I have been trying to wrap my head around how stealth works in particular with a ranged character I am trying to build.

I have a level 5 rogue, with one level in Shadow Dancer, so I have "Sneak Attack" and "Hide in Plain Sight" and my weapon of choice is a short bow.

My party is in combat and I am sneaking around in the shadows until I get within 30ft of a target, I break my stealth to do a full attack action (bonus sneak attack damage) and then I take a 5 foot step into the shadows again in order to force a stealth check. Since I have Hide in Plain Sight, I am allowed to use my stealth skill—with no penalties—while being observed, and I am within 10ft of dim light, allowing me to hide in the shadows of something (excluding my own shadow). Thus allowing me to repeat this action in the next round.

Is this scenario feasible or am I overlooking a rule. I am not performing a snipe attack in the stealth skill since it differentiates between "snipe" and "breaking stealth" in order to attack so that I do not have the -20 stealth penalty from snipe.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ FYI: RAW, succeeding in a stealth check does not provide you the proper conditions for your 'sneak attack'. Normally you need either flanking or some way to treat your opponent as flat footed (invisibility). Succeeding at stealth only provides total concealment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    Feb 24, 2014 at 12:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it was the intent of developers for sneaking to cause a sneak attack. Another individual asked a question on this site pertaining to sneak attacking while in stealth. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/7854/… The top answer states that the intent of the developers was to allows a character in stealth to cause a sneak attack. He links to the Paizo forum where the Lead Designer posts said information. \$\endgroup\$
    – Silentone
    Feb 25, 2014 at 3:09

2 Answers 2


Yes you can use that technique without any penalties.

Its actually a great pain for DM's. Although we have some counters against that.

To clarify. Because of HiPS you can use your stealth check even while being observed(with shadows ofc). And as we know you dont need to spend an action to perform actual steath check(most of the time its part of your movement). So basically yes, you break previous stealth with your attack, move to a new position with shadows, and use your stealth check to hide again.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Although we have some counters against that. Could you explain some? \$\endgroup\$
    – Timmetje
    Feb 24, 2014 at 14:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nothing to explain here really. Rule for thumb - use ambushes more often. Dont forget about ready actions. Also you can always use monsters with other senses. They dont really care about stealth characters. Some spells can counter rogues too(like faerie fire) \$\endgroup\$
    – UtherTG
    Feb 24, 2014 at 14:52

If your enemy reasons that you took a 5-foot-step (and your Stealth check succeeds), I'd say he knows you must be in that square even though he can't see you. Thus, he could target the square and you'd have 50% concealment.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Assuming there's only one square that qualifies; if there's more than one, it's a guess as to which square is which, effectively ending up like mirror image. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Jan 17, 2016 at 3:53

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