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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default DM refusing sneak attacks

    Hi,

    So I'm fairly new to DnD and I'm playing an arcane trickster.

    My DM seems to not want me to use sneak attack very often and keeps coming up with reasons why I don't have it.

    He thinks the ally within 5 ft rule is broken. So he said I can't use this unless the enemy is actively engaged with my ally and can't see me. Is this normal? Do most DMs play it this way or with the RAW? I don't really understand what he means by engaged.

    Anyway I can live with that so I started using my owl familiar to give me advantage. From what I understand If the owl uses the Help action before my turn I get sneak attack. But he seems to think that too much time passes between the owl's action and my attack for the enemy to be distracted. We had a bit of a discussion about it and he decided to reluctantly let me use the owl this way. But he did seem to be annoyed by my attacks.

    Again I thought using the owl this way was pretty common, just want to know if I'm wrong about anything? Does it matter how much time passes between the owl using the help action and my attack if it's in the same round?

    Also he had some constructs that had blind sense. He said that I can't have melee sneak attacks on the constructs because they always know where I am. And as I've stated earlier I can't use the adjacent ally rule.

    Does blind sense negate sneak attack?

    From what I understand sneak attack is a broad term in 5e used to describe any time in which I have to ability to find and attack a weak spot and not just that I attack when hidden. Is this correct? And if so is there any detailed official description of this that I can show him?

    I was hoping you guys could tell me if I am doing something wrong or if there's something I don't understand about sneak attacks. I thought rogues were meant to be able to get sneak attack on most of their turns.

    He seems to think sneak attack is over powered is there any kind of comparison of damage between the different classes that I can show him? Is it actually over powered?

    The last thing I want to do is cause any trouble especially for the DM. Is it worth me continuing as a rogue or should I ask if I can make a new character in a different class?

    Sorry there are so many questions, I just really want to make sure I have this right before I play anymore.

    Thank you for all your help.

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    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Your DM is needing you heavily-youíve read the rules right.

    Iíd consider that to be pretty unfair-especially if the DM did not tell you this before the game started.

    Iím not a fan of Find Familiar used in that way, but itís RAW, and considering that the DM has completely gimped access to regular sneak attack...
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Ask if you can change class. The rogue is awesome, but that nerf is a little too much.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    This is so unfair to you. Rogues need sneak the way they have it, you really need the flanking use here. Turns in a single round are supposed to be at the same time, same 6 seconds. So no, it is unfair. I don't know what you should do, but you should talk to your dm about it.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    In 5e (much like 4e) rogues are actually expected to get sneak attacks almost every round. That is why they made it so easy to get. If the DM wants to make it a more rare to use ability then he needs to do the work to give the rogue the ability to deal more damage when not getting sneak attack such as giving it extra attack.

    Your DM has it backwards. A rogue not getting to use sneak attack is typically the exception while getting sneak attack is the norm. The only needing an ally nearby is to facilitate that and it is not broken. Rogue damage is nice but nothing insane even though it looks like it would be when you roll all of those dice.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Sneak attack is not over-powered. Its not bad, but all it does is let the rogue fight on an even footing with everyone else, which is exactly as it should be. A rogue at 5th level gets about 10 bonus damage from their sneak attack, which is roughly equivalent to what someone with extra attack would get from their second attack if they where using a 2-hander. If you add in things that boost damage, like rage, martial superiority die, great weapon master or similar, rogue gets left behind.

    If you want to discuss this with your DM, I suggest doing so either before or after a session, as its generally bad form to start such a discussion during everyone's playtime. I'd suggest asking the DM to explain why he thinks sneak attack is overpowered and ask for (and/or supply) some actual numbers. Xd6 isn't as impressive as it looks, as each d6 only adds about 3.5 damage on average, so a rpgue at 5th level would maybe do 4d6+4 damage (short-sword+ sneak attack) for 18 average, while a fighter with a great sword would do would do 2 times 2d6+4 (22 average). A sword and board fighter would do 2 times 1d8+6 (assuming they are using the dueling fighting style) for 21 average damage. A barbarian fighting with a great axe or greatsword while raging will do even more damage (2 times 2d6+6 for 26 average).
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Randuir has an excellent point, in that you should address the DM outside of a session. Mid-session arguments are not a good idea-though I do sincerely hope your DM is reasonable and doesn't make it devolve to argumentation.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Your DM is nerfing your sneak attack to the point where it is unusable, plain and simple. I suspect your DM is new to 5e, because back in 3.5 it was far harder for a Rogue to get sneak attack. Keep using the familiar option though, the aid will work

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    You are expected to be able to sneak attack more often than not.
    Which is the same in 3.PF, except you typically wont be full attacking as well since you need to get into flanks or maneuver into position.
    You may want to point out to your DM that rogues only ever get one attack per round.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    You are expected to be able to sneak attack more often than not.
    Which is the same in 3.PF, except you typically wont be full attacking as well since you need to get into flanks or maneuver into position.
    You may want to point out to your DM that rogues only ever get one attack per round.
    And, even if they DO get bonus attacks (TWF, Haste, five levels of a martial class) Sneak Attack is still once per turn.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    What about 5e attracts people like this guy's GM, that have no concept of game design or balance and yet try to rebalance their games anyway?

    I mean it was a thing in 3.5 and PF too when they were on top, but this particular brand of asinine stupidity seems to be more common with 5e for some reason.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Your DM is being unfair. There's no other way to say it-- Sneak Attack is the Rogue's main feature, it's how they contribute to fights, and they're expected to get it pretty much every round. Not giving it to them is like saying a Wizard has to take ten minutes to cast any spell; you're rendering the character pretty much incapable of fighting. I think your DM might be getting hung up on the name. Try pointing out that it's more "Backstab" than "Sneak."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    What about 5e attracts people like this guy's GM, that have no concept of game design or balance and yet try to rebalance their games anyway?

    I mean it was a thing in 3.5 and PF too when they were on top, but this particular brand of asinine stupidity seems to be more common with 5e for some reason.
    Bad DMs unfairly nerfed Sneak Attack pretty often in 3e, too, to be fair. (Hell, Pathfinder nerfed Sneak Attack)
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2019-05-18 at 07:28 PM.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    What about 5e attracts people like this guy's GM, that have no concept of game design or balance and yet try to rebalance their games anyway?

    I mean it was a thing in 3.5 and PF too when they were on top, but this particular brand of asinine stupidity seems to be more common with 5e for some reason.
    Because 5e is the game that lazy dms who donít want to learn a lot of rules run.

    That is not insulting to dms in general only to the lazy ones.

    We used to play pathfinder, nwod, exalted, and shadowrun, now every dm just wants to run 5e because it is so rules lax.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    The reason why Sneak Attack is so easy to access in 5e, is because Rogues pretty much play by the creed of "All-or-Nothing" in combat. Especially when it comes to their standard attack actions. If a Rogue is ever making a 2nd attack per turn, unless they're a Swashbuckler, they're typically either making a significant investment, sacrifice, or gamble to make it happen (such as X-Bow Expert Feat, or Multi-classing for Extra Attack, or trying to make an off-hand bonus attack, and therefore sticking them into melee combat with limited defense and unable to Cunning Action: Disengage). If a Rogue can't sneak attack, they are losing an overwhelming amount of their total damage potential.

    As the others pointed out, Sneak Attack also can only occur once per the Rogue's turn. The only way to get it to happen more than once per round, is typically through a Reaction based event (such as an Opportunity Attack or from a certain Battle Master Fighter maneuver), which counts as another "turn" for the Rogue (though I fear if your DM was to realize this, they'd come up with another baffling and non-sense rule)

    Your DM's call about "Oh it takes to long between your familiar's "Aid Another/Help" action and your turn" also makes no sense. because D&D as far as I remember since 3rd edition, has had each round happen during a simultaneous 6 seconds. Everyone is basically taking actions all during these 6 second rounds.

    Is your DM seriously just only nerfing your Rogue, or are they nerfing every single other class. and even so, why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterwhisper View Post
    Because 5e is the game that lazy dms who donít want to learn a lot of rules run.

    That is not insulting to dms in general only to the lazy ones.

    We used to play pathfinder, nwod, exalted, and shadowrun, now every dm just wants to run 5e because it is so rules lax.
    Uhm, what? Yea people like 5e because it is streamlined and simplifies some of the rules, but to call people lazy because of that? I strongly disagree.

    Further more, that's not the issue here. the issue here is that OP's DM has come up with a bunch of convoluted and nonsensical rules to severely limit a class' core source of damage/abilities.
    Last edited by Razgriez; 2019-05-18 at 08:33 PM.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterwhisper View Post
    Because 5e is the game that lazy dms who donít want to learn a lot of rules run.

    That is not insulting to dms in general only to the lazy ones.

    We used to play pathfinder, nwod, exalted, and shadowrun, now every dm just wants to run 5e because it is so rules lax.
    This does not follow. In this example the DM knows the rule but decided it was too powerful (I would disagree with that assertion) and changed it. This is an example of a houserule not of a DM who did not know the rule. Further I have not noticed 5e DMs being anymore lazy than other editions personally.

    Now as for why this is probably an example of a DM that had played a version of a game where such an ability was more rarely used (RAW backstab in pre 3e was much harder to pull off and was more of a rare special attack), afraid of a lot dice being rolled as being too much damage even though it really is around the curve of other weapon users, thinks that something called "sneak attack" needs to be more sneaky to be used due to the name, or possibly some combo of these. It is also possible that they may not have noticed the once per turn clause which some people do miss.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Who is your DM?

    Is this Adventurer's League?

    As a DM if your Owl is annoying me, I kill it. I kill familiars all the time, that's just me. Familiars are fair game.

    Get a new DM.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    He is wrong and nerfed you pretty hard. I do agree that the find familiar is annoying that way but itís easy to remove.

    As for not letting you get sneak attack, then I wold tell him if you still want to play with him that is ď I want to change my character since you are reducing the rogues abilities.
    If he says no. Then either he has a grudge against you or just a bad dm.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by varunrana View Post
    Is this normal? Do most DMs play it this way or with the RAW?
    It is most definitely not normal. The devs have even commented that the game is basically balanced with the assumption that Rogues will be able to find a way to sneak attack pretty much every turn.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Tell him you want to reroll paladin. Then he'll see what insane DPR looks like.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    He's a jerk.

    Find a new DM.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Digimike View Post
    Tell him you want to reroll paladin. Then he'll see what insane DPR looks like.
    Multiclass it with a Warlock or something, I've heard this can burst insanely well.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    What about 5e attracts people like this guy's GM, that have no concept of game design or balance and yet try to rebalance their games anyway?

    I mean it was a thing in 3.5 and PF too when they were on top, but this particular brand of asinine stupidity seems to be more common with 5e for some reason.
    There are a whole lot of new people coming into the hobby, this sort of thing is pretty common with new DMs.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by varunrana View Post
    Hi,

    So I'm fairly new to DnD and I'm playing an arcane trickster.

    My DM seems to not want me to use sneak attack very often and keeps coming up with reasons why I don't have it.

    He thinks the ally within 5 ft rule is broken. So he said I can't use this unless the enemy is actively engaged with my ally and can't see me. Is this normal? Do most DMs play it this way or with the RAW? I don't really understand what he means by engaged.

    Anyway I can live with that so I started using my owl familiar to give me advantage. From what I understand If the owl uses the Help action before my turn I get sneak attack. But he seems to think that too much time passes between the owl's action and my attack for the enemy to be distracted. We had a bit of a discussion about it and he decided to reluctantly let me use the owl this way. But he did seem to be annoyed by my attacks.

    Again I thought using the owl this way was pretty common, just want to know if I'm wrong about anything? Does it matter how much time passes between the owl using the help action and my attack if it's in the same round?

    Also he had some constructs that had blind sense. He said that I can't have melee sneak attacks on the constructs because they always know where I am. And as I've stated earlier I can't use the adjacent ally rule.

    Does blind sense negate sneak attack?

    From what I understand sneak attack is a broad term in 5e used to describe any time in which I have to ability to find and attack a weak spot and not just that I attack when hidden. Is this correct? And if so is there any detailed official description of this that I can show him?

    I was hoping you guys could tell me if I am doing something wrong or if there's something I don't understand about sneak attacks. I thought rogues were meant to be able to get sneak attack on most of their turns.

    He seems to think sneak attack is over powered is there any kind of comparison of damage between the different classes that I can show him? Is it actually over powered?

    The last thing I want to do is cause any trouble especially for the DM. Is it worth me continuing as a rogue or should I ask if I can make a new character in a different class?

    Sorry there are so many questions, I just really want to make sure I have this right before I play anymore.

    Thank you for all your help.
    Everyone else is spot on. I just wanna single out the "too much time passes" part: in terms of actual time, everyones turn is happening basically simultaneously. All turns in a round happen within the same ~6sec interval, whether theres 6 people involved or 60.

    Your DM is making some really weird, rather baseless rulings.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    You also get sneak attack just for being hidden. Use your bonus action to hide every turn. Get smoke bombs or something if the DM claims you lack sufficient concealment to hide.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Unless you can convince the DM that you are supposed to and expected to get your sneak attack all the time, that it is balanced and makes sense, nothing you do will get you regular sneak attacks. This DM has proven they will bend over backwards and change the rules to make it conform to their idea of fair, so the only way to succeed here is to get them on the same page of what fair is. If they refuse to, then you might be able to get by avoiding the classes or abilities they dislike. If not, then give up...
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    A Rogue who isnít getting sneak attack 80%+ of the time isnít really contributing to the party. The class is designed around SA in combat.

    Your DM doesnít understand this. A good DM could easily look up how the Rogue class is supposed to function, but your DM clearly hasnít bothered. You should find another DM, or start your own game.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    This is kind of ridiculous and will get more and more so as you level. At tier one having a rogue without sneak attack puts them on par with the sorceror using a crossbow. I mean sure, you have no spells, but at least you're not being outperformed by the weakest member of the party when they're opting not to use any special abilities.

    But imagine being 20th level and not getting your sneak attack as a rogue? You're a 20th level character that does d8+5 damage once per round.

    I mean the healthiest thing to do would be to talk to the GM about how ridiculous this is, but honestly I'd be tempted to just refuse to make attack rolls without sneak attack. Ask if you can make an attack with your damage bonus, and if you can't just cunning action outa there.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalashak View Post
    There are a whole lot of new people coming into the hobby, this sort of thing is pretty common with new DMs.
    Pretty much. I remember new DMs nerfing Monks in 3.5 because they had "so many awesome features" when they were easily one of the worst classes in the system.

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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Assuming your DM doesn't correct his mistaken ruling, take a PAM fighter or archery-style+sharpshooter and show him what "excessive damage" looks like.

    Or find a reasonable DM.
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    Default Re: DM refusing sneak attacks

    Yeah, if you lose sneak attacks you will likely be happier with a different class. The bard, perhaps.

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