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

Hriston

Hero
Putting the outcome much more in doubt. Different DCs, advantages and disadvantages exist for a reason. In such a situation hiding roll would represent avoiding to making noise. Now obviously trying to detect someone based on the noise alone is much harder than if you can see them.
This doesn't follow for me. What are you setting the DC at to hear a creature that's invisible or behind a rock that it's less in doubt than if that same creature takes the Hide action, effectively setting the DC 1 above the creature's Stealth check? I mean, the creature could roll a natural 1 on its check. How are you making noticing it less in doubt than that? Are you saying you'd impose disadvantage on a check to notice a hiding creature that's unseen? Because that's, like, the default. You can't even try to hide from a creature that can (clearly) see you.
 

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Hriston

Hero
Setting DC. Without it you're at the DM mercy on that and it very often won't be nearly as high.
If you (the DM) are setting the DC that low, doesn't that just result in them being noticed automatically most of time anyway? The average non-proficient PC has a passive Perception of at least 11.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
You could be beyond hearing range in a battle. That's a DM call. Combat is very loud and even though you are aware of your surroundings, you can't focus on them without ending up dead. Your focus is the enemy trying to kill you, so an invisible opponent 100 feet away is very likely to be unheard.

You could also be under the effects of silence.
So moving far away could make you unheard. How did you get there unheard? Are you making attacks from that position or just chilling, trying not to be noticed? Sounds a bit like Hide either way. Sure, DM call can cover that - but, and you clipped this part of my prior post, are you giving them a free Hide (with the mechanical benefits that come with it) and allowing other actions?


No. I don't ask for a hide roll. I simply set a DC to notice the "hidden" PC and go from there. If the Invisible PC want control over the DC, because rolled hide check will often be higher that ser DCs, he can use an action to do so.

For example, if an invisible PC is in a noisy tavern, but is not trying to be quiet, I'd set a moderate DC to detect. It's pretty easy to exceed that with a hide roll, even at level 1. At mid and high levels you will exceed a lot.

I'm not sure I follow your example. What is the invisible PC in the noisy tavern trying to accomplish and how are they going about doing it? Since they are not trying to be quiet, it doesn't seem to involve Stealth.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
There is no 'default position' because there is no default situation. What are the 'default' creatures involved, what is the 'default' ground like, what is the 'default' amount of ambient noise, what is the 'default' terrain like and what are the other 'default' obstacles and structures?

Hiding is for making you harder to detect than you would be otherwise. What that 'otherwise' is depends on myriad other variables.
I'll guarantee you have a default position, though, because the alternative means that you stop and take time, every moment, to determine the totality of the situation and adjudicate detection. Since I'm 100% confident you don't do this, you have a default understanding of the world that the vast majority of the time creatures are just noticed. It's only in the special circumstances that you'd bother to even look at it. This is what a default does.

Now, I can get behind our defaults being a different strengths. But, my default is that invisibility alone is insufficient to override the default assumption that you're noticed. Invisibility and something else, sure. Likewise, being behind a rock isn't sufficient -- others still know where you are. Being behind a rock and no one knowing where you are requires some other effort or circumstance, which may be as simple as the rock is 100' away and it's a touch foggy. Regardless, my initial position will be that you are noticed and will only modify if something exists that would alter that. Then I apply my judgement, which probably isn't that different from yours.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
If you (the DM) are setting the DC that low, doesn't that just result in them being noticed automatically most of time anyway? The average non-proficient PC has a passive Perception of at least 11.
I don't use passive rules. However, a moderate DC is 15, so most passive perceptions wont pick that up.
 

I'll guarantee you have a default position, though, because the alternative means that you stop and take time, every moment, to determine the totality of the situation and adjudicate detection. Since I'm 100% confident you don't do this, you have a default understanding of the world that the vast majority of the time creatures are just noticed. It's only in the special circumstances that you'd bother to even look at it. This is what a default does.
This is some weird semantics. Of course the GM has to asses the situation holistically. And can you answer to what the 'default' is for all those categories I mentioned? Because I sure as hell can't, nor I see what would even be the point.

Now, I can get behind our defaults being a different strengths. But, my default is that invisibility alone is insufficient to override the default assumption that you're noticed. Invisibility and something else, sure.
How? That is blatantly absurd. If an invisible person stands silently in a middle of the field, 60 feet from you, how the fuck would you know they're there? Perhaps some amazing super scout could possibly perceive the sound of their breathing, or some blades of leaf their feet had crushed or smell their sweat, but all of these seem like crazy difficult tasks to me, and of course an auto success would be blatantly laughable idea in such circumstances.

Likewise, being behind a rock isn't sufficient -- others still know where you are.
Again, how? If no one perceived them to go there, they were there from the beginning of the encounter, then auto-detecting them would be utterly bizarre. You're basically giving all creatures some absurd radar. Does this work through dungeon walls too? Can I detect secret passages by drawing my sword and being automatically aware of every rat or bug that could be behind the stone wall?

Being behind a rock and no one knowing where you are requires some other effort or circumstance, which may be as simple as the rock is 100' away and it's a touch foggy. Regardless, my initial position will be that you are noticed and will only modify if something exists that would alter that. Then I apply my judgement, which probably isn't that different from yours.
Being imperceptible by vision, the primary sense of most creatures in the setting is pretty damn gigantic alteration of circumstances!
 

No. I'd like you to back up your assertions with actual rules. And you can't.

I can and I have. And I've also offered to prove it to you via consensus and also via the very words of the dudes who wrote the rules themselves.

Youre wrong. Or Crawford and Mearls are wrong, consensus is to be ignored, and the rulebook is optional.

Guess which one of those statements likely is true?
 

I can and I have. And I've also offered to prove it to you via consensus and also via the very words of the dudes who wrote the rules themselves.

Youre wrong. Or Crawford and Mearls are wrong, consensus is to be ignored, and the rulebook is optional.

Guess which one of those statements likely is true?
If they wanted the rule to be that everyone is automatically aware of each other's position, they should have written it in the rules. But they didn't. So regardless of what you think, what they think or what thousand people on Reddit think, it's not in the rules and that's the fact.
 

Of course. On that we agree. But inthe end, the mo k is at a minimum of 40 feet away and probably more if the guard is in heavy armor without the appropriate strength.

Hearing the monk is out of the question as the guard is running too and makes even more noise than the monk. He is in armor after all. So how can he locate what he can't see nor hear?

Use your logic and stop blindly applying an inept rule.

I am using logic, and the rules.

And he can see (footprints) and hear (footsteps, heavy breathing) the Monk.

Close your eyes. Ill run past you in fresking sneakers. I assure you you'll be able to discern the direction im coming from and the direction im heading with sufficient accuracy for several seconds to be able to put a bullet in me with a handgun.

Will you be as accurate as you would with an aimed shot? Nope. But you'll have a mental image of where I'm at

Can i run away from you for several seconds, then stop and start tiptoeing away on a different angle causing you to lose track of where im at?

Yep. But that's just me taking the Hide action on my second turn.
 

If they wanted the rule to be that everyone is automatically aware of each other's position

They did. Its in the opening chapter of the combat section.

Its also inferred in that if you don't start the xombat Hidden, and you want yl Hide in combat, YOU NEED TO TAKE THE HIDE ACTION.

This was expressly confirmed by the bloody dude who wrote the rules.

Im gonna post a link to that interview.

Youre totally wrong by RAW and RAI.

Like in your game do what you want brother. Just don't try and sell it as rules.
 


NotAYakk

Legend
How? That is blatantly absurd. If an invisible person stands silently in a middle of the field, 60 feet from you, how the fuck would you know they're there? Perhaps some amazing super scout could possibly perceive the sound of their breathing, or some blades of leaf their feet had crushed or smell their sweat, but all of these seem like crazy difficult tasks to me, and of course an auto success would be blatantly laughable idea in such circumstances.

Again, how? If no one perceived them to go there, they were there from the beginning of the encounter, then auto-detecting them would be utterly bizarre. You're basically giving all creatures some absurd radar. Does this work through dungeon walls too? Can I detect secret passages by drawing my sword and being automatically aware of every rat or bug that could be behind the stone wall?
Um, someone sitting in the middle of a field invisible and not moving is describing someone who took the hide action.

If a monster, that is just assumed. If a PC, the player describes what the PC is doing, and the DM says "that is the hide action" and tells the player to roll stealth.

(The player describes what the character is doing, the DM provides the mechanics)

The case where you are invisible and not hidden basically requires you to be frantically doing something besides trying to be not spotted every 5 seconds from the moment you where invisible and the enemy knew where you are, to the current time (moving, attacking, sprinting at top speed, casting a spell, messing with your gear, drinking a potion, whatever).
 

No. The rules do not define 'notice' as 'be aware of exact location'. If Crawford wanted it to be there then he should have written it, but he didn't.

You don't know the exact location of the invisble (but not hidden) monk.

You have a rough idea. Enough to make some attacks against it with disadvantage. Not enough to target it with 90 percent of spells and other abilities (barring area attacks) or to make opportunity attacks against it.
 

Um, someone sitting in the middle of a field invisible and not moving is describing someone who took the hide action.

If a monster, that is just assumed. If a PC, the player describes what the PC is doing, and the DM says "that is the hide action" and tells the player to roll stealth.

(The player describes what the character is doing, the DM provides the mechanics)

The case where you are invisible and not hidden basically requires you to be frantically doing something besides trying to be not spotted every 5 seconds from the moment you where invisible and the enemy knew where you are, to the current time (moving, attacking, sprinting at top speed, casting a spell, messing with your gear, drinking a potion, whatever).

This this a million times this.

Ok invisible monk its your turn, what do you do?

I stand still and keep quiet while being unseen thanks to my invsibility.

Ok, that's the Hide action, make me a Stealth check.
 

I am using logic, and the rules.
Not from my point of view, sorry. You are just blindly and recklessly applying a rule.

And he can see (footprints) and hear (footsteps, heavy breathing) the Monk.
He won't see foot prints, the place is made of stone, a castle you know... He won't hear heavy breathing, he is running too in heavy armor, that alone makes a lot of noise.

Close your eyes. Ill run past you in fresking sneakers. I assure you you'll be able to discern the direction im coming from and the direction im heading with sufficient accuracy for several seconds to be able to put a bullet in me with a handgun.

Will you be as accurate as you would with an aimed shot? Nope. But you'll have a mental image of where I'm at
Yeah... so you say. I'm not a monk. But I'm not a sneaky type either. I can assure you that if I am screaming for the guards and try to get to you blind folded, I will lose track of you almost immediately.

Can i run away from you for several seconds, then stop and start tiptoeing away on a different angle causing you to lose track of where im at?

Yep. But that's just me taking the Hide action on my second turn.
This I can agree. But I would not even hear you running if I were screaming for the guards either.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
What do you change the default to, then? I'm curious. Because, you know, default just means the usual, so what do you change the usual to?

I personally don't have a "default", I just make a call based on the situation.

In general, it depends on how noisy the invisible creature is relative to the environment and how much it interacts with the environment. But it all comes back to making a judgement call, what could be perceived? I take into allowance the fact that some PCs are far more perceptive than I am, but there are still limits.
  • Flying creatures in an open area are difficult to detect, particularly smaller creatures (no detectable down-draft). An invisible imp flying above the market is going to be nearly impossible to detect unless they disturb some birds, fly through smoke or similar. Of course it will change if the imp is screaming epithets or throwing things.
  • In situations that are relatively quiet, I'll probably require a stealth check. Sneaking past the guard (before combat) is an example. I may adjust and give advantage/disadvantage based on environmental factors.
  • In combat it depends. Mass battle chaos or 4 PCs vs 1 opponent in a quiet cave?
  • Environment matters. On a city street? Middle of the day with people running and screaming because a balrog just gated in or middle of the night? Storm and wind meaning you have to yell to be heard or calm and quiet?
  • Is the ground wet, covered in snow or is there another reason to leave tracks such as walking under cover during a rainstorm?
But for me, I don't have a huge issue in part because I don't have 5 minute work days and I've never given out items that grant greater invisibility equivalent. Spell slots (even at higher levels) are pretty precious and greater invisibility only lasts a minute. If the PCs can take advantage of this now and then, fantastic. It's more of an issue with creatures that have greater invisibility, but that just gives me options to throw different challenges. The scouting invisible imp or sprite familiar is probably the biggest headache I ever have. Then again, lanterns of revealing aren't that expensive to have scattered around in highly secure areas. YMMV.

I don't see the OP's scenario being all that much different from what happened in a recent game. The PCs were placed in magical darkness by monsters that could see in the dark (orc blades of something or other I think). I rolled straight dex checks for the orcs vs passive perception; there was a decent chance the PCs would know where the orcs were but not guaranteed. This was in the abandoned part of the city, outdoors so not dead silent and a mix of hard and soft ground. Depending on if the PCs beat the dex check and by how much they either had a pretty good idea of location or just a general direction.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So moving far away could make you unheard. How did you get there unheard? Are you making attacks from that position or just chilling, trying not to be noticed? Sounds a bit like Hide either way. Sure, DM call can cover that - but, and you clipped this part of my prior post, are you giving them a free Hide (with the mechanical benefits that come with it) and allowing other actions?
Yes, circumstances such as your questions above can modify things. We are talking in general here.

Also, becoming hidden due to unseen due to invisibility, and unheard due to circumstances, is not a free hide. It costs a 2nd level slot and concentration. It's the rules, not me, that state that hidden = unseen and unheard.

I'm not sure I follow your example. What is the invisible PC in the noisy tavern trying to accomplish and how are they going about doing it? Since they are not trying to be quiet, it doesn't seem to involve Stealth.
i don't know. In a game I would know what they are trying to accomplish and how, and would adjust accordingly.

As for not involving stealth, you don't always have to be stealthy to be unheard. I don't know if your ever been go a big play or musical, but it gets so loud just by talking that you have to lean into the person next to you or shout, just to be heard. Fewer people, such as at a noisy tavern would similarly, though to a lesser degree, mask noises. That's what the DC is for. Combat is louder than a tavern.[/Quote]
 
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I personally don't have a "default", I just make a call based on the situation.

In general, it depends on how noisy the invisible creature is relative to the environment and how much it interacts with the environment. But it all comes back to making a judgement call, what could be perceived? I take into allowance the fact that some PCs are far more perceptive than I am, but there are still limits.
  • Flying creatures in an open area are difficult to detect, particularly smaller creatures (no detectable down-draft). An invisible imp flying above the market is going to be nearly impossible to detect unless they disturb some birds, fly through smoke or similar. Of course it will change if the imp is screaming epithets or throwing things.
  • In situations that are relatively quiet, I'll probably require a stealth check. Sneaking past the guard (before combat) is an example. I may adjust and give advantage/disadvantage based on environmental factors.
  • In combat it depends. Mass battle chaos or 4 PCs vs 1 opponent in a quiet cave?
  • Environment matters. On a city street? Middle of the day with people running and screaming because a balrog just gated in or middle of the night? Storm and wind meaning you have to yell to be heard or calm and quiet?
  • Is the ground wet, covered in snow or is there another reason to leave tracks such as walking under cover during a rainstorm?
But for me, I don't have a huge issue in part because I don't have 5 minute work days and I've never given out items that grant greater invisibility equivalent. Spell slots (even at higher levels) are pretty precious and greater invisibility only lasts a minute. If the PCs can take advantage of this now and then, fantastic. It's more of an issue with creatures that have greater invisibility, but that just gives me options to throw different challenges. The scouting invisible imp or sprite familiar is probably the biggest headache I ever have. Then again, lanterns of revealing aren't that expensive to have scattered around in highly secure areas. YMMV.

I don't see the OP's scenario being all that much different from what happened in a recent game. The PCs were placed in magical darkness by monsters that could see in the dark (orc blades of something or other I think). I rolled straight dex checks for the orcs vs passive perception; there was a decent chance the PCs would know where the orcs were but not guaranteed. This was in the abandoned part of the city, outdoors so not dead silent and a mix of hard and soft ground. Depending on if the PCs beat the dex check and by how much they either had a pretty good idea of location or just a general direction.
This is exactly how I run things too.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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! 😉
Sure, but when I set that DC to notice, IF I set a DC at all and don't just rule auto failure, the DC will not be a moderate 15. :p
 

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