Simple house rules for Rogues


Homebrew and House Rules


I have, for the last year or so conducted, conducted an experiment, with small changes with the rogue class, to make them a bit better in combat, without making them OP. It is well known that there is a number of PF players who think that the rogue is a bit under the curve in combat situations, which can be a bit frustrating for some.

I'm posting this, because it has worked really well. All rogue players are extremely happy with the changes, but more importantly, the other players have welcomed it and found that this does not unbalance the game.

The two small changes are:

- Give weapon finesse as a bonus feat at first level

- Add dexterity to dmg, capped by rogue level (so, +1 at 1st level, +2 at 2nd level, until +DEX). Note that this is in addition to the strength damage.

I am aware that many have already used these suggestions in some form or shape. I am just reporting that it seems to work great. No more "I'll sit and watch" for the rogue since them, though the fighting classes are still in the spotlight as damage dealers.

Thoughts?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

hmmm I guess I have never thought Rogues were under powered...I mean they have lots dirty tricks, positioning and other things to do. If you are thinking they should go toe to toe with the baddies it is not going to happen but the wizard is not going grab a battle ax and do well in combat.

I have played and GM plenty of rogues that were very effective in combat...


Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:

hmmm I guess I have never thought Rogues were under powered...I mean they have lots dirty tricks, positioning and other things to do. If you are thinking they should go toe to toe with the baddies it is not going to happen but the wizard is not going grab a battle ax and do well in combat.

I have played and GM plenty of rogues that were very effective in combat...

I am aware that many people share this opinion. However some people think differently. In particular, I gm'ed two games where rogues had a rough time. When they were unable to position themselves in the proper way, they did nothing. Even when they managed to position themselves in the perfect way, the damage they would deal was much less than the fighting types could do. That is why I decided to make the changes.

Notice that I am not trying to argue that they are underpowered, only that a subset of people think so, and that these changes might be useful to them.


I had a simillar idea, but instead of adding Dex to damage, which is adding yet another use to an already overloaded stat, I let the rogues, starting at 5th level, add their Int modifier to attack and damage rolls (This damage is precision damage). Giving them more damage helps, but IMHO, it is not not the main concern.

My idea would be this:

Basic changes:
2 additional skill points.
1 extra good save. The rogue may choose if she wants Fortitude or Will to be her 2nd good save.
Rogues can make a sigle attack as a full-attack action (so they can 5-foot step befor/after). If such attack hits, it' deals Sneak Attack damage. (Unless the creature is immune to Sneak Attack, obviously)

1st level:
Weapon Finesse: Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat.
Trapspotter: Trapspotter as a bonus feat.
2nd level:
Area of Expertise (Ex): Choose 2 skills from the rogue class skill lists (except Spellcraft and UMD), you add half your rogue level as a bonus to these skills. At 6th level and every 4 rogue levels thereafter, pick an additional skill to add this bonus to.
3rd level:
Cunning Defense (Ex): As long as the rogue is wearing light or no armor, she adds her Int modifier to AC.
5th level:
Insightful Strike (Ex): Add Int modifier as a bonus to hit and as precision damage to all attacks. (This is in addition to Str bonus to attack and damage rolls)
8th:
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): Rogues get the HiPS ability.

I changed Minor/Major Magic. I fused them in a single Rogue Talent named "Experimental Magic". If a rogue picks this talent, she can either choose a cantrip that is usable at will, or a 1st level spell that can be used 3 times/day.

This made rogues less M.A.D. (only Dex and Int are really necessary) and more likely to survive combat. It also cemented them as the Kings of Skill Checks. (it's kinda sad that bards and rangers can easily outclass the rogue as the party skill monkey)

EDIT: Removing Combat Expertise (and its 13 Int requirement) as a prerequisite for the maneuver feats also can go a long way to improve Rogues and martial classes in general, as the Int requirement is costy for warrior types and rogues are feat starved. (I fused each Improved and Greater Combat Maneuver feat in a single feat that improves with BAB, e.g.: A fighter picks Improved Trip, when his BAB reachs +6, he effectvelly gets Greater Trip as a bonus feat.

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