Exploitation (tack-on rogue class feature)


Homebrew and House Rules


there are two reasons for this proposal. the first is that the sneak attack class feature is/should be a central/iconic function of the rogue class. the second is that early on in a non-spellcasting 3/4-BAB class's career other viable strategic options should open up for them (see my monk's alternate maneuver training)

so, to address the first reason, rather than having such an ability replace sneak attack, this proposal works to synergize it, by providing additional opportunities for the rogue to roll her sneak attack dice, as a core part of the class (not just an optional customization - there are those that will say 'just make these rogue talents' and to them i say that rogue talents should not be for picking up slack but instead for further creative customization). to prevent abuse, i have restricted the 'exploitative sneak attack' extra damage to once per round.

to address the second reason, this allows the rogue to have viable secondary options to striking for damage by mitigating the risk of retaliation in attempting maneuvers. i didn't just want to highlight certain maneuvers (often cited as 'most rogue-like' are dirty trick, steal, reposition, etc) because as varied as rogues are so are the maneuvers they might try to 'specialize' in. this thus leaves that thematic/mechanical choice to the player.

here it is:

Exploitation (Ex):

Spoiler:

At 3rd level, a rogue gains her first exploitation. From the list below, she chooses a set of conditions which she may hereafter take deadly advantage of. She gains another exploitation every three rogue levels thereafter, at 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level:

Confusion: foe is confused or fascinated.
Fatigue: foe is fatigued or exhausted.
Fear: foe is shaken, frightened, panicked, or cowering.
Nausea: foe is sickened or nauseated.
Pain: foe is under a pain or bleed effect.
Prone: foe is prone or standing up from prone.
Restraint: foe is entangled, grappled, or pinned.
Sensory Deprivation: foe is deafened, dazzled, or blinded.
Shock: foe is dazed, disabled, staggered, or stunned.

To exploit her foe's vulnerability, a rogue may apply her sneak attack damage dice to one successful attack per round against him, even if he otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her, so long as he suffers from one of her selected conditions. This effectively counts as (and does not stack with) a regular sneak attack, such as for the purposes of applying strike talents (which add effects a rogue’s sneak attack - see Rogue Talents), and for the purposes of determining immunity (it is considered precision damage, as normal). Alternatively, a rogue may opt to perform a combat maneuver without risk of provoking an attack of opportunity against a similarly vulnerable foe.


...

naturally, just like 'extra mercy' it follows that there be:

Extra Exploitation (new feat):

Spoiler:

Prerequisites: Sneak Attack class feature, Exploitation class feature
Benefit: Select one additional exploitation for which you qualify. You may perform combat maneuvers without provoking an attacks of opportunity and apply your sneak attack damage against foes who suffer from this exploitation's conditions, as normal.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. It's effects do not stack. Each time you take this feat, select a new exploitation.

...
thoughts?
cheers


Interesting idea. Playtesting would be needed to know for sure how it would effect balance. My concern would be that it would grant too many conditions for gaining multiple attacks per round that add Sneak Attack.

.....
.....

Another thing to be aware of, these conditions deny an opponent their Dex bonus to AC. As such, they already allow Sneak Attack on every attack.

Cowering
Pinned
Blind
Stunned


Shadowlord,

Exploitation wrote:
"To exploit her foe's vulnerability, a rogue may apply her sneak attack damage dice to one successful attack per round against him..."

emphasis added. so, at best, sneak attack every round, but only once every round. which equals about +1.75 damage per rogue level (which does not multiply on a critical hit) per round.

Exploitation wrote:
...even if he otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her, so long as he suffers from one of her selected conditions.

emphasis added. so, ordinarily simple concealment foils sneak attack damage altogether. this provides an avenue around that for blind/pinned/stunned opponents - again, only once per round though (as above).

these changes do not affect 'regular' sneak attack, so for those who want multiple sneak attack per round shenegans, that option still exists, and interacts in no way with these proposals.

also, the basic concept is not original, just the implementation as i have proposed. i have included the intellectual-pirate link.


I had not noticed either of your emphasis points before, I should have read more carefully. That would probably work out pretty well and not be terribly unbalancing. It could still use some play testing to be sure but seems like a good house rule to me.


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take two.
shifted levels.

Exploitation (Ex):

Spoiler:

At 3rd level, a rogue gains her first exploitation. From the list below, she chooses a set of conditions which she may hereafter take deadly advantage of. She gains another exploitation every four rogue levels thereafter, at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level:

Confusion: foe is confused or fascinated.
Fatigue: foe is fatigued or exhausted.
Fear: foe is shaken, frightened, panicked, or cowering.
Nausea: foe is sickened or nauseated.
Pain: foe is under a pain or bleed effect.
Prone: foe is prone or standing up from prone.
Restraint: foe is entangled, grappled, or pinned.
Sensory Deprivation: foe is deafened, dazzled, or blinded.
Shock: foe is dazed, disabled, staggered, or stunned.

To exploit her foe's vulnerability, a rogue may apply her sneak attack damage dice to one successful attack per round against him, even if he otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her, so long as he suffers from one of her selected conditions. This effectively counts as (and does not stack with) a regular sneak attack, such as for the purposes of applying strike talents (which add effects a rogue’s sneak attack - see Rogue Talents), and for the purposes of determining immunity (it is considered precision damage, as normal). Alternatively, a rogue may opt to perform a combat maneuver without risk of provoking an attack of opportunity against a similarly vulnerable foe.


take 3
added the ability to do modest damage with exploitative maneuver based on INT.
is this a good change?

Exploitation (Ex):

Spoiler:

At 3rd level, a rogue gains her first exploitation. From the list below, she chooses a set of conditions which she may hereafter take deadly advantage of. She gains another exploitation every four rogue levels thereafter, at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level:

Confusion: foe is confused or fascinated.
Fatigue: foe is fatigued or exhausted.
Fear: foe is shaken, frightened, panicked, or cowering.
Nausea: foe is sickened or nauseated.
Pain: foe is under a pain or bleed effect.
Prone: foe is prone or standing up from prone.
Restraint: foe is entangled, grappled, or pinned.
Sensory Deprivation: foe is deafened, dazzled, or blinded.
Shock: foe is dazed, disabled, staggered, or stunned.

To exploit her foe's vulnerability, a rogue may apply her sneak attack damage dice to one successful attack per round against him, even if he otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her, so long as he suffers from one of her selected conditions. This effectively counts as (and does not stack with) a regular sneak attack, such as for the purposes of applying strike talents (which add effects a rogue’s sneak attack - see Rogue Talents), and for the purposes of determining immunity (it is considered precision damage, as normal).

Alternatively, a rogue may opt to perform a combat maneuver without risk of provoking an attack of opportunity against a similarly vulnerable foe. If this special attack succeeds, she may choose to inflict an amount of damage equal to her number of sneak attack dice plus her Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) as an additional effect.


Maybe those could be made in rogue talents instead? There are already existing rogue talents that grant secondary effect to sneak attack so more could be added that bestows various conditions on the victim.


oh goodness you are the second person to read the ability as bestowing conditions rather than the conditions themselves triggering sneak attacks.
if the language is unclear how can it be better written?

it works like this. consider three 3rd level rogues, Mav, Clell, and Pip:

Mav picks Fear exploitation and sneak attacks foes his Wizard-buddy scares.

Clell picks Prone exploitation and sneak attacks foes his Fighter-buddy trips.

Pip picks Sensory Deprivation exploitation and sneak attacks foes his Bard-buddy bedazzles.

if instead Mav puts ranks in Intimidate, Clell picks up Improved Trip, and Pip selects the Minor Magic rogue talent (choosing Flare), they have acquired the means themselves to bestow the triggering conditions, and can follow up their own lead with sneak attacks.

at most, with only moderate optimization, a rogue could gain one sneak attack every round, regardless of positioning, following one round of set-up. is this too generous? if so, what can be done to reel it back in?

anyhow,
my question is whether or not, in addition to enabling sneak attacks, and in addition to enabling risk-free maneuvers, if the latter option should inflict a modest amount of damage, and whether that damage should be # of sneak attack dice + INT, or just INT, or what. i am interested in incentivizing both class loyalty (hence the sneak attack dice) and investment in Intelligence; should i omit the 'additional modest damage' concept entirely and just leave it at risk-free maneuvers?

Drejk, i want to boost the rogue's 'out-of-the-gate' maneuver viability, for i feel that a one-good-save spell-less 3/4-BAB class ought to have better battlefield control options, given freely as part of the class feature package, which can then be built upon further with other character options (skills/feats/talents/whathaveyou). rogue talents are best suited to this secondary customization. for it seems to me that the Fighter, Cleric, and Wizard (and their imitators) do their job just fine. i am searching for a way to allow the rogue to better contribute in a unique way to this paradigm.


rainzax wrote:

oh goodness you are the second person to read the ability as bestowing conditions rather than the conditions themselves triggering sneak attacks.

if the language is unclear how can it be better written?

*facepalm* My bad. I have browsed hastily and assumed it is similar to some concepts I had about expanding rogue abilities... And didn't read following posts...

I think they could act as talents/feats that allow the rogue to deliver sneak attack damage on additional conditions that normally don't deny Dex bonus to AC.


if multiple people misinterpret, it could be that the language is unclear...

i am in the middle of renovating rogue talents, and specifically 'strike talents' at that, in expanding that base, and any ideas you have for new strike talents which apply conditions is welcome.

BUT, the reason for this tack-on class feature is to make sneak attacks happen more often without having to 'waste' precious talents on making that happen. it is my view that when a rogue gains a rogue talent that it should either 1) open up a new venue of play or 2) significantly strengthen an existing one. sneak attack, as a class feature, needs help staying relevant, and oughtn't tug at the free-play of rogue talents - they shouldn't be having to pick up sneak attack's slack! so, i propose this class feature to do just that.

also, it is worth saying, the reason i backed off including it as part of a sneak attack alternate was to make it exclusive to the rogue (as sneak attack itself is granted to other class archetypes...)


paizo community,

i am on the fence as to directing the ratio of investment to payout in making viable the use of rogue-y combat maneuvers as a secondary rogue tactic.

the interaction comes between the Exploitation class feature proposal above (specifically being torn between 'take 2' and 'take 3') and the rogue talents (i renamed/created) which enable the Dirty Trick, Reposition, and Steal maneuvers. my current language for these is:

Spoiler:

Combat Swipe (Ex): A rogue with this talent may substitute her Sleight of Hand bonus for her CMB when performing a steal combat maneuver. She must wait 24 hours before using this ability against the same foe (using her regular CMB as normal for consecutive attempts).

Dirty Trickster (Ex): A rogue with this talent may substitute her Bluff bonus for her CMB when performing a dirty trick combat maneuver. She must wait 24 hours before using this ability against the same foe (using her regular CMB as normal for consecutive attempts).

Fancy Footwork (Ex): A rogue with this talent may substitute her Acrobatics bonus for her CMB when performing a reposition combat maneuver. She must wait 24 hours before using this ability against the same foe (using her regular CMB as normal for consecutive attempts).

...

basically, i like the idea of having a successful maneuver deal a modest amount of damage. the two orders of that damage are (INT) or (INT + # SA dice). my question then, what i am undecided about, is whether or not to locate the damage factor in the Exploitation feature inherently (thus for all maneuvers), or in the alternate Rogue Talents individually, in which the above three talents would instead contain the rough language:

Spoiler:

Combat Swipe - your successful steal maneuvers deal X damage
Dirty Trickster - your successful dirty trick maneuvers deal X damage
Fancy Footwork - your successful reposition maneuvers deal X damage

...

so, what ought it to be?

the first series of talents plus 'take 3'?

or the second series of talents plus 'take 2'?

also, should the damage (X) factor be? # Sneak Attack dice + INT? or just INT?

thanks for your feedback.


i suppose folks are busy with the playtest.

...

the changes below:

-will grant half sneak attack dice to all exploitative attacks (instead of full to one)
-will grant half sneak attack dice 'rider' damage to successful combat maneuver as rogue talents rather than in-built (see below)
-new 'conditions' include being outmaneuvered via Acrobatics and Escape Artist

Exploitation (take 4):

Spoiler:

At 3rd level, a rogue gains her first exploitation. From the list below, she chooses a set of conditions which she may hereafter take deadly advantage of. She gains another exploitation every four rogue levels thereafter, at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level:

Confusion: foe is confused or fascinated.
Fatigue: foe is fatigued or exhausted.
Fear: foe is shaken, frightened, panicked, or cowering.
Outmaneuvered: adjacent foe is denied attack of opportunity by rogue via Acrobatics skill in the same round.
Nausea: foe is sickened or nauseated.
Pain: foe is under a pain or bleed effect.
Prone: foe is prone or standing up from prone.
Restraint: foe is entangled, grappled, or pinned.
Sensory Deprivation: foe is deafened, dazzled, or blinded.
Shock: foe is dazed, disabled, staggered, or stunned.
Turnabouted: adjacent foe's grapple was broken by rogue using Escape Artist this or last round.

In exploiting her foe's vulnerability, the rogue applies half her sneak attack dice (rounded down) to successful attacks made against him, even if he otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her, so long as he suffers from one of her selected conditions. This extra damage is called 'exploitation damage' - it effectively counts as (and does not stack with) a regular sneak attack, such as for the purposes of applying strike talents (which add effects a rogue’s sneak attack - see Rogue Talents), and for the purposes of determining immunity (it is considered precision damage, as normal).

...

finally, from above, i will stick with:

Combat Swipe - your successful steal maneuvers deal X damage
Dirty Trickster - your successful dirty trick maneuvers deal X damage
Fancy Footwork - your successful reposition maneuvers deal X damage

:where X = exploitation damage.

thoughts?


This is a re-write to paragraph 2 that might better clarify the change you are proposing:

"When attacking an enemy with one of the conditions the rogue has chosen, the rogue may apply half her sneak attack damage (rounded down) to her damage rolls, even if her enemy otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her. This damage counts as (and does not stack with) a regular sneak attack, such as for the purposes of applying strike talents (which add effects a rogue’s sneak attack - see Rogue Talents), and for the purposes of determining immunity (it is considered precision damage, as normal)."

I personally had to read it three times before I realized that it wasn't applying conditions. To be honest I really like it and see this as a way to allow the rogue to stand up in combat better. I also like the idea of substituting CMB for skills in specific cases. I would also note that a rogue would still gain a bonus to Steal, etc., from the feats he took.

A different take on the damage granted from successful maneuvers could be this:

Dextrous Piercing (EX): - when a rogue successfully uses the Dirty Trick, Disarm, Reposition, Steal, or Trip combat maneuvers against an enemy, he automatically deals precision damage equal to half his sneak attack damage (rounded down) to that foe.

Brawler's Bludgeoning (EX): - when a rogue successfully uses the Bull Rush, Drag, Grapple, Overrun, or Sunder combat maneuvers against an enemy, he automatically deals precision damage equal to half his sneak attack damage (rounded down) to that foe.


I think this is a great idea.

I wouldn't worry about modifiers like half-sneak attack damage, or worrying that it's "broken" to let Sneak Attacks happen more often than normal.

The reason for which being that from a purely game-design rationale, a Rogue is always considered to be sneak attacking when determining what's balanced.

Yes, the "denied dex or flat-footed" thing is purely a flavor restriction. The Paladin is also balanced to always be smiting, and the Barbarian is balanced to always be raging. The fact that these abilities are limited and restricted is mostly a flavor issue, but also encourages tactical thinking and resource management. However, strictly speaking, it would not break the game's math to have these abilities always be constant.

So letting the Rogue have a flavorful reason to apply Sneak Attack damage more often is entirely balanced within system math, and I agree that it should not take up a Talent slot.

Let the good times (for the Rogue) roll, I say.


fair point, Avon Rekaes, but in terms of special combat mechanics as relating to frequency of applicability (a ratio), my experience is that there are roughly three tiers of that index, in which Rage > Smite/Favored Enemy > Sneak Attack, skewing the design assumption that a character will be able to use it's class abilities freely.

that said, in my view, the existence of 'strike talents' as a utility-rider effect changes the consideration given to Sneak Attack. and though i agree that sneak attack ought to have other triggers as part of the rogue class package, i don't think tipping the threshold into 'sneak attack every round' is a justified over-correction. thus, i have considered the 'half-liberal' (unlimited) restriction in addition to the 'full-conservative' (1/round) restriction.

because frankly, a rogue who gains one of these exploitation, not to mention more than one, is going to greatly increase the instances in which they may apply their sneak attack damage (plus any strike talents). and this is a good thing; but there can be too much of a good thing. and so i wonder where the line is.

...

War Colonel,

i have had difficulty constructing the paragraph. taking your model (further changes from your wording in blue):

Exploitation (Ex):

Spoiler:

At 3rd level, a rogue learns to severely exploit her foe's weaknesses, gaining her first exploitation. From the list below, she chooses a set of conditions which she may hereafter take deadly advantage of. She gains another exploitation every four rogue levels thereafter, at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level:

Confusion: foe is confused or fascinated.
Fatigue: foe is fatigued or exhausted.
Fear: foe is shaken, frightened, panicked, or otherwise cowering from a fear effect.
Outmaneuvered: adjacent foe is denied attack of opportunity by rogue via Acrobatics skill in the same round.
Nausea: foe is sickened or nauseated.
Pain: foe is under a pain or bleed effect.
Prone: foe is prone or standing up from prone.
Restraint: foe is entangled, grappled, or pinned.
Sensory Deprivation: foe is deafened, dazzled, or blinded.
Shock: foe is dazed, disabled, staggered, or stunned.
Turnabouted: adjacent foe's grapple was broken by rogue using Escape Artist this or last round.

When attacking an enemy under the effects of one of the conditions the rogue has chosen, the rogue may apply half her sneak attack damage (rounded down) to her damage rolls, even if her enemy otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her. This damage counts as (and does not stack with) a regular sneak attack, such as for the purposes of applying strike talents (which add effects a rogue’s sneak attack - see Rogue Talents), and for the purposes of determining immunity (it is considered precision damage, as normal).

...

also, minus the names (sorry!), i like the power/finesse split of your umbrella maneuver talent proposals. mainly because i never really liked the idea of a rogue burning a precious talent slot to gain a single signature 'trick' - as i see the class as more adaptable and versatile than that. i have made the argument before that having a secondary viable control strategy (ie maneuvers) ought to be built in automatically to any spell-less 3/4 BAB class. thus, gaining such versatility with a single talent slot seems fair enough. i will sit on this.

that said, i have considered 'maneuver viability' from three general mechanical vantage points:

1) allowing an iconic rogue skill to substitute for CMB
2) pairing a successful maneuver with sneak attack damage
3) providing a free maneuver check as a strike talent

which of the three do you think is the best approach?

thanks for the input folks.


rainzax wrote:
e of 'strike talents' as a utility-rider effect changes the consideration given to Sneak Attack. and though i agree that sneak attack ought to have other triggers as part of the rogue class package, i don't think tipping the threshold into 'sneak attack every round' is a justified over-correction. thus, i have considered the 'half-liberal' (unlimited) restriction in addition to the 'full-conservative' (1/round) restriction.

Sorry, I think you may have misunderstood me. I was not suggesting letting Sneak Attacks work all the time. While it wouldn't break the game, the restrictions actually lend to tactical gameplay decisions, which make the game more fun and interesting, which is good.

I was praising you for coming up with a different set of circumstances that lets a Rogue sneak attack, while still keeping Sneak Attack tactically interesting.

In other words, we are totally on the same page :P


It's a cool mechanic, I'll give you that, but IMHO it fails to address the real problem.

Rogues don't need more Sneak Attack, they need better saves, better class features, higher AC, better accuracy and more versatility. They need to be able to contribute in combat without completely depending on Sneak attack. They certainly need more tricks that are not made completely pointless by a 1st level spell.

Give Rogues a bunch of Rogue talents that are actually useful and scale with level and the class could actually work.

This is my suggestion.


Rogue:

1) needs better saves?

king of the Reflex save, what with Evasion and Trap Sense and generally high Dexterity, and with enough skill points and class features to put herself in a position where she oughtn't be making saving throws in the first place, a rogue's best 'saving throw' is playing her intelligently.

that said, yes she has the worst profile, with 3/4 BAB and a single strong save. fine. we will have to work with it. i suppose i swallowed the pill long ago that this will be a deficiency we will have to deal with, to which the adage "your best defense is a good offense" answers.

i like some of your ideas about boosting various saving throws using rogue talents, but even still some of them are underwhelming compared to other offensive or utility talents you also make available.

2) better class features? higher AC? better accuracy? more versatility? (i think all you are missing is 'more HP')

can't agree with you more.

thanks for sharing. some cool ideas in there!


new idea. and simpler.

give rogue a 1 round window to get in a 'free' sneak attack upon a foe bestruck with any legit 'condition'

Exploitation (version 2):

Spoiler:

At 6th level, a rogue's ability to exploit weaknesses in her foe's defenses sharpens. When one of her foes is stricken with a condition (see below) the rogue may target him as an immediate action. For one round, the rogue may apply her sneak attack damage to her target, even if he otherwise retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, is not currently being flanked by the rogue, or has concealment relative to her.

The list of conditions that serve as a trigger for this ability are as follows: blinded, confused, cowering, dazed, dazzled, deafened, disabled, entangled, exhausted, fatigued, fascinated, frightened, grappled, nauseated, panicked, pinned, prone, shaken, sickened, staggered, and stunned.

01- Trapfinding, Sneak Attack 1d6
02- Rogue Talents, Evasion
03- Trap Sense, Sneak Attack 2d6
04- Rogue Talent, Uncanny Dodge
05- Sneak Attack 3d6
06- Rogue Talent, Exploitation
07- Sneak Attack 4d6
08- Rogue Talent, Improved Uncanny Dodge...

comments?


Blinded, cowering, pinned, and stunned deny Dexterity bonus to AC and thus trigger sneak attack so this would be redundant in their case.


...concealment...


Duh... Clearly I have some sort of Perception penalty while reading your posts, it should be enough for you to sneak attack me without use of any extra conditions.


Would this allow dealing sneak damage to creature that is actually denied Dexterity bonus while concealed, rendering Shadow Strike feat from Advanced Player Guide obsolete, or would it only work with the conditions listed, making a weird situation where it would be easier for the rogue to sneak attack dazzled (a relatively minor condition) opponent that is concealed but not be able to sneak attack opponent that is denied Dexterity bonus to AC but concealed?


Hmmm, I see one problem with activating this ability as an immediate action with the current wording. It could allow the rogue to trigger the exploitation upon opponent suffering from this condition before his turn and sneak attack the opponent on when the rogue's turn comes, even if the victim was freed of the triggering condition by oneself or ally.


nice catch.

the '1 round window' because i want the rogue to be able to set himself up as well as rely on allies/teamwork.

then again, 'turns' within the 6-second round is a bit of a temporal an abstraction, and, say, if the rogue's buddy casts a blindness spell, the rogue calls 'target,' then the enemy's ally removes it in the next initiative count, and the rogue moves in with a sneak attack, this happens in a matter of seconds. so, that being the case, i think i'm ok with it.


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Ok. Been working on a class feature that synergizes directly with sneak attack, granting alternate ways besides just DX-denial and flanking.

Exploitation (version 3):

Spoiler:

At 5th level, the rogue's ability to exploit her foes' weaknesses using her sneak attack ability expands. She selects one of the following exploitations listed below, each of which is usable once per day per enemy she encounters (1/foe/day). The rogue selects another exploitation at 9th level, and again at 13th and 17th level.

Critical Hit:
Upon threatening a critical hit, the rogue may target her foe as a free action. If the confirmation roll succeeds, she may apply her sneak attack dice.

Opportunity Attack:
As her foe triggers an attack of opportunity from the rogue, the rogue may target him as a free action. If the opportunity attack roll succeeds, she may apply her sneak attack dice.

Outmaneuver:
When the rogue succeeds in using Acrobatics or Escape Artist to beat her enemy's CMD, she may target him as a free action. Within one round of doing so, she may apply her sneak attack dice to the next successful attack she makes against him.

Status Effect:
When the rogue's enemy is under a status effect, she may target him as a free action. Within one round of doing so, she may apply her sneak attack dice to the next successful attack she makes against him. Appropriate status effects include: blinded, confused, cowering, dazed, dazzled, deafened, disabled, entangled, exhausted, fatigued, fascinated, frightened, grappled, nauseated, panicked, pinned, prone, shaken, sickened, staggered, and stunned.

...

01- Sneak Attack, Trapfinding
02- Rogue Talents, Evasion
03- Trap Sense
04- Rogue Talent, Uncanny Dodge
05- Exploitation
06- Rogue Talent
07-
08- Rogue Talents, Improved Uncanny Dodge
09- Exploitation
10- Advanced Talents, Rogue Talent

help shaping this up?


I like this version.

1) What is the purpose of targeting? It seems to me that it would be easier to say "Once per day per enemy when she confirms a critical hit against, she can apply her sneak attack damage to that enemy, even if the enemy is not denied it's Dexterity bonus to AC or flanked." (just using the first one as an example) Is the purpose that the enemy can only be targeted once per day, and that if the confirmation is not made then the use is wasted? If so, that is not clear.

2) You should use the terms attack of opportunity and condition, not opportunity attack and status effect.


1) i want there to be an element of risk (simple failure - nothing major). so, 'targeting' as expending the ability before making the roll. in all four cases, the rogue 'declares' first then rolls the dice. contrast this with automatically dropping some dice on an already successful check.

2) you are right. in fact, the whole thing could be worded more better.

3) can you think of other appropriate 'exploitations'? combat maneuvers? spell disruptions? withdrawing foes?...


I like the idea, a resource pool is what the Rogue is needing. I'm not sure I like the "per enemy per day" system, I'd rather make it a pool of 1/2 Rogue level + INT or CHA, up to the Rogue's choice.

Rogue Exploits should be allowed to be used as an immediate action rather than a free one. A free action can only be done during your turn.


I've been curious, rainzax. Are all of these rogue tack-on abilities you have posted meant to function on the same rogue character, maybe one or two at a time, or have you not thought about it yet? Maybe you should write a complete "rainzex's rogue" one of these day.

You could probably break down the conditions list into three or four lists. As written, it is the most exploited exploitation.


resource pool here and here and here.

why do you dislike 1/foe/day?

good point on immediate action.


four more.

Exploitation (version 3 continued):

Spoiler:

Aim:
Using a ranged weapon, the rogue targets a foe within point blank range (usually 30 feet) as a free action and rolls her Perception against her foe's feint defense. Within one round of successfully doing so, she may apply her sneak attack dice to the next successful attack she makes against him.

Sleight:
Using a light weapon, the rogue targets her foe as a free action and rolls her Sleight of Hand against her foe's feint defense. Within one round of successfully doing so, she may apply her sneak attack dice to the next successful attack she makes against him.

Concentration:
The rogue targets a foe who is casting a spell as a free action. Within one round of doing so, she may apply her sneak attack dice to the next successful attack she makes against him.

Withdrawing:
The rogue targets a foe who is taking the withdraw action as a free action. Within one round of doing so, she may apply her sneak attack dice to the next successful attack she makes against him.


...


The wordings a little funny. What about this? It uses as much of the original feint wording as I could keep.

Aim
When the rogue is wielding a ranged weapon, she can target a foe within 30 feet as a free action. As part of the same free action she can attempt to feint in combat, making a Perception check in place of Bluff. If successful, the next ranged attack the rogue makes against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). This attack must be made with the wielded ranged weapon on or before the rogue's next turn.


this is brilliant.

i think i want to change the wording of Sleight to the same wording you have for Aim. i like the mechanic of having other skills essentially sub in for Bluff to feint. is there an Intelligence-based skill that could be used to feint?


Well, you could go crazy with knowledge skills on that. What about UMD to get golems to buy you drinks and pay your bills for you?


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Well, you could go crazy with knowledge skills on that. What about UMD to get golems to buy you drinks and pay your bills for you?

I'm not quite sure why, but that bit about the golem really cracks me up.


i broke up the conditions into different menu options and tried to streamline the language.
anybody got ideas for additional ones?

(btw - i'm thinking about using Rogue Talents to expand skills like Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, and Perception into different feint-mechanics for additional sneak attack interactivity - unlike below, these won't be limited to 1/foe/day)

Exploitation (version 4):

Spoiler:

Rogues brutally exploit vulnerability. A 5th level rogue chooses an exploitation below. To use it, the rogue must first target her foe as a free action. She may do this even if it's not her turn, but never against the same enemy twice until 24 hours have passed (1/foe/day). Within 1 round of doing so, the rogue may apply her sneak attack dice to the next damage roll she makes against her target (if she hasn't already). At 9th level and again every four rogue levels, the rogue chooses another exploitation.

As an optional rule, A rogue may use her cunning ability to re-roll her damage roll in conjunction with this ability; if the re-roll results in the felling of her foe, she does not expend a daily use of that ability.

Exploit Concentration:
You exploit your foe as part of a readied action while he is casting a spell.

Exploit Confusion:
You exploit a foe who is confused, fascinated, or under a compulsion effect.

Exploit Critical Hit:
You exploit a foe whom you have confirmed a critical hit against.

Exploit Escape:
You exploit a foe whose grapple you have broken.

Exploit Fatigue:
You exploit a foe who is exhausted or fatigued.

Exploit Fear:
You exploit a foe who is cowering, frightened, panicked, or shaken.

Exploit Opportunity:
You exploit your foe as part of your next attack of opportunity.

Exploit Pain:
You exploit a foe who is under a bleed or pain effect.

Exploit Prone:
You exploit a foe who is prone.

Exploit Nausea:
You exploit a foe who is nauseated or sickened.

Exploit Restrained Movement:
You exploit a foe who is entangled, grappled, pinned, or whose base speed is impeded.

Exploit Sensory Deprivation:
You exploit a foe who is blinded, dazzled, deafened, or whose primary sense is impeded.

Exploit Shock:
You exploit a foe who is dazed, disabled, staggered, or stunned.

Exploit Withdraw:
You exploit your foe as part of a readied action while he is using the withdraw action.

...
cheers


the 'cunning exploitation' just enables a re-targeting within the same day

Exploitation (version 4.5):

Spoiler:

Rogues brutally exploit vulnerability. A 5th level rogue chooses an exploitation below. To use it, the rogue must first target her foe as a free action. She may do this even if it's not her turn, but never against the same enemy twice until 24 hours have passed (1/foe/day). Within 1 round of doing so, the rogue may apply her sneak attack dice to the next damage roll she makes against her target (if she hasn't already). At 9th level and again every four rogue levels, the rogue chooses another exploitation.

As an optional rule, when the rogue successfully uses exploitation to land a sneak attack, she may expend a use of her cunning. If she does, she may target her foe with the same exploitation an additional time within the next 10 rounds (1 minute).

Exploit Concentration - You exploit your foe as part of a readied action while he is casting a spell.
Exploit Confusion - You exploit a foe who is confused, fascinated, or under a compulsion effect.
Exploit Critical Hit - You exploit a foe whom you have confirmed a critical hit against.
Exploit Escape - You exploit a foe whose grapple you have broken.
Exploit Fatigue - You exploit a foe who is exhausted or fatigued.
Exploit Fear - You exploit a foe who is cowering, frightened, panicked, or shaken.
Exploit Opportunity - You exploit your foe as part of your next attack of opportunity.
Exploit Pain - You exploit a foe who is under a bleed or pain effect.
Exploit Prone - You exploit a foe who is prone.
Exploit Nausea - You exploit a foe who is nauseated or sickened.
Exploit Restrained Movement - You exploit a foe who is entangled, grappled, pinned, or whose base speed is impeded.
Exploit Sensory Deprivation - You exploit a foe who is blinded, dazzled, deafened, or whose primary sense is impeded.
Exploit Shock - You exploit a foe who is dazed, disabled, staggered, or stunned.
Exploit Withdraw - You exploit your foe as part of a readied action while he is using the withdraw action.


...

i'd really appreciate some feedback here. is the ability way off? targeting mechanics too wonky? should i back off keeping it simple and consolidate some of these? any flavorful ones i am missing? mis-classifications? like version 2 or 3 better?...
cheers

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I noticed that you made a lot of interesting suggestions concerning the rogue in various threads. Do you have a compiled version somewhere? That would make it easier to follow your thoughts.

I like the general idea of the exploitation feature (adding conditions that trigger sneak attacks). However, I believe the exploits are very different in their applicability. Some of them won't come up very often (exploit escape), others are very ease to get (restrained movement, prone). These are hard to balance, because one could easily make a build based on exploiting a certain condition. Maybe you could throw in level requirements for your exploits?

I find the target mechanics unnecessarily complicated. Why not just make it once per day per foe (to reflect that the enemy won't fall for the same trick twice)?

Also, some exploits don't make a lot of sense to me (confusion, withdraw). Nothing in these suggests that they impair the target's ability to defend itself (maybe replace withdraw with charge?).


awkward targeting mechanics removed
interactivity with 'regular' sneak attack expanded
classification broadened in include SA-immune types
the synergy to make a 'build' out of these is encouraged

Exploitation (version 5):

Spoiler:

Rogues brutally exploit vulnerability. A 5th level rogue chooses one Exploitation (below), and another every four rogue levels thereafter (at 9th, 13, and 17th). Each one details the vulnerability the rogue is exploiting, and each is usable against a vulnerable foe once per 24 hours. Exploiting her foe is as simple as succeeding on an attack roll. As a swift action, the rogue simply applies her sneak attack dice to a damage roll - if the attack is already a sneak attack, she maximizes the dice instead. Most exploitations are usable against a foe who is suffering from a condition or status effect. Others are usable against a creature type that is ordinarily immune to precision damage, or against a foe performing a specific action in combat. The latter case requires the rogue to ready an attack action against her victim to catch him in the act. These are extraordinary abilities.

Charmed Exploitation (charm or compulsion effect)
Confusion Exploitation (confused or fascinated)
Fatigue Exploitation (exhausted or fatigued)
Fear Exploitation (frightened, panicked, or shaken)
Nausea Exploitation (nauseated or sickened)
Pain Exploitation (bleed or pain effect)
Prone Exploitation (prone)
Restraint Exploitation (entangled, grappled, or pinned)
Sensory Exploitation (blinded, dazzled, or deafened)
Shock Exploitation (dazed, staggered, or stunned)
Elemental Exploitation
Ooze Exploitation
Spellcasting Exploitation
Withdrawing Exploitation


...

other ideas? comments


thought of something.

Repeat Offender (new feat):

Spoiler:

Prerequisites: Exploitation, Sneak Attack +3d6
Benefit: Choose one of your exploitations. You develop a special knack for that exploitation, and may use it once per round against the same foe, instead of once per day.
Special: This feat may be selected multiple times, each time applying to a different exploitation.

plus i trimmed more words, as the whole action/creature type thing seemed too forced.
she's lookin' pretty mean now.

Exploitation (version 5.5):

Spoiler:

Rogues brutally exploit vulnerability. A 5th level rogue chooses one Exploitation (below), and another every four rogue levels thereafter (at 9th, 13, and 17th). The rogue has only to hit a creature that is suffering from a listed condition or status effect to exploit him. As a swift action, the rogue applies her sneak attack dice to the damage roll - if the attack is already a sneak attack, she maximizes the dice instead. Each exploitation is usable against the same victim only once per 24 hours.

Charmed Exploitation (charm or compulsion effect)
Confusion Exploitation (confused or fascinated)
Curse Exploitation (curse effect)
Fatigue Exploitation (exhausted or fatigued)
Fear Exploitation (frightened, panicked, or shaken)
Nausea Exploitation (nauseated or sickened)
Pain Exploitation (bleed or pain effect)
Prone Exploitation (prone)
Restraint Exploitation (entangled, grappled, or pinned)
Sensory Exploitation (blinded, dazzled, or deafened)
Shock Exploitation (dazed, staggered, or stunned)
Slow Exploitation (reduced speed or slowed)


...

still lookin' fer other ideas.
cheers.


I'm glad you dropped Ooze Exploitation. And you might consider renaming Repeat Offender. For an feat that augments an ability called Exploitation, it sounds kind of rapey. :)

As far as constructive criticism goes, I suggest removing the bit about maximizing SA dice. If the intent of Exploitation is to squeeze additional ways to get SA, you're working against that. If anything, the player will not use Exploitation until he knows he can maximize the dice. That seems counter to the intent, IMHO.


at first glance yes.

the ability is limited to once per foe per day per exploitation (got that?) - the strategic decision is between choosing to 'blow' the ability to augment an already confirmed sneak attack or to create a new sneak attack, and so is a choice between 'wasting' the attempt on burst damage (statistically an additional +2.5 damage per SA die immediately) and utilizing the extra SA to exercise additional battlefield control (via strike talents) and/or squeeze even more damage out of the ability overall (statistically +1 damage per SA dice by comparison) by holding off one or more rounds. essentially, if you don't actually drop the foe choosing the maximize option, it is strategically inferior to creating a second sneak attack opportunity. i consider this tactical crossroad an intentional feature. what more, for those who omit doing the math, both options are pretty darn good.

both have their uses. and besides, to even be at that decision crossroad, the stars have to align. (ie meeting both standard SA and exploitation SA qualifications simultaneously).


Version Six
Cleaned up the wording and added a force multiplier de-buff option to compliment the damage option. Let me know if this is completely wacky?

Exloitation (Version Six):

Spoiler:

Choose one exploitation below. Once per day per target, a rogue who succeeds on an attack roll against an opponent suffering from a condition listed under her exploitation may either escalate** that condition for 1 round (ex. shaken becomes frightened), or, she may turn the attack into a sneak attack. If she chooses the latter, and the attack was already a sneak attack, the sneak attack dice are instead maximized. Either way, exploiting her foe's vulnerability is an immediate action.
At 7th level, and again every four rogue levels thereafter, the rogue masters another exploitation. Each individual exploitation is usable once per day per target.

Blind Exploitation** (dazzled, blinded)
Confusion Exploitation** (fascinated, confused)
Fatigue Exploitation** (fatigued, exhausted)
Fear Exploitation** (shaken, frightened, panicked)
Nausea Exploitation** (sickened, nauseated)

Pain Exploitation: (bleed or pain effect)
Prone Exploitation: (prone)
Restraint Exploitation: (entangled, grappled, or pinned)
Shock Exploitation: (dazed, staggered, or stunned)
Slow Exploitation: (reduced speed, or slowed)

**Exploitations with conditions that may be escalated are marked by two asterisks.


...

cheers.


Yeah, I agree with Avon on this. It would take a pretty hefty boost in power, or just something that a player can figure out how to exploit (sigh) in just the right way to break the rogue. In my opinion it is one of, really two classes that simply needs a boost in power.

Funnily I've been strongly considering doing a writeup on new class features to tack onto the rogue specifically to boost its power, and make the rogue more, well roguish and was considering calling my options exploits as well (I was going to go in an entirely different direction though). However, I now recall that the arcanist gets exploits, which is just another form of the same word, might want to find a new name for our rogue goodies in both our cases to keep the distinction clear.

Anyhow, I would really want to see this rogue paired up with an antipaladin, that would be a great team... antipaladin inflicts cruelties making the target fatigued, so on, rogue takes advantage of this to sneak attack them.
At least, if I'm understanding right, that's how it would work.


Farastu,
exploit (noun) = "a bold or daring feat"
exploitation (noun) = "an act that victimizes someone"

i think the Arcanist version has something to do with a programming analogy but i am not certain of this.

but yeah this is homebrew don't nobody own nothing but paizo here so feel free to 'steal' the ideas (especially rogue ideas!) or names of ideas shamelessly.

and yes, i recently had the idea that worsening conditions sounded like a very roguish thing to do, whether those conditions are created by teammates (Antipaladin or otherwise) or the rogue herself.


Exploitation is also defined as "the act of exploiting" which is a form of exploit. Pathfinder all ready reuses terms, or uses similar terms across different classes quite a bit anyways, so eh, nothing new there anyhow I suppose.

See, to me, part of the appeal of having the rogue worsen conditions, or take advantage of ones caused by a teammate is that it encourages teamwork, but, I can also see the flaw in not allowing the rogue to also inflict those things on their own (which, yes, is a very roguish thing).

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