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Alysar
2007-10-18, 11:10 PM
I've been playing a rogue for a while now and I'm still not clear on the rules for when you can sneak attack. The PHB just says that it is allowed when the target would be denied his DEX bonus to AC. I'm just not sure of all the situations when that would happen.

I know I can do it when I'm hiding (and my char is multiclassed to shadowdancer, so it isn't hard) and when I'm flanking someone, but when else can I do it?

Suppose I'm standing some distance away from an enemy and I pull out my crossbow, load it, and fire all in the same round (quickdraw and rapid reload). Would that allow me a sneak attack? What about other situations?

Accountant
2007-10-18, 11:12 PM
I've been playing a rogue for a while now and I'm still not clear on the rules for when you can sneak attack. The PHB just says that it is allowed when the target would be denied his DEX bonus to AC. I'm just not sure of all the situations when that would happen.

I know I can do it when I'm hiding (and my char is multiclassed to shadowdancer, so it isn't hard) and when I'm flanking someone, but when else can I do it?

Suppose I'm standing some distance away from an enemy and I pull out my crossbow, load it, and fire all in the same round (quickdraw and rapid reload). Would that allow me a sneak attack? What about other situations?

You can sneak attack in surprise rounds, If you win initiative, if your opponent is flanked, and obviously whenever flat-footed for any odd reason.

Did I miss any?

Nermy
2007-10-18, 11:18 PM
Did I miss any?

If you feint successfully in combat.

bugsysservant
2007-10-18, 11:23 PM
Or when you coup de gras. Though technically I think you just get your sneak attack damage added to the attack, you don't sneak attack per se.

AslanCross
2007-10-18, 11:40 PM
Suppose I'm standing some distance away from an enemy and I pull out my crossbow, load it, and fire all in the same round (quickdraw and rapid reload). Would that allow me a sneak attack? What about other situations?

I'd say yes. All the attacks in a full attack action gain sneak. Well, usually. Your target still has to be unaware of your presence. (hence denied his dex bonus)

triforcel
2007-10-18, 11:46 PM
A rule that not all DMs like is that before your first action in an encounter, you are flat footed. So even outside of a surprise round, if you go before the enemy you can sneak attack them without flanking. Try finding a way to force the enemy to make a balance check, if they have less than five ranks they'll be flatfooted while doing it.

However, there are a number of things that will prevent sneak attack damage. Immunity to crits is the most obvious one, but any sort of concealment prevents any precision based damage. Also make sure you have a sap so you can sneak attack for subdual damage.

Draz74
2007-10-19, 12:58 AM
I've been playing a rogue for a while now and I'm still not clear on the rules for when you can sneak attack. The PHB just says that it is allowed when the target would be denied his DEX bonus to AC.

Or when you flank. Flanking is not the same thing as "target denied Dex bonus."


I'm just not sure of all the situations when that would happen.

It happens when your target is Blinded, Cowering, Flat-Footed, Grappling (if you aren't the one they're grappling), Helpless, Paralyzed, or Stunned; all of these are mentioned in the description (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm) of these Conditions. It also happens when your opponent can't see your attack coming (e.g. you are Invisible), or if some special ability says that it denies a target his Dex bonus to AC. (For example, Feint, or some of the Tome of Battle maneuvers.)
Flat-Footed is the most important in this list of conditions that cause someone to lose their Dex bonus. After a battle starts, every creature is Flat-Footed until they take their first action in the combat. The only catch is that a Flat-Footed target who has Uncanny Dodge, unlike anyone else Flat-Footed, does not lose Dex bonus to AC.


Suppose I'm standing some distance away from an enemy and I pull out my crossbow, load it, and fire all in the same round (quickdraw and rapid reload). Would that allow me a sneak attack?

Depends whether your target is Flat-Footed (unless they have Uncanny Dodge, in which case your answer is simply "no."). If your opponent trusts you or hasn't even seen you, then you will get a surprise round before they get to act, and they will therefore be Flat-Footed. Even if they know you are about to attack them, if you win initiative and shoot them before their first turn, they are still Flat-Footed.
Note that a surprise round is only a standard action, so you won't have time to load a heavy crossbow and shoot it even with Rapid Reload. But you're probably talking about a light crossbow, so this won't hurt anything.

Yuki Akuma
2007-10-19, 06:28 AM
Get a wand of Grease. Anyone in the area of effect for a Grease spell is denied their Dex bonus to AC. And it's only a first level spell, so pretty cheap.

You should be able to use it if you've put a few ranks into UMD.

North
2007-10-19, 06:32 AM
A couple more questions for this thread.

With rapid shot would you get a sneak attack for each arrow?

Would you get it if you were invisible during a fight?

martyboy74
2007-10-19, 06:37 AM
Yes, assuming that the target is flat-footed for the first attack.

Yes. However, remember that regular invisibillity is dispelled after you attack. You'd only get one round of SA.

Yuki Akuma
2007-10-19, 06:42 AM
*sigh*

Any attack against an opponent denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, or a melee attack when you're flanking an enemy, is a Sneak Attack. It doesn't matter if its your first or third attack in a round. It doesn't matter if you use a feat or class abilityt o increase your number of attacks.

This is why lots of rogues use Two Weapon Fighting!

Azerian Kelimon
2007-10-19, 06:57 AM
Sneak attack, however, does NOT work against constructs or undead, and thus a rule was introduced in Dungeonscape to help you deal with them and crit immune pals:

Precision strike: You give up your trapfinding. In exchange, if you could make a sneak attack against an enemy immune to them, you may make the sneak attack at half of the damage dice, rounding down.

Best rogue ability ever. Even in epic levels, this still applies, so suddenly, the rogue becomes useful again against high level mobs.

Flawless
2007-10-19, 07:05 AM
Sneak attack, however, does NOT work against constructs or undead, and thus a rule was introduced in Dungeonscape to help you deal with them and crit immune pals:

Precision strike: You give up your trapfinding. In exchange, if you could make a sneak attack against an enemy immune to them, you may make the sneak attack at half of the damage dice, rounding down.

Best rogue ability ever. Even in epic levels, this still applies, so suddenly, the rogue becomes useful again against high level mobs.

But trapfindingis an important oart of the rouge's role in a party,especially in low to midlevels. And there are other ways to keep SA useful when fighting critters immune to critical hits.

North
2007-10-19, 07:08 AM
Thanks I thought so but I just wanted to check.

Zherog
2007-10-19, 07:09 AM
Sneak attack, however, does NOT work against constructs or undead, and thus a rule was introduced in Dungeonscape to help you deal with them and crit immune pals:

Precision strike: You give up your trapfinding. In exchange, if you could make a sneak attack against an enemy immune to them, you may make the sneak attack at half of the damage dice, rounding down.

Best rogue ability ever. Even in epic levels, this still applies, so suddenly, the rogue becomes useful again against high level mobs.

You give up trap sense, not trapfinding.


Get a wand of Grease. Anyone in the area of effect for a Grease spell is denied their Dex bonus to AC. And it's only a first level spell, so pretty cheap.

You should be able to use it if you've put a few ranks into UMD.

Not completely true.

Anybody in the area of a grease spell must make a Reflex save or fall prone. The prone creatures keep their Dex bonus to AC.

Anybody attempting to enter the area after it's been cast must attempt a DC 10 Balance check; failure might cause them to become flat-footed, and possibly fall prone if they fail a Reflex save.

If the creature who attempted to enter the area has fewer than 5 ranks in Balance and fails the Balance check, it becomes flat-footed. Make note of that - they don't lose their Dex bonus to AC, but rather become flat-footed. That means that a creature with uncanny dodge will not be sneak attackable in an area of grease.

Starbuck_II
2007-10-19, 08:20 AM
If the creature who attempted to enter the area has fewer than 5 ranks in Balance and fails the Balance check, it becomes flat-footed. Make note of that - they don't lose their Dex bonus to AC, but rather become flat-footed. That means that a creature with uncanny dodge will not be sneak attackable in an area of grease.

Nope. Rules say any time you balance without 5 ranks, pass or fail. Same as Climbing (anytime you lose it also).

Telonius
2007-10-19, 08:30 AM
One other notable time you can Sneak Attack: when you're the subject of a "Blink (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/blink.htm)" spell. You're not invisible, precisely; but you're invisible enough that you deny your opponent dex. Rogues often get a Ring of Blink for this reason.

Nermy
2007-10-19, 08:36 AM
One other notable time you can Sneak Attack: when you're the subject of a "Blink (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/blink.htm)" spell. You're not invisible, precisely; but you're invisible enough that you deny your opponent dex. Rogues often get a Ring of Blink for this reason.

If you're really bad at rolling dice, that 20% miss chance might hurt you a bit though. Statistically it's a good deal though, unfortunately luck doesn't usually care about statistics.

Zherog
2007-10-19, 08:54 AM
Nope. Rules say any time you balance without 5 ranks, pass or fail. Same as Climbing (anytime you lose it also).

One significant difference between Climb and Balance, though.


You are considered flat-footed while balancing...


While climbing, you canít move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).

So, because of the way they're written:

A) Uncanny dodge protects you while Balancing, but not while Climbing
B) While Climbing, you can make attacks of opportunity

Person_Man
2007-10-19, 11:02 AM
Ways to qualify for Sneak Attack include:

1) Win Initiative: A Flat Footed enemy loses their Dex bonus until they act.

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

3) More Flanking: Invest in Handle Animal. Buy a lot of dogs. They're cheap.

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

5) 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.

6) 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 to ignore your 20% miss chance.

7) Skill Tricks: Check out the Complete Scoundrel.

8) 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.

9) 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.

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

11) 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.

12) Hide in Plain Site: A dip into Warlock (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57352) and let's you Hide in Plain Site 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.

13) Feint: This is a retarded waste of an action in most cases. But if you're an Invisble Blade with the Surprising Riposte feat, it works for a full attack.

EDIT: 14) Grappling: An opponent who is grappled loses their Dex bonus to everyone except the grappler, another way to tag team with your party members. (Thanks Zherog).

Zherog
2007-10-19, 11:08 AM
You missed grappling (a target who is grappled loses his/her/its Dex mod to those outside the grapple) - another way you can work with the party's monk.