The ability to remain hidden from your foes is useful in many scenarios, whether to avoid detection by a more powerful force or to sneak up on a foe and silently dispatch of them. Naturally those classes oriented around stealth are not only more adept at hiding and sneaking, but also more capable of exploiting it to their advantage. However at its very core, hiding and sneaking are skills available to any and all classes. They simply bestow upon the user the ability to not be detected by an enemy. This page is directed at Hiding and Sneaking rules for non-Stealth classes. For further details on Hiding and Sneaking as a Stealth class see the Stealth page.
Hiding is divided up into two states:
- Hidden and Undetected (default state when initially hiding)
- Hidden and Detected (detected or spotted by specific targets only)
Characters can elect to hide at anytime if it is reasonable to do so and provided they are out of Line of Sight (LoS) of any opponent. However, You may not elect to hide at the same moment that an incoming battle or combat is announced by the GM. Because Stealth Classes generally rely upon being hidden to use the majority of their Skills, some Stealth classes prefer to hide out of combat as a general rule, so that whenever a battle is joined they start the combat already Hidden. In some instances, such as an ambush, it may be appropriate to allow characters to hide after the battle is announced but before combat actually begins.
Hiding in Combat
Once a battle has begun you may only hide if you are out of line of sight (LoS) of your enemies. Hiding in Combat requires that surrender your entire turn. By default successfully Hiding also means you are considered Undetected. For Stealth classes, Hiding also generates Stealth.
While hidden you cannot be directly targeted by any opponent unless they have detected your presence (see “Detection” below), though you can take indirect damage or effects (i.e. AoE attacks).
At any time you may choose to voluntarily stop hiding. There is no cost associated with this however if you are a Stealth class, you immediately lose all Available Stealth. With the exception of Stealth Classes, using any instant or action immediately cancels Hiding. You may however move, provided you take special care to move silently and without giving yourself away. This is referred to as ‘Sneaking’.
Moving out of base contact with an opponent does NOT count as Disengaging from Combat, provided you are BOTH hidden AND undetected.
Attempting to make any kind of regular movement, other than to simply rotate on the spot, will immediately cancel Hiding. This penalties can be avoided by Sneaking. Sneaking means that you move at 1/2 of you normal movement stat, calculated AFTER any movement impairing effects (i.e. slows, injuries, etc…).
Example: A character has movement 4, but is suffering from a leg injury that has reduced his normal movement stat by 1/2, reducing his normal movement stat to 2. If the character then hid, they would Sneak at a movement speed 1/2 of the injured movement speed (therefore 1).
Detection takes on two forms, being “Spotted” by your opponents and “Giving Away” your position. Both count as being detected. Giving Away your position only applies to Stealth classes and is addressed separately on the Stealth page.
While detected, it is important to note, that you are technically still hidden, just temporarily detected.
If you are able to get out of LoS of any opponent that has detected you, you may use an instant become undetected again by passing an Avoidance Stat test.
Spotted by Opponent(s)
While hidden, it is still possible for opponents to detect your presence; this is called spotting. Usually they will not attempt to do so unless given some kind of reason, such as a whispered communication between two hidden targets, a creaking floor board, or the slight shift in some nearby shadows. There is obviously a high degree of GM discretion involved with this process.
Opponents are even less likely to attempt to detect hidden characters if already engaged in melee combat as melee combatants tend to tunnel vision on those in base contact with them. However, this is not always the case. Some opponents may be wise enough to search for other targets if, for example, they can’t seem to get past the high armor of their current target. (See Basic Enemy Tactics)
At the start of each of your enemies’ turn, they may roll to see if they can spot you. There is no cost associated with this. To attempt to spot you they must win a Perception vs. Avoidance Stat Roll-off. If they score higher than you, you have been spotted/detected by that particular enemy only and can now be targeted as normal by them. This effectively puts you into a ‘Hidden and Detected’ state
The following bonuses apply in your opponent’s favor when rolling their Perception vs. Avoidance stat roll-off to spot you:
- if you are in base contact with their frontal arc: +10 to their roll
- if you are in base contact with their side arcs: +5 to their roll
- if you are not in base contact: +5 for every round you stay in the same location or have moved less than 2″ since your last turn
Calling Out a Position
Once an opponent has detected your presence they may choose to spend a instant to call out (or otherwise communicate) your location to their allies. If doing so, you’re are now considered to be detected by ALL reasonable opponents. GM discretion is required in cases where it make not make sense for an opponent to communicate effectively to their allies about a detected character. Many forms of silencing skills may be able to prevent opponents from using their instant to call out your location.
If calling out your position results in you being detected by all reasonable opponents on the battlefield then this goes beyond a state of Hidden and Detected, and instead it is assumed you are no longer hidden whatsoever.