The Rules Of Hidden Club: Targeting things you can't see in D&D.

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The Rules Of Hidden Club: 

Things you can't see and things you can't find, in D&D.


Knowing what you can and can't see, and what you can and can't target, and knowing when you get to say "I aim at the invisible guy in that square" versus "I don't know where he is, I'll just guess", is very important in D&D.  The purpose of this mini-guide is to clarify the rules for Stealth and invisibility, and how they interact.


The Premises, AKA The Core Rules That You Need To Know FIRST:


The First Premise:  Everyone knows where everyone else is, at all times, period.

No, seriously.  EVERYONE.  EVERYWHERE.  ALWAYS.  There is no such thing as a combatant whose current position you do not know.  Except....

The Second Premise:  There is one and only one exception to The First Premise, and that exception is Hidden.

The status "Hidden", achievable only through rolling Stealth, is the only exception to this.  It is the only way by which anyone can be uncertain about the current position of anyone else.

If you are not Hidden, EVERYONE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE, PERIOD.  If you are Hidden, anyone you are Hidden from must guess your current location.

This is going to be repeated a few more times in the text below, because it is the most important thing to remember and it heavily impacts everything else.

For the record, I capitalise "Hidden" as it is a specific game concept with a specific meaning, even though the book does not.    The book really should - Hidden is a real state, a real condition, and it SHOULD be covered as a fully capitalised game term with a glossary entry, not simply be left to be defined in the Stealth Skill entry.


Now that that's covered, let's cover some basic concepts:



"Concealment":  Partial LOS failure, usually provided by a class feature, terrain feature, or magic item.  You are NOT invisible and you CAN be seen.  Concealment is enough to MAINTAIN Hidden, but not enough to BECOME hidden.

"Total Concealment":  You are invisible. Nobody can see you, but unless you're also Hidden, they still know where you are.  You can *become* Hidden, but you are not inherently Hidden.

"Invisible":  You have Total Concealment.  No, seriously, that's all Invisibility means.  Nothing less, NOTHING MORE.  Invisibility is NOT Hidden.

"Hidden":  The state of being able to conceal your location.  If you are Hidden, enemies have to guess your square.  If you are not Hidden, they know where you are, at all times.


To recap:  IF YOU ARE NOT "HIDDEN", YOUR ENEMIES KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, PERIOD, whether they can see you or not.  If something doesn't SAY you are Hidden, you are not Hidden, period.



Becoming Hidden



How do you become Hidden?  You roll Stealth at the end of any Move Action or any of your Actions (even Free Actions) during which you move. 

"Move" is defined in the PHB3 glossary as, roughly, to leave one square for any reason to enter another square.  You can't roll Stealth after Forced Movement since that's not your action.  You CAN roll Stealth after a granted Free Action.

You must also meet three requirements:
1)  You must not be visible, which means Total Concealment or Superior Cover, at the end of the move.
2)  Your Stealth roll must beat the Passive Perception of anyone you want to be Hidden from
3)  You cannot have HAD Hidden at the start of the action and lost it during the action.  Which is to say, you can't BECOME Hidden as part of the same action that loses your Hidden state.

By the way, any time you become Hidden, record the number you rolled.  It's important.


Q: Once you are Hidden, then what? 

A: Anyone who wants to attack you must guess what square you are in.  Note that you became Hidden AT THE END of a Move, and you weren't Hidden until after the end of the move.  Everyone knew where you were before you became Hidden, which means they knew where you were AFTER you became Hidden.  If you haven't moved out of that square, they technically have to guess your location but, really, they're going to guess "where you where when they lost you".  If you don't move AFTER becoming Hidden, you're not going to avoid a lot of attacks.

Q: If I'm Hidden, I'm Hidden from EVERYONE, right? 

A: No.  Technically, Hidden only applies to enemies, so your allies ALWAYS know where you are unless you're specifically hiding from them, too.  Also, Hidden only applies to people against whom you meet the requirements.  If you only have Total Concealment from one enemy, you CAN become Hidden from that enemy, but you CAN'T become Hidden from his friends.  

Q: So I'm Hidden, that means I'm safe now, right? 

A: No.  Now that you are Hidden, you are a member of a very prestigious and selective club:  Hidden Club.

Hidden Club has rules that you must obey, or you will be kicked out.


The Rules Of Hidden Club:  Losing Hidden


The First Rule Of Hidden Club:


Stay out of sight.  If, at ANY TIME, you lack at least Cover or Concealment from an enemy, you lose Hidden against that enemy.  It doesn't matter if this is your turn or his, or if it's in the middle of a move, or because a Wall got broken down.  No Cover and No Concealment = EXPELLED FROM HIDDEN CLUB.  Oh, and this means REAL cover - the kind of Cover you get against Ranged attacks by hiding behind an ally doesn't count.



The Second Rule Of Hidden Club:


 Keep quiet.  Anything louder than a whisper, or any environmental interaction above the same kind of level, expels you from Hidden Club.


The Third Rule Of Hidden Club: 


Keep Still.  If you don't move more than 2 squares at a time, you have no chance of losing Hidden.  If you move more than 2, you have to roll Stealth with a penalty in order to stay a member of Hidden Club - and every time you do, your new number replaces your old number, for better or worse.




The Fourth Rule Of Hidden Club: 


Don't Attack.  If you attack, you are immediately Expelled From Hidden Club, period.



The Fifth Rule Of Hidden Club:


 Don't let the enemy FIND you.  An enemy can spend a Minor Action to roll Perception, and if he beats your Stealth (you DID write it down, right?), you lose Hidden.  As well, any enemy who attempts to move into your space automatically finds you, period. 


The Unspeakable Final Rule Of Hidden Club:


When you do something to lose Hidden, you keep the benefits of being Hidden until the end of that action.   So moving out into the open costs you Hidden, but you keep Hidden until the end of the *entire action* - so if your action is Deft Strike, which lets you move *and* attack as part of the same action, you're Hidden during the attack part even though the Move part of it lost you Hidden.  Similarly, if you have a power that lets you attack then move, attacking costs you Hidden but you *are* still Hidden during the move, until the full action is over.




Things you need to ask your DM about because the rules don't address them

Q: "if a monster is Hidden from Joe but not from me, can I tell Joe what square it's in?"
A:  Yes, but the concept of "squares" is not an in-game thing for the most part, and some GMs think it should be difficult to tell your allies EXACTLY what square an enemy is in.  Other simply say "you know where it is, talking is a Free Action, as long as you WANT to tell your allies where the guy is, you can."

Which GM is yours?  I don't know.  You need to ask him.

A:  As of the Rules Compendium, there is now an explicit rule for this on page 150:  Yes, you CAN point out the exact square of any creature you are aware of, to anyone else.

This does NOT mean that the creature is no longer Hidden, or that anyone else can perceive it - but as long as they believe you when you tell them what square it's in, they can "guess" the right square automatically.

So, as long as PCs are sharing information and can take Free Actions, anyone who breaks Hidden can tell everyone else what square to target.

Q: "if a power says I can roll Stealth to become Hidden, does that remove the normal requirements for Total Concealment/Superior Cover?"
A:  This is unclear.  As-written, both sides have arguments.  However, the effects of the different rules are such that a bunch of inconsistent things and additional sources of confusion arise if the requirements to become Hidden are bypassed, while leaving the requirements to become Hidden intact makes those powers a little weaker but results in no confusion or inconsistency. 

I personally am convinced that "does not remove the normal requirements because it does not specifically say it removes the normal requirements" is the proper reading, but that's me.  Statistically speaking, you probably don't play in my game.  So ask your GM.

As of the Martial Power 2 FAQ, this has been answered:  You DO need to meet all the normal requirements to become Hidden, unless the power specifically says that it overrides the normal requirements.

The bit about you most likely not playing in my game is still true, statistically speaking.


Now, for some common questions.



Q:  What about guys really far away, with a distraction, etc?
A:  That's a situational penalty to the Perception skill, as per DMG.  

Q:  What about guys in the NEXT encounter?  Do I know about them?  Do they know about me?
A:  No.  They don't exist yet.   The rules for Stealth and becoming Hidden apply only to creatures in the current Encounter. 

Q:  But I'm invisible!  My enemies can't see me!  They should have to guess where I am!
A:  You may be invisible, but you're not inaudible, unsmellable, undetectable (think Predator), and you're not Hidden.  Since you haven't put the work in to become Hidden, THEY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE.

Q:  But I'm invisible AND they're Blind AND they're 30 squares away AND I'm downwind AND there's a giant roaring waterfall next to me!  Shouldn't they have NO CLUE where I am?
A:  Not if you're not Hidden.  By the way, I'm counting something close to a +30 situational bonus there - take your NO ACTION and ROLL STEALTH at the end of your next move.  Sheesh!

Q:  Can I "move 0" and become Hidden?
A:  Yes, if you used a Move Action.  Same with standing up - any Move Action, or any action that lets you Move.

Q:  Doesn't all this make Hidden REALLLLLY hard to get and maintain?
A:  Kind of, yes - but that's intentional.  Being Hidden isn't just about Combat Advantage, it's about virtual immunity to attack.  As long as you're Hidden and can get away from your last known location unfollowed, you are almost completely immune to attacks and anything targeting you is almost certainly going to miss, outright, without a roll.

This is very, very powerful.  And so it's hard to do.  If you're just going Hidden to get Combat Advantage, it's actually a lot easier - but you don't get the immunity to attacks that way.



Anything not clear?  Tell me, I'll add it to the post.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Very nice write up.

Could you add some supplemental information regarding invisibility and attacking? AKA, the invisibility club? 
Very nice write up.

Could you add some supplemental information regarding invisibility and attacking? AKA, the invisibility club? 



I could!  What are your questions?  Invisibility vs Combat Advantage, vs When Invisibility Ends.... what do you want to know?
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Very nice write up.

Could you add some supplemental information regarding invisibility and attacking? AKA, the invisibility club? 



I could!  What are your questions?  Invisibility vs Combat Advantage, vs When Invisibility Ends.... what do you want to know?



For instance, lets say an effect grants you invisibility with a duration "ends at the start of your next turn." Before the start of your next turn, you attack using an immediate action, action point or opportunity attack. Does that attack make you visible? Unless there is a generic rule about invisibility you should remain invisible.

What about the unseen mage PP. Do you get to roll a d20 even if you attack while invisible? (i.e., is attacking to end invisibility considered a "duration"?)

Basically I'm looking for generic (or specific) cases that affect invisibility (by ending it)...or is it always specific based on the powers that grant it?
Unless the power specifically says it ends when you attack, it does not.  There is no general rule that states invisibility ends when you attack.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Unless the power specifically says it ends when you attack, it does not.  There is no general rule that states invisibility ends when you attack.



So when a power states that invisibility ends when you attack...and then you attack, does that count as a "duration" for which an unseen mage PP can roll a d20 to see if they remain invisible?
A note on what is probably the rarest exception ever.

From the compendium, hidden:
When a creature is hidden from an enemy, the creature is silent and invisible to that enemy. A creature normally uses the Stealth skill to become hidden.



So if you blind and deafen an enemy, everyone is hidden from them (unless they have a special sense that overrules this general rule, like tremorsense).


I think there's all of one power in the game that can do that, but it is something to note; if you turn off your opponent's primary senses, then yes, you are hidden from them.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Very nice write up.

Could you add some supplemental information regarding invisibility and attacking? AKA, the invisibility club? 



I could!  What are your questions?  Invisibility vs Combat Advantage, vs When Invisibility Ends.... what do you want to know?



It might be good to note that  becoming Hidden makes you invisible (and silent) until you lose concealment.  Meaning that you do not have to lose invisibility or the Hidden Condition when a power granting invisibility shuts off, if you also have simple concealment when that occurs.


A note on what is probably the rarest exception ever.

From the compendium, hidden:
When a creature is hidden from an enemy, the creature is silent and invisible to that enemy. A creature normally uses the Stealth skill to become hidden.



So if you blind and deafen an enemy, everyone is hidden from them (unless they have a special sense that overrules this general rule, like tremorsense).


I think there's all of one power in the game that can do that, but it is something to note; if you turn off your opponent's primary senses, then yes, you are hidden from them.



This is not correct.  Hidden MAKES YOU silent and invisible.  Silent and invisible does not make you Hidden, because Hidden is more than just silent and invisible.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

This is not correct.  Hidden MAKES YOU silent and invisible.  Silent and invisible does not make you Hidden, because Hidden is more than just silent and invisible.



From Stealth, in the compendium, emphasis mine:

Success: You are hidden, which means you are silent and invisible to the enemy.



The statement "which means X" means, that "hidden" is synonymous with "silent and invisible".

Synonyms are transitive.  Silent and invisible is the same state as hidden.


edit;

(I'm also pretty sure that it is impossible to make a Perception check if you're blind and deaf and have no special senses, which would mean that all enemies who are eligible to become hidden are hidden, but the synonymous argument is sufficient in my opinion, because A = B means B = A.)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Unless the power specifically says it ends when you attack, it does not.  There is no general rule that states invisibility ends when you attack.



So when a power states that invisibility ends when you attack...and then you attack, does that count as a "duration" for which an unseen mage PP can roll a d20 to see if they remain invisible?



I'd say no.  Durations are things like 'until the end of your next turn' 'end of the encounter' or the like.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Success: You are hidden, which means you are silent and invisible to the enemy.



The statement "which means X" means, that "hidden" is synonymous with "silent and invisible".

Synonyms are transitive.  Silent and invisible is the same state as hidden.


edit;

(I'm also pretty sure that it is impossible to make a Perception check if you're blind and deaf and have no special senses, which would mean that all enemies who are eligible to become hidden are hidden, but the synonymous argument is sufficient in my opinion, because A = B means B = A.)



But if you go around a corner out of sight of everyone (effectively invisible) and don't make any sounds (silent) you still aren't hidden if you don't make a Stealth check.  So while it may seem synonymous, the rules just don't work that way.

Also since the targeting invisible creatures rules (post errata) state: "Invisible Creatures and Stealth: If an invisible creature is hidden from you (See "Stealth"), you can neither hear nor see it, and you have to guess what space it occupies. If an invisible creature is not hidden from you, you can hear it or sense some other sign of its presence and therefore know what space it occupies, although you still can’t see it."

They leave it pretty open to what exactly you are sensing.  So you're blind and deaf.  Okay, if no one's hidden via Stealth, you can still sense their presence.  The only way to be hidden is via stealth.  If you are blind and deaf, enemies can use stealth to become hidden, but they aren't hidden if they don't.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Anything not clear?  Tell me, I'll add it to the post.


Excellent summary. I think you've covered just about everything aside from the still-controversial questions - which we should probably not drag into this thread, to avoid muddying the waters.

The only thing I'd suggest adding, though it's somewhat peripheral to the Stealth issue, is the penalties (or lack thereof) for attacking unseen creatures - something like "Even if the attacker guesses the right square, ranged or melee attacks still take a -5 penalty against Hidden targets. However, Close or Area attacks - i.e. anything that's a Burst, a Blast, a Wall or a Zone - take no penalty to attacks against unseen foes, so long as that creature's square is within the affected area."

From Stealth, in the compendium, emphasis mine:

Success: You are hidden, which means you are silent and invisible to the enemy.



The statement "which means X" means, that "hidden" is synonymous with "silent and invisible".



You are wrong.  This says "Hidden means Silent and Invisible".  In formal logic you'd use the "implies" operator - but neither of those are transitive.

"Oranges are fruits, and high in vitamin C".  At no point does this statement EVER mean that "being a fruit" and "having a lot of vitamin C" causes you to be an orange.

Hidden *causes* Silent and Invisible.  Silent and Invisible does not cause Hidden.  And your further digressions about deafness and blindness and senses, etc, are equally wrong:  You are only ever Hidden if something SPECIFICALLY SAYS you are Hidden, no matter how impaired your target is, and a creature can ALWAYS roll Perception to detect a Hidden creature unless something SPECIFICALLY prohibits it.  Being blind gives a penalty, it doesn't prevent you from rolling, THEREFORE YOU CAN STILL ROLL.

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Anything not clear?  Tell me, I'll add it to the post.


Excellent summary. I think you've covered just about everything aside from the still-controversial questions - which we should probably not drag into this thread, to avoid muddying the waters



I'm happy to include them in a "here is what you must ask your GM about" section.  What questions do you have?

As well, I'm thinking about putting in a section about common POWERS and questions about becoming Hidden - things like "the rogue in my group is using Chameleon CONSTANTLY and he's never not Hidden!", that kind of thing.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

I could!  What are your questions?  Invisibility vs Combat Advantage, vs When Invisibility Ends.... what do you want to know?



It might be good to note that  becoming Hidden makes you invisible (and silent) until you lose concealment.  Meaning that you do not have to lose invisibility or the Hidden Condition when a power granting invisibility shuts off, if you also have simple concealment when that occurs.



Interestingly, though, your invisibility at that point is heavily selective - it might only apply to a single creature.  For bonus points, imagine this:  Your invisibility wears off but you're hidden from one of your two enemies.  You're still invisible to one, but not the other.  Then the party's Ranger, Avenger, Barbarian, and Rogue and go after the one guy and kill him... and you're no longer invisible to ANYONE.

I strongly suspect that the Unseen Mage and the like want to consider magical invisibility and stealth-based invisibility as separate concepts, for simplicity.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
A common question:  If a power tells me to make a Stealth check, do I still have to meet the normal requirements for becoming hidden?

Also, about the far away creatures, monsters in the next encounter, etc:  you can't take the stealth rules too seriously in that case.  Sure, you might say that there is a -500 situational penalty to perception to locate a creature in the next town over, but RAW, if that creature does something to break stealth, then (as you emphasize) you don't need a perception check to know where it is.  I think it would be better to just say that the stealth rules are for use during combat encounters.  Adjudicating stealth outside of combat is really up to the DM.

Does Blind / Deaf (-10 to Perception checks) apply to passives?

If they do the case falls to the waterfall scenario...   Make your check, they have a -20 to their passive perception!
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A common question:  If a power tells me to make a Stealth check, do I still have to meet the normal requirements for becoming hidden?

That's really two critical sub-questions, the first of which has been heavily debated.  The answer to both is probably technically yes (for the same reason), but as I said, debated.

If a power tells me to make a Stealth check, do I still need to have Total Concealment or Superior Cover relative to a creature to make the check against that creature?

If a power tells me to make a Stealth check, and that action caused me to become unhidden, am I still prohibited from making the stealth check?

Note that if the answer to the latter is yes, any power that attacks then allows you to make a stealth check just doesn't work if you started hidden.  Ones that allow you to hide before the attack, then attack, then hide again never work.

Anything not clear?  Tell me, I'll add it to the post.

Excellent explanation of the stealth rules. Very clear. I'm sure I'll direct many a person to this post.

I would change one small thing: In the Fifth rule, you state that an enemy who moves into your space finds you. It would be more accurate to state that if an enemy tries to move into your space, you are no longer hidden from them. (They don't need to succeed in entering your square.)

Thank you for your work here.

You should put this in a blog post or wiki page for easy linking.

Not that the thread isn't linkable, but...  

You are wrong.  This says "Hidden means Silent and Invisible".  In formal logic you'd use the "implies" operator - but neither of those are transitive.

"Oranges are fruits, and high in vitamin C".  At no point does this statement EVER mean that "being a fruit" and "having a lot of vitamin C" causes you to be an orange.



And yet, you're incredibly wrong as well.

"Oranges are fruits, and oranges are high in vitamin C" is a statement that IS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY UNRELATED to the statement "hidden means silent and invisible".

An analagous statement would be "being a square means you are a rectangle".  Therefore all squares are rectangles.  Your response is meaningless, and does not address the point that the rules clearly say "silent and invisible" and "hidden" are the same state.

And your further digressions about deafness and blindness and senses, etc, are equally wrong:  You are only ever Hidden if something SPECIFICALLY SAYS you are Hidden, no matter how impaired your target is, and a creature can ALWAYS roll Perception to detect a Hidden creature unless something SPECIFICALLY prohibits it.  Being blind gives a penalty, it doesn't prevent you from rolling, THEREFORE YOU CAN STILL ROLL.



I don't believe I mentioned a creature being blind alone.  I believe I mentioned a creature having no seneses with which it could roll Perception available to it.

Regardless, it was a tangent, and I'll leave it alone, because it seems to have angered you that I disagree with you.


But if you go around a corner out of sight of everyone (effectively invisible) and don't make any sounds (silent) you still aren't hidden if you don't make a Stealth check.  So while it may seem synonymous, the rules just don't work that way.



"Effectively" invisible is not invisible.  Being around a corner gives you total concealment, not invisibility; they're not the same thing.

And there are only two ways in-game to become silent, one being a stealth check and the other being an assassin power that makes you "silent and invisible", as far as I know, so it's not like anyone can just stand there being quiet and claim they're making no sound.  Something has to specifically say they're being silent.

The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
"being a square means you are a rectangle" is a little misleading too though.  I could truthfully say, "Being tall means you are able to reach high places easily" without implying that the definition of tall is "able to reach high places easily."
An analagous statement would be "being a square means you are a rectangle".  Therefore all squares are rectangles.  Your response is meaningless, and does not address the point that the rules clearly say "silent and invisible" and "hidden" are the same state.

That's because the rules don't say any such thing.  They say that when you are hidden, you are silent and invisible.  It's not a reversible statement.

Being a square means you are a rectangle does not mean that all retangles are squares.  That is the equivilent of your statement that being silent and invisible means that you are hidden.  Just as all squares are retangles but a retangle is not always square, when you are hidden you are silent and invisible but when you are silent and invisible you are not always hidden.  Only if you became hidden, and that is why you are silent and invisible.

Anything not clear?  Tell me, I'll add it to the post.

Excellent explanation of the stealth rules. Very clear. I'm sure I'll direct many a person to this post.

I would change one small thing: In the Fifth rule, you state that an enemy who moves into your space finds you. It would be more accurate to state that if an enemy tries to move into your space, you are no longer hidden from them. (They don't need to succeed in entering your square.)



I've made a second pass through and edited some wordings, including this correction.  Thanks.

Thank you for your work here.



You're welcome!  I found myself writing pieces of this post over and over again in various threads.  I figured sitting down to write it ONCE and link it would be better.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
You could add a statement about how if you stop being hidden, you still retain the benefits of being hidden until the end of your current action.  That's pretty important.

Edit - I think it is equivalent to say that you don't stop being hidden until the end of an action that breaks stealth.  Which is kind of symmetric with the fact that you don't start being hidden until the end of the action you use to hide.
You could add a statement about how if you stop being hidden, you retain the benefits of it until the end of your current action.  That's pretty important.




Yes!  Yes it is!  Adding that now.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Anything not clear?  Tell me, I'll add it to the post.


Excellent summary. I think you've covered just about everything aside from the still-controversial questions - which we should probably not drag into this thread, to avoid muddying the waters



I'm happy to include them in a "here is what you must ask your GM about" section.  What questions do you have?


I was just thinking of some of the subjects that didn't reach a clear consensus when discussed recently, like whether a power which explicitly allows you to make a Stealth check allows you to sidestep the entry requirements for Hidden Club, and the question of how easy it is for one person to accurately convey a hidden creature's location to his allies through speech or gesture, and whether doing so makes the subject not-hidden to them or simply narrows down which square to attack.

The latter, in particular, I'd consider a question to be asked between individual groups and their DMs, and one worth clearing up in advance - it's not something you want to get bogged-down on during combat. 

I was just thinking of some of the subjects that didn't reach a clear consensus when discussed recently, like whether a power which explicitly allows you to make a Stealth check allows you to sidestep the entry requirements for Hidden Club,



The practical answer to that *was* "No" until the rules changed to say "any power that includes a move may allow you to become Hidden".  Now, those statements are pointless unless they bypass the normal requirements.  Which is not to say that they're NOT pointless, because updates often make previous text redundant, but they might be intended to allow rulebreaking.

and the question of how easy it is for one person to accurately convey a hidden creature's location to his allies through speech or gesture, and whether doing so makes the subject not-hidden to them or simply narrows down which square to attack.

The latter, in particular, I'd consider a question to be asked between individual groups and their DMs, and one worth clearing up in advance - it's not something you want to get bogged-down on during combat. 



Whether or not it renders you non-Hidden is obvious:  No.  It's not one of the conditions for ending Hidden, therefore Hidden doesn't end.  You are TOTALLY allowed to know what square a Hidden person is in - in fact, you know what square EVERY Hidden person is in as soon as they become Hidden, because you knew where they were before they became Hidden.  Simply knowing the square is obviously not good enough.

The question of how hard it is to say "two squares north, one square east" in-game is unrelated.

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.


The question of how hard it is to say "two squares north, one square east" in-game is unrelated.




Perhaps, but a "things you should ask your DM" section might be good, to point out things likely to have table variation that's best to know about ahead of time.  It would suck to go through the effort of becoming hidden and then moving and then having the one monster with a good perception score ruin the effort if you didn't know it was a possibility.


The question of how hard it is to say "two squares north, one square east" in-game is unrelated.




Perhaps, but a "things you should ask your DM" section might be good, to point out things likely to have table variation that's best to know about ahead of time.  It would suck to go through the effort of becoming hidden and then moving and then having the one monster with a good perception score ruin the effort if you didn't know it was a possibility.




An excellent idea!

So, for "Ask your DM", we have "how hard it is to share knowledge?"  and "If a power says you can roll Stealth to become Hidden, does that break the rules".... anything else?
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

How about "Will this campaign have lots of open spaces" and "how are you handling using furniture for cover"?  Both especially important if you if he using modules.    I thought it was interesting that standing next to Beds and some Tables in many of the modules provided a creature with cover per their rules ... it didn't matter if you were standing right next to another opponent or not.  And many of the outdoors encounters the only way to get cover is to run into the bushes that the enemies are coming out of.


It's can be hard to Stealth without decent terrain, especially in Heroic levels.

But if you go around a corner out of sight of everyone (effectively invisible) and don't make any sounds (silent) you still aren't hidden if you don't make a Stealth check.  So while it may seem synonymous, the rules just don't work that way.



"Effectively" invisible is not invisible.  Being around a corner gives you total concealment, not invisibility; they're not the same thing.



Actually, being around a corner technically gives you superior cover not concealment. (you aren't invisible or in an obscured square)

Being deaf and blind doesn't make other creatures invisible either. 

And there are only two ways in-game to become silent, one being a stealth check and the other being an assassin power that makes you "silent and invisible", as far as I know, so it's not like anyone can just stand there being quiet and claim they're making no sound.  Something has to specifically say they're being silent.



Much like being hidden.  Funny that...
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Thanks for the excellent post LoW.


The question of how hard it is to say "two squares north, one square east" in-game is unrelated.




Perhaps, but a "things you should ask your DM" section might be good, to point out things likely to have table variation that's best to know about ahead of time.  It would suck to go through the effort of becoming hidden and then moving and then having the one monster with a good perception score ruin the effort if you didn't know it was a possibility.




An excellent idea!

So, for "Ask your DM", we have "how hard it is to share knowledge?"  and "If a power says you can roll Stealth to become Hidden, does that break the rules".... anything else?



If you can't share knowledge, you probably also want to ask how the DM wants to handle situations where an enemy is hidden from you but not all your allies and thus still on the map.  Does he want you to avoid attacking anywhere but it's last known square unless you have a good reason to guess he'd be elsewhere?  Does he want you to roll some kind of check if you want to attack the enemy elsewhere?  If an ally that the ebemy isn't hidden from attacks his square, will that let you know the enemy is there even if verbal communication won't do?  Is he holding the monsters to the same standards?  It tends to be particularly relevant with AoE powers, since it can be quite tempting to make sure to catch a hidden creature in an AoE; it's good to know if DMs want a justification for setting a burst down in an area that "just happens" to include an enemy hidden from you in addition to other enemies when that might not otherwise be the best location for the burst.
If you can't share knowledge, you probably also want to ask how the DM wants to handle situations where an enemy is hidden from you but not all your allies and thus still on the map.

If it's hidden from anyone, why is it still on the map?  I pull minatures off the map as soon as they are hidden from anyone.  (That doesn't invalidate your "question for the DM", I'm just curious why a DM wouldn't remove it.)
If it's hidden from anyone, why is it still on the map?



Because it's not Hidden from everyone, and so everyone except that one guy knows exactly where it is, and that one guy knows exactly where it *was*.

I usually leave even "Hidden from everyone" minis on the table, with a tag or coloured base to indicate Hidden.  Because even if he's not in that square any more, everyone knows where he WAS.

(If he's still non-Hidden to anyone, I just move the mini normally, and I let players tell each other where the guy got to pretty much freely to avoid questions of knowledge.)

I pull minatures off the map as soon as they are hidden from anyone.  (That doesn't invalidate your "question for the DM", I'm just curious why a DM wouldn't remove it.)



See above:  I don't remove 'em unless they're Hidden from EVERYONE, and not usually even then.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
If you can't share knowledge, you probably also want to ask how the DM wants to handle situations where an enemy is hidden from you but not all your allies and thus still on the map.

If it's hidden from anyone, why is it still on the map?  I pull minatures off the map as soon as they are hidden from anyone.  (That doesn't invalidate your "question for the DM", I'm just curious why a DM wouldn't remove it.)


Unless you send everyone who he's hidden from out of the room every time he takes a turn or someone who he's not hidden from takes a turn, every player is going to know where he is anyway.  There's no real point in removing a hidden enemy's mini unless he's hidden from everyone.  Likewise, the questions are relevant for knowing how the DM plans on dealing with PCs being hidden from his monsters, since he definitely knows where they are but the monsters shouldn't really know anything but the last square they were unhidden in.
You might also want to discuss the differences between Blind the creature keyword and Blinded the condition.

Creatures that are Blind (ie, have the Blind keyword) almost always have a secondary sight system (tremorsense, etc). And nothing in the game system adds the Blind keyword to anything. There is no Blind effect or condition that can applied to characters outside of DM fiat.

Blinded however, is a condition that affects sight, but does not make the character Blind. Technically, with blinded, you can still see, you just see poorly (hence the -5), but nothing has happened to remove LOS to anything. I like to think of blinded as sand in the eyes, you can't see very well due to tearing and you are distracted by the grit in your eye, so that affects your performance, but nothing else.

I think it's particularily important to this topic because people typically talk about being blinded and wanting to start giving things invisibility. Or combining blinded with deafened to gain hidden.

Also you might want to note how invisibility interacts with things like Hunters Quarry and Warlock's Curses which explicitly state "nearest creature that you can see".
Wow, that's kind of amazing to me.  I just make the people that a creature is hidden from close their eyes and point out where it is to anyone that asks.  People can't NOT act on information they have, it's against human nature.  Either they act with the knowledge in their favor, or they act with the knowledge not in their favor in some kind of attempt to pretent they don't have the knowledge.

Always better to keep the knowledge out of their hands in the first place.
Hidden and Minis is a Meta concept regardless if it's a monster mini or player mini on the map. Players do hidden too, and the DM still sees where that mini is. He just now has to meta-game how he wants the monsters to react. Same thing for players. It's another one of those gentleman's agreement "play as you would like to be played against" sort of thing. Do you want your Hidden to be useless unless you are hidden from all the enemies on the table, or do you want to be able to hide from that one creature successfully?

Either the player decides their character can't see the mini right in front of him or they don't and always hit it right on. This is a table level decision on how to RP.

Personally, I don't remove the mini unless hidden from everyone. But I also suggest that my players can only do close bursts and blasts (and maybe area attacks if they're big enough) against hidden creatures. My rationale is that even if the creature is adjacent and the others say, "he's right in front of you". They're still looking at 3 squares you would have to swing through in order to hit reliably. 3 squares is almost halfway to a burst power. I find this lets hidden be a cool mechanic that can't just be bypassed by a little table chatter. Plus most characters have some way of dealing burst/blast damage if they really really need to hit it. Otherwise players should treat the creature as hidden and remove it as an option to target at all.

Other mechanics I've seen are:
-DC checks of varying difficulty depending on range/other players directions.
-Coin toss of able to target/not able to target when given player directions.
-Picking a 3x3 grid and having the player roll to see what square they hit to determine if they find the creature, then make the attack roll if successful.
-Hidden creatures are treated like quasi-swarms. Regular damage from close bursts/blasts, 1/2 damage from range/melee/area. And players are treated as if they are blinded for the Attack roll for non burst/blast (ie -5)
-Hidden creatures can't be targeted EVER. Bursts only.