Looking for Clarification.: Interactions related to the "mist rogue" or "smoke rogue"


Rules Questions


I know this has been rehashed many times, but after digging through many many threads I'm still lacking the warm fuzzies I want in adjudicating this situation.

I have created a character that has sneak attack and the ability to see through smoke. If my character stands next to an opponent he will have concealment, the opponent will not. Understand that my goal is to maximize sneak attack opportunities for a melee character. Here are the points I want to confirm.

1) Concealment allows for me to attempt a stealth check even though I am "observed."

2) Stealth checks require no action.

3) If I succeed in my stealth check my opponent is denied it's dexterity bonus to armor class against all of my attacks during my turn.

4) If I succeeded on my stealth check all of my attacks during my turn will activate sneak attack.

5) After attacking I can attempt another stealth check.

6) This process can be repeated indefinitely as long as I maintain concealment.

7) This can be done even in areas of "bright light"

8) If I have total concealment my target is flat footed against my attacks allowing sneak attack.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

1) Yes

2) No. It is part of another action.

CRB wrote:
Action: Usually none. Normally, you make a Stealth check as part of movement, so it doesn’t take a separate action. However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action.

A 5 foot step should be enough to enter stealth, but you need either to move or to be able to take appropriate actions (I think that a move action while staying in the same square should be enough).

3 and 4) No. (Unless it is not a surprise round and you surprised your opponent.) You lose stealth as soon as you make your first attack.
To get to add sneak damage to all the attacks of a full attack you need improved invisibility or to be able to surprise your opponent end have the initiative in the first full rouns or to flank him.
Same thing for the denied dexterity. As soon as you break stealth with the first attack he knows where you are.

5) Only if you move/take a 5' step.

6) Yes, but see above.

7) Yes, if there is smoke.

8) Yes. Obviously, it works only if you can see him clearly.

The Exchange

while I agree with Diego for most of his responses, I do not for #5.

Sniping for example does not require the Sniper to "move/take a 5' step".

There is actually no requirement on what the action you are combining the new stealth check with is. It could be a bluff for example. And I would most likely require it to be at least a Move Action, (for example, I can't see allowing someone to combine a Stealth check with the Free Action of drawing ammunition, an arrow for example).

I could see the following in a game though...

Rogue: I stab the target and then point at the guy beside me while concealing the knife and indicating that "it wasn't me"...

Judge: Roll a bluff to see if the target falls for it...

You might also want to check out the feat Hell Cat Stealth...

Please realize that there is likely to be some sort of circumstance modifier to the Stealth check imposed by the judge... Sniping for example would give a base -20, Hell Cat Stealth gives -10. And if you are trying to blame the mook beside the BBE for the stab wound he just took? ... well, that might be a really hard bluff roll no matter how innocent you look ...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sniping has specific rules:
a) "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."

b) "However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above) is a move action."

You need a specific rule as the general rule says "Action: Usually none. Normally, you make a Stealth check as part of movement, so it doesn’t take a separate action."

As written you need to move, you can use a No action 5' step, but you can't use a move action unless you actually move. There are several exceptions to that, but they are specific exceptions, not general rules.

There have been attempts from Paizo to clarify and smooth the stealth rules, but not a definitive answer.


baggageboy wrote:
8) If I have total concealment my target is flat footed against my attacks allowing sneak attack.

Almost.

Blindsense wrote:
A creature with blindsense is still denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against attacks from creatures it cannot see.

They're denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, which means you're targeting Flat-Footed AC, but not that they have the Flat-Footed condition. This only makes a difference if you're using abilities that require that specific condition, such as Sap Master.

====

I agree with Diego on all answers, but would like to add that 3 and 4 can be achieved with the Stealth skill unlock at 15 ranks. It's generally not a good idea to rely on smoke tactics at higher levels when everyone starts ignoring concealment, so aim for the skill unlock.

Also. If you use a reach weapon, ranged weapon, or some Reach increases like Long Arm/Lunge you don't even need to bother with making stealth checks. Just stand 10 ft away from them so that there's a full square of smoke between the two of you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Aargh! I have fallen again in the damned habit of conflating the Flat-Footed condition and having the dexterity bonus to AC negated. Wonderstell is right.

To baggageboy, remember a thing, Pathfinder is meant to be a collaborative game. The ideal situation is to be in a group that helps you get into a flanking position. That you are relying on smoke to use stealth seems to show that that isn't true in your group. At the same time, your use of smoke can hider the other members of your group. If my hypothesis is right, see if you can coordinate better with your companions and they can do the same with you.


Thank you all for the feedback/help. This is for an NPC I am building, hwi is operating alone, so flanking ins't an option.

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