Are there any official (as in published by WoTC) feats that allow dealing critical hits and sneak attacks to elementals?

I know of Swift Hunter for Scout/Ranger (if elemental is a favored enemy), but I can't find anything for all classes and targeting elementals.

Some context: my PCs (LvL 20) have been fighting a lot of elementals as part of their final quest. It's part of the long story arc, they've known it was coming for quite some time. Meanwhile, their first choice tactics for dealing damage is a critical-hitting fighter and a dual-wielding sneak-attacking rogue. The duo is supported by a wizard, a bard and a cleric providing clever buffing and battlefield control.

Challenging this tactics did influence my choice of encounters for our endgame. However, my goal was to make the players think outside the box, with no intent of a TPK or anything nasty. The long story arc is of a "saving the world" kind and we want the PCs to succeed with style.

The characters are not "optimized" (we play SRD with very few feats and spells from other sources), they've just reached Lvl 21. The fighter did pretty well against the elementals (combination of low AC of the elementals with high Power Attack offset the loss of critical hits), but the rogue was somewhat unemployed (DR/- being his other issue). He has a custom item allowing to sneak attack elementals, but it's use is still too limited.

For their final level up I wanted to provide the simplest choice - a feat. I have a ready homebrew solution, but I was quite curious if there are other options. They won't be able to learn new spells or buy (or craft) any items before the final boss fight. Rebuilding their characters with ACF or retroactively replacing levels is not an option either.

I was looking for something that would restore - to some extent - their favorite offensive options. In the end, I'd like all the players to have fun and have the feeling they contributed to saving the world.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I will think of rewording the question along the lines of "simplest options for single level up to allow sneak attacks and critical hits against elementals" but for now I have troubles defining "simplest" myself. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Aug 10, 2015 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ The rogue, especially at level 20, should never, ever be unemployed. If he doesn't have any magic items to use when he can't use his sneak attack, then no offense intended to your rogue, but he's definitely put himself in the one trick pony box. I'd say leaving it as is to encourage the player to start thinking about "what if" scenarios should be extremely educational. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2015 at 0:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Previous encounters were educational enough. I'm sure the rogue's player will have a more versatile character in a new campaign. However, it makes no sense to teach him a lesson in the final boss battle of a 20-year campaign. As I wrote, we're after fun and epic win this time. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Aug 12, 2015 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


Wizards of the Coast: No.

Mongoose Publishing: Yes.

Analyze Unliving: Pick a monster type: Construct, Elemental, Ooze, plant, or Undead. You can do sneak attacks against a monster of that type, but they are d4 damage dice instead of d6 damage dice. (Ultimate Feats)

Some Friendly Advice

If you can't sneak attack, then you have one thing that you can always do and should be doing, especially at that high of level:

Use Magic Device

Use a Scroll

If you are casting a spell from a scroll, you have to decipher it first. Normally, to cast a spell from a scroll, you must have the scroll’s spell on your class spell list. Use Magic Device allows you to use a scroll as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list. The DC is equal to 20 + the caster level of the spell you are trying to cast from the scroll. In addition, casting a spell from a scroll requires a minimum score (10 + spell level) in the appropriate ability. If you don’t have a sufficient score in that ability, you must emulate the ability score with a separate Use Magic Device check (see above).

This use of the skill also applies to other spell completion magic items.

Some scrolls of Polar Ray would seriously put the hurt on fire elementals. Some scrolls of Horrid Wilting would seriously put the hurt on water elementals. The cleric, should also consider Imbue with Spell Ability to also help out those with subpar class features - and also help him out as well. The wizard, also utilizing Haste would give everyone an extra attack action and increase movement rate.

Don't think that there isn't any time to prepare. Your wizard can cast Greater Teleport (if he can't shame on him), so that you can at least go to town and buy some scrolls. At 20th level, the wizard and the cleric is simply going to outshine everyone else, especially core only parties. Let them. You can still do your part by aiding the others, distracting your enemies, giving out Potions of Healing, etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, although I'm aware of UMD and other options. They obviously use Haste and a lot of clever buffs (the bard and the wizard know their game very well). Now, they are not on a prime material, they can Plane Shift but without an easy option to come back (short of a Wish/Miracle). They're running out of time too. The final encounter will include a lot of diverse opponents, all I need is to provide an option to attack the elementals. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Aug 12, 2015 at 10:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @burlap Then try to pump out as many attacks as you can is all I could say. You could still flank for bonus to attack. Stand alongside the fighter and utilize your opportunist special ability. Along with Haste that would give you at least 5 attacks a round, which would be the same as the fighter (not counting any two weapon fighting there may be). Not being able to utilize your main damage dealing mode will only be a hindrance in this one instance and power-attacking aside you will still be able to do some damage, and some is better than none. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Aug 12, 2015 at 10:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm the DM here ;-) The main issue for the final encounter is "who to eliminate now?" - all the elementals and other (homebrew) monsters have some abilities that counter various strengths of the party or deal damage or take control of the battlefield. It's essential to coordinate and make tactical choices. I want the rogue not to be too limited. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Aug 12, 2015 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @burlap What ultimately shuts down a rogue? Anti-Magic Field and Crit Immunity. Other than that, they are a small hit die fighter with five less base attack and a poor fortitude save. Other than using some skill tricks there just isn't much to do as far as combat besides helping the others using Aid Another. If your goal was to shut down a core rogue - you succeeded. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Aug 12, 2015 at 11:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ There was a lot of encounters, where the rogue was the main damage dealer. He's got a custom item to bypass sneak attack resistance, so for example elementals without blind fight are not an issue for him. Anti-Magic Field shuts down other classes too. As I wrote, I wanted the PCs to leave their comfort zone and it was well announced before (plenty of opportunity to buy other items, boost UMD or whatever). I'm not perfect though, perhaps it was not clear enough. So I don't want to shut him down for the last encounter. This was the purpose of this question: to restore sneak attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Aug 12, 2015 at 11:15

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