Sneak Attack stacking


Rules Questions


Where does it say(if it even does) in Pathfinder RAW that sneak attacks gained from multiply sources stack? Any page numbers would be extremely helpful.

Example: Dark Stalker has 3d6 sneak attack. If I add rogue levels, do they stack or do I have to pick which to apply?


B.A.Baracus wrote:

Where does it say(if it even does) in Pathfinder RAW that sneak attacks gained from multiply sources stack? Any page numbers would be extremely helpful.

Example: Dark Stalker has 3d6 sneak attack. If I add rogue levels, do they stack or do I have to pick which to apply?

See assassin pg 378. Sneak attack damage stacks from multiple classes.


scifan888 wrote:


See assassin pg 378. Sneak attack damage stacks from multiple classes.

That would be good if it said it that way. But the wording is pretty clear for the Assassin's sneak attack. "If an assassin gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack." Nothing in that indicates other sneak attacks stack with each other.


If the sneak attack comes from different sources, I don't see why it wouldn't stack.

Liberty's Edge

B.A.Baracus wrote:

Where does it say(if it even does) in Pathfinder RAW that sneak attacks gained from multiply sources stack? Any page numbers would be extremely helpful.

Example: Dark Stalker has 3d6 sneak attack. If I add rogue levels, do they stack or do I have to pick which to apply?

I don't think it is called out as a universal rule. There probably should a universal monster rule that defines sneak attack to button it up. I think it is generally assumed that they do stack even if not called out.

In the case of most classes/prestige classes that grant sneak attack and which are based on the 3.5 SRD, such as Pathfinder, there is generally a clause in the sneak attack class description that says that they stack (such as for the assassin and arcane trickster prestige classes); notably rogue's sneak attack doesn't call it out that it stacks.

The closest rules based parallel is probably stemming from combining magic effects. It doesn't apply directly, but the design philosophy of Game Mastery suggests that it generally should be the same.

I'm curious to see if someone comes up with a better source for a reply.


B.A.Baracus wrote:

Where does it say(if it even does) in Pathfinder RAW that sneak attacks gained from multiply sources stack? Any page numbers would be extremely helpful.

Example: Dark Stalker has 3d6 sneak attack. If I add rogue levels, do they stack or do I have to pick which to apply?

rules wrote:
If the creature possesses class features (such as spellcasting or sneak attack) for the class that is being added, these abilities stack. This functions just like adding class levels to a character without racial Hit Dice.

There you go.


+1 for reading the actual rules.

in any case, even without that, it would be something that ´stacks´ because SA is untyped re: bonus type.
it is just a +Xd6 damage bonus, doesn´t matter where it comes from or who was it´s daddy.

Liberty's Edge

Abraham spalding wrote:
B.A.Baracus wrote:

Where does it say(if it even does) in Pathfinder RAW that sneak attacks gained from multiply sources stack? Any page numbers would be extremely helpful.

Example: Dark Stalker has 3d6 sneak attack. If I add rogue levels, do they stack or do I have to pick which to apply?

rules wrote:
If the creature possesses class features (such as spellcasting or sneak attack) for the class that is being added, these abilities stack. This functions just like adding class levels to a character without racial Hit Dice.

There you go.

Thanks. I looked through that section and didn't find it before I posted. I looked through it after you provided the link and still didn't find it. I eventually did a text search to find it. Skimming too much, I guess.

Quandary wrote:

in any case, even without that, it would be something that ´stacks´ because SA is untyped re: bonus type.

it is just a +Xd6 damage bonus, doesn´t matter where it comes from or who was it´s daddy.

Except it isn't a bonus.


damage bonus, bonus damage... ok, this is really why we play this game, right? ;-)


Now the sandman bard is lacking any text that actually states that it stacks with sneak attack damage from rogue levels -- however it's still good with PrC since those state they stack with previously gained sneak attack dice.

It would make sense that sandman bard sneak attack stacks with rogue -- but we currently don't have RAW on it (specifically neither rogue nor sandman bard state they stack with other sources of sneak attack damage).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I only post on these forums to nitpick wordings. :)

Liberty's Edge

Quandary wrote:
damage bonus, bonus damage... ok, this is really why we play this game, right? ;-)

We're not playing the game. We're discussing rules. The game terms are meaningful and the processes of generalizing and then distinguishing differences is a core part of learning.

Besides, it's extra damage. :)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Note you stack the levels, not the dice, as I read it.


mdt wrote:
Note you stack the levels, not the dice, as I read it.

Um... that's not what it says -- it functions just like adding class levels to a character without racial hit dice. You don't actually stack anything, other than the effects (which is what the text specifically states you do).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mdt wrote:
Note you stack the levels, not the dice, as I read it.

If I have a rogue 3/ninja 1, and a rogue 4, do they have the same number of SA dice?


Howie23 wrote:
Quandary wrote:
damage bonus, bonus damage... ok, this is really why we play this game, right? ;-)

We're not playing the game. We're discussing rules. The game terms are meaningful and the processes of generalizing and then distinguishing differences is a core part of learning.

Besides, it's extra damage. :)

Exactly.

CRB p.68 wrote:
If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
CRB p.208 wrote:
Usually, a bonus has a type that indicates how the spell grants the bonus. The important aspects of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don't generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works (see Combining Magical Effects).

These two statements have nothing to do with each other. Anything that gives "extra" damage adds more, by the plain meaning of the word, and due to not being the same as "bonus" damage.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
mdt wrote:
Note you stack the levels, not the dice, as I read it.
If I have a rogue 3/ninja 1, and a rogue 4, do they have the same number of SA dice?

That's how I've always understood it to work. It's possible it's different under Pathfinder.

EDIT : Clarification, I've always understood that both characters would have the same SA dice. Although you can't actually have a rogue/ninja, as ninja is (unless they've changed it recently) a subclass of Rogue. But the general idea is right, to my understanding.


Abraham spalding wrote:
mdt wrote:
Note you stack the levels, not the dice, as I read it.
Um... that's not what it says -- it functions just like adding class levels to a character without racial hit dice. You don't actually stack anything, other than the effects (which is what the text specifically states you do).

Right. I would say that levels in different classes only stack for the purpose of determining SA dice if at least one of them says that they do. Otherwise, it's just their independently-determined SA dice that stack, if you're going by the RAW.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mdt wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
mdt wrote:
Note you stack the levels, not the dice, as I read it.
If I have a rogue 3/ninja 1, and a rogue 4, do they have the same number of SA dice?

That's how I've always understood it to work. It's possible it's different under Pathfinder.

EDIT : Clarification, I've always understood that both characters would have the same SA dice. Although you can't actually have a rogue/ninja, as ninja is (unless they've changed it recently) a subclass of Rogue. But the general idea is right, to my understanding.

I've always understood it to work as 'you take the number of dice listed on each chart and add them together'. Thus the rogue 3/ninja 1 would have 3d6, and the rogue 4 would have 2d6.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I've always understood it to work as 'you take the number of dice listed on each chart and add them together'. Thus the rogue 3/ninja 1 would have 3d6, and the rogue 4 would have 2d6.

+1

Don't accept anything less!

:)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
mdt wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
mdt wrote:
Note you stack the levels, not the dice, as I read it.
If I have a rogue 3/ninja 1, and a rogue 4, do they have the same number of SA dice?

That's how I've always understood it to work. It's possible it's different under Pathfinder.

EDIT : Clarification, I've always understood that both characters would have the same SA dice. Although you can't actually have a rogue/ninja, as ninja is (unless they've changed it recently) a subclass of Rogue. But the general idea is right, to my understanding.

I've always understood it to work as 'you take the number of dice listed on each chart and add them together'. Thus the rogue 3/ninja 1 would have 3d6, and the rogue 4 would have 2d6.

And I've always understood it that multiclassing shouldn't give you a better class ability from either class than the pure class has. *shrug*

In my own games, I stack the effective levels.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

An extra d6 of damage has never seemed 'better' to me, just different. After all, you're giving up the abilities of the next level in the first class. Sure, you could get 2d6 SA at 2nd level, but then you're missing out on Evasion.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Now the sandman bard is lacking any text that actually states that it stacks with sneak attack damage from rogue levels -- however it's still good with PrC since those state they stack with previously gained sneak attack dice.

It would make sense that sandman bard sneak attack stacks with rogue -- but we currently don't have RAW on it (specifically neither rogue nor sandman bard state they stack with other sources of sneak attack damage).

Here's an interpretation for you: They don't stack, but they both apply.

Quote:
The rogue’s attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter.
Quote:
At 5th level, a sandman inf licts +1d6 points of damage against targets within 30 feet that he flanks or that are denied their Dex bonus to AC against him. This damage increases by +1d6 every five levels after 5th.

So a rogue 5 / sandman 5 deals his weapon damage, then 3d6 damage from his rogue levels, then 1d6 from his bard levels. So he does Weapon+3d6+1d6 damage, not Weapon+4d6 damage.

This interpretation would make it harder for him to qualify for any feats which require Xd6 amount of sneak attack dice, but is otherwise indistinguishable from just letting them stack, but it preserves them as two separate abilities, each of which triggers separately on an attack against a flat-footed opponent.


Howie23 wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
B.A.Baracus wrote:

Where does it say(if it even does) in Pathfinder RAW that sneak attacks gained from multiply sources stack? Any page numbers would be extremely helpful.

Example: Dark Stalker has 3d6 sneak attack. If I add rogue levels, do they stack or do I have to pick which to apply?

rules wrote:
If the creature possesses class features (such as spellcasting or sneak attack) for the class that is being added, these abilities stack. This functions just like adding class levels to a character without racial Hit Dice.

There you go.

Thanks. I looked through that section and didn't find it before I posted. I looked through it after you provided the link and still didn't find it. I eventually did a text search to find it. Skimming too much, I guess.

Quandary wrote:

in any case, even without that, it would be something that ´stacks´ because SA is untyped re: bonus type.

it is just a +Xd6 damage bonus, doesn´t matter where it comes from or who was it´s daddy.
Except it isn't a bonus.

The text is there, and it has always been that way since 3.5. Nothing has changed between 3.5 and pathfinder to take it away.


wraithstrike wrote:
The text is there, and it has always been that way since 3.5. Nothing has changed between 3.5 and pathfinder to take it away.

Wha-huh? Which text was where and what now? I have no idea what you're trying to say.


Thanks for the help. I totally missed that sentence in my reading.


so Rouge 1/Vivisectionist 1 would equal +2d6 SA at Lvl 2 Thus Lvl 19 Rouge/Lvl 1 Vivisectionist would equal 11d6 SA at Lvl 20. not a bad dip really are there any other classes that add SA damage at Lvl 1 to stack them faster? Would need at least 2 to change the out come because of the staggered nature of SA.

Also ninja is exluded as a poibility:
Alternate Classes
These are standalone classes whose basic ideas are very
close to established base classes, yet whose required
alterations would be too expansive for an archetype. In
this case, that’s the samurai and the ninja—specifically
Asian-themed classes that have long and unique histories,
as well as great cultural cachet, but which are similar in
concept to the established cavalier and rogue, respectively.
An alternate class operates exactly as a base class, save
that a character who takes a level in an alternate class
can never take a level in its associated class—a samurai
cannot also be a cavalier, and vice versa. The antipaladin
from Advanced Player’s Guide is also an alternate class.

taken from pg 8 ultimate combat


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Read the full thing with Vivisectionist's sneak attack

Quote:

Sneak Attack

At 1st level, a vivisectionist gains the sneak attack ability as a rogue of the same level. If a character already has sneak attack from another class, the levels from the classes that grant sneak attack stack to determine the effective rogue level for the sneak attack’s extra damage dice (so an alchemist 1/rogue 1 has a +1d6 sneak attack like a 2nd-level rogue, an alchemist 2/rogue 1 has a +2d6 sneak attack like a 3rd-level rogue, and so on).

This ability replaces bomb.

This is how I think it should mention ANY sneak attack stacking, since this is how my GM rules it but its up to you on other classes stacking their sneak attack like say a rogue 5/assassin 1, my GM rules its still a 6th level rogue so I get 3d6 (3d8 for me since I'm a knife master) and so on my 2nd assassin level I gained an additional dice since I would work out to be a 7th level rogue with 4 sneak attack dice.

My GM likes it (and I agree) like this so you can't try to multiclass lets say fighter 3/rogue 1/vivisectionist 1/ assassin 1 and end up with the same sneak attack dice as someone fully committed to rogue

The Exchange

I know this is an old post but it was brought up recently on facebook and someone pointed back to this thread. The general rule concerning multiclassing on page 30 of the Core Rule Book covers this:

Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character's current class, he can instead gain the 1st-level abilities of a new class, adding all of those abilities to his existing ones. This is known as “multiclassing.”

The key words are "...adding all of those abilities to his existing ones..." That is the general RAW and unless something states specifically that it doesn't allow the sneak attack damage to add together, they will still stack.

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