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


Advanced Class Guide Playtest General Discussion

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Hey all,

Much like my brawler/monk thread, this thread is to hopefully contain the majority of discussion on the rogue and it’s place in the game following the introduction of the ACG.

This one is going to get even more heated than the brawler/monk one.

Stay level-headed. There are many perspectives for balance. The one you have isn’t the only. :)


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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.


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My own thoughts:

When looking at it from an in-combat and powergaming perspective, I think with the introduction of the investigator, slayer, and swashbuckler, the rogue is undeniably dead. The only reason I can think of to be a rogue over say an investigator is if you’re in a very AoE heavy game, and evasion would save your petusch often. Otherwise, the sheer versatility that extracts offer, especially their 1 minute brew time, combined with the amazing Inspiration pool, means in combat and out, a character will 95 times out of 100 be better as an investigator. Especially when it comes to skills and versatility. The int focus means that they’ll have the same number skills per level as a rogue with 10 Int, but with the extra skill points the rogue will get over the investigator probably won’t balance out against Inspiration, which allows the investigator to boost his skills, or spread out his skills more and rely on boosts to get them up to level. This class takes away from the skill monkey aspect of the rogue.

When it comes to the agile light armor fighter type, rogue has been the go-to for a while, due to sneak attack allowing nice bonus damage to an otherwise low-damage output basis. But now that the swashbuckler exists, I’m not seeing the rogue being used for that except for the most niche of builds. This is a very popular archetypical character, so I think the swashbuckler is going to steal quite the number of ‘potential characters’ from the rogue class.

And finally, the slayer. TWF rogues can be scary business, despite what the forums tell you. It may not work all the time, but when it does work, it’s a thing of beauty. A beauty stained in red and gore, but beauty nonetheless. The slayer’s wonderful mechanic of Favored Foe, a mix of the Guide’s Ranger Focus ability and the Deadly Focus ability of the Shadow Assassin by Super Genius, is a really interesting ability that allows you to spike certain enemies, really letting you focus on the assassin aspect that’s so popular amongst rogues. And with their reduced progression Sneak Attack, coupled with Favored Foe and their full BAB, the meatgrinder aspect of the rogue can shine here as well.

Amongst these three classes, they really take the three most popular archetypical rogue characters, and give each a base class. And I’m fine with that, actually. When the Dungeoneer’s Handbook came out, I hoped beyond hope that the Trap Breaker alchemist wouldn’t stack with the Vivisectionist. But it does. Or seems to at least. And I felt sad. Even though I’ve argued against the rogue many times, even though I’ve spent many hours coming up with patches that make rogues more awesome while not stepping on the toes of other, I felt bad for the rogue, as I really didn’t see any reason to play him anymore, unless you were really into the social aspects of the rogue. In which case, you may be better off with the bard anyways. But when reading over these three classes, after getting over the initial shock of seeing them, in my eyes, gut the rogue thoroughly, I came to embrace the new classes. The rogue is a personality. The rogue class is a hodgepodge of mechanics thrown together for legacy’s sake. If you asked anyone to make a “rogue” class for you, and without them having the legacy idea of what a rogue is, I doubt it’d be anything like this class. So I like that it was split out. I like that there are now three solid and mostly balanced classes that replace the popular aspects of them.

And despite the past few paragraphs, I still see a place for the rogue. The rogue will be a better meatgrinder than the investigator (hopefully). They’ll be a better skill monkey than the swashbuckler and the slayer. They’ll be a smoother talker than the slayer can ever dream of, using razor wit where the slayer just uses razers.

Yes, I see the investigator as better in just about every case. But there are character concepts that the investigator can’t meet that the rogue can, and vice-versa. Maybe if there’s an extract-less Investigator archetype. But otherwise, sometimes people want, for whatever reason, a non-magical character. And the rogue is still there for them.

Not everyone wants to be a druggie, like the investigator.

The Rogue Is Dead; Long Live The Rogue!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, the rogue has been obsoleted since Ninja and Vivisectionist. It's one of the weakest classes compared to the others in many player's experiences (yes, not everyone, but I hear them the most in the threads), so I don't think it should have been a balance baseline for any of the new classes.

But yeah, the ones that are part rogue seem much better than a rogue by itself.


Between almost having the same SA and being able to add a d6(d8) to attack rolls I don't find the class that combat light, add "the roll twice and take best" and hitting as well as saves issues are helped a ton.

The extracts, and mutagen are a very potent way to make combat also a ton better. My only bother is the Vivisectionist vs this Investigator.

But yes, I think these class's effectively have nailed in that last nail to the coffin of the Rogue.

As a player for over 25 years I am a little sad this is so, but also glad their are options for the rogues role enough to fit any theme.


I just want a clarification. With the investigator's inspiration ability, it doesn't say that it is renewed daily. Do you think it is on purpose that they did not put that? Also, sorry if this is the wrong thread.


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It is renewed daily. You can find out all the changes in the class thread that Jason Bulmahn created. In this case, head over here :)


Thanks Cheapy.


Cheapy wrote:
When looking at it from an in-combat and powergaming perspective, I think with the introduction of the investigator, slayer, and swashbuckler, the rogue is undeniably dead.

Yeah, I pretty much accepted this the moment I saw the rogue-with-extracts post last week. Looks like Paizo is introducing us to the Revised Rogue and/or the Second Edition Rogue.

And, well, that's OK.

-Matt


yeah, the rogue is dead, Finally paizo acknowledge that with the investigator.


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This thread is surprisingly calm. Guess that just shows how bad off the Rogue was...


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Nah, I used Inspiration to boost my Diplomacy check.


Darth Grall wrote:
This thread is surprisingly calm. Guess that just shows how bad off the Rogue was...

I am somewhat annoyed that they were stubbor and did not fixed the rogue in all this years but c´est la vie.


I basically agree with the sentiment that Paizo has decided to not patch a handful of bad base classes and is throwing out these new advanced classes to satisfy people that like the rogue role but hate the rogue as it's currently written.

I have some issue with some of the mechanics for some of these replacement classes such as the capstone for the slayer clearly being garbage (the save DC simply doesn't scale with the average fort saves of high CR foes) but overall I like the idea that Slayer, Investigator and Swashbuckler could be used as drop ins to replace the 3 most common rogue build strategies.

I simply can't see ever using Rogue in a game with these classes as anything other than a NPC class.


Yeah

I think between these three and the ninja, most of the archetypical rogue characters now have their own specialized niche. Rogue was always a rather generic class (for that matter so is fighter). Rogue I am sure will still get play since it's perhaps more well rounded and because core only is pretty common.

Then again I could very well be biased. Of the 10 new classes, Swashbuckler, Slayer, and Investigator are definitely the most interesting for me.

Silver Crusade

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Actually, been thinking of starting a petition to get the Investigator renamed "Super-Vivisectionist".

The Investigator - just like the Vivisectionist, but now with trap finding! :-)


*shrug*

I like rogue, and think that rogue talents are a nice boost to it that keep it relevant. Trapfinding doesn't do you any good without looking for it, so the rogue talent Trapspotter is always a first for me. Personally, I'd like investigator to get rid of Rogue Talent as one of their talents to keep rogues in the game.

But that's just me.

Dark Archive

I still think the rogue has a place. Some of its archtypes still save it in my mind... I love thug rogue still was gonna play a thug viking for extra win :-P


Cleary we need an archetype that have scout charge/skirmisher and another that have the thug abilities.


Sporge wrote:
I still think the rogue has a place. Some of its archtypes still save it in my mind... I love thug rogue still was gonna play a thug viking for extra win :-P

Up until the actual ACG comes out and the archetypes for Investigator curb stomp your favored rogue variants.

Dark Archive

Possible but rogue is still one of my favorite multiclassing tools, and in a different way than the investigator is :-P


Yeah, Rynjin and Cheapy already said everything I would have.
RIP Rogue class.


I have to agree with the others that said rogue has been out-modded for awhile now. With Ninja, Vivisectionist, Archeologist, and an oracle archetype or two (forgot the names atm.) there has been no point for a fair long while now.


Nicos wrote:
Darth Grall wrote:
This thread is surprisingly calm. Guess that just shows how bad off the Rogue was...
I am somewhat annoyed that they were stubbor and did not fixed the rogue in all this years but c´est la vie.

If the consensus is that it takes 3 new classes to supersede the rogue, then I think that for a lot of people, the rogue wasn't 'fixable'. Trying to patch it or stretch it in at least 3 different directions isn't going to work.


That's really the problem with the "Core 4," Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Wizard.

Cleric and Wizard identify themselves via what spells/gods they choose. Fighters and Rogues didn't have that luxury, hence why it takes 3+ different 20-level classes to "fix" the Rogue. ;)


Neo2151 wrote:

That's really the problem with the "Core 4," Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Wizard.

Cleric and Wizard identify themselves via what spells/gods they choose. Fighters and Rogues didn't have that luxury, hence why it takes 3+ different 20-level classes to "fix" the Rogue. ;)

This is why I'm not a huge fan of the way the investigator negates the rogue; it hoses the rogue in the very spot that he fills in the core four party.

The fighter (or any other melee class) ties up melee. It may be through tanking, crowd control, or dishing out enough damage to subdue threats, but he keeps the badies from reaching the other players.

The wizard (or any other blaster class) takes out the badies via damage or disabling.

The cleric (or any other healing class) keeps everyone alive.

And the rogue (or other skills class) deals with other, non-combat situations that pop up.

The Ninja replaces the rogue's combat capabilities, but that's not the rogue's real role.
The Archaeologist bard fills the rogue's real role of skills monkey, but he pays for it by not being able to handle magic traps til a bit later. It's a bit of a trade-off, so the rogue still has use.
But the Investigator. Here's everything the rogue does in the Big 4 role, but better. Here's traps and skills, with the added bonus of extracts.

The rogue is dead, and I am saddened by it's loss.

Dark Archive

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You know, I think this isn't really the death of rogues. This is a nice funeral for the passing of an old friend. They really were mostly replaced by Ranger Kits, Ninjas, and the decision to allow any class to find magic traps even if they can't disable them.

Fairwell rogue. You've been awful since your initial inception day. And yet, somehow, I've always found a place for you in games. You were my 1st 3rd edition character, and we got into a lot of mischief together. Know that your new replacements of Slayer and Investigator do all of the things we always wanted you to do with skills and with combat, so your spirit will always live within them.


I was expecting significantly more discussion. Huh.


I think there just isn't that much to say. The other Rogue replacements were at least somewhat different. The Vivisectionist made better use of Sneak Attack, but didn't feel like as much of a skill character. The Archaeologist was an amazing skill character, but comparing Luck to Sneak Attack is complicated. With the Investigator, you have someone that is so close to 1:1, but better, that it is hard to deny.

I do agree there might be some niche use left. A couple of archetypes, maybe something that requires a Sneak Attack based Advanced Talent, or someone who very actively does not want magic (though even then, I'd probably be an Investigator that ignored extracts). Otherwise, smart Rogues are Investigators or Vivisectionists, wise Rogues are Inquisitors or Rangers, and charismatic Rogues are Archaeologists or Swashbucklers.

Unless someone appears to vehemently disagree with that idea, I don't see much discussion being possible.

EDIT: I should add one more niche. "I don't want something complicated." While Rogues might not be mechanically better than their competitors, they are certainly more straightforward, both mechanically and conceptually. That space at least deserves to be acknowledged.


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I, personally, do not feel that the Rogue class has been invalidated. I cannot even understand why many seem to think so.

Not everyone wants to play a spellcasting "face" bard or an alchemy addicted "Holmes" knock-off or an exotic elite "assassin". The every-man theme of the common rogue has a powerful appeal to many players.

I cannot be the only Pathfinder GM who is constantly approached by his players with new Rogue PC ideas. I get at least one pitch for a Rogue PC at the start of each new campaign.

Comparatively, not one single player has ever asked to play a ninja. I have had zero requests to play an archetype that replaces another class's abilities with trapfinding. No Vivisectionists, No Archivists, No trapfinding Rangers. I have made sure that they are aware that they have a plethora of other options. When my players decide that they want to play a Rogue, they apparently want to play a Rogue.


I hope that the replacement of Rogue was intentional and that it will stay this way.


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@Weslocke
I totally feel the rogues is invalidated. Not now, but in those years when paizo refuse to acknowledge their problems. They released wonderfull barbarian rage power and archetypes but just a handful of decent rogue talents and archetypes (90% of rogues archetypes sucks a lot)

I, however, agree i the feeling that spellcasting shoudl not be the ultimate option in pathfinder. It annoy me that the final replacement for rogues is a (psudo) spellcaster. I would have prefered a revision to the core class but...

Still, the investigator is superior mechanically, there is no reason to deny that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

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.


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I think they should be scrapped entirely and replaced with a much more interesting class, hopefully not pigeonholed by the "I have ONE JOB, I better hope that one job comes up often enough..." problem. But yeah, that's a decision for a future edition.


Remember, both Archaeologists and Investigators have access to Rogue Talents, and by extension Trapspotter, as well as Trapfinding. They can also be used as a multiclass base, though depending on level of dip/archetypes/stats and all that, I guess the Rogue might be best for a specific goal.

That said, I do understand there are those that want (and a conceptual space for) a non-magic Rogue, and I do hope there is an effort to give it strong archetypes or something in the future.

Although honestly, I think we might be one Swashbuckler archetype away from stealing "non-magic rogueish sort" away from the class too.


Rogue has been obsolete ever since it was first printed. Bards, Rangers and Wizards already made the class completely pointless.

Then we got Alchemists (especially Vivisectionist), Inquisitors, Archaeologist Bards, Ninjas and Trapper Rangers.

Rogues were never competitive. All the Investigator does is throw more dirt on the Rogue's grave.


Personally, I think the rogue is a terrible class by itself. The ninja base class is far better the rogue because of ki, poison, and the ability to take a rogue talents. When I GM-ed, my friend was a catfolk rogue. He could barely contribute to my combat-intensive quests, and ended up dying three times, when no one else died once. The quests were not even too hard; he died at the hands of a CR 2 skeleton champion while at level four. Each time, he would come back as a "better" rogue that was just as bad as his last one.

The main problem with the "rogue" type class is its dependency on sneak attack. The ninja solves this problem with ninja tricks like "Vanishing Trick" that allow you to use sneak attack more often. The new classes seem to solve this problem by relaxing the rogue's dependency on sneak attack.


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Mechanically speaking, Rogues are an awful class.

If all Rogues do is hold other classes down to artificially preserve their utility, then we are better off completely forgetting about the class.

I'd worry more about good classes being made obsolete.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Simple solution: a Rogue Talent that allows them to use Feint as a Swift action. At that point they get a full attack for the rest of their attacks using Sneak Attack damage. Have it be an Advanced Skill only usable by 11th+ level Rogues.


Tangent101 wrote:
Simple solution: a Rogue Talent that allows them to use Feint as a Swift action. At that point they get a full attack for the rest of their attacks using Sneak Attack damage. Have it be an Advanced Skill only usable by 11th+ level Rogues.

The problem here is that sneak attack damage for a normal rogue is not even that great. For example, a 11th level rogue only does 6d6 damage. The average is only 20, which is awful at 11th level. The damage from their normal weapon is relatively insignificant, due to the being MAD, and generally having only a small strength bonus, if any. With a good hit and sneak attack, an 11th level rogue only does an average of 30 damage per attack, if they can manage to feint.


Throw Crippling Strike in a 11th level SA and your foe loses 1 hit/damage each strike. Check out Chavamana's Shadows over Westcrown game in the PbP section. The rogue is a TWF BUZZSAW who pops out of Hide in Plain Sight and splatters the opposition after cutting their tendons.


at this point i agree with the thread--the rogue base class is dead. currently its only purpose is to make players feel unuseful, and for paizo to exhume it to take spare parts for better hybrids to use more effectively.

honestly i wouldnt be surprised if the base monk went the same way with the next major book--or even with an archetype of the brawler when the acg actually comes out next year. the sheer logistics of trying to fix the rogue or monk (and the reprints that would follow) to keep them out of their children's shadow means that neither will ever be fixed, only replaced, and it saddens me.

all this doomsaying aside, the new hybrids are great and flavorful, and i look forward to playing them (once they become a bit more stable).

Hound wrote:
Throw Crippling Strike in a 11th level SA and your foe loses 1 hit/damage each strike. Check out Chavamana's Shadows over Westcrown game in the PbP section. The rogue is a TWF BUZZSAW who pops out of Hide in Plain Sight and splatters the opposition after cutting their tendons.

unfortunately that isnt rogue-specific. anything with access to rogue talents can do that.


It's an advanced talent.


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Good point, but a blender-rogue can be a strong class.

1.Dex is the main stat, intelligence is nice but the rogue gets a base of 8 to start so assuming..

1.Perception
2.Acrobatics
3.Disable Device
4.Stealth
4 'Wild card' points for personalizing the character

A rogue can get by with his favored class bonus just fine so INT can stay at 10.

Getting back to Crippling strike and TWF, a good flank can rack up at least 3 SAs

1.1d6+mod+6d6+2 Str damage
2.1d6+mod+6d6+2 Str damage
3. 1d4/1d6(depend on weapon)+6d6+2 Str damage

so a potential for 2d6+1d4+18d6+6 str damage. Granted every blow has to hit and a good Dm will make it harder to pull off but still..

Don't be surprised if the Investigator gets changed so not to dominate over the rogue so much.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I liked the Invivivestigator a lot. Got to playtest it and admittedly the slow sneak attack means less damage throughout his career the balance of extracts and inspiration will more than make up for it. I also like it over the archaeologist because you can have a smart rogue type that dumps charisma.


just noting the rest of the book is not out yet even for playtest there could be a few archetypes that put the rouge up and over in other ways i do think that the investigator needs a limit the number of rogue talents it can take so that rogue talents can also help bring it up and over its fall points


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Hound wrote:

Good point, but a blender-rogue can be a strong class.

1.Dex is the main stat, intelligence is nice but the rogue gets a base of 8 to start so assuming..

1.Perception
2.Acrobatics
3.Disable Device
4.Stealth
4 'Wild card' points for personalizing the character

A rogue can get by with his favored class bonus just fine so INT can stay at 10.

Getting back to Crippling strike and TWF, a good flank can rack up at least 3 SAs

1.1d6+mod+6d6+2 Str damage
2.1d6+mod+6d6+2 Str damage
3. 1d4/1d6(depend on weapon)+6d6+2 Str damage

so a potential for 2d6+1d4+18d6+6 str damage. Granted every blow has to hit and a good Dm will make it harder to pull off but still..

Don't be surprised if the Investigator gets changed so not to dominate over the rogue so much.

Or a Ninja/vivisectionist/investigator can do that while greater invisible at level 10.


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You know, the two classes I've had the most fun with in my RPG career, is the Rogue and Monk.

Much as I may not like it, I have to acknowledge that the Rogue is the, mechanically, least powerful class of all the 'rogue-type' classes in the game.

There was a part of me that was really looking forward to this playtest, but when I saw the Investigator, the Slayer, and the Brawler, I couldn't help but feel saddened.

I've mostly lost all incentive to playtest these classes, to be honest. I just don't want to participate in killing off the two classes I have enjoyed playing the most.


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Brawler doesn't kill off the Monk. It needs some serious work to even rival the Brawler archetype.


Weslocke wrote:

I, personally, do not feel that the Rogue class has been invalidated. I cannot even understand why many seem to think so.

Not everyone wants to play a spellcasting "face" bard or an alchemy addicted "Holmes" knock-off or an exotic elite "assassin". The every-man theme of the common rogue has a powerful appeal to many players.

I cannot be the only Pathfinder GM who is constantly approached by his players with new Rogue PC ideas. I get at least one pitch for a Rogue PC at the start of each new campaign.

Comparatively, not one single player has ever asked to play a ninja. I have had zero requests to play an archetype that replaces another class's abilities with trapfinding. No Vivisectionists, No Archivists, No trapfinding Rangers. I have made sure that they are aware that they have a plethora of other options. When my players decide that they want to play a Rogue, they apparently want to play a Rogue.

I think that for the casual gamers and at most tables the rogue still lives, but I dont know for how long. It really depends on how people view the game. Some people think I want to play class X, and I do have to admit rollign a lot of dice(sneak attack) can be fun. Others like myself come up with a concept then choose the class they think works the best. For people like that(which includes me) there wont be too many more rogues made IMHO.

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