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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    I am looking into making a level 5 rogue as my next character in a Pathfinder. For all intensive purposes I can use most supplement material from 3.5 (ie. The Complete Arcane, The Complete Adventurer, etc.)

    I want to make a crit-tacular rogue with maybe some arcane options later in a prestige class or a multiclass. Here is what I have so far.

    Level 5 Human Rogue with 10500 gp.

    Str 16
    Dex 20
    Con 10
    Int 14
    Wis 9
    Cha 12

    Feats and Special Abilities:
    Kukri Proficiency. Improved Feint. Two Handed Weapon Fighting. Double Slice. Weapon Finesse. Evasion. Uncanny Dodge. Bleeding Attack. Trap Sense.

    What should I buy? What should I change to maximize my versatility/damage? What should invest skills into? And what sort of prestige class should I get?

    Thank you for any comments or help.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Telling Blow from PH2 lets you get Sneak Attack whenever you confirm a crit, though the rule of not multiplying still applies.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Zergrusheddie View Post
    Telling Blow from PH2 lets you get Sneak Attack whenever you confirm a crit, though the rule of not multiplying still applies.
    That sounds pretty useful with a keen weapon. I might take that instead of double slice. I assume nothing happens if I could already sneak attack and I roll a crit.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Yea...Telling Blow is kinda bad. Its WAY to circumstantial to justify in a feat slot, which rogues get so few, especially TWFing rogues. You are correct in stating that it does nothing if you are already in a position to gain SA (such as from flanking, or Invisibility). Also note that without Craven, critting as a rogue is generally a rather minor bonus, since the only things that a standard rogue would have that would get multiplied would be base weapon damage and +str. If you have 2 levels in CCL, or if you had Craven, or if you had Shadow Blade, you'd also get other bonuses, but without them, critting is a rather foolish path to invest in.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Crits are very hard to optimize (because they don't stack, and require a confirmation roll, and because so many enemies are immune). Crits don't multiply Sneak Attack. And enemies that are immune to crits are immune to Sneak Attack. So it's a poor build choice.

    Also, did they fix Improved Feint or change how dice multiply in Pathfinder? Because in core, it's a Move Action, and then only applies to one attack. And thus it can't be used with a full attack. And thus sucks.

    Anywho, this might help you:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Sneak Attack feats. Feat index.

    The four most important Sneak Attack feats:

    Dragonfire Strike: Turns your Sneak Attack damage into energy damage, bypassing Precision Damage immunity, assuming your DM is nice about it (some argue that you must first deal the Sneak Attack damage before it becomes energy damage). Also adds +1d6 damage, which is nifty.

    Staggering Strike: Enemy must Save (DC = damage) or be staggered for 1 round when you Sneak Attack them with a melee attack. Ridiculously useful against boss enemies, in that it prevents them from making a full attack or casting a full round action spells.

    Craven: +1 damage per character level on every Sneak Attack. The equivalent of Power Attack without reducing your To-Hit bonus.

    Darkstalker: Enemies with Tremorsense, Scent, Blindsight, etc, must still make a Spot check in order to locate you when you Hide.


    Ways to Qualify for Sneak Attack:

    1) Ambush: If you ambush your enemy, you get a free Surprise Round against them. A Flat Footed enemy loses their Dex bonus until they act. Remember the the Surprise Round is only a Standard Action. So you'll need Greater Manyshot or Pounce (remember that you can still Charge if your actions are limited) to get a full attack.

    2) Win Initiative: If you win Initiative, you enemy is still Flat Footed, and still denied their Dex bonus.

    3) Flanking: Have someone summon a lot of weak creatures. Here's a good list of magic items to do just that.

    4) More Flanking: Invest in Handle Animal. Buy a lot of dogs. They're cheap and easy to train.

    5) Still More Flanking: Invest in Tumble, get behind your enemies, have your party's meatshield fight in front of them.

    6) Yet More Flanking: Adaptable Flanker feat (PHBII) allows you to flank from any square. Combine with a reach weapon, and now you can stand next to or even behind a friend and still flank an enemy.

    7) Tome of Battle Flanking: Island of Blades, a Shadow Hand stance allows you to flank from any square as long as you and an ally are both adjacent to the enemy. You can get this from a one level dip into Swordsage, or by taking the Martial Study -> Martial Stance feats.

    8) Dear Gods, How Much Flanking Do We Need?: Obtain Familiar + Improved Familiar, if you can cast arcane spells. Now you have a full time friend to Flank with, and he can Share Spells with you (like Alter Self and Greater Invisibility).

    9) Armor Lock: 1st level spell from Complete Scoundrel that works on enemies wearing armor. Buy a wand.

    10) Greater Invisibility: Once your party hits level 7ish, there's really no reason someone in your group shouldn't cast this on you at the start of every combat.

    11) Ring of Blinking: If you're party members are jerks and refuse to cast Greater Invisibility on you, use this item instead. Pick up the Pierce Magical Concealment feat (Complete Arcane) to ignore your 20% miss chance.

    12) Skill Tricks: Again, check out the Complete Scoundrel. Skill Tricks can be very useful.

    13) Fear: If your enemy is Cowering, he loses his Dex bonus. There are a large variety of ways to get and use Fear effects, and a variety of ways to corner or immobilize him.

    14) Stun: If your enemy is stunned, he loses his Dex bonus. Work with the Monk in your party, or ask the caster to use spells with this effect.

    15) Blind: If your enemy is blind, he loses his Dex bonus. There are spells and alchemical items that do this.

    16) Helpless: There are a variety of spells and a few effects that render your foe paralyzed or otherwise helpless. A Rogue's Coup de Grace almost never fails.

    17) Hide in Plain Site: There are many ways to get this. My favorite is a dip into Warlock let's you Hide in Plain Site every round as a Swift action. This means that any enemy who fails their Spot check is denied their Dex bonus against your next attack. Not efficient if you want to make full attacks, but helpful nonetheless.

    18) Grappling: An opponent who is grappled loses their Dex bonus to everyone except the grappler, another way to tag team with your party members. Or invest in Handle animal and buy mules, which are a cheap and effective Grapple partner.

    19) Net, Razor Net, Lasso: Each of these is a touch attack that imposes a -4 penalty on Dex. Penalties from different sources stack. Enemies with 0 Dex count as being paralyzed. I wouldn't even bother with taking the Exotic Weapon feats, because touch attacks are easy, so the -4 penalty to hit is palatable. Though I would definitely invest in Spell Storing weapons, and find spells that deal Dex damage/penalties. Here's a list of ways to deal Dex damage.

    20) Feint: This is a retarded waste of an action in most cases. But it works well at low levels if you're not using TWF, and if you're an Invisible Blade with the Surprising Riposte feat (Drow of the Underdark), it works for a full attack.

    21) Telling Blow (PHBII): When you crit, you also deal Sneak Attack. I'm not a fan of this method. It doesn't double your Sneak Attack if you flank and crit, WotC has made it clear that it just let's you qualify. So at best 30% of your attacks get Sneak Attack. There are many better uses for your feats, IMO.

    22) More Tome of Battle Craziness: There are a bunch of manuevers which render your enemy Flat Footed or otherwise deny them their Dex bonus, especially in the Tiger Claw and Shadow Hand disciplines. You can also get Sneak Attack via the Assassin's Stance, which still qualifies you for the best Sneak Attack feats (Staggering Strike, Craven, etc). So in many ways a Swordsage is a better Sneak Attacker then the Rogue. (Or you can go Rogue 1/Swordsage X or Swordsage X/Nightsong Enforcer 1 so that you can use other stances).

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Would it then be a better idea to switch strength with intelligence and go for a prestige class that gives me some spells or spell like abilities? What classes are good for rogues in that way?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Crits are very hard to optimize (because they don't stack, and require a confirmation roll, and because so many enemies are immune). Crits don't multiply Sneak Attack. And enemies that are immune to crits are immune to Sneak Attack. So it's a poor build choice.

    Also, did they fix Improved Feint or change how dice multiply in Pathfinder? Because in core, it's a Move Action, and then only applies to one attack. And thus it can't be used with a full attack. And thus sucks.

    Anywho, this might help you:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Sneak Attack feats. Feat index.

    The four most important Sneak Attack feats:

    Dragonfire Strike: Turns your Sneak Attack damage into energy damage, bypassing Precision Damage immunity, assuming your DM is nice about it (some argue that you must first deal the Sneak Attack damage before it becomes energy damage). Also adds +1d6 damage, which is nifty.

    Staggering Strike: Enemy must Save (DC = damage) or be staggered for 1 round when you Sneak Attack them with a melee attack. Ridiculously useful against boss enemies, in that it prevents them from making a full attack or casting a full round action spells.

    Craven: +1 damage per character level on every Sneak Attack. The equivalent of Power Attack without reducing your To-Hit bonus.

    Darkstalker: Enemies with Tremorsense, Scent, Blindsight, etc, must still make a Spot check in order to locate you when you Hide.


    Ways to Qualify for Sneak Attack:

    1) Ambush: If you ambush your enemy, you get a free Surprise Round against them. A Flat Footed enemy loses their Dex bonus until they act. Remember the the Surprise Round is only a Standard Action. So you'll need Greater Manyshot or Pounce (remember that you can still Charge if your actions are limited) to get a full attack.

    2) Win Initiative: If you win Initiative, you enemy is still Flat Footed, and still denied their Dex bonus.

    3) Flanking: Have someone summon a lot of weak creatures. Here's a good list of magic items to do just that.

    4) More Flanking: Invest in Handle Animal. Buy a lot of dogs. They're cheap and easy to train.

    5) Still More Flanking: Invest in Tumble, get behind your enemies, have your party's meatshield fight in front of them.

    6) Yet More Flanking: Adaptable Flanker feat (PHBII) allows you to flank from any square. Combine with a reach weapon, and now you can stand next to or even behind a friend and still flank an enemy.

    7) Tome of Battle Flanking: Island of Blades, a Shadow Hand stance allows you to flank from any square as long as you and an ally are both adjacent to the enemy. You can get this from a one level dip into Swordsage, or by taking the Martial Study -> Martial Stance feats.

    8) Dear Gods, How Much Flanking Do We Need?: Obtain Familiar + Improved Familiar, if you can cast arcane spells. Now you have a full time friend to Flank with, and he can Share Spells with you (like Alter Self and Greater Invisibility).

    9) Armor Lock: 1st level spell from Complete Scoundrel that works on enemies wearing armor. Buy a wand.

    10) Greater Invisibility: Once your party hits level 7ish, there's really no reason someone in your group shouldn't cast this on you at the start of every combat.

    11) Ring of Blinking: If you're party members are jerks and refuse to cast Greater Invisibility on you, use this item instead. Pick up the Pierce Magical Concealment feat (Complete Arcane) to ignore your 20% miss chance.

    12) Skill Tricks: Again, check out the Complete Scoundrel. Skill Tricks can be very useful.

    13) Fear: If your enemy is Cowering, he loses his Dex bonus. There are a large variety of ways to get and use Fear effects, and a variety of ways to corner or immobilize him.

    14) Stun: If your enemy is stunned, he loses his Dex bonus. Work with the Monk in your party, or ask the caster to use spells with this effect.

    15) Blind: If your enemy is blind, he loses his Dex bonus. There are spells and alchemical items that do this.

    16) Helpless: There are a variety of spells and a few effects that render your foe paralyzed or otherwise helpless. A Rogue's Coup de Grace almost never fails.

    17) Hide in Plain Site: There are many ways to get this. My favorite is a dip into Warlock let's you Hide in Plain Site every round as a Swift action. This means that any enemy who fails their Spot check is denied their Dex bonus against your next attack. Not efficient if you want to make full attacks, but helpful nonetheless.

    18) Grappling: An opponent who is grappled loses their Dex bonus to everyone except the grappler, another way to tag team with your party members. Or invest in Handle animal and buy mules, which are a cheap and effective Grapple partner.

    19) Net, Razor Net, Lasso: Each of these is a touch attack that imposes a -4 penalty on Dex. Penalties from different sources stack. Enemies with 0 Dex count as being paralyzed. I wouldn't even bother with taking the Exotic Weapon feats, because touch attacks are easy, so the -4 penalty to hit is palatable. Though I would definitely invest in Spell Storing weapons, and find spells that deal Dex damage/penalties. Here's a list of ways to deal Dex damage.

    20) Feint: This is a retarded waste of an action in most cases. But it works well at low levels if you're not using TWF, and if you're an Invisible Blade with the Surprising Riposte feat (Drow of the Underdark), it works for a full attack.

    21) Telling Blow (PHBII): When you crit, you also deal Sneak Attack. I'm not a fan of this method. It doesn't double your Sneak Attack if you flank and crit, WotC has made it clear that it just let's you qualify. So at best 30% of your attacks get Sneak Attack. There are many better uses for your feats, IMO.

    22) More Tome of Battle Craziness: There are a bunch of manuevers which render your enemy Flat Footed or otherwise deny them their Dex bonus, especially in the Tiger Claw and Shadow Hand disciplines. You can also get Sneak Attack via the Assassin's Stance, which still qualifies you for the best Sneak Attack feats (Staggering Strike, Craven, etc). So in many ways a Swordsage is a better Sneak Attacker then the Rogue. (Or you can go Rogue 1/Swordsage X or Swordsage X/Nightsong Enforcer 1 so that you can use other stances).
    Thanks, that helps a bunch. I think I will focus more on sneak attack damage than critical hits. Having some keen Kukris will be nice to assure better chances to hit with said sneak attack but that's all I'll do.

    As for pathfinder, feint is still the next melee hit but I'm only hitting with a kukri or maybe a rapier. Or can you do multiple sneak attacks if you can do multiple attacks? Also, there is no tumble, it is just acrobatics.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Do note that you can threaten a critical, and still miss the attack. Only a natural 20 on the dice is an automatic hit. It is possible, with various threat range expanders, to crit on an 11+ or so. That doesn't mean you hit on an 11+, since any attack roll that threatens but doesn't hit is still a miss. Say, you have a total AB of 10, and crit on a 15+. If you are attack a foe with an AC of 27, you would need to roll a 17+ to hit. If you rolled a 16, that would be a critical threat on your threat range, but would only hit AC 26, one short of what you need to actually hit the foe. That means you miss.

    And in response to your last question, yes. If you hit a foe 6 times with various attacks and all of your attacks qualify for SA, then you would get 6 times your SA against that foe plus your base weapon damage and all other applicable bonuses. SA applies to EVERY hit it qualifies for. Note that feinting, no mater the speed, only allows you to get SA on the next SINGLE hit you make.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
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    _________________________________
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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Duly noted. I appreciate the clarification. I see now how feinting is just not worth it for me.

    By the way, is there a good site I can go to to see the perquisites for these feats?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Quote Originally Posted by jamminjelly View Post
    By the way, is there a good site I can go to to see the perquisites for these feats?
    Here you go.

    A standard Rogue build does 3ish things:
    Spoiler
    Show

    1) Has a ton of Skill Points and a great Skill list, allowing you to fulfill certain party niches easily, such as scout, tool box, party face, tracker, etc. Note that all of these can be done with magic though, so I suggest you just pick what you enjoy doing.

    2) Invests in Use Magic Device, and buys a lot of wands. There are a lot of low level gems, and you're not constrained by spell lists.

    3) Tries to get as many attacks per round as possible. The easy method is to use the Two Weapon Fighting tree and a couple of weapons that you can use in melee combat or throw (so that you get a full attack every round), like daggers. Use the list above and this list to make sure you always qualify for Sneak Attack, and you're set. Note that if your DM doesn't let you use Dragonfire Strike to always qualify for Sneak Attack, you'll want to buy a few wands and use the Spell Compendium for Gravestrike, Golemstrike, etc.


    Anywho, what are your build goals and books allowed?
    Last edited by Person_Man; 2009-07-11 at 04:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Take a look at the feat that lets you not only used improvised weapons without a -4 penalty, but also makes your enemies flatfooted when you attack them.

    This means that as long as you are hitting somebody with something that wasn't supposed to be used as a weapon, you get sneak attack.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmex View Post
    Take a look at the feat that lets you not only used improvised weapons without a -4 penalty, but also makes your enemies flatfooted when you attack them.

    This means that as long as you are hitting somebody with something that wasn't supposed to be used as a weapon, you get sneak attack.
    Not quite. Catch Off-guard specifies unarmed enemies are considered flat-footed. If there's a 3.5 version of that feat, it may be different, but the Pathfinder one doesn't quite work that way. (And I know this because I wanted to use it in my rogue build, sigh.)

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Crit Rogue Build

    Quote Originally Posted by jamminjelly View Post
    For all intensive purposes

    The phrase is "for all intents and purposes"

    This is one of those little things that a lot of people get wrong that "they" make fun of in the good humor section of the newspaper. :)

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