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

Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
No - only Skulkers and Wood Elves can hide in light obscurement. You generally need a specific rule to enable it.
Hold on. You need to be a Wood Elf or have Skulker to attempt to hide while you're only lightly obscured...

But you don't need those features to remain hidden. You can, for instance, hide when you hear footsteps approaching in the shadows (dim light). When you're attempting the hide, you have full cover (because LoS isn't possible) but then they walk into the room and you're still in the shadows. They rely on sight to find you but they can't see you clearly so they use their Perception with disadvantage.

Does this make sense? Being unable to attempt to hide while only lightly obscured, but being able to remain hidden as long as they don't pass their Perception check while you're in dim light?
 

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Iry

Hero
Hold on. You need to be a Wood Elf or have Skulker to attempt to hide while you're only lightly obscured...
But you don't need those features to remain hidden.
Exactly! This kind gentleman and scholar phrases it much better than I could.

"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."

"Once you are no longer hidden, your opponents will know where you are so they no longer have to guess where to attack. But if you can still not be seen (if you are invisible, for example), attack rolls against you have disadvantage, and your attack rolls still have advantage."
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Where are people getting the idea that you can remain hidden when you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area from? I mean obviously the conditions required for hiding are explicitly up to the DM and I don’t think it’s an unreasonable ruling to make. But I’m not aware of any rules specifically suggesting this ruling.
 

Iry

Hero
Where are people getting the idea that you can remain hidden when you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area from? I mean obviously the conditions required for hiding are explicitly up to the DM and I don’t think it’s an unreasonable ruling to make. But I’m not aware of any rules specifically suggesting this ruling.
The condition for ending the Hidden state is being seen clearly.
Partial Cover / Light Obscurement is not being seen clearly by definition (it's obscured sight).
The DM has enormous control over what circumstances provoke a Perception check from the enemies, though.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
Your logic seems sound, but could you provide an example of a situation where Bob’s cloak does impose disadvantage on Terry’s perception check? Cause I find it difficult to picture such a situation under this interpretation.
I believe that the cloak's meaning is that if a creature is using sight alone to try and find you - as when you are crouched motionless in long grass and have Mask of the Wild - then they have disadvantage. If they can engage another sense, they no longer have disadvantage.

It's badly worded, and perhaps is intended to be more powerful than that. EDIT and of course in some of the conditions that Mask of the Wild and Skulker permitting hiding, Wisdom (Perception) is at disadvantage anyway!
 

You cannot Hide in light obscurement. You can remain hidden in light obscurement.
No, you cant.

Not without a special rule such as Mask of the Wild, or the DM's permission (the creature is looking the other way etc).

The rules are clear, if you leave heavy obscurement or total cover, you instantly cease being hidden.
 

I believe that the cloak's meaning is that if a creature is using sight alone to try and find you - as when you are crouched motionless in long grass and have Mask of the Wild

The cloaks perception penalty still would not apply.

The crouched and silent Elf with the cloak is Hidden. Hidden is defined as 'unseen and unheard' so ne penalty to Perception to find them.

Otherwise an Elf in plain sight is harder to spot (disadvantage) that one that is totally invisible (no disadvantage).
 

Hold on. You need to be a Wood Elf or have Skulker to attempt to hide while you're only lightly obscured...

But you don't need those features to remain hidden.

Yes, you do.

If you lack the requirements to be hidden (generally total cover or heavy obscurement) you cease being hidden - just as if you make a noise while hidden as well.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
The cloaks perception penalty still would not apply.

The crouched and silent Elf with the cloak is Hidden. Hidden is defined as 'unseen and unheard' so ne penalty to Perception to find them.

Otherwise an Elf in plain sight is harder to spot (disadvantage) that one that is totally invisible (no disadvantage).
Not quite. The elf could have instead been moving quietly, out of sight. Having made their Dexterity (Stealth) check, they are unseen and unheard... even if they are moving. The paradoxical thing about stealth (and one of the hesitations you can see in the design choices) is that this is different from just magical fiat unseen and unheard: it has a threshold.

Say they rolled 15, and they are out of sight. Creature A with passive Perception 14 can't hear them. Creature B with passive Perception 15 can hear them, and thus knows their location.

The only time it would be possible to locate a creature with sight alone would be if it was not out of sight - i.e. in connection with Mask of the Wild or Skulker - and in such circumstances the searcher is very often going to have disadvantage anyway. I think your long grass example offers one of the few cases where the second function of the cloak itself might matter.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
Otherwise an Elf in plain sight is harder to spot (disadvantage) that one that is totally invisible (no disadvantage).
That's kind of problematic, isn't it.

The lightly obscured elf is noticeable using sight and sound, the one that is totally invisible is only noticeable using sound. Ordinarily, the second function of the cloak doesn't matter.

But what if they both stop moving so that they can be noticed by sight alone? The invisible elf can't be seen - no check can find them - while the skulking elf can still be seen, albeit at disadvantage.

Sound right?
 

Iry

Hero
No, you cant.
Not without a special rule such as Mask of the Wild, or the DM's permission (the creature is looking the other way etc).
The rules are clear, if you leave heavy obscurement or total cover, you instantly cease being hidden.
The condition for ending the Hidden state is being seen clearly.
Partial Cover / Light Obscurement is not being seen clearly by definition (it's obscured sight).
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
The condition for ending the Hidden state is being seen clearly.
Partial Cover / Light Obscurement is not being seen clearly by definition (it's obscured sight).
"In combat, most creatures stay alert for signs of danger all around, so if you come out of hiding and approach a creature, it usually sees you. However, under certain circumstances, the DM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted, allowing you to gain advantage on an attack roll before you are seen."

It's left up to the DM, but has nothing to do with being obscured necessarily. I can't currently find text that directly supports what you say. Can you point to it?
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
The condition for ending the Hidden state is being seen clearly.
Partial Cover / Light Obscurement is not being seen clearly by definition (it's obscured sight).
Oh right - I think you are referring to this -

"You can't hide from a creature that can see you clearly, and you give away your position if you make noise, such as shouting a warning or knocking over a vase. An invisible creature can always try to hide. Signs of its passage might still be noticed, and it does have to stay quiet."

I've always understood that as literally and simply true. Only applying to becoming hidden in the first place, not staying hidden. I can see why you might take it the way you do.
 

The condition for ending the Hidden state is being seen clearly.
Partial Cover / Light Obscurement is not being seen clearly by definition (it's obscured sight).
No dude, that requires an interpretation of [being unable to be seen clearly] = [light obscurement].

Such an interpretation makes the Mask of the Wild feature, Skulker feat and similar abilities totally redundant, so it's obviously the wrong interpretation.

What being 'unable to be seen clearly enough' means is a person behind total cover peering around the cover and similar can Hide (and remain hidden). It doesnt mean a person can Hide (or remain hidden) in a dimly lit room with no cover to hide behind.

You cant move from behind a pillar, to behind another pillar 20' away in dim light under direct observation, and remain hidden as you move.
 
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Not quite. The elf could have instead been moving quietly, out of sight.
Of course he is. If the Elf is hiding (or hidden), that's exactly what he's doing.

A hidden elf is (by definition) unseen and unheard. Ergo the Cloaks ability to impose disadvantage to perception checks specifically relying on sight does not apply.
 

Unless the DM rules otherwise:

1) You can only Hide (and remain hidden) if you are behind total cover, or heavy obscurement and unable to be seen clearly.
2) Light obscurement does not count as being unable to be seen clearly. If it did, then Mask of the Wild and Skulker feat do nothing and are redundant.

A creature hidden behind (but peering around from) a pillar in a dimly lit room, who leaves that hiding spot, to move to another pillar 30' away while under direct observation, instantly ceases being hidden when he leaves his hiding spot.

If you assert otherwise, you're reading the rules wrong.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Supporter
Of course he is. If the Elf is hiding (or hidden), that's exactly what he's doing.

A hidden elf is (by definition) unseen and unheard. Ergo the Cloaks ability to impose disadvantage to perception checks specifically relying on sight does not apply.
So where that runs into a glitch for me is this - "Wisdom (Perception) checks made to see you have disadvantage" - must be oriented toward what is going to happen, not the current state. So the Wisdom (Perception) check that I make is one that is going to see or hear the hidden creature, if it beats their Stealth.

By your reading it seems to be impossible to attempt to see or hear a hidden creature because they can't be seen or heard. By my reading, we're talking about what is going to happen if the check is successful. I am going to see the creature if my sight-based check is successful (assuming they are not in total cover).
 

@Iry

Scenario:

A creature (C) stands inside a dimly lit room looking directly through a dimly lit doorway and down a dimly lit hallway, leading to another distant room (that is full of magical darkness). C has no way to see into the darkness.

A Ninja (N) is hiding in the darkened room (in a corner).

room.png


N decides to walk down the dimly lit hallway towards C, who is staring straight down that hallway.

Is it your position that N can remain hidden from C as he walks down that hallway under direct observation, without the Skulker feat, or similar special ability?
 

So where that runs into a glitch for me is this - "Wisdom (Perception) checks made to see you have disadvantage" - must be oriented toward what is going to happen, not the current state.
No, it is to be read as plain English.

Is the Perception check a check to SEE the creature, and the answer is 'No'. It's a Perception check to notice the location of the creature, using several different senses.
 

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