Startling appearance and hide in plain sight


Rules Questions


So if a vigilante has hide in plain sight, moves 5 feet and hides successfully, he can then full attack triggering his startling appearance and gain the full d8 hidden strike bonus? (for all his attacks)

Also can he hide in plain sight after he full attacks in the same way?(Provided he actually hasnt used his 5 foot step to hide in the current round.)

I really dont see any reason he couldn't, maybe you could rule that in the second case having attacked in this round he can't stealth.

There also is no difference in ranged and melee attacks in this example right?

The Concordance

After the first round of combat (or whenever you appear first), opponents are no longer totally unaware of you, even if you stealth again. The writers clarified this in Ultimate Intrigue in the Skills in Conflict section:

Quote:

Unaware: On one end of the spectrum, a sneaking creature can succeed at Stealth well enough that the other creature isn't even aware that the creature is present.

This state allows the sneaking creature to use abilities such as the vigilante's startling appearance. The Stealth skill description says that perceiving creatures that fail to beat a sneaking character's Stealth check result are not aware of the sneaking character, but that is different from being totally unaware. This is also true of a creature that has previously been made aware of the creature's presence or location (see below) but is currently unable to observe the sneaking creature. In those cases, the sneaking creature can't use abilities such as startling presence.

You can use 5' steps to Stealth. Stealth still breaks after one attack. Some GMs don't like it, so best to clear it with them.

Liberty's Edge

John John wrote:
So if a vigilante has hide in plain sight, moves 5 feet and hides successfully, he can then full attack triggering his startling appearance and gain the full d8 hidden strike bonus? (for all his attacks)

Yes... provided the foe had no idea the vigilante was in the area and was only 5' away from where the vigilante was hiding. The full d8 applies to all attacks because startling appearance makes the target flat-footed for the round. However, this usually only works once at the start of combat, because after that enemies are aware of the vigilante's presence.

Quote:
There also is no difference in ranged and melee attacks in this example right?

Right... provided the ranged attacks are within 30'.


CBDunkerson wrote:


Yes... provided the foe had no idea the vigilante was in the area and was only 5' away from where the vigilante was hiding. The full d8 applies to all attacks because startling appearance makes the target flat-footed for the round. However, this usually only works once at the start of combat, because after that enemies are aware of the vigilante's presence.

First just a small correction, the full d8 doesn't apply because startling appearance makes the targets flat-footed, if that was the case hidden strike would deal d4 damage.

The reason it deals d8 is because it specifically says so in the stalker description "which allows him to deal an extra 1d8 points of precision damage on melee attacks (or ranged attacks from within 30 feet) against foes who are unaware of his presence, who consider him an ally, or who are made flat-footed by startling appearance"... "A stalker vigilante can also deal hidden strike damage to a target that he is flanking or that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, but in these cases, the damage dice are reduced to d4s."

As far I understand you consider "unaware of his presence" to mean, not just I can't see him because he is hidden or invisible, but I absolutely have no idea that he is close by.
So even if someone casts improved invisibility on the vigilante the enemy having seen that will be "aware of his presence" and so the vigilante will deal the d4 damage.

Also if the vigilante hides in plain sight and then makes a full attack with a bow (within 30ft) and the target is generally aware that he is around the vigilante will deal d4 hidden strike damage only with his first attack, since his frightening appearance will fail to function.
Right?

This threads comment by Mark Seifter seems to support this notion.
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2sf3g?How-unaware-is-unaware


ShieldLawrence wrote:

After the first round of combat (or whenever you appear first), opponents are no longer totally unaware of you, even if you stealth again. The writers clarified this in Ultimate Intrigue in the Skills in Conflict section:

Quote:

Unaware: On one end of the spectrum, a sneaking creature can succeed at Stealth well enough that the other creature isn't even aware that the creature is present.

This state allows the sneaking creature to use abilities such as the vigilante's startling appearance. The Stealth skill description says that perceiving creatures that fail to beat a sneaking character's Stealth check result are not aware of the sneaking character, but that is different from being totally unaware. This is also true of a creature that has previously been made aware of the creature's presence or location (see below) but is currently unable to observe the sneaking creature. In those cases, the sneaking creature can't use abilities such as startling presence.

You can use 5' steps to Stealth. Stealth still breaks after one attack. Some GMs don't like it, so best to clear it with them.

Um for some silly reason I initially only saw the last 2 lines of your comment.

Well that clears it up pretty nicely then. Thanks!

As a clarification what do some dm's don't like? The fact you can deal extra d4 damage die with one of your attacks?

The Concordance

I've run into GMs who think the ability to 5' step and stealth shouldn't exist because it's fairly powerful, especially doing it to hide at the end of the turn which prevents targeted effects from hitting you if they failed the perception check.

Liberty's Edge

ShieldLawrence wrote:
I've run into GMs who think the ability to 5' step and stealth shouldn't exist because it's fairly powerful, especially doing it to hide at the end of the turn which prevents targeted effects from hitting you if they failed the perception check.

It isn't a big deal by itself. How often is there something within 5' to hide behind?

It's when you add HiPS that it gets weird. Then you can make a full attack and HiPS 5' step to cause the target to lose track of you any time you meet the HiPS conditions.

That said, they still know where you WERE and thus can drop an area effect attack on you or get close enough for scent or a similar ability to pinpoint your location.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Removed a post and response to it. Please stick to the original question being asked in our Rules Questions subforum, and don't derail to plug your own thread.

Second Seekers (Roheas)

Just played at a con with one of these this weekend and there definitely needs to ve a more solid adjudication of these abilities because theyre completely busted if you can HiPS as a free action with 5 foot step.

Also it seems to me that either darkvision breaks the ability OR that it only works in dim light and NOT total darkness which also helps to severely limit it.

It also forces the GM to keep very careful track of where dim light EXISTS which places a large burden on them (and the rest of the party for that matter) for something that most GMs might typically handwave.

In short, I really hate these mechanics and they probably need revisited

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Darkvision does not break Hide In Plain Sight. But the GM does need to track lighting conditions when it is in play, and indeed whenever different light levels are in play at all. It is certainly one of the harder things to deal with when GMing.

Second Seekers (Roheas)

Right, I am saying that BECAUSE its so strictly written and in my personal opinion dumbly adjudicated it ONLY works in dim lighting which means it does not work in darkness which is definitely counter-intuitively and ruled incorrectly on a fairly regular basis.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Any GM that rules as such in my presence is risking CRB damage.


Quote:

Unaware: On one end of the spectrum, a sneaking creature can succeed at Stealth well enough that the other creature isn't even aware that the creature is present.

This state allows the sneaking creature to use abilities such as the vigilante's startling appearance. The Stealth skill description says that perceiving creatures that fail to beat a sneaking character's Stealth check result are not aware of the sneaking character, but that is different from being totally unaware. This is also true of a creature that has previously been made aware of the creature's presence or location (see below) but is currently unable to observe the sneaking creature. In those cases, the sneaking creature can't use abilities such as startling presence.

You can use 5' steps to Stealth. Stealth still breaks after one attack. Some GMs don't like it, so best to clear it with them.

Here's an interesting question: at what point does being generally unaware to completely unaware change?

Let's say our vigilante encounters his target and has HIPS/Startling Appearance and does his thing. He is able to 5' step after his full attack and hide successfully from his victim.

At what point does the victim go from being generally unaware of his attacker to being convinced he is no longer there and the danger has passed which would allow our vigilante to attack again?

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