Do Rogues Really Need A Skill Bump?


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I don't like using the term, "Sacred Cow."

This is one rare case that I will.

Rogues were always given high amounts of skills (post 2nd Edition AD&D) because, presumably, they were inferior in combat and lacked the raw out-of-combat abilities of Spellcasters.

I feel that Rogues do not possess significant enough combat disadvantages to warrant them having such a high degree of out-of-combat skill advantages.

They have the highest number of trained skills by far.
They have the highest number of skill raises.
They have the highest number of master and legendary skills.
They were given even more skill advantages in 1.2.

They are the highest damaging melee class when they sneak attack.
Sneak Attack is very easy to get in PF2.

The only reason I see for the skill increases is because the Rogue traditionally has high skills.

This is not the same as other traditions as this only reaches back to 3.0 or 3.X.

This was a tradition born for a specific mechanical reason that does not exist in PF2.

So with all of the data present, it begs the question in the title:

"Do Rogues Really Need A Skill Bump?"

My answer is no. They are not sufficiently weaker in combat than say a Fighter, Ranger, or Paladin to warrant their current level of out of combat abilities.


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They certainly don't need fewer skills. There needs to be a class that focuses on skills. Rogues are it.

It has not been my experience that they are the highest damage - even when sneak attacking - that honour goes to a barbarian with a great axe.

They don't have the incombat durability of a fighter (who will also crit far more often) or paladin.

they don't have spells or alchemy.

So no, I disagree. They need 'something' and skills are it.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
They are the highest damaging melee class when they sneak attack.

While I agree rogues are pretty great in this edition, this particular assertion has not been my experience, based on damage calculations comparing rogues to the other martial classes. They're not massively far behind, but even if they sneak attack on every attack, they're a little behind 2-handing rangers and Tiger claw monks, and significantly behind 2-handing fighters.

Given that their skill raises really only put them at +1 or +2 ahead of other classes, and most of the skill feats are fairly underwhelming, I'm not too concerned about rogues getting too many goodies.


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Hello, the Bard called and wants to have a word.

Performance / Occult + 6 Skills + Int Modifier at character creation with the ability to do the majority of your skill rolls using a single skill?

Rogues are not in a bad place but they could be better.

They are definitely not on the level of combat as Fighters. They do not have the spellcasting of Bards. They do not have the Alchemical options that Alchemist does.


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What skill increase do you mean? They get the same number of skills as before: 10 + Int trained skills at level 1. With the 1.2 update, one of those skills must be Stealth or Thievery, but the overall number of skills they get remain the same.

They are nowhere near the highest damaging melee class. I'll just compare a Rogue using Rapier and Shortsword vs. a Fighter using a Greatsword at level 20. Here are the conditions:

Both characters are fully optimized, Rogue has +33 to hit, and Fighter has +35. Both are attacking a Pit Fiend with 44 AC, using as many Strikes as they can in a turn.

The Rogue needs the target to be flat-footed to apply Sneak Attack, so it's only fair the Fighter gets the same benefit. The Fighter can be permanently Quick at level 20, so it's only fair the Rogue gets to do so as well.

Fighter turn is 4 Strikes doing 6d12+7 damage each (avg 46 dmg)

Rogue turn is 4 Strikes doing 10d6+7 damage each (avg 42 dmg), and they deal 3d10 extra damage on the first crit.

Fighter has 70% accuracy, so his damage is:

1st Strike: 0.5 * (46) + 0.2 * (92) = 41.4
2nd Strike: 0.4 * (46) + 0.05 * (92) = 23
3rd+ Strike: 0.15 * (46) + 0.05 * (92) = 11.5

Total damage = 41.4 + 23 + 11.5 + 11.5 = 87.4

Rogue has 60% accuracy, so his damage is:

1st Strike: 0.5 * (42) + 0.1 * (84+16.5) = 31.05
2nd Strike: 0.35 * (42) + 0.05 * (84) = 18.9
3rd+ Strike: 0.15 * (42) + 0.05 * (84) = 10.5

Total damage = 31.05 + 18.9 + 10.5 + 10.5 = 70.95

The damage difference is pretty clear, and this is not taking into account that the Fighter can use Certain Strike for more damage on his subsequent attacks, or the fact that they can sacrifice their reaction to make a 5th Strike. The Rogue can use Debilitating Strike to apply Weakness 5 to his future attacks, but that requires hitting on his first attack.

Even if we were to apply the 5 additional damage from weakness right at the start, the Rogue's damage would be 79.2, still not close to the Fighter.

The Rogue did not get a skill bump in Update 1.2, and they are not the most damaging melee class, not by a long shot. Please stop asserting these things, as they are not true.


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"Sacred cow" is a racial slur used to insult Hindu culture. It's good that people don't use it.

I'm curious about intimate rogues now, seems frightened got better, and Dread Striker is the best feat for rogues who can now get something like +4 to hit by using demoralize before striking.


Those who are refuting the "highest damage" are only right when comparing themselves to two handed, specifically d12 weapons.

Compared to 1 handed weapons, such as the d8 longsword...

Level 1:
Longsword: 1d8+4 (avg 8-9)
Shortsword SA: 2d6+4 (avg 11)

Level 5:
+1 Longsword: 2d8+4 (avg 13)
+1 Shortsword SA: 4d6+4 (avg 18)

Level 10:
+2 Longsword: 3d8+5 (avg 18-19)
+2 Shortsword SA: 5d6+5 (avg 22-23)

Level 15:
+3 Longsword: 4d8+5 (avg 23)
+3 Shortsword SA: 7d6+5 (avg 29-30)

Level 20:
+5 Longsword: 6d8+7 (avg 34)
+5 Shortsword SA: 10d6+7 (avg 42)

-----

Yes a d12 2 handed sword *might* hit harder, but this is still harder hitting than anyone else.


HWalsh wrote:

"Do Rogues Really Need A Skill Bump?"

My answer is no.

I agree. When skills were spread out to 30+ skills, it made sense in order to make a good thief. That's no longer the case.

There's no real reason that a Rogue needs to be "the skill class" anymore than any other class. Maybe a few more skills points, but not 10. And not the skill increases either.

In literature, thieves are certainly not the most knowledgeable in skill (except as thieves), actually they are typically the least knowledgeable (because they'd rather be carousing than learning).

Then again, in PF2 I feel there aren't enough skill increases in general.


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Gloom wrote:

Hello, the Bard called and wants to have a word.

Performance / Occult + 6 Skills + Int Modifier at character creation with the ability to do the majority of your skill rolls using a single skill?

Not sure what you're referring to? Versatile Performance allows them to do three specific things using Performance (Make an Impression, Demoralize, and Impersonate) and Inspire Competence is only for assisting an ally, not your own rolls...


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FYI

The d12 weapons:

1d12+4 avg 10-11 (equal to shortsword sa damage)

+1 2d12+4 avg 17 (1 lower than SS SA dmg)

+2 3d12+5 avg 19-21 (vs 22-23)

+3 4d12+5 avg 31 (vs 29-30)

+5 6d12+7 avg 39 (vs 42)

-----

So no. D12 weapons don't hit harder than d6 sneak attack hits. Save for a brief window.

So yeah. The highest damage melee class is the rogue.


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I don't get it, you claim the Rogue does the highest damage among melee characters, someone points out that they don't and gives a counterexample, how can you still claim they are the best damage dealers?

Someone using a d8 weapon is either using a Shield for defense, dueling to apply crowd control via things like Combat Grab, or fighting with two weapons. Aside from the last option (TWF), those using a 1H-weapon are not setting out to be DPR kings or anything. So if a Rogue outdamages them, so what? Rogues are supposed to do damage under the right conditions.

Comparing a Rogue who's trying to maximize damage vs. another character who might not be doing so is disingenuous. Also, you're again ignoring accuracy and how it factors into things. Keep in mind that other melee classes (with the exception of the Barbarian) are more accurate than the Rogue.

Rogues also are stuck with 1 handed Finesse weapons, so they do not have access to weapons with good traits for DPR, such as the Orc Necksplitter or the Falchion, both have Forceful, a great trait for damage.

But hey, maybe next you'll change your goalpost to "the Rogue is better than the average melee character". Well here's a very average Fighter using a Longsword.

Here's the math:

Fighter with Longsword and 70% accuracy:

1st Strike: 0.5 * (34) + 0.2 * (68) = 30.6
2nd Strike: 0.4 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) = 17
3rd+ Strike: 0.15 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) = 8.5

4 Strikes damage = 30.6 + 17 + 8.5 + 8.5 = 64.6

Looks like if you move the goalpost far enough, the Rogue is indeed doing more damage per round than another melee character. But if we apply just a bit of optimization:

Fighter with Longsword and 70% accuracy, using Certain Strikes:

1st Strike: 0.5 * (34) + 0.2 * (68) = 30.6
2nd Certain Strike: 0.4 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) + 0.45 * (13) = 22.85
3rd+ Certain Strike: 0.15 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) + 0.45 * (13) = 14.35

Strike + 3 Certain Strikes damage = 30.6 + 22.85 + 14.35 + 14.35 = 82.15

Hmm, looks like the Rogue can't beat a Fighter whose only optimization trick was taking a level 10 feat. I don't think that bodes very well for the Rogue's claim as the class that can deal the "highest damage".

How about a Fighter with TWF?

I'll skip the formulas, because I believe I've shown my work enough by now. A vanilla TWF Fighter using a Longsword + Shortsword and nothing else does:

65.6 damage with 4 Strikes
75.4 damage with Double Slice followed by 2 Strikes, and
87.1 damage with Double Slice followed by 2 Certain Strikes

That's not accounting for things like Agile Grace or Two-Weapon Flurry, which can affect damage more.

How about another class that supports TWF? Like the Ranger? The Ranger's Hunt Target is basically a better form of Agile Grace, letting you make attacks at 0/-2/-4 instead of 0/-3/-6. For a Ranger, the expected damage is:

27.2+16.8+14+14=72 damage using a Longsword + Shortsword combo. Is that higher than the Rogue? Why yes, yes it is.

Ok, but you can't always expect to be able to full attack each round. On a single swing, the Rogue should do more damage than someone wielding a d8 weapon, right? Not quite. The Rogue, as I said, has lower accuracy than the Fighter and Ranger. If you scroll up a bit, you can compare the expected damage of the first Strike for these characters:

Rogue: 10d6+7, 60% accuracy, expected 1st Strike damage is 31.05
Fighter: 6d8+7, 70% accuracy, expected 1st Strike damage is 30.6
Ranger: 6d8+7, 65% accuracy, expected 1st Strike damage is 27.2

So the Rogue can expected to deal about 3.85 more damage than the ranger and 0.45 more damage than the Fighter on the first Strike of a turn. That's with the other classes using a d8 weapon, the most vanilla of weapons with no additional bells and whistles. That's not a lot, is it? Add another Strike in and apply some light optimization, and suddenly the Rogue is not looking so hot as the highest damage dealing class.

The Rogue's damage does not need to be decreased. It's in a fine spot right now. It's neither the most damaging nor the least damaging class, and occupies a spot somewhere in the middle.

Also, the way you reach your conclusions is faulty since you continue to ignore any accuracy considerations when making those comparisons.

I don't think there's anything more I can do to convince you, since you seem to be convinced you are right. For anyone else reading this thread, you can come to your own conclusions by looking at evidence presented on both sides.


Pramxnim wrote:

I don't get it, you claim the Rogue does the highest damage among melee characters, someone points out that they don't and gives a counterexample, how can you still claim they are the best damage dealers?

Someone using a d8 weapon is either using a Shield for defense, dueling to apply crowd control via things like Combat Grab, or fighting with two weapons. Aside from the last option (TWF), those using a 1H-weapon are not setting out to be DPR kings or anything. So if a Rogue outdamages them, so what? Rogues are supposed to do damage under the right conditions.

Comparing a Rogue who's trying to maximize damage vs. another character who might not be doing so is disingenuous. Also, you're again ignoring accuracy and how it factors into things. Keep in mind that other melee classes (with the exception of the Barbarian) are more accurate than the Rogue.

Rogues also are stuck with 1 handed Finesse weapons, so they do not have access to weapons with good traits for DPR, such as the Orc Necksplitter or the Falchion, both have Forceful, a great trait for damage.

But hey, maybe next you'll change your goalpost to "the Rogue is better than the average melee character". Well here's a very average Fighter using a Longsword.

Here's the math:

Fighter with Longsword and 70% accuracy:

1st Strike: 0.5 * (34) + 0.2 * (68) = 30.6
2nd Strike: 0.4 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) = 17
3rd+ Strike: 0.15 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) = 8.5

4 Strikes damage = 30.6 + 17 + 8.5 + 8.5 = 64.6

Looks like if you move the goalpost far enough, the Rogue is indeed doing more damage per round than another melee character. But if we apply just a bit of optimization:

Fighter with Longsword and 70% accuracy, using Certain Strikes:

1st Strike: 0.5 * (34) + 0.2 * (68) = 30.6
2nd Certain Strike: 0.4 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) + 0.45 * (13) = 22.85
3rd+ Certain Strike: 0.15 * (34) + 0.05 * (68) + 0.45 * (13) = 14.35

Strike + 3 Certain Strikes damage = 30.6 + 22.85 + 14.35 + 14.35 = 82.15

Hmm, looks like the Rogue...

You're also ignoring the fact that I'm not assuming an optimized rogue either. I'm comparing base rogue sneak attack with a base weapon. Your accuracy calculations aren't taking into account the flat footed bonus or lower MAP of the rogue.

If we want to start optimizing against a level 10 fighter with Certain Strikes, which isn't that good unless hyper optimized, then we have to start doing weirdness with the rogue too.

They are also starting with a very high accuracy percentage that usually hasn't been accurate to the playtests.


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I am taking into account BOTH the flat-footed penalty AND the fact that the Rogue employs agile weapons. The accuracy percentage comes from the fact that the enemy is flat-footed.

Did you even read my post?


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I have to be honest, I prefer rogues as "the good at skills" class to rogues as "the sneak attack/DPR" class.

Like my favorite rogue archetype in PF1 was the Phantom Thief, one of the only archetypes (I think the 2nd is in Planar Adventures) to trade away Sneak Attack.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I have to be honest, I prefer rogues as "the good at skills" class to rogues as "the sneak attack/DPR class".

Like my favorite rogue archetype in PF1 was the Phantom Thief, one of the only archetypes (I think the 2nd is in Planar Adventures) to trade away Sneak Attack.

I'm with you there.

I hate this weird "Rogues must be stellar in combat!" Thing.

My Rogue back in the AD&D days sucked in combat. He hit for wet noodle damage even when sneak attacking, well backstabbing. (1d6+1 ×2 is still only an avg of 8-9 damage.) Especially since there was none of this "flank" nonsense to help.

Sneak attack was a very rare thing.

My Rogue was there to unlock doors and detect traps and that was good enough for us back in the day.


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HWalsh wrote:

I don't like using the term, "Sacred Cow."

This is one rare case that I will.

Rogues were always given high amounts of skills (post 2nd Edition AD&D) because, presumably, they were inferior in combat and lacked the raw out-of-combat abilities of Spellcasters.

I feel that Rogues do not possess significant enough combat disadvantages to warrant them having such a high degree of out-of-combat skill advantages.

They have the highest number of trained skills by far.
They have the highest number of skill raises.
They have the highest number of master and legendary skills.
They were given even more skill advantages in 1.2.

They are the highest damaging melee class when they sneak attack.
Sneak Attack is very easy to get in PF2.

The only reason I see for the skill increases is because the Rogue traditionally has high skills.

This is not the same as other traditions as this only reaches back to 3.0 or 3.X.

This was a tradition born for a specific mechanical reason that does not exist in PF2.

So with all of the data present, it begs the question in the title:

"Do Rogues Really Need A Skill Bump?"

My answer is no. They are not sufficiently weaker in combat than say a Fighter, Ranger, or Paladin to warrant their current level of out of combat abilities.

First of all 1.2 was a direct nerf to rogues because they had the highest opportunity to get signature skills to above master and legendary which are now more available to all classes.

Skills are extremely easy to invest in with no restrictions for all, rogues getting more opportunities to increase skills only makes them more versatile which generally is not overpowered or unbalancing, only less disadvantaged in less situations.

Also your assertion that they deal the most damage is completely unfounded. With the new critical system, critical bonuses, and rogues having few ways to get bonuses they quite simply need sneak attack just to maintain a reasonable presence in combat.

In short, after first edition wildly nerfed rogues by making skills so easily attainable and washing out their role as the glass cannon, I couldn't disagree with you more on your position.


I think they went a little too overboard with it as well. I definitely would like a trade off of less skills overall and more reliability/dmg on combat, so that the class don't suffer just because of that.

Double the skill feats will just get worse overtime, when new feats will make the class even better, to the point of trumping any other skill-focused class that has less combat capabilities. Paizo could either remove the Skill Feat at every level and keep the sheer amount of trained skills or go at it about the other way and bring rogues down a peg (from 9->6), keeping the main strength and difference intact.


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rogues are not in the same league as fighters damage wise. rogues are in a good place currently.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Honestly, I think they should give Rogues even more skill tricks and focus. It has been their shtick since 3rd Edition and has remained that way since then. Even prior to that they still were the only ones that could deal with certain situations that required a large amount of training.

If they killed off the skill proficiency of Rogues only to make them more combat focused then I feel like it would only lose its point as a class. You just as well should be playing a Fighter at that point. One focused in Stealth kills and Combat Tactics. Maybe pick up Rogue Dedication for some boosts to those and Sneak Attack.

Stop trying to rain on Rogue's parade.

Scarab Sages

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Oh look its another Acrobatic, Athletic, Deceptive, Nature, Religious, Diplomatic, Society, Stealthy, Survivalist, Thieving Rogue. Yep just like all the other rogues. I am surprised no one has mentioned that since the skills got consolidated from PF1, now it's as if starting out the Rogue is trained in basically everything. # just feels wrong. My recommendation to the design team is just knock it down to 8 skills, and instead let them make any 2 of their other skills start as expert. Ya let them be better at two of their choice, more interesting decisions.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm going to call BS on that. When you have Bards rocking 6 + Int skills out of the gate plus two other bonus skills trained they're already right next to Rogues in terms of skills.

If you don't want to have a ton of trained skills at the start then focus on things that are purely physical and Rogueish.

Acrobatics, Athletics, Deceptive, Society, Stealthy, Thievery. Throw in a couple lore skills to represent things that you've had experience with.

Lores like:

* Labor
* Alcohol
* Underworld

Also keep in mind, just because you're trained in a skill does not mean you're amazing at it. It's just basic proficiency.


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Luceon wrote:
Oh look its another Acrobatic, Athletic, Deceptive, Nature, Religious, Diplomatic, Society, Stealthy, Survivalist, Thieving Rogue. Yep just like all the other rogues. I am surprised no one has mentioned that since the skills got consolidated from PF1, now it's as if starting out the Rogue is trained in basically everything. # just feels wrong. My recommendation to the design team is just knock it down to 8 skills, and instead let them make any 2 of their other skills start as expert. Ya let them be better at two of their choice, more interesting decisions.

Being trained doesn't provide anymore benefit than losing a -2 at the moment and rogues can only advance 6 total skills to legendary if they forsake every other skill to trained or untrained.

So quite literally your example would have a rogue be legendary (and reminder bad at everything else) at 6 of those, not all ten, trained in 4 and untrained in 7

With the state of proficiency and skill feats as they are now, I don't see how the above is anything outside a relatively trivial benefit in niche moments outside combat. Narratively it means they have more opportunities to make an attempt, but only 50% more often are those attempts going to be +3 better, and they are not going to align with everyone else's Skill choices in a semi filled out party composition.

It may be annecdotal but what are people seeing in their playtest that merits a nerf?


I do think rogues should be more combat focused, and it should consume the niche and features of the duelist and swashbuckler, it already has the precision damage feature, DEX to damage, and Dread Striker which trades an action to gain a +3 bonus to attack (post errata).


Midnightoker wrote:
Luceon wrote:
Oh look its another Acrobatic, Athletic, Deceptive, Nature, Religious, Diplomatic, Society, Stealthy, Survivalist, Thieving Rogue. Yep just like all the other rogues. I am surprised no one has mentioned that since the skills got consolidated from PF1, now it's as if starting out the Rogue is trained in basically everything. # just feels wrong. My recommendation to the design team is just knock it down to 8 skills, and instead let them make any 2 of their other skills start as expert. Ya let them be better at two of their choice, more interesting decisions.

Being trained doesn't provide anymore benefit than losing a -2 at the moment and rogues can only advance 6 total skills to legendary if they forsake every other skill to trained or untrained.

So quite literally your example would have a rogue be legendary (and reminder bad at everything else) at 6 of those, not all ten, trained in 4 and untrained in 7

With the state of proficiency and skill feats as they are now, I don't see how the above is anything outside a relatively trivial benefit in niche moments outside combat. Narratively it means they have more opportunities to make an attempt, but only 50% more often are those attempts going to be +3 better, and they are not going to align with everyone else's Skill choices in a semi filled out party composition.

It may be annecdotal but what are people seeing in their playtest that merits a nerf?

I think the common joke at my tables has been, "It is faster to just pick the skills you aren't trained in."

Silver Crusade

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Just being trained in a skill doesn't make you good at it. To be good at a particular skill, you need a good modifier in the appropriate stat (and get the right items later on).


HWalsh wrote:

I think the common joke at my tables has been, "It is faster to just pick the skills you aren't trained in."

Well I'm not really sure how trained makes so much of a difference that this matters, but are you saying they need less skill increases in general or just picks at first level?

The former I firmly think is silly, the latter possibly but I still don't see why this is unbalanced if all you have is a joke to back up a nerf.

Scarab Sages

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Midnightoker wrote:
Luceon wrote:
Oh look its another Acrobatic, Athletic, Deceptive, Nature, Religious, Diplomatic, Society, Stealthy, Survivalist, Thieving Rogue. Yep just like all the other rogues. I am surprised no one has mentioned that since the skills got consolidated from PF1, now it's as if starting out the Rogue is trained in basically everything. # just feels wrong. My recommendation to the design team is just knock it down to 8 skills, and instead let them make any 2 of their other skills start as expert. Ya let them be better at two of their choice, more interesting decisions.

Being trained doesn't provide anymore benefit than losing a -2 at the moment and rogues can only advance 6 total skills to legendary if they forsake every other skill to trained or untrained.

So quite literally your example would have a rogue be legendary (and reminder bad at everything else) at 6 of those, not all ten, trained in 4 and untrained in 7

With the state of proficiency and skill feats as they are now, I don't see how the above is anything outside a relatively trivial benefit in niche moments outside combat. Narratively it means they have more opportunities to make an attempt, but only 50% more often are those attempts going to be +3 better, and they are not going to align with everyone else's Skill choices in a semi filled out party composition.

It may be annecdotal but what are people seeing in their playtest that merits a nerf?

I think you may be misunderstanding me. If I was A Rogue I would rather have my designed option. I am saying instead of the way it is now with 10 trained skills, instead you get 8 trained skills, then choose two of those and they go to expert proficiency. In Summary, a level 1 rogue starting out would get 6+INT mod trained proficiency skills, and 2 Expert proficiency skills of their choice.


Luceon wrote:


I think you may be misunderstanding me. If I was A Rogue I would rather have my designed option. I am saying instead of the way it is now with 10 trained skills, instead you get 8 trained skills, then choose two of those and they go to expert proficiency. In Summary, a level 1 rogue starting out would get 6+INT mod trained proficiency skills, and 2 Expert proficiency skills of their choice.

Indeed I was. I think your assertion would be fine! I'm more than happy to distribute versatility for specialization, but a straight up removal seems unwarranted.


Meanwhile.. the Alchemist laments into the night over both skill amount and combat potential xD


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HWalsh wrote:

I hate this weird "Rogues must be stellar in combat!" Thing.

My Rogue back in the AD&D days sucked in combat. He hit for wet noodle damage even when sneak attacking, well backstabbing. (1d6+1 ×2 is still only an avg of 8-9 damage.) Especially since there was none of this "flank" nonsense to help.

Sneak attack was a very rare thing.

My Rogue was there to unlock doors and detect traps and that was good enough for us back in the day.

Back in the day we were young and everything seemed fresh and exciting.

But I remember the AD&D Thief as the expendable character you had to bring along because there was no other way to deal with certain hazards...

Sovereign Court

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I would like to utterly abandon the idea that some classes are good at combat and some are good at out of combat things (skills, narrative-altering magic). Both of these things take up significant chunks of table time, and everyone should be a full-grown participant in both of them.

Rogues should probably not distinguish themselves as DPR, but maybe as especially "dirty" combatants, not doing massive damage but good at quietly taking out lone sentries, disrupting enemy battle formations or going through their ranks to hamper mages trying to hide in the back. But although it's not straight damage, it should feel like a first-class contribution.

Meanwhile, they don't need to encroach on all other classes with skills. In Starfinder right now the challenge for every other class is to prove their relevance with skills against the Operative. You can do that, but you really have to put in extra effort to be as good at your own class' signature skills as the Operative gets to be for free. That is not something I want in PF2.

I think skill feats could stand to be more exciting in general, but for the rogue I think the focus should actually be to make their combat-relevant class feats use lots of "traditional rogue skill" skill checks instead of attack rolls. This encourages rogues to care for their own niche (and thus have less budget to encroach on others), and makes them skillful combatants instead of DPR machines.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I would like to utterly abandon the idea that some classes are good at combat and some are good at out of combat things (skills, narrative-altering magic). Both of these things take up significant chunks of table time, and everyone should be a full-grown participant in both of them.

Rogues should probably not distinguish themselves as DPR, but maybe as especially "dirty" combatants, not doing massive damage but good at quietly taking out lone sentries, disrupting enemy battle formations or going through their ranks to hamper mages trying to hide in the back. But although it's not straight damage, it should feel like a first-class contribution.

Meanwhile, they don't need to encroach on all other classes with skills. In Starfinder right now the challenge for every other class is to prove their relevance with skills against the Operative. You can do that, but you really have to put in extra effort to be as good at your own class' signature skills as the Operative gets to be for free. That is not something I want in PF2.

I think skill feats could stand to be more exciting in general, but for the rogue I think the focus should actually be to make their combat-relevant class feats use lots of "traditional rogue skill" skill checks instead of attack rolls. This encourages rogues to care for their own niche (and thus have less budget to encroach on others), and makes them skillful combatants instead of DPR machines.

Rogues are already good at debuffing with Debilitating Strike. They can set up for other classes to dunk people by giving enemies Weakness, reducing their damage via Enfeebled, take away their reactions or deny them flanking, and later when you crit with a Debilitating Strike, the target could lose actions or even become paralyzed.


Fighters easily outdps rogues, all the math clearly shows so.

Rogues roll more dices, but that doesn't mean more damage. It's the "fireball issue" all over again, until someone points out that 10d6 is just 35.

In fact, nothing in the game atm outdps the fighter in a consistent, not daily, dpr calculation.

Legendary prof, steady strike, 4th action by sacrificing reaction, 5th with Quick that can be used to strike, free Keen (which in a setting may be the only way to get keen), etcetcetc

Nothing comes close in pure damage numbers.


master_marshmallow wrote:
"Sacred cow" is a racial slur used to insult Hindu culture. It's good that people don't use it.

I've got good news for you. No one in America using this term is thinking about Hindus or aware of the etymology when they say it.


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Xenocrat wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
"Sacred cow" is a racial slur used to insult Hindu culture. It's good that people don't use it.
I've got good news for you. No one in America using this term is thinking about Hindus or aware of the etymology when they say it.

However, it really doesn't matter what I think I mean when I speak, it matters how I will be interpreted by whoever hears what I say. For that reason, it's best to avoid saying things that could be interpreted with unintended connotations. So when I find out an idiom has a racist origin (there are a shockingly huge number of these), I find it best to just shuffle that off to the "find an alternative to that one".

I mean, the implication with "sacred cow" is always "this is a cherished tradition which should be reconsidered" and never "this is a cherished tradition which is just fine." If something needs to be reconsidered and there are actual reasons for it, we don't need to categorize it first.


Xenocrat wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
"Sacred cow" is a racial slur used to insult Hindu culture. It's good that people don't use it.
I've got good news for you. No one in America using this term is thinking about Hindus or aware of the etymology when they say it.

Outside of these forums I agree with you, but I don't want anyone unwittingly getting in trouble for offending someone when they mean no harm, and these forums have a tendency to get unproductive and racey when this kind of stuff comes up.

I think finding idioms referring to dead cultures or dead languages would probably be better.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
"Sacred cow" is a racial slur used to insult Hindu culture. It's good that people don't use it.
I've got good news for you. No one in America using this term is thinking about Hindus or aware of the etymology when they say it.

Outside of these forums I agree with you, but I don't want anyone unwittingly getting in trouble for offending someone when they mean no harm, and these forums have a tendency to get unproductive and racey when this kind of stuff comes up.

I think finding idioms referring to dead cultures or dead languages would probably be better.

I generally agree with you, but that particular phrase is used constantly on these forums and never gets flagged or removed.

It is pretty much used in every single thread arguing to remove Paladin alignment. By now, if Paizo had taken issue with it, we'd know by now.

That having been said, I still rarely use it.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
"Sacred cow" is a racial slur used to insult Hindu culture. It's good that people don't use it.
I've got good news for you. No one in America using this term is thinking about Hindus or aware of the etymology when they say it.
However, it really doesn't matter what I think I mean when I speak, it matters how I will be interpreted by whoever hears what I say.

Childlike hysterics by people who believe in patent nonsense (either you believe all religions are false and foolish or you believe your religion is correct and the others are actively spiritually harmful) should not be indulged. Rather than accommodate them, we should encourage them to grow up and focus on things that actually matter.

I assure you the Paizo developers are applying a similar philosophy to all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the gamers here who are upset at that the Playtest has crucified their favorite build, slain their sacred cow, or demolished the Mecca of their gaming systems. Instead they should learn to let everyone enjoy whatever rubs their Buddha and remember that if the mountain will not come to Mohammad, Mohammad must go to the mountain.


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Xenocrat wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
"Sacred cow" is a racial slur used to insult Hindu culture. It's good that people don't use it.
I've got good news for you. No one in America using this term is thinking about Hindus or aware of the etymology when they say it.
However, it really doesn't matter what I think I mean when I speak, it matters how I will be interpreted by whoever hears what I say.

Childlike hysterics by people who believe in patent nonsense (either you believe all religions are false and foolish or you believe your religion is correct and the others are actively spiritually harmful) should not be indulged. Rather than accommodate them, we should encourage them to grow up and focus on things that actually matter.

I assure you the Paizo developers are applying a similar philosophy to all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the gamers here who are upset at that the Playtest has crucified their favorite build, slain their sacred cow, or demolished the Mecca of their gaming systems. Instead they should learn to let everyone enjoy whatever rubs their Buddha and remember that if the mountain will not come to Mohammad, Mohammad must go to the mountain.

I agree, I'm a free speech absolutist, but I just don't want someone's very valid and substantial point to get lost to PC jargon derailing the conversation, because it usually leads to the conversation being shut down. It's not the content of the words that matter here, it's the environment that could force you out, and I don't want that.

It's not impossible that someone could freak out over language used and campaign to mob/deplatform a poster who had no intention of insulting someone. The other thing is that intent can often be assumed by someone who had a problem and punishment can be dealt out as if your intent was to harm someone, and that's very often the case on these boards.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I have to be honest, I prefer rogues as "the good at skills" class to rogues as "the sneak attack/DPR" class.

Like my favorite rogue archetype in PF1 was the Phantom Thief, one of the only archetypes (I think the 2nd is in Planar Adventures) to trade away Sneak Attack.

Hard same. Thematically rogues are and always have been one of my favourite classes, but this is the first iteration of a rogue I've seen that I actually like. Like, really like. They feel clever, sneaky, and tricksy. While in 5e where I'm shifting from I detested them, because they felt to me like little more than high skill bonuses strapped to a high-end striker ladder. If I wanted to play a rogue in that game I played a warlock or a wizard. When I wanted to play something rogue-ish in PF1 I ended up more happy with an alchemist.

While it's fun that high damage is possible, it's not why I love the PF2 class (and frankly if I wanted that I'd play a rogue-fighter, which is fun, but in its own way). Everything else is what I love about it, and I'd probably rather see damage ditched than relegate rogue to being a combat class first and foremost.


It's interesting to compare the Rogue to Starfinder's Operative. Their combat ability seems a little stronger (relative to the Soldier/Fighter peak), but their skills are arguably tuned down, with plenty of breadth and options, but lacking the Operative's huge plus to all skills that makes it so annoying that other classes often can't match, let alone beat, an Operative in skill he doesn't even care about very much that other classes specialize in.


The skill monkey aspect is one of the main reasons why I like rogues, and the other is the idea of sneak attacks and the ability to debilitate their foes with them. With the way pathfinder and most tabletops like this are nowadays, I don't think the phantom thief type rogue would be very viable. Plus, damage output isn't all there is to fighting. It's not like a rogue can survive nearly as long as a fighter or paladin on the front-lines, not with their lack of heavy armor proficiency,their weaker hit-die, or their lesser survivability options.

Sovereign Court

The weaker hit die is certainly a concern, but rogues aren't worse off for armor. The sum of an armor's AC bonus and maximum Dex bonus to AC is always the same. Rogues actually get a good deal because they avoid the rather punishing armor check penalty of heavier armors.

But I would like it if the rogue spent a considerable amount of time influencing the combat trough skill feats (that he can generally access earlier than anyone else) instead of conventional violence.

If the skill feats tied to the skills rogues are expected to take are useful in combat to rogues, that also provides a friendly incentive to "stay on track" and focus more on those skills than on colonizing another class' skill space.


Feint and Demoralize are both single action skill debuffs and they stack.

The feat Dread Striker now guarantees at least a +3 on attack rolls and facilitates sneak attack, coupled with their expert proficiency they get the best attack bonus on their own in the game, tied with the bard, but free.

The rapier seems like the obvious best weapon, because a legendary quality rapier will add an extra 3d6 on your sneak attack which will be doubled on a crit.

That's an extra 11d6 under ideal conditions, better than PF1. A starknife in the off hand if you build for it adds just as many extra dice if you make it work. Fighter dedication and Double Slice is so good.


master_marshmallow wrote:


The rapier seems like the obvious best weapon, because a legendary quality rapier will add an extra 3d6 on your sneak attack which will be doubled on a crit.

Isn't the Rapier deadly d8? Did they change that? Is that something I've missed? Shouldn't it be 3d8?


That doesn't make my argument worse... but I think you're right.


master_marshmallow wrote:

Feint and Demoralize are both single action skill debuffs and they stack.

The feat Dread Striker now guarantees at least a +3 on attack rolls and facilitates sneak attack, coupled with their expert proficiency they get the best attack bonus on their own in the game, tied with the bard, but free.

The rapier seems like the obvious best weapon, because a legendary quality rapier will add an extra 3d6 on your sneak attack which will be doubled on a crit.

That's an extra 11d6 under ideal conditions, better than PF1. A starknife in the off hand if you build for it adds just as many extra dice if you make it work. Fighter dedication and Double Slice is so good.

Demoralise already drbuffed AC, the errata just made it more clear if you couldn't follow the train of thought that "-Check= -DC as well" (which needs to be even more clear. As an example, Sick as well debuffs AC but it's only mentioned in an example somewhere...)

With checks as they stand, and assuming that Cha would be something like tertiary for a rogue, we can't expect more than a 14 starting Cha, but more probably around 12.

This makes it a bit less than 50% to hit Frightened with Intimidate.

And if you plan to "intimidate - >sneak attack" and you fail the coin toss, that means you have to waste another move action to actually go into flank, reducing your actual attacks to 1 or 0 (depending if you had to move to the target in the first place).

So, while it's good, it's not the end of the world dpr wise. You basically pay a feat for an extra -1 compared to just using Feint. Good, but not outside what a 6th level feat should do (accounting that it won't work at all vs mind-immune and etc).


Ascalaphus wrote:

The weaker hit die is certainly a concern, but rogues aren't worse off for armor. The sum of an armor's AC bonus and maximum Dex bonus to AC is always the same. Rogues actually get a good deal because they avoid the rather punishing armor check penalty of heavier armors.

Actually rogues will be a point behind on AC until 10th level. They cannot reach the max Dex of a chain shirt until then. They also face armor check penalties (-1 anyway) until they can afford expert armor.


Shady Stranger wrote:

Isn't the Rapier deadly d8? Did they change that? Is that something I've missed? Shouldn't it be 3d8?

The Fatal trait replaces the dice size and adds one die. The Deadly trait just adds one die.

So:
d6 weapon with Fatal d8 = 3d8 on crit.
d6 weapon with Deadly d8 = 2d6+d8 on crit.
(excluding precision damage and damage bonus)

I think having two so similar traits is just confusing, especially as only pick and great pick have the fatal trait.

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