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Let's say a teammate is invisible and within 5' of a creature, but not attacking it (and therefore maintaining invisibility). Would a Rogue be able to deal sneak attack damage to that creature every round by shooting arrows?

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2 Answers 2

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Yes

You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

The creature is an enemy within 5 feet and not incapacitated; providing you don't have disadvantage you can sneak attack.

The invisible person can move and take any available action, including Help to give the Rogue advantage. Assuming the Invisibility is from or similar to the Invisibility spell, if they attack or cast a spell they become visible but not otherwise.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Might be worth mentioning that this is a only a sensible tactic if the attacks the invisible ally is refraining from would be reliably worse than the extra sneak attack damage. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2016 at 19:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ With a Chain Pact Warlock teammate, an Imp/Quasit would go invisible, and harass the enemy. \$\endgroup\$
    – James
    Feb 1, 2016 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ So this begs a question, if the invisible person must maintain his invisibility, does this effectively make him incapacitated? He can't do anything after all unless he's willing to become visible again. \$\endgroup\$
    – Escoce
    Feb 1, 2016 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Escoce Why do you say he can't do anything? He can move, Dodge, Hide etc. He can even Help to give the rogue advantage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 1, 2016 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ It raises the question; it does not beg the question. Begs the question means the conclusion is based on a premise which lacks support. This conclusion is supported by the rules. In either case, no, that individual is not incapacitated and I'm not sure how it relates to the question at all. Even if that individual were not invisible, the rogue would benefit from it and gain the sneak attack dice. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2016 at 20:05
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Maybe

The relevant parts of sneak attack (PHB p. 96) are,

"...you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction."

"You don't need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it..."

This leads us to a couple of cases:

1. Your invisible friend is simply hiding out, being invisible, and your foe doesn't even know they are there.

No sneak attack. Your foe isn't being distracted by your friend so there is nothing for you to exploit.

2. Your invisible friend is standing by your foe and saying mean things to them lowering their morale

Sneak attack! Your foe is distracted by their cruel words and you know how to exploit it. Your friend could also be really laying in the nasty comments (So many nasty comments that they are using the Help action to make them all) and then you would also have Advantage on your attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Lowering their moral" - is this a Faustian thing or did you mean morale? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 2, 2016 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM Haha good catch. Could still work as written though; lewd comments are rather distracting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ceribia
    Feb 2, 2016 at 5:15

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