States of awarenes don't work. Does cover / conealment let you stealth or not?


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Ok, stop.

Show me one instance where the bluff check would actually be useful or conceed the point that it doesn't make sense. Every. Time. you'd said it would be good under X circumstances it's been completely unneccesary.

If you don't have any cover, it STILL doesn't work.

If there's only one piece of cover, it still doesn't work.

It's entirely possible they made a system that's borked but you have to figure on how likely it is.


Ascelepius wrote:
So that's Alien Archive 1 and two more AP books also using cover as a sufficient condition for hiding.

It. doesn't say that. It either says the exact opposite under my reading (this ability grants you both the cover AND unobserved status you need to hide) OR under your reading keeps bringing up the idea of observed for absolutely no reason what-so-ever If cover grants you unobserved status why bother mentioning it at all?

None of the problems with your reading are outright damning but altogether they're a huge problem.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Ok, stop.

Show me one instance where the bluff check would actually be useful or conceed the point that it doesn't make sense.

I, a medium creature, am 15' away from a Huge creature with reach. I wish to approach to make a melee attack on him, but without suffering an attack of opportunity. There is no cover or concealment between us. I have high Bluff and Stealth, but poor Acrobatics.

1. I use a move action to make a Bluff check to create a diversion. I am successful.

2. I use a move action to Stealth (Hide), moving half my speed towards the creature and making a Stealth check at -10 because my source of cover/concealment is the diversion from Bluff, not actual cover/concealment. I am successful, and therefore have total concealment against the Huge creature, and he cannot make an AOO against me.

3. I end my turn next to the Huge creature, and with no cover/concealment at the end of my turn, I am now no longer concealed, and can be attacked normally on the enemy's turn.


Interesting consequence of taking a broad interpretation of cover here: things like hiding in a crowd become possible.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Ok, stop.

Show me one instance where the bluff check would actually be useful

Let's say you're in a room with multiple exits within range of your move speed, and you want to get out of the room while concealing which exit you've used. The Bluff check allows you to conceal your initial direction of travel, which is not insignificant.

The Batman Vanish has certain tactical advantages over dashing for a hiding spot first; it doesn't need to be the only way to hide in order to be the most useful way to hide.


Nerdy Canuck wrote:


Let's say you're in a room with multiple exits within range of your move speed, and you want to get out of the room while concealing which exit you've used. The Bluff check allows you to conceal your initial direction of travel, which is not insignificant.

Okay, lets go with that.

Its within range of your move speed, so 30 feet to go through the door and move around the corner far enough that people can't see you.

You're going to make a bluff check, make a stealth check at -20 (-10 for doing the batman thing, -10 for moving quickly) and move 30 feet.

OR

You could scurry to the wrong door far enough to get cover, make one stealth check at -10, and then scoot back the other way to the right door.

Only one check, the check doesn't rely on two different skills with two different attributes, and the penalty is actually doable.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:


Let's say you're in a room with multiple exits within range of your move speed, and you want to get out of the room while concealing which exit you've used. The Bluff check allows you to conceal your initial direction of travel, which is not insignificant.

Okay, lets go with that.

Its within range of your move speed, so 30 feet to go through the door and move around the corner far enough that people can't see you.

You're going to make a bluff check, make a stealth check at -20 (-10 for doing the batman thing, -10 for moving quickly) and move 30 feet.

OR

You could scurry to the wrong door far enough to get cover, make one stealth check at -10, and then scoot back the other way to the right door.

Only one check, the check doesn't rely on two different skills with two different attributes, and the penalty is actually doable.

You probably can't do that because you probably have to begin your move in cover/concealment in order to make a normal Hide check.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:


Let's say you're in a room with multiple exits within range of your move speed, and you want to get out of the room while concealing which exit you've used. The Bluff check allows you to conceal your initial direction of travel, which is not insignificant.

Okay, lets go with that.

Its within range of your move speed, so 30 feet to go through the door and move around the corner far enough that people can't see you.

You're going to make a bluff check, make a stealth check at -20 (-10 for doing the batman thing, -10 for moving quickly) and move 30 feet.

OR

You could scurry to the wrong door far enough to get cover, make one stealth check at -10, and then scoot back the other way to the right door.

Only one check, the check doesn't rely on two different skills with two different attributes, and the penalty is actually doable.

I said they were withing range of your movement from your starting position, not from each other.


Nerdy Canuck wrote:

I said they were withing range of your movement from your starting position, not from each other.

Okay, so there's only 2 doors, no cover anywhere else, and the two doors are on completely opposite sides of the room, and there's no hiding places a movement into the other room, and you're starting right in the middle of the room.

That works, but I don't think you give a paragraph of rules to one exceedingly rare corner case. Change pretty much anything about that scenario and it breaks.

I think hiding from people that are looking at you is supposed to be a lot harder than setting an ambush for people. Two checks and -10 penalties represent that, vanishing right in front of people with no penalties does not.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:

I said they were withing range of your movement from your starting position, not from each other.

Okay, so there's only 2 doors, no cover anywhere else, and the two doors are on completely opposite sides of the room, and there's no hiding places a movement into the other room, and you're starting right in the middle of the room.

That works, but I don't think you give a paragraph of rules to one exceedingly rare corner case. Change pretty much anything about that scenario and it breaks.

I think hiding from people that are looking at you is supposed to be a lot harder than setting an ambush for people. Two checks and -10 penalties represent that, vanishing right in front of people with no penalties does not.

Two checks, on different skills and different attributes to hide and provide no clues of where to go looking, versus letting them have a useful last known position to search from by just using Stealth.

If you've played a decent stealth game particularly recently, they tend to demonstrate this principle fairly well; you can just pop into cover and get moving to try to get away and hide, but it's generally quite a lot less effective than if you're able to prevent being observed before you go grab cover.


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OK BNW. Would you please, please, please with a cherry on top define what you mean by this:

BigNorseWolf wrote:
6) Not intending, but accidentally having a converse reading of the rules that works with MOST other parts of the rules

Because when I look a the rules, it is very consistent. The Observed state references using cover as sufficient for hide. The rules for Hide say that using cover is sufficient for hide. The rules for Sniping say that getting back into cover is sufficient to hide again. Abilities and equipment that improve a character's ability to hide reference the need for plain, old cover.

What part of the rules is inconsistent?

I asked this before too, but is the only inconsistency that you are seeing being the point in Observed where it says that you need to move to a location that breaks line of sight?

BigNorseWolf wrote:
7) ... If you read the stealth rules the way I do, what breaks in the game...

At the risk of accusations of straw-man attack, I am going to have to assume that your reading of the rules means that starting a hide check requires total concealment or total cover. Though I don't know exactly where you want that change to be. In the rules for Observed (right before that entire text block gets removed), or in the rules for Hide?

But I digress. Anyway...

Under that assumption that a hide check requires total cover, how does sniping from cover work?

Does that also need to be changed such that you have to remain in a place with total cover against the enemy? If you have total cover against them, wouldn't they have total cover against you? How do you shoot someone through total cover?

Or does regular cover work as long as you are already hiding? If so, then once you take the shot, I have to assume that you cannot make the hide check from where you are at since you are in a location that only provides regular cover. You would have to move to a location that provides total cover before you make the check. Which, since you are not hiding at the start of the movement, the enemies know the location that you move to - so they are still Aware of Location after that movement. So no matter what you do, the enemies become aware of your precise location after Sniping. Which as you pointed out - if the enemies know your location, then hiding isn't very useful. They just have to walk around the corner and you are no longer hiding.

Sounds like sniping from cover is completely broken under your reading of the rules.

-----

Now, would you please do the same for me?

I proposed an errata earlier. The basic idea is that regular cover is sufficient for making hide checks. You can see the details of exactly what in the rule book is changed and where in my previous post.

If you read the stealth rules the way I do, what breaks in the game? I'm not at all interested in what breaks between the game and reality though. I just want the rules mechanics to be consistent.


hard to spell kitty wrote:
OK BNW. Would you please, please, please with a cherry on top define what you mean by this:

Sure, what i mean is that my reading of the rules , which is wrong according to you, works way, way too well for a random rules mess up on my part. It would be really weird if you had a wrong rules interpretation that works THAT well.

Quote:
What part of the rules is inconsistent?

With mentioning observation and cover all the time. There is NO reason to mention it at all if all you need is cover.

With how hiding works. It really isn't as hard to see polonius behind the tapestry if you watch him walk back there, but the rules as you're reading them do just that.

Quote:
Under that assumption that a hide check requires total cover, how does sniping from cover work?

*whistle*

A hide check does not require total cover.

A hide check requires cover and unobserved status. Unobserved status can be obtained by not being observed, using the "look a monkey" option, or moving to total cover.

So, at the start of the combat Sniper Sam is waiting in the bushes. Since the party is coming up he's not observed. He makes his stealth check, party doesn't see him.

Sam makes his stealth check with the sniping penalty. He succeeds. He remains not observed, he still has cover. He can still try stealth checks.

Next round sam tries his stealth check to snipe, someone perceives him. He is now perceived. He is now observed. He can no longer snipe the characters that have seen him. He's going to need a different tactic to stay hidden now, or start the fight normally.

start of the fight: cover and not observed stealth check
Successfull sniping check: cover and not observed, stealth check
Fail the sniping stealth check: cover but NOT unobserved. Sam needs to look a monkey the party or switch up his tactics.

Quote:
Or does regular cover work as long as you are already hiding

Regular cover works as long as you're already not observed. Sniping maintains not observed status while you're attacking. That's whats so special about it.

I think the way you're reading stealth would making sniping pointless. There's very little reason to make a stealth check at -20 penalty when you could just make a stealth check and then move 30 feet(or faster) at -10

Quote:
If you read the stealth rules the way I do, what breaks in the game? I'm not at all interested in what breaks between the game and reality though. I just want the rules mechanics to be consistent.

There is virtually no reason to look a monkey

There is virtually no reason to use sniping.

The game slows down as every time you move you go for a stealth check trying to flat foot your opponent.

People with a high stealth score just vanish while you're looking at them. Someone can flat foot you from the other side of a dining room table and run out the door. You'll never catch another bad guy again.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Sure, what i mean is that my reading of the rules , which is wrong according to you...

That is actually still up for debate.

... Which is why I am still debating this with you.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Quote:
What part of the rules is inconsistent?
With mentioning observation and cover all the time. There is NO reason to mention it at all if all you need is cover.

Still having a bit of trouble understanding this. Is 'it' referring to the Observing state of awareness?

I'm not seeing many places where the rules for stealth reference the Observed state. In fact, I think it needs to reference Observed a bit more. More on that later.

And cover only qualifies a character to make a hide check. It doesn't automatically break Observed status by itself. Not everyone who runs behind a tapestry suddenly becomes invisible.

So it is not all you need is cover. Cover is part of it, but you also still need to break the Observed status with the Hide check.

BigNorseWolf wrote:


With how hiding works. It really isn't as hard to see polonius behind the tapestry if you watch him walk back there, but the rules as you're reading them do just that.

Agreed that it stretches credulity a bit when you describe it that way. *shrug* so describe it differently.

BigNorseWolf wrote:


Quote:
Under that assumption that a hide check requires total cover, how does sniping from cover work?

*whistle*

A hide check does not require total cover.

A hide check requires cover and unobserved status. Unobserved status can be obtained by not being observed, using the "look a monkey" option, or moving to total cover.

Nice. Now we are getting somewhere. Also, the tactical example is great too. I omitted it for length of this post.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Regular cover works as long as you're already not observed. Sniping maintains not observed status while you're attacking. That's whats so special about it.

I think the way you're reading stealth would making sniping pointless. There's very little reason to make a stealth check at -20 penalty when you could just make a stealth check and then move 30 feet(or faster) at -10

This is interesting. It is an assumption of mine from D&D 3.5 that attacking while hiding automatically makes the attacker seen. Starfinder doesn't actually say that explicitly - though it is still heavily implied.

Attacking from Hiding wrote:
If you are successfully hiding from a creature, that creature is considered flat-footed for the purpose of your first attack from hiding. If you remain invisible after your first attack, that creature is considered flat-footed against your attacks until it succeeds at a Perception check to locate you or until you become visible.

But it doesn't say that you automatically become Observed to the target or anyone else in the room.

Running out of time here. This post is getting too long on the creation. Be back shortly...


breithauptclan wrote:
Still having a bit of trouble understanding this. Is 'it' referring to the Observing state of awareness?

Yes. The observed state of awareness

A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth check without first breaking that observation.

Quote:
And cover only qualifies a character to make a hide check. It doesn't automatically break Observed status by itself. Not everyone who runs behind a tapestry suddenly becomes invisible.

This idea doesn't work. A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth check without first breaking that observation. You can't use a stealth check to break observation if you can't use a stealth check because you're being observed.

SOMETHING prevents a stealth check from being tried.
I say that something is your observed status AND cover. You need to worry about both. They're two things, not one thing.

When you plug that paradigm back into the stealth rules, stealthing makes sense, stealth does most of what its supposed to do, polonius can easily hide behind the curtain but if plonius wants walk behind the curtain and then hide but he needs to batman you with the bluff check.

Quote:
Agreed that it stretches credulity a bit when you describe it that way. *shrug* so describe it differently.

It's really the only way to describe it. There's no difference in stealthing between people you're looking at and people you don't know are there under the easy stealth interpretation.

Quote:
This is interesting. It is an assumption of mine from D&D 3.5 that attacking while hiding automatically makes the attacker seen. Starfinder doesn't actually say that explicitly - though it is still heavily implied.

Snipings existance would seem to imply it.


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So with that information, I can do a more direct comparison.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

A hide check does not require total cover.

A hide check requires cover and unobserved status. Unobserved status can be obtained by not being observed, using the "look a monkey" option, or moving to total cover.

A hide check does not require total cover.

A hide check causes unobserved status. Qualifying to make a hide check can be from having cover or total cover, or using the bluff check for distraction.

The biggest difference here is that in my reading, it is the hide check that is doing the work, not the cover or distraction.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

So, at the start of the combat Sniper Sam is waiting in the bushes. Since the party is coming up he's not observed. He makes his stealth check, party doesn't see him.

Sam makes his stealth check with the sniping penalty. He succeeds. He remains not observed, he still has cover. He can still try stealth checks.

Next round sam tries his stealth check to snipe, someone perceives him. He is now perceived. He is now observed. He can no longer snipe the characters that have seen him. He's going to need a different tactic to stay hidden now, or start the fight normally.

This is exactly how I would run things too.

The difference comes after the failed sniping check - the options Sam has for getting back into hiding.

Both of us would allow the bluff check for distraction or moving somewhere with full cover. I would also allow making a new hide check in that location since it has cover - next round since he has used all of his actions this turn. May not be the most optimal choice, but it is legal.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Regular cover works as long as you're already not observed. Sniping maintains not observed status while you're attacking.

Again direct comparison with my thinking:

Regular cover works for maintaining a hidden status. Sniping allows you to not become Observed as a result of attacking.

I think that is actually identical. Slight changes in wording is all.

---------

OK. My turn to take the hot seat.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
If you read the stealth rules the way I do, what breaks in the game?

There is virtually no reason to look a monkey

There is virtually no reason to use sniping.

The game slows down as every time you move you go for a stealth check trying to flat foot your opponent.

People with a high stealth score just vanish while you're looking at them. Someone can flat foot you from the other side of a dining room table and run out the door. You'll never catch another bad guy again.

The usefulness of bluff to distract is certainly lower. It is a bit of a niche case. I don't feel that this means that it is broken. Just sub-optimal.

Sniping is a bit more powerful in my reading of the rules. Sniping itself is practically identical. The difference is in what you can do when things go wrong.

Hmm... I'm not sure you could use stealth every time you move in order to flat-foot the opponent. The bluff check to create a diversion is itself a move action. So if you are making an attack that round, you could only do one - the bluff check for diversion, or the stealth check to hide.

Well, they vanish while you are not looking at them because they successfully distracted you with a bluff check, or they vanish while you can sort-of see them (well enough to qualify as that they are Observed) while they have cover or concealment.

If the dining room table is enough to provide regular cover or concealment, then yeah. I don't have a problem with that. I'm imaginative, I can find some way of describing either the table or the characters actions well enough to make it plausible.

As for being able to catch bad guys, if you are playing a bounty hunter, invest in perception.


breithauptclan wrote:
A hide check causes unobserved status.

This is bootstrap levitation

A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth check without first breaking that observation.

You can't even ATTEMPT the stealth check to break observation. So SOMETHING breaks that observation that is not the stealth check.

It can't be the stealth check. So either cover is sufficient on its own to break observation so you can attempt the stealth check, or you need cover and unobserved status to try the stealth check.


breithauptclan wrote:
The bluff check to create a diversion is itself a move action. So if you are making an attack that round, you could only do one - the bluff check for diversion, or the stealth check to hide.

But you don't need to use this under most circumstances when you stealth. DON"T use the bluff check. Just stealth and double move away at no penalty 30 feet from your previous position offers a LOT of different places you could be hiding


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
Agreed that it stretches credulity a bit when you describe it that way. *shrug* so describe it differently.
It's really the only way to describe it. There's no difference in stealthing between people you're looking at and people you don't know are there under the easy stealth interpretation.

I meant to describe the tapestry differently (pronouns, blargh). Have there be a ledge along the wall that the character can climb on or something like that. The curtains earlier in the post were even easier for this. Just hop up onto the windowsill as part of the move action to Hide.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
And cover only qualifies a character to make a hide check. It doesn't automatically break Observed status by itself. Not everyone who runs behind a tapestry suddenly becomes invisible.

This idea doesn't work. A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth check without first breaking that observation. You can't use a stealth check to break observation if you can't use a stealth check because you're being observed.

SOMETHING prevents a stealth check from being tried.
I say that something is your observed status AND cover. You need to worry about both. They're two things, not one thing.

I think that is the core of what is being debated.

I see the breaking of the Observed status as the end result of the Stealth check. So it couldn't be a requirement to make the check in the first place.

The requirements to make the check are regular cover or better, regular concealment or better, or a successful bluff check to distract.

And yes, the rules text in the Observed status could use some rework to make that more clear. But this is how I read that text naturally, and it is consistent* with what is written in the Stealth skill rules for Hide and Snipe.

Requiring status of not Observed before making a stealth check creates a catch-22 type of scenario where hiding is only feasible outside of combat. Maybe by using the bluff check option, but that would require a separate skill check and it is exponentially difficult to successfully pull off multiple skill checks in a row (see starship missile alpha strike thread).

* Meaning that the other rules also list regular cover as being sufficient for stealth checks.

--------

So, after discussing this out more completely, I can see your reading of the rules as a valid alternate rule. I can't even quite call it a houserule since it is supported by the current wording of the Observed status.

I'm still under the impression that making hiding during combat possible (or even easy) is the intent of the rules. From what I have played in D&D 3.5 it was pretty much useless - which made sneak attack pretty hard to pull off after combat was started.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
The bluff check to create a diversion is itself a move action. So if you are making an attack that round, you could only do one - the bluff check for diversion, or the stealth check to hide.
But you don't need to use this under most circumstances when you stealth. DON"T use the bluff check. Just stealth and double move away at no penalty 30 feet from your previous position offers a LOT of different places you could be hiding

This is in response to your statement:

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The game slows down as every time you move you go for a stealth check trying to flat foot your opponent.

I'm not sure why a player would be applying flat-footed* every round against their attacks, if they are not attacking.

If you stealth-move twice in a round, you won't be able to attack.
If you bluff and stealth-move in a round, you won't be able to attack.

It would probably work if you move-stealth then attack. But there are several more reliable ways to apply better versions of flat-footed. Especially for Operative or Envoy characters (which in my opinion are the most likely to be using stealth in combat).

So I don't see this as a problem that is going to bog down gameplay because some player thinks that this is a cool battle tactic that they are going to build their character around. At least not any more than a player rolling for demoralize each round. Or rolling two attacks each round for that matter. Or trick attack - which also allows a move, a skill check, and an attack each round.

* Attacking from hiding only makes the target flat-footed against your first attack. No one else's attack, and not any subsequent attacks unless you are able to stay invisible after that first attack.


breithauptclan wrote:
see the breaking of the Observed status as the end result of the Stealth check. So it couldn't be a requirement to make the check in the first place.

But unobserved is point blank black and white a requirement to stealth.

If a stealth check were the only way to be observed you might have a contradiction, but a stealth check isn't the only way to get unobserved. You start a fight unobserved, you can run somewhere it's impossible to see you...

and you can tell people look a monkey to break observation and THEN stealth, like that option suggests.

That makes stealth do what its supposed to: its a fight opener, and something VERY hard to get back once it's blown and people see you.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
see the breaking of the Observed status as the end result of the Stealth check. So it couldn't be a requirement to make the check in the first place.
But unobserved is point blank black and white a requirement to stealth.

I don't think it is so black and white. The first sentence of that second paragraph of Observed is.

Quote:
A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth check without first breaking that observation.

But I note that the last word there is 'observation'. Which seems to me to be different than the Observing status that is currently in the process of being defined.

And the very next sentence says how to break 'observation'.

Quote:
To break observation, the creature must either mask itself from your precise senses (with darkness, fog, invisibility, or the like, but not with effects such as displacement that still leave a clear visual indicator of its location), move somewhere it can’t be observed (a place with cover, for example), or use Bluff to create a distraction to momentarily break your observation of it.

Which lists cover as the example of a location that qualifies for a stealth check.

So not so point blank black and white.


If COVER breaks the stealth check that's the source of my disagreement with Asclepius.

But reading it so that the stealth check you can't while being observed is what breaks observation is just no. NOTHING in the game is going to make any sense if the writers aren't allowed to adjust a word from observed to observing to account for grammar and context.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

If COVER breaks the stealth check that's the source of my disagreement with Asclepius.

But reading it so that the stealth check you can't while being observed is what breaks observation is just no. NOTHING in the game is going to make any sense if the writers aren't allowed to adjust a word from observed to observing to account for grammar and context.

Technically the wording change was from Observing to observation, but I understand what you mean.

I don't fully agree. For one I think that is hyperbole.

Two, and most importantly, the next sentence tells you exactly how to do 'breaking that observation'. This isn't just a verb conjugation change for grammar. The first instance, 'observed', can be seen that way. But how to break observation is spelled out rather directly. Do something to make enemies not see you so well - either cover or concealment or bluff check to distract; make stealth check to hide; lower state of awareness level as a reward for your actions.

I think we have run this debate to conclusion.

You don't like the easier combat stealth idea, and that is fine. I can't prove you wrong with that sentence in Observing rules as it currently stands.

I do like the easier combat stealth idea. And you really aren't being successful at proving that my parsing of that rules text is an absurd, blatantly wrong interpretation of the english language that only munchkins or those incapable of common sense would ever think is consistent with the rest of the rules in the CRB.

And yes, that is also hyperbole. I also agree with Ascalaphus in thinking that you are not just an internet troll. We may fight like cats and dogs, but that is because I consider you to be good at it.


Looking forward to my Power Armor with Titan Shield build where he constantly takes Snipe/Hide actions behind his activated Titan Shield when he's not just hiding behind his mobile cover as he walks around.


To be clear, I don't consider Asclepius' reading to be torture of the english language, even if it produces the same result.

Don't imagine a sniper doing this. Have a space wizard tossing a fireball and then moving 30 feet to any one of the trees on the map.

Having a skill become at will invisibility even half the time is bonkers, and that's roughly what you get if you allow this. As a player, it is incredibly frustrating not being able to play your character and for most characters you need to know the square someone is in to functionally interact with them.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

To be clear, I don't consider Asclepius' reading to be torture of the english language, even if it produces the same result.

Don't imagine a sniper doing this. Have a space wizard tossing a fireball and then moving 30 feet to any one of the trees on the map.

Having a skill become at will invisibility even half the time is bonkers, and that's roughly what you get if you allow this. As a player, it is incredibly frustrating not being able to play your character and for most characters you need to know the square someone is in to functionally interact with them.

It doesn't work that well, it incentivizes melee charges (which isn't a bad thing), it has an opportunity cost in DPR (foregoing full attacks), it's easily neutralized by readying an action to shoot someone immediately after they take a shot or cast a spell (everyone is using a standard action to attack, the stealth guy is limiting his move action, the readying guy can do whatever with his move action), and it nicely simulates real modern infantry tactics where two opposing forces take prone cover/concealment to ineffectually trade shots while an offensive flanking team maneuvers around the cover/concealment to take them in the flank and negate their cover/concealment.


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Xenocrat wrote:


It doesn't work that well, it incentivizes melee charges (which isn't a bad thing), it has an opportunity cost in DPR (foregoing full attacks), it's easily neutralized by readying an action to shoot someone immediately after they take a shot or cast a spell (everyone is using a standard action to attack, the stealth guy is limiting his move action, the readying guy can do whatever with his move action), and it nicely simulates real modern infantry tactics where two opposing forces take prone cover/concealment to ineffectually trade shots while an offensive flanking team maneuvers around the cover/concealment to take them in the flank and negate their cover/concealment.

Wait, are you saying that this a team game, and if one player can't do their favorite thing every turn, it's actually OK because they have a team to pick up the slack?

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Asclepius

Asclepius was a Greek god of medicine.

Ascalaphus was an extremely minor underworld deity who snitched to Hades that Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds and therefore he had cause not to release her. Persephone's mom Demeter wasn't happy and turned him into an owl.

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Here's one thing that I think is actually problematic with stealth rules.

You need cover/concealment (or maybe full cover/concealment) to initiate stealth. If you end your turn without it, your stealth fails.

What happens if an enemy walks around during their turns and you don't have cover/concealment anymore? Does your stealth fail immediately?

The book doesn't quite say, as far as I can make out. But if someone is hiding behind a wall and you walk around the wall, you would expect to see them.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Looking forward to my Power Armor with Titan Shield build where he constantly takes Snipe/Hide actions behind his activated Titan Shield when he's not just hiding behind his mobile cover as he walks around.

Heh. Cool.

Let's see here...

It says that it provides 'cover against attacks'. Not sure that this is the same as actual Cover.

If I wanted to prevent it in the game, I would probably argue that or get the group to houserule that it does not qualify for hide checks the same way that displacement doesn't.

If the group decided to allow it, I could describe it as that the energy shield is opaque when viewed from the far side so that it makes sense that you can Hide behind it.


Ascalaphus wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Asclepius

Asclepius was a Greek god of medicine.

Ascalaphus was an extremely minor underworld deity who snitched to Hades that Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds and therefore he had cause not to release her. Persephone's mom Demeter wasn't happy and turned him into an owl.

I have also noticed what he does to my name when he is quoting things by hand. Mostly I am amused, but if I ever change my avatar picture it isn't going to make sense any more.

Ascalaphus wrote:


Here's one thing that I think is actually problematic with stealth rules.

You need cover/concealment (or maybe full cover/concealment) to initiate stealth. If you end your turn without it, your stealth fails.

What happens if an enemy walks around during their turns and you don't have cover/concealment anymore? Does your stealth fail immediately?

The book doesn't quite say, as far as I can make out. But if someone is hiding behind a wall and you walk around the wall, you would expect to see them.

That is a good point.

Hmm..... Throwing together some houserules on the spot...

My thinking on the actual rules is that the seeking character should need to make a perception check to see the hiding character. I don't know off hand if perception checks are normally a free action or not.

But I would give them heavy bonuses to it to represent the fact that the hiding character is now in plain sight.

A good sized bonus if they were already Aware of Presence of the hiding character. A reasonable bonus if they were on alert for some reason (such as being in combat with the hiding character's allies).


breithauptclan wrote:


I have also noticed what he does to my name when he is quoting things by hand. Mostly I am amused, but if I ever change my avatar picture it isn't going to make sense any more.

Look, i've met 4 people online and 2 in person who asked me if i was the same person as that "big nosed wolf" guy from the forums and I've made it EASY....")

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


I have also noticed what he does to my name when he is quoting things by hand. Mostly I am amused, but if I ever change my avatar picture it isn't going to make sense any more.

Look, i've met 4 people online and 2 in person who asked me if i was the same person as that "big nosed wolf" guy from the forums and I've made it EASY....")

Growling and snapping at their heels? :P

Sovereign Court

breithauptclan wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:


Here's one thing that I think is actually problematic with stealth rules.

You need cover/concealment (or maybe full cover/concealment) to initiate stealth. If you end your turn without it, your stealth fails.

What happens if an enemy walks around during their turns and you don't have cover/concealment anymore? Does your stealth fail immediately?

The book doesn't quite say, as far as I can make out. But if someone is hiding behind a wall and you walk around the wall, you would expect to see them.

That is a good point.

Hmm..... Throwing together some houserules on the spot...

My thinking on the actual rules is that the seeking character should need to make a perception check to see the hiding character. I don't know off hand if perception checks are normally a free action or not.

But I would give them heavy bonuses to it to represent the fact that the hiding character is now in plain sight.

A good sized bonus if they were already Aware of Presence of the hiding character. A reasonable bonus if they were on alert for some reason (such as being in combat with the hiding character's allies).

What we normally do is that if you lose all the possible preconditions for Hiding (i.e. the thing you were hiding behind disappears, or someone walks around it so it's no longer in the way) you're just no longer hidden from that person.

So that's a little harsher than "hiding fails if you're not covered at the end of your own turn".


Ascalaphus wrote:


Growling and snapping at their heels? :P

I forgot to floss the laces out again didn't i....


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Asclepius

Asclepius was a Greek god of medicine.

Ascalaphus was an extremely minor underworld deity who snitched to Hades that Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds and therefore he had cause not to release her. Persephone's mom Demeter wasn't happy and turned him into an owl.

---

Here's one thing that I think is actually problematic with stealth rules.

You need cover/concealment (or maybe full cover/concealment) to initiate stealth. If you end your turn without it, your stealth fails.

What happens if an enemy walks around during their turns and you don't have cover/concealment anymore? Does your stealth fail immediately?

The book doesn't quite say, as far as I can make out. But if someone is hiding behind a wall and you walk around the wall, you would expect to see them.

My own interpretation? You need to be unobserved in order to *initiate* stealth. You do not need it to maintain stealth. The whole point of the stealth skill is to go unobserved when there is a chance of being observed. If it only worked when you otherwise has full concealment, it'd be 100% pointless.

So, does someone automatically spot you if they walk around the corner and have line of sight on you? No, not without succeeding on a Perception check. The turns don't literally exist in-setting, and the hiding character is not literally stationary because it isn't their turn. Part of their having rolled a Stealth check is them making all the little movements to attempt to avoid or divert attention.


To answer the title of the post I’m inclined to agree with what seems to be the majority interpretation here: yes you can hide with cover or concealment while observed because they break observation as written in the rules. It’s pretty clearly stated right? I mean continuing to argue that particular point is not clearly stated would seem a bit difficult at this moment in the gentlemen ‘s discussion.

Now I have read all these posts twice and I even did a search and found another post from 2018 where wolf brings this up and I see it brought up again in a post that is still active here. I have taken the time to peruse the stealth, concealment, cover, bluff, observation rules in the book as well. (By peruse I mean I’ve read and reread these things multiple times over two hours).

Based on all this information I’m inclined to heavily lean towards answering this discussion with a solid yes.

(The rest of this post details my feelings on the state of stealth/diversion and is mostly my own musings/ramblings during the reading of this discussion and rules. Everything below is largely opinion based)

The way it is written even forces me to accept that partial cover is adequate to hide (I don’t like that particular one but I don’t see where this is explicitly denied if someone could point that out I’d be grateful)

However, this has made me also have to agree with the opinion that Stealth rules are wonky and open heavily to GM discretion.

For instance diversion seems much less enticing if you have to create a diversion with an action and then use another action to use a stealth check that you could already have done. There are edge case uses that have been pointed out that are to varying degrees acceptable explanations for diversion.

As a GM though it immediately made me feel bad for any player using bluff.

Then as I’m reading diversion it’s like is this supposed to allow you to make that hide check as part of the move action of diversion itself? (I.E to allow you to do the classic hey look over there and then shoot the guy). This would essentially require two checks to grant flat footed against your target the bluff check and stealth check but for a move action. But this seems to step on feints toys (though the applications are thematically different enough and feats are different enough that I’d find this acceptable).

I don’t think that’s what is intended in the end but this is what I mean by open to GM discretion. I don’t find two checks to attempt to get flat footed on a standard action at all broken or even necessarily usable but I do find it to allow for something you quite often see in numerous action/spy tropes that I began to consider it as a house rule. Which led me to reading the diversion feats, class abilities, and the same for feint. In the end I just found more and more confusion with RAW and said eff it.

Other than the question of Diversion’s practical applications I could not think of many reasons why getting to hide would be problematic (it’s not as if flat footed is super op or hard to apply in Starfinder and there aren’t many effects that flat out abuse it). So I don’t think it’s offensive applications are game breaking enough to restrict it. What about defensively? 50% miss chance + cover bonus (to separate sources the cover and hide) seems pretty decent to me.

There are a number of ways to overcome it. For instance using awareness rules themselves. Yes you successfully hid behind the sofa and have concealment but these enemies are intelligent and know you did not move positions so they are still aware of location (which allows attacks) instead of aware of presence (which is the normal result of stealth if the stealth user has been previously revealed and then hides successfully and does not allow direct attacks). I simply picture this as hunkering down really tight behind a cover object so much so that the person can no longer visually see you. Which means you are hidden from vision but not hidden as in hide and seek hidden. The former observer obviously knows where you are but can no longer visually perceive you. They can shoot at you (again common in action spy parody you name it genres) but they have a much lower chance of success. Or you know throw a grenade. Or flank. Or blow up the cover. There are so many tactical solutions to a person hunkering for defense that this case seems almost silly to worry about breaking the game. Let’s face it defense probably sucks in Starfinder anyways.

I think some of the “there is no way you can hide while being observed” reluctance comes from treating hide as “hide and seek hide” (which it sometimes is) vs “you can’t see me” hiding (which I think is the intent in this case). Not being able to see your enemy even if you know exactly where he is sucks big time, ask any soldier.

The reluctance also probably exists in part from some games having such game breaking effects with on demand stealth that they treat stealth more restrictively than I think is the case for Starfinder.

Further complicating this process is something everyone, even the most experienced role players, occasionally has trouble with : viewing the mechanics in the space they occupy. Observed is a state of awareness that can be broken but you can’t use stealth while observed is the real villain here. But that rule is broken and clarified in the very same ruling. Observation is broken by cover, concealment etc. This does not mean the observed state is immediately lost, just that the player can now taken actions that allow the observed state to be lost. Observed is “you can directly perceive a creature with a precise sense”. In most cases the only precise sense creatures possess is sight (with a number of exceptions but those are called exceptions for a reason). In this case the person is observed currently but very easily could attempt to make it hard or impossible for you to “see” them with your precise sense. This makes logical sense to me (depending on the type of cover again GM discretion).

I can even see the argument for the 4.5 states of awareness but really is it necessary here? No, I think it works and most of my confusion doesn’t stem from there but from the number of apparently silly (but cool) things that are in this game that probably don’t do very much to help you “zomg action economy” to “win”. But the number of things you can argue are mechanically bad stupid inefficient or downright handicaps are numerous in every table top rpg that tries to model so many things numerically. And a lot of those things that are arguably mechanically dumb, inefficient or pointless can be really cool narratively. Though that is another discussion and probably a good time to sign off this post with a closing statement:

I’ve always hated stealth in every single rpg I’ve played or ran for these reasons and I feel really bad for any player that likes stealth as I believe if they go back and forth between different groups they will have a very hard time finding consistency with stealth mechanics between different groups. I think this is more a problem of effectively modeling stealth than a problem unique to Starfinder.


Nicole wrote:
To answer the title of the post I’m inclined to agree with what seems to be the majority interpretation here: yes you can hide with cover or concealment while observed because they break observation as written in the rules.

That's more than a bit of an oxymoron.

Quote:

It’s pretty clearly stated right?

I mean continuing to argue that particular point is not clearly stated would seem a bit difficult at this moment in the gentlemen ‘s discussion.

It's also pretty clearly stated that you can't. These are only contradictory if you assume the rules are perfect. So the question become show to resolve the contradiction?

Ascalaphus has that you're observed but can hide anyway (a 4 1/2 state of observation)

breithauptclan says that you can't use stealth to hide but you can hide anyway by using stealth to break the observation which just... no.

They both allow horrifically broken uses of the stealth skill.

Quote:
Yes you successfully hid behind the sofa and have concealment but these enemies are intelligent and know you did not move positions so they are still aware of location

Changes to the stealth rules they made halflway through pathfinder to allow someone to sneak from pillar to pillar without being autospotted (or a rogue trying to steal a chicken crossing 10 feet of open farmland) let a stealthing person who only has cover start stealthing, zip around in completely open areas, and vanish as long as they reach cover again within 2 moves (so 30 feet at minimum)

So no, you don't know what square they're in, and depending on their movement speed may not even know their zip code close enough to chuck a grenade.

You stealth behind the sofa, you cross the open space through the living room without being seen, and duck under the kitchen table. You could be in any spot with cover within 30 feet of where you started, or 60 feet with a minus 10. (instead of taking the -20 to go look a monkey and hide)

It's restricting your ranged to readied shots, and makes melee completely pointless.

That reading is Broken as hell and the best resolution for it is to say that stealth is different when you're not observed than when you're observed.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan says that you can't use stealth to hide but you can hide anyway by using stealth to break the observation which just... no.

That's really not very accurate. If we have discussed this for as long as we have and that is as close as you can get to rendering my point of view on the matter, then we have problems.

My interpretation isn't mechanically different that that of Ascalaphus. I just am avoiding trying to define a 4.5th state of awareness.

If I were to render my views in a one-liner, I would do it as follows:

Cover or concealment allows using a stealth check to break observation and remove the Observed condition.


Should have been

-can't use stealth while being observed but can start stealthing to break observation anyway-

not MUCH better for how you'd probably like to phrase it but I can't see your position any other way.

Sovereign Court

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Okay I'm going to walk back my statement on 4.5 states of awareness a bit. On further research, that's based on a flaw in the Ultimate Intrigue states of awareness that may have been patched in Starfinder. Let me walk you through that...

I think it's clear that Ultimate Intrigue (2016) is a precursor to Starfinder (2017) on this topic. Ultimate Intrigue tries to clean up the Pathfinder CRB Stealth rules with four states of awareness. Starfinder CRB starts out with four states of awareness. They have the same senior developer and most of the other developers and editors overlap. However, the rules are not identical:

In Ultimate Intrigue

Ultimate Intrigue p. 187-188 wrote:
Precise and Imprecise Senses: Since Perception covers all senses, it is important to distinguish which of those senses count as observing a creature that is using Stealth. Some senses are more precise than others. Imprecise senses allow a creature to pinpoint the location of another creature, but they don’t allow for the use of targeted effects, and attacks against those creatures are subject to miss chances from concealment. A few examples of imprecise senses are hearing, scent, blindsense, and tremorsense. A sense is precise if it allows the creature to use targeted effects on creatures and objects it senses, and to attack enemies without suffering a miss chance from concealment. This includes vision, touch, blindsight, and lifesense. Precise senses allow the creature to pinpoint an enemy’s location. When a creature uses a precise sense to observe an enemy, that enemy is unable to use Stealth against the observer unless it creates a distraction first, or has a special ability allowing it to do so. Senses other than the listed ones count as precise or imprecise at the GM’s discretion. A creature might have a limited form of a sense that makes it too weak to count as precise, such as a beast with primitive eyes that has diff iculty seeing a creature that isn’t moving.

Notice the bolded part. If you have concealment from someone watching you with vision, then at that particular moment vision is not precise. Because it's not precise, you can begin Hiding because only precise senses stop that.

If we look at the four states of awareness, they summarize to:
* Unaware: you don't know there's anyone there. So you can't target them either.
* Aware of Presence: you know someone is in the encounter but not where. You might know a last known location. But you can't target them. (What happens if you want to attack a square in which you suspect, but haven't succesfully pinpointed, an enemy?)
* Aware of Location: you are currently perceiving someone with an imprecise sense and therefore able to pinpoint their location. For example with hearing or tremorsense. You can attack someone's square, but not target them directly.
* Observed: you are able to perceive someone with a precise sense such as vision. In the case of anyone trying to hide, that is when you have (1) won the opposed perception vs. stealth check, (2) have line of sight and (3) are able to penetrate any invisibility or similar trick the target is using.

So there are problems with these definitions:
* At no point is it ever explained why cover would be a sufficient condition for beginning or maintaining Hiding. But the rules do say it is.
* Concealment would make sight an imprecise sense, which means you can't be not Observed; but what are you then? Moving someone directly to Aware of Location seems drastic, because it means you can no longer directly target someone directly. It would mean you can't cast Magic Missile at someone with Concealment for example.

So that's why I think those rules actually have a 4.5 states of awareness: there's something that's a little less than Observed and a little more than Aware of Location. At the point where you can stealth because you're not absolutely precisely observed, but you're observed sufficiently precisely that you can be targeted.

In Starfinder
The offending line that senses are only precise if you have no concealment has been cut. A sense is precise if it's a sufficient condition for direct targeting. You can directly target people with concealment or cover (although there's a bigger chance you fail). The sense remains precise.

However, this also removes the explanation for why Concealment is a sufficient condition for Hiding. It's still a sufficient condition because that's explicitly stated over and over, but the "senses aren't precise if they incur miss chance" justification is gone. On the plus side, this resolves the weird difference with cover also being a sufficient condition for Hiding, while not actually having any visual effect per se.

---

So in summary: in Starfinder there are not 4.5 states of awareness, just 4, because they removed a bug from Ultimate Intrigue. The four states are:
* Unaware: can't target directly since you don't know there's anything.
* Aware of Presence: you know there's someone in the room but not where. Can't target directly.
* Aware of Location: you know exactly where the enemy is right now. Because you have a continuous imprecise sense like blindsense, or because you won an opposed Perception/Stealth check using an imprecise sense like hearing. You still can't target directly.
* Observing: you're perceiving with a precise sense. You can see someone (usually with vision). You can target directly. It's okay if they have Cover or Concealment, although that allows them to attempt to break observation and go to one of the Aware states.

There's no longer an in-between state where you're sort of imprecisely observed because you have concealment. You could informally distinguish between "observed with nothing to hide" and "observed while unsuccesful at hiding" but they're the same state in Starfinder, more more clearly so than in Ultimate Intrigue.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Notice the bolded part. If you have concealment from someone watching you with vision, then at that particular moment vision is not precise. Because it's not precise, you can begin Hiding because only precise senses stop that.

By that logic you can't throw a magic missile at a rogue cleaning his nails in the alleyway either, because he has a 20% miss chance.

The ultimate intrigue rules do the worst job of describing the things you need rules for the most: low light. We know how hiding works in an absolute cave and wriggly field.

That idea about precise senses isn't gone, it was just moved to it's own location under states of awareness.

When the rules give permission to start a stealth check, they don't say that you can start a stealth check regardless of other circumstances. If someone has a passport from the US they still need a visa from the country they're going to. No matter how often it says your pass port lets you travel to another country, that requirement for a visa is still there.

It doesn't help that fog, darkness, cover, and concealment all have differing levels. Some of which WILL break observation.

I don't think minor changes in wording were meant to effect large changes in rules. I think the stealth skill is rather like charging on horseback where there are things they want you to be able to do or not to do but putting it into a paragraph or two and doing those words exactly just doesn't work


I have a serious question with regard to stealth in Starfinder, does it actually come up that often?

My experience through the 12 levels of Starfinder thus far has been, at most, using stealth before combat to sneak up on enemies (which isn't actually that effective due to the action economy of surprise rounds). No one has tried to stealth in combat because there aren't mechanics relying on being hidden (like sneak attack) to encourage it.


Claxon wrote:

I have a serious question with regard to stealth in Starfinder, does it actually come up that often?

My experience through the 12 levels of Starfinder thus far has been, at most, using stealth before combat to sneak up on enemies (which isn't actually that effective due to the action economy of surprise rounds). No one has tried to stealth in combat because there aren't mechanics relying on being hidden (like sneak attack) to encourage it.

I think the first three books of dead suns have snipers that you just have to suck up not being able to interact with for a couple of rounds.

One of the really annoying things about stealth is that it works THIS way when the NPCs try to do it, but when the PCs try to do it it almost autofails. You almost have to be the DM to know how it works well enough to make use of it.

Sovereign Court

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Notice the bolded part. If you have concealment from someone watching you with vision, then at that particular moment vision is not precise. Because it's not precise, you can begin Hiding because only precise senses stop that.
By that logic you can't throw a magic missile at a rogue cleaning his nails in the alleyway either, because he has a 20% miss chance.

Yes, as I go on to explain, that's one of the flaws in the UI rules.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

The ultimate intrigue rules do the worst job of describing the things you need rules for the most: low light. We know how hiding works in an absolute cave and wriggly field.

That idea about precise senses isn't gone, it was just moved to it's own location under states of awareness.

They still distinguish between precise senses (allow you to target directly) and imprecise senses (only allow you to pinpoint). What's changed is that precision is no longer related to miss chance. In Ultimate Intrigue, one of the tests for whether a sense was precise was whether you were experiencing miss chance. That's not the case anymore in Starfinder.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
When the rules give permission to start a stealth check, they don't say that you can start a stealth check regardless of other circumstances. If someone has a passport from the US they still need a visa from the country they're going to. No matter how often it says your pass port lets you travel to another country, that requirement for a visa is still there.

The thing is, the rules keep saying "if you have X you can do Y".

The paragraph you keep getting hung up does NOT say "You cannot do Y if Z", it says "You cannot do Y if Z, unless you first overcome Z, such as with Y".

Your analogy doesn't really fit. A better one would be "to enter the country you need a passport (cover, or another way to break observation) and a visa (successful Stealth vs. Perception check). Without cover you're not even allowed to attempt the skill check/without passport you can't even request the vi

BigNorseWolf wrote:
It doesn't help that fog, darkness, cover, and concealment all have differing levels. Some of which WILL break observation.

I think the point they're trying to make there is that all of those can provide full concealment from vision, if you're deep enough into them. It doesn't have to do with basic concealment, because basic concealment has nothing to do with precise senses anymore now that the offending line from UI is gone.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't think minor changes in wording were meant to effect large changes in rules. I think the stealth skill is rather like charging on horseback where there are things they want you to be able to do or not to do but putting it into a paragraph or two and doing those words exactly just doesn't work

Well apart from a couple of things, most of the UI text was completely rewritten. From the start, they were writing with the idea that there would be more senses such as Shirren blindsense. The big constants are:

* Four states of awareness.
* Precise senses allow direct targeting.
* Cover and concealment are called out as ways to Hide while Observed.

I think much of the confusion comes from the writer somewhat mixing "the act of observation" (verb) which leads to "the state of being observed" (noun).

You can have the Observed state while in cover, but the act of observation is sufficiently hindered by cover that an attempt to Hide is possible. It takes the addition of just one word to clarify the whole passage:

Starfinder CRB > Tactical > Senses > Observed wrote:


A creature currently being observed can’t attempt a Stealth check without first breaking that observation. To break observation, the creature must either mask itself from your precise senses (with darkness, fog, invisibility, or the like, but not with effects such as displacement that still leave a clear visual indicator of its location), move somewhere it can’t be perfectly observed (a place with cover, for example), or use Bluff to create a distraction to momentarily break your observation of it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I have a serious question with regard to stealth in Starfinder, does it actually come up that often?

My experience through the 12 levels of Starfinder thus far has been, at most, using stealth before combat to sneak up on enemies (which isn't actually that effective due to the action economy of surprise rounds). No one has tried to stealth in combat because there aren't mechanics relying on being hidden (like sneak attack) to encourage it.

I think the first three books of dead suns have snipers that you just have to suck up not being able to interact with for a couple of rounds.

One of the really annoying things about stealth is that it works THIS way when the NPCs try to do it, but when the PCs try to do it it almost autofails. You almost have to be the DM to know how it works well enough to make use of it.

I remember at least 1 combat where that's the case in Dead Suns (I don't have a great memory). But again I feel like this is a case for using stealth to sneak up on an enemy. Once combat has started everyone in my party dropped the pretense of stealth because there was little reason to try to keep using it. Stealth for my group has mostly been out of combat, or a prelude to combat. Not an activity during combat.

And the only reason I bring this up is because I feel like things become a lot less complicated when you're not actively in turn based combat. It basically is just perception checks for whomever to notice whomever is trying to hide using stealth.


Thanks, Ascalaphus for your analysis. Your point about cover and concealment as an exception to the general rules about the Observed state make sense to me.


Ascalapus wrote:
The thing is, the rules keep saying "if you have X you can do Y".

Doesn't matter. Your license allows you to drive a car you still need to own (or have permission to drive) the car. You can get permission from teh zoning board to extend your deck, you' can't extend it onto your neighbors property.

Quote:
Your analogy doesn't really fit.

With your interpretation. Fits everything else.

Quote:
I think the point they're trying to make there is that all of those can provide full concealment from vision, if you're deep enough into them. It doesn't have to do with basic concealment, because basic concealment has nothing to do with precise senses anymore now that the offending line from UI is gone.

So...that would mean you CAN"T vanish behind a waist high wall while people are looking at you...? Not sure what you're saying here.

Quote:
Well apart from a couple of things, most of the UI text was completely rewritten. From the start, they were writing with the idea that there would be more senses such as Shirren blindsense. The big constants are:

Under your reading, you can do some bull)#$*(#$ that was very hard to do under pathfinder rules. If the authors were intending, rather than accidentally, changing how stealth works they wouldn't have left the now useless "look a monkey" option in there.

Quote:
I think much of the confusion comes from the writer somewhat mixing "the act of observation" (verb) which leads to "the state of being observed" (noun).

Ok, no and hell no.

You cannot insist that the writers not be able to alter a word to account for grammar. It's sheer tortue of the english language to try to say that observing and observed is a coincidence when they both reference the same rules.

It's also really weird for the stealth rules to mention observed, at all. Seriously, why bring observed into it, at all, ever? It's a completely redundant turn by what you're saying.

Quote:
You can have the Observed state while in cover, but the act of observation is sufficiently hindered by cover that an attempt to Hide is possible. It takes the addition of just one word to clarify the whole

.. and wind up with broken as hell stealth rules. Or you read non observed status and cover as two separate requirements, cover fog concealment as their more severe versions, and just accidentally wind up with a stealth system that's fairly realistic and balanced. It lets you do what stealth is supposed to do (sneak up on people and get off one surprise) Not turn every rock and tree into a game of teleporting whackamole.


I haven't followed the rules discussion here that closely, but BNW's description of

BigNorseWolf wrote:

You can have the Observed state while in cover, but the act of observation is sufficiently hindered by cover that an attempt to Hide is possible. It takes the addition of just one word to clarify the whole

.. and wind up with broken as hell stealth rules. Or you read non observed status and cover as two separate requirements, cover fog concealment as their more severe versions, and just accidentally wind up with a stealth system that's fairly realistic and balanced. It lets you do what stealth is supposed to do (sneak up on people and get off one surprise) Not turn every rock and tree into a game of teleporting whackamole.

Is how I feel it's supposed to work.

Full cover/concealment vs regular cover/concealment aside, does everyone agree that being unobserved and having some type of cover/concealment are two separate requirements for stealth?

I'd like to find the ground that everyone agrees on with respect to how the rules work.

In Pathfinder it was pretty clear from the Hide in Plain Sight ability that being unobserved and having cover/concealment were separate requirements.

It's why Rangers have:

Camouflage (Ex) wrote:
A ranger of 12th level or higher can use the Stealth skill to hide in any of his favored terrains, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.

and

Hide in Plain Sight wrote:
While in any of his favored terrains, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.

Now the rules for Pathfinder and Starfinder are somewhat different, but I think there is evidence that these are separate things and remain so in Starfinder.


Claxon wrote:
does everyone agree that being unobserved and having some type of cover/concealment are two separate requirements for stealth?

No actually, it's the main point of contention. According to the easy stealth folks cover or concealment breaks observation enough to try a stealth check.


I believe one of the points of contention is that the observation rules provide "cover" without further specification as an example of somewhere that you can't be observed.

If it specified a type of cover/concealment, or explicitly stated that a successful Stealth check benefiting from cover/concealment would itself break observation, this would be an easier subject.

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