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Sap fighting thief question?


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ok, so I have a player who is going to take both the sap adept & the sap master feats. I want to make sure the player interpreting them right.

sap adept: Prerequisite: Sneak attack +1d6.

Benefit: Whenever you use a bludgeoning weapon to deal nonlethal sneak attack damage, you gain a bonus on your damage roll equal to twice the number of sneak attack damage dice you rolled.

So this is how the player is taking that.
DMG= 1d6+(2d6 bonus dmg from feat)

sap master: Prerequisite: Sneak attack +3d6, Sap Adept.

Benefit: Whenever you use a bludgeoning weapon to deal nonlethal sneak attack damage to a flat-footed opponent, roll your sneak attack dice twice, totaling the results as your nonlethal sneak attack damage for that attack.

So this is how the player it taking that.
DMG= 6d6(rolling sneak attack twice from feat)+(6d6 bonus dmg from sap adept)

Is he right....this seems a bit over powered. As he plans to two-weapon fight with saps, if he is right that seems like a ton of dmg .


I think when it says you get a bonus on your damage roll equal to twice the number of sneak attack damage dice you roll it means you would add +2 to damage not +2d6. I could be wrong though.


The Bluffing Buff wrote:
I think when it says you get a bonus on your damage roll equal to twice the number of sneak attack damage dice you roll it means you would add +2 to damage not +2d6. I could be wrong though.

You are correct.

What I am curious is, if the extra dice from Sap Master count for extra damage for Sap Adept.


Starcoffin wrote:
What I am curious is, if the extra dice from Sap Master count for extra damage for Sap Adept.

They do not. After taking Sap Master, you still have the same number of dice, you just get two rolls out of each.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Lurk3r wrote:
Starcoffin wrote:
What I am curious is, if the extra dice from Sap Master count for extra damage for Sap Adept.
They do not. After taking Sap Master, you still have the same number of dice, you just get two rolls out of each.

Has this been confirmed? I find it counter intuitive to say that the "dice rolled" clause in sap adept is limited by the "roll twice" in sap master...

The non direct doubling of SA dice is to prevent other abilities such as Bleeding Attack (although looking it up right now, Offensive Defense uses the same wording as sap adept)

At best it's poorly worded (in line with the apparent inconsistent wordings of preexisting abilities)

To the OP -
Make sure you review the nonlethal damage rules if you aren't already familiar with them. This isn't nearly as good as it looks.


As written, it's based on dice rolled, not your base sneak attack dice. So if you were level 5 rogue (SA +3d6) with both feats, you would do 6d6+12.

Note that half of that damage relies on the foe being flatfooted. It is hard to keep a foe flatfooted after the first round. Most effects simply cause them to lose dex to AC, not become flatfooted (which has other effects, like not being able to make attacks of opportunity).


I agree that it is poorly worded.

As I read it, RAW, you don't double the number of dice you roll, instead you roll each dice twice. You don't roll 6 dice, you roll 3 dice and then roll them again. That's a seriously cheap technicality, though.


My concern is that he plans on two-weapon fighting with saps, so even given what i have seen here he will dole out 1d6+str(sap)+6d6+12(feats)with his main hand & 1d6(sap)+6d6+12(feats) with his off hand. Thats an average of 33 points of dmg per hand, the adventure path i am running doesn't seem able to handle a pc that can dole out that kind of dmg. And yes i get that it is all nonlethal, but per the rules If a creature's nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage. That means when he runs into this kind of stuff

:
Frozen Shadow Monks (3) CR 3
XP 800 each
Human monk 4
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 17, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 monk,
+1 natural, +3 Wis)
hp 29 each (4d8+8)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +7; +2 vs. enchantment
Defensive Abilities evasion
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +6 (1d8+2) or
unarmed strike flurry of blows +5/+5 (1d8+2)
Ranged mwk spear +6 (1d8+2/×3)
Special Attacks flurry of blows, stunning fist (4/day, DC 15)
TACTICS
During Combat The monks begin combat by throwing
thunderstones, followed by their spears, before slow falling
down to the floor to attack intruders with flurries of blows
and stunning fist attacks.
Morale The disciplined monks have sworn themselves to the
Frozen Shadow and fight to the death.
STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 22
Feats Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved
Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Weapon
Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +9 (+13 jump), Climb +9, Intimidate +5,
Linguistics +1, Perception +10, Stealth +9
Languages Common, Skald, Tien
SQ fast movement, ki pool (5 points, magic), maneuver
training, slow fall 20 ft., still mind
Combat Gear thunderstones (2); Other Gear masterwork
spear, amulet of natural armor +1

it wont be that big of a deal.

What can I do to balance this out.

Sczarni

Keep in mind flanking doesn't make the enemy flat footed. The sap master feat you typed out specifically says

Quote:
Whenever you use a bludgeoning weapon to deal nonlethal sneak attack damage to a flat-footed opponent

The odds of him being able to take advantage of this feat outside the first round of typical combat is slim to none.

Quote:
Feint: You can use Bluff to feint in combat, causing your opponent to be denied his Dexterity bonus to his AC against your next attack.
Quote:

Flat-Footed A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, not yet reacting normally to the situation.

Loses Dexterity bonus to AC
Cannot make attacks of opportunity.

Not the same.


Hit him.

Rogues are squishy. If he's able to full attack, that means the enemies are too.

Frankly, without those feats, he wouldn't be able to hang in melee anyway. And again...how is he getting Sap Master to work after round 1?

If he invested a ton of feats to get Shatter Defenses and Enforcer, or has some tandem with another PC, reward that investment / teamwork. Let him shine.

Ideally, rogue is supposed to be the glass cannon that does high single target damage.

He's at least 5th level for that kind of sneak attack. A 2H weapon Fighter level 5 can't match that on a full attack, but his damage will be consistently better instead of just good on round 1, and even with power attack, he'll still have a better to hit number. Fighter 5 w/ 18 str (20 after +2 belt) and a +1 greatsword w/ weapon training and weapon focus and specialization = +13 to hit, 2d6 +11 damage. Add power attack, it's +11 to hit, 2d6+17 damage. Add a simple enlarge person, which should be a frequent buff for him by then, and he's doing +11 to hit for 3d6+19 damage each hit. That's an average of 29.5 damage per hit. If he's a 2H Fighter archetype with Overhand Chop (rogue got the nice sap master feat line, so optimization is fair game) and his standard action attack / charge attack (enlarged and power attacking) is doing 3d6+25 damage, or 35.5 on average.
With better hp and much better AC, and just attacking normally. No need to get a full attack or catch the foe flatfooted or anything. Just pure, onstoppable damage.

Sczarni

Also...easy things to add to an AP that not only add flavor but also make the players think twice are poisons and diseases. A lot of the simple ones don't have hard DCs, but for a rogue that Fort save is a 50-50 shot.


he took the scout archetype and he is trying to tell me that if he can find blunt arrows that deal nonlethal damage that those feats should work with that as well. Does any one know if there are even any such arrows, that I should keep my eyes out for.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

This is by no means overpowered, provided you fix that bonus damage to constant rather than dice.

Assuming a rogue has 3d6 sneak attack, and ignoring iterative attacks entirely:


  • 3d6+6 for rogue with Sap Adept
  • max(3d6, 3d6)+6 for adding Sap Mastery,
  • and (max(3d6, 3d6)+6) + (max(3d6, 3d6)+6) if he's TWF with saps and sneak attacks with both of them.

Note that the first hit breaks Stealth by revealing your location, so hopefully he's either flanking, he's got greater invisibility, or the target is otherwise denied its Dex bonus to get that second hit's sneak attack damage.

Rogues are indeed glass cannons if set up well. Stealth is only part of it; the rest is cunning and pure preparedness.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Warren Specter wrote:
he took the scout archetype and he is trying to tell me that if he can find blunt arrows that deal nonlethal damage that those feats should work with that as well. Does any one know if there are even any such arrows, that I should keep my eyes out for.

Any bludgeoning weapon that deals nonlethal damage qualifies for the feats. The Advanced Player's Guide has the blunt arrows he's talking about, but he takes a -4 to hit when firing them nonlethally. I would rule that an unarmed strike also works with these feats, but it'd be a contentious ruling.

Qadira

you can't sneak attack when you have to take the -4 to attack nonlethally.

Quote:
She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

its not that big of a deal since this rogue will have to be 5th level to be doling out all this nonlethal damage. If its a surprise round they won't be attacking more than once, and if its the first round they'll get a few chances, if they're already perfectly positioned to deal extra damage. if they miss that, they'll forego a lot of their extra damage.

and if they fight a creature that doesn't take subdual damage like an elemental, or an undead, or a construct, they're pinning themself back into 3.5 weaknesses for a rogue.

Qadira

scout does treat attacks as though you're flat footed. but yeah, the blunt arrows wouldn't work. there's no ranged-nonlethal damage arrows / slings.

he could use bolas though. they're ranged / nonlethal. but poor range increment. and exotic weapon. so even more feats for the rogue to spend to be able to deal nonlethal sneak attack at range ( of at most 30 ft. )

Qadira

a whip would work as well. at least he can't skirmish and twf at the same time. they kind of negate eachother.


blahpers wrote:
I would rule that an unarmed strike also works with these feats, but it'd be a contentious ruling.

No it wouldn't. It's nonlethal bludgeoning damage. There's nothing remotely contentious about it.

Glad that not realizing that, you'd rule it the way the rules say it should work, at least.


He could also get the Bludgeoner feat, which allows you to deal non-lethal damage with any lethal bludgeoning weapon. "Special: A rogue with this feat can use a lethal bludgeoning weapon to deal nonlethal damage with a sneak attack. "


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
blahpers wrote:
I would rule that an unarmed strike also works with these feats, but it'd be a contentious ruling.

No it wouldn't. It's nonlethal bludgeoning damage. There's nothing remotely contentious about it.

Glad that not realizing that, you'd rule it the way the rules say it should work, at least.

Well, Sap Adept and Sap master say you need to use a bludgeoning weapon to take advantage of them. As a monk, you could use them, since a monk's unarmed strike is treated as a manufactured weapon, but everyone else is technically out of luck there.

That said, I still don't think it'd be a big deal to allow it.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Seraphimpunk wrote:

you can't sneak attack when you have to take the -4 to attack nonlethally.

Quote:
She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

its not that big of a deal since this rogue will have to be 5th level to be doling out all this nonlethal damage. If its a surprise round they won't be attacking more than once, and if its the first round they'll get a few chances, if they're already perfectly positioned to deal extra damage. if they miss that, they'll forego a lot of their extra damage.

and if they fight a creature that doesn't take subdual damage like an elemental, or an undead, or a construct, they're pinning themself back into 3.5 weaknesses for a rogue.

Whoops, you're right. Missed that detail.

Sczarni

Wow the Scout archetype is REALLY broken...

All of the text for that shouldn't read flat footed IMO...it should read as if they were denied their Dex Bonus...

I really feel that is something that may need FAQ'd.

Edit: He lost Uncanny Dodge, so in order for his concept to work all you have to do is surround him, immobilize him or put him in cramped areas. He need to charge for his character concept to work. Take advantage of things like Dirty Trick, Disarm, Sunder, Trip, his low Fort Save and crumby CMD.


MacGurcules wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
blahpers wrote:
I would rule that an unarmed strike also works with these feats, but it'd be a contentious ruling.

No it wouldn't. It's nonlethal bludgeoning damage. There's nothing remotely contentious about it.

Glad that not realizing that, you'd rule it the way the rules say it should work, at least.

Well, Sap Adept and Sap master say you need to use a bludgeoning weapon to take advantage of them. As a monk, you could use them, since a monk's unarmed strike is treated as a manufactured weapon, but everyone else is technically out of luck there.

That said, I still don't think it'd be a big deal to allow it.

Natural weapons are still weapons.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Natural weapons are still weapons.

They sure are, but unarmed strikes aren't natural weapons. They are differentiated as distinct. "Unarmed strikes do not count as natural weapons." (CRB 149)

Now, it does say that unarmed strikes are "considered a light weapon" when talking about using it with Weapon Finesse. I suppose you could extrapolate that to mean that it counts as a weapon for other purposes, too.

Either way, I'd probably still allow it for Sap Adept/Sap Master. Nobody's likely to wreck the game with it.


As a note, the merciful property also allows you to deal nonlethal damage with sneak attack.
This would work for blunt arrows shot from a merciful bow. (however, it is still slightly more difficult to get SA on ranged attacks)


Thanks for all the pointers, I wanted to get ahead of any problem that i might run into & make sure me and the player where on the same page rules wise. The player already has 1 level of fighter so he is behind the lvl curve but its better to know whats come than get hit blindly.

Qadira

you could also just make him face things that are immune to sneak attack or even just nonlethal damage. that reduces his damage quite a bit...

also flying enemies which he can't charge. or rough terrain to slow his charge.


I had thought pathfinder got rid of the only one sneak attack per round rule that 3.5 had?


Pathfinder did. You can get sneak attack for any attacks you make which meet the criteria. Generally, flat-footed only allows for one attack (before they go in the initiative); but if you have greater invis/shatter defenses/flanking/etc you can get a full-attack off with sneak attack on each one.

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