5E DM Help! My rogue always spams Hide as a bonus action, and i cant target him!

Plaguescarred

Villager
Here's the ingame situation I have in mind: it is snowing; a wood elf is standing in the snow, being observed by a human (let's say they're even conversing); and then the player of the wood elf (be that player or GM) declares "I am going to try and hide from the human."

Is that action declaration permissible per se? Does it automatically fail, because the elf is under observation?

My sense of this discussion is that Plaguescarred, @Maxperson, @Harzel, @Uller, and probably one or two others I've left out, thing the answer is "Yes, it is permissible per se; and does not automatically fail, and permits the player of the elf to make a DEX check to remain unseen and unheard."
Yes and the Sage Advice too, as it didn't say no to the question of wether the elf and the halfling could try to hid ewhile observed.

My question is - what happens, in the ficion, to constitute the attempt to hide? The human can already see the elf through the snow - what changes so that the human can no longer do this? Does the snow get heavier? Does it suddenly blow into the human's face, briefly blinding him/her? It's all very well to say that the elf "blinks out of the radar", but how? Why? What has happened, in the fiction, to bring this result about?
Nothing blow in the observer's face when an elf, halfling or Skulker feat user hide while they can be seen. All of them require something to conceal them, even partially, so the observer will loose track of them behind or into the source of concealment and stop being informed by its sense (sight, noise smell etc) of it's location.

Plaguescarred, if you think the answer is camouflage, what is happening in the fiction at the moment the action is declared, such that the non-camouflaged elf suddenly becomes camouflaged? (The reason I thought of chameleon-like camouflage is because that seemed the most obvious answer I could think of.)[FONT=Helvetica Neue, Segoe UI, Helvetica, Arial, Lucida Grande, sans-serif] [/FONT]Can the elf, in effect, use a supernatural ability at will while in the snow?
The DM can describe in the fiction how mechanically someone observed suddenly become unseen, unheard and it's location unknown in any way it feels right for it, if it want to explain it more as supernatural or simply camouflage the important is that the elf blend in it's surrounding as the observer loose track of him.

Same for an halfling or Skulker feat user.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
That's right. I don't read Mask of the Wild as some limited form of invisibility. It gives the wood elf an additional circumstance in which to hide the same way in which all other characters can hide in a heavily obscured area, i.e. subject to the restriction that she can't hide under circumstances in which her location is known (seen clearly, making noise, etc.).
Naturally Stealthy, Mask of the Wild and the Skulker feat are exceptions to the general rules that you can't hide when seen, by letting them hide while observed. Again the don't rules prevent you some trying to hide when it's location is known, in fact someone's location is always known before it does since it's hiding that makes your location unknown! What the rules require is you to not be seen clearly. These feat or features specifically let you hide regardless.

If what you said was true, it would be additional meaningless conditions because if an elf or halfling needed to be concealed by a bigger creature or natural phenomenon in addition to not being seen in order try to hide, the feature would be useless since everyone can already do so when not seen!

It would make it harder for them to hide when using these features than it normally is by requiring additional conditions! :D
 

pemerton

Legend
I think it is hard to claim or to expect that there aren't quite a few places that there will be dissociation (undesirable as it may be)
Generally when I post I try to be sincere, because it's a strained enough medium as it is without too much irony or double meanings.

But in this case I was being a bit sarcastic - I'm in the camp that thinks the whole "dissociated mechanics" panic is nonsense (see eg this old and epic thread). But there are better and worse metagame mechanics, and ones that do or don't make sense within the bigger system. I think that 5e's stat check system is generally meant to be non-metagame - the stat checks correlate, at least broadly, to actions the character is performing in the fiction; and the correlation is meant to be reflected in the stat being checked. (So eg a DEX check should involve somehow being quick or nimble or . . . )

So I don't think it's that good a fit, in 5e, for the DEX check associated with a wood elf hiding in snow to correlate to something, in the fiction, that doesn't involve being nimble (like, say, suddenly conjuring a curtain of snow or rain).

Which takes me to the following:

An ordinary person in heavier snow (i.e. enough to provide heavy obscurement) can't be seen, and is thus eligible to take the hide action under my interpretation of the hiding rules.

I was merely trying to answer your question regarding what is happening in the fiction at my table when a wood elf takes the hide action while being observed. Does my answer make sense to you? (I can't tell from your response.)
It doesn't quite make sense, not because it's incoherent or contradictory - not at all! - but because I feel it's incomplete. I can't work out what your mental picture is, and so I can't quite construct my own clear mental picture.

In the ordinary case, the person who steps out his/her front door into the heavily obscuring snowstorm is ipso facto unable to be seen - because the snowstorm makes vision impossible (let's bracket the case of the person 1" away, say a prone character above whom the person in question is standing - that's a corner case I wouldn't expect the rules to handle smoothly without some common-sense adjudication). So attempting to hide just means making no noise.

But the elf who is being observed through the lightly obscuring snowstorm, and then, subsequently to being observed, decides to hide - what does s/he do? Turn sideways and disappear behind the snow? I can't quite see how it works. Whereas the idea that, if unobserved, s/he can then step out into the snow and no one looking for him/her (who fails the WIS check) will see him/her - that I can make sense of. Because nature cloaks the elf, the lightly obscuring snow is enough to conceal her from casual sight (ie anything short of a successful WIS check vs the DEX check).

I guess I'm drawing a distinction between not being noticed, or easily able to be noticed and vanishing while under immediate observation. Which is my attempt to make sense of the words on p 60, that you can't attempt to hide from a creature that can see you clearly. I think if you've spotted the elf, you can see him/her clearly enough that the lightly obscuring snow won't help.

Actually, I hadn't made up my mind, and think that I still haven't.

<snip>

Somehow, I find your and @Hriston's explanations quite intuitively convincing and yet intellectually, I can't quite make sense of it.
OK, sorry to have wrongly imputed an opinion to you.

As I hope comes through in my posts, I'm not 100% sure what the best way to think about it is. My thinking on these issues is heavily influenced by 4e (which I know some will say is a problem!), but 4e doesn't approach all these things in quite the same way as 5e (eg it is more likely to "solve" the issue by giving a "fiat" ability that allows becoming invisible, or allows an already-hidden character to remain hidden despite breaching the normal requirements - it doesn't rely as heavily as 5e does upon using the basic stat/skill mechanics to handle these somewhat supernatural/fey cases).

Wood elf in snow storm, being directly observed. Observer turns away. I assume you will now allow the elf to attempt to hide. If so, let's say the elf rolls well enough to beat the observer's passive Perception, but does not move from her location. The observer now turns back and looks at the location where he last saw the elf (fully expecting her to be there). I assume you will rule, though, that the elf is now hidden.
That seems right. I think [MENTION=6787503]Hriston[/MENTION] agrees (Hriston, I got you wrong once upthread - sorry if I've done so again!).

This is similar (I think) to the case where the elf, who is not observed, steps out of his/her front door into a lightly obscuring snowstorm and the observer sees the front door open but doesn't see the elf, because nature is cloaking him/her.

I think this is what the elf's ability permits that a normal person can't succesfully attempt.

Wood elf in snow storm, being directly observed. Observer does not turn away. My understanding is that you will not allow the elf to attempt to hide (or will rule that the attempt automatically fails). Yet there is nothing to prevent the elf in the fiction from taking exactly the same actions (whatever they were) that the elf did in (1), so I assert that she does so.

At this point Observer #1 and Observer #2 have exactly the same (external) stimuli impinging on their senses. And yet their perceptions are different. Since they have had different experiences, this is by no means impossible, but I wonder if you could just briefly explain the perceptual psychology of what has gone on here.
I think this is helping me make sense of [MENTION=6701422]Plaguescarred[/MENTION]'s reference to camouflage, upthread (although, judging from post 441, we are still seeing the ingame situation and its rules/mechanical correlate a bit differently).

In the two scenarios, the observers have the same immediate stimuli but different histories. This goes back to [MENTION=413]Uller[/MENTION]'s example of the keys: when I can't see my keys hidden among clutter on the bench, and then suddenly notice them, nothing has changed about the external stimuli. But something has changed in my perceptual cognition. (I'm a philosopher but not a scientist or psychologist, so I'm not going to try and push the analysis any harder than that.)

So observer 2 has a different cognitive/perceptual history from observer 1 - s/he has not only had the elf in sight the whole time, but has knowingly done so, and been able to keep track of him/her.

I don't doubt that a good stage magician can put down some keys and make them disappear in the clutter - but at least to my amateur understanding, the magician does this by distracting me, by making me take my eyes off the keys even for a split-second. In terms of the 5e hiding rules, this would be an example of distraction, as mentioned on p 60. In practical D&D terms, perhaps the elf is a wizard and has his/her familiar make a noise or otherwise engage in some performance that distracts the observer, allowing him/her to make the check - in those circusmtances maybe the familiar should make a CHA check (vs WIS/insight, and if the check fails the opposed WIS/perception check has advantage).

But without that distraction, the chance to establish the camouflage isn't there, because of observer 2's different perceptual history and hence different cognitive state, when compared to observer 1.

As an aside, I have another separate, but related, issue. In (1), while the observer is turned away and before the elf has tried to hide, I think it can be reasonably said that the observer "knows the location of" the elf - he believes her to be at a certain place and he is objectively correct. However, if we accept that knowing the location of a creature means that it cannot be hidden from you, then as soon as the elf has succeeded at hiding the observer no longer "knows the location of" the elf, because if he did, then she would not be hidden. This despite the fact that the elf's location has not changed and nothing relevant in the observer's brain has changed. Again, I am not claiming that this is impossible, but it seems that it must involve an interesting definition of "hidden" and/or "knows the location of". I would be interested to see definitions that help this make sense.
There have been a couple of posts on this. I posted on it at 413 upthread, contrasting "knowing" in the sense of "believing based on inference eg from memory, or from a reliable informant" vs "knowing in virtue of perceptual access". Observer 1 was perceiving, then turns away and therefore ceases to perceive, then turns back and still believes (and believes truly) on the basis of memory, but no longer has immediate perceptual access.

I think this is important, not primarily from the rules terminology point of view but from the point of view of making sense of the fiction. It's like playing an "eye spy" or "Where's Wally" game (I have young-ish children and so do that from time-to-time) - you can find the blue plastic astronaut in the photo filled with all sorts of paraphenelia, and then look up to tell someone else that you found it, and then look back down and remember more-or-less where you saw it but still have some trouble picking it out.

Of course, practice makes it easier to re-establish the perceptual access on the basis of these sorts of reliable memories - in mechanical terms, this is what I take a good WIS and/or proficiency in Perception to correspond to.
 

pemerton

Legend
If what you said was true, it would be additional meaningless conditions because if an elf or halfling needed to be concealed by a bigger creature or natural phenomenon in addition to not being seen in order try to hide, the feature would be useless since everyone can already do so when not seen!

It would make it harder for them to hide when using these features than it normally is by requiring additional conditions!
I don't follow this.

As [MENTION=6787503]Hriston[/MENTION] is reading the elf's ability, the elf can step out from behind a building into a lightly obscuring snowstorm and attempt to hide. Whereas an ordinary person will be seen. For other examples (eg using one's familiar to create a distraction), see my post just upthread of this one.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
I don't follow this.

As @Hriston is reading the elf's ability, the elf can step out from behind a building into a lightly obscuring snowstorm and attempt to hide. Whereas an ordinary person will be seen. For other examples (eg using one's familiar to create a distraction), see my post just upthread of this one.
Anyone stepping out from behind a building and going into a lightly obscured snowstorm will be seen, the wild elf included. Only heavily obscurement doesn't let others see you. A wild elf in such a natural phenomenon doesn't benefit from Unseen Attackers & Targets, it's still seen. All Mask of the Wild does is allow it to try to hide when you normally can't due to being seen.

And then while lightly obscured (and still visible), the elf can attempt to hide, even while observed! That is what the features and the Sage Advice says it does.
 
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pemerton

Legend
Anyone stepping out from behind a building and going into a lightly obscured snowstorm will be seen, the wild elf included.
Not if the wild elf's player succeeds at a DEX check opposed by observer's Perception numbers. In that case, s/he will be hidden and hence unseen.

Only heavily obscurement doesn't let others see you.
Being hidden also means that others don't see you. That's the main point of being hidden. (That's not to say that their gaze doesn't pass over you. But they don't notice/register you.)

All Mask of the Wild does is allow it to try to hide when you normally can't due to being seen.

And then while lightly obscured (and still visible), the elf can attempt to hide, even while observed! That is what the features and the Sage Advice says it does.
The feature doesn't say anything about being seen or observed. It says "You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by . . . natural phenomena"; and the Sage says

The lightfoot halfling and wood elf traits . . . do allow members of those subraces to try to hide in their special circumstances even when observers are nearby. . . . [A] wood elf can try to hide simply by being in heavy rain, mist, falling snow, foliage, or similar natural phenomena. It’s as if nature itself cloaks a wood elf from prying eyes—even eyes staring right at the elf!​

If the Sage meant to say that the elf can hide while being observed, he chose a very obtuse way to say it! All he actually refers to is "nearby observers" and "eyes staring right at the elf" - this is all consistent with the elf being unseen despite the gaze of others passing over him/her, because of the rain/snow/foliage/etc. And in my view doesn't clearly settle the question of whether the elf can "blink off the radar" just by willing it so even when someone has noticed him/her and is continuing to look at him/her.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
Not if the wild elf's player succeeds at a DEX check opposed by observer's Perception numbers. In that case, s/he will be hidden and hence unseen.
Right, but when he moves there, before he takes an action to hide, he is not unseen yet.

Being hidden also means that others don't see you. That's the main point of being hidden.
Correct once the elf successfully hide, he becomes unseen, unheard and his location unknown. But until he does, he is as visible as anyone while lightly obscured.

The feature doesn't say anything about being seen or observed. It says "You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by . . . natural phenomena";
Does being lightly obscured says it block vision? No, simply that it gives disadvantage for Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight - so someone lightly obscured is still seen. It's heavily obscured that says it block vision.

and the Sage says
The lightfoot halfling and wood elf traits . . . do allow members of those subraces to try to hide in their special circumstances even when observers are nearby. . . . [A] wood elf can try to hide simply by being in heavy rain, mist, falling snow, foliage, or similar natural phenomena. It’s as if nature itself cloaks a wood elf from prying eyes—even eyes staring right at the elf!​

If the Sage meant to say that the elf can hide while being observed, he chose a very obtuse way to say it! All he actually refers to is "nearby observers" and "eyes staring right at the elf" - this is all consistent with the elf being unseen despite the gaze of others passing over him/her, because of the rain/snow/foliage/etc.
Does the Sage Advice says no to the question that it can hide while observed? No. It even refers to nearby observers and from prying eyes staring right at them! You have to try very hard to argue that the observers looking right at you are not seeing you. And if it really does, then anybody can try to hide, not just the elf since anyone can try to hide when not seen...

And in my view doesn't clearly settle the question of whether the elf can "blink off the radar" just by willing it so even when someone has noticed him/her and is continuing to look at him/her.
When a human hide in darkness it also blink off the raadar for you, even though you knew its location before it did hide. It's the same for an elf, halfling or Skulker feat user successfully hiding because in addition to being now unseen and unheard, your location is now unknown - just like a human successfully hiding in darkness.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
People saying an elf or halfling cannot hide in combat using their respective features either says;

1. It can't try to hide because it's location is known. Hiding doesn't require your location to be unknown to hide. Since someone's location is known unless it's hidden, then you always know the location of a creature before it hides.

2. It can't try to hide because it's seen. If not being seen was required for them, then the features would be useless making it harder for them to hide by having additional requirements on top of requirement everyone must meet to hide, when it's meant to facilitate hiding instead.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Generally when I post I try to be sincere, because it's a strained enough medium as it is without too much irony or double meanings.

But in this case I was being a bit sarcastic - I'm in the camp that thinks the whole "dissociated mechanics" panic is nonsense (see eg this old and epic thread). But there are better and worse metagame mechanics, and ones that do or don't make sense within the bigger system. I think that 5e's stat check system is generally meant to be non-metagame - the stat checks correlate, at least broadly, to actions the character is performing in the fiction; and the correlation is meant to be reflected in the stat being checked. (So eg a DEX check should involve somehow being quick or nimble or . . . )

So I don't think it's that good a fit, in 5e, for the DEX check associated with a wood elf hiding in snow to correlate to something, in the fiction, that doesn't involve being nimble (like, say, suddenly conjuring a curtain of snow or rain).

Which takes me to the following:

It doesn't quite make sense, not because it's incoherent or contradictory - not at all! - but because I feel it's incomplete. I can't work out what your mental picture is, and so I can't quite construct my own clear mental picture.

In the ordinary case, the person who steps out his/her front door into the heavily obscuring snowstorm is ipso facto unable to be seen - because the snowstorm makes vision impossible (let's bracket the case of the person 1" away, say a prone character above whom the person in question is standing - that's a corner case I wouldn't expect the rules to handle smoothly without some common-sense adjudication). So attempting to hide just means making no noise.

But the elf who is being observed through the lightly obscuring snowstorm, and then, subsequently to being observed, decides to hide - what does s/he do? Turn sideways and disappear behind the snow? I can't quite see how it works. Whereas the idea that, if unobserved, s/he can then step out into the snow and no one looking for him/her (who fails the WIS check) will see him/her - that I can make sense of. Because nature cloaks the elf, the lightly obscuring snow is enough to conceal her from casual sight (ie anything short of a successful WIS check vs the DEX check).
It seems like you're expecting the system to be perfect in all situations. It's not going to be, which is why you end up occasionally with a dex check to hide where it might be better to call it wisdom or intelligence.

I guess I'm drawing a distinction between not being noticed, or easily able to be noticed and vanishing while under immediate observation. Which is my attempt to make sense of the words on p 60, that you can't attempt to hide from a creature that can see you clearly. I think if you've spotted the elf, you can see him/her clearly enough that the lightly obscuring snow won't help.
A creature in the snow cannot be seen clearly. It is lightly obscured. However, creatures like humans and dwarves still need something to hide behind in order to escape sight entirely and become hidden. Elves don't. That's why elves can do it with nothing more than some snow and humans can't.

I think this is helping me make sense of @Plaguescarred's reference to camouflage, upthread (although, judging from post 441, we are still seeing the ingame situation and its rules/mechanical correlate a bit differently).
There is no camouflage. A naked elf can do it, as well as an elf dressed in bright orange. The racial ability makes no distinction for clothing. Now, personally I'd give bonuses to a wood elf who was camouflaged, and penalties to one in bright orange, but that's me the DM doing that, not the rules.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Not if the wild elf's player succeeds at a DEX check opposed by observer's Perception numbers. In that case, s/he will be hidden and hence unseen.
Yes, but he has to try to hide. Try to hide means make an attempt to hide. It's not an attempt to stay hidden.

Being hidden also means that others don't see you. That's the main point of being hidden. (That's not to say that their gaze doesn't pass over you. But they don't notice/register you.)
Yes, but the sage advice specifically allows you to try to hide while under observation(being stared at). It says nothing about staying hidden, because it doesn't have to.

The lightfoot halfling and wood elf traits . . . do allow members of those subraces to try to hide in their special circumstances even when observers are nearby. . . . [A] wood elf can try to hide simply by being in heavy rain, mist, falling snow, foliage, or similar natural phenomena. It’s as if nature itself cloaks a wood elf from prying eyes—even eyes staring right at the elf!
Nature wouldn't cloak from prying eyes if those eyes weren't already looking at you. It's clearly talking about hiding while being observed and is at least a quasi-supernatural ability.

If the Sage meant to say that the elf can hide while being observed, he chose a very obtuse way to say it! All he actually refers to is "nearby observers" and "eyes staring right at the elf" - this is all consistent with the elf being unseen despite the gaze of others passing over him/her, because of the rain/snow/foliage/etc. And in my view doesn't clearly settle the question of whether the elf can "blink off the radar" just by willing it so even when someone has noticed him/her and is continuing to look at him/her.
And cloaking FROM prying eyes, not already being cloaked from prying eyes. It wasn't an obtuse way to say it. It was very clear.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
There is no camouflage. A naked elf can do it, as well as an elf dressed in bright orange. The racial ability makes no distinction for clothing.
I agree and i was not referring to some artificial aid such as camouflage clothing here, but to the exploitation of natural surroundings to conceal your presence as Collins says, by blending into it.


Camouflage, noun
the exploitation of natural surroundings or artificial aids to conceal or disguise the presence of military units, equipment, etc
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/camouflage
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus

pemerton

Legend
Does the Sage Advice says no to the question that it can hide while observed? No.
Nor does it use the word "yes".

I suspect it is deliberate that the answer maintains the ambiguity in the published rules.

Does being lightly obscured says it block vision? No
But being hidden makes you unnoticed.

Right, but when he moves there, before he takes an action to hide, he is not unseen yet.
To me, this seems to be taking the action economy a bit literally. If the elf steps out into a snowstorm and his/her play rolls a DEX check that is higher than the opposed Perception scores, I would not narrate that as the elf being visible and then disappearing. I would treat that as the elf being hidden the whole time.

When a human hide in darkness it also blink off the raadar for you
But this is very straightforward in the fiction: the hiding person stops making noise, and hence becomes unheard.

Short of turning invisible, there is no obvious analogue in respect of visual perception to ceasing to make noise. Vision and hearing behave differently as sensory modalities.

It seems like you're expecting the system to be perfect in all situations.
I expect the rules to make sense in their relationship to the fiction. Especially when it comes to signature character abilities being used in straightforward situations. I don't think this is a very high threshold to set, and I've got no reason to doubt that 5e's rules for hiding reach it.
 

Hriston

Explorer
I agree on the cloak issue.
I had forgotten but was just reminded that the explanation for elves being "nearly invisible" in D&D, Vol. 2, is the "gray-green cloaks" they are all assumed to wear. In Chainmail, it's an apparently magical ability to become invisible at will, equivalent to a concealment spell and requiring the use of a detection spell to locate. No explanation is given, however.

I'd be comfortable with the "invisible in nature" approach (putting balance issues to one side) - it seems to me fairly close to the original AD&D/Moldvay Basic approach, which I think was inspired by JRRT's descriptions of hobbits and elves in his writings.
Yes, the MM restricts the ability to "natural surroundings" with adequate vegetation (which going back to Chainmail was a requirement of the hobbit's ability to become invisible), but is somewhat ambiguous as far as whether there is anything magical going on, reminiscent of Tolkien's emphasis on "the ordinary everyday sort" of magic. In the MM, the elf can "blend into the vegetation so as to be invisible (requiring the ability to see invisible objects to locate them) as long as they are not attacking." The "so as to be" suggests to me that the elf isn't really invisible, but the requirement of magic to locate them suggests that this is basically an innate elven equivalent to invisibility. How the elf accomplishes this blending in is left to the imagination, however, as the gray-green cloaks have been left out, and it is not suggested that the elf is invisible by default in natural surroundings. The most natural reading to me for what 's actually happening in the fiction would be that elves "blend" in and become "invisible" by hiding in the vegetation with a combination of superior (and perhaps magical) craft and skill, and that attacking not only makes them visible but prevents future attempts to become invisible for as long as combat continues. This all very strongly suggests to me that the intent for this ability was for it to be used primarily for setting up ambushes.

It's unclear to me whether the AD&D rules allow an elf that has chosen to remain visible while parlaying with someone to then become invisible while under direct observation. The treatment of the ability as the equivalent of the invisibility spell would suggest that the answer is yes, but this passage from p 60 of the DMG would suggest that even an invisibility spell does not disguise location if cast under direct observation:

Becoming invisible takes but a twinkling, but if the party is observed doing so, there is no reason why an opponent cannot attack with the standard penalty (-4) for inability to see the target.​

So while the elf could become as invisible at will under the appropriate circumstances, doing so under direct observation would not result in the elf having its location concealed, at least that's my understanding.

Mask of the Wild
is clearly descended from this earlier ability. It allows a wood elf to conceal its position in areas of moderate foliage, as well as other natural areas of lightly obscuring terrain/phenomena. But does it allow the wood elf to become invisible at will when only lightly obscured? Not really. Consider the wood elf in moderate foliage who doesn't try to hide. Why would that elf be invisible?

Which leaves the question, how does the wood elf conceal its position when in moderate foliage if not by virtue of invisibility? How does it "blend" in? According to the feature, it does so by hiding. So I would think the rules for hiding ought to apply.

Makes sense.

Thanks for the reply!
You're welcome. I hope I've explained myself well enough. I'm not sure if even [MENTION=6788736]Flamestrike[/MENTION] thinks what I've posted makes sense. I'm glad someone does.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I expect the rules to make sense in their relationship to the fiction. Especially when it comes to signature character abilities being used in straightforward situations. I don't think this is a very high threshold to set, and I've got no reason to doubt that 5e's rules for hiding reach it.
Then you're going to be disappointed a lot. The game allows them to hide. The default rules force hide checks to be stealth dex. Any other stat falls under the optional rules section and is therefore inappropriate to use.
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
You're welcome. I hope I've explained myself well enough. I'm not sure if even @Flamestrike thinks what I've posted makes sense. I'm glad someone does.
Man, I've all but weighed out of the convo.

My position is that there are different intepretations of the rules for hiding (and that the rules are written in a manner that supports different interpretations). In other words we're all having an argument here more or less by design, and its impossible for one side or the other to be correct (more accurately; its impossible for either side to be incorrect).

If a DM prefers a 'break LOS/ mash the Hide button' interpretation of the hiding rules, then he is free to use it. If a DM prefers the more simulationist interpretation of 'you can not become hidden from a creature when a creature knows where you are', he is free to use that one.

My point was really that the OP seems to be using the former. He could instead use the latter interpretation, and not only still conform to the 'RAW' but also make hiding a little less 'mash the Hide button' and instead require more of a set-up to use.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
Nor does it use the word "yes".

I suspect it is deliberate that the answer maintains the ambiguity in the published rules.
They go a long way in describing that it can instead of saying yes, and some even go as far as arguing that they didn't meant to say nearby observers ...prying eyes...staring right at them are actually seeing them and that are misleading.

But being hidden makes you unnoticed.
But until you take an action to make a Stealth check to hide, you are not unseen and unheard, you are just lightly obscured, and thus still visible.

To me, this seems to be taking the action economy a bit literally. If the elf steps out into a snowstorm and his/her play rolls a DEX check that is higher than the opposed Perception scores, I would not narrate that as the elf being visible and then disappearing. I would treat that as the elf being hidden the whole time.
Your way of treating it would run contrary to the rules. If the elf steps out into a snow storm, he is not enjoying the benefit of being hidden until it actually take the Hide action and make a Stealth check, which is after he get out, so the elf would be seen before it hide

If the elf did hide behind the building before he come out though, then i agree he could remain hidden when coming out into the snowstorm, but that is not what you were describing.

But this is very straightforward in the fiction: the hiding person stops making noise, and hence becomes unheard.
So is an elf or halfling when it hides what's your point? What goes for a human hiding in darkness goes also for an elf or halfling hiding into or behind their respective concealment.

Short of turning invisible, there is no obvious analogue in respect of visual perception to ceasing to make noise. Vision and hearing behave differently as sensory modalities.
Both a human and an elf or halfling go from hearable to unheard when sucessfully hiding so i don't really see your point about this?
 
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Hriston

Explorer
@Hriston, I understand that you're interpreting Sage Advice's statement that "a wood elf can try to hide simply by..." as synonymous with "a wood elf can try to remain hidden simply by...". I understand that point of view, even if I don't agree with it. But in regards to lightfoot halflings, Sage Advice says: "[a] lightfoot halfling, though, can try to vanish behind a creature that is at least one size larger" (emphasis added). I don't see any way to apply your argument regarding wood elves to lightfoot halflings: it explictly says the latter can "vanish". Do you permit lightfoot halflings to hide if they are observed while moving behind a larger creature?
From the observer? No. The observer knows the lightfoot is there and doesn't have to guess the halfling's position. There's literally nowhere else the halfling could be.

If not, in what way are they able to vanish as Sage Advice tells us they can?
In the same way the wood elf is able to hide, while unobserved. Here's an example of what I mean: A halfling is trying to sneak into a castle helped by her friend who is on patrol duty. As her friend approaches the castle gate, he pauses while concealed from the view of the guards at the gate by the obstruction posed by one of the corners of the castle wall, and she vanishes behind him so that when they come to the gate, the guards do not notice her entering with him. If she had run up to join her friend in full view of the castle guards, they would know she was there and wouldn't let her in.


Remember that light obscurement isn't the same as observers having an unobstructed view.
Just to clarify a bit, a lightly obscured area needn't contain any form of obstruction whatsoever. Only a heavily obscured area obstructs vision.
 

Hriston

Explorer
Man, I've all but weighed out of the convo.

My position is that there are different intepretations of the rules for hiding (and that the rules are written in a manner that supports different interpretations). In other words we're all having an argument here more or less by design, and its impossible for one side or the other to be correct (more accurately; its impossible for either side to be incorrect).

If a DM prefers a 'break LOS/ mash the Hide button' interpretation of the hiding rules, then he is free to use it. If a DM prefers the more simulationist interpretation of 'you can not become hidden from a creature when a creature knows where you are', he is free to use that one.

My point was really that the OP seems to be using the former. He could instead use the latter interpretation, and not only still conform to the 'RAW' but also make hiding a little less 'mash the Hide button' and instead require more of a set-up to use.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with all this. I think this is the same conclusion we came to the last time we discussed the November 2015 Sage Advice. It maintains the ambiguity found in the rules and reveals that the whole thing is working as intended. Nevertheless, there are several posters here who think there's no way our individual interpretations could possibly be correct while insisting that theirs is.
 

Plaguescarred

Villager
From the observer? No. The observer knows the lightfoot is there and doesn't have to guess the halfling's position. There's literally nowhere else the halfling could be.
It could have teleported or planshifted anywhere on the contrary! You literally have no proof that the halfling is still there but hidden, all you now know is that the halfling's position is unknown in addition to being unseen and unheard to you. Just as if it had disappeared....

And you still have to guess an hidden creature's space according to the rules - having a big doubt or certainty doesn't dispense you of that. You could choose it's last known location and be right but you must still do, just as for a human hiding in darkness.
 

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