Incredibly Disappointed With My Experience as a PC


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A little history for myself before I write out my opinions in a wall of text. My first experience ever with TTRPGing was 5e. I've played that like 4 times (and that is counting a shoddy 1 shot someone ran for my first game). My first campaign ever I DMed because no one else would. I had friends who had very negative opinions of 5e, and convinced me to try PF1e. It was ok, but it just seemed like bloatedness with perceived choices that weren't real since any attempt at not being a wet noodle resulted in mimiced choices. However, I don't want this thread to be about my potentially misguided views of PF1. PF2 is out, and I've played it from both a DM perspective and now a PC.

When the playtest started I was very excited. My group was a mix of people who enjoyed the simplified "just play the game" aspects of 5e, and those that loved the mechanical depth and freedom of PF1e. So, when this was announced I assumed this was going to be the middle ground system we would all maybe enjoy.

Well.....there are some real problems.

I love making characters in downtime when I just don't feel like playing video games. I love creating some kind of shtick (ex. Warforged Barbarian former slave with PTSD desperately seeking his first real emotional connection with friends but has extreme emotional instability) that can keep me entertained while also optimizing my character for what I perceive they would be good at. The best of both worlds. Well, right now I'm playing Age of Ashes as a rogue. We're about to hit level 7.

There is only one word for what I've consistently felt over and over while looking through my character progression, and it is disappointment.

I started as a Scoundrel rogue. I thought Thief sounded more solid for just raw damage (esp looking at later feats) but I love social interactions in the game more than combat, so my character being a scoundrel with naturally high charisma made sense. Plus, feint sounded cool. Final scores at level 1 rolling stats: 10 Str, 18 Dex, 14 Con, 13 Int, 10 Wis, 18 Cha. I was a goblin.

Level 1 was great for my choices. I'm picking my racket (which seemed exciting), my ancestries, skills, equipment, etc. All things with long term impact and seem like I'm making a choice that matters. It was fun. It's all downhill from here.

Level 2 Things start looking more bland. I already had nimble dodge which just seems inescapably better than everything else at level 1 (just my opinion). My Scoundrel specific feat at level 2 is awful for me. For the exact same reason being a scoundrel in my party was an awful decision. I have two other melee characters in my party (3 if you count our cleric whose most common turn is 3 action magic missile). With how sneak attack works with flanking I literally never need to feint. There were some extremely situational useful feats I could have taken, but none that were as generally useful as mobility. Not even close.

This is the level I also started to realize just how uninteresting skill feats are. I'll address that later.

Level 3 Was OK. I picked a general feat which are definitely more interesting than the skill feats, but only because of the handful that actually make an impact on my character. Since as a rogue I like to hit things before they act - Incredible Initiative.

Level 4 Was where I hit a deep depression. There aren't words to describe just how awful it was to realize how bad of a Feat poison weapon is. I will also address this later. Battle Assessment seemed very interesting at face value, but the information gained is only extremely situationally useful and just not worth the action given that the information gained can usually be determined through first turn actions and common sense due to the repetitive nature of combat actions. Reactive Pursuit was the clear winner here. Still situational, but at least generally useful in some way.

Level 5 was interesting because of Ability Boosts, and my Ancestry feat. Even that though was fairly shallow as my important stats are still important. I go to 10 Str, 19 Dex, 16 Con, 13 Int, 12 Wis, 19 Cha. At this point we have downtime in Age of Ashes so I retrain into thief as I have now realized that I have feinted one time in five levels. So, I might as well get some added flat damage, and gain access to some powerful class feats coming up.

Level 6 I get Gang Up. This isn't even a choice. My skill feat options still seem empty and vapid.

So, that has been my experience so far. Rare moments of "oh this might be cool" followed by a sudden realization that it isn't.

I'll go into more detail about what I think is the source of this starting with Feint for the scoundrel. I want to be clear that I still think it is an interesting racket design. In fact, I liked all three. However, Scoundrel only seems to be an option if you are alone in melee or even maybe with 1 other person. Otherwise, you will just never feint. This is compounded by the fact there are no real supplementary feats for the feint action if you do have multiple party members in melee. Which really pisses me off considering there is a level 1 Swashbuckler feat that allows feint to essentially give you +2 AC for the next attack against you. I don't know why rogues don't have feats like this that either replace the effect of Feint or build upon it in a way that benefits the rogue so that they can still use that action in a standard move-attack-____ or attack-attack-____ turn. I often just ended rolling a third attack praying for a crit roll because I had nothing better to do. This is a design failure.

Also, at no point in the first 6 levels has multi-classing been a viable option for me to partake in in such a way that would make my character more fun. Which I was told is supposed to be a way to supplement poor options for class feats. As a note, I think it is incredibly awkward that monk multiclass archetype requires 14 Dex AND Str. And as a whole I think multi-classing is neutered as a result of concerns from "dipping" that occurred in PF1. The only options I can take are Ranger/Sorcerer. I initially thought about doing a build around magical trickster at level 4 but quickly realized that it was dramatically worse than I thought since it requires spell attack rolls. As it stands, Id have to sit in melee casting spells as a rogue to gain sneak attack damage, which of course procs additional attacks against me. Unless I just want the first round to be the only round I benefit from sneak attack. Or I equip a whip (a weapon with reach). Regardless, this seemed like another case of unnecessary hamstringing of the feat. I would honestly consider this option viable even if I didn't maintain sneak attack benefits later in the combat if I could cast aoe reflex save spells like electric arc or fireball for additional value in the first round. As it seems now it's just a headache in comparison to standing in melee and just swinging a sword/dagger.

Then there is Poison Weapon. Now to be fair there are some other crappy feats - esp at level 4, but Poison Weapon was such a massive disappointment to me. It's also complicated because it's not solely the feat itself that's the problem but really it's consumables and crafting etc. My initial build idea was a Scoundrel Rogue with poison weapon and twist the knife. The idea obviously being I have the initial sneak attack damage with solid persistent damage on a beefy target. Well, this just isn't realistic. Unless of course I want to spend a quarter of my total wealth on one time usage poisons in combat per level. There are so many problems here it is boggling. For starters - why is my weapon poisoned for one and only one attack? I don't want to discuss the realistic mechanics of poisoning a blade but, this just seems dumb and just an unnecessary hamstringing of the mechanic. Then, even if you ignore that aspect and think you'll just use some poisons level-2/3 - well good luck gaining any real value from them. Encounters with enemies under your level aren't worth using your poison on, and encounters with a monster of level+1/2/3 have almost a guarantee to pass those poison DCs. It's a waste of time and gold. Then the cherry on top of the poop cake is that the poisons you are given in the feat itself do 1d4 damage on the attack. Not even persistent. All around and awful feat and mechanic - in my opinion.

Then last and not least skill feats. My group has universally agreed these are uninteresting and uninspired. I think Intimidation builds are the only characters with generally useful stuff? But my first real example of a feat that I thought had potential but just wasn't was Charming Liar. My rogue started as Scoundrel so I had high charisma, and when I read the feat on the feat list I was excited. I thought I could use deception reliably to make an impression, but when I read the full text of the feat I was of course disappointed.

Anyway, I have never posted on these forums, but I just wanted to share my experience so far. I hope it didn't come across as too toxic, but I have just been constantly disappointed.


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The Distracting Feint would have been useful if you focused in the circumstance penalty that enemies take to reflex, this let you focus on stuff like trip, with a penalty like that Assurance Athletics and let casters get full effect more often with their damaging spells.

The attack 3 times hoping the last hit is a crit so you hit, you kinda brought that to yourself by avoiding feats and actions that do stuff outside of attacking, Poison Weapon is not what you expected, but it's still one action to make your most accurate attack stronger, Battle Assessment was another thing that is not attacking 3 times and then have the generic Aid.

But I understand your frustration, you thought that something should have worked in a way but it actually work in another.

Maybe try asking for your GM to let you get an Archetype from an AP or a faction one? Juggler is cool per example.


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think battle assessment is the ONLY class feat rogue has in the rulebook that is a non attack action other than Sabotage up to 6. Which is of course not worth the action on high success targets that will have HP low enough to just blow through in 1/2 rounds, and not worth the action on targets with a 75% chance to ignore it especially when they just trade my action for the interact action to draw a melee weapon.

Basically, as far as I can tell neither feat is appealing.

The circumstance penalty to perception and reflex would have been cool from distracting feint if I was consistently using feint on a target. However, this is just negated completely by playing your characters in melee with flanking as every encounter has resulted in me going first round with decent initiative with the rounds after that me benefiting from flanking. As I mentioned the real problem is that they seemed to have overlooked scoundrel's main feature's usefulness when you have multiple melee party members. Because frankly, a -2 to reflex saves from a class feat on an action that is already low value is not good. My wizard has casted one thing that targets reflex saves - electric arc.

I'm also not certain what tripping does for me. I also don't know the rules as it pertains to fighting creatures larger than me and trying to trip them. I have thrown in some demoralize actions here and there. Just overall very meh when they clearly have feats in mind to build on feinting.

Edit: So I just looked this all up in regards to tripping and you reminded me about how I also dislike assurance. My GM told me it would be a good skill feat but that is just incorrect imo. I'd have to invest a skill increase into Athletics to make it Expert for starters. Since, at level 6 trained my prof is 8 bringing assurance to 18 to trip. I just randomly grabbed two monsters in the bestiary - one and level 5 and one at level 4. They have +11 and +13 reflex (troll and vampire spawn rogue). Thats a DC of 21 and 23. Even with distracting feint I cannot reliably assure a trip against a target level-1/2 without becoming expert.

Now I don't know if this is necessarily a problem seeing as I do have 10 Str. However, I think it highlights my point that certain things are made more difficult based on how we build characters (which I'm fine with), and therefore when we choose a Racket and build stats around that - there should be feats that are generally useful to build upon it. Because there is not, from my understanding, almost every rogue is a thief.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
RoscoeDaLib wrote:
Because there is not, from my understanding, almost every rogue is a thief.

I don't think this is necessarily true. Thief and Ruffian are both really solid builds for various reasons.

Scoundrel is just particularly weak because it doesn't have very clear build paths and feinting isn't a strong gimmick.

IMO the best use of Scoundrel is as a jumping off point into Sorcerer or Bard multiclass and judicious use of demoralize/intimidate skill feats.

Though even then a Thief could do that just as well.


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In my opinion, you made a classical mistake: choosing to play a complex build when you don't know the system enough to be sure it's valid. Scoundrel Rogue builds are more complex than Thief or Ruffian ones, but work perfectly if you make them right. If what you want to do is backstab enemies, then it's a Thief or Ruffian that you need.
Scoundrel Feint bonus is just there because Scoundrels don't add their main attribute bonus to damage. So, if you can't get the enemy Flat-Footed, you won't deal much damage. It's more of an emergency move.
Skill feats are quite weak. They are there to develop your character, not to make it powerful. You can entirely skip them without losing much efficiency, but you'll lose lots of character depth.
And if you dislike Rogue as a class, play something else. I'm pretty sure other classes will give you more appealing feats. Also, low level feats are, most of the time, quite weak. But by the time you get to level 6, they should become more and more powerful.


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RoscoeDaLib wrote:
Final scores at level 1 rolling stats: 10 Str, 18 Dex, 14 Con, 13 Int, 10 Wis, 18 Cha. I was a goblin.

Rolling isn't the default stat-gen method (I do recommend looking at the ability boost system, its great) but you ended up with redonkulous stats: two 18s.

Other than that, welcome to the divisive wreck of Pathfinder 2. Not saying you're right, not saying you're wrong, just saying that some folks have had experiences like yours and others are saying everything's fine and working as intended.


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SuperBidi wrote:

In my opinion, you made a classical mistake: choosing to play a complex build when you don't know the system enough to be sure it's valid. Scoundrel Rogue builds are more complex than Thief or Ruffian ones, but work perfectly if you make them right. If what you want to do is backstab enemies, then it's a Thief or Ruffian that you need.

Scoundrel Feint bonus is just there because Scoundrels don't add their main attribute bonus to damage. So, if you can't get the enemy Flat-Footed, you won't deal much damage. It's more of an emergency move.
Skill feats are quite weak. They are there to develop your character, not to make it powerful. You can entirely skip them without losing much efficiency, but you'll lose lots of character depth.
And if you dislike Rogue as a class, play something else. I'm pretty sure other classes will give you more appealing feats. Also, low level feats are, most of the time, quite weak. But by the time you get to level 6, they should become more and more powerful.

I'm not certain this is entirely responding to what I said.

I've only been discussing the class in context of the level I've achieved. I fully understand class feats get insane later on as you approach 20.

I'm not sure what "wanting to just backstab" means. Every rogue gets sneak attack feature and wants to take advantage of it for as many attacks as possible. The point I made was that while someone can say "scoundrel works as intended" it is entirely lackluster when you have other melee in your party that reliably provide flanking. Then even more so at level 6 with gang up that removes the positional requirements for flanking. So again, if you could provide an example of a build where a scoundrel rogue who already benefits from sneak attack via flanking is providing meaningful value via their key feint feature that would be interesting to look over.

I also don't necessarily want skill feats to make me more powerful. I just think they are relatively uninspired. My GM allowed me to get sow rumors (it's an interesting skill feat that does cool things and is of course uncommon).

I don't dislike the rogue class. I quite enjoy the flavor of the class, despite the fact they have made poisons pretty awful.


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It seems like this is more of an issue of player expectation and character building.

It's very important for a group to come up with different types of characters for a very good reason. Having three melee characters while having a Feint Build (that allows you to attack a flat-footed enemy without the help of allies) is not a good way of taking advantage of it.

As for player expectation, this is mostly due to experience with RPGs in general and with Pathfinder2e itself. The design paradigm changed A LOT from one edition to the other, so things that seems to "expensive" or not worth an action are actually useful or things that offer small benefits are more valuable in practice than they seem on paper.

Take the feat for Scoundrels you specifically mentioned: Distracting Feint. It may seem a small bonus of -2 to Perception and Reflex, but what this does is much more than it appears.

First: The feat increases your own chances of Success and critical success with its penalty to perception.
Second: Its penalty to reflex helps with Trip, another way of applying flat-footed condition for extra sneak attacks (and giving the enemy a -2 to hit otherwise risk potential reactions from your party). It also can shave off the edge of some stronger monster's saves for your spell caster or can simply make it even harder for weaker foes to escape powerful spells.

Also, I don't think Poison weapon is all that bad. There are very feats in game that give you free damage for no reason like this. You have several attacks per level with an extra 1d4 damage, not even Bespell is as good because it relies on other resources, rather than itself and it is offered on Spellcasting classes that have a much harder time in staying in the front-lines and having proficiency.

Rogue is one of the most interesting classes of the game right now and it's a cut above every other class by far, bordering on overpowered territory (as it seems to be a trend with paizo, they sure love to power up their rogue-type classes).

As I've came to see for my self after playing 10 levels of PF2e, that -10 (-8 with my agile punches) is really really not worth it and I wish focused either on intimidate or feint for my Monk, sometimes I just roll the third attack because there's nothing of priority for me to do (I just move too damn fast to have to waste more than one action to engage or move around). Having extra uses for your actions are always valuable. It also helps to evaluate feats if you think that they are supposed to be different tools rather than linear progression abilities that just let you do what you already do but better.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, this is really unfortunate, but it sounds like, due to inexperience with the system, you've just not picked a build that doesn't synchronize its abilities very well, nor one that synchronizes well with the other PCs.

Which totally sucks, and you should see if the GM will let you rebuild somewhat, but is possible in any game that's complex enough.


Two things that I think are important to point out:

-not all rackets (or other way to specialize other classes) will mesh well with every party composition.not much to do about that unless you want to make everything so similar that there wouldn't be differences.

-The game is still young and plenty more options will come in the future.


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After participating in the Pathfinder 2nd Edition playtest, I concluded that the new PF2 rules would be far from perfect, but would be a good foundation for the houserules that suited my players. Thus, I appreciate postings like this, RoscoeDaLib, because they give me insights that will help me improve my game.

By coincidence, my wife's chararacter in my PF2 Ironfang Invasion campaign is a halfling animal-whisperer rogue with scoundrel racket. Sam has an elaborate backstory, because she made him the cousin of her halfling sorcerer character Wealday Addams from a Serpent's Skull campaign. Human Dr. Addams of Nidal used his halfling slaves in eldritch laboratory experiments. He infused Wealday with eldritch essenses and she became an abberant bloodline sorcerer and used those powers to escape and stow away on a ship to the Sodden Lands. Dr. Addams infused Toilday with red dragon blood and nothing happened, so Toilday was assigned as an animal tender slave. Years later the Bellflower Network helped Toilday escape and he became a goat herder under the name of Sam in the village of Phaendar in Nirmathas.

First level for Sam was lackluster, since he was roleplayed as a goatherder employed by village miser Kining Blondebeard and cautious about heroism. Also, Sam had taken Trap Finder as his first level feat, and the only trap in town was one an NPC warned him about.

Squiggit wrote:
IMO the best use of Scoundrel is as a jumping off point into Sorcerer or Bard multiclass and judicious use of demoralize/intimidate skill feats.

Yes, that was my wife's plan. At 2nd level, he took the multiclass archetype for sorcerer, red dragon bloodline. Dr. Addams' unethical experiment had finally had borne fruit. Having rescued many Phaendar townsfolk from the Ironfang Legion and gained the power to cast Produce Flame and Telekinetic Projectile, Sam was realizing that he was an asset and ought to step up as a leader of the refugees. He became an expert in Diplomacy.

I let Sam use Sneak Attack with Produce Flame a few times, and then learned that Sneak Attack applied only to Strikes until he could take the 4th-level feat Magical Trickster. Oops.

At 3rd level, Sam became an expert in Deception,in the hope that he could feint effectively. Unexpectedly he used that Deception expertise to lure a xulgath sentry away from his post by mimicking the sounds of a tasty goat. Soon afterwards he lured the other sentry away, too, by mimicking the first sentry (this impersonation was harder, but Sam had a circumstance bonus from speaking Draconic, the xulgath language). The party successfully sneaked into the xulgath caves, a major tactical advantage in the combats.

The rogues have a lot of power in their skill increases. Using them for combat requires ingenuity or planning.

Sam finally had a use for feint when the party fought a xulgath barbarian with Deny Advantage, "Your foes struggle to pass your defenses. You aren’t flatfooted to hidden, undetected, or flanking creatures of your level or lower, or creatures of your level or lower using surprise attack. However, they can still help their allies flank." Sam successfully feinted once, enabling his own sneak attack. He had hoped for a critical success, rendering the barbarian flat-footed to everyone, because the other party members where struggling against the barbarian's AC. Then the kukri-wielding ranger tripped the barbarian, making him flat-footed to everyone due to prone, accomplishing what Sam had not accomplished with feint.

That was last week's session. In the upcoming session, Sam might find a trap.

SuperBidi wrote:

In my opinion, you made a classical mistake: choosing to play a complex build when you don't know the system enough to be sure it's valid. Scoundrel Rogue builds are more complex than Thief or Ruffian ones, but work perfectly if you make them right. If what you want to do is backstab enemies, then it's a Thief or Ruffian that you need.

Scoundrel Feint bonus is just there because Scoundrels don't add their main attribute bonus to damage. So, if you can't get the enemy Flat-Footed, you won't deal much damage. It's more of an emergency move.

That is a common difficulty with character design in PF1. But one of the design goals of PF2 was to allow all build options to have an obvious workable build. Making scoundrel racket open only to expert character optimizers violates this design principle.

I believe that scoundrel racket was designed for face characters, characters who took a role in leadership or negotiation or con-artist. Thus, their special combat ability is based on Deception skill. Unfortunately, the developers had to use a weak combat ability due to lack of better Deception-based combat abilities. Given that Magical Trickster works well with the Charisma bonus from scoundrel racket, it might also be intended for the PF2 version of the PF1 Arcane Trickster prestige class.

SuperBidi wrote:

Skill feats are quite weak. They are there to develop your character, not to make it powerful. You can entirely skip them without losing much efficiency, but you'll lose lots of character depth.

And if you dislike Rogue as a class, play something else. I'm pretty sure other classes will give you more appealing feats. Also, low level feats are, most of the time, quite weak. But by the time you get to level 6, they should become more and more powerful.

The class feats are weak, too. This is a side effect of design constraints. In PF1, Power Attack (can take -1 to attack rolls to gain +3 to damage rolls, the numbers double at BAB +4, etc.) is one of the best feats, but it was all about numbers. In PF2, the developers worked to move most numbers into the proficiencies and avoid fishing for good numbers in the feats. But this meant that at every level, the character got better numbers. If PF2 gave good feats, too, then the characters would double in power every level, instead of every two levels as intended. And the monsters would have to progress at the same high rate. Therefore, Paizo chose weak feats, instead.

I don't yet have experience with the high-level feats. I suspect that they require more specialization or investment in exchange for greater power.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, this is really unfortunate, but it sounds like, due to inexperience with the system, you've just not picked a build that doesn't synchronize its abilities very well, nor one that synchronizes well with the other PCs.

Which totally sucks, and you should see if the GM will let you rebuild somewhat, but is possible in any game that's complex enough.

You are the second person to say that what happened is a result of my lack of understanding of a complex system. So, I will make the same request of you as I did them. Please elaborate and demonstrate the complexities of a scoundrel rogue via a build with features and elements that have not been discussed here.

Again, I don't want to come off as toxic about this request, but it can sound quite condescending when people just dismiss what I perceive as a very blatant design flaw as "ignorance of a complex system".

The only valid point someone has made in this context is that scoundrel is not good with a party with as many melee as I have. Which, even that I was aware could have been an issue.

So, unless people are just saying that scoundrel rogues are unplayable with 2+ melee in your party I don't see the complexity here. Please point it out.


I think you might have quoted the wrong person, nowhere in my post do I say any of that.

I am just pointing out that some type of characters would work better or worst depending on party composition, that is all.


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Kendaan wrote:

I think you might have quoted the wrong person, nowhere in my post do I say any of that.

I am just pointing out that some type of characters would work better or worst depending on party composition, that is all.

That is indeed what happened. My mistake. I'm very much used to reply buttons being at the bottom of someone's post.


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How much have you invested into the intimidation skill tree? From my experience it's a tree that has a lot of use in combat, unless you have other party members applying status penalties to enemies already. As a charisma rogue, if this niche isn't filled, I'd strongly consider investing in intimidation.

Also, your choice of Gang Up as a 6th feat seems a bit odd to me considering you probably have ample opportunities to establish flanking anyway with your party with an abundance of melee. Even if flanking isn't established, you're a feinter, so you don't need it. If I were building a scoundrel at 6th given that party composition, I'd probably choose skirmish strike or some multiclass dedication.


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I explained in the OP that intimidation seems to be one of the few skill feat lists with useful things, and that I am no longer a scoundrel rogue. Also, Gang Up allows me to have flanking on multiple enemies at once even if my allies are in a potato position.


voideternal wrote:

How much have you invested into the intimidation skill tree? From my experience it's a tree that has a lot of use in combat, unless you have other party members applying status penalties to enemies already. As a charisma rogue, if this niche isn't filled, I'd strongly consider investing in intimidation.

Also, your choice of Gang Up as a 6th feat seems a bit odd to me considering you probably have ample opportunities to establish flanking anyway with your party with an abundance of melee. Even if flanking isn't established, you're a feinter, so you don't need it. If I were building a scoundrel at 6th given that party composition, I'd probably choose skirmish strike or some multiclass dedication.

Completely agree. Gang up is better if you have a reach character in your group or a giant instinct barbarian that picked up the Giant Stature feats. When the biggest factor of your experience is Feint feeling unnecessary because there's always a flank, then you don't need a feat to make it even more.

Skirmish Strike is both a good tool for offense on the earlier rounds, because of the occasional miscellaneous actions such as drawing weapons, recall knowledge and moving in, but it would also further increase the ability to flank as well, not to mention it freeing up an extra action to trip or use other rogue activities (Sabotage, for example).


RoscoeDaLib wrote:
I explained in the OP that intimidation seems to be one of the few skill feat lists with useful things, and that I am no longer a scoundrel rogue. Also, Gang Up allows me to have flanking on multiple enemies at once even if my allies are in a potato position.

I must have missed that you switched builds. I can't seem to find what you changed to in the OP. What did you switch to / is your new build working out for you and your group?

Regarding Gang Up, even in a composition with multiple melee teammates, I agree there are situations when Gang Up allows you to gain flanking where you previously couldn't. But imo gaining flanking on multiple enemies seems like a bit of a weak reason to get Gang Up. In general, you're only attacking once or twice, so even if you flank 8 enemies positioned all around you, you're probably only attacking one.

Skirmish Strike, on the other hand, lets you attack and move back. This forces (some) melee enemies to burn an action closing distance. This counts as action denial, which imo is very powerful.


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So there's a few things about Scoundrel that really set it apart from the other Rackets.

1) You can select CHA as your key ability score, so Scoundrel has better social skills, including Deception and Intimidation which are both very good for combat when used properly. This also means they're a great choice for multiclass dedications that use CHA, like Sorcerer and Bard. Yes, you have to use Spell Attack Rolls, but A) you're using CHA to hit and have Feint to make up for the lower attack bonus and B) you don't have to be in melee to get Sneak Attack - stuff like Snowball, Acid Arrow, Searing Light, and some melee spells plus Reach Spell can benefit from that (though there are admittedly not very many to choose from).

2) Their Racket gives them the ability to make someone Flatfooted against every attack you make for two turns, meaning they don't need support from teammates to set up Sneak Attack, and the Crit Success result is a solid debuff when it lands. This feature also means they're one of the better Racket options for ranged Rogues, as they can more easily take advantage of the debuff Feinting applies and don't need to spread out their physical stats as much.

3) Distracting Feint turns your Feint into a useful debuff for landing Trips, Disarms, and Reflex Save spells. Rogue gets more Skill Increases than any current class, so investing a little bit into Athletics to take advantage of that really isn't that big of a deal, especially if you plan on working it into your combat routine on a regular basis.

Problem is, you're playing a melee rogue in a party with 2(ish) other melee characters. With that much battlefield presence, you don't need to Feint to get Flatfooted on a target, and your allies are likely often in a position to do the same thing so your Crit Success result isn't very useful. You haven't taken Multiclass Dedication stuff and your caster is playing a class that doesn't have as many Reflex Save spells to begin with, so Distracting Feint isn't very helpful there either. I can't speak to the usefulness or power level of class feats or skill feats, as that's often down to personal preference, but it sounds to me like the combination of the team composition and your melee build are what stopped the Racket itself from getting much value. Switching Rackets there was probably the right choice unless you wanted to alter your build and combat style entirely.


RoscoeDaLib wrote:
I'm not sure what "wanting to just backstab" means. Every rogue gets sneak attack feature and wants to take advantage of it for as many attacks as possible. The point I made was that while someone can say "scoundrel works as intended" it is entirely lackluster when you have other melee in your party that reliably provide flanking. Then even more so at level 6 with gang up that removes the positional requirements for flanking. So again, if you could provide an example of a build where a scoundrel rogue who already benefits from sneak attack via flanking is providing meaningful value via their key feint feature that would be interesting to look over.

I'm playing a Scoundrel Rogue (through Plaguestone) and it's working as intended (she deals similar damage than our Fighter or Barbarian). She's multiclassed into Sorcerer for Electric Arc. Her main action sequence is Electric Arc + Strike with her bow. She would get nothing out of the other Rackets, and the main advantage of Scoundrel is the extra skill for me and not feinting, that I use hyper rarely.

If you want to play a classic Rogue that benefits from flanking for his Sneak Attacks, don't play a Scoundrel Rogue in my opinion.


SuperBidi wrote:
If you want to play a classic Rogue that benefits from flanking for his Sneak Attacks, don't play a Scoundrel Rogue in my opinion.

yeah, it's better with intimidation[demoralize] than feign IMO. Adding in spellcaster into it [or innate spells] works too.

I've done one maxing out demoralize [skill and feats], picking up sorcerer [who wants to use material components ;)] and picking up some innate spells from race [they use your spell prof from your sorcerer so they still advance]. Took Magical Trickster but generally don't get to use it unless I manage to hide.

Liberty's Edge

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I cannot figure out why you would take Gang Up, given what you've said about your party. If you were already having no trouble getting flanks, Gang Up is a wasted feat - and on the presumably-rare instances you didn't have a flank, well, that's why you're a scoundrel, right? So you can get your sneak on your own?

Given your intent, I would have given real thought to adding Intimidation (another social skill) to your usual combat routine, picking up You're Next, Dread Striker and then Twist the Knife and ignoring Gang Up completely.


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LuniasM wrote:
2) Their Racket gives them the ability to make someone Flatfooted against every attack you make for two turns, meaning they don't need support from teammates to set up Sneak Attack, and the Crit Success result is a solid debuff when it lands. This feature also means they're one of the better Racket options for ranged Rogues, as they can more easily take advantage of the debuff Feinting applies and don't need to spread out their physical stats as much.

I'm a bit confused by this, given feinting doesn't apply to non-melee attacks, unless there's a feat I've missed. I think all the rackets are potentially equally good at using a bow, since none of their traits apply, no? You also need to be within melee range of the target to feint and generate the benefit.

However, Rogues do still have access to Divert (Deception roll, they get +4 circumstance bonus if you've already done it to that particular target in the last minute), as well as Hide (Stealth) if there's cover and can add the cover bonus to the stealth roll, so certainly ranged rogues are a good option.

I agree with SuperBidi that a Scoundrel/Sorcerer build can work quite well, especially after 4th level. If you add spell slots with further feats, you can start to mix illusions or other concealment producing spells in to allow you attempt to hide no matter what (or just straight up make you hidden).

Even a simple 1st level Illusionary Object spell can create the illusion of a wall or small building without windows (or maybe arrow slits?), completely blocking LOS and making you hidden to sight, while still allowing you to attack a target multiple times until they spend actions to move over and interact with it, or spend an action seeking it (turning it into a mass slow for 1 round). And even then, its not guaranteed if they roll low on their perception check.

So its totally possible to take Magical Trickster and sneak attack each round with cantrips. Electric Arc + Bow will probably average more damage if you have a way to get sneak attack on the bow automatically, such as with the aforementioned illusion. But Divert/Hide + Ray of Frost also works out to 120 feet. Nothing preventing you from taking both cantrips.

As for the feinting ability of the Scoundrel, I see it bringing more to the table in a party with fewer front line martials and more arcane/primal casters (reflex save spells) and ranged rogues (perception penalty). Also an alchemist in the party can make Poison Weapon go from terrible to OK-ish as it can be used to deliver at level injury and contact poisons created for free every day. Normally an alchemist can't put a contact poison on a weapon, but a rogue can.

Scoundrel rogues also have the capability of being the best party faces outside of combat. Lots of skills, lots of skill feats, and potentially max charisma. Of course, that benefit is highly dependent on the campaign and the GM. In campaigns that are designed to roll with it, it can be awesome and memorable. I've been in campaigns where we've deceived our way through the front door of the evil empire's base, and all the way to our objective.


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SuperBidi wrote:
RoscoeDaLib wrote:
I'm not sure what "wanting to just backstab" means. Every rogue gets sneak attack feature and wants to take advantage of it for as many attacks as possible. The point I made was that while someone can say "scoundrel works as intended" it is entirely lackluster when you have other melee in your party that reliably provide flanking. Then even more so at level 6 with gang up that removes the positional requirements for flanking. So again, if you could provide an example of a build where a scoundrel rogue who already benefits from sneak attack via flanking is providing meaningful value via their key feint feature that would be interesting to look over.

I'm playing a Scoundrel Rogue (through Plaguestone) and it's working as intended (she deals similar damage than our Fighter or Barbarian). She's multiclassed into Sorcerer for Electric Arc. Her main action sequence is Electric Arc + Strike with her bow. She would get nothing out of the other Rackets, and the main advantage of Scoundrel is the extra skill for me and not feinting, that I use hyper rarely.

If you want to play a classic Rogue that benefits from flanking for his Sneak Attacks, don't play a Scoundrel Rogue in my opinion.

Im confused why you need to be a scoundrel Rogue for what you have laid out.

Is your DM allowing you to get sneak attack from Electric Arc? Because it's not a spell attack roll, and therefore gains no benefit from magical trickster. Also couldn't literally any racket do as you have laid out? You just admittted you don't even use the feint feature which is kinda the point of my post. There is nothing unique about the subclass, and there is nothing you have described that is complex.


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RoscoeDaLib wrote:

Im confused why you need to be a scoundrel Rogue for what you have laid out.

Is your DM allowing you to get sneak attack from Electric Arc? Because it's not a spell attack roll, and therefore gains no benefit from magical trickster. Also couldn't literally any racket do as you have laid out? You just admittted you don't even use the feint feature which is kinda the point of my post. There is nothing unique about the subclass, and there is nothing you have described that is complex.

If you're not rolling your stats (PFS, certainly my home campaign is using the base build rules), scoundrel lets you start with an 18 in charisma rather than a maximum of 16. 2 points for race, 2 points for background, and 2 points for one of the four free boosts for a normal rogue is the max. So their electric arc is better with Scoundrel, as it does +1 more damage and has +1 more to hit at levels 2-4, and then 10-14, and finally level 20, assuming you're boosting charisma at 5,10,15 and 20.

So for 9 out of 20 levels (roughly half the game), scoundrel is superior with sorcerer dedication cantrips. +1 to hit, better save DCs, and slightly better damage is the reason.

He might not have taken magical trickster with his build. I was the one that mentioned using it with Ray of Frost. What he does get is a full damage cantrip and a bow attack with no multiple attack penalty. He said the biggest benefit over the other rackets was the extra skill for him (i.e. Deception + Diplomacy vs just Thievery or just Intimidation). As you note, none of the rackets combat abilities help with that routine, but scoundrel helps him more out of combat (plus charisma in combat).


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Shisumo wrote:

I cannot figure out why you would take Gang Up, given what you've said about your party. If you were already having no trouble getting flanks, Gang Up is a wasted feat - and on the presumably-rare instances you didn't have a flank, well, that's why you're a scoundrel, right? So you can get your sneak on your own?

Given your intent, I would have given real thought to adding Intimidation (another social skill) to your usual combat routine, picking up You're Next, Dread Striker and then Twist the Knife and ignoring Gang Up completely.

Gang Up is simply more freedom from having to move to justify the requirements for flanking. Which opens more actions for the generic actions people have suggested or just more attacks. Taking a feat for 2 persistent damage and capping out at 4 at level 17...THAT is a wasted feat.

I am no longer a Scoundrel as explained in the OP.

I almost took you're next at level 4 but I have to get the killing blow which makes it less reliable, and I think what I have is more generally useful.


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Hiruma Kai wrote:
RoscoeDaLib wrote:

Im confused why you need to be a scoundrel Rogue for what you have laid out.

Is your DM allowing you to get sneak attack from Electric Arc? Because it's not a spell attack roll, and therefore gains no benefit from magical trickster. Also couldn't literally any racket do as you have laid out? You just admittted you don't even use the feint feature which is kinda the point of my post. There is nothing unique about the subclass, and there is nothing you have described that is complex.

If you're not rolling your stats (PFS, certainly my home campaign is using the base build rules), scoundrel lets you start with an 18 in charisma rather than a maximum of 16. 2 points for race, 2 points for background, and 2 points for one of the four free boosts for a normal rogue is the max. So their electric arc is better with Scoundrel, as it does +1 more damage and has +1 more to hit at levels 2-4, and then 10-14, and finally level 20, assuming you're boosting charisma at 5,10,15 and 20.

So for 9 out of 20 levels (roughly half the game), scoundrel is superior with sorcerer dedication cantrips. +1 to hit, better save DCs, and slightly better damage is the reason.

He might not have taken magical trickster with his build. I was the one that mentioned using it with Ray of Frost. What he does get is a full damage cantrip and a bow attack with no multiple attack penalty. He said the biggest benefit over the other rackets was the extra skill for him (i.e. Deception + Diplomacy vs just Thievery or just Intimidation). As you note, none of the rackets combat abilities help with that routine, but scoundrel helps him more out of combat (plus charisma in combat).

Yeah and thats why I am asking him if he is benefiting from sneak attack with that spell due to his DM. So I know for sure. Because I can tell you right now it seems questionable because it would struggle to benefit from free sneak attack damage. Which I think is important.

Sovereign Court

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Thanks to your comments, Roscoe, I have added house rules for the Poison Weapon feat.

First, it's duration is extended to 1 minute max, but each time the poisoned attack hits an enemy or Crit Fails in the attempt, the Rogue must make a Flat DC 10 check. 10+ and the poison remains on the weapon, 9- and it is now gone.

Second I improved the damage a bit. The target that was hit must make a Fort save vs the Rogue's class DC. A Success = 1d4+(1/2 Rogue's level) poison damage, and a Fail = 2d4+(Rogue's level) poison damage.

This means that at level 4, it does 1d4+2 or 2d4+4 depending on the save, and it can grow from there.

I think these 2 changes improve the feat considerably.


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RoscoeDaLib wrote:
Yeah and thats why I am asking him if he is benefiting from sneak attack with that spell due to his DM. So I know for sure. Because I can tell you right now it seems questionable because it would struggle to benefit from free sneak attack damage. Which I think is important.

I dunno, even without sneak attack, that is a fine attack routine.

Take level 2. Assume you've got 2 targets within 30 feet. Assume your character's stats. 10 Str, 18 Dex, 18 Cha.

So compare 3 bow strikes with sneak attack against bow with sneak attack and cantrip without sneak attack, against level 2 moderate AC and moderate reflex save, so 17 AC and +8 reflex save.

Base to hit is +2+2+4+1=+9 to hit for the bow, DC 18 for the spell. 1d6 base damage on bow, plus 1d6 for sneak attack is 2d6 per attack. Spell is 1d4+4 to two targets, and 1d6 for one attack.

First attack hits on a 8, crits on a 18. Second attack hits on a 13, crits on a 20, and third attack hits on a 18, and crits on a 20.
0.8+0.4+0.2=1.4 times base damage, or 1.4*7=9.8 expected damage.

Cantrip does no damage on a 20, half damage on a 10-19, full damage on a 2-9, and double on a 1. To two targets.

So 0.8*7+0.75*6.5*2 = 15.35 expected damage. Against a single target, it drops to 0.8*7 + 0.75*6.5 = 10.475.

So in situations where there are 2 targets within 30 feet, the cantrip and no sneak attack is significantly better than 3 attacks with sneak attack. And to be fair, the lone bow shot should get sneak attacks if the other routine is getting them.

As you go up in level, this changes, but it remains reasonable.

6th level its more like 2d6+1d6 rune + 2d6 sneak against 4d4+4 times 2 plus 2d6+1d6+2d6.

Bow is at +6+4+4+1=+15. Spell save DC is +6+2+4=22. Against 23 AC and +14 reflex save.

So 1.4*17.5 = 24.5 expected damage for 3 bow shots. 0.8*17.5 + 0.65*11.5*2 = 28.95 expected damage against 2 targets, or 21.475 damage against a single target.

Still competitive in terms of expected damage, even without electric arc benefiting from sneak attacks.


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So on the first turn with spell weaving - assuming you get full damage on the standard reflex save and only benefiting from sneak attack on your bow attack with a standard +1S bow you average 37 damage (6d4+8+4d6).

The current setup I have now is averaging 36 assuming I hit with two attacks (8d6+8).

On round two I lose sneak attack for the ranged version dropping to 30 average damage with the same assumptions. Keeping in mind the melee character benefits from flanking which increases the chances to hit.

Basically with the outlined standard action turn we have picked the rogue class for 1 skill and an extra 2d6 on your first turn's bow attack. That's it.

This was someone telling me I didn't understand the system. (SuperBidi)

Also, before someone says it - if the knee jerk reaction to this is to use the Hide action every turn...well now we are interrupting what was communicated as the standard, repeated combat turn.

So, for the record two people (SuperBidi and DeadManWalking) have said I simply don't understand the complexity of the system. When I requested a build to demonstrate - I am given something that at face value seems incoherent because it does not need to be a rogue. Unless, someone is going to make the point that a sorcerer doesn't have more value baked into the class by level 6 to outmatch an extra skill and 2d6 on a single bow attack per combat. This character could just be a sorcerer.

Dataphiles

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
RoscoeDaLib wrote:

So on the first turn with spell weaving - assuming you get full damage on the standard reflex save and only benefiting from sneak attack on your bow attack with a standard +1S bow you average 37 damage (6d4+8+4d6).

The current setup I have now is averaging 36 assuming I hit with two attacks (8d6+8).

On round two I lose sneak attack for the ranged version dropping to 30 average damage with the same assumptions. Keeping in mind the melee character benefits from flanking which increases the chances to hit.

Basically with the outlined standard action turn we have picked the rogue class for 1 skill and an extra 2d6 on your first turn's bow attack. That's it.

This was someone telling me I didn't understand the system.

Hit chances also have to be factored in here, let's say level 5.

We will use the same number of actions (so 3 bow strikes vs bow + electric arc) for comparison purposes, both rogues with a +1 Striking shortbow (damage of 2d6). Electric Arc deals 3d4+4 (avg. 11.5)

Moderate AC at level 5 is 21, Moderate save is +12. Our hit bonus is +14 (+5 level, +4 expert, +4 dex, +1 item) - giving a 70% hit chance on the first attack, our DC is 21 (10+5 level+2 trained+4 cha) giving 5% CF, 35% F, 50% S, 10% CS. We will do two comparisons - one with sneak attack (and flatfooted) and one without.

Electric Rogue 1 (No Flatfooted): 0.5(7)+0.2(19.5)+ 0.05(23) + 0.35(11.5) + 0.5(5.75) = 15.45 damage or 23.5 against 2 creatures.

Electric Rogue 2 (Flatfooted): 0.5(14)+0.3(33.5)+ 0.05(23) + 0.35(11.5) + 0.5(5.75) = 24.55 or 32.6 against 2 creatures.

Bow Rogue 1 (No Flatfooted): 0.5(7)+0.2(19.5)+0.4(7)+0.05(19.5)+0.15(7)+0.05(19.5)= 13.2 damage

Bow Rogue 2 (Flatfooted): 0.5(14)+0.3(33.5)+0.5(14)+0.05(33.5)+0.25(14)+0.05(33.5) = 30.9 damage.

In both cases, the Electric Rogue is better against 2 creatures and in the case where the enemy isn't flatfooted, the Electric Rogue is always better.

Of course, a melee thief rogue will do more damage, but melee has its own issues (especially for a rogue). While it is far easier to get the opponent flatfooted (by flanking) and therefore apply sneak attack, the rogue is also probably going to take a fair bit of damage standing there - especially if they spend all 3 actions attacking - not to mention the actions they need to spend moving up to the target in the first place.


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RoscoeDaLib wrote:

So, for the record two people (SuperBidi and DeadManWalking) have said I simply don't understand the complexity of the system. When I requested a build to demonstrate - I am given something that at face value seems incoherent because it does not need to be a rogue. Unless, someone is going to make the point that a sorcerer doesn't have more value baked into the class by level 6 to outmatch an extra skill and 2d6 on a single bow attack per combat. This character could just be a sorcerer.

So just to clarify, I thought we were talking about comparing rackets, not classes? I'll point out at level 6, a scoundrel rogue has a bit more than a single extra skill advantage over a sorcerer. The scoundrel only has a single extra skill advantage over other rogue rackets.

A sorcerer at 6th, has 2 expert skills, and 3+INT trained skills plus a lore, and 3 skill feats. A scoundrel rogue at 6th has 5 expert skills, and 6+INT trained skills plus a lore, and 7 skill feats.

Out of combat, the rogue is going to be rolling more types of rolls, and generally better at them. While some of the low level skill feats are a bit lack luster, others are quite solid. Also, it depends a lot on the campaign on how often they might apply. I've seen a teenager playing a Leshy bard with Harmlessly cute (i.e. Shameless request feat gotten at level 1) basically pester the pathfinder society non-stop for aid when not on missions. Or to keep the mcguffin we just brought back. Sometimes she rolls a natural 20...

Although, if you aren't considering the skills as being a balancing factor, is there any reason to play a rogue over say, a barbarian? More hit points, damage doesn't require flanking, and they can do more damage reliably. 2d12+8 (21 average) per swing is solid when compared against 4d6+4 (18 average). Plus options like a 6d6 AoE breath that doesn't increase MAP. Or reach weapons combined with attack of opportunity.

So while we could argue the merits of each class, it looks like to me Superbidi was describing his own character which probably was built to be a party face, capable in all sorts of social interactions with maximum charisma and combined with a lot of expert skills. And was designed to be a ranged attacker instead of a melee attacker. Of course that is a lot of assumptions on my part.

A sorcerer might not be able to fill those out of combat needs as well due to a lack of skill breadth and depth.

I don't think you'll find anyone who disagrees with your assessment that a thief rogue in melee and benefiting from flanking does more damage than a scoundrel rogue at range.

Even SuperBidi in the posts above says that if you want a traditional rogue that flanks, you shouldn't play a scoundrel.


While I can not agree to your general sense of disappointment or your specific disappointment in rogues, I have already shared your experiece of a character concept not working as envisioned, so I can easily relate to that.

In my case the game's new action sytem simply did not support my idea (as my build would probably have required an average of 4 actions each round), however after I came to terms with the new action economy the character and build was easily salvageable and in terms of gameplay I do still consider it quite effective.


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RoscoeDaLib wrote:


So, for the record two people (SuperBidi and DeadManWalking) have said I simply don't understand the complexity of the system. When I requested a build to demonstrate - I am given something that at face value seems incoherent because it does not need to be a rogue. Unless, someone is going to make the point that a sorcerer doesn't have more value baked into the class by level 6 to outmatch an extra skill and 2d6 on a single bow attack per combat. This character could just be a sorcerer.

Incoherent? I can assure you it's far from being incoherent.

I also have an Angelic Sorcerer so I can make a fair comparison.

My Rogue is, first and foremost, an absolute skill monkey. To a level you can't reach with other Rackets because you have one extra trained skill with Scoundrel and because there are more Charisma-based skills than Dexterity or Strength-based ones (also, I have a strong preference for playing a face). My Sorcerer doesn't even have all the Charisma-based skills trained, because a Sorcerer is trained in only 5 skills (+ Int), 3 of them being dictated by the rules.
Then, my Rogue is a gish. It's a very different combat style than either a martial or a caster. She is switching all the time between bow and magic. Her damage is not incredible at first glance, but she can attack from long range, can switch to Electric Arc against swarms or multiple enemies, goes for flanking (that you can do with a bow in PF2) if there is just one remaining enemy. Her versatility allowed me to put her on par with our Barbarian and Fighter in terms of damage dealing ability. You can only trust me on this one, there is no damage calculation that will show how effective it is to be able to switch between multiple combat styles and damage types.
Then, at level 4, she will take Dread Striker. So I'll be able to scare the enemies (Fear is way more reliable than Demoralize) to get Sneak Attack bonus at range. She'll also become a debuffer.

My Sorcerer, on the other hand, is a full caster. He has no AC, no hit points and has to constantly avoid dangerous situations. His damage output is quite nice (I can't wait for level 5) and he's already a great damage dealer against multiple targets. Against a single target, on the other hand, he struggles. His magic gives him a lot of utility (I'm a scroll guy, he already has more than a dozen of them at level 3). And, of course, as Angelic Sorcerer, is an excellent healer.

So, both characters have very different roles and very different "gameplay". They have no common point besides an 18 in Charisma and a 16 in Dexterity. And, in my opinion, their efficiency is very close (even if it's hard to compare them due to their very different roles).

PS: When I first started playing my Rogue, I was playing her with a Rapier. It took me a bit of time to adjust her combat style and understand that I was getting a far higher efficiency with a bow. I was not very experienced back then (it's my second character) and I think she's far more complicated to play and build than a more classical Rogue (mostly because classical builds are extremely easy to make in PF2, there are very few "trap abilities").


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SuperBidi wrote:
RoscoeDaLib wrote:


So, for the record two people (SuperBidi and DeadManWalking) have said I simply don't understand the complexity of the system. When I requested a build to demonstrate - I am given something that at face value seems incoherent because it does not need to be a rogue. Unless, someone is going to make the point that a sorcerer doesn't have more value baked into the class by level 6 to outmatch an extra skill and 2d6 on a single bow attack per combat. This character could just be a sorcerer.

Incoherent? I can assure you it's far from being incoherent.

I also have an Angelic Sorcerer so I can make a fair comparison.

My Rogue is, first and foremost, an absolute skill monkey. To a level you can't reach with other Rackets because you have one extra trained skill with Scoundrel and because there are more Charisma-based skills than Dexterity or Strength-based ones (also, I have a strong preference for playing a face). My Sorcerer doesn't even have all the Charisma-based skills trained, because a Sorcerer is trained in only 5 skills (+ Int), 3 of them being dictated by the rules.
Then, my Rogue is a gish. It's a very different combat style than either a martial or a caster. She is switching all the time between bow and magic. Her damage is not incredible at first glance, but she can attack from long range, can switch to Electric Arc against swarms or multiple enemies, goes for flanking (that you can do with a bow in PF2) if there is just one remaining enemy. Her versatility allowed me to put her on par with our Barbarian and Fighter in terms of damage dealing ability. You can only trust me on this one, there is no damage calculation that will show how effective it is to be able to switch between multiple combat styles and damage types.
Then, at level 4, she will take Dread Striker. So I'll be able to scare the enemies (Fear is way more reliable than Demoralize) to get Sneak Attack bonus at range. She'll also become a debuffer.

My Sorcerer, on the other hand, is a full caster....

What is the rest of the build? Stats, spells, feats etc.? Your mention Fear - which I assume is the spell but I imagine that doesn’t unlock for a while?

I am looking at making a scoundrel with a rapier. I note what you are saying about the bow but I don’t see that in my vision for the character

I also doubt I will have electric arc as I think storyline reasons might push me towards aberrant bloodline (at least in a potential home game that might be switching to 2E where our group was attacked by an aberrant horror or some description on a boat trip and we last ended all washed up on the shore)

*

As to the points being made about system understanding and complexity - perhaps the true answer is mentioned in this post above. In that what was actually meant was “non classic builds”

So it is much easier to make a traditional backstabbing rogue, and anti undead cleric, a barbarian that rages for loads of damage ...than say... a scoundrel rogue ?


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I think the contention that skill feats are weak is the one that needs the most challenging.

The early game skill feats only offer a few game changers:

The most obviously powerful of the early skill feat trees is Assurance(medicine) with expert Medicine, Battle Medicine, and Ward Medic. Starting at level 2, the rogue will only lack Ward Medic with full investment except for background. The full tree will give them a 1 action 2d8 heal for each member of their party once per day as well as the ability to heal 2d8 after combat to each party member. Continual Recovery obviously adds on top of that to make it so that you can get the party to full HP between combats if the situation warrants it.

Another game changer is Quiet Allies. Condensing a stealth roll down to 1 roll allows you to use a hero point or some other fortune effect if you fail the roll. That will allow parties without noisy(chain) armor to sneak around quite well any time a fortune effect is available. A party without this feat likely won't be able to sneak as a group around something.

Experienced Tracker is really the only way to catch someone that is actively running away from you.

Quick and Group coercion with expert intimidation gives you the ability to bark orders to bystanders or mobs that they will actually listen to. The Demoralize feats are obviously also incredible to enable in combat actions from skill choices.

Additional Lore is a good way to get a maxed out earn income skill if none of your other skill choices earn income.

Quick Repair will allow you to use Shield Block in combat on a recurring basis.

The Connections feat from society gives a lot of narrative control to the person using it in games that aren't completely on rails.

That's enough going through the list for me, but I think that's enough to show how useful skill feats are even at the early levels.

In the mid levels, you start getting abilities that allow you to do more that one exploration activity. That's exceptionally useful for someone like a rogue that is scouting for the party.

The legendary skill feats are obviously ridiculously powerful. Cloud Jump, Legendary Sneak, and Scare to Death come to mind as powerful enough that they would make good class feats at those levels. Rogues end up with 6 of these by level 20.


Scoundrel rogue is probably one of the hardest classes to build for in the game - one of my players had his first character be a scoundrel and wasn't incredibly happy with the resulting character.

It can also be extremely rewarding though, as noted it's a great chassis for a arcane trickster style character. Such a character does definitely not play like a normal sorcerer, combining ranged capabilities with greatly increased (compared to a regular sorc) defenses.

The biggest problem you're facing seems to be how your party is set up. Distracting Feat is incredible (it's a big part of the reason to even be a Scoundrel in the first place), but requires a bit of work to get full value out of it. Lowering an enemy's reflex save can be extremely useful; as a sorcerer multiclass it's great obviously, and can allow you to increase the chances of landing a trip attempt. Critically succeeding a Distracting Feint is unbelievably good if you have any casters in the party.


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So you complain about scoundrel rogue being weak in damage compared to all other rogues or martials...and everyone says you are right. They also point out that scoundrels also has some strong points and viable builds, which you don't really appreciate since you already started with 18cha as a rogue...that privilege then made you say something stupid like: all rogues are thief racket.

When people try and explain their "scoundrel+caster archer build", you just argue that your new and improved thief rogue can deal 0.5 dmg more per round, or something along those lines...all that after you wrote in OP that you wanted a more noncombat, social encounter guy...

No, Scoundrel rogue is not utter crap, esp not in normal ABC PC creation games.It was more you making terrible choices considering your party composition(and starting scores) that made your character arguably weaker than other party members...


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From what I can see so far I think the OP is far to concerned with DPS and combat for a scoundrel rogue. Not that DPS isn't important but it's not the first prority I think of for a scoundrel rogue. As mentioned before Scoundrels should be the party face and very much skill monkeys. They should be all about having the right skill most of the time and being able to do the "face" thing for the party wether it's lieing to the guards or intimidating an enemy or convincing the murchent to give a discount. Also multiclassing or going into an archtype dedication can give some nice flavor.


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Lanathar wrote:

What is the rest of the build? Stats, spells, feats etc.? Your mention Fear - which I assume is the spell but I imagine that doesn’t unlock for a while?

I am looking at making a scoundrel with a rapier. I note what you are saying about the bow but I don’t see that in my vision for the character

I also doubt I will have electric arc as I think storyline reasons might push me towards aberrant bloodline (at least in a potential home game that might be switching to 2E where our group was attacked by an aberrant horror or some description on a boat trip and we last ended all washed up on the shore)

*

As to the points being made about system understanding and complexity - perhaps the true answer is mentioned in this post above. In that what was actually meant was “non classic builds”

So it is much easier to make a traditional backstabbing rogue, and anti undead cleric, a barbarian that rages for loads of damage ...than say... a scoundrel rogue ?

Gnome Scoundrel Rogue. Trapfinder, MCD Sorcerer (Dread Striker and Basic Spellcasting) as first feats. 8 Str, 16 Dex, 12 Con, 18 Cha, 12 Int, 10 Wis. +1 Bow, Electric Arc through First World Magic, Detect Magic and Guidance otherwise. It's quite a simple build actually.

In my opinion, yes, Scoundrel Rogues are hard to build. To build my Scoundrel Rogue, it took me a lot of theorycrafting and then quite some adjustments to get to its current state. So, Scoundrel Rogue works (I think my build is a proof), but it's clearly not easy and you can't do "whatever you want" like some other more classical builds. You can easily fall for a trap feat (like Magical Trickster in the current state of the game).

About playing a Rapier Scoundrel Rogue, at first glance, I don't know how to build it properly. Thief Rogue gives you Dex to damage, which is way better than a trained skill and a bonus to Feint. Also, if you don't want to use Electric Arc, you'll certainly end up making a lot of weapon attacks. So you will certainly choose to start with 18 in Dexterity.
Why are you choosing Scoundrel over Thief for you build? At first glance, a 16 Charisma Thief Rogue seems more solid and should be roughly as efficient as a face thanks to the crazy number of skill increases you'll get.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Additional lore early is a massively under rated skill feat, especially for rogues. Focused on the right environment, knowledge category or creature type for the campaign, it can be huge.

if you take 3 or 4 lores and dubious knowledge, your rogue can get a lot of usage out your lore feats. even with an INT of 8.

Dark Archive

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RoscoeDaLib, I was surprised to see you having problems with rogue, as it is my favorite class, but I think that all your concerns are valid. From looking at what you've posted, I think your big problem is having a really good party (my assumption) if you always have a flanking buddy. Even with three other melee people in my group, I'm often soloing one person while the others fight other creatures (I know, not very great tactics by splitting up the damage, but it has worked out so far). My rogue (a thief) relied on feinting up until level 14 when I took Instant Opening. I do think it is very easy to make enemies flat-footed, and I think that is to the benefit of the rogue, especially if you're building to make sure you get sneak attack for every attack your make. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing, but if you feel your feinting is overshadowed, there is a lot of overlap in your build for getting enemies flat-footed.

Here's the class feats I would focus on for different rogue roles:
1: Trap finder (really useful if you don't want to invest heavily in thievery), Nimble Dodge (reaction use)
2: Mobility (forcing the enemy to move to you or give you the opportunity to move to a high-threat, weaker defensive enemy like a mage to make use of feinting), quick draw (switch-hitter), Distracting Feint (really useful if you can get your wizard to use reflex saves, but you would need to talk with him/her)
4: Reactive pursuit (which I think works well with mobility, single-enemy pursuit), or one of the others from previous levels
6: Light Step (synergizes well with mobility, I think), skirmish strike (force enemies to move, possibly negating a big three action ability or at least stop a three action attack routine)
8: Opportune Backstab (works well since you have ample melee support, it seems)

As for skill feats, I'm not sure exactly which ones you have, but my experience is that I just want more. I absolutely love them. For a scoundrel, I would of course take a lot of social skills, but I think quiet allies is also really good for your party since you also seem to focus on stealth. Society skills, such as multilingual, could also work on a scoundrel-like character. I'm not entirely sure what you want out of a character, so I am not exactly sure which types of skills would be useful to you, but I've found skills and skill feats as one of the pillars that keep my rogue competitive.

I hope this is at least helpful.


You have Unmistakable Lore if you want to avoid critical failure. And it also gives you more information on a critical success (very nice for "monsters" Lores).


Am I crazy in thinking that the whole Poison Weapon concept works poorly without some Alchemist dedication going on, similar to wanting to craft snares works poorly without some Ranger dedication?

Especially on both before you take the level 8 (and 16 by MC requirements) Powerful feat that enables you to use your class DC instead of the poison/snare DC? I dunno. I could see it being a fun build but definitely not cost effective for the bulk of the game.

And until you have some of that going on, I assume you really want to poison only occasionally, not every shot.

I wouldn't go so far as to call it a trap feat, because it still can really help stack damage on a single shot without any investment beyond the basic rogue feats, but it certainly is a side of the class that you really need to focus on and build around carefully or you will only see it being an extra little bit instead of a big part of what you can do.


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Sporkedup wrote:
Am I crazy in thinking that the whole Poison Weapon concept works poorly without some Alchemist dedication going on, similar to wanting to craft snares works poorly without some Ranger dedication?

I would even say that it doesn't work without an Alchemist in your party. Dedication is not enough because of the DC issue.

I must admit I would love to see more feats like that, promoting coordination between classes. There are too few of them right now in the game and, like Poison Weapon, they are quite weak.


SuperBidi wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Am I crazy in thinking that the whole Poison Weapon concept works poorly without some Alchemist dedication going on, similar to wanting to craft snares works poorly without some Ranger dedication?

I would even say that it doesn't work without an Alchemist in your party. Dedication is not enough because of the DC issue.

I must admit I would love to see more feats like that, promoting coordination between classes. There are too few of them right now in the game and, like Poison Weapon, they are quite weak.

Ah, but with the dedication you can eventually get

https://2e.aonprd.com/Feats.aspx?ID=106

Which doesn't say "Alchemist class DC," just "Class DC" which would be a huge buff to your homecooked poison abilities. Albeit at level 16.

Poison Weapon as a feat is mostly just about subverting a difficult action economy regarding poisoning weapons. But it does have the additional benefit of allowing you to apply no-save poisons a reasonably number of times per day. Just bonus damage, while not startlingly massive, doesn't really hurt?

Side note, since it doesn't appear that the feat-enabled simple poisons have a saving throw at all, I would assume that additional poison would be included in your doubled crit damage. Also not awful?

But you do raise a good point of an alchemist friend handing you some poisons to stick on your weapons. It requires a lot of planning but really could be a hoot.


SuperBidi wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

What is the rest of the build? Stats, spells, feats etc.? Your mention Fear - which I assume is the spell but I imagine that doesn’t unlock for a while?

I am looking at making a scoundrel with a rapier. I note what you are saying about the bow but I don’t see that in my vision for the character

I also doubt I will have electric arc as I think storyline reasons might push me towards aberrant bloodline (at least in a potential home game that might be switching to 2E where our group was attacked by an aberrant horror or some description on a boat trip and we last ended all washed up on the shore)

*

As to the points being made about system understanding and complexity - perhaps the true answer is mentioned in this post above. In that what was actually meant was “non classic builds”

So it is much easier to make a traditional backstabbing rogue, and anti undead cleric, a barbarian that rages for loads of damage ...than say... a scoundrel rogue ?

Gnome Scoundrel Rogue. Trapfinder, MCD Sorcerer (Dread Striker and Basic Spellcasting) as first feats. 8 Str, 16 Dex, 12 Con, 18 Cha, 12 Int, 10 Wis. +1 Bow, Electric Arc through First World Magic, Detect Magic and Guidance otherwise. It's quite a simple build actually.

In my opinion, yes, Scoundrel Rogues are hard to build. To build my Scoundrel Rogue, it took me a lot of theorycrafting and then quite some adjustments to get to its current state. So, Scoundrel Rogue works (I think my build is a proof), but it's clearly not easy and you can't do "whatever you want" like some other more classical builds. You can easily fall for a trap feat (like Magical Trickster in the current state of the game).

About playing a Rapier Scoundrel Rogue, at first glance, I don't know how to build it properly. Thief Rogue gives you Dex to damage, which is way better than a trained skill and a bonus to Feint. Also, if you don't want to use Electric Arc, you'll certainly end up making a lot of weapon attacks. So you will certainly choose to...

It might just be that the name “Thief” makes me shudder. I hate it for many reasons. One is that so many people (including some I game with) referred to all rogues as “thieves” even in 3rd edition and played them as straight up kleptomaniacs

It also doesn’t make any sense to me why a thief’s special power would be Dex to damage . Rather than something thievery related (like stealing things off of people they are fighting)

On top of that the character I have in mind is braggart in the flashman/ Gilderoy Lockhart mould . Complete and utter liar and ... scoundrel .

But I get I could get there with 16 charisma and lots of deception focus. But I’d sooner go Ruffian if Scoundrel didn’t work well and present a more Jaime Lannister / Prince Charming from Shrek vibe of being all shining and dashing and then a real piece of work.

Original character was cockatrice cavalier with medium armour , higher strength etc - but only because of the 2nd level power that I never unlocked. So spent most of the time complaining about my “useless” horse - in and out of character! (was also mostly and urban game)

I also played him in a level 4 one off as a Daring Champion so there was lots of swashbuckler in him

So perhaps I should go Ruffian if I manage to get on some online PFS games as a player in the near future (although that is looking difficult to pull off). And if it takes longer look at the Braggart swashbuckler when it arrives


Unicore wrote:

Additional lore early is a massively under rated skill feat, especially for rogues. Focused on the right environment, knowledge category or creature type for the campaign, it can be huge.

if you take 3 or 4 lores and dubious knowledge, your rogue can get a lot of usage out your lore feats. even with an INT of 8.

Is this because lore feats are usually lower DC? So low INT doesn’t matter so much ?


Unicore wrote:

Additional lore early is a massively under rated skill feat, especially for rogues. Focused on the right environment, knowledge category or creature type for the campaign, it can be huge.

if you take 3 or 4 lores and dubious knowledge, your rogue can get a lot of usage out your lore feats. even with an INT of 8.

I prefer something like Pathfinder Agent Dedication, Eclectic Skill, Clever Improviser, Halfling Ingenuity or Untrained Improvisation that affects all untrained skills so you can access ALL lores vs training in a select few. This is especially true when you roll for extremely narrow lores that allow for the lowest possible DC possibly getting a better chance with a more generic trained lore.

Lanathar wrote:

Is this because lore feats are usually lower DC? So low INT doesn’t matter so much ?

You can see a drop of 5 or more for having the right lore skill which balances out well with a lack of stat and/or training.


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graystone wrote:

I prefer something like Pathfinder Agent Dedication, Eclectic Skill, Clever Improviser, Halfling Ingenuity or Untrained Improvisation that affects all untrained skills so you can access ALL lores vs training in a select few. This is especially true when you roll for extremely narrow lores that allow for the lowest possible DC possibly getting a better chance with a more generic trained lore.

I'm actually quite fond of the Elven options of Ancestral Longevity, Ageless Patience, Expert Longevity, and Universal Longevity. Its great for out of combat research or when you're on a trip to a pathfinder mission, you can swap in an appropriate lore and have some significant bonuses to an easier roll. Not as flexible on the fly, and generally not as good for in combat monster lore, but still flexible on a daily basis and has more bonus in that particular lore. I have a fighter with wizard multiclass dedication who'll eventually grab the line of feats. Level+4 expert +2 time + Int on a DC 5 easier check is going to be pretty good odds at mid-to-high levels (and no automatic critical fail on a 1).

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