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


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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I never said Hiding would auto-succeed or that perception would auto-fail. I said that since using sight to locate someone auto-fails, and since they are forced to use other senses, I'd give them disadvantage on the perception (or passive perception) to notice them.
Sure, but do you do this for normal hiding? The base condition for hiding is not being seen, so it would follow that you would also apply disadvantage to normal hiding as well. This is the point -- invisibility specifically declines to change the normal rules, and in the exception based design that means it doesn't. The only fair way to apply disadvantage because you can't see the hider would be to do it in pretty much all hiding situations.
Maybe your threshold for disadvantage is lower. Maybe if the person was hiding invisibly AND on the edge of a Silence spell, you'd adjudicate that all Perception checks auto-fail. Or maybe you'd adjudicate that there's a chance that someone could still smell them. Maybe, given they can only use sense of smell, you'd adjudicate that they'd have disadvantage to notice. Or maybe you'd adjudicate that smell is enough to warrant using Passive Perception at no penalty.
In general, I discount smell unless there's a special ability. However, even invisible and silent might be detected if there's environmental conditions that warrant it. Still, that combo is strong.

I feel that, if you have 0 chance of using one or more of your senses, you probably are at some kind of penalty.
And that penalty is that the other creature can attempt to hide.
I'm pretty sure I've agreed with everything you've said in this thread. I was just asking for clarifications.
Cool!
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
Sure, but do you do this for normal hiding?

Maybe. If they are heavily obscured and the chance of being seen is 0 because the rules say skill checks that depend on sight automatically fail. And if 1 of your 2 or 3 senses auto-fail, then you are at some kind of disadvantage. You might be feeling around for them which might offset that.

The base condition for hiding is not being seen,
Which doesn't necessarily mean Heavily Obscured.
Hiding in some foliage or a bush might not be Heavily Obscured but you might still be unobserved.

so it would follow that you would also apply disadvantage to normal hiding as well.
Possibly. Like, running away behind a rock or some bushes, lets you try to hide from someone who saw you running to the rock or bushes...I probably wouldn't give disadvantage to notice them...you know they're somewhere behind the rock, after all.

But if they go invisible and sneak away, you might not be able to predict which way they are going to go.

In general, I discount smell unless there's a special ability. However, even invisible and silent might be detected if there's environmental conditions that warrant it. Still, that combo is strong.
I think being invisible is a strong combo. So, probably disadvantage to notice an invisible person.

But, like, DMing is 80% making judgement calls depending on the situation, so it really depends.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
It took you that long?

Hey, thanks for being a dick about how other people use their time.


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.

All you have to do is turn the adjudication task around and this is less of a corner case and doesn't need to involve so many extremes. Instead of ruling if an invisible pixie 200' away next to a waterfall gets a free hide action (effectively), all you have to do is think of this from the perspective of the perception check of the observer. Success, fail, or in enough dispute to roll it? As a DM, I'd think that check to be pretty much impossible barring some other extenuating circumstance like the pixie actively involving himself in the combat close at hand in a highly visible way.

And, frankly, these examples set a pretty bizarre standard. If you really need something akin to exploding barrels of gunpowder and a raging barbarian in the face to be distracted from an invisible creature a fair distance away from the combat, that's pretty extreme.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I bolded the important part there. If you are invisible and circumstances make it so that you are not heard, you are hidden unless the DM is failing to do his job and rules that you are not.



No outliers are needed. All that's needed is a reasonable chance that you are not heard. Once that is achieved, if the DM is doing his job, there will at least be a perception check to find you, if not an outright failure(such is if using a silence spell).

But Maxperson, the podcast Crawford specifically called out exploding barrels of gunpowder! You can't be considered hidden unless there's pyrotechnics! :mad:

Wait, that's not quite right because many spells and powers are just as loud and flashy as an explosion, and get used on a regular basis. Or there could be gale force winds, or you could be on a flying ship that's on fire and plummeting to the ground. Hmm. But you have to have a barbarian screaming at you! Is the barbarian's player stating that they are screaming? Are they? 🤯

Any time someone is unseen and unheard they are, according to the rules, "hidden". Why they might be unseen and unheard is up to the DM.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
How is requiring the expenditure of resources, free?

The monk is already invisible. The resource had been expended in a previous round. When it is said you are giving out a free Hide, it's on a subsequent turn to the invisible creature at your DM whim when there are no special circumstances. To at least some of us here, regular combat noise is not a special circumstance for saying an invisible creature is automatically hidden.
 

And, frankly, these examples set a pretty bizarre standard. If you really need something akin to exploding barrels of gunpowder and a raging barbarian in the face to be distracted from an invisible creature a fair distance away from the combat, that's pretty extreme.

Thats the exact example the Devs use in the attached podcast where they discusses the rules on hiding as an example of when a DM might NOT require a Hide action to hide.

Perhaps you should listen to it as well.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Thats the exact example the Devs use in the attached podcast where they discusses the rules on hiding as an example of when a DM might NOT require a Hide action to hide.

Perhaps you should listen to it as well.

Why so freakin' obsessed with one example Crawford made up off the top of his head? It's not like they did a thorough and complete list of possible options, nor did he need to. The point is that the DM makes the call on when it makes sense.
 

Why so freakin' obsessed with one example Crawford made up off the top of his head? It's not like they did a thorough and complete list of possible options, nor did he need to. The point is that the DM makes the call on when it makes sense.

I didn't bring it up. The dude i quoted did.

And even that ludicrous example is a 'maybe' ignore the default rules.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I didn't bring it up. The dude i quoted did.

And even that ludicrous example is a 'maybe' ignore the default rules.

The rules don't discuss it so there is no "default". Even if it is the default that means that there are exceptions to the rule. How often there are exceptions is going to be up to the DM.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
The recording with James Haeck is really good. This bit starts just after 27:

James Haeck said:
So for the invisible person, stealth and more precisely hiding, can still be important if you really want to make sure people don't realize you're there. Because, again, as soon as you're making that Dex(Staelth) check its going beyond 'Do they see me?' It's 'Do they hear me?' 'Do they just notice my presence in general?' Because Perception goes beyond sight and sound.

and

James Haeck said:
... so you're already reaping the benefit of being out of sight, either it's because you're behind total cover or because you're benefiting from the invisible condition. Those things already have a lot of great, built-in benefits. What, again, hiding does is it pushes you a little bit beyond. It means they might not even know I'm here. Or they have no idea where I am. They're gonna need to guess.

This bit starts just before 31:00:
James Haeck said:
Does this make invisibility useless if we're going to assume someone knows where the invisible person is? Absolutely it does NOT make it useless because again being invisible gives you the huge benefit of advantage on your attack rolls against everyone who can't see you, there's disadvantage on all their attack rolls against you AND you can hide whenever you like. And then if a DM decides to sort of take a more narrative role in how he or she interprets the Stealth rule often DMs will just have monsters invisible characters because the monsters are distracted which is, really in a way, a roleplaying choice.
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Maybe. If they are heavily obscured and the chance of being seen is 0 because the rules say skill checks that depend on sight automatically fail. And if 1 of your 2 or 3 senses auto-fail, then you are at some kind of disadvantage. You might be feeling around for them which might offset that.


Which doesn't necessarily mean Heavily Obscured.
Hiding in some foliage or a bush might not be Heavily Obscured but you might still be unobserved.
Okay, I guess I don't follow that there's different levels of not being seen.


Possibly. Like, running away behind a rock or some bushes, lets you try to hide from someone who saw you running to the rock or bushes...I probably wouldn't give disadvantage to notice them...you know they're somewhere behind the rock, after all.

But if they go invisible and sneak away, you might not be able to predict which way they are going to go.
Well, yeah, the invisible character is hiding when they sneak away. I don't follow the difference in this example. The first character has to run behind cover to hide -- to be not seen -- and then you lose track of him and he can move anywhere he wants that's out of sight. The invisible character doesn't have to run to cover to not be seen, and after hiding can move anywhere they want because they're invisible. This seems like a huge advantage to invisibility in regards to hiding already, so why does it also need to impose disadvantage?

I think being invisible is a strong combo. So, probably disadvantage to notice an invisible person.

But, like, DMing is 80% making judgement calls depending on the situation, so it really depends.
Invisible is a strong combo with what? I don't follow. It's very strong when paired with silence, as I said, which seems good cause to grant a free hide attempt or impose disadvantage, as you're now down to only being able to observe signs of passage. If that's what you meant, that's what I meant. If you mean invisible alone is good enough for disadvantage on perception checks, you can do that, but the rules are pretty clear that's not what's on tap. As you've made clear, there's no disadvantage for not being seen by non-invisible creatures in order to hide, and invisibility doesn't call out any exceptions, so it's not meant to have special exceptions on it's own. Perhaps in combination with something else, like silence, or environment, or observers being distracted it makes sense, but the designers actually avoided adding that language into invisibility. You can, obviously, do whatever you like.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The monk is already invisible. The resource had been expended in a previous round. When it is said you are giving out a free Hide, it's on a subsequent turn to the invisible creature at your DM whim when there are no special circumstances. To at least some of us here, regular combat noise is not a special circumstance for saying an invisible creature is automatically hidden.
It's an ongoing resource that takes up concentration. It's still a required expenditure for the hide process we are talking about. Hide is never free while invisible, unless it's somehow an at-will power that lacks concentration.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I didn't bring it up. The dude i quoted did.

And even that ludicrous example is a 'maybe' ignore the default rules.
He's not saying that maybe it's enough noise(it's more than enough), he's saying maybe the DM makes the call. Not all DMs will ala @iserith for whom it appears that no amount of noise is enough.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
He's not saying that maybe it's enough noise(it's more than enough), he's saying maybe the DM makes the call. Not all DMs will ala @iserith for whom it appears that no amount of noise is enough.

I think it would be fine to say a creature is automatically hidden as long as it's as noisy as my ruling apparently is in your head.
 

The rules don't discuss it so there is no "default".

The rules DO discuss it.

They give you rules for:

1) How one becomes Hidden in combat (via obtaining total cover or heavy obscurement, taking the Hide action, and then beating the enemies Passive perception score with your Stealth check),
2) The advantages of being Hidden (advantage, disadvantage, square guessing).
3) How you can be found when hidden (via the Search action) and
4) What reveals you when you're hidden (attacking, being seen, making loud noises etc).

Re being invisible: The rules also clearly tell you that when you're invisible you can always try to Hide. In the absence of any rules to the contrary this follows the normal rules for hiding (above).

That's the default as per the RAW. You are NOT hidden until you can make yourself 'unable to be seen clearly,' you take the Hide action, and pass your Stealth check vs Passive Perception.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The rules DO discuss it.

They give you rules for:

1) How one becomes Hidden in combat (via obtaining total cover or heavy obscurement, taking the Hide action, and then beating the enemies Passive perception score with your Stealth check),
2) The advantages of being Hidden (advantage, disadvantage, square guessing).
3) How you can be found when hidden (via the Search action) and
4) What reveals you when you're hidden (attacking, being seen, making loud noises etc).

Re being invisible: The rules also clearly tell you that when you're invisible you can always try to Hide. In the absence of any rules to the contrary this follows the normal rules for hiding (above).

That's the default as per the RAW. You are NOT hidden until you can make yourself 'unable to be seen clearly,' you take the Hide action, and pass your Stealth check vs Passive Perception.
Incorrect. You are hidden if you are both unseen and unheard. That is also RAW.
 

But if they go invisible and sneak away, you might not be able to predict which way they are going to go.

Depends on the result of their Stealth check result to Hide via the Action.

Example:

An Invisible (but not hidden) PC (3rd level Wizard, movement 30', Stealth +5) is in melee combat with an Orc (Perception +0, passive perception 10). It's the Wizards turn and he wants to sneak away from the Orc, taking advantage of his invisibility.

It is resolved like this:

1) PC Wizards turn starts.
2) PC Wizard takes the Hide action. He compares his Stealth check result (Rolls 7, +5 for Stealth, total of 12) v the Passive Perception of the Orc (10). As the roll is higher, the Wizard is now hidden relative to the Orc.
3) The Wizard moves away 30'. Note that even if the PC was not hidden, the Orc still cant make an AoO vs him as he walks away as the Orc cannot see the Wizard.
4) PC's turn ends.

The Orc now has no idea where the PC is. He cant attack him at all without a lucky guess.

1) Orcs turn starts
2) Orc starts sniffing around, and scanning for footprints (he takes the Search action). Orc rolls his Perception (+0 bonus) vs the Wizards Stealth check result (12). He rolls a 13 and passes, noticing faint footprints in the dirt on the ground, and catches a whiff of the Wizards spell components and sweat. The Wizard is still invisible, but no longer hidden relative to the Orc.
3) The Orc moves 30' towards the Wizard, ending in an adjacent square. Note the Orc cannot use its 'Aggressive' trait to move to the Wizard as a bonus action, as this ability requires a 'target you can see' and the Orc cant see the Wizard (the wizard is not hidden, but he's still invisible). He has to move using his movement.
4) The Orcs turn ends.

Next round, the Wizard can try (again) to Hide, and then move away, following the rules above.

Get how it works?
 

eayres33

Explorer
Incorrect. You are hidden if you are both unseen and unheard. That is also RAW.
What makes you unheard is the hard part. That isn't defined in rules and that would determine how I ruled it. The group I DM for stays close together and is more a kick down the doors and be loud and boisterous at the tavern group. Not a stealth and deception group. Invisible paladin in heavy armor they probably hear you. A monk and a rogue if you dash they probably hear you. Half speed they don't regular speed maybe an acrobatics check vs their passive perception.
 

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