What modifiers should be applied when when determining the Perception DC to locate an invisible creature during common combat situation?
As per the Core Rulebook, the base DC is 20, and to pinpoint the exact square is another +20. There are various additional modifiers on this DC, but three that are of particular relevance to me are:
- -20 if the creature is in combat or speaking
- +20 if the creature is not moving
- -10 if the creature is moving at full speed
I’m curious exactly what constitutes as “in combat” or “not moving”, as I can’t seem to get a consistent answer from the rules or various discussion threads on invisibility.
Let me illustrate with a few scenarios, where we assume that a PC has cast Greater Invisibility on themselves, and a few rounds later, has attacked NPC 1. Later that round, NPC 2 (who was not attacked by the PC), wants to locate the invisible PC.
Scenario 1: The PC begins their turn adjacent to NPC 1 and spends a full round action to attack NPC 1 before ending their turn with no other actions performed (thus did not take a move action and remained in their square). NPC 2 now tries to locate the PC.
Scenario 2: As above, but this time the PC takes a 5-foot-step away from NPC 1 in an unknown direction after attacking. NPC 2 now tries to locate the PC.
Scenario 3: As above, but this time the PC only uses a standard action to attack NPC 1, before taking a move action to move at their full speed away from NPC 1 in an unknown direction. NPC 2 now tries to locate the PC.
And finally, for a slightly different scenario from above
- Scenario 4: The PC is no longer performing melee attacks, and is not standing adjacent to any enemies. Instead, they begin their turn by taking a potion and drinking it. NPC 2 now tries to locate the PC.
Which modifies would you apply in each scenario? My interpretation of the DC to pinpoint the exact square would be
- Scenario 1: In Combat, Not Moving => DC = 40 – 20 + 20 = 40
- Scenario 2: In Combat => DC = 40 – 20 = 20
- Scenario 3: In Combat, Moving at full speed => DC = 40 – 20 – 10 = 10
- Scenario 4: In Combat, Not Moving => DC = 40 – 20 + 20 = 40
However I’m unsure of the modifiers in italics are applied correctly.
Does Not Moving here specifically refer to taking a move action, or is it anything other than standing completely still? Is swinging a weapon equivalent to drinking a potion when it comes to this?
Does In Combat specifically refer to having rolled initiative as part of an encounter? Or does it mean actively participating with aggressive actions?
Any help clarifying RAW or RAI would be appreciated!
(Note: I’m aware that in these combat situations, NPC 1 can easily locate the PC as they were the target of an attack. I’m also aware that invisibility only removes vision of the invisible creature, and that the PC could be located by other means – including environmental factors or being told by an ally to target a particular square. I’m specifically interested in the scenario where there’s no additional stimulus, and another NPC is rolling perception to pinpoint the PC’s location)