Sneak Attack and Scorching Ray


Rules Questions

151 to 200 of 320 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

3 people marked this as a favorite.

So an Arcane Trickster can't aim 3 scorching rays or 5 magic missiles, but he can aim a fireball so that it hits potentially 44(If I counted that right?) targets exactly where it will hurt each one of them the most?

It seems the problem is not Sneak Attack (which is generally weak), the problem is certain spells providing a ridiculous number of attack rolls that can be targeted at the same target.

Simple fix:
Sneak Attack is only applied once per spell per target. So if you cast 3 Scorching Ray rays at one target you get Sneak Attack damage only once (and I would say you get the extra damage as long as any one of those rays hit). But if you fire at 3 different targets you would get Sneak Attack on all three rays, each target only taking the Sneak Attack damage only once.

This would also allow a 16th level Arcane Trickster to get 5 Sneak Attacks with a Magic Missile, but only if he hit 5 different targets. He would still get laughed at by the Arcane Archer, but at least the AA wouldn't be completely incapacitated from the ROFLMAO laughter he suffers from now.


We have a ruling!

I'm not sure I like the ruling 100%. I've run games involving rogue/sorceror PCs, and they used it in an effective but not-overpowered manner (granted, with the adjudication that the first ray breaks stealth / invisibility). In fact, I'm still running a game for one, so this FAQ is a bit sad for that player. But that's okay, we'll work something out. I'm an indie GM, so I can ignore the FAQ, grandfather it in until the next campaign, or allow the player to retrain -- no big deal.

However, now that somebody has confirmed that effects like holy ice exist, I do agree -- that should not be possible. One shouldn't be able to whip out fifteen sneak attacks with a single spell.

Looking back on things, I wonder if everybody could have been satisfied with design philosophies entailing that spells attacks are not considered simultaneous, and that multiple opportunities for sneak attack should be paid for with higher spell levels. But the spells already exist, and I will concede that it would put additional strains on Pathfinder developers who already have enough considerations without designing and adhering to an Allowable Attacks Per Spell Level chart.

I do often begin to agree with FAQ rulings once I consider them carefully, which is what I'm going to do. I certainly see apparent reasons for the decision. And although rulings like these are sometimes unpopular, I really do appreciate that this is making the game more consistent. Thus, I'd like to reiterate my thanks for ruling it, even if it isn't what I expected, and encourage you do continue doing so.

Who knows, maybe some enterprising forum poster will champion Illusions next and we can get some solid rulings the same way we've been getting them for Light/Darkness and Stealth?


TheRedArmy wrote:
James - the range limit on SA is 30 ft. That's why it's still ok, at least part of why, in my eyes.

Paizo has added in magic items to avoid that pesky little restriction.. you can sneak attack with telekinesis from 1000 feet away if you have line of sight that far.

-James


I was not aware of that. Could you point me to the item? Spells have a range, too. And you take range penalties if there is an attack roll involved.

...How one exactly adjudicates that is unclear, by RAW.


Spell Range is not at all the same thing as Range INCREMENT, which is where 'range penalties for attack rolls' come into play.
There are no penalties for using a Spell up to it's maximum range AFAIK. (although you need to pass a Perception check to notice the target in the first place)
To be honest, I do find this somewhat strange, but that's how it seems the rules work.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

So it looks like Rogue3/Fighter(Archer)17 can apply 2d6 Sneak Attack to ALL attacks they make with Volley... (not being a spell)
EDIT: I was going to write that Volley had a 15' range, but it is all targets within a 15' burst,
meaning there is no range limitation (although range increment penalties apply to the attack rolls)
but all targets must be within a 30' diameter spherical area.


Lord Twig wrote:

So an Arcane Trickster can't aim 3 scorching rays or 5 magic missiles, but he can aim a fireball so that it hits potentially 44(If I counted that right?) targets exactly where it will hurt each one of them the most?

Simple fix:
Sneak Attack is only applied once per spell per target. So if you cast 3 Scorching Ray rays at one target you get Sneak Attack damage only once (and I would say you get the extra damage as long as any one of those rays hit). But if you fire at 3 different targets you would get Sneak Attack on all three rays, each target only taking the Sneak Attack damage only once.

This is sort of what i was going to get at with my questions prior.

I was thinking the same thing, per spell, per target.


I believe that the better fix would have been once per target, not once per spell. The once per spell precedent was for spells that couldn't normally add sneak attack damage at all, not for spells requiring an attack roll.

But... that's the ruling.

I'm still not sure what everyone was really afraid of, the damage potential was so much less than a pure sorcerer blaster that it was negligible in the first place. Anyone who could use those higher level spells, could have just used a Wish/Limited Wish or Miracle at the same level to uncreate a small kingdom.... or would have had around 3d6 of sneak to stack anyways.

This ruling only reinforces that prestige classes are not loved in PF (probably a result of the "if I take 1-2 levels of 6-7 classes/prestige I become Voltron" buildstyle of 3.x), and that base classes, with a lack of multiclassing are actually the way things are ruled towards.


Is there any (Su) abilities that grant multiple simultaneous touch/ranged touch attacks?


The once per spell precedent was for spells that normally can't add sneak attack, that's why this is a separate ruling that uses that as a precedent. It's less of a balance issue and more of a logic issue, you have an existing logic of adding sneak attack to one damage roll per spell, be it from Magic Missile (Which rolls damage up to five times), Scorching ray (Up to three times) or Fireball (Exactly once). All they did, really, was extend the logic from Surprise Spell to apply to all spell based sneak attacks, it seems.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It just breaks the versimilitude for me that an 11th level rogue with rapid shot who wins initiative in the first round can sneak attack 3 guys with a bow, while a caster focused around surprising enemies with his spells for extra damage cannot, given the same winning of initiative.

Spells that require no attack roll, that I agree with, they are a special case in that even getting the sneak attack damage -once- is a bonus.

But normal attack rolls with a chance to miss, they should get the same rewards as the archer for the same effort.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hmm, actually I don't think this ruling covers Holy Ice, Fiery Shuriken, or similar spells. It's not clear, that is. The ruling clearly leans on the word "simultaneous" which is in Scorching Ray but not these other spells. Now you might find that nitpicking, but I can see different DMs having different decisions regarding those spells and breaking invisibility (flat-footed on all attacks, or just the first?), so it isn't quite as trivial as it seems.

I think the once per target per spell is a pretty quick and easy fix. Though I'm not sure it is the best fix.

I do think it would have been beneficial to have waited before making a ruling and steered this thread towards discussing the ramifications of different ways of handling this problem (and different spells).


TheRedArmy wrote:
James - the range limit on SA is 30 ft. That's why it's still ok, at least part of why, in my eyes.

Take a look at Sniper Goggles. Let's just say I made an Arcane Trickster with Sniper Goggles. He could pretty much one shot anything he surprised that could be affected by Sneak Attack.


I completely understand this ruling. It may not be so bad with Scorching Ray. It's pretty bad with the Scorching Ray upgrade that allows for five attacks. It's pretty bad Holy Ice and Telekinesis. It becomes many time worse with Sniper Goggles. Sniper Goggles still make the Archer rogue super, super nasty.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Given that FAQ response seems to be from today, I'm not sure much thought was put into the answer.
We really, really, really appreciate this sort of comment.

Thanks, Sean.

Appreciate the Ruling.

You guys take all the hate so that the DMs don't have to. That's making our jobs easier. :-)

(even though, I'm the player on this one.... *cries for his arcane trickster*)


Crap. Now I have to revise the guide! LOL


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I'll point out that Manyshot, which fires two arrows at once, says this:

Benefit: When making a full-attack action with a bow, your first attack fires two arrows. If the attack hits, both arrows hit. Apply precision-based damage (such as sneak attack) and critical hit damage only once for this attack. Damage bonuses from using a composite bow with a high Strength bonus apply to each arrow, as do other damage bonuses, such as a ranger's favored enemy bonus. Damage reduction and resistances apply separately to each arrow.

So there is another precedent (having nothing to do with the arcane trickster) for simultaneous attacks only applying sneak attack damage to one of the shots.

I already pointed this as an example. But as others have said, Manyshot roll to attack just once. And it specifically says it only adds precision damage once. Scorching ray does not say that, and, much more importantly... it rolls to attack three times.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mmm... I should have read the entire thread. It seems we have an official FAQ about it now, and it punishes rogues. I'm not sure rogues needed it, but that's the official ruling now.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think saying this "punishes" anyone is hyperbole.


Not really. I had a friend whose main character was built entirely in PFS around the concept of "spellwarp sniper." Her main shtick in combat was "SCORCHING RAY IT!" The damage was solid but not amazing in the first place.

Now that character is dead though. In the mid levels you can assume to be getting about 5d6 sneak attack per ray and with improved invisibility get it on all of them, or could. She just lost an average of 35 damage per spell.

With touch attacks that amounts to nearly a flat loss of 35 DPR, which for a blaster caster in the mid levels is a relatively big deal. This ruling pretty much just murdered a PFS character of moderately high level, and I'm not sure if this particular ruling will fall under the "ok you get a full rebuild up to your level."

I certainly hope so though.

Edit: oops forgot she was a crossblooded sorcerer. She was getting +2 damage/ dice rolled. So she actually just lost about 55 DPR, not 35.


It punishes everyone else if somebody can declare fifteen simultaneous sneak attacks with a simple invisibility : )


An AT gets 3 rays at 11th character level, at the earliest. He can sneak attack with one of the rays (gods help him if it misses), but that's it.

He does a devastating 4d6 extra damage! Wow! What a badass! That's 56 average damage, rather than 42, if they all hit!

Of course, a CR 11 enemy will barely feel that, laugh at him, then move 30' and smash his fragile little face in.

Given the difficulty, infrequency, and general ineffectiveness of trying to sneak attack with scorching ray, I'm recommending that tricksters ignore trying to get sneak damage in most situations. It's just not worth it.

If you get lucky, great. Don't waste rounds getting into position, or going invisible, etc. It's not worth your time for a whopping possible 4d6 more damage. You're just not all that cool.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I think saying this "punishes" anyone is hyperbole.

Well, it's an interpretation that makes weaker all classes with sneak attack, compared to the other possible ruling. I used "punishes" because I don't like the word "nerf" very much.


Troubleshooter wrote:
It punishes everyone else if somebody can declare fifteen simultaneous sneak attacks with a simple invisibility : )

That's why you tell tricksters that precision damage only applies to direct damage spells. Telekinesis doesn't qualify, AFAIC.


Troubleshooter wrote:
It punishes everyone else if somebody can declare fifteen simultaneous sneak attacks with a simple invisibility : )

Except as shown multiple times in this thread, the rogues to hit is so freaking low that even when people claim "OMG WTF SPELL GIVES 15 ATTACKS, 15 SNEAK ATTACKS" they fail to notice the attacks are wisdom not dex based. So the already low to hit rogue, and lower to hit arcane trickster, are going off of one of their low stats for all 15 attacks.

Did the math on it already. Assuming for some reason your rogue had a 16 wisdom at level 10 you'd hit about 4.5 times out of those 15. Huh, go figure the rogue gets 4.5 sneak attacks off at level 10. I'm sure that will be horrific damage.


A highly regarded expert wrote:

An AT gets 3 rays at 11th character level, at the earliest. He can sneak attack with one of the rays (gods help him if it misses), but that's it.

He does a devastating 4d6 extra damage! Wow! What a badass! That's 56 average damage, rather than 42, if they all hit!

Of course, a CR 11 enemy will barely feel that, laugh at him, then move 30' and smash his fragile little face in.

Given the difficulty, infrequency, and general ineffectiveness of trying to sneak attack with scorching ray, I'm recommending that tricksters ignore trying to get sneak damage in most situations. It's just not worth it.

If you get lucky, great. Don't waste rounds getting into position, or going invisible, etc. It's not worth your time for a whopping possible 4d6 more damage. You're just not all that cool.

Who is talking about Arcane tricksters? I'm talking about straight pure rogues with Use Magic Device and wands of Scorching ray. At 11th character level, that's 12d6 less damage per round.


Math aside, you don't need arcane trickster to get sneak attack on the spell in question.

Edit: This post is in response to Thomas Long 175's last post :)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

One trick ponies are always susceptible to meltdown, when the altering of their one trick comes to light.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

/facepalm

So this ruling kills a PFS character (who is already dead) who would suffer a DPR decrease,
while all the other rogues who aren't using that strategy are unaffected,
and the entire point of using that strategy was to get bigger DPR than other rogues.
so, for the few who wanted to cheese out this spell, they lose their ability to be better than everybody else who didn't do so. boo hoo.

you can still use flame blade for full attack sneak attacks, or any spell allowing multiple NON simultaneous attacks.
so go put your munchkin mind to work cheesing that out.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
it's an interpretation that makes weaker all classes with sneak attack, compared to the other possible ruling.

Yes, I'm sure every character with Sneak Attack was using this tactic, and that was the intention when the class was designed. Yeah.


Anyway, I think the real question here is what happens when say a manticore takes some rogue levels and attacks the party with its Spikes (Ex) ability.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Troubleshooter wrote:
It punishes everyone else if somebody can declare fifteen simultaneous sneak attacks with a simple invisibility : )

Talk about hyperbole!

"I can get fifteen simultaneous sneak attacks with a 2nd level spell! That's just 3rd level!"

Yep! You sure can! All you need is a 15th level spell and enough sneak attack dice to actually matter.


Are wrote:

Math aside, you don't need arcane trickster to get sneak attack on the spell in question.

Edit: This post is in response to Thomas Long 175's last post :)

No one ever said they did. They now only get it on the first one though. Used to be with improved invisibility you got all 3. So instead of 15d6 sneak attack you get 5d6.

Aka reduction of 10d6 + 20 because it counts as part of the spell for purposes of bloodline, they are die rolled and of the appropriate elemental type. Aka, this ruling has taken out nearly 55 DPR.

My statement stands.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quandary wrote:

/facepalm

So this ruling kills a PFS character (who is already dead) who would suffer a DPR decrease,
while all the other rogues who aren't using that strategy are unaffected,
and the entire point of using that strategy was to get bigger DPR than other rogues.
so, for the few who wanted to cheese out this spell, they lose their ability to be better than everybody else who didn't do so. boo hoo.

you can still use flame blade for full attack sneak attacks, or any spell allowing multiple NON simultaneous attacks.
so go put your munchkin mind to work cheesing that out.

flame blade is a druid spell only. That doesn't help the arcane trickster out at all.

Oh and boo hoo. Its not cheese to try and be on regular levels of DPR. Seriously if you were here I'd smack you upside the head for a comment that inherently stupid.

"I WANNA MUNCHKIN! I KNOW I'LL GO ARCANE TRICKSTER WITH SCORCHING RAY!"

Oh and saying you're better in terms of DPR than a regular rogue might mean "LOOK AT ME I'M ON MONK LEVEL NOW"

Edit: I'm sorry I'm not normally this mean but you are calling out someone for munchkining on an arcane trickster?

An inherently Blaster only class that worse at blasting than a straight up full caster. And you're calling them MUNCHKINS for freaking nerfing themselves for flavor but trying to be decent in their shtick for balance purposes while playing what they want to play.

Seriously that comment is so freaking stupid that I wish that I could beat on something to get this urge to beat sense into you out of my system.

/Rant

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, I'm more concerned with the rules being consistent (i.e., "one SA per targeted spell") than the rules protecting DPR of a niche build of one type of specialized character (i.e., "now my rogue using scorching ray can't get sneak attack on every single shot!").


quite. somebody else asked about manticore's, but that seems to be in the same boat at 17th level Archer Fighter Volley: NOT A SPELL, thus not subject to the FAQ restriction.

clearly, those abilities are much more restricted to gain than a random 2nd level spell, while also picking up signifigant sneak attack. (17th level fighter, Beast Shape IV grants Spikes, but that's a 6th level wiz/alchemist spell and Druid Wildshape only goes up to BSIII and they only gain BSIV via a 9th level spell).


Ok.

Trying to get clear of all the non-helpful posts... please take your temper tantrums to another place. We have an active developer that has been keeping up with this thread even after the ruling, I'd like to not make him regret that decision.

Sean. Your ruling stands, you have that authority.

However, I would like to hear the reasoning that caused this ruling in line with abilities that grant sneak attack damage to no-attack roll or single attack roll multiple damage dice attacks/spells.

As opposed to multiple sneak attacks when using abilities that require multiple attack rolls, such as firing multiple arrows that each require to hit.

The volley rule in 3.x was not carried over in PF, and sneak attacks were allowed to be made multiple times for multiple attacks provided conditions were met, this ruling brings it back to the 3.x basis.

In a home game, I disagree with your call, and can houserule it as I wish. However, that is not an option for PFS, where your ruling affects 3 of my characters, although not for the scorching ray specifically, so I would at least hope that you would be willing to explain why you considered it one way vs the other.

I'm just wondering why it was based on how many spells were cast, instead of how many attack rolls were made, like all the other ways of delivering sneak attack.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Honestly, I'm more concerned with the rules being consistent (i.e., "one SA per targeted spell") than the rules protecting DPR of a niche build of one type of specialized character (i.e., "now my rogue using scorching ray can't get sneak attack on every single shot!").

I absolutely appreciate consistency, and this rule is consistent, so in that way this is a good ruling. I would just have wished that it would be consistent and not have reduced that power of an already weak build.

I would hardly call the Arcane Trickster a niche build, and sneak attacking with spells is kinda their thing.


Quandary wrote:

quite. somebody else asked about manticore's, but that seems to be in the same boat at 17th level Archer Fighter Volley: NOT A SPELL, thus not subject to the FAQ restriction.

clearly, those abilities are much more restricted to gain than a random 2nd level spell, while also picking up signifigant sneak attack. (17th level fighter, Beast Shape IV grants Spikes, but that's a 6th level wiz/alchemist spell and Druid Wildshape only goes up to BSIII and they only gain BSIV via a 9th level spell).

Eh, I was more going for the idea that if consistency is the main goal, as opposed to numerical balance, it would seem to be better to make a more general rule that applies to all sorts of non-full attack actions. Having such a ruling would mean that future abilities would remain consistent without having to be individually dealt with.


Lord Twig wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Honestly, I'm more concerned with the rules being consistent (i.e., "one SA per targeted spell") than the rules protecting DPR of a niche build of one type of specialized character (i.e., "now my rogue using scorching ray can't get sneak attack on every single shot!").

I absolutely appreciate consistency, and this rule is consistent, so in that way this is a good ruling. I would just have wished that it would be consistent and not have reduced that power of an already weak build.

I would hardly call the Arcane Trickster a niche build, and sneak attacking with spells is kinda their thing.

The problem is not the ruling.. the problem is a class called the arcane trickster needing to use the fact that until now the 3.5 ruling wasn't carried over to 'survive'.

Really what the PrC needs (as well as some others) is a revamping with the alterations Pathfinder made to the base classes. For the arcane trickster they should be getting 'arcane tricks/talents' every other level akin to what rogues would get (but with a different list of abilities).

-James

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

TGMaxMaxer wrote:
However, I would like to hear the reasoning that caused this ruling in line with abilities that grant sneak attack damage to no-attack roll or single attack roll multiple damage dice attacks/spells.

Jason made the ruling about fireball and magic missile, and I don't know his reasoning for it. Personally, I would have said "one target per spell," ruling out applying sneak attack damage to everyone in the area of a fireball, but I suppose the prestige class needs something at level 10 to make it worthwhile.

As to why allow it for fireball and not for all uses of scorching ray, it's because it's one thing to give an ability to level 10 of a prestige class, and much more powerful thing to give that same ability to every single rogue in the game who happens to multiclass or put ranks in UMR.


The telekinesis sneak attack was ridiculous. Rogues wandering around with packs of 15 arrows they quickly undue like unwrapping a pack of bottle rockets and then launching them with their Sniper Goggles for 15d6 base damage and 105d6 or more sneak attack damage.

This ruling simplifies and reduces arguments for DMs. Arcane Tricksters still have Surprise Spells which allows them to do some crazy AoE Sneak attack damage. At least that is still limited to a per target basis rather than a 3 to 15 shots at a single target each getting sneak attack damage. It's far too brutal.


Firstly, for those of you screaming about Telekinesis and Holy Ice, either the character using it is 18th level, and you should really take a look at the numbers a pure sorcerer can put out at that level, or at any lower level the character is spending 1900g -PER SHOT-(25x15x5) in a scroll, and wands specifically don't work on spells above 4th level, so no dice there. Using either BAB+Int or BAB+Wis to hit. Say around 11th level when this can actually happen maybe... BAB 8+Int/Wis around +3 if you're lucky, +11 to hit flat footed means ~30-50% chance depending on the CR 11 critter you pick out. Which for a party of 4 means he spent his average treasure for that encounter for that one attack. Meaning he gets no WBL increase for that encounter, in order to replace that -1- scroll, as a GM I'd call that a fair trade.

You should really read the spell and the items, and perhaps consider that anyone who can afford to spend 2k in a single round is more of a GM created nightmare than a rules one.

Now... Sean, Thank you for listing your reasoning.

It still seems contrived to allow multiple physical attacks requiring individual attack rolls to benefit from sneak attack damage but not multiple magically generated attacks requiring individual attack rolls, but there it is. Magic cannot be precisely targeted as quickly as a normal bow and arrow.

Thank you for your time and effort.


AC is usually higher than SR. Multiple physical attacks goes off iterative attacks which makes it progressively more difficult to hit. Scoring Ray or Telekinesis uses all max attack rolls and the ray spell is touch AC. Which means a player might be able to obliterete a dragon if he can penetrate the SR.

At higher level you can quicken scorching ray. That takes it from three touch attacks with full sneak attack to six touch attcks with full sneak attack. Then if you're using hero points, a player can spend a hero point to do it yet again for nine touch attacks with full sneak attack.

The multiple sneak attacks from standard action cast spells using maximum attack bonus for each hit at range with Sniper Goggles is way, way overpowered. I'm glad we have a clear ruling now. Absent the ruling it was easy to allow Sneak Attack on every hit roll rather than per spell.

Glad it's decided because the combination of Arcane Trickster with Sorcerer (Cross-blooded), with Sniper Goggles was absolutely insane. Now it's just very nasty.


Raith Shadar wrote:
AC is usually higher than SR. Multiple physical attacks goes off iterative attacks which makes it progressively more difficult to hit. Scoring Ray or Telekinesis uses all max attack rolls and the ray spell is touch AC. Which means a player might be able to obliterete a dragon if he can penetrate the SR.

This is an underhanded argument tactic. You are grouping the touch attack ray spell with the high attack number non-touch attack spell, then pointing out that the ray hits touch AC. Failing to point out that Telekinesis is not a ray spell implies that they are the same, even though that is not quite what you said.

Raith Shadar wrote:

At higher level you can quicken scorching ray. That takes it from three touch attacks with full sneak attack to six touch attcks with full sneak attack. Then if you're using hero points, a player can spend a hero point to do it yet again for nine touch attacks with full sneak attack.

The multiple sneak attacks from standard action cast spells using maximum attack bonus for each hit at range with Sniper Goggles is way, way overpowered. I'm glad we have a clear ruling now. Absent the ruling it was easy to allow Sneak Attack on every hit roll rather than per spell.

Glad it's decided because the combination of Arcane Trickster with Sorcerer (Cross-blooded), with Sniper Goggles was absolutely insane. Now it's just very nasty.

Okay, so a 14th level Arcane Trickster (assuming a Rogue 3/Wizard 3/AT 8) will have a caster level of 11 and can get off a Quickened Scorching Ray (either through a rod or a 6th level spell slot) plus a regular Scorching Ray. That's 4d6 SR, +6d6 SA, x6 rays, or 6 touch attacks for 10d6 fire damage each. If all hit for average damage (and the target isn't resistant or immune to fire damage) that is 210 damage.

How much damage can a 14th level archer do to someone in one round? Or a 14th level Gunslinger? And with them the target doesn't have to be flat-footed and they don't have to use a high-level spell slot. And they can do their damage every round.

Note: I don't use hero points and don't know anyone who does (although I am sure there are plenty) so I left it out of this argument. I would assume that using a hero point is a big deal, but maybe not?


Why make a wizard Arcane Trickster? The near ideal build is a halfing Sorcerer. Rogue 3/Cross-Blooded Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 7 with a Lesser Rod of Quicken. Scorching Ray is only a second level spell, very cheap to quicken. You have tons of spell slots as you can use 2nd level slots up to 5th level slots to cast your rays. It gets nastier and nastier as you level.

The damage is as follows with Sniper Goggles and Cross-Blooded Sorcerer (Orc/Dragon or Primal Elemntal).

6 attacks: 10d6+40 for each attack. Average damage per attack is 75 fire damage per hit. Total damage 450 fire damage at lvl 14. This can be done at any distance with Sniper Goggles out to the maximum range of the spell.

Each attack is a touch attack using the casters max BAB and dex.

A lvl 14 rogue archter with Point Blank Shot, Many Shot, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon (Longbow), and Deadly Aim and a 24 Dex and 14 str with a +3 bow and Sniper Goggles with Haste

+10/+5 BAB

Each Arrow: 1d8+5 +7d6 Sneak Attack.

Arrow 1 Manyshot: +22 attack -2 Rapid Shot -3 Deadly Aim = +17 attack (Manyshot)
Dam: 1d8+11 and 1d8+5+6 Deadly Aim=1d8+11+7d6+14 (Sniper Goggles)=68 points

Arrow 2 Rapid Shot: +17 attack and 53 damage.

Arrow 3 Haste: +17 attack and 53 damage

Arrow 4 second attack: +12 and 53 damage.

So the archer could do around 227 damage if all his arrows hit against normal physical AC. Crits could modify this up and down as could a loss of Haste.

So we have 450 average damage with each hit using touch AC and doing fire damage with Quicken Spell either as a base spell or using a Lesser Rod. If a ray build, you can also add in Deadly Aim as well since it works with rays. This is subject to SR and Fire resist.

We have 227 average damage for the archer with haste subject to DR.

I would say the archer is far less effective. This number can get far worse using Telekinesis or contagious flame in conjunction with Scorching Ray.

I'm pretty sure anyone using the Arcane Trickster rogue build is very familiar with the sick damage output of the class that exceeds even what an archer rogue can do. I've used this against my party as I made an elite Arcane Trickster assassin who could have killed a raging Barbarian with a single round of ray Sneak Attacks against a very touch AC.

Nasty, nasty build.


Quandary wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
it's an interpretation that makes weaker all classes with sneak attack, compared to the other possible ruling.
Yes, I'm sure every character with Sneak Attack was using this tactic, and that was the intention when the class was designed. Yeah.

In my games, most of them once they reach enough level to UMD a scorching ray wand. Why wouldn't they?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
One trick ponies are always susceptible to meltdown, when the altering of their one trick comes to light.

I think people look at the AT, and the ability to add sneak attack damage to spells is all they see.

The AT is anything but a one-trick pony. It's a spellcasting skillmonkey. Adding a few d6 to a blast spell is fun when you can pull it off, but if that's all you focus on, you're missing what sorcerers and wizards can do with maxed-out acrobatics, stealth, etc.

"MacGuyver with spells" is a good analogy. "Flying, invisible James Bond" works, too, once you have the levels for it.

My Skull and Shackles trickster

Spoiler:
was able to cast Alter Self and turned himself into a sahuagin, swam to an enemy boat, cast Invisibility on himself underwater (not a problem in the form of a sahuagin), then climbed aboard and sabotaged the ship so they couldn't chase us. A typical wizard could attempt the same, but I doubt his stealth and disable device skills would be very good. This was at 5th or 6th level, IIRC, so he wasn't really a trickster, yet.

He's also our go to guy for ship repairs and knowledge checks. He definitely pulls his own weight in our group.

I don't think this ruling makes that much difference, unless you play a low-skilled sorcerer trickster built all around blasting.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Honestly, I'm more concerned with the rules being consistent (i.e., "one SA per targeted spell") than the rules protecting DPR of a niche build of one type of specialized character (i.e., "now my rogue using scorching ray can't get sneak attack on every single shot!").

ANY ruling that the Pathfinder Design Team makes would be a consistent ruling - that's why they make rulings, right? (One sneak attack per target, one sneak attack per attack roll, one sneak attack per spell...)

As has been pointed out in this thread, everywhere else is "one sneak attack per attack roll". This ruling adds an INCONSISTENCY, ("one sneak attack per attack roll, except for spells with multiple attacks, unless you're using the Surprise Spells ability, in which case you get it on all targets if its an AOE spell"), which can hardly be considered a good thing.

Regarding 'protecting DPR of a niche build of one type of specialized character', the numbers have already been crunched in this thread, and it's the difference between "marginally combat-effective" and "combat-ineffective".

Seriously, the amount of damage that a sneak attack can do isn't all that much anyway. I would urge the Design Team to reconsider this decision.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Raith Shadar wrote:

The telekinesis sneak attack was ridiculous. Rogues wandering around with packs of 15 arrows they quickly undue like unwrapping a pack of bottle rockets and then launching them with their Sniper Goggles for 15d6 base damage and 105d6 or more sneak attack damage.

This ruling simplifies and reduces arguments for DMs. Arcane Tricksters still have Surprise Spells which allows them to do some crazy AoE Sneak attack damage. At least that is still limited to a per target basis rather than a 3 to 15 shots at a single target each getting sneak attack damage. It's far too brutal.

Actually, neither Holy Ice nor Telekinesis say anything about being simultaneous attacks, so the ruling doesn't seem to apply to them. Telekinesis rogue is still good to go.


Mytiazair wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Honestly, I'm more concerned with the rules being consistent (i.e., "one SA per targeted spell") than the rules protecting DPR of a niche build of one type of specialized character (i.e., "now my rogue using scorching ray can't get sneak attack on every single shot!").

ANY ruling that the Pathfinder Design Team makes would be a consistent ruling - that's why they make rulings, right? (One sneak attack per target, one sneak attack per attack roll, one sneak attack per spell...)

As has been pointed out in this thread, everywhere else is "one sneak attack per attack roll". This ruling adds an INCONSISTENCY, ("one sneak attack per attack roll, except for spells with multiple attacks, unless you're using the Surprise Spells ability, in which case you get it on all targets if its an AOE spell"), which can hardly be considered a good thing.

Regarding 'protecting DPR of a niche build of one type of specialized character', the numbers have already been crunched in this thread, and it's the difference between "marginally combat-effective" and "combat-ineffective".

Seriously, the amount of damage that a sneak attack can do isn't all that much anyway. I would urge the Design Team to reconsider this decision.

Provide proof with numbers. I would say the build is far more than "marginally combat-effective" and "combat-ineffective". It's the difference "combat-effective" and "why do I even bother DMing combat-effective".

151 to 200 of 320 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Sneak Attack and Scorching Ray All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.