Oh goodness, I remember now. Ugh. Speaking of...
I'm going to take a moment to testify to the usefulness of...
Man, oh man, well-made index cards, with big letters and full explanations of bonus types and stacking interactions, are a wonderful play aid.
Index cards. They can save your life.
That's the part I hate, keeping track of which random buffs I have up apply to CMB and CMD.
Yeah, it's pain having to keep track of AC, Touch AC, and CMD, as well as their flat-footed variants. But stacking-confusion, that's a system problem, something I hope Paizo addresses in Second Edition.
Fortunately, keeping track of CMB is much easier, because everything that adds to attack rolls also adds to CMB.
As a side-note... it's been my experience, when seeing players use HeroLab at the table, that HeroLab manages to somehow screw up every character in some way. It's uncanny. That doesn't sit well with me.
Then there's also the issue of people who use HeroLab but don't know what they've built. I really dislike having to explain a person's PC to them, but that's a player-laziness issue and not a HeroLab one.
A modifier of +8 over your character level is pretty good, especially considering that +10 is a good benchmark to aspire to. Especially when, in practice, you don't stop at Improved (Maneuver), gauntlets of the skilled maneuver, and a dusty rose prism. Keep in mind that anything else which adds to attack rolls adds to CMB, like heroism, haste, flanking, etc etc etc.
Heck, +8 over character level is quite good for having invested so so little in your primary attack trick! That's even with skipping Greater (Maneuver)! Dang, is it easy to boost CMB in this game.
You forgot quick dirty trick. Besides, is the CMB really good? or, does you need to sacrifice to much in AC, saves, hit points to make this trick workable?
Did I miss something? A Maneuver Master doesn't need Quick Dirty Trick, am I correct?
If you stack on attack modifiers, all of which apply to CMB, and also stack on the following CMB modifiers, you can get your CMB pretty high..
-Improved (Maneuver) feat for +2
The +6-+8 from that list alone can make your CMB sufficient, and they're very cheap for what they do.
Yeah, too many posts for me to find that particular one. Ok, so you've convinced me to go rogue. Now I just need to figure everything else out. Against all of my better judgement, I am wanting to go two-weapon fighting with a couple of daggers and maybe the River Rat trait.
Speaking of, I haven't had time to do an analysis of Two-Weapon Fighting in PFS. Here are some bullet-points...
-Don't do agile on the off-hand weapon, because the Dex-to-damage it enjoys is halved.
Matt, in what ways do you feel the rogue is better than the ninja? I've got a PFS ninja right now with 2 scenarios under his belt that I'm considering re-optimizing and I can't decide between halfling/human and rogue/ninja. The only thing I see ninja losing that is of any importance is evasion.
One thing I did not mention yet, though, is that a Rogue with a decent Wisdom score and a ring of ki mastery can do well with the Ki Pool talent.
Something tells me this thread has gotten a little bloated.
im of the opinion that a feinting rogue is where its at if you go to improved feint you can feint as a move action...
A method that seems to work really well is to take Combat Expertise and leverage it as much as you can with multiple feats that require it, such as Gang Up, Improved maneuver feats, and a feint chain later. Retraining really helps with this, as a character can rely on something like Improved Feint or Gang Up early, then swap into something that is more reliable and requires BAB +6 later, like Improved Two-Weapon Feint.
Just give your character multiple ways to secure sneak attacks, and you're all set.
-Matt still owes a post to TOZ...
A Maneuver Master Monk1-2/RogueX can make this work pretty quickly, certainly before Level 8. The only necessary feats become Improved Dirty Trick (Maneuver Master bypasses the need for Combat Expertise), and Agile Maneuvers if you're going the high-Dex-low-Str route.
Heck, it might even be possible to get around needing Improved Dirty Trick, if you have a way to dealing with the AOs (invisibility, Crane Wing, etc).
A Swashbuckler Rogue can make this happen at level 2. He can receive scimitar proficiency at 1st as his replacement for Trapfinding, then take Combat Trick for Dervish Dance at level 2.
-Matt, am I all caught up?
As I posted earlier in this thread, the choice of Ninja vs. Rogue is more nuanced than "Ninja is just better."
I love trip builds, but let me ask, wouldn't this build be better accomplished by a fighter/ranger/alchemist/bard/barbarian/paladin/monk? I just don't see what the rogue brings to the table that these characters can't do more reliably.
As with many, many things, once you get your modifier high enough, it doesn't matter which class your PC is. They can all trip on a 2.
With Improved Two-Weapon Feint, you don't really need Greater Feint if you want to have a solid attack sequence on your own. Greater Feint helps others and works well with things like Opportunist, though, because the effect lasts beyond the end of the user's turn. So there is a trade-off there.
In all the "monks have a problem" threads, the challenge has been laid down "If monks are that good, and we're just not playing them right, show us a build please so we can see how it's done?" and has never been answered with a viable build, so I'd love to see this untouchable campaign-breaking monk...
That's probably because all the things that can make a class like the Monk or the Rogue really solid don't come across in a mere build post. Builds can't tell you how to choose feats to synergize with your party, or how to make item choices based on buff availability, or how to ideally engage opponents.
Builds just post numbers generated by the character itself. If that's the full measure of a character, then of course the Rogue and the Monk are going to look terrible. Nuanced characters don't "perform" well in a simple build post, a format which favors "simple" characters.
I think the one-man Gestalt Paladin idea seems like a really strong option. I would not recommend dumping stats, because you're going to have to handle things like skill checks.
It's worth noting that Cleave isn't so bad when you're constantly surrounded.
Also, since you guys are new at Pathfinder, here's an easy adjustment to make to the encounters. At least for the first few levels, I suggest shrinking the numbers advantage enjoyed by the bad guys. Instead of fighting six demons at once, it's not hard for your wife to throw three demons at you instead. As mentioned above, APs are designed for four-man parties, and the enemy numbers reflect that. So, by shrinking enemy numbers, that's an easy way to help deal with that. The second sorta-easy way is a Gestalt character, who can handle both fighting and spellcasting.
For simplicity's sake, Paladin|Bard seems like it would work really well. There isn't a whole lot of overlap between Paladin and Bard abilities, and they compliment each other well. All of your saving throws are great, you get great skills as a Bard, you get full fighting ability as a Paladin, and you get some relatively-simple-to-learn spellcasting as a Bard.
Rambo-ing your way through the Worldwound sounds like a blast. I'd love to try that sometime.
That being said... holy cow, if you're new to Pathfinder, starting off with Wrath of the Righteous is a terrible idea, simply because of the Mythic rules, which take Pathfinder's complexity and just makes things go nuts. I am not the most experienced with Paizo's APs, but I would suggest Jade Regent instead. The built-in relationships with NPCs would be a boon for a new GM, as it means that the GM can focus on roleplaying a given group of NPCs who have a built-in reason to be traveling with the character. Just skip caravan combat though, because it's lame. I believe that one is pretty easy to find in print, as well.
That being said, if you really think you, as a GM, either don't enjoy having Crane Wing at the table or don't think you'll have a good time with accounting for Crane Wing in your game, it's totally legitimate to just ask the Monk player to choose a different feat.
To be honest, it sounds like your issue is that you are having trouble dealing with a character who is hyper-focused on defense, of which Crane Wing is merely a component.
You know, to the rest of Golarion, who rely on Craft and Profession to get by, five gold pieces is quite a bit. Think like $500 US, a large sum for a cold drink.
Good point! I saw that sort of thing happen all the time!
Well, I'm no conductor, but I can usually tell when a conductor is telling the brass section in his symphony to belt something out aggressively because I've seen those gestures a few times before. And I can recognize a few letters in sign language, though I don't speak it, because I see them used often. And I even know the somatic component to cast Burning Hands, though I clearly can't use magic. At what point can I tell the difference between an every day occurrence and magic I've never seen before?
I'd say this issue has more to do with how Knowledge checks work in Pathfinder. It's always a d20 roll, and there are no mechanics for recognition of specific things already experienced. PCs either learn about every aspect of a topic at once (by taking a rank) or their knowledge of a topic doesn't change at all (by not taking a rank). Oh, and remembering what a spell looks like somehow takes up so much of a PC's time and mental energy that there is something else that the PC can't get better at, as PCs only get so many skill points per level.
That being said, I'd also say that I believe, in a setting which has prevalent magic use, that Spellcraft DCs could be set at DC 10 + 2x spell level instead of DC 15 + spell level. Spellcraft could be used untrained up to DC 10, as well. That would make cantrips fall under the DC 10 "common knowledge" threshold.
Oh, and I also think that Spellcraft and Knowledge(arcana) should be merged, but now we're getting too far off.
Etiquette, law, culture... in the end, these are the sorts of topics which a good setting book would cover. Besides the paragraph from the Guide to Absalom, is there anything else in the setting material out there?
This conversation, plus watching lots of episodes of "Leverage" on Netflix lately, makes me want SO BAD to have a free-form heist scenario.
That would be so great, especially if the expectation was to have zero combat!
Speaking of, the open nature of Among the Living means that I have run it as a half-heist twice now.
Mark Seifter wrote:
The Guide to Absalom book told me that casting invisibility is massively illegal in Absalom, punishable extremely harshly. We could use sources like that one if we wanted to answer that question.
Yeah, this is a question to be asked of the setting. Are there any other insights into how magic fits in Golarion's various cultures scattered throughout the sourcebooks?
If there are, it would be nice to see them placed in the Guide, or at least in the scenarios.
I keep thinking back to that one time my PC sat down to tea at a formal event with a paladin in full-plate, a barbarian with multiple reach weapons strapped to her back while at the dinner table, a druid who shed his armor out of respect to the host, and two synthesists in full power armor. The socially-acceptable use of magic question goes hand-in-hand with the socially-acceptable carrying of very large weapons (even loaded guns!) and mighty animal companions.
It would be nice to have some guidance on this issue.
Keep Calm and Carrion wrote:
How about of Tsukiyo, the Tian-Min deity of the moon, jade, and spirits? Seems Ninja-relevant.
Tsukiyo does sound interesting. I'd say she's more of an Ashava or Naderi worshipper over Tsukiyo. It would be hard for her to drop Shelyn, though.
But thank you. Keep em coming.
Keep Calm and Carrion wrote:
Dip one level of cleric or inquisitor to get Repose domain. Use Domain Strike as the first part of a flurry to deliver the staggered condition via Gentle Repose.
Hmm, are there other ways to acquite that domain power, or another power which imposes a relevant condition with a successful melee touch attack? I'm pretty sure she would make a terrible Cleric, Inquisitor, or Warpriest of Pharasma.
So, I have a high-level Ninja/Monk who's looking for some late-game feats to take. Medusa's Wrath looks really interesting, and it's thematically appropriate for this Wing Chun kung-fu lady.
The question is, how to reliably trigger it? The best methods I've come up with so far are:
-Enforcer+Shatter Defenses... yeah, I don't have seven feats to get all that online.
Are there other methods which I have overlooked? I'm aiming for something reliable which I can conjure up myself when I want to really lay into an opponent.
Just doing some double-checking by asking the board..
Just checking... Denial of the Dexterity modifier to AC due to a successful feint, does the target count as being flat-footed for the purposes of abilities and feats which involve someone being flat-footed?
Wearing armor or wielding a shield that you aren't proficient in, that causes an initiative penalty equal to its armor check penalty:
PRD Equipment entry wrote:
Nonproficient with Armor Worn: A character who wears armor and/or uses a shield with which he is not proficient takes the armor's (and/or shield's) armor check penalty on attack rolls as well as on all Dexterity- and Strength-based ability and skill checks. The penalty for nonproficiency with armor stacks with the penalty for shields.
PRD Combat entry wrote:
Splint Mail and a Tower Shield would buy you -17 to initiative right there.
From what I've found so far, once the table realizes that a Secondary Success Condition might possibly involve not-killing people... that really messes with Gunslingers. Not only are they unable to take a -4 penalty to their attack rolls to deal nonlethal damage with their gun, but a single x4 critical hit can blow away the entire table's Fame point.
Just thought I'd throw that out there.
-Matt, "So, pretty please, with sugar on top, put the gun away."
Also, Matt, he got power attack by way of a homebrew race.
Doh, that's what I get for reading and posting at work. I went and corrected the post. From the looks of it, Mythic Weapon Finesse would allow dropping Strength to 10. However, if Magpied left it at 14, he could probably do a lot better by taking some other superpowered Mythic feat that doesn't simply add, what, +3 to his damage rolls?
I have a feeling that a compilation of my posts may end up reading like a sort of guide.
I'm starting to notice that the Advice board seems to have some issues with giving good advice to Rogue players. I was really surprised by the contents of this thread, full of, honestly, not very good advice.
I wonder if the Rogue is a stronger class than the Paizo boards make it out to be, simply because of board wisdom.
Do you have or will you reasonably be able to soon obtain an agile Weapon?
He's got 14 Strength (Strx1.5 = +3) and 18 Dexterity (Dex x 1 = +4). Going Agile would increase his damage by... one. Bumping to a +2 weapon would yield +4 damage after Power Attack. And that's without Furious Focus.
In other words, since you're using two-handed Power Attack, unless Agile would increase your damage by more than +4, don't go Agile.
Magpied: You're doing fine. Agile Maneuvers is pretty weak here, though. It only adds +2 to your maneuvers, maneuvers which you're unlikely to want to attempt anyways. Though I'm an Improved Initiative man myself, I can see Iron Will being a solid first-level choice as well.
You're in the "drought years" of the Rogue class. Rogues, in my experience, start turning on around Rog7, once you've overcome the hump of being down two BAB you enter the levels where the awesome buff spells like haste, heroism, and greater magic weapon really start flying. Multiclassing can help a lot here. Perhaps a rebuild...
Urban Barbarian1/Scout Rogue4
Though you'll have one less sneak die, you'll have Controlled Rage, which can either add +2 to hit and +2 AC if you rage for +4 Dex, or +3 to damage (about the equivalent of an extra d6 of sneak attack!) if you take the standard rage for +4 Str and +4 Con. Also... a furious curveblade is a great thing, as it adds more than another +1 to both to-hit and damage, and it stacks with the greater magic weapon spells that your party should be (if they're smart) providing later.
If Barbarian isn't your thing, consider Fighter1 or 2. Point being, a level dip can really help you get through the "drought years."
Also, find out if your Ranger tablemate is an Urban Ranger. If he is, consider swapping into a Rogue archetype which dumps Trapfinding, because it's redundant. If he's not an Urban Ranger, suggest that he becomes one, so you can freely swap into a Rogue archetype which dumps Trapfinding.
If the Ranger is better than you at traps, then it's best to accept that and boost your own abilities with an archetype which drops Trapfinding.
So, I hope all that helps. I had a friend who did exactly this sort of Curveblade/Power Attack/Finesse build (btw, Furious Focus and Scout8 are a great combo), and around level 10 he became the party member with the highest attack bonus, even higher than the maxed-out FighterX/Alchemist4, because he stuck with it...
...and because he picked up a furious courageous curveblade instead of an agile one.
Well, the actual PFS experience (that particular Rogue had 7 Wis, even) showed that having low Wisdom was not a problem. The low-Wisdom Lady has made 10th level without a hitch.
And if you think the Lady needs Iron Will, then take it. There's plenty of room.
Also, see the part where I said that the attribute spread is flexible. You can take 12 Wisdom, or even 14, and the build will work just fine. 14 Wisdom would open up the awesome combo of the Ki Pool talent, Forgotten Trick, and a Ring of Ki Mastery.
Michael Brock wrote:
We aren't going to open campaign mode for all modules. We aren't going to let people just change characters on a whim and then back again. Nethier was needed for previous play tests and they aren't needed now.
Just to clarify...
Do you mean "all PFS scenarios and sanctioned modules" there, or "all sanctioned modules?"
Because, from my experiences with sanctioned modules, they were kinda written with "Campaign Mode" in mind, the intention being that they are overlaid onto an existing campaign, and the experience would improve if Campaign Mode were opened up for them.
Something worth noting, though it is of limited value to the discussion...
Fred gets a lot more out of taking a Barbarian or Alchemist level than Sally does. Sally's Precise Strike doesn't increase when she multiclasses.
Fred also gets more out of Enlarge Person and other Strength-buffing spells than Sally does.
I haven't posted here in awhile, but since the "Death of the Rogue" seems to be a topic, I thought that would be a good reason for me to come in and finally share some build ideas from the rogues which have served me well in PFS. I have played two Rogues so far in PFS, one up to 10th level, while the other is currently 16th.
Fortunately, this build, if you can call it that, is very flexible. It works on a Fighter2/Rogue, a Monk2/Ninja, as well as a straight Rogue. It has room for personalization in the archetypes, attributes, and the exact feat and talent selection.
Mattastrophic's Rouge-Kissed Lady
Human Swashbuckler Rogue, though this is very flexible. I like Lore Warden2/Rake Rogue a lot, for example.
The attributes are pretty flexible, as well.
And of course, so is the feat list. I'll post the "vitals."
At this point, now that the Lady has hit BAB +6, she is free to retrain Gang Up into a leg of feint tree, such as Two-Weapon Fighting/Improved Two-Weapon Fighting/Improved Two-Weapon Feint, or in the Monk/Ninja version, Feinting Flurry/Improved Feint/Greater Feint. Moonlight Stalker/Moonlight Stalker Feint/Improved Feint/Greater Feint is even a possibility, made easier by using eyes of the owl for low-light vision, and an incandescent blue sphere ioun stone slotted in a wayfinder (see Seekers of Secrets) for Blind-Fight. Or she can keep Gang Up if it continues to work. Essentially, for the Lady, Gang Up helps her get sneak attacks in the low-level game, and a feint chain takes over once she hits BAB +6.
Meanwhile, Trip is arguably the most powerful maneuver in the game at these levels, made even better by the fact that the Lady can use any weapon (and thus its enhancement bonuses) to trip, and that Weapon Finesse lets her add her Dex modifier to the attempt instead of her Strength modifier. Trip also lowers her foes' AC by 4, effectively adds 4 to her own AC, and the target has to spend a move action and suffer one or more AOs to remove the condition. Trip also helps keep the target locked in place, making for easier flanks when Gang Up doesn't kick in.
Of course, if Trip is powerful, then Greater Trip is super-powerful, especially when the Lady and an ally or two are all threatening the target. I personally had to refrain from using Greater Trip after seeing it in action, because it led to so many super-easy combats in Tier 10-11 PFS.
There are a lot of ??s in the feat list because, well, there's a lot of room to do whatever you want with the feats. Note that those ??s can quickly become a full chain of feats thanks to retraining. What really matters is taking Combat Expertise and using it as a prerequisite for things like Gang Up, Improved/Greater Trip, and the feint chain.
I've had a lot of success with Rogues in PFS, and the "build-sketch" above pretty much highlights the "core" of that success. As long as you can leverage your Sneak Attack dice and Rogue Talents to make Sneak Attack work consistently, you're fine.
I also believe that the full Sneak Attack progression and the number of Talents represents something about the Rogue that the Investigator, Swashbuckler, and Slayer can't keep up with. And that's a nice thing to know.
At least I know what my one advanced talent will be now. What skills do you recommend?
I've personally had a lot of good use out of Skill Mastery for Acrobatics, Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive, and Use Magic Device. I'd also submit Escape Artist and Stealth for consideration.
A few other solid Advanced Talents in my opinion:
-Opportunist, for an extra attack at full BAB. Combines well with Greater Feint.
When looking at it from an in-combat and powergaming perspective, I think with the introduction of the investigator, slayer, and swashbuckler, the rogue is undeniably dead.
Yeah, I pretty much accepted this the moment I saw the rogue-with-extracts post last week. Looks like Paizo is introducing us to the Revised Rogue and/or the Second Edition Rogue.
And, well, that's OK.
Also note that the swashbuckler has a crapton of other useful abilities that the fighter won't have, so just looking at DPR won't tell you much :)
Yep. What's important is that the math says that Swashbucklers aren't exactly kings of DPR. Precise Strike is what makes a free-hand fighter a viable option.
I actually agree Cheapy. I think level to damage is already amazing.
After doing the math, level-to-damage keeps the Swashbuckler close to a Strength-based two-handed weapon user for the 1-9ish game, until the Strength-based character really gets going.
Note that Precise Strike precludes the Swashbuckler from two-handing for 1.5x Strength, and from receiving 3:1 Power Attack. Also note that Precise Strike does not multiply on a crit, but the damage the Swashbuckler sacrifices to receive Precise Strike does.
I would like to note that the class pretty much confines the Swashbuckler to using a rapier, due to its reliance on critical hits for fueling Panache, to the point where it even gives out Improved Critical at 5th level.
I would suggest revising Panache to not be so concerned with critical hits, thus opening up a variety of weapon choices instead of an incredibly narrow set.
Or perhaps, over time, any light or one-handed weapon the Swashbuckler wields could eventually have an 18-20 crit range, which would stack and mean that the Swashbuckler crits on 15-20 no matter what he wields?
Swashbuckler seems cool. On their own they read really fun. However I really, really worry about a swashbuckler with combat reflexes, high panache and crane style that allows them to be nigh-immune to melee attack rolls. You would have a character with two layers of 'I negate your attack then hit you in the face' while expending two attack of opp actions. No no no no no. I really don't want to gm for a melee that is nigh immune to melee attacks.
This shouldn't be too bad. Note that the Swashbuckler needs to conserve a point of Panache in his pool to utilize Precise Strike. This means that in order to Parry and Riposte a single attack, he's looking at 16+ Charisma in order to not lose Precise Strike, on a class with only Reflex as a good save by the way, meaning that buying that high of a Charisma score is a relevant hit to, honestly, Wisdom and Will saves.
Also note that to get the Crane Combo going, that's five feats, three of which have relevant BAB prerequisites. Note that fighting defensively to turn on Crane Style is a detriment to the Swashbuckler's ability to Parry. Also note that if he multiclasses to deal with the five-feat issue, he has to sacrifice Precise Strike progression and Weapon Training progression.
Snake Style would probably be more interesting anyways, since a successful Parry causes the attack to miss, thus triggering Snake Fang. Note that Snake Style makes your unarmed strikes piercing.
One suggestion I would like to make for the Swashbuckler, though, would be to break up the 11th-level acquisition of Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, AND Improved Uncanny Dodge. That seems a little silly to give them out all at once.
It would also be a good idea to clarify whether Swashbuckler Finesse counts as Weapon Finesse for the purpose of meeting prerequisites. A similar issue applies to the Brawler.