dnd 3.5e – How to get your first 1d6 sneak attack without class levels?

There are numerous ways to get additional d6’s worth of sneak attack, but almost all of them require that you have 1d6 (or more) sneak attack before you can take them. How does one get +1d6 sneak attack damage from non-level sources when one has no sneak attack?

There is at least one way—Martial Stance (assassin’s stance) from Tome of Battle, which actually gives +2d6—but that isn’t available until 12th or (if the DM is generous) maybe 9th, and requires another feat besides.

  • Any Wizards of the Coast published 3.5e material, as well as any 3.5e content from Dragon and Dungeon magazines, is legitimate.
  • While stuff earlier than Martial Stance’s 12th is preferred, any content available pre-epic is acceptable.
  • Epic content is not allowed, even if you somehow cheese into it prior to epic levels.
  • Any kind of polymorph or shape changing is not allowed.
  • The sneak attack must be available on a continuous, permanent basis. A magic item is acceptable, as is a 24-hour daily effect (e.g. spell), but not anything less than that.
  • Persistent Spell, and any other means of turning a less-than-24-hour-duration spell into a 24-hours duration spell, are not allowed.
  • LA counts as “levels” for this purpose, as do RHD. No ECL can be consumed by a valid answer.
  • Bloodlines are not allowed.
  • Any form of “undoing” levels (e.g. level loss from energy drain or resurrection, curing lycanthropy, various rituals) is not allowed.
  • No assumptions about which classes are taken may be made, though you may leave achieving the necessary BAB/saves/skill ranks as an exercise for the reader so long as they’re non-epic values.

Really, what I want is feats and/or magic items that just say “you gain +1d6 (or more) sneak attack,” not some kind of shenanigan. Assassin’s stance proves it exists, and I’m fairly confident there’s some more out there (some named magic weapons, IIRC?). If you’re inclined to suggest a shenanigan, you may be well served running it by me in a comment before you spend your time—I have made every effort to provide a thorough list of the things I’m against, but if an answer manages to prove me wrong, I’m still not going to be happy with the shenanigan.

operating systems – Can the sandboxing technique prevent a buffer overflow attack?

Buffer overflow Attack: Sample Authorization

void A( ) {
  int authorized;
  char name (128);
  authorized = check credentials (...); /* the attacker is not authorized, so returns 0 */
  printf ("What is your name?n");
  gets (name);
  if (authorized != 0) {
      printf ("Welcome %s, here is all our secret datan", name)
      /* ... show secret data ... */
  } else
      printf ("Sorry %s, but you are not authorized.n");
  }
}

The code is meant to do an authorization check. Only users with the right credentials
are allowed to see the top secret data. The function check credentials is
not a function from the C library, but we assume that it exists somewhere in the
program and does not contain any errors. Now suppose the attacker types in 129
characters. As in the previous case, the buffer will overflow, but it will not modify
the return address. Instead, the attacker has modified the value of the authorized
variable, giving it a value that is not 0. The program does not crash and does not
execute any attacker code, but it leaks the secret information to an unauthorized
user.

=> Can the sandboxing technique prevent attack? How?

pathfinder 2e – Is non-physical damage calculated separately from physical damage for a single attack?

You should do both, calculate and note each type of damage, but also apply the damage as a whole.

Most of the time, it won’t make a difference, because most creatures lack damage resistances or weaknesses. But of the creatures that do resist damage, they may have resistance to one type of damage, but not the other. Take the adult red dragon as an example. It has weakness to cold 15, and no special weakness or resistance to slashing. If you hit it with your axe for 8 slashing and 4 cold, it takes the 8 slashing, and increases the cold damage by its weakness value (a total of 19 cold damage).

At the same time, if you have to make a check based on the total amount of damage dealt, then you don’t make 2 checks, one for the slashing damage and one for the cold damage, you make one check based on the total of 27.

So the damage needs to be separated when applying it to weaknesses and resistances, then apply the final result as a single instance of damage.

dnd 5e – Would the advantage against dragon breath weapons granted by dragon scale mail apply to Chimera’s dragon head breath attack?

Dragon is a specific creature type.

From the Monster Manual:

A monster’s type speaks to its fundamental nature. Certain spells, magic items, class features, and other effects in the game interact in special ways with creatures of a particular type. For example, an arrow of dragon slaying deals extra damage not only to dragons but also other creatures of the dragon type, such as dragon turtles and wyverns.

[…]

Dragons are large reptilian creatures of ancient origin and tremendous power. True dragons, including the good metallic dragons and the evil chromatic dragons, are highly intelligent and have innate magic. Also in this category are creatures distantly related to true dragons, but less powerful, less intelligent, and less magical, such as wyverns and pseudodragons.

Since a chimera does not have the Dragon creature type, it is a Monstrosity, it’s breath weapon doesn’t count for Dragon Scale Mail.

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to rule otherwise.

Above is the RAW ruling, but it seems perfectly reasonable for a DM to rule that the Dragon Scale Mail gives advantage against the chimera’s dragon head breath weapon. It fits thematically, for sure.

dnd 5e – Is the grappling strike maneuver a part of an attack or used after the hit?

Battlemaster says

Maneuvers. You learn three maneuvers of your choice, which are listed under “Maneuvers” below. Many maneuvers enhance an attack in some way. You can use only one maneuver per attack.

but unlike other maneuvers, grappling strike uses “immediately after you hit” instead of “when you hit”

Is grappling strike limited to the one maneuver per attack clause?

dnd 5e – In term of game balance, what repercussions should players expect if DM wouldn’t count Grapple and Shove as “an attack”?

This is how Player’s Handbook (p. 194) describes what counts as an attack:

If there’s ever any question whether something you’re doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you’re making an attack roll, you’re making an attack

There are ambiguous exceptions from this rule though — so-called “special attacks”. There are only two of them — Grapple and Shove from the PHB.

As a DM, for the sake of clarity and consistency I want to call Grapple just “an action” or “a contest”, not “special melee attack”. So instead of

you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple

the text of the house rule (or the errata proposal, if you wish) will be

you can use the Attack action to make an action in combat, a grapple

So does for Shove. This is also consistent with the PHB “Contests in Combat” (emphasis mine):

Battle often involves pitting your prowess against that of your foe. Such a challenge is represented by a contest. This section includes the most common contests that require an action in combat: grappling and shoving a creature. The DM can use these contests as models for improvising others.

So the lowercase “attack” is changed to “action” or “contest”. For instance, the next passage in the Grappling description will be “If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this contest replaces one of them”. The rest of the rules remains unchanged.

I want to figure out what possible impact this will make to the game balance. For instance, will some feats/class features change substantially.

In terms of the game mechanics, what consequences/repercussions this change will have? For sanity’s sake let’s confine ourselves to the the Player’s Handbook.

dnd 5e – Is “a special melee attack” an actual game term?

PHB page 195 mentions “special melee attack” when talking about Grapple and Shove:

you can make a special melee attack to shove a creature

you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple

It uses words “make a special melee attack” like it is a thing in 5e, however, nowhere in the game text it’s being said what a “special melee attack” actually is. It isn’t even mentioned anymore. I believe that “special attack” is not a game term — it’s a vestige from the previous editions, where “special attacks” was a thing, but I could be mistaken.

Are there any other examples of “special melee attack” (or just “special attack”) in any official source book for 5e?

I was searching through dndbeyond and the only thing I’ve found was Sword Of Answering. But it uses words “special attack” in the context of the magic item description:

while you hold the sword, you can use your reaction to make one melee attack

any damage dealt with this special attack ignores any damage immunity or resistance the target has

You can remove the word “special” from its description and nothing changes. So it is plain English meaning here, not the game term.

So what is a “special attack” in terms of the game mechanics?

dnd 5e – Is an unsuccessful attack on a creature under the effect of Charm Person “harmful” for purposes of ending the spell?

Consider the following elaborate scenario, which nevertheless actually occurred at our table.

Two PCs, Sophie Sorcerer and Roger Rogue, sneak into the hideout of hapless villain Tarley Target. While hidden, Sophie uses her Subtle Casting metamagic to silently cast sleep, rendering Tarley unconscious without ever alerting him to the intrusion. Sophie and Roger swiftly exfiltrate the sleeping Tarley from the hideout to their camp nearby, where Sophie successfully casts charm person on him. When the sleep spell ends and Tarley awakes, Sophie takes advantage of Tarley’s charmed condition: she dupes him into believing that someone else actually assaulted him, and that the PCs are in fact his saviors. Tarley, overcome with gratitude and having little cause to believe the PCs are really hostile, proceeds to spill his secrets. Once satisfied that she has squeezed every bit of useful information from Tarley, Sophie signals to Roger — who has been quietly, nonchalantly moving into striking position — to kill him. Initiative is rolled. Tarley is ruled surprised. Roger goes first, attacks, and misses.

Does Tarley’s charmed condition end?

The description of charm person says a target that fails its save “is charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it.” Does an unsuccessful attack count as “harmful” for purposes of charm person? Would it make a difference if Tarley remained unaware of the attack — e.g., because (as happened here) the DM ruled him distracted by Sophie’s riveting conversation?

Related questions:

  • This question asked what “harmful” means vis-à-vis charm person, but only in the context that the charmed condition restricts the charmed creature’s ability to “target the charmer with harmful abilities or magical effects.”
  • This question asked whether the target of charm person has to know who damaged them in order for the spell to end, but that presumes damage was actually dealt.