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Relatively simple question, just one I can't seem to find an answer for. What would the spot check be to see a creature that's in shadow but not actively hiding? Should there be a spot check at all, or should the character's just be able to see it?
For instance, say an archer is hiding in a shadowy area, and the character's don't manage to spot him. The archer then attacks one of the characters, and is thus no longer hiding. However, the area he's in is still rather dark. Say, perhaps just on the very edge of an area of shadowy illumination?
Alternatively, if the area the attacker's in is completely dark, am I correct in saying that the poor pincushions would get no check to actually see him?
1 billion. Unless it is a shadow, in which case the players can already see it.
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If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a -20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot.
It seems that you can still re-hide, but with a pretty massive penalty. Unless he's very skilled at hiding, very far away, and/or your PCs have bad spot checks, they'll likely spot him immediately.
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Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx
Well at least your houserule skill check fumbles have houseruled fumble confirmations.
Your example archer would be spotted immediately upon attacking unless he rolled a successful hide check at his normal modifire -20 as a move action. He would still get the benefit of a miss chance against attacks returned in his direction. How much miss chance depends on how deep the shadows are, but the default is 20%. If he's in total darkness, he has total concealment and can't be spotted anyway, unless the spotter has some means of seeing through darkness.
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Praise I've received
Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell
Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
Originally Posted by LTwerewolf
[...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
When he shoots you see him, you don't roll a check. Done.
If he attempts the snipe special attack he may attempt to hide again at a -20 penalty. See the hide skill for more details.
Shadows provide concealment which allows hiding but do not provide a bonus to hide checks nor do you need to roll a check to find someone walking around casually in shadows and making no attempt to hide. You just see him. In total darkness OTOH you can't see him regardless of whether or not he tries to hide; no spot check just an automatic failure. Unless you have darkvision.
Darkvision negates all of the above. Low light vision doubles the effective range of illumination so that sometimes he is no longer in shadows and thus has no concealment and thus cannot hide. All of these are as seen by the character with darkvision or low light vision; others may still need to make spot checks.
What ericgrau said, but the DC to spot something large and in plain sight is zero, plus one per ten feet of distance (I can't seem to find where it says that, however). Like he said, shadow doesnt give you a bonus to hide checks, it just limits how far you can make spot checks.
Thank you all for the answers you've given. Much of it was what I suspected, but after playing with others that have dealt with things in a... different manner for so long, I was beginning to doubt my understanding.