Rogue Class Preview

Monday, March 26, 2018

Are you plagued by a friend and coworker who peppers his blogs with puns and ridiculous word plays, often dessert-based? Does it bother you so much that you fantasize about stabbing him in the back, but federal and local statutes (along with those pesky pangs of morality) stop you? Well, I have good news! You can play a rogue and take out your frustrations on your friend's monsters!

Last week, Jason presented a preview of the Pathfinder Second Edition fighter class, giving you a peek into our process when designing classes for the new game. This week, I am happy to present the fighter's favorite combat companion—the rogue!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

The design goals for the rogue were simple: she had to be nimble, skillful, and able to take full advantage when enemies are unaware. The new class design achieves this through a mix of classic and new mechanics.

Rogue Features

I'm sure it will surprise no one that the first class feature the rogue gets is sneak attack. It works much like you would expect, granting extra d6s of precision damage when she strikes a flat-footed foe. Flanking a foe is the easiest way for the rogue to make her foe flat-footed, but at 1st level, she also gets the surprise attack feature. Thanks to surprise attack, during the first round of combat, the rogue treats any creature that has not taken its turn yet as if it were flat-footed.

But wait, there's more! In addition to dealing extra damage when attacking flat-footed foes, at 9th level the rogue also applies debilitating strikes to such attacks, allowing her to entangle or enfeeble her foes on top of the normal punishment. As her level rises, she has the opportunity to expand the conditions applied with debilitating strikes and increase the number of conditions applied, leading up to a potential instant kill with her Master Strike at 19th level.

So, the rogue is a ruthless combatant bringing pain and misery to her foes, but that's only half of the story. She is also a master of skills. Not only does she gain training and proficiency increases in more skills than other classes, but she gains skill feats at an accelerated rate (one per level instead of one every other level). And while Deception, Stealth, and Thievery and all of the skill feats attached to those iconic rogue skills may seem like obvious choices, the rogue's mastery of a wide variety of skills makes her one of the most versatile classes in the game—her breadth of knowledge and abilities means she's extremely useful in every mode of play.

If you want to play a dungeon-delving rogue, stock up on skill feats expanding on Acrobatics, Athletics, Stealth, and Deception to gain skill feats that let you do things like kip up from prone for free, jump from wall to wall, and move stealthily at full speed. If you want to be a savvy con artist bilking the rich and vain, focus on Deception, Diplomacy, Performance, and Society. If you want to play a fence or burglar with a semblance of respectability, focus on Crafting, Intimidation, and the like. Your options are so rich that you can easily create a mix of these types of rogues and many further variations.

Rogue Feats

Bridging the gap between the murderous and the skillful are the various class feats available to the rogue. The few of you lucky enough to playtest the rogue at Gary Con X or the GAMA Trade Show became acquainted with Nimble Dodge, a reaction that increases the rogue's Armor Class by 2 at a whim. And that's pretty cool, but the rogue's tricks don't stop there. At 2nd level, a rogue could take Mobility, allowing her to move at half her speed and ignore all sorts of reactions triggered by movement, such as attacks of opportunity. And at 4th level, there's a rogue feat called Reactive Pursuit, which allows the rogue—as a reaction—to chase after foes trying to disengage from her constant stabbings.

Avoiding attacks and getting into position are all fine and dandy, but occasionally rogues have a hard time lining up flanking. The 4th-level feat Dread Striker allows you to treat frightened creatures as flat-footed, which is pretty good, but if you want even greater flexibility for positioning, check out Gang Up at 6th level. That feat allows you to treat an enemy as flat-footed when it's within the melee reach of you and one of your allies, no matter your positioning. If that's not good enough, wait until 14th level, when you can take Instant Opening—with a few choice words or a rude gesture, you can make a single creature within 30 feet flat-footed to your attacks until the end of your next turn.

Rogues are slippery characters, both physically and mentally. Cognitive Loophole lets the rogue ignore a mental effect for a round before it fully takes hold. At 16th level, a rogue can parlay her proficiency in Deception to become a Blank Slate, which makes her immune to detection, revelation, and scrying effects.

Of course, many of the rogue's class feats also increase her fighting potential. One of my favorites is the 6th-level feat Twist the Knife. With this feat, as long as you have just hit a foe and applied your sneak attack damage, you can apply persistent bleed damage equal to half your current sneak attack dice. That's sure going to leave a mark.

All this has only scratched the surface of the rogue. In the end, this class is a toolbox of tricks, cunning, and mayhem, adaptable to a variety of situations in and out of combat. Its design allows you to focus on the kind of rogue you want to play, from a ruthless slayer who infiltrates dungeons to a swindler charming away coin from gullible townsfolk, or even a hard-boiled hunter of fugitives. It's up to you!

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Tags: Merisiel Pathfinder Playtest Rogues Wayne Reynolds
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Looking at this, and the 'four tiers of success', I was wondering - are there going to be explanations on how some of this might work - especially with Rogue Evasion?

The classic example I see in debate is 'stick a rogue in a 10 x 10 x 10 room, then drop a fireball - how does the rogue take NO damage at all?' It isn't like the rogue 'dodges' the fireball, or 'finds the place of least heat' or something like that.

It would be good to pin down the 'physics' of some of the abilities, so people know how it functions. Is it a magical ability which protects the individual? Natural? Do they 'phase out' or 'slip into the shadows' or something?

Hopefully, 2e will put this kind of discussion to bed.


I am finding myself less and less interested in 2nd edition. It's apparent that "backwards compatibility" is completely absent, and a lot of the changes feel weirdly unnecessary. But, I guess if that means I save myself some money from not having to buy further RPG books, that does alright for me...

Shadow Lodge

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Yep, compatibility is out in favor of conversion, like they said from the start. But at least they'll still have the rules online for free.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thief means one who steals in secret and without using force. Steal = Old English stelan "to commit a theft, to take and carry off clandestinely and without right or leave"

Not very Lawful

Liberty's Edge

The Raven Black wrote:

Thief means one who steals in secret and without using force. Steal = Old English stelan "to commit a theft, to take and carry off clandestinely and without right or leave"

Not very Lawful

Because undercover operatives and spies loyal to their government (both of whom often take things clandestinely) aren't Lawful?

I disagree.

Grand Lodge

What is the thinking behind moving Debilitating Injury from 4th level to 9th level? Let's take a class everyone already considers underwhelming and delay one of their few good features an extra 5 levels?

I really hope they do something to counter that massive nerf.

Liberty's Edge

Slyme wrote:

What is the thinking behind moving Debilitating Injury from 4th level to 9th level? Let's take a class everyone already considers underwhelming and delay one of their few good features an extra 5 levels?

I really hope they do something to counter that massive nerf.

Well, the only reason they needed it in PF1 was that their BAB was terrible. Everyone adds their level on all attacks in PF2.

So they got Full BAB out of the deal. Probably lots of other stuff, too, but that's the most obvious thing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If everyone is special, no one is?


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?

No if no one was special I in fact somehow would still be special. I'm just special like that.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?

Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?

I know what you mean, the everything is everything and nothing means anything deal (I started to feel like that with 4th Ed), but a unified BAB type deal is okay. Classes can distinguish themselves apart from that.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?

No idea. It's a BS idea in the movie (and proven wrong), and it's a BS idea in real life, too. The whole point of the story is that guy has his head so far up it that he can't see the forest for the trees.


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All I'm hearing right now is that I'm even more special then I first thought.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?

It's not flawed though: if you can put everyone on the same footing/level then that becomes the new norm. the only way something can be extraordinary is because it's better than the ordinary. I don't know that it applies here but the idea isn't wrong.


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graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?
It's not flawed though: if you can put everyone on the same footing/level then that becomes the new norm. the only way something can be extraordinary is because it's better than the ordinary. I don't know that it applies here but the idea isn't wrong.

Well except that I would still be extraordinary even in that situation.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
If everyone is special, no one is?

All's fair in love and war.

It takes one to know one.

A woman's place is in the home.

My way or the highway.

It's like... Phrases are stuff people just say and aren't subjected to any kind of vetting for sound moral fabric.

Alternatively "It takes a thief to catch a thief" makes my rogue immune to the policing efforts of legitimate authority.

I can go either way myself.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?
It's not flawed though: if you can put everyone on the same footing/level then that becomes the new norm. the only way something can be extraordinary is because it's better than the ordinary. I don't know that it applies here but the idea isn't wrong.
Well except that I would still be extraordinary even in that situation.

That's a different issue: the viability of attaining perfect equity is seperate that what happens if you achieve it. The original idea is predicated on equal footing as a given.


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graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?
It's not flawed though: if you can put everyone on the same footing/level then that becomes the new norm. the only way something can be extraordinary is because it's better than the ordinary. I don't know that it applies here but the idea isn't wrong.
Well except that I would still be extraordinary even in that situation.
That's a different issue: the viability of attaining perfect equity is seperate that what happens if you achieve it. The original idea is predicated on equal footing as a given.

Exquisite. I can not argue with that point for several reason. Mostly cause i'm pretty sure I was complemented in their at some point.


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As if a line from a movie cannot have depth or meaning, then lets insult people for it!!!!!


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what if your extraordinary ability is being extra ordinary?


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graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?
It's not flawed though: if you can put everyone on the same footing/level then that becomes the new norm. the only way something can be extraordinary is because it's better than the ordinary. I don't know that it applies here but the idea isn't wrong.

The idea is absolutely wrong. I can be special in some way, yet equivalent to everyone else (which should be a design goal in a pnp rpg) because they are special in another. Simple example: My fighter has 18 STR, your wizard has 18 INT. Both special in our party and extraordinary in one of their abilities.

Even in the Pixar movie, it was a false statement that had a ring of truthiness. Violet isn't special because she is in a family of Supers? Makes no sense; they were all special in their own way.


What were we talking about again?


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master_marshmallow wrote:
As if a line from a movie cannot have depth or meaning, then lets insult people for it!!!!!

I'm not sure I took it the same way as you. I think the line from the movie was responsive to "Everyone adds their level on all attacks in PF2." Maybe the original comment was meant to act as levity alone, but there was no indication that was the case. It was seemingly a legitimate (though I disagree with it) commentary on the design choice.

I think classes can still be special even if BAB is replaced with a straight bonus for Character Level. Accordingly, I think it is appropriate to point out the movie quote is truthy, but not true.


Foolery


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totoro wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
As if a line from a movie cannot have depth or meaning, then lets insult people for it!!!!!

I'm not sure I took it the same way as you. I think the line from the movie was responsive to "Everyone adds their level on all attacks in PF2." Maybe the original comment was meant to act as levity alone, but there was no indication that was the case. It was seemingly a legitimate (though I disagree with it) commentary on the design choice.

I think classes can still be special even if BAB is replaced with a straight bonus for Character Level. Accordingly, I think it is appropriate to point out the movie quote is truthy, but not true.

I'm fairly certain that the difference in proficiency creates a much larger gap than people realize.

An untrained wizard swinging a sword does so at level -2 where a fighter with legendary proficiency swings at level +3, for a net difference in 5 from class alone.

Throw in weapon quality and that swing can either stay at 5, or scale up to 8 being the difference. Wizards/anyone not proficient with the weapon(s) may want to invest their money and training into other avenues, I imagine this will be much the same in respects to other statistics in the game as the devs have told us they want a more universally applicable mechanic with respect to the new d20 engine they are penning.

Compare to saving throws in PF1 having a difference at maximum of 6, from having 20 levels either divided by 3, or halved with a base of 2 for +6/+12 base saves, respectively.


totoro wrote:
graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?
It's not flawed though: if you can put everyone on the same footing/level then that becomes the new norm. the only way something can be extraordinary is because it's better than the ordinary. I don't know that it applies here but the idea isn't wrong.
The idea is absolutely wrong.

You have failed to comprehend what I wrote then: the idea/theory is sound. All you did is point out times then the underlying basis of it doesn't apply but haven't disproved the idea when it does. That's why I wrote that I didn't think it applied here, not that it can't be applied anywhere.


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graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


If everyone is special, no one is?
Why do people quote the warped philosophy of a Pixar villain like it's a fact of the universe?
It's not flawed though: if you can put everyone on the same footing/level then that becomes the new norm. the only way something can be extraordinary is because it's better than the ordinary. I don't know that it applies here but the idea isn't wrong.
The idea is absolutely wrong.
You have failed to comprehend what I wrote then: the idea/theory is sound. All you did is point out times then the underlying basis of it doesn't apply but haven't disproved the idea when it does. That's why I wrote that I didn't think it applied here, not that it can't be applied anywhere.

'Twas neither an idea nor a theory, but a statement. Logic dictates that if you say something is true and it is, in fact, only true some of the time, then your statement is actually false. He could have said "If everyone is special then, depending upon the context, nobody is." That would at least be harder to refute.

In any case, we seem to be in agreement that the assertion "if all classes add character level to rolls then none of them are special," is false in this context, which is the salient point.


totoro wrote:
Logic dictates that if you say something is true and it is, in fact, only true some of the time, then your statement is actually false.

No it doesn't. Just because you can dye a panda pink doesn't make 'panda's are black and white' a false statement. Secondly, the statement had implied condition the equivalent of a 'if then' statement. 'if' things are the same 'then' they can't be extraordinary.

You can't ignore the 'if' and claim an absolute as the statement with an if is by definition conditional.

EDIT: LOL I just noticed we're in the rogue thread. I'll stop the tangent now. Sorry for the derail. ;)


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graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
Logic dictates that if you say something is true and it is, in fact, only true some of the time, then your statement is actually false.

No it doesn't. Just because you can dye a panda pink doesn't make 'panda's are black and white' a false statement. Secondly, the statement had implied condition the equivalent of a 'if then' statement. 'if' things are the same 'then' they can't be extraordinary.

You can't ignore the 'if' and claim an absolute as the statement with an if is by definition conditional.

EDIT: LOL I just noticed we're in the rogue thread. I'll stop the tangent now. Sorry for the derail. ;)

In logic, an argument is valid if and only if it takes a form that makes it impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false.[1] It is not required that a valid argument have premises that are actually true,[2] but to have premises that, if they were true, would guarantee the truth of the argument's conclusion. A formula is valid if and only if it is true under every interpretation, and an argument form (or schema) is valid if and only if every argument of that logical form is valid.

Wikipedia.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

*peers back in*

Wow.

Y'all got too much time on your hands.

..it's hard to believe such a calamity

The upshot was a consideration that with BAB=Level for everyone, then perhaps it won't be used as this bludgeon in the future against martial classes, which then would make casters 'not specialest' anymore, which would then potentially toss at least some C/M D out the window.

That all aside... wow, thanks for running with it and taking it way, way deeper than I'd ever planned to go into the rabbit hole...

...ticking away with my sanity...


Since everyone gets full BAB, I'm hoping we'll see a /modest/ drop in SA dice total, overall. This leaves room for more abilities to get added on, which would be great.

SA averages 3.5 damage per 2 levels, or just under +2 points per level. Challenge is a flat +1 per level, and Precise Strike was also a +1. PS didn't multiply, same as SA.

The others hit more often, though. SA had that boost because it was so swingy. If we're taking away the swingy, let's lower it a touch to bring it more inline. Again, that gives us room to add. :D

Or, maybe do like the old alchemist bombs--for certain powerful effects, you do additional damage, OR you do this cool and awesome thing, because that's where your focus is.

I'm hopeful, anyway. :D


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I'm pretty sure their answer to most things damage wise is more dice, less modifiers. The cool kids love it.


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MuddyVolcano wrote:

Since everyone gets full BAB, I'm hoping we'll see a /modest/ drop in SA dice total, overall. This leaves room for more abilities to get added on, which would be great.

SA averages 3.5 damage per 2 levels, or just under +2 points per level. Challenge is a flat +1 per level, and Precise Strike was also a +1. PS didn't multiply, same as SA.

The others hit more often, though. SA had that boost because it was so swingy. If we're taking away the swingy, let's lower it a touch to bring it more inline. Again, that gives us room to add. :D

Or, maybe do like the old alchemist bombs--for certain powerful effects, you do additional damage, OR you do this cool and awesome thing, because that's where your focus is.

I'm hopeful, anyway. :D

I don't think the main issue with sneak attack was accuracy-- it was that it doesn't always apply, where Precise Strike almost always does. SA damage NEEDS to be high to justify needing flanking or flat-footed and not applying when those conditions aren't met.


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Eh if you check some of the DPR threads accuracy did play its part.

Grand Lodge

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One thing I am a little tired of, is the "Genius Rogue". Where the Rogue has all the skills and everyone else just stands in awe of their Madz Skills.

Rogues have always had more skills than everyone else, even characters who are supposed to be more 'intelligent' In Pathfinder it takes special builds and bonuses to be better at the Rogue in the "skill monkey" role. Rogues are the only class in Pathfinder to get 8 skill points a level. It generally takes a class feature or a feat to be better at skills than them.

The most recent example would be Starfinder. The system's Rogue is the Operative. And with automatic skill ranks in two skills and an additional 8 standard skill ranks a level, the Operative would have an easier time telling you what skills they don't have max ranks in then tell you the ones they do.

As one of the intelligence based classes (Mechanic and Technomancer) You'd have to be a Human with an intelligence of 20! to have the same number of skill points as an intelligence 10 Operative. And top it off the Operative gets bonus competency on every skill as opposed to the similar bonuses the Mechanic and Technomancer gets to just two skills.

--

I don't necessarily want the Rogue to have less skills, though I wouldn't necessarily say no to a small decrease. What I really want is for other classes to be more skilled.

I've had to essentially sit out entire scenarios because my average intelligence characters with low skill points never had one of their few skills came up. And if I spread my skill points to be able to roll more skills, my scores are generally so low I might as well not bother. (I roll a 10 and get a result of 15, the rogue rolls a 2 and has 24.)

If non-combat features are going to be a thing, please allow all the classes a chance to do more than wait for the occasional bar to bend or cliff to climb.


Captain Morgan wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:

Since everyone gets full BAB, I'm hoping we'll see a /modest/ drop in SA dice total, overall. This leaves room for more abilities to get added on, which would be great.

SA averages 3.5 damage per 2 levels, or just under +2 points per level. Challenge is a flat +1 per level, and Precise Strike was also a +1. PS didn't multiply, same as SA.

The others hit more often, though. SA had that boost because it was so swingy. If we're taking away the swingy, let's lower it a touch to bring it more inline. Again, that gives us room to add. :D

Or, maybe do like the old alchemist bombs--for certain powerful effects, you do additional damage, OR you do this cool and awesome thing, because that's where your focus is.

I'm hopeful, anyway. :D

I don't think the main issue with sneak attack was accuracy-- it was that it doesn't always apply, where Precise Strike almost always does. SA damage NEEDS to be high to justify needing flanking or flat-footed and not applying when those conditions aren't met.

With DPR mechanics, accuracy matters. The "best" inquisitor judgment is its +accuracy one, not the +damage. The adjustment I'm suggesting is purely in terms of those numbers.

...buuuut it would also allow for more add-ons and effects. Double-hitter? :D


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Trscroggs wrote:

One thing I am a little tired of, is the "Genius Rogue". Where the Rogue has all the skills and everyone else just stands in awe of their Madz Skills.

Rogues have always had more skills than everyone else, even characters who are supposed to be more 'intelligent' In Pathfinder it takes special builds and bonuses to be better at the Rogue in the "skill monkey" role. Rogues are the only class in Pathfinder to get 8 skill points a level. It generally takes a class feature or a feat to be better at skills than them.

The most recent example would be Starfinder. The system's Rogue is the Operative. And with automatic skill ranks in two skills and an additional 8 standard skill ranks a level, the Operative would have an easier time telling you what skills they don't have max ranks in then tell you the ones they do.

As one of the intelligence based classes (Mechanic and Technomancer) You'd have to be a Human with an intelligence of 20! to have the same number of skill points as an intelligence 10 Operative. And top it off the Operative gets bonus competency on every skill as opposed to the similar bonuses the Mechanic and Technomancer gets to just two skills.

--

I don't necessarily want the Rogue to have less skills, though I wouldn't necessarily say no to a small decrease. What I really want is for other classes to be more skilled.

I've had to essentially sit out entire scenarios because my average intelligence characters with low skill points never had one of their few skills came up. And if I spread my skill points to be able to roll more skills, my scores are generally so low I might as well not bother. (I roll a 10 and get a result of 15, the rogue rolls a 2 and has 24.)

If non-combat features are going to be a thing, please allow all the classes a chance to do more than wait for the occasional bar to bend or cliff to climb.

Haha, yeah. There's something to be said for adding skills to all classes. It makes the adventures what, more well-rounded?

My biggest peeve was the solo adventure "class feature," though that was caused by some of the things you describe, above. That finally ended up just getting handwaved across multiple adventures, or making custom rules that let the rogue act as a "leader" and use their skill to bring others along.

Other things that addressed it:
* Changing the 2 skills to 4 minimum helped
* Encouraging playing the newer classes helped (with the exception of paladin, druid, a few others)

It was that or start running solo adventurers. ...and there's only so much time at the table.

The second was how much of a glass canon the rogue is in 1e, yet SA required them to stand still. Ow. XD

Most of my concerns are actually from mechanics that cause playstyle issues, and the skill issue isn't wholly the rogue's fault. They need solved separately to some degree.

Paizo's hinted that they'll do this. :D


Well, it's nice to see that sneak attack is finally being made an accessible part of the rogue's kit. Other than that though, this reads as very bland. One of the major failings of the rogue in 1.0, even after the release of unchained, is that skills have always felt useless in a game that has spell casters (especially once the bloat kicks in and you get a lot of 4th/6th spell level classes); I'm hoping that skill feats will make them feel useful, rather than them being a tax on your ability to do things everyone else gets for free. It'd be really nice if skills had more combat options/applicability, and if highly skilled characters could perform seemingly impossible feats. And I doubt we'll get that; rogues are getting pigeonholed into the 'good numbers at high levels' niche again, and the stuff you could have played around with here is now going to be gated behind being level 9 for debilitating injury.

In a less-related note, by consciously making one class the 'skill' class I worry that other classes will continue to feel skill starved, notably the fighter class. It'd be MUCH nicer if all classes had themed skills, which they maxed out in automatically (something like deception, stealth and thievery [slight of hand really works better here, it's more general] for example) and then a couple extra skill points to throw about as they'd like. Obviously with backgrounds you get around the problem bit already, but it's really annoying to have say a warrior-themed fighter that knows nothing about war even if he's of average intelligence for the world (10-12 int if we look at NPC generation), and I'm really, really sick of seeing clerics who know nothing of their religion because perception and heal were more important.

Overall this preview feels bad.

Liberty's Edge

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Trekkie90909 wrote:
Well, it's nice to see that sneak attack is finally being made an accessible part of the rogue's kit. Other than that though, this reads as very bland. One of the major failings of the rogue in 1.0, even after the release of unchained, is that skills have always felt useless in a game that has spell casters (especially once the bloat kicks in and you get a lot of 4th/6th spell level classes); I'm hoping that skill feats will make them feel useful, rather than them being a tax on your ability to do things everyone else gets for free. It'd be really nice if skills had more combat options/applicability, and if highly skilled characters could perform seemingly impossible feats. And I doubt we'll get that; rogues are getting pigeonholed into the 'good numbers at high levels' niche again, and the stuff you could have played around with here is now going to be gated behind being level 9 for debilitating injury.

Well, we know for a fact that Skills both can be used for 'seemingly impossible' stuff with Skill Feats (check the Proficiency Blog for some examples, but they include leaping 20 feet into the air and dragging flying enemies down with you).

We also know that combat maneuvers no longer provoke attacks of opportunity and are uses of the Athletics and Acrobatics skills, so there's some combat skill uses as well.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
In a less-related note, by consciously making one class the 'skill' class I worry that other classes will continue to feel skill starved, notably the fighter class. It'd be MUCH nicer if all classes had themed skills, which they maxed out in automatically (something like deception, stealth and thievery [slight of hand really works better here, it's more general] for example) and then a couple extra skill points to throw about as they'd like. Obviously with backgrounds you get around the problem bit already, but it's really annoying to have say a warrior-themed fighter that knows nothing about war even if he's of average intelligence for the world (10-12 int if we look at NPC generation), and I'm really, really sick of seeing clerics who know nothing of their religion because perception and heal were more important.

We actually have a lot of evidence that everyone gets a fair number of skills, and we know for a fact that Perception is no longer a skill at all. Rogues certainly get more skills than most others (though Int also helps), but there's basically no evidence that others get the kind of restricted skill points they did in PF1.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
Overall this preview feels bad.

That's unfortunate but primarily due to lack of context, I think.


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Good points, and it was nice to read the proficiency blog and feel somewhat reassured skill feats and proficiencies weren't going to be pointless like the unchained skill unlocks often are.

I did overlook the good parts of the new class which are: no mention of trapfinding --- in PF1 the rogue was definitely balanced around the idea that it was 'the' trap disabling class, and (necessary) bloat removed that 'special consideration' from the game rather quickly, so if those sorts of abilities get shunted into the skill system where it's accessible to everyone---but more accessible to the rogue---then the class can be better balanced for release and more easily updated as the bloat grows. I also like the idea of the extra modularity the class promises, it's nice to get choices every level.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
We also know that combat maneuvers no longer provoke attacks of opportunity and are uses of the Athletics and Acrobatics skills, so there's some combat skill uses as well.

Dynamite news, I houseruled combat manoeuvres and standing from prone not to provoke AoO a while ago, and based off of Athletics and Acrobatics sounds just like 5th Ed, unfortunately in 5th Ed they blew it, with Expertise, so high Str bards and rogues are the best wrestlers in the multiverse.

Liberty's Edge

Weather Report wrote:
Dynamite news, I houseruled combat manoeuvres and standing from prone not to provoke AoO a while ago, and based off of Athletics and Acrobatics sounds just like 5th Ed, unfortunately in 5th Ed they blew it, with Expertise, so high Str bards and rogues are the best wrestlers in the multiverse.

Yeah, that is something of an issue in 5E. Luckily, no class seems to get flat skill bonuses like that in PF2, so the problem is avoided while the advantages of the strategy are maintained.

It does mean you may have to invest some Skill Feats (and thus give up some out-of-combat power) to be a truly exceptional wrestler (or a master of disarming foes, or whatever), but focusing on combat to the detriment of non-combat stuff being an option seems fine to me as long as it's not mandatory to be effective in combat.

Dark Archive

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Trscroggs wrote:
One thing I am a little tired of, is the "Genius Rogue". Where the Rogue has all the skills and everyone else just stands in awe of their Madz Skills.

I definitely am not a fan of some classes only having 2+Int skills per level. Bumping clerics, fighters, wizards, etc. up to 4+Int skills per level would have been my choice back in 1st edition, but I'm not terribly clear on how skills are going to work in 2nd edition anyway.

I'd rather that Rogues have more of a skill mastery focus, than a 'know all the skills' focus, being able to do things with pre-existing skills that other classes can't (or at least, can't without expending other resources), being able to specialize in Heal or Diplomacy to unlock about abilities that aren't natively duplicated by just anyone who puts a point into Heal or Diplomacy.


Set wrote:
Trscroggs wrote:
One thing I am a little tired of, is the "Genius Rogue". Where the Rogue has all the skills and everyone else just stands in awe of their Madz Skills.

I definitely am not a fan of some classes only having 2+Int skills per level. Bumping clerics, fighters, wizards, etc. up to 4+Int skills per level would have been my choice back in 1st edition, but I'm not terribly clear on how skills are going to work in 2nd edition anyway.

I'd rather that Rogues have more of a skill mastery focus, than a 'know all the skills' focus, being able to do things with pre-existing skills that other classes can't (or at least, can't without expending other resources), being able to specialize in Heal or Diplomacy to unlock about abilities that aren't natively duplicated by just anyone who puts a point into Heal or Diplomacy.

[/QUOTE

Reminds me of the "Skill Edge" ability that Unchained Rogue's got.

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Thanks for all the lively discussion so far in this thread. At this time we've decided to close up the blog discussion thread. If you have comments, questions or other things you want to post that do not fit into any currently open threads, you are welcome to start a new thread. Thanks!

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