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This is a follow up question to: Does NPC engaging in combat remove penalty for re-stealthing?
Is there a scenario when a surprise attack can be made without triggering combat? Maybe there is a different term for it than "surprise attack".
For example, If the entire party is hidden, can a surprise attack be made without triggering combat?
Scenario : Party is hidden behind a castle wall, Rogue fires a crossbow bolt thru an embrasure / arrowslit. The NPC down below would only know a general direction. But it seems there is no way for that NPC to engage in combat.