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I have a Barbarian in my party who will be fighting versus Sneak Attack damage. The Spy from page 349 of the MM to be precise. When he rages he takes half damage from piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage. What type of damage is Sneak Attack?

One might assume its just the same type as the weapon used to create it. Nothing in the Rogue entry (where I assumed more detail about Sneak Attack would be given) says anything about the type of damage.

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While it doesn't seem to be explicitly spelled out anywhere, the Sneak Attack entry says:

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.

This is extra damage dealt by the weapon attack; therefore, it should deal damage of the same type as the weapon. As backup for this, the section on critical hits says that:

For example, if you score a critical hit with a dagger, roll 2d4 for the damage, rather than 1d4, and then add your relevant ability modifier. If the attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue’s Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well.

It seems clear that Sneak Attack is extra damage added to the weapon attack, and therefore has the same damage type as the weapon.

Specifically, the Spy uses a shortsword, which deals piercing damage, so his Sneak Attack damage will be piercing also.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, the weapon is doing the damage even if an ability increases how much damage is done. \$\endgroup\$ – Escoce Mar 25 '16 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agree with the answer. What about cases where the weapon does more than one type of damage? (e.g. a Dragontooth Dagger deals "an extra 1d6 acid damage" on a hit) Can the user choose, or the is SA damage specifically the "base" damage of the weapon? \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil Dec 7 '18 at 15:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vigil That question has an answer here: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/103132/… \$\endgroup\$ – Mwr247 Dec 7 '18 at 15:47
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Sneak Attack just adds damage to the attack, meaning a Sneak Attack's damage will be the same type as the weapon the Sneak Attack is performed with.

Stereotypically, sneaky types that get Sneak Attack use daggers, short swords, and other piercing weapons; so Sneak Attack damage is often, but not always, piercing, and it will be in this case.

Note that "piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning" covers basically all physical damage, with very few exceptions; virtually all non-spell damage is reduced by the rage ability.

Thanks to Miniman for helping me out with the spy's damage type, since I don't have the 5e MM:

Specifically, the Spy uses a shortsword, which deals piercing damage, so his Sneak Attack damage will be piercing also.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sunblade on the other hand does radiant damage, so get one of those as soon as possible since nothing is immune to it, and only two things resist it. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Sep 2 at 19:19
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Sneak attack's damage type is the same as the weapon used to deliver the attack

Sneak Attack says:

Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.

All the ability does it take the original source of damage and add more damage to it. It is still considered one attack and one source of damage. And the thing that determines the damage type of an attack/source of damage is whatever caused that attack. In most cases of sneak attack, that is the weapon used to deliver the attack.

Jeremy Crawford has confirmed this is intended here:

Q: hey mr.crawford can rogue sneak attack get reduced with type resistance?

A: Sneak Attack damage is meant to be of the type that's dealt by the weapon, and it's subject to resistance.

and here:

Sneak Attack relies entirely on the weapon you're using. The weapon sets the damage type of the extra damage, and the weapon determines whether you can Sneak Attack at all; the weapon must be in the ranged category or have the finesse property.

So it should be abundantly clear by RAW and RAI that sneak attack is the same damage type as the weapon you use.

If the attack is magical then Sneak Attack damage also counts as part of a magical attack

"Magic" is not a damage type. In fact, the only thing that matters is if the attack itself is considered magical and only then for the purposes of bypassing resistance to attacks that aren't magical.

Some creatures have vulnerability, resistance, or immunity to certain types of damage. Particular creatures are even resistant or immune to damage from nonmagical attacks (a magical attack is an attack delivered by a spell, a magic item, or another magical source). (Basic Rules, p. 112)

So, if you are dealing sneak attack damage as part of a magical attack, the damage from sneak attack is considered part of that.

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