[RPG] If I have Extra Attacks, when can I decide which one is a sneak attack


So, if a character multiclasses to a point where they have multiple attacks in a round, I assume you can decide once the hit has been confirmed by the DM, but before you roll damage, whether you make the hit a sneak attack?

I ask because you may know an enemy is weak, and don't want to waste the damage to finish it. I also want to confirm that you cannot declare sneak attack damage after you have already rolled your base damage, to finish off a still standing opponent for example. The "Is it dead? No? Oh! Then sneak attack!" seems dumb and nonsensical to me. I expect it to be like smite, decided on hit, but before damage is rolled.

Best Answer

You can choose which hit to apply the sneak attack damage to

The Sneak Attack feature states (among other things):

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.

Notice that the feature does not specify the first attack, only "an attack." Because of that, you can elect to apply your sneak attack damage on any of your attacks as long as you meet the other criteria of sneak attack (weapon type, advantage or adjacent enemy of the target, etc.) and you haven't already performed a sneak attack that turn.

###You have to declare the sneak attack before you roll damage

Jeremy Crawford, 5e lead rules designer, gave his unofficial ruling on Twitter, saying:

You decide whether to use Sneak Attack when a qualifying attack hits.


If you have rolled damage, but elected not to apply Sneak Attack damage, the trigger for that choice - a qualifying attack hitting - has already passed. Thus, if you want to apply your extra damage, you have to do it after you hit and before you roll your weapon damage.