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This question is closely related and a follow-up to the question whether dwarf rogue substitution levels 1 and 3 incur a loss of sneak attack damage. The accepted answer was that dwarf rogue substitution levels 1 and 3 do not grant sneak attacks, thus a dwarf rogue with these substitution levels would get the demolitionist ability (extra damage against constructs) but no sneak attack.

But the entry in Table 3-15, PHB p. 49, for rogue 5 is: "sneak attack +3d6". If a dwarf rogue took the substitution levels 1 and 3 - would he get the full sneak attack at standard rogue level 5?

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No

To substitute means to take something out and put something else in it's place. If at level 5 you'd gain +3d6 sneak attack, you don't substitute... you just add. Why would anybody ever take standard rogue levels 1 and 3?

I cannot cite any raw, since substitution levels from magazines aren't RAW anyway, but common sense says he'd get +1d6 if taking a level granting better sneak attack after his substitution levels.

PHB pg50

Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Basically, the rogue’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Increases, doesn't become 3d6 at 5th level.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ RE: "…since substitution levels from magazines aren't RAW anyway…" It might be useful either to expand upon that point if you think it's a necessary point or omit it if it's not. (I think the latter would be better, but it's your call.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 12 '16 at 14:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Why would anybody ever take standard rogue levels 1 and 3" - first, because she is not a dwarf, second because it at least postpones the sneak attack. "To substitute means to take something out and put something else in its place" sounds reasonable, but e.g. "Generalist Wizardry" elf wizard substitution level 1 just adds to the non-specialized wizard without any cost. I would certainly prefer RAW, though I think the quote you cited might be the base for such: Isn't there a general rule that text trumps tables? \$\endgroup\$ – Giorin Aug 12 '16 at 18:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Giorin Sort of. Here's the text trumps table thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 13 '16 at 7:47

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