Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Sneak Attack and Scorching Ray


Rules Questions

1 to 50 of 315 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

18 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Quick question: When someone who has sneak attack uses scorching ray at high enough level to fire multiple rays, he does get a sneak attack on each hit if he is entitled to it, right? (Just like rapid shot with a bow in the same parameters)

Doing the math on it, I come to understand that for an "optimized" Arcane Trickster (going 3 rogue/3 wizard, taking the "magical knack" trait) deals roughly 20% more damage when getting off a sneak attack as a single-class wizard would, (and this is kinda the AT's schtick) until high level play when the Sneak Attack tips in his favor. But then again, the single class wizard counts Scorching Ray amongst the least of his offensive powers, sooo...

And yes, sure, I am aware that it could be abused with obscure third party spells that allow for buckets of separate attack roles, but we are playing core pathfinder, meaning Scorching Ray is about as good as it gets.


Unless Paizo changed the rules (I haven't seen a reference to this one way or another in Pathfinder) volley spells like that only deal sneak attack once.

It's totally not overpowered though, and sounds like a good houserule to me. Probably best to use it with heighten spell to get around lesser globes of invulnerability, and have a few rods of the elemental changing metamagic on hand for dealing with resistances/immunities.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PRD wrote:
...ranged touch attack to hit and deals 4d6 points of fire damage. The rays may be fired at the same or different targets, but all rays must be aimed at targets within 30 feet of each other and fired simultaneously.

Yes, as long as the baddy is denied his dex or is unaware of you. So pretty much the first one you hit him with will have SA damage applied. Unless you have improved invisibility or something like that working for you, or if you're brave enough to flank him and take AoO.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Lazaro wrote:
Yes, as long as the baddy is denied his dex or is unaware of you. So pretty much the first one you hit him with will have SA damage applied. Unless you have improved invisibility or something like that working for you, or if you're brave enough to flank him and take AoO.

All rays of the scorching ray are supposed to hit their targets simultaneously, so it does not matter if you use normal invisibility or greater invisibility. You still only get to apply sneak attack damage once (same with Manyshot and similar attacks). Also, you cannot flank with ranged attacks.


Zaister wrote:
Lazaro wrote:
Yes, as long as the baddy is denied his dex or is unaware of you. So pretty much the first one you hit him with will have SA damage applied. Unless you have improved invisibility or something like that working for you, or if you're brave enough to flank him and take AoO.
All rays of the scorching ray are supposed to hit their targets simultaneously, so it does not matter if you use normal invisibility or greater invisibility. You still only get to apply sneak attack damage once (same with Manyshot and similar attacks). Also, you cannot flank with ranged attacks.

That is my point: Scorching Ray is not like manyshot. Manyshot uses a single attack roll, Scorching Ray requires individual attack rolls. Mechanically, it is more similar to Rapid Shot, which I know gets SA across the board if you are in a position to SA.

And yes, I am thinking of a situation where the opponent is denied dexterity across the entire attack, like flat-footed or Gr. Invis.


Like Kyrt said, in 3.5 it specifically (Complete Arcane, IIRC) stated that volleys deal sneak attack once, but there's no mention so far from Paizo on this one.


Tanis wrote:
Like Kyrt said, in 3.5 it specifically (Complete Arcane, IIRC) stated that volleys deal sneak attack once, but there's no mention so far from Paizo on this one.

Indeed. I remember there being a couple of potential exploits in 3.5 which would have allowed an arcane trickster to deal somewhere like 90d6 damage with force orb on lv15 or so (if he hits on all 15 attack rolls).

Refresh my memory, is it restricted to 1 sneak attack per spell, or one per target? (As spreading the Scorching Ray out will reduce the damage to the relative level of an AoE, using ranged touch instead of save)


Kamelguru wrote:
Tanis wrote:
Like Kyrt said, in 3.5 it specifically (Complete Arcane, IIRC) stated that volleys deal sneak attack once, but there's no mention so far from Paizo on this one.

Indeed. I remember there being a couple of potential exploits in 3.5 which would have allowed an arcane trickster to deal somewhere like 90d6 damage with force orb on lv15 or so (if he hits on all 15 attack rolls).

Refresh my memory, is it restricted to 1 sneak attack per spell, or one per target? (As spreading the Scorching Ray out will reduce the damage to the relative level of an AoE, using ranged touch instead of save)

Per spell. It essentially said that in a volley of attacks only apply precision damage once.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A good rule of thumb is this: Every time you half to role a D20 to hit you get your sneak attack damage so you role your D20 3 times to hit, you get to role your 4d6 sneak attack damage 3 times (if you hit).


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have to go with LostSoul here. Sneak Attack applies to every attack (that requires an attack roll) that qualifies for Sneak Attack. If you roll 3 times due to high BAB, or make 3 ranged attack rolls, or roll to hit 3 people with a ray during the surprise round, then you should get sneak attack in all situations.

I believe that was a flaw in the 3.5 FAQ, they treated a spell with multiple attack rolls differently than ranged or melee. :(


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The current pathfinder rules go with what LostSoul and MDT are stating: Each time you make an attack roll you get sneak attack damage if such damage applies.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd hesitate using 3.5 rulings in PFRPG as the other classes have gotten such a substantial boost. 3.5 power limits might bring the AT way below subpar in PFRPG.
Even if you allow each ray to do sneak attack damage, an 11th level trickster (Rog1/Wiz4/Ass1/AT5) is going to need a Rod of Quicken and Sniper Goggles to even come near the single-target DPR of a Paladin Archer (Smite), an Inquisitor, a Zen Archer Monk, an Archer (Ranger or Fighter) or, hell, even a vanilla THW fighter. Burning a Rod of Quicken brings the Trickster within spitting distance of the Archerdin with his smite up, but the Inquisitor is only a few buffs away from overtaking both. In my real-world experience (i.e., actual gaming), the Inquisitor is the most obnoxious boss killer, but that's only because the Paladin is always too busy saving peoples' asses (removing status effects and tanking).
If you don't give the AT single-target damage, I hope the adventure has a lot of traps, because outside of traps and single target damage the AT is a waste of space. I suppose they are also pretty good at getting out of jail, which I remembered doing an awful lot of with my AT. I also remember being unconscious an awful lot and wiggling feebly whenever grappled.


Any final anwer to this question?


Kamelguru wrote:


And yes, sure, I am aware that it could be abused with obscure third party spells that allow for buckets of separate attack roles, but we are playing core pathfinder, meaning Scorching Ray is about as good as it gets.

Since someone else wanted to resurrect this thread...

the 'obscure' spell is from the core rule book and is called telekinesis.

Get a vivisectionist or pure rogue to start using it and the abuse occurs very quickly.. and certainly outdoes archers.

The idea that the arcane trickster needs this to be 'viable' simply means that the arcane trickster PrC needs work rather than fringe rulings.

-James


4 people marked this as a favorite.

IIRC, PF did not include the "volley rule", as it was called by 3E players, in its rules for sneak attack with weapon-like spells, and therefore, RAW, SA applies on every attack of scorching ray.

About time a combat rules change helped rogue instead of stealth nerfed it.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

IIRC, PF did not include the "volley rule", as it was called by 3E players, in its rules for sneak attack with weapon-like spells, and therefore, RAW, SA applies on every attack of scorching ray.

About time a combat rules change helped rogue instead of stealth nerfed it.

The 'volley rule' as you call it was not in the SRD, but it seems a reasonable thing to have.. unless you think that the best rogues should be wizards. That doesn't seem to be a good way to support the class.

-James


Well, Arcane Tricksters. And the best rogues already are wizrds, just cause they can trouble shoot far better than the "skill monkey class."

In any case, at this point, I'll take whatever scraps I can get. :)


Attacks that occur simultaneously in a single burst (eg Manyshot, Scorching Ray), as opposed to iterative attacks, should apply the sneak attack once. This prevents abuse from the afore Telekinesis missile barrage which can easily unload beyond stupid amounts of damage.

This seems to be the way the game devs might intend for it to be based on the following FAQ.

Quote:

How does the Surprise Spells class feature of the Arcane Trickster prestige class (Core Rulebook, page 378) work with spells like magic missile and fireball?

The Surprise Spells class feature allows the Arcane Trickster to add his sneak attack dice to spells that deal damage that target flat-footed foes. This damage is only applied once per spell. In the case of fireball this means it affects all targets in the area, with each getting a save to halve the damage (including the sneak attack damage). In the case of magic missile, the extra damage is only added once to one missile, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast.

—Jason Bulmahn, 05/31/11

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't have the actual wording in front of me, but I believe that it is one sneak attack per target.


Volley attack mean one attack role. Scouching ray has up to 3 attack role so it has 3 chance for sneak attack to go off.

Scorching Ray

School evocation [fire]; Level sorcerer/wizard 2

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Effect one or more rays

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

You blast your enemies with a searing beam of fire. You may fire one ray, plus one additional ray for every four levels beyond 3rd (to a maximum of three rays at 11th level). "Each ray requires a ranged touch attack to hit" and deals 4d6 points of fire damage. The rays may be fired at the same or different targets, but all rays must be aimed at targets within 30 feet of each other and fired simultaneously.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Well, Arcane Tricksters. And the best rogues already are wizrds, just cause they can trouble shoot far better than the "skill monkey class."

In any case, at this point, I'll take whatever scraps I can get. :)

Example give is for spell that you could not normaly Snaek attack with ie Fire ball and magic missle.

Scroching ray you can sneak attack with all day long up to 3 time per casting if condition are met.


While I did click the FAQ button, I'm 95% sure that it is one sneak attack per attack roll, as Abraham Spalding said.

One sneak attack per spell applies to getting sneak attacks with spells that don't have an attack roll such as fireball or MM. It wouldn't apply to spells like chill touch, that allow multiple attacks from a single spell.

I wonder about applying sneak attack damage with spells such as telekinesis or the various hand spells...


Fergie wrote:

While I did click the FAQ button, I'm 95% sure that it is one sneak attack per attack roll, as Abraham Spalding said.

One sneak attack per spell applies to getting sneak attacks with spells that don't have an attack roll such as fireball or MM. It wouldn't apply to spells like chill touch, that allow multiple attacks from a single spell.

I wonder about applying sneak attack damage with spells such as telekinesis or the various hand spells...

The thing with Scorching Ray is that its Touch Attack rolls (and the effect which describes this) react (attack) simultaneously, meaning that if more than 1 of the Rays hit the target, those rays will get sneak attack bonuses due to the specific property of the spell. It's not an "Iterative Attack" or "Full Attack Option", meaning that the "1 Sneak Attack Damage per Attack Roll" does not apply to Scorching Ray.


Tom S 820 wrote:

Volley attack mean one attack role.

No, volley attack means that they happen all at once.

Unlike, say, a full attack with a bow, you do not decide targets as you go. For example you would declare 2 rays on target 1, and 1 ray on target 2.

If the 'first' ray on target 1 drops them, the 'second' ray cannot be moved over to target 2.. nor does the 'second' ray suffer from target 1 now being prone.. as 'first' and 'second' hit all at the same time.

That's a volley.

Likewise using TK to launch 15 huge size +5 GMW'd bolts at a target 1500ft away is a volley.

It has nothing to do with number of attack rolls, but rather the nature of the attacks. They are all simultaneous. That's a volley.

Frankly I'd have given the trickster sneak attack on everyone in the fireball.. but they don't even do that.

-James


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
Tom S 820 wrote:

Volley attack mean one attack role.

No, volley attack means that they happen all at once.

Unlike, say, a full attack with a bow, you do not decide targets as you go. For example you would declare 2 rays on target 1, and 1 ray on target 2.

If the 'first' ray on target 1 drops them, the 'second' ray cannot be moved over to target 2.. nor does the 'second' ray suffer from target 1 now being prone.. as 'first' and 'second' hit all at the same time.

That's a volley.

Likewise using TK to launch 15 huge size +5 GMW'd bolts at a target 1500ft away is a volley.

It has nothing to do with number of attack rolls, but rather the nature of the attacks. They are all simultaneous. That's a volley.

Frankly I'd have given the trickster sneak attack on everyone in the fireball.. but they don't even do that.

-James

It seems the Trickster does get SA on all targets of the fireball though. The trick here though is that people don't seem to be differentiating between spells that require an attack roll and spells that don't. The Surprise Spells feature is unique in that it lets you SA on something you really shouldn't and it can't really be used in comparison with general SA rules, which function differently.


The Trickster is a corner case as it has a means to dealing Sneak Attack damage without actually needing an attack roll (via Surprise Spells), but generally speaking, Sneak Attack requires an attack roll and is only applied once per attack roll.

For weapon-like spells (spells that require an attack roll, like scorching ray), the sneak attack is treated exactly like a weapon. An archer firing two arrows with Manyshot only applies sneak attack once. Same with a Trickster and Scorching Ray.


Doomed Hero wrote:

The Trickster is a corner case as it has a means to dealing Sneak Attack damage without actually needing an attack roll (via Surprise Spells), but generally speaking, Sneak Attack requires an attack roll and is only applied once per attack roll.

For weapon-like spells (spells that require an attack roll, like scorching ray), the sneak attack is treated exactly like a weapon. An archer firing two arrows with Manyshot only applies sneak attack once. Same with a Trickster and Scorching Ray.

Manyshot is one attack roll for 2 arrows if you miss your attack roll you miss both shots. both shots are treated as one shot in ALL cases (thats why deflect arrows deflects BOTH shots from manyshot.)

Scorching Ray is one attack roll for each ray. if you fire four rays then you roll four attack rolls. each ray is seperate. unlike manyshot removing one ray from the mix does not remove them all they are completely different entities.

I apologize if i misunderstood you. but seeing as they are treated differently in every other case i cant really see the rules on manyshot having any effect on the rules for scorching ray.

also out of curiosity do you get SA with scorching ray normally or do you need suprise spells. BTW there is a set of feats now that let you threaten and gain flanking at 15ft

Cheliax

Yes, since each Scorching Ray has its own attack roll, it's not a volley-spell anyway. So, each ray would get the Sneak Attack bonus.

This is how I'm reading it.


Sigard Spleenbiter wrote:

Yes, since each Scorching Ray has its own attack roll, it's not a volley-spell anyway. So, each ray would get the Sneak Attack bonus.

This is how I'm reading it.

We read it differently.

I distinguish those fired all at once, from those fired sequentially based on the results of the prior.

Magic missile and scorching ray are all fired simultaneously, where as iterative attacks are fired sequentially.

A volley means fired all at the same time. There is no distinction on number of attack rolls involved.

If you had a zen archer using perfect shot that gets to roll multiple d20s for a single attack, that doesn't make them multiple attacks.

Number of d20 rolls does not distinguish between attacks, and certainly does not determine whether or not they are fired simultaneously in a volley.

-James


2 people marked this as a favorite.

How many time can you critical with Scorching Ray 1, 2, or 3? What ever your answer is to that is the same amout of time that you can snaek attack.


I have to join in the chorus saying that the one PrC that regularly worries about it should, just for the sake of fairness, get sneak attacks on all rays in a spell.

If you roll to hit for direct damage, you can do sneak damage with it. Otherwise, the class feature is barely worth having.

Osirion

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There are two correct answers to this question:

1) If you use the 3.5 ruling on volley spells, sneak attack only applies once on this spell. Whether or not you believe that this spell is a volley is irrelevant, as the 3.5 ruling specifically calls out Scorching Ray as a volley spell.

2) If you DON'T use the 3.5 ruling on volley spells, then you get to use sneak attack damage on every damage roll that requires an attack roll. Therefore, scorching ray would get 3 sneak attacks per cast at 11th caster level+.

Silver Crusade

When I don't have a PF ruling on point, I will look at the 3.5 rulings. They were pretty clear in the Rules Compendium that: "A form of attack that enables the attacker to make multiple attacks during an action other then a full round action, such as the Many Shot Feat (standard action) or a Quickened Scorching Ray (swift action), allows precision damage to be applied to the first attack in the group."

Skip Williams in "All About Sneak Attacks, Part IV" wrote that the official rule was that whether you make one or multiple attacks with an ability that hits simultaneously (aka a volley), you apply sneak attack damage only once. If a spell effect allowed you to make multiple attack rolls, you treat it like a volley and only apply sneak attack damage once.

Given that Pathfinder's sneak attack rules are derived almost word-for-word from 3.5, there isn't really a reason to overturn the rules that clarify this very issue.

One can argue there must be some difference between a Many Shot concept and a Scorching Ray because of the number of attack rolls required. However, they are all mechanically attacks that hit simultaneously without a full-round action. In view of balance, it limits the power a single attack or a 2nd level spell (or any other volley-type ability) can have. Second level spells aren't supposed to be more powerful than 6th level spells, and so on. The absurd example is Telekinesis with sneak attack, a host of 15 attacks with 1d6 + sneak attack damage with every attack (let's say 8d6 at high levels for AT). That's beyond broken for a 5th level spell and clearly outside the designed game parameters. Yet, if you apply the logic of Scorching Ray sneak attack, that's where you head.

Recognizing broken, the above ruling clarified.

I also take into account the Level 10 ability of the AT, the "Surprise Spells." It specifically notes sneak attack can only apply once per spell, even if the spell has multiple targets or multiple missiles. We're seeing incongruity if we apply this rule here but not elsewhere.

Further, it's the premier ability of the AT and effectively enables an area spell to hit everyone with sneak attack damage (albeit with a save for half normally). I don't like to render abilities superfluous by having this effect already in play in some fashion with an attack that hits all targets at the same time (like a fireball does) but requires an attack roll to resolve. The attack roll represents that Scorching Ray is a 2nd level spell and it's not supposed to be all powerful. It's not supposed to be a lesser version of the Surprise Spells ability that carves out its own exception.

Taldor

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
In the case of magic missile, the extra damage is only added once to one missile, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast.

Apart from lacking an attack roll, this seems like a pretty straightforward example. Replace 'missile' with 'ray'.


Paizo has been conspicuously quiet on this subject. In my games, you get it on all ray attacks. Telekinesis doesn't count because it's indirect damage.

Scorching rays with a few more d6s added is not overpowered at all at the levels where you get multiple rays and multiple sneak dice. It gives the arcane trickster some parity with other blasters of his level, and that's all.

I discuss it in my class guide in Advice:

Spoiler:
I already said I think sneak attack damage should be added to every attack roll in a direct damage spell (sorry, Telekinesis): Three rays, three chances to add sneak damage. They go off simultaneously, so how does one ray warn your target(s) of the other two?

Others, quite reasonably, say you only get it on the first ray because you're sniping, which only allows one attack, and Scorching Ray is a single attack that happens all at once.

The math: An AT, as a 14th level character, finally gets three rays. By my method, he can add 4d6 to each ray. Each attack has the potential to do an average of 28 damage, if it hits. That's an average of 84 damage, if they all hit. I will grant that touch AC is usually much easier to hit than normal AC, but there are still a number of reasons why this attack could be ineffectual.

The same spell, with only the first ray adding 4d6, averages 56 damage, if they all hit. A full-attacking 14th level rogue with 3 attacks does 21d6, or 73.5 average damage, if they all hit, before adding in weapon damage, which should bring the average damage up to over 90.

An average CR 14 monster has around 200 hit points. They all have various resistances, immunities, DR and SR. Neither of these sneak attacks are likely to do much damage if the right weapon or energy type isn't employed.

YMMV

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I fall in the "one to hit roll = one sneak attack" crowd. The telekinesis "exploit" is so contrived as to be nearly impossible in actual play. Even if you carry around a bunch of GMWed arrows, you have to dump them out to use them, or take a round floating them out of the quiver to get them into position, and be invisible, and use up a 5th level spell in order to make 15 attack rolls (at 16th level) with your cruddy BAB -againt actual AC, not touch-, and be subject to DR on each attack, and any of the various wind wall type spells as well as the many ways to stop sneak attack itself shut you down. If by some miracle the stars align and you pull off your 100d6+ damage, good for you!
If it still bugs you just rule that telekinesis is indirect fire and shouldn't get precision based damage at all.

One of the difficulties with playing an AT is that looking for ranged touch damage spells in PF is like searching an old west ghost town.


Touc wrote:
The attack roll represents that Scorching Ray is a 2nd level spell and it's not supposed to be all powerful. It's not supposed to be a lesser version of the Surprise Spells ability that carves out its own exception.

lol. Hyperbole ftw.

As has been pointed out, even allowing SA on all rays of SR, the trickster is doing really pathetic damage compared to ANY other damage dealing class. The 3.5 rule was a kneejerk ruling that wasn't even needed then, and certainly isn't now, given the huge boost every class has received. The fact that PF didn't explicitly include that clarification in the core rules means you learn how SA works from reading SA, not 3.5 material. Which means one attack roll = one application of SA.

And this doe's not create a 'lesser version of' Surprise Spells. SS specifically allows you to gain SA even when you don't roll a to-hit.


A highly regarded expert wrote:

I have to join in the chorus saying that the one PrC that regularly worries about it should, just for the sake of fairness, get sneak attacks on all rays in a spell.

If you roll to hit for direct damage, you can do sneak damage with it. Otherwise, the class feature is barely worth having.

I don't know about your games, but in mine, rogues have Use Magic Device, and normally buy CL 11 wands of Scorching Ray. Just because 30d6 sneak attack is a wonderful way to start a combat at level 10 :)


gustavo iglesias wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:

I have to join in the chorus saying that the one PrC that regularly worries about it should, just for the sake of fairness, get sneak attacks on all rays in a spell.

If you roll to hit for direct damage, you can do sneak damage with it. Otherwise, the class feature is barely worth having.

I don't know about your games, but in mine, rogues have Use Magic Device, and normally buy CL 11 wands of Scorching Ray. Just because 30d6 sneak attack is a wonderful way to start a combat at level 10 :)

LOL! They sure do!

That's not only expensive (330 a pop), but it's not likely to work too well at high levels against spell and fire resistant enemies. Does your rogue have lots of ranks in all the Knowledge skills so he can figure out if it's worth the trouble? Is he going to make that DC 20 to activate it every time?

A trickster would cast the same spell at a higher caster level, possibly intensified or otherwise augmented, and it would only cost them whatever they spent to learn the spell in the first place. Is your 10th level rogue going to spend 16,500 of his 62,000 on that? Really? Over 1/3 of his treasure?

In my games, that would leave him vulnerable in other areas, and he'd probably die.

UMD is definitely doable, but if it's less than spectacular, you blew 330 gold to do little or nothing. That's the problem with all these theoretical rogues who spend their money on nothing but wands and scrolls.

Cheliax

I just want to add that if a group decides that Scorching Ray is a volley and only gets Sneak Attack once, then that means that if a natural 1 is rolled on the first ray, the other rays still get to roll to hit.

This is because there is no 1st ray as they're all simultaneous.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Touc wrote:
I also take into account the Level 10 ability of the AT, the "Surprise Spells." It specifically notes sneak attack can only apply once per spell, even if the spell has multiple targets or multiple missiles.

This. Once per spell. Not once per ray or missile or fireball or ball lightning. Once per spell. Brooks no argument.

Vendle wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
In the case of magic missile, the extra damage is only added once to one missile, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast.
Apart from lacking an attack roll, this seems like a pretty straightforward example. Replace 'missile' with 'ray'.

And this. Word from JB = law in my book.


But in 3.5... sneak attack was only able to be applied once/round to each target ever. Which was the reason "Quicker than the Eye" feat was written, so that if you got to sneak attack for any reason, you got to get an additional attack with the same bonuses on the same target, allowing sneak attack 2x a round.

Iterative attacks from a greater invis didn't give any more than the first sneak attack in 3.5, while they do in pathfinder. Nor did flanking iteratives. This was changed -completely- in PF.

In pathfinder, each time you make an attack roll, you check to see if the enemy is denied his dex or flat footed to gain sneak attack.

Iterative attacks, all gain sneak attack provided you are flanking. The ruling from 3.5 DOES NOT even begin to work with the current rules for sneak attack, because the basic premise has changed.

I have been playing rogues primarily since 2nd ed. DnD, and as the new rules for PF work, if you get a scorching ray on a flat footed target, you should get sneak attack on all the attacks, without having to use the "Surprise Spells" ability at all.

Surprise spells as someone pointed out above, doesn't apply to the scorching ray question really, it's for spells that don't require an attack roll normally since those would not get sneak attack by the basic rules.

The same as a rogue archer who goes first after the initial surprise round, if they are still flat-footed, gets to sneak on them all, altho he doesn't from ranged flanking.


TGMaxMaxer wrote:

But in 3.5... sneak attack was only able to be applied once/round to each target ever. Which was the reason "Quicker than the Eye" feat was written, so that if you got to sneak attack for any reason, you got to get an additional attack with the same bonuses on the same target, allowing sneak attack 2x a round.

Iterative attacks from a greater invis didn't give any more than the first sneak attack in 3.5, while they do in pathfinder. Nor did flanking iteratives. This was changed -completely- in PF.

In pathfinder, each time you make an attack roll, you check to see if the enemy is denied his dex or flat footed to gain sneak attack.

Um... no? It works the same in 3.5 (and as far as I can tell, 3.0 as well) as it does in Pathfinder. Pathfinder just made sneak attack apply to a wider range of creature types.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Issue may as well be settled. Jason Buhlman, the game's lead designer, the "BUCK STOPS HERE" guy for Pathfinder rules interpretations, already said how it works.

I don't know why people are even bringing ANY form of D&D into this. This is a Pathfinder forum to argue Pathfinder rules written by Pathfinder developers and played by Pathfinder players. Pathfinder.


Barry Armstrong wrote:
I don't know why people are even bringing ANY form of D&D into this. This is a Pathfinder forum to argue Pathfinder rules written by Pathfinder developers and played by Pathfinder players. Pathfinder.

Because the Pathfinder core rules are mostly the sames as 3.5 D&D rules. Its not like Paizo made it all up on their own - they copied the Open Content of 3.5 and made some changes. Unless Pathfinder changes a rule, how it worked in 3.5 should still be how it works in Pathfinder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:

How does the Surprise Spells class feature of the Arcane Trickster prestige class (Core Rulebook, page 378) work with spells like magic missile and fireball?

The Surprise Spells class feature allows the Arcane Trickster to add his sneak attack dice to spells that deal damage that target flat-footed foes. This damage is only applied once per spell. In the case of fireball this means it affects all targets in the area, with each getting a save to halve the damage (including the sneak attack damage). In the case of magic missile, the extra damage is only added once to one missile, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast.

—Jason Bulmahn, 05/31/11

Ok, I usually try to stay out of rules debates, however I could not stand how this quote has been misrepresented.

The above quote does not in any way reference sneak attack with a spell that uses attack rolls.

It Only references the Arcane Trickster ability Surprise spells. Also it Only addresses spells without attack rolls, which is what this special ability grants as a new function to sneak attack.

Now the generic Sneak attack rules in Pathfinder state:

Sneak Attack:
Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

The definition of ranged touch attacks, which is what a ray from scorching ray is, is as follows.

Ranged Touch:
Ranged Touch Spells in Combat: Some spells allow you to make a ranged touch attack as part of the casting of the spell. These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action. Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity, even if the spell that causes the attacks was cast defensively. Unless otherwise noted, ranged touch attacks cannot be held until a later turn.

This means that a rogue or AT is specifically allowed on his Attacks to apply sneak attack whenever he meets the prerequisites. So due to the fact that each Ray requires an attack roll and is therefore a ranged touch attack this means by RAW a rogue or AT is allowed to apply sneak on each Ray, however he also provokes on each ray for the purpose of AoO.

Please do not reply to me specifically, feel free to continue debating others but not myself, with any 3.5 rulings/writings, as sneak attack and the game have changed drastically from 3.5.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Jason quote has resolved the matter, but it you want a reason for that you can look it this way:
- sneak attack is precision damage
- you are making multiple attacks roll at the same time, not sequentially
- one of those attacks can be aimed with extra precision, not all of them as you don't have the time to select the exact spot you want to hit for each of them
- so you get to apply sneak attack or other precision damage only once.


Diego Rossi wrote:

Jason quote has resolved the matter, but it you want a reason for that you can look it this way:

- sneak attack is precision damage
- you are making multiple attacks roll at the same time, not sequentially
- one of those attacks can be aimed with extra precision, not all of them as you don't have the time to select the exact spot you want to hit for each of them
- so you get to apply sneak attack or other precision damage only once.

I disagree and have quoted the relevant RAW, please see my above post.


Jason's quote is concerning the Surprise Spells ability, and I agree that it works exactly as you say, applying sneak attack once per spell casting, just as it is written.

While we are talking about Scorching ray, which if cast from a rogue 1/wiz 7 from within 30 ft., who has no Arcane Trickster levels -AT ALL-, still qualifies for sneak attacks if it happens in the surprise round, or before the enemy acts in the first round after the surprise round (i.e anytime the enemy is flat-footed or denied his dex).

That case, having nothing to do with surprise spells in any fashion, will apply sneak attack damage on each ray in the attack just as if the rogue had thrown 2 daggers, fired 2 arrows, or attacked with 2 other attack forms in the same round (legally of course) with the exception that it cannot come from flanking as ranged attacks don't flank.

Obviously you can't normally fire 2 arrows, make 2 attacks, or throw 2 daggers in the surprise round, (there are a couple of ways, but off subject), so i'll make the case simpler by just saying in the first full round before the enemy acts, while they are still flatfooted.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

TGMaxMaxer, all of your examples are sequential attacks. Scorching ray generate 3 attacks at the same time.

A better example is a scatter weapon:

Scatter Weapon Quality: A weapon with the scatter weapon quality can shoot two different types of ammunition. It can fire normal bullets that target one creature, or it can make a scattering shot, attacking all creatures within a cone. Cannons with the scatter weapon quality only fire grapeshot, unless their descriptions state otherwise. When a scatter weapon attacks all creatures within a cone, it makes a separate attack roll against each creature within the cone. Each attack roll takes a –2 penalty, and its attack damage cannot be modified by precision damage or damage-increasing feats such as Vital Strike. Effects that grant concealment, such as fog or smoke, or the blur, invisibility, or mirror image spells, do not foil a scatter attack. If any of the attack rolls threaten a critical, confirm the critical for that attack roll alone. A firearm that makes a scatter shot misfires only if all of the attack rolls made misfire. If a scatter weapon explodes on a misfire, it deals triple its damage to all creatures within the misfire radius.

It is very similar to scorching ray: multiple to hit, multiple targets, all attacks at the same time, not in sequence.
It don't add precision damage at all.

A scorching ray is a bit more precise and it should get the sneak attack, but you are still limited to aiming precisely only one of the attacks, not all of them.

1 to 50 of 315 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Sneak Attack and Scorching Ray All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.