Stealth at High Levels


Advice


I'm heading into higher levels with a slayer, and would like some pointers on what to watch out for. Levels 10 and up to be exact. I did hear somewhere that stealth is kinda mediocre around 13 or 15.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The problem you run into is that creatures start having means of detecting you that stealth simply doesn't interact with.

Such a blindsense and blindsight. Blindsense will know your square, and blindsight can "see" you as if you weren't using stealth.

Good thing is you can get Dampen Presence feat to address those specifically. But then you have scent and tremorsense as other special abilities. Flight can negate tremorsense. Scent can be negated with items.

Then you still run into issue with needing to be able to hind behind something.

Invisibility is commonly negated, so don't rely on that.

Slayer Camouflage can basically get you Hide in Plain Sight, for one type of terrain.

And don't forget attacking once breaks stealth.

Honestly the benefits of heavy investment just aren't there, IMO. I usually look into an archetype that trades away sneak attack because it's not worth it.


Depends on what exactly you want to use your Stealth skill for. Simply using Stealth to sneak up on enemies doesn't require much investment. Probably 2-3 feats and flight from somewhere.

If you want to use it during combat, you're gonna need to invest more feats and class features. Probably multiclassing as a slayer, tbh.

And while you can full-attack and have everything be a Sneak Attack with Signature Skill, 5-foot step away and stealth as part of that movement, that simply means your enemies have one less target to focus their attacks on. So while your DPR is way lower than if you had just used all those resources on normal combat stuff, the rest of your party is taking more damage. Stealth during combat is a good solo player ability, but doesn't mesh well with a party unfortunately.

Grand Lodge

Stealth is great as a toolbox/opportunity/secondary ability. There will always be an opportunity to use the skill to gain an advantage adventure-wise and during early levels.

Using it as a main tactic is though not the best way to move forward. There will be lesser and lesser opportunities to get the proper setup and when if that takes too big of a part of a character, it ends up being much more crippling when this is negated. This will happen more and more often the higher level the session is.


Dotting for later.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Claxon covered the big issues.

It's worth noting that at these levels that the Shadow Enhancement for armor is really affordable at these levels. +5 competence bonus to stealth for 3750 gp and effectively being a slotless augmentation of your armor is a really sweet deal. Improved and Greater are also incredible, but those get very pricey very fast.

Always remember to apply bonuses and penalties! Enemies making opposed perception checks take a -1 penalty for every 10 feet of distance between you. If you're sneaking past at a 30 ft distance, that's a free -3 to their perception. Bad lighting and conditions can also help you.

The big problem with stealth is party dynamics. Unless the entire party is built for stealth, some people will be left out of stealthy shenanigans and that can cause friction. If your party is open to stealthy tactics, however, it's a great option that can frequently be part of your overall solutions.


What I've seen happen most often in groups Dasrak is that only on person in the party really tries to develop stealth so group stealth isn't an option.

And prolong reconnaissance by one person usually involves at least one bad roll that gets you noticed. Which then results in getting you dead, as you try to take on an encounter designed for the whole party rather than you alone.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you're fully-investing in stealth (to the extent of dropping feats into dampen presence) you should be able to succeed stealth checks very consistently, to the point of often succeeding on a natural 1. For instance, a 10th level Halfling Rogue with max ranks in stealth, 24 dex, and shadow armor would have +29 stealth for a minimum result of 30. If the enemies you're scouting are just taking 10 on passive perception, this is auto-succeed against most CR 10 monsters even if you're breathing down their neck. Especially if you're cautious enough to keep some distance, a stealth specialist can be reasonably safe from discovery.

I do agree that most of the time you won't have the entire party being stealth-capable, but it does happen and is the case in my current War for the Crown game. No one even even collaborated on that one, everyone just came to the table with max ranks and class skill in stealth.


Claxon wrote:

What I've seen happen most often in groups Dasrak is that only on person in the party really tries to develop stealth so group stealth isn't an option.

And prolong reconnaissance by one person usually involves at least one bad roll that gets you noticed. Which then results in getting you dead, as you try to take on an encounter designed for the whole party rather than you alone.

While I agree I see this a lot I think that's a tactical issue, mistake by the groups in question. Scouting is probably the best means a group has for gaining surprise, setting ambushes and otherwise generally getting in the first blow. And stealthy character(s) are probably the primary way of doing so. When one character is the the only truly stealthy character they should be getting support from the remainder of the group. Many spells can help keep the group involved and essentially give the scout a buddy system. Arcane Eye, Status, Telepathic Bond to name a couple such spells. Some of these due to duration should be used when contact is expected or imminent , while other longer duration spells should be used more generally. And the scout needs to remember his primary purpose is to see the foe first then report back. They should not be overstaying their welcome and engaging them but have a means of breaking off contact as needed, retreat and bring the whole party back. If they are pursued this is where some of those spells come in handy as the main part of the group can now set up to ambush any careless pursuers.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Stealth at High Levels All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.