Looking at this...

Precise Splash Weapons (Ex): At 4th level, an underground chemist can deal sneak attack damage with splash weapons. The attack must be her first attack that round, qualify for dealing sneak attack damage (such as against a flat-footed target), and be directed at a creature rather than a square.

Does that mean every round that would be a sneak attack, I could keep lobbing a bomb at someone? Or is it only the first attack of an encounter?

I am reading a lot of conflicting information on various forums.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Links to the claims made that are confusing you would improve this question, because then we could address those claims specifically. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


If the circumstances that permit the underground chemist to deal sneak attack damage persist, the underground chemist can, on his first attack each round, deal sneak attack damage at range with a splash weapon

The alchemist archetype underground chemist's extraordinary ability precise splash weapons itself sets the ability's limits, and, while they are legion, the special ability is not limited to once per encounter (or less!), but, practically, it may seem that way.

I expect the typical reasoning for saying the extraordinary ability precise splash weapons is usable only once per encounter is that it's just very difficult to deal sneak attack damage at range A) if the attacker doesn't go before his foe B) on the first round of combat. That is, after the foe's had a chance to take its turn, the foe's no longer flat-footed, and, often, another means must be employed to cause the foe to lose its Dexterity bonus to AC so that the underground chemist can deal sneak attack damage at range with a splash weapon on his first attack of the next round.


Yes, you can keep getting the sneak attack damage bonus against the same target round after round.

The only requirement is that it is the underground chemist’s first attack of that round. I have no idea where anyone got the idea that it was only once per encounter; the rules are quite clear.

In reality, “per encounter” abilities are very awkward in Pathfinder, because an encounter is not a well-defined thing with a clear ending point, so pretty much nothing in the system is “per encounter.”

Note that it is relatively difficult to achieve the other requirements for sneak attack with a ranged attack, since you cannot flank with a ranged weapon. Furthermore, the damage on sneak attack is quite small unless you are getting it multiple times per round (e.g. Rapid Shot, Two-Weapon Fighting, etc.) which is flat-out impossible with this ability. Just some food for thought in considering the potency of this archetype.

  • \$\begingroup\$ With Bomber's Discovery I could choose Blinding Bomb. Blind condition denies them dexterity modifier. That's the only real tactic I could think of for repeated, albeit not reliable, use. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zangief
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 2:38

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