Sneak Attack within 30ft

Rules Questions

The Exchange


Question 1: Can a Rogue sneak attack in every round from within 30 ft with a ranged weapon OR is it just the first round if the opponent is flat footed.

Question 2: If the opponent has a fellow party member next to him, does the ranged Rogue count as flanking for the purposes of sneak attack

Otherwise I don't see the point in having a ranged Rogue?

CRB Stealth wrote:
Sniping: If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.

Mattaus wrote:
Question 1: Can a Rogue sneak attack in every round from within 30 ft with a ranged weapon OR is it just the first round if the opponent is flat footed.

So long as the enemy is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC (which can be caused by more than just being flat-footed) and the rogue is within 30 feet, the rogue gets Sneak Attack damage against the target.

Mattaus wrote:
Question 2: If the opponent has a fellow party member next to him, does the ranged Rogue count as flanking for the purposes of sneak attack

No. It is my understanding that it is not possible to flank an opponent with a ranged weapon, and therefore you'd have to find a way to deny your target its Dex to AC to Sneak Attack with a ranged weapon.

One way for a ranged rogue to deny its target Dex to AC is, indeed, via sniping; however, you'd only be able to make one shot per round since sniping requires you to spend a move action.

EDIT: You could also dip three levels of Archer Fighter to be able to feint with a bow*. You'd have to take at least Improved Feint to be able to make an attack the same round, but it still gives you an option for when you can get into stealth.

Of course, you could also convince the wizard to cast/UMD a wand of Improved Invisibility.

*While I don't think it's explicitly stated in the RAW, it's been posted by someone working for Paizo (either the author or one of the Dev Team) that the archetype's ability is functional (meaning you can gain the benefits of feinting with a bow).

Yeah...ranged flanking doesn't exist. Not even with the snapshot line of feats, though that is a can of worms I'd rather not open in this thread.

Suffice it to say, you must find a way to deny your opponent their dex at range to be able to sneak attack at range.

Sniper Goggles may interest you since they increase the range at which you can Sneak Attack.

I suggest making sure your GM agrees that sniping lets you sneak attack. The RAW doesn't say that sniping makes enemies lose their DEX. It's probably RAI, and I think Jason Bulmahn has a post on these forums saying that they meant it that way, but the RAW still doesn't explicitly grant it, so make sure your GM allows it.

Also, as others have said, there is no ranged flanking because to "flank" you must "threaten" the enemy according to the flanking rules, but you only "threaten" with melee weapons. However, many GMs allow a bit of loose interpretation of the rules that would allow the ranged attacker to gain the benefit of flanking if he has an ally in the right position, but this is a house rule. So check with your GM to see if he allows it.

And as others have said, find a way to make your opponent lose his DEX. A good way that hasn't been mentioned is blinding the enemy. Spells like Spear of Purity, Holy Smite, Blindness/Deafness, etc., can all be used by your party casters. Ask them to help out - point out that these are awesome spells that can cause enemies to do less or even no damage to the group so they're great in their own right, but they also can let you do a whole lot more damage and kill these enemies even faster.

This is one of those things I think is absolute RAI, and, honestly, RAW, except it gets dismissed as fluff.

If you're stealthed, regardless if they have the general condition of being flat-footed or are denied their dex to all attacks, they cannot react to your attack and are considered to be denied their dex to just you. So, as long as you can keep sniping and not getting seen via perception, you can consistently make ranged sneak attacks round after round.


Stealth wrote:
Your Stealth check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone who might notice you. Creatures that fail to beat your Stealth check are not aware of you and treat you as if you had concealment.
Perception wrote:
If you fail, your opponent can take a variety of actions, including sneaking past you and attacking you.
Dexterity wrote:
Armor Class (AC), provided that the character can react to the attack.

So, if you successfully stealth, they don't know you exist. Or, at least, they don't know where you are. They can't possibly respond to your attack.

The Stealth FAQ and the clarified intent from the designers states that you can deny a target its DEX bonus using Stealth so that the target is unaware of you. This is true for both sniping and melee attacks.; sniping has an added benefit that after taking a single shot you can immediately make a Stealth check (at a -20) to keep the target from becoming unaware of your location.

As to B, there's no ranged flanking in Pathfinder because flanking specifies that you gain the bonus against flanked opponents with melee attacks. You can provide flanking benefits to the adjacent melee ally through the Snap Shot feat, but with ranged weapons you can't gain the benefit yourself.

The Exchange

All good points - thanks.

The sneak attack archer is great conceptually, but obviously can't keep up with the melee SA guy who can get flanking fairly easily. I'd suggest a line of feats to balance it out, but ranged weapon combatants already need plenty of those.

If you could do ranged coup de grace attacks through sniping it would be much better.

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