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KnightFall
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Sneak attack

Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:09 pm

I've been reading some about sneak attack since I'm playing a rogue. A big difference from 3.5 is that you can only sneak attack with finesse or ranged weapons. This leads me to a question. Does a melee weapon with the thrown descriptor count as a ranged weapon for purposes of sneak attack? It should count on a dagger because daggers also have the finesse descriptor. But what about a hand axe? A hand axe has is not labeled as a finesse weapon. So can a rogue use a hand axe for sneak attack if he throws it but not if he wields it in melee?

I'm leaning toward sneak attack is only available on a thrown weapon if it also has finesse or the ranged descriptor. I think that limits it to just daggers and maybe darts.
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bitweever
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Re: Sneak attack

Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:51 pm

I would rule that a ranged weapon is any weapon used at range, including handaxes. Which kind of leads to a weird situation where being able to sneak attack depends on how you use the weapon.
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KnightFall
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Re: Sneak attack

Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:52 pm

When I was thinking about it last night it occurred to me they are trying to connect sneak attack with dexterity. So I would say that the hand axe wouldn't allow sneak attack when thrown because you still use strength for hit and damage roles with a hand axe. It would apply to a dagger when you use dexterity as the modifier.
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nbrs6121
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Re: Sneak attack

Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:52 am

Shawn, that seems to be the consensus on the Wizards boards as well. Ranged is a weapon quality, not a description of the action. Similarly, even though lots of spells can be used at range, they don't qualify for Sneak Attack either. Effectively, if you could* use your Dex to attack, it qualifies for Sneak Attack. If you can't use Dex for your attack roll, you cannot sneak attack with it (unless a specific rule says otherwise).

*I say "could" because you have the option to use your Strength with Finesse weapons, if you wanted, and they would still allow Sneak Attack.
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bitweever
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Re: Sneak attack

Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:13 am

Seems like there could be a feat to allow thrown weapon sneak attacks.
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Re: Sneak attack

Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:39 pm

Potentially there will be magic properties that could convert a weapon into a finesse weapon.
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