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Sniping rules clarification with stealth!


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I have to ask because this is a point of tension in my group about sniping.
When someone does the sniping action, are they seen then dissapear again or do they stay hidden from sight from everyone if their stealth check roll after their sniping action is higher then their perception rolls?

It is mentioned in the core book that attacking while hidden reveals you, but does that include the sniping action which lets you reroll your stealth check after sniping. Is your location revealed at all or does your reroll for stealth prevent them from seeing where the attack came from?
Some clarification would be great.

thanks.

The Exchange

Guessing this should be over on the Rules board...
but I'm interested over in the answer also.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Assume for a moment that you are indeed revealed momentarily when sniping.

What, then, does the mechanic do?


From the text of the Stealth skill:

Sniping: If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.

Since you're maintaining your obscured location, you never actually become visible; you're not "re-hiding".

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

You stay hidden, they never see you. I mean it would be pretty pointless if you showed yourself AND couldn't move.

The Exchange

having run sniper rogues for over a year now, I would like to add - YMMV. This is very judge dependant.

Liberty's Edge

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nosig wrote:
having run sniper rogues for over a year now, I would like to add - YMMV. This is very judge dependant.

It shouldn’t be. The only variance should be when you can initially hide and what constitutes enough cover and/or concealment to do so.

But the description of the sniping action is quite clear as to what it accomplishes, and any GM that doesn’t allow it to maintain the obscurement is not following the rules of the game (unless there are other extenuating circumstances).

The Exchange

Andrew Christian wrote:
nosig wrote:
having run sniper rogues for over a year now, I would like to add - YMMV. This is very judge dependant.

It shouldn’t be. The only variance should be when you can initially hide and what constitutes enough cover and/or concealment to do so.

But the description of the sniping action is quite clear as to what it accomplishes, and any GM that doesn’t allow it to maintain the obscurement is not following the rules of the game (unless there are other extenuating circumstances).

everything you say here is true. Yet, like many other things, this remains very judge dependant.


also nothing stops you from moving after you snipe (in the case of single attacks). the sniping rules are for attacking from cover and not revealing yourself while not moving from your current position. under normal rules you can shoot, then move to a different square under cover and make a new stealth check without the -20 penalty.


So just a quick clarification, when the person snipes, any enemy that would normally be able to see him gets a reactionary perception check vs his stealth check again but at a -20 to his stealth? Seems like that would be pretty hard to pull off.

Liberty's Edge

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

I agree with the chorus. The sniper stay hidden.

The target(s) know the direction from which the attack came and can try to guess the approximate distance of the firer (with a Profession soldier skill roll maybe?) but nothing more.

BuzzardB wrote:
So just a quick clarification, when the person snipes, any enemy that would normally be able to see him gets a reactionary perception check vs his stealth check again but at a -20 to his stealth? Seems like that would be pretty hard to pull off.

If you are a rogue trying to get your sneak attack damage bonus, sure, it can be hard as you can add sneak damage only if within 30' of the target.

If you are interested in firing a single arrow and stay hidden you can do that from a good distance and compensate the hiding penalty with the range penalty to perception.


BuzzardB wrote:
So just a quick clarification, when the person snipes, any enemy that would normally be able to see him gets a reactionary perception check vs his stealth check again but at a -20 to his stealth? Seems like that would be pretty hard to pull off.

By mid-high levels it's not too hard for a stealthy character; my 10th level ranger, for example, in his favored terrain (urban) with improved cover (maybe an upstairs window or a rooftop with a low wall) would be rolling +37 stealth, so +17 if sniping... enough to remain unseen by most enemies who haven't invested in perception.

Diego Rossi wrote:
The target(s) know the direction from which the attack came and can try to guess the approximate distance of the firer (with a Profession soldier skill roll maybe?) but nothing more.

I'm inclined to disagree with this; noting source of attack is still a perception check, subject to the sniper's stealth roll; I think the best a victim can do otherwise is determine the adjacent 5' square the arrow came through (basically they can tell where on their body they were struck). Since force of strike isn't distance-dependent (excepting point blank shot and precision damage), there's really no way to just distance that way, though obviously if the damage is very large (implying precision damage) the attack likely originated within 30'!

Silver Crusade

Also worth mentioning, Sniping is a full round action. It allows you to fire from cover/concealment (one standard attack) and stay hidden, at a -20 penalty (since you did just shoot somebody). I like to combine it with Vital Strike.


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Booksy wrote:
Also worth mentioning, Sniping is a full round action.

If it was, it wouldn't be compatible with Vital Strike.

Stealth: "Sniping: If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location."
...
"Action: Usually none. Normally, you make a Stealth check as part of movement, so it doesn't take a separate action. However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action."

Vital Strike works because the action used to attack isn't defined by sniping, it's any attack you want, so you can use the attack action (or Pinpoint Targeting or whatever) as long as you have a move action afterwards to Stealth.

Silver Crusade

@Grick: thank you for the quote, I've been doing that wrong for a while then. I thought it was a Full Round Action because after Attack + Stealth roll you didn't have anymore actions XD

Check with your GM on their ruling concerning striking from stealth and awareness. The beauty of sniping is that your target is flat-footed (unaware) granting you precision damage. If your GM rules that consecutive sniping attacks vs the same target makes the target 'aware' of your attacks, you no longer get the bonus and after you've shot each foe once, you're gonna need a new method of gaining precision damage.

The group I'm with now rules if they can't find you (ie successful stealth) they're not aware enough (ie still flat footed).

Sczarni

Booksy wrote:
The group I'm with now rules if they can't find you (ie successful stealth) they're not aware enough (ie still flat footed)

Yep. That's the whole point of the opposed rolls. If you stealth, fire, stealth again and maintain a superior roll over their perception but no longer gain your precision damage then what's the point of wasting a move action to hide again? Just take a full attack.

If your stealth check is higher than their perception then they have no idea where you are and cannot effectively react to your attacks because they don't know where the attacks are coming from. That having been said, once they've been shot they're going to be paying attention, looking in your direction, watching for arrows, and if they're smart they'll be in full defense. The odds of hitting with a second shot and hiding again are very slim.

Edited: Because it's late and apparently I can't use the words for smart making rightly... -_-

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David Haller wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
The target(s) know the direction from which the attack came and can try to guess the approximate distance of the firer (with a Profession soldier skill roll maybe?) but nothing more.
I'm inclined to disagree with this; noting source of attack is still a perception check, subject to the sniper's stealth roll; I think the best a victim can do otherwise is determine the adjacent 5' square the arrow came through (basically they can tell where on their body they were struck). Since force of strike isn't distance-dependent (excepting point blank shot and precision damage), there's really no way to just distance that way, though obviously if the damage is very large (implying precision damage) the attack likely originated within 30'!

"Knowing the direction from which an attack came" is exactly that, you know the direction from which it came: my left, right, behind me and so on. And I would say it is automatic if you are struck by the attack.

The option to get a very rough guess of the firer distance with an appropriate skill check is fairly reasonable, at least for arrows, they travel with a arched trajectory, not a flat one, so a experienced character could get an idea of the firer distance by the arrow trajectory. Precision would be very low, probably in the range of one range range increment for the weapon in use, but still better than nothing.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Corren28 wrote:
Booksy wrote:
The group I'm with now rules if they can't find you (ie successful stealth) they're not aware enough (ie still flat footed)

Yep. That's the whole point of the opposed rolls. If you stealth, fire, stealth again and maintain a superior roll over their perception but no longer gain your precision damage then what's the point of wasting a move action to hide again? Just take a full attack.

If your stealth check is higher than their perception then they have no idea where you are and cannot effectively react to your attacks because they don't know where the attacks are coming from. That having been said, once they've been shot they're going to be paying attention, looking in your direction, watching for arrows, and if they're smart they'll be in full defense. The odds of hitting with a second shot and hiding again are very slim.

Edited: Because it's late and apparently I can't use the words for smart making rightly... -_-

You aren't flat footed, you are denied your dexterity modifier to AC.

Both conditions allow you to do sneak attack damage, but the other effects are very different. Mainly:
- flat footed targets can't act.
- targets whose AC modifier to dexterity is negated can act on their turn and can take immediate actions.


Dotting for future reference.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
David Haller wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
The target(s) know the direction from which the attack came and can try to guess the approximate distance of the firer (with a Profession soldier skill roll maybe?) but nothing more.
I'm inclined to disagree with this; noting source of attack is still a perception check, subject to the sniper's stealth roll; I think the best a victim can do otherwise is determine the adjacent 5' square the arrow came through (basically they can tell where on their body they were struck). Since force of strike isn't distance-dependent (excepting point blank shot and precision damage), there's really no way to just distance that way, though obviously if the damage is very large (implying precision damage) the attack likely originated within 30'!

"Knowing the direction from which an attack came" is exactly that, you know the direction from which it came: my left, right, behind me and so on. And I would say it is automatic if you are struck by the attack.

The option to get a very rough guess of the firer distance with an appropriate skill check is fairly reasonable, at least for arrows, they travel with a arched trajectory, not a flat one, so a experienced character could get an idea of the firer distance by the arrow trajectory. Precision would be very low, probably in the range of one range range increment for the weapon in use, but still better than nothing.

Just want to note, this all 'house rules.' There is nothing in RAW that points to any of this, nothing in stealth, nothing in resolving attacks or damage, nothing in any skill description. RAW, the attack resolves and you didn't see/hear/taste/feel/smell anything unless you succed on the opposed perception check.

Sczarni

There's a certain amount of information an NPC can glean without even having to make a perception check. If a caravan is traveling along a road near a treeline and an arrow thunks into the side of his cart he can look at the arrow, see which way it came from, and discern someone is firing at him from the treeline and hide behind his cart. No perception check needed.

If you fail your perception you don't see/hear/taste/feel/smell anything? So if you're storming a castle and take a shot at one of two guards who are standing around talking, miss, but make your stealth check, they're going to just stand there and continue talking? I think not. The perception check is only made in an attempt to see the shooter. Given all other variables it isn't hard to discern where an arrow came from.


Skylancer4 wrote:


Just want to note, this all 'house rules.' There is nothing in RAW that points to any of this, nothing in stealth, nothing in resolving attacks or damage, nothing in any skill description. RAW, the attack resolves and you didn't see/hear/taste/feel/smell anything unless you succed on the opposed perception check.

You get the direction that you were hit from.. this would be found I believe under the section for being blind.

-James


james maissen wrote:
You get the direction that you were hit from.. this would be found I believe under the section for being blind.

Invisibility: "If an invisible creature strikes a character, the character struck knows the location of the creature that struck him (until, of course, the invisible creature moves). The only exception is if the invisible creature has a reach greater than 5 feet. In this case, the struck character knows the general location of the creature but has not pinpointed the exact location."

I'm not sure if that's intended to work with ranged attacks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would say the one hit would know the basic direction in an 8-point range (N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW) regardless of the perception result.

As to the OP's original inquiry, the stealth rues for sniping are pretty straight forward in that the -20 check is used to maintain stealth, meaning it was never broken in the first place, if successful.

Shadow Lodge

The sniping stealth check is to maintain the hidden location. After shooting, remaining silent and inconspicuous keeps the people you just shot at from seeing, say, a glint off your shiny metal armor or hearing you step on a branch.

And really, the -20 penalty isn't that bad, given that they're taking a -1 Perception penalty for every 10 feet. A Longbow with Distance can put you back on equal footing even without a range increment penalty. If you can find a decent sniping distance, it's surprisingly easy.

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