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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    I'm looking for all features imaginable with the flavor of "Good at Stealth", can you help me?

    - When you are hidden from a creature and miss it with a ranged weapon attack, making the attack doesn't reveal your position. Variant: Can roll stealth to remain hidden.
    - Proficiency
    - Expertise
    - Whenever you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check to hide, treat a roll of 7 or lower on the d20 as an 8.
    - You can move stealthily at a normal pace
    - Can hide when you are lightly obscured
    - You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.
    - You can make a stealth check to move from cover to cover without being seen.

    Anything else you can think of?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Hmm...

    - Quiet steps: you don't make noise while walking
    - Disguised gait: you can change your walking pattern to make heavier or lighter footprints with appropriate spacing, acting as if you were a larger or smaller creature, or even avoid making clear footprints entirely. Creatures attempting to track you via your footprints have disadvantage on their tracking rolls.
    - Camouflage: when prone and wearing loose clothing or coverings that match the color of the ground, you can make a stealth check (Hide action) to hide from creatures more than 30 feet away from you.
    - Scent Disruption: you can use common materials to disguise or diffuse your scent. Creatures attempting to track you via smell have disadvantage on their tracking rolls.
    - Trick of the Light: when you are hidden and a creature spots you, but succeeds on their perception check by less than 5, you can use your reaction to dive back into cover. Make a dexterity saving throw with a DC equal to the triggering perception check. On a success, you remain hidden.
    - Parkour (athletics/acrobatics/second-story work. You find unconventional approaches to traveling across buildings or terrain)
    - Magic stuff (Invisibility, teleportation, astral projection, etherealness, shapechanging, etc.)
    - Disguise (you are visible, but people think you're someone else)
    - Intimidation (you are visible, and people know who you are, but they sure as hell don't want to bother you while you're doing stuff)

    Edit: typos
    Last edited by Tiadoppler; 2019-09-23 at 12:41 PM.
    The battle cry of a true master is "RAW!!!"

    I play Devil's Advocate. Why does a devil need an advocate? Because only bad lawyers go to hell. The good ones find a loophole.

    5e Homebrew: Firearms through the ages / Academian class / Misc. Spells

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    So creative! :O

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Once Burned, Twice Shy:Once per long rest, you can reroll a failed stealth roll, treating results of less than 10 as 10. As long as this ability is available, you take a -2 penalty to Stealth checks.
    -Stealth is very much a "roll until you fail" game ordinarily, so giving an extra "hit point" makes it more controlled.

    Fade: In order to detect you or items you are carrying with a detect magic spell or similar while you are hidden, an opponent must beat your Stealth roll with a spell attack roll. In order to detect you with senses other than vision such as scent, your opponent still must beat your Stealth. (edition dependent)

    Straight pass without trace at higher level; its available to spellcasters at level 4.

    Ambush; by spending 10 minutes setting up an area of size equal to your space, you may take 15 on Stealth rolls to hide there. This lasts until you take an action.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2019-09-23 at 11:06 PM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Role-playing.

    Good roleplaying can make or break stealth. If you explain how you're doing something very well a DM would more likely be able to let you actually stealth.

    Like, instead of saying "I use stealth to sneak up on the target", you say "I use the pipes overhead to craw toward the target" then the DM may lower the DC because the guard isn't expecting someone to be crawling on the ceiling.

    I know this isn't a straight up mechanical thing, thiugh inspiration falls under it, I think if you modeled features or an entire system off from Metal Gear Solid/Splinter Cell you would get a lot of miles out of stealth.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    IMHO the real problem in playing stealth is that it is often a solitary action. So maybe could be interesting features that extend your stealth skills to one or more allies.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    IMHO the real problem in playing stealth is that it is often a solitary action. So maybe could be interesting features that extend your stealth skills to one or more allies.
    This is why the Trickery Cleric is so dang amazing.

    Slap advantage on someone so they can go with the sneak.

    Thiugh, 5e does group stealth checks rather well, only half has to pass.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    A DM friend of mine and his table came up with Silent Step. You can invoke it when you lift your foot, and until you bring that foot back down and touch the ground, nothing you do generates noise. You can take a number of Silent Steps per rest (long, in their original idea as they were playing 2e, but later revised to work with short rests in 5e), based on level. I think it was three at first and it worked up to 18 or something.

    It created some interesting events. Like the rogue lifting his foot and then needing to hold his pose until the guards passed. Or jumping down off a wall. And of course it was just a fun way to model sneaking up on someone.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    A DM friend of mine and his table came up with Silent Step. You can invoke it when you lift your foot, and until you bring that foot back down and touch the ground, nothing you do generates noise. You can take a number of Silent Steps per rest (long, in their original idea as they were playing 2e, but later revised to work with short rests in 5e), based on level. I think it was three at first and it worked up to 18 or something.

    It created some interesting events. Like the rogue lifting his foot and then needing to hold his pose until the guards passed. Or jumping down off a wall. And of course it was just a fun way to model sneaking up on someone.
    This is pretty good, especially because it's fun.

    To be honest, the real problem with a stealthy approach is just that: it's not funny.

    Often it provides that the action is carried out by a single member of the group, leaving the others waiting. Moreover, since the enemies can not react to players actions, as they are unaware of their presence, the stealth approach also lacks strategy, unlike in combat.

    All this is summed up in a series of dice rolls, with great flavor potential, but very little gameplay.

    It would be interesting to be able to design a system or a mechanic that solves this, rather than focusing on spells and features that increase the bonuses for dice rolls.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry MTX View Post
    This is pretty good, especially because it's fun.

    To be honest, the real problem with a stealthy approach is just that: it's not funny.

    Often it provides that the action is carried out by a single member of the group, leaving the others waiting. Moreover, since the enemies can not react to players actions, as they are unaware of their presence, the stealth approach also lacks strategy, unlike in combat.

    All this is summed up in a series of dice rolls, with great flavor potential, but very little gameplay.

    It would be interesting to be able to design a system or a mechanic that solves this, rather than focusing on spells and features that increase the bonuses for dice rolls.
    I would love to see a revamped stealth resolution system. One based on experience during gameplay rather than verisimilitude or realism.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-29 at 03:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiadoppler View Post
    - Quiet steps: you don't make noise while walking
    - Disguised gait: you can change your walking pattern to make heavier or lighter footprints with appropriate spacing, acting as if you were a larger or smaller creature, or even avoid making clear footprints entirely. Creatures attempting to track you via your footprints have disadvantage on their tracking rolls.
    - Scent Disruption: you can use common materials to disguise or diffuse your scent. Creatures attempting to track you via smell have disadvantage on their tracking rolls.
    Walk without rhythm: Your movement isn't detected by tremorsense

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    To my mind, all these mechanics are great, but they all kind of miss the point. Stealth as it stands in 5e has no real decision weight. You attempt to move quietly or hide, roll a die, and either succeed or fail.

    That's it. There's no creativity, no ideas, and frequently the guy in plate mail blows it anyway, which leads to other problems (like the rogue having to go it alone while everyone else watches). Most importantly, there are no options!

    I get around this by altering the results. Instead of using a binary pass/fail system, I have a middle ground. If they fail on a Stealth check, I narrate them making noise or attracting attention, but instead of drawing weapons and yelling for backup, I have a guard or two start coming over to investigate. Now I ask the party "What do you do?" Suddenly, we've got options and creativity! "What's around us?" "I dive behind the potted plant!" "I minor illusion a startled cat to convince the guards it was just an animal noise!"

    You resolve the actions, see if the guards buy any of it, and narrate the consequences. I find it helps a lot, especially to add complications later.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky McDibben View Post
    To my mind, all these mechanics are great, but they all kind of miss the point. Stealth as it stands in 5e has no real decision weight. You attempt to move quietly or hide, roll a die, and either succeed or fail.

    That's it. There's no creativity, no ideas, and frequently the guy in plate mail blows it anyway, which leads to other problems (like the rogue having to go it alone while everyone else watches). Most importantly, there are no options!

    I get around this by altering the results. Instead of using a binary pass/fail system, I have a middle ground. If they fail on a Stealth check, I narrate them making noise or attracting attention, but instead of drawing weapons and yelling for backup, I have a guard or two start coming over to investigate. Now I ask the party "What do you do?" Suddenly, we've got options and creativity! "What's around us?" "I dive behind the potted plant!" "I minor illusion a startled cat to convince the guards it was just an animal noise!"

    You resolve the actions, see if the guards buy any of it, and narrate the consequences. I find it helps a lot, especially to add complications later.
    I love this!

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky McDibben View Post
    To my mind, all these mechanics are great, but they all kind of miss the point. Stealth as it stands in 5e has no real decision weight. You attempt to move quietly or hide, roll a die, and either succeed or fail.

    That's it. There's no creativity, no ideas, and frequently the guy in plate mail blows it anyway, which leads to other problems (like the rogue having to go it alone while everyone else watches). Most importantly, there are no options!

    I get around this by altering the results. Instead of using a binary pass/fail system, I have a middle ground. If they fail on a Stealth check, I narrate them making noise or attracting attention, but instead of drawing weapons and yelling for backup, I have a guard or two start coming over to investigate. Now I ask the party "What do you do?" Suddenly, we've got options and creativity! "What's around us?" "I dive behind the potted plant!" "I minor illusion a startled cat to convince the guards it was just an animal noise!"

    You resolve the actions, see if the guards buy any of it, and narrate the consequences. I find it helps a lot, especially to add complications later.
    Yes, that's exactly what my group and I do in these cases.

    Alternatively, if you want a more in-depth mechanic, you can think of using a derivative of the combat system:

    1. Draw a draft of the environment in which you want to sneak in, answering a series of questions (where are walls, tree trunks, bushes, crates, windows, doors, even using d4 or d6 to determine the number). You can use two colors to indicate which hideouts are high enough to hide a standing person, and which do not.
    2. Define for the guards an area centered around them in which they hear suffused noises (the strong ones have infinite area)
    3. Define a cone of sight for the guards, which behaves like a magic cone whose effect is to detect the presence of things and people, whose direction must be declared at the end of their turn. It could considers darkvision, environmental visibility and other factors.
    4. Introduce a level of suspicion, according to which the CD of stealth rolls changes, and according to which the behavior of a guard changes (approaches a suspicious area, calls for a reinforcement, rises the alarm). It also decreases after a certain number of turns if nothing unusual happens. Obviously, a guard who hears the sound of a bottle breaking three times in a row becomes suspicious and raises the alarm even if he has not seen anyone.
    5. Use the guards bonus actions to perform perception rolls if someone is inside the view cone during their turns. Also, use guards reactions if certain actions are performed inside the listening area or inside the view cone outside their turns.
    6. Roll for initiative, or consider the turns of the players before those of the guards, since they are unaware.

    Using a system like this, after a heavy refining, adds a strategic component to the stealth action, and also allows you to easily create actions combined with allies, which can distract or encircle enemies. Furthermore, introducing a mechanic of this type allows the development of many features and spells that exploit these points, or that emphasize collaboration between allies.

    But the real question is, is it worth it?

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    For inspiration have a look into the Thief games and how they were made.

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    I've returned to this thread multiple times, and this is the first post I'll write which doesn't get deleted, after reading it back and saying "Nope, that doesn't work".

    See, after long, serious, and somewhat painful reflection...I've had to come to grips with a fact I didn't want to. D&D, as a medium, is horrible at dealing with Stealth-based combat.

    I love games that allow (but don't require) stealth, but all of those games have one major point in common: they're single player. Nobody wants to be the DM who has the party's rogue spend 10 minutes creeping from hiding place to hiding place, silently one-shotting an entire room's monsters while the fighter, wizard, and cleric play dragon dice and chug ale. D&D is, and I feel this is more important in context, a group activity, especially in combat. When the fighter, wizard, cleric etc. are actually making things worse by expending spells or requiring healing, and when it's mathematically in their best interest to sit out, then Stealth isn't doing it's job at all. Even if the visual is friggin' amazing.

    So then I refined my thought process:

    A) Stealth is about physical actions that don't get seen or heard. That means anything covered by Bluff/Deception or Sleight of Hand/Pickpocket don't get included. Feel free to add those to your game, of course, that's just not the subject of this thread.

    B) The actions can't require being a rogue, and they shouldn't overshadow the rogue, either. So something that says "Re-roll your Sneak Attack damage" would be just as imbalanced as "Roll Sneak Attack damage as if you were a rogue".

    C) The actions should be usable in an already heated battle, or failing that, can't easily be used repeatedly. No fair making others sit out.

    This...ruled out a lot. I don't have much left, but you're welcome to it. I refer to these as "Options" because I don't know if you want to hide them behind Feats, special training that gets unlocked, magic items, class abilities, etc.

    Option 1: The ability to move in the open without being seen very well, and as such, having defenses against Attacks of Opportunity. Something along the lines of

    Dark Stride: After announcing your move, make a Stealth check.
    DC > target's passive Perception: Opportunity attacks caused due to movement are at Disadvantage.
    DC > target's passive Perception +5: Movement does not provoke melee attacks of Opportunity.
    DC > target's passive Perception +10: Movement does not provoke any attacks of Opportunity.

    Seeing invisible or scent don't help here. The Stealth character is trying to duck through blind spots, not actually vanish. And scent isn't fast enough to track movement like this.

    If any target is specifically paying extra attention, for example because the Stealth character is the only combatant or because they've been ordered to do so, they can instead oppose the action with a Perception check (no Action, but only usable against one target at a time). Also, the DC increases by +5 for each time it's successful against actively-resisting targets, even by people who aren't the victims -- anyone watching carefully can see the problem, even from across the room.

    Now, a Rogue could just use their Bonus Action to Disengage, but this way, they could reserve their Bonus Action for something else. Dual Wielding, for example.

    Option 2: Cast a spell without the somatic or material components being noticed.
    DC > target's passive Perception: target does not see the spell's hand movements, material components or foci being used.
    +5: spell has both S and M.
    +5: caster is surrounded (making casting behind the back harder)
    The verbal components would be a similar roll, but Deception.

    As above, someone actively watching the Stealth caster can oppose with a Perception check, and the DC increases by +5 each time they're successful.

    Variant A:
    Roll is a natural 1: Spell fails.
    Roll is a natural 2-5: Spell fails, unless the caster is a War Caster.
    Variant B:
    This costs a Bonus Action.

    There needs to be some kind of risk or cost, since the spell's being cast in a nonstandard way. If this Option is locked behind a Feat or something, you can probably waive the variants.

    Not super helpful with flashy attack spells, but could otherwise allow a Stealth caster to hide the fact that they're a caster. A ranger, for example, could attempt to conceal Cure Wounds spells.

    Option 3: The ability to strike unseen, hitting exposed areas for increased damage.

    Requires an attack without being seen, which typically means once/combat at low level. As such, they already have Advantage.

    Using your Bonus Action to set up a careful strike, make a Stealth check after announcing the first attack but before the attack happens:
    DC > target's passive Perception: If the attack hits, it does an extra +2d6 Sneak Attack damage
    DC > target's passive Perception +5: If the attack hits, it does an extra +3d6 Sneak Attack damage
    DC > target's passive Perception +10: The attack crits on a natural 19

    The above DC modifiers (rolling, +5 per success) continue to apply for watching targets -- including those seeing the attack on their allies. We don't want the greater invisible rogue doing infinite damage.

    Option 4: Allow specific items and/or spells that cause distractions, letting Stealth characters expend those to Stealth while being watched.

    But overall, my advice is this: if you know you're running a game with Stealth characters, make sure there are occasions where it's useful, but not "I have to do all the work". Sending the Stealth character to neutralize one sentry or one alarm horn is one thing, having him take out eight people quietly is asking a lot. Make combat with 8 soldiers and one sniper behind 90% cover, effectively invincible except to a melee attack he didn't see coming. Have a golem guarding an item that grants the golem extra power...until it's removed from its resting place. The golem will, of course, defend this resting place, but only against targets it can detect. Put pillars in rooms to hide behind. Fill a room with fog that quickly clears, but lets the Stealth character start with an advantage Advantage.

    So, consider options that the players don't need to pick. If every dungeon is filled with straight-up fights in unfurnished well-lit rooms, Stealth characters will get the correct impression right away...or, there won't be any Stealth characters. But having an action scene one time in (number of PCs) where the Stealth character's skillset can be really brought to full use is just as good as dropping one troll into the dungeon, just so the wizard can grin, crack his knuckles, and grab the bat guano and sulfur.

    Writing and re-writing this, I'd actually like to run a one player one-shot that's Stealth focused. Again, problem is, most D&D games aren't one player. And that's really where this issue begins and ends. It's a sweet spot between "Stealth is useless" and "Stealth always wins" and there's a lot of room in between to experiment. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Stealth Feature Brainstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    I've returned to this thread multiple times, and this is the first post I'll write which doesn't get deleted, after reading it back and saying "Nope, that doesn't work".

    See, after long, serious, and somewhat painful reflection...I've had to come to grips with a fact I didn't want to. D&D, as a medium, is horrible at dealing with Stealth-based combat.

    I love games that allow (but don't require) stealth, but all of those games have one major point in common: they're single player...

    ...Writing and re-writing this, I'd actually like to run a one player one-shot that's Stealth focused. Again, problem is, most D&D games aren't one player. And that's really where this issue begins and ends. It's a sweet spot between "Stealth is useless" and "Stealth always wins" and there's a lot of room in between to experiment. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
    I totally agree!

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