log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Greater Invis and Stealth checks, how do you rule it?

Stalker0

Legend
So when I read the technical rules on hiding and stealth (in the scattered mess that they are) plus a lot of previous commentary on the subject, both on these boards and others....this is the general "by the book" definition of stealth as I understand it.

1) Greater Invis gives you total concealment, allowing for the option of stealth checks.
2) You must now make an action to become hidden...rolling a stealth check against passive perceptions.
3) Assuming you succeed, you are hidden, and you can walk around, and do certain things without having to reroll stealth.
4) Once you perform an action, stealth is lost, and enemies know what square you are in.
5) Unless you take a new action to hide (rolling a new stealth check), the enemies will automatically know what square your in.

Ok, that's pretty clear.

However, I have a situation where I have a monk that was given improved invisibility. The monk has 50 speed... and so using step of the wind he can make attacks and then move a full 100 speed away from the spot where he was "detected". I completely understand the being detected when he attacked, makes total sense.... but its quite weird in flavor that you can now track this guy who is still invisible over 100 feet away (and could even be behind other cover or barriers even) and not have to make a perception roll to still know where he is.

So I was curious how others do it. On the one hand, it suspends my disbelief a lot to run this by the book....but on the other I can see how powerful it would be to let it go without having to "restealth".
 

log in or register to remove this ad

So when I read the technical rules on hiding and stealth (in the scattered mess that they are) plus a lot of previous commentary on the subject, both on these boards and others....this is the general "by the book" definition of stealth as I understand it.

1) Greater Invis gives you total concealment, allowing for the option of stealth checks.
2) You must now make an action to become hidden...rolling a stealth check against passive perceptions.
3) Assuming you succeed, you are hidden, and you can walk around, and do certain things without having to reroll stealth.
4) Once you perform an action, stealth is lost, and enemies know what square you are in.
5) Unless you take a new action to hide (rolling a new stealth check), the enemies will automatically know what square your in.

Ok, that's pretty clear.

However, I have a situation where I have a monk that was given improved invisibility. The monk has 50 speed... and so using step of the wind he can make attacks and then move a full 100 speed away from the spot where he was "detected". I completely understand the being detected when he attacked, makes total sense.... but its quite weird in flavor that you can now track this guy who is still invisible over 100 feet away (and could even be behind other cover or barriers even) and not have to make a perception roll to still know where he is.

So I was curious how others do it. On the one hand, it suspends my disbelief a lot to run this by the book....but on the other I can see how powerful it would be to let it go without having to "restealth".

You've gotta remember its all happening at the same time, and 'what' the Stealth check to Hide represents (moving slowly and silently, taking care to conceal other signs of your approach like footprints, moving grass etc)

The [hidden + invisible Monk] reveals himself once he makes an attack, and then his opponent hears him run away.

His opponent now has a very rough idea where the Monk is (roughly 100' away in 'that' direction).

The Monk can simply Hide again (via the action) on his next turn, and his opponent will then lose track of him. If he chooses not to Hide, he's taking some other action (Attack, Cast a Spell etc) and not making any attempt to be quiet, conceal his location etc.

It's up to the Monk.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
The basic state of invisibility is that your foes can tell roughly where you are (which square), but you have total concealment so they attack with disadvantage and you attack with advantage. The easiest way to think of it is like a "predator" effect, though you can also think of it as the sound of breathing, footsteps, tracks, and so on making it obvious.

If you take an action to hide, you are hidden until your next turn. Then people no longer know where you are. But hiding takes an action, so barring bonus action shenanigans you won't be able to do anything other than moving without announcing your presence. If you attack, you're using your action to attack and thus not to hide, so your presence is known and people can follow you.

Note that this is a significant nerf from how invisibility worked in 3e, where your foes had to actively look for you and succeed at difficult Listen/Perception rolls to locate you. In 3e, invisibility made you undetected, and it was up to your opponents to find you. In 5e, invisibility gives you an edge, but you still have to actively keep hidden. The main advantage there is that you're not limited by the availability of cover (plus, of course, the direct combat advantage of advantage on attacks and disadvantage on defense).
 

I use invisibility with a little bit more common sense than RAW. If there's a reason the target isn't easily tracked, such as major distractions like combat, unless you're within 10-15 ft, rather than knowing the exact square you only have a general idea (usually about 4-9 squares). In this particular case I'd work it the same, since 100 ft is quite a bit of distance to narrow it down to a 5 ft area.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think of making a stealth check as an action "tax". You are moving carefully, trying to not make noise or otherwise attract attention. In addition, the way I run stealth it's not necessarily an either-or. Some enemies may or may not know where the monk is at the end of their turn, they may know vaguely where the monk is, they may know their basic location. There are simply too many factors in play. For that matter, being invisible may not be enough to stay undetected under certain circumstances (walking through water for example could give away your position).

From a rules perspective, once the monk attacks they are no longer hidden. Most monsters won't be able to see them but they will hear them running away. Where do they run to? Can they run around a corner out of site? Is it in the middle of a pitched battle with noise and chaos or in a sandy desert where they will leave footprints?

Stealth and hiding is left vague because there are too many possibilities. Sometimes the DM just has to make a judgment call. I personally prefer this, I just try to be fair and consistent. It's also a topic I discuss outside of game time with my players so we can set expectations because many DMs will have different criteria than I do. I think that's fine as long as the DM is consistent and the players understand why and how they make their rulings.
 
Last edited:

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
So when I read the technical rules on hiding and stealth (in the scattered mess that they are) plus a lot of previous commentary on the subject, both on these boards and others....this is the general "by the book" definition of stealth as I understand it.

1) Greater Invis gives you total concealment, allowing for the option of stealth checks.
2) You must now make an action to become hidden...rolling a stealth check against passive perceptions.
3) Assuming you succeed, you are hidden, and you can walk around, and do certain things without having to reroll stealth.
4) Once you perform an action, stealth is lost, and enemies know what square you are in.
5) Unless you take a new action to hide (rolling a new stealth check), the enemies will automatically know what square your in.

Ok, that's pretty clear.

However, I have a situation where I have a monk that was given improved invisibility. The monk has 50 speed... and so using step of the wind he can make attacks and then move a full 100 speed away from the spot where he was "detected". I completely understand the being detected when he attacked, makes total sense.... but its quite weird in flavor that you can now track this guy who is still invisible over 100 feet away (and could even be behind other cover or barriers even) and not have to make a perception roll to still know where he is.

So I was curious how others do it. On the one hand, it suspends my disbelief a lot to run this by the book....but on the other I can see how powerful it would be to let it go without having to "restealth".

I rule that the monk is not hidden until the monk takes and succeeds on the Hide action. If the monk doesn't want to do that, it's okay because the monk is still benefiting from being invisible and enemies have disadvantage to attack rolls against the monk.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
but its quite weird in flavor that you can now track this guy who is still invisible over 100 feet away (and could even be behind other cover or barriers even) and not have to make a perception roll to still know where he is.

To step away from rules for just a second - the entire round of everyone acting is about 6 seconds. So, this character is running a hundred feet in a second or two. This is Usain Bolt speed or better (he's done 120 feet in 4.22 seconds).

You really expect someone's sprinting that fast quietly? Or are their feet slamming the ground, their lungs pumping for air.... This person may be moving fast enough to go fwooosssh as they move through the air!

So, yeah, maybe keeping track of where they are isn't that hard.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
To step away from rules for just a second - the entire round of everyone acting is about 6 seconds. So, this character is running a hundred feet in a second or two. This is Usain Bolt speed or better (he's done 120 feet in 4.22 seconds).

You really expect someone's sprinting that fast quietly? Or are their feet slamming the ground, their lungs pumping for air.... This person may be moving fast enough to go fwooosssh as they move through the air!

So, yeah, maybe keeping track of where they are isn't that hard.

I completely concur - you're probably knocking things over, spooking the goblin onlookers etc...

Now if they move behind cover, the knowledge of where they are diminishes (you can't see the transparent blurry form anymore) but an action to hide is well, necessary to hide. If you are behind cover in fact, you wouldn't even need invisibility to hide!
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Let's also not forget that be Hidden grants you as a character only TWO total things...

1) The attacker has to guess the space you are in.
2) You get to make your next attack with Advantage.

That's it. That's all being Hidden gives you. All the stuff that comes with Invisibility still applies whether or not you are Hidden (all attacks against you have Disadvantage, you cannot be targeted by Opportunity Attacks, etc.) So the Monk not making Dexterity (Stealth) checks to become Hidden isn't losing him much.

So if we look at this particular Monk situation... how often are you the DM ever going to bother trying to have a creature attack the Monk after he has run 100 feet away... regardless of whether or not the attacker knows which space he is in? Especially when that attack is going to be with Disadvantage? Aren't you really instead going to just have the attacker on its turn move to another member of the Monk's party and attack them instead? Why would that creature try to go chasing after the Monk, even if they knew what space he was in? There's no point. Leave the Monk be and go after the easier target. That's pretty much the normal course of action for any creature on the battlefield... find the nearest enemy and attack them.

Your Monk gets to run up to people, whack them, and then run away without getting attacked in return. Okay. So what? Isn't that pretty much exactly what all ranged characters get to do all the time? Attack creatures far away with no return attack? So the Monk getting to do it as well (just replacing melee attacks with ranged attacks) doesn't seem that far out of line. Let the Monk have his fun in my opinion.
 

aco175

Hero
There must be some sort of distance rules for this. I would think that an invisible PC that moves 100 feet away is harder to detect than than someone that moved 15ft or 30ft. I get the part with detecting clues that someone is invisible near you and getting the basic direction of moving 'that way'. In a normal environment, or a combat, the sights or noise will drown out at some point.

I can see eyes of the eagle negating the disadvantage to perceive the invisible person at a distance.
 

Hriston

Hero
Distance is left up to the DM. I use the variable audible distances from, I think, the first DM screen, so for this situation where the monk isn't trying to stay quiet (because not taking the Hide action), I'd roll 2d6 and multiply by 10 for the number of feet normal noise carries. Usually 100 feet is going to be out of hearing range unless the noise the monk is making is very loud, so an observer will have heard the monk moving in whatever direction, but will have lost the ability to pinpoint the monk's location at around 70 feet, but there's a chance the noise could carry as far as 120 feet.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There must be some sort of distance rules for this. I would think that an invisible PC that moves 100 feet away is harder to detect than than someone that moved 15ft or 30ft. I get the part with detecting clues that someone is invisible near you and getting the basic direction of moving 'that way'. In a normal environment, or a combat, the sights or noise will drown out at some point.

I can see eyes of the eagle negating the disadvantage to perceive the invisible person at a distance.

What's the environment? Jungle? Frozen over lake? Bustling city? What style of game are you running? Anime style, wuxia, semi-realistic? Is the person you're trying to spot small? Large? Flying?

All of those things are going to factor in so it's up to the DM who has hopefully discussed all of this with their players.
 

Dausuul

Legend
To step away from rules for just a second - the entire round of everyone acting is about 6 seconds. So, this character is running a hundred feet in a second or two.
So your position is that the length of an individual combatant's turn equals (6 seconds / number of combatants)? A normal person, moving 30 feet in a round, can accelerate to 100 miles per hour simply by getting into a 30-person brawl? A large battle allows you to reach escape velocity on foot?

This isn't stepping away from rules, it's embracing the rules and stepping away from sanity.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So your position is that the length of an individual combatant's turn equals (6 seconds / number of combatants)? A normal person, moving 30 feet in a round, can accelerate to 100 miles per hour simply by getting into a 30-person brawl? A large battle allows you to reach escape velocity on foot?

Dude, you're the one taking a general point and applying it to a specific extreme example as if that's reasonable. Heck, as a GM, if you are rolling 30 individual initiative counts (instead of saying," Okay, the goblins all go now, the orcs will go on 12, and the ogre goes on 6..."), then you're not in a position to question the sensibility of my description.
 
Last edited:

Dausuul

Legend
Dude, you're the one taking a general point and applying it to a specific extreme example as if that's reasonable. Heck, as a GM, if you are rolling 30 individual initiative counts (instead of saying," Okay, the goblins all go now"), then you're not in a position to question the sensibility of my description.
You claimed that the monk's movement takes place in "a second or two," even though a round is 6 seconds long. It appeared that you were basing that statement on dividing the length of a round by the number of combatants. Is that, in fact, what you are doing? If not, what are you doing?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
You claimed that the monk's movement takes place in "a second or two," even though a round is 6 seconds long. It appeared that you were basing that statement on dividing the length of a round by the number of combatants. Is that, in fact, what you are doing? If not, what are you doing?
I suspect that when he said and italicized 'everyone', it wasn't to relate the 1 or 2 seconds to the entire group of combatants each getting only a piece of those 6 seconds... I think he was saying that because everyone was using the exact same 6 seconds to act, the Monk is using 1 or 2 seconds to run up to his enemy, a couple seconds to make his attacks, and then 1 or 2 seconds to run away (thus equivilating moving 100 feet in 1 or 2 seconds to being Usain Bolt.) And because the enemy would be also be acting in those same 6 seconds... the enemy on its turn could easily move 60 feet in the same direction the Monk went.

Which means the enemy would be only 40 feet away from the Monk at the end of those 6 seconds and thus the idea that it could hear the Monk and know where it was after all that running wasn't out of the question.

Maybe I'm mistaken on what @Umbran was saying, but that's what I got from it.
 

If you take an action to hide, you are hidden until your next turn.

Not true.

If you take an action to Hide (and succeed) you remain hidden indefinitely until you either reveal yourself somehow (such as by making an attack) or your opponent uses the Search action to find you (and succeeds).
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The GM decides. That's it. Make a ruling, and be consistent.

In this case, the GM needs to decide if the current environment is sufficient so that the GM rules that perception checks to notice the monk automatically fail. This is part of the core play loop, and nothing about being in combat removes this choice from the GM -- combat just provided more tools to adjudicate uncertainty and more guidance on what to consider uncertain. If the terrain is such that moving 100ft. away would reasonably mean that no one can see where you are or where you went (at least towards the end), then that qualifies as Hidden because it meets the definition. However, you also need to consider that the situation might change (the monk's foes could move towards where the monk ran off and get much closer to the monk) and make changes to your adjudication of the situation. There's no wrong answer, here. Guidance from the rules suggests that you normally are not Hidden unless you take an action. Guidance doesn't know your situation, though, so start biased towards the guidance but rule according to your situation.
 

The GM decides. That's it. Make a ruling, and be consistent.

In this case, the GM needs to decide if the current environment is sufficient so that the GM rules that perception checks to notice the monk automatically fail. This is part of the core play loop, and nothing about being in combat removes this choice from the GM -- combat just provided more tools to adjudicate uncertainty and more guidance on what to consider uncertain. If the terrain is such that moving 100ft. away would reasonably mean that no one can see where you are or where you went (at least towards the end), then that qualifies as Hidden because it meets the definition. However, you also need to consider that the situation might change (the monk's foes could move towards where the monk ran off and get much closer to the monk) and make changes to your adjudication of the situation. There's no wrong answer, here. Guidance from the rules suggests that you normally are not Hidden unless you take an action. Guidance doesn't know your situation, though, so start biased towards the guidance but rule according to your situation.

You keep saying 'see' the monk. He's invisible.

You mean to say 'have a rough idea where the invisible Monk is by virtue of visual clues and sound made by the monk who is making no effort to mask either'
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You keep saying 'see' the monk. He's invisible.

You mean to say 'have a rough idea where the invisible Monk is by virtue of visual clues and sound made by the monk who is making no effort to mask either'
No, I didn't. The only "see" in my post is a general statement about how ruling on Hidden works. Anyone, with any condition, that moves 100ft. away may qualify as Hidden if the situation and terrain suggest it is so. The Invisible Monk has an extra thing to consider, sure, but that schtick doesn't invalidate this statement. I said what I meant to say, thanks.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top