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Deadmanwalking wrote:
RoscoeDaLib wrote:
You are the second person to say that what happened is a result of my lack of understanding of a complex system. So, I will make the same request of you as I did them. Please elaborate and demonstrate the complexities of a scoundrel rogue via a build with features and elements that have not been discussed here.

Picking Scoundrel was the key mistake you made, so this is not quite workable. Not because Scoundrel isn't good if done right, in the right party, but because it probably is the worst of the three Rackets, and certainly the hardest to make work properly, and fails to synchronize well with your party to boot.. Several people have posted solutions, but most of those involve either a different party composition or a very different character thematically.

For your character, in your PC group, with your stats and goals, you should have gone Thief. Not doing so was a mistake, which you have since corrected.

I just wanted to stop here and ask - why was it a mistake?

By that, I don't mean to explain why scoundrel feint isn't good in the context of my game. I've gone over that. You've gone over that. What I mean is really: Should the amount of melee in my group mitigate the usefulness of this specific sub-classes key feature?

No one has actually come out and said "You know what Scoundrel feint should remain trivial and useless in party comps like your because that makes sense and is a good design space."

I mean even you are sitting here saying Scoundrel is the weakest of the three.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, if Rogues had even 1/2 class feats that modified the effects of Feint to become generally useful in combat, Scoundrel becomes fantastic in my view over night, and distracting feint goes from being kinda/sorta good based on comp or what you are doing to amazing.

So, I guess I'd just ask you directly - do you think Scoundrel rogue's feint with the context of it's available class feats was designed well with an emphasis specifically on the feint feature?

As to skill feats, agree to disagree. I'll cover a few you mentioned because you took the time to respond in a constructive manner, and I should at least provide some insight into our thought process.

Everyone in my party - including my GM who loves this system agrees they are completely underwhelming. The intimidation list has some ok things, but mostly they stop just short of being useful in a practical sense. As to some of your examples:

Group Impression: Actively makes the game worse. If three people are in a room meeting for the first time, why can my character only speak and make an impression on one at a time in a minute? Can both people not hear me speaking?

Hobnobber: Is going to save me 1 hour in gathering information, and stops critical fail effects. Yet, if my part splits up in a town and gathers information - logic, critical thinking, and standard deduction does the same thing.

Lie to me: Actually not an awful level 1 skill feat, but again - level 1.

Intimidating Glare: As mentioned some of the intimidation stuff is dramatically better than other skill feats.

Courtly Graces: Strikes me to be oddly specific and then even in its very specific usage they still stop short of just allowing you to use society to impersonate a specific noble....using your knowledge....of that person in society. Seems relatively pointless unless you are running an extremely specific type of adventure with constant noble interaction. Which, even if that adventure exists, which im sure it does, this is still restrictive. Meh.

Trick Magic Item: A decent level 1 feat. Potentially awkward for stat allocation unless you use wisdom based skills.

Glad-Hand: Just builds upon their absurd, authoritarian structure of social encounters. Why does making an impression always require 1 minute? And a -5? Yikes?

Connections: I initially liked the flavor of this feat, but then I had some questions. Does this mean I can't do what the feat describes without it? Even as a level 12 hero in this part of the world with well known achievements? If I can - then isn't this feat ultimately pointless?

Confabulator: Straightforward. I think I took this one. Can't remember.

Quiet Allies: One of the rare examples of a good feat that is generally useful for a party with at least one good stealthy character.

So of the list you provided I agree on ~4.

To your other points, I did say I've sprinkled in some demoralize actions, but Sabotage and Battle Assessment are not compelling to me /shrug.

You didn't really go into detail about poison weapon but I've explained my position on that in depth. The 1 action application would be good but see earlier post.


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So on the first turn with spell weaving - assuming you get full damage on the standard reflex save and only benefiting from sneak attack on your bow attack with a standard +1S bow you average 37 damage (6d4+8+4d6).

The current setup I have now is averaging 36 assuming I hit with two attacks (8d6+8).

On round two I lose sneak attack for the ranged version dropping to 30 average damage with the same assumptions. Keeping in mind the melee character benefits from flanking which increases the chances to hit.

Basically with the outlined standard action turn we have picked the rogue class for 1 skill and an extra 2d6 on your first turn's bow attack. That's it.

This was someone telling me I didn't understand the system. (SuperBidi)

Also, before someone says it - if the knee jerk reaction to this is to use the Hide action every turn...well now we are interrupting what was communicated as the standard, repeated combat turn.

So, for the record two people (SuperBidi and DeadManWalking) have said I simply don't understand the complexity of the system. When I requested a build to demonstrate - I am given something that at face value seems incoherent because it does not need to be a rogue. Unless, someone is going to make the point that a sorcerer doesn't have more value baked into the class by level 6 to outmatch an extra skill and 2d6 on a single bow attack per combat. This character could just be a sorcerer.


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Hiruma Kai wrote:
RoscoeDaLib wrote:

Im confused why you need to be a scoundrel Rogue for what you have laid out.

Is your DM allowing you to get sneak attack from Electric Arc? Because it's not a spell attack roll, and therefore gains no benefit from magical trickster. Also couldn't literally any racket do as you have laid out? You just admittted you don't even use the feint feature which is kinda the point of my post. There is nothing unique about the subclass, and there is nothing you have described that is complex.

If you're not rolling your stats (PFS, certainly my home campaign is using the base build rules), scoundrel lets you start with an 18 in charisma rather than a maximum of 16. 2 points for race, 2 points for background, and 2 points for one of the four free boosts for a normal rogue is the max. So their electric arc is better with Scoundrel, as it does +1 more damage and has +1 more to hit at levels 2-4, and then 10-14, and finally level 20, assuming you're boosting charisma at 5,10,15 and 20.

So for 9 out of 20 levels (roughly half the game), scoundrel is superior with sorcerer dedication cantrips. +1 to hit, better save DCs, and slightly better damage is the reason.

He might not have taken magical trickster with his build. I was the one that mentioned using it with Ray of Frost. What he does get is a full damage cantrip and a bow attack with no multiple attack penalty. He said the biggest benefit over the other rackets was the extra skill for him (i.e. Deception + Diplomacy vs just Thievery or just Intimidation). As you note, none of the rackets combat abilities help with that routine, but scoundrel helps him more out of combat (plus charisma in combat).

Yeah and thats why I am asking him if he is benefiting from sneak attack with that spell due to his DM. So I know for sure. Because I can tell you right now it seems questionable because it would struggle to benefit from free sneak attack damage. Which I think is important.


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Shisumo wrote:

I cannot figure out why you would take Gang Up, given what you've said about your party. If you were already having no trouble getting flanks, Gang Up is a wasted feat - and on the presumably-rare instances you didn't have a flank, well, that's why you're a scoundrel, right? So you can get your sneak on your own?

Given your intent, I would have given real thought to adding Intimidation (another social skill) to your usual combat routine, picking up You're Next, Dread Striker and then Twist the Knife and ignoring Gang Up completely.

Gang Up is simply more freedom from having to move to justify the requirements for flanking. Which opens more actions for the generic actions people have suggested or just more attacks. Taking a feat for 2 persistent damage and capping out at 4 at level 17...THAT is a wasted feat.

I am no longer a Scoundrel as explained in the OP.

I almost took you're next at level 4 but I have to get the killing blow which makes it less reliable, and I think what I have is more generally useful.


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SuperBidi wrote:
RoscoeDaLib wrote:
I'm not sure what "wanting to just backstab" means. Every rogue gets sneak attack feature and wants to take advantage of it for as many attacks as possible. The point I made was that while someone can say "scoundrel works as intended" it is entirely lackluster when you have other melee in your party that reliably provide flanking. Then even more so at level 6 with gang up that removes the positional requirements for flanking. So again, if you could provide an example of a build where a scoundrel rogue who already benefits from sneak attack via flanking is providing meaningful value via their key feint feature that would be interesting to look over.

I'm playing a Scoundrel Rogue (through Plaguestone) and it's working as intended (she deals similar damage than our Fighter or Barbarian). She's multiclassed into Sorcerer for Electric Arc. Her main action sequence is Electric Arc + Strike with her bow. She would get nothing out of the other Rackets, and the main advantage of Scoundrel is the extra skill for me and not feinting, that I use hyper rarely.

If you want to play a classic Rogue that benefits from flanking for his Sneak Attacks, don't play a Scoundrel Rogue in my opinion.

Im confused why you need to be a scoundrel Rogue for what you have laid out.

Is your DM allowing you to get sneak attack from Electric Arc? Because it's not a spell attack roll, and therefore gains no benefit from magical trickster. Also couldn't literally any racket do as you have laid out? You just admittted you don't even use the feint feature which is kinda the point of my post. There is nothing unique about the subclass, and there is nothing you have described that is complex.


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I explained in the OP that intimidation seems to be one of the few skill feat lists with useful things, and that I am no longer a scoundrel rogue. Also, Gang Up allows me to have flanking on multiple enemies at once even if my allies are in a potato position.


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Kendaan wrote:

I think you might have quoted the wrong person, nowhere in my post do I say any of that.

I am just pointing out that some type of characters would work better or worst depending on party composition, that is all.

That is indeed what happened. My mistake. I'm very much used to reply buttons being at the bottom of someone's post.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, this is really unfortunate, but it sounds like, due to inexperience with the system, you've just not picked a build that doesn't synchronize its abilities very well, nor one that synchronizes well with the other PCs.

Which totally sucks, and you should see if the GM will let you rebuild somewhat, but is possible in any game that's complex enough.

You are the second person to say that what happened is a result of my lack of understanding of a complex system. So, I will make the same request of you as I did them. Please elaborate and demonstrate the complexities of a scoundrel rogue via a build with features and elements that have not been discussed here.

Again, I don't want to come off as toxic about this request, but it can sound quite condescending when people just dismiss what I perceive as a very blatant design flaw as "ignorance of a complex system".

The only valid point someone has made in this context is that scoundrel is not good with a party with as many melee as I have. Which, even that I was aware could have been an issue.

So, unless people are just saying that scoundrel rogues are unplayable with 2+ melee in your party I don't see the complexity here. Please point it out.


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SuperBidi wrote:

In my opinion, you made a classical mistake: choosing to play a complex build when you don't know the system enough to be sure it's valid. Scoundrel Rogue builds are more complex than Thief or Ruffian ones, but work perfectly if you make them right. If what you want to do is backstab enemies, then it's a Thief or Ruffian that you need.

Scoundrel Feint bonus is just there because Scoundrels don't add their main attribute bonus to damage. So, if you can't get the enemy Flat-Footed, you won't deal much damage. It's more of an emergency move.
Skill feats are quite weak. They are there to develop your character, not to make it powerful. You can entirely skip them without losing much efficiency, but you'll lose lots of character depth.
And if you dislike Rogue as a class, play something else. I'm pretty sure other classes will give you more appealing feats. Also, low level feats are, most of the time, quite weak. But by the time you get to level 6, they should become more and more powerful.

I'm not certain this is entirely responding to what I said.

I've only been discussing the class in context of the level I've achieved. I fully understand class feats get insane later on as you approach 20.

I'm not sure what "wanting to just backstab" means. Every rogue gets sneak attack feature and wants to take advantage of it for as many attacks as possible. The point I made was that while someone can say "scoundrel works as intended" it is entirely lackluster when you have other melee in your party that reliably provide flanking. Then even more so at level 6 with gang up that removes the positional requirements for flanking. So again, if you could provide an example of a build where a scoundrel rogue who already benefits from sneak attack via flanking is providing meaningful value via their key feint feature that would be interesting to look over.

I also don't necessarily want skill feats to make me more powerful. I just think they are relatively uninspired. My GM allowed me to get sow rumors (it's an interesting skill feat that does cool things and is of course uncommon).

I don't dislike the rogue class. I quite enjoy the flavor of the class, despite the fact they have made poisons pretty awful.


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think battle assessment is the ONLY class feat rogue has in the rulebook that is a non attack action other than Sabotage up to 6. Which is of course not worth the action on high success targets that will have HP low enough to just blow through in 1/2 rounds, and not worth the action on targets with a 75% chance to ignore it especially when they just trade my action for the interact action to draw a melee weapon.

Basically, as far as I can tell neither feat is appealing.

The circumstance penalty to perception and reflex would have been cool from distracting feint if I was consistently using feint on a target. However, this is just negated completely by playing your characters in melee with flanking as every encounter has resulted in me going first round with decent initiative with the rounds after that me benefiting from flanking. As I mentioned the real problem is that they seemed to have overlooked scoundrel's main feature's usefulness when you have multiple melee party members. Because frankly, a -2 to reflex saves from a class feat on an action that is already low value is not good. My wizard has casted one thing that targets reflex saves - electric arc.

I'm also not certain what tripping does for me. I also don't know the rules as it pertains to fighting creatures larger than me and trying to trip them. I have thrown in some demoralize actions here and there. Just overall very meh when they clearly have feats in mind to build on feinting.

Edit: So I just looked this all up in regards to tripping and you reminded me about how I also dislike assurance. My GM told me it would be a good skill feat but that is just incorrect imo. I'd have to invest a skill increase into Athletics to make it Expert for starters. Since, at level 6 trained my prof is 8 bringing assurance to 18 to trip. I just randomly grabbed two monsters in the bestiary - one and level 5 and one at level 4. They have +11 and +13 reflex (troll and vampire spawn rogue). Thats a DC of 21 and 23. Even with distracting feint I cannot reliably assure a trip against a target level-1/2 without becoming expert.

Now I don't know if this is necessarily a problem seeing as I do have 10 Str. However, I think it highlights my point that certain things are made more difficult based on how we build characters (which I'm fine with), and therefore when we choose a Racket and build stats around that - there should be feats that are generally useful to build upon it. Because there is not, from my understanding, almost every rogue is a thief.


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A little history for myself before I write out my opinions in a wall of text. My first experience ever with TTRPGing was 5e. I've played that like 4 times (and that is counting a shoddy 1 shot someone ran for my first game). My first campaign ever I DMed because no one else would. I had friends who had very negative opinions of 5e, and convinced me to try PF1e. It was ok, but it just seemed like bloatedness with perceived choices that weren't real since any attempt at not being a wet noodle resulted in mimiced choices. However, I don't want this thread to be about my potentially misguided views of PF1. PF2 is out, and I've played it from both a DM perspective and now a PC.

When the playtest started I was very excited. My group was a mix of people who enjoyed the simplified "just play the game" aspects of 5e, and those that loved the mechanical depth and freedom of PF1e. So, when this was announced I assumed this was going to be the middle ground system we would all maybe enjoy.

Well.....there are some real problems.

I love making characters in downtime when I just don't feel like playing video games. I love creating some kind of shtick (ex. Warforged Barbarian former slave with PTSD desperately seeking his first real emotional connection with friends but has extreme emotional instability) that can keep me entertained while also optimizing my character for what I perceive they would be good at. The best of both worlds. Well, right now I'm playing Age of Ashes as a rogue. We're about to hit level 7.

There is only one word for what I've consistently felt over and over while looking through my character progression, and it is disappointment.

I started as a Scoundrel rogue. I thought Thief sounded more solid for just raw damage (esp looking at later feats) but I love social interactions in the game more than combat, so my character being a scoundrel with naturally high charisma made sense. Plus, feint sounded cool. Final scores at level 1 rolling stats: 10 Str, 18 Dex, 14 Con, 13 Int, 10 Wis, 18 Cha. I was a goblin.

Level 1 was great for my choices. I'm picking my racket (which seemed exciting), my ancestries, skills, equipment, etc. All things with long term impact and seem like I'm making a choice that matters. It was fun. It's all downhill from here.

Level 2 Things start looking more bland. I already had nimble dodge which just seems inescapably better than everything else at level 1 (just my opinion). My Scoundrel specific feat at level 2 is awful for me. For the exact same reason being a scoundrel in my party was an awful decision. I have two other melee characters in my party (3 if you count our cleric whose most common turn is 3 action magic missile). With how sneak attack works with flanking I literally never need to feint. There were some extremely situational useful feats I could have taken, but none that were as generally useful as mobility. Not even close.

This is the level I also started to realize just how uninteresting skill feats are. I'll address that later.

Level 3 Was OK. I picked a general feat which are definitely more interesting than the skill feats, but only because of the handful that actually make an impact on my character. Since as a rogue I like to hit things before they act - Incredible Initiative.

Level 4 Was where I hit a deep depression. There aren't words to describe just how awful it was to realize how bad of a Feat poison weapon is. I will also address this later. Battle Assessment seemed very interesting at face value, but the information gained is only extremely situationally useful and just not worth the action given that the information gained can usually be determined through first turn actions and common sense due to the repetitive nature of combat actions. Reactive Pursuit was the clear winner here. Still situational, but at least generally useful in some way.

Level 5 was interesting because of Ability Boosts, and my Ancestry feat. Even that though was fairly shallow as my important stats are still important. I go to 10 Str, 19 Dex, 16 Con, 13 Int, 12 Wis, 19 Cha. At this point we have downtime in Age of Ashes so I retrain into thief as I have now realized that I have feinted one time in five levels. So, I might as well get some added flat damage, and gain access to some powerful class feats coming up.

Level 6 I get Gang Up. This isn't even a choice. My skill feat options still seem empty and vapid.

So, that has been my experience so far. Rare moments of "oh this might be cool" followed by a sudden realization that it isn't.

I'll go into more detail about what I think is the source of this starting with Feint for the scoundrel. I want to be clear that I still think it is an interesting racket design. In fact, I liked all three. However, Scoundrel only seems to be an option if you are alone in melee or even maybe with 1 other person. Otherwise, you will just never feint. This is compounded by the fact there are no real supplementary feats for the feint action if you do have multiple party members in melee. Which really pisses me off considering there is a level 1 Swashbuckler feat that allows feint to essentially give you +2 AC for the next attack against you. I don't know why rogues don't have feats like this that either replace the effect of Feint or build upon it in a way that benefits the rogue so that they can still use that action in a standard move-attack-____ or attack-attack-____ turn. I often just ended rolling a third attack praying for a crit roll because I had nothing better to do. This is a design failure.

Also, at no point in the first 6 levels has multi-classing been a viable option for me to partake in in such a way that would make my character more fun. Which I was told is supposed to be a way to supplement poor options for class feats. As a note, I think it is incredibly awkward that monk multiclass archetype requires 14 Dex AND Str. And as a whole I think multi-classing is neutered as a result of concerns from "dipping" that occurred in PF1. The only options I can take are Ranger/Sorcerer. I initially thought about doing a build around magical trickster at level 4 but quickly realized that it was dramatically worse than I thought since it requires spell attack rolls. As it stands, Id have to sit in melee casting spells as a rogue to gain sneak attack damage, which of course procs additional attacks against me. Unless I just want the first round to be the only round I benefit from sneak attack. Or I equip a whip (a weapon with reach). Regardless, this seemed like another case of unnecessary hamstringing of the feat. I would honestly consider this option viable even if I didn't maintain sneak attack benefits later in the combat if I could cast aoe reflex save spells like electric arc or fireball for additional value in the first round. As it seems now it's just a headache in comparison to standing in melee and just swinging a sword/dagger.

Then there is Poison Weapon. Now to be fair there are some other crappy feats - esp at level 4, but Poison Weapon was such a massive disappointment to me. It's also complicated because it's not solely the feat itself that's the problem but really it's consumables and crafting etc. My initial build idea was a Scoundrel Rogue with poison weapon and twist the knife. The idea obviously being I have the initial sneak attack damage with solid persistent damage on a beefy target. Well, this just isn't realistic. Unless of course I want to spend a quarter of my total wealth on one time usage poisons in combat per level. There are so many problems here it is boggling. For starters - why is my weapon poisoned for one and only one attack? I don't want to discuss the realistic mechanics of poisoning a blade but, this just seems dumb and just an unnecessary hamstringing of the mechanic. Then, even if you ignore that aspect and think you'll just use some poisons level-2/3 - well good luck gaining any real value from them. Encounters with enemies under your level aren't worth using your poison on, and encounters with a monster of level+1/2/3 have almost a guarantee to pass those poison DCs. It's a waste of time and gold. Then the cherry on top of the poop cake is that the poisons you are given in the feat itself do 1d4 damage on the attack. Not even persistent. All around and awful feat and mechanic - in my opinion.

Then last and not least skill feats. My group has universally agreed these are uninteresting and uninspired. I think Intimidation builds are the only characters with generally useful stuff? But my first real example of a feat that I thought had potential but just wasn't was Charming Liar. My rogue started as Scoundrel so I had high charisma, and when I read the feat on the feat list I was excited. I thought I could use deception reliably to make an impression, but when I read the full text of the feat I was of course disappointed.

Anyway, I have never posted on these forums, but I just wanted to share my experience so far. I hope it didn't come across as too toxic, but I have just been constantly disappointed.