Giving the Rogue an overhaul.


Homebrew and House Rules

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It would seem that it could use one. Instead of waiting for a supplement to do it at some indeterminate time in the future, how about us players take a stab at it?

Personally, I think canning Sneak Attack would be a good idea to start with. It may be the iconic feature of the Rogue, but it's also rarely useful, as it is pretty difficult to actually get into a position where it can be used. As such, I think replacing it with other combat abilities that are useful more often may be a good idea.

Secondly, I think the Rogue needs something unique that other classes do not get. At the moment they do not have this. As for what that could be, however, I still need to do some thinking.

Any suggestions are welcome, as are anyone else's Rogue overhauls. I'm not about to say I can't possibly be outdone at this, and if someone else comes up with a Rogue overhaul that's better than what I can come up with I will use it happily.

This thread shall be updated as I progress further along on the overhaul.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a very simple Rogue trick, all you need is:

a copy of Ultimate Combat (a printout of the PDF will do)
a permanent marker

Here's how it goes:

1. Grab your book/printout
2. Find the "Ninja" base class
3. Using the marker, cross out the word "Ninja" and replace with "Rogue"
4. If you feel so, you can repeat it for every time the word.

Voila, a fully functional Rogue class without many of the Rogue's failings and with all his strong points! You're missing out the Rogue archetypes but apart from that, works like a charm.


The Emo Bard wrote:

It would seem that it could use one. Instead of waiting for a supplement to do it at some indeterminate time in the future, how about us players take a stab at it?

Personally, I think canning Sneak Attack would be a good idea to start with. It may be the iconic feature of the Rogue, but it's also rarely useful, as it is pretty difficult to actually get into a position where it can be used. As such, I think replacing it with other combat abilities that are useful more often may be a good idea.

Secondly, I think the Rogue needs something unique that other classes do not get. At the moment they do not have this. As for what that could be, however, I still need to do some thinking.

Any suggestions are welcome, as are anyone else's Rogue overhauls. I'm not about to say I can't possibly be outdone at this, and if someone else comes up with a Rogue overhaul that's better than what I can come up with I will use it happily.

This thread shall be updated as I progress further along on the overhaul.

A rogue with Improved Feint uses sneak attack quite often!


Mournblade94 wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:

It would seem that it could use one. Instead of waiting for a supplement to do it at some indeterminate time in the future, how about us players take a stab at it?

Personally, I think canning Sneak Attack would be a good idea to start with. It may be the iconic feature of the Rogue, but it's also rarely useful, as it is pretty difficult to actually get into a position where it can be used. As such, I think replacing it with other combat abilities that are useful more often may be a good idea.

Secondly, I think the Rogue needs something unique that other classes do not get. At the moment they do not have this. As for what that could be, however, I still need to do some thinking.

Any suggestions are welcome, as are anyone else's Rogue overhauls. I'm not about to say I can't possibly be outdone at this, and if someone else comes up with a Rogue overhaul that's better than what I can come up with I will use it happily.

This thread shall be updated as I progress further along on the overhaul.

A rogue with Improved Feint uses sneak attack quite often!

Please elaborate.


What he's saying is that by taking Combat Expertise and Improved Feint, you can feint against enemies as a move action, allowing you to get a single sneak attack in. Further, if it's a non-human, you take -4. If it has an int of 1 or 2, you take -8 to feinting. If has no int, you can't feint it at all.

...which is not a solution at all. Not because of the penalties, although those hurt a ton. But because it takes a move action to get one attack in.


Cheapy wrote:

What he's saying is that by taking Combat Expertise and Improved Feint, you can feint against enemies as a move action, allowing you to get a single sneak attack in. Further, if it's a non-human, you take -4. If it has an int of 1 or 2, you take -8 to feinting. If has no int, you can't feint it at all.

...which is not a solution at all. Not because of the penalties, although those hurt a ton. But because it takes a move action to get one attack in.

Thanks.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ultimately, the mechanics of the Rogue class are not the problem; it's the game the class is in.

In Pathfinder, if you want to deal lots of damage in melee, you must stack Strength. To be a Rogue who does lots of damage in melee, you still need to stack strength, which is fine mechanically, but doesn't fit how people see Rogues.

The "patch" for this in 3rd edition and 3.5 was to use two-weapon fighting; however, Fighters and other big melee guys do more damage now, and while there are now almost no monsters that are immune (only elementals and oozes I believe), getting the damage to happen reliably is hard. It looks good on paper, but ultimately its a trap - Sneak Attack damage either can't be set up at all or can't be set up against a worthwhile target. When Sneak Attack does work, it runs into the problem of overkill - odds are, if you got a target, you only have one target, so when it drops your turn ends. It's similar to the problem that weapons like the scythe have - 20x4 looks like its the same as 18x2, but it tends to waste more damage.

***

Finally, there's the concept of a "Rogue" itself. They are supposed to be dashing, charismatic, humorous guys who dart and dash around the battlefield, using their training, wit, and cleverness to beat their opponents. Yes, archtypes like "thug" and "assassin" should be supported, but the "assumed default" is supposed to be a, well, Rogue.

Believe it or not, this sort of character is already completely supported by the core book - take Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, and Improved Feint; pair with Rogue talents that let you taunt opponents with bluff and go to town. It'll be a while before this kind of Rogue can pick up feats like improved Disarm, but that's the beauty of the archtype - Feint renders the opponent flat-footed, which reduces their Combat Maneuver Defense (just like it does AC), plus flat-footed characters can't make Attacks of Opportunity, so you don't need the feat to function.

Unfortunately, and this is what I meant in my opening statement, this sort of universal, instantly recognizable, and thoroughly iconic character archtype is just flat out not compatible with a typical Pathfinder game. Being agile in tight spaces isn't any use in the wilderness or in large dungeon rooms. Being able to trick and taunt your opponent doesn't help when fighting mindless creatures, or ones that don't understand you. Trying to preform Combat Maneuvers on creatures two-three sizes larger than you is just asking for trouble. And so on.

Bringing an iconic Rogue along on a typical adventure is like bring a valley-girl on a hunting trip, just like bringing an iconic Barbarian to a Ball is like bringing a Red-Neck to San-Francisco - neither one fits in the others world. Unfortunately, Pathfinder is almost all about wilderness and dungeon exploration; city adventures - and especially social adventures - just aren't something the system lends itself to.


Quote:
Bringing an iconic Rogue along on a typical adventure is like bring a valley-girl on a hunting trip, just like bringing an iconic Barbarian to a Ball is like bringing a Red-Neck to San-Francisco - neither one fits in the others world. Unfortunately, Pathfinder is almost all about wilderness and dungeon exploration; city adventures - and especially social adventures - just aren't something the system lends itself to.

-The difference is that

1) Its easier for the Barbarians Player to have fun at the ball being unsuccessful at WOOING WOMEN! than it is for the rogue to have fun either hitting like a dry sponge or being backhanded by every monster in the game.

2) Everyone participates in combat. A social challenge is like a lock: usually ONE person does it. AM BARBARIANS social grace of a rabid honey-badger in heat hinders the parties face as much as Sir clanks a lot's mammoth esque dexterity score keeps the rogue from picking locks. If worse comes to worse treat a trip to the palace like putting BA on a plane.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
Bringing an iconic Rogue along on a typical adventure is like bring a valley-girl on a hunting trip, just like bringing an iconic Barbarian to a Ball is like bringing a Red-Neck to San-Francisco - neither one fits in the others world. Unfortunately, Pathfinder is almost all about wilderness and dungeon exploration; city adventures - and especially social adventures - just aren't something the system lends itself to.

-The difference is that

1) Its easier for the Barbarians Player to have fun at the ball being unsuccessful at WOOING WOMEN! than it is for the rogue to have fun either hitting like a dry sponge or being backhanded by every monster in the game.

2) Everyone participates in combat. A social challenge is like a lock: usually ONE person does it. AM BARBARIANS social grace of a rabid honey-badger in heat hinders the parties face as much as Sir clanks a lot's mammoth esque dexterity score keeps the rogue from picking locks. If worse comes to worse treat a trip to the palace like putting BA on a plane.

Which is my point - Pathfinder is set up, top to bottom, front to back, beginning to end, etc - to be about exploring dangerous places, killing weird monsters, and taking their stuff. While an iconic Rogue is definitely interested in that third item, they are horrible at the first two.

Pathfinder Rogues, when they play to type, work really well, as I detailed in my last post. It's just that what they tend to do isn't what Pathfinder as a whole tends to do, so they don't fit well.

What I'm trying to say, really, is there is no solution to this problem. Making Sneak Attack easier or adding Dex to damage or whatever will not let Rogues act like Rogues. Think about Iconic Rogues like Errol Flynn, Robin Hood, Captain Jack Sparrow - how many people did they actually kill, or try to kill, or even face in anything like a fair fight or especially fight at all when they could run away?

My point is that, at a very deep, fundamental level, the Iconic Rogue just does not fit into a typical Pathfinder Adventure. no amount of rules tweaking is going to fix that.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

I have a very simple Rogue trick, all you need is:

a copy of Ultimate Combat (a printout of the PDF will do)
a permanent marker

Here's how it goes:

1. Grab your book/printout
2. Find the "Ninja" base class
3. Using the marker, cross out the word "Ninja" and replace with "Rogue"
4. If you feel so, you can repeat it for every time the word.

Voila, a fully functional Rogue class without many of the Rogue's failings and with all his strong points! You're missing out the Rogue archetypes but apart from that, works like a charm.

To add to the spirit of this conceptual fix of the rogue, I suggest an additional option. Purchase this. Print said product. Staple into your Core Book over the 'Rogue' Core class. Repeat Gorbacz above steps.


BobChuck wrote:

Finally, there's the concept of a "Rogue" itself. They are supposed to be dashing, charismatic, humorous guys who dart and dash around the battlefield, using their training, wit, and cleverness to beat their opponents. Yes, archtypes like "thug" and "assassin" should be supported, but the "assumed default" is supposed to be a, well, Rogue.

Believe it or not, this sort of character is already completely supported by the core book - take Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, and Improved Feint; pair with Rogue talents that let you taunt opponents with bluff and go to town. It'll be a while before this kind of Rogue can pick up feats like improved Disarm, but that's the beauty of the archtype - Feint renders the opponent flat-footed, which reduces their Combat Maneuver Defense (just like it does AC), plus flat-footed characters can't make Attacks of Opportunity, so you don't...

The dashing, charismatic, humorous guys who dart and dash around the battlefield, using their training, wit, and cleverness to beat their opponents aren't rogues though. They're fighters or urban barbarians with inexplicably high charisma. Rogues don't have the training part and your archetypal rogue doesn't sneak attack. He trips, dirty tricks, and disarms like a full BAB character. I also didn't see locksmith in your description of the archetypal rogue.

The real fix to your rogue is to stat him as an urban barbarian with maybe a rogue dip for class skills. Strength Surge adds to a strength based skill check or combat maneuver check or combat maneuver defense so a dex based urban barbarian can get a big plus to one maneuver per rage. The urban barb can use intelligence, dexterity, and charisma based skills while raging so feint is still available.

Which still leaves the actual rogue class in the dirt. Personally I'm for letting everyone, or at least anyone with the right tools, disable magical traps and removing the rogue class. Several bard archetypes, urban ranger, urban barbarian, the more mobile or less armored fighter archetypes, the inquisitor, and even martial artist all encroach on the rogue's concept space to the degree that if it were removed nobody would miss it.


The Emo Bard wrote:

It would seem that it could use one. Instead of waiting for a supplement to do it at some indeterminate time in the future, how about us players take a stab at it?

Here's my house ruling for the rogue class.

Skirmish:
- All rogues receive the scout archetype's "skirmisher" talent and normal sneak attacks at first level.

Precise strike:
- Starting at level 3 A rogue can sacrifice, as a free action, a dice of sneak attack for a bonus of +1 on his BAB. He can only sacrifice a maximum of half his dices (round down) this way and must choose to do so before the roll is made. The BAB bonus granted by Precise strike can also be used on disarm, trip and sunder attemps. If sundering, the remaining sneak attack dices also apply to overcome the hardness of the object being sundered.

Shadow Strike:
- All rogues gain the feat Shadow Strike for free at fifth level, if they already have Shadow Strike, they can choose another feat instead.

Sneaky strike:
- Sarting at level 11, the rogue may choose to sacrifice a maximum of half his sneak attack dices for BAB after the roll is made.

There you go, now, have fun in combat!


First up, do what I did in my house rules, and nerf invisibility to a +10 bonus to stealth/+20 if you are standing still. Look at invisibility relative to any other spell that grants bonuses to skills, and you will see that it is way out of line. A level 3 wizard with no ranks in stealth should not be able to out sneak a level 10 rogue maxed out in stealth just because of one spell.

Second, rogues may add their dexterity to their damage rolls up to a max of their level(this is similar to the dualist's int to damage). The level cap is to prevent people taking a 1 level dip in rogue for the dex to damage. Note, this is like the duelist in that the bonus damage is on top of their normal strength bonus.

Third, add in some talents that allow a rogue to consolidate under different mental stats. A talent called Wise Persuasion that lets the rogue use their Wisdom bonus for all charisma based skills. A talent that lets a rogue use charisma modifier for their Will saves. A talent that lets the rogue get their extra skill points based on charisma or wisdom instead of int. That way a rogue doesn't need to spread themselves across all 3 mental stats to be an effective skill monkey.

Fourth, use the new stealth rules that are being playtested right now.

So now the rogue can put their strength at a 10 and be effective in combat, invisibility is still a good sneaky spell, but it isn't the instant win against anything that can't see invisible that it is now, and the rogue can dump their mental stats if they take a few talents to compensate.


Charender wrote:

A level 3 wizard with no ranks in stealth should not be able to out sneak a level 10 rogue maxed out in stealth just because of one spell.

Why?


CunningMongoose wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:

It would seem that it could use one. Instead of waiting for a supplement to do it at some indeterminate time in the future, how about us players take a stab at it?

Here's my house ruling for the rogue class.

Skirmish:
- All rogues receive the scout archetype's "skirmisher" talent and normal sneak attacks at first level.

Precise strike:
- Starting at level 3 A rogue can sacrifice, as a free action, a dice of sneak attack for a bonus of +1 on his BAB. He can only sacrifice a maximum of half his dices (round down) this way and must choose to do so before the roll is made. The BAB bonus granted by Precise strike can also be used on disarm, trip and sunder attemps. If sundering, the remaining sneak attack dices also apply to overcome the hardness of the object being sundered.

Shadow Strike:
- All rogues gain the feat Shadow Strike for free at fifth level, if they already have Shadow Strike, they can choose another feat instead.

Sneaky strike:
- Sarting at level 11, the rogue may choose to sacrifice a maximum of half his sneak attack dices for BAB after the roll is made.

There you go, now, have fun in combat!

Does this BAB bonus give an extra attack when the total BAB hits +16, and can it be used when a sneak attack could not (such as when face to face with an enemy aware of your presence or when more than 30 feet away)? If the answers to these questions are yes, then this is totally awesome and I shall use it.


Cheapy wrote:
Charender wrote:

A level 3 wizard with no ranks in stealth should not be able to out sneak a level 10 rogue maxed out in stealth just because of one spell.

Why?

Glibness gives a +20 to bluff plus protection from certain divinations for 10 minutes/level and it is a level 3 bard spell. You have to be a level 7 bard to get that spell. Yet, it is all good for a very common(on 8 spell lists) level 2 spell to grant +20/+40 to stealth plus total concealment(can always hide and 50% miss chance) for 1 minute/level. The bonus from invisibility is way to strong for a spell of that level.

Based on the bonus of similar spells that grant bonuses to skills either invisibility should be a level 3 spell or the bonus should be halved.

Also, from a logical standpoint. Invisibility was a +20 bonus back in 3.5 when it only effected hide vs spot. Now that all senses have been merged into perception, the +20 bonus doesn't make sense.


Gorbacz wrote:

I have a very simple Rogue trick, all you need is:

a copy of Ultimate Combat (a printout of the PDF will do)
a permanent marker

Here's how it goes:

1. Grab your book/printout
2. Find the "Ninja" base class
3. Using the marker, cross out the word "Ninja" and replace with "Rogue"
4. If you feel so, you can repeat it for every time the word.

Voila, a fully functional Rogue class without many of the Rogue's failings and with all his strong points! You're missing out the Rogue archetypes but apart from that, works like a charm.

I would be a happy ninja if this stood true, but as it is, the ninja is also a sub par choice compared to the rest of the classes. Still better then the rogue, but not nearly enough.

The things the ninja got was more in style of quality of life changes than game breaking changes, in the core it is still the broken rogue with less than full bab, d8 hit dice, no spellcasting, only ref as good save, etc.


For a more constructive post, what would hurt giving the rogue full bab, and a second good save? and maybe sneak in a weapon finesse for free somewhere, and a talent that makes them use +dex for damage also?

This is for easy house rule patching it, what it would need would be a new concept, and a new core, that is not as easily replaced by the other classes, as of now, there is several archetypes that does the rogues job, better then the rogue does it, without dragging the party down.


The Emo Bard wrote:
Does this BAB bonus give an extra attack when the total BAB hits +16, and can it be used when a sneak attack could not (such as when face to face with an enemy aware of your presence or when more than 30 feet away)? If the answers to these questions are yes, then this is totally awesome and I shall use it.

No and no. Not at my table, anyway, but feel free to change it. :-)

I want the rogue to be able to be better at combat, not to be better than a fighter at combat.

It can ONLY be used when a sneak attack can already be made, including a skirmish (move 10 feet or charge and have a sneak attack on your first attack). Giving skirmish to all rogues means they have much more opportunities to use sneak attacks anyway.

Also, note that while flat footed, combat maneuvers does not provide the defender with an AoO, meaning you can move 10 feet, disarm, get your bonus without an AoO without the need for the Improved Disarm feat. (And being flat footed, their CMD is lower anyway.)


A full BAB character with full sneak attack progression is not balanced.


lro wrote:

For a more constructive post, what would hurt giving the rogue full bab, and a second good save? and maybe sneak in a weapon finesse for free somewhere, and a talent that makes them use +dex for damage also?

This is for easy house rule patching it, what it would need would be a new concept, and a new core, that is not as easily replaced by the other classes, as of now, there is several archetypes that does the rogues job, better then the rogue does it, without dragging the party down.

I wouldn't make the dex to damage a rogue talent. Rogues already have a talent for weapon finesse, so you are forcing to invest even more talents just to be halfway effective. Also, there are some archtypes from other classes that give them access to rogue talents. Adding talents is not the right way to fix rogues.

Just give rogues dex to damage(capped at their rogue level like duelist) as a baseline ability and make this ability stack with damage bonuses from strength.


Cheapy wrote:
A full BAB character with full sneak attack progression is not balanced.

Compared to what?

I'm pretty sure that an optimized fighter/barbarian/paladin will be on par with a full bab rogues dpr, I even did the math once for level 10 builds, using a rogue and fighter build from the dpr olympis thread, sad part was, the rogue did not win. I hoped that it would win, but it did not.

The rogue is the class that needs to go to the most effort to be able to use his damage mechanic, most easily mitigated by enemies. but also he often need to either overextend and put himself in a bad position or be babysit by a caster or other fighter.

And he still got a lesser hit die, worse saves, worse class features, and still people think that he can not have full bab.

From a design philosophy, I could easily see that the rogue should do the most damage in the game, when he is able to sneak attack. but as it is now, every martial class can out dpr him with ease. And tell me if I am wrong, is there a martial class with worse defenses also?


Charender wrote:
lro wrote:

For a more constructive post, what would hurt giving the rogue full bab, and a second good save? and maybe sneak in a weapon finesse for free somewhere, and a talent that makes them use +dex for damage also?

This is for easy house rule patching it, what it would need would be a new concept, and a new core, that is not as easily replaced by the other classes, as of now, there is several archetypes that does the rogues job, better then the rogue does it, without dragging the party down.

I wouldn't make the dex to damage a rogue talent. Rogues already have a talent for weapon finesse, so you are forcing to invest even more talents just to be halfway effective. Also, there are some archtypes from other classes that give them access to rogue talents. Adding talents is not the right way to fix rogues.

Just give rogues dex to damage(capped at their rogue level like duelist) as a baseline ability and make this ability stack with damage bonuses from strength.

A small problem with this approach is that a rogue would need a few levels before it "starts", the first few levels before your dex bonus kicks in, you would feel very subpar. But I also agree that you cannot give it for free, as that would make a wonderful one or two level dip.

In true I would want to give rogues both social rogue talents and combat rogue talents so they actually do not need to spend everything to not fall behind to much, but that would need a major overhaul of the talent system, rather than a quick, easily implemented fix.


CunningMongoose wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
Does this BAB bonus give an extra attack when the total BAB hits +16, and can it be used when a sneak attack could not (such as when face to face with an enemy aware of your presence or when more than 30 feet away)? If the answers to these questions are yes, then this is totally awesome and I shall use it.

No and no. Not at my table, anyway, but feel free to change it. :-)

I want the rogue to be able to be better at combat, not to be better than a fighter at combat.

It can ONLY be used when a sneak attack can already be made, including a skirmish (move 10 feet or charge and have a sneak attack on your first attack). Giving skirmish to all rogues means they have much more opportunities to use sneak attacks anyway.

Also, note that while flat footed, combat maneuvers does not provide the defender with an AoO, meaning you can move 10 feet, disarm, get your bonus without an AoO without the need for the Improved Disarm feat. (And being flat footed, their CMD is lower anyway.)

Oh, I forgot : I also give the rogue a talent at first level...


lro wrote:
Charender wrote:
lro wrote:

For a more constructive post, what would hurt giving the rogue full bab, and a second good save? and maybe sneak in a weapon finesse for free somewhere, and a talent that makes them use +dex for damage also?

This is for easy house rule patching it, what it would need would be a new concept, and a new core, that is not as easily replaced by the other classes, as of now, there is several archetypes that does the rogues job, better then the rogue does it, without dragging the party down.

I wouldn't make the dex to damage a rogue talent. Rogues already have a talent for weapon finesse, so you are forcing to invest even more talents just to be halfway effective. Also, there are some archtypes from other classes that give them access to rogue talents. Adding talents is not the right way to fix rogues.

Just give rogues dex to damage(capped at their rogue level like duelist) as a baseline ability and make this ability stack with damage bonuses from strength.

A small problem with this approach is that a rogue would need a few levels before it "starts", the first few levels before your dex bonus kicks in, you would feel very subpar. But I also agree that you cannot give it for free, as that would make a wonderful one or two level dip.

In true I would want to give rogues both social rogue talents and combat rogue talents so they actually do not need to spend everything to not fall behind to much, but that would need a major overhaul of the talent system, rather than a quick, easily implemented fix.

Not really. Make a human rogue with 12 strength and 16 dex. At leve 1 gives them weapon finesse and two weapon fighting. They are +3 to hit and +2 to damage and if they can flank they get an extra 1d6 of sneak attack.

Since it stacks with strength, characters that care about combat will get a little strength, and that will help them not be gimp at low levels. Most rogues will go ranged at low levels, then switch to melee once they have the talents to be effective.


Charender wrote:
lro wrote:
Charender wrote:
lro wrote:

For a more constructive post, what would hurt giving the rogue full bab, and a second good save? and maybe sneak in a weapon finesse for free somewhere, and a talent that makes them use +dex for damage also?

This is for easy house rule patching it, what it would need would be a new concept, and a new core, that is not as easily replaced by the other classes, as of now, there is several archetypes that does the rogues job, better then the rogue does it, without dragging the party down.

I wouldn't make the dex to damage a rogue talent. Rogues already have a talent for weapon finesse, so you are forcing to invest even more talents just to be halfway effective. Also, there are some archtypes from other classes that give them access to rogue talents. Adding talents is not the right way to fix rogues.

Just give rogues dex to damage(capped at their rogue level like duelist) as a baseline ability and make this ability stack with damage bonuses from strength.

A small problem with this approach is that a rogue would need a few levels before it "starts", the first few levels before your dex bonus kicks in, you would feel very subpar. But I also agree that you cannot give it for free, as that would make a wonderful one or two level dip.

In true I would want to give rogues both social rogue talents and combat rogue talents so they actually do not need to spend everything to not fall behind to much, but that would need a major overhaul of the talent system, rather than a quick, easily implemented fix.

Not really. Make a human rogue with 12 strength and 16 dex. At leve 1 gives them weapon finesse and two weapon fighting. They are +3 to hit and +2 to damage and if they can flank they get an extra 1d6 of sneak attack.

Since it stacks with strength, characters that care about combat will get a little strength, and that will help them not be gimp at low levels. Most rogues will go ranged at low levels, then switch to melee once...

I might just be too tired, as I should sleep, but wouldn't it be +1 hit +2 dmg if dual wielding? +3 hit from dex, -2 from dual.


Because 3/4ths bab balances sneak attack out, roughly.

I highly, highly doubt that the math for a properly optimized full BAB rogue at 20 is anywhere close to a similarly optimized fighter at 20. Each attack at 20 that is a sneak attack is + 35 damage. And by that level they'll be getting that more often than not due to items and what not.


Cheapy wrote:

Because 3/4ths bab balances sneak attack out, roughly.

I highly, highly doubt that the math for a properly optimized full BAB rogue at 20 is anywhere close to a similarly optimized fighter at 20. Each attack at 20 that is a sneak attack is + 35 damage. And by that level they'll be getting that more often than not due to items and what not.

As I said I did the math for level 10 once, where the rogue was on the short end. Level 20 might be a different story, but honestly, why balance after a level, most players will never see, as far as I know, not a single path comes near level 20?

And I am not even convinced that a rogue would be at the top even at level 20, but I would see it as a good sign if they were, with full bab that is.
A fighter would still have weapon training, weapon mastery, weapon specialization and plenty of more feats.

As squishy as the rogue is in combat, he should do more damage than someone wandering around in full plate. So I see no problem if he went ahead of the fighter, I nearly see it as a necessity for the class to be a contender to the other classes mechanically.


I think the thing to focus on is how to make skills and skill points more powerful as that is the defining characteristic of rogrues - skill points. The game system has made it too easy to get magic items which greant skill points and made skills too weak compared to magic.


Skills quickly get replaced with spells and abilities.

Climb: spiderclimb, fly, polymorph, beastshape

Diplomacy: Charm person.

acrobatics: fly

Disguise: disguise self (+10) ALter self: +20 and fewer limits

swim: touch of the sea, beastshape, alter self.


Add the following class feature to the rogue:

Sneaky Combatant (Ex): Whenever a rogue is in a position to sneak attack a foe (regardless of if that foe is vulnerable to sneak attacks), the rogue gets a bonus to his attack roll. The bonus equals +1 at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th levels; and +2 at 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th levels; +3 at 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th levels; +4 at 14th, 15th, and 16th levels; and +5 at 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th levels.

(I think I typed that correctly; the Sneaky Combatant bonus plus rogue BAB should equal rogue level).


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Skills quickly get replaced with spells and abilities.

Climb: spiderclimb, fly, polymorph, beastshape

Diplomacy: Charm person.

acrobatics: fly

Disguise: disguise self (+10) ALter self: +20 and fewer limits

swim: touch of the sea, beastshape, alter self.

That's my point. Skills and skill points need upgraded. That's how to fix the Rogue.


I find it interesting that Pathfinder changed spells like heroes Feast "total immunity to poison is too much" but left in spells like levitate "total immunity to climb checks"

The Exchange

Honestly, I think the real problem is that too many other classes have crowded into the rogue's original niche, and since the rogue has had the least power-creep from 3.0 to PF, he now seems "weak". Look at the difference between a 3.0 ranger or sorceror and then the PF version & I think you'll see what I mean. - Which I guess means a revamp of the rogue is a good idea.

One option- learned from making NPC Experts - would be to allow the rogue character to choose a certain number of his own class skills. Provide the core rogue list, and then say something like, "Each rogue can choose any three additional skills: these skills then become class skills for that particular rogue."

Something like the duelist's Precise Strike - providing bonus damage for the most iconic rogue weapons such as dagger, blowgun and sap - might be a good substitute for Sneak Attack. The bonus damage would need to be less generous, since it would apply most of the time.


Something felt very, very off about Iro's math he did awhile ago.

I just did the math on a full BAB rogue sneak attacking vs a fighter. Everything was the same except for class. Same equipment, same feats, same strength, same set up (aka: both flanking, otherwise there isn't a huge difference other than that +1 to hit, +2 to damage a fighter gets).

Quote:


Str: 22

+2 falchion

Half elf

Base:
Power Attack
Weapon Focus
Furious Finish
Improved Crit

Fighter:
GWF
Weapon Spec

To-hit: 10 (bab) + 2 (falchion) + 1 (Weapon Focus) + 6 str + 2 flanking

Fighter: +21 + 1 (GWF)
Rogue: +21

Damage: 5 (falchion) + 2 (enhancement) + 9 Str + 9 Power Attack

Fighter: 25 + 2 (weapon spec) = 27
Rogue: 25 + 18.5 (sneak attack)

Fighter:
.9(27)+(.3 * 1 * 27) =
24.3 + 8.1 = 32.4

+

.65(27) + (.3*1*27) =
17.55 + 8.1 = 25.65

Fighter's DPR: 32.4 + 25.65 = 58.05

Rogue:
.85(25+18.5) + (.3*1*25)
36.975 + 7.5 = 44.475

+

.6(25+18.5) + .3*1*25
26.1 + 7.5 = 33.6

Rogue's DPR: 44.475 + 33.6 = 78.075

If anyone would like to check my math, please go ahead. But remember that when flanking, the rogue will be getting +18.5 damage on average over the fighter he's flanking with.


I forgot. Since the fighter gets 2 feats the rogue can't get, the rogue gets two talents as well.

The talents are Bleeding Strike (for an additional 5 damage of DPR), and...well whatever else. Nothing will add to DPR, except maybe Assualt Leader, but that's once per day. And she'd use the fighter's highest BAB attack against the enemy, adding 32.4 DPR.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let the rogue use multiple sneak attack talents at once. I used this house rule throughout my Curse of the Crimson Throne game without even realizing it was a house rule. When the rogue is dealing sneak attack damage to a minimum of 2 or 3 per die, dealing strength damage, inflicting bleeding wounds, and other such effects, all at once, then every sneak attack matters. Meanwhile, the Two-Weapon Feint line of Ultimate Combat makes getting full sneak attacks quite feasible.

I also make virtually all features of the Ninja into Rogue Talents, and alter the Rogue's Ki Pool Talent to work off of Charisma.


Cheapy wrote:

Something felt very, very off about Iro's math he did awhile ago.

I just did the math on a full BAB rogue sneak attacking vs a fighter. Everything was the same except for class. Same equipment, same feats, same strength, same set up (aka: both flanking, otherwise there isn't a huge difference other than that +1 to hit, +2 to damage a fighter gets).

Quote:


Str: 22

+2 falchion

Half elf

Base:
Power Attack
Weapon Focus
Furious Finish
Improved Crit

Fighter:
GWF
Weapon Spec

To-hit: 10 (bab) + 2 (falchion) + 1 (Weapon Focus) + 6 str + 2 flanking

Fighter: +21 + 1 (GWF)
Rogue: +21

Damage: 5 (falchion) + 2 (enhancement) + 9 Str + 9 Power Attack

Fighter: 25 + 2 (weapon spec) = 27
Rogue: 25 + 18.5 (sneak attack)

Fighter:
.9(27)+(.3 * 1 * 27) =
24.3 + 8.1 = 32.4

+

.65(27) + (.3*1*27) =
17.55 + 8.1 = 25.65

Fighter's DPR: 32.4 + 25.65 = 58.05

Rogue:
.85(25+18.5) + (.3*1*25)
36.975 + 7.5 = 44.475

+

.6(25+18.5) + .3*1*25
26.1 + 7.5 = 33.6

Rogue's DPR: 44.475 + 33.6 = 78.075

If anyone would like to check my math, please go ahead. But remember that when flanking, the rogue will be getting +18.5 damage on average over the fighter he's flanking with.

Now this comparison is biased as you took a race that only favors the rogue(as the fighter already got the proficiency), and do not let the fighter utilize more than two of his six free feats, but lets leave it at that for now, but I still want the fighters weapon training in the calculation. And also you forgot to deduct power attack penalty from the second hit(I assume furious finish should be furious focus), and also you have not added the chance to comfirm the crit into the formula.

Fighter:
.95(29)+(.3 * 1 * 29 * 0.95) = 35.8

+

.60(29) + (.3*1*29*0.6) = 22.6

Fighter's DPR: 35.8 + 22.6 = 58.4

Rogue:
.85(25+18.5) + (.3*1*25*0.85) = 43.35

+

.45(25+18.5) + .3*1*25*0.45 = 22.95

[b]Rogue's DPR: 43.35 + 22.95 = 66.3/b]

So in average the rogue will do eight more damage (12% more damage) in dpr than a fighter under these circumstances, and do you not think a rogue that actually manage to get into a flanking position, exposing himself, should not do even more damage than this? And I am pretty sure a fighter that utilize his feats would lessen this gap even more.

Dark Archive

BobChuck wrote:
Unfortunately, Pathfinder is almost all about wilderness and dungeon exploration; city adventures - and especially social adventures - just aren't something the system lends itself to.

Is that why it takes a painful amount of work on my part every time I run a game of *WATERDEEP* using pathfinder, cityscape, the Waterdeep book, and the 2e waterdeep book for more setting info? :P

I tease. But yeah. The rogues skills are more handy if the party is frequently interacting with a thieves guild and purates than if theyre fighting a dragon. Getting Pathfinder to do that is a painful process, not made easier by the limited number of and widely spread out pregen NPCs.

I would pay so much money for a book with 200 sorted NPCS. I dont care if they include 0 artwork. Include an advertisement for the NPC decks. thats fine. Reproduce old NPC Art. Thats fine too. Just give me a decent collection of NPCs I can use in my City Campaigns!

As for the rogue: I think a rogue should likely do more damage than a fighter when flanking. He has to spend alot more time than the fighter just getting into position, and loses a larger number of full-attacks.


Allow them to use either Charisma or Intelligence, whichever is higher, as a bonus to weapon damage instead of Strength.


I didn't use more feats because I can't think of any others that will affect DPR. As it is, even without the half elven prof, the rogue has enough feats to grab all of the stated ones, plus critical focus. I highly doubt a human would change it too much.

What other feats could be used? The rogue has two more to use (combat trick and feat talents). I'm drawing blanks on other feats that could actually help. So let's say he grabs medium armor and heavy armor prof. He's d10 HD due to BAB (unless we break PF's standard and keep him d8), in heavy armor, and doing 12% more damage (plus bleed) in situations where he can afford to stay in place, flanking.

And damnit, I did forget Weapon Training and FF.


Quote:
That's my point. Skills and skill points need upgraded. That's how to fix the Rogue.

-You'd have to update the spells as well, because any bonus to the skills from fiat the spells would grant as well.


Cheapy wrote:

I didn't use more feats because I can't think of any others that will affect DPR. As it is, even without the half elven prof, the rogue has enough feats to grab all of the stated ones, plus critical focus. I highly doubt a human would change it too much.

What other feats could be used? The rogue has two more to use (combat trick and feat talents). I'm drawing blanks on other feats that could actually help. So let's say he grabs medium armor and heavy armor prof. He's d10 HD due to BAB (unless we break PF's standard and keep him d8), in heavy armor, and doing 12% more damage (plus bleed) in situations where he can afford to stay in place, flanking.

And damnit, I did forget Weapon Training and FF.

My thought was mostly on critical focus, and a better weapon, as it stands both the elven curve blade and falcata is better than the falchion. But the rogue could also take these better weapons as a half elf.

The fighter could also gain a bite attack as a half-orc. Or take an archetype like two-handed fighter for added damage. The fighter could have the duelist gloves. On level 11 he could take additional strength from the abyssal bloodline.

Without flank the rogue goes down to 24.375 + 11.375 = 35.75 while the fighter only goes down to 33.93 + 18.85 = 52.78.

Which is over 30% more damage for the fighter when not flanking, and at least in my games, you cannot flank half of the times.

fighter
.90(29)+(.3 * 1 * 29 * 0.90) + .50(29) + (.3*1*29*0.5)

rogue
.75(25) + (.3*1*25*0.75) + .35(25) + .3*1*25*0.35

But still, the rogue would forsake a lot of other useful feats to try become a fighter of the same caliber, while the fighter has plenty feats to spare for things like combat maneuvers, step up, iron will, combat patrol, combat reflexes, improved initative etc.

The Exchange

This is such a funny thread, you guys should take this act on the road.

Shadow Lodge

BobChuck wrote:
Which is my point - Pathfinder is set up, top to bottom, front to back, beginning to end, etc - to be about exploring dangerous places, killing weird monsters, and taking their stuff. While an iconic Rogue is definitely interested in that third item, they are horrible at the first two.

I disagree about them being horrible at exploring. In fact, they're probably the base class that is the best suited for exploring...their skill ranks / class skills allow them to pick locks, disable devices, etc. better than any other characters, and as the designated trapfinders, they're also likely to pump their perception very high.

Again, why are we judging the rogue's value in terms of the fighter's role? Why must it be about DPR? Wizards suck at DPR as well, but some people here are so convinced that they're so overpowered that they think if you play anything else you've already "lost" the game.


Kthulhu wrote:
BobChuck wrote:
Which is my point - Pathfinder is set up, top to bottom, front to back, beginning to end, etc - to be about exploring dangerous places, killing weird monsters, and taking their stuff. While an iconic Rogue is definitely interested in that third item, they are horrible at the first two.

I disagree about them being horrible at exploring. In fact, they're probably the base class that is the best suited for exploring...their skill ranks / class skills allow them to pick locks, disable devices, etc. better than any other characters, and as the designated trapfinders, they're also likely to pump their perception very high.

I think a bard is a better explorer.

They have cure light wounds.


Quote:
I disagree about them being horrible at exploring. In fact, they're probably the base class that is the best suited for exploring...their skill ranks / class skills allow them to pick locks, disable devices, etc. better than any other characters

Other characters can be just as good at anything the rogue does with a mere one level dip in rogue, the expenditure of a feat or even using just by traits and still be very good at their jobs.

Its only when you need the same person to pick locks and be the party face that the rogues large number of skill points kick in.

Quote:


and as the designated trapfinders, they're also likely to pump their perception very high.

EVERYONE can pump their perception high now. Clerics and druids do it even better than rogues, and trapfinding won't make up for their higher wisdom until high levels (where the rogues gets combat ability becomes less than the druid's pet)

Quote:
Again, why are we judging the rogue's value in terms of the fighter's role?

The fighter's role is meat shielding. Killing things is EVERYONE"s job.

Quote:
Why must it be about DPR? Wizards suck at DPR as well, but some people here are so convinced that they're so overpowered that they think if you play anything else you've already "lost" the game.

Well, if you turn someone into a statue or a box turtle, you've effectively done "all" of their hit points worth of damage even if you've technically dealt 0 damage.

Shadow Lodge

Cheapy wrote:
Charender wrote:

A level 3 wizard with no ranks in stealth should not be able to out sneak a level 10 rogue maxed out in stealth just because of one spell.

Why?

It contributes to the one part of spellcasters being overpowered that I do agree with: the fact that magic allows spellcasters to trample all the $!#@ over the other class's roles. I don't have a problem with there being spells that do this, but I think they should at best simulate the level of ability at half the caster's level.

For example, a 20th level wizard that casts Dim (replacement for invisibility, credit to Stephen King) would essentially gain 10 ranks and a +3 bonus in Stealth [equivalent to the 10th level rogue's 10 ranks plus class skill bonus). The 10 ranks would NOT stack with any normal ranks that the wizard had.

Alternately, if cast by a wizard on rogue (or another character possessing more ranks than the spell would grant) it would provide a flat bonus equal to one fourth of the caster's level.

How's that? It keeps skill-based spells relevant, but without invalidating the rogue. And this could be applied to all the (far too many) spells that basically duplicate a class ability of another class. Although I'd suggest just dropping most of those spells.


Honestly, I have absolutely no problem with beings that are able to disregard physics and manipulate eldritch energy to change reality to better suit themselves being better at stuff than classes that rely on physics.

If I wanted balance, I'd play other systems!

Shadow Lodge

Cheapy wrote:

Honestly, I have absolutely no problem with beings that are able to disregard physics and manipulate eldritch energy to change reality to better suit themselves being better at stuff than classes that rely on physics.

If I wanted balance, I'd play other systems!

So you don't think that there should be ANY areas where non-casters are allowed to shine?

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