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There are a number of monsters that have attack powers or features that deal extra damage to targets under certain conditions, similar to sneak attack (extra damage with combat advantage) or other conditions (eg: extra damage against prone targets).

Consider the Doppelganger Sneak:

Short Sword (weapon) At-Will

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +8 vs. AC

Hit: 1d6 + 6 damage, or 2d6 + 6 if the doppelganger has combat advantage against the target.

Or the Kobold Slink:

Combat Advantage

The kobold slink deals an extra 1d6 damage on melee and ranged attacks against any target it has combat advantage against.

Domination says:

  • The creature can’t take actions voluntarily. Instead, the dominator chooses a single action for the creature to take on the creature’s turn: a standard, a move, a minor, or a free action. The only powers and other game features that the dominator can make the creature use are ones that can be used at will, such as at-will powers. For example, anything that is limited to being used only once per encounter or once per day does not qualify.

  • The creature grants combat advantage.

If either of these creatures, or others like them, are dominated, they are granting combat advantage to all creatures (that can see them), including themselves. If forced to attack themselves, would they incur the extra damage from their attack or combat features?

Likewise, the Dire Wolf has:

Bite At-Will

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +10 vs. AC

Hit: 2d8 + 4 damage, or 3d8 + 4 against a prone target. The target falls prone if the wolf has combat advantage against it.

If a Dire Wolf is dominated and prone and forced to bite itself, does it deal the extra damage for biting a prone target?


This probably wouldn't work on features limited to once per round, such as Tikulti's

Sneak Attack

Once per round, Tikulti deals 2d8 extra damage against a target that grants combat advantage to him.

because the wording for domination says they can only be features used at-will... and I'm assuming that "once per round" is a limit that doesn't inherently apply to at-wills.


Note that this wouldn't apply to a player Rogue, because the Rogue class feature only works when attacking enemies:

When you make an attack with a light blade, a hand crossbow, a shortbow, or a sling and hit an enemy granting combat advantage to you, that enemy takes extra damage based on your level (see the Sneak Attack table). You can deal this extra damage only once per turn.

I noticed that some monsters use this wording on their sneak attack feature, so they also wouldn't sneak attack themselves. Perhaps all monsters should have their sneak attack or similar features houseruled to only apply to enemies?

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1 Answer 1

Short Answer: Yes to both.

In 4E, generally as long as all conditions are met properly, bonus effects will always apply. Essentially, unless there is something preventing it from happening (as in the case of Tikulti's version of sneak attack re: the domination rules because its a once per turn thing), it should in fact still trigger. So yes, as silly as it is, the rules say that the Dire Wolf would in fact gain bonus damage dealt to itself, savaging itself while it was lying down on the ground.

Then again, nothing is as silly as being able to knock an ooze prone, so w/e. At my table we just follow the mechanics and don't worry about the logic, haha.

On the subject of houserules relating to realism though - I actually don't think you should houserule it away. Keep in mind that in 4E at least, 'sneak attack' isn't actually a stealth thing always - it is a combat advantage thing. It represents the idea that you are really good at hitting JUST the right places to do the most damage when the target isn't properly defending itself from you - and if you're dominated, you probably arent resisting hitting yourself. (Thats why dominated creatures grant combat advantage - they are no longer resisting). From that perspective, I'd have to say that it makes sense to still get the bonus damage.

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