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In Pathfinder 1st edition, Sneak Attack has the following condition:

The rogue 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 rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

... and Dazzled has the following description:

The creature is unable to see well because of over-stimulation of the eyes. A dazzled creature takes a –1 penalty on attack rolls and sight-based Perception checks.

Dazzled implies the creature can't see well, but this is a bit blurry, and the penalty remains -1 (as with a non-dazzled creature with a 1-point-lower Base Attack Bonus), which is barely a malus.

So, can a dazzled rogue sneak attack a target?

Bonus question: Would Shadow Strike help when dazzled?

Shadow Strike

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).

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Yes, a rogue can sneak attack even if dazzled.

The reason is pretty simple: the penalty (–1 penalty on attack rolls and sight-based Perception checks) doesn't give any type of concealment (and concealment is a well defined condition) to rogue's opponents and, sneak attack stops working ONLY when the target has concealment or total concealment.

Shadow strike is the same; it deals with concealment, not with perception or attack penalty in general.


As suggested by Hey Can Chan, here is the rules definition of concealment, the only condition (other than immunity to precision damage or critical hits) that can negate a sneak attack:

To determine whether your target has concealment from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that provides concealment, the target has concealment.

When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has concealment if his space is entirely within an effect that grants concealment. When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you, use the rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks.

In addition, some magical effects provide concealment against all attacks, regardless of whether any intervening concealment exists.

All the other rules are already been provided by Paercebal in his question (sneak attack and dazzled condition) so there is no point in repeating them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This does not address whether a dazzled creature can see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot, which I believe is the crux of the question. "The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot..." and does Dazzle allow that level of sight? \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Oct 16 '18 at 19:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ The dazzled condition is pretty clear: -1 to attack rolls and perception checks based on vision. Anywhere there is written you can't notice small object or vital spot, this is your interpretion and is not supported by the rules as written. The condition who provides enemy with total concealment is the "blinded" condition. \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Oct 16 '18 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have provided the assertion that "Yes, you can". You need to present evidence supporting that position other than "of course you can, it's only a -1". I provided no interpretation, I merely stated the actual question of the OP and pointed out your answer doesn't address that. You only talk about how dazzled affects concealment, which is not what they are asking. \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Oct 16 '18 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Paercebal already provided all the rules for this situation. As he quoted "A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment" and the dazzled condition says "A dazzled creature takes a –1 penalty on attack rolls and sight-based Perception checks." Now..where in the dazzled rule is written something on concealment? Nowhere. \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Oct 16 '18 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are confusing fluff description with the mechanical rules. The "you are unable to see well" part it translate to "-1 to attack rolls and perception checks." In the same way the "pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot" part it translate to "A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment." The interpretation you are applying to dazed (a lesser condition of the blind condition) is anywhere supported by the rules Paercebal quoted and written in the books. \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Oct 16 '18 at 20:37
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It depends (GM makes the call)

The description of how well or not the player needs to see in order to sneak attack is not well defined, and the description of the Dazzled certainly interferes with how well the player sees. To answer the bonus question, I think that the intent of Shadow Strike should surely overcome the dazzled condition under any circumstances.

Things for the GM to consider when making the ruling:

  1. What is the ambient light like? If Daylight (or similar), then Dazzle probably doesn't interfere. If darkness and the player needs and has darkvision to see, then Dazzle would probably prevent a sneak attack. (without shadow strike in effect)
  2. How hard are the vital spots to see? If it's a large creature with little armor, then it'd be much easier to see than a small creature with chain mail.
  3. How high is the player's perception skill? If it's high anyway (under the circumstances), they probably can do it. If you can't easily make the call, decide on a perception DC of seeing the creature's weak spots and have them roll for it (with Dazzle's penalty).
  4. Do they have another skill (like blind fight) that would make this easier for them to do without seeing well? If yes, then it's probably okay.
  5. Rule 0: There are no real rules, just rule suggestions. It's best if realism prevails, that way the illusion is better for the players. Consider how the Dazzle condition was reached, and the other considerations above (or any other circumstances), then rule to preserve how realism would be best preserved.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, but your first point is wrong. The requirements are outlined in the rule quoted, namely 'A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.' Concealment is granted when targets are visually obscured in some way. A -1 to attack rolls is not at all the same thing as Concealment. Case closed. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Oct 17 '18 at 0:34

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