The humble Rogue


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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Nobody wants a one-trick nuker/nova pony that limits the part to a mere 2-3 fights before their resources are drained.

So true... I used to know a guy back on the West Coast that had to rest after he had gone through ONE fight (i.e. Sudden Maximized 1/day feat was used; he rested! :P)

I also find that the barbarian's low AC also puts him in the nuker/nova pony section.

I love a properly tankified fighter with high AC (i.e. with shield). Sword and board is currently my favorite build, but I don't mind a two-handed weapon build either provided an Animated Shield can be obtained...


DM_Blake wrote:
Thurgon wrote:
One thing, right now what I am hearing is that the fighter's only job is damage, the rogue is needed to be skilled and do damage, so things like toughness will not be taken by the fighter, though I think most should take it because to me their job is more then doing damage it's also soaking it, and coving some skills for the group, usually climb, a single knowledge, and perception.

That is probably a faulty assumption.

Fighters' only job is not damage. He must also survive the battle. Further, it is in the party's best interest if the fighter survives the battle while taking a minimum amount of damage himself - this will conserve the party's healing resources. Without a doubt, any D&D party on the planet will prefer a fighter who dishes out 10% less damage if he only needs one or two healing spells after the fight, compared to a fighter who does that 10% more damage but needs a half dozen healing spells after each fight.

So when considering fighter feats, or rogue feats, both classes must also see to their own surviveability.

Nobody wants a one-trick nuker/nova pony that limits the part to a mere 2-3 fights before their resources are drained.

Agreed, the idea is interesting Thurgon though and I don't want to imply that it can't be done but there is a lot more to consider in "combat worthiness" than just damage.

To be comprehensive we should look at:

Combat versatility: How both characters fare in ranged combat, low AC opponents, High AC opponents, High Damage Opponents, Multiple Opponents, fighting with allies, fighting solo, and the usual combination of all of the above.

Survivability: What can they survive and how much of it? Fortitude saves come up regularly in combat as do Reflex saves. Will saves do to, and if it was my "build" I would probably have taken the wisdom up to 12~14 in range. That's my normal move though YMMV. These are in addition to ability to survive odd combat conditions (moving ground, hazardous battlefield, etc) and ability to withstand damage and avoid damage.


KaeYoss wrote:
Ah, I see, the argument has entered the final phase: namecalling.

What? where?

Shadow Lodge

Shifty wrote:

What I'm 'just not getting'is what you think all the extra skill points are bringing to the table for the Rogue?

Well, going from 3.5, Use Magic Device, Tumble, Bluff, Sense Motive, Listen/Spot/Search, and Intimidate are all fairly powerful combat skills. Depending on the game, they get all the skills for interactions, Diplomacy, Bluff, etc. . .

They also get nearly all the skills for interacting with or bypassing the environment, and most skills really don't depend on stats all that much, particularly after like 3rd level. Also, it is not true to say that they are all over the board. Most of the Rogues better skills are based on Dex, Cha, or Int, the three big Rogue stats. Finally, because they have such high ranked skills, and most other classes have to strugle so much with their skills, not a lot of other characters or NPC have any chance of countering what the Rogue can try to do, like Bluff in a completely rediculous circumstance, or tumble through an area that the Fighter specificly readied an action to try to stop, or whatever.


Beckett wrote:
not a lot of other characters or NPC have any chance of countering what the Rogue can try to do, like Bluff in a completely ridiculous circumstance, or tumble through an area that the Fighter specifically readied an action to try to stop, or whatever.

If the circumstance is 'ridiculous' then wouldn't you, as a GM, ensure the story unfolded accordingly? If the Fighter had anticipated the Rogue was going to try 'slip through' an area and specifically positioned himself to be able to counter the attempt - then surely the GM would make the Rogue take some rather hefty penalties on the check. Similarly if the Captain of the Guard has been briefed that the thieving scum 'will say anything to preserve his neck and nothing he says is to be believed' the hapless rogue might find that he similarly faces significant penalties - if allowed a roll at all.

Frankly I'd be pointing out to Mr Smoothtalk that the first thing the guards did was club him down, bind him, and GAG him :p

Listen/Spot/Search are also extremely important skills to a Rogue, and you will note they are WIS based - hence my comment earlier about needing Wis/Int/Dex/Cha... needing four high stats out of six means you need to start making compromises on your class, and really, given you need a good Dex stat you immediately start having fewer stat-buys to play with and hence will need some decent skill points to offset the Stat shortfall - which means you pump into Int to get them, thus having lesser Cha and Wis - thus necessitating MORE points... oh my doesn't it spiral!?

Also as a related aside, the various skills that affect roleplay situations will also be subject to some real variables that need to be considered. The local Lord might not deign to engage a common street Rogue, regardless of his diplomatic ways. Merchants who 'know his type' might simply refuse to cooperate 'with the likes of HIM' and so forth... simlarly, a Paladin with great Diplomacy skills might find he gets laughed at when trying to tap the local street urchins for information. Context... all about context...


Even if it is Ridiculous you let them try, and if they make the DC you let them have it. They've invested the points spent the action and done the deed, otherwise it would be like saying, "Well the wizard set a trap for you and he is so much smart than you it goes off and gets you because he shouldn't have wasted his time."

The DC might be higher than normal for the rogue's tumble check, but it is still just a tumble check that they rogue gets to try.

That's why the dice roll and modifiers are there, so when something is or isn't likely but still has a chance of going either way there is a "fair and unbiased" means of figuring out what happened between the two characters involved.

Shadow Lodge

Shifty, why do you even have skill checks than? If it is up to the DM. Why even have players?

The poihnt is, there are rules for all those things, and a Rogue can do many of them easily, without going into feat builds or anything. If they are becomming a better frontline fighter, they need to lose something, and skills are a very good suggestion.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Even if it is Ridiculous you let them try, and if they make the DC you let them have it....The DC might be higher than normal for the rogue's tumble check, but it is still just a tumble check that they rogue gets to try.

Sure, but that modifier is going to be SIGNIFICANT - and failure might also have a substantial horrible ramification that the player may need to consider - The Rogue lines up for a Tumble to slip the Shieldsman in the hallway and position for a flank attack, the GM makes a subtle "Sense Motive" check for the Rogue, which is successful - the GM tells the Rogue that he suspects the Shieldsman is actually surreptitiously getting ready for the Rogue to try that very stunt, and may well attempt to nail the Rogue to the adjacent wall with his shield so that his Swordsman partner can gut the pinned and helpless erstwhile acrobat...

Obviously the Rogue now has to consider that there is a good chance 'his game is up' and slipping the guy will be significantly difficult, and will have dire consequence for failure. On the other hand, the Rogue may have failed his 'Sense motive' and just walked into the biggest sucker punch of his now shortened career.

Back to the example - the Rogue who spotted the counterambush decides instead to spend his action feinting the Shieldsman and bluffing that he is taking the tumble - backing off at the last. Although he wont get to attack, he MIGHT be able to move that Shieldsman enough that the party fighters can put an easier hit on the distracted and dumbfounded foe who just chased a shadow.


Beckett wrote:

Shifty, why do you even have skill checks than? If it is up to the DM. Why even have players?

The poihnt is, there are rules for all those things, and a Rogue can do many of them easily, without going into feat builds or anything. If they are becomming a better frontline fighter, they need to lose something, and skills are a very good suggestion.

I'm not going to really bother to provide an answer to that first part, as it really stands on its own as 'fluff'.

Yes there are rules for all those things, and a Rogue can do a lot of them, but what you are trying to say is that stats can be used to bypass plot, storyline, and indeed SHEER LOGIC. To be dark about it, I don't care how good your reflex save and rope use skill is, when the trapdoor goes and your Rogue is on the gallows, the only thing he will be doing is the Hempen Jig.


Actually it's going to be a regular check with penalty for difficult terrain (in pathfinder the BAB has an effect too). It's already covered in the rules and doesn't need further expansion.

And the impossible happens every single day of the week in the real world, why not allow it in a fantasy game too?

If a character has significant investment in something it shouldn't be "hand waved" away by a DM just becuase it "affects his plot".

The player is supposed to affect the plot by definition of what a player does, otherwise go get a video game.

Also you have committed a fallacy by changing the situation we are talking about from a fighter blocking at a strategic place to a rogue up on block.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Actually it's going to be a regular check with penalty for difficult terrain (in pathfinder the BAB has an effect too). It's already covered in the rules and doesn't need further expansion.

And the impossible happens every single day of the week in the real world, why not allow it in a fantasy game too?

If a character has significant investment in something it shouldn't be "hand waved" away by a DM just becuase it "affects his plot".

The player is supposed to affect the plot by definition of what a player does, otherwise go get a video game.

The 'terrain' isn't being 'difficult' - the Rogue is being set up for a fall. There is a good chance he is tumbling himself into an active ambush and the person waiting nearby isn't some kind of passive 'difficult terrain', he is an active combatant.

The impossible happens every day, sure, but spread across billions of people, not the same character each gaming session.
If the character has 'significantly invested' into a specific skill then he will make the seemingly miraculous happen, despite all the handicaps - but that's going to be in one or two instances. The way you guys are portraying things is that 'any given Rogue' is doing this as a routine matter. Either its a significant spend of his point pool, or it isn't. If he spent significantly in Tumble (and thus didn't spot the Ambush due to low SM) he might still by the thinnest of margins pull off the miracle roll despite the epic odds... congrats. Otherwise he spread the points around, makes his SM, and realises "he just wouldnt be able to swing it' and plans an alternate method.

Your suggestion is that because a player buys a particular skill he can now 'Handwave' logic and reason by making a diceroll.

Players are there to take part in the adventure and contribute to the telling of a story, not to throw dice at it in the hope it goes away.

Shadow Lodge

I don't think you guys see what Im saying. Maybe I didn't explain it right. With tumble, what I was trying to show is that even if you go out of your way to anticipate it, there just isn't much they can do.

With bluff, and I am just guessing as I don't have the book, for a completely rediculous bluff, the target just gets a +10 to sense motive, but as they probably don't have much in sense motive, that doesn't actually help much.

They have (usually) superior mobility, close to the same damage output, and plenty of tricks. With the higher HP, they need to cut back on the skills. Almost every other class has a few skills they "need" to keep at max, and maybe 1 or 2 other skills. Rogues really need to fall back to that, having (probably) find and disarm traps, and open locks, than specialize it either tumble or bluff, or knowledge, or intimidate, or whatever.


Beckett wrote:
With bluff, and I am just guessing as I don't have the book, for a completely rediculous bluff, the target just gets a +10 to sense motive, but as they probably don't have much in sense motive, that doesn't actually help much.

no - the 'ridiculous bluff' is at -20 to the Rogues skill check. The roll is against 10+Wismod+BAB OR 10+Sense Motive (Effectively 10+Sense Skill+Wis Mod). Even against the most unaware pedestrian luddite, your gigantic fib is still going to have you chasing a roll of 30 on a d20. I really hope you put a LOT of points in Bluff and pumped CHA to the moon.


Beckett wrote:


They have (usually) superior mobility, close to the same damage output, and plenty of tricks.

I'm still not buying the "close to the same damage output". It's absolutely not what my experience has shown me, or what the numbers show me.

Iven if he gets to sneak with every attack (very optimistic assumption), The damage in case of a regular hit is not better than a fighters, and the fighter will hit a lot more often, and crits help a fighter a lot more than a rogue).

It wasn't really that much of a problem in 3.5, and in PF, the warriors got a lot more additional combat power than the rogues did.

Shadow Lodge

Ok, would you agree that they "can" have similar damage output?

Personally, I see that they tend to more often than not, or rather that the circumstances that allow them to are fairly easy to get consistantly. In my experience, Rogues tend to act first, and can easily utilize feints, flanking, or invisibilty (type things).

I think my problem with sneak attack is that there are very few things people can do, (besides specific class features or being a specific Monster Type) to defend against it.


Beckett wrote:

Ok, would you agree that they "can" have similar damage output?

Personally, I see that they tend to more often than not, or rather that the circumstances that allow them to are fairly easy to get consistantly. In my experience, Rogues tend to act first, and can easily utilize feints, flanking, or invisibilty (type things).

I'd agree that 'situationally' they "can" have a similar damage output, however it hinges on particular factors to make it happen. The Fighter simply does the damage irrespective of favourable circumstances. Feints, Flanking, and Invis are all issues that are able to be dealt with reasonably easily by the enemy. You have Invis, they have True Sight etc.

Parry,counter,parry,counter...

When it comes to Mr Fighter wailing on them, they fast realise they have no save vs cold hard steel.

Shadow Lodge

Shifty wrote:

You have Invis, they have True Sight etc.

Parry,counter,parry,counter...

When it comes to Mr Fighter wailing on them, they fast realise they have no save vs cold hard steel.

That is not really true, though.

It is a lot more likely that a target that the Fighter goes after will be buffed, or have some sort of protection already up. Magical Armor, Natural Armor, Haste, something. True Seeing is not likely to already be in place, unless for some reason they are expecting to use it specifically.
Not to mention that a fighter can't hit what they can't see. If they are hidden, no cold hard steel, and this is one of the easiest methods, (in the sense it doesn't take any magic or gear). Another easy one would be just to withdraw, robbing the Fighter of most of their possible damage, (only really good for short time or if there is something you are waiting for). No I understand that nearly everything has a counter. But that does not automatically mean they are equal.


By the same token it's likely the fighter will not be lacking means to counter their defenses either. He's too effective at dealing damage for him not to spend money on countering simple defenses, or for the party to let him go without a simple means of finding what they want him to swing at.

The rogue needs help. He can deal damage, but he needs something to allow it to happen, either a flanking partner, someone to hit him with improved invisibility, or to rely on only getting one hit a round, and he still has to deal with everything the fighter has to deal with with a lower BAB making it harder to hit, and has less overall damage amplifiers.


Beckett wrote:


It is a lot more likely that a target that the Fighter goes after will be buffed, or have some sort of protection already up. Magical Armor, Natural Armor, Haste, something. True Seeing is not likely to already be in place, unless for some reason they are expecting to use it specifically.

A lot of critters, especially at higher levels, have constant true seeing as an ability. Or at least blindsight, darkvision....

Beckett wrote:


Not to mention that a fighter can't hit what they can't see.

Same is true for a rogue. Only, It's worse for rogues: They can't sneak attack what they cannot see right.

A fighter has the same to-hit issues with concealment than a rogue, but his damage won't drop from hero to zero if he does hit.

Beckett wrote:


Another easy one would be just to withdraw, robbing the Fighter of most of their possible damage,

Helps against rogues, too.

What's good against fighters is also against rogues. Better even, at times.

Beckett wrote:
Ok, would you agree that they "can" have similar damage output?

Can, of course. But can is not always enough. It's all about reliability. What use is an attack that does 1000 points of damage if it only works if the stars are exactly right?

Beckett wrote:


Personally, I see that they tend to more often than not, or rather that the circumstances that allow them to are fairly easy to get consistantly.

I've seen sneak attack denied often enough.

And that's only part of the story. The rest is the simple fact that the fighter will hit a lot more often than the rogue. 10 points of damage on a hit isn't the same as 10 points of damage on a hit, if one hits 20% of the time and the other one 60% of the time.

Beckett wrote:


In my experience, Rogues tend to act first, and can easily utilize feints, flanking, or invisibilty (type things).

In my experience, especially with PF fighters (who will probably look more after their dex than before), the difference between initiative bonuses isn't that great, and it often comes down to chance.

Feints mean you can only attack once in that round (unless the guy moves away, then it becomes once per two rounds really). The fighter can use full attacks at the same time, as his damage is a sure thing.

Flanking can work, sure, but I often had situations where combatant had to decide between flanking or full attacks. A fighter can just go and do without the +2...
Invisibility works for one attack, and improved invisibility isn't that easy to come by (you need someone to set you up, or buy expensive items). And there's stuff like invisibility purge, see invisible, blind fight.....

I'm not saying that rogues can't get in their sneak attacks at all, but it's far from being a sure thing.

Shadow Lodge

For initiative, I was referring to against monsters and enemies.


Beckett wrote:
For initiative, I was referring to against monsters and enemies.

Enemies are always first. Unless it doesn't matter.

Or maybe that's just me.

I remember the dwarven cleric I played. Might as well have introduced a rule "take 4) on init.

And I once played a drow swordsage. Swordsage get init bonuses from 10 different sources or so, and we played up to level 20 or so. At the end, his init bonus was +19 or something like that.

And 25 was usually the best init I had in any given session.


Abraham spalding wrote:


To be comprehensive we should look at:

Combat versatility: How both characters fare in ranged combat, low AC opponents, High AC opponents, High Damage Opponents, Multiple Opponents, fighting with allies, fighting solo, and the usual combination of all of the above.

Survivability: What can they survive and how much of it?

Ok so we need to start with a level 5 fighter vs a level 5 rogue then, and work out their survivability and combat skills against various setups.

Let's talk feats for our level 5s.

Fighter, and I am thinking of using half-elf because all other races seem to lend an advantage toward one class of another.

So half elf, +2 str for our fighter, skill focus perception.

Stats

str 17
dex 14
con 14
int 8
wis 12
cha 8

(Yes this guy is built for combat and little else.)

Level 1 feat.

Weapon Focus Great Sword: love getting any edge to hit early.
Power Attack: Need it more for cleave at this level but long term I think it's a nearly needed one for a great weapon fighter.

level 2 fighter feat

Cleave: I just like it.

Level 3 general feat

Iron Will: The fighter will be dogged by this save might as well help it now.

Level 4 fighter feat

Weapon specialization great sword: 'nuff said

Level 4 stat gain

+1 str moving str to an 18.

Level 5 general feat

Toughness: helps add to his survival

How is that so far on the fighter?


I agree with the cleave it is useful in pathfinder (the second fastest way to get an extra attack at low levels), however I would suggest overhead chop.

So the fighter will have seven feats total at fifth level and how are we doing HP? It matters to an extent on how survivable the classes are.

Equipment too... but not a bad start the stats make sense, and while he's not too smart or nice he's got enough of a head on his shoulders to not be guaranteed to fall over on the first hold monster spell he faces.

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