Sneak attacks per round and moments when sneak attacks count

Scroll to the bottom for the ultimate basic scenarios (numbered section) in which a rogue sneak attacks and how many per round, for those who don’t want a long winded explanation.

We have had the discussion about how many sneak attacks apply for a rogue. Some have said it is only the first attack, others all attacks. This here will demonstarte direct from the Wizards of the Coast Website that “ALL ATTACKS ARE CONSIDERED SNEAK ATTACKS” if either of the conditions met below happen (eg flanking, flatfooted or immobile).

Example 1
Pathfinder Feat
Sneaking Precision: Your knowledge of your enemies’ vulnerable spots is especially punishing. Prerequisites: Sneak attack class feature, Critical Focus, any critical feat, base attack bonus +9. Benefit: Whenever you successfully sneak attack an opponent for a second time on your turn, you can spend a swift action to apply the effects of one critical feat you know to that opponent.

As you can see in the bold italics, Whenever you successfully sneak attack an opponent for a second time on your turn, you can apply a critical feat as a swift action. It is only possible to successful hit with a sneak attack a second time on your turn if each attack when an enemy is caught with there pants down by a rogue is considered a sneak attack, not just the first attack. Otherwise the feat cannot be applied in any situation.

Example 2
(PHB) Sneak Attack
If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

There is no limit. It triggers once per attack roll as per Rules Compendium, so while a rogue with greater invisibility can get sneak attack dice for every attack in a full attack action, a rogue using Manyshot will only get the dice onces.

Example 3
From Wizards
It seems that some DMs and players out there just can’t agree on how the sneak attack ability really works. To be sure, a clever player can deal out a big pile of damage through sneak attacks. A 20th-level rogue fighting with two weapons could deal 40d6 points of damage (Main Ba 15/10+5 and offhand +15) or more in a single round of sneak attacks, which is enough to make most DMs cry “foul” the first time a PC tries it. So, let’s examine just when sneak attacks are possible, how many sneak attacks characters can make during 1 round, and how the rules for sneak attacks interact with other rules that govern combat.

The Basics of the Sneak Attack
For basic rules governing sneak attacks, look in the rogue class description in Chapter 3 of the Player’s Handbook. Here’s an overview.

Sneak attacks require one of two basic conditions:

The target must be denied his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether he actually has a Dexterity bonus or not) against the attack.
The attacker must flank the target.

If the attacker cannot meet either of these two conditions, no sneak attack is possible. If the attacker can meet at least one of these conditions, a sneak attack is possible, provided that something else doesn’t intrude and spoil the sneak attack.

Several things can kill a sneak attack, even if the attacker sets up the attack properly:

Ranged attacks can be sneak attacks only if the range is 30 feet or less.
The attacker must use a weapon optimally to make a sneak attack.
If the attacker takes the 4 penalty to deal nonlethal damage, no sneak attack is possible. (A weapon that normally dealsnonlethal damage, such as a sap, can be used in a sneak attack; however, you deal nonlethal damage if you do so.)
Sneak attacks are possible only against living creatures that have discernible anatomies. Undead, constructs, 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 also.
Sneak attacks require a clear view of the target. Any degree of concealment -
even concealment from fog (a lousy 20% miss chance) foils sneak attacks.
Sneak attacks are possible only when the attacker can reach the target’s vital spots. If you’re limited to beating the foe about the ankles, you can’t make sneak attacks against him.

Beyond the Basics So just when do those conditions and counter conditions apply? I’m glad you asked. Defender Denied Dexterity Bonus When the rules speak of a defender being denied a Dexterity bonus, they refer to any number of exceptional combat situations in which a creature cannot effectively defend itself by blocking or dodging physical assaults. Creatures that have no Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, or creatures that have penalties are not “denied” a Dexterity bonus in a normal combat situation. Fortunately for characters who rely on sneak attacks (and unfortunately for everyone else), such combat situations abound.

Here’s a list:
Being Caught Flat Footed This happens to almost everybody sooner or later. Anyone who is surprised is flat-footed during the ensuing surprise round. Surprised or not, anyone also is flat-footed during the first round of any combat from the time the combat begins until the creature takes its first turn in the initiative cycle.

Flat-footed creatures have two big disadvantages:
They can’t make attacks of opportunity and they can’t use their Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class. This makes them vulnerable to melee sneak attacks and to ranged sneak attacks (but see the section on uncanny dodge).
The target is immobile via grapple, spell or some other ability, preventing an enemyfrom being able to move

Ultimately these are the important things that need to be remembered.
All attacks in a surprise round will be a sneak attack
Whenever flanking all attacks are sneak attacks
After a surprise round, if the rogue has a higher initative then an opponent (moving before them) as long as the opponent has not been able to react (take initative in suprise round or move before rogue) all attacks are sneak attacks, as they are still flat footed.
Feinting an opponent only makes them flat footed for the 1st attack, not the entire round. As such only the 1st attack is a sneak attack when feinting.
Invisibility, rogue become visible after the 1st hostile action, only 1st attack is a sneak attack
Greater Invisibility, rogue remains invisible for all attacks, so all attacks are sneak attacks
Immobile targets are considered flat footed. This includes grappled, entangled, paralysed, unconcious, tripped or prone, helpless, held etc. All attacks with either of the conditions above are sneak attacks.
Attacking from a hidden location. Eg Hide and attack, hide and attack. Only the 1st attack is a sneak attack, as only flatfooted initially and not a surprise round wghile combat ensues (enemy is guarded, taking defensive precautions).
Volley attacks only provide 1 sneak attack per round. Eg Multishot (only 1 arrow), Violent Thrust aspect of Telekinesis (can throw up to 15 daggers, only 1 is a sneak attack), scorching ray (only 1 ray), magic missile (only 1 missile) etc.
Magic attacks that roll an attack roll can sneak attack (touch/range touch)
An arcane tricker can sneak attack with area spells using the surprise spell ability, however this does not extend to volley type magic listed above (shoot multiple projectiles from the same spell). For example a surpise spell with a fireball from an arcane trickster would sneak attack all in its radius, however a surorise spell with a scorching ray (multiple projectiles) only applies to 1 ray.

Sneak attacks donit apply if;
an enemy is not flatfooted, flanked or immobile
creature resistance, no discernable anatomy – undead, abberration, elemental, ooze, plant etc
enemy has fortification (magical ability that can be applied to magic armor): 25% fortification = 25% chance to ignore sneak attack, 50% fort = 50% chance to ignore sneak attack etc
enemy has concealment, can’t target anatomy correctly. Eg standing in a mist, behind cover (feats can be taken to remove this), b;urred as by the spell, displacement as by the spell, blink as per spell. Or any other ability or obstacle that provides concealment.

If further clarrification is needed;
Rules of the Game:
All About Sneak Attacks Part 1
All About Sneak Attacks Part 2
All About Sneak Attacks Part 4

Sneak attacks per round and moments when sneak attacks count

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