I do not understand the rogue talent "Underhanded" from Ultimate Combat. It states that you are able to make a sneak attack for max damage during a surprise round with a hidden weapon. However when I look at the action for drawing a hidden weapon under the sleight of hand rules, it says that it is a standard action.

Normally a surprise round only allows for 1 standard action or 1 move action. So how would you be able to draw a hidden weapon and make a sneak attack in the surprise round, or am I not understanding the purpose of this talent?


2 Answers 2


As you observed, you can't trigger Underhanded in combat on its own

You are 100 percent correct that since they can only take a Standard or a Move action RAW (free actions are also allowed). At best the drawing of a hidden weapon can be made to be a move action (but you still only get 1 or the other) utilizing the Quick Draw Feat.

Bandit's can easily make use of underhanded

The rogue Bandit archetype gains Ambush(Ex) at the cost of Uncanny Dodge.

Ambush (Ex)

At 4th level, a bandit becomes fully practiced in the art of ambushing. When she acts in the surprise round, she can take a move action, standard action, and swift action during the surprise round, not just a move or standard action.

Thus the player would be able to (with Quick Draw) pull the weapon out with their move and still have a standard to attack the enemy with.

The Betrayer Feat might apply

Benefit: When you succeed at a Diplomacy check to change a creature’s attitude, you can draw a weapon and make a single melee attack against that creature as an immediate action. If you changed your target’s attitude to friendly or better, your target is considered flat-footed against this attack. If the target survives, it takes a –2 penalty on its initiative check for this combat. Once you attack a creature, its attitude becomes hostile.

However the wording seems to imply that combat begins after the betrayer attack, but then again Surprise is worded extremely vaguely (at your DM discretion).


When a combat starts, if you are not aware of your opponents and they are aware of you, you're surprised.

Ostensibly the target of the Betrayer attack knew the other person was there, but not as a combatant and as a DM I would allow the attack to be treated as a Surprise round attack.

Possible workaround through items

My Pathfinder knowledge is insufficient to know if this is really RAW, but both the Sword Cane and the Switchblade can be drawn as a swift action. Whether this still applies when the weapon is hidden is something I'm not able to divine. Some people on Paizo's forums seem to think its workable and others don't.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the closest to understanding how it would work that I found too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phorden
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ The first thing that came to mind was Quick Draw, indeed. That's how rogues sneak attack on surprise round anyway, only winning initiative doesnt help if you weapon isn't at hand. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Couldn't you also use this to attack an enemy that doesn't know about you at all (because of a Stealth check, or simply because you're using a ranged attack)? The way I'd interpret it, that would make the Sleight of Hand check to conceal your weapon redundant because they wouldn't notice anyway, but you'd still attack them with a weapon they didn't know about, and could even make a full attack this way. The cap of using it only as many times as your CH mod makes me think it's not unbalanced to interpret things this way. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 7:31

I found another way to utilize this feat:

You can conceal weapon with called special ability. Then you can teleport it to your hand during surprise round. (Swift actions are allowed in surprise round).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Where do you get the 1/24 hours limitation? \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ You must posses the item for at least 24-hours before you can use the Called ability. This prevents people from stealing your weapon and using it (and call back) against you. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 12:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, it was late night and I've read this all way wrong. Removed this part from my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Supert
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 6:11

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