My replacement for Sneak Attack, allowing for ranged rogues to flourish, and eliminating the buddy system.

Homebrew and House Rules

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I'm amazed at the elegance of your solution. It also makes Rogues focus on Rogue-ish weapons too. All in all brilliant!

Thank you for the kind words! :)

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Love it, love everything about it. Need to get 7 bucks + S&H to see the final product (or pester the SRD guys to put it up in 3rd party archetypes lol), but so far, love it a lot.

I may have to talk to my GM about using this + Maxximilius' Dandy archetype... Just seems to fit so well.

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Thread Necromancy on request by Cheapy for feedback.

We used a modified version of the Opportunities Aplenty talent in my campaign for about 4-5 months and when we pick up again, we'll still be using it. I honestly have to say, I think it's brilliant.

This is the version we are currently using, with the rules we currently use related to it:
Vicious Opportunist (Ex) A rogue can take advantage of the suffering of others. When attacking a creature with one of the following detrimental conditions (bleeding, dazzled, deafened, entangled, shaken, or sickened) a rogue may deal one-half his normal sneak attack dice (minimum 1 die) to the affected creature.

The primary House Rule it interacts with is as follows:
Guile: At 1st level, for the purpose of the Dirty Trick and Steal Combat Maneuvers, the rogue's base attack bonus from his rogue class levels is equal to his rogue level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the rogue uses his normal base attack bonus.

You'll notice a deliberate meshing of the detrimental conditions of dirty trick and the listed conditions for Vicious Opportunist. I did this to allow the rogue to more easily initiate a condition (and be more likely to succeed with said maneuver) and to limit the conditions under which Vicious Opportunist may occur (though I did add in bleeds) in order to slowly get us used to it and get a feel for how it would work out.

Overall, it has noticeably increased the rogue's damage, both in a solo play game (my wife) and in our full group (approximately 8 players). In the larger game, the impact was more readily visible when the fighter (a dervish style scimitar wielder) picked up bleeding critical as a feat and our 2 rogues took improved dirty trick. Blood and conditions started to fly and it was a little difficult to track who had what and when for the Viscious Opportunist strikes, but it did not feel like the encounters were any less challenging and for once, my rogue players weren't b****ing about their damage. Overall, it seemed to enhance the overall play, with only a minor amount of additional work for me (in that my players were actually using the "dirty trick" maneuver.

I may actually pick up the published version of the talent and see how it works out for us.

Well done, Cheapy. I'll have to try this.

On the topic of ranged rogues, there is the Sniper Goggles. Yes, it's a magic item and spendy, but it lets a rogue make a ranged sneak attack from any distance rather than 30. If they happen to be within 30 feet anyways, they get a +2 circumstance bonus on each sneak attack damage dice.

(it's in Advanced Player's Guide.)

Just like to point it out (and on the magic item dependency, what else are adventurers going to spend gold on?)

Thanks for the feedback Da'ath! A pair of rogues with this sounds interesting.

Arcanemuses: Thanks for the kind words.

Marthian: The issue isn't so much the distance with ranged sneak attack, but getting the conditions necessary (denied dex to you). The conditions necessary aspect is the one that this changes.

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Yep, the more I consider this the more I like it as an option for rogues. I'll let them chiose either the vanilla SA or the much more chocolate VO ability. Though this might offend some folk, it actually reminds me of a 4e mechanic - bloodied. (I definitely was saddened by much of 4e, but bloodied was not one of them.) Inimical Conditions as a prereq is a solid idea, and could be translated to many abilities...not just an alt-SA...

I really don't have a problem with folks hitting prone foes at range. It's fairly common for snipers to do this very thing, albeit with modern sights and high powered rifles...

Well done Cheapy. I may just get the SoTA II to see if the other archetypes within are as dread as the Vicious Opportunist...

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Dotted. Thanks cheapy :)

Thanks you guys!

Now that the original playtest campaign is over (after like a year and a half, wow), I'm running a game where the rogue player is taking this as well, I think. He's a bit of a better optimizer than the previous guy, so I'm eager to see how he handles it.

Cheapy wrote:

This is a replacement for sneak attack that will be in an upcoming product of mine. I like it a bit too much to not share it with everyone. Y'know, if you love something, set it free? Something along those lines.

The fluff is easily replaced with whatever, but the thing it's for has a meanstreak.

Replace the phrase "vicious opportunist" with "rogue". Or "ninja". Or "sandman bard". Or y'know, anything with sneak attack. Just change the bonus damage progression to whatever that thing has.

Opportunities Aplenty (Ex): wrote:

At first level, a vicious opportunist can take advantage of the suffering of others. Whenever he is flanking or attacking a creature with a detrimental condition affecting it, he gains a +2 circumstance bonus to damage rolls. At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter the bonus to damage rolls increases by +2. If the vicious opportunist is not flanking, the creature must have a detrimental condition before the attack for the vicious opportunist to gain this bonus.

This ability replaces sneak attack. Abilities that trigger off of sneak attack instead activate off of this ability. For abilities that use the number of dice of a sneak attack to determine effects, the effective number of dice is equal to the bonus damage from this ability, divided by 2. For example, if a level 5 vicious opportunist has the Bleeding Attack rogue talent, whenever she attacks a creature with a detrimental condition, she gains a +6 circumstance to damage rolls. In addition, she does three points of bleed damage from the Bleeding Attack talent.


* This is not precision damage. It is multiplied on a critical hit.
* The average damage compared to a regular rogue is 1.5 less per two levels when the rogue would be sneak attacking.
* This works far more often than sneak attack, and does not require the buddy system. It can work that way, but doesn't need it.
* Ranged rogues finally work.
* Dead is a condition, so you can stab dead things reel gud liek.
* Detrimental condition should be...

I wish I had found this before. I will try it next time I get a chance.

Thanks wraithstrike, and welcome back.

I've been toying with the idea of starting at +2, then bumping up to +5 at level 4 and then add +5 every four levels. This would mean the damage is 2.5 every two levels, but has a bit too large a dead space between levels for me to feel very comfortable with it.

I will probably use a caster to apply the detrimental conditional.

So, I've had a surprising amount of feedback on this lately (well, only two pieces, but that's much higher than normal!)

One of the primary reasons for making it go off of almost any condition was so that it wouldn't slow down combat with the rogue going 'Uh, let me look up if this condition will let me get OA in'. Making it just about every condition (except for Dead, invisibility, broken) means that this is very easy.

But, there are some that don't really make too much sense. A slight bleed wound may not be enough. Dazzled? Well, this would be a buff to it. But what's so incapacitating about being slightly dazzled?

So I was thinking that perhaps a different easy to remember heuristic could be applied. What about 'harmful conditions that affect the whole body'?

This would mean it would work off of things like shaken (don't try to tell me that there isn't a physical response to being scared!), fatigued, sickened, nauseated, stunned, etc.

Unfortunately it wouldn't necessarily affect Entangled or Confused, two conditions I feel should be allowed. But perhaps there could be a rogue talent / ninja trick / feat that adds those to the list.

What do you guys think on that?

I don't see a problem with the way it was actually. Being dazzled can be extremely dangerous even for a moment, especially in combat - and being able to take advantage of someone who is dazzled should be a piece of cake for the vicious opportunist.

Entangled and Confused are very obviously necessary conditions that should provide opportunity for the VO.

Really I can see good reason for any of the conditions listed in your post to provide an advantage to the VO.

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