Is there a ruling in any of the Pathfinder books (either RAW or RAI, excl 3rd party material) that would allow an NPC to target the square of an invisible foe after seeing his fellow NPC receiving damage from no where?

The question came up after my rogue character used AOO after AOO to almost single handedly tear through four stone giants yesterday.

The character is a Human Rogue 11/Wizard 1 with a wand of greater invisibility and 7 AOO/rnd. Yesterday he stepped up to four stone giants while invisible and waited for them to pass, granting him his AOO as another wizard PC summoned a monster next to him (Wiz has see invisibility) which attacked. The rogue has a talent granting him an AOO whenever an adjacent enemy receives damage. So that's the situation as it was set up.

What happened is that the rogue got two AOOs in as soon as the first giant moved past to hit the bear. The bear hit the giant in return after which the rogue took a third AOO, killing the giant. This continued for two rounds with the rogue 5ft stepping as needed, killing the 4 giants while only getting hit once by one that he stabbed without moving afterwards.

This combination seems grossly overpowered but rules wise we cannot find anything wrong with it. What are we missing?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Reminder: comments are for clarifying content, not posting small or incomplete answers. Please use answer posts to submit answers instead. Prior comments containing answers have been removed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


(Greater) Invisibility grants a lot of benefits, but it does have limits.

You can just guess the square

Even if you haven't pinpointed the exact location of your target, you can just guess and hit a square that you think your enemy might be in:

If a character tries to attack an invisible creature whose location he has not pinpointed, have the player choose the space where the character will direct the attack. If the invisible creature is there, conduct the attack normally. If the enemy's not there, roll the miss chance as if it were there and tell him that the character has missed, regardless of the result. That way the player doesn't know whether the attack missed because the enemy's not there or because you successfully rolled the miss chance.

Finding invisible creatures in combat

Even without any magic support, such as see invisibility, glitterdust or invisibility purge, pinpointing the location of an invisible creature is not too hard.

Note that once the rogue's location was pinpointed by a creature, yelling out his location, e.g. "Directly in front of me"/"He just stabbed my ankle" to his friends as a free action, making it easier for the others to "guess" his location correctly.

A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that “something's there” but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack. It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check.

Invisible creature is... Perception DC Modifier
In combat or speaking -20

Pinpointing an invisible creature using perception is a DC 40 perception check, which is quite high indeed. However, the DC is lowered by 20 if the creature is in combat, such as your rogue.

Your stone giants have a perception modifier of +12. They can attempt the DC 20 perception check as a move action and then try to smack the rogue with their greatclub (at 50% miss chance) as their standard action, and yell out his location "Directly in front of me" to his friends as a free action.

Should that fail, you can always resort to groping around, checking two squares as a standard action:

A creature can grope about to find an invisible creature. A character can make a touch attack with his hands or a weapon into two adjacent 5-foot squares using a standard action. If an invisible target is in the designated area, there is a 50% miss chance on the touch attack. If successful, the groping character deals no damage but has successfully pinpointed the invisible creature's current location. [...]

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for! Good to know about groping and the lower difficulty to perception while the invisible character is in combat! \$\endgroup\$
    – Bob
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 14:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If the rogue actively uses stealth, then the 20 or 40 from invisibility is added to the stealth check, rather than just being a constant DC. Otoh, attacking ends stealth, and re-stealthing takes a move action, so you can't keep the stealth while making AOOs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Topquark
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 1:17

Another common way used by my own group to detect invisible creatures is to just carefully walk through multiple squares of the battlefield. As explained in this rule, you generally can't move into a square occupied by an enemy, invisible or not. A square you can't move into is a square likely containing an invisible opponent. Note that this doesn't work if the creatures involved are more than three sizes different.


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