Rules Questions

1. Does a natural 20 always hit?

  • House rule: No. If opponent has a 30 AC, and your attack bonus is 5, you need to roll 20 and then at least 5.

2. Wizards of the Coast FAQ about 3.0 FAQ indicated that ANY attack by a Rogue that qualified for a sneak attack would be a sneak attack; i.e. if Juno’s invisible or flanking an opponent ALL his attacks would have an additional 5D6. What do you all think?

  • Generally, yes: When the rogue makes an attack that qualifies as a sneak attack, he generally gets the extra damage. BUT: New house rule: He only gets ONE sneak attack extra damage per full attack action (TWO if he is hasted and uses two full attack actions). The other sneak attacks mean that the opponent is denied their dex bonus, but no extra damage unless you roll critical.

A related question is: what, exactly, is a sneak attack?: You can get this info from a great essay by Skip Williams on the internet called “All About Sneak Attacks”. See ):

You get a sneak attack if:

—you flank an opponent. Note: You are not flanking an opponent unless both attackers are within melee range. You cannot flank with a ranged weapon. Creatures with “uncanny dodge” can’t be “flanked” (I need to check the book on “uncanny dodge”). The opponent must be able to see both flankers, so if you are invisible, you are not flanking, but you can sneak attack anyway – see below.
—you surprise an opponent;
—you find an opponent flatfooted (i.e., your initiative is better than his in the first round) (Note: flatfooted creatures also can’t make attacks of opportunity) Creatures with uncanny dodge can’t be caught flatfooted.
—your attacker is otherwise denied his dex bonus. For example, he is blind and does not have the blindsight feat or you are invisible, and he does not have uncanny dodge. See below.

If you have multiple attacks, you can make multiple sneak attacks when you use the full attack action. For example, if your foe is surprised or flat-footed, every attack you make that round is a sneak attack. The same is true if you flank your foe, etc. The haste spell also gives you extra sneak attacks. An invisibility spell can only get you one sneak attack, because you would then immediately become visible, but a greater invisibility spell will give you multiple sneak attacks, as long as the foe doesn’t use magic to see you (or throw flour or paint at you) or have uncanny dodge or blindsight. Even if your opponent has good scent, spot and listen skills, you can still sneak attack: They might figure out where you are and attack you, but they don’t know when and where you are going to attack, so you can still get sneak attack effects.

There are several other exceptions and limitations:

1. Ranged attacks can be sneak attacks only if the range is 30 feet or less.

2. You must use a weapon optimally to make a sneak attack. If you take a penalty to deal nonlethal damage, for example, no sneak attack is possible. (A sap can be used in a sneak attack, since you would be using it optimally)

3. Sneak attacks are possible only against living creatures that have discernible anatomies. Undead, constructs (like elementals), oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures are not subject to sneak attacks, and creatures that are not subject to critical hits are not subject to sneak attacks.

4. Sneak attacks require a clear view of the target. Any degree of concealment—even concealment from fog foils sneak attacks.

5. Sneak attacks are possible only when the attacker can reach the target’s vital spots. If, e.g., a giant is too tall, you’ve got to stand on something or use a range attack to get his vitals.

6. Critical hits only give you an extra “regular” critical hit damage, not another 5d6.

See also Williams’ primer on Attacks of Opportunity:

Check this out, Tegan:


—DM Billy.

Father Neil’s Party Questions:

  • Why is the new module entitled “I’d Like To Teach Melvaunt to Sing in Perfect Harmony”?

    Because DMClement has pimped out our campaign to Coca-Cola. Product placement is damn lucrative, son.

  • What’s up with Mally and Vuno being waylaid and being unable to participate in the most recent big battle?

    Coca-Cola executives, dude.

  • Why are inept duergars and medusas messing with us?

    They work for Pepsi.

  • Clement seems to have a sleep disorder.

    It’s because he insists on eating Krispy Kreme for breakfast instead of steel-cut oatmeal.

  • Will Lisette ever wake up from her coma?

    Yep. Probably just after the moment when her prophecies would be useful.

Lady Nesta’s Party Questions:

Yo mama?
Yes, by all means. —DM Billy

Marielle’s mama was the cold north wind, her daddy was the sun ….
Clement’s mama is so ugly, when she looks in the mirror her reflection ducks.
Juno’s mama is so fat, she has smaller fat IOUN mamas orbitting around her.
Tegan’s mama … polymorphed me into a frog, just so I couldn’t finish that sentence.

That’s wak, dude. Tegan’s mama don’t know da polymorph spell.
Girlfriend got her a scroll, yo, Senor Peanut Gallery!
Oh, no you di’int! She gonna use a scroll just to stop DM Clement fum finishing his sentence? That’s just as wak ;-)


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