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The question does correctly outline most of the direct benefits of an ambush. There are a couple of things to note, though. Firstly, a number of Rogue abilities are keyed to working on flat-footed opponents. Consequently, Rogues are best able to take advantage of an ambush situation. In the same way, the 3rd level Rogue ability Deny Advantage will mean the ...


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Don't overthink it. The surprised state ends when the DM determines it ends - the narrative at this point has precedence over stark combat rules, here in this grey area just before and just after initiative is rolled. The DM, if he is any good, should consider your description of your stealthy approach, mitigating environmental factors, the rolls you made ...


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