Stealth Question --- Free Stealth after being unobserved?


Rules Questions

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ShieldLawrence wrote:

You're right, it really isn't as clear as we want it to be.

You need to start your turn using Stealth in order to make use of the Breaking Stealth section, as posted above.

The rules aren't clear on what observation is, but if you can see someone who has a 20% miss chance, I'd say you're able to observe them. Total cover/concealment definitely breaks line of sight, but I don't believe partial does. A GM call is appropriate due to vagueness though.

You're right that you need to be already using Stealth to benefit from the breaking cover/concealment rule. However, the language of that rule implies that cover and concealment are both sufficient to "break observation".

Stealth wrote:
Breaking Stealth: When you start your turn using Stealth, you can leave cover or concealment and remain unobserved as long as you succeed at a Stealth check and end your turn in cover or concealment.

The only time this rule is in play is when you are travelling between cover or concealment and would, obviously, be capable of "being observed". The rest of the time you are treated as not being observed because you are in either cover or concealment.

As I said, to me it seems evident that concealment breaks observation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
As I said, to me it seems evident that concealment breaks observation.

Suppose we've got a Rogue hiding in some bushes. It is difficult to spot him there, but not impossible. He has concealment, but he could still be observed if someone makes their perception vs stealth check.

Total concealment breaks observation, but regular concealment is not guaranteed to do so... and either can be bypassed if the opponent moves to a location where there is no cover between them and the hiding character.

Stealth allows unobserved movement to (with a distraction) or from cover, but automatically breaks if you end your turn not in cover.


CBDunkerson wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
As I said, to me it seems evident that concealment breaks observation.

Suppose we've got a Rogue hiding in some bushes. It is difficult to spot him there, but not impossible. He has concealment, but he could still be observed if someone makes their perception vs stealth check.

Total concealment breaks observation, but regular concealment is not guaranteed to do so... and either can be bypassed if the opponent moves to a location where there is no cover between them and the hiding character.

Stealth allows unobserved movement to (with a distraction) or from cover, but automatically breaks if you end your turn not in cover.

That's not really how it works, though. If you are being observed, you cannot make a stealth check. Is a person in concealment being observed or not? If so, they cannot make a stealth check; if not, they can.

So you cannot predicate whether a person is being observed in the first place on whether they have successfully used stealth because that begs the observation question. The fact that the Rogue can make a Stealth check there means the Rogue is not, for the purposes of the Stealth rules, "being observed".

Concealment allows for a stealth check. Allowing for a stealth check does not mean you are incapable of being seen - it just means you have a chance to remain unnoticed. But the fact that you can make a stealth check de facto means you are not "being observed".

In short, this example discussed by James Jacobs is how I run Stealth in my games, for the most part.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
Is a person in concealment being observed or not?

It depends. Is the concealment total or partial? Can an enemy observe them through 'tremorsense' or some other non-visual ability? Was the enemy observing them to begin with? Et cetera.

Quote:
In short, this example discussed by James Jacobs is how I run Stealth in my games, for the most part.

Heh. I don't see anything in that example which contradicts how I run it.


CBDunkerson wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Is a person in concealment being observed or not?

It depends. Is the concealment total or partial? Can an enemy observe them through 'tremorsense' or some other non-visual ability? Was the enemy observing them to begin with? Et cetera.

Quote:
In short, this example discussed by James Jacobs is how I run Stealth in my games, for the most part.
Heh. I don't see anything in that example which contradicts how I run it.

Concealment, not Total Concealment. The case is (typically) obvious for Total Concealment (barring extra abilities), so it's really not worth discussing.

And the whole point is whether observation prior to entering Concealment prevents an attempt at Stealth. My point is that the rules say no. If you enter Concealment (not Total, just regular Concealment - or Cover for that matter), you get to make a Stealth check. This is how James said he plays it in that post.

EDIT: To add the post, so people know what I'm referencing.

Shadowlord wrote:

A while back, you briefly described a scenario:

James Jacobs wrote:
Nope... what I described was merely an opening ambush type attack. Once a rogue stabs someone after he sneaks up on him, OBVIOUSLY (at least, I hope it's obviously) that victim will now know that the rogue is after him. At that point, the game assumes that the victim is keeping an eye on the rouge so that the rogue has to flank in order to keep doing sneak attacks. If there's concealment, a rouge CAN slip into hiding, but that DOES require a place for him to hide. He can't just "go behind the victim" because the victim is now aware of the rogue.
In a scenario like this one, with the rogue being observed, would he be able to just step into the concealment and roll for Stealth? He's still observed right? Wouldn't he need something to completely break line of sight like a bluff check, total concealment, etc...?

That's pretty much what I said in the quote. "If there's concealment, a rogue CAN slip into hiding..."

Concealment gives the rogue (or ANYONE for that matter) the opportunity to make a Stealth check. If she's successful, the person observing her loses track of her, and she can then make a sneak attack or whatever when she's next able to do so.

Note, the question is basically, "What happens when a Rogue who is actively being watched steps into Concealment [specifically clarified later to mean not Total Concealment], can s/he make a Stealth check?" His response is yes, if there is Concealment, you can make a Stealth check (even if a person is watching you when you step into concealment).


In such a case, then Bluff is utterly pointless unless its to fool the enemy into not knowing where you went...but it does nothing to simply stop them from making a Perception to find you anyway.

A) Run in concealment, Stealth, you are unobserved if they fail Perception and can't be found/pinpointed.

B) Bluff, run in concealment with Stealth at -10, fool them into not knowing where you exactly went. However this really doesn't matter if they pass their Perception to find you anyway.

In other words, going by your ruling, Bluff to create a diversion is going to be ignored most of the time. Heck, I don't even know why it's included.

Sovereign Court

Barachiel Shina wrote:

In such a case, then Bluff is utterly pointless unless its to fool the enemy into not knowing where you went...but it does nothing to simply stop them from making a Perception to find you anyway.

A) Run in concealment, Stealth, you are unobserved if they fail Perception and can't be found/pinpointed.

B) Bluff, run in concealment with Stealth at -10, fool them into not knowing where you exactly went. However this really doesn't matter if they pass their Perception to find you anyway.

In other words, going by your ruling, Bluff to create a diversion is going to be ignored most of the time. Heck, I don't even know why it's included.

A: they know where you started to hide ("behind that tree") and could move to a position from where that tree doesn't provide cover/concealment, and thus reveal you.

B: Stealthing if you can't reliably beat Perception checks is not a great tactic. The point of Bluff however is to prevent scenario A, where people know where to move, to undermine the situation that allows you to hide.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Barachiel Shina wrote:

In such a case, then Bluff is utterly pointless unless its to fool the enemy into not knowing where you went...but it does nothing to simply stop them from making a Perception to find you anyway.

A) Run in concealment, Stealth, you are unobserved if they fail Perception and can't be found/pinpointed.

B) Bluff, run in concealment with Stealth at -10, fool them into not knowing where you exactly went. However this really doesn't matter if they pass their Perception to find you anyway.

In other words, going by your ruling, Bluff to create a diversion is going to be ignored most of the time. Heck, I don't even know why it's included.

A: they know where you started to hide ("behind that tree") and could move to a position from where that tree doesn't provide cover/concealment, and thus reveal you.

B: Stealthing if you can't reliably beat Perception checks is not a great tactic. The point of Bluff however is to prevent scenario A, where people know where to move, to undermine the situation that allows you to hide.

Precisely this. Not all characters have great perception checks. However, if they know which tree you hid behind, all they have to do is move to a place where you aren't in cover and there you are.

If you're in an area with multiple trees, though, they won't know which tree you're hiding behind. They'll actually have to move around and look for you.

The purpose of the Bluff case is entirely as you stated: to fool the enemy into not knowing where you went. And note, when you make a Stealth check, nothing ever prevents your opponents from making a Perception check to find you anyway. Unless the modifiers are such that they cannot succeed against your Stealth regardless of the die rolls, it is always possible that someone can spot you when you're using Stealth. Stealth is not a guarantee of being unnoticed, it is simply an attempt by you to go unnoticed.

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