Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Rogue Eidolon's Guide to Rogues


Advice

1 to 50 of 67 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Rogue Eidolon's Guide to Rogues

I will use the same colour-coding as Treatmonk's very well-written guides to make it easier to read for people who have already read some of his guides. That means:

[color=red]Red[/color]--bad option or nearly useless ability
[color=orange]Orange[/color]--OK option, or useful but only in rare circumstances
[color=green]Green[/color]--Strong choice
[color=blue]Blue[/color]--Must-have

Introduction

I wrote this guide because someone was looking for a Rogue guide and there wasnt one. Building a Rogue who will make your other party members happy because she can fulfill her "role" of finding and disabling traps is easy. Building a Rogue that can kick major ass? It's harder, especially when we get examples like Haley from Order of the Stick. I mean, a sneaky guerilla-tactics archer seems like a cool idea for a Rogue, but it's very hard to pull off. Even if the Rogue PC can blend into the shadows to ambush again and again, the other PCs probably can't, so it doesn't play well with others. And unless you can pull off consecutive ambushes, you just won't get many ranged sneak attacks. With your low BAB and lacking Weapon Training and other goodies, if you're not going to be getting Sneak Attacks, just play a Fighter with maybe a dip in Rogue for some skill points and then roleplay being very Rogueish.

So from the start, I strongly recommend forgetting about archery unless you're very set on it. And in case you are, I've thrown in a few tricks that can let you get away with being a Rogue archer.

The Builds

Two-Weapon Fighting:

This is the standard Rogue build. The reason that Rogues are undisputed masters of Two-Weapon Fighting is because the balance of Two-Weapon versus Two-Handed mathematically favours Two-Handed vastly unless you can get some kind of large damage bonus to all your attacks. Some kind of large damage bonus? Hello Sneak Attack!

Pros:
Lots of damage
Sneak Attack a strong majority of the time
Dex synergises well with Rogue skills

Cons:
Vulnerable to being crushed since we'll be fighting in melee (Pathfinder helps us here with d8 HD)
Loses out a lot when can't get full attacks
Takes lots of feats to achieve

Brute Rogue:

This is the Rogue who makes the player who has been playing since 1st edition quip "Explain to me again how you can possibly be sneaking with a frickin' Greataxe?!" The Brute Rogue uses a large two-handed weapon and is easily mistaken for some other class, like Barbarian or Fighter.

Pros:
Uses few feats to achieve
Sneak Attack a strong majority of the time
Each attack does massive damage, so good against foes with DR you can't penetrate
Loses out less than the TWF Rogue with the loss of a full attack.

Cons:

Lower Dex means worse at many basic Rogue skills
Fewer attacks means fewer Sneak Attacks
Still vulnerable to being crushed in melee (but see hint below)

Hint:
If you're playing a Brute, it may be a good idea to multiclass into one of those classes people mistake you for. a few levels in Fighter are always helpful, and with your lower Dex, you will enjoy the heavier armour, and Barbarian Rage can help you with damage output and hit points. Fighter actually won't help you with hit points on average unless you're a half-elf because it won't be your favoured class. Having all martial weapons from the dip also let's you save a feat or play a non-half-orc.

Skill Monkey Rogue

This is the Rogue who is more focused on excellence in her signature skills than in any one combat style. You'll still want to grab the barebones of one of the other builds so you can contribute in combat, or even something with less feat investment like Weapon Finesse ->Dervish Dance. One subcategory of this is the Social Rogue, who has a slightly different investment into Charisma.

Pros:
Master of trapfinding
Superb at other situations involving iconic Rogue skills
Can be fun to roleplay clever use of skills to help the party
Unlike TWF, you won't be hitting for enough damage to draw the ire of intelligent foes, so you'll get crushed less often

Cons:
Depending on the GM, you may have limited success using skills to help the party
Weakest at fighting

Hint:
Ask your GM first to make sure she's on board with using skills in a variety of situations. If she's more into hardcore by-the-book tactical combat, you could run into issues with a Skill Monkey Rogue.

Archery Rogue

If you want to play an Archery Rogue, I highly suggest playing a Fighter with a minor dip in Rogue to give you the Rogueish skills you probably want as your class skills--maybe two levels to also grab Evasion. However, if you are deadset on it, I'll help you with tricks and tips to get Sneak Attacks even at range. And if you actually pull off ranged Sneak Attacks with these tricks, you will become a god among Rogue damage dealers--at least until the monster closes into melee because you had to be within 30 feet...

Pros:
Archery is the best fighting style overall in Pathfinder.
More survivable since you aren't entering melee voluntarily.
Plenty of attacks if you can somehow make them into Sneak Attacks
High Dex helps for Rogue skills
It's very challenging to play well, but it rewards you if you do, which can be fun for certain types of players

Cons:
It's ridiculously hard to sustain Sneak Attacks
If you can't get Sneak Attacks, it's much worse than being an archer Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, etc.
Even if you find a way to get Sneak Attacks, you have to stay within 30 feet.

Hint:
Make sure that your GM and/or party are on board with the tips below before you even finalise your plans to make an archer Rogue. If not, just play the multiclass I mentioned above.

Ability Scores:

With the changes to Perception skills and Disable Device, Rogue skills in Pathfinder have clumped around Dex and Wis more than ever before, except for Social Rogues, who still use Charisma. Since this is an optimisation guide, the following suggestions for point buy are fully optimised, a la Treantmonk's guides. If I were playing a Rogue myself, I would probably play a more balanced character. These all assume you're getting a floating +2 as from Humans, Half-Elfs, and Half-Orcs (and this usually goes to Dex). If not, they'll change around a bit, but you should be able to keep the stats pretty similar.

TWF--

You want Dex > Con > Wis as your three high stats. You don't really need Charisma, and it's nice not to get a penalty from Str. You probably won't need all 8 skill points to be viable, so an 8 Int is acceptable.

You may wonder--why isn't this a Strength-based TWF build? They do a lot more damage per hit, and they can get more use out of Two-Weapon Slice and Two-Weapon Rend. The problem is that you're a Rogue, so you're not going to be able to hit with a Strength-based build since you'll have to have 15 Dex to start and then 17 Dex in time for Improved Two-Weapon Fighting. I'm working under the standard assumption that you can't qualify for feats with enhancement bonus items, and even if you could, would you really want your build to unravel when your item gets Dispelled? If we force ourselves to start with a Dex of at least 15 (promising to put our first two stat raises into Dex to get Improved TWF), our Strength will not be high enough to hit the enemies (especially on the iteratives), and remember the first rule of Rogues: You need to hit as many times as possible to rack up those Sneak Attacks. If you're rolling and you roll very well, or if you start with over 20 Point Buy, you can pull the Str-based TWF build off--it looks much like the Brute except its damage output is significantly higher if you get those kind of rolls or Point Buy.

Here are some examples--feel free to build in higher Int than this, and to lower the Con if you aren't as much a fan, but I do recommend at least 14 Con and at least 12 Wis for a TWF Rogue more-or-less no matter what.

10 Point Buy (does anyone really play this?):

Str 10 (0) Dex 17 (7) Con 15 (7) Int 8 (-2) Wis 12 (2) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Dex for sure, then level 8 Con, the rest Dex

15 Point Buy (standard fantasy):

Str 10 (0) Dex 18 (10) Con 15 (7) Int 10 (0) Wis 12 (2) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Con, then Dex all the way

20 Point Buy (average rolled, or PFS):

Str 10 (0) Dex 19 (13) Con 16 (10) Int 8 (-2) Wis 13 (3) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Dex, 8 might go to Wis, then Dex all the way

25 Point Buy (high powered):

Str 10 (0) Dex 19 (13) Con 17 (13) Int 8 (-2) Wis 14 (5) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Dex, 8 to Con, the rest Dex

Brute--

You want Str > Con > Wis as your three high stats if you are planning on multiclassing for heavier armour proficiencies, and otherwise put in Dex above Wis. You don't really need Charisma unless you want to Intimidate, which is better left for someone else to do so you can pick off the stragglers. Dex is still useful even with heavier armour. You probably won't need all 8 skill points to be viable, so an 8 Int is acceptable.

Here are some examples, assuming you get heavier armour proficiency and thus don't need much Dex. These assume a floating +2 that went into Str.

10 Point Buy:

Str 17 (7) Dex 12 (2) Con 14 (5) Int 8 (-2) Wis 12 (2) Cha 7 (-4)
all increases in Str

15 Point Buy:

Str 18 (10) Dex 13 (3) Con 14 (5) Int 8 (-2) Wis 13 (3) Cha 7 (-4)
Either increase Str all the way or stop off in Dex, Wis, or both

20 Point Buy:

Str 19 (13) Dex 13 (3) Con 15 (7) Int 8 (-2) Wis 13 (3) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Con, then Dex all the way

25 Point Buy:

Str 19 (13) Dex 13 (3) Con 16 (10) Int 8 (-2) Wis 14 (5) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Str, then either grab Dex or stay on Str all the way

Skill Monkey--

You still want some Dex, though not as much as the TWF Rogue, but now you're not expecting to need as much Con, and you can shove those points into Int for more skills and Wis for skill bonuses and Will saves. If you're a social Rogue, you'll want a higher Cha than in these examples, at least 12.

Here are some examples--

10 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 16 (5) Con 12 (2) Int 12 (2) Wis 14 (5) Cha 7 (-4)
Switch Int and Wis to suit your taste, raises also to suit your taste

15 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 17 (7) Con 12 (2) Int 14 (5) Wis 14 (5) Cha 7 (-4)
1st raise in Dex, the rest anywhere

20 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 18 (10) Con 12 (2) Int 14 (5) Wis 15 (7) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Wis, the rest anywhere

25 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 19 (13) Con 14 (5) Int 14 (5) Wis 15 (7) Cha 7 (-4)
level 4 increase in Dex, the rest anywhere

Archery--

Dex is vastly the king for an archery rogue. Con can be lower than TWF, but remember that you're still pretty close to the melee if you're managing Sneak Attacks, so don't leave Con in the lurch.

Here are some examples. If you want more skills, you can certainly take significantly more than the 7 Int in the examples below and have a fine archery Rogue--

10 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 18 (10) Con 14 (5) Int 7 (-4) Wis 13 (3) Cha 7 (-4)
Potentially put the level 4 in Wis, but certainly all others to Dex

15 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 19 (13) Con 14 (5) Int 7 (-2) Wis 14 (5) Cha 7 (-4)
everything in Dex

20 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 19 (13) Con 16 (10) Int 7 (-4) Wis 14 (5) Cha 7 (-4)
everything in Dex

25 Point Buy:

Str 10 (0) Dex 19 (13) Con 16 (10) Int 7 (-4) Wis 16 (10) Cha 7 (-4)
everything in Dex

Races:

Rogue is rare among the core classes in that almost every core race has something going for them as a Rogue. Below are my analyses:

[color=blue]Human[/color]: Human is by far the best choice for the feat-starved TWF build, and since TWF is the most common damage build, Human wins out as the best race overall for Rogue. The extra skill points don't hurt, since a lot of my sample builds for combat Rogues tank Int.

[color=blue]Half-Elf[/color]: The Skill Monkey Rogue par excellence, Half-Elf brings a variety of features to the table that are exactly what you want--Perception bonus, free Skill Focus, and Low-Light Vision, not to mention saves vs Enchantment to overcome a big Rogue weakness. For Brute Rogues who take a few multiclass levels, Half-Elf can also provide you the favoured class bonus.

[color=green]Halfling[/color]: A solid choice for most types of Rogue due to the bonuses of being size Small, the save bonus, and the Perception and Acrobatics bonuses. Pathfinder has made the size Small penalty to combat manouevres less onerous than in 3.5, but you still have the issue of low move speed, which is bad for a scouting character. This can be overcome using magic, but it denies halfling the blue rating, and the -2 Str +2 Cha isn't great either except for Social Rogues.

[color=green]Elf[/color]: Most of its features that would be useful to a Rogue are the same as the half-elf, so let's look at the differences that make it green rather than blue. It's a solid choice for Skill Monkey, since Int and Dex both help. It's great for the archer with the free Longbow proficiency. However, the penalty to Con is a big pain. Still a solid choice.

[color=green]Dwarf[/color]: Dwarf is a very interesting choice for Rogue. It obviously helps in stonework areas, and the save bonus is never bad. Darkvision is a big plus as well, and Wis and Con are good stats for a Rogue, which help make up for this being the only race other than Gnome that can't get a +2 to Dex. The movement speed is an issue, however, as for Halflings, and you're unlikely to be wearing heavy armour. Still a strong contender.

[color=orange]Half-Orc[/color]: Half-Orcs are an extremely solid brute, and Darkvision is very nice, but they are pretty much just worse than Human and Half-Elf at all the rest. Still, this is obviously on par with Half-Elf for Brute Rogues, and it isn't too much worse than the others at everything else.

[color=red]Gnome[/color]: Gnome has the least favourable stat bonuses of any race in the core rules. Honestly this could have made it into orange if not for the fact that the halfling is pretty much better in all ways here for a Rogue (much as Gnome eclipses Halfling in many other classes), with the exception of the Gnome's Low-Light Vision. It probably would have been better if the two size small classes didn't both have -2 Str +2 Cha.

Favoured Class Bonus

Skill points seem tempting for the Skill Monkey especially--it can be okay to take them for Skill Monkey, though I still recommend Hit Points because you took a lower Con in that build. With any other build definitely take Hit Points at every level.

Skills:

Unless you're the Skill Monkey, I suggested a lowish Int, so you'll probably only get about 7 or 8 points to choose from, and there's at least four that you really really should have maxed, leaving room for plenty of dipping into Rogue's excellent skill selection with your remaining 3 or 4 points per level (more if you took high Int).

[color=blue]Acrobatics[/color]: Now that it includes Tumbling, Jumping, and Balancing, how can you not take this skill? Helps you get into flanks and through tricky areas. A must-have.

[color=blue]Perception[/color]: The most useful skill in the game--it's almost unfair how good this skill is. And your party will expect you to find traps, so you'd better have this maxed. This is a solid chunk of the reason you picked up as high a Wisdom as you did if you followed my advice on stats.

[color=blue]Stealth[/color]: The most iconic skill of the Rogue, and an indispensible skill in almost any game for scouting, ambushing, escaping, and various other uses. Take Stealth unless you're the brutiest of brutes, and even then, consider it.

[color=blue]Disable Device[/color]: If you for some reason don't want to take this skill, you'd better take it anyway. As the Rogue, your party will probably lynch you if you don't have it available, since you will be expected to deal with traps.

[color=green]Sleight of Hand[/color]: This lets you perform a lot of very Rogueish tricks, like picking people's pockets. However, whether or not you can use Sleight of Hand a good amount depends a lot on the GM's style and the other players, since the other players are pretty much never able to take part directly in whatever hijinks your Sleight of Hand is used for, and at some tables, this is considered a faux pas. Also, in some scenarios, you are just killing pretty much everything you encounter anyway, so it doesn't matter as much if you can do something sneaky that they don't notice.

[color=green]Escape Artist[/color]: The Rogue is surely the character on the front line with the lowest CMD, and your CMB is going to be even more atrocious unless you're a Brute. Escape Artist can help you out with Grapples, but you have to max it out, and you can eventually use Freedom of Movement to alleviate this concern.

[color=green]Knowledge [Local][/color]: A very flavourful knowledge for the Rogue to have, since she's likely to know all the dark secrets of the important NPCs in her local town. Unsurprisingly, this is more useful in urban campaigns or campaigns that are roleplaying and intrigue heavy than in wilderness or dungeon crawl scenarios. Also, some GMs give the players a lot more out of knowledge skills than others, so be careful.

[color=green]Use Magic Device [/color]: Your Charisma won't be great if you're using my example builds, but it's still a legitimate backup in case the healers collapse and no one else can use the wand. Getting to a point eventually where you're likely to make the DC 20 for wands isn't too hard, even with 7 Charisma. Another big use is to fire off self-only spells from scrolls. Obviously, for a social rogue, the utility of this skill is even higher.

[color=green]Sense Motive[/color]: Get some additional use out of your Wisdom in social situations with Sense Motive. This is a strong blue in campaigns with a large amount of social encounters and roleplaying, and so it's obviously a must-have for Social Rogues.

[color=green]Bluff[/color]: A very nice skill for social situations, and an absolute must-have for Social Rogues. The Feint use of Bluff is a trap, so don't grab it for that purpose.

[color=green]Diplomacy[/color]: While if you aren't a social rogue, there's a good chance that another character might want to be the face, Diplomacy is now used for gathering information, which is very flavourful for Rogues. It's a must-have for Social Rogues, who will be the party face. If you want a combat-heavy build and are eyeing all these green Charisma-based skills, don't despair. You can easily become great at these skills if you lower a few other stats to get 10 Charisma and then pick up a Circlet of Persuasion for a bargain price (you have no use for the more expensive real Charisma items).

[color=orange]Linguistics[/color]: A cute little skill and one that I like a lot for my own characters, but it might not be useful in many games depending on how the GM likes to run it and what scenario you're playing. If the GM has pretty much everything you encounter know Common/Taldan or if you have lots of magic to translate things, Linguistics is less useful. The forgery ability can always be lots of fun for the Rogue, but again, depending on the scenario, it can be useless.

[color=orange]Knowledge [Dungeoneering][/color] Not as fitting for most Rogues as Local, this can still be a solid choice for Lara Croft style tomb raiders who are savvy to the traps and treasures of the dungeon. It is also more useful in dungeon crawls or aberration-heavy campaigns (or the mythical ooze-based campaigns).

[color=orange]Disguise[/color]: This can be very useful if the GM rolls with ideas involving the Rogue disguising as an enemy to infiltrate the ranks. The problem is that this usually leaves other players in the lurch for long periods of time, so it's not likely to fly very often. If you take Disguise, get a Hat of Disguise ASAP.

[color=orange]Appraise[/color]: It fits well to have the Rogue know the most valuable objects so she can choose what to steal if she can't pilfer everything, but many GMs may simply tell you the value of items, and even if not, it's easy enough to pay an NPC hireling to appraise things. Still, it's probably worth 1 point so you can make a guess.

[color=orange]Intimidate[/color]: Intimidates are probably best left to the Barbarian who adds his Strength and Charisma to it and gets Rage powers to supplement it. If this is you because you're a Brute multiclassed into Barbarian, this skill is a strong green rather than orange.

[color=orange]Climb[/color]: You're never going to be great at climbing unless you're a Brute, but it's probably worth at least 1 point so you can shimmy up ropes well. High levels will obsolete it anyway.

[color=orange]Swim[/color]: Critical in campaigns with lots of water, or for a pirate Rogue. Otherwise, your armour is light, so you should be okay anyway, particularly if you take 1 rank. Brute Rogues who multiclass will want to grab a rank or two to counteract their heavier armours.

[color=red]Craft, Perform, Profession[/color]: I really like Crafts and Professions for flavour on my characters, and so if I was making a Rogue for a game, I'd likely have at least one of these. However, considering how terrible the profits are from these skills compared to the somewhat-broken magic item crafting system in Pathfinder, they have no place in an optimisation guide.

Class Features

[color=blue]Sneak Attack[/color]This class ability alone is what carries the damage-dealing Rogue builds. And you're getting a significantly lower to-hit than all the other damage builds, so you know it better be worth something, right? The extra damage is extremely useful, and it applies to many more monster types than in 3.X. It single-handedly (pun not intended, sorry about that) provides the damage to make two-weapon fighting mathematically viable. This feature will be defining your tactics--which for most builds is: Get into a flank, then full attack. It's the difficulty of ranged Sneak Attacking that makes the Archery Rogue so tough to play.

[color=green]Trapfinding[/color]: Trapfinding is no longer the "I win" card over all other classes that it was in 3.X, thus eliminating the near-necessity of a Rogue in trap-heavy adventures. However, the bonus from this ability adds up, and it still leaves the Rogue as the undisputed master of traps.

[color=green]Evasion[/color]: Since you will have great Dex unless you're a brute, and your only strong save is Reflex, you'll often be making your save, making Evasion very useful to you at avoiding AoE damage. Considering that you'll often be flanking, even small AoEs can easily target you and your flank partner if the enemy has a spell available that your flank target can ignore, so this is quite useful to have.

[color=blue]Rogue Talents[/color]: These are excellent additions to your arsenal--they have their own section below.

[color=orange]Trap Sense[/color]: Ideally, if you've done things right, you won't be hit by traps. That said, this can eventually amount to quite a large bonus at higher levels.

[color=blue]Uncanny Dodge[/color]: Unless you're a Brute, you lose most of your AC when flat-footed, so Uncanny Dodge is a lifesaver in those situations.

[color=green]Improved Uncanny Dodge[/color]: The main use here is to protect you from enemy Rogues, but eliminating the flanking bonus is nice too.

[color=blue]Advanced Talents[/color]: These are very nice, and are discussed with the rest of the talents in the section below.

[color=orange]Master's Strike[/color]: If you even get this at all, the game is pretty much over. If you do expect to make level 20, though, this ability could make it to green if the save DC were Dex based. With the Int-based save, it basically just means that your first sneak attack has a 5% chance to kill its target, which isn't terrible, but is very swingy.

Talents

[color=blue]Finesse Rogue[/color]: This is pretty much a must-have for every Rogue type, even Archer (in case you are ever forced into melee). The only reason you wouldn't take this as your first talent is if you couldn't wait and took Weapon Finesse at level 1 (which is a legitimate possibility) or if you are an archer (in which case it can wait). If you're wondering why this talent exists since Combat Trick can give you any combat feat, remember that you can only take each talent once.

[color=blue]Combat Trick[/color]: Critical for pretty much any build, but most so for TWF and Archery Rogues, which need the most feats.

[color=blue]Weapon Training[/color]: Rogues have a low attack bonus, so every little bit helps. This isn't quite as crucial as the other two, and some Skill Monkey builds will ignore it for the green talents below.

[color=blue]Resiliency[/color]: This will save your life over and over again. Grab this the moment you don't have another talent that demands your attention.

[color=green]Trap Spotter[/color]: This is an incredibly good talent if you like to play a fast-paced game and rush through dungeons with buffs up, and it's still good for a more methodical team because it gives you one more chance to spot the traps. I guess if you take 20 on every square its useless though. Get this if you're a Skill Monkey.

[color=green]Fast Stealth[/color]: Very useful for a sneaky scout, Fast Stealth can also help negate your slowness if you chose a 20 move speed race. However, it's usually overshadowed by the four blue talents, and Trap Spotter is probably more useful as well.

[color=orange]Surprise Attack[/color]: Sneak Attacks are king for the Rogue, but notice that to use this talent, you have to 1) act on the surprise round and 2) either go last on initiative or else only want to hit a target who went before you. Archers, who are starved for Sneak Attacks and may get their only chance on the surprise round, find this talent somewhat more useful than others.

[color=orange]Slow Reactions[/color]: For some party setups, you can pull off some really nice combos with this ability to help your fighters get in close to a foe with reach. However, since most opponents don't have Combat Reflexes, it's usually better to save the talent and just let the tank draw an AoO and have everyone else run in. This would still barely make the cut for green if it weren't for the fact that you can't use this with Bleeding Attack, Crippling Strike, and Dispelling Attack.

[color=orange]Bleeding Attack[/color]: Enemies are unlikely to actually bother to remove the bleeding, so this is probably giving you reliable damage over time. The problem is, that damage is piddlingly low. I suppose if you're fighting something with - Intelligence, you could smack it with this and then leave and wait for it to die, since it has unlimited duration. It may not seem this way at first, but this does much less damage than Weapon Training, even if they don't remove the bleed. To add insult to the bleeding injury, it won't stack with Crippling Strike and Dispelling Attack.

[color=orange]Stand Up[/color]: Is this a subtle jab at the Rogue's low CMD? Perhaps. But if your GM likes to trip you a lot or you are about to attack the Crimson Dog Kennels of the Dire Wolf Totem Barbarian Monk of Tripping, this will allow you to make your full attack without the -4 to hit and AC. It would be nice if it cancelled the AoO though.

[color=red]Rogue Crawl[/color]: If you're an archery Rogue, I suppose you could make this into a bit of a combo with Stand Up above and purposefully drop to make yourself harder to hit with ranged attacks, but then you've just eaten up two of your talent slots. The combo is also useful if you get tripped all the time, since you can 5 foot step before standing up to avoid the AoO, though now you don't get a full attack. Stand Up is the better of these to have on its own, and the average character will probably only ever use this to avoid AoOs from standing up from trip by taking advantage of the 5-foot step ability.

[color=red]Quick Disable[/color]: I mean, I guess I can see games where this could be useful--like with an Ocean's 11 type group. Lots of time pressure to disarm the traps on the safe. But in the Paizo adventure paths I've run and played, you should have enough Disable Device to get most traps in a single try anyway with your Trapfinding ability, and if it's taking a while to disarm, you'll have worse things on your mind than just the extra time, since you may have set off the trap! They could have at least let this apply to locks as well, since people often take 20 on those.

[color=red]Ledge Walker[/color]: OK, this seems like an NPC-only talent to me. Give this to some NPCs who live in an area with narrow ledges? Instant awesome encounter against the PCs. But honestly, how many times does this come up in a game? And at high levels, pretty much never. If you happen to know somehow that you're playing the Wheel of Time Fires of Heaven Elayne game and your character is going to need to be a tightrope walker or something, go for it. Especially if you're going to be attacked by Rogues on that tightrope

[color=red]Minor Magic[/color]: Dispelling Attack is cool. Want to spend three talents for it? Then take this talent. Otherwise, trust your teammates. They have these cantrips at will, they're your friends, and they have your back. You don't need this at all.

[color=red]Major Magic[/color]: This is a must-have if you already took Minor Magic because you've already decided that you wanted Dispelling Attack. Also, you can actually use this ability to get some rather useful self-only spells, though a UMD check (or a friendly Alchemist PC if you have APG) could give you that capability as well.

Advanced Talents

By level 20, you can actually have almost all of these, but let's look to see which you should get first--obviously you could also just take some of the lower level talents instead, but it's usually not worth it. All of the talents are rated here compared to each other and not the lower level talents, so the Orange talents here are much better than the Orange talents in the other list.

[color=blue]Opportunist[/color]: Unless you are an archer, in which case this is a worthless talent, you are flanking. Hence, you have an ally next to the enemy. If that ally isn't terrible, that means this talent gives you a free attack every round at your highest bonus. Nice!

[color=blue]Crippling Strike[/color]: Of the four talents that don't stack with each other, this is almost certainly the one that you will want, as 2 Strength damage is no slouch. You're either lowering your enemy's damage output substantially each time you hit or else you can put spellcasters in danger of being immobile at 0 Strength. Dispelling Attack can be situationally much better, but its prereqs are just too much. And even if you had Dispelling Attack, you'd probably still want Crippling Strike.

[color=green]Defensive Roll[/color]: This ability was better back when the wording also allowed it to help you against spells that made attack rolls against you, but against enemies who like to crush the puny little mortal doing so much damage, it can be a lifesaver. The only problem is that it might not be enough! Best used to negate unexpected crits into regular attacks.

[color=green]Feat[/color] The TWF and Archery Rogues are so feat-starved that this is still a legitimate option here. Use it to pick up a yummy high-prereq feat for your chosen style.

[color=green]Dispelling Attack[/color]: This is situationally much better than Crippling Strike, and you can always take both and use this when relevant. However, the prereqs are so stiff that I still rate this at green, rather than blue.

[color=orange]Skill Mastery[/color]: This is blue for a Skill Monkey, and there are a reasonable number of uses for it in many campaigns. You're probably going to take this eventually when you start running down the list.

[color=orange]Improved Evasion[/color]: Rating this Orange may be unpopular, as I've seen a lot of players, particularly more cautious players, go gaga over Improved Evasion and choose this as their first Rogue special at level 10 in 3.5. However, it is my belief that if the Rogue is consistently failing her Reflex saves in an encounter at level 10+, the encounter is going to be ridiculous anyway--trust your Ref save bonus and high Dex to save you, unless you're a Brute. Then consider this more.

[color=orange]Slippery Mind[/color]: Rogues are admittedly weak at Will saves, and some of my players seem to like this more than a feat. Why is this orange and feat is green? Here's my rationale. First of all, feat is more versatile, but let's say you're deadset on being better at Will saves. Feat could get you Improved Iron Will, which rerolls one failed Will save per day. Since Slippery Mind only applies to Enchantments, and it forces you to fall under the effect of the Enchantment for at least one round, it can be used on only a subset of all possible Will saves--you probably won't make more than one of these a day anyway. Hence, I prefer Improved Iron Will. This certainly isn't bad, though, and pick this up sooner if you know you'll be running into lots of Enchantment in your adventure.

Feats

The Skill Monkey will loosely follow one of the below guides with some skill-based feats added in as appropriate, so it doesn't receive it's own guide for feats. If you're interested in the Dervish Dance build I mentioned above, you just dump Strength to 7 and grab Dervish Dance and its prereqs. I'll list the feats that I can rate for everyone first

Everyone:

[color=green]Dodge][/color]: A solid feat for almost everyone. If you've read this guide and you're building your character and at any level you think--"Hey! I've got all the blue ones, what now?", that is a level to legitimately consider Dodge. Not getting smashed is good.

[color=green]Combat Reflexes[/color]: Anyone except an archer should get this feat eventually after they take the blue feats from their combat style.

[color=green]Improved Initiative[/color]: This feat is good for anyone and excellent for a Rogue, and it gets better the fewer enemies you face (since this raises the chances that it will provide you a sneak attack at the beginning of the fight from flat-footed enemies when you otherwise would not have one). It is even more important for Archers, who rely on flat-footed status--for them, it's a ust-have.

[color=green]Defensive Combat Training[/color]: You're up in their face unless you're an archer, so it's always good to make it harder for the enemy to stop that rain of Sneak Attacks with a combat manoeuvre. And this even takes away most of the edge cases for those awful trip-defense Rogue talents--ha! Take that Stand Up!

[color=green]Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and the Greaters[/color]These are big weaknesses of the Rogue, since failed Fort and Will saves often come attached to terrible consequences . I've tried to help you avoid having low Con and Wisdom already, but these are very helpful. The only problem is that if you're TWF or Archery, you're probably feat-starved. Brutes can multiclass to help Fort, and they have room in their feat selection to grab the Iron Will chain quickly.

[color=green]Toughness[/color]: Rogues can always use more HP to avoid being crushed to death by their enemies. Toughness provides exactly that. It is slightly less useful for Archery Rogues, but it's still solid.

[color=orange]Lightning Reflexes and Greater[/color]: It may seem tempting to think about how 'my Rogue's reflexes are this awesome!!!', but in reality, any of these builds except the brute should be making their Reflex saves almost all of the time. If you have a particularly low-Dex brute, though, do consider this to get use out of Evasion, and consider Improved Evasion more strongly as well.

[color=orange]Mobility[/color]: You should probably just trust in your Acrobatics, but this provides good insurance for the times when you will inevitably fail, considering just how many times you'll be moving into a flank. Still, there are usually better feats than this.

[color=orange]Fleet[/color]: Potentially useful to get a small speed advantage for scouting, particularly if you fight a lot of humanoid opponents who all have exactly 30 foot move. Not as good as other choices, though.

[color=orange]Armour Proficiency, Medium[/color]: Useful to be able to wear Mithral Breastplate as a stopgap for Celestial Armour. The Brute can also make good use of this, but see below.

[color=orange]Lunge[/color]: Lunge has a few uses in corner cases, particularly where you don't want to get hit and you can build up a reach advantage against your foe. You can actually even build up a combo with Lunge, Stand Up, and Rogue Crawl to full attack someone who just tripped you while standing up without provoking an AoO. But honestly, is it really worth one feat and two talents to do that?

[color=orange]Quick Draw[/orange]: It's nice to get full attacks whenever you can, but honestly, your first turn of the fight you'll probably have to move anyway to set up a flank.

[color=red]Armour Proficiency, Heavy[/color] This is only desirable for the Brute, and for her, it's worth it to just multiclass to get this and Medium instantly instead of spending two feats.

[color=red]Weapon Proficiency[/color]: Unless you're a Brute, there's no point in Martial or Exotic weapon proficiency because so much of your damage comes from Sneak Attack that one extra from having a better weapon is nearly irrelevant. The Brute can get a good enough weapon by multiclassing or being a Half-Orc. Even the Archer is probably fine with just using a Shortbow unless they get it for free as an Elf--the shorter range doesn't matter because you'll be within 30 feet, and so it only amounts to 1 damage.

[color=red]Skill Feats[/color]: Trust in your Rogue skill points and Trapfinding feature to be good at your favourite skills--these aren't terrible, but you just don't have enough feats to take these if you want to optimise for damage capacity.

[color=red]Combat Manoeuvre Feats[/color]: Unless you're a brute, you'll have to take Agile Maneuvers, and then you'll still suck because you have medium BAB.

[color=red]Blind-Fight[/color]: You're already screwed if you're attacking something that has concealment because you can't Sneak Attack, so whether or not you hit doesn't matter. Try to get magic items to negate the concealment instead.

[color=red]Combat Expertise]: In theory, getting more AC would be very helpful to a melee Rogue to avoid being smashed to death. However, your to-hit is already going to be low, so this just isn't worth it, especially with the Int requirement.

[color=red]Improved Feint and Greater Feint[/color]: These feats are a trap! For a solo Rogue, you can go from worthless to only mostly worthless with Improved Feint, but if you're a Rogue, you have to learn to trust in your teammates. Greater Feint is actually an amazing feat for an Archery Rogue to convince her Fighter friend to take, but don't count on it.

[color=red]Critical Focus Chain[/color]: Your low BAB is going to make the DCs on any of the saveable effects weak, and it takes forever to qualify, but non-archers will probably be using a weapon with a reasonable crit range, so I guess there's a possibility that taking these would be good. Still, your Sneak Attack isn't getting multiplied, so focusing on crits isn't a good idea for you unless you're a Brute.

[color=red]Improved Critical[/color]: Is similarly useless because it doesn't double Sneak Attack. This is actually somewhat better for Brutes, since they actually have some legitimate damage that doubles on a crit, raising it to Orange level. However, it still isn't worth it compared to many other feats. If you do wind up taking Improved Critical for some reason, the Critical Focus chain becomes more worthwhile.

[color=red]Spring Attack, Wind Stance, Lightning Stance[/color]: Moving significantly curtails your number of Sneak Attacks, and that's bad. Don't take these feats.

[color=red]Vital Strike[/color]: Vital Strike is rarely a worthwhile choice for fighting classes (except the Fighter who has enough choices to consider it as a backup), even when compared to the less-feat-intensive Cleave. For a Rogue, it's especially bad, since you aren't getting any extra Sneak Attack damage. Suck it up and do your best to get a full attack.

Two-Weapon Fighting:

[color=blue]Weapon Finesse[/color]: You're going to be better off overall if you get this from the Finesse Rogue talent, but sometimes, particularly with a killer GM, it just can't wait. My personal experience with Paizo modules is that even the killer ones tend to coddle you at the very beginning, so you can probably survive without it, which is better in the long run.

[color=blue]Two-Weapon Fighting[/color]: Remember the mantra--more attacks means more Sneak Attacks. This feat gives you another attacks. However, if you need to roll exactly an 18 to hit, it isn't worth it--just attack with one weapon.

[color=blue]Improved Two-Weapon Fighting[/color]: Gives you yet another attack. Having this feat makes it worth it to always attack with two weapons, regardless of what you need to roll to hit.

[color=blue]Weapon Focus[/color]: Weapon Focus is very important because you need to hit in order to deliver your ridiculous Sneak Attack damage, and TWF gives you a penalty to your already-low attack bonus. However, you can get this feat with a Rogue Talent, so I would recommend waiting for that if you can.

[color=green]Greater Two-Weapon Fighting[/color]: You're BAB isn't great, so you're going to have trouble hitting with the last attack in many situations. This is a must-take if your party has enough buffing to make a third attack have an acceptable chance to hit (and a Bard on her own is probably enough buffing for this to be true).

[color=red]Two Weapon Defense[/color]: Get Dodge first, then we'll talk. Have Dodge already? OK, let's talk--You could UMD a Shield wand, wear a Ring of Force Shield, or get an Animated Shield. All of these won't stack with this feat. If you can't do any of these for some reason, it's a worthwhile feat.

[color=red]Double Slice[/color]: This feat is made for every Two-Weapon character in the game except you. To make it to par with Weapon Specialisation, you need to have 16 Strength or more. You should get Sneak Attack damage and just accept that you'll do low damage when you don't get Sneak Attack. If you're building the Strength TWF Rogue build because you have unusually high stats, this is a must-have and is thus blue for you.

[color=red]Two-Weapon Rend[/color]: This doesn't add your Sneak Attack or other weapon bonuses, so it isn't very good, and you probably can't pull the Fighter's trick of switching up your targets for multiple Rends per round, since you need to make every attack on a flanked enemy. If you're building the Strength TWF Rogue build because you have unusually high stats, this is green for you.

Brute:

[color=blue]Weapon Focus[/color]: Weapon Focus helps you mask your lower BAB than other Brutes and deliver Sneak Attack damage more reliably. You can get it with a Rogue Talent, and its overall better to have done so in order to free up more feat slots

[color=blue]Power Attack[/color]: Power Attack, in addition to your Strength, can help you make up for the damage loss over other styles from making fewer attacks. The 1-for-3 tradeoff is very good, but you need to be a little less Power Attack happy than other classes because your attacks do more damage to begin with, so losing bonus to-hit costs a little bit more for you.

[color=green]Cleave[/color]: Cleave is nice if you win Initiative and can Sneak Attack two enemies while moving up. It's rare to actually have two viable Cleave targets who you can actually Sneak Attack in any other circumstances, though.

[color=orange]Dazzling Display + Shatter Defenses[/color]: Only take Dazzling Display if you plan on getting Shatter Defenses. It's much better if someone other than you gets this, though. Remarkably powerful if you, for whatever reason, also have an Archery Rogue in your party.

[color=orange]Two-Weapon Fighting tree[/color]: If you take enough Dex to qualify for these, you'll wind up in trouble unless you rolled very well on stats or used a high Point Buy. If so, a Brute with TWF can do a lot of damage. Take everything except Two-Weapon Defense.

Archery:

Right away, we have to ask ourselves--how in the world are we going to be getting our Sneak Attacks from range? There's a few answers to this question. In 3.5, having enough ranks in Balance, Climb, and the like allowed characters to avoid being flat-footed while performing those sorts of actions. In Pathfinder, even if you have 20 ranks in Acrobatics, you'll always be flat-footed when balancing unless you happen to be a Rogue with that awful Ledge Walker talent, so a legitimate tactic is to make sure that your enemies are always walking in a Grease spell or the like. But sometimes you just can't pull that off. If that is the case, you have few options left.

First, you can try to always be invisible. This often requires relatively high-level spell resources from your party, and the Greater Invisibility will only last for a single fight. Even if you become invisible, you have to be within 30 feet to Sneak Attack, which means you will be within range of True Seeing and Blindsight for a variety of creatures (many enemies have these by the time the Wizard can afford to spam Greater Invisibility on you).

My favourite option depends strongly on your allies, and so it may not work for you. However, when you do awesome things with this strategy, you're going to be making the player of the Fighter or Barbarian feel awesome as well, as their assistance to you will be more obvious than ever, and I really like combos that work like that. This option involves Shatter Defenses. You can get Weapon Focus for free, and you have to take Dazzling Display, which you will never use, but Shatter Defenses will allow you to ruin the day of your enemies if the Barbarian takes the right Barbarian talents or the Fighter takes Dazzling Display as well. You either focus fire on one enemy, getting a number of Sneak Attacks over two rounds equal to your number of shots for the next two rounds minus 1, or if you want to help debuff several enemies for your team (or if you have another archer Rogue for some reason), you can spread out the shots and make a lot of enemies flat-footed to all attacks until the end of your next turn. If the Fighter was using Dazzling Display, she can also Shatter Defenses on the following round if she succeeded by 5 or more against some of the enemies. You can also convince your Fighter friend to take Greater Feint and use it with Vital Strike, but it isn't likely--only the most selfless of players would agree to cripple their own damage just to enable yours.

If you can't do one of these tactics, or the guerilla tactic I mentioned in the opening of constant hit-and-run attacks, you're going to be disappointed playing an Archery Rogue. Play a Ranger instead, or a Fighter with a dip in Rogue.

If you can manage the Shatter Defenses strategy, here's the feats you'll want--if not, don't attempt the Archery Rogue. You have been warned, so take a look--

[color=blue]Weapon Focus[/color]: Pick this up via the Rogue talent to free yourself up for Archery feats, since there's a lot of those you want.

[color=blue]Dazzling Display and Shatter Defenses][/color]: You will never use Dazzling Display. Ever. But we're assuming that you've coordinated with another player to Dazzling Display so you can Shatter Defenses. And Shatter Defenses is amazing for you.

[color=blue]Point-Blank Shot[/color]: Not only is this required for everything except Deadly Aim, it's also extremely good for you. After all, you have to be that close anyway to Sneak Attack, so why not get the bonuses?

[color=blue]Precise Shot[/color]: As a Rogue, you need to hit as often as you can, and without Precise Shot, you're going to be stymied by the firing into melee penalty. A must-have.

[color=blue]Rapid Shot[/color]: Get this as soon as you can, once you have Precise Shot. Making more attacks is crucial for you to get as much Sneak Attack as possible.

[color=blue]Improved Precise Shot[/color]: Concealment means no Sneak Attack, and this feat means yes Sneak Attack.

[color=blue]Improved Intiative[/color]: As mentioned earlier, this will help you make Sneak Attacks while waiting for level 9 and Shatter Defenses. Don't be lazy though--use Grease and Improved Invisibility as well on important fights while you wait.

[color=green]Weapon Finesse[/color]: Useful if forced into melee, and you can get it from a talent too, so it's easy to pick it up.

[color=green]Deadly Aim[/color]: Getting more damage on arrows is useful, and this is a nice option to have around for low-AC targets, but make sure you hit with those Sneak Attacks before worrying about this. If you have a Bard or someone who routinely buffs your to-hit, by all means go nuts!

[color=green]Manyshot[/color]: Who can say no to an extra arrow for the price of a feat? The problem is it doesn't add Sneak Attack, so while it's one of the ultimate archery feats for every other archery class, it's not as great for you.

[color=orange]Far Shot[/color]: If this feat doubled the range at which you could Sneak Attack, I'd wholeheartedly recommend it. As is, forget about it.

[color=red]Shot on the Run[/color]: The archer's Spring Attack. Bad for the same reason as Spring Attack. You want a full attack, not one hit.

[color=red]Pinpoint Targeting[/color]: You appear to have multiclassed if you even qualify for this feat, and if you did so to take this feat, I'm sorry but you're going to be disappointed. Yeah, it's going to hit for sure, but one attack at that level is awful, and you can't even move. It's only good on the rounds when it makes the least in-game sense that you would have a pinpoint shot prepared, by which I mean the surprise round.

Equipment:

Armour:

[color=blue]Celestial Armor[/color]: The best armour out there for everyone except the Brute.
[color=blue]Mithral Full Plate[/color]: The Brute's usual armour of choice.
[color=blue]Mithral Animated Heavy Shield[/color]: Hey look, you're not proficient in shields. Guess that means you take the armour check penalty to your attack rolls. Good thing that's a -0. Gives you plenty of AC while making the poor lonely Two-Weapon Defense feat cry tears of bitter jealousy.
Enhancements of Note:
[color=green]Shadow, Improved, and Greater[/color]: Makes you even better at sneaking!

Weapons:

[color=blue]Shortsword[/color]: The weapon of choice for the TWF Rogue over Rapier because you can wield a pair of them and gain the benefit of Weapon Focus on each hand with only one feat spent.
Enhancements of Note:
[color=green]Holy[/color]: 2d6 extra damage against many enemy types and bypassing DR/Good? Sign me up.
[color=green]Energy[/color]: 1d6 extra damage is nothing to sneeze at, but beware of energy resistance. Make sure you have some way to get actual enhancement bonuses on your swords before adding these, since hitting at this point is crucial.
[color=blue]Speed[/color]: Another Sneak Attack per round is superb--if you have a Haste-happy Wizard in your group, though, pass on this.

[color=blue]Composite Longbow (Mighty to your Str bonus)[/color]: The best weapon for an Archery Rogue, but if you don't get it for free, just take the Shortbow and don't complain about the 1 less damage.
Enhancements of Note--all the same as for Shortsword, but also add:
[color=blue]Seeking[/color]: Seeking is an amazing enhancement. Even after you have Improved Precise Shot, it's still very useful. If you're trying to save on the cost of your bow, though, consider using Seeking Arrows--it'll be clear when you need to use them (or maybe it will be rather hazy or blurry, but you get my point).

[color=blue]Cold Iron Arrows[/color]: These don't cost much more than regular arrows, so might as well use them as default.
[color=green]Alchemical Silver Arrows[/color]: Pretty cheap, but lower damage. Still keep these for bypassing DR.
[color=green]Adamantine Arrows[/color]: These are very expensive, so only keep a few, but it will be worth it when you need them.

Wands and Scrolls:

You can only use these with UMD, but it's often worth it to grab a healing wand and a few scrolls of self-only spells or other spells that you might use in emergencies.

Rings:

[color=blue]Protection[/color]: More AC is good. More AC to apply to Touch and Flat-Footed both? That's gold.

[color=blue]Freedom of Movement[/color]: You won't have great CMD unless you spend a feat on it, and your CMB is just too low to actually break a grapple unless you spend lots of skill points in Escape Artist. This ring provides all the answers.

[color=orange]Invisibility[/color]: Not as good as you might think--I'd just trust in your Stealth rolls instead. If you're thinking about using it to get Sneak Attacks, remember that it only works for your very first attack, and you can usually find someone who's still flat-footed to use that on.

Wondrous:

[color=blue]Handy Haversack[/color]: It's a staple for a reason--carry your stuff and always find the item you want on top!

[color=blue]Cloak of Resistance[/color]: Get this up as high as you can to bolster your Fortitude and Will saves. It's relatively cheap, too.

[color=blue]Belt of Physical Stats[/color]: Get Dexterity first, Strength first for Brute. I suggest Con second in order to live, but you might be able to get away without it.

[color=blue]Amulet of Natural Armor[/color]: More AC? Always useful. Get Ring of Protection first if there's a tie.

[color=blue]Ioun Stone, Dusty Rose Prism[/color]: +1 to AC is always good. Get this before upgrading the Amulet of Natural Armor and its friends to +2.

[color=green]Stone of Good Luck[/color]: It's a bit expensive, but it gives +1 to all your saves and skills and stacks with pretty much everything. If you ever start considering upping your +2 Wis headband to +4, I recommend waiting and getting this instead.

[color=green]Ioun Stone, Pale Green Prism[/color]: Stone of Good Luck's more powerful older brother, it's more costly too. If you have a Bard or Bracers of Archery, it's not as impressive, but if not, the 10000 extra is clearly worth it later on when you can afford this for the +1 to hit.

[color=green]Circlet of Persuasion[/color]: If you want to use Cha-based Rogue skills, this is the item for you. It cheaply mimics having 6 higher Charisma.

[color=green]Boots of Striding and Springing[/color]: Movement speed is very useful for a Rogue who acts as a scout. Get this unless you need Boots of Speed more.

[color=green]Boots of Speed[/color]:Probably a better idea than a Speed weapon if you don't have a Wizard to Haste you, since it won't make your weapon's cost shoot up for other abilities.

[color=green]Goggles of Night[/color]: Switch these on when you need to see in the dark, unless you have Darkvision already. As the Rogue, being forced to carry a light can really give you away, so this is an important item for you.

[color=green]Eyes of the Eagle[/color]: Useful for finding traps, avoiding ambushes, and detecting invisible creatures. Why would supersight lenses do the last? Because Pathfinder's Perception rules are a bit of a mess. Just roll with it.

[color=green]Ioun Stone, Dark Blue Rhomboid[/color]: Gaining Alertness gives you eventually +6 to Perception and Sense Motive, which is even better than Eyes of the Eagle, though it costs 4x as much, in part due to being slotless. And of course, its untyped, so it stacks with everything.

[color=green]Carpet of Flying and its flying friends[/color]: Get Carpet of Flying, Wings of Flying, etc eventually so you can actually beat flying archers, particularly if you aren't an archer.

[color=green]Bracers of Archery[/color]: This is very important to archers and nearly useless to everyone else--note that it doesn't stack with Bard's Inspire Courage, making it next to worthless if you have a Bard.

[color=orange]Headband of Mental Stats[/color]: This just isn't a very efficient way to get the Will save and Perception bonuses you probably want from the Wis boost. The Int choice is pretty good if it gets you a useful skill. Avoid Cha like the plague though--far better to just grab a Circlet of Persuasion.

[color=orange]Boots of Levitation / Slippers of Spider Climbing[/color]: Good for lower levels before you can afford to fly.

In Conclusion

So what have we seen? Rogues are going to have trouble hitting compared to Fighters, so they need to constantly be on guard to make sure they have enough accuracy behind their attacks to deliver their powerful Sneak Attacks. They either need to flank, if they're melee, or be very creative if not, since they need to deliver Sneak Attack whenever possible (consider how much effort you would be willing to go through to negate DR 10 from an opponent. Sneak Attack of only 3d6 is worth that much effort). When played to their full potential and dealing massive damage, they tend to draw the enemy's ire, so especially if they're going to be in the front line fighting, they need to keep up Con to help their hit points survivable. Con also helps them avoid death from failed Fortitude saves, and Wisdom does the same for Will saves while buffing up crucial skills like Perception.

But Why Not Play a Fighter?

I try to ask this question with all non-spellcasters, since Pathfinder did an awesome job of giving us Fighters as a powerful baseline. Fighters will not do as much damage per hit as a Rogue using the equivalent build, but the Fighter's greater accuracy means you would be hitting more often and probably for higher average damage. The Fighter's Armor Training means you would have had a higher AC to boot. And the Fighter's strong Fortitude save means less chance to be screwed over by those Fort-based save-or-sucks. However, Rogues have a lot going for them:

1) Skills: The Rogue has the skills to scout ahead, find traps, detect ambushes, and whatever else works best in your campaign. The sheer number of additional skill points you get over the Fighter is dizzying.

2) Evasion and Ref saves: For a lone character, Fort and Will are likely to carry the most rolls that really screw you over if you fail. But there's nothing quite so scary for TPK potential as the damage on a series of AoE Reflex saves against the entire party. Unless you are blessed with a positive-channeling Cleric, the Rogue helps make this disaster scenario a little more rosy by staying unscathed throughout the experience.

3) Damage per hit: Sometimes the enemy has a peculiarly low AC and extremely high health. In these times, the Rogue can truly shine, cutting a devastating swathe through enemies only topped by pre-errata Paladins smiting Demons.

4) Crippling Strike: There's no save and no way to resist this ability. It shares that in common with the 3/day 1d6 Con damage from Rapier of Puncturing, which even Treantmonk has called broken. True, it targets Strength and not Con, which does make a big difference, but even a 20th-level Wizard who dumped Strength will probably be rendered immobile by this after your first full attack, and -1 to hit and damage per successful blow against big scary monsters is quite impressive.

Please let me know if you enjoyed this guide. It's feedback from people who find it helpful that helps encourage me to keep writing stuff.

Cheers and good gaming!

~RE


Cheers and well done on the handbook! I might suggest using the Treantmonk route and copy/pasting to Googledocs, should be able to actually apply those color schemes as well that way. ;)

As for comments, I would upgrade Goggles of Night to a blue item, due to the fact that if someone has concealment at all they are unsneak-attackable, which any durned fool standing in dim light or darker will be (aka most dungeon settings), making darkvision crucial to negating that.


Gambit wrote:

Cheers and well done on the handbook! I might suggest using the Treantmonk route and copy/pasting to Googledocs, should be able to actually apply those color schemes as well that way. ;)

As for comments, I would upgrade Goggles of Night to a blue item, due to the fact that if someone has concealment at all they are unsneak-attackable, which any durned fool standing in dim light or darker will be (aka most dungeon settings), making the goggles crucial to negating that.

Thanks for the praise and suggestions. I'll give it a try if I figure out how to do it without making everyone go on my Google docs page to download it.

As for Goggles of Night, they're a sweet item, and you make a good point. Here's my rationale--if your team has a light source, even if you're an archer you pretty much have to be in range of it to Sneak Attack anyway. The Goggles are green (and a very strong green at that) for all the times you might be dousing the light and going on ahead. For times that you get your light doused not by choice, you're probably in a situation where Darkvision is in trouble anyway (a la Darkness spell) and are better off relying on Seeking arrows to do the trick. What do you think?


Lets say Mr Wizard is holding the torch, cause lets face it hes the only member of the party who doesnt need something in his hands when combat starts. You all enter a room, standing in the back of the room is bad guy A, you and the Fighter run up and start flanking, well bad guy A is 30 ft away and the wizard doesnt need to move to do his thing (not too mention hes one of them elven bastards, with their vision and all) and casts his spell, now you, mr human rogue find yourself in dim light and unable to unleash your flurry of awesomeness because the jerk with the torch can see just fine.

Honestly, I'm trying to be funny here, but situations pop up enough to where I personally consider the goggles as a must have item for any non darkvision Rogue I played, YMMV.


Gambit wrote:

Lets say Mr Wizard is holding the torch, cause lets face it hes the only member of the party who doesnt need something in his hands when combat starts. You all enter a room, standing in the back of the room is bad guy A, you and the Fighter run up and start flanking, well bad guy A is 30 ft away and the wizard doesnt need to move to do his thing (not too mention hes one of them elven bastards, with their vision and all) and casts his spell, now you, mr human rogue find yourself in dim light and unable to unleash your flurry of awesomeness because the jerk with the torch can see just fine.

Honestly, I'm trying to be funny here, but situations pop up enough to where I personally consider the goggles as a must have item for any non darkvision Rogue I played, YMMV.

Ah, gotcha. And no worries--I'd be shocked if everyone agreed with my guide on everything. I mean, I don't agree with Treantmonk on a good number of the points he makes, though his major thrusts are always spot on. As long as this guide is a solid baseline that gives you something to think about (even if when you think about it, you don't agree with me too much), I'm very happy, and it was a good several hours spent writing it. Certainly if it's between green and blue rating for an excellent item, I'm very happy.

As for your specific example, by the time the Goggles are affordable, you and the Fighter probably each have a magic sword, and those can (30% chance if found randomly, chosen by you if you have it custom made) glow as the Light spell without taking up a hand.


Another couple tidbits, one I think Improved Evasion should be green, but I'm sure you knew someone would say that.

Second, instead of breaking up the Rogue builds several different times, I would include everything including races, feats, and stat builds all together for cohesion. For examples, such as Treantmonk has done in the Ranger and Bard guides.


Gambit wrote:

Another couple tidbits, one I think Improved Evasion should be green, but I'm sure you knew someone would say that.

Second, instead of breaking up the Rogue builds several different times, I would include everything including races, feats, and stat builds all together for cohesion. For examples, such as Treantmonk has done in the Ranger and Bard guides.

That was the thing I debated most before launching this guide (the formatting thing, not the Improved Evasion thing, ^_^). I looked at it the other way and it just seemed to me to have too much repetition of material, since many of the basics were the same. In the end, I formatted it more like the Guide to Monks instead. I'm still not sure it's the right choice, but I don't have time to reformat at the moment. I may go back and make an alternately formatted version at some point as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Link: Here's the Guide as a Googledoc.

I wish I could edit this into the first post, but hopefully people will see this link. It's more colourful and easier to read.


You're missing weapon suggestions for the brute option (you have TWF, archery, and in a backhanded way, single weapon as rapier) for example:

Long Spear
Great Sword (feat or multiclass)
Falchion (prof with half-orc)
Great Axe (prof with half-orc)

Are suggestions I see given for brute rogues.

Thus far it looks interesting, thanks for putting it together.

Cheliax

I think you mis-statted the brute generallly; also the most impressive feat line I've seen for brutes was left off: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Combat Reflexes, and eventually Cleave/Great Cleave. You basically get in, hit them with a longspear (avoiding the need to roll away from opponents without reach) and back off. This makes brutes much more survivable. Combat Reflexes is handy for Brutes with LongSpear (always my preferred rogue weapon... you don't have the AC to stay in contact), since it buys free attacks.

I'd stat a 20-point brute Str: 19 Int: 8 Wis: 8 Dex: 16 Con: 14 Chr: 7 personally.... Of course, this build wants dex more for acrobatics and reflexes, and relies. On being away from opponents.

Also, Animated shields aren't a shadow of what they were in 3.5, and Mithril Heavy does have an armor check penalty.

Good Guide otherwise.


Thalin wrote:

I think you mis-statted the brute generallly; also the most impressive feat line I've seen for brutes was left off: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Combat Reflexes, and eventually Cleave/Great Cleave. You basically get in, hit them with a longspear (avoiding the need to roll away from opponents without reach) and back off. This makes brutes much more survivable. Combat Reflexes is handy for Brutes with LongSpear (always my preferred rogue weapon... you don't have the AC to stay in contact), since it buys free attacks.

I'd stat a 20-point brute Str: 19 Int: 8 Wis: 8 Dex: 16 Con: 14 Chr: 7 personally.... Of course, this build wants dex more for acrobatics and reflexes, and relies. On being away from opponents.

Also, Animated shields aren't a shadow of what they were in 3.5, and Mithril Heavy does have an armor check penalty.

Good Guide otherwise.

Absolutely right about animated shields becoming weaker--I still recommend them, but now Wand of Shield is also legitimate until higher levels. I still think I'm right on Mithral Heavy having no ACP--it has Arcane Spell Failure, but I'm pretty sure the ACP is 0.

@Brute--Hmmm, interesting idea. I've built myself a demo character of that build. I don't think you can keep up on damage with only one sneak attack per round (more only if the enemies happen to be standing adjacent and both flanked). It's true that disengaging helps survivability, but in mind, it isn't worth it--By the time you have those feats, you're probably giving up your hasted attack, and soon later the iterative--however, it looks like it would be quite powerful for a little while at least if you blitzed the relevant feats at level 2 using Human and the feat Rogue Talent (edit: oops, I'm an idiot, that won't work--you need to have BAB 4 to get spring attack). At level 8, assuming an item or friendly Wizard to ensure you have Haste active in important fights, I think you will universally regret Spring Attack, though Dodge and Combat Reflexes will continue to be very helpful. On a side note, the 8 in Wisdom is a dealbreaker for me for your 20 PB due to low Will saves being a major weakness of the Rogue. We want to lower the chances of death by Colour Spray and the like as much as possible if we can.

Anyways, thanks very kindly for reading the guide and taking the time to comment. You're absolutely right about the Animated quality, and your Brute build was an interesting idea. I still can't recommend it wholeheartedly, but you've convinced me that Spring Attack deserves a mention in Brute as being very legit for low levels if you can rush it.


Eric Mason 37 wrote:

You're missing weapon suggestions for the brute option (you have TWF, archery, and in a backhanded way, single weapon as rapier) for example:

Long Spear
Great Sword (feat or multiclass)
Falchion (prof with half-orc)
Great Axe (prof with half-orc)

Are suggestions I see given for brute rogues.

Thus far it looks interesting, thanks for putting it together.

Good point--I added that section. I also mention Halberds for a reach weapon if you have martial weapon proficiency. Thanks for the catch, and thanks for reading!


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Good point--I added that section. I also mention Halberds for a reach weapon if you have martial weapon proficiency. Thanks for the catch, and thanks for reading!

Halberds don't actually have reach :) They have brace and trip. You might be thinking glaive.

Martial Reach Weapons:
Glaive - 1d10 ×3 Slashing reach
Guisarme - 2d4 ×3 Slashing reach, trip
Lance - 1d8 ×3 Piercing reach
Ranseur - 2d4 ×3 Piercing disarm, reach

Which are fairly comperable with the humble longspear for what our brute is going to be doing:
Longspear - 1d8 ×3 Piercing brace, reach


Eric Mason 37 wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Good point--I added that section. I also mention Halberds for a reach weapon if you have martial weapon proficiency. Thanks for the catch, and thanks for reading!

Halberds don't actually have reach :) They have brace and trip. You might be thinking glaive.

Martial Reach Weapons:
Glaive - 1d10 ×3 Slashing reach
Guisarme - 2d4 ×3 Slashing reach, trip
Lance - 1d8 ×3 Piercing reach
Ranseur - 2d4 ×3 Piercing disarm, reach

Which are fairly comperable with the humble longspear for what our brute is going to be doing:
Longspear - 1d8 ×3 Piercing brace, reach

Ah yes, always get it confused with glaive since they both do d10 x3 crit. Thanks! Glaive is better if you have the proficiency already from multiclassing, since its basically the same with more damage. Otherwise, as I mention in the guide, never bother taking weapon proficiency, and just grab the longspear.

Made the change--and thanks again.

By the way, do you guys think I should start a new thread so I can have the link in the first post? Otherwise it will be hard for people to find the up-to-date version without fishing the link out of the middle there.


I humbly suggest an alternate interpretation to the Advanced Rogue Talent "Feat". It has been my understanding that it can be taken multiple times, but this ability cannot bypass prerequisites when obtaining feats.

Thank you for writing the optimization guide, though. It's still very helpful.


Jikuu wrote:

I humbly suggest an alternate interpretation to the Advanced Rogue Talent "Feat". It has been my understanding that it can be taken multiple times, but this ability cannot bypass prerequisites when obtaining feats.

Thank you for writing the optimization guide, though. It's still very helpful.

Rogue Talents: As a rogue gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level, a rogue gains one rogue talent. She gains an additional rogue talent for every 2 levels of rogue attained after 2nd level. A rogue cannot select an individual talent more than once.

Advanced Talents: At 10th level, and every two levels thereafter, a rogue can choose one of the following advanced talents in place of a rogue talent

Nowhere does it state that advanced talents don't follow the rule that you can only take an individual talent once.

You can certainly have a houserule for your interpretation, but according to RAW, it's once.


Eric Mason 37 wrote:
Jikuu wrote:

I humbly suggest an alternate interpretation to the Advanced Rogue Talent "Feat". It has been my understanding that it can be taken multiple times, but this ability cannot bypass prerequisites when obtaining feats.

Thank you for writing the optimization guide, though. It's still very helpful.

Rogue Talents: As a rogue gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level, a rogue gains one rogue talent. She gains an additional rogue talent for every 2 levels of rogue attained after 2nd level. A rogue cannot select an individual talent more than once.

Advanced Talents: At 10th level, and every two levels thereafter, a rogue can choose one of the following advanced talents in place of a rogue talent

Nowhere does it state that advanced talents don't follow the rule that you can only take an individual talent once.

You can certainly have a houserule for your interpretation, but according to RAW, it's once.

Once again, Eric has the right of it.

@Jikuu--that was how it worked in 3.5, so I also thought that for a while. It's also possible that Paizo intended to allow it (in the sense of "Well by the time they're 10th level, those other talents are so awesome, it's OK if they get feat every time"), but if so, the RAW is against it.


Oh, I totally agree with Eric on what he has stated from the book. He's completely correct that rogue talents are not to be taken more than once. With concern for feat-granting talents, Weapon Training, Combat Trick, and Finesse Rogue are clearly actual talents to be taken just once (plus, it makes no sense to take Weapon Finesse twice).

The reason I point out that Feat can be taken more than once is because it does not word it as a specific rogue talent but a replacement for rogue talents.

Quote:
Feat: A rogue may gain any feat that she qualifies for in place of a rogue talent.

This wording suggests to me that the Feat is not considered a rogue talent. Otherwise, the wording would be "in place of another rogue talent".

I am, however, happy to concede that how the wording occurs leaves it up in the air and thus prone to GM decision rather than something concrete from Paizo. Last I checked the errata, they hadn't put something in to fix this.


Jikuu wrote:

Oh, I totally agree with Eric on what he has stated from the book. He's completely correct that rogue talents are not to be taken more than once. With concern for feat-granting talents, Weapon Training, Combat Trick, and Finesse Rogue are clearly actual talents to be taken just once (plus, it makes no sense to take Weapon Finesse twice).

The reason I point out that Feat can be taken more than once is because it does not word it as a specific rogue talent but a replacement for rogue talents.

Quote:
Feat: A rogue may gain any feat that she qualifies for in place of a rogue talent.

This wording suggests to me that the Feat is not considered a rogue talent. Otherwise, the wording would be "in place of another rogue talent".

I am, however, happy to concede that how the wording occurs leaves it up in the air and thus prone to GM decision rather than something concrete from Paizo. Last I checked the errata, they hadn't put something in to fix this.

Hmm, I see what you mean--that does leave it open to debate. In my opinion, the name of the Rogue Talent is actually Feat, a carryover from the fact that Advanced Talents were mostly taken from the 3.5 high-level Rogue abilities, and there was one called feat. But looking closely, your interpretation is certainly possible as well. I'm going to stick with the stricter interpretation for my guide, but players following this thread take note--you may be able to get more feats out of your advanced talent if your GM agrees!


I very much enjoyed this guide and have gotten some good insight from it. In the weapon section you might also want to add the Orc Double Axe as a viable choice for a TWF brute.
Also I'm currently playing a sword and board Fighter Rogue which seems rather nice, the shield increases survivability while the capstone shield feat and a bashing shield deal a considerable amount of damage.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alex Mack wrote:

I very much enjoyed this guide and have gotten some good insight from it. In the weapon section you might also want to add the Orc Double Axe as a viable choice for a TWF brute.

Also I'm currently playing a sword and board Fighter Rogue which seems rather nice, the shield increases survivability while the capstone shield feat and a bashing shield deal a considerable amount of damage.

Thanks for reading, and glad you enjoyed!

The Orc Double Axe isn't on there because the assumption is that the Brute build will not be using two weapons. Due to the Rogue's high Sneak Attack damage output and low accuracy, it is usually better to focus on Dex (if TWF) or Str (if a Brute) rather than split the two as would be needed to get the TWF feats for a Brute. For a Fighter/Rogue like yours, check out my Fighter Guide here. It goes more in detail about Str-based Two Weapon Fighting and the shield feats, and I do list free racial double weapons like Dwarven Urgosh to be a good choice.


Excelent guide but why so few comments?


Just a note on the Str-based rogues:

It's really not a good idea to wear the heavier armor than light armor/mithral medium armor as a rogue. You lose evasion if you wear anything heavier. Evasion is one of the core rogue abilities and should *never* be eliminated in the name of gaining a few AC.

Also, I'm not sure what you meant by the Two-Weapon Rend discussion about targeting multiple enemies per round, but Two-Weapon Rend's damage can be applied only once per round (regardless of number of targets).


meabolex wrote:

Just a note on the Str-based rogues:

It's really not a good idea to wear the heavier armor than light armor/mithral medium armor as a rogue. You lose evasion if you wear anything heavier. Evasion is one of the core rogue abilities and should *never* be eliminated in the name of gaining a few AC.

You can just buy the ring to get it back in armor.


Starbuck_II wrote:
meabolex wrote:

Just a note on the Str-based rogues:

It's really not a good idea to wear the heavier armor than light armor/mithral medium armor as a rogue. You lose evasion if you wear anything heavier. Evasion is one of the core rogue abilities and should *never* be eliminated in the name of gaining a few AC.

You can just buy the ring to get it back in armor.

LOL, I forgot that the ring doesn't actually grant evasion -- it grants the benefits of evasion without actually being the rogue's ability. Yeah, that would be a workaround if you have the cash.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think dumping Chr isn't a good idea. That's a -2 stat bonus to important skills like Use Magic Device, Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Intimidate. I think leaving it at 10 is dumping Chr enough.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
voska66 wrote:
I think dumping Chr isn't a good idea. That's a -2 stat bonus to important skills like Use Magic Device, Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Intimidate. I think leaving it at 10 is dumping Chr enough.

I will give you the UMD but please for bluff, diplomacy etc. the skill ranks can cover you just fine and when you are playing the class whose "big" thing is the 8+ skill points be sure to spend them well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
leo1925 wrote:
voska66 wrote:
I think dumping Chr isn't a good idea. That's a -2 stat bonus to important skills like Use Magic Device, Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Intimidate. I think leaving it at 10 is dumping Chr enough.
I will give you the UMD but please for bluff, diplomacy etc. the skill ranks can cover you just fine and when you are playing the class whose "big" thing is the 8+ skill points be sure to spend them well.

UMD is the key one for sure but the others go right along with it. But don't sell the other skills short either. Bluff is an opposed roll as is disguise. The DC for intimidate is based of the HD of who you intimidating. The diplomacy DCs I've seen in Adventure Paths tend to be really high.

It really depends on you party though. If you have some high Chr characters like Paladin and Sorcerer in the group have them split the duties of skills. The Paladin take Diplomacy and Intimidate and the sorcerer take bluff and disguise. Then as rogue you take UMD and plan on spending 2 feat to get +10 bonus at 10 ranks or higher. This way you could dump Chr to 7 with no problem.


Does anyone Know a spell to let the archer-rogue to sneak atack? and don´t hinder your´s ally like grease?

Lantern Lodge

I'm unable to find any mention of the "Dervish Dance" ability in the PRD. What is this? It sounds good?

Also, what would you think of a TWF rogue dipping into (say) ranger for a level in order to pick up proficiency with the remaining Martial weapons? You say that shortsword beats out rapier because the extra crit range isn't that useful (which is true) but being able to use one Weapon Focus for both hands sure is. But, shortsword is basically the worst of the light martial weapons, because it deals only crummy piercing damage (we've been fighting a lot of zombies and skeletons recently and our rogue is sad). Obviously even a shortsword rogue should carry a couple of light maces and daggers in order to deal with those awkward DR/(not piercing) enemies, but is a 1-level ranger dip worth it to pick up handaxe proficiency and favored enemy, especially for a half-elf?


Nicos wrote:
Does anyone Know a spell to let the archer-rogue to sneak atack? and don´t hinder your´s ally like grease?

Greater Invisibility can do it if they can't see invisible things. Otherwise, you're kind of out of options with spells. But of course, see the Shatter Defenses idea for a workaround.

Not apropos of this, if I was to update this guide, Improved Two Weapon Feint would become a must-have for TWF rogues.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Paul Zagieboylo wrote:

I'm unable to find any mention of the "Dervish Dance" ability in the PRD. What is this? It sounds good?

It's in the inner sea guide, you can also check it out here.


would an animal companion be a good option for the archer rogue?

The animal companion (trough durid, ranger, or sorcerer (sylvan) levels) could use dazzling display, then the rogue can use shatter defenses.


I have a 6th level rogue with around 12,000 gold. I am wondering what would be prime gear to have. We don't really have any crafters in the book and I am overwhelmed by what is out there. I love this guide and already have mithral plate, per the recommendation but really I am looking into rings of pro, amulet of natural armor, etc. Any help is prime.

Sczarni

We did 3 rogue builds for my campaign. One is ranged rogue, one is melee rogue, and one is skill/magic rogue.

Melee took high CHA and STR. Odd you may say... but considering at level ONE She could intimidate a 14 HD mob into being Shaken almost permanently, it seems to work (allowing other a +2 to hit essentially, better than a bard's song). Only getting uglier with the CHA feat chain up the ladder. Eventually she will be able to intimidate them permanently flat footed, at which point they will all get sneak attacks all the time. Who said it was hard to gain these again?

The ranged build is working because, well, DEX and FEATS means a whole lot of BAB adding. That combined with a HIGH AC make him pretty survivable. (He will come into his own at level 6 with a level of Shadowdancer and hiding in plain sight)

The Magus Rogue/Skill Monkey is just starting to get interesting. What do you do with a INT CHA based rogue? Give him a Touch Attack of course. Chill Touch to be precise. So the eventual plan for him is to take the STR -2 bleed per attack in addition to the FORT save for -1 STR attack. This means each hit will be 2-3 str in addition to any damage done. And because his + to hit stinks, the mitigation of Touch AC compensates for the lack of stats in DEX or STR. (only his AC kinda blows) (Chill Touch also works as a clerical turning ability for lower undead, panicked = free sneak attacks...and if a vampire, mummy, morgh, or lich every rolls a 1 on their save they are in TROUBLE)

All three of these were added to by a Fourth rogue, who is basically a halfling dodge monkey. Taunting and using full defense until the mobs come back around to not attacking his 25(ish) AC.

All together, they are a Rogue Squad (well, they could use a 5th... lol) to be reckoned with. I amattempting to get them all the dip into Shadowdancer at 6th, but the Magus may not make it until 8-10th... will see. (The first three are Humans for the extra feats, Ranks per level, etc...). They may end up taking more levels in Shadowdancer (maybe 3rd). But at this point I don't know how that will pan out.

Silver Crusade

I'm pretty new to rogues, making my first rogue character (multi-classed, but mostly roguish).

My main concern is that the character is for Pathfinder Society, so I never know who will be at the table with me. That means I might not have a flank buddy in some scenarios. Other than just high initiative to catch bad guys flat-footed in the first round, how else can I make sure to get sneak attacks?

Rogue Eidolon calls feinting a trap option. Are there other options for getting sneak attacks reliably by myself?

Actually, my character will be starting with a level of Dawnflower Dervish (bard), mostly to get the Dervish Dance feat for free, but also for some other choice dervish and bard stuff. But as long as I can pick up two 1st level bard spells, I was thinking of going with Expeditious Retreat to make up for my short little Halfling legs, along with Grease to leave people flat-footed.


Great guide. Nice job. The biggest thing I think is missing is a relative color rating of the different builds. to me, two-weapon fighting is vastly superior to the others, as you get significantly more attacks to which you'll be adding sneak attack damage, plus Dex is your only must have ability score, so you can still be an outstanding skill monkey.

I'm playing one right now and it's lots of fun. I have decent Con and Wis, but I'm still planning on taking all 4 Iron will and Great Fortitude feats. Saves really are the Rogues biggest weakness. Is it just me, or is the +5 cloak of resistance for 25,000gp the best value in the whole game? Nothing affects the amount of fun you can have like failing or making a saving throw.

Also, I made my strength a 12 from the beginning for carrying capacity, and this still felt like cutting it kind of close. 33 lbs is your max light load with a 10 strength. Seems less than ideal if you want to wear clothes and armor at the same time.


Fromper wrote:

I'm pretty new to rogues, making my first rogue character (multi-classed, but mostly roguish).

My main concern is that the character is for Pathfinder Society, so I never know who will be at the table with me. That means I might not have a flank buddy in some scenarios. Other than just high initiative to catch bad guys flat-footed in the first round, how else can I make sure to get sneak attacks?

Rogue Eidolon calls feinting a trap option. Are there other options for getting sneak attacks reliably by myself?

Actually, my character will be starting with a level of Dawnflower Dervish (bard), mostly to get the Dervish Dance feat for free, but also for some other choice dervish and bard stuff. But as long as I can pick up two 1st level bard spells, I was thinking of going with Expeditious Retreat to make up for my short little Halfling legs, along with Grease to leave people flat-footed.

There's the Scout Archetype that eventually lets you do a sneak attack on a charge eventually. (I also found out it's pretty crazy when you do the Scout Archetype and the Skulking Slayer from the Advance Races guide.)

Silver Crusade

Marthian wrote:
Fromper wrote:

I'm pretty new to rogues, making my first rogue character (multi-classed, but mostly roguish).

My main concern is that the character is for Pathfinder Society, so I never know who will be at the table with me. That means I might not have a flank buddy in some scenarios. Other than just high initiative to catch bad guys flat-footed in the first round, how else can I make sure to get sneak attacks?

Rogue Eidolon calls feinting a trap option. Are there other options for getting sneak attacks reliably by myself?

Actually, my character will be starting with a level of Dawnflower Dervish (bard), mostly to get the Dervish Dance feat for free, but also for some other choice dervish and bard stuff. But as long as I can pick up two 1st level bard spells, I was thinking of going with Expeditious Retreat to make up for my short little Halfling legs, along with Grease to leave people flat-footed.

There's the Scout Archetype that eventually lets you do a sneak attack on a charge eventually. (I also found out it's pretty crazy when you do the Scout Archetype and the Skulking Slayer from the Advance Races guide.)

Because I'm multi-classing (one level dip in Dawnflower Dervish bard and planning to take Halfling Opportunist prestige class on levels 6-10), I can't really be bothered with anything that's "eventually". I'll only have 4 levels of rogue at level 10, even though it's my favored class. Besides, it's for Pathfinder Society, so I have to work my way up from level 1. I'm just looking for methods to get sneak attacks besides flanking and going first, since I'm relatively new to rogues.

Right now, the character is up to level 3 with +10 initiative (Improved Init, Reactionary, and 19 dex that will go up to 20 at level 4 and 22 once I can afford a dex belt), so I've got the "going first" thing covered to catch enemies flat footed. But with random groups in Pathfinder Society, I'm worried about not always having a flank buddy.

What do you guys think of Minor Magic: Acid Splash as my first rogue talent at level 3 (bard 1, rogue 2)? I figure if I can get within 30 feet of an opponent during the first round of combat, or start within 30 in a surprise round, this will let me get a sneak attack against flat footed enemies without having to use a move action to draw a ranged weapon. And Acid Splash ignores both SR and DR, so I only have to worry about the occasional monster with acid resistance or immunity.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thank you for the guide.

I don't see rogues very often in my games, so I'm not very familiar with some of the nuances. I notice that Improved Feint is listed as a trap, but I don't really see why that is the case. Can someone elaborate for me?

As I see it, this seems to be a pretty nice feat for a low level rogue. If he/she is already engaged in combat, then the rogue could feint and if successful get a sneak attack on the same round. At higher levels, I see that this would exclude a full attack, but that doesn't seem so bad to me especially if the PC isn't a TW rogue.


I saw that about Feint, too, and it made me think. I've been looking at a TWF rogue build (maybe multiclass with fighter or ranger) and was thinking of pumping bluff, my main reason for keeping CHA. But Bluff/Feint is normally a standard action, and even at the cost of a feat still a move action. Meaning that while bluffing, either you can't attack that round, or at best you can't full attack. That's too high of a price, when you can sneak attack on a flank. If you're a solo adventurer, maybe.

So, that's the trap. Looking at rogue, we think, great! another way to get sneak attack! But at the cost of ability points (as we don't dump CHA), perhaps a feat, but most importantly, the cost of a full attack's worth of sneak attacks at higher levels.

Aside from that, not sure if this is an update thing, or if this is another trap, but as I've been looking at TWF rogue, I'm stuck on the notion of wakazashi and piranha strike. The guide is pretty firm on short swords to benefit from Weapon Focus... A level of ninja for wakazashi means you can get improved crit for 15-20 threat range at +8 BAB... but I guess I was thinking more like 3 ninja/rest fighter for the build with just +2d6 sneak...

arghh, so many possibilities, my head hurts.

but this was good, I'm think on it. not enough rogues out there.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/two-weapon-feint-combat

That fixes feinting, but still the rogue is -2 to all attacks from TWF and down one attack, and still doesn't solve his problems on a standard attack. It only lasts for that round.

If I am going to waste a feat to get somewhere it's going to be on dazzling display to reach Shatter Defenses. That lasts for some time, the shaken condition itself lasts a while providing useful penalties, and it could possibly also add sickened to the list if you've got the thug archetype.


I dont really get what is meant by TWF being feat starved.

I am making a TWF human rogue and I dont know what to select for my bonus feat after Two Weapon Fighting. Well, there certainly seems to be nothing to improve my attack bonus, and it says in the guide that I am better off not taking weapon finesse with my feats and wait for the rogue talent. This is pretty confusing.

(sorry for the possibly large bump, but this is the only rogue guide in the guide to guides)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Daggers... Sure they are not great damage dealers, but they are cheap, you can get multiple of them to bypass DR, and they help give you ranged and melee ways to deliver the almighty SA.
The real advantage is that you can take WF daggers and it applies to melee , TWF, and ranged. I would only take TWF once, maybe twice; grab major magic for the spell grease, and arcane strike feat. It will save on alot of feats and give you more options.

Maybe this could be a standard for the skill monkey? What are your thoughts?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Major Magic does not qualify you for arcane strike.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No?

Prerequisite: Ability to cast arcane spells.

If it isn't then that is just a feat and two talents to use otherwise. Though detect magic is nice to help detect magic traps, and grease is always nice for free SAs...


Antary wrote:


(sorry for the possibly large bump, but this is the only rogue guide in the guide to guides)

Start by writing down what you'd like the character to be able to do... and I mean both in combat and out of combat.

Play with this a bit, and see why you want to be a rogue and what it is going to give you. You might wind up PrCing or otherwise multiclassing, you might go with all rogue levels, or you might go with no rogue levels.

Then you will plan out your character for the levels that you think that you will play. This plan might change in the future, but it will be the default if it does not. That way you can see if you'd rather wait for weapon finesse for 2nd level, or if you'd rather have the trait for something else.

-James


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Byrdology wrote:

No?

Prerequisite: Ability to cast arcane spells.

If it isn't then that is just a feat and two talents to use otherwise. Though detect magic is nice to help detect magic traps, and grease is always nice for free SAs...

The Major and Minor Magic talents give you spell-like abilities, while the feat requires spells. They're also neither arcane or divine. They're just SLAs.

1 to 50 of 67 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Rogue Eidolon's Guide to Rogues All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.