Use this skill to sink back into the shadows and move unseen, approach a guard post under cover of local scenery, or tail someone through the streets of a busy city without being noticed.
Check: Your Hide check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see you. You can move up to half your normal speed and hide at no penalty. At more than half and up to your full speed, you take a -5 penalty. It's practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running, or charging. Your check is also modified by your size:
If people are observing you, even casually, you can't hide. You can run around a corner so that you're out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where you went.
Cover and concealment grant circumstance bonuses to Hide checks, as shown below. Note that you can't hide if you have less than one-half cover or concealment. Three-quarters concealment or cover grants a +5 circumstance bonus, and Nine-tenths concealment or cover grants a +10 circumstance bonus.
Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use the Bluff skill to help you hide. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you. While the others turn their attention from you, you can make a Hide check if you can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot for every rank you have in Hide.) This check, however, is at a -10 penalty because you have to move fast.
Tailing: You can use Hide to tail a person in public. Using the skill in this manner assumes that there are other random people about, among whom you can mingle to remain unnoticed. If the subject is worried about being followed, he can make a Spot check (opposed by your Hide check) every time he changes course (goes around a street corner, exits a building, and so on). If he's unsuspecting, he generally gets only a Spot check after an hour of tailing.
Special: You can take 10 when making a Hide check, but you can't take 20.
A character with the Stealty feat gets a +2 bonus on all Hide checks.
Time: A Hide check is an attack action.