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


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Hi everyone! I'm Alex, and I hate Rogue's Dodge.

It started out innocently enough. One of my players took Rogue's Dodge for his rogue character in my Age of Ashes campaign, and MAN, let me tell you, that feat is like the worst feat I've ever seen. It's so bad that my players have made a meme out of tracking how often it actually affects my poor player's fate.

For those who don't know, you use it as a reaction when someone attempts an attack against you, and it gives you +2 to your AC against the triggering attack. On paper, this sounds amazing. In practice, the feat isn't worth it's ink. Allow me to explain.

Since the feat is giving you a +2 bonus, you might think, "Oh, that's a 10% increase to the chance that I won't be hit. That's great." It can turn a Critical Hit into a Hit or a Hit into a Miss. However, since a Critical Hit is attack result = your AC + 10 and a Hit is attack result = your AC, there are actually only four die results wherein Rogue's Dodge actually benefits you.

Let's say you have AC 20 and your opponent has an attack bonus of +12. This means your opponent Hits you if they roll an 8 or better or Crits you if they roll a 16 or better. Since Rogue's Dodge gives a +2 circumstance bonus to AC, using Rogue's Dodge changes those numbers to 10 to Hit or 18 to Crit. In effect, that means Rogue's Dodge only stops a Hit if your opponent rolled a 8 or a 9 (because now they need a 10 to Hit you) and it only turns a Hit into a Critical Hit if your opponent rolled a 16 or a 17. If your opponent's result is 10 through 15, surprise! Rogue's Dodge didn't change the outcome of your opponent's attack. Likewise, if they rolled an 18 or better, Rogue's Dodge did nothing.

TL;DR this feat makes me angry because it's a reaction that never really has more than a 20% chance to do anything. My players track the success/failure rate of Rogue's Dodge, and it's currently at 1:8 (meaning 1 meaningful use to 8 failed ones); this is out of a sample size of about 24 currently and actually fits the napkin math.

So, why am I posting this? Well, the new swashbuckler class literally got the same feat but with a different name (Nimble Dodge), and I'd like to raise awareness that this feat is awful so hopefully we can get an errata someday; at the very least, make sure the swashbuckler also doesn't suffer a very ineffective feat. Peace and love!

Liberty's Edge

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The Rogue feat is also called “Nimble Dodge.” Was it called “Rogue’s Dodge” in the playtest or something?

Rogues don’t generally have much to do with a reaction so it’s not necessarily a bad choice. Swashbucklers have better reaction options.

Silver Crusade

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Likewise, if they rolled an 18 or better, Rogue's Dodge did nothing

What would be the power level of an ability that would undo rolling an 18, 19, or 20?


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A 10% increase on avoiding the most likely hit in a round (if you use it on the first MAP-less attack) is bad?

The rogue in my group has literally has become the meme of “never gets hit” because she already had a high AC and then this is just gravy.

Ymmv I guess


When I looked at the feat because one of my players took it and was trying to use it during a combat, I realized it didn't work the way that the whole group had first thought it worked. Coming from playing 5th edition D&D, we were used to reactions that provide AC being like that game's shield spell - you get hit, use the thing, and undo the hit (or not use the thing at all because it wouldn't undo the hit).

So I immediately felt like the Nimble Dodge feat wasn't that great because you react to being attacked, rather than being hit. Took me a bit to realize that in Pathfinder 2nd edition terms turning a hit into a miss would be like apply a misfortune affect but even more powerful.

While I still don't like the feat and wouldn't take it myself or encourage anyone to take it, the player of the rogue is totally fine with how it works and now uses it against the first attack coming his way on any round. I think he might retrain it if he ever picks up something else to do with his reaction... but then I also did give him the opportunity to change it without downtime if he didn't like how it worked and pointed out the You're Next feat and he turned it down.


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EDIT: (ninja'd / reworded)

Compare to Fighter's Reactive Shield: (also Level 1, so easy multiclass fodder)
Both grant +2 circumstance bonus (+1 with Buckler, but +2 if committing to normal Shield which occupies hand)
Reactive Shield allows triggering AFTER successful hit is announced, and applying circumstance bonus VS that attack.
Which may negate it, but you shouldn't know exact roll# so you're not sure if +2 AC would negate it, and don't know if it is crit yet(?).
Reactive Shield also continues to apply +2 circumstance bonus for Raised Shield to ALL other attacks until your next turn comes up.

Nimble Dodge only applies VS one attack, is used BEFORE attack is rolled, so may be wasted on natural Fails while 2nd attack then succeeds or even Crits.
(this feels like tedious design, with player perpetually announcing Reactions even when it's irrelevant VS attack that would fail normally)

While a Shield comes with tradeoffs, it also has advantages from applying to ALL attacks to allowing Shield Block (not VS same attack as Reactive Shield)
Since they are both circumstance bonuses, using Nimble Dodge de facto translates to giving up using potential benefits of a Shield.
(or at best, could be used just when you didn't Raise Shield, but that then is flatly worse version of Reactive Shield)

So IMHO allowing Nimble Dodge to trigger AFTER and apply VS successful hit is totally reasonable, and it SHOULD be Errata'd to work like that.

Dark Archive

Quandary wrote:

EDIT: (ninja'd / reworded)

Compare to Fighter's Reactive Shield: (also Level 1, so easy multiclass fodder)
Both grant +2 circumstance bonus (+1 with Buckler, but +2 if committing to normal Shield which occupies hand)
Reactive Shield allows triggering AFTER successful hit is announced, and applying circumstance bonus VS that attack.
Which may negate it, but you shouldn't know exact roll# so you're not sure if +2 AC would negate it, and don't know if it is crit yet(?).
Reactive Shield also continues to apply +2 circumstance bonus for Raised Shield to ALL other attacks until your next turn comes up.

Nimble Dodge only applies VS one attack, is used BEFORE attack is rolled, so may be wasted on natural Fails while 2nd attack then succeeds or even Crits.
(this feels like tedious design, with player perpetually announcing Reactions even when it's irrelevant VS attack that would fail normally)

While a Shield comes with tradeoffs, it also has advantages from applying to ALL attacks to allowing Shield Block (not VS same attack as Reactive Shield)
Since they are both circumstance bonuses, using Nimble Dodge de facto translates to giving up using potential benefits of a Shield.
(or at best, could be used just when you didn't Raise Shield, but that then is flatly worse version of Reactive Shield)

So IMHO allowing Nimble Dodge to trigger AFTER and apply VS successful hit is totally reasonable, and it SHOULD be Errata'd to work like that.

I didn’t realize that it was the same bonus as a shield. That just makes it even worse.


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Quandary wrote:
Compare to Fighter's Reactive Shield: (also Level 1, so easy multiclass fodder)

Reactive Shield asks for a shield, and doesn't stack with the actual use of a shield. Also, Fighters have 2 excellent reactions available at level one.

On the other hand, Rogues have no reactions available and Nimble Dodge doesn't need a shield to be used.
It's clearly on the good portion of first level feats. Buffing it would make it overpowered. Roughly, what you want is to give the Rogue the Raise Shield action as a reaction without having a shield. It's Christmas. Can I get a d12 one-handed weapon, please?


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SuperBidi wrote:


Reactive Shield asks for a shield, and doesn't stack with the actual use of a shield.

To be fair, dodge doesn't stack with shields either. Bother are circumstantial bonuses.

The biggest benefit of dodge imo is how easily it applies to things when you need both hands (say disarming a trap).


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10% to 20% of avoiding some damage isn't bad, and it's a level 1 feat.
As long as it doesn't compete with other reactions, it's pretty good IMO.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:


Reactive Shield asks for a shield, and doesn't stack with the actual use of a shield.

To be fair, dodge doesn't stack with shields either. Bother are circumstantial bonuses.

The biggest benefit of dodge imo is how easily it applies to things when you need both hands (say disarming a trap).

Of course. Nimble Dodge is for 2-handed Rogues or 2-weapon Rogues. It gives you the shield AC bonus against one attack for the price of a reaction instead of an action. It's the best first level Rogue feat if you don't have a shield. Actually, even with a shield, it's a good first level feat, considering the alternatives.


This feat saved our party rogue from about 7 hits in the past 4 6-hour-long sessions. He uses it against the first attack against him as he doesn't have other reactions and is super glad with this feat.


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The feat is ok

If you don’t like it go with a shield or with the dueling parry from a fighter dedication. Or eventually twin parry. Or a parry weapon. Or reactive shield. Etc...

The whole game is full of choices, and the nimble dodge is good, since it is a reaction, and because so an action less to spend.

You won't necessarily be hit,and eventually nor even targeted.

But if this happens you can decide or not to rely on that feat.

Definitely good to have.
Not a must.

Sovereign Court

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Yes, let's compare Nimble Dodge with Reactive Shield.

Quote:

REACTIVE SHIELD [reaction]

FEAT 1 FIGHTER
Trigger An enemy hits you with a melee Strike.
Requirements You are wielding a shield.
You can snap your shield into place just as you would take a blow, avoiding the hit at the last second. You immediately use the Raise a Shield action and gain your shield’s bonus to AC. The circumstance bonus from the shield applies to your AC when you’re determining the outcome of the triggering attack.

---

NIMBLE DODGE [reaction]
FEAT 1 ROGUE
Trigger A creature targets you with an attack and you can see the attacker.
Requirements You are not encumbered.
You deftly dodge out of the way, gaining a +2 circumstance bonus to AC against the triggering attack.

So you have to use Nimble Dodge at the moment you get targeted, and reactive shield "when you get hit". I'm going to assume that "target" and "hit" really do mean different things: when you get targeted, no d20 has been rolled yet. "When you get hit", a d20 roll has already been made and a tentative result named that would hit your AC, but Reactive Shield suddenly raises your AC and it might cancel the hit or downgrade a crit to a hit.

Also, Reactive Shield continues working after that: you've raised your shield and it's not going down right away. If you get attacked again before your next turn, you still have the benefit.

So yeah, reactive shield does seem a lot better to me, provided you're willing to pay the price of actually wearing a shield. That however is something rogues might not want to, since shields aren't agile or finesse.

All in all though, I don't like Nimble Dodge.


The point is that a rogue is not a frontliner, and because of that he should hit less time if compared to a fighter.

You will be using your friend to flank or to create a diatraction.

If you are going to tank there is something wrong with your character, or your party.

Or, if you want to tank, you should at least consider a dedication which allows you to do so.

Using a shield with a shield block reaction, getting more hp, and eventually some plate proficiency which will give you extra armor until lvl 19.

Apart from that, a rogue is not meant to be hit a hundred times per round, so by having a life Saver as a reaction, which leaves him the possibility to use 2 attacks, or twin feint, and a step, is definitely a thing.

Liberty's Edge

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Also of note is that a Fighter who uses Reactive Shield loses out on the ability to use an AoO or to use Shield Block as both are reactions. The Rogue doesn’t have the same opportunity cost to her reactions so it probably should be worse than Reactive Shield.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Yes, let's compare Nimble Dodge with Reactive Shield.

So yeah, reactive shield does seem a lot better to me, provided you're willing to pay the price of actually wearing a shield. That however is something rogues might not want to, since shields aren't agile or finesse.

You forgot the biggest drawback of Reactive Shield in your comparison... without this drawback, Reactive Shield would be the best feat of the game hands down.

Sovereign Court

I don't know if a rogue is really not a frontliner. With Dex as your key stat you can get very close to maximum AC, and Thief racket rogues get Dex to melee attacks, not ranged.

However, there's a lot to be said for practicing a hit and run (back behind the fighter) strategy. Say, as a fast fast elf with Mobility to run around and flank, or with Gang Up to simplify the requirements.

But if you just concentrate on Dex and Con, I think you could get close to a tanky rogue as well.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I don't know if a rogue is really not a frontliner. With Dex as your key stat you can get very close to maximum AC, and Thief racket rogues get Dex to melee attacks, not ranged.

However, there's a lot to be said for practicing a hit and run (back behind the fighter) strategy. Say, as a fast fast elf with Mobility to run around and flank, or with Gang Up to simplify the requirements.

But if you just concentrate on Dex and Con, I think you could get close to a tanky rogue as well.

A rogue has less hp and damage mitigation.

A fighter starts with shield block, and through a stance could always have his shield raised at some point.

He will be also proficient in heavy armor, which means a better armor than s thief.

I suggest you not to tank, and instead positioning yourself to get flat footed for both attacks, but indeed you could work on const + armor proficiency.


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Rysky wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Likewise, if they rolled an 18 or better, Rogue's Dodge did nothing
What would be the power level of an ability that would undo rolling an 18, 19, or 20?

It would be the power level of Nimble Dodge. Since OP completely missed the point where 16+12=28 not 30 (which would be the target critical), thus making Nimble dodge negate a critical under that circumstance, since it would raise the AC to 22 (crit on 32).

The feat is alright, but I like to pick more proactive choices. But it makes a really nice class feature (instead of a class feat) to have for any kind of rogue.

It would be nice if each class got a base reaction (Nimble Dodge for rogues, counterspell for casters, shield block, AoO, etc.)


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Hi everyone! I'm Alex, and I hate Rogue's Dodge.

Then pick something else. Problem solved.

No, I'm not being facetious. The design of PF2 is clearly intended to allow Paizo to publish a deluge of feats.

Some of them aren't going to be worth the ink. But while you stop to complain about one of them, Paizo will have published another hundred.

Therefore the only solution is to simply ignore the feats you don't feel are worthwhile. Anything else is shouting in the wind. Pushing on a rope. Raking water uphill. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Or, in simpler words: "Then pick something else. Problem solved."

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Luke Styer wrote:

The Rogue feat is also called “Nimble Dodge.” Was it called “Rogue’s Dodge” in the playtest or something?

Rogues don’t generally have much to do with a reaction so it’s not necessarily a bad choice. Swashbucklers have better reaction options.

No, I’m just an idiot. Sorry! (My player calls it Rogue’s Dodge because he is a rogue and he tries to dodge with it.)

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So I actually meant to delete this thread because I was going to post it to Know Direction as a blog post next week. Whoops!

I am happy to see so much discussion on the feat, although I’m surprised that so many people are trying to find ways to defend it. Like, even if you’re a two-handed rogue or can’t use a shield, that doesn’t make this feat GOOD.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:

So I actually meant to delete this thread because I was going to post it to Know Direction as a blog post next week. Whoops!

I am happy to see so much discussion on the feat, although I’m surprised that so many people are trying to find ways to defend it. Like, even if you’re a two-handed rogue or can’t use a shield, that doesn’t make this feat GOOD.

Alex saying people are “trying to find way to defend it” is very disingenuous and dismissive

People are finding ways because they disagree with you and it seems like you don’t want to be disagreed with - hinted at by you wanting to remove the thread completely

You have posted to a discussion forum with the mindset that your view is fact

Some of the views are quite valid notably that rogues don’t really have reactions so it isn’t really a waste for them to try

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Lanathar wrote:
Alex saying people are “trying to find way to defend it” is very disingenuous and dismissive

I don’t think that was disingenuous; in fact I think it was a very sincere and frank statement. As for dismissive, I didn’t say anything that dismissed anyone in the thread trying to defend it; I expressed that I was surprised that people are defended it at all. There is a difference.

Quote:
People are finding ways because they disagree with you and it seems like you don’t want to be disagreed with - hinted at by you wanting to remove the thread completely

Nah, I’m fine with people disagreeing with me. Again, surprised in this case because mathematically the feat doesn’t do much, but far be it from me to tell people what feats to take for their character. As for wanting to remove the thread, my time is pretty limited and I like to do Math Articles for Guidance so this seemed like a good topic to cover on my blog. In fact, I am still gonna cover this feat on my blog; I’m just going to add a house rule GMs can use to fix it (as well as some supporting math).

Quote:

You have posted to a discussion forum with the mindset that your view is fact

Some of the views are quite valid notably that rogues don’t really have reactions so it isn’t really a waste for them to try

Thanks for the armchair psychoanalysis?


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm actually really surprised anyone would find this feat bad. The rogue doesn't have many uses for their reaction, and this feat gives them one that solidly increases their survivability at basically no action economy cost. It's better than raising a shield (if you don't have Shield Block) because it doesn't cost an action on turn, and better than reactive shield because your hands remains free for other uses. Plus, changing the outcome of a hit to a miss or crit to a hit 20% of the time is an enormous impact in comparison to other feats.

If a boss has a 20% chance to crit the rogue on its primary attack, this reduces the chance to be crit by half.

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Cellion wrote:

I'm actually really surprised anyone would find this feat bad. The rogue doesn't have many uses for their reaction, and this feat gives them one that solidly increases their survivability at basically no action economy cost. It's better than raising a shield (if you don't have Shield Block) because it doesn't cost an action on turn, and better than reactive shield because your hands remains free for other uses. Plus, changing the outcome of a hit to a miss or crit to a hit 20% of the time is an enormous impact in comparison to other feats.

If a boss has a 20% chance to crit the rogue on its primary attack, this reduces the chance to be crit by half.

One of the big issues with Nimble Dodge, though, is that Raising Your Shield applies to every attack attempted against you until the start of your next turn, while Nimble Dodge works only against one attack. While the feat is certainly better the higher the attacker’s bonus versus your CR, since it gives a +2 bonus it only gives a maximum of 10% chance to turn a crit into a hit OR a + 10% chance to turn a hit into a miss.

I don’t agree with the “rogues don’t have much to do with their reaction so this is fine” defense for 2 reasons: Nimble Dodge is an option you have to pick instead of another rogue feat and the notion of “this is good because there is nothing else” only lasts until someone writes a rogue reaction that is better than Nimble Dodge. This might never be a problem for the rogue, but Nimble Dodge is also a swashbuckler feat in the Playtest, and has to contend with several powerful, much better reactions that swashbucklers get for free while in their panache state. Rather than tossing it away for the swashbuckler, it makes more sense to improve this feat for both classes in my opinion.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Nah, I’m fine with people disagreeing with me. Again, surprised in this case because mathematically the feat doesn’t do much

20% damage reduction against the biggest attack you will take in a round for the cost of a Reaction that you don't use often. And that for a level 1 feat. It's a solid choice. You should check your maths before making blog posts about Nimble Dodge.

I don't know much about the Swashbuckler and will wait for a released version before having a final point of view.

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Zapp wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Hi everyone! I'm Alex, and I hate Rogue's Dodge.

Then pick something else. Problem solved.

No, I'm not being facetious. The design of PF2 is clearly intended to allow Paizo to publish a deluge of feats.

Some of them aren't going to be worth the ink. But while you stop to complain about one of them, Paizo will have published another hundred.

Therefore the only solution is to simply ignore the feats you don't feel are worthwhile. Anything else is shouting in the wind. Pushing on a rope. Raking water uphill. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Or, in simpler words: "Then pick something else. Problem solved."

This is an interesting point of view because you’re not wrong. I can do the mathematical analysis, conclude Nimble Dodge is a poor option that should be avoided, and go on my way. Probably picking something really strong like Twinned Feint.

The reason I made this post, however, was to call attention to the problem in this feat’s design in hopes the designers might take notice and we could see an errata that made it better. The reason I would rather see an errata to this feat is because it’s a core option, literally the first feat you see in the rogue section, and I think that makes it a trap choice for a new player who thinks they’re going to get this amazing ability but all it does is change one attack once out of every 11 times it’s used. I don’t think that looks good for a core option, personally.


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That a rogue could use a shield isn't really all that relevant, though, is it?

I mean, if we are just looking at the effect of this one feat - not a string of feats to pick up the ability to use Raise a Shield as a reaction - the cost of an Action to Raise a Shield is clearly greater than the cost of a Reaction to Nimble Dodge, so the effect being mechanically superior makes perfect sense: Actions are more valuable than Reactions.

And if the rogue in question is like the rogue in my campaign that has the Nimble Dodge feat, and has not invested any points into Strength, the 1 Bulk of carrying a shield might just be a deal-breaker because the character/player wants that bulk available to carry something else (like 1,000 coins).

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SuperBidi wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Nah, I’m fine with people disagreeing with me. Again, surprised in this case because mathematically the feat doesn’t do much

20% damage reduction against the biggest attack you will take in a round for the cost of a Reaction that you don't use often. And that for a level 1 feat. It's a solid choice. You should check your maths before making blog posts about Nimble Dodge.

I don't know much about the Swashbuckler and will wait for a released version before having a final point of view.

I did do my math; it’s in the first post.

Nimble Dodge does not equate to 20% damage reduction. It has a 20% chance to block one attack’s worth of damage (because of a crit becomes a hit you blocked one hit’s worth of damage). Those are different because your way of explaining it implies that when I trigger the reaction, I take 20% less damage. In reality what’s happening is that when I trigger the reaction, of the GM’s die lands on one of four specific results the attack does less damage. It is an all-or nothing gamble of a reaction that statistically is unlikely to stop an attack from harming you. A rogue player isn’t going to care about the statistical damage reduction of this feat over two dozen uses if they tried to dodge two attacks, failed to, and the damage killed them.

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Here are some ways that Nimble Dodge could be improved so it’s worth taking:

1) Nimble Dodge applies to all attacks the triggering opponent makes until the end of your next turn. This increases the reaction’s likelihood of being useful because applying the bonus to multiple attacks means that you’re more likely to see a nimble rolled that is meaningful.

2) Nimble Dodge causes the triggering attack to resolve against your Reflex DC instead of your AC. I would have to look at the math for this (literally typing this on my phone :P), but being a Dex-focused class who can become Legendary in Reflex means that this is probably going to result in the attack needing to beat a higher number.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
...all it does is change one attack once out of every 11 times it’s used.

That's not how dice or probabilities work.

That's like saying 1 in every 20 rolls is a natural 20 - it's wrong as heck, but it vaguely looks right, and plenty of people will even say "no, that's right" because somehow even people that have taken courses on probability don't get that a thing which has a 1 in 20 chance of happening can happen 2 or 3 times in a row and that's not statistically outlandish.

Just like how Nimble Dodge could affect every attack it gets used against during a session, and that wouldn't be at all weird - even though the odds are, I'll assume you're right, 1 in 11.

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thenobledrake wrote:

That a rogue could use a shield isn't really all that relevant, though, is it?

I mean, if we are just looking at the effect of this one feat - not a string of feats to pick up the ability to use Raise a Shield as a reaction - the cost of an Action to Raise a Shield is clearly greater than the cost of a Reaction to Nimble Dodge, so the effect being mechanically superior makes perfect sense: Actions are more valuable than Reactions.

And if the rogue in question is like the rogue in my campaign that has the Nimble Dodge feat, and has not invested any points into Strength, the 1 Bulk of carrying a shield might just be a deal-breaker because the character/player wants that bulk available to carry something else (like 1,000 coins).

You don’t need to take a feat to Raise a Shield; the feat you’re referring to is Shield Block, the reaction that reduces the amount of damage you take from an attack. So one feat nets you a damage reduction reaction plus a circumstance bonus to AC (the same type as Nimble Dodge so they don’t stack) versus +2 against one attack. The combination of Raising a Shield versus all attacks and Shield Block against an attack that actually hits you is much more likely to save your life than Nimble Dodge against one attack.

As for reactions being more valuable than actions, I think that is a matter of opinion that certainly depends on what kind of class you’re playing. My point isn’t on actions versus reactions though, it’s that Nimble Dodge has an extraordinarily high chance to do nothing when it’s used, which isn’t great feat design.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:

I did do my math; it’s in the first post.

Nimble Dodge does not equate to 20% damage reduction.

Then do the maths. +1AC is 10% damage reduction. A bit more in fact, but it depends on the chance to hit of your opponent.

Anyway, for a Rogue, the first level strong choices are Nimble Dodge and Trapfinder, the lackluster ones are Twin Feint and You're Next. I strongly encourage you to test the latters to realize that you can't tell a trap feat from a strong choice.


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Would it break the game if you allowed the rogue to declare his Nimble Dodge *after* the DM said that he just got hit or criticalled?

There are so many moving parts in the game that this small divergence or backpeddling in favor of a vulnerable PC doesn't seem out of line.

Strictly speaking, this would be a house rule, but it's not a huge reach.

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thenobledrake wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
...all it does is change one attack once out of every 11 times it’s used.

That's not how dice or probabilities work.

That's like saying 1 in every 20 rolls is a natural 20 - it's wrong as heck, but it vaguely looks right, and plenty of people will even say "no, that's right" because somehow even people that have taken courses on probability don't get that a thing which has a 1 in 20 chance of happening can happen 2 or 3 times in a row and that's not statistically outlandish.

Just like how Nimble Dodge could affect every attack it gets used against during a session, and that wouldn't be at all weird - even though the odds are, I'll assume you're right, 1 in 11.

1 in 11 isn’t the probability on paper; it’s the running record my players are keeping on my rogue player when he uses Nimble Dodge. The probability on paper is 2 out of 20 to turn a hit into a miss and 2 out of 20 to turn a crit into a hit, or a total of 20% chance to do something useful (which is 1 in 5).

So yeah, my rogue player is totes unlucky, but he is basically playing a slot machine against my die roll without being able to know the result before he triggers it.

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Wheldrake wrote:

Would it break the game if you allowed the rogue to declare his Nimble Dodge *after* the DM said that he just got hit or criticalled?

There are so many moving parts in the game that this small divergence or backpeddling in favor of a vulnerable PC doesn't seem out of line.

Strictly speaking, this would be a house rule, but it's not a huge reach.

Nope! I think that is a sensible third option in addition to the three I have, and honestly it requires the least amount of change to what the ability does.


+2 to AC is sometimes better than a flat +20% damage reduction, even. If an enemy is attacking with a big super-attack that would knock you out, it's better. Against a weak but poison-y attack it's also way better.

Anyway, I think it's a good feat. It lets you use your reaction which you won't necessarily even be able to do as a 1st level rogue. If you don't have any other reactions it's a strict action economy upgrade which is ahead of most 1st level feats. It's definitely a feat I would consider retraining later if I get better reactions though.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

I did do my math; it’s in the first post.

Nimble Dodge does not equate to 20% damage reduction.

Then do the maths. +1AC is 10% damage reduction. A bit more in fact, but it depends on the chance to hit of your opponent.

Anyway, for a Rogue, the first level strong choices are Nimble Dodge and Trapfinder, the lackluster ones are Twin Feint and You're Next. I strongly encourage you to test the latters to realize that you can't tell a trap feat from a strong choice.

Twinned Feint is an awesome choice if you find yourself in a situation where you aren’t going to be getting flanking any time soon. It’s situational, but using it allows you to deal your extra damage on your second attack when you normally couldn’t. (You’re right that you don’t want to Twinned Feint when someone is already flat-footed to you; it’s a tool that makes you more flexible when you can do your rogue stuff.)

Again, +1 AC = a 5% reduction in your opppnent’s chance to hit, so +2 is 10%. Because the AC change bonus matters for Four d20 results out of 20, that’s a 20% chance that you take no damage.

And again, the damage reduction is statistical. Every time you pop the reaction, you don’t take less damage. It is damage prevention, not reduction. If an attack hits for 20 damage on average and you get hit 5 times (a total of 100 damage) and Nimble Dodge blocked one of them, it’s true that it stopped you from taking 20 damage, but if you only dodged the last attack you might be dead by the 3rd or 4th attack because all the attacks you didn’t dodge are dealing their full damage to you.

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Henro wrote:

+2 to AC is sometimes better than a flat +20% damage reduction, even. If an enemy is attacking with a big super-attack that would knock you out, it's better. Against a weak but poison-y attack it's also way better.

Anyway, I think it's a good feat. It lets you use your reaction which you won't necessarily even be able to do as a 1st level rogue. If you don't have any other reactions it's a strict action economy upgrade which is ahead of most 1st level feats. It's definitely a feat I would consider retraining later if I get better reactions though.

In terms of what it stops if you manage to make an attack miss you (or not crit you), sure. Some enemies have a higher pay off when they miss you. But that doesn’t change that against the sneaky guy, the standby guy, and little Tommy with a wood sword Nimble Dodge only mattered if your enemy’s attack result exceeded your AC by 0, 1, 10, or 11. Those are the only values that will cause the action to meaningfully change the damage you take. If your AC is 20 and they roll a 22, the reaction didn’t matter. You play a slot machine every time you use it.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Again, +1 AC = a 5% reduction in your opppnent’s chance to hit, so +2 is 10%. Because the AC change bonus matters for Four d20 results out of 20, that’s a 20% chance that you take no damage.

Ok, so let's take an extreme example. Let's say the enemy hits me on an 18 only. If I have +2 to AC, he now hits me on a 20, so I've reduced the damage of its strongest attack by 66% (or 50% if you consider a nat 20 to be a critical).

On average, if the enemy hits me on 10+ roughly, a +2 to AC is a 20% damage reduction (a bit over that in fact).

If you are on a situation where you aren't going to be getting flanking anytime soon, you have tons of way to get an enemy flat-footed: Trip, Diversion, Demoralize (with Dread Striker), Feint... And a single attack with your main weapon on a flat-footed opponent does the same amount of damage than Twin Feint. So, Twin Feint is extremely situational. What is not situational is that it forces you to have 2 weapons which is an extreme cost. Twin Feint is only interesting if you will use two weapons anyway. In any other cases, it's plain bad. Get a Shield or keep one hand available, it'll be far more usefull.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
You don’t need to take a feat to Raise a Shield

You do for it to be a reaction, and thus actually relevant comparison to Nimble Dodge.


Alexander Augunas wrote:


1 in 11 isn’t the probability on paper; it’s the running record my players are keeping on my rogue player when he uses Nimble Dodge. The probability on paper is 2 out of 20 to turn a hit into a miss and 2 out of 20 to turn a crit into a hit, or a total of 20% chance to do something useful (which is 1 in 5).

So yeah, my rogue player is totes unlucky, but he is basically playing a slot machine against my die roll without being able to know the result before he triggers it.

This is the reality of playing a game with dice, bonuses only increase odds but don't guarantee things. Why is Raise Shield good, it gives the exact same 20% chance of modifying the roll and you have to raise shield before any attacks are made. If you tracked raise shield's effectiveness you'd get the same thing, around 20% of the time it has an effect and the rest of the time it's useless. And it has an even higher cost of an action, not a reaction. Does that mean raise shield is a weak action unless you have Reactive Shield?


Umm, so I happen to think Nimble Dodge is garbage, and one of the arguments here "rogues don't have many uses for their reaction", seems pretty flimsy as well. I'd argue "Opportune Backstabber", particularly with "Gang Up", is probably one of the best reactions in the game, and available at level 8. It's proactive rather than reactive like AoO, and yeah, it's contingent on having another party member hit an enemy you're next to, but in general if the rogue is your only front line melee-er, I think you have bigger problems.

Either way, Nimble Dodge seems pretty bad to me. I'm avoiding it with my rogue and just using a shield for a permanent +2 circumstance bonus. It's not worthless, but when compared to other defensive feats at that level, it just doesn't measure up.


tivadar27 wrote:
...the arguments here "rogues don't have many uses for their reaction", seems pretty flimsy as well.

People didn't say that meaning that rogue's never get better or more plentiful reaction options.

They said that meaning that at level 1, a rogue has no inherent reactions, and only Nimble Dodge and You're Next as options to take reactions.

That's not many uses for their reaction, and more options don't come along super quickly (4th level is the next one, and then 8th level which is when reaction options really start to blossom for the rogue).


tivadar27 wrote:

Umm, so I happen to think Nimble Dodge is garbage, and one of the arguments here "rogues don't have many uses for their reaction", seems pretty flimsy as well. I'd argue "Opportune Backstabber", particularly with "Gang Up", is probably one of the best reactions in the game, and available at level 8. It's proactive rather than reactive like AoO, and yeah, it's contingent on having another party member hit an enemy you're next to, but in general if the rogue is your only front line melee-er, I think you have bigger problems.

Either way, Nimble Dodge seems pretty bad to me. I'm avoiding it with my rogue and just using a shield for a permanent +2 circumstance bonus. It's not worthless, but when compared to other defensive feats at that level, it just doesn't measure up.

Retraining is really easy in 2E. Even if you get nice reactions at medium levels that help at level 1.


thenobledrake wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
...the arguments here "rogues don't have many uses for their reaction", seems pretty flimsy as well.

People didn't say that meaning that rogue's never get better or more plentiful reaction options.

They said that meaning that at level 1, a rogue has no inherent reactions, and only Nimble Dodge and You're Next as options to take reactions.

That's not many uses for their reaction, and more options don't come along super quickly (4th level is the next one, and then 8th level which is when reaction options really start to blossom for the rogue).

So agreed that early on they don't get much, but that makes Nimble at best something they potentially want, but then want to retrain out of from 8th level on. If the ability had some scaling that made it better than a shield, even if only on one attack, then fine, but... It's just not very good as is. I'd sooner pick up a Parry weapon and get +1AC vs everything for an action..., or a shield for that matter.

I mean, everyone's going to have different opinions, but some of the statements were to the effect of "rogues don't have good uses for their reactions", and that's just not true. I'll grant you they come on line later, but to ignore Opportune Backstabber is misleading.


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tivadar27 wrote:

So agreed that early on they don't get much, but that makes Nimble at best something they potentially want, but then want to retrain out of from 8th level on. If the ability had some scaling that made it better than a shield, even if only on one attack, then fine, but... It's just not very good as is. I'd sooner pick up a Parry weapon and get +1AC vs everything for an action..., or a shield for that matter.

I mean, everyone's going to have different opinions, but some of the statements were to the effect of "rogues don't have good uses for their reactions", and that's just not true. I'll grant you they come on line later, but to ignore Opportune Backstabber is misleading.

At level 8 you have Nimble Roll, which strongly improves Nimble Dodge and makes it the basic reaction for Bow Rogues.

So, at low level, Nimble Dodge is fine. At high level, it's still very good but only for some specific builds. It looks like an ideal positioning for a first level feat.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:

One of the big issues with Nimble Dodge, though, is that Raising Your Shield applies to every attack attempted against you until the start of your next turn, while Nimble Dodge works only against one attack.

Raising a shield is also an Action and not a Reaction. Why people keep drawing the comparison to using a shield is beyond me. Comparing it to reactive shield is fine, but people forget the biggest issue with Reactive Shield:

It competes with Shield Block, which is a powerful damage mitigation tool.

It's objectively a good Feat. And "only one attack" is underselling it. The attack you are likely to use this on is the attack that is most likely to hit you which is almost always the first attack a creature makes in a round.

Which means you almost always know exactly which attack you should be using your Nimble Dodge to avoid.

Being able to increase the miss chance (and reduce crit chance) of the most likely attack to hit you every round is just straight up good. Compare this to any of the other Class Feats at level one, and it's easily going to get the most mileage.

A Thief Rogue with 18 AC at level 1 and Nimble Dodge and high mobility tactics (which a thief is likely to employ) is going to find a lot of value here.

If you want to argue that there are builds where it's worse or better, go ahead and argue it, but it's a solid feat.

In a tight math system like PF2, it's not even up for debate. That +2 matters a lot.

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