I have a Rogue that just reached level 3 and got to pick an Archetype. I picked Assassin.

Now I’m trying to figure out how to roll against a target I sneak up on and surprise.

Here is the situation: Rogue Assassin sneaks up on unsuspecting target double wielding 2 short swords (2d6) and attacks. To me this seems like it grants Sneak Attack (2d6 at level 3) and Assassinate (automatic critical) since the target is surprised.

So damage would be as such: 2 * (2d6 + 2d6) or 8d6 (Plus Dex)

Is this correct or am I missing something?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a reason you think they don't stack? \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Only because it seems a bit much — but the point of me picking an Assassin is to be able to sneak around and savagely kill my targets so I’m all for that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


You are correct. You deal 8d6 + ability mod damage if both attacks hit

Let's go through how we get there:

On a crit, you double all of the dice you would have rolled, including sneak attack, then add the relevant modifier

This is clearly defined in the basic rules (page 75), and in the PHB under the section for critical hits (emphasis mine):

For example, if you score a critical hit with a dagger, roll 2d4 for the damage, rather than 1d4, and then add your relevant ability modifier. If the attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue’s Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well.

So, your shortsword attack with sneak attack would normally be 1d6 (shortsword) + 2d6 (sneak attack) or 3d6 damage. On a critical hit you double the number of dice: so (2*3)d6 = 6d6 plus the relevant ability modifier.

Attacking with an off hand shortsword is a separate attack, but can still crit

Assuming that your off hand attack hits, it would be a crit (the creature is still surprised, so the assassinate feature still applies). It deals (2*1)d6 or 2d6 damage. You don't add any non-negative modifiers to off-hand attacks. You also don't reapply sneak attack, since that feature can only be used once per turn.

Putting that together, you get 6d6 + ability modifier + 2d6 = 8d6 + ability modifier damage.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note: There's no such term in 5e as an "offhand" attack; I assume you're referring to the bonus-action attack granted by Two-Weapon Fighting. You may want to edit the answer to clarify the phrasing. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 21:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And might want to clarify that the bonus-action attack will get the sneak attack damage if the standard attack misses. Dual-wielding is good for rogues mainly because it gives them a second chance to deliver their sneak attack damage. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 22:07

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