Halfling Rogue Advice


Advice

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Newer to Pathfinder and looking for advice on ability score assignments for a Halfling Rogue for PFS Core Rule play.

I assume Dex then Str, but I’m not sure after that and what all things I should consider when making the assignments. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Silver Crusade

Minimum Constitution of 14.


Since there is no way to get Dex to damage in Core play, I recommend against using a Halfling for your rogue. The necessity of using small weapons and the negative racial modifier to your Strength are going to make it so that you must rely on Sneak damage almost exclusively and there will be many times where you can't get that. That said, I do agree with Ajaxis that you should look at a minimum 14 Con for any melee character.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I played a melee rogue to 15th level using mostly core rules (except for being a Tengu, but no archetype), and I only had a Con of 12. He died once at 8th level, but I later found out the GM ran the encounter wrong anyways. So I wouldn't say a 14 Con is necessary. Take Toughness if you're worried about hit points.

That being said, Halfling would be tough. Maybe have an Int of 12 and use the Major/Minor Magic Talents to give yourself something to do against foes immune to Sneak Attack.

Your Stealth will be amazing so focusing on archery and buying scrolls of Greater Invisibility would be a sound tactic.

Or go Party Face/Skill Monkey and leave the bruising to the rest of your party.


Nefreet wrote:
Or go Party Face/Skill Monkey and leave the bruising to the rest of your party.

Please don't do this as a rogue, go bard for this as then you're better at it AND not as useless when it's time to fight.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Nefreet wrote:
I played a melee rogue to 15th level using mostly core rules (except for being a Tengu, but no archetype), and I only had a Con of 12.

14 before racial modifiers if you have a penalty.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Halflings don't have a Con penalty.

Ajaxis and LoPan666 were advising a minimum of 14 Con for a melee rogue.

I was giving an example of how it isn't a requirement.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How about we advise the OP, rather than debate amongst ourselves?

It's already an opinion thread. No need to turn it into a debate thread.


I’m not completely stuck on the halfling, especially if the strength and dmg could be a problem. It’s more of the rogue class that I’m attached to.

Being newer I’m not sure how all the aspects will effect my character. I want to be able to do dmg, but still have the utility of being a rogue.

Sounds like a halfling has reduced dmg due to small weapons and potentially reduced dmg due to the Str penalty. This alone makes me think I should switch race. Maybe to an Elf.

Sounds stat priority would be something like:
Dex
Con & Str
Cha
Wis & Int?


Joshua Sutton wrote:

Sounds stat priority would be something like:

Dex
Con & Str
Cha
Wis & Int?

I would never dump wisdom on a Rogue. Your will save is already a glaring weakness which might see you sitting out of the game for an hour or more.

Charisma is not particularly useful to you. You are not going to be the party face. Spending stat points in Charisma will get you to the point where you can reliably aid and you *might* have a reasonable chance to hit the main social skill DCs but you are then going to have to invest in it even further to keep up. Just adding a skill rank isn't going to match the DC increases as you level up. You will end up having to consider using feats, buying gear (circlet of persuasion, charisma headband) etc to keep up which will mean you fall behind in other areas.

I would place Wisdom above both Int and Charisma in importance. Int can generally stick at 10 or so, you have enough skill points to cover the basics.

Going the Dex route in Core does come with difficulties in terms of damage dealing but your defences will be a bit better. Overall you are going to need to pick a couple of areas where you want to specialise if you want to be reliable enough to meet those goals.

The more things you want to be able to excel at the harder it is to do as a rogue.

Liberty's Edge

Could do a halfling rogue: Str 13, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10.
1st level, take Weapon Finesse: Rapier +5 1d4+1 (18-20) (Not great but it's just for 1 level)
Use 2nd level talent to get Power Attack via Combat Trick: Rapier +5 1d4+3 (18-20)
3rd level get Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Elven Curve Blade: Masterwork ECB +7 1d8+4 (18-20)

Decent damage there, even better when you do get sneak attack. Still lots of skills.


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I might do something like this by level 6.

Selection would be:

1: Dodge, Mobility (Human Bonus)
2: Talent (Finesse Rogue)
3: EWP (Elven Curved Blade)
4: Talent (Trap Spotter)
5: Power Attack
6: Talent (Combat Trick - Spring Attack)

The idea would be to never hand around in combat if you can possibly avoid it. You only get a single attack so you always want to be spring attacking unless you have been hasted and even then you may not want to stay. Power attack is in there but you may want to avoid using it unless you are facing easy to hit opponents or you have a lot of buffs.

Her initiative isn't huge. Quite often you don't want to be going first so the enemy can engage your other front liners before you spring attack into a flanking position.

Out of combat you easily handle the trap spotting and disarming business. You have decent stealth but will need to buy darkvision potions or scrolls. You can generally get into places with decent escape artist and acrobatics and have some social skills. You can generally aid with diplomacy and have a modest amount of sense motive. Your UMD is enough to give you at least a chance of activating a cure wand. You could do with more Charisma but it means making sacrifices elsewhere.

Subsequent equipment picks are probably things like a belt (con first probably), vest of escape, maybe some AC boosters such as the ring of protection or amulet, upgrades to your weapon (you want +3 by at least level 9 but again you need to cover a lot of issues with gear making enchanting weapons sometimes a slow process) and possibly various wands (shield, longstrider, any partially charged ones).

The stat block isn't complete with equipment, it needs a ranged weapon and a mix of mundane gear, masterwork tools, alchemical items etc. It may well need to add a handy haversack at some point as well.

Core Rogue:

Female human rogue 6
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +5; Senses Perception +15

--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 21, touch 16, flat-footed 15 (+5 armor, +5 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 45 (6d8+12)
Fort +6, Ref +12, Will +6
Defensive Abilities evasion, trap sense +2, uncanny dodge

--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 adamantine elven curve blade +10 (1d10+4/18-20)
Special Attacks sneak attack +3d6

--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 14, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +4; CMB +6; CMD 22

Feats Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (elven curve blade), Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse
Traits indomitable faith, resilient

Skills Acrobatics +19, Appraise +5, Climb +6, Diplomacy +7, Disable Device +19, Escape Artist +14, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (local) +5, Linguistics +5, Perception +15, Sense Motive +10, Sleight of Hand +14, Stealth +14, Swim +6, Use Magic Device +7
Languages Common, Tien, Undercommon

SQ rogue talents (combat trick, finesse rogue, trap spotter), trapfinding +3

Gear +1 mithral chain shirt, +1 adamantine elven curve blade, boots of elvenkind, cloak of resistance +2, eyes of the eagle, masterwork thieves' tools


what "utility" do you get by being a rogue?
All a rogue has is 8 skills per level and trapfinding. 8 skills per level really isn't that great since bards with 6, free bardic knowledge and bardic performance let you have more skills per level than a rogue.
that leaves disabling of magical traps as the only thing that the rogue has going for it, while the bard has party buffs, performances that can be useful, and spells.

Now if you're set on rogue go for it and I hope you have fun, but it will be an informed decision to be less useful to have the class name rogue. And by answering why rogue you'll help us know what you're wanting to help make sure we reach it.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Nefreet wrote:

Halflings don't have a Con penalty.

Ajaxis and LoPan666 were advising a minimum of 14 Con for a melee rogue.

I was giving an example of how it isn't a requirement.

You were a tengu. Tengu have a Con penalty. You bought a 14 Con before racial penalties. Therefore you have a 12 Con.

My point is that you purchased a 14 Con before penalties. As a tengu you spent the same number of stat points to get a 12 as a halfling would need to get a 14.

The real advice is to spend at least 5 stat points on Con (unless you get a stat boost in Con, then you can spend fewer).

This is a good baseline for any PFS character.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Michael Eshleman wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Halflings don't have a Con penalty.

Ajaxis and LoPan666 were advising a minimum of 14 Con for a melee rogue.

I was giving an example of how it isn't a requirement.

You were a tengu. Tengu have a Con penalty. You bought a 14 Con before racial penalties. Therefore you have a 12 Con.

-_-

No. Had I followed their advice, I would have bought a 16 Con before racial penalties.

16–2=14

Is this seriously what you want to argue?

EDIT: you edited your post, I edited my post. Drop it already?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Nefreet wrote:
-_-

Right back at you buddy.


I wouldn't say a 14 Con is a requirement, but I do recommend it strongly for almost any character that can afford it. I don't personally recommend spending more than 5 points on Con for any class that does not use it for class abilities (barbarian and kineticist, for example). My Tengu fighter/rogue has come closer than I would like to death on a couple of occasions, so after starting with a 12, I have been putting my level bumps into Con. I also have a Sylph magus that ended up with a 12 Con, but that character was built with GM credits and so skipped past the most dangerous levels. Still, I will probably be looking at getting an item to bump that stat before long. Given that this is for a Core character, this will not be an issue unless you are using an Elf.

For Core play, I created a human ranger/rogue mix with a high strength and two-weapon fighting style and I'd say that it has worked pretty well.


I get a 16 con if i can. I seem to attract max damage double 20s

Silver Crusade

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My -1 is a human sorceress with an original CON of 14, and it is now an 18. She was put down with a pair of Cone of Cold spells and only a boon giving additional hit points before death from negatives saved her. She was also hit by a pouncing bulette from surprise... the GM rolled 3 attack dice, 20, 20, 20. (GM had a reputation for rolling low.) Hit Points are sometimes a real necessity.

That said, I have an elf wizard with a 10 CON (now belted up to 12 at 12th level). Going first is very useful in controlling what might happen to you.

My very favorite paladin spell is Hero's Defiance, and I would never think of trading away Lay On Hands.

I haven't played a Rogue, but if you are planning on mixing it up in melee, some way of keeping yourself alive when circumstances are all arrayed against you is very important. Hit Points are the safety net when your protections get circumvented.


Okay, so on the note of core-only Rogue... Realize that your attack and damage will generally suffer, your damage suffering in part due to your lower attack. A barbarian gets a flat +2 to attack and probably a +3 to damage (two-handing) while raging. A fighter gets extra feats and Weapon Training. A Paladin gets Smite Evil to go bonkers. You get sneak attack, which is nice but HINGES on you actually being able to hit, and it doesn't always work well.

My suggestion, as weird as it sounds? Strength rogue.

Two-weapon fighting reduces your chances to hit by 10%, and your to-hit is already bad. A strength-based rogue with perhaps a single level dip into Barbarian or Fighter can bring to bear a mean two-handed weapon and try to flank the enemy as much as possible. Alternatively, get a one-handed weapon with a good crit range or modifier and use that instead.

If going rogue-only, here are good simple weapon choices for a strength build: Morningstar (one-handed, piercing AND bludgeoning), longspear (reach weapon), spear (not reach). Dipping 1 level into a martial class? Try one of these one-handed weapons: longsword, battleaxe, heavy pick, scimitar, warhammer; all have their uses. Two-handed options include the glaive, greatsword, greataxe, halberd, and scythe.

The usefulness of one-handed weapons on a build like this is you can carry a shield or torch if you so choose, and discard them when you don't need them to wield the weapon two-handed. A two-handed weapon MUST be wielded with two hands, by contrast.

Note that if you go a Strength route, you cannot really go down the Two-Weapon Fighting tree. But you'll be better at Charges, you'll be more accurate (except when you use Power Attack, but it's something you can *turn off*), and your standard action will be more powerful than a TWF rogue's standard action. You'll cope with DR less, you'll only need to focus on Strength and Constitution, and generally it'll be simpler to build this character.

Honestly, I love the idea of a half-orc rogue with a greataxe, warhammer, or morningstar. It gives off a very thuggish sort of aesthetic, like a highwayman or the typical bandit with his weapon resting on his shoulder.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on race selection:

  • Human - The most solid option for this setup. A bonus feat and +2 Strength = a very mean Strength rogue. +1 skill point per level never hurts.
  • Dwarf - Most people squint at dwarf rogues, but I'd argue dwarf makes a great *melee* character in general - or any character, really. +2 to saves vs. poison, +2 to saves vs. magic, +2 CON and WIS for even more saving throw bonuses and extra HP, resistance to bull rush... Yeah, your 20 move speed will slow you down, but halflings are slowed that much anyway. Plus, you can wear medium or heavy armor and not give a damn. Dip a level in Fighter and enjoy full plate dwarf rogue. You can also wield Dwarven Waraxes as a martial weapon, and that's not a terrible bonus. Darkvision, too! Resistance to being knocked on your butt!
  • Half-orc makes an interesting option. Theme-wise, it fits the strength rogue really well. Ferocity can keep you in the fight longer at low levels, but I find it's far less useful as you get more experience. +2 intimidate could be useful if you want social skill RP. Darkvision is good; and being proficient with great axes and falchions without any dipping is good. You can be a pure rogue that uses a falchion! Not a bad weapon.
  • Half-elves are good. Immunity to sleep isn't all that helpful, but it CAN come up. Low-light vision and +2 Perception helps you detect traps. +2 saves vs. enchantment = good. Tack on Skill Focus (Perception) and you've got a solid Perception score at level 1. Beyond that, though, there's nothing too special here.

Elves, gnomes, and halflings make bad strength rogues. Elves suffer -2 CON, which is dangerous; gnomes and halflings have -2 Strength.


Joshua Sutton wrote:

Newer to Pathfinder and looking for advice on ability score assignments for a Halfling Rogue for PFS Core Rule play.

I assume Dex then Str, but I’m not sure after that and what all things I should consider when making the assignments. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

First thing is take with a grain of salt all advice telling you not to play a halfling, and/or to jack your strength to do more (miniscule numerical) damage. You're in Core. Core is not a DPR hunt (it's the anti-thesis).

Str 10
Dex 15
Con 14
Int 13
Wis 14
Cha 14

Combat Expertise is your 1st-level feat. (Hold your nose and take it.) Raise your dexterity at 4th. Put points into Acrobatics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Disable, Escape Artist, Knowledge:Local, Perception, Stealth, and Use Magic Device. (Next level, pick up Disguise and Sense Motive,) Concentrate on being an awesome sneak-weasel who discovers novel ways to solve problems, not a fighter. Why not Weapon Finesse at 1st? To drag you away from the mentality that you need to jump into melee and flank.

If you think you need to be a fighter, then take one level of it at 3rd, and pick up Dodge and Mobility simultaneously.


Except that most encounters are, in fact, combat encounters. Core-only rogues are actually worse off than non-core rogues. They don't have the options (like Unchained) available to them that make them better at fighting in such a way that they can use DEX just fine.

Yes, core DEX rogue with TWF can work, as can one-weapon DEX rogue. But strength rogue will do better.

A counter stat spread, using 15 point buy:

Dwarf
14/10/16/14/14/6
Human/Half-Orc/Half-Elf
16/10/14/14/12/8

Your INT is still 14, meaning you're *just fine* at doing skill-based things. Your Charisma is low, but that's not your job. Your strength and constitution make you a capable melee combatant, and your Will save won't be terrible. Your DEX means you can wear full plate with a +2 DEX item and get pretty good Armor Class.

Another solid stat spread for not-dwarf? 16/12/14/13/12/8. Guess what? You can STILL get combat expertise. You can STILL do hit hard and take hits just fine. Your DEX means that with a +2 or +4 DEX item you can eventually make good use out of a breastplate or mithril full plate (I doubt you'll get mithril full plate in PFS, but you COULD theoretically). You don't need Weapon Finesse (less feat tax) or Two-Weapon Fighting (less feat tax). Hoorah, you're solid.

Want more charisma? Try a not-dwarf with 16/10/14/12/11/12. Half-Elf can put Skill Focus into diplomacy or bluff. On a dwarf that's still 14/10/16/12/13/10, which is perfectly solid.

Dexterity is NOT necessary for a good rogue.


If you insist on making a rogue and have to do damage, make DEX and CHA higher. You can feint in combat for sneak attack damage. Weapon finesse and use a rapier. Threat range is good, so you have a pretty good chance at dealing double damage with an additional die of sneak attack damage. I also wouldn't let anyone discourage you from playing a halfling. Halflings aren;t meant to be massive damage dealers. There's a reason they get a lot of skills. A halfling rogue can sneak into a place better than any other core race. Depending on how the GM runs NPC's, the bad guys would focus more on the big fighters or magic users and ignore the little halfling... allowing him to slip around behind them, unnoticed to sneak attack. Or, go ranged. THe sniper archetype is pretty effective. Just don't limit yourself to a damage dealer rogue. Rogue's outshine the other classes in other ways.


Chuck Mount wrote:
Rogue's outshine the other classes in other ways.

I'm highly curious in which ways a rogue outshines in core. Disabling magical traps is the only thing I'm aware of.


Stealth. Finding and disabling traps. Lots of skill points. A high enough charisma and Use Magic device and a fistfull of wands and you have a cleric and magic user backup. They have enough skill points that they can Climb up to a window, Search for traps, Pick the lock, Sneak inside, Sneak downstairs and open the door for the rest of the group to get in. Then, when they get in a fight, he can slip out, sneak around and attack from hiding or figure out any number of different ways to influence the combat.

They do these things easier than other classes due to their number of skill points and their Trap Finding ability. And halflings are the best at stealth. Again, using Core races.


I would also recommend going for a STR focused build, possibly with 1 or more levels of Fighter.
(let's just say 1 level, because you are starting out and don't need to get fancy)
What class you take first isn't that important here IMHO, Rogue for skills / Fighter for weapon/HPs.

Otherwise life will be tough trying to use DEX in a Core game, and trying to make 2WF* work will
be frustrating especially for a new player, as Full Attacks are not always easy to come by (and 2WF depends on them),
so focusing on using one big weapon will give you a simpler time with things while learning the game.
(the biggest damage weapons are 2 handed only, but you can use 'standard' weapons with 2 hands for same damage bonus
while still having option to use it with 1 hand which can be useful in some situations)
* 2 weapon fighting, which gives extra attack(s), but only when you don't move more than 5' (one square).


Halfling rogue is a classic and you can have fun, but I think pathfinder core has some serious design issues. All classes are not created equal and core rogue or monk are the worst of the bunch. As a core rogue you have the worse saves in the game, low bab and no class bonus to hit, no magic, average ac and hp, but you have sneak attack.
If you go rogue make sure you understand the sneak attack rules, cause it’s not always easy to get your character to use it and if you go dex based you need the damage boost. Another problem with halfling rogue is their lack of dark vision if you’re trying to stealth everywhere.
You can do it, but unfortunately the game’s design doesn’t make it easy.


Rogues are fun in low level games (<level 5) or in role-play heavy games. If neither applies then I would go Slayer for the same flavour but stays effective in combat past level 4.

If you are truly married to the idea of Rogue go Strength and get a 2 handed weapon. Less opportunities to sneak attack but you might actually hit something.


Chuck Mount wrote:

Stealth. Finding and disabling traps. Lots of skill points. A high enough charisma and Use Magic device and a fistfull of wands and you have a cleric and magic user backup. They have enough skill points that they can Climb up to a window, Search for traps, Pick the lock, Sneak inside, Sneak downstairs and open the door for the rest of the group to get in. Then, when they get in a fight, he can slip out, sneak around and attack from hiding or figure out any number of different ways to influence the combat.

They do these things easier than other classes due to their number of skill points and their Trap Finding ability. And halflings are the best at stealth. Again, using Core races.

Okay so bard, core, halfling.

Stealth, beat the rogues at that, you have the same bonuses, plus you can add heroism, invisibility and silence. So barb wins, at it's worse it's just as good as the rogue, at it's best it's way ahead. Heck, a halfling ranger, or monk also have just as good of a stealth as a rogue.

finding and disabling traps, so in core the rogue starts to pull ahead slightly at lv6 for finding and disabling traps compared to a heroism bard, and this also assumes that the bard gets DD as a class skill via trait.

you have far more effective skill points per level than a comparable rogue and you have spells to boost them too.

high charisma and UMD isn't something limited to a rogue, and the bard does it better since it actually has a spell list so it doesn't need to UMD everything.

They have enough skill points to climb up to a window, search for traps, pick the lock, sneak inside, more sneaking, and opening a door. Plus he could potentially just charm a guard if he finds one into being his friend and have him open the door maybe.
If a fight breaks out he can buff his fellow party members and cast spells or fight and and actually contribute to the fight rather than running away and maybe doing something "helpful" round 3 or 4 (short legs makes running around to flank pretty hard)

I'm not seeing any "outshining" going on. you are a tiny bit better at one thing, traps, than the bard, but worse or equal at everything else the rogue does, and then the bard has lots of options that the rogue doesn't have.


^ Ranger Favored Terrain/Enemy also gives bonuses to a bunch of skills Rogues have no way of matching.
Rogues do have a FEW options for "penalty negation" (like 'narrow ledges') but that is over all weaker than a flat bonus.
Unchained can choose Favored Terrain but still no bonuses otherwise, which IMHO should have come w/ Rogue's Edge.
Of course full caster characters will tend to have large bonus to INT/WIS/CHA based skills the Rogue can't match.
(even with Trapfinding it's doubtful a Rogue will be any better than a caster Cleric/Druid at Perception vs non-magical Traps)
Ranger's 6 ranks/level is not far from Rogue's, and a Wizard starting w/ 20 INT has 7 ranks/level just to start.
(Bards' Versatile Performance matching Rogues for effective ranks @ 6th level and go up from there)


Vaellen wrote:

Rogues are fun in low level games (<level 5) or in role-play heavy games. If neither applies then I would go Slayer for the same flavour but stays effective in combat past level 4.

If you are truly married to the idea of Rogue go Strength and get a 2 handed weapon. Less opportunities to sneak attack but you might actually hit something.

They are going core only, so slayer's aren't an option for them.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Joshua Sutton, what mechanics from the rogue do you like?

I think a good stealthy skill monkey that can fight is the ranger.

BAB +1, 1d10 HD, Good Fortitude and Reflex saves, 6+ Skill ranks.

So a really great class chassis.

The class skills are great! Perception, Stealth, and Survival are key, and then the rest are also fun: Climb, Ride, and Swim enhance mobility, some Knowledge skills (Dungeoneering, Geography, Nature) that are at least worth dipping in, and some social skills, like Handle Animal and Intimidate. Heal might be worth a dip at low levels depending on your party make up.

Favored Enemy is situational, but pretty potent when it comes up.

Wild Empathy is also situational, but it's a great non-combat conflict resolution mechanic.

Combat Style is amazing. You get a bunch of bonus feats, but they're allocated in specific styles so you don't get overwhelmed with too many choices. You also get to ignore a bunch of prerequisites for your bonus feats, which is really nice.

Endurance and Favored Terrain are nice perks.

Nature's Bond is great. You either get an animal companion, which helps with your action economy in a pinch and help you scout; alternatively, you get to share half your Favored Enemy bonus with your allies.

You also get spells. At a minimum, you can use wands of cure light wounds. They're also divine Wisdom-based spells, so that gives you an excuse to pump up your Wisdom score, which bolsters your poor Will saves. Which is good. Combined with the usefulness of Perception and Survival, you're really encouraged to have at least a decent Wisdom.


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Shorticus wrote:
Except that most encounters are, in fact, combat encounters.

Only because most PCs immediately jump into fighting regardless of necessity.

Think outside the box.

Which is cheaper: the party bribing its way past an unnecessary combat for 50gp, or everybody burning 50gp worth of charges off their CLWs to heal up afterward?

BTW, if your PFS table judge is denying you scenario rewards because you didn't murderhobo everyone remotely adversarial and loot their corpses, show them the "Creative Solutions" section on page 12 of the PSRGG. (As respectfully as possible, of course.)

A rogue's first job in a fight is to not be a drain on party healing by being routinely ripped in half by a drooling monster. After that, assist the martials or steal the McGuffin or fix the countdown-trap while everybody else is busy. That's what the class is designed for, not just spamming sneak-attack dice. It's only "suboptimal" when the player refuses to realize what the class' innate strengths, and insists on being a BSF by raising strength, being normal-size, and dumping int and cha (meaning he'll be worthless at stealth, disable, and social BS'ery).

Are there other classes in the game that "beat the rogue at his own game" in some or other capacity? Sure. But few of those are core, and none of them do everything that a rogue can.

Quote:
Core-only rogues are actually worse off than non-core rogues. They don't have the options (like Unchained) available to them...

Apart from a free feat (Weapon Finesse) and saving money on a weapon enhancement (Agile), Unchained is overrated. My "chained" halfling rogue TWF'd, but also used a lance while mounted, shot a bow, threw nets and alchemicals, and UMD'd grease (you'd be surprised how lousy reflex saves remain in many adversaries even at higher levels). The point was, he always had a trick up his sleeve.

(It should be noted that a one or two level dip in a martial class never hurt any rogue. Two levels of paladin is an especially good stack in a halfling.)

Quote:
Yes, core DEX rogue with TWF can work, as can one-weapon DEX rogue. But strength rogue will do better.
Strength rogues do decently in static DPR contests on paper; they do not do as well in random-PFS table environments in which the reliability of your allies is always questionable (particularly at low levels). They have much lower check numbers in everything a rogue should excel at.
Quote:
A counter stat spread, using 15 point buy:
Well, 20 for the OP's PFS character.
Quote:

Dwarf

14/10/16/14/14/6
Human/Half-Orc/Half-Elf
16/10/14/14/12/8
Your INT is still 14, meaning you're *just fine* at doing skill-based things. Your Charisma is low, but that's not your job.
Of course it's a rogue's job -- they have every Charisma skill in the game (aside from Handle Animal) on their class list. This particular dwarf would do much better as a barbarian or a fighter multiclass who takes only a few levels of rogue (no more than four).
Quote:
Dexterity is NOT necessary for a good rogue.

Rogues also have every dexterity skill (with the sole exception of Ride) on their class list. - What is the rogue tossing his 10 skills per level into after hosing the two attributes most of the class's skills are based off of?

What does this dex10 dwarf straight-class rogue wear for armor that is worth a darn thing? Heavy armor, eating armor-check penalties to half his skills (and those penalties won't go away as they would if he were a fighter with Armor Training bonuses.) He could spend ten grand on MFP and have worse AC than a 1st level halfling in a 100gp chainshirt.

The player has spent ten build points on Str to get a 10. If he's not taking Combat Expertise, then he's overpaid on Int to have a 14 instead of a 12. (A tenth-important skill is not more important than 15% of your build points, as 3 points is the cost of going from a 12 to a 14.)

Meanwhile, the half/human barbarian with an 18 for the same build points who rages to 22 will enjoy a full +4 higher attack bonus at 1st level over a Str16 rogue, not to mention having +4 con and +2 will saves while raging. After his first adventure, the 1st-level dwarf fighter with Weapon Focus who buys splint armor and a tower shield for +11 AC, and has the same attack bonus, despite the shield's -2 penalty, as the rogue who lost BAB and has one fewer feats. The strength rogue will always be second-fiddle to either in melee.

I.e., the strength rogue will never "shine" like the iconic sneak should shine when it does something amazing that no martial at the table can do, like stealthily coup de gracing a whole barracks full of snoozing thugs.


Seriously... If that's your game style and works for you then, great.
But the OP explicitly said he's new to the game and asking the most basic questions.
So this isn't about game play in general, or Rogues as such, but how somebody with a weak grasp of basic game mechanics
can most easily get into the game and find a moderate level of success at game options presented to them.
You're basically saying most people play the game "wrong" and he should play it a different way. Whatever.
But he's going to be playing the game as beginner learning from his co-players who... probably play similar to most people.
Trying to play smarter/better then them, trying to take some unique approach is probably not a good way to learn
from his co-players, and maybe even MORE importantly have fun TOGETHER playing with them.

Going with the flow is really the best advice I think we can give him,
because all the other players and GM can most easily help him along then.
Given the OP's beginner's level grasp of mechanics and over all game dynamics, I don't think it's a prudent assumption
he has the requisite understanding to make good judgement calls necessary when 'going off the rails' solo ala James Bond.
Even if he's f$%*ing awesome and just clicks with the game rules quickly, it's still good to learn by osmosis.
After all it's a social game, so it's not even just matter of knowing the rules, but being comfortable with
how teamwork develops leveraging those rules, which solo ninja missions don't help develop.
So telling him to go solo and be a spotlight hog seems counterproductive to what a beginner player should be doing,
at both game play mechanics level and social interaction level so as not to disrupt other players he wants to learn from.


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Well, 20 for the OP's PFS character.

The home games I'm in usually favor 15 point buy, so that was my instinct. I forgot PFS was 20 point buy. In which case, you can make the builds EASILY have more charisma, as their core mechanics have been covered with the 15 earlier points.

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Apart from a free feat (Weapon Finesse) and saving money on a weapon enhancement (Agile), Unchained is overrated. My "chained" halfling rogue TWF'd, but also used a lance while mounted, shot a bow, threw nets and alchemicals, and UMD'd grease (you'd be surprised how lousy reflex saves remain in many adversaries even at higher levels). The point was, he always had a trick up his sleeve.

I like the always having a trick up your sleeve playstyle, too. Backup melee weapons; backup ranged weapons; bags of marbles for throwing onto floors before attracting monsters; a potion of invisibility; etcetera. Yeah, it's good to be able to do that. I agree.

BUT:

1. The Strength-based rogue is in no way WORSE at the same playstyle. It is better, in fact, with the sole exception of "sometimes I fail a ranged shot or stealth roll more." And you know what? That's *fine,* and it will be more useful in the most common encounter type in the game.

2. That free feat and the free dex-to-damage go a LONG way to making a rogue more viable, especially since the Agile enchantment makes your subsequent enchantments more expensive. NEEDING to get that enchantment makes it harder to keep up should you ever reach a point when you could use that. Wouldn't you much rather be able to spend that money on a more thematic weapon enchantment? I would.

Plus, you're ignoring the greater number of Rogue Talents available in non-Core Rogues, and you're ignoring Skill Unlocks and Debilitating Injury (very nice as you can reduce their AC and make it easier to hit them with TWF), both of which can be VERY cool - the former out of combat for whatever skill you like using, the latter in combat for making your life easier. Unchained Rogues are one of my favorite classes, whereas Core Rogues are a class I frown at when I compare them to anyone else.

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(It should be noted that a one or two level dip in a martial class never hurt any rogue. Two levels of paladin is an especially good stack in a halfling.)

I agree. But a paladin/rogue means actually roleplaying the Code you have. I'm not sure that's good for a first time player when your Rogue abilities are, y'know, based around cheap tactics and dishonorable things. I love playing paladins, but that's a challenge for a new player.

1-2 levels of fighter, barbarian, or ranger would be easier to roleplay.

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Of course it's a rogue's job -- they have every Charisma skill in the game (aside from Handle Animal) on their class list. This particular dwarf would do much better as a barbarian or a fighter multiclass who takes only a few levels of rogue (no more than four).

No, a rogue's job is whatever they design themselves for, and there's often other characters that want to do the diplomacy (Paladins in my groups tend to take that role). If it was a requirement for every rogue to take points in every skill on their list, I know some players that would be very upset. The Rogue CAN design themselves for it, but it's not a requirement.

The Rogue also happens to have a BUNCH of other skills on their skill list. They can also take Intelligence-focused skills, thievery focused skills, etc. They can get Swim, which is a *strength* skill and *is* useful in some scenarios, or Climb to help them move around as well. They don't have to be stealthy or charismatic unless they wish to be.

And if you take the same build for that dwarf and make it 20 point buy, it will be just fine. 14/11/16/14/14/10 is one possible setup. If you want more charisma? 14/10/16/14/12/12. That wasn't very hard, and it's STILL a solid, tanky melee character setup.

And by the by? A dwarf rogue would be rather good at Sense Motive, and you could take the Suspicious trait to make that better (it's one of the traits that ARE available in Core PFS). Could also make up for only a 10 or 12 charisma with a +1 bluff trait.

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Rogues also have every dexterity skill (with the sole exception of Ride) on their class list. - What is the rogue tossing his 10 skills per level into after hosing the two attributes most of the class's skills are based off of?

You're running into the same problem again. You only need to take the skills you WANT to take. Moreover, if you REALLY want to use those skills, you can have 14 DEX (because I was using 15 point buy to illustrate a point earlier, leaving points left over) and wear a masterwork breastplate (or eventually a mithril breastplate) with a +2 DEX item. That's all the strength rogue ever needs. Alternatively, 12 DEX with a +4 DEX item eventually.

So, let's assume a regular Masterwork Breastplate, and the Armor Expert trait. Wow, your armor check penalty is a whopping 2, and your AC (assuming 12+4 or 14+2 for DEX) is going to be the same, yes, the SAME as a halfling rogue wearing a chain shirt, because the breastplate will provide +1 total more AC than the chain shirt, and the halfling's size only counteracts that.

And you can STILL go stealthing about a barracks murdering people with skill point investment, and if you really wanted to a trait or magic item to back up your stealth.

Mithril armor negates the problem completely, but it's more expensive and a late game issue. I'd probably skip that and just use a regular enchanted breastplate if I really wanted to do stealthy things, with the Armor Expert trait to back me up.

Essentially: both full plate and breastplate are perfectly fine for a rogue with a martial dip, and strength is always a better choice for hitting things in core. Go Strength, wear medium or heavy armor, invest only as much dexterity as you think you'll need.

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What does this dex 10 dwarf straight-class rogue wear for armor that is worth a darn thing? Heavy armor, eating armor-check penalties to half his skills (and those penalties won't go away as they would if he were a fighter with Armor Training bonuses.) He could spend ten grand on MFP and have worse AC than a 1st level halfling in a 100gp chainshirt.

Since he's Dex10 in 15 point buy, he can be dex12 or 14 instead in 20 point buy. Easy. Now he has more AC than the halfling ever will, especially if he chooses to take combat expertise.

Also, masterwork full plate is not ten grand. It's 1,650. I don't know if you were insinuating that he was going to spend 10,000 gold on enchanting the armor up or something. Why would he do that?

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The strength rogue will always be second-fiddle to either in melee.

But he makes a terrific flank buddy and still hits very hard - harder than the dexterity rogue, who is third or fourth fiddle in melee. I love my DEX rogues in Unchained (they're amazing there), but in Core a strength-based dwarf or half-orc is my jam.

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I.e., the strength rogue will never "shine" like the iconic sneak should shine when it does something amazing that no martial at the table can do, like stealthily coup de gracing a whole barracks full of snoozing thugs.

Sure he can. You just have to get over this imaginary hurdle you've placed where strength-based rogues can't do what dex-based rogues do.

A strength-based character can still take Combat Expertise if he wants. That's not something you need dexterity for. His armor class can easily be equal to or higher than a halfling rogue's. His armor check penalty can be largely negated, or he can take off his armor when he needs to do certain things (like disarm a trap in PFS). He can wear breastplate for a happy medium between light armor and full plate. He can hit harder than a DEX rogue with a single weapon, and more accurately than a DEX rogue with two. And yes, he can still take all the same skills, and he'll do just fine at them.

Combat IS the bulk of encounters in modules, adventure paths, and in PFS scenarios. You may not like it, but it is. Yes, you can avoid some combat encounters with other skills and tricks; but Pathfinder's mechanics revolve around hacking and slashing. No, you shouldn't assume everyone you meet has a bullseye on their forehead and needs to be smashed into giblets. (Ire of the Storm is a great example of a module that punishes players for not considering the consequences of their actions, and is certainly a favorite of mine.) But at the end of the day, the big bad will need to have his teeth kicked in, most mooks will need to be killed or KO'd, and in general the GM is going to say the words "Roll for initiative" a fair bit.

Given that, and given that it's not actually bad at doing rogue stuff, a strength based rogue IS a good choice. You don't have to agree, but it's more than viable. In Core, it's *better* than a Dexterity rogue at combat, and not having to waste a feat on Weapon Finesse or enchantments on Agile means you can dedicate more gold to other things you want to have, or to bolstering roguish abilities you want to use. (Cloak of Elvenkind for 2500g? That's a good buy for a dwarf who already has souped up saving throws thanks to his racials and statistics.)


Ches pwn wrote:

Okay so bard, core, halfling.

Stealth, beat the rogues at that, you have the same bonuses, plus you can add heroism, invisibility and silence. So barb wins, at it's worse it's just as good as the rogue, at it's best it's way ahead. Heck, a halfling ranger, or monk also have just as good of a stealth as a rogue.

finding and disabling traps, so in core the rogue starts to pull ahead slightly at lv6 for finding and disabling traps compared to a heroism bard, and this also assumes that the bard gets DD as a class skill via trait.

you have far more effective skill points per level than a comparable rogue and you have spells to boost them too.

high charisma and UMD isn't something limited to a rogue, and the bard does it better since it actually has a spell list so it doesn't need to UMD everything.

They have enough skill points to climb up to a window, search for traps, pick the lock, sneak inside, more sneaking, and opening a door. Plus he could potentially just charm a guard if he finds one into being his friend and have him open the door maybe.
If a fight breaks out he can buff his fellow party members and cast spells or fight and and actually contribute to the fight rather than running away and maybe doing something "helpful" round 3 or 4 (short legs makes running around to flank pretty hard)

I'm not seeing any "outshining" going on. you are a tiny bit better at one thing, traps, than the bard, but worse or equal at everything else the rogue does, and then the bard has lots of options that the rogue doesn't have.

Okay. So, a 4th level bard gets to use those spells. You can easily turn a bard into a rogue. Especially since it's a subclass of Rogue... or it was in earlier editions. They don;t have subclasses anymore. If you play a bard for what it's meant to be, you're spending the (fewer) skill points on other things like more knowledges, performance, maybe a craft so the bard can paint or fix his lute. Rogues focus on stealth opening things that aren't for them to open, finding and disabling traps (including magical) so you and your buddies don't get incinerated. If you want to play powergamer and use a bard to make a rogue, feel free. But if you play each class for role-play aspect, each one has their own place... even a rogue.


I play a (mostly) traditional halfling rogue: Dexterity as highest score, depends on sneak attack, uses two weapons. Further I am also restricted to Core Rulebook, because it's the GM's first campaign. Most important lesson was: Don't try to be a one-trick pony, build a toolbox of options:

Use Acrobatics and Stealth on the battlefield.
Put at least one rank into each class skill.
Make sure you know the uses of your skills.
Switch between two melee weapons and one.
Get a sap for the cases where it's better to keep someone alive.
Ranged can be ok without feats, at least for a opening round.
Pick up Improved Feint and Greater Feint, if possible. The pain of Combat Expertise can be reduced with using the combat trick rogue talent (just 1 level of delay).
Turn to total defense if you can't do serious damage anyway.
Alternatively, use aid another, especially on very low level.
Pick up a level 1 spell (major magic) if you have the Int. Choose wisely.
Use your magic items.


Quandary wrote:
Seriously... If that's your game style and works for you then, great. But the OP explicitly said he's new to the game and asking the most basic questions.
"the game" he's playing is PFS Core". -- That's a new game for everybody. All that power-creep that everybody thinks the rogue needs to "keep up with" to be "viable" at high level is gone. To start with, you won't even get to high level anyway. Core is a detuned, relaxed atmosphere where you can have fun.
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So this isn't about game play in general, or Rogues as such, but how somebody with a weak grasp of basic game mechanics can most easily get into the game and find a moderate level of success at game options presented to them.

He said he hadn't played in thirty years, not that he didn't understand RPGs. (AD&D is a bigger pain in the ass to number-crunch than 3e. If you can handle THAC0, you can certainly play this game.)


Shorticus wrote:
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Apart from a free feat (Weapon Finesse) and saving money on a weapon enhancement (Agile), Unchained is overrated. My "chained" halfling rogue TWF'd, but also used a lance while mounted, shot a bow, threw nets and alchemicals, and UMD'd grease (you'd be surprised how lousy reflex saves remain in many adversaries even at higher levels). The point was, he always had a trick up his sleeve.
1. The Strength-based rogue is in no way WORSE at the same playstyle...
They're better in toe-to-toe melee combat; they're worse at everything else.
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2. That free feat and the free dex-to-damage go a LONG way to making a rogue more viable, especially since the Agile enchantment makes your subsequent enchantments more expensive. NEEDING to get that enchantment makes it harder to keep up should you ever reach a point when you could use that. Wouldn't you much rather be able to spend that money on a more thematic weapon enchantment? I would.
"thematic" (i.e., non-numeric) weapon-enhancements are usually traps (i.e., a 1d6 damage enhancement is usually not better than a straight +1 bonus). Is Agile nice? Oh yes. But it's only on one weapon. It's not on your bow, or your lance, or your net, or your satchel full of Tanglefoot bags. It's only on your 5' reach frogsticker, teasing you into thinking it's a bright idea to stand next to the monster with swallow whole to try to get an extra 5d6 sneak.
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Plus, you're ignoring the greater number of Rogue Talents available in non-Core Rogues...

Because this is not a non-core discussion.

(Mind you: I played a chained rogue in non-core PFS through season 2, which some of the veterans shudder in recollection of. I did just fine as a halfling with Two Weapon Fighting at 1st level who then segued into Rapid Shot archery and eventually let his sword grow rusty in its scabbard.)

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you're ignoring Skill Unlocks and....

Those are non-core.

Silver Crusade

I'd go Str-based, with however enough Dex to take also TWF.

Half-elf,
16+2 15 14 8 10 10

1- TWF, Skill Focus[Intimidate]
2- Weapon Training[Quarterstaff]
3- Power Attack
4- Combat Trick -> Dazzling Display (+1 to Dex, then Str)
5- Intimidating Prowess
6- Any
7- Any (Iron Will? Double Slice? Dazzling Display if you don't want to waste Combat Trick?)
8- Any (Combat Trick -> Shatter Defenses if you didn't use it before)
9- Shatter Defenses

Anytime you can't full attack or deal sneak attack, wield the quarterstaff 2H to pump up damage, otherwise go TWF. Always use Power Attack: in the first case you won't have TWF penalties, and you'll add 1.5x the bonus to damage; in the second case you'll be probably flanking, which offsets TWF penalties.

Before you get Dazzling Display, use Intimidate on single targets: -2 to hit and saves is a good debuff and the casters will be thankful. Once you get DD, it will be an area debuff.
Once you're lvl 9 (or 8), use DD first thing first at the beginning of the fight. Your high Intimidate score will ensure the debuff lasts a few rounds. After the first hit, enemies will be flat footed for you, which ensures no-dex to AC and sneak attack.

If Cruel enhancement is within core (I don't remember), then enhance one end of the weapon with it, to inflict another -2 to hit, saves and damage. Casters will love you.

If you dip 1 lvl into Barb or Fighter, consider going Half-orc instead if you want to use a double Orc-axe (in addition to all the other benefits).

Max Perception and Intimidate, and feel free to spend the remaining 5 skill ranks where you prefer. Dump Int to 7 if you don't mind losing an additional skill rank, and raise Cha to 12 for an extra +1 to Intimidate.


Chuck Mount wrote:
Okay. So, a 4th level bard gets to use those spells. You can easily turn a bard into a rogue. Especially since it's a subclass of Rogue... or it was in earlier editions. They don;t have subclasses anymore. If you play a bard for what it's meant to be, you're spending the (fewer) skill points on other things like more knowledges, performance, maybe a craft so the bard can paint or fix his lute. Rogues focus on stealth opening things that aren't for them to open, finding and disabling traps (including magical) so you and your buddies don't get incinerated. If you want to play powergamer and use a bard to make a rogue, feel free. But if you play each class for role-play aspect, each one has their own place... even a rogue.

Classes aren't "meant" to be played any certain way. Plus Bards have STEALTH as a class skill, so obviously they are meant to use that right? And the 4th level with spells is when the bard blows the rogue out of the water. Stealth for the bard and rogue with the same stats and ranks will be the same, before the bard uses spells.

Since you were saying that the rogue is taking the social skills cause he was meant to cause he has them all as class skills then the bard taking perform skill and then getting 2 socials off of that makes the bard getting 3 thematic and appropriate skills for the price of 1, and then at lv6 it gets to do that again. Since the rogue are obviously meant to be a face then the bard getting these for free count as real skill points and thus put the total skill points per level higher for the bard than the rogue.

And if the bard is taking craft to paint a lute than wouldn't a rogue be taking some sort of craft for his stuff? Like both have it as class skills so it's very strange to say that one should take it if the other doesn't.

Like had they never had the rogue class and instead listed bard class as the rogue class you'd be saying how clearly their role would be stealthing, even though their mechanics are the same, so stormwind fallacy is there, the name of my class doesn't decide the role my character is. Druids, wizards, bards all make good rogue characters, even in core.

If the rogues only use is dealing with (magical)traps by disabling them rather than using summons, dispel magic or some other solution to trigger it harmlessly then that's not a very useful role to be claiming.


Core "strength rogue" done right:

1 barbarian (half/human)
2 rogue

Call yourself a rogue. (Well, not when the cops are around.)

Str 14
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 12
Cha 14

Use a polearm. First feat is Combat Reflexes, next is Power Attack. You have three AoOs per round at 1st level.

You're less of a rogue than the classic halfling with higher intelligence, dexterity, and charisma, but you're not quite so far behind the tanks in melee crunch ability, and it's a lot easier to get flanks when you have reach wiggle room.


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Those are non-core.

I know. You explicitly were trying to convince me that the Unchained Rogue is barely any better than the chained rogue. I was using those to point out that you're flat out wrong. There's plenty to like about the Unchained Rogue that makes it SO much better than the core rogue. Even if all the Unchained Rogue got was free weapon finesse and Dex-to-damage, it still makes the traditional rogue playstyle that much more effective.

Strength rogues are the answer to most rogue woes in Core.

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They're better in toe-to-toe melee combat; they're worse at everything else.

Unless they use the gold they would have spent on Agile enchantments to bolster their skills, such as by slapping +stealth gear on their person, or other means.

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thematic" (i.e., non-numeric) weapon-enhancements are usually traps (i.e., a 1d6 damage enhancement is usually not better than a straight +1 bonus). Is Agile nice? Oh yes. But it's only on one weapon. It's not on your bow, or your lance, or your net, or your satchel full of Tanglefoot bags. It's only on your 5' reach frogsticker, teasing you into thinking it's a bright idea to stand next to the monster with swallow whole to try to get an extra 5d6 sneak.

But the point is you don't need Agile with a Strength-based character. You can, you know, spend the money wherever else you want. You could even just give your weapon another +attack/damage boost if you wanted to, since that's numeric, and numeric is so good.

Again, you seem to think that merely by investing in Strength you are crippling your rogue outside of combat. You are not. Wealth is a resource that comes in measured quantities; you'll be better at fighting and probably at whatever skills you want to be by focusing on strength.

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Core "strength rogue" done right:

1 barbarian (half/human)
2 rogue

Call yourself a rogue. (Well, not when the cops are around.)

Str 14
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 12
Cha 14

Use a polearm. First feat is Combat Reflexes, next is Power Attack. You have three AoOs per round at 1st level.

Why have 7 INT? That's pointlessly crippling your skill points, which let you be a Rogue. Why have 14 charisma? 10-12 is all you need at most. And if you're strength based, have 16 strength.

Combat Reflexes is a fun choice for this, yes, and with +2 DEX on an item you can wear masterwork breastplate easy. Barbarian helps a lot as a level 1 dip with this, yes.

You could just as easily have 16/14/14/12/11/12 at level 1, or flip CHA and WIS. 20 STR when raging means you'll hit pretty hard. Power attack helps. You can wear a spiked gauntlet for a backup melee weapon if you can't five foot free step for some reason (difficult terrain or poor decisions).

Your DEX is fine for ranged attacks. Backup javelins are a good idea. Your INT isn't crippled; your CHA is fine; your WIS is fine. Really, everything is perfectly good with that setup, and your 1 level dip makes you perfectly effective at smashing things.

Again: just because you're focused around Strength doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your ability to do other things. You can still have a satchel full of tanglefoot bags, you can still have ranged weapon backups, and you can still function as a rogue.

Also, other basic things to carry as a low level rogue? Marbles and caltrops; great if you're planning to lure enemies, or want to set up a trap when camping. A bell and string is great for attaching to doors as you rest for the night in a dungeon; could save your party's bacon if it wakes you up when a monster tries to stealth-kill you.


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If you are a new player, here's my advice-

The Pathfinder Core Rogue is widely considered to be the weakest class in the game. That doesn't mean you should not play one. It just means you should be aware that playing a rogue can be very frustrating. The things you envision your rogue being able to do will often not be backed up by mechanics.

If you want to get the very most out of your rogue, do your homework. There's quite a few fun rogue builds on the boards. Spend some time with the messageboard search function, check out the various rogue guides people have written, and steal ideas shamelessly.

More specifically-

You may find that Ranged combat works better for you than melee. It's the nature of the game. Melee rogues have a bad combination of fragility, low attack bonus, and the need to be very precisely placed to maximize their effectiveness. Archer rogues can get around pretty much all of that.

Invest in Craft Alchemy. Tanglefoot Bags will maintain their usefulness until around 10th level.

Invest in Craft Trap. Learn the trap rules well, and make re-usable, deployable traps. Shape the battlefield and out-think your enemies.

Invest in Use Magic Device. Stock up on scrolls, wands and other magical items. Think like batman. Have a utility belt.


Shorticus wrote:
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Those are non-core.
I know. You explicitly were trying to convince me that the Unchained Rogue is barely any better than the chained rogue. I was using those to point out that you're flat out wrong.
It's exactly as much better as I said it was: a feat and a weapon enhancement in Core. I didn't get anything wrong let alone "flat-out" so. (Yes, the new unchained skills rules are nice too, but they are not indigenous to the new archetype, although it does enjoy more of them. -- But a well-built chained rogue makes those skill-checks anyway. Mine did.)
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Strength rogues are the answer to most rogue woes in Core.

Said "woe" being "I don't do as much damage as full-BAB martials who I am sorely envious of, and thus I am feeling really inadequate". (Meanwhile, the martial with Cha 5 isn't crying because he has a subzero Diplomacy bonus. He just shrugs, because it goes with the territory of being awesome at what he is fabulous at.)

The actual solution for the damage-envious player is to play a tank if that's really interests them.

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But the point is you don't need Agile with a Strength-based character.

The str 10, dex 20 halfling doesn't need it either.

For example, the aforementioned drooling swallow whole monster whose poisonous saliva makes your anemic rogue fortitude save whimper like a spanked child -- Know what's the best rogue tactic against it? Spring Attack (after UMD'ing Expeditious Retreat) while the the party barbarian has a readied Vital Strike set to pound on the flank. He (not you) eats any rebound, which is the way it should be given he has twice the hitpoints and +8 the fort save.

But Paizo will happily sell you a new archetype if you want to get yourself killed. They are, after all, in the business of selling books.

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Quote:

Core "strength rogue" done right:

1 barbarian (half/human)
2 rogue

Call yourself a rogue. (Well, not when the cops are around.)

Str 14
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 12
Cha 14

Why have 7 INT? That's pointlessly crippling your skill points, which let you be a Rogue.

No, you just have fewer maxed skills. Probably about four, with the rest sprinkled around. Allowances have to be made if you want high numbers and str isn't going to be the dump stat.

You'll still be getting 6 skills per level, or twice that of the average BSF you're to emulate in a strength build. An ioun stone and a bump at 8th up that by 33% if you're feeling the pinch.

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Why have 14 charisma?
Because 15/14/14/14/12/7 is the most positive-bonus dense 20 point array. (One of those 14s was supposed to be a 15.) Those only two 20pt arrays that are better are 15/14/12/12/12/12 and 14/14/13/13/12/12. But they're very even spreads of butter over your toast. (15/14/12/12/12/12 is quite decent in a gnome bard.)
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And if you're strength based, have 16 strength.

Or you could play a barbarian who rages to 22 at 1st level, that being a class that is designed for melee. The rogue is not. His job is to solve problems, open the door from other side after climbing in the 3rd story window, haggle with low-life scum while the paladin waits outside, survive ancillary damage (Evasion) in battles, and, on rare occasion, be the one PC smart enough to hide until the near-TPK has concluded and he can sneak a finger from every corpse and head back to town, thereby preventing "nonrecoverable character death".


Doomed Hero wrote:

The Pathfinder Core Rogue is widely considered to be the weakest class in the game. That doesn't mean you should not play one. It just means you should be aware that playing a rogue can be very frustrating. The things you envision your rogue being able to do will often not be backed up by mechanics.

If you want to get the very most out of your rogue, do your homework. There's quite a few fun rogue builds on the boards. Spend some time with the messageboard search function, check out the various rogue guides people have written, and steal ideas shamelessly.

99% of those, regrettably, will not be Core.
Quote:
You may find that Ranged combat works better for you than melee.

It is quite easy to do both in Core:

halfling 20pt
Str 11
Dex 15
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 14
Cha 14

1 fighter1 Two Weapon Fighting, Quick Draw
2 rogue1
3 rogue2 (finesse rogue) Improved Initiative
4 rogue3 ...raise dexterity, buy belt
5 rogue4 (combat trick: Point Blank Shot) Rapid Shot

This well-rounded, combat-oriented rogue has two attacks in melee or ranged combat by 5th, can swap weapons instantly, can use any martial weapon, can use quickdraw shields (not core, but I digress), is proficient in medium armor, and has saves better than most human PCs. He'll be +15 Stealth at 4th level.


Its not a feat and a weapon enhancement

its a feat
a weapon enhcancement
another feat for debilitating strike
another feat for the other options on debilitating strike
Another feat for the skill unlocks.

So thats.. twice as much feat as a typical rogue inside of PFS levels.


I played a chained rogue for three years through the worst PFS seasons, and never once felt suboptimal.

<sneaky avatar does that scoundrel grin>

I catered to the strengths of the class, and didn't try to jam the things it wasn't designed for which martial classes did much better out of the box. They had their areas of expertise, and I had mine.


Slim Jim wrote:

I catered to the strengths of the class, and didn't try to jam the things it wasn't designed for which martial classes did much better out of the box. They had their areas of expertise, and I had mine.

The rogue has serious mechanical issues.

That issue is not that people don't know how to play.

I have never seen claims of better play fixing the rogues problems actually list anything specific enough to be actionable or justify the attitude that the problem is the other persons skill level.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

I catered to the strengths of the class, and didn't try to jam the things it wasn't designed for which martial classes did much better out of the box. They had their areas of expertise, and I had mine.

The rogue has serious mechanical issues.

At doing what? Melee combat?

<shrug>

Quote:
That issue is not that people don't know how to play.

Sure it is. There is this class, that if you look right at it, does not have full bab or a strong fort-save, and is obviously skill-based, and seems intuitively designed for small characters (even if the iconic is this brainless elf shag-carpeted in daggers), halflings in particular. ...And the player proceeds to completely ignore all of that rather obvious information to plop a 16 or 18 in strength (at the expense of his other stats in point-buy), doesn't bother with UMD or stealth, dumps int or cha or both, and designs a melee that is in no way going to handle anything that a well-built fighter or barbarian can't cut down in one round. But those sneak-attack dice are doing the sparkly thing in the player's eyes...it's all they can see. They gotta be going for 'em every moment, all the time.

- Such failed will-save tactics have nothing to do with "mechanical issues" that might manifest beyond some point (say, 12th level, when the game rather quickly transforms into a pure caster show in which the only thing that keeps you alive is having the perfectly-tailored piece of defensive gear in every item slot.)

I saw bards get ripped in half in PFS just as quickly, but no one calls them underpowered because they have spells. -- Like that helped after they poked the monster for 15 and then it turned around and unloaded five attacks. Then it was a don't-know-how-to-play-bards problem, not a bard-problem. But rogue doesn't get the same consideration.

Heck, rangers and monks have decent fort-saves, and I saw them get ripped in half. Even saw barbarians get ripped in half. (Actually, I've seen more barbarians get ripped in half than any other class, but that's another story.)

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