# Thread: sneak attack feat (3.5)

1. ## sneak attack feat (3.5)

Eye of the Gremlin
You can find the weak spot on just about any object or construct.
Prerequisites: Intelligence 16, Disable Device 6 ranks, Skirmish, Sneak Attack, or Sudden Strike class feature
Benefit: With a swift act, you can attempt a Disable Device check against an object or construct (DC 10+hardness or 10+DR*2), in order to assess the composition and construction, and then do precision damage to that target with your next attack, so long as it takes place within one round.

2. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

i really need to beef this feat up somehow; as it is right now, it is hardly worth a feat slot unless you are in a construct-heavy campaign. so this is the rough draft until i figure out what else i can do to it. ideas are appreciated.

also, take a look at the DC for the check, and tell me if that sounds right. this was just a guesstimation, as most things worth breaking usually have high hardness, while DR is generally capped at 10 or 15.

3. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Cool. How do you know whether (as a DM) whether it's hardness or DR that they have to beat?

EDIT you ninja'd me.

If it were 10 + DR x 2, then the DCs would be substantial.

4. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Originally Posted by Harperfan7
Cool. How do you know whether (as a DM) whether it's hardness or DR that they have to beat?

EDIT you ninja'd me.

If it were 10 + DR x 2, then the DCs would be substantial.
some of the DCs would be huge. trying to sneak attack an adamantine wall would have a DC of 30. any construct with a DR of 15 would have a DC of 40. i don't like the numbers, and they don't really seem like a logical progression to me, but i don't as of yet see an alternative that makes sense, or that i like.

5. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Well, the height of the DC's would be somewhat mitigated by the fact that most constructs are relatively high level. Perhaps just have it be the CR of the construct in question?

On the other hand, this suffers the same problem as improved feint in that it only applies to one attack per round. Sure, it's better in that it only take a swift action, but one also still needs to qualify for the damage. Perhaps doing something like penetrating strike?

6. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Meh. I don't really see any reason for the find-a-weak point mechanic. If you're using sneak attack you're probably dealing direct damage. If you're dealing direct damage, you're generally not in a position to be too ruin the game. I don't think something like this really needs as the kind of limitations you've imposed.

I say, if you want to give your sneak attackers a way to get around those nasty constructs just do it straight up. Make it a feat just have the sneak-attack-on-constructs effect inherent. "You now know how to strike at the structural weak points in blah blah blah.."

A Maybe throw in a pre-req of Knowledge[Architecture & Engineering] it'd feel somehow fitting. Really, it just replicates the effect of some items anyway.

Of course, I've never really understood why they felt the need to bork sneak attackers against certain enemies. Even if it don't have organs it's got some kind of weak point, as flavor behind this feat already points out.

EDIT: For more widespread useful ness, you could make it apply to all things normally immune to sneak attack. "You can find the weak points in otherwise hardy foes..."

I dunno, just my thoughts.

7. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Originally Posted by MeklorIlavator
Well, the height of the DC's would be somewhat mitigated by the fact that most constructs are relatively high level. Perhaps just have it be the CR of the construct in question?
CR would be an interesting way to do it, though that only works for creatures, not inanimate objects. i could say that the DC equals the CR, if any, or Hardness. if a creature happens to have hardness, the rogue uses the higher of the two as the DC.

On the other hand, this suffers the same problem as improved feint in that it only applies to one attack per round. Sure, it's better in that it only take a swift action, but one also still needs to qualify for the damage. Perhaps doing something like penetrating strike?
doing what? making it deal 1/2 SA to all viable targets? that is a possibility, but then i'd need to buff it up even more, since that would be weaker than what i have (probably). so i'd have to give it something else. maybe 1/2 SA, and affect it with a condition–checked, staggered, dazed, something. maybe the condition worsens the higher my ranks in disable device. if i only have 1-5 ranks, it only checks the construct, but if i have 15-20 ranks, it stuns it. something like that. i would think that to be a fair trade for the other half of my SA.

8. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Well, personally I agree with Mr. Moron, with the possible exception of Oozes.

And as of right now, you only get SA on one attack, and for combat speced rogues(the only ones who would be taking this feat), that's pitiful. By my suggestion of emulating Penetrating Stike, I meant that it would apply to all attacks that round. Of course, since right now it only applies to 1 type of creature, I would say that you could get away with either more damage(3/4?) or some sort of condition. Perhaps a penalty to attack(hitting the joints?).

9. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Meh. I don't really see any reason for the find-a-weak point mechanic. If you're using sneak attack you're probably dealing direct damage. If you're dealing direct damage, you're generally not in a position to be too ruin the game. I don't think something like this really needs as the kind of limitations you've imposed.

I say, if you want to give your sneak attackers a way to get around those nasty constructs just do it straight up. Make it a feat just have the sneak-attack-on-constructs effect inherent. "You now know how to strike at the structural weak points in blah blah blah.."

A Maybe throw in a pre-req of Knowledge[Architecture & Engineering] it'd feel somehow fitting. Really, it just replicates the effect of some items anyway.

Of course, I've never really understood why they felt the need to bork sneak attackers against certain enemies. Even if it don't have organs it's got some kind of weak point, as flavor behind this feat already points out.

EDIT: For more widespread useful ness, you could make it apply to all things normally immune to sneak attack. "You can find the weak points in otherwise hardy foes..."

I dunno, just my thoughts.
Well, personally I agree with Mr. Moron, with the possible exception of Oozes.

And as of right now, you only get SA on one attack, and for combat speced rogues(the only ones who would be taking this feat), that's pitiful. By my suggestion of emulating Penetrating Stike, I meant that it would apply to all attacks that round. Of course, since right now it only applies to 1 type of creature, I would say that you could get away with either more damage(3/4?) or some sort of condition. Perhaps a penalty to attack(hitting the joints?).
interesting responses.

hmm. i do want to keep this specifically against objects and constructs, but what if i up the entry reqs to 6th level (right now it is 3rd level), make it affect all attacks with full SA versus objects and constructs, without a check, and give it a scaling conditions effect?

10. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Originally Posted by Stycotl
interesting responses.

hmm. i do want to keep this specifically against objects and constructs, but what if i up the entry reqs to 6th level (right now it is 3rd level), make it affect all attacks with full SA versus objects and constructs, without a check, and give it a scaling conditions effect?
Well, I was going to suggest only one check (analyze it, and then you understand it well enough to use SA for the rest of the fight), which still rewards characters who have put a lot of points into Disable Device. Making it a 'no check' skill and giving it a pre-req of an appropriate Knowledge skill would work too, though.

Not sure what sort of scaling you had in mind here...elaborate?

11. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Originally Posted by Pyrusticia
Well, I was going to suggest only one check (analyze it, and then you understand it well enough to use SA for the rest of the fight), which still rewards characters who have put a lot of points into Disable Device. Making it a 'no check' skill and giving it a pre-req of an appropriate Knowledge skill would work too, though.

Not sure what sort of scaling you had in mind here...elaborate?
i like that first idea. scaling ability would be the application of a condition; i hit the construct (obviously wouldn't be able to afflict an inanimate object), and it becomes staggered or checked or dazed or something. haven't figured it out yet, but it would be dependent upon my ranks in disable device.

also, it would still have to be 1/2 SA damage in order to have an applied condition. i was forgetting about that earlier.

so, either full SA, or 1/2 SA and possibly do something cool to it for a few rounds... gotta think this over.

12. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

For what it's worth, he's intending this for use in a DragonMech campaign, so my primary concern as his GM is ensuring that a character on foot with rogue weapons isn't doing more damage to objects than, say, a colossal steam cannon. I've nerfed some transmutation magic for the same reasons. Stalkers can already do a lot of damage to a mech from the inside, and Anklebiter levels will ensure the character in question can get inside.

Perhaps I'm being a bit too conservative about this. I wouldn't ordinarily have much problem with anyone sneak attacking anything, but in the DragonMech setting in particular I'm afraid this might become overpowered.

13. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Perhaps I'm being a bit too conservative about this. I wouldn't ordinarily have much problem with anyone sneak attacking anything, but in the DragonMech setting in particular I'm afraid this might become overpowered.
I'm not familiar with the DragonMech campaign, though given the "Mech" I'd imagine it adds lots of constructs. That really shouldn't matter though. Unless it's drastically alerting the fundamental mechanics of the game, there really just isn't any way something like this could be become overpowered. Extremely helpful perhaps, in the context of the single character who might otherwise be being denied is sneak attack. However, stabbing things, even for more damage than normal just doesn't come close to tearing the game apart.

14. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

eee, DragonMech has my favorite d20 representation of mecha that fits into the psuedo-medieval era of most campaigns. =D

Fanboyism aside, maybe instead of having to make a disable device check each and every round, maybe you can increase the action type to a move or standard and have the weak spot available for either the rest of the encounter or for a number of rounds equal to your Int mod. I'd suggest half sneak dice, which, from personal experience in a campaign that homeruled that sneak immune enemies take half sneak so rogues aren't totally borked yet keep the feel of being less effective, seems to work fairly well. Maybe not too helpful, as i recall of decent sized steammechs, you run the risk of being trampled if you're going toe-to-toe with the thing, so this probably works better for a sniper type rogue.

Speaking of, you might want to put in the requirement that the rogue in question needs to be in sneak range of the target in question. This ensures that you're close enough to make a reasonable inspection of the construct in question, as opposed to scrying the thing, dim dooring in, sneaking and then getting the hell out (which is kinda a cool concept, now that i think of it =3).

Anyways, best of luck storming some citymechs!

15. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

Really, it's the object sneak attacking that bothers me. He can tear constructs a new one all day if he wants to.

Still, some of the suggestions have been good, and I may be persuaded to reconsider my stance. Let me brood on this a while.

*brood*

*brood*

16. ## Re: sneak attack feat (3.5)

i like brooding! it is fun.

meanwhile, i do need to add some sort of distance qualification, both for the observation, and for the sneak attack itself, just so that triggerhappy twinkie players out there don't think that they've found loopholes (though i fail to see how sneak attacks are a large enough loophole to really be a problem).

let's see if i can get a revised version of this up tonight.

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