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

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
100% agree -- sometimes you will know and sometimes you will not. But, according to the podcast and the rules, you will usually know unless there's a reason not to, and invisibility alone isn't enough.

That is true. It takes a DM making a judgement call on whether their location is known.
 

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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Rules basically say nothing about knowing the locations of creatures in general. The default state that you're imagining simply isn't something that exists in the rules.
Okay, let me try to break this down another way --

1. Without invisibility, it's clear that you will know the location of another creature because you can see it. There may be some edge cases, but, other than the hidden quality, this is the case. The default is that you can locate a creature.

2. Invisibility, therefore, needs to say how it adjusts the non-invisible case. It does not introduce a new baseline case, it modifies what's already there.
a. Invisibility first changes that you cannot see an invisible creature.
b. Invisibility says you are treated as heavily obscured for purposes of hiding. The hiding rules further expand this to say that you may always attempt to hide if you are invisible.
c. Invisibility says that you can (note, not may) still be detected by the sounds your make or signs of your passage.

Okay, so, then we have our normal baseline (1) where everything gets located. Then we have the changes to that baseline made by invisibility as (2). Invisibility specifically says that you can be located by the sounds you make or signs of your passage. That's a pretty clear statement that you are located unless you remove those things, which can be done by hiding. And, invisibility means you can always hide, so that's good!

There is nothing to say that you automatically detect creatures because that's the obvious baseline when dealing with non-invisible creatures. If it were not, then there would be rules for detecting non-hidden but unlocated combatants because D&D is a game that devotes a lot of space to being able to hit things, so knowing where things are is hugely important. So, baseline, clear assumption without invisibility is that you locate creatures. So, when invisibility comes in, it does what all specific rules do in 5e -- it says exactly what it does and anything it doesn't say is however you would generally do it. The general way is that you know where things are, and invisibility specifically does not change that. It says you're not visible, but that you can be located by sounds you make or signs of passage. It also says that the usual way of being unlocated -- hiding -- is facilitated but not improved or assumed by invisibility.

So, we have clear, understood baseline, and then normal exception based design, and nothing in invisibility alters the baseline except as specifically stated. Anything else is bringing in extra stuff.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
That is true. It takes a DM making a judgement call on whether their location is known.
Wait, are you agreeing that the normal status for invisible creatures is that their location is known unless they're hiding and it takes special circumstances to change this? Circumstances where are, of course, open to individual GM interpretation? If so, I think we've made progress towards agreement.
 

1. Without invisibility, it's clear that you will know the location of another creature because you can see it. There may be some edge cases, but, other than the hidden quality, this is the case. The default is that you can locate a creature.
Rules do not say this. But yes, it is reasonable common sense assumption that you will know location of another creature you can see.

2. Invisibility, therefore, needs to say how it adjusts the non-invisible case. It does not introduce a new baseline case, it modifies what's already there.
a. Invisibility first changes that you cannot see an invisible creature.
Yes. And as (like you just agreed,) our baseline detection relies on being of able to see, that has now gone out of the window!

b. Invisibility says you are treated as heavily obscured for purposes of hiding. The hiding rules further expand this to say that you may always attempt to hide if you are invisible.

c. Invisibility says that you can (note, not may) still be detected by the sounds your make or signs of your passage.
There is no difference between may and can in this context. The sentence merely means that it is possible to detect an invisible creature, not that such detection is automatic.

Seriously, more you try to rules-lawyer this, more you keep contradicting yourself. Just stop. I understand that you very much want the rules to validate your position, but they simply are too vague for that. You can play it however you want regardless of what the rules do or don not say. Just accept that you're interpreting the mess to suit your tastes like all of us.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
5 foot squares are abstractions. Like turns, or hit points or rounds.

Its more correct to say that over the course of the round it has enough of an idea to be able to make an attack against the invisible creature with disadvantage.

So as long as the creature is anywhere within a spell's range during the 6 seconds, you'll allow a PC to target it, right? After all, combat is simultaneous, so if a creature moves beyond reach it doesn't matter, because at some point it was within reach while I was acting.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Me neither and so are my players. And neither are the rules.
Actions you can take are (PHB p192)
Cast a spell
Dash
Disengage
Dodge
Help
Hide
Ready
Search
Use an object and of course
Attack.
Stealth is not an action. It is part of the movement phase.
A skill check might be part of a move or an action. Example: Make an accrobatic check to jump from the stairs to catch the chandelier as it swing and shoot your hand crossbow at a foe right below with your free hand.
There are various activities that can require a Stealth check, but it's not a part of movement. There are things on the list that include moving, but moving isn't required.

"Stealth. Make a Dexterity (Stealth) check when you attempt to conceal yourself from enemies, slink past guards, slip away without being noticed, or sneak up on someone without being seen or heard."
 

Right. So I actually finally listened what Crawford says on that podcast. So he basically says that they intentionally wrote the rules to be open to interpretation, and if you want to run it as tactical game with the position known then that works and if you want to run it as more narratively as not knowing the location as 'the extra frosting' (that's what he said) then that works too. So this stupid debate about 'what the rules really mean' or even what their intent is is utterly bloody pointless. The literal stated intent of the rules is to be intentionally vague so that you can yourself decide how to handle this.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Right. So I actually finally listened what Crawford says on that podcast. So he basically says that they intentionally wrote the rules to be open to interpretation, and if you want to run it as tactical game with the position known then that works and if you want to run it as more narratively as not knowing the location as 'the extra frosting' (that's what he said) then that works too. So this bloody stupid debate about 'what the rules really mean' or even what their intent is is utterly bloody pointless. The literal stated intent of the rules is to be intentionally vague so that you can yourself decide how to handle this.

Which is kind of what I've been saying all along. Want to always know exactly where a creature is you can't see that is 30 yards away? Go for it. Want to base it on what makes sense to the DM based on the current situation? Also totally legit.

What the rules don't say is that you always know where an invisible creature is. Where the rules are silent, it's up to the DM to make the call. Not sure why we need to have more than 400 posts to once again say that 5E is designed to be flexible and adjust to the preferences of the group.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
First, I agree that D&D totally rules. :D

So here's my understanding of the example of play and the fiction it gives rise to:

DM: You come to a door. What do you do?​
Max: I alertly go into the room. If I see anything, I leave and get to the rest of the group.​
DM: OK, the door opens into a large room that's about sixty-five feet long and fifty feet wide, and you don't see anything until you've walked about ten feet into the room. (I don't know why this would be, but maybe there's some intervening feature of the room that screens the goblins from view until then.) When you get ten feet in, you see ten goblins against the opposite wall of the room, and they begin moving towards you. What do you do?​
Max: I turn to leave immediately the instant I see the goblins.​
DM: Make a Dexterity check to determine your initiative versus the goblins. The goblins got a 15. If you win, you can get to the door first and leave, but if you lose, the goblins will have gotten the drop on you and will get to the door ahead of you to block your escape.​
Max: Darn it, I got a 10.​
DM: Too bad, the goblins rush past you as you turn to leave, giving you the chance to make an opportunity attack against one of them, and stand in two rows in front of the door, barring your way. What do you do?​
And so on...​

I honestly don't see how this is an absurd narrative.
The absurd part is the distance involved. 50 feet is waaaaay too far for them to get enough of a jump to pass an alert individual who spotted the goblins at the same time as they spotted him, and who is only 10 feet from the exit(60 feet from goblins). Even if he was somehow started, despite being alert, if combat were simultaneous they couldn't get more than 20 feet before the PC is moving for the exit.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
If you look at the Hide section on page 177, it lets us know that a creature can stay hidden even when in plain sight, if the target is distracted. An invisible creature would have a far easier time of it. That portion of the Hide section is also telling the DM that he should be aware that special circumstances should allow special hiding.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You say this as if the DM making the decision as to this is somehow in dispute.
I say this as if the DM is SUPPOSED to make the decision when circumstances warrant. I'd be rather upset if I were the invisible wizard in your game standing still, yet was still heard by the half dozen screaming giants riding trumpeting elephants. It's your job to take those sorts of considerations into account and make a ruling that's appropriate to the fiction.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I say this as if the DM is SUPPOSED to make the decision when circumstances warrant. I'd be rather upset if I were the invisible wizard in your game standing still, yet was still heard by the half dozen screaming giants riding trumpeting elephants. It's your job to take those sorts of considerations into account and make a ruling that's appropriate to the fiction.

It's never been about whether the DM makes the decision or not, but what the line is, which will vary by DM. And then some silliness about a poorly-written feral senses ability proving anything about the general rules for hiding.

Your poor, poor invisible wizard in my game is just going to have to console himself with all the other great benefits of being invisible until he takes the Hide action. Sorry if that ruins your game experience.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
The absurd part is the distance involved. 50 feet is waaaaay too far for them to get enough of a jump to pass an alert individual who spotted the goblins at the same time as they spotted him, and who is only 10 feet from the exit(60 feet from goblins). Even if he was somehow started, despite being alert, if combat were simultaneous they couldn't get more than 20 feet before the PC is moving for the exit.
Oh I see, you're looking to the preexisting (pre-initiative roll) fiction to explain why the goblins are able to get to the door first and you're not seeing it because it isn't there. It can't be because initiative hasn't decided that outcome yet. The earliest it can come in is where I inserted the DM saying, "if you lose, the goblins will have gotten the drop on you", in the setting of stakes before the roll. I meant got the drop on in the sense of obtaining an advantage over someone, by acting before them. We can reach even further back into the fiction to establish some way the goblins were able to act before the PC, maybe they had a lookout who was watching the door so were already in motion as the PC entered, maybe they had a shortcut to the door and popped out ahead of the PC, it doesn't matter, but we can't establish those things before initiative is rolled because we don't yet know what outcome the fiction needs to support.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
Curiously, the way I handle noise levels in my games, which I talked about a little up-thread, makes the second paragraph of Feral Senses actually worth something, given that I'm using an admittedly strained interpretation of hidden from to mean "has won a Stealth/Perception contest with". It works like this: If a creature is trying to hide, I consider any noise they might make to be at the "trying to be quiet" level for which I roll 2d6 and multiply by 5 for a range of 10-60 feet. Beyond that distance, it cannot be heard and, unless some circumstance dictates otherwise, is unnoticed. Only within that 10-60 foot radius is its detection dependent on the result of a Dex (Stealth) check. In this way, you can have a creature that's trying to hide and has a failing Stealth check result and yet remains unnoticed because its too far away to be heard. So when the audible distance roll comes up 5 and below, giving a distance under 30 feet, Feral Senses can come in and allow the ranger to detect an invisible creature that would otherwise go unnoticed. Of course, I have yet to see this in play because no one in my group has played a ranger up to 18th level.
 

Hey, don't leave yet! I have one more question.



Ok, so essentially, since Hide is an action, you cannot hide and attack in the same round unless you are a rogue with cunning action.

Illegal Action Economy (order of action not really important):

1. Cantrip attack
2. Bonus action improved invisibility
3. move action with a stealth check.

Since 1 and 3 are both actions (not including the actual movement), you can't do both.

Broadly speaking unless you have cunning action or a similar ability, on the round you make an attack from hiding while invisible youre vulnerable till the start of your next turn (at which point you can again attempt to Hide).

For a few seconds of in game time, nearby creatures can attack you at disadvantage.
 

Right. So I actually finally listened what Crawford says on that podcast.

It took you that long?

He clearly states the intent of the rules is that creatures (as a general rule) know the rough approximate location of nearby invisible creatures that are not also hidden (have yet to take the Hide action).

The invisible (but not hidden) creature gains all the benefits of the invisible condition making them immune to being targeted with most spells and special abilities (due to their location not being known well enough) and you get disadvantage to hit them.

In order for them to become hidden, the intent of the rules is they must take the Hide action (and succeed on a Stealth check). They can do this (as an Action) at will

He notes that there MAY be corner cases that exclude the need for a Hide action and Stealth check. An invisible Pixie hovering 200' away from the battle, near a raging waterfall for example. Or (his example) an invisible creature a fair way away from the combat while 'barrels of gunpowder' are going off and his opponents are distracted by a raging Barbarian screaming at them.

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

The general rule is that once you are no longer hidden (but are still invisible) you lose the benefits of being hidden (but retain the benefits of being invisible) until you again successfully hide again, via the Hide action,

Your location is still not known with any level of precision. Nearby creatures (for this round at least) can lob a few shots off in your direction (at disadvantage) or swing a sword wildly in your general area (making a melee attack at disadvantage). They cant target you with most spells or special abilities however, and you can simply re enter Hiding whenever you want, usually as an Action (Bonus action for Rogues and high level Rangers, and Shadow Demons, and Goblins etc).

On your very next turn, you can again Hide, via the Hide action. If you succeed, your opponent cant target you with any attacks at all barring a lucky guess.

Think of it as you attacking while invisible, your opponent screaming out in pain and then retaliating by shooting or swinging swords in your general direction in response.
 

It took you that long?
Yes, because the discussion has been what is RAW and Crawford's musings do not change that. If we wants to alter what the rules say he has power to issue erratas. And of course like with the rules, you overinterpret the podcast too. The intents is that the rules are vague intentionally and can support different approaches for handling this.

And personally I feel that Daredevil interpretation is blatantly absurd.
 

Yes, because the discussion has been what is RAW and Crawford's musings do not change that.

OK I admit it. You're doing it right and the rest of the world barring @Helldritch (but including the guy that wrote the rules) are doing it wrong.

Jebers man. Youre utterly totally and hopelessly wrong here. I dont know how else I can show that to you. I've tried showing you the rules, and Ive referred to consenus, and I've even given you commentary from the guy that wrote the rules on how it's supposed to work.

Please, pause for a second and consider the fact that you might actually be wrong.

And personally I feel that Daredevil interpretation is blatantly absurd.

THERE IS NO DAREDEVIL INTERPRETATION.

When you make an attack from Hiding, you reveal yourself for a few seconds (till the start of your next turn when you can again take the Hide action if you want).

If you want to run around the battlefield making absolutely NO effort to be quiet while invisible (represented in game via the Hide action) that's on you.

As long as you do so (race around not making any effort to hide, be quiet or conceal your location) nearby enemies can make SOME attacks against you (at disadvantage). They cant make opportunity attacks, they cant cast most spells on you, and you're immune to being targeted by multiple special abilities.

They have a very (very) rough idea of your general location, because you're making no effort to be quiet and hide while invisible.

Lucky for you you're invisible. You can attempt to Hide (as an action) whenever you darn well want to.

Daredevil has Blindsight. You cant hide from him ever within his Blindsight radius even if you wanted to and had a Stealth bonus of +50, if you were hidden, and he moves so you're inside his blindsight range, he automatically detects you, he doesn't need sight to target you with his attacks and spells, and can 'see' you without sight (so no disadvantage to his attacks, and you'll never have advantage against him due to being invisible or hidden).

That's a pretty huge difference.
 

OK I admit it. You're doing it right and the rest of the world barring @Helldritch (but including the guy that wrote the rules) are doing it wrong.

Jebers man. Youre utterly totally and hopelessly wrong here. I don't know how else I can show that to you. I've tried showing you the rules, and Ive referred to consensus, and I've even given you commentary from the guy that wrote the rules on how it's supposed to work.

Please, pause for a second and consider the fact that you might actually be wrong.
I am not wrong about what is actually written in the rules. The thing is not defined in the rules with the clarity you claim and we have both heard Crawford say that this is intentional. I have never claimed that rules support my handling of this as only correct one (granted, unlike you, I don't actually need to ignore Feral Senses) merely that they don't support your position either. It is undefined. There literally is no one correct answer to how to run this as they intentionally didn't put it in the rules. It is not there, the guy who wrote rules said that they didn't put it there on purpose. It is you who are being obtuse by not accepting that.

THERE IS NO DAREDEVIL INTERPRETATION.

When you make an attack from Hiding, you reveal yourself for a few seconds (till the start of your next turn when you can again take the Hide action if you want).

If you want to run around the battlefield making absolutely NO effort to be quiet while invisible (represented in game via the Hide action) that's on you.

As long as you do so (race around not making any effort to hide, be quiet or conceal your location) nearby enemies can make SOME attacks against you (at disadvantage). They cant make opportunity attacks, they cant cast most spells on you, and you're immune to being targeted by multiple special abilities.

They have a very (very) rough idea of your general location, because you're making no effort to be quiet and hide while invisible.

Lucky for you you're invisible. You can attempt to Hide (as an action) whenever you darn well want to.
That one might be able to attack a foe that just hit them and is now running away with mere disadvantage is probably reasonable, but that they would be able to continue to automatically track position of that foe for several turns when they are running around, possibly at considerable distance is laughable. And of course there easily could be several foes that they cannot see, moving about in different parts of the battlefield among all the other chaos. If the absurdity of this doesn't dawn on you when we start to consider blindness I really don't know what to tell you.
 

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