9
\$\begingroup\$

In 3.5e, I used to add Sneak Attack damages to all the attacks of my character as long as the target was flat-footed or flanked or...

However, when discussing the feature with wax eagle he mentioned that in 5e Sneak Attack applies once per turn.

I am not sufficiently familiar with 5e terminology yet to understand exactly what that wording entails. So, I imagined the following situation:

  • I strike a surprised opponent thrice, twice with my main-hand and once with my off-hand
  • then, before my next turn, I also deal one strike to an opponent streaking past (AoO)

In that situation, which of my attacks benefit from Sneak Attack damages ?

  • in 3.5e, it would have been all, that does still apply ?
  • only one attack per opponent ? (once for my regular turn and once for my opportunity turn)
  • only one attack at all ? (opponent of my choice, possibly wasted)
  • only the first attack ?
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you read the 5e rules? It kinda sounds like not and thus naturally all the terms people are using at you are confusing. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Aug 14 '14 at 12:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk: I read the Basic Rules, however I am much more familiar with the 3.5e terms and I am mixing them up. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Aug 14 '14 at 13:52
9
\$\begingroup\$

I strike a flat-footed opponent thrice, twice with my main-hand and once with my off-hand then, before my next turn, I also deal one strike to an opponent streaking past (AoO) In that situation, which of my attacks benefit from Sneak Attack damages ?

in 3.5e, it would have been all, that does still apply ?

No, firstly, there is no "flat footed" in 5e, so inorder to get sneak attack damage you either need an ally adjacent to your enemy or advantage on your attack roll. For the sake of this question we will assume you have one of those.

Second, there isn't really an easy viable way for a rogue to hit three times, but let's pretend you multiclass rogue and fighter and have enough levels to get 2 attacks plus an off hand bonus attack.

As you said in your question, sneak attack only happens once per turn, so only 1 of those three hits would get sneak attack damage applied to your damage. Presumably the first one.

only one attack per opponent ? (once for my regular turn and once for my opportunity turn)

So this question here is a bit misleading. You can use sneak attack damage once per turn, not once per round. Your opportunity attack happens when it is not your turn, so you can apply sneak attack damage. But only because your turn from your first hits are over.

only one attack at all ? (opponent of my choice, possibly wasted)

Only one attack while it is still your turn.

only the first attack ?

You can in theory decide to not apply your sneak attack damage to your first attack, but you can't do that if you already know the results of your second and third attack.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Okay, so the summary is once during my turn, plus once per AoO ? \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Aug 14 '14 at 11:09
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. The way it would work in play is that initiative passes to someone, so every rogue's sneak attack refreshes, but not all Reactions (and thus opportunity attacks). If you can find a way to make more than one out-of-turn attack, you can deal sneak attack up to once on each creature's turn. \$\endgroup\$ – Powerdork Aug 14 '14 at 15:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @GMNoob "You can in theory decide to not apply your sneak attack damage to your first attack, but you can't do that if you already know the results of your second and third attack." Can you clarify this? I don't understand at all. Where does this rule come from? \$\endgroup\$ – Segfault May 31 '17 at 16:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Segfault You choose to apply sneak attack damage after you roll but before you know the outcome of the roll. Or more accurately, before the outcome is declared. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob May 31 '17 at 20:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The Craw concurs. Though I, also, am confused about that business about when you decide to apply sneak attack... you can choose to deal it on "one creature you hit" - if it's a hit, we know the outcome of the roll... right? \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jul 20 '18 at 3:07

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.