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


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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You must have a different PHB to me.
Does yours say that the GM should make rulings? Mine does. The rules suggest that an invisible target should not be hidden without an action, but the rules also say that the GM is the arbiter of whether or not an action by a PC succeeds, fails, or is uncertain (Page 4). In this case, being able to notice a threat is something the GM determines. I suggested starting with what the rules say about invisible and Hidden, but if the situation merits, it's still the GM's call to determine if the always on action to notice things succeeds (the baseline), fails, or is uncertain.
 

The rules suggest that an invisible target should not be hidden without an action.
In this case, being able to notice a threat is something the GM determines. I suggested starting with what the rules say about invisible and Hidden, but if the situation merits, it's still the GM's call to determine if the always on action to notice things succeeds (the baseline), fails, or is uncertain.

There is nothing out of the ordinary or unusual about an invisible (but not hidden) creature moving, even moving 100' and remaining (not hidden).
  1. Invisible (but hidden) Monk attacks with their action. They reveal themselves after the attack is made (hit or miss).
  2. Invisible (but now no longer hidden) Monk then moves 50' and Dashes an extra 50'
  3. Invisible Monk remains not hidden.
Remember on the Monks very next turn, the Monk can attempt to Hide again.

All that has happened is the Monk has sprinted away (while invisible) and is now 100' away from his target (maybe - the target could very well be chasing after the Monk as the Monk moves, or could draw a Bow and shoot the monk as the Monk moves away etc).

For example, what if the target was a Wood Elf Rogue and used the Dash action twice on his turn, ending up adjacent to the invisible Monk at the end of his turn? While to us (at the table) it appears as if the Rogue was stationary while the Monk moved away 100', and then the Rogue moved, the in game reality was the Rogue was following the Monk the whole way, hot on his heels and never more than a few feet away from him.

Combat (turns, rounds, actions, hit points etc) are abstractions. They dont necessarily result in or describe an objective in game reality. Cyclical combat rounds are a prime example; while (to us) everyone freezes in time other than the creature who's turn it is, to the actual in game participants of that combat, the action is happening more or less simultaneously.

I see absolutely nothing in the OP's example to persuade me to Rule Zero the general rule that a creature is NOT hidden until they take the Hide action successfully. The Monk can do just that if they want to become Hidden again on their very next turn (the instant after dashing 100' from the Monks POV).

If they choose not to, fine. They're not hidden (but are still invisible) and the assumption that others in the combat have a rough idea where they are remains. Their position is not known with any level of certainty; most spells and effects cant target them at all, and attack rolls against them are made at disadvantage.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
There is nothing out of the ordinary or unusual about an invisible (but not hidden) creature moving, even moving 100' and remaining (not hidden).
100% agree. This is the baseline and what the rules suggest should happen in most cases.
  1. Invisible (but hidden) Monk attacks with their action. They reveal themselves after the attack is made (hit or miss).
  2. Invisible (but now no longer hidden) Monk then moves 50' and Dashes an extra 50'
  3. Invisible Monk remains not hidden.

Remember on the Monks very next turn, the Monk can attempt to Hide again.

All that has happened is the Monk has sprinted away (while invisible) and is now 100' away from his target (maybe - the target could very well be chasing after the Monk as the Monk moves, or could draw a Bow and shoot the monk as the Monk moves away etc).
On a flat field, with clear lines of sight and no interesting physical features, yup, 100% agree.
For example, what if the target was a Wood Elf Rogue and used the Dash action twice on his turn, ending up adjacent to the invisible Monk at the end of his turn? While to us (at the table) it appears as if the Rogue was stationary while the Monk moved away 100', and then the Rogue moved, the in game reality was the Rogue was following the Monk the whole way, hot on his heels and never more than a few feet away from him.

Combat (turns, rounds, actions, hit points etc) are abstractions. They dont necessarily result in or describe an objective in game reality. Cyclical combat rounds are a prime example; while (to us) everyone freezes in time other than the creature who's turn it is, to the actual in game participants of that combat, the action is happening more or less simultaneously.
I don't disagree that this is a fine narration of that sequence of events, if not the only possible narration. It's likely how I'd describe that scene. 95% agree, with 5% reserved for alternate descriptions.



I see absolutely nothing in the OP's example to persuade me to Rule Zero the general rule that a creature is NOT hidden until they take the Hide action successfully. The Monk can do just that if they want to become Hidden again on their very next turn (the instant after dashing 100' from the Monks POV).

If they choose not to, fine. They're not hidden (but are still invisible) and the assumption that others in the combat have a rough idea where they are remains. Their position is not known with any level of certainty; most spells and effects cant target them at all, and attack rolls against them are made at disadvantage.
I didn't see anything in the OP to suggest that this specific instance described shouldn't follow the rules guidance, but I strongly disagree that ruling otherwise is a Rule Zero invocation. I don't need to invoke Rule Zero and rewrite any rules to make a ruling that the monk has become Hidden, even with the situation as the OP presented. This is because the rules of the game, on page 4 of the PHB, have already given the GM the authority to determine if an action, even a persistent and assumed action, succeeds, fails, or is uncertain in a given situation. This is part and parcel of the "rulings not rules" approach of 5e. The "rule" that you're citing is an extrapolation of the rules presented for Hiding and for Invisible creatures. It's a good extrapolation, and I 100% agree it should be the baseline understanding of how things work. But, and this is a big but, that rule doesn't trump Page 4. That's because Page 4 tells us that the GM is the one that decides what the situation is and if a mechanic even needs to be invoked to adjudicate uncertainty. And that's because the Invisible/Hidden rules cannot account for the situation in the moment.

To reiterate, I don't see anything in the OP that would suggest to me that you shouldn't use the rule, but another GM might, because 100' is a pretty fair distance and they might consider that circumstance enough to make a ruling on the situation. Let me give you an example where making a ruling that the monk would be Hidden makes sense. The scene is a dungeon room, with doors to on all sides, with the north door open and the party having just entered the south door. An enemy monk is at the north door, and wins initiative. There are 4 orcs in the west room, behind the closed door. The monk attacks, then runs 70' away (he used 30' to close to attack), out the north door (30'), turns immediately right down the crosshallway that door opens into into one of the 3 doors at the end of that hallway (20' down the hallway), closes the door, steps further into the room (10'), and then leaps up to the upper floor balcony in this room (10' of movement). According to a strict reading of the invisible/hidden rules, this monk's location would be known, even while it's entirely possible the GM hasn't put the 4 orcs in the room next door on the map yet.

Rulings, man, not rules. Sometimes the situation at the table is such that the GM needs to make a call so silly things like the above don't happen. That's Page 4.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Let's try a thought experiment. Close your eyes. Have someone walk 100 ft away. Do you know where they are? I'd be amazed if you did unless they're playing a musical instrument or wearing tap shoes on a hard floor. To me, that's the same thing as invisibility.

In some situations you might know where they are, in most you will not. The DM has to make judgement calls about what can possibly be perceived. PCs are more capable than your average couch potato like me, but common sense still has to come into play.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
On a grid, people know well enough to target you with disadvantage if you aren't hidden. A miss could involve aiming at the wrong spot.

When someone isn't hidden, you don't have to guess the square. The running monk will be knocking up dust and making lots of noise.

I might rule it that attacking an invisible target at extreme range with a ranged weapon isn't possible (without SS feat, you cannot attack an invisible target at 2nd range increment (aka long range)).

In Theater of the Mine, you are again aware enough to know how to attack a non-hidden invisible foe, with disadvantage. If they hide, well, if they are confined to a small space (or you guess a small region) you can get lucky by attacking at random.

(As an aside, I rule that being unseen attacking an unseen target doesn't grant advantage; gets rid of the blind longbowman at long range having improved accuracy.)

In general, I think a lot of 5e plays better if you treat the grid not as gospel, but as a way to remember where people are. The exact square someone invisible is in isn't known information at long ranges, so if someone tries a complex fireball precision shot at long range just catching an invisible non-hidden foe, I'd say "roll some dice".
 

Now do the same test but with combat noises and battlefield confusion where the one that has been attacked is screaming for help.

Can you really, but really hear the monk running? You don't. So the monk is hidden. Sometimes the rules do not cover the obvious.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Let's try a thought experiment. Close your eyes. Have someone walk 100 ft away. Do you know where they are? I'd be amazed if you did unless they're playing a musical instrument or wearing tap shoes on a hard floor. To me, that's the same thing as invisibility.

In some situations you might know where they are, in most you will not. The DM has to make judgement calls about what can possibly be perceived. PCs are more capable than your average couch potato like me, but common sense still has to come into play.

This is true, but I don't think we can assume invisibility is truly without artifacts that can be tracked. This is my go to -- that invisibility is good but imperfect, so unless steps are taken (or the situation says otherwise) you'll be able to track the invisible person well enough.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
This is true, but I don't think we can assume invisibility is truly without artifacts that can be tracked. This is my go to -- that invisibility is good but imperfect, so unless steps are taken (or the situation says otherwise) you'll be able to track the invisible person well enough.

Predator style invisibility is certainly a legitimate alternative, but the rules don't specify.

Still not sure it would make much difference, but many DMs will run it differently.
 

Mistwell

Legend
If the monk is in the area of a silence spell (no sound), and pass without trace (leaves behind no tracks or other traces of its passage and cannot be tracked), and greater invisibility (cannot see them)...then other than detection through scent, wouldn't that be a situation where no hide action is needed?
 

MGibster

Legend
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!

I once saw a documentary called Kung-Fu where a Shaolin monk walked across rice paper without making any noise or damaging the paper.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
If the monk is in the area of a silence spell (no sound), and pass without trace (leaves behind no tracks or other traces of its passage and cannot be tracked), and greater invisibility (cannot see them)...then other than detection through scent, wouldn't that be a situation where no hide action is needed?
Ask your GM. No, seriously, this is the exact thing I was talking about earlier -- it's the area where the GM needs to make a call and issue a ruling. Whatever I say doesn't matter at your table.

However, I'd say that if the monk put this much effort into it, hiding sounds like a good reward. I'm fine with auto-hide at 100' or so with three different 2nd level spell effect ongoing from three different casters (each requires concentration). Free hide is really expensive, here, so I'd make that trade in a heartbeat.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Ask your GM. No, seriously, this is the exact thing I was talking about earlier -- it's the area where the GM needs to make a call and issue a ruling. Whatever I say doesn't matter at your table.

However, I'd say that if the monk put this much effort into it, hiding sounds like a good reward. I'm fine with auto-hide at 100' or so with three different 2nd level spell effect ongoing from three different casters (each requires concentration). Free hide is really expensive, here, so I'd make that trade in a heartbeat.

Agreed. It's highly situational, and we used something similar to scout the dragon's lair in Forge of Fury. We basically dumped a huge number of scouting spells on one guy, and prayed it was enough to not be detected by the dragon. And it worked. And it was just as you said, a DM call on expending great resource cost to get a scouting knowledge which a single higher level spell like arcane eye could do with one spell slot.
 

Quickleaf

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".

For me, I make sure to narrate an invisible character or creature leaving tell tale signs of passage if it has not hidden. For example:

Sand is kicked up in flurries by the monk's movement, the dune hissing in his wake. Careening around a corner into the alley, the monk knocks over a barrel and gets a wet tunic hanging on a clothesline wrapped around him momentarily. After the monk boots an orc in the head, then slides down the pine forest hillside to duck behind a boulder, the local songbirds enter a flurry of alarmed activity above his new position.
 

Now do the same test but with combat noises and battlefield confusion where the one that has been attacked is screaming for help.

Can you really, but really hear the monk running? You don't. So the monk is hidden. Sometimes the rules do not cover the obvious.

Yes you can hear the monk. Hes not being quiet or taking any action to conceal his presence.

He can do that whenever he wants but chooses not to.
 

When someone isn't hidden, you don't have to guess the square. The running monk will be knocking up dust and making lots of noise.

My issue is being Invisible should not just result in having the opportunity to Hide.
Being Invisible should mean you automatically count as Hidden against sight based Investigation and Perception checks.

If you are Invisible, but not Hidden, anything around can hear you, pin point where you are down to a 5 foot area and attack you with disadvantage.

That is some BULL💩5e!!!!
 
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That is some BULLSHIT 5e!!!!

It's balance. Or at least, it's a deliberate design choice to limit the absolute power of Invisibility and the degree to which it devalues the Stealth skill. In this way it's similar to how Knock now causes an audible alert that can be heard up to 300ft away. Concentration wasn't the only mechanical change made in 5e to rein in the ability of spells to trump all other abilities. Reducing Invisibility from "absolute magical stealth" to "Predator shimmer cloaking" is just one of many, though it is one that people keep tripping over.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
My issue is being Invisible should not just result in having the opportunity to Hide.
Being Invisible should mean you automatically count as Hidden against sight based Investigation and Perception checks.

If you are Invisible, but not Hidden, anything around can hear you, pin point where you are down to a 5 foot area and attack you with disadvantage.

That is some BULLSHIT 5e!!!!
What you've done here is start with a fiction in your head, then looked at what the game does, and, when these things don't match, blamed the game for the failure. I humbly recommend that if you're going to play a game, you should first look at what it does, then build your fiction. This way you'll avoid this kind of upset.

Or, alternatively, write your own rules/game to match the fiction you've already imagined. That works, too, but it is more work. I find taking the game as it is saves me time and upset.
 

I have no problem with the Heroic style. Eventually, Invisibility is easily dealt with in combat, in any edition of D&D.
5e, though makes Invisibility, almost trivial to melee attacks right out the gate. Meanwhile being unseen, cancels the "see target" requirement of many spells.
The Melee/Spellcaster nerf effect, didnt feel so stark in prior editions.

A Paladin in plate mail trying to hide behind /under a large table is less likely to be discovered if under the effects of a Pass without Trace spell, then while Invisible.

The PWoT Pally gets a net +5 to a Stealth roll. +10 for the spell, - 5 for Hvy Armor disadvantage
The Invisible Paladin gets a -5 to a Stealth roll. -5 for Hvy Armor disadvantage.

Being Invisibility should contribute more to being Hidden.
 
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find taking the game as it is saves me time and upset.
LOL, I actually do this, which is in part why I like 5e so much. The system is easy to tell a story with.

The solution is also easy...grant an Invisible creature Advantage on their Stealth roll.
Bestow Disadvantage on the ability checks of creatures attempting to locate Invisible creatures, refrain from this if Keen senses are involved.

That works for me.

But sometime a little mock outrage, is therapeutic. 😇
 

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