For stealth are (cover or concealment) and non observed status two seperate conditions or does concealment / cover automatically provide non observed status?


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fretgod99 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

All squares are rectangles.

"But you can't actually argue that rectangles and squares aren't the same thing if you're saying squares are rectangles!"

If you're not going to differentiate them in the rules why not just call them blockies?
Well, if you're not then you might as well. That's not really relevant to the discussion at hand, though.

You have conealment/cover granting you unobserved status and unobserved status negating the need for concealment/ cover. To you they're one and the same.

One status effect as far as stealth goes.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
To you they're one and the same.

That's ... not how that works. But whatever. Like I've said (this and manynother times), neither of us is going to get anywhere. Particularly if you're attributing things to me I haven't said and don't necessarily follow from what I have.


fretgod99 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
To you they're one and the same.
That's ... not how that works. But whatever. Like I've said (this and manynother times), neither of us is going to get anywhere. Particularly if you're attributing things to me I haven't said and don't necessarily follow from what I have.

Can you show when you have one but not the other with regards to stealth? You keep saying it doesn't follow but you keep winding up back there.

Sovereign Court

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@BNW: it seems like you're arguing from the assumption that all the existing rules are correct and consistent, but that what we need is one interpretation that fits all of them.

Instead, I believe there are many scattered smaller and greater inconsistencies; created by an evolving take of the design team on how to make Stealth work.

The CRB contains several somewhat conflicting statements about Stealth;


  • Ranger wrote:

    Camouflage (Ex): A ranger of 12th level or higher can use the Stealth skill to hide in any of his favored terrains, even if the terrain doesn't grant cover or concealment.

    Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any of his favored terrains, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.

    This suggests there's a difference between having C/C and not being observed. Otherwise one or the other ability is redundant.

  • The description of the Stealth skill leaves some ambiguities:

    Stealth skill wrote:
    If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth. Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth. If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check), you can attempt to use Stealth. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.

    Most creatures - blindsight tends not to care about concealment for example.

    Whether starting in C/C is enough is ambiguous. Is C/C the same as an "unobserved place"? If it is, then if you're already there, Bluff-distraction seems redundant. We don't have any competing definition for "unobserved place" in the skill section so that does appear to be it.

    Stealth skill 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. Your Stealth immediately ends after you make and attack roll, whether or not the attack is successful (except when sniping as noted below).

    The assumption here is that if you're using Stealth, you're in C/C and that if you leave it you would normally become observed again.

    Stealth skill wrote:
    Sniping: If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.

    This on the other hand suggests that making an attack would de-obscure your location. But C/C doesn't go away just because you made an attack.

    Stealth skill wrote:
    Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to allow you to use Stealth. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Stealth check while people are aware of you.

    Now we're discussing awareness instead of observation. Neither of which so far has been clearly defined; although observation sounds a lot more exact that just being "aware that there's someone there".

  • "Additional Rules", my favourite title for a chapter in a rulebook.

    Quote:
    In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly. Some creatures, such as those with light sensitivity and light blindness, take penalties while in areas of bright light. A creature can't use Stealth in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover. Areas of bright light include outside in direct sunshine and inside the area of a daylight spell.

    So you can't hide in bright light because people can clearly see you, unless you're invisible or have cover to hide behind.

    Quote:
    In an area of dim light, a character can see somewhat. Creatures within this area have concealment (20% miss chance in combat) from those without darkvision or the ability to see in darkness. A creature within an area of dim light can make a Stealth check to conceal itself. Areas of dim light include outside at night with a moon in the sky, bright starlight, and the area between 20 and 40 feet from a torch.

    You can hide in dim light, because people can only "see you somewhat". Which causes concealment. Implying (as nobody really disputes) that darkvision would prevent that. (The shadowdancer is a special case. S-HiPS works if you even come near dim light, but not actual darkness.)

  • Combat...

    Quote:

    b]Cover and Stealth Checks:[/b] You can use cover to make a Stealth check. Without cover, you usually need concealment (see below) to make a Stealth check.

    Soft Cover: Creatures, even your enemies, can provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, such soft cover provides no bonus on Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to make a Stealth check.

    You can use cover to make a Stealth check. Period. Doesn't require any distraction. Although it does need to be proper cover, like a wall. Of course this does make some assumptions (maybe a colossal creature does provide sufficient cover even though it's soft, and a transparent wall of force doesn't). But 99.99% of all hard cover in practice is opaque walls so that works.

    Quote:

    Concealment and Stealth Checks: You can use concealment to make a Stealth check. Without concealment, you usually need cover to make a Stealth check.

    ...

    Ignoring Concealment: Concealment isn't always effective. An area of dim lighting or darkness doesn't provide any concealment against an opponent with darkvision.

    Again, extremely definite. No mention of distractions. It's sufficient on its own.

    Ah, and confirmation that concealment is relative to the senses of the observer.

  • No discussion about stealth would be complete without the...

    Shadowdancer wrote:
    Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.

    So this fixation with dim light has nothing to do with concealment, because she's not even standing in it. And it works fine against people with darkvision. Again, no mention of distractions. She can be observed, with no "unobserved place" to get to, and without further ado, poof!

  • As for environment:

    Quote:
    Crowds: Urban streets are often full of people going about their daily lives. In most cases, it isn't necessary to put every 1st-level commoner on the map when a fight breaks out on the city's main thoroughfare. Instead, just indicate which squares on the map contain crowds. If crowds see something obviously dangerous, they'll move away at 30 feet per round at initiative count 0. It takes 2 squares of movement to enter a square with crowds. The crowds provide cover for anyone who does so, enabling a Stealth check and providing a bonus to Armor Class and on Reflex saves.

    Hey, didn't we read earlier that soft cover doesn't enable stealth, or reflex bonuses? I guess crowds resemble hard cover...

The Stealth skill is the only place in the CRB that actually associates it with the need to Bluff to distract people, to get to an "unobserved place". Everywhere else it just says C/C is enough to make a Stealth check. It seems to me that being in C/C is being unobserved.

In addition, it seems that the Ranger is just broken, as in non-functional. Either Camouflage or R-HiPS is redundant.

Which is not surprising since it doesn't appear to have been changed since 3.5, while the rest of the Stealth skill did (Hide and Move Silently merged; no more facing rules; and various changes throughout CRB printings). In 3.5, Camouflage allows you to hide without C/C, but you can't be observed; with HiPS you can even do it while observed.

3.5 also explains that if you don't use Bluff you can still run behind cover to start hiding, but in that case people know where you went.

So it looks like 3.5 did distinguish between C/C and observation, and the PF Ranger's abilities do too. But the rest of PF doesn't seem to do so, not anymore.

In fact, this seems to be the position Ultimate Intrigue is taking:

Ultimate Intrigue wrote:
Cover and Concealment for Stealth: The reason a character usually needs cover or concealment to use Stealth is tied to the fact that characters can’t use Stealth while being observed. A sneaking character needs to avoid all of an opponent’s precise senses in order to use Stealth, and for most creatures, that means vision.

So, C/C stops eyesight from providing observation.

I admit, it's a bit awkward: first we're told that a sense is precise if it allows you to target directly and without miss chance; which explains why concealment makes sight imprecise. But then cover also apparently stops sight from being precise... somehow. We just know that it does, because the rules keep asserting that you can use Cover to make a Stealth check. Or that in order to make a Stealth check, you need Cover or Concealment. So somehow, it works.


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Well, I'm certainly willing to concede that the rules are incoherent and inconsistent. Which basically means there is no RAW way to run Stealth.

We differ about how to reconcile the various inconsistencies.


Ascalaphus wrote:
@BNW: it seems like you're arguing from the assumption that all the existing rules are correct and consistent, but that what we need is one interpretation that fits all of them.

I know its an odd concept in the rules forum, but there are legitimate arguments other than "this is exactly what the rules say" and Aristotelian logic if then statements to hit your conclusion at 100% philosophical certainty. Evidence for a position can add up without any individual piece being conclusive.

I'm arguing that given 2 legitimate interpretations of unclear rules the one that fits the bits and pieces of the rules seemlessly is the better interpretation. Its certainly a strong piece of evidence in it's favor because it would be really weird if the wrong interpretation happened to explain why so many other rules. That you need to be unobserved keeps popping up

rules statements, especially out of context, will contradict each other. It's very hard if not impossible to have one sentence be absolute proof of a position but that's what you're trying to do. If you do that you wind up picking the parts of the rules that agree with you and quoting them at each other in bold and there's no discussion or insight or evidence to offer there.

Quote:
This suggests there's a difference between having C/C and not being observed. Otherwise one or the other ability is redundant.

You need both resolves the contradiction nicely.

Camouflage gives you cover, which is easier to come by than unobserved status,

Hide in plain sight is the really extra ordinary ability that lets you pop out of existence while you're looking at people.

Quote:
You can use cover to make a Stealth check. Period.

If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth:

people are looking at you, you can't stealth. Period.

"You need money to buy beer"
"you need to be over 21 to buy beer"

These statements are not a contradictions, even if they appear without the other.

Vision is a targeting sense. You cannot stealth while someone is using a targeting sense to see you.

A targeting sense is one that lets you cast a spell on someone. You can cast a spell on someone with concealment, so even IF you can split vision into a targeting sense or a non targeting sense because of a 20% miss chance vision is STILL a targeting sense.

Quote:
So this fixation with dim light has nothing to do with concealment, because she's not even standing in it. And it works fine against people with darkvision. Again, no mention of distractions. She can be observed, with no "unobserved place" to get to, and without further ado, poof!

Okay, If you're not getting this part you're not reading what we're saying

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.

This is not a contradiction for the two things position this is evidence for it Why are you quoting this at us like it's a problem?

There would be no need to say she can do that observed unless observation normally prevented stealth.

Observed keeps showing up as a thing in the rules. It's unlikely to be an accident.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
To you they're one and the same.
That's ... not how that works. But whatever. Like I've said (this and manynother times), neither of us is going to get anywhere. Particularly if you're attributing things to me I haven't said and don't necessarily follow from what I have.
Can you show when you have one but not the other with regards to stealth? You keep saying it doesn't follow but you keep winding up back there.

Well, I was told we should go down one particular worm hole, so I guess I fail to see the point.


thejeff wrote:

Well, I'm certainly willing to concede that the rules are incoherent and inconsistent. Which basically means there is no RAW way to run Stealth.

We differ about how to reconcile the various inconsistencies.

Yup. Like I've said, Stealth needs some serious attention. It's essentially irreconcilable on the page as it is now. I'm perfectly happy with my interpretation (including the occasional bouts of lack of realism) just like others are perfectly happy with their interpretation (including occasional bouts of lack of realism).


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fretgod99 wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Well, I'm certainly willing to concede that the rules are incoherent and inconsistent. Which basically means there is no RAW way to run Stealth.

We differ about how to reconcile the various inconsistencies.

Yup. Like I've said, Stealth needs some serious attention. It's essentially irreconcilable on the page as it is now. I'm perfectly happy with my interpretation (including the occasional bouts of lack of realism) just like others are perfectly happy with their interpretation (including occasional bouts of lack of realism).

Sometime I want to play it with all the RAW restrictions - like not being able to use any concealment in normal light or within 60' of a dwarf. Especially if the one trying to sneak is the dwarf. :)

Just for a totally silly game.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
@BNW: it seems like you're arguing from the assumption that all the existing rules are correct and consistent, but that what we need is one interpretation that fits all of them.

I know its an odd concept in the rules forum, but there are legitimate arguments other than "this is exactly what the rules say" and Aristotelian logic if then statements to hit your conclusion at 100% philosophical certainty. Evidence for a position can add up without any individual piece being conclusive.

I'm arguing that given 2 legitimate interpretations of unclear rules the one that fits the bits and pieces of the rules seemlessly is the better interpretation. Its certainly a strong piece of evidence in it's favor because it would be really weird if the wrong interpretation happened to explain why so many other rules. That you need to be unobserved keeps popping up

You keep arguing that your interpretation provides this seamless functioning of the rules. It doesn't. I freely admit my interpretation has sticky areas. You brush yours under the rug.

But honestly, if we really want to get into the problems with Stealth in Pathfinder, the biggest culprit is Perception. You can't really make a strenuous "realism" based argument (which is essentially what you're dissatisfied with) when Pathfinder assumes constant 360 degree vision.

So you complain about my argument that a character can utilize Stealth while you are watching them in dim lighting, but ignore the fact that you're also simultaneously watching the other character in dim lighting standing directly opposite of you from the first and ignore the fact that you're doing so while trying not to be stabbed by those two orcs and shot by that Ranger over behind that other tree.

Bottom line: There is no easy resolution to this based on the rules we have available. You quoting the "If people are observing you" language time and again does as little as us quoting "Cover or concealment allow you to use Stealth" language. There isn't a clear way, at this point, to unequivocally determine what "being observed" really means and how, precisely, one "breaks observation".


fretgod99 wrote:
You keep arguing that your interpretation provides this seamless functioning of the rules. It doesn't. I freely admit my interpretation has sticky areas. You brush yours under the rug.

You bring up shadow dancer as a problem when it's an example. I really don't know what reaction you expect to something that fits perfectly with what I'm saying except to say that it fits perfectly with what i'm saying.

Quote:
You can't really make a strenuous "realism" based argument (which is essentially what you're dissatisfied with) when Pathfinder assumes constant 360 degree vision.

The game has to assume 360 degree vision because it is turn based. Otherwise you could simply walk behind someone while fighting them.

Quote:
So you complain about my argument that a character can utilize Stealth while you are watching them in dim lighting, but ignore the fact that you're also simultaneously watching the other character in dim lighting standing directly opposite of you from the first and ignore the fact that you're doing so while trying not to be stabbed by those two orcs and shot by that Ranger over behind that other tree.

The flanking rules cover that difficulty fairly well.

You could easily argue that enough combat provides a distraction (but i'm not fond of that call myself in most circumstances)

Quote:
You quoting the "If people are observing you" language time and again does as little as us quoting "Cover or concealment allow you to use...

I'm doing that in response to people quoting the cover or concealment line to show that there is a rules discrepency... IF you only read the one line.

If you read the other line you wind up with a direct contradiction.

If you read the entire thing in context with observation and cover as two seperate conditions it not only makes sense itself, it makes the entire paragraph make sense, it makes the ranger's abilities make sense, it makes the shadow dancer's wording make sense, it makes why "look a monkey" is a thing make sense, makes the game closer to reality and doesn't make stealth improved invisibility.

I know you're thinking of the poor rogue getting backstabs, but don't imagine a rogue doing this. Imagine a wizard that stealths 15 feet away every round, because 1 trait and he has the same stealth score as a rogue.

yeah, you're paying attention to everything in combat is a little wonky, but stealthing because you have cover or concealment is loony toons level bonkers.. literally. its something bugs bunny would do. It's fine when batman does it because.. well.. batman, but farmer brown shouldn't be able to pull that off From around the corner of the barn
_B
A❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏
_❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏
_❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏
_C
Farmers Abel and Brown have gotten into an argument over a chicken (apparently the rogue could steal it after all.) They are swinging at each other around the hard corner of the barn. (its farmer browns barm if it matters to the paladin..)

Farmer brown has a 50 50 chance of being able to stealth, go west off the page around A and behind the corner to C where he's kept his sawed off crossbow he was saving for his daughters wedding: with farmer able having NO idea where he could be.

Does anything THAT weird crop up if you consider CC and Observed status to be two seperate requirements you need to meet?


But I don't see a direct contradiction when read my way. That's the point. My interpretation makes perfect sense of the rest of the paragraph, too.


BNW wrote:

yeah, you're paying attention to everything in combat is a little wonky, but stealthing because you have cover or concealment is loony toons level bonkers.. literally. its something bugs bunny would do. It's fine when batman does it because.. well.. batman, but farmer brown shouldn't be able to pull that off From around the corner of the barn

_B
A❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏
_❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏
_❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏
_C
Farmers Abel and Brown have gotten into an argument over a chicken (apparently the rogue could steal it after all.) They are swinging at each other around the hard corner of the barn. (its farmer browns barm if it matters to the paladin..)

Farmer brown has a 50 50 chance of being able to stealth, go west off the page around A and behind the corner to C where he's kept his sawed off crossbow he was saving for his daughters wedding: with farmer able having NO idea where he could be.

Does anything THAT weird crop up if you consider CC and Observed status to be two seperate requirements you need to meet?

The rules aren't really designed with farmers in mind; they're designed with Batman in mind. But regardless...

Why do you think the other farmer "has no idea where he could be"? If it's Farmer A doing the running, you don't think that it's pretty obvious that he ran behind the corner of the barn to Farmer B? If not, then Farmer B has far more pressing concerns. Farmer A isn't in Stealth when his turn starts. Farmer A isn't hidden when he runs around the corner. Farmer A only attempts to hide after getting around the other corner. We know where he is.

If it's Farmer B doing the running, you don't think that it's pretty obvious where he attempted to go? I have to assume that there isn't other cover off the map to the West. Farmer B doesn't start his turn in Stealth. So as soon as Farmer B steps out from behind the cover, what exactly is he hiding behind? Nothing. DC 0 spot check for the dude standing literally in front of your face. Start your turn in Stealth and end your turn in Stealth. If your turn doesn't start in Stealth, you lose any potential Stealth as soon as you have no cover or concealment with respect to your potential observer.

Hey, look at that, it's almost like you've completely mischaracterized the position we're arguing and its ramifications. I fail to see any legitimate problems with my actual position, as opposed to whatever it is you think I've been arguing this entire time.

And, again, we're talking about farmers. Not only is this not Batman attempting to hide, it's not Batman attempting to locate. Neither of them are particularly adept at anything they're trying here (including hitting each other over the head).


fretgod99 wrote:


If it's Farmer B doing the running, you don't think that it's pretty obvious where he attempted to go?

Very much NOT. Farmer Brown can go 30 feet in any direction before he starts getting any kind of penalty, or 50 feet for a mere -5. East along the barn would make the most sense but there's probably a haybale or pig trough to hide behind somewhere in that distance. West along the barn is pretty nuts but doable.

Quote:
I have to assume that there isn't other cover off the map to the West. Farmer B doesn't start his turn in Stealth.

He can. Just stealth where he is. he has cover. This round he begins to stealth , next round he can loop around with nothing to hide behind.

I suppose that would make it a 25% chance, but still, really really weird.

Or for a rogue, you begin stealthing and backstab

Or for a wizard you beging stealthing and then cast.

Quote:
The rules aren't really designed with farmers in mind; they're designed with Batman in mind. But regardless...

Batman is represented by class features and abilities, including the skill points for high bluff and stealth, urban ranger camouflage, HIPS...

Quote:
Hey, look at that, it's almost like you've completely mischaracterized the position we're arguing and its ramifications.

Or in a very complicated discussion forgot that it was start turn with stealth instead of start turn with cover.

I am not mischaracterizing your position. After repeatedly being asked for the difference you cannot give me a concealment without non observation or non observation without concealment when it matters for stealth. When it matters for stealth. You have them as synonymous and they both keep popping up as different things. A distinction without a difference is not a difference at all.


"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. Your Stealth immediately ends after you make and attack roll, whether or not the attack is successful (except when sniping as noted below).

When you start your turn using Stealth, meaning, you're already hidden at the start of your turn. This doesn't mean, "When the first thing you do on your turn is go into Stealth." This is also why your Withdraw method (vs. Distraction) doesn't work, by the way.

If Farmer B is trying to use Stealth, he does so as a part of movement anyway. So he's got to move to take advantage of it. When starting his turn, he's not is Stealth. So as soon as he steps away from cover, he's no longer is Stealth since he doesn't benefit from that "Breaking Stealth" bit.

I suppose I would let a person attempt to commit a move action to use Stealth without going anywhere in a context like this, if I'm feeling generous as a GM. And then maybe I'd allow him to benefit from the Breaking Stealth rule above, since I'm already feeling generous. But then again, he's still limited to moving 25' at most. And he'd be taking a -5 penalty to an already likely terrible Stealth check. But who knows? The dice gods certainly are fickle. Maybe he'd get super fortunate and pull it off. That is, after all, what legendary stories are made of. I'm sure his farmer friends at the bar would be really impressed for years to come with the tale of that one time he hid really well. *shrug*

Incidentally, this is another circumstance where Observation and C/C are separate. Notice that this is another provision that allows for lack of observation despite the current lack of C/C. You have to start and end with it, but you do not have to have it the entire duration, but are still deemed to be "unobserved".


Posted after right after your edit.

I've presented circumstances. I was told not to keep talking about one. Rangers are a corner case. Breaking Stealth is another one. So at some point, the complaint starts to look silly. "Tell me about a situation where this happens. Aside from that one. Also aside from that. And that one too. See? You can't come up with anything."


A Wizard who begins stealthing and casts? You mean using a loud, strong voice? Wizard loses Stealth immediately.


I think the rules are explicitly vague to give GM discretion.

is this not good enough?

The GM however does have an obligation to make sure characters who are trying to stealth know where and when they are "observed".


Bandw2 wrote:

I think the rules are explicitly vague to give GM discretion.

is this not good enough?

The GM however does have an obligation to make sure characters who are trying to stealth know where and when they are "observed".

I think it is. Everybody should be on the same page beforehand, but yeah. However, more clarity would be nice (pun intended), particularly on what exactly constitutes "observed" and how precisely you get around that.


fretgod99 wrote:


When you start your turn using Stealth, meaning, you're already hidden at the start of your turn. This doesn't mean, "When the first thing you do on your turn is go into Stealth." This is also why your Withdraw method (vs. Distraction) doesn't work, by the way.

The withdraw method does work in the far more common situation that your concealment is contiguous. You simply start stealth in your square and start walking into the shadows. If you're moving to cover once you're in it you only need to have started your turn stealthing if you move out of it: you can move around in it just fine.

Depending on enemy and column placement it probably works with columns.

Quote:
When starting his turn, he's not is Stealth. So as soon as he steps away from cover, he's no longer is Stealth since he doesn't benefit from that "Breaking Stealth" bit.

Right, that was my bad, i missed that part.

But farmer brown can do it, it just takes 2 rounds.

Quote:
Incidentally, this is another circumstance where Observation and C/C are separate. Notice that this is another provision that allows for lack of observation despite the current lack of C/C. You have to start and end with it, but you do not have to have it the entire duration, but are still deemed to be "unobserved".

I don't realy get what you think the ranger is doing differently with one ability but not the other.

Even then, This was added in 8? years after the stealth rules were first added. Surely it wasn't just this and the ranger for 8 years?
Most of the things you're pointing to are a distinction without a difference. They work functionally the same.

Quote:
A Wizard who begins stealthing and casts? You mean using a loud, strong voice? Wizard loses Stealth immediately.

One wonders how so many NPC wizards get surprise rounds on the party then... hmmm.. would that negate the aoo or no? You draw the aoo when you start casting but ... argh. Timey whimey balls.

Which probably doesn't matter because the wizards probably moved 15 feet away by then. It's better than an acrobatics check against their CMD.


Thats how i was trying to phrase this.

The new stealth addition distinguishes between stealthing and not stealthing, not covered/concealed and observed. According to the one thing interpretation farmer brown and farmer able aren't observing each other even if they're fighting. The stealthed/non stealthed thing is seperate axis.


NPC Wizards get surprise rounds because they were undetected prior to casting. That's what happens when the other party is unaware of you when combat starts. Not sure where you're going with that.

RE: the Stealth update, that was clearly done because the rules as written would never allow for Rogues to sneak up and ambush a target (for instance). Undoubtedly it was how everybody intended it to function (that you could start in Stealth and sneak up on somebody without being autospot as soon as you left cover), but as written it was impossible. It was an attempt to make the rules match what was intended. So it isn't actually a new thing.


The new addition allows you to remain in Stealth despite not having cover or concealment. The point is you don't count as being observed when you normally would even without C/C.

Regardless, you asking me to provide examples of how it works under my interpretation, then analyzing it under yours, is illogical. The most common scenario is the overland encounter initiation I brought up a while ago. You can be unobserved and not have C/C. That is the point. That is what you asked me to demonstrate. That you still think this works differently is frankly irrelevant to that.


fretgod99 wrote:
The most common scenario is the overland encounter initiation I brought up a while ago. You can be unobserved and not have C/C. That is the point. That is what you asked me to demonstrate. That you still think this works differently is frankly irrelevant to that.

Under that scenario your stealth is completely irrelevant even under your interpretation. You were not seen. Whether you stealth or not at that point really doesn't matter its like being invisible boy. It comes down to "you can stealth while unobserved" which is a tautology, "you can be unobserved while unobserved". It doesn't matter.

Observed comes up far too often to be a meaningless technicality in a fringe case.


"You can use Stealth while unobserved" is as tautological as "You cannot use Stealth while observed".

And the trick is am I allowed to do anything when I am unseen, even if I have no Cover or Concealment? I believe so. I would allow the player a Stealth check to get somewhere within Concealment or behind Cover. If they don't choose to do so, the NPC gets another base DC 0 Perception check the next round. So what a character can do in that situation is quite relevant.


fretgod99 wrote:

"You can use Stealth while unobserved" is as tautological as "You cannot use Stealth while observed".

And the trick is am I allowed to do anything when I am unseen, even if I have no Cover or Concealment? I believe so. I would allow the player a Stealth check to get somewhere within Concealment or behind Cover. If they don't choose to do so, the NPC gets another base DC 0 Perception check the next round. So what a character can do in that situation is quite relevant.

*headscratch*

Why on earth do they NEED a stealth check? You established that no one can see them already. They just move.


Responsive Perception checks aren't restricted to your turn. Do you see them when the initial encounter begins? No. What about when they try to move shortly thereafter? That's when I allow the Stealth check. Stealth checks are necessarily countered by Perception checks.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

"You can use Stealth while unobserved" is as tautological as "You cannot use Stealth while observed".

And the trick is am I allowed to do anything when I am unseen, even if I have no Cover or Concealment? I believe so. I would allow the player a Stealth check to get somewhere within Concealment or behind Cover. If they don't choose to do so, the NPC gets another base DC 0 Perception check the next round. So what a character can do in that situation is quite relevant.

*headscratch*

Why on earth do they NEED a stealth check? You established that no one can see them already. They just move.

It's hard to conceive of a situation where someone is unseen, not in any form of cover or concealment that would allow stealth, but can then move in such a way that they could be seen.

The distance thing is the closest example and I'd just handwave that - they fail that initial distance Perception check and they don't get another roll to see you while you move into cover.

Maybe if they had some huge amount of movement and moved towards you so they were much easier to see it would come up?

But then the distance thing has all sorts of problems of its own anyway.


fretgod99 wrote:
Responsive Perception checks aren't restricted to your turn. Do you see them when the initial encounter begins? No. What about when they try to move shortly thereafter? That's when I allow the Stealth check. Stealth checks are necessarily countered by Perception checks.

They are limited to once per stimulus and you missed the stimulus.

They were unseen for this round then you're unseen for this round. You only roll once but you roll at the most opportune time for the defenders (so if he gets closer the dc drops but he doesn't need another roll)

You're into a weird corner case and some questionable rules calls in order to make observed a thing.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

"You can use Stealth while unobserved" is as tautological as "You cannot use Stealth while observed".

And the trick is am I allowed to do anything when I am unseen, even if I have no Cover or Concealment? I believe so. I would allow the player a Stealth check to get somewhere within Concealment or behind Cover. If they don't choose to do so, the NPC gets another base DC 0 Perception check the next round. So what a character can do in that situation is quite relevant.

*headscratch*

Why on earth do they NEED a stealth check? You established that no one can see them already. They just move.

because what if you become observed after moving, just saying.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Responsive Perception checks aren't restricted to your turn. Do you see them when the initial encounter begins? No. What about when they try to move shortly thereafter? That's when I allow the Stealth check. Stealth checks are necessarily countered by Perception checks.

They are limited to once per stimulus and you missed the stimulus.

They were unseen for this round then you're unseen for this round. You only roll once but you roll at the most opportune time for the defenders (so if he gets closer the dc drops but he doesn't need another roll)

You're into a weird corner case and some questionable rules calls in order to make observed a thing.

I'm not familiar with a rule that says you get one Perception check a round.


fretgod99 wrote:
I'm not familiar with a rule that says you get one Perception check a round.

Linky

1. For simplicities sake, it should be assumed that those making Perception checks get to do so at the most favorable point during the movement of a character using Stealth, to avoid making checks every time the condition changes. Technically, I think you would get a check whenever the conditions change, but that might make things overly complicated during play.

Action

Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

So it would go

The party comes over the hill
They fail their checks
Surprise round
Scarecrow moves, gets to cover and hides (at +20 or higher) : Him standing out in the open was the most favorable point, so no new check.

the party goes, they can spend move actions looking if they want (complete with hand over the eyes looking poses) or just walk along. either way they're not likely to spot him now.

You don't get to just keep rolling for the observable stimulus until you make it. They'd have to spend a move action.


I am so confused now. I don't even understand what people are arguing over.

Would it be too much to ask everyone to explain in detail their "best guess" interpretation of the stealth rules and any pertenant rules surrounding the stealth rules. References or quotes of the UI stealth segment, the CRB stealth skill rules and anything else that is relevant would be nice, too.

For bonus points, explain for the following scenarios why stealth would let a creature hide from another under your interpretation, or if it is impossible and why. If it makes a difference whether or not cover or concealment is used, explain why. Assume that if the stealther is unobserved, a creature has just moved into mutual line of sight from around a LoS blocking obstacle moments after the stealther made their stealth check. Oh, and unless stated otherwise all light is normal, the creatures only have sight as a precise sense and are close enough that the DC0 check to notice a creature is a non-factor, cover is regular cover and is solid and opaque (not a glass window or anything like that), and concealment is 20%.

____

Concealment/cover, unobserved

Total concealment/cover, observed

Bright Light, concealment/cover, unobserved

No concealment/cover, unobserved

Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, unobserved, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light.

Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, observed, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light.

Observed, using bluff for a distraction.

Observed, about to move to concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.

Observed, about to move to total concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.

Concealment from blur, not observed, no other form of concealment/cover

Invisibility, no other cover/concealment, observed.

Hellct Stealth in normal light, observed, no cover/concealment

Hellcat Stealth in normal light, observed, cover/concealment

Hellcat Stealth in bright light, observed, cover/concealment

Ranger with camoflage in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover

Ranger with camoflage and HiPS in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover

Shadowdancer near dim light, cover/concealment, observed

Shadowdancer near dim light, no cover/concealment, observed

____

Feel free to toss in any other pertinent examples that I have missed or bring up any other details. The more information the better.

Some Relevant links
Vision and Light rules
Hellcat Stealth
Cover and Concealment
Ranger class
Shadowdancer Class
Stealth skill
Ultimate Intrigue skills section

I will stick up my own best guess interpretation in a moment.


OK, here is my understanding of the stealth rules

A few definitions first:

Line of sight simply means...

Chris Mortika wrote:

Do effects like invisibility or simply being in a dark tunnel without magical vision block line of sight? Does a successful "hide in plain sight" roll block line of sight?

Not line, of effect, no, but I would think that they would indeed block line of sight.

Sean K Reynolds (PDT member at the time) wrote:
If you can't see a target, you don't have line of *sight* to a target.

It isn't clear whether or not hiding behind cover and gaining total concealment from stealth blocks line of sight.

UI rules - perception wrote:
Since Perception is the skill that determines what a character sees, hears, and senses in the game world, ...

Perception determines what a character sees. If a perception check fails, I think it is reasonable to say that the character does not see the source of the stimulus. If the creature can't see the source, they don't have line of sight. QED. On the other hand...

UI rules - perception(again) wrote:
This is generally the result when the perceiving character rolls higher on its opposed Perception check than the sneaking character's Stealth result while also having line of sight to the sneaking character and the ability to see through any sort of invisibility or other tricks the sneaking character might be using.

This strongly implies the opposite. Line of sight doesn't consider stealth or other effects which might prevent another creature from viewing the target, based on that quote alone. However, I don't think it actually matters which is right.

Cover and Concealment are anything that give any form cover and concealment respectively. The reason I don't interpret them to mean +4AC/+2 reflex cover and 20% concealment is that:
a)the other kinds of concealment and cover are under the header of "concealment" and "cover"
b) the other kinds of concealment and cover imply an "as (normal) concealment/cover, but.." relationship, which would mean that they inheret all the rules baggage from "normal" concealment/cover
c) only counting +4AC/+2reflex cover and 20% concealment would lead to better forms of concealment and cover being unuseable for stealth (such as concealment with 30% miss chance or improved cover).
d) Soft cover is explicitly called out as not allowing stealth checks. The Giant Hunters Handbook brings in rules to allow it to count for the purpose of stealth at a hefty penalty. This is the exception that proves the rule.
e) In general, treating concealment and cover in the narrowest possible sense leads to insanity like a normal rogue being able to sneak attack targets with 25% concealment but not 20% concealment (like total concealment, concealment with a different % hit chance is under the heading of concealment).
For common sense reasons, total concealment from stealth can't be used to bootstrap further stealth checks.

Observing a target simply means that the observer has seen the target. I am basing this on...

Quote:
The final state is when the perceiving character is able to directly observe the sneaking character with a precise sense, such as vision. This is generally the result when the perceiving character rolls higher on its opposed Perception check than the sneaking character's Stealth result while also having line of sight to the sneaking character and the ability to see through any sort of invisibility or other tricks the sneaking character might be using.

Note that this would imply that any form of total concealment or cover that prevents vision from looking past it automatically prevents observation.

Bluffing to distract enable stealth does nothing by RAW. It permits a creature who gets to an unobserved place to stealth, but they already can do that by RAW. However, I think that the point of Bluffing to distract is supposed to be that the bluffing creature is momentarily unobserved, allowing them to make stealth checks if they get to any form of concealment/cover.

As per the UI stealth and perception segment, A sense must fulfill both of the following two requirements in order to be precise:
1. It must allow a creature to target others with targetted effects.
2. It must allow a creature to strike other creatures without a miss chance.
There is some ambiguity in how senses which don't fulfill the requirements at all times function, such as sight in a dim area, but since sight is explicitly precise that implies that any sense which fulfills the requirements under "normal" circumstances is unilaterally precise.

As per the UI stealth segment, there are two requirements in order to be able to hide:
1. Not be observed
2. Have some form of cover or concealment, except during the middle of a turn after a successful stealth check (as per Hide use of stealth skill).

"Not be observed" simply follows the definition above. Notably, a creature which has not beaten the stealther's stealth check cannot observe them unless the stealther becomes ineligible for stealth (probably by no longer having cover or concealment of some form). Creatures not using stealth are automatically seen, so long as the observer passes a DC0 check.

"Have some form of cover or concealment" simply means that from the perspective of a creature rolling an opposed perception check, the concealed creature has some form of cover or concealment (except soft cover, which explicitly disallows stealth). This requirement is waived if the stealthing creature has already made a stealth check that turn and they haven't ended their turn yet.

Various abilities simply waive or modify the above two conditions.

Specific scenarios:

spoilered for length:

Concealment/cover, unobserved
This is easy. Creature has concealment/cover, creature is currently unobserved, creature can makes stealth check and stay concealed when other creature shows up

Total concealment/cover, observed
This is literally impossible by the rules

Bright Light, concealment/cover, unobserved
Bright Light disallows concealment for stealth. I think this is an error, but by RAW only cover allows the creature to stealth as above.

No concealment/cover, unobserved
When the percieving creature walks in, the stealthing creature has no cover and is thus automaticallly detected. Stealth doesn't work

Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, unobserved, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light.
Dim light provides concealment. The lighting rules explicitly permit stealth checks in dim light. Thus, the stealthing creature can remain undetected as if the dim light was like any other form of concealment

Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, observed, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light.
Stealthing creature is percieved by precise sense (despite there being a miss chance). Stealthing creature cannot stealth.

Observed, using bluff for a distraction.
This does literally nothing to help the stealthing creature, either as (i think it is) intended, or by RAW

Observed, about to move to concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.
By RAW, does nothing. By suspected intent, this is the whole point of the bluff and will work fine.

EDIT: It occurs to me that bluff lets the creature make a stealth check unilaterally. Thus, the creature would be unobserved, and since cover/concealment is waived in the middle of a turn they would be able to move into (not total) cover/concealment and hide with no issue. Still ambiguously worded though

Observed, about to move to total concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.
Works, but the bluff check is suplerfluous. Since the bluffing creature is still observed, the observer technically even knows where the bluffer went (even if they can't percieve them any more with a precise sense).

Concealment from blur, not observed, no other form of concealment/cover
This is disallowed explicitly, because blur doesn't obscure the creature, only hide it's exact position. Otherwise, it would work.

Invisibility, no other cover/concealment, observed.
Literally impossible. An invisible creature can't be observed with sight unless the invisibility is negated

Hellct Stealth in normal light, observed, no cover/concealment
No cover/concealment, doesn't work

Hellcat Stealth in normal light, observed, cover/concealment
Works fine, not observed requirement is waived by Hellcat Stealth

Hellcat Stealth in bright light, observed, cover/concealment
Concealment doesn't work, Cover does

Ranger with camoflage in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover
Camoflage doesn't waive not observed clause, doesn't work

Ranger with camoflage and HiPS in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover
Camoflage waives concealment/cover, HiPS waives not observed, ranger can stealth.

Shadowdancer near dim light, cover/concealment, observed
HiPS waives all requirements, Shadowdancer can stealth
Shadowdancer near dim light, no cover/concealment, observed


Ok, now that this is over, anyone else got a problem with my interpretation (and presumably want to put forward an alternative one, with lots of rules references to back it up)?


Quote:
Would it be too much to ask everyone to explain in detail their "best guess" interpretation of the stealth rules and any pertenant rules surrounding the stealth rules

Sure: You need BOTH unobserved status and (either cover or concealment) to stealth.

Spoiler:

Concealment/cover, unobserved: Stealth away.

Total concealment/cover, observed: ... Total concealment: No stealth for you(i'm assuming that's a bat that's pinging you with blind sense or something) but you can still sneak attack them. Total cover: stealth away with serious bonuses in the +20 range.

Bright Light, concealment/cover, unobserved: Now that I don't have to rules lawyer that away from the blur and displacement people, I'll vote for Stealth away.

No concealment/cover, unobserved: No stealth for you. Dance like no one is watching though, because they can't see you anyway.

Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, unobserved, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light. : Stealth away.

Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, observed, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light.: No stealth for you!

Observed, using bluff for a distraction. Stealth away. But watch the monkey.

Observed, about to move to concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.: Stealth away.

Observed, about to move to total concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction. Stealth away. : if they beat your bluff check they only know where you entered total cover.

Concealment from blur, not observed, no other form of concealment/cover

Invisibility, no other cover/concealment, observed.: It would take blindsense to observe an invisible creature, so no stealth for you: you have total concealment but they know your square no matter what you do.

Hellct Stealth in normal light, observed, no cover/concealment: Stealth away at -10. It was clarified that this is supposed to let you hide.

Hellcat Stealth in normal light, observed, cover/concealment: Stealth away.: stealth away at -10

Hellcat Stealth in bright light, observed, cover/concealment: Stealth away. : stealth away at -10.

Ranger with camoflage in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover: No stealth for you!:

Ranger with camoflage and HiPS in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover: Stealth away.

Shadowdancer near dim light, cover/concealment, observed: Stealth away.

Shadowdancer near dim light, no cover/concealment, observed: Stealth away.

It is 2 am and i may have derped on some. We'll see.


Initial Perception occurs prior to the encounter beginning. I fail to see why moving during the surprise round wouldn't trigger another check.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Total concealment/cover, observed: ... No stealth for you(i'm assuming that's a bat that's pinging you with blind sense or something) but you can still sneak attack them.

If it was a bat, wouldn't the creature still be unobserved, because blindsense is imprecise? Thus, the creature would still be able to make stealth checks, right (of dubious utility since his square is pinpointed, but it still works)? Likewise, if the creature didn't have blindsense, this situation would literally be impossible, right? No viewing with precise sense=unobserved by definition, right?

If it was a dragon with blindsight OTOH, then total concealment (but not cover) would be negated and the stealther would be detected.

Quote:


Observed, using bluff for a distraction. Stealth away. But watch the monkey.

Wouldn't the creature need to move to (total?) cover as part of the stealth check in order to stay hidden immediately after they move.

Quote:


Observed, about to move to concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.: Stealth away.

Even +4AC cover, not total cover? Just asking for clarity.

Actually, something just occurred to me. BRB last minute editing my best guess post.

Quote:


Invisibility, no other cover/concealment, observed.: It would take blindsense to observe an invisible creature, so no stealth for you: you have total concealment but they know your square no matter what you do.

As before, wouldn't blindsense not make the creature observed. It would pinpoint their square, but the creature would be entitled to stealth checks and all the things that go along with stealth based total concealment, right?

Quote:


Hellct Stealth in normal light, observed, no cover/concealment: Stealth away at -10. It was clarified that this is supposed to let you hide.

Are you referring to this?

Quote:


Questions regarding the feat Hellcat Stealth. Is this meant to work like the Hide in Plain Sight class feature? Do you need cover/concealment?

Considering it is meant to resemble the Hellcat special ability I almost want to treat it like invisibility only with stealth checks.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


They work similarly. HS trumps the need for cover/concealment, but you have a penalty on the check. HIPS trumps the need for cover/concealment, but it requires a nearby shadow, and has no penalty.

The weird thing is that SKR seems to implicitly equate cover/concealment with observation given the text of hellcat stealth.

I am not sure how much SKR's intent counts, considering that he is no longer at Paizo, his implicit understanding of the stealth rules contradict the UI rules stealth-errata of the stealth rules (heh), and the PDT have flipflopped several times before on issues like this. But sure, lets say that Hellcat Stealth also has the unwritten feature of waiving cover/concealment, with the understanding that the PDT may change their minds on it. Going on that, stealth working would make sense.

EDIT:

fretgod99 wrote:
Initial Perception occurs prior to the encounter beginning. I fail to see why moving during the surprise round wouldn't trigger another check.

Sorry for being rude, but does it actually matter for the purpose of this discussion i.e. does it have a meaningful impact on how stealth works as a whole outside of the unambiguously obvious repercussions? If it doesn't, could you (and BNW) drop it? The stealth rules are a bloated ambiguous mess, and throwing in even more ambiguous rules which are only tangentially related is doing favors for nobody.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
the party goes, they can spend move actions looking if they want (complete with hand over the eyes looking poses) or just walk along. either way they're not likely to spot him now.
Just to drag in another rules change/clarification from Ultimate Intrigue.
Quote:

There are two ways Perception checks happen in the game. The first way is automatic and reactive. Certain stimuli automatically call for a Perception check, such as a creature using Stealth (which calls for an opposed Perception check), or the sounds of combat or talking in the distance. The flip side is when a player actively calls for a Perception check because her PC is intentionally searching for something. This always takes at least a move action, but often takes significantly longer.

The core rules don't specify what area a PC can actively search, but for a given Perception check it should be no larger than a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, and often a smaller space if that area is cluttered.

Active Perception checks target a specific 10'(or less) area.

You pretty much can't use them to find creatures unless you already know roughly where they are.


Snowblind wrote:

observed, using bluff for a distraction. Stealth away. But watch the monkey.

Wouldn't the creature need to move to (total?) cover as part of the stealth check in order to stay hidden immediately after they move.

No. And your logic in the other post is... weird.

The stealth rules never mention total cover or total concealment. It's always cover or concealment. That means cover or concealment. I cannot fathom how you get to total cover or total concealment from that. The rules are very explicit in only requiring cover or concealment.

The rules tell you how to deal with a rogue crouching down behind a barrel or in a dim light alley way. They oddly enough don't specify how to deal with Total cover or total concealment, but it should be pretty obvious that you can't see someone through a wall or in total darkness if you're a human playing journey to the center of the earth. You're functionally invisible.

Quote:

f it was a bat, wouldn't the creature still be unobserved, because blindsense is imprecise? Thus, the creature would still be able to make stealth checks, right (of dubious utility since his square is pinpointed, but it still works)? Likewise, if the creature didn't have blindsense, this situation would literally be impossible, right? No viewing with precise sense=unobserved by definition, right?

If it was a dragon with blindsight OTOH, then total concealment (but not cover) would be negated and the stealther would be detected.

I cannot think of a scenario where there is a difference.

Sir clanks a lot rolls a -4 on his stealth check in the dark. The bat knows what square he's in, Can't target him with a spell (the bat is druid), doesn't have their dex bonus against him, and has a 50/50 miss chance if they attack him.

Roger the rogue rolls a 45 on his stealth check. The bat knows what square he's in, Can't target him with a spell (the bat is druid), doesn't have their dex bonus against him, and has a 50/50 miss chance if they attack him.

Quote:
The weird thing is that SKR seems to implicitly equate cover/concealment with observation given the text of hellcat stealth.

Or he's just saying how the feat is supposed to work don't get hung up on the technicalities. It's in a book that doesn't get errata and I'm a very RAI person myself so i'll take it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Snowblind wrote:

observed, using bluff for a distraction. Stealth away. But watch the monkey.

Wouldn't the creature need to move to (total?) cover as part of the stealth check in order to stay hidden immediately after they move.

No. And your logic in the other post is... weird.

The stealth rules never mention total cover or total concealment. It's always cover or concealment. That means cover or concealment. I cannot fathom how you get to total cover or total concealment from that. The rules are very explicit in only requiring

The rules tell you how to deal with a rogue crouching down behind a barrel or in a dim light alley way. They oddly enough don't specify how to deal with Total cover or total concealment, but it should be pretty obvious that you can't see someone through a wall or in total darkness if you're a human playing journey to the center of the earth. You're functionally invisible.

Though the Perception rules do give penalties for being behind a wall.


"Total concealment" is the status you get by making a successful stealth check...there isn't a "stealth" condition. Just saying.


Snowblind wrote:
Sorry for being rude, but does it actually matter for the purpose of this discussion i.e. does it have a meaningful impact on how stealth works as a whole outside of the unambiguously obvious repercussions? If it doesn't, could you (and BNW) drop it? The stealth rules are a bloated ambiguous mess, and throwing in even more ambiguous rules which are only tangentially related is doing favors for nobody.

I just responded to BNW's questions. I'm not sure that Perception is merely tangentially related to Stealth. Regardless, moving on.


mishima wrote:
"Total concealment" is the status you get by making a successful stealth check...there isn't a "stealth" condition. Just saying.

The different kinds of total concealment work differently. Fog (and pathfiners 32 flavors of fog), darkness, concealment, stealth, all have their own rules exceptions and dcs.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Snowblind wrote:

observed, using bluff for a distraction. Stealth away. But watch the monkey.

Wouldn't the creature need to move to (total?) cover as part of the stealth check in order to stay hidden immediately after they move.

No. And your logic in the other post is... weird.

The stealth rules never mention total cover or total concealment. It's always cover or concealment. That means cover or concealment. I cannot fathom how you get to total cover or total concealment from that. The rules are very explicit in only requiring cover or concealment.

The rules tell you how to deal with a rogue crouching down behind a barrel or in a dim light alley way. They oddly enough don't specify how to deal with Total cover or total concealment, but it should be pretty obvious that you can't see someone through a wall or in total darkness if you're a human playing journey to the center of the earth. You're functionally invisible.

Can I make sure I understand what you are saying?

Are you trying to say that the game terms "Cover" and "Concealment" only refer to +4AC/+2 reflex Cover and 20% concealment. Any other form of Cover listed under the Cover section (such as Improved Cover or Total Cover) or other forms of Concealment listed under the Concealment section (such as Concealment with a different % miss chance or Total Concealment) do not count as cover or concealment despite being listed under "Cover" and "Concealment"?

A creature can sneak in dim light that provides 20% concealment but if the light gets worse and the GM arbitrates a 30% miss chance then the creature can no longer sneak?. If the lights go out completely then the creature still cannot sneak because they only have total concealment and any other creature in the room can hear them easily?

A creature can stealth behind a a low wall, but not a tiny hole in a tall wall which "only" provides improved cover. A creature cannot stealth around with a solid wall between them and a perceiving creature (using sound), since that creature does not have Cover or Concealment because it "only" gains total cover and concealment and thus cannot fulfill the "have cover/concealment" requirement of stealth. The creature must hide behind a barrel in the room in order to not be heard by a creature in the next room?

Am I understanding that correctly? And if I am, why is this better than an interpretation of "cover" and "concealment" which doesn't lead to broken nonsense like superior forms of cover and concealment being useless for stealth, but instead handles the various forms of cover and concealment gracefully without needing to play the "well its common sense" card? Not to mention the fact that the interpretation that cover/concealment=+4AC/+2 reflex cover/20% concealment only applied to text outside the stealth rules breaks the game all over the place, and is thus a really dubious interpretation to be applying unless there is a very compelling reason. A reason that I do not see.

Oh, and with regards to bluff specifically...

Stealth wrote:
If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check), you can attempt to use Stealth. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.

The only places which are "unobserved" are places which have total concealment or cover from the potentially observing creature. As written, Bluff doesn't do anything at all to the creature's ability to observe, so if the bluffing creature goes behind cover then they are still observed and the place they are hiding behind is also still observed. Hence my comment about bluff being broken and it probably being supposed to remove observation for a moment.

Quote:
Quote:

if it was a bat, wouldn't the creature still be unobserved, because blindsense is imprecise? Thus, the creature would still be able to make stealth checks, right (of dubious utility since his square is pinpointed, but it still works)? Likewise, if the creature didn't have blindsense, this situation would literally be impossible, right? No viewing with precise sense=unobserved by definition, right?

If it was a dragon with blindsight OTOH, then total concealment (but not cover) would be negated and the stealther would be detected.

I cannot think of a scenario where there is a difference.

Sir clanks a lot rolls a -4 on his stealth check in the dark. The bat knows what square he's in, Can't target him with a spell (the bat is druid), doesn't have their dex bonus against him, and has a 50/50 miss chance if they attack him.

Roger the rogue rolls a 45 on his stealth check. The bat knows what square he's in, Can't target him with a spell (the bat is druid), doesn't have their dex bonus against him, and has a 50/50 miss chance if they attack him.

This is a discussion with a lot of technicalities and minutiae. The devil is in the details. Please don't neglect them. Besides, if the creature can't sneak, then the observer can hear them moving easily and might reasonably be able to learn about what they are (footsteps vs slithering, for example), instead of just pinpointing *something*. So yes, it makes a difference, in principle and in practice.

Quote:
Quote:

The weird thing is that SKR seems to implicitly equate cover/concealment with observation given the text of hellcat stealth.

Or he's just saying how the feat is supposed to work don't get hung up on the technicalities. It's in a book that doesn't get errata and I'm a very RAI person myself so i'll take it.

If the book ever does get errata (or much more plausibly, some FAQs), it is definitely worth noting that the PDT may flip flop on SKR's position, and that quotes from SKR are only of limited use (not zero, but limited) given that IIRC the UI stealth rules rewrite (with all the PDT internal discussions that implies) happened after he left. The oddity of his explanation lends credence to this and suggests that he may have not had a "correct" (in hindsight) understanding of the stealth rules as they currently are, regardless of what he intended. Once again, devil in the details. Developer quotes are worth less if the rules "changed" after that developer left.


Snowblind wrote:
Are you trying to say that the game terms "Cover" and "Concealment" only refer to +4AC/+2 reflex Cover and 20% concealment. Any other form of Cover listed under the Cover section (such as Improved Cover or Total Cover) or other forms of Concealment listed under the Concealment section (such as Concealment with a different % miss chance or Total Concealment) do not count as cover or concealment despite being listed under "Cover" and "Concealment"?

No.

I am saying they are sufficient for a stealth check. Anything more is just gravy.

Quote:
The only places which are "unobserved" are places which have total concealment or cover from the potentially observing creature.

Or somewhere you make a stealth check.

Someone taking 2 skill checks and taking a -10 penalty on one of them is already in a bind, requiring total cover/concealment on top of that is kinda nuts. "Behind the barrel" is an unobserved place, or you wouldn't be able to hide there.

Quote:
This is a discussion with a lot of technicalities and minutiae. The devil is in the details. Please don't neglect them. Besides, if the creature can't sneak, then the observer can hear them moving easily and might reasonably be able to learn about what they are (footsteps vs slithering, for example), instead of just pinpointing *something*. So yes, it makes a difference, in principle and in practice.

It is entirely possible to miss the forest when you're looking at bark.

If someone wants to hide the slithering sound, sure, they can stealth at straight perception vs stealth. I'm really not sure what good it does though. While necessary, busting spot and listen into one skill comes with a lot of weirdness and common sense will be required.

Sovereign Court

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Snowblind wrote:

I am so confused now. I don't even understand what people are arguing over.

Would it be too much to ask everyone to explain in detail their "best guess" interpretation of the stealth rules and any pertenant rules surrounding the stealth rules. References or quotes of the UI stealth segment, the CRB stealth skill rules and anything else that is relevant would be nice, too.


  • You can Stealth if one of the following is true:
    A) You are not being "looked at" with a precise sense. C/C are the standard way of foiling precise senses. If that's not currently the case, you can't Stealth. But you can move behind C/C and immediately begin Stealth, even though people still see part of you sticking out (i.e. you don't have total C/C)

    B) You distract the people observing you with precise senses for a moment with a Bluff -10 check and then immediately move to a place that satisfies A; if your Stealth check succeeds.
    C) You have an ability that lets you use Stealth while being observed (such as HiPS, Hellcat Stealth, and perhaps Camouflage).

  • Observation was not originally a defined game term. Older rules that seem to differ between observation and C/C are archaic and date back to 3.5. Consider this snippet from the 3.5 DMG:

    3.5 DMG p. 32 wrote:
    Sneaking: Lidda is sneaking through a dungeon filled with hobgoblins. She must pass by an open doorway beyond which is a room where the brutes are drinking from a keg of ale. She makes a Move Silently check, and the hobgoblins make opposed Listen checks, but they’re not paying much attention, so the halfling sneaks by easily. The hobgoblins aren’t even looking at the door, so no Hide check is required. To get out, however, she must pass right through a guard room. She must make a Hide check to keep to the dark shadows near the walls, and a new Move Silently check (new because the listeners are different individuals, plus they’re more alert) to get past the guards and through the room.

    As we see here, Lidda is moving through an area unobserved even though she has no cover or concealment, but the hobgoblins are just not looking in her direction. A "facing" artifact perhaps.

    Back then, achieving C/C and preventing observation weren't the same thing, as the 3.5 Hide skill shows:

    3.5 PHB, Stealth skill wrote:
    A 13th-level ranger can attempt a Hide check in any sort of natural terrain, even if it doesn’t grant cover or concealment. A 17th-level ranger can do this even while being observed.

    3.5 didn't bother to define observation in any core book though, so Pathfinder didn't inherit any definition. That leaves authors with some wiggle room so that if editors aren't paying close attention, you get abilities based on varying interpretations held by writers. Probably, the writer of Camouflage/Ranger-HiPS held a different interpretation than the writer of Hellcat Stealth.

    UI p. 188 wrote:
    Observing: The final state is when the perceiving character is able to directly observe the sneaking character with a precise sense, such as vision. This is generally the result when the perceiving character rolls higher on its opposed Perception check than the sneaking character’s Stealth result while also having line of sight to the sneaking character and the ability to see through any sort of invisibility or other tricks the sneaking character might be using.

    And UI also merges the hindrance that C/C cause to vision with breaking observation:

    UI p. 188 wrote:
    Cover and Concealment for Stealth: The reason a character usually needs cover or concealment to use Stealth is tied to the fact that characters can’t use Stealth while being observed. A sneaking character needs to avoid all of an opponent’s precise senses in order to use Stealth, and for most creatures, that means vision.

    We know clearly why Concealment works:

    UI p. 187-188 wrote:
    A sense is precise if it allows the creature to use targeted effects on creatures and objects it senses, and to attack enemies without suffering a miss chance from concealment.

    Why Cover makes sight imprecise is not explained, but it's clearly implied by the part I quoted above, because you're allowed to use cover in all the same ways as concealment to engage in stealth.

  • Bluff to create a distraction is an alternative in case you're out in the open and want to start stealthing rightaway, so that people can't see where you're going to hide. You distract people for a moment, stealth away, and have to end up with something (C/C) to hide behind. As UI clarifies, C/C provide "unobserved places".

  • You need something to hide behind. You can't just stealth in the open. This one is tricky; it's not precisely spelled out, since technically speaking, if you're succesfully stealthing, your enemies have an awareness status (UI here) of Unaware, Aware of Presence, or Aware of Location. After all, Observing requires them to have won the Perception vs. Stealth check.

    However, that doesn't seem to be what they intended; after all, a stealther "usually needs cover or concealment to use Stealth". And the Breaking Stealth rules in the CRB drive this intended working home:

    CRB > 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. Your Stealth immediately ends after you make and attack roll, whether or not the attack is successful (except when sniping as noted below).

    So I would say that if your C/C disappears (for example, due to enemies circling around to view your hiding spot from a different angle) your Stealth also fails.

  • The Ranger's HiPS ability is redundant, since Camouflage already allows a ranger to start Stealthing without C/C. The distinction between those two abilities is archaic, predicated on an informal idea in 3.5 about observation that doesn't match the UI definition of observation.

  • The Shadowdancer's ability has always worked as intended.

    Shadowdancer wrote:

    Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. Informal introduction, not a separate ability from what follows.

    As long as she is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, the actual requirements

    a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. "something to hide behind" = C/C

    She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.Takes more dim light than that.

---
As for your example questions:

  • Snowblind wrote:
    Concealment/cover, unobserved

    You can start stealthing, because according to every rulebook, "Cover allows you to make a Stealth check" and likewise for Concealment.

    You are unobserved because you have C/C.

  • Snowblind wrote:
    Total concealment/cover, observed

    This can only happen with exceptional forms of total C/C, since normal total C/C blocks observation. It could happen with Displacement (the clause in UI explaining that that doesn't suffice) or a transparent Wall of Force.

    You wouldn't be able to start Stealth, because whatever the T-C/C is, it didn't break observation.

  • Snowblind wrote:
    Bright Light, concealment/cover, unobserved

    The C/C breaks observation, you can Stealth.

  • Snowblind wrote:
    No concealment/cover, unobserved

    You can Stealth, but the conditions that prevented observation (apart from the Stealth check itself) persisted, you'd lose Stealth at end of turn. This is because of the "Breaking Stealth" rule that if you start in Stealth, you can remain unobserved as long as you end your turn in C/C.

    It makes you wonder what exactly prevented people from observing you in the first place. If it was the enemy being blind, well, no problem. You do actually have total concealment from that enemy. If it was HiPS, then the HiPS trumps the usual requirement for C/C to break observation.

    If it was distance modifiers to Perception to see you... we get into the silliness of "can't see the sun because it's too far away" where the rules break down and you need to use some common sense. A reasonable ruling would be to say that a distance over (X) counts as sufficiently similar to concealment to qualify for breaking observation.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, unobserved, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light.

    Dim light would cause concealment if the onlooker didn't have Darkvision, so against a human you could Stealth but not against a dwarf within 60ft.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Dim light such as from moonlight or candlelight, observed, no cover/concealment from anything other than dim light.

    Assuming the observer is someone with darkvision that negates the dim light concealment, you can't stealth. If we're discussing a human without darkvision, how exactly is the rogue being observed? The concealment would make vision count as imprecise and therefore break observation.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Observed, using bluff for a distraction.

    You can Stealth, but you will become observed again unless your movement ends in a place that break observation (i.e. C/C).

    Snowblind wrote:
    Observed, about to move to concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.

    If the Bluff succeeded, you're actually (for an instant) not observed. If the bluff didn't succeed, people are going to see you moving since you don't have "the right" to that Stealth check. However, as soon as you make it to the C/C, you can start stealthing because that breaks observation.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Observed, about to move to total concealment/cover after using bluff for a distraction.

    Same.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Concealment from blur, not observed, no other form of concealment/cover

    How are you not observed? UI explains that blur doesn't break observation.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Invisibility, no other cover/concealment, observed.

    Invisibility provides total concealment, so if you're being observed that means your opponent has See Invisibility or Blindsight or suchlike. You can't Stealth against that obsever. Other people without such senses, you can stealth away from.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Hellcat Stealth in normal light, observed, no cover/concealment

    You can Stealth because that's what Hellcat Stealth does.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Hellcat Stealth in normal light, observed, cover/concealment

    If you have C/C you are not observed. You don't need to use Hellcat Stealth to begin Stealth (and can avoid the -10 penalty!).

    However, if you wanted to cross an un-C/C'ed space rightaway, Hellcat would be useful because normally you can only cross such open spaces if you begin your turn in stealth mode.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Hellcat Stealth in bright light, observed, cover/concealment

    Same, Hellcat Stealth doesn't distinguish between the two types of light.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Ranger with camouflage in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover

    He can stealth because that's what Camouflage lets him do. This is due to the (new) definition of observation in UI.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Ranger with camouflage and HiPS in favored terrain, observed, no concealment/cover

    He can stealth. HiPS may be redundant but it still works. (In case your archetype traded away Camouflage..)

    Snowblind wrote:
    Shadowdancer near dim light, cover/concealment, observed

    C/C would already break observation, but that doesn't matter, he can stealth because his HiPS applies. It doesn't matter if onlookers can see in darkness, the shadowdancer isn't even in that darkness.

    Snowblind wrote:
    Shadowdancer near dim light, no cover/concealment, observed

    He can stealth because he's got HiPS.


In the farmer brown above example:

Move action, open barn door.

Begin stealthing.

Farmer Able has a 50 50 chance of not seeing whether farmer brown went into the barn or around the corner, even though he can take a shot at someone standing on the corner with no penalty.

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