Stealth and invisibility again


Rules Questions


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This topic has come up several times, and while I knew how it worked in 3.5, Pathfinder is not 3.5, and rather than wait for a blog I will do individual questions over the coming days.

In the chapter on invisibility it says that if someone is using stealth and they are invisible the perception DC to locate the creature is a +20 to the stealth roll.

As an example if I roll a 35 for my stealth check the DC is 55, assuming no other modifiers are in play.

The FAQ question is below.

Is the +20 from invisibility that is added to the stealth roll to "notice" or "pinpoint the square" of the invisible creature in this case?

It is a flat DC 20 notice the presence of a creature that is invisible withing 20 feet, but it is a +20 to the DC to pinpoint the creature according to the glossary in the CRB<---not trying to use stealth

If the +20 to stealth is pinpoint a creature then it may be easier to pinpoint someone who is actively trying to hide, but with a low modifier, than it is to find(pinpoint) someone who is not trying to hide at all.That does not really make sense.

Not hiding(20)+20(pinpoint)=40 to locate square

Low roll trying to hide(18)+20(pinpoint)=38

I am thinking the person trying to hide would have a 58, but there has been enough debate on the topic over the years that it deserves a final answer.

No matter what you think the answer is, pressing the FAQ button would be appreciated.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Much appreciated!

These obscure rule sections keep me from playing a lot of character concepts because I'm not looking forward on discussing the issues again and again and again.

Ruyan.


Glossary wrote:
A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that "something's there" but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack. It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check.

Uhm, it's not obscure, to me. The way I read it:

Target is within 30 ft. and moves/acts: DC 20 (+ Stealth result, if using Stealth) to get the hunch.
If, and only if you got the hunch, DC 0 + 20 (+ Stealth result, if using Stealth) to pinpoint the location.

Target is beyond 30 ft. and does whatever: no Perception check allowed at all.
Target is beyond 30 ft. and there are proper conditions for a check (it steps on a puddle, there is rain/snow falling on it, smoke, etc.): DC 0 + 20 if acting, DC 0 + 40 if stationary (in both cases, add Stealth result, if using Stealth) to pinpoint.
Of course, add any other relevant modifier (such as the -20 if the creature is speaking).

All the base DC 0s are of course modified by distance, distraction (of the perceiving creature) and so on.


Astral Wanderer wrote:

:

Target is within 30 ft. and moves/acts: DC 20 (+ Stealth result, if using Stealth) to get the hunch.
If, and only if you got the hunch, DC 0 + 20 (+ Stealth result, if using Stealth) to pinpoint the location.

What is the difference between "DC 20" and "DC 0+20"


invisibility wrote:
A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that "something's there" but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack.

The flat DC20 is just to notice something is there, but you don't know exactly where, you still don't know enough to reliably take a wild swing.

The +20DC is to pinpoint the square and allow you to target it with an attack (with a 50% miss chance obviously).


bump


dragonhunterq wrote:
invisibility wrote:
A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that "something's there" but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack.

The flat DC20 is just to notice something is there, but you don't know exactly where, you still don't know enough to reliably take a wild swing.

The +20DC is to pinpoint the square and allow you to target it with an attack (with a 50% miss chance obviously).

I think the point is that pinpointing is no harder than just getting a general idea. That seems counterintuitive.


Should be stealth+20 to pinpoint. With no skill ranks on an average 10 you'd need to be rocking a -10ACP to be at DC 20.
Or not really trying to take advantage of the invisibility in which case 20 to 'general idea' and 'pinpoint' seems about right.


wraithstrike wrote:
Astral Wanderer wrote:

:

Target is within 30 ft. and moves/acts: DC 20 (+ Stealth result, if using Stealth) to get the hunch.
If, and only if you got the hunch, DC 0 + 20 (+ Stealth result, if using Stealth) to pinpoint the location.

What is the difference between "DC 20" and "DC 0+20"

As I said at the end of the post:

All the base DC 0s are of course modified by distance, distraction (of the perceiving creature) and so on.

Meaning that 0 is the base DC, but it will rarely be truly 0. Most times it will have at least one modifier (usually, from distance).
This to pinpoint the square, whereas the basic 20 to get the hunch doesn't care for distance and stuff. You just feel that something is nearby. Obviously, if the invisible creature does something that blatantly reveals its presence, such as talking, you automatically have far more than a hunch.


I wanted to add after my last sentence: likewise, if the invisible creature is trying to be sneaky, logic demands that you account for that and add the Stealth result to the normal 20 for the hunch. That 20 is for an active creature, but if the activity is trying its best to not move a grain of dust and not let out a breath, the DC *has* to be increased by the Stealth result.


Astral Wanderer wrote:
I wanted to add after my last sentence: likewise, if the invisible creature is trying to be sneaky, logic demands that you account for that and add the Stealth result to the normal 20 for the hunch. That 20 is for an active creature, but if the activity is trying its best to not move a grain of dust and not let out a breath, the DC *has* to be increased by the Stealth result.

Logic also dictates that knowing "something is there" is a lower DC than pinpointing the invisible creature.


Just to be clear: When are you ever going to be at a flat 20 to pinpoint?
That flat DC 20 hunch is just that - a flat DC 20 - it is never modified. It just tells you you are not alone.

d20+Stealth+20+other modifiers such as distance. You have to roll a 1 and have a negative overall modifier to be easier to pinpoint than 'hunch-ed'.
If your negative modifier is that high, then it should be easy to pinpoint your location, and at that point you don't need to rely on a hunch, you know there is a guy in full plate and a tower shield in the room with you and the clamour is coming from your left and back a bit 15'.

I don't see the problem. Seems to be working fine to me.

Sovereign Court

dragonhunterq wrote:
invisibility wrote:
A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that "something's there" but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack.

The flat DC20 is just to notice something is there, but you don't know exactly where, you still don't know enough to reliably take a wild swing.

The +20DC is to pinpoint the square and allow you to target it with an attack (with a 50% miss chance obviously).

As far as I'm concerned this definitively answers the question in the OP.

See also the scent ability with regards to "noticing that something is around here, somewhere".


Just to be clear the general consensus here is that when the rules say

Quote:
A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that “something's there” but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack. It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check.

"practically impossible" most of the time will mean a couple of points higher than the chance to notice - distance and maybe some dex?

I'd always taken the "practically impossible (+20DC) to mean on top of the base 20 to Notice.


dragonhunterq wrote:

Just to be clear: When are you ever going to be at a flat 20 to pinpoint?

That flat DC 20 hunch is just that - a flat DC 20 - it is never modified. It just tells you you are not alone.

d20+Stealth+20+other modifiers such as distance. You have to roll a 1 and have a negative overall modifier to be easier to pinpoint than 'hunch-ed'.
If your negative modifier is that high, then it should be easy to pinpoint your location, and at that point you don't need to rely on a hunch, you know there is a guy in full plate and a tower shield in the room with you and the clamour is coming from your left and back a bit 15'.

I don't see the problem. Seems to be working fine to me.

I see a problem. Its easier to notice the presence of a high stealth invisible character than it is a non-invisible character.

There is no DC 20 check to notice "something is there" for a visible person.


johnlocke90 wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:

Just to be clear: When are you ever going to be at a flat 20 to pinpoint?

That flat DC 20 hunch is just that - a flat DC 20 - it is never modified. It just tells you you are not alone.

d20+Stealth+20+other modifiers such as distance. You have to roll a 1 and have a negative overall modifier to be easier to pinpoint than 'hunch-ed'.
If your negative modifier is that high, then it should be easy to pinpoint your location, and at that point you don't need to rely on a hunch, you know there is a guy in full plate and a tower shield in the room with you and the clamour is coming from your left and back a bit 15'.

I don't see the problem. Seems to be working fine to me.

I see a problem. Its easier to notice the presence of a high stealth invisible character than it is a non-invisible character.

There is no DC 20 check to notice "something is there" for a visible person.

Because the "visible person" has significantly less advantages than the "invisible" person. The "visible" person cannot be adjacent to you and you be unaware, as they are "visible". No check, just seen.

It is a check to prevent "I win" by virtue of invisibility. Less problem, more thought out rules balancing, to prevent abuse.


Skylancer4 wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:

Just to be clear: When are you ever going to be at a flat 20 to pinpoint?

That flat DC 20 hunch is just that - a flat DC 20 - it is never modified. It just tells you you are not alone.

d20+Stealth+20+other modifiers such as distance. You have to roll a 1 and have a negative overall modifier to be easier to pinpoint than 'hunch-ed'.
If your negative modifier is that high, then it should be easy to pinpoint your location, and at that point you don't need to rely on a hunch, you know there is a guy in full plate and a tower shield in the room with you and the clamour is coming from your left and back a bit 15'.

I don't see the problem. Seems to be working fine to me.

I see a problem. Its easier to notice the presence of a high stealth invisible character than it is a non-invisible character.

There is no DC 20 check to notice "something is there" for a visible person.

Because the "visible person" has significantly less advantages than the "invisible" person. The "visible" person cannot be adjacent to you and you be unaware, as they are "visible". No check, just seen.

It is a check to prevent "I win" by virtue of invisibility. Less problem, more thought out rules balancing, to prevent abuse.

It doesn't make sense though.

I sneak by a dude with a 30 on my stealth roll and he doesn't notice anything.

I sneak by a dude invisibly with a 30 on my stealth roll and he notices something is there.

Sovereign Court

There's no meta need for a check "to detect someone's there" when invisibility isn't involved, so that's why there isn't one.

Invisibility not only gives you a huge bonus, it makes the attempt possible under conditions where mundane stealth is not even possible to attempt.

And +1 to what Skylancer4 said. The extra check for "knowing someone's there" helps keep invisibility magic from rendering magic-less stealth obsolete.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:

Just to be clear: When are you ever going to be at a flat 20 to pinpoint?

That flat DC 20 hunch is just that - a flat DC 20 - it is never modified. It just tells you you are not alone.

d20+Stealth+20+other modifiers such as distance. You have to roll a 1 and have a negative overall modifier to be easier to pinpoint than 'hunch-ed'.
If your negative modifier is that high, then it should be easy to pinpoint your location, and at that point you don't need to rely on a hunch, you know there is a guy in full plate and a tower shield in the room with you and the clamour is coming from your left and back a bit 15'.

I don't see the problem. Seems to be working fine to me.

I see a problem. Its easier to notice the presence of a high stealth invisible character than it is a non-invisible character.

There is no DC 20 check to notice "something is there" for a visible person.

Because the "visible person" has significantly less advantages than the "invisible" person. The "visible" person cannot be adjacent to you and you be unaware, as they are "visible". No check, just seen.

It is a check to prevent "I win" by virtue of invisibility. Less problem, more thought out rules balancing, to prevent abuse.

It doesn't make sense though.

I sneak by a dude with a 30 on my stealth roll and he doesn't notice anything.

I sneak by a dude invisibly with a 30 on my stealth roll and he notices something is there.

I never noticed that. I can give a flavor reason, but it only works IMHO for someone with a low stealth modifier.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah. You can be a rogue in a dimly lit room, hiding behind some crates - partial concealment, partial cover, every right to hide from the stupid ol' human guard without darkvision or anything on the other side of the crates, even if the guard is just 5 or 10 feet away. And you can have a stealth modifier so high the guard won't ever notice you.

But turn on your ring of invisibility and suddenly the guard has the same flat DC 20 to notice "something *invisible* is near!" as if you were standing right in front of it doing funny faces, because everyone has a magical "invisibility sense".

Which is why I'm houseruling that the DC only applies if you couldn't make regular stealth checks.


Hi Wraithstrike:

Wraithstrike wrote:
As an example if I roll a 35 for my stealth check the DC is 55, assuming no other modifiers are in play.

Yes... But there ARE other modifiers at all times!

Moving? If yes: how fast? If not: there is the "Not Moving" Modifier...

Wraithstrike wrote:

Not hiding(20)+20(pinpoint)=40 to locate square

Low roll trying to hide(18)+20(pinpoint)=38.

For the following examples I will cut out the +1 per 10 feet distance Modifier to keep it "easy"

No stealth, not walking, just standing still: 0(to see a visible creature) + 20 (invisible) +20 (standing still)
DC to notice: 40
Pinpoint + 20
This means that it is a DC60 Perception Check to Pinpoint a still standing invisible creature.

For the following I will use your assumed 18 for the Stealth Roll
Stealth, not walking, just standing still: 18 + 40 (invisible and not moving)
DC to notice: 58
Pinpoint + 20
This means that it is a DC78 Perception Check to Pinpoint a still standing stealth unsing invisible creature.

References:
Invisibility
Stealth
Perception

Some things in particular:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/stealth wrote:
Magic: If you are invisible, you gain a +40 bonus on Stealth checks if you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if you're moving.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Astral Wanderer wrote:
I wanted to add after my last sentence: likewise, if the invisible creature is trying to be sneaky, logic demands that you account for that and add the Stealth result to the normal 20 for the hunch. That 20 is for an active creature, but if the activity is trying its best to not move a grain of dust and not let out a breath, the DC *has* to be increased by the Stealth result.
Logic also dictates that knowing "something is there" is a lower DC than pinpointing the invisible creature.

Where did I say it isn't?

Hunch: 20 + Stealth, if used.
Pinpoint: 0 + 20 + Stealth, if used + distance + whatnot.
You'd have to do something really odd to get a lower DC to pinpoint than getting the hunch.

johnlocke90 wrote:

I sneak by a dude with a 30 on my stealth roll and he doesn't notice anything.

I sneak by a dude invisibly with a 30 on my stealth roll and he notices something is there.

Answered above.

I think you guys are making it overcomplicated where it's really simple.


Astral Wanderer wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Astral Wanderer wrote:
I wanted to add after my last sentence: likewise, if the invisible creature is trying to be sneaky, logic demands that you account for that and add the Stealth result to the normal 20 for the hunch. That 20 is for an active creature, but if the activity is trying its best to not move a grain of dust and not let out a breath, the DC *has* to be increased by the Stealth result.
Logic also dictates that knowing "something is there" is a lower DC than pinpointing the invisible creature.

Where did I say it isn't?

Hunch: 20 + Stealth, if used.
Pinpoint: 0 + 20 + Stealth, if used + distance + whatnot.
You'd have to do something really odd to get a lower DC to pinpoint than getting the hunch.

johnlocke90 wrote:

I sneak by a dude with a 30 on my stealth roll and he doesn't notice anything.

I sneak by a dude invisibly with a 30 on my stealth roll and he notices something is there.

Answered above.

I think you guys are making it overcomplicated where it's really simple.

Except for the part where you arbitrarily decide that Stealth, but nothing else that normally makes it harder to Perceive people, gets added to the Notice roll.

Sovereign Court

Your not liking the rule is what's making it complicated for you. The rule is actually quite clear and simple.

Rule Zero trumps it, so apply Rule Zero for your table as you see fit.


deusvult wrote:

Your not liking the rule is what's making it complicated for you. The rule is actually quite clear and simple.

Rule Zero trumps it, so apply Rule Zero for your table as you see fit.

What rule? What does the clear and simple rule that's spawned so many pages of argument over the years clearly and simply say?


Darkim wrote:

Hi Wraithstrike:

Wraithstrike wrote:
As an example if I roll a 35 for my stealth check the DC is 55, assuming no other modifiers are in play.

I know this. I was just trying to keep things as simple as possible to avoid tangents.


Darkim wrote:


For the following examples I will cut out the +1 per 10 feet distance Modifier to keep it "easy"

No stealth, not walking, just standing still: 0(to see a visible creature) + 20 (invisible) +20 (standing still)
DC to notice: 40
Pinpoint + 20
This means that it is a DC60 Perception Check to Pinpoint a still standing invisible creature.

For the following I will use your assumed 18 for the Stealth Roll
Stealth, not walking, just standing still: 18 + 40 (invisible and not moving)
DC to notice: 58
Pinpoint + 20
This means that it is a DC78 Perception Check to Pinpoint a still standing stealth unsing invisible creature.

References:
Invisibility
Stealth
Perception

Some things in particular:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/stealth wrote:
Magic: If you are invisible, you gain a +40 bonus on Stealth checks if you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if you're moving.

That is how I think it works also, even though I argued against it in the past.


thejeff wrote:
deusvult wrote:

Your not liking the rule is what's making it complicated for you. The rule is actually quite clear and simple.

Rule Zero trumps it, so apply Rule Zero for your table as you see fit.

What rule? What does the clear and simple rule that's spawned so many pages of argument over the years clearly and simply say?

A DC20 perception check tells you 'something' is within 20' of you that you can't see, it does not allow you to locate that creature (that's something like 66* 5' squares just to put it in perspective - just in case you were going to take a wild swing at a random square).

An opposed perception vs stealth +20 allows you to pinpoint the location of an invisible creature and attack that square.

* or thereabouts - 8+16+24+32-some number for the corners


deusvult wrote:

Your not liking the rule is what's making it complicated for you. The rule is actually quite clear and simple.

Rule Zero trumps it, so apply Rule Zero for your table as you see fit.

The rule is not clear at all. It was so "not clear" in 3.5 they had to do a blog on it. That is how I figured out how it works in Pathfinder, but every time it comes up there is a large split on how it works. I can't say "but 3.5" while explaining a rule because Pathfinder says it is it's own game so Paizo needs to explain it.

Just because it is clear to whoever understands it, that does not make it clear to everyone else.

Don't assume that someone not agreeing with a rule is due to them not liking it. Sometimes people just don't get it, just like the time I had to explain to someone that you don't get access to the bonus 9th level spell slots before you can access the normal 9th level spells slots. Yes, they were serious.

edit: By "serious" I mean not looking for confirmation bias.


I'm pretty sure I agree with wraithstrike and Darkim, but not with dragonhunterq, Astral Wanderer or I think with deusvolt.

There may be minor differences, but basically pinpointing is 20 harder than noticing along with other modifiers.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This topic has come up several times, and these are not even all of the ones that ask about it. I just got tired of copying and pasting.


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