Can you sneak attack with any weapon?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


For some reason I always thought they needed a piercing weapon, however, I looked at the rules and don't see anything saying that. Also can you make an SA with a ranged weapon?


Yes

and

Within 30 feet and while the target is denied their dex bonus (barring other rules to the contrary) respectively.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

As long as it isn't Siege Weaponry you can.


Any normal weapon.
Light/1-handed/2-handed/ranged doesn't matter.
Simple/martial/exotic doesn't matter.
Piercing/slashing/bludgeoning doesn't matter.
I don't think proficiency even matters.
I think you can even sneak attack with a weapon that's the wrong size catagory for you (provided you can wield it) or with an Improvised Weapon.
(I'm not 100% sure about the last 2)

You can't sneak attack with splash weapons, or siege weapons, or similar attacks that are less "accurate".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Themetricsystem wrote:
As long as it isn't Siege Weaponry you can.

just no room for sneaky trebuchet's in this game *sob*

Grand Lodge

You can even sneak attack with some spells too. Great gimmick for Arcane Tricksters.


Slyme wrote:
You can even sneak attack with some spells too. Great gimmick for Arcane Tricksters.

Pretty much any spell that requires a to hit roll can be used provided the rest of the requirements are met.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, and the current trend of moving away from that freedom (4E, 5E, Starfinder, and now P2E) is greatly disappointing to me.


Sooo where does it say siege engines cant sneak attack? I can not find said rule.


If it's using a profession (siege engineer) check rather than an attack roll SA won't trigger.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You can sneak attack with a siege engine

You just need the strength and/or size required to pick up the siege engine and use it as an improvised weapon.

Frost giant rogue tactics!


lemeres wrote:

You can sneak attack with a siege engine

You just need the strength and/or size required to pick up the siege engine and use it as an improvised weapon.

Frost giant rogue tactics!

Backstab with a Ballista!


Literally every siege engine we have come across in game use attack rolls so I'm not seeing how they cant sneak attack.


Taking a look, direct-fire siege weapons (ballistas, cannons etc.) do use attack rolls and could theoretically sneak attack, indirect-fire siege weapons (catapults, bombards etc.) use a special check to target a square and couldn't, and others with their own special mechanics couldn't as far as I can tell.

Good luck hiding a cannon within 30' of an enemy though.


avr wrote:

Taking a look, direct-fire siege weapons (ballistas, cannons etc.) do use attack rolls and could theoretically sneak attack, indirect-fire siege weapons (catapults, bombards etc.) use a special check to target a square and couldn't, and others with their own special mechanics couldn't as far as I can tell.

Good luck hiding a cannon within 30' of an enemy though.

Mel Brooks already solved that problem.


The trick is to have 2 siege weapons, the first uses Ranged Feint with Greater Feint to trick the opponent into letting their guard down while the SECOND siege weapon opens up.


Tectorman wrote:
Yes, and the current trend of moving away from that freedom (4E, 5E, Starfinder, and now P2E) is greatly disappointing to me.

WOAH WOAH WOAH! You can't lump Starfinder in there. Starfinder doesn't even have sneak attack. If your talking about the Operative's Trick Attack, which while thematically similar, has very different mechanics.

And due to Trick Attack, Operatives have the potential to deal the most damage at early levels of the game, assuming they make the check to trick attack and make the attack roll. Which actually wasn't as common as I expected because failing either check either results in a miss or a low damage roll. By the time the Trick Attack DC is trivial (due to take 10) the damage gap between longarms and small arms widens enough that a single trick doesn't outweight two attacks from a longarm.

If you could trick attack with longarms, Operatives would be head and shoulders over other classes. Unless they made it like Sniper rifles where you don't get the bonus damage.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's pretty egregious when games arbitrarily decide what weapons work with which abilities with no good reasons. Sneak attack is about being able to catch someone unaware or off-guard. You should be able to perform such an attack with any weapon you have available. The flavor of sneak attacking, greatsword-wielding, shadowdancers is cool. It takes a specific build to make it effective, but flat out saying "you can only sneak attack with the weapons I imagine" is super distasteful.

What *is* fair is making sneak attack less effective with certain weapons, just like how Power Attack is more beneficial when using a two-handed weapon, sneak attack can be better when wielding a smaller weapon.

I still maintain that Starfinder's trick attack should have allowed you to do *something* with bigger weapons, even if at a smaller value. For example, only adding the debuff, or adding a fraction of the trick attack damage.


WatersLethe wrote:

It's pretty egregious when games arbitrarily decide what weapons work with which abilities with no good reasons. Sneak attack is about being able to catch someone unaware or off-guard. You should be able to perform such an attack with any weapon you have available. The flavor of sneak attacking, greatsword-wielding, shadowdancers is cool. It takes a specific build to make it effective, but flat out saying "you can only sneak attack with the weapons I imagine" is super distasteful.

What *is* fair is making sneak attack less effective with certain weapons, just like how Power Attack is more beneficial when using a two-handed weapon, sneak attack can be better when wielding a smaller weapon.

I still maintain that Starfinder's trick attack should have allowed you to do *something* with bigger weapons, even if at a smaller value. For example, only adding the debuff, or adding a fraction of the trick attack damage.

If I had to guess they might eventually add an Operative exploit like Debilitating Sniper that allows you to make a trick attack (single attack) with a longarm, with no damage bonus. You would get to treat them as flat-footed and use debilitating tricks. Honestly, you can add that to the game right now and I don't see it upsetting anything. Using small arms or sniper rifles would still generally be better.

I think the reason they don't allow it with Longarms is that:
1) Operatives aren't proficient
2) Adding trick attack damage with longarms would be too much

So if you make an exploit to allow trick attack without the damage bonus for longarms, you're probably okay. The reason why it doesn't exist currently, is probably because spending a feat for proficiency and then an exploit to trick attack with longarms would be worse than other existing options.


avr wrote:

Taking a look, direct-fire siege weapons (ballistas, cannons etc.) do use attack rolls and could theoretically sneak attack, indirect-fire siege weapons (catapults, bombards etc.) use a special check to target a square and couldn't, and others with their own special mechanics couldn't as far as I can tell.

Good luck hiding a cannon within 30' of an enemy though.

Don't need to hide it, just need to way to render your opponent flat-footed.

Feint???


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The piercing weapon thing is for swashbuckler abilities, not for rogue sneak attack.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
avr wrote:

Taking a look, direct-fire siege weapons (ballistas, cannons etc.) do use attack rolls and could theoretically sneak attack, indirect-fire siege weapons (catapults, bombards etc.) use a special check to target a square and couldn't, and others with their own special mechanics couldn't as far as I can tell.

Good luck hiding a cannon within 30' of an enemy though.

Don't need to hide it, just need to way to render your opponent flat-footed.

Feint???

Or gain initiative/go first, maybe a Diviner Siege Engineer?


I do agree that needing specific weapons to sneak attack is silly, its why I house rule Investigators to be able to use ranged weapons with studied combat without needing to waste feats on it.


An argument could be made that you might have trouble sneak attacking with weapons that are attached by a chain. Spiked chain, Flail, Heavy Flail, etc.

Why?

Because it might jingle and make enough noise to affect your stealth roll.


Toolbag wrote:

An argument could be made that you might have trouble sneak attacking with weapons that are attached by a chain. Spiked chain, Flail, Heavy Flail, etc.

Why?

Because it might jingle and make enough noise to affect your stealth roll.

Wouldn't that be difficulty with a Stealth roll, not the actual sneak attack? Since you don't have to stealth to Sneak Attack... You aren't any less flanking, feinting, quick (before their first turn), etc. with a chained weapon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, you don't actually have to be sneaking to get a sneak attack.

A rattling chain would be a penalty to stealth checks, and if the opponent beat your stealth roll you wouldn't be hidden from them.


Could be we think of sneak attack as back stabbing... a distinctly piercing type of action. But it isn't. Back crushing and back gashing are apparently just as viable.


Cavall wrote:
Could be we think of sneak attack as back stabbing... a distinctly piercing type of action. But it isn't. Back crushing and back gashing are apparently just as viable.

Brain bashing throat slitting are also often done from behind.


YOU DON'T SAY

And while I clearly agree with you (or rather you've agreed with me?) The earliest editions of this game didnt call it either of those which was my point.


Kayerloth wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
avr wrote:

Taking a look, direct-fire siege weapons (ballistas, cannons etc.) do use attack rolls and could theoretically sneak attack, indirect-fire siege weapons (catapults, bombards etc.) use a special check to target a square and couldn't, and others with their own special mechanics couldn't as far as I can tell.

Good luck hiding a cannon within 30' of an enemy though.

Don't need to hide it, just need to way to render your opponent flat-footed.

Feint???

Or gain initiative/go first, maybe a Diviner Siege Engineer?

I love this mental picture.


Makes me wish I could cast Sense Vitals and have it apply to Arcane Cannon.


Cavall wrote:
Could be we think of sneak attack as back stabbing... a distinctly piercing type of action. But it isn't. Back crushing and back gashing are apparently just as viable.

Sneak Attack is more Cheap Shot, as it is attacking when they are not able to fully defend themselves.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Can you sneak attack with any weapon? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.