5E Blindsight Discussion: What Crawford tweeted

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong. Crawford did not offer a great deal of clarification because Twitter isn't the best way to disseminate rules clarification due to the maximum character length. Crawford did tweet that you can use Stealth (Hide) behind cover within Blindsight range.

What I'm gathering from Crawford's answer for Blindsight is the following:

1. Concealment does not work against Blindsight. You can't hide in fog, darkness, or the like against Blindsight.

2. Invisibility doesn't work against Blindsight.

3. Blindness does not affect Blindsight.

4. Cover works. I'm assuming the idea is something solid interposed between you and the creature will prevent its senses from automatically discerning you.

I would love to see a little more clarification for Blindsight. I've come to accept this edition isn't concerned with being a realistic simulation. It is more concerned with simple rules that allow for the creation of an interesting narrative, while not leaving monsters completely without means to defeat powerful buffs like invisibility and similar magics.
 

GSHamster

Villager
Perhaps it's best to think of Blindsight as a type of sonar, kind of like the ability the superhero Daredevil has.

(In fact, I'd wager he's the model WotC had in mind when they came up with the ability.)

The pulse would reveal anyone hidden in fog or invisible. However, the pulse would bounce off solid objects and not reveal what is behind the object.
 

BigVanVader

Villager
Perhaps it's best to think of Blindsight as a type of sonar, kind of like the ability the superhero Daredevil has.

(In fact, I'd wager he's the model WotC had in mind when they came up with the ability.)

The pulse would reveal anyone hidden in fog or invisible. However, the pulse would bounce off solid objects and not reveal what is behind the object.
Jinx!
 

Hriston

Explorer
Hey! I don't want to open up an argument that's already been played out on another thread :), but I don't see any of this as un-realistic. All it says is that since blindsight is not vision, then obscurement has no effect on its ability to notice creatures attempting to hide. This does not confer an additional ability to notice creatures that are attempting to hide behind solid objects, because a physical barrier impedes other senses besides sight.

For anyone who hasn't read them, here are the tweets:

Q: Does Blindsight allow you to automatically see creatures using obscurement to hide in order to cause them to lose hidden?
A: An undistracted creature with blindsight does typically notice creatures who aren't behind cover.

Q: Does Stealth or Invisibility work within Blindsight range?
A: "Does Stealth or Invisibility work within Blindsight range?" A creature can try to hide within blindsight range behind cover.

Btw, I asked Crawford to clarify the Surprise rules, but he has yet to reply.
 
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Mephistopheles

Villager
I would love to see a little more clarification for Blindsight. I've come to accept this edition isn't concerned with being a realistic simulation. It is more concerned with simple rules that allow for the creation of an interesting narrative, while not leaving monsters completely without means to defeat powerful buffs like invisibility and similar magics.
I guess this a legacy of 3E: an expectation that the rules will provide an exacting mechanical coherency that is akin to the physical laws of the game world, the workings of which can be deduced from a thorough reading of the rules rather than lending itself to interpretation.

At first I remember really liking that about 3E. I still do, but over time I came to see it as something of a burden as well.
 

Henrix

Villager
I would love to see a little more clarification for Blindsight. I've come to accept this edition isn't concerned with being a realistic simulation.
You are assuming that blindsight is a single thing.

A shark, a bat, and a grell use different senses as their blindsight.

Smell, echolocation and sensitivity to electrical fields have different subtle advantages and drawbacks - blocking one does not necessarily block the others. They would all need their own separate rules, leading to immense rules bloat - or good judgement.

I find that much more realistic.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Blindsight is not a tightly defined ability. It means different things to different monsters. For a giant bat, it's active sonar. But dragons also have blindsight, and I don't think the designers meant to suggest that dragons make ultrasonic squeaks and listen to the echoes! Dragon blindsight is a combination of multiple keen senses (smell, hearing, taste, even touch) and perhaps a supernatural awareness of their surroundings.

Still, the one thing that's very clear about blindsight is that it's non-visual. So obviously nothing that relies on visual concealment alone is going to affect it. Darkness, invisibility, obscurement caused by shadows, and visual-only illusions won't do anything. There's room for debate over fog--some studies suggest that bats avoid dense fog, which might imply that it can interfere with echolocation. However, for the sake of simplicity, I'd rule out fog as well.

On the other hand, it's boring if blindsight becomes total awareness. The obvious interpretation of Crawford's ruling, which also strikes me as the most sensible way to handle it, is that solid obstacles do block blindsight. It doesn't let you see around corners, and a rogue who stays behind solid cover can hide from a dragon.
 
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Minigiant

Villager
You are assuming that blindsight is a single thing.

A shark, a bat, and a grell use different senses as their blindsight.

Smell, echolocation and sensitivity to electrical fields have different subtle advantages and drawbacks - blocking one does not necessarily block the others. They would all need their own separate rules, leading to immense rules bloat - or good judgement.

I find that much more realistic.
Exactly.

"Normal "Cover in D&D is visual

To hide within a bat's blindsight, you need auditory cover.
To hide within a grimlock's blindsight, you need auditory cover and olfactory cover.

To hide from a dragon or a high level ranger, you need auditory cover, olfactory cover, and visual cover.
 

Paraxis

Villager
To hide from blindsight no matter who or what possesses it you just need cover and to make a stealth skill check. That was the point of the tweet that the OP pointed out. You don't need auditory or olfactory cover because such things don't exist as a game concept.

Rogue hides behind stone pillar, super smelling and hearing hunting dog sent from hell with blindsight must make a perception check to find him hiding behind that cover.
 

Minigiant

Villager
To hide from blindsight no matter who or what possesses it you just need cover and to make a stealth skill check. That was the point of the tweet that the OP pointed out. You don't need auditory or olfactory cover because such things don't exist as a game concept.

Rogue hides behind stone pillar, super smelling and hearing hunting dog sent from hell with blindsight must make a perception check to find him hiding behind that cover.
No.
The tweet says the a creature can use cover to hide from another creature who has blindsight.

No where does it state what counts as cover from blindsight.

A giant cannot use a human sized cauldron for visual cover but can use its bubblng and aroma as cover if the ranger was blinded.

Ultimately it is up to the DM was counts as cover from blindsight.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
"Normal "Cover in D&D is visual
I don't think cover has any sense associated necessarily, its just a physical barrier. In invisible wall would still provide total cover even if you can see through for exemple. Visual, audotiry and olfactory are just additional properties based on the sense that could mask, but first and foremost, in order for any obstacle to be visual, audotiry or olfactory cover, it will need to be a cover in the first place and thus provide a bonus to AC and DEX saves.

Masking your odour from grimlocks by standing in some foul-smelling area would not be providing any cover whatsoever as it doesn't protect you in any way. But it would provide an alternate from of obscurement IMO, one olfactory rather than visual.
 
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Paraxis

Villager
No.
The tweet says the a creature can use cover to hide from another creature who has blindsight.

No where does it state what counts as cover from blindsight.

A giant cannot use a human sized cauldron for visual cover but can use its bubblng and aroma as cover if the ranger was blinded.

Ultimately it is up to the DM was counts as cover from blindsight.
Except cover is not just a word, it is an explicit game term.

Cover has it's own meaning in D&D, you can read exactly what it is on page 196 of the PHB.

You might notice that there is not mention of other senses besides sight. When discussing rules it is best to talk about published rules, instead of saying things like "ultimately it is up to the DM" because YES we get it rule 0 and all the other DM Fiat stuff but it hardly adds to a conversation about rules.
 

Thyrwyn

Villager
You might also mention, as I did in the other thread, that blindsight is a subsection of Vision and Light, which deals specifically with obscurement. Blindisight is never mentioned or referenced under the section on Cover.
 

Joe Liker

Villager
So, oddly like it's written in this edition rather than previous editions? Cool.
Why do people keep saying it was different in previous editions? This is exactly how it worked in both 3.5 and 4e -- both editions explicitly required line of effect in order to perceive anything via blindsight.

In editions earlier than that, I don't believe "blindsight" was an officially defined game term.
 

Joe Liker

Villager
Exactly.

"Normal "Cover in D&D is visual

To hide within a bat's blindsight, you need auditory cover.
To hide within a grimlock's blindsight, you need auditory cover and olfactory cover.

To hide from a dragon or a high level ranger, you need auditory cover, olfactory cover, and visual cover.
Thank you for sharing your house rules. I won't be using them.
 

Minigiant

Villager
I don't think cover has any sense associated necessarily, its just a physical barrier. In invisible wall would still provide total cover even if you can see through for exemple. Visual, audotiry and olfactory are just additional properties based on the sense that could mask, but first and foremost, in order for any obstacle to be visual, audotiry or olfactory cover, it will need to be a cover in the first place and thus provide a bonus to AC and DEX saves.

Masking your odour from grimlocks by standing in some foul-smelling area would not be providing any cover whatsoever as it doesn't protect you in any way. But it would provide an alternate from of obscurement IMO, one olfactory rather than visual.
Except cover is not just a word, it is an explicit game term.

Cover has it's own meaning in D&D, you can read exactly what it is on page 196 of the PHB.

You might notice that there is not mention of other senses besides sight. When discussing rules it is best to talk about published rules, instead of saying things like "ultimately it is up to the DM" because YES we get it rule 0 and all the other DM Fiat stuff but it hardly adds to a conversation about rules.
Thank you for sharing your house rules. I won't be using them.
I think I stated it incorrectly.

You can hide from blindsight when in cover.
However, you can only hide from an enemy who cannot perceive you.

The rules only states when you can not be perceived visually except in a few instances.

Therefore while a character can use cover to hide but it is up to the DM to decide if the character is still perceived by its blindsense.

It's like hiding behind a clear glass wall from a NPC who isn't blind.

You don't hide by finding cover. You hide by no longer being perceived.
 

Hriston

Explorer
I think I stated it incorrectly.

You can hide from blindsight when in cover.
However, you can only hide from an enemy who cannot perceive you.

The rules only states when you can not be perceived visually except in a few instances.

Therefore while a character can use cover to hide but it is up to the DM to decide if the character is still perceived by its blindsense.

It's like hiding behind a clear glass wall from a NPC who isn't blind.

You don't hide by finding cover. You hide by no longer being perceived.
This is pretty unambiguous: "A creature can try to hide within blindsight range behind cover." Whether or not you are perceived is taken care of by the stealth check. A creature behind cover does not count as part of the blindsighted creature's surroundings and therefore is not automatically noticed. The creature attempting to hide must still make a successful stealth check as normal. If stealth is successful you can assume that the creature that is attempting to hide is not given away by making a noise, an odor, a vibration, or whatever would alert the blindsense.
 

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