Are you playing a rogue? Then you know that it’s all about Sneak Attack, and with these five handy tricks, you’ll never be without those extra d6s.
Rogues are many things in D&D, but first and foremost they are all about delivering one (or maybe two) extremely damaging strikes with weapons that allow for a great deal of precision. Whether you’re playing a master thief, a skilled spy, an assassin, a swashbuckler, or even a phantom, whose powers come from those touched by the grave, you’ll want to find ways to deal your Sneak Attack damage.
That single strike is the heart of a rogue’s ability to deal damage. But it can be tricky to get, there are a few qualifiers:
Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a Finesse or a ranged weapon.
You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t Incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.
If that’s too complicated it boils down to either: have advantage on an attack roll with a finesse or ranged weapon, or have someone else who wants to attack your target within 5 feet and make sure you don’t have disadvantage. There are a few ways to make sure this happens.
All rogues get the feature cunning action which lets them use a bonus action to dash, disengage, or hide. It’s the latter one that we’re concerned with right now. In the right environment, you can hide and make a ranged attack at an opponent. It’s one of the reasons halflings make such good rogues, they can hide behind any medium sized creatures, so if you have a tall friend, you always have a hiding place nearby.
Knock ’em Down
Sure in D&D you can get knocked down, but most of the time you’ll get up again. That’s where multiple attacks come in handy. As a rogue, if you can get a target prone, you’ll gain advantage on the attack, which means that you’ll be able to deliver that sneak attack. There are a few ways to accomplish this, including picking up a level or two of battlemaster fighter for combat maneuvers, or just working together with a friend to knock targets prone with a spell like Thunderwave.
Similar to hide, if you are invisible, you’ll be able to make an attack against your foe with advantage. If you have a spell or ability that turns you invisible or that prevents an enemy from seeing you (like blindness/deafness), you’ll be able to attack with advantage and get that sneak attack.
Speaking of magic, spells like Faerie Fire (which you can easily get if you’re a drow) will also give you advantage on attack rolls against affected target. Or if you take the magical secrets feat, or have a cleric friend, the spell Guiding Bolt is also an easy, low-level way to quickly gain advantage on any attack roll. There are plenty of other spells like this out there.
Summon Spells and Sidekicks
Finally this last one is less about getting advantage and more about making sure you have an ally nearby. Animal companions, familiars, summoned creatures, or sidekicks might not do as much damage as a PC–but if they’re present near a foe, that’s all it takes to give you that turn or two of extra damage, and that can make all the difference.