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D&D 5E Cloak of Elvenkind - Advantage to Stealth AND -5 to passive perception?

Iry

Hero
No, Im expressly allowing it. Have said so twice.

I just assert your base reading of the rules is wrong, and I disagree with your arbitration of those rules which results in absurdities like a creature in heavy rain being hidden., despite being unable to hide in heavy rain, and being stared straight at, and despite the rules stating 'if you come out of hiding and approach a creature, it sees you'.
No. You've expressly forbidden me from using DM arbitration, far more than twice. Far more. The consequence of your own declaration is that everyone is visible at all times without error or exception, provided they are not in heavy obscurement / total cover. By enforcing the lack of DM arbitration so fervently, you've created a situation of blatantly superhuman eyeballs. Constantly. :ROFLMAO:

Far more.
 

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clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
That being said, I personally think @Flamestrike's reading of the text is the stronger one. I just don't think the rules were written narrowly enough to preclude @Iry's interpretation.
What do you think of the mooted distinction between the literal "can try to hide" (skulker) and "can attempt to hide" (mask of the wild), and the implied "can hide" (hiding)?

Which I assume is what the blogger "Ronny" derives their ruling from, i.e. "If you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area you can try to continue to hide but the creatures you are hiding from get a Wisdom (Perception) check to detect you." Perhaps they discovered it was too strong to do just as the words suggest (per their reading) and felt obliged to add in the check?
 

Iry

Hero
Which I assume is what the blogger "Ronny" derives their ruling from, i.e. "If you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area you can try to continue to hide but the creatures you are hiding from get a Wisdom (Perception) check to detect you." Perhaps they discovered it was too strong to do just as the words suggest (per their reading) and felt obliged to add in the check?
@Flamestrike 's debate parameters aside, this is exactly the way I run it at my table.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
What do you think of the mooted distinction between the literal "can try to hide" (skulker) and "can attempt to hide" (mask of the wild), and the implied "can hide" (hiding)?
I'm not @Xetheral , but I don't think there is one, which is probably clear from my posts up-thread. Anyone can attempt to do a thing, but saying in the rules that you can try or attempt to do something implies that you can make the attempt with some chance of doing the thing successfully and also implies that others who are not you generally can't. If you don't have a chance of doing a thing successfully under certain (inapropriate) circumstances, then you certainly can't expect to continue doing that thing successfully under those same circumstances.

Which I assume is what the blogger "Ronny" derives their ruling from, i.e. "If you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area you can try to continue to hide but the creatures you are hiding from get a Wisdom (Perception) check to detect you." Perhaps they discovered it was too strong to do just as the words suggest (per their reading) and felt obliged to add in the check?
Didn’t they already get a check to detect you which they failed, and which is presumably why you're still hidden?
 

What do you think of the mooted distinction between the literal "can try to hide" (skulker) and "can attempt to hide" (mask of the wild), and the implied "can hide" (hiding)?

Which I assume is what the blogger "Ronny" derives their ruling from, i.e. "If you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area you can try to continue to hide but the creatures you are hiding from get a Wisdom (Perception) check to detect you." Perhaps they discovered it was too strong to do just as the words suggest (per their reading) and felt obliged to add in the check?
If you can't hide somewhere you can't be hidden there.

Thr only way a creature can be hidden somewhere they can't hide is when their opponent is distracted (looking the other way) and as soon as he turns his head and looks in your general direction, youre automatically no longer hidden.

Like - you can hide in bright daylight if you can (DMs call) sneak up behind someone. Ditto in dim light.

But you can't walk down a hallway under direct observation in dim light and remain hidden unless you have a special ability that lets you do so
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
If you can't hide somewhere you can't be hidden there.
I want to draw a distinction between what you might find descriptively plausible, and what is logically possible. It is logically possible to arrange things so that the set of locations an entity can transition from a non-hidden to hidden state in, is smaller than the set of locations that entity can remain in a hidden state in. It's easy to see that - logically - those locations don't even have to overlap.

Remember that I am not arguing for descriptive plausibility. We're discussing a game system: if we want entities in that system to be able to remain hidden in locations that they cannot become hidden in, nothing stops us.

But you can't walk down a hallway under direct observation in dim light and remain hidden unless you have a special ability that lets you do so
That special case is a clue into the possibility of the general case. Imagine a very particular type of wood elf - lignum elves, say - who cannot attempt to hide when lightly obscured, but if they are already hidden they are allowed to remain hidden unless their stealth check is beaten by a possible observer's perception.

EDIT You would agree that lignum elves are possible in 5e, right? Even if they don't exist in your game.
 

I want to draw a distinction between what you might find descriptively plausible, and what is logically possible.
Im talking about the rules, as interpreted though logic
It is logically possible to arrange things so that the set of locations an entity can transition from a non-hidden to hidden state in, is smaller than the set of locations that entity can remain in a hidden state in. It's easy to see that - logically - those locations don't even have to overlap.
No, there is no overlap.

You cant hide in dim light alone without the DM ruling the observer is 'distracted' or you have some special ability to do so. That's RAW and is accepted by @Iry

Any attempt you make to Hide in such circumstances fails because your opponent can see you.

That being the case, and the creature is NOT distracted, and you lack any special ability enabling you to hide in low light, explain to me how you can be hidden in low light when you cant hide there in the first place due to being seen?

Remember 'creatures are assumed to be aware of their surroundings, and if you come out of somewhere you can hide (and are hidden) and approach a creature, it sees you (unless the DM rules it is looking the other way).'

That special case is a clue into the possibility of the general case. Imagine a very particular type of wood elf - lignum elves, say - who cannot attempt to hide when lightly obscured, but if they are already hidden they are allowed to remain hidden unless their stealth check is beaten by a possible observer's perception.
And if those Elves existed, they could do it because they have an exception to the rule that lets them remain hidden.

As it stands there is no such 'remain hidden' vs 'hiding' distinction in the game, because the game uses plain English, and follows standard logic that if you cant Hide inn a particular set of circumstances, you cant remain hidden there either (because you couldn't hide in the first place).

It's like swimming in solid stone. The game doesnt need to detail what happens when you swim in solid stone, because you cant swim in solid stone, unless you have some kind of specific rule that lets you.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
What do you think of the mooted distinction between the literal "can try to hide" (skulker) and "can attempt to hide" (mask of the wild), and the implied "can hide" (hiding)?

Which I assume is what the blogger "Ronny" derives their ruling from, i.e. "If you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area you can try to continue to hide but the creatures you are hiding from get a Wisdom (Perception) check to detect you." Perhaps they discovered it was too strong to do just as the words suggest (per their reading) and felt obliged to add in the check?
Personally, I don't read the rules as creating a distinction between hiding and staying hidden. If the designers had intended such a distinction it would have been really straightforward to do so explicitly, using language similar to the blog you quoted. That they didn't do so I consider strong persuasive evidence that such a distinction wasn't intended.

That said, the designers have been explicit that the stealth rules are vague on purpose, and I think it's plausible that the designers could have intentionally written the rules broadly enough to permit the DM to make such a distinction. I don't see any evidence suggesting that they actually had such a distinction in mind, but it's certainly possible.

Also, given that @Iry and the blogger you quoted (and others over years of discussing the stealth rules) have inferred from the rules a distinction between hiding and remaining hidden, evidently the rules can indeed be read as creating such an inference, even though I don't think that's the strongest reading.

Ergo, whether the possibility for the distinction was created deliberately by the designers, or is simply a side effect of the fact that deliberately vague rules can be read a multitude of ways, I don't think it's reasonable to conclude that @Iry's approach is contradicted by the text.
 

Rabulias

Adventurer
I still go back and forth on this, and I think I would have to rule on a case-by-case basis based on the situation.

As for the "initiating hiding" vs "remaining hidden" distinction, I kinda see it, and I am trying to find a rough analogy. Like a steady rain that makes it impossible to light a fire, but a fire that is already lit (and tended) can be kept burning. Or trying to fly across a river wearing a wingsuit. If I am on flat ground at the edge of the river, I can't do it. But if I walk up the mountain a mile away from the river and jump off the top, I can fly across the river with no problem. It's like momentum, in a way. Your skill makes the transition from darkness to light obscurement less jarring, less obvious. Surely there's a better analogy out there.
 

I still go back and forth on this, and I think I would have to rule on a case-by-case basis based on the situation.

Thats the intent in the rules though; no-one is arguing otherwise ('the DM determines when circumstances are OK for hiding').

My position is this.

N (creature without Skulker or similar ability) is in darkness. C is also present (has darkvision 60'). N is 50' away from C, and within the range of C's darkvision, and thus N is treated as if they were in dim light.

1) N cannot hide from C unless the DM rules C is sufficiently distracted (i.e. looking the other way, and thus effectively blinded with respect to N). N can try to Hide (via the Hide action if actions matter, by standing there for a few seconds totally quiet while C stares at him), but all such attempts automatically fail (for obvious reasons).

2) N can move outside of the range of Cs darkvision, and into the darkness (total obscurement) 10' behind him, and attempt to Hide once heavily obscured (again using the Hide action if actions matter).

3) If N becomes hidden in the Darkness, and then re-enters Cs Darkvision range of 60' and approaches C, N is automatically discovered by C, because C is assumed to be observing the area sufficiently enough to spot N as soon as N emerges from the darkness into an area he cannot hide in (dim light), unless the DM rules C is 'sufficiently distracted' and looking the other way.

4) If the DM rules C is looking the other way, but C is otherwise alert and listening for hidden enemies (i.e. searching) and looking around (but not behind him) he can make a Perception check to detect N as N moves up behind him (effectively, C is taking the Search action).

5) If the DM rules C is looking the other way, and C is also not alert (he's busy reading a map or taking other actions), he is not taking the Search action, and unless N does something to reveal himself, or the situation otherwise changes, N can sneak up behind C and stab C in the back.

Note that the general rule is that N is automatically discovered as soon as he enters the range of C's darkvision. The circumstances might dictate otherwise, and call for a DM ruling (C's player might have told the DM he is expressly looking the other way to the direction from which N is approaching him or similar), but the general rule of automatic detection holds in most cases.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
Ergo, whether the possibility for the distinction was created deliberately by the designers, or is simply a side effect of the fact that deliberately vague rules can be read a multitude of ways, I don't think it's reasonable to conclude that @Iry's approach is contradicted by the text.
That's about where I land. The wording contains wriggle room. For me the pre-errata text was - ironically - clearer!
 

That's about where I land. The wording contains wriggle room. For me the pre-errata text was - ironically - clearer!
That wriggle room is addressed by:

1) The wording of the rule of 'The DM determines when hiding is OK'

and

2) Common sense.

@Irys interpretation results in a situation where a (hidden) Orc can walk down a hallway, while under direct observation by a creature with darkvision at the end of that hallway, and remain hidden right up until touching that creature on the nose.

His interpretation also requires one to accept that is is possible to be unable to hide in certain conditions, but also being able to be hidden those exact same conditions, which is equally absurd.

It's an interpretation to be rejected, in favor of common sense, and a clear reading of the specific rule of 'If you're hidden, and enter an area you cant hide in and approach a creature, it sees you unless its distracted (DMs call on distracted as there are no rules on facing in 5E)'
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
That wriggle room is addressed by:

1) The wording of the rule of 'The DM determines when hiding is OK'
Also the word "clearly".

For me, a situation where observers have disadvantage on their sight-based perception checks is plausibly a situation where the subjects of their observation are seen unclearly. QED.

2) Common sense.
Which this thread robustly shows can mean different things to different groups.

I understand how you run hiding when lightly obscured, and your motives for doing so. I run things a similar way for my group. I can still see why others might run it differently - and with more justice than simply "I'm the DM".
 

Also the word "clearly".

For me, a situation where observers have disadvantage on their sight-based perception checks is plausibly a situation where the subjects of their observation are seen unclearly. QED.
If that was the case, then creatures could also hide in dim light, (you cant be seen clearly remember) which creatures cant do.

So clearly you're wrong.

You cant hide in dim light (barring some special rule that lets you, or the ruling of the DM that your target is looking the other way, in which the light situation doesnt matter at all).

Nor can you remain hidden in dim light, again unless you have some special rule that lets you, or the DM has ruled your target is looking the other way (again - in which case the light situation doesnt matter at all).

I understand how you run hiding when lightly obscured.
Yeah, by the rules.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
If that was the case, then creatures could also hide in dim light, (you cant be seen clearly remember) which creatures cant do.

So clearly you're wrong.
That for me is the mystery in @Iry's RAI. Were I interpreting along similar lines, I would conclude that creatures can hide in dim light. That forces an exacting - and I think unsatisfying - reading of skulker and mask of the wild. In turn requiring to-hide and hidden to be separate things.

Unsatisfying, but not "wrong". Or at least, not wrong at the tables of those who apply that particular line of reasoning.

Yeah, by the rules.
Something I've noticed here and in a few other threads (one on climbing, one on resting) is that when the rules admit more than one reading, there can be more than one way of playing by them. I would call your interpretation the stronger - I prefer it - but it doesn't have an exclusive claim to be playing "by the rules".

That's really what interests me most in this discussion. The meaning of an RPG rule is arrived at normatively, and local norms have the final say. I think what posters are doing when they reiterate (disputed) claims to the high-ground, is really a normative performance. Through careful laying out of arguments, and repetition, the idea is to influence others to see their interpretation as the normal one.

Once a reader accepts a version as normal, it seems that it becomes really hard for them to see how the other version could even be arrived at, because they have rejected that the words could even have the meanings needed to reach it. Perhaps that speaks to needs of language: the need to insist on valencies between words and meaning.
 

Something I've noticed here and in a few other threads (one on climbing, one on resting) is that when the rules admit more than one reading, there can be more than one way of playing by them. I would call your interpretation the stronger - I prefer it - but it doesn't have an exclusive claim to be playing "by the rules".
Im talking about the rule that states when a creature leaves somewhere they can and are hidden in (darkness for example, or total cover) and enter somewhere they cannot hide (bright light, or dim light without the skulker feat) and approach a creature, that creature automatically notices the other creature UNLESS the DM rules the observer is not looking at the creature, by virtue of some distraction.

Again (for the seventh time now) - @Iry posits that a creature (lacking Skulker but already hidden in darkness further away) does not automatically reveal themselves when entering a dimly lit hallway (a hallway a second creature that is not distracted and is intently staring down), with the first creature being able to walk down that hallway under direct observation, and touch the second creature on the nose, unless the second creature makes a Perception check.

Barring some special rule such a thing is (RAW) impossible. The RAW states that when you come out of hiding and approach a creature it sees you, unless (DMs call) it is 'distracted', which the second creature, is not.

The creature looking down the hallway instantly notices a man shaped form emerging from the darkness, and into the dimly lit hallway.

That's really what interests me most in this discussion. The meaning of an RPG rule is arrived at normatively, and local norms have the final say.

Yeah but 'this is how it works at my table/ under my rulings' isnt really relevant to a discussion on how it's intended to work.
 

Again (for the seventh time now) - @Iry posits that a creature (lacking Skulker but already hidden in darkness further away) does not automatically reveal themselves when entering a dimly lit hallway (a hallway a second creature that is not distracted and is intently staring down), with the first creature being able to walk down that hallway under direct observation, and touch the second creature on the nose, unless the second creature makes a Perception check.

Barring some special rule such a thing is (RAW) impossible. The RAW states that when you come out of hiding and approach a creature it sees you, unless (DMs call) it is 'distracted', which the second creature, is not.

The creature looking down the hallway instantly notices a man shaped form emerging from the darkness, and into the dimly lit hallway.
I'm curious. Do you use perception checks to notice things in your game?
 

I'm curious. Do you use perception checks to notice things in your game?

When a PC takes the Search action (if actions are important) and is actively looking for a hidden thing, then yes. Otherwise its Passive Perception.

With hidden creatures/ hiding and Perception checks, a creature wanting to Hide:
  1. Must be in a place where they can Hide (generally heavily obscured, or total cover or similar, unless the DM rules the creature they're trying to hide from is looking the other way and 'distracted' and thus unable to see them clearly)
  2. Must by trying to hide (via the Hide action, if action economy is important) by being quiet, keeping their head down, concealing signs of their presence, and staying in their opponents 'blind spot' if hiding from a 'distracted' creature.
  3. Must roll Stealth higher than the Passive Perception of any relevant nearby observer in order to be hidden relative to that observer.
  4. Once hidden, must not give away their position by doing anything that reveals them automatically (calling out, moving out from their hiding position and approaching the observer (unless the observer is 'distracted'), making an attack etc)
  5. As long as they're hidden and do not reveal themselves, they remain hidden until the nearby observer takes the Search action, and rolls higher than the Stealth check result of the hidden creature with a Perception check, or otherwise does something to reveal them (disintegrates their cover, ceases being 'distracted', or turns the lights on etc)
Broadly speaking, unless a DM rules it's a special case, you need something to hide in (total cover or heavy obscurement), the Hide action, and a successful Stealth check to Hide. Once hidden you remain hidden until and unless you do something to reveal yourself automatically, and as long as your opponent does not attempt to find you via the Search action, or attempts the Search action and fails its Perception vs your Stealth check result, or doesnt get lucky and reveal you by accident.
 

When a PC takes the Search action (if actions are important) and is actively looking for a hidden thing, then yes. Otherwise its Passive Perception.
What about someone with very low passive perception? I think the lowest you can get is 3 Wisdom, so -4. Then disadvantage from passive perception. That makes a passive perception of (10-4-5) = 1. Does he also notice someone moving in dim light?
 

What about someone with very low passive perception? I think the lowest you can get is 3 Wisdom, so -4. Then disadvantage from passive perception. That makes a passive perception of (10-4-5) = 1. Does he also notice someone moving in dim light?

The -5 to Perception in dim light only applies to Perception checks to see stuff. It doesn't apply to Perception checks (or passive perception) generally (which rely on all 5 senses).

Him searching for a hidden creature doesnt incur the -5/ Disadvantage to Perception because he is not relying solely on sight (and in fact a hidden creature often cant be seen at all).

And 'yes'. He notices non hidden things within the range of his vision automatically (doors, trees, people, walls, chairs etc). That said, its dead easy for those non hidden things in his vision to become hidden (as long as there is something to hide behind) and if they are hidden creatures or are concealed objects, it's insanely hard for him to find them.
 

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