Carnivalist Sneak Attack


Rules Questions


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So the Carnivalist Rogue gains sneak attack at level 2. It increase every 4 levels past 2, and the familiar also gets the sneak attack. The ability does not say that it replaces a Rogue's normal sneak attack, nor is it at the same level as the Rogue's normal sneak attack.

Now I see one of two things.

1: A line was omitted saying that the sneak attack should replace the rogues normal one. This seems somewhat odd to me because it is gained at a different level than the Rogues sneak attack normally is and almost always Paizo has swapped abilities out for abilities that are the same level. If it was intended to replace the normal sneak attack why make the Rogue wait until level 2 to get it?

2: It reads correctly and should be interpreted as adding to the sneak attack. This makes more sense to me because the Carnivalist is already giving up a lot (3 rogue talents) for some situational performance abilities, and I think the additional sneak attack brings him back up to where other rogues will be. This interpretation also keeps with Paizo's usual method of swapping abilities out for other abilities gained at the same level.

Honestly I wouldn't even be asking this if it weren't for the cheese that has happened with some of the gunslinger archetypes missing a line being abused in a way that was clearly not intended.


What is this archetype from? I don't see if on pfsrd so I don't know the wording.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The most recent companion "Animal Archive"


chaoseffect wrote:
What is this archetype from? I don't see if on pfsrd so I don't know the wording.

You can find it with the search.

@OP: Definately your first interpretation.
It doesn't actually replace the normal sneak attack, but rather modifies an existing ability. It would have been clearer with a line stating it specifically though.

Why should they have weaker sneak attack? They actually of don't, since they get to have a sneak attacking familiar as well.


Mahtobedis wrote:
Now I see one of two things.

You missed option #3:

There is no need to mention that it replaces the Rogue's normal Sneak Attack, because it is this Rogue's sneak attack. The same issue comes up all the time when it comes to Druid Shaman Archetypes. It has the same name, so it's the same feature.

You give up a lot to be a Carnivalist--surprise, it's not worth it!

Well, ok, it actually could be pretty awesome if you can get Sneak attack and familiar progression from another source. Oh, I know:

Carnivalist 2/Vivisectionist X with Eldritch Heritage: Arcane

Or throw some wizard levels in there and go Arcane Trickster.

The only useful thing the archetype gets is that your familiar can sneak attack with your dice, so you might as well abuse that.


If you get a small-sized familiar they can be flanking buddies to go along with that.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
mplindustries wrote:
You give up a lot to be a Carnivalist--surprise, it's not worth it!

Give up a lot? You delay your sneak attack progression by one level, and in return you get the bonuses from having a familiar, your familiar can also sneak attack, and you get Handle Animal as a class skill, together with the ability to use this to have your familiar distract or fascinate your marks (and, later, even have it steal things for you).

Admittedly I'm not so sure about the intrinsic value of giving up Trap Sense to get Animal Trainer, but I may soon be playing in an all-thieves campaign. There is likely to be somebody else around who can find the traps, so I'm definitely considering a Carnivalist for that.


It clearly replaces the normal Sneak Attack:

Quote:
A carnivalist gains this ability starting at 2nd level. The sneak attack damage dealt is 1d6 points at 2nd level, and increases by 1d6 points every 4 carnivalist levels thereafter.

Why would it say "gains this ability starting at 2nd level" if they already had sneak attack at first level? And why would it say "the sneak attack damage dealt is 1d6 points at 2nd level" if that wasn't the first time that you get to do sneak damage? Sneak Attack is 1d6 at 2nd level by default, they wouldn't need to explicitly mention it if it weren't replacing the normal sneak attack.

If it simply added extra dice instead of replacing the normal sneak, it would say something like "At 6th level and every 4 levels after, the carnivalist's sneak attack increases by 1d6." But that would be overpowered on top of already giving carnivalist a familiar.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

JohnF wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
You give up a lot to be a Carnivalist--surprise, it's not worth it!

Give up a lot? You delay your sneak attack progression by one level, and in return you get the bonuses from having a familiar, your familiar can also sneak attack, and you get Handle Animal as a class skill, together with the ability to use this to have your familiar distract or fascinate your marks (and, later, even have it steal things for you).

Admittedly I'm not so sure about the intrinsic value of giving up Trap Sense to get Animal Trainer, but I may soon be playing in an all-thieves campaign. There is likely to be somebody else around who can find the traps, so I'm definitely considering a Carnivalist for that.

It delays your SA quite a bit more than one level. You go from gaining it at 1st and every odd numbered level thereafter, to 2nd and every 4 levels thereafter. It halves your SA. I guess you get it back with your familiar if you can keep the little guy alive and in combat using him as a built-in flanking buddy... You might potentially be a bit stronger at earlier levels with the extra attacks from a familiar, but it seems like your power level is going to be very dependent on the little guy staying alive and having more than 1 natural attack.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Now they just need an archetype that totally replaces Sneak Attack.

I would play it. I am no fan of sneak attack.


I agree with BBT - the allure of Rogue to me has always been the skills, and to a lesser extent the talents. I guess Sneak Attack is to keep them somewhat combat-viable, but I'd rather have another choice for characters where sneak attack just doesn't fit the flavor.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

It modifies and supersedes the standard sneak attack ability. It does not add to sneak attack.

Silver Crusade

They need to release a rogue/ninja archetype that is a blademaster/weaponmaster. Character that uses Dex for "to hit" and damage rolls, dual wields daggers or short swords (including wakizashi), and doesn't have a penalty for dual wielding as long as he is using the appropriate weapons.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Knife Master archetype + Weapon Finesse + Improved Two-Weapon Fighting does exactly what you're asking for, except the "no penalties to dual-wield."

I really don't expect them to put out any single archetype that accomplishes all of that, because every single combat rogue will be that and only that. Heck, most dual-wielding builds would all then immediately dip that archetype, too. That reasoning is why you see the massive proliferation of "Go Dervish Dance" that so often are the responses to anyone posting a question about a Dex-based combat character.


How does a Knife Master add his dex to damage (besides two agile weapons?)

I think what Bigdaddy is suggesting is replacing Sneak Attack with those other abilities. I can see plenty of rogues not wanting to give up their sneak dice in order to get those abilities.

Dark Archive

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Now they just need an archetype that totally replaces Sneak Attack.

I would play it. I am no fan of sneak attack.

That Archtype is called Bard(Archaelogist)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Victor Zajic wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Now they just need an archetype that totally replaces Sneak Attack.

I would play it. I am no fan of sneak attack.

That Archtype is called Bard(Archaelogist)

That's not a Rogue, but I would play that.


I've been tossing around the idea of a rogue archetype that trades out sneak attack for alchemist bombs and gets a few bomb-related discoveries available as rogue talents, like a reverse of the alchemist's vivisectionist archetype, since I saw an archetype titled "Arsonist" in this year's RPG Superstar. That archetype didn't do that, but if I made a rogue archetype called arsonist, it would (and probably get Spark at will as a SLA at second level)


@BBT: My Sapper Archetype?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
@BBT: My Sapper Archetype?

Most of my DMs are not hip to homebrew, but I would still like to see it.


Sapper/Pioneer. It has been playtested thoroughly. Though some wording might be off...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Sapper/Pioneer. It has been playtested thoroughly. Though some wording might be off...

Neat and simple.


I think that may have more issues of "not quite fitting the theme" than a rogue's sneak attack does :)

Plus being called a sapper but not actually doing anything to help the bombs against objects is weird...


Any suggestions Cheapy? I was thinking of their Sapping being done with Kegs of Black Powder. Really I am thinking of making The Rogue simply being the Pioneer side with Sapper being a Alchemist Archetype.


Make a thread over in Homebrew and I'll give some!


I am way ahead of you. NOTE: I am gonna Necro it with a Post saying that I am splitting the Sapper into an Alchemist Archetype and ask for input on it.


Figures. I didn't search that far back.


I think that a lot of people still have some lingering reservations about sneak attack from 3e. Far fewer creatures are immune to sneak attack now. It is a great ability.

Anyhow, the Carnivalist looks ok to me. The ability to train animals quickly could be fun if you're actually allowed to use them. Having a built in flanking buddy also seems nice even if your sneak attack damage is reduced. Once you add in the familiar's sneak attack damage you'll probably do about as much damage with a higher chance to achieve flank and actually hit stuff.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

That was pretty much the idea - you'd be doing less personal sneak attack damage, but you essentially got to share your sneak attack ability with your pets. Seemed like an interesting concept for characters to try.


Multiclass Carnvalist with viviasectionist with the tumour familiar discovery, and a brief dip into Shaman because this familiar just isn't weird enough. oh and improved familiar feat.

Picture a Cassinian Angel Familiar that looks like its made of stone with jewels embedded in it, that can sneak attack, has damage resistance 5/adamtine, and can merge with its owner to gain fast healing. Its a sneak attacking Cassinian Angel Tumour Spirit Animal familiar. Beat that ;p

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So I was looking at Herolab and wondering what was going on with the Carnivalist. The delay in Sneak attack is really bad.

I am doing it though, since it will allow my Kitsune have a Fox Familiar from level one. (Without having to play a wizard!!)

Gonna be fun when I get the Fox Form feat...

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