Stealth - the low down

37 posts / 0 new
Last post
Also on Enworld. Based on best available evidence (WotC_Mearls, CSR, RAW) here's how you can run Stealth.

1. Stealth does not upgrade Cover to Superior Cover, or Concealment to Total Concealment. Stealth does not connect with Targeting What You Can't See.

Ruling supported by CSR.

2. If you have Cover or Concealment from any source you can use Stealth provided your DM deems the given situation appropriate. Your DM will tell you if you can make a check. A power such as Fleeting Ghost or a skill such as Bluff that explicitly grants you a Stealth check should nearly always qualify as 'appropriate'.

Ruling supported by CSR.

3. To gain CA on an attack using Stealth, you have to be already hidden by using some other action before making that attack. When you attack from hiding, your hidden condition does not end until after completing the entirety of that attack action.

Ruling supported by WotC_Mearls.

4. Make Stealth checks against passive Perception. Players and alert enemies can use minor actions to make further Perception checks, but do not lose the benefit of their passive result by doing so. You have to beat the better of their active roll or their passive Perception.

Ruling supported by CSR and WotC_Mearls.

5. Once any enemy notices you, either by beating your Stealth with their Perception, or by reaching a viewpoint that has no lines of sight blocked by obstacles or allies (of yours) and is not obscured, that enemy can share information. If they do, you are no longer hidden against anyone capable of understanding that information. Example: Wolves hunting in a pack share information about hidden prey. Example: If one of four hobgoblins spots a hidden PC, that guy can tell his allies where the PC is hiding.

Ruling supported by WotC_Mearls and CSR.

6. You cannot try and use Stealth with a free action, but you can try with a minor action that you describe appropriately, e.g. 'I hunker down.' Literally Minor actions are enabling actions. Simple actions that usually lead to more exciting actions. Like an attack with CA

Ruling not officially supported, but does not contradict RAW and meets with consensus of opinions.

7. You can try to use Stealth to regain hiding in the same square without moving, even after making an attack, provided you fulfil all the other requirements.

Ruling supported by all official sources.

Some Examples
----------------

Player: I walk quietly into the candle-lit room. Anyone there got better than normal vision?
DM: Nope.
Player: Alright. I try for a Stealth check.
DM: There are four guys in this room. They all saw you come in the door. You do have Concealment, but I'm disallowing the check.

Player: I Fleeting Ghost into the candle-lit room. Anyone there got better than normal vision?
DM: Nope.
Player: Alright. I try for a Stealth check.
DM: There are four guys in this room, but since you used a Rogue power that explicitly grants a Stealth check, I'm going to allow it.

Player: I charge into the torch-lit room and attack guy one. They're surprised right?
DM: Yup. You get CA.
First Non-Surprise Round
Player: Now I want to move 3-squares to that corner behind them using Ethereal Stride. That activates Shadow Walk, right? Can I try for a Stealth check?
DM: There are four alert guys in this room, but you've teleported directly behind them. They're confused and Shadow Walk has given you Concealment. Go-ahead and make that check. You're at -5 for moving more than 2-squares this turn. They'll use their passive Perception now, and then make active checks using minor actions on their turns.

Remember, there are 13 ways other than hiding or concealment to get CA, and a bunch of powers that explicitly provide it. Challenge your Rogues to be cunning. They'll love you for it.

-vk
May I ask somthing though, what if an ally is in melee distence from an enemy, would the enemy take penaltys for rolling perseption or would they take an AO sence there not focusing on there current enemy?

~EDIT~
Also, now that I think about it, is the DM not thinking strate? The fleeting ghost only make it so you dont take the -5 on hide, doesn't mean the dont notice you.
May I ask somthing though, what if an ally is in melee distence from an enemy, would the enemy take penaltys for rolling perseption or would they take an AO sence there not focusing on there current enemy?

You don't have cover unless you have cover from every communicating enemy. So if one enemy were using a ranged attack on you while at the same time another were using a close attack on you, with an ally of yours intervening, you could not Stealth because the close enemy can use a free action to tell his friend where you are. If you wanted to get fiddly with the mechanics, you could make your Stealth check against the ranged guy, then have it busted as a free action by the guy you have no cover from.

However, if only the ranged enemy were attacking you, or if his friend could not communicate, you could use Stealth because there's no one there to help the ranged guy out guessing where you are. Doing so would only give you CA against him, of course.

Also, now that I think about it, is the DM not thinking strate? The fleeting ghost only make it so you dont take the -5 on hide, doesn't mean the dont notice you.

Read as written, Fleeting Ghost does two things. 1. It obviates the -5 on hide, just as you point out. 2. It lets you 'make a Stealth check' after moving your speed. Since in Errata moving your speed has been clarified to mean moving any number of squares up to the maximum allowed, that could include moving less than your full speed, or no squares at all. Therefore the line reads 'You can make a Stealth check'. You must burn a move action to do so.

-vk
You don't have cover unless you have cover from every communicating enemy. So if one enemy were using a ranged attack on you while at the same time another were using a close attack on you, with an ally of yours intervening, you could not Stealth because the close enemy can use a free action to tell his friend where you are. If you wanted to get fiddly with the mechanics, you could make your Stealth check against the ranged guy, then have it busted as a free action by the guy you have no cover from.

However, if only the ranged enemy were attacking you, you could use Stealth because there's no one there to help him out guessing where you are.
-vk

No No No, not what I meant, I'll post what I ment in example.

Ally=My ally
Stealth=Me
Enemy= Enemy

Stealth is currently in cover, and hiding from enemy, and enemy does not know were he is. Ally is in Melee range of enemy, but enemy thinks finding me is more importent. Would it be sence ally is withing melee deistence from enemy, does ally get a AO because enemy is currently looking for me, not conserned about the big minitor Ranger with 2 large Basterd swords in his hand or would enemy take a penalty for looking being that he is destracted by the 2 basterd sword weilding minitar (ally)?

Reason I am asking this is because it just wouldn't make sence if there was an enemy right infront of him (one that could take him out without a sweat) and he would still take the time looking for me? Maybe make it a Standerd action of move action to avoid penalty or the OA. I mean if there was someone right infront of you, would you take the time to look for me and rist being be-headed by my friend the minitor?
No No No, not what I meant, I'll post what I ment in example.

Ally is in Melee range of enemy, but enemy thinks finding me is more important. Would it be that since my ally is within melee distance from enemy, does my ally get a OA because enemy is currently looking for me...

...or would enemy take a penalty for looking being that he is distracted by the my ally?

Nice situation! Sorry that I misunderstood.

First the Opportunity Attack. Nothing in the rules suggests your ally should get one on an adjacent enemy who is spending minor actions looking for you. If that enemy moves as part of their hunt for you, then that movement will trigger an OA against them.

As for any penalty. Were I DMing then I'd look for your buddy to tell me something like 'Dude, I'm in this guys face with my swords, making it hard for him to check for our Rogue. Nothing makes me think that passive Perception should be penalised by whatever else is going on, so for consistency I'm not going to apply any modifier to your enemy's active Perception. Instead I'll give you a +2 favourable situation modifier on your Stealth check.

-vk
It's ok, I somtimes [most of the time] make mistakes too. But it would be funny for an enemy to try and look for you when a ally minitor is right in there face. I would be thinking the would say "Oh, so he is [i]your[/i] friend, sorry about that, I'll leave now." then he goes running.
I think you may be confusing cover and concealment. If you are around a corner and an enemy moves to where they can see you and can communicate your location. However this does not defeat the cover provided by the wall. The other enemies will have to move somewhere with an unblocked line of sight.

From this above post this might not be clear.
I think you may be confusing cover and concealment. If you are around a corner and an enemy moves to where they can see you and can communicate your location. However this does not defeat the cover provided by the wall. The other enemies will have to move somewhere with an unblocked line of sight.

From this above post this might not be clear.

Do you mean in terms of granting the -2 penalty to attack rolls against you? That isn't affected by an enemy busting your Stealth by communicating to his friends. The defensive benefit of cover doesn't check to see if you are hidden or not: it always applies.

WotC_Mearls supplied the hobgoblin example. That example makes it clear you can have your Stealth busted if just one of a group of enemies spots you, irrespective of your having cover against some or all of them.

Imagine stepping into a fight with Red Hand Orcs and Blue Hand Kobolds and taking up hiding. Orcs don't speak Draconic, so a Kobold who spotted you could bust your Stealth for all his Blue Hand buddies, without helping out any of the Orcs.

-vk
Hey, I showed this thread to my party rogue's player, and I have a few questions (I'm the DM).

1. We're not sure whether you can gain stealth by having cover from being behind an ally. Do the relative sizes of the characters matter? Is this up to the DM?

2. Let's say the rogue ducks behind a pillar. There are 3 enemies in the room. He has cover from one, completely blocked line of sight from another, and no cover from the third. Can he make a stealth check? Against who? One of the enemies can see him. If this enemy points the rogue out, who does he lose stealth against?

*edit*
3. Let's say a rogue is hidden by a wall, pillar, etc. He moves and attacks. At what point does he lose stealth? What if he uses the at-will power that lets him move 2 squares before he attacks?
I'm the rogue in Dark Stryke's campaign. I have my own question about monsters pointing me out when I'm in stealth.

Example 1:
I succeed on a stealth check. I go poke someone with my dagger that turn.

Example 2:
I succeed on a stealth check. I don't poke someone with my dagger that turn. On my next turn I do.

In which example can I be pulled out of stealth from a monster communicating my location? My understanding is that with example 2 I can be pulled out of stealth, but with example 1 I cannot. Is this correct?

Edit: The power that Dark Stryke is talking about is called Deft Strike.
5. Once any enemy notices you, either by beating your Stealth with their Perception, or by reaching a viewpoint that has no lines of sight blocked by obstacles or allies (of yours) and is not obscured, that enemy can share information. If they do, you are no longer hidden against anyone capable of understanding that information. Example: Wolves hunting in a pack share information about hidden prey. Example: If one of four hobgoblins spots a hidden PC, that guy can tell his allies where the PC is hiding.

Ruling supported by WotC_Mearls and CSR.

-vk

I'm not sure that Mr. Mears said this. Here is his exact quote:

4. Remember that intelligent foes will share information. If one of the four hobgoblins spots a hidden PC, that guy can tell his allies where the PC is hiding.

Now, I am willing to grant you that this could be interpreted as revealing the rogue to all listeners. But that, strictly speaking, is not what he said. He merely states that the hobgoblins can tell each other where the PC is hiding. He does *not* say what the result of this is.

Does it mean the rogue is revealed?
Does it mean the hobgoblins now know which square to target? (Perhaps with the -5?)
Does it mean the other hobgoblins have a bonus on their perception checks to see the rogue?

I dunno. I don't think we can extrapolate which of these is implied from his (brief) comment. I would be interested to see the CSR comments that you mention.
1. We're not sure whether you can gain stealth by having cover from being behind an ally. Do the relative sizes of the characters matter? Is this up to the DM?

I don't think official ruling is out on this or not. You can interpret it both ways, although the positive interptation includes allies as cover specifically under "determining cover". Up to you. Notice if you also require the player to have cover from ALL opponents, it serves to naturally limit this tactic.

It seems to make sense to require either same size or larger for stealth checks, but that's GM discretion.

Even with that, if it appears to the GM and players to be silly, consider just making it an encounter power feature of stealth (similar to bluff). An ally can be used once per encounter as cover sufficient for a stealth check. That would be a house rule.

2. Let's say the rogue ducks behind a pillar. There are 3 enemies in the room. He has cover from one, completely blocked line of sight from another, and no cover from the third. Can he make a stealth check? Against who? One of the enemies can see him. If this enemy points the rogue out, who does he lose stealth against?

By RAW you can allow the rogue to make a stealth check. The Rogue has cover/concealment.

However, based on the original post however, and based on other game factors like intelligence and communication, some consensus has been reached (which includes WoTC responses) that opponents will share enough information sufficient to negate your "advantage" in being hidden. So in your case, you could inform the player that while they may succeed momentarily in hiding from some of the opponents, the others will quickly (free action) point out his position making the player in effect, immediately no longer hidden. So you don't have to "deny" the roll necessarily, you just have to point out that making a check in those circumstances won't result in the rogue being "hidden" from the opponents.

3. Let's say a rogue is hidden by a wall, pillar, etc. He moves and attacks. At what point does he lose stealth? What if he uses the at-will power that lets him move 2 squares before he attacks?

Based on suggestion #3 in the original post, you lose stealth AFTER the attack. This seems to be the correct interpretation of the rules and so far appears to be RAW.

So a rogue could use deft strike to move 2, then hit with CA, after that they are "noticed".
A rogue could use charge, move full move, hit with CA, after that they are "noticed".
So, does warlock Shadow Walk allow stealth checks every round in the middle of battle?
Vonklaude,

Excellent summary!

Off the rules topic, example #1 makes me raise an eyebrow at the "GM ruling".

You have changed it such that it was more advantageous for the rogue to charge into the room, than to try to hide. I thought 4e like many other games tried to make each role unique in that to maximize their effectivness, they play in different ways. Fighters b-line to the opponent to be maximally effective. Rogues seek out shadows/cover/concealment to be maximally effective. This makes for unique game play for different roles, it's' a good thing.

The rogue was in shadows sufficient for concealment, that was his home-field advantage, he should dominate in his natural element. He should have been able to bypass that entire encounter with stealth checks rather than hit/damage rolls. All the orcs had to do was a light a torch, or a lantern, or sunrod, one action and the rogues advantage...poof. That's their fault for being low IQ, not the rogues. Or the GMs for giving the rogue his ideal environment and then punishing him for using it. Never use dimly lit areas if you don't want rogues to hide in them...

That rogue should be able to hide, and basically beat that "encounter" using skills, and not be forced into hack and slash. That could have turned into skill checks instead of hit/damage rolls. The rogue might even have needed to use an action point after a failed check to try and hide again. He may have hidden well enough to get through the room, or to pickpocket the one with the key, etc. You nixed that in a heavy handed approach that encourages the rogue to behave like a fighter.

Consider the issue you have, re-hiding to have perma-defense and CA. Perhaps a -5 penalty to stealth if you are attempting to hide in the same round after an attack would be better (or -10 whatever). Or simply do not allow stealth checks the round you attacked in if you have already done the attack action. This way players can still use skills to beat encounters when appropriate, and rogues can still use stealth based on RAW. Just my take on that example, it's all opinions on this one.
Also on Enworld. Based on best available evidence (WotC_Mearls, CSR, RAW) here's how you can run Stealth.

1. Stealth does not upgrade Cover to Superior Cover, or Concealment to Total Concealment. Stealth does not connect with Targeting What You Can't See.

Ruling supported by CSR.

2. If you have Cover or Concealment from any source you can use Stealth provided your DM deems the given situation appropriate. Your DM will tell you if you can make a check. A power such as Fleeting Ghost or a skill such as Bluff that explicitly grants you a Stealth check should nearly always qualify as 'appropriate'.

Ruling supported by CSR.

3. To gain CA on an attack using Stealth, you have to be already hidden by using some other action before making that attack. When you attack from hiding, your hidden condition does not end until after completing the entirety of that attack action.

Ruling supported by WotC_Mearls.

I just want to see if I have this right. If I have cover, I can use stealth to hide in my cover, gain CA, and attack.

But, if the target is aware of me, can I regain hidden?
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
2. If you have Cover or Concealment from any source you can use Stealth provided your DM deems the given situation appropriate. Your DM will tell you if you can make a check. A power such as Fleeting Ghost or a skill such as Bluff that explicitly grants you a Stealth check should nearly always qualify as 'appropriate'.

Ruling supported by CSR.


Some Examples
----------------

Player: I walk quietly into the candle-lit room. Anyone there got better than normal vision?
DM: Nope.
Player: Alright. I try for a Stealth check.
DM: There are four guys in this room. They all saw you come in the door. You do have Concealment, but I'm disallowing the check.

Player: I Fleeting Ghost into the candle-lit room. Anyone there got better than normal vision?
DM: Nope.
Player: Alright. I try for a Stealth check.
DM: There are four guys in this room, but since you used a Rogue power that explicitly grants a Stealth check, I'm going to allow it.

Player: I charge into the torch-lit room and attack guy one. They're surprised right?
DM: Yup. You get CA.
First Non-Surprise Round
Player: Now I want to move 3-squares to that corner behind them using Ethereal Stride. That activates Shadow Walk, right? Can I try for a Stealth check?
DM: There are four alert guys in this room, but you've teleported directly behind them. They're confused and Shadow Walk has given you Concealment. Go-ahead and make that check. You're at -5 for moving more than 2-squares this turn. They'll use their passive Perception now, and then make active checks using minor actions on their turns.

-vk

I agree with everything you say except the section that DM's should determine when a rogue can stealth. While I agree that DM's should have the final say, I think you've set the bar too low.

In my view, the only difference between Fleeting Ghost and a normal stealth check is the -5 penalty for movement. I cite the second sentence in support of this view: 'You do not take the NORMAL penalty from movement from this check.' The power says nothing about having cover or concealment to use the power but we know that without it, the rogue would be seen at the end of his turn unless the targets are distracted.

In other words, if the rogue makes his stealth check in example 1, my view is he should be able to sneak into the room and remain unseen as long as he has concealment for the whole of his movement. If the guards are alert, I'd give them a bonus on perception but I would not rule that the rogue cannot use stealth.
If the guards are alert, I'd give them a bonus on perception but I would not rule that the rogue cannot use stealth.

If the guards are alert, I may have them actually roll Perception checks rather than rely on passive Perception. But that wouldn't stop the "charge out of the darkness" to get Combat Advantage.
I don't think that "guards are alert" quite describes the situation fully. Even if we say that the guards are "alert" ... what are they alert to or about?

In its most basic form, an "alert" guard is probably taking minor actions to actively perceive what is going on around them. This isn't a guard that's just standing at his post...he has some reason to think that something is going on in the general vicinity...that there are enemies in the castle or some such. If the guards are alert in this sense, (but not actively looking at the door) I'd give the Rogue a Stealth check, but the fact that the guards are all making active Perception checks makes the Rogue's chances of success smaller. No further penalty is needed.

If the guards are "alert" in the sense that they are all staring at the door, waiting for an enemy to come through it with their crossbows ready to fire (readied actions) then the Rogue isn't going to get a Stealth check when they enter the door.

The original post only stated in the first example that the room had low light and that there were four enemies in the room. It didn't even state that those enemies were alert, let alone looking at the door. The Rogue should get a Stealth check unless something else is going on.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
If the guards are "alert" in the sense that they are all staring at the door, waiting for an enemy to come through it with their crossbows ready to fire (readied actions) then the Rogue isn't going to get a Stealth check when they enter the door.

I'd probably still let the Rogue (or whoever) get a Stealth check - the "penalty" of having all four foes getting active Perception checks against the Rogue makes it unlikely enough, but if the Rogue is so badass as to beat that, then great, he was still able to slip past the guards in the concealment, good for him, he's just that good!
I kind of disagree with 1 and 5 together.
1. Just because you can see something doesn't mean you can pinpoint what it is or even accept that it is there. Using the "Targeting What You Can't See" would be the way to get passed that.
5. Just because your buddy is screaming, "10' straight ahead!", shouldn't mean you get an auto success for seeing the stealthed goblin.

Here's a pic to illustrate:
IMAGE(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t51/tsuul/checkershadow_illusion4med.jpg)
You are looking to kill the dark squares that have letters in them. They [the targets] are all exactly the same colors. "A Square" is a verified enemy and example of what to look for. Your cylinder buddy is pointing at the "B Square" and saying he's one of them. Do you automatically see that "B Square" is the same colors as "A Square"?

"A Square" and "B Square" are exactly alike and in plain sight, but your brain just can't accept what it is seeing and chooses to see something else.
Put the pic in a photo editor and take a look at the color pallet used on the lettered squares if you don't believe me.
"Oh bother." sighed Pooh as he chambered another round.
1. We're not sure whether you can gain stealth by having cover from being behind an ally. Do the relative sizes of the characters matter? Is this up to the DM?

I haven't seen any comment on this supported by official sources. You have cover if even one imaginary line is blocked; even a small creature could do that for a medium one, unless you consider squares extending vertically. In any event, DMG43 states that 'As the referee, you decide based on common sense whether a creature has cover against an attack.'

2. Let's say the rogue ducks behind a pillar. There are 3 enemies in the room. He has cover from one, completely blocked line of sight from another, and no cover from the third. Can he make a stealth check? Against who? One of the enemies can see him. If this enemy points the rogue out, who does he lose stealth against?

If your target is unable to see you, you have CA against them irrespective of whether you successfully use Stealth. Therefore he can make a check, be busted immediately as a free action by the one he has no cover from, who informs both the others, but he still gets CA against the guy who can't see him at all.

3. Let's say a rogue is hidden by a wall, pillar, etc. He moves and attacks. At what point does he lose stealth? What if he uses the at-will power that lets him move 2 squares before he attacks?

WotC_Mearls unequivocally stated that your stealth covers the complete attack action. That means that Deft Strike is covered from start to finish, including the 2-square move. As would be a charge.

If your rogue moves, and then attacks, the answer is situational. He'll need cover or concealment for the whole move because he has to stay hidden right up to the attack. If he doesn't, that would break stealth unless he was using a power or skill that explicitly maintains it.

Example 1:
I succeed on a stealth check. I go poke someone with my dagger that turn.

Example 2:
I succeed on a stealth check. I don't poke someone with my dagger that turn. On my next turn I do.

In which example can I be pulled out of stealth from a monster communicating my location? My understanding is that with example 2 I can be pulled out of stealth, but with example 1 I cannot. Is this correct?

As soon as you poke someone with your dagger, that someone, if still living, can use a free action to speak. Therefore they could inform their buddies without delay. However, I agree with your intuition that you're far more likely to be pulled out of stealth if you wait a turn before attacking. Alert monsters would likely have more chances to bust your cover by moving or make active Perception checks in between your turns.

I'm not sure that Mr. Mears said this. Here is his exact quote:

4. Remember that intelligent foes will share information. If one of the four hobgoblins spots a hidden PC, that guy can tell his allies where the PC is hiding.

Now, I am willing to grant you that this could be interpreted as revealing the rogue to all listeners. But that, strictly speaking, is not what he said. He merely states that the hobgoblins can tell each other where the PC is hiding. He does *not* say what the result of this is.

Does it mean the rogue is revealed?
Does it mean the hobgoblins now know which square to target? (Perhaps with the -5?)
Does it mean the other hobgoblins have a bonus on their perception checks to see the rogue?

As you say, WotC_Mearls might have intended to imply some bonus on their Perception checks; or perhaps he was envisioning the hobgoblins in a non-alert state, and this perceptive guy was just waking everyone up? He can't have intended the middle option (knowing what square to target) since Stealth doesn't connect with Targeting What You Can't See.

Right before this example he was describing critters making active checks, which makes it hard to believe he was thinking they needed to become alert. So with the remaining possibility, it seems coy of him to have chosen to say 'tell his allies where the PC is hiding' and really mean 'give them a bonus on their checks'.

Off the rules topic, example #1 makes me raise an eyebrow at the "GM ruling".

The ruling arises from RAW on PHB178. It was confirmd by CSR that the Cover and Concealment rules do not state that the player must be granted a Stealth check, and that the DM tells the player whether a check would be appropriate in the given situation.

You have changed it such that it was more advantageous for the rogue to charge into the room, than to try to hide.

For Rogues charging, I hope that the rules clarifications haven't changed anything. The case arises from WotC_Mearls clarifying that your hidden condition ends after your complete attack action. The word 'charge' sounds like it describes something loud and obvious, but what the rogue is doing is darting into the room unexpectedly and catching his targets by surprise. Since you only get one action in a Surprise Round, you need to find some way to move and attack in that one action. Look at Hide From The Light. Your elite rogues can do everything you describe.

If I have cover, I can use stealth to hide in my cover, gain CA, and attack.

But, if the target is aware of me, can I regain hidden?

Yes, if your DM tells you they will allow the check. Note that being in cover alone is not enough, so if you've ended your hidden condition by making an attack you should help your DM out by giving her something cunning to say 'Yes' to. DMG28.

To my mind there are few instances in which using a power or skill that explictly grants you a check would not do exactly that.

-vk
If telling his allies where the PC is hiding doesn't bust his stealth, then I suppose the rational alternatives are that either WotC_Mearls was envisioning the hobgoblins in a non-alert state, and this perceptive guy was just waking everyone up; or WotC_Mearls intended to imply some bonus on their Perception checks. If either of those are his true intent, why did he say 'tell his allies where the PC is hiding' and not anything else?

Asking what monsters and PCs can gain from being told where a character is hiding is a good question, but I really doubt that it extends to automatically negating the Stealth. A hidden character in deep shadows might still be very hard to pick out even if someone is pointing straight at it. Crocodiles with their eyes just above the water certainly can be hard to spot even with help, for instance.

I think a bonus on an active check is appropriate.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Tsuul pointed out that rule #1 still looks suspect. Did the original CSR response include the context and the conclusion? Or was it isolated to just ask "does it upgrade to total concealment?"

In other words:
1. A player has succeded at stealth checks and is currently concealed and hidden from all opponents. They cannot see him, hear him, or otherwise notice them.

2. An opponent attempts to guess the square the rogue is in, and (the GM rolls to make it unbiased), and the opponent attacks the square the rogue is in.

3. Since the opponent does not see the rogue, do they have a -5 to hit the rogue? Or do they get no penalty in attacking a rogue they cannot see or hear, and instead just get the normal -2 cover penalty?

If it's not worded to show both cases, I would question the response.
Afterall, everyone reading it without pre-bias will assume when you try to hit someone you can't see, you always take -5 per the rules.

word 'charge' sounds like it describes something loud and obvious,

It's not about shouting, or being obvious. Charge is a standard action anyone can take. Whether or not charge is allowed to follow the same rules is then a question. Since it's not an "attack" as Deft strike is, someone may have issues with it. It's a "standard action". Needs explicit clarification still.
- Some are mentioning that you can Stealth behind allies. I thought it was already proved that allies only provide cover for the purposes of ranged attacks, and not for Stealthing?

- If a mob is doing an active perception check for a stealther ... and if they beat the stealth roll by 10 or more ... do they still get a -5 to hit?
Asking what monsters and PCs can gain from being told where a character is hiding is a good question, but I really doubt that it extends to automatically negating the Stealth...

I think a bonus on an active check is appropriate.

The full quote is

This is all unofficial advice, not official fodder for the FAQ. But, here's my view:

1. The game's math assumes that the rogue gets sneak attack with just about every attack he makes. If the rogues in your game are constantly gaining combat advantage, it really isn't a big deal.

2. You check to see if you are hidden from a foe when you attack, and lose hiding after completing the entirety of the attack action. You can't attack stealthily; you have to already be hidden when you attack.

So, stealth breaks *after* the attack.

3. Make your Stealth checks against passive Perception, unless a critter uses a minor action to make another Stealth check.

4. Remember that intelligent foes will share information. If one of the four hobgoblins spots a hidden PC, that guy can tell his allies where the PC is hiding.

5. I now have a meeting and have to run. But I think that covers most of it. And note I didn't go near warlocks. Yet.


Since 3. discusses active checks (another presumption, that the second 'Stealth' in that sentence was a typo, and should read 'Perception') it seems unlikely WotC_Mearls was considering his hobgoblin simply waking up the others. They're already alert.

Since the CSR reported by Zillah clarifies that

if a warlock makes a successful stealth check, does he or does he not gain total concealment, effectively making him invisible because of a stealth check? Am I correct to assume that there is no way to "upgrade" to total concealment just from a shadow walk+ stealth? Thank you for reading.

ANSWER:

The Warlock does not have Total Concealment, the Warlock is however unnoticed for the time being and still has Concealment.


WotC_Mearls can't have been considering the hobgoblin was telling his buddies what square to target; there is no such requirement.

You can decide that 'that guy can tell his allies where the PC is hiding' has the words 'giving them a bonus to their Perception checks' stapled onto it in invisible ink. Giving them a bonus to checks they have already made, of course.

Without adding or removing any words, however, I honestly struggle to justify your interpretation. If I prove to be wrong, well... it happens

-vk
Tsuul pointed out that rule #1 still looks suspect. Did the original CSR response include the context and the conclusion? Or was it isolated to just ask "does it upgrade to total concealment?"

I apologize for the complicated formatting of the next serious of questions.

A warlock moves 3 squares. He gains shadow walk(which gives him concealment), this allowing him to make a stealth check.
In combat, do you use the passive perception against the stealth roll? Or, do you do a reactive stealth check every time the player stealths?

After the stealth check is resolved, let us assume the stealth check is successful, what happens to the warlock? The success of a stealth check says "you avoid notice, unheard and hidden from view. If you later attack or shout, you're no longer hidden."
Many players interpret this as having total concealment because of that RAW on page 188. The whole "hidden from view" thing.
The conflict with that, is on page 281 where it differentiates the concealment from total concealment.
So, by following the book, if a warlock makes a successful stealth check, does he or does he not gain total concealment, effectively making him invisible because of a stealth check?
Am I correct to assume that there is no way to "upgrade" to total concealment just from a shadow walk+ stealth? Thank you for reading.



ANSWER : Boris,

The DM can choose to use either active or passive perception checks to notice Stealth. Even if an active check fails, if passive would succeed the check succeeds.
An active roll is just a chance to roll better.

The Warlock does not have Total Concealment, the Warlock is however unnoticed for the time being and still has Concealment.

Good Gaming!

We would appreciate your feedback on the service we are providing you. Please click here to fill out a short questionnaire.

To login to your account, or update your question please click here.

Joe
Customer Service Representative
Wizards of the Coast
1-800-324-6496 (US and Canada)
425-204-8069 (From all other countries)
Monday-Friday 9am-6pm PST / 12pm-9pm EST

-vk
Let's say just for fun that Stealth does connect with Targeting What You Can't See.

That means you have in effect a minor action usable at will power that in a candle-lit room can give you every turn -5 to be hit, automatically missing if the wrong square is picked, with -10 effective to Perception to pick the right square, and +2 to attack, and Sneak Attack if you have it. Did I say usable by every player and monster? Even untrained.

Most daily powers aren't that good, but since we're going ahead and assuming this is how it works, because the CSR doesn't explicitly rule out Targeting What You Can't See (it only rules out Total Concealment) and because the absence of the same words in Stealth and that rules block is just bad editing, and becase we're going to also assume that WotC_Mearls is sublimely insouciant when he says 'If the rogues in your game are constantly gaining combat advantage, it really isn't a big deal.'

Since we're doing all that, and we'll also notice that most monsters in the MM can't pick the right square for a level two Rogue (+14 Stealth, +24 effective), then aren't we possibly being just a teeny bit insulting to WotC's designers who are not that bad at game balance?!

As for Charge - good point Tsuul, there is room for debate on which standard actions are 'attacks' and which are not. If you decide Charge is not covered, then you'll probably have to rule that a Stealth check can be made with the Charge action, or that Charge can never happen with CA from Stealth. I personally feel either option is less consistent overall than deciding Charge is covered. Note that the example does not assume the Rogue's charge is covered by Stealth: CA is granted from having Surprise.

In closing, I think Xorn wisely got out of the Stealth argument awhile back. I've tried to bring together everything officially supported on Stealth into one place. Whether you use it or not, agree or not, feel I've misread official wordings or not, I trust and wish you will all have the most excellent fun with your 4ed games!

And that's me done with Stealth.


-vk
Let's say just for fun that Stealth does connect with Targeting What You Can't See.

Using the rules for "targeting what you can't see", when you attack a target you cannot see, just seems so obvious though. If it's not intended, I'd wager it was an oversight to not discuss it explicitly, so it's good to point it out either way IMO.

That means you have in effect a minor action usable at will power that in a candle-lit room can give you every turn -5 to be hit.
automatically missing if the wrong square is picked, with -10 effective to Perception to pick the right square, and +2 to attack, and Sneak Attack if you have it. Did I say usable by every player and monster? Even untrained.

-if opponents are in dim light they can use a minor (std?) action to brighten the dim light (torch, lamp, sunrod) and auto-see the rogue (no roll needed). I mean, don't we turn on the lights to help us see things?

- if the rogue has to move to cover/concealment to hide
- the opponents can simply move to a position where the rogue no longer has cover/concealment to auto-negate the hide (no rolling).

That's not to mention area attacks which suffer no real penalty if they saw the general area the rogue is in.

The real rub seems to come from the warlock who is walking concealment from all directions that has no counter. That does seems pretty powerful in this context, but a rogue cannot access that ability. Otherwise, rogue stealth is easily countered in most cases without even rolling a die to oppose them.
Since we're doing all that, and we'll also notice that most monsters in the MM can't pick the right square for a level two Rogue (+14 Stealth, +24 effective), then aren't we possibly being just a teeny bit insulting to WotC's designers who are not that bad at game balance?!

We can point it out without being insulting. After the debacle of stealth in 3.5 (no two people shared the same view of stealth), I had high hopes that it would have been more thoroughly tested and stressed out in 4e. I was very wrong. (Again it seems no two people share the same views on stealth.)
"Oh bother." sighed Pooh as he chambered another round.
Stealth doesn't upgrade concealment to total concealment, but how do you go about attacking something that you don't notice, even if it right in front of you in plain sight?

On another note, I can not take any credit for the Charge questions. It wasn't me.:D
"Oh bother." sighed Pooh as he chambered another round.
4. Make Stealth checks against passive Perception. Players and alert enemies can use minor actions to make further Perception checks, but do not lose the benefit of their passive result by doing so. You have to beat the better of their active roll or their passive Perception.

Ruling supported by CSR and WotC_Mearls.

The minor action Perception check is used for figuring out what square a creature you can’t see is occupying. It’s for when you’re fighting an opponent you can’t see because it’s invisible, you’re blinded, or you’re fighting in total darkness. Even if this rule was to be sewn onto the Stealth skill, success on this minor action Perception check would only allow you to figure out the square that the stealthed character was occupying, not allow you to see it. The only way to oppose a Stealth check is with a) your passive Perception check, b) a standard action Perception check, or c) by positioning yourself to achieve unblocked line of sight.

5. Once any enemy notices you, either by beating your Stealth with their Perception, or by reaching a viewpoint that has no lines of sight blocked by obstacles or allies (of yours) and is not obscured, that enemy can share information. If they do, you are no longer hidden against anyone capable of understanding that information. Example: Wolves hunting in a pack share information about hidden prey. Example: If one of four hobgoblins spots a hidden PC, that guy can tell his allies where the PC is hiding.

Ruling supported by WotC_Mearls and CSR.

Are you referring to a) an enemy informing their allies about which square a hidden character is occupying, b) an enemy simply informing their allies about the presence of an enemy who they have seen but their allies have not, or c) an enemy who sees a character and is informing their allies about what they can see, thereby bestowing their successful Perception check to all of their allies as well?

6. You cannot try and use Stealth with a free action, but you can try with a minor action that you describe appropriately, e.g. 'I hunker down.' Literally Minor actions are enabling actions. Simple actions that usually lead to more exciting actions. Like an attack with CA

Ruling not officially supported, but does not contradict RAW and meets with consensus of opinions.

7. You can try to use Stealth to regain hiding in the same square without moving, even after making an attack, provided you fulfil all the other requirements.

Ruling supported by all official sources.

Since Stealth is used as part of another action, I don’t see how you could re-Stealth in the same square – although moving to a different square would work.
The minor action Perception check is used for figuring out what square a creature you can’t see is occupying. It’s for when you’re fighting an opponent you can’t see because it’s invisible, you’re blinded, or you’re fighting in total darkness.

By RAW you are right, but WotC_Mearls upgraded that minor check to explicilty cover active Perception in combat.

Are you referring to a) an enemy informing their allies about which square a hidden character is occupying, b) an enemy simply informing their allies about the presence of an enemy who they have seen but their allies have not, or c) an enemy who sees a character and is informing their allies about what they can see, thereby bestowing their successful Perception check to all of their allies as well?

Third option. If you read WotC_Mearls' remarks (posted further up this thread) you will see that unless you want to add words, take the remark out of context, or assume he was overruling CSRs, he can only have been discussing bestowing the successful Perception check.

One side benefit of that is you no longer have to independently track creatures for who can see the rogue each turn.

Since Stealth is used as part of another action, I don’t see how you could re-Stealth in the same square – although moving to a different square would work.

You can attach Stealth to a minor action.

Stealth doesn't upgrade concealment to total concealment, but how do you go about attacking something that you don't notice, even if it right in front of you in plain sight?

With a -2 penalty, by RAW Note also that as soon as you place a stealthing character under the Targeting What You Can't See rules, they gain an effective +10 to their Stealth, heavily suggestive that the entities being considered are enjoying some mode of invisibility better than Stealth. To be clear, the moment you put your stealthing player under those rules, any roll less than their Stealth+10 does not bust their Stealth! Note also that Total Concealment does connect with Targeting What You Can't See by using one of the same words. Stealth doesn't.

On another note, I can not take any credit for the Charge questions. It wasn't me.:D

Heh. No matter. The example I gave assumes the Rogue is charging without Stealth, and demonstrates one way you can have CA without it.

And now, yes, having disposed of a few illations that were troubling my conscience, I really am out of Stealth :P

-vk
Without adding or removing any words, however, I honestly struggle to justify your interpretation. If I prove to be wrong, well... it happens

-vk

But you are adding words. You are giving the act of pointing a stealthed character out to allies a mechanical meaning, when it inherently has none. Technically, this "pointing out" mumbo jumbo does exactly nothing.

By extension, this means that I'm also adding words to the ruling given by even granting a bonus. If I'm acting as a DM I am comfortable with that, however. It's the job of a DM to make a ruling.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Third option. If you read WotC_Mearls' remarks (posted further up this thread) you will see that unless you want to add words, take the remark out of context, or assume he was overruling CSRs, he can only have been discussing bestowing the successful Perception check.

-vk

What? I don't see how you can say this. His remarks in this regard are incredibly vague. Now, I don't intend this to be a criticism as it was not his intention to make a ruling on anything with those comments.

To be honest, I think the best way to interpret his remarks would be to allow the other hobgoblins to know which square to target with their attacks. (And not reveal the rogue unless they also moved so that the rogue lost cover/concealment.) Although, again I must stress that I really have no idea what he was trying to say.

Finally, this is the second time you have referenced CSRs to support your interpretation but I don't know which you are referring to. Would you mind filling me in?
Firstly, props to vk for compiling the info and coming up with a concised set of rules for stealth. I especially like the fact how it's simplified to reduce dice rolling yet retains an overall sense of logic (i totally agree on how stealth is not invisibility and thus has no relation to the Targeting What You Can't See rules).

Just a couple of questions to help clarify certain situations. Firstly, are the rules set in order of 'priority'? For example, does Rule 3 override Rule 5 because it's higher on the list. Reason I ask is because in a situation where a rogue has gone stealth the previous turn intends to rush out into melee (move action to engage, standard action to attack) and gain CA, would you rule that he retains his stealth until he completes his attack (Rule 3) or he loses it once he moves into the enemy's line of sight (Rule 5)? What if he uses a power like Deft Strike, that allows him to move 2 squares before the attack?

Logically speaking, both might be plausible. If you take into account that a combat round is roughly 6 seconds, and a rogue rushes out from hiding to strike in that time, the enemy might not have time to recover (even if the rogue crosses his line of sight) and thus the rogue retains his CA. Similarly, on the other hand of the spectrum, it could be argued that monsters and adventurers alike are more 'battle-trained' than the average person and thus would be able to react faster, nullifying the rogue's CA the moment he passes into line of sight.

Opinions?
I just wanted to ask for a bit of clarification. The errata for the player's handbook says stealth is "at the end of a move action." This is much different from the original phb where it states stealth can happen during any action.

A common occurance (at least during my games) is to use my move action to get behind a wall to break line of sight, then use deft strike (a standard action) to stealth and then move two spaces back into LOS and shoot with combat advantage. If you can only stealth during a move action two problems occur. One being the need to stealth during the move behind cover. This usually ends up netting you a -5 penalty due to movement for the stealth check. The other (more serious) problem is a situation where you are behind cover and want to use something like deft strike to pop out and sneak attack someone. If I'm already behind cover I have no need to move as I'm already where I wanted to be, but if the errata is as restrictive as it sounds then I must consume a move action just to get a stealth check before I make my attack.

Am I misinterpreting this? Any insight is appreciated.
Most of this thread is dated before 9th of July 2008 and thus written before stealth-errata. Therefore I would ignore this thread and reread Stealth-errata if you have doubts/questions about stealth.
Sign In to post comments