Stealth in Combat

Xorn

First Post
I don't like the Stealth mechanics in combat; mainly because there is no reason not to stealth if you have cover/concealment. Especially a character like a rogue, trained in stealth with 18 DEX (+9 Stealth). Use a hand crossbow from behind (a crate), then use Stealth to hide behind the cover. If you make the opposed check, you are now hidden.

Stealth specifically states "You have combat advantage against a target that isn't aware of you.", and because of that in my opinion you can become hidden in cover/concealment (giving you total concealment now), but the enemy is still aware of you, so you get no Combat Advantage, as far as I'm concerned.

The problem I have again--is why would you NOT make a stealth check when in cover/concealment? If you make the opposed check, you have Total Concealment, and if you fail it, at least you have Cover. As there is no downside to the check, it's just extra die rolls, really.

I can see this as two cowboys hiding behind water troughs I guess, each one popping up and trying to duck back down before the other returns fire. Eventually one fails their Stealth roll and the other gets a good shot at them.

But it's extra dice rolls every single turn, and that's so... not like 4E. The reason Concealment doesn't give a miss chance now is that it was extra rolling!
 

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Xorn

First Post
I suppose the counter is the Ready action. You stealth behind a wall, ready an action to attack that person the next time I see them. Next time they attack they reveal themself, and then the immediate reaction occurs, before they can hide again.

It doesn't solve the problem of every time anyone has cover/concealment, they should make a stealth roll to hide behind it. :/
 

cferejohn

First Post
Xorn said:
The problem I have again--is why would you NOT make a stealth check when in cover/concealment? If you make the opposed check, you have Total Concealment, and if you fail it, at least you have Cover. As there is no downside to the check, it's just extra die rolls, really.[/q]

There is no downside to making an attack either. More to the point, there is no downside to a Ranger marking someone as quarry and it always succeeds. I was leery of this as well, but I find that it makes the rogue a legitimate ranged threat. And really, flanking is still better because it always works (and also most of the Rogue's powers involve melee attacks.

[q]I can see this as two cowboys hiding behind water troughs I guess, each one popping up and trying to duck back down before the other returns fire. Eventually one fails their Stealth roll and the other gets a good shot at them.
[/q]

That's not quite right. When you attack you automatically become unhidden. So if you stealth then attack (whether you hit or not) you are no longer hidden.

[q]But it's extra dice rolls every single turn, and that's so... not like 4E. The reason Concealment doesn't give a miss chance now is that it was extra rolling![/q]

This I kind of agree with. I kind of thought the point of passive perception was to alleviate this kind of rolling (so the Rogue could use stealth to "attack" passive perception), but I see this is not the case. You also get into strange situations where the Rogue hides vs. one enemy, then another enemy comes from a different angle (but the Rogue still has cover/concealment) and the Rogue gets to use his same stealth result.
 

Surgoshan

First Post
Yeah, stealth is helpful. But it's not a guarantee. If the opponent's perception check beats your stealth check (free action when you stealth), then your stealth didn't avail you. And if it doesn't beat it, then he can use a minor action to make another and try again. So it's helpful, but it has limits.

A paladin in full plate with no stealth bonus or training isn't going to try stealthing because he'll have 0 bonus from dex (unless he put points into dex for some reason) and he'll have a pretty hefty armor check penalty (-4 if he has a heavy shield). Whereas many mobs have quite a good bonus to perception.

The rogue, on the other hand, wants combat advantage so he'll be trying for stealth all the time. It works without being broken.

I'm pretty sure that cutting down on dice rolls was a secondary or even tertiary goal. What they were really trying for was cutting down on broken stuff. Say you need an 18 to hit someone and then he gains cover. In 3.5, now your chance to hit him is cut down to an insignificant fraction. Now you just need a natural 20, and a wizard's area burst/blast doesn't even need that.
 

cdrcjsn

First Post
Xorn said:
But it's extra dice rolls every single turn, and that's so... not like 4E. The reason Concealment doesn't give a miss chance now is that it was extra rolling!

In actual play, the hide to gain combat advantage playstyle doesn't take any longer than any other character.

Realistically though, why should any ranged combatant stand in the middle of the room when he could take advanage of cover? Only a few people are gonna be good at it, but everyone should be doing this as a matter of course unless they need to be up close and personal to do their jobs.

In actual play, the Stealth rules are fast and doesn't really give any unfair advantage to any side.
 

Xorn

First Post
I expect ranged attackers to be in cover. I have no problem with it--I encourage it.

It's the idea of using Stealth to hide behind said cover every single turn, after you are visible. You attack, then you hide behind the cover. If you fail the opposed roll, you still have cover. If you make the opposed roll, you now have Total Concealment, and then if the attacker tries during the next turn... there's an opposed check vs every enemy that can see they person trying to hide, plus another check for every enemy that failed the first time, PLUS this applies to every single person using cover. So the rogue, the ranger, the slinger, the wyrmpriest... now I'm just rolling a stupid amount of dice every single round. Even the fighter in plate mail with a heavy shield SHOULD roll stealth if he can't reach melee but can reach cover. There's nothing to lose if he fails it, and everything to gain.

I've had PLENTY of actual play experience, and I'm tired of rolling dice to deal with Stealth. I roll as many dice for stealth as all other combat rolls combined. That's F'd up.

I've found my solution though. It's pretty simple. Bluff states that you can create a distraction in combat to Hide. Success on Stealth reads, "You avoid notice, unheard and hidden from view. If you later attack or shout, you're no longer hidden." (Emphasis mine.)

You can't avoid notice after you have already been noticed. You need to either use a Distraction (via Bluff in combat) or you can't "re-hide". Now if you can achieve Total Cover/Concealment, then your Stealth determines if your enemy's can figure out where to attack, and if they fail to even determine a direction, I'll allow stealth through normal cover/concealment again, but once you have been noticed, Stealth only avoids notice, it doesn't erase it.

You need a distraction (Bluff) or total cover/concealment to be hidden again.

EDIT - Thanks Samursus, fixed that.
 
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samursus

Explorer
"You can't avoid notice after you have already been noticed. You need to either use a Distraction (via Bluff in combat) or you can't "re-hide". Now if you can achieve Total Cover/Concealment, then your Stealth determines if your enemy's can figure out where to attack, and if they fail to even determine a direction, I'll allow stealth through normal cover/concealment again, but once you have been noticed, Stealth only avoids notice, it doesn't erase it."



Boldface mine (I assumed thats what you meant)

This way makes sense to me...I have been puzzling over the Stealth rules myself, trying to make it work for me (DM) and my players. Your interpretation matches mine.
 

Folly

First Post
I personally like how the new Stealth rules. When I first read how you were running stealth it sounded wrong from how I read it. So I went back and checked the text again. The only roll that has to be made is the one by the person using stealth. All others use their passive check.

The Passive check sections states:
"When you’re not actively using a skill, you’re assumed to be taking 10 for any opposed checks using that skill...." PG 179

In the Perception skill description(inside the box):
"No action required—either you notice something or you don’t. Your DM usually uses your passive Perception check result. If you want to use the skill actively, you need to take a standard action or..." PG 186

Thus you have to use a standard action to roll a perception roll against someone using stealth.

I have found in my play experience that the stealth goes rather quickly and hardly disrupts game flow.
 

Xorn

First Post
I'll bet my way (which recognizes that Stealth avoids notice, not removes it) still plays faster.

And it's not a passive check if the target is LOOKING at you when you try to hide (Opposed Checks). It would then be your active vs their active. If you succeed in hiding, then you would roll your active at the end of the turn vs their passive. Then on their turn for a minor they would roll their active vs your last roll to see if they can get a hint to where you are. (Targeting What You Can't See).

I have a rogue and ranger stealthing behind cover, and a pair of slingers doing the same across the room. So on the rogues turn, that's one roll vs five enemy rolls, plus any that he hid from make active checks (for a minor action) on their turn. If he hides half the time (unlikely, he'll probably hide from all of them, look at kobold perception) then each will make an active check on their turn (so they can call it out as a free action). So that's 11 rolls, for the rogue. Then 11 more for the ranger. The slingers, doing the same thing, will generate a minimum of 6 rolls (their roll vs 5 characters) and since it's likely the kobolds will at least hide from the non-perception trained people, probably 3 more rolls each during the player turns.

Roughly 40 rolls. In a round.

Yeah. No thanks. Stealth avoids notice. If it was supposed to immediately hide you when someone is looking at you, it would read, "You BECOME hidden."

It allows you to REMAIN hidden. Have to be hidden first, though.

What you're describing is playing hide-n-seek in the living room, but the person counting doesn't close their eyes. But if you want to run stealth like that, knock yourself out.

It's just like the thread on DDI, where a customer service rep said that if you have cover/concealment, you can roll stealth and sneak attack immediately. (He called it stealthily attacking--that's right, stealthily doing something that breaks stealth.)

That means most 1st level rogues will sneak attack 95% of the time from range against kobolds, every round. Why bother making them check? Why not just say if you are adjacent to cover you get to sneak attack anyone you like?
 
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Tsuul

First Post
So I can pop out from my rock and shoot you and gain sneak attack damage.
Your defense is to ready an action to shoot me when I pop out, but if I survive, technically I still get to hit you with sneak attack damage???
You know, 'cause you are granting me Combat Advantage still for some stupid reason.
 

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