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View Full Version : Time to give the Rogue some love (PEACH)



nonsi
2013-03-14, 06:39 PM
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The concept of the Rogue is one that I like Ė a lot. It stands for the support guy that uses subtlety and his wits rather than direct brute force.
My problem with the core Rogue is that itís actually quite boring and not Rogue-ish enough.
It has ten class features that basically amount to one and the designers didnít take it far enough as the partyís skillmonkey.
The core Rogue also carries a lot of baggage from earlier editions.

So, given that itís long overdue for this archetype to gain some love and respect, hereís how I think it should be designed.


HD: d8

Table: the Rogue
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+0|+0|+2|+0|Improvisation, Rogue's Expertise (1st), Rogue's Knack

2nd|+1|+0|+3|+0|Special Ability, Skill Savvy

3rd|+2|+1|+3|+1|Sneak Attack

4th|+3|+1|+4|+1|Special Ability, Skill Savvy (2 / encounter)

5th|+3|+1|+4|+1|Cunning Breach

6th|+4|+2|+5|+2|Special Ability, Skill Savvy

7th|+5|+2|+5|+2|Rogue's Expertise (2nd)

8th|+6/+1|+2|+6|+2|Special Ability, Skill Savvy (3 / encounter)

9th|+6/+1|+3|+6|+3|Sudden Strike

10th|+7/+2|+3|+7|+3|Special Ability, Skillful Intuition

11th|+8/+3|+3|+7|+3|Insightful Surge

12th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+4|Special Ability, Skill Savvy (4 / encounter)

13th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+4|Rogue's Expertise (3rd)

14th|+10/+5|+4|+9|+4|Special Ability, Skill Savvy

15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+9|+5|Death Blow

16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+5|Special Ability, Skill Savvy (5 / encounter)

17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+5|Cunning Brilliance

18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+6|Special Ability, Skill Savvy

19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+6|Rogue's Expertise (4th)

20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+6|Special Ability, Natural Skill-Trickster

[/table]



Class Skills and Skill Points: Same as the core Rogue, plus the Rogue also has Knowledge (dungeoneering) as class skill.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Same as the core Rogue.



Class Features:


Improvisation (Ex)
Rogues have a keen ability to adapt to nearly any situation.
A rogue has a number of Improvisation points equal to twice his class level.
A rogue's improvisation pool automatically resets at the beginning of each encounter.
Whenever a rogue makes a d20 roll, he may choose to spend so many Improvisation points to gain an equal bonus to his roll.
Improvisation may be used once per round at most and can never grant a bonus to any single roll higher than 1/2 the rogue's class level rounded up.


Rogue's Expertise (Ex)
Rogues are the kind of people that often get themselves into a lot of trouble. To survive out in the streets, they need to either outmaneuver the people they offend, get in and out of places where they cannot be chased, become undetectable, or fast-talk their way out of trouble.
At the beginning of his career, and again at levels 7 / 13 / 19, a rogue chooses one of four fields of expertise. This choice grants the rogue 4 automatic ranks in 4 specific skills. In addition, the rogue gains a specific associated special ability. If upon taking an expertise, one of its skills is to result in more ranks than the maximum allowed by the character's level, the excess ranks are instead to be invested in other skills as the rogue sees fit.
The 4 expertise are:
Acrobat:
- Skills: Balance, Climb, Jump and Tumble.
- Associated Ability: Acrobatic Skill Mastery: The rogue may take 10 on all Balance, Climb, Jump and Tumble checks, even when rushed or distracted.
Burglar:
- Skills: Disable Device, Escape Artist, Search and Sleight of Hand
- Associated Ability: Quickfingers. As given for the Dungeonscape Rogue ACF of the same name.
Manipulator:
- Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate and Sense Motive
- Associated Ability: Innuendo. The rogue gains all benefits described for the Beguiler in the ďDead Levels IIĒ article.
Stalker:
- Skills: Hide, Listen, Move Silently and Spot
- Associated Ability: Surprise Attack. During a surprise round, opponents are always considered flatfooted to you, even if they have already acted. You are never flatfooted after you act - even when attacked by someone with this ability.
Writer's Note:

I never liked the Trapfinding feature, because it makes no sense whatsoever. According to the core rules, someone with 15 ranks, skill focus and skill mastery in both Disable Device & Search could no deal with traps that a 1st level rogue with but a single rank in Disable Device could. This extra baggage should never have been carried along to 3e from its predecessors - and now there's no reason to. Anyone can deal with traps, but only rogues can do so masterfully.



Rogue's Knack (Ex)
When making any skill check, a rogue may use Ĺ his rogue level (rounded up) in place of the number of ranks he has in that skill. A rogue cannot use this ability on a skill that cannot be used untrained if he has no ranks in it.
Furthermore, a rogue's regular skill-tricks-limit is increased to 1/class level.


Special Ability (Ex)

Throughout their adventuring career, rogues develop special talents that aid their stealth, agility, survivability and offensive prowess.

Bonus Feat
Instead of choosing a special ability, a rogue may choose any feat to which he qualifies for from the following list:
Acrobatic Strike, Adaptive Flanker, Combat Acrobat, Cunning Evasion, Dash, Deadeye Shot, Dodge, Elusive Target, Fade into Violence, Flick of the Wrist, Hindering Opportunist, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Quick Draw, Run, Stalwart Defense, TWF and Vexing Flanker.

Acrobatic Stride
Requirements: BAB +4.
The rogue can run or charge in situations where others cannot.
He may run or charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies blocking his path.
This ability enables him to run down steep stairs, leap down from a balcony, or tumble over tables to get to his target.
Depending on the circumstance, he may still need to make appropriate checks (e.g. Jump or Tumble checks) to successfully move over the terrain.
In addition, when running or charging, the rogue may make any number of up to 45-degrees direction shifts and a single 90-degrees direction shift, so long as the final 10ft (if he wishes to execute a Charge attack) are taken in a straight line.

Ambidextrous
Requirements: TWF feat, BAB +6.
The Rogue reduces penalties for two weapon fighting by 2. An Ambidextrous Two Weapon Fighter's main hand and offhand deal normal Strength damage.

Ambush
Requirements: SA, Hide & Move Silently 6 ranks.
During a surprise round, opponents are always considered flat-footed to a rogue with this ability, even if they have already acted.

Bleeding Attack
Requirements: SA.
A rogue with this ability can cause living opponents to bleed a number of HP/round equal to SA-dice sacrificed until the bleeding is stopped.
Bludgeoning weapons cannot be used to render an opponent bleeding.
Bleeding can be stopped with a DC 15 Heal check (retries allowed), a cure spell or 1d4 rounds after the target doesnít take strenuous actions (any action that would make someone with 0 HP start losing HP).
Multiple bleeding attacks stack.

Brace for impact
Requirements: Base Ref saves +6.
As an immediate action, the rogue can "move with the punch", cutting dealt damage from an attack by 1/2 and moving away to an adjacent location.

Canny Finesse
Requirements: Dex 13, Int 13, BAB +4.
When wielding a light weapon or a finesse-able weapon (e.g. whip, Rapier...), the rogue may use his Dex-bonus instead of his Str-bonus on attack rolls. He may also add his Dex-bonus instead of his Str-bonus to damage with those weapons.

Dual Strike
Requirements: BAB +4, TWF feat.
Dual Strike allows the Rogue to strike with his offhand weapon in addition to his main hand weapon as part of a charge or a standard action.

Duelist
Requirements: BAB +6.
A Duelist gains +1 to Hit, +2 to Damage and +2 Shield bonus to AC when fighting with only one weapon and having his offhand free.
This ability can be chosen multiple times, its effects stack.
A rogue may select this special ability once per 4 Rogue levels at most.

Evasion
Requirements: Base Ref +3.
As given for the core Rogue.

Fast Stealth
Requirements: Hide & Move Silently 9 ranks.
As long as the rogue is not running, he takes no penalties to his Hide & Move Silently checks.
Even while running, the penalties diminish by 5

Flank Everywhere
Requirements: Sudden Strike.
You are considered flanking an enemy if both you and an ally are threatening your foe in melee, regardless of his position.
Your ally doesnít count as flanking (unless heís actually flanking of course).
Even while running, stealth check penalties diminish by 5.

Fluid Attack
Requirements: BAB + 6.
Make a 5-ft step for free after every attack during the rogueís turn, not counting offhand attacks.

Hide in Plain Sight
Requirements: Bluff 6 ranks, Hide 12 ranks, Move Silently 9 ranks.
As long as the rogue is not running, he takes no penalties to his Hide & Move Silently checks.
Even while running, the penalties diminish by 5

Improved Evasion
Requirements: Evasion and base Ref +7.
As given for the core Rogue.

Improved Flanking
Requirements: BAB +4.
When flanking an opponent, the rogue gains a +4 bonus on attacks instead of a +2 bonus on attacks.
Other characters flanking with the rogue donít gain this increased bonus.
Improved Flanking stacks with other forms of flanking bonuses.

Improved Sneak Attack
Requirements: Rogue level 6.
The rogue adds 1d6 to his SA damage.
This ability can be chosen multiple times, limited to 1/6th Rogue level. Its effects stack.

Improved Uncanny Dodge
Requirements: Uncanny Dodge and base Ref +6.
As given for the core Rogue.

Ledge Walker
Requirements: Balance 7 ranks.
The rogue may move up to his speed along narrow surfaces without penalty.

Poison Use
Requirements: Dex 15.
As given for the official Assassin PrC.

Skill Mastery
Requirements: 4 ranks in each selected skill.
As given for the core Rogue.

Slippery Mind
Requirements: Base Will +3.
As given for the core Rogue.

Slow Reactions
Requirements: SA
The rogue can sacrifice 3d6 SA damage to prevent his target from taking immediate or swift actions for 1 round.

Sniper
Requirements: SA, Far Shot feat
Make ranged SAs within a weaponís 2nd range increment.

Opportunist
Requirements: BAB +6.
As given for the core Rogue.

Trap Spotter
Requirements: Rogue's Expertise: Burglar
Benefit: Whenever a rogue with this talent comes within 10í of a trap, he receives an immediate Search skill check to notice the trap.
This check should be made in secret by the DM.

Uncanny Dodge
Requirements: Base Ref +4.
As given for the core Rogue.

Wounding Strike
Requirements: SA
Sacrifice SA dice for causing ability damage at a rate of 1 point per d6. The target is entitled to Fort saves to negate the damage. The DC equals 10 + Ĺ Rogue level + the rogueís Int-bonus.


Skill Savvy (Ex)
The rogue excels at learning useful tricks and ploys to confuse and confound his opponents.
At 2nd level and every even Rogue level thereafter, a rogue gains a bonus skill-trick to which he qualifies. These bonus skill tricks don't cost the rogue any skill-points expenditure and donít count against the usual limit of skill tricks a character may take.
At levels 4/8/12/16 a rogue is able to use any skill-trick he knows 2/3/4/5 times (respectively) per encounter each, including using the same trick multiple times in a row.
At 20th level the rogue may use any skill trick he knows an unlimited number of times per encounter.


Sneak Attack (AKA ďSAĒ) (Ex)
Starting at 3rd level, a rogueís attack deals extra damage any time his target would be denied their Dex-bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dex-bonus or not), when the rogue flanks his target or when a creature provokes an AoO from the rogue (generally referred to as "unable to properly defend themselves").
SA damage equals 1d6 plus 1d6 per 3 Rogue levels.
SA damage is not multiplied on critical hits.
SA deals 1/2 damage to opponents that are immune to critical hist (i.e. creatures with no discernible anatomies, such as undead, plants, constructs, oozes, elementels, etc), except for swarms, gaseous and incorporeal creatures, which completely ignore SA damage (this one is a result of the following discussion (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202220)).
A rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.
Melee SA is applicable with light and finesseable weapons only, while carrying no more than light load (writerís note: I want to promote the notion that rogues travel light and are generally less conspicuous).
Ranged attacks can count as SA only if the target is at close range (within the weaponís range increment).
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a rogue can make a SA that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. Nonlethal SA damage is also applicable with weapons that deal lethal damage, taking the usual -4 penalty.
SA is inapplicable unless an attack does bludgeoning/slashing/piercing damage, meaning area/drain/splash/elemental damages are inapplicable for SA (those are diametric opposites of precision).
5 ranks in Heal add an additional 1d6 to SA damage against the rogueís Heal-related group of creatures.
At 3rd level, only the first attack against an opponent counts as SA (see Sudden Strike later on).
Special: SA dice can count as improvisation points instead of damage dice. Furthermore, they allow extra usages of improvisation vs. SA targets, beyond the single usage per round.


Cunning Breach (Ex)
Starting at 5th level, a rogueís broad knowledge allows him to study an opponent and gain a brief flash of insight to breach their defenses.
By spending 2 improvisation points as a free action, the rogue can ignore a single targetís SR and DR for 1 round.


Sudden Strike (Ex)
Starting at 9th level, every attack a rogue makes against opponents that are unable to properly defend themselves is a SA.
When making a SA, the rogue gains a +2 attack bonus (+4 vs. unwary targets).
When a rogue is unobserved (invisibility/total concealment/...), a successful SA made as a full round action counts as Coup de Grace. A rogue may choose to substitute death for unconsciousness for 3d6 rounds.


Skillful Intuition (Ex)
A 10th level rogue learns how to use his abilities in unorthodox ways. He may use his Dex-mod instead of his Str-mod for all Str based Class Skills, and may use his Int-mod instead of his Wis-mod for all Wis based Class Skills.


Insightful Surge (Ex)
An 11th level rogue can call upon the wealth of his experience and knowledge to gain a burst of speed when it is needed the most. By spending 3 improvisation points the rogue or an ally within 45ft can take an extra standard action during a round.
A rogue may only use this ability once per round but he may use it even when it isn't his turn.


Death Blow (Ex)
Starting at 15th level, a rogue may perform Coup de Grace attempts as a standard action against opponents that are unable to properly defend themselves.


Cunning Brilliance (Ex)
At 17th level, a rogue becomes the ultimate jack of all trades. His sharp mind and keen sense of his surroundings allow him to duplicate almost any ability he witnesses.
Three times per day, by spending 3 improvisation points as a free action, you gain the benefits and drawbacks of one (Ex) ability of another character class at a level no higher than your Rogue level minus 5 for 1 minute. You use the ability as if your level in the relevant class equaled your Rogue level. Improved (Ex) abilities (such as the Knight's Improved Shield Ally) require 6 improvisation points. Features with double improvements (e.g. Mighty Rage, if and when a rogue hits level 25) require 9 uses.
For example, if you use a monkís Flurry of Blows ability, you gain all the benefits and drawbacks described under Flurry of Blows (PH 40). You do not gain the benefits of unarmed strike, because that is a separate ability in the Monkís class description.


Natural Skill-Trickster (Ex)
From this point and on, the rogue needs not spend skill points to learn a skill trick. He also regains all skill points previously invested into skill-tricks (if any).

nonsi
2013-03-15, 05:14 AM
Must have been really tired when I posted this yesterday, because there were several changes I wanted to make before posting:
- HD: d8.
- SA damage starts at 2d6.
- Replaced 3 leftover meh abilities with 3 awesome Factotum abilities.

I believe itís ready now, so fire away.

nonsi
2013-03-17, 03:34 PM
Fascinating . . .

This class is obviously superior to the core Rogue.
Itís definitely more customizable than the core class.
It also brings something new to the table at each level.

Still, zero feedbacks - positive or negative.

The format is standard and the progression is neat & clean, so I know thatís not it.
Itís also not OP, so that option is also off the table.

Could it be because people just canít process a 3.x Rogue remake that doesn't have Trapfinding & SA stamped onto its 1st level ?

PairO'Dice Lost
2013-03-17, 03:57 PM
Could it be because people just canít process a 3.x Rogue remake that doesn't have Trapfinding & SA stamped onto its 1st level ?

No, it's probably because the forum is consumed with fighter fixes at the moment, and because your fix is basically factotum//rogue + Bardic Knack + free skill tricks + tons of inspiration points to use its abilities, which isn't particularly innovative.

Not to insult your design or anything, since there are some aspects to the class that are new and interesting, but things like "give the rogue all skills as class skills" and "fold Hide in Plain Sight into the rogue special abilities" and "make sure the rogue has really good skill modifiers all around" are fairly standard for rogue fixes.

nonsi
2013-03-18, 09:56 AM
No, it's probably because the forum is consumed with fighter fixes at the moment

Yes, timing was never my strong suit.




, and because your fix is basically factotum//rogue + Bardic Knack + free skill tricks + tons of inspiration points to use its abilities, which isn't particularly innovative.

Not to insult your design or anything, since there are some aspects to the class that are new and interesting, but things like "give the rogue all skills as class skills" and "fold Hide in Plain Sight into the rogue special abilities" and "make sure the rogue has really good skill modifiers all around" are fairly standard for rogue fixes.

Yes, I know.
AFAIK, there's not much room to maneuver with the utilitarian skillmonkey. It's just a matter of how one puts the features together (I would never put Opportunistic Piety in a Rogue fix, for instance).

In general, I'm content with the result. I only wish this one got some constructive criticism - for better or worse.

Amechra
2013-03-18, 10:20 AM
You're going to have to define "cannot defend themselves", listing particular cases.

Because, I mean, you could argue that someone 4 levels lower than you that only has levels in Commoner is unable to properly defend themselves, letting you shank them. Which, while amusing, doesn't seem like it is in theme.

A Rogue doesn't cast spells, so you can drop the SR piercing for Cunning Breach. Maybe replace it with letting them deal full damage to things that would be taking half SA damage?

And Sudden Strike... Invisibility is cheap. I mean, that is pretty much "my opening move is killing someone"; especially since someone optimizing their hide checks can get past practically anything, stealth-wise.

The capstone, while nice, might be better replaced by something that isn't "you suddenly get about 50 skill tricks, have a nice day."

The thing is that there is usually a reason that people haven't grabbed skill tricks that they qualify for, and that's because they can't see themselves ever using that particular skill trick.

They should be able to pull of the Swashbuckler's Seduce to Gain Information ability. Just because.

Cidolfas
2013-03-18, 12:40 PM
In general, I'm content with the result. I only wish this one got some constructive criticism - for better or worse.

Ask and you shall receive.

As far as the Sneak Attack is concerned, I approve of the damage boosting and removal of crit immunity except for certain creatures, but I think it needs to be more explicitly stated that it bypasses critical immunity. While it's fair to say that the omission of such a clause means it should bypass critical hit immunity, I think the pre-existing SA rules make it so that you actually should specifically say that this form of Sneak Attack bypasses critical immunity. Right before the part about half damage to creatures with no discernible anatomy is fine, I just think it needs to be in there somewhere so I don't have to stare at it for five minutes or go to the linked thread to figure it out.

I think the Special Abilities are a bit unevenly distributed in terms of power. Going through each of them:



Bonus Feat
The rogue may choose any feat to which he qualifies for from the following list:
Acrobatic Strike, Adaptive Flanker, Combat Acrobat, Cunning Evasion, Dash, Deadeye Shot, Dodge, Elusive Target, Fade into Violence, Flick of the Wrist, Hindering Opportunist, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Quick Draw, Run, Stalwart Defense, TWF and Vexing Flanker.


This is fine, even as a port from the general rogue with a few bonus feats attached. The usefulness of some of them (Dodge, Mobility) is questionable, but even so I canít hate on them too much.



Acrobatic Charge
Requirements: BAB +4.
The rogue can charge in situations where others cannot.
He may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies blocking his path.
This ability enables him to run down steep stairs, leap down from a balcony, or tumble over tables to get to his target.
Depending on the circumstance, he may still need to make appropriate checks (e.g. Jump or Tumble checks) to successfully move over the terrain.
In addition, when charging, the rogue may make any number of up to 45-degrees direction shifts and a single 90-degrees direction shift, so long as the final 10ft are taken in a straight line.


Iím not really sure how well this fits a rogueís play style, since most of the rogues that Iíve seen played at higher balance games (which is what this appears to be intended for) use acid flasks and the like to spam Sneak Attack damage attacks without ever entering melee. Even the ones who are in melee probably arenít bum-rushing in like that, so I canít personally see players taking it.



Ambidextrous
Requirements: TWF feat, BAB +6.
The Rogue reduces penalties for two weapon fighting by 2. An Ambidextrous Two Weapon Fighter's main hand and offhand deal normal Strength damage.


This is OK as a premise, but I feel like it could do more. I would prefer if it made the whole TWF feat chain obsolete by making your penalties from TWF down to nothing, since that feat chain sucks anyway (getting four feats to do one thing well = fail).



Ambush
Requirements: SA, Hide & Move Silently 6 ranks.
During a surprise round, opponents are always considered flat-footed to a rogue with this ability, even if they have already acted.


Pretty situational, since this will only ever affect the first round of combat against creatures who can be surprised. The number of times it comes up is already fading fast given those two criteria, so I donít find it that useful.



Bleeding Attack
Requirements: SA.
A rogue with this ability can cause living opponents to bleed a number of HP/round equal to SA-dice sacrificed until the bleeding is stopped.
Bludgeoning weapons cannot be used to render an opponent bleeding.
Bleeding can be stopped with a DC 15 Heal check (retries allowed), a cure spell or 1d4 rounds after the target doesnít take strenuous actions.
Multiple bleeding attacks stack.


This is the kind of thing I want to see more of with the special abilities. The rogueís big thing is Sneak Attack, and therefore I think it is fitting to offer other ways to use those Sneak Attack dice. I am, however, concerned about the ease of the Heal DC at higher levels and am thinking that perhaps it could scale appropriately. There also isnít much definition of Ďstrenuous actioní, so that may help as well.



Brace for impact
Requirements: Base Ref saves +6.
As an immediate action, the rogue can "move with the punch", cutting dealt damage from an attack by 1/2 and moving away to an adjacent location.
Using this option costs the rogue a standard action during his next combat turn.


In the interests of action economy, I think this could be an immediate action cost rather than taking a standard action. Immediate and swift actions were one of the few good things 3.5e added; might as well use it.



Dexterous Strike
Requirements: Dex 13.
The Rogue is practiced at striking efficiently over forcefully. The Rogue uses his Dex-bonus instead of Str-bonus for damage.
If the rogue possessed a penalty to damage due to a low Str, he retains this penalty in addition to adding his Dex-bonus to damage.


I think this is a good addition, almost to the point that it lends itself so well to rogues that I find myself questioning what rogue wouldnít take it, especially given the ease of access to it. On that basis, I am wondering if some of the other prerequisites for special abilities could be toned down so as to make them all level-appropriate at any level. That having been said, I would imagine that just about any rogue will take this ability early, but I still like that it is offered as a choice. You may want to include a clasue about how it stacks (or doesnít stack) with things like the Shadow Blade feat (from Tome of Battle).



Dual Strike
Requirements: BAB +4, TWF feat.
Dual Strike allows the Rogue to strike with his offhand weapon in addition to his main hand weapon as part of a charge or standard action.


Yay, making meleers more effective! Not sure itís enough, though, and I would prefer to see this be made part of a scaling TWF option that covers almost everything you need concerning TWF with one selection.



Duelist
Requirements: BAB +6.
A Duelist gains +1 to Hit, +2 to Damage and +2 Shield bonus to AC when fighting with only one weapon and having his offhand free.
This ability can be chosen multiple times, its effects stack.
A rogue may select this special ability once per 4 Rogue levels at most.


Iím kind of bored by this one since itís just a passive numbers boost, but it works.



Evasion
Requirements: Base Ref +3.
As given for the core Rogue.


Straight port, useful sometimes but probably not all that great compared to taking Improved Sneak Attack as many times as possible.



Fast Stealth
Requirements: Hide & Move Silently 9 ranks.
As long as the rogue is not running, he takes no penalties to his Hide & Move Silently checks.
Even while running, the penalties diminish by 5


This is fine mechanically to me. I donít really know how much Hide and Move Silently are incorporated into most games, but itís pretty easy to pump them. So I donít know how meaningful this is in a real-game situation and would have to let someone else be the judge of that.



Flank Everywhere
Requirements: Sudden Strike.
You are considered flanking an enemy if both you and an ally are threatening your foe in melee, regardless of his position.
Your ally doesnít count as flanking (unless heís actually flanking of course).


This is a pretty steep requirement. I think it could be lower and just need Sneak Attack and then it could still be fine. Otherwise you are depriving melee rogues of a very nice thing for 8 levels until they get Sudden Strike.



Fluid Attack
Requirements: BAB + 6.
Make a 5-ft step for free after every attack during the rogueís turn, not counting offhand attacks.


Mobility is nice, especially as a buff for ranged characters. Thatís how I could see it being used, and I have no problem with it.



Hide in Plain Sight
Requirements: Bluff 6 ranks, Hide 12 ranks, Move Silently 9 ranks.
As long as the rogue is not running, he takes no penalties to his Hide & Move Silently checks.
Even while running, the penalties diminish by 5


Looks like a case of copypasta here (the same as Fast Stealth). But I know what HiPS does and think it could be given as a straight up class feature. Itís that essential to what the rogue does and makes you not necessarily have to locate a way to spam invisibility (unless you want to, of course).



Improved Evasion
Requirements: Evasion and base Ref +7.
As given for the core Rogue.


Again with the evasion bit. I think this one in particular is not very great. Especially at higher levels of the game, most enemies donít use effects that can be avoided by Reflex saves. Thatís about the time save-or-dies come into the mix, and I think thatís what a rogue of this caliber is supposed to be measured against.



Improved Flanking
Requirements: BAB +4.
When flanking an opponent, the rogue gains a +4 bonus on attacks instead of a +2 bonus on attacks.
Other characters flanking with the rogue donít gain this increased bonus.


So in a word, itís the Vexing Flanker feat. You should probably include a stacking or non-stacking clause (if itís not supposed to stack, just say you get Vexing Flanker and youíre good). Since you already offer Vexing Flanker in the bonus feat section, I'm guessing it does stack, but it probably still merits explicit statement.



Improved Sneak Attack
Requirements: Rogue level 6.
The rogue adds 1d6 to his SA damage.
This ability can be chosen multiple times, limited to 1/6th Rogue level. Its effects stack.


I would probably take this as many times as I could if the DM allowed it. Added to every attack, there is a potentially significant boost in damage and the variety of other Sneak Attack dice that I could use to add rider effects like the bleed mentioned earlier. This isnít necessarily a bad thing, but it is clearly superior to many other options to me.



Improved Uncanny Dodge
Requirements: Uncanny Dodge and base Ref +6.
As given for the core Rogue.


Yawning at this one the same way I am about evasion. To me all it does is let rogues counter other rogues. Other than that it has no particular purpose and almost discriminates against the rogue playstyle. I might still take it as a big ďup yoursĒ to all my fellow rogues, but if I am just stronger than them anyway then I should probably just be able to kill them outright. And if they are so much stronger that they arenít affected by the four-level gap, Iím probably screwed anyway.



Insightful Strike
Requirements: Int 13, Dexterous Strike.
The rogue adds his Int-bonus to damage against any foe that doesnít completely ignore SA damage.


This promotes Multiple Ability Dependency when paired with Dexterous Strike, which I am not sure is a good thing. So I donít really like this one and think you could purge it if you were looking to trim the list. Otherwise I think you could make it an alternative to Dexterous Strike rather than an add-on.



Ledge Walker
Requirements: Balance 7 ranks.
The rogue may move up to his speed along narrow surfaces without penalty.


I donít know how often this comes up. I am thinking it could also cover a climb speed or something more useful across the board. It seems too niche as written to make me want to take it.



Poison Use
Requirements: Dex 15.
As given for the official Assassin PrC.


This could be part of the standard rogue kit, as far as I am concerned. Itís pretty minor and could be offered as soon as level 1.



Skill Mastery
Requirements: 4 ranks in each selected skill.
As given for the core Rogue.


Almost anything that has to do with skills is something that I am inclined to say no to. Most D&D games that I have ever played in are about killing things, and unless being a skill monkey helps me do that (which it rarely does) I canít say I am too interested in it since my party can already have the resources to do just about anything if everyone specializes in the appropriate skills. This seems to be forcing a niche where one just doesnít exist.



Slippery Mind
Requirements: Base Will +3.
As given for the core Rogue.


Pretty low prereq and useful for screwing over beguilers and the like. I would probably take it, but itís still from the core rogue so I canít really give you brownie points for innovation on this one.



Slow Reactions
Requirements: SA
The rogue can sacrifice 3d6 SA damage to prevent his target from taking immediate or swift actions for 1 round.


Again, options for using SA dice? Yes, please. Action denial is a cool thing, and I think there need to be more like this.



Sniper
Requirements: SA, Far Shot feat
Make ranged SAs within a weaponís 2nd range increment.


Almost a necessity for ranged rogues, especially if you are chucking flasks. Itís a surefire pick for me.



Opportunist
Requirements: BAB +6.
As given for the core Rogue.


I never really thought Opportunist was good in the core rogue. Feeling has not changed here.



Uncanny Dodge
Requirements: Base Ref +4.
As given for the core Rogue.


Iíll refer you back to my spiel on Improved Uncanny Dodge.



Wounding Strike
Requirements: SA
Sacrifice SA dice for causing ability damage at a rate of 1 point per d6. The target is entitled to Fort saves to negate the damage. The DC equals 10 + Ĺ Rogue level + the rogueís Int-bonus.


Ability damage + scaling DC = good stuff. Me likey.

So if I were to take this class, I would rely on other things to handle being a skiller (if it even merited any attention at all) and focus on pumping my Sneak Attack dice, taking Hide in Plain Sight, etc. Because of the disparity that exists here, I think you could purge some of these and focus on offering alternative uses for SA damage to add bonus effects. That will offer the rogue some nice utility in combat other than just trying to spam as much damage as possible all the time.

Zman
2013-03-18, 06:48 PM
Hmmm....part of this look familiar....

Anyway, I honestly can't say I'm a fan of this reinvisioning. It feels like you are trying to do too many things at once and Improvisation Points feel wrong to me as does your implementation of the skills changes. It's hard to pin it down, but I'm not a fan of the feel of this rogue.

AttilaTheGeek
2013-03-18, 07:06 PM
I would probably take this [Improved Sneak Attack] as many times as I could if the DM allowed it. Added to every attack, there is a potentially significant boost in damage and the variety of other Sneak Attack dice that I could use to add rider effects like the bleed mentioned earlier. This isnít necessarily a bad thing, but it is clearly superior to many other options to me.

This gave me an idea, so I'll just throw it out here. What if sneak attack dice were a resource that a rogue can spend in different ways each turn?

For example, each turn a 20th-level rogue could have 10 sneak attack d6s. Before making attacks, he can choose to allocate them to different things- maybe he spends 2d6 adding damage to his main hand, 2d6 adding damage to his off hand, 3 to add 3 points of bleed damage to his main hand, 1 to add a +1 attack bonus to his off hand attack, and the last 2 d6s for 2 points of ability damage. Next turn, he might just hit for 10d6 more, or the turn after that he could hit for 10 points of bleed damage.

Cidolfas
2013-03-18, 09:19 PM
This gave me an idea, so I'll just throw it out here. What if sneak attack dice were a resource that a rogue can spend in different ways each turn?

More or less, yes, this is what I think would have to happen to give the rogue the versatility to compete at a higher level than it currently does. In situations where your SA dice are not useful for doing damage, you can use them to do other things, or substitute them for bonus stuff based on your preference. It will be a good way to separate it for good from the vanilla rogue.

nonsi
2013-03-19, 03:30 PM
You're going to have to define "cannot defend themselves", listing particular cases.

I believe it's properly defined now.




A Rogue doesn't cast spells, so you can drop the SR piercing for Cunning Breach. Maybe replace it with letting them deal full damage to things that would be taking half SA damage?

UMD is a class skill, so it's still effective.
This one also applies in case of multiclassing.
But yes, your suggestion would definitely help.
I need to think of this one some more.




And Sudden Strike... Invisibility is cheap. I mean, that is pretty much "my opening move is killing someone"; especially since someone optimizing their hide checks can get past practically anything, stealth-wise.

Negated by decent Spot checks.
As levels go up, this should become quite trivial (I don't plan on this homebrew class to stand alone).




The capstone, while nice, might be better replaced by something that isn't "you suddenly get about 50 skill tricks, have a nice day."

"Tomaitoes Tomatoes, Potaitoes Potatoes".
The idea is that by level 20, any skill trick the rogue qualifies for become trivial (probably all by then).
He's the grand father of all skillmonkeys.




They should be able to pull of the Swashbuckler's Seduce to Gain Information ability. Just because.

I agree.
Skill tricks should be automatic insights once their prereqs are met.
Unfortunately this is a class fix, not a houserules-thread.
If and when this one gets to the community 3e rehaule as the proposed Rogue, that's one houserule to consider.

nonsi
2013-03-19, 03:33 PM
This gave me an idea, so I'll just throw it out here. What if sneak attack dice were a resource that a rogue can spend in different ways each turn?

For example, each turn a 20th-level rogue could have 10 sneak attack d6s. Before making attacks, he can choose to allocate them to different things- maybe he spends 2d6 adding damage to his main hand, 2d6 adding damage to his off hand, 3 to add 3 points of bleed damage to his main hand, 1 to add a +1 attack bonus to his off hand attack, and the last 2 d6s for 2 points of ability damage. Next turn, he might just hit for 10d6 more, or the turn after that he could hit for 10 points of bleed damage.

Yes. Maybe by allowing to count SA dice as Improvisation points (and use them to transcend the limitation of only one inspiration per round).

nonsi
2013-03-19, 03:41 PM
Hmmm....part of this look familiar....

That's quite probable.
As time goes by, it's getting harder and harder to be genuinely original.
All I can say is that this homebrew class was not copied from others.




Anyway, I honestly can't say I'm a fan of this reinvisioning.

Fair enough. To each his own.




It feels like you are trying to do too many things at once.

At which level ?
Which feature ?
In what way ?




and Improvisation Points feel wrong to me as does your implementation of the skills changes. It's hard to pin it down, but I'm not a fan of the feel of this rogue.

I can't argue with one's taste and can't really comment on something you haven't pinned down yet.
All I can say is that rogues tend to get in over their heads, so if anyone gets the knack to improvise, it's a rogue.

Amechra
2013-03-19, 03:53 PM
As a modification to the capstone, why not give them an earlier ability to purchase skill tricks for 1 skill point, simultaneously increasing the number of skill tricks they can have by their Intelligence modifier (ignoring temporary modifiers).

And then the capstone can just make skill tricks free, refunding you all the spent skill points, while also removing the limit on how many skill tricks you can have?

That would have the same general effect without being a massive glut of new effects, since people could pick and choose their new skill tricks, so that they definitely know what they have on tap, rather than having to check the books during play to see what skill tricks they can use in that particular situation.

nonsi
2013-03-19, 05:13 PM
As a modification to the capstone, why not give them an earlier ability to purchase skill tricks for 1 skill point, simultaneously increasing the number of skill tricks they can have by their Intelligence modifier (ignoring temporary modifiers).

As in at 10th level, instead of Skill Savvy ?
Could work. Maybe. Probably.
How would you call it ?




And then the capstone can just make skill tricks free, refunding you all the spent skill points, while also removing the limit on how many skill tricks you can have?

That would have the same general effect without being a massive glut of new effects, since people could pick and choose their new skill tricks, so that they definitely know what they have on tap, rather than having to check the books during play to see what skill tricks they can use in that particular situation.

The idea behind the capstone is not that the rogue suddenly learns an infinite amount of skill tricks.
It means that he doesn't have to learn skill tricks anymore. He just picks them on-the-fly.
The way you rephrase it, it means that he'd probably need to spend time and practice to learn each of them. I see no advantage in that approach.
And no matter what you call it, having access to all skill tricks will require you to "check the books" every once in a while, regardless of years of practice as a player.

nonsi
2013-03-19, 05:56 PM
Ask and you shall receive.

Thanks.



As far as the Sneak Attack is concerned, I approve of the damage boosting and removal of crit immunity except for certain creatures, but I think it needs to be more explicitly stated that it bypasses critical immunity.

Done.



(Acrobatic Charge)


Iím not real ly sure how well this fits a rogueís play style, since most of the rogues that Iíve seen played at higher balance games (which is what this appears to be intended for) use acid flasks and the like to spam Sneak Attack damage attacks without ever entering melee. Even the ones who are in melee probably arenít bum-rushing in like that, so I canít personally see players taking it.

Iím considering calling it Acrobatic Stride and applying it to running as well, so that it doesnít require charging.


(Ambidextrous)


This is OK as a premise, but I feel like it could do more. I would prefer if it made the whole TWF feat chain obsolete by making your penalties from TWF down to nothing, since that feat chain sucks anyway (getting four feats to do one thing well = fail).

Iím not dealing with house rules here.
This one still requires some thinking on my part.


(Ambush)


Pretty situational, since this will only ever affect the first round of combat against creatures who can be surprised. The number of times it comes up is already fading fast given those two criteria, so I donít find it that useful.

Once Sudden Strike kicks in, thereís some real potential here.


(Bleeding Attack)


This is the kind of thing I want to see more of with the special abilities. The rogueís big thing is Sneak Attack, and therefore I think it is fitting to offer other ways to use those Sneak Attack dice. I am, however, concerned about the ease of the Heal DC at higher levels and am thinking that perhaps it could scale appropriately. There also isnít much definition of Ďstrenuous actioní, so that may help as well.

ĎStrenuous actioní is any action youíd avoid when at 0 HP.
I believe the core rules already cover that one.


(Brace for impact)


In the interests of action economy, I think this could be an immediate action cost rather than taking a standard action. Immediate and swift actions were one of the few good things 3.5e added; might as well use it.

It already beats Defensive Role, but yes, immediate action it is.


(Dexterous Strike)


I think this is a good addition, almost to the point that it lends itself so well to rogues that I find myself questioning what rogue wouldnít take it, especially given the ease of access to it. On that basis, I am wondering if some of the other prerequisites for special abilities could be toned down so as to make them all level-appropriate at any level. That having been said, I would imagine that just about any rogue will take this ability early, but I still like that it is offered as a choice. You may want to include a clasue about how it stacks (or doesnít stack) with things like the Shadow Blade feat (from Tome of Battle).

Youíre right. At low levels this could be OP.
What would you add to the requirements ?


(Dual Strike)


Yay, making meleers more effective! Not sure itís enough, though, and I would prefer to see this be made part of a scaling TWF option that covers almost everything you need concerning TWF with one selection.

Sounds a bit over the top to me.


(Evasion)


Straight port, useful sometimes but probably not all that great compared to taking Improved Sneak Attack as many times as possible.

When facing blasters, this could mean the difference between life and death.


(Flank Everywhere)


This is a pretty steep requirement. I think it could be lower and just need Sneak Attack and then it could still be fine. Otherwise you are depriving melee rogues of a very nice thing for 8 levels until they get Sudden Strike.

This one means SA bonanza.
I see no problem with the requirements.


(Hide in Plain Sight)


Looks like a case of copypasta here (the same as Fast Stealth). But I know what HiPS does and think it could be given as a straight up class feature. Itís that essential to what the rogue does and makes you not necessarily have to locate a way to spam invisibility (unless you want to, of course).

My gripe with the Rangerís HiPS is that it has zero requirements.
Same as with Trapfinding Ė makes no sense.
OTOH, if someone doesnít use hiding as strategy, this oneís a dead weight.
On this one I say: let the player choose.


(Improved Evasion)


Again with the evasion bit. I think this one in particular is not very great. Especially at higher levels of the game, most enemies donít use effects that can be avoided by Reflex saves. Thatís about the time save-or-dies come into the mix, and I think thatís what a rogue of this caliber is supposed to be measured against.

3 words: High level warlocks (core or homebrew Ė doesnít matter).


(Improved Flanking)


So in a word, itís the Vexing Flanker feat. You should probably include a stacking or non-stacking clauseÖ

Will be done.


(Improved Sneak Attack)


I would probably take this as many times as I could if the DM allowed it. Added to every attack, there is a potentially significant boost in damage and the variety of other Sneak Attack dice that I could use to add rider effects like the bleed mentioned earlier. This isnít necessarily a bad thing, but it is clearly superior to many other options to me.

Thereís never a perfect balance, you know.
Still, there are plenty of reasons I wouldnít focus exclusively on this one Ė even if it were limitless (which it definitely isnít).




Yawning at this one the same way I am about evasion. To me all it does is let rogues counter other rogues. Other than that it has no particular purpose and almost discriminates against the rogue playstyle. I might still take it as a big ďup yoursĒ to all my fellow rogues, but if I am just stronger than them anyway then I should probably just be able to kill them outright. And if they are so much stronger that they arenít affected by the four-level gap, Iím probably screwed anyway.

Iíd go with the ďup yoursĒ approach :smallbiggrin:


(Insightful Strike)


This promotes Multiple Ability Dependency when paired with Dexterous Strike, which I am not sure is a good thing. So I donít really like this one and think you could purge it if you were looking to trim the list. Otherwise I think you could make it an alternative to Dexterous Strike rather than an add-on.

Int is the Rogueís 3rd (arguably 2nd) most important ability anyway.
But yes, maybe youíre right.


(Ledge Walker)


I donít know how often this comes up. I am thinking it could also cover a climb speed or something more useful across the board.

1. Any suggestions?
2. It will require a different name then. Iíd be glad if someone came up with one.


(Poison Use)


This could be part of the standard rogue kit, as far as I am concerned. Itís pretty minor and could be offered as soon as level 1.

3 features per level are enough and not all Rogues will start as focused assassins.


(Skill Mastery)


Almost anything that has to do with skills is something that I am inclined to say no to. Most D&D games that I have ever played in are about killing things, and unless being a skill monkey helps me do that (which it rarely does) I canít say I am too interested in it since my party can already have the resources to do just about anything if everyone specializes in the appropriate skills. This seems to be forcing a niche where one just doesnít exist.

Sorry to say, but it seems like you missed out on some important parts of the game.




Pretty low prereq and useful for screwing over beguilers and the like.

Without multiclassing, heís not gonna have this one before 10th.
With multiclassing, itís available at character level 4, but at the expense of being 2 levels behind.
Iím fine with leaving this one in the hands of the players.
Also, since Slippery Mind is somewhat situational (basically just compulsion effects), I donít believe this one will break the game.


(Opportunist)


I never really thought Opportunist was good in the core rogue. Feeling has not changed here.

Your buddy scores a hit ==> you get a free AoO with the opponent having noting to say on the matter.
Seems decent to me.





So if I were to take this class, I would rely on other things to handle being a skiller (if it even merited any attention at all) and focus on pumping my Sneak Attack dice, taking Hide in Plain Sight, etc. Because of the disparity that exists here, I think you could purge some of these and focus on offering alternative uses for SA damage to add bonus effects. That will offer the rogue some nice utility in combat other than just trying to spam as much damage as possible all the time.

Focusing on SA is your lollypop. Let others have theirs.

Amechra
2013-03-19, 06:02 PM
You know, you don't actually need any training time for skill tricks; that would be a DM rule.

An alternate tact: right now, a DM would look at that capstone, and probably go "no way", if only because it's all inclusive nature means that they would have to pre-emptively review all the different skill tricks.

My suggested alteration has the advantage that it doesn't seem as overwhelming when read.

Also, there is an edge case (which really probably won't come up, since there aren't rules for making new skill tricks in game...); namely, if your campaign has rules for improvising new skill tricks, the capstone would just give you all pre-existing ones, and incidentally any that anyone would ever invent.

Edge cases, man, edge cases.

Oh, and call it Skillful Ease. Seems like a nice name.

nonsi
2013-03-19, 06:31 PM
You know, you don't actually need any training time for skill tricks; that would be a DM rule.

An alternate tact: right now, a DM would look at that capstone, and probably go "no way", if only because it's all inclusive nature means that they would have to pre-emptively review all the different skill tricks.

My suggested alteration has the advantage that it doesn't seem as overwhelming when read.

Also, there is an edge case (which really probably won't come up, since there aren't rules for making new skill tricks in game...); namely, if your campaign has rules for improvising new skill tricks, the capstone would just give you all pre-existing ones, and incidentally any that anyone would ever invent.

Edge cases, man, edge cases.

Oh, and call it Skillful Ease. Seems like a nice name.

Ok, I got you (even though an ass DM is an ass DM, regardless of wording).

And I think I'll go for "Skillful Intuition".

nonsi
2013-03-20, 03:00 AM
Current status:
- All accepted changes applied.
- I'm still not sure what to do with Ambidextrous & Ledge Walker (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14927537&postcount=16) though.

AttilaTheGeek
2013-03-20, 07:04 AM
Yes. Maybe by allowing to count SA dice as Improvisation points (and use them to transcend the limitation of only one inspiration per round).

I like it. The only problem is, Improvisation points are 2/level/encounter, and SA dice are 1/2 levels/attack. Maybe a conversion between them, of 2 improvisation points per SA die, (above and beyond the normal limit of one use of Improvisation per round) would work? If it didn't count above the maximum, then the smart use would just to be to pump attack bonus so the sneak attacks connect.

nonsi
2013-03-20, 07:50 AM
I like it. The only problem is, Improvisation points are 2/level/encounter, and SA dice are 1/2 levels/attack. Maybe a conversion between them, of 2 improvisation points per SA die, (above and beyond the normal limit of one use of Improvisation per round) would work? If it didn't count above the maximum, then the smart use would just to be to pump attack bonus so the sneak attacks connect.

Does't sound reasonable, because the Improvisation pool resets once per encounter (which is already way beyond the Factotum) and SA is per round (multiple times starting at 9th level).
This already seems excessive.
Trading 1d6 for 2 Improvisation points feels over the top to me (I was hesitant letting them use SA for Improvisation in the first place).

AttilaTheGeek
2013-03-20, 08:44 AM
That's a good point. Allternatively, you could change Inspiration points to refresh daily and then let rogues sacrifice SA damage to restore them. That would make it more of a daily resource management game in which sneak attacks let the rogue switch between in-combat (damage) and out-of-combat (skills) effectiveness. That may or may not be what you want.

If you don't want to do that, then the in-combat rogue manages two resources: SA dice, on a round-by-round basis, and Inspiration over the course of the encounter. Inspiration points in-combat are going to be used only for Hide, Move Silently, and attack bonuses, because other skills just aren't rolled when you're being shot at. I'd at least let them be traded for more damage, in a Power Attack sort of way.

nonsi
2013-03-20, 09:03 AM
That's a good point. Allternatively, you could change Inspiration points to refresh daily and then let rogues sacrifice SA damage to restore them. That would make it more of a daily resource management game in which sneak attacks let the rogue switch between in-combat (damage) and out-of-combat (skills) effectiveness. That may or may not be what you want.





If you don't want to do that, then the in-combat rogue manages two resources: SA dice, on a round-by-round basis, and Inspiration over the course of the encounter. Inspiration points in-combat are going to be used only for Hide, Move Silently, and attack bonuses, because other skills just aren't rolled when you're being shot at. I'd at least let them be traded for more damage, in a Power Attack sort of way.

I believe you forgot saving throws, ability checks and opposed checks.
I guess I could allow them to be used for more damage, but better hit chances seem more important than a tiny damage boost to me (and SA dice already cover something even better and affect nearly everything better than 1 point per d6).

nonsi
2013-10-26, 05:03 PM
Given my Rogue is already a genuine skill demon, I was thinking of replacing Rogue's Knack with this Rogue (http://forum.faxcelestis.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16)'s Canny Finesse.

Any thoughts on this matter?