Can the sun be a source of concealment?


Rules Questions


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This is instead of those silly threads about using Perception to see the sun...

Imagine a flat plain, and a clear, bright day. Stealth without invisibility is more or less impossible. ... Or is it?

Could a flying rogue figure out their position with regards to a prospective ground-based target and the sun, and thus use the sun to conceal themselves from their target?

Further, could the rogue get to within 30 ft. of their target, and thus pull off a sneak attack with a ranged weapon? How close can you get to someone via this method and not appreciably shade them?


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Of course it can, ask the stars.

Having the sun at your back means it is in your foes eyes. Well, at least one of you foes.
This is more useful versus ranged. I would rule it more of a dazzled penalty level.


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No and no. You need to Stealth behind something, not in front of it. There is no penalty for staring into the sun, therefore there's no reason characters aren't doing that.

Stars do not hide in front of the sun. They hide behind it. Way, way behind it.


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You can use stealth with cover or concealment.


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Yeah, this is the wrong subforum. The hard rules answer is "no". I would house rule it as "sure", if you chose the right direction and right time of day.


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I believe this was a favourite tactic of Musashi Miyamoto during duals, to always keep the Sun at his back making it difficult for his opponent to see his movement. Especially effective with a dual at dawn.


Even though I don't think there's an official rule about it, if one of my players came out with this strategy and it made sense, I'd probably allow to make some kind of check to make the opponent dazed.
As said by a previous poster, I think dazed makes more sense than gaining concealment.

Grand Lodge

I've actually played in a game in which we needed to fly over something without being noticed, so we waited for the clearest, brightest part of the midday and cast daylight on our boots and then flew over the camp. I mean how many people are going to be staring up at the sun?

enemies base is down joke here


Kileanna wrote:

Even though I don't think there's an official rule about it, if one of my players came out with this strategy and it made sense, I'd probably allow to make some kind of check to make the opponent dazed.

As said by a previous poster, I think dazed makes more sense than gaining concealment.

I think you mean dazzled? dazed is a very hard CC that prevent any actions.


vhok wrote:
Kileanna wrote:

Even though I don't think there's an official rule about it, if one of my players came out with this strategy and it made sense, I'd probably allow to make some kind of check to make the opponent dazed.

As said by a previous poster, I think dazed makes more sense than gaining concealment.
I think you mean dazzled? dazed is a very hard CC that prevent any actions.

I meant dazzled. Curse you, language barriers!


Jader7777 wrote:

I've actually played in a game in which we needed to fly over something without being noticed, so we waited for the clearest, brightest part of the midday and cast daylight on our boots and then flew over the camp. I mean how many people are going to be staring up at the sun?

enemies base is down joke here

A tactic used while hunting submarines during WWII

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

There's a 3.5 monster that did this, actually: the Sunwyrm, of Fiend Folio. It's a dragon that constantly glows like the sun, and to hunt, it puts itself between its prey and the sun so they can't see it coming.

This probably isn't much help, of course, since 3.5 isn't strictly Pathfinder. (And a rogue isn't strictly a Sunwyrm, I suppose. :P )


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I figure "the GM thinks this is reasonable and applies an appropriate circumstance bonus" is the key to making the stealth/perception rules make sense.

You try to get too legalistic with this stuff and you have issues with "The sun is too far away to be seen" or "still somehow get a +20 stealth bonus by being invisible around a blind person"


For those who prefer the feat allows this approach, there's a feat for it.


Yeah, if following the rules gets you stupid results it's time to stop following the rules and use your common sense.

Scarab Sages

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ohako wrote:

This is instead of those silly threads about using Perception to see the sun...

Imagine a flat plain, and a clear, bright day. Stealth without invisibility is more or less impossible. ... Or is it?

Stealth is about not being detected via the opponents senses. Sight is the one you are talking about. No, the brightness of the sun doesn't provide concealment. That said, if the opponent is blinded (by the sun, for instance), you are able to roll stealth (since them being blinded grants total concealment).

And you can certainly use the sun as part of a Dirty Trick Combat maneuver to blind the opponent (like reflecting the sun's rays into their eyes). GM's call, regarding any dirty tricks, of course.


Maybe against npcs that have light sensitivity for a brief period of time.


ohako wrote:

This is instead of those silly threads about using Perception to see the sun...

Imagine a flat plain, and a clear, bright day. Stealth without invisibility is more or less impossible. ... Or is it?

Could a flying rogue figure out their position with regards to a prospective ground-based target and the sun, and thus use the sun to conceal themselves from their target?

Further, could the rogue get to within 30 ft. of their target, and thus pull off a sneak attack with a ranged weapon? How close can you get to someone via this method and not appreciably shade them?

In the real world the sun is so far away that the shadow cast by a flying object or creature stays roughly the same size regardless of altitude.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:

In the real world the sun is so far away that the shadow cast by a flying object or creature stays roughly the same size regardless of altitude.

Really? I did not know that. So, while it would be easy to spot a shadow of a flying rogue on the ground (thus negating stealth), actually responding to the attack would be hard because you'd be looking at the sun (either blinded or dazzled).

Scarab Sages

Redneckdevil wrote:
Maybe against npcs that have light sensitivity for a brief period of time.

For Dirty Trick, the blindness is temporary. So could just reflect the sun's rays on your shiny armor to get their eyes, or something like that. GM's call on how long it lasts, but really only has to blind them for a short period to stealth away.

A round is 6 seconds. I can totally picture being blinded for 6 seconds because of a bright reflection off some shiny metal (like a setting sun off a polished shield). I don't need light sensitivity for that.

Mind you, dirty trick is still a melee option, so you'd have to be very close and beat my CMD to pull that off. Sand in my eyes would be the more traditional use of the same trick, but sun in my eyes sounds just as valid.

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