Advantage from Stealth? Inconsistencies in Next

Tying the rogue's 'Sneak Attack' ability to the mechanic of 'advantage' creates some necessary questions as to the timing of events.

 The feat description for 'Ambush' states that "When you start your turn hidden from a creature, you have advantage on your first attack roll against that creature during the same turn, even if you are revealed before the attack."   It then goes on to describe a more straightforward bonus where attacking with missile fire does not reveal your position (which is not the point of this discussion).

The description of "Advantage on Attacks" in the _Stealth_ section of the "How to Play" document states "When you attack a creature from which you are hidden, you have advantage on that attack roll.   Usually attacking reveals your position" 

These two descriptions give rise to serious questions.   If the feat Ambush is necessary to grant advantage, then the description in the Stealth section seems to indicate that the mere act of attacking negates the Hidden status, which then reveals you, which then negates the advantage bonus.

The combination of these two factors leads us to the conclusion that WITHOUT ambush, you do NOT actually attack with advantage from stealth.   That privilege is reserved for those with Ambush, which makes this particular Feat a buy-in for activating the rogue 'Sneak Attack' ability on a consistent basis.

... and Feats weren't supposed to be automatic payments in this version.

 Either the description for Ambush is extremely inaccurate, or being Hidden doesn't actually grant you very much at all under normal circumstances.

Would anyone care to clarify this for me (keeping within the limits of the exact wording of the rules as stated)? 
Attacking doesn't reveal you until you attack, you are still hidden until the moment the weapon either strikes or misses. Ambush just allows you to keep advantage if something else reveals you before your attack, it's not a buy-in.
The wording on Ambush talks about you starting your turn hidden, so the discussion in Ambush is about actions taking place during your turn.   The feat, according to your explanation, is therefore used to ... what?   Keep your advantage if, during your turn, something other than your own actions reveals you?

I find the possible list of these external factors so short as to be negligible, in that case.

Perhaps I am missing your point?    Could you please elucidate with a common example that Ambush would mitigate? 
Aumbush is useful in the first round of combat and especially when you are using missile weapons. You are hiding. Even if the enemy spots you and goes first in the initiative round, you still attack with advantage. Missing with an arrow doesn't reveal your position, so you don't have to take an action to hide again.

 This is not the same as hiding as described under stealth, where you can hide and gain advantage and then are not hidden after your attack (whether a miss or hit) and must hide again with an action.

Celric, I do not believe you are reading Advantage correctly.

(as stated before, I am not discussing the missile-attack option, which is fairly clear, and I agree with you that it is of significant use).

The description as it stands states that Ambush works if you start your turn hidden.    Thus, in your example where "even if the enemy spots you" ... you would not start your turn hidden.  Their spotting you negates your hidden status, and therefore removes the application of Advantage under the current wording.

Unless whoever wrote the description has *vastly* different grammatical training than I have had, I cannot bend the words to fit the situation that others are describing.  I am forced to believe that others are reading into it something that is not written, and therefore not intended.

Perhaps it merely is deplorably written.   However, without further evidence, I cannot believe that to be the case, and I question the actual intent of the feat itself. 
hmm. I see your point.

Let's look at the part that says "even if you are revealed before the attack." I think that this is the part that makes this feat into a normal-rule-exceeding thing. Normal hiding rules say that you gain advantage when attacking from hiding. That is my baseline here. The feat says that during the first round of combat that I began hidden in, I get to always attack with advantage. I'm trying to rack my imagination for a situation where "I am hidden, but before I attack you find me" would work...

Maybe, it's a complete niche thing? Like, if I'm invisible and you can sense invisible things I can still attack with advantage on that first round before you pinpoint me? 
Stealth only allows you to attack with advantage from hiding. If a character has to first move to attack his target he is giving up his hiding before he attacksand would not normally get sdvantage. Ambush primarily allows someone to maintain that advantage even if they need to do something that would reveal themselves before the attack, like moving.
But when are you ever going to start your turn hidden from your target while standing right next to them?
And therin lies the crux of my problem with Ambush's wording.

The standard assumption of how Hidden works is that while *yes*, your movement makes you visible, you can still move and get into position make your attack with advantage during your turn.

However, if we scrutinize Ambush, it leaves us with one of two interpretations.

Either ...
a)  Ambush is has an *extremely* narrow utility, allowing you to maintain advantage from things *other than movement* which, during your own turn, might make you visible and negate your advantage, or ...

b)  it negates the standard interpretation of how Hidden works, and only those with Ambush may move-and-keep-advantage.   And this makes Ambush a buy-in Feat.

I dislike either possibility.

Perhaps the full intention is to basically make you a ranged sniper who maintains being hidden even after being attacked?   Perhaps it actually has NO utility outside of ranged attack?      If this is the case, the entire first sentence should be removed, or at the very least re-worded.   And if this *is*, the case, perhaps it should be renamed as well.     Is this, then, enough of a rule-breaker to merit an entire feat?   
Here's how it works.

To be hidden, you need to either be in heavy obscurement/darkness, or you need to be behind half cover.

You can be hidden and sneak up on someone in darkness and maintain advantage. However, if you try to sneak up on them in broad daylight out of your hidden position, you are revealed, because hiding requires something to obscure your vision.

With Ambusher, you have free reign to go for a sneak attack after losing the conditions of being stealthed. Think someone suddenly jumping out of an alley and shanking you, or a ninja stepping out of darkness for a surprise attack. Normally, giving up whatever you were hiding behind would make you easy to spot. However, with Ambusher, you're so slippery and surprising that when you abandon your hiding place to attack, the enemy is so caught off-guard that you maintain advantage.

Now, the original poster was asking how you even get advantage from hiding. It's as simple as I stated earlier- you use your action to hide in darkness/obscurement or cover. As long as you maintain your hiding spot, your stealth still holds. However, after you hit someone, they know where you are. The stealth goes away AFTER your attack is resolved.

Therefore, normal stealth requires you to position yourself intelligently to gain its advantage. Ambusher allows you to exit the stealth scenario and still maintain the advantage because you're so damn sneaky or surprising. 
It a buy in for those that want to rely on stealth for melee advantage. Ranged attackers are fine ad well as those melee fighters that will rely on other techniques for their advantage.
Yes, Nevrus. 
That is precisely what I am afraid of.

If this is indeed the case, then that does indeed make Ambush a buy-in feat.

Currently, there are very few ways to gain advantage.   Attacking while hidden is the only way to gain it without purchasing a feat.   The rest of them require spending a feat to gain advantage in an extremely limited situation, or at high levels (two weapon strike).

Your interpretation of maintaining "Hidden" status, and thereby maintaining advantage, seems reasonable -- but it points us in a direction where for the vast majority of situations, your non-Ambush rogue simply cannot move.

If your interpretation is correct, then for the vast majority of situations, taking the effort to hide isn't going to really be effective to grant advantage *without* taking the Ambush feat.

Take, as an example, the halfling ability to hide using man-sized creatures.   He could take his action to hide one turn in the midst of combat, but if he moves at all, he is spotted, and gains no advantage from it.   The only way this would be useful or functional under your interpretation is if he never moved at all, and poked his dagger *Only* into creatures that moved within his range.

Without taking Ambush as a buy-in feat, under your interpretation, that halfling hiding ability is, for the vast majority of situations, practically useless.

This interpretation limits Hiding to really only being useful in situations of heavy shadows and obscuring fog, etc., as one needs paths-of-movement which also maintain Hidden status so as not to lose advantage on the attacks.

Thus, all of these highly-stringent interpretations negate the utility of Sneak Attack in general, as it begs serious feat buy-ins to be able to activate it. 
If we go with your strict interpretation of requiring concealing areas through paths of movement to maintain advantage from being Hidden under normal circumstances, then ...

There are currently very few ways to actually gain advantage (a prerequisite for Sneak Attack), and all of them require a feat buy-in.

a.  Ambush Feat -- allows missile attacks from a Hidden state to maintain advantage.   Also, apparently allows a single movement out of hidden state to maintain keeping advantage for a single attack.

b. Sniper feat -- allows a single, out-in-the-open missile attack to be made with advantage.  No bonus damage from Dex or MDD.

c)   First Strike -- on situations where you have initiaitive in the FIRST round only, you can make an attack with advantage

d)  Two Weapon Strike -- dual-wield required, 9th level required -- allows you to make an Advantage attack with one of your weapons

Under this highly-restrictive interpretation, then, rogues who hide would only gain Advantage, and be able to Sneak Attack, using melee weapons against creatures who happened to wander by a stationary rogue and get within reach.

This makes all of the previous feats buy-ins -- Ambush most of all.

False. There are more ways than that to gain advantage. You have to remember the rogue is a very martial character. As such, combat techniques and maneuvers can help, as well as equipment.

1. Prone- Anyone can attempt to knock a creature down as a strength contest. A fighter with the Trip maneuver (Or a Rake rogue with it) can do so as part of an attack. Ball bearings can make creatures trip during their movement, falling prone.

2. Restrained- Hunting traps, grapples, and various wizard spells can restrain a target, making it grant advantage to attackers.

3. Paralyzed- Hold Person/Monster can make the target fall prone and grant advantage.

4. Blinded- Various wizard and cleric spells can blind a target and make it grant advantage.

5. Drunk- Yes, you get advantage on drunk targets.

6. Feint Skill Trick- One on one, this allows the rogue to get advantage.

There are plenty of mechanics in place that will allow the rogue to gain advantage. It takes party coordination, though, because rogues are inherently dirty fighters. One-on-One, there's not a lot they can do to outmaneuver an opponent, but it's possible through laying traps.

Playing a rogue is a strategic game about getting the upper hand on your enemies. There aren't a lot of ways to gain advantage and attack with it as a single turn- it's a coordinated effort for a reason. This is a design choice because advantage is so powerful, especially for rogues.
Or you can use the improvised action ability. Or you can rely on your team mates to get you advantage.

How often do you expect to use sneak attack in a combat?

I had rogues d
Do you not gain advantage if another PC is attacking the same target as you and is withing 5ft? Kinda like flanking in 3.5 but you don't have to be behind/Infrint of enemy?
No, but it's not like the Rogue need advantage to do plenty of damage.  He has the same MDD as the Fighter.  sneak attacks now give him damage spikes if he or someone in the party set him up with advantage.

I'd also like to point out that sneak attack is by no means the rogues iconic ability.  There will be plenty of Rogue builds that don't even include it.  Not being able to use it all the time does not negate his usefulness.
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