Knife Master archetype and Arcane Trickster


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So I read online about an Arcane Trickster build that the Sneak attack dice that you get for your Arcane Trickster do not stack with the Knife Master archetype.

From https://rpgbot.net/pathfinder/characters/prestigeclasses/arcane_trickster/

Sneak Attack: Increases at the same rate as the Rogue. Note that if you took the Knife Master Rogue Archetype, only your Rogue Sneak Attack dice are d8’s; your Arcane Trickster dice are still d6’s.

So, can anyone explain why?

The Exchange

Argument that they don't stack:
They do "stack" (you get the bonus damage from each) but as you pointed out the Arcane Trickster dice are d6s.

Mechanically, it's because the Arcane Trickster's Sneak Attack functions as the normal rogue's Sneak Attack, not the Knife Master's Sneaky Stab. So if you are a Knife Master 3/Wizard 3/Arcane Trickster 4 and are attacking with a knife then your sneak attack damage is:

+2d8 (Knife master) +2d6 (Arcane Trickster)

However, the upside is that if you are attacking with a weapon that has reduced damage for the knife master the arcane trickster's damage wouldn't be reduced. For example, a light mace:

+2d4 (Knife master) +2d6 (Arcane Trickster)

If you continue down that superliteral path, then you can't be a Knife Master/Arcane Trickster at all. Because one of the prerequisites for Arcane Trickster is "Sneak attack +2d6" and the Knife Master's sneak attack is not d6 based.

It's another one of those little holes we've been finding ever since the game came out. Things don't quite match up and when you try to find technical arguments to make them fit it really depends which clause in the rules you emphasize.

Personally, I would let the Arcane Trickster's sneak attack damage stack the same way as the Knife Master's (d8/d4). Another GM might say that once you become an Arcane Trickster, you are no longer as focused on the stabby weapons, so the Arcane Trickster sneak attack dice are all d6s. Doesn't mean either one of us is right or wrong.

Just because I wrote it online doesn't make it true.


You forgot to quote Lincoln there buddy...


Belafon presents the argument well, but I agree that it's a silly one.

Arcane Trickster: "Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every other level (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th). If an arcane trickster gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack."

Knife Master: "Sneak Stab (Ex): A knife master focuses her ability to deal sneak attack damage with daggers and similar weapons to such a degree that she can deal more sneak attack damage with those weapons at the expense of sneak attacks with other weapons. When she makes a sneak attack with a dagger, kerambit, kukri, punching daggers, starknife, or swordbreaker dagger (Advanced Player's Guide 178), she uses d8s to roll sneak attack damage instead of d6s. For sneak attacks with all other weapons, she uses d4s instead of d6s. This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability."

So a Knife Master 4/Arcane Trickster 4 *has* +4d6 sneak attack. Which then becomes +4d8 with daggers, or +4d4 with other weapons.

It's a touch of an overpowered archetype, but this isn't needed to fix it.


by following the strict rules you have a bigger problem before them not stacking together. That is the knife master never get any +2d6 sneak attack to fulfill the arcane trickster prestige class entry requirement.

"Requirements
To qualify to become an arcane trickster, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nonlawful.
Skills: Disable Device 4 ranks, Escape Artist 4 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks.
Spells: Ability to cast mage hand and at least one arcane spell of 2nd level or higher.
Special: Sneak attack +2d6." (- not +2d4 or 2d8)

you'd need some other class to get at least 1d6 sneak and then pick the feat that increase that by +1d6 or drop even more levels into said class.

Liberty's Edge

zza ni wrote:


Special: Sneak attack +2d6." (- not +2d4 or 2d8)

The knife master has 2d6 sneak attack for the prerequisites. The value in the 3-13 table doesn't change.

The Knife master's ability says: "When she makes a sneak attack with".
But when he takes a prestige class, he isn't attacking with anything. So, what matters, is what is written in "Table 3–13: Rogue".

If you want to argue strict rules, you should go the whole way, not stop halfway.


im sorry, but are you implying that a knife master has 2d6 of sneak attack since the archtype doesn't say "and go back to change on what the basic rogue table say?" no archtype that change anything tell you to change the stuff in the class table. it simply tell you how the class ability that is explained later is changed!

and the fact is it changed the sneak attack from d6 to d4 and d8. so he never get any 2d6 to pass the requirment anymore then a 1st level rogue does

beside. the normal sneak attack also say that they apply when attacking so what? when applying to a prestige class no1 has sneak attack since they are not attacking? don't be daft.

the knife master change the sneak attack dice and he never get any d6 so he never has 2d6. it count as sneak attack for everything BUT the size of the dice. if the requirement asked for 2 dice of sneak attack then ok. but it doesn't.

it's like trying to claim that a fighter archtype that changed the weapon training to work only on polearms still has his weapon training for bows since the change didn't say anything about the fighter's 'table'.

Liberty's Edge

Quote:
Sneak Stab (Ex): A knife master focuses her ability to deal sneak attack damage with daggers and similar weapons to such a degree that she can deal more sneak attack damage with those weapons at the expense of sneak attacks with other weapons. When she makes a sneak attack with a dagger, kerambit, kukri, punching daggers, starknife, or swordbreaker dagger (Advanced Player’s Guide 178), she uses d8s to roll sneak attack damage instead of d6s. For sneak attacks with all other weapons, she uses d4s instead of d6s. This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability.

The text is clear: it supplements the Sneak damage ability, it doesn't modify or replace it.

So the knife master has 2d6 sneak attack, it is only when using weapons (manufactured or not) that the sneak attack damage changes.
When he is not using a weapon the sneak attack value is the base value.
It never applies in combat, but that doesn't matter.

You are arguing from strict RAW, and that is strict RAW.

RAI? RAI the modified value is meant to count as 2 dices of sneak attack. That the writer of the Arcane Trickster didn't foolproof the prerequisites against future abilities to change the sneak attack dices isn't a problem when considering RAI.

Liberty's Edge

And be a bit more careful on the tone.


You left a part unbold
For sneak attacks with all other weapons, she uses d4s instead of d6s. This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability.

Never got them d6 says so right there and" in all OTHER WAYS" mean that in that specific thing it is an exception. You are taking the one thing that the class actully changes and claim it doesn't. Really now...

It say so black on white the dice are ether d4 or d8 not one is d6 and THAT IS WHAT THE CLASS CHANGE everything ELSE stay the same. So you cant go back and say the one thing changed is still the same.

I never said you replace the sneak attack .but it is clear as day that one aspect is altered. And that one thing is what raw was asked for.

I agree that rai it should just fly off. But where dealing with raw here.


Thanks, I see where the argument is now.
I think it's kind of a silly argument, but it makes sense.


btw. this faq point out that not always the terms 'alter'\'replac' were used in archtypes info.
so don't hang on too much if the wording doesn't say 'alter' but actually does alter part of the ability (as it explain it does).

and this faq explain that when an archtype changes something in a class ability, the part that was changed count as if it was never available in the first place. (so arcane caster turned into psychic never counted as arcane to start with) so knife master changing the sneak dice from d6 to d4 and d8 mean he never had d6 . he had sneak attack (so stop bringing that up), but it's as if it always read d4/d8 never d6.
And "...in all OTHER WAYS... it supplements" as a sneak attack.

again. pure rules as written, not rules as intended.

Liberty's Edge

zza ni wrote:

You left a part unbold

For sneak attacks with all other weapons, she uses d4s instead of d6s. This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability.

Never got them d6 says so right there and" in all OTHER WAYS" mean that in that specific thing it is an exception. You are taking the one thing that the class actully changes and claim it doesn't. Really now...

It say so black on white the dice are ether d4 or d8 not one is d6 and THAT IS WHAT THE CLASS CHANGE everything ELSE stay the same. So you cant go back and say the one thing changed is still the same.

I never said you replace the sneak attack .but it is clear as day that one aspect is altered. And that one thing is what raw was asked for.

I agree that rai it should just fly off. But where dealing with raw here.

You are the one that wanted to argue by strict RAW. Strict RAW says that it changes when the rogue attacks with a weapon. He is not attacking with a weapon? The feature is at its default value.

Let's make an example: the knife master has a cudgel in his right hand, a kukri in his left. He is not attacking.
What are his dices of sneak damage?
They aren't d8 as he isn't attacking with the knife.
They aren't d4 as he isn't attacking with the cudgel.
At that time they are the values of the default feature. They change only when he decides what weapon he wants to use, and only for that attack.

Liberty's Edge

zza ni wrote:

btw. this faq point out that not always the terms 'alter'\'replac' were used in archtypes info.

so don't hang on too much if the wording doesn't say 'alter' but actually does alter part of the ability (as it explain it does).

and this faq explain that when an archtype changes something in a class ability, the part that was changed count as if it was never available in the first place. (so arcane caster turned into psychic never counted as arcane to start with) so knife master changing the sneak dice from d6 to d4 and d8 mean he never had d6 . he had sneak attack (so stop bringing that up), but it's as if it always read d4/d8 never d6.
And "...in all OTHER WAYS... it supplements" as a sneak attack.

again. pure rules as written, not rules as intended.

First FAQ: the archetype specifically says: "This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability."

So it doesn't replace sneak attack. It alters it.
What does it alter? The sneak damage it does when the rogue uses a weapon, and only while he uses a weapon. You claim that it alter the feature even when the Rogue isn't using a weapon, but that isn't what the ability says.

Secon FAQ: and? You can refuse as much as you want, but Sneak Stab is clear. It modifies the feature only while attacking.


Diego Rossi wrote:
zza ni wrote:

btw. this faq point out that not always the terms 'alter'\'replac' were used in archtypes info.

so don't hang on too much if the wording doesn't say 'alter' but actually does alter part of the ability (as it explain it does).

and this faq explain that when an archtype changes something in a class ability, the part that was changed count as if it was never available in the first place. (so arcane caster turned into psychic never counted as arcane to start with) so knife master changing the sneak dice from d6 to d4 and d8 mean he never had d6 . he had sneak attack (so stop bringing that up), but it's as if it always read d4/d8 never d6.
And "...in all OTHER WAYS... it supplements" as a sneak attack.

again. pure rules as written, not rules as intended.

First FAQ: the archetype specifically says: "This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability."

So it doesn't replace sneak attack. It alters it.
What does it alter? The sneak damage it does when the rogue uses a weapon, and only while he uses a weapon. You claim that it alter the feature even when the Rogue isn't using a weapon, but that isn't what the ability says.

Secon FAQ: and? You can refuse as much as you want, but Sneak Stab is clear. It modifies the feature only while attacking.

that is because sneak attack itself is only when you attack. it uses the same text as the main ability only change it to explain the difference when using different weapons. as i said using your logic a normal rogue never have sneak attack dice for the requirement as he is not attacking when applying. sneak attack itself only apply when attacking. you only get the 2d6 for a normal rogue whneen he attack, with same logic when he apply for the arcane trickster he has no sneak attack class ability.

point is the sneak attack dice come into being when attacking. a normal rogue will have d6 and a knife master a d4 and d8, but he would never for one moment get a d6 from his class. going on saying but it's d6 when he isn't attacking. is the same as saying a normal rogue has no d6 when he isn't attacking. it's not relevant then so it's not accountable.
when the prestige class ask for 2d6 it mean then when you preform an attack that qualify as a sneak attack you'd get at least 2d6 sneak attack damage. as any other time it won't even be.


Guys I think you missed one very important detail in the text of sneak stab. “Sneak Stab (Ex): A knife master focuses her ability to deal sneak attack damage with daggers and similar weapons to such a degree that she can deal more sneak attack damage with those weapons at the expense of sneak attacks with other WEAPONS. When she makes a sneak attack with a dagger, kerambit, kukri, punching daggers, starknife, or swordbreaker dagger (Advanced Player's Guide 178), she uses d8s to roll sneak attack damage instead of d6s. For sneak attacks with all other WEAPONS, she uses d4s instead of d6s. This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability." As written sneak stab only applies if you make your sneak attack with a weapon; for all sneak attacks made with something other than a weapon (such as a spell or spell-like ability) the rogues default d6s would be applied. This means that Knife Master does possess the d6s necessary to qualify for Arcane Trickster. So to the OP as I read things if your class features that grant sneak attack state that they stack with other sources then you have a combined pool of sneak attack dice and sneak stab would apply to all of them on any attack with a weapon or ability that states it functions as a weapon (like natural attacks and unarmed strikes). For attacks made with anything other than a weapon (or with sneak attack dice from a class feature that does not state that it stacks with other sources) then the default d6s would be applied.

Liberty's Edge

I considered that point, but there is the problem that most spells that allow applying sneak attack damage are RAy, and they count as weapons.

I am not 100% sure if it is possible to apply Sneak attack to Shocking Grasp. If it is a valid spell for it, it doesn't count as a weapon and gets the d6 sneak damage.

As I said, the base feature doesn't change, what changes is the bonus damage when using weapons.

P.S.: reading Sneak Attack anew I don't see any reason why a spell that requires an attack roll wouldn't work with it.

Dark Archive

As far as "weapons" go, spells are considered weapons. Anything that makes an attack roll is a weapon.


Ray: Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?
Yes. (See also this FAQ item for a similar question about rays and weapon feats.)

Liberty's Edge

Name Violation wrote:

As far as "weapons" go, spells are considered weapons. Anything that makes an attack roll is a weapon.


Ray: Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?
Yes. (See also this FAQ item for a similar question about rays and weapon feats.)

Ray is a specific category of spells.

Touch spells and Ranged touch spells aren't rays.

To be precise, a Ray is an effect of a spell.

CRB wrote:

Effect: Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.

You must designate the location where these things are to appear, either by seeing it or defining it. Range determines how far away an effect can appear, but if the effect is mobile, after it appears it can move regardless of the spell’s range.

Ray: Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack.

CRB wrote:
Target or Targets: Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell.

Touch and ranged touch spells can be used by a rogue to make a sneak attack.


Kinetecist kinetic blast is also not a weapon (though it does count as a weapon for feats that can be applied to it I believe).


Ignoring the pedantry of if Knife Master can qualify for Arcane trickster or not… when you get down to the nitty gritty of it, and actually read the class abilities, it really doesn’t matter if you go by RAW or RAI when determining if the sneak attack damage dice size changes or not.

RAW: knife master always uses D8 with knives and D4 with all other weapons. Their ability makes no distinction of class source for their sneak attack dice. Even if you rule that the dice granted by Arcane Trickster are d6s, the knife master would still roll only D8s and D4s because their ability still alters the dice regardless of source. It’s the same thing if a Vivisectionist Alchemist dipped into Knife Master Rogue, the instant they gained the sneaky stab class feature their sneak attack dice from all sources follow its rules. Additionally Arcane Trickster states “ This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name.” By RAW this means any and all rules changes that apply to the rogues sneak attack apply to the arcane tricksters sneak attack.

RAI: see RAW…

A strict reading of the RAW matches RAI on this one.


Diego Rossi wrote:


I am not 100% sure if it is possible to apply Sneak attack to Shocking Grasp.

SA on touch spells is valid.

SA cares about:
1) Are you making an attack (meaning an attack roll is being made, as opposed to an "attack" that breaks invisibility).
1a) It does not specify the attack must be made with a weapon/manufactured weapon/etc.
2) Is the target flat-footed/flanked/lost dex.
3) Is the target subject to precision damage (eg, not immune to precision)

IF those conditions are all met, then the attack gets xd6 additional damage, which damage is of the same type as the base attack. So a SA shocking grasp does additional electricity damage. A SA rapier does additional piercing, etc. All of those matter to overcome DR or energy resistance as appropriate.

Liberty's Edge

Yes, I did check and there is no problem with it.

Note that SA does only hit points of damage, so, if used with a spell that does other kinds of damage, like enervation, it doesn't increase the number of negative levels.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Knife Master archetype and Arcane Trickster All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.