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Sniping in a surprise round


Rules Questions

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Quintain wrote:
If he starts the surprise round unaware, he gets no actions, and deliberate usage of the perception skill is a move action.

If seeing the guy who just shot you is not an action, then being flat-footed is irrelevant.

If seeing the guy who just shot you is an action, then sniping does nothing, because the guy who got shot can't take an action in between the enemy shooting and moving.

Quintain wrote:
The only immediately observable stimulus in the case of a bow-using sniper is the arrow sticking out of the victim's chest.

Bold mine. That sentence, out of context, may be correct. However, if you didn't mean sniper, but meant "a bow-using guy" then you're incorrect, since if the guy didn't snipe, then he's visible.

If there was no sniping, no hiding, nothing. If the rogue was just standing there behind a bush, would the guy be able to see him? Yes. The rogue, even if he's got concealment, is plainly visible. He is immediately observable stimulus. That's why Stealth exists. If you're using stealth, then you're (hopefully) not plainly visible.

Quintain wrote:
If you don't declare that you are "sniping" (i.e. attempting to immediately re-stealth after shooting), then it is presumed that you give up your stealthed condition.

Yes. And if you're not using Stealth, then you are immediately observable stimulus.

Shadow Lodge

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Shadowlord wrote:
thistledown wrote:
A work-around for your problem: Sandles of Quick Reaction let you have a standard action and a move action during surprise round, for 4000gp. This'll let you shoot and re-stealth all in surprise round. More a band-aid on the problem than a solution though.
What book is this from?

Ultimate Equipment, page 232.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grick wrote:


If seeing the guy who just shot you is not an action, then being flat-footed is irrelevant.

Being flat footed means you are susceptible to more attacks that are resolved as sneak attacks vs normal attacks. I'd say it's really relevant.

If seeing the guy who just shot you is an action, then sniping does nothing, because the guy who got shot can't take an action in between the enemy shooting and moving.

Yes. And if you're not using Stealth, then you are immediately observable stimulus.

The question is not whether the guy who got shot can do something in between getting shot and the sniper taking additional actions. The question is when the perception/stealth contest is resolved. And what happens as a consequence of the resolution.

If the rogue trying to snipe fails in the post-attack stealth check, then the victim has now pinpointed his location and the rogue will now have to take that into consideration when making his next action. If the check succeeds, he can't move (excepting special conditions), and when the victim gets to finally act, the victim will have to take into consideration that he has no flippin' clue where the guy who just shot him is.

Sniping, in essence, ensures that the victim doesn't automatically pinpoint the rogue's location once shot, flatfooted or not.

Sczarni

The biggest problem I see with the argument is the lack of consideration for what the rest of your group is doing. The two biggest examples being used are: A rogue attacking a guard and a rogue attacking a passing enemy from the bushes. If you're a rogue and you're alone you deserve to be seen and slain horribly.

For argument's sake lets move beyond the surprise round to 3 or 4 rounds in. You've been sniping the whole time and have finally been seen (their perception > your stealth-20). It doesn't matter if they know where you are, if you can make a successful stealth check the following round you can continue sniping.

Just take that concept and apply it to the surprise round.

Surprise Round:
Rogue attacks (sneak attack)

First Round:
Enemy sees rogue
Rogue attacks (no sneak attack) and stealths (successful)

Second Round:
Enemy moves toward rogue's position or fights rogue's allies
Rogue attacks (sneak attack)

The whole argument about not being able to snipe is based on the rogue going it alone. It shouldn't matter if the enemy knows the rogue's location. If the rogue can make successful stealth checks with cover then the rogue can sneak attack and the rogue's allies should be doing what they can to keep the rogue, and other support classes, safe. If the rogue is out there alone there are bigger problems at hand...


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

Corren28,

That depends on whether the opponents know the rogues "general location" or can pinpoint him.

If they know his general location, then yes, he can continue to sneak attack at range (i.e. he is effectively invisible for game play purposes -- if you look at it, invisibility is just *really good* stealth (+20 to +40 modifiers)).

However, if at any point they *pinpoint* his location his condition becomes "observed" and he won't be able to restealth until he can do something to turn their attention from him (bluff) or move to a position where they can't naturally see him.

If you stealth with concealment and your opponents see you anyway, you don't have concealment anymore. ( You may qualify as concealed for miss chance purposes, but not for observational purposes).


Quintain wrote:
The question is when the perception/stealth contest is resolved.

Right. And since you said that if someone is not sniping, they are giving up their stealthed condition, that means that there is no contest to resolve. The archer is visible, and the guy who got shot can see him.

If the rogue then uses stealth later, then there could be a perception/stealth contest.

Quintain wrote:
Sniping, in essence, ensures that the victim doesn't automatically pinpoint the rogue's location once shot, flatfooted or not.

Right, and the corollary is that if you are not sniping, then the victim does automatically pinpoint the archers location once shot, flatfooted or not.

So in the surprise round, archer shoots the guy. That's all. He doesn't snipe, he doesn't move, he doesn't use Stealth. The guy can see him.

On round one, since archer won init, archer can do whatever he wants. He could move away and try to stealth, in which case the guy still saw him, and saw him move and hide. Now that the archer is hidden, he could attack again, or move again, or whatever.

Then, on the guy's turn, he could do whatever. He knows he got shot, he knows the guy that shot him was in square X,Y and he moved at least one square west before hiding. He doesn't know what else the archer may have done after hiding, unless his perception check beat the stealth check.

Whereas with sniping, he would have never known that the archer was in square X,Y unless he beat the stealth check.


Quintain wrote:

The following would apply:

Quote:


If a character tries to attack an invisible creature whose location he has not pinpointed, have the player choose the space where the character will direct the attack. If the invisible creature is there, conduct the attack normally. If the enemy’s not there, roll the miss chance as if it
were there and tell him that the character has missed, regardless of the result. That way the player doesn’t know whether the attack missed because the enemy’s not there or because you successfully rolled the miss chance.

That would not apply at all. Firstly Stealth is not exactly the same as actually being under an Invisibility spell. While the two are similar these rules don't address the situation you are talking about. Stealth ENDS the moment you attack. The ONLY exception is Greater Invisibility or Sniping. Concealment doesn't make you invisible, not even to someone who is flat-footed. ONLY Total cover/concealment could possibly be used the way you are trying to use it, but that's highly situational.

Also there is this to consider:
PRD wrote:
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.
PRD wrote:
It's impossible to use Stealth while attacking, running, or charging.

Now in a situation where you Stealth or Invisibility has ENDED and the creature you struck is immediately aware of your location, you are automatically seen. That is the point of the immediate Stealth check after your attack, it ensures you AREN'T seen when you make the attack.


Really guys? Really? Who takes the -20 to stealth anymore?

Two very simple ways around the -20 ouch stealth.

1) Dip one level into heretic archetype (Escape judgement - 1 combat/day). Hey look, no negatives to re-stealth....when you hit. You are able to hit flat-footed targets, right? And since this isn't "sniping", but rather creating a diversion to hide (i.e. an arrow appears in a guys chest. the guy looks down at the arrow), it does not require a separate action.

2) Swift as Shadows Halfling alternative racial trait. -10 stealth checks are better than -20s.


Mapleswitch wrote:
1) Dip one level into heretic archetype (Escape judgement - 1 combat/day). Hey look, no negatives to re-stealth....when you hit. You are able to hit flat-footed targets, right? And since this isn't "sniping", but rather creating a diversion to hide (i.e. an arrow appears in a guys chest. the guy looks down at the arrow), it does not require a separate action.

Escape (Su) still requires a move action.

So, ignoring that this still doesn't work in the surprise round, it goes something like this:

Splasher is hidden, uses a swift action to start his judgement, and as a standard action shoots Guy. Guy looks up and sees Splasher standing there. Splasher uses a move action to bluff Guy into looking down, then hides. End result: Guy knows where Splasher is hiding. He can't see him without a perception check, but he knows the square.


thistledown wrote:
Shadowlord wrote:
thistledown wrote:
A work-around for your problem: Sandles of Quick Reaction let you have a standard action and a move action during surprise round, for 4000gp. This'll let you shoot and re-stealth all in surprise round. More a band-aid on the problem than a solution though.
What book is this from?
Ultimate Equipment, page 232.

Thanks. I need to get that book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grick wrote:
Quintain wrote:
The question is when the perception/stealth contest is resolved.

Right. And since you said that if someone is not sniping, they are giving up their stealthed condition, that means that there is no contest to resolve. The archer is visible, and the guy who got shot can see him.

If the rogue then uses stealth later, then there could be a perception/stealth contest.

Quintain wrote:
Sniping, in essence, ensures that the victim doesn't automatically pinpoint the rogue's location once shot, flatfooted or not.

Right, and the corollary is that if you are not sniping, then the victim does automatically pinpoint the archers location once shot, flatfooted or not.

So in the surprise round, archer shoots the guy. That's all. He doesn't snipe, he doesn't move, he doesn't use Stealth. The guy can see him.

On round one, since archer won init, archer can do whatever he wants. He could move away and try to stealth, in which case the guy still saw him, and saw him move and hide. Now that the archer is hidden, he could attack again, or move again, or whatever.

Then, on the guy's turn, he could do whatever. He knows he got shot, he knows the guy that shot him was in square X,Y and he moved at least one square west before hiding. He doesn't know what else the archer may have done after hiding, unless his perception check beat the stealth check.

Whereas with sniping, he would have never known that the archer was in square X,Y unless he beat the stealth check.

You seem to be restating what I said earlier. Where do you see the disagreement?


By RAW, you can't snipe in the surprise round (as has been exhaustively demonstrated here). It's also clear that this is absurd, and is basically a special case problem with the nature of the surprise round itself.

That said, the way I would rule it in an actual game - taking a page from the "charge" action - would be to make a special case where, during the surprise round specifically, one can snipe (meaning one attack and then hide at -20) as a standard action.

Probably sniping should simply be a full-round action rather than a standard + move, which (like charge) is rendered standard during a surprise round. In fact, I'll likely house rule it thus for the home game.


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

By RAW, you can't snipe in the surprise round (as has been exhaustively demonstrated here). It's also clear that this is absurd, and is basically a special case problem with the nature of the surprise round itself.

That said, the way I would rule it in an actual game - taking a page from the "charge" action - would be to make a special case where, during the surprise round specifically, one can snipe (meaning one attack and then hide at -20) as a standard action.

Probably sniping should simply be a full-round action rather than a standard + move, which (like charge) is rendered standard during a surprise round. In fact, I'll likely house rule it thus for the home game.

Absurd? I'm not sure how you can draw that conclusion. The question that should be asked of Paizo is the fact that you cannot attack and then immediately stealth in the surprise round intended?

Sniping irl is a very exclusive skill set. Not everyone can do it successfully and are usually specially trained in the skill. This would mirror the requirement of having Bandit/Sniper archetypes have the skill available in the surprise round and not just anyone with the stealth skill.

Sczarni

Quote:
However, if at any point they *pinpoint* his location his condition becomes "observed" and he won't be able to restealth until he can do something to turn their attention from him (bluff) or move to a position where they can't naturally see him.

You can't observe someone behind cover. If a rogue ducks behind a wall, tree, parapet, or whatever he can use stealth and he can continue to snipe.

If you have someone trying to snipe without cover then they can't do so anyway. Sure, you get the first shot off and make the stealth check but all the opponent has to do is turn around to see the rogue. I mean what can you do without cover? Lay on the floor really still and hope his T-rex senses don't pick you up because you aren't moving? :P (This is assuming no hide-in-plain-sight like abilities are in play, of course)

And again, a fighter shouting insults about his mother or the barbarian screaming like an idiot and charging with a battleaxe tends to serve as pretty good distractions from a rogue with a bow.

If you're in a position where you can snipe at all then being pinpointed is not an issue. If being pinpointed and observed is an issue then you couldn't have sniped in the first place.


Quintain wrote:
You seem to be restating what I said earlier. Where do you see the disagreement?

You said (here) "A victim is not automatically aware of his attackers in the surprise round after being attacked (he is still flat-footed, and thus susceptible to further sneak attacks)."

This is false, being flat-footed has nothing to do with being aware of your opponent once he's revealed himself and is no longer using stealth.

You then said "If he starts the surprise round unaware, he gets no actions, and deliberate usage of the perception skill is a move action. The only immediately observable stimulus in the case of a bow-using sniper is the arrow sticking out of the victim's chest."

Both of those statements are true, but unrelated. Being flat-footed and having no actions in the surprise round has nothing to do with being unable to see a sniper. The problem is that you can't snipe in the surprise round, so if you shoot someone in the surprise round you're no longer using stealth, and you are spotted.

When I explained how sniping works, you responded "A victim is not automatically aware of his attackers in the surprise round after being attacked with a ranged weapon If he starts the surprise round unaware, he gets no actions, and deliberate usage of the perception skill is a move action."

Assuming you missed a period, your first sentence would be "A victim is not automatically aware of his attackers in the surprise round after being attacked with a ranged weapon." This is still false.

Then you said "The only immediately observable stimulus in the case of a bow-using sniper is the arrow sticking out of the victim's chest. Since the victim was surprised/unaware, he obviously did not see where the arrow was coming from and would not be able to automatically see the attacker's location."

Assuming your two sentences relate to each other, you're still talking about a sniper in the surprise round, which can't happen. So either you're saying you can snipe in the surprise round (false) or someone who just shoots in the surprise round then uses stealth later isn't seen in between those two things happening (also false).

Summary:

If someone snipes, they have the chance to never be seen at all.

If someone doesn't snipe, they are automatically seen, regardless of surprise or flat-footed or whatever.

Since someone cannot snipe in the surprise round, anyone who attacks in the surprise round is seen, even if they use stealth again before the victim can act.


Corren28 wrote:
You can't observe someone behind cover.

Of course you can. If you can't observe them, then you can't target them, so the +4 to AC means nothing.

If you meant Total Cover, then that's still not true, since Total Cover is determined by line of effect, which could be blocked by a wall of force or something.

Corren28 wrote:
If a rogue ducks behind a wall, tree, parapet, or whatever he can use stealth and he can continue to snipe.

Doing so requires movement or a move action.

Corren28 wrote:
If you have someone trying to snipe without cover then they can't do so anyway.

You can use concealment to make a Stealth check.

Corren28 wrote:
If being pinpointed and observed is an issue then you couldn't have sniped in the first place.

Not true. The rogue is hiding in light undergrowth. He's got concealment, and he's used stealth. If he snipes the guy, then the guy doesn't know where the rogue is unless he beats the stealth check. If the rogue doesn't snipe, but just shoots him, then the guy automatically knows where the rogue is. The light undergrowth doesn't mean he can't see the rogue, who is now just standing there and not using stealth. Even if the rogue then uses his move action to hide, the guy still knows where the rogue was when he shot him, and where he was going when he hid.

Sczarni

Quote:
Since someone cannot snipe in the surprise round, anyone who attacks in the surprise round is seen, even if they use stealth again before the victim can act.

This is where things are getting hung up I think. It doesn't matter if the opponent knows where you are. If you have something to hide in or behind you can still stealth and, therefor, can still snipe.

Yes, Grick, I realize there are technically issues with what I said. I wasn't going to go into every possible scenario which may arise in a game. If you want to pick my posts apart, feel free, but my point has yet to be refuted.

Something to hide in / behind = stealth = snipe. Being observed is irrelevant.


Corren28 wrote:
It doesn't matter if the opponent knows where you are. If you have something to hide in or behind you can still stealth and, therefor, can still snipe.

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."

Corren28 wrote:
Yes, Grick, I realize there are technically issues with what I said.

If you know what you're saying is wrong, why not fix it?

Corren28 wrote:

If you want to pick my posts apart, feel free, but my point has yet to be refuted.

Something to hide in / behind = stealth = snipe. Being observed is irrelevant.

Still not true, but also not the point.

If you snipe, you have the chance to not be observed. That's the goal: not being observed. That's why you're taking the extra -20 penalty. If you don't care about being observed, don't snipe, just shoot him then move and use stealth normally.

The difference is "Someone just shot me. Maybe from the east!" and "Someone just shot me. He's hiding in the bushes right there by that statue!"

Sczarni

Well, I had another post typed out, but something you said a few posts ago, Grick, just clicked.

You can be observed while behind cover, otherwise the +4 to ac is pointless...

Stealth wrote:
If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth. Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth.

So...cover allows you to use stealth, but you can be observed behind cover, so you can't use stealth because you're being observed (assuming a botched check at some point), but the rules specifically say you can use stealth behind cover... Huh?

I'm operating under the thought of "I have cover/concealment/whatever therefor I can stealth because the stealth skill says I can use cover to stealth. Stealth = sneak attack."

If getting busted one time by one enemy means you can't stealth anymore the rest of the fight then sniping is kinda pointless isn't it? Any NPC with ranks invested in perception isn't going to have a problem spotting a rogue with that big a penalty to his stealth... That just doesn't seem to work, like, at all.

As for there technically being issues with what I said, there are always, technically issues with what everyone says. Always a way around something, an exception to the rule, etc. I just didn't feel like listing all the possible ways to use stealth.

Edit: I apparently forgot how to format text. -_-


Corren28 wrote:
I'm operating under the thought of "I have cover/concealment/whatever therefor I can stealth because the stealth skill says I can use cover to stealth. Stealth = sneak attack."

Sure. That's not relevant to the discussion, though.

In order to snipe you must A) already have successfully used stealth, B) make a ranged attack, and C) immediately hide as a move action.

The reason you can't snipe in the surprise round is you can't do B and C with a single standard action.

The reason anyone would ever snipe instead of just shooting and stealthing is that sniping allows the possibility of never being seen.

Being seen doesn't stop you from stealthing again (if you have concealment or cover or whatever), but it means they saw you. They know where you are.

The difference is "Someone just shot me. Maybe from the east!" and "Someone just shot me. He's right there, twenty-five feet northeast. He's a humanoid with dark hair, wearing leather armor, holding a compound shortbow. And now he's hiding in the bushes right there by that statue!"


@ Corren28

What you are saying is true in a sense. You COULD get sneak attack in the surprise round, then attempt Stealth again so you can get sneak attack on a following attack. The problem with that is you are still going to be seen at some point in between attacks and Stealth. Your enemy is going to know immediately your location and eventually will be able to zero in on your position, even with repeated Stealth attempts. That is NOT sniping. If a sniper is successful he will never be seen at all, not even for a second. The enemy may be able to tell which general direction the sniper is firing from, from the angle of the arrows in his chest, but he will never be able to pinpoint the location. When someone is specifically talking about "sniping" the goal is NEVER to be seen at all.

....

Corren28 wrote:
So...cover allows you to use stealth, but you can be observed behind cover, so you can't use stealth because you're being observed (assuming a botched check at some point), but the rules specifically say you can use stealth behind cover... Huh?

Correct, after you have been observed you can't just re-stealth. You may have cover or concealment but unless you completely break line of sight with the enemy (total cover/concealment or creating diversion) you can't re-stealth. This is actually the whole reason that creating a diversion to hide is part of the Stealth rules. If you have cover or concealment but ar observed you have to take your Standard action to perform a Bluff (feint) then use your Move action to re-stealth.

PRD wrote:
If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth. Against most creatures, finding cover or concealment allows you to use Stealth. If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check), you can attempt to use Stealth. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Stealth check if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. This check, however, is made at a –10 penalty because you have to move fast.
PRD wrote:
Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to allow you to use Stealth. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Stealth check while people are aware of you.

Sczarni

Soooooo, all this = just get a rapier, flank with the fighter, and stab them in the back. It's more effective.

Without being able to re-hide I don't see sniping being any kind of useful. To pull some numbers from the air, a level 10 rogue has 10 ranks in stealth, +3 for class skill, we'll say, +5 (?) for dex. Maybe +6. So the check would be a d20-20+18 or 19, maybe a little more with magic items. Anything with ranks invested in perception would have to seriously tank their roll to NOT see the rogue. On average they wouldn't even have to roll. Even if the rogue rolled a 20 an npc with invested skills in perception and a low wisdom would have to roll a 5 or 6.

So, you pop up and fire, sneak attack, and most of the time get spotted. Next round you have to burn a standard to feint and a move to hide (not guaranteed) and the following round you get *drum roll* one more shot.

Please tell me I'm interpreting all this horribly incorrectly. :(


Sounds like you have the basic idea.

But there are several options that cut the -20 for Sniping down to something a little more manageable. There are racial options and rogue talents that work pretty well. Also there are the skill feats and don't forget magic. Sniping is completely possible and very effective IF you build your character around that theme. Sniping is not something that just any archer can do without dedication. IMO that is how it should be; otherwise everyone would be on that band wagon, and NPCs would routinely take the party down without ever being seen.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:


You said (here) "A victim is not automatically aware of his attackers in the surprise round after being attacked (he is still flat-footed, and thus susceptible to further sneak attacks)."

This is false, being flat-footed has nothing to do with being aware of your opponent once he's revealed himself and is no longer using stealth.

You then said "If he starts the surprise round unaware, he gets no actions, and deliberate usage of the perception skill is a move action. The only immediately observable stimulus in the case of a bow-using sniper is the arrow sticking out of the victim's chest."

Both of those statements are true, but unrelated. Being flat-footed and having no actions in the surprise round has nothing to do with being unable to see a sniper. The problem is that you can't snipe in the surprise round, so if you shoot someone in the surprise round you're no longer using stealth, and you are spotted.

Again, this is false. If the victim starts our the surprise round unaware, then he is unaware for the entire surprise round. You don't become omniscient of your surroundings just because you have an arrow suddenly appear in your chest. Sight is a limited resource, as you have major blind spots has a humanoid. Sound is limited, as bow shots are exceedingly quiet.

Personally, I would say that given the flat-footed mechanic is in place, I would say that it is a qualified substitute for "awareness" of you are sneak attacked at range.

If we are talking your standard rogue, then yes, I would say that you cannot "snipe" in the surprise round, at least without any sort of help.

However, not being stealthed and remaining unobserved are two separate things. Especially if you can stay out of their range of vision (such as at night against someone without darkvision/low-light vision).

Andoran

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


The difference is "Someone just shot me. Maybe from the east!" and "Someone just shot me. He's hiding in the bushes right there by that statue!"

I would say that the arrow sticking out from the left side of your body is a clear indicator of the general direction from which the attack came. You can err by a 30° left or right, not be unsure if it came from east, north or south.

@ Corren28 - sniping work fine, simply it is not intended to be a way to easily allow the use of sneak attacks. Snipers don't fire on a target from 30' away, they fire way longer distances.
That why true sniping depend from the use of telescopic sights and firearms.

About spotting the sniper during the surprise round:

From the PRD

1) Using Perception:
Action: Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

2) Surprise round and unaware characters:

Unaware Combatants: Combatants who are unaware at the start of battle don't get to act in the surprise round. Unaware combatants are flat-footed because they have not acted yet, so they lose any Dexterity bonus to AC.

3) Flat-Footed: A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, unable to react normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity.

A flat footed character is unable to react normally and using perception is a "response to observable stimulus". I would say that it is the same thing as "reacting to an observable stimulus", so a flat footed character, as long as he is flat footed, will be unable to identify the location of the sniper.

It is possible to go a step further and say that the "observable stimulus" happens only when the sniper fire, not after the shot has been resolved, so:
- if you successfully surprise someone you are still hidden from him at least until he get to act in the regular round;
- if you use the above interpretation you stay hidden from all the guys with a initiative lower than your even during the surprise round.

A bit rough on the targets but a fair approximation on how sniping work in the real word, I think.

Andoran

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

Addendum:

Note that nothing prohibit you from taking a perception check during the surprise round as a action to spot the sniper.

And that a friend pointing out: "Look out, there is a sniper there." will allow a reactive perception checkif youa ren't flat footed.


Grick wrote:
Quintain wrote:
If he starts the surprise round unaware, he gets no actions, and deliberate usage of the perception skill is a move action.

If seeing the guy who just shot you is not an action, then being flat-footed is irrelevant.

If seeing the guy who just shot you is an action, then sniping does nothing, because the guy who got shot can't take an action in between the enemy shooting and moving.

Except sniping is an explicit exception to the rule. A specific rule(sniping) overrules the general rule for perception and stealth rules.


Good tactics for not breaking stealth but waiting your surprise round could include tossing a thunder stone into nearby bushes or firing a smoke arrow to keep them for seeing you anyways.

Sczarni

Quote:
@ Corren28 - sniping work fine, simply it is not intended to be a way to easily allow the use of sneak attacks. Snipers don't fire on a target from 30' away, they fire way longer distances.

Why would you snipe from farther than 30'? The whole idea of sniping is to get your sneak attack in repeatedly with a ranged weapon. Is there a feat I'm apparently unaware of or talent I'm overlooking that allows a rogue to sneak attack from beyond 30' with a bow?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Corren28 wrote:
Quote:
@ Corren28 - sniping work fine, simply it is not intended to be a way to easily allow the use of sneak attacks. Snipers don't fire on a target from 30' away, they fire way longer distances.
Why would you snipe from farther than 30'? The whole idea of sniping is to get your sneak attack in repeatedly with a ranged weapon. Is there a feat I'm apparently unaware of or talent I'm overlooking that allows a rogue to sneak attack from beyond 30' with a bow?

Yep, there are plenty of 3PP feats (Hawkeye from Dreamscarred Press) + Rogue Tricks, + Sniper archetype abilities that allow increased range on precision attacks.

There are also goggles that allow for range precision attacks without regard for range.

This scenario isn't anywhere near to being unrealistic. The only time that we are talking about this occurring would be a un-archetyped rogue attempting sneak attacks without magical items.

Which, I do not think from a "realistic" perspective should be able to be accomplished. Especially since you are talking a distance of 10 yards.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Corren28 wrote:
Quote:
@ Corren28 - sniping work fine, simply it is not intended to be a way to easily allow the use of sneak attacks. Snipers don't fire on a target from 30' away, they fire way longer distances.
Why would you snipe from farther than 30'? The whole idea of sniping is to get your sneak attack in repeatedly with a ranged weapon. Is there a feat I'm apparently unaware of or talent I'm overlooking that allows a rogue to sneak attack from beyond 30' with a bow?

It all depend on what you are trying to accomplish and who you are.

Instead of thinking "rogue", try "archer".
18 strength and a mighty +4 bow, bow +1 holy or unholy, deadly aim, 7th level.
Damage from one arrow: 3d6+9, an average of 19.5 hp of damage.
If you are capable to stay hidden at a range you can dish out that damage without retaliation for several rounds.

Getting some extra damage from the sneak attack ability isn't the only way to benefit from the sniping rules.


Quintain & Diego Rossi

I disagree with the flat-footed condition causing an opponent to be completely oblivious. There is nothing in the flat-footed description that would indicate an inability to see something in plain view. Additionally if you treat Stealth as being similar in some respects to an invisible attacker you have these rules:

PRD wrote:
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.

That selection doesn't mention anything about, "unless the creature is flat-footed," or, "after a successful Perception check to notice the plainly visible attacker." It is pretty simple, after the attack you become visible and your opponent knows your location. You could Snipe to avoid this, but it takes an attack and move action, or you could have Greater Invisibility. Flat-footed doesn't cripple your awareness, only your ability to react. An archer popping into plain visibility after shooting you is an awareness issue.

And even if you did want to disregard those rules and force a reactive Perception roll to see the attacker, the DC would be so low it's almost an auto-success. It has been mentioned that distance or concealment may be enough to keep you out of observation. The Perception rules cover this:

The DC to notice a visible creature is 0.
The DC to notice a creature with cover/concealment is unchanged. You could call it favorable conditions in which case the seeker would have a -2 to his Perception.
The DC to see someone at a distance is +1/10 feet.

So if you are dealing with a sniping rogue who is around 30' away, the Perception DC to see him when he attacks is going to be around 5 or so.

Sczarni

Quintain wrote:
Corren28 wrote:
Quote:
@ Corren28 - sniping work fine, simply it is not intended to be a way to easily allow the use of sneak attacks. Snipers don't fire on a target from 30' away, they fire way longer distances.
Why would you snipe from farther than 30'? The whole idea of sniping is to get your sneak attack in repeatedly with a ranged weapon. Is there a feat I'm apparently unaware of or talent I'm overlooking that allows a rogue to sneak attack from beyond 30' with a bow?

Yep, there are plenty of 3PP feats (Hawkeye from Dreamscarred Press) + Rogue Tricks, + Sniper archetype abilities that allow increased range on precision attacks.

There are also goggles that allow for range precision attacks without regard for range.

This scenario isn't anywhere near to being unrealistic. The only time that we are talking about this occurring would be a un-archetyped rogue attempting sneak attacks without magical items.

Which, I do not think from a "realistic" perspective should be able to be accomplished. Especially since you are talking a distance of 10 yards.

See, this is why I like you guys so much. I find all kinds of new things I can use as a GM to throw at my party. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shadowlord wrote:

Quintain & Diego Rossi

I disagree with the flat-footed condition causing an opponent to be completely oblivious. There is nothing in the flat-footed description that would indicate an inability to see something in plain view. Additionally if you treat Stealth as being similar in some respects to an invisible attacker you have these rules:

PRD wrote:
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.

That selection doesn't mention anything about, "unless the creature is flat-footed," or, "after a successful Perception check to notice the plainly visible attacker." It is pretty simple, after the attack you become visible and your opponent knows your location. You could Snipe to avoid this, but it takes an attack and move action, or you could have Greater Invisibility. Flat-footed doesn't cripple your awareness, only your ability to react. An archer popping into plain visibility after shooting you is an awareness issue.

And even if you did want to disregard those rules and force a reactive Perception roll to see the attacker, the DC would be so low it's almost an auto-success. It has been mentioned that distance or concealment may be enough to keep you out of observation. The Perception rules cover this:

The DC to notice a visible creature is 0.
The DC to notice a creature with cover/concealment is unchanged. You could call it favorable conditions in which case the seeker would have a -2 to his Perception.
The DC to see someone at a distance is +1/10 feet.

So if you are dealing with a sniping rogue who is around 30' away, the Perception DC to see him when he attacks is going to be around 5 or so.

Agreed that it will be around 5 or so. Which means our erstwhile sniper won't be doing something like this until they have some really awesome modifiers to stealth.

However, your bolded part applies only to melee attacks that are inside 5' range. "The only exception is..." is the applicable part..which means he knows only the general direction, which means it's not an auto-spot, and in the case of a non-auto-spot, it requires an action. For the same reason that a non-specialist can't snipe in the surprise round, a surprised individual can't use perception to find the archer automatically...because just as hiding immediately after a shot is a move action, so is using perception to try to find him. It comes down to initiative after the start of the normal combat round.

Corren:

Hawkeye (from Dreamscarred Press - in their Psionics Unleashed book) gives +15 to precision damage at range. (With 10 ranks in perception it's 30'.

The Ninja Trick: Deadly Range (Ex): A ninja with this ninja trick increases the range at which she can deal sneak attack damage by
10 feet. A ninja can take this trick more than once. Its
effects stack.

You are looking at 70' range precision damage right there. If you have 120' darkvision, and your opponent only has 60' or no darkvision at all. Well, that's sniper-town right there.

This right here is why I see it as necessary to separate being the victim being "aware" with being the sniper being "observed" (aka pinpointed).


Also for non Rogue snipers Range is little issue. A fighter who is sniping doesnt lose any damage, just accuracy, no matter how far out he is .


Quintain wrote:
Quote:
if you shoot someone in the surprise round you're no longer using stealth, and you are spotted.[/b]
Again, this is false. If the victim starts our the surprise round unaware, then he is unaware for the entire surprise round. You don't become omniscient of your surroundings just because you have an arrow suddenly appear in your chest.

We've established that perceiving observable stimulus is not an action.

Therefore, being unable to take actions does not prevent you from perceiving observable stimulus.

Being surprised doesn't make you blind. If a guy pops up out of nowhere, and yells "SURPRISE!" and stabs you, you're flat-footed but you still saw him do that.

When someone shoots you, without sniping, once they've shot you, they're no longer using stealth. There is no opposed roll. They are plainly visible. (Unless you are blind for some reason, or they're invisible, etc.)

Quintain wrote:
Personally, I would say that given the flat-footed mechanic is in place, I would say that it is a qualified substitute for "awareness" of you are sneak attacked at range.

Unaware combatants are flat-footed because they have not acted yet. If you decide that flat-footed causes non-awareness, it's a recursive loop. And since everyone is flat-footed before they act, everyone is unaware, and surprise rounds can never happen.

If you meant that a victim of a sneak attack that is flat-footed is unaware of the attack until his turn, and therefore cannot observe the attack or the guy standing there then hiding, that's a house rule. (and one that doesn't make much sense)

Quintain wrote:
However, your bolded part applies only to melee attacks that are inside 5' range. "The only exception is..." is the applicable part..which means he knows only the general direction, which means it's not an auto-spot, and in the case of a non-auto-spot, it requires an action.

This is correct, for an invisible opponent.

For example, an archer with greater invisibility shoots someone, the victim knows the general direction the attack came from. That has nothing to do with being flat-footed, it has to do with the archer being invisible.

Quintain wrote:
For the same reason that a non-specialist can't snipe in the surprise round, a surprised individual can't use perception to find the archer automatically...because just as hiding immediately after a shot is a move action, so is using perception to try to find him.

This is all true if the archer is not visible. If he uses stealth, or is invisible, or has total concealment, sure.

But it's not the case if he's just standing there, not using stealth, not invisible, without total concealment.


Ok, I guess I emphasized the wrong part but the basic rule still applies to this case.

PRD wrote:
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.

This section is talking about a creature that remains invisible after the attack. When the attack happens the struck creature knows the exact square of a melee striker, even if he still can't actually see it. Even in the case of a reach or ranged attack the struck creature still knows the direction and general location of the attacker, even in cases where the attacker is still invisible.

When we are talking about a creature attacking out of Stealth the Stealth ends when the attack is made, leaving a plainly visible attacker right in the general direction and location the struck creature knows to be looking. Flat-footed doesn't prevent a creature from being able to see the obviously visible.

It doesn't matter how high your Stealth modifiers are if you aren't under Stealth. A creature who just attacked and isn't sniping is not under Stealth. So regardless of how high that modifier is the DC to see you is still right around 5.

You keep saying that the Perception roll is a move action, but that is only if you are actively searching. In this case you are not. Most Perception rolls are made with no action in reaction to observable stimulus. An attacker who pops from nowhere into plain view is an observable stimulus. Meaning even if you require a Perception roll to spot the attacker, he makes that roll for free after being attacked and automatically knowing where that attack came from. Additionally the Perception DC to see the attacker is right around 5. That is an auto-success by level 4 even if Perception is not a class skill and you have a 0 Wis modifier.

Sczarni

Quote:
Most Perception rolls are made with no action in reaction to observable stimulus

To put it in 3.5 terms, I think he's saying you aren't using the search skill to see the rogue, you're using the spot skill to see him. In Pathfinder it's just Perception since everything's been rolled into one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:


When we are talking about a creature attacking out of Stealth the Stealth ends when the attack is made, leaving a plainly visible attacker right in the general direction and location the struck creature knows to be looking. Flat-footed doesn't prevent a creature from being able to see the obviously visible.

You are making the assumption that an unaware person (aka surprised), can suddenly be made aware of a person who he was not aware of when he was attacked.

While, as a GM, you may make that adjudication, I do not see this assumption as valid. It breaks the definition of unaware, which you are for the entire surprise round. Moreover, you are unaware, potentially, of multiple different attackers.

Arrows are not tracer rounds. They fly almost faster than you can see. From an unaware victim's perspective, you would literally see the arrow sticking out from your body before you have any clue as to where it came from.


Quintain wrote:
You are making the assumption that an unaware person (aka surprised), can suddenly be made aware of a person who he was not aware of when he was attacked.

Well, yeah. If someone stabs you, you can see them. You were unaware before he stabbed you. Once he stabs you, you're really very fully aware of your opponent.

Quintain wrote:
It breaks the definition of unaware, which you are for the entire surprise round.

Here's what the rules actually say: Unaware Combatants - "Combatants who are unaware at the start of battle don't get to act in the surprise round. Unaware combatants are flat-footed because they have not acted yet, so they lose any Dexterity bonus to AC."

Unaware is at the start of battle. Once battle starts, you're certainly aware. You're still flat-footed until you act, and you still can't act in the surprise round, but you're certainly aware.

And since we've determined that perceiving observable stimulus is not an action, being surprised (or flat-footed or any other condition except blind) makes no difference.

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