Hi! I've gone deep into a rabbit hole figuring out how to make a fun Arcane Trickster for PFS play. I've already got most of what I want to know figured out beforehand, but hit one key question. At Arcane Trickster Level 5, you gain access to Tricky Spells (which basically function as free silent+still spells on casting with no strings attached). My question is this: If an Arcane Trickster casts a tricky spell to attack a character while not already in combat, does that spell qualify for sneak attack damage? This is assuming it qualifies for the other requirements (making a attack roll that will result in damage on the target. We'll assume it's a ranged touch attack being made within 30 feet). What matters is if the target is flat-footed or not.
A target is flat-footed or not depending on whether their perception beats your stealth (&/or you win initiative), generally. I'd give a bonus for using a spell without any components, but there's nothing RAW which says that's the case.
Also note that there was a change a few years back which made spells have some sort of manifestation - floating runes or whatever - even if they are silent and stilled. FAQ. Tricky spells doesn't negate this.