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D&D 5E Sneak Attack with spells?

Well, no... in your game perhaps the balance would not be maintained and it'd be a bad idea. But it's kind of silly to make grand statements about the general D&D populace when you have no idea how they actually run their games.

Heck... most of the time most people on these boards can never agree on what the RAW actually is and they all interpret the language used to present the rules differently anyway. Which means everyone is running the game in such a wide range of so-called "RAW" that no one can state with any accuracy what is and isn't true in D&D anyways.

I find worrying about RAW to be a fool's errand. And I find worrying about other people's RAW to be even more foolish. :)
There is no "my RAW", and "other's people RAW". There is only one.
 

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I don't know what point you think you're making because you won't say but it certainly sounds inconsequential.
Shrug.....you want to screw up the game mechanics at your table, I can't stop you. Eventually, you would run into a DM that will set you straight about those particular cantrips, right quick. But....even though this is a necro'ed thread, it was based in a RAW question, so I am going to have to shoot you down before you spread misinformation to anyone who reads your comments.

Since you won't read the spells, I will point out the M component is an actual weapon with a value of at least 1 SP. That means that an actual weapon has to be used to proc Booming Blade. Because a weapon is actually used, then if the weapon is finesse, it can be also used in a Sneak Attack. But under no circumstances can spells be used for Sneak Attack, other than ones that involve an actual weapon.
 

hbarsquared

Quantum Chronomancer
Don't forget damage type. Sneak attack damage is of the same type as the weapon that makes the attack.

So, a rogue with chill touch, eldritch blast, fire bolt, and/or ray of frost (I know they're from different spell lists, but feasible through feats/multiclassing), can deal several d6 of sneak attack damage of the necrotic, force, fire, or cold types. And switch between them whenever they want.

I don't think the extra die or two of the cantrip matters, but the sneak attack damage type does. And that's if you've already house-ruled to allow cantrips. If you open it up to any "ranged spell attack," then your rogue cam essentially select from any damage type, any time.
 

Mordhau

Adventurer
Shrug.....you want to screw up the game mechanics at your table, I can't stop you. Eventually, you would run into a DM that will set you straight about those particular cantrips, right quick. But....even though this is a necro'ed thread, it was based in a RAW question, so I am going to have to shoot you down before you spread misinformation to anyone who reads your comments.

Since you won't read the spells, I will point out the M component is an actual weapon with a value of at least 1 SP. That means that an actual weapon has to be used to proc Booming Blade. Because a weapon is actually used, then if the weapon is finesse, it can be also used in a Sneak Attack. But under no circumstances can spells be used for Sneak Attack, other than ones that involve an actual weapon.
Oh so you're saying it isn't currently rules legal to use a spell to do a sneak attack?

I would have assumed everyone knew that. I certainly didn't claim otherwise. I just said that it wouldn't hurt game balance to allow it. I would have thought that was obvious?

And please, try and make an effort to respond to posts less obnoxiously. This is the second time today you've responsed to me with unwarranted and unnecessary condenscension.
 

Don't forget damage type. Sneak attack damage is of the same type as the weapon that makes the attack.

So, a rogue with chill touch, eldritch blast, fire bolt, and/or ray of frost (I know they're from different spell lists, but feasible through feats/multiclassing), can deal several d6 of sneak attack damage of the necrotic, force, fire, or cold types. And switch between them whenever they want.

I don't think the extra die or two of the cantrip matters, but the sneak attack damage type does. And that's if you've already house-ruled to allow cantrips. If you open it up to any "ranged spell attack," then your rogue cam essentially select from any damage type, any time.
I have previously in this thread provided the math why allowing cantrips proc'ing Sneak Attack will break a game. I did not even bother to go over one huge other factor. Say it is a cantrip like EB, or a spell like Scorching Ray, where multiple attacks are rolled by an attacker.

Let's say our attacker has a +9 to hit, against an AC of 20, which means a 50% chance to hit. OK, that means that Sneak Attack also triggers 50% of the time, on a successful hit,

But presto chango, now say, with Scorching Ray, there are 3 separate attacks rolled (more with higher level spell). Suddenly, the chances of Sneak Attack triggering jump to 87.5%, from 50%.

There is one reason, and one reason only, that a player would push this kind of change to RAW, and it is not because it is "cool".
 

Oh so you're saying it isn't currently rules legal to use a spell to do a sneak attack?

I would have assumed everyone knew that. I certainly didn't claim otherwise. I just said that it wouldn't hurt game balance to allow it. I would have thought that was obvious?

And please, try and make an effort to respond to posts less obnoxiously. This is the second time today you've responsed to me with unwarranted and unnecessary condenscension.
If you are interpreting this as condescension, that is only from your side. I am merely replying to someone who tells me my post is inconsequential. Oh, and altering the original post that triggered my response after I posted is a nice touch.
 




Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Given that we can sneak attack with booming blade and greenflame blade there's really no reason not to sneak attack with cantrips.
Neither cantrip allows a sneak attack. The sneak attack comes from the base weapon attack that you are making. Then the cantrip does additional damage. This is different than a firebolt getting sneak attack damage.
 

Mordhau

Adventurer
Neither cantrip allows a sneak attack. The sneak attack comes from the base weapon attack that you are making. Then the cantrip does additional damage. This is different than a firebolt getting sneak attack damage.
Obviously. (Also cantrips are not finesse weapons). The point is that it wouldn't really create balance issues if we did allow it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Obviously. The point is that it wouldn't really create balance issues if we did allow it.
It would increase damage a little bit, since a spell like firebolt does better base damage and has a longer range than most rogue ranged weapons. The makes it a bit of a balance issue, but not a large one. While I wouldn't allow it in my game because cantrips don't strike as precisely as say an arrow point, I wouldn't have an issue with someone else allowing it. It's not that big of a deal.
 

Mordhau

Adventurer
It would increase damage a little bit, since a spell like firebolt does better base damage and has a longer range than most rogue ranged weapons. The makes it a bit of a balance issue, but not a large one. While I wouldn't allow it in my game because cantrips don't strike as precisely as say an arrow point, I wouldn't have an issue with someone else allowing it. It's not that big of a deal.
It would do more damage than a shortbow (but not by much as a proportion of total damage). It still does less damage than Green Flame Blade.

You would also need to make the attack roll with Intelligence rather than Dexterity, which has considerable trade-offs for a Rogue. (You could max your Intelligence rather than Dex, but your Melee, Skills AC and Dex saving throw would all suffer.)

Greater Range I'll grant you, but I don't think it's a big deal.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It would do more damage than a shortbow (but not by much). It still does less damage than Green Flame Blade.
Does it? Green Flame blade needs to have creatures bunched up to get the increased damage. You're going to find many more single targets where Firebolt will do more damage than Green Flame blade, so in the long run Firebolt will win the damage race. AND you get to stay at range and not be right next to the thing you're attack, which increases safety.
You would also need to make the attack roll with Intelligence rather than Dexterity, which has considerable trade-offs for a Rogue. (You could max your Intelligence rather than Dex, but your Melee, Skills AC and Dex saving throw would all suffer.)
True. I was thinking multi-class where Int would be high.
Greater Range I'll grant you, but I don't think it's a big deal.
I didn't think it was a big deal, either. It's just better by a little bit. ;)
 

Mordhau

Adventurer
Green Flame Blade (and Booming Blade) damage scales like all other cantrips. At level 5 the damage with a rapier is 2d8+dex. (Assuming Dex 18 that's 13.5 Average)

Firebolt at level 5 is 2d10 (11 average).

That's not even taking the secondary damage into consideration.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Green Flame Blade (and Booming Blade) damage scales like all other cantrips. At level 5 the damage with a rapier is 2d8+dex. (Assuming Dex 18 that's 13.5 Average)

Firebolt at level 5 is 2d10 (11 average).

That's not even taking the secondary damage into consideration.
Yep. I forgot the dex bonus to damage. It's 13(4.5x2 +4) to 11, so slightly more damage to single targets. You still have to be right next to the enemy, though, so it's much more dangerous to use than firebolt.

Edit: Also, if you crit with the firebolt you are doing 2d10 more damage, instead of 1d8. That just gets more pronounces at higher levels.
 



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