Ideas for fixing the Rogue Outshined by Other Classes Issue


Homebrew and House Rules


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There's a lot of discussion on the boards that rogues get outshined by other classes in stuff that's classically the rogue's schtick. (Sneaking/trap-finding and removal/opening locks, etc) Just trying to throw these ideas at the wall and see what sticks.

Option 1:

One idea that occurred to me was expanding/adapting the Trapfinding mechanic a bit by introducing the concept of Rogue Specialties. (I realize this may step on the toes of certain archetypes, but at the moment I'm focusing on trying to come up with a "fix" for the base rogue first.) This method would need a little more work, as the different specialties would need to be developed and balanced. Here's what I threw together quickly:

Specialty (Ex): At 1st level, a rogue chooses two skill-related Specialties. The options are as follow:


  • Lookout: The rogue is always alert for danger. She adds 1/2 her level to Perception skill checks (minimum +1) and gains a +2 on Initiative checks.
  • Nimble: The rogue is particularly light on his feet and getting where she's not supposed to be. She adds 1/2 her level to Acrobatics and Climb skill checks (minimum +1)
  • Skulk: The rogue is at home in the shadows. She adds 1/2 her level to all Stealth checks and ignores the miss chance from concealment due to dim light (allowing sneak attacks where appropriate).
  • Socialite: The rogue is adept at getting a read for other people and getting them to see her way. She adds 1/2 her level to Diplomacy and Sense Motive skill checks (minimum +1)
  • Swindler: The rogue knows how to manipulate people and lighten their pockets while they're distracted. She adds 1/2 her level to Bluff and Sleight of Hand skill checks (minimum +1)
  • Trapfinding: as per PFCRB

Improved Specialty (Ex): At 10th level, the rogue chooses one her Specialties. The bonus to skill checks increases to 3/4s of the rogue's level.

Extra Specialty (New Rogue Talent): You gain one additional Specialty.

Option 2:

Give the Rogue a bonus feat every 3 levels. The bonus feat can only be used for Skill Focus or one of the dual-skill feats (like Alertness). This would be really easy to implement, but kind of boring.


Full BAB.
'nuff said.

Dark Archive

VRMH wrote:

Full BAB.

'nuff said.

I give them full BAB when using Rogue weapons. TWF Rogue takes a little work but it can be figured out with some effort (using a rogue weapon and non-rogue weapons gives you two different BAB tracks).


Scrap or revise about two-thirds of the existing talents so that they're useful and on par with what other classes get at that level. Rogues need a way to reliably hit and a way to deal sneak attack without having a flanking partner. A way to increase their AC is also important. They should be smart combatants who can always find a way to get an edge in a fight against their opponent. To keep things balanced, add a resource pool mechanic - I used the mechanics for grit but tied it to either Intelligence or Charisma.

I don't think increasing the rogue's skill checks is going to do anything useful. Getting a high skill check doesn't matter much when everybody else in the group can find a way to ignore the need for the check in the first place.


More/Better interesting Archetypes

like this one: Alchemical Trickster

Take what a rogue does and make it better, but with interesting flavor/flare.


Free feats and skill bonuses aren't the solution, but they could be part of it. What makes the rogue, or what is it that the rogue is supposed to be? Two things come to my mind: skill monkey and sneak attack. The rogue already has loads of skill points and a huge skill list. Maybe they need unique ways to use these skills, unavailable to other classes. 1/2 level bonuses are fine, but they don't fix anything. There are several threads with revisions to sneak attack and there are some good ideas. I like the ones that involve conditions, instead of just flanking and denied dexterity. How to properly implement them I am not sure of. Attack and damage bonuses alone help but are kind of boring.


SteelDraco wrote:

Scrap or revise about two-thirds of the existing talents so that they're useful and on par with what other classes get at that level. Rogues need a way to reliably hit and a way to deal sneak attack without having a flanking partner. A way to increase their AC is also important. They should be smart combatants who can always find a way to get an edge in a fight against their opponent. To keep things balanced, add a resource pool mechanic - I used the mechanics for grit but tied it to either Intelligence or Charisma.

I don't think increasing the rogue's skill checks is going to do anything useful. Getting a high skill check doesn't matter much when everybody else in the group can find a way to ignore the need for the check in the first place.

Give the rogue dimensional agility line of feats as well as dimension door and he will be able to sneak attack as he will be able to flank with himself

Sczarni

Level 11 Knife Master
+1 Agile Kukris
Str 10 Dex 26
4 attacks (5 if you took ki pool)
Crit range at 15-20
Deadly sneaks...6d8 reroll 1's and 2's
BOSS STATUS
YOLO.


Abadar wrote:

Level 11 Knife Master

+1 Agile Kukris
Str 10 Dex 26
4 attacks (5 if you took ki pool)
Crit range at 15-20
Deadly sneaks...6d8 reroll 1's and 2's
BOSS STATUS
YOLO.

you forget to mention the -4 penalty (-2 twf -2 deadly sneak). Also, i think the rogue ki pool do not grant any extra attack.


have the equivalent of charge and pounce as well as Spring Attack when using Dimensional Dervish and Dimensional Assult.


Take away stuff from the other classes?

Sczarni

Nicos wrote:
Abadar wrote:

Level 11 Knife Master

+1 Agile Kukris
Str 10 Dex 26
4 attacks (5 if you took ki pool)
Crit range at 15-20
Deadly sneaks...6d8 reroll 1's and 2's
BOSS STATUS
YOLO.
you forget to mention the -4 penalty (-2 twf -2 deadly sneak). Also, i think the rogue ki pool do not grant any extra attack.

Right on both accounts. The -4 penalty is mitigated (in most cases)by the additional damaged caused by TWO MORE ATTACKS critting at 15-20 and the additional sneak attacks. This is easily calculable by using a DPR equasion factoring in the average AC for the CR and your attack bonus. That's just a matter of calculation and knowing when to and when not to use it depending on the creature.

The extra attack from ki pool, I was wrong, sorry.

Sovereign Court

In my home game I've been considering giving rogues 1/2 their level (min 1) to attack and damage when attacking things that are sneak-able/crit-able.


Give rogues flurry of blows with rogue weapons, and instead of trap sense, give them an = scaling luck bonus to fort and will. And look up Cheapy's SA variant. Call it a day.


With this I was more trying to resolve the skill-related complaints (too many classes can be just as good as the rogue doing iconic rogue things) than the combat issues.

Some method of giving them a better chance to achieve their sneak attacks is definitely good, but straight up giving them a full BAB strikes me as wrong from both a flavor and a mechanic standpoint. They shouldn't be just as good as a fighter in a straight up fight, but they definitely should have a good chance of slipping their blade in when their opponent is distracted.

The purpose here was to try to fix the "If you want to be sneaky, just play a Ranger or a Ninja" sort of issues.


Deadly sneak is never a good deal. TWF might be, but deadly sneak certainly isn't.

The problem is that you're assuming you can sneak attack and that the Agile enhancement is available. Agile is in a setting splat and does not show up in the item tables in Ultimate Equipment.

When your build relies on a rare weapon enchant being available on one of the three decent weapons you're proficient with twice (but only one of which can be a rapier) and you aren't crafting your own weapons you don't really have a valid example of anything but that monty makes any build except a vow of poverty monk better.

Sczarni

@Atarlost Agile weapon is PFS legal, it's not just "some splat enchantment". Anybody w/ craft arms and armor can make it.

Deadly Sneak + Knife Master + Discretion is useful (ex. vs flat fooded, while invisible). I will agree that there are better ways to spend your rogue talents though, I'm just suggesting ways to improve damage... even if its circumstantial.

Most TWF actually use one light weapon. That way the penalties are reduced to -2/-2 and you can weapon focus one weapon and have both weapons get the bonus.


This is not the PFS subforum. Agile is not something you can expect in home games.


Atarlost wrote:
This is not the PFS subforum. Agile is not something you can expect in home games.

I do.

Sczarni

Atarlost wrote:
This is not the PFS subforum. Agile is not something you can expect in home games.

Haha, and this is why I don't play at your table. I think it would be naive to state that because agile weapon is PFS legal but not in ultimate combat that it would be un-allowed in most home games haha... I'm not sure I'll be responding regarding this specifically anymore.


Kalshane wrote:
There's a lot of discussion on the boards that rogues get outshined by other classes in stuff that's classically the rogue's schtick.

Here's mine:

Combat Style:
At level 4, select a combat style, and one feat from the list for that style. At levels 10 and 16, get another feat from the same list. The Rogue need not take Combat Expertise as a prerequisite. When using any of these feats and they depend upon CMB or attack rolls, treat Rogue levels as Warrior levels for the Base Attack portion when calculating CMB:
  • Cheater [Catch Off-Guard, Improved Dirty Trick, Greater Dirty Trick, Improved Trip, Greater Trip]
  • Thief [Improved Disarm, Greater Disarm, Improved Steal, Greater Steal, Skill Focus - Sleight of Hand]
  • Thug [Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, Stunning Fist, Intimidating Prowess, Skill Focus - Intimidate]
  • Coward [Dodge, Mobility, Run, Skill Focus - Bluff, Fleet]
  • Showoff [Antagonize, Dazzling Display, Skill Focus - Intimidate, Shatter Defenses, Weapon Focus]
  • Killer [Improved Initiative, Quickdraw, Skill Focus - Stealth, Improved Feint, Greater Feint]

  • Murderous Strike:
    at level 6, the Rogue’s Sneak attack dice are doubled on a standard action.
    This is my answer to the problem that TWF rogues are the only viable combat rogues. I don't like class-based easter eggs, where players are forced into a secret pigeonhole build to avoid sucking.


    What they need to do for all classes is to make it so that your class level is what you use for qualifying for feats not base attack. What i mean is that if a feat now requires base attack 11, would now require character level, but the feats that require specific classes levels would stay the same.


    Malignor wrote:
    Kalshane wrote:
    There's a lot of discussion on the boards that rogues get outshined by other classes in stuff that's classically the rogue's schtick.

    Here's mine:

    ** spoiler omitted **
    ** spoiler omitted **This is my answer to the problem that TWF rogues are the only viable combat rogues. I don't like class-based easter eggs, where players are forced into a secret pigeonhole build to avoid sucking.

    I like this. I would change one thing, instead of making the BAB situational allow a rogue to substitute a skill check for the CMB based on the combat style:

    Cheater- Bluff
    Thief-Sleight of Hand
    Thug-Intimidate
    Coward-Acrobatics
    Showoff- Intimidate
    Killer- Bluff


    Abadar wrote:

    Level 11 Knife Master

    +1 Agile Kukris
    Str 10 Dex 26
    4 attacks (5 if you took ki pool)
    Crit range at 15-20
    Deadly sneaks...6d8 reroll 1's and 2's
    BOSS STATUS
    YOLO.

    +8 BAB + 8 Dex + 1 Weap Foc + 1 Weap Enhance +2 flanking-3 Pirahna Strike -2 TWF +1 Boots of Speed -4 Deadly Sneaks = +12

    While Flanking your highest to hit with a +8 Dex and weap Foc you're looking at a +12 to hit. Standard AC for a CR 13 or so creature is AC 28. I added the boots of speed to significantly increase your DPR, I hope you don't mind

    You need to roll a 12 on your highest to hit.

    5 Attacks at +12/12/12/8/8. so your to hit percentages are .25/.25/.25/.05/.05 giving you a total of .85* DPR Crit Range is 15+ so any hit you make you threat on. aka you get 1.3*.85*DPR, except you need to calculate for crit confirmation. crit confirmation is another to hit which is .25 each but we're going to ignore it here for sheer ease.

    DPR = 1d4+15=17.5

    Sneak DPR= 6d8 reroll 1's and 2's meaning 5.5 is your average now.

    so .85*33 + 17.5*.85+1.3=47.835 at level 11.

    I'm sorry you have a DPR of 47.835 against something just 2 CR over you while flanking and with boots of haste. (please note deadly sneak's actually lower effective dpr but I used your suggestion)

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