Weakest class in Pathfinder?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Lady-J wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
I don't know the rogue's exact stats and equipment, but he upgraded his equipment at 6th level, so let's figure on +2 chain shirt and +1 ring of protection, along with Dex 18 and the Dodge feat. That would be AC 22. That is not bad for 7th level.
that's a terrible ac for level 7 as a frontliner..... should be around 27 at that level no wonder he's getting murdered every combat

Um, I explained that he was not a frontliner. He was a striker designed to protect himself with mobility and reasonable AC, but had not yet acquired Spring Attack (don't know why, he already had the prerequisites). Mobility is one of the defenses available to rogues, but it is not a great defense, so he took heavy damage in any lengthy combat. However, he never actually died in combat (before a freak set of rolls at 16th level), because he knew when to retreat.

But what could he do to improve his AC to 27? Seventh-level wealth, assuming that 2/3 of his wealth went to weapons and other needs, gives a budget of 7834 gp for AC. Rogues are proficient with light armor, but not with shields. That means he cannot do better than a chain shirt without hurting his attacks and skills. Should he spend a feat on Medium Armor Proficiency and buy a 4,200 gp mithral breastplate and ruin only his skills? If you plan on that, then you would be rubbing in that classic rogue is dysfunctional.

Shadow Lodge

Eltacolibre wrote:
Classic Rogue is the weakest class by far. It is outclassed in all categories by every classes out there. Better trapfinder in other classes, better skills users in other classes, better bab and sneak attack in other classes.

"Classic" (core) versus (stuff that didn't exist when the game was young)...

...why is this a comparison we are even making/entertaining?

Everybody knows about "power-crap" in gaming systems.

(Right now, over in 5e land, some are excited that everything is fresh and simple while others groan that they can't supertweak. Give it a few years and a half-dozen splats, and it'll roid out just like Pathfinder.)


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Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Eltacolibre wrote:
Classic Rogue is the weakest class by far. It is outclassed in all categories by every classes out there. Better trapfinder in other classes, better skills users in other classes, better bab and sneak attack in other classes.

"Classic" (core) versus (stuff that didn't exist when the game was young)...

...why is this a comparison we are even making/entertaining?

Everybody knows about "power-crap" in gaming systems.

(Right now, over in 5e land, some are excited that everything is fresh and simple while others groan that they can't supertweak. Give it a few years and a half-dozen splats, and it'll roid out just like Pathfinder.)

Even in core-only games, which have horrific class imbalances built in because a lot of the cool fighter, monk, and rogue stuff is from splatbooks but nearly all the broken wizard, cleric, and druid goodies are core, there's still some pretty stiff competition for the rogue to not be outdone by the bard unless your GM is really, really trap-happy. The niche threat the rogue was dealing with started at the word "go," it's just that it has intensified so mercilessly since then, hence the Unchained Rogue being an upgraded version of the class that is in all ways superior while the other three Unchained classes being reworks that gained some things but lost others.

Shadow Lodge

Blackwaltzomega wrote:
...there's still some pretty stiff competition for the rogue to not be outdone by the bard unless your GM is really, really trap-happy.

Shhh!!! -- They can hear you!


Mathmuse wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
I don't know the rogue's exact stats and equipment, but he upgraded his equipment at 6th level, so let's figure on +2 chain shirt and +1 ring of protection, along with Dex 18 and the Dodge feat. That would be AC 22. That is not bad for 7th level.
that's a terrible ac for level 7 as a frontliner..... should be around 27 at that level no wonder he's getting murdered every combat
Um, I explained that he was not a frontliner.

every one who does combat primarily in melee is a frontliner, there are 3 types of characters frontliners, ranged characters and casters however each type is divided into sub-types using frontliner as an example you have the melee dps, combat maneuver instigators and you have the tanks so while a frontliner should have level+20 in ac or at least lvl+19 tanks should generally have lvl+25 for ac. at lvl 7 you can easily afford +2 mithril chainshirt, +2dex belt for a total of +6 to dex, +1 ring of protection +1 amulet of natural armor with 2 +1 weapons and still have nearly 6000 gold left to spend and that's assuming no one is crafting anything and that gets him 25 ac with the dodge feat which is a little bit closer inline than the 22 he has and thats also assuming hes medium size and not small for the extra +1 ac and to hit


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Lady-J wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
I don't know the rogue's exact stats and equipment, but he upgraded his equipment at 6th level, so let's figure on +2 chain shirt and +1 ring of protection, along with Dex 18 and the Dodge feat. That would be AC 22. That is not bad for 7th level.
that's a terrible ac for level 7 as a frontliner..... should be around 27 at that level no wonder he's getting murdered every combat
Um, I explained that he was not a frontliner.
every one who does combat primarily in melee is a frontliner, there are 3 types of characters frontliners, ranged characters and casters however each type is divided into sub-types using frontliner as an example you have the melee dps, combat maneuver instigators and you have the tanks...

Interesting, because that's not how I've seen such things broken down before, suggesting to me that you are using different metrics with the same vocabulary.

For instance, the split between caster and frontliner isn't there in terms I've seen before, such as clerics who can be both at once (not too mention magus). Plus casters can easily fall under ranged as well.

So while under your definition, the character is a frontliner, under his it isn't.

On the topic of Rogues, I think something that's being misconstrued is that people saying its the weakest aren't saying you can't do well with a rogue, or even that a rogue can't be better at something than other character. It is just that given the same level of optimization, there are other classes can do what the rogue does (sometimes better than the rogue) along with other things, which makes them a weaker class.

I love rogues, I've loved playing as rogues, and I've even been asked to tone down my effectiveness to be more in line with the rest of the party. I still say they are the weakest class. I find it true if we are just using core, or adding in hardcover books, and other splat books.

Unchained Rogues certainly are better than cor, but they still haven't gotten the sheer amount of support that monks have (who I also consider an especially weak class when using core only,that I still love) to make them better.

Like when Ultimate Combat came out, I remember people referring to it as Ultimate Monk, because of how many new things they put in it for them. Archetypes really gave monks a significant boost, but rogues just didn't get the same level of boosts over the years.


One thing a player in my group has been annoyed by for several editions now is that for a long time, only Rogues have been able to disable traps. It's opened up a bit, and non-magical traps aren't Rogue-exclusive any more. I've heard that in 5th Edition, even magical traps don't require a Rogue anymore, and may be disabled by anyone.

More specifically, he finds it annoying that casters can't disable a trap that they themselves placed. Someone who spends their entire life dedicated to magical knowledge ends up at a complete loss just because of one particular usage of magic that declares they can't deal wih it. Dispel isn't a satisfactory answer for him.

Though I understand why some dislike a class' iconic ability being 'watered down', as I've heard said. Or poached by other classes, in some cases.

Sorry for the tangent.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Mesmerist's don't get sneak attack unless there is an archetype I don't know about?

It's the Enigma. The progression is slower but that is to balance that is practically guaranteed.

Edit:
Even Painful Stare which is a similar ability is far more useful and easier to activate than sneak attack.


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DrDeth wrote:
Wultram wrote:

Core monk even without archtypes is still better than Core rogue, not by a lot but is. It is way worse desingned as a class though. Rogues main fault is that the rogue talents are not good enough to compete with other class features, the other major issue is too low to hit chance, if I had been in charge of the desing I would have given them bonus to hit when sneak attacking.

I disagree. One issue is that PF has nerfed traps. Really, you can just take your toughest guy and have him walk thru traps and bring out the wand of CLW in most PF adventure paths.

Try that in a dungeon full of deadly Gygaxian traps and see what happens.

Now yes, some non-rogues archetypes do have trapfinding. And altho few of them have TRAP SPOTTER many DMs more of less give this to anyone for free. If the rules for trap spotter were followed and traps were more deadly, trust me, rogues would be very popular.

It is good they did because traps are boring. We got rid of the mandotory heal bot cleric, time to do the same with thief/rogue trapspotter. That being said I do miss the type of traps that were a group encounter, more of envioremental hazard like the thrash compactor in star wars. Oh and just for the record Gyxax was a toxic DM and by modern standards he would be thrown out of most tables.(not counting the tournament style, there he would certainly be at home.)

And what happened back in the day has no bearing on when it comes to comparing two PF classes. So I am not even sure what you are disagreeing about? Sure if we make the assumption that suddenly all enemies gain +50AC that makes all attack roll based attacks useless, and even magic missile becomes better than 20th level barbarians full attack, but that ain't the enviorement as is neither GM fiat traps of yesterday.

Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Core monk even without archtypes is still better than Core rogue, not by a lot but is. It is way worse desingned as a class though. Rogues main fault is that the rogue talents are not good enough to compete with other class features, the other major issue is too low to hit chance, if I had been in charge of the desing I would have given them bonus to hit when sneak attacking.

small race: +1, acro'd into flank: +2, and/or target flat-footed: (enemy AC-DEX), and/or target blinded: (enemy AC-2), and/or target prone: +4. It piles up quite nicely. It does require tactical awareness, a moderate amount of system mastery, and the ability to scheme longer than the attention spans of many players.

-- You can't just look up from your phone on your turn and say, "I hit it some more!" while rolling your dice.

Quote:
I belive the rogue is defended more because it is more popular archtype(not the game term.) than a mystical martial artist. Also because sneak attack is a bit deceiving, it looks impressive, but when you start doing the math it is a different story.

Of the two, rogue is a better dipping class for a martial: You get a boat-ton of class skills (including UMD, which monk doesn't grant) and the points to put in 'em. For polearm/trip guys, trading BAB-1 for +2d6 in a lot of situations represents a better att/dmg conversion ratio than Power Attack (in parties where summon makes ubiquitous appearance, they'll be enjoying it constantly), and the other bennies are gravy.

1)And which one of those was a rogue class feature again?

2) So rogue is more popular/more defended because it is better dip class.(I would say it benefits more builds, but not necessarily better) Is that what you are saying? I really am not sure what relation your statement has with the text you quoted.
3) You are assuming that the sneak attack is always on, the same as BAB, which also gives other benefits, preqs with feats, CMB and CMD for example.


DrDeth wrote:


Traps are part of D&D since Day 1.

lots of things change and get left behind especially when they aren't exactly fun...

Traps are not something I would put under the heading of fun. Perhaps as an extra dimension in combat, but walking down a corridor only to have some acid dumped on you if the one guy in the party who got brow beat into playing a weak class with a fairly rare class feature fluffs a perception check. The consequence of which is people wave their heal stick around a bit and then carry on with time at the table having been wasted when they could have been doing fun stuff

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Mesmerist's don't get sneak attack unless there is an archetype I don't know about?

It's the Enigma. The progression is slower but that is to balance that is practically guaranteed.

Edit:
Even Painful Stare which is a similar ability is far more useful and easier to activate than sneak attack.

Painful stare has a slower damage progression (with a lower ceiling) and is once per round, if you invest in manifold stare and and Deadly stare it does end up as a much more useful ability. Without said investment its probably worse.

which isn't to say Mesmerists aren't a better class because 6th level casting, hypnotic stare, bold stare, touch treatments, tricks, 6 skills per level and magically enhance bluff checks easily beats rogues rather sad list of class features.


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Sah wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
I don't know the rogue's exact stats and equipment, but he upgraded his equipment at 6th level, so let's figure on +2 chain shirt and +1 ring of protection, along with Dex 18 and the Dodge feat. That would be AC 22. That is not bad for 7th level.
that's a terrible ac for level 7 as a frontliner..... should be around 27 at that level no wonder he's getting murdered every combat
Um, I explained that he was not a frontliner.
every one who does combat primarily in melee is a frontliner, there are 3 types of characters frontliners, ranged characters and casters however each type is divided into sub-types using frontliner as an example you have the melee dps, combat maneuver instigators and you have the tanks...

Interesting, because that's not how I've seen such things broken down before, suggesting to me that you are using different metrics with the same vocabulary.

For instance, the split between caster and frontliner isn't there in terms I've seen before, such as clerics who can be both at once (not too mention magus). Plus casters can easily fall under ranged as well.

So while under your definition, the character is a frontliner, under his it isn't.

Lady-J's definition seems poorly suited to Pathfinder, especially with her requirement that frontliners also must have level+20 in AC. I am accustomed to bards and rogues who can contribute to combat in melee but will retreat before the end, because they cannot absorb as much damage as a fighter, cleric, or barbarian. That is still useful. In addition, AC is not the only melee defense in Pathfinder: the magus in my current game relies on Mirror Image. In Pathfinder and computer games, I have seen melee DPS characters function well with mediocre static defenses because their primary defense is killing their opponent quickly.

Lady-J wrote:
at lvl 7 you can easily afford +2 mithril chainshirt, +2dex belt for a total of +6 to dex, +1 ring of protection +1 amulet of natural armor with 2 +1 weapons and still have nearly 6000 gold left to spend and that's assuming no one is crafting anything and that gets him 25 ac with the dodge feat which is a little bit closer inline than the 22 he has and thats also assuming hes medium size and not small for the extra +1 ac and to hit

A Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2 increases the Dex 18 rogue's Dex bonus to AC to +5 rather than +6. Nevertheless, Lady-J spent 5,100 gp for a +2 mithril shirt, 4,000 gp for a Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2, 2,000 gp for a Ring of Protection +1, 2,000 gp for an Amulet of natural armor +1, which is 55% of the rogue's total budget (or prorating the belt as half offense, too, 47%) rather than 33%, and still could not reach her goal of AC 27.


Yo dawg, I heard you didn't want your rogue to die, so you got a buckler.

+2 mithral shirt 5,100g
+2 buckler 4,155
+2 belt 4,000g
+1 ring and amulet 4,000g
+1 weapon 4,3XXg
Base 18 dex, medium size

AC = 10 + 5 dex + 6 armor + 3 shield + 1 def + 1 nat = 26


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Shinigami02 wrote:

A magus that doesn't immediately list Shocking Grasp, the punner in me won't let me say it's Shocking, but it's certainly surprising.

On a more on-topic note, as much as I love the Rogue, I also remember doing most of Curse of the Crimson Throne with a Core Rogue. I was easily the weakest member of the party, and that actually didn't change *that* much when Unchained came out.

Sorry, I don't feel the need to use Shocking Grasp.

My kensai deals plenty of damage without and prefers spells with more utility and endurance.


The Mad Comrade wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Sneak attack most certainly isn't something special.

That so?

Given that sneak attack immune targets are far less common in PF than they were in 3.5, I disagree.

Slayer hits maybe 1-in-10 more often, packs half the sneak attack dice. At 7th-8th rogue is adding without any help 28-42 more damage per round to his base damage output to one target. Slayer adds half of that plus 2 points against a studied target. All the rogue needs is either initiative or flanking. Both are easy to arrange.

Flanking is very simple is you take Gang Up.

No difficult as, at lower levels, a rogue can manage as many feats as a fighter.


Rhedyn wrote:

Yo dawg, I heard you didn't want your rogue to die, so you got a buckler.

+2 mithral shirt 5,100g
+2 buckler 4,155
+2 belt 4,000g
+1 ring and amulet 4,000g
+1 weapon 4,3XXg
Base 18 dex, medium size

AC = 10 + 5 dex + 6 armor + 3 shield + 1 def + 1 nat = 26

Okay, throw in Dodge for a +1 dodge bonus and we reach Lady-J's goal at 73% of the rogue's budget.

However, I believe that a rogue should not need AC 27 at 7th level. The class has other combat tactics that don't rely on high AC to keep the character alive.

My wife, who has played many rogues, claims that a rogue's greatest combat strength is in avoiding combat. Why fight through the guards at the cstle gate when the rogue could lead the party through castle's heavily-trapped secret escape tunnel safely? Sure, Pathfinder is largely a combat game, but would the players want their one combat of the day to be against six nameless guards or against the boss-level evil lord of the castle?

Perhaps that is what makes the weakest class worth playing.


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Problem with that general logic is several fold. For one, stealth is one of those things magic just does better with your teleports and invisibilities etc.

On top of that, the game just doesn't play nice with one chump (whether it be the wizard or the rogue) just sneaking off while everyone else sits around with a thumb up their rear. It's just not fun splitting the party for extended periods to say nothing how up crap creek you are if you get busted without your backup.


The metric is level +15 is passable and +20 is strong (although at higher levels this becomes less true)

So 22 should be okay at level 7.


Mathmuse wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Yo dawg, I heard you didn't want your rogue to die, so you got a buckler.

+2 mithral shirt 5,100g
+2 buckler 4,155
+2 belt 4,000g
+1 ring and amulet 4,000g
+1 weapon 4,3XXg
Base 18 dex, medium size

AC = 10 + 5 dex + 6 armor + 3 shield + 1 def + 1 nat = 26

Okay, throw in Dodge for a +1 dodge bonus and we reach Lady-J's goal at 73% of the rogue's budget.

However, I believe that a rogue should not need AC 27 at 7th level. The class has other combat tactics that don't rely on high AC to keep the character alive.

My wife, who has played many rogues, claims that a rogue's greatest combat strength is in avoiding combat. Why fight through the guards at the cstle gate when the rogue could lead the party through castle's heavily-trapped secret escape tunnel safely? Sure, Pathfinder is largely a combat game, but would the players want their one combat of the day to be against six nameless guards or against the boss-level evil lord of the castle?

Perhaps that is what makes the weakest class worth playing.

you forget crafting is a thing crafting mundane items reduces cost by 66% and magic items get a 50% reduction meaning those items are only 25%-30% of the total wealth your rogue is also behind by not having a base 20 dex so that's his fault

Shadow Lodge

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I belive the rogue is defended more because it is more popular archtype(not the game term.) than a mystical martial artist. Also because sneak attack is a bit deceiving, it looks impressive, but when you start doing the math it is a different story.
Of the two, rogue is a better dipping class for a martial: You get a boat-ton of class skills (including UMD, which monk doesn't grant) and the points to put in 'em. For polearm/trip guys, trading BAB-1 for +2d6 in a lot of situations represents a better att/dmg conversion ratio than Power Attack (in parties where summon makes ubiquitous appearance, they'll be enjoying it constantly), and the other bennies are gravy.
1)And which one of those was a rogue class feature again?
You mean besides the skills points, UMD, and sneak-attack? ...those are the three things I mentioned. I don't what else you're referring to.
Quote:
2) So rogue is more popular/more defended because it is better dip class.

Well, that's a game mechanical reason, but hardly the only one in a broader sense. I would say that rogue is more "popular" among players than monk because it's more familiar and fits in with the theme of western fantasy genre than that wing chun bullcrap shoe-horned into Arthurian/Tolkien-style legends. (Excuse me for a moment while I glower with Sandor Clegane derision.)

Rogues also get the best lines (while monks are typically the deadly dull taciturn ascetic) in all the popular and cheesy movies.

I think the only monk I've ever seen done "fun" in over twenty years of play was a Benedictine-robed motormouth versed in the fine art of Queensberry Rules fisticuffs. (But punching apart monsters with your hands is still video-game BS that wrecks immersive verisimilitude.)

But, I digress. (We can hate D&D monks in so many other threads.)

Quote:
3) You are assuming that the sneak attack is always on...

I implied nothing of the sort.


Did anyone ever dip for a sneak attack dice? Cause that's sad.

And honestly getting 2-6 skills is also not worth a dip most of the time. The only thing that is, is the magic trap disarming ability that I'm blanking on the name of. And even then only for certain games.

Unchained rogue is dippable sometimes for Dex builds but I still find 3 levels too painful.

Shadow Lodge

Mathmuse wrote:
However, I believe that a rogue should not need AC 27 at 7th level. The class has other combat tactics that don't rely on high AC to keep the character alive.
It's a good idea anyway. (BTW, if your DEX bonus becomes so high that it caps the limit of mithril, consider boneless leather; you can wriggle right out of a monster's gullet wearing that stuff.)
Quote:
My wife, who has played many rogues, claims that a rogue's greatest combat strength is in avoiding combat. Why fight through the guards at the cstle gate when the rogue could lead the party through castle's heavily-trapped secret escape tunnel safely? Sure, Pathfinder is largely a combat game, but would the players want their one combat of the day to be against six nameless guards or against the boss-level evil lord of the castle?

<enthusiastic cheer> Yes. That. Right *there*.

Woe is me, moan the players of dead, melee-obsessed rogues, complaining about the "weak"ness of a class that clues them in with BAB:0 at first level. Why did they build a rogue if they wanted to play a fighter?

Quote:
Perhaps that is what makes the weakest class worth playing.

Any class that survives the adventure and comes home with the loot is not weak.

In PFS, the following classes die the most:

* barbarian (think rage makes them invincible when it only takes one more swat to trash their extra hitpoints; die APL 5/6 facing off with multi-attack monster that gets easily-confirmed crits vs dumped AC)
* monk (end-loaded on paper, but hard time getting past 2nd level)
* cleric (Evocation magnets, or fail swim check with hideous armor penalty)
* rogue (medium-sized, STR-based melees croak hard)
* fighter (eats a Searing Light after being chiseled down)
* bard (players keep building these with CON:10 for some reason)

Among anecdotal, personally-witnessed character deaths, barbarians die about as often as all other classes combined.

Shadow Lodge

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Did anyone ever dip for a sneak attack dice? Cause that's sad.

And honestly getting 2-6 skills is also not worth a dip most of the time. The only thing that is, is the magic trap disarming ability that I'm blanking on the name of. And even then only for certain games.

Unchained rogue is dippable sometimes for Dex builds but I still find 3 levels too painful.

I had a cliché greatsword barbarian that did exactly that: He switched to a bardiche and multiclassed four levels of rogue. (In a run-on dungeon-crawl where spells/day and healing consumables are a major concern for the party, Evasion *really* pulls its weight. And, being able to UMD your own unscrewing frees up the other PCs' action-economy. Flexibility is *king*.)


Then play a flexible class...

Rogue is shoehorned very tightly into a particular role, you yourself just endorsed someone saying it's best strength is avoiding all fights. That isn't versatility.

For versatility play a shaman or a Druid and be able to do pretty much anything. Or an Occultist actually they're pretty bloody versatile. Or an inquisitor actually.
Edit: or an oracle.

If we're going for versatility play a versatile class, don't play the class the supporters of which seem to argue is a skill monkey with one niche, which is trap finding which should avoid combat whenever possible.

Which for the record, any illusion specialist should be better at.


DrDeth wrote:

How many classes have Trap spotter?

And since in order to find traps what you need is Trapfinding for magical ones and a maxed out Perception, I dont know how any classes will be "better", altho certainly any class with decent SkP, Trap Spotter and Trapfinding can be as good.

What classes have better Sneak attack?

You do not require trapfinding to find magical traps.

Anyone can find magical or non magical traps with regular perception checks. Detect magic is better at finding magical traps than any rogue. Caster orientated clerics and druids make vastly better trap detectors than rogues.

You do require trapfinding to disable magical traps. Or you could use Aram Zey's Focus. Note it gives you trapfinding of a rogue half your character level, not caster level, so works perfectly well as a 150gp scroll.

Because Paizo doesn't particularly value Rgoue's trap dealing class features.

As far as trap spotter goes, that can be solved by moving half speed and actively checking as you go. You take longer and it can impact on buff times but it's still better than bringing an actual rogue.

Shadow Lodge

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

...Rogue is shoehorned very tightly into a particular role...

<snip>
...any illusion specialist should be better....

<insert Homer Simpson not-sure meme of choice>

Assuming "shoehorned" is a failure at the concept level. Per the linked post, rogue is a state of mind.


Trapfinding is weird in the way it defines Pathfinder lore.

Like, you can have 20 ranks in Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana), which means you know basically everything there is to know about magic. And yet, unless you also learn how to stab someone in the kidneys real good, you can't actually use any of that knowledge to deal with one particular kind of magic.


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I have not personally played a rogue since D&D 2nd Edition, but I have GMed for plenty of rogues. Those players had fun. And they did not play their rogues in the hard-to-maintain style that Lady-J suggests.

Looking at the 7th-level rogue characters in the d20pfsrd NPC list, we find Archaeologist AC 17, Cowardly Rogue AC 16, Freelance Thief AC 19, and Sneaky Cultist AC 21. Some rogue-like 7th-level NPCs are Dark Bard AC 13, Desert Skirmisher AC 18, Explorer AC 18, Gambler AC 16, Highwayman AC 19, Imprisoned Rogue AC 14 with no armor, Mountaineer AC 21, and Strange Fluid Scavenger AC 16. Even accepting that NPCs are shortchanged in AC compared to PCs, claiming that a PC must have +6 to AC over the best-defended NPCs is extreme. Rogues were not designed for the high AC role. (Also see the preceding comic, At Least It Wasn't the Fourth Wall Again.)

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Then play a flexible class...

Rogue is shoehorned very tightly into a particular role, you yourself just endorsed someone saying it's best strength is avoiding all fights. That isn't versatility.

For versatility play a shaman or a Druid and be able to do pretty much anything. Or an Occultist actually they're pretty bloody versatile. Or an inquisitor actually.
Edit: or an oracle.

If we're going for versatility play a versatile class, don't play the class the supporters of which seem to argue is a skill monkey with one niche, which is trap finding which should avoid combat whenever possible.

Which for the record, any illusion specialist should be better at.

The strength of the rogue is not that the rogue individually can avoid combat. It is that the rogue helps the party chose which fights they will skip and which fights they will engage. That lets the players chose the fun fights and important fights and skip the ones that grind down the party's resources against meaningless minions. The rogue is not the sole class with this ability.

In First and Second Edition Dungeons & Dragons every class was tightly shoehorned into a niche. The thief/rogue was the trap-finding and breaking-and-entering specialist. Hide in shadows and backstab were options to keep the rogue from being bored and useless in combat. Third Edition and Pathfinder have a more flexible system of designing for a useful role, which I prefer. The clever classes--bard, ranger, and rogue in the Core Rulebook--have a knack for finding new solutions to old problems. They break out of their niches. Let's call this ability "agency." Agency is hard to measure, but it is the most enabling ability in the game.

Druids and wizards are very versatile, but versatility is not the same as agency. The wizard can teleport the party past encounters, but such a shortcut skips both interesting and dull encounters equally. Battlefield control, another wizardly specialty, gives control on the small one-minute scale, but does not influence the plot of the roleplaying game. That is too short-lived to be agency. A divination wizard can give agency.

Of those three Core agency classes, the rogue is the weakest. Bard is better at skills, especially social skills, and has magic. Ranger is better at combat and gains an animal companion. I find that oracles can have plenty of agency, more than a cleric. I have no experience with a shaman or occultist.

Sir Thugsalot wrote:

Rogues also get the best lines (while monks are typically the deadly dull taciturn ascetic) in all the popular and cheesy movies.

I think the only monk I've ever seen done "fun" in over twenty years of play was a Benedictine-robed motormouth versed in the fine art of Queensberry Rules fisticuffs. (But punching apart monsters with your hands is still video-game BS that wrecks immersive verisimilitude.)

But, I digress. (We can hate D&D monks in so many other threads.)

Monks ought to have been another clever class, but they are badly designed in D&D 3rd Edition and inherited that design in Pathfinder, even Pathfinder Unchained. Instead of gaining any enabling abilities, they were given infeasible combat options. Except for their archetypes, they would be the weakest and most boring class.

Shadow Lodge

"I should take a level of Ranger so I can choose Favored Enemy (Airborne Tramp)."

Hahahahaha....

(Who's the guy with the mustache? I haven't read that cartoon in years... Holy smokes, there's over a thousand of the things now. Jeesh. Major catching up to do.)

...speaking of old school, there's an itch I gotta scratch....

*Hah!* It's still there!

Yes, folks; the common housecat has not lost its ability to kill a zero-level peasant in one round of combat with a claw-claw-bite.


Ventnor wrote:

Trapfinding is weird in the way it defines Pathfinder lore.

Like, you can have 20 ranks in Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana), which means you know basically everything there is to know about magic. And yet, unless you also learn how to stab someone in the kidneys real good, you can't actually use any of that knowledge to deal with one particular kind of magic.

A common misconception.

Caster's eat magic traps with little things like dispel magic or anti-magic fields or Summon Monster 1 trap monkeys.

Sovereign Court Contributor-Subscriber-Venture Lieutenant

1 person marked this as a favorite.

First and foremost, I primarily play PFS and didn't really start until Season 6. Like most groups, the older modules we pick tend to be the more gimmicky ones that put's an emphasis on Skills... I would argue that Core Fighter is much weaker than Core Rogue. The Fighter will do more damage more consistently, but his non-damaging choices are basically limited to intimidate and alchemical items. If all enemies are also humanoids with class levels, yeah, sure, Fighter is better. But when a third or more of your encounters are skill challenges...


Rhedyn wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

Trapfinding is weird in the way it defines Pathfinder lore.

Like, you can have 20 ranks in Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana), which means you know basically everything there is to know about magic. And yet, unless you also learn how to stab someone in the kidneys real good, you can't actually use any of that knowledge to deal with one particular kind of magic.

A common misconception.

Caster's eat magic traps with little things like dispel magic or anti-magic fields or Summon Monster 1 trap monkeys.

I'm not necessarily talking about casters.

Let's say we have a human fighter who decided to invest heavily in spellcraft, knowledge (arcana), and disable device. He knows all about magic. He knows all about how to disable traps. And yet, he can't disable magic traps because... why?


Wizard and sorcerer before 3rd level and after 11th level when antimagic field starts to come into play, and a single spell turns them into commoners with slightly better will saves.


Ventnor wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

Trapfinding is weird in the way it defines Pathfinder lore.

Like, you can have 20 ranks in Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana), which means you know basically everything there is to know about magic. And yet, unless you also learn how to stab someone in the kidneys real good, you can't actually use any of that knowledge to deal with one particular kind of magic.

A common misconception.

Caster's eat magic traps with little things like dispel magic or anti-magic fields or Summon Monster 1 trap monkeys.

I'm not necessarily talking about casters.

Let's say we have a human fighter who decided to invest heavily in spellcraft, knowledge (arcana), and disable device. He knows all about magic. He knows all about how to disable traps. And yet, he can't disable magic traps because... why?

Because he did take the trait

Dispelling magic without magic in unique and beyond normal skill usage. But that grandiose pillar of rogue-ness is the equivalent to a half feat.

Said fighter could get the extra traits feat to pick up that and maybe prestidigitation once per day to keep himself clean and make dinner taste better.


Ventnor wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

Trapfinding is weird in the way it defines Pathfinder lore.

Like, you can have 20 ranks in Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana), which means you know basically everything there is to know about magic. And yet, unless you also learn how to stab someone in the kidneys real good, you can't actually use any of that knowledge to deal with one particular kind of magic.

A common misconception.

Caster's eat magic traps with little things like dispel magic or anti-magic fields or Summon Monster 1 trap monkeys.

I'm not necessarily talking about casters.

Let's say we have a human fighter who decided to invest heavily in spellcraft, knowledge (arcana), and disable device. He knows all about magic. He knows all about how to disable traps. And yet, he can't disable magic traps because... why?

He cant cast spells either. Or Channel Energy. Or Lay on Hands. Or Rage. Or Shapeshift. Or woodland stride. Or....

Shadow Lodge

Worst class: CRB Ranger (TWF).

Discuss.


DrDeth wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

Trapfinding is weird in the way it defines Pathfinder lore.

Like, you can have 20 ranks in Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana), which means you know basically everything there is to know about magic. And yet, unless you also learn how to stab someone in the kidneys real good, you can't actually use any of that knowledge to deal with one particular kind of magic.

A common misconception.

Caster's eat magic traps with little things like dispel magic or anti-magic fields or Summon Monster 1 trap monkeys.

I'm not necessarily talking about casters.

Let's say we have a human fighter who decided to invest heavily in spellcraft, knowledge (arcana), and disable device. He knows all about magic. He knows all about how to disable traps. And yet, he can't disable magic traps because... why?

He cant cast spells either. Or Channel Energy. Or Lay on Hands. Or Rage. Or Shapeshift. Or woodland stride. Or....

But rogues don't use any magic to disable magical traps.

I guess, lore-wise, all magical traps possess kidneys and the only way to disable them is to shank them in there. It is the only explanation that makes sense.

Sovereign Court Contributor-Subscriber-Venture Lieutenant

Sir Thugsalot wrote:

Worst class: CRB Ranger (TWF).

Discuss.

If you count specific options for classes, there are far worse. Like a trap-constructing, vehicle driving core rogue tinkering phantom thief. Or a fighter specializing in circling mongoose repositioning who tries to dance all his enemies to death.


KitsuneWarlock wrote:
First and foremost, I primarily play PFS and didn't really start until Season 6. Like most groups, the older modules we pick tend to be the more gimmicky ones that put's an emphasis on Skills... I would argue that Core Fighter is much weaker than Core Rogue. The Fighter will do more damage more consistently, but his non-damaging choices are basically limited to intimidate and alchemical items. If all enemies are also humanoids with class levels, yeah, sure, Fighter is better. But when a third or more of your encounters are skill challenges...

Even then, the Fighter is better in the other 2/3 of the time that you need someone who can keep the threats away from the squishies, and dish out good damage to the threats while being able to eat a decent amount in return.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:
KitsuneWarlock wrote:
First and foremost, I primarily play PFS and didn't really start until Season 6. Like most groups, the older modules we pick tend to be the more gimmicky ones that put's an emphasis on Skills... I would argue that Core Fighter is much weaker than Core Rogue. The Fighter will do more damage more consistently, but his non-damaging choices are basically limited to intimidate and alchemical items. If all enemies are also humanoids with class levels, yeah, sure, Fighter is better. But when a third or more of your encounters are skill challenges...

Even then, the Fighter is better in the other 2/3 of the time that you need someone who can keep the threats away from the squishies, and dish out good damage to the threats while being able to eat a decent amount in return.

Expect table variation.


@Sir Thugsalot: I am not making full quotes because the chain is just getting so long that I would need to do so manually, and it isn't making things a whole lot clearer.

I suppose I should have made it clearer in my last post but I thought the numbering would have helped.

Quote:

small race: +1, acro'd into flank: +2, and/or target flat-footed: (enemy AC-DEX), and/or target blinded: (enemy AC-2), and/or target prone: +4. It piles up quite nicely. It does require tactical awareness, a moderate amount of system mastery, and the ability to scheme longer than the attention spans of many players.

-- You can't just look up from your phone on your turn and say, "I hit it some more!" while rolling your dice.

Emphasis mine. That was what I was referring to with. "which one of those was rogue class feature."

Regarding, the popularity business, we are in agreement with the rogue archtype being more popular. While not about your opinion on the monk, btw the term is wuxia, whing chun is an actual martial art. I did not understand your original statement in relation to the thing you quoted which basicly said that I think rogue is more popular. So I asked clarification, I am not still clear on the meaning of the original response, but no matter as we seem to be in agreement on that front.

Shadow Lodge

Wultram wrote:
Quote:
small race: +1, acro'd into flank: +2, and/or target flat-footed: (enemy AC-DEX), and/or target blinded: (enemy AC-2), and/or target prone: +4. It piles up quite nicely....
Emphasis mine. That was what I was referring to with. "which one of those was rogue class feature."

Rogues (as CRB rogues compared to other CRB classes) are well-poised to achieve (via skills and INIT) and exploit (sneak-attack bonus damage) those situations.

Other CRB classes can be built to (a) go first, or (b) dish it out, but typically there will not be significant overlap.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:

A magus that doesn't immediately list Shocking Grasp, the punner in me won't let me say it's Shocking, but it's certainly surprising.

On a more on-topic note, as much as I love the Rogue, I also remember doing most of Curse of the Crimson Throne with a Core Rogue. I was easily the weakest member of the party, and that actually didn't change *that* much when Unchained came out.

Sorry, I don't feel the need to use Shocking Grasp.

My kensai deals plenty of damage without and prefers spells with more utility and endurance.

Power to ya, I love builds that break the cookie cutter.

Also, RE: the Trap Finder trait, that trait and Finding Haleen are major parts of why my group will not let you take campaign traits outside of the campaign they are written for. Not all campaign traits are overpowered, but campaign traits get a lot more leniency than normal traits.


But rogues don't really dish it out...

they consistently do a lot < than the core full BAB classes and inconsistently do ≤ than full bab Core classes, particularly barbarian.

Leave core and this problem gets worse not better.

So to say they can both go first and dish it isn't really true.

I know if someone came into one of my games with a core rogue with the intention to "dish it out" I'd be highly dubious.


For the purpose of this thread, core rogue means chained rogue because this thread was asking what is the weakest class now with all of the splat and unchained rogue is being treated as a different class.

Core-only anything is irrelevant. For the chained rogue to be the weakest, it's best archetype must be worse than a fully optimizes fighter, chained monk, or a ninja.

Also, sneak attack is not a lot of damage. A Twirling pistol ifrit rogue with smoke sight, unleashing a volley of near auto-hiting sneak attacks, doing easily 60d6 damage barely approaches good martial damage. Rogues never do good damage, they can do OK damage but are expected to carry real weight elsewhere. And they don't.


Rhedyn wrote:

For the purpose of this thread, core rogue means chained rogue because this thread was asking what is the weakest class now with all of the splat and unchained rogue is being treated as a different class.

Core-only anything is irrelevant. For the chained rogue to be the weakest, it's best archetype must be worse than a fully optimizes fighter, chained monk, or a ninja.

Also, sneak attack is not a lot of damage. A Twirling pistol ifrit rogue with smoke sight, unleashing a volley of near auto-hiting sneak attacks, doing easily 60d6 damage barely approaches good martial damage. Rogues never do good damage, they can do OK damage but are expected to carry real weight elsewhere. And they don't.

ya that's an average of 210 dmg per round with 6 attacks at assuming lvl 20 which is not great


And they have to deal with all the awkward pistol rules. Lol.

If we allow the best archetypes and such I think the core monks move well clear of being the weakest class in the game.

Swashbuckler is probably closer than even the fighter now that the new armour mastery and weapon mastery stuff is out. And arguably gunslingers in that they do one thing and one thing only.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Sir Thugsalot wrote:

Worst class: CRB Ranger (TWF).

Discuss.

Not so much so. Combat Style means they don't need to have high Dex to take the chain. That lets them increase their Str for more attack and damage.


No expert on rangers but one would imagine they can do some fun things with animal companions, no?


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
No expert on rangers but one would imagine they can do some fun things with animal companions, no?

most of the fun things that you can do with an animal companion are from classes based around the animal companion like hunter or nature shaman ranger with animal companion is just another less effective party member that eats up party resources


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
No expert on rangers but one would imagine they can do some fun things with animal companions, no?

Ride a horse right next to the enemy and then full attack them.

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