Sneaking

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Sneaking and Hiding Rules Refresher Okay, since we all seem to be confused on the sneaking/hiding rules, I thought I’d read up on it this week. What I found is completely different from what we have been doing.

First off. Sneaking is something that you do as a part of another action, not a separate action in and of itself. Using the Sneak skill is not an action in and of itself, it is a modifier for another action, primarily a move action. As such, you have to roll your sneak for each action you take. These are opposed rolls, they go against the Perception check of the person who is being “sneaked” against. And each guy would get their own roll to see you.

As to when you can sneak. If a creature is distracted, looking the other way, being directed to something else, etc., you can sneak in broad daylight. Note that in combat, a creature is assumed to be looking in all directions at once, so a sneak would not be available, with the exception of using your bluff to dissappear for a moment, but after that action, you will be visible once again if you are out in the open in full light.

From the players handbook, P 188: “If a creature has unblocked line of sight to you (that is, you lack any cover or concealment), the creature automatically sees you (no Perception check required)”

Cover and concealment Cover: Cover is anything you can hide behind, in regards to the target you are trying to sneak past. Note that if you break cover at any point while sneaking, you will become visibile again, just as before you cannot hide in the open. However, it does not require complete concealment, you don’t have to be hiding behind a solid wall to sneak. As long as there is an object that is obscuring the line of sight between you and the target, you can sneak. As far as I can tell, this does mean that you can use other people in combat to help obscure you, although by that same reasoning, you may get a penalty to attacks when you attack them.

Concealment: Concealment is anything that obscures the vision, but is not a physical object that would stop an attack. Smoke in the room, darkness, hiding behind a waterfall, these are all concealment, and these allow sneaking as well.

BASIC RULE OF THUMB: If the attacker would get a penalty to shoot at you, you can sneak.

Now, when does sneak leave? Basically, it follows the same rules as invisibility. If you perform an aggressive action, (i.e. attacking), it comes up automatically, and you will need to follow the same rules to start sneaking again. Also note that if you sneak with your move action, and then attack with your standard, you will be obviously noticiable to the guy you attacked until your next turn.

Superior concealment or Cover: Pitch black room, a maze of pipes between you and the target, etc. When using this type of concealment or cover, the creature cannot be sure of your exact location. They may know that you are hiding under the table, among the chair legs, making it impossible to see you, but they cannot pinpoint you to attack you. From the manual again: “If its Perception check beats your stealth check, it knows you are present, knows the direction to your location, and has a vague idea of the distance between the two of you.” To me, this means that they can target you with area affect spells, but not with regular attacks. Also, if the perception check beats your stealth by 10 or more, they can pinpoint your location, although they still may not be able to attack due to items being in the way.

So basically, there’s three ways you can sneak: Distracted creature (combat does not count), Cover and Concealment, and superior cover and concealment.

Also, keep in mind these penalties as well, also from the book:

And if you’re carrying a light source, you’re boned, you automatically fail.