What's the DC to find my stuff?


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My wizard has used the sequester and shrink item spells on his spellbooks and spare spell component pouches to better conceal them from enemies.

He has also taken these tiny, tiny, invisible, cloth-like items and hidden them on his person with untrained sleight of hand, taking 20 on the check. He has a +5 Dexterity modifier and the GM has ruled he gets a +4 bonus for size, and a +2 for baggy clothing.

What is the DC to find said items? Do they get a +20 modifier for being invisible or anything like that?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Personally I wouldn't allow a take 20 on that sort of check.

However, assuming that is fine, the math isn't hard. The perception DC would be 31, with the searcher getting a +4. Generally frisking is a tactile, not visual thing so invisibility wouldn't factor into it.


Shrink item is 1/16 size, so a Pathfinder core rulebook would end up about the size of a dime. I would want to know more about your searcher.

How sophisticated is your searcher? Are they trained in spellcraft? Do they know you're a wizard or that shrink item exists? If not a tiny scrap of cloth isn't going to arouse suspicion (though an invisible tiny scrap of cloth would). You have to be pretty paranoid before you start seizing pocket lint. If your searchers are unsophisticated, turning the items invisible might expose you to additional risk.

For sophisticated searchers, searchers who know you're a wizard, know shrink item exists, know sequester exists, how much power do they have over you? If these are the evil overlord's jailers, I'm having a hard time seeing why they would search you at all, you're just too dangerous to let live. If you come into their power they should kill you. If they really have to jail you, they'll strip you naked, hose you down, and literally dunk you in acid first. You'll then be jailed unconscious and beaten back into it if you ever stir. Even if you had a tiny invisible cloth dime hidden in your cheek it might be lost in the process even if they never detect it.

Sophisticated searchers, who can't abuse you (you're going to a fancy party where security can give you a quick once over but social norms say "no cavity searches for my guests"), I'd assign a pretty high DC.

RAW: A dime is a fine object, the categories bottom out at objects 6" or smaller. The standard modifier for fine size is +8. The size modifier for stealth for fine size is +16. I don't think that means Sleight of Hand +16 vs. Perception. That would imply someone would use straight Sleight of Hand vs. straight Perception for to hide a medium object on their person (a medium object like say, Gimli). +4 for size seems right to me. I might give no modifier (i.e. skill vs. skill) for hiding a Diminutive item, and Fine is one category smaller than that, so +4 seems right and matches the skill's example of hiding a coin.

+2 is what we give for masterwork tools or similar situational bonuses generally, so again if you have some good story about baggy robes, a spot of sovereign glue sticking it high in your armpit, etc... then yeah another +2 seems fine. So visible, I'd say sleight of hand +6 vs. perception.

Invisible I'd give some bonus, but not much. If it is found at all it will be by touch with frisking. Maybe another +2.

One fun wrinkle is that Sleight of Hand can not be used untrained. I would simply house rule that away. Anyone can try to hide something on their person, they may just not be very good at it. By RAW, without the skill your attempt to hide the object simply fails? Automatically? Who knows? Making things normal humans can do trained only produces some odd results.

Final wrinkle. I wouldn't let you cast Shrink Item on a backpack full of gear because it only effects one item. I wouldn't allow you to use it on a component pouch for the same reason. I admit the boundaries of what is "one item" is a philosophical point (is the trigger on my crossbow a separate item?) but I'd require the "item" to be physically connected to all its parts. The one item restriction becomes meaningless if you can just put everything you want to shrink in a sack and shrink the sack.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks Rings. Those are some interesting ideas. Where are you getting the size bonuses from? I thought it was a straight up +4 bonus for minuscule objects, regardless of just how minuscule they were.

Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
One fun wrinkle is that Sleight of Hand can not be used untrained. I would simply house rule that away. Anyone can try to hide something on their person, they may just not be very good at it. By RAW, without the skill your attempt to hide the object simply fails? Automatically? Who knows? Making things normal humans can do trained only produces some odd results.

Untrained: An untrained Sleight of Hand check is simply a Dexterity check. Without actual training, you can't succeed on any Sleight of Hand check with a DC higher than 10, except for hiding an object on your body.

There's no wrinkle there at all.

Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
Final wrinkle. I wouldn't let you cast Shrink Item on a backpack full of gear because it only effects one item. I wouldn't allow you to use it on a component pouch for the same reason. I admit the boundaries of what is "one item" is a philosophical point (is the trigger on my crossbow a separate item?) but I'd require the "item" to be physically connected to all its parts. The one item restriction becomes meaningless if you can just put everything you want to shrink in a sack and shrink the sack.

I don't see how this is much of an issue with spell component pouches, since everything with their use is abstracted anyway.

Even if it were a backpack though, where would you draw the line? Could I not shrink my backpack until I had every single dust mote, every single foreign particle out of there?

In any case, I've never once had a GM call me out on it, and have even seen it done by others plenty of times.


Ah, missed the untrained line. Good to know it is there.

The size modifiers come from here:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat/space-reach-threatened-area-te mplates/

Any definition of "one object" is going to be pretty loose, but if we're going to do justice to the spell's written limit, we're going to have to impose some constraint. If a sack full of all the party's gear counts, then there isn't much point having that limitation in the spell.

You can impose some sort of common sense "what's an object" notion without worrying about the dirt on backpacks. I make no assumptions as to how common my "common sense" intuitions about objects are. If your GM is happy, that's enough.


Given that in the spell description itself:

Quote:
Even a burning fire and its fuel can be shrunk by this spell.

the 'one object' seems to be pretty loosely defined. A campfire, for example, is made up of lots of different individual 'objects', and yet they can all be shrunk down.

The limitation in the spell is one of size, mostly.


Ravingdork wrote:
with untrained sleight of hand, taking 20 on the check.

ummm slight of hand is trained only so he wouldn't be able to do that in the 1st place


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lady-J wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
with untrained sleight of hand, taking 20 on the check.
ummm slight of hand is trained only so he wouldn't be able to do that in the 1st place

Someone hasn't been reading the thread. Anyone can use sleight of hand to hide objects on their person, regardless of whether or not they have ranks.


Not entirely relevant, but have you considered using Secluded Grimoire on one of your spell books?


I actually question whether you can take 20 on a skill that requires an opposed check, where failing to beat that opposed check has a consequense.

I'm not saying you can't take a 10, but unless you have a partner with a perception modifier that is 1 less than your circumstantial sleight of hand modifuer for hiding the tiny objects on your body, and that partner takes 20 each time you come out from behind closed doors to have him frisk you - you would have absolutely no clue when you had managed to hide it perfectly. Doing this over and over 20x20 times could take over 6 hours to properly prepare. Unless this is a one time thing for a very specific and dire purpose, good luck getting a friend to agree to help you with this.


I'd allow it.
Hiding something has no direct bad consequences, so you can take your time and do your best to hide it very well.
If you are being observed while you are hiding the thing, it's a different story.


Megistone wrote:

I'd allow it.

Hiding something has no direct bad consequences, so you can take your time and do your best to hide it very well.
If you are being observed while you are hiding the thing, it's a different story.

The problem is - how do you know you have done YOUR BEST.

for things like escape artist to get out of bindings, or acrobatics to jump high enough to get something that is hidden up on a high ledge, you can take 20 because you keep working at it until you achieve your goal - and if you still can't achieve your goal you give up after a while...

but with disguise or sleight of hand to hide something - how on earth do you know when you have done it your very best? when looking at yourself in the mirror and you pull off a 17+modifier disguise, do you KNOW you could still do it a little better? or will that one look like a damn fine disguise, and so you go out and see if you can get past the guard... are you going to know the difference between the 19+modifier result and the 20+modifier result? probably not - but that 1 difference could be the difference between success and failure with major repercussions.

same goes for sleight of hand - how would you know when you hid it the best possible way? that's even more difficult to gauge than looking at yourself in the mirror after putting on a disguise - you KNOW where the object is hidden - are you going to frisk yourself to see if you feel it? how would you know you didn't just hide it with a 17+modifier sleight of hand when it was really hard to feel instead of a +19 or +20?

I feel like there should be a "Take 15" for situations like this - but absent that, i wouldn't allow it.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One way I could see taking 20 in this case would be to have a friend taking 20 on his Perception checks against yours and letting you know how hard it was to find whatever you are hiding. Of course, since 20 x 20 = 400, the combined time with both of you taking 20 would be 400 times the normal time required for the task.


David knott 242 wrote:

One way I could see taking 20 in this case would be to have a friend taking 20 on his Perception checks against yours and letting you know how hard it was to find whatever you are hiding. Of course, since 20 x 20 = 400, the combined time with both of you taking 20 would be 400 times the normal time required for the task.

Exactly - which is probably close to 6 hours. This actually makes sense for a convincing disguise - we have all heard stories of insanely long makeup sessions for actors trying to take on major transformations for movies. But could you imaging asking a friend to spend 6 hours frisking you so that you could sneak something past a guard or a bouncer?

its one thing if this is in preparation for a plot arc- assassination attempt of an evil ruler, as you try to get a unique weapon into the palace for the dinner he will be attending that you managed to get an invite to.... it is quite another to make such a request of a friend
every time you want to go in and out of the town gate, because you have some poison on you since you decided to play a poisoner rogue... Its even more insane if this is a paranoid wizard trying to hide a few things on his body at the beginning of each day - in order to make sure nobody steals his spell books....


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Limitations of take 20:


  • Time
  • No threats
  • No distractions
  • No penalties for failure

If none of those apply at the time you hide the object, then nothing prevents you from taking 20.

Not wanting it to work because it makes you feel "icky" is neither a logical or valid argument against it working.


Oddman80 wrote:
Megistone wrote:

I'd allow it.

Hiding something has no direct bad consequences, so you can take your time and do your best to hide it very well.
If you are being observed while you are hiding the thing, it's a different story.
The problem is - how do you know you have done YOUR BEST.

Because you take 20x longer than normal just to make sure you do your best.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
Megistone wrote:

I'd allow it.

Hiding something has no direct bad consequences, so you can take your time and do your best to hide it very well.
If you are being observed while you are hiding the thing, it's a different story.
The problem is - how do you know you have done YOUR BEST.
Because you take 20x longer than normal just to make sure you do your best.

This. You spend time to employ every trick you know for hiding stuff, doing it the best way you can. I think you DO know if you have done a good work or not; what you DON'T know is if the person who will do the search knows about all your tricks, and more.


Ravingdork wrote:

Limitations of take 20:


  • Time
  • No threats
  • No distractions
  • No penalties for failure

If none of those apply at the time you hide the object, then nothing prevents you from taking 20.

Not wanting it to work because it makes you feel "icky" is neither a logical or valid argument against it working.

The rules for Take 20 found in the skills section of the CRB are not complete in any way. If they were then you could take 20 on disguise... except under disguise, it says:

Disguise wrote:
You get only one Disguise check per use of the skill, even if several people are making Perception checks against it. The Disguise check is made secretly, so that you can’t be sure how good the result is.

So you only get one roll, the roll is secret, and you cannot know how good your disguise is - Therefore taking 20 should not be possible for this skill even though the rationale behind it isn't one of the 4 reasons on the list.

The rationale I brought up earlier, just uses the same rationale that already exist behind disguise. Because honestly - its a lot harder to judge whether or not someone will feel something when they search you than it is to judge whether or not you made a crappy disguise.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The fact that Disguise needs to call out an exception and that Sleight of Hand does not, is further evidence that one can take 20 with the latter skill.

People keep making the claim that it can't be done, even though there are no obvious rules that indicate as such (and plenty that seem to indicate that that the reverse it true). The burden of proof therefor falls to those making the unsubstantiated claim.

I know you can take 20 on sleight of hand checks, and I will keep believing that--as should any rules abiding roleplayer capable of reading and understanding the rules--until someone can show me proof to the contrary.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You absolutely can't take 'it says it specifically there, but not here, therefore it doesn't apply here' as evidence in the Pathfinder rules. There are many places where things are mentioned and clarified for one thing, but not mentioned for another where the same rules apply. The rules were written to be at least somewhat enjoyable and give an explanation of how to play the game, not as a legal document.

It is pretty clear to me that even though sleight of hand doesn't specifically mention it, hiding something on your person should be treated just like disguise it. Both are opposed by perception checks after all.

And of course slight of hand does have a penalty for failure, every time you fail the DC goes up by 10. Of course failure isn't determined until someone tests it with perception, which is why it should be treated like disguise.


Oddman80 wrote:

The rules for Take 20 found in the skills section of the CRB are not complete in any way. If they were then you could take 20 on disguise... except under disguise, it says:

Disguise wrote:
You get only one Disguise check per use of the skill, even if several people are making Perception checks against it. The Disguise check is made secretly, so that you can’t be sure how good the result is.
So you only get one roll, the roll is secret, and you cannot know how good your disguise is - Therefore taking 20 should not be possible for this skill even though the rationale behind it isn't one of the 4 reasons on the list.

Nothing here forbids taking 20, it just modifies a regular skill roll. Of course you can take 20 on Disguise, that's why actors spend hours in makeup when shooting a sci-fi film as an alien or doing some other radical change.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Looking at Disguise, it doesn't mention take 10 or take 20 anywhere. Could you please quote the section that says you can't take 20 on Disguise?

Dave Justus wrote:

You absolutely can't take 'it says it specifically there, but not here, therefore it doesn't apply here' as evidence in the Pathfinder rules. There are many places where things are mentioned and clarified for one thing, but not mentioned for another where the same rules apply. The rules were written to be at least somewhat enjoyable and give an explanation of how to play the game, not as a legal document.

It is pretty clear to me that even though sleight of hand doesn't specifically mention it, hiding something on your person should be treated just like disguise it. Both are opposed by perception checks after all.

And of course slight of hand does have a penalty for failure, every time you fail the DC goes up by 10. Of course failure isn't determined until someone tests it with perception, which is why it should be treated like disguise.

You also can't say "this rule clearly exists" where there is none. Even if Disguise straight up said you couldn't take 20 (which it doesn't appear to at a glance), that's not evidence that you can't take 20 with Sleight of Hand.


Dave Justus wrote:

You absolutely can't take 'it says it specifically there, but not here, therefore it doesn't apply here' as evidence in the Pathfinder rules. There are many places where things are mentioned and clarified for one thing, but not mentioned for another where the same rules apply. The rules were written to be at least somewhat enjoyable and give an explanation of how to play the game, not as a legal document.

It is pretty clear to me that even though sleight of hand doesn't specifically mention it, hiding something on your person should be treated just like disguise it. Both are opposed by perception checks after all.

And of course slight of hand does have a penalty for failure, every time you fail the DC goes up by 10. Of course failure isn't determined until someone tests it with perception, which is why it should be treated like disguise.

Why can't you use your own perception as the opposed check? After all, aren't you trying to hide it so you can't see it?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:


You also can't say "this rule clearly exists" where there is none.

But I didn't say that. What I said in essence it is clear to me that this is how the game should be interpreted given the whole content of the rules. Obviously it isn't clear to you.

Really, the concept of taking 20 on any opposed skill check doesn't make much sense.

And of course you have ignored the whole 'penalties for failure' which slight of hand does specifically have. I could also point out that it specifically says an untrained slight of and is a DEX check, and you can't take 20 on ability checks.

At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter though. I imagine most DMs that let you take 20 to hide something will have searchers take 20 to find it, so if you are going to do this without spending skill ranks on it, you are almost certainly better off having this be a roll then a situation where both sides will just take 20.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:
Why can't you use your own perception as the opposed check? After all, aren't you trying to hide it so you can't see it?

Well, most likely you would never succeed. If you can find it the first time you try, the DC goes up by 10. Find it again on the second roll, and the sleight of hand DC is 20 higher than the first time, which would mean you will never be able to hide it from yourself.


Dave Justus wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Why can't you use your own perception as the opposed check? After all, aren't you trying to hide it so you can't see it?

Well, most likely you would never succeed. If you can find it the first time you try, the DC goes up by 10. Find it again on the second roll, and the sleight of hand DC is 20 higher than the first time, which would mean you will never be able to hide it from yourself.

You're not trying to hide it from yourself. That's impossible since you know exactly where to look for it.

What you're trying to do is use your perception to make sure that nobody else can see it when they look.


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Ravingdork wrote:

The fact that Disguise needs to call out an exception and that Sleight of Hand does not, is further evidence that one can take 20 with the latter skill.

People keep making the claim that it can't be done, even though there are no obvious rules that indicate as such (and plenty that seem to indicate that that the reverse it true). The burden of proof therefor falls to those making the unsubstantiated claim.

I know you can take 20 on sleight of hand checks, and I will keep believing that--as should any rules abiding roleplayer capable of reading and understanding the rules--until someone can show me proof to the contrary.

Let's quote the PRD:

PRD on Taking 20 wrote:
Taking 20: When you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20.

Emphasis mine.

Let's now look at SoH

PRD on Sleight of Hand wrote:
You can hide a small object (including a light weapon or an easily concealed ranged weapon, such as a dart, sling, or hand crossbow) on your body. Your Sleight of Hand check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone observing you or of anyone frisking you.

So the penalty for failure on hiding an object with SoH is that the object is detected. Ergo, you cannot Take 20 on something whose success depends on an opposed check. You can take 20 on Perception, because it is not opposed by other skills, it opposes other skills.

For example,

PRD on Stealth wrote:
Check: Your Stealth check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone who might notice you.

Perception doesn't carry a penalty for failure. But things like Stealth, Disguise, and SoH to hide something, do.


Ravingdork wrote:

Looking at Disguise, it doesn't mention take 10 or take 20 anywhere. Could you please quote the section that says you can't take 20 on Disguise?

Quote:
You get only one Disguise check per use of the skill, even if several people make Perception checks against it. The Disguise check is made secretly, so that you can't be sure how good the result is.
Quote:
Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Why can't you use your own perception as the opposed check? After all, aren't you trying to hide it so you can't see it?

Well, most likely you would never succeed. If you can find it the first time you try, the DC goes up by 10. Find it again on the second roll, and the sleight of hand DC is 20 higher than the first time, which would mean you will never be able to hide it from yourself.

You're not trying to hide it from yourself. That's impossible since you know exactly where to look for it.

What you're trying to do is use your perception to make sure that nobody else can see it when they look.

This is specifically about hiding something from someone frisking you. you do not need to see it to find it. looking in a mirror, it could be 100% hidden - but when someone starts rubbing there hands up and down your body, lifting your arms and patting down places that are often concealed - all that goes out the window.


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I know quoting 3.5 rules or 3.5 FAQ answers is for the most part irrelevant when determining rules for Pathfinder. However - the language for Taking 20 did not change at all between 3.5 and Pathfinder. Additionally, the text regarding hiding objects through sleight of hand only changed in so much as it references Perception now in stead of Spot and Search skills. SO - I am just going to leave this hear to add to the discussion:

D&D 3.5 / Skip Williams / Sage Advice Response to FAQ about Taking 20 wrote:

How can I tell whether or not I can take 20 on a check, and what constitutes “failure” on a check?

Taking 20 is simply a time-saving short-cut that avoids requiring a player to roll and roll until he gets a 20 on a check that everyone knows he’ll simply retry until he either succeeds or is convinced he can’t.

Ultimately, whether or not you can take 20 relies on only three criteria:

• The check allows you to try again. Each skill has a “Try Again” entry that lists whether you can attempt the same task again. If you can’t retry the task, you can’t take 20 (since taking 20 involves retrying the task). You can’t retry a Decipher Script check, so taking 20 is out of the question.

• Failure does not carry an inherent penalty (that is, a consequence). If something bad happens when you fail a check, you can’t take 20, since the DM needs to know exactly when or how often failure occurs. When you’re halfway up a wall and fail a Climb check, you might fall and take damage. That’s an inherent consequence, so you can’t normally take 20 on Climb checks.

• You have available time equal to making the check 20 times. If you have only 1 minute until the walls of the room slide together and crush you, you obviously can’t take 20 on a Search check to find the hidden off switch (since that takes 20 rounds).

There’s no perfect list of which checks do or don’t allow taking 20. For example, you can retry Spot checks, and it doesn’t seem like a failed Spot check carries any inherent consequence. Does that mean you can take 20 on Spot checks when keeping watch for monsters sneaking up on your campsite?

Well, yes and no. If you stare at the same sight for 2 minutes, you can absolutely take 20 on a Spot check to get a really good look at it. But if an assassin is sneaking through the shadows toward you, he’s probably not there for that whole 2 minutes. Thus, you couldn’t take 20, since you don’t actually have available time equal to making the check 20 times against that enemy. You’d have to roll your Spot check normally (opposed by the assassin’s Hide check) to notice the enemy.

Similarly, if a check’s success or failure depends on another character’s opposed roll, both sides have to roll when that opposition occurs—you can’t take 20 and “save up” the maximum result. If you hide in the bushes to attack a group of orcs that will walk by later, you can’t take 20 on the Hide check, since the success or failure of your Hide check isn’t resolved until the orcs make their Spot checks. You can’t take 20 on a Use Rope check to tie someone up, since you don’t really know how successful you’ve been until that enemy tries to struggle free.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I was just about to argue that the penalty for failure doesn't apply since you roll when you hide the object, and the opposed roll comes well after you've resolved taking 20.

But then Oddman posted his v3.5 clarifications, which I think hold more weight (in therms of making sense) then anything else anyone else in this thread has stated.


Ok, so let's say that you don't 'officially take 20'. Let's say that instead you try to make a 'sleight of hand' check to hide an object opposed by your own perception to see the object.

And let's say you keep make both checks until you're convinced you've done the best possible job of hiding an object.

Is this truly no better than taking a single round and a single roll to hide an object? Is there no benefit to actually taking your time?


Ravingdork wrote:

I was just about to argue that the penalty for failure doesn't apply since you roll when you hide the object, and the opposed roll comes well after you've resolved taking 20.

But then Oddman posted his v3.5 clarifications, which I think hold more weight (in therms of making sense) then anything else anyone else in this thread has stated.

3.5 rule and logic have no bearing on Pathfinder. In 3.5, WotC officially said you can have a spiked shield of bashing and the damage stacks. Pazio said no. In 3.5, a FAQ says that you can use scrolls as a 1st level Ranger/Paladin, just use a caster level of 0. Paizo said no. Nevermind that none of the rules that govern either one of those things had changed from 3.5.

If nothing else in the thread convinced you that you were wrong, then you don't understand how the Take 20 rules work. The logic quoted in the text isn't even part of the Pathfinder ruleset. There is absolutely no rule in Pathfinder that "both" sides have to roll when the opposition occurs. In fact, the rules for Disguise, contradict that requirement.

The penalty for failure is that your object is detected. That prevents you from Taking 20. You fail...your thing is detected. It doesn't get any more black and white than that. Nothing you've said gets you around the fact that your failure on a roll is a penalty.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Is this truly no better than taking a single round and a single roll to hide an object? Is there no benefit to actually taking your time?

First and foremost, this is a game. That means it isn't going to mimic real life, it's primary purpose is to provide a system that facilitates game play. If the rules say you get no benefit from taking more time to hide something on you, that should hardly be problematic.

Second, there's no reason why a GM can't give you a circumstance bonus for taking time/actions that might logically make the check harder e.g. wearing extra clothes, buying masterwork clothes with hidden pockets, filling all your pockets with rocks.

Third, let's be honest, how does having more dexterity help you hide something if time is not a factor? Shouldn't the DC modifier then be the same for everyone and depend on what you're wearing? This underscores the fact that these are game rules, not realism rules. Honestly, unless the skill is hiding something quickly, Dex should not play any factor in the modifier.


N N 959 wrote:

Third, let's be honest, how does having more dexterity help you hide something if time is not a factor? Shouldn't the DC modifier then be the same for everyone and depend on what you're wearing? This underscores the fact that these are game rules, not realism rules. Honestly, unless the skill is hiding something quickly, Dex should not play any factor in the modifier.

With dexterity, you can tuck the item more neatly into a place without a bulge showing, or whatever.

In any case, I want to use the game mechanics. I want to use my perception to judge how well I have hidden an object. Can I do it? If so, can I try to hide the object again, and use my perception again to see if I did a better job. Repeat until I think I've done the best job hiding the object.

Why don't these mechanics work within the game system?

Aren't there APs that specifically call out monsters as 'taking 20' for stealth when setting an ambush?

How is that any different?


N N 959 wrote:
The penalty for failure is that your object is detected. That prevents you from Taking 20. You fail...your thing is detected. It doesn't get any more black and white than that. Nothing you've said gets you around the fact that your failure on a roll is a penalty.

If I fail to detect a trap, the penalty is it goes off. Yet the rules explicitly allow one to take 20 on perception to detect a trap.

Shadow Lodge

_Ozy_ wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
The penalty for failure is that your object is detected. That prevents you from Taking 20. You fail...your thing is detected. It doesn't get any more black and white than that. Nothing you've said gets you around the fact that your failure on a roll is a penalty.
If I fail to detect a trap, the penalty is it goes off. Yet the rules explicitly allow one to take 20 on perception to detect a trap.

The penalty is that you don't find it. It doesn't go off until you actually trigger it, which is a separate action from using perception to find it.


_Ozy_ wrote:
I want to use the game mechanics. I want to use my perception to judge how well I have hidden an object. Can I do it? If so, can I try to hide the object again, and use my perception again to see if I did a better job. Repeat until I think I've done the best job hiding the object.

Yes - it is possible... but only if you, or someone beside you has the ability to cast Memory Lapse, causing you to forget where you put it.

Absent that, the penalty to the slieght of hand check (for the observer having perfect knowledge of where you put the object) would be too large to overcome in any meaningful way.... you would have to roll a 1 on your perception while having also rolled a 20 on slieght of hand... the equivilent of you getting frustrated that you can't find your glasses while currently holding them in your hand.


_Ozy_ wrote:

In any case, I want to use the game mechanics. I want to use my perception to judge how well I have hidden an object. Can I do it? If so, can I try to hide the object again, and use my perception again to see if I did a better job. Repeat until I think I've done the best job hiding the object.

Why don't these mechanics work within the game system?

The mechanics don't work because rules prohibit them. The number of skill checks you get is identified and Perception does not allow one to check the DCs of other skills which it opposes.

Logically, you can't do it because you already know where the item is and what you're looking for. Its tantamount to playing chess against yourself. You can't do it barring magic. You can't know what someone who doesn't know where the object is would perceive from feeling for the same lump. Same with a disguise.

In real life, human Perception isn't just about what is physically observable/detectable, it's about how your brain process the data. Your brain automatically and involuntarily tries to organize data into information. What you know a priori affects how you process data and normal humans aren't able to prevent that. Since you know there is an object and where it is, there's no way for you to look for it as if you didn't know it was there.

Quote:
Aren't there APs that specifically call out monsters as 'taking 20' for stealth when setting an ambush?

I've never heard of any scenario in PFS where an NPC Takes 20 on Stealth, Disguise, or SoH. And FYI, just because something happens in a scenario doesn't automatically mean it's rules legal. Editors can and do make mistakes.


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Using that same logic, N N 959, someone could argue that every skill has a penalty for failure: It's called not succeeding.

You can't fail at hiding something when no one is watching you, so how can there be a penalty for failure?

I have a gold coin on the table in front of me. I put a napkin over it to hide it. It is successfully hidden. No penalty for failure at all.

Now, three people walk by the following day. One fails to notice the napkin, much less the coin, sitting on the table. Another clearly sees the napkin, but fails to realize there is anything under it. The third not only sees the napkin, but notes the vague shape of the napkin, suggesting that a flat cylindrical object might be hidden beneath it.

None of those examples have any bearing at all on my initial success at hiding the coin under the napkin.


Ravingdork wrote:

Looking at Disguise, it doesn't mention take 10 or take 20 anywhere. Could you please quote the section that says you can't take 20 on Disguise?

I don't know if this has been already answered but.

The Disguise check is made secretly, so that you can't be sure how good the result is.

This is a statement that nullifies the possibility of take 10/20.

Brilliant thread btw.


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Since taking 10 takes the same amount of time as rolling, I am not sure how the fact that it is a secret check prevents you from taking 10 -- especially since the time involved would generally make a Disguise check an "out of combat" check.

After all, it is quite likely that anyone attempting a Perception check to penetrate your disguise is taking 10 on that check.


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William Werminster wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Looking at Disguise, it doesn't mention take 10 or take 20 anywhere. Could you please quote the section that says you can't take 20 on Disguise?

I don't know if this has been already answered but.

The Disguise check is made secretly, so that you can't be sure how good the result is.

This is a statement that nullifies the possibility of take 10/20.

There's absolutely nothing about that statement that nullifies the possibility of taking 10 or 20.

William Werminster wrote:
Brilliant thread btw.

Thanks!


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For taking 20, the fact that the roll is made secretly would indicate that you have no idea how well you did -- which rather works against the take 20 theory of repeating the attempt until you get your best possible result.


Ravingdork wrote:

Using that same logic, N N 959, someone could argue that every skill has a penalty for failure: It's called not succeeding.

You can't fail at hiding something when no one is watching you, so how can there be a penalty for failure?

Per the rules, you don't check to see that you're hiding until someone rolls a Perception check and you only get one chance to hide.

To put it another way, you aren't hiding if there is no one to see you. It is only when you can be observed can you be hiding, and that is when the first Stealh, SoH, Disguise check is made. If there is no observer, then there is no check. Even if you roll the die the check doesn't occur until the opposed roll is made. That's why you don't get to keep rolling...you haven't resolved your first check.

Dictionary on Hide: wrote:

to conceal from sight; prevent from being seen or discovered:

Where did she hide her jewels?

Emphasis mine. Without "sight" there is no concept of hiding. In PF, you only have "sight" when something can make a Perception check. Thus, you don't get to keep trying to hide because your haven't completed your first attempt at hiding until someone makes a Perception check. It is the Perception check that outlines and defines the fact that you've attempted to hide. The fact that the attempt to discover you occurs long after you've put forth the effort to hide is irrelevant. You aren't hiding until someone/something can observe you.

Quote:
I have a gold coin on the table in front of me. I put a napkin over it to hide it. It is successfully hidden. No penalty for failure at all.

It isn't hidden until someone who can observe it, fails to. Before there is an observer, it is a coin under a napkin.

Quote:
Now, three people walk by the following day. One fails to notice the napkin, much less the coin, sitting on the table.

That requires a Perception check in Pathfinder.

Quote:

Another clearly sees the napkin, but fails to realize there is anything under it. The third not only sees the napkin, but notes the vague shape of the napkin, suggesting that a flat cylindrical object might be hidden beneath it.

None of those examples have any bearing at all on my initial success at hiding the coin under the napkin.

All of the examples are checks that opposed your first attempt at hiding the coin. Because there is a penalty for failure = detection, you cannot Take 20.


David knott 242 wrote:

Since taking 10 takes the same amount of time as rolling, I am not sure how the fact that it is a secret check prevents you from taking 10 -- especially since the time involved would generally make a Disguise check an "out of combat" check.

After all, it is quite likely that anyone attempting a Perception check to penetrate your disguise is taking 10 on that check.

The Take 10 rules combined with the requirement to roll in secret create a conflict that neither WotC or Paizo seems willing to resolve. It is nonsensical to allow a Take 10 if a roll is suppose to be made in secret, yet, the rules don't address the dilemma. Technically, there's nothing that says you can't Take 10, but from game's perspective it doesn't make sense and should be FAQ'd.


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N N 959 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Using that same logic, N N 959, someone could argue that every skill has a penalty for failure: It's called not succeeding.

You can't fail at hiding something when no one is watching you, so how can there be a penalty for failure?

Per the rules, you don't check to see that you're hiding until someone rolls a Perception check and you only get one chance to hide.

To put it another way, you aren't hiding if there is no one to see you. It is only when you can be observed can you be hiding, and that is when the first Stealh, SoH, Disguise check is made. If there is no observer, then there is no check. Even if you roll the die the check doesn't occur until the opposed roll is made. That's why you don't get to keep rolling...you haven't resolved your first check.

Dictionary on Hide: wrote:

to conceal from sight; prevent from being seen or discovered:

Where did she hide her jewels?

Emphasis mine. Without "sight" there is no concept of hiding. In PF, you only have "sight" when something can make a Perception check. Thus, you don't get to keep trying to hide because your haven't completed your first attempt at hiding until someone makes a Perception check. It is the Perception check that outlines and defines the fact that you've attempted to hide. The fact that the attempt to discover you occurs long after you've put forth the effort to hide is irrelevant. You aren't hiding until someone/something can observe you.

Quote:
I have a gold coin on the table in front of me. I put a napkin over it to hide it. It is successfully hidden. No penalty for failure at all.

It isn't hidden until someone who can observe it, fails to. Before there is an observer, it is a coin under a napkin.

Quote:
Now, three people walk by the following day. One fails to notice the napkin, much less the coin, sitting on the table.

That requires a Perception check in Pathfinder.

Quote:
Another clearly sees the napkin, but fails to realize there is
...

But does the Sleight of Hands skill say that, N N 959? I don't understand this obsession with applying other skills' rules to Sleight of Hand. They're different skills! They're going to work differently!


Ravingdork wrote:
Using that same logic, N N 959, someone could argue that every skill has a penalty for failure: It's called not succeeding.

Inaccurate. The rules clearly differentiate failing to succeed from "penalty for failure." We know this is true because you can Take 20 given the restriction. So failing to succeed is demonstratively not the test for a "penalty" on failure.

In fact, the rules explicitly tell us that you can Take 20 to find a trap. So failure to find the trap on your first attempt, is implicitly not a "penalty."


Ravingdork wrote:
But does the Sleight of Hands skill say that, N N 959?

Absolutely.

PRD on SoH wrote:
You can hide a small object (including a light weapon or an easily concealed ranged weapon, such as a dart, sling, or hand crossbow) on your body. Your Sleight of Hand check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone observing you or of anyone frisking you.

The rules explicitly tell us that the hiding of something is "opposed" by a Perception check. So your first attempt at using the skill does not occur until someone opposes it. You can't keep rolling skill checks to hide something when you haven't completed your first skill check.

Quote:
I don't understand this obsession with applying other skills' rules to Sleight of Hand.

Your statement is inaccurate. I'm applying the Take 20 rules to all skills.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Seems to me you are deliberately misreading my posts, N N 959.

I did not claim that a penalty for failure was the same as not succeeding. I was implying that, that was the only outcome when following the logic used by some posters here.

What's more, you have utterly failed to point out where the Sleight of Hand rules, or the opposed check rules for that matter, explicitly states that you can't take 20.

This is the rules forum. You can't just make stuff up because it better fits your sensibilities.

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