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Paramour Pink
2009-03-02, 08:50 AM
Hi, this is a really minor question that has completely evaded me so far in answers. I'm already vaguely aware about flanking options, and the importance of initiative for the first round, and I'm at least aware of the potential of surprise round fun. But I don't know how to get those hide checks to turn me into a successful backstabber once a melee fight has already begun.

I've seen it mentioned and implied a few times that once your hide check is high enough, you can sneak attack with impunity. But...I don't understand how it does that. It doesn't seem like my foes are flat-footed, or something, but I don't know. Can someone explain how it works (and also why)? Or if it even works at all for melee rogues?

All help would be appreciated. :smallsmile:

Samb
2009-03-02, 09:05 AM
Invisible and blink are ways to ensure that your opponents are flaat footed. I use cloak dance to gain concealment and then hide next round or use hustle to move again. Basically it works kind of like hide in plain sight but not nearly as conveient. You don't need to take or use this feat if you have lots of places to hide in, but that depends on how nice your DM is. If you spend a full Round you get total concealment and don't even need to do a hide check.

There are spells and powers that give you concealment and from there you can do a hide check, I personally think cloak dance is a reliable way to do this since there is no limit on how often you can do it and you don't need to beg the casters. And it works in a antimagic field.. Only thng that could trump it is hide in plain sight or something that makes you invisible as a swift action.
A more mundane way is to bluff and then hide but if you had max'd bluff you'd be feinting instead of hiding since it would require 2 successful checks.

Paramour Pink
2009-03-02, 09:27 AM
So...just as long as I have some Concealment, even if it's just like 10%, and I'm close enough to attack someone, I can get sneak attack goodness on them without having to do anything else? That's very nifty to know. Thank you. :smallsmile:

Douglas
2009-03-02, 09:51 AM
No, it's a bit harder than that. Concealment satisfies one of the requirements for hiding, but not all. In addition you must not be observed, even casually, by the person you are hiding from, and someone you are in melee combat with is going to be observing you rather more than casually.

To hide in melee with no special abilities, you must first spend a standard action using bluff to create a distraction, then move and hide. The next round you would be able to attack, getting sneak attack on your first attack only.

If you have Hide in Plain Sight, you can skip the bluff check but you still have to spend a move action on hiding and you have to beat your opponent's spot check to get sneak attack on your single attack.

Kaiyanwang
2009-03-02, 10:09 AM
Wilderness Rogue, ACF from Unhearthed Arcana, can reach hide in plain sight at high levels.

With a proper use of magic and even mundane items*, you could be able to obtain SA, even if not at every round.

* smoke grenades from OAdv and some berry able to spread darkness from Forgotten Realms come first in my mind.

Samb
2009-03-02, 10:51 AM
yes but total concealment will remove the need to even do even do a hide check. The why hide in plain sight is so good is because you can let you hide, even without concealment, as part of an action so you hide and do a full attack in the same round. Cloak dance sacs a move action for concealment so you can only do SA on one attack as opposed to the 2-6 you could do with hide in plain sight.


One of the best ways to bypass this without taking shadowdancer by using hustle. Of course this makes a 4 lvl dip into psiwarrior needed. But you get some powers and two bonus feats which in most cases makes up for it.

Another_Poet
2009-03-02, 10:55 AM
Also, for the record there is no such thing as 10% concealment.

There's only partial concealment (20% miss chance on attacks) and total concealment (50% miss chance on attacks). You can use partial concealment as a place to hide, but you still need to follow the bluff/distract, move, hide routine outlined by Douglas above.

In total concealment you are automatically hidden and can make sneak attacks without making a hide check at all. However, chances are that if you are in total concealment you also can't see your opponent and thus your own attacks also suffer a 50% miss chance, if you can even figure out what square to attack which requires a Listen check.

The above is if we're talking 3.5 here; I duno about 4e.

Kaiyanwang
2009-03-02, 11:08 AM
Well if even the opponent is in concealment you cannot sneak attack him at all, barring miss chance..

Curmudgeon
2009-03-02, 11:24 AM
Basically, a Hide check superior to an opponent's Spot makes you visually undetectable.
Invisible

Visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents’ Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). You get the same benefits as being invisible, but a higher Spot check rather than See Invisibility is the counter.

If there's general concealment (such as from Darkness), you can't sneak attack:

A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach. So generally you either need cover rather than concealment for your Hide check, or concealment in your square but not in an adjacent enemy's square, to use Hide to sneak attack in melee.

There's another way, though: the Move between Cover use of Hide (see Complete Adventurer). Basically you subtract 1 from your Hide check for every foot you move away from cover. If you succeed on your check, you're still hidden -- even in the open. That's how you can sneak attack without Hide in Plain Sight.

Samb
2009-03-02, 12:28 PM
Now I'm confused about hide and concealment. I thought you can hide then drop concealment and SA next Round?

Don't bother with bluffing then hiding because feint will make your target flatfooted anyways.

Myrmex
2009-03-02, 03:25 PM
Also, for the record there is no such thing as 10% concealment.

There's only partial concealment (20% miss chance on attacks) and total concealment (50% miss chance on attacks). You can use partial concealment as a place to hide, but you still need to follow the bluff/distract, move, hide routine outlined by Douglas above.

In total concealment you are automatically hidden and can make sneak attacks without making a hide check at all. However, chances are that if you are in total concealment you also can't see your opponent and thus your own attacks also suffer a 50% miss chance, if you can even figure out what square to attack which requires a Listen check.

The above is if we're talking 3.5 here; I duno about 4e.

I believe concealment in 3.0 came in increments of 10%.

Lycanthromancer
2009-03-02, 04:19 PM
The fellmist cloak soulmeld from Magic of Incarnum can grant 10% concealment. :smalltongue:

Also, that dip into psychic warrior can net you concealing amorpha, which will grant you concealment, but not your foes.

Of course, you can get it from an item, too, if you take ranks in UPD (or UMD if your DM allows for skills transparency).

Starbuck_II
2009-03-02, 05:29 PM
Also, for the record there is no such thing as 10% concealment.


Yes, I even have the book with it. Hyperconscious had a 1st level power that granted that. It stacks with other forms of concealment at 1/2 rate (so +5%).

It was okay but itself though.

Draz74
2009-03-02, 06:27 PM
I hope this clears everything up:

If you attack from a hidden condition, you gain an extra +2 on your attack roll (as if invisible), in addition to the target losing their Dex-to-AC. That latter part, losing Dex-to-AC, also means your attack deals Sneak Attack. The Blind-Fight feat will nullify this whole aspect.

To become hidden, you normally need 4 things:


Spend a move action (during which you can also move)
Beat their Spot check with your Hide check
Have cover or concealment (at some point during your move)
Not have their attention focused on you


Also, on #2, you take a -20 penalty to your Hide check if you attempt to hide again in the same round after you have attacked them. Even sniping doesn't take care of this requirement.

Requirement #4 is the tricky one. However, there are a few ways to deal with it:


If your attack is using a ranged weapon from at least 10 feet away, you can use the Sniping rules to avoid the usual rule of "once you attack them, their attention is automatically focused on you."
If you have total concealment rather than just concealment, their attention can't be on you. (Note that anytime you have total cover from an opaque source, you also have total concealment for these purposes.)
You can use the Bluff skill as a standard action to satisfy #4 too. Note that this has nothing to do with Feinting, except that they both use the Bluff skill.
Finally, the Hide in Plain Sight ability satisfies #4 all on its own (provided you meet certain conditions, e.g. being in a natural environment or not being in direct daylight).


There are also some ways to get rid of requirement #3:


The Camouflage ability gets rid of it in some terrains.
Some versions of Hide in Plain Sight get rid of this too, along with getting rid of #4. Typically, these are the [Su] versions of HiPS, not the [Ex] versions. Read the HiPS ability you're getting carefully.


The easiest way to get HiPS (if you're not a Ranger or Scout), especially the [Su] version, is the Dark template (LA+1), or the Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis item that mimics the Dark template. Both are found in Tome of Magic in the Shadow Magic section. The "classic" way to gain [Su] HiPS is 2 levels of Shadowdancer, which is not considered optimal due to ugly prerequisites.

My favorite way to gain constant concealment, if you're not a Psychic Warrior or Incarnate or another class that gives an easy method, is Armor of Greater Blurring from the Magic Item Compendium.

Swooper
2009-03-02, 06:58 PM
Didn't read the whole thread, but, by RAW:

Carry a tower shield. Use it to gain concealment. While you have concealment, you can roll Hide checks. Hide checks hide you and your equipment, including that tower shield you're hiding behind. It's completely idiotic, but it's technically RAW :smalltongue:

Person_Man
2009-03-03, 11:30 AM
First, you might find this info helpful:

Sneak Attack feats (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66915). Feat index (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/feats).

The four most important Sneak Attack feats:

Dragonfire Strike: Turns your Sneak Attack damage into energy damage, bypassing Precision Damage immunity, assuming your DM is nice about it (some argue that you must first deal the Sneak Attack damage before it becomes energy damage).

Staggering Strike: Staggers enemy for 1 round when you Sneak Attack them with a melee attack. Ridiculously useful against boss enemies, in that it prevents them from making a full attack or casting a full round action spells.

Craven: +1 damage per character level on every Sneak Attack. The equivalent of Power Attack without reducing your To-Hit bonus.

Darkstalker: Enemies with Tremorsense, Scent, Blindsight, etc, must still make a Spot check in order to locate you when you Hide.


Ways to Qualify for Sneak Attack:


1) Ambush: If you ambush your enemy, you get a free Surprise Round against them. A Flat Footed enemy loses their Dex bonus until they act.
Remember the the Surprise Round is only a Standard Action. So you'll need Greater Manyshot (www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Greater_Manyshot_(Feat)) or Pounce (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103358) (remember that you can still Charge (www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Charge) if your actions are limited) to get a full attack.

2) Win Initiative: If you win Initiative, you enemy is still Flat Footed, and still denied their Dex bonus.

3) Flanking: Have someone summon a lot of weak creatures.

4) More Flanking: Invest in Handle Animal. Buy a lot of dogs. They're cheap and easy to train.

5) Still More Flanking: Invest in Tumble, get behind your enemies, have your party's meatshield fight in front of them.

6) Yet More Flanking: Adaptable Flanker feat (PHBII) allows you to flank from any square. Combine with a reach weapon, and now you can stand next to or even behind a friend and still flank an enemy.

7) Dear Gods, How Much Flanking Do We Need?: Obtain Familiar + Improved Familiar, if you can cast arcane spells. Now you have a full time friend to Flank with, and he can Share Spells with you (like Alter Self and Greater Invisibility).

8) Armor Lock: 1st level spell from Complete Scoundrel that works on enemies wearing armor. Buy a wand.

9) Greater Invisibility: Once your party hits level 7ish, there's really no reason someone in your group shouldn't cast this on you at the start of every combat.

10) Ring of Blinking: If you're party members are jerks and refuse to cast Greater Invisibility on you, use this item instead. Pick up the Pierce Magical Concealment feat (Complete Arcane) to ignore your 20% miss chance.

11) Skill Tricks: Again, check out the Complete Scoundrel. Skill Tricks can be very useful (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88633).

12) Fear: If your enemy is Cowering, he loses his Dex bonus. There are a large variety of ways to get and use Fear effects, and a variety of ways to corner or immobilize him.

13) Stun: If your enemy is stunned, he loses his Dex bonus. Work with the Monk in your party, or ask the caster to use spells with this effect.

14) Blind: If your enemy is blind, he loses his Dex bonus. There are spells and alchemical items that do this.

15) Helpless: There are a variety of spells and a few effects that render your foe paralyzed or otherwise helpless. A Rogue's Coup de Grace almost never fails.

16) Hide in Plain Site: There are many ways to get this. My favorite is a dip into Warlock let's you Hide in Plain Site (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57352) every round as a Swift action. This means that any enemy who fails their Spot check is denied their Dex bonus against your next attack. Not efficient if you want to make full attacks, but helpful nonetheless.

17) Grappling: An opponent who is grappled loses their Dex bonus to everyone except the grappler, another way to tag team with your party members.

18) Net, Razor Net, Lasso: Each of these is a touch attack that imposes a -4 penalty on Dex. Penalties from different sources stack. Enemies with 0 Dex count as being paralyzed. I wouldn't even bother with taking the Exotic Weapon feats, because touch attacks are easy, so the -4 penalty to hit is palatable. Though I would invest in Spell Storing weapons, and find spells that deal Dex damage/penalties.

19) Feint: This is a retarded waste of an action in most cases. But it works well at low levels if you're not using TWF, and if you're an Invisible Blade with the Surprising Riposte feat (Drow of the Underdark), it works for a full attack.

20) Telling Blow (PHBII): When you crit, you also deal Sneak Attack. I'm not a fan of this method. It doesn't double your Sneak Attack if you flank and crit, WotC has made it clear that it just let's you qualify. So at best 30% of your attacks get Sneak Attack. There are many better uses for your feats, IMO.


OK, now that's out of the way...

Using Hide is a good way to to ambush your enemy. You find concealment. Usually this is shadowy illumination (ie, a dark dungeon) or natural terrain (tress, brush, etc). You sneak up on them (make a Hide and Move Silently Check). Then you attack them. If your enemies fail their Spot and Listen checks, you get a Surprise Round. Your enemies are Flat Footed until they act. So if you also win Initiative, then that's potentially 2 full attacks that all qualify for Sneak Attack.

Alternatively, you can get Hide in Plain Site. This let's you Hide every round, and apply Sneak Attack to the first attack you make each round against an enemy who failed their opposed checks against you. (Because once theyre aware of you, they are no longer denied their Dex bonus). In general this is inefficient, as there are plenty of other ways to get Sneak Attack on every attack. But it can be exploited (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4666858&postcount=5).

BRC
2009-03-03, 11:34 AM
Question, Can you just stand still and HiPS to get sneak attacks. The way I read the rules was that you hide as part of a move action. I've had a character that combines Hide in plain sight and Spring Attack. Pop out of hiding, Sneak attack, pop back into hiding with the second part of your move action. It also means that your opponents can't just swing at the square you were attacking from with a 50% chance of hitting you.

Draz74
2009-03-03, 11:45 AM
Question, Can you just stand still and HiPS to get sneak attacks. The way I read the rules was that you hide as part of a move action. I've had a character that combines Hide in plain sight and Spring Attack. Pop out of hiding, Sneak attack, pop back into hiding with the second part of your move action. It also means that your opponents can't just swing at the square you were attacking from with a 50% chance of hitting you.

Yes, you can do this, but you have to deal with several issues.


Your Hide checks take a -20 penalty in the same round when you have attacked someone.
You still need cover or concealment to Hide again, depending on the version of HiPS you have. (Unless you have camouflage too ... I guess this issue mainly comes up with the Dark Template version of HiPS.)
You're only getting 1 attack per round, so you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it. :smallwink:

Kaiyanwang
2009-03-03, 11:54 AM
You're only getting 1 attack per round, so you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it. :smallwink:
[/LIST]

Well, there are ambush feats and other similar things viable for rogues that slow stagger or incapaciate temporarely the enemy... Maybe this is not the strategy that bring to more damage but is very fun, at least in my point of view.

More, if you hide away, let the enemy continue to spread blood on the ground, asking to finish him off...

BRC
2009-03-03, 11:54 AM
Yes, you can do this, but you have to deal with several issues.


Your Hide checks take a -20 penalty in the same round when you have attacked someone.
You still need cover or concealment to Hide again, depending on the version of HiPS you have. (Unless you have camouflage too ... I guess this issue mainly comes up with the Dark Template version of HiPS.)
You're only getting 1 attack per round, so you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it. :smallwink:

The NPC in question had a HiPS that allowed him to hide provided he was within 10 feet of a shadow besides his own. I only saw the -20 penalty for Sniping (Making a ranged attack and then immediately hiding again without moving). Considering the purpose of this NPC, only one attack was a fair trade for the awesomness/ the enemy essentially being unable to hit him.

Curmudgeon
2009-03-03, 12:11 PM
Now I'm confused about hide and concealment. I thought you can hide then drop concealment and SA next Round? You can't (except for some special class abilities) "drop concealment". Concealment is generally an environmental condition, such as in shadowy conditions. For you to sneak attack as "visually undetectable" you need to either be invisible or make a successful Hide check. If you're concealed and not being observed, you're allowed to Hide. But if the target is concealed, you're not allowed to sneak attack them.

Don't bother with bluffing then hiding because feint will make your target flatfooted anyways. Firstly, feinting will not ever make your target flatfooted. It can (if successful) make them lose their DEX bonus to AC for your next attack (only), but has no effect on their ability to see you, their AC versus anybody else, or for other than your next single attack. Secondly, hiding gives you decent protection against all enemies, whereas feinting gives you no protection at all. Thirdly, feinting is generally hard because the opponent gets to add their BAB to their Sense Motive check to oppose it, meaning they get "free" feint resistance just by being a martial type (i.e., having good BAB).

Draz74
2009-03-03, 12:16 PM
The NPC in question had a HiPS that allowed him to hide provided he was within 10 feet of a shadow besides his own.
That still doesn't answer whether he needed cover or concealment to hide, or whether HiPS allowed him to ignore that requirement. He still needs cover or concealment unless HiPS (the version being used) explicitly says otherwise, or says "without anything to hide behind."

However, it's most likely that the HiPS in question was the Shadowdancer version, since it's Core and has the "within 10 feet of a shadow" clause. In which case, yes, it contains the "without anything to hide behind" clause too.


I only saw the -20 penalty for Sniping (Making a ranged attack and then immediately hiding again without moving).

It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running or charging.
That applies to your Spring Attacking scenario. There was an FAQ or a Sage Advice answer dealing with this very scenario, and it confirmed that you still have to deal with the -20 penalty. The only thing special about Sniping is that it never lets the enemy get a look at you, so you don't need HiPS or a Bluff check or whatever to get them to look away while you re-hide.

Note, however, that a dedicated stealthy build can often succeed on its Hide checks even with the penalty. So the spring-attack-hide tactic is tough but not inconsiderable.


Considering the purpose of this NPC, only one attack was a fair trade for the awesomness/ the enemy essentially being unable to hit him.

That's fine.

lsfreak
2009-03-03, 12:21 PM
Person_Man, don't forget to add the Island of Blades stance for those dipping into Swordsage. As long as you one one ally are both adjacent to an enemy, it's flanked. You need to pick up a first-level stance anywho, and it seems to be one of the better ones for a rogue-type.

There's a number of other maneuvers that let you pull something off. A couple give concealment (so you can make hide checks), one is just straight invisibility as the spell. One lets you move, make an attack, and keep your hide and move silent checks as if you didn't attack. If you're taking a mid-to-late level dip in swordsage, those could help as well.

Atamasama
2009-03-03, 01:08 PM
Firstly, feinting will not ever make your target flatfooted. It can (if successful) make them lose their DEX bonus to AC for your next attack (only), but has no effect on their ability to see you, their AC versus anybody else, or for other than your next single attack. Secondly, hiding gives you decent protection against all enemies, whereas feinting gives you no protection at all. Thirdly, feinting is generally hard because the opponent gets to add their BAB to their Sense Motive check to oppose it, meaning they get "free" feint resistance just by being a martial type (i.e., having good BAB).
The Brigand class from the Kingdoms of Kalamar supplement is excellent when it comes to feinting. I currently play one in a 3.5 game, and the class gets an automatic bonus to the bluff skill (I believe it's +4). At level 8 I have an 18 Charisma and have kept bluff maxed each level. That gives me a +19 to the skill. I also have the Improved Feint feat, which lets me do a feint as a move action, so that once within range of the enemy I can feint and attack in the same round. At my level I get 3D6 bonus damage from a sneak attack and with my bluff score it's rare that an enemy sees through my feints. I don't use it all the time, I'd rather flank someone so that I can do a full attack (and get my sneak attack on multiple hits instead of just one), and it doesn't work against creatures of animal intelligence or lower, but it's a great trick to have up my sleeve. It's especially handy against a really quick enemy who doesn't have a lot of armor.

Darrin
2009-03-03, 02:16 PM
Yes, you can do this, but you have to deal with several issues.


Your Hide checks take a -20 penalty in the same round when you have attacked someone.
You still need cover or concealment to Hide again, depending on the version of HiPS you have. (Unless you have camouflage too ... I guess this issue mainly comes up with the Dark Template version of HiPS.)
You're only getting 1 attack per round, so you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it. :smallwink:


What about using Blend Into Shadows (DotU) to HiPS as a swift action? Could you pop up hiding, full attack with sneak attack on each hit, and then hide again with a -20 on your Hide check?

Curmudgeon
2009-03-03, 02:45 PM
What about using Blend Into Shadows (DotU) to HiPS as a swift action? Could you pop up hiding, Yes.

full attack with sneak attack on each hit, No. As a swift action, you can use Blend into Shadows to enable one Hide check (even while being observed and without cover or concealment) in a round. No full attacks (unless your full attack is one swing).

and then hide again with a -20 on your Hide check? No; you would have used up your one shot on the first swing of the full attack.

The Assassin/Shadowdancer Hide in Plain Sight is much superior. It enables a Hide check whenever you are within 10' of any shadow except your own, in any action where a Hide check is permitted. A Shadowdancer can make full attacks while hiding on each swing (with a -20 penalty):
It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running or charging.

Samb
2009-03-03, 04:14 PM
I think I should be able to attack out of total concealment provided by cloak dance.... Esp when it specifically says you gain total concealment until the start of your next turn. So the co cealment should have dropped by the time I can an attack right?

I disagree on the effectivness of feint. If maxed out and with decent CHR and synergies there should not be any target you can't feint. Sense motive is only really seen in very few npcs and almost never seen in combat. I used an invisible blade and only failed my feint 4 times if that many.

You need more than one way to deal out SA since there is a counter to almost any method. Does no DMs use improved dodge anymore.

Atamasama
2009-03-03, 04:29 PM
I disagree on the effectivness of feint. If maxed out and with decent CHR and synergies there should not be any target you can't feint. Sense motive is only really seen in very few npcs and almost never seen in combat. I used an invisible blade and only failed my feint 4 times if that many.

Agreed with this, I've only had a few problems with using feint. Again with the disclaimers about the enemy being intelligent enough to fall for it, and acknowledging that you only get one sneak attack out of it. But when the situation won't allow you to do a sneak attack otherwise, it's great.

Eldariel
2009-03-03, 04:44 PM
Problem is that even then, it only makes you able to do one SA. It's generally better to focus on means to make opponent flat-footed and get your full attacks. Darkstalker, Penetrating Strike, UMD et co. help a ton with regards to that.

Curmudgeon
2009-03-03, 07:53 PM
I think I should be able to attack out of total concealment provided by cloak dance.... No, you can't do that. You can attack out of regular concealment if you use the move action option of Cloak Dance, so you can make one Hide check; that will permit one standard action attack, or an AoO, with sneak attack.

Esp when it specifically says you gain total concealment until the start of your next turn. No, Cloak Dance doesn't say that. You can only get total concealment if you use a full-round action, and then it only lasts until your next action -- so no attacks while you've got total concealment. Or you can use a move action to get regular concealment, in which case it lasts until your next turn.

So the co cealment should have dropped by the time I can an attack right? Yes for total concealment, and only if you wait until the next turn turn for regular concealment. But why would you want the concealment, which is only on you, to drop? As soon as that happens you no longer can remain hidden, so you can't sneak attack.

Samb
2009-03-03, 09:17 PM
Problem is that even then, it only makes you able to do one SA. It's generally better to focus on means to make opponent flat-footed and get your full attacks. Darkstalker, Penetrating Strike, UMD et co. help a ton with regards to that.

Well of course and a rogue should do her best to max out her initiative, get items that give greater invisibility and flank when ever possible, but sometimes you go up against mobs with blind sense, or improved uncanny dodge, or you just just plain got unlucky and lost initiative. You as the expert in the group needs to be more than a one trick pony.

I always try to get improved initiative just to get the jump on my targets. Eventually I also get psicrystal (+2 on initiative as a bonus feat from psiwarrior) and dip twice into swordsage for quick to act and assassin stance and a gem of a manuver called sapphire nightmare (makes target flat-footed). I go for full attacks whenever I can but sometimes I will "settle" for one massive attack because a full flat-footed attack will not work.

Feint is one of the most reliable ways to deal sneak attack damage to people with improved uncanny dodge. If you were going to max out bluff to begin with then in most cases doing a feint check is going to trump any BAB 'bonus they have.

The target would have to be 3+ your CHR modifer levels higher than you with (full BAB progression). With a +3 modifier on CHR your target would need to be 6 levels higher than you to just be on a level playing field with feint. You can almost count the number of classes that have sense motive as a class skill and only one of them has improved uncanny dodge as well (yes the rogue).


Everyone assumes that just because i use feint and defend it I don't use greater invis or improved iniative. Not true, but i like to have back ups because SA is a fragile thing, and sometimes you just have to take the less optimal route.
Of course you should have a undeadbane and/or constructbane weapon on you as well because all this talk about how best to sneak attack is invalid once you see one of them around.

Samb
2009-03-03, 09:28 PM
No, you can't do that. You can attack out of regular concealment if you use the move action option of Cloak Dance, so you can make one Hide check; that will permit one standard action attack, or an AoO, with sneak attack.
No, Cloak Dance doesn't say that. You can only get total concealment if you use a full-round action, and then it only lasts until your next action -- so no attacks while you've got total concealment. Or you can use a move action to get regular concealment, in which case it lasts until your next turn.
Yes for total concealment, and only if you wait until the next turn turn for regular concealment. But why would you want the concealment, which is only on you, to drop? As soon as that happens you no longer can remain hidden, so you can't sneak attack.
I know how cloak dance works and I was just asking if attacking after gaining total concealment with cloak dance would also give my target concealment as well (and hence nullify the SA attempt).

Cloak dance--> Hide--> SA is like my bread and butter

Curmudgeon
2009-03-03, 09:48 PM
I know how cloak dance works and I was just asking if attacking after gaining total concealment with cloak dance would also give my target concealment as well (and hence nullify the SA attempt). No, attacking after gaining total concealment with Cloak Dance will give neither you nor the target concealment; any action ends the concealment. No concealment means no sneak attack is possible.

Samb
2009-03-03, 10:07 PM
No, attacking after gaining total concealment with Cloak Dance will give neither you nor the target concealment; any action ends the concealment. No concealment means no sneak attack is possible.
Well now I really am confused. So basically no matter who I talk to I can't SA out of total concealment (specifically that given by cloak dance)? One person tells me since I have total concealment, then my target has total concealment as well. Now you are telling my concealment didn't provide me with hide and hence no SA? Geez you just can't win.

This isn't really even that big of a deal since I never use cloak dance for total concealment anyway but I do want to know the ruling.
If i'm not mistaken total concealment automatically gives you a successful hide. To quote: "Total cover or total concealment usually (but not always; see Special, below) obviates the need for a Hide check, since nothing can see you anyway. " If i am interpreting this right, partial cover will need a successful hide check to become hidden, while total concealment automatically provides it.

Honestly, it makes little sense that total cover hides you less well than partial cover.

Samb
2009-03-03, 10:14 PM
sorry for the double

Darrin
2009-03-03, 10:48 PM
Yes.
No. As a swift action, you can use Blend into Shadows to enable one Hide check (even while being observed and without cover or concealment) in a round. No full attacks (unless your full attack is one swing).

No; you would have used up your one shot on the first swing of the full attack.

The Assassin/Shadowdancer Hide in Plain Sight is much superior. It enables a Hide check whenever you are within 10' of any shadow except your own, in any action where a Hide check is permitted. A Shadowdancer can make full attacks while hiding on each swing (with a -20 penalty):

Huh? I'm confused, then... normally, Hide is a move action. I don't see anything in the Assassin/Shadowdancer description saying hide is now a free action.

My understanding of typical HiPS:

1. (Currently hiding from previous hide check). Standard Action: Attack opponent, get SA because he couldn't see me.
2. Move action to HiPS, so long as I am near a shadow. Hide check -20.

With Blend Into Shadows:

1. (Currently hiding). Full attack. Opponent didn't see me, SA either on the first attack or on all of them.
2. Swift action to HiPS. Hide check -20.

How exactly does an Assassin/Shadowdancer full attack and then hide? It sounds like you're saying he'd have to make a hide check after every attack, which doesn't sound right.

Curmudgeon
2009-03-04, 02:17 AM
Huh? I'm confused, then... normally, Hide is a move action. Nope. You're confused, all right.
Action: Usually none. Normally Hide takes no action, but has restrictions on when you can make the check. The most common case is to piggyback a Hide check onto movement (which doesn't have to be a move action; a 5' step will work, too) -- but Hide itself takes no action.

I don't see anything in the Assassin/Shadowdancer description saying hide is now a free action. It's not a free action, either. It's no action. DMs can place limits on how many free actions you can take. There are no limits on checks that require no action.

My understanding of typical HiPS:

1. (Currently hiding from previous hide check). Standard Action: Attack opponent, get SA because he couldn't see me.
Yes so far.

2. Move action to HiPS, so long as I am near a shadow. You can move away and Hide if you want; that's one of the legal options. You can also make the Hide check as part of attacking (another one of the legal options), with a -20 penalty.

Hide check -20. No. If you're actually moving away, there is no penalty associated with piggybacking a Hide check on that movement.

With Blend Into Shadows:

1. (Currently hiding). Full attack. Opponent didn't see me, SA either on the first attack Yes.
or on all of them. No. Blend into Shadows allows one Hide check. If you use your swift action to enable the Hide check before your first attack, you're done.
As a swift action, you can spend a use of your darkness spell-like ability to make a Hide check, even while being observed and without cover or concealment. You become apparent after the first attack.

2. Swift action to HiPS. Hide check -20. No. You've used up your swift action (limit: one per round) and can't meet the requirements to Hide now.

How exactly does an Assassin/Shadowdancer full attack and then hide? It sounds like you're saying he'd have to make a hide check after every attack, which doesn't sound right. Maybe it doesn't sound right, but it's pretty close to correct. The part that's off is that the Hide check is actually concurrent with the attack, not after it.

Assassin moves into melee range, and makes a Hide check (no penalty when piggybacked onto normal movement).
Assassin attacks, and would normally become apparent.
To continue to receive the benefits of being visually undetectable, the Assassin needs to make a new Hide check while attacking (-20 penalty for doing so). If the check beats the enemy's Spot, the Assassin never becomes apparent.
Repeat steps 2-3 until all attacks are done.

Eldariel
2009-03-04, 03:43 AM
Well of course and a rogue should do her best to max out her initiative, get items that give greater invisibility and flank when ever possible, but sometimes you go up against mobs with blind sense, or improved uncanny dodge, or you just just plain got unlucky and lost initiative. You as the expert in the group needs to be more than a one trick pony.

Which is why you have Grease, Invis, Hiding, Flanking & a variety of magic. The trick is, Darkstalker means that no blindsense/blindsight/such will reveal you. It also means you can flank creatures with all-around vision. The other trick is that with Penetrating Strike, there're no creatures capable of ignoring your damage entirely. This means that between the mentioned feats, you can effectively SA anyone.


Feint is one of the most reliable ways to deal sneak attack damage to people with improved uncanny dodge. If you were going to max out bluff to begin with then in most cases doing a feint check is going to trump any BAB 'bonus they have.

You should never be in a position where you need to Feint. If you are, you're in deep **** because even with Improved Feint, you can't actually get a decent damage output with just one Sneak Attack per round and if you have no other means of SAing...well, you're up against something that's going to smash you. That's the long and the short of it; feinting isn't good enough to spend a feat on and it isn't good enough without a feat to use.


Everyone assumes that just because i use feint and defend it I don't use greater invis or improved iniative. Not true, but i like to have back ups because SA is a fragile thing, and sometimes you just have to take the less optimal route.
Of course you should have a undeadbane and/or constructbane weapon on you as well because all this talk about how best to sneak attack is invalid once you see one of them around.

I don't assume anything; I simply happen to know that Feint as written is a waste of a feat and therefore you shouldn't bother with it - there's always a better way. And for the last one, get Penetrating Strike. Allows you to SA anything.

Paramour Pink
2009-03-04, 09:28 AM
Everyone, thank you for helping me make sense of this stuff. :smallsmile:

Hopefully I won't make mistakes now. In particular, douglas, Curmudgeon and Draz74 were all great at breaking things down.

And Person Man...I've only ever seen him post in a consistently knowledgeable but not in the least bit curt kind of way when answering questions. Your break down was just awesome. Please keep it up. :smallbiggrin:

Darrin
2009-03-04, 09:47 AM
No. Blend into Shadows allows one Hide check. If you use your swift action to enable the Hide check before your first attack, you're done. You become apparent after the first attack.
No. You've used up your swift action (limit: one per round) and can't meet the requirements to Hide now.
Maybe it doesn't sound right, but it's pretty close to correct. The part that's off is that the Hide check is actually concurrent with the attack, not after it.


This is the part I don't understand, the concurrent thing. It doesn't make any sense that I would use my swift action to hide *before* I attack or even at the same time the attack happens. From the SRD:

"Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a –20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot."

It seems to me that "after the shot" is quite a bit of distance away from the usual definition of "concurrent". Furthermore, I checked the Rules Compendium:

"Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then take a move action to hide again. You take a –20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot."

So it sounds like to me that Assassins/Shadowdancers should not be getting full attacks while hiding, since their description of HiPS makes no mention of changing a move action into a free/no action. Looks to me like the SRD is confused: Hiding is not a "no action", it requires a move action or can be combined with a move action.

Atamasama
2009-03-04, 12:08 PM
You should never be in a position where you need to Feint. If you are, you're in deep **** because even with Improved Feint, you can't actually get a decent damage output with just one Sneak Attack per round and if you have no other means of SAing...well, you're up against something that's going to smash you. That's the long and the short of it; feinting isn't good enough to spend a feat on and it isn't good enough without a feat to use.
I don't know what high-powered campaigns you're playing in, but in the campaign I'm in being able to add 3D6 to even a single melee attack at level 8 is pretty good, it outdamages anything anyone else in the party can do except for a couple of spells our wizard has (he's a Mystic Theurge so a bit behind in spell levels admittedly). And I'm not even getting the full sneak attack damage of a pure rogue, the brigand is essentially a fighter/rogue. I've used feint to win encounters we would have otherwise lost.

ericgrau
2009-03-04, 12:54 PM
Hi, this is a really minor question that has completely evaded me so far in answers. I'm already vaguely aware about flanking options, and the importance of initiative for the first round, and I'm at least aware of the potential of surprise round fun. But I don't know how to get those hide checks to turn me into a successful backstabber once a melee fight has already begun.

I've seen it mentioned and implied a few times that once your hide check is high enough, you can sneak attack with impunity. But...I don't understand how it does that. It doesn't seem like my foes are flat-footed, or something, but I don't know. Can someone explain how it works (and also why)? Or if it even works at all for melee rogues?

All help would be appreciated. :smallsmile:
Basically you can't without doing something special. A basic rogue must do this kind of sneak attack before the combat begins. Once you've been observed, a normal rogue can't hide again. Even if he has partial cover/concealment (total cover / concealment still works as always without any check since it negates the need to hide in the first place.

Hide in plain sight removes this requirement but it does NOT remove the need for cover/concealment. However some versions of HiPS, like the shadowdancer's, also remove the need for cover/concealment. A shadowdancer could hide as part of a move (no additional action) any time he's near a shadow. But note that vigorous activity like fighting gives you a -20 penalty to your hide checks, so this might only be good for 1 attack per round (you still get the first attack off before the penalty from that attack applies). There are some good armor enchantments in the magic armor section of the DMG to boost your hide and move silently modifiers. The rogue's skill mastery ability to always take a 10 can really help too. Feats help too, but you don't get many feats so this really has to be your focus for it to be worth it.

Other common ways to get sneak attack include:

Attack something in the surprise round and/or round 1 before it takes its first action. It will be flat-footed and therefore sneak attackable.
Get the wizard to hit you with invisibility or greater invisibility.
Attack something that is busy balancing (if he has less than 5 ranks in balance) or climbing (unless he has a climb speed like spiders do) or grappling. All of these deny a target his dex. A grease spell is an easy way to get a baddy to balance. You can ask a friendly fighter, barbarian, paladin, ranger or monk to grapple enemies for you. If they can't do much grapple damage (usually all of these except monk), then tell him to instead use his grapple attack(s) to pin the baddy to drop his AC by another 9 (!) points. Dex 0 = -5 plus -4 equals -9. Your other martial party members will also be grateful for that, especially if they have power attack. Be sure to brush up on the grapple rules before attempting this. And only use melee attacks against grapplers; ranged attacks have a 50% chance of hitting your friend unless you have the improved precise shot feat.
a ring of blinking. It's pricey until high levels though, and makes 20% of your attacks miss.
Use tumble to set up easy flanks time after time. An accelerated tumble or tumbling through the baddy can help you move farther, but the DC is higher. See tumble rules. But note that this method leaves you the most vulnerable and rogues are very fragile in melee.
Feint is slow even with the feat and slower without, but against a lot of opponents it's often easy to pull off. It could be a good option at least.

Kaiyanwang
2009-03-04, 12:57 PM
I don't know what high-powered campaigns you're playing in, but in the campaign I'm in being able to add 3D6 to even a single melee attack at level 8 is pretty good, it outdamages anything anyone else in the party can do except for a couple of spells our wizard has (he's a Mystic Theurge so a bit behind in spell levels admittedly). And I'm not even getting the full sneak attack damage of a pure rogue, the brigand is essentially a fighter/rogue. I've used feint to win encounters we would have otherwise lost.

Yeah, this happened to my players in similar istances (even with hidden weapons, as an example).

Anyway, if you are alone with a big stubborn monster feinting does not help you a lot unless you previously severely damaged him.

Draz74
2009-03-04, 01:26 PM
This is the part I don't understand, the concurrent thing. It doesn't make any sense that I would use my swift action to hide *before* I attack or even at the same time the attack happens. From the SRD:

"Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a –20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot."

It seems to me that "after the shot" is quite a bit of distance away from the usual definition of "concurrent". Furthermore, I checked the Rules Compendium:

"Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then take a move action to hide again. You take a –20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot."

So it sounds like to me that Assassins/Shadowdancers should not be getting full attacks while hiding, since their description of HiPS makes no mention of changing a move action into a free/no action. Looks to me like the SRD is confused: Hiding is not a "no action", it requires a move action or can be combined with a move action.

You're correct; Curmudgeon was using a liberal interpretation of an ambiguous passage in the SRD. But these rules have been clarified in Sage Advice (and apparently in Rules Compendium too), and Curmudgeon's interpretation is incorrect. Shadowdancers can't make a full attack and hide in between each attack action.

Darrin
2009-03-04, 02:30 PM
You're correct; Curmudgeon was using a liberal interpretation of an ambiguous passage in the SRD. But these rules have been clarified in Sage Advice (and apparently in Rules Compendium too), and Curmudgeon's interpretation is incorrect. Shadowdancers can't make a full attack and hide in between each attack action.

Ok... so what happens if you use Hustle or Blend Into Shadows to hide after a full attack? Do you only get SA on the first attack, or on all of them? Seems to me if you beat your opponent's Spot check, he was never able to locate where you were hiding, thus SA on everything. Or do the sniping rules override this... both the SRD and Rules Compendium specify "one ranged attack", but only the SRD requires the hide check "immediately... after the shot".

Further, since we're using HiPS here, what if we're using melee attacks and are adjacent to our opponent, does sniping no longer apply? The -20 penalty to the Hide check is still there per the Rules Compendium, but we're no longer using ranged attacks so the "one shot" no longer applies.

Also, AoOs: If the target isn't aware of us, then he doesn't threaten or get AoOs... but in a full attack progression, what happens if we use one of our attacks for a grapple or trip attempt? If it's not the first attack, do we provoke an AoO as usual?

Huh. Now here might be one weird little loophole... is there anything in RAW that prevents HiPS from being used in a grapple?



...I think I should stop asking questions now, before someone pummels me with a gazebo.

Curmudgeon
2009-03-04, 02:56 PM
You're correct; Curmudgeon was using a liberal interpretation of an ambiguous passage in the SRD. But these rules have been clarified in Sage Advice (and apparently in Rules Compendium too), and Curmudgeon's interpretation is incorrect. Shadowdancers can't make a full attack and hide in between each attack action. To the contrary. I've checked, and you seem to be wrong on every one of these points, Draz.

Rules Compendium makes no mention of Shadowdancer or Hide in Plain Sight. However, it does explicitly reiterate that you can Hide while attacking (page 92).

I searched for any "Sage Advice", "Dear Sage", or "Ask Wizards" answers regarding the Shadowdancer or Hide in Plain Sight. I only found two questions, and one answer:
Q: My assassin has been grappled by a monster. Can he use his hide in plain sight ability to hide in the shadow of that monster and get away?

A: The rules for grapple include a specific list of actions that you can take while grappled. Unfortunately, none of those actions allow you to hide.

Q: Dear Sage
I was curious: on average, how many questions do you receive a day?
--Mike

A: For a rough approximation, let’s look at the questions coming to us the same day you asked your own question, Mike. Also submitted to Ask Wizards that day were the following:

Assume a shadowdancer (with Hide in Plain Sight ability) strikes an opponent in melee combat. Could the character then use HiPS to Hide, and would there be a -20 penalty to the Hide check as with Sniping? Reading the 3.5 FAQ dealing with a high-level ranger's HiPS makes it sound like there would be no penalty, as in both of these situations it is likely there is no need to move to concealment.--Jeff
That’s a lot of great questions, and as we’ve stated many times before, we wish we did have the resources to answer every one of them. In this case, if any brave soul is up to the task of handling this one day’s worth of questions, send your answers to askdnd@wizards.com (as many folks indeed tried their hand at, in last year’s April Fool’s roundup)!
I've found no Sage answers that pertain to using Supernatural Hide in Plain Sight with full attacks. Am I missing something, Draz? If so, please provide a source.

Finally, There's an entry in the FAQ regarding Hide in Plain Sight (for Rangers, but with Camouflage and natural terrain the situation is similar). It deals with Spring Attack, so the matter of full attacks never comes up. However, it does include this:
A character with the hide in plain sight class feature (described on page 48 in the PH) can make a Hide check even if she’s being observed. This doesn’t require any extra action to accomplish (unlike the sniping maneuver).

This is the part I don't understand, the concurrent thing. It doesn't make any sense that I would use my swift action to hide *before* I attack or even at the same time the attack happens. From the SRD:

"Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a –20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot." Darrin, the Sniping rule is for ranged shots only, and cannot be used in melee. That has confused a lot of people. It's a special use of the skill for that particular situation only, and has no bearing on the normal way Hide works. All other Hide checks take no action and are instead piggybacked onto other actions. Only Sniping requires a specific action just to make a check, as the FAQ quote above reminds us.

Samb
2009-03-04, 10:38 PM
Which is why you have Grease, Invis, Hiding, Flanking & a variety of magic. The trick is, Darkstalker means that no blindsense/blindsight/such will reveal you. It also means you can flank creatures with all-around vision. The other trick is that with Penetrating Strike, there're no creatures capable of ignoring your damage entirely. This means that between the mentioned feats, you can effectively SA anyone.



You should never be in a position where you need to Feint. If you are, you're in deep **** because even with Improved Feint, you can't actually get a decent damage output with just one Sneak Attack per round and if you have no other means of SAing...well, you're up against something that's going to smash you. That's the long and the short of it; feinting isn't good enough to spend a feat on and it isn't good enough without a feat to use.



I don't assume anything; I simply happen to know that Feint as written is a waste of a feat and therefore you shouldn't bother with it - there's always a better way. And for the last one, get Penetrating Strike. Allows you to SA anything.

Penetrating strike..... could you please tell me which book that is in? I don't see it on the feat index, but it sounds like the next feat I should get.

Surprise round, first round, flanking and greater invisibility are the most reliable ways to do a full attack with all of them adding SA damage as far as I know. From what I can tell coming out of hide will only give your first attack anyway, just like invisible. If you were to make a bluff check just to do another hide check just to do one SA. Then you are better off just doing one bluff check since it only requires one successful roll. That's why I said feinting is better than hiding in most cases (one check as opposed to 2).

Either way I think the OP just wanted to if he could SA out of hiding......As it turns out this isn't even the best thing to do since you only get one SA out of it.

You know what would be more useful? If someone listed all the ways to deal full attack with SA other than flanking, surprise round, first round and greater invisibility.

Can grease work? It doesn't say they are flatfooted, and you can only target one object not one person. Plus the fact that it covers a 10x10 square which means you'll be subject to a reflex save as well. Hardly effective if you ask me unless you are using a reach weapon?

Curmudgeon
2009-03-05, 02:33 AM
Penetrating strike..... could you please tell me which book that is in? I don't see it on the feat index, but it sounds like the next feat I should get. It's not a feat; it's an alternative class feature, in which you trade trap sense at 3rd level for the ability to do 1/2 normal sneak attack damage to those normally immune -- but only when you flank them.

From what I can tell coming out of hide will only give your first attack anyway, just like invisible. Yes, which is why the Shadowdancer/Assassin Hide in Plain Sight is so effective, because it lets you continue to make Hide checks while attacking.

Can grease work? It doesn't say they are flatfooted, and you can only target one object not one person.
A creature can walk within or through the area of grease at half normal speed with a DC 10 Balance check. Failure means it can’t move that round (and must then make a Reflex save or fall), while failure by 5 or more means it falls (see the Balance skill for details).
Being Attacked while Balancing

You are considered flat-footed while balancing, since you can’t move to avoid a blow, and thus you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you have 5 or more ranks in Balance, you aren’t considered flat-footed while balancing. Grease forces you to make Balance checks to move. If you don't have 5+ ranks in the skill, you're flat-footed when you make these checks. So using a ranged weapon against someone who becomes flat-footed in Grease is a great way to get sneak attacks. It can work in melee if you've got good Balance, or attack from just outside the slippery squares.

Draz74
2009-03-05, 02:57 AM
To the contrary. I've checked, and you seem to be wrong on every one of these points, Draz. [snip] Am I missing something, Draz? If so, please provide a source.

Huh ... well researched. I retract my statements and admit defeat on every count. :smallcool:

The FAQ entry on high-level Rangers was the one I was (mis-)remembering, not anything in Sage Advice. My bad.

I still maintain the rule you have now proved to be true is patently stupid, since it means a character with HiPS can actually hide while attacking better while making melee attacks than while making ranged attacks. Yeah, that's realistic. :smallannoyed:


Penetrating strike..... could you please tell me which book that is in?

To continue Curmudgeon's answer: it's in Dungeonscape.

Curmudgeon
2009-03-05, 03:57 AM
I still maintain the rule you have now proved to be true is patently stupid, since it means a character with HiPS can actually hide while attacking better while making melee attacks than while making ranged attacks. No, it's definitely the other way around. The opposed Spot check suffers a -1 penalty for each 10' away you are, so it's harder to Hide up close. (Plus it's much more dangerous if they get a superior Spot check when you're adjacent to them. :smallfrown:) Remember, the -20 penalty to Hide while attacking applies to all types of attacks, ranged or melee. So it's not going to be easy unless you're up against the very unobservant. And how do you tell whether someone's got a good Spot score? When they start beating on you after you've done your best to Hide. :smallfurious:

Hide in Plain Sight isn't invisibility, which just works. It merely offers a chance of being able to go unobserved -- with absolutely no guarantee of success.

Darrin
2009-03-05, 10:49 AM
To the contrary. I've checked, and you seem to be wrong on every one of these points, Draz.


Actually, by RAW, he's no more or less correct than you are. I was able to find the FAQ entry with the Ranger example, so now I know where you got the concurrent thing from:



Put all three of these elements together—such as in the hands of a high-level sneaky ranger—and here’s what you get:
1. The character begins his turn hidden (as long as he’s in natural terrain, he doesn’t even need cover or concealment).
2. He moves up to a foe across natural terrain and makes an attack (making a Hide check with a –20 penalty to be considered hiding when he attacks).
3. He then moves back from the foe and makes a new Hide check to disappear from view (again, he doesn’t need cover or concealment while in natural terrain).
4. The foe then, if still standing, says, “Hey, what hit me?!”


The three elements are: 1) Spring Attack (move + attack + move), 2) Camoflage (hide in natural terrain without concealment/cover), and 3) Hide in Plain Sight (hide while observed). Whichever rulemonkey wrote the FAQ doesn't appear to realize that Spring Attack isn't necessary, and a high-level ranger or an Assassin/Shadowdancer standing near a shadow can be adjacent to an opponent at the start of their turn, hide (as a "no action" or free action), make a full attack, and then hide again without moving anywhere. Of course, every single example we have by RAW includes some type of movement when hiding, but I haven't seen anything that explicitly states "you MUST move in order to hide".

I understand now what you meant by Blend Into Shadows being used on the first attack, and thus not available later since it specifies hiding as a swift action. I am troubled by this, however... there's nothing in RAW that says you have to make a hide check concurrent with your attack to remain hidden. This could be entirely an invention of whoever wrote the FAQ.

Also, I'm not entirely sure rolling for hide on each attack is necessary, since there is a final hide check after you're done attacking. I guess it would only matter if you wanted the target to be flat-footed for SA or deny his dex bonus or whatever, but it seems overly complicated with a lot of tedious opposed rolls.

It's also not clear what happens if you blow one of those hide rolls, say on the attack for example. If your target can now see you, can you subsequently hide on your next attack or after your attacks are done? (HiPS would appear to say "Yes", you just don't get SA damage on the attacks that fail the Hide check). It would make a lot more sense if the melee "sniping" rules worked the same way as the ranged "sniping" rules, although it's not clear if multiple attacks would be possible or how they would work.

It would be much simpler and less confusing if the rules said: "Hiding after an attack (ranged or melee, -20 penalty) is a move action or must be combined with a move action. If you have some way of taking a move action after a full attack, then you can make a Hide check to remain hidden during the attack. If the check succeeds, then your opponent is unaware of where the attacks are coming from and you are treated as an invisible attacker. If the check fails, then you are only treated as an invisible attacker on your first attack."

The only drawback I can think of right now is you then lose the ability to make AoOs and remain hidden. For example, if your ranger/assassin/shadowdancer is currently hiding and an opponent charges past him, triggering an AoO, if you use an AoO to attack you can't use a move/swift action outside your turn to stay hidden. I'm not really sure how often that comes up, though.

Darrin
2009-03-05, 11:24 AM
You know what would be more useful? If someone listed all the ways to deal full attack with SA other than flanking, surprise round, first round and greater invisibility.


Did Person_Man already post this? A list of ways to get sneak attack:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5025523&postcount=9



Can grease work? It doesn't say they are flatfooted, and you can only target one object not one person. Plus the fact that it covers a 10x10 square which means you'll be subject to a reflex save as well. Hardly effective if you ask me unless you are using a reach weapon?

Grease works very well, and yes, unless the creature has 5 ranks in balance, they are considered flat-footed, even if they make their Balance check. I can't recall any creatures in any of the Monster Manuals that have ever had any ranks in balance. So long as you have 5 ranks in Balance, then you won't be flat-footed, although it may still slow down your movement over those squares.

If you don't have an arcane caster, the Ice Slick spell (from Frostburn) does pretty much the same thing.

If you have no casters at all, then buy some marbles (A&EG p. 24, 2 sp per bag). Spreading them into a 5' square is a standard action (similar to caltrops) but you may be able to use an unseen servant or train an animal (monkey or baboon most likely) to do it for you. Ordering an animal to do a trick is normally a move action, allowing you to attack as a standard action. If you have an animal companion, wild cohort or familiar, then it might be a free action.

Or skip the marbles and just buy a bunch of mules. Train them the Pin trick (Handle Animal DC 15):

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031125a

Grapple = lose Dex bonus. Mule = large creature, +9 grapple check, 8 gp each. It's a move action to order them to do a trick, so no full attack on the first round, but they can keep trying on subsequent rounds until you tell them to stop.

Draz74
2009-03-05, 11:50 AM
No, it's definitely the other way around. The opposed Spot check suffers a -1 penalty for each 10' away you are, so it's harder to Hide up close. (Plus it's much more dangerous if they get a superior Spot check when you're adjacent to them. :smallfrown:) Remember, the -20 penalty to Hide while attacking applies to all types of attacks, ranged or melee. So it's not going to be easy unless you're up against the very unobservant. And how do you tell whether someone's got a good Spot score? When they start beating on you after you've done your best to Hide. :smallfurious:

Nope, you missed my point. By "better" I didn't mean "more likely to succeed," I meant "doesn't have to waste as many actions on it." Because the sniping rules seem to preclude, for example, making a full attack with a ranged weapon while remaining hidden -- they imply that you can only make a ranged attack and remain hidden as a full-round action.

Or is it just that, if you Snipe, you only have to make 1 Hide check to remain hidden, while if you make a full attack of X attacks, you have to make X+1 Hide Checks to remain hidden? That would make a perverse sort of sense I guess.

Bah. Basically Darrin's additional arguments prove that these rules are just really badly written, with no consistency. :smallannoyed:


Hide in Plain Sight isn't invisibility, which just works. It merely offers a chance of being able to go unobserved -- with absolutely no guarantee of success.

It's pretty guaranteed if you have a Dark Whisper Gnome Factotum with Darkstalker, a Ring of Chameleon Power and Improved Silent Moves Armor, etc., etc. I mean something like a Dragon (gets more than 1 skill point/level, has a lot of HD for its CR, and is likely to max Spot/Listen) is still dangerous to sneak around. But many things aren't.

Curmudgeon
2009-03-06, 02:41 AM
Nope, you missed my point. By "better" I didn't mean "more likely to succeed," I meant "doesn't have to waste as many actions on it." Because the sniping rules seem to preclude, for example, making a full attack with a ranged weapon while remaining hidden -- they imply that you can only make a ranged attack and remain hidden as a full-round action. No, you can (if you satisfy the requirements) Hide while attacking with a ranged weapon as well.
Sniping

If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a -20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot. It's can use the Sniping option, not must. Sniping overrides the "not being observed" normal requirement to Hide. If you don't need to worry about that (say, because you're a Shadowdancer) you don't have to use Sniping; just make a ranged attack and Hide while attacking. The penalty is -20 in both cases, but you only need to use a move action with the Sniping option.

ericgrau
2009-03-06, 12:00 PM
So someone can make a full attack of ranged attacks and simply hide without making a move action? That makes no sense. Why ever use the snipe option then? And what makes melee attacks any different.

Or there's this:


Action
Usually none. Normally, you make a Hide check as part of movement, so it doesn’t take a separate action. However, hiding immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.

Emphasis mine. Nothing specific is given for hiding after a melee attack. Probably because it normally can't be done without shadowdancer/assassin HiPS. Regardless, hiding is still done as part of movement so I doubt you can make a full attack while still hiding. Even if you can, there's still that -20 penalty to worry about.

Darrin
2009-03-06, 12:50 PM
So someone can make a full attack of ranged attacks and simply hide without making a move action? That makes no sense. Why ever use the snipe option then? And what makes melee attacks any different.


The sniping option is there for PCs that don't have HiPS or camoflage. Also, while it requires a move action, sniping doesn't require actual movement: you can stay in the same square. Otherwise, a PC without HiPS or camoflage would have to make a ranged attack as a standard action, and then physically move to a new spot where they can get total cover/concealment before they can hide again.

The FAQ entry doesn't address full attacks at all. It assumes Spring Attack is being used. We can kinda extrapolate from the mechanics of rolling a hide check on the single attack that you could maybe do that with a full attack... the rules don't explicitly state that you *must* move somewhere to use hide, and HiPS doesn't require movement or concealment/cover. But we're pretty much floundering around in Rules As Intended territory no matter which way you go.



Regardless, hiding is still done as part of movement so I doubt you can make a full attack while still hiding. Even if you can, there's still that -20 penalty to worry about.

Even if you require movement as part of a Hide check, a full attack would still allow a 5' step, and a 5' step would still count as movement. Also, there are a variety of ways to get an extra movement in a round, be it Hustle, Celerity, Travel Devotion, Blend Into Shadows, or Anklet of Translocation.

Draz74
2009-03-06, 01:47 PM
No, you can (if you satisfy the requirements) Hide while attacking with a ranged weapon as well. It's can use the Sniping option, not must. Sniping overrides the "not being observed" normal requirement to Hide. If you don't need to worry about that (say, because you're a Shadowdancer) you don't have to use Sniping; just make a ranged attack and Hide while attacking. The penalty is -20 in both cases, but you only need to use a move action with the Sniping option.

Hmmm, that makes sense, but it's still terribly unfortunate. Namely that such a flavorful option (sniping) is actually useless to any dedicated stealthy character (who will, of course, have HiPS).


Also, while it requires a move action, sniping doesn't require actual movement: you can stay in the same square. Otherwise, a PC without HiPS or camoflage would have to make a ranged attack as a standard action, and then physically move to a new spot where they can get total cover/concealment before they can hide again.

In fact, the text for the Woodland Archer feat in RotW states that you cannot move while making your Hide check while sniping (unless you have said feat).

All of this is making me question my plan to have my stealthy archer character take Woodland Archer ASAP ... (he will, of course, have HiPS eventually).

Curmudgeon
2009-03-06, 04:13 PM
Nothing specific is given for hiding after a melee attack. Probably because it normally can't be done without shadowdancer/assassin HiPS. Darrin has given a good response to most of your points, but I'll just add this small clarification. If you're Sniping you do need to Hide again, because you become apparent to the enemy when you attack them. But if you can make a good Hide check while attacking, you don't become apparent at all because you don't Hide after attacking -- you hide at the same time as the attack. Remember, (except for Sniping) Hide doesn't take an action of its own. The restriction is that the check must be piggybacked on one of the following:
any actual movement, including a 5' step -- but not a non-moving move action like retrieving a stored item
attack (any type)
charge full-round action
run full-round action
no action at all, if you're immobile
So there can't be anything specific in the rules for hiding after a melee attack, because that's just not the way it works. You Hide simultaneously with swinging your weapon. Which is, of course, why the whopping big penalty every time you try to do so.

Atamasama
2009-03-06, 05:02 PM
Even if you require movement as part of a Hide check, a full attack would still allow a 5' step, and a 5' step would still count as movement. Also, there are a variety of ways to get an extra movement in a round, be it Hustle, Celerity, Travel Devotion, Blend Into Shadows, or Anklet of Translocation.

The 5' step is very helpful if fighting a blind opponent. You can do a full attack with sneak attack damage, then take a 5' step and when it's the enemy's turn to attack they have no idea where you are (especially if you can move silently during that step). They're likely to attack in the square that you were just in.

Dany_ILE
2010-03-12, 03:23 AM
Im new to this site and it looks like this is a dead thread but on the off chance that someone still is going to look at it i had a question about what happens if your playing a skulk. Does the -20 still apply to trying to hide again?

This is an excerpt from the skulk traits in the Races of destiny book.

"Peerless Camouflage (Ex): Skulks can move at full speed
(and can even run) while hiding, taking no penalties on
Hide checks due to movement."

Sophismata
2010-03-12, 03:44 AM
First, you might find this info helpful:

Sneak Attack feats (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66915). Feat index (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/feats).

Person Man, have you considered adding Clarion Commander (Perpetual Flank) to that list?