The rules for Hiding state:

Until you are discovered or you stop hiding, that check's total is contested by the Wisdom (Perception) check of any creature that actively searches for signs of your presence.


When you hide, there's a chance someone will notice you even if they aren't searching.

Generally 5e tries to stick to plain English and tries to match real life where possible.

It seems to me that the rules are written in a way that says detecting a Hidden creature must be done on a per-creature basis. It isn't clear to me that if one creature detects a Hiding enemy with Passive Perception or the Search action, all other creatures automatically detect it too.

Obviously in real life even if one person detects something, they need to at least communicate that to others. And even then that can often be not enough for the second person to detect the thing.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: "Can you Hide from some but not all enemies?" and "How combat Hide mechanic works on multiple enemies present?" \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2019 at 4:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Unfortunately neither of those questions answer it very well since this question is secondary. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2019 at 5:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hence why I've mentioned them as related and not duplicates :) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2019 at 5:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ "if one creature detects a Hiding enemy with Passive Perception or the Search action, all other creatures automatically detect it too" — what game text makes you think so? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Nov 15, 2019 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


Each creature must find the hidden one

For example, there's a sniper hidden in this photo. Try to spot them.

Hidden sniper

I've seen them, I'm guessing you haven't - they are at the base of the 3rd tree from the front on the left, just above the log lying on the ground. Can you see them now?

So, your instincts are right, some observers may be able to see the hidden creature and others may not. If those that do tell those who don't where to look that would probably give them advantage. For passive Wisdom (Perception) that's a +5 - that may be enough to enable some who didn't see them to now see them. For the rest, they can use their action to search with advantage.

Of course, if the sniper "came out of hiding", everyone would see them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the example! While not necessary from a rules perspective, it certainly helps to illustrate the mechanics. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2019 at 5:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Needs hand drawn red circles (because I sure as heck don't see anybody there). :) \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Nov 15, 2019 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's also the consideration that once one does find you, it's pretty simple for them to announce the location of the hidden creature. Still may not result in 'seen', but definitely location known. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 15, 2019 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I guess that leads to the question of how Search works. Do you search a specific location, or do you search everything? Knowing someones location may or may not provide advantage on Search by your DM's discretion. (also, announcing that "he's behind the 3rd tree from the front on the left above a log!" would need to be done on that character's turn, and is probably the extent of talking for that turn) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 18, 2019 at 0:54

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