The rules on hiding state, in part (PHB, p. 177):

You can't hide from a creature that can see you clearly, [...]

The description of the wood elf's Mask of the Wild trait says (PHB, p. 24):

You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Can a wood elf in melee combat with a creature in a wooded area surrounded by light bushes simply use their movement to move 5 feet into an area lightly obscured by foliage, then use their action to hide right in plain sight of his opponent (5 feet away)? Then continue their movement using the cover of the light foliage to escape?

I am looking for a RAW ruling on this; all interpretations must be traced back to specific words in official written rules or official WotC rule clarifications.


1 Answer 1


Yes, it does allow exactly that!

From the Sage Advice Compendium (emphasis mine):

Do the lightfoot halfling and wood elf hiding racial traits allow them to hide while observed?

The lightfoot halfling and wood elf traits — Naturally Stealthy and Mask of the Wild — do allow members of those subraces to try to hide in their special circumstances even when observers are nearby. Normally, you can’t hide from someone if you’re in full view. A lightfoot halfling, though, can try to vanish behind a creature that is at least one size larger, and a wood elf can try to hide simply by being in heavy rain, mist, falling snow, foliage, or similar natural phenomena. It’s as if nature itself cloaks a wood elf from prying eyes — even eyes staring right at the elf! Both subraces are capable of hiding in situations when most other creatures can’t, but neither subrace’s hiding attempt is assured of success; a Dexterity (Stealth) check is required as normal, and an observant foe might later spot a hidden halfling or elf: “I see you behind that guard, you tricksy halfling!”

Now, you asked specifically for official WotC clarifications - per page 1 of the SAC:

Official rulings on how to interpret rules are made here in the Sage Advice Compendium [...]


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