Sneak Attack in Echelon

I think I’ll do a quick and simple one today.

Sneak attack allows a character to do additional damage to a distracted or otherwise unaware opponent. A person with the sneak attack ability may do additional damage with his weapons when he attacks someone who is flatfooted or otherwise denied Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, or that the sneak attacker flanks. Ranged sneak attacks may be made if the attacker is within 30 feet or one range increment, whichever is smaller.

The sneak attacker must be able to reasonably reach a vulnerable area with his attack. Creatures immune to critical hits are also immune to sneak attack.

Sneak Attack Talents

The core talents for sneak attack give the character a Sneak Attack Training Bonus. On a successful sneak attack the character can do an additional 1d6 points of damage per point of Sneak Attack Training Bonus.

I have read feats and other abilities that allow a character to trade dice of sneak attack damage for conditional effects or ability damage, and the Executioner class from Iron Heroes has additional options when attacking that can make use of sneak attack to increase executioner effects. These use execution tokens though, and I am not yet certain Echelon will use token pools.

These extended abilities are likely to show up as one or more new talents (probably no more than one more talent), but could be folded into the talents below if some power adjustment is needed. The talents below are pretty boring, and I’d rather see an interesting benefit gained than a straight damage gain.

Sneak Attack

Tier Benefit
Expert +1 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Heroic +2 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Master +3 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Champion +4 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Legendary +5 Sneak Attack Training Bonus

Improved Sneak Attack

Tier Benefit
Expert +1 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Heroic +2 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Master +3 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Champion +4 Sneak Attack Training Bonus
Legendary +5 Sneak Attack Training Bonus

4 Comments

  1. hadsil

    It’s logical there is a Sneak Attack talent. There should be a Sneak Attack talent. It’s a question if it passes the Will Everyone Take It test. By obviousness a character has a finite number of talents and can’t have everything. However, for dedicated warriors it’s all about the damage. Tactics are important. Sometimes you’ll want or need to do something other than raw damage. A warrior still needs to dish out the damage.

    Of course, it can be okay that a lot of dedicated warrior players would choose Sneak Attack talent. There is nothing inherently wrong for Sneak Attack to be a very nice talent to have. There’s no need to nerf Sneak Attack. Other talents should be equally good. A “Power Attack Talent” could provide its own benefits of equivalent juiciness. A “Tripping talent” may provide awesome tactics.

    Someone made a comment on the WOTC Forums that I like very much. “Taste the indecision? That’s the balance, right there.” When you have a hard choice to make between equal awesomeness, that’s exactly what you want from a game.

  2. ah, I see.

    I can understand why someone might think so, 10d6 points of damage is pretty nice at the top end… but by then I expect many builds would have something comparable, so yeah.

    Frankly I find straight damage kind of boring, so while I’ll grant the utility of sneak attack I can be lured away from it pretty easily.

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