PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] Building a skilled>social>combat rogue



Bulwer
2009-02-26, 04:10 PM
I'm working up a 6th level rogue for a PbP game. Since there is already a relatively traditional hiding, lock-opening, device-disabling rogue in the party, I was planning on going a different direction.

I'm looking at having 3 levels of rogue and 3 of either Swashbuckler or Human Paragon. I'm also leaning toward having him be middle-aged, mostly for character reasons.

Stats are 32-point buy. 9/15/13/16/8/15 gets me 8/14/12/17/9/16, with the 4th-level bump going to int to get an 18.

My goal for this character is to be a friendly, socially-adept sort of fellow who can back up his words with a good whack upside the head or crossbow bolt in the ribs if need be. I recognize that he's not going to be a proper fighter, though, so a way to effectively leave combat without dying is good too. He should be a little bit slippery, a mobile combatant.

For feats, I'm unsure. Able Learner is popular. Point Blank Shot is handy. I get a bonus feat if I wind up taking the paragon levels. Daring Outlaw lets Swashbuckler and Rogue stack for grace and SA.

What do you guys think? This doesn't need to be an optimized beast, just a competent character that's not mechanically helpless.

Flickerdart
2009-02-26, 04:17 PM
Must it be a Rogue? The Beguiler, Bard and Factotum are all excellent choices as well.

Bulwer
2009-02-26, 04:28 PM
Bard is taken, and there sure isn't room in a party for two of those.

Beguiler, I am playing in a tabletop game each week.

Factotum isn't really what I'm looking for. It's complex to play and doesn't fit the type of character that I want to play.

Eldariel
2009-02-26, 04:35 PM
I'd cut on the Int (leaving it at 16) and move it into Dex, and also put the level up into Dex; level-ups to Int are a bit problematic as you don't retroactively gain more skillpoints. And yea, high Dex is gonna be your attack, AC, sneak, and everything else so it's going to be rather integral for staying alive. I'd probably also cut some Cha for some extra Wis and Con; endurance and some streetsmarts are never out-of-place and especially relevant for a Rogue.

Note that Swashbuckler is very antithesis of the "skilled > social > combat" with only mere 4 skills per level, but gaining full BAB and combat-related abilities. Something to keep in mind. That said, a Rogue 3/Swashbuckler 3 with Daring Outlaw and Able Learner (if you intend on more Swashbuckler; just 3-4 levels is easily made up for via allocating your Rogue-points in a different manner relieving the Able Learner-feat) would work rather fine.

Bulwer
2009-02-26, 04:47 PM
I'd cut on the Int (leaving it at 16) and move it into Dex, and also put the level up into Dex; level-ups to Int are a bit problematic as you don't retroactively gain more skillpoints. And yea, high Dex is gonna be your attack, AC, sneak, and everything else so it's going to be rather integral for staying alive. I'd probably also cut some Cha for some extra Wis and Con; endurance and some streetsmarts are never out-of-place and especially relevant for a Rogue.

Note that Swashbuckler is very antithesis of the "skilled > social > combat" with only mere 4 skills per level, but gaining full BAB and combat-related abilities. Something to keep in mind. That said, a Rogue 3/Swashbuckler 3 with Daring Outlaw and Able Learner (if you intend on more Swashbuckler; just 3-4 levels is easily made up for via allocating your Rogue-points in a different manner relieving the Able Learner-feat) would work rather fine.

I know Swashbuckler is for combat-- that's why I want a little bit of it. the traditional 3-level dip gets me the ability to not humiliate myself in a fight in exchange for 12 skill points. I'm certainly not continuing down that path.

New stat spread: 8/15/14/16/10/14 with the boost knocking Dex to 16?

Telonius
2009-02-26, 04:58 PM
I'm a big fan of a one-level dip in Master of Masks to snag the Gladiator mask.

Daring Outlaw is best if you plan on only taking a couple levels in Rogue and going mainly Swashbuckler. If you take a couple levels in Swashbuckler and mostly Rogue, you get a (pretty craptacular) bonus to your Reflex saves and that's it. If you're going mostly Rogue, I would still consider taking the three levels of Swashbuckler just to get Insightful Strike, but save the feat slot for something more useful.

Rogue1/Swashbuckler1-3/Human Paragon1-3/Master of Masks1/Rogue2-13 could be interesting, if you want to integrate both Swashbuckler and Paragon.

Feats:
1 - Improved Initiative, Telling Blow
2 - Weapon Finesse (bonus)
3 - TWF
6 - Hamstring, Arterial Strike
9 - Improved TWF
12 - Staggering Strike
15 - (Open for suggestions)
18 - Savvy Rogue

Get yourself an Elven Quickblade and an Elven Lightblade to take advantage of a slightly higher attack bonus, or whatever weird exotic weapon tickles your fancy.

Fax Celestis
2009-02-26, 04:59 PM
Rogue 3/Human Paragon 3/Thief-Acrobat 5/Exemplar 9 would be a better way to go, I think. Exemplar is The Skill Class, and Thief-Acrobat is agility- and skill-centric. Your 2d6 SA isn't too powerful, but it'll let you get a little extra oomph. You can up that with weapons: there are weapon enhancements that give extra SA, for instance.

EDIT: Dropping a level or two from Thief-Acrobat or Exemplar (preferably the latter) for one or two levels of Master of Masks would also be a good choice. Gladiator, Assassin, and some of the other masks are terrific.

Eldariel
2009-02-26, 05:09 PM
That seems reasonable. Go without Able Learner then; it'll get you relatively little benefit for the cost. Make sure that your first and last levels are Rogue to maximize your max ranks and skillpoints. Beyond that, if you want combat ability, Daring Outlaw is the obvious choice, along with Penetrating Attack-ACF [Dungeonscape] which trades Trap Sense for ability to Sneak Attack normally immune things (seems to fit your character especially if Trapfinding isn't going to be a major part of your character). Also, Craven [Champions of Ruin] seems natural.

Other than that, Darkstalker is obvious; you're sneakyish after all. You could get Imperious Command [DoTU] and enjoy your ability to Intimidate people into cowering. This would require 15 points of Cha though; may not be worth it. Drow of the Underdark in general offers some interesting options; you could lose Trapfinding for Poison Use if that suits your fancy (seems natural for "socially acceptable killing"). Versatile Combatant-feat could also make for a nice trick with a Crossbow/Rapier combo.


If you're goodish, Nymph's Kiss [BoED] would be right up your alley; extra skillpoint per level and +2 to Charisma-related checks would be right in there. But as said, it's Exalted.

Do you happen to have Tome of Battle available? Taking Swordsage for levels 7-8 would get you Assassin's Stance, easier flanking abilities and a host of handy abilities with fine 6 skills per level, and some added versatility. Taking the "Kung-Fu Genius" feat could even allow you to apply your Int to AC while in light armor, provided your DM extends the feat from Monks to Swordsages (who do get the same kind of AC bonus). Most importantly though, it would qualify you for Shadowblade to use your Dexterity for damage in melee.


Other than that, take a look at the Ambush-feats; with Craven, you've got damage covered pretty well so hampering the opponent in some relevant way could allow you to effectively disable a number of opponents in one round (basically everyone you get to Sneak Attack).

Oh, and consider Crossbow Sniper. Being able to Sneak Attack within 60' instead of 30' is nothing to scoff at and as a bonus, you'll get Dex to damage (which will be rather relevant in a few levels).


Either way, from the sound of it, Rogue is precisely the class you want - great skill abilities combined with decent combat capability and the "slipperiness" is right up Rogue's alley so outside the Swordsage & Swashbuckler-dips, I'd just go straight Rogue.

Ricky S
2009-02-26, 07:23 PM
I would suggest not worrying about the levels in swashbucklar and focusing on rogue. It would be really easy to make what you just suggested. just have a balanced range of stat points 12/18/10/14/6/16. That way you get some decent skills ie enough to be sneaky and have social capabilities as well. Bluff Diplomacy intimidate and still have the basics like hide and move silently. You will have high dex, good for ac and if you get a masterwork bucklar you do not need shield profficieny because you will not have any penalties for using it. You can then take a crossbow, rapier and some daggers. Gloves of Dex would be a good investment for an extra point of AC and also added bonus's to hitting them and any correlating dex based skills. Take weapon finnesse and use the rapier for some extra damage after the sneak attack. This way you should be able to achieve all you want. Hope you like this. If not just keep playing around with the different concepts.

Curmudgeon
2009-02-26, 07:28 PM
I'd only suggest Human Paragon if you're going to get full use of the class abilities, which include boosting your spells per day and CL. The best bet for this would be a dip into Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric), which gives you Knowledge (all Knowledges as class skills) and two other domains, plus (6 + INT bonus) skill points. And of course all the Cleric spells, plus a few Wizard/Sorcerer utilities like Identify -- without their 100 gp material cost. With only level 0 and 1 spells you won't be doing much primary casting, but you'll be able to make yourself more effective with the occasional Guidance, Grave Strike, Ebon Eyes, or Obscuring Mist. Just a few clever tricks that an experienced adventurer might have picked up along the way.

There are well over 100 Clerical domains, each one providing a granted power. I'm sure you could find a couple that will work with your character concept. You could take Time to get Improved Initiative for "free", and True Strike. Also Complete Champion has rules for getting domain feats in place of domains, so you could get Travel Devotion instead of the Travel domain. Powered by undead turning attempts, Travel Devotion will make your character very slippery.

Otherwise, I'd say Eldariel has provided some pretty sound recommendations, including a more cost-effective point buy choice (i.e., a multiple of 2) for starting INT, Penetrating Strike, and Craven.

Bulwer
2009-02-26, 11:06 PM
I'd only suggest Human Paragon if you're going to get full use of the class abilities, which include boosting your spells per day and CL. The best bet for this would be a dip into Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric), which gives you Knowledge (all Knowledges as class skills) and two other domains, plus (6 + INT bonus) skill points. And of course all the Cleric spells, plus a few Wizard/Sorcerer utilities like Identify -- without their 100 gp material cost. With only level 0 and 1 spells you won't be doing much primary casting, but you'll be able to make yourself more effective with the occasional Guidance, Grave Strike, Ebon Eyes, or Obscuring Mist. Just a few clever tricks that an experienced adventurer might have picked up along the way.

There are well over 100 Clerical domains, each one providing a granted power. I'm sure you could find a couple that will work with your character concept. You could take Time to get Improved Initiative for "free", and True Strike. Also Complete Champion has rules for getting domain feats in place of domains, so you could get Travel Devotion instead of the Travel domain. Powered by undead turning attempts, Travel Devotion will make your character very slippery.

Otherwise, I'd say Eldariel has provided some pretty sound recommendations, including a more cost-effective point buy choice (i.e., a multiple of 2) for starting INT, Penetrating Strike, and Craven.

That is a goddamn brilliant idea. I'll do Rogue2/ClCl1/Swashbuckler3 so that I have Int to damage when I start play. After that I'll Take 1 more Rogue level to get up to the SA prereq for my Swashbuckler and Rogue levels to stack, then the 3 of Human Paragon, using the feat at level 2 to get the stacking feat.

I don't have the book; what are the reqs for Craven?

Eldariel
2009-02-27, 01:02 AM
You have a feat on 6; I strongly suggest starting with Rogue 3/Swashbuckler 3 so you qualify for Daring Outlaw as your level 6 feat (and start with Penetrating Strike). Also, if you dip Cloistered Cleric, consider Knowledge Devotion ACF over Knowledge Domain; you'd be able to get bonuses vs. creature types depending on your Knowledge-check vs. the creature type. Would make up for the lost BAB.

Craven simply requires Sneak Attack and no immunity to Fear. You get -2 to saves vs. Fear, but add 1 point per character level to any Sneak Attack-damage. And strongly consider the mentioned Darkstalker [LoM]; it's the only real means to be able to flank creatures with all-around vision and to sneak up on Blindsighted creatures and such; in other words, you get to be useful regardless of your opponent's senses.