Advice Challenge: Barbarian-slaying Rogue


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Sovereign Court

Unless you find some way to paralyze/put the barbarian to sleep in order to coup-de-grace him, I find it hard to believe you stand any chance. Sniping and using invisibility might be a bit overrated, since they got perception and the Scent rage power.


A 20th level Rogue can master strike (feinting to get the sneak attack) and potentially kill the barbarian in a single shot. Of course assuming the barb is the same level, that requires depending on a 20th level barbarian failing his fort save.

I think barring heavily con-focused barbarians the rogue still has a 50/50, or at least near-50/50 shot at success, but a rogue that was actually depending on this to win it for them would probably want a helm of vast intelligence, or of mental superiority +6. And anything else they can get to boost their Int and up the DC on that save.

Since this method requires three successive rolls in the rogues favour: feinting, hitting, then not getting saved against, it's not the greatest though. Certainly a barbarian-killer would want something more consistent.


Weables wrote:
Even than Maligor, 1 level of rogue to acquire the class skill, and 8 levels of barb continuing UMD ranks is much better than 9 levels of rogue.

And the sky is blue, Weables ... yes, the sky is also blue.

In other words, of course!. I'm 157% fully aware of the pains of the Rogue class ... the lack of things which the Rogue has monopoly over, the limited contribution to combat, and so on. Rogues are, in my opinion, the least effective non-NPC class in the game (even an Adept can arguably outdo a Rogue for game contribution).

I know these things also because I'm currently playing one every second Sunday. The Ranger and Monk can both out-stealth me and out-fight me. The alchemist is better at disarming traps and does the most damage in the party. I get maybe 2-3 SA per combat, and I do the most damage when I'm using stolen wands of fireball. Not that I'm not the star of the show... I am, thanks to the dominance of social intrigue in the game, and my own overbearing enthusiasm. NOT because of the class. Honestly, if I wanted to really H4X the game, I'd have played a Bard, replacing SA and Rogue Traits with the pure win that is spellcasting + bardic music. But I wanted to make a pure skill monkey in a magic-dominant setting, just so I can laugh when I use mundane skills to throw off spellcasters ("Cast True Seeing all you want - my hiding and disguises still work")... so I went Rogue. The handicap is a fun challenge as well, TBH.

The purpose of this thread is because... well, ever since I picked a Rogue, I looked at PF, overjoyed that SA works on undead and constructs, and then realized it was a false cheer. SA is still very annoying to deliver, and Rogues vs. Rogues, or Rogues vs. Barbarians (alot of our enemies are other characters) shows that SA still requires jumping through hoops in both the character build and delivery. This leaves the Rogue shouting "hooray" when he delivers that rare SA ... doing damage to one enemy which only rivals what a lightning bolt does to multiple on a failed save. It's a joke, really, putting a Rogue in combat and expecting him to pull his weight. So the question, in my mind, became "how do I beat things like uncanny dodge?" so I figured the Barbarian would be a good place to start.

Liberty's Edge

What about a strength based scout build, pump up the movement rate. . . If the barbarian isn't expecting it and doesn't have a good counter it might work.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:
What about a strength based scout build, pump up the movement rate. . . If the barbarian isn't expecting it and doesn't have a good counter it might work.

Half-Orc STR/CHA build, Thug archetype with a 1 level dip in Fighter for heavy armor and good weapons. Buff the crap out of Intimidate.

Let's see how much we can make this Barbarian fail with 10+HD+WIS DC on the Intimidate check.

I doubt we'd see more than 33 at level 20. Between Skill Focus (+3/+6), the Half-Orc racial (+2), Persuasive (+2/+4), Intimidating Prowess (+STR), HD skill ranks, class skill (+3)...well, at 20, you've got 32 before CHA and STR mods. Let's assume 16 STR and CHA at gen, +6 Belt/Headband, and 4 stat points used on either, you've got another 14 there with no tome.

Find me 6 more and you guarantee Frightened whenever you want. That's a pretty awesome surprise round.

You can also consider use of the Bandit archetype for its amazing level 4 ability, or the Weapon Snatcher advanced talent for ridiculous disarms that are easier to pull off than regular disarms.


Hmm... Another thought is that the rogue with the weapon snatcher advanced talent and nothing in their hands can disarm the barbarian and take his weapon, preventing them from picking it up again.

The barbarian can still do damage if he's got improved unarmed strike, or natural weapons... Or a backup weapon. Okay, so it's rather situational. Still could be effective against an NPC barbarian though. Taking that greataxe from him would be a major help.

--Edit: Tch, got ninja'd on weapon snatcher. Ah well.


Improved feint is about the only way to sneak attack him, and you need to be in melee range to do that. Sneak attacking or not the barbarian has more damage output and more HP's than you.

I think your only viable option is sniping.


Malignor wrote:

Devise a pure Rogue build (feats and rogue talents), and tactics, to take out an equal level Barbarian... y'know, the brute with more HP, more offense, uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge?

You can even assume the Rogue gets the surprise round if necessary.

Go!

Easy.

Build #1:
Rogue 1, 18 Strength post-racial, either Swashbuckler Archetype with Greatsword as the chosen martial weapon or a Half-Orc (for the Greataxe). A Swashbuckler would deal 3d6+6 on a hit in the surprise round, for 16.5 average damage. A Half-Orc would deal 1d12+1d6+6 for 16 average. That takes out even a Barbarian with 18 Con on average (or a 16 Con and a favored class HP bonus). Oh, and if you miss or don't kill in one swing, you can get a second Sneak Attack in if you win initiative. Hell, I didn't use the 1st level feat, so why not Improved Initiative?

Build #2:
Rogue 1, Human, 18 Str, 16 Dex post-racial, Composite Shortbow, Point Blank Shot, Improved Initiative. From 30' away, deal 2d6+5 (average 11) on the surprise round (41% chance to one-shot a 12 Con Barbarian, 28% for 14 Con, 16.5% for 16 Con, 8% for 18 Con). Win initiative in the second round with a +7 bonus (I doubt the Barbarian would have more than a +2, so you have a fairly good shot) and finish him off.

Oh, you meant after level 1? Er, you're on your own for that one...

Shadow Lodge

Well now, if you want to kill the barbarian no matter the cost (and I mean that quite literally), I think poison has it's merits. Especially so, if, as the OP conceded, our rogue gets a surprise round.

Warning: Ideally I assume the rogue gets the drop on the barbarian, but he could always just have his poison already applied to his (efficient-quivered)arrows. I don't know of a rule that the poison would denaturate.

I'll take 12th lvl, 20 point-buy as a basis for this example.

STR
A "typical" B will max Str, or at least go for 16+2 racial, give str another +2 for lvls and we arrive at an unmodified str of 20.

DEX
Let's slap on 15 and get +1 from lvl = 16

CON
Leaves 16 for Con

INT
Dump for 7

WIS
11 to not ruin the Will-save

CHA
Dump for 7

------------

At lvl 12 you could either get a belt of +2 for 2 ability scores
or for one +4. To make the B be more resistant vs poison let's assume the +2/+2 (as I'd wager, a B wouldn't normally get nothing for Str)

Rage is already greater at lvl 12 so another +6/+6 to Str and Con

------------
Raging: (nonraging)
Str 28 (22)
Dex 16
Con 24 (18)
Int 7
Wis 10
Cha 7
------------

Base Fort-save 8
Cloak of Resistance +4
Con +7
Trait +1
= Fort 20 raging (17 nonraging)
------------

AC
10
+4 Mithril Breastplate 10
Dex +3
Amulet of Natural Armor +2
Ring of Deflection +2
= AC 25 raging (27 nonraging)
------------

Rogue goes Full-Dex, a bit Con to live longer and Cha cause rogues are dashing ;) Poisoner Archetype as not to poison himself by accident.

Str 8
Dex 18 +2 racial +2 lvl-up +4 belt
Con 13 +1 lvl-up
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 12

Str 8
Dex 26
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 12

------------
BAB 9/4
Dex +8
Longbow +3
weapon focus +1
Pointblank Shot +1
Rapid Shot -2
Manyshot
Boots of Speed
=Full Attack: 20/20/20/20/15
------------
Take Swift Poisoning (so your preparation doesn't take ages), Deadly Cocktail (2 doses of poison on one arrow, DC+2 frequeny +50%)

Every dose of poison ups the DC by +2, buy or craft 12 (24) doses of Deathblade poison (Deathblade, injury 20, 1/rd. for 6 rds., 1d3 Con, 2 saves, 1,800 gp a piece)
So:
1 arrow hit: DC 22
2 arrow hit: DC 26
3 arrow hit: DC 30
4 arrow hit: DC 34
5 arrow hit: DC 38
------------
Nonraging B
We hit the B with 7-up (picture that) so that's a 65% chance for our "good" attacks, 4*65%= 2,6
"bad" attack hits 40% of the time= 0,4
let's assume 2 hits or 3 hits.
2hits save DC: 26, 3hits save DC: 30

Fort-save 17
B makes 2hit-save with 55% chance of success
B makes 3hit-save with 35% chance of success
------------
Raging B
We hit the B with 5-up so that's a 75% chance for our "good" attacks, 4*75%= 3
"bad" attack hits 50% of the time= 0,5
let's assume between 3 or 4 hits.
3hits save DC: 30, 4hits save DC: 34

Fort-save 20
B makes 3hit-save with 50% chance of success
B makes 4hit-save with 30% chance of success
------------
If the Barbarian Counterattack

If he blows his save he'll get 1d3 Con damage which will make it harder to make the save on future rounds. 2hits will make this 9 possible rds, 3hits will make it 12 rds and 4hits will make it 15 rds.
If we won Initiative or got the drop on him we'll have another round to apply more poison on a weakened B if we survive his counterattack (I'm too lazy to do that now, maybe use the Rogue-Talents "Resiliency" or less ideally "Another Day" ).

Conclusion: If we blow our money on poison we get a pretty good chance of killing the Barbarian (even if he may kill us before he bites it).

Yours cordially,
an Asurendra


mmm I wonder if there exist a poison that cause fatigue or better yet exahustion...


I see two ways to do it that aren't very hard at all.

1: rogue with the full two-weapon fighting tree and improved two-weapon feint. For safety I'd give him shield proficiency and shield bash with resiliency, another day and defensive roll. lots of sneak attack altering talents to taste.

Feints with the first attack making the barbarian flat-footed (feints work on uncanny dodge) and gets sneak attack with his other 5 attacks. If that much sneak attack damage doesn't kill the barbarian, he can thrown on a -2 str with each attack, offensive defense to give himself a +10 AC verses the barbarian's attacks (at top level,) and generally disable the barbarian's ability to hit the rogue back.

The shield as the second weapon is just so you can add a shield bonus, making you that much more impossible to hit after increasing your AC and disabling his strength. Plus even if the man is going to roll 20s with each attack on his turn and negate your insane AC you get three chances to survive with another day, defensive roll and resiliency, letting you rinse and repeat the above steps.

2: take craft traps, cunning trigger and quick trapsmith. Take major magic to give yourself vanish or favored terrain and hide in plain sight or ninja ki pool and the ninja vanish ability. build for attacks from range, maybe the sniper archetype, and take the talents that let you roll twice at climbing, swimming or whatever else you need to. Also deadly cocktail.

The idea is to never get close enough for him to hit. put two doses of poison on your arrows, climb a tree and shoot him from range. If he can climb it, turn invisible and set up traps and lead him into them/trigger them from distance with cunning trigger when he's close enough. If that doesn't work, turn invisible again and repeat the above steps, using terrain to get away each time he sees you. If he can really get through hide in plain sight, your ability to get all over the terrain and overcome your vanish uses and every poison you've shot at him, than he's a barbarian built to combat rogues and it just depends on how the dice land.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Ok, really sexy rogue with a skill focus bluff, and a great slight of hand. She gets AM BARBARIAN to take off all of this cloths and other gear while she gives him a nice message and makes a few sleight of hand checks to slip the weapons and magic items into a bag of holding. Then, using that high bluff, she convinces AM BARBARIAN that a little bondage would be fun. Once she has the barbarian tied up and helpless, its sneak attack city.


moon glum wrote:
Ok, really sexy rogue with a skill focus bluff, and a great slight of hand. She gets AM BARBARIAN to take off all of this cloths and other gear while she gives him a nice message and makes a few sleight of hand checks to slip the weapons and magic items into a bag of holding. Then, using that high bluff, she convinces AM BARBARIAN that a little bondage would be fun. Once she has the barbarian tied up and helpless, its sneak attack city.

WHAT HAPPEN IN VEGAS AM SUPPOSED TO STAY IN VEGAS. GAWD. AM YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE THAT RUDE?

MORE UMPORTANTLY, BARBARIAN AM CLEARLY SADDEST. AM MOSTLY INTERESTED IN PAIN PLAY INVOLVING LANCE AND CASTY.

Liberty's Edge

AdamMeyers wrote:

1: rogue with the full two-weapon fighting tree and improved two-weapon feint.

Feints with the first attack making the barbarian flat-footed (feints work on uncanny dodge) and gets sneak attack with his other 5 attacks.

Then Vanish as a Swift action, and take a 5' step.

I.e., be a ninja.


Mike Schneider wrote:
AdamMeyers wrote:

1: rogue with the full two-weapon fighting tree and improved two-weapon feint.

Feints with the first attack making the barbarian flat-footed (feints work on uncanny dodge) and gets sneak attack with his other 5 attacks.

Then Vanish as a Swift action, and take a 5' step.

I.e., be a ninja.

Doesn't have to be, but yeah that's the idea.


Mike Schneider wrote:
AdamMeyers wrote:

1: rogue with the full two-weapon fighting tree and improved two-weapon feint.

Feints with the first attack making the barbarian flat-footed (feints work on uncanny dodge) and gets sneak attack with his other 5 attacks.

Then Vanish as a Swift action, and take a 5' step.

I.e., be a ninja.

Or a regular rogue that took Ki Pool and Ninja Trick (Vanishing Trick) Rogue Talents.

Basically same deal.


People complain the Rogue isn't as strong as the other classes and for the most part I agree. But in the hands of a tactician a rogue ranks up there with wizard as one of the best classes to play for the sheer number of things you can do.

The only problem is that combats are virtually always geared towards the barbarian (big enemies that need hitting in upfront fights) or the wizard (lots of small enemies that need dividing, enchanting and blasting in upfront fights) that most rogues never get a chance to do what they do best (setting up dual-poison traps and leading enemies into them, commanding the terrain and killing the enemy with guerilla warfare, using sleight of hand to disarm an enemy, assassinating the enemy from a distance before the big fight even starts and so forth.)

But in this situation I think a melee rogue with the right "You can't hit me" talents is the way to go.


Offensive defense and crippling strike seems like the best way to go, but the problem is surviving the first round.
Maybe mirror image or invisibility?
But I hate to have to use spells to make a non-caster work...


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Crysknife wrote:

Offensive defense and crippling strike seems like the best way to go, but the problem is surviving the first round.

Maybe mirror image or invisibility?
But I hate to have to use spells to make a non-caster work...

Improved initiative and full dex increases. If the barbarian is going first just use another day, defensive roll and resiliency to survive whatever he hits you with (and if you use another day, use your staggered condition to activate vanish.)

Liberty's Edge

Gluttony wrote:
Or a regular rogue that took Ki Pool and Ninja Trick (Vanishing Trick) Rogue Talents. Basically same deal.

It costs you a feat (Extra Rogue Talent) if you're trying to do it by 3rd-level, and a rogue's Ki pool is pathetically lame compared to a ninja's (and restricted to WIS while a ninja's can be based off CHA, which is usually the better stat in a sneak class).

The two things rogues have going for them are free Evasion, and the feat Extra Rogue Talent (ninjas do not have a similarly-worded feat).

The Exchange

To be honest any Rogue with the Stealth to be worthy of the class name and the Bleeding Attack Rogue Talent will do well against any Barbarian who isn't built for hunting Rogues (i.e. super-high Perception and various sensory abilities), and who lacks a Ring of Regeneration or similar protection from bleed damage or instant healing ability.

No Rogue is likely to win going toe-to-toe with a Barbarian, which us how it should be - Barbarians are designed to be toe-to-toe fighters, Rogues are designed for hit-and-run tactics. Hit-and-run with a bleed attack messes up your average Barbarian... slowly, to be sure, but he gets stuck with spending his actions using healing items or the Heal Skill as the Rogue plinks at him at range, or hunting a Stealthed Rogue whilst his own hit points slowly bleed out. If he's already in a rage then it's even worst - does he drop the rage to use a healing item or the Heal Skill (how many Barbarians take the Moment of Clarity rage power?) and suffer his post-rage crash, or does he keep on raging whilst the Rogue happily keeps on hiding? Standing there in a rage quaffing Potions of Cure X Spells hits the same issue - the Barbarian is designed as a blitz attacker, hence being so awsome when raging, but only for a few rounds a day; the Rogue, played well, can keep doing his thing all day.

Of course, any Rogue worth the name just Stealthily follows the Barbarian until he's asleep, then drops a coup-de-grace on his face... but that's already been mentioned, right? ;)

Shadow Lodge

Crysknife wrote:

Offensive defense and crippling strike seems like the best way to go, but the problem is surviving the first round.

Maybe mirror image or invisibility?
But I hate to have to use spells to make a non-caster work...

But isn't that kind of part of the rogue-package?

8+Int Skillpoints + many class skills + cool talents = being able to do almost anything (and get away with it)?


I like the rogue a lot. It's one of my favorite classes, and I think it can really shine in the hands of a good player.

I do agree with other people on this board, though, that a rogue needs A. a few more boosts and B. archetypes that give them magic, alchemy, animal companions, or just the ability to trade out something other than uncanny dodge and trapfinding.

I feel like the rogue was designed for all-rogue campaigns. In a city-game full of all rogues a rogue can take any roll in the party and you can do stealthy tactics as a group to your heart's content. In a party of lots of all sorts of classes you can't have the rogue wipe out the enemy without it requiring the Barbarian to sit on his haunches for a while since he's probably not built for stealth.

The Exchange

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AdamMeyers wrote:
I feel like the rogue was designed for all-rogue campaigns. In a city-game full of all rogues a rogue can take any roll in the party and you can do stealthy tactics as a group to your heart's content. In a party of lots of all sorts of classes you can't have the rogue wipe out the enemy without it requiring the Barbarian to sit on his haunches for a while since he's probably not built for stealth.

So true! In a party where you have characters designed to inflict the maximum amount of damage in the minimum amount of time, Stealth and hit-and-run tactics are rendered pretty pointless (why wait for the bad guy to bleed out when the party Barbarian or Fighter can just hit him again and drop him?). Which is why, in a solo Barbarian Vs solo Rogue situation, where the Rogue actually gets to do his thing, the Rogue is going to do a lot better than many people expect: he gets to fight on his own terms.

To see this sort of thing in action, just throw some Stealthy bad guys with sensible tactics against the PC party and see what happens. Goblins are great for this at low levels: hit-and-run, slowly whittling the party down as they burn through their daily healing resources. The PCs will be amused... then annoyed... then finally start to get worried... really worried...


Asurendra wrote:
Crysknife wrote:

Offensive defense and crippling strike seems like the best way to go, but the problem is surviving the first round.

Maybe mirror image or invisibility?
But I hate to have to use spells to make a non-caster work...

But isn't that kind of part of the rogue-package?

8+Int Skillpoints + many class skills + cool talents = being able to do almost anything (and get away with it)?

Yes, it's true, my perspective is probably limited from not having played a rogue ever

Sczarni

Invite Barbarian to giant feast in his honor.

Buy lots of beer/mead/whiskey, girls/boys/melons, and all the entertainment you can scrounge up.

"Accidentally" leak this soiree to Barb's enemies/creditors.

In the chaos that ensues, either befriend (to later CdG in his sleep) or betray barbarian with the tactical advantage.

Alternatively, rig his horse/bed/hat with enough explosives to level a small fortress, and boom.


Feats:

Knife Master with at least Sneak Stab
- Dex Junkie and good acrobatics skill for dodge bonuses and have a Handy Haversack with plenty of the kit required ready)
Dodge
Improved Initiative
Two-Weapon Fighting
Expert leaper
Bleeding Attack
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Offensive Defence
Hunter's Surprise

Have an expeditious retreat potion running. Wear boots and attack the Barbarian when he/she bumbles into a large area of caltrops you pre-prepared (which have a FAR higher chance of affecting him than you). Ofc start with a volley of tanglefoot bags too for the easily applied Dex penalty.

Close with a leap (only one caltrop attack vs your very high applicable AC) and wail away until the Hunter's Surprise is done then leap out as a full withdrawal action. More tanglefoot bags. Start throwing Alchemists's Fire in (at the VERY least - see below). He is bleeding and needs to make a heal check for both the movement penalty from the Caltrops AND the Bleed.

Wounded and very angry barbarian gets out and comes after you - you lead him to the second concealed area of caltrops and keep alternating tanglefoot bags and thrown ranged attacks to finish him off (if necessary).

This is all a 'minimum kit' situation and can be greatly improved with good ranged weapons, energy enchanted daggers, ray-based wands etc.

All of this assumes of course you are stupid enough not to work out that stealthing around after the barbarian until he is either rageless and exhausted or asleep and then just kill him doesn't occur to you.


Rogue 10/ Assassin 10.

Max out the rogues Intelligence score, use big intelligence buffing items, and a wand of Fox's cunning.

Major Magic/Wand True Strike. Hide in plain sight, then use a Death Attack.

It will hit. Then you're int is so high that his chance of passing the Will save is only 5%.

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