The Crafty Rogue


Advice


So I just made a Halfling Rogue and decided to try dumping Str and Cha for Dex/Wis/Int.
With the stat flaws he looks like this.
Str 8(-1)
Dex 18(+4)
Con 10 (0)
Int 16(+3)
Wis 16(+3)
Cha 8 (0)
Took Tinker Background for Craft/Engineering lore and Spec Crafting (Snares)
At first lvl as a "Thief" he has all the skills except Performance, Deception, and Intimidation
Languages:Common, Halfling, Goblin, Gnome, Dwarf
Fort +3, Ref: +9, Will: +8
(A touch dicey vs poison, disease and fort spells but great otherwise)
Has an AC of 17(unarmored due to weight restrictions...low Str)
+7 Attack/+4 dmg with his main melee weapons and +7 hit/+0 dmg with shortbow
With a decent assortment of gear inc a healers kit and thief tools in bandolieers as well as 2 short swords, 2 daggers and a short bow with 20 arrows he still is only at 3.8 of his 4 Bulk encumbered.

For the first 4 lvls he has only one less Perception/Craft than anyone maxxed in these skills and only the fighter beats him in basic to hit.

He is a touch less resilient than preferred for someone who might often get into melee but his utility in undeniable.

So is this the ultimate crafty Rogue? I plan to go with Alchemist Dedication at 2nd for even more crafty power.

At 5th I plan on Getting Gnome ancestry with Cultural adaptability for a familiar for an extra set of hands and an extra infusion.

What would be any major pitfalls for this character?


That Con will get him killed, even before factoring in the low Fort save.
He would only be able to enter melee for cleanup, not when your party actually needs you. And you have a Halfling's starting h.p.!
It's like a warrior going in with 1/3 damage on them AND a vulnerability to grapple/poison/disease.

If all he's adding is 1d6-1 damage/strike he's are not aiding much at all. Is another PC helping set up flat-footed opponents for Sneak Attack at range? Please tell me you don't count on sneaking. Not that 2d6-1 (6) w/ Sneak Attack is that good seeing as you could get 2d6+4 (11) by simply being able to enter melee & flank.

The utility he contributes might be duplicated by party members who did not give up combat prowess, meaning he'd lose his primary purpose. PF2 is fairly generous (especially to Rogues) w/ skills & utility, so it's not like he's capitalizing on a rare commodity.

Recommendation. Pull back on trying to be "all the skill utility" for the party in one package. Being able to do Dex-to-damage already frees up a healthy chunk of stats for a melee combatant.
Recommend Str 8, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10.
Int 14/Wis 14 if you plan on focusing on Int skills. Shift for 16 Con if there's a lack of warriors or in-combat healing.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, a Halfling rogue with a 10 Con is likely to die quite quickly (If nothing else, Sound Burst tends to get thrown around a lot at lower levels).

Personally, I don't see Intelligence as a particularly useful score for Rogues: After multi-classing into Cleric and bumping my Int up to 12 at level 5, my rogue is only missing a handful of skills (Arcana, Intimidate, and Performance) and remember that Intelligence has no impact on your number of Expert, Master, and Legendary skills. We don't have a 'high int' character in our entire party and it hasn't really slowed us down.


Interesting idea (I like), like others have mentioned, stay away from anything trying to hit you/make you roll saves.

You may encounter (more) weight problems, as the more stuff you make, the more stuff you will need to carry. Being trained in Athletics and getting the skill feat ‘Hefty Hauler’ can help with this. Downtime will also be very valuable as well, if for nothing else, to track down formulas. (And to make items, though I am unsure if the goal is to go full out crafter, or to pick up ways to gain temporary ‘free’ items each day, with actually crafting being just a side benefit.).


In 'Step 6 Determine Ability Scores' of character creation, you
"apply four more ability boosts to your character’s ability scores, choosing a different ability score for each and increasing that ability score by 2." As such, I'm unsure how you managed to get 2 8's and a 10 to stats since one of those HAD to get a +2 in this step.

Ancestry: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, +2 int, +2 free, -2 Strength, -2 cha
Tinker: +2 dex, +2 [wisdom or int]
Rogue [thief]: +2 dex
4 ability boosts: +2 dex, +2 wis, +2 int, +2 free

So by my estimation, you'd look like:
str: 08
dex: 18
Con: 10
int: 14
Wis: 14
Cha: 08
And you can add +2 to EITHER int or wis [background] and +2 to str, cha or con [1 of 4 boosts] and a +2 to con [ancestry extra flaw]. You can't boost something already boosted in the same step so the boost for an extra flaw can't be in anything you already boosted and your 4 boosts have to be on different things. At best you could get something like:

str: 08
dex: 18
Con: 14
int: 14*
Wis: 16*
Cha: 08
* could be int 16 and wis 14 too


The Flaw part is kinda wrong, Halfling already have a STR penalty so it can't be selected to be the volutary flaw.

You could consider the arrays:
STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA
8/18/12/16/14/10
8/18/14/14/14/10 -> My favorite.
8/16/14/16/14/10

With the flaw rule taking on Wis/Cha
STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA
8/18/14/16/12/8 -> Rogue begin with expert Will so this one will do as well.
8/16/16/16/12/8


To begin with Stats are generated as follows
Halfling
Int+, Dex +, Wis+, Str -
Background
Int+,Wis+
Class
Dex +
4 Choices
Con +,Wis +, Dex +, Int +
Flaws
Cha - and Con - Dex +
That gives
Str - or 8
Dex ++++ or 18
Con + - or 10
Int +++ or 16
Wis +++ or 16
Cha - or 8

I know Con being 10 isn't great I'd have 14 HP to start but I plan to be a skermisher stealth striker, Utility character. Trained fort is ok for the first few levels and I plan on being the one poisoning things. My damage in melee is d6+4 +d6 backstabbing bonus most times and as a back up I'd have my short bow which is d6+0 damage. I'll have every skill except a few I'm no good at.


Timeshadow wrote:

Flaws

Cha - and Con - Dex +

Here is the mistake: Voluntary Flaws happens in the ancestry step and you already boosted your dex there. You must boost something other than "Int+, Dex +, Wis+".

"You can elect to take two additional ability flaws when applying the ability boosts and ability flaws from your ancestry."

"However, when you gain multiple ability boosts at the same time, you must apply each one to a different score."

To get an 18, you MUST get a +2 to it in every step, hence your background must provide it.


graystone wrote:
Timeshadow wrote:

Flaws

Cha - and Con - Dex +

Here is the mistake: Voluntary Flaws happens in the ancestry step and you already boosted your dex there. You must boost something other than "Int+, Dex +, Wis+".

"You can elect to take two additional ability flaws when applying the ability boosts and ability flaws from your ancestry."

"However, when you gain multiple ability boosts at the same time, you must apply each one to a different score."

To get an 18, you MUST get a +2 to it in every step, hence your background must provide it.

That's interesting....I never noticed that. I was working with the Pathbuilder app and didn't realise that flaws happened at the same step as ancestries. In this case I'd have to go with the 16 Dex then and not take the flaws since it's not worth it for anything but the dex.

So new array would be
Str 8
Dex 16
Con 12
Int 16
Wis 16
Cha 10

Works out nearly the same except it gives a touch more HP and fort save which was most ppl's primary complaint anyway :-)


Siro wrote:

Interesting idea (I like), like others have mentioned, stay away from anything trying to hit you/make you roll saves.

You may encounter (more) weight problems, as the more stuff you make, the more stuff you will need to carry. Being trained in Athletics and getting the skill feat ‘Hefty Hauler’ can help with this. Downtime will also be very valuable as well, if for nothing else, to track down formulas. (And to make items, though I am unsure if the goal is to go full out crafter, or to pick up ways to gain temporary ‘free’ items each day, with actually crafting being just a side benefit.).

He is supposed to be a trapsmith/adventurer rogue. He sneaks into combats if at all possible and backstabs then retreats if needed or sticks in for as big a burst of damage as he can until something gets him.

Out of combat he finds traps and notices stuff with his high perception and as he notices stuff is able to tell what it is with all his skills and high int.

During downtime he really shines as a crafter. He has all the "ability" of a wizard or alchemist in making permanent items and I'm thinking Trick magic item will be acquired asap as well allowing him to use scrolls and such if needed in a pinch. Hopefully he has a wizard friend in the party to supply spells for his creations when needed.

I intend to use poison ... a lot. And being able to craft poisons is something he will be taking advantage of.

Poison weapon feat at lvl 4 Rogue allows you to poison a weapon and strike all at once and allows you to make some weak poison as well. Hopefully by then I will have some good poison formulas under my belt already.


I am thinking for the first 5 lvls of taking:

2nd Lvl: Skill inc Craft
Skill Feat Magical Crafting
Class Feat Alchemest Dedication (Deception or a lore as skill choice)

3rd Lvl: Skill inc Stealth
General feat Improved initiative
Skill Feat Trick Magic item

4th Lvl: Skill inc Thievery
Skill feat Battle Medicine
Class Feat Poison Weapon

5th Lvl:
Ability Boosts Dex/Int/Con/Wis
Extra Int skill Intimidation or a lore
Skill inc Medicine
Skill Feat Arcane Sense
Ancestry Feat Cultural Adaptability/Gnome/Animal Accomplice

This gives me 18's in all my primary stats and evens me up for 5 whole lvls with the guys who have max in their primary. Give me a fimilair who is an extra reagent and pair of hands to administer potions/elixirs. I will have every skill in the game except preform trained or most of them and some "useful" lore.

My Perception will be max possible. I will be able to craft bag of holding I (it requires no spells) as long as I manage to ether find the recepie(which I will be aiming to get from lvl 1) or somone in the party will get one for me to study to make my own formula. With built in halfling's luck I can reroll a crapped out crafting roll.

The only real drawback the character had was slightly below average hp and low carry capacity and I think both of these are solved by this lvl with Magic items (such as potions) and a bag of holding or three :-)

Shadow Lodge

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Timeshadow wrote:
He is supposed to be a trapsmith/adventurer rogue. He sneaks into combats if at all possible and backstabs then retreats if needed or sticks in for as big a burst of damage as he can until something gets him.

It's nearly impossible to 'sneak into combat': The moment you end your move without cover or concealment, you become obvious to everyone. There are some ways around this, but they are in the upper levels.

Also, basically everything you face will have three actions like you do, so a character can go from 'great' to 'dead' really quickly, particularly if you are the first one in and the only character in easy reach when your opponents get their actions (Please note that one thing our group learned from my rogue's habit of charging in is that the GM MUST ROLL INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVES FOR ALL OPPONENTS: Multiple creatures sharing a single initiative roll can get extremely fatal for the first PC in.)

Timeshadow wrote:
Out of combat he finds traps and notices stuff with his high perception and as he notices stuff is able to tell what it is with all his skills and high int.

Be prepared for a bit of disappointment: I maxed my trapfinding out, but I think I'm only 2 pts better than most of the rest of the party (particularly the Fighter, Ranger, and Cleric) so it really comes down to a good roll by anyone will find what you are looking for and a bad roll will fail. For better or for worse, this is not PF1 where you can buff a skill or two through the proverbial roof at low level and just 'take 10' to automatically succeed at any check that is remotely appropriate for your level.

Timeshadow wrote:
During downtime he really shines as a crafter. He has all the "ability" of a wizard or alchemist in making permanent items and I'm thinking Trick magic item will be acquired asap as well allowing him to use scrolls and such if needed in a pinch. Hopefully he has a wizard friend in the party to supply spells for his creations when needed.

Generally speaking, crafting is not very good in PF2, as they deliberately nerfed it to avoid it being a 'must have' for every party.

Crafting generally does not save you Gold.
Crafting anything requires a formula for that item, so creating a wide variety of items is much more difficult than multiples of the same item.

Timeshadow wrote:
I intend to use poison ... a lot. And being able to craft poisons is something he will be taking advantage of.

PF2 Consumables (like Poison) are generally too expensive to use frequently. My party found some nasty poison a couple of sessions back and we generally concluded that the gold we would get from vendoring it is probably far more useful than an attack that is negated by a decent fortitude save.

Timeshadow wrote:
Poison weapon feat at lvl 4 Rogue allows you to poison a weapon and strike all at once and allows you to make some weak poison as well. Hopefully by then I will have some good poison formulas under my belt already.

You don't get a free attack with this feat:

Poison Weapon (Single Action / Feat 4) wrote:

Manipulate, Rogue

Source Core Rulebook pg. 185
Requirements You are wielding a piercing or slashing weapon.
You apply a poison to the required weapon; if you're not holding a poison and have a free hand, you can Interact to draw a poison as part of this action. If your next attack with that weapon before the end of your next turn hits and deals damage, it applies the effects of the poison, provided that poison can be delivered by contact or injury. If you critically fail the attack roll, the poison is wasted as normal.

Special During your daily preparations, you can prepare a number of simple injury poisons equal to your rogue level. These poisons deal 1d4 poison damage. Only you can apply these poisons properly, and they expire the next time you prepare.

This feat just applies the poison to the weapon in a single action (possibly provoking a reaction as it has the Manipulate trait) and it only lasts for one attack (hit or miss*) that has to be taken before the end of your next turn.

All this feat seems to do is allow you to apply poison quickly (and sloppily) in combat and provides you with a supply of weak Injury poisons each day (which get stronger with later feats).

*The inclusion of the 'Critical Miss' text is a bit confusing, as it seems to serve no purpose (if you don't hit and do damage, the poison is wasted anyway). Not certain what the intent here was.

Shadow Lodge

Okay, between this thread and another on rogues, I finally took a few minutes to look at exactly how expensive poisons are, and it is not good...

First of all, I'm using the following data:
Table 10-10: Character Wealth from Chapter 10: Game Mastering / Rewards / Treasure / Treasure for New Characters as a general guideline for how much gold adventures should have at each level.
All poisons listed on the Injury Trait page.

What I see is that, on average, the 'Currency' value listed is enough to get two doses of poison of that level (with a little give-or-take).
That's it: All your cash for two doses.

Now, Alchemist Dedication + Expert Alchemy + Mastery Alchemy would allow you to create poisons with Advanced Alchemy, but nothing near your own level in strength (At level 10, Hunting Spider Venom is your strongest option, and it looks like most level 10 creatures would scoff at a DC 21 Fortitude Save).

So, I'm just not seeing a real 'poison build' as viable for a rogue

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