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I have been searching for hours and it only caused me to be more confused. Say I was concealed in the beginning and made a range sneak attack, could I move to another area with cover, then make a stealth check in the same turn? Or does it require a 2nd turn to move and stealth, then a 3rd for a 2nd sneak attack?

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1 Answer 1

Ranged attacks from Stealth are an exception to the normal rules governing Stealth.

You can only move after making a stealthy ranged attack if you do not plan on making another stealth check. The reason for this is in the rules for the Stealth skill below:

Sniping: If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.

Action: Usually none [but] using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack is a move action.

Source (PSRD)

If you decide to make a ranged attack from stealth, you may either 1) re-stealth immediately afterwards at a DC20 (as per sniping) and stay where you are or 2) move to another location and remain detected. To do both would interfere with the action economy of your turn unless you have some means of taking another move action.

Some may argue that a Stealth check is normally a non-action and is made as part of a move action. This is true for normal stealth checks but not those governing stealth after ranged attacks. Instead of being part of a move action, the stealth check becomes the move action.

If you were making a melee attack, though, Stealth would work as normal and you could attack, move, and re-stealth (as part of the move) all in the same turn. Though you'd take an AoO for leaving a threatened square as you are no longer undetected.

To be honest I find this to be counter-intuitive. Why should it be easier to hide after punching someone in the face than after sniping them from a distance? Stealth rules in Pathfinder are, Paizo admits, a complete mess. That's why they released these new stealth rules. Now, even if your GM follows RaW, it may be worth doing because stealth now allows for sneak attack damage on rounds other than the surprise round.¹

It may simply be worth house-ruling a hand-wave on these rules, though.


1: See this related question and it's accepted answer.

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I think the logic is about the nature of the blow. A melee stealth attack throws you off balance so the attacker has a second to run and hide. A ranged attack doesn't carry the same momentum as the melee attack. Therefore you wouldn't be knocked off balance as much and be quicker in looking for your attacker. –  stonemetal Nov 5 at 22:44
    
@stonemetal I don't think you've ever been hit by an arrow. :) (Though, neither have I!) –  Jason_c_o Nov 5 at 23:07

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