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Let's say I'm a Goliath Barbarian. I want to use my Stone's Endurance racial ability as a minor action, which grants me +5 resist all damage until end of next turn. But, I don't want my opponent to know that I'm casting it (after all, he's likely to swing at someone else where the damage will be more effective until it wears off.)

Can I make a stealth check against his passive perception to conceal the fact that I'm casting this? If I can, does that require any more of my actions?

Thanks!

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I am not sure that the creature is aware of you doing this under normal circumstances. I know when you use a power on another creature it is always aware of it. But I'm not sure if enemies are aware of you using a power on yourself. The DM is obviously aware and it would probably depend on the power. Something that is obvious (you glow, start swinging your sword wildly etc.) the creature would be aware. But something like Stone's Endurance would be debatable and possibly up to the flavor text + DM discretion. –  wax eagle Jun 6 '11 at 15:29
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According to the DMG... Probably not.

"Gotcha!" Abilities: Pay attention to monster abilities that change the basic rules and tactics of combat and give players the cues they need to recognize them. Describe the ability as it might appear in the game world, and then describe it in game terms to make it clear.

For example, if the characters are fighting a pit fiend, whose aura of fire deals fire damage to creatures within 5 squares, you might tell the players (before their characters come in range), "The heat emanating from the devil is intense even at this distance. You know that getting within five square of it is going to burn you."

There are two reasons for this:

  • The game is designed to be played with a high degree of knowledge on both sides.

  • From an in-fiction standpoint, both sides are likely to be highly skilled combatants, and most abilities will have a discernible effect of some kind. You probably hold yourself a bit differently with the ability active... And your opponent will certainly know you aren't reacting as they would expect once one of them hit you.

See this question for more discussion, and some counter-points.

With that said, your DM may allow this as a house rule. It would likely not take an additional action, but would apply a penalty of some kind to the stealth check. Personally, I'd also use bluff over stealth, since it involves changing the appearance of something rather than outright hiding it.

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+1 for your first bullet point. 4e is a very tactical game and knowledge of the statuses and effects on every creature is critical to making combat decisions on every round. –  dpatchery Jun 6 '11 at 16:02
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Agree with using Bluff for a skill check to obscure the use of a power to unfriendly targets. I would also speak with your DM about monster aggression. Some may play monsters very tactically, though most low INT monsters really should act a little dumber and just whack close or big targets. –  WayneDenier Jun 6 '11 at 19:54
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@Leilock so perhaps a goblin is like "Ooo, there's a hundred of us, we can kill anything! Charge!" won't notice I've activated this ability, but I can expect their chief, who is a little more battle hardened, to see it? Perhaps the check can be balanced by it being a Feat, something like "You can make a bluff check against monsters' insight checks to hide the presence of abilities that you cast and target you or an ally. The monster is aware of the ability after the first time it has an effect on his or an ally of his action." Maybe someone can help me tweak the language on that? –  corsiKa Jun 7 '11 at 1:52
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