Ambushing Clarification

I searched the forum and I didn’t find anything addressing this, so apologies if it’s been clarified elsewhere.
The Sniper proficiency mentions extending ambushes to ranged weapons…
Sniping: If otherwise eligible to ambush or backstab his opponent, the character may do so using ranged weapons at up to short range.
But the Ambushing proficiency doesn’t restrict the weapons that can be used…
Ambushing: When the character attacks with surprise, he gets a +4 bonus on his attack throws and deals double damage on the attack. This proficiency does not stack with the ability of thieves (or related classes) to backstab.
I also checked the rules for “attack with surprise”, but there’s no weapon restriction there either…
Surprised monsters or characters are caught off guard for one round. Surprised opponents can be attacked with a +2 bonus to the attack throw, and gain no benefit from their shields (if any). Thieves can backstab surprised opponents.
Am I missing something?
Is the intent that Ambushing (or even the +2 for surprise) can normally only be used with melee weapons, like backstab? If so, this should be made clearer. If not, then the mention of “ambush” should probably be removed from Sniping (and also Sniping should probably be removed from the list of Explorer proficiencies, which is how I noticed this–there’s no reason for an Explorer to ever take Sniping, as far as I can tell, if Ambushing applies to ranged weapons.)
Incidentally, I’m also unclear on whether the +4 from Ambushing or backstab stacks with or supersedes the +2 from surprise.
Thanks. :slight_smile: <3 ACKS

Yes, the intent is that both ambushing and backstabbing may only be used with melee weapons.
The +4 from ambushing/backstabbing supersedes the normal +2.
The difference between ambush and backstab is as follows:

  1. Ambush always does double damage whereas backsab increases with level
  2. Ambush doesn’t matter what armor you wear, whereas backstab is limited to leather
  3. Ambush only works with surprise, whereas backstab applies in several other circumstances

Thanks for the clarification. I actually never even considered 1-3 because Ambushing is pretty clear on those points (it doesn’t say “like Backstab”, after all, it just says “when surprising, +4 attack and x2 damage”).
Makes for sad explorers, though. I do understand your intent is to preference melee combat.

Clarification for Elven Rangers and Explorers

In the class description it states...

"Due to their careful aim, they increase their base damage roll from successful missile attacks by +1 at 1st  level, and by an additional +1 at  3rd, 6th, 9th, and  12th  level."  

Is this part of the base damage multiplied x2 for a character with ambush + sniping when surprising an opponent at short range?




I Am Not An Autarch, but I thought the rule of thumb was that multiplication always affected the base die but none of the bonuses.

Ya that's kind of what I figure as well. It's just the term 'base' that's used when describing the damage bonus in the class description that I thought might be ambiguous.