Stealth in Combat


First Post
1) Not sure why people keep using the "duck behind a wall" example as the rogue cheatily getting cover . . . who needs walls when you have allies to hide behind? There's almost always a tank you can be partially behind that will give you the necessary cover to do your move/hide/hit with ranged sneak attack, move/hide/hit with ranged sneak attack.

True, eventually the baddies may be able to simply walk up and attack . . . but between slightly difficult terrain/rain/fog/allies, early opportunity for cover or concealment will be there almost 99% of the time for the rogue with ranged attacks.

2) Kobold rogues, with their shift-as-a-minor action, just became even cheatier :).

3) It's strong but perhaps not broken to be able to hide behind allies each round when doing ranged sneak-attacks. Can't say yet; the fact that there are generally more bad guys in 4E, and they do get to move around, makes it too early to say. It does seem very strong, but remember, if the rogue is doing that, he's not helping his fighter buddy flank, and 4E is not generous with the hit points . . . tanking is tougher in 4E than it was previously.

However, it certainly strains credulity to be able to hide in melee, 5' from someone, simply because there's a pillar or small tree in your square. THAT needs to be errata'd immediately.

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First Post
KidSnide said:
Overall, it seems to me that the Rogue is balanced based on the assumption that he can get Sneak Attack damage almost every turn, provided the Rogue is willing to restrict himself some way - either by potentially risking exposing himself to attack with flanking, or by staying in cover and potentially limiting his ability to engage the whole battlefield.

A 2nd level melee goblin rogue sneak-attacking every turn is going to do around 3d8+Dex+7 damage (attacking vs AC) or 3d8+4 (attacking vs Reflex). [Assumes rapier + backstabber] If he can almost always do this from range w/shuriken, then it's a paltry 2d8+d6 +7 or +4 instead. I'm fairly confident that beats the Warlock's average damage output, and rapes the Ranger's.

I approve of this, of course. There need to be more rogues, especially of the goblin and kobold variety :).

This is only partially related. When comparing ranger and rogue damage per round or battle or however they like to, have they been giving the ranger combat advantage also? It's not like Rangers don't have stealth in class also.

I fully support the way Wizards intends for stealth to work. I believe it's incredibly crucial for rogues to be able to maintain combat advantage or they begin to fail as a striker.


First Post
Stated by others before, but I'll repeat it--isn't the reason Sneak Attack adds more damage than the Warlock or Ranger damage increases because it's harder to get Combat Advantage? Can anyone say (with a straight face) that it's harder to get combat advantage on pretty much any target you like with the current Stealth as intended?

Because if the closest monster to the ranger is a minion--guess what, a minion is going to eat an extra +d6. (When possible, I will toss a minion closer than a standard+ creature to remove Quarry/Curse damage from the equation.)

As far as encounters--a dwarf fighter with a maul can deal out some pretty horrific punishment with a tiefling warlord next to him.

But back to Stealth, I just can't understand how the developers felt that the way they intended for Stealth to work is this way. Ozzie (being the resident rogue in my group) has stated point blank that he's glad I'm going with Stealth only avoids notice--and he's the one with that really stands to gain from it!

Apparently anyone trained in Stealth can ignore cover--if they just find some cover! (Combat Advantage offsetting enemy Cover). But that's the bottom line for us... with Stealth as intended it's easier to gain Combat Advantage at range than it is in melee!

Percival Padfoot, the halfling rogue, currently has +12 Stealth. That means that if he tries to hide in cover (say... behind the damned dwarf) his MINIMUM stealth is a 13. The passive perception of a kobold slinger is 11. That's right, it just can't see him. He instantly gets Combat Advantage, he doesn't even have to roll. Just put an ally between you and what you want to kill, and stealthily exploit the rules as intended.

"Where did the halfling that just killed Roger go!?"
"I don't know, Gary! He ducked behind that dwarf, and now he could be anywhere!"

I'd like to restate, one last time: Stealth as intended is the only thing I hate about 4th Edition. But I really hate the :):):):) out of it.


First Post
Harr said:
You really should read the link I gave you. It's a pretty good way of handling it (very good way IMHO). Is that maybe why you didn't comment on it at all? Focus less on 'winning an argument' and more on finding the solution.

I was actually done posting in this thread but since I'm being called out...

You could also be less of a jerk and just ask if I didn't see it. Focus less on personal attacks and more on logic and the matter at hand. I was posting at work at the time and actually over looked that part of the post, thanks for pointing it out though even thought it doesn't help your case at all as I will demonstrate below. Logically intentionally skipping the parts of posts I didn't like would be a major tactical error as I would surely be called out on it. (As your post as demonstrated.) If I was really focused on "winning at the internets" I would have made sure and read everything carefully instead of missing something you said by accident.

Here is the quote in question in case any one else missed it.

The key to this is that there is no "hide" action per se. You take a stealth check as part of an action that you want to do stealthily - usually a move action or a shift. I order to attempt this move stealthily, you must have cover at the moment you attempt the stealthy move or shift.

The warlock's shadow walk grants you concealment when you move 3 squares or more away from your start point. If you do not already have concealment before you start moving though, you cannot attempt to hide as part of that same move, because you needed the cover to make the attempt to begin with.

However, once you finish your Shadow Walk move and have shadow-concealment around you, then you can take a new move with a stealth check included, and become hidden until your concealment runs out or you find solid cover.

Similarly, if you move from open space into cover, you cannot attempt to do so stealthily, since you need cover to attempt to move stealthily to begin with. Once you're behind cover, then you can attempt a new move with a stealth check to become hidden.

What the bluff check grants you when you're standing in the middle of open space is that starting-point concealment so that you can attempt a move with a stealth check and end somewhere where there is cover already hidden.

Shadow Walk doesn't apply to what we're discussing so skipping that.

If you're referring to the part about you must have cover when you attempt to move... that is extremely easy to do every single round since when firing at range you ignore adjacent cover. So technically you could just not move at all and use your move action to just make stealth checks from your current position with out moving.
If you're going to get snarky with me for not responding to something I didn't see at least make sure it's relevant to your case.
That's not even getting in to the fact that doing it that way isn't RAW it's just an interpretation of how you could do it. You do it as part of the move action no where does it state at what point during that action you have to have cover to get stealth.
So it's possible to deft strike out of cover sneak attack and then use your move action to get back into cover.
It's also possible to attack around a corner and then use your move action to stay hidden where you. Since you don't actually need to leave cover to get the attack.

Unless you can show me what page of the rule books says you have to be in cover at the start of the action to use the stealth check versus at the end of the action.

It's not about winning it's just about you being wrong and making comparisons or giving examples that are either completely made up or don't help your case.
I've accepted that people can try to hide every round as long as they have cover per the rules as written and clarification through correspondence with WoTC. I admit I was wrong in my interpretation of the rules as written on that matter. Before I thought people where actually misreading the rules.
However you're trying to justify it by saying it's only possible to stealth every other round and I've proven time and again that just isn't the case. This isn't a case of misinterpreting the rules in this situation as it was with making the stealth check. It flat out doesn't say that you have to have cover at the start of your movement to make a stealth check. It states you have to have cover to make a stealth check. The rules are written as such that unless it specifically says otherwise then that is how it works. So as long as you have cover as part of that move action you can make a stealth check. This would include both at the start of the move or the end because otherwise it would specifically state that it had to be at the start of your turn.
The rule books are written as exception based rules. They're ruled exactly how they're written unless the rules specifically states an exception. No where in the book does it say anything about how you're trying to rule it. There for it isn't how it works.

For now I'm done replying to this thread until some one can show me something in the rule books that actually counters my statement. I highly doubt that will happen. With my familiarity of the rules and having double checked just to be sure I wasn't saying anything that wasn't true as I'm sure if I did I would be called out on it. (Rightfully so if I'm stating misinformation.)

Edit: To clarify I'm not saying what you linked isn't a good idea. It's just that right now we're discussing the rules as written. There are a few ways this could be house ruled but that only addresses the issue on a personal level as opposed to game wide.

Second edit, oh my!: I realized I didn't address the actual skill use of bluff.

Create a Diversion to Hide: Once per combat
encounter, you can create a diversion to hide. As
a standard action, make a Bluff check opposed by
the Insight check of an enemy that can see you (if
multiple enemies can see you, your Bluff check is
opposed by each enemy’s Insight check). If you succeed,
you create a diversion and can immediately
make a Stealth check to hide.

This just says you create a diversion to hide. So if you succeed you can hide in place because they've suddenly become distracted and are no longer looking at you. This would seemingly give you combat advantage until the end of your turn. It would be a useful way to gain combat advantage at range in a situation where you couldn't find any cover at all. I can see why you would want to rule it the way you did and for what it's worth it's not a bad idea.
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First Post
Enemy | Enemy
Fighter | Warlord

Rogue | Empty

This rogue can move right one square "stealthily" and gain combat advantage. Next round he can move left one square "stealthily" and gain combat advantage. Against level appropriate foes, a rogue trained in stealth should have combat advantage almost every round, unless he does something silly, like try to wade into the melee.

The reason I dislike Stealth As Intended™ is because it feels like one of those "if you don't do this every turn you're shorting your character's potential" type of actions.


First Post
The rogue can only move back and forth stealthily gaining CA if the region he's moving about in provides cover or concealment. And that's only going to happen if the DM puts down a tile with that stuff on it.


First Post
Surgoshan said:
The rogue can only move back and forth stealthily gaining CA if the region he's moving about in provides cover or concealment. And that's only going to happen if the DM puts down a tile with that stuff on it.

The fighter and warlord are providing cover. Welcome to Stealth As Intended™. Remember, the rogue isn't invisible, he's just being really sneaky behind the dwarf and warlord. As a side comment, is it that exceptional for a battlefield to have some cover every 20 squares or so?
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First Post
Not for the purpose of stealth.

"When you make a ranged attack against an enemy and other enemies are in the way, your target has cover. Your allies never grant cover to your enemies and neither allies nor enemies give cover against melee, close, or area attacks."

By my reading, creatures provide cover only for ranged attack rolls. I've not heard of anything from wizards to confirm or deny that, though.


First Post
Forrester said:
However, it certainly strains credulity to be able to hide in melee, 5' from someone, simply because there's a pillar or small tree in your square. THAT needs to be errata'd immediately.

Here, here. Combat advantage is only granted when an enemy is unaware of your presence. Stealth only means the enemy cannot see you or hear you currently, but if they have been attacked by you then they are certainly aware of your presence. At most this would give you a good first attack. If you stealthed up after an attack I would only grant combat advantage if your next attack on the opponent was from a totally unexpected direction, not merely popping up in the exact same spot you were 6 seconds prior.

Stealth is not invisibility. It can be almost as good sometimes but it's not the same. I would never grant combat advantage to someone who attacks, then stealths up behind another character or even a crate then "pops out" to attack. This is simply cover and is already well defined.

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