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Since Improved Precise Shot allows your ranged attacks to ignore any concealment less than total concealment, does a creature with Sneak Attack and Improved Precise Shot have any need for the Sniper's Eye rogue talent in order to inflict Sneak Attack on an opponent with partial concealment? Is there any benefit to having both Sniper's Eye and Improved Precise Shot?


Improved Precise Shot

Your ranged attacks ignore anything but total concealment and cover.

Prerequisites: Dex 19, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, base attack bonus +11.

Benefit: Your ranged attacks ignore the AC bonus granted to targets by anything less than total cover, and the miss chance granted to targets by anything less than total concealment. Total cover and total concealment provide their normal benefits against your ranged attacks.

Normal: See the normal rules on the effects of cover and concealment in Combat.

Sniper’s Eye

Benefit: A rogue with this talent can apply her sneak attack damage on ranged attacks targeting foes within 30 feet that benefit from concealment. Foes with total concealment are still immune.

Sneak Attack

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

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Even if the rogue has the feat Improved Precise Shot, the rogue's foe can still have concealment. If the concealment's less than total, the rogue will ignore the miss chance, but the foe'll still have the concealment, so the rogue won't deal sneak attack damage. The feat Improved Precise Shot doesn't make the concealment dissipate; instead, the feat only mitigates its effects for the rogue.

Likewise, even if the rogue has the rogue talent sniper's eye, the rogue's foe can still have concealment, but the talent allows the rogue to deal sneak attack damage to the foe if that concealment's less than total. However, the rogue still suffers the miss chance from the foe's concealment.

Having both the feat and the talent means the rogue, when confronted with a foe with concealment less than total, ignores the miss chance from concealment and can deal the foe sneak attack damage.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's the text of Improved Precise Shot that throws me: "Your ranged attacks ignore anything but total concealment and cover." If you're attacking at range, then you should ignore partial concealment; ergo, if the said ranged attack qualifies for the Sneak Attack feature (by virtue of targeting a flanked or flat-footed opponent), then Sneak Attack damage should apply - with or without the Sniper's Eye talent. \$\endgroup\$ – Dyndrilliac Sep 28 '15 at 3:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dyndrilliac Feat Descriptions says that the part of the feat you're quoting is "a basic description of what the feat does." However, it's the feat's Benefit that describes "What a feat enables the character ('you' in the feat description) to do." And I totally agree that a feat's basic description should either line up with the Benefit or be clearly entirely fluff. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 28 '15 at 4:24
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This argues on a strictly 3.5 base. I do not know if PF revised the following point.

I second Dyndrillac: Negating the miss chance permits sneak attacks. In the spell description of the Assassin 1 spell Critical Strike, published 2006 in Complete Mage (actually an update to the 2005 version in the Spell Compendium) it says:

CRITICAL STRIKE

Divination
Level: Assassin 1
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 swift action Range: Personal Target: You Duration: One attack

As you complete this spell, you sense the blood rushing through your target's veins

This spell guides your next attack to your foe's vital spots. Your next single attack roll (if it is made before the end of the next round) ignores any miss chance due to concealment. (In the case of a foe that has total concealment, you must still attack the correct square.) This even allows you to deliver a sneak attack against a foe that has concealment.

Complete Mage, p. 100

The last sentence is crucial: "This [i.e. ignoring any miss chance due to concealment] even allows you to deliver a sneak attack against a foe that has concealment." It does not say "This spell even allows you...". Instead it refers to the fact that the miss chance can be ignored.

Admittedly this is not a premium source for core rules (spell description in an optional rule book), but at least it is official material. So I'd say: Sneak attack on concealed opponents with Improved Precise Shot is RAW - at least as far as D&D v3.5 is concerned.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to site. Take the tour. Most of the time when a question asks about a system, it's best to answer with information from that system, but Pathfinder is billed as compatible with D&D 3.5, so that's less of a concern here. However, I do wonder why the antecedent of This must be ignores any miss chance due to concealment when the description reads like the antecedent of This could just as easily be, instead, This spell. Anyway, have a good time, and thank you for helping strangers. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 8 '15 at 18:01

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