Can rogues Sneak Attack when stealthed? Or not?


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Scarab Sages

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Okay. I have tried to find this but the search function mainly spits out user profiles, which I can't seem to filter out.

When I was playing PFS at GenCon, we were told several times that rogues could not sneak attack by attacking when they win a Stealth vs Perception contest.

Is this correct?

The rules do not seem to explicitly say that a character loses his Dex bonus to AC when he is unaware of the attacker. They say that he loses it when the attacker is invisible, however.

In principle, this doesn't seem to be any different to me.

Can someone please clarify?


Dayan Nar wrote:

Okay. I have tried to find this but the search function mainly spits out user profiles, which I can't seem to filter out.

When I was playing PFS at GenCon, we were told several times that rogues could not sneak attack by attacking when they win a Stealth vs Perception contest.

Is this correct?

The rules do not seem to explicitly say that a character loses his Dex bonus to AC when he is unaware of the attacker. They say that he loses it when the attacker is invisible, however.

In principle, this doesn't seem to be any different to me.

Can someone please clarify?

You get sneak attack for the first attack if you are stealthed, but the rest of the attacks do not get sneak attack.

Scarab Sages

concerro wrote:
You get sneak attack for the first attack if you are stealthed, but the rest of the attacks do not get sneak attack.

Nice avatar.

If they were flat-footed, you'd get sneak attack for the first attack whether or not they were stealthed...

Unless you mean, your first attack while stealthed? And after that, your stealth is broken. Because that makes sense.


Dayan Nar wrote:
concerro wrote:
You get sneak attack for the first attack if you are stealthed, but the rest of the attacks do not get sneak attack.

Nice avatar.

Unless you mean, your first attack while stealthed? And after that, your stealth is broken. Because that makes sense.

I meant the first attack while stealthed. The greastest assassin in FR would know :) .

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Can't you Bluff to distract, then hide again (vs. perception), and then sneak attack again?


Mosaic wrote:
Can't you Bluff to distract, then hide again (vs. perception), and then sneak attack again?

Yes, but you still need cover or concealment, unless you have HiPS.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
concerro wrote:
Mosaic wrote:
Can't you Bluff to distract, then hide again (vs. perception), and then sneak attack again?
Yes, but you still need cover or concealment, unless you have HiPS.

From the PRD...

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.

I believe they are separate cases. You can use try Stealth if you have concealment or succeed with a -10 Bluff check.

Shadow Lodge

Mosaic wrote:


From the PRD...
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.

I believe they are separate cases. You can use try Stealth if you have concealment or succeed with a -10 Bluff check.

Sorry, but I believe the -10, which you are referring to, is applied to stealth, not bluff.

Sovereign Court

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Kaelas Rilyntlar wrote:
Sorry, but I believe the -10, which you are referring to, is applied to stealth, not bluff.

You are correct. But my point remains the same - I don't think you need concealment to try the Bluff check to get a new Stealth vs. Perception to another sneak attack.

Shadow Lodge

I agree. In the spirit of the rule, it's more like this:

Hey! Look over there!
*foolish wizard looks at where the dastardly rogue was pointing*
*rogue attempts to hide again*

Sometimes, it may work, others, it may not. With how the new skill system works with class skills and what not, unless a rogue has traited out, feat spec'd, and all that for stealth, my wizard will catch the rogue every time.

Skill Focus: Perception and my nifty Ring of Spot and Blindsense for the win. Have at you, cur!


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Mosaic wrote:
But my point remains the same - I don't think you need concealment to try the Bluff check to get a new Stealth vs. Perception to another sneak attack.

It does say "...if you can get to an unobserved place of some kind. ". In general, I don't think you can just bluff and hide - you have to have a place to hide. (Which seems likely to be cover/concealment or similar).

(Insert usual caveat about possibly missing the point completely...)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Personally, I use feint + sneak attack a lot more than Stealth + sneak attack.

Sovereign Court

You absolutely should be able to Re-stealth in the middle of combat and then attempt to get a sneak attack in. Now it's FAR easier with a ranged attack but you can pull off a melee attack.

Just because you are not invisible does not mean you don't deny their Dex to AC, you just don't get the lovely +2 to hit.

For example if I have an Obscuring Mist in the vicinity I can enter it and use Stealth because it provides concealment. If my foe is standing just outside of the concealment I can with a successful Stealth roll move adjacent to them (at the edge of the mist) and sneak attack.

--Vrock and Awe!

Dark Archive

The point of this is; where in the rules does it say that you can make a sneak attack while hidden? And can you jump out from behind the bush, run 20 feet and make a sneak attack, or does the running require a new sneak skill roll, or is it impossible?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Entropi wrote:
The point of this is; where in the rules does it say that you can make a sneak attack while hidden? And can you jump out from behind the bush, run 20 feet and make a sneak attack, or does the running require a new sneak skill roll, or is it impossible?

Once you've jumped out the bush you've broken stealth. You get one surprise period of actions which you can use to either move or make an attack. So if you have to run that 20 feet, you've used your surprise round for movement and combat proceeds as normal.

If however you beat your targets on initiative, they're still flatfooted for that first strike, so sneak attack can apply.Certain circumstances may however negate that surprise round, others may negate the flatfooted condition but for most cases this should hold.

If however, you've picked your hiding place or have managed to stealth to a hiding place with a combination of strategy and luck, so that you can lunge and hit your target without taking the move action, then you get sneak attack as you'll be hitting during the surrpise round, and another round of sneak attack if you win initiative on the following round.


Entropi wrote:
The point of this is; where in the rules does it say that you can make a sneak attack while hidden?

Good point. All I've found so far is:

"Sometimes you can't use your Dexterity bonus (if you have one). If you can't react to a blow, you can't use your Dexterity bonus to AC."

That's from the Combat chapter.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So basically to confuse everyone the less, don't ask your DM "whether I can attack from steath" the question should be... "given this situation and my action here, SHOULD my opponenents be denied thier dex?"


What many folks are trying to accomplish here, the round-by-round ability to sneak attack based on deceiving the enemy, is the function of Feinting in Combat (and thus a Bluff skill check) rather than Stealth. And even the Feint folks would need Improved Feint to pull this off every round.

If you want to use Stealth in melee combat, then you will generally be attacking only every other round at best. You have to first Bluff or otherwise distract enemies so that you are not being observed (some GMs may require a full round based on the verbiage in the Bluff skill, others may allow as a Standard Action similar to Feint), then move to a location providing cover or concealment, making a Stealth check as part of that movement. You must then wait until the next round to move up to an opponent and attack. You're then right next to that opponent until your next round, at which time you can Bluff, move, and hide again.

I use the phrase hogarth notes as enough justification for allowing a sneak attack after successfully hiding, but the above process usually makes hiding in combat to sneak attack a very rare tactic.

Dark Archive

hogarth wrote:


Good point. All I've found so far is:
"Sometimes you can't use your Dexterity bonus (if you have one). If you can't react to a blow, you can't use your Dexterity bonus to AC."

That's from the Combat chapter.

Great, that makes sense. If your opponent hasn't noticed you, he's denied his dex bonus. But we could still use a little more elaboration on what breaks the "stealthed/unnoticed" condition.

Example: The ogres are walking down the large hallway towards the pantry, arguing looudly about whe gets to wear the dead duck they found. Merisiel quickly hides behind the large barrel of apples, and sits tight while they walk by. Valeros has less success hiding in the crate of biscuits, and the ogres attack him. Merisiel sits tight in the first round. On the second round of combat, Merisiel wants to backstab an ogre, but they are 20 feet away, fighting Valeros. Noone is flat-footed anymore, and none of the ogres are in flanking position. Will the ogres lose their dex-bonus to AC if she:

a. Throws a dagger from the barrel?
b. jumps out of the barrel, tiptoes over and pierces the nearest ogres kidneys?
c. Charges the nearest ogre?
d. Spends a round sneaking closer wearing the barrel, with the tip of a dagger poining out of a hole in the side af the barrel?
e. Throws a dead seagull to the far end of the room to divert the attention of the ogres?
f. Gets Valeros to shout, jump up and down and make funny faces and remarks about the Ogres' mother-sisters?

Please back up your answers with references to the rules.

Scarab Sages

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This is something that needs clarifying in a PRPG FAQ. Until then, I recommend going with the 3.5 ruling, which *was* clarified in their FAQ.

3.5 FAQ wrote:

If a rogue has successfully hidden behind some bushes and fires an arrow at a target less than 30 feet away from her, does she deal sneak attack damage?

Yes. The rules don’t come right out and say this, but a character who has successfully hidden from an opponent is considered invisible for the purpose of rendering that foe flatfooted, and thus deals sneak attack damage.

Your God of Knowledge,

Nethys


The ogres are subject to sneak attack if they fail a Perception check. In all of the above situations, if Merisiel doesn't take a Move Action before taking a Standard Action to attack, then her previous Stealth check (against which the ogres have already failed) renders her opponents unaware of the attack. If they are outside melee range for Merisiel, she must use a ranged attack to make this happen. If Merisiel takes a Move Action to get into melee range and then attacks, the ogres make new Perception checks versus her Stealth check (which she makes in conjunction with the movement, and takes a -5 on if moving more than half speed). Any that succeed are not subject to sneak attack. The important thing here is that the ogres finished their round unaware of Merisiel. They could have taken a Move Action on their turn to look for anyone using Stealth. As Merisiel is trying to "strike from an unseen position" and the ogres are not "observing [her] using any of their senses" when she starts the Move Action, this is all in line with the descriptions of Perception and Stealth. There is no mechanic for the ogres to automatically notice her once she breaks cover--this is a situation where they have roughly 3 seconds to notice her before an attack, and this in the heat of battle.


Just wanted to comment on a few things:

"Mosaic 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.

I believe they are separate cases. You can use try Stealth if you have concealment or succeed with a -10 Bluff check.

No. You can use a Bluff check to distract a foe (Standard Action - it is basically a feint) and while they are distracted you can attempt to use your move action to get to cover and make a stealth check at -10. You cannot hide while being observed. So, you cannot hide using concealment after an oponent has spotted you because he is observing you. The distraction is just long enough for you to run to cover where you can no longer be observed, at which point you can roll for stealth.

Kaelas Rilyntlar wrote:

I agree. In the spirit of the rule, it's more like this:

Hey! Look over there!
*foolish wizard looks at where the dastardly rogue was pointing*
*rogue attempts to hide again*

The situation you are describing is a use of the Feinth combat rules and will indeed allow you to get sneak attack in that manner, but it is a Bluff check not a Stealth check.

Kaelas Rilyntlar wrote:
Skill Focus: Perception and my nifty Ring of Spot and Blindsense for the win. Have at you, cur!

HiPS + max ranks in Stealth (class skill) + at least +4 Dex bonus + Shadowed Armor (+10 Stealth) + Cloak of Elvenkind (+5 Stealth) + Skill Focus Stealth = Stealth Ranks +25 and the ability to hide while you are looking at me and without anything to actually hide behind. The Darkstalker Feat takes care of Blindsense.

But if a Rogue isnt dedicated enough to Stealth to go through all that trouble all they have to do is max out Bluff and take Skill Focus there. Get the Improved Feint feat and it won't matter if you can see him or not.

"King of Vrock wrote:
You absolutely should be able to Re-stealth in the middle of combat and then attempt to get a sneak attack in. Now it's FAR easier with a ranged attack but you can pull off a melee attack.

I do not believe this is possible after your opponent has observed you unless you have HiPS or Cover nearby in which case you can use Bluff to distract them and then use your move action to get to Cover and roll for Stealth.

"Entropi wrote:
The point of this is; where in the rules does it say that you can make a sneak attack while hidden? And can you jump out from behind the bush, run 20 feet and make a sneak attack, or does the running require a new sneak skill roll, or is it impossible?

This is possible. You don't automatically become observed when you leave cover, if trying to remain stealthy, and can actually use stealth to leave cover and sneak up on someone for an initial sneak attack. The rules are in the Complete Adventurer under the skill description for Hide. They have also been posted by Kyrt-ryder HERE. These rules also talk about moving between points of cover and point out in the wording that if a character is in Stealth and unseen when they attack a foe that foe is considered flat-footed. Which is all support for Nethys’ post above.


Here are a few other Threads having to do with HiPS:
How does Hide in Plain Sight work in Combat?
Hide in Plain Sight – Hey! Where’d she go?
Rogues and Hide in Plain Sight
Hide in Plain Sight

Also for those of you who are interested in some rules that would allow even a character who doesn’t have HiPS to move from cover out into the open and then make a sneak attack the rules for this are explained in the skill description of Hide in the Complete Adventurer. Kyrt-ryder has posted a copy of the rules HERE in the Hide in Plain Sight thread.

Thank you Nethys for your post. It is a wonderful reference as this is brought up a lot and there aren't many rules to actually say one way or the other.

Scarab Sages

All of my answers assume Merisiel doesn't have hide in plain sight.

Entropi wrote:
a. Throws a dagger from the barrel?

Yes, they are unaware of Merisiel at the time of her attack, thus the ogres are denied their Dex to AC. She could then attempt to hide again (assuming the ogres are more than 10 feet away) with a -20 to her Stealth check.

Entropi wrote:
b. jumps out of the barrel, tiptoes over and pierces the nearest ogres kidneys?

Depends, do the spaces she is moving through provide cover or concealment? If not, then she is not using Stealth, and the ogres are immediately aware of her. If so, then she can move using Stealth, and if successful make a sneak attack against her target.

Entropi wrote:
c. Charges the nearest ogre?

If she's actually in a barrel, she can't charge without first exiting the barrel. If, somehow, she is able to charge, then no, because you cannot use Stealth while charging.

Entropi wrote:
d. Spends a round sneaking closer wearing the barrel, with the tip of a dagger poining out of a hole in the side af the barrel?

This, I think, would require another Stealth check, for which Merisiel can move up to half her speed without penalty. If at the end of this move she can stab an ogre through the hole (!), and her Stealth check was successful, then yes, the ogre would be denied his Dex to AC because she has cover from the ogre. At least until he smashes to pieces the barrel that just stabbed him.

Entropi wrote:
e. Throws a dead seagull to the far end of the room to divert the attention of the ogres?

The action requirement of the divert attention usage of Bluff isn't specified anywhere (that I'm aware of), though it's safe to say that it requires the same action as feinting. Regardless, this usage of Bluff (which is detailed under Stealth) says it can only be used against targets that are aware of you, to give you an opportunity to hide. Since they're already not aware of her, this would be of no use.*

Entropi wrote:
f. Gets Valeros to shout, jump up and down and make funny faces and remarks about the Ogres' mother-sisters?

Not sure what Valeros is doing here: creating a diversion with Bluff? Sure, but she's not trying to hide, she's already done that. His distraction would, I think, allow her to attempt to move across the open area between herself and the ogres using Stealth. Also, there would have to be some readied actions involved for that to work. (This scenario isn't provided for in the rules, though it's a good extrapolation of how it could/should work.)

I think the pertinent point here is that without cover, concealment, or hide in plain sight, you simply can't use Stealth to deny a target their Dex to AC.

*:
Interestingly, *if* the DM allowed divert attention to be combined with a move, then Merisiel could move toward the ogres, tossing the omen of good fortune along the way, then using Stealth while completing her move (so long as her total move - for a move action - does not exceed half her normal speed) to arrive adjacent to an ogre and make a sneak attack.


Quote:
If, somehow, she is able to charge, then no, because you cannot use Stealth while charging.

That's not the question though :)

Yes, she could perform a partial charge during the surprise round, and the ogre would still be flatfooted until its initiative count during the first normal combat round.


Shadowlord wrote:
HiPS + max ranks in Stealth (class skill) + at least +4 Dex bonus + Shadowed Armor (+10 Stealth) + Cloak of Elvenkind (+5 Stealth) + Skill Focus Stealth = Stealth Ranks +25 and the ability to hide while you are looking at me and without anything to actually hide behind. The Darkstalker Feat takes care of Blindsense.

Shadow Armor and a Cloak of Elvenkind will not stack. They both provide Competence bonuses.


Tom Baumbach wrote:


Entropi wrote:
b. jumps out of the barrel, tiptoes over and pierces the nearest ogres kidneys?
Depends, do the spaces she is moving through provide cover or concealment? If not, then she is not using Stealth, and the ogres are immediately aware of her. If so, then she can move using Stealth, and if successful make a sneak attack against her target.

In core PF? Your right, though if Valeros were on the opposite side of the Ogres from her I'd let her make a simple stealth check to sneak up on them, he's the only threat/victim/whatever they see.

However, as was linked earlier, complete adventurer does have rules for this. For every 5 ranks of stealth you have (ranks would include the Pathfinder class skill bonus of course, due to conversion issues), you can sneak through 5 feet of open ground without being noticed by taking a -5 penalty to your stealth check.

Personally, I am deffinitely taking this rule into my games, BUT, instead of ranks, O would use virtual ranks (Ranks + Class skill bonus + any feats that apply) though I'm strongly contemplating removing the distance limit and instead just flat apply the -5 penalty per 5 feet travelled.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

In core PF? Your right, though if Valeros were on the opposite side of the Ogres from her I'd let her make a simple stealth check to sneak up on them, he's the only threat/victim/whatever they see.

However, as was linked earlier, complete adventurer does have rules for this. For every 5 ranks of stealth you have (ranks would include the Pathfinder class skill bonus of course, due to conversion issues), you can sneak through 5 feet of open ground without being noticed by taking a -5 penalty to your stealth check.

Personally, I am deffinitely taking this rule into my games, BUT, instead of ranks, O would use virtual ranks (Ranks + Class skill bonus + any feats that apply) though I'm strongly contemplating removing the distance limit and instead just flat apply the -5 penalty per 5 feet travelled.

Nice to know this was addressed somewhere, but I'm not sure it's needed. There's no facing in 3.x, which means that theoretically everyone is looking in every direction all the time. But this is why we have opposed Steath vs. Perception. You still need to have cover or concealment to remain hidden when it's not your turn but for moving from cover to cover, or sneaking up on someone I always assumed the 'I wait until he's looking the other way' was implied.

Now, if the opponent is declared as being focused on looking a particular direction, or if he knows you're hiding behind that bush (even if he can't actually SEE you because of a failed perception check), then you'd need a Bluff check for a distraction, or HiPS, or whatever.


Tom Baumbach wrote:

Entropi wrote:

b. jumps out of the barrel, tiptoes over and pierces the nearest ogres kidneys?

Depends, do the spaces she is moving through provide cover or concealment? If not, then she is not using Stealth, and the ogres are immediately aware of her. If so, then she can move using Stealth, and if successful make a sneak attack against her target.

Yes actually you CAN move out from cover and move a short distance using stealth to remain unnoticed and gain Sneak Attack on the Ogre. Details for how to use this are in the Complete Adventurer. They are also posted HERE.

I will post a copy of these rules in my post for those who want to look at the skill use in more detail. Yes, it is 3.5 but easily converted to PFRPG rules using Stealth.

RULES FOR USING STEALTH TO MOVE BETWEEN POINTS OF COVER AS WELL AS MOVE FROM COVER AND SNEAK UP TO AN OPPONENT UNNOTICED:

Move between Cover: If you’re already hiding (thanks
to cover or concealment) and you have at least 5 ranks in
Hide, you can make a Hide check (with a penalty) to try
to move across an area that does not offer cover or concealment
without revealing yourself. For every 5 ranks
in Hide you possess, you can move up to 5 feet between
one hiding place and another. For every 5 feet of open
space you must cross between hiding places, you take a
–5 penalty on your Hide check. If you move at more than
one-half your speed, you also take the normal penalty
on Hide checks when moving quickly (–10 for moving
faster than normal speed, or –5 for moving between half
speed and normal speed).

You can also use this option to sneak up on someone
from a hiding place. For every 5 feet of open space
between you and the target, you take a –5 penalty on
your Hide check. If your Hide check succeeds, your
target doesn’t notice you until you attack or make some
other attention-grabbing action. Such a target is treated
as being flat-footed with respect to you.

Tom Baumbach wrote:

Entropi wrote:

e. Throws a dead seagull to the far end of the room to divert the attention of the ogres?

The action requirement of the divert attention usage of Bluff isn't specified anywhere (that I'm aware of), though it's safe to say that it requires the same action as feinting. Regardless, this usage of Bluff (which is detailed under Stealth) says it can only be used against targets that are aware of you, to give you an opportunity to hide. Since they're already not aware of her, this would be of no use.*

There is no description in the Bluff skill that directly links to the distraction mentioned in Stealth. As such I believe this is a Feint. Merisiel doesn't need to Feint because as shown above she CAN sneak up on the Ogre using Stealth. I actually think a Feint would work in this situation because it doesn't say in the FEINT rules in Combat Rules that the opponent must be aware of you to use Feint, and it says if the feint is successful they lose their Dex against YOUR next attack. But Feinting is a standard action so she would have to Feint, then move to an adjacent square, then Attack the Ogre the next round. It would be far easier to use Stealth if her Stealth was high enough to leave cover, move to an adjacent square, and attack the Ogre all in the same round (as detailed above).

Entropi wrote:
f. Gets Valeros to shout, jump up and down and make funny faces and remarks about the Ogres' mother-sisters?

Normally this would not work. Not because Valeros could not Feint the Ogre but because his Feint only makes the Ogre vulnerable to HIS next attack. However, if Valeros had the Greater Feint feat, he could indeed Feint the Ogre and it would lose their Dex bonus until Valeros' next turn. This would allow Merisiel to leave cover walk up to the Ogre and stab it (with Sneak Attack) without ever having to user her own Stealth skills to close distance unnoticed.


ZappoHisbane wrote:
Shadowlord wrote:
HiPS + max ranks in Stealth (class skill) + at least +4 Dex bonus + Shadowed Armor (+10 Stealth) + Cloak of Elvenkind (+5 Stealth) + Skill Focus Stealth = Stealth Ranks +25 and the ability to hide while you are looking at me and without anything to actually hide behind. The Darkstalker Feat takes care of Blindsense.
Shadow Armor and a Cloak of Elvenkind will not stack. They both provide Competence bonuses.

Yeah I was aware, I couldn't find the rule in the PRD on which bonuses stack and which ones don't. I couldn't remember if Competence was one of those weird ones that let you stack them. I posted that I couldn't remember in another Thread and no one told me (I don’t think anyone noticed) so I am glad I got the answer here. Thanks.

The point still stands though. It would be quite challenging to spot someone who was devoted to Stealth.


Shadowlord wrote:
ZappoHisbane wrote:
Shadowlord wrote:
HiPS + max ranks in Stealth (class skill) + at least +4 Dex bonus + Shadowed Armor (+10 Stealth) + Cloak of Elvenkind (+5 Stealth) + Skill Focus Stealth = Stealth Ranks +25 and the ability to hide while you are looking at me and without anything to actually hide behind. The Darkstalker Feat takes care of Blindsense.
Shadow Armor and a Cloak of Elvenkind will not stack. They both provide Competence bonuses.

Yeah I was aware, I couldn't find the rule in the PRD on which bonuses stack and which ones don't. I couldn't remember if Competence was one of those weird ones that let you stack them. I posted that I couldn't remember in another Thread and no one told me (I don’t think anyone noticed) so I am glad I got the answer here. Thanks.

The point still stands though. It would be quite challenging to spot someone who was devoted to Stealth.

That's the idea, a stealthy character is supposed to be 'a thief in the night', 'a shadow in the corner of your vision' etc etc.

Honestly, I get tired of seeing rogues line up with flanks to sneak attack. It's valid and legitimate and isn't really broken, but it totally destroys my zone of what a sneak is. Now, if said rogue hasn't trained stealth, and are roleplaying more of a thug type rogue, then yeah, double-teaming backstabbing goodness all around.

I guess I'm just looking for sneaks who are actually dangerous because of their stealth, and that's what a propper application of the rules + HiPS + sneak attack (or other ample damage bonuses) do.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I guess I'm just looking for sneaks who are actually dangerous because of their stealth, and that's what a propper application of the rules + HiPS + sneak attack (or other ample damage bonuses) do.

The whole idea of being able to attack, hide, attack again is a little strange. It makes sense in mist or smoke but running over behind a barrel and coming back out is just a little ridiculous. It's kind of possible on an every other round basis but I think I would clobber a player who tried to use it on a regular basis.

Player: I attack the ogre then hide behind a barrel.
GM: The Ogre picks up the barrel and since you no longer have cover, you are no longer hidden. He smashes the barrel over your head.

Something like that. On the other hand you sneak up within 30' of the ogre, then next round gain initiative, shoot him again doing a second round of SA damage, then escape, possibly coming back later to repeat...

To be honest I'm not super happy with the rogues being the flanking damage dealers either. It would be more dangerous to have a trained fighter on either side of you than a trained fighter and a rogue.

Scarab Sages

Jabor wrote:

That's not the question though :)

Yes, she could perform a partial charge during the surprise round, and the ogre would still be flatfooted until its initiative count during the first normal combat round.

Not to be too snarky, but the scenarios given are on the second round of combat (possibly the first non-surprise round, not sure).

[spoiler=

Entropi wrote:
] Example: The ogres are walking down the large hallway towards the pantry, arguing looudly about whe gets to wear the dead duck they found. Merisiel quickly hides behind the large barrel of apples, and sits tight while they walk by. Valeros has less success hiding in the crate of biscuits, and the ogres attack him. Merisiel sits tight in the first round. On the second round of combat, Merisiel wants to backstab an ogre, but they are 20 feet away, fighting Valeros. Noone is flat-footed anymore, and none of the ogres are in flanking position. Will the ogres lose their dex-bonus to AC if she:

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Shadowlord wrote:
Yes actually you CAN move out from cover and move a short distance using stealth to remain unnoticed and gain Sneak Attack on the Ogre. Details for how to use this are in the Complete Adventurer. They are also posted HERE.

And those are good rules, which I too recommend adopting, but they sure aren't PFRPGcore.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I guess I'm just looking for sneaks who are actually dangerous because of their stealth, and that's what a propper application of the rules + HiPS + sneak attack (or other ample damage bonuses) do.

The whole idea of being able to attack, hide, attack again is a little strange. It makes sense in mist or smoke but running over behind a barrel and coming back out is just a little ridiculous. It's kind of possible on an every other round basis but I think I would clobber a player who tried to use it on a regular basis.

Player: I attack the ogre then hide behind a barrel.
GM: The Ogre picks up the barrel and since you no longer have cover, you are no longer hidden. He smashes the barrel over your head.

Something like that. On the other hand you sneak up within 30' of the ogre, then next round gain initiative, shoot him again doing a second round of SA damage, then escape, possibly coming back later to repeat...

To be honest I'm not super happy with the rogues being the flanking damage dealers either. It would be more dangerous to have a trained fighter on either side of you than a trained fighter and a rogue.

When I said that, I was more referring to situations where it's more plausible, such as in a mist, or at night, or perhaps in a forest with tons of trees around.

I've got no problem with them dishing out lots of damage, but flanking as a primary method of combat is just very unstylish to me. Like I said, a sneak (Ninja, Thief, etc) wouldn't stand there and slug it out, though a Thug or Enforcer type would.

Also, hiding behind the barrel only works if the target doesn't see you do it, meaning you either need to spend a standard action bluff distracting first, or there needs to be something they can't see past between them and you and the barrel.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I guess I'm just looking for sneaks who are actually dangerous because of their stealth, and that's what a propper application of the rules + HiPS + sneak attack (or other ample damage bonuses) do.

It certainly wasn't a complaint, I rely more on stealth as well and I like to think of myself as a true sneak not a thug. But I do use a lot of flanking with my team as well. I don’t think of it as a thug tactic, but rather that I have been trained to look for those targets that are most vital: arm pits, kidneys, inner thigh, neck, etc. . .

Quote:

The whole idea of being able to attack, hide, attack again is a little strange. It makes sense in mist or smoke but running over behind a barrel and coming back out is just a little ridiculous. It's kind of possible on an every other round basis but I think I would clobber a player who tried to use it on a regular basis.

Player: I attack the ogre then hide behind a barrel.
GM: The Ogre picks up the barrel and since you no longer have cover, you are no longer hidden. He smashes the barrel over your head.

They wouldn’t be able to do this. They would have to use a standard action to bluff the ogre and then use the move action to try to get to cover. Then they could use stealth to hide at a -10. After that it would be an intelligence thing on the ogre’s part. If there were lots of things to hide behind, then maybe they would be confused for a bit. If the barrels were the only things in the hallway to gain cover from, it is a fair bet it wouldn’t take them long to find the rogue.

Quote:
To be honest I'm not super happy with the rogues being the flanking damage dealers either. It would be more dangerous to have a trained fighter on either side of you than a trained fighter and a rogue.

This all depends on how you see the Fighter and how you see the Rogue. I see fighter as someone who goes at you and they aren’t looking for vital targets so much as they are just beating you down with brute force. A rogue is more of a target seeker in combat. If you have ever seen movies like "The Hunted" or some similar ones, that is how I see the Rogue's Sneak Attack, pin pointing vital organs because you have been trained to precisely target them. You can't do this easily when someone is directing all their attention toward you, but when they are trying to defend against the brutal onslaught of a fighter you can sneak up behind them and slice out their Achilles tendon, then stab through the arteries on their inner thighs, then drive the point of your sword up and into their chest cavity through the arm pit hole in their armor, slicing through arteries, lung and heart. I definitely don’t see it as just thug tactics and knowing how to gang up on someone really well - although some rogues are exactly that, these are generally your muggers and highway bandits, not your PC heros.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Shadowlord wrote:
ZappoHisbane wrote:
Shadowlord wrote:
HiPS + max ranks in Stealth (class skill) + at least +4 Dex bonus + Shadowed Armor (+10 Stealth) + Cloak of Elvenkind (+5 Stealth) + Skill Focus Stealth = Stealth Ranks +25 and the ability to hide while you are looking at me and without anything to actually hide behind. The Darkstalker Feat takes care of Blindsense.
Shadow Armor and a Cloak of Elvenkind will not stack. They both provide Competence bonuses.

Yeah I was aware, I couldn't find the rule in the PRD on which bonuses stack and which ones don't. I couldn't remember if Competence was one of those weird ones that let you stack them. I posted that I couldn't remember in another Thread and no one told me (I don’t think anyone noticed) so I am glad I got the answer here. Thanks.

The point still stands though. It would be quite challenging to spot someone who was devoted to Stealth.

As far as I know, only the following bonus's stack. Note, I may be mixing up 3.5 and PF, so bear with me.

Dodge : All Dodge Bonus's stack (100% sure of this)

Circumstance : Bonus's from DIFFERENT circumstances stack (IE: If you had a cloak that gave you a +5 circumstance bonus to stealth while in shadow, and you had partial cover from a bush that granted a +5 circumstance bonus for cover, then those would stack, but the cloak wouldn't stack with a +2 circumstance bonus for being in shadows (the cloak's circumstance is 'in shadows' as well))

Racial : Racial bonus's stack (which is why if you apply templates you get the bonus's on the template in addition to your base race's bonus's, unless stipulated otherwise in your template.

As far as I know, those are the only bonus's that stack.


Shadowlord wrote:
This all depends on how you see the Fighter and how you see the Rogue. I see fighter as someone who goes at you and they aren’t looking for vital targets so much as they are just beating you down...

Saying rogues 'pick' targets while the fighter just smashes things is a backwards justification for a game mechanic, not a solid simulation of how things should be.

Fighters specialize in killing things, it's what they do. Given a pair of opponents on either side of you he should be the one you worry about most because that's what he does best. Saying they are incapable of taking advantage of a distraction and putting the hurt to the enemy is to imply that fighters go to the stupid school of "I smash stuff". I could see this applying to a raging barbarian but not to fighters.

Rogues have all sorts of things they are good at, sneaking, skills, spotting, whatever. Fighters do exactly one thing well and shouldn't be out-shined at that one thing even if it's only situationally. Heck I can even see rogues being able to blindside someone from stealth.

All that said, I'm not suggesting any house rules or game changes, this little tidbits' pretty well embeded in the game and it's not changing in a hurry. I just think it's silly.


Perhaps I didn't explain well enough.

I was not trying to over simplify the Fighter class. That said if you come out with Full Plate and a greatsword you are hardly going to be picking targets, you may be trained to fight with all that, but when you are wearing an extra 50 lbs of armor and swinging a huge heavy sword like that, you are looking for big targets not vital spots. That said, a Fighter could just as easily be represented as a Musketeer, who is a VERY technical fighter. But even someone as technical as the Musketeer takes a long time in a Fight (IE: Rapier duels). If you think of any epic duel between swordsmen the Fighter could be represented. YES, they are technical fighters, trained to go the distance in a fight or in multiple fights.

There is, however, a huge difference between a largely technical fighter with a huge arsenal of attacks and defenses, and the assassin in the shadows who was trained to get close to you and stab you in the throat when you are distracted. The situational advantage really just boils down to different styles of training. You take that same assassin (without his flanking buddy) and put him up against a musketeer and he is more than likely going to lose very quickly. Why? He is NOT a technical fighter, he doesn't have the type of training (IE: AC + HP) that would allow him to defend against the technical, relentless, brutal onslaught of a fighter who has turned his full attention to the rogue. Also, if you take that same rogue and put him up against another rogue of equal lvl, he is going to be significantly less effective. Why? The enemy rogue is used to rogue tactics; he can more easily identify and defend against them.

I didn't mean to kick the fighter to the side, merely that the Fighter and the Rogue are trained in very different ways and they are effective in very different situations. And it seems to me that in the situation where someone is flanked by a Fighter and a Rogue, well, it is easier to see the longsword coming at your head and defend against it than that knife headed into your kidneys. It takes longer to swing a longsword than to stab with a knife.


IIRC, in 3.5 FAQ, the sage adviced to consider the stealthy character as invisible.
Need to check that.


selios wrote:

IIRC, in 3.5 FAQ, the sage adviced to consider the stealthy character as invisible.

Need to check that.

You are correct. The relevant section of 3.5 FAQ was posted up-thread by Nethys:

Nethys wrote:

This is something that needs clarifying in a PRPG FAQ. Until then, I recommend going with the 3.5 ruling, which *was* clarified in their FAQ.

3.5 FAQ wrote:
If a rogue has successfully hidden behind some bushes and fires an arrow at a target less than 30 feet away from her, does she deal sneak attack damage?

Yes. The rules don’t come right out and say this, but a character who has successfully hidden from an opponent is considered invisible for the purpose of rendering that foe flatfooted, and thus deals sneak attack damage.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys/quote


selios wrote:

IIRC, in 3.5 FAQ, the sage adviced to consider the stealthy character as invisible.

Need to check that.

Also note that the Sage advice quoted treats the hidden character as invisible for flat-footed purposes only. You don't get the +2 to attack that truly invisible creatures would. According to the advice anyway. I don't recall if that was justified any further.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

ZappoHisbane wrote:
Also note that the Sage advice quoted treats the hidden character as invisible for flat-footed purposes only. You don't get the +2 to attack that truly invisible creatures would. According to the advice anyway. I don't recall if that was justified any further.

Makes sense, at least; a stealthy character has to be more careful about how he moves, so as not to break stealth before the attack. The invisible character is, y'know, invisible.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:

All that said, I'm not suggesting any house rules or game changes, this little tidbits' pretty well embeded in the game and it's not changing in a hurry. I just think it's silly.

I'm totally on the same wavelength with you there Dennis. In my own little "if I were to remake D&D" ruleset, I'd have Fighters being the one with 1d6 damage every other level for flanking, etc, and Rogue having 1d6 every other level for non-flanking sneak attacks.

Wasn't there classes that had limited sneak attack like this? I think the Skirmish class ability that were in some splatbooks was to emulate "in-combat" flanking sneak attack damage. Also, I'm pretty sure the Ninja from Oriental Adventures was only able to Sneak Attack from stealth or flatfooted, not from flanking.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think it would be really nice to have an FAQ entry in the upcoming PFRPG FAQ which takes care of this, with examples and all.

I think it is bad that to play a stealth-based rogue, you have to know various obscure rules / sage advices and still can't be sure how that whole hiding/sneaking/sneak attacking thing really works.


Kaisoku wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:

All that said, I'm not suggesting any house rules or game changes, this little tidbits' pretty well embeded in the game and it's not changing in a hurry. I just think it's silly.

I'm totally on the same wavelength with you there Dennis. In my own little "if I were to remake D&D" ruleset, I'd have Fighters being the one with 1d6 damage every other level for flanking, etc, and Rogue having 1d6 every other level for non-flanking sneak attacks.

If you are that dissatisfied with how Fighters perform in a fight then perhaps the answer is boosting the Fighter a little bit more and not tearing down the Rogue class which is, at present, a very combat viable melee type and keeps up well with the damage output that other classes can get to (specifically casters, except the Rogue only hits 1 opponent at a time while a caster can hit all of them at once in some situations). Instead of trading the ability from one to the other and making everyone want to try your new fighter and no one want to play your hacked up Rogue why not just buff up the Fighter with an alternate class feature or a Feat that requires a certain number of fighter lvls. In fact, there already IS an alternate class feature that gives the Fighter class full SA progression at the cost of half or all of their feat progression; I believe it is in one of the Complete books (most likely Adventurer or Scoundrel). I personally don’t like the feel of taking away ALL of a Fighter's feats just for SA so I would probably make it half their Feats and make it only apply while flanking. Alternately I would consider making some kind of feat that didn't require the Fighter to give up any of his feat progression and gave a Fighter 1d6 for every 3 or 4 class lvls of bonus damage while he is Flanking an opponent. I would however limit this to only being usable when the Fighter is wielding a 1 handed or smaller/lighter weapon/s and wearing Medium or lighter armor. Let’s face it if a Fighter rolls onto the battle field wearing Full Plate and swinging a Greatsword he probably isn't too concerned with precision damage. At the weight of his gear and how much a full-face helm would reduce his visual range it is probably safe to say he is more of a hack and slash type and probably just swinging away and praying to his god that he hits something. As I stated up-thread there are plenty of examples of epic and very technical/tactical sword duels between people who could be portrayed as fighters; that said, most fighters I have seen in the parties I have played in or GM'd for have been far more the hack and slash, brute force through everything, leave the battlefield drenched in the enemies blood and roaring excited about it type.

Be careful though, if you start handing out bonus combat damage then you are going to have jealous Rangers and Barbarians who are equally combat efficient and as such have just as much reason for having bonus flanking damage as the Fighters. You are also going to reduce the combat effectiveness of a Rogue to nearly nothing past the first round of combat and you will end up with a lot of Rogues who are not particularly concerned with helping their buddy get his flanking bonus and are more concerned with Feinting and popping potions of Invisibility/Improved Invisibility to get their SA damage so they can feel like they are doing something.

IMO The reason Fighters don't get a lot of raw class feature bonus damage is because they get their Feats every other lvl. Feats are the most precious commodity in the game (if you are allowing more than just Core materials for the Fighter to select from) followed by class features and skill points. He has plenty of opportunity to boost his versatility and damage output in combat with the sheer number of feats he will receive from his class in addition to the 1/3 lvls feats that everyone else is stuck with. There is also the far superior armor, weapons, and HP to consider. A Fighter has a much better chance of going toe to toe with high level enemies and being able to not only hold his own but eventually kill his opponent. Most Rogues if they gets hit one or two good times are in desperate need of a healer.

Quote:
Wasn't there classes that had limited sneak attack like this? I think the Skirmish class ability that were in some splatbooks was to emulate "in-combat" flanking sneak attack damage. Also, I'm pretty sure the Ninja from Oriental Adventures was only able to Sneak Attack from stealth or flatfooted, not from flanking.

Yes, both the Ninja and the Scout class in the Complete Adventurer had hacked up versions of SA that were not very useful. The Scout could add his Skirmish damage to any attacks he made after moving at least 10' which means only one shot per turn if you want to add your damage, not very combat effective. Sudden Strike which is the Ninja version is equally useless IMO. You get your SS damage only when an opponent is Flat-Footed or otherwise denied Dex bonus but not when flanking. Same deal here, not very combat effective past the first round of combat unless you have magic items to become invisible/improved invisible because their class ability to become invisible is going to run out in just a few rounds (IE: just a few attacks) at least up until mid to high lvls. If they are becoming invisible/improved invisible all the time to try and get SS on their opponent they don’t make a good flanking partner and chances are the Fighter isn’t going to get his bonuses on a consistent basis either. Another problem the Ninja had was that they didn’t get to wear armor so if you want anything resembling decent AC at low lvls you are also spending quite a bit of gold on Bracers or Amulets that the Fighter and others will be pouring into their damage output with weapons enchants. In fact the only way I saw to make a Ninja combat viable/effective was to take the extra feats that were published in the latter Complete Scoundrel and even then it will be later levels before he starts to keep up. In mid to high lvls they are pretty good and I think could be quite devastating, the problem being that in an adventures life very few would ever make it past lvl 10 and very few players would want to put up with the sub-par class for that long.

I really don’t think reducing the Rogues in your game to a hacked version of SA is the answer you are seeking; you are just weakening your party if you do that. All it will do is make another melee class in your game sub-par. Besides even the PF designers must agree that the Rogue is a well balanced class because on top of not hacking SA they made it even more versatile (IE: more powerful) by allowing it to work against many of the monster types it didn’t work against in the 3.5 version.

And by the way, I wouldn’t suggest the Fighter to be a sub-par class at all, maybe a little boring depending on how he is played, but not sub-par. I have seen the Fighter in the party stand toe to toe, alone, with a dragon that had already reduced the rest of the party to near uselessness. Guess what, the Fighter didn’t flinch; it was the dragon who eventually tried to escape before being slain, hardly the hallmark of a sub-par performer.


I'm sorry that my comment elicited such a long response, because I think you misinterpreted my meaning.

I was in agreement with Dennis' comment. I don't think that such an ingrained ability should just be swapped out, as it would be detrimental.

Rather, I was talking about "if I were to totally remake D&D". In other words, the Fighter and Rogue would have been rebuilt from the ground up, with different sets of abilities.

The point was that "extra damage" from flanking feels very Fighter-ish, while "extra damage" against the unprepared or oblivious feels very Rogue-ish.

.

Also, the Skirmish ability I was thinking of was in the Unearthed Arcana book. It was the swap out choice for the Ranger (instead of Favored Enemy or Spells I think), and I'm almost certain it worked differently from the Scout in PHB2. I'd have to double check my books to be certain though.


Kaisoku wrote:

I'm sorry that my comment elicited such a long response, because I think you misinterpreted my meaning.

I was in agreement with Dennis' comment. I don't think that such an ingrained ability should just be swapped out, as it would be detrimental.

Rather, I was talking about "if I were to totally remake D&D". In other words, the Fighter and Rogue would have been rebuilt from the ground up, with different sets of abilities.

I didn't misunderstand. I realize you are not presently house-ruling anything or attempting to rework the classes in your current game. Neither was Dennis da Ogre. But in my reply to him I was saying that his dissatisfaction with the system was possibly just a matter of the way he was imagining/envisioning each class and their roles. Here I was just elaborating on the mechanical impact it would have and how I think it would only serve to imbalance an otherwise pretty well balanced set of melee mechanics. For instance, if you take flanking away from Rogue and give it to Fighter, the Rangers and Barbarians who are also very powerful melee types are going to wonder why they don’t get flanking damage too, they are just as capable of hacking someone’s leg or arm off when he isn’t looking. And the Rogue is going to wonder why he can't make use of his knowledge of vital spots when his opponent is not able to defend himself properly anymore (IE: flanked). They all have valid arguments, they all should have some level of Flanking, or at least it would make sense to give it to them because they are all good in melee combat, or at least they can be.

I think a more balanced and less disruptive method would probably be to create a feat with certain requirements to weapon and armor weight and allow any melee type to take it and gain some sort of flanking damage bonus. Perhaps make it 1d6 of bonus flanking damage per 3 or 4 lvls. Also note that it should not stack with SA. But that also means that the NPCs should get it too and players might not like that so much when they start getting flaked. It would certainly make combat more deadly, probably more realistic in a way.

It is just an example of how the game mechanics have difficulty representing every possible scenario in real life combat. for example: I have had Fighters sneak up on someone while they weren't paying attention and hack their spine, then try to argue with me as to why that guy didn't die right off the bat. He snuck up on him successfully, he could have CDG'd him if the guy was helpless but he wasn't. A Rogue in the same situation could have done enough SA damage to kill the guy. It was just the mechanic and the fact that Fighters don't get SA. He has every reason to get it in that situation. He is just as capable of hacking a guys spine in two or decapitating him when he isn't paying attention as a Rogue is (in theory), but the mechanic says he doesn't get SA.

Quote:
The point was that "extra damage" from flanking feels very Fighter-ish, while "extra damage" against the unprepared or oblivious feels very Rogue-ish.

My point was that if you take it from one class and give it to the other you will have balance and jealousy issues as stated above, IMO. I don't know what all the changes you would make are so I don't really know if there would be these issues or not.

As with my reply to Dennis da Ogre, I think a lot of this has to do with the way you see/envision your classes and the way they fight. Consider this: There are two main types of Fighter, the technical guy with his stances and an attack to counter every defense (like a Fencer) and the heavy Fighter who is more of a wrecking ball (Full Plate + Greatsword). Both have their own approach to combat, both are equally as effective, and both take a long time to defeat powerful enemies. The wrecking ball swings and swings and powers through his opponent. The small hit point damage represents tiring the opponent out until he is no longer able to hold up his shield and then you take off his head with the final stroke (IE the hit that takes him to 0 hp or a Crit that does huge amounts of damage). The fencer is perfectly capable of walking up to someone and giving him a quick stab through the heart or throat. But would he, well the fencer is a far more technical fighter and his desire isn't just to kill his opponent but to BEST him in every way. First he wants to completely dismantle the other guy’s defenses and show himself to be a more accomplished fighter in every way. Think of the epic fencing match in Princess Bride, or the final duel in the Mask of Zorro. Were they capable of just hitting their opponent in the throat with a quick and well placed attack, probably. Did they, NO. Why, they want not only to kill their opponent but for that opponent to know, and for themselves to know, who the better technician really is. That duel may take seconds, or it may take minutes. The small hp loss here represents whittling at your opponents defenses and slowly finding ways to circumvent his stance, his form, and his technique until you reach that moment of undeniable advantage when you have truly BESTED him and you stab him through the stomach or the heart. In that movement you know, and he knows, that you are the better fighter, there was no cheating or dishonor, man against man, technique against technique and you have defeated him. Most fencers would probably take offence at someone coming to flank their opponent as it is THEIR fight and they can handle it and besides, flanking is unfair. Now think of the Rogue. Most of them have little or no honor in battle, little or no chivalry toward their enemy. They would just as soon kill him in his sleep as face to face. They are not technical fighters in any way and find advantage when their opponents back is turned or when they are unable to properly defend. They have no will or reason to go through a long drawn out battle of wills and technique, they are only looking for that momentary advantage that will let them stab you in the lung or slice open an artery. The Rogue doesn't want to BEST you, he wants to slit your throat by whatever means he can. In a fair fight, with all a Fighter's attention turned toward the Rogue, SA doesn't work his advantage disappears as the Fighters technique and defense is superior. The Rogue is only capable of finding great advantage through deception, unfair advantage, and things that most brave and chivalrous soldiers would call dishonor.

If you are talking about a Fighter type that portrays a phalanx mentality like a Roman Soldier/Centurion then I would definitely see them flanking opponents and slicing open arteries, killing the opponent in the quickest way possible. The European Crusaders could be considered to have this type of mentality but again with them you are probably dealing with the heavy armor and weapon that prevents them from accurately targeting vital areas. I would almost consider most Rangers and Barbarians a better fit to flanking than most fighter concepts. The Ranger/Barbarian is less structured and most concepts probably have less of a chivalrous feel to them IMO. I would think them more willing to take advantage of the unfair flanking advantage as most are Chaotic in nature, or at least Neutral. True there is no alignment restriction on the Fighter and he can be just as Chaotic, but probably wouldn't be with the rigid training he has had, it seems more of a Lawful practice to me, very LN (with Good tendencies) type class IMO. That would just be a pre-disposition though, not a rule.

I can agree that there are many Fighter concepts that deserve some bonuses to flanking damage and would gladly take advantage of it. But I also think that the Rogue could take advantage of the vital spots he knows how to attack when someone has to split their attention between two opponents. He is still unable to defend himself properly.

If you re-wrote the system you could give them both their niches and make a Rogue's SA more like the SS of a Ninja, but like I said before:

Shadowlord wrote:

You are also going to reduce the combat effectiveness of a Rogue to nearly nothing past the first round of combat and you will end up with a lot of Rogues who are not particularly concerned with helping their buddy get his flanking bonus and are more concerned with Feinting and popping potions of Invisibility/Improved Invisibility to get their SA damage so they can feel like they are doing something.

Not very combat effective past the first round of combat unless you have magic items to become invisible/improved invisible because their class ability to become invisible is going to run out in just a few rounds (IE: just a few attacks) at least up until mid to high lvls. If they are becoming invisible/improved invisible all the time to try and get SS on their opponent they don’t make a good flanking partner and chances are the Fighter isn’t going to get his bonuses on a consistent basis either.

All that SA with Flanking does, with the current Rogue, is show that the Rogue is good enough at his skill in targeting vital areas to do it just as well when you look away to defend against another attacker as he can when you have no idea where he is. And it makes the Rogue very reliable in a fight, you know he is always going to want to gang up on someone so he can get his bonus and the fight can be ended sooner. If you take that aspect of SA away, I think it would make Rogues far less reliable to their companions in a fight. The same can be said of most melee classes now, it is the Rogue who has to keep up and position himself to gain flanking, and the other classes are usually not that concerned about his position or helping him out. The Fighters/Rangers/Barbarians are many times running off to attack whatever is closest or most convenient or the biggest threat. (Sometimes that isn’t the case and the party does work well together and try to take tactical advantage of everyone’s abilities.) All it would do is switch the roles IMO and it would be the Fighter trying to keep organized with the Rogue so he could gain flanking bonuses.

Quote:
Also, the Skirmish ability I was thinking of was in the Unearthed Arcana book. It was the swap out choice for the Ranger (instead of Favored Enemy or Spells I think), and I'm almost certain it worked differently from the Scout in PHB2. I'd have to double check my books to be certain though.

I am not sure about Skirmish in UA. Scout was in Complete Adventurer, I don't think they reprinted it in PHB2.

Honestly I think a bonus to flanking damage is a viable and good mechanic to have as an Alternate class feature or even as a possible feat as my example up-thread. But I think giving Rogues only the ability to have SA when their opponent is flat-footed or denied Dex to Armor and NOT when flanking, basically the same as SS for Ninjas, would only serve to make them as unreliable in a fight as the Ninja class was, not particularly concerned with helping a buddy flank but rather concerned with getting their extra damage.

Please don't take this the wrong way, I am not trying to turn this into a heated argument, but rather present alternate outlooks and methods.


In my experience, the rogue with Improved Feint is more dangerous (damage dealing wise) than the one relying on high Stealth.

When you can feint as a move action, with a high Bluff you have a good chance of using sneak attack most other classes every round. Not many load up on Sense Motive. This was one of the brutal things about the Invisible Blade prestige class...though eventually they could feint as a free action and take 10 on their bluff checks.

Worse still is the Rogue with high Stealth, Improved Initiative and Improved Feint. He is going to get an opening Sneak Attack from ambush, then probably one more when he goes first in the round and feints. He also has the chance of Sneak Attack at the beginning of every round.

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