Rogues and the Core Failing of the Stealth Skill


Classes


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My playtest party has a rogue. She assumed that, as per PF1, a rogue attacking from stealth would get the benefit of sneak attack. If you were to attack while sneaking, one would assume the sneak attack would apply.

This is incorrect. If you attack while stealthed, you become seen, specifically stating they are not flat footed. So, you can't stealth sneak attack someone, okay. Assassins are out.

So you want to be a multiattack rogue. You wanna get that sweet sneak attack multiattack before the beefy monster desecrates your existence. You've gotta get the enemy flat footed SOMEHOW. Reading the rogue class it tells you Flat Footed info is on page 322 or something. You check. It's a simple line about what FF IS, not how to inflict it. So you look at your feats. Nope. Not at early levels anyway. You wonder, as a new player, how?

An experienced Pathfinder could tell you 'bluff, obviously' but how would a newbie know to even CHECK the Deceive skill? Why would you think you should check a skill to activate your core class feature? There's no connection if you don't think you should look.

So you can't effectively triple attack and sneak attack since sneak requires an action to potentially make an enemy fat footed to one strike. You need a flanking partner. Once again, the assassination style is DOA. A rogue REQUIRES another melee to be effective in drawn out combat. And with a ranged rogue, you don't even get that, unless I missed something and ranged weapons give you flanking.

How is one supposed to play a rogue as anything other than a shortsword wielding soft fighter? What's the core class identity they're trying to go for? It just seems like rogue exists to give every other melee class something to multiclass from for a free d6 on flanking.

Am I missing something?


Virellius wrote:

My playtest party has a rogue. She assumed that, as per PF1, a rogue attacking from stealth would get the benefit of sneak attack. If you were to attack while sneaking, one would assume the sneak attack would apply.

This is incorrect. If you attack while stealthed, you become seen, specifically stating they are not flat footed. So, you can't stealth sneak attack someone, okay. Assassins are out.

So you want to be a multiattack rogue. You wanna get that sweet sneak attack multiattack before the beefy monster desecrates your existence. You've gotta get the enemy flat footed SOMEHOW. Reading the rogue class it tells you Flat Footed info is on page 322 or something. You check. It's a simple line about what FF IS, not how to inflict it. So you look at your feats. Nope. Not at early levels anyway. You wonder, as a new player, how?

An experienced Pathfinder could tell you 'bluff, obviously' but how would a newbie know to even CHECK the Deceive skill? Why would you think you should check a skill to activate your core class feature? There's no connection if you don't think you should look.

So you can't effectively triple attack and sneak attack since sneak requires an action to potentially make an enemy fat footed to one strike. You need a flanking partner. Once again, the assassination style is DOA. A rogue REQUIRES another melee to be effective in drawn out combat. And with a ranged rogue, you don't even get that, unless I missed something and ranged weapons give you flanking.

How is one supposed to play a rogue as anything other than a shortsword wielding soft fighter? What's the core class identity they're trying to go for? It just seems like rogue exists to give every other melee class something to multiclass from for a free d6 on flanking.

Am I missing something?

Bluff, Flank, Knock the enemy prone, all of which render the enemy flat footed.


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Those aren't solutions. The point is that you can't sneak attack...by sneaking.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

None of which is mentioned in the rogue section, or even alluded to in the blurb on flat footed.

Also, I did address flanking. My main point was stealth. Why can't a rogue sneak attack after sneaking and going to attack? It's senseless. Sneak attack should be called something else if it can't function under its own name.


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p118 (rogues) says
SURPRISE ATTACK
On the first round of combat, creatures that haven’t acted are flat-footed to you.

Which is nice, so if you're using Stealth for initiative you're probably good. So you can assassinate someone that way. But if combatencounter mode has already started (even if you weren't involved) you're SOL.

Which is stupid.


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I made a thread over here on how Sneak Attacking works.


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Take these two feats, or just very sneaky if you're a goblin already. You can't do it every time, but when you crit succeed it works.
-Adopted Ancestry (goblin)
-Very Sneaky


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ErichAD wrote:

Take these two feats, or just very sneaky if you're a goblin already. You can't do it every time, but when you crit succeed it works.

-Adopted Ancestry (goblin)
-Very Sneaky

I like it.

Grand Lodge

Note that you won't know until after you start your attack, whether you are going to get sneak attack or not...


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I suppose there's probably some reason mechanically that sneaking characters shouldn't get +2 to hit on one attack, thematically this just feels bad to play.

When the rogue spends time sneaking up on someone and then doesn't get to sneak attack then, the result of the rogue player is confusion and disappointment.

You should be able to sneak attack by sneaking and then attacking.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

While I suppose there's probably some reason mechanically that sneaking characters shouldn't get +2 to hit on one attack, thematically this just feels bad to play.

When the rogue spends time sneaking up on someone and then doesn't get to sneak attack then, the result of the rogue player is confusion and disappointment.

You should be able to sneak attack by sneaking and then attacking.

I could not agree more. Since D & D 1st edition, the rogue's signature ability was to sneak up to a target and back stab his opponent. It is a iconic element of the class. Although I understand the many ways a rogue can sneak attack a target in PF, why not just include backstabbing an opponent from stealth again?; especially now that there is a new edition coming out.


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Plus there's the immersion question of how, no matter the circumstances, you always get seen the instant before you strike. Even a common peasant must have anime-level reaction times.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Plus there's the immersion question of how, no matter the circumstances, you always get seen the instant before you strike. Even a common peasant must have anime-level reaction times.

H-he's fast!

Dark Archive

I tried to play a rogue, im so sad im rerolling. Seriously, for that exact reason. I cant sneak. Tried ranged, always wanted to "assassin" playstyle - nope. Recreated the character for melee (... my fun experience just went downhill at this point, but ok lets go..), same. Totally dependable, circumstantial and embarrassing to play cuz i just CANT FREAKING SNEAK ATTACK. I mean... well idk, the OP already said it all, im just here to support. I CHANGED my class, refused to play the rogue i always wanted because i cant stealth > sneak. The mechanic made me put my character away. Not having any fun... And whats with ranged weapons still not getting any damage from Dex modifier?


They did release an errata today so you can get sneak attack from sneaking at least.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's on the Pathfinder Playtest page, in the downloads section, under 'Rules Updates'.

Dark Archive

Thanks, anyway, lets see how it works now.

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