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

So the optimal strategy for my DEX 8 fighter in full plate who wants to remain unnoticed is to get behind a boulder and NOT try to hide. Got it! 😉

Never try to hide.

Just conceal yourself behind cover and don't move, being as quiet as you can.

Ensure you're not trying to hide as you do so though because that wastes an action and requires a check.

:rolleyes:
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
We are talking about a 6 second combat round. Stuff is really happening nearly simultaneously. The creature running away to another room doesn't get the full 30' away (or whatever) before the enemy even moves an inch.

In D&D that's exactly how combat works. If my fighter is 10 feet from the door and wants to run out, all 10 goblins who are 40 feet away can move 60 feet and get between me and the exit in two rows, all before my PC even begins to go that 10 feet. If combat were happening nearly simultaneously, it would be utterly impossible for that to occur, assuming we are all standing still. It's nice to think that combat is simultaneous, but it's impossible under the current D&D combat rules for it to be. It's something that we just have to accept in order for the game to play smoothly. Simultaneous combat would take hours for even the simple combats.
 


Hriston

Hero
In D&D that's exactly how combat works. If my fighter is 10 feet from the door and wants to run out, all 10 goblins who are 40 feet away can move 60 feet and get between me and the exit in two rows, all before my PC even begins to go that 10 feet. If combat were happening nearly simultaneously, it would be utterly impossible for that to occur, assuming we are all standing still. It's nice to think that combat is simultaneous, but it's impossible under the current D&D combat rules for it to be. It's something that we just have to accept in order for the game to play smoothly. Simultaneous combat would take hours for even the simple combats.
I think @DM Dave1 is talking about how the fiction looks, not how the mechanics look.
 


Rabulias

Adventurer
My ramblings and thoughts.

I recall hearing that Jeremy Crawford said that sometimes invisible creatures will be hidden without making Stealth (Dexterity) checks. Even if he did not say this, it seems the logical way to run it to me, with the DM deciding when these circumstances apply.

Detecting invisible creatures sometimes reminds me of invisible characters in movies and TV shows. To give the audience an idea of where they are, they make noise, disturb plants or curtains, bump into things, knock things over, pick things up (that remain visible), leave footprints, etc. Clearly they are not taking an action to hide! Invisible creatures moving in crowded/cluttered areas will need to make Dexterity (Stealth) checks or they will bumble through, revealing their location and direction of travel.

There will be times when there is not much (or nothing) in the environment to bump into or disturb, or there may be other circumstances or distractions that help cover signs of the invisible creature's presence or passage (loud noise, smoke, environmental hazards, darkness, other (visible) opponents, terrain features, etc.). In those cases, I might rule the creature to be hidden. Additionally, depending on the situation, someone (unaided) might have a harder time determining an invisible creature's location and/or direction of travel. I would reflect this in various ways, from Wisdom (Perception) checks at disadvantage, to indicating larger areas with a successful Wisdom (Perception) check (instead of indicating a single square, I would indicate 9, 16, 25, etc., squares, up to more general zones (for example, "You think your unseen assailant is somewhere north of you."), up to declaring the invisible creature cannot be perceived without additional aid, usually magical, or until circumstances change.

Some rules references (emphasis mine in the quotes).
D&D 5th Edition Player's Handbook p.291 said:
Invisible
• An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense. For the purpose of hiding, the creature is heavily obscured. The creature's location can be detected by any noise it makes or any tracks it leaves.
• Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage, and the creature's attack rolls have advantage.

Invisible references heavily obscured, so we go to:
D&D 5th Edition Player's Handbook p.183 said:
A heavily obscured area -- such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage -- blocks vision entirely. A creature effectively suffers from the blinded condition when trying to see something in that area.

Not much added here. Heavily obscured refers to Blinded, so we go to:
D&D 5th Edition Player's Handbook p.290 said:
• A blinded creature can't see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight.
• Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature's attack rolls have disadvantage.

So why lead us to Blinded? The second bullet (advantage/disadvantage) is already in the description for Invisible, so the first bullet must be relevant to Invisible, which leads me to believe that you cannot "see" a hidden invisible creature. You may see signs (moving grass, a knocked over vase, a blood trail), or you may hear them, but you cannot detect them visually. RAW, invisibility is not like a super duper blur, or the Predator's invisibility where if you pay attention you can make out their form. DMs are free to rule otherwise in their games, of course.

For those who insist you always have to take an action to hide, I have this oblique inference:
D&D 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide p.232 said:
Boon of the Night Spirit
While completely in an area of dim light or darkness, you can become invisible as an action. You remain invisible until you take an action or a reaction.
If you always have to take an action to hide, it would be impossible to hide with this, though it seems like it should be something one could do with an Epic Boon, otherwise, it ain't all that Epic.
 

If you always have to take an action to hide, it would be impossible to hide with this, though it seems like it should be something one could do with an Epic Boon, otherwise, it ain't all that Epic.

Which is identical to the One with Shadows invocation.

Invisible is a fantastic condition. Your opponents lose any level of precision about where you are suffering disadvantage on attack rolls, and are unable to target you with most abilities, opportunity attacks and non AoE spells (Hex, Magic missile, Hunters mark, counterspell, hold person, Bane, telekinisis, divine word, disintegrate, flesh to stone, chromatic orb, chain lightning, banishment, polymorph, maze, etc etc etc).
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
There is no such thing as a free stealth check in my game.
Cool. Again, I didn't ask that. But, you seem intent to tell me again the same thing as last time you didn't answer my question.

There are times when there is no need to hide because there is no chance of determining location or even detection. The imp that turned invisible and flew away is just gone. If a creature cannot make a stealth check but detection is uncertain they may make a dex check (no proficiency). The reason I do a dex check with no proficiency is because they are simply trying avoid obstacles but they aren't being as careful as they might with an actual stealth check.
Okay, in arguing about how the RAW works, you've inserted a bit of homebrew. That's interesting and all (although, again, I don't understand how being proficient in something means you're as good as someone not proficient at a task within the proficiency, but I'm sure there's some kind of good reason for this).

There are a bunch of factors though, and I may give advantage/disadvantage or just set a DC. To paraphrase Barbossa, it's more of a guideline really than a concrete rule.
Not being seen because of invisibility? Fairly rare in my current campaign, the PCs just got to 9th level and no one has invisibility. Previous campaign that went to 20? It started to be more common. Not being seen because of magical darkness, fog, blindness, total cover? Fairly common. Invisible or unseen monsters can be a fun change of pace but if used too often they're just annoying. Maybe 1 in 10 or 20 encounters? Less? I don't really keep track
No, why do you answer different question. I asked how often you rule things get a free chance to hide (or roll a DEX check, if that's your preferred terminology). Invisible creatures would only be one subset.

I'll go ahead and provide the argument I'm making -- I'll bet it's almost none. Because, shockingly, you actually default to creatures being noticed and only deviate if there's a good reason to. I'm sure you'll deny this, though, alongside something that shows that you have an odd understanding of what a default means.
 

Hriston

Hero
Not everyone can divorce fiction from mechanics.
Well, ideally I think they should inform each other. But imagining that the participants in a battle are taking turns like the players at the table? I think that would spoil some of my enjoyment of the game. People are different in this regard apparently.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think @DM Dave1 is talking about how the fiction looks, not how the mechanics look.
If the fiction can't match the mechanics, the fiction fails. My example with the goblins holds true. All 10 of them can run 50 feet, then 10 feet past me and block my exit before my PC can move an inch. On my turn they are there in the fiction, not running towards those spots. Otherwise I could escape through the door that it now being blocked by 10 goblins.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, ideally I think they should inform each other. But imagining that the participants in a battle are taking turns like the players at the table? I think that would spoil some of my enjoyment of the game. People are different in this regard apparently.
I don't like it much, either, but there's no other way to look at it that makes any kind of sense. If the fiction resembled anything close to being simultaneous, my PC would reach that door first, no matter what the initiative numbers are.
 

An imp that turns invisbile and flies away is not automatically hidden.

It needs to take the Hide action.

Until it does so (a round at most) nearby creatures can still attack it (at disadvantage) and they can't target it with most spells.
 

James Haeck on D&D Writing | Dungeons & Dragons

Above is the podcast that discusses this.

To paraphrase:

Being invisible does not make others unaware of you and your position. You only become hidden if you take the Hide action (i.e. make a Stealth check, which you can always do if you are invisible) and you beat the Passive Perception of your target.

At the DMs discretion, some circumstances might make possible for an invisible creature to need not a Stealth check to make himself both unseen and unheard (the definition of hidden). Such circumstances may be a significant distraction and fair distance. In those cases, always at the DM approval, an invisible creature benefits from being hidden even without a Stealth check.

---------------------

A Monk attacking someone and then sprinting off in the same turn, is not such an outlier, and neither is an Imp turning invisible and flying off on its turn.

The round they do this, nearby creatures can fire a few shots at the sound of them moving away, or swing blindly in their general vicinity (attack at disadvantage). Nearby creatures dont know their location with sufficient precision to target them with most spells (barring AoE spells) or to make opportunity attacks agianst them, or to target them with many special abilities.

If on their next turn, they're 100' or so away and they want to be quiet and Hide, I'd let them roll with advantage to the check due to distance.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
@Ovinomancer

Ironically enough, I can make a case that the "default" should be "not noticed". At any given moment, the vast majority of the inhabitants of the game world are not going to be noticed by the PCs. For an inhabitant to be noticed, I as the DM have to decide that they are (a) within the detection range of one of the PCs' senses, (b) that sense is not impeded by the presence of an obstruction, (c) the signal-to-noise ratio is high enough to be detected, and (d) the inhabitant's presence is important enough for me to spend time describing their presence to the PCs. Unless ALL four conditions are met, any given inhabitant is automatically not noticed by the PCs. If that doesn't make "unnoticed" the default state, I don't know what would. ;)

In all seriousness, however, all I'm trying to do with the above is point out that the word "default" is itself ambiguous. I would also add that it's also not particularly meaningful to declare a default when deviating from that default has no cost. From my standpoint, @Oofta is saying that the default is "GM decides whether or not a non-hidden creature is noticed", whereas you're saying that the default is "all non-hidden creatures are noticed unless the DM decides otherwise". That's a distinction without a difference--it's not even a meaningful loose classification tool, because how it plays out at the table will depend far more on how the DM uses their judgement than how they describe the "default" case at their table.
 

you're saying that the default is "all non-hidden creatures are noticed unless the DM decides otherwise".

Well yeah. In combat creatures are either hidden relative to at least 1 other creature, or they're not.

And (by default) you're not hidden unless:

1) You were using Stealth before combat and other creatures in the combat failed to notice you when initiative was rolled, or
2) You take the Hide action on your turn and succeed in your Stealth check, or
3) The DM makes a ruling otherwise due to exceptional circumstances not contemplated in the context of a standard combat environment.

Moving 100' away on your turn while invisible and attacking that turn is not an exceptional circumstance that removes the requirement for a Stealth check to Hide via the Hide action.

Neither is casting Invisibility and then flying 30' straight up.

In both cases combatants can attack you this turn (at disadvantage) but they don't get opportunity attacks against you as you move away and cant target you with most spells and special abilities. Your very rough location is known with enough precision to allow wild swings in your direction, or shots fired in that direction.

The actions above have taken you a few seconds at most, and are largely simultaneous with the attacks coming back at you.

If you want to take advantage of your invisibility and Hide, you can attempt to do so at ANY time on your turn now you're invisible.

If you dont want to be Stealthy while invisible you dont have to, but the game will assume your very rough position is generally known by nearby creatures until you decide to do so.
 

James Haeck on D&D Writing | Dungeons & Dragons

Above is the podcast that discusses this.

To paraphrase:

Being invisible does not make others unaware of you and your position. You only become hidden if you take the Hide action (i.e. make a Stealth check, which you can always do if you are invisible) and you beat the Passive Perception of your target.

At the DMs discretion, some circumstances might make possible for an invisible creature to need not a Stealth check to make himself both unseen and unheard (the definition of hidden). Such circumstances may be a significant distraction and fair distance. In those cases, always at the DM approval, an invisible creature benefits from being hidden even without a Stealth check.

---------------------

A Monk attacking someone and then sprinting off in the same turn, is not such an outlier, and neither is an Imp turning invisible and flying off on its turn.

The round they do this, nearby creatures can fire a few shots at the sound of them moving away, or swing blindly in their general vicinity (attack at disadvantage). Nearby creatures dont know their location with sufficient precision to target them with most spells (barring AoE spells) or to make opportunity attacks agianst them, or to target them with many special abilities.

If on their next turn, they're 100' or so away and they want to be quiet and Hide, I'd let them roll with advantage to the check due to distance.
From what you just paraphrase, the monk fits just fine. I profoundly disagree with you on this. But this is a DMs' call. If my players or me were at your table, you'd be in a hell of a lot of arguments on your hands. Especially from the monk's player.

You insist on the simultaneous aspect of the round, and I tended to agree. But as @Maxperson proved with his goblin example, it is not mechanically so.

In this case, and even before Max, the monk is clearly fitting the paraphrased quote you so gently provided yourself.
 

From what you just paraphrase, the monk fits just fine. I profoundly disagree with you on this. But this is a DMs' call. If my players or me were at your table, you'd be in a hell of a lot of arguments on your hands. Especially from the monk's player.

I dont brook arguments from my players when enforcing the rules.

I'd tell the Monk player if he wants to Hide, he can do so on his next turn, and that would be the end of that.

You insist on the simultaneous aspect of the round, and I tended to agree. But as @Maxperson proved with his goblin example, it is not mechanically so.

That's an artefact of the abstract nature of turn based cyclical combat rounds though. It's not reflective of any in game reality.

People arent standing there frozen in time for 6 seconds while other people move about the battlefield. It's all happening more or less simultaneously and consecutively.

The Monk in this case has expressly chosen to launch a martial arts attack (kicking and punching a foe) while invisible causing him to cease being hidden, and has then sprinted off at top speed 100' away from his target.

He has not chosen to hide. He has chosen to reveal himself from hiding, by virtue of launching an attack.

During the handful of seconds he attacks and runs off he is able to be attacked (at disadvantage) representing shots fired in his general direction, or his opponent advancing and wildly waving a sword about in front of him. He is immune to opportunity attacks for these precious seconds, and is also immune to most special abilities and most targeted spells.

If he wants to be hidden, he can do so a fraction of as second later at the start of his next turn when he is 100' away. I'd even give him advantage on the check to do so being so far away from the battle.
 

I dont brook arguments from my players when enforcing the rules.

I'd tell the Monk player if he wants to Hide, he can do so on his next turn, and that would be the end of that.



That's an artefact of the abstract nature of turn based cyclical combat rounds though. It's not reflective of any in game reality.

People arent standing there frozen in time for 6 seconds while other people move about the battlefield. It's all happening more or less simultaneously and consecutively.

The Monk in this case has expressly chosen to launch a martial arts attack (kicking and punching a foe) while invisible causing him to cease being hidden, and has then sprinted off at top speed 100' away from his target.

He has not chosen to hide. He has chosen to reveal himself from hiding, by virtue of launching an attack.

During the handful of seconds he attacks and runs off he is able to be attacked (at disadvantage) representing shots fired in his general direction, or his opponent advancing and wildly waving a sword about in front of him. He is immune to opportunity attacks for these precious seconds, and is also immune to most special abilities and most targeted spells.

If he wants to be hidden, he can do so a fraction of as second later at the start of his next turn when he is 100' away. I'd even give him advantage on the check to do so being so far away from the battle.
And I would simply force a check perception on the guards from all the shouting and moving because with all the noise the guards are making themselves they can't hear or see the monk. They know he is somewhere, that much is obvious. But they do not know his location. Don't forget that they are running too. So they can't attack anyway. If they want to attack, it is now even harder as the monk is now not 40 to 50 feet away, but 70 to 75 feet from the guards. Just readying their crossbow means that the lost sight of the minute details that the monk left behind IF he left any. Nothing can be less certain.

Don't forget that the guards are making noises of their own, lose sight of very minute details. They can't know the exact location of the monk.

As for the frozen in time. You want forward narrative and this is your mistake. You must narrate backward. Here is how the round really happened.

Bob the guard gets attack by an invisible opponent but proves to be tougher than the unseen assassin thought. He screams for help and as the guards in the other room ate coming to his help, he hears the invisible foe running away in the corridor. Bob and his allies get in the corridor but with all the noises their armor and their shouting do, they're not sure where the invisible foe went. Left? Right? Straight ahead? They are thus at the end of their round. Or almost. Do they split up and try to pursue the intruder? Or do they do as Jack says and stop moving to try to find details.

In game term, the monk got tje jump on the guard but failed to hit. Seeing that he went away at full speed. The guard at his initiative drew his sword and shouted for help. He then proceeded to run in the direction he heard the intruder going but after a few seconds he lost track of the monk because the monk is to far for the little noise he makes is covered by the guards' noises from their shoutong and their armor. They used their movement and their action to try to pursue the monk but their passive perception isn't high enough to notice the minute details as they made their check at disadvantage while running and shouting.

Had the monk stayed and used flurry; the guard might have survived and the monk would have been surrounded as then it would have been pretty easy to guess where he was, in melee with Bob. Bit the monk fled, this change a lot of the dynamic of the rules.

Time for round two.
 

And I would simply force a check perception on the guards from all the shouting and moving because with all the noise the guards are making themselves they can't hear or see the monk.

You can do whatever you want in your game. But that's not the rules.

NEXT round when the Monk is Hidden (by virtue of him taking the Hide action this round) the Guards can try and find him with the Search action on their turns.
 

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