What are peoplws thoughts on uncbained rogue, eldritch scoundrel and arcane trickster?


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Scarab Sages

Shorticus wrote:

I mean, there's other ways of getting a familiar. Eldritch Heritage (Arcane Bloodline), dipping... There's options.

But ultimately a familiar isn't necessary. It's handy, but far from necessary.

You seem to be playing a Knifemaster/Scout already, and I say roll with that. It's fun, straightforward, and fun to play. An Eldritch Scoundrel requires some system mastery to use effectively, especially good knowledge of the Wizard spell list. It's fun, it's effective, but it's not for every player.

Oh I know its not necessary just fun and I've been playing Nioh where a certain Ninja keeps a time telling cat in his clothing so a part of me's tempted to it.

Level dipping isn't worth it just to get a familiar. Everything else either seems too expensive or too restricted. Eldrtich Heritage requires skill focus (so its effectively 2 feats), familiar bond requires iron will which isn't too bad but neuters the familiar heavily, arcane trickster gives up too much for a familiar. rogue talents as mentioned requires 3 talents (minor and major magic + familiar).
I miss the 3.5 feat that only required 3rd level spells and 4 ranks in knowledge arana to take. Both of which you got as an arcane class (generally speaking) plus one feat and in return you get a full familiar. Pathfinder seems to put a lot more pre-requisite cost and/or a weaker familiar. Maybe I could convince the GM that eldritch scoundrels spellcasting counts the same as minor and major magic.

I actually normally play casters but due to real life circumstances someone else took the opportunity to pick a full caster class already. We could have 2 but its easy to just play something else for a change. So casters I know well, what spells I want, how I want to play etc. Martials on the other hand are largely unfamiliar territory hence so many questions as I try to work something out.

I think right now I just have to choose between Eldrtich Scoundrel 20 or Knifemaster/Scout with maybe a level dip.


Understood! Just keep the Sense Vitals spell in mind if you do go Eldritch Scoundrel. If you want to maintain melee presence, that's a good way to go, especially with a Glove of Storing and a Lesser Quickened Metamagic Rod.

Other than that, bear in mind the various spells Wizards have that can provide you with the ability to function as a combat rogue properly... not least of all includes Greater Invisibility + Mind Blank. Mind Blank is 8th level, so you can't actually cast it, but you could keep a scroll of it on hand in preparation for important fights.

Finally, take a good look at the different Mythic paths, IMO, especially if you already picked your Campaign trait (and thus your related Mythic Path.)

Scarab Sages

DM's not tying them together we can take any feat and mechanical benefit we like e.g. stolen fury and mage benefits as long as we take a feat, a fluff and a mechcanical set of benefits.


Senko wrote:
DM's not tying them together we can take any feat and mechanical benefit we like e.g. stolen fury and mage benefits as long as we take a feat, a fluff and a mechcanical set of benefits.

Sounds pretty fun! I think you'll enjoy the campaign.

Grand Lodge

I won't knock on the abilties of the archetype or on the PrC, the logic makes sense for whar the OP wants to do, the character would do well.

It's on the tradeoffs that I'm not overly impressed. Losing 4 SP/level, the auto-detect on non-magical traps, the lower sneak attack progress and having to spend talents to recover (improved) uncanny dodge, I'm like, yuck ... spellcasting doesn't compensate that.


Philippe Lam wrote:

I won't knock on the abilties of the archetype or on the PrC, the logic makes sense for whar the OP wants to do, the character would do well.

It's on the tradeoffs that I'm not overly impressed. Losing 4 SP/level, the auto-detect on non-magical traps, the lower sneak attack progress and having to spend talents to recover (improved) uncanny dodge, I'm like, yuck ... spellcasting doesn't compensate that.

To me, I always ask "What do I get from spellcasting that compensates for my lost features?"

Skill Points - net loss and no real return here. That's the most painful aspect to me. However, you no longer 'need' UMD, and you're more INT-focused and thus probably have a higher INT. It doesn't fully compensate, but it puts you 1-2 SP behind a normal rogue I'd argue.

Lowered SAD - also painful, but we can make up for that with with the Sense Vitals spell and other useful self-buffs from the Wizard spell list to increase our overall effectiveness.

Trap spotting stuff - you don't actually LOSE anything to SPOT traps. You lose some AC and saves limited specifically to traps, and in return you get auto-detection vs. magical traps (usually the most deadly traps) within 10 feet of you. It's a weaker Trap Spotter talent, but I prefer it to Trap Sense, actually. After all, it's better to spot the trap before it goes off, usually, and it's not like your Reflex Saves need too much boosting.

Rogue Talents - This is another painful aspect to me, but you do get a little something out of it. When you're a little higher level, it's quite cheap to expend a 1st level spell slot for Vanishing Trick, or for other Ninja abilities you may want. Overall though... I do think this is a painful trade and I'd rather keep my full rogue talents.

So, in the end it's the rogue talents that hurt the most to me, given how amazing they can be. (Free feats? More sneak attack goodies? More utility? Yes please!) However, 6th level wizard spellcasting compensates for all the other things you lack.

Consider, for instance: a base Unchained Rogue and an Eldritch Scoundrel at 9th level have 5d6 and 2d6 SAD respectively. However, with a single cast of Sense Vitals the Eldritch Scoundrel is back at 5d6. The Unchained Rogue could, of course, use UMD and a scroll to get extra SAD, but just a caster level (3) scroll of the spell would cost 150g per cast, and a wand would cost 4,500 gold, and they'd need some investment in UMD to make this work... and those would grant 1d6, not 3d6.

(It's worth mentioning, of course, that Sense Vitals is a Standard Action to cost and is rounds/level, so it can affect your action economy without the eventual usage of metamagic rods.)

So, the Eldritch Scoundrel isn't *bad.* It requires knowledge of the game and of the Wizard spell list. You're not a melee beast, but you're honestly about as capable as an unchained Rogue, and you're better at getting sneak attacks off thanks to your spell list. You have some save-or-suck options at low levels, too, and ways to affect incorporeal creatures when you couldn't, and ways to just answer more questions than rogues usually do. You're built broad, not tall, in terms of your capabilities - but can still do well in a fight with appropriate planning.

It's a class that I enjoyed playing for the time I did, and I'd play it again in the right campaign. I still miss my 3.5 Beguiler, though.


EldonGuyre wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:

My Arcane Trickster is actually going to be a primary spellcaster. He'll be down one level, starting with a 19 Int, 20 at 4th. I do intend to use a double handful of those sweet illusion spells.

Oh, skill monkey? Not that, no. Most of my points are going into being unnoticed and noticing everything, sneaky stuff, and magicking.

Then I'd recommend

1Ninja or Rogue1: Snakebite Striker, Sneak Attack 1d6
2N1Wizard1
3N1W2
4N1W3
5N1W3Arcane Trickster1: Acccomplished Sneak Attacker

lol...he's already built.

I hope you're having lots of fun with him.


Yure wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Yure wrote:
(attack action stuff)
This is a very old argument--one of the oldest on the site, in fact--and it's long settled. Relitigating it now isn't likely to be constructive. Do whatever works for your table.
No, it's not.

Yes it is!

</python>


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:

My Arcane Trickster is actually going to be a primary spellcaster. He'll be down one level, starting with a 19 Int, 20 at 4th. I do intend to use a double handful of those sweet illusion spells.

Oh, skill monkey? Not that, no. Most of my points are going into being unnoticed and noticing everything, sneaky stuff, and magicking.

Then I'd recommend

1Ninja or Rogue1: Snakebite Striker, Sneak Attack 1d6
2N1Wizard1
3N1W2
4N1W3
5N1W3Arcane Trickster1: Acccomplished Sneak Attacker

lol...he's already built.
I hope you're having lots of fun with him.

Thanks.

The game hasn't started yet, but I intend to. I explained some of the character to the biggest optimizer in the group, and he seemed very impressed.

Grand Lodge

Shorticus wrote:

To me, I always ask "What do I get from spellcasting that compensates for my lost features?"

Skill Points - net loss and no real return here. That's the most painful aspect to me. However, you no longer 'need' UMD, and you're more INT-focused and thus probably have a higher INT. It doesn't fully compensate, but it puts you 1-2 SP behind a normal rogue I'd argue.

sic/etc/else ...

I'm looking at whether in the end, the archetype has more benefit than downsides compares to what the end goal is. If it is, I'll consider it. If it doesn't, then nope.

Losing the armor proficiency, doesn't sound right when resilience is already low. Mage Armor doesn't cut it in later levels. Since you structured point by point, that's my opinion bout these :

- Skill Points -> If we spoke about a fighter, I would agree 2 less SP/level wouldn't be so much of a problem. The same can't be said about a rogue : Disable Device, Stealth, Diplomacy, Sleight of Hand, Perception, Acrobatics, Escape Artist, and with the archetype, I could plausibly add Spellcraft and Knowledge arcana, which doesn't leave much to anything else and even 16 intelligence or more, starting at 4/level, I'm being skeptical unless the player accepts having less than full ranks in lots of these.

- Lowered SAD -> whether the party will have the time to cast spells is very debatable, other spells might be tackled earlier, and not every fight can be prepared behind a closed door and opponents waiting, and the more time the characters spend to buff, so the enemies are. Other self-buffs do help offset the problem however.

- Trap spotting stuff ->

Quote:

Alarm Sense (Su)

At 3rd level, an eldritch scoundrel gains an intuitive sense that warns her when she is near a magic trap. This functions as the trap spotter rogue talent, but applies only if the eldritch scoundrel comes within 10 feet of a magic trap.

I wasn't speaking about magical traps, but about the non-magical ones. Traps are mechanical as often as magical which makes the nerf a NO (caps intended)

While the archetype can fare better than the vanilla class due to their better versatility, if it needs an unfavourable workload/benefit ratio, then it's again a no. I don't have the absolute potential in mind, but rather whether it's easily playable or not. Despite the clear weaknesses, I would still take a vanilla rogue, as it's easier for me then to try reinforcing the skeleton.

What you say makes sense, I'm just not a fan of trying to be able to do everything because it either works perfectly, or not at all. And that's the variance I don't like.


Quote:
What you say makes sense, I'm just not a fan of trying to be able to do everything because it either works perfectly, or not at all. And that's the variance I don't like.

Definitely fair, Philippe. Again, it's not an archetype for everyone. It's one I've had fun with, and I think it gets a worse rep than it deserves, but I'd never call it top tier among roguish types or anything. It holds its own and it's fun for me, and... that's about all I need to justify its use in one or two campaigns.

There is one last tidbit I'll note, though:

Quote:
- Skill Points -> If we spoke about a fighter, I would agree 2 less SP/level wouldn't be so much of a problem. The same can't be said about a rogue : Disable Device, Stealth, Diplomacy, Sleight of Hand, Perception, Acrobatics, Escape Artist, and with the archetype, I could plausibly add Spellcraft and Knowledge arcana, which doesn't leave much to anything else and even 16 intelligence or more, starting at 4/level, I'm being skeptical unless the player accepts having less than full ranks in lots of these.

So, it's 4 SP/level is what the Rogue has. But moreover: most games I've been in include Background skills, and that offsets the issue slightly, but just as importantly...

Have you ever seen a Wizard need Escape Artist or Acrobatics? Not me. An Eldritch Scoundrel might want a little investment in Acrobatics for AoO purposes, but said Rogue also has access to the wizard spell list up to 6th level spells. You don't need Climb or Swim if you can give yourself a Climb or Swim speed; you can give yourself flight; you can give yourself Feather Fall or other such spells.

The big issue is that you need to know what to prepare ahead of time. The more you know about what you're going up against, the better you can prepare for the environmental and combat challenges you'll face.

---

I do want to add again that I SORELY miss playing my Beguiler from 3.5, which may be why I enjoy the Eldritch Scoundrel. There's a homebrew conversion for the Beguiler into Pathfinder, but I've yet to find a GM that will let me play it. I will never forget my solo infiltration missions between sessions on that character, though.


A set of Darkleaf Studded Leather gives you +3 to AC for a 5% arcane spell failure. That's not too shabby. And the idea of the Eldritch Scoundrel, it seems, is that you become an even more versatile scalpel *set* than the default Rogue is.


Magical thief is a concept with a lot of backing in literature, but the eldritch scoundrel's implementation is a problem in a dungeon-crawling game. To stay alive you need spells like mirror image or spell slots fueling vanishing trick - people really don't like ASF, and mage armor isn't enough - and that costs actions and your precious 6-level caster spell slots. Then on offence you want sense vitals or other buffs, and/or touch attack spells. More actions and spell slots. With prep you can be lethal but not for long, without you're in the game for even less time as your 1st level spell slots go up in smoke.

Basically you're great in a thief game where you're pulling off heists or assassinating people. In a dungeon? What are you going to do when your spells run out, as they certainly will?


Quote:
Basically you're great in a thief game where you're pulling off heists or assassinating people. In a dungeon? What are you going to do when your spells run out, as they certainly will?

I think this is an absolutely fair description of Eldritch Scoundrel. It was much easier to use it during "missions" where I could plan than during dungeon crawl segments. Still useful during dungeon crawl segments... but it could get costly.

Again, there's a reason I keep moaning about how much I miss 3.5's Beguiler.

Grand Lodge

Shorticus wrote:
I will never forget my solo infiltration missions between sessions on that character, though.

Where I am, either win as a team or die as a team. I don't like solo infiltration sequences as they often slow pace rather than accelerate it. Even if going stealth, it's stealth all together.

Speaking about the specific dungeon problem that the archetype might encounter, it's not always that inherently worse, but it makes the group usually think more. Going into a dungeon means having to adventure and fight into unfavourable terrain, when having time to prep way ahead of time makes it far easier.


A guy in my current campaign is running an UC Rogue and doing some great stuff with it... he is pretty experienced though.


Quote:
Where I am, either win as a team or die as a team. I don't like solo infiltration sequences as they often slow pace rather than accelerate it. Even if going stealth, it's stealth all together.

Right - hence why the stuff was between session, as said. So, I had a GM for that campaign that would have our regularly scheduled games, but we would ALSO have occasional solo / duo stuff we'd do between games if she was available.

It was really cool. For me, it meant my thiefy-magey gnome went in and did some scouting / infiltration about a site before we actually hit the place, the better to gather information, make plans, or sabotage the bad guys. He did get caught once, but it was a really fun sideshow to the actual main session for me.

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