Can you sneak attack while raging?


Rules Questions

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Wow, this thread got double necro'd.

Its turning into the lich of threads.


If a thread is one of the top google results for a question, i'd rule that its not a necro. It is a public resource now.

Anyway,
I guess in PFS even the rules have rules but if I were the DM i would likely make my own decision based on party balance rather than on the rules. For a 2h power attack barb who is just trying to beef up damage i might rule no, despite the raw not saying no, to help keep other players competitive. If the player were a 1h+shield barbarian i might say sure just to help keep the barb competetive. Naturally i'd discuss such things with the player in advance to avoid making wasted build choices.


Goblite wrote:
If a thread is one of the top google results for a question, i'd rule that its not a necro. It is a public resource now.

That's a fair point, though I'm not sure how the forum guidelines feel about that.

Goblite wrote:
...if I were the DM i would likely make my own decision based on party balance rather than on the rules. For a 2h power attack barb who is just trying to beef up damage i might rule no, despite the raw not saying no, to help keep other players competitive...

-.25 base attack, -2 to 3hp, slower access to barbarian rage powers and class abilities...for +1d6 in certain situations? Can't say I'm impressed with that approach. If all you're doing is trying to deal more damage, go for it. There are better ways.

With that said, I will agree that anyone trying to break the game they're playing--no matter how ineffectively their attempt--should be shut down. And hard.


Quixote wrote:

-.25 base attack, -2 to 3hp, slower access to barbarian rage powers and class abilities...for +1d6 in certain situations? Can't say I'm impressed with that approach. If all you're doing is trying to deal more damage, go for it. There are better ways.

With that said, I will agree that anyone trying to break the game they're playing--no matter how ineffectively their attempt--should be shut down. And hard.

If the barbarian wants sneak attack without sacrificing their core abilities they can do it via Fiendish Obedience[shax]-Exalted. Sure, you have to be decently high level to pick it up, but 5d6+10 sneak attack damage per attack seems like a nice addition. At that point they probably even qualify for Accomplished sneak attacker, letting them bump it up to 6d6+12.


As someone noted earlier, the feat Coherent Rage lets you use Stealth while Raging.
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/traits/combat-traits/coherent-rage/

Also, the Urban Barbarian and Urban Bloodrager both can elect bonuses to Dex while raging [unlike the normal rage that disallows most Dex skills] and it's called Controlled Rage or Controlled Bloodrage for a reason. "When using a controlled rage, an urban barbarian gains no bonus on Will saves, takes no penalties to AC, and can still use Intelligence-, Dexterity-, and Charisma-based skills."

Otherwise, you could get Sneak Attack while using Rage, by being invisible, flanking, or have the opponent flat-footed from losing initiative or being feinted, etc.


Isn't this all really a question of timing? Barb 1/Rogue 1 is with her party in a dungeon. She's sent 20' ahead as the party scout and pausing at an arcade she spots 3 orcs guarding a chest in the chamber 40' away. Currently she's in Stealth, crouched in the shallow between the archway beside her and the wall behind her, the woman's battle-scarred hands edging instinctively to the greataxe strapped to her back.

As a Move action a PC can use Stealth. A barbarian can enter a Rage as a Free action. Thus, they want to use their Move action to effect Stealth, get into position, THEN use a Free action to start their rage.

In the case of the Barb 1/Rogue 1 above, she's starting a Surprise round in Stealth. She exits Stealth on the Surprise round, using a Partial Charge action and turning on Rage as a Free action. The woman explodes from her hiding spot, screaming through gritted teeth as she sprints at the nearest of the 3 orcs. Her massive, double-bitted axe looms over her head like the veritable scythe of Charon.

She makes an attack at the end of the charge using an 18 Str, boosted to 22, with a masterwork greataxe, and employing the feat Power Attack for a greataxe +9 (1d12 +12 Plus 1d6 SA). Since she successfully used Stealth to score a Surprise round, the Barb 1/Rogue 1 is attacking the orc's Flat Footed. Upon hitting she deals 22 damage, dropping her foe to the ground in a single, brutal strike.

Now from here the Barb 1/Rogue 1 needs to rely on Flanking or using a Feint to gain SA, unless she quits the rage which is also a Free action. Since the GM's discretion determines if a PC can use more than one Free action in a round check with them, but this PC may be able to:

1. Exit Stealth on the Surprise round, committing a Partial Charge
2. Enter Rage as a Free action
3. Make the attack at the end of the Partial Charge action
4. Exit Rage as a Free action; suffer Fatigue

While not the smartest combat tactic this is mechanically viable, no? If the Barb 1/Rogue 1 doesn't exit Rage they can use round 1 of combat to Fight Defensively until the party catches up, then set a Readied action with the condition that they make their attack on round 2 once a fellow party member moves into a Flank at which point they SA with the greataxe again and put another orc down.


Can I personally sneak attack while raging?

Yes.


Artofregicide wrote:

Can I personally sneak attack while raging?

Yes.

Are you doing it right now?


Cornugon Smash + Intimidate + Shatter Defenses would allow you to deal SnA dmg.

As someone earlier said, Coherent Rage will specifically allow you to Stealth while Raging.

I dunno about the Stealth as Move Action and THEN Rage as a Free Action thing, at least not without Coherent Rage. Anything you do after passing a Stealth check can prompt a new Perception v. Stealth check, so if you successfully Stealth and then enter into a Rage and charge a guy, you're going to make noise from charging (and entering the Rage itself). I dunno, maybe I see it differently than others. I think of the Hulk when I think of a Barbarian Raging, and there's almost no chance you'd miss the "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAARAWRARAAWR", stomp stomp stomp, and clanking armor/bags/equipment unless you're deaf or you're in a 120decibel+ industrial setting.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:

Can I personally sneak attack while raging?

Yes.

Are you doing it right now?

No!

...yes.


I see no reason not to.
I have a bigger issue with heal checks than sneak attacks.


Wizards of the Coast answered this question in an official FAQ.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2017/01/Main35FAQv0630 2008.pdf

The answer is yes (page 23). While this FAQ is specific to 3.5 D&D, I see no reason to disallow it from Pathfinder.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Goblite wrote:
If a thread is one of the top google results for a question, i'd rule that its not a necro. It is a public resource now.

Necroing refers to the act of resuming a dead thread, not just reading it.

Like for example continuing a debate with people who have long since moved on to different stuff in the years since.


Axl wrote:

Wizards of the Coast answered this question in an official FAQ.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2017/01/Main35FAQv0630 2008.pdf

The answer is yes (page 23). While this FAQ is specific to 3.5 D&D, I see no reason to disallow it from Pathfinder.

The actually relevant FAQ is this one: "The name of a class feature (...) is flavor text, not rules text."

Because let's face it, no one would ask this question if the ability would've been named "Opportune Attack" or something.


Rysky wrote:
Goblite wrote:
If a thread is one of the top google results for a question, i'd rule that its not a necro. It is a public resource now.

Necroing refers to the act of resuming a dead thread, not just reading it.

Like for example continuing a debate with people who have long since moved on to different stuff in the years since.

If it helps normalize necromancy in the public's eye, I'm all for it.


Business is booming, so I am on board with it too.


Derklord wrote:


Because let's face it, no one would ask this question if the ability would've been named "Opportune Attack" or something.

Yes they would. The point of the question is to nerf an ability; if this pretext did not exist another would be found/invented. Remember, people have tried to claim that you cannot use good tactics while raging and you cannot reload a firearm while raging.


thorin001 wrote:
Yes they would. The point of the question is to nerf an ability; if this pretext did not exist another would be found/invented. Remember, people have tried to claim that you cannot use good tactics while raging and you cannot reload a firearm while raging.

People claiming something doesn't work and people asking if it works are completely different things.

Reloading an (early) firearm does require concentration in real life, if we took the word in the Rage description to not be a game term related to spellcasting, it would indeed prevent reloading. Most people have probably personally experienced or at least seen first hand that rage hampers rational though, an integral part of making smart, tactical decisions. So these claims aren't in any way ridiculous, but are merely a case of gameplay/mechanics not matching flavor/real life experience. Both are also activities similar to ones that Rage explicitly forbids.
Sneak Attack only falls into the same concept because people think that it has something to do with "sneak". If the ability had a different name, people wouldn't experience this mechanics/flavor-segregation in the first place.

Sure there are people who debate against the rules because they don't like them, but I believe genuine questions only come from the name.


So I think the obvious answer to the original answer of can you use the Sneak Attack ability while raging is yes. While raging will hinder certain skills and in general terms some tactical thinking, there is nothing in the Rage ability specific to the barbarian the OP asked about all that time ago that states that raging precludes the ability to move into Flanking with another PC.

Since one can be a multiclass barbarian/rogue, one can enter and leave a round of Rage as 2 separate Free actions, and one can use a Move action and a Standard action to move into Flanking and attack, the statement can be made definitively that you can Sneak Attack (the ability to deal Precision damage in addition to your normal attack damage on a successful hit under certain conditions, one of which is while Flanking) while Raging.

As for using Stealth and then Raging: a PC must break these into 2 separate rounds. It is specifically called out that, while using the Rage ability they cannot use the Stealth skill. However, they CAN use the Stealth skill to move into a position where they are close to their foes without their foes being aware of them in one round. This would mean the NEXT round after that is a Surprise round:

The Surprise Round wrote:

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

So using that Surprise round the PC would

1. Use a Free action to start Raging
2. Use a Partial Charge action to cross up to 8 squares in a straight line towards the nearest opponent
3. Make their attack roll which, if successful, would include Sneak Attack damage unless the monster attacked was immune to such damage

Now the argument could certainly be made that, because the PC is starting with Rage as a Free action and then also using the Partial Charge action, their foes would notice them and get to act in the Surprise round, however I would argue that the Surprise round STARTED with none or some of foes unaware of the PC which is what prompted the Surprise round in the first place. Therefore the PC has effectively surprised their foes, leaping out from behind Cover or whatever and shocking their enemies into a moment's hesitation... hesitation the barbarian/rogue exploits to deal extra damage while also Raging.

No, you can't Stealth while Raging unless you have a specific way to break the general rules of Rage. However you can Sneak Attack while Raging under the right circumstances.


thorin001 wrote:
Derklord wrote:


Because let's face it, no one would ask this question if the ability would've been named "Opportune Attack" or something.

Yes they would. The point of the question is to nerf an ability; if this pretext did not exist another would be found/invented. Remember, people have tried to claim that you cannot use good tactics while raging and you cannot reload a firearm while raging.

If it wasn't for the fact that I have seen GMs claim the following about Paladins I would agree.

1. Paladins can't sneak attack because it's dishonorable. Even though 3.5 which we were playing had a feat to help paladin rogue multiclass.

2. Acting first is an act of aggression so you couldn't attack an opponent until they attacked you or your party.

3. Flanking is dishonorable just like sneak attack you can't do it without falling.


Talonhawke wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Derklord wrote:


Because let's face it, no one would ask this question if the ability would've been named "Opportune Attack" or something.

Yes they would. The point of the question is to nerf an ability; if this pretext did not exist another would be found/invented. Remember, people have tried to claim that you cannot use good tactics while raging and you cannot reload a firearm while raging.

If it wasn't for the fact that I have seen GMs claim the following about Paladins I would agree.

1. Paladins can't sneak attack because it's dishonorable. Even though 3.5 which we were playing had a feat to help paladin rogue multiclass.

2. Acting first is an act of aggression so you couldn't attack an opponent until they attacked you or your party.

3. Flanking is dishonorable just like sneak attack you can't do it without falling.

I don't see a prohibition against Sneak Attacking anywhere in a Paladin's Code of Conduct. It seems like a thing a GM might impose, but that's not actually an official rule.

from Lawful Stupid Commandments wrote:

Thou shalt not flank.

Thou shalt not engage in the usery of the Surprise Round.
If thou has the initiative, thou must offer thine initiative towards thy foe before thou mayst use it thyself.
Thou shalt not engage in the usery of tactics, or may thou not exploit battlefield positioning.


Lawful Stupid Commandments also wrote:

Thou mustn't use the high ground.
Thou shalt not debuff thine foe to gain an advantage in combat.
Thou shalt follow thine creeds and customs to ad nauseum for the purpose that it completely wrecks the morale of anyone adventuring with you, and if questioned in thine practices, thou must respond "it's what my character would do".

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