Sneak Attacks - Print Friendly

by Blckthorn

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Sneak Attacks

Quick guide and rules summary

How Sneak Attack works

In specific situations, on a successful hit -  add your Sneak Attack Damage to your   weapon damage
When can you Sneak Attack?
  • When you  have advantage  to attack

  • When your target has  another enemy within 5',       that enemy isn't incapacitated and you don't have disadvantage

  • In  archetype-specific situations


Sneak Attack Damage
Level Damage
1-2 1d6
3-4 2d6
5-6 3d6
7-8 4d6
9-10 5d6
Level Damage
11-12 6d6
13-14 7d6
15-16 8d6
17-18 9d6
19-20 10d6

What about critical damage?

If you score a critical hit:

Roll your  Weapon damage  twice and your  Sneak Attack

damage  twice, then add your ability modifier

For example, at 3rd level with a dagger:

2d4  +  4d6  +  Dex modifier


  • You must be using a  Finesse or Ranged weapon

  • You can't sneak attack  if you have disadvantage

  • You can sneak attack  1x per turn

Sneak Attack Weapons

Finesse Weapons
  • Dagger
  • Dart
  • Rapier
  • Shortsword
  • *Scimitar
  • *Whip



Ranged Weapons
  • Crossbow, light
  • Crossbow, hand
  • Dart
  • Shortbow
  • Sling
  • *Blowgun
  • *Crossbow, heavy
  • *Longbow

*  These weapons are not Rogue Weapons, but may be usable

(provided you are proficient), if you take a feat or are



If you have disadvantage, you can't sneak attack

Keep in mind - advantage and disadvantage cancel each other

Once per Turn

If you have multiple attacks on your turn, you can only

Sneak Attack on one of them

You can also Sneak Attack on another creature's turn

(i.e.  Attack of Opportunity)  

You must still meet the conditions for Sneak Attack

Specific Situations

Target has another enemy within 5'

This is your bread and butter and the most common way to

sneak attack, so when you can, choose targets that are busy

with an enemy

You can use a melee or ranged attack, but be careful targeting

a creature that is behind another creature

(See optional DMG pg 272 rule - Hitting Cover)

  • The enemy of your target need not be your ally
  • The enemy of your target can't be incapacitated
  • This won't work if you have disadvantage

When You have Advantage to attack

If your target isn't preoccupied with another enemy,

you'll generally need to attack with advantage

Attacking While They Can't See You

Any time you can see your target and they can't see you, you

attack with advantage

If you can't see your target, you attack with disadvantage,

negating any advantage you might have


Hiding and attacking isn't as common, or easy, as it might

seem at first glance.

Hiding from a Creature:

  • The DM determines if the situation and terrain is appropriate for hiding  (e.g. you are in a heavily obscured area or behind enough cover)
  • You then use your action to Hide, or your bonus action if using Cunning Action
  • Make a Dex (Stealth) check - write this # down

The DM then determines if you are hidden

Typically, if your check is greater than the the

creature's passive perception, you are hidden

If they actively look for you, they get to make a

Wis (Perception) check - if greater than the number

you wrote down, they find you

You can't hide from a creature that can clearly see you

Attacking While Hidden:

If you are hiding and can see your target, but they

can't see you, you attack with advantage

This will usually be a ranged attack

If you pop out of hiding to attack, you are no longer


The DM may allow you to leave cover and remain

hidden, perhaps sneaking up on the creature, if the

circumstances allow (such as the creature being

sufficiently distracted)

Once you make an attack, hit or miss, you are no

longer hidden

Lightfoot Halflings  -  can hide behind larger creatures
Wood Elves  -  can hide when lightly obscured by natural

phenomena  (foliage, heavy rain, mist, etc.)
Skulker Feat  -  allows you to hide when lightly obscured

Also - if you attack and miss, your location is not revealed

Invisibility and Darkness

Invisibility  -  if you are Invisible, you get advantage to attack
Darkness  -  is heavily obscuring so you can hide in it

If you are in Darkness and you can see your target but they

can't see you, you get advantage

(e.g. you have Darkvision, or they are in an area of light)

Receiving Help

If a companion or familiar uses the  Help action you get

advantage to attack

Conditions That Give Advantage

Blinded  -  get advantage to attack blinded creatures
Paralyzed  -  get advantage to attack paralyzed creatures

If you are within 5' - you also critical hit
Petrified  -  get advantage to attack petrified creatures
Prone  -  if within 5', get advantage to attack prone creatures

If further than 5', you suffer disadvantage instead
Restrained  -  get advantage to attack restrained creatures
Stunned  -  get advantage to attack stunned creatures
Unconscious  -  get advantage to attack unconscious creatures

If you are within 5', you also critical hit


Many spells give advantage or cause conditions that give

advantage  (see below)

Spells That Give Advantage

Direct Advantage


True Strike  -  get advantage to your next attack

1st level

*Faerie Fire  -  get advantage to attack outlined creatures
*Guiding Bolt  -  get advantage on your next attack against the

same target
*Zephyr Strike  -  get advantage to 1 weapon attack

2nd level

Invisibility  -  get advantage to attack when invisible
Shadow Blade  -  get advantage if target is in dim light or dark

4th level

Greater Invisibility  -  get advantage to attack when invisible

Advantage from Conditions

1st level

Color Spray  -  blinded
Earth Tremor  -  prone
*Ensnaring Strike  -  restrained
*Entangle  -  restrained
Grease  -  prone
Sleep  -  unconscious
Snare  -  restrained
Tasha's Hideous Laughter  -  prone
*Thunderous Smite  -  prone

2nd level

Blindness/Deafness  -  blinded
Hold Person  -  paralyzed
Maximillion's Earthen Grasp  -  restrained
Pyrotechnics  -  blinded
Web  -  restrained

3rd level

*Blinding Smite  -  blinded
Tidal Wave  -  prone

4th level

Evard's Black Tentacles  -  restrained

*  Not on the Arcane Trickster spell list

(available with a feat or through multiclassing)


Some Roguish Archetypes grant specialized ways to gain

advantage or Sneak Attack

Archetype Features


Assassinate  (3rd level)

Get advantage to attack a creature that hasn't taken a turn

If that creature is surprised - a hit does critical damage

Arcane Trickster

You can cast spells that give you advantage
Versatile Trickster  (13th level)

Your mage hand   can give you advantage on an attack


Insightful Fighting  (3rd level)

For 1 min - you can Sneak Attack 1 target without advantage

Doesn't work if you have disadvantage


Ambush Master  (13th level)

When you hit a creature on the first round of combat,

additional attacks are done with advantage until the start of

your next turn

This could apply to Opportunity Attacks, if you are dual

wielding, or if you are multiclassed
Sudden Strike  (17th level)

When you make your bonus action attack, it can be a Sneak

Attack, even if you've already done so that turn

However, you can't Sneak Attack the same target more than

once per turn


Rakish Audacity  (3rd level)

You can Sneak Attack when:

  • you are within 5' of your target
  • no other creatures are within 5' of you
  • you don't have disadvantage


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