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Class Acts: Rogues (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 6 ratings)

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The Class Acts PDFs introduce new class options for the base classes and core classes featured in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Every PDF contains two full pages of high quality content (no fluff or filler)!

Class Acts: Rogues includes thirty-two new rogue talents, including several advanced rogue talents.

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Product Reviews (6)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 6 ratings)

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Good, solid product

****( )

This is a nice, solid product that offers plenty of rogue talents regardless of your build.

Dramatic Entrance, Ear to the Streets and Urban Network all appeal to me a good deal.

Without a Trace and Urban Explorer are both rather handy as well.

Danger sense is just awesome.

Talented seems to be too powerful to be a normal talent, and either should be advanced or limited to just one talent.

All in all, I really like this and am looking forward to seeing what else these guys come up with. Here's hoping Rangers are coming soon!


Rogues Do It... Quite Well!

****( )

First of all, I just want to say that I was offered on the EnWorld forums (and did accept, obviously) a review copy of this product, if anyone finds that relevant. Now on to the review.

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First off: this is a good-looking PDF document, especially by third-party standards. There is no art to speak of, and it's a little text heavy... but that could be considered a good thing. Also, this product seems priced very well.

Like the product description says, there are thirty two new rogue talents contained in this PDF, and overall, they're mostly quite good. There are definately a lot of real gems, here. Unfortunately, there are also three or four very lame talents that almost seem out-of-place, given the overall excellence of the product. I like to get the "bad" out of the way before diving into the "good," so let's talk about the very first talent. Apprentice is the first talent we see, and boy is it a stinker. Despite an admittedly-neat "mentoring" mechanic, this talent is just grossly underpowered. It's not even worth the price of a rogue talent let alone the "mentoring" hoops you have to jump through to gain its benefits. It's not filler (actually, I'd like to see something similar in the future using the same mechanic to achieve some actually-worthwhile effect) ...it just sucks. It's talents like this that anchor this product firmly in the four-star realm. Talents like Bloody Blade and Urban Explorer are similarly lame-O.

Now onto the good stuff! Most of the content here is either mechanically innovative (Rogue's Agility, Delay Sneak Attack), flavorful (Thieves' Honor, Ear to the Streets), or both (Daring Acrobatics, Dramatic Entrance).

Daring Acrobatics + Danger Sense turns your rogue into Spider-Man. One talent deserves a special note (because this has been a favorite tactic of mine since my days as a monk in EverQuest), and that is Feign Death. This isn't the "meditative death trance" that we usually see... this is just the ability to play oppossum convincingly. Basically, it's an immediate action "you got me! blarrhagahghggg!" I love it. It's mechanically intuitive and it doesn't hold up to medical examination. Come to think of it, this is a fantastic way to avoid 90% of TPKs.

Caltrop Master gives you a few caltrop-related advantages, and Caltrop Splash allows you to strew caltrops at a distance, which I like a lot. I'm a sucker for anything that keeps mundane equipment relevant. Caltrop Splash also turns your caltrop bags into splash weapons. The damage is low, but that's what sneak attack is for. Lastly - while it isn't exactly innovative, I foresee my future 3PP-friendly rogues taking Artful Dodger a lot. As a basic talent, I'd call it broken, but as an advanced talent, I like it a lot.

On the whole, I absolutely recommend this product, and I am very much looking forward to the next round of Class Acts PDFs. Four stars. ****

- Sarah McLean


2.5 stars - cool ideas, lacking execution, some shoehorned into talent-format

**( )( )( )

This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 2 pages of content, so let's check this out!

Part of Abandoned Art's freshman offering, this pdf offers us 32 new rogue talents, 7 of which are advanced rogue talents, so what do we get? Want your rogue to be a student of the arcane? If you study under an ally with as many HD as you for 1 hour per day, you get Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft as class-skills. Ok feat, but the continuous studying feels like too much of a restriction for the benefits.
With another talent, you may appraise magic items as if under the effects of detect magic and using spellcraft - sounds bland at first, but think about it - tomb raiding rogues finally make sense! You may also delay your sneak attack damage for one round, for Iaijutsu-style takedowns, make your caltrop attacks more deadly or penalize opponent's initiative via dramatic entrances.

Unfortunately, not all talents are this good: Ear to the Streets in particular jarred the hell out of me: It enables a rogue to find out who used diplomacy to gather information and what topic they were after - in 2d10 minutes. Worse, by making a DC 20 check in small settlements and DC 30 in larger ones, you can also get descriptions of the seeking party and the information they pursued.- On the one hand, this does not feel too strong now, does it? Think about it - every information broker ever would practically need this talent due to the time saved by its usage. Then go further: While disguises etc. can conceal a prospective to be tracked, a paltry two DCs feel overly general. Essentially, this should be a new skill use, as pioneered by RiP's "101 New Skill Uses" with scaling DCs for all settlement sizes, sample Dcs, circumstance modifiers etc, not an overly generalizing talent. Oh, and it should require a certain time spent in a settlement to get acquainted to the street. "Feigning Death" is another talent that's just lame - a talent that is scarcely used and can be beaten by a DC heal-check, lifesense, magic etc.? You could also burn that slot... Urban Network falls much into the same vein, in that it enables you to gather regular information faster - again, though, not a candidate for a talent for me, but rather a candidate for a subset of rules/rp-opportunities. To the latter talent's credit, though, it does require a rogue to stay for at least a week before his/her/its network is established.

Light sleeper on the other hand, is rather cool in that it lets you keep your perception checks unpenalized while resting/sleeping. River rat is also neat in that it grants you the ability to ignore a light armor's armor check penalty to swim checks. Simple, solid, elegant, nice - that's what makes me enjoy short pdfs.

The 7 advanced rogue talents feature one that had potential galore, but is missing the point terribly hard: Caltrop master. Seriously. Caltrops are cool. And iconic. This is an advanced talent that requires a regular talents as a prerequisite. And it enables you to throw a bag, dealing 1 (!!!! - OMG, 1 full point of damage???) on a direct hit and again, the incredible amount of 1 whole point of piercing splash damage while cluttering a field you designate with caltrops. If the absurdly high damage output was not enough, there also seem to be no consequences for missing foes - does the bag fail to open when thrown that way? All kidding aside, this talent has a cool idea that is ruined by unclear mechanics and a ridiculously low damage output. We need options to make caltrops viable at higher levels, not pseudo-talents that at best tickle the DR-studded monstrosities hungering for advanced PCs...

Danger Sense, a kind of 1-use per day spider-sense mimics the foresight spell for one round as a "no-action" cast, enabling you to essentially negate one nasty surprise attack per day - again, neat idea. Daring Acrobatics lets you dodge those giant clubs and duplicate feats of dexterity (not the PFRPG-feats) often seen in movies - again, nice, though I think this should rather be a regular rogue talent. Sneak Attack Assault, on the other hand, is one of these rules-options that leaves me distinctly uncomfortable - when hidden, you may apply sneak attack damage to ALL of your attacks against applicable opponents in sneak range. This rather powerful one is balanced by the fact that you can't use stealth and sniping and are revealed by the use of this talent.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though here3 and there a "Normal"-section would have helped and e.g. Sneak Attack Assault should probably mention that the concealment limitations of sneak attack still apply, but that's me being nitpicky about comfort. The pdf adheres to a used parchment-look, a two-column standard, has no bookmarks but needs none at this length and features no artworks. One of the array of freshman-offerings by abandoned arts, this pdf provides a selection of rogue talents for an astonishingly cheap price - and indeed, there are winners herein, examples of excellent design. However, there also are talents here that are ridiculously underpowered and specific and some that feel shoehorned into the mold of being a talent when they should follow another format. The pdf is rather cheap and provides some nice ones, but generally, this installment of Abandoned Art's Class Acts feels less balanced than the other ones I've reviewed so far. Since I have some major gripes with the pdf, my final verdict will be 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2.

Endzeitgeist out.


Solid selections for any rogue

****( )

First from a presentational standpoint, Class Act: Rogues is a solid delivery from publisher Abandoned Arts. The lack of artwork isn't a detriment and the color palette choice for the pdf is great. Through a number of readings, there didn't appear to be any editing or formatting issues that jumped out at me. For the price of the product, you receive a solid presentation.

Diving into the heft of the material, Rogues delivers a solid helping of new Talents (both regular and advanced) for any rogue players. Pulling out a few that really struck me, I enjoyed Escape Route which really added a nice addition to the often underused Withdraw action. Light Sleeper was an immediate must have for any rogue I play in the future. River Rat was another that I felt would add a lot mechanically and could also help flavor a character as well which was nice to see.

There were a few Talents that I felt stumbled a little bit, a majority of them falling into the "out of combat" category. Which was a shame as those are usually the ones I look for first when exploring the options. Apprentice struck me as one such talent that would see little use for me, the restrictions being a bit too much for the bonus gained. Ear to the Street and Lay Low were both interesting concepts but they seemed to me to be Talents that wouldn't see a lot of use in a game unless specifically designed for by the DM, which often times means they are passed by players.

Overall, the product is solid and of the 32 new Talents introduced, most of them could be a great boon for a rogue character. With the price and presentation, Abandoned Arts’ Class Acts: Rogues is a good entry as a player resource.


Class Acts: Rogues

*****

This was my second delving into Abandoned Arts products and I was very pleased with what I found. Despite many people thinking the Rogue is a substandard class its still my favorite and Class Act: Rogues certainly elevates them even more.

There's a plethora of talents to choose form to make your rogue even more specialized and to seperate them from the rest of the pack. I'll try to focus on what hasn't already been reviewed. Although those really stood out to me as well.

Low Cunning is a must for those rogues that didnt bank on Charisma as it allows the use of your Wisdom modifier in place of Charisma for Bluff and Intimidate. Sneak Attack Spree allows you to do additional damage equal to the number of Sneak Attack dice when you deal Sneak Attack damage. More sneak damage?! Yep, its that sweet. Then I read Urban Network. Awesome. This flavorful talent reduces the time to Gather Information to just 1 hour instead of the standard 1d4 hours. Definitely gives me the vision of my rogue touching base with his slew of informants in short order versus randomly asking people if they saw anything. Last in the standard talents that caught my eye is one I praised the Rogue Gods...ie Abondoned Arts for. Talented allows one additional use of every talent that has limited number of daily uses. A must have!

In the Advance Talents Sneak Attack Assault set my teeth on edge in anticipation of gettng approval from my DM for. At the start of your turn, whenever hidden from enemies; you may apply sneak attack damage to every attack you make that round! Even if you are revealed after the first. Jump for joy now fellow rogues or save it for Sly Blade which allows you to add sneak damage to Attacks of Opportunity if using a light, piercing or slahing weapon. Great stuff! I'm itching for levels with my rogue characters now.

The only thing that could be changed is River Rat and Escape Route and the only thing that I think needs is changed is their titles and only because there is already a Trait and Teamwork feat claiming those respectively. Mechanic wise there are par with everything else.

Again, great source material from Abandoned Arts. I'm sold on their work so far.


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