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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Introduction

    I’ve recently been wondering at the lack of a good rogue’s handbook. Rogue is one of the core classes, and fairly iconic too, so it’s curious why there isn’t a good handbook for it. The only one I found is five years old and seems to be very outdated, so I set out to make a handbook myself. I know quite a lot of useful rogue optimization tricks, but I don’t know every book or every trick, so if anyone has any good ones I’d love to know about them. Specifically, I’m not very familiar with Magic of Incarnum, so if there are any nice rogue-related things in there, please tell me. I can also use more good PrC options for rogues, so some ideas on those are good too. And if I make a mistake somewhere, even if it's just a formatting problem or typo, please please tell me!


    Table of Contents
    1. Attributes and Races
    2. Class Features and ACFs
    3. Multiclassing and PrCs
    4. Skills and Skill Tricks
    5. Feats and More Feats
    6. Maneuvers, Stances, and Spells
    7. Equipment and Magic Items
    8. Methods of Combat, Builds, and Links


    Sources Guide

    Spoiler
    Show
    CAdv = Complete Adventurer
    CArc = Complete Arcane
    CC = Complete Champion
    CM = Complete Mage
    CoR = Champions of Ruin
    CoV = Champions of Valor
    CP = Complete Psionic
    CS = Complete Scoundrel
    CW = Complete Warrior
    DMG = Dungeon Master’s Guide
    DM = Dragon Magic
    Draco = Draconomicon
    Dung = Dungeonscape
    ECS = Eberron Campaign Setting
    EoE = Exemplars of Evil
    FC1 = Fiendish Codex I
    FC2 = Fiendish Codex II
    FRCS = Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
    Frost = Frostburn
    LM = Liber Mortis
    MH = Miniatures Handbook
    MIC = Magic Item Compendium
    MM = Monster Manual
    MM2 = Monster Manual 2
    MoI = Magic of Incarnum
    OA = Oriental Adventures
    PGtF = Player’s Guide to Faerun
    PH = Planar Handbook
    PHB = Player’s Handbook
    PHB2 = Player’s Handbook 2
    RoD = Races of Destiny
    RoE = Races of Eberron
    RoS = Races of Stone
    RotD = Races of the Dragon
    RotW = Races of the Wild
    Sand = Sandstorm
    Sharn = Sharn, City of Towers
    SK = Serpent Kingdoms
    SpC = Spell Compendium
    SS = Savage Species
    ToB = Tome of Battle
    ToM = Tome of Magic
    UA = Unearthed Arcana
    Una = Unapproachable East
    Web = Web Enhancement (along with link)
    XPH = Expanded Psionic Handbook


    Color Guide

    Blue = Amazing
    Green = Good
    Purple = Decent or situational
    Red = Terrible in all circumstances
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-07-27 at 09:38 AM.
    Rogue Handbook | Warmage Rebuild | Diablo's Assassin | Revised Classes
    Potpourri Creation Contest II Winner: Desert Martial Adept Substitution Levels
    Potpourri Creation Contest III Best Characterization: Edward the Sly's Lucky Spells
    Prestige Class Contest XXI Submission: Child of the Seelie Court

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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Attributes

    • Strength – Typically, dumping this stat is a good idea. You’ll want Weapon Finesse, and most of your damage is coming from Sneak Attack anyway. If you have enough to carry things, you’re good.
    • Dexterity – Most rogues want this as high as possible. It determines your reflex saves, AC, and often to-hit (Weapon Finesse), sometimes even determining damage (Shadow Blade). It also raises many of your most important skills and both two-weapon fighting and archery require a certain amount of this. Only dedicated social rogues should consider skimping on this and even then not too much.
    • Constitution – Pretty much every non-undead character wants this high no exception. This determines your survival rate, so keep this at least at 14+. It can be lower if you’re ranged or intend to never be seen, but never have it less than 12.
    • Intelligence – Despite getting at least 8 skill points per level, rogues still don’t have enough, especially if they want to take on multiple roles like scout/trapfinder/face. 12 or 14 here is nice, though you can get away with 10 if you’ve a narrower focus. Humans have it easier due to the extra skill points they get.
    • Wisdom – Often a dump stat. Your will saves suck, but you need too many stats to keep this high. It also affects your perception skills, so at least 10 here is nice, but 8 won’t hurt too much. It gets more important if you’re taking multiple levels of swordsage.
    • Charisma – Determines your social skills and Use Magic Device. You don’t have too many spare points and the effect on skills isn’t that important except on early levels, so dumping this isn’t too painful unless you’re a dedicated social rogue. It’s more important than Wisdom though.


    Sample Elite Array: Str 8, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 13
    Sample 25 PB: Str 9, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 10
    Sample 28 PB: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 12
    Sample 32 PB: Str 8, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 10


    Races


    Things to consider about races:

    • Attributes – You want races that boost Dex/Int/Con and dump Str/Wis. Consider carefully any race that lower any of the three primary stats.
    • Bonus Feats – Any race that gives you relevant bonus feats are great, since rogues are incredibly feat-starved due to the number of must-take feats there are (two-weapon fighting and archery are two of the most feat-intensive combat styles in the game).
    • Skills – A bonus to key skills like Hide/Move Silently/Search are nice to have. Keep in mind though, unless the skill bonus is positively huge (like Whisper Gnome’s Hide boost), you’ll need a bit more to compete with races that grant bonus feats or attribute boosts. Skill boosts themselves aren’t enough.
    • Small Size – Being Small is quite helpful for a rogue due to the extra to-hit, AC, and +Hide. Being Small is definitely a plus when picking races for a rogue.
    • Favored Class – Now hopefully, your DM has killed the multiclassing XP penalty and buried its corpse like it deserves, but if not, then favored class is probably quite important. Rogues have a lot to gain from multiclassing, so you definitely don’t want to take a penalty to XP gain or be forced to not multiclass.
    • Level Adjustment – Most races with level adjustment are not worth it at all. If your DM allows LA buyoff, then an LA +1 might be worthwhile, but otherwise avoid like the plague unless the race has some really good abilities.

    Races

    Spoiler
    Show
    • HumanPHB – As always, one of the best choices for pretty much anything. This bonus feat is immensely useful, and the extra skill points are always nice. Favored Class: Any is necessary for games where the DM actually keeps the multiclassing penalty, and the ability to take Able Leaner is one of the biggest draws about them, since it lets you keep up with your skillmonkey duties while multiclassing. You can never go wrong with Human.
    • AzurinMoI – Pretty much as humans, except you trade the bonus skill points for a point of essentia. Rogues can really use the extra skill points, so only choose this option if you're going to be taking Shape Soulmeld or multiclassing into incarnum classes.
    • Strongheart HalflingFRCS – Up there with Humans, the Strongheart Halfling is one of the best choices for rogue races as well. You trade the +1 to saves that regular Halflings get for a Bonus Feat instead, which is much better. It’s Small, gets a bonus to Dex, and even has some nice skill boosts and Favored Class: Rogue. The only downside is the 20 ft movement speed, as well as the lack of Able Learner. It’s technically Forgotten Realms specific, so it might be harder to find allowed too. If it’s not available, regular HalflingsPHB or Tallfellow HalflingsMM are decent too.
    • Whisper GnomeRoS – Just plain amazing. +Dex and +Con, Small size, a total of +8(!!) Hide, +4 Move Silently, +2 Spot and +2 Listen, 30 ft movement, Darkvision, Low-Light Vision, Favored Class: Rogue, and some SLAs on top of that. These make for almost perfect rogues, with only the Cha hit and the lack of Able Learner being problematic.
    • Dragonwrought KoboldRotD, Web, MM – With one feat, you get a race with +2 to Dex, +3 to all mental stats, natural armor, Darkvision, 30 ft movement, +8 to Hide, Small size (Tiny when needed), a small bonus to Search, and some natural weapons for kicks. If possible, choose Desert KoboldUA, since you get to trade the Con hit for a Wis hit instead and even have Favored Class: Rogue. And if you want to get really cheesy, look into Sovereign Archetypes in Dragons of Eberron; they aren’t just for sorcerers anymore. Wyrm of War, for example, solves your feat problem by giving five extra fighter bonus feats over the course of 20 levels. As if all of that isn't enough, you also get access to the Rapidstrike line, letting you get a huge assortment of natural attacks (see builds section). Have fun with that while your DM smacks you with the DMG.
    • Lesser TieflingFRCS – Like the regular Tiefling but without the LA and the Native Outsider type. Has some great stat adjustments along with Darkvision, energy resistances, a few skill boosts, and Favored Class: Rogue.
    • ChangelingECS – These make nice social rogues if you’re into that. Minor Change Shape has nice sneaky implications, and you can take Able Learner as well (see the Adaptation section of the Chameleon class in RoD). The best part about the Changeling is the racial substitution levels in RoE, making Changelings unparalleled social rogues.
    • RaptoranRotW – Extraordinary flight is usually pretty hard to get, so getting it LA free is pretty nice. They make good archer rogues, and they’re a lot more resilient against Anti-Magic Fields than most characters.
    • DragonbornRotD – It’s a great template that’s good for most characters. The Dex hit is annoying, but can be evened out with the right entry race. The Con gain is great, and its abilities can be really helpful. Wings are good for the same reason Raptorans are good, while the enhanced senses aspect help out sneaky rogues and the breath weapon helps you deal with creatures immune to Sneak Attack. If you apply it to something with +Dex like Whisper Gnome or Lesser Tiefling, they can be fantastic.
    • MuckdwellerSK - If you don't mind looking like a crossbreed between a worm and a lizard and being scrawnier than a kobold, these can work pretty well. Tiny size works for ranged combat and Confound the Big Folk builds, and they get Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. They also get a natural attack, decent ability adjustments (make sure you've enough Str to carry your gear), and their Squirt ability is actually quite good at early levels.
    • Air GoblinUA – Amazing boost to Dex for a LA +0 race, along with Small size, +4 Hide (size)/Move Silently, 30 ft movement speed, and Darkvision. The Con penalty hurts, but the bonuses are potentially worth it. Not quite as good as Whisper Gnomes and Strongheart Halflings, but they're still pretty decent and make for okay Dragonborns.
    • GoblinMM – Same as Air Goblin, but less Dex and Cha in exchange for more Con. These guys actually make decent sneaky rogues in core. They won’t be great in social situations, but you can do worse when it comes to combat. Whisper Gnomes are almost strictly better out of core though, and Air Goblins tend to be superior as well.
    • Gray ElfMM – They have +Int and +Dex, as well as some nice skill bonuses, but the loss of Con is always painful. They’re not horrible if you must be an elf for some reason, but otherwise there are much better choices.
    • Half ElfPHB – Save yourself a lot of trouble and avoid this. They have basically no racial features; even PHB elves are better, and that’s saying something. There are only two reasons to ever want to play a half elf rogue: you want to make a maxed-out diplomancer, or you’re going for some kind of PrC that requires elf and you’d get multiclassing penalties without it. Changelings make better social rogues who still get to do other stuff besides diplomacize, and multiclassing penalties shouldn’t exist anyway. Just avoid this.

    Level Adjusted Races

    Generally level adjustment tends to be bad for rogues (and anyone else). However, certain races may be worth the lost levels, depending on what you're looking for in your build. If LA BuyoffUA is allowed, most of these options get better, but you still need to carefully weigh whether the costs are worth the benefits.

    Spoiler
    Show
    • DarkToM (LA +1) – This is a template that grants +10 speed, Extraordinary Hide in Plain Sight, Darkvision, Superior Low Light Vision, +8 Hide, +6 Move Silently, and Resist Cold 10, all for only one level loss. With LA Buyoff, this can be very much worth the cost. The stealth bonuses are just scary on a Whisper Gnome (remember that racial bonuses stack), while the vision benefits are nice for Humans and Strongheart Halflings.
    • CatfolkRotW (LA +1) – They have very nice stat adjustments, useful skill modifiers, good speed, and natural armor. Unfortunately, the Level Adjustment makes them a mediocre choice at best. With LA Buyoff, they become much better, but there are still better choices out there. Dragonborning one of these isn’t a bad idea, since you keep the best parts (stats, speed) and tack on wings or blindsense or breath weapon.
    • GoliathRoS (LA +1) – Though they’re great for melee characters, goliaths are unfortunately pretty bad for rogues, which is a shame since they have great substitution levels. Powerful Build doesn’t really do anything for you besides a mild increase in damage, nor does the Strength boost. The Dex penalty, on the other hand, hurts a lot, as does the Level Adjustment. It’s possibly decent on some kind of Power Attacking charger rogue build, I guess, but most of the time you’ll want to skip this.
    • TieflingMM (LA +1) – To first appearances, this is just a worse version of Lesser Tiefling. The only difference is that you're an outsider rather than a humanoid, and you gain LA +1. However, being an outsider can be very much worth the cost, depending on what you do with it. First of all, as an outsider, you gain martial weapon proficiency, which is nice. The best part, however, comes when you are under the effects of Alter Self or Polymorph. Since you are naturally an outsider, these spells allow you to change into outsider forms, which leads to some monstrously broken shenanigans. Depending on how far you're willing to go with the cheese, these can very well be worth the Level Adjustment.
    • Thri-KreenMM2 (LA +1, 2 RHD) – Make sure to select the non-psionic MM2 version rather than any of the psionic versions. The PLAs and PP are not worth the extra Level Adjustment in the XPH version, so the MM2 one is superior. They have some decent stat adjustments and natural armor, but the best part is that they have four arms, letting you use Multiweapon Fighting. Getting so many attacks may very well be worth the three lost levels, especially for combat-focused rogues who don't mind losing a few skill points. Better with LA-Buyoff, but usable even without.
    • MarrulurkSand (LA +1, 3 RHD) – These guys are ridiculously good; Small, amazing stat adjustments, Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot as bonus feats, Poison Use, 2d6 Sneak Attack, +4 Hide, Move Silently, and Listen, Natural Armor, Darkvision and Low-Light Vision, Discriminating Hearing, and even proficiency with longbow! The Sneak Attack damage loss is almost completely made up, and you only lose skill points and a few potential class features by taking this. This is extremely good for ranged rogues, and is definitely worth considering despite the lost levels. With buyoff, they're nothing short of amazing, and they're worth it even without buyoff.
    • PixieMM (LA +4) – Great stat adjustments, flight, Small size, and Greater Invisibility at will! Unfortunately, the huge level adjustment almost completely ruins it. Losing so much damage, attack, and skill points really hurts pretty much every build imaginable. At higher levels, it may be worthwhile enough to cancel the level loss, but by then most enemies can ignore your Greater Invisibility anyway. If your DM is handing out free LA, this can be very good, but otherwise LA +4 is just too high.
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-07-27 at 09:45 AM.
    Rogue Handbook | Warmage Rebuild | Diablo's Assassin | Revised Classes
    Potpourri Creation Contest II Winner: Desert Martial Adept Substitution Levels
    Potpourri Creation Contest III Best Characterization: Edward the Sly's Lucky Spells
    Prestige Class Contest XXI Submission: Child of the Seelie Court

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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Class Abilities

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    • Weapon and Armor Proficiencies – You have most of what you need, though upgrades certainly wouldn’t hurt. Martial Weapon Proficiency would help, netting you longbows over shortbows and kukris over shortsword. Heavier armors are an option if you get proficiencies, but that shuts down a few of your class features, lowers your max Dex to AC, and requires a bit more Str than otherwise would. May work on a build that only dips rogue.
    • Sneak Attack – The central piece of most rogue builds, and potentially very powerful if supported correctly. A lot of your abilities/feats/items will be involved in making this ability as powerful as it can be.
    • Trapfinding – Very important for skillmonkey rogues, and not bad even for combat-focused rogues. A common misconception is that rogues are for trapfinding, much like the misconception that clerics are for healing. While a rogue can be very useful to a party without trapfinding at all, it doesn’t take much to be proficient at finding traps; you don’t even need ranks in Disable Device if you’ve a Wand of Summon Monster I to spring them for you.
    • Evasion – Fireball-style attacks/spells/traps can be a common occurrence, and along with your good Reflex save, this is how you keep your d6 hit die from becoming too much of a liability when explosions occur.
    • Trap Sense – Completely and utterly worthless. Trade this away as soon as you can.
    • Uncanny Dodge – Useful, since your Dex is likely extremely high. This also allows you tricks such as taking the Total Defense Action constantly while outside of combat, giving you +4 dodge AC in surprise rounds and before you act (+6 with 5 ranks in Tumble).
    • Improved Uncanny Dodge – It’s an okay ability, but it likely won’t come up too often. Flanking doesn’t really happen that often for enemies, and enemy rogues aren’t that common unless your DM really likes rogues.
    • Special Abilities – This is a major reason to stay in rogue for more than 3 levels.
    • Crippling Strike – It’s a no-save debuff that can stack up after a few attacks. The Str damage is minor, but it can add up, so it's a good option for rogues that want to focus on debuffing. Other debuff feats like Staggering Strike can work well with it.
    • Defensive Roll – Useful, but since it’s only 1/day, it’s a bit limited. Gets much better once you take Savvy Rogue, however.
    • Improved Evasion – It’s a trap! With a good Reflex and high Dex, your Reflex saves will almost never fail anyway, so this is almost entirely useless. Don’t take it.
    • Opportunist – It’s fairly decent, since it’s basically a free sneak attack per round if you’ve someone to flank with you. Too bad it can’t be used more than 1/round on the same enemy.
    • Skill Mastery – Fantastic ability. Opposed check skills like Hide, Move Silently, Spot, and Listen are much better when more consistent like this. Unfortunately doesn’t work for UMD, but it’s still a very useful ability.
    • Slippery Mind – A good way to not be dominated to kill the party. It’s a useful layer of protection, though spells can alleviate its usefulness at higher levels.
    • Bonus Feat – You can’t really go wrong with a bonus feat on a feat on a feat-starved class like the rogue.



    Alternate Class Features


    Replaces Trapfinding

    Spoiler
    Show
    • AntiquarianCC – Since your Wisdom probably stinks, and your Knowledge: Religion no better, this doesn’t seem like a particularly useful tradeoff.
    • Changeling Rogue 1RoE – Changelings only. 10+Int skill points!!! That in itself is almost reason enough to take this; it adds up to 8 extra skill points if you take it 1st level, which is quite good. Don’t forget the free Knowledge skill for your Knowledge Devotion needs. Social Intuition is also just amazing for social rogues, giving you some very nice benefits with your skills. Almost always worth taking if you’re a changeling.
    • Kobold Rogue 1RotD – Kobolds only. Rapid Retreat doesn’t do much, but it’s free, so why not? The bonus to Search/Disable Device isn’t bad, and gives you a reason to max out Craft (Trapfinding) which can be handy occasionally. You don’t really lose anything, so you may as well take this substitution level if you’re a kobold anyway.
    • MimicEoE – Not a terrible ability in extremely social oriented campaigns. You’re better off with a Hat of Disguise, but Trapfinding doesn’t do much if you don’t intend to put points into Search, so there’s no reason not to.
    • Poison UseDotU – A pretty good trade off if you don’t intend to find traps. Poisons can be very useful if you make them yourself. Check the Poison Handbook for more info.


    Replaces Evasion

    Spoiler
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    • Goliath Rogue 2RoS – Goliaths only. Mettle of Mountains is simply a fantastic ability. Fortitude is a very important save, and getting +4 to it just like that is awesome. You might want to get Evasion some other way later, like a Ring of Evasion or a dip in some other class, but it’s definitely worth taking this. Getting Improved Evasion for Fortitude might actually be worth it too, later, since that makes you nearly immune to many save-or-die spells like Finger of Death, Destruction, and Disintegrate.
    • Feign DeathEoE – This is very rarely of any use, especially not since the vast majority of monsters will eat you/tear you to pieces once you’re “dead” anyway. Evasion’s much better than this.
    • Spell ReflectionCM – This is a powerful ability, since you should have a very high touch AC and spells like Enervation or Ray of Enfeeblement can be devastating when turned upon their casters. This gets especially good if you have a high miss chance such as from Ring of Blinking or Child of Shadows stance. However, Evasion is very good as well, so it’s a hard choice. If you’re planning on multiclassing and getting Evasion again, definitely trade one of them away. If you are going to higher levels, you can consider taking this and getting Evasion back with a Special Ability. Overall, I think Evasion is more useful, but you can make a case for this.


    Replaces Trap Sense

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Changeling Rogue 3RoE – Changelings only. Unfortunately, while Minor Lore is useful and extra skill points nice, this just doesn’t compare to Penetrating Strike. Take this for extremely social rogues only, who don’t mind losing out on combat ability. Archers might also consider this over Death’s Ruin.
    • Death’s RuinCC – Not as good as Penetrating Strike. If you’re primarily ranged and/or you’re in a very undead-heavy campaign, this might be worthwhile to take over it, but for melee rogues, Penetrating Strike is usually better.
    • Golden Hand of Vergadain 3Web – Dwarves only. If you want Track for some reason, this is the way to get it. But there are some much better things to trade Trap Sense for, so you should probably skip this.
    • Goliath Rogue 3RoS – Goliaths only. Better than Trap Sense, but that’s about it. There are much better things to trade Trap Sense for.
    • Halfling Rogue 3RotW – Halflings only. It’s an okay ability. Saves you on natural 1s and other low rolls, but otherwise doesn’t do that much compared to some of the other things you can trade Trap Sense for.
    • Kobold Rogue 3RotD – Kobolds only. Like the first kobold substitution level, this is strictly better than the standard rogue ability. However, now it’s much worse because it has to compete with everything else trying to replace Trap Sense. And fundamentally, it is still Trap Sense, so you’re best off just skipping this and replacing it with Penetrating Strike or something.
    • MimicEoE – See same entry under Trapfinding. Trading Trap Sense is worse because there are better things to trade Trap Sense for. Pretty much only take this for extremely social characters who don’t intend to go into combat much if at all.
    • Penetrating StrikeDung – This is one of the most important ACFs that melee rogues should always take. Unfortunately doesn’t help archery rogues, but it definitely goes a long way towards making Sneak Attack usable on everything in melee.
    • Planar Rogue 6PH – You can take this even if you replace Trap Sense at 3rd level, so it’s basically a free (though situational) ability as long as you qualify for planar substitution levels.
    • Quick FingersDung – About as useless as Trap Sense. Never worth taking, and certainly not over something like Penetrating Strike.
    • Rilkan Rogue 3MoI – Rilkans only. Actually not bad. Bardic Knowledge is fairly useful if you’re planning on staying in rogue, and a Bonus Feat, however bad one, is still nice to have. Possibly worth taking only for non-melee rogues, since Penetrating Strike is just necessary if you’re going to Sneak Attack in melee.
    • Spell SenseCM – Much better than Trap Sense and combos with Spell Reflection. Unfortunately, you have better things to trade Trap Sense for, or else this would be green. Unless Penetrating Strike or Death’s Ruin is not available or you know your DM really loves arcane casters using rays, pick one of those instead.


    Replaces Uncanny Dodge

    Spoiler
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    • Disruptive AttackPHB2 – This is good for archery-focused rogues to whom Penetrating Strike is not an option, since you’ll still get to do something against elementals/oozes. Melee rogues might want it too if they’re struggling to hit, since if you hit them once, you can probably guarantee hitting them again for an entire round. Gets even better when there are more martial characters in the party. Solid choice, especially if you’re getting Uncanny Dodge again anyway from another class like assassin.


    Replaces Improved Uncanny Dodge

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Changeling Rogue 8RoE – Changelings only. Great substitution and always worth taking if you’re a changeling. Ignoring critical hits can save your life, and this will come in handy much more often than Improved Uncanny Dodge.
    • Goliath Rogue 8RoS – Goliaths only. Strictly worse than the Changeling substitution, but still probably worth taking since it’ll likely come up more often than Improved Uncanny Dodge.
    • Kobold Rogue 8RotD – Kobolds only. Cute, but it’s even more situational than Improved Uncanny Dodge. I’d skip this, though you do get +2 to Search and Disable Device so it’s not all bad. The choice is up to you.
    • Uncanny BraveryDM – Not bad in a dragon-heavy campaign. Improved Uncanny Dodge isn’t that great, so it’s no big loss. Avoid this if you’re not seeing dragons around every proverbial corner though.


    Replaces Special Ability

    Spoiler
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    • BreathstealerDM – Horrible ability. You’d have to be in a really dragon-heavy campaign for this to be even remotely worthwhile.
    • Friend’s EvasionCC – Not really worthwhile. Special Abilities are too good to trade away, and your group really has to stand together closely for this to operate at all. You’d rather just spread out to avoid Fireballs altogether.
    • Halfling Rogue 10RotW – Halflings only. Fantastic ability for sniper types. If you’re going to be a sniper rogue, you should definitely consider Strongheart Halfling just to take this.
    • Planar Rogue 10PH – Turning Ethereal can be useful, but not 1/day for only 1 round, and not when it replaces a legitimately good ability. You’re way better off keeping a scroll of Swift Etherealness or Ethereal Jaunt on you if you happen to need it and skipping this.
    • Planar Rogue 16PH – This would be good, except you got yourself a Ring of Blinking six levels ago and have no need for this.
    • Rilkan Rogue 10MoI – Rilkans only. Amazing that it’s even worse than Improved Evasion. With your high Dex and good Ref save, the only time you’d ever want to reroll your Reflex save is if you roll a 1. And this doesn’t let you reroll 1s. At least Improved Evasion has a 1/20 chance of doing something. Completely worthless.
    • Frostfell Terrain MasteryFrost – Not bad if you’re in a campaign featuring a lot of frozen environments. Otherwise avoid.
    • Holy StalkerCC – Bad unless you’re in an undead-heavy campaign, but it’s decent there, basically being Craven for undead only. Won’t be able to take Crippling Strike, but you don’t want it in an undead campaign anyway.


    Other Alternate Class Features

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Golden Hand of Vergadain 2Web – Dwarves only. The Favored Enemy ability is Faerun-specific and probably won’t do anything often even in Faerun. Granted, you’re not losing much, but unless you know you’re going to be facing that organization often, I’d skip it if I were you.
    • Golden Hand of Vergadain 6Web – Dwarves only. Unless you really need Urban Tracking for some reason, skip this. Losing a base attack bonus for something as situational as this is a horrible idea.
    • Halfling Rogue 1RotW – Halflings only. If you’re going to use throwing weapons or slings anyway and you’re a Halfling, it’s a free 1d6 points of extra damage. Problem is, archer rogues are better off using bows or crossbows. It’s a valid option though.
    • Martial RogueUA – Replaces Sneak Attack with Fighter Bonus Feats. It’s an option if you just want a skilled martial character or you’re just dipping rogue for skills on a martial character. Factotum or swordsage is probably better for the former though.
    • Rilkan Rogue 1MoI – Rilkans only. A situational +2 to attack isn’t really worth sacrificing a dice of Sneak Attack in my opinion, though if you need the accuracy, it’s not terrible. This might be worth taking for someone just dipping rogue for skill points, but Martial Rogue is a better trade in that case.
    • Wilderness RogueUA – Obviously don’t take this if you intend on socializing. The skills aren’t anything special (unless you’re abusing Handle Animal), but gaining access to the ranger’s Camouflage and Hide in Plain Sight can be very good for sneaky rogues. Unfortunately it only works in natural terrain, but it’s still quite nice if the campaign is an outdoorsy one.
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-06-17 at 06:18 PM.
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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Multiclassing

    As non-casters without their own specific tiered abilities, rogues really get a lot of mileage out of multiclassing. Dipping certain classes can add quite a bit of flexibility or power to a rogue build, depending on what you’re looking for. However, dipping too much can lead to much fewer skill points or weaker Sneak Attacks, so be careful of what you’re doing and don’t go overboard unless you’re building a ‘dip’lomancer.

    Also note that since Rogue 20 doesn't give you anything, you're almost always better off multiclassing at least one level somewhere unless your DM enforces multiclassing XP penalty and your race doesn't have favored class: rogue (and even then, a single level in a PrC is worth it).

    Spoiler
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    • FighterPHB, UA – Fighter dips are, as always, very helpful to martial characters. The regular fighter provides much needed bonus feats, but the best dip comes from the Sneak Attack and Thug variants found in UA. This lets you take fighter for one level, gain a dice of Sneak Attack, and still get 4+Int skill points that level. Since for rogues, Sneak Attack comes at odd levels, taking one level of fighter rather than the last level of rogue actually increases your Sneak Attack overall. A Rogue 19/Fighter 1 has 11d6 Sneak Attack while Rogue 20 has 10d6. Sneak Attack Thug fighter makes a great dip class on nearly any rogue build, and should be considered as such. The Hit and RunDotU variant is pretty attractive too, since you lose little and gain bonus initiative as well as damage. However, you can't take both it and the Thug variant, so consider whether the lost skill points is worth it. If you're only taking a one level dip, it probably is; otherwise, probably not.
    • SwashbucklerCW, CS – Swashbuckler is a fantastic multiclass for the rogue due to a single feat: Daring Outlaw. A build like Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 16 with Daring Outlaw is a simple but effective melee rogue build, getting nearly full base attack, mostly d10 Hit Die, and 10d6 Sneak Attack. Swashbuckler nets you Weapon Finesse and Int to damage as well, which is fairly nice too. If you are going with a Daring Outlaw two-weapon fighting build, the Swift and DeadlyDotU ACF is worth considering, since you don’t trade away much and you get to play games where you full attack an enemy, move 10 ft away, and be out of range for their full attack. The Arcane StuntCM ACF is worth considering as well, giving you a few useful SLAs in place of Grace. The Shield of BladesPHB2 ACF is very much worth it for two-weapon fighters.
    • SwordsageToB – A fantastic class for one or two level dips, swordsage can provide you with both power and versatility if used right. You typically want to take it at 9th level, since you can pick up Assassin’s Stance along with a bushel of nice maneuvers and Weapon Focus, but that’s up to you. One level of swordsage equals 2d6 extra Sneak Attack, so it’s very much worth it. Other maneuvers and stances (Shadow Jaunt, Cloak of Deception, Distracting Embers, Island of Blades; see Maneuvers section below) are quite nice for rogues as well. Two levels gets you an extra maneuver and stance, as well as Wis to AC if you didn’t dump your Wisdom. If you’re only taking one level, try to take Unarmed Swordsage instead, since that gets you Improved Unarmed Strike which lets you take Snap Kick and you don’t actually lose anything. (See Maneuvers section below for controversy on gaining stances via ToB dips.)
    • BarbarianPHB, UA, CC – A regular barbarian dip doesn’t really do all that much for rogues, but once you bring in ACFs, it can get really good. First of all, the Whirling Frenzy variant in UA is very good, giving you more AC/Reflex and an extra attack each round. It’s especially good for archer types. You’ll want to take Extra Rage some time so you can do it all day. The second ACF you want is the Spirit Totem ACF from CC. Take Fox Totem for the +4 to stealth skills, Eagle Totem for +4 vision skills, or Lion Totem for pounce on melee rogues. These two ACFs combined make barbarian a very good dip class for rogues.
    • Cloistered ClericPHB, UA – Dipping cleric is so awesome, it’s got its own handbook. Knowledge Devotion can easily get crazy good with Able Learner and a substitution level or two (see Feat section below for details) or Education. You can also pick up a myriad of options in Devotion feats and Domains, like swift-action movement (Travel Devotion), flight (Animal Devotion), summoned minions (Water Devotion), Slippery Mind (Liberation Domain), an illusionary clone/servant (Trickery Devotion), Improved Initiative (Time Domain), large bonus to attack or AC (Law Devotion), and Extra Turning to fuel your devotion feats (Undeath Domain).
    • MonkPHB, UA – With one level, you get an extra attack and Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat (Sleeping Tiger variant in UA) as well as some nice saves at a cost of 1 bab and a level of Sneak Attack. Two levels gets you better saves, Improved Initiative (Sleeping Tiger), and Evasion again for trading away. You also get Improved Unarmed Strike which sets you up for taking Snap Kick, and you can take Carmendine Monk for Int to AC when unarmored. It can be quite a good dip if used right. The Invisible FistEoE ACF lets you become invisible for 1 round as an immediate action once per 4 rounds in place of gaining Evasion, which can be quite useful. Alternatively, the Overwhelming Attack school gets you Power Attack and Improved Bull Rush with a two level dip, which sets you up nicely for Shock Trooper, all without requiring any Strength. If you want to charge into battle and Sneak Attack with a Spiked Chain, this is the way to do it.
    • WizardPHB – This is the best class to use in Unseen Seer builds, providing a very large spell list that synergizes extremely well with rogue. The various wizard variants (Immediate MagicPHB2, Specialization ACFsUA, Focused SpecialistCM) are all very nice for this type of build.
    • ScoutCAdv - Mostly for Swift Ambusher builds. Rogue 16/Scout 3/Cloistered Cleric 1 gets a lot of skill points, full skirmish, almost full Sneak Attack, and the Travel Devotion to use both at once. Works decently well with archery builds.
    • BeguilerPHB2 – A great class that’s often seen as a replacement for a rogue, but can work well with rogues as well. Beguiler spells can be very useful for rogues, so a Rogue/Beguiler/Unseen Seer is not a bad option. Beguilers also get Trapfinding at first level, so that’s a way to replace it if you’re trading Trapfinding away.
    • FactotumDung – Often seen as a rogue replacement, and there’s some truth in that, though rogues aren’t obsolete now by any means. Factotum levels can be used to good effect in rogue builds too. It’s not the best dip, but if you have a high Int and you’re willing to spend on Font of InspirationsWeb a bit, it can be worthwhile. The third level ability is delicious, and you can essentially get Int to attack/damage/AC constantly if you’ve enough inspiration points. It takes investment, but it can be quite good.
    • SpellthiefCAdv – First level gives you an extra dice of Sneak Attack damage. It’s also an interesting option for Unseen Seer builds with Master SpellthiefCS and wizard or beguiler levels, but then you’re better off just skipping rogue.
    • Human ParagonUA – Not a bad choice to take for 2 or 3 levels, depending on your needs. Boosts your bad will save, nets you a permanent class skill, a Bonus Feat, and potentially even an ability boost if you take it that far. The 2nd and 3rd levels advance spellcasting, so it's most optimal if you've dipped a spellcasting class beforehand.
    • MarshalMH, BinderToM, WarlockCArc – I lumped all of these together because all three accomplish the same goal: diplomancy. Marshal gets you Cha to Diplomacy twice, Binder lets you take 10 and do all kinds of other stuff, while Warlock gives you a flat +6 with one level. If you want to optimize Diplomacy beyond the limits of human sanity, these are how you do it.
    • WarbladeToB – ToB dips are never bad. A single level gets you a point of bab, a boost to Fort and Reflex, three maneuvers, and a stance. Taking two levels gets you more of the above as well as Uncanny Dodge. If you do it at the right time, you can get some pretty nice maneuvers (Warblade at 9th can get you both Iron Heart Surge and White Raven Tactics, for example; see maneuvers section below for more details). This also allows you much easier access to Stormguard Warrior (see Feats below).
    • CrusaderToB – Worse than the other ToB classes for rogue dipping, but there are some great Devoted Spirit maneuvers/stances (mostly stances) that you can nab with this. See maneuvers section for some nice choices.
    • ArdentCP – Best use here is for nabbing the Creation mantle and getting access to Psionic Minor Creation, which lets you create all the poison you want at no cost. Astral Construct is a very useful second power to learn as well. The second mantle can give you some useful abilities too, like +10 ft speed from Freedom mantle. This also gives you access to psionic feats.
    • Psion (Shaper)XPH – Good for much the same reason as Ardent, except you get a bonus psionic feat in place of the extra mantle.


    Prestige Classes

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of rogue-based prestige classes are just bad. The most important thing to look for in a PrC is good Sneak Attack advancement and abilities that synergize with what you plan on doing (whether it’s melee combat, ranged combat, or skillmonkeying). If it loses you Sneak Attack damage, it had better give something very worthwhile in return.

    Spoiler
    Show
    • AssassinDMG – A classic, and still pretty good too (or evil, as the case may be). Death Attack is a major trap that’s not worth caring about, and the bonus against poison is filler, but the rest is very good. Always stop at an odd level so you’re basically a level ahead on Sneak Attack. Hide in Plain Sight is the real gem here, but the spellcasting isn’t bad especially if you bring in spells from the Spell Compendium. You also gain Uncanny Dodge/Improved again, so trading the rogue ones away isn’t a bad move. The skill list has most of what you need too. A nice, well-rounded PrC.
    • AvengerWeb – Assassin, but good. Or, at least, non-chaotic. Take this if your DM won’t let you refluff assassin and won’t allow evil characters. Make sure to stop at 5th or 7th level so you can have 21 extra spells known.
    • Shadow Thief of AmnPGtF – Faerun-specific, but the requirements are very easy to achieve and the benefits are quite nice. It costs a crappy feat, but it gives a Bonus Feat back off of a small list, the best of which is Weapon Finesse (unless your DM is crazy and allows Leadership). You also get a free level of Sneak Attack as well as Uncanny Dodge, so you may as well take 3 levels of it. If you can, try to take the 3.0 Guild ThiefFRCS instead, since it’s pretty much exactly the same but without the crappy feat prereq (it’s also less obviously setting-specific).
    • Unseen SeerCM – Fantastic class that’s essentially a theurge class for rogue and arcane caster, but with real class features that are actually quite good. Rogue/Wizards and Rogue/Beguilers make great entries for this class, and you can get a lot of flexibility from arcane casting that way. Advanced Learning can nab you very nice combat Divination spells in the SpC (especially Hunter’s Eye, Golem Strike, Grave Strike, and Vine Strike; look into Persistent Spell). Assassin casting can qualify as well if you want to go for some really wacky build.
    • Arcane TricksterDMG – The skill requirements suck, but with full Sneak Attack and arcane spellcasting progression, it’s certainly powerful. Could be a good way to top off an Unseen Seer build.
    • ChameleonRoD – The best jack of all class, the Chameleon can do nearly everything, just not all at once. Chameleons can be really powerful, but Factotum tends to be a better entry class, though rogue certainly isn’t a bad one. It’s worth a look if you want a class that can do something different each day.
    • Invisible BladeCW – Used to be a good way to get Sneak Attack by feinting as free action, but unfortunately errata says that you can only do it once per round, and that pretty much ruins its effectiveness. The prereq feats suck, but you do advance Sneak Attack quickly (even if it’s only for daggers). Unfettered Defenses gets you nice AC when unarmored, especially when together with monk and Carmendine Monk. It’s also full bab, and feinting can at least make it likely to get one Sneak Attack a round when necessary. Just don’t focus on feinting too much though, since that’s still a major trap.
    • Nightsong EnforcerCAdv – Not a bad choice if you’re looking to gain some bab. You can get in easily at 8th level (only having to spend a feat on Improved Initiative). The first level is essentially just free Sneak Attack, so if you don’t mind taking Improved Initiative (Time Domain on Cloistered Cleric works), there’s basically no reason not to take it on most builds. Ability Training is decent and you get a nice bab boost without losing Sneak Attack by taking it to 4th level. Flanking Teamwork isn’t worthless, and Opportunist is an extra Special Ability, so taking it up to 7th level isn’t too bad, though you are losing a level of Sneak Attack. You don’t want to go all the way to 10th though.
    • ExemplarCAdv – This is for the really skill-focused rogues. The requirements are pretty easy. If you take three levels of Sneak Attack Fighter, you can take the Zhentarim SoldierWeb ACF at 3rd level to get Skill Focus (Intimidate) at a cost of 2 skill points. Alternatively, you can get Skill Focus (Intimidate) for 3,000 gp at the Otyugh HoleCS. A one level dip is great for skillmonkey rogues due to the +4 to one skill and Skill Mastery. There’s no real point to going further; Factotum dips are probably better if you want more skill bonuses or need the skill list.
    • ShadowdancerDMG – A one level dip here works well for stealth-focused rogues. It’s really costly in terms of feats, but Hide in Plain Sight is worth it if you really want it. The second level is pretty nice too, gaining back Evasion and Uncanny Dodge and getting Darkvision, but it’s not necessary if you didn’t trade them away and/or already have Darkvision. Also, know that you can gain Mobility from the MobilityMIC armor special ability, though your DM might not allow temporary bonuses to qualify for prereqs.
    • Skullclan HunterMH – A three level dip here isn’t too bad, especially in undead heavy campaigns. You need a cloistered cleric dip beforehand, but that’s not bad at all. In total, you’re losing two levels of Sneak Attack (including cleric dip) but you gain the ability to deal full damage to undead as well as a nice boost to will saves. If it’s a very undead-themed campaign, six levels of the class isn’t too bad an idea. You’ll lose another level of Sneak Attack but you get a permanent Protection from Evil as well as ability to ignore undead DR. Any further isn’t really worth it though.
    • Spellwarp SniperCS – Can lead to some interesting builds if you want to focus on rays. Manufactured weapons deal more damage due to iteratives, but rays have their own advantages. The class has some cool abilities, and you can do some very creative things with this with a bit of effort (*cough*Legacy Champion*cough*). A list of good Spellwarp Sniper spells can be found here.
    • Stonedeath AssassinRoS – If you’re already a goblinoid and you often find yourself underground, this isn’t a bad PrC. Entry is easy, you don’t actually lose Sneak Attack, you get a few neat tricks that are useful underground, you regain Trapfinding if you’ve traded it away, and you never ever take the fifth level.
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-07-27 at 09:50 AM.
    Rogue Handbook | Warmage Rebuild | Diablo's Assassin | Revised Classes
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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Skills

    Class Skills

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    • Appraise (Int) – Could be useful depending on your DM. Tends to be better early on than late. At high levels, items are more likely magical and it doesn’t cost much to have things professionally appraised. If you’ve extra skill points, it doesn’t hurt to put them here, but I tend to find most rogues I build typically don’t have the points for it.
    • Balance (Dex) – 5 ranks here is very nice to have. Without them, you become flat-footed while Balancing. Not absolutely necessary due to Uncanny Dodge, but still nice to have the points. Skip it if you’ve none to spare.
    • Bluff (Cha) – Great skill for all rogues, but especially social rogues. I find it very useful all the time, but then, I tend to lie a lot. At least 5 ranks here are often worth it since you get a synergy bonus to nearly everything, but you should definitely consider maxing it.
    • Climb (Str) – Terrible waste of time. You can replicate this much better with a 2nd level spell like Spider Climb or Levitate, not to mention Fly. Only worth considering if the campaign starts at 1st level and you’re allowed retraining later.
    • Craft (Int) – If you’re a kobold, you probably want Craft (Trapmaking) at least equal to your class level so you can enjoy the benefits of being koboldy from your racial sub levels. Trapmaking can be useful as well if you’re the creative sort. The best Craft skill, however, is Craft (Poisonmaking). Check the Poison Handbook if you’re interested.
    • Decipher Script (Int) – Five ranks here is good for the synergy bonus to Use Magic Device on scrolls. Don’t bother taking more than that.
    • Diplomacy (Cha) – Great skill that can be horribly cheesy if abused. Social rogues obviously want to max this and more, while other rogues might even consider putting points here just because it’s so useful. Avoid if your DM doesn’t like non-combat solutions though.
    • Disable Device (Int) – Pretty useful for skillmonkeys, but not as absolutely necessary as most people would think. You can disable most traps with careful applications of Summon Monster I and Big Stupid Fighter. If you just don’t have the points, don’t bother taking this and compensate with items.
    • Disguise (Cha) – Potentially useful and a fun skill, but you can easily get massive bonuses to this via spells like Alter Self and Disguise Self (achieved with a Hat of Disguise). Don’t max this unless you’re playing some kind of spymaster or something.
    • Escape Artist (Dex) – Not really all that helpful. There are better ways to get out of grapples (Freedom of Movement effect or Anklets of Translocation) and you won’t succeed on Escape Artist against anything competent at grappling anyway without a lot of investment. If your DM likes to capture the party, getting +15 here could be good so you can take 20 and get out of masterwork manacles, but that’s too situational for most campaigns.
    • Forgery (Int) – A few points isn’t bad in socially oriented campaigns. You don’t need a lot of it, since forgery is opposed by forgery checks and nobody puts points into forgery. However, in most campaigns you’re better off skipping it since this is the very definition of a situational skill.
    • Gather Information (Cha) – Useful for social rogues. Maxing it is probably not worth it, but a few points here won’t hurt. Depends on the campaign.
    • Hide (Dex) – The bread and butter of the vast majority of rogues. Typically, you want this pretty darn high so you can sneak around without effort. You almost always want to max this skill.
    • Intimidate (Cha) – While fantastic for other types of builds, rogues don’t tend to make very good fearmongers. In fact, thanks to Craven, rogues are often on the other side of the fear. If you’re interested in fear effects though, see the Fear Handbook.
    • Jump (Str) – Don’t bother with this unless you’re using a lot of Tiger Claw maneuvers or you’re going for extreme tumbling and need the synergy bonus. You’ll want flight in later levels and that replaces the need for this entirely.
    • Knowledge (local) (Int) – Can be decent if you’re in a humanoid campaign and you’re taking Knowledge Devotion, but otherwise this is a very weak Knowledge skill. After all, I certainly hope your DM isn’t making you roll Knowledge to know what dwarves are. Put one point here so you can do it trained and ignore it after.
    • Listen (Wis) – Lower on the totem pole than Spot, but still very useful. Max this if at all possible. Your perception skills are what keeps you from getting showered full of arrows in the surprise round, so don’t neglect them.
    • Move Silently (Dex) – Just like Hide, you pretty much always want this as high as possible. This may be even more important, depending on access to Invisibility.
    • Open Lock (Dex) – This is not a very important skill to have. You’re much better off using a Chime of Opening, a Wand of Knock, an adamantine dagger, or a Str check if you’ve levels in Factotum. This may be necessary at lower levels, however, when you don’t have access to magic items. Best used with retraining so you can switch those skill points around later.
    • Perform (Cha) – You’re not a bard. Move along.
    • Profession (Wis) – You have better ways of making money, typically involving stabbing people. Move along.
    • Search (Int) – The most important skill for trapfinding rogues, you’ll probably want this as high as you can get. Skip it if you’re not going for trapfinding, max it if you are.
    • Sense Motive (Wis) – Pretty important for social rogues. You don’t want to be lied to while talking to someone, and this ensures that you’re not. If you’re a social rogue, at least put 5 ranks here for the synergy bonus to Diplomacy, and seriously consider maxing it out.
    • Sleight of Hand (Dex) – Useful but not necessary. Put a point here so you can do it trained, but otherwise ignore. You can lift things as free actions at DC 40, which is hilarious if you get it that high, but typically it’s not worth putting more than one point here unless you want to focus on this.
    • Spot (Wis) – Just like Listen, you want this as high as possible.
    • Swim (Str) – Spells like Swim and Alter Self obsoletes this skill, so don’t bother.
    • Tumble (Dex) – This is very helpful at keeping you alive in melee. You usually want to have enough ranks to make DC 15 or 25 easily so you can avoid AoOs all day, but there are rules in OA that may make you want to max this. You can ignore more falling damage, stand up from prone as a free action, and even make 10-ft steps with high enough Tumble DCs. It’s difficult, but potentially worthwhile if you go for it.
    • Use Magic Device (Cha) – Can I make this any bluer? Use Magic Device is hands down the most powerful skill in the game, and you want to max this skill no exception. There are plenty of great wands/scrolls/other magic items that you would not mind using, so definitely put some points here.
    • Use Rope (Dex) – Situationally useful. You typically don’t need too many ranks here, but it’s helpful. If you’ve extra points to spend, a few here won’t hurt.


    Other Possible Class Skills

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Handle Animal (Cha) – A very abusable skill if you’re out to do that, but otherwise not very useful for you. Gotten from Wilderness RogueUA variant.
    • Knowledge: Any (Int) – Get this from Changeling Substitution LevelsRoE. Pick a knowledge skill to shore up your group’s weaknesses, or just point a point in a random one and be trained in it. Alternatively, dip cloistered cleric and use this to fuel Knowledge Devotion.
    • Knowledge: Dungeoneering (Int) – Gotten from Kobold Substitution LevelsRotD. Put one point in here, or use to fuel Knowledge Devotion.
    • Knowledge: Geography (Int) – From Wilderness RogueUA variant. Not the most useful knowledge skill by far, but there’s no point not putting a single rank here just in case.
    • Knowledge: Nature (Int) – Fantastic knowledge skill that covers a very wide variety of enemies. Max this if you have points, or just point a single rank here. Also fuels Knowledge Devotion. Gotten from Wilderness RogueUA variant.
    • Knowledge: Planes (Int) – One of the best knowledge skills. Put either as many points as you can or only one point if you’ve none to spare. Could be good for Knowledge Devotion. You only get this from Planar Rogue Substitution LevelsPH.
    • Ride (Dex) – I have yet to see a good mounted rogue archer build, though I guess it’s theoretically possible. Gotten from Wilderness RogueUA.
    • Speak Languages (None) – Gotten from Rilkan Substitution LevelsMoI. If you really want certain languages, may as well take them, but Comprehend Languages is a 1st level spell.
    • Survival (Wis) – Gain this from Wilderness RogueUA, Golden Hands of VergadainWeb or Goliath Substitution LevelsRoS. Survival’s not the most useful skill, so only take it if you have PrC prereqs that you want to fulfill or something.


    The Cityscape Web Enhancement also offers trading wilderness-oriented class skills for more city-based ones. By default, all of these are already on your class list, but theoretically you can take the Wilderness Rogue variant and then trade out the new skills for their original ones, though that’s a bit… needlessly complicated.


    Cross-Class Skills

    Spoiler
    Show
    • AutohypnosisXPH - Useful Swiss army knife skill, with abilities for lots of different situations. Unfortunately, Wis is probably a dump stat for you, and skill points are pretty tight already, so you likely won't have room for this. If you do get this as a class skill somehow (such as via Factotum dip), a few points here isn't a bad idea.
    • Iaijutsu FocusOA - Despite being a cross-class skill, you might actually consider taking ranks in this. It's free damage from a skill check, and despite the harsh prereqs to activate it, free damage is free damage. Though Iaijutsu builds can be incredibly powerful if done right, rogue isn't the way to do it, so don't invest too much into this if you want an actual rogue build. Works best with Factotum dips to get this as a class skill.
    • Use Psionic DeviceXPH - Not as useful as Use Magic Device, and not a class skill besides, but you might consider a few points here if your Cha isn't bad. There are a lot of nice effects psionic powers can do that magic can't replicate, so this has its uses. Again, best used if you get it as a class skill somehow, such as with a Factotum or Shaper dip.


    Skill TricksCS

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Acrobatic Backstab – Move and make a single Sneak Attack against an enemy. Usefulness is unfortunately limited since you can’t full attack them with it.
    • Assume Quirk – If you’re going to use disguise a lot, this isn’t a bad trick to take.
    • Back on Your Feet – Quite nice if your DM uses trip attacks a lot.
    • Clarity of Vision – Fairly useful. Spotting invisible enemies for free is nice, especially if you’ve a wizard nearby ready to Glitterdust the enemies you point out.
    • Clever Improviser – Terrible; you’re still basically down -2 since you’re not using Masterwork tools. Way too situational.
    • Collector of Stories – Fantastic trick if you’ve a bunch of Knowledge skills with one point in them. Arguably works with Knowledge Devotion, but it’s worth taking even if it doesn’t.
    • Corner Perch – Offers a cool image, but doesn’t really do much. Also requires 8 ranks in Climb, which you definitely should not have.
    • Easy Escape – If you’re actually maxing out Escape Artist to guard against grapples, this is worth it for negating enemies’ size modifiers so that it’s actually possible to escape from them. Only works 1/encounter, so be wary of depending on this.
    • Escape Attack – Again, if you’re maxing Escape Artist, there’s no reason not to take this.
    • Extreme Leap – Worthless.
    • Group Fake Out – If you’re taking Invisible Blade, you may as well take this. Potentially lets you full Sneak Attack if there’s enough enemies around you to feint + Sneak Attack them all. On the other hand, that means that you’re surrounded by enemies.
    • Hidden Blade – Requires Quick Draw, so no.
    • Leaping Climber – Requires two different dump skills, so no.
    • Listen To This – Way too situational, and again, Comprehend Languages is a 1st level spell.
    • Mosquito’s Bite – Requires 12 ranks in Sleight of Hand, and I have difficulty imagining a situation where I’d actually want to do this.
    • Nimble Charge – It’s decent if you’re charging into battle all the time.
    • Nimble Stand – Like Back on Your Feet, great if your DM likes tripping.
    • Opening Tap – Requires 12 ranks in Open Lock, and is terrible besides. No.
    • Point it Out – Why can’t you just describe to them what you saw? And they have to be really blind if they can’t see something when you point it out without this pointless skill trick.
    • Quick Escape – Again, if you’re investing in Escape Artist anyway, it doesn’t hurt to take this.
    • Quick Swimmer – Worthless.
    • Second Impression – Very nice if you’re planning on disguising a lot. A second chance to not get your cover blown is quite helpful indeed.
    • Shrouded Dance – Since this grants you concealment, you can use it to Hide without anything to Hide behind. Probably goes against intent, but works fine as written. Unless you have Hide in Plain Sight, you still can’t Hide if someone’s observing you though.
    • Social Recovery – Great trick for social rogues so that a single bad roll doesn’t ruin everything, though it’s probably not too helpful if you took the changeling substitution and can take 10.
    • Slipping Past – Another skill trick that’s way too situational to bother with.
    • Spot the Weak Point – Not horrible for ranged rogues, especially sniper types that can use it to set up for a nice surprise round. Pretty limited otherwise though.
    • Sudden Draw – Requires Quick Draw. Next!
    • Timely Misdirection – Useful for Invisible Blades, who can feint as free actions. Don’t bother otherwise though.
    • Tumbling Crawl – You don’t want to be crawling for any reason. Do yourself a favor and take Nimble Stand instead.
    • Twisted Charge – Fantastic trick for melee rogues, especially if you dipped barbarian for pounce. Makes charging much easier.
    • Up the Hill – Another one that’s too situational and requires bad skills.
    • Walk the Walls – Cool, but not worth taking, especially not at a cost of putting points in Climb.
    • Wall Jumper – As above.
    • Whip Climber – As awesome an image as that would be, no.
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-07-27 at 09:28 AM.
    Rogue Handbook | Warmage Rebuild | Diablo's Assassin | Revised Classes
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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Feats

    Melee

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    • Adaptable FlankerPHB2 – Bad. Dip swordsage or take Martial Stance for Island of Blades if you really want something like this.
    • Bounding AssaultPHB2 – Spring Attack is bad, and this doesn’t make it any better.
    • Confound the Big FolkRotW – The best maneuver here is Knee Striker, which is a good way to get off full Sneak Attacks without anyone else’s help. This gets really good when combined with something like Travel Devotion, which lets you move in and out of an enemy’s square while full attacking every round. Even more awesome with Shrink Person, either UMD’d from wands or cast from a friendly wizard, since you can do it to Medium creatures too. Unsteady Footing can also be useful occasionally, if you’ve a very high Dex and there are a bunch of melee allies around ready to spring. Only for Small races like Strongheart Halflings and Whisper Gnomes.
    • Daring OutlawCS – A single feat that redeems an entire class (Swashbuckler), this singular feat gains you 19/20 bab, good Fort saves, and d10 hit die. Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 16 is a simple but effective build to maximize this feat’s potential, though you can definitely benefit from further multiclassing if you’re willing to get more complex.
    • Dragon TailRotD - It's a free natural attack, which means more Sneak Attack. If you're dragonblooded and you've a slot for this at 1st level, you may as well take it.
    • Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Spiked Chain)PHB – This is an alternative combat style to the typical TWF or ranged, where you basically wield a spiked chain and Power Attack things to death. You can Finesse and Power Attack with the chain, and the reach is very nice for flanking purposes. It’s an interesting combat style at the very least. A monk dip (see multiclassing section above) can get you Power Attack and Improved Bull Rush without any Str requirements, and you can nab Shock Trooper for a pretty scary charger that way.
    • Greater Two-Weapon FightingPHB – Like its predecessors, take this as soon as you can.
    • Improved FeintPHB – It’s a trap! Feinting is a terrible tactic to use in combat, move action or no. You can’t even use it while full attacking. Do not take this. If you really want to feint, Invisible Blade does it much better, though the errata still kept that from actually being good.
    • Improved RapidstrikeDraco - Absolutely crazy with Dragonwrought kobolds. Gets you a boatload of extra natural attacks with those claws, though you need a good BAB for this. Make sure to take Multiattack and possibly Improved Multiattack so those natural weapons can actually hit (or just use Wraithstrike).
    • Improved Two-Weapon FightingPHB – It’s a feat tax, but you have to take it nonetheless. You can’t just say “no” to extra attacks.
    • Mage SlayerCArc – A great feat on its own. With any sort of reach, this feat can allow you to give enemy mages a very bad day. What’s even better about it is that it lets you qualify for Pierce Magical Concealment.
    • Melee Weapon MasteryPHB2 – Not that bad for a fighter feat. You pick up Weapon Focus with swordsage dip, so this just requires Weapon Specialization. With Thug and Sneak Attack fighter, a five level fighter dip is less bad for you than for most characters, so this isn’t too hard to get. It’s decent, but not necessary if you can’t spare the feat or levels.
    • MultiattackMM - If you've a bunch of secondary natural weapons for some reason, this provides a nice bonus to attack for them. Goes well with the Rapidstrike line.
    • Rapid BlitzPHB2 – See Bounding Assault.
    • RapidstrikeDraco - For Dragonwrought kobolds. By itself, it's only decent. It provides an extra attack, but the attack bonus isn't great. However, this lets you take Improved Rapidstrike, which is just sick. Goes best when used with unarmed strikes as primary attacks (since they don't take up your claws).
    • Shadow BladeToB – Dex to damage. It makes you less MAD and adds a bit more to every hit. Not necessary by any means, but nice to have. You should be in Assassin’s Stance most of the time anyway, so the requirements are easy to fulfill.
    • Snap KickToB – It’s another extra attack, and you really can’t have too many of these. It requires either dipping monk or unarmed swordsage though; it’s not worth having to take Improved Unarmed Strike otherwise.
    • Spring AttackPHB – Horribad. You don’t get to full attack, and you don’t even get to do any other type of standard action. Not worth one feat, much less three!
    • Staggering StrikeCAdv – Potentially very useful versus boss monsters and even just melee brutes. It essentially Slows them, preventing full attacks each round that they’re affected by it. Can be good even against casters, since it forces them to choose between staying next to your or casting a spell. Allows a Fort save, but it’s based on damage dealt which can easily be through the roof, and you get multiple attacks so more chances to fail. Great feat for melee rogues.
    • Stormguard WarriorToB – Well, it’s certainly not a traditional rogue feat by any means, but this is an alternate way to get good damage, especially against things immune to Sneak Attack. With TWF, you’re getting a lot of attacks some of which have very low to-hit, so this could be a way to put them to good use. Requires taking Martial Study a few times or (more likely) a warblade dip.
    • Surprising RiposteDotU – If this didn’t require two bad feats, it might have actually been worthwhile to use with Invisible Blade. Unfortunately, the prereqs kill it, though it does have some potential since it lets you feint and Sneak Attack for a full round.
    • Two-Weapon FightingPHB – Still the best bet for rogues to deal damage, despite how feat-intensive it is. If you’re a melee rogue, you’d better have a good reason not taking this.
    • Weapon FinessePHB – Pretty much a necessity for melee rogues. You want to dump Str. This is how you do it.


    Ranged

    Spoiler
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    • Able SniperRotW – Not a bad feat for a sniper. Attack bonuses are always nice, and you need something to negate the massive -20 to Hide after attacking. Best used with Halfling Rogue 10 Substitution LevelRotW.
    • Crossbow SniperPHB2 – This is the only reason you’d ever want to use crossbows, and it’s a fairly good one. Generally, staying far away is good for you since that keeps you from being monster meat, so this is quite nice for ranged rogues. The extra damage is nice too. Best used with Hand Crossbow Focus since it saves you a feat.
    • Deadeye ShotPHB2 – Most of your damage comes only because of full attacks. If you don’t get off a full attack, you barely deal damage. This does not enable you to make full attacks.
    • Greater ManyshotXPH – Manyshot isn’t nearly as good as just full attacking anyway, so this isn’t worth taking.
    • Hand Crossbow FocusDotU – Quite a nice value feat if you’re going for a crossbow build. Sets you up for Crossbow Sniper too. Auto-take for any rogue focusing on crossbows. Remember that you can dual wield hand crossbows if your DM lets you reload them somehow.
    • Improved Precise ShotPHB – Prereqs are tough, but if you have room for it, take it. Negating cover and concealment is very useful, and I’m sure your allies will appreciate you not hitting them in grapples.
    • Improved Rapid ShotCW – Not worth taking since it requires Manyshot for some stupid reason. Between Woodland Archer and Splitting, you shouldn’t have any trouble hitting.
    • ManyshotPHB – Not worthwhile, since the penalties are huge and you want to be full attacking anyhow. You can’t even Sneak Attack with it unless you take another feat.
    • Point Blank ShotPHB – Crappy feat by itself, but prereq for every archery feat out there, so you have to take it regardless.
    • Precise ShotPHB – Important for any rogue that wants to use ranged weapons as their primary means of fighting. Also lets you use Splitting weapons, which is just awesome.
    • Ranged Weapon MasteryPHB2 – As with Melee Weapon Mastery. Weapon Focus in this case comes from Hand Crossbow Focus. Note that Ranged Weapon Mastery is better than the equivalent melee one because archers tend to have more attacks due to Splitting.
    • Rapid ReloadPHB – If you want to focus on crossbows, this is probably necessary. If available, I’d recommend Hand Crossbow Focus over this, since that saves you a feat getting Crossbow Sniper (which is the only reason you’d want to use crossbows).
    • Rapid ShotPHB – Archer rogues definitely take this. It’s a free attack, and those are awesome.
    • Shot on the RunPHB – As bad for ranged as Spring Attack is for melee. Don’t take it.
    • Swift AmbusherCS - Multiclass feat for Scout/Rogue. Overall, I'd say Swift Hunter works better for scouts while Daring Outlaw works better for rogues, but Swift Ambusher can make for some highly damaging precision archer builds with lots of skill points. See builds section below.
    • Woodland ArcherRotW – A must have feat for archer rogues of any type. Adjust for Range is just awesome and combos with Splitting weapons very well, making it much easier for you to hit with all your attacks. Pierce the Foliage is quite helpful before you get Improved Precise Shot. Moving Sniper is really good for sniper types as well. All in all, a very solid feat.


    Both

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Able LearnerRoD – A necessity to maintain class skills while multiclassing. This is one of the major reasons why humans make fantastic rogues.
    • Animal DevotionCC – Highly versatile feat, letting you 1/day gain super speed, superhuman strength, a poisonous bite attack, or flight for 1 minute. Cloistered Cleric dip can get this for free along with the Turn Undead to use it multiple times per day. Excellent.
    • Blind-FightPHB – Useful if you've nothing better to take or are core-only, but usually not worth a feat. Best use is for qualifying for Pierce Magical Concealment.
    • Carmendine MonkCoV – If you’re dipping monk, you should consider taking this. Getting Int to AC can be really worthwhile, especially if you’re stacking Invisible Blade levels on top of that for essentially Int to AC twice. Can’t use armor with it though.
    • CravenCoR – Possibly the most important feat for rogues in 3.5. This lets you deal extra damage equal to your character level while Sneak Attacking. It applies fully even if you deal partial damage due to Penetrating Strike. Take this as soon as you can and never look back.
    • DarkstalkerLoM – Great feat for stealthy rogues, and pretty much necessary if you want your Hide skill to be worth anything at higher levels. Makes you effectively immune to easy detection by alternative means (aka Blindsense et Al.) so basically everyone has to play fair and make Spot checks.
    • Deadly PrecisionXPH – Not really worth it. If you do the math, this averages out to less than 5 extra damage with a 10d6 Sneak Attack. It isn’t horrible if you’re looking to wring every point of damage you can, but you can do better with your feats.
    • DodgePHB – Terrible, but often a prereq for a lot of things. If possible and if you must, take Distracting Embers with your swordsage dip and take Desert Wind DodgeToB instead, and replace this with something better.
    • Dragonfire StrikeDM – The split in color depends on what your DM allows with the feat. By strict RAW, all it does is change your Sneak Attack damage to fire and add 1d6. This does not bypass Sneak Attack immunity, so the only point is to add a situational 1d6 (and it is situational, because fire is the most resisted energy around). In that case, it's probably not worth taking. However, a very reasonable houserule (and possibly the intent of the feat) is to change the damage to fire so that it bypasses normal Sneak Attack immunity, trading one set of immune enemies for another. In that case, it becomes a far better choice, making it much easier to deal with undead, constructs, elementals, and especially plants. You can also take Dragon Heritage, choosing Battle Dragon to convert this damage to sonic damage instead, which is hardly ever resisted. It’s extremely feat intensive, but potentially very worthwhile, especially for ranged builds that can’t use Penetrating Strike, as long as your DM allows the feat to work on those normally immune to Sneak Attacks.
    • Dragon HeritageRotD – Worthless on its own and requires Dragontouched or a dip in sorcerer/dragonfire adept. The awesome thing comes in picking Battle Dragon, and then taking Dragonfire Strike to turn all of your Sneak Attack damage into sonic damage, which is hardly ever resisted. Only worth taking if your DM allows Dragonfire Strike to bypass Sneak Attack immunity.
    • DragontouchedDM – Only use for this is to qualify for Dragon Heritage and then Dragonfire Strike. Worthless on its own.
    • EducationPGtF or ECS – Gives you all Knowledge skills as class skills permanently. Make sure to grab the PGtF version if you can for +2 to two Knowledge skills instead of +1. Combines very well with Knowledge Devotion.
    • Extend SpellPHB - Pretty useful on its own for Unseen Seers, letting you Extend buff spells to last all day. Better in a Metamagic Rod, however. The real treat is letting you qualify for Persistent Spell. You can get this for free from the Planning Domain.
    • Extra RageCW – If you’re dipping barbarian and getting Whirling Frenzy, definitely take this at some point so you can frenzy every battle.
    • Font of InspirationWeb – For anyone taking levels in Factotum. You generally want to take this around three or four times so you can add Int to attack/damage/AC for basically the entire battle, but any more than that tends to lead to wasted points.
    • Improved InitiativePHB – Always good filler material if you’ve feats to spare (though you shouldn’t). Much better in core only since there are few decent feats there. You can get this for free from Time Domain.
    • Knowledge DevotionCC – Free attack and damage that scales with you as you level. With support, this is a very viable means of dealing damage. Best used with cloistered cleric dips. Even better for archery than for melee since you get better returns due to more attacks from Splitting.
    • Law DevotionCC – Another great Devotion feat. This one gets you either a rather large bonus to attack or AC once per day or more if you’ve Turn Undead to spend. Something else a cleric dip can get you.
    • Martial StanceToB – Highly useful, especially for picking up Assassin’s Stance (though Swordsage dip may be better for that). See Maneuvers and Stances section below for details on your selection.
    • Martial StudyToB – There are some great low-level maneuvers for rogues in ToB. See Maneuvers and Stances section below.
    • Master ManipulatorPHB2 – A bit too situational for my tastes, but some people like this sort of thing. Can be helpful for more socially-oriented campaigns.
    • Master of PoisonsDotU – Great for poison users if you’re into that. You can/should retrain this at higher levels once enemies are more likely to be immune. See the Poison Handbook to learn more.
    • MobilityPHB – Terrible. If it’s a prereq, suck it up and take it, but otherwise just move on. Note: You can get Mobility via the MobilityMIC armor special ability.
    • Obtain FamiliarCArc – Not bad for Unseen Seer builds. Familiars can be very handy, at the very least giving you +2 to most of your skills. See the Familiar’s Handbook for details. If allowed, get a hummingbird familiar from Dragon 323 which gives you +4 to initiative.
    • Persistent SpellCArc - Amazing feat for Unseen Seers, letting you Persist a wide variety of buffs like Hunter's Eye, Grave Strike, Golem Strike, Sniper's Eye, etc. It's good by itself, but it's even better if you can take Easy Metamagic or Practical Metamagic to reduce its spell level adjustment.
    • Pierce Magical ConcealmentCArc – Its normal effect is awesome enough, letting you ignore enemy wizards with Blur or Displacement effects. However, the best part about this feat is that it lets you ignore the miss chance from your own Blink effects, making your own Ring of Blinking completely beneficial to you. If Blink is your primary means of denying Dex to AC for enemies (which is quite possible for ranged builds), this is almost a necessity. However, it does require Mage Slayer, which is worthless for ranged rogues, and Blind-Fight, which is nothing special, but this is worth the cost.
    • Practiced SpellcasterCArc – If you’re taking levels in beguiler or wizard, this is invaluable in keeping your caster level high despite multiclassing. Also makes up for Divination Spell Power from Unseen Seer.
    • Quick DrawPHB – Terrible feat that you can replicate with 300 gp (Least Crystal of ReturnMIC). This is bad even in core.
    • Sacred StrikeBoED – Well, it does require you to be a goody do-gooder, but if you’re willing to put up with that and most of the enemies you fight are evil, this provides some pretty good returns on damage.
    • Savvy RogueCS – Pretty good if you have enough rogue levels to get at least two or three Special Abilities. If you have Penetrating Strike, this doesn’t do much for Crippling Strike, though it’s still useful if you are attacking without a flank for some reason (and is much better for archers). The extra uses of Defensive Roll certainly make that ability significantly better. Improved Evasion still sucks. Opportunist would be fantastic were it not for the caveat that you can do it to each creature once per round; with the caveat, it’s only mildly better. This is very good for Skill Mastery, since you’re basically getting +2 to your most important skills. The boost to Slippery Mind is nice, but nothing to write home about. Overall, a good feat if you’ve room for it, but not absolutely necessary.
    • Sickening StrikeDotU – One of the better ambush feats. This one is basically a no save debuff at a cost of 1d6 points of damage; useful, especially if you use poisons or have allies that can take advantage of the creature’s reduced saves. Even better if stacked with Crippling Strike or fear effects for further debuff.
    • Telling BlowPHB2 - Not a great way to achieve Sneak Attacks, since it's far from reliable. At best, you've ~25% chance to activate this, so if you rely on this as a primary means of Sneak Attacking, you're not dealing credible damage on 3/4ths of your attacks. This does provide a means for Sneak Attacking in situations containing concealment, but you're better off going with some backup plan in those situations like activating wands or using magic items rather than praying for a crit.
    • Terrifying StrikeDotU – Like Sickening Strike, a useful no save debuff. Doesn’t cost much damage, and combos with Sickening Strike for -4 to attack and saves. Unfortunately doesn’t stack with other fear effects, but still pretty good. Fear is easy to get immunities for though, so watch out about that.
    • Titan FightingRoS – Great feat for Whisper Gnomes, and an actual good reason to take Dodge. You basically increase your Dodge AC bonus to +4 against pretty much anyone. Very nice boost to AC.
    • Travel DevotionCC – An extremely helpful feat for all melee fighters, Travel Devotion lets you move each turn as a swift action (to get closer for full attack or move in to flank) and still full attack every round. Best used with cloistered cleric dip so you can fuel with Turn Undead. Combines with Confound the Big Folk nicely.
    • Trickery DevotionCC – A feat that rewards creativity above all else. It can scout, spring traps, distract enemies, and do whatever you come up with. Unfortunately the errata nerfed it so that it doesn’t get free copies of your wands/scrolls/etc, but it’s still useful if you can come up with things for it to do, and flanks for you as necessary at mid to high levels. Again, best used with cloistered cleric dip to use multiple times per day.
    • Underfoot CombatRotW – An easy way to get extra AC against Large or larger enemies for Whisper Gnomes and Strongheart Halflings. Shrink Person goes hand in hand with this. Also used to qualify for Confound the Big Folk.
    • Undo ResistanceFC2 - Can be quite good at higher levels, particularly if you've offensive casters in the party that would like the boost. Best in outsider-oriented campaigns since outsiders tend to have SR. Also gives your own spells (from wands/scrolls) an actual chance of penetrating enemy SR at higher levels. However, it does require you to use a cold iron weapon, which is very expensive to enchant (not a problem if your caster friends can cast Greater Magic Weapon though).
    • Water DevotionCC – Serious points for coolness for this one. The summoned elementals aren’t that powerful, but they make decent tanks and of course they can flank for you. It’s also ridiculously cheap in that it only takes a single Turn Undead attempt to use again, so a single cleric dip can get you 4 to 6 uses per day at the very least.
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-07-27 at 09:54 AM.
    Rogue Handbook | Warmage Rebuild | Diablo's Assassin | Revised Classes
    Potpourri Creation Contest II Winner: Desert Martial Adept Substitution Levels
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Maneuvers and Stances

    Since ToB has so much to offer to rogues in the form of swordsage dip and the Martial Study/Martial Stance feats, I’m making a separate section to list some useful low-level maneuvers and stances to pick up as a rogue. Remember, you can also get these using cheap magic items in ToB like Shadow Hands and Crown of the White Raven.

    One thing to note about gaining Stances via ToB dips is that all of the ToB classes have a line saying they "begin play" with 1st level stances, which some take to mean that if you take a level in one of them, you must select a 1st level stance for that first level. I disagree with this interpretation, for reasons listed at the bottom of this post, but ultimately it's up to your DM, so when in doubt, ask. Even if that interpretation is in play, it's still worthwhile to take two levels of Swordsage to get Assassin's Stance, though in this case the option of getting it via feats or a single dip and feat is stronger.

    Maneuvers

    Spoiler
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    • Distracting Embers (Desert Wind, 1) – Very good maneuver that ensures a full round of flanking in every fight. Quite useful in the early rounds while your fighter warblade friend is getting into flanking position. Always pick this up when taking a swordsage dip unless you absolutely don’t have space for it.
    • Moment of Perfect Mind (Diamond Mind, 1) – Pretty useful if you’re willing to expend skill points for Concentration, especially since you don’t fail on natural 1s. Unseen Seer builds have Concentration anyway, but those tend to have good Will saves already.
    • Counter Charge (Setting Sun, 1) – Can be fairly useful, potentially saving you a lot of damage from melee enemies.
    • Mighty Throw (Setting Sun, 1) – Fun maneuver, and one of my favorites, though it can be a bit limited in what it does. Works best on humanoid enemies and when you have a fighter-type on your side to take advantage of the prone condition.
    • Sudden Leap (Tiger Claw, 1) – Highly useful if you’ve points to spare in Jump (or not even, if you’ve a high movement speed). This lets you move more than 5 ft and still full attack, so it’s great if you don’t have other means of doing that (Travel Devotion, Pounce).
    • Wolf Fang Strike (Tiger Claw, 1) – A decent filler maneuver for attacking twice as a standard action. Only good early on as part of a swordsage dip.
    • Flashing Sun (Desert Wind, 2) – It’s an extra attack; you can never have enough of those. Pick this up with a swordsage dip along with Distracting Embers.
    • Action Before Thought (Diamond Mind, 2) – Absolutely not necessary. With high Dex, good Reflex saves, and incentive to multiclass a lot, your Reflex saves should be through the roof already. Either of the other two save-replacing maneuvers are much better than this.
    • Wall of Blades (Iron Heart, 2) – Since attack bonus generally outpaces AC at mid to high levels, this is a good way to occasionally avoid getting hit. A good entry to picking up Iron Heart Surge.
    • Cloak of Deception (Shadow Hand, 2) – Just like Distracting Embers, this lets you full sneak attack for free for one round. The disadvantage is that it doesn’t work with Penetrating Strike, but this does work on ranged attacks which is nice. A good entry into Assassin’s Stance.
    • Shadow Jaunt (Shadow Hand, 2) – This can get you out of all kinds of sticky situations, from ropes/chains to grapples to wells that you manage to fall into. A fairly good maneuver without prerequisites.
    • Mountain Hammer (Stone Dragon, 2) – The way to say goodbye to every wall/door you come across from now on. Ignoring ALL hardness is quite useful when you need to renovate your DM’s dungeon.
    • Mind Over Body (Diamond Mind, 3) – Another save-replacing maneuver. Better than Action Before Thought, but a bit worse than Moment of Perfect Mind due to the fact that you can often make up for poor Fort save through multiclassing, whereas getting a high Will save is harder.
    • Iron Heart Surge (Iron Heart, 3) – One of the most borked maneuvers in ToB. This lets you ignore any effect on you with a duration, ranging from Slow to Antimagic Field all the way up to the strong nuclear force if your DM would allow that. The open ended nature of this maneuver makes it a must have for warblade dippers, though it’s probably not worth taking two Martial Studies to get otherwise.
    • Shadow Garrote (Shadow Hand, 3) – Good maneuver to use on surprise rounds, this lets you get off a sneak attack on a ranged touch that can potentially make a target flat-footed for the next round. It’s good to have if you’ve room for it, but keep in mind that the save DC won’t be too high if your Wis is low, and sneak touch attacks can be replicated via wands or vials of acid.
    • White Raven Tactics (White Raven, 3) – The second of the most borked maneuvers in ToB, and arguably even better than Iron Heart Surge. As a swift action, you can give any ally another whole turn. Now, by PHB definition, you are your own ally, so you can technically use this on yourself. I’d suggest self-restraint plus rapid houseruling on this one, however; it’s already good enough. Must have for warblade dippers, and potentially good enough to spend two feats to get if you’ve some crazy casters on your team who can really (ab)use the extra actions well.
    • Searing Charge (Desert Wind, 4) – Frighteningly powerful with a barbarian dip, potentially letting you charge into flight and deal 5d6 extra fire damage each hit (depending on reading). If you are dipping barbarian for Pounce, and your DM agrees that the fire damage applies to each hit, this could very much be worthwhile for you, either through delaying your swordsage dip to level 13 or taking it via a second swordsage dip or feat.
    • Bounding Assault (Diamond Mind, 4) – Basically a charge attack with all of the benefits and none of the penalties. Great with barbarian dip, merely okay without pounce of some kind.
    • Lightning Recovery (Iron Heart, 4) – Rerolls are always useful, and this is quite nice at higher levels since it essentially gives you an extra attack with an immediate action by rerolling your natural 1. A bit hard to get, but worth it if you can get it without too much cost.
    • Doom Charge/Law Bearer/Radiant Charge/Tide of Chaos (Devoted Spirit, 5) – All of these are quite powerful with a barbarian dip for pounce. If you’re dipping crusader at high levels, you may as well take the one best matching your alignment. Hard to qualify for, but if you’re in position to take Devoted Spirit maneuvers, these are pretty good.
    • Iron Heart Focus (Iron Heart, 5) – Saves you life from the dice trying to kill you. Rerolls are always good, especially on saves, so this is a pretty good one to take if you can make the prerequisites.
    • Shadow Stride (Shadow Hand, 5) – No prereqs! Teleporting via move action is also good for getting out of grapples and doing something besides, but most of what this does can be copied with Shadow Jaunt or cheap magic items. Not worth spending too much effort to get, but still pretty decent.
    • Dancing Mongoose (Tiger Claw, 5) – A very good higher level maneuver for rogues. It basically offers 2 extra attacks for TWFers, and works even with archery. If you’ve an extra feat, this is a pretty good investment, and if you’re starting at higher levels then it might be worth it to wait until 17th level to dip swordsage so you can get this.
    • Pouncing Charge (Tiger claw, 5) – For those without barbarian dips, this is how to get pounce. Unfortunately it doesn’t work with the other charge maneuvers like Searing Charge or Bounding Assault, but it’s still quite good for closing in at the first round of combat. Take this if the opportunity presents itself.
    • Moment of Alacrity (Diamond Mind, 6) – Crazy hard to get if you’re only dipping ToB, but is a fairly awesome maneuver in its own right. If the setup is right, you can use this to get an extra turn, which is understandably quite useful.


    Stances

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    • Stance of Clarity (Diamond Mind, 1) – Better than it looks; if you’re fighting one significant enemy, it’s basically +2 AC for free.
    • Punishing Stance (Iron Heart, 1) – Gives you 1d6 extra melee damage, at a cost of 2 AC. Not a bad stance with a warblade dip for when you absolutely can’t Sneak Attack for some reason (no flank or no Penetrating Strike).
    • Step of the Wind (Setting Sun, 1) – Very useful stance if your DM bothers with terrain, significantly less so if not. Easy to pick up with swordsage dip.
    • Child of Shadow (Shadow Hand, 1) – Useful feat, giving you 20% miss chance that basically can’t be negated. Good for snipers with Woodland Archer, and helps your d6 hit die.
    • Island of Blades (Shadow Hand, 1) – You’re a rogue, you love Sneak Attacking. You Sneak Attack by flanking, ergo you love flanking. This helps you flank, therefore you love this.
    • Hunter’s Sense (Tiger Claw, 1) – Nice out of combat feat, since it lets you smell enemies trying to hide from you (that’s your job). Annoying prereq though.
    • Thicket of Blades (Devoted Spirit, 3) – Pretty high level and requires a crusader dip, but pretty awesome if you do get it. This makes for great control builds with Stand Still, Mage Slayer, and some reach, though isn’t seen too often on rogues. Still awesome.
    • Absolute Steel (Iron Heart, 3) – Nice speed and AC boost for those on the move. Another good stance for Woodland Archer snipers, as well as anyone utilizing Confound the Big Folk + Travel Devotion.
    • Giant Killing Style (Setting Sun, 3) – Fun stance. For Small races like Whisper Gnomes and Strongheart Halflings, this is basically +2 attack/+4 damage against pretty much everyone. See builds section below for a fun “size matters” build.
    • Assassin’s Stance (Shadow Hand, 3) – The real reason you’re dipping ToB. This increases your Sneak Attack by 2d6 by itself, and is very much worth a Swordsage dip at 9th level. Recommended for everyone with access to ToB.
    • Hearing the Air (Diamond Mind, 5) – Blindsense is quite nice as a tool for detecting hidden enemies, so this is a great out of combat stance. Take it if you get the chance, but don’t go out of your way for it.
    • Dancing Blade Form (Iron Heart, 5) – Increasing reach is pretty useful, though having it only available on your turn is unfortunate. Not a terrible pick for higher-level warblade dips.
    • Step of the Dancing Moth (Shadow Hand, 5) – This is mostly just for the sheer awesomeness factor of it. The image of walking across the air right above the lava pool is just so damn cool. However, at the level you would get it, flight is readily accessible, so this is mostly just for fun.
    • Press the Advantage (White Raven, 5) – Hard to get, but great stance if you can get it. Being able to take two 5-ft steps in one round is incredibly helpful for mobility purposes. This also works with Confound the Big Folk, letting you 5-ft step out and then back into your enemy’s square to trigger it.
    • Aura of Perfect Order (Devoted Spirit, 6) – You’ll need at least two crusader levels to get this, and it’s only selectable at level 20 even then, but this is one amazing aura! The other alignment auras are a bit underwhelming (besides for 1d2 shenanigans), but this one nearly obsoletes Skill Mastery, guarantees making that saving throw, lets you hit when you really need to, and lets you ensure your UMD check on that scroll. It’s limited to one per round, but it’s still very good.



    Spells

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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Equipment and Magic Items

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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    Methods of Combat

    There are several viable ways for rogues to engage into combat. Whether you're jumping into melee with a pair of daggers or firing cowardly from a corner and hoping nobody sees you, each of these combat styles have their own advantages and disadvantages.

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    Melee
    Description: This is pretty simple; you grab a pair of weapons, charge at the enemy, and start swinging. Two weapon fighting is usually the most optimized route, but you can also go unarmed (or unarmed and two weapon fighting) or even use natural weapons. You want to get the most attacks possible here to deal Sneak Attack damage as many times as you can.
    Advantages: The biggest advantage of melee combat is that you can easily pull off Sneak Attacks through flanking. This also lets you use Penetrating Strike, which pretty much enables Sneak Attacks on anything under the sun. Another advantage depends on spells allowed; if Polymorph is allowed in your campaign, it's easy to get huge bonuses to attack/damage and a large number of natural attacks because of it. Wraithstrike likewise helps guarantee your attacks hit by making them touch attacks.
    Disadvantages: The obvious disadvantage here is that melee fighters tend to be... prone to death. Standing next to an enemy is just an open invitation for a full attack, so you'll need good defenses and HP to survive combat. Depending on flanks also mean depending on teammates, which can be problematic at times.

    Ranged
    Description: Ranged combat here refers to using bows, crossbows, or throwing weapons to riddle your opponent full of holes, usually by making a large number of attacks. You'll want Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Woodland Archer, as well as Splitting weapons.
    Advantages: It's safer than melee combat. You also gain access to Splitting, which essentially doubles your damage for the cost of +3 special abilities on your weapon.
    Disadvantages: You're not that much safer, since you're still within charge range (unless you're an Unseen Seer with Persistent Sniper's Shot). The biggest problem will be actually dealing Sneak Attack damage; you'll need to make enemies lose Dex to AC, which requires things like Grease, Greater Invisibility, or Ring of Blinking. You also can't use Penetrating Strike, so enemies immune to Sneak Attack are a problem, and you have to deal with issues like cover and concealment without the right spells/feats.

    Sniping
    Description: Sniping basically requires you to stay hidden all the time, making the occasional ranged attack and then vanishing into the shadows again. You'll need a great Hide score, Hide in Plain Sight, as well as ways to avoid magical detection (Darkstalker). You can snipe with either rays or weapons, and feats like Woodland Archer and Able Sniper help a lot.
    Advantages: This is safer than regular ranged attacks. With spells like Sniper's Shot and Guided Shot, you can snipe from very far away, and you're usually hidden so enemies will have a hard time finding you, much less retaliating. It's also easy to get Sneak Attacks off, since you're hidden all the time.
    Disadvantages: In most cases, Hiding requires an action, so you can only make a single attack per round and your damage output is low. You also have to deal with the obscene Hide penalty from attacking, and it has some of the same problems as regular ranged combat. Finally, sniping can be at odds with regular party tactics, since your allies are likely not nearly as adept at sneaking around as you are.

    Spells
    Description: This style of combat uses ranged touch spells to deliver Sneak Attack damage. Most of them are rays, but some, like the Orb spells, are not. You generally want a caster build (with classes like Unseen Seer and Spellwarped Sniper) for this, but it's not absolutely necessary if you use wands. Remember that the Sneak Attack damage is the same type as the spell that triggered it, or negative energy if the spell deals ability damage or negative levels. Because of this, Ray of Stupidity may be very worthwhile.
    Advantages: The best part about using spells to deliver Sneak Attack is that the vast majority of such spells are ranged touch, meaning it's much easier to hit enemies. They're used from far away (Spellwarped Sniper's capstone doubles Sneak Attack range for rays), meaning you're safer than melee and sometimes ranged weapon users. You get secondary effects from your spells like status effects from Orb spells, and getting ranged touch effects can be really cheap for things like Wands of Acid Splash.
    Disadvantages: Though you're further away than melee or ranged weapons, you're often still within charge range unless you use Sniper's Shot. Using spells this way also expends spell slots and/or charged items. You have the same issues with cover/concealment and getting off Sneak Attacks as ranged weapon users. Ultimately, the biggest problem of this style of fighting is that you get off far fewer attacks than a full attacking rogue, so your damage is likely far lower.

    Splash Weapons
    Description: This form of combat involves throwing splash weapons (Acid, Alchemist's Fire, Alchemist's FrostECS, Alchemist's SparkECS) at enemies and Sneak Attacking with them. These Sneak Attacks deal the same type of damage as the splash weapon would normally deal.
    Advantages: The main advantage of using splash weapons is that all of them are resolved as touch attacks, so they're much easier to hit with. You also get to full attack using them, which makes them more effective at dealing damage than ray or orb spells. They work fine even in Anti-magic Fields, and they have enough range that you can potentially be outside full attack melee range while using them.
    Disadvantages: These splash weapons deal typed damage, so certain enemies may resist them, though you have four types to choose from. Their range is pretty small, so you'll have to be pretty close by for them to work, meaning you're often in pounce range or even regular full attack range if an enemy has reach. The biggest problem is that alchemical vials can be fairly expensive if used in bulk, so this can be a hit to your WBL if you use them too much (though that's much less important at high levels).



    Builds

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    Basic Rogue
    Rogue 8/Swordsage 1/Rogue +11
    The advantage of 19 levels of rogue without excessive multiclassing is the amount of skill points and the high number of rogue Special Abilities you'll get, so Savvy Rogue is likely very good here. You can focus on two-weapon fighting, archery, or splash weapons here. If the game starts at high levels, the swordsage dip can be moved further back for a better selection of maneuvers. If your DM holds the "must take 1st level stance at swordsage 1" interpretation, you'll have to spend a feat for Assassin's Stance. That holds for every swordsage dip in this section.

    Maxed Out Sneak Attack
    Rogue 3/Spellthief 1/Psychic Rogue 1/Fighter 3/Assassin 3/Avenger 1/Invisible Blade 1/Nightsong Enforcer 1/Unseen Seer 1/Guild Thief 3/Shadow Thief of Amn 1/Master of Masks 1
    This is not really a build meant to be played; it's more of a theoretical exercise than anything else. Take Martial Study and Martial Stance for Assassin's Stance, and you'll have 18d6 Sneak Attack by the end of it, along with 11 BAB. This pretty much sacrifices everything for Sneak Attack though, so I would not suggest it for an actual game.

    Assassin
    Rogue 5/Assassin 9/Swordsage 1/Unseen Seer 1/Nightsong Enforcer 4
    13d6 Sneak Attack, 13 BAB, full Assassin spellcasting, and Hide in Plain Sight. You can drop the level of Unseen Seer for a level of fighter if you want; this loses you a 4th level spell slot and spell known as well as 2 skill points, but frees up a few skills as well as lets you not have to take two divination spells. Nightsong Enforcer can also be skipped for more levels of rogue, which loses you a point of BAB but gains you skill points. Avenger, of course, works in place of assassin depending on alignment (make sure Spell Compendium assassin spells are allowed to it though).

    Unseen Seer, Offensive
    Rogue 1/Wizard 5/Unseen Seer 10/Arcane Trickster 4
    This pretty much requires human with Able Learner. Wizard can be either conjurer or transmuter; conjurer gets Abrupt Jaunt, but transmuter has more relevant spells if you go Focused Specialist. You get 7d6 Sneak Attack from classes, plus whatever else you can get from Hunter's Eye. Make sure to take Spontaneous Divination from wizard 5. Practiced Spellcaster is a must, to make up for the rogue level and Divination Spell Power. Don't focus too much on touch spells; you can get much more damage through bows or melee. Use touch spells only on enemies that are extremely hard to hit otherwise.

    Unseen Seer, Defensive
    Rogue 1/Wizard 4/Unseen Seer 10/Abjurant Champion 5
    You lose 2d6 Sneak Attack and Spontaneous Divination, but gain access to Abjurant Champion's awesome abilities as well as more BAB. You can give up the 5th level of Abjurant Champion to get Spontaneous Divination back if you like; you lose some AC, but loss of Martial Arcanist doesn't mean much to you. Same suggestions as the offensive version.

    Unseen Seer, Rays
    Rogue 1/Wizard 4/Unseen Seer 10/Spellwarped Sniper 5
    This is for those that want to specialize in rays above all else. You gain access to Spellwarp, at a cost of regular Sneak Attack damage. If you want to focus on this, you should probably take Spellwarped Sniper after your 5th level of Unseen Seer, then go back to Unseen Seer later. Overall, you can do much more damage with bows than rays, but this is still a viable option.

    Daring Outlaw
    Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 4/Swordsage 1/Swashbuckler +11
    This is pretty much the basic rogue, except with swashbuckler levels in place of rogue levels (thanks to Daring Outlaw). You'll have far fewer skill points (and worse class skills without Able Learner), but you'll be more effective at combat, with nearly full BAB (18 over 20 levels) and d10 Hit Die, and you'll gain some nifty swashbuckler abilities (Insightful Strike is by far the best). Whether that's worth the loss of skill points and Special Abilities is up to you.

    Swift Ambusher
    Rogue 3/Scout 3/Cloistered Cleric 1/Rogue +13
    Take Swift Ambusher, Improved Skirmish, Craven, Travel Devotion, and Knowledge Devotion (devotions via cloistered cleric). This gets you 8d6+20 Sneak Attack, 7d6/+7 Skirmish, and 3 rogue Special Abilities. It's a very damaging archer build, with a lot of skill points too.

    Size Matters
    Rogue 7/Cloistered Cleric 1/Swordsage 1/Fighter 3/Nightsong Enforcer 1/Rogue +6
    Race is Whisper Gnome, with Titan Fighting, Underfoot Combat, and Confound the Big Folk. Swordsage grabs Giant Killing Stance while cleric dip gets Knowledge Devotion, Travel Devotion, and Time Domain (for Improved Initiative). This ends up with 12d6 Sneak Attack, 13 BAB, and the ability to Sneak Attack every round via Confound the Big Folk and Travel Devotion. A fun build overall, and very interesting to play.

    That Damned Kobold by Greenish
    Rogue 1/Swashbuckler 1/Rogue 2/Swashbuckler 4/Unarmed Swordsage 1/Swashbuckler 11
    Race is Desert Kobold (aged to Venerable). Take Dragonwrought, Dragon Tail, Multiattack, Improved Multiattack, Daring Outlaw, Craven, Rapidstrike, and Improved Rapidstrike. This gives you an attack routine of -0 UAS/-5 UAS/-10 UAS/-15 UAS/-0 Bite/-0 Tail/-0 Claw/-0 Claw/-5 Claw/-10 Claw/-15 Claw/-20 Claw, possibly more if you add in things like Snap Kick and Haste.


    Links

    Applying Precision Damage
    Archery Handbook
    Beguiler Handbook
    Dipping Cleric 1
    Factotum Handbook
    Poison Handbook
    Rogue Mini-Guide by Person_Man
    Ways to Get Extra Attacks
    Ways to Get Pounce and Free Movement
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    Default [3.5] The Rogue Handbook: A Fistful of d6

    And, I'm really done. This post is in case I need more for some reason. You can never be too sure...
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-06-17 at 12:40 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    It's 14 kinds of awesome and I wish it had been here 2 months ago when I was building my rogue type character... (if only for the fighter sneak attack variant)

    No mention of whisperknife? (Races of the Wild - must be a halfling) It's quite good fun... Well I'm enjoying it anyway. Throwing a 1d3 dagger at someone and doing 130 points of damage* doesn't get old - ever.

    Also:

    Bonus Feat – You can’t really go wrong with a bonus feat on a feat-st You can’t really go wrong with a bonus feat on a feat-starved class like the rogue.
    wants a line deleting I think.

    But great job! Thank you.

    *yeah I need to critical to do that, but still... :)
    [edit] can't type
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Among other errors, you've made one of the most common ones: used flat-footed when you mean denied DEX to AC. Making an enemy flat-footed keeps them from being able to make attacks of opportunity against anyone. While being flat-footed also denies an enemy their DEX bonus to AC, it isn't required for sneak attack: only denying DEX to AC is.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    No Telling Blow discussion? Its not a blue feat, but it could be a green feat. Its useful for 3 things.

    1 Ranged Attacks when foes aren't flat footed.
    2 Ranged Attacks more than 30' regardless of flat footedness
    3 Ranged or Melee attacks vs foes who have concealment

    Otherwise, its generally a better option to move (tumble) into flank and make a single attack than it is to full attack and pray for a crit, especially since focusing on critting is non-optimal focus for a rogue due to the fact that SA doesn't multiply (although Craven does).
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Searched the file.

    You don't mention marbles anywhere!

    Maaaarbles!

    I've lost my marbles!

    Seriously, marbles force anyone with <5 ranks in balance to, well, Balance, which does specifically make them flat-footed.

    Try turning a bag of holding full of nothing but marbles inside out. Good times.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    I think you may be selling factotum a bit... short.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    I'm a bit confused about why Monk ranks higher than Beguiler or Warlock to pair with Rogue.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Could the races section include a few of the higher LA options? In particular, Marrulurk (Sandstorm) at 3RHD +1 LA make amazing rogues, and Pixie might be worth a mention as well.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    You typically want to take it at 9th level, since you can pick up Assassin’s Stance along with a bushel of nice maneuvers and Weapon Focus, but that’s up to you. One level of swordsage equals 2d6 extra Sneak Attack, so it’s very much worth it.
    Actually, this is a widely held misconception. The Swordsage text specifies that you must take a 1st level stance on the 1st level of Swordsage. So no Assassin's stance. There's still Island of Blades and Hunter's Sense though.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sc00by View Post
    No mention of whisperknife? (Races of the Wild - must be a halfling) It's quite good fun... Well I'm enjoying it anyway. Throwing a 1d3 dagger at someone and doing 130 points of damage* doesn't get old - ever.
    I've looked at the class and I remember not being very impressed. I'll look again and check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sc00by View Post
    wants a line deleting I think.
    Thanks! Got it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Among other errors, you've made one of the most common ones: used flat-footed when you mean denied DEX to AC. Making an enemy flat-footed keeps them from being able to make attacks of opportunity against anyone. While being flat-footed also denies an enemy their DEX bonus to AC, it isn't required for sneak attack: only denying DEX to AC is.
    I searched through and I think I got all of them. It's easy to use the wrong term when they're often so arbitrarily assigned (Balancing makes you flat-footed but being blinded loses you Dex to AC, being invisible denies Dex to AC but Sapphire Nightmare Blade inflicts flat-footedness, etc). If you see any other errors, I'd appreciate if you report them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    No Telling Blow discussion? Its not a blue feat, but it could be a green feat. Its useful for 3 things.
    I have not looked at that feat, actually. I'll check what it does later and put it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by balistafreak View Post
    You don't mention marbles anywhere!
    It's going in the items section, I swear!

    Well, once I finish it anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    I think you may be selling factotum a bit... short.
    As a rogue dip? I'd like to see a build if possible. How many levels would you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    I'm a bit confused about why Monk ranks higher than Beguiler or Warlock to pair with Rogue.
    They're not really that great as dip classes for rogue. Wizard tends to be much better for Unseen Seer-style builds than Beguiler, while Warlock requires too many levels for the better invocations. Monk gives most of its benefits in two levels and can be useful for a few builds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Could the races section include a few of the higher LA options? In particular, Marrulurk (Sandstorm) at 3RHD +1 LA make amazing rogues, and Pixie might be worth a mention as well.
    That's a good idea. I'll look up some good LA races and add them then.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeminiZero View Post
    Actually, this is a widely held misconception. The Swordsage text specifies that you must take a 1st level stance on the 1st level of Swordsage. So no Assassin's stance. There's still Island of Blades and Hunter's Sense though.
    I disagree with that interpretation. By RAW, you don't "start play" if you multiclass into it at 9th level, so you aren't forced to take a 1st level stance. By RAI, there's no reason why you should be forced to take a 1st level stance, and the phrase "start play" has been used by WotC books often enough that I'm inclined to believe they just didn't think of multiclassing when they wrote that line.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Feats: Rapidstrike and Improved Rapidstrike for your Kobold along with Multiattack. Dragon Tail if your DM agrees that being a bloody dragon is close enough to Dragonblood subtype to qualify you.

    That's 6 natural attacks for your Kobold rogue. 8 attacks if your DM buys that Rapidstrike grants an extra attack for both of your claws.

    Unarmed Swordsage dip gets Unarmed Strike (as Monk), ie. with any body part you want, so you can do your full iteratives as pelvic thrusts, then get your four natural attacks at full BAB -2, and then rapidstrikes as -7 and -12.

    Sample build: Great Wyrm Dragonwrought Desert Kobold
    Rogue1/Swashbuckler1/Rogue2/Swashbuckler4/Unarmed Swordsage1/Swashbuckler11.

    Dragonwrought, Multiattack, Dragon Tail (hey, 4 attacks at first level!), Weapon Finesse as swashbuckler bonus, Shadow Blade (I can't recall offhand if claws or bites are shadow hand weapons), Craven, Rapidstrike & Improved Rapidstrike, Craven.


    Also, it might be worth mentioning that some read the martial adepts as being forced to take 1st level stance on their first level, regardless of their actual IL.

    Oh, and great work.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    You've mixed up whether a couple of things are house rules or not.
    Dragonfire Strike – Turns all of your Sneak Attack damage into fire damage, letting you bypass all possible immunities to Sneak Attack
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfire Strike
    Benefit: When you gain extra damage from a sneak attack, sudden strike, or skirmish, you can choose for the extra damage to be fire damage.
    If an enemy is immune to sneak attack you don't get any extra damage to choose to convert to fire. Using this to "bypass all possible immunities" is definitely a house rule. The feat is triggered off actual extra damage from sneak attack, not on some theoretical sneak availability.
    Note: You can get Mobility via the Mobility armor special ability. It’s up to your DM if this works as a prereq for other feats/PrCs.
    If the DM follows the standard rules it's not up to them. Prerequisites are prerequisites; you either have them or you don't. The downside to having Mobility as an armor enhancement is pretty minimal, as it is limited to a loss of class abilities if you take off the armor for prestige classes in Complete Warrior. Here's the complete list:
    • Dervish
    • Gnome Giant-Slayer
    So avoid those PrCs where there's a rule specifying a loss of class features (with no recovery mechanism available in the rules) for failing to maintain entrance requirements, and you're good.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Quite an excellent guide, in my opinion. You clearly spent a lot of time on this, so thank you for that. And thanks for linking my poison handbook as well :)

    Some random contributions:

    Skills:

    While not a class skill, Iajutsu Focus is good enough to take cross-class ranks in if allowed. It's a Cha check to gain bonus damage on melee attacks against flat-footed foes when you draw a melee weapon.

    Rogue weapons:

    Melee: For dual-wielding, you'll want to use a rapier and short sword, or dual short swords if you intend to sink feats into weapon focus or something similar. You should also carry a morningstar, light mace, and punching dagger for foes vulnerable to piercing or bludgeoning, and a few daggers for general versatility.

    Gnomes might have the option from C. Warrior's weapon familiarity variant rule of trading in the horrible hooked hammer for the gnome quickrazor (Races of Stone 154), which is like a concealed dagger. Dwarves get the excellent dwarven axe proficiency for free. Interesting options for exotic weapon proficiency include the lasso (BoED), spiked chain and the kusari-gama from the DMG.

    Ranged: The shortbow is the best choice, with the hand crossbow as a nifty but generally less effective secondary option. A light crossbow is good only if you have a strength penalty. Interesting options for exotic weapon proficiency include the net and great crossbow (races of stone.

    Prestige classes:
    Scorpion Heritor from Sandstorm also has 8 skills/level and is quite easy for wilderness rogues to enter. It has full sneak attack advancement and gives a few bonus feats and poison-related abilities. Basically another one of the Rogue++ PrCs.

    Dread Fang of Lolth from Drow of the Underdark is a pretty uncommon ftr/rogue PrC aimed at drow and half-drow. It's a pretty strong combo of the two classes, and the capstone is always having a surprise round, quite nice for sneak attacks.

    Beast Heart Adept from Dungeonscape is another PrC that goes well with Wilderness Rogue. You gain several monstrous companions that rapidly scale with your level, gain benefits when flanking with them, and eventually whenever any of you are flanking and hit, you each get a free attack of opportunity. While it doesn't grant sneak attack, it grants lots of buddies to give you flanking and the potential for massive damage combos.

    Magic Items:

    Assassination special ability: This +1 weapon enhancement gives you auto-poison use, increases poison DCs by +1 to +5, and gives +1d6 sneak attack. Much better than the basic +1d6 SA enchantment from the MIC.

    Bracers of Murder
    (Drow of the Underdark): For 8K, these give +2 to attack/dmg against flat-footed foes, +2 to death attack save DCs, and allow you to reroll ones on sneak attack dice. All around excellent for the price.
    Handbooks: (Hosted on BG)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    I disagree with that interpretation. By RAW, you don't "start play" if you multiclass into it at 9th level, so you aren't forced to take a 1st level stance. By RAI, there's no reason why you should be forced to take a 1st level stance, and the phrase "start play" has been used by WotC books often enough that I'm inclined to believe they just didn't think of multiclassing when they wrote that line.
    There are some problems with such a literalist intepretation but I won't go into them here. The key point is that not all DMs would follow that particular intepretation, so at the very least I would suggest noting it as a rule ambiguity.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    x2 on telling blow.

    It's a nice way of getting sneak attack damage as a sort of last resort. With a keen kukri (and the target having a less than astronomical AC) you are looking at a 25% chance of a threat. Not bad odds if you have 6+ attacks per round...

    My whisperknife build has it and it kicks in just often enough for me to not forget I've got it. Though I continually forget that the weapon I'm using is shocking BURST and thus never add the extra 2d10...
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    While not a class skill, Iajutsu Focus is good enough to take cross-class ranks in if allowed. It's a Cha check to gain bonus damage on melee attacks against flat-footed foes when you draw a melee weapon.
    I disagree that cross-class ranks in Iaijutsu Focus are worth anything. I believe this is what a Factotum dip can be used for. Of course, you'd also need (two?) Gnomish Quickrazor(s?), which would mean either being a (Whisper) Gnome or blowing a feat...

    But man, the BONUS DAMAGE! Drop a Grease/Marbles, full attack, shaZAM.

    I think Person Man's Haverdasher build may or may not say something about that, but I'm not sure.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    I would generally avoid races with racial HD, since it means you won't get the 4x(8+int mod) skill points from your 1st lv of rogue, and are stuck with crappy number of skill points and a crummy skill list.

    Pixie doesn't seem like a bad choice - perma-invis means you will rarely have problems dealing SA, but it seems it like it will pay off only at higher lvs.

    In addition, I find it questionable that a rogue handbook would advocate builds that include only 1 lv of rogue. Shouldn't you be trying to make play a pure rogue as viable as possible?

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Add "Undo Resistance" (Fiendish Codex II) to the Feat section. Definitely a blue feat, particularly at high levels when everybody and their dog has SR.

    I'd change Staggering Strike to blue as well.

    Might want to add "Air Goblin" to the races. Unearthed Arcana, Dex +4, LA +0. Also, Muckdweller from Serpent Kingdoms: tiny size, LA +0, Str -6, Dex +6, Wis -2, Cha -2.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    I would generally avoid races with racial HD, since it means you won't get the 4x(8+int mod) skill points from your 1st lv of rogue, and are stuck with crappy number of skill points and a crummy skill list.
    Have you READ Marrulurk?

    +2 Str, +6 Dex, +4 Con, +6 Wis, +4 Cha
    +4 Racial Bonus on Hide and Move Silently and Listen (Racial skills:bluff, hide, listen, move silently, spot)
    Darkvision, Low Light Vision, Discriminating Hearing (like a weaker blindsense),
    +2 Natural Armor, Fire resistance 5
    2 free bonus feats, Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot
    Longbow Proficiency
    Death attack and Poison Use like an Assassin
    +2d6 Sneak Attack
    Crummy breath weapon

    For ranged rogues it is awesome beyond measure, giving 2 bonus feats like 2 levels of fighter without slowing down sneak attack AND great stat bonuses. For other rogues it is only pretty good, because of the stat bonuses and special qualities.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-06-15 at 09:11 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    I searched through and I think I got all of them. It's easy to use the wrong term when they're often so arbitrarily assigned (Balancing makes you flat-footed but being blinded loses you Dex to AC, being invisible denies Dex to AC but Sapphire Nightmare Blade inflicts flat-footedness, etc). If you see any other errors, I'd appreciate if you report them.
    You got all the erroneous "flat-footed" references. Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by PId6
    I disagree with that interpretation. By RAW, you don't "start play" if you multiclass into it at 9th level, so you aren't forced to take a 1st level stance. By RAI, there's no reason why you should be forced to take a 1st level stance, and the phrase "start play" has been used by WotC books often enough that I'm inclined to believe they just didn't think of multiclassing when they wrote that line.
    I'm not buying your argument here any more than JeminiZero did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsage
    Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline open to you. At 2nd, 5th, 9th, 14th, and 20th level, you can choose additional stances.
    The context here is Swordsage class levels, as the next line makes clear. "You begin play" means "you begin play as a Swordsage". Whether WotC thought of multiclassing or not, as a 1st level Swordsage you begin with one 1st-level stance. (My opinion: "RAI" should never be mentioned in any rules discussion where you want to be taken seriously.)

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Rogue Handbook – When the darkness hits back (for 10d6 damage)

    This is awesome. There WAS a worrying lack of Rogue Handbooks prior to this. Kudos to you sir!
    Rules that supersede Rule 0:

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    Rule -0.5 (corollary): That means that if someone's fun is getting in the way of other people's fun, that person needs to change how they're playing.

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