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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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

By TWF, I mean feat support for TWF. Valeros in the playtest just had the option of attacking with either weapon, kind of like Starfinder, which seems like really weaksauce TWF.

Edit: sorry, it's late and I didn't read that well before posting. But yeah, I don't think that's much of a use for TWF compared to Two-handed weapons or Sword & Shield. Without feat support, TWF like this would be rather mechanically weak.

I would assume TWF feats will lower the iterative attack penalty to something like -3 (-2 for agile weapons). Might just affect the first iterative attack until you get more feats of the chain like Improved TWF. Or TWF lowers the penalty to -4(-3) and Improved/Greater TWF will lower the penalty further (if those feats are even still in the game).

Two Weapon Rend could be a 2-action attack similar to Power Attack, dealing both weapons' damage at once. Would be interesting if something like this doesn't need training in TWF as pre-requisite, opening a more "smash them with both weapons" approach as opposed to the classical "hit them as often as possible"-TWF.
Two one-handed strikes are most likely more powerful than one Power Attack, though, so we'd probably need a balancing factor for this one. Maybe an inability to Crit with Rend or some extra penalty if you fumble.

Ah well, wait and see, I guess.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:

This is something that's been bugging me since the podcast. I hate, hate, hate abilities like Nimble Dodge.

+2 to AC vs a single attack and it has to be declared before the attack is rolled just means that I'll use it, my enemy will either hit or miss me easily and then I'll feel like the ability is a complete waste over and over until I find a better use for my reaction and use that instead.

If it applied after the attack roll result is announced then I feel like I'm actually dodging something.

If it applies to every attack that enemy makes in the round then at least I feel like I'm getting some value out of my action as there's a decent chance that +2 will make a difference spread out over multiple attacks each turn.

Or you dodge the attack by just one or two points of AC OR (in what is probably more valuable) you negate them from getting a Criticla Hit on you since they get didn’t beat your AC by 10+


^ Rysky beat me to it, but +2 AC is a much bigger deal with PF2 mechanics than it is in PF1, as it reduces your chance of being both hit AND crit. In addition, the wording is definitely open to the reaction effect lasting the full round, though it's just as open to being interpreted as meaning a +2 against a single attack, the detail is a little lacking.

As far as the back and forth over Dex to damage, given the fact that they're using the Starfinder ability advancement system, it's really, really not going to matter very much, characters in PF2 are going to be drowning in ability scores as compared to PF1.

On top of that, based on the changes to magic items and information in the Fighter blog, its pretty apparent that the main focus in terms of damage is going to be dice, not flat bonuses. I'm not going to be surprised if the vast majority of systems from PF1 that gave flat bonuses to both hit and damage are either greatly reduced, reworked to be dice bonuses, or outright removed.

If I were going to be concerned about rogue damage output, it would be that rogues are going to be heavily incentivized to use Greatswords instead of daggers. Even with the loss of sneak attack dice, anything that adds additional weapon dice with the larger weapon (for example the reworked Power Attack) might just end up breaking even or putting your potential damage out ahead with the larger base weapon.

I also agree on not loving that debilitating strike has been moved to such a high level, but its a mirror of some of the more mundane fighter abilities being moved to higher levels as well. Its probably not fair to call two instances a pattern, but if I had to guess, I'd venture that they're making an active effort to spread overall character strength across more levels, and make it far more commonplace for a typical campaign to push substantially higher in level.

I love the changed Mobility, a smart move, especially since Mobility won't be (presumably) part of a feat chain anymore, so without the change, it wouldn't have been worth taking.

Overall I'm rather surprised at how similar to Unchained Rogue the class seems to be, but maybe I shouldn't be, the "Rogue" archetype has been around for so long that there's probably not a lot of reason to change much about them. I'm also excited about learning more about skills, and don't mind that they're being reserved to their own blog. There's definitely evidence here that Skills will be one of the largest changes overall to the base game, I think that's definitely best addressed with a full post dedicated to just it.


Bardic Dave wrote:
Seems like they fixed rogues. Hurrah!

What are you thinking of, specifically? To me it looks exactly like the PF 1E rogue. I'd expect that if you like the 1E rogue, you'd like this, if you thought the 1E rogue needs fixing, this doesn't do much to fix it?


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The fact that a +2 AC bonus has both a 10% chance to block a hit and a 10% chance to negate a critical in an ideal scenario (i.e. your attacker can roll 10 above your AC) is small comfort, and completely misses the point. "Reaction for +2 AC against one attack" is one of many abilities that have been previewed that sound, if not pathetic for the level they come in, boring and unimaginative- which is a bad sign when you'd be expecting Paizo to bring their A game to hype things up.

Seriously, one of the most exciting things the new fighter feat list has is apparently "when one of your attacks at -5 or -10 misses and you're being flanked you can make that attack against someone else that's flanking you", and one of the most exciting new rogue talents is ranged feint but it just works instead of rolling a trivial check and it's only a -2 to AC instead of -Dex. The preview of the skill system showed a decent framework that could be revised and built into something pretty cool, these class previews are embarrassing and mostly serve to reveal an alarmingly stripped down combat system that's been cannibalized for abilities to give specific classes.


Micheal Smith wrote:

While I enjoyed this post. I feel they didn't even come close to getting the Rogue right.

I like the concept of sneak attack. But I am sorry you have failed to grasp the concept of hitting a vital spot. WHY MUST I BE FLANKING TO HIT A VITAL SPOT? Seriously, this is a stupid concept. If SOMEONE is trained to hit vital spots then they SHOULDN'T rely on a friend to do so.

Having someone else to guard against makes it harder to protect those "vital spots" than when it's against just one opponent. It's not as if the Rogue doesn't have other ways to exploit them, but the advantage is easy and automatic when an opponent is flanked.

Aldarc wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

I really don't like the rogue's new artwork:(

You have to wait till 9th level to get debilitating strikes, why not 6th or even 5th.

5th level seems like an appropriate time to get debilitating strikes since that is approximately the time that full casters get their big 3rd level spells.

Why not 1st? It's not some epically powerful ability that is being granted.


A ranged rogue is something that has always been reeeally hard to pull off in PF1. How well is this kind of rogue supported in PF2?


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Bluenose wrote:


Why not 1st? It's not some epically powerful ability that is being granted.

Actually, the "effects" they list on Debilitating strike aren't very specific, so they could actually be quite powerful, I don't think we have the information necessary to make a very accurate guess on that. I will say that if you assume "entangle" as they use it in the post to mean something equivalent to the current PF1 incarnation of Entangle, then adding it as a passive effect to all SA hits at level 1 would be extremely strong, especially if there's no save involved (as is the case with current unchained rogue).

Don't take me wrong, I'm not saying 9 is great, but I'm also pretty sure 1 wouldn't be super reasonable either, based purely on guesswork.

Aratrok wrote:
The fact that a +2 AC bonus has both a 10% chance to block a hit and a 10% chance to negate a critical in an ideal scenario (i.e. your attacker can roll 10 above your AC) is small comfort, and completely misses the point.

I don't agree with the "missing the point" here, the original post from Ninja in the Rye was about the limited power/usefulness of the reaction, I think pointing out that in PF2 it's inherently stronger is on point with responding to that concern. You're also jumping to the conclusion its a single attack, when the way its worded in the blog is ambiguous.

In terms of the change to FF not affecting Dex, it honestly makes perfect sense if you assume that the enemies will be getting the same ability point glut as the player characters. If that's the case, almost every possible "enemy" build will have decent to high Dex, so removing said Dex instead of just giving -2 would be substantially stronger in PF2 than PF1. This is especially true if you, again, keep in mind that giving enemies -2 to AC in PF2 is a much bigger deal than it is in PF1.

I'm venturing into guesswork again on this, but it definitely looks like a lot of the number bloat of PF1 is going to be reduced/removed, which means that even just a -2 to AC has the potential to be quite significant, which would also make -Dex to AC insanely powerful. But that's guesswork.


The Rot Grub wrote:
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.)

I dunno. It seems from the proficiencies thingy that ‘gonzo’ is being more heavily imbedded into the game at those upper levels, and all APs are designed to go to those levels. Therefore the new default is ‘all campaigns will go gonzo’. Unfortunately. Seeing numbers of other things I like, that choice is the one that rankles.


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Incidentally anybody recall how Aid Another is working, which seems like similar buff to AC, just with other character (or potentially Companion etc) spending action to do so?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Also with regards to Flatfooted applying -2 AC instead of-Dex and -Dodge AC, many larger / slower enemies in Pathfinder 1e had Dexterity scores at or below 10, which made that penalty completely ineffective. It also meant you had to add another stat to every PC, NPC, and monster stat block since the actual penalty to AC varied by target. Making it apply a straight -2 AC means less bookkeeping and more effectiveness against enemies with low Dexterity. Keep in mind that -2 is really +10% to hit and +10% to crit hit / -10% to crit miss.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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As a lover of the rogue class (I even liked them pre-Unchained, *gasp*!) this gives me a good deal to be optimistic about. They seem to have some well-defined flavor while also there appears to be enough versatility to make some very different sort of scoundrelly adventurers. Love that they get twice the skill feats.


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
Aratrok wrote:
The fact that a +2 AC bonus has both a 10% chance to block a hit and a 10% chance to negate a critical in an ideal scenario (i.e. your attacker can roll 10 above your AC) is small comfort, and completely misses the point. "Reaction for +2 AC against one attack" is one of many abilities that have been previewed that sound, if not pathetic for the level they come in, boring and unimaginative- which is a bad sign when you'd be expecting Paizo to bring their A game to hype things up.

The point about criticals is much more important than you give it credit for. This is because, based on earlier posts, crits will be much more frequent than with PF1, and there will be feats (and presumably monster features too) that leverage crits towards further effects.

Now, if your attacker can't roll 10 above your AC, then it can roll 10 below your AC. That means Nimble Dodge increases the chances the attack critically fails. We don't know much about that situation, but I'm speculating it's a good thing for the defender when that happens.

As to whether this is exciting, folks can differ on that, of course. But I see Nimble Dodge as kind of a baseline thing the rogue can do with a reaction. The tactical choices become interesting when it begins to compete with other reactions the character might have at hand.

Sovereign Court

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This is underwhelming, to say the least...

Okay, sneak attack stays. Obviously. Also, the surprise attack feature? That's a new feature you're touting? That's already a thing in PF. If an enemy hasn't acted in the first round of combat, they're considered flat-footed, thus granting a rogue the use of sneak attack.

I do like the idea of skill feats for free, because rare is the occassion when someone would take one. And I really like the change to Mobility. Just straight-up ignore AOO's. Super cool. Same with Dread Striker. Very thematic. But Gang Up is a dead feat. Really? The Rogue can't move 5 more feet? It just seems super useless. Better to take Improved Feint. That's much more versatile. Opening Moves should make the target flat-footed to everyone, not just the Rogue. Seems pretty useless, but I guess it depends on the action.

All-in-all, it seems rather meh to me, but hopefully a more complete reveal in the future will get me over that hurdle.


DerricktheCleric wrote:
If I were going to be concerned about rogue damage output, it would be that rogues are going to be heavily incentivized to use Greatswords instead of daggers. Even with the loss of sneak attack dice, anything that adds additional weapon dice with the larger weapon (for example the reworked Power Attack) might just end up breaking even or putting your potential damage out ahead with the larger base weapon.

I thought of this too, but one thing we haven't heard is if sneak attack damage multiply on critical hits. If they do, then I think the pendulum swings the other way. You want the lighter weapons because you want a higher chance of criticalling with iteratives. But we'll see how this works out.

EDIT: Also see below for why lighter weapons might be better. Higher attack bonuses/more attacks!

Blave wrote:
I would assume TWF feats will lower the iterative attack penalty to something like -3 (-2 for agile weapons). Might just affect the first iterative attack until you get more feats of the chain like Improved TWF. Or TWF lowers the penalty to -4(-3) and Improved/Greater TWF will lower the penalty further (if those feats are even still in the game).

I'd assume this too, but some info would be nice. I'm guessing Iterative penalties are addative, so you could primary (non-agile), off-hand at -2 (agile), then primary again at -7 (-5 over the off-hand attack). This makes TWF more valuable, as it's decreasing the penalty on *all further* attacks, which starts to push using two agile weapons into the area of the third attack having similar penalties to what you'd have with two attacks of a single large weapon.

EDIT: I was paying attention during the podcast, and pretty sure no one ever had 3 attacks where both of the iteratives used an agile weapon, so yeah, I'll be curious to hear exactly how that works. Also, this present the interesting situation of if you swing Main, Off, Main (0, -2, -7) or Main, Main, Off (0, -5, -7). There are more penalties on the second, but your second Main attack has a better chance of hitting for (presumably) more damage.


Arssanguinus wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
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.)
I dunno. It seems from the proficiencies thingy that ‘gonzo’ is being more heavily imbedded into the game at those upper levels, and all APs are designed to go to those levels. Therefore the new default is ‘all campaigns will go gonzo’. Unfortunately. Seeing numbers of other things I like, that choice is the one that rankles.

Unless none of your players ever played high level casters, the campaigns already went "gonzo", with characters similar to Doctor Strange adventuring alongside Lina Inverse and Teclis - and sometimes Hawkeye or Black Widow come along too.


Charles Ulveling wrote:

But Gang Up is a dead feat. Really? The Rogue can't move 5 more feet? It just seems super useless. Better to take Improved Feint.

I disagree. You can stand next to your fighter friend and sneak attack while building a frontline. Maybe he can block hits with his shield for you.

Less movement is also good. 5 feet more aren't enough for bigger opponents.


Charles Ulveling wrote:
I do like the idea of skill feats for free, because rare is the occassion when someone would take one. And I really like the change to Mobility. Just straight-up ignore AOO's. Super cool. Same with Dread Striker. Very thematic. But Gang Up is a dead feat. Really? The Rogue can't move 5 more feet? It just seems super useless. Better to take Improved Feint. That's much more versatile. Opening Moves should make the target flat-footed to everyone, not just the Rogue. Seems pretty useless, but I guess it depends on the action.

Skill feats are not the same as PF1, everyone will be getting them for free, the rogue just gets twice as many, and they're going to be genuinely impactful. Gang Up says nothing about the rogue's movement and I have no idea where you're getting that. We have no idea how feinting is going to work or if Improved Feint is going to be a thing rogues can even take.

Sovereign Court

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I don't know. Feels underwhelming.
I think this was a missed opportunity to finally make rogues ... nice.
They need something like 'spend 2 actions to analyze and then strike the target, dealing sneak attack damage, regardless of positioning'. And NOT at high levels!

Silver Crusade

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I guess one thing that makes it difficult to get a handle on the Rogue as previewed is that we don't yet have a good sense of how useful/powerful/interesting PF2 skills really are. If the skill feats are as cool as the designers have been suggesting, the Rogue's advantage there (blog text copied below) could be a really huge part of what makes the class great. But we don't have much of that context yet, so while it might end up being one of the most significant things about the Rogue we might not yet have the perspective to appreciate it. I mean, 10 extra feats does sound pretty great... (Blog text for reference:)

Blog wrote:
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.


I’m guessing that the skill feat progression is a pretty big deal for Rogues, since the class feats have sounded rather tame- or maybe the preview’s focus on options for mitigating the nuisances of sneak attack just aren’t my thing. (It seems like a bit of a hassle upgrading your sneak attack helper, and retraining the old one to something more fun.) I’m a little worried about the five-foot shuffle turning into one-stride dances.

Double the skill feats, though, that’s better than I expected. I’m hoping that feinting can be an effective option, although if it can’t be combined with another action (movement or attack), it’ll cost too much.

Another interesting thing is that we now know that characters get five general feats.

Silver Crusade

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QuidEst wrote:
I’m guessing that the skill feat progression is a pretty big deal for Rogues [...] Double the skill feats, though, that’s better than I expected. [...] Another interesting thing is that we now know that characters get five general feats.

First, I love that like 3 of us posted about the same thought at the same time.

Second, As far as I can tell (putting together the leveling up blog and the rogue blog and assuming regularity), the general advancement chart for the playtest looks something like this (with Rogues getting 20 Skill Feats instead of 10):

10 Class Talents (1, 3, 5, ...)
5 Ancestry Feats (1, 5, 9, ...)
5 General Feats (3, 7, 11 ...)
10 Class Feats (2, 4, 6, ...)
10 Skill Feats (2, 4, 6, ...)

Unless I missed something?


tivadar27 wrote:
EDIT: I was paying attention during the podcast, and pretty sure no one ever had 3 attacks where both of the iteratives used an agile weapon, so yeah, I'll be curious to hear exactly how that works. Also, this present the interesting situation of if you swing Main, Off, Main (0, -2, -7) or Main, Main, Off (0, -5, -7). There are more penalties...

I think Valeros did a Longsword - Dagger - Longsword attack sequence in a youtube video with Jason as GM. According to Jason the penalties were 0, -4, -10.

I might be remembering this wrong, though. (Or Jason might have had the rules wrong in that moment)


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I hope ranged rogue is a thing with the new version. Most everything here looks like it's for close combat rogues.

Liberty's Edge

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Liking what I'm reading of the Rogue so far. Seems characters no longer start combat flat-footed, which, sure.

I wonder what Acrobatics vs. Athletics is? Presumably Strength-based skills (Climb+Swim) are moving to Athletics? Does that mean Jump will move under Athletics from Acrobatics and be Strength-based again?

Curious! And excited for the playtest!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Zonto wrote:

Liking what I'm reading of the Rogue so far. Seems characters no longer start combat flat-footed, which, sure.

I wonder what Acrobatics vs. Athletics is? Presumably Strength-based skills (Climb+Swim) are moving to Athletics? Does that mean Jump will move under Athletics from Acrobatics and be Strength-based again?

Curious! And excited for the playtest!

Starfinder does exactly that...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

If rogues can be the new investigator, color me interested in potentially playing one. While I’m a little worried that sneak attack damage will still be way too situational (I agree rogues need a more reliable mechanic like trick attack or studied strike), we all know how PFS 1e scenarios revolve around skills. I’m suspecting the same will be true of PFS 2e. Playing someone who is useful both in and out of combat is really something that I want.

By the way, the players of rogues don’t wish to “out-melee” the fighter. They simply wish to be relevant in combat. What worries many of us posting here is that with sneak attack being potentially situational (and with some monsters potentially resistant to it) and no dex-to-damage, that rogues won’t be able to contribute sufficiently. Everyone wants to be able to do their class’s special thing. Like it or not, rogues are often the backup melee of the party. So let’s make certain that they can actually fight.

I am cautiously hopeful that the playtest will show off rogues as AWESOME and that my worries here are silly. We really don’t have enough information to see how the whole thing balances out.

Hmm


Meophist wrote:
I hope ranged rogue is a thing with the new version. Most everything here looks like it's for close combat rogues.

I wouldn't say that. Mobility sounds like it could be useful for a ranged rogue and Gang Up is the only sneak attack enabler (other than flanking) that states you have to be in melee yourself.

I would think Surprise Attack, Dread Striker and Instant Opening work for ranged attacks. Using one action to demoralize the foe (assuming intimidate works similar to PF1) and then shoot him twice with sneak attack damage doesn't sound too bad.


Dorian Greystar wrote:

I want to know if fainting is still a thing. It is my preferred style.

*swoon*

Quick somebody get Dorian Greystar a chaise lounge!!!

Grand Lodge

Dex to damage was always a ridiculous mechanic. I still support it on the Unchained Rogue because without it the class kind of falls to pieces. Hopefully the 2.0 Rogue comes out better.

I could even see something like the Rogue getting 1 point of damage per sneak attack die when sneak attack doesn't apply.


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Rogues get Dex-to-damage at level one. It’s not mentioned in the blog, but several demo games have confirmed it.

Liberty's Edge

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Someone mentioned in another thread that one of the playtest videos has Merisiel doing 1d6+4 damage with a rapier, and having Dex 18. So...that seems pretty good evidence for Dex-to-damage being available in some fashion (probably not Class based or it'd be mentioned here).

EDIT: Ninja'd. Ah, well.


Catharsis wrote:

I, for one, appreciated 4E's focus on different ability scores, with a primary and secondary ability for each class. It makes for a more varied party makeup than just demanding Str for melee.

I do hope Rogues still get Dex to hit and damage, though given how magic weapons and Power Attack work, I assume weapon damage is going to have more weight than the ability scores on the long run. I believe there's also a proficiency bonus on damage (right?), so it might not be such a big deal. I do like the idea of a Bard using Cha for fencing.

Yes, I'm a bit sad to see Debilitating Strike come in so late, but let's see how the rest of the class will shape up. Those saying that the campaign is long over at 14th level: Don't apply P1 assumptions to P2.

I hope you are wrong about all of that. My least favorite part of 4E was that each class only needed two stats and dump the rest.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Rogues get Dex-to-damage at level one. It’s not mentioned in the blog, but several demo games have confirmed it.

Do you have a link to one of those? That does make a difference, and makes me more excited for the new rogue. With some of the reactions that we already know about, maybe we can even dance around with rapiers like a swashbuckler.

Hmm

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Someone mentioned in another thread that one of the playtest videos has Merisiel doing 1d6+4 damage with a rapier, and having Dex 18. So...that seems pretty good evidence for Dex-to-damage being available in some fashion (probably not Class based or it'd be mentioned here).

EDIT: Ninja'd. Ah, well.

Do we know whether this is a Rogue ability or a weapon property? There was talk of different weapon properties somewhere (e.g., Agile, which reduces the penalties for iterative attacks if I recall correctly)


Joe M. wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Someone mentioned in another thread that one of the playtest videos has Merisiel doing 1d6+4 damage with a rapier, and having Dex 18. So...that seems pretty good evidence for Dex-to-damage being available in some fashion (probably not Class based or it'd be mentioned here).

EDIT: Ninja'd. Ah, well.

Do we know whether this is a Rogue ability or a weapon property? There was talk of different weapon properties somewhere (e.g., Agile, which reduces the penalties for iterative attacks if I recall correctly)

Finesse gives Dex to attack, no feat. It doesn’t give damage, though. (There was an Alchemist with a backup knife.)


Blave wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
EDIT: I was paying attention during the podcast, and pretty sure no one ever had 3 attacks where both of the iteratives used an agile weapon, so yeah, I'll be curious to hear exactly how that works. Also, this present the interesting situation of if you swing Main, Off, Main (0, -2, -7) or Main, Main, Off (0, -5, -7). There are more penalties...

I think Valeros did a Longsword - Dagger - Longsword attack sequence in a youtube video with Jason as GM. According to Jason the penalties were 0, -4, -10.

I might be remembering this wrong, though. (Or Jason might have had the rules wrong in that moment)

Ahh right, now that you're saying that, I do think I remember that. Just looked it up and you're correct, it's at approximately 26:30 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl4MsLrq3M8&t=5898s

I'm *really* hoping they didn't mess this up. The third attack with Longsword, Longsword, Dagger should be worse than the third attack with Dagger, Dagger, Dagger... I understand "the first one is free" for the primary, but you should get some sort of bonus for iteratives with Agile weapons.

Sigh, these releases have been disappointing, they seem to want to give away some of the class abilities, but not provide any of the mechanics behind it. For example, how does Finesse work (attack + damage), what *is* fear (I think it's a staged condition, this we learned elsewhere), how do iterative attacks work...

If they want to give design principles for each class and some of the general flavor, cool, but if you're going to give us mechanics, you need to provide us with some description of what those mechanics mean. It's great I get to add 5 Oompa Loompas to my Cannonball Rally, but until I know what that means in the game, all we can do is argue over whether it should be 5 or 10 and speculate on what that might mean in the game...


Crayon wrote:
Sadly, between this and the Fighter, I'm getting a distinct impression 2e won't be a game for me...

Me too. With 16+ years of 3.X matterial and Starfinder I don't see much need for 2.0 in my life. Also, I'm honestly not impressed by either the Rogue (Unchained was way more useful) and the new Fighter just feels bad. Sorry, Paizo, 2.0 isn't wowing me. Sad to say, since I have been fallowing you guys back when you had Dungeon and Dragon Magazines. Hopefully, Starfinder won't get left behind in this new PF2.0 stuff.


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I'm actually happy sneak attack was kept. What's the point of trick attack anyways? Roll another dice that you have like 100% chance to succeed at to get damage boost, so you're just doing the same action over and over again...

Keep in mind that the Mobility ability that everyone is overlooking means the Rogue becomes the master of conga-line combat as he can very easily walk circles around enemies to always be able to flank. AOOs were kind of a barrier to getting in position before, but not with this.


Overall, the rogue design seem to follow what I expect and want, so pleasantly no big changes there. Rogue feats sound neat, but I'll need to see the actual rules for them.

My personal preference for rogue effectiveness in combat is default lower damage threshold compared to fighter, but able to dish out far superior damage in specific circumstances (flat-footed, flanking, feint and so on). This would allow them to contribute in combat, but also make them play differently than a fighter; they have to use their agility and smarts to deliver their powerful attacks. I also feel that the rogue should be the best class to debuff the opponents through trickery, throwing them off-balance to allow the fighter to maximize his attack.

I like Dex-to-damage, but not for free. It should cost a feat or require a class ability. I really like the Unchained Rogue's ability Finesse Training, which grants Dex-to-damage, but only for a specific weapon. I also like the Deadly Agility feat from Dreamscarred Press' Path of War, which grants Dex-to-damage for only Weapon Finesse weapons at the cost of a feat.


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Just to reiterate and build up on what others have said (because adding weight to their arguments is important).

I really, really hope the Rogue doesn't give us dex to attack or damage, at least not as a baseline assumption. Strength rogues should be a thing, especially given PF2's stated goal of flexibility ad modularity. Dex to attack should be a weapon quality, in my opinion. And I don't love Dex to damage, but I'm okay with it being an option for players that want to use it ... so make it a Feat. And if it's a Class feat, make it accessible to all the classes where it makes sense: rogue, monk, fighter, maybe even Ranger.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Keep in mind that the Mobility ability that everyone is overlooking means the Rogue becomes the master of conga-line combat as he can very easily walk circles around enemies to always be able to flank. AOOs were kind of a barrier to getting in position before, but not with this.

The fighter blog actually states that an AoO happens when you walk away from someone (presumably leaving their threatened area). This is how 5e does it and it means you can run circles around an enemy anyway (not counting any other enemies nearby).

Mobility might still protect you from other reactions, of course and I think it'll be useful nonetheless.

Not sure if that's what they are going for, but at least it reads this way.

Scarab Sages

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Planpanther wrote:
I hope you are wrong about all of that. My least favorite part of 4E was that each class only needed two stats and dump the rest.

Actually, you needed at least a decent tertiary stat to keep your saves covered, and the point-buy didn't really allow you to do a lot of dumping. I also appreciated that there were two stats linked to each save. It helped avoid the god-stat/dump-stat dichotomy of classic D&D.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Eben TheQuiet wrote:

Just to reiterate and build up on what others have said (because adding weight to their arguments is important).

I really, really hope the Rogue doesn't give us dex to attack or damage, at least not as a baseline assumption. Strength rogues should be a thing, especially given PF2's stated goal of flexibility ad modularity. Dex to attack should be a weapon quality, in my opinion. And I don't love Dex to damage, but I'm okay with it being an option for players that want to use it ... so make it a Feat. And if it's a Class feat, make it accessible to all the classes where it makes sense: rogue, monk, fighter, maybe even Ranger.

I like this suggestion.

Hmm


Something I was noticing was that since rogues seem to be skill focused, and since Combat Maneuvers seem to have been largely moved to skill checks, they just went from sub-par at CMs to pretty danged good. That's going to make my wife happy, and I think it fits a lot better than most fighters blowing the rogues in my games out of the water at, oh... tripping and dirty tricks.


Am I the only one tired of the clichéd tumbling rogue ala Xena? What's next the mandatory sword twirling feat and annoying whoop? Rogue's are ugly enough without that silly stuff. I must be one of the few rogue players who refuses to tumble never have never will. The Grey Mouser never tumbled nor did Hanse Shadowspawn. I guess I am showing my age.


Well, we know that Rogues get Dex to Attack and Damage from other blogs... with melee, but now the big question: Do they get Dex to damage with Ranged weapons, or are they constantly outshone by the burly knight or orc barbarian with bows and crossbows? And before you start quoting Shadiversity at me, I ask this: What race, since Tolkien, has had the reputation for being the most devastating archers: Strong Orcs, or Dexterous Elves?

Scarab Sages

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Rebel Rebel wrote:
Am I the only one tired of the clichéd tumbling rogue ala Xena? What's next the mandatory sword twirling feat and annoying whoop? Rogue's are ugly enough without that silly stuff. I must be one of the few rogue players who refuses to tumble never have never will. The Grey Mouser never tumbled nor did Hanse Shadowspawn. I guess I am showing my age.

Tumbling and Acrobatics, I think, is often considered to only be gymnastics style flipping, cartwheeling, barrel rolls, hand springs, etc. But I would consider a Hollywood style sword fight where the guy ducks under a sword swing and rolls on the ground and gets back to his feet later as tumbling too. Or when I was in the Sport Karate fighting circuit, I saw a high level black belt use a wrestling single leg tack down lunge and slide to duck under a roundhouse kick and come back to his feet behind the opponent. That could also be considered tumbling.

The Grey Mouser may have never been described as flipping about and such, but its been probably 30+ years since I've read Fritz Leiber, but I'm pretty sure he was described as dodging an attack that could easily have been considered avoiding an AoO because he moved. Which the dodge itself would have been the "tumbling".


Hmm wrote:
Do you have a link to one of those? That does make a difference, and makes me more excited for the new rogue.

According to the Cannon Fodder Pathfinder Playtest part 4, a first level Rogue does 2d4+4 Dmg with a +1 magical dagger.

the + 1 dagger gives the extra d4, and the +4 bonus should be from DEX stat. Having heard the 4 parts, the Elven Rogue seems to be DEX builded


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Eben TheQuiet wrote:

Just to reiterate and build up on what others have said (because adding weight to their arguments is important).

I really, really hope the Rogue doesn't give us dex to attack or damage, at least not as a baseline assumption. Strength rogues should be a thing, especially given PF2's stated goal of flexibility ad modularity. Dex to attack should be a weapon quality, in my opinion. And I don't love Dex to damage, but I'm okay with it being an option for players that want to use it ... so make it a Feat. And if it's a Class feat, make it accessible to all the classes where it makes sense: rogue, monk, fighter, maybe even Ranger.

I’m quite happy with Rogue getting Dex-to-damage with finesseable weapons. If I’m playing a Rogue, it’s for that effortless expertise. Strength Rogues should be viable because the weapons are doing twice as much damage- and, ideally, getting an archetype that trades Dex-to-damage for some expanded weapon proficiencies.

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