Sneaking around and trying not to get caught are a cornerstone of the adventuring life. Heroes, even the bravest and most foolhardy, usually need to remain unseen for one reason or another. Scouting out an enemy camp, trying to recover stolen documents, or rescuing refugees from slavers without alerting the guards are all examples of a “noble” use of stealth. Of course, there are many more nefarious uses for it, too.
Any character who wants to do something without anyone noticing should make a Stealth check. Roll your Stealth dice, and add your Agility score. Anyone who has a chance to notice you will roll their Perception dice, and add their Wisdom score. The highest total wins. If you roll higher, you remain unnoticed. However, if the observer rolls higher, you have been caught.
Sometimes, such as in a “fast hands” type shell game, Speed is more important than Agility. In these situations, roll your Stealth dice and add your Speed score. The Perception roll is unaffected.
Likewise, sometimes what you see isn’t as important as how you interpret it. In these situations, roll your Perception dice, but add your Intelligence score.
Many external factors can influence Stealth checks. It is up to the Game Master to determine when a hero has an advantage, and just how big the advantage is. However, generally speaking, advantages and disadvantages come in three categories: Slight, Regular, and Huge.
- A slight advantage gives a +1 to the roll, while a slight disadvantage incurs a -1 penalty to the roll.
- A regular advantage gives a +2 to the roll, while a regular disadvantage incurs a -2 penalty to the roll.
- A huge advantage gives a +5 to the roll, while a huge disadvantage incurs a -5 penalty to the roll.
Situations and conditions can affect the Stealth roll, the Perception roll, or both. However, don’t apply the same modifier to both rolls. For example, if you give an attacker a -5 penalty because they can’t see, don’t also give the defender a +5 bonus because they can’t be seen! No double-dipping!
As with all things, the Game Master has the final say about which conditions offer an advantage or disadvantage, and just how severe it is. However, here are a few examples to get you started.
- Operating in very cold or wet conditions: -2
- Operating while blinded: -5
- Operating while Invisible +5
- Operating in Low Light (Negated if observer has Night Vision): +2
- Operating with a nearby distraction +5
- Using expertly crafted tools: +2