New here and not sure if right place, but... Pathfinder Rogue Rant / Advice


Advice

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Hey there!

As stated, I'm not sure if I'm doing this right, so my apologies in advance if I botch this up.

Anywho, despite having been gaming for 20 years now, I am just joining my first ever Pathfinder game. I've never played 3.5, or 3. anything really as my old group avoided D&D mostly. After hearing so much about this kind of system, I was super excited to make my first character and experience it all for myself. We have core/base classes and races only, with a preference for Core if possible. Being new I was fine with that, and decided on a Half-Elf Rogue. It's a level one game, and we have a Fighter, a Ranger, and a Cleric as my team.

I had two weeks to prepare for this, and I've spent most of that time trying to learn the various rules of the game, while spending some learning Rogue builds. From reading stuff from here and various guides online, I knew Rogue wasn't going to do as much damage per round as a Barbarian or anything, but I figured I'd be useful for a stealth role, find traps, deal some back stab damage. That would be niche, and I'll do it well. I tried some builds, and found a dex build with a feat called Dervish dance I thought could work for the most part.

The hiccup I'm run into is the half-elf 'multi talented' ability. I didn't want this ability to go to waste, and I've been looking into the other classes. And this has just been a depressing job, as it seems every class does my job better than I do. No matter how I build my rogue, it feels another class is better at my core skills than I am, like I'd be a better Rogue if I weren't actually a rogue.

The game starts up this week now, and I'm no closer to make a decent rogue than I was a week before. The 'best' build I had was a Rogue 1/Bard 1(Dervish of dawn)/ Rogue 3/ Shadow Dancer 2 mess of a build with a BAB so low I doubt I'd hurt anything. I love stealth/shadow stuff, and Arcane casting is a bonus so I thought to combine them all, and I'm so burnt out it looked good or a while. I've looked at so many builds on so many forums I feel my brain is fried. I'm not sure I can make the character work, and if I can't what I'd even play at this point.

In the end, I'm just really discouraged. Somehow I need to put something together for Tuesday, but I'm out of ideas. I could really use a bard song about now, maybe something like inspire confidence or something.


Just to let you know, I flagged this thread for "wrong forum". I think you want the "advice" forum under Pathfinder given it's a Pathfinder game. You should get more advice there although a lot of it will probably consist of anti-Rogue posts. Sorry to put you through that :)

I GM, and my advice to players is generally play what you want to play. And have fun.


Rogue/Sorcerer - spells and high charisma (the good dex you should have won't hurt either) will make you the 'faceman' of the party. You'll also get access to all of those spells that, by 5th level, make the sinle classed Rogue a sad, third stringer. Go Rogue for first level to train up all the stealth & disable skills you like - just remember that no matter how good your stealth is someone who is Invisible is much, much better. Leave the damage dealing to the damage dealing party members (Fighter & Ranger) - concentrate on buff/de-power spells once you start to get Sorcerer levels.

Alternatively you could go Wizard/Rogue but I have always liked the flavour and spontaneous casting of the Sorcerer myself.


You could always run the old Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) standby 18 Wiz/2 Rogue. The Wizard's high intelligence and utility spells combine nicely with Rogue. Take Rogue as your first level, then use all the extra skill points you get from your high Intelligence score to keep the vital Rogue skills like Search and Disable max'd. Around level 9, take your second level of Rogue.

From a role-playing perspective, the sneaky Wizard stealing/adventuring to fund his research make perfect sense.

Note: I don't recall if the feat exists in Core or not, but there's a feat called Insightful Reflexes that lets you use Intelligence instead of Dexterity for Reflex saves. Take it, if you can.

Liberty's Edge

My experiences with Rogues is that they are rather Magic demanding, no other class need as much magic as the Rogues. But on the other hand - no other class shines as well with magic ad the Rogue. Typicly, 1000gp can buy you magic of the same power as a rogue talent. That said, the best longterm build should include the feat "Craft Wondrous Items", which you can get at level 3!

Make sure your GM is ok with some magic crafting, outside of the existing magic items.
The top priority spells to turn into magic items are "Blur" and "Invisibility". "Mage Armor" and "Shield" are also very beneficial for rogues.

If this makes you curious, Google "Pathfinder Magic item craft" and you'll find the rules for crafting, and price settings etc.

In order to get "Craft Wondrous Items" at level 3, you'll need to select "Minor Magic" as your first Rogue talent. The Caster level granted from this rogue talent can work as the requirement for "Craft wondrous items" (3 caster level).

You're rogue would probably look something like this:

Level 1: Weapon Finesse
Level 2: Rogue Talent- Minor Magic (ex "Acid Splash")
Level 3: Craft Wondrous Items
Level 4-> you're own choice

GL :)


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bookwormbabe29 wrote:
The hiccup I'm run into is the half-elf 'multi talented' ability. I didn't want this ability to go to waste, and I've been looking into the other classes. And this has just been a depressing job, as it seems every class does my job better than I do. No matter how I build my rogue, it feels another class is better at my core skills than I am, like I'd be a better Rogue if I weren't actually a rogue.

You hit the nail right on the head. You will be a better "Rogue" by choosing a different class. Consider Bard. Seriously, they are awesome in Pathfinder. The Archeologist archetype in particular has a "Rogue" feel, but sacrifices you ability to effect everyone with your delicious bardic performance in exchange for it pumping you up more. If you happen to choose Archeologist, then the feat Lingering Performance is pretty much mandatory and the trait Fate's Favored is great as well.

Also as a side note, you are normally better sticking with one class in Pathfinder, especially if you pick up anything with spells. If you are a martial character then a dip is nowhere near as disruptive for the most part.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The benefit of a rogue is going to depend on the GM. If the GM does a good job of mixing up the campaign - 33% combat, 33% role playing, 33% skill puzzles - then the rogue will have it's place. If you are simply moving through the dungeon from one combat to the next, then no, the rogue is not going to have as much use. And while yes, spell-casters can mimic a lot of the rogues capabilities (sneaking, trapfinding, etc), they can only do so in limited duration. The rogue is still the best at these things full-time.


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First suggestion, ignore multitalented. You can't make effective use of every ability of every race/class combination. Multiclassing in pathfinder is more of an 'advanced' rather than a 'beginner' option.

Second suggestion, even if you are going to multiclass. Pick something to focus on. Trying to combine super sneaky, combat, and spells is extremely difficult until you are really an expert in the system.

Now some questions for you that will effect later advice.

You are new to the game. What about the other players and/or GM? Are you all beginners?

Rather than the classes of the others, what are they building to do or be? What role are they taking. Is the fighter going for Sir-Clanks-Alot the Tank or a fast mover with a reach weapon for area denial? Is the ranger going for archer or 2 weapon fighting and does he intend to be sneaky about it (could be competition or compliment to your rogue)? Is the cleric going for caster, healer, channeler, or melee machine?

Is the GM running an Adventure Path, published modules, or homemade missions? Does he expect there to be lots of traps, magical traps, puzzles, social intrigue, and/or combat?


Hey there. I can't find a way to type this without sounding horribly self-aggrandizing, but I just finished a quick and current guide for rogues. It avoids the usual TWF and 8 INT strength builds, with the dream of building a properly roguish character that can hold his/her own in and out of combat. If nothing else, it's a lot of useful information all in one place, which might help you put your build together faster. The guide in question It's in the link at the top of the page.

Rogues do have their problems, but they aren't insurmountable, and half-elves are a perfect race for rogues, so it sounds like you're off to a good start.

Good luck, and for what it's worth, I'm totally whistling a bard song for you, albeit one that sounds suspiciously like Sharp Dressed Man. It's days like this I wish I could whistle more than one tune.

All the best,
Bond. Shaman Bond.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Have you looked at the Advanced Race Guide for alternate abilities to trade out Multitalented?

For example, you could lose multitalented and adaptability to get some spell-like abilities. Then you wouldn't have to feel like you "need" to multiclass.

Silver Crusade

Count me in the "a great rogue isn't a Rogue at all." I'd suggest a vivisectionist alchemist, for which you can find a pretty chill guide here.

But honestly, getting answers to Morcaine's questions is probably going to help you out a lot in design for your character no matter what you choose.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, as of right now, you can do any kind of Rogue there is better as some other class.

What kind of Rogue were you planning on going for? Which of its abilities are you interested in?

Archaeologist Bard and Vivisectionist Alchemist are both excellent examples of this, with archaeologists being excellent at the social and skill side of things (including traps) while Vivisectionist is fantastic for a Sneak Attack focused build. The Slayer, from the Advanced Class Guide playtest, is also an excellent Rogue replacement.


I honestly think that even Barbarians, Druids, Rangers, Oracles, Sorcerers, Witches and Wizards make better rouges than the Rogue Class.

That said there are some really strong "Rogue" builds out there, though to me they feel more like classic ninjas or rangers than rogues.


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Remember guys. This is a beginner trying to stick to core material.

I think every character should have at least one thing they do well out of combat, a primary role in combat, and a secondary role in combat. The good rogue builds tend to switch that up a bit. They usually have several things they do well out of combat (due to lots of skills) and one thing they do well in combat.

In addition to the questions above. What do you want your character to do both in combat and out of combat?

Are you big into taking to people (possibly lying your ash off) to convince them to do what you want, sneaking around a bit, using some magic to help your allies? Then you might be better off trying a bard.

Do you want to sneak around and snipe at range without really worrying about social skills? Ranger will probably do what you want a bit easier.

Do you want to be a cat burglar that occasionally stabs someone in the back from hiding then runs away again? That does sound like a rogue type build.

Liberty's Edge

Even sticking to Core, a standard Bard does most Rogue stuff better than a Rogue, with Trapfinding alone being unreachable.

And besides, he was thinking of grabbing Dervish Dance and Dervish of Dawn/Dawnflower Dervish...those aren't any more core than the things suggested.


CraziFuzzy wrote:
The benefit of a rogue is going to depend on the GM. If the GM does a good job of mixing up the campaign - 33% combat, 33% role playing, 33% skill puzzles - then the rogue will have it's place. If you are simply moving through the dungeon from one combat to the next, then no, the rogue is not going to have as much use. And while yes, spell-casters can mimic a lot of the rogues capabilities (sneaking, trapfinding, etc), they can only do so in limited duration. The rogue is still the best at these things full-time.

In a perfect world. Most games are 50+ % combat 25-30% rp and the remainder skill stuff ):


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Slayer (from Advanced Class Guide). Granted it is in playtest and not final. But you can get pretty much all the rogue abilities (via talents, trapfinding, evasion) and also function quite well from a martial perspective.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Daenar wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
The benefit of a rogue is going to depend on the GM. If the GM does a good job of mixing up the campaign - 33% combat, 33% role playing, 33% skill puzzles - then the rogue will have it's place. If you are simply moving through the dungeon from one combat to the next, then no, the rogue is not going to have as much use. And while yes, spell-casters can mimic a lot of the rogues capabilities (sneaking, trapfinding, etc), they can only do so in limited duration. The rogue is still the best at these things full-time.
In a perfect world. Most games are 50+ % combat 25-30% rp and the remainder skill stuff ):

Only if the combats are more interesting than 'you're in this room, and there are these enemies: GO!'. To me, RPG's aren't tabletop war games. To run that much combat, it had better have some environmental challenges woven into the combat (or at least some of them). I get bored simply moving pawns around and rolling dice.


CraziFuzzy wrote:
Only if the combats are more interesting than 'you're in this room, and there are these enemies: GO!'. To me, RPG's aren't tabletop war games. To run that much combat, it had better have some environmental challenges woven into the combat (or at least some of them). I get bored simply moving pawns around and rolling dice.

By the same token the player of the Fighter likes out of combat skill challenges about as much as the player of the Rogue likes straight fights with no skills involved. The goal is to balance the challenges to the group and more classes have something useful to do in combat than out of it, usually. I have seen some awesome campaigns where straight fights were very rare and everyone had a good time. Nobody played a non-spellcaster in those campaigns though.


A lot of people on this forum say that the core rogue in pathfinder is quite sh*t. I am not one of them, but I agree that depending on your group it can be hard to have fun with the class.

caveat: this is my personal opinions and experiences with my local group(s)

I have seen the rogue being played in 3 different groups the last year or so:

once with me as gm: the character was a wizard who took a couple of rogue levels to add some skills and sneak attack to his character. The character was hands down the most important part of the group, but that was more likely because of the wizard levels ...

the second time I was a player and we brought in a total novice, she made a halfling rogue, straight from the book, slightly stereotypical, with no system mastery or for that matter system knowledge. she had the highest kill-count in the group and was a hilarious character: all sweet and short and completly without morals.

in the game I'm currently gm'ing I have on player who is portraying a hobgoblin warrior2/rogueX, he has more hit points than the paladin, can stand his ground in combat (he is running around with a MW agile breastplate, makes his checks just fine) and is the (unintentionally) funniest bastard in this group of misfits.

now the reasons why these character are excelling in mine and my friends games, are probably many.

I know that in my current game, (an exceptional Low magic setting with very little healing-options except rest and the heal skills - where wizards and monsters are rare or forgotten stories) - I focus on skill checks quite often, and I try to use all the saves during a session if I can make it plausible.
I also let the story play out based on the characters actions (or lack therof) enemies are also likely to flee or surrender if things are going bad for them.

the point I am (trying) to make is that the rogue is(/can) be a fine class to play, if your game allows it.
but like others have said; if you are playing a game focused BAB and damage-per-round, your rogue will either die or be the useless guy in the corner.

but if you think your group has a varied focus and you all are playing to have fun, and all the characters are made following "what I want/like" and not "what I've been told is best" ... then go for it dude, make a rogue.

oh,and remember to take knowledge: local - my group are noticing how important that single skill rank can be when you are based in the capital city and none of them know where anything is or who to contact about .. well; anthing :D

Liberty's Edge

Gregory Connolly wrote:
By the same token the player of the Fighter likes out of combat skill challenges about as much as the player of the Rogue likes straight fights with no skills involved.

Which would be why both of those people should play Slayers instead. ;)

Or Rangers, or anything else that is good at both.

Gregory Connolly wrote:
The goal is to balance the challenges to the group and more classes have something useful to do in combat than out of it, usually.

I disagree somewhat. Most classes have (or should have) quite a bit of stuff to do both in and out of combat. The ones that don't tend to get pegged as some of the least effective in the game (Fighter and rogue leap to mind).

Gregory Connolly wrote:
I have seen some awesome campaigns where straight fights were very rare and everyone had a good time. Nobody played a non-spellcaster in those campaigns though.

Eh. A skill-based non-spellcaster could do pretty well in that sort of thing, I'd think.


@Deadmanwalking

I agree that they would be better off with 2 Rangers than a Fighter and a Rogue, when I GM I try to steer people away from Fighter, Monk and Rogue unless they have high system mastery.

I think I may have overstated it somewhat. In my experience 4 out of 4 party members are good at combat, 3 out of 4 are good at social challenges, and 2 out of 4 characters are good at puzzles.

Sure a skill based non-spellcaster can do well in a party like that, but Ranger, Alchemist, Summoner, Inquisitor, and Bard generally do it better.

Sovereign Court

halfling rogue/sorcerer/arcane_trickster

there can only be one

Sovereign Court

chaoseffect wrote:

You hit the nail right on the head. You will be a better "Rogue" by choosing a different class. Consider Bard. Seriously, they are awesome in Pathfinder. The Archeologist archetype in particular has a "Rogue" feel, but sacrifices you ability to effect everyone with your delicious bardic performance in exchange for it pumping you up more. If you happen to choose Archeologist, then the feat Lingering Performance is pretty much mandatory and the trait Fate's Favored is great as well.

Also as a side note, you are normally better sticking with one class in Pathfinder, especially if you pick up anything with spells. If you are a martial character then a dip is nowhere near as disruptive for the most part.

ArchAeologist (Archetype) for bards looks good on paper, but you'll end up with the same sadness as a single classed rogue (i.e. all you're good for is disabling traps).

You don't need to sacrifice class features to find traps. I have a regular bard that took a trait in order to get Disable Device as a class skill. In order to boost perception, I cast the spell Acute Senses, 1 min/level (I'm level 13 so that gives me +20 to Perception for 13 min... in dungeon time this is quite a long time). I also cast Aram Zey's Focus which grants you Trapfinding as per a rogue half your caster level. Boom. Done


there's always the ninja base class.

It has alot of the same feel as a rogue, but it's way better. Just relabel the ki pool into (awesome trick pool if you don't like the flavor), and you've got a functional rogue.

Vanishing trick, in particular works amazing.


Sebastrd wrote:

You could always run the old Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) standby 18 Wiz/2 Rogue. The Wizard's high intelligence and utility spells combine nicely with Rogue. Take Rogue as your first level, then use all the extra skill points you get from your high Intelligence score to keep the vital Rogue skills like Search and Disable max'd. Around level 9, take your second level of Rogue.

From a role-playing perspective, the sneaky Wizard stealing/adventuring to fund his research make perfect sense.

Note: I don't recall if the feat exists in Core or not, but there's a feat called Insightful Reflexes that lets you use Intelligence instead of Dexterity for Reflex saves. Take it, if you can.

I myself have a long-running Wizard/Rogue character, but a few points here are worthy of note. First, Insightful Reflexes is a 3.5 Ed feat. If the game incorporates 3.5 material, any Wizard/Rogue should have it (mine does), but many games don't.

Second, too many games treat the Knock spell as a superior replacement for Disable Device. It is not.

Knock spell wrote:
When you complete the casting of this spell, make a caster level check against the DC of the lock with a +10 bonus.

A wand of Knock is useful primarily for opening simple locks, which have a DC of only 20, and even then will sometimes fail. So any character with maxed ranks in Disable Device is good for a party. Nonetheless, locks and traps should not be any PC's main utility.

If you want a more combat capable character, the previous suggestions of Slayer or Archaeologist Bard or Vivisectionist Alchemist are all good rogue-like Rogue alternatives. The Alchemist is more complicated than the others. Don't forget that Bards have access to the Heroism spell and other self buffs and that Archaeologist Bards don't need to sing or play an instrument to have stirring theme music. They're cinematic action heroes, so it comes installed.

Never take feats or talents that grant extra damage for a minus to hit unless you are playing a class with full BAB progression. For any other class they are a trap. You need to hit to deal any damage.

You might find out if your GM allows firearms. Ammo and shot might be too expensive to just blaze away in combat, but it's nice to target touch AC for sneak attacks when you've got the drop on someone.

I'm sure others can help you more--I haven't played a combat-oriented rogue in PF. But that's what I've got.

Liberty's Edge

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
ArchAeologist (Archetype) for bards looks good on paper, but you'll end up with the same sadness as a single classed rogue (i.e. all you're good for is disabling traps).

Huh? This is pretty much completely false. Archaeologist probably isn't as good as a core Bard, but it's still very solid. They basically get everything core Bards do except Versatile Performance and Bardic Performance (and a few things nobody cares much about) and while those are both great class features which I love, they aren't the entirety of the Bard's usefulness. Luck, Evasion, and Rogue Talents (which you can use for Feats if you wish) are all pretty cool to have. Especially on top of Bard spellcasting, Masterpieces, and similar things.

And I'm saying this having seen one in play, not just from theory-crafting.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
You don't need to sacrifice class features to find traps. I have a regular bard that took a trait in order to get Disable Device as a class skill. In order to boost perception, I cast the spell Acute Senses, 1 min/level (I'm level 13 so that gives me +20 to Perception for 13 min... in dungeon time this is quite a long time). I also cast Aram Zey's Focus which grants you Trapfinding as per a rogue half your caster level. Boom. Done

This is true, but as mentioned, that's not all an Archaeologist gets.


Since you've got a Fighter, Ranger, and Cleric in the group already, I definitely recommend some arcane support. You want to play a character who is stealthy, and you like shadow stuff.

So, I recommend you make a Shadow Sorcerer. The Shadow bloodline is in the Advanced Players' Guide, and you'll be able to be stealthy and arcane and specialize in shadow spells.

To use Multitalented, you can choose Rogue as your second class. You don't need to use it.

Sovereign Court

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
ArchAeologist (Archetype) for bards looks good on paper, but you'll end up with the same sadness as a single classed rogue (i.e. all you're good for is disabling traps).

Huh? This is pretty much completely false. Archaeologist probably isn't as good as a core Bard, but it's still very solid. They basically get everything core Bards do except Versatile Performance and Bardic Performance (and a few things nobody cares much about) and while those are both great class features which I love, they aren't the entirety of the Bard's usefulness. Luck, Evasion, and Rogue Talents (which you can use for Feats if you wish) are all pretty cool to have. Especially on top of Bard spellcasting, Masterpieces, and similar things.

And I'm saying this having seen one in play, not just from theory-crafting.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
You don't need to sacrifice class features to find traps. I have a regular bard that took a trait in order to get Disable Device as a class skill. In order to boost perception, I cast the spell Acute Senses, 1 min/level (I'm level 13 so that gives me +20 to Perception for 13 min... in dungeon time this is quite a long time). I also cast Aram Zey's Focus which grants you Trapfinding as per a rogue half your caster level. Boom. Done
This is true, but as mentioned, that's not all an Archaeologist gets.

If you can't do Inspire Courage, please don't call yourself a bard. You're at best an eye roller for the rest of the party. You *do* get bard spells though, I'll give you that, and those make you super versatile. But the base bard is superior. Wayyyy superior.


Wrong John Silver wrote:

Since you've got a Fighter, Ranger, and Cleric in the group already, I definitely recommend some arcane support. You want to play a character who is stealthy, and you like shadow stuff.

So, I recommend you make a Shadow Sorcerer. The Shadow bloodline is in the Advanced Players' Guide, and you'll be able to be stealthy and arcane and specialize in shadow spells.

To use Multitalented, you can choose Rogue as your second class. You don't need to use it.

If you want arcane support with the skills to back it up I would look at the Sage Sorcerer. It uses Int as its primary casting stat so you get masses of skill points to play with. If you want to be a face take the Clever Words or Student of Philosophy trait. Add in the Seeker archetype and you get the ability to disable magical traps along with bonuses to disable device and perception.


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bookwormbabe29 wrote:

Being new I was fine with that, and decided on a Half-Elf Rogue. It's a level one game, and we have a Fighter, a Ranger, and a Cleric as my team.

No matter how I build my rogue, it feels another class is better at my core skills than I am, like I'd be a better Rogue if I weren't actually a rogue.

I find this rather odd and suspicious. While it's true with some niche traits, feats and or archetypes, one CAN make a rogue-type that does trap finding etc at least as well as a full Rogue, it's doesn't occur in IRL table-top games much, and it certainly would not be apparent to a newbie. ESPECIALLY at first level.

Of the classes you list, Fighter and Cleric can't compete at all in your 'core skills". True, outdoors at least- the Ranger makes a darn good skill focused PC, and will do some of the "roguish" stuff as well as a classic rogue.

Now, when you say "No matter how I build my rogue, it feels another class is better at my core skills than I am" are you talking in THEORY or actual play? Because indeed, if you read these forums there is a number of loud rogue haters and some theorycrafters who will tell you this- over and over and over. Like in this very thread for example. and yes of course, if you do a compare with any base class- especially a rogue, vs a build made

BUT- IRL game, in actual play, this is not a real issue.

Play what you have fun with. Rogues can be very fun.

Liberty's Edge

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
If you can't do Inspire Courage, please don't call yourself a bard. You're at best an eye roller for the rest of the party. You *do* get bard spells though, I'll give you that, and those make you super versatile. But the base bard is superior. Wayyyy superior.

The base Bard is better, but not to the degree you're implying. The full Bard spell list, self-buffing on ar with Inspire Courage and all the most important parts of being a Rogue except Sneak Attack makes for a very solid class indeed. It's legitimately less effective than a standard Bard, but honestly so's just about everything that isn't a full caster, if you've got some people to buff anyway.


If you wanting to cast Arcane spells and sneak around around, I would suggest Bard, either straight Bard or Archaeologist, depending on whether trap finding or team buffing is more important to you. The Bard is a very versatile class, it can support the team in a variety of ways and it is not reliant on any one strategy.


I think if you want to sneak around you should play a Wizard. Take a trait to get stealth as a class skill and be an Elf. You can use spells to get by almost everything a Rogue can, and on top of everything you will have all the right countermeasures for just about every AP with a Wizard and Cleric in the party.


Daenar wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
The benefit of a rogue is going to depend on the GM. If the GM does a good job of mixing up the campaign - 33% combat, 33% role playing, 33% skill puzzles - then the rogue will have it's place. If you are simply moving through the dungeon from one combat to the next, then no, the rogue is not going to have as much use. And while yes, spell-casters can mimic a lot of the rogues capabilities (sneaking, trapfinding, etc), they can only do so in limited duration. The rogue is still the best at these things full-time.
In a perfect world. Most games are 50+ % combat 25-30% rp and the remainder skill stuff ):

I've found this to be true exactly once in my entire D&D career. In most games I've played in, combat takes up about 10% to 25% of a given session, depending on the circumstances.

Maybe we're just an edge case, but I doubt it.


blahpers wrote:
Daenar wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
The benefit of a rogue is going to depend on the GM. If the GM does a good job of mixing up the campaign - 33% combat, 33% role playing, 33% skill puzzles - then the rogue will have it's place. If you are simply moving through the dungeon from one combat to the next, then no, the rogue is not going to have as much use. And while yes, spell-casters can mimic a lot of the rogues capabilities (sneaking, trapfinding, etc), they can only do so in limited duration. The rogue is still the best at these things full-time.
In a perfect world. Most games are 50+ % combat 25-30% rp and the remainder skill stuff ):

I've found this to be true exactly once in my entire D&D career. In most games I've played in, combat takes up about 10% to 25% of a given session, depending on the circumstances.

Maybe we're just an edge case, but I doubt it.

Case by Case. My current PF games run mostly combat.

Some of my old AD&D games were almost all RP.

The Exchange

Are we counting percentages in terms of "how many challenges are combat and how many are other types," or in terms of "how many hours of play are taken up by combat vs. how many are not"? Even if only one in four challenges involves a fight, that fight's liable to take more time than the other three challenges combined. So it's a very different figure...

A high-Intelligence rogue is still notable for having all the best skills under one roof. Spread those skill points around - be the party face and the party sneak and the trapsmith... and so on. You're not going to be hitting single targets hard (at least, not very often) or using battlefield-altering spells, so it's important to fight smart and take every opportunity to outwit the foe, as opposed to killing them. Take a look at feats like Fleet, Improved Steal, and Improved Feint and think about how they can be used.


1 level of Magus with the Spire defender archetype gets you Dodge and Combat Expertise for free, cantrips and with an int score of 13 you'll have 4 level one spells to start off with. You can grab obscuring mist I believe and work your way through the Monnlit Stalker line once you go back into rogue at level 2. If you take the magical knack trait your CL for magus will be 3 eventually which will qualify you for Craft Wondrous Item as well. I'm unsure if Half-Elves have any SLA's but if they do it might get you early entry into Arcane Trickster with the right tweaking. Magus 1/Rogue 1/Assasin 1...that is IF you have a qualifying SLA.


OP I really suggest running Archeologist Bard.


EsperMagic wrote:
1 level of Magus with the Spire defender archetype gets you Dodge and Combat Expertise for free, cantrips and with an int score of 13 you'll have 4 level one spells to start off with. You can grab obscuring mist I believe and work your way through the Monnlit Stalker line once you go back into rogue at level 2. If you take the magical knack trait your CL for magus will be 3 eventually which will qualify you for Craft Wondrous Item as well. I'm unsure if Half-Elves have any SLA's but if they do it might get you early entry into Arcane Trickster with the right tweaking. Magus 1/Rogue 1/Assasin 1...that is IF you have a qualifying SLA.

Alright so you have to take the drow magic alternate racial trait but then you get darkness as an sla... so just for giggles Magus 2/Rogue 1/Alchemist 1 gets you into Arcane Trickster at the earliest possible level. You still get 7d6 Sneak Attack by the end of AT, and only lose 2 spell levels from the SA classes. So counting Magical Knack and the fact the most important Magus spells are level 1 spells you arent too hurt. Youcan still pull off the whole Intesified shocking grasp, just add on 7d6 sneak attack if you're lucky. So 17d6? ok


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Free your mind.

Rogue is a concept. It doesn't just have to be a class.

the class is not particularly good even at its own concept.

The rogue is sneaky it has... the same +3 bonus to stealth that half the other classes do, and is available for half a feat or as a trait.

The rogue fights dirty.. oh wait, the fighter and lore warden to that better.

The rogue is a suave, debonaire scoundrel that can use guile and trickery... with the exact same bonuses to diplomacy, bluff, and intimidate that anyone else has.

The rogue backstabs! which.. looks mechanically just like any other kind of damage.

Describe your rogue to me. His background, abilities, likes, dislikes etc. What do you picture him doing on an adventure?

you're starting out at higher levels it seems that has its pluses and minuses.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I completely agree.

Going beyond class/feat names, to simply choose the mechanics to meet your concept, will be much more satisfying.

Sovereign Court

DrDeth wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Daenar wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
The benefit of a rogue is going to depend on the GM. If the GM does a good job of mixing up the campaign - 33% combat, 33% role playing, 33% skill puzzles - then the rogue will have it's place. If you are simply moving through the dungeon from one combat to the next, then no, the rogue is not going to have as much use. And while yes, spell-casters can mimic a lot of the rogues capabilities (sneaking, trapfinding, etc), they can only do so in limited duration. The rogue is still the best at these things full-time.
In a perfect world. Most games are 50+ % combat 25-30% rp and the remainder skill stuff ):

I've found this to be true exactly once in my entire D&D career. In most games I've played in, combat takes up about 10% to 25% of a given session, depending on the circumstances.

Maybe we're just an edge case, but I doubt it.

Case by Case. My current PF games run mostly combat.

Some of my old AD&D games were almost all RP.

Most APs can get combat heavy if the DM or players are in a rush and start ignoring all that good RP info painstakingly written into each NPC in the AP chapter... I've been guilty of doing that as a DM in the past when I was trying to keep each AP chapter at a maximum of 20 hours of play.

That doesn't work.

When you run an AP, read it thoroughly, especially the parts about NPC motivations / background story, and just skim the dungeon write-ups (I used to spend way to much time reading the dungeons, perhaps overlooking the NPCs). When the PCs meet the BBEG, if you're 100% knowing of the motivations of the NPC, you as a DM can modify how things can play out, so long as the end is generally the same and that you can tie it into the next Chapter (some chapters are written by other authors anyway, and are somewhat standalone from each other... etc. so not hard to jury-rig that a previous boss is still alive 'cause the PCs spared him or made a deal with him)

Currently I play in a local Pathfinder home campaign, and it's 80% RP... most evil NPCs give us missions and feed us info, and we feed them info in return. Some of the evil NPCs (Chelaxian merchant and Norgorber priest) even tasked us to find an assassin that's offing some Kuthites. Knowledge is power, and they want to know who's successfully murdering the Kuthites. The party's paladin has to take a lot of walks to work out the frustration at answering to evil bosses, but my CG bard keeps reminding him that it's better to keep evil in your sights (i.e. keep your enemies closer). My bard refuses to condone murder against other human beings, period. He believes this good vs. evil war faiths are waging against one another are responsible for preventing the enlightenment of humankind. He's personally devoted to Cayden, Shelyn and Desna (having sworn a personal holy oath to Desna recently, swearing to protect endangered or exploited children wherever he finds them). He believes that's where the true line in the sand is in regards to evil: if an NPC follows an evil god but keep this basic decency or honor code not to harm children he probably won't have a problem with that NPC...


I wonder how the adventure went, and what the OP's character was.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


The rogue is sneaky it has... the same +3 bonus to stealth that half the other classes do, and is available for half a feat or as a trait.

The rogue is a suave, debonaire scoundrel that can use guile and trickery... with the exact same bonuses to diplomacy, bluff, and intimidate that anyone else has.

Altho that's true, one can say that about any class. One of the strengths of PF is that every niche can be filled by several classes.

But the rogue can do some of that stuff better, using class features or archetypes such as:
Stealth:Fast Stealth (Ex): This ability allows a rogue to move at full speed using the Stealth skill without penalty.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A rogue with this talent can select a single terrain from the ranger's favored terrain list. She is a master at hiding in that terrain, and while within that terrain, she can use the Stealth skill to hide, even while being observed. A rogue may take this advanced talent more than once, each time selecting a different terrain from the favored terrain list.

Misdirection (Ex): At 1st level, a chameleon begins her career knowing that the secret to disappearing lies in deceiving the senses of her observers. Every day she gains a pool of stealth points equal to her ranks in Bluff. These points refresh at the start of each day. Before making a Stealth check, she can choose to put stealth points into the roll, gaining a bonus on Stealth checks equal to the number of stealth points she puts into the roll. If she gains a bonus on Bluff checks because of a feat (such as Skill Focus [Bluff]), she adds a number of points to her stealth pool equal to the bonus the feat grants. This ability replaces trapfinding.

Effortless Sneak (Sp): At 3rd level, the chameleon chooses a single terrain from the ranger's favored terrain class feature. While she is within that terrain, she can take 10 on any Stealth check she can make within that terrain. When the chameleon reaches 6th level, and every three levels thereafter, she chooses a new type of terrain from the ranger's favored terrain list. She gains this ability with the newly picked terrain. This ability replaces trap sense.

Similar with guile, etc.

Not to mention that the ten talents give the rogue at least two bonus feats.


DrDeth wrote:


Altho that's true, one can say that about any class. One of the strengths of PF is that every niche can be filled by several classes.

Stealth:Fast Stealth (Ex): This ability allows a rogue to move at full speed using the Stealth skill without penalty.: my solution to this is to simply double your speed, but i really don't see the point. If you're already hidden then whats the rush?

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A shadow dancer dip will get you a vastly better version. This is terribad. You need the trick 5 times to adventure with it.

Misdirection (Ex)- is worth one casting of vanish, tops.

Effortless Sneak (Sp): terribad.

These are absolutely horrible.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


Altho that's true, one can say that about any class. One of the strengths of PF is that every niche can be filled by several classes.

Stealth:Fast Stealth (Ex): This ability allows a rogue to move at full speed using the Stealth skill without penalty.: my solution to this is to simply double your speed, but i really don't see the point. If you're already hidden then whats the rush?

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A shadow dancer dip will get you a vastly better version. This is terribad. You need the trick 5 times to adventure with it.

Misdirection (Ex)- is worth one casting of vanish, tops.

Effortless Sneak (Sp): terribad.

These are absolutely horrible.

Meh. Moving the goalposts. You said the rogue is no better at stealth than every other class, and I pointed out just four of the ways it can be , and then you dismiss them as "terribad."


DrDeth wrote:


Meh. Moving the goalposts. You said the rogue is no better at stealth than every other class, and I pointed out just four of the ways it can be , and then you dismiss them as "terribad."

If your examples are so bad as to approach +0 worth (and they are) then you're proving my point, not yours.

Goals firmly in place. Try laces out next time.


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Fast Stealth = Expeditious Retreat

Hide In Plain Sight = Blur

Misdirection < Glibness

Effortless Sneak < Invisibility

Using your goalposts a Bard is better at this than a Chameleon. And they have more skills by level 6 due to Versatile Performance. And they can Inspire Courage. And they know other spells than these...

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