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How many sneak attacks for an invisible rogue


Rules Questions

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Andoran

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

The OP example was the opposite of yours, with the rogue losing his initiative.
If the rogue win the initiative against a surprised opponent he has little problem getting a full attack of sneak attacks, independently from invisibility.

"I would say, even if the guard had won initiative, the rogue would get the full attack on round one because he stands right beside the unaware guard."

That instead is an attempt to game the system and against RAW. If someone has initiated combat (the invisible, undetected rogue can't initiate it by closing with his target) the guard stop being flat footed when his turn start. Even if he hasn't detected the rogue he is ready to fight so, immediately after the rogue has made his first attack and broken invisibility, he get his dexterity modifier to AC back and he is no more subject to sneak attacks (unless the rogue has a ally flanking the guard).


Cpt. Caboodle wrote:

Effectively, the rogue passes on his surprise round attack to get a full attack the next round.

I would say, even if the guard had won initiative, the rogue would get the full attack on round one because he stands right beside the unaware guard.

but in this circumstance, only the rogue's first attack would get sneak attack because of the invisibility, and all others would just be normal attacks, since the guard has gotten an action during combat, even if it was just to stand there and pick his nose.


@Diego Rossi, @asthyril

I can understand your argumentation, and following the RAW you are apparently correct. And I can already see this discussion coming up at my table sometime soon...

But logically, it goes against my understanding of the situation. The guard only got his initiative roll because the rogue sort of initiated combat, by stealthing towards the guard, unseen and (hopefully) unheard.
The guard is not aware of anything about to happen, yet, because of a passive initiative roll, the rogue is denied all attacks except the first.

The OPs question was, in a full attack from an invisible rogue, would all attacks be sneak attacks or just the first one. My take on it was that it depended on the situation. If it happened at the beginning of the combat, and the guard was not aware of the rogue, then yes, all attacks would be sneak attacks. If, OTOH, it happened in the middle of the combat, the guard would be aware of a threat, notice the rogue when he turns visible and deny him the rest of his sneak attacks.

Now, how would it be different if the rogue wasn't invisible?


Cpt. Caboodle wrote:


The OPs question was, in a full attack from an invisible rogue, would all attacks be sneak attacks or just the first one. My take on it was that it depended on the situation. If it happened at the beginning of the combat, and the guard was not aware of the rogue, then yes, all attacks would be sneak attacks. If, OTOH, it happened in the middle of the combat, the guard would be aware of a threat, notice the rogue when he turns visible and deny him the rest of his sneak attacks.

Now, how would it be different if the rogue wasn't invisible?

I am assuming you're imagining a scenario where

1) the rogue wins initiative
2) they are in the first full round of combat (NOT surprise round), and thus the rogue can full attack.

In this case, the rogue can sneak attack the guard, who has lost initiative and has not gone yet--and is thus flat footed--because the guard is flat-footed, NOT because the rogue is invisible.

In this case, the only benefit the rogue will get from invisibility is that on his first attack, he will get a +2 bonus to attack while being invisible. The invisibility will end after that first attack and he will no longer get that attack bonus (or benefits of concealment) during the rest of his turn.

Again, he will still be able to sneak attack, but not because of the invisibility.


@DeathQuaker

Yes, thank you, that is what I am saying. The invisibility is not what causes the guard to be flatfooted, it just helps the rogue to better get into a position where he can catch the guard flatfooted. (aka +20 to stealth)

TBH, I never even thought of the +2 atk bonus...

Andoran

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

It all depend on the initiative during the normal round, not on the invisibility.

In a "guard vs invisible rogue" scenario the RAW is:

* The rogue use invisibility to approach the guard benefiting from the +20 to his stealth check.
* The guard fail his perception check.
* the rogue get a surprise round (and he get it only if the guard is surprised).
* both the rogue and the guard get to roll initiative. That start the combat. At this point the guard is flat footed and can't act in the surprise round but his initiative count for the regular round.
* the rogue can do whatever he want, but if he lose initiative when the guard round come it is no longer flat footed, even if the rogue hasn't broken his invisibility.
* if the rogue win initiative he can make is attacks against a flat footed target.

It can be gamist, but as soon as the guard and the rogue roll initiative they have joined combat and the flat footed condition last only until the guard act, independently by what he do.

Going the other way is as much gamist as doing it this way. It is an attempt to create a flaw in the rules to get a benefit, "I stay invisible so I will get a full round of sneak attacks" isn't trying to depict actual combat, it is trying to game the system misreading the rules.


Cpt. Caboodle wrote:

Just before combat

Rogue decides to attack, combat begins, initiative is rolled. (Rogue 8, Guard 5)

Surprise Round
Init 8: Rogue moves stealthily towards guard.
Init 5: Guard surprised, doesn't notice the rogue, takes no actions.
End of round.

That doesn't fit with what SKR said. Basically, if the Guard isn't aware of combat, there must be a surprise round, and that surprise round doesn't start until the rogue actually attacks.

This is why, as ridiculous as it sounds, the rogue is better off alerting the guard to his presence. If he tells the guard he's going to kill him, the guard is aware of combat, so there's no surprise round. Then, if the guard acts, the rogue can just leave. If the guard doesn't act, then the rogue beat him on init, and can full-attack the flat-footed guard.

Personally, it makes more sense to me that the rogue could just skip his surprise round, and if the guard is still unaware of combat on his turn, he should still be considered flat-footed. But this is deadly to PCs, and not so useful to them, so requiring a surprise round is probably the better call.


Grick wrote:
Basically, if the Guard isn't aware of combat, there must be a surprise round, and that surprise round doesn't start until the rogue actually attacks.

Yeah, this is what RAW apparently implies, and something I wouldn't ever rule that way.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's pretty clear that the purpose of the surprise round is to give a benefit to alert creatures and allow for ambushes outside of the initiative system.

It's also pretty clear that the initiative system is supposed to represent your primary method of gaining priority in combat, and that catching your opponent by surprise is only supposed to give you the advantage of a free standard action, no more.

There's not any straightforward way to "game" combat timing in order to get a full round of sneak attacks from stealth and surprise, and this is clearly intentional.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Because the rogue knows when combat is starting and the guard doesn't, it's the rogue's attack that determine when combat starts. It shouldn't matter that the rogue drew a dagger, or poisoned the drawn dagger, cast invisibility, or wrote a sonnet, or whatever... the guard doesn't know he's being threatened, the rogue hasn't taken any hostile actions, so combat hasn't started yet. So the actual sequence is like this:

Scenario:
Guard on watch. Rogue wants to kill him.

Not yet in combat
Rogue casts invisibility, draws dagger, and sneaks up to guard. Guard fails all Perception checks, and is unaware of rogue.

Just before combat
Rogue decides to attack, combat begins, initiative is rolled. (Rogue 5, Guard 8)

Surprise Round
Init 8: Guard surprised, takes no actions.
Init 5: Rogue attacks guard, gets sneak attack, invisibility breaks.
End of round.

Round 1
Init 8: Guard's turn. Guard is no longer flat-footed. Guard full-attacks rogue.
Init 5: Rogue full-attacks guard.

Basically, combat doesn't start until (A) one creature initiates an attack against another creature, or (B) a creature is anticipating an attack from another creature. You could sit in the "not yet in combat" zone for hours before you hit the moment of "just before combat."

What if Rogue decided to ready his attack or delay til next round? have guard make another Perception checks and if he fail, suprise round 2 but Rogue can now take Init 20-9 to act. or does it still go to round 1 and but now has the init to get fully attack before the guard

leading every attack being sneak attack.


KainPen wrote:
What if Rogue decided to ready his attack or delay til next round?

If he hasn't started his attack, there's no combat yet, so no initiative, and thus no rounds.

When the readied action triggers, then init is rolled and the surprise round starts.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Besides, readied/delayed actions do not carry over to the following rounds if I recall correctly.

Edit: Checked, and I did not recall correctly.


Grick wrote:
KainPen wrote:
What if Rogue decided to ready his attack or delay til next round?

If he hasn't started his attack, there's no combat yet, so no initiative, and thus no rounds.

When the readied action triggers, then init is rolled and the surprise round starts.

So they do they re-roll init? because the rogue does not like that he lost. I think that the problem Init should not be rolled until after the surpise round. Considering suprise limits your to stanard action or move. full attack is not possiable. But RAW init was already rolled an delaying your turn until start of next round. give Rogue the ablity to full attack sneak attack, and auto win init vrs the flat food guard. Delaying and readying give you the ablity to change your action. I think people are doing in there heads that don't understand why invis rogue can not get a full attack.

I think Init should have been rolled the moment the rogue decided to to kill the guard or cast invis. This give the rogue time to delay his turn as he goten the chance to time the guards moves. So he can take the init. against his unaware prey. The Guard does not relize combat has started until it is to late. This play out better as sucks up duration from invis., guard still has the ablity to move around and look around the entire time. giving him several chance to become aware combat has started. if the rogue in all that time did not delay his turn once then he does not disever the full attack sneak attack. but if the rogue is patient and does this the smart way, he can get his full attack.


KainPen wrote:
Grick wrote:
KainPen wrote:
What if Rogue decided to ready his attack or delay til next round?

If he hasn't started his attack, there's no combat yet, so no initiative, and thus no rounds.

When the readied action triggers, then init is rolled and the surprise round starts.

So they do they re-roll init?

They never rolled it in the first place.

When the rogue actually commits to the attack, that's when init is rolled.

The rules are specifically trying to force you into a surprise round in an ambush, so that your opponent has a chance of acting before you get a full-round in.

KainPen wrote:
But RAW init was already rolled an delaying your turn until start of next round. give Rogue the ablity to full attack sneak attack, and auto win init vrs the flat food guard. Delaying and readying give you the ablity to change your action. I think people are doing in there heads that don't understand why invis rogue can not get a full attack.

I'm not really sure what you're saying here. Init was not rolled until the attack happens, so no amount of readying or delay can change that.


So when does combat start? how combat works p.178 state that initiave is rolled before suprise happens.
step 1
roll init
step 2
detiermine who is aware, only the rogue is in this case
step 3
suprise round if any (in the case I am suggesting the rogue decided use to delay or ready as his standard action instead of attacking or move or casting spell)
step 4
initiative order highest to lowest(but because the rogue decided to use delay or ready he can jump in at any point he wants and his init in this case before the guard goes thus the guard is flated footed full attack sneak)
step 5
new round repeat steps 3 and 4.

If we keep repeating steps 3 and 4 do not perform an action in step 3 by either party. Next time we are step 3. The rogue could then take init, get this standard action attack (sneak) and still get full sneak at entering step 4 again.

the rules should more then likely be changed to this
step 1 up detiermine who is aware
step 2 Suprise rouned if any
step 3 roll Init
step 4 initiative order
step 5 end round repeat step 4

Shadow Lodge

What happens if a second guard spots the rogue before the rogue can attack (ie. aware in the surprise round)?

If the second guard calls out to the first guard before the rogue can attack, who gets to go in the surprise round? What if he doesn't call out, but wants to attack the rogue (presumably with a ranged weapon)? Does both?


KainPen wrote:

step 3

suprise round if any (in the case I am suggesting the rogue decided use to delay or ready as his standard action instead of attacking or move or casting spell)
step 4
initiative order highest to lowest(but because the rogue decided to use delay or ready he can jump in at any point he wants and his init in this case before the guard goes thus the guard is flated footed full attack sneak)

When you choose to delay, you "then act normally on whatever initiative count you decide to act." This means that when you do choose to take your action, it's still your surprise round action -- which means it's a single-attack action rather than a full-attack action.

Not only that, but by delaying into the next round, "you do not get your regular action that round." So your initiative count will be higher but you don't get a full attack until round 2.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Serum wrote:

What happens if a second guard spots the rogue before the rogue can attack (ie. aware in the surprise round)?

If the second guard calls out to the first guard before the rogue can attack, who gets to go in the surprise round? What if he doesn't call out, but wants to attack the rogue (presumably with a ranged weapon)? Does both?

If the first guard failed is perception check, it does not matter what the second guard does. Just like against the PCs if some of them pass and some of them fail they can not yell to their friends what is going on. By the time the guard yells and the other guard processes it, the rogue is already sticking him with the pointy end.


"then act normally on whatever initiative count you decide to act."
That mean you can act normaly meaning you can choose to full attack your not locked in to the single action of the suprise any more. Maybe for ready your attack you would be locked in. To standard action

Serum, if there was 2nd guard and he was aware the 2nd guard and the rouge go in the suprise round. and go in there init place. The rouge would more then likely top the delay
lets say go with same instant but add your guard

as RAW
Scenario:
2 Guard on watch. Rogue wants to kill them.

Not yet in combat
Rogue casts invisibility, draws dagger, and sneaks up to guard 1. Guards fails all Perception checks up to this point, and is unaware of rogue. Guard B success in last perception check he herd a stone move or twig break behind Guard A

Just before combat
Rogue decides to attack, combat begins, initiative is rolled. (Rogue 5, GuardA 8 guardB 4)

Surprise Round
Init 8: Guard surprised, takes no actions.
Init 5: Rogue delays turn (because he want a full attack)
Init 4: Guard B Yell free action out to Guard A,and Shoots arrow in direction of Rogue(There is something behind you)The Rogue can then take his action to move away or take is standard action or still hold his turn.
End of round.

Round 1 (if he rogue still delays his turn)
Init now becomes 20 Rogue I full attack Guard All are still sneaks because guard A is still flat-footed
Init 8: Guard's turn. Guard is no longer flat-footed. Guard full-attacks rogue.
Init 4: Guard B full attacks with bow at rogue who is no longer invisiable

Just before combat
Rogue decides to attack, combat begins, initiative is rolled. (Rogue 5, GuardA 8 guardB 4)

Same thing But GuardB has higher Init then Rogue
Surprise Round
Init 8: Guard surprised, takes no actions.
Init 6: Guard B Yell free action out to Guard A,and Shoots arrow in direction of Rogue(There is something behind you)
Init 5: Rogue delays turn (because he want a full attack) More then likely the Rogue would flee at that point, 2 one 1 fight not good odds
End of round.

Round 1 (if he rogue still delays his turn)
Init now becomes 20 Rogue I full attack Guard All are still sneaks because guard A is still flat-footed
Init 8: Guard's turn. Guard is no longer flat-footed. Guard full-attacks rogue.
Init 6: Guard B full attacks with bow at rogue who is no longer invisiable

Same thing But Guardb has higher Init then Rogue and Guard A
Surprise Round
Init 9: Guard B Yell free action out to Guard A,and Shoots arrow in direction of Rogue(There is something behind you)
Init 8: Guard Is now aware and can act in the suprise round(He attack the square behind him with this sword) or even better the guard moves away 20ft (heavy armor). He draw no AAO beause the Rogue is flat footed and has not acted yet.
Init 5: Rogue would run away he has been caught and it 2 on 1 and lost his huge advantage.(he move back 30ft)Should he attack by throwing the dagger he has in had it a sneak because of invistablity cause deny of dex to Guard A.

The last example is the only reason why I would see require init before suprise round.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rules of the Game All About Initiative (Parts One-Three) By Skip Williams wrote:

When Does an Encounter Start?

The Dungeon Master's Guide says an encounter begins in one of three situations.

  • One side becomes aware of the other and thus can act first.
  • Both sides become aware of each other at the same time.
  • Some, but not all, creatures on one or both sides become aware of the other side.

In the scenario being described here (rogue and a guard) I suggest that the encounter starts as soon as the rogue becomes aware of the presence of the guard. As soon as he notices the guard the GM rolls initiative and keeps the results to himself.

The GM tells the player of the rogue, "You see a guard ahead of you, half dozing, half fiddling with the dagger on his belt. You are aware of him but he seems completely unaware of you. I am rolling Initiative now and you have a Surprise round. What do you do?"

Since this is a Surprise round the rogue gets EITHER a standard or a move action.

Surprise Round
The player of the rogue says, "I creep forward, ever so silently." The player rolls a Stealth check for the rogue.

Round 1 Note
If the guard rolled a better initiative than the rogue, he makes a Perception check on his init to see if he notices the rogue creeping up on him. Let's assume he fails (or, he rolled worse than the rogue in init.)

Round 1: The Rogues Turn
The rogue uses another move action and creeps right up behind* the guard. The guard fails whatever checks he needed to make to notice the rogue. Assuming the rogue PC is high enough level for multiple attacks, the player of the rogue must now choose to either
a) Take one attack on the flat-footed guard now.
b) Risk standing there and being noticed until his next initiative so he can use a full-attack action instead.

Round 1: The Guards Turn (technically no longer flat-footed)
The guard gets a turn in the initiative order as normal. The GM rolls Perception checks as normal. Assuming he fails them, the guard simply continues half-dozing as normal.

Round 2: The Rogues Turn
TECHNICALLY the guard is not flat-footed since he has had a turn in the Initiative order. HOWEVER, this is where I would house-rule that since he is still completely unaware of the other party (the rogue) he remains flat-footed (for purposes of AC etc.)

On the rogues turn the player says, "Ok, I slip both of my daggers into his kidneys, quietly so as not to alert others nearby."

The GM say, "Ok, make your attack rolls. Since he is unaware of you I'm saying he is still flat-footed."

Note: The entire point of this long-winded diatribe is simply to suggest that an encounter TECHNICALLY begins when at least one participant is aware of a potential opponent (or even simply whenever the GM decides he thinks that the order of actions might quickly become important.) That could be any length of time before an attack (though some reason must be considered for very lengthy durations.)

We can use the same logic and flow for an ambush:

Four orcs hide in the shadows, bows drawn, silently waiting for the PCs to approach. The orcs heard the PCs banging on a door down the hallway 10 minutes ago and one of them scouted them out even. The GM rolled init for the orcs as soon as they became aware of the party members (because at least one creature is aware of the potential opponents.) The orcs, on their initiative, descended back into the shadows and then used Delay actions until the party got close enough to spring.

*By behind I mean, via flavor text, he remains hidden from the guard. I know there is no "facing."

Shadow Lodge

Timothy Hanson wrote:
If the first guard failed is perception check, it does not matter what the second guard does. Just like against the PCs if some of them pass and some of them fail they can not yell to their friends what is going on. By the time the guard yells and the other guard processes it, the rogue is already sticking him with the pointy end.

That's not the whole answer, though. The second guard still gets to participate in the surprise round. When does it start? What happens if guard #2 has a higher initiative than the rogue? Is the rogue still stuck attacking guard #1? What about vice versa, if the rogue attacks first, is guard #2 still stuck calling out/attacking?


jreyst you discribed it more colorful then me, I don't think keeping the Init to your self matter, As the rogue is going to notice the guard doing free actions on his turn around, facing the other direction, digging in his nose, taking a swig of water. giggling about about his crush on the female captin of the guard. how ever you want to put it.

there no need to house rule because it states page.178 unaware combatants are flat-footed becasue they have not acted yet. He has acted in a manner to possably defend himself. He is still unaware combat even started.

Thing is a non invis rogue is not going to stand there and hope not to be notice to get the full attack. he is going take that attack action asap. Invis rogue has huge confort zone with that +40 for not moving.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Seems to me everyone has focused on a invis rogue starting the combat. There is no reason an invisible undetected rogue cannot sneak into an established combat and get a full sneak attack on an opponent that was not aware of them. Sure the invis is gone after the first attack, but the fact the rogue was undetected until they started stabbing leaves that enemy essentially without dex against them until their next action.

Before Combat: Rogue is hiding or invis
Round 1 through X: Fighting between two groups begins with the rogue undetected.
Round X+1: Rogue sneaks into area right beside an enemy. Presuming the enemies does not detect the invis rogue standing there.
Round X+2: Rogue full attacks enemy and gets sneak on all attacks because the enemy is not aware of him and is thus denied dex vs him until enemy's next action.

Shadow Lodge

ValarakarU wrote:
Round X+2: Rogue full attacks enemy and gets sneak on all attacks because the enemy is not aware of him and is thus denied dex vs him until enemy's next action.

Unfortunately, that's neither how "unaware" nor "denied dex" works.


ValarakarU wrote:

Seems to me everyone has focused on a invis rogue starting the combat. There is no reason an invisible undetected rogue cannot sneak into an established combat and get a full sneak attack on an opponent that was not aware of them. Sure the invis is gone after the first attack, but the fact the rogue was undetected until they started stabbing leaves that enemy essentially without dex against them until their next action.

Before Combat: Rogue is hiding or invis
Round 1 through X: Fighting between two groups begins with the rogue undetected.
Round X+1: Rogue sneaks into area right beside an enemy. Presuming the enemies does not detect the invis rogue standing there.
Round X+2: Rogue full attacks enemy and gets sneak on all attacks because the enemy is not aware of him and is thus denied dex vs him until enemy's next action.

RAW rules state we should be repeating step 3 and 4 after 5 so every round the rogue would have his own suprise a round action aviable to him, because all are unaware of him. there should be no need to repeat step 3 if it did not grant this.

Shadow Lodge

KainPen wrote:
RAW rules state we should be repeating step 3 and 4 after 5 so every round the rogue would have his own suprise a round action aviable to him, because all are unware of him.

"Unaware" has only a single definition in this game: "Has not yet acted in combat."

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
jreyst wrote:
Stuff based on 3.5

Are you stating "this is how it is supposed to be" or are you offering an example of how you like to run these situations?


read step 2 both group would be unaware their opponents (the rogue), thus he gets suprise round step 3. he keep getting step 3 until they are aware of him. if we are to repeat step 3 over as step 5 states.

I don't think we should be repeating step 3, and just say flated foot to this character(Rogue) Then again step 3 allows for a 3rd or 4th group to join into battle group of and get those suprise attack you see in movies or read about in books. in the middle of combat and get a action.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I seem to recall a dev talking about how after your first attack from being hidden, the enemy is able to react so they get their Dex back. Anyone recall something like that?

That's definitely how it was in the Stealth Playtest from last year...


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HangarFlying wrote:
jreyst wrote:
Stuff based on 3.5
Are you stating "this is how it is supposed to be" or are you offering an example of how you like to run these situations?

I'm saying this is how it was clarified to work in 3.5 and Pathfinder has not explicitly changed how things work, by addition or alteration of the rules. The only changes made have been inadvertent removal of some text (which was excluded either because it was not in the SRD and therefore not Open Game Content, or because it was simply missed.)

Unless a Pathfinder designer has indicated somewhere, in an official capacity (such as a FAQ or errata document) that their conscious intent is to define "unaware," "aware," differently than it had previously been defined, and how and when a combat should begin and Initiative rolled, my position is that this is the original intent. I'll note that casual messageboard conversations do not qualify as "official capacity" for my purposes.

So, given the above qualifiers, the answer is yes to both of your questions. That is how it is supposed to be, and it is how I like to run these situations.

Shadow Lodge

jreyst wrote:
I'll note that casual messageboard conversations do not qualify as "official capacity" for my purposes.

Of course you don't consider them as such. Resorting to house rules to make it work for the rogue certainly helps make your case.

Your post essentially states that the surprise round is never used for anything but movement, except for a stealther who inadvertently comes across an opponent and can do something meaningful in half of a round.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Serum wrote:
jreyst wrote:
I'll note that casual messageboard conversations do not qualify as "official capacity" for my purposes.
Of course you don't consider them as such. Resorting to house rules to make it work for the rogue certainly helps make your case.

I suspect that by most reasonable measures, one would define "official" as what actually appears in the official FAQ documents or within an errata. While one can certainly accept a designers post on a messageboard as official if one likes, I doubt most persons would consider random messageboard posts to be "the official word" on subjects. And even if it were, I still would submit that regardless of how one designer interprets Surprise, Initiative, and Awareness in games he runs, unless he was the original designer anything he says is no different than anything anyone else says, another interpretation of someone elses intent. I posted an exact quote from the official creator(s) of the original rules, which have not been explicitly changed by Pathfinder (except by way of accident on occasion of omission.)

Serum wrote:
Your post essentially states that the surprise round is never used for anything but movement, except for a stealther who inadvertently comes across an opponent and can do something meaningful in half of a round.

I disagree. I merely provided one example. In any other scenario the stealthing party could do whatever he normally could. I'm merely suggesting that there IS a logical order in which these things can progress, and if you follow that order then many of these questions go away. It's only when people get confused because Pathfinder leaves out certain things, or designers post their own personal interpretations of things. I strongly suspect if you asked 10 different designers (or more simply, every designer at Paizo) while all of them were in different rooms you'd get as many different answers as you have designers.

Silver Crusade

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

As far as RAW, I think Sean K. Reynolds description is spot on. Unless, you count the "golden rule". The one that says, "It's my campaign, and I think it should work that way." As long as everyone at your table is aware of how you handle that situation, then everything is fine.

Personally, at my table, only the people who are entitled to act on the surprise round roll initiative. Everyone else rolls when regular rounds start. Tends to stop the "uh oh, that guard rolled higher initiative then me. Maybe I should reconsidered my actions and retreat until I win initiative" concerns.

You pay your money, you take your chances.

Qadira

noticing the other party isn't what starts the combat. noticing someone armed sneaking up on you intending hostile action is what would necessitate a combat encounter. Coming around the corner in a dungeon where both parties are equally surprised to see an armed and possibly hostile group necessitates initiative. Even if the first person to go throws up their arms and says "whoa we don't wanna fight."

As the original intent of the thread has been addressed, and its now devolved into rules advice on what an invisible rogue with more than one attack is best advised to do when he/she is invisible, its probably best to move the discussion to an advice thread.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
The GM tells the player of the rogue, "You see a guard ahead of you, half dozing, half fiddling with the dagger on his belt. You are aware of him but he seems completely unaware of you. I am rolling Initiative now and you have a Surprise round. What do you do?"

Let me try a different tack. The rogue says "I do nothing at all".

Everyone's already rolled initiative, the rogue's decided he doesn't want to do anything in the surprise round. The guard fails his perception check. Do you go into normal rounds now?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I guess if no one plans on attacking you prematurely rolled initiative. You should only roll initiative when hostilities are about to occur. If the rogue is just scouting for example then I am not sure why anyone would have an initiative. Once the party is aware of the guard they can try to sneak up and attack him in a surprise round or they can be obvious about it and then everyone rolls imitative and combat begins as normal.

In the example above if two groups take each other by surprise I would say no one rolls initiative until someone takes an action against someone else. If the one group throws up their arms and says they don't want to fight, and the second group also does not want to fight, then no initiative needs to be rolled.


according to step 4 yes, that is what delaying is basically is, I do nothing at all until I am ready.

Yes in that is when the rogue can grab init and make a full attack.

say the rogue does not do that thou. they both sit on there buts and do nothing.

then we go to step 5 it says repeat step 3 and 4

back to step 3 surprise round 2 and then to step 4 again starting round 2. raw the only way step 3 is skip is if all parties are in combat and are aware. but GM should still check for step 3 in case another creature comes along. example

2nd darkness spoiler:
In 2nd darkness adventure 3 party is ambushed forest drakes after 1 or 2 rounds a group of elves show up to save them if need. This group would have step 3 say during round 3 and either get move action or standard action before there turn in round 3, both the pc and drakes would be consider flat footed to the elf, who herd the combat from some distant away and came to investigate with weapons ready


Timothy Hanson wrote:

I guess if no one plans on attacking you prematurely rolled initiative. You should only roll initiative when hostilities are about to occur. If the rogue is just scouting for example then I am not sure why anyone would have an initiative. Once the party is aware of the guard they can try to sneak up and attack him in a surprise round or they can be obvious about it and then everyone rolls imitative and combat begins as normal.

In the example above if two groups take each other by surprise I would say no one rolls initiative until someone takes an action against someone else. If the one group throws up their arms and says they don't want to fight, and the second group also does not want to fight, then no initiative needs to be rolled.

Raw states and so did Sean K. Reynolds, it is rolled before the surprise round starts. If both party in that case decided not to fight combat ends. It should be roll I guess at any situation that could turn into combat.

Andoran

A factor in this to anyone who played or still plays 3.5: when initiative is rolled is different between the two editions. In PF, all roll init at the start of comat, before the surprise round. In 3.5, only those who were not surprised roll at the start. Those who are surprised roll init after the surprise round.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KainPen wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

I am pretty sure you are either flat-footed or you are not flat-footed. It is a condition of your character not something external. Once you act during combat you are no longer flat footed, regardless of who may enter the combat later. That is not to say if someone is hidden they can not deny you of your dex bonus, but that is different then flat-footed.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

why bother with invisibility when blur gives you concealment, which grants you sneak attack, and doesn't break after the first swing?


Because it does not deny dex bonus or make them flat footed, thus no sneak attack. It been stated other treads that you can stealth all you want if you are seen you can't get sneak attack unless you flank.


KainPen wrote:

Because it does not deny dex bonus or make them flat footed, thus no sneak attack. It been stated other treads that you can stealth all you want if you are seen you can't get sneak attack unless you flank.

blur gives concealment, concealment allows stealth check to avoid being seen, stealth, if you beat the targets perception, means they don't notice you, because they don't notice you, they don't get their dex bonus, and thus, you can flank.

ever hear of a mirage?

in fact, this second level spell is better than the primary ability of the freaking shadowdancer prestige class. it's like HiPS, but disregards terrain, and includes a 20% miss chance on top of it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I dunno. If I saw a moving slightly obscured 5' cube in otherwise bright conditions, or even normal light levels, I might be a bit suspicious.


yes it works for in that short instance, but you take going off your base roll for stealth instead of adding +20 or +40 to it. You take a big risk of being spotted that way. Thus losing surprise and sneak attack. But Blur is better suit for contentions combat. Because it concealment it grants.


KainPen wrote:
yes it works for in that short instance, but you take going off your base roll for stealth instead of adding +20 or +40 to it. You take a big risk of being spotted that way. Thus losing surprise and sneak attack. But Blur is better suit for contentions combat. Because it concealment it grants.

you don't get the +20-+40. but you can still dissapear at will as long as it's up.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have this hunch that it may not be intended for a level 2 spell to be far better than another level 2 spell at this, and replicating one of the major effects of a 1 rd / level 4th level spell.


No surprise round situation.
Round one
Your buddies have already draw your weapons and do their actions, you activate your ring.

Round Two
One of the enimies have charged the fighter next to you. Having already drawn your two Kukries, now make a 5 foot step next to them, and go to town.

Has this situation been answered? Your getting a full round action. Do you get sneak attack damage from all attacks?

-Hexen

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Only if you are flanking.

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