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.
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. Stealth classes gain an additional mechanic when they elect to hide, called the Base Available Stealth Score, or simply Stealth for short. Stealth classes special skills are based of the Current Available Stealth. For more information on the additional skills of Stealth classes, see the “Stealth Skills” section.
Hiding and Sneaking
All the same core rules for Hiding and Sneaking apply to Stealth classes. However they again additional functionality and special rules that elevate the simple ability to Hide and Sneak into the Primary Skill mechanic known as Stealth.
The main difference for Stealth classes is that upon hiding you gain Base Available Stealth dictated by the Base Available Stealth formula (see next section), however this number can be increased through several means.
Normally using any instant or action based skills automatically cancels Hiding. However Stealth classes may use both Stealth skills and non-Stealth skills (with the exception of Fury) in a ‘sneaky’ manner while hidden, instead paying a Stealth Cost. Stealth Classes are also far more adept at moving while hiding and can move at regular speed do so without fully cancelling Hiding and instead paying a Stealth Cost.
Under normal circumstances for Stealth classes, if attacking an opponent while both hidden AND undetected, that target cannot benefit from active defensive or preventative measures such as dodge, block, parry, ward-off, impale, counter-attack or any other out-of-turn reactionary measure
STEALTH = [AVOIDANCE / 2 + LEVEL / 2 – Size Modifier]
where Size Modifiers are:
|Character (Race) Size||Size Modifier|
Any time you elect to hide this is the ‘Base Stealth Score’; simply put, the amount of stealth you fill in on your character sheet. You may find it helpful to write out several versions of the forula for common outcomes, to avoid having to do the math each time. If using this method be sure to update the formulas as you go up levels or gain Avoidance.
As you use abilties and take actions that reduce stealth you subtract the amount from this base stealth on your character sheet.
If at any time your Stealth score drops to zero you are no longer hidden. As always, hiding and available Stealth is subject to modification by the GM for certain situations at his/her discretion.
Available stealth is how much stealth you have available at any given moment based on the existing environmental conditions. When checking to see if you can use a particular Stealth skill, which will list a Required Stealth amount (based on the rank of the Skill).
- If Available Stealth is equal to or greater than the Required Stealth you may use the skill
- If Available Stealth is less than the Required Stealth you cannot use the skill (or may need to use a lower ranked version)
Under normal conditions, Available Stealth is equal to Base Stealth, where normal environmental conditions for Stealth classes are assumed to be fair weather and dim light, such as a moon lit night or an area lit by sparsely spaced torches. However, there are a variety of environmental factors that a GM could apply to modify Stealth.
The most common would be Light Modifiers:
- No-Light (moonless night/in shadows): Available Stealth = x2 Base Stealth
- Dim-Light (moonlight only, sparsely spaced torches, etc…): Available Stealth = x1 Base Stealth
- Bright-Light (standard day light or well lit room): Available Stealth = x0.5 Base Stealth
Stealth Classes are slightly less restricted than other classes when it comes to moving while hidden, and can do so at regular speeds if willing to pay a Stealth Cost for every inch of regular movement. However, Stealth Classes can Sneak just like any other class to maintain their hidden status and also removing the Stealth Cost.
In addition, Stealth classes can choose to Hustle while Hidden. This is effectively Sprinting and Sneaking at the same time and therefore cancels out the half movement effect of Sneaking at the cost of being unable to use and Instant or Action.
Example: A character has movement 4 and is hidden. The character chooses to Hustle in order to get into base contact with a target that is 4″ away. Sneaking reduces movement by 1/2 while Sprinting doubles it, therefore, cancelling each other out and allowing the character to get into base contact. However because of the Sprinting component of Hustling the character cannot use an Instant or action once in base contact.
Detection takes on two forms. The first form is being “Spotted” by your opponents. The rules for being spotted by your opponents are outlined in the Core Rules for Hiding and Sneaking. However Stealth Classes must also content with the second form of Detection known as “giving Away Your Position”. Both count as being “Hidden and Detected”
While detected, it is important to note, that your Current Available Stealth DOES NOT reduce to zero. You are technically still hidden, just temporarily detected. You can still use any Stealth ability provided you have enough Available Stealth (unless otherwise specified).
If you are able to get out of LoS of any opponent that has detected you, you may use an instant to become undetected again by passing an Stealth Check.
Giving Away Your Position
The second form of detection for Stealth Classes occurs when you target opponents with instants and actions, thus running the risk of giving your position away to them. In cases where you give your position away to an opponent, you are now considered to be detected by that opponent only. However the Core Rules for Calling Out a Position apply for this form of detection as well.
This is triggered by specific circumstances which, unless otherwise specified by an ability, apply as follows:
|Position Relative to Target||Melee Instant or Action that Causes Damage||LoS Ranged Instant or Action that Causes Damage||All other instants or actions|
|Frontal Arc||Automatically gives position away to opponent||Give position away to opponent if failing a Stealth Check||Give position away to opponent if failing a Stealth Check|
|Side Arc||Give position away to opponent if failing a Stealth Check||Give position away to opponent if failing a Stealth Check||Does not give position away|
|Rear Arc||Give position away to opponent if failing a Stealth Check||Does not give position away||Does not give position away|
|Self-Target||n/a||n/a||Does not give position away|
A successful stealth check is when you roll equal to or less than your Current Available Stealth on a d20. If your Current Available Stealth is 20 or higher there is no need to roll as failure would be impossible. This is sometimes referred to as being in “Deep Stealth”
The higher your Available Stealth is the more potent your character will be. However as battles wear on, your Available Stealth may reduce over time. The effects are cumulative round to round, causing diminishing returns, and apply to the use of any Skills, not just Stealth Skills. If at any point your Available Stealth is reduced to zero, you are no longer hidden. Remember though, at any time you can elect to re-hide (sacrificing a whole turn as before, and obeying LOS rules) to regain the base stealth. There are five categories of stealth reducers:
|Cause||Melee Skill or Attack that Causes Damage||LoS Ranged Skill or Attack that Causes Damage||All Other Skills or Attacks|
|Action||Hit = 3 Miss = 2 Crit Miss = 4||Hit = 2 Miss = 1 Crit Miss = 3||Hit = 1 Miss = 0 Crit Miss = 2|
|Instant||Hit = 2 Miss = 1 Crit Miss = 3||Hit = 1 Miss = 0 Crit Miss = 2||Hit = 0 Miss = 0 Crit Miss = 1|
|Action (Thief only)||Hit = 2 Miss = 1 Crit Miss = 3||Hit = 1 Miss = 0 Crit Miss = 2||Hit = 0 Miss = 0 Crit Miss = 1|
|All Fury Skills||reduce to 0||reduce to 0||reduce to 0|
- Multiple attack actions typically result in multiple stealth loss (unless otherwise specified), where each hit roll is considered a separate attack
- If skill or attack misses and/or fails then -1 Stealth Cost
- If Critical Miss or Critical Failure then +1 Stealth Cost
- For a Full Stealth Class (Thief), the Stealth costs for an Action are reduced by 1 due to the Mastery of Stealth Class Passive
- Any Fury ability (instant or action) immediately cancels hiding and reduces stealth to zero (see Caged Fury Class Passive)
Stealth Cost for Regular Movement
Regular movement by Stealth classes does not automatically cancel hiding, but rather has a Stealth Cost associated with it:
Stealth Cost: 1 per inch of regular movement
If sneaking, there is no stealth cost for movement
Learning Stealth Skills
Stealth classes learn skills by placing points into them, where each point spent on a Stealth ability constitutes one “Rank” of that ability. When Stealth Classes go up levels, they gain Stealth Ability Points that can be used to either learn an entirely new Stealth ability or to “rank-up” an existing one.
Other than during level 1 character creation, to learn a new ability (i.e. Rank 1) you must be taught by an Expertise Trainer that knows the corresponding ability. However, if assigning a skill point to an already known ability (i.e. advancing from Rank 1 to Rank 2), no trainer is required. If a Stealth Class happens to be a level 3 Expertise Trainer, they can self-teach new skills.
Stealth classes gain three ability points for each level (including level 1), however some restrictions apply to how they can be spent, as outlined in the Stealth Disciplines section below.
A complete list of Stealth Skills can be found on the Stealth Skills page.
Stealth skills are broken down into seven disciplines. Every class has one Primary Discipline and two Forbidden Disciplines (except Thieves, who have no Forbidden Disciplines). When spending Stealth ability points the following applies:
- You must always spend at least one point per level on an ability in your Primary Discipline
- Upon character creation, each class receives two free skills from their primary discipline before receiving their three points per level.
- You cannot, under any circumstances, spend any points on skills from your forbidden disciplines, nor can you ever use those skills with your class
- You cannot spend more than one point in a single ability each level up (except through titles)
|Discipline||Primary||Rank 1 Free Skills||Forbidden|
|Thievery||Thief||Larceny, Pick Pocket||Ninja, Ranger|
|Dirty Fighting||Swashbuckler||Low-blow, Dirt-in-the-Eye||Ninja, Monk|
|Survival||Ranger||Escape Artist, Evade||Swashbuckler, Assassin|
|Assassination||Assassin||Study Prey, Apply Poison||Monk, Swashbuckler|
|Suppression||Monk||Swift Kick, Confuse||Berserker|
|Subterfuge||Ninja||Espionage, Distract||Ranger, Berserker|
NOTE: Stealth classes can choose to specialize in a specific Discipline using the Secondary Skill system (see Specialist Skills).