Brawler's Strangler archetype give you:

Strangle (Ex)

At 1st level, a strangler deals +1d6 sneak attack damage whenever she succeeds at a grapple check to damage or pin an opponent. The strangler is always considered flanking her target for the purpose of using this ability. This damage increases by +1d6 at 2nd, 8th and 15th levels.

Would Sneak Attack dice from another class stack with this application (dealing damage during a grapple)?

In case I'm being unclear, here's an example; if a 4th level character is a 1st level Brawler(Strangler) and 3rd level Rogue, how many sneak attack dice do they use when:

  • flanking and hitting an enemy with a dagger?
  • dealing damage with a grapple check?
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking if you can sneak attack a grappled opponent? \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    May 15, 2017 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not quite, I'm asking if I apply Sneak Attack dice from other sources to the class feature of Strangler Brawler, where I deal sneak attack damage without 'attacking' but instead by maintaining the grapple. Your answer seems to have the right of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 15, 2017 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


Yes, the damage stacks, if the conditions for both abilities are met

Sources of sneak attack generally stack. However, here the class is giving you sneak attack damage on a special condition (grappling a foe).

According to the FAQ, different classes that grant the same ability do not stack unless it says it does:

No—unless an ability specifically says it stacks with similar abilities (such as an assassin's sneak attack), or adds in some way based on the character's total class levels (such as improved uncanny dodge), the abilities don't stack and you have to use them separately.

The +1d6 here means the same as one additional 1d6 on your damage, and not giving you the sneak attack ability a second time. This means that the Strangle ability is not the Sneak Attack ability, and unless both conditions for this extra damage are met, you will only apply one or the other.

There is a lenghty debate about this on paizo's messageboards, and the consensus by the community was:

The Strangler archetype just gets bonus damage when grappling, and it being labelled as "sneak attack" in regards to creatures immune to sneak attack damage. This archetype doesn't grant the Sneak Attack ability and scaling die.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your bold answer (yes, you do sneak attack) and final quote (Strangler isn't the same as sneak attack and doesn't apply it) seem to be at odds. The crux of the question is whether grappling applies one or both sources. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 15, 2017 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Simply grappling does not meet the conditions for sneak attack, as explained on the answer i linked earlier. Here you have two different abilities (Strangle and Sneak Attack), that both add sneak attack damage dice to your damage roll. If you happen to make both conditions to happen, there is nothing preventing those damage die to stack with your weapon damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    May 15, 2017 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ As explained on the FAQ, two sources of the same ability from different sources do not stack unless the source of that ability says that it stacks. But you do not have two sources of sneak attack here, you have two different abilities. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    May 15, 2017 at 16:12

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