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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Merisiel Pathfinder Playtest Rogues Wayne Reynolds
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Silver Crusade

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GentleGiant wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:
eddv wrote:
And for like the third time I really need to object to the name Thievery for rogue skills. Just call it something else.
Yes. Please. Thievery has too much of a negative connotation. Those skills have perfectly legitimate uses, too. I don't want a black cloud hanging over the whole skill set unnecesarily.
Yes, we can't have your PCs, who have just killed 50+ people and robbed their dead bodies, accused of something as demeaning as... thievery!

By a class called the rogue no less.


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GreyYeti wrote:

Based on my PF1 experience rogues are not the skill monkeys they are supposed to be. Investigators and other int-based classes far outskilled them, while their niche of the nimble fighter was taken by the swashbuckler and the slayer.

I want them to have a viable niche.

I hope you can see where the problem might lie.


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Strachan Fireblade wrote:

I don’t know if this will take effect or not, but one of the ways to make higher levels work is to expand the feel of lower levels across more levels. In this case, it seems the devs added new options at lower and mid levels, then moved some of the mid level options higher to maintain the lower level feel.

Personally, I think this is good for the game and it would likely allow groups to routinely reach higher levels before ending the campaign.

I would support this change, honestly. I always felt that 13th level or so is the point when the characters become kind of gonzo. Also, I'm very curious to know whether spells that have a huge effect on campaigns will be gated higher, such as Raise Dead and Teleport. (And I would support that change.)


Harveyopolis wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:
eddv wrote:
And for like the third time I really need to object to the name Thievery for rogue skills. Just call it something else.
Yes. Please. Thievery has too much of a negative connotation. Those skills have perfectly legitimate uses, too. I don't want a black cloud hanging over the whole skill set unnecesarily.
Yes, we can't have your PCs, who have just killed 50+ people and robbed their dead bodies, accused of something as demeaning as... thievery!
By a class called the rogue no less.

At least it's no longer called a thief, like in earlier editions of D&D.


Looks fantastic! Rogue was always my favorite class. Hmm really liking how all this is shaping up. Only thing im not sold on is how the skills work but open to seeing how it plays. Overall really excited for this.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:

I wrote my response before reading the comments and it's hilarious to see I'm quite happy and positive about the rogue while most people seem quite upset by it.

Things I got from the blog:
* People are no longer flat footed for the first round of combat before they act.
* Debilitating effects from Pathfinder Unchained (or a variation) are now core (makes sense. I'm all for it).
* Skill monkey: I approve!
* Bluff has been renamed to deception.
* Skill feats (at least some of them) will resemble what we're accustomed to with rogue talents. Hooray!
* Class feats: Despite some very 4th-edish names, it looks like for the rogue at least we're getting class feats that are very much grounded in Pathfinder 1st edition.
* Action economy: I'm starting to see the benefit of iteratives at all levels with the -5/-10 penalty. It makes the "sacrifice an attack" abilities very competitive instead of in PF 1st edition which cost a lot to use.
* I like that they're finding ways to offer similar (yet grounded in reality) effects when it comes to spells (blank slate being an example).

Overall I'm much more happy with how things are looking for the rogue. However I am concerned we perhaps didn't get any examples of "legendary" skill feats for rogues. If they're over the top and break the "aesthetic" of the rogue, I continue to hope they'll remain highly optional and viable characters can be made by topping off at mastery for many skills (vs legendary for a few skills).

I am also happy to see no dex to damage. I hope Paizo can be creative in keeping the rogue credible without going "all classes get 1[W]+Primary ability score mod" for all attacks (no bards using charisma to attack people with weapons please. Let's have ability scores mean something).

I never understood this sentiment about ability scores. What bleeds more, a harder stab or a stab into a place that's more vital? There's an argument that STR shouldn't even be your attack OR damage stat, and that it should only be used for gear prerequisites, but the D&D legacy prevents that paradigm. The argument for strength seems only to come from the angle of keeping fighters and barbarians as a 2-stat class. Mind you, in PF you ONLY got sneak attack when flanking or when your foe is flat-footed (which after the first round is almost never), so after 1 round, unless you form the Conga Line of Death, the rogue's damage vanishes unless he has special tricks he paid dearly for. No one's saying bards should get CHA to damage, unless you're arguing spellcasting.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
GentleGiant wrote:
GreyYeti wrote:

Based on my PF1 experience rogues are not the skill monkeys they are supposed to be. Investigators and other int-based classes far outskilled them, while their niche of the nimble fighter was taken by the swashbuckler and the slayer.

I want them to have a viable niche.
I hope you can see where the problem might lie.

Yes, the problem is that nothing so far suggests a change and i rather point to the problem now when stuff can be changed.


12 people marked this as a favorite.

One thing I've noticed (or inferred) from these class previews is that most of the "cool stuff" requires a feat and it appears feats in PF1 that were available to anyone are now class-specific and some things in PF1 that didn't require a feat at all will require one in PF2. Am I reading this correctly? Will one acquire feats more often in PF2? I'm concerned PCs may actually be able to do less cool things than they can now and in order to do a couple of cool things, one will be forced down a very specific and limited path of feat choices. Please tell me my read on this is wrong and the character building options and choices in PF2 will be just as varied and plentiful as PF1.


GreyYeti wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
GreyYeti wrote:

Based on my PF1 experience rogues are not the skill monkeys they are supposed to be. Investigators and other int-based classes far outskilled them, while their niche of the nimble fighter was taken by the swashbuckler and the slayer.

I want them to have a viable niche.
I hope you can see where the problem might lie.
Yes, the problem is that nothing so far suggests a change and i rather point to the problem now when stuff can be changed.

No, you're basing it on other classes that most likely have been backstabbed and robbed by the core rules rogue (and/or classes that might not be updated to PF2 in any way resembling their PF1 versions). On top of only seeing a tiny sliver of the whole class, how the skills system works and what abilities the other classes will have access to.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Erich Williams wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

I wrote my response before reading the comments and it's hilarious to see I'm quite happy and positive about the rogue while most people seem quite upset by it.

Things I got from the blog:
* People are no longer flat footed for the first round of combat before they act.
* Debilitating effects from Pathfinder Unchained (or a variation) are now core (makes sense. I'm all for it).
* Skill monkey: I approve!
* Bluff has been renamed to deception.
* Skill feats (at least some of them) will resemble what we're accustomed to with rogue talents. Hooray!
* Class feats: Despite some very 4th-edish names, it looks like for the rogue at least we're getting class feats that are very much grounded in Pathfinder 1st edition.
* Action economy: I'm starting to see the benefit of iteratives at all levels with the -5/-10 penalty. It makes the "sacrifice an attack" abilities very competitive instead of in PF 1st edition which cost a lot to use.
* I like that they're finding ways to offer similar (yet grounded in reality) effects when it comes to spells (blank slate being an example).

Overall I'm much more happy with how things are looking for the rogue. However I am concerned we perhaps didn't get any examples of "legendary" skill feats for rogues. If they're over the top and break the "aesthetic" of the rogue, I continue to hope they'll remain highly optional and viable characters can be made by topping off at mastery for many skills (vs legendary for a few skills).

I am also happy to see no dex to damage. I hope Paizo can be creative in keeping the rogue credible without going "all classes get 1[W]+Primary ability score mod" for all attacks (no bards using charisma to attack people with weapons please. Let's have ability scores mean something).

I never understood this sentiment about ability scores. What bleeds more, a harder stab or a stab into a place that's more vital? There's an argument that STR shouldn't even be your attack OR damage stat, and that it should only be used...

Why does having a higher dex score mean a character mean they inherently deal higher damage for "Hitting a vital spot" by virtue of dex to damage? Hitting a vital spot has, at least in 3.x and PF, been represented by class features and abilities that "turn off" when hitting a vital isn't such a valid option, but most dex to damage options conveniently ignore that bit. And if they can still hit that vital bit on say, an ooze, why is this being ruled by dex? how can they tell what they're hitting is the vital spot? Wouldn't intelligence make as much sense, you gotta know HOW to hit the vitals?


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So does the bleed from Twist the Knife stack? IS there still the limit of 10d6 Sneak Attack Dice? Because if that's the case, 5 bleed at level 20 feels a tad low, especially if it requires a save


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Erich Williams wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

I wrote my response before reading the comments and it's hilarious to see I'm quite happy and positive about the rogue while most people seem quite upset by it.

Things I got from the blog:
* People are no longer flat footed for the first round of combat before they act.
* Debilitating effects from Pathfinder Unchained (or a variation) are now core (makes sense. I'm all for it).
* Skill monkey: I approve!
* Bluff has been renamed to deception.
* Skill feats (at least some of them) will resemble what we're accustomed to with rogue talents. Hooray!
* Class feats: Despite some very 4th-edish names, it looks like for the rogue at least we're getting class feats that are very much grounded in Pathfinder 1st edition.
* Action economy: I'm starting to see the benefit of iteratives at all levels with the -5/-10 penalty. It makes the "sacrifice an attack" abilities very competitive instead of in PF 1st edition which cost a lot to use.
* I like that they're finding ways to offer similar (yet grounded in reality) effects when it comes to spells (blank slate being an example).

Overall I'm much more happy with how things are looking for the rogue. However I am concerned we perhaps didn't get any examples of "legendary" skill feats for rogues. If they're over the top and break the "aesthetic" of the rogue, I continue to hope they'll remain highly optional and viable characters can be made by topping off at mastery for many skills (vs legendary for a few skills).

I am also happy to see no dex to damage. I hope Paizo can be creative in keeping the rogue credible without going "all classes get 1[W]+Primary ability score mod" for all attacks (no bards using charisma to attack people with weapons please. Let's have ability scores mean something).

I never understood this sentiment about ability scores. What bleeds more, a harder stab or a stab into a place that's more vital? There's an argument that STR shouldn't even be your attack OR damage stat, and that it should only be used...

Honestly I'd like to see Int be used to hit for Wizard spells and Charisma for bards instead of dex, as my ability to be dexteritous has no bearing on my ability to blast someone with a spell

Designer

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GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
One thing I've noticed (or inferred) from these class previews is that most of the "cool stuff" requires a feat and it appears feats in PF1 that were available to anyone are now class-specific and some things in PF1 that didn't require a feat at all will require one in PF2. Am I reading this correctly? Will one acquire feats more often in PF2? I'm concerned PCs may actually be able to do less cool things than they can now and in order to do a couple of cool things, one will be forced down a very specific and limited path of feat choices. Please tell me my read on this is wrong and the character building options and choices in PF2 will be just as varied and plentiful as PF1.

Are there any of these in particular that seem like you could just do them automatically in PF1? Your options and choices should wind up being more varied than in PF1 (though obviously, the playtest book isn't going to have more options than an entire edition right away).

Verdant Wheel

GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
One thing I've noticed (or inferred) from these class previews is that most of the "cool stuff" requires a feat and it appears feats in PF1 that were available to anyone are now class-specific and some things in PF1 that didn't require a feat at all will require one in PF2. Am I reading this correctly? Will one acquire feats more often in PF2? I'm concerned PCs may actually be able to do less cool things than they can now and in order to do a couple of cool things, one will be forced down a very specific and limited path of feat choices. Please tell me my read on this is wrong and the character building options and choices in PF2 will be just as varied and plentiful as PF1.

I guess they can´t really tell you until August. But i didn´t read as you have read if it makes you don´t worry so much.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
One thing I've noticed (or inferred) from these class previews is that most of the "cool stuff" requires a feat and it appears feats in PF1 that were available to anyone are now class-specific and some things in PF1 that didn't require a feat at all will require one in PF2. Am I reading this correctly? Will one acquire feats more often in PF2? I'm concerned PCs may actually be able to do less cool things than they can now and in order to do a couple of cool things, one will be forced down a very specific and limited path of feat choices. Please tell me my read on this is wrong and the character building options and choices in PF2 will be just as varied and plentiful as PF1.

From one of the earlier blog post preview we learned the following:

- Rage Powers, Rogue talents, Arcane Discoveries, etc are now called "Class Feats" for the appropriate class, and you get these every even level.
- Every odd level you get a skill feat, an ancestry feat, or a skill feat. We don't know the exact frequency of each, but we know # General Feats + # Skill Feats = 15 over 20 levels.

So we're getting a lot of choices. Basically everything you get to pick as part of advancement is called a "Feat" now.


Constant stealth is seemingly going to be more important in PF2, just to get your Stealth mod to Initiative instead of using your Perception. By maximizing Initiative rolls, they not only go first but also get the advantage of their Surprise Attack.

It's difficult to say yet whether that is cool or annoying - constantly describing the manner in which you are stealthing through the landscape adds an immersive level of interaction with the environment, but could become tiresome if overdone.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
One thing I've noticed (or inferred) from these class previews is that most of the "cool stuff" requires a feat and it appears feats in PF1 that were available to anyone are now class-specific and some things in PF1 that didn't require a feat at all will require one in PF2. Am I reading this correctly? Will one acquire feats more often in PF2? I'm concerned PCs may actually be able to do less cool things than they can now and in order to do a couple of cool things, one will be forced down a very specific and limited path of feat choices. Please tell me my read on this is wrong and the character building options and choices in PF2 will be just as varied and plentiful as PF1.

What we've seen so far, we know we get

1) Ancestry feat at first level and a Class Feat (Earlier blogs and fighter class preview blog)
2) Skill Feat at second level and Class feats on every even level (Progression blog)
3) General Feats on Odd levels(progression blog)

Presumably we get much more skill feats than the one listed at second level, and likely one or two "free" ancestry feats at certain levels.
We will have A LOT of feats.


Arakhor wrote:
The blog said nothing about Dex to damage, so suggesting that that means it definitely won't happen seems rather premature.

I'm not saying netcraft has confirmed it or anything. I'm saying I'm hoping it's not going to show up and I would be happy if that were the case.

GreyYeti wrote:
Based on my PF1 experience rogues are not the skill monkeys they are supposed to be. Investigators and other int-based classes far outskilled them, while their niche of the nimble fighter was taken by the swashbuckler and the slayer....And i don't really see the idea of a class that is only good in skills

I expect the potency of int mod will be downplayed significantly. I reckon you'll get at 1st level X+int mod skill ranks. But then you'll just get X ranks thereafter with no int modifier (this would be a very AD&D 2e solution). So sure wizards will be trained in int mod skills. But they won't be able to rely on int mod to master them.

Also from what we've seen rogues will be able to keep up to a degree with other classes. Fighters will be solid and consistent whereas rogues will rely more on situational circumstances that let them get their damage output. This should mean when the circumstances are right they do more damage, but they have to rely on teamwork and the right conditions to get those situations to crop up.

Also if the math is off by a bit, Paizo can always introduce a feat or two to fix it or tweak the base class. For now the most we're getting is "big picture" look at the game to entice us to look forward to the final product (first blog in a while that I've been happy about).

Silver Crusade

The blog looks great, but over the years I have heard too many unhappy characters when faced with monsters that were immune to sneak attack.. so that might be something to test.

" 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"

That sounds a bit like the current mindblack + improved invis combo.. and I would rather not see this trick as a core ability.


Really liking the focus in skills. I did not expect the Rogues to have skill feats for each level, that seems like a lot at higher levels, I do wonder how many skills are going to be in the end.

Dark Archive

RumpinRufus wrote:
It's difficult to say yet whether that is cool or annoying - constantly describing the manner in which you are stealthing through the landscape adds an immersive level of interaction with the environment, but could become tiresome if overdone.

I suspect it will not be uncommon for GMs and their regular rogue party member to reach an understanding that the rogue is generally attempting to move quietly and stick to shadows and cover in a standard dungeon exploring scenario. In other, more unusual circumstances it may then be necessary to be aware of what everyone was doing. Like in the case of an upcoming ambush by some thugs when the heroes return to town to sell their recent spoils from the nearby goblin hideout.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Are there any of these in particular that seem like you could just do them automatically in PF1? Your options and choices should wind up being more varied than in PF1 (though obviously, the playtest book isn't going to have more options than an entire edition right away).

This isn't called out as a feat in the blog post, and I believe the flat-footed rules will change in PF2, but this jumped out at me right away...

Blog Post wrote:
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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
MusicAddict wrote:
Erich Williams wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

I wrote my response before reading the comments and it's hilarious to see I'm quite happy and positive about the rogue while most people seem quite upset by it.

Things I got from the blog:
* People are no longer flat footed for the first round of combat before they act.
* Debilitating effects from Pathfinder Unchained (or a variation) are now core (makes sense. I'm all for it).
* Skill monkey: I approve!
* Bluff has been renamed to deception.
* Skill feats (at least some of them) will resemble what we're accustomed to with rogue talents. Hooray!
* Class feats: Despite some very 4th-edish names, it looks like for the rogue at least we're getting class feats that are very much grounded in Pathfinder 1st edition.
* Action economy: I'm starting to see the benefit of iteratives at all levels with the -5/-10 penalty. It makes the "sacrifice an attack" abilities very competitive instead of in PF 1st edition which cost a lot to use.
* I like that they're finding ways to offer similar (yet grounded in reality) effects when it comes to spells (blank slate being an example).

Overall I'm much more happy with how things are looking for the rogue. However I am concerned we perhaps didn't get any examples of "legendary" skill feats for rogues. If they're over the top and break the "aesthetic" of the rogue, I continue to hope they'll remain highly optional and viable characters can be made by topping off at mastery for many skills (vs legendary for a few skills).

I am also happy to see no dex to damage. I hope Paizo can be creative in keeping the rogue credible without going "all classes get 1[W]+Primary ability score mod" for all attacks (no bards using charisma to attack people with weapons please. Let's have ability scores mean something).

I never understood this sentiment about ability scores. What bleeds more, a harder stab or a stab into a place that's more vital? There's an argument that STR shouldn't even be your attack OR damage
...

Because, as surprising as it might seem, in the multitudes of situations where Rogue was denied Sneak Attack, they still want to do more than just base weapon damage without having to go so MAD that they become worthless. I don't understand the REEEEEEEEE that occurs when Dex to Damage is brought up.


RumpinRufus wrote:

Constant stealth is seemingly going to be more important in PF2, just to get your Stealth mod to Initiative instead of using your Perception. By maximizing Initiative rolls, they not only go first but also get the advantage of their Surprise Attack.

It's difficult to say yet whether that is cool or annoying - constantly describing the manner in which you are stealthing through the landscape adds an immersive level of interaction with the environment, but could become tiresome if overdone.

You'd also be moving very slowly if stealthing all the time. Might not be the best way to move around, if the rest of your party has to stay a good distance behind you and only slowly inch forward.


I mean, it's nice I guess but nothing that just blows me out of the water. I have hopes that the playtest will have surprises that make things more interesting.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
One thing I've noticed (or inferred) from these class previews is that most of the "cool stuff" requires a feat and it appears feats in PF1 that were available to anyone are now class-specific and some things in PF1 that didn't require a feat at all will require one in PF2. Am I reading this correctly? Will one acquire feats more often in PF2? I'm concerned PCs may actually be able to do less cool things than they can now and in order to do a couple of cool things, one will be forced down a very specific and limited path of feat choices. Please tell me my read on this is wrong and the character building options and choices in PF2 will be just as varied and plentiful as PF1.
Are there any of these in particular that seem like you could just do them automatically in PF1? Your options and choices should wind up being more varied than in PF1 (though obviously, the playtest book isn't going to have more options than an entire edition right away).

AoOs are the glaring one, and now we're being told flat-footed AC on the first round is also a class feature. (There seems to be a strong sentiment in the community that AoOs at least should be unlockable to any PC with a feat.)

It's distressing to me that Reactive Pursuit is a rogue feat, when Step Up was available to anyone (and incredibly vital to a lot of character concepts, such as mage-killers!)

Mobility as a rogue feat is another example of a feat that was generally available in PF1, and is now seemingly locked behind a class wall. (Same with Gang Up, although I imagine mostly only characters with Sneak Attack took that one anyway so I'm not as worried about it.)

I want to believe that PF2 will allow more customization than PF1, but based off the tidbits we have so far, it looks like more and more abilities that had been available to any character are being locked behind class walls. That scares me!


Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
The 14th level abilities from this and the fighter blog seem very... restrained. Hope they didn't tone down things too much.
Instant Opening might not seem as cool as it actually is because it might be easy to assume that it requires some kind of check (or a failed save, or a roll of some kind) in order to work. But it actually works automatically. So one action from you equals two rounds of AC debuffs and all your sneak attack-related favorites. And it's not flanking, so all-around vision-type abilities won't help them.

I like the idea of being able to flat-foot someone by taking an action to do so, but there should ALWAYS be a roll of some sort to do this.

I get that it would be weak at level 14 if it required a check, but it doesn't feel good to just have something bad happen to your character without a die roll being involved.

Maybe give the rogue a good sized bonus to the check (Deception vs Sense Motive) and if he succeeds the opponent is flat-footed. (A crit could debilitate him worse or longer.)

I'll also mention that given the general feel of how important Skill Proficiencies are, if the Rogue get's twice as many, wouldn't that make them close to twice as powerful? What is the rogue NOT getting that makes up for this?

(Maybe I just don't understand how Skills work well enough yet.)


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Garfaulk Sharpstone wrote:
I never understood this sentiment about ability scores. What bleeds more, a harder stab or a stab into a place that's more vital? There's an argument that STR shouldn't even be your attack OR damage

I'd agree to not having strength apply to attack or damage (dex for damage, significant weight restrictions on weapons and armor based on strength). But the reason I don't like dex to damage (and there's another thread to go into further depth on this) is it just feels bland:

Rogue: Dex is my primary attribute so I use it for all combat related activities.

Fighter: Strength is my primary attribute so I use it for all combat related activities.

Cleric: Wisdom is my primary attribute so I use it for all combat related activities.

It's mathematically balanced. But it's also dead boring. Paizo can find other ways to boost finesse weapon users without going the boring route.

Garfaulk Sharpstone wrote:
[int and cha for wizards and sorcerers]

When using spells: Sure. Makes sense. When using a sword? Not so much.

Designer

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GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Are there any of these in particular that seem like you could just do them automatically in PF1? Your options and choices should wind up being more varied than in PF1 (though obviously, the playtest book isn't going to have more options than an entire edition right away).

This isn't called out as a feat in the blog post, and I believe the flat-footed rules will change in PF2, but this jumped out at me right away...

Blog Post wrote:
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.

Ah, yes. That is case where removing that aspect from the beginning of encounters (as also shown in the linked OotS comic) was something we wanted to do in general. I don't think the same is really the case for any of the other previewed abilities in this blog though.


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Talk of Deception makes me consider application of that re: concealing one's class abilities (and implications that creates re: your class level which speaks to other potential abilities). Opponent not being able to understand quite what the Rogue is doing (or COULD do) is significant bonus. Although that makes me think it might be worthwhile to spell out characters of same class automatically recognize abilities they themselves have, and get bonus to recognize even abilities they didn't choose (at least of equal-or-less level than own level). Come to think of it, that also has implications for multi-class builds...


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RumpinRufus wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
One thing I've noticed (or inferred) from these class previews is that most of the "cool stuff" requires a feat and it appears feats in PF1 that were available to anyone are now class-specific and some things in PF1 that didn't require a feat at all will require one in PF2. Am I reading this correctly? Will one acquire feats more often in PF2? I'm concerned PCs may actually be able to do less cool things than they can now and in order to do a couple of cool things, one will be forced down a very specific and limited path of feat choices. Please tell me my read on this is wrong and the character building options and choices in PF2 will be just as varied and plentiful as PF1.
Are there any of these in particular that seem like you could just do them automatically in PF1? Your options and choices should wind up being more varied than in PF1 (though obviously, the playtest book isn't going to have more options than an entire edition right away).

AoOs are the glaring one, and now we're being told flat-footed AC on the first round is also a class feature. (There seems to be a strong sentiment in the community that AoOs at least should be unlockable to any PC with a feat.)

It's distressing to me that Reactive Pursuit is a rogue feat, when Step Up was available to anyone (and incredibly vital to a lot of character concepts, such as mage-killers!)

Mobility as a rogue feat is another example of a feat that was generally available in PF1, and is now seemingly locked behind a class wall. (Same with Gang Up, although I imagine mostly only characters with Sneak Attack took that one anyway so I'm not as worried about it.)

I want to believe that PF2 will allow more customization than PF1, but based off the tidbits we have so far, it looks like more and more abilities that had been available to any character are being locked behind class walls. That scares me!

Agreed. I really don't want things that could logically be learned by anyone locked behind certain classes.

The way I see it, "class" is a game term that doesn't exist in the game world. It breaks verisimilitude to say, "I can't learn to do this, because I'm not a rogue."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:


From one of the earlier blog post preview we learned the following:
- Rage Powers, Rogue talents, Arcane Discoveries, etc are now called "Class Feats" for the appropriate class, and you get these every even level.
- Every odd level you get a skill feat, an ancestry feat, or a skill feat. We don't know the exact frequency of each, but we know # General Feats + # Skill Feats = 15 over 20 levels.

So we're getting a lot of choices. Basically everything you get to pick as part of advancement is called a "Feat" now.

MusicAddict wrote:


What we've seen so far, we know we get
1) Ancestry feat at first level and a Class Feat (Earlier blogs and fighter class preview blog)
2) Skill Feat at second level and Class feats on every even level (Progression blog)
3) General Feats on Odd levels(progression blog)

Presumably we get much more skill feats than the one listed at second level, and likely one or two "free" ancestry feats at certain levels.
We will have A LOT of feats.

Thanks for the clear explanation. I'm still not sure that we're actually getting more feats. Some of the feats being counted in PF2 were class abilities in PF1. If we were to add the number of class abilities and feats one gained in PF1, how would they compare to the number of feats gained in PF2? Now, if there is choice in the class feats one gains as one progresses, I can see the potential for more varied builds. But if every character of a particular class gains the same class feats at the same levels (which, I assume, could be altered by archetype choice?), one's feat choices become a little more restricted and I'd wonder if we're really gaining more feats or not.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Are there any of these in particular that seem like you could just do them automatically in PF1? Your options and choices should wind up being more varied than in PF1 (though obviously, the playtest book isn't going to have more options than an entire edition right away).

This isn't called out as a feat in the blog post, and I believe the flat-footed rules will change in PF2, but this jumped out at me right away...

Blog Post wrote:
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.
Ah, yes. That is case where removing that aspect from the beginning of encounters (as also shown in the linked OotS comic) was something we wanted to do in general. I don't think the same is really the case for any of the other previewed abilities in this blog though.

Not sure I like the idea that folks aren't auto-flatfooted on the Surprise round. Kinda feels like that invalidates the crappy situation of an ambush on both sides of the GM screen. "Oh no, we've been ambushed. Is anyone in the group ambushing us a Rogue? No? Then who cares? Our AC is fine."


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Okay, so.

Skills / Skill Feats: Happy to see confirmation that these are every single level for the rogue. :)

Sneak Attack: Disappointed to see that despite the much heavier focus on skills in PF2, they didn't replace Sneak Attack with Trick Attack from Starfinder. :( Hopefully, Trick Attack is still available in the system as a class feat...

Debilitating Strike: Why is this pushed back to 9th level now? Especially when casters can be debuffing enemies from level 1. I'm hoping there are other abilities to do similar things the rogue can get at lower levels which just haven't been shown yet...

Deception: This is probably a better name than Bluff, and just the name thematically allows more options if the skill is built right.

Thievery: ... Can this be renamed Legerdemain please?

People aren't flatfooted at the start of combat: Good overall! The only time this ever made any sense was in an ambush. I think I'd like people to still be flat-footed in an ambush situation, but I'm okay with it just going away as a rule if necessary to clean up the start of combat overall.

Feats: These are generally looking pretty okay so far. Twist the Knife is good if it is bleed dice and not just 1 point per die of sneak attack... if it is the latter, it is a worthless trap feat, but I'm guessing it's the former. Gang Up is great. Now that Mark has confirmed Instant Opening "just works" automatically, it makes sense as a 14th level feat. Blank Slate is great.

Mobility... why has this been gated behind the rogue now? Hopefully this is one of those feats that gets assigned to multiple classes (eg, the Monk), because this is way too basic to feel like a proper class ability.

Given multiple mentions of fear between this blog and the Fighter blog, I'm starting to think fear effects will be much more common in PF2 than PF1, which may make these feats actually quite useful instead of the traps they'd be in PF1.

Unmentioned: While there wasn't any talk of archetypes this time, I'm hoping the Slayer and Ninja in particular get absorbed as rogue archetypes and class feat(ure)s...


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Sounds pretty awesome! I especially like the sounds of things like Blank Slate, meaning that higher-level martial characters get options to counteract magical effects. This sounds very promising so far, as does the rest of it.

The playtest can't begin soon enough!


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Fuzzypaws wrote:


Thievery: ... Can this be renamed Legerdemain please?

I don't get the hang-up on this. 90% of what you do with the skill ain't exactly reputable.


Rogues were one of the messier classes from 1E. In my humble opinion, these are all (very nasty) improvements.


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Personally, I'd like to see Rogue builds that can be just as dangerous as fighters without having to proc sneak attack. After all, assassins and spies definitely fall under the Rogue theme, but it doesn't make sense that an assassin would skip out on weapons training. I mean, Jason Bourne definitely didn't.

I can see where rogues would have less armor or hp, but I'd really like to see them have equal damage potential. (Perhaps those skill proficiency points can be thrown at weapons proficiency instead?)

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Good stuff to be sure. I'm curious how they compare to other classes, but they seem to be a toolbox of useful stuff. That's fine by me.


We do need word on Dex to Damage with Agile Weapons, as well as *praying* Dex to Damage on Ranged.


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RumpinRufus wrote:
I want to believe that PF2 will allow more customization than PF1, but based off the tidbits we have so far, it looks like more and more abilities that had been available to any character are being locked behind class walls. That scares me!

I'm really, really hoping a single feat will be able to be taken by multiple classes (so power attack would be available to everyone except wizards/sorcerers).


I am not quite surst e how grapple works if it is based off athletics and I don't quite know what happens if casting grappled works ing Will run around the melee and just grapple the caster end up being common in play.


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Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Thievery: ... Can this be renamed Legerdemain please?

I don't get the hang-up on this. 90% of what you do with the skill ain't exactly reputable.

There may be adversarial GMs who could argue thievery is illegal and might rule using the thievery skill is an unlawful act. We've all seen these semantic arguments on the forums; if changing the name of the thievery skill would nip those in the bud, I'm all for it.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
The 14th level abilities from this and the fighter blog seem very... restrained. Hope they didn't tone down things too much.
Instant Opening might not seem as cool as it actually is because it might be easy to assume that it requires some kind of check (or a failed save, or a roll of some kind) in order to work. But it actually works automatically. So one action from you equals two rounds of AC debuffs and all your sneak attack-related favorites. And it's not flanking, so all-around vision-type abilities won't help them.

It looks mechanically powerful, but it's not particularly flashy. I'd love to see some of the more gonzo high-level martial abilities previewed, e.g. the "jump 30 feet straight up to wrestle a dragon out of the sky" kind of stuff.


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Are there any of these in particular that seem like you could just do them automatically in PF1? Your options and choices should wind up being more varied than in PF1 (though obviously, the playtest book isn't going to have more options than an entire edition right away).

This isn't called out as a feat in the blog post, and I believe the flat-footed rules will change in PF2, but this jumped out at me right away...

Blog Post wrote:
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.
Ah, yes. That is case where removing that aspect from the beginning of encounters (as also shown in the linked OotS comic) was something we wanted to do in general. I don't think the same is really the case for any of the other previewed abilities in this blog though.
Not sure I like the idea that folks aren't auto-flatfooted on the Surprise round. Kinda feels like that invalidates the crappy situation of an ambush on both sides of the GM screen. "Oh no, we've been ambushed. Is anyone in the group ambushing us a Rogue? No? Then who cares? Our AC is fine."

I believe he means for the first round of combat when some have gone and others havent. Presumably surprise rounds still see folks as flat-footed


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thflame wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
AoOs are the glaring one, and now we're being told flat-footed AC on the first round is also a class feature... It's distressing to me that Reactive Pursuit is a rogue feat, when Step Up was available to anyone (and incredibly vital to a lot of character concepts, such as mage-killers!) ...Mobility as a rogue feat is another example of a feat that was generally available in PF1, and is now seemingly locked behind a class wall.

Agreed. I really don't want things that could logically be learned by anyone locked behind certain classes.

The way I see it, "class" is a game term that doesn't exist in the game world. It breaks verisimilitude to say, "I can't learn to do this, because I'm not a rogue."

How is it any different than saying "I can't do this because I didn't take a Feat"?

Just as "class" is mechanical concept that doesn't inherently correlate to in-world concept, all these things are mechanical effects not exclusively correlated with in-world concept. Step Up is a way to break rules imposed from turn structure, but has little inherent meaning when one understands the turn structure to be gamist approximation of simultaneous combat. Characters without it still move towards caster and attack them to disrupt Casting, that Step Up makes it mechanically more convenient is not critical element of in-world concept.

If you don't like class restrictions, why play a class based game? There are non-class based games that entirely avoid what you claim to dislike. Pathfinder is built on d20 heritage which is full of mechanical artifacts which harshly fail "simulationist" perspective. This is the nature of the game.


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tivadar27 wrote:
Sounds pretty solid, and some of the effects sound really interesting. That being said, I've gotten no preview on how Dexterity helps the rogue in combat. I think playtests have shown the party rogue applying Dexterity to their attack rolls, but how is that done? Just via Agile Weapons by default (as in 5e), with a Feat? I'd like to hear more about this, given that this is pretty much *the* iconic ability that almost every rogue swears by!

My question is, when did Backstab (or finding/removing traps, or just plain *stealing*) stop being the "iconic ability" for rogues? And when did Finesse (or whatever you want to call it) start?

I've been playing Rogues (or as they were originally called, Thieves) since first edition AD&D, and it wasn't until 3e that I even heard of using Dexterity for my melee attacks. It was the whole reason my thief characters would look for items to boost their strength as well as their dexterity. My thief/rogue characters have always focused on sneaking in/out of places, or removing someone's spine before they knew I was there.


Fuzzypaws wrote:

Unmentioned: While there wasn't any talk of archetypes this time, I'm hoping the Slayer and Ninja in particular get absorbed as rogue archetypes and class feat(ure)s...

Given the modular approach to built classes in PF2 I imagine that various classes, specially the ones form ACG are not going to be necessary, Paizo will only need to publish a new set of Class feats, or an Archetype. Another cool thing that I'm hopping is that thanks to the modular approach is going to be really easy to built new classes if wanted.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
YmerejO42 wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Sounds pretty solid, and some of the effects sound really interesting. That being said, I've gotten no preview on how Dexterity helps the rogue in combat. I think playtests have shown the party rogue applying Dexterity to their attack rolls, but how is that done? Just via Agile Weapons by default (as in 5e), with a Feat? I'd like to hear more about this, given that this is pretty much *the* iconic ability that almost every rogue swears by!

My question is, when did Backstab (or finding/removing traps, or just plain *stealing*) stop being the "iconic ability" for rogues? And when did Finesse (or whatever you want to call it) start?

I've been playing Rogues (or as they were originally called, Thieves) since first edition AD&D, and it wasn't until 3e that I even heard of using Dexterity for my melee attacks. It was the whole reason my thief characters would look for items to boost their strength as well as their dexterity. My thief/rogue characters have always focused on sneaking in/out of places, or removing someone's spine before they knew I was there.

I think the change was in 3e when the class name changed from Thief (with backstab) to Rogue (with sneak attack)


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OK... without seeing the actual PF2e playtest mechanics, this sounds alot a lot like the PF1e unchained rogue. Which I liked very much, BTW.

1) I am very worried about the continued reliance on sneak attack. If that will remain the case for the PF2e rogue, I'd like more good options for the rogue to make sneak attacks happen on her own without necessarily relying on the fighter to flank, or a wizzie to debuff, or all the non-stealthy clankers in armor to hang back while the stealthy scouts surprise & engage.

b) If the PF2e rogue is going to have something like the unchained rogue's Finesse Training baked in, then please instead consider something like the ranger's combat styles. Let STR-focused rogues swap out finesse abilities for a tightly-focused group of Fighter-y feats (like the new Power Attack). Let archery-focused rogues instead gain feats/abilities for better ranged weapon attacks. Please, don't tie the new rogue exclusively to DEX builds.

Edit:

Fuzzypaws wrote:
Unmentioned: While there wasn't any talk of archetypes this time, I'm hoping the Slayer and Ninja in particular get absorbed as rogue archetypes and class feat(ure)s...

I very much want a ranger corebook archetype to be the spell-less slayer from Advanced Class Guide. Studied Target is more versatile & reliable than the old Favored Enemies mechanic.

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