Dagger 1 = 18 Damage, 25 Shock

Dagger 2 = 33 Damage, no magic

Using the above, when I sneak attack and have the 15x multiple then is the damage caused by Dagger 1 is (18+25)*15 or (18*15)+25 ?

Same question with bows and arrows, does the multiplier apply to potion damage or/and the magical(enchanted)?

In other words, do the multipliers apply to the base damage only or to the final damage being caused by the weapon (base+magical+skill+potion+perks etc)?

I am confused. :-?

  • in oblivion, it did. It'll be interesting to see if it does in skyrim
    – l I
    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:52
  • I am hoping it does. I am relying on poisons for one shots!
    – theorise
    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:56
  • Since the other question had less views and votes, I have reversed the duplicate closure. Mar 12, 2013 at 21:47

5 Answers 5


No. Spells, Magical enchantments, and Poison damage are never multiplied by sneak / power attack multipliers.

enter image description here

Weergh! indeed.

I've been shooting arrows at this Windhelm guard. As you can see in my screenshot, there's 4 listed health values:

316.00 - this is the guard's base health

268.35 - this is a shot from my normal bow. It includes a 15 damage fire enchant. This implies that my bow shot did 33 damage, and 15 fire damage.

204.53 - this is a sneak attack from my bow. I have the 3x sneak attack perk w/ bows. Our assumption is that magical enchantments do not get multiplied in. Indeed, subtracting the 15 fire damage, we get 97, which is about equal to 33 * 3 (the difference in 2 expected damage is probably because he's on fire; ideally, I'd have tested with frost or shock, but didn't have one of those on me)

189.55 - sneak attack with bow, as above, but this time I added a 15 damage poison to my bow. This means after you subtract 15 from the fire enchantment and 15 from the poison, we dealt 97 damage again. (so it looks like my first shot was probably around 32.33, instead of the 33 I rounded it to.)

Conclusion: magical enchantments and poisons do not get multiplied.

  • 1
    Do you have a source or did you test this?
    – Amy B
    Dec 3, 2011 at 17:24
  • 1
    @DavidB Tested it! Dec 3, 2011 at 18:08
  • +1 Great to see some real numbers. Awesome answer!
    – dpatchery
    Dec 3, 2011 at 18:25
  • interesting, this is totally different from the testing done in this question: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/36515/…
    – l I
    Dec 3, 2011 at 18:41
  • 1
    @yx. I don't consider base damage at all. I just use damage done because I know my target ( a Nord) doesn't resist fire or poison, and his armor will reduce a constant % of my arrow + bow damage, regardless of whether it's x3 or not. Dec 3, 2011 at 18:54

Only the base damage; although with bows, arrow damage is affected as well.

Source: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Sneak (the sentence you want is under the second table)

All tests performed on Devin Mallory in The Ragged Flagon (by the miracle of quicksave, no Devin Mallorys were permanently harmed by these tests):

Poison Tests

Test I: Control

Glass Bow, base damage = 29

Steel Arrow, base damage = 10

Sneak attack x2.0 damage = 72.04 damage (I assume reduced from 78 by armor, I have no idea what the math on that looks like)

Test II: Poison

Glass Bow, base damage = 29

Steel Arrow, base damage = 10 Weak Poison, damage = 15

Sneak attack x2.0 damage = 85.69 damage (again, I assume damage was reduced by armor, but since the poison didn't even do its full damage, it's definitely not doubled by the sneak attack)

Enchantment Tests (as suggested by Fizz):

Test I: Control

Hunter's Bow, base damage = 8

Ancient Nord Arrow, base damage = 10

Sneak attack x2.0 damage = 15.46 damage

Test II: Enchantment

Hunter's Bow of Chills, base damage = 8, frost damage = 6

Ancient Nord Arrow, base damage = 10

Sneak attack x2.0 damage = 35.6 damage

From David B in the comments:

(8+10)*2 = 36. (36-15.6)/36 = 57%. Devin resisted 57% of the physical damage. If npc armor rating works like player armor rating, that's 375 visible armor rating. Test2 enchantment with 36 damage looks like (2*15)+6... in other words - a crit

So it turns out weapon enchantments are not affected by multipliers either.

  • if you don't mind, just verify that real quick and then post it here and then the bounty is yours
    – l I
    Nov 25, 2011 at 2:42
  • I'd add some screen shots for ya, but I haven't figured out how to take them yet on the mac keyboard I use...
    – Artless
    Nov 25, 2011 at 3:26
  • 1
    Can you do a similar test with an enchanted/unenchanted bow? It probably works the same as poison, but it bears testing. (Frost, Shock, or Absorb enchants are probably best. The fire damage dot can make testing annoying.) Nov 25, 2011 at 3:40
  • 1
    Hey, Artless, I'm sort of confused now. I've done my own tests for what I did not realize was a duplicate question (gaming.stackexchange.com/a/39868/336) and my results seem to disagree with yours. Would you consider re-testing, but instead of using two weapons, I'd suggest testing the bow of cold w/ a sneak attack and the bow of cold w/o a sneak attack, rather than changing weapons. Dec 3, 2011 at 18:58
  • 3
    (8+10)*2 = 36. (36-15.6)/36 = 57%. Devin resisted 57% of the physical damage. If npc armor rating works like player armor rating, that's 375 visible armor rating. Test2 enchantment with 36 damage looks like (2*15)+6... in other words - a crit.
    – Amy B
    Dec 3, 2011 at 20:32

Raven Dreamer's answer is correct but it is worth mentioning that attacks with summoned weapons do get the damage multiplier. So you can play a pure magic character and still get sneak damage multipliers (including one-handed backstabs, but not the 30x multiplier since there's no summoned dagger).

  • 2
    There is a summoned dagger in the dragonborn dlc
    – user43526
    Mar 8, 2013 at 19:26
  • 2
    This is more properly a comment on Raven Dreamer's answer. Mar 8, 2013 at 20:12
  • 1
    This is fine as an answer on its own. Mar 9, 2013 at 4:55

As far as my testing has shown, the multiplier is applied to the initial strike and any damage that is added to that. It doesn't seem to be applied to DoT. Thus, if a bow adds 10 fire damage, it will add 10x2 + base damage.

I tested by finding a bandit group and trying out the different situations and watching the health meters. Of course, since I don't have a way to see their actual health, I can't say this with certainty.

  • 1
    you can see actual health by opening up the console, clicking on the NPC, and typing getav health
    – l I
    Nov 24, 2011 at 13:51

From what i have read the only thing that is effected by the sneak modify is the base damage, enchantments and poisons do not effect the modifier i believe they are added after the base damage. this is what i have read and seems to be true in game i am not completely sure about poisons as i don't use them very often but i believe they are both the same.

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