5E Why do so many DMs use the wrong rules for invisibility?
+ Log in or register to post
Page 1 of 30 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 297
  1. #1

    Why do so many DMs use the wrong rules for invisibility?

    Being invisible does not hide your location on the map, using the hide action does. You do not get advantage to stealth checks because your are invisible, you cause sight based perception checks to auto-fail. 4 creatures inside a darkness spell know each other's exact locations, there is no guessing, you still roll with disadvantage on attacks because you cant see them, but you can always hear them. I see this easy and simple rule bastardized so hard in games that I have to start asking my DM if they are going to hombrew the stealth rule before a campaign starts.
    XP Ed Laprade, I'm A Banana, Olrox17, Ashkelon, Prakriti and 2 others gave XP for this post
    Laugh S'mon laughed with this post

  2. #2
    Member
    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)



    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
    Posts
    3,512
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block lowkey13


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by Angerguy View Post
    Being invisible does not hide your location on the map, using the hide action does. You do not get advantage to stealth checks because your are invisible, you cause sight based perception checks to auto-fail. 4 creatures inside a darkness spell know each other's exact locations, there is no guessing, you still roll with disadvantage on attacks because you cant see them, but you can always hear them. I see this easy and simple rule bastardized so hard in games that I have to start asking my DM if they are going to hombrew the stealth rule before a campaign starts.
    Why do other people do it wrong / homebrew other rules? The answers are varied, but here's a potpourri of them. Choose the one(s) you like best-

    1. The RAW are not simple. They are internally consistent, but the various rules (for invisibility, hiding, stealth, darkness, etc.) aren't all put together in a simple "check-list" fashion. What you call "easy and simple," is actually fodder for countless debates as to how they work and interact.

    2. The RAW are not "logical." Okay, logic is in the eye of the beholder, and they are internally consistent. But just reading what you wrote- "4 creatures inside a darkness spell know each other's exact location, there is no guessing," and you can see where gamist v. real world concerns come in, assuming that this is a correct interpretation of the RAW.

    3. Legacy. Many people played prior editions, and carry that baggage with them. They (consciously or unconsciously) incorporate rules and ideas from past editions.

    4. English. Dude, it's hard when it comes to rules. Just see "Attack" v. "Attack action," v. "Extra Attacks" for an example. You hear "Invisibility" and you have associations different than the specific rule.

    5. Because of error, or preference. Some people mess up, and some people don't like the RAW.

    I think that should cover most of it.
    Last edited by lowkey13; Tuesday, 7th February, 2017 at 08:31 PM.
    XP DEFCON 1, Saelorn, steeldragons, pdzoch, Ed Laprade and 22 others gave XP for this post

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Angerguy View Post
    4 creatures inside a darkness spell know each other's exact locations, there is no guessing, you still roll with disadvantage on attacks because you cant see them,
    Or not. All the creatures should have advantage to be hit, which cancels out the disadvantage to hit in this case, if I am reading RAW correctly. Maybe there IS another section I am missing.
    Laugh FrogReaver, Ratskinner laughed with this post

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Angerguy View Post
    Being invisible does not hide your location on the map, using the hide action does. You do not get advantage to stealth checks because your are invisible, you cause sight based perception checks to auto-fail. 4 creatures inside a darkness spell know each other's exact locations, there is no guessing, you still roll with disadvantage on attacks because you cant see them, but you can always hear them. I see this easy and simple rule bastardized so hard in games that I have to start asking my DM if they are going to hombrew the stealth rule before a campaign starts.
    As The Old Crow pointed out, you've got the RAW wrong. If both the attacker and the defender are in darkness (that they are unable to see through) attacks are made without advantage OR disadvantage, because Advantage from being an unseen attacker cancels Disadvantage from being unable to see your target.

    As for the rest of it, hiding/invisibility (outside of advantage/disadvantage) is the single most contentious part of the 5e rules. Certain interpretations are more common than others, but there is no consensus on what the RAW is. (Plenty of people will argue that RAW is clear, but since they disagree with each other I consider it self-evident that there is no consensus.)

    So yes, you should always ask a new DM how they run hiding and invisibility, because there is no "default". And you should expect a large degree of table variation.
    XP Hemlock, Dausuul, SkidAce, Helldritch, pming and 5 others gave XP for this post

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Angerguy View Post
    Being invisible does not hide your location on the map, using the hide action does. You do not get advantage to stealth checks because your are invisible, you cause sight based perception checks to auto-fail. 4 creatures inside a darkness spell know each other's exact locations, there is no guessing, you still roll with disadvantage on attacks because you cant see them, but you can always hear them. I see this easy and simple rule bastardized so hard in games that I have to start asking my DM if they are going to hombrew the stealth rule before a campaign starts.
    There are two things at play. First, the rules are quite vague in several areas. Second, when we have vague rules it's up to the DM to interpret the rules in such a way that make sense.

    For invisibility and darkness, the rules are actually quite sparse. Someone in darkness is effectively blinded.
    Blinded
    A blinded creature cant see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight.
    Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creatures attack rolls have disadvantage.

    Under invisible it says
    Invisible
    An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense. For the purpose of hiding, the creature is heavily obscured. The creatures location can be detected by any noise it makes or any tracks it leaves.
    Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage, and the creatures attack rolls have advantage.

    That's pretty much all I can find as written on page 105 of the basic rules.

    Note that the location "can be" detected. Not "is always" detected. In addition "noise it makes or any tracks it leaves." What happens if it's not making noise or leaving tracks? A flying creature in a zone of silence in the dark is going to be undetectable in most cases.

    So when you state that "creatures inside a darkness spell know each other's exact locations", I disagree. The rules don't state that anywhere. If you walk into an area of darkness with an iron golem and it hasn't been activated yet, I would rule that you have no way of knowing it's there (barring other magic). It doesn't breath, it isn't moving, it is literally making no sound.

    The only way to detect the golem is to stumble into it since the only way to perceive it would be to see it, which you cannot do.

    If the golem activates because you enter the area and it starts moving, you can hear it and now you may know something is out there. You may even have a pretty good idea of it's location depending on the situation, but it's not automatic. The way I run it, you may not know exactly where it is until it attacks. At that point you can target it with disadvantage (because you are effectively blind).

    I agree that this does leave a lot up to the DM and different DMs are going to rule it differently. That may bother rules lawyers (not saying you are one or that it's even a bad thing) but it's just part of the structure of 5E.

    So yes, you have to ask your DM how they handle stealth and invisibility. I think the DM making rulings based on common sense when the rules aren't explicit is a strength of 5E, not a weakness. Feel free to disagree.

    Oh, and if I'm missing a rule somewhere feel free to point it out. Wouldn't be the first time.
    Last edited by Oofta; Tuesday, 7th February, 2017 at 08:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Oh, huh . . . I've been using the rules for Frightened.
    Laugh akr71, the_redbeard, Ed Laprade, Ath-kethin, Phazonfish and 2 others laughed with this post

  7. #7
    Member
    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    3,907
    Reviews
    Read 3 Reviews

    Block Saelorn


    Friend+
    I just make sure to remind my players that they are constantly screaming their location to everyone within 30 feet unless they consciously spend an Action to stop. Because the rules are dumb.

    And when that doesn't work, I describe how magical invisibility is more like Predator invisibility, and it's easy for anyone to see the distortion effect unless you take a second to slow down and let it sync up with the background.
    XP Matt Vincent, SkidAce, Eminence_Grise gave XP for this post
    Laugh Phrennzy1 laughed with this post

  8. #8
    Member
    Superhero (Lvl 15)



    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NE Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,263
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews
    WotC Evacuee

    Block ccs


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    3. Legacy. Many people played prior editions, and carry that baggage with them. They (consciously or unconsciously) incorporate rules and ideas from past editions.
    This. Do you have any idea of how many different stealth/hiding/invisibility systems I've got floating about in my head? You're lucky to get a D&D version....
    Laugh bgbarcus, Tequila Sunrise, CAFRedblade laughed with this post

  9. #9
    Member
    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)



    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
    Posts
    3,512
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block lowkey13


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    This. Do you have any idea of how many different stealth/hiding/invisibility systems I've got floating about in my head? You're lucky to get a D&D version....
    I know!

    I just use the Paranoia version.

    You try to hide? Sorry, bud. The Computer sees you. The Computer always see you. That's another clone.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    I just make sure to remind my players that they are constantly screaming their location to everyone within 30 feet unless they consciously spend an Action to stop. Because the rules are dumb.

    And when that doesn't work, I describe how magical invisibility is more like Predator invisibility, and it's easy for anyone to see the distortion effect unless you take a second to slow down and let it sync up with the background.
    So where in the rules does it state that everyone automatically knows where you are? It says how you can avoid detection, and some ways that you might be detected. But I still can't find where it says you are automatically detected.

    Last time I checked, being automatically detected was the rule in 4E, not 5E.

+ Log in or register to post
Page 1 of 30 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Similar Threads

  1. Invisibility and Stealth - what do the rules INTEND???
    By ZenFox42 in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Monday, 1st July, 2013, 12:16 PM
  2. Invisibility and Mind Blank vs True Seeing or See Invisibility?
    By Arravis in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: Saturday, 20th August, 2005, 05:15 AM
  3. Invisibility Sphere vs. crappy Mass Invisibility
    By Lucius Foxhound in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Saturday, 22nd February, 2003, 10:22 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •