Can you Sneak Attack with spells in PF 2nd ed?

I get that spells and cantrips varies with heightened slots, but sneak attack dice also rank up slower so it cant too high of damage advantage to just nerf.

Ex: Base cantrip (not heightened) like Shocking Grasp. I read that touch attacks are finesse and count as unarmed, which fulfill Sneak attack pre-requisites.



The Magical Trickster feat (Rogue 4) allows this:

Whether you’re using magic items, wielding innate magic, or dabbling in spellcasting, you can sneak spells past your foes’ defenses as easily as any blade. When you succeed at a spell attack roll against a flat-footed foe’s AC and the spell deals damage, you can add your sneak attack damage to the damage roll. If your single spell leads to multiple separate damage rolls, apply your sneak attack damage only once per target.

Outside of that feat, there is no other method I am aware of at this time.


Not Usually

The Rogue sneak attack feature (pg.181) requires the usage of the Strike action:

If you Strike a creature that has the flat-footed condition ....

Spell attacks (pg.298) do not use the strike action, and therefore do not qualify for Sneak Attack.

  • \$\begingroup\$ From the book: "Melee touch attacks have the finesse trait (see page 182)." This would leave me to believe that they should count for Sneak attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhyarelle Silver Sep 12 '19 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JhyarelleSilver After re-reading the text of Sneak Attack in response to your comment, I changed the direction of my answer. Thanks for the prod. \$\endgroup\$ – indigochild Sep 12 '19 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ While this and the knowledge of the Master Trickster feat gives me great hope creative ways to play, the power munchkin in me now wants to know if the old D&D 3.0 combo can be done knowing this. That is using a melee unarmed attack to deliver a touch spell and sneak attack. That is to dish out the unarmed damage, the touch spell damage and sneak attack damage in one go or action in or 2 actions if the spell is above a cantrip. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhyarelle Silver Sep 12 '19 at 21:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.