Min - Maxing Rogue


Advice


Goblin Rogue Thief - Unbrakable goblin
- (L1)Very Sneaky, (L5)GOBLIN SCUTTLE

Dark vision (we play with dynamic lights so dark vision is a must for a rogue)

Inicial Scores

10 STR
18 DEX + (level 5 upgrades)
14 CON +
10 INT
10 WIS +
16 CHA +

Weapon:
Dague
Short Sword
ShortBow

Skills (in order to increase)
Stealth - Intimidate - Thivary - Deception - Acrobatics - Atheletics...

Feats

L1 Trap Finder / Nimbus dodge
L2 Mobility
L4 Poison Weapon
L6 Twist de Knife
L8 Opportune Backstab

General feats:
Fleet (+5 speed)

Skill feats:
Still have to decide

Objedctive:
I want to do a lot of damage and I will also be the scouter and face for the group. The party have a sourcerer, healer/tank cleric and a warrior (that will play in tandem with me LF flanks and giving protection).
How can I min-max the rogue? There is a multiclass worth to take?
Did I do some wrong decisions?


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Let's begin with the initial scores...

Volutanry flaw in STR and Int to get Wis

This put you in
8 STR
18 DEX
14 CON
8 INT
12 WIS
16 CHA

Poison Weapon and Twist the Knife would both get more benefits from a Rapier than a Shortsword, because these feats are more about spending actions to do one quality attack.

About Multiclass, Fighter or Ranger have the potential to raise your damage, but that would require dual wielding for Double Slice or Twin Takedown.


First off: I'm not exactly a min maxer, I still hope my point of views helps you a little

If you want to make lots of damage consider rapier as your main weapon instead of dagger (I assmune 'Dague' is supposed to mean dagger?)

The increased die size and deadly certainly increase your damage and since you intend to increase athletics your disarm might be useful now and then too

Maybe ask your dm if he considers the war razor (gods and magic) as appropriate rogue weapon

Nimble dodge is probably good when faces with lots of melee enemies, but if you really want to min/max on damage consider twin feint (with a dagger as offhand weapon) for guaranteed sneak dmg even if your flanking buddy is not availible

Since you are going to get intimidate high consider also 'you're next' for opening opportunities and weakening foes

Mobility is useful if you have a lot of fightes to pass, but if you stay close to the regular 'front line' with your flanking buddy consider quick draw (to be quicker ready and make more out of short distance daggering) or unbalancing blow (you want to hit hard, this enables even harder hits and opens opportunities for your allies as well)

If you pick 'you'Re next' you should definitly pick dread striker - increases your sneak potential by a lot

If you want poison weapon you should consider alchemist as multiclass for more and stronger poisons

and as party scout 'scouts warning' is a quite obvious choice, a little initiative might go a long way

twist the knife is good for a skirmisher style (apllying bleed to one enemy at a time) but again, for straight up minmaxing damage I think 'gang up' might work better in your favor

if you pick poison weapon you might want to improve on it at 8th level but I agree that oppotune backstabber is a really good choice, be careful not to have too many reactions or it will be too hard to choose between all of them

For skill feats take intimidating glare to make that whole thing easier

charming liar for deception should certainly have value for a face

quiet allies is helpful - and even more if the group is big

hope that all helps a little - have fun ya sneak :P

Shadow Lodge

Forget about Rapiers: They are far too heavy, err, bulky to be practical for a low strength Rogue. Short Swords are your best friend.

For much the same reason, I don't recommend assigning a voluntary flaw to Strength: At Str 8, you can't even wear Leather Armor without a penalty.

I'm not overly enthusiastic about Trap Finder: So far, I don't think our group has even encountered 1 trap per level, so the bonus from this feat basically equates to 1 trap detected over 20 levels (My rogue is usually searching rather than avoiding notice). Of course, your personal mileage may vary...

I'm not a fan of Mobility: Being restricted to half movement really limits its utility

I am a big fan of Gang Up: Really, it makes it really easy to get your opponents flat footed if your party has at least a couple of other melee.

Liberty's Edge

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Kyrone wrote:

Let's begin with the initial scores...

Volutanry flaw in STR and Int to get Wis

I sincerely don't think this is worth it. Leather Armor requires Str 10 to ignore the ACP, and that's damaging enough to either your core Rogue stuff (having a -1 ACP is bad on a primary scout) or your AC that this is a bad deal.

Dropping Con to 12, Cha to 14, or both, to raise Wis to 12 or 14 remains a potentially solid mechanical choice though. Wisdom is a really good stat.
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If you're a Goblin, you should eventually be using a dogslicer (after grabbing the appropriate Ancestry Feat). For a Rogue, it's pretty much a strictly better short sword in a lot of ways. It might be worth it to invest a General Feat into another Ancestry Feat to pick up Goblin Weapon Training to manage this, depending on circumstances.

In terms of combat optimization, you probably either want to reduce some Cha for Wis (as mentioned above) or, alternately, take advantage of 'You're Next' and then 'Dread Striker', which leverage Intimidate (and thus Charisma) into an even more potent combat advantage than it already is. That makes the Cha more worth it (though, obviously, it also involves an investment into Intimidate).


I swap the ancestry to human half-orc with dark vision.

My scores at lvl 5 are:
10 STR
19 DEX
14 CON
10 INT
14 WIS
18 CHA

Feats:
1 You are next
2 "IDK what to take" (maybe quik drow to swap between range and mele)
4 Dread Strike
___ future___
6 Twist the knife
8 Opportune Backstab

Combat strategy:

I play in tandem with a "Gnome flickmace" Fighter with "Intimidate Strike"

So I have this options for sneak attack:
- Flanking
- Prone enemys (if Fighter critical hit)
- Frightened enemys (if Fighter hits becouse of his feat)

Weapon:
Here is where I am a bit lost:
I really like the critical effect of knife but the damage is low.
I can use the lvl 5 ancestry feat to take proficiency in the weapon I want if it's needed.
options: Dagger (I like becouse of crítical effect and throw)
Rapier (a lot of damage on critical hits)
Dogslicer (a lot of damage on normal hits)
Filcher’s fork (a lot of good traits)

Considerations
I don't need more "flat-footed options"

Shadow Lodge

PochiPooom wrote:


So I have this options for sneak attack:
- Flanking
- Prone enemys (if Fighter critical hit)
- Frightened enemys (if Fighter hits becouse of his feat)

Keep in mind how initiative can affect things:

If your prone opponent goes after the fighter but before you, it will stand up and no longer be flat footed when your turn comes.
Likewise, if a frightened 1 opponent goes after the fighter but before you, it will no longer be frightened when your turn arrives.
Finally, Intimidating Strike is a two-action attack, so your fighter ally only gets one shot at it each round, and even the first attack from a fighter will probably have a decent chance of missing.

I'm just saying that in actual play, combos like these break down more often than we'd like.
Also, Gang Up is practically tailor-made for a rogue partnered with a reach-weapon character since they threaten such a large area (yes, it's sometimes 'overkill' on the flat-footed front).

PochiPooom wrote:

Weapon:

Here is where I am a bit lost:
I really like the critical effect of knife but the damage is low.
I can use the lvl 5 ancestry feat to take proficiency in the weapon I want if it's needed.
options: Dagger (I like becouse of crítical effect and throw)
Rapier (a lot of damage on critical hits)
Dogslicer (a lot of damage on normal hits)
Filcher’s fork (a lot of good traits)

Forget critical effects: You won't get them too often.

I am a big fan of the Short Sword: Light weight, Versatile damage, Agile, finesse, and you aren't going to get than its d6 damage die.
Rapiers are too heavy and lack both damage versatility and the Finesse trait, none of which is really offset by the additional 1d8 damage on a crit.
Dogslicers are good, but the additional 1 point of damage they inflict on a Flat Footed opponent isn't enough to justify the effort required to gain access (granted, this is less of an issue for Humans and Goblins than it is for my Halfling). They also lack the option of doing Piercing damage, which probably isn't a significant issue on average.
Daggers and Forks just don't do enough damage in my mind: I think this is largely psychological, but d6s just get more respect than d4s.

On a side note, I really don't think Twist the Knife is a decent choice: At 8th level, I am doing 4d6+6 damage (avg 20) against flat-footed opponents, so the bleed 2 this feat inflicts will take 10 rounds* to equal an average attack. Now, my 3rd attack is unlikely to hit, but it's probably better than 'will hit once every 10 rounds on average'

*Note that bleeds should only last about 4-5 rounds on average. Assuming other damage doesn't take the bleeding creature down, this means 8-10 total damage against what is probably a 100+ hp creature.


if you want to maximize damage, you dont need charisma, up wisdom instead for higher initiative score. (though i personally wouldnt do this as i like to face)

after that i think ruffian is better for damage, plus for things like athletics/maneuvers/carry capacity. you get medium armor. so AC isnt a problem.

There are a few dead spots in rogue class feats as far as damage, and even the ones that do *add* damage are less DPR boosts and more situational tools to set up more burst/damage over time. or let you apply sneak attack more often.

1-nimble dodge? not much you can do here.

2-id take a dedication. something that wont require much investment. Monk is honestly good here.

4-this is where you must decide if you want to get basic kata Monastic weaponry or delay that. monastic weaponry means you can wield simple monk weapons and gain sneak attack benefits (like katar, wich have deadly d6 trait). Id just get it and get it out of the way.

6-gang up helps a lot here

8-opportune backstab is one of the best DPR gains i think a rogue gets

10-twist the knife is a single action, if you dont want to attack again its free damage per round, though not much damage. but id get monks flurry here, while not a straight damage buff, the ability to attack twice in a single action and add it together for overcoming damage resistance, when combined with sneak attack dice, is very powerful.

12-poison weapons? one action, only good for one attack.

14-improved poison weapon? extra 2d4 for 1 action, good thing you freed up your actions a little with monks flurry?

16-direct damage bump? probably ki strike. at that level its 2d6 extra damage to both attacks in your flurry of blows, 4d6 extra. 6d6 at 18.

18 and 20, id strongly considering getting focus powers so you can get to 3 focus points and use ki strike 3xbefore a 10 minute refocus.

together what can we do?

at 20, assuming your next to the target.

1 action poison weapon and 1 action twist the knife
flurry of blows with your katar

4d4 katarx2 with striking
3d6 katarx2 elemental runes
12x2 STR+weapon specializations
4d6x2 sneak attack
3d6x2 ki strike
2d4 improved poison weapon
4 twist the knife

8d4+6d6+8d6+6d6+2d4+24+4= 58-196 3 actions total to do but most of the damage is just in the 2 attacks, and that damage gets added together for dealing with DR.

not bad for d4 weapons no?

Shadow Lodge

Martialmasters wrote:
...

Okay, your attacks are doing 4d4+12 Piercing + 3d6 Energy + 4d6 precision (23-70, 46.5 average) damage per attack baseline, and you are wasting two actions to get 2d4 poison damage and Bleed 4? A third and fourth attack may be at -8 to hit, but they are almost certainly going to be better than the 6-12 = 9 average damage you are getting from those two actions (assuming your first attack hits)...

Putting all this work into getting Flurry on a rogue is kinda pointless if you're going to just waste actions like that.


Taja the Barbarian wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
...

Okay, your attacks are doing 4d4+12 Piercing + 3d6 Energy + 4d6 precision (23-70, 46.5 average) damage per attack baseline, and you are wasting two actions to get 2d4 poison damage and Bleed 4? A third and fourth attack may be at -8 to hit, but they are almost certainly going to be better than the 6-12 = 9 average damage you are getting from those two actions (assuming your first attack hits)...

Putting all this work into getting Flurry on a rogue is kinda pointless if you're going to just waste actions like that.

i didnt say it was good

i i just pooled together rogue feats that *boosted* damage.

there is a lot of dead space for rogues in general as far as this goes.

I too would probably not take poison/imp poison/twist the knife feats. but with no direct damage buffs, i guess id just pick something to go with for role play or action economy efficiency.


This is very useful guys. I was actually looking on monk multiclasing and I really like wolf stand. But i can't get proficiency higher than trained. ¿Is there a way? Do natural attacks count as simple weapons?


PochiPooom wrote:
This is very useful guys. I was actually looking on monk multiclasing and I really like wolf stand. But i can't get proficiency higher than trained. ¿Is there a way? Do natural attacks count as simple weapons?

My understanding is you need weapons anyway to get sneak attack damage do no reason to pick a style.

Also my understanding and I could be wrong here. Everyone gets their unarmed to scale with their general pool of weapons. So you will become master eventually.

Liberty's Edge

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PochiPooom wrote:
This is very useful guys. I was actually looking on monk multiclasing and I really like wolf stand. But i can't get proficiency higher than trained. ¿Is there a way? Do natural attacks count as simple weapons?

You can. Per the errata, Unarmed Proficiency is always the same as Simple Weapon Proficiency, so you're good there.

Martialmasters wrote:
My understanding is you need weapons anyway to get sneak attack damage do no reason to pick a style.

This is untrue, Sneak Attack covers finesse or agile unarmed attacks as well as those with similar melee weapons. The Thief Racket's Dex to damage effect, however, is weapon specific, so that doesn't apply to unarmed attacks.

Martialmasters wrote:
Also my understanding and I could be wrong here. Everyone gets their unarmed to scale with their general pool of weapons. So you will become master eventually.

This is correct, yes.


Ah it's thief specific ok


So if I use the monk stance I can't use my Dex for damage? Ar fist not counting as weapons?

For multiclass to monk do I need Str 14 and Dex 14 or only one?

Liberty's Edge

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PochiPooom wrote:
So if I use the monk stance I can't use my Dex for damage?

If you use any unarmed attack you can't use Dex for damage. That includes, but is not limited to, Monk Stances.

PochiPooom wrote:
Ar fist not counting as weapons?

They do not. In PF2, no unarmed attack counts as a weapon. And only weapons get Dex-to-damage from the Thief Racket.

PochiPooom wrote:
For multiclass to monk do I need Str 14 and Dex 14 or only one?

You need both.


Yeah, honestly, the best weapon for rogues is Wolf Stance, d8 agile finesse backstabber... Granted, you have to give up any "weapon" specific stuff for it, and it doesn't play as well with Thief Racket. Still, it's 1 extra damage per damage die (not even including backstabber). That means if you keep your strength close to your dexterity (use boosts, but no large initial investment), then you should be fine.

Flurry of blows is great for rogue, as they don't really have another great Flourish ability, and 2 attacks for 1 action is pretty amazing.

Shadow Lodge

Martialmasters wrote:
Ah it's thief specific ok

There might be an impact on Ruffians as well:

Ruffian (Core Rulebook pg. 180) wrote:
You use whatever tools you have at hand to get the job done. You can deal sneak attack damage with any simple weapon, in addition to the weapons listed in the sneak attack class feature. When you critically succeed at an attack roll using a simple weapon and the target has the flat-footed condition (unable to focus on defending itself), you also apply the critical specialization effect for the weapon you’re wielding (page 283). You don’t gain these benefits if the weapon has a damage die larger than d8 (after applying any abilities that alter its damage die size).

Since Unarmed Attacks are not weapons, this could be interpreted as removing Unarmed Sneak Attacks for this racket, oddly leaving the Scoundrel as the only Rogue Racket that can fully use Unarmed Attacks.


they really messed up unarmed in this edition in trying to make it different but similar

Liberty's Edge

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Taja the Barbarian wrote:
There might be an impact on Ruffians as well:

This point is certainly worth noting given the ambiguity.

That said, any ruling to this effect is deeply stupid and I have grave doubts about how worthwhile playing with a GM who'd make this ruling is.


"Rogue monks are incredibly effective because stances grant some of the best agile finesse attacks and flurry gives more sneak attacks."

This is what the book says about Rogue/Monks. So I think that the intention was that they can use dex for damage and u can use fist as a weapon for sneak attacks

Liberty's Edge

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PochiPooom wrote:

"Rogue monks are incredibly effective because stances grant some of the best agile finesse attacks and flurry gives more sneak attacks."

This is what the book says about Rogue/Monks. So I think that the intention was that they can use dex for damage and u can use fist as a weapon for sneak attacks

That says nothing about Dex-to-damage. But the interpretation that Ruffian somehow makes you unable to Sneak Attack unarmed is pretty absurd.


I'd like to throw another option into the mix here.

Ruffian/Cleric can be an absolute beast in terms of offense and defense. You're mainly a STR/WIS character, which works just fine with your already excellent Perception.

As a Ruffian, you're using simple weapons, but can't go above a d8. Thing is, there's no one-handed simple weapon that deals more than a d6.

Until you add in Deadly Simplicity, which seems the easiest way to get that die size increase.

With core gods, you're limited to Asmodeus (mace), but Gods and Omens should open up a score of options for maces, spears, and morningstars.

Add in the ability to self-buff through Cleric magic, pick up Shield Block, and you're set as a sturdy frontliner who can hit like a truck against a flat footed foe. At 5th level with flanking, you're dealing 2d8+2d6+4, which is comparable to a Barbarian, with much better AC in the process.


Self buffing is nice when the caster needs to set something up but it still delays your turn.

Just something to note


Martialmasters wrote:

Self buffing is nice when the caster needs to set something up but it still delays your turn.

Just something to note

Depends on how long the fight is going to go for.

In a shorter fight, it's not ideal, but for a longer fight (and in my experience, fights past 5th level can comfortably stretch out for 10 rounds), it's not a bad use of time.

I suspect that it's still worth it for the climb from d6s to d8s.

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