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    Default [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Hi,

    My current character is a kobold who the DM allowed the Races of the Dragon changes which give him two claw attacks and a bite. He is on the verge of level three, with one level of rogue and one of fighter, and I have so far geared him towards specializing in sneak attacks.

    I have invested in his Hide and Move Silently skills (burnt a feat on Skill Focus for Hide, and plan to do the same for Move Silently). I have taken Weapon Finesse since he is high dex, but as a -1 mod to Strength (Str:9). For my next level I plan on taking the feat from one of the dragon related books (forgot which at the moment) which gives creatures with the dragonblood subtypes an extra d6 of fire damage to sneak attacks.

    Again he essentially specializes in sneak attack. With a mod of 17 on hide, and 11 on move silently he is also the party's sneaky guy.

    Can you guys please tell me what options and items are good for a character revolving around sneak attacks, and possibly stealth as well?



    As always, thank you in advance for any help!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    First off, instead of Skill Focus: Hide, you should look at the Stealthy feat - gives +2 to Hide and Move Silently checks. Of course, you could take both Skill Focuses and Stealthy, but that seems overkill.

    You'll also want to consider Craven. I think it's from Complete Scoundrel, but I might be wrong. It lets you add your total character level to sneak attack damage as a flat bonus, but gives you a -2 on saves vs. fear effects.
    -Dyllan

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Well, when someone talks about SA, first thing comes in my mind are ambush feats from complete scoundrel and dragon magazine as well.

    They allow to trade SA damage for additional effects on the target.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyllan View Post
    You'll also want to consider Craven. I think it's from Complete Scoundrel, but I might be wrong.
    You're wrong. Craven is in Champions of Ruin, which is Forgotten Realms-specific.
    "Courage is the complement of fear. A fearless man cannot be courageous. He is also a fool." -- Robert Heinlein


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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Craven from Champions of Ruin might be exactly what you are looking for. It adds 1 damage per CHARACTER level whenever you get sneak attack. It has the drawback of giving you a -2 on saves against fear effects, but its sooooo worth it, especially with the fighter level.

    Other things to consider are the Kobold Fighter racial sub levels found in Races of the Dragon (same book as Dragonfire Strike). I don't remember exactly what they do, but I do remember them being good.

    The Draconomicon has the feats Rapid Strike and Improved Rapid Strike. They give you iterative attacks with a "pair" of natural weapons. Normally you only get 1 attack with each natual weapon and this number never goes up, which means a 1st level kobald gets 3 attacks, and a 20th level kobald gets 3 attacks. Rapid Strike and Improved Rapid Strike give you your 2nd and 3rd+4th iterative attacks with a pair of weapons respectively.

    So, say your Kobold levels up a few more times and gets to have a BAB of 6 and takes Rapid Strke. Normally your attack routine would be:

    +6/+6/+1 Claw Claw Bite

    Rapid Strike gives you this
    +6/+6/+1/+1/+1 Claw Claw Claw Claw Bite

    Later, you level up a few more times to get a BAB of +11 and take Improved Rapid Strike. You now have:

    +11/+11/+6/+6/+1/+1/+1 Claw Claw Claw Claw Claw Claw Bite

    Now, all of those claw attacks all get Sneak Attack damage as long as you qualify (flanking or whatever).

    Another thing to consider is Multiattack. Multiattack lowers the attack penalty of your bite by 3, which makes it much less likely to miss, especially at low levels. With just Multattack and a BAB of +6, your attacks would look like:

    +6/+6/+4 Claw Claw Bite

    Lastly, I would HIGHLY recommend against taking Skill Focus, especially twice. At low levels, it does make a bit of a difference, but as you gain more ranks, it becomes less and less useful. If you really really REALLY want the bump in those skills, consider taking Stealthy instead. It gives a +2/+2 bonus to Hide and Move Silent respectively. 1 point behind each, but its only 1 burned feat instead of 2. Feats are precious, and spending them on skill bonuses is usually not a great investment.

    What do you have so far? You mention that you are a 2nd level character. I assume something like this:

    Kobold
    1 Rogue1 Skill Focus: Hide
    2 Fighter1 Weapon Finesse

    with plans for

    3 Rogue2 Skill Focus: Move Silent

    Instead I'd recommend this

    Kobold
    1 Rogue1 Craven
    2 Kobold Fighter1 OR Swashbuckler1 Weapon Finesse
    3 Rogue2 Multattack or Dragonfire Strike

    make sense?

    EDIT:
    I'd actually highly encourage AGAINST the [Ambush] feats. They seem good, but are actually pretty bad in actual use. They only apply once, most only last for a single round, most don't have enough of a noticable effect, and they are tough to use in conjunction with a normal D&D group. If you were in a group of 5 rogues, they might be worth while, but when you have a cleric and fighter in plate following you around it gets kinda tough to use them effectively.
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2009-03-09 at 11:46 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    You're wrong. Craven is in Champions of Ruin, which is Forgotten Realms-specific.
    Thanks for the correction. That does explain why it's a bit more powerful than most feats... Realms always was a bit power heavy compared to the non-setting specific stuff.
    -Dyllan

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    I'd actually highly encourage AGAINST the [Ambush] feats. They seem good, but are actually pretty bad in actual use. They only apply once, most only last for a single round, most don't have enough of a noticable effect, and they are tough to use in conjunction with a normal D&D group. If you were in a group of 5 rogues, they might be worth while, but when you have a cleric and fighter in plate following you around it gets kinda tough to use them effectively.
    Couldn't you deliver an [ambush] attack against a flanked foe (maybe flanked by the armored buddies)?

    And a strikes like Staggering Strike, Lacerate and Disemboweling Strike*, sometimes, are enough delivered one time.

    It's a matter of gamstyle, anyway. I don't optimize so much, I like ambush feats because are cool.

    Requires a lot of feats, I use it with Fighters//Rogues
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    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    See if your DM will allow the Penetrating Strike alternate rogue ability found in Dungeonscape. It'll let you deal half your normal sneak attack damage to creatures that immune, in exchange for giving up trap sense.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    Craven is in Champions of Ruin, which is Forgotten Realms-specific.
    While some of that book is indeed FR-specific, Craven is a general feat and has nothing to do with the setting. I recommend it without regard to context. I also recommend Improved Natural Attack for the kobold's claw attacks, though that feat happens to be in the Monster Manual and newbDM is asking about a PC rather than a monster.

    You shouldn't disregard an entire book because the main emphasis may be elsewhere. It's smarter to pay attention to the specifics.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    I agree with everything Keld said. Also if you can see if you can swing for a change from fighter and go with swashbuckler from Complete Warrior. It gives you weapon finese, and along with a feat from complete scoundrel, it lets you stack both levels for sneak attack dice along with a few things that don't really matter. Also swashbuckler causes less of a lost of skills.

    Oh, and the feat is called daring outlaw.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Point of order on Rapidstrike (besides its high BAB requirement, +10 base or +15 improved): By the exact wording of the feat, it unfortunately does not give you iterative attacks with both weapons in the pair, it specifically mentions 'one of those weapons'. So the aforementioned ClawClawBite would not become a ClawClawClawClawBite, but only a ClawClawClawbite. It's honestly not worth a feat in most cases, particularly when you don't have a ton to spare.

    As for useful feats, definitely take the Darkstalker feat from Lords of Madness. It forces any creature with blindsense, blindsight, tremorsense, or similar auto-detect abilities to still beat the higher of your Move Silently or Hide checks to sense you, which means you can still sneak attack them.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Magic of Incarnum

    Shape Soulmeld (Kruthik Claws)

    +4 competence bonus to Move Silently / Hide in Shadows without any essentia investment, +2/essentia to both if you invest any essentia.

    Two levels of Totemist to open your Totem chakra and you can be dealing 1d6 (+1d4 acid damage per essentia invested) with your claw attacks, in addition to whatever other bonuses you may have.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Thank you for the ideas so far.

    All the above options suggested seem interesting, so I am not sure which direction to go now.


    I forgot to mention that my character already has the Multiattack feat due to a flaw (Chicken Flaw).

    Do you guy think Improved Multiattack from Savage Species would be worth worth taking later on as one of my standard feats? I am already drooling over the Craven feat, and the Rapid Strike feats seem interesting (I need to get Draconomican back before I can read them), so I am not sure what to do since I will only be getting standard feats on level 3, and 9 (etc if the game keeps on going). I knew about the Improved Natural Weapon feat, but I do not know if a small die increase is worth it (is it?).

    I was also planning on keeping him an even balance of fighter/rogue until I qualified for the Field Chef prestige class, so that I can meet the Fort Save prerequisite (I am thinking Fighter 2/Rogue 3 to get the needed +4 Fort Save).

    I was thinking the Fighter Levels would aid with his sneak attack and stealth abilities, which it so far has with it's Weapon Finesse granted by the Fighter bonus feat. The problem is that I can not seem to find any [Fighter] feats that seem like they would help with my characters theme/goals. I am thinking of Improved Initiative or Weapon Focus (Claws) for my binus feat at third level (I am thinking of taking a fighter level, because the DM ruled that we max HP for the first three modules, since he doesn't pull punches), but I am not sure if they would be worth it at all.



    Again, thank you for the help so far!


    edit:
    Oh, and I forgot to mention that non-core classes are not allowed. Non-core PrCs, feats, and such are, but after approval.
    Last edited by newbDM; 2009-03-10 at 01:55 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Ambush Feats that are worth it (they are a precious few):
    Weaken the Heart (Dragon Mag): DC is 10 + 1/2 class level + int, lasts 10 minutes, any time they do a str/dex/con based skill check they become fatigued... if already fatigued, they become exhausted. Really nasty but for the low low price of two sneak attack dice.

    Staggering strike (CA): Not really an ambush feats, anytime you hit someone with a melee sneak attack they must make a fort DC damage or become staggered. Limits enemies actions on there round.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Animefunkmaster View Post
    Staggering strike (CA): Not really an ambush feats, anytime you hit someone with a melee sneak attack they must make a fort DC damage or become staggered. Limits enemies actions on there round.
    Oooooohhhh!

    That one seems especially nasty. And if I am reading the staggered rules correctly, then if the enemy proceeds to take any form of standard action it falls unconscious. Consider my character specializes in full-attacking three natural attacks as sneak attacks, I am thinking my odds of scoring that result are higher?

    Right now I am debating between Dragonfire Strike, Craven, or Staggered Strike for which would be the best feat for my next standard feat (I am about 40xp from leveling). One will add a d6 of fire to my sneak attacks, hence getting me that extra d6 I am going to miss out on for multiclassing into fighter. Craven will add a constant +3 to all my sneak attack damage. Staggering Strike, combined with his unusual setup, might make the chances of staggering and dropping unconscious enemies go up. Can some of the uber-pros on here that do all the complicated math and formulas for your characters please tell me which result would be the most beneficial/most likely to end up working better for him?


    Oh, and again can anyone please suggests some feats which would work well for this guy that fall under the bonus fighter feats lists?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by newbDM View Post
    Oooooohhhh!

    That one seems especially nasty. And if I am reading the staggered rules correctly, then if the enemy proceeds to take any form of standard action it falls unconscious. Consider my character specializes in full-attacking three natural attacks as sneak attacks, I am thinking my odds of scoring that result are higher?
    I believe that you are confusing staggered with disabled.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Yea, you only get the conditions of Staggered, not the fact that you non-lethal damage equals your current HP. Its kinda a Psudo-Staggered.

    Also, Staggering Strike requires a BAB of +6 or greater, which means you probably won't be able to take it until your 9th level feat at the earliest because you lose some BAB with Rogue levels. If there is a reason it looks soooooo good, its because its not available to low level characters.

    You must be this high to ride this ride.

    And I'd grab Craven now. Dragonfire Strike will net you ~3.5 damage per hit this level, while Craven only adds 3. Next level though, Craven adds 4 damage per hit and DFS still only adds 3.5. Next level, Craven adds 5 damage per hit, and again, DFI is still at 3.5. If you grab the one you didn't take, they would balance out at level 6, and you'd be doing slightly better for 1 level and worse for 2 levels with DFS and slightly worse for 1 level and better for 2 levels with Craven.

    Just some crunchy math there for you to ponder.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Feats, items, etc to improve natural weapon Sneak Attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Yea, you only get the conditions of Staggered, not the fact that you non-lethal damage equals your current HP. Its kinda a Psudo-Staggered.

    Also, Staggering Strike requires a BAB of +6 or greater, which means you probably won't be able to take it until your 9th level feat at the earliest because you lose some BAB with Rogue levels. If there is a reason it looks soooooo good, its because its not available to low level characters.
    I see. Thank you for the correction.

    I guess I misunderstood something. I was caught up in this part:

    Staggered

    Being staggered is identical to being disabled (see above), except that if a character’s condition worsens, he becomes unconscious instead of dying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post

    You must be this high to ride this ride..
    Yeah, and with kobolds that is usually an issue.


    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    And I'd grab Craven now. Dragonfire Strike will net you ~3.5 damage per hit this level, while Craven only adds 3. Next level though, Craven adds 4 damage per hit and DFS still only adds 3.5. Next level, Craven adds 5 damage per hit, and again, DFI is still at 3.5. If you grab the one you didn't take, they would balance out at level 6, and you'd be doing slightly better for 1 level and worse for 2 levels with DFS and slightly worse for 1 level and better for 2 levels with Craven.

    Just some crunchy math there for you to ponder.
    Much appreciated!

    I will do just this for my next two feats.

    What would you suggest for my next feats/options? Especially when I get more cash for items?

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