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D&D 5E Is It Impossible To Benefit From 'One With Shadows'?

the Jester

Legend
I was wondering how being invisible without being 'hidden' (because you didn't use an action to Hide) interacts with Perception/Stealth.

I'll speak to how I run it.

If you're invisible but not hidden, creatures that are close to you can pinpoint where you are. They can attack you (albeit with disadvantage). If you're hidden, they don't even know where you are and can attack a place, hoping you're there. In this case, they have disadvantage, but even if they roll a 20, they have to be targeting the right spot or they miss.
 

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Mirtek

Adventurer
So if a warlock is alone in a dimly lit room and turns on this invisibility but does not hide. Does a creature that walks into the room 2 minutes laterimmediately know that there is an invisible warlock standing in the room? Even if not knowing that the warlock was in the room before? He's not hidden after all.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
So if a warlock is alone in a dimly lit room and turns on this invisibility but does not hide. Does a creature that walks into the room 2 minutes laterimmediately know that there is an invisible warlock standing in the room? Even if not knowing that the warlock was in the room before? He's not hidden after all.

It would be up to the DM of course, but by RAW yes, the creature would be aware of him. Of course, it's a non-issue if the walock hides first and then becomes invisible. The hide action could be seen as him erasing any tracks he's left and perhaps consciously taking control of his breathing to make certain he isn't breathing too loudly).
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
Does the Hide action make you hidden until not? Or do you have to keep using the hide action every round?


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So if a warlock is alone in a dimly lit room and turns on this invisibility but does not hide. Does a creature that walks into the room 2 minutes laterimmediately know that there is an invisible warlock standing in the room? Even if not knowing that the warlock was in the room before? He's not hidden after all.


Of course. He hears loud breathing. Also the warlock hums a tune semiconsciously. He is leaving a footprint in the earth. So yes, maybe someone is around. In this case passive investigation may help you concluding that there is someone standing around invisibly at this exact place.

If he is in an area of silence standing on solid stone and an air genasi not breathing at all... no chance at all to detect him.
As soon as the warlock says that he wants to find a place where he can stand still without leaving footprints it is an action to hide. Let him roll exactly at this point. Maybe it is an intelligence check instead of a dex check. investigation or stealth would be added. Then you become invisible without leaving a trace. That order of operation is the way to go.
 

Satyrn

First Post
So if a warlock is alone in a dimly lit room and turns on this invisibility but does not hide. Does a creature that walks into the room 2 minutes laterimmediately know that there is an invisible warlock standing in the room? Even if not knowing that the warlock was in the room before? He's not hidden after all.
When DMing, this is where rules get in my way. Of course the warlock is unseen and unnoticed. Now, if one of those NPCs is suspicious or cautious or exceptionally observant (like Sherlock Holmes), they might notice his presence through some measure of investigation.

This is the sort of use this ability seems meant for, hiding in shadows, waiting for the patrolling guards to pass along before you sneak deeper into the castle, eavesdropping on a conversation, etc. It seems like it just ought to flat out work without resorting to dice.

I would have done this in 3e and 4e, too.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
Does the Hide action make you hidden until not? Or do you have to keep using the hide action every round?


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It makes you hidden until something makes you not hidden. Things that would make you not hidden include an enemy making a successful Perception check against you and calling out your location, you making an attack or casting a non-subtle spell, you shouting, or you losing the conditions for being able to hide (such as if the wall you are hiding behind is disintegrated).
 

When DMing, this is where rules get in my way. Of course the warlock is unseen and unnoticed. Now, if one of those NPCs is suspicious or cautious or exceptionally observant (like Sherlock Holmes), they might notice his presence through some measure of investigation.

This is the sort of use this ability seems meant for, hiding in shadows, waiting for the patrolling guards to pass along before you sneak deeper into the castle, eavesdropping on a conversation, etc. It seems like it just ought to flat out work without resorting to dice.

I would have done this in 3e and 4e, too.

I would maybe just ask for checks when the guards are hanging around too long. Maybe constitution+stealth for holding breath and standing still. When it does not beat the passive perception of the guards I may let the first look around for something and not have them autodetect you.
 

Satyrn

First Post
I would maybe just ask for checks when the guards are hanging around too long. Maybe constitution+stealth for holding breath and standing still. When it does not beat the passive perception of the guards I may let the first look around for something and not have them autodetect you.
Aye, that sounds fun. I'd do the same if it came to mind.
 

Actually it does. If you are not seen clearly enough you can hide. If noone is atound to see you you may attemt a hide check. You basically have cover from everyone and cand point to that rule. Cover is a relative thing. A long distance between you and the next person in heavy rain or dim light should suffice to hide too.
I have played in LARP and you won't believe me how easy it is to be unnoticed in dim light if you wear the right vestments. dark brown and green and datk gray will easily protect you from being seen even if you are directly looked at from some feet away.
So you will never have technical rules that may encompass all possibilities to hide in reality.
The skulker feat in my game will just allow you to quasi slip out of sight when the enemy knows you are there. As does the elf ability in heavy rain or light underbrush.

I'm strongly considering the ruling, and I think you make a good argument, but I don't think it is 100% apparent from the rules. So I'm discussing from the perspective that this isn't how it works. If it does, it gives me the utility I want from it.

The main objection that I can see is that the rules seem to me to assume that the act of making your check assumes both an active attempt to be quiet and an active attempt to take advantage of your visual obscurement. If no one can possibly detect your presence just because no one is there it seems you are skipping half of the situation and just trying to be quiet. Granted, if you are invisible first (through another ability) and hide, it is mostly being quiet, though you are probably also trying to avoid displacing objects and such that might give away visual cues to your presence. Of course, counter-argument is that you are still able to try to address those visual cues before you become invisible, in anticipation of the fact that you will become invisible as the final step of cementing your hiding attempt.

Not trying to be argumentative, but several posters have found many ways to use this power, suggesting it isn't useless just because it can't be used to hide.

...

Again you presume the power is there to help you with hiding.

I think the power is there to help you become invisible.

Y'all speak as if invisibility in itself is worthless; as if it's just something you do to hide easier...? :confused:

Invisibility is useful, but it is of rather limited use because of how the detection rules work. As others have said, if you are invisibly lurking in a room, and someone comes into it with their Passive Wisdom (Perception) "up" (I tend to require them to either be actively staying alert, or be very close to the perception target for that to apply, but some DMs probably keep it on all the time), they are automatically going to know you are there. Sure there is some benefit, but is that really the benefit that the invocation implies you are getting? It sure seems to me like it is supposed to allow you to be undetected (which in most important situations in 5e requires hiding) not just have an edge against attackers.

The question is why do you want to be hidden? What benefit do you get over and above not being visible especially when you can't move, which is the main strength of being hidden.

For me, the main strength of being hidden outside of combat, is that you can be lurking around with no one aware of your presence.

As an example, I am playing an armoured dwarf warlock with 9 Dex and no stealth training. There is no realistic chance he can become hidden at all during combat. The monsters will always know where he is. However this invocation should he choose to take it allows him to become invisible, making him difficult to target, hard to hit and also allowing single attack with advantage should he choose to. Will I take the invocation? I'm not sure yet but its certainly an interesting defensive option

If your dwarf is invisible with that invocation, then he can't do anything but stand there and be harder to hit. Is that really what he should be doing in the middle of combat?

If that is all the invocation allows, then it's just a minor combat option--give up your action and move (a pretty extreme sacrifice) for opponents to have a harder time hitting you and not be able to use targeted spells (or similar effects on you).

When I read this invocation, before taking into account the very limitation we are talking about in this thread, the image that comes to my mind is a guy moving to the side of a street into dim light and getting a chance to become hidden, and then just remaining there with his presence completely unknown as others move right past him. I'm sure that isn't a minority expectation of the feature.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Stealth needs a change. At my table, you make the check as part of the action wherein you gain the conditions to hide. Ie, when you become invisible, when you duck around the corner, etc.

rogues can use a bonus action to do any mundane thing that makes it so they can hide, even if it would normally require movement or an Action.
 

Plaguescarred

First Post
Also being in dim light or darkness enables you to take the action to become invisible, without needing to remain in it thereafter to have the invisibility persist. Conceptually speaking, the title, while bearing no mechanical weight, seem to imply to me that you have to remain in dim light or darkness in order to remain One With Shadows,but not in effect.
 

If the dim light or darkness moves away from you, you can stay invisible, but you can't get out of it yourself (unless there is a way of doing so that doesn't require movement, or an action (including a bonus action or reaction).
 


Arial Black

Explorer
The problem I'm having is this: I'm being chased through a castle, I'm a little ahead of my pursuers so I duck into a dimly lit but empty room unobserved. I use my action to use One With Shadows to become invisible, and then neither move nor take any action.

Moments later, my pursuers run past, looking in all the rooms as they go. When they look into my room, what will they see?

Conceptually, since I'm invisible my expectation is that they cannot see me, and since they're running past and haven't sniffed the air or checked for heat signatures or whatever, they just look.

But the rules have it that they instantly know I'm there, and what square I'm in, because I'm not 'hidden'! The fact that they have disadvantage to hit me is not what I was hoping for! I was hoping that being invisible meant that they don't see me therefore they don't realise that I'm in the room at all!
 

Plaguescarred

First Post
Viewed more like a "meld into trees or stone" ability,it's fine, I think.
It's clearly not meant for sneaking and hiding.
I agree since you can't move or take an action to hide it's clearly not meant for sneaking or hiding indeed. It appears to simply be a defensive effect making you not seen and thus granting disadvantages to attackers and not being targeteable by effects that works on creature you can see.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
The problem I'm having is this: I'm being chased through a castle, I'm a little ahead of my pursuers so I duck into a dimly lit but empty room unobserved. I use my action to use One With Shadows to become invisible, and then neither move nor take any action.

Moments later, my pursuers run past, looking in all the rooms as they go. When they look into my room, what will they see?

Conceptually, since I'm invisible my expectation is that they cannot see me, and since they're running past and haven't sniffed the air or checked for heat signatures or whatever, they just look.

But the rules have it that they instantly know I'm there, and what square I'm in, because I'm not 'hidden'! The fact that they have disadvantage to hit me is not what I was hoping for! I was hoping that being invisible meant that they don't see me therefore they don't realise that I'm in the room at all!
Since invisibility in itself is separated from being able to stand still and be quiet, you would be better off by finding an ability to hide as an action.

Cheers and good luck!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The problem I'm having is this: I'm being chased through a castle, I'm a little ahead of my pursuers so I duck into a dimly lit but empty room unobserved. I use my action to use One With Shadows to become invisible, and then neither move nor take any action.

Moments later, my pursuers run past, looking in all the rooms as they go. When they look into my room, what will they see?

Conceptually, since I'm invisible my expectation is that they cannot see me, and since they're running past and haven't sniffed the air or checked for heat signatures or whatever, they just look.

But the rules have it that they instantly know I'm there, and what square I'm in, because I'm not 'hidden'! The fact that they have disadvantage to hit me is not what I was hoping for! I was hoping that being invisible meant that they don't see me therefore they don't realise that I'm in the room at all!

Why would hey automatically be aware of you? Are they automatically aware of things on the other side of an obstruction?

The stealth rules are a bit borked in general, but this is a clear case of not needing any rolls.
 

Why would hey automatically be aware of you? Are they automatically aware of things on the other side of an obstruction?

The stealth rules are a bit borked in general, but this is a clear case of not needing any rolls.

If they did stop and duck their head in while pursuing you, the stealth rules would them find you automatically. It's absurd. I'd like to know the intent of the rules here.
 

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