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View Full Version : E6 Rogue Capstone ability: Lethal Strike



johnbragg
2018-02-10, 03:47 PM
Lethal Strike.

Old School Backstab for 1/2 Enemy's starting HP total

At 6th level, the rogue can deliver a devastating blow when her enemies are unprepared. Once per round, on a successful attack where target is or would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), the Rogue may make a Lethal Strike. The target must make a Fortitude save, DC 10 + total damage rolled (including Sneak Attack dice and/or critical hit dice, etc). On a failed the save, the attack does the targets maximum hit point total instead of the damage from the attack. If the target succeeds (or if Lethal Strike would do less damage than the damage rolled) it suffers the normal damage for the attack.

The Rogue can Lethal Strike with a ranged attack, but only from within 30 feet.


1. Writing out the ability in words, it seemed much more fiddly than it did when I wrote out "Lethal Strike--sneak attack for 1/2 max HP, no DEX only. Save DC = 10 + reg damage"

2. Is this too much? It takes work to deny the target a Dex bonus--surprise, hiding, feinting--and this gives the Rogue a spotlight moment for making that happen.

3. You might think it's ridiculous for a rogue to do 200 points of damage with a single attack to an ancient dragon or something. But on the other hand--first, he managed to sneak up on that dragon (or whatever) or bluff it or something and second, the dragon still has another 200 hit points to burn while it murders the rogue (and the rest of the party.)

4. Are there any DEX-denying conditions that this would be too much for? I think this makes sense for feint-and-strike-home, for striking-by-surprise,

5. The Fortitude save is much lower than the Assassin's Death Attack save DC. But I think it has to be high if the ability is ever going to work. (If the target is failing a DC 20 save, regular Sneak Attack +3d6 is probably going to do 1/2 its HP anyway).