Stealth in Combat


First Post
CSR Dialog

I've adjusted my name in the dialogs so that Volabit doesn't beat me up. The first question is at the bottom, reading up.

WotC CSR Dialog said:

Thanks for the great feedback! We’ve passed this along to the good folks that make the games and hopefully we’ll see some errata covering this situation soon. Until then, it is up to your Dungeon Master to determine how he/she wants to handle this particular situation in their campaign.

Customer Service Representative
Wizards of the Coast


Customer (Jason ????) 06/12/2008 07:04 PM
Doesn't this mean it's easier to attain combat advantage from range than in melee? What incentive does a rogue have to go into melee beyond roleplay reasons? I mean if he can just stand in the second rank (gaining cover from allies) and sneak attack every round (at +11 stealth at first level, his odds are really good), why would he risk entering melee?


Response (Support Agent) 06/11/2008 04:50 PM

You can make a stealth check even with normal cover or concealment.

Customer Service Representative
Wizards of the Coast


Customer (Jason ????) 06/11/2008 04:26 PM
Thanks for the prompt response, I just need one quick clarification:

Are you saying that even with *normal* cover or concealment (not total) you can attempt to hide again? If that's true, then this generates a ridiculous amount of Stealth checks, as there is no reason to NOT make a stealth check when you have cover/concealment.

Because Stealth has the specific wording--'You AVOID notice...' (emphasis mine) this is why I was hoping that it doesn't make you hidden again once you have been spotted.


Response (Support Agent) 06/11/2008 08:15 AM

Thank you for writing.

You are correct. If you wish to hide after being noticed, you would in fact have to make a bluff/stealth check or find cover or concealment.

Customer Service Representative
Wizards of the Coast


Customer (Jason ????) 06/10/2008 05:32 PM
A successful Stealth roll result reads: "You avoid notice, unheard and hidden from view. If you later attack or shout, you're no longer hidden."

As the language specifically states "You AVOID notice," I interpret that to mean that Stealth only /keeps/ you hidden; it won't hide you if you've already been noticed. If you wish to hide after being noticed, you either need to succeed with Bluff (which specifically allows you to make a Stealth check to become hidden), or you need to achieve Total Cover or Total Concealment since you can't be seen then (thus hidden).

Have I interpreted this correct?

Page Number: 188
Book Name: Player's Handbook 4E

There, now I can cite a source that says, "Wizards is working on errata for Stealth, and until then it's up to the DM to decide how to handle this situation. In my campaign, it will not be easier to sneak attack from range than melee. I really don't care what you do in yours, nor will I tell you that you're wrong, regardless of your decision.

"Your" refers to anyone mentioning how they will run it.

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First Post
I wasn't planning on posting again but this has me curious.

To Volabit: Can you quote where it says you can't hide behind an ally that is providing you cover?
I read both pages you quoted 280 and 281 and neither makes any distinction on what kind of cover isn't included in making stealth rules. The book is written on an exception basis so one can only assume that unless they specifically state that you can't then you must be able to.

The only part of those two pages which apply is as follows:

Page 280

Determining Cover: To determine if a target has cover, choose a corner of a square you occupy (or a corner of your attack's origin square) and trace imaginary lines from that corner to every corner of any one square the target occupies. If one or two of those lines are blocked by an obstacle or an enemy, the target has cover. (A line isn't blocked if it runs along the edge of an obstacle's or enemies square.) If three or four of those lines are blocked but you have line of effect, the target has cover.

It clearly doesn't state what you're claiming it does. It does state further up the page about range cover and that it doesn't apply when a target is in melee range. However if the target is at range he does have cover.

I'm not saying this is good or bad just how it's written. I think for the most part every one feels it should be interpretted other than how it's actually written.

If you're going to include pages as your source material please make sure it actually backs up what you're saying before attacking others for not doing the same. In my opinion giving pages and stating your right is worse than not including pages and stating the information provided in them. Your posts are very inflammatory towards Xorn as well as Sanzuo. (Border line personal attacks if not full out personal attacks.) Wether or not you're doing so intentionally doesn't matter as that is how it's being interpretted.

As far as Xorn not knowing the books I can safely say he's probably one of the most knowledgable person regarding the rules that I know as he's been play testing it for almost 6 months now and he's read the book cover to cover more than once. Needless to say if I have questions about the rules he's the go to guy. He's not always 100% on in his interpretations but he's willing to listen and reevaluate his interpretations as more information is presented to him or pointed out to him.


First Post
In your scenario below, just get all /some of the enemies roll for perception as a standard action, there may be a chance that they see the rogue in the bush, even if they didnt during there active perception.
ie Rogue throws dagger from bush and get CA on orc. 6 other orcs go, hey where did that come from, one makes its perception check as a standard action and yell "From the bush, charge!!!"


And here we have the root of the problem. I think it's fine if the rogue is having to constantly shift and move to avoid being seen. It paints the picture of skilled sniper in my head. The problem is the fact that stealth can be used as a part of any non-revealing action; standard, movement or minor.

Depending on the group this can be interpreted a large number of different ways. The way I see it intended, a rogue (or anybody) can sit in a single bush in the middle of a battlefield (how NOT to be seen) can pick his nose stealthily as a minor action and attack all day with combat advantage, whether or not he's surrounded by hostiles in melee.

Now I have a hard time believing R&D didn't playtest the sh..poop out of this, and I would think they truly believe this is balanced. I'm not 100% sure as I've yet to play an actual game with the released rules. So I'm willing to try it out and see how it goes.

When I try to think of it practically it's stupid, and the more I think of it the more I like Xorn's idea of rogues having to get total concealment or lose line of sight in order to effectively re-stealth. Otherwise there's no reason not to make a sniper, and let's frigging face it, that role is intended for the ranger.


First Post
Ranger with the Rogue multiclass feat. Sniper that can pick locks. :)

You understand where I'm coming from zlorf (as does most everyone here, I think). And regarding the active perception checks--now you're dealing with extra dice rolls just to deal with stealth each round. Blech. :D

I'm handling it my way until errata comes out. After that, we'll see.

EDIT - Oh, I wanted to mention that I don't think it's crazy that this didn't seem out of whack in playtesting. After all, until someone mentioned the idea of it on DDI, I hadn't considered it, and neither had anyone to play a rogue in any of my games thus far. I ran Into the Shadowhaunt three times on GameDay and the dragon fight four times--and not one rogue even considered the idea of stealthing in the middle of combat with regular old cover.
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I'm starting a Xorn has at least medium sized genitals campaign ( not in the D&D term, but the general term for campaign ). I feel as though Xorn's genitals have been unfairly persecuted.


First Post
^ Are you guys all from the same face-to-face group that fought and are now taking it out on the boards or something?

Makes me glad my players have never been on an online forum in their lives (and actually make fun of me a little ebit cause I am :) ).

Anyway, I'll re-iterate the points that I've been able to use to balance the games and have made everyone happy (and please, this is mostly for the lurkers and people who see the thread the title and come in here looking for answers, and find ... whatever that up there's supposed to be.)

If you're having trouble with runaway ranged stealthing, suggest the following to your players:


- A stealth check may only be taken as part of a move action that moves you to a different square than the one you started in.

- You must have either cover or concealment before you begin this stealthy move action, after you end this action, and during every square of that move action.

- Once the conditions above are met, you achieve stealth by making an opposed stealth roll against the perception roll of one enemy that is closest to you.

- Making attacks or talking destroys your stealth, and you must make another stealthy move from cover as described above to regain it.

- If any one enemy is located or moves to where you don't have conceal/cover from them, that enemy is assumed to shout out a warning to his friends, and you lose your stealth.

- Allies do not count as cover for the purposes of stealth.

- Bluff and distracting are good for getting concealment for starting and continuing a stealthy move, but you must still end your move behind real, actual cover or concealment.

And, optionally:

- Once you make a sneak-attack to a target from a square, that particular target is assumed to be guarding from attacks coming from that particular square and will not be caught distracted again. You need to find another square to stealth into.


There, that should patch up your game until official word on this issue comes out, if it ever does.

Again, I thank the posters above to let this post stand as help for people who come looking for it and to not drag me into the mudslinging.


First Post
Xorn is my DM but I have no idea who Lucas Blackstone is.. but evidently he's a member of the Xorn Genetalia Fan Club. (Order your membership packet today!)

What you listed are good ideas as many other ideas have been good ones. I think the main source of angst has been people trying to interpret the rules as written versus how to change them.

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