View Full Version : Ranged sneak attack?

Kol Korran
2011-03-22, 10:17 AM
for reasons i won't get into, i'll be playing a low level rogue with no dex modifier in an upcoming campaign (can't change class, won't quite the game. this is how it is, i'm dealing with it). this makes him quite hittable, so i thought he might as well stay ranged behind the meat shield (who are suffering from... similar problems, but that's another story).

other than the surprise round, how do you get a sneak attack at range in low levels? no real income to speak of other than the basic gear... is there a feat, a rule, or something i'm not getting? :smallconfused:

any help would be advised. thanks!

Forged Fury
2011-03-22, 10:30 AM
Uh... I think you're screwed.

With no Dex mod, you're probably not even going to hit with a ranged weapon.

-Telling Blow allows SA when you Crit, but ranged weapons tend to have mediocre threat ranges.

-If one of your pals is a ranger, they may be able to take the Distracting Attack ACF which might allow SA depending on the reading.

What positive stat modifiers do you have?

2011-03-22, 10:39 AM
Take Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, then Deadeye Shot from PHBII. You ready an action to fire/throw, and when your ally hits the same target that target is denied his Dex to AC. It's only gonna give you 1 sneak attack per round but its better than nothing.

Mind explaining the peculiar situation you and your meat shield seem to be in if your stats aren't the best for your respective classes?

Kol Korran
2011-03-22, 11:23 AM
hhmmm... just checked deadeye shot. it also includes a +4 BAB. and we're starting at first level.

as to your questions, the setting is a bit complex, but suffice to say we get thrusted upon with roles of ancient heroes, not necesserily tailored to us. the proces is partially negotiation with the DM, part chance. i don't quite understand the situation myself, but the DM is great. this SHOULD be interesting.

some of us have better fitting characters, some less. my char has a +1 to str, con and wis, and +3 to int. i make quite a good skill monkey, but still trying to find ways to be effective in battle other than just shooting shortbow arrows... i'd like to utilize my sneak attack somehow...

any ways to defend myself better that you can think of?

Forged Fury
2011-03-22, 11:28 AM
+3 Int and decent skillpoints?

For combat, I'd go with the Knowledge Devotion feat (Complete Champion) if it's available. Either pick it up as a feat or see if you can dip a level of cleric/cloistered cleric and swap out the domain.

Edit: Are you human? If you're something that gets darkvision, you can ranged SA folks all night if they can't see in the dark since they're considered blind to you.

2011-03-22, 11:44 AM
Sadly, ranged sneak attacks aren't your best option. They require you to be within 30 feet of the target and deny dex bonus to AC for the target.

This really puts you in hurt range, most mobs can walk up and smack you, the few that can't can still charge. Strongest and most reliable method for sneak attacks on ranged weapons is to play it sniper style, insane hide checks. Though playing to binary tricks leaves you either untouchable or helpless depending on what happens, no real middle ground.

2011-03-22, 11:53 AM
other than the surprise round, how do you get a sneak attack at range in low levels?

Eggshell Grenade, Dust
Price: 10 GP
Weight: --
(Oriental Adventures p. 78)
Thrown as a grenade-like weapon, so make a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 5'. A dust grenade that hits its target directly blinds the target for 1d4 rounds *NO SAVE*. Anyone else within the 5' radius splash must make a Fort save DC 10 or be blinded for 1 round.
Craft (Alchemy) DC: 20

Price: 2 SP
Weight: 2#
(Arms & Equipment Guide p. 24)
These are deployed much like caltrops, so it takes a standard action to spread. Basically a 5' x 5' square of non-magical grease. Dump them under an opponent without 5 ranks of Balance to deny his Dex bonus. If you have an animal companion, familiar, wild cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a), unseen servant (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8235936&postcount=8), wood wose, etc., you may be able to direct them to deploy these with a move action or a free action. Or buy a monkey and train it to spread the marbles.

UMD a wand of grease. Ice slick (Frostburn) = grease for healbots, path of frost (Dragon Magic) = grease for treehuggers.

Or buy some mules. They're cheap: 8 GP for a 3HD large-sized animal. Train them with the Attack trick twice (to attack non-humanoid opponents) and the Hold trick (Handle Animal DC 20, Complete Adventurer p. 100) or the Pin (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031125a) trick (Handle Animal, DC 15). A grappled target loses his Dex bonus to anyone outside the grapple.

Kol Korran
2011-03-22, 12:09 PM
@ Forged Fury: i am human (we all are), but there are some feats that may enable 20ft of dark vision, along with other benefits. i'll consider that.

Knowledge devotion may indeed help to hit at least. I'll ask my DM.

@ Darrin: those items are interesting. where are they from? (need to run them by my DM. the marbles are from CoAd, right?) UMDing a wand of grease could be cool as well. i think the DM would slap me silly if i start buying animals to grapple my foes though... but worth a check.

thought- how about the rogue variant that allows you exchanging SA for fighter feat progression? maybe i can then take the combat expertise, perhaps a shield proficieny, and the "improved..." feats to make a more crafty foe? what do you think? any other builds following this line? i can upgrade my strength to 13 if need be using a feat.

sort of a squishier fighter with lots of skills?

2011-03-22, 12:17 PM
He listed book and page number with both items: the Eggshell Grenades are from Oriental Adventures and the marbles are in the Arms and Equipment Guide.

2011-03-22, 12:28 PM
Sorry if I sound cynical, but I wouldn't worry too much about optimizing that character or planning a build for him. Either the DM takes extra-good care of your character(s), then it doesn't matter, or you won't survive to see 6th level either way.

2011-03-22, 02:04 PM
Take Improved Initiative, maybe? It's not a bad feat, and striking while the enemy is flat-footed is one guaranteed sneak attack per encounter. You get another one if you get a surprise round. Better than nothing.

2011-03-22, 02:14 PM
at the start of a campaing rogues are hard, sneak attaking in range is not a feat issue, but strategy, just win initiative, shot, hide in a corner or close a door, then shoot again and repeat. if are having a meatshield or other mele partners then they will keep the enemy distracted as u look for the best positions to get SA.

as u said the character may suck at low lvls specially rogues we must accept it, but still if u thrust your dm justify those 16 int points and use all u can at your advantage to make those d6 role.

next lvls u can go for swashbuckler to focus more int features other than knowledge devotion for damage.

Darth Stabber
2011-03-22, 02:22 PM
At lvl1 I would just say take your chances and Melee sneak attack by flanking with the fighter. I've never been a fan of ranged SA though, My usual roguish thought flank with the meat shield. It's risky, but you DO get to SA, you just may not do it on additional turns. Plus with you flanking, that's 2 more points of PA for the fighter (aka at least 4 more damage), Everybody wins.

Keld Denar
2011-03-22, 02:28 PM
Reposting in the correct thread...grrrrr...

Do you have to stay a Rogue? You could just take that 1 die of SA and run with it. Get a nice 2hander, multiclass into a couple levels of Fighter, maybe splash in some Barbarian for pounce, hop into a PrC, and never look back. Use that 1 SA die to qualify for things like Craven and Staggering Strike for even more melee effectiveness, and Power Attack the bajebus out of things.

Besides, subtlety is overrated! :smallcool:

2011-03-22, 02:54 PM
As you've already been told in this thread, ranged sneak attacking is... meh.

One thing to think about for the future though is possibly moving into the assassin/avenger PrC. That would give you good synergy with your high int as well as some nice utility spells for being a sneaky combatant. From the sound of it all the characters are pretty low optimization so this might be a really good route. Poison use in a low op game can be really handy for debuffing enemies too. Bonus being that the PrC is REALLY easy to get into with light skill requirements and no feats.

Here's the avenger if you haven't seen it, it's just a non-evil assassin.