So how does sneak attack work now?

You attack with disadvantage and get an extra die.

I heard in another thread if the target is fighting an ally then you remove disadvantage, but I can't read that in the playtest material?

In the last encounters game the rogue player said he was using stealth, then attacking, then going into stealth again...

How's it all work? I'm not sure I'm getting the complete picture?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

On the core basics, if you do not have any source disadvantage (attacking heavily obscured targets, long range, etc.) then you can gain disadvantage at the moment you attack to deal extra damage. 

Since the effects of advantage counters the effects of disadvantage, but does not remove having (dis)advantage (an important fact many people forget), Sneak Attack is best used after generating advantage. This can be done through feats, being hidden, or one of the Rogue's class features.

The benefit of stealth is that while hidden, you gain advantage of attacking while stealthed, attacking reveals you. Breaking stealth by moving out of cover or being detected before you attack will ruin the benefit so sneaking up to someone to stab them and being seen before the attack loses the advantage, shooting them from cover while hidden gives you advantage. Hiding again requires enough cover or being heavily obscured and an action.

There are a few feats that can generate advantage, Ambush keeps adv if you are revealed on your turn, First Strike can get you adv on your first turn, and so forth.

Rogues can generate adv once per turn depending on their rogue scheme. Tumbling Strike is move and then gain adv, Backstab mimics flanking by gaining adv if an ally is next to your target, Isolated Strike grants adv when no one hostile to your target is adjacent to them.

Just remember that any source of disadvantage before the attack, even if balanced with advantage will prevent Sneak Attacks. I hope that this helps
To summarize the same points:

- If you have disadvantage on an attack for some separate reason (you can't see the target, for instance), then you can't use SA.

- If you have neither advantage nor disadvantage, then you can use SA but you have disadvantage (roll twice and take the lower).

- If you have advantage for any reason (but not a separate source of disadvantage), then you can use SA but you have disadvantage as well as advantage on the roll, and the effects cancel (so you roll once).
Thanks Aerodyth for the detailed account and thanks Jaelis for the summery.

It seems a finiky way of ending up with a normal attack roll plus bonus damage. Perhaps powers like backstab and isolated strike could say 'if you gained disadvantage from doing a sneak attack, the disadvantage is now cancelled out by advantage and you can make a regular attack roll.'. Just to make it all clear cut.

Otherwise it seems alot of rules inferences to remember, just to make a bog standard regular attack.

Also: Isolated strike needs a cooler name!

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

Well, I don't care for it much myself. If you don't either, let them know on the surveys.

@Noon, it is more complex than that.


Sometimes you will make a sneak attack without advantage, therefore giving you disadvantage on the attack. Is it worth doing so? Probably, if you are dual wielding then your offhand probably does 1d6 damage so you stand to gain lots of damage if you hit. Your mainhand will probably do 1d6+3 so there is more to lose in that situation.


You may also decide not to use sneak attack, say to hit an enemy that is low on health. In that case, you want to keep your advantage and roll twice to hit, since you don't need the damage boost.


So deciding which type of rogue you are is very important, as the different ways of getting advantage will have a strong impact on when and how often you use your sneak attack.

I just suggest a kind of 'tool tip' for issolated strike/backstab, etc. Instead of leaving players to simply piece a number of inferences together, just give a textual reminder in the power.

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

Actually another question is going into stealth - are you really rolling a spot check for every single monster and then noting which monsters have and haven't seen the creature? Or is it one of those undocumented things, like with initiative where it reads as if you roll initiative for every monster, but really they kind of expect you to roll for each group of like kinded monster - here do you roll a single spot roll for each group of similar monsters? Which is always pretty bogus given how a group could roll quite a range of die rolls (though rolling for each, then taking the highest raw roll then adding bonuses to that to determine it and having the whole group know from that might work - that is, after all, how PC spotting works (the people with the highest rolls just tell everyone else))

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

It would depend (for me), if the bonuses to spotting are different per monster.  If the Goblins all have a +0, I'm not going reroll for all of them.
I fully appreciate the practical reasons for not rolling for all of them.

But statistically it's incredibly different. And basing it on whether the bonuses are different is really a terrible management of the statistical side of it.

I'd prefer it in hard rules that monsters are treated quite differently than PC's. Otherwise it feels like playing with kid gloves, and with a fair reason of it being boring to roll for every single monsters spot check.

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.