I find this statement from the slayer's Studied Target ability confusing:

If a slayer deals sneak attack damage to a target, he can study that target as an immediate action, allowing him to apply his studied target bonuses against that target (including to the normal weapon damage roll).

Does this mean:

  1. If a slayer succeeds on a sneak attack roll against a foe, that the Studied Target bonus will be added to the damage roll for that sneak attack
  2. If a slayer attempts a sneak attack against a foe, that the Studied Target bonus will be added to the attack roll and damage roll for that sneak attack
  3. If a slayer completes a sneak attack against a foe, that the Studied Target bonus will come into effect after the damage roll for that sneak attack

I presume the first to be most likely, since it mentions damage roll in parentheses, but the first line requires damage to be dealt.

I am mostly confused by the meaning of the terminology "normal weapon damage roll" - I was under the impression a Sneak Attack is not considered a normal damage roll, or that a weapon was required to perform one.


1 Answer 1


A slayer that deals a creature sneak attack damage can take an immediate action to employ his extraordinary ability studied target to gain the slayer's studied target bonus against his foe in addition to any damage already dealt.

What the game means when it sometimes refers to making a sneak attack is dealing sneak attack damage, and when a creature's dealt sneak attack damage, the creature's made a sneak attack. Sneak attack damage is dealt automatically upon the creature or its foe meeting certain conditions, and the extra dice are added to the attack's damage. Attempting a sneak attack isn't really a thing, and a creature succeeds on or completes a sneak attack when it sums the sneak attack damage and applies it to the foe!

Sneak attack damage is precision damage, so there are some limits on it, but it is otherwise normal damage, and a weapon isn't always required to perform it—unarmed strikes, natural weapons, and some spells are capable of dealing sneak attack damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ For a more in-depth discussion on the use of make a sneak attack versus deal sneak attack damage in 3.5e, see this answer. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2017 at 6:49

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