Can you sneak attack while raging?


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Hello all,

I was hoping you could help me clear up a few of the rules questions my Pathfinder group has had. We have a multiclass barbarian rogue, and I need to know if the character can sneak attack while raging. Also, what about other forms or methods of attack such as combat maneuvers and such?

Thanks,

--Norm


First off, awesome multiclass. Of all the multiclasses with barbarian, that is the last I would have thought of (right after barbarian/gunslinger).

I don't have my Core Rulebook right by me, but I don't see any reason why not from a mechanics perspective. A sneak attack is an unexpected attack essentially, so a raging barbarian could potentially land an unexpected blow. But that only really makes sense if it were flanking, but if it were a sneak-up-on-then-smack attack, a raging, seething barbarian wouldn't make sense.

TL:DR - Most likely.


"Grr! You god*****ed [censored] [censored]! I ****ing hate you so much! I'm gonna stab you right in your ****ing ***** [censored] eye, you ****ing ****-garbling mother-****er!" Right in the eye! WAAAAAARG!"

I'm sorry...but I never assumed speech while raging to be..."PG."


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To answer more straight-forward...yes. You absolutely can. Rage restricts what it says it restricts, nothing more.


Just not stealth. No raging and using stealth to get close, but flanking or attacking those that are flat-footed, yes.


Xaaon of Korvosa wrote:
Just not stealth. No raging and using stealth to get close, but flanking or attacking those that are flat-footed, yes.

No, you can rage while Stealthing.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
To answer more straight-forward...yes. You absolutely can. Rage restricts what it says it restricts, nothing more.

It's arguable. Does Sneak Attack require patience? If so, Rage definitely restricts it.

Starbuck_II wrote:
Xaaon of Korvosa wrote:
Just not stealth. No raging and using stealth to get close, but flanking or attacking those that are flat-footed, yes.
No, you can rage while Stealthing.

You can't use Dex based skills, (with a few specific exceptions) while raging.

Sczarni

"While in rage, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration."

Stealth while raging seems to be out...

Climb, Heal, Perception, Professions (raging Blacksmith), Sense Motive, Survival and Swim plus the ones mentioned above are the skills a Raging player can use.


I would agree, stealth require far to much patients to use while raging.

Aside from that, I would say its a flavor issue for other forms of SA. While there is nothing in the the rules that restricts SA from flank or flat footed (afaik), I woulld say that the precision required for SA is not possible while raging. To deny it in game would be a house rule, I would say.


If you know how to shank a kidney, you still know how to shank a kidney when you're frothing at the mouth angry.


Fleshgrinder wrote:
If you know how to shank a kidney, you still know how to shank a kidney when you're frothing at the mouth angry.

If you know how to shoot lightning from your fingers, you still know how to shoot lightning from your fingers when...

Wait, no, you don't.

Does SA require patience to wait for openings on vital organs rather than just attacking recklessly?

Sczarni

I would suggest: Rage, Intimidate/Dazzling display, Shatter Defenses, keep hitting them... Sneak Attack until the intimidate wore off (unless they are immune to mind altering effects this can be 3-4 rounds). At the very least its another 2 point combat modifier for a round.

I see a big scary rogue barbarian howling like a mad man charging with his weapons waving everywhere and then hamstringing/kneecapping/kidney stabbing/throat slicing his opponents. Very demoralizing and destructive :) Just like you want in a good fight!

You can build around the intimidate skill and get to like +14 at level 1 (with a STR/CHA rogue)... so you can take 10 and get 14 HD - WIS results (2 rounds almost always guaranteed). So that is 2 rounds of them being shaken, which is enough to land one hit normal, then the rest (due to shatter defense (only after BAB +6)) all sneak attacks.


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Shooting lightning requires extreme mental discipline, precise somatic movements and possibly the fine manipulation of small material objects.

Shanking a kidey requires a general idea of where to insert a blade, or the twisting that blade around a bit if you miss in the first try.

If you picture sneak attacks as extremely fine attacks that involve the subtle severing of blood veins/arteries, you could argue it can't be done while raging.

If you picture sneak attacks as simply attacking vital areas, it could easily be done while raging.

I may not be able to solve a complex math problem while frothing angry, but I can definitely ram a blade into someone's groin repeatedly.

Also kind of depends on how you see rage. Is it totally giving in to anger, or is it a sort of battle focus that hones your rage into a blade.

In the "total anger" method, then Dex/Int related checks can't be done because there's no patience left in the person.

In the "Battle focus" method, the skill restrictions would be more related to losing battle focus if one attempted such an act.

Dark Archive

I like the idea of performing a heal check while under rage


Heal can actually be used as a Torture check as well.

ANGRY TORTURE!

Sczarni

Fleshgrinder: Per RAW Rage is increased battle prowess... not blind anger.


maouse wrote:
Fleshgrinder: Per RAW Rage is increased battle prowess... not blind anger.

True, but you can still picture the flavour of the class ability as being several different methods.

One could be a barb who becomes so angry they enter an almost zen state where they don't even appear angry. Sort of a snap in their eyes where they go "Excuse me a moment little buddy, I have to go kill that guy violently."

Other barbs could go with the more traditional idea of battle rage.

Flavour rules always add more fun, even if they contradict the hard rules.

Story and fun are the important part, the rules are just a method for getting there.


maouse wrote:
Fleshgrinder: Per RAW Rage is increased battle prowess... not blind anger.

True, but per RAW a raging barb can't perform tasks that require patience or concentration.

Unfortunately, only one of these terms has an in game definition, and that one only applies to spellcasting.
For the most part, it's up to th GM to decide if a task requires patience or concentration. The flavor and fluff of various abilities comes in handy for that.

Liberty's Edge

Oh, hey a Barbarogue can use Acrobatics!

*tumble tumble* "ugh, getting so dizzy" *tumble tumble* "...sooo illlll..." *tumble tumble* "can't take anymoreeeee aaaaaaahhhhhHHHHH" *TUMBLE RAGE*


I like how everyone always assumes that raging makes you an incompetent nincompoop moronic twit that can't even remember how to fight properly or that stabbing someone in the face is supereffective!

And by "like," I mean it makes me want to barbarian rage, reach through my monitor, and strangle someone. (>_<)

Liberty's Edge

StreamOfTheSky wrote:

I like how everyone always assumes that raging makes you an incompetent nincompoop moronic twit that can't even remember how to fight properly or that stabbing someone in the face is supereffective!

And by "like," I mean it makes me want to barbarian rage, reach through my monitor, and strangle someone. (>_<)

[troll]You silly rager, you can't reach through your monitor. Can't remember how to fight properly?[/troll]

Let the people have their fun, Stream. When our cloaked barbarians appear out of the shadows with red in their eyes and poison on their spiked gauntlets, they shall know fear. When our precision cuts hamstring their furious leaps and render them immobile, we will growl low in our throats in victory. After they bleed to death, we will cover all evidence of their passing. No one shall sing their names in song.[/exposition]

Silver Crusade

If you are allowed 3PP content, you may be interested in Cheapy's Vicious Opportunist rogue variant available both for free in his profile ; and in The Secrets of Tactical Archetypes II (see links for both in my profile).

Put simply, it provides you with a replacement to sneak attack that inflicts +2 damage per sneak attack level instead of the usual +1d6 (average +3.5 damage).
But this bonus damage is multiplied on a crit, can be used as long as the target suffers from a "detrimental condition" (instead of the flanking/flat-footed-only SA circumstances requirements), and there is a Vivious Opportunist rogue talent allowing you to deal +3 damage per SA level instead of +2 when wielding a two-handed weapon.

Thematically speaking, it's perfect if you are going for a roguish, vicious brute. :)

Dark Archive

With the advent of the Half-orc Skulking Slayer Rogue archetype, I was totally thinking up a Barbarian/Rogue that comes charging out of the shadows, screaming at the top of his lungs.

Advanced Race Guide wrote:

Bold Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, when a skulking slayer charges and makes a sneak attack with a two-handed weapon, she rolls d8s instead of d6s for her sneak attack damage. This ability replaces trap sense +1 and +4.

Unexpected Charge (Ex): At 9th level, a skulking slayer can make a Bluff check to feint as a swift action before a charge. This ability replaces trap sense +3.


I played a 3.5 barbarian rogue with a greatsword. It was a blast. He hit the dirt quite a bit though.

Scarab Sages

Hey can we get a dev or mod or somebody of authority to rule on this? Mike? Mark? Umm...(who else....?)

Anyway, This has come up SEVERAL TIMES, MANY TIMES in Pathfinder Society and GMs have been rather fickle on this topic. Some GMs say its fine, other GMs say "No." because they dont think it makes sense that you would be able to slice a throat or shiv a kidney while you are "frothing at the mouth" enraged. According to RAW, you can. But... the GM is arguing that it doesnt explicitly say you can or cant, so he is ruling in favor of "nerf" the barbarian.

So, for the sake of PFS (and some home games...)
Can you sneak attack while under the effect of barbarian rage?

Yes or No?


You can sneak attack while raging. I don't know why you would think otherwise. It can't take too much concentration if you can stab someone in the back and get sneak attack off 6 times in 6 seconds. While we're at it should we talk about how you can do it with a greataxe to the face while they're flat footed?

Sneak attack doesn't say it requires dexterity or patience or concentration of any sort. Just that the opponent be under certain conditions.

Edit: I see a necromancer. Threads well over a year old.


Everyone says it takes patience to sneak attack.

Hysterically enough the most iconic rogue build of all has him stabbing as fast as he can, as much as he can. The exact opposite of sitting and waiting and being patient.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Cool Necro bro.

Anyways, this is doable.

Also, with the Coherent Rage, trait, you can stealth whilst raging too.

Scarab Sages

The thread may be old, but the question was never answered by anyone our Pathfinder Society GMs consider "relevant" and, I dont want to make a new thread for it, when a perfectly good one already exists.


Vixeryz wrote:
The thread may be old, but the question was never answered by anyone our Pathfinder Society GMs consider "relevant" and, I dont want to make a new thread for it, when a perfectly good one already exists.

There's nothing that says you can't sneak attack while raging. If anything it nerfs the rogue, instead of the barbarian. Your GMs are wrong.


Not even the 3.5 Frenzied Berserker PrC prevented you from performing sneak attacks, and its frenzy ability has even more limitations on what you can do than rage does.

As for patience being a factor for sneak attacks: I would say that nothing you can do in the span of 6 seconds requires patience, and especially so if you can do it multiple times within those 6 seconds.

Here's a 3.5 FAQ entry on the issue. The limitations on what you can do while raging were the same in that system:

3.5 FAQ wrote:

I have a multiclass barbarian/rogue. I was wondering if he can sneak attack while raging?

Yes, provided the character’s attack meets the requirements for a sneak attack—you must have the foe flanked or the foe must somehow be denied its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class against your attack. A sneak attack requires precision (see the two previous questions), but not much in the way of patience or concentration.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Has then been a problem in PFS?

If so, it's the first I heard of it.

Scarab Sages

In our chapter of PFS, it has been. Someone made a rogue/barbarian and the GMs wont let him sneak attack while raging

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Sounds like something that needs to be brought to a judge.

Scarab Sages

which is why im asking on here

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Vixeryz wrote:
In our chapter of PFS, it has been. Someone made a rogue/barbarian and the GMs wont let him sneak attack while raging

Have you talked to your local VC? There's a list of VC names, territories, and contact info somewhere around here (maybe in the back of the Guide to PFS pdf?)

Grand Lodge

Umm...a general consensus of you can do it should suffice for the judge to accept that you can. If it does not, talk with your local VC or VL about it and have them have a chat with your local judge.

Scarab Sages

The "VC" is one of the GMs who said "No raging sneak-attacks". We dont have a "judge" per se` except for the GMs themselves.

Scarab Sages

Pretty much, the only word the local GMs/VC will accept is a Paizo employ. Like Mike, Mark, Sean, Logan, etc....the Paizo dev team.

Liberty's Edge

_Cobalt_ wrote:

First off, awesome multiclass. Of all the multiclasses with barbarian, that is the last I would have thought of (right after barbarian/gunslinger).

I don't have my Core Rulebook right by me, but I don't see any reason why not from a mechanics perspective. A sneak attack is an unexpected attack essentially, so a raging barbarian could potentially land an unexpected blow. But that only really makes sense if it were flanking, but if it were a sneak-up-on-then-smack attack, a raging, seething barbarian wouldn't make sense.

TL:DR - Most likely.

Really?

It's the most iconic barbarian around. Conan.


Question - is your VC on the list of official VC/VL's, or is it just the guy who functions as the event organizer? Because the term has changed meaning since I was last heavily active, it seems.

Scarab Sages

I live in NM, do we even have one? Officially?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vixeryz wrote:

I live in NM, do we even have one? Officially?

Nope, don't think we do. I think the closest VC is in Colorado.


I play an Urban / brutal pugilist barb 4. He's gonna pick up rogue levels later.
Controlled rage says specifically you can use skills you normally couldn't.
He'll grapple, pin, then SA thereafter.

Silver Crusade

Vixeryz wrote:
Pretty much, the only word the local GMs/VC will accept is a Paizo employ. Like Mike, Mark, Sean, Logan, etc....the Paizo dev team.

I am pretty sure the Pathfinder RPG Core Book is already the penultimate Word of God on the subject, and it is made very clear in said Holy Book that the only prerequisites of a sneak attack are the target being "flat-footed" or "flanked", with the rogue able to see or hit the target.

Rage saying you cannot take actions that require concentration does not change RAW, as sneak attack does not mention requiring concentration at all to put off, only an opponent who cannot defend itself properly.

Core Rulebook 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.

...

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

I may be yet another irrelevant addition to the crowd, but if we are arguing that RAGE MEAN AM NOT HITIN WHERE HURT HAPPEN, I suggest the GM actually sees if raging mechanically reduces your chances to hit. Hey, maybe a raging barbarian shouldn't be able to aim a target and strike at all when raging, because after all logic dictates that fighting requires concentration... or maybe this reduced concentration is reflected by the reduced AC. You know, in the sense that a barbarian hits where it is painful, like the warrior he's supposed to be, at the expense of suffering blows, meaning rage only gets him to hit and be hit more often, meaning he will have no trouble hitting where it is painful, for example with a sneak attack.

You should also ask if a rogue can sneak a larger creature at all ("must be able to reach such a spot") because obviously rogues are OP, especially when multiclassed, so let's screw the minimaxing player who pulled it off.


Can a rogue power attack and backstab?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:
Can a rogue power attack and backstab?

Yes.


Vixeryz wrote:

Hey can we get a dev or mod or somebody of authority to rule on this? Mike? Mark? Umm...(who else....?)

Anyway, This has come up SEVERAL TIMES, MANY TIMES in Pathfinder Society and GMs have been rather fickle on this topic. Some GMs say its fine, other GMs say "No." because they dont think it makes sense that you would be able to slice a throat or shiv a kidney while you are "frothing at the mouth" enraged. According to RAW, you can. But... the GM is arguing that it doesnt explicitly say you can or cant, so he is ruling in favor of "nerf" the barbarian.

So, for the sake of PFS (and some home games...)
Can you sneak attack while under the effect of barbarian rage?

Yes or No?

Raging does not make you into a moron, and what the GM thinks makes sense does not equate to rules, and unlike a home game, they can't make the rules.

With that aside it was allowed in 3.5, and the wording has not changed enough to assume a rule change so the rule is the same. I would just report the GM's and the VC if PFS allows it. They don't need any more stars if they don't know the difference between flavor text and mechanics.

Feel free to invite the VC here.


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Can a rogue power attack and backstab?

Yes.

Then I'd say that answers that.

If you can forgo accuracy for damage (power attack) and still Sneak Attack, then it follows you should also be able to do so while raging.

Problem solved.


If you play the scout subclass of rogue you can gain the ability to sneak attack off of a charge, and later anytime you move more then 10 ft. which I think fits with the Barb/Rogue motif.

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