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Sniping in a surprise round


Rules Questions

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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: However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.

Surprise round
In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the surprise round.

Does this mean that a character cannot use stealth for sniping in a surprise round, because he needs both a standard action to attack and a move action to hide, and in a surprise action he can make only one of these two?

If the answer is "He cannot", what else can he do? Can he give up the surprise round in order to snipe are remain undetected?

It is a little confusing so any help would be most welcome.


no, he cannot.

there are arguments on whether you can give up you attack action to avoid starting combat in the surprise round. i am of the opinion that the rules were written this way so you cannot do that. getting a full round action as a surprise round (which is basically what you are doing by not acting in the surprise round) might be considered too powerful, so no matter how you try to manipulate it the first round you attack is a surprise round and you only get one action.

i would think that if you had some ability to move as a swift action, or could take a 5 foot step into cover/concealment, then you could snipe on the surprise round then do one of those two things to maintain concealment.

note that if you wanted to just do 1 attack, nothing stops you from attacking first, then moving into cover with your move action and making a normal stealth check (not a -20 stealth check)


If you were hidden before the surprise round, you could have readied an action to attack (I assume you're ambushing them after all), and then use your one action to hide.


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mplindustries wrote:
If you were hidden before the surprise round, you could have readied an action to attack (I assume you're ambushing them after all), and then use your one action to hide.

If you're hidden, and you ready a standard action to attack the target, triggered by whatever, when whatever happens and your readied action is triggered, you attack, and that starts the surprise round. Once you've attacked, that's your standard action, and the first normal round begins, and whoever won initiative takes their turn.

This is based on SKR saying (here) the surprise round doesn't actually start until an attack happens.

The only way to start off with a snipe is to have someone else initiate combat, or to make your target aware of impending combat so that there's no surprise round.


asthyril wrote:

no, he cannot.

there are arguments on whether you can give up you attack action to avoid starting combat in the surprise round. i am of the opinion that the rules were written this way so you cannot do that. getting a full round action as a surprise round (which is basically what you are doing by not acting in the surprise round) might be considered too powerful, so no matter how you try to manipulate it the first round you attack is a surprise round and you only get one action.

i would think that if you had some ability to move as a swift action, or could take a 5 foot step into cover/concealment, then you could snipe on the surprise round then do one of those two things to maintain concealment.

note that if you wanted to just do 1 attack, nothing stops you from attacking first, then moving into cover with your move action and making a normal stealth check (not a -20 stealth check)

Wouldn;t this mean you can't stealthily attack in a surprise round? You would have to alert the enemy to your presence so that you can use stealth.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Wouldn;t this mean you can't stealthily attack in a surprise round?

You can attack from stealth, you just can't hide again afterwards.

Sczarni

Grick wrote:
the surprise round doesn't actually start until an attack happens.

QFT

Attack happens -> Surprise Round Starts -> Roll Initiative -> Hide with a -20. -> Regular Initiative Sequence Begins.


Grick wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Wouldn;t this mean you can't stealthily attack in a surprise round?

You can attack from stealth, you just can't hide again afterwards.

Okay, let me rephrase.

If you want to be stealthy during combat, you first need to alert the enemy to your presence. If you catch the enemy by surprise, he will have a much easier time spotting you.

Sczarni

I should add that this scenario assumes the rogue/ninja/whatever is the one making the initial attack. If the sneak attacker's attack is not the attack initiating combat then no, the sneak attack would happen DURING the surprise round instead of before and therefor no hide check would be allowed.

This is not to say the rogue would not get a hide check before the npc can react. With a high enough initiative roll the rogue can still attack in the surprise round and then hide in regular initiative before the npc ever reacts.

Sczarni

johnlock90 wrote:
If you want to be stealthy during combat, you first need to alert the enemy to your presence. If you catch the enemy by surprise, he will have a much easier time spotting you.

Umm...no? The whole idea behind being stealthy is to not alert the enemy to your presence.


Corren28 wrote:
Attack happens -> Surprise Round Starts -> Roll Initiative -> Hide with a -20. -> Regular Initiative Sequence Begins.

That's not what SKR was saying.

Rogue commits to the attack -> Surprise Round Starts -> Roll Initiative -> Rogue makes attack roll -> Regular turn begins


Corren28 wrote:
johnlock90 wrote:
If you want to be stealthy during combat, you first need to alert the enemy to your presence. If you catch the enemy by surprise, he will have a much easier time spotting you.
Umm...no? The whole idea behind being stealthy is to not alert the enemy to your presence.

Not according to pathfinder rules. If you alert him to your presence, then you and him can roll for initiative and then you can snipe+stealth normally. If you catch him by surprise, either you aren't allowed to snipe at all or(using a generous interpretation of the rules) there is a chance he will win on initiative and definitely find you as you don't get a stealth check.

Sczarni

Grick wrote:
Corren28 wrote:
Attack happens -> Surprise Round Starts -> Roll Initiative -> Hide with a -20. -> Regular Initiative Sequence Begins.

That's not what SKR was saying.

Rogue commits to the attack -> Surprise Round Starts -> Roll Initiative -> Rogue makes attack roll -> Regular turn begins

See, this is what I get for not clicking the link and actually, ya know, reading. S'cuse me while I wipe this egg from my face. :P

Quote:
Not according to pathfinder rules. If you alert him to your presence, then you and him can roll for initiative and then you can snipe+stealth normally. If you catch him by surprise, either you aren't allowed to snipe at all or(using a generous interpretation of the rules) there is a chance he will win on initiative and definitely find you as you don't get a stealth check.

Even if you surprise him and he beats your initiative, denying you the stealth check for sniping, you can still attempt to hide after he sees you. You just need cover. Just because you've been spotted doesn't mean sniping is out.

Surprise Round:
Opponent unaware. (No action)
Rogue Attacks (Sneak attack)

Normal Round 1:
Opponent aware, sees rogue, does whatever.
Rogue Attacks (no sneak attack) and hides (Fails stealth)

Normal Round 2:
Opponent does whatever again, fighting with rogue's allies maybe
Rogue Attacks (no sneak attack) and hides (Succeeds stealth)

Normal Round 3:
Opponent still doing whatever
Rogue Attacks (sneak attack)

Catching him by surprise or not has no bearing on if you can snipe or not. You can snipe all day, the success of the sniping is just dependent on the success of your stealth checks. Surprising your enemy in the surprise round just gives you an extra attack basically.


Corren28 wrote:

Surprise Round:

Opponent unaware. (No action)
Rogue Attacks (Sneak attack)

Normal Round 1:
Opponent aware, sees rogue, does whatever.
Rogue Attacks (no sneak attack) and hides (Fails stealth)

Or, if the rogue wants to metagame the initiative:

Rogue: "Hey guy, I'm an assassin, and I'm gonna kill you." Both parties are now aware of impending combat, and there is no surprise round.

Normal Round 1:
Opponent tries to find hidden rogue.
Rogue attacks (sneak attack) and hides

Repeat.

That's assuming the rogues stealth check is good enough to not be found, even after he spoke. But if you're an assassin, it's probably not that hard, especially with a bit of magic.


Corren28 wrote:
Grick wrote:
Corren28 wrote:
Attack happens -> Surprise Round Starts -> Roll Initiative -> Hide with a -20. -> Regular Initiative Sequence Begins.

That's not what SKR was saying.

Rogue commits to the attack -> Surprise Round Starts -> Roll Initiative -> Rogue makes attack roll -> Regular turn begins

See, this is what I get for not clicking the link and actually, ya know, reading. S'cuse me while I wipe this egg from my face. :P

Quote:
Not according to pathfinder rules. If you alert him to your presence, then you and him can roll for initiative and then you can snipe+stealth normally. If you catch him by surprise, either you aren't allowed to snipe at all or(using a generous interpretation of the rules) there is a chance he will win on initiative and definitely find you as you don't get a stealth check.

Even if you surprise him and he beats your initiative, denying you the stealth check for sniping, you can still attempt to hide after he sees you. You just need cover. Just because you've been spotted doesn't mean sniping is out.

Surprise Round:
Opponent unaware. (No action)
Rogue Attacks (Sneak attack)

Normal Round 1:
Opponent aware, sees rogue, does whatever.
Rogue Attacks (no sneak attack) and hides (Fails stealth)

Normal Round 2:
Opponent does whatever again, fighting with rogue's allies maybe
Rogue Attacks (no sneak attack) and hides (Succeeds stealth)

Normal Round 3:
Opponent still doing whatever
Rogue Attacks (sneak attack)

Catching him by surprise or not has no bearing on if you can snipe or not. You can snipe all day, the success of the sniping is just dependent on the success of your stealth checks. Surprising your enemy in the surprise round just gives you an extra attack basically.

Except now the enemy knows where the rogue is and the rogue has to spend a turn moving to a new position to go into stealth. It would be much easier just to alert the enemy and not risk losing initiative.

Sczarni

Cover or concealment allows you to use stealth. As long as you have something to hide behind like a tree, flipped table, low wall, etc., you can snipe. No need to move.


Corren28 wrote:
Cover or concealment allows you to use stealth. As long as you have something to hide behind like a tree, flipped table, low wall, etc., you can snipe. No need to move.

You need a move action, which you don't have during the surprise round.

Surprise round means if the target beats your init, you're exposed.

No surprise round means you're always hidden on the targets turn.

Sczarni

If you attack during the surprise round and the target sees you you're still able to hide as long as you have some kind of cover. I meant you don't have to move from location to location as long as you have something to hide behind.

If you're just laying still and prone on a hillside and take a pot shot then your enemy is aware of you and you need to get up and move.

If you're behind a low wall and take a shot, your enemy sees you, but you can still try to hide since you have cover.


Corren28 wrote:

If you attack during the surprise round and the target sees you you're still able to hide as long as you have some kind of cover. I meant you don't have to move from location to location as long as you have something to hide behind.

If you're just laying still and prone on a hillside and take a pot shot then your enemy is aware of you and you need to get up and move.

If you're behind a low wall and take a shot, your enemy sees you, but you can still try to hide since you have cover.

Yes but the enemy knows your location now which makes hiding much worse. YOu are much better off letting the enemy know you are there so he will never find you.

Sczarni

Quote:
YOu are much better off letting the enemy know you are there so he will never find you.

Yea. Makes perfect sense...


Corren28 wrote:
If you attack during the surprise round and the target sees you you're still able to hide as long as you have some kind of cover.

Stealth: "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."

If you're saying you can attack, then take a 5-foot step, which is movement, and then make a stealth check as part of that movement, then maybe. But in between shooting and moving you're visible, and the guy saw you.

With sniping, he never gets the chance to see you (unless he beats your stealth check).

Basically:

Snipe: Guy unaware. Arrow appears in chest. Guy looks around, and must beat the stealth check to figure out who shot him.

Surprise-step: Guy unaware. Arrow appears in chest. Guy looks at the dude who shot him. Dude steps behind a shrub or whatever and hides. Guy still needs to beat the stealth check to see him, but he knows where the dude is.

Sczarni

I think you and I are basically saying the same thing, Grick, (my prior lapse of common sense aside). :P

Silver Crusade

It's still a problem that RAW it's better for a sniper to not have surprise!


Xalik wrote:

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: However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.

Surprise round
In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the surprise round.

Does this mean that a character cannot use stealth for sniping in a surprise round, because he needs both a standard action to attack and a move action to hide, and in a surprise action he can make only one of these two?

If the answer is "He cannot", what else can he do? Can he give up the surprise round in order to snipe are remain undetected?

It is a little confusing so any help would be most welcome.

I only read your question, not the whole thread, so I am not sure how much of what I have to say is already covered. The answer is NO, you cannot Snipe in the surprise round. You can set up a snipe for the first round of combat but that's about it.

However, the Bandit Archetype in UC would be able to Snipe in a surprise round because they gain an ability to use a Move, Standard, and Swift action in the surprise round instead of the normal Move or Standard action that everyone normally gets.


Xalik wrote:

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: However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.

Surprise round
In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the surprise round.

Does this mean that a character cannot use stealth for sniping in a surprise round, because he needs both a standard action to attack and a move action to hide, and in a surprise action he can make only one of these two?

If the answer is "He cannot", what else can he do? Can he give up the surprise round in order to snipe are remain undetected?

It is a little confusing so any help would be most welcome.

I don't see why you couldn't Delay Action in the surprise round, then take your action at the top of the initiative order in the first normal round of combat, at which point you could snipe. Anyone else who wasn't surprised would still get to act in the surprise round, and you would still only get one action in the first round of combat.


noobzor wrote:
I don't see why you couldn't Delay Action in the surprise round, then take your action at the top of the initiative order in the first normal round of combat, at which point you could snipe.

That relies on someone else starting combat. If it's just you and the guard, and the guard doesn't know you're there, initiative doesn't happen until you commit to the attack.

If it's you, the guard, and a buddy, and the buddy goes up and hits the guard, then you could wait until the first round and snipe.


Yeah, it's kind of stupid by RAW, but you can't Surprise Snipe someone unless at least one of your allies reveals themselves (in which case you can Ready an Action to attack when they reveal themselves).

They should really create some sort of partial snipe action, the same way they have (had?) a partial charge.


mplindustries wrote:

Yeah, it's kind of stupid by RAW, but you can't Surprise Snipe someone unless at least one of your allies reveals themselves (in which case you can Ready an Action to attack when they reveal themselves).

They should really create some sort of partial snipe action, the same way they have (had?) a partial charge.

Or just let people initiate combat and give up the surprise round if they don't want it.

But that would result in more assassination type stuff, which is generally used against the PCs more often than used by them.

Not letting the crazy assassin sniper boss destroy a party member is probably better than letting the occasional sniper-based PC destroy an NPC.


I'm with Xalik on this one. You choose when to start a fight. Normally, if your opponent is surprised, which he/she/it should be if you are hidden, you get a partial action. For your partial action you decide to forgo your action and to delay.

Effectively, you discard your advantage of (possibly) attacking twice in a row to remain hidden.

At first I thought that "partial snipe" should be an option, but then I realised what sniping was: a slow, hidden, attack. You, slowly, peek behind a pillar, take aim, shoot, and go back to the shadow.

You cannot do that fast. And to ensure you cannot do it twice in a row, you don't get partial snipe.

The real question is, can you load a crossbow while hiding?


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Andrija Frlan wrote:
You choose when to start a fight. Normally, if your opponent is surprised, which he/she/it should be if you are hidden, you get a partial action. For your partial action you decide to forgo your action and to delay.
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."


Grick wrote:
mplindustries wrote:

Yeah, it's kind of stupid by RAW, but you can't Surprise Snipe someone unless at least one of your allies reveals themselves (in which case you can Ready an Action to attack when they reveal themselves).

They should really create some sort of partial snipe action, the same way they have (had?) a partial charge.

Or just let people initiate combat and give up the surprise round if they don't want it.

Good point, that'd work better.


Grick wrote:
noobzor wrote:
I don't see why you couldn't Delay Action in the surprise round, then take your action at the top of the initiative order in the first normal round of combat, at which point you could snipe.

That relies on someone else starting combat. If it's just you and the guard, and the guard doesn't know you're there, initiative doesn't happen until you commit to the attack.

If it's you, the guard, and a buddy, and the buddy goes up and hits the guard, then you could wait until the first round and snipe.

Just because you get a turn in the surprise round that doesn't mean you have to do anything. I can't find any rules that say that at least one combatant on either side of the combat has to take an action in the surprise round. RAW, I believe it would be allowed for someone in the surprise round to delay action, even if they are the only person who is not surprised.

Edit: I also can't find any rule that states that an action must be taken in order to start the combat. Just because the guy delaying action is the only one who knows combat started, that doesn't mean it hasn't started yet. Combat starts when anyone involved chooses to initiate combat, then initiative is rolled, then actions are taken accordingly after combat has already been started.


Grick wrote:
Andrija Frlan wrote:
You choose when to start a fight. Normally, if your opponent is surprised, which he/she/it should be if you are hidden, you get a partial action. For your partial action you decide to forgo your action and to delay.
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."

This may be blasphemous, but I believe the comments by Mr. Reynolds are not in line with the RAW. If this is the intent, there should be something in the rules to explicitly say so.


PRD wrote:
The Surprise Round: If some but not all of the combatants are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the surprise round. You can also take free actions during the surprise round. If no one or everyone is surprised, no surprise round occurs.

You don't have to attack in the surprise round; you could move into position and wait for the first round of combat to begin sniping. Combat doesn't have to be initiated by an attack; you could also use the move action in your surprise round. Several things, other than attacking or moving, can count as a standard or move action.

Also, if you want to be a "Sniper" Rogue vs just an "Archer" Rogue, the best option is going Sniper/Bandit archetypes. Most people who want to build a ranged Rogue say to use Scout, but if you really want to be a sniper, the Bandit is the way to go.


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

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: However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.

Surprise round
In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the surprise round.

Does this mean that a character cannot use stealth for sniping in a surprise round, because he needs both a standard action to attack and a move action to hide, and in a surprise action he can make only one of these two?

If the answer is "He cannot", what else can he do? Can he give up the surprise round in order to snipe are remain undetected?

It is a little confusing so any help would be most welcome.

Quote:


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.

You don't have to roll initiative to use stealth. You can use the stealth skill at any time pre-combat.

Scenario: You make camp for the night and you are on watch. Use stealth (w/ camoflage) to put yourself in the most advantageous position.

Enemies approach. You and the GM should be making perception rolls to determine who is aware of whom.

If you spot them and if you are already in stealth mode or you stealth upon spotting them (no attack and thus no initiative).

The perception rolls determine who is aware of you and who you are aware of. At this point, initiative is rolled, and since there are unaware combatants on one side or both, a surprise round happens. Initiative determines who gets to act first.

With the sniping rules under stealth, you get a sneak attack and then can immediately (FREE ACTION) attempt to re-stealth to remain hidden and thus be able to start the normal combat round stealthed for additional sneak attack love.

Note that it is entirely possible that you were unaware of 1 or more of the enemy and you could also be sniped on that the enemies turn in the surprise round.

Awareness of the enemy is not a group on group thing, if surprise is to be run properly.


Quintain wrote:
With the sniping rules under stealth, you get a sneak attack and then can immediately (FREE ACTION) attempt to re-stealth to remain hidden and thus be able to start the normal combat round stealthed for additional sneak attack love.

Read the rest of the Stealth rules.

Stealth: "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."

Not a free action, a move action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grick wrote:
Quintain wrote:
With the sniping rules under stealth, you get a sneak attack and then can immediately (FREE ACTION) attempt to re-stealth to remain hidden and thus be able to start the normal combat round stealthed for additional sneak attack love.

Read the rest of the Stealth rules.

Stealth: "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."

Not a free action, a move action.

Hmm.. I see what you are saying.

It seems the only way to snipe in the surprise round would be to already be stealthed, shoot and then hope to have a high enough initiative to be able to re-stealth as a move action before the initiative of your victim comes up.

I think the question comes down to the transition between surprise round and the normal combat round. At what point does an unaware victim force the sniper to be "under observation" so that they can no longer stealth without having Hide in Plain Sight.

A RAI to RAW correction would be simple enough to change the first attack of a surprise round to be a AoO (and thus not even an action), allowing the sniper to re-stealth in the surprise round vs at the start of the normal combat round.

Although upon pondering *intent*, it may be that Paizo didn't want sniping to be something that just anyone can do. Even rogues.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

If you cannot snipe in the surprise round, than a sniper will always be noticed after his first shot, because he has to break stealth to make it, and, having broken stealth, the rules as written more or less prevent you from hiding again.

If you try to fix this by saying the sniper can just give up his action in the surprise round, and then enter a normal round with a full action availalbe to them, that raises questions too. Namely, if they didn't shoot, and no one else noticed them or took combat actions, than how can we say the surprise round has happened? This interpretation would allow a group of archers to, having caught sight of unaware enemies, simply wait 6 seconds, and then unleash a full barrage of arrows before their enemies have any chance to react--exactly the problem the restriction on full-round actions in the surprise round was meant to address.

Conclusion: by the RAW, you can't snipe in the surprise round, as others have explained quite clearly. However, this is a bad rule, and I urge any reasonable GM to allow sniping in the surprise round in their games.


Quintain wrote:
It seems the only way to snipe in the surprise round would be to already be stealthed, shoot and then hope to have a high enough initiative to be able to re-stealth as a move action before the initiative of your victim comes up.

While you could re-hide, he's already seen you.

Basically, you shoot him. He looks at you. You then hide behind a bush or whatever. He can't see you now (unless he beats your stealth check) but he knows you're in that bush, and can take appropriate action.

That's why sniping has the -20 penalty, because you're trying to stay hidden the entire time, rather than just shooting then moving and hiding.


By RAW yes, you couldn't, but anyone with half a brain will realise how completely moronic that is.

Personally I'd apply a similar exception like Charge. That is if you somehow can only take a Standard action, you can still snipe and hide again as a single Standard action.

But by RAW, yes, doesn't work.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grick wrote:
Quintain wrote:
It seems the only way to snipe in the surprise round would be to already be stealthed, shoot and then hope to have a high enough initiative to be able to re-stealth as a move action before the initiative of your victim comes up.

While you could re-hide, he's already seen you.

Basically, you shoot him. He looks at you. You then hide behind a bush or whatever. He can't see you now (unless he beats your stealth check) but he knows you're in that bush, and can take appropriate action.

That's why sniping has the -20 penalty, because you're trying to stay hidden the entire time, rather than just shooting then moving and hiding.

I partially disagree.

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). 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. Since the victim is 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.

Quote:


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

If the rogue has cover/concealment (which is what is required in order to "immediately re-stealth"), then by definition, he is not obviously observable. Searching for a non-obviously observable stimulus (i.e. the rogue that just shot you) is a move action, which they don't get until the start of the normal combat round.

The way I read it, in order to snipe, you have to have concealment/cover because it requires stealth. Sniping doesn't automatically remove that cover/concealment condition, just heavily modifies it for your next check once you attack. Since you are covered/concealed, someone looking for you would have to do so deliberately thus requiring a move action on their part since it is taking a certain amount of their attention that they cannot devote to other things.

Sneak attacking with a ranged weapon against surprised foe is not "sniping". In order to qualify as sniping, you would have to be hidden prior to the act of shooting your victim.

IMO, any perception check that is modified to be more difficult than 0 would require a move action vs being reactive (although common sense exceptions exist). Basically, you would have to do the "Shhh!! I 'm trying to listen" in order to make any check with a modifier above 0.


I would like to offer the following.

Pathfinder CRB, p. 186 wrote:


Start/Complete Full-Round Action
The “start full-round action” standard action lets you start
undertaking a full-round action, which you can complete
in the following round by using another standard action.
You can’t use this action to start or complete a full attack,
charge, run, or withdraw.

Your DM may rule that you are allowed to begin Sniping an opponent on the Surprise round by spending a Standard action and making an attack, then IF you have won initiative against that opponent, using a Standard action to make a Stealth check at a -20 penalty (completing the Snipe) with a move action left over.

Happy sniping.


by RAW you can't properly snipe in the surprise round (unless a rogue with the 4th level bandit archetype)

HOWEVER

If you want to snipe, but in the sense of stealth/attack/stealth instead of rogue precision damage snipe. Then load up a bow, stealth, and shoot the target from 2+ range increments away.

Even though you don't get to re-roll stealth, I doubt any GM is gonna have the guy spot you and know EXACTLY where you are from 220 feet away while your in a bush.


Quintain wrote:
If the rogue has cover/concealment (which is what is required in order to "immediately re-stealth"), then by definition, he is not obviously observable. Searching for a non-obviously observable stimulus (i.e. the rogue that just shot you) is a move action, which they don't get until the start of the normal combat round.

That would mean sniping does nothing.

Snipe: Attack, then as a move action, stealth at -20.
Non-Snipe: Attack, then move and use stealth.

The opponent doesn't get to use a move action in between either of those.

Troubleshooter wrote:
Start/Complete Full-Round Action

Sniping is not a full-round action, it's a move action taken immediately after an attack made from stealth.


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?


I stand corrected.

Working under the same principle as starting and completing the FRA over two rounds, what is the board's consensus regarding the following question --

"Can a stealthed Rogue that is ten+ feet away from an opponent attack in a surprise round (Standard action), win initiative, then use a Move action to Stealth at a -20 penalty to complete a Sniping ambush?"


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

While you could re-hide, he's already seen you.

Basically, you shoot him. He looks at you. You then hide behind a bush or whatever. He can't see you now (unless he beats your stealth check) but he knows you're in that bush, and can take appropriate action.

That's why sniping has the -20 penalty, because you're trying to stay hidden the entire time, rather than just shooting then moving and hiding.

Basically, you shoot him. He looks at you. You then hide behind a bush or whatever. He can't see you now (unless he beats your stealth check) but he knows you're in that bush, and can take appropriate action.

This is an inaccurate description of what is happening. I see it as the following:

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. 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.

Quote:


That would mean sniping does nothing.

Sniping allows the rogue to not have to break concealment/cover in the process of taking his actions. If you are talking non-total concealment and non-total cover, when you move, your victim is now aware of your presence and to take actions based on that info. Sniping keeps the victim continually unaware of your exact location -- it works similar to invisibility -- the victim would then have to choose a square to attack and take the penalties that come with that lack of knowledge.

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.

What needs to be clarified, imo, is when exactly does an unaware opponent become aware of an attacker when transitioning between the surprise round and the normal combat round.

A Bandit/Sniper rogue has a small advantage during the surprise round against an unaware opponent, since they can make the "immediate stealth check" in the surprise round itself, instead of having to wait until his initiative in the normal combat round, providing them with more options once the normal combat round begins.


First cropped up perhaps a year ago when my Rogue player with Fast Stealth asked me why he would ever Snipe instead of full attacking then 5 foot stepping. That was the answer I came up with -- if they attacked and then stealthed, then the opponent(s) were well aware where they were and what direction they headed into before stealthing, whereas with a Snipe -- given that it maintains your obscured location -- the only thing they would get is that they were shot in the back "from somewhere in that sort of direction."

A poster in the last few days put it in a way I like. If somebody Snipes you with a ranged attack, the only thing you know is which adjacent square the weapon passed through before it hit you. That's not necessarily official, but it's obvious enough to me that it's the way I like to run it.


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

Pg 563:

In our sniping scenario, if the victim is unaware of our sniper, then he is equivalent to being invisible.

Quote:


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.

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.

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