Tell your experience with the Rogue


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

Meanwhile, the cleric with full plate and a 10 dex? Just cast Freedom of Movement. So, clerics are better at escaping things than rogues are.

And the bard? Dimension Door is a verbal only spell. Since this was a while ago, the concentration check was a lot easier to make, and he just vanished.

So, in that game, the bard was also better at escaping than the rogue.

And i learned that the spellcasting system is just better than the skill system at higher levels, even when trying to perform a skill.

You must be talking about 3.5 then, cause that stuff doesn't work in Pathfinder so well. Unless the cleric wasn't grappled when he cast, which was not so much him escaping as avoiding the problem completely.


Rogues aren't good at things. They are sort of awful at many many things. With enough high octane optimization and stealing wealth far far beyond standard WBL, you can be ok at many many things.

More likely than not though, the GM will stop you from getting these advantages, or you won't have access to a magic mart to spend you wealth how you need to.

There also comes the issue that amassing this wealth advantage over allies would be a solo show, which is something most GMs won't let you do because it makes everyone else bored.

There is also the problem that the rules around the rogue have just as many holes as those around spellcasting, and most of the people on this forum purposefully misinterpret the rules to further cripple the rogue. Even without that toxic approach, the rogue still suffers systematic oppression from every aspect of the rules.


Haladir wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Haladir wrote:
The rogue's strong suit is non-combat encounters. They can do OK in combat, but the class is neither intended nor designed to be a powerhouse in combat. If your game is going to be all combat, all the time, then don't play a rogue.
The problem is that classes like the Investigator, Inquisitor, and Bard can meet or beat the rogue's out-of-combat contributions while still being highly competent combatants as well.

Like I said, Rogues are not supposed to be particularly strong combatants. They are supposed to be able to dish out a lot of damage occasionally, in small bursts, in the right situation. If you play a rogue as if it were a warrior-type, you'll be disappointed. My philosophy is that if you ever have a rogue take a full attack action, you're probably doing something wrong: they should be repositioning just about every round.

So the rogue is supposed to risk getting into a position to attack then not full attack once it has gotten there? That is a really bad idea for monsters with reach since it likely has to risk taking an AoO just to get in position. I understand a rogue not being a primary combatant class but what exactly do have your rogues do once they attack someone, and then during the 2nd round they are in a position to full attack? Do you move, possibly provoking AoO, and then make only 1 attack just so you can say "I will not full attack"? Yes that is a serious question and not sarcasm because I can not picture how your idea is supposed to work.

Scarab Sages

Marroar Gellantara wrote:


There is also the problem that the rules around the rogue have just as many holes as those around spellcasting, and most of the people on this forum purposefully misinterpret the rules to further cripple the rogue. Even without that toxic approach, the rogue still suffers systematic oppression from every aspect of the rules.

We don't want to cripple the rogue. We are tired of being disappointing by them. Burying your head in the sand and not acknowledging all of their flaws, including the fact that skill mastery does nothing for UMD is not helping them get better.

Houserule it work in your home games. It should work to give rogues something good. But RAW, it doesn't.


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


Huge creature? Other than a few odd spellcaster variants, there's nothing anyone could do to escape.

That bard with DD would be trapped as surely as you were.

So, two points of frustration with the rogue class.

I have a good dexterity, and I've been putting skill points into escape artist, the skill that allows you to, well, escape. And I didn't even have a possibility of getting out. It wasn't 'roll high and you can do it', it was 'mathematically impossible'.

This doesn't happen to fighters, who generally focus on fighting. They usually have at least a 1/3 chance of hitting a CR appropriate enemy, and also always hit on a 20. So, the class who's big thing is skill points, not really doing the job.

Meanwhile, the cleric with full plate and a 10 dex? Just cast Freedom of Movement. So, clerics are better at escaping things than rogues are.

And the bard? Dimension Door is a verbal only spell. Since this was a while ago, the concentration check was a lot easier to make, and he just vanished.

So, in that game, the bard was also better at escaping than the rogue.

And i learned that the spellcasting system is just better than the skill system at higher levels, even when trying to perform a skill.

Your DM must have done something wrong because the bard would have to make a concentration check with a DC of 10+grappler's CMB+spell level, against huge opponents that also, usually, impossible.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
and most of the people on this forum purposefully misinterpret the rules to further cripple the rogue. Even without that toxic approach, the rogue still suffers systematic oppression from every aspect of the rules.

What rules are these?


wraithstrike wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
and most of the people on this forum purposefully misinterpret the rules to further cripple the rogue. Even without that toxic approach, the rogue still suffers systematic oppression from every aspect of the rules.
What rules are these?

I believe the community guidelines suggest against purposefully derailing threads.


yeah, lets not get into that again


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I like Rogues, i've been using them for around 30 years now, never found them to be a problem one way or the other:-)


leo1925 wrote:


Your DM must have done something wrong because the bard would have to make a concentration check with a DC of 10+grappler's CMB+spell level, against huge opponents that also, usually, impossible.

It was a while ago, Leo, in the 3.5 days. Rule used to be 20 + spell level, easily achievable by a halfway competent caster.

While allowing sneak attack more often was kind of them, and skill consolidation did help rogues a bit, and tougher concentration checks helped a bit, I still feel that rogues aren't worth playing, in 3.5 or Pathfinder.

The cleric hung back and cast on round one, TOZ, because it's usually a safe bet that tentacles = grappling.

The crux of my problem is that for a character designed to be dextrous and mobile, I wasn't. Even with dexterity and skill points, and dodge and mobility and spring attack, I got grabbed on my first attack and it was impossible to get out.

The rogue class doesn't deliver on what's promised. Not well. And you would have an easier time of it as a ranger, or a slayer, or a bard, or an alchemist, or...


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Marroar Gellantara wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
and most of the people on this forum purposefully misinterpret the rules to further cripple the rogue. Even without that toxic approach, the rogue still suffers systematic oppression from every aspect of the rules.
What rules are these?
I believe the community guidelines suggest against purposefully derailing threads.

You brought it up, and all topics eventually go off topic, but I will take your response as "I dont have anything, but I dont want to admit it."


I've found that the rogue can work great in multiclass builds, but, yeah, on its own it is a weak class.
But I've seen a few levels of it taken along with soulknife (from Dreamscarred Press) and with Shaman (Advanced Class Guide) and it worked great in those builds. I think I've seen a few other characters with a few levels in rogue, but, not recalling the details at the moment.

When I have time for my home games I'm going to be coming up with a new class feature for rogue and playtesting it like mad (hopefully I'll have the chance to) in order to make the rogue more, well, roguish, fun, interesting and effective.


Experience1: The rogue often tried to sneak in combat to reach flanking positions or to attack from stealth. Often the enemies were dead when or before he reached them.
We could not use some spells, like obscuring mist, because it would totally gimp him. In the end the player was frustrated, got himself killed (the pc) and rerolled.

Experience2: A fighter/rogue. Totally useless build and played by a disruptive player. The party would often have been better off without him.

All other rogue-like pcs were no rogues. Those were worth having and fun for the player.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My most recent experiences with rogues have been in the Wrath of the Righteous AP (Mythic) and PFS.

PFS:
Even in optimal situations (flanking, opponent debuffed) combat performance subpar. Also was one-shotted by a cleric wielding a weapon that the cleric was not even proficient with.

Wrath AP:
With a lot of house rules and hyper-optimization, feels marginally useful. However several fights she is forced to sit out because she is totally outclassed and would be instagibbed if she tried. Also run into many mobs that are immune to precision damage. Good in scouting roles. Should add that for half her career the halfling rogue had a lower Stealth Skill than the Paladin. Had a rough time against any Will-based effects, when dealt damage that has Fort saves.

Note that last session the optimized Mythic rogue with Improved Invis, magical gear, etc... did less damage than non-mythic NPC warriors using mundane equipment.


I just know that our GM drops monsters with rogue levels on us like Candy.

In a surprise round they end up quite deadly.


Running Kotenbo Tsao through an adventure path.

Ninja. Should be in all ways better than a rogue, but it was still worse than meh in combat.

[spoiler=The basics]

Tengu sneak attacking with claw claw beak.

1) Weapon Finesse
3) Combat expertise.
5) Gang up
7) Toughness
9) shadow strike
11)Extra ki
Traits: Amandar Militia (+1 to attack flanked opponents)
Dirty Fighter (+1 damage flanked opponents)
Ninja:
Poison use, sneak attack +6d6, Ki pool (8+2) No trace +4

Ninja Tricks:
2)vanishing trick,
4)shadow clone jutsu!
6)climbing trick
8) Pressure points
10) Advanced talent: Invisible blade (improved insvisibility)
Skills
12: Advanced talent: See the unseen

When I proposed this build, there were hu's and cries of "overpowered!" "9d6 sneak attack around wth?"

Sneak attacks weren't that uncommon. Between flanks and gang ups I didn't have to burn an invisibility to sneak attack all THAT often.

Full attack sneaks are a completely different story though. Sneak attacks don't always happen.

If I got in two per game session it was a lot. In general i would move up to something, sneak attack it, and a party member would move up and kill it. If they didn't i would sneak attack it once again, and then have to move to my next target. Or I would move up, hit something, the cleaving barbarian would then kill everything in the room.

Its important to note that said rare even put me at just about average damage for the party in a round. Smites with two handed weapons or the charging flying lancer could keep up, but they could attack far, FAR more often then i could full attack, didn't have positional requirements, and didn't have enemies that were effectively immune to their damage for one reason or another.

Blurry
Invisible
Thing the scenario author decided to make cooler by crit immunity
Ice elemental
Things in ice clouds, fog clouds, mist effects, foggy weather...
incorporeal ghosts
Caster with see invisibility
Swarms
Things with true seeing
Fortication armor

As to the rogues alleged out of combat abilities...

Having more skill ranks is deceptive. It does not make you better "at skills". It makes you better at your 7th and 8th or 9th and 10th choices for skills.

My diplomacy was more or less useless because the sorcerer had oodles of it and an obscene charisma.

Stealth was very meh. Stealth doesn't work without invisibility. If invisibility is up i have a +20 and my skill ranks are kind of overkill.

Bluff didn't come up all that often. Profession servant and poet came up more, but those were fluff options.

Climb was superceded by most of the party flying rather quickly

Acrobatics rarely mattered and linguistics didn't really come up.

Disable device was handy a few times and use magic device was a great money saver on healing. Perception was good as always.

The better a skill is the more likely that someone else in your party does it, and does it as well if not better than you. If you don't both need to do it (ie, perception) then its wasted.


wraithstrike wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
and most of the people on this forum purposefully misinterpret the rules to further cripple the rogue. Even without that toxic approach, the rogue still suffers systematic oppression from every aspect of the rules.
What rules are these?
I believe the community guidelines suggest against purposefully derailing threads.
You brought it up, and all topics eventually go off topic, but I will take your response as "I dont have anything, but I dont want to admit it."

You're free to do that.

It's that kind of reading comprehension I am referencing. Instead of reading the words for what they say, you can just take a completely different meaning.

EDIT: Also the original snippet makes it look like I am defending the rogue. I am not. I would recommend that new GMs ban the rogue and new players not to play it. Brokenly weak can be as disruptive as brokenly strong.


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ShroudedInLight wrote:

I just know that our GM drops monsters with rogue levels on us like Candy.

In a surprise round they end up quite deadly.

Right, because there are different rules for surprise depending on whether its a PC or an NPC.

NPCs don't need to move anywhere/ PCs need to come into the area.
NPCs are standing in ambush points PCs are walking into them.
PCs need cover, concealment, and to not be observed. NPCs are standing in cover at the start of every battle.
Npcs act with a hive mind. PCs act like a herd of cats.


I've always found that rogues are most effective against the party.

This includes a particularly troublesome player who played a rogue just to kill everyone in the group.

We had to ban him from the table.


And my experience with a rogue was one that was so weak that he could never contribute to anything useful mechanics-wise.

The player of said rogue had his character commit suicide ingame. Turns out, that character suicide is what we remember now when thinking of that specific character.


Dema_89 wrote:

Wow, so many replies.

Before i say everything let me thank all of you for the answers.

For what i can tell by now we are at risk in falling out oof the topic starting a classic "Rogue sucks" thread.

About what i collect by now i can tell that:

1) Going for a single weapon is better than going whit TWF due to hit penalties. Not a great news but still an important factor.

2) If you play in a high optimized contest or with a strict DM, you'll have an hard life with the rogue even having great system mastery.

3) For a Rogue it is mandatory have the party work togheter. It is important for every class but even more for the Rogue.

4) Out of Combat despite not being the best at skills we could be usefull specializing in those skills in wich the other members lack.

5) In combat we shoul have other option than flanking-damage.

What about other ways to be of some use in combat like for istance Intimidate, Disarm, Dirty Tricks, ...? Maybe someone has tried a Disarm/Trip/Dirty Tricks build? How does it scale against CMD?

1-thru-4, absolutely yes in my opinion, and I think that's a good summation of the useful posts.

Good luck with #5, but I agree in theory.

As to the CMD query, it gets really tough in mid to upper levels because it the scaling goes against the PCs.


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


Huge creature? Other than a few odd spellcaster variants, there's nothing anyone could do to escape.

That bard with DD would be trapped as surely as you were.

Meanwhile, the cleric with full plate and a 10 dex? Just cast Freedom of Movement. So, clerics are better at escaping things than rogues are.

And the bard? Dimension Door is a verbal only spell. Since this was a while ago, the concentration check was a lot easier to make, and he just vanished.

Pretty well cant cast while being grappled. "A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. "

If you couldnt make a Escape artist check, even with a 20, they couldnt make that check to cast.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
EpicFail wrote:
Dema_89 wrote:

Wow, so many replies.

Before i say everything let me thank all of you for the answers.

For what i can tell by now we are at risk in falling out oof the topic starting a classic "Rogue sucks" thread.
...
5) In combat we shoul have other option than flanking-damage.

What about other ways to be of some use in combat like for istance Intimidate, Disarm, Dirty Tricks, ...? Maybe someone has tried a Disarm/Trip/Dirty Tricks build? How does it scale against CMD?

1-thru-4, absolutely yes in my opinion, and I think that's a good summation of the useful posts.

Good luck with #5, but I agree in theory.

As to the CMD query, it gets really tough in mid to upper levels because it the scaling goes against the PCs.

There's the ever-popular Scout archetype. It addresses the symptom but it's best viability is with 2-handed weapon wielders.


@DrDeth: Unless of course they had the option to cast Stilled.
And thats the crux of it, options are power. In addition to Still Spells, that same caster could also have put the same points into the same skill.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Still Spells don't remove the need for a concentration check. They only allow you the chance to roll the check.


Well then I stand corrected!
Still (sorry!) brings up an issue thats a completely different topic altogether.


My halfling TWF rogue was OK at low levels, but faded rapidly as things progressed. At low levels, spells didn't dominate over skills, monster CMBs are reasonable, the BAB difference was negligible (and 19 Dex + small kinda helps) and saves were fairly well balanced with no SoS/SoD spells to speak of. OTOH he did pathetic damage without a sneak attack (1d3!).

However, past 3rd level, the house rules came piling in to make up for the flaws. It's even getting to the stage that he'll get a free Mythic Tier to keep up (as I understand it, Mythic Trickster is as weak as Rogue).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mudfoot wrote:
However, past 3rd level, the house rules came piling in to make up for the flaws. It's even getting to the stage that he'll get a free Mythic Tier to keep up (as I understand it, Mythic Trickster is as weak as Rogue).

If you hit MT3, take Mirror Dodge. It's hilariously powerful.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Still Spells don't remove the need for a concentration check. They only allow you the chance to roll the check.

Actually, from what I read, spells with a S comp have the same check as those with a V only comp.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2p4nc?Still-spell-is-now-utterly-useless

They changed this.

Shadow Lodge

Well, maybe they will get around to updating the text eventually. I do see it still present for pinned creatures.


In my opinion, you shouldn't really try to "fight" as a rouge at all. If you need some Oceans 11 type stuff to get done though, the rouge is the best. I've said this in quite a few other posts, but I recently played a demon spawn tiefling rouge that made a pretty good assassin. Just spend all of your feats and rouge talents on boosting stuff like bluff, diplomacy, knowledge nobility, disguise, and stealth. Let the barbarian have his fun smashing goblins and just hang back until your party needs to lie cheat and steal to get something done. Then you can swoop in and save the day.

Liberty's Edge

Froth Maw wrote:
In my opinion, you shouldn't really try to "fight" as a rouge at all.

Man, I try. But when your only other warrior in the party goes and loses his head to a scythe, you don't have much choice.

Auris acquitted himself fairly well for the rest of the adventure, but still wasn't able to save all of the captives in the final battle.


Froth Maw wrote:
In my opinion, you shouldn't really try to "fight" as a rouge at all.

True... Make up doesn't help a lot in combat...

Froth Maw wrote:
If you need some Oceans 11 type stuff to get done though, the rouge is the best.

I don't think it's very good for bank heists either.

:P

- - -

Seriously, though... The Rogue really isn't the best in any of that. And the class is obviously expected to fight. Sneak Attack is possibly its most iconic class feature and even its capstone is a combat ability. So are Evasion and Uncanny Dodge.

My experience with Rogues is the following... I've never seen a Rogue who wasn't easily obsoleted by a different party member, unless the whole group specifically built (read, gimped!) their PCs to make the Roge feel useful.

Additionally, they usually don't last very long in any game where the GM is half-serious about creating real threats... Unless the game is making heavy use of house rules (high point by also helps, but isn't enough).

Liberty's Edge

I have saved the party from TPK on more than one occasion.

While I am not the best at anything, I am reasonably competent at everything. I can do ranged combat well, but I generally do not excel in hand-to-hand combat without a "flank buddy". I often fill the role of "party face"; skill ranks compensate for lack of charisma. I usually have the best Perception score in the party. I can even take a secondary healer role with UMD.

EDIT:This character is a PFS rogue, currently Rogue 8/Fighter 1/Urban Barbarian 1. She started as a clone of the original Merisiel iconic rogue .


i personally find it amusing that a lot of the rogues listed in here have level dips.


Lemmy wrote:
Froth Maw wrote:
In my opinion, you shouldn't really try to "fight" as a rouge at all.

True... Make up doesn't help a lot in combat...

Froth Maw wrote:
If you need some Oceans 11 type stuff to get done though, the rouge is the best.

I don't think it's very good for bank heists either.

:P

- - -

Seriously, though... The Rogue really isn't the best in any of that. And the class is obviously expected to fight. Sneak Attack is possibly its most iconic class feature and even its capstone is a combat ability. So are Evasion and Uncanny Dodge.

My experience with Rogues is the following... I've never a Rogue who wasn't easily obsoleted by a different party member, unless the whole group specifically built (read, gimped!) their PCs to make the Roge feel useful.

Additionally, they usually don't last very long in any game where the GM is half-serious about creating real threats... Unless the game is making heavy use of house rules (high point by also helps, but isn't enough).

GAH! Gosh darn typos. Well, the extra skill points mean that you can have ridiculously high bluff and diplomacy rolls and still take dumb stuff like craft (baked goods). From there, you can disguise yourself as an elderly chef who works at the palace you're trying to infiltrate and offer the guards at one of the security checkpoints fresh baked cookies as you bluff your way past them (this actually worked one time). You've just got so much flexibility with your skills that you can be good at everything, which makes you a much more successful scoundrel.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

More skill points does NOT mean ridiculously high bluff and diplomacy. Class abilities that add 1/2 your level or another stat (hello Inquisitor/Investigator!) give you ridiculously high bluff and diplomacy.

And rogues don't even have the best overall skill coverage. A Bard using Versatile Performance can max out more skills than a Rogue of equal Int. On top of that, the Bard gets bonuses to Knowledge rolls.


Xethik wrote:

More skill points does NOT mean ridiculously high bluff and diplomacy. Class abilities that add 1/2 your level or another stat (hello Inquisitor/Investigator!) give you ridiculously high bluff and diplomacy.

And rogues don't even have the best overall skill coverage. A Bard using Versatile Performance can max out more skills than a Rogue of equal Int. On top of that, the Bard gets bonuses to Knowledge rolls.

That's actually pretty cool, I've never seen anyone play an inquisitor before. I've only played a rogue once, I just really like it. You can re-roll some of your important bluffs with certain rogue talents though, so that's nice. I suppose the rogue isn't the BEST at lying and whatnot then, but you can still be fairly successful with it.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Froth Maw wrote:
Xethik wrote:

More skill points does NOT mean ridiculously high bluff and diplomacy. Class abilities that add 1/2 your level or another stat (hello Inquisitor/Investigator!) give you ridiculously high bluff and diplomacy.

And rogues don't even have the best overall skill coverage. A Bard using Versatile Performance can max out more skills than a Rogue of equal Int. On top of that, the Bard gets bonuses to Knowledge rolls.

That's actually pretty cool, I've never seen anyone play an inquisitor before. I've only played a rogue once, I just really like it. You can re-roll some of your important bluffs with certain rogue talents though, so that's nice. I suppose the rogue isn't the BEST at lying and whatnot then, but you can still be fairly successful with it.

Rogues should probably just be a lot better at these skills, starting. There are some pretty okay skill Rogue Talents, but a lot of them end up quite a bit weaker than, let's say, Investigator talents.

And both Investigators, Inquisitors, and Bards have spells as a backup. A lot of people want to shy away from spells in their character concepts, leaving them to think Rogues are the answer. And that's fine as long as you know what you are getting into. A lot of people don't mind and that's more than fine.

Apologies for coming off snarky. It's just a hot-topic among posters and I get a little fiery myself.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
and most of the people on this forum purposefully misinterpret the rules to further cripple the rogue. Even without that toxic approach, the rogue still suffers systematic oppression from every aspect of the rules.
What rules are these?
I believe the community guidelines suggest against purposefully derailing threads.
You brought it up, and all topics eventually go off topic, but I will take your response as "I dont have anything, but I dont want to admit it."

You're free to do that.

It's that kind of reading comprehension I am referencing. Instead of reading the words for what they say, you can just take a completely different meaning.

EDIT: Also the original snippet makes it look like I am defending the rogue. I am not. I would recommend that new GMs ban the rogue and new players not to play it. Brokenly weak can be as disruptive as brokenly strong.

For someone who does not talk about off topic things you seem to like replying. You could have answered the question or clarified your position by now. This is more off topic than the original question I asked you.


I've often played rogues. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. The last rogue I played was down in the Mgwani expanse. Just a vanilla human rogue in a party with a cavalier/hellknight, Wizard who took a dip in ranger. a druid and a cleric.
The cavalier was the best fighter the rogue was in a contest with the druid for 2nd. He usually was a flanking buddy with the cavalier. That not only made him more effective but the cavalier really appreciated the flanking bonus.
He had the highest initiative & best perception in the party, a pretty good set of other skills and was the only one who was competent vs. traps. The campaign stopped at 7th or 8th level with the rogue pulling his weight just fine

I believe that as with most classes, rogues are what you make them.

Morag


wraithstrike wrote:
For someone who does not talk about off topic things you seem to like replying.

Who says I don't talk about off topic things?

Just because I passed one will save does not mean I make them all.

Hard Minded(Ex) is an excellent talent. Rogues need more things like that. Offensive defense seems nice, but is so wonky that I see a lot of tables avoiding or banning it. Shadow Strike is basically a mandatory feat, but I have a hard time fitting that into builds because I need feats to make my melee viable AND to have a viable range combat. Skill Focus UMD combos great with skill mastery, but you need ridiculous amounts of money to make that your range combat mechanic. I was in a party once where I was the only one who could use those cleric scrolls.


In my recent pathfinder groups, I've played with a new player who went rogue and didn't really understand the mechanics - he was often less effective than just not being in the way of my Witch's control plans/needing healing. The player is playing a new class now and he's much more effective because he has a better grasp of the actions he needs to take (more direct damage, tanking, bull rushes, etc.)

But a few games back, a player with fairly good mastery played a two-weapon fighting rogue who did a good job keeping up with the Paladin in terms of damage. As a wizard in that game, I spent a lot of my time strategically helping out whichever of those two's abilities didn't best match the enemies/situation. Like helping the rogue get flank with a summon or casting fly on the armored dwarf so he could get into the fight faster. Even though I was the primary scout (Diviner wizard, improved familiar, etc.), that didn't mean the rogue's job as "stealthy vanguard" wasn't extremely helpful. More squishy than Paladin, but less squishy than me - and that's important. We were a smart party that burned consumables strategically. That was also a very trap-heavy campaign and he pulled his weight. He was also the party face that campaign, as the player with the Paladin didn't like playing the face, and his skills were a big boon. The GM played to a lot of those needs. In a different campaign without a rogue I've seen that GM put in less traps or need to do S-of-H or etc. for plot points (but we almost always have lots of need for Diplo/Bluff).

Game I just finished GM'ing had a good Ninja... She was very effective, a new player to the game, and probably would have been the same as a Rogue of that level - her build wasn't super optimized. Part of that character's effectiveness, and I don't mean to toot my own horn, is that I consciously design encounter spaces with strategic placement in mind - and that gives rogues/ninjas more chances to shine. In one fight she was able to use Fast Sneak to make it across the ceiling of a covered hallway and get an amazing set of attacks off the back rank of the baddies (who were focused on using crossbows against the party who were fighting their way up the hill the covered area overlooked). I wasn't cheating to let her do anything, she took a lot of risk, used her character's abilities and rolled well. When things turned against her in a few rounds, she was able to tumble to cover and wait for her next opportunity (sneaking around the side of a building, re-attacking, etc.). If she hadn't been so active, the Fighter would have been hit more on his way up the hill. And when her actions made some of the crossbowmen leave cover, the Zen Archer Monk on her team was able to pick them off. There was some encounter design there - not just a golem in a 40' room that they have to beat down.


Has anyone tried being a Halfling Filcher Rogue or Ninja for 5 levels (or with ACG replace 1st level with Mouser Swashbuckler) and then Halfling Opportunist for the next 5 levels? I just realized that while the first 4 levels of this are just okay, the 5th level gets you the ability to turn ALL your Attacks of Opportunity into Sneak Attacks! . . . for the cost of effective -1 BAB (5th level in a 3/4 BAB Prestige Class). Might even be worth making your primary weapon a Longspear (for Reach) and getting Weapon Focus for it (to make up for the effective -1 BAB); I vaguely remember that some other feat gives you an attack bonus on AoOs, but can't remember what it is. Alternatively (or maybe even in addition), Snap Shot would be good, although the feat tax is higher. Either way, base class would be Ninja, or alternatively Halfling Filcher Rogue; after finishing Halfling Opportunist, the rest of the levels would be returning to the base class, unless you need something like Master Spy (which also continues Sneak Attack progression at full speed). Downside: BAB is even worse than 3/4 BAB, and takes forever to get on line.

Also, has anyone tried having **2** Rogues or Ninjas in a party, with teamwork feats to make them synergize? (Think of combining the above with something like Paired Opportunist.)


Froth Maw wrote:
If you need some Oceans 11 type stuff to get done though, the rouge is the best.

Not really.

particularly I wish this were true, but it is not at all. Not only there the usual "some magic trick do it better" but also rogues are not great at skills. They are Ok, but not great.


If you want to play a rogue that is both great at skills and not awful in combat, just play a sleuth investigator.

For those don't hate alchemy, I recommend regular investigator.


We have a level 10 rogue in the group I'm running. She's having a blast in Mummy's Mask. The issues boil down to the roleplay, combat, and skills. Roleplay is what you make of it. She really gets into her role, and the party actually enjoys her occasional solo antics. She is not a major damage-doer, but she doesn't see that as a need. She has other tactics which are used to devestating effect. Her skills really shine when dealing with magical traps. Her own out-of-the-box thinking has allowed her trapmaking skill in combination with the wizard's spells to effectively remove the threat of guards, patrols and even some wandering monsters. Here's more detail, but in essence, the core rogue is really a nice way of saying "thief." Think of the little guy in the Conan movies, the "Mouse" from Ladyhawke or even the Stainless Steel Rat.

The role play:
Started as a halfling, reincarnated as a goblin. She is the primary trap detector/disabler. The group makes use of the downtime rules, and she runs a small thieve's guild in tephu. She took the Leadership feat, giving her access to a cohort and followers (all members of the guild). The downtime adventure, her less than savory contacts and having a dual identity (she runs an orphanage to balance out the guild) make the game for her. The only reason her character adventures is to break the routine of city life and to collect unusual pieces of artwork to decorate her orphanage.

The Combat Issue:
Most of the time she's a noncombatant. She has acted quickly with her Improved Initiative and Lookout feats. However, with her ability to stealthily move at normal speed, she frequently finds herself ahead of an ambush, or on the other side of the villain. She doesn't always attack right away, but waits for the best (or even most dramatic) moment. She has made use of the Improved Steal feat and combat maneuvers to steal key items from villains, such as potion bottles, wands, amulets, quivers full of arrows, sheathed swords just before the fighter closed for a melee attack forcing the villain to switch to a melee weapon. A sneaky rogue can seriously alter/spoil an enemy's best defenses.

The Skills:
The party wizard has most knowledges nailed. The ranger has the wrangling and survival down, and has the highest perception of the group. The cleric has religion. The bard and alchemist encroach on the traditional thievery skills. Our rogue maxes acrobatics, stealth, appraise, bluff, disguise, diplomacy, climb, disable and sleight of hand to get her way. She also took trapmaking as a craft, but doesn't really care where the rest of her skill points go.


Froth Maw wrote:
In my opinion, you shouldn't really try to "fight" as a rouge at all. If you need some Oceans 11 type stuff to get done though, the rouge is the best.

HOW?

What abilities does the rogue class have that make this true? A players guide and gumption is not the rogue class feature. They have rank + skill the same as anyone else.


I have had fun with my ninja 9/witch 1. [Multiclassed at 7th level.] I early on knew my TWF ninja could not keep up with damage to the melee brutes. Sure SA looked like it would do it, but to keep up, SA needs full-round attacks with flanking. That just does not happen very often. Bad guys always move out of flank, and while the 5' step can often put you back in, it often cannot. Since TWF only applies on full-round attacks, it does not come up as often as I would like. Likewise, that -2 penalty on a 3/4 BAB class hurts. Invisibility helps, as it removes the need to flank, and removes a target's Dex Mod from AC, meaning they are easier to hit.

Given the rocket-tag I hear PF has become, full-round attacking is difficult to get, so a TWF focused character has been marginalized by an artifact of the game. Fortunately, in the game I am in, with 6-7 PCs, is not rocket tag. We can get to round 10 easily is a big combat. That one combat usually consumes most of the 3-4 hour session. Still, it means that there is more opportunities for not moving much and getting SA by flanking.

As to play style, I do NOT have Improved Initiative. Several others in the party do. I frequently go in the middle of the pack, even with my nice Dex mod. This means that the casters have usually done their first spell, allowing field setup, and like as not defines who I need to go after. I am faster (40', boots of speed) and agile (high acrobatics) so I can get to a problem area better than any other without dimensional magic. [Ki +20' helps here.] With invisibility readily available for Ki, I can get into position easily. Our primary melee types are both non-optimizers, so there is not a huge DPS imbalance. Heck, I have been known to plink a monster for 1d2 because that was all I could do. I mostly contribute in fights by being a credible combat PC, and thus tying up one or more opponents. I have good AC, and don't get hit often, although 2-3 hits will often take me down.

Out of combat, I am a diplomancer, with an absurdly high Diplomacy score. I have invested a lot of resources to get there. Unfortunately, with such a large group, RP time per character is limited, and thus much is a quick dice roll and done. Still, as I am invested in Cha, I also have the Leadership feat, and am having fun with my network of informers, my coven, and perhaps more. I have decent Int, so a lot of skills (10/level). I have a high perception, despite Wis dump, so I am better than average there. [Circlet of Persuasion and Cha headband sure helps.] I also have great Disguise and Bluff skills, so I am a natural at infiltration. With my high acrobatics, I can ofter jump up easier than climb. High UMD means wands always work for me. [Aside, had to climb a Wall of Thorns. Took NO damage, due to a shield spell from a wand.] Having a Witch 8 cohort also helps because if the ninja is unable to contribute, the witch usually has a spell, and when the witch cannot do something, the ninja is usually already effective.

My character has trouble with Will saves, and has invested in magic to deal with some of these problems. I am no longer worried about some of the nastier mind-effect spells, but I still have a low save. [Need to increase that cloak's enhancement.] I likewise have difficulty at range, as I am focused at melee. Still, in the Skulls and Shackles AP, my ninja has carried his weight, while proving generally fun. Least fun was due to another player PvP against the ninja. Did not happen often, but did cause serious thinking about leaving the game for a while.

To summarize

  • TWF is fine as long as you understand the limits and likelihood of use. I don't recommend the feat chain, as it is investing in a lesser used combat option.
  • If you keep an opponent occupied while others take their opponent out, you are carrying your weight in combat. You are not a combat monster, so don't have expectations of one.
  • Out of combat, use your skills where others do not have much. If need be, talk to the GM about creating encounters, events, and places, where your skills can shine. A good GM will do this as a way to spread the fun around.
  • Know your limits. [A man's got to know his limitations.] You are not the best at everything, nor should you even try. Know when others are better than you at something. Often you can Aid-Another to help them out in one way or another.

/cevah

PS: Devastating Sneak is a trap:
Zhangar wrote:
Chuko - Rise of the Runelords - tengu rogue. Took advantage of being good with all of the swords to use an elven curveblade (eventually using a +5 agile dominant phase-locking adamantine elven curveblade, because the party got really lucky in how much time they had between Book 5 and needing to go take care of book 6), and eventually took power attack. Eventually also had Devastating Sneak (aside: though both Chuko's player and I missed the attack penalty; oops). The other melee in that game were a brawler and an abjurer/fighter/eldritch knight. Chuko eventually got an intelligent ring of invisibility, which is a very handy thing for a melee rogue to have. Man, enemies in Rise of the Runelords suck at dealing with invisibility. Anyways, Chuko had the second-best AC in the party (after the eldritch knight) and hit like an angry tyrannosaur. (Was gonna say truck, but dinosaurs have feathers! Whee!) Chuko was basically a Dex-based brute rogue.

Devastating Sneak is a three talent investment at level 10+ for an effective +1 per sneak attack die.

Sniper Goggles is a 20,000 gp magic item, craftable at level 14 (per WBL guidelines, or 9th if dedicated all to one item), that gives +2 per sneak attack die.

That line of talents is a trap, because a number of single feats can outdo it.


Come to think of it every game with a pure rogue only died.

Small sample size of two AP's but both of those characters were not very effective in the first place. Admittedly the one player was not good with the rules.

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