New to PF and Rogues


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I haven't played in many years and a friend of mine talked me into playing PF. I am playing a rogue and have been told more than once that I need to 'step up more'. I did't get much of a response back when I asked what that meant. I have by far the best perception in the party, stealth, and the usual thiefly abilities but I am no mondo melee creature.

We recently hit level 2 and I switched over to Ranger for a level . . .taking human as a favored enemy is too rich, considering the NPCs we interact with. I justified the switch as saying, I've been closely watching the ranger in party.

So my question is, how does a rogue step up more? Is there a typical combat sequence that I am missing? Am I supposed to be the Grey Mouser by any other name?


NeonParrot wrote:

I haven't played in many years and a friend of mine talked me into playing PF. I am playing a rogue and have been told more than once that I need to 'step up more'. I did't get much of a response back when I asked what that meant. I have by far the best perception in the party, stealth, and the usual thiefly abilities but I am no mondo melee creature.

We recently hit level 2 and I switched over to Ranger for a level . . .taking human as a favored enemy is too rich, considering the NPCs we interact with. I justified the switch as saying, I've been closely watching the ranger in party.

So my question is, how does a rogue step up more? Is there a typical combat sequence that I am missing? Am I supposed to be the Grey Mouser by any other name?

your friend must have the closed minded idea that every rogue must be a flanking, dual shortsword wielding, tumbling whirlwind. which just relies too much on exploiting sneak attack damage. and can easily be shut down by a mere 2nd level spell.

i beleive that blur and it's sister spell displacement, are grossly overpowered.


NeonParrot wrote:
So my question is, how does a rogue step up more? Is there a typical combat sequence that I am missing? Am I supposed to be the Grey Mouser by any other name?

I think he means 'do more damage', but it's hard to tell. Without going into great lengths (found in other threads), rogues do damage by Sneak Attacking, and this is achieved either through flanking or flat-footing. Flanking is fairly simple, though you tend to need Acrobatics to avoid attacks of opportunity while moving around to flank (you need an ally too). Flat-footing is achieved by being invisible or feinting in combat, causing someone to lose their Dex bonus so you can Sneak Attack.

HOWEVER, at the very first few levels it's hard for you to do any or all of these things - you don't have lots of skill ranks (in any one skill) or lots of feats to throw around. So it's not really fair of him to say you should be 'stepping up'.

There's two main melee builds for rogues. The first and most popular revolves around Two Weapon Fighting - more attacks = more sneak attacks. This build relies on flanking and hoping your enemy stands still so you can get the full attack. Weapon Finesse is a popular choice thanks to high Dex, which helps to compensate for the penalties of TWF. A two level dip into Ranger will get you Two Weapon Fighting as your Combat Style, and the extra BaB and hit points help lots too.

The second build relies on a two-handed weapon, high Strength, and Power Attack. It's more about hitting reliably with one big hit augmented by Sneak Attack damage. Getting full attacks with Sneak Attack damage is hard (read: unreliable), so getting the most out of one hit is what this build tries to do. If you can't sneak attack, you can still hit for decent damage. Of course you need a martial weapon proficiency to pull this off, so ducking into Ranger for one level suits you well in that regard. Any more is probably wasted, as you want to stay in Rogue for skill points, talents and Sneak Attack dice. If you have 14+ STR, look into it (at 14 STR, you do +3 damage with a two handed weapon, and qualify for Power Attack for another +3 with a two handed weapon at only -1 to hit), as you could do 3D6+6 damage on a sneak attack at 2nd level (greatsword, power attack, sneak attack).

One thing I've tried to do with my cohort (A rogue/fighter) is try to exploit opportunities to Sneak Attack early in the fight. Combine Quick Draw and Improved Initiative. In the surprise round if you win initiative, you can draw and sneak attack. Then, in the first normal round, you can often sneak attack again - sometimes with a full attack. Being fast pays off for the rogue in this regard. Quick Draw and a brace of daggers (for throwing) exploits the sneak attack potential of this idea best, as you can pull this off within 30ft (you don't have to melee them).


Firstly, i'd ask what your stats are? Secondly, what books are available to you? If you have high Int, you could take 3 lvls of Swashbuckler (int to damage) and the Daring Outlaw feat. combine that with 5 lvls of invisible blade (int to AC). You can do this without sacrificing your main means of dealing damage (sneak attack).

If you've got a decent Wis, then 2 lvls of Swordsage will give you some wicked maneouvres as well as +2d6 SA; and Wis bns to AC.

There are more ideas i could give you to 'step it up', but i need to know a bit more about your character.

Although i would strongly recommend avoiding Ranger, unless you really want to for character development and such. To get any real benefit, you need two lvls minimum, for what? Two Weapon Fighting? One feat. sounds bad to me.

The Exchange

Carry around things like Tanglefoot Bags, Caltrops, Thunderstones, and other such things to debilitate foes during combat. If you can't deal a lot of damage but your fighter friend can, move to flank and use the "Aid Another" action for a net +4 to hit next attack. Do something to make yourself a target (really depends on the situation) and then fight defensively or take a Full Defense action to give the damage dealers the time they need to... well, deal their damage. Two-Weapon Defense actually helps a lot with this tactic, which you can get if you take another level of ranger (2nd level ranger feat = two-weapon fighting, character level 3rd feat = two-weapon defense).

There were these things called Eggshell Grenades from the 3.0 Oriental Adventures book, two of which I especially liked- the Dust ones and the Pepper ones. Dust would blind for 1d4 rounds on a direct hit (splash 5ft, fort DC 10 or blinded for 1 round), and the Pepper would incapacitate (read: stun) the target for 1 round on a direct hit (fortitude save DC 10). The dust grenades allowed no save for the person that was hit directly, and they required a ranged touch attack (5ft range increment). Blinded people lose their Dex, btw, which allows you to sneak attack without a flanking partner. They were only 10gp each, and were a DC 20 Craft (Alchemy) check if you have to make them yourself.

The Exchange

NeonParrot wrote:


So my question is, how does a rogue step up more?

He laughs really hard when party members get hit. And when they die? Forget about it.


Honestly the ways that rogues can quickly step up the combat: Rogue talents gained at every even level, laying traps for enemies when you see them coming (Traps that you can arm, disarm, then arm again are amazing for this), Improved Initiative as a feat, Making sure your battle tactics are good as far as flanking and the like, use magic device as a skill provides a #$%^-ton of options especially with scrolls (they are really cheap), etc., etc. Let me know how that sits, and try sticking with a pure rogue, it's worth it in PF.

Grand Lodge

NeonParrot wrote:

I haven't played in many years and a friend of mine talked me into playing PF. I am playing a rogue and have been told more than once that I need to 'step up more'. I did't get much of a response back when I asked what that meant. I have by far the best perception in the party, stealth, and the usual thiefly abilities but I am no mondo melee creature.

We recently hit level 2 and I switched over to Ranger for a level . . .taking human as a favored enemy is too rich, considering the NPCs we interact with. I justified the switch as saying, I've been closely watching the ranger in party.

So my question is, how does a rogue step up more? Is there a typical combat sequence that I am missing? Am I supposed to be the Grey Mouser by any other name?

Rogue/Ranger is simply explained as being kind of a Bounty Hunter type. Build your Ranger as an Urban type and it works conceptually.

As for your other issue. All of the other posts work very well (TWF and whatnot) and there is also sniping, attacking from a hidden spot with a ranged weapon will keep you from becoming a target.

Other than that, you are not meant to be the combat monster, unless you WANT to be. If they are complaining about you not pulling your weight in combat, then complain to them about them pulling their weight in springing traps! ^_^

The Exchange

Aeshuura wrote:
Other than that, you are not meant to be the combat monster, unless you WANT to be. If they are complaining about you not pulling your weight in combat, then complain to them about them pulling their weight in springing traps! ^_^

I completely disagree. When this game boils down (no matter how the DM runes it) it's all about combat. If your character doesn't provide a solid combat benefit then it's useless.

It doesn't matter how many ambushes you spot, how many traps you disable, or how many diplomacy checks you make. If you aren't effective in combat, you aren't an effective member of the team.

Sovereign Court

Demoyn wrote:
Aeshuura wrote:
Other than that, you are not meant to be the combat monster, unless you WANT to be. If they are complaining about you not pulling your weight in combat, then complain to them about them pulling their weight in springing traps! ^_^

I completely disagree. When this game boils down (no matter how the DM runes it) it's all about combat. If your character doesn't provide a solid combat benefit then it's useless.

It doesn't matter how many ambushes you spot, how many traps you disable, or how many diplomacy checks you make. If you aren't effective in combat, you aren't an effective member of the team.

I hope you just FORGOT to switch to sarcasm font for that last message.


Nebelwerfer41 wrote:
Demoyn wrote:
Aeshuura wrote:
Other than that, you are not meant to be the combat monster, unless you WANT to be. If they are complaining about you not pulling your weight in combat, then complain to them about them pulling their weight in springing traps! ^_^

I completely disagree. When this game boils down (no matter how the DM runes it) it's all about combat. If your character doesn't provide a solid combat benefit then it's useless.

It doesn't matter how many ambushes you spot, how many traps you disable, or how many diplomacy checks you make. If you aren't effective in combat, you aren't an effective member of the team.

I hope you just FORGOT to switch to sarcasm font for that last message.

Unfortunately, I think he is serious....

I have to respond that I have seen effective members of the team who didn't make an attack roll or cast a spell for 10+ levels. 1 in particular would sit down and share some pot with the mage's familiar whenever combat broke out, and we rarely wanted to be in a dungeon without her.


Aeshuura wrote:


As for your other issue. All of the other posts work very well (TWF and whatnot) and there is also sniping, attacking from a hidden spot with a ranged weapon will keep you from becoming a target.

Word of warning; this is hard to pull off, especially in the early levels when you don't have access to invisibility. Very situational - you need available cover, have to be able to get to it, and often are firing into melee (so you'll need Precise Shot). And sneak attacks have a maximum range of 30ft.

It _does_ keep you out of melee, but this sort of thing really depends on party size and composition. If you have lots of melee fighters, great. If you don't, stay on the front lines so your wizard isn't sucking up sword swings.


Demoyn wrote:

I completely disagree. When this game boils down (no matter how the DM runes it) it's all about combat. If your character doesn't provide a solid combat benefit then it's useless.

It doesn't matter how many ambushes you spot, how many traps you disable, or how many diplomacy checks you make. If you aren't effective in combat, you aren't an effective member of the team.

Rubbish. Spotting an ambush turns the ambush around - you've turned sure death into victory. Spotting traps saves lives, and there's all sorts of things Diplomacy can do for you.

Of course, being able to do all that _and_ contribute well to combat is a great thing.

The Exchange

Caineach wrote:
I have to respond that I have seen effective members of the team who didn't make an attack roll or cast a spell for 10+ levels.

No you haven't. You may very well have seen group members that provided SOME benefit, but you haven't seen an effective group member that didn't participate in combat. Even when a wizard runs out of spells he should still be providing flanks and/or aid another actions (depending on how he's built).

Actions in combat are the most valuable resources in D&D. Never let one go to waste.

The Exchange

Helic wrote:


Of course, being able to do all that _and_ contribute well to combat is a great thing.

If you replace the word "great" with the word "required" then you'll have summed up my entire point in one sentence.

The Exchange

Actually, I have seen people that can be an effective member of the team but still be worthless in battle. Of course, we had a party of 9+, so not everyone was required in combat. Some people were there strictly for the out-of-combat situations, and that was fine because we had so many players.

However, I do agree with Demoyn, regardless of how blunt and to the point he is. Unless you have so many people that you can afford to sit back and watch, you need to contribute in battle in some fashion or other. Even if it's just to provide flanking and tossing things like tanglefoot bags around, just don't pull out the popcorn as soon as the party gets attacked.


Sure is a lot of "my way to play is the only way, everyone else is doing it wrong" in here.

Half of these arguments are worthless because the crux of the argument, aka "effective in combat" is undefined. What is "effective"? What is "combat"? If your definition of "effective" is dealing damage, then obviously you don't care for battlefield control or save or suck spells. If its "neutralizing enemies as quickly as possible" then you must be of the mind that everyone should have save or die capability. And if a combat is just when initiative is rolled, obviously then the PC who diplomacies potential hostiles into allies is just wasting everyone's time.

To the OP. If anyone at my table told me I needed to do anything, I'd tell him right back he "needed to find a group that tolerates know-it-alls". Part of the fun of D&D is making four or more distinct and different characters mesh together and acheive goals they wouldn't have been able to on their own. (Sort of like real life, OMG!) Everyone should contribute, yes. Anyone who basically goes AFK in combat is defnitely not pulling their own weight. But if the fighter isn't hurt, its equally foolish to expect the healer to heal him. The healer might try throwing a tanglefoot bag, moving to an open door to check if any reinforcements are coming, or otherwise do something that could contribute to party success, but he doesn't need to be a damage dealing monstrosity when he's not healing.

Recent Savage Tide session showed this much. Waves of ravenous zombies slowly backed the party into a large room, with several doors, all of which were swollen shut with moisture. The party bottlenecked the hallway as best they could, until the zombie's leader, a hecuva, arrived. After two rounds of successful attacks failing to harm it (DR 10/silver), tactics shifted. The fighter types grappled it, the rogues began pouring alchemist fire on it, and the archery ranger began kicking open doors in hopes of finding an escape if that didn't work.

Sorry for the snark and the vitrol, but I have no tolerance for implications that there is only one way to play D&D.

The Exchange

The Black Bard wrote:

Sorry for the snark and the vitrol, but I have no tolerance for implications that there is only one way to play D&D, especially when tied to the ridiculous idea that pure damage is the most effective use of an action in D&D, 3.5 or PF.

Who said anything about pure damage? Those that mentioned damage at all only mentioned how a rogue could effectively deal damage.

The rest of us said things like, "solid combat benefit", "effective in combat", "participate in combat", and I specifically mentioned "actions in combat are valuable" (not "damage in combat is valuable"). Never did I (or anyone that agreed with me) say anything about combat damage. There are many ways to be effective in combat.


Demoyn wrote:
Helic wrote:


Of course, being able to do all that _and_ contribute well to combat is a great thing.
If you replace the word "great" with the word "required" then you'll have summed up my entire point in one sentence.

There's a long road between being ineffective and being 100% combat death-dealing optimized, however. For a rogue, if you're getting in your Sneak Attacks more often than not, you're being effective.

Just an added point; flanking is the the easiest way for rogues to get in that sneak attack damage. They are NOT the only ones who can create flanking opportunities, however. If a rogue isn't getting enough flanking, it's not 'just his fault'. Sometimes the group has to help each class get the best of its abilities - like not charging into a group of monsters the wizard was about to fireball. A rogue getting a full attack with sneak attack pretty much requires the other PCs to help set it up.

Regardless, I still think the OP is being unfairly bashed by his buddies. At 1st level, you don't have the feats, BaB or other resources to be a quisinart death machine, and even TWF is iffy at such a low level.


I realize that, and have since edited my post. I got so caught up in my early morning, pre-caffiene frenzy that I thought I saw implications that weren't actually there.

Again, I apologize. Early morning posting (rather, early morning relative to being kept up all night by a colicy baby), while it works in my schedule, seems to fail in practice for my standards of communication, ettiquite, and accountability.

Grand Lodge

The Black Bard wrote:

Sure is a lot of "my way to play is the only way, everyone else is doing it wrong" in here.

Half of these arguments are worthless because the crux of the argument, aka "effective in combat" is undefined. What is "effective"? What is "combat"? If your definition of "effective" is dealing damage, then obviously you don't care for battlefield control or save or suck spells. If its "neutralizing enemies as quickly as possible" then you must be of the mind that everyone should have save or die capability. And if a combat is just when initiative is rolled, obviously then the PC who diplomacies potential hostiles into allies is just wasting everyone's time.

Sorry, I didn't mean to start a war of words here. I understand that there are many styles of playing, and I am not saying that MY way is the right way. I merely find that the most fun that I have is not in combat. I do enjoy being effective in combat, but that is mostly due to my interest in combat styles. I enjoy interacting, and solving problems... combat does not need to enter the equation at all for me to be happy. Just saying that some of us exist.

You right! Everyone has their own place. It doesn't NEED to be dealing damage. But it also depends on your DM's style.

Hellic wrote:
Regardless, I still think the OP is being unfairly bashed by his buddies. At 1st level, you don't have the feats, BaB or other resources to be a quisinart death machine, and even TWF is iffy at such a low level.

Absolutely! Though he didn't really say that he had to be more effective in combat, though it seems a fairly safe assumption, but rather that he had to "step up" and never really got an explanation on the matter. I just agree with you that the other Player(s) commenting on the OP's character either have to man up and explain what they mean or they have no reason to complain.


a party doesn't have to be completely built around combat, some less combative characters are nice to have too. i do just fine being the human enclyclopedia, i do little more than cast haste and make knowledge checks, the rare evocation here or there, which has been becoming more common. the monk doesn't like me catching him in the blast, even though he has a godlike reflex save and evasion. and always makes it. my character is ill suited to combat, rather than being a complete noncombatant, she does gather lots of information that helps out the party. through being the only pc who can read thassilonian writing and through use of minor divination spells.

Grand Lodge

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"Stepping up" is pretty vague; it could refer simply to your character's participation in combat, or your overall participation as a player in the game.

It can sound mean-spirited, but I've seen and run groups as a DM where one or more players invested far less attention and effort into the game than others, resulting in frustration on everyone's part. For example, in one campaign, whenever there was significant roleplay or negotiation, I had a player who not only not contribute, but would start doing other things--even heading off and taking a nap "until combat begins." In such cases, it's better to talk things out as a group, and it could be that your other players/DM are afraid to approach you for fear of offending you or pissing you off or something. Hard to say, not knowing more about the situation.

Plenty of good advice given above. Here's my contribution to how one might be more effective as a character in a game and a player at the table.

1. You don't have to be optimized up the wazoo, but your character should be at least competent at what he does regularly. For example, if you spend a lot of time shooting a bow in battle, you should probably have some archery-related feats. If you have a Dexterity of 18 and a Strength of 10, and like to get into melee, you should probably take Weapon Finesse.

2. Give your character options in and out of battle. The more things you are at least decent at, the better you will be at making a useful contribution. For example, say you build a character who's great at flanking, sneak attacking with two weapons, etc. What if you run into monsters which are immune to sneak attack? Or ones that have DR that you can barely penetrate? Or ones that you cannot reach because they fly or are otherwise unreachable? By planning for various contingencies in advance, you have a better chance of being useful in a variety of combat situations.

2a. As a corollary, also consider things you might be doing outside of combat. Rogues usually excel at this sort of thing, being skill-based characters. Obvious activities include diplomacy and roleplay, searching for traps, loot, and secret things, keeping an eye out for trouble, and scouting.

3. If you don't already, develop a firm grasp of combat rules and maneuvers. Rogue types especially benefit from fighting smarter, not harder. Understanding tactical movement, difficult terrain, flanking, delaying, readying, and doing combat maneuvers like grappling and tripping opens up more possibilities for what you can do in battle, and also perhaps what you should steer clear of doing.

4. Know what your fellow players' characters are capable of, and try to plot tactics and maneuvers that work well with theirs. If the party has an archer, for example, then try to keep his line of sight clear for his shots. If the party arcanist likes blasting enemies with fireballs, then consider delaying until he gets a blast off before rushing in to do battle. This works both ways; spellcasters in particular have many spells that can be of immense benefit to a rogue, like greater invisibility or longstrider; if you go to them and request these spells, then you show you are participating more in your group's overall tactics, while at the same time running a more effective character.

5. Tied to 2a. above, if you haven't done so, try to invest an interest in the game outside of combat. It can be frustrating for DMs and fellow players if your character sits around and does nothing, especially in roleplaying situations. The best way to be more proactive here is to develop an interest in your character. What's his backstory? What are his interests? What are his goals? If you were in a particular character's situation, what would you be doing? It's impossible to cover the breadth of options available when it comes to character design and interaction. One good rule of thumb though: be wary of building characters who by their nature are isolative and shun social interaction. Sure, your druid raised in the deep woods may have a distrust of communities and prefer to spend her time in the park while everyone else is at the inn carousing, but what fun is that from a roleplaying perspective?

6. Another thing that might help: if you are not doing so already, consider taking on one of the mundane out-of-game tasks, like mapping, tracking loot, etc. You could also be of assistance to the DM, such as by keeping track of initiative, what spells and effects are active and when they wear off, etc.

The Exchange

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
a party doesn't have to be completely built around combat, some less combative characters are nice to have too.

Not really. While you don't have to be completely built for combat, you DO have to at least provide solid assistance during combat. Otherwise you're just increasing the risk or a party wipe because your DM has to account for you in the games he/she builds.

This isn't quite as big of a deal in home campaigns because the DMs can fudge dice rolls and lower the challenge ad-hoc. If I'm at a PFS table with a character that doesn't pull their weight, though, one of us will probably end up walking away from the table.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
i do just fine being the human enclyclopedia, i do little more than cast haste and make knowledge checks, the rare evocation here or there, which has been becoming more common.

I'm sure you believe that, but do your party members feel the same way? Just the fact that you're a wizard alone means that you COULD be very effective in combat. This doesn't just mean casting fireballs, mind you. Haste is one of the most effective things you can do to a party. Of course, if that's all you do (like you claim), then I'd rather just buy potions.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
the monk doesn't like me catching him in the blast, even though he has a godlike reflex save and evasion. and always makes it.

Why are you throwing fireballs around the monk anyway? You should generally be beating the monk on initiative, since your control and area of effect spells need to be cast early in the combat. This can be accomplished either by you having a well built character (improved initiative and a good dexterity score) or by your party members delaying until after your initiative.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
my character is ill suited to combat, rather than being a complete noncombatant, she does gather lots of information that helps out the party. through being the only pc who can read thassilonian writing and through use of minor divination spells.

Number one, ANY character can put a point into speaking languages and information skills. Even the fighter COULD be just as good at it as you are.

Number two, you're a wizard. If you're ill-suited to combat then you it took a lot of work to get that way.


Deymon,

Most campaigns I have ever played in can be run a man short with little problem. Those that couldn't needed fully optimized characters using sound tactics to survive, and even then risked TPK. If someone builds their character for out of combat and then provides nothing in combat, I wouldn't miss them in most games. I would gladly trade a DPS whore for someone who can build me a zombie thresher with AC in the desert, but then wont do anything once combat starts. Or who doesn't mind disabling a trap while kobolds swarm arround everyone. Or someone who can convince the BBEG that they want to willingly leave their home and vacate their territory rather than face you in combat, even though they outnumber you 3-1. If you provide no meaningful combat addition, but enhance the out of combat experience of the game, I would much prefer you over someone who is better at combat but not as good elsewhere. You can have campaigns that don't see combat for levels, if you want to play the game that way. To say that you must be good at combat to be an effective member of the party is false. It depends entirely on the group you are playing with and how they run the game.

The Exchange

Caineach wrote:
To say that you must be good at combat to be an effective member of the party is false. It depends entirely on the group you are playing with and how they run the game.

It's beyond me to tell you that you HAVE to play your character one way or another. I'm not in your campaign, so, frankly, I don't care if you're combat effective or not. And yes, a lot depends on the DM and how they run a campaign.

That said, why on earth would you sell yourself short? Not ONE PERSON in this thread has said anything that can't be accomplished by a character that also provides in-combat party benefit. In fact, in almost all instances you have to specifically try to suck in combat in order to accomplish that.

If that's the type of character you want to play then great. I will say this, though: if you bring that type of character into a game I'm playing we're going to discuss you not "stepping up". In case you weren't paying attention, that's exactly what this thread is about.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

your friend must have the closed minded idea that every rogue must be a flanking, dual shortsword wielding, tumbling whirlwind. which just relies too much on exploiting sneak attack damage. and can easily be shut down by a mere 2nd level spell.

i beleive that blur and it's sister spell displacement, are grossly overpowered.

This is why you have your Rogue find a nice spellcaster friend to craft some Goggles of True Seeing as soon as you can afford it, not in the CRB, but a pretty straightforward item that most GM's should allow.


she is an out of combat utility wizard. she gathers information through magical means. she also does all the teleporting of the party, some buffing of the 4 melee monsters, saves the divine casters (2 of the 4 melee monsters) some out of combat time through UMD. she became this way when every creature suddenly became immune to her save or dies. even with a 26 int.


Caineach wrote:

Deymon,

Most campaigns I have ever played in can be run a man short with little problem. Those that couldn't needed fully optimized characters using sound tactics to survive, and even then risked TPK. If someone builds their character for out of combat and then provides nothing in combat, I wouldn't miss them in most games. I would gladly trade a DPS whore for someone who can build me a zombie thresher with AC in the desert, but then wont do anything once combat starts. Or who doesn't mind disabling a trap while kobolds swarm arround everyone. Or someone who can convince the BBEG that they want to willingly leave their home and vacate their territory rather than face you in combat, even though they outnumber you 3-1. If you provide no meaningful combat addition, but enhance the out of combat experience of the game, I would much prefer you over someone who is better at combat but not as good elsewhere. You can have campaigns that don't see combat for levels, if you want to play the game that way. To say that you must be good at combat to be an effective member of the party is false. It depends entirely on the group you are playing with and how they run the game.

i can agree with that. but most of my group is hack and slash. i am a little less so.

Grand Lodge

Gambit wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

your friend must have the closed minded idea that every rogue must be a flanking, dual shortsword wielding, tumbling whirlwind. which just relies too much on exploiting sneak attack damage. and can easily be shut down by a mere 2nd level spell.

i beleive that blur and it's sister spell displacement, are grossly overpowered.

This is why you have your Rogue find a nice spellcaster friend to craft some Goggles of True Seeing as soon as you can afford it, not in the CRB, but a pretty straightforward item that most GM's should allow.

All of a sudden I saw a Riddick looking character with the funky goggles! Hah!


Damien_DM wrote:

"Stepping up" is pretty vague; it could refer simply to your character's participation in combat, or your overall participation as a player in the game.

It can sound mean-spirited, but I've seen and run groups as a DM where one or more players invested far less attention and effort into the game than others, resulting in frustration on everyone's part. For example, in one campaign, whenever there was significant roleplay or negotiation, I had a player who not only not contribute, but would start doing other things--even heading off and taking a nap "until combat begins." In such cases, it's better to talk things out as a group, and it could be that your other players/DM are afraid to approach you for fear of offending you or pissing you off or something. Hard to say, not knowing more about the situation.

Plenty of good advice given above. Here's my contribution to how one might be more effective as a character in a game and a player at the table.

1. You don't have to be optimized up the wazoo, but your character should be at least competent at what he does regularly.

2. Give your character options in and out of battle. What if you run into monsters which are immune to sneak attack? Or ones that have DR that you can barely penetrate? Or ones that you cannot reach because they fly or are otherwise unreachable? By planning for various contingencies in advance, you have a better chance of being useful in a variety of combat situations.

2a. As a corollary, also consider things you might be doing outside of combat. Rogues usually excel at this sort of thing, being...

Bear in mind this is my first character in PF and was designed as a investigator, a barrister with a penchant for antiquities. Actually, another player wrote the Background when she she read the the Character Sketch and A Study in Scarlet.

I am thinking about a Duelist when I collect the requisite feats around level 8 rogue, where I can use my Dex and not my Wimplord Strength.

I have Alchemy but we have been roaming around in the wilderness and I've been away from my city flat.

Background
Of unknown age and origin even to him, Malcolm Vancouver is not taken seriously by those who do not know him or his reputation. With the face of a callow youth and a tall and slender build, his jaded view of civilization and justice, impatience with slow wits, and lack of insight of those around him does not help. There is something about Malcolm that makes you want to have one up on him. However, this desire often ends unfulfilled.

Don’t let appearances fool you. For Malcolm, investigating a case is a challenge, a match of wits. His keen in-sight, seemingly brilliant (or seemingly damn lucky) hunches, and his knowledge of law and the arcane make him a formidable ally when there’s a mystery to be solved. Although a barrister, do not force him to argue a case for you, as he dislikes practicing law, and does not have the requisite respect for authority. Have him advise your lawyer and suddenly the opposition will wonder what planet fell to earth and crushed them. When case mysteries pale and “human” foolishness gets to his goat, Malcolm delves in archeology and the discovery of ancient ruins, runes, languages, and magic. What better mystery than vanished civilizations and the folly that lead to their de-mise?

Malcolm enjoys fishing in all its forms. He normally packs an appropriate fly rod and selection of lures made from hair, hackle, and fur for his inland adventures. [I just had to include something to get him out of his flat, homage to Isaak Walton.]

Character Sketch

fiction
"So, what has Old Codpiece [=Codwin I] been up to?" The eternal dance of power and politics flows up and down the steps of the Executive Mansion. Oh, so Andoran, so misty eyed . . . .I mean, really, who is to believe this drivel about freeing the slaves and spreading democracy? It's all a ploy to pry erstwhile colonies from the Auld Countries. Tense borders make for border intrigue and that makes both opportunity and trouble in one package.

That is how I met Mortimer. One of the dilletentes who regularly sought -- and was regularly denied -- access to the EM. Mortimer sought to engraciate himself to . . .well I should not say, he being him and Mortimer being Mortimer. Mortimer, again being Mortimer, sought an unusal prize, a smallish carved figurine set with small precious stones. Apparently, it arrived in three pieces and defied the best attempts at repair by the most able craftsmen. Mortimer sought out magical assistance and, with the aid of a hedge wizard, managed to reconstruct the statue. It was then Mortimer began to hear 'the voices' ,and strange occurances of random violence and mayhem persued him through his daily existence.

I was able to determine that the smallish statuette was an earthly representation of Pazuzu, as evinced by the manifold wings and hawk head. Moritmer, to his credit, had tried to immediately smash it upon my mantel but only succeeded impaling his hand on the its genitalia. Worse, it proved impossible to remove. I suspected a curse of some sort, the kind that builds over time and culminates in the untimely and untidy demise of its possessor. I sent Mortimer off to seek a cleric of sufficient skill to uncouple the unfortumate Mortimer from his erstwhile lover. . . .and thought how such a relic of power could have come into the possession of such a fool. It had to be deliberate and no accident.

I put more wood on the fire and stirred the coals. To whom should I confide? Or Should I? I checked the shutters, doors, and flue. Nothing and all for the best. I locked the study doors and turned my attention to turn the problem at hand. Over and over in my mind I considered the facts as related by Mortimer. By dawn, I knew what I must do to save the lives of Mortimer and . .yes, he being him, I cannot say except his life was in mortal peril. . .and possibly more. Mysteries are like skeins of yarn, once pulled, they often unfold suddenly and in unexpected circumstances.

Commentary
I am thinking a half elf who looks human. He ages very slowly and keeps it concealed from his associates, thinking perhaps some curse or undead origin. He might even be unaware of elves and thier true nature. He has watched the evolution of Andoran democracy and even participates as a barrister, much like Sydney Carlton from a Tale of Two Cities. His hobby of antiquities, "archeology", has actually become his other profession. Recovering and use of said antiquities is often controversal, so being a barrister comes in handy, as does having the skills of a thief and a command of ancient and dead languages, history, and a few other scientific and social skills. More Sherlock Holmes than Indiana Jones. Weapons . . .well Holmes is an expert fencer with the backsword and single stick, and with his fists. Backswords were secondary back up weapons slung over the backs of cavalry men. Think cavalry saber. Single sticks were ash practice equivalents but still useful as a disguised weapon. I think developing martial boxing skills would be an interesting story hook.

Now the question is, would said character have any magic powers? Sherlock Holmes never did. Indiana Jones actually invoked the power of the the Sankara Stones against Mola Ram in The Temple of Doom. If yes, then, they would have to be very stubtle, mainly abjuration and divination. Detect curse/magic/traps/custom. Comprehend languages and a xerox spell would be VERY useful. I really can't see hurling balls of fire unless they were rags stuffed into a champaign bottle filled with distilled spirits. I could think of a boxing skill spell that would allow a few rounds of enhanced fighting. ;)

Inspiration
From "A Study in Scarlet"

“Yes; I have a turn both for observation and for deduction. The theories which I have expressed there, and which appear to you to be so chimerical, are really extremely practical–so practical that I depend upon them for my bread and cheese.”
“And how?” I asked involuntarily.
“Well, I have a trade of my own. I suppose I am the only one in the world. I’m a consulting detective, if you can understand what that is. Here in London we have lots of government detectives and lots of private ones. When these fellows are at fault, they come to me, and I manage to put them on the right scent. They lay all the evidence before me, and I am generally able, by the help of my knowledge of the history of crime, to set them straight. There is a strong family resemblance about misdeeds, and if you have all the details of a thousand at your finger ends, it is odd if you can’t unravel the thousand and first. Lestrade is a well-known detective. He got himself into a fog recently over a forgery case, and that was what brought him here.”
“And these other people?”
“They are mostly sent on by private inquiry agencies. They are all people who are in trouble about something and want a little enlightening. I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I pocket my fee.”
“But do you mean to say,” I said, “that without leaving your room you can unravel some knot which other men can make nothing of, although they have seen every detail for themselves?”
“Quite so. I have a kind of intuition that way. Now and again a case turns up which is a little more complex. Then I have to bustle about and see things with my own eyes. You see I have a lot of special knowledge which I apply to the problem, and which facilitates matters wonderfully. Those rules of deduction laid down in that article which aroused your scorn are invaluable to me in practical work. Observation with me is second nature.

I was on the point of asking him what that work might be, but something in his manner showed me that the question would be an unwelcome one. I pondered over our short conversation, however, and endeavoured to draw my deductions from it. He said that he would acquire no knowledge which did not bear upon his object. Therefore all the knowledge which he possessed was such as would be useful to him. I enumerated in my own mind all the various points upon which he had shown me that he was exceptionally well informed. I even took a pencil and jotted them down. I could not help smiling at the document when I had completed it. It ran in this way:

Sherlock Holmes–his limits

1. Knowledge of Literature.–Nil.
2. ” ” Philosophy.–Nil.
3. ” ” Astronomy.–Nil.
4. ” ” Politics.–Feeble. [SKILLED]
5. ” ” Botany.–Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
6. Knowledge of Geology.–Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has [22] shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
7. Knowledge of Chemistry.–Profound.
8. ” ” Anatomy.–Accurate, but unsystematic.
9. ” ” Sensational Literature.–Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century. [A KNOWLEGE SKILL]
10. Plays the violin well. [NOT]
11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman. [NOT SURE ABOUT THIS YET; I DON'T KNOW THE BELLS AND WHISTLES OF THE GAMES SYS]
12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law. [SKILLED AS A BARRISTER]

That's the developed backstory to date. . .

here is his current stats. I think I did the math right, I could not transfer the formatting

male half elf Rogue 1 Ranger 1

Stats
10 str
10 con
17 dex
16 int
14 wis
8 cha

+2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against humans.

A ranger adds half his level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow or identify tracks.

Wisdom +2, +3 class
Profession: Barrister +6
Sense Motive +6
Perception (additional +2 racial, +3 skill focus, +2 SR) +12, +13 finding traps
Heal +6
Survival +6: tracking is +7 or +9 for humans

Dexterity +3, +3 class
Disable Device (2 SR, + half level Rogue): +9
Stealth (2 SR) +8

Charisma -1, class +3
Diplomacy +3

Intelligence +3, +3 class
Craft (Alchemy) +7
Craft [Taxidermy] +7 for collectiong skins, hides, teeth, and misc useful body parts of monsters
Appraise +7
Knowledge, Local (includes laws and crimes) +7
Knowledge, Dungeoneering +7
K: Geography +7
K: Nature +7
Linguistics (2 SR) +8: Ancient Azlanti, Dwarven

Intelligence +3, no class bonus
Knowledge, Arcane (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, constructs, dragons, magical beasts) +4

Feats
Skill Focus (Racial Feat): Choose a skill, Perception. You are particularly adept at that skill. Benefit: You get a +3 bonus on all checks involving the chosen skill. If you have 10 or more ranks in that skill, this bonus increases to +6.

Toughness: 3 hp to start, + 1 hp per level past 3.

Traits
Anatomist: You have studied the workings of anatomy, either as a student at university or as an apprentice morti-cian or necromancer. You know where to aim your blows to strike vital organs and you gain a +1 trait bonus on all rolls made to confirm critical hits. Source: Second Darkness Player's Guide.

Wealthy Dabbler: You study magic at a social club, wowing your friends with your recent discoveries and showing off your expertise in the simplest of magical exploits. Select two non-harmful arcane cantrips (Detect Magic, Pres-tidigitation). You can cast these two cantrips once per day each (caster level 1st). If you have levels in a class that can cast these cantrips, your caster level for these cantrips is equal to that class level. Source: Taldor, Echoes of Glory


Demoyn wrote:
Caineach wrote:
To say that you must be good at combat to be an effective member of the party is false. It depends entirely on the group you are playing with and how they run the game.

It's beyond me to tell you that you HAVE to play your character one way or another. I'm not in your campaign, so, frankly, I don't care if you're combat effective or not. And yes, a lot depends on the DM and how they run a campaign.

That said, why on earth would you sell yourself short? Not ONE PERSON in this thread has said anything that can't be accomplished by a character that also provides in-combat party benefit. In fact, in almost all instances you have to specifically try to suck in combat in order to accomplish that.

If that's the type of character you want to play then great. I will say this, though: if you bring that type of character into a game I'm playing we're going to discuss you not "stepping up". In case you weren't paying attention, that's exactly what this thread is about.

Yes, I have seen many players intentionally hose their combat utility for out of combat powers, and it can be done to a point where you're completely worthless in combat. This does not mean that you are not adding useful contributions to the team and are not a vital memeber. Combat is only 1 part of the game. For some people it is the biggest part, for others it is not.

The Exchange

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
she became this way when every creature suddenly became immune to her save or dies. even with a 26 int.

Those spells are also known as "save or suck". They are generally horrible spells for a tactical combat. Use the search feature to find "Treantmonk's guide to wizard optimization". I'm sure you'll learn a lot.

The Exchange

NeonParrot wrote:
More Sherlock Holmes than Indiana Jones.

I read that whole thing, and I was thinking "Sherlock Holmes or Indiana Jones the whole time. If you're leaning towards Sherlock Holmes then take weapon finesse and improved unarmed strike as your next two feats. Take one more level of ranger (the rest rogue) and then once your base attack bonus reaches six take improved two weapon fighting.

This is far from optimal, but it will fit into your Sherlock Holmes design flawlessly and allow you to deal a decent amount of damage in combat as well. You won't be able to accomplish all of this until level 9, but once you do you'll be getting 4 attacks dealing 1d3 + 4d6 damage each as long as you maintain a flank.

That's an average damage of 64, which is slightly more damage than a 9th level raging barbarian with a greatsword. You can do all of this while STILL fitting into the vision of your character and not giving up even a single skill point on your character. This is exactly the reason why I say that it's senseless to build an out of combat character that doesn't provide any benefit in combat.

If you decided to lean a little more towards Indiana Jones then I could do some amazing things with a 16 intelligence, a whip, and a hand crossbow. Your strength would be a bit low for that, but it could still work very well.


Skipped a big part of the later thread, as I started laughing at the suggestion that a wizard should go stand next to the troll to provide flanking.

( Even if PF wizards are less squishy, that's still just... stupid. and out of character for most wizards, too. )

On how combat-focused a character should be? Depends on the campaign a lot, but it's a good idea to have some idea on how to be efficient in combat.

Combat tends to be a big part of the game, most of the time, and there are issues when one character is uber-combat focused and other is completely inept. Especially, as the combat-focused character may contribute well outside combat, too, with some tactically-placed skill points, for an example.

I think... Rogues should be played like rogues. In combat, too. You're sharp and quick-witted, but don't have the arcane power of a wizard, so...
Here are some universal suggestions that do _not_ refer to any specific builds.

- Never be the first in line when combat starts.
- Carry all sorts of assorted items and knick-knacks. You'll never know what'll be useful? Fighter wants a flank buddy? Fine, throw a badger out of a bag of tricks for him. Tanglefoot bags are great. You can touch sneak attack with acid flasks.
- Find the one spot where you'll be the most useful, and act there at the right time. The party will feel your contribution is relevant even if that's all you do the entire combat.

Here's an old rogue of mine:
http://www.dndsheets.net/view.php?id=2081

Started out as a diplomat, but was forced to a more traditional role. I single-wielded a rapier, and tumbled to flanking position, the round after the fighters had engaged the enemy. 16 dice of damage seemed quite powerful at the time. Still got knocked around quite a bit, but was deemed "impressive" from time to time by other players.


NeonParrot wrote:
...awesome character...

Your big problem in combat is not your damage, though with a 10 str it is not great. Toughness was the mistake. Its a decent feat and you wont be sorry you have it later, but Weapon Finesse whould really have been your choice. The problem is that your not really hitting people to get your sneak damage.

I recomend Rogue for 2 more lvls and then ranger. At lvl 3 I recomend taking Weapon Finesse feat. Get 2 weapon fighting from Ranger. Weapon Focus is probably your best bet at 5th.

Duelist: loses some from 2 weapon fighting. There is an interesting caviat in the class where parries are not attacks and therefore you can use your off hand weapon to parry and still get the precise strike bonus. Clear this with your GM, as it can be seen as cheezy.

Personally, I would not recomend unarmed combat if your fellow players already think you are underpowered. It is a highly sub-optimal feat, even though it fits in with the idea perfectly. IMO, almost no one should take Improved Unarmed Strike as a feat, and should just 1-2 level dip into monk if they want it. You would benefit nicely from this, but I don't think it really fits and would stick with rogue and not take the feat.

Normally I recomend a high charisma for rogues to use dazzling display + Shattered Defenses or feint. You don't have that, so I'm not sure what path to recomend for future, but I think if you keep your two weapon fighting up to date you the rest of your feats could be out of combat. Sneak attack will provide much of your damage.

There are also 2 great feats in the Advanced Players Guide Beta that require a partner to take the same feat. 1 adds a d6 sneak attack when flanking, and the other gives +4 instead of +2 for flanking. You would need a partner in the group though.


Senevri wrote:
Skipped a big part of the later thread, as I started laughing at the suggestion that a wizard should go stand next to the troll to provide flanking.

Nah, the wizard should cast Summon Monster to provide critters that can flank.

The Exchange

Senevri wrote:

Skipped a big part of the later thread, as I started laughing at the suggestion that a wizard should go stand next to the troll to provide flanking.

( Even if PF wizards are less squishy, that's still just... stupid. and out of character for most wizards, too. )

First of all, I never said anything about a troll. Even if it were a troll, though, why would it be such a terrible thing?

Trolls aren't very intelligent, so why on earth would a troll stop attacking the fighter dealing 20-60 damage per round in order to attack a wizard doing zero instead? You should also realize that I suggested this as a LAST RESORT. Yeah... it's really out of character for a wizard to put himself in harm's way to potentially save a TPK. Now where was that sarcasm tag...?


NeonParrot wrote:
So my question is, how does a rogue step up more?

What is the context? Combat or out of combat?

In terms of combat, you didn't really mention anything about it. I assume you have a weapon of some sort? Without Weapon Finesse, you're going to have issues in melee by not having a good +attack stat. Without the core archery feats (PBS+Precise Shot), you're going to have a hard time using archery in a team game. So really, you're pretty unfocused. That said, I have seen a "survival rogue" build based on making the rogue a save-making machine with a ton of hit points and high AC. However, the role rogues are typically asked to fill in combat (damage output) is going to be diminished using this strategy.

Also, in general, PF seems to penalize you for early multiclassing significantly more than 3.5 did. (It was fairly bad in 3.5, unless it was necessary for some prestige class.) It's not a horrible crime to multiclass early, but you'll feel it later.

Out of combat, the issue might be taking leadership on things you're good at. Rogues need to take leadership on using their skills. For instance:

If you have diplomacy, are you frequently trying to take a diplomatic route? Are you trying to use your skills at every opportunity? Are you looking for solutions to problems that *don't* involve combat -- particularly where your skills can shine?

Grand Lodge

If your DM allows Swashbuckler + the Daring Outlaw feat, I'd definitely take a look at that. It provides +Int bonus as precision damage on all attacks at level 3 (whether or not you are flanking, etc.), and Daring Outlaw allows you to treat Swash levels as Rogue levels for the purposes of determining Sneak Attack damage dice. Also, Swash fits in nicely with the Duelist theme.

I definitely agree that Weapon Finesse should have been your first feat, rather than Toughness (though that 10 Con also hurts pretty badly). So definitely take it as your next feat. Alternately, go the ranged attack route, by taking feats like Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot, especially if you have allies who can keep the ruffians at bay. With your low Strength I think an archery build would be suboptimal for you, at least unless you boost your Strength somehow and get an appropriate bow.

I would also maximize Acrobatics. The ability to tumble about and evade damage is nice, and having 3+ ranks gives you an AC bonus when fighting defensively or taking the total defense action.


Damien_DM wrote:

If your DM allows Swashbuckler + the Daring Outlaw feat, I'd definitely take a look at that. It provides +Int bonus as precision damage on all attacks at level 3 (whether or not you are flanking, etc.), and Daring Outlaw allows you to treat Swash levels as Rogue levels for the purposes of determining Sneak Attack damage dice. Also, Swash fits in nicely with the Duelist theme.

I definitely agree that Weapon Finesse should have been your first feat, rather than Toughness (though that 10 Con also hurts pretty badly). So definitely take it as your next feat. Alternately, go the ranged attack route, by taking feats like Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot, especially if you have allies who can keep the ruffians at bay. With your low Strength I think an archery build would be suboptimal for you, at least unless you boost your Strength somehow and get an appropriate bow.

I would also maximize Acrobatics. The ability to tumble about and evade damage is nice, and having 3+ ranks gives you an AC bonus when fighting defensively or taking the total defense action.

If you go the archery route, take ranger next and pick up precise shot, not point blank. The -4 to hit is a huge penalty and you can skip prereqs with ranger bonus feats. You wont get much damage output though from this. You will rarely have enemies who are flat footed and have no way to make them (Bluff and Shattered Defenses work well but utalize Charisma). Since you can't flank with ranged and don't have a way to make enemies flat footted, you will be relying on the suprise round to get your sneak attack. You can try to use the stealth rules to snipe and rehide, but a -20 penalty is pretty harsh.


forget duelist.

forget duelist.

that was important enough to say twice. like i said Swashbuckler + Invisible Blade is the way to go for a high Int Rogue. but your wis isn't too bad either (especially as you can pump it with magic items)and with 2 levels of Swordsage you can add your Wis bns to AC as well as getting +2d6 sneak attack and all sorts of cool stuff to do when you can't flank to enable sneak dmg.


Uh, we are speaking of PFRPG here?
- 2nd level rogue talent for finesse, should be.
- Pathfinder duelist is much improved, albeit more of a fighter thing than a rogue thing. Should be fun with high-crit weapon.


Senevri wrote:

Uh, we are speaking of PFRPG here?

- 2nd level rogue talent for finesse, should be.
- Pathfinder duelist is much improved, albeit more of a fighter thing than a rogue thing. Should be fun with high-crit weapon.

I think he should not use his tallents for finesse. He is already lvl 2 and not single classed rogue. I think spending rogue tallents on feats spoils some of the fun in getting unique powers. I think he should just spend his lvl 3 feat on it.


Wow, thank you for all the great responses! Please keep them coming. For the record, I am the perception scout in front of the party in the wilderness and usually in the dungeon. I generally let the fighters open doors but it seems no one is willing to go first, so I should prepare to do so . . .I guess. I might have to play a 'survival rogue' but lets hope not. I tend to think of thieves as rather squishy.

Also, the party is generaly unaware about leaving a rear guard. I find this worisome. Is this common in PF? All the fighters just run up and flail on the target?

Caineach wrote:

Your big problem in combat is not your damage, though with a 10 str it is not great. Toughness was the mistake. Its a decent feat and you wont be sorry you have it later, but Weapon Finesse whould really have been your choice. The problem is that your not really hitting people to get your sneak damage.

I recomend Rogue for 2 more lvls and then ranger. At lvl 3 I recomend taking Weapon Finesse feat. Get 2 weapon fighting from Ranger. Weapon Focus is probably your best bet at 5th.

Duelist: loses some from 2 weapon fighting. There is an interesting caviat in the class where parries are not attacks and therefore you can use your off hand weapon to parry and still get the precise strike bonus. Clear this with your GM, as it can be seen as cheezy.

Finesse . . .got it! I wanted the extra hp, I have to admit. I'll have to study the rules for Sneaking too. I will read over the Duelist too. Personally, I think that might be nice, if you can have a unified fighting style with both hands but use different techniques from left and right. Fits right in, the right not knowing what the left is doing . . .(political joke)

Tanis wrote:
I said Swashbuckler + Invisible Blade is the way to go for a high Int Rogue. but your wis isn't too bad either (especially as you can pump it with magic items)and with 2 levels of Swordsage you can add your Wis bns to AC as well as getting +2d6 sneak attack and all sorts of cool stuff to do when you can't flank to enable sneak dmg.

I would like them within the PF current rules, character classes, prestige classes, and the new classes. I can ask about the other prestige classes but it may take a sell. I read over Swashbuckler and it seems to be very close to Duelist. I could not find Swordsage.

Senevri wrote:

Uh, we are speaking of PFRPG here?

- 2nd level rogue talent for finesse, should be.
- Pathfinder duelist is much improved, albeit more of a fighter thing than a rogue thing. Should be fun with high-crit weapon.

What would be a high crit duelist weapon?

Demonyn wrote:
If you decided to lean a little more towards Indiana Jones then I could do some amazing things with a 16 intelligence, a whip, and a hand crossbow. Your strength would be a bit low for that, but it could still work very well.

Demoyn, I like the way you think. Somehow, I think the ref and the rst of the players would get cross-eyed at the thought of my boxing outpointing a barbarian. Very interesting . . .I need to wrap my head around the idea.

So, tell me more about whips, high int, and what you were thinking . . .


Oh, how to run a Holmesian investigator . . .

his knowlege of sensational crime from Knowlege: Local

Hunches are straight forward Sense Motives, handy for questioning malefactors

Alchemy would cover poisons and some esoterica.

K:Nature covers unsystamic anatomy.

I am sure I left out a few.


NeonParrot wrote:

Wow, thank you for all the great responses! Please keep them coming. For the record, I am the perception scout in front of the party in the wilderness and usually in the dungeon. I generally let the fighters open doors but it seems no one is willing to go first, so I should prepare to do so . . .I guess. I might have to play a 'survival rogue' but lets hope not. I tend to think of thieves as rather squishy.

What? You going in first is...dumb. Rogues should be the SECOND one in.

First one in should be the highest AC/HP character...your shield wall. If there are melee types in there, he's best equipped to handle them. Ideally this should be a Paladin, what with their nice saving throws.

If he doesn't get attacked, you're in second to check for traps/ambushes with your high Perception. Rogues are too squishy to be first man in.

As for the lack of rear guard, yeah, that's a problem. Archery fighters are usually the best choice for those, as they can contribute to the fight up front while still protecting the group's behind, and won't die instantly if ambushed.

Weapon Finesse is indeed important for you with STR10/DEX17. I'm not so sure about the Duelist though. It boils down more to campaign style than anything else - Duelists are great where you can't run around in heavy armor (most urban campaigns). It's a big hit to your skill progression and Sneak Attack dice though, so I'd suggest taking just enough Duelist to squeeze what you can out of Canny Defense.

Parry seems to be a trap. When you get it, you'd have +8 BaB (prerequisite +2 from Duelist levels), so 2 attacks (4 if you have Improved TWF). You probably won't parry crap with your iterative attacks (which are -7 from your full attack bonus), so you're giving up one of your two actual chances to hit and do damage, in return for what's probably less than a 50% chance to ignore one single melee attack coming your way. I haven't done the math on this, but it seems less good than it should be. It probably shines in situations where the enemy has one nasty effect attack (poison stinger, touch attack spell) you REALLY want to avoid.

I'd look closely at Spring Attack if I were you. It's a great help for setting up flanks, and more importantly AVOIDING full attacks in return.

The Exchange

Spring Attack was amazingly helpful on my Swordsage, which I pretty much used to spend the whole battle running around. I would run behind the person that the monk was fighting and sneak attack him, then run over behind the guy that our resident Gnome Fighter was fighting, giving him a flank when his turn came around. With a Holy Scimitar and 2d6 dice of sneak attack, I was pumping out considerable damage even though I only had one attack every turn. Of course, I also had a speed of 50ft (we were using the Traits from Unearthed Arcana, one of which was +10 speed for -1 hp per level, and I had boots of Springing and Striding) which helped, too.

I would definitely advocate Spring Attack + Sneak Attack. Match made in heaven


Senevri wrote:

Uh, we are speaking of PFRPG here?

- 2nd level rogue talent for finesse, should be.
- Pathfinder duelist is much improved, albeit more of a fighter thing than a rogue thing. Should be fun with high-crit weapon.

Pathfinder duelist is indeed better then 3.5 duelist.

It's still rubbish, unfortunately.

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