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D&D 3E
When a Rogue gets multiple attacks; does the additional damage from… 
25th-Aug-2004 10:00 am
When a Rogue gets multiple attacks; does the additional damage from sneak attack work on all of the attacks in the round, not just the first one?

If so... How do I prove the fact to my DM?
25th-Aug-2004 02:46 am (UTC)
Simply look on page 50 of the Player's Handbook. I am speaking of the v3.5 book. The other should have it under the Rogue's sneak attack ability.

The sneak attack damage applies whenever the opponent is denied his or her dexterity bonus. It also applies when the rogue is flanking an opponent. It doesn't matter how many attacks you might have. If your opponent is flat-footed during your attack sequence and you take three attacks then all of them gain the sneak attack damage bonus. If you are Blinking, for instance, ALL your attacks are sneak attacks as they all deny your opponents their dexterity bonus.

However if you are using a multiple attack weapon in one attack roll (shuriken throwing or using the Manyshot feat, for instance) only the first strike counts for precision-based damage. Precision-based damage are things such as critical strikes or sneak attack damage.

I have never seen your particular problem in 3rd edition. In first and second I ran across arguments on backstab damage, but that was because the rule was a little vague.
25th-Aug-2004 03:02 am (UTC)
That's 3.5, my group is still on 3.0

I know how the rule should work but I needed it somewhere were it was clarified so my DM didn't think I was a cheesey gamer. I am but that is besides the point.

His take of the matter is that once my first attack lands, my opponent is aware of me so no longer counts as being flat footed. So my additional attacks in that round are normal attacks.
25th-Aug-2004 03:35 am (UTC)
You can be aware of something and still be flat-footed. Unless the DM is using a house-rule that changes the way initiative works, your opponent is flat-footed, denied his DEX bonus, and vulnerable to sneak attacks until he actually takes an action in that combat.

Besides, even that doesn't save him from sneak attack damage when he's flanked.
25th-Aug-2004 04:28 am (UTC)
It's that way in 3.0. Check the errata on the wizards of the coast site. Any time you've denied your opponent his dex bonus, you've got sneak attack damage. That includes, for instance, a surprise round where the opponent doesn't get to act and then even the first round if you're acting before the opponent (therefore he doesn't have his dex bonus yet).

I believe you also get it whenever you're flanking.
25th-Aug-2004 05:47 am (UTC)
You can also check the official 3.0 FAQ.

Under the Rogue (p.9) it asks the exact question. I've seen it asked in the Sage Advice column in Dragon as well.
25th-Aug-2004 06:41 am (UTC)
His take of the matter is that once my first attack lands, my opponent is aware of me so no longer counts as being flat footed. So my additional attacks in that round are normal attacks.

That isn't the standard D&D rule--flat-footed lasts until you act, not until you're attacked.

OTOH, if he wants to change it there's no reason he can't change it--just make him be consistent and clear in what he's changing. Is he changing when flat-footed ends (which means that the second et al attacks against a flat-footed creature have to get past Dex and Dodge bonuses)? Or is he changing the definition of Sneak Attack, limiting it such that you can only do it once per round against a flat-footed opponent?

What if you're flanking your opponent, or your opponent is entangled (due to the spell or a tanglefoot bag?)
25th-Aug-2004 06:07 am (UTC) - Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
"...or when the rogue flanks the target, the rogue’s attack deals extra damage. The extra damage is +1d6 at 1st level
and an additional 1d6 every two levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not
multiplied. (See Table 8–8: Attack Roll Modifiers, page 132, for combat situations in which the rogue flanks an opponent or the
opponent loses his Dexterity bonus to AC.)" Players Guide

"Whenever a rogue attacks an opponent that the rogue flanks,
or who is denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (such as
when caught flat-footed), the rogue’s attack is a sneak attack. It
makes no difference how many attacks the rogue makes or
whether the opponent is aware of the rogue or not." Official FAQ from http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/MainFAQv06272003.zip

25th-Aug-2004 07:38 am (UTC) - Re: Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
I think you are all reading that wrong.

"It makes no difference how many attacks the rogue makes"

aka you add Xd6 for the round. Not to each attack.

Keep in mind unless your idiot opponenet left himself flanked, you usually only get one attack, as if you move, you only get one attack at your highest BAB.
25th-Aug-2004 10:05 am (UTC) - Re: Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
1: it is possible for the opponent to remain flanked between rounds, allowing a rogue to get his full attacks (for example, the target is entangled).

2: Every reference to the sneak attack ability says that the "rogue's attack" is a sneak attack, it does not say "all attacks made by the rogue are sneak attacks for that round". basically, each time you get an attack that is valid for sneak attack (ie, flatfooted, etc.) then you get your bonus.
25th-Aug-2004 10:25 am (UTC) - Re: Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
that is possibly the way the rules are, but consider this...

A rogue has someone flanked, and gets 3 attacks...
Hits with all three with a short sword..

3d6 plus like 21d6 or something like that? That's a bit extreme.
25th-Aug-2004 11:11 am (UTC) - .
I'd agree, it seems incrediblely grotty, even though it does only occour in certain circumstances; I certainly wouldn't object to any house rule saying it only applied once.
25th-Aug-2004 11:05 am (UTC) - Re: Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
I have seen it more explicity stated, but I couldn't be bothered to troll through everything to find it. "whenever a rogue attacks" would be every time he attack-ie each attack.
It specifically states elsewhere that that does not apply when firing more than one missile at once, such as 3 shurikan as a standard action or the arrows from many-shot, if it wouldn't count anyway there would be no need to state it there also.
25th-Aug-2004 12:06 pm (UTC) - Re: Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
no, because firing 3 shuriken as A standard action (note, it is a single action) or the arrows from many-shot (again, a single action) is still ONE attack, which gets the bonus ONCE. Two seperate attacks, such as a second attack with the shuriken (another 3 shuriken) would get the bonus again.

The "sneak attack" ability does not simply represent "surprise special damage", it represents the ability of the rogue to attack with extreme precision in cases where the opponent has their guard down enough to allow these attacks. This is why it does not only count when surprising an opponent, but also when they are flat-footed (their guard is down, hence no dex bonus) or when flanked (their guard is down because they have to deal with two or more opponents at once). If you have done any combat yourself, then you know that ganging up on a single combatant (the DnD flanking idea) makes it easier for everyone to hit that combatant because they have to constantly defend against all of their opponents.

trust me, it is much easier to hit you in a specific spot with precision (I get bonus damage dice!) when you are distracted by my companion.


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25th-Aug-2004 12:14 pm (UTC) - Re: Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
That's what I meant, if that wasn't clear I appologise.
25th-Aug-2004 02:39 pm (UTC) - Re: Official stance on 3rd ed; but the usual caveat applies.
no worries, my icon looks grumpy, but I am not. :-P

"Montaron! I... I never loved you!"
- Xzar, from Baldur's Gate (tm) when both he and Montaron are in your party and Montaron dies
25th-Aug-2004 12:28 pm (UTC)
Wow. I never knew this question could be such an indepth one. It had not occured to me to ask such a question, but I'm glad someone brought it up, cuz I'm sure I would have wondered at some point or another. My only thought is that, as a new DM myself, I agree that 3 backstab attacks may be powerful, but I don't think it would be too powerful.

Many rogues are small creatures (halflings or kender) and while they are very good at hiding and such, they have the downfall of dealing with small weapons with laughable damage. As a DM who runs a party with a kender rogue, we've found that he doesnt just thrive, but he survives on that backstab. It's what makes him anywhere near as useful as the other party members. Granted, he only has 1 attack at 2nd level, but by the time he gets 3 attacks, anyone want to guess what kind of damage our fighter and barbarians are going to be doing? The poor rogue won't be able to touch them, but at least he'll be able to hold his own. It may be a little different with medium sized rogues, but I, as a DM, would definitely approve of multiple backstab attacks because it allows the small sized rogues the saving grace against those toothpicks they call small sized weapons.

Just my 2 cents.
25th-Aug-2004 01:11 pm (UTC)
your average barbarian with a greatsword would and three attacks gets this...

2d6+1 1/2 strength. Call it 3d6.... three times.

9d6. Quite different then 24d6.

And a rogue with 3 attacks should have hide and move silently of around +20 modifier by that point.....
25th-Aug-2004 01:19 pm (UTC)
You may be right. But by the time a rogue gets 3 attacks, shouldn't the barbarian have, or nearly have, 4? I can't remember if the barbarian has the good BAB run or not. And you can't forget the strength damage. By the time a rogue gets 3 attacks, I would hope that a barbarian would have a magical item or two and some nasty strength. *shrugs* You could be right, though.
26th-Aug-2004 06:28 pm (UTC)
Plus the barb can do that without dropping the guys dex bonus
25th-Aug-2004 08:23 pm (UTC)
The rule about them being aware of you is correct for 2nd edition, ebcause that was the rule. . . . they had to be unaware. The rules have changed for 3.0 and 3.5 though, changing them more from 'sneak' attacks to 'critical location' hits. . . . i.e. you know where to hit people so it does the most trauma to the body. Hence the rules that creatures that are immune to critical hits are now immune to sneak attack damage, as well as things like precision shots and precise strikes, which if you recall also stack with sneak attack damage.

This is why I'd let a player use the sneak damage on all his attacks: Sneak attack damage is more like a critical strike thatn 'sneaking.' Yes, it may be obscene, But so are alot of things about 3.5E, like a multiclassing dervish getting something like 19 attacks per round at high levels. (Yes, its been done)
25th-Aug-2004 09:56 pm (UTC)
a multiclass monk/swashbuckler with reasonable dex, wis and strenght will have an ac of like 20 while completely naked.
26th-Aug-2004 08:38 am (UTC)
however, I need to point out that these things fall back to the one big problem I have with alot of gamers in this day and age... people are more interested in the numbers and dice rolls than actual "role-playing".

but that is another rant for another day :-)

"Why won't you die?!?!"
- Me, when playing Half-Life and trying to shoot the G-Man
26th-Aug-2004 06:38 pm (UTC)
Armor is so passe anyways
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