# DC to Pinpoint Invisible Creature

### Rules Questions

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Ferious Thune wrote:

Right, but it adds up to the same number whether you say the extra 20 is to notice or to pinpoint.

Roll Stealth with your normal bonuses. Add 20 for being invisible and moving. Add 20 to pinpoint. Subtract 20 for being in combat. The net is Stealth+20 to pinpoint.

or

Roll Stealth with your normal bonuses. Add 20 to notice. Add 20 to pinpoint. Subtract 20 for being in combat. The net is Stealth+20 to pinpoint.

At that point, we're just arguing about what to call the bonuses, and there's no real point in doing that if we're basically arriving at the same place.

The issue is that Stealth tells you to add +20 or +40 to the Stealth roll. So understanding what you mean by "Stealth+20" is important. Is Stealth= 1d20+Your Stealth Bonus+20 for being invisible and moving and then you add 20 for the base DC to notice and if you exceed by another 20 you pinpoint them? Example with Stealth +10 and a take 10/roll of a 10:

10(roll) + 10(stealth bonus) + 20(invisible and moving) + 20 (Base DC to spot) - 20 (in Combat) = DC40 to notice, DC60 to pinpoint.

Or is the +20 that Stealth is telling you to add included already somewhere in the Base DC to notice and the +20 to pinpoint? Giving you:

10(roll) + 10(stealth bonus) + 20(Base DC to notice) - 20(in Combat) = DC 20 to notice, DC 40 to pinpoint.

In the first situation, I feel like you'd be adding the same +20 twice. The +20 stealth is telling you to add is already included somewhere in the rules that the invisibility special ability is telling you to use. Whether that +20 is the pinpoint adjustment or whether it's the base DC doesn't really matter, as long as it's only counted once.

What I've come around to is accepting three things. The DC to notice and the DC to pinpoint are separate modifiers. One of them (doesn't really matter which) is the same as the +20 stealth tells you to add if you're moving. And finally, the rules already incorporate my assertion that you don't need to notice someone is there that has already made...

Stealth+20 = your normal Stealth check and then adding +20 once for being invisible. You still have to beat it by another 20 if you want to pinpoint its location though.

Ok. Then I think we agree. It's unfortunate, but in this situation, "Stealth check" needs explanation, because some people want to add the bonus twice.

Ferious Thune wrote:
Ok. Then I think we agree. It's unfortunate, but in this situation, "Stealth check" needs explanation, because some people want to add the bonus twice.

I don't think I've seen anyone seriously arguing that recently, but if you want to, twice is insufficient. Go for broke.

20 Base DC + 20 to pinpoint.
To which you add, since it's in a table of modifiers to the Perception DC: Stealth + 20.
Now you go look up Stealth and find, in addition to other modifiers, a +20 for being invisible. This stacks, since it's a bonus to the Stealth skill, while the other modifies the Perception DC.

That gets you a total of Stealth + 80. (I think I'm missing something, but I can't be bothered to go look up the first time I worked it out.)

That's moving, of course. If you're not, you get another 40. :)

Ferious Thune wrote:

Right, but it adds up to the same number whether you say the extra 20 is to notice or to pinpoint.

Roll Stealth with your normal bonuses. Add 20 for being invisible and moving. Add 20 to pinpoint. Subtract 20 for being in combat. The net is Stealth+20 to pinpoint.

or

Roll Stealth with your normal bonuses. Add 20 to notice. Add 20 to pinpoint. Subtract 20 for being in combat. The net is Stealth+20 to pinpoint.

At that point, we're just arguing about what to call the bonuses, and there's no real point in doing that if we're basically arriving at the same place.

The issue is that Stealth tells you to add +20 or +40 to the Stealth roll. So understanding what you mean by "Stealth+20" is important. Is Stealth= 1d20+Your Stealth Bonus+20 for being invisible and moving and then you add 20 for the base DC to notice and if you exceed by another 20 you pinpoint them? Example with Stealth +10 and a take 10/roll of a 10:

10(roll) + 10(stealth bonus) + 20(invisible and moving) + 20 (Base DC to spot) - 20 (in Combat) = DC40 to notice, DC60 to pinpoint.

Or is the +20 that Stealth is telling you to add included already somewhere in the Base DC to notice and the +20 to pinpoint? Giving you:

10(roll) + 10(stealth bonus) + 20(Base DC to notice) - 20(in Combat) = DC 20 to notice, DC 40 to pinpoint.

In the first situation, I feel like you'd be adding the same +20 twice. The +20 stealth is telling you to add is already included somewhere in the rules that the invisibility special ability is telling you to use. Whether that +20 is the pinpoint adjustment or whether it's the base DC doesn't really matter, as long as it's only counted once.
What I've come around to is accepting three things. The DC to notice and the DC to pinpoint are separate modifiers. One of them (doesn't really matter which) is the same as the +20 stealth tells you to add if you're moving. And finally, the rules already incorporate my assertion that you don't need to notice someone is there that has already made themself obvious by attacking or whatever means. The way that the rules incorporate that is with an equivalent penalty once you are in combat with the invisible creature. As long as that creature stays in the area and is actively participating in combat, the -20 adjustment offsets the base 20 DC to notice, and everything works out in a way that makes sense (to me, anyway) without creating ridiculously high or ridiculously low DCs.

More seriously, I've got to say, I think that last part is pretty nonsensical, depending on what you mean by "participating in combat".

Let's say I'm trying to avoid being in combat - say I'm sneaking past the guards invisible, but they made their notice check and they're actively looking for me - and quite willing to attack me, if they pinpoint me.
I'm moving, but slowly to minimize my penalties. Is that combat?
I'd say no, so Stealth + 20(pinpoint) + 20(base while invisible) = stealth + 40

What if I bring my barbarian friend along to attack and distract them while I slip past. There's now combat going on, so is it the same deal?

Or if I decide I need to kill one of them to help her out? Am I now in combat, while I'm sneaking up to sneak attack?

Further, does "in combat" change in any of those cases if they didn't make that initial notice roll?

I've always treated "in combat" as a penalty for the noises and commotion of actually fighting.

If you're sneaking past the guards, and they don't yet know you are there, then you are not in combat.

If they make the check the get a hunch that someone is there, but have not pinpointed you, and you are not taking aggressive action toward them, then you are not in combat.

If they pinpoint you anyway and start attacking you, then you are in combat. If you can get more than 30 feet away for a round, they don't pinpoint you again, and you don't take any hostile action, I'd probably rule that you weren't in combat anymore.

If you start attacking them, then you are in combat. Note: It does not have to be melee combat. So if you are shooting arrows from a longbow at them, or tossing magic missiles, you are still in combat and it's easier to pinpoint you.

If you bring your Barbarian friend along to attack, but you don't attack, and they don't notice you are there, then you are not in combat.

If you are sneaking up, and they have no idea that you are there at all, then you are not in combat until you attack. If you've already attacked, then stealth again, I'd probably rule you are still in combat.

If they didn't make the initial notice roll, and you want to walk right by them, you can walk right by them. If they didn't make the initial notice roll, and you want to sneak attack one of them in a surprise round, you can sneak attack one of them in the surprise round. After that, you're in combat.

Note that it says in combat or speaking, so if you're a wizard in the corner casting a summoning spell with a verbal component, you take the penalty whether you're actively attacking anyone or not.

It's trickier with psychic casting and silent spells. I'm not familiar enough with Ultimate Intrigue to know what rules exist in there, and the whole manifestations FAQ isn't clear enough for me to quite know how that is supposed to work.

My problem wasn't that the DC was difficult when you have no idea that someone is there. My problem was that there seemed to be no adjustment to the DC once you're aware of the invisible creature and it's hostile. But there is an adjustment in the penalty for being in combat.

If an invisible hobbit wants to hide in the corner and hope no one realizes he's there, more power to him, and he can get the bonus without the combat penalty, even if people are fighting around him.

Ferious Thune wrote:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what he's advocating. Because it sounds to me like he's saying you get the bonus to stealth and the +20 to pinpoint and the base 20 to notice for a DC 80, not 60.

To get right to the point (from my first post on this thread, slightly modified for clarity):

Not in combat/speaking:
*Not moving: Base 20 DC, +20 base pinpoint, +20 not moving, +20 plus stealth check result if using stealth as part of it:
DC 60 not moving, +20 and more if using stealth

In combat/speaking:
*Not moving: Base 20 DC, +20 base pinpoint, +20 not moving, +20 plus stealth check result if using stealth as part of it, but taking -20 for being in combat/speaking:
DC 40 not moving, +20 and more if using stealth

The rest is here:

Ferious Thune wrote:

If you're sneaking past the guards, and they don't yet know you are there, then you are not in combat...

...My problem wasn't that the DC was difficult when you have no idea that someone is there. My problem was that there seemed to be no adjustment to the DC once you're aware of the invisible creature and it's hostile. But there is an adjustment in the penalty for being in combat.

Yes, yes! I agree with all of that. Flavor wise and "realistically", outside of combat it should be very difficult to detect and maybe even just 'happen' to pinpoint and invisible creature minding its own business, but I agree that basically once the creature must roll initiative due to being involved in combat (even if it is not so much that the creature is trying to attack, but for example other creatures are attacking the invisible creature and it is trying to escape) there's the in combat penalty since "they're on to him" and their senses are dialed in on locating the creature.

Brandenfascher wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what he's advocating. Because it sounds to me like he's saying you get the bonus to stealth and the +20 to pinpoint and the base 20 to notice for a DC 80, not 60.

To get right to the point (from my first post on this thread, slightly modified for clarity):

Not in combat/speaking:
*Not moving: Base 20 DC, +20 base pinpoint, +20 not moving, +20 plus stealth check result if using stealth as part of it:
DC 60 not moving, +20 and more if using stealth

In combat/speaking:
*Not moving: Base 20 DC, +20 base pinpoint, +20 not moving, +20 plus stealth check result if using stealth as part of it, but taking -20 for being in combat/speaking:
DC 40 not moving, +20 and more if using stealth

The rest is here:

Where's that (+20 plus stealth) coming from?

Is that what I was parodying with "To which you add, since it's in a table of modifiers to the Perception DC: Stealth + 20."?

Because I'd say that replaces the base and isn't another +20 because you're trying to be stealthy.

Brandenfascher wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what he's advocating. Because it sounds to me like he's saying you get the bonus to stealth and the +20 to pinpoint and the base 20 to notice for a DC 80, not 60.

To get right to the point (from my first post on this thread, slightly modified for clarity):

Not in combat/speaking:
*Not moving: Base 20 DC, +20 base pinpoint, +20 not moving, +20 plus stealth check result if using stealth as part of it:
DC 60 not moving, +20 and more if using stealth

In combat/speaking:
*Not moving: Base 20 DC, +20 base pinpoint, +20 not moving, +20 plus stealth check result if using stealth as part of it, but taking -20 for being in combat/speaking:
DC 40 not moving, +20 and more if using stealth

The rest is here:

Yep. See, this is what I thought. thejeff, see what I'm saying? He's counting the bonus to stealth and the base DC and the bonus to pinpoint. Something in there is being counted twice when it shouldn't be. Either because it's the same bonus, or because there are two bonuses from the same source.

Brandenfascher - Are you getting the +20 +stealth from the table under the invisibility special ability? Or are you getting the +20 to stealth from the invisibility spell or from stealth itself? If you're pulling it from the table, I can at least understand how you'd read it as a single combined modifier and not two different modifiers from the same source. That would explain things a little. I still wouldn't think you were interpreting the table correctly, but at least I'd understand why you don't consider it two separate modifiers.

Brandenfascher wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

If you're sneaking past the guards, and they don't yet know you are there, then you are not in combat...

...My problem wasn't that the DC was difficult when you have no idea that someone is there. My problem was that there seemed to be no adjustment to the DC once you're aware of the invisible creature and it's hostile. But there is an adjustment in the penalty for being in combat.

Yes, yes! I agree with all of that. Flavor wise and "realistically", outside of combat it should be very difficult to detect and maybe even just 'happen' to pinpoint and invisible creature minding its own business, but I agree that basically once the creature must roll initiative due to being involved in combat (even if it is not so much that the creature is trying to attack, but for example other creatures are attacking the invisible creature and it is trying to escape) there's the in combat penalty since "they're on to him" and their senses are dialed in on locating the creature.

I'm glad we agree on something.

thejeff wrote:
Where's that (+20 plus stealth) coming from?

..."+20 plus stealth check result if using stealth as part of it..."

It was meant to be all inclusive, referring to the table modifier entry:

"Using Stealth: Stealth check +20"

Ok. I at least understand where you're coming from now. I believe in past threads on the topic, that table entry has either been widely considered an error, or that it replaces the normal base DC of 20. Anyway, I now understand better why you don't view it as a separate modifier, even if I still think it's incorrect to add that extra +20 in.

One of the problems with that table entry is that it's never explained where that particular 20 comes from.

Ferious Thune wrote:

He's counting the bonus to stealth and the base DC and the bonus to pinpoint. Something in there is being counted twice when it shouldn't be. Either because it's the same bonus, or because there are two bonuses from the same source.

Brandenfascher - Are you getting the +20 +stealth from the table under the invisibility special ability?

The entirety of where I'm getting all of this (table included):

Special Abilities - 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. It’s practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature’s location with a Perception check. Even once a character has pinpointed the square that contains an invisible creature, the creature still benefits from total concealment (50% miss chance). There are a number of modifiers that can be applied to this DC if the invisible creature is moving or engaged in a noisy activity.

Invisible creature is… Perception
DC Modifier
In combat or speaking –20
Moving at half speed –5
Moving at full speed –10
Running or charging –20
Not moving +20
Using Stealth Stealth check +20
Some distance away +1 per 10 feet
Behind an obstacle (door) +5
Behind an obstacle (stone wall) +15

Ferious Thune wrote:

Yep. See, this is what I thought. thejeff, see what I'm saying? He's counting the bonus to stealth and the base DC and the bonus to pinpoint. Something in there is being counted twice when it shouldn't be. Either because it's the same bonus, or because there are two bonuses from the same source.

It still doesn't make sense to me to rule it out based on the "two bonuses from the same source" argument.

Since it's the same source that gives both of them, if they're not supposed to stack that would mean they deliberately wrote two different bonuses into the rules with the full intention that only one would actually apply. That just makes no sense to me. "This spell gives a +5 to hit and a +5 to hit using a sword. Great huh? Ha, fooled you. They're the same source so you only get one of them!!"

Nonsense. That's even beyond the usual confusion in this section of the rules. That's sillier than "Can't hide in the bushes near a dwarf".

Edit: But yeah, I'd missed that Brandenfascher was making that argument.

Note that, unlike every other entry on that table, the stealth one doesn't have a "+" in front of it. That's my justification for considering it RAW to treat that as a base rather than a modifier to the other base.
Despite the table saying "DC modifier" :)

I'm far surer that's the intent than I am of some other things in these rules.

Ferious Thune wrote:

Ok. I at least understand where you're coming from now. I believe in past threads on the topic, that table entry has either been widely considered an error, or that it replaces the normal base DC of 20. Anyway, I now understand better why you don't view it as a separate modifier, even if I still think it's incorrect to add that extra +20 in.

One of the problems with that table entry is that it's never explained where that particular 20 comes from.

Is this because of the Stealth entry having "+40 to stealth when not moving, +20 when moving" mentioned, and people trying to puzzle out how those fit into the Special Ability's DC modifiers?

thejeff wrote:
Note that, unlike every other entry on that table, the stealth one doesn't have a "+" in front of it...

It does have a plus (unless the d20pfsrd table I'm looking at is inaccurate). It says "Stealth check" first, then "+20". I don't think the arrangement should make a difference.

Brandenfascher wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

Ok. I at least understand where you're coming from now. I believe in past threads on the topic, that table entry has either been widely considered an error, or that it replaces the normal base DC of 20. Anyway, I now understand better why you don't view it as a separate modifier, even if I still think it's incorrect to add that extra +20 in.

One of the problems with that table entry is that it's never explained where that particular 20 comes from.

Is this because of the Stealth entry having "+40 to stealth when not moving, +20 when moving" mentioned, and people trying to puzzle out how those fit into the Special Ability's DC modifiers?

No.

It's because it's obvious to me, just from the Special Ability section, that the "20" in the "Stealth+20" section of the table is the same +20 you get from being invisible, where ever they talk about it.

Brandenfascher wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Note that, unlike every other entry on that table, the stealth one doesn't have a "+" in front of it...
It does have a plus (unless the d20pfsrd table I'm looking at is inaccurate). It says "Stealth check" first, then "+20". I don't think the arrangement should make a difference.

It doesn't have a '+' in front of the value in the Perception DC modifier column.

For example, the "Not moving" entry has "+20", so you obviously need to add that 20 to something for it to make sense. The "Using Stealth" entry has "Stealth check +20", so there's no need to add it to anything, it's a base of its own.
If that entry was "+Stealth check +20" it would be clear it needed to be added to some other base value.

Brandenfascher - partly. And partly because of people taking it a step farther than you have and trying to add those bonuses on top of what you presented, because they are supposedly included in the stealth roll.

thejeff - The issue is that people do claim the equivalent of "the spell gives you a +5 to-hit and a +5 to-hit!" They do that when they claim that you adjust your stealth score by 20 or 40, then you add that adjusted stealth score to the DC, which you also adjust by 20 or 40 for the same reason you adjusted stealth. The claim is that one is a bonus to your stealth roll and the other is a bonus to the DC to spot you, so they are two separate effects of the spell. Where the stacking comes in is when they are being added together. I'd much rather convince people that they are the same modifier, but when someone won't believe that, and they insist they are two separate modifiers, I point out that if they are two separate modifiers from the same spell, they won't stack. Which hopefully makes them realize that there wouldn't be two separate modifiers from the same spell doing the same thing in the first place.

In other words, I agree with you, and it's probably best not to continue debating something that we both agree isn't the actual rule in play here. Now that I understand that Brandenfascher doesn't think that either, there's no need to try to convince him. Focusing on that entry in the table is much more helpful.

thejeff again - I think your reading of the table is probably correct. Though I wish they had just listed it as +stealth. Or better yet, actually given us an example of how this is all supposed to work.

Ferious Thune wrote:

Brandenfascher - partly. And partly because of people taking it a step farther than you have and trying to add those bonuses on top of what you presented, because they are supposedly included in the stealth roll.

thejeff - The issue is that people do claim the equivalent of "the spell gives you a +5 to-hit and a +5 to-hit!" They do that when they claim that you adjust your stealth score by 20 or 40, then you add that adjusted stealth score to the DC, which you also adjust by 20 or 40 for the same reason you adjusted stealth. The claim is that one is a bonus to your stealth roll and the other is a bonus to the DC to spot you, so they are two separate effects of the spell. Where the stacking comes in is when they are being added together. I'd much rather convince people that they are the same modifier, but when someone won't believe that, and they insist they are two separate modifiers, I point out that if they are two separate modifiers from the same spell, they won't stack. Which hopefully makes them realize that there wouldn't be two separate modifiers from the same spell doing the same thing in the first place.

In other words, I agree with you, and it's probably best not to continue debating something that we both agree isn't the actual rule in play here. Now that I understand that Brandenfascher doesn't think that either, there's no need to try to convince him. Focusing on that entry in the table is much more helpful.

thejeff again - I think your reading of the table is probably correct. Though I wish they had just listed it as +stealth. Or better yet, actually given us an example of how this is all supposed to work.

I can see it as a tactic to get people to understand it doesn't make any sense.

Maybe I should try to convince Brandenfascher that, according to the Stealth skill entry, the Stealth check itself has a +20 from invisibility, which would need to be added to the +20 on the table and the +20 to pinpoint and the base 20? Nah, probably not.

thejeff wrote:

It doesn't have a '+' in front of the value in the Perception DC modifier column.

For example, the "Not moving" entry has "+20", so you obviously need to add that 20 to something for it to make sense. The "Using Stealth" entry has "Stealth check +20", so there's no need to add it to anything, it's a base of its own.
If that entry was "+Stealth check +20" it would be clear it needed to be added to some other base value.

I see what you mean now. I didn't think of it as possibly meaning "re-setting the base DC" before you mentioned it. So with that line of reasoning, the stealth check becomes the new "base" with its a +20 adjustment, replacing the original 20 DC, which basically means just a -20 to how I was looking at it before?

Still, if that's the case why didn't they just put "+Stealth check" then? It's redundant to have to set a new base that starts at the same DC as the new base (EDIT: I meant old base), excluding the stealth check roll.

thejeff wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Ok. Then I think we agree. It's unfortunate, but in this situation, "Stealth check" needs explanation, because some people want to add the bonus twice.
I don't think I've seen anyone seriously arguing that recently, but if you want to, twice is insufficient. Go for broke.

Actually, it's my contention that YOU are applying the +20 twice. I'm arguing that it's not Stealth +20 and you have to beat it by 20. I'm arguing that those are the same +20, and therefore shouldn't be added twice.

I see the single +20 as the only explanation that makes each rules section make sense with one another. If you do +20 and another +20, you find that suddenly invisibility (not being able to see your opponent) is different than darkness (not being able to see your opponent). It shouldn't matter the reason you can't see the opponent, the fact that you can't should produce the same results.

Being blind, in darkness, or an invisible opponent should all have the same DC. I can't think of a good reason why they would be different. Therefore the rules interpretation that makes them result in the same outcome makes sense to me. Because if they aren't the same, then you're telling me that invisibility makes it harder for a blind person to find you in the dark... and that just doesn't make sense.

Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Ok. Then I think we agree. It's unfortunate, but in this situation, "Stealth check" needs explanation, because some people want to add the bonus twice.
I don't think I've seen anyone seriously arguing that recently, but if you want to, twice is insufficient. Go for broke.

Actually, it's my contention that YOU are applying the +20 twice. I'm arguing that it's not Stealth +20 and you have to beat it by 20. I'm arguing that those are the same +20, and therefore shouldn't be added twice.

I see the single +20 as the only explanation that makes each rules section make sense with one another. If you do +20 and another +20, you find that suddenly invisibility (not being able to see your opponent) is different than darkness (not being able to see your opponent). It shouldn't matter the reason you can't see the opponent, the fact that you can't should produce the same results.

Being blind, in darkness, or an invisible opponent should all have the same DC. I can't think of a good reason why they would be different. Therefore the rules interpretation that makes them result in the same outcome makes sense to me. Because if they aren't the same, then you're telling me that invisibility makes it harder for a blind person to find you in the dark... and that just doesn't make sense.

Well, given that Blinded only imposes a -4 Perception penalty, I'm not sure how you reconcile them even so.

We know for example that invisibility makes it harder to perceive you on the other side of a wall. There's a specific entry for it on the DC modifiers for invisibility table. The rules already don't make sense.

thejeff wrote:
We know for example that invisibility makes it harder to perceive you on the other side of a wall. There's a specific entry for it on the DC modifiers for invisibility table. The rules already don't make sense.

I might rule that any creature on the other side of a solid wall is invisible to you (whether magically invisible or not), so they get the invisibility bonuses to avoid being perceived by you, and also get the Behind an obstacle (stone wall) +15 stealth bonus because the barrier makes them hard to hear or smell them as well.

I think that's a point where GM discretion comes in. If you're just listening at a wall or something like that, I wouldn't give the invisibility bonus. But you're also not going to be able to pinpoint someone just listening at a wall anyway.

However, if you're using an item that lets you see through the wall, like Reconnaissance Gloves, then you're going to have a +15 added to your DC to notice there's an invisible creature on the other side of the wall, because you can't detect them with your other senses as easily. In other words, it only comes into play in very limited circumstances.

EDIT: I also totally want to put a room full of invisible stalkers on the other side of a wall of force now.

thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Ok. Then I think we agree. It's unfortunate, but in this situation, "Stealth check" needs explanation, because some people want to add the bonus twice.
I don't think I've seen anyone seriously arguing that recently, but if you want to, twice is insufficient. Go for broke.

Actually, it's my contention that YOU are applying the +20 twice. I'm arguing that it's not Stealth +20 and you have to beat it by 20. I'm arguing that those are the same +20, and therefore shouldn't be added twice.

I see the single +20 as the only explanation that makes each rules section make sense with one another. If you do +20 and another +20, you find that suddenly invisibility (not being able to see your opponent) is different than darkness (not being able to see your opponent). It shouldn't matter the reason you can't see the opponent, the fact that you can't should produce the same results.

Being blind, in darkness, or an invisible opponent should all have the same DC. I can't think of a good reason why they would be different. Therefore the rules interpretation that makes them result in the same outcome makes sense to me. Because if they aren't the same, then you're telling me that invisibility makes it harder for a blind person to find you in the dark... and that just doesn't make sense.

Well, given that Blinded only imposes a -4 Perception penalty, I'm not sure how you reconcile them even so.

We know for example that invisibility makes it harder to perceive you on the other side of a wall. There's a specific entry for it on the DC modifiers for invisibility table. The rules already don't make sense.

So, because the rules are not perfectly consistent, we should choose interpretations that add more inconsistency?

Marked for FAQ. This drives me nuts, especially when I play a witch who cackles from invisibility.

Hi fellow Pathfinders,

First: The formatting here is quite terrible. If you want to see the original post you could see it on reddit: reddit post on invisibility

TL;DR: Look at the bottom.

since the rules for the interaction between perception, invisibility and stealth are noted redundant and are not good formatted the topic comes up often and is often debated.

I wrote this over the time of a few weeks, so the text might be a little disjointed.
It is my intention to produce a clear and easy to use lookup table for the common case that someone is by any means invisible.

Lets get into the interactions of the different rules:

----------

We start from the [Perception Rules](https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/skills/perception):

First the *BASE DC* is set:

Detail | Perception DC
:--------:|:---------:
Hear the details of a conversation | 0
Notice a visible creature | 0
Hear the sound of a creature walking | 10
Notice a creature using Stealth | Opposed by Stealth

The following table gives us the modifiers (at least some of them)

Perception Modifiers | DC Modifier
:--------:|:---------:
Distance to the source, object, or creature | +1/10 feet
Through a closed door | +5
Through a wall | +10/foot of thickness
[...] | some more
Creature or object is invisible | +20

If we have an invisible creature around we start at 0 [Notice a visible creature] and add +20 [Creature or object is invisible] we add also +1/10 feet [Distance to the source, object, or creature] and other conditional modifiers.
If there is an invisible creature around which uses *Stealth* we set the DC to the opposed Stealth roll [Notice a creature using Stealth] and add +20 [Creature or object is invisible] also we add +1/10 feet [Distance to the source, object, or creature] and other conditional modifiers.

From this point on I ignore the +1/10 feet and similar modifiers since they apply to all the cases and bloat the example up.

This leaves us with the following data:

PERCEPTION TABLE

Notice Invisible creature when… | DC | DC using Stealth
---------|----------|----------
General: Gain a hunch/notice | 20 | Stealth + 20
Standing Still | ? | ?
Moving slowly (less than half Speed) | ? | ?
Moving normal | 10 (Hear the sound of a creature walking)? | ?
Running/Charging | ? | ?
Casting/Fighting | 0 (Casting is like hearing a Conversation?) or -10 (Hear the sound of battle?) | ?

--------------------------

Lets look at this from the [stealth rules](https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/skills/stealth)

Apparently it is important if the creature who is using stealth is moving.

>You can move up to half your normal speed and use Stealth at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than half but less than your normal speed, you take a –5 penalty. It's impossible to use Stealth while attacking, running, or charging.

And:

>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

So lets incorporate that into a table:

STEALTH TABLE

Notice Invisible creature when… | DC | DC using Stealth
---------|----------|----------
Standing Still | ? | Stealth + 40
Moving slowly (less than half Speed) | ? | Stealth + 20
Moving normal | ? | Stealth + 15
Running/Charging | ? | Not possible
Casting/Fighting | ? | Not possible

--------------------------

Next we look at the [invisibility rules](https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/gamemastering/special-abilitie s#TOC-Invisibility):

It starts with this sentence:

>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 seems like this sets the *Base DC* to 20
Next:

>It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check

So to pinpoint a creature we just have to add a flat +20 to the DC. Simple. We will skip this, since it is just a flat +20 no matter what.

Now it begins to get complicated:

Invisible creature is... | Perception DC Modifier
---------|----------
In combat or speaking | –20
Moving at half speed | –5
Moving at full speed | –10
Running or charging | –20
Not moving | +20
Using Stealth | Stealth check +20
Some distance away | +1 per 10 feet
Behind an obstacle (door) | +5
Behind an obstacle (stone wall) | +15

Here we have some redundancy with the Perception Modifiers like the +5 for [Behind a Door] or the usual +1/10 ft distance modifier. So it looks like both tables extend each other.

The bad thing is, that in this table cumulative and exclusive modifiers are mixed.

The Moving section seems to be exclusive: You determine your movement for that round and pick the worst one.
How about moving and speaking(Casting e.g.)? Seems like it is cumulative. Also the bottom part about the distance and behind obstacles seems to be cumulative.

INVISIBILITY TABLE

Notice invisible creature within 30 ft when… | DC | DC using Stealth
---------|----------|----------
General: Gain a hunch/notice | 20 | 20 + Stealth+20 ?
Standing Still | 40 | 40 + Stealth+20 ?
Moving slowly (less than half Speed) | 15 | 15 + Stealth+20 ?
Moving normal | 10 | 10 + Stealth+20 ?
Running/Charging | 0 | ?
Casting/Fighting | 0 | ?

If we compare that to the results from the Perception Rules we find that the results match.
For example a walking invisible creature:
Per Invisibility Rules:
DC 20[Gain a Hunch] –10[Moving at full speed] = *DC10]*
vs
Per Perception Rules:
DC 10[Hear the sound of a creature walking] (Adding the +20 for invisibility would make no sense here. Would it?)= *DC10]*

So far so good. But what about that entry:
> Using Stealth : Stealth check +20

The Base DC is stated as 20 [Gain a Hunch].

If we take this RAW it's DC 20[Gain a Hunch] +Stealth Check +20 [Invisible Creature using Stealth] +20[Per Stealth Rules for being invisible] -5 [Per Stealth Rules for moving faster than half speed] –10[Moving at full speed] = DC 45 + Stealth Check

We see here some double dipping into modifiers. This can't be correct and leaves me confused. (
There is something wrong here...

--------------------

The [Invisibility Spell](https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/magic/all-spells/i/invisibilit y) mentions that:

>If a check is required, a stationary invisible creature has a +40 bonus on its Stealth checks. This bonus is reduced to +20 if the creature is moving.

INVISIBILITY SPELL TABLE

Notice invisible creature when… | DC | DC using Stealth
---------|----------|----------
General: Gain a hunch/notice | ? | ?
Standing Still | ? | Stealth + 40
Moving slowly (less than half Speed) | ? | Stealth + 20
Moving normal | ? | Stealth + 20
Running/Charging | ? | ?
Casting/Fighting | ? | ?

This is exactly what is stated in the section "Modifiers" in the [stealth rules](https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/skills/stealth).

So if we would follow this RAW, this would double dip the bonus for being invisible, since the spell give +40/+20 to Stealth checks and in the Stealth check itself it gets another +40/+20 modifier for being invisible.

--------------------

Now I try to find commonalities and differences between the different tables and consolidate these into one single table:

First the NON STEALTH version. Just an invisible creature:

Notice Invisible creature when… | PERCEPTION TABLE | STEALTH TABLE | INVISIBILITY TABLE | INVISIBILITY SPELL TABLE | | CONSOLIDATED TABLE
--------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ----------
General: Gain a hunch/notice | 20 | | 20 | ? | | 20
Standing Still | ? | ? | 40 | ? | | 40
Moving slowly (less than half Speed) | ? | ? | 15 | ? | | 15
Moving normal | 10 | ? | 10 | ? | | 10
Running/Charging | ? | ? | 0 | ? | | 0
Casting/Fighting | 0 or -10 | ? | 0 | ? | | 0

Seems pretty clear for most of the entries. Casting/Fighting was: 0 (Casting is like hearing a Conversation?) or -10 (Hear the sound of battle?)
So the sound of battle appears to be more perceptible than just a creature fighting.

Next the complicated one. A creature using stealth:

Notice Invisible creature *using stealth* when… | PERCEPTION TABLE | STEALTH TABLE | INVISIBILITY TABLE | INVISIBILITY SPELL TABLE | | CONSOLIDATED TABLE
--------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ----------
General: Gain a hunch/notice | Stealth + 20 | | 20 + Stealth+20 ? | ? | | Stealth + 20
Standing Still | ? | Stealth + 40 | 40 + Stealth+20 ? | Stealth + 40 | | Stealth + 40
Moving slowly (less than half Speed) | ? | Stealth + 20 | 15 + Stealth+20 ? | Stealth+20 ? | | Stealth + 20
Moving normal | ? | Stealth + 15 | 10 + Stealth+20 ? | Stealth + 20 ? | | Stealth + 15
Running/Charging | ? | Not possible | ? | ? | | Not possible
Casting/Fighting | ? | Not possible | ? | ? | | Not possible

Standing Still: Two sources state it is Stealth + 40 the other one is dubious.
Moving slowly: The same.
Moving normal: The Invisibility Spell instructs to make a stealth check and Stealth says on a faster movement than half your speed you subtract 5 from the DC to notice you. So it's two sources which seem to be consistent vs. one dubious which is double dipping.

--------------------

TL;DR:
The rules for invisibility are terrible and provoke misunderstandings.
Is this consolidated table correct? (Not considering modifiers like distance and (un)favourable conditions...)

CONSOLIDATED TABLE

Notice invisible creature when… | DC | DC using Stealth
---------|----------|----------
General: Gain a hunch/notice | 20 | Stealth + 20
Standing Still | 40 | Stealth + 40
Moving slowly (less than half Speed) | 15 | Stealth + 20
Moving normal | 10 | Stealth + 15
Running/Charging | 0 | Not possible
Casting/Fighting | 0 | Not possible

Darkim wrote:

Hi fellow Pathfinders,

First: The formatting here is quite terrible. If you want to see the original post you could see it on reddit: reddit post on invisibility

TL;DR: Look at the bottom.

since the rules for the interaction between perception, invisibility and stealth are noted redundant and are not good formatted the topic comes up often and is often debated.

I wrote this over the time of a few weeks, so the text might be a little disjointed.
It is my intention to produce a clear and easy to use lookup table for the common case that someone is by any means invisible.

Lets get into the interactions of the different rules:

----------

We start from the [Perception Rules](https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/skills/perception):

First the *BASE DC* is set:

Detail | Perception DC
:--------:|:---------:
Hear the details of a conversation | 0
Notice a visible creature | 0
Hear the sound of a creature walking | 10
Notice a creature using Stealth | Opposed by Stealth

The following table gives us the modifiers (at least some of them)

Perception Modifiers | DC Modifier
:--------:|:---------:
Distance to the source, object, or creature | +1/10 feet
Through a closed door | +5
Through a wall | +10/foot of thickness
[...] | some more
Creature or object is invisible | +20

If we have an invisible creature around we start at 0 [Notice a visible creature] and add +20 [Creature or object is invisible] we add also +1/10 feet [Distance to the source, object, or creature] and other conditional modifiers.
If there is an invisible creature around which uses *Stealth* we set the DC to the opposed Stealth roll [Notice a creature using Stealth] and add +20 [Creature or object is invisible] also we add +1/10 feet [Distance to the source, object, or creature] and other conditional modifiers.

From this point on I ignore the +1/10...

It's 20 to notice+20 to pinpoint+20(if they are stationary)

So you are starting at 60 before stealth is rolled or any modifiers come into play.

I personally don't use the "20 to notice rule" because its ridiculous. I also think hide and move silently should have been kept as seperate skills. As written someone on the other side of the wall can notice you easier than someone who is in the same room with you if you're invisible. However the person on the other side of the wall can't see you, but does not add the invis penalty to the perception DC.

wraithstrike wrote:

It's 20 to notice+20 to pinpoint+20(if they are stationary)

I think, that the 20 to notice is just a quick to play comprehension of the rules. It consists of 0 [Notice a visible creature] and +20 [Creature or object is invisible] = 20 to gain a hunch that something is there.

On the pinpoint(+20): this is just a flat +20 which adds on whatever dc we finally calculate, that's why I skip this +20 in the examples.

wraithstrike wrote:

So you are starting at 60 before stealth is rolled or any modifiers come into play.

I wrote in my consolidated table:

Notice an invisible creature when… | DC | DC using Stealth
it is Standing Still | 40 | Stealthroll + 40

if we add the +20 from pinpoint to this, it results in a DC of 60 to pinpoint a still standing creature before stealth is rolled or any modifiers come into play.
So it seems we both are saying the same thing.

In one of my games, I have a room in which Sleet Storm has been cast and so everyone is effectively invisible. There are a couple of spell casters who may cast spells while the non-spell casters might be pinpointed as they move around and become targets themselves of the NPCs.

With four pages of posts in less than a year, I sense that this forum has not produced a definitive answer, so rather than wading in and reading everybody's posts, I worked out what seemed a reasonable workable interpretation that is mostly RAW and which I think produces the RAI results.

Proposed rules for detecting and targeting an invisible creature (or similar situations such as darkness, being blind, etc.):

DC for noticing sounds made in one's vicinity:
I'm going to start with the rules for using sound and perception to determine if a character can hear something nearby, since that's the only sense most characters can use when they can't see a target.

We start with the DC to hear things listed under the Perception Skill rules:

Sound of Battle: -10
Talking at normal conversational level or spell casting levels: 0
Sound of a creature walking: 10
This is a default of a creature not being stealthy. I would substitute the result of a stealth check if such has been made or could be made.
Whispered voices: 15

There are modifiers, such as for distance (-1/10 feet) and obstructions (-5 through door, -10 through wall).
There is a +20 modifier for an invisible creature, but this would not necessarily apply to the DC to hear the creature. The rules say that the DC to just get the sense that an invisible creature is within 30 feet is DC 20, but I'm going to ignore this, as I see it as using normal sounds the creature might make to register. It could involve other senses than hearing, such as noticing a shift in air currents, etc., but I think that will just muddy the waters to try to factor that in.

The GM may impose other penalties to the perception check (or give a bonus to the DC) such as general noise levels from combat, wind, or other distractions.

pinpointing a target:
But his is just to determine if a character can detect the noise of the invisible creature. It doesn't mean he knows where the creature is (pinpointing the square) well enough to allow targeting. This only gives the general direction of the target, sufficient for directing an area spell so it has a fair chance of including the invisible creature. The DC modifier to pinpoint the invisible creature is +20.

Example: talking, verbal spell component:
So let's say an invisible spell caster begins casting a spell. Others in the room would hear the verbal components as if someone is having a normal conversation. The DC to hear the words is 0, so unless someone has some penalty to her perception skill, everyone knows automatically the general direction of the voice. To pinpoint the square would require a DC 20 (normal DC of 0 +20 for the invisibility modifier).

This seems appropriate because if a caster must speak at normal volume when casting a spell, it gives a small but not impossible chance of someone being able to target the caster.

Example: moving target:
If the target instead is just moving, I would have him make a stealth check, which would provide the DC of the perception check to notice the sounds of motion (or we could use the default DC of 10). Now to pinpoint the target, we add +20 to the stealth roll result.

This involves a modification or clarification to the line in the Stealth Skill rules that says: "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." I would say this is implicitly the DC to pinpoint the target, since the DC to just notice the sound would not get the +20 bonus for being invisible.

Example: target not moving or talking:
If a person is not moving and not talking, there is not much to give his position away, so I would then invoke the rule from the RAW that the DC to notice an invisible target is 20 and another +20 to pinpoint her, meaning it is virtually impossible to target a non-moving, non-talking invisible character, which is as it should be.

I don't see the point of allowing an additional stealth check to up this DC above 40. If you are not moving and not talking, what else can the stealth skill provide that would make you harder to detect or pinpoint? Breathing quietly?

Scent:
If a creature has the scent ability, the rules say it automatically detects the presence of a person within 30 feet and knows the general direction to the target (after expending a move action). Such a creature could move toward the scent and when it gets adjacent to the creature, it can pinpoint the target.

Detection spells:
Using detect magic and similar detection spells might provide an ability similar to scent, depending on whether the spell requires you actually be able to see the target normally or if the detection works even in total darkness or through some barriers. I think it does but I don't want to spend the time to look that up now, so that will be another topic to post about.

Does this seem reasonable? I think it gives invisible creatures the expected advantage without making them virtually impossible to pinpoint unless they are making an effort to make no noise whatsoever.

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