Stealth and CA Clarity

Stealth and CA Clarity

There is much confusion over the concept of being hidden and how that relates to Combat Advantage.

To clear that up for my world here are the additional rules:

1. If an enemy perceives you, even if you are invisible to some sense, you do not gain CA unless you have it some other way. Invisibility is treated as total concealment.
2. If you speak you lose hidden status.
3. If you speak you are +3 on stealth DC rolls until SoNT. +6 if you yell.
4. If you attack you lose hidden status.
5. If you attack you are +5 on stealth DC rolls until SoNT. +8 if the attack is loud, +11 if it's very loud
6. Speaking and loud attack modifiers take only the worst one.
7. If a move action includes athletics or acrobatics then the stealth DC is +2.
8. Total concealment or superior cover is a +5 DC to perception checks (not +10)
9. Partial concealment or partial cover is a +2 DC to perception checks (as normal)
10. Anything above a half speed move is +3 DC to stealth, regardless of abilities.
11. If you are in the open and do not generate your own concealment, you cannot become hidden, even if your power says you can.
12. Any attack from hidden forces a free perception check on the target. That perception check must beat the stealth of the attacker to prevent the CA. This is a check BEFORE the minuses from the hidden person attacking which only take effect after the attack. Remember that there is only 1 perception check per round.
13. Hidden status is just a guarantee for CA, it does not mean the other people know where you are. For that the person must take a minor action and roll a perception check beating your stealth roll with all the modifiers.
14. Being stealthy in plain sight carries a -10 modifier that stacks.
15. Expectation eventually defeats hidden. Each round a similar type of action is repeated with hidden status there is a cumulative stacking -2 to the stealth roll. Being aware of where a hidden attack is coming from is very little in the way of defense. It is all the little positional clues and sense clues you get from breaking stealth that prevent CA. Otherwise CA is fairly easy to obtain. The only way to prevent the stacking modifiers due to expectation is at a minimum to delay 1 round before attacking again and also to move at least slightly varying the pattern of the attack. This is a GM's discrimination issue. Further, most foes will get an insight check or raw intelligence check to guess what you are doing. That is paired against your stealth as well.
16. There are other modifiers at the GMs discretion. If a person is taking ongoing fire or carrying a light source that is usually -3 at least. That is just 1 example.


A rogue has snuck up to the edge of a corridor and peeked around. A guard is 30 feet down the hall. The rogue has a 20 rolled for stealth. The rogue attacks the guard with combat advantage, hits him and does some damage. The rogue ducks back behind total cover and rolls stealth again 20, again. The guard looks for the rogue. The rogues stealth roll has a -5 modifier due to the attack. Throwing a dagger is not loud. The guard needs a 15 to 'see', not really see but sense, that the rogue is behind the left corridor.

A smart guard would just round the corner taking the AOO and revealing the rogue when he is in plain sight. This one panics and draws his blade but looks and rolls a 12. Failure. The rogue is still hidden.


A rogue has maintained partial concealment from one foe nearby and already wounded another foe from which she has total concealment. She attacks the wounded person with CA but misses. Her new stealth roll was 22. The wounded foe has the same situation the guard did from the example above. But the partial cover does not protect her from the second person and she is simply in plain sight. So that is another -10 to her stealth. The second person only needs to roll a 7 to see her now. This shows the power of merely trying to hide. The default is that you are more or less hidden when you try to hide.

So, let's consider something else. For whatever reason the other person does not attempt a perception check and so the rogue is still hidden and then attacks the second person. That person then gets a free perception check with the same modifiers and now the person rolls a 10 and sees her. She gets no CA.


A rogue is attacking an enemy while that enemy is engaged with the rogue's fighter companion. The rogue can move out of and into total cover each round. So the modifiers are only -5 from attacking, -X for loudness of the attack, and the cumulative minus for repeating the process of popping out. So the second time the rogue pops out that is -5, -0 (dagger), and -2 for a -7 total. The next time it would be -9, and so on.

your example with the rogue and the guard, essentially you seem to make the point that trying to perceive someone is the dumb action, the smart action is to charge them and have them automatically revealed when you cross their path. Fine, but in the second example hiding in plain sight is merely a -10 to the die roll.

Which is it? if you have a clear line of sight to someone hidden, do you see them or are you making a perception check?

Maybe it was unclear but the rogue had total concealment and regained hidden therefore. He is completely behind the left corner. SO plain sight is not in effect. Maybe I need maps to show it.

well actually my question was this if you move such that you have a direct los which removes their concealment do you see them or is there a perception roll at -10?

If they have no cover or concealment the jig is up! It would take magic of some type to hide at that point.

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