The standard Kobold Warrior has the Sneak Attack ability, which specifies:

The kobold warrior deals an extra 1d4 precision damage to flat-footed creatures.

But the general description of the Sneak Attack ability in the glossary says:

When the monster Strikes a creature that has the flat-footed condition with an agile or finesse melee weapon, an agile or finesse unarmed attack, or a ranged weapon attack, it also deals the listed precision damage. For a ranged attack with a thrown weapon, that weapon must also be an agile or finesse weapon.

The preface to Creature Abilities also says:

The statistics for individual creatures might alter the traits, the number of actions, or other rules of these abilities. Anything noted in a specific creature’s stat block overrides the general rules for the ability below.

The only weapons the kobold warrior has are a spear and a sling. Does this mean that he can only use his sneak attack with the sling (since a spear doesn't have the agile or finesse traits)? Or is its own description of the Sneak Attack ability overriding the general one, and removing all the prerequisites?

Some additional information: while researching this question I found the Menace Under Otari adventure, from the Beginner Box. During its 7th encounter there are 4 kobold warriors (only equipped with spears, no slings), and the encounter description says that they try to flank the heroes and use their sneak attack ability, which suggests that they're able to do it with their spears, is this correct?

  • \$\begingroup\$ For those interested, after accepting the answer I changed the weapon kobold warriors use to a homebrewed "shortspear", I reduced the base damage to 1d4, and gave it the agile and finesse traits. This makes more sense since kobolds are small and it'd be normal that they use a shorter spear, and also allows them to take advantage of their sneak attack and higher dexterity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yopi Lapi
    Mar 8, 2021 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


It cannot Sneak Attack with a spear

The language for Sneak Attack presented in its statblock is standardized for all instances of Sneak Attack on monsters. Its lack of the full details is not an exception. The feature may be included to keep consistency among Kobold statblocks or to make its sling weapon viable/better, or something else entirely, but it's still the same Sneak Attack as outlined in the book.

If it was intended to gain bonus precision damage on its spear attack, its Sneak Attack feature would either have a specific exception for doing so or they would gain a damage ability against flat-footed targets not labeled Sneak Attack.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Seems pretty clear to me. The melee spear attack is already at the Extreme range of damage for a Level -1 Creature, according to the monster creation rules, and Sneak Attack on the sling would bring it just barely above Extreme (by half a damage point), which seems fine considering the conditionality of the second 1d4 of damage. Therefore I would expect to see explicit allowance to use it with the spear as you mention. +1. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Mar 7, 2021 at 4:57
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer seems to make the most sense both RAW and RAI, but while researching this question on my own I came across the Menace Under Otari adventure, in encounter 7 there are 4 kobold warriors with only a spear as a weapon, and the description of the encounter says they try to flank the heroes and use their sneak attack ability. This is an adventure designed to teach players and GMs how to play PF2, so it seems weird that there would be such and error. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yopi Lapi
    Mar 7, 2021 at 13:39
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ +1. I struggled a lot with this answer (and question), because I couldn't believe GMs were supposed to magically know to second-guess the Bestiary entry. However, page 5 says, "Some abilities are abbreviated in stat blocks and described in full in the Ability Glossary on pages 342-344". Seems clear-cut. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2021 at 20:17

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