Rogues have problems?


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In another thread, I have read a couple people mention they hope 4th Edition will fix the problems with rogues. (Thread Link WARNING: 4th Edition thread.)

Problems?

I am missing something. I don't notice any problems with Rogues...

Could someone clue me in?

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

The only problem with rogues I've ever noticed was folks spelling it rouge, but that ain't the class' fault.

The Exchange

I never had any problem with Rogue. I play them a good percentage of the time and they always perform well, not too powerful, not too weak. They are kinda a sweet spot class to me. They fit well and are designed well, IMO. Never saw any real problems....

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

No problems here. I too wondered what was being hinted at.


Well, there's one problem I can think of...HEY! Come back here with my coin purse! Lightning Bolt!!! Darn it! Stupid Evasion!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Best guess? Low hit points and low armor class on a class that needs to get in melee. Rogue players do have to be at least a little careful and smart to live very long.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

From a 4th Edition perspective, a lot of a rogue's shining moments come out of combat. In combat, there are a bunch of monsters where her sneak attack is useless. In those situations, she's not as powerful as a fighter.


Well, in those cases the rogue could just as well employ UMD and use some scrolls or wands or somesuch.

Sovereign Court

The problem I see with playing a rogue (and one I see quite often in my AoWs campaign) is that quite a few creatures are immune to the rogue's sneak attack. Constructs, undead, and oozes, are outright immune, barbarians, other rogues, and quite a number of aberrations and even some outsiders get immunity to flanking and/or the ability to be caught flatfooted. This effectively shuts down the rogue's only offensive weapon. Rogues are cool but quite often they get nerffed in combat.


Disenchanter wrote:

I don't notice any problems with Rogues...

Could someone clue me in?

One came up the other night in our game. We're running Maure Castle, and the battle with the BBG includes a high-level (14th) rogue as one of his cohorts. This rogue has opportunist as a special ability, so I decided that he and the NPC fighter would gang up on the PCs tank to try and take him down quickly.

Well, with only 50+hp to start with, and having been hit once or twice, the PC fighter turned his attention from the NPC fighter and took the rogue down in about 2 hits. The rogue wasn't even close to a hp level that deserved caution (around 70-80% of max) but trying to use opportunist pretty much ended his life.

Since these special abilities are only available at level 10+ the hp/AC of a rogue made this particular one pretty useless.

So you can fix it by either getting rid of opportunist or you give the rogues more relative hp or find a way to increase their AC. 'Cause in high-level encounters, they suck in melee.

Greg


(Please keep in mind that these are my opinions)

I first put forth in the aforemention thread that Rogue's have some problems.

First of all, it's not a Rogue's fault that traps in 3e aren't fun. Flat out, I don't like the trap system in 3e. When I DM traps are puzzles or obstacles NOT ENCOUNTERS. They do not have an EL and they always make sense. No more "pressure plates" in the middle of effing nowhere just because.

Example: I am GMing the Dungeon Mag adventure titled "Worms in the Exchequery" where, written into the adventure, for some reason a group of thieves were able to rig a "pressure plate" trap in a bank lobby. WHAT!? Isn't a pressure plate a little complicated to just be able to put it in the middle of a bank lobby that you've only spent a couple hours in? That is a glaring example of the trap problem in D&D.

To summarize - Rogue's specialize in trap finding and disarming - which isn't fun (for me) in 3.5. Yet I love Rogue personality and the idea sneaky attacking scoundrels.

And here's another problem: At higher levels a Rogue pales in comparison to other classes. No melee, no magic, and his trap finding and disarming become silly next to the magical means of sidestepping 3.5 traps. Pit a level 20 rogue versus a level 20 wizard and you have Rogue Soup a la mode! Time Stop, Summon, summon, summon, summon, and mob the Rogue. Dead.

Maybe this is more a topic of equality between classes but, different thread... :/

Here have been my homebrewed fixes for Rogue's as a DM:

The Indiana Jones fix - at certain levels I allow Rogues the ability to pick from a list of Artifacts I created (minor or major depending upon level). This is the assumption that as the penultimate adventurer they have access to artifacts that other players would simply not have the balls or connections to get.

The Luck Fix - I take away trap finding and just make the Rogue an exceedingly lucky fighter. With luck skills and fate testing they become the "hero" class.

The Trap fix - Rogue's no longer are just about "good search checks" but gain fundemental knowledge and streetsmarts when it comes to traps. In game, this transelates to hints from the DM based on rolls that can either answer the conundrum of a trap or give a hint to it's purpose.

What do you think?

(Sorry for the long post!)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I've played Rogues for years and never encountered too much of a problem. Sure, Rogues aren't as good as fighters in melee combat, but they're not supposed to be. Rogues aren't as good a Wizards straight up in a fight, but they're not supposed to be.

As for Opportunist, it is just one choice for a Rogue at 10th level. If it doesn't work for you, choose something else, like Slippery Mind.

Rogues are skill junkies, and you can customize your Rogue's strengths and weaknesses based on them. Trapfinding is only one part of a Rogue's skill set. Need reconnaissance? The Rogue's your man. Need something pilfered? See the Rogue. Need to go unnoticed? Again, the Rogue is it.

I've played Rogues who were thieves, scouts, merchants, archaeologists, and swashbucklers. No 2 are ever the same, and the vast array of skills a Rogue can choose from is what allows this to happen.

The versatility of the class is what distinguishes it from the other classes. Sure, at high levels, it may not be in the best interest of the Rogue to go toe to toe with a Fighter, but hopefully, the Rogue has Spring Attack by then, and can pick his moments. And what's more frustrating for a Wizard than to throw a fireball at the guy who stole your magic bauble, then have him evade it and disappear from sight?


hellacious huni wrote:

(Please keep in mind that these are my opinions)

I first put forth in the aforemention thread that Rogue's have some problems.

First of all, it's not a Rogue's fault that traps in 3e aren't fun. Flat out, I don't like the trap system in 3e. When I DM traps are puzzles or obstacles NOT ENCOUNTERS. They do not have an EL and they always make sense. No more "pressure plates" in the middle of effing nowhere just because.

Example: I am GMing the Dungeon Mag adventure titled "Worms in the Exchequery" where, written into the adventure, for some reason a group of thieves were able to rig a "pressure plate" trap in a bank lobby. WHAT!? Isn't a pressure plate a little complicated to just be able to put it in the middle of a bank lobby that you've only spent a couple hours in? That is a glaring example of the trap problem in D&D.

To summarize - Rogue's specialize in trap finding and disarming - which isn't fun (for me) in 3.5. Yet I love Rogue personality and the idea sneaky attacking scoundrels.

And here's another problem: At higher levels a Rogue pales in comparison to other classes. No melee, no magic, and his trap finding and disarming become silly next to the magical means of sidestepping 3.5 traps. Pit a level 20 rogue versus a level 20 wizard and you have Rogue Soup a la mode! Time Stop, Summon, summon, summon, summon, and mob the Rogue. Dead.

Maybe this is more a topic of equality between classes but, different thread... :/

Here have been my homebrewed fixes for Rogue's as a DM:

The Indiana Jones fix - at certain levels I allow Rogues the ability to pick from a list of Artifacts I created (minor or major depending upon level). This is the assumption that as the penultimate adventurer they have access to artifacts that other players would simply not have the balls or connections to get.

The Luck Fix - I take away trap finding and just make the Rogue an exceedingly lucky fighter. With luck skills and fate testing they become the "hero" class.

The Trap fix - Rogue's no...

I see the reason for your dislike of traps. However, I don't think rogues really need that much changing. Maybe give them a small amount of bonus feats, boost their sneak attack...

Let's take your Wizard vs. Rogue scenario. Replace the rogue with a fighter. You have tasty wizard soup.
Each class is best in certain scenarios. A rogue is best with a few other allies to flank with. I'd say that your homebrewed coices are good ones, and would make a nice varient rogue. But rogues don't really need that much change. I'm happy with the way they were before 4.0.
Not trying to start another anti-4.0 thread here.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I love the rogue! It's a fun class because not only do you get to do a ton of stuff outside of combat, it's fun to scout and setting up a sneak attack is almost a little mini-game within the game. The only things that rise to the level of needing a fix are those that aren't inherently part of the rogue but part of the rules. Traps, as HH pointed out, are a good example. The other thing that could use a change is stealth - forcing the rogue to max out 2 skills and then giving all adversaries 2 rolls to spot them really limits the effectiveness of stealth, particularly at lower levels.

That being said, I think the rogue is a good example of a well designed class that should be emulated in 4e, not fixed. It's fun in combat and out of combat, rewards you for playing with good tactics (sneak attack), and can be customized into multiple different builds.

Edit: I also like their odd bundle of defensive measures. They're a cool class in that, while their AC isn't great, they're very good at dodging magic due to Evasion and their high Touch AC. I've always seen rogues as the scissors to the wizard's paper, and the fighter as the rock to the rogue's scissors.


I still can't get over the fact that they killed off gnomes and replaced them with an evil race. It'll be drow next time.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Why is it a problem that in a toe to toe fight the other classes aren't as good as the fighter? Should every class excel at everything equally?

Should every class be as good in a wand to wand fight as the wizard?

Should every class be as good at handling the divine as the cleric?

Any rogue that tries to get into a toe to toe fight with a fighter deserves what they get. It's called sneak attack for a reason. Just my 2 cp as a fan of the 3e rogue class.


Wicht wrote:

Why is it a problem that in a toe to toe fight the other classes aren't as good as the fighter? Should every class excel at everything equally?

Should every class be as good in a wand to wand fight as the wizard?

Should every class be as good at handling the divine as the cleric?

Any rogue that tries to get into a toe to toe fight with a fighter deserves what they get. It's called sneak attack for a reason. Just my 2 cp as a fan of the 3e rogue class.

Hear hear!


Well, IMO, the problem with sneak attack, is if that's the best the rogue can bring to a party with a wizard or a fighter...the rogue's f*cked.

Wizards have contigencies. Lots and lots of contigencies. The Spell Compendium basically let's wizards say, "Hi, I'm a wizard, do you mind if I kill you?"

Are you assuming the rogue kills the Wizard in one sneak attack? While he's sleeping? I'm saying in any match up - not just toe to toe - the rogue can't stand up (even outside of combat due to the Wizard's, or frankly any character's, magical help). The rogue just doesn't have the same power level in or out of combat at high levels.

Personally, I don't want to feel inferior to all the other players when I'm level 20, I want to add something fun to the game, not just be the guy tagging along because, "Well, he's been with us this whole time anyway, might as well let him come along."

Sovereign Court

Wicht wrote:
It's called sneak attack for a reason.

Exactly! Too bad there's so many things that rogues can't sneak up on.


Wicht wrote:
Why is it a problem that in a toe to toe fight the other classes aren't as good as the fighter? Should every class excel at everything equally?

Are you referring to my post? If so, then I will repeat: the problem is that the special ability: opportunist is useless. Period. I did not say "rogues must be able to go toe-to-toe with fighters."

The thread is titled "Rogues have problems?". I gave one.

Greg


hellacious huni wrote:

Well, IMO, the problem with sneak attack, is if that's the best the rogue can bring to a party with a wizard or a fighter...the rogue's f*cked.

Wizards have contigencies. Lots and lots of contigencies. The Spell Compendium basically let's wizards say, "Hi, I'm a wizard, do you mind if I kill you?"

Are you assuming the rogue kills the Wizard in one sneak attack? While he's sleeping? I'm saying in any match up - not just toe to toe - the rogue can't stand up (even outside of combat due to the Wizard's, or frankly any character's, magical help). The rogue just doesn't have the same power level in or out of combat at high levels.

Personally, I don't want to feel inferior to all the other players when I'm level 20, I want to add something fun to the game, not just be the guy tagging along because, "Well, he's been with us this whole time anyway, might as well let him come along."

Your arguments are good, and would be more convincing if you'd change your profile.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
hellacious huni wrote:
Pit a level 20 rogue versus a level 20 wizard and you have Rogue Soup a la mode! Time Stop, Summon, summon, summon, summon, and mob the Rogue. Dead.

As mentioned before, I think comparing classes toe-to-toe in a fight is a bad idea. Tactics are the key. Would a Rogue worth his salt (and if he survived to 20th level, he should be worth his salt) really go toe-to-toe with a Wizard20 if he couldn't get a surprise round and win initiative? That situation favors the Rogue much more, especially if the Wizard starts out unbuffed.

-Skeld

Edit: As an aside, I think the idea of comparing classes at level 20 is not significant. You really have to compare classes across all levels. The same toe-to-toe fight between Rogue1 and Wizard1 would look alot diferent.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
hellacious huni wrote:
Are you assuming the rogue kills the Wizard in one sneak attack? While he's sleeping?

That works for me :D

I've always thought of the rogue as the thinking man's class, even more so than the spellcasters. A ton of skills (Intelligence is usually my second stat of choice after dexterity for a Rogue) make him very versatile but the character class does need played with some finesse and forethought.

In a fight he needs companions to excell and he needs to know his limits. He also should be able to think of alternate ways of attack and always have an exit strategy.


Other people have pointed out a wide variety of opponents that sneak attack doesn't work against. I would guess that is the perceived "problem," as it's "fixed" in 4.0: rogues can sneak attack anything.

Monte Cook had an early 3.0 "fix" for the ranger. As he pointed out, a ranger's favored enemy ability isn't a class ability that the player can use (like a barbarian's rage or a wizard's spells): it's a class ability that the *DM* uses, by including monsters that match the ranger's type.

Rogues are halfway between that: it is up to the rogue to set up the sneak attack situations (flat-footedness and flanking), but unless the DM is helping to use the ability (by, for example, not running an adventure called "Crypt of the Construct-Loving Ooze Lords"), a rogue will be shut out of his key class feature quite often.


I was talking to my friends about this:

Rogue v Fighter.

So, the Fighter can kick the rogue's ass in combat, right? The rules support that. Cool. I get it.

But the rogue...the Rogue can set up an elaborate plot to kill the Fighter (i.e. in his sleep, with poison, using cohorts) because the Rogue isn't stupid, he isn't going to go +3 dagger to +5 Frost Blast Vorpal Longsword of Infinite Destruction (I own it).

The rules, however, do not support this. Sure, it can be done, but it is heavily dependent upon the creativity of the player no the Rogue Class. All the Figher needs to do is look in the rulebook and say, "Uh...I'm John Rambo." The Rogue looks in the book and says, "Well, I've got high Diplomacy."

The PHB doesn't teach a player how to be creative, it just gives stats. So what happens when Rogue is fighting a Fighter who is ascreative as her as a Player? Well, you have a CAREFUL Fighter, who will set up his own contigencies, who will not get caught unawares (because not going into a shady alley is not a choice covered in the rules).

Seriously, the Rogue requires that you work with your DM to make him good, whereas nearly any other class (except the Bard of course...sorry Bard) can stand up to any situation depending on PHB stats and Player creativity.

That may be a positive to some, to me it is an inherent weakness to the class.

Sovereign Court Contributor

EDIT: I apologize if this is a double post, but I'm pretty sure my first attempt got eaten.
-----------------------
The only problem I have with the 3E rogue is not so much a problem with the class itself but with some mechanics related to it.

1) Traps. Because of the way traps and trapfinding works, only rogues of the original core classes can search for most traps, meaning that you have to have a rogue and he has to be a trap-finder.

2) Sneak Attack. Sneak attack is an awesome ability that trumps any other attack form the rogue might pursue, and the easiest and best way take advantage of it is through flanking. If you are building a rogue, it is pretty much willfully foolish to not build a character that is an expert flanker.

These two things combined mean that most rogues are pretty much identical to each other build-wise. It's similar to how power attack ensures that most fighters go the two-handed weapon power attack build route.

Most of these issues can be resolved with minor house rules.

Dark Archive

Rogues seem to be too good at some things and too weak at others.

At 1st level, if he can get a flanking situation, the Rogue is doing pretty amazing damage with that +1d6 per hit. (The Fighter needs to pay 8000 gp for a weapon that does +1d6 damage!) By 10th level, that same Rogue is doing +5d6 per hit, may well have multiple hits per round (particularly if Two-Weapon Fighting), and likely has a few different ways to set up a Sneak Attack (bluff, stealth, tumbling into a flanking position, etc).

But then there are those monsters that are immune. Constructs are not so common. Oozes are even rarer. Unflankable Axiomatic critters, yeah, whatever. But Undead? Very, very common.

It's like the 1st edition Magic-User problem. Either I'm too cool for school with my Sleep spell that ends the encounter, or I'm sucking wind with that 1d4+1 Magic Missile that impresses no one. Very all or nothing, encounterwise. You either rock and are dropping handfulls d6s all over the table, or it's immune and you might as well be playing a Commoner.

The Rogue also has what I call, after playing Shadowrun, the 'Decker problem.' He's great at stealthing off and doing something where the rest of the party can't follow. Which is fine for a solo game, but this ain't that, and he's become a class *designed to split the party,* which any horror movie afficianado will tell you is a Bad Thing. The Rogue shines when the rest of the players are in the next room watching TV, and that's kind of a problem, and, more than the mechanics of the class, is why we've gone 20-odd years without having a Rogue in our party.

The Fighter 'finds' the traps. The Cleric fixes him up afterwards and we forge on. Locks get 'picked' via crowbar and Str checks. Diplomacy and social shenanigans are handled by the Cleric or the Sorcerer or the Bard or whoever didn't use Cha as a dump stat this week.

It's not a specific 'Rogue' problem so much as a role problem. Like the Decker in Shadowrun, like a Speedster in a superhero game, like a dream-travelling psychic or astral projector or aquatic character in a party of land-lubbers, the character is designed to go somewhere the rest of the party can't go, and thus is essentially designed to make the rest of the players at the table sit around holding their cheese while the Rogue player goes solo.

All-too-often 'I scout ahead' or 'I'll go check it out' turns into 'let's go rescue the Rogue' or 'what's your next character going to be, Bob?'

Rambling Scribe wrote:

2) Sneak Attack. Sneak attack is an awesome ability that trumps any other attack form the rogue might pursue, and the easiest and best way take advantage of it is through flanking. If you are building a rogue, it is pretty much willfully foolish to not build a character that is an expert flanker.

I'm loving these 'Ambush Feats' that allow the Rogue to trade in dice of Sneak Attack for specific effects, like blinding, laming, nauseating, etc. So, freaking, cool. More of these would go a long way towards making the Rogue seem less like overkill with the +10d6 and more like the kind of sneaky evasive guy who dances around you taking you apart one hit at a time like he's quartering a chicken. 'Ooh, there goes the leg. Go gimpy! Yikes, bleeding cut to the eye, can't hit what you can't see!'


Larry Lichman wrote:
As for Opportunist, it is just one choice for a Rogue at 10th level. If it doesn't work for you, choose something else, like Slippery Mind.

Well, I think I said it, but I'll repeat, it was an NPC, so it wasn't my character. I had never DMed a rogue with that ability before, so I wasn't going to toss it out without at least trying it. But wouldn't you think that if a special class ability is that useless, then it shouldn't be there?

Greg


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
hellacious huni wrote:

Well, IMO, the problem with sneak attack, is if that's the best the rogue can bring to a party with a wizard or a fighter...the rogue's f*cked.

Wizards have contigencies. Lots and lots of contigencies. The Spell Compendium basically let's wizards say, "Hi, I'm a wizard, do you mind if I kill you?"

Are you assuming the rogue kills the Wizard in one sneak attack? While he's sleeping? I'm saying in any match up - not just toe to toe - the rogue can't stand up (even outside of combat due to the Wizard's, or frankly any character's, magical help). The rogue just doesn't have the same power level in or out of combat at high levels.

Personally, I don't want to feel inferior to all the other players when I'm level 20, I want to add something fun to the game, not just be the guy tagging along because, "Well, he's been with us this whole time anyway, might as well let him come along."

Your arguments are good, and would be more convincing if you'd change your profile.

HA AHA HAHA HA! You obviously have not felt the power of...THE BLUE GECKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shadow Lodge

WelbyBumpus wrote:
... but unless the DM is helping to use the ability (by, for example, not running an adventure called "Crypt of the Construct-Loving Ooze Lords"), a rogue will be shut out of his key class feature quite often.

That has got to be a Necromancer Press title, I am sure of it...

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Skeld wrote:
hellacious huni wrote:
Pit a level 20 rogue versus a level 20 wizard and you have Rogue Soup a la mode! Time Stop, Summon, summon, summon, summon, and mob the Rogue. Dead.

As mentioned before, I think comparing classes toe-to-toe in a fight is a bad idea. Tactics are the key. Would a Rogue worth his salt (and if he survived to 20th level, he should be worth his salt) really go toe-to-toe with a Wizard20 if he couldn't get a surprise round and win initiative? That situation favors the Rogue much more, especially if the Wizard starts out unbuffed.

-Skeld

Not only that, Fun != Power.

The rogue, like the monk, has the mobility and stealth to get past the front line and gank the wizard or sorcerer. That being said, the SC definitely powered up the casters, and rogues fair much better under the core rules.

Sovereign Court Contributor

WelbyBumpus wrote:

Monte Cook had an early 3.0 "fix" for the ranger. As he pointed out, a ranger's favored enemy ability isn't a class ability that the player can use (like a barbarian's rage or a wizard's spells): it's a class ability that the *DM* uses, by including monsters that match the ranger's type.

Rogues are halfway between that: it is up to the rogue to set up the sneak attack situations (flat-footedness and flanking), but unless the DM is helping to use the ability (by, for example, not running an adventure called "Crypt of the Construct-Loving Ooze Lords"), a rogue will be shut out of his key class feature quite often.

This is a really good point.

I played a rogue in "Heart of Nightfang Spire" and it was brutal. Although not as bad as for my poor brother who was playing a sorcerer who had taken pretty much exclusively "charm" type spells. Fortunately we each had two characters, and my second was a fighter and my brother's was a cleric.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Disenchanter wrote:
Could someone clue me in?

Back to the OP -

The only problem I ever had with playing a Rogue was when the rest of the party had no interest in providing me with a flanking buddy. For that campaign, the fighter was a Bull Rush / Shield Bash specialist. Instead of standing on the front lines, he charged all over the place. My poor Rogue had a had time getting into a stable flanking situation.

-Skeld

Sovereign Court

I always though that rogues were the beez knees. Untill I joined a group where everyone was a ?/rogue. 3rd lvl. We thought this would be a great group. Sneakin in, killin everything. No, not so much. The mobs just take turns one shotting us.

Dark Archive

IMO, the 'problem' with Rogues is that their role in a game isn't 100% compatible with battlefield-equality.

4E is, from the sounds of it, not going to have any room for namby-pamby's who aren't optimized for battlefield effectiveness, and so the traditional Rogue from fantasy, whether that be Bilbo the (fairly hapless) Burgler or the Grey Mouser or Shadospawn of Sanctuary or Conan the (sometimes Barbarian, usually Thief of other peoples stuff), isn't an archetype that really fits onto a game based around a battlemat and a combat encounter as the end-all-be-all of the D&D experience.


Okay. I am getting some perspective here.

Traps: Well, I can't fault anyone for not liking the trap mechanic. But I have never found traps fun in anyway. At best they were speed bumps, and at worst they were unsurmountable obstacles. But that was true for every edition, and for other games. (Palladium is the first to spring to mind. Don't like Rogues interaction with traps in 3.5? Try Palladium to change your perspective.)

hellacious huni, I don't like your fixes - but that stems from the fact that I don't feel Rogues are weaker. Your fixes would take them over the top for me. On top of that, even though I am not a stringent supporter of Wealth per Level, your Indiana Jones fix blows that right out of the water.
If they work for you, then that is what matters.

As for the 2 skill problems mentioned by Sebastian, I don't quite agree. If anything, I would say that favors the Rogue. The two skills needed to notice the Rogue are rarely class skills, and almost never at the same time. So that would make the "need" to max out two stealth skills kind of a false point. But skills seem to be a "hot topic" of fixes needed, so maybe I am just blind.

And they do have magic - sort of. Use Magic Device is a very useful skill. On the other hand, it goes back to skills being "bad."

Eh. I'll have to mull this over. But at first glance, I am seeing it as more of a perceived problem than a true problem.


Set wrote:

IMO, the 'problem' with Rogues is that their role in a game isn't 100% compatible with battlefield-equality.

4E is, from the sounds of it, not going to have any room for namby-pamby's who aren't optimized for battlefield effectiveness, and so the traditional Rogue from fantasy, whether that be Bilbo the (fairly hapless) Burgler or the Grey Mouser or Shadospawn of Sanctuary or Conan the (sometimes Barbarian, usually Thief of other peoples stuff), isn't an archetype that really fits onto a game based around a battlemat and a combat encounter as the end-all-be-all of the D&D experience.

I don't know, I never really thought of Rogues as "Bilbo" but more as "Lando or Han or Indiana." But that just might be my opinion, man.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Disenchanter wrote:


As for the 2 skill problems mentioned by Sebastian, I don't quite agree. If anything, I would say that favors the Rogue. The two skills needed to notice the Rogue are rarely class skills, and almost never at the same time. So that would make the "need" to max out wo stealth skills kind of a false point. But skills seem to be a "hot topic" of fixes needed, so maybe I am just blind.

The problem isn't so much the skill ranks, it's the sheer number of random rolls that get thrown in. This is my typical experience:

Rogue rolls, gets, say a 17 HS and a 28 MS.

An opponent with no ranks in Spot is going to pop that HS 15% of the time. An opponent with no ranks in Spot or Listen will make the check 5% of the time. So, if the rogue is trying to sneak up on a band of, say 10, goblins, out of 20 dice being rolled, there's a good chance of getting a few rolls above a 17 or a natural 20. Sure, there are all sorts of modifiers, including distance, but the natural 20s are still going to screw you.

Plus, it's just a pain in the ass to track the two variables. There isn't really a compelling argument that I can think of to not have a single Perception skill and a single Stealth skill. It provides some additional granularity, but at a very high cost.


Disenchanter wrote:


hellacious huni, I don't like your fixes - but that stems from the fact that I don't feel Rogues are weaker. Your fixes would take them over the top for me. On top of that, even though I am not a stringent supporter of Wealth per Level, your Indiana Jones fix blows that right out of the water.
If they work for you, then that is what matters.

I don't want you to get the impression that I give Rogue's every one of those "fixes," generall just one at a time.

In regards to the "Indiana Jones fix" it does mess with the Wealth level of a character - but that's the benefit of the variant class: a stretched wealth level. Green Ronin does the same thing with the Noble Class and I liked that idea. I of course, take away trap finding and some other stuff to balance it.


Sebastian wrote:
An opponent with no ranks in Spot is going to pop that HS 15% of the time. An opponent with no ranks in Spot or Listen will make the check 5% of the time. So, if the rogue is trying to sneak up on a band of, say 10, goblins, out of 20 dice being rolled, there's a good chance of getting a few rolls above a 17 or a natural 20. Sure, there are all sorts of modifiers, including distance, but the natural 20s are still going to screw you.

I thought the "natural 20 is automatic" rule doesn't apply to skill or ability checks.

Greg


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Heh. This thread reminds me of a problem we had with the Rogue class when 3rd edition first came out. I've gotten so used to 3rd edition rogues that I'd almost forgotten about this.

In our group, over that first few years, every person who wanted to play a rogue as their first 3rd edition PC wanted to max out their dexterity and be an archer. Sneak around in the shadows, act like a sniper, and avoid combat. At least one of these people had never played D&D before, so it wasn't just a holdover from prior editions.

Basically, I believe that the rogue sneak attack ability (i.e. the fact it requires flanking) forces rogues to be melee combatants, but many people who are interested in the sneaky/rogue archetype aren't wanting that. And there isn't really another good option for that sneaky, highly-skilled, ranged combatant - the Ranger is about the best you get, but the flavor text and skill options don't go in the right direction.

Sovereign Court

WelbyBumpus wrote:


Rogues are halfway between that: it is up to the rogue to set up the sneak attack situations (flat-footedness and flanking), but unless the DM is helping to use the ability (by, for example, not running an adventure called "Crypt of the Construct-Loving Ooze Lords"), a rogue will be shut out of his key class feature quite often.

"Crypt of the construct-Loving Ooze Lords" sounds like a fun adventure, and seeing as it's in a crypt I'm sure there's bound to be traps. Too bad the rogue isn't likely to be too much use in combat.

What I'd like to see is more options for the rogues sneak attack ability. I'm thinking of the options we see with the spell thief for example. Perhaps if the rogue finds himself in a flanking position he could convert his D6 sneak attack damage into bonuses for a trip attempt or into auto counter attack damage or something.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

GregH wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
An opponent with no ranks in Spot is going to pop that HS 15% of the time. An opponent with no ranks in Spot or Listen will make the check 5% of the time. So, if the rogue is trying to sneak up on a band of, say 10, goblins, out of 20 dice being rolled, there's a good chance of getting a few rolls above a 17 or a natural 20. Sure, there are all sorts of modifiers, including distance, but the natural 20s are still going to screw you.

I thought the "natural 20 is automatic" rule doesn't apply to skill or ability checks.

Greg

You're right. We play with the 20 = a 30 variant. Still, the randomness of the dice is a problem, particularly when the rogue cannot get results above a 20. In any event, the effectiveness of hiding is more a function of the number of opponents than it is on their skill at spotting someone.

The Exchange

Disenchanter wrote:

Okay. I am getting some perspective here.

Traps: Well, I can't fault anyone for not liking the trap mechanic. But I have never found traps fun in anyway. At best they were speed bumps, and at worst they were unsurmountable obstacles. But that was true for every edition, and for other games. (Palladium is the first to spring to mind. Don't like Rogues interaction with traps in 3.5? Try Palladium to change your perspective.)

hellacious huni, I don't like your fixes - but that stems from the fact that I don't feel Rogues are weaker. Your fixes would take them over the top for me. On top of that, even though I am not a stringent supporter of Wealth per Level, your Indiana Jones fix blows that right out of the water.
If they work for you, then that is what matters.

As for the 2 skill problems mentioned by Sebastian, I don't quite agree. If anything, I would say that favors the Rogue. The two skills needed to notice the Rogue are rarely class skills, and almost never at the same time. So that would make the "need" to max out two stealth skills kind of a false point. But skills seem to be a "hot topic" of fixes needed, so maybe I am just blind.

And they do have magic - sort of. Use Magic Device is a very useful skill. On the other hand, it goes back to skills being "bad."

Eh. I'll have to mull this over. But at first glance, I am seeing it as more of a perceived problem than a true problem.

Same here. Also when people mention the Spell Compendium, I immediately think of 2 different feats that allow Dex bonus to damage and Int bonus to damage, not to mention a wealth of prestige classes geared towards rogues, and Every feat in the splat books that basically neutralize every disability the Rogue gets.

You wanna sneak attack the undead? There is a prestige class or feat specially suited to you. Wanna Sneak attack Constructs? There is a way out there somewhere. Low AC? There are more options out there for increasing that than you can shake a stick at. I have a rogueish-type in my group (9th levelish) that is boasting a 29 AC. Highest in the group, better than the cleric in full plate. Low HP? There are healing items (Healing Belt at lower levels, wands higher up..UMD), the rogue usually has a great AC to avoid taking hits, feats like mobility make for a great way to get out of trouble, tumble to eliminate AoOs, and the Evasion stuff.
Drop a couple of fireballs, ice storms, etc on the party and see who is standing at the end. If the wizard had time to prep he could be there and may save some others, but without any foreknowledge or preparation? The Rogue is still standing, wondering how he is gonna get all your gear back to town to hock for a set of Gloves of Dexterity and Boots of Moving really far really fast....

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
An opponent with no ranks in Spot is going to pop that HS 15% of the time. An opponent with no ranks in Spot or Listen will make the check 5% of the time. So, if the rogue is trying to sneak up on a band of, say 10, goblins, out of 20 dice being rolled, there's a good chance of getting a few rolls above a 17 or a natural 20. Sure, there are all sorts of modifiers, including distance, but the natural 20s are still going to screw you.

Most of us, I suspect, roll just one dice for a group of monsters and one dice for each individual monster connected with the group.


hellacious huni wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
hellacious huni wrote:

Well, IMO, the problem with sneak attack, is if that's the best the rogue can bring to a party with a wizard or a fighter...the rogue's f*cked.

Wizards have contigencies. Lots and lots of contigencies. The Spell Compendium basically let's wizards say, "Hi, I'm a wizard, do you mind if I kill you?"

Are you assuming the rogue kills the Wizard in one sneak attack? While he's sleeping? I'm saying in any match up - not just toe to toe - the rogue can't stand up (even outside of combat due to the Wizard's, or frankly any character's, magical help). The rogue just doesn't have the same power level in or out of combat at high levels.

Personally, I don't want to feel inferior to all the other players when I'm level 20, I want to add something fun to the game, not just be the guy tagging along because, "Well, he's been with us this whole time anyway, might as well let him come along."

Your arguments are good, and would be more convincing if you'd change your profile.
HA AHA HAHA HA! You obviously have not felt the power of...THE BLUE GECKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, it isn't very convincing when your profile says 'thief' about 25 frickin' times.


Alright, Kobold, I'll change it just for you!!! You little stinkpot...


Sebastian wrote:
In any event, the effectiveness of hiding is more a function of the number of opponents than it is on their skill at spotting someone.

I agree with that, I was just a little confused by your example.

As it is, I assume all NPCs are "taking 10" unless they have a specific reason not to be. That makes life a little easier on me and the rogue in the party. (This goes for the PCs as well. If they don't say "I'm listening at the door" they are taking 10.)

Greg

The Exchange

GregH wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
In any event, the effectiveness of hiding is more a function of the number of opponents than it is on their skill at spotting someone.

I agree with that, I was just a little confused by your example.

As it is, I assume all NPCs are "taking 10" unless they have a specific reason not to be. That makes life a little easier on me and the rogue in the party. (This goes for the PCs as well. If they don't say "I'm listening at the door" they are taking 10.)

Greg

I play this way also. Works well all around.

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