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Tag Archives: hiding rules
June 18, 2015Posted by on
Wizards of the Coast released an official errata to the Player’s Handbook a few days ago. You can get your copy here (Errata_PH.pdf). It has a couple of entries that directly address the issue of PC hiding rules.
Another look at Hiding in combat
The items in the errata that pertain specifically to hiding are these:
Hiding (p. 177). The DM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding. Also, the question isn’t whether a creature can see you when you’re hiding. The question is whether it can see you clearly.
Vision and Light (p. 183). A heavily obscured area doesn’t blind you, but you are effectively blinded when you try to see something obscured by it.
Comments on my post on stealth and hiding (here) almost always boil down to one point of contention. The rules for hiding outside of combat are fairly easily understood. The biggest debate always seems to be about hiding during combat. We all agree that surprise can only be on the first round of combat, but what about hiding during combat? Of course a PC can attempt to hide (if he can move to where he can’t be seen clearly) and sneak away with some item, but the main question is this; Can a 2nd level rouge attack and then hide on his turn and then attack with advantage the next round and do it again. OR, more simply, can he use the hide rules to get advantage on tis attack every round?
There are two completely different points of view on this and they can both be easily defended by quoting the rules. The two sides can be expressed thus:
1) Yes, of course the rogue can attack with advantage every round (assuming he has something to hide behind and succeeds in his hide attempt). That is why the rules are written the way they are. That is the whole reason I am playing a rogue. Especially at lower levels, the rogue can deliver more damage, on average, than the fighter. This makes playing him so much fun.
2) No, it makes no logical sense that a character can hide behind a barrel and the opponents not know that he is there. Even if he does succeed in hiding, the moment he sticks his head out to make an attack, he can now be seen so he is no longer hidden and he cannot attack with advantage.
There is no right or wrong here. It all depends on how the group wants to play. Ultimately, it is up to the DM. Even though it has always been the case, the new errata makes it very clear that the DM decides when you can or cannot hide.
I personally prefer to the second option. The rogue can still get advantage anytime an opponent is distracted. Most often this will be because he is being attacked by someone else on the rogue’s team, but I can think of a lot of other things that might distract an opponent. Or, if you are attacking from the shadows I could be persuaded to allow advantage on the attack.