I Hate Rogue's Dodge, AKA, A Statistical Breakdown of a Lackluster Feat


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I agree it needs to be fixed. This game works off a balance system, and the ability is completely underwhelming. I don’t like the argument that rogues “don’t have better reactions” for a few levels so a bad starting feat is ok. Level 1 feats are some of the best. It “may” alter a single swing, it should at least have a chance to work “or not” on a hit.

Parry and Raise Shield give you +2 on ALL ATTACKS for an action. Makes sense, you’re spending an action.

Reactive Shield works on hit, AND you have your shield raised the rest of the turn to help with other attacks. Trade off is you have a shield equipped.

Shield block works WHEN you take damage, after all attacks were mitigated from raise shield. Again makes sense.

Nimble roll does not stack with parry or raise shield, so it’s not naturally synergistic with other defenses. Nimble roll has a tier 2 ability that it’s a pre-requisite for, which implies to me it’s meant to be built on, not discarded.

I think the intention of this ability was meant to allow the rogue that takes it (it’s a feat not free) to potentially mitigate a bit of damage (burning their reaction against a specific attack), while providing some action economy. The way it is now is a frustrating, random shot in the dark that feels bad. Rogues don’t have enough solid L1 feats to have any more “throw always”. Swapping into another meh ability is also weak. Hope to see eratta related to fix it, I’m going to talk to my DM around house ruling it in the interim.


More info on the "intention" of this feat: besides show up as a reaction triggered by being targeted as a rogue class feat, and on 2 monsters in the bestiary, and only showing up as a reaction triggered by being hit on 1 monster in the bestiary...

It shows up as a Swashbuckler feat with the same wording as the rogue feat.

So I'm relatively certain that any errata that shows up for Nimble Dodge is going to be to change the drow version to have a matching trigger to all the rest (and to the add the not being encumbered requirement to the monster that's missing that note).

Why? Because the feat isn't "broken" or "under-powered" - it just isn't exactly what somebody hoped it was.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thenobledrake wrote:

So I'm relatively certain that any errata that shows up for Nimble Dodge is going to be to change the drow version to have a matching trigger to all the rest (and to the add the not being encumbered requirement to the monster that's missing that note).

Why? Because the feat isn't "broken" or "under-powered" - it just isn't exactly what somebody hoped it was.

You're right, it seems highly likely that this feat was intended to work the same way under all its iterations. Whether it must be activated when an attack is declared, or when a hit/critical hit is declared will only be revealed once new errata shows up.


I'd be pretty happy with the feat as a rogue, or someone dipping rogue (alchemist in my case) if I could declare it after the hit. My GMs/games we t ypically have the GM roll tell us a number and asks if it hits. Because while its somewhat "metagame" like to know the number coming towards us, and determining if we want to use resources to attempt to mitigate it--it is more enjoyable as a player to know it, and it isn't particularly more metagaming than other standard concepts that makes the game run more smoothly. (Asking another player how hurt they are for instance-whether they give you a number a % or a description).

Also just asking via a number if it hits, means the player can mentally think of all the actions they could do and answer quickly, instead of the GM looking up their AC and their potential reactions, and giving any flavorful prompt attempts for them to realize "I can almost dodge this" so its a slight metagame concept-for a much smoother game.

So I am biased in that having the trigger be a reaction to being hit, makes the ability considerably more usable.


Zwordsman:

See Guardian's Deflection:
http://pf2.easytool.es/index.php?id=727&name=Guardian’s Deflection

If Nimble Dodge worked like this it would be a much better feat


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I don't think working like Guardian's Deflection is necessary or hugely desirable, in that knowing that +2 will downgrade Success is basically full knowledge of efficacy... Not even Reactive Shield inherently gives that, only assuming you know attack was hit, not whether the +2 will downgrade it. But at least that avoids wasting it on attack that would already miss anyways (and you actually have two opportunities to benefit: downgrading Hit->Miss and Crit->Normal Hit). I do think the aspect that Nimble Dodge works on Ranged/Spell attacks is valuable, but I don't think that negates rationale to allow it to work like Reactive Shield (on hit) which has gameplay feel implications (not always downgrading is one thing and it doesn't remove that chance, but wasting it on attack that would miss anyways just feels tedious for entire table IMHO).

I think most groups openly announcing NPC vs PC attack roll #s do so for convenience (and symmetry with PC attack resolution, despite PC/NPC assymetry in many areas), not due to analysing it's implications... Which effectively makes Reactive Shield work identical to Guardian's Deflection despite the latter having specific enabling wording and the former not. I think this issue (assumption of NPC attack announcement) needs to be addressed head-on with official FAQ or Errata, since mechanical balance does hinge on it. IMHO it should also address whether or not a Critical Hit is discernible from normal Hit before effect is resolved (it isn't clear whether even Guardian's Deflection implies that knowledge, even though Crit->NormalHit is one if it's specific functions).

Related to awareness of Crit vs normal Hit, I also remembered the 10th level Fighter Feat "Certain Strike" which does partial damage on a Miss. If a Fighter with Certain Strike attacks somebody with Reactive Shield and normal result is a "Miss" (doing partial damage), would Reactive Shield or Guardian's Strike be able to trigger? Should Certain Strike count as a hit/success at least for the target? Would target be aware it is "lower degree of success" than normal Hit?


Wheldrake wrote:

It's worth noting that in the Bestiary, the Drow Rogue also has a feat by the same name, Nimble Dodge, which is worded slightly differently:

Bestiary p 137 wrote:

Nimble Dodge [reaction] Requirement A drow rogue can’t use this reaction while encumbered.

Trigger The drow rogue is hit or critically hit by an attack made by a creature the drow rogue can see. Effect The drow rogue gains a +2 circumstance bonus to their Armor Class against the triggering attack.

IMHO, the *intent* of the standard rogue feat Nimble Dodge is for the rogue to be able to declare it *after* a hit or critical has been declared. Admittedly, as things stand, this isn't the case. We can hope for another round of errata at some point to clear up this apparent confusion.

Unless someone wants to argue that the Drow version of Nimble Dodge is *supposed* to be better, because, well, Drow. <g>

RAI vs RAW? Maybe.

I'm a little late to the party, but I just noticed this in the 3rd volume of the current Adventure Path ("Tomorrow Must Burn"), on page 8:

Quote:
Nimble Dodge [reaction] Requirement A sneak can’t use this reaction while encumbered. Trigger The sneak is hit by an attack made by a creature the sneak can see. Effect The sneak gains a +2 circumstance bonus to their Armor Class against the triggering attack.

This is consistent with the Drow ability, and it also has the same name. The ability appears on a creature who appears to have other Rogue feats. Here also, the trigger is being hit by an attack...


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Maybe it's intentionally better and simpler for the monsters because they get less special actions and using the rogue's feat as-is on a monster becomes too much cognitive load for the GM, who has to figure out what attacks might come that monster's direction that turn and determine whether he wants to use the ability for each monster rather than one character. I'd bet that is more likely than the CRB version being a mistake.


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With the entry from "Tomorrow Must Burn" that puts the current count at:

4 Nimble Dodge entries that trigger on being targeted
2 Nimble Dodge entries that trigger on being hit

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