It’s always the problem with stealth missions. If you send in a solo sneak, Padfoot McBackstab is suddenly one failed check away from “surrounded and outnumbered.” If you subscribe to the buddy system, then you’ve just doubled your chances of somebody biffing the roll. And if you elect to chuck the whole party at the problem, you suddenly find yourself in Michigan J. Fighter territory. It’s moments like these when I would rather change tactics.

Of course, successful sneakery does have its appeal. The fringe benefits are outstanding! You get terribly comfortable masks… slimming black outfits… tight breeches… Your whole aesthetic is suddenly rock solid! But if you do go in for the stealth commando, there’s one accessory you cannot live without.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

“Alright! That’s two dagger damage and… carry the one… 1,309 sneak attack damage! Then I reenter stealth.”

“What are you hiding behind?”

“I… What? What do you mean ‘hiding behind?’ I just stealth!”

The missing ingredient, of course, is a little thing known as “cover.” But as goofy as it sounds, our hypothetical rogue isn’t necessarily wrong. Different systems come at it from different angles, with variations like hide in plain sight or halflings that specialize in hiding behind larger creatures getting extra options. But no matter what system, you’ve still got to get on the same page as your GM. Because when they don’t think you have enough cover… Well, let’s just say that there are documentaries on the subject, and you do not want to appear in them.

Question of the day then! What is your favorite mid-combat hiding place? Have you ever argued with a GM about whether or not you had enough cover to be sneaky? Did you manage to hide behind that arras, or did you wind up getting Polonius’d despite your best efforts? Sound off in the comments with all your best literal-cover stories!


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