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Attacking from a hidden position

dbm

Adventurer
In DnD 3.x, if a rogue attacks from a hidden position with a ranged weapon do they get sneak attack damage?

Here's a specific example: it's the second round of combat and the rogue breaks line-of-sight to an enemy, then makes a successful Hide check. Next round, can they step out of hiding and shoot an enemy to get sneak attack damage?

Page references would be fab, but any input is appreciated!
 

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Grand Poobah

First Post
In DnD 3.x, if a rogue attacks from a hidden position with a ranged weapon do they get sneak attack damage?

Here's a specific example: it's the second round of combat and the rogue breaks line-of-sight to an enemy, then makes a successful Hide check. Next round, can they step out of hiding and shoot an enemy to get sneak attack damage?

Page references would be fab, but any input is appreciated!

Yes, but you must be within 30' (see sneak attack under Rogue class description in PHB).

As long as your target is unaware of your presence i.e. you have successfully hidden from him, he is therefore denied his Dex bonus so you can add your sneak attack damage if you hit.

You can attempt to hide if you have cover or concealment and are not directly observed (Hide in Plain Sight ability gets around some of these restrictions).
 


dbm

Adventurer
That has been my understqnding, but I can't see anything which explicitly states you get you sneak attack damage under those circumstances? The rules only seem to say that you get the extra damage when your opponent is flat footed / denied their Dex bonus to AC or when you flank them?

No where can I see a commentary or rule which says shooting from a hidden position during combat causes you to loose you Dex bonus to AC?

Another complication, in a normal surprise round you only get a partial action, so only one shot. During later rounds, you could do a Full Attack option and get multiple sniper shots off. Which seems very powerful.

Can you point me to any written rule which supports the common interpretation?

ETA: where is the sniper feat please?
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
Sneak Attack (from the Rogue class ability description) said:
If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

Sniping (under the Hide skill description) said:
If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a -20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot.

A creature that cannot be seen is effectively Invisible (in gamespeak).

Invisible (from the Condition Summary descriptions) said:
Visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents’ Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any).
 

delericho

Legend
In DnD 3.x, if a rogue attacks from a hidden position with a ranged weapon do they get sneak attack damage?

If you are successfully hidden, then yes. But you should be aware that attempting to hide after combat has started is very difficult.

Yes, but you must be within 30' (see sneak attack under Rogue class description in PHB).

As long as your target is unaware of your presence i.e. you have successfully hidden from him, he is therefore denied his Dex bonus so you can add your sneak attack damage if you hit.

You can attempt to hide if you have cover or concealment and are not directly observed (Hide in Plain Sight ability gets around some of these restrictions).

Eh. Sort-of.

Per the description of the Hide skill, if a character is being observed (even casually), then they can't Hide. In combat, even having cover or concealment generally isn't enough, since the target will at least know where they went.

However, the Hide skill does note that a successful Bluff check (whether by the Rogue or by an ally) can create enough of a distraction for the character to hide, provided he can reach cover or concealment in time.

Once the character is successfully hidden, he does indeed get Sneak Attack.

Here's a specific example: it's the second round of combat and the rogue breaks line-of-sight to an enemy, then makes a successful Hide check. Next round, can they step out of hiding and shoot an enemy to get sneak attack damage?

Page references would be fab, but any input is appreciated!

Note that it's not enough merely to "break line-of-sight". The target has to be distracted sufficiently that he's not observing the Rogue even casually (Bluff check, see above), and the Rogue needs to move into an area of cover or concealment relative to his target. So, there has to be an altar to hide behind, an area of shadows, or something of that sort. Simply standing behind the target (or even behind an ally) isn't enough.

Another complication, in a normal surprise round you only get a partial action, so only one shot. During later rounds, you could do a Full Attack option and get multiple sniper shots off. Which seems very powerful.

Normally, as soon as the character makes his first attack, his target becomes aware of him and he is no longer hidden. Therefore, he only gets a single Sneak Attack.

However (per the Hide skill description), the character can make a Hide check at a -20 penalty to remain hidden while sniping. However, doing so is a move action, so even in this case the character would only get a single Sneak Attack in the round.

(I'm not familiar with the Sniper feat off the top of my head, and it's not in the SRD. My guess is that this probably allows the character to make that Hide check as a free action, but I may be wrong about that.)
 

dbm

Adventurer
Thanks guys, that is all good stuff, especially the Invisibility piece of the puzzle.

The question arose as we have switched to playing Mongoose Conan after playing 4e and Savage Worlds for the last couple of years, so we're having to relearn 3e!
 

In DnD 3.x, if a rogue attacks from a hidden position with a ranged weapon do they get sneak attack damage?

Here's a specific example: it's the second round of combat and the rogue breaks line-of-sight to an enemy, then makes a successful Hide check. Next round, can they step out of hiding and shoot an enemy to get sneak attack damage?

Page references would be fab, but any input is appreciated!

Maybe my group has been doing this wrong, but in the example you've listed as soon as the rogue steps out from behind cover, isn't he no longer hiding which means his opponent is no longer flat-footed to him?

I could have sworn that I read this in a book somewhere but my searching and google-fu seems to have failed me.
 

delericho

Legend
Maybe my group has been doing this wrong, but in the example you've listed as soon as the rogue steps out from behind cover, isn't he no longer hiding which means his opponent is no longer flat-footed to him?

It was a case that came up in the first 5e playtest packet. Maybe you were thinking of that?

FWIW, I'd assumed that by "steps out from behind cover", he literally meant a single step (probably not even a 5ft step). If the Rogue took even a full Move action to get into position, I would agree with you - no hiding, no "invisibility", no Sneak Attack.
 

It was a case that came up in the first 5e playtest packet. Maybe you were thinking of that?

FWIW, I'd assumed that by "steps out from behind cover", he literally meant a single step (probably not even a 5ft step). If the Rogue took even a full Move action to get into position, I would agree with you - no hiding, no "invisibility", no Sneak Attack.

Well that makes sense then. Kinda like peering around the corner and firing and not jumping out from behind a wall yelling "Surprise!" Though depending on the reaction of the players at the table, I may let that work. ;)
 


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