What is the earliest a PC could readily achieve HiPS?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


What sort of build provides access to hide in plain sight the earliest?

If we take the ranger as the base standard, it's level 17. A rogue could take the HiPS advanced rogue talent at lvl 10, but only for one kind of terrain. The shadowdancer prestige class typically takes the prize at level 6, but only if they are within 10' of "dim light." For me dim light can be pretty situational depending on the day.

What is the earliest a character can get HiPS without any caveats or conditions?

J

Grand Lodge

It's not quite Hide in Plain Sight, but Hellcat Stealth lets you hide in normal or bright light even while being observed at a -10 to your check and can be taken by at 6th level.

Edit: Totally missed "without any caveats or conditions". Feel free to ignore me.


I can't think of any version of the ability that doesn't have one condition or another. The shadow dancer limitation is the least restricting version. I think we'd need to know more about the game if dim light is a less common phenomena then a specific terrain or group of terrains.

If you just want the ability to hide in plain sight without having the actual "hide in plain sight" ability, I'd recommend something that gives you cheap and easy concealment or cover. Enigma Mesmerist is my personal favorite, but there are probably a few other methods out there. A 6th level aether kineticist has tk invisibility which should work perfectly. You could also use something like the unchained monk's empty body, but it's an expensive option if you're only hiding.

Unfortunately, there are a number of abilities that conflate miss chance with concealment and thus make it hard to determine what should and shouldn't allow a stealth attempt, without first getting a determination from your DM.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Strictly speaking, a cloak of displacement, minor, would work. Per the rules, you need cover or concealment to make a stealth check, which works even if being observed, so a minor cloak of displacement is a license for all the stealth checks you want.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Strictly speaking, a cloak of displacement, minor, would work. Per the rules, you need cover or concealment to make a stealth check, which works even if being observed, so a minor cloak of displacement is a license for all the stealth checks you want.

The minor cloak of displacement provides a 20% miss chance; that's the same chance that concealment provides, but I don't think that means the cloak is granting you concealment. I could be missing something, though.


The problem with depending on concealment is that you might meet something with Blindsense, Blindsight or Tremorsense.

Dampen Presence should win over Blindsense, though I'm unsure if it would work against Blindsight since the concealment would be negated.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

The minor cloak of displacement provides a 20% miss chance; that's the same chance that concealment provides, but I don't think that means the cloak is granting you concealment. I could be missing something, though.

It says it functions as the blur spell, which grants concealment,


I believe there was an FAQ that basically stated, "No the concealment from a cloak of displacement doesn't allow you to use stealth" but I don't have a link handy.

I will try to find one though.


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Ultimate Intrigue: Skills in Conflict: Perception and Stealth: Cover and Concealment for Stealth wrote:
The reason a character usually needs cover or concealment to use Stealth is tied to the fact that characters can't use Stealth while being observed. A sneaking character needs to avoid all of an opponent's precise senses in order to use Stealth, and for most creatures, that means vision. Effects such as blur and displacement, which leave a clear visual of the character within the perceiving character's vision, aren't sufficient to use Stealth, but a shadowy area or a curtain work nicely, for example. The hide in plain sight class ability allows a creature to use Stealth while being observed and thus avoids this whole situation. A sneaking character can come out of cover or concealment during her turn, as long as she doesn't end her turn where other characters are directly observing her.


Thanks Wonderstell.

I think they may have removed the FAQ when they made it part of the rules in Ultimate Intrigue, because I couldn't otherwise find the FAQ I was thinking of.


I think the fastest way to do it is Rogue5 (or whatever5) and PrC into Shadowdancer at level 6. But you can go any class you want and get Hellcat Stealth by lvl 6, which basically does the same thing except there's a -10 Stealth penalty but you don't have to be near Dim Light. But, if you are truly married to HiPS, you could always get a Darkness or Deeper Darkness spell permanently enchanted on a rock or something you carry.


There's also this new conduit feat Shadow Shroud: https://aonprd.com/FeatDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Shadow%27s%20Shroud


Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
There's also this new conduit feat Shadow Shroud: https://aonprd.com/FeatDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Shadow%27s%20Shroud

That's a weird feat that raises a lot of questions.


Here's one reason why I want HiPS: unlike concealment, invisibility, magical darkness, blur/displacement, etc, is that True Seeing sees right through it. True seeing explicitly does not "spot creatures who are simply hiding." True seeing doesn't come into play until later levels, I know, but that's one big reason why HiPS is the ultimate.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything, or any other ways to get HiPS. It seems like Shadowdancer or lvl 17 Ranger are the best options? Shadow Shroud I think I'd have questions too, btw.

If I wanted to be as undetectable as possible, it seems like I'd want to pair it with dampen presence, as well as maybe the ability to cast Silence?

J


JDawg75 wrote:
If I wanted to be as undetectable as possible, it seems like I'd want to pair it with dampen presence, as well as maybe the ability to cast Silence?

Don't forget negate aroma and a pair of Boots of the Soft Step (since Dampen Presence explicitly doesn't help against tremorsense).


Don't think I've ever seen it in PF (or even 3.5) but back in the day there was a Ring of Invisibility that added in Inaudibility (something like a 10% chance a Ring of Invisibility would come with Inaudibility as well, IIRC). The wearer made no sound when moving around, no footfalls, no scabbard or potion bottles rattling or clinking together, no creaking leather or other armor noises, etc., etc.. Maybe the GM would allow something similar to be created tying some of the abilities mentioned above together to a Ring or Wondrous item.

Edit: But it wasn't a Silence effect the wearer could deliberately speak, spell cast or otherwise make noise, again if I remember correctly.

Edit 2: Simplest way to play the Inaudibility might be to treat the wielder as if they were standing still/not moving while Invisible and add another +20 to the Stealth of the wielder even if they are moving.


Sorceror Shadow Bloodline lvl 9 power. Theoretically could be accessed at lvl 5 with a robe of Arcane Heritage...

For non-sorceror's the lvl 9 power can be accessed at lvl 11 through Eldritch Heritage feat chain...


If you want to be as undetectable as possible, I'd recommend a Drow Druid for this, but you literally can pick any class you want. You really just need Skill Focus: Stealth and Hellcat Stealth, which you can get by lvl 6.

Drow Druid:

Pick a domain that's good at nuke spells and get Natural Spell so you can cast while Wild Shaped.

During combat, Wild Shape into a diminutive-sized hummingbird and use your standard action to cast a spell, then use your move action to re-enter stealth every round with Hellcat Stealth.

Get a Ring of Chameleon Power for +10 competence bonus, Child of the Moon Trait for +1, +2, or +4 Stealth depending on the Moon, and carry Potions of Heroism. Drow Druids get FCB +1/2 bonus to Stealth while Wild Shaped. I'd go true Neutral for alignment so you can avoid Aura Sight and alignment-based detection spells. Get Wands for Greater Invis until you can pick up Wiz spells with Dreamed Secrets at lvl 13. Also, prepare Negate Aroma and Pass without Trace spells. After that, I think that's about as undetectable as you can get; you don't need to worry about tremorsense because you're flying.

Your Stealth will be impressive all game, but here's just a sneak peak of what you could have at level 16: 16SkillRank + 3ClassSkill + 6SkillFocus + 1-4 CotMTrait + 8DrowFCB + 12Diminutive + 2Cat'sGrace + 2Heroism + 10Chameleon Power + 4dex + 20-40Greater Invisibility =

1d20+84-87 Stealth (avg. 94.5-97.5 Stealth) while moving

1d20+104-107 (avg. 114.5-117.5 Stealth) while not moving

1d20+64-67 (avg. 74.5-77.5 Stealth) if enemy has See Invis and is within range to see you

-10 Stealth from these figures if you're being actively viewed

Nothing short of deities will have that kind of Perception. Just imagine being a 9th lvl caster that goes *poof buh-bye* every round.


As soon as you cast an offensive spell though your stealth breaks. And after doing this once (stealth, cast, stealth in the middle of the room) in a combat you become a big priority to kill or otherwise neutralize.

Also, remember diminutive creatures take a penalty of combat maneuvers, making you a ripe target to grapple (if someone can get next to you).

There's also readied actions as soon as you become visible.


You can cast SNA and other support spells without breaking stealth and it's going to be hard to grapple you while you're flying 100ft in the air. Also, you can end each round with your move action to Stealth so that you stay concealed when it's everyone else's turn.

Readied actions do pose a significant threat, but if you change your Initiative with your own delay so that you go last in the round, you can pull off your own anti-readied action shenanigans by forcing them to act or lose their actions for the round :) Basically if you think your DM is readying actions against you, you can just cast something that doesn't break stealth, and now their actions are wasted ;)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

The Cipher archetype of the Investigator class gets hide in plain sight at 7th level. It's not completely without a condition, though the condition itself comes with the inattention blindness ability that allows the cipher to just not be noticed by people unless they spot him from 10 feet / class level away. It's a fairly fun archetype if you want to be very unlikely to be noticed, though not legal for organized play if that's a concern.

The Exchange

Complicated but:
10 levels of slayer. Take the Rogue Talent (Terrain Mastery) slayer talent and the Slayer Camouflage advanced slayer talent. You now have the equivalent of HiPS for one terrain.

(The key difference between Slayer Camouflage and the rogue’s Hide in Plain Sight is that Slayer Camouflage applies to all your favored terrains, not just one. That’s about to become important.)

Now buy a whole bunch of Boots of Friendly Terrain. Put on the boots for whatever terrain you are in. (Depending on how your GM interprets things you may have to take one level of ranger to get the boots to work.)

Boom. HiPS at level 10 (or 11).


Belafon wrote:
Now buy a whole bunch of Boots or Friendly Terrain. Put on the boots for whatever terrain you are in. (Depending on how your GM interprets things you may have to take one level of ranger to get the boots to work.)

If your GM usually lets items in the same slot be combined (you know, like ring of invisibility with ring of protection for 100% of the higher price + 150% of the lower price), see if they'll let you combine boots of friendly terrain (plains) with boots of friendly terrain (mountains) with boots of friendly terrain (desert) etc etc. Approximately 50% more expensive but you don't need to change boots all the time.


A Stalker Vigilante can get it at 8th lv, same condition as Shadowdancer.

They do however also get Blind Spot, so they are much harder to spot.


My two favorite ideas so far seem to be an unchained rogue (or perhaps an archaeologist bard) with Shadowdancer, or a stalker vigilante.

I like that the stalker's "blind spot" also lets his stealth apply to blindsense, blindsight, lifesense, scent, or tremorsense. It appeals to me but I've never played a vigilante so I don't know how they work.

With rogues I love the idea that they can put out major damage, and I'd go with the unchained version. Don't know if vigilantes can. They also get finesse training for dex bonus to attack and damage.

My goal is to scout, and in combat to hit hard such as with sneak attack damage. Stuff like evasion and improved evasion are a must. I also need trapfinding. It would also be great to cast Negate Aroma. Any build ideas with this in mind?

J


You can do incredible amounts of damage with Sneak Attack as a Sap Master with Powerful Sneak and Underhanded, and since you're going for a super Stealthy McStealtherson build and you have UMD, you can make due without Blind Spot from Vigilante. You need to go at least 6 levels into Vigilante to get Blind Spot, and that's pretty expensive.

UncRogue5, Shadowdancer1, then UncRogueX.

Traits: Child of the Moon (+1, +2, or +4 Stealth)

Feats: Skill Focus (Stealth), Sap Adept, Sap Master, Dampen Presence, Dirty Trick Master?

Rogue Talents: Fast Stealth, Ledgewalker, Canny Observer, Powerful Sneak, Underhanded, Underhanded Trick?

Skills:
UMD (max)
Stealth (max)
Acrobatics (max)

Carry wands/scrolls for Pass w/o Trace, Negate Aroma, Greater Invis, Fly, Deeper Darkness (cast it on something you carry so you can HiPS)


You can get Blind Spot with the Stalker Advance Rogue talent. But that would mean getting it at lv 11+.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Also, you can end each round with your move action to Stealth so that you stay concealed when it's everyone else's turn.

If you're spending your move to hide, doesn't that mean they know which cube you're in, to within 5' at least?

It's not like a fatal flaw or anything, but they could still AoE you.


The blend spell is first level, available to most classes (providing you're an elf), lasts 10 min/level and gives hide in plain sight providing you don't exceed half your move rate. Admittedly it ends if you make an attack.

Alchemical deodorant works just fine vs. scent.

Lucy, most characters getting hide in plain sight have great reflex saves and many will have evasion. AoEs (except glitterdust...) aren't often effective against them.


There is a good point to be made for just taking Hellcat Stealth at lvl 6. While HiPS with Shadowdancer is great, it requires three feats, only one of which I might actually want. It also requires a dip away from my favored class and two skill points in a skill I will probably never use. Hellcat stealth only requires 1 feat as a prereq. Still thinking about it.

Overall I'd like to use stealth and combine it with the Scout archetype, so I can get sneak attack like a boss.

Switching to weapons for a moment, given what I want to do, seems like the elven curve blade or elven branched spear would be best.

However, I had a friend who took the Scout and Knife Master archetype, dual-wielding daggers. He did d8 sneak attack damage and took deific obedience for Pharasma to get a nice +2 to attack daggers. Thoughts?


If you're going to go Knife Master for d8's, you might as well get Shattered Defenses so every hit you make can be a Sneak Attack. Just make sure you put a minimum of 13 in Str so you can get Power Attack and then go max Dex. Go as Human and take Focused Study so you can get 3 Skill Focuses.

Lvl 1: Power Attack, Skill Focus: Stealth
Lvl 2: RT: Weapon Training (Weapon Focus)
Lvl 3: Two-Weapon Fighting
Lvl 4: RT: Powerful Sneak
Lvl 5: (Open)
Lvl 6: RT: Combat Trick: Hellcat Stealth
Lvl 7: Cornugon Smash (Get a +1 Cruel Enchant for Shaken/Sicken and 5 temp HP whenever you make a Killing Blow)
Lvl 8: RT: Underhanded, Skill Focus: Intimidate
Lvl 9: Dazzling Display
Lvl 10: ART: Feat: Shatter Defenses (now all your attacks can be SnA's :D)
Lvl 11: Improved TWF?
Lvl 12: ART: Deadly Sneak
Lvl 13: (Open)
Lvl 14: ART: Crippling Strike
Lvl 15: (Open)
Lvl 16: (Open), Skill Focus: Perception

Underhanded at level 8 is going to be so powerful with Hidden Blade from Knife Master.


I know you've moved on from this, but it it looks like you could get HiPS at level 5 as a shadow sorcerer with a robe of arcane heritage. Though how you'd come up with the money for the robe I couldn't say.

The scout archetype is cool, sneak attack on a charge or once per round if you move ten or more feat seems okay. If you're trying to always hide in plain sight though, those abilities aren't too useful. The movement seems counter to what you'd want if you were dual wielding as well. Scout and Skulking Slayer work pretty well together though, but suddenly you've gone from silent dagger guy to a charging headchopper.

Liberty's Edge

Michael Sayre wrote:
The Cipher archetype of the Investigator class gets hide in plain sight at 7th level. It's not completely without a condition, though the condition itself comes with the inattention blindness ability that allows the cipher to just not be noticed by people unless they spot him from 10 feet / class level away. It's a fairly fun archetype if you want to be very unlikely to be noticed, though not legal for organized play if that's a concern.

The Cipher is Me IRL, the archetype. It's super cool, but the massive lost of investigator talents (can't even buy them back with feats until 13!) leaves me unwilling to take the plunge.

Grand Lodge

What do you need HiPS for when you can just be a cloud! Be a cloud whenever you need to and just float there, don’t mind the rain of fireballs emanating from you, you’re totally not casting any spells!

Mechanically, crossblooded Shadow/psychic sorcerer using gaseous form and fly spell, with the Conceal Spell feat.

In other news, I’ve been doing some research on that conduit feat, Shadow’s Shroud, and there are only two limitations to being able to use that feat: the first is if the target(s) you’re hiding from have the See in Darkness ability, which is fairly rare. Because it requires the ability to see in supernatural darkness, plain ol’ Darkvision doesn’t cut it. The 2nd limitation is if you’re in an area that restricts planar travel- also fairly rare unless you encounter a bunch of extraplanar creatures and your party wizard likes preventing them from dimensional hopping. So for what is essentially a number of rounds equal to your HD, you can use stealth vs almost any type of creature. Unless you tend to have multiple extended fights in a day, you’ll usually have enough rounds of stealthiness to do what needs to be done, and this comes online as early as level 5.


Good points Erich. I still love HiPS. There are two requirements to use stealth: being unobserved and heaving concealment or cover. HiPS takes care of the first requirement. The second one is implied with the 'within 10ft of dim light.' Having Blur gives concealment, so if I could have that on during, let's say 3-5 combats a day, it'd solve my problem and I'd have HiPS at will.

The easiest, cheapest way I can think of would be buying a wand of blur (4500 gold), but that's a spell-trigger effect which would mean UMD a lot. Things don't have to be wands to have charges, right? I'm leaning toward taking Sylph as a race (flight!), so I could take the Pragmatic Activator trait and use Int for UMD. Or I could simply buy a Command word version which avoids UMD, but pumps the price up to about 10.8k.

Them again, some object with Darkness cast on it would cause dim light pretty easily too, and save me the Blur headache.

The Exchange

JDawg75 wrote:
There are two requirements to use stealth: being unobserved and heaving concealment or cover. . . Having Blur gives concealment, so if I could have that on during, let's say 3-5 combats a day, it'd solve my problem and I'd have HiPS at will.

Don’t forget the line Wonderstell quoted above:

Quote:
Effects such as blur and displacement, which leave a clear visual of the character within the perceiving character's vision, aren't sufficient to use Stealth, but a shadowy area or a curtain work nicely, for example


Well crap, you're right. A guess a combination of stealth/HiPS, invisibility, the Scout archetype, and a little intimidation would work wonders.

J


The title confused me a bit, so small sidetrack

HiPS also stands for High impact Poly Styrene, used widely for plastic models, e. g. by Games Workshop. Not sure about Wizkids.

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