I am using this image from another post, which is why it has lines drawn on it that are useful for only a small aspect of this question:

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According to the stealth rules, you need cover in order to make a stealth attempt. According to the Combat rules, PFSRD - Combat (see the cover example #2 in the link), both A and B have melee cover with respect to each other, but not ranged cover (assuming neither is using a weapon with the reach property that can also attack an adjacent square, such as a spiked chain). So, ranged attacks do not grant cover bonuses, but melee attacks do? Could the melee cover be considered cover for the purposes of allowing a stealth roll? I was thinking of it like, A presses his back against the wall, turns the corner and shoots an arrow directly into B's face, granting sneak attack damage if the stealth roll is successful.

Initially, I thought this made sense. However, the fact that A's cover depends entirely on B's weapon choice seems peculiar. If B is holding a spiked chain, A no longer has cover with respect to B. If that were true, it is almost like B's spiked chain increases B's perceptive abilities. Alternatively, maybe stealth was never possible in this scenario at all.

Another possibility is that the spiked chain does not negate the melee cover they each have against each other, so stealth is still possible. The fact that B does not happen to be holding a weapon that is affected by the cover does not negate the cover itself.


1 Answer 1


Firstly, the example you cite is flawed

Just to get on the same page, your A and B have Cover from each other regardless of what weapon they use. The example you link is poorly written, but it is including an additional, uncited rule and misphrasing it.

Big Creatures and Cover

Any creature with a space larger than 5 feet (1 square) determines cover against melee attacks slightly differently than smaller creatures do. Such a creature can choose any square that it occupies to determine if an opponent has cover against its melee attacks. Similarly, when making a melee attack against such a creature, you can pick any of the squares it occupies to determine if it has cover against you.

When the example says "the rogue does not have cover from it, as the ogre has reach (so it figures attacks as if attacking with a ranged weapon)." what it actually means is that the ogre can choose its non-adjacent space from which to determine Cover.

Secondly, yes the creature(s) in your example can Stealth

Because, as noted above, they do have cover from each other, they qualify for using Stealth to gain Total Concealment until they attack, move without Stealth, or the other creature comes around the corner.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah! Thank you for the correction. This does, however, bring up a similar question. Suppose B were one square further down and A was wielding a spiked chain. Now, we use the rule, "When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you (such as with a reach weapon), use the rules for determining cover from ranged attacks." Does this mean that B no longer has cover from A? Can B no longer use stealth? \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2021 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ The rules don't say it explicitly, but I'd assume that cover from melee is sufficient to be considered as 'having cover' regardless of the opponents weapon, and consider ranged attacks to be an exception because they use a more specific case; different GM's my rule one way or the other on it, so I'd ask them if you aren't the GM for your game(s). \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2021 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the case of the original question (which you answered thoroughly), the DM is someone else. This modified scenario is just for my curiosity. If you do not want to entertain the scenario further, I understand. But, if you are willing, consider this: The rule I quoted says that if the target isn't adjacent to you, all melee attacks to that target determine cover using the rules for ranged attacks. Additionally, in the modified scenario (where B is one square down), calculating A to B, B never has cover from melee or ranged attacks, but A does have partial cover from B (both ranged and melee). \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2021 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not suggesting this is definitive by any means. I am also not sure if these observations affect the outcome at all. But, I am interested in your comments if you are willing :) \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2021 at 16:47

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