D&D 5E What Rules do you see people mistake or misapply?

MiraMels

Explorer
It's responses like this that really stress my "do not post overly snarky responses" rule.

You may rule that some one/thing has to take the hide action to avoid detection in your game. That's fine, it's your game. But the rules (and common sense) don't state that. In addition it was just contradicted by Jeremy Crawford. Here's the link again.

The invisible statue I threw into my game a while back did not have to "take the hide action" to be undetectable. The PCs had no way of knowing it was there because it was not interacting with the environment in any way that could be detected.

An invisible statue is an object, not a creature. Obviously it doesn't have to make dexterity (stealth) checks. It can't, as it lacks a dexterity score, owing to the fact that it is an object, not a creature.


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Oofta

Legend
Why? It has no visible form, touches nothing but air, does not need to eat, drink, or breathe.

Or, how about this: In the room is one invisible statue of a gargoyle, and one invisible actual gargoyle. Can I detect the statue or the gargoyle?
Well, if the gargoyle is clog dancing, yes I may know where he is.

Just standing still? Probably not unless I literally run into it. A gargoyle might have that granite smell though. And I've been in a pitch black room where I could practically feel the stone wall before I ran into it because of the temperature difference. But more than a few feet away? Probably not going to happen. Unless the room is half flooded and there's a gargoyle-shaped hole in the water. Because there are exceptions to every rule.


Your actual answer is, "because Spidey sense"? What if it's the target of a sequester spell?

No, my real answer is they have to interact with the environment that can be detected somehow. Haven't you ever had that feeling that something was right there and turn around to find that your cat snuck up behind you? That somehow you knew something was there without consciously realizing it?

In my campaign, if there's an invisible immobile gargoyle you probably aren't going to know it's there unless you stub your toe on it. Other people are the ones that will argue that if it hasn't taken the hide action at some point before you enter the room you will know it's there, not me.
 

Oofta

Legend
Can I detect them? Yuppers. Can I know their exact location? Nope. At best, I get the square and that's it.

Note, in this case, because the invisible stalker is standing still and making no noise, it is automatically hiding.

Again, can you give a description of actions where you are trying to not be found that does not reference the Stealth skill? Standing still and making no noise sounds an awful lot like a Stealth to Hide action, even if it isn't specifically stating that. So, without standing still and making no noise - since that's stealth by definition - how is your invisible stalker hidden?

The gargoyle saw you, cast invisibility on himself and flew into another room closing the door behind himself. The next round the rogue opens the door room. The gargoyle may or may not be in the room, but it's invisible and not moving. It never had a chance to take the hide action.

How would you know where it was, barring some other interaction with the environment like leaving a trail for some reason.
 

Oofta

Legend
An invisible statue is an object, not a creature. Obviously it doesn't have to make dexterity (stealth) checks. It can't, as it lacks a dexterity score, owing to the fact that it is an object, not a creature.


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It wouldn't be any different from the invisible gargoyle scenario.

Or a bazillion other scenarios. Like the wizard flying around in a thunderstorm with improved invisibility casting spells. The opponents could ready actions to respond when they saw (or possibly heard) a spell being cast but the storm covered any sounds of flapping robes and similar. As long as the wizard moved after casting, there was no realistic way for anyone else to detect him.
 

MiraMels

Explorer
In my campaign, if there's an invisible immobile gargoyle you probably aren't going to know it's there unless you stub your toe on it. Other people are the ones that will argue that if it hasn't taken the hide action at some point before you enter the room you will know it's there, not me.

And you can absolutely make that ruling, the rules empower you to do so. However, the topic of this thread is the rules-as-written. How you'd rule a situation isn't the RAW. I mean, you are literally describing situations where you'd do away with the RAW for detecting hidden creatures because you don't think there's even the slightest chance for the players to notice. That's a ruling. (And that's fine! It's a good ruling! Rule away.)



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Hussar

Legend
Flip things around for a second and see if this holds up.

PC Rogue decides to ambush someone. Moves into a heavily obscured area and waits, not moving and not making any noise. NPC wanders into ambush range. I'll be dollars to donuts that every single DM you will ever play with will call for a stealth check. Despite the fact that our rogue has exactly the same conditions (heavily obscured, not moving, not making noise) as the invisible stalker, the check will always be called for. Every time.

Why? If the rogue satisfies exactly the same conditions as our invisible stalker, shouldn't he automatically succeed? Isn't he automatically hidden? After all, the NPC can't see him or hear him and the rogue isn't moving. So, the rogue should automatically be hidden.

Yet, as I said, it's virtually guaranteed that the DM will call for a stealth check to be hidden.

AFAIC, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

And, [MENTION=6801845]Oofta[/MENTION], I really would like an answer to my question. Can you give me an example of something being hidden that does not satisfy the qualifications of a Hide check?
 

Oofta

Legend
And you can absolutely make that ruling, the rules empower you to do so. However, the topic of this thread is the rules-as-written. How you'd rule a situation isn't the RAW. I mean, you are literally describing situations where you'd do away with the RAW for detecting hidden creatures because you don't think there's even the slightest chance for the players to notice. That's a ruling. (And that's fine! It's a good ruling! Rule away.)



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The rules don't cover everything, especially when it comes to stealth and hiding. They aren't meant to do so.

So I'm just pointing out that fact, that in some cases the DM has to make a ruling is part of the game.

What I disagree with is people that say "according to the rules unless you take the hide action everyone knows where you are in combat". You may rule that everyone knows where you are, but it is not the assumption.

EDIT: just to be clear. Sometimes "RAW" is that the rules were left intentionally vague so that the DM is the one deciding how things work because there are too many factors at play. Don't believe me? Listen to the podcast.
 
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Oofta

Legend
And, [MENTION=6801845]Oofta[/MENTION], I really would like an answer to my question. Can you give me an example of something being hidden that does not satisfy the qualifications of a Hide check?

I thought I did. A couple of times. Maybe I just don't understand the question.

A gargoyle turns invisible and goes into another room. The next round the rogue follows him into the room, he has no realistic chance to know where the invisible gargoyle is unless he runs into it (or does something else clever like start throwing around handfuls of flour).

A spellcaster with improved invisibility is flying around casting spells in a thunderstorm. He casts, then moves. The storm is noisy enough that there's no way he's going to be heard so all the opponents can do is wait for a visible effect of the spell or hope to hear a verbal component.

As far as what is good for the goose is good for the gander, I agree. My latter example was a PC. Yes, it was annoying in a way but the PC was having fun. Well, until the dragon showed up anyway*. :)

*Yes, I had planned all along for the dragon to show up because I hadn't expected a full frontal assault. The PCs were still victorious because my players are awesome.
 

Pathkeeper24601

First Post
I thought I did. A couple of times. Maybe I just don't understand the question.

A gargoyle turns invisible and goes into another room. The next round the rogue follows him into the room, he has no realistic chance to know where the invisible gargoyle is unless he runs into it (or does something else clever like start throwing around handfuls of flour).

A spellcaster with improved invisibility is flying around casting spells in a thunderstorm. He casts, then moves. The storm is noisy enough that there's no way he's going to be heard so all the opponents can do is wait for a visible effect of the spell or hope to hear a verbal component.

As far as what is good for the goose is good for the gander, I agree. My latter example was a PC. Yes, it was annoying in a way but the PC was having fun. Well, until the dragon showed up anyway*. :)

*Yes, I had planned all along for the dragon to show up because I hadn't expected a full frontal assault. The PCs were still victorious because my players are awesome.

So with the extreme conditions of these examples you agree the standard rule is that you can see and invisible creature until it hides or some other circumstance intervenes. After all, the rogue does notice the invisible gargoyle move into the other room to follow it and the wizard needs a raging storm to cover his position. Of course with the wizard in the thunderstorm, you could always detect where the wizard is by noticing the water hitting him and not following the regular pattern of the rain.
 
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RulesJD

First Post
Didn't read the long thread, but one of the most incorrectly applied rules:

Concentration "checks"


It is NOT a "check". It is a "Save" which means it applies all things that apply to saves, including proficiency, Bless, Resistance, etc.

Additional rules not applied properly:

1. Readied Actions

2. Drowning

3. Heavy Armor with below strength reducing movement

4. Impact of Cover when shooting through crowds/impact on Dexterity saves

5. Needing use of hand for Somatic component

6. Equiping/unequiping Armor/Shield

7. Interact with Object Action (pulling/stowing weapon).

8. Ties on opposed Ability Checks

9. How Disadvantage works against enemies within 5ft (if incapacitated = no Disadvantage)
 
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The Old Crow

Explorer
The gargoyle saw you, cast invisibility on himself and flew into another room closing the door behind himself. The next round the rogue opens the door room. The gargoyle may or may not be in the room, but it's invisible and not moving. It never had a chance to take the hide action.

How would you know where it was, barring some other interaction with the environment like leaving a trail for some reason.

I think this is a flaw of the initiative system, which operates with each creature taking their turn then freezing in place as the next creature takes their turn, but really everyone is running around and doing things at the same time. The gargoyle didn't have time to take the hide action, so the rogue who bursts in the room right after it slammed the door knows right off where it likely is.
 

Oofta

Legend
So with the extreme conditions of these examples you agree the standard rule is that you can see and invisible creature until it hides or some other circumstance intervenes. After all, the rogue does see the invisible gargoyle move into the other room to follow it and the wizard needs a raging storm to cover his position. Of course with the wizard in the thunderstorm, you could always detect where the wizard is by noticing the water hitting him and not following the regular pattern of the rain.

I'm saying that it's up to the DM to determine when a stealth check is required to remain or become undetected. If the gargoyle had been outside in the rain when it turned invisible and went into the room, yes it likely would have been dripping and giving away it's position.

I don't know if anyone follows Dice Camera Action, but there was an episode recently where the majority of the waffle crew turned invisible and were running around in a forge. Chris Perkins never asked for a stealth check (while they were invisible) because the one person in heavy armor was flying around. He may have been a little more lenient than I would be (I'd have given the group free stealth checks with advantage, and maybe even disadvantage to notice the flying invisible character) but that was his call.

It's all about what type of game you want to run.
 

Oofta

Legend
I think this is a flaw of the initiative system, which operates with each creature taking their turn then freezing in place as the next creature takes their turn, but really everyone is running around and doing things at the same time. The gargoyle didn't have time to take the hide action, so the rogue who bursts in the room right after it slammed it knows right off where it likely is.

And what I'm saying is that the gargoyle didn't need to take the hide action because there was no realistic way for the rogue to know where it was.

If things were more simultaneous, I would say the gargoyle was ahead of the rogue and got far enough away (and around a corner) that the rogue had no chance to hear it land.
 

Pathkeeper24601

First Post
I think this is a flaw of the initiative system, which operates with each creature taking their turn then freezing in place as the next creature takes their turn, but really everyone is running around and doing things at the same time. The gargoyle didn't have time to take the hide action, so the rogue who bursts in the room right after it slammed the door knows right off where it likely is.

This is a very good point and demonstrates the developers wisdom in the way the rule has been defines. That rogue is not entering the room a significant time after the gargoyle. Logically speaking, the rogue is probably following right on the gargoyles heels withing the same 6 second round. This would be plenty of time to notice the gargoyle settling down and getting ready to still its wings. The Stop and Go nature of D&D is great for mechanically keeping combat ordered, but sometimes rules are needed to help maintain the simultaneous action that is reality.
 

Satyrn

First Post
Flip things around for a second and see if this holds up.
This reads to me as saying you think some of us here are trying to screw our players by ruling strictly for them and lax for their monsters. But whatever, I'll answer

Yes. It holds up.

If the prey he's ambushing aren't paying attention I'm not calling for a check; I've performed my role as DM, deciding what rule, if any, to apply to a player's declarations to decide what happens.


And my other DM might very well - indeed, we snuck up and ambushed a giant a few weeks ago without rolling any checks because the DM figured the giant was thoroughly engrossed in the meal he was enjoying immensely.

So there's 2 DMs that won't rule the way you say is virtual certainty. You're wrong.


And again, this:

AFAIC, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

It's like you think we don't know the way the game works.
 

ehren37

Legend
So in fact and invisible stalker, standing perfectly still, DOES do things to give away its presence (it makes noise and likely stirs up dust/whatever).

The invisible statue, could easily be doing the same. Of course you as the DM can easily say "DM Fiat, you guys suck, and you have no means of detecting this super trap that I have made!!! Bwahahaha!"

So do creatures that take the hide action. Or does a rogue no longer have a scent, breathe, or make minor noises? It's the absurd levels of superhuman detection granted vs. invisible targets (ambient heat lol), which if applied to non-invisible hiding targets would make stealth IMPOSSIBLE that I take issue with.

I have no problem with someone with a passive perception of 20-25+ knowing which square an invisible creature is in. It's automatically giving that info out I take issue with.
 

Hussar

Legend
And what I'm saying is that the gargoyle didn't need to take the hide action because there was no realistic way for the rogue to know where it was.

If things were more simultaneous, I would say the gargoyle was ahead of the rogue and got far enough away (and around a corner) that the rogue had no chance to hear it land.

But, what is the gargoyle doing? What, specifically, is the gargoyle doing when the rogue enters the room? Is it not standing still and not making any noise? Isn't that engaging the Stealth skill by default?

That's what I've been meaning with my question about providing an example of a character taking actions that can be described in such a way as to not fufill the definitions of the Stealth Skill and Hiding, but still allow the character to be undetected.

Your gargoyle isn't moving and is trying to be quiet - thus taking a Hide action.

Your Wizard should be easily detectable actually and I completely disagree with your ruling. Invisible in a rainstorm is pretty much textbook for being detected by other means. There's a honking big man shaped hole in the rain splashing around in the sky. That would be detectable.

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[MENTION=6801204]Satyrn[/MENTION] - sure. Whatever you say. I'm going to stand by my point here that DM's will call for a stealth check in that situation every single time.
 


Oofta

Legend
But, what is the gargoyle doing? What, specifically, is the gargoyle doing when the rogue enters the room? Is it not standing still and not making any noise? Isn't that engaging the Stealth skill by default?

That's what I've been meaning with my question about providing an example of a character taking actions that can be described in such a way as to not fufill the definitions of the Stealth Skill and Hiding, but still allow the character to be undetected.

Your gargoyle isn't moving and is trying to be quiet - thus taking a Hide action.

Except the gargoyle had no actions left. It had landed and ceased it's movement but it had already used it's action to turn invisible.

If you're saying that there can be cases where the DM gives someone a free stealth check, I agree. In the case of the invisible gargoyle, it's not interacting with the environment in any way that can be noticed by anything but supernatural means. It is effectively an invisible statue if not moving.

If it was an invisible human wizard I may rule the same. Unless you have keen hearing or the wizard is panting you aren't going to hear them breathing. If you don't have a keen sense of smell you aren't going to smell them unless they really need a bath.

But I would probably give the wizard a free stealth check with advantage while having perception checks at disadvantage because a wizard is not going to be as still as an immobile gargoyle.

How people handle it is going to vary by DM.
Your Wizard should be easily detectable actually and I completely disagree with your ruling. Invisible in a rainstorm is pretty much textbook for being detected by other means. There's a honking big man shaped hole in the rain splashing around in the sky. That would be detectable.

It was a thunderstorm ... but it wasn't raining yet. But I also disagree. If there's a man shaped hole in the rain and that hole is more than 20 feet or so away I doubt you're going to see it. If there were a pane of glass supported by clear poles would you really expect to see it simply because it's raining?
Close up certainly, but get far enough away and it's going to be obscured by the rain between you and it.

Ultimately it's a DM's call.
 

Hussar

Legend
Remember something, detecting something invisible (or heavily obscured, which is what invisibility is) doesn't tell you the exact location. It tells you where that thing is in a 5 foot square. It tells you that something is at that location and enough of a something that I can tell something is there, even if I don't know exactly what.

So, yeah, your pane of glass in the rain is enough for someone to know that there is something there. They can potentially see that there is something odd about that location. They'd still have disadvantage to attack that location and couldn't target it with anything that requires you to see the target, like Hold Person, but, they'd still know enough to be able to shoot arrows in the right neighborhood.

The invisible gargoyle is the same thing. It rushed into the room. Maybe there is dust on the floor, maybe there is dust in the air that's disturbed by its passage. Maybe the rogue managed to open the door before the gargoyle completely managed to stop moving. Maybe it's a wooden floor and the half ton gargoyle is making some dents in the wood leading to where it stopped. Whatever. That's what passive perception is for.

Now, if the gargoyle had actually taken the Hide action? Now he's Hidden until the PC's take an action to find him.

Maybe our flying wizard sparkles a bit from the Fly spell. Maybe he's not as quiet as he thinks he is. Maybe a flash of lightning causes the invisibility to ripple a bit. Whatever. Again, until he actually takes a Hide action, he isn't Hidden.

AFAIC, that's the bottom line. Hidden is a condition in the game. It is not the same as the plain English word hide. Hidden is a condition that requires a Stealth check. Other than something like Etherealness or a few other exceptions, you cannot apply the Hidden condition without one.

Heavily Obscured, again, another game defined condition, is not the same as Hidden. Heavily Obscured is a lot easier to achieve. Standing in a dark room satisfies that. But, Hidden, as a condition, requires a Hide action. At least, that's how I rule. Otherwise, invisibility becomes far, far too powerful.

I mean, why does my rogue ever have to make a Stealth check? I'm in an area that is Heavily Obscured, so, I am automatically Hidden so long as I don't move? I want to play a Shadow Path Monk in that case. Wahoo, I can teleport every round and I'm automatically hidden each time, so long as I stay in shadowy areas? Go go ultimate ninja.

This is why I don't like your interpretation. It has far too many knock on effects and causes all sorts of corner case issues where the player constantly has to refer back to the DM to determine his or her actions. No thanks. I think I'll go with a simple solution that applies virtually universally. Reduces frustration, makes the game run faster and smoother and removes all the arguments. Yup, that's the way I roll.
 

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