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So here's a question I have for my Slayer in my Pathfinder campaign. It really comes down to two questions involving Sneak Attacks while wearing Smoked Goggles. Here's the relevant blurbs:

Smoked Goggles

These spectacles have lenses made of smoked glass that help protect against creatures with gaze attacks. You are always treated as averting your gaze when dealing with gaze attacks, and you gain a +8 circumstance bonus on saving throws against visual-based attacks (any attack that a blind creature would be immune to). You have a –4 penalty on Perception checks while wearing the goggles, and all opponents are treated as having concealment (20% miss chance).

Sneak Attack

At 3rd level, if a slayer catches an opponent unable to defend itself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The slayer’s attack deals extra damage anytime his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the slayer flanks his target. This additional damage is 1d6 at 3rd level, and increases by 1d6 every 3 levels thereafter. Should the slayer score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this additional damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or unarmed strike), a slayer can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The slayer must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A slayer cannot use sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

and I also have:

Shadow Strike (Combat)

You accurately strike even those you cannot clearly see.

Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: You can deal precision damage, such as sneak attack damage, against targets with concealment (but not total concealment).

Short version: Does a Slayer with Shadow Strike with Smoked Goggles act as though enemies have partial concealment to my character and so are subject to sneak damage as the description for Shadow Strike suggests?

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In short: No, they do not.

And an explanation of why:
I think you are reading Shadow Strike incorrectly. I'll go through each of the effects that are interacting here, and how they build together.

Shadow Strike (Combat)
You can deal precision damage, such as sneak attack damage, against targets with concealment... (emphasis my own)

This means that you have the ability to deal precision damage, but not that you automatically do so, against targets who have concealment from you.
This serves to directly negate the section of your Slayer Sneak Attack ability:

Sneak Attack
The slayer’s attack deals extra damage anytime his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the slayer flanks his target... A slayer cannot use sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

How does these work together?
A Slayer's Sneak Attack places a limitation on when a certain ability can be used. The Shadow Strike feat specifically allows the use of that same ability in those conditions. Generally (see below), when two abilities or sections of text conflict, the outcome is that you rule in favour of whichever is less prohibitive. (In this case, you can sneak attack something that has concealment from you.)

And how do the goggles come into it?

Smoked Goggles
... you have a –4 penalty on Perception checks while wearing the goggles, and all opponents are treated as having concealment.

Without Shadow Strike, and whilst wearing a pair of Smoked Goggles, you cannot sneak attack anything. Until you train to do so, by selecting the Shadow Strike feat.

So in summary:
You do get to apply your precision damage, but only when you would have been able to without the goggles on.


A note on conflicting sections of text:
When things conflict, we tend to rule towards enabling things. The prime example that highlights this is Charging, and Pounce.

As per the Charge rules, we may only make one single attack, regardless of how many other attacks we have. Pretty restrictive!

Even if you have extra attacks, such as from having a high enough base attack bonus or from using multiple weapons, you only get to make one attack during a charge.

Pounce, however, lets us take a full-attack when we're charging. (Presuming you somehow got Pounce onto your PC!)

When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).

How do these interact? The PC can charge, and then full-attack. Note the wording in the rules, however:
One places a limitation on the use of an ability (in this case, your attacks: when you charge, you can only make one attack regardless of how many attacks you have)
The other states the opposite of this restriction, and the result is that we use the opposite.

"Specific trumps general" is the phrase, and it applies everywhere. Not all Slayer's can sneak attack opponents in concealment, and those that can are those who have trained specifically for that. (AKA: taking the feat.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk May 25 '17 at 23:46
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Simple: No, you're reading it wrong.
Longer: While wearing the goggles, anyone you attack is considered to be concealed. From your text:

You have a –4 penalty on Perception checks while wearing the goggles, and all opponents are treated as having concealment (20% miss chance).

and further from your quoted text:

A slayer cannot use sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

Wearing the goggles your target is considered concealed, you are not. Since you cannot use sneak attack while striking the concealed creature, you can't sneak attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Apologies, there was kind off an important piece of my question missing there. Would taking Shadow Strike in conjunction with the goggles allow a Slayer to use its Sneak Attack? Blurb: You accurately strike even those you cannot clearly see. Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1. Benefit: You can deal precision damage, such as sneak attack damage, against targets with concealment (but not total concealment). \$\endgroup\$ – Sebastian Collins May 24 '17 at 6:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ What mike is saying is that shadow strike does not work the way you think it does. The normal way sneak attack works is that ANY concealment just completely negates sneak attack, this feat allows you to sneak attack a creature with concealment but you still need to fulfill the requirements of sneak attack (i.e flanked, denied dex, etc). \$\endgroup\$ – Mr Tumnus May 24 '17 at 10:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SebastianCollins, I think Mike and some others are misreading your question. Shadow Strike would allow you to make sneak attacks if all the other conditions of sneak attack are met. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadoCat May 24 '17 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrTumnus. No, I understood his question. It was edited after my answer to include the Shadow Strike feat. Based upon his original question my answer still stands, based upon the edit, I would say yes it would apply. \$\endgroup\$ – Mike Browne May 25 '17 at 17:54
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Shadow Strike (Combat) You can deal precision damage, such as sneak attack damage, against targets with concealment...

Quote clearly, this is intended to change the clause in (almost all) precision damage abilities (such as sneak attack) where it states "you cannot (use this precision damage) against a target who has concealment".

However, that is not what this feat says when read directly.

It simply states you can use precision damage.

On the other hand, the base rules for the precision damage states you cannot use it in this case. So you'd have a rules conflict.

The general way to handle this kind of thing is that specific beats general, but the specific is read narrowly.

So the general rule for your precision damage is that you cannot use it against targets with concealment, and you must also qualify in some other ways.

The specific rule for Shadow Strike overrides the "cannot use it for concealment", but it is read narrowly. It removes that clause, but it does not remove any other clause that you need to qualify for to deal your precision damage.

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Yep!

You make everyone count as concealed, but that concealment doesn't stop you from sneak attacking because of your feat, so you can still do that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I get the feeling that OP thought the feat would mean he automatically gets Sneak Attack against concealed enemies. A word on that might be useful. \$\endgroup\$ – Patta May 24 '17 at 8:23

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