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RPG Superstar 2015

[Request] Regarding Rogue Talents


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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I've read many, many posts debating the rogue's viability in Pathfinder as compared to many of the other classes. One of the primary complaints regarding the rogue are their talents (among others).

I would appreciate assistance in drawing up this list. Which specific rogue talents do you feel are a waste of space, to be blunt? Please include a brief blurb as to why.

Thanks.


I posted this late last night and should have put in the "why" of the request. I'm revising many of the rogue talents for my own campaign and while there are a few glaring problems with the talents, I don't always notice some of the more subtle ones.

Anyway, this is what I have thusfar: Rogue Revisions.

A few are obvious ninja trick reskins.

It's a work in progress.


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my proposal for 'Guile Pool':

Execution Pool (Ex):
A Rogue uses rigorous on-the-ground training and off-the-cuff thinking to develop and build upon her natural aptitudes. She is the undisputed master of Extraordinary Abilities that supplement her broad and deep understandings of how to execute incredible feats of raw skill.

Skills modified by an Execution Pool must be Trained Rogue Skills. That is, Class Skills that the Rogue has at least 1 rank in - with the exception of Craft, Profession, and Performance Skills. Appropriate Skills to use with the Execution Pool are as follows: Acrobatics, Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Knowledge (Local), Linguistics, Perception, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Swim, and Use Magic Device.

at 2nd level, a Rogue gains an Execution Pool equal to half her Rogue Level plus CHA modifier. this pool replenishes after 8 hours of rest. if the Rogue ever steals an item from a non-ally worth more than 1,000 times her Rogue level in gold pieces, she immediately gains 1 point back.

so long as she has 1 point in her pool, she gains an enhanced +5 Training bonus to Trained Rogue Skills, instead of the usual +3.

Innovative Execution (Ex):
further, as a free action, she may spend 1 point to gain a +1 Insight bonus to any Trained Rogue Skill check. If this would drop her to 0 points, she maintains her enhanced Training bonus (+5, see above) for the duration of the check. at third level, and every three Rogue levels thereafter, her Innovative Execution bonus further increases by +1. Innovative Execution may only be used once per Trained Rogue Skill per day.

Confident Execution (Ex):
at 6th level, as a free action she may expend 1 point to roll twice for a single Trained Rogue Skill check, taking the desired result. she must declare this usage before rolling the dice. Confident Execution may be used in conjunction with the various Rogue Talents that allow additional rolls, but never more than once per Trained Rogue Skill per day.

Smooth Execution (Ex):
at 10th level, as a free action she may expend 1 point to "take 10" on any Trained Rogue Skill check (or, on any single roll as part of a check). If the skill in question is a Skill Mastery skill, or any skill that is the focus of any Rogue Talent, she may additionally partially or totally ignore a penalty of up to -5 per additional point spent. Smooth Execution may only be used once per Trained Rogue Skill per day.

Meticulous Execution (Ex):
at 14th level, as a free action she may choose to re-roll any Trained Rogue Skill check after rolling an initial attempt, by expending 1 point. this second result must be kept. If the skill in question is a Skill Mastery skill, or any skill that is the focus of any Rogue Talent, the first result may be kept in lieu of the second result. Meticulous Execution may only be used up to once per Trained Rogue Skill per day.

Masterful Execution (Ex):
at 18th level, as a free action she may expend 1 point to "take 20" on any Trained Rogue Skill check. If the skill in question is a Skill Mastery skill, or any skill that is the focus of any Rogue Talent, she may additionally partially or totally ignore a penalty of up to -10 per additional point spent. Masterful Execution may only be used once per Trained Rogue Skill per day.

...

whaddya all think?
my intent here is to boost the Rogue's non-combat skills (of course some of these can certainly be used in combat which is a roundabout way of boosting the combat skills) and re-establish the Rogue as the Go-To Class for Breadth AND Depth of Skill Training, without encroaching upon some of the brilliant mechanical/thematic changes/innovations that are the Bard or Ninja, except inasmuch as there is 'skill competition' between them - my proposals advance on par with Versatile Performance (2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th) and Ki Pool (2nd). And all in Extraordinary (Ex) fashion, leaving Arcane/Arbitrary Lore to the Bard and the Supernatural to the Ninja. Also, i tried to create the incentive to remain 'loyal' to the class by spreading these abilities out, tying them into other 'skillsy' Rogue Talents for additional effect, and making the benefits exclusive to "Trained Rogue Skills".

if you like this, help me name the abilities better?


also, thank you for overhauling Rogue Talents!

this is the other change that is easy to fix.

my 2 cents:

Ambush - not enough. maybe add "Sneak Attack dice can multiply for a critical hit"?

Dagger Specialist - or jump bump Dagger to 1d6 (thus, for medium Rogue, a handfull of d6's) - also, that she may Slash for x19 or Pierce for x3? decided before the strike, of course.

Power for Precision - typo "19s" - i would suggest trading a 1d6 for a +2 to strike.

Sudden Disguise - this ought to be "prepped" in the morning (like, a disguise underneath "normal" clothes that have been rigged to strip off) otherwise it is too magicky

Dash - does this clear the whole move action? even under multiple threats? i think it should. and maybe trigger reactively from failing an Acrobatics check.

Hide in Plain Sight - i don't like the terrain thing. i think Rogue should get this ability, but differently than the Ranger. maybe Urban only? but with increased effect? like there has to be a building or alleyway or crowd nearby? (within half speed feet?)... still churning about this one.

this is good.
having a Pool really opens it up. generally i am okay with giving the mechanic, but to me, it cannot violate the flavor of the class as "mundane" (except the Arcane Talents which are cool)


I haven't played a PF rogue yet, and so took another look at the talent list. Obviously some are better than others, but I don't any are so bad that they need to be removed completely.

One of my favorite aspects of the rogue is that of "wiggle out of trouble". Examples are: tumbling to avoid attacks, evasion, and escape artist. There are some in the advanced talents (like slippery mind and defensive roll), but nothing really to speak of at lower levels. I like the flavor of getaway artist, but it fails to do anything special.

So, my suggestions:

1) I see some redundancy in the skill-based talents. How many do we need that allow the rogue to roll twice? Better, I say, for the talent to allow two rolls for any single skill check, with the same "per day" limit. Maybe this one could selected more than once.

2) A second talent with a twist on #1 would be to allow a reroll after a skill check is made, where the second check must of course be used even if lower.

3) Instead of talents that add specific skills to the rogue skill list, a talent like this should allow the rogue to select any 2-3 skills to the class list.

4) I see on the boards complaints that tumbling away becomes very difficuly at high levels. A talent that allows the rogue to still excel at this task could give a flat +5, or a level based bonus, or a bonus based on the size of the oppenent.

5) Defensive roll has never sat well with me, even in the 3rd edition days. Its a once per day ability. The rogue can evade fireballs all day, with better chances of success than he has with this talent. I think the talent should negate all damage on a success and cause half of the damage to be non lethal on a fail, or something like that.

Thats all I have time for.


Added in another advanced talent, "Contigency Plan," and a base talent, "Versatility". Revised Defensive Roll a bit. Removed Getaway Artist and Survivalist.

rainzax wrote:
my proposal for 'Guile Pool':

You know, I'd say what you have is a pretty neat and more or less complete "skill monkey" archetype for the rogue as it currently stands (ignoring any other changes from other sources). I kinda dig it.

The pradigm presented, regarding ninja (supernatural), bard (sorcerous), and rogue (extraordinary) is one I think I'll go with for further talent design, as well.

rainzax wrote:

also, thank you for overhauling Rogue Talents!

this is the other change that is easy to fix.

my 2 cents:

Ambush - not enough. maybe add "Sneak Attack dice can multiply for a critical hit"?

Not a problem. I like toying with mechanics and I'm currently working on a telepathic warrior class for a specific area of my home setting (I don't like the psionic system from 3.5 or the current version) and I needed a break. It also helps that my wife plays rogues exclusively and asked me to look into some of the talents she and a couple of my other players referred to as, "crappy." =)

I agree. It is a rather weak talent. At the moment I'm not certain what to do to fix it. I'm very cautious on damage bonuses (as you'll notice with my responses throughout) due to current/expected DPR (damage per round) and certain "benchmarks". I'll think some more on this one and get back to you.

rainzax wrote:
Dagger Specialist - or jump bump Dagger to 1d6 (thus, for medium Rogue, a handfull of d6's)

Changed to reflect this; included the list of dagger-like weapons.

rainzax wrote:
Power for Precision - typo "19s" - i would suggest trading a 1d6 for a +2 to strike.

Fixed the typo. As for the bonus shifting from a +1 to a +2, I'm a little concerned about the potential DPR increase. A shift in 5 points on a rogues attack increases their damage output a great deal - I'll do some tests later and get back to you on this one.

rainzax wrote:
Sudden Disguise - this ought to be "prepped" in the morning (like, a disguise underneath "normal" clothes that have been rigged to strip off) otherwise it is too magicky

Changed so as to keep with the paradigm presented. Removed the "guile" cost.

rainzax wrote:
Dash - does this clear the whole move action? even under multiple threats? i think it should. and maybe trigger reactively from failing an Acrobatics check.

I reworded it to make it a little more clear that it does prevent all attacks of opportunity until the beginning of the rogue's next turn; added the acrobatics bit, but made it a 2 guile cost as it's the player would have made a conscious decision to not spend the 1 and try his luck with the original use.

rainzax wrote:
Hide in Plain Sight - i don't like the terrain thing. i think Rogue should get this ability, but differently than the Ranger. maybe Urban only? but with increased effect? like there has to be a building or alleyway or crowd nearby? (within half speed feet?)... still churning about this one.

To tell you the truth, I hate the fact they make the rogue use the ranger mechanic (actually, a WORSE mechanic than the ranger due to talent costs) in order to hide in plain sight, which they did just so that Assassin and Shadowdancer could have their special version that works how it should for the rogue.

Ultimately, what the change I added allowed for was more opportunity for the rogue to excel at the thing (in my opinion) they should be better than everyone else at: Stealth. I do agree with you in that I'm not sure I like it. I think this one will take much more brainstorming.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:

I haven't played a PF rogue yet, and so took another look at the talent list. Obviously some are better than others, but I don't any are so bad that they need to be removed completely.

One of my favorite aspects of the rogue is that of "wiggle out of trouble". Examples are: tumbling to avoid attacks, evasion, and escape artist. There are some in the advanced talents (like slippery mind and defensive roll), but nothing really to speak of at lower levels. I like the flavor of getaway artist, but it fails to do anything special.

I haven't played one, but I've had several in my campaigns. Thusfar, the only talents I've removed are those that are redundant or no longer applicable, for whatever reason (removing ki pool due to the addition I made of a guile pool, for example. It prevents the ninja or anyone else without a guile pool from getting some of the rogues goodies and in return, lets them keep some of their special stuff).

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
1) I see some redundancy in the skill-based talents. How many do we need that allow the rogue to roll twice? Better, I say, for the talent to allow two rolls for any single skill check, with the same "per day" limit. Maybe this one could selected more than once.

You suggested something similar in the noble class I'd constructed. It was a good idea then and is now - I let it work for all skills currently associated with the talents rogues already possess with a 1 point "guile" cost to limit the number of times per day.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
2) A second talent with a twist on #1 would be to allow a reroll after a skill check is made, where the second check must of course be used even if lower.

See above. In this case, I simply allowed them to roll 2 dice and take the higher with a guile point cost. Previous version as a prerequisite.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
3) Instead of talents that add specific skills to the rogue skill list, a talent like this should allow the rogue to select any 2-3 skills to the class list.

Done (Versatility).

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
4) I see on the boards complaints that tumbling away becomes very difficuly at high levels. A talent that allows the rogue to still excel at this task could give a flat +5, or a level based bonus, or a bonus based on the size of the oppenent.

The guile pool with several of the talents I've added correct for this - I'd be interested in your opinion (see guile pool, dash, surprise shift, contingency plan).

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
5) Defensive roll has never sat well with me, even in the 3rd edition days. Its a once per day ability. The rogue can evade fireballs all day, with better chances of success than he has with this talent. I think the talent should negate all damage on a success and cause half of the damage to be non lethal on a fail, or something like that.

That's one I'm not really sure how to handle. I can definitely fix the once per day bit by making it cost guile, which still limits the use (by the pool amount and the fact there are several beneficial things to use it on), but an elegant mechanic for dealing with the damage sustained is a bit more difficult, without potentially causing problems. Brainstorming a bit more may be what's necessary.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Thats all I have time for.

I appreciate it!


I don't really have a problem with the once a day part. Its this: the rogue gets one shot. Does he go for the big hit that's going to put his hp in single digits, or does he use the ability on the medium hit thats easier to succeed on that only saves you 10 or more points of damage.

Tough to fix though without going overboard. Maybe at once per day it shaves half the roll of the save off of the damage?


Best I could find was an improved version of it to cause what you suggested. Added it in as Greater Defensive Roll at prerequisite: 16th level talent & defensive roll. I need to edit it to add in a guile pool cost, but hey, a mechanic actually exists!

Also, is anyone familiar with the Grim N Gritty replacement for Sneak Attack, called Pounce (a 3.5 ogl product)? I recently found notes I'd taken a while back regarding it and was comparing them to the "Called Shot" system in Pathfinder.

In essence, you can turn a rogue into a Called Shot master in the same circumstances that allow for sneak attack (you lose you dice for other bonuses). On a "sneak attack" you would effectively pull off critical effect called shots more reliably than before. The downside is you would NEVER do enough damage to ever get a debilitating blow, which isn't something you "expect to get" anyway.

I may post some of the information later. It's a really interesting idea as an optional/variant rule.


I like these a lot - the only thing I'm wondering about is why the size of the guile pool is determined using 1/2 rogue level + Cha modifier. Any particular reason why Int or Dex weren't used instead?

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd like to see an exception carved out to the prerequisite(s) of minor talent and major talent. It should be "the ability to cast at least one arcane cantrip OR minor talent" and "the ability to cast at least one first level arcane spell OR major talent.

That way if the rogue has multi-classed into an arcane casting class, they don't have to take the relatively obsolete (for that character) talents before moving on to ones they really want.


Limeylongears wrote:
I like these a lot - the only thing I'm wondering about is why the size of the guile pool is determined using 1/2 rogue level + Cha modifier. Any particular reason why Int or Dex weren't used instead?

Thanks! It's a work in progress as I try to go back and find/fix things that are mechanical issues & make sure they don't interfere with other pre-existing mechanics.

I had to go back and double-check, but it looks like that is a "relic" from the ninja material I straight up jacked (I removed the Ki Pool talent, which basically gave the rogue a SEVERELY watered down version of the ki pool, and not very rogue-like). I corrected the entry to reflect the definition of "guile" as sly or cunning intelligence to 1/2 level + intelligence modifier for the pool and increased the guile speed increase (at the cost of 1 point) to the ninja level of 20 feet. The 10 foot movement was a relic from the rogue's ki pool talent.

I'm considering the following change to the "Ambush talent" I presented in the first set of changes, which is pretty lack-luster as is:

Ambush (Ex) When the rogue encounters a flat-footed opponent in the surprise round, she gains a +2 bonus on her attack and her threat ranged is doubled. At 10th level, the bonus on the rogue's attack increases to +4.
This effect doesn't stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon.

Thoughts?


SlimGauge wrote:

I'd like to see an exception carved out to the prerequisite(s) of minor talent and major talent. It should be "the ability to cast at least one arcane cantrip OR minor talent" and "the ability to cast at least one first level arcane spell OR major talent.

That way if the rogue has multi-classed into an arcane casting class, they don't have to take the relatively obsolete (for that character) talents before moving on to ones they really want.

I would like to start off saying, I agree with you completely - you're talking about the equivalent of "virtual feats," but with regard to meeting prerequisites for talents. I use a rule in my homebrew setting to emulate this.

3.0 version of Virtual Feats:
If you effectively have a feat as a class feature or special ability, then you can use that virtual feat as a prerequisite for other feats.

I am unable to find any reference to virtual feats in Pathfinder, which is not to say it doesn't exist. I think, for the sake of GMs and players alike, what you suggest should be placed in a "Variant Rules Sidebar" to allow for GMs that use the variant or don't use it. Ultimately, it would allow you to bypass 2 relatively useless talents if you have levels in a spellcasting class to meet the prerequisites for other talents, which some GMs would not allow. Thoughts?


Limeylongears

i think the reason for using CHA for Guile Pool over, say, DX or INT, is part theme, part MADness. (MAD = multiple ability dependence)

that is, it represents 'confidence' and 'panache', which fall under CHA.

also, as a 'tack-on' to the already existing Rogue class, to provide incentive not to dump CHA.

i think the Guile Pool can give more meaning to Rogue skills. comparatively, two other classes get a similar 'breadth' of skills (Bard and Ninja), and several other classes can be as-good or better at certain skills, what i call 'depth' of skills, and so i think, especially considering some of the nuances and difficulties the Rogue has and faces, that the Guile Pool allows the Rogue to (re)posses some of the 'breadth' and 'depth' of mechanical skill proficiency - to be really friggin good at several skills.

to me, being able to 'take charge of the dice', whether in a 're-roll' or a 'take a number' (like "take 10') situation, is the best way to drive home the skill check. this will allow the Rogue to take reasonable risks under important situations - aka, have more fun!

cheers


So Rogue Glory is coming out soon from Drop Dead Studios, which among other things, advocates adding abilities to the Rogue class as opposed to adding more powerful rogue talents that make the older ones obsolete. The choices they're advocating are also a guile pool and an ambush class ability. I guess it's just universally understood that those are the abilities the rogue needs or something.

Guile Pool:
At 2nd level, a rogue gains a guile pool equal to half her rogue level plus her Charisma modifier (minimum: 1).

A rogue may spend one point from her guile pool as part of any skill check to gain a +2 bonus to that skill check. At 10th level, this bonus increases to +4.

A rogue may spend 1 point from her guile pool as a swift action to grant herself a +1 circumstance bonus to her to-hit modifier until the end of her turn. For every four levels beyond 2nd the rogue possesses, this bonus increases by 1, to a maximum of +5 at 18th level.

As long as she has at least 1 point remaining in her guile pool, the rogue is treated as if under the effects of the Improved Feint feat.

Ambush:
At 3rd level, the rogue may designate one of her attacks during a surprise round as an ambush. If this attack hits and deals sneak attack damage, it deals an amount of extra precision damage equal to the rogue’s class level.

In addition, the target of a successful ambush must make a Fortitude save against a DC of 10 + half the rogue’s level + the rogue’s Dexterity modifier. If the target fails this save, he becomes sickened for 1d4+1 rounds. As a rogue gains levels, she may change the effect bestowed when the target fails this saving throw. At 8th level, the rogue may choose to make her target staggered. At 13th level, the rogue may make the target nauseated. At 18th level, the rogue may stun the target. All effects last for 1d4+1 rounds.


The Modern Bard wrote:

So Rogue Glory is coming out soon from Drop Dead Studios, which among other things, advocates adding abilities to the Rogue class as opposed to adding more powerful rogue talents that make the older ones obsolete. The choices they're advocating are also a guile pool and an ambush class ability. I guess it's just universally understood that those are the abilities the rogue needs or something.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I'm a big fan of the "pool" abilities, to tell you the truth, but then again, I'm a fan of many things that require players to intelligently manage their resources.

I definitely like some of the aspects of the "guile pool" you presented, and I'll probably shift the combat maneuvers from my version to the one you presented with improved feint & shift the steal & dirty fighting to "feat talents". Those two maneuvers just scream rogue to me.

I like your version of ambush, though it ultimately serves a similar purpose to one I'm considering at the moment (not the one in the document). The version I intend to use will be better set as an optional rule, as not every group uses the called shot mechanics. I'll try to get this stuff updated either this afternoon or tonight, depending on how many times I have to read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" or the "Fox in Socks" to my daughter, lol.


For me, it's the Step into Reading Cars-themed version "Old, New, Red, Blue" to my son.


Re: Adam - I need to pickup more books for my daughter. I have around 20 for her at the moment, but she wants me to chain-read them to her and my brain is going numb from it.

Changed guile pool to 2nd level; reflects ninja's gain of the ki pool. Also made some modifications to my version based on Adam's. I'm still very torn on whether to go with charisma, like the ninja, or keep it as Intelligence. As a general rule, I try to avoid adding to the MAD of any class, and frankly, I think there are good arguments for both Charisma and Intelligence.

Added in "Scoundrel" talent for rogue use of Dirty Fighting and Steal.

Considering this for the "ambush talent" I currently have (quick & dirty run down - talent will be an optional rule, due to the nature of called shots): Rogue can sacrifice his/her sneak attack dice (all or nothing, maximum 10d6) to gain a +2 circumstance bonus to hit and +1 threat range (which doesn't stack with other things that increase threat range - will grant a +10 to hit, +5 threat range at 20th level) in the surprise round when attacking someone denied their dex bonus. The idea is this will work with the called shots. Ultimately, the rogue will have a high probability of hitting a critical called shot, but it will be impossible (unless my math is way off) to ever get a debilitaring blow.

Thoughts?


I always love seeing other people's design ideas. Personally, I'd like to see every class be a little bit MAD, so designing your character involves a little bit more picking and choosing of builds. As for Rogues, they've always seemed the most MAD to me already, what with their "Classic" skills being tied to so many attributes already (Dex for stealth and Disable Device, Int for more skill points, Cha for social skills, Wis for Perception, Con and Strength depending on what sort of rogue you want to be, etc.)

In my game, I give my rogues access to talents that let them use ranger traps, and an archetype that gets great use out of the Heal skill. Between that and a Cha-based guile pool, it makes having a Wisdom Rogue (ranger traps, Ki pool, grit pool, Healing) Intelligence Rogue (Major Magic, lots of skill points) and Charisma Rogue (Guile Pool, social skills) all valid choices.


i think Rogue Glory, as far as we have a spoiler for, has the brilliant idea of introducing the Guile Pool. as exactly proposed though, i think it could require more tinkering.

i'm not bashing Rogue Glory - the Improved Feint works well with every Rogue because it interacts with Sneak Attack, and the Ambush works well because it gives the class an added edge in it's own element - it's just that this merely advances the fighting skill of the Rogue. if the fight is what you want, these proposals deliver.

and so, my two critiques of Guile Pool are that stylistically it is inspired by the Ninja Ki Pool in that it offers additional combat options (my opinion: let Ninja be more combat-focused), and, that it gives away too much at early levels. basically, two new abilities at 2nd and 3rd (Improved Feint and Ambush). i personally would like to see the upgrades spread out more sigfificantly over more than the first 3 levels. this would incentivize class loyalty. as proposed, the (Glory) Rogue is just a better 'dip' than before.

that said, i am in the camp that believes not all classes need to be equal in a fight. there are roughly two other Modes of Play, Problem-Solving (w/ skills, props, plans) and Direct NPC Interaction ('roleplaying'), in which the Rogue has to shine. (of course, all these Modes overlap and mix to a great extent...) AND, as the last mode is mostly above the mechanics, i think any improvements to the Rogue class should be made with the Problem-Solving mode more in mind, with mechanics to support that.


Mechanically speaking, I don't really like the idea of the guile pool. One of my favorite aspects of the rogue is that at the end of the day, when all of the spellcasters have used all their spells, everyone's out of their ki pools or what have you, and the fighters are low on hp from tanking all of the battles, the rogue is still ready to go. The rogue is always at his peak. That's where most of the flavor of the rogue comes from. So change the talents around all you want, but keep in mind the idea of always maintaining peak performance.


The Modern Bard wrote:

I always love seeing other people's design ideas. Personally, I'd like to see every class be a little bit MAD, so designing your character involves a little bit more picking and choosing of builds. As for Rogues, they've always seemed the most MAD to me already, what with their "Classic" skills being tied to so many attributes already (Dex for stealth and Disable Device, Int for more skill points, Cha for social skills, Wis for Perception, Con and Strength depending on what sort of rogue you want to be, etc.)

In my game, I give my rogues access to talents that let them use ranger traps, and an archetype that gets great use out of the Heal skill. Between that and a Cha-based guile pool, it makes having a Wisdom Rogue (ranger traps, Ki pool, grit pool, Healing) Intelligence Rogue (Major Magic, lots of skill points) and Charisma Rogue (Guile Pool, social skills) all valid choices.

I'd been thinking about the ranger trap bit for a while after someone had mentioned them on the boards, and I may actually go with including it - I feel more comfortable with the idea now that I know someone's using them. Thanks! They're terribly situational, but I definitely like the idea of the option being available.

CptAwesome wrote:
Mechanically speaking, I don't really like the idea of the guile pool. One of my favorite aspects of the rogue is that at the end of the day, when all of the spellcasters have used all their spells, everyone's out of their ki pools or what have you, and the fighters are low on hp from tanking all of the battles, the rogue is still ready to go. The rogue is always at his peak. That's where most of the flavor of the rogue comes from. So change the talents around all you want, but keep in mind the idea of always maintaining peak performance.

I agree - with the bolded part I placed in your quote - and I'll explain what my intent is. The "guile pool" (either Adam's version or mine) in conjunction with the talents I've revised only serves to benefit the rogue, not limit or inhibit the rogue in any fashion. Many of the rogue's talents are broken into 3-5 or more that provide the exact same skill bonus/mechanic/whatever with a limitation of a low X per day and (obviously) costs a talent slot. These individual talents are not really on par with other similar talents in terms of "bang for your buck".

One example, Skill Confidence (a new base talent), combines the reroll mechanic and the skill list of Charmer, Honeyed Words, and a couple other talents into one. Normally, you could use each of these talents 5 times per day at level 20, but the likely hood of having each of these talents or being in a situation that would even use these skills is highly varied and the decision to try and take each of these talents is a severely costly one. Skill Confidence takes this list and allows the reroll mechanic, with a guile pool of 14 (assuming int or cha of 18) with a brief list of the skills normally available (see Skill Confidence and Assured Skill for specific details - Rogue Revisions).

I could be mistaken, but I do not believe I have tied anything to the guile pool that did not have a once per day mechanic to begin with. I don't think my wife would approve if I did.=)


Since Rogue Talents are far weaker than Feats, Rage Powers, Discoveries, etc in general, wouldn't a simple option be to give a Rogue Talent every level instead of just every even level?


Roberta Yang wrote:
Since Rogue Talents are far weaker than Feats, Rage Powers, Discoveries, etc in general, wouldn't a simple option be to give a Rogue Talent every level instead of just every even level?

It would be or give them two each level or what have you. I'm somewhat masochistic and actually enjoy tinkering with mechanics during my gaming groups down-time, so I don't mind going back through and "fixing" (and occasionally breaking) what I feel is flawed.

Also, just had an idea for the guile pool bit. New bit is in BOLD, bit I'm still not sure what I want to do with is in ITALICS.

Guile Pool
:
Guile: (Ex) At 2nd level, a rogue gains a pool of guile points, representing a cunning intelligence she can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in the rogue’s guile pool is equal to 1/2 her rogue level + her Intelligence modifier. As long as she has at least 1 point remaining in her guile pool, the rogue is entitled to a Perception check to notice traps (mundane or magical) within 5 feet as if she were actively looking for them. At 10th level, the range increases to 10 feet.

By spending 1 point from her guile pool, a rogue can make one additional attack at her highest attack bonus, but she can do so only when making a full attack. In addition, she can spend 1 point to increase her speed by 20 feet for 1 round. Finally, a rogue can spend 1 point from her guile pool to give herself a +4 insight bonus on Stealth checks for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A rogue can gain additional powers that consume points from her guile pool by selecting certain rogue talents.

The guile pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Tied as an ability in the "guile pool" prevents it from being stolen by classes with "trapfinding as a rogue" lines and whatnot.

Yes:
I miss elves being able to passively search for secret doors.=P


Roberta Yang:
I would disagree on the grounds that compared to Rage Powers, more Rogue Talents are useful outside of a fight. They are different.


They are different. And, by and large, they are also not very good. Some of them don't even stack up to a humble Skill Focus.


Cptawesome:
i certainly enjoy that aspect of rogues too. ready for anything.
for me, some of the talents i like to take require 1/day rerolls.

the thing is, is if the Pool is used primarily for combat, it will, depending on the game, deplete faster as gaining a bonus to strike/speed/iterative whatever inventivizes such.

whereas, if the Pool is used solely for a boost to a skill check, especially in a higher-risk higher-payout situation, the incentive will be to save the points for that. this certainly could come out in a fight, as some skills are very useful in one, albeit in a roundabout way.

to me, this is what differentiates Ki and Guile/Luck/Panache/Execution (whatever you call your 'pool')


I'm not a fan of those roll twice and take the better result talents. In the long run, the feats where you get +2 to two skills are much better. You're better off getting the jumping or standing talents. Focus on mobility and getting in positions for sneak attacks. I chose the magic route. Infinite dispel magic is too good to pass up.


CptAwesome wrote:
I'm not a fan of those roll twice and take the better result talents. In the long run, the feats where you get +2 to two skills are much better.

Probability indicates otherwise. In the most basic sense, take the chance of failure, square it, and if that number is lower than the chance of failure with a modifier, then a reroll is better. A reroll is only worse than a static bonus when it's a long shot - in that case it might be better to have a bonus instead of a reroll.

Edit: The dispel bit is really nice. I agree.


rainzax wrote:

i think Rogue Glory, as far as we have a spoiler for, has the brilliant idea of introducing the Guile Pool. as exactly proposed though, i think it could require more tinkering.

i'm not bashing Rogue Glory - the Improved Feint works well with every Rogue because it interacts with Sneak Attack, and the Ambush works well because it gives the class an added edge in it's own element - it's just that this merely advances the fighting skill of the Rogue. if the fight is what you want, these proposals deliver.

and so, my two critiques of Guile Pool are that stylistically it is inspired by the Ninja Ki Pool in that it offers additional combat options (my opinion: let Ninja be more combat-focused), and, that it gives away too much at early levels. basically, two new abilities at 2nd and 3rd (Improved Feint and Ambush). i personally would like to see the upgrades spread out more sigfificantly over more than the first 3 levels. this would incentivize class loyalty. as proposed, the (Glory) Rogue is just a better 'dip' than before.

that said, i am in the camp that believes not all classes need to be equal in a fight. there are roughly two other Modes of Play, Problem-Solving (w/ skills, props, plans) and Direct NPC Interaction ('roleplaying'), in which the Rogue has to shine. (of course, all these Modes overlap and mix to a great extent...) AND, as the last mode is mostly above the mechanics, i think any improvements to the Rogue class should be made with the Problem-Solving mode more in mind, with mechanics to support that.

The guile pool and ambush ability are hoping to improve class loyalty, as they actually start out fairly weak and improve steadily over time. The starting guile pool, for instance, is a fairly weak bonus (+1 to hit, +2 to a skill check,) but by the time you're at 10 rogue levels you're getting a +3 to hit and a +4 to any skill check, which is a nice in-and-out-of-combat boost for the rogue. It's mostly there to show off a rogue's ability to steal victory from defeat, as when his strikes or skill checks really count, he has a built-in way to get the extra boost he needs.


I was thinking of a feat, but now it should be a class ability.
Continuing Threat: The rogue can make a surprise attack, then hide. They continue to threaten the target till they come out of hiding(by making another attack), by combat ending, or if the target makes an opposed spot check.

This absentee flank is more in the flavor of a rogue than any other base class.


at Cptawesome:

to me, the functional difference between a "constant +2" and a "1/day re-roll" is a matter of circumstance.

generally, a constant +2 is most useful in low-risk situations when a low roll carries no drawback. an example here is a Knowledge check, for which the only drawback in failing is the inability to retry.

wheras a 1/day re-roll is most useful in a high-risk situation where degrees of failure scale with negative degrees of consequence. an example here is Acrobatics or Climb or Disable Device, for which failure can hurt or kill you.

and just to cover it, a "take 10" is most useful in a medium-risk situation where the DCs are not sky-high, but failure bears some drawback. an example here could be Stealth.

also, the +10 stuff seems to be the realm of Magic and the Supernatural, whereas i see the Rogue mostly in the realm of the Extraordinary (unless with those Magic Talents)

i see the Rogue as best shining through the high-risk situations, which tend to be more infrequent than the other situations, in which there is a little bit of a spot light on the task at hand. this "space" is a good place for the Rogue's mechanics to be built into.

at The Modern Bard:

you are right about the loyalty.


Goth Guru wrote:

I was thinking of a feat, but now it should be a class ability.

Continuing Threat: The rogue can make a surprise attack, then hide. They continue to threaten the target till they come out of hiding(by making another attack), by combat ending, or if the target makes an opposed spot check.

This absentee flank is more in the flavor of a rogue than any other base class.

If I get what you're saying, it almost sounds like you're talking about a melee version of sniping.

Sniping If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.

Is this what you're suggesting? If so, sounds like a neat idea, though implementation without HiPS might be difficult.


Continuing Threat
your threat range is extended by 5 feet with respect to your allies being able to flank an opponent you have successfully sneak attacked this combat.


Any being capable of being flanked, would expect another surprise attack coming out of nowhere. The Rogue might have to choose CT or Sniping. Please define HIPS.
One of the major gripes I've heard about Rogues is they are useless in combat. An opponent might go after them during normal flanking because they have less hits than a fighter.


HiPS = Hide in Plain Sight. Sorry for the abbreviation, I usually try to avoid doing that.


HIPS just means there are no shadows or pieces of furniture within 5 feet. If there is anything or anyone the Rogue could potentially hide behind, CT could apply.


Or Hellcat Stealth.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Or Hellcat Stealth.

I find that idea fascinating. My only issue is trying to implement it flavor-wise as a (Ex) in lieu of a (Su) or (Sp).

I'm almost tempted to just delete the current revised (and the old hide in plain sight) and grant the shadowdancer version. In order for a rogue to be the "master of stealth", they have to dip 1 level into shadowdancer, which seems... I think it's lame, personally.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su) A shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.

Unfortunately, when the Core Rulebook was released, they seemed to have felt obligated to keep and convert everything available, while simultaneously taking away or giving away everything that made a rogue a rogue (ninja, archaeologist, etc).

I realize that rogues did not have hide in plain sight in 3.5, but when I think of the ability, it doesn't scream ranger to me.

Thoughts?


um, i like it for when Ranger is in Favored Terrain.

apparently there is a feat that lets them treat any terrain as Favored Terrain? i think that is not cool.

personally, i think Ranger ought to Stealth better outside the cities, and Rogue ought to Stealth better inside the cities. this is how Hide in Plain Sight ought to work for both classes. just my opinion though. outdated i'm sure.


rainzax wrote:

um, i like it for when Ranger is in Favored Terrain.

apparently there is a feat that lets them treat any terrain as Favored Terrain? i think that is not cool.

personally, i think Ranger ought to Stealth better outside the cities, and Rogue ought to Stealth better inside the cities. this is how Hide in Plain Sight ought to work for both classes. just my opinion though. outdated i'm sure.

Can you find the feat? I can't seem to, but I did just wake up.=)


Da'ath wrote:
Guile: (Ex) At 2nd level, a rogue gains a pool of guile points, representing a cunning intelligence she can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in the rogue’s guile pool is equal to 1/2 her rogue level + her Intelligence modifier. As long as she has at least 1 point remaining in her guile pool, the rogue is entitled to a Perception check to notice traps (mundane or magical) within 5 feet as if she were actively looking for them. At 10th level, the range increases to 10 feet. . . .

I don't know if this would add an unnecessary layer of complexity, but you could have the pool modifier set by the rogue himself, to suite different kinds of rogues, as mentioned by The Modern Bard.

Have the pool be set by Wisdom and the rogue gets some other benefit for having 1 guile point left. With Charisma, just borrow the improved feint as mentioned before.

I might also suggest a talent that changes two chosen skills modifier, though I am uncertain as to how it should be phrased. Such as being an Intelligence focused rogue and swapping out Perception and Sense motive to intelligence, because you analyze rather than intuit. If a Wisdom focused rogue, choose to make Diplomacy and Handle animal wisdom based because the coercion plays more on natural instinct... Just a thought.


Here's what I support.
Ranger gets hide in plain sight in natural areas, Rogue gets that anywhere else.
No point system. Casters run out of spells, but Rogues do not. Let them select special class abilities, or choose a subtype. Thug would be more combat oriented, while burglar would be more skill oriented.
CT would be a special class ability.


TeShen wrote:

I don't know if this would add an unnecessary layer of complexity, but you could have the pool modifier set by the rogue himself, to suite different kinds of rogues, as mentioned by The Modern Bard.

Have the pool be set by Wisdom and the rogue gets some other benefit for having 1 guile point left. With Charisma, just borrow the improved feint as mentioned before.

I might also suggest a talent that changes two chosen skills modifier, though I am uncertain as to how it should be phrased. Such as being an Intelligence focused rogue and swapping out Perception and Sense motive to intelligence, because you analyze rather than intuit. If a Wisdom focused rogue, choose to make Diplomacy and Handle animal wisdom based because the coercion plays more on natural instinct... Just a thought.

I'll have to give that some thought; some interesting ideas.

Goth Guru wrote:

Here's what I support.

Ranger gets hide in plain sight in natural areas, Rogue gets that anywhere else.
No point system. Casters run out of spells, but Rogues do not. Let them select special class abilities, or choose a subtype. Thug would be more combat oriented, while burglar would be more skill oriented.
CT would be a special class ability.

If I understand you correctly - and please correct me if I'm wrong - it appears you're actually suggesting a reversion of the ranger's version of Hide in Plain Sight & a slight modification of the rogues (i.e. not tying it to the favored terrain talent):

Example:
Ranger - Hide in Plain Sight (Ex) While in any sort of natural terrain, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.
Rogue - Hide in Plain Sight (Ex) While in an urban terrain, a rogue can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.

I'll admit, I really do not like the fact ranger/rogue is tied to favored terrain for their hide in plain sight, especially when you consider that a 9th level sorcerer of the shadow bloodline can hide better than BOTH of them. Add to that, the phrasing of the shadowdancer and assassin's version encourages a 1 level dip in shadowdancer for a superior (in my opinion) version.


Da'ath wrote:
TeShen wrote:

I don't know if this would add an unnecessary layer of complexity, but you could have the pool modifier set by the rogue himself, to suite different kinds of rogues, as mentioned by The Modern Bard.

Have the pool be set by Wisdom and the rogue gets some other benefit for having 1 guile point left. With Charisma, just borrow the improved feint as mentioned before.

I might also suggest a talent that changes two chosen skills modifier, though I am uncertain as to how it should be phrased. Such as being an Intelligence focused rogue and swapping out Perception and Sense motive to intelligence, because you analyze rather than intuit. If a Wisdom focused rogue, choose to make Diplomacy and Handle animal wisdom based because the coercion plays more on natural instinct... Just a thought.

I'll have to give that some thought; some interesting ideas.

Goth Guru wrote:

Here's what I support.

Ranger gets hide in plain sight in natural areas, Rogue gets that anywhere else.
No point system. Casters run out of spells, but Rogues do not. Let them select special class abilities, or choose a subtype. Thug would be more combat oriented, while burglar would be more skill oriented.
CT would be a special class ability.

If I understand you correctly - and please correct me if I'm wrong - it appears you're actually suggesting a reversion of the ranger's version of Hide in Plain Sight & a slight modification of the rogues (i.e. not tying it to the favored terrain talent):

Example:
Ranger - Hide in Plain Sight (Ex) While in any sort of natural terrain, a ranger of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.
Rogue - Hide in Plain Sight (Ex) While in an urban terrain, a rogue can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.

I'll admit, I really do not like the fact ranger/rogue is tied to favored terrain for their hide in plain sight, especially when you consider that a 9th level sorcerer of the shadow bloodline can hide better than BOTH of...

That explains alot. Ducking behind or under something disrupts being observed. Also slipping into the shadows. Continuing threat, will function if the monster is trying to observe the rogue while fighting a Barbarian or Paladin.


I'll b working on this some more this evening and try to get working examples up.


So, I was watching the "Mummy" last night, hadn't seen it in a few years. The scene with Beni (my favorite character) pulling out all the holy symbols (which still cracks me up) inspired me a bit. I'm considering adding the following talent for rogues:

Opportunistic Piety (Ex) Rogues often keep a number of holy symbols, lucky trinkets, and blessed items on hand, whether for use as part of a diguise or for use in an attempt to exhibit the signs of piety for their own sake. By spending 1 point of guile as a full-round action and making a Bluff check (DC 10 + using the rogue's level + Charisma modifier), a rogue may attempt to call upon the divine for assistance. A failed result means the higher powers didn't buy it. If successful, however, the rogue gains either the command undead (if evil) or turn undead (if good) feat using the rogue's character level. Neutral rogues may choose either command undead or turn undead, but once this choice is made, it may not be changed.
Prerequisite: 6th level, guile pool.

I'm using the rogue's level & charisma as the DC to represent his own force of personality and behavior as his "enemy" in convincing the gods.

Thoughts or suggestions?


They could use OP to bypass symbols, glyphs, guards, and wards set to stop unbelievers too. I've seen a few PCs at conventions that collect holy symbols. An anchient pit trap of some sort could only be bypassed by saying a diety's name.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Since Rogue Talents are far weaker than Feats, Rage Powers, Discoveries, etc in general, wouldn't a simple option be to give a Rogue Talent every level instead of just every even level?

The problem is that some rogue talents actually ARE feats (Combat Trick, Finesse Rogue). The other talents are weak. And then there is the notorious Powerful Sneak, which is worse than useless.

It would be better to make talents consisently powerful and equivalent to feats. (Master Arminas had a go at this but didn't respond to feedback.)


Goth Guru wrote:
They could use OP to bypass symbols, glyphs, guards, and wards set to stop unbelievers too. I've seen a few PCs at conventions that collect holy symbols. An anchient pit trap of some sort could only be bypassed by saying a diety's name.

That's a great idea. Though I'm not entirely sure how to replicate it in game mechanics. The closest thing I was able to find was a 3.5 reference to Displaying False alignment, the misdirection spell (pfsrd20.com), and Use Magic Device (Emulate an Alignment).

[Epic] Display False Alignment (DC 70) The character can fool alignment-sensing effects by displaying a false alignment of his or her choice. Once set, a false alignment remains as long as the character remains conscious and awake. Setting or changing a false alignment requires a full-round action.

The Use Magic Device entry (Emulate an Alignment) appears to be the most likely solution. In otherwords, a talent that allows the rogue to adapt his UMD to function for symbols, glyphs, guards, and wards, but with a chance of it still blowing up in his face.

Thoughts?

Axl wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:
Since Rogue Talents are far weaker than Feats, Rage Powers, Discoveries, etc in general, wouldn't a simple option be to give a Rogue Talent every level instead of just every even level?

The problem is that some rogue talents actually ARE feats (Combat Trick, Finesse Rogue). The other talents are weak. And then there is the notorious Powerful Sneak, which is worse than useless.

It would be better to make talents consisently powerful and equivalent to feats. (Master Arminas had a go at this but didn't respond to feedback.)

Lets try the Powerful Sneak talent. What would make it useful? I agree it's really silly. As a flat change I'd probably go with: The rogue treats all 1s on sneak attack damage dice as 2s. It maintains the rough 14.25%+ increase to average damage, but without the loss of damage from the -2 penalty to hit (assuming my math is right, which it may not be).


Da'ath wrote:
Lets try the Powerful Sneak talent. What would make it useful? I agree it's really silly. As a flat change I'd probably go with: The rogue treats all 1s on sneak attack damage dice as 2s. It maintains the rough 14.25%+ increase to average damage, but without the loss of damage from the -2 penalty to hit (assuming my math is right, which it may not be).

I don't know how you calculated 14.25%. The increase is damage is 1/6 of a point on an average of 3.5. This is about 4.8%.

Here is Master Arminas' version. He did the same with his version of Powerful Sneak. My response:-

"The new version is somewhat better. The mechanic involved increases sneak attack damage by 1/6 of a point per die. I believe that rogue talents are supposed to be equivalent to feats - indeed some actually are feats. Therefore I consider Weapon Specialization to be a comparable feat.

To gain 2 points of damage through Powerful Sneak/Strike, the rogue needs 12 sneak attack dice. She achieves this at level 23. Until then, the class feature is worth less than a feat. And by the time that she reaches level 23, two points of damage per hit is trivial. The damage isn't multiplied on a critical hit like the fighter's Weapon Specialization. Still, your new version is a clear improvement."

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