One Thread To Rule Them All: The Rogue and the ACG Classes


Advanced Class Guide Playtest General Discussion

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Nicos wrote:

To be clear I woudl prefer the option when the rogue exist as a perfectly functional non-obsolete mundane class alongside the bard,ranger alchemist, investigator, inquisitor and slayer.

But that will not happen, so there is no point in punishing the investigator and the slayer for all the years of abbandon the rogue have suffered.

I pretty much agree with both of these, with the caveat though that there's no reason it couldn't happen. Even if it's not going to.


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PDFs. seriously paizo. just release free updated PDFs for folks who've purchased the books, and actually fix your system's base classes. they cant complain about being invalidated because they keep all the updates on-hand for free (unless they refuse to use non-physical copies, but that's their own problem), and you're now free to change things as needed, instead of leaving them to rot as you release better alternatives later.

as for people who's builds will be altered by the class changes--oh no, you're getting better stuff, the horror!


It seems like the invetigator will no longer made the rogue obsolete, now the rogue and the investigator are both bad.


Paizo should just forget about Rogues' existence. Using them as a balancing point will only drag down other classes to uselessness.

I'd rather see the Rogue fixed, of course, but since that's not a real possibility, might as well let everyone else have their fun.

Having one horrible class is bad enough, we don't need two of them.


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The Rogue functions just fine at my table.

I have two players who consider it their favorite class. Even over the bard, alchemist, ranger, and both versions of the investigator and slayer.

I make no special considerations for their characters and they play and flourish perfectly well.

I wish all of you having this problem the best of luck sorting it, but it does not exist at my table.


Weslocke wrote:

The Rogue functions just fine at my table.

I have two players who consider it their favorite class. Even over the bard, ranger, and both versions of the investigator and slayer.

I make no special considerations for their characters and they play and flourish perfectly well.

I wish all of you having this problem the best of luck sorting it, but it does not exist at my table.

K. Glad to hear it.


AndIMustMask wrote:

PDFs. seriously paizo. just release free updated PDFs for folks who've purchased the books, and actually fix your system's base classes. they cant complain about being invalidated because they keep all the updates on-hand for free (unless they refuse to use non-physical copies, but that's their own problem), and you're now free to change things as needed, instead of leaving them to rot as you release better alternatives later.

as for people who's builds will be altered by the class changes--oh no, you're getting better stuff, the horror!

Because as has been stated numerous times, anything that isn't minor errata leads to changes in word count, which leads to changes in spacing, which leads to Paizo redoing the layout. That's actually a decent amount of work for the editorial team, besides needing to playtest the new version. All for something you want them to give away for free.

Any rogue fix not involving new options will have to wait for a new edition.

Shadow Lodge

Also Paizo has repeatedly said that they are a print-first, digital-media-second company. Book layout, images, etc. are designed with the printed books in mind, not PDFs (which has led to some problems with PDFs, especially in regards to things like map grids not being perfectly square, etc.). Most of their profits are made off the selling of their print products - such as subscriptions, which is why they don't have an option for a digital-only subscription - not the PDFs and other digital media. And any changes to books, again outside minor errata, are applied to print products first.

If there are going to be changes, they'll be in print first, PDF second. There will be no changes to just PDFs. Ever. Or at least not until the management's mindset on digital vs. print changes.


MMCJawa wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:

PDFs. seriously paizo. just release free updated PDFs for folks who've purchased the books, and actually fix your system's base classes. they cant complain about being invalidated because they keep all the updates on-hand for free (unless they refuse to use non-physical copies, but that's their own problem), and you're now free to change things as needed, instead of leaving them to rot as you release better alternatives later.

as for people who's builds will be altered by the class changes--oh no, you're getting better stuff, the horror!

Because as has been stated numerous times, anything that isn't minor errata leads to changes in word count, which leads to changes in spacing, which leads to Paizo redoing the layout. That's actually a decent amount of work for the editorial team, besides needing to playtest the new version. All for something you want them to give away for free.

Any rogue fix not involving new options will have to wait for a new edition.

new edition? you mean years/decades/possibly not at all? that's a long time to wait for the core material (you know, that thing most players are introduced to when they express interest in the game?) to fix a trap option.

EDIT: correction: not trap option, mediocre option.


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AndIMustMask wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:


Because as has been stated numerous times, anything that isn't minor errata leads to changes in word count, which leads to changes in spacing, which leads to Paizo redoing the layout. That's actually a decent amount of work for the editorial team, besides needing to playtest the new version. All for something you want them to give away for free.

Any rogue fix not involving new options will have to wait for a new edition.

new edition? you mean years/decades/possibly not at all? that's a long time to wait for the core material (you know, that thing most players are introduced to when they express interest in the game?) to fix a trap option.

EDIT: correction: not trap option, mediocre option.

Except most players (customers) probably don't care enough about optimization to think the rogue is the worst thing ever. I doubt revamping the rogue and monk would be nearly as profitable from a time and cost perspective as doing new hardcovers with new class options/game mechanics.


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When I look at the Rogue, I think of the core Barbarian. The rage powers in the CRB are generally terrible and the Barb was inferior to the Fighter.

Then along comes the APG which introduced a ton of awesome rage powers for the barb and some sweet archetypes and the Barbarian has never looked back. Why not just put out a bunch of Rogue powers that are actually good? I see Barbarian PCs spending feats to get more Rage Powers and you see Rogues trying to trade Rogue talents for Feats. Why? Because Rage powers are better than feats and Rogue talents are worse. Publish a bunch of Rogue talents that fix the rogues problems (and there are many) and then the Rogue Talents would actually be valuable.


Players have a few nice Rogue alternatives as it is. Ninja and Vivisectionist provide their own Invisibility and Greater Invisibility. Ninja gets Shadow Clone to make up to Evocation vulnerabilities, and Vivisectionist has some nice self-healing options that greatly increase its effective hitpoints.

It'd be nice to have Investigator balanced against those options, but eh… optimizers can largely ignore bad classes without too much worry.


Vaellen wrote:

When I look at the Rogue, I think of the core Barbarian. The rage powers in the CRB are generally terrible and the Barb was inferior to the Fighter.

Then along comes the APG which introduced a ton of awesome rage powers for the barb and some sweet archetypes and the Barbarian has never looked back. Why not just put out a bunch of Rogue powers that are actually good? I see Barbarian PCs spending feats to get more Rage Powers and you see Rogues trying to trade Rogue talents for Feats. Why? Because Rage powers are better than feats and Rogue talents are worse. Publish a bunch of Rogue talents that fix the rogues problems (and there are many) and then the Rogue Talents would actually be valuable.

The trouble is unlike Extraordinary Rage powers, all Rogue Talents are extraordinary as normal/mundane; while Rage powers are extraordinary as able to break laws of physics (actual definition of extraordinary).

Supernatural rage powers are, of course, even better.

I can't think of any supernatural rogue talents (maybe ninja ones).


Starbuck_II wrote:
I can't think of any supernatural rogue talents (maybe ninja ones).

Dispelling Attack is (Su), and there are a couple of (Sp). But yes, for the rogue (Ex) = (Extremely Disappointing).

Some of the rage powers would work OK for rogue talents, such as Clear Mind, Guarded Stance, Raging Climber/Leaper, Low-Light Vision, Rolling Dodge and Quick Reflexes. Just strip out the Raging clause in some fashion and you're good to go. None are particularly special, just vastly better than the current tripe.


Starbuck_II wrote:


The trouble is unlike Extraordinary Rage powers, all Rogue Talents are extraordinary as normal/mundane; while Rage powers are extraordinary as able to break laws of physics (actual definition of extraordinary).

Supernatural rage powers are, of course, even better.

True. There coudl be for example a rogue talent that let the rogue to have blindsense for a limited rounds per day but rogue powers have to be bad cause magic have to be great.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eh, I still like the Rogue, don't think it's been invalidated at all. I still play rogues, and people still play them in my games. Mostly I just consider all this talk that it has been invalidated to be internet echo chamber hype.


*Reads the thread* Yeah! The Rogue is dead!

*Reads more thread* Yeah! It's been replaced!

*Reads Squeakmaan* Yeah! Echo chamber hype! Er... I mean...

Bah. Not every game goes at full blast, and not every group maximizes. To those who look to get mechanical advantages, the rogue has passed on. Groups who don't maximize will still find a lot to cherish with the Rogue. The class has been replaced mechanically but the idea is too Iconic to die.


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Part of what's up is that there's a number of concepts, some of which are true of the rogue and some of which are not true of the rouge, that are getting blurred together.

The rogue IS NOT strictly dominated - There technically exist (narrow and convoluted) sets of priorities where the rogue is technically the best way to get those things.
The rogue IS mostly dominated - For most realistic sets of priorities you might have, even for a rogue-like character, the rogue class is not the most efficacious way to get those things, or else you can get those things and a whole lot more better stuff elsewhere.
A rogue IS NOT complete dead weight - You won't instantly fail and die and doom your whole party if you play a rogue. A rogue can be a functional contributing member of a party.
The rogue IS below the curve - A rogue is less able to contribute to resolving standard adventuring challenges than most classes are.


the ACG options for the base classes to grab the hybrid abilities (which was brought up by the devs) might be cool for the rogue--you'd be trading sneak attack (which is rather finicky to get reliably) for studied combat/studied strike (static damage per hit and an attack boost for INT duration per target, with spike damage at the end as a finisher of sorts), or favored target and slowed SA progression. both might help stabilise the class a bit, since it helps alleviate the rogue's issue with attack accuracy.


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Weslocke wrote:

The Rogue functions just fine at my table.

I have two players who consider it their favorite class. Even over the bard, alchemist, ranger, and both versions of the investigator and slayer.

I make no special considerations for their characters and they play and flourish perfectly well.

I wish all of you having this problem the best of luck sorting it, but it does not exist at my table.

That does not make it a decent class across the board, and your players may all not be looking for satisfaction in the same areas as other players. "Liking it" does not mean it was designed well.


Tangent101 wrote:

I disagree. The Rogue still has a place in that it's a skill-based character for people who hate the extra complexity of spells. And yes, I've two players that dislike magic. One is playing a ranger and would be overjoyed if she didn't have any spells at all. The second is playing a rogue in one game and a barbarian in the second because 20+ spells for each level is too much choice.

In addition, the Rogue Talent to auto-find traps is handy for GMs playing a GMPC filling out the fourth slot of a party without meta-gaming. And the multi-classing aspects of Rogues is also useful.

The Rogue can be improved, yes. Personally I think many of their skills should be taken out of the skill pool and made class-specific. But that's a decision for a future edition of Pathfinder.

Even with all this there is the slayer. He has less skills, sure but he can do a lot of rogue stuff as good as the rogue and he can fight in addition to that.

You can play him like a Ranger without spells or like a rogue that can fight or like a mix of both.


Rynjin wrote:

Investigator pretty much obsoletes the Rogue class, I think.

Personally, I think this is a good thing. Paizo isn't going to rewrite a Core class to make it better in any significant way. Having a solid replacement is a good idea, especially since it incorporates many of the things people wanted to toss into the Rogue to fix it.

I'll second this. The rogue class has long suffered from what I call 'Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better'. If your definition of 'rogue' is someone who's stealthy, can open locks, disarm most traps, and deal decent damage rather than being defined by class, then just about anything OTHER than the Rogue class can do it. I would argue that possibly the least competent 'rogue' is the Rogue class. Ninja, Ranger, Alchemist, Bard, Slayer, Investigator, or frankly anyone with decent skill points willing to spend an extra talent to pick up Disable Device and Stealth as in class will probably be more successful. Rogue either needs a complete rewrite and rebalancing with current classes, or should be left in a bin somewhere. The easiest way to do this would probably be to come out with a bunch of Rogue Only (non Ninja, ROGUE ONLY) Talents - and frankly they'd have to be far better than what's currently available.

I'm sure there's lots of people who disagree with me, and I respect your opinions, but when I first downloaded this handbook I took one look at Investigator and thought 'well that's it then'.

Scarab Sages

Tangent101 wrote:
The Rogue can be improved, yes. Personally I think many of their skills should be taken out of the skill pool and made class-specific. But that's a decision for a future edition of Pathfinder.

I can't see that happening, really.

Skills were opened up in 3rd Edition, precisely because it was impossible to justify why they couldn't be learned by anyone who put the time in.
The few skills that remained restricted were opened up in 3.5, and to reverse that would be to go against one of the overriding design intentions of the modern game, to remove arbitary restrictions on character concepts.

In the specific area of trap-building/disabling, there are real-life examples of people who had the knowledge, but were never 'Rogues' in D&D terms.
Leonardo da Vinci and Archimedes were both academics, who designed and created working models of marvelous devices, and plans for many more hypothetical concepts, yet neither would be considered to possess 'Evasion' or 'Sneak Attack'.

There are simply no grounds for restricting the ability to one or two classes.


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Not that I think that skills should be restricted or closed off, but applying the "there's no reason that anybody who puts the time into it shouldn't be able to learn this" to more mundane competencies does make it hard for classes that are supposed to have those mundane competencies as their points of specialization to retain their niche. It's up to the game to decide whether "puts the time in" means "takes a ton of levels of rogue or expert" or whether it means "just has to put one of your piles of skill points into this." Pathfinder is happy, as it stands, to respond to "My wizard has studied mechanical devices and can disable traps" with "Cool, just put your skill points into Disable Device, and why not grab a trait to make it a class skill, too?" On the other hand, "My Fighter is a devout worshipper of Saranrae, so I'm going to pray to her for some healing on most days" gets "not without some levels of cleric you aren't."

That's not to say that you can't have a game that makes mundane stuff available to everyone and non-mundane stuff not-available to everyone, but it does require being careful about how you juice classes that are supposed to be excelling at the mundane stuff.

I don't, incidentally, think that "deals with traps" is at all a good niche for a class to have in the first place. "Specific response to a narrow threat" as a class design goal doesn't lead to anything good. In campaigns where that threat is common, you NEED that class in the party (which is super bad) unless the game offers a bunch of other ways to get around the threat, which eliminates the need for your specific-response class in the first place. In campaigns where the narrow threat is not common, the specific-response class is largely pointless.

Scarab Sages

.


I'm playing a rouge at the moment and not having any problems with the class does all that i expect or want and is good fun
Maybe that makes me the odd one out here i don't know and more importantly i don't care if other people have a problem with rogues as there fine by me

Scarab Sages

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<got bumped out while typing. Hah. Good job I save my walls of text offsite!>

Joyd wrote:
Not that I think that skills should be restricted or closed off, but applying the "there's no reason that anybody who puts the time into it shouldn't be able to learn this" to more mundane competencies does make it hard for classes that are supposed to have those mundane competencies as their points of specialization to retain their niche.

Indeed it does. And it's been an issue right from the beginning of the game.

By setting a 'realism' cap on the outcomes available to non-casting classes, while opposing any such cap on casters (they can literally have anything they could Wish for), allowing casters to carry out any mundane task they can justify with backstory ("Well, my father was a sailor, so my cleric should be able to navigate and steer this ship...") while forbidding any reverse bleeding of abilities from casters to martials ("My mother was one of the priestesses of Hecate, so I should be able to detect magic at will, and cast cantrips...whuh? No? Well it sounds reasonable to me.") then how can you fail to create a two-tier game?

Joyd wrote:
"My Fighter is a devout worshipper of Saranrae, so I'm going to pray to her for some healing on most days" gets "not without some levels of cleric you aren't.".

In a world where the gods exist, the devout Fighter should be able to call on miraculous healing or rescue, especially from martially inclined deities. Who should a Valkyrie aid? The man who held the bridge from a horde of trolls? Or the painted priest, lurking at the rearguard in a perfumed dress?

IMO, there shouldn't even be a cleric class. Divine favour should come in the form of boons, cashed in for services rendered to further the gods' aims. And since gods have their own rivalries, aiding one should result in a corresponding level of grief from another...not blanket Nothing But Good Stuff For Free, For Ever.
Giving one PC a hotline to the gods at level 1 seems a good way to designate every other PC as their dogsbody, by default.

An earlier post brought up the idea of the Rogue as a self-reliant iconoclast, viewing magic with scepticism and the gods with distrust.
If only the game rewarded such a concept.
Or even supported it, as a viable philosophical path?
Magic is only a crutch, if the in-game mechanics for it have a downside. But they don't. It is easy, cheap and reliable.

If divine casters' power waned in accordance to their god's tenuous connection to the Prime? But no, a priest of Ra can blast sunrays all day and all night, even when the Royal Barge is on the wrong side of the sky, passing through Apophis' belly.

If the Wizard class actually followed some Laws of Cosmic Balance, as described in most fantasy literature, where any request for the most minor spell is met with a muttering and shaking of the head. "Oh, no, young pupil. We must not tempt fate, by interfering with the planned course of the universe, except in the direst of circumstance! Lest our hubris bring down the pillars of creation upon our heads! Magic should be used sparingly, and never for selfish ends, ere it rebound upon the user, One! Thousand! Fold!"

But it doesn't. And they don't.
And therefore, there is no believable in-character reason for a character, brought up in a magical world, to forgo, or swear a vow against, the use of magic.
It doesn't make him braver, or stronger, for his self-sacrifice.
He's not any more 'free', than those who rely on the 'crutch' of magic, since magic (arcane or divine) doesn't actually ask or inflict any sacrifices or consequences on its users.
It just makes him a curiosity, a freak.
The rest of the world would look at him the way modern folk would gawp at an Amish farmer driving his horse and cart down the centre of the city.
"There's that guy who likes to make life difficult for himself. Why doesn't he buy a phone? Then he could have saved himself a trip. He just wants to be a masochist. Takes him ten times as long, to get half as much done."


I like the new classes myself. But if you want to "fix" the rogue I think all you have to do is say "everyone who flanks gets x amount of precision damage", then boost the rogue's ability to take advantage of the mechanic.

Seems to me, the biggest complaint for rogues has been their addition to the combat space. But they give us a core class, that is supposedly martial and then put it on a Medium BAB progression that makes best use of TWF. Seems like masochism.

So while I like the new classes...I am really anxious to see the archetypes.

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