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Moxie: A Practical Guide to Roguing with Style


Advice


I've been working on this rogue guide off and on for a while now, and I think it's finally time to post it. Let me know what you think.

Google Doc


You're forgetting the additional +4 for size and +4 for race to stealth for goblins. Add in the rank, the class bonus, and the easy 18 in dexterity and you have a +16 in stealth at first level with no feat or equipment investment. They are the paragon rogue.

Shadow Lodge

Looks good! Added to the Guide to the Guides


I love the embedded links. Too few guides have that.


roguerouge wrote:
You're forgetting the additional +4 for size and +4 for race to stealth for goblins. Add in the rank, the class bonus, and the easy 18 in dexterity and you have a +16 in stealth at first level with no feat or equipment investment. They are the paragon rogue.

They are blue for a reason. :)


Rogues/ninjas actually can pull off pretty decent archers/shuriken throwers. If they take a level in oracle (waves) for. Fog sight and pick up obscurring mist they have pretty reliable sa damage. Ninjas also get a smoke bomb they can use, but it burns ki. A ninja with a level in monk, rapid shot, and the throw extra shuriken trick can dish out a fair amount of damage standing in one of those, greanted their BAB will be hurting pretty bad.

They could also use fog cutting classes or goz mask to the same effect, but.neither of those will come into play until later in the game.

If your gm uses darkness the right way your greatly undervaluin darkvision for classes with sa.


Some thoughts based on tricks I've found: The light armor proficiency might not be as bad as it seems. I say this because it is relatively easy to get access to medium armor with a trait and special materials alone. This comes from the fact that the penalty for nonproficient armor use is having the armor check penalty applied to your attack rolls...so if ACP is 0, the penalty is 0.

Mithral reduces ACP by 3, and the armor expert trait reduces it by another 1. That means that you could easily grab a mithral breast plate. And since that counts as light for purposes other than proficiency, that means any class other than full arcane casters and most monks can use this trick.

Another interesting thought: with a feat light build like the striker, you could try grabbing the animal ally feat. It admittedly takes 3 feats to work well (nature's soul, animal ally, and boon companion to cover up the effective druid level gap), but gaining what is essentialy a more troublesome version of the ranger's animal companion (troublesome since you can't take it until level 5, and thus, you can't get boon companion until 7) is nothing to sneeze at. It might help to close the gap around the levels where it becomes much more apparent. And by the point you can grab it, you could easily have grabbed


As I go through:

1) Rogues aren't top strikers. Power Attack from full BAB is generally better than Sneak Attack. A rogue might outperform a TWF ranger while flanking, but fighters, barbarians, cavaliers, and paladins are going to tend to just hit harder.

2) The accuracy gap between TWF and brute is a big deal. With the need to enhance two weapons you're looking at missing 15% of the time as a TWF that the brute would hit.

3) You cannot dump strength on a Dervish build because of carrying capacity issues. Sorcerers and Wizards might be able to, but you need to wear armor and carry a weapon and your thieves' tools and you should really have a shortbow and some arrows for when melee isn't an option...

4) Convincing Lie actually makes you worse. Without it, if you convince someone that a lie is the truth they do not use bluff at all to spread it because as far as they know they are not lying.

5) Minor Magic is probably better than yellow now that SLAs give you a caster level. You can, in turn, use that to qualify for Arcane Strike. From level 5 it's as good as weapon specialization and it keeps improving.

Shadow Lodge

Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

Rogues/ninjas actually can pull off pretty decent archers/shuriken throwers. If they take a level in oracle (waves) for. Fog sight and pick up obscurring mist they have pretty reliable sa damage. Ninjas also get a smoke bomb they can use, but it burns ki. A ninja with a level in monk, rapid shot, and the throw extra shuriken trick can dish out a fair amount of damage standing in one of those, greanted their BAB will be hurting pretty bad.

you know the funny thing is that i made a character a long long time ago and never knew that clustered shots worked with nonbow ranged weapons. a shiriken thrower can be devistating with that feat, and waves oracle/fog cutting glasses.

off topic, but a super awesome ranged build with 8 attacks at 7th level.

i have a few suggestions for you to think about, but i like it.


Atarlost wrote:
5) Minor Magic is probably better than yellow now that SLAs give you a caster level. You can, in turn, use that to qualify for Arcane Strike. From level 5 it's as good as weapon specialization and it keeps improving.

...darn it, I was just finished editing that into my comment above... well, I'm not going to waste a good explaination:

And for more damage, I'd actually advise you to grab the minor magic talent. This is because of a FAQ on Spell-Like Abilities, Casting, and Prerequisites. Essentially, spell like abilities qualify your for feats that call for spellcasting, such as Arcane Strike. With a caster level equal to your character level provided by the minor magic SLA, you can easily grab arcane strike to give you an extra 1-5 damage on each hit at the cost of your swift action. That seems fairly appealing to a TWF or archery build, which rely upon making a ton of attacks with static bonuses like that.

At the very least, it is something to consider if you ever find yourself in a lull between the early level scramble and the advanced talent juiciness.


TheSideKick wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

Rogues/ninjas actually can pull off pretty decent archers/shuriken throwers. If they take a level in oracle (waves) for. Fog sight and pick up obscurring mist they have pretty reliable sa damage. Ninjas also get a smoke bomb they can use, but it burns ki. A ninja with a level in monk, rapid shot, and the throw extra shuriken trick can dish out a fair amount of damage standing in one of those, greanted their BAB will be hurting pretty bad.

you know the funny thing is that i made a character a long long time ago and never knew that clustered shots worked with nonbow ranged weapons. a shiriken thrower can be devistating with that feat, and waves oracle/fog cutting glasses.

off topic, but a super awesome ranged build with 8 attacks at 7th level.

i have a few suggestions for you to think about, but i like it.

Ya, I haven't actually seen the shuriken one in action, but a buddy of mine brought it to my attention.

In a game I run I have a slayer/oracle and a rogue/oracle and they use this trick to great effect. I'd say its certainly more of an uphill battle for the rogue (though hes also less.of an optimizer and has made poor choices against my advice) than the slayer, but when the two of them get going its highly effective.


Good guide. Thanks for putting it together


Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

Rogues/ninjas actually can pull off pretty decent archers/shuriken throwers. If they take a level in oracle (waves) for. Fog sight and pick up obscurring mist they have pretty reliable sa damage. Ninjas also get a smoke bomb they can use, but it burns ki. A ninja with a level in monk, rapid shot, and the throw extra shuriken trick can dish out a fair amount of damage standing in one of those, greanted their BAB will be hurting pretty bad.

They could also use fog cutting classes or goz mask to the same effect, but.neither of those will come into play until later in the game.

If your gm uses darkness the right way your greatly undervaluin darkvision for classes with sa.

I was toying around with a build with the Fogcutting Lenses and the Moonlight Stalker feat, but the reliance on a mid-level magic item killed it. I'll have to take another look at it with the Oracle dip.

It is entirely possible that I'm undervaluing darkvision, but I don't feel it's a very reliable way to get sneak attack. You'll need to dispose of your enemies' light sources or use a spell or something to take advantage of it, it won't work on things that also have darkvision, and your allies will need ways to work around it. That said, it's still pretty useful when it does come up, and I think I rated it pretty highly.

lemeres wrote:

Some thoughts based on tricks I've found: The light armor proficiency might not be as bad as it seems. I say this because it is relatively easy to get access to medium armor with a trait and special materials alone. This comes from the fact that the penalty for nonproficient armor use is having the armor check penalty applied to your attack rolls...so if ACP is 0, the penalty is 0.

Mithral reduces ACP by 3, and the armor expert trait reduces it by another 1. That means that you could easily grab a mithral breast plate. And since that counts as light for purposes other than proficiency, that means any class other than full arcane casters and most monks can use this trick.

Another interesting thought: with a feat light build like the striker, you could try grabbing the animal ally feat. It admittedly takes 3 feats to work well (nature's soul, animal ally, and boon companion to cover up the effective druid level gap), but gaining what is essentialy a more troublesome version of the ranger's animal companion (troublesome since you can't take it until level 5, and thus, you can't get boon companion until 7) is nothing to sneeze at. It might help to close the gap around the levels where it becomes much more apparent. And by the point you can grab it, you could easily have grabbed

Dex based rogues won't really miss not having medium armor, and non-dex based rogues should probably dip into a class that gets those proficiencies, and both should really pick up the Offensive Defense rogue talent for standard use.

Atarlost wrote:

As I go through:

1) Rogues aren't top strikers. Power Attack from full BAB is generally better than Sneak Attack. A rogue might outperform a TWF ranger while flanking, but fighters, barbarians, cavaliers, and paladins are going to tend to just hit harder.

2) The accuracy gap between TWF and brute is a big deal. With the need to enhance two weapons you're looking at missing 15% of the time as a TWF that the brute would hit.

3) You cannot dump strength on a Dervish build because of carrying capacity issues. Sorcerers and Wizards might be able to, but you need to wear armor and carry a weapon and your thieves' tools and you should really have a shortbow and some arrows for when melee isn't an option...

4) Convincing Lie actually makes you worse. Without it, if you convince someone that a lie is the truth they do not use bluff at all to spread it because as far as they know they are not lying.

5) Minor Magic is probably better than yellow now that SLAs give you a caster level. You can, in turn, use that to qualify for Arcane Strike. From level 5 it's as good as weapon specialization and it keeps improving.

I know the introduction is a little misleading, but this really is a rogue guide, not a "This is why you should play a barbarian" guide.

7 strength is tough to deal with, but entirely doable. You can carry 23lbs with 7 strength. A dex-based build is going to want a mithril chain shirt anyway and that only weighs 12 lbs. Everything else should be in a handy haversack or carried by a PC who didn't dump strength. If these options aren't available for you (if you're low level or live on Dark Sun for instance) then no, you shouldn't dump strength.

I did not know that SLAs count for Arcane Strike, and I find that just a little bit cheesy, but it seems to be upheld for now and rogues could certainly use the help.


Dazaras wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
If your gm uses darkness the right way your greatly undervaluin darkvision for classes with sa.
It is entirely possible that I'm undervaluing darkvision, but I don't feel it's a very reliable way to get sneak attack. You'll need to dispose of your enemies' light sources or use a spell or something to take advantage of it, it won't work on things that also have darkvision, and your allies will need ways to work around it. That said, it's still pretty useful when it does come up, and I think I rated it pretty highly.

Sorry, I wasn't very clear on the SA thing. I really meant its a good way to LOOSE SA if you don't have darkvision. Of course a tiefling with darkness or getting a light source out is always good, but even dim light grants 20% concealment which gets rid of your chance to SA. If you carry a torch or have light cast on something you give away your position. If not you need to rely on an ally with a light to stay close.

Now you and I both know non-sneaky rogues work, but chances are most people playing rogues probably want to be sneaky. If thats not an issue just cast light, but then everyone everywhere sees you coming. I play online a lot where lighting is much easier to deal with than IRL games, so I tend to value it much higher for that than IRL games where gms mostly tend to hand wave lighting/vision conditions. But I personally couldn't imagine playing a character that relies on SA without darkvision.


I'll note that the Enforcer feat is another way to get the shaken condition for Shatter Defenses, which also synergizes well with the Sap Adept -> Sap Master feats and the Knockout Artist feat (if you have Improved Unarmed Strike). Along with this, the Ninja Trick Unarmed Combat Training and Advanced Ninja Trick Unarmed Combat Mastery work great.

Combining all this on an attack with sneak attack means dealing 2d6+4 damage per sneak attack die.

Example Build:
level 1 - feat : sap adept
level 2 - talent : finesse rogue
level 3 - feat : sap master
level 4 - talent : ninja trick : unarmed combat training
level 5 - feat : knockout artist
level 6 - talent : weapon training : unarmed strike
level 7 - feat : dazzling display
level 8 - talent : combat feat : shatter defenses
level 9 - feat : enforcer
level 10 - talent : adv. ninja trick : unarmed combat mastery (need to houserule this one, but it's reasonable since ninjas can take advanced talents as advanced ninja tricks)

level 10 on a sneak attack you're dealing 1d8+10d6+15, before any other bonuses

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