How is Arcane Trickster not just a better Rogue?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Obviously if we look at this from the wizard perspective, you lose three levels of spellcasting. But let's look at what the rogue loses.

As a rogue you lose 5 BAB, but you sneak attack with touch attacks so your accuracy probably increases.

As a rogue you are behind 3 levels of sneak attack progression until the highest levels. But if the spell your sneak attacking with does more than 2d6+weapon damage then you actually do MORE damage with sneak attacks.

Wizards get 2+int skill points and Arcane Tricksters get 4+int skills points that seems to be less than the Rogue's 8+int until you realize that by going Arcane Trickster your In is going to be A LOT higher. At mid levels you will probably have 20 or higher int while the most skillful regular rogues might be sporting a 16. Eventually the Arcane Trickster will have more skill points in addition to spells that make them better at skills.

As a rogue you lose out of 17 levels of rogue talent along with uncanny dodge. This seems like as issue, but in my opinion Arcane Trickster class features (not counting spellcasting) are BETTER than what the rogue gets with those 17 levels.

Will you feel worse next to a wizard than a regular rogue? Idk it seems like a wizard in the party means you will have nearly free access to spells. More likely than not you will focus on skills the wizard didn't and most of the skill-negating spells are low level which means you will have access to them too. If you milk sneak attack you may even edge out the wizard in blasting strength.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As crap as the Rogue is, you can get a lot of feat mileage out of Rogue talents. When trying to create a melee Rogue (say in Pathfinder Core where the best Rogue replacements are missing), feats are worth quite a bit. Arcane Trickster is much weaker at melee combat than a pure Rogue. A Rogue can grab Major Magic and Chill Touch if he'd like a touch attack fallback a couple times per day.

Again: This guy is weaksauce, but probably better than AT at whacking things with a pointy stick.


It's all about style of play, in my opinion. Personally, I love the Arcane Trickster, and most I've played or seen played tend to be very powerful. Rogues, on the other hand, tend to be more hit or miss, or style of play. That's not to sell Rogues short, let alone when you compare them to other prestige classes.

Most arcane tricksters I've seen will build up stealth, but really rely on their invisibility. Compare that to a rogue (or prestige class) running with Hide in Plain Sight. Simple stealth can't be easily overcame with See Invisibility. There's also numerous rogue tricks that increase survivability or increase the likelihood of getting sneak attacks.


Xethik wrote:
Again: This guy is weaksauce, but probably better than AT at whacking things with a pointy stick.

Idk about that. AT's can summon flanking buddies. At higher levels they can do that as a swift action with a rod. Then they can intensify a shocking grasp. Another tactic is that they can cast chill touch, haste and transformation and do a lot more touch attacks than said rogue.

I guess that rogue does manage swing a weapon better until the AT gets transformation. Idk how great that is since most AT's would never cast transformation since hitting things with pointy sticks is not needed for them to do lot's of damage.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rhedyn wrote:


I guess that rogue does manage swing a weapon better until the AT gets transformation. Idk how great that is sense most AT's would never cast transformation sense hitting things with pointy sticks is not needed for them to do lot's of damage.

I agree, but some people want to build a character like that. I think a Rogue might have potential higher max DPR (as in assume all rolls including to-hit are maximized), but that doesn't mean much with crap accuracy anyways.


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I feel that yes, it's an upgrade to the rogue, as I feel almost anything is better than a rogue. But it's not people's idea of a rogue. I feel for some reason people view rogues and non-magical. So they don't go to AT, even though it's a good route for them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Arcane Tricksters are and always have been magical rogues, so the OP isn't really making that new a point.

What they are is a style of play. They won't please anyone who'd rather chop a limb off than a single caster level, and they won't please the crowd that's been dumping on rogues since day one.

What they will please are the players that take the thought and have the flexibility to play them well.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Arcane Tricksters also lose the FCB, so at least another hit point or skill point.

They don't get the major rogue talents.

They are behind on BAB and hit points.

There is no reason a regular rogue couldn't have the same Int as an AT. They often will not, but that is presumably because they raised a different attribute instead.

The Arcane Trickster has a lot of flavor, but in my opinion for many campaigns is going to be inferior to a straight rogue.


BretI wrote:
The Arcane Trickster has a lot of flavor, but in my opinion for many campaigns is going to be inferior to a straight rogue.

You are going to have to justify that. (to be convincing. You are under no compulsion after all to justify your thoughts)

Being short 17 hp or 17 skill points from FCB and 17 hp from HD being a d6 over 20 levels does not seems like a significant loss. Just casting false life, greater false life, or bear's endurance will counter this hp loss.

The BAB loss is irrelevant sense ATs end up being more accurate and doing more damage.

Idk any arguably viable rogue build that can get away with having as much INT as an AT.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rhedyn wrote:
BretI wrote:
The Arcane Trickster has a lot of flavor, but in my opinion for many campaigns is going to be inferior to a straight rogue.

You are going to have to justify that. (to be convincing. You are under no compulsion after all to justify your thoughts)

Being short 17 hp or 17 skill points from FCB and 17 hp from HD being a d6 over 20 levels does not seems like a significant loss. Just casting false life, greater false life, or bear's endurance will counter this hp loss.

The BAB loss is irrelevant sense ATs end up being more accurate and doing more damage.

Idk any arguably viable rogue build that can get away with having as much INT as an AT.

I said in my opinion because the value of what is traded off is going to be a matter of play style, personal experience, and personal preference.

You are likely going to be short more than 17 skill points and hit points over the rogue. The rogue gets 8 skill ranks plus Int per level vs. 4 for AT so each level of AT costs you 4 skill ranks, 1 hit point on average (based on die size) and the FCB.

Those skill points could be used to put max ranks in things like UMD and Escape Artists.

Just using a wand for False Life or Bear's Endurance puts the Rogue ahead again for HP. Could also use a wand of Acid Arrow for that ranged touch attack. He can just as easily use a wand of Divine Favor to increase to hit and damage.

There are a lot of trade-offs in going AT. I've looked at it in a number of ways, and so far am unconvinced that what you give up is worth what you gain from the PrC.


Greater Invisibility+Fiery Shuriken, grab evocation school to change element on the fly, you win.


@BretI

I am not seeing were you are coming from. High starting int on a rogue is 14

Arcane Trickster:
Dual Talented Human Arcane Trickster||10 18 14 17 8 10|| Traits: Magical Knack, Blood of Dragons
R1 |Weapon Finesse, Sneak attack 1d6, trapfinding
R2 |Fast Stealth, Evasion
W1|Craft Wondrous Item, Scribe Scroll, cantrips, Universalist School, Familiar(Valet), Hand of the Apprentice
W2|
W3| Craft Magic Arms and Armor
R3 | Sneak attack 2d6, trap sense +1
AT1| Craft Constructs, Ranged legerdemain
AT2| Sneak attack 3d6
AT3| Craft Wand, Impromptu sneak attack 1/day
AT4| Sneak attack 4d6
AT5| Craft Rod, Tricky spells 3/day
AT6| Sneak attack 5d6
AT7| Craft Staff, Impromptu sneak attack 2/day, Tricky spells 4/day
AT8| Sneak attack 6d6
AT9| Forge Ring, Invisible thief, Tricky spells 5/day
AT10| Sneak attack 7d6, surprise spells
W4| Quicken Spell
W5| Empower Spell
W6| Persistent Spell
W7|

AT starting INT is going to be near 17. ATs start off with rogue levels so the end up slightly ahead for early, that may fall behind at low-mid levels but would be ahead by regular mid levels. A rogue may have 16 int by then (with a magic item), an AT probably has 21-23 int.

At the very end rogues may have at most 20 int while the AT will have at least 28 int before tomes.

The wand part makes no sense to me. The AT will be better at magic. Not only can she just cast spells, she can make the wands herself at half the cost at a rate of 4K gp worth of wand per day.

When it comes to to-hit, the AT will always be targeting touch AC which is generally trivial to break. I do not see how the rogue will be remotely more accurate.


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Opuk0 wrote:
Greater Invisibility+Fiery Shuriken, grab evocation school to change element on the fly, you win.

Oh god. That would hurt, assuming your GM let's it work. The rules say it would works, but the devs did state in an FAQ some nebulous rule that you can only do one sneak attack per spell.

I just ignore FAQs though, but I understand not everyone does

Tangential remarks as to why I ignore FAQs:

1) They are subject to change.
2) Paizo uses them as errata so they do not even clarify how the rules were suppose to work when written, but rather what the devs currently feel like they should work as (subject to change when real errata gets around)
3) I have not seen an FAQ referenced at any table where the experience for the night was enhanced because of it whether it be from a player or the GM.


For the record, a rogue/ninja could do similar number of shots with a double barrel pistol (or TWF pistols), so the dealbreaker here is really greater invisibility (vivisectionist alchemist got you covered there).

And that the martial has to spend like 7 feats while the caster just picks up the spell for free, but that's things as usual.


I personally do not like falling behind on my sneak attack dices, I think they become very important if you want to keep the core of a combat rogue active. I am a big lover of the scout archetype and once you hit that golden level 8! 10 foot movement, next thing you know anything you deal a sneak attack without need for flanking!

The unique perks of being an arcane tricksters can be compensated on with a tiny amount of gold at higher level. Suffice to invest into use magic devices. Why use magic devices? It cost skill points, not feats, feats are precious.

Max out stealth, take skill focus stealth if you need too, having +40 stealth on your average roll make you that element of surprise the party need. Same for use magic device! once you get that +19 you are golden, any wands is yours to be used.

Examples:

-Wand of scorching rays 4,500 GP for 50 range touch attacks, a nice 4d6 fire damage + Sneak attack is usually superior to any bow for a 3/4 BAB character not super specialized into ranged combat, excellent to use as a first attack, if you somehow have precise shot, you can even use this spell better than a full traditional caster.

-Spell-storing weapon + you best caster friend = dead baddies
capitalize on your incredible stealth to go deliver that 10d6 intensified shocking grasp + sneak attack in the back of your enemies!

-Wand of cure light wounds/lesser Restoration -> scroll of breath of life, hey now you are a secondary healer and with your incredible acrobatic rolls you can backflip through the battlefield to go save the life of your friends, something a cleric will not be able to do with ease.

-Wand of your favorite buff spell arcane or divine. You are now everyone favorite buddy.

For me the cornerstone of being a rogue is to be unpredictable, you are the spice that make an adventuring party complete. Be a prick, that the amateur gunslinger feat and wreak anything with your deadly headshots (physical touch range sneak attack after 10 foot movement yes?). Have high enough diplomacy/bluff to convince the king of anything. Invest heavily into the dirty trick maneuver and inflict devastating effects on your opponents! Have you ever kicked dust in the eyes of a manticore to make it blinded? I did and I still feel good about it!

Scarab Sages

Rhedyn wrote:


When it comes to to-hit, the AT will always be targeting touch AC which is generally trivial to break. I do not see how the rogue will be remotely more accurate.

If built for it, a single class rogue will always be targeting touch AC as well. Major Magic chill touch, acid splash, rod of ice, deliquescent gloves, or firearms.

The Rogue will have 5 more BAB AND be targeting touch ac. They can also have more bonuses to hit thanks to archetype specific boons such as the Sczarni Swindler's let fate decide, or outflank bonuses from you familiar.

The rogue is still the weakest class in the game. But simply targeting touch ac does not make the AT more accurate than a single class rogue.


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Arcane Trickster is better than rogue.
Adepts are too.

Scarab Sages

Ashiel wrote:

Arcane Trickster is better than rogue.

Adepts are too.

True. But Arcane Trickster is much weaker than a single class wizard to only be marginally better than a rogue, and worse than a rogue at the niche of applying sneak attack damage via touch attacks.


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Imbicatus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Arcane Trickster is better than rogue.

Adepts are too.
True. But Arcane Trickster is much weaker than a single class wizard to only be marginally better than a rogue, and worse than a rogue at the niche of applying sneak attack damage via touch attacks.

It was better than a strait rogue when it met the prerequisites for 2nd level casting. It pretty much just soars away from Rogue once it starts getting +1 CL / level while getting near full sneak attack (+7d6 vs +10d6), and in exchange it gets up to 17th level spellcasting (9th level spells).


Imbicatus wrote:
If built for it, a single class rogue will always be targeting touch AC as well. Major Magic chill touch, acid splash, rod of ice, deliquescent gloves, or firearms.

I must admit, Major Magic(chill touch) seems very strong even without racial class bonuses and what knot, considering how many touch sneak attacks chill touch can give you. Getting that also let's you grab the familiar talent and the Dispelling Attack talent (which is sexy).

Sadly, good for the rogue does not mean good. Chill touch allows SR, which means in a lot of games, it will be useless by high levels. Also most of what you get by going this route the AT will be doing better. Even the dispelling chill touch attack seems good until you realize that the AT could sneak attack and then just quicken rod dispel the highest level buff instead of the lowest, or they can just cast greater dispel magic, all the while at ranged instead of instead of being in melee with rogue defenses.


Ashiel wrote:

Arcane Trickster is better than rogue.

Adepts are too.

True.

I was just noticing that what you supposedly trade away as an AT, you do not really lose.
"Oh no less BAB!" - AT has better accuracy
"Oh no less Sneak attack!" - AT does more damage
"Oh no less health!" - AT has better defenses
"Oh no less skill points!" - AT is better at skills and probably has more skill points.

Scarab Sages

Ashiel wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Arcane Trickster is better than rogue.

Adepts are too.
True. But Arcane Trickster is much weaker than a single class wizard to only be marginally better than a rogue, and worse than a rogue at the niche of applying sneak attack damage via touch attacks.
It was better than a strait rogue when it met the prerequisites for 2nd level casting. It pretty much just soars away from Rogue once it starts getting +1 CL / level while getting near full sneak attack (+7d6 vs +10d6), and in exchange it gets up to 17th level spellcasting (9th level spells).

True, but 20th level performance is of no interest to me. 8-12 is the golden zone of class balance, and the AT is barely adequate at that range. It doesn't really get good until 15th level. And it's still weaker than a single class wizard at all levels, and gets crap abilities in exchange for it. Surprise Spells is good, but it's not worth the loss of three caster levels, 10 levels of school abilities tied to wizard level, and 13 levels of FCBs.

Scarab Sages

Rhedyn wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
If built for it, a single class rogue will always be targeting touch AC as well. Major Magic chill touch, acid splash, rod of ice, deliquescent gloves, or firearms.

I must admit, Major Magic(chill touch) seems very strong even without racial class bonuses and what knot, considering how many touch sneak attacks chill touch can give you. Getting that also let's you grab the familiar talent and the Dispelling Attack talent (which is sexy).

Sadly, good for the rogue does not mean good. Chill touch allows SR, which means in a lot of games, it will be useless by high levels. Also most of what you get by going this route the AT will be doing better. Even the dispelling chill touch attack seems good until you realize that the AT could sneak attack and then just quicken rod dispel the highest level buff instead of the lowest, or they can just cast greater dispel magic, all the while at ranged instead of instead of being in melee with rogue defenses.

Chill touch is only one method of gaining touch attacks, as noted in the first post. You gain acid splash as a precursor to chill touch. Firearms are able to target touch AC all day. The rod and glove both allow a touch attack. You could even use a Brilliant Energy weapon if you wanted to invest that much into it and were limited to the CRB.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rhedyn wrote:

@BretI

I am not seeing were you are coming from. High starting int on a rogue is 14.

Mine frequently have Int 16, Dex 16, although there is some variation. Given your build, you appear to value things very differently than I.

You also appear to be planning for the full 20 levels, whereas most of my characters are PFS so they stop around 12-13 and can not take magical crafting feats.


Imbicatus wrote:

Chill touch is only one method of gaining touch attacks, as noted in the first post. You gain acid splash as a precursor to chill touch. Firearms are able to target touch AC all day. The rod and glove both allow a touch attack. You could even use a Brilliant Energy weapon if you wanted to invest that much into it and were limited to the CRB.

Acid splash via minor magic is 3 times per day (and a range attack with no in-class invisibility). Granted, sneak attacks can be that rare, but if they are you have many other problems as a rogue.

The rod of ice is a solid approach unless "a melee touch" means single and that you have to activate the rod as a standard action. The glove would definitely work. Firearms are a clunky route to go and generally banned in many games.

You still have the problem of getting reliable sneak attacks. No in-class invisibility, can't just summon flanking buddies.


Rhedyn wrote:
Opuk0 wrote:
Greater Invisibility+Fiery Shuriken, grab evocation school to change element on the fly, you win.

Oh god. That would hurt, assuming your GM let's it work. The rules say it would works, but the devs did state in an FAQ some nebulous rule that you can only do one sneak attack per spell.

I just ignore FAQs though, but I understand not everyone does
** spoiler omitted **

Indeed they did, FAQ here

Even with that the spell is a good one for an AT because it allows him to make one more attack per turn by using his swift action.


Better Rogue... eh, maybe I guess. But there are so many ways to replace a Rogue at this point, it's kind of a silly comparison. The Bard, Alchemist and Ranger all have easy ways of doing it, and they'll all be worse Bards, Alchemists and Rangers than if they didn't, just like the Arcane Trickster is a worse magic user than if it just tried to be a magic user. It's just further evidence of the cancer that is the Rogue.

The dead horse that is the Rogue needs to be left to rot and it's ghost allowed to pass on so that it will stop infecting other classes. Maybe Unchained will perform a True Ressurection on the corpse, but that remains to be seen.

If you like Rogues, play a Rogue. If you like the Arcane Trickster, then play that, or a rogue-ish Bard, Alchemist or Ranger. But competing to see if or by how much something is better than the absolute worst class in the game is an exercise in futility.


I doubt any content creator wanting to sell their material would want to make something as bad or worse than a rogue. It's almost as bad as inserting blank pages into your book.


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The real question is... "How is any class with 6 skill points per level (either from base value or from being Int-focused) not a better Rogue?

Seriously... Unless your creativity is so freaking limited that you need the word "Rogue" on your sheet to roleplay a rogue-like character and the words "Sneak Attack" to fluff your class' bonus damage mechanic (because that's all that Sneak Attack really is: A crappy bonus damage mechanic) as your character being capable to of striking where it hurts... You can make a better Rogue with at least half a dozen different classes.

That's how bad the class is.

Paizo has to either buff Rogues or just forget the class even exists. All Rogues do right now is indirectly hurt other classes because the devs are afraid of obsoleting a class they won't admit has been obsolete from day one.


haha yeah

An Inspired Blade Swashbuckler knows your weakpoints to do extra damage with his rapier. And can deflect your blows with his knife skills.

A Slayer studies you to know your weakpoints do do extra damage and can do even more if he gets you in a bad spot.

An investigator Studies you to get extra damage as well, and can finish a fight with his extra burst from studying you.

An Inquisitor can know you and can put bane against you to really put on the hurt.

A ranger is so skilled with your kind he gets huge bonuses when dealing with certain races.

All of those abilities fit with a "rogue" playstyle.


Lemmy wrote:
The real question is... "How is any class with 6 skill points per level (either from base value or from being Int-focused) not a better Rogue?

What I find interesting here is that the multi-class prestige combo is suppose to give something up to become a 9th level spellcaster, but it doesn't give anything up. You are no worse at being a rogue by going arcane trickster.

And if you ignore some paizo FAQs, the arcane trickster is a mean spellcaster in its own right even next to a wizard.

Sovereign Court

In PFS, I’m having a lot of fun with an Aasimar (Plumekith) Snakebite Striker 1, Greensting Slayer 3, Arcane Trickster 2.

Today, due to recent rule changes, I would go with an Elven Greensting Slayer 5, Arcane Trickster 1.


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Imbicatus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Arcane Trickster is better than rogue.

Adepts are too.
True. But Arcane Trickster is much weaker than a single class wizard to only be marginally better than a rogue, and worse than a rogue at the niche of applying sneak attack damage via touch attacks.
It was better than a strait rogue when it met the prerequisites for 2nd level casting. It pretty much just soars away from Rogue once it starts getting +1 CL / level while getting near full sneak attack (+7d6 vs +10d6), and in exchange it gets up to 17th level spellcasting (9th level spells).
True, but 20th level performance is of no interest to me. 8-12 is the golden zone of class balance, and the AT is barely adequate at that range. It doesn't really get good until 15th level. And it's still weaker than a single class wizard at all levels, and gets crap abilities in exchange for it. Surprise Spells is good, but it's not worth the loss of three caster levels, 10 levels of school abilities tied to wizard level, and 13 levels of FCBs.

As I said, from the moment it's already met the prerequisites for arcane trickster (rogue 3 / wizard 3), i's already a better rogue than it would have been at rogue 6. Let's compare them for a moment.

Rogue 6 = BAB +4, Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +2, sneak attack +3d6, 3 rogue talents. D8 HD provides +3 HP over wizard levels.

Rogue 3 / Wizard 3 = BAB +3, Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +4, sneak attack +2d6, 1 rogue talent, 2nd level wizard spells.

So you're basically as good as the rogue, sacrificing 1d6 of sneak attack for better saving throws and better class features (arcane bond, school powers, and spells > crappy rogue talents). Our simple multiclassed rogue is now just better than a plain rogue. He has lost virtually no combat efficiency (if anything he's actually gained), lost nothing worthwhile in the way of skills but now has access to things like detect magic and detect poison).

From 7th-12th, arcane trickster pretty much continues this trend. 3rd and 4th level spells are just strait up better than anything the rogue is getting. She barely gives up sneak attack, and her offensive prowess is better because while the rogue is cheering because she managed to get an extra +2 to hit and an extra attack at -5, the trickster has 3rd and 4th level spells, better saving throws, and surprisingly good sustainable and burst damage. >_>

Is it worse than a wizard? In most cases, though it can casually engage in minor combats without wasting resources (because you've still got an acid splash/touch of fatigue/chill touch that deals +3d6-5d6 sneak attack, contrasted to the rogue's 6d6 at 12th) and has waaaaaay more potential to rev up in a difficult encounter (which a vanilla rogue simply cannot do, it always operates at one speed: "suck").


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:

As I said, from the moment it's already met the prerequisites for arcane trickster (rogue 3 / wizard 3), i's already a better rogue than it would have been at rogue 6. Let's compare them for a moment.

Rogue 6 = BAB +4, Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +2, sneak attack +3d6, 3 rogue talents. D8 HD provides +3 HP over wizard levels.

Rogue 3 / Wizard 3 = BAB +3, Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +4, sneak attack +2d6, 1 rogue talent, 2nd level wizard spells.

Rogue with the same stat array has 12 more skill ranks. If you are taking a rogue at all, it is because you want to be a skill monkey. On top of that, if playing a wizard you now need to maintain at least one more skill (spellcraft) in order to use those fancy new spells. That skill does not help you with any of the classic rogue things. Note that I'm not calling it useless, just a distraction from classical rogue talents.

Quote:
So you're basically as good as the rogue, sacrificing 1d6 of sneak attack for better saving throws and better class features (arcane bond, school powers, and spells > crappy rogue talents). Our simple multiclassed rogue is now just better than a plain rogue. He has lost virtually no combat efficiency (if anything he's actually gained), lost nothing worthwhile in the way of skills but now has access to things like detect magic and detect poison).

If skill ranks are not worthwhile, then why were you playing a rogue?

Basically what you are building is an inferior mage that wants to be sneaky. Great, so why even start down the rogue line at all?


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BretI wrote:
Rogue with the same stat array has 12 more skill ranks. If you are taking a rogue at all, it is because you want to be a skill monkey. On top of that, if playing a wizard you now need to maintain at least one more skill (spellcraft) in order to use those fancy new spells. That skill does not help you with any of the classic rogue things. Note that I'm not calling it useless, just a distraction from classical rogue talents.

If you wanted to be a skill monkey, you'd be a bard. Of course, a strait-classed rogue has no real incentives to spec deep into Intelligence, while a multiclassed rogue/wizard actually has all the incentives to spec like a wizard which means more Int. So while the rogue has a higher base skill ranks / level, a strait-classed rogue that specs Int is a gimped buffoon, while a rogue/wizard who specs Intelligence is just being wise.

There's also the diminishing returns bit. There are a select few skills in the game that are worth maxing out, while there are quite a few that dipping will be wonderful in. You've got 3 levels of rogue to dip to your heart's content.

Spellcraft is used to identify that magic loot you got, discern what a magic trap does, decipher scrolls, identify spells being cast, and of course is used in the construction of magic items for your utility belt (wait, your rogues don't have utility belts? D:). The DC is also really easy (it's only DC 24 to scribe a 9th level spell from a scroll or spellbook) so that if for some reason you didn't care about keeping it maxed you don't need to (get a +14 total and forget about it).

Quote:
Quote:
So you're basically as good as the rogue, sacrificing 1d6 of sneak attack for better saving throws and better class features (arcane bond, school powers, and spells > crappy rogue talents). Our simple multiclassed rogue is now just better than a plain rogue. He has lost virtually no combat efficiency (if anything he's actually gained), lost nothing worthwhile in the way of skills but now has access to things like detect magic and detect poison).
If skill ranks are not worthwhile, then why were you playing a rogue?

Having skills isn't a bad thing. You will have what you need as a rogue/wizard/trickster, but the biggest reason most go for rogue is not for the skill utility, it's sneak attack. If it were utility, you'd be playing something besides a rogue (like bard, ranger, or strait wizard).

Many rogue abilities synergize nicely with certain spellcaster styles and vice-verse. For example, you can sneak attack with rays / touch spells, stealth in combat with blur, get more ways to skulk around, prepare cute tricks, and solve problems such as spiderclimb, arcane lock, knock, and so forth). The trickster can also make use of certain key rogue talents that are of some use (such as fast getaway) and can take other rogue talents with the Extra Rogue Talent feat if she really wants them. Likewise, both have incentives to wear little armor but the mage has methods for keeping their defenses relevant (spells mostly) which can help when you decide to start stabbing some backs.

Quote:
Basically what you are building is an inferior mage that wants to be sneaky. Great, so why even start down the rogue line at all?

Because you can have your cake and eat it too, and you are looking for a particular style of play. I would play an arcane trickster rogue very differently from a traditional wizard (at least for a while, though eventually I'd be a wizard with some rogue tricks).

Doing things like tag-teaming with your polymorphed familiar, chucking sneak-attack rays & touch spells (vampiric touch + sneak attack is really freaking awesome), zipping around using illusions and skills supported by your spells (blur gives you concealment, so smack dat ass with a touch-spell sneak attack then use Fast Getaway to withdraw while Stealthing so you seemingly sucker punch->vanish into thin air).

The casting makes you a better rogue, and the rogue gives you some interesting ways to play your caster and/or conserve resources. For example, with several d6s of sneak attack under your belt, spells like chill touch, acid arrow, and scorching ray (**** the FAQ, this is explicitly allowed by sneak attack) become far more attractive even though these spells are generally pretty "meh" for most casters. Even the lowly acid splash makes a good at-will method of delivering a few cheap d6s on the wind. Toss in the fun tricks you can do with illusion spells, spider climb, and the havoc to be wrought with greater invisibility + lots of sneak attack dice.

You also have something you can fall back on (casting) when you encounter an elemental or ooze or incorporeal creature that you cannot sneak-attack.


Is there anything remotely rogue-like that we can compare the rogue to and see it win?


I wish all of you who are having problems with rogues the best of luck sorting that out in your games.

This is a non-issue both at the table where I play and at the table where I GM.

Rogues perform, play and prosper at both these tables just fine.


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I think the issue here is that one side is discussing a better "character" and the other is discussing a better "rogue". What we have to do here is to define and agree on what it takes to make a rogue a better rogue.

Some say the rogue is a combat class, and others will say it is a skill class with combat potential. Both those that like the rogue and don't care for it have said both things.

Weslocke I have only skimmed this post, but I don't think rogues do terrible at most tables. They just could do better in many people's eyes.

I think a lot of it depends on the overall power level/optimization of the table and how much the GM goes by the rules.

PS:Saying how well something does or does not play at your table is not nearly as helpful as saying why it does well. Unless of course you just wanting to be a dissenting voice against those who are talking down against the rogue, and did not intend to be helpful.


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Weslocke wrote:

I wish all of you who are having problems with rogues the best of luck sorting that out in your games.

This is a non-issue both at the table where I play and at the table where I GM.

Rogues perform, play and prosper at both these tables just fine.

That's nice honey.

More likely than not, you have a very low optimized group (which is norm everywhere but these forums). In one of my groups someone is playing a 13 strength, 14 charisma paladin in a 20 point buy game because "he wanted a balanced character".

Ofcourse low-op groups tend to also house-rule a bit more, suddenly skills can do a lot more than just what is listed, and some of the combat rules are hand-waved.

IMHO: That is probably the proper way to handle a rogue player. In a lot of groups though, a rogue is as disruptive as a brokenly strong class (because broken weak is still broken). I don't just whine though, thus here is my rewrite of the rogue. I've had it playtested in a couple of one shots I ran. The to-hit is fairly high, but damage is on pace for what it should be. I don't replace the rogue with this. I just have this be an "archetype".
House-rule collection


wraithstrike wrote:
Some say the rogue is a combat class, and others will say it is a skill class with combat potential. Both those that like the rogue and don't care for it have said both things.

There is no such thing a non-combat class in this game. Every character is expected to contribute meaningfully in combat. Combat is a huge part of Pathfinder. In fact, it's the part that takes up most rules.

And if the Rogue, of all things, is not a combat class, then neither is the Bard, Wizard, Oracle, Investigator, Witch, Sorcerer, etc... And we don't see anyone saying they shouldn't be expected to perform in combat.

In fact... Let's check some of the Rogue's class features...

- Sneak Attack
- Evasion
- Uncanny Dodge
- A Bunch of Sneak Attack-related talents.
- Master Strike (aka: THEIR FREAKING CAPSTONE!)

...

Truly the class has nothing to do with combat!

You know... Just because Rogues are so weak and poorly designed that literally every other class is better in combat, doesn't mean Rogues are a "non-combat class".

Rogues are no more of a "non-combat" class than any other non-full BAB class in the game... They are just really bad at fighting.


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Weslocke wrote:

I wish all of you who are having problems with rogues the best of luck sorting that out in your games.

This is a non-issue both at the table where I play and at the table where I GM.

Rogues perform, play and prosper at both these tables just fine.

"I wish all of you who are having problems with Commoners the best of luck sorting that out in your games.

This is a non-issue both at the table where I play and at the table where I GM.

Commoners perform, play and prosper at both these tables just fine."

Just as good a point...

Scarab Sages

Lemmy wrote:


Rogues are no more of a "non-combat" class than any other non-full BAB class in the game... They are just really bad at fighting.

And they aren't "good" out of combat either.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Well, they are good out of combat, at least as good as any other class with skills, esp if they bend a talent or two towards them.

They just can't make magic items, which is the benchmark for downtime productivity.

The social and information gathering side of things they can definitely do, however.

==Aelryinth


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In terms of social and information gathering, I find that a spell or two (divination or enchantment) will do what a Rogue can do much better. Especially someone like an Investigator that also gets access to better talents than the Rogue for these situations.

But, I'd rather not devolve this thread into Rogue vs non-Rogue and keep it rather focused on Rogue vs Arcane Tricksters (aka semi-Rogues).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Ah, let's not go into expansion classes getting better stuff then core classes. That just really starts lopsiding things.

==Aelryinth


Anyone can do those. They don't get any real benefits for that until after level 10. The best talents do for a social/skill rogue is rerolling once/day, or getting a a sitational+4 on perception (that one's pretty alright tho). A bard actually gets bonuses to skills that aren't disable device or finding a device to disable. The only non-combat role the rogue's class skills cater to is being a trap monkey.


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

(Any race) brawler (snakebite striker) 1/rogue 1/wizard (Evocation/Admixture school) 4/arcane trickster 6/arcane archer 2/arcane trickster +4/arcane archer +2; BAB +12 and spell progression as a 17th-level wizard (9th-level spells).

Take the Magical Knack (Wizard) trait and your CL is equal to your character level (once you take wizard levels) until dipping arcane archer (and only one behind after that).

Pick up Reach Spell, along with Point Blank Shot*, Precise Shot*, and Weapon Focus (Short Bow; possibly Long Bow, if an elf or half-elf with Ancestral Arms), and you can get a good amount of use out of Reach shocking grasp. Especially if you pick up Intensified Spell, as well (an Intensified Reach shocking grasp does the same damage as a fire ball or lightning bolt for the same spell slot, but can be used with Sneak Attack as a ranged touch spell and can also switch the energy type using Versatile Evocation).

When Imbue Arrow comes online, you be able to cast heroism that lasts for a couple hours (CL 13; 2 hrs, 10 min) and also have Quicken Spell for Quickened true strike if you need it, plus sniper's goggles; this allows you to expand your versatility in delivering spells (area), while still making Sneak Attacks (with the arrow). Once Surprise Spells comes online, you can get Sneak Attack damage on both the arrow and the Imbued spell.

*- You should pick these up for an arcane trickster, anyway (IMO).


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Lemmy wrote:


There is no such thing a non-combat class in this game. Every character is expected to contribute meaningfully in combat. Combat is a huge part of Pathfinder. In fact, it's the part that takes up most rules.

And if the Rogue, of all things, is not a combat class, then neither is the Bard, Wizard, Oracle, Investigator, Witch, Sorcerer, etc... And we don't see anyone saying they shouldn't be expected to perform in combat.

In fact... Let's check some of the Rogue's class features...

- Sneak Attack
- Evasion
- Uncanny Dodge
- A Bunch of Sneak Attack-related talents.
- Master Strike (aka: THEIR FREAKING CAPSTONE!)

...

Truly the class has nothing to do with combat!

You know... Just because Rogues are so weak and poorly designed that literally every other class is better in combat, doesn't mean Rogues are a "non-combat class".

Rogues are no more of a "non-combat" class than any other non-full BAB class in the game... They are just really bad at fighting.

Since nobody has disagreed I guess fighting is part of the standard for this comparison. :)


Aelryinth wrote:

Ah, let's not go into expansion classes getting better stuff then core classes. That just really starts lopsiding things.

==Aelryinth

Expansion classes getting better stuff than the core classes?

Let us examine your claim, using the Core classes vs roughly equivalent ACG classes

list:

Wizard>>>Arcanist
Sorcerer<<<Arcanist (albeit mnemonic vestment/razmiran/paragon surge largely mitigates this)
Cleric>>>Warpriest
Druid>Shaman
Bard roughly equals Skald
Fighter roughly equals Swashbuckler and Brawler
Fighter,Rogue<<<Slayer
Monk(non-archetyped, anyway)<<<Brawler
Ranger<<<Hunter
Barbarian<Bloodrager(without using stuff like beast totem they are about equal)
Paladin<Warpriest

Usually, when the core classes are brokenly good, the ACG equivalents are roughly equal or worse. When the core classes are weak, the ACG classes are better or about the same. Pretty much all the power levels move towards that of a bard. Seems like any examples of getting better stuff are probably a good thing.

But fine, you say that none-core classes makes things lopsided. Lets talk about the bard instead. They are both core classes, so this shouldn't be lopsided, right?

Note that I am only looking at crb. Non-crb stuff gets to compete with non-crb classes.

Things the rogue has

exhibit A:

8+int skill points - 2 better than the bard - good, would be better if rogues didn't frequently dump int to compensate for their lack of in-class accuracy boosters

Disable device (useful) and swim(???) as class skills

1d6(average 3.5) circumstantial, not-multiplied-by-crit damage/2 levels from sneak attack

Proficiency with Hand crossbow (yay?) on top of some of the bard proficiencies.

Talents - the two best of which by far are a combat feat, and a specific combat feat (finesse)

Evasion (Ok)
1/2 level Bonus to disable device - useful, but frequently made redundant by a)something expendable e.g. SM/SNA, b)a caster or c) the barbarian with an adamantine greataxe

1/2 level Bonus to perception when doing a specific thing - Wisdom based classes (even things like a ranger) are equal or slightly better than you at finding traps until at least mid levels(8 or so).

Ability to disable magical traps - Dispel magic is a thing. It is important to note that the rogue can disable magical traps without expending resources. It is also important to note that many traps will go off if the rogue glances at them from 50 feet away (read - detect magic triggered traps, symbol of death/insanity etc)). Dispel magic has a range of over 100 feet.

Advanced talents - Note that many classes with a list of class specific pseudo feats blow their actual feats to get more (e.g. witch, barbarian). The rogue is the only one I can think of which pretty much always does the reverse.

Trap sense (I tried to think of something funny to say about this. I got too depressed thinking about it and gave up)

(Improved) Uncanny dodge (Ok)

Master strike....bleh. The bard has deadly performance, which even has an effect on a failed save. Of course, deadly performance is weak compared to stuff like irresistible dance (which the bard gets).


Things the bard has
exhibit B:

6+int skill points

Spellcraft (good) and all the knowledge skills (rogues only get dungeoneering) as class skills

6th level Spells (seriously, I could stop here)

Better proficiencies (rogues -hand crossbow + longsword,whip,shields)

Better saves (bard has reflex AND will)

Bardic knowledge - even if you only count the ones that ID monsters (arcana,dungeoneering,nature,plains,religion), this amounts to 2.5 ranks per level, that stack with the bard's actual ranks. The untrained bit is pretty useless past level 3 though

Bardic performances - range from useless (countersong), to situational (fascinate) to amazing (inspire courage - +1 hit/damage per roughly 4 levels for the entire party)

Versatile Performance - makes some skills work off charisma, and lets 1 skill point count as 3 (albeit 1 of which is generally kind of useless, but still)

Well-Versed (Ex) - weak

Lore Master (Ex) - weak

Jack of All Trades - weak


Note that a bard will have a damage output somewhere between slightly behind and significantly better than that of a sneak attacking rogue. Inspire courage gives 1/4 level to accuracy and damage, and accuracy is worth more than damage dpr wise(meaning it is better than 1 damage/2 levels). Throw in haste (+1 accuracy and an extra attack), heroism/good hope and the damage the bard is causing from buff spells to the rest of the party, and the rogue's 3.5/2 levels bonus damage starts to look terrible (3.5 damage/2 levels is atrocious if the bard hits on a 10 and the rogue hits on a 16).

Also, note that archery is generally regarded as the best core bard combat style. Try doing that with a core rogue (aka HOW DO YOU EVEN RANGED SNEAK ATTACK).

It is also worth pointing out that a bard can pull their weight in combat without ever drawing a weapon. Confusion then haste then glitterdust while inspiring courage is better than 3 rounds of shortbow full attacks in many scenarios. A rogue has no such options. It is either sneak attack or uselessness.

Outside of combat, the bard effectively has more skill ranks than the rogue (due to versatile performance and bardic knowledge). Some of the bard's skills can also be made to key off charisma. The bard has a slightly better class skill list than the rogue. The bard's ability score bonuses will be more well rounded because bards don't have to desperately pump dex so they have a hope of consistently hitting. A bard gets all of this on top of spells. In the absence of traps and swimming(but not really, because alter self), rogues are just worse out of combat.

When a class that is frequently held up as a shining example of capable, fun and balanced completely eclipses the rogue in almost every meaningful way, it is probably fair to say that the rogue is a bad class.

Just to stay vaguely on topic, why do arcane tricksters seem to be better rogues? It probably has to do with the fact that they are mostly wizards, and wizards makes bards look weak.


Snowblind wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

Ah, let's not go into expansion classes getting better stuff then core classes. That just really starts lopsiding things.

==Aelryinth

Expansion classes getting better stuff than the core classes?

Let us examine your claim, using the Core classes vs roughly equivalent ACG classes

Druid>Shaman

You have that backwards. Sure Shaman doesn't have the same prowess as a Druid at killing people with their bear hands, but their spell "list" is one of the broadest in the game (especially for Humans/Half-Elves/Half-Orcs and definitely the most versatile.

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