Stealth conditions and secret rolls


Rules Discussion


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

If you are attacking an enemy that is Hidden, you roll the attack roll and flat check. If you are attempting to attack something that is Undetected, however, the GM rolls the attack roll and flat check. Am I understanding that correctly?

Why wouldn't the GM roll for Hidden targets as well?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think because with Hidden, you know the square the target is in, and you either hit it or you don't.

When something is Undetected, you have to guess what square it's in, and you shouldn't know if you missed because you rolled low or missed your flat check or because you picked the wrong square. If you make the check and roll a natural 20 but don't hit anything, you're pretty safe in assuming you picked the wrong square, which is information your character shouldn't have.


you roll the attack, the GM rolls the flat check.

If you target the wrong square ideally the GM will roll the flat check and just say you missed regardless to keep suspense.

This is from memory though, I could be wrong.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's in the link.

Undetected wrote:
This works like targeting a hidden creature (requiring a DC 11 flat check), but the flat check and attack roll are rolled in secret by the GM, who doesn’t reveal whether the attack missed due to failing the flat check, failing the attack roll, or choosing the wrong square.


I feel like you should probably have the GM roll for Hidden too, because the player shouldn't necessarily be aware of when a creature has gone from Hidden to Undetected. Barring things like "the person just before me used Point Out."


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like you should probably have the GM roll for Hidden too, because the player shouldn't necessarily be aware of when a creature has gone from Hidden to Undetected. Barring things like "the person just before me used Point Out."

How could you play that out in that manner?

We just had our first combat against invisible enemies, and I have difficulty understanding how we could have done it without knowing where they were on the sliding scale of detectability.


Easy. If an opponent goes from hidden to undetected, the GM simply doesnt inform you. If you target the square the opponent was in, you roll the attack check and flat check. The GM simply informs you that you miss. At that point you have to decide if your character would accept that miss, or become suspicious.

A good table workaround would be for your gm to secretly roll all flat checks for visibility, but the rules work well enough as is imho. After all, spending a few turns attacking the wrong square when you have no idea where the opponent is seems pretty plausible. You have an idea of where you believe they are and need more information to either change or confirm that suspicion.

The GM can even throw you a bone and tell you that you are no longer certain that they are in that square. Doesnt require the GM flat out telling you that they are now undetected, and still gives you a shot at figuring out what happened.


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

That only works with the house rule that the GM makes all the checks though. Still don't see how it could work sans house rule.


I think a PC would know if they could tell what square a target was in then later couldn't tell. Unless there's something fooling them into thinking that the target remains in the square, that is. (Which there could be, like if the opponent intentionally made a noise before becoming undetected then moved.)


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The whole premise of Hidden vs Undetected is that in the former case you know where the target is but can't see them directly and in the latter case you have no idea where they are at all.

If you're keeping it a secret whether or not the creature is Hidden or Undetected... you aren't, you're just declaring them Undetected.

Saying the player shouldn't know whether the target is Hidden or Undetected is effectively saying the player shouldn't know whether or not they know where the target is. Which is functionally the same as just saying the player doesn't know. Which means all you've done is just get rid of the Hidden condition. That's weird.


Hidden should last one action. As soon as the enemy had an action to move, it should go Undetected (even if it didn't move).


@SuperBidi: Hidden can last for multiple actions, depending on what the hidden character does. As long as they continue to benefit from whatever cover or concealment allowed them to "hide" in the first place, they are Hidden until a successful Seek is performed or they break cover.

@Squiggit and Castilliano, I see both of your points, and could agree. But the way I see hidden is that you are sure that the creature is "there" but are currently unable to see them. The hidden condition notes that you, "know what space they occupy but little else," after all. This tells me that you are working with incomplete information at best. Hence why I would generally not confirm or deny whether the creature is still there if they become undetected.

I can see an argument for doing so, especially after a failed attack like in the first example. I would even say that if you attempted a melee attack, you should probably know that a hidden creature snuck away and is now Undetected, after all to make that melee attack a creature would likely have had to move to a position where the hidden creature is no longer in the last location you knew they were. This is less true for an invisible creature I suppose.

However if you are attacking with a ranged attack through whatever cover or concealment the creature used to hide in the first place, what new information would you have to indicate whether they were still there or not? You haven't changed your perspective in an appreciable way, and the rules don't state that you can see any part of a hidden creature so you can't really use that as a guideline.

Largely this feels like a case by case ruling area. At my table, unless a character does something to adjust their awareness of the opponent, I won't outright reveal whether they are hidden or undetected. This would mean Seeking or moving to the opposite side of the cover that the creature used to hide.


beowulf99 wrote:
@SuperBidi: Hidden can last for multiple actions, depending on what the hidden character does. As long as they continue to benefit from whatever cover or concealment allowed them to "hide" in the first place, they are Hidden until a successful Seek is performed or they break cover.

I know the rules.

What I mean is: If an enemy is Hidden, and performs an action that you don't see, then it is Undetected, as you have no way to know if he has moved or not. So, Hidden should just last one action. As soon as the enemy makes a non visible action, it should be Undetected instead.


SuperBidi wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
@SuperBidi: Hidden can last for multiple actions, depending on what the hidden character does. As long as they continue to benefit from whatever cover or concealment allowed them to "hide" in the first place, they are Hidden until a successful Seek is performed or they break cover.

I know the rules.

What I mean is: If an enemy is Hidden, and performs an action that you don't see, then it is Undetected, as you have no way to know if he has moved or not. So, Hidden should just last one action. As soon as the enemy makes a non visible action, it should be Undetected instead.

I would have to read over things to be sure but we could now or later have a spell or magic item that makes you predator like. And it might always grant hidden even in plain sight but simply moving wouldn't be enough to become undetected without at least getting into some cover or some type of other concealment.


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

Yeah, insofar as I understand it, moving isn't enough. One must be use the Sneak action to move while remaining Undetected.

If you're Undetected and you Stride, you likely become Hidden as people can follow your shuffling footsteps. However, If you Sneak, you're putting effort into being quiet and thus can remain Undetected.

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