Tarondor's Guide to the Pathfinder Second Edition Rogue


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

Pixel Popper wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:
Edit: Also, Magical Trickster is aggravatingly hard to set up because Hide/Sneak and Make a Distraction, the easiest ways for an archer to set up sneak attack, don't work for spells.

It's not particularly hard to make a target flat-footed..

1. Take Dread Striker and spam the frightened condition:

  • Brutal Beating Ruffian feat
  • Demoralize
  • Dred Ampoule
  • Fear spell
  • Fearsome weapon property rune
  • Multiclass Fighter for Basic Maneuver Intimidating Strike
  • etc.
  • Demoralize isn't horrible, but can only be used once against a foe so not great for anything that won't die this round, Dread Ampoule is basically throwing gold at your foe, Fear takes multiple actions + one of your limited spell slots, the Fearsome rune requires a critical hit with a weapon strike, multiclassing into fighter is difficult when you are probably already multiclassed into a caster class.

    Ideally, you want a Bard with Dirge of Doom for this sort of thing, but that is a rather specific party composition requirement...

    Pixel Popper wrote:
    2. Spam prone.
  • Any spell with a knockdown effect.
  • Get your teammates to make the target prone (eg: trip and Fighter Knock Down)
  • Cast Command and tell the target to fall prone
  • etc
  • Again, burning limited spell resources or dictating your allies actions/builds for seomthing you might not even be able to take advantage of is problematic (If you Command a foe and they fail their save, they will probably stand up before you can personally take advantage of it with another spell)

    Pixel Popper wrote:
    3. Get thetarget:
  • Confused
  • Grabbed (by teammates)
  • Paralyzed
  • Restrained
  • Unconscious
  • etc.
  • If you can reliably get these conditions on a foe, is your sneak attack actually helping???

    Pixel Popper wrote:

    4. Gain the hidden or undetected conditions.

    As noted, Sneak/Hide do not work with spell attacks (you lose the condition before the cast is complete), so you probably need to burn limited magical resources to get one sneak attack spell per round.

    I mean, you certainly can get a foe flatfooted, but Rogues kinda want to get all foes flatfooted all the time, which is much more difficult to do for most spell attacks (for comparison, the melee 'stabby' rogue with Gang Up only needs another ally to threaten his/her target to make it flat-footed).


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    Taja the Barbarian wrote:

    Demoralize isn't horrible, but can only be used once against a foe so not great for anything that won't die this round, Dread Ampoule is basically throwing gold at your foe, Fear takes multiple actions + one of your limited spell slots, the Fearsome rune requires a critical hit with a weapon strike, multiclassing into fighter is difficult when you are probably already multiclassed into a caster class.

    Ideally, you want a Bard with Dirge of Doom for this sort of thing, but that is a rather specific party composition requirement...

    Most creatures die in one round so its not a big problem. The ones that don't tend to be flanked. There are ways of making Frightened last. Things like Antagonize or Remorseless Lash or Frilled Lizardfolk to just make it last longer. Yes its harder at range. But that's not the point Dread Striker is just another way of getting bonuses to hit and flat footed.

    Dirge of Doom is so strong it looks broken compared to all the other abilities out there. So I hope it it not an unusual choice in your groups. I think it is really important to a Bard as it is a penalty that you can inflict with no saving throw or to hit roll, and it will effectively stack with any status bonus that players already have. Unlike Inspire Courage which will often clash and crowd out other options.


    Hi, just wanted to ask about this specific skill feat (ranked as blue in the guide):
    Quiet Allies - You can keep your heavily-armored friends from blowing the plan.

    As I read the feat "When you are Avoiding Notice and your allies Follow the Expert, you and those allies can roll a single Stealth check, using the lowest modifier, instead of rolling separately. This doesn’t apply for initiative roll".

    This reads to me that I'm not keeping anyone from blowing any skill checks, rather that I make them blow my stealth check, because we will be using their modifier.

    Is there something I'm missing here or why is this feat considered good?


    Rub-Eta wrote:

    Hi, just wanted to ask about this specific skill feat (ranked as blue in the guide):

    Quiet Allies - You can keep your heavily-armored friends from blowing the plan.

    As I read the feat "When you are Avoiding Notice and your allies Follow the Expert, you and those allies can roll a single Stealth check, using the lowest modifier, instead of rolling separately. This doesn’t apply for initiative roll".

    This reads to me that I'm not keeping anyone from blowing any skill checks, rather that I make them blow my stealth check, because we will be using their modifier.

    Is there something I'm missing here or why is this feat considered good?

    Like a lot of PF2 feats, this patches up weaknesses rather than increases strengths, just not in the doubly-good way that first impressions would naturally (IMO) lead to. Instead of improving everyone to the Rogue's Stealth modifier AND giving one roll, the feat gives one roll. This can be useful let's say if you have a large party where if one person triggers the alarm, you're all embroiled in the fallout anyway. This feat avoids the flukes from so much rolling and just boils the event down to that one worst roll. IMO this does pare down the failure chances a lot. This way all the PCs are still on the hook for investing something in Stealth (or Untrained Improvisation at least) or they could say screw it, have nobody else stealthy and still have a decent chance of success (due to not worrying about the 2nd worst, 3rd worst, etc. PC having to roll).

    If the feat did let every other PC pretty much ignore Stealth completely because the Rogue covers it, that'd be too powerful IMO, representing who knows how much investment in Stealth multiplied by # of other PCs. One superior Rogue could ferry in armies of clunky Champions at perhaps legendary levels, much to the surprise of otherwise capable patrols and watchmen.

    ETA: IMO this wouldn't make it a great feat, and it'd be campaign & party dependent IMO (more city than dungeon), but for a 2nd level Skill Feat which Rogues have plenty of, it's good. Perhaps best for Ruffian/Sentinel!


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    Low skill characters following the leader of a competent rogue with quiet allies can also pick up keen follower and basically count as having training in stealth and have an extra +1 or even +2 in there as well. A whole party can nearly ignore stealth and still be pretty competent at sneaking with this one feat, but a whole party can specialize in stealth and still be better.


    Quiet Allies does a few things:
    1) Everyone gets a single roll, which improves the odds of everyone sneaking through even if everyone is trained (this is a matter of statistics)
    2) People who don't invest in stealth have a nonzero chance to succeed. Especially if they already had some dex and just were missing skill training (for instance many casters).

    The effectiveness may vary by party, but a fighter might still have 14 dex to use a bow as backup (and balance rolls on acrobatics, reflex saves, etc) even if they use plate mail (especially after level 5 stat boosts). A caster probably is going to go for high dex even if they don't invest in stealth. Of course, your fighter may also have 0 dex and you're better off just sneaking slightly ahead of the party to open fights you can't avoid with an ambush.

    Scarab Sages

    I'm trying to understand your second point. Someone who doesn't invest in stealth has the same chance to succeed as they would normally when using Follow the Expert (if they are the low modifier).


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    When a party tries to Stealth, every person, including the worst, has a chance of failure (barring a good enough Assurance).
    With Quiet Allies, only the worst has a chance of failure, so no matter what the party's odds have just improved IF trying to Stealth as a party. Yes, that's often an unsound strategy, and how much odds have improved depends on the composition of the group as well as the target DC relative to their skills. But the feat works, at least as far as 2nd level skill feats go, having a notable impact on odds (as poor as those odds might remain). Pulling off a whole party sneaking isn't common, yet sometimes it's necessary and I've seen it pay dividends.


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    It can be a bit non-intuitive to think about why using the worst person's skill on a single roll is still a good thing.

    However, consider it this way: There's no limit to the group size for Follow the Expert and Quiet Allies. If you were just using Follow the Expert for a group of 1000 people, each of them still has to roll a success despite being granted a good bonus. It's almost certain that someone in the 1000 will fail because at the very least someone will still roll a 1. However, with Quiet Allies, all those 1000 rolls are replaced by a single roll with a decent (but not amazing) bonus. The chances of failing go way down and the entire group might go undetected.

    Quiet Allies is a better feat the more people you have in the group, but even with just 1 untrained follower, it's still better than each person rolling separately. Now, Quiet Allies does mean that the entire group succeed or fails together. But a lot of time that's what happens anyway. Quiet Allies actually makes the math match how we usually think about the narrative most times (i.e. least stealthy character being the cause for success or failure for the party).

    Shadow Lodge

    Party of 4 is trying to sneak past a guardpost:

    • Supersneaky guy succeeds on a 2+
    • Two sneaky party members succeed on 6+,
    • NSS (Not So Sneaky) Guy succeeds on 11+

    If everyone rolls separately:

    • Supersneaky guy only fails 5% of the time,
    • Sneaky guys fail 25% of the time each, and
    • NSS guy fails 50% of the time.
    Considering any failure starts the encounter everyone is trying to skip, combining the failure chances of 5% + 25% + 25% + 50% means you are extremely unlikely to succeed as a group.

    If only one person rolls for the group, your chance of failing is just 50%: Not great, but much better than having everyone roll separately...

    Of course, this works even better if 'Supersneaky Guy' is a halfling with the skill check re-roll feats...

    Scarab Sages

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    Right. The group as a whole has a better chance of success. The Supersneaky PC and two sneaky PCs have less of a chance of individual success. The Not-so-sneaky PC has the same chance of individual success. As a group, there's a better chance you succeed. Individually, everyone but the low bonus character has less of a chance to succeed if you're using Quiet Allies.

    What does that mean? Presumably, if the single roll fails, then nobody begins combat undetected, which might matter to some characters. Where if everyone is sneaking individually, some of them might remain undetected. Which is just to say, it depends on the situation whether or not you should use the feat.

    Trying to sneak past someone as a group, it probably makes sense. Trying to sneak up on someone as a group, when you expect combat to start anyway, there's an argument for just rolling individually.


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    Taja the Barbarian wrote:

    ...

    If everyone rolls separately: Supersneaky guy only fails 5% of the time, Sneaky guys fail 25% of the time each, and NSS guy fails 50% of the time.

    Considering any failure starts the encounter everyone is trying to skip, combining the failure chances of 5% + 25% + 25% + 50% means you are extremely unlikely to succeed as a group.
    ...

    For those interested in the math, the probability that at least one person in this example fails is 1-.95*.75*.75*.50=73.3%.

    So exchanging that for a 50% probability of failure is definitely an improvement.

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