Distracting Shadows + Sneak Attack

Rules Discussion

Wanted to ask about all the rules interactions going on with this combo. I have a PC playing a Halfling Rogue with this Ancestry feat and this combo has beem coming up excessively. It seems that a Rogue with a shortbow (and distracting shadows) can stand behind some random PC, use the Hide action and then shoot. If they did well with the Hide, they become Hidden from most enemies and so they are flat-footed to these attacks. This can be repeated every turn for the entire fight if the Rogue is far enough in the back. With a shortbow it's just 2d6 damage (1d6 bow + 1d6 sneak), though the crits are extremely nasty. I think there is a -1 modifier to the attack from the Soft cover provided by the ally, but the flat-footed condition more than makes up for it.

This has become very boring, but it looks completely intended. Am I missing something?

Shadow Lodge

You'd have to successfully Hide before every shot, and the person you are hiding behind had better not decide to move, but otherwise I believe it is a 'legal' tactic.

Yup, works fine. My Ranger with Rogue Dedication and Sneak Attacker does this in underbrush.

Aratorin wrote:
Yup, works fine. My Ranger with Rogue Dedication and Sneak Attacker does this in underbrush.

I don't mind if they're using the terrain for it, at least it's creative and requires some awareness. This combo just feels kinda dumb since most of the time it's available off the starting positions in a fight and it will work anywhere.

Look at it this way, assuming they are hidden at the start of the fight, over the next 3 rounds they will make 5 attacks with sneak attack. But, it requires an ally to hide behind who doesn't move, which seems unlikely (or a piece of terrain).

And it's not better than another rogue using flanking with gang-up to get sneak attack on melee attacks.

Have some fights with mooks to go in and engage the party to try and get them not to stand in place and the rogues ability doesn't work.

Also, with mooks they can use the seek action to try and spot you and use aid another to point you out to its allies.

Alternatively, if the party only has one melee character and everyone else clumps together throw something with AoE attacks against the party and punish them for bunching up.

I mean they spent the rarest kind of Feat to be able to do it. It feels mean spirited to single them out for using their Feat.

Eh, I don't think it's that's strong. I was just offering advice on ways to not let them use it every turn if a GM was so inclined.

Compare it to the Rogue Twin Feint ability and it's arguably worse, except you can do it at range.

Hiding + Attack costs two actions vs Twin Feint's two action cost (so equal). Twin Feint lets you potentially hit with two attacks, where as the other only allows one attack. If you were already flanking with an ally you will get sneak attack on both, whereas you're not likely to get flanking using a bow and standing next to your ally.

Not to mention there are a lot of ways spread throughout classes to cause an opponent to be flat-footed, and thus vulnerable to Sneak Attack.

I agree it looks a little silly to imagine a PC just standing next to his unmoving friend a whole combat just to get Sneak Attack, but it's by far not the most ludicrous thing I've seen.

Edit: I am of the mindset as a GM you should never let any player tactic work all the time. 75% of the time sure, but not 100%.

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