paints the picture I'm trying to paint here.

The rules are against you. And not only that, realism is against you, too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I feel I need to revise my original ruling. My gut said that a ranged sneak attack only counts for the first shot, but the above analysis seems to be the RAW. So long as your Dex is denied, you can be SA'd.


Fretgod99,
I'd disagree with your assessment. First off, I've never claimed to have a +36 perception bonus or any dex bonus to armor class. If you feel your tests are an accurate way to measure what a Pathfinder character can do, I imagine the PCs in your campaign are either amazingly ordinary, or you have some Olympian level players at your table.

Second, and more importantly, the argument isn't whether a PC would get hit by the Archer, it's whether the PC, not being flatfooted and knowing where the Archer is and where the arrow is coming from, can effectively defend himself. Remember we're discussing Precision Damage here, not a normal attack. The definition of sneak attack states "If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage." I'm arguing that knowing where the attack is coming from and when, and not being otherwise flatfooted is a valid argument for a negation of the SA.

I pointed out that the same rule applies when an invisible character is using visible items to further the argument; I find it ridiculous to allow an invisible character the benefits of invisibility when they're covered in visible items, but that's just me. If you're giving the invisible knight wearing visible full plate total concealment and bonuses to hit, run with it. I think it's a bad hole in the rules of invisibility.

Again, the rules specifically state the DC to hear a bow being drawn which to me, means the designers intended to allow reactions to said bow draw with a perception check. Whether or not the archer is invisible isn't at issue because that spell doesn't cover hearing. Everyone seems to feel that when these two rules conflict, magic wins out, and that's fine. I just disagree.


Krith wrote:
I just disagree.

You're welcome to disagree. However, you are on the rules questions subforum. Where we talk about rules. And according the rules, you are wrong.

You are free to houserule in your own (non-PFS) games as much as you want of course. You could also take this to the homebrew subforum if you wanted to propose houserules. There isn't much left to discuss here in terms of rules, though.

*edit*

Just to put the nail in the coffin re pinpointing:

Blindsense

Blindsense lets a creature notice things it cannot see, but without the precision of blindsight. The creature with blindsense usually does not need to make Perception checks to notice and locate creatures within range of its blindsense ability, provided that it has line of effect to that creature. Any opponent that cannot be seen has total concealment (50% miss chance) against a creature with blindsense, and the blindsensing creature still has the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment. Visibility still affects the movement of a creature with blindsense. A creature with blindsense is still denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against attacks from creatures it cannot see.

Bolded the relevant sections. Even having blindsense, which allows you to freely pinpoint and locate a creature, is not enough to prevent your DEX being denied to you. A perception check has no precedent.


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Krith wrote:
The definition of sneak attack states "If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage." I'm arguing that knowing where the attack is coming from and when, and not being otherwise flatfooted is a valid argument for a negation of the SA.

Knowing where the attack comes from doesn't break Invisibility, and Invisibility says the target is denied their dex to AC, therefore they're eligible for sneak attack. You can houserule it yourself, but Invisible creatures deny Dex to AC, and if you're denied Dex to AC you're eligible for Sneak Attack, that's just how it goes.

Krith wrote:
Again, the rules specifically state the DC to hear a bow being drawn which to me, means the designers intended to allow reactions to said bow draw with a perception check.

Reactions yes, but it doesn't specify what those reactions are. My reading is that this would be the DC to roll Perception in order to act during a Surprise round or locate the square of an invisible archer. We've already established that the square has been located, but it doesn't change the invisibility rules that anyone targeted by an invisible creature is denied their Dex.

-----

About the Flour issue, there was an item in Ultimate Equipment which settles this question perfectly:

Ultimate Equipment, page 70 wrote:
Powdered chalk, flour, and similar materials are popular with adventurers for their utility in pinpointing invisible creatures. Throwing a bag of powder into a square is an attack against AC 5, and momentarily reveals whether an invisible creature is there. A much more effective method is to spread powder on a surface (which takes 1 full round) and look for footprints.


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Krith wrote:

Fretgod99,

I'd disagree with your assessment. First off, I've never claimed to have a +36 perception bonus or any dex bonus to armor class. If you feel your tests are an accurate way to measure what a Pathfinder character can do, I imagine the PCs in your campaign are either amazingly ordinary, or you have some Olympian level players at your table.

Second, and more importantly, the argument isn't whether a PC would get hit by the Archer, it's whether the PC, not being flatfooted and knowing where the Archer is and where the arrow is coming from, can effectively defend himself. Remember we're discussing Precision Damage here, not a normal attack. The definition of sneak attack states "If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage." I'm arguing that knowing where the attack is coming from and when, and not being otherwise flatfooted is a valid argument for a negation of the SA.

I pointed out that the same rule applies when an invisible character is using visible items to further the argument; I find it ridiculous to allow an invisible character the benefits of invisibility when they're covered in visible items, but that's just me. If you're giving the invisible knight wearing visible full plate total concealment and bonuses to hit, run with it. I think it's a bad hole in the rules of invisibility.

Again, the rules specifically state the DC to hear a bow being drawn which to me, means the designers intended to allow reactions to said bow draw with a perception check. Whether or not the archer is invisible isn't at issue because that spell doesn't cover hearing. Everyone seems to feel that when these two rules conflict, magic wins out, and that's fine. I just disagree.

You're missing the point. It is literally humanly impossible to react in time to avoid an attack if you have to wait until you notice the projectile. Hearing a bowstring being drawn doesn't tell you where an attack is going. Nor does it tell you when the attack is coming. Furthermore, as was stated upthread, you don't know what's being aimed at. You don't even know if you're the target. Dodging an arrow from a visible opponent standing 30' away is difficult enough and what lets you do it is other indicia demonstrating when the attack is coming and where it is going.

Your argument is one based on realism. I am demonstrating why your sense of realism is misguided. Even by "realistic" standards, which is the metric you want to use, what you propose is not something that is reasonable.

And in the end, as has been said, you don't have to like it - this is simply how the rules work. All I'm demonstrating is that this is no less realistic than what you're arguing in favor of, which makes it tough when your argument is based in realism.


So I was looking at some related things and thought I'd share this discovery:
Faerie Fire explicitly says "Outlined creatures do not benefit from the concealment normally provided by darkness (though a 2nd-level or higher magical darkness effect functions normally), blur, displacement, invisibility, or similar effects. ", thus allowing you to apply your Dex to AC.

Glitterdust Mechanically only provides a -40 to stealth and a chance to blind. There's nothing in it that breaks Invisibility's Total Concealment.


Uh what?

Quote:

A cloud of golden particles covers everyone and everything in the area, causing creatures to become blinded and visibly outlining invisible things for the duration of the spell. All within the area are covered by the dust, which cannot be removed and continues to sparkle until it fades. Each round at the end of their turn blinded creatures may attempt new saving throws to end the blindness effect.

Any creature covered by the dust takes a –40 penalty on Stealth checks.


Yea, visibly outlining doesn't have the explicit mechanical benefit of breaking concealment like Faerie Fire does.


Except when something is visible, it is no longer invisible.


Actually Jason the head rules guy explained that by glittedust canceling the effect of invisibility it also negated the concealment.


Ozy,
Per the RAW, it doesn't. Again, part of my issue is completely covering an invisible creature in black paint doesn't cancel invisibility, even though the creature is now completely covered in a visible substance, because there is no mechanism in the rules to perceive things on or around the invisible creature. But that's RAW.

EDIT: Wraith, do you have that link? And was that just glitterdust or other covering devices?

Fretgod,
I don't think I was ever comparing Pathfinder to the real world, I was comparing Pathfinder to Pathfinder rules. I could never detect the drawing of a bowstring probably past 5', but in Pathfinder it's a DC 25+distance perception roll. All my arguments were in regards to the Pathfinder rules, so again, I don't think "real world" arguments apply (otherwise I'd start with the lack of facing rules and being able to see 360 degrees in any "this isn't real" argument).

As there seems to be a rather strong anti-arguing this point response, I'll stop posting here. Just think invis could use some rewriting to better incorporate the fact that it only effects vision and then only in a certain way (again, outlining the creature would seem to be a way to defeat it), but that's just my 2 cents.


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Krith wrote:

Fretgod99,

I'd disagree with your assessment. First off, I've never claimed to have a +36 perception bonus or any dex bonus to armor class. If you feel your tests are an accurate way to measure what a Pathfinder character can do, I imagine the PCs in your campaign are either amazingly ordinary, or you have some Olympian level players at your table.

Second, and more importantly, the argument isn't whether a PC would get hit by the Archer, it's whether the PC, not being flatfooted and knowing where the Archer is and where the arrow is coming from, can effectively defend himself. Remember we're discussing Precision Damage here, not a normal attack. The definition of sneak attack states "If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage." I'm arguing that knowing where the attack is coming from and when, and not being otherwise flatfooted is a valid argument for a negation of the SA.

I pointed out that the same rule applies when an invisible character is using visible items to further the argument; I find it ridiculous to allow an invisible character the benefits of invisibility when they're covered in visible items, but that's just me. If you're giving the invisible knight wearing visible full plate total concealment and bonuses to hit, run with it. I think it's a bad hole in the rules of invisibility.

Again, the rules specifically state the DC to hear a bow being drawn which to me, means the designers intended to allow reactions to said bow draw with a perception check. Whether or not the archer is invisible isn't at issue because that spell doesn't cover hearing. Everyone seems to feel that when these two rules conflict, magic wins out, and that's fine. I just disagree.

I see you skipped some of my post.

1. The rules say sneak attack happens "anytime" a target is denied dex.

2. The rules say that if an opponent is invisible to you that you are denied dex.

3. They do not say that if you know which square he is in aka pinpointed that you suddenly get to use dex against his attacks. This is supported by blindsense which lets you pinpoint invisible opponents, but still says that you are denied dex against them.

4. Stop confusing flat-footed and being denied dex. They are not synonymous. Flat-footed is an actual condition just like being stunned or blinded. Being denied dex is a symptom of being flat-footed but it can also happen by other means.

5. The rules do no care about realism, and even if they did you are not dodging arrows in real life. If I point a bow at you when I release the arrow you will be shot. Human reaction time is .2 seconds. A bow can shoot an arrow on average around 180fps(feet per second. 180/5=36 feet in .2 seconds. A powerful bow might have a faster time, but I felt like 180 was fair.

Now that .2 is reaction time alone. If someone is aiming a bow you not only have to react, but react properly so as to not put yourself into the path of the arrow if the aim of the archer is slightly off, and this is a visible person. Against an invisible person who you have no way to know where he is aiming your chances drop significantly.

6. As for your classic stories idea-->Those have nothing to do with the rules. As an example the best assassins kill people in the dark, but sneak attack is actually made worse if the target has concealment because it won't work. Also in stories people with swords have routinely killed those with magic. In PF magic is king. That is why casters can serve as solo BBEG's and do decently well, why people with only sharp pieces of metal do not do as well past level 5.

So far you have provided nothing to show that RAI says you get your dex vs invisible attackers except "It is not realistic", and "I don't think it makes sense".

7. Noticing an opponent in Pathfinder means you know they are around. Pinpoint(see the blindsense quote by another poster)=I know what square they are in. With invisible creatures knowing what square they are in still means they get concealment, and it also means you are still denied dex.

8. The way the game works is that you must prove by RAW that you are right or at least show a pattern that dictates the RAW is not matching RAI. Someone's idea of realism is too subjective to count as a rule. That is why I brought up the paralyzed person being allowed a reflex save earlier.

I am not being snarky*, but pointing out inconsistencies in your argument.

*Tone of voice can be hard to read online at times.

edit: I also thought you were arguing real work realism so ignore point 5.


Krith wrote:

Ozy,

Per the RAW, it doesn't. Again, part of my issue is completely covering an invisible creature in black paint doesn't cancel invisibility, even though the creature is now completely covered in a visible substance, because there is no mechanism in the rules to perceive things on or around the invisible creature. But that's RAW.

EDIT: Wraith, do you have that link? And was that just glitterdust or other covering devices?

Fretgod,
I don't think I was ever comparing Pathfinder to the real world, I was comparing Pathfinder to Pathfinder rules. I could never detect the drawing of a bowstring probably past 5', but in Pathfinder it's a DC 25+distance perception roll. All my arguments were in regards to the Pathfinder rules, so again, I don't think "real world" arguments apply (otherwise I'd start with the lack of facing rules and being able to see 360 degrees in any "this isn't real" argument).

As there seems to be a rather strong anti-arguing this point response, I'll stop posting here. Just think invis could use some rewriting to better incorporate the fact that it only effects vision and then only in a certain way (again, outlining the creature would seem to be a way to defeat it), but that's just my 2 cents.

Yes, I do have the link. Sit tight and I will produce it in about 3 minutes.


Glitterdust specifically mentions that it cancels invisibility, it says nothing of concealment. In this case, it cancels the specific effect (invisibility), which has the side effect of also canceling its result (concealment), but that is not a retroactive cancelation. If you catch my drift...

(although, at the heart of the matter is the fact that glitterdust could use some clarification, it is a poorly worded spell)

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

However someone still did not understand him so he explained it again in very simple terms.

Alright, looks like I got too cute with the logic behind my explanation. Let me be clear...

Glitterdust kills invisibility and all the rules that go with it.
Glitterdust has no effect on other forms of concealment.
Glitterdust also makes it very difficult to hide and might blind you.

That is all... (as it is currently worded).
Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

PS: The blue letters also serve as a link.

Scarab Sages

Krith wrote:

Fretgod99,

I'd disagree with your assessment. First off, I've never claimed to have a +36 perception bonus or any dex bonus to armor class. If you feel your tests are an accurate way to measure what a Pathfinder character can do, I imagine the PCs in your campaign are either amazingly ordinary, or you have some Olympian level players at your table.

Second, and more importantly, the argument isn't whether a PC would get hit by the Archer, it's whether the PC, not being flatfooted and knowing where the Archer is and where the arrow is coming from, can effectively defend himself. Remember we're discussing Precision Damage here, not a normal attack. The definition of sneak attack states "If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage." I'm arguing that knowing where the attack is coming from and when, and not being otherwise flatfooted is a valid argument for a negation of the SA.

I pointed out that the same rule applies when an invisible character is using visible items to further the argument; I find it ridiculous to allow an invisible character the benefits of invisibility when they're covered in visible items, but that's just me. If you're giving the invisible knight wearing visible full plate total concealment and bonuses to hit, run with it. I think it's a bad hole in the rules of invisibility.

Again, the rules specifically state the DC to hear a bow being drawn which to me, means the designers intended to allow reactions to said bow draw with a perception check. Whether or not the archer is invisible isn't at issue because that spell doesn't cover hearing. Everyone seems to feel that when these two rules conflict, magic wins out, and that's fine. I just disagree.

The thing is all that doesn't matter if I understand what happened correctly. A round is 6 seconds (unless its changed when I wasn't looking) so I'm going to divide things up to take place in 6 seconds.

S1) Your standing there watching an ongoing nearby battle intently trying to pick the best moment to act and the best way to act in order to turn the tide.
S2) You hear a twang from somewhere and next thing you know an arrow is flying past your face probably prompting you to flinch and pull away from it.
S3) Looking around and reocovering from the surprise you hear a bow being drawn. Now you know the archer is standing at spot X but you can't see him.
S4) Is he firing? Do you dodge, forward, backward, down, charge towards the spot?
S5) Is he firing? Do you dodge, forward, backward, down, charge towards the spot?
S6) Is he firing? Do you dodge, forward, backward, down, charge towards the spot?

Using the above posters stats (since I don't know a lot about bows) it travels 225 feet a second and your standing 30 feet away 225/30 = 7.5, 1s / 7.5 = 0.13 of a second.

Just because you know where he is because he's drawn a bow the inititive (pun not intended) lies with him because he's picking the moment to fire and can line up the shot then when he does the arrow will reach you in 0.13 of a second. He can take his time wait for you to commit to a movement (towards him, towards cover, dodging because you heard the drawn bow or simply stay put and hope) while he lines up his shot and fires. Then when he does you have 0.13 of a SECOND to react from once the arrow becomes visible to when it hits. Snap your fingers that's about the amount of time you have to respond. Even pathfinder characters with +36 perception are going to be hard pressed to react in that kind of situation and from the sound of it this character while alert to their surroundings doesn't have training in stopping incoming projectiles (snatch/deflect arrows).


Senko et al.,
The real world arguments don't apply. It doesn't matter how many fractions of a second occur from arrow release to target.

In Pathfinder, 3 or 4 arrows (or more) can be fired in a 6 second span by the same archer. With those shots, no one (maybe not even the archer) knows where they're going until they're released. The archer could have four different targets if they so choose, which would give none of the targets the chance to know if they're being fired on or not, or what the release point of the arrow will ultimately be, when it will be fired exactly, or which way they need to turn to avoid the arrow, until the arrow is fired, and then they're reacting to the arrow, just like in my argument where the PC is reacting to the arrow. Pathfinder allows defense in these situations (even if it's just .0000001 OF A SECOND, or whatever).

My arguments have nothing to do with real world comparisons. Real world comparisons have nothing to do with Pathfinder. My arguments are comparing different situations within the Pathfinder rules.


With real world or even realistic comparisons out of the way we only have the rules which make no exception for ranged attacks whether they be from a bow or spell. Also there is no rule for bowstring noise that I know of but there is a -20 penalty listed under invisibility in the glossary for being in combat.

PS: That wont stop someone from losing dex to AC but if the GM counts attacking as being in combat it might make the creature easier to locate.


wraithstrike wrote:

With real world or even realistic comparisons out of the way we only have the rules which make no exception for ranged attacks whether they be from a bow or spell. Also there is no rule for bowstring noise that I know of but there is a -20 penalty listed under invisibility in the glossary for being in combat.

PS: That wont stop someone from losing dex to AC but if the GM counts attacking as being in combat it might make the creature easier to locate.

DC 25 to hear a bow being drawn. It's in the Perception skill's table.

But yeah, all we have to refer to then are the rules. They are clear. Beyond that, it's hard to see what "holes" there are in the rules if we're not making even quasi real world comparisons.


The hole would be there is no rules mechanism for mitigating invisibility when the invisible creature is otherwise perceived.

Obviously people don't agree with my idea that the other senses could do this, though Blindsight states just that, as opposed to Blindsense which was used earlier to object to my reasoning. But I think more people would agree that an invisible creature covered in a visible item, like powder, tar or visible armor, should not get the benefits of being invisible, however, that is the RAW (and even stated in the rules for invisibility). I think this is a hole in the rules.


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Why not? Just because I can see a vague outline of a person doesn't mean I can defend myself as if that person were clearly visible.

If you're talking about an invisible person putting on a visible suit of full plate armor, sure. That's where some GM discretion might need to step in. But how often is this sort of thing occurring?

You don't lose the benefit of greater invisibility by being in melee with someone. Why should it be different for someone using a bow standing 15' away? The simple fact that you cannot actually see someone means you cannot adequately defend against that person without some other extraordinary sense or training. I honestly don't see how it's a problem. I think you're underestimating how difficult it is to fight while blind or overestimating how precise and all-encompassing other ordinary senses might be.


Krith, do you have some specific examples that need addressing?


Krith wrote:

The hole would be there is no rules mechanism for mitigating invisibility when the invisible creature is otherwise perceived.

Obviously people don't agree with my idea that the other senses could do this, though Blindsight states just that, as opposed to Blindsense which was used earlier to object to my reasoning. But I think more people would agree that an invisible creature covered in a visible item, like powder, tar or visible armor, should not get the benefits of being invisible, however, that is the RAW (and even stated in the rules for invisibility). I think this is a hole in the rules.

While RAW is occasionally bizarre, completely leaving common sense at the door should not be done. Just like glitterdust, which by RAW does not officially kill the concealment, really does kill all the effects of invisibility. Likewise, an invisible person, dressed head to toe in visible full plate, is for all intents and purposes, visible. I don't need RAW to tell me that.

The ability to pinpoint someone tells you where you need to cast your glitterdust, throw your bag of flour, or to just cast see invisibility, or true seeing, or invisibility purge, etc in the first place.


Krith wrote:

The hole would be there is no rules mechanism for mitigating invisibility when the invisible creature is otherwise perceived.

Obviously people don't agree with my idea that the other senses could do this, though Blindsight states just that, as opposed to Blindsense which was used earlier to object to my reasoning. But I think more people would agree that an invisible creature covered in a visible item, like powder, tar or visible armor, should not get the benefits of being invisible, however, that is the RAW (and even stated in the rules for invisibility). I think this is a hole in the rules.

Blindsight is a special sense which lets you detect anything in that range barring cover as if it was not hiding or invisible. That is how it is supposed to work. Blindsense is just supposed to let you know that something is around, and it does that well.

Invis was not intended to be trumped by normal senses, which is why it keeps all of its benefits per RAW and RAI.

Scarab Sages

Krith wrote:

Senko et al.,

The real world arguments don't apply. It doesn't matter how many fractions of a second occur from arrow release to target.

In Pathfinder, 3 or 4 arrows (or more) can be fired in a 6 second span by the same archer. With those shots, no one (maybe not even the archer) knows where they're going until they're released. The archer could have four different targets if they so choose, which would give none of the targets the chance to know if they're being fired on or not, or what the release point of the arrow will ultimately be, when it will be fired exactly, or which way they need to turn to avoid the arrow, until the arrow is fired, and then they're reacting to the arrow, just like in my argument where the PC is reacting to the arrow. Pathfinder allows defense in these situations (even if it's just .0000001 OF A SECOND, or whatever).

My arguments have nothing to do with real world comparisons. Real world comparisons have nothing to do with Pathfinder. My arguments are comparing different situations within the Pathfinder rules.

The difference is that he is invisible. Against an archer you can see your not trying to dodge the arrow your trying to avoid him aiming at you. In this situation you not only don't know where he's aiming (your or an ally) you don't even know if he's taking a second shot as opposed to moving around. It doesn't matter if you know whether your target or not against a visible opponent you can see where he's pointing the arrow and try to move away, against an invisible one you can't. That is what changes it from your dex vs his aim to your dex vs something travelling faster than you can see.

Now obviously there is special training for the non-realistic adventurer to counter this situation (deflect arrow) but if you don't have it you can't attempt to stop an arrow in mid-flight. If you can't attempt to stop an arrow in midflight you can't hope to dodge an arrow in midflight. You don't have the specialized training or reflexes to do so.

Normal person vs arrow from invisible attacker = No Defense.
Normal Adenturer vs arrow from invisble attacker = No defense.
Adventurer trained in deflect arrow vs arrow from invisible attacker = no dex but can attempt to knock it away from them.

Its a progresison that I can't state enough I'm not arguing from a realism setting I'm arguing from a rules one. Invisble oppoennt = denied dex vs attack, denied dex vs attack = vulnerable to sneak attack. If you don't have a second layer of protection e.g. a monks deflect arrows you will be shot because you can't react fast enough when you finally know what angle the arrows coming from otherwise for all you know your "dodging" is dodging INTO the arrows flight path.


Senko,
You absolutely are dodging the arrow. Remember, everything happens in 5' squares. The target can only move within that square during an opponent's attack, so there's no taking cover or moving away from the archer, trying to prevent him from targeting the PC, etc.; there is only twisting and turning to avoid the arrow.

And remember, in this, I'm not talking about completely dodging the arrow. I'm talking about having the chance to defend against the Sneak Attack. If the PC doesn't know where the archer is, then yes, they can't defend against the SA (see the original post and the first attack). The PC can twist or turn away in either situation.

Gauss,
If you want specific examples, here are a few that could quite realistically occur in a game:

Invis creature picks up a sword and attacks. Sword is completely visible, yet, per RAW, the PC has no idea where the attack is coming from and can't defend himself.

Invis creature gets covered in flour or tar. You see a white creature or a black creautre, in its entirety, yet, per RAW, the PC has no idea where the attacks are coming from (and still has a 50% miss chance).

Invis creature fails a save versus a fire spell that causes the creature to catch on fire. Invis creature is now wreathed in fire, yet, according to RAW, you still don't know where the creature is.


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Krith wrote:


Invis creature picks up a sword and attacks. Sword is completely visible, yet, per RAW, the PC has no idea where the attack is coming from and can't defend himself.

Pinpointing a creatures location, and determining when it is attacking is not the same thing. It would be appropriate for a GM to add some circumstantial modifiers here. Say removing the +2 attack bonus for being invisible, and removing the +20 to stealth, and automatic detection if the floating sword is in line of sight. Yet still leave in place the 50% miss chance, and probably the denied dex. Seeing the sword helps, but you still can't see how the creature is positioned and might be prepared to lunge for an attack or not.

Krith wrote:


Invis creature gets covered in flour or tar. You see a white creature or a black creautre, in its entirety, yet, per RAW, the PC has no idea where the attacks are coming from (and still has a 50% miss chance).

See my comments about not throwing out common sense 'cause RAW' above. See JB's comments regarding glitter dust. While this is the rules form and RAW and all, the rules do require a GM to be an active participant in the game to cover special cases that a large and generalized rule set do not cover.

Krith wrote:


Invis creature fails a save versus a fire spell that causes the creature to catch on fire. Invis creature is now wreathed in fire, yet, according to RAW, you still don't know where the creature is.

You've made an assumption that being on fire means the entire creature is on fire. That may or may not be the intent behind the rules for being on fire. It could just as easily mean the creatures arm, or leg, or hair is on fire. This would allow you to pin point is location in the 5x5 grid squares, but not necessarily tell you anything else. See the possible options for adjudication as with the visible sword example above.


Krith, bbangerter has answered pretty much as I would have (perhaps better).

Seeing a floating sword does nothing to see the creature's body.
Flour or Tar should count similarly to glitter dust.
Being on Fire does not mean you see the entire body.

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