Do Rogues just flat out suck?


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Goldenfrog wrote:
Who stole the Rogues Iconic ability to look cool?

Bards have higher cha.

Dark Archive

Considering that characters like Cugel the Clever were the main inspiration for the rogue, they deserved it.


I find the biggest problem with Rogues isn't really a problem with Rogues but a problem of expectations. People who like Rogues generally like them because of what they are supposed to be able to do: steal stuff. The problem is WBL. The game has an expectation of a moderate amount of treasure split evenly. The player of Rogues has an expectation that they will have more and better treasure BECAUSE THAT IS THE REAL JOB DESCRIPTION, PERSON WITH MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE. This conflict is the problem, and it only gets worse when they put advice in Ultimate Campaign to let crafters exceed WBL but no corresponding advice for thieves.

Shadow Lodge

Goldenfrog wrote:
Who stole the Rogues Iconic ability to look cool?

The cleric.


Gregory Connolly wrote:
I find the biggest problem with Rogues isn't really a problem with Rogues but a problem of expectations. People who like Rogues generally like them because of what they are supposed to be able to do: steal stuff. The problem is WBL. The game has an expectation of a moderate amount of treasure split evenly. The player of Rogues has an expectation that they will have more and better treasure BECAUSE THAT IS THE REAL JOB DESCRIPTION, PERSON WITH MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE. This conflict is the problem, and it only gets worse when they put advice in Ultimate Campaign to let crafters exceed WBL but no corresponding advice for thieves.

I disagree. The most iconic rogue of all, Bilbo Baggins, didn't expect more than his fair share of treasure and in fact accepted far less of it.

The problem with the expectations is that Bilbo spent a hell of a long time


  • magically buffed via a ring of invisibility
  • operating alone while the rest of the dwarfs were off-stage

Neither of those are typical for Pathfinder parties. Splitting the party is generally a bad idea, and invisibility items are expensive.

The effect is that we get rogue-skirmishers trying to sneak behind the bad guys for a flank, and then the BBEG turns around and stomps our hobbithalfling into a sticky mess.

In the "old days," it wasn't that bad because Bilbo was the only person who could open locks, climb walls, neutralize traps, and so forth. Now anyone can do that with a skill point and Gandalf can do it trivially with a spell. Or let Aragorn do it with a spell.


Starbuck_II wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:

There's also if it ain't broke don't fix it. If people haven't had an issue with rogue in their game why would they take the time to read about why its a problem??

"We just play core and enjoy a simple heavy rp game. I like how I can backstab with my rogue"

"Omg ur maths are flawz0red!"

People keep going after the devs as if they designed the game to play just the way you play it. Maybe they didn't design the rogue to be a dpr master or super specialize in one niche area. Maybe they wanted something that was decent in different areas instead of making A team characters that must be awsome sauce at one role. Maybe they didn't anticipate people just auto adding ninjas to their games like a mechanics free for all and thought it'd be a rarity people would only add as it fit into the setting appropriately like how dnd used to be.

Maybe this is the answer: Backstab (with Sneak Attack rules: Denied Dex, Flanking, etc).

We multiply damage instead of adding damage dice. All non-extra-damage dice multipled(So base weapon, Str, enhancement, the works)

Level 1-4: X2
Level 5-8: X3
Level 9-12: X4
Level 13-16: x5
Level 14-20: X6

I think, Rogues might be better if we do this.

The biggest problem I've seen with rogues backstabing is not the damage per hit but the too low a hit rate - how much damage a sneak attack does matters less than the 50%+ miss rate. I think this might be able to be fixed with a new talent which gives a +2 to hit and an advanced talent which gives a further +2, but that's just an informed guess.


cnetarian wrote:


The biggest problem I've seen with rogues backstabing is not the damage per hit but the too low a hit rate - how much damage a sneak attack does matters less than the 50%+ miss rate. I think this might be able to be fixed with a new talent which gives a +2 to hit and an advanced talent which gives a further +2, but that's just an informed guess.

It's pretty easy to stab someone in the back who doesn't know you're there. Maybe make it much easier to get a hit but require a second roll for a crit?


Just giving them flat bonuses to hit and damage instead of extra damage dice could suffice. That fixes both their inability to hit, as extra static damage it can be multiplied on crits, it lends itself to high attack number builds (TWF, Archery), etc.

"Sneak attack+1 dmg, +1 to hit" of course does not look as impressive as "Sneak attack+1d6", but in practice it's better.


Orfamay Quest, I simply have to disagree with you here, Bilbo Baggins isn't even close to the iconic Rogue. He is a first level character thrown in over his head and is incompetent at everything. Think Aladdin, think The Grey Mouser, think Danny Ocean, think Sherlock Holmes, think Tasselhoff Burrfoot. Competent rogues are the smartest guy in the room with 3 backup plans and 7 side missions. If they are not that guy then they are unassuming like Bilbo of Tasslehoff, but that is a function of being child sized, not of being a rogue. The unassuming guy who has no magic and is bad at fighting is really not PC material in most games.

Grand Lodge

Philip Dhollander wrote:

I like rogues 'as is'.

I haven't read the past 10 pages of comments, but I can't find the problem with rogues.

I do however houserule some of the other 'very powerful' (YMMV) classes... magic users of all classes have some powers reduced. Fighter gets a small/medium boost. Barbarian is ok 'as is'.

So your argument is that the rogue is fine as long as other classes suck more? It's your game, but your homebrew really doesn't have a place in this discussion.


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Gregory Connolly wrote:
Orfamay Quest, I simply have to disagree with you here, Bilbo Baggins isn't even close to the iconic Rogue. He is a first level character thrown in over his head and is incompetent at everything. Think Aladdin, think The Grey Mouser, think Danny Ocean, think Sherlock Holmes, think Tasselhoff Burrfoot. Competent rogues are the smartest guy in the room with 3 backup plans and 7 side missions. If they are not that guy then they are unassuming like Bilbo of Tasslehoff, but that is a function of being child sized, not of being a rogue. The unassuming guy who has no magic and is bad at fighting is really not PC material in most games.

Did you just put Tasselhoff and Competent rogues are the smartest guy in the room with 3 backup plans and 7 side missions,right next to each other?

Please hand in your, Uncle Trapspringer's Adventurers Club, membership card.


Gregory Connolly wrote:
Orfamay Quest, I simply have to disagree with you here, Bilbo Baggins isn't even close to the iconic Rogue. He is a first level character thrown in over his head and is incompetent at everything. Think Aladdin, think The Grey Mouser, think Danny Ocean, think Sherlock Holmes, think Tasselhoff Burrfoot.

So, you're suggesting that the iconic D&D (hobbithalfling) rogue is based off.... Sherlock Holmes? Danny Ocean? Seriously?

I'll give you Aladdin and the Grey Mouser as examples of what rogues could be, but also note that they are both fairly buffed; Aladdin has his genie, and Mouser is actually a swordsman of Fafhrd's equal as well as being an apprentice-level wizard.

I think you'd be better off citing Slippery Jim DiGriz or Raffles.

Quote:
The unassuming guy who has no magic and is bad at fighting is really not PC material in most games.

And that's the problem. The unassuming guy who has no magic and is bad at fighting is the classic, iconic rogue. He's in and out with the king's socks and lucky bath towel before the king is even finished undressing. He doesn't need to be good at fighting (pace Mouser) because if he gets into a fight, he's already screwed up.

But, as you say, that's not PC material. Because that doesn't play well with what the group dynamics of D&D involve.


Tasslehoff is the best example of a passive aggressive player lying through his teeth about why he is doing what he is doing ever. I understand that the maddening little kender is an idiot taken at face value. I always thought he was a joke character meant to make fun of bad players. I suppose he might not be, in which case I then dislike him and retract him from my previous statement.


Karl Hammarhand wrote:
It's pretty easy to stab someone in the back who doesn't know you're there. Maybe make it much easier to get a hit but require a second roll for a crit?

Well there is the flanking bonus and attacks from stealth do bypass DEX bonus, so maybe use those as a base.

Philosophically I am disinclined to entirely rewrite the rogue class, I favor adding talents which can allow a player to create rogues which do what the player wants.


Aww sputter sputter! You just....about Tasslehoff!

I'm going for a nice lay down now and pretend this didn't happen.


I know how much Tolkien and Middle-Earth influenced the game in its beginning. But when my friends and I started playing it was only one of many influences. Today I have seen many things creep into the game that were not there in the beginning, one of them Hollywood. I couldn't build Aladdin back in 93, but I am a lot closer now than I was as a kid. The game evolves and now Final Fantasy & Pokemon have us with Summoners. I'm OK with that. Somewhere along the line the Thief became the Rogue and then it became underpowered. 4 decades of experience as a collective have us with many similar concepts, hardly any of which are best represented as a full classed Rogue.


From what I have seen (admittedly, I only played 1st Ed. a few times), Rogues/Thieves have never been great... They were always ranging from mediocre to bad, depending on which version you're playing.

They did have some nice tricks in 3.5, though... Thanks to the huge amount of splat books, but they were still underpowered.


Lemmy wrote:
They did have some nice tricks in 3.5, though... Thanks to the huge amount of splat books, but they were still underpowered.

In 3.5 rogues were the skill master class. Sure it had problems, but you could at least make an argument for it.

Now it's just objectively bad.


Marthkus wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
They did have some nice tricks in 3.5, though... Thanks to the huge amount of splat books, but they were still underpowered.

In 3.5 rogues were the skill master class. Sure it had problems, but you could at least make an argument for it.

Now it's just objectively bad.

I dunno... Bards and Rangers had pretty good skill lists too. And Factotums laughed in the face of Rogues everywhere.

And even then... A Rogue 1/Pretty-Much-Anything-But-Monks X was a better build than Rogue X+1.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
The most iconic rogue of all, Bilbo Baggins, didn't expect more than his fair share of treasure and in fact accepted far less of it.

He had the One True Ring of Power, the most powerful artefact in the entire world AND a magic sword AND mithril armor. He was WAY over WBL.


Lemmy wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
They did have some nice tricks in 3.5, though... Thanks to the huge amount of splat books, but they were still underpowered.

In 3.5 rogues were the skill master class. Sure it had problems, but you could at least make an argument for it.

Now it's just objectively bad.

I dunno... Bards and Rangers had pretty good skill lists too. And Factotums laughed in the face of Rogues everywhere.

And even then... A Rogue 1/Pretty-Much-Anything-But-Monks X was a better build than Rogue X+1.

You forget that a dip in rogue only allowed your max to be 1:1. It didn't allow you to raise those skills 1:1.

You can only raise skills 1:1 in class skills of the class your leveling in.

Factotums didn't really work without a web enhancement feat.


Lemmy wrote:

From what I have seen (admittedly, I only played 1st Ed. a few times), Rogues/Thieves have never been great... They were always ranging from mediocre to bad, depending on which version you're playing.

They did have some nice tricks in 3.5, though... Thanks to the huge amount of splat books, but they were still underpowered.

But until 3.X they were always necessary because only rogues could handle traps & pick locks and so on - witness the hiring of one Bilbo Baggins, Burglar. While the game has (arguably) been improved by not making any single class essential, other classes have evolved to where they can be built to do any of several jobs while the rogue can reasonably only fill one niche and can be bested in that niche.

Shadow Lodge

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Matthew Downie wrote:
He had the One True Ring of Power, the most powerful artefact in the entire world AND a magic sword AND mithril armor. He was WAY over WBL.

And IIRC, until he got the Ring, he was a major drag on party resources and was only in because Gandalf said he was in, providing little in the way of useful skills in or out-of combat.


ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
He had the One True Ring of Power, the most powerful artefact in the entire world AND a magic sword AND mithril armor. He was WAY over WBL.
And IIRC, until he got the Ring, he was a major drag on party resources and was only in because Gandalf said he was in, providing little in the way of useful skills in or out-of combat.

Which, of course, is exactly my point. Rogues can indeed contribute usefully to the party --- as long as they have a major artifact that gives them useful magical abilities that cannot be duplicated by anyone else in the party.


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cnetarian wrote:
(...) While the game has (arguably) definitely been improved by not making any single class essential (...)

Fixed that for you. ;)

The problem is that Rogues' supposed main class features are simply not worth being a main class feature.

Trap Finding (the class feature, not the role) comes in two varieties... Useless or Boring.

Useless when it can't be used for whatever reason. Boring when it can.

Roll Perception. Roll Disable Device. Move on.

There is no decision making. No resource management. No tactics, cleverness or experience involved. Imagine how boring combat would be if it were decided by making a Combat check and then healing if necessary.

Traps can be fun. But only if they require more than a couple skill checks to bypass, like, say... The floor is opening, how do you get out of the room? Do you fly? Do you use your adamantine dagger to climb the walls? Do you try and unlock the door before the floor is completely gone? Do you use slow fall to safely go down the pit while avoiding the spikes?
Sadly, for those traps, Trap Finding is useless. Rolling DD doesn't necessarily solve the problem.

And of course, Rogues have no incentive to be clever. They will always try to flank and full attack. And will probably beg the Fighter player to help them, even if the player had a different idea in mind. I've seen it happen many, many times... And investing in Int and Cha simply makes it so the Rogues already pathetic saves suffer even more.

And of course, we have the good old "stand still or suck" dilemma that plagues every non caster in the game. Because f&%+ non-casters! How dare they even with to be effective after moving 10ft?! And this hurts Rogues even more, because if they can't move, they are in full-attack range. And they can only count on their mediocre-to-bad AC and HP... And their awful, awful saves.

As f that wasn't enough... Rogues, of course, have the worst saves in the game. (Although they are soon to be joined by Swashbucklers and Investigators, because Paizo apparently decided it wasn't enough to have just 1 class being easily neutralized by spells of a caster 4 levels below the character).


The main problem with rogues at higher level is their weak saves. Once you start getting bombarded with auras, gaze attacks, high level spells and spell-like abilities, and supernatural fort and will powers, they get hammered. The increased mobility and reach of high level monsters makes positioning for sneak attack rough.


Lemmy wrote:

[

And of course, Rogues have no incentive to be clever. They will always try to flank and full attack. And will probably beg the Fighter player to help them, even if the player had a different idea in mind. I've seen it happen many, many times... And investing in Int and Cha simply makes it so the Rogues already pathetic saves suffer even more.

But rogues have to do this, they cannot buff or cast spells, the rules for ranged sneak attacks are a mess, and as a 3/4th BAB class with only sneak attack to modify attacks the only way a rogue can make a significant contribution to combat is to flank.


taldanrebel2187 wrote:

I really dislike making threads like this, but I've been looking at making a ranged Rogue build and frankly it seems like they... well, basically suck completely. Paizo seems to have sort of dropped the ball on this.

Let's look at classes that can do archers:

Fighter:

Free bonus feats. 6 free bonus feats by level 8. Viable archetypes. Full BAB. Heavy Armor proficiency allows mobility in mithral full plate.

Downsides: Only 1 good save. This is sort of off-set by Bravery, and correctable entirely by taking Iron Will.

Barbarian:

Full BAB. Rage keeps you alive with the CON boost. D12 hit die plus High CON keeps you in the fight for the long haul. Superstition keeps you form getting CC'd. Fast Movement plus Swift keeps you out of combat. Medium armor is still beating Rogues butt here. Taking invulnerable rager seems to make the most sense with this build. Surprise Accuracy line makes bow crits HURT a lot.

Downsides: Few Rage powers lend themselves to this.

Ranger:

Unlike early versions, Rangers get d10 HD and Full BAB. Basically made for ranged. Free combat feats means getting Rapid Shot without taking Precise Shot. Getting Pinpoint targeting 6 levels early is awesome. Lots of archetypes keep the Ranger fresh. Nice class skill list

Downsides: Are there any? Rangers seem like a solid choice for archer builds.

Monks:

Zen Archer is pretty cheesed out. Perfect Strike from level 1. Free feats. 3 good saves. Nice hit die. Auto-high AC from Monk levels. Fast Movement is a real winner here. Perfect Strike becomes even more broken at level 10. If starting level is 3, you can build an archer and dump dexterity altogether. This allows for a focus on Constitution. Still better HP than Rogues and all sorts of free toys.

Downsides: MAD, especially before level 3. No full BAB.

Paladins:

Paladins are tough as nails. With divine grace, d10 hit die, heavy armor, swift action healing and free immunities... Yeah, Paladins don't die that often. 2 good saves is a real winner as well. Oath...

No, they do not.

Bleed is your friend. Rogues with two handed weapons or up-scaled in size one handed weapons that they can already use really helps the rogue along. Play them like a sneaky Ezio Auditore with a large sword for the lols.

On fighters and heavy armour (sorry, can't get into every point, bit short on time atm), good luck moving around a treacherous and challenging environment like a dungeon, ruin, spire, cliff or volcano in all that armour. I am sure you won't fail any physical checks on those massive armour penalties and slip and fall to your character's death.


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The rogue can use different ways* to increase damage apart from sneak attack (harder to get than for the fighter but possible) and he can use gang up to get sneaks in without having to move to a real flanking position.

*One such way would be to use quarterstaff master to qualify for weapon specialization. Another would be to play a race with an arcane SLA and arcane strike.
Or the rogue can use other things apart from pure damage to contribute in combat. Dazzling display for example.


Very cool suggestion on the quarterstaff master.


DM Under The Bridge wrote:
On fighters and heavy armour (sorry, can't get into every point, bit short on time atm), good luck moving around a treacherous and challenging environment like a dungeon, ruin, spire, cliff or volcano in all that armour. I am sure you won't fail any physical checks on those massive armour penalties and slip and fall to your character's death.

That's only true at low levels. At mid to high levels you have fly spells from allies, mithral, armor training, enough hit points to survive a hundred foot fall...

Dark Archive

Flensing Strike should take care of the accuracy problems and also benefits the rest of the party (reduction to natural AC and sickened). The problem is that Vivisectionist and Ninjas can get it too and do it better.


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Well well...

So I posted my opinion which does not seem to agree with most of the negative rogue-bashers on this forum.

And in that comment I wrote that I did not read 10 pages worth of comments and houseruled some of the spellcasters.

Result: I get shooed away... unworthy of stating my opinion. Quite literally.

I've got to say that the general attitude here (and yes, I can generalize too!) is making me stay away from the Paizo community. It used to be great. It used to be positive. It used to be fun. (for me, of course). But these days, it's one thread after another stating that virtually every class sucks (except barbarian with the invulnerable rager and superstition combo). The OP states that fighter is better than rogue for a few reasons, although I can find dozens of threads that fighter sucks and that even rogues do better at almost everything.

What I wrote was that I did not read all 10 pages of comments and yet it was interpreted as if I didn't read a single post and hence couldn't comment in this thread.

What I wrote was that I houseruled the caster class(es) and yet it was interpreted as if I had houseruled everything (nerfed it) to make sure the rogue stood a chance.

I didn't write any of that 'interpreted' stuff. I did read quite a few posts (although not 500 of them, mostly bashing on the rogue and by extension on the developpers). I didn't nerf all classes to make the rogue look better.

Please don't jump to conclusions that are not there.

All I was saying (and like all others here, I think I'm entitled to an opinion) is that I find the rogue does NOT suck. Sneak with bleed is vicious (especially if it can drain strength... I saw a rogue take down a strength 30 opponent to a measly strength 12 by the time the critter went down...).

It's about tactics, it's about teamwork, it's about playing smart.

And it's also about the ability to do a lot of things outside combat, things which the über barbarian or standard fighter can not do.

That makes the rogue versatile and that's what makes him cool.

That's my opinion anyway. And I'll probably stop reading and posting on the forums here, as it has a bad taste to it, especially the negativism (but I repeat myself)

Cheers all!


Matthew Downie wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
On fighters and heavy armour (sorry, can't get into every point, bit short on time atm), good luck moving around a treacherous and challenging environment like a dungeon, ruin, spire, cliff or volcano in all that armour. I am sure you won't fail any physical checks on those massive armour penalties and slip and fall to your character's death.
That's only true at low levels. At mid to high levels you have fly spells from allies, mithral, armor training, enough hit points to survive a hundred foot fall...

The lava rules are very painful, so a fall into lava for the clunky warrior isn't a situation they likely survive. Falling into a dark pit also separates you from the party. A fall can end on spikes or worse, falling off a wall and into a worse part of a dungeon or keep can spell a quick death. Yes, you survived the 100ft fall, now do you survive the attacks of all the new enemies without backup? Rogues are rarely so careless to just fall off things like a drunk armadillo.

If an area is a challenge to navigate, the classes like rogue, ranger and often barb shine, but the enormously encumbered fighter does not do so well. Flying everywhere with fly is nice, but you've got to survive until that point and not every game is high level.

Of course the high reflex and evasion of the rogue can help them avoid taking trap or evocation damage in a lot of instances (another strength of the monk that is often overlooked).


Philip Dhollander wrote:

Well well...

So I posted my opinion which does not seem to agree with most of the negative rogue-bashers on this forum.

And in that comment I wrote that I did not read 10 pages worth of comments and houseruled some of the spellcasters.

Result: I get shooed away... unworthy of stating my opinion. Quite literally.

I've got to say that the general attitude here (and yes, I can generalize too!) is making me stay away from the Paizo community. It used to be great. It used to be positive. It used to be fun. (for me, of course). But these days, it's one thread after another stating that virtually every class sucks (except barbarian with the invulnerable rager and superstition combo). The OP states that fighter is better than rogue for a few reasons, although I can find dozens of threads that fighter sucks and that even rogues do better at almost everything.

What I wrote was that I did not read all 10 pages of comments and yet it was interpreted as if I didn't read a single post and hence couldn't comment in this thread.

What I wrote was that I houseruled the caster class(es) and yet it was interpreted as if I had houseruled everything (nerfed it) to make sure the rogue stood a chance.

I didn't write any of that 'interpreted' stuff. I did read quite a few posts (although not 500 of them, mostly bashing on the rogue and by extension on the developpers). I didn't nerf all classes to make the rogue look better.

Please don't jump to conclusions that are not there.

All I was saying (and like all others here, I think I'm entitled to an opinion) is that I find the rogue does NOT suck. Sneak with bleed is vicious (especially if it can drain strength... I saw a rogue take down a strength 30 opponent to a measly strength 12 by the time the critter went down...).

It's about tactics, it's about teamwork, it's about playing smart.

And it's also about the ability to do a lot of things outside combat, things which the über barbarian or standard fighter can not do.

That makes the rogue versatile...

Yeah, it can be extremely negative, especially if you argue against the prevailing "wisdom". Doesn't matter if it worked for you, or for how many years you had fun and what you saw work, you will be told you are doing it wrong and your damage or to hit isn't enough. Lol.

Rogues are quite versatile. In a teamwork game, versatility can be a real strength. I love how much rogues can do with all those skill points. You can make a character with varied skills, side interests and a character with a backstory backed up by an assortment of skills. "So this one time I conned this duchess out of... then I took all the expensive tomes on plants and local fauna, and they were a surprisingly good read!"


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By the way, about the 'boring' stuff such as disable device to circumvent traps...

Yup, it's a roll, a d20+modifiers...

Pretty much like an attack roll of your favorite fighter or barbarian, yeah, that's a d20+modifiers too!

The magic starts when you describe the action. Everyone can imagine that sword strike gutting the opponent or chopping the head off.

What's needed is an evocative description by the DM of how the disable device roll of d20+X translates to the disabling of the trap.

Make the rogue fumble with those lockpicks, make him see an obscure opening in the wall, testing it with a rod and then his hands. Describe what he encounters with his hand. A rubbery bag, cold to the touch. It is still somewhat moist. Could be a poison bladder, connected to a tube and then to a nozzle under the lock... etc.

You're the DM, you make the story (and the magic) happen. So do your DM job and watch the smug look on the rogue's face as he just disabled that lethal trap by rolling a simple d20+X... :-)


Philip Dhollander wrote:

The OP states that fighter is better than rogue for a few reasons, although I can find dozens of threads that fighter sucks and that even rogues do better at almost everything.

It's about tactics, it's about teamwork, it's about playing smart.

And it's also about the ability to do a lot of things outside combat, things which the über barbarian or standard fighter can not do.

That makes the rogue versatile and that's what makes him cool.

1. The Fighter is a terrible class for the exact opposite of reasons as the Rogue. It has no ability to impact the narrative outside of combat. The Rogue has some paltry ability to do so through skills at the expense of his combat ability. Aside from the Monk, most other classes(And some monk archetypes) can fulfill both options extremely well to the point where you look back and think, "Well why would I play those guys when I can more consistently contribute over the course of a campaign with other classes?"

2. "Tactics, Teamwork and Playing Smart." Nothing about this causes the Rogue to shine over others. In fact, the Rogue is completely dependent on these working whereas other classes have the ability to get by on their own. And then they function even MORE effectively when working in tandem.

3. A Barbarian can wreck magic, traps and people, has 4 skill points a level and a solid skill list. Pretty damn versatile if you ask me. A Fighter on the other hand has no class features whatsoever that let him do anything but kill people better(And not fantastically even at that.) His skill points and skill list is pitiful.

4. For a Rogue to truly shine, you have to contrive completely crazy scenarios that can't just be accomplished by magic. So you get magic traps in an Anti Magic Field that somehow works and the Rogue is the only one able to get to that point due to using all of his skills and is essentially playing solo at this point while the party is twiddling their thumbs.

Oh but yeah. Don't mention houserules when theres a class discussion going on because that'll just distort the conversation.

Also it's a fairly well proven fact that any Rogue made can be made better as an Alchemist.


Rogues do, indeed, just flat-out suck. When D&D decided traps weren't something to be horrified of, Rogue usefulness tanked pretty hard, but at least they were still king of the skills.
When Pathfinder decided that cross-class skills were "too hard" and just scraped them instead of making them work? That killed the last thing the Rogues had that made them useful and/or unique.

But that doesn't mean they can't be fun. Commoner is also a pretty useless class, but people might have fun playing one.

If the initial question is one of mechanics: Yes, Rogues are practically useless in the grand scheme of the game.
If the initial question is one of preference: There is no right answer.

Dark Archive

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I prefer the shocked look on the rogue's face when the barbarian gets bored, steps up, shoves the rogue aside and simply smashes the trap.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Even the memory of cross-class skills makes me cringe.


Cross-class skills were fine.
It's their implementation that was dumb.

Instead of that stupid, "every point gives you a half-rank" nonsense, they could have just said, "cross-class have a max of 1/2 class level."
Confusion solved - As a bonus, Rogues don't feel totally as useless.

Grand Lodge

Philip Dhollander wrote:

Result: I get shooed away... unworthy of stating my opinion. Quite literally.

I suppose you mean my post, where I said your homebrew doesn't help the discussion. Sorry if that came across as snarky and rude. I probably could have worded my response better. I still believe that your modifying of casters and other house rules make this a different discussion, nerfing casters makes the game you're playing different than the one we're talking about. If that means you think I'm a jerk, that's cool. But don't blanket the entire community as negative because of something I said.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Neo2151 wrote:

Cross-class skills were fine.

It's their implementation that was dumb.

Instead of that stupid, "every point gives you a half-rank" nonsense, they could have just said, "cross-class have a max of 1/2 class level."
Confusion solved - As a bonus, Rogues don't feel totally as useless.

I find the Pathfinder class skill system vastly superior.

To create any other strange system, or restriction, is a fool's errand.


Neo2151 wrote:

Cross-class skills were fine.

It's their implementation that was dumb.

Instead of that stupid, "every point gives you a half-rank" nonsense, they could have just said, "cross-class have a max of 1/2 class level."
Confusion solved - As a bonus, Rogues don't feel totally as useless.

All the spells that add 10 to 30 to checks still exist and Rogue analog classes like Alchemists and Bards have many of them. 1st to 3rd level spells have the power of duplicating or exceeding somebody having max ranks in a skill.

The Cake is a Lie. Skills are cake. Therefore, Skills are Lies.


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SPCDRI wrote:
The Cake is a Lie. Skills are cake. Therefore, Skills are Lies.

I'm not disagreeing with this. I'm just saying that PF took the cake away. ;)


Jadeite wrote:
I prefer the shocked look on the rogue's face when the barbarian gets bored, steps up, shoves the rogue aside and simply smashes the trap.

Yeaaah, the trapped dungeons I run, that runs the risk of killing the entire party, including the barbarian, e.g. room is sealed and filled with acid; ceiling drops which crushing the party and prevents them from standing, then the oozes are released; an alchemists room of flammable objects exploding multiple times from differing sources; invisible spiked wall of immense size and weight falls on them.

If the dm took the time to put in lethal traps, brawn without caution can easily be death for all. Hp and a great fort only do so much.

Also below is a very fun link if you want to put some old edition flair of traps back into your game with humour:

http://trapaday.wordpress.com/


DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Jadeite wrote:
I prefer the shocked look on the rogue's face when the barbarian gets bored, steps up, shoves the rogue aside and simply smashes the trap.
Yeaaah, the trapped dungeons I run, that runs the risk of killing the entire party, including the barbarian, e.g. room is sealed and filled with acid; ceiling drops which crushing the party and prevents them from standing, then the oozes are released; an alchemists room of flammable objects exploding multiple times from differing sources; invisible spiked wall of immense size and weight falls on them.

And yet, somehow, I get the feeling that you'd never be okay with a Rogue rolling Disable Device to solve those traps - kinda making the point moot. ;)


DM Under The Bridge wrote:

Also below is a very fun link if you want to put some old edition flair of traps back into your game with humour:

http://trapaday.wordpress.com/

No way a party of appropriate level for the CR is able to meet those DCs. Holy hell, no way. lol


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Philip Dhollander wrote:


It's about tactics, it's about teamwork, it's about playing smart.

And it's also about the ability to do a lot of things outside combat, things which the über barbarian or standard fighter can not do.

That makes the rogue versatile...

Tactics and versatility are not features of the rogue. Those are features of the player. Nothing about a rogue forces cleverness on you anymore than a wizard or cleric.

This is something repeated way too often.

You mentioned bleed and ability damage alongside a description of actual play experience. That's good actually. Why? Because it supports your argument. It's not a great argument. Being attached to sneak attack in and of itself sort of kills it but it's an actual effort.

Quote:

By the way, about the 'boring' stuff such as disable device to circumvent traps...

Yup, it's a roll, a d20+modifiers...

Pretty much like an attack roll of your favorite fighter or barbarian, yeah, that's a d20+modifiers too!

The magic starts when you describe the action. Everyone can imagine that sword strike gutting the opponent or chopping the head off.

What's needed is an evocative description by the DM of how the disable device roll of d20+X translates to the disabling of the trap.

Make the rogue fumble with those lockpicks, make him see an obscure opening in the wall, testing it with a rod and then his hands. Describe what he encounters with his hand. A rubbery bag, cold to the touch. It is still somewhat moist. Could be a poison bladder, connected to a tube and then to a nozzle under the lock... etc.

You're the DM, you make the story (and the magic) happen. So do your DM job and watch the smug look on the rogue's face as he just disabled that lethal trap by rolling a simple d20+X... :-)

I wanted to focus on this for a second because it's something to both be repeated and discussed.

YEs, it is on the GM to make a fair description of what's being said.

Yes, trap disabling as an idea induces imagery of macguyver struggling with bits of string and pocket knives to disarm the bomb and save the lives of his co-stars.

Unfortunately D&D reality isn't so interesting.

You roll one die. You succeed or fail. That's really it.

You can be smug but you didn't do anything clever. You didn't struggle with an interesting mechanic or do any tactical or strategic thinking. You rolled a die and received a result.

An analogue to this is every lockpicking/hacking mechanic in videogames. These days hacking has been made interesting through a mini-game. Soemtimes so is lockpiking. However not that long ago it essentially functioned exactly as it does in tabletop games. You walked up to a locked door, pulled out tool, rolled skill. If you failed you had to find some other means of bypassing said obstacle or roll again.

Now, developers these days come up with elaborate or simple minigames so that the players actual skill comes into play.

What you described is attempting to produce the same satisfaction of completion through what amounts to an in-game movie cutscene free of any real player input.

If I attempted to do this in a videogame I would get shot. It removes the agency of the player and reduces actual play time. This is a no no in game design both on and off the table.

So no, evocative description is not a solution to boring mechanics. It's just a means to cover up lazy design.


Philip Dhollander wrote:

By the way, about the 'boring' stuff such as disable device to circumvent traps...

Yup, it's a roll, a d20+modifiers...

Pretty much like an attack roll of your favorite fighter or barbarian, yeah, that's a d20+modifiers too!

There is a huuuuuuuuuge difference between traps and combat. We all know that.

Traps:

Roll two dice. The end.

There is no decision making involved, no matter how you fluff your actions.

Combat, OTOH, involves lots of decision making.

Try and position your self (Should I try to flank? Do I stay here and try to full attack or go after the enemy and make a single strike? How do I get to the more dangerous enemies without provoking AoO? How do I block my enemy's path?). Decide which enemies should be target first (Do I go after the caster, or do I stay here to defend my own spell-casting allies? Should I target the Cleric or the Wizard first?) Decide what tactics and weapons to use to use (should I grapple? Should I trip? Should I use a bow? Should I cast a spell? Which one?).

And each and every round, the situation changes a little bit (sometimes, a lot) and you have to adapt. Nothing like that happens when all you only have 1 option (e.g.: Roll 2 skill checks).

Sure, you'll be rolling dice, but you have to decide what rolls you'll be making. That's when smart thinking comes into play, not when the dice are rolled.

Philip Dhollander wrote:

The magic starts when you describe the action. Everyone can imagine that sword strike gutting the opponent or chopping the head off.

What's needed is an evocative description by the DM of how the disable device roll of d20+X translates to the disabling of the trap.

Make the rogue fumble with those lockpicks, make him see an obscure opening in the wall, testing it with a rod and then his hands. Describe what he encounters with his hand. A rubbery bag, cold to the touch. It is still somewhat moist. Could be a poison bladder, connected to a tube and then to a nozzle under the lock... etc.

You're the DM, you make the story (and the magic) happen. So do your DM job and watch the smug look on the rogue's face as he just disabled that lethal trap by rolling a simple d20+X... :-)

You can describe it as much as you like, in the end, you're not being any clever, because again, you're not making any decision. Just rolling 2 dice. There is nothing clever or cunning about rolling 2 dice. Cleverness and cunning can only be a factor if there is a decision to make. In trap finding, there isn't. That's what make it boring.

As Tark so cleverly put it...

TarkXT wrote:
What you described is attempting to produce the same satisfaction of completion through what amounts to an in-game movie cutscene free of any real player input.

By Odin! This sentence is freaking brilliant!

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