Rogue Class Preview

Monday, March 26, 2018

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

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

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

Rogue Features

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

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

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

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

Rogue Feats

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Tags: Merisiel Pathfinder Playtest Rogues Wayne Reynolds
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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. Starfinder was on the right path with the Trick Attack. I as a rogue should have the following ways for a Trick Attack:
1. Perception to notice weakness in the creature you are fighting, or in armor.
2. Knowledge check to recall information about known weakness of creatures etc.

I hate you make the ROGUE BE SO RELIANT on another creature.

Okay. This? This is the way to do the Rogue right.

Perhaps they could create an Archetype initially for Sneak Attacks with rogues and see if this works. And I even know how it COULD work.

The Rogue makes a Knowledge check. If they exceed the Armor Class of the creature they are attacking and have proficiency in that type of Creature Lore, then they can make Sneak Attacks without needing Flanking. Depending on how attack rolls are handled, those Knowledge Rolls could be the attack roll, but I've not watched the podcast to see how they handle combat attacks and if there are alternative forms of attack so....

I'd say do an initial Knowledge Roll and then all future attacks get Sneak Attack bonuses. This could take one or more actions - perhaps with penalties if you only take one Action (which would mean higher-level Rogues with better Knowledge skills would be able to attack far quicker rather than studying their foe first). Then they can make an attack.

If the player has faced this type of foe before then they get a bonus to their Knowledge skill to see if they remember. If they have faced this foe a dozen times before then they might only need one action to get the Sneak Attack bonus.

Further, this would even allow Sneak Attacks for ranged Rogues. In this case you might even require a Ranged Sneak Attack Feat for rogues to be able to do this, or maybe have the attack be a two-action attack and at levels 11+ reduced to one action.

Rogues should not need fighters and the like in order to get Sneak Attacks. Instead, they should use their wits and brains to target their enemy's weaknesses.

Designer

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Darius Alazario wrote:


Not to mention they very briefly and vaguely discuss like 3 or 4 'feats' for the class when you can expect to be able to have around 11 by level 20 if you focus on a class which means there's likely significantly more than that available. And that is just the Class Feats. There's a lot yet to be revealed.

Compared to '3 or 4' class feats, the fighter alone has more than 10 times that number (not going to be more specific because, as Jason has said, we aren't through with copyfitting, so we don't know how many are going to fit).


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xevious573 wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:
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.

I am curious where you might be getting the "it has to be declared before the attack" part? The preview only states: Nimble Dodge, a reaction that increases the rogue's Armor Class by 2 at a whim.

At a whim is pretty open and certainly would not, to me, imply I have to declare my reaction before the other party rolls their attack. My expectation is that reactions can come at anytime and can interrupt current actions. Like deciding to nimble dodge after seeing the attack roll, or even after seeing the damage roll. Using shield Block after seeing the damage roll potentially.

Now it's absolutely plausible I missed some other clarification that indicated more clearly the timing on this and/or reactions as a whole.. but without such a clarification I see no reason that one could not Nimble Dodge at any point before the action is fully resolved and thus decide either because it's a crit you don't want to take or they rolled max damage but the +2 AC would make it a miss that you would like to use your reaction at that point.

I don't mean to be a debbie downer... But Paizo has ALWAYS designed these types of actions to have to be declared before knowledge of the end result is known (exceptions to this philosophy...

After dice but before results are revealed means you get to see if the enemy rolled high or low, but the GM is not obligated to give you the mod on it. Hundred times more reliable than just blindly hoping for the best.


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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. Starfinder was on the right path with the Trick Attack. I as a rogue should have the following ways for a Trick Attack:
1. Perception to notice weakness in the creature you are fighting, or in armor.
2. Knowledge check to recall information about known weakness of creatures etc.

I hate you make the ROGUE BE SO RELIANT on another creature.

I think this comes down to poor wording in Sneak Attack's description. Sneak attack shouldn't be described as striking a vital spot (in combat, you are ALWAYS trying to hit a vital spot). Instead, I believe the intent is that sneak attack deals an unexpected attack that the enemy is completely unprepared for, which is why it causes so much more damage to their ability to keep fighting. Compare your ability to stay standing from receiving a punch that you are ready for vs. a surprise hit sucker punch.

This is why flanking allows for sneak attack. Your ally is distracting the opponent enough that you the rogue can deliver a surprise hit the opponent is unprepared for that can potentially take them out. Same logic applies to Feint (distract and misdirection) and attacking flat-footed opponent (not ready to defend themselves).

I will say that Feinting in PF1 was a chore. It should've been a move action by default instead of a standard. However in PF2, this wouldn't be a problem because there's no distinction in actions anymore (assuming feinting works in a similar way).

Dark Archive

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:


Not to mention they very briefly and vaguely discuss like 3 or 4 'feats' for the class when you can expect to be able to have around 11 by level 20 if you focus on a class which means there's likely significantly more than that available. And that is just the Class Feats. There's a lot yet to be revealed.
Compared to '3 or 4' class feats, the fighter alone has more than 10 times that number (not going to be more specific because, as Jason has said, we aren't through with copyfitting, so we don't know how many are going to fit).

Thanks Mark for supporting my point. :)

The examples we get are just a very small slice of the pie, and those examples are not fully detailed and lack the context of the remainder of the rules.

So, while I can understand people saying: 'I hope we get more options of <insert your favorite type here>', it seems rather premature to say: 'So they are not getting any of <insert favorite option here>'


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I would definitely hope for a feint in PF2 to just be 1 action, with "improved feint" being a higher level ability that lets you either feint and attack with the same action, or feint multiple people at once, or let a failed attack roll be converted into a feint.


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
I've run games using 40k terrain. We just used a piece of string between the two potential flankers if the string from any point on one allies base to any point on the other allies based passed the center of the opponent's base, you had flanking.

I've usually had a hard enough time keeping my cats away from the minis (and dice) already. Adding string to mix is only going to be trouble.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kain Gallant wrote:
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. Starfinder was on the right path with the Trick Attack. I as a rogue should have the following ways for a Trick Attack:
1. Perception to notice weakness in the creature you are fighting, or in armor.
2. Knowledge check to recall information about known weakness of creatures etc.

I hate you make the ROGUE BE SO RELIANT on another creature.

I think this comes down to poor wording in Sneak Attack's description. Sneak attack shouldn't be described as striking a vital spot (in combat, you are ALWAYS trying to hit a vital spot). Instead, I believe the intent is that sneak attack deals an unexpected attack that the enemy is completely unprepared for, which is why it causes so much more damage to their ability to keep fighting. Compare your ability to stay standing from receiving a punch that you are ready for vs. a surprise hit sucker punch.

This is why flanking allows for sneak attack. Your ally is distracting the opponent enough that you the rogue can deliver a surprise hit the opponent is unprepared for that can potentially take them out. Same logic applies to Feint (distract and misdirection) and attacking flat-footed opponent (not ready to defend themselves).

I will say that Feinting in PF1 was a chore. It should've been a move action by default instead of a standard. However in PF2, this wouldn't be a problem because there's no distinction in actions anymore (assuming feinting works in a similar way).

Yeah, I'm really exited to see feints... that was really a downer in PF1. :O

Sovereign Court

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
I would definitely hope for a feint in PF2 to just be 1 action, with "improved feint" being a higher level ability that lets you either feint and attack with the same action, or feint multiple people at once, or let a failed attack roll be converted into a feint.

That would be great. I especially like the miss-to-feint idea.

I am eagerly awaiting more information on skills.

*finds purple velvet couch and fans himself*


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
I've run games using 40k terrain. We just used a piece of string between the two potential flankers if the string from any point on one allies base to any point on the other allies based passed the center of the opponent's base, you had flanking.
I've usually had a hard enough time keeping my cats away from the minis (and dice) already. Adding string to mix is only going to be trouble.

You mean you don't just treat the cat's arrival as "Suddenly, the Tarrasque appears" and roll with it?

Tsk man.


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I'm playing an Operative in Starfinder, and I much prefer Sneak Attack to Trick Attack. There's only so many times you can say, "Zadie does ... um ... something distracting with a computer and then shoots." Especially when you've already distracted the opponent with a computer like three rounds in a row and you're beginning to think the opponent is a little dumb for continuing to fall for it.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
After dice but before results are revealed means you get to see if the enemy rolled high or low, but the GM is not obligated to give you the mod on it. Hundred times more reliable than just blindly hoping for the best.

Wait...??? You always get to see the enemy's attack roll??? Oh boy am I wrong! I thought one of the primary purposes of the GM Screen was to hide die rolls from the players! Boy, was I mistaken! I will alert my GM forthwith that they should do their die rolls in the open!

...

Considering my GMs tend to hide their die rolls most of the time, typically only rolling them out in the open for the most dramatic of rolls, I'm gonna say, in regards to nimble dodge and others like it, this comment is most likely incorrect. You are still almost certainly praying you choose correctly.

But it is true that you get to see your own die roll before choosing to use a reroll ability of your... Though Paizo does have this tendency to not address natural 1 auto failures and these type of reroll abilities that require you to not know the result of the roll.


The new action economy should be really interesting with the Rogue, allowing them to use non-attack actions in order to get an advantage in combat. Additionally, the new proficiency system should help those succeed as well.

It feels like Rogue will change most from the system changes rather than specific class changes.


Joana wrote:
I'm playing an Operative in Starfinder, and I much prefer Sneak Attack to Trick Attack. There's only so many times you can say, "Zadie does ... um ... something distracting with a computer and then shoots." Especially when you've already distracted the opponent with a computer like three rounds in a row and you're beginning to think the opponent is a little dumb for continuing to fall for it.

I'd prefer if we had both, to be honest. Trick Attack is fantastic for when there is just no other way to get Sneak Attack, but when an enemy is flatfooted, there's no reason that I shouldn't be able to put a gun to his head and fire for Trick Damage.


Kain Gallant wrote:
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. Starfinder was on the right path with the Trick Attack. I as a rogue should have the following ways for a Trick Attack:
1. Perception to notice weakness in the creature you are fighting, or in armor.
2. Knowledge check to recall information about known weakness of creatures etc.

I hate you make the ROGUE BE SO RELIANT on another creature.

I think this comes down to poor wording in Sneak Attack's description. Sneak attack shouldn't be described as striking a vital spot (in combat, you are ALWAYS trying to hit a vital spot). Instead, I believe the intent is that sneak attack deals an unexpected attack that the enemy is completely unprepared for, which is why it causes so much more damage to their ability to keep fighting. Compare your ability to stay standing from receiving a punch that you are ready for vs. a surprise hit sucker punch.

This is why flanking allows for sneak attack. Your ally is distracting the opponent enough that you the rogue can deliver a surprise hit the opponent is unprepared for that can potentially take them out. Same logic applies to Feint (distract and misdirection) and attacking flat-footed opponent (not ready to defend themselves).

Agree, that explanation makes more sense to explain Sneak Attack mechanics, although in that case it should not count as precision damage.


Is Rogue still immune to being flatfooted?


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Rysky wrote:
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+

Which is much less likely to happen than it is for the +2 AC to have no effect at all.

DerricktheCleric wrote:
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.

My point is that it's incredibly annoying as a player to have to 'gamble' my reaction against the random number generated by a D20, especially when the chance of failure on that gamble is well over 50%.

I bring it up because at one point in the GC podcast the Rogue uses Nimble Dodge against the first attack made against them (seems smart), the GM rolls poorly and easily misses. The very next attack is barely a hit. If the rogue still had their reaction it could've been a miss, but they wasted it because they have no way of knowing if the GM is about to roll a natural 4 or a natural 14.

This is something I find incredibly frustrating. Starting at level 1 most enemies are going to be making 2 or 3 attacks against you a round. You get 1 reaction. On, at most, 4 or the 20 possible d20 results it either turns a hit into a miss or a crit into a normal hit. The other 16 results it does nothing for you and your enemy still has another attack or two to make against you and you've already used your reaction.

There's absolutely nothing that I can do as a player to predict how well the GM will roll on their d20 on any given attack as there is an equal chance of any of the 20 numbers showing up.

I would much prefer defensive reactions to be a chance to negate a bad thing that has happened to you, thus mitigating some of the swingyness of the D20 (like the way a shield block seems to work), rather than a gamble against the swingyness of the d20. If it's going to be a gamble, then I would like it to be something that has a much higher chance of success, either by applying a smaller bonus to multiple attacks or by applying a larger bonus against a single attack.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

gustavo iglesias wrote:


Maybe we played different Strange Aons. Yes, he could sneak attack VS a couple of non relevant dudes like cultists and stuff. But from the top of my head, some of the strongest fights, the ones they had real trouble at the level they fought were ** spoiler omitted **...

I think we played the same AP, we just had different parties with different focuses.

Spoiler:
My rogue was the primary melee fighter in his group, so the rest of the party got pretty good at solving his concealment issues. I don't recall any of the fights you mention that relied on displacement/invisibility/darkness/etc providing them with anything more than a momentary inconvenience.

Similarly, they had a spiritualist in the party, so ghost fights weren't nearly as hard for us as they were for your group (especially once the cleric got access to anti-incorporeal shell). The only one I recall making them sweat was the spectre in the wailing house in book two, and that was because it was swinging for 2 negative levels per hit.

I would say Book 6 is where sneak immune enemies really started to become a problem for them (ironically, partly my fault--I wrote several of the monsters for that volume's bestiary!). The kudimmu and the larvae of the outer gods put up real nasty fights, but the shoggoth went down like a chump thanks to a failed save (as it turns out, oozes aren't immune to the nauseated condition).
Even then, there were some good hard fights where the rogue shined. He shut down Armel before anyone got their head chopped off by that vorpal axe, bloodied the (buffed, maxed hp) bhole in the first round, and put some serious hurt on the witch lich (who I moved to the sanitarium to replace the time aeon fight).

Granted, my rogue also dipped a couple levels of unchained barbarian, and we had a bard in the party, so his damage was pretty respectable even when he wasn't sneak attacking. Overall though, my rogue had a good time with his character and came away from Strange Aeons with a much better opinion of the rogue class than when he started.


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Joana wrote:
I'm playing an Operative in Starfinder, and I much prefer Sneak Attack to Trick Attack. There's only so many times you can say, "Zadie does ... um ... something distracting with a computer and then shoots." Especially when you've already distracted the opponent with a computer like three rounds in a row and you're beginning to think the opponent is a little dumb for continuing to fall for it.
I'd prefer if we had both, to be honest. Trick Attack is fantastic for when there is just no other way to get Sneak Attack, but when an enemy is flatfooted, there's no reason that I shouldn't be able to put a gun to his head and fire for Trick Damage.

Aren't there rules in PF1 for tricking somebody in combat to make them flat footed? Aren't part of those rules about taking a penalty if you try it again?

I could totally see a rogue (or any character for that matter) making a Deception Check vs the opponent's Sense Motive to make them flat footed, then giving the opponent a bonus on future Sense Motive Checks to avoid having that happen again.


thflame wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Joana wrote:
I'm playing an Operative in Starfinder, and I much prefer Sneak Attack to Trick Attack. There's only so many times you can say, "Zadie does ... um ... something distracting with a computer and then shoots." Especially when you've already distracted the opponent with a computer like three rounds in a row and you're beginning to think the opponent is a little dumb for continuing to fall for it.
I'd prefer if we had both, to be honest. Trick Attack is fantastic for when there is just no other way to get Sneak Attack, but when an enemy is flatfooted, there's no reason that I shouldn't be able to put a gun to his head and fire for Trick Damage.

Aren't there rules in PF1 for tricking somebody in combat to make them flat footed? Aren't part of those rules about taking a penalty if you try it again?

I could totally see a rogue (or any character for that matter) making a Deception Check vs the opponent's Sense Motive to make them flat footed, then giving the opponent a bonus on future Sense Motive Checks to avoid having that happen again.

Sure, if your GM is lenient. Most in my experience tend to be low-key actively trying to kill the party though, so anything in favor of your party like that tends not to happen.


Arcane Tricksters are my favorite type of class to play, and after years of splatbooks it's possible to make a pretty powerful one under PF1 rules.

So I'll be highly interested to see how PF2 approaches characters who want to mix a little magic into their thievery, or a little backstabbing into their magic.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I'm pretty sure the main reason why 5e do not use flanking is because the goal of being playable without a grid.

You don't need a grid to determine flanking.

I've run games using 40k terrain. We just used a piece of string between the two potential flankers if the string from any point on one allies base to any point on the other allies based passed the center of the opponent's base, you had flanking.

I play gridless too, with measuring sticks, roughly like this. Flanking is easy grid or gridless, as long as you use minis and a map. However, 5e was built with the goal of being playable in the theater of mind, no miniatures used. That makes adjudication of flanking harder and more arbitrary.


The bleed damage might seem insignificant... if you're trying to use it to take down a melee character. But it's annoying as hell if you apply it to a caster, who now has to make extra caster checks to cast any of his spells.

Regarding damage in general:
Quite a few people have expressed concern that the rogue might not contribute enough in combat (I'd disagree, but let's run with it). Compared to another martial class' damage "output" (fighter, barbarian etc.), how much damage would a rogue need to contribute with, in order to be "contributing" enough? 50%? 75%? 80+%?
What if the rogue outdamages a ranger, for instance. Would you then say that the ranger isn't contributing enough in combat?

Quandary wrote:
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?

I think Jason said in the Glass Cannon podcast that it pretty much worked as in PF1, at least the bonus it gave.


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Hard to go back to a grid after playing gridless. Love gridless.


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GentleGiant wrote:

Regarding damage in general:

Quite a few people have expressed concern that the rogue might not contribute enough in combat (I'd disagree, but let's run with it). Compared to another martial class' damage "output" (fighter, barbarian etc.), how much damage would a rogue need to contribute with, in order to be "contributing" enough? 50%? 75%? 80+%?
What if the rogue outdamages a ranger, for instance. Would you then say that the ranger isn't contributing enough in combat?

Quandary wrote:
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?
I think Jason said in the Glass Cannon podcast that it pretty much worked as in PF1, at least the bonus it gave.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I feel the Rogue should do less damage than the Fighter but should also contribute something else to the fight, namely debuffing. The Unchained Rogue did this splendidly, it didn't matter that an optimized Rogue did less damage than an optimized Barbarian because the Rogue being there makes the Barbarian do even more damage. Pushing debilitating strikes all the way back to 9th level makes it much harder for the Rogue to adopt this as their role, unfortunately.


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glass wrote:

ETA:

GentleGiant wrote:

So you want them to be equal to the martial classes (fighter, barbarian etc.) AND have all the skill stuff on top of that?

Why play a martial character then?

I can't speak for Grey Yeti, but for myself:

1) They are a martial class.
2) I want all classes to be equal, martial or otherwise.

_
glass.

If you only divide classes into two categories, casters and non-casters, then, yes, the rogue is a martial class (by default of not being a caster class).

But to me it's been more common to divide the classes into three categories, martials, skill classes (primarily bard and rogue) and casters.
So in that division, the rogue is a skill based class.
And clearly I was talking about "(consistent) damage output", that should have been obvious from the context.


Okay, so here's the thing to me. This is a pretty decent iteration of the Rogue, as it was designed in 3.x. It is very heavily reliant on how good the skill system is, but the little they've told us about it sounds awesome, so I'm hopeful. However, I think the Rogue as imagined in the 3.x vision is not actually a very good iteration. I would much rather see the Sneak Attack mechanic either go away, or be heavily nerfed in favor of a much heavier focus on debuffs.

Making the Rogue's mainstay ability purely damage based forces them into (at least perceived) competition with the other martial melee classes, where they wind up being typically squishier, easier to hit, and lower damage, while also required to put themselves directly in harm's way to actually put out useful damage.

Also, and this is partially, but not entirely, addressed by the updated action economy, 3.x Monks and Rogues both suffered from being highly mobile characters, whose entire usage of that mobility typically just amounted to "I get into a decent melee position as fast as possible, then I plant myself there, occasionally 5' shuffling, because all my good attack options require me to full attack." I'd really like to see both of those classes able to move around the battlefield, without giving up on having any meaningful contribution to the combat that round.

Does this update make the 3.x style Rogue more workable? Yeah, definitely looks like it. But I'd really rather they re-imagined it from the ground up. Wishful thinking I guess. :(


Arachnofiend wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

Regarding damage in general:

Quite a few people have expressed concern that the rogue might not contribute enough in combat (I'd disagree, but let's run with it). Compared to another martial class' damage "output" (fighter, barbarian etc.), how much damage would a rogue need to contribute with, in order to be "contributing" enough? 50%? 75%? 80+%?
What if the rogue outdamages a ranger, for instance. Would you then say that the ranger isn't contributing enough in combat?

Quandary wrote:
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?
I think Jason said in the Glass Cannon podcast that it pretty much worked as in PF1, at least the bonus it gave.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I feel the Rogue should do less damage than the Fighter but should also contribute something else to the fight, namely debuffing. The Unchained Rogue did this splendidly, it didn't matter that an optimized Rogue did less damage than an optimized Barbarian because the Rogue being there makes the Barbarian do even more damage. Pushing debilitating strikes all the way back to 9th level makes it much harder for the Rogue to adopt this as their role, unfortunately.

See, I agree on the first part, the rogue contributes in other ways in combat than mere damage.

The second part we simply can't know until we see the playtest document. With the large amount of feats the rogue gains access to there's bound to be other useful abilities way before level 9 too.
I find that people are constantly dismissing both classes and abilities on limited information.


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I'd much prefer to base my opinions on the full picture but unfortunately limited information is all we got. I don't think Paizo intends for us to just stay silent until August, if that were the case then they wouldn't have opened the playtest forum at all.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

[

I think we played the same AP, we just had different parties with different focuses. ** spoiler omitted **

Granted, my rogue also dipped a couple levels of unchained barbarian, and we had a bard in the party, so his damage was pretty respectable even when he wasn't sneak attacking. Overall though, my rogue had a good time with his character and came away from Strange Aeons...

Yes, in those fights you mention

Spoiler:
like Armel, the Bhole, and others
they could sneak attack, and that was part of the reason those fights lasted one or two rounds.

About concealment and invisibility, the wizard always had Glitterdust ready, but that does not help VS Displacement. Later they added a faerie fire wand, which helped in some combats (still, reduce the Sneak attacks until someone spends the actions to Use Magic Device with it) but when SR starts to be common, wands of faerie fire lose steam. Darkness was a problem in a few fights of book2 (they did not expect it yet), then they bought a couple of heightened continual flame, but that doesn't work VS lvl 7 limited wished deeper darkness. Incorporeal was more an issue. They tried ghostbane dirge sometimes, but it has a Will save, and the DC was not that hard. In any case, there are enough creatures with Amorphous quality or Fortification, including recurring NPCs, the big XD himself, and several cthulhu based amorphous blobs of flesh and tentacles with different CR, plus a healthy dosis of incorporeal stuff.

Overall the player did not suffer much (was an Inquisitor with Archtype with slayer stuff), so much like your rogue/barbarian, he was able to contribute without sneak attack. But with a pure rogue, typical low Str rogue with two daggers or a rapier, about half the combats he would be doing like 1d4+1. In way too much combats


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Pappy wrote:
Hard to go back to a grid after playing gridless. Love gridless.

Best thing that I've done in the hobby. Gridless scenary, measuring sticks, free form movement. I cannot go back to a grid again.


Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Rysky wrote:
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+

Which is much less likely to happen than it is for the +2 AC to have no effect at all.

DerricktheCleric wrote:
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.

My point is that it's incredibly annoying as a player to have to 'gamble' my reaction against the random number generated by a D20, especially when the chance of failure on that gamble is well over 50%.

I bring it up because at one point in the GC podcast the Rogue uses Nimble Dodge against the first attack made against them (seems smart), the GM rolls poorly and easily misses. The very next attack is barely a hit. If the rogue still had their reaction it could've been a miss, but they wasted it because they have no way of knowing if the GM is about to roll a natural 4 or a natural 14.

This is something I find incredibly frustrating. Starting at level 1 most enemies are going to be making 2 or 3 attacks against you a round. You get 1 reaction. On, at most, 4 or the 20 possible d20 results it either turns a hit into a miss or a crit into a normal hit. The other 16 results it does nothing for you and your enemy still has another attack or two to make against you and you've already used your reaction.

There's absolutely nothing that I can do as a player to predict how well the GM will roll on their d20 on any given attack as there is an equal chance of any of the 20 numbers showing up.

I would much prefer defensive reactions to be a chance to negate a bad thing that has happened to you, thus mitigating some of the swingyness of the D20 (like the way a shield block seems to work), rather than a gamble against the swingyness of the d20. If it's going to be a gamble, then I would like it to be something that has a much higher chance of success, either by applying a smaller bonus to multiple attacks or by applying a larger bonus against a single attack.

Agreed, which is why as GM I always let reactions like this be used after the attack is rolled. If they have to be used before the roll, they are useless most of the time.

I'd prefer the actual printed rule in PF2 to be that they happen after the roll but before damage. Since hero / action / whatever points are in PF2, maybe you can spend a hero point to use the ability after damage is rolled.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
darth_borehd wrote:

I don't like where this rogue is going. This seems to be a continuation of the effort that was started in Unchained to morph the rogue into a combat-focused "striker"-type character class and away from lying, cheating, manipulation, and burglary.

I want more Moist Von Lipwig and Bilbo Baggins and less Assassin's Creed.

Skill Feats will help you achieve those goals. Deception and stealth are my preferred solutions to problems too.

However, Pathfinder is a tactical combat RPG and if the rogue is bad at combat, then they aren’t contributing to the primary pillar of the game. There’s a reason why Adventure Paths have so many combat encounters after all.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So pure speculation time. Archetypes. What could archetypes do to a class that multiple feat and skill choices don’t already? What if they changed the class defaults...in the rogues case, lose sneak attack, lose Dex to damage, etc that are baked in as the class defaults and replacing them with new different options. This would bring tremendous flexibility to the game, allowing players to create the characters they want. This would be the avenue that would open up Str rogues, or trick attack rogues and so on.

The devs seem pretty excited over the implementation of archetypes in PF2 and this would be a pretty big change. Based on the few times archetypes have been mentioned, it seems like a bigger deal and a different implementation than prestige classes or paragon paths.

Just a random thought....


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Agreed, which is why as GM I always let reactions like this be used after the attack is rolled. If they have to be used before the roll, they are useless most of the time.

I'd prefer the actual printed rule in PF2 to be that they happen after the roll but before damage. Since hero / action / whatever points are in PF2, maybe you can spend a hero point to use the ability after damage is rolled.

Interestingly enough, I don't think we've seen any abilities that "interrupt" events like this in 2E yet. Yes, you can respond to someone who's about to do something, but not yet apply a retroactive bonus to it before the result is known.

As a GM in Pathfinder, I always roll in the open, but in other systems, I typically roll behind a screen. I'm stuck rolling in the open because of the way Pathfinder operates (after the roll but before the result abilities...). I wouldn't mind going back to the other way of life.

Note that even this way can still have "interrupts", they'd just have to happen after you know it's a hit.

As for the dodge ability, we don't know everything about it, and it could be that there's a later ability that allows it to apply to all attacks from a single source, which at least would deal with iteratives and probably make it substantially better. It's only got a 20% chance of being relative on the first strike, but I think you approach 50% if it's a full-out attack (assuming the last hit has no chance to actually crit).


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If AoO is not the norm, is mobility really all that?

Also, what is Enfeebled? Has the podcast mentioned it? Is it a thing in PF1 that I've never noticed?


Paradozen wrote:

If AoO is not the norm, is mobility really all that?

Also, what is Enfeebled? Has the podcast mentioned it? Is it a thing in PF1 that I've never noticed?

It's previously been confirmed that ability score damage is gone, so my guess is that enfeebled is the new condition to replace strength damage.

Something like "enfeebled x: subtract x from all strength based attacks and skill checks."


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edduardco wrote:
Kain Gallant wrote:


I think this comes down to poor wording in Sneak Attack's description. Sneak attack shouldn't be described as striking a vital spot (in combat, you are ALWAYS trying to hit a vital spot). Instead, I believe the intent is that sneak attack deals an unexpected attack that the enemy is completely unprepared for, which is why it causes so much more damage to their ability to keep fighting. Compare your ability to stay standing from receiving a punch that you are ready for vs. a surprise hit sucker punch.

This is why flanking allows for sneak attack. Your ally is distracting the opponent enough that you the rogue can deliver a surprise hit the opponent is unprepared for that can potentially take them out. Same logic applies to Feint (distract and misdirection) and attacking flat-footed opponent (not ready to defend themselves).

Agree, that explanation makes more sense to explain Sneak Attack mechanics, although in that case it should not count as precision damage.

True. This would have to be house-ruled out to be normal damage, which honestly, I don't think would break things. It would be a minor buff to the rogue that I would probably be fine with as a GM.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Paradozen wrote:

If AoO is not the norm, is mobility really all that?

Also, what is Enfeebled? Has the podcast mentioned it? Is it a thing in PF1 that I've never noticed?

That don'T just stop AoO, but all reactions that could be triggered by the movement, like, there COULD be a reaction that let you trip a foe Striding past you, Mobility wouldn't trigger that reaction.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Something about class-based feats feels very 4e to me. I was hoping for feats that any class could take, but might have synergy with capabilities of particular classes.

One of the advantages of PF1 over 4e (and, over 5e) is the freedom in crunch development. Of course, it wasn't even 70%, but, it was there. Some of that, though, was taken away with the plethora of archetypes and combined classes ("I'm looking at you, Mr. Magus!").

I intend to play the playtest with a local group, and, I'll keep an open mind. But, regaling us with class-specific feats/skills/mods is not making me more hopeful.


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How are "class feats" more 4e than "rogue talents" considering the effective difference, at least as far as the rogue preview is concerned, is literally just the name?

Dark Archive

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Ira kroll wrote:

Something about class-based feats feels very 4e to me. I was hoping for feats that any class could take, but might have synergy with capabilities of particular classes.

One of the advantages of PF1 over 4e (and, over 5e) is the freedom in crunch development. Of course, it wasn't even 70%, but, it was there. Some of that, though, was taken away with the plethora of archetypes and combined classes ("I'm looking at you, Mr. Magus!").

I intend to play the playtest with a local group, and, I'll keep an open mind. But, regaling us with class-specific feats/skills/mods is not making me more hopeful.

You are falling victim to a common misconception (really a few of them) based on the over use of the term feat.

1) Class Feats - These seem to more replace your Class Abilities from PF1. They are class specific abilities but now, instead of being locked into a specific gain at certain levels you gain a Class Feat and thus can more customize your class progression.

2) General Feats - These are more like the classic feats and what you are asking about. Any class can take them, some may have some synergy with class abilities but are meant to be used by any class and more.. well.. general.

3) Skill Feats - Feats that unlock new options, abilities, mods but are based on gaining a certain level of proficiency in a specific skill.

Also given that it was stated the fighter alone has upwards of 30 Class Feats and may gain 10 or 11 of those through the character progression that implies an awful lot of freedom to how you build your character. Not to mention they've not even touched on Multiclassing as of yet.

but, understandably, they are going to highlight a few class specific feats for the class when previewing it rather than general feats anyone can have. Hopefully one of their later blogs will touch on skills and some skill feats and another on some interesting general feats, maybe even one on multiclassing.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Agreed, which is why as GM I always let reactions like this be used after the attack is rolled. If they have to be used before the roll, they are useless most of the time.

I'd prefer the actual printed rule in PF2 to be that they happen after the roll but before damage. Since hero / action / whatever points are in PF2, maybe you can spend a hero point to use the ability after damage is rolled.

To me, if something is a reaction it should be done in response to something. So having to declare an action before-hand doesn't seem like much of a reaction. In this case it'd be more like starting to dodge while your opponent is still on their backswing.

(so, yeah, add me to the list that want it to be usable once you know whether the attack hits)


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Based on what we've seen so far, I wouldn't be surprised if TWF is a Ranger Class Feat.

Oh god no


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Based on what we've seen so far, I wouldn't be surprised if TWF is a Ranger Class Feat.
Oh god no

Not saying I want it to be, just kind of have a feeling.

Liberty's Edge

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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Based on what we've seen so far, I wouldn't be surprised if TWF is a Ranger Class Feat.
Oh god no

Certainly not exclusively. They've already specified that Fighters have TWF options as well.

Now, it is possible that it's mostly restricted to those two Classes, but I'm honestly a bit doubtful that those two would get it and Rogue wouldn't.

Frankly, I suspect there's probably a General Feat for that, but that Fighters, Rangers, and maybe Rogues have in-class options that improve or supersede it.

One very real possibility if people theorizing that you only get 5 General Feats (along with 5 Ancestry Feats, 10 Class Feats, and 10 Skill Feats) are correct is that one general Feat option is to just take a Class Feat from a Class other than your own (possibly only a lower level one). That'd explain some of the previous discussions about non-Fighters getting AoO and the like and mean that anyone can TWF even if it is a Ranger/Fighter exclusive.


I am actually more interested in what legendary proficiency in stealth, thievery and deception allow you to do.


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John John wrote:
I am actually more interested in what legendary proficiency in stealth, thievery and deception allow you to do.

my guess:

stealth: people forget you're there and cannot notice you (unless they beat an appropriate check, or direct interaction occurs) usable at will and countered by legendary perception (possessed by dragons, powerful outsiders etc)

thievery: as long as you win the check you can interact with literally anything (except creatures bodies, held items are fine) for one round without anyone realizing it's happening.
If for example you have a bag of holding and enough actions you can move close to the king, use an action to place his crown into the bag, and leave with your third action, and noone knows it happened

deception: 2+2=5 big brother shenanigans - "I am flying" says the rogue. He is not, but people believe he is flying.
You basically compel people to create illusions in their own mind.


John John wrote:
I am actually more interested in what legendary proficiency in stealth, thievery and deception allow you to do.

I believe Deception was spoiled as giving immunity to divination magic. You can't be detected or located with magic, no-one can later identify your presence at a crime through magic, your mind can't be read - probably other things too.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:


Not to mention they very briefly and vaguely discuss like 3 or 4 'feats' for the class when you can expect to be able to have around 11 by level 20 if you focus on a class which means there's likely significantly more than that available. And that is just the Class Feats. There's a lot yet to be revealed.
Compared to '3 or 4' class feats, the fighter alone has more than 10 times that number (not going to be more specific because, as Jason has said, we aren't through with copyfitting, so we don't know how many are going to fit).

Just going to throw this out there... the answer should be: lots and lots. Starfinder - by comparison - has roughly 50% the feats in Pathfinder CRB. Most classes have a fraction of the selectable options available to a class in PF CRB. It results in most levels feeling like there's a one-best-choice, and the math of the game does punish varying from those choices much, so there's an obvious One True Build.

If say... the "exploration mode" section of the book needs to be pared down to two pages instead of 20 to make room for 18 pages of actual character options, I'd respectfully suggest that's the right choice.

In PF1, most classes have rather a large number of choices of feats, talents, tricks, infusions, spells, or whatnot, even in Core, that there are many practical and survivable builds. I believe PF2 should have roughly the same size menu to choose from, even if it means other things need to be shorter than you might wish.

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