Has The Slayer Killed The Ranger and The Rogue?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Loaded Dice is back at Kobold Quarterly, and this month we're taking a look at the Slayer. A lot of players have claimed there's no reason to play either of its parent classes now that the Slayer's here, but is that really the case? What do you give up with this class that you would otherwise have from either of its progenitors?

Has The Slayer Killed The Ranger and The Rogue?


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The ranger still has a lot of unique abilities that make him a worthwhile choice over the slayer (AC and Spells immediately come to mind).

The fact that the rogue was replaced by Slayer or Investigator is more on the Rogue being the weakest class of the game (except NPC classes).

Now with the Unchained rogue at least you have to choose between Utility/More Sneak Attck vs Greater general combat prowess


My current party has a full ranger and has seen some rogue multi-classing, but still not a single slayer or investigator. Newer classes have more vocal online supporters than the older classes, so that skews the perception of what classes are alive and well and which have been "killed". If there were a way to find out what everyone is actually playing at their table - instead of what people are posting more often about online - I believe we would see a majority being the "traditional" classes.


I have a table with an even split of mostly Hybrid classes: Bloodrager, Shaman, Skald, Investigator, then there's a Paladin and Druid. Lots of spells. They all have their niche, and having played with the Hybrid classes for a while now, they don't really do anything beyond a Core class; they just do it differently. Except for the Investigator. It's a powerhouse once it gets going, and it eats skill challenges like candy in a way that a Rogue would be hard-pressed to duplicate. Inspiration is that good.

It's part of why I was hoping that Skill Unlocks were going to be a Rogue-only, cool thing that basically let the Rogue duplicate certain spells with skill ranks. They disappointed me a bit because I wanted "Bluff so hard even magic can't tell you're lying!" to come online early and be a part of why you'd bring a Rogue along. At level 20 that bonus is pretty ehhh.

On topic (sorry!), Slayer fills a specific niche, like other ACG classes. I have an unchained Rogue and a Slayer in another group right now and they're fairly comparable with the Revised Action Economy. Slayers want Strength, so they're suited towards builds that utilize that, or they're split for archery. The Rogue was able to crank Dex and TWF as one action along with Feint as one action has made the character pretty deadly with Knife-Master SA. And they're both fairly comparable at skills, but the Rogue wins out most of the time.

Liberty's Edge

I like the slayer class.

Of course, the slayer has quite a bit in common with Kobold Press’s own spell-less ranger class (hmmm …) so go figure :)

spell-less ranger in the New Paths Compendium


Ranger will survive, since it has spells, and animal companion, and it is better when you are facing specific types of creatures throughout a campaign (ie- favored enemy evil outsider in wrath of the righteous).

I am not going to go into the rogue.....


The ranger and the slayer cover a lot of different bases. I'd say if the slayer intrudes on anyone other than the rogue it would be the fighter for the role of non-magical front-liner.


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Ranger is actually more effective and versatile than Slayers... Spell alone give them a huge advantage.

There has never been any reason to play a Rogue... Even in the CRB the class was obsolete before you even got to it (Bard and Ranger come first). It is a horribly designed class and extremelly underpowered, Slayer or not...

Well, at least now we have the Unchaines Rogue, which is decent enough...


The ranger is better than the slayer overall, but I like both classes. The rogue was done before the slayer or investigator ever existed for many of us.


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

Not for me, I don't even have the Advanced Class Guide, nor do I plan on getting it, just not enough I find interesting enough to spend the money on :-)

Silver Crusade

I have the ACG and none of the classes intrigue me


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captain yesterday wrote:
Not for me, I don't even have the Advanced Class Guide, nor do I plan on getting it, just not enough I find interesting enough to spend the money on :-)

This is why the SRD exists...


Melkiador wrote:
The ranger and the slayer cover a lot of different bases. I'd say if the slayer intrudes on anyone other than the rogue it would be the fighter for the role of non-magical front-liner.

I suppose. If you are not making very interesting fighters.

Me and my familiar will be doing double teaming dirty tricks, and then performing a pseudo pounce though.

but yes, it is a competitor for basic fighting styles, since it also gets skill support and one more good save.


If you want dirty tricks, the bounty hunter slayer is great at that.


Bard, alchemist, and ninja already killed the rogue. Slayer and investigator are pretty much spitting on a grave. Ranger still has plenty to work with on its own.


Let's be real, the baseline Rogue needed to be replaced. Largely due to mechanics inherited from older DnD editions, Rogue was pretty darn schizo and had an identity issue. With one hand, it tries to be a Master of Skills, while with the other it tries to be an Assassin King, but it didn't have the tools to do any of it in a top notch fashion. It had to be split off into Slayer+Investigator or rebuilt in Unchained for it to compete with other Pathfinder classes.

Ranger still has plenty of mechanical and fluffical advantages to keep it apart and competitive with a Slayer.

Grand Lodge

Ranger is still actually better, though totally different due to spells and the animal companion.

Rogue sucked long before the ACG. Now we just finally get a rogue that works.


Well they unchained the rogue and let's all agree it was the one that basically replaced the class entirely. Nothing overpowered yet it finds its niche again with more tricks and a boost to base damage.

So in my games unchained rogue is the only rogue
That being said comparing them to the Slayer? Nifty tricks for the Slayer but the rogue (unchained) gets a lot of those tricks for free and more skills to play with to be the guy that says "I can do that." I'd say about even.

I like ranger as is. I would like a small change to the option of boosting companion over having a pet, but that's me.


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For me the slayer did step on the fighter's toes more than on the ranger's. Ranger is still stronger.


The rogue was already dead. And the ranger still have lots of space on his reservation.


Melkiador wrote:
If you want dirty tricks, the bounty hunter slayer is great at that.

Yes, but can it also take teamwork feats for those tricks (by himself, with no other player involvement) that allows you to use an immediate action to either extend the duration of the trick (which is lethal when you get the later feats that give nauseated) or allow you to add an additional condition that rides on with the first?

Really, the difference I see between the two is optimization floor- it is hard to make an ineffective slayer as long as you have a basic understanding of the game, while fighters need you to know exactly what you want if you want nice thing.

Fighter has a bit more customization (there is a feat that does the same thing as bounty hunter, and the fighter doesn't have to waste resources trading in a talent for grappling stuff he may never use), but you have to know what to do with that customization for it to really work out.


lemeres wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
If you want dirty tricks, the bounty hunter slayer is great at that.

Yes, but can it also take teamwork feats for those tricks (by himself, with no other player involvement) that allows you to use an immediate action to either extend the duration of the trick (which is lethal when you get the later feats that give nauseated) or allow you to add an additional condition that rides on with the first?

Really, the difference I see between the two is optimization floor- it is hard to make an ineffective slayer as long as you have a basic understanding of the game, while fighters need you to know exactly what you want if you want nice thing.

Fighter has a bit more customization (there is a feat that does the same thing as bounty hunter, and the fighter doesn't have to waste resources trading in a talent for grappling stuff he may never use), but you have to know what to do with that customization for it to really work out.

What fighter feat allows the fighter to do a dirty trick for every attack he has?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Unchained rogue now beats both the ranger and slayer... there I said it. Flame war: begin! :)


The ranger will always be relevant on the whole and will be welcome at my table. The ranger has significant advantages or niche roles to fill that a slayer doesn't do as well. Rogue has always been of questionable value in pathfinder but even with this being so people still use them and will continue to use them.

Rangers to me are just too good for a self sufficent character to ever go away AND is relevant in virtually any fight where martial prowess has ANY use.


Melkiador wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
If you want dirty tricks, the bounty hunter slayer is great at that.

Yes, but can it also take teamwork feats for those tricks (by himself, with no other player involvement) that allows you to use an immediate action to either extend the duration of the trick (which is lethal when you get the later feats that give nauseated) or allow you to add an additional condition that rides on with the first?

Really, the difference I see between the two is optimization floor- it is hard to make an ineffective slayer as long as you have a basic understanding of the game, while fighters need you to know exactly what you want if you want nice thing.

Fighter has a bit more customization (there is a feat that does the same thing as bounty hunter, and the fighter doesn't have to waste resources trading in a talent for grappling stuff he may never use), but you have to know what to do with that customization for it to really work out.

What fighter feat allows the fighter to do a dirty trick for every attack he has?

Quick dirty trick allows you to replace one attack, and then combined with eldritch guardian that means both you and your familiar are getting tricks in, along with maybe an extra one with the underhanded teamwork feats.

And all this can be done without sneak attacks (remember, the bounty hunter needs to both sneak attack and study the opponent for that ability). And it looks like this can do this while setting up full attacks (since it appears that your familiar can replace the attack on a charge with a dirty trick, and that allows you to use coordinated charge to do an immediate action charge-has to be regular attack since it is off your turn). This can be done as the opener to a battle, rather than something you pull off after getting good positioning

It is not the same ability...but if we are including archetypes anyway, the fighter has its own toys to play with. You still end up with multiple dirty tricks in the same round, and it is far more mobile.

Silver Crusade

ummmm no


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Unchained rogue now beats both the ranger and slayer... there I said it. Flame war: begin! :)

The Unchained Rogue is a MASSIVE improvement, but at best it's on par with the Slayer at some levels combat-wise, and it's not really much better at skills until very high levels (when Skill Unlocks get good).


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
My current party has a full ranger and has seen some rogue multi-classing, but still not a single slayer or investigator. Newer classes have more vocal online supporters than the older classes, so that skews the perception of what classes are alive and well and which have been "killed". If there were a way to find out what everyone is actually playing at their table - instead of what people are posting more often about online - I believe we would see a majority being the "traditional" classes.

I suspect that's mainly because a fair-sized chunk of the playerbase either only uses the CRB, or is averse to using too much material from outside of it. Not because of the relative merits of the classes.


My table says until the ACG gets fixed there won't be any classes allowed from it.


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ngc7293 wrote:
My table says until the ACG gets fixed there won't be any classes allowed from it.

So...never? NONE of the Pathfinder RPG books have ever been "fixed". Just use what works and leave the rest. The classes aren't the problem in any case.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Unchained rogue now beats both the ranger and slayer... there I said it. Flame war: begin! :)
The Unchained Rogue is a MASSIVE improvement, but at best it's on par with the Slayer at some levels combat-wise, and it's not really much better at skills until very high levels (when Skill Unlocks get good).

...yes, my current experience with my Unchained Rogue has seen a more... bold type of rogue on the battlefield... and skills in general are perhaps falling a bit by the wayside in light of my new found damage owning awesomeness sneak debilitation! ;)


I enjoy the Rogue from a flavor perspective, but I admit it is outclassed mechanically by everything (arguably the ninja archetype is very strong levels 2-5 and level 20, and ok levels 10-13). Honestly Investigator outclasses it on flavor as well, so I'd say the class is pretty non-functional. Even with the release of unchained its only defined party role is: that guy who disarms traps or talks to people. It needs something unique which screams Rogue, or at least some parity buffs to make it flexible.

Ranger has more staying power; animal companion (or party buff), decent spellcasting, bonus feats -- all make for a strong class. I'd say it's on the weaker end of a lot of spectra, but it can shape out a defined place in the party as anything from the trapmaster to ranged support, from the DPS to the tank, and can to a limited extent even fill multiple of these roles simultaneously.

Slayer by contrast is PURE DPS, it has no real flexibility (other than that it can cover trapper/face and remain relevant).

Related but off topic:
If the Rogue wants to ever be viable the minor/major magic talents need to be expanded to full spell casting (up to level 4 spells), and it needs a more defined party role in combat - the flanking guy. The class needs something which makes it advantageous to the average party as more than the "one and done" underhanded surprise round stealth god (which doesn't work with most rogue builds), or the guy who has to sit in the middle of the enemy team to get its bonuses (lets face it, the tank does its job in pathfinder by blocking the passage between the caster and everyone else, he's not the guy who pulls aggro and sits amongst the enemy -- apparently that's the Rogue's job).


Rynjin wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Unchained rogue now beats both the ranger and slayer... there I said it. Flame war: begin! :)
The Unchained Rogue is a MASSIVE improvement, but at best it's on par with the Slayer at some levels combat-wise, and it's not really much better at skills until very high levels (when Skill Unlocks get good).

I was impressed by the Unchained Rogue (less impressed by the Skill Unlocks, but there are some gems). The debuffs you can place with Sneak Attack are very powerful, especially at 10 when you put two on an enemy for both sizable offensive and defensive capabilities. Offensive Defense combined with the giving the enemy a large negative to hit versus you is a powerful defensive option; it makes me happy.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Offensive Defense is no longer legal if you play unchained rogue. Every rogue can now get a similar bonus via debilitating injury...


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Offensive Defense is no longer legal if you play unchained rogue. Every rogue can now get a similar bonus via debilitating injury...

why doesnt offensive defense work anymore? i don't see anything in unchained rogue tricks that talks about it so whats the problem?


Chengar Qordath wrote:
I suspect that's mainly because a fair-sized chunk of the playerbase either only uses the CRB, or is averse to using too much material from outside of it. Not because of the relative merits of the classes.

My conjecture had to do with whether or not newer classes had killed the older ones or not, not the reasons why (such as merit). Despite the rogue's relative lack "power", it is alive and well - not killed.


Koshimo wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Offensive Defense is no longer legal if you play unchained rogue. Every rogue can now get a similar bonus via debilitating injury...
why doesnt offensive defense work anymore? i don't see anything in unchained rogue tricks that talks about it so whats the problem?

If it isn't in the list of Unchained Rogue talents, and it isn't in the sidebar of things that are usable, it isn't for the Unchained Rogue. I believe Offensive Defense falls into this category.

Also, Ranger is not on the weaker end of the spectrum. Along with Inquisitor and probably Bard they lie solidly in the middle. They're well balanced.


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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I suspect that's mainly because a fair-sized chunk of the playerbase either only uses the CRB, or is averse to using too much material from outside of it. Not because of the relative merits of the classes.
My conjecture had to do with whether or not newer classes had killed the older ones or not, not the reasons why (such as merit). Despite the rogue's relative lack "power", it is alive and well - not killed.

It's dead as a doornail, some people just insist on trying to re-enact Weekend at Bernie's with its corpse.


Rynjin wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I suspect that's mainly because a fair-sized chunk of the playerbase either only uses the CRB, or is averse to using too much material from outside of it. Not because of the relative merits of the classes.
My conjecture had to do with whether or not newer classes had killed the older ones or not, not the reasons why (such as merit). Despite the rogue's relative lack "power", it is alive and well - not killed.
It's dead as a doornail, some people just insist on trying to re-enact Weekend at Bernie's with its corpse.

Well, Ciaran does have a point that there are still plenty of people playing it due to:

1: Not being very good at optimization
2: Not owning any of the books after the CRB, where archetypes made full rogue replacement much easier.
3: Narrowminded class definitions (AKA: You can't be sneaky unless your character sheet has Rogue written on it).


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Offensive Defense is no longer legal if you play unchained rogue. Every rogue can now get a similar bonus via debilitating injury...

So RAW 90% of all printed Rogue Talents can't be used by the Unchained Rogue because they weren't reprinted or listed in the very small section included unchanged Talents? Or is that a PFS thing?


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chaoseffect wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Offensive Defense is no longer legal if you play unchained rogue. Every rogue can now get a similar bonus via debilitating injury...
So RAW 90% of all printed Rogue Talents can't be used by the Unchained Rogue because they weren't reprinted or listed in the very small section included unchanged Talents? Or is that a PFS thing?

Most of the Rogue Talents were re-printed, that I saw.

All of the ones people actually used, at the least.

I don't think anyone will mourn the loss of Rumormonger.


Chengar
I hope I'm understanding your tone incorrectly, but that sounds a bit condescending.

-edited-


chaoseffect wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Offensive Defense is no longer legal if you play unchained rogue. Every rogue can now get a similar bonus via debilitating injury...
So RAW 90% of all printed Rogue Talents can't be used by the Unchained Rogue because they weren't reprinted or listed in the very small section included unchanged Talents? Or is that a PFS thing?

The book provides a list of rogue talents that can be used unmodified with the unchained rogue in addition to the one's printed in the book.

Offensive Defense is neither on that list or printed in the book.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I hope I'm understanding your tone incorrectly, but that's sounds a bit condescending.

Which post?

Neither was meant to be overly condescending. The first was just snark, and the second is pretty honest.

One of the biggest complaints about the Rogue, even from people who like the Rogue, is that most Rogue Talents are trash. And, as a lesser complaint, implicitly prevented options anybody should be able to use (the aforementioned Rumormonger).

The Unchained Rogue Talents were trimmed down, but often improved.


More posts were made before i could finish. Directed at Chengar.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:

Chengar

I hope I'm understanding your tone incorrectly, but that sounds a bit condescending.

-edited-

I suppose I should've amended Point 1 to include people who are aware of and don't mind the rogue's mechanical weakness.


chaoseffect wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Offensive Defense is no longer legal if you play unchained rogue. Every rogue can now get a similar bonus via debilitating injury...
So RAW 90% of all printed Rogue Talents can't be used by the Unchained Rogue because they weren't reprinted or listed in the very small section included unchanged Talents? Or is that a PFS thing?

No, plenty came back. They just got rid of the ones that were bad or that they didn't feel the Unchained Rogue needed access to. Offensive Defense, for its part, was likely removed because its use combined with the Disoriented Debilitating Injury means a level 5 rogue could effectively gain a +7 AC against a single opponent.

Edit: Feel free to do what you want, though. But yes, PFS is going with what's written. Unchained is basically a book of houserules, so if you want the Unchained rogue to have access to every talent there's not a lot stopping you.


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They also made unavailable all the talents that were introduced in the setting books.

I still miss Card Sharp :c


Entryhazard wrote:

They also made unavailable all the talents that were introduced in the setting books.

I still miss Card Sharp :c

The books for the setting, and the books for the general rules are not in the same line. It also stops people from stepping on other people's toes when errors have to be fixed.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:

They also made unavailable all the talents that were introduced in the setting books.

I still miss Card Sharp :c

The books for the setting, and the books for the general rules are not in the same line. It also stops people from stepping on other people's toes when errors have to be fixed.

I fully expect a Companion or Campaign Setting (Golarion-specific) book in the future which will address Unchained... ;)

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