Is it possible to stack Manyshot, Deadeye Shot and Ranged Precision Attack against one target?

For example, imagine I ready a ranged attack to occur when my ally strikes an enemy. That target loses its Dexterity bonus to AC against my attack (Deadeye shot). Now, can this attack be a Ranged Precision Attack and Manyshot? (Damage being +1d8 for an arrow and then a second arrow)?

I have Sneak attack too, so it would be pretty devastating!

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    \$\begingroup\$ I added the game/edition tag to your question. We need them to answer the question, since many game terms aren't unique to a single game and we won't know which rules you're using :) Welcome to the site! \$\endgroup\$ – Erik May 15 '18 at 5:34

A creature can take a ready action that sees the creature pick the action Fire a volley of arrows at that foe using the benefit of the feat Manyshot and pick the trigger When that foe is struck by my ally just like it says in the feat Deadeye Shot. Then, if that foe is struck by that ally, the creature may use the benefit of the feat Manyshot (Plasyer's Handbook 97) to fire two or more arrows at the foe and the foe—against all of those arrows—will be denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class as per the benefit of the Deadeye Shot (Player's Handbook II 78), yet only the first will deal precision damage as per the benefit of the feat Manyshot.

However, this isn't a particularly devastating combination. First, if the ally misses with his attacks against that foe, the rogue's wasted his standard action.

Then keep in mind the cost in feats to the rogue. The feat Deadeye Shot has as prerequisites the feats Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot and a base attack bonus of +4. The feat Manyshot has as prerequisites the feats Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot, a Dexterity score of 17, and a base attack bonus of +6. That's five feats, making it so, for example, a human rogue would have to devote all of his feats for this combination to come online at level 9. Full casters at level 9 have 5th-level spells; the level 9 frontline combatant has had for 3 levels the feat Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112).

Finally, the extra damage from the special ability sneak attack is best put to use by a creature able to make multiple attacks that each deal sneak attack damage; doing that typically requires making full attacks. A creature that meets the prerequisites of the feat Manyshot makes multiple attacks by virtue of its base attack bonus alone, and may want to look to feats to make more. The player of a mid-level rogue who only deals his sneak attack damage once per round against one foe will likely feel his PC outclassed by even the party's fighter.

This isn't to say playing a sneak attack-based ranged combatant is impossible: here's a core rules-only character that does okay at that, and this question and especially this question may also be of interest.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's a couple of precisions about my campaing: 1. Magic and spells are not allowed. It exists, but it's very rare. It's more Game of Thrones than Harry Potter. 2. My character is multiclassed, Fighter (4), Scout (3), Order of the Bow Initiate (3) and Rogue (1). So feats are not a problem. 3. I have an ally that hit almost everytime. I'm looking for a way to maximize the damage with the arrows. \$\endgroup\$ – AdamtheHalls May 15 '18 at 13:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AdamtheHalls So there are no readily available magic items? Are opponents likewise typically just animals and humanoids with class levels? As this question's asked and answered, the site can still help you with this in a more specific way. Consider posing a question like What feats should my PC take to deal maximum precision damage? and include in the question the binds described in the comment above. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 15 '18 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan What about Greater Manyshot? That allows one to apply precision damage to every arrow.... Of course, it is yet one more feat in an already feat-heavy build, but still worth a mention, I believe. It's in the Expanded Psionics Handbook, which is obviously why I'm familiar with it. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko May 16 '18 at 13:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko Even Greater Manyshot, though, in this context still relies on the teammate hitting. However, it's possible, I guess, using a strict reading of the feat Deadeye Shot, that an ally could also make a ranged (touch) attack (?) and that triggers Deadeye Shot. That's interesting, and I'll give the combo some more thought. Consider, in the meantime, posting your own answer that looks beyond my shortsighted one! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 16 '18 at 14:10

The thing you need to consider is Action Economy.

In 3.5 your turn consists of :

... a standard action and a move action (in either order), two move actions, or one full-round action. ...

Players Handbook p. 135

Some abilities like the Manyshot feat specifically uses a Standard Action from your turn. Here is the line on Manyshot:

Benefit: As a standard action, you may fire two arrows at a single opponent within 30 feet. ...

Players Handbook p. 97

If you can pay the action cost (and generally live up to requirements of an ability) you can apply its effect.

Deadeye Shot calls for the player to:

... ready a ranged attack to occur when an ally strikes a particular target. ...

Players Handbook 2, p. 78

Readying an action is a Standard Action as described in the table on page 141 of the Players Handbook.

This means that the effects of Deadeye Shot cannot be combined with the effects of other feats that cost a Standard Action, such as Manyshot.

Compare that to Deadeye, which costs no action:

You may add your Dexterity bonus on damage rolls made with ranged weapons for which you have the Weapon Focus feat, so long as the target is within 30 feet.

Dragon Compendium, p. 95

That means that you can Manyshot + Sneak Attack + Dead Eye or Ranged Precision Attack+ Sneak Attack + Dead Eye as a standard action, since both Ranged Precision Attack and Manyshot uses your only Standard Action.

If your Base Attack Bonus is high enough, you can get extra Attacks by using the Full Attack option described in Players Handbook on page 143. Some abilities, like the Rapid Shot feat from Players Handbook page 99, requires a Full Attack to activate.

A Standard Action is not included in the Full Attack option, meaning that you can't Full Attack with abilities like Manyshot.

Extra Attacks is not the same as extra Standard Actions. This is the same for any effect that gives extra attacks, like the feat Rapid Shot or the Haste spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to address full-attacks and Rapid Shot. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan May 15 '18 at 12:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I know, I just think you should. There are some basic misunderstandings in the question, so I think addressing other action concerns is worthwhile, particularly for a more basic case like a full-attack. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan May 15 '18 at 12:47

Yes, they can stack, though it is tricky to actually use in combat.

Note the difference between the description of Deadeye Shot feat and the actual rules text listed in the benefit:


When your target is busy dealing with an ally's melee attack, you strike

Actual Rules Text (Benefit):

If you ready a ranged attack to occur when an ally strikes a particular target, and your ally succeeds, that target loses his Dexterity bonus to AC against your attack.

The rules text does not restrict what kind of attack your chosen target is distracted by, even though the description assumes melee. There are several steps here:

  • pick a target.
  • ready a ranged attack.
  • any ally successfully strikes your chosen target.
  • that target loses Dex to AC versus your ranged attack.

This does in fact combine with Manyshot allowing sneak attack - or whatever other ranged precision damage your character may have which would trigger due to a target losing Dex to AC - to affect them via your ranged attack.

However, in Manyshot, only the first arrow qualifies for precision damage. The other arrows do not benefit from it.

Consider then the Greater Manyshot feat (found in the Expanded Psionics Handbook and also the SRD, psionic feats section, for those who are restricted to core only) which allows one to attack one or many targets as the character chooses, and also roll an attack roll for each attack, applying precision damage to each arrow.

Note that the attack penalties from Manyshot still apply, so keep that in mind when picking your targets. Unless you have an insanely high To-hit bonus, perhaps save this tactic for use against mobs of mooks with low AC, instead of boss-types that typically have high AC.

Note also, that not only would you have to ready an action (which is a standard action), but you would have to wait until the next round before you could attack with it, as you've already used your standard action for the round by readying the action and Manyshot (or Greater Manyshot) is also a standard action.

There are ways around this, such as items or powers which can grant you extra standard actions in a round, but unless one is willing to tolerate a fairly high level of optimization and rules-min-maxing, this would be a difficult and/or expensive tactic to sustain other than as an every other round attack.

To be honest, you'd probably be better off ditching Deadeye Shot and having someone use Grease on your targets combined with using Greater Manyshot every round. (The trick with Grease is that anyone who has to make a balance check automatically loses Dex to AC even if they succeed on the check. There are some specifics and exceptions to this, so check the Balance skill for details.)

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