can sneak attack boost the damage of a fireball?


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2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I know the answer to this question appears to be conventional wisdom: no. Please hear me out.

Here is a link to a question in the rules forum about combining the mesmerist's painful stare ability with a magic missile. I posted a similar question, but in the wrong forum because I'm a dope.

Here is a link where I asked the Advice forum for better ways than UMD to cast magic missile as a mesmerist. Secret Wizard argued there that if painful stare + magic missile works, then sneak attack + fireball should work as well.

I'm not sure xe's wrong.

Pathfinder Unchained wrote:

Sneak Attack: 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’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 2 rogue levels thereafter. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. This additional damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (such as a sap, unarmed strike, or whip), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack—not even with the usual –4 penalty.

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 total concealment.

A rogue cannot crit with a fireball, nor does fireball meet the definition of a nonlethal weapon. So let's discard those clauses. Let's also toss the opening fluff paragraph.

Pathfinder Unchained-ish wrote:

Sneak Attack: 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 2 rogue levels thereafter. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

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 total concealment.

So, is a fireball an attack?

CRB wrote:
Attacks: Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don't harm anyone.

So, yes.

a) if a target is denied their Dex bonus to AC, or is flanked by the (hopefully flameproof) rogue
b) and is within 30 feet of the rogue (fireball is ranged)
c) and if the target isn't concealed
d) and if the rogue can see and reach a 'vital spot' on the target.

So let's talk 'vital spots' for a minute. Here's the relevant text of magic missile

CRB wrote:
magic missile: The missile strikes unerringly, even if the target is in melee combat, so long as it has less than total cover or total concealment. Specific parts of a creature can't be singled out. Objects are not damaged by the spell.

So, if 'specific part' and 'vital spot' are synonymous, then a magic missile cannot be used in a sneak attack. This might work in a painful stare, however. Fireball, well, hits all the spots, vital or not. The rogue, by definition, can reach it.

And yeah, I know about the arcane trickster's Surprise Spells class feature.

CRB wrote:
Surprise Spells: At 10th level, an arcane trickster can add her sneak attack damage to any spell that deals damage, if the targets are flat-footed. This additional damage only applies to spells that deal hit point damage, and the additional damage is of the same type as the spell. If the spell allows a saving throw to negate or halve the damage, it also negates or halves the sneak attack damage.

Surprise Spells doesn't spell out the 'normal' benefit, like some feats do.

I allege the following

1. A rogue can use an AoE spell to deal sneak attack damage.
2. A mesmerist can use any damaging spell to deal painful stare damage.
3. An 10th level arcane trickster can sneak attack a flat-footed target with magic missile, while a normal rogue cannot.

Is this correct?

Dark Archive

This is well thought out and presented amazingly. I commend you on your efforts but i cannot answer one way or the other as i don't have anything to back it up. My opinion and thoughts on the matter though.

RAW: you may be able to get away with it.

RAI: I do not think it was intended to get sneak attack damage on spells unless your an arcane trickster.

Liberty's Edge

1. You cannot, unless you have a specific ability that lets you such as Surprise Spells. Sneak Attack requires an attack roll, which isn't super obvious in the rules set, but the ability wasn't changes from 3.5. You cannot gain precision damage from splash weapons, either, which is indeed mentioned in the Combat section. Fireball is also a bad example, because sneak attack mentions "ranged attack" which is a very specific thing. Fireball is not a ranged attack, because there is no attack roll involved to hit its targets.

2. To score a "hit" against an opponent, you must roll an attack roll and beat their AC. Painful Stare applies to opponents you have hit.

3. Absolutely. And with other spells that deal hit point damage without requiring attack rolls, unlike a normal Rogue.


I think I know where the argument falls apart.

ohaku wrote:
So, if 'specific part' and 'vital spot' are synonymous, then a magic missile cannot be used in a sneak attack. This might work in a painful stare, however. Fireball, well, hits all the spots, vital or not. The rogue, by definition, can reach it.

If the fireball is already striking all spots, including all possible vital spots, how would you add extra precision damage to it? The damage for striking all possible vitals so how would you make it strike more vitally?

That's more of a reasoning stance though. The post above me explains why in RAW it cannot work.


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CRB wrote:
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

Fireball is an area of effect spell. It doesn't have a target.


With out the arcane trickster capstone ability, you must make an attack role in order to get precision damage, critical or sneak attack.

Attack has a definition in regards to sneak attack, in the combat section of the prd it defines; melee attacks, ranged attacks, unarmed attacks, natural attacks, ranged touch attacks, melee touch attacks. All of these attacks are allowed to critical, and deal sneak attack, both are precision damage.

Quote:
So, if 'specific part' and 'vital spot' are synonymous, then a magic missile cannot be used in a sneak attack. This might work in a painful stare, however. Fireball, well, hits all the spots, vital or not. The rogue, by definition, can reach it.

This is where you are mistaken, a fireball is no more capable of precision damage than splash weapons are, you can not target a specific part, a vital part, or any part of the creature. Fireball is indiscriminate in the damage dealt and not able to deliver sneak attacks, without arcane trickster.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A fireball will not do Sneak Attack damage (without 10 levels of arcane trickster), but an Intensified Reach shocking grasp will... Which is why Evocation/Admixture wizards are a popular choice with arcane trickster characters.

Of course, even a straight rogue can get some decent mileage out of Sneak Attack with acid splash or ray of frost (from the Minor Magic rogue talent).


Well, let's try to address some of these questions in order.

ShieldLawrence wrote:
Sneak Attack requires an attack roll

Please tell me where it says this.

ShieldLawrence wrote:
To score a "hit" against an opponent, you must roll an attack roll and beat their AC.

Eh, I'm not exactly sure that a hit is as narrowly defined as that. I'll concede the point for now.

CampinCarl9127 wrote:
If the fireball is already striking all spots, including all possible vital spots, how would you add extra precision damage to it? The damage for striking all possible vitals so how would you make it strike more vitally?

This is the difference between a wizard and a rogue. A wizard learns how to shoot fire from his eyes, while a rogue learns how to make their attacks count in combat. How would a wizard learn to strike vital spots with a fireball? Train as a rogue!

Gisher wrote:
Fireball is an area of effect spell. It doesn't have a target.

Fair point. A fireball doesn't target a specific creature. It just targets a square. Although, there is a clause in fireball that lets a caster target a hole or arrow slit with the magical bead. You could make a case that a ranged touch attack roll (against, say, the eye holes in a great helm) would then allow sneak attack. Still, fireball doesn't seem like the best example spell, because it behaves so much like those naughty splash weapons.

So, let me change my target as well.

Ultimate Magic wrote:
ear-piercing scream: You unleash a powerful scream, inaudible to all but a single target. The target is dazed for 1 round and takes 1d6 points of sonic damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d6). A successful save negates the daze effect and halves the damage.

Let's see

a) ear-piercing scream targets a specific creature.
b) it's certainly an attack, and a range is called out (so it's a ranged attack, I guess)
c) a vital spot happens to be called out in the spell's name: the ear.

So, our prospective rogue needs to target a creature who

a) is denied their Dex to AC (or who is flanked by the rogue)
b) is within 30 feet of the rogue
c) is not concealed
d) has visible, unobstructed ears

Under those conditions, ear-piercing scream seems like a valid way to attach sneak attack damage to a spell without taking 10 levels of arcane trickster. How's that?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

And yet we get another thread where the OP wants proof that his answer is true by said thread - everyone disagrees - and he proceeds to tell everyone and their kid brother that they're wrong and his pet (generally OP) theory is right.

Liberty's Edge

A sneak attack occurs when you "strike" a vital spot for extra damage...

Sneak Attack 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'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. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

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.

How are you striking something without making use of an attack roll?

Combat Section wrote:
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target's Armor Class, you hit and deal damage.

..."hit" has also been bolded, as it relates to Painful Stare which calls out hits...

You can cause hit point damage via Fireball but it isn't considered a "strike" and doesn't "hit" creatures ever. Spells that use attack rolls can "strike" and do "hit" and are eligible for Sneak Attack and Painful Stare.


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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
And yet we get another thread where the OP wants proof that his answer is true by said thread - everyone disagrees - and he proceeds to tell everyone and their kid brother that they're wrong and his pet (generally OP) theory is right.

Ha, yeah. I gave up as soon as he "refuted" my argument with absolutely nonsense. Not even worth a reply. I say the best counter to this thread isn't to rise to the bait, but rather to ignore it and let it slip away from memory.


Quote:
How are you striking something without making use of an attack roll?

Sound strikes things just fine. blasts of fire strike things. Light strikes surfaces, etc. Does it define "strike" anywhere as being necessarily part of an attack roll? If not it just means some sort of usually violent contact with something.

But I agree with the respondents above that fireball seems to be ruled out by not having a "target."

Quote:
If the fireball is already striking all spots, including all possible vital spots, how would you add extra precision damage to it? The damage for striking all possible vitals so how would you make it strike more vitally?

I think this was also a reasonable objection to fireball in particular, but only because it's listed as a spread effect, which means it goes around corners. Anything that is listed as "burst" "emanation" or similar makes logical sense for vital striking, because depending on exactly it comes from, the vectors of damage are streaking out and hitting all of your left side vs. all of your right side vs. your front, etc. Specific placement can hit a higher number of vital areas for such spells.

Ear piercing scream, you have control over the point of emanation, and you could reasonably move it side to side in your square to better hit the vital bits at the right angle. But not by much. If the lack of choice within only a couple of degrees of angle from range is a bit of a stretch for you, then okay, but there are other spells that have much more placement freedom and still qualify.

it's also not 100% clear if the scream is a burst or spread or whatever. Frozen Note is a better example of targeting emanation one where you could control angle of striking but only from angles available within your square.

"Dark-Light" is even better... doesn't have the narrow angle restriction:

Attack? Yes, involves a saving throw.
Target? Yes
Matters theoretically where you place the center of the burst exactly for hitting vitals better? Yes, it's a burst, not a spread, the parts of a thing hit will matter based on placement.
Centered on you? No, plenty of mobility and choice for a strategic burst point to hit the vitals just right. Not limited to just a few degrees of angle.
Struck with something? Yes, light.

I'm sure there are a bunch more, I found that in like 1 minute.

edit:Aura of the Unremarkable would also qualify. Emanation so origin point matters for where it hits a person, it does have targeting (only non-allies), it involves a will save (attack).

Note that I would never allow this silliness at a table, but its an interesting thought experiment.


Its not a matter of a burst or spread spell simply hitting all vital areas. These areas need to be targeted specifically by an attack(roll). Which translates to all the force behind tge attack roll hitting and piercing a vital area.


Quote:
Which translates to all the force behind tge attack roll hitting and piercing a vital area.

It does not say this in the sneak attack text. I see no mention of "putting all your force there." It only says "striking a vital spot" (and picking it out and reaching it) That could easily mean "striking a vital spot along with 20% of the rest of your body too" versus "not hitting any vital spots because I burst from the wrong angle." This still also involves seeing, picking it out, and reaching it intentionally.

Quote:
These areas need to be targeted specifically by an attack(roll).

And in my example of a burst or emanation, the wizard-rogue would be "targeting vital area(s) specifically" -- the idea is "I'm casting this burst here instead of 3 feet over that way, even though both would cover the same creatures by radius, purely because right HERE makes it hit specific vital areas on those targets better."


Anyone wishing to put forth an argument for this must first, in my eyes, put forth a satisfactory explanation why splash weapons (which do require an attack roll) are explicitly denied sneak attack damage.


Robb Smith wrote:
Anyone wishing to put forth an argument for this must first, in my eyes, put forth a satisfactory explanation why splash weapons (which do require an attack roll) are explicitly denied sneak attack damage.

Because they have a spread-shape, not a burst-like or emanation-like shape. So they're already coating all sides of you and could not reasonably be any further focused or have any way of hitting vital areas more proportionally.

CRB:

Quote:
A hit deals direct hit damage to the target, and splash damage to all creatures within 5 feet of the target.

It doesn't say "but not if they're behind cover" etc. Thus, it must spread around corners. And thus, no additional precision would be possible, unlike, say, a burst spell.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ohako wrote:

Well, let's try to address some of these questions in order.

ShieldLawrence wrote:
Sneak Attack requires an attack roll

Please tell me where it says this.

Attack (the game action) is defined by the combat section of the rules, under the action Attack and it require a to hit die roll.


Quote:
Attack (the game action) is defined by the combat section of the rules, under the action Attack and it require a to hit die roll.

He already quoted the text in the OP that makes it very very explicit that any spells that require a save throw, deal damage, harm, or hamper opponents are attacks.

This is a more specific rule pertaining just to spells, and Specific > General


Indirectly:

"How does the Surprise Spells class feature of the Arcane Trickster prestige class (Core Rulebook, page 378) work with spells like magic missile and fireball?

The Surprise Spells class feature allows the Arcane Trickster to add his sneak attack dice to spells that deal damage that target flat-footed foes. This damage is only applied once per spell. In the case of fireball this means it affects all targets in the area, with each getting a save to halve the damage (including the sneak attack damage). In the case of magic missile, the extra damage is only added once to one missile, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast."

This FAQ confirms that surprise spells does not, in fact, work like you propose it to work. You require surprise spells in order to sneak attack with a fireball.

Sneak attack works on spells that require an attack roll. This may be one of paizo's 'unwritten rules', but it is relatively well-known. Splash attacks don't refute this rule as they are specifically called out as an exception in-text. Most 'unwritten rules' in pathfinder come from FAQ or errata'd content in 3.5 which was lost on the transition to pathfinder. Sneak attacks applying only to spells with attack rolls is one such case (3.5 explicitly spells the relationship out in complete arcane, but this isn't OGC so paizo can not reference that text directly).

Note the history - in 3.5 splash attacks worked fine with sneak attack, but splash rogues (an effective build... for a rogue) were deemed 'cheesy' and so this ability was removed. Pretty silly in hindsight, but that's the reason why.

You admit yourself you would never allow this at table. Pathfinder is a rules set particularly vulnerable to torturous rules bending due to the prose-like manner of the mechanics text. It is clear enough that sneak attack as written is not intended to work with the vast majority of damage-dealing spells, including fireball, without the surprise spells class feature.


Crimeo wrote:
Robb Smith wrote:
Anyone wishing to put forth an argument for this must first, in my eyes, put forth a satisfactory explanation why splash weapons (which do require an attack roll) are explicitly denied sneak attack damage.
Because they have a spread-shape, not a burst-like or emanation-like shape. So they're already coating all sides of you and could not reasonably be any further focused or have any way of hitting vital areas more proportionally.

Your argument seems to be, "because it affects an area, unlike these other things which also affect an area". I find this to be not tremendously satisfactory. How is throwing a vial of acid at someone "less able to strike a vital area" than a spell, just because the residual liquid might extend to extra squares? The implication is that this wording is necessary specifically because these items require an attack roll (and bluntly, because being able to sneak attack with them in 3.5e D&D was broken beyond belief)


Quote:
How is throwing a vial of acid at someone "less able to strike a vital area" than a spell, just because the residual liquid might extend to extra squares?

That's not why. The reason why is a specific rules-related mechanical one: splash weapons do not exclude people behind cover or obstacles or anything blocking line of effect. It just hits everything within 5 feet, full stop.

So imagine I have a tower shield deployed, and you throw a splash weapon at some other guy in the target directly in front of me on the opposite side of the edge the shield is deployed on. By RAW, I still get splashed with splash weapon stuff, despite no line of sight or effect (total cover). At least as far as I can tell. Because I'm within 5 feet, and it doesn't mention any such exceptions.

Thus, splash weapons must go around corners, and touch everything that is exposed to air within 5 feet, regardless of angle, similar to a spreading spell like fireball or fog cloud. Therefore, they are necessarily already hitting all vital areas, and there is thus no way to make them hit MORE vital areas.

Burst/emanation spells, though (not just all spells, only these certain type of straight line of effect ones) do not go around corners, and thus are not already hitting all parts of you. So by repositioning that burst, you could now hit a vital spot that wasn't getting hit before, fitting the rules text of sneak attack's requirements: intentional striking of vital spots that otherwise might not have occurred without the same training.


Quote:
Surprise Spells class feature of the Arcane Trickster

This doesn't really prove anything, since everybody in this thread already agrees (including the OP) that fireball doesn't work (no target is one point everyone seems to accept)

So the benefit of this ability could simply be to let you do sneak attack with ALL spells. That does not preclude it having been possible to do it with SOME spells already without this ability.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
How is throwing a vial of acid at someone "less able to strike a vital area" than a spell, just because the residual liquid might extend to extra squares?

That's not why. The reason why is a specific rules-related mechanical one: splash weapons do not exclude people behind cover or obstacles or anything blocking line of effect. It just hits everything within 5 feet, full stop.

So imagine I have a tower shield deployed, and you throw a splash weapon at some other guy in the target directly in front of me on the opposite side of the edge the shield is deployed on. By RAW, I still get splashed with splash weapon stuff, despite no line of sight or effect (total cover). At least as far as I can tell. Because I'm within 5 feet, and it doesn't mention any such exceptions.

Thus, splash weapons must go around corners, and touch everything that is exposed to air within 5 feet, regardless of angle, similar to a spreading spell like fireball or fog cloud. Therefore, they are necessarily already hitting all vital areas, and there is thus no way to make them hit MORE vital areas.

Burst/emanation spells, though (not just all spells, only these certain type of straight line of effect ones) do not go around corners, and thus are not already hitting all parts of you. So by repositioning that burst, you could now hit a vital spot that wasn't getting hit before, fitting the rules text of sneak attack's requirements: intentional striking of vital spots that otherwise might not have occurred without the same training.

Yes but there is also a highly distinct difference between the primary target of a splash weapon and the "splash" component of it, on the order that the splash damage is generally completely negligable.


Quote:
Yes but there is also a highly distinct difference between the primary target of a splash weapon and the "splash" component of it, on the order that the splash damage is generally completely negligable.

Agreed. But so what? That can just be a second reason why it might not vital strike splash victims (not being "targets")

Several of the spells I listed above however DO have targets as well as being bursts or emanations (that you can place at range no less for very dynamic aiming to expose vitals). Like Aura of the Unremarkable.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
Yes but there is also a highly distinct difference between the primary target of a splash weapon and the "splash" component of it, on the order that the splash damage is generally completely negligable.

Agreed. But so what? That can just be a second reason why it might not vital strike splash victims (not being "targets")

Several of the spells I listed above however DO have targets as well as being bursts or emanations (that you can place at range no less). Like Aura of the Unremarkable.

Sure, but that just goes back to the core question. Why would they feel the need to exclude splash weapons from sneak attack?

Because they require an attack roll.

It is inherantly implied by this example that AoE effects, and effects that don't require an attack roll, do not benefit from Sneak Attack. I believe this has never been "clarified" because I have *never* played at a table where people did not inherantly understand how this rule is intended to work. It is just one of those things that is intuitive. Splash weapons needed this clarification because they were exceptions to that intuition and it affected the predecessor game in a negative manner, so it was fixed.

Liberty's Edge

Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
How are you striking something without making use of an attack roll?

Sound strikes things just fine. blasts of fire strike things. Light strikes surfaces, etc. Does it define "strike" anywhere as being necessarily part of an attack roll? If not it just means some sort of usually violent contact with something.

Yes, the rules say specifically that strikes are represented by attack rolls. I quoted the relevant section below the question you quoted me on. I'll post it again:

Combat Section wrote:
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target's Armor Class, you hit and deal damage.

Simply stating that anything strikes anything is not in the rules and is not backed up by rules text. You can only strike things with an attack roll. You therefore need attack rolls to sneak attack, since a sneak attack is indeed a strike.


Quote:

Sure, but that just goes back to the core question. Why would they feel the need to exclude splash weapons from sneak attack?

Because they require an attack roll.

No, because they have spread-like shape and thus cannot be targeted any more precisely at vital spots. The whole point of the above posts you are quoting was to point out that "requiring an attack roll" is not necessarily the implied reason.

Quote:
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round.
Quote:
You can only strike things with an attack roll.

This doesn't pan out. The spell magic missile does not have an attack roll, and says in its text "The missile strikes unerringly." So this interpretation of the word "strike" cannot be correct. I.e. the text you quoted cannot therefore be defining the word, it must necessarily be using it casually or non-exhaustively only.


ShieldLawrence wrote:
Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
How are you striking something without making use of an attack roll?

Sound strikes things just fine. blasts of fire strike things. Light strikes surfaces, etc. Does it define "strike" anywhere as being necessarily part of an attack roll? If not it just means some sort of usually violent contact with something.

Yes, the rules say specifically that strikes are represented by attack rolls. I quoted the relevant section below the question you quoted me on. I'll post it again:

Combat Section wrote:
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target's Armor Class, you hit and deal damage.
Simply stating that anything strikes anything is not in the rules and is not backed up by rules text. You can only strike things with an attack roll. You therefore need attack rolls to sneak attack, since a sneak attack is indeed a strike.

Even though I take the opposite side of Crimeo, this is just silly. You are saying "look, this says attack rolls are strikes!", and asserting that is all "strikes" are therefore attack rolls. Magic Missile also says it "strikes" the target, and "strikes" the target unerringly. Last I checked, people weren't rolling d20s for it.


No.

There is no attack roll.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What BNW said.


Quote:
There is no attack roll.

Which matters because...?

Liberty's Edge

Crimeo wrote:
Quote:

Sure, but that just goes back to the core question. Why would they feel the need to exclude splash weapons from sneak attack?

Because they require an attack roll.

No, because they have spread-like shape. The whole point of the above posts you are quoting was to point out that "requiring an attack roll" is not necessarily the implied reason.

Quote:
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round.
Quote:
You can only strike things with an attack roll.
This doesn't pan out. The spell magic missile does not have an attack roll, and says in its text "The missile strikes unerringly." So this interpretation of the word "strike" cannot be correct. I.e. it's not defining the word, it must just be using it non-exhaustively.

Ah I see. Must be a good ol' case of...

Crimeo wrote:
Specific > General

So attack rolls are strikes and Magic Missiles are strikes. Both are eligible, except that Magic Missile says...

Magic Missile wrote:
Specific parts of a creature can't be singled out.

We are back to attacks rolls being the only eligible strikes for Sneak Attack, at least until this zany rules forum crowd comes up with more!!!


1) Magic missile cannot both have and not have an attack roll. The paradox still disproves your theory, even if magic missile isn't relevant to sneak attacks.

2) More importantly, as Robb Smith wisely pointed out, "An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round" is not anything remotely close to a definition or exclusive statement anyway.

For example, I can scrawl a cartoon fox on an index card with a pen right now. In fact, I just did so, as I wrote this post. "My scrawling represents a fox" is now a true statement. By what stretch of the imagination, though could you now arrive at the conclusion that "foxes can ONLY be represented in the form of scrawled index card pictures"? Despite the first statement being true, this one objectively isn't, as I can prove with this utterly adorable counterexample: http://splendidwallpapers.com/wallpapers/2014/02/cute-baby-fox-1920x1200.jp g

Liberty's Edge

Crimeo wrote:

1) Magic missile cannot both have and not have an attack roll. The paradox still disproves your theory, even if magic missile isn't relevant to sneak attacks.

I'm not saying it requires an attack roll, I'm saying it must be a type of "strike" in addition to strikes represented by attack rolls.

This is very similar to calling spells that require saves "attacks" in addition to the attacks represented by attack rolls, which is absolutely by the book.

The rules call this an attack/strike, rules call that an attack/strike. Exemptions and additions to the rules are everywhere. That's the entire premise to this thread, using a common term found in two places and saying they are the same for Sneak Attack.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
There is no attack roll.
Which matters because...?

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.

Attack. No attack roll, no sneak attack.

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)

The attack has to be against their ac. Clearly spelling out that they mean a game mechanics attack not just a broad description of attack like invisibility.


Quote:
Attack. No attack roll, no sneak attack.

Attacks don't require attack rolls. As the OP quoted in the OP, any spell at all that does damage or requires a save or hampers or harms in any way an opponent is an "attack."

Quote:
The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC

Emphasis added. Not "is." "Would be." So no it doesn't have to be against their AC. They only have to be in a situation where they would be denied their dex to AC.

Quote:
I'm not saying it requires an attack roll, I'm saying it must be a type of "strike" in addition to strikes represented by attack rolls.

It is a type of strike. They're being struck my magic spheres, force, sound pressure, whatever.

Your quote is only problematic if it exhaustively defined "strikes." But it does not exhaustively define, as my analogy demonstrates that you neglected to respond to. No "exceptions" are required to something that wasn't comprehensive to begin with.

Liberty's Edge

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There is no need for the 'strike = attack' argument. I think we can all agree that 'attack = attack';

"Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet."

Fireballs are unquestionably ranged. They are not however, 'ranged attacks' as defined by the game.

At that... the name of the ability itself is sneak attack. Not 'sneak spell'.

Silver Crusade

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2000 called, wants this thread back.


I can't believe anybody is trying to aruge this. No you can not sneak attack with a Fireball.


Quote:
Fireballs are unquestionably ranged. They are not however, 'ranged attacks' as defined by the game.

Is nobody reading the OP...? The large majority of combat relevant spells are "attacks," very very plainly spelled out in the rules text quoted there.


I'm in agreement with the masses. I pity the group with a GM dumb enough to allow SA on fireballs or other like magic effects.

I see those guys probably spending some time finding a better GM.


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Very clever. No.

(This is just like that thread where fighters take the archmage mythic archetype and can then cast any arcane spell. Clever, but no.)


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Crimeo wrote:
Is nobody reading the OP...? The large majority of combat relevant spells are "attacks," very very plainly spelled out in the rules text quoted there.

Sure, I'm reading it. It's an excellent example of why RAW is unimportant at our table.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Crimeo wrote:
Is nobody reading the OP...? The large majority of combat relevant spells are "attacks," very very plainly spelled out in the rules text quoted there.
Sure, I'm reading it. It's an excellent example of why RAW is unimportant at our table.

Very much this.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
Fireballs are unquestionably ranged. They are not however, 'ranged attacks' as defined by the game.
Is nobody reading the OP...? The large majority of combat relevant spells are "attacks," very very plainly spelled out in the rules text quoted there.

Alas, "Ranged" + "Attack" do not make a "Ranged Attack" in the game ;-)


Quote:
Alas, "Ranged" + "Attack" do not make a "Ranged Attack" in the game ;-)

What makes you think this? The determinant of "weapon" mentioned in the combat rules cannot actually be necessary, since innumerable spells list "ranged touch attack" without being weapons in any way.

The only other logic I can see here is that they are... ranged, attacks, and go against touch AC. I.e. that these terms are indeed just constructed from their parts in general. (Same for melee)

Quote:
Sure, I'm reading it. It's an excellent example of why RAW is unimportant at our table.

I completely agree, I would not allow it for a second.

This is the rules forum, though, not the advice forum.


If fireball, an area of effect spell, can allow for sneak attack, then every casting of fireball should get extra damage for hitting vital spots, as every casting of fireball hits all the vital spots equally.

No, sneak attack isn't added to fireball.

If you think it is, please provide references showing that it is.

Not sentences that are able to be heavily edited to imply that maybe under some circumstances there might be a class who could potentially, with the right feats, maybe have it add.

Burden of proof lies on you, OP, to show that this could happen. It isn't a situation of 'the rules are unclear'-they are clear.

If you have found an exception, by all means point it out, but it doesn't appear that anyone on here agrees that sneak attack can be added to spells except under VERY specific conditions (which fireball does not meet).


Quote:
If fireball, an area of effect spell, can allow for sneak attack, then every casting of fireball should get extra damage for hitting vital spots, as every casting of fireball hits all the vital spots equally.

Currently not a single person in the thread maintains that fireball deals sneak attack damage, the OP gave up on this in like 3 posts. 1) It has no target 2) The reason you just argued here.

"Aura of the Unremarkable" however, I think does by RAW. It doesn't spread around, it is a linear emanation that isn't hitting all vital spots equally from all angles. It could be skillfully positioned to hit more vital areas since it's a ranged center point, not even personal center. And it does have targets. And it is an attack.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
If fireball, an area of effect spell, can allow for sneak attack, then every casting of fireball should get extra damage for hitting vital spots, as every casting of fireball hits all the vital spots equally.

Currently not a single person in the thread maintains that fireball deals sneak attack damage, the OP gave up on this in like 3 posts. 1) It has no target 2) The reason you just argued here.

"Aura of the Unremarkable" however, I think does by RAW. It doesn't spread around, it is a linear emanation that isn't hitting all vital spots equally from all angles. And it does have targets. And it is an attack.

My understanding (I'm not saying I'm right, just how I do it) is that sneak ATTACK requires an attack roll.

So Acid Arrow, yes, Fireball... no...

Aura of the Unremarkable is an emanation, so no attack roll... not sure why you would think it has one. It's also not an attack. It's an enchantment spell. (We ARE talking about the spell from the Cheliax book, right?).

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