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Let's say there is a treant shadowdancer who does not appreciate interlopers in its forest. Assuming it has enough hide skill to remain unseen, and as silly as it sounds, can this treant trample over everyone until they're all dead while remaining unseen? Alternately, if the act of trampling negates the hide, can it use the shadowdancer's hide in plain sight ability to simply hide again at the end of its movement since the hide skill states that hiding happens as part of movement?

Note: treants get a racial +16 to hide in their environment, so this scenario is not impossible.

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Without camouflage/hide in plain sight, the treant also requires cover or concealment in order to hide—if the victims are out in the open, it will necessarily break cover and no longer be hidden or eligible to even try to hide again until it reaches new cover/concealment. This concern is eliminated by camouflage or hide in plain sight (the shadowdancer’s version of it, anyway—not all forms of hide in plain sight include cover/concealment as part of their effects).

Likewise, without hide in plain sight, the treant cannot hide while being observed. So if it breaks cover/concealment, or misses a Hide check, or otherwise becomes no longer hidden, it can’t become hidden again. It may even lose the benefits of being hidden just by coming close enough to the victims to trample—the rules aren’t really clear on what counts as “observing” and whether or not you can “observe” something that was hidden from you (without making the Spot check). Again, hide in plain sight obviates this.

Even with camouflage/hide in plain sight, the victims are absolutely going to be aware that they’re being attacked; that’s unavoidable. So even if the treant is “hidden,” they can act to defend themselves—buffs and wards, area effects, and so on.

Furthermore, attacking—including trample—applies a −20 penalty on your Hide check. A Huge creature like a treant takes an additional −8 penalty on all Hide checks. So we’re talking about a truly colossal Hide check here.

But, with camouflage/hide in plain sight, and a truly colossal Hide check, and no special senses in play, the treant can remain hidden while trampling its victims. Those victims would be aware of its presence and the effects of its attacks against them, and would be able to respond accordingly, including by blind-firing attacks in the direction they think the treant ran.

If they fail to accomplish all of that for whatever reason, they would be seen when they attack, if not sooner. They could attempt to hide again afterwards (though without hide in plain sight they’d need to break line of sight to do it), but until they do they’d be vulnerable to counter-attack, e.g. from readied actions. Readying an action for “as soon as I see it” is a pretty classic use of a readied action, after all.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock Then they can do that so long as they get to cover/concealment and break line of sight, or if they have hide in plain sight. That does expose them to readied actions to attack them while they’re moving away. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 30, 2020 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock Correct, I am: the victims can easily ready an action to attack the treant (with a weapon, spell, whatever) “as soon as I see it” or whatever, and the treant would be subject to that. Pretty much the quintessential usage of readied actions. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 30, 2020 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have one last question on this -- when staying hidden during the trample, does the treant just need one hide check for the entire trample, or once per character being trampled? I feel like it's just one roll since trample is one action. Also, it wasn't mentioned, but if the treant moves to fast during the trample, i am assuming the hide penalties for fast movement would be added to the hide penalties while attacking. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2020 at 7:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock I feel like, as a DM, I would want some kind of penalty for attacking multiple people, similar to the way Tumble works, but the rules do not specify one. So as far as I can tell, you really just make one Hide when you first start hiding, and then I guess the value of it can fluctuate as circumstances—and bonuses and penalties—change, but all based on the one roll. Anyway, easier question, yes, those penalties stack. Penalties almost always do, really. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 5, 2020 at 13:27

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