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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    This guide is not an extensive review of every facet of the 5E Rogue. That's already been done in two separate handbooks, here and here. This is a short guide that offers practical advice about why how to play a Rogue based on my experiences.

    Rogue Pros:

    • In my opinion, the Rogue is the most fun and versatile non-full caster class in the game.
    • Rogues deal solid damage against single targets, and can do so mostly at-will.
    • Rogues are very mobile, and are very difficult to lock-down.
    • When played intelligently, Rogues are extremely hard to kill.
    • Rogues get more Tool/Skill Proficiencies then any other classes, plus abilities that improve them. This gives you a wide variety of options of things to be good at.
    • Rogues have the best ability score dependencies. They require high Dexterity and good Constitution, and those are the most used and most valuable ability scores in the game.
    • There is virtually no resource management or book keeping. Almost all of the Rogueís abilities are at-will.


    Rogue Cons:

    • Rogues have few options for damaging multiple enemies effectively.
    • Between levels 8-16, the Rogue gets very few "big" signature abilities. You get solid, steady damage progression and other marginal benefits that are generally available to other classes, but nothing amazing.
    • Sneak Attack is limited to once per turn, and can only be used with Finesse and Ranged weapons. You can't use it with heavy weapons or cantrips/spells or natural weapons or Monk Martial Arts (without a DM hand wave). This limits the effectiveness of most multi-class combinations.
    • The Shadow Monk is better at Stealth/infiltration/mobility, a Bear Totem Barbarian is harder to kill, a Bard has many more options, and a variety of other classes are arguably better at dealing damage (depending on the parameters). The Rogue is good at several important roles, but usually isnít the best at anything.


    Things to ask your DM about before decide to play a Rogue:

    • Will you regularly be using a tabletop map/grid, or if all/most combats will occur in the theater of the mind (which is the default for 5E)? If youíll regularly be using a tabletop map/grid, then your movement speed and Dash become a lot more important.
    • How will Stealth will be handled? There are a variety of issues and ways to handle Stealth (like the Lightfoot Halfling ability) which can have a major impact on the game. If your DM strictly limits Stealth and/or other Skills, then donít bother playing a Rogue.
    • Will you be paying attention to illumination? If so, then I strongly recommend that you start the game with Darkvision, which will typically come from your racial choice or multi-classing. If you carry a torch or other light source youíre giving away your position when you attempt to hide in the dark.
    • How will Poison be handled? Poison can be a very useful for any character that depends on weapon damage. Some poisons deal strait damage which have the Poison type (just like Piercing or Fire are damage types), and some poisons impose the Poisoned status condition (Disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks) or some other status condition. You can apply poison to one weapon or three pieces of ammunition, and it remains useful for 1 minute. Some DMs rule that it remains useful throughout the entire minute, and others rule that it is ďwiped offĒ after a successful hit. In addition, some DMs rule that the damage caused by some poisons is multiplied on a critical hit, while others rule that because itís a secondary effect triggered by a failed Saving Throw it is not multiplied on a critical hit (which is also what the designers have said). If your DM is liberal about poison, it can be very useful for a Thief Rogue (who can apply it as a Bonus Action using their Fast Hands ability) or Assassin Rogue (who get Poison Kit Proficiency and can auto-critical). If your DM limits the usefulness of poison, then its probably not worth spending money on it.



    General Tactics
    • Start the game with your Dexterity high as possible. The vast majority of your rolls will be modified by Dexterity (to-hit, Initiative, the most common Saving Throw, Stealth, Acrobatics, and occasionally other stuff), and enemies will be targeting your Armor Class (AC) regularly. No other ability score, racial ability, class ability, Feat, etc. is as important to determining your success.
    • You should generally be using Stealth to hide whenever itís feasible to do so. When exploring, set up a rally point with your allies, and scout ahead using stealth until you find enemies (carefully checking for traps and hidden stuff as you go). Then you can either report back to your allies ad come up with a plan while your enemies remain unaware, or ambush them and use ďkitingĒ or other tactics to lead them back to your rally point, where your allies have set up a second ambush point.
    • ďKitingĒ is the tactic of keeping enemies at a certain distance, usually out of melee distance but within ranged attack, and luring the pursuer toward your direction while dealing damage at the same time. (Like flying a kite). Rogues excel at this tactic, since their Cunning Action ability lets them Dash as a Bonus Action. This allows them to use their Action to attack or whatever while still moving at twice their speed. If you can outrun enemies and get out of sight and Hide again if necessary, or Disengage if you accidentally get caught adjacent to an enemy. Its best used against enemies with no ranged attacks (like most beasts and monstrosities), but should not be used against enemies with spells, ranged attacks, superior speed, etc. Also, donít use this tactic too often, because it feels very video gamey and tends to piss off DMs, who can easily prevent you from using it effectively by mixing up the enemies or environment.
    • Especially at low levels, take the time to read through the equipment section of the Playerís Handbook, and when reasonably possible make use caltrops, ball bearings, hunting traps, and any traps you find that can be re-purposed. You can just drop things behind you as you explore and then lead enemies back over them when kiting them back to your rally point, and then re-collect them when youíre done. Its particularly awesome if you can bypass or avoid a trap without disarming it, and then force an enemy to run over it.
    • Be sure to coordinate with allies on tactics. In particular, its important to recognize that Sneak Attack can be used once per turn, not once per round. So if you can get an Opportunity Attack against an enemy that qualifies for Sneak Attack, you basically double your damage output. There are a variety of spells that force an enemy to use their movement, Action, or Reaction to move away from you, like Command or Dissonant Whispers. And there are a large number of ways for an ally to help you get Advantage on your attacks against an enemy. Iíve found that the easiest method is to have an ally use the Shove maneuver to knock an enemy prone.
    • Outside of combat, when possible you or allies should be using the Help Action whenever possible to gain Advantage on any Skill checks that come up. In particular, a Rogue really benefits from partying with a Shadow Monk, Druid, or Ranger with high Perception (Wisdom based) and Stealth (Pass Without Trace spell) so that you can scout ahead to find traps and enemies together while remaining hidden.
    • Hereís handy list every Rogue should look at:

    Spoiler: Ways to Gain Advantage
    Show

    • Attack a target while you are hidden.
    • Attack a prone target within 5 feet.
    • Have an ally use a Help action against your target within 5 feet. (Typically a Familiar, Conjured creature, or trained animal. Your allies probably wonít want to spend their Action to do this in combat).
    • Expend Inspiration on your attack.
    • Attack a creature that is squeezing through a smaller space (PHB pg 192)
    • Attack while you are invisible or otherwise unseen (not required to be hidden).
    • Attack a target affected by Faerie Fire.
    • Attack while affected by Forsight (9th level spell).
    • Attack a target affected by Guiding Bolt (1st level).
    • Attack a target affected by Otto's Irrisistable Dance (6th level).
    • Attack a target that is Paralyzed.
    • Attack a target that is Petrified.
    • Attack a target that is Restrained. This includes targets hit with a net or the Web spell.
    • Attack a target that is Stunned.
    • Attack a target that is Blinded.
    • Attack a target that is unconscious.
    • Attack a target after casting True Strike.
    • Attack a target a Battle Master Fighter hit with the Distracting Strike maneuver.
    • Attack the target after using Feinting Attack on it (if you yourself have at least 3 Battlemaster Fighter or the Martial Adept Feat).
    • Attack in full darkness while you have Darkvision and your target does not.
    • Attack first during a surprise round if you have the Assassin subclass.
    • Attack while your Mage Hand distracts the Target using Versitle Trickster (13th level Arcane Trickster).
    • Attack with Reckless Attack if you have 2 levels of Barbarian.


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Guide to Building a Rogue

    Race: It matters a lot whether you are starting your game at 1st level or 4th level or higher. As described above, you want to start the game with Dexterity as close to 20 as possible and Darkvision (assuming your DM pays attention to illumination). So if youíre starting at 1st level, your optimal racial choice is probably Elf, with Wood Elf being my preferred choice thanks to its higher movement rate and Mask of the Wild ability. If youíre starting at 4th level or higher, a good argument could be made for a variety of other races, depending on your exact build. Halfling or variant (Feat) Human would generally be my suggested options.

    Skill Proficiencies: You start with Thievesí Tools, four Skills from being a Rogue, two Skills from your Background, probably another tool or two from your Background, and maybe one or two more from your race. The Skills Iíve most commonly used are Stealth, Perception, Investigation, Insight, Acrobatics, and Sleight of Hand, generally in that order. On everything else, coordinate with your party. Other then Stealth and Perception, thereís not much of a benefit to having multiple players with overlapping Skills that are not used in combat. For this reason, Rogues tend to shine more when theyíre in small parties (because they have a lot of Skills) and tend to be redundant in larger parties (because all of the Skills are already covered by someone else).


    Class Abilities

    I rate things compared to other options offered by other races/classes/feats/etc, not how it compares to other Rogue abilities. For example, Sneak Attack is really useful, seems like a ton of damage, and its comparatively more useful then most other Rogue abilities. But once you crunch the numbers, you'll realize that your at-will damage output is basically on par with the at-will damage output of most other classes, and it has some significant limitations.

    Red = Worse then similar options.
    Purple = Potentially very useful, but only for specific builds or niche situations.
    Black = Generally on par with similar options.
    Blue = Awesome compared to similar options.
    Expertise: Doubles the bonus from a number of Proficiencies. I suggest Stealth and Perception for every Rogue. Take Investigation and Thievesí Tools if you want to be the trap finder/disarmer for your party. Take Acrobatics if youíre worried about combat maneuvers (Grapple, Shove). Take Sleight of Hand if youíre going to be an Arcane Trickster. Bonuses in 5E are rare, and this is very useful one.

    Sneak Attack: Bonus damage that is triggered if you have Advantage, or if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isnít incapacitated, and you donít have Disadvantage on the attack roll. Note that you donít have to be standing anywhere near your target. They just need to be near an enemy (probably one of your allies) and you canít have Disadvantage on the attack. You do not need to ďflankĒ a target like you did in previous editions, and Iíve decided to stop using that word when discussing Rogues so as to avoid confusion. Note that Sneak Attack can only be used once per turn (not per round). This means you can trigger it once during your turn on your first successful attack, and once during another creatureís turn with your Reaction (usually with a successful Opportunity Attack). When you score a critical hit, you roll all of the attackís damage dice twice and add them together. This includes the bonus damage dice from Sneak Attack, and so Rogues tend to deal massive critical hit damage. Its also noteworthy that Sneak Attack is limited to finesse or ranged weapon, which prevents many multi-class combinations from being worthwhile (see below).

    Thievesí Cant: Fluff.

    Cunning Action: You can Hide, Disengage, or Dash as a Bonus Action. Although it may not seem like it on the surface, this is arguably the Rogueís most powerful class ability, and you will be using it constantly. The Rogues most potent defense is avoiding attacks by moving out of range or hiding. A Rogue that wants to stay alive generally uses this ability as often as possible to try and to stay away from counter attacks.

    Uncanny Dodge: You can use your Reaction to halve the damage of an attack against you. Stacks with Resistance if you can get it from another source (like Rage, or an allyís spell). A very potent defense, though using it prevents you from using your Reaction for an Opportunity Attack or something else.

    Evasion: Basically Improved Evasion from 3.5. Noteworthy that this does not require any kind of Action/Reaction/Bonus Action to use and doesnít have a duration or limited use, unlike most other similar abilities.

    Reliable Talent: Prevents poor rolls on Skills you are Proficient with. While handy, this ability is unlikely to make a difference on the outcomes of important Skill checks. By the time you get this ability, your Proficiency/Expertise bonus is going to be relatively high for the Skills you use the most, youíll probably have a Luck Feat or racial ability, your allies will probably have ways of improving Skill checks, and outside of combat your party will be using the Help Action to gain Advantage on many checks. Having said that, it does make the Skills that you have Proficiency with but not Expertise with much more reliable, making it a solid option for a Rogue thatís playing a solo game or part of a small party.

    Blindsense: By the time you get this ability, the spellcasters in your party will have access to superior options, the range is too limited to prevent ambushes, and most combats wonít involve hidden or invisible enemies.

    Slippery Mind: Although it is very important to have a decent mental defense at high levels, youíve got plenty of Feats by the time you get this, and this ability is worse than the Resilient Feat.

    Elusive: Attack rolls never have Advantage against you. Nifty, because at high levels enemies are going to have high to-hit rolls and frequent Advantage. But this ability is not nearly as powerful as the Foresight spell (which imposes strait out Disadvantage on enemy attack rolls while also granting you Advantage on most rolls for 8 hours without the need for Concentration) or many other high level options available to other classes.

    Stroke of Luck: Once per Short or Long Rest you basically auto-succeed on one roll of your choice. Again, this is a nifty a ability, but itís just not particularly amazing due to its very limited use, and its not nearly as useful as other capstone abilities.


    Sub-class Abilities

    Arcane Trickster: Do not play an Arcane Trickster if you want Skills + spells. If thatís the type of thing you want to focus on, youíll be much better off playing as a Bard, which also gets Expertise, other ways to buff Skills, much better spell selection, much better spell progression, and his spells are Cha (not Int) dependent, allowing the Bard to be more effective at social/trickster interactions. Play an Arcane Trickster if youíre playing an urban campaign and want to use Mage Hand Legerdemain frequently.
    Spellcasting: Intelligence based one-third spellcasting progression, maxing out at 4th level spells, with a very limited number of spells known from the Wizard spell list, limited mostly to Enchantment and Illusion spells. This can give you some interesting options. But as noted above, your spell selection and progression is terrible compared to other classes, so your spells are really just a side benefit of the subclass, not the reason to play it. Its also worth mentioning that a Rogue is unlikely to have a high enough Intelligence to make the Saving Throws from your spells meaningful. But if you roll for ability scores and get lucky, its worth considering, and you should also take Expertise in Investigate (which is also Int based) for trapfinding. You can check out this link for a handy compilation of spell lists.

    Mage Hand Legerdemain: Invisible Mage Hand with extra functions, allowing you to pick pockets or to use Thievesí Tools at a range. This is potentially a very flexible and interesting ability, allowing you to plant contact poison on your enemyís weapon pommel before combat, steal an important item, trigger or disarm a trap without having to stand nearby, etc. But you should note that Mage Hand is still an Action to cast and has a Verbal and Somatic component, potentially revealing your position if you're hiding and attempt to cast it if your DM pays attention to such things. Be sure to talk to your DM about how theyíre going to handle this issue before you choose to play an Arcane Trickster, and if theyíre going to be restrictive, Iíd choose a different subclass.

    Magical Ambush: Makes your spells that require a Saving Throw more likely to succeed. In theory this is a great ability, but the effects youíre imposing on your enemy will generally be weaker then the options your allies are casting out their higher level spell slots. And your very limited number of spells per day means that youíll rarely have the chance to actually use this ability, and its also less likely that youíll have the Intelligence needed to make your Save DC high. The important exception to this is if your DM allows you to get a magic wand/staff/etc that lets you cast something potent more regularly, in which case this ability can be very powerful.

    Versatile Trickster: In theory this ability gives your Advantage on attack rolls against one creature near your Mage Hand as a Bonus Action. In practice, there are a bunch of issues that make its use difficult, since you need to cast Mage Hand (an Action), move it near your enemy (a separate Bonus Action), Mage Hand has a limited range, casting Mage Hand could reveal your position if youíre trying to remain hidden, etc. If your DM is willing to ignore these things or you can figure out a work around, then it could be a wildly useful ability for an archery focused Rogue.

    Spell Thief: Once per Long Rest you can prevent and later recast a spell. The various limitations on this ability make it quite weak for a high level class ability.


    Assassin: This is probably the most popular Rogue subclass, due to the effectiveness of the 3rd level Assassinate ability. But the mid-level abilities are basically just roleplaying benefits, so you may wish to consider other options if youíre not going to multi-class.
    Bonus Tool Proficiencies: Poisoner's and Disguise Kit. The crafting rules suck. And if you want to use disguise and social skills to infiltrate regularly (as opposed using Stealth) youíd be better off as a Charisma based Bard.

    Assassinate: Advantage against creatures who havenít acted (ie, if you win Initiative) and auto-critical hits against surprised enemies. One of the few ways to dramatically increase your damage output in 5E (with the other options being Action Surge, Metamagic, and Smite+Smite Spell).

    Infiltration Expertise: You can establish alter egos. Its very situational, and to me it seems like something any class should be able to do through roleplaying.

    Imposter: You can study someone for 3 hours to mimic them. Any benefits you might get from this could usually just be handled by using a disguise and the Deception Skill.

    Death Strike: A Surprised enemy must make a Save or your damage is doubled. The only problem with this ability is that by the time you get it, most boss enemies will usually have Legendary abilities that allow them to ignore a failed Save, and you probably wonít need the extra damage (which already benefits from Assassinate) to kill a non-Legendary enemy.


    Thief: This subclass has the most best capstone ability, but is otherwise arguably the least powerful subclass. But it is worth considering for certain builds.
    Fast Hands: You can use Sleight of Hand, Thieves' Tools, and Use an Object as Bonus Actions. The Dungeon Masterís Guide specifically states that Use an Object does not cover the use of magic items. But it does cover the use of potions, caltrops, applying poison, hunterís trap, oil, holy water, ball bearings, healerís kit, etc. If the DM gives you enough treasure that you can stock up on these things and use them often, Fast Hands goes a long way to giving you Batmanís utility belt. You can also take the Healer Feat to revive or heal fallen allies as a Bonus Action, which is a huge deal. The problem with Fast Hands is that, with the notable exceptions of potions and poisons, most non-magical equipment doesnít scale at all, access to potions relies on DM fiat, and high level poisons are very expensive. So this is a great low level ability that will probably become a lot less useful at high levels unless your DM is running a Monty Haul campaign.

    Second Story Work: You can climb and jump more easily. Meh.

    Supreme Sneak: Advantage on Stealth when you move slowly. By the time you get this ability it probably wonít be important to the success of your Stealth checks, and there are a variety of low level spells which provide similar or superior benefits.

    Use Magic Device: In most cases if you get a magic item you canít use, it will just go to an ally that is capable of using it. Oh, and magic items themselves are an entirely optional part of the game. And even if you are using magic items, you're gettin just 1-3ish of them throughout your entire career. So overall, this class ability will probably be useless.

    Thief's Reflexes: You can take two turns during the first round of any combat. Thatís two Actions, two Bonus Actions, and two movements. One of the best high level abilities in the game.


    Feats

    Rogues absolutely need 20 Dex and want high Con. But once thatís accomplished, they generally donít gain very much by investing in other ability scores, and should pick Feats if your DM allows them. If your DM doesnít allow them, I recommend 20 Con and 20 Wis.

    When considering your Feat choices, remember that a Rogueís Bonus Action and Reaction will often be spoken for by their class abilities, so donít load up on Feats that also use them.
    Alert: Large Initiative bonus, you canít be surprised, and other hidden enemies (which your DM WILL be using against you, since you constantly use this tactic, and DMs love irony) don't have Advantage against you. Acting before your enemies is extremely important, particularly if you are an Assassin.

    Crossbow Expert: This Feat allows you to make a ranged attack as a Bonus Action, which is the best way to optimize your ranged damage if youíre using the Sharpshooter Feat. The RAW technically allows you to use a single hand crossbow to make all of your attacks, freeing up your other hand to use a melee weapon (to make Opportunity Attacks), use objects/items, cast spells, and/or use a shield (if you get Proficiency from multi-classing).

    Healer: As mentioned above, this can be combined with the Thiefís Fast Hands ability to revive or heal as a Bonus Action. Worth considering if you donít have a dedicated healer in the party, or if your DM just fond of brutal combats.

    Lucky: Re-roll pretty much anything three times per Long Rest. If youíre smart enough to save it for when you really need it (particularly a failed Save that might knock you out or control you), this is probably one of the best Feats in the game.

    Mage Slayer: Spellcasters are generally common and powerful starting at mid levels.

    Magic Initiate: Get two cantrips and one 1st level spell from one spellcasting class. Potentially useful selections include Minor Illusion, Guidance, and Find Familiar.

    Mobile: Increases your speed, improves Dash, and allows you to avoid an Opportunity Attack from a creature you attack. This overlaps somewhat with Cunning Action. But if your DM frequently uses a tabletop map/grid for combat and you are constantly swarmed by enemies, movement speed and positioning can become a lot more important, and this Feat can free up your Bonus Action for other purposes.

    Mounted Combat: If youíre playing in a party with a Moon Druid thatís willing to be your mount, consider taking this Feat. Youíll get Advantage on attacks against many enemies and will grant Evasion to your Druid/mount. The down side is that, since it takes half your movement to mount or dismount, you will rarely use Cunning Action, one of your most powerful abilities. So this is generally a good option for a Thief Rogue or mid-level Arcane Trickster, who have other useful options for their Bonus Action.

    Observant: Increases your Int or Wis, provides a large bonus to your Passive Investigation and Perception, and you can read lips.

    Ritual Caster: You learn the Rituals of one class. If you donít have a Wizard in the party but your DM is nice enough to let you find Wizard spells as treasure, this is worth taking for access to a very wide variety of useful options. Check out the Ritual Guide.

    Sentinel: If youíre going to focus on melee and stick near the front line of combat, then this Feat is probably one of the best ways to get extra attacks as a Reaction. On the flip side, most Rogues will be ping-ponging in and out of the front line and being hidden using Cunning Action, rather then putting themselves at risk on the front line and trying to lock-down an enemyís movement. So donít take this Feat unless youíre sure that it will regularly be used.

    Sharpshooter: Makes your ranged attacks much more effective in several ways. Crossbow Expert + Sharpshooter is generally the optimal way to maximize your damage as a Rogue.

    Skulker: The usefulness of this Feat depends mostly on how closely your DM pays attention to the different types of illumination and obscured. If your DM pays close attention to these things, then this is a solid third choice Feat for a ranged Rogue behind Crossbow Expert and Shartpshooter, though probably not as universally useful as Lucky or Alert. If not, I'd skip it. It also somewhat overlaps with the Wild Elf Masks of the Wild ability and the Halfling ability to hide behind allies.


    Multiclassing

    Whether or not you want to multiclass depends very heavily on what class level your game is likely to start and end at. Rogue 1 through 7 is filled with awesome class abilities. Beyond that though, I would strongly consider multiclassing unless you know the game is going to go to level 17 or higher. Just be mindful of your Feats, which are often just as important as class abilities.

    Also, be aware that every class has a minimum ability score requirement to multi-class into it, which makes some choices problematic unless you rolled to determine ability scores and got lucky.
    Barbarian 1: If you happen to have 13 Str (required for multi-class into Barbarian), 20 Dex, and Con 20, its very tempting to take 1 level of this class if you want to increase your AC to 22 via Unarmored Defense + Shield Proficiency, plus the occasional Rage for the Resistances when you need it. I would not suggest taking additional levels or attempting to be a Strength focused Rogue, since it will typically deal less damage then a Rogue using Sharpshooter.

    Druid 2+: Natural Attacks that are modified by Dexterity do not explicitly count as Finesse weapons, and thus do not count for Sneak Attack. So RAW, this combination is terrible. But if your DM is willing to give you a house rule that allows you to Sneak Attack while in Wildshape, this combination is wildly awesome. Even if you only take two levels of Druid, the utility of being able to Wildshape into a rat or other inconspicuous animal dramatically improves your infiltration and scouting abilities. Even if you fail your Stealth check, your enemies just see a rat. If you Wildshape into something with Pack Tactics, you basically get Advantage every round if an ally rides you as a Mount. If you take the Sentinel Feat and one of your allies has the Mounted Combat. Plus the Druid's spell list complements the Rogue's abilities in a variety of ways.

    Fighter 1-11: Shield Proficiency, Fighting Style, Action Surge, a variety of potentially useful subclass abilities, Extra Attack, and a second Extra Attack. Various Rogue/Fighter combinations work great and (unlike many other multi-class builds) do not miss out on any Feats, which can be crucial at mid-levels.

    Monk: RAW unarmed strike is not a finesse weapon. If your DM is willing to give you a house rule, it might be worth considering. But Monk desperately wants more Ki points to be useful, it potentially introduces MAD into your build, and the Monkís class abilities are generally duplicative with the Rogues.

    Ranger 1-5: An extra Skill Proficiency, Shield Proficiency, Fighting Style, Hoardbreaker (extra attack if within 5 feet) or Colossus Slayer (extra damage against wounded) from the Hunter subclass, Extra Attack, and a few handy spells (like Hunterís Mark and Pass Without Trace).

    Paladin: Iíve tried the math on combining Smite and Sneak Attack a bunch of different ways. But once you consider the effect of various Feat combinations, it doesnít seem to be worth it, because Paladin just doesnít get many spell slots (and thus can't Smite very often when multiclassing with Rogue), Smite is limited to melee, and Sneak Attack is limited to finesse or ranged.

    Any Other Full Caster or Warlock: Sneak Attack does not apply to cantrips. But if your DM is willing to give you a house rule that Sneak Attack does apply to cantrips for any Rogue or an Arcane Trickster, then many potential combinations become viable.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Sweet! Our first Person_Man guide for 5e.

    Noted: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...0&postcount=57

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    I really think they struck gold with the Rogue and how it can wrform additional cool things with a BA. I think the Fighter needs to be remodeled after the rogue as does a few other classes. The rogue was one of my inspirations for my Fighter Martial Archetype: Combatant.

    You should also mention under races, especially if you will muliclass, how good Strength based rogues are. Especially low level rogues. A Mountain Dwarf rogue is a spitfire death machine that has AC an Con boost. Since you can use Str with finesse weapons you can still use thrown daggers with str to get sneak attack.

    You can do this with other races but that +2 Con/+2 Str really goes a long way to allowing you to have better ability score all around.

    Level 4: str (16), Dex (14), con (16), int (9), Wis (14), cha (8)

    With medium armor AC 15 is good for low levels.

    With this you could go Multiclassing into any class that doesn't need Int (wizard) or Cha (bard, paladin, warlock, and sorcerer). And still be effective.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Nice guide. I like how you didn't go overboard with blue things, keeping everything low key so the good abilities really stand out. I have not played a Rogue yet and it's nice to see how they can be used effectively. I don't think I would have known using magic items is not considered an action Thief's can take as a bonus action if I hand't read this.

    Thanks Person_Man

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by DireSickFish View Post
    Nice guide. I like how you didn't go overboard with blue things, keeping everything low key so the good abilities really stand out. I have not played a Rogue yet and it's nice to see how they can be used effectively. I don't think I would have known using magic items is not considered an action Thief's can take as a bonus action if I hand't read this.

    Thanks Person_Man

    There was a tweet at some point that said they were going to get rid of magic items being used as BA. I'll try to find it but as of right now...

    Oh and don't forget to take the healer feat on a thief rogue. By tweet response that is perfectly legal to heal with a BA!


    Edit: Thought I saw a period in your post. Makes for a different read... Haha.
    Last edited by CrusaderJoe; 2015-01-30 at 01:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    I'm currently playing an Assassin, and have a note about infiltration expertise. My character frequently (more than once per session) uses disguises, and at earlier levels this means I have to make a disguise check every time. Infiltration expertise (while definitely not a great ability) basically gives you the option of spending 25 gold and 7 days of down time in exchange for not having to make those rolls any more. Worth it? IMHO only if it's a disguise you plan on using regularly and/or could have big consequences if you fail.
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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Suggestions:

    1) Under Arcane Trackster -> Spellcasting:

    I would mention that one of your two schools (Enchantment) is also very save-heavy, and you're unlikely to bother with a high Int to make them land reliably. I would also note that if you're want to really commit to a high Int, then you should also probably prioritize the Int-based skills (Search and Investigation) to serve that role since you're likely to be best at it at that point.

    2) Formatting

    You list the archetypes and the abilities the archetypes give you with the same size font, which prevents them from standing out as section headers. I would make the archetype name a proper header on it's own line, with the commentary about the archetype as it's own paragraph below it before the ability lists start.

    3) Secondary Abilities

    Would be cool to have a section talking about the secondary abilities that can complement the Rogue and serve as a minor focus -- Int, Wis, and Cha. Pros and cons of emphasizing each alongside Dex. Especially how a Cha-focused Rogue compares to a Bard, and if it ever makes sense to play one.

    4) Fighter/Rogue Feats

    I would specifically mention that Fighter 8/Rogue 12 yields the same number of feats as Fighter 20 (7).

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    Looking good! Thank you!
    If I may venture an opinion or two: One particular reason to multiclass three levels of druid would be to get access to Pass without Trace. That's +10 to stealth checks, which either can be good for you directly, or can mean that you won't have to split the party to get surprise.
    I'm also a little surprised by your comments about Death Strike. Without it, you'll deal something like 80-90 average damage with autocrit from Assassinate (sans poison). You don't need legendary opponents to get mileage out of doubling that at level 17. Plenty of critters with single-digit CR have over 90 hp.
    I really liked how you stress what you need to bring up with the DM before playing. It's a major thing in this edition, and it's easy to assume and be disappointed.

    Edit: Re. Reckless Attack in the list of ways to get advantage, it's worth noting that it only works for strength-melee.
    Last edited by hymer; 2015-01-30 at 01:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderJoe View Post
    You should also mention under races, especially if you will muliclass, how good Strength based rogues are.
    Can you elaborate on this perspective?

    My current assumption is that Strength based Rogues are far less efficient then Dex based Rogues. My reasons:
    • High Str & Dex overlap for determining to-hit.
    • High Dex and medium or heavy armor proficiency overlap for determining AC.
    • Stealth, Initiative, and Dex Saves are very important and commonly rolled, and are determined by Dex.
    • Strength Saves and checks are very rare unless you're using Shove a lot, which the Rogue typically doesn't do.
    • You can't use heavy weapons with Sneak Attack, so your primary source of bonus damage beyond Sneak Attack is Sharpshooter + Crossbow Expert, and ranged weapons use Dex.


    So you might end up with a slightly better AC/hit points at low levels as a Strength based Dwarf Rogue wearing medium armor, instead of a Wood Elf Rogue wearing light armor. But beyond 1st level, you will want to use your ability score increases to get your to-hit modifying ability score up to 20 ASAP. If you invest in Dex then your investment in Strength becomes worthless. Whereas if you invest in Str, you miss out on bonuses to Stealth, Initiative, and Dex Save bonuses, without any additional benefit to offset that loss.

    Am I missing something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    I would not suggest Rogue/Warlock or Rogue/Full Caster, since Sneak Attack does not apply to cantrips.
    <snip>
    I would not suggest Rogue/Monk, since by RAW unarmed strike is not a finesse weapon, Monk desperately wants more Ki points to be useful, and the Monkís class abilities are generally duplicative with the Rogues. Pick one or the other, or better yet, just party with a Shadow Monk.
    I'd have to disagree with both of these.
    Being that this is a rogue guide, we're talking about primarily having rogue levels.

    13 rogue with 7 caster (on an arcane trickster) gives 3rd & 4th level spells known/prepared from two different lists, with 6th level slots, and a couple of useful caster subclass abilities.
    All he loses is 3d6 sneak attack and some of the less desirable rogue/subclass abilities. That's a small price to pay for a huge amount of versatility. And if you stick to mostly illusions and 'other schools' utility spells, you can even practically dump Int and use Cha or Wis for the other casting stat (meaning any caster works).

    For rogue/monk, yes there is a little overlap, but there is also a ton of synergy (particularly if you get the DM handwave that you mentioned regarding using Dex for weapons that don't specifically have the "finesse" tag).
    Last edited by calebrus; 2015-01-30 at 01:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Also, I think Shadow Monk 6 / Assassin Rogue 14 is particularly potent. I wouldn't do any other combinations of Monk and Rogue, though.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Can you elaborate on this perspective?

    My current assumption is that Strength based Rogues are far less efficient then Dex based Rogues. My reasons:
    • High Str & Dex overlap for determining to-hit.
    • High Dex and medium or heavy armor proficiency overlap for determining AC.
    • Stealth, Initiative, and Dex Saves are very important and commonly rolled, and are determined by Dex.
    • Strength Saves and checks are very rare unless you're using Shove a lot, which the Rogue typically doesn't do.
    • You can't use heavy weapons with Sneak Attack, so your primary source of bonus damage beyond Sneak Attack is Sharpshooter + Crossbow Expert, and ranged weapons use Dex.


    So you might end up with a slightly better AC/hit points at low levels as a Strength based Dwarf Rogue wearing medium armor, instead of a Wood Elf Rogue wearing light armor. But beyond 1st level, you will want to use your ability score increases to get your to-hit modifying ability score up to 20 ASAP. If you invest in Dex then your investment in Strength becomes worthless. Whereas if you invest in Str, you miss out on bonuses to Stealth, Initiative, and Dex Save bonuses, without any additional benefit to offset that loss.

    Am I missing something?
    Not that I can see, Dex is far more important and I would fidget with the stats to have a 12 in strength at most (more so for thief archetype so you can long jump 12+dex mod). I would much prefer having higher charisma, 8 (-1) seems insane to me, I mean half the fun of being a rogue is chatting crap and getting away with it and getting better bargains in shops buying/selling. My flamboyant pirate rogue literally wouldn't be alive right now without charisma.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Can you elaborate on this perspective?

    My current assumption is that Strength based Rogues are far less efficient then Dex based Rogues. My reasons:
    • High Str & Dex overlap for determining to-hit.
    • High Dex and medium or heavy armor proficiency overlap for determining AC.
    • Stealth, Initiative, and Dex Saves are very important and commonly rolled, and are determined by Dex.
    • Strength Saves and checks are very rare unless you're using Shove a lot, which the Rogue typically doesn't do.
    • You can't use heavy weapons with Sneak Attack, so your primary source of bonus damage beyond Sneak Attack is Sharpshooter + Crossbow Expert, and ranged weapons use Dex.


    So you might end up with a slightly better AC/hit points at low levels as a Strength based Dwarf Rogue wearing medium armor, instead of a Wood Elf Rogue wearing light armor. But beyond 1st level, you will want to use your ability score increases to get your to-hit modifying ability score up to 20 ASAP. If you invest in Dex then your investment in Strength becomes worthless. Whereas if you invest in Str, you miss out on bonuses to Stealth, Initiative, and Dex Save bonuses, without any additional benefit to offset that loss.

    Am I missing something?
    You are over valuing the need for high Scores. They are very nice but in no way mandatory like previous editions. I've seen players with 14 attack scores do well enough. Especially if you are gaining advantage somehow(hidden, help action, familiar w/help action, or whatever).

    Not many of the Rogue's class abilities need a high Dex to work better (unlike slow fall and catch arrow), outside of the archetype features and skills. But we have proficiency in Dex saves and Expertise to help cover that.

    The Rogue's abilities actually allow for a lower Dex. The biggest show of this is Evasion. With the drawf you can easily have a +2 Dex mod and you will have +Prof to Dex saves. At 7th level, you failing a Dex save is the same as someone else passing it. It replaces the need for Dex, especially when you will have more HP than the average rogue.

    Initiative is good and all but if you are having issues you can take the feat "Alert" and problem solved. Or you can take Expertise in perception and with a +2 (easy to get) you will see most problems before they become problems.

    Uncanny Dodge is a nice way to suppliment a lower AC. Which really anything around 15 isn't a low AC at starting to mid levels. But it doesn't rely on Dex.

    Basically you get quite a few safety nets in order to allow you to not focus on Dex. As a friend once said "I'm not that kind of rogue" applies here quite well.

    But the Strength based Rogue is mostly for when you Multiclassing into a strength based class. Though they work well enough when you don:'t.

    The barbarian gains advantage on every attack but also bonuses to damage for rage (must be strength attack). You can totally rage sneak attack in this edition like you could in previous editions. Barbarian gives you danger sense at level 2 which means that Proficiency, +2 Dex Mod, Advantage, and Evasion are all combined... Do you need to worry about Dex saves even with a lower Dex? Not really. If you take Barbarian to 7 you gain advantage on initiative and a way to stop from being surprised without a feat, these together are better than a huge Dex modifier.

    Fighter (may need to take this class first due to how proficiencies work): Go into heavy armor. You will be a skillful fighter who can sneak attack. You will also get more chances to land said sneak attack. Strength based let's you have that big ol' AC everyone loves. Then there are the martial archetypes that can help you out.

    Paladin: Smite + Sneak Attack. It is easier to make a strength based rogue work than a Dex based paladin work when going sword n board style with heavy armor. Paladin of vengeance and rogue would mesh well together.
    Last edited by CrusaderJoe; 2015-01-30 at 02:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderJoe View Post
    You are over valuing the need for high Scores.
    Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    When I play a Rogue, I probably roll something modified by Dexterity or have my AC/Saves rolled against 20-80 times in a single game session. The difference between 20 (+5) and 16 (+3) is realistically makes a difference in maybe 10%ish of those rolls, allowing me to succeed or not be damaged 2-8ish more times per game session.

    Now, if your gaming group spends most of its time roleplaying or exploring and thus makes fewer rolls related to To-Hit and/or Dexterity, then yeah, you can get by fine with 16 Str or Dex. But if that's the case, you an probably just ignore optimization all together. (And I'm very glad 5E supports that play style).

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    as is the case with almost any class, a 2-3 level warlock dip can be an excellent investment. 120-foot darkvision that also works in magical darkness is a *very* nice ability for a rogue to have (plus you get another invocation of your choice... like free proficiency in some social skills, for example, or access to all level 1-2 rituals if you take level 3 and tome pact). hex means you can (partially?) replace your lost sneak attack damage and give people disadvantage on perception tests to spot you when hiding. you can use your other slot for mage armor, which is superior to any non-magical light armour. plus you get a few cantrips, if you take a third level you get access to level 2 warlock spells and can choose a pact (blade pact is particularly nice in any game that you expect to go to later levels but don't expect to find many magical weapons. heck, it's useful even with magic weapons; you can 100% guaranteed hide your weapon from searches and pull it out in an instant). obviously, there's a charisma investment required, but it's not like rogues *suffer* from having good charisma. depending on patron and/or pact, various useful abilities can be acquired.

    warlock is basically the class that you can add to *almost* anything in small quantities, and get a good result. I would definitely not group it with the rest of the full casters in terms of benefits granted via multiclass.

    also, could've swore there was a developer tweet somewhere that allowed monks to use their martial arts weapons with sneak attack.

    finally, I would add that TWF rogue is at least as appealing as the ranged rogue, if only for superior opportunity to get opportunity attacks due to being on the front lines (though that's situational still; uncanny dodge means that you already have a good use for your reaction, opportunity attacks are just sometimes a *better* option :P and admittedly, you *can* use crossbow expert in melee range, though you'll need a weapon you can threaten opportunity attacks with as well)

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by odigity View Post
    Also, I think Shadow Monk 6 / Assassin Rogue 14 is particularly potent. I wouldn't do any other combinations of Monk and Rogue, though.
    I disagree - I wouldn't take Assassin any further than 3 unless I really wanted that Death Strike ability. On the other hand, assassinating with martial arts dice is pretty sweet, and the Shadow capstone has great synergy with sneak attacks. I'd go for Assassin 3 / Shadow Monk 17. The only thing that I would sorely miss is the neat blindsense ability, which can probably be made up for with a magic item.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totema View Post
    I disagree - I wouldn't take Assassin any further than 3 unless I really wanted that Death Strike ability. On the other hand, assassinating with martial arts dice is pretty sweet, and the Shadow capstone has great synergy with sneak attacks. I'd go for Assassin 3 / Shadow Monk 17. The only thing that I would sorely miss is the neat blindsense ability, which can probably be made up for with a magic item.
    I can see that, if you'd rather emphasis the Monk over the SA. (I love Monks, so makes sense to me.) Definitely would never do both Monk 7 and Rogue 7 at the same time, because redundant Evasion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    When I play a Rogue, I probably roll something modified by Dexterity or have my AC/Saves rolled against 20-80 times in a single game session. The difference between 20 (+5) and 16 (+3) is realistically makes a difference in maybe 10%ish of those rolls, allowing me to succeed or not be damaged 2-8ish more times per game session.

    Now, if your gaming group spends most of its time roleplaying or exploring and thus makes fewer rolls related to To-Hit and/or Dexterity, then yeah, you can get by fine with 16 Str or Dex. But if that's the case, you an probably just ignore optimization all together. (And I'm very glad 5E supports that play style).
    My groups don't spend a lot of role playing, we actually do quite a bit of hack n slash.

    But with all the ways to get advantage, even without inspiration, really makes increasing your ability score lesser of a priority until later levels. I would say you don't need to hit 18 until around 10th level and really you don't need to hit 20 until like 15 ish. Sure, the higher the AS the better... But it isn't a necessity. But with the strength rogue you won't be grabbing a huge Dex score... You just don't need it. Hide with a +2 Dex is quite easily since you will have expertise if you wish. Do note with the strength rogue the dexterity won't go above +2. This works fine with medium armor. Eventually breastplate will give you 14 + 2 Dex + 2 shield (or +1 twf if you wish). Not a bad AC at all.

    These high ability scores are nice and useful but at lower level they are more like overkill. Especially when you are getting advantage (equates to +5) or imposing disadvantage (to help versus your somewhat lower AC).

    A dwarven strength rogue may be injured more, but they can easily have more HP than the common rogue (plus a higher con mod versus spells).

    There really isn't that much of a disadvantage going Strength Rogue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderJoe View Post
    My groups don't spend a lot of role playing, we actually do quite a bit of hack n slash.

    But with all the ways to get advantage, even without inspiration, really makes increasing your ability score lesser of a priority until later levels. I would say you don't need to hit 18 until around 10th level and really you don't need to hit 20 until like 15 ish. Sure, the higher the AS the better... But it isn't a necessity. But with the strength rogue you won't be grabbing a huge Dex score... You just don't need it. Hide with a +2 Dex is quite easily since you will have expertise if you wish. Do note with the strength rogue the dexterity won't go above +2. This works fine with medium armor. Eventually breastplate will give you 14 + 2 Dex + 2 shield (or +1 twf if you wish). Not a bad AC at all.

    These high ability scores are nice and useful but at lower level they are more like overkill. Especially when you are getting advantage (equates to +5) or imposing disadvantage (to help versus your somewhat lower AC).

    A dwarven strength rogue may be injured more, but they can easily have more HP than the common rogue (plus a higher con mod versus spells).

    There really isn't that much of a disadvantage going Strength Rogue.
    A strength based rogue is workable. And a highlight of the new system is that you can have a suboptimal ability score and still contribute. I've always been one to maximize my strengths, and making dex is making the rogue better with-ought sacrificing anything. You have to make sacrifices to do a strength based rogue, and you almost have to multiclass. You still need a 14 at least int he score where a Dex based rogue can put his other ability points where he wants, in ch to be the party face or wis if he wants to dominate perception and healing.

    You are also still using the same weapons as a dex based rogue because of the finess limitation. So its not like you could go strength to pick up an uber weapon you found in the adventure.

    A strength based rogue is fine and workable but is not better than a dex based one.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Firstly, I don't think talking about niche stuff like going strength or particular multiclasses is necessarily relevant to the thread. It's a guide on the base rogue and how to use it, not how to make others scratch their head at your weird, endgame-oriented, multiclass, special-snowflake build.

    That said...

    Strength Rogue
    The primary advantages of strength are stronger weapons and plate armor (+1AC over leather). Rogues can't sneak attack with heavy weapons, and can't sneak in plate armor without disadvantage.

    The only reason you would go strength is if you wanted to expertise athletics for some reason. If that's the case, you're probably not a rogue, but a barbarian or fighter dipping rogue (assuming you have any idea what you're doing).

    Oh yeah, and you also lose initiative, can't use sleight of hand as effectively, and benefit less from evasion than you would with DEX.

    Therefore, strength is a sub-optimal choice for a pure rogue. You want it? Go for it. But it's not optimal.

    Shadow Monk Rogue Multiclass
    You can carry a shortsword in your mainhand and nothing in offhand. This lets you sneak attack with the shortsword and flurry with unarmed strike. It also leaves a hand free for handling caltrops/poison/ball bearings/what-have-you. If you go monk 8 / rogue 12, you end up with more ASIs than a straight monk and can more easily cap wisdom and afford more feats.

    That said, there will be some levels where you're waiting on class features. You'll also end up without a capstone and will miss some features of each class.

    The only real advantage of this kind of build is the ability to have expertised, reliable, pass without trace stealth with a minimum skill check almost as high as Tiamat's passive perception. That's right, even the god of dragons will have a hard time finding your hidey little shadowstepping butt.

    Warlock Dip
    Totally unnecessary. Unless you just have to have devil's sight even more than you need all of the other stuff rogue gets you, I wouldn't bother. You can't sneak attack with eldritch blast, and rogues can disengage as a bonus action so it's not like you need it for pushing either. You can sneak attack at range with thrown daggers and shortbows.

    Warlock dips are best in the hands of bards and sorcerers, 2-3 levels. Everyone else is going to be better off just sticking with their base class, assuming they want to be good at something rather than just okay at a couple things.
    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2015-01-30 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    devil's sight is super-easy advantage for your rogue (and very handy for a human or other rogue that has no darksight), and eldritch blast is one of several cantrip options... if you have good charisma, it's not a bad backup option for times when you meet an opponent that is resistant to weapon damage for some reason, just as an example.

    alternately, warlocks do have other perfectly interesting options for cantrips as well. eldritch blast is a very easy scaling ranged damage option for the rogue, but it certainly does not have to be something you pick up. it is, however, vastly superior in situations where you can't reliably get sneak attack (like if you're scouting and are spotted without a good place to hide in), cannot be taken away from you, bypasses weapon damage resistance and immunity, features a decent range, never runs out of ammo, and not much is resistant or immune to it (and tbh, if you have good charisma comes surprisingly close to using sneak attack for DPS anyways when combined with hex). but if you don't like that, pick something else; friends can be useful in a bind to fast-talk your way out of a fight (and to give you a 1 minute head start on the person who's about to become your enemy) and synergizes well with proficiency in disguise, for example (though tbh I'm afb and just assuming friends is on the warlock list, but it's just an example). you've already noticed that you can use simple illusions to help with stealth. as an added advantage, not choosing eldritch blast means that you've got room to consider other options for one of your invocations, since neither agonizing nor repelling blast are appealing (though I disagree that repelling blast lacks value just because you can disengage; sometimes you don't want to get away from the enemy, you just want the enemy to be in a specific place. combine with high mobility rogue, and you've got a very nice combination).

    as another interesting example, you should be able to make a dagger-throwing rogue with a blade pact warlock that never runs out of daggers (and that never leaves the weapon at the scene of the crime, if that becomes relevant)

    2-3 warlock levels works just fine to add some interesting options for a rogue. is it required? certainly not. but it sure as hang doesn't belong lumped in together with all the other full casters as being specifically not recommended. there are plenty of interesting and worthwhile options when combining rogue with warlock. it feels a bit questionable to lump it in together with, say, wizard, or most clerics (tricksters have some interesting possibilities though).

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    What's your opinion on Skulker? I noticed you didn't mention it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonSinged View Post
    I'm currently playing an Assassin, and have a note about infiltration expertise. My character frequently (more than once per session) uses disguises, and at earlier levels this means I have to make a disguise check every time. Infiltration expertise (while definitely not a great ability) basically gives you the option of spending 25 gold and 7 days of down time in exchange for not having to make those rolls any more. Worth it? IMHO only if it's a disguise you plan on using regularly and/or could have big consequences if you fail.
    It's worth noting that the Charlatan background gives you a similar ability.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactuar View Post
    What's your opinion on Skulker? I noticed you didn't mention it.
    I noticed the omission as well

    As to the Warlock dip; for an Assassin trying to use his (admittedly not fantastic) disguise abilities; an emergency at-will Disguise Self spell is great (at Warlock 2); and Warlock 3 can give a book with Guidance and 'always have a Help Action' Find Familiar which are nice as well

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    I don't know if this is "pure" enough but I actually do think that a barb5/rogue15 is a good combo. It starts as a barb for medium armor and you go str first and take dex up to 14 or 16 (depending on whether you choose to take medium armor mastery). You get just as many ASIs as a standard character (non-rogue or fighter) so you don't lose much there.

    In return you get to be tougher (especially in a rage), you can always have advantage when you need it, and get multiple attacks which is great for making sure you get that sneak attack off (even if you deal 2d6 less damage with it). Also your rage damage is added when you rage with your rapier (just use str on the attack roll). Having those multiple attacks make it more likely that you get your sneak attack which means you are more likely to use your bonus action to run or hide rather than off hand attacks. Also you can choose to use a shield for more defense and still have as many attacks as dual wielding but with more damage and AC.

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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    From the second post:
    Race: It matters a lot whether you are starting your game at 1st level or 4th level or higher. As described above, you want to start the game with 20 Dexterity
    And how do you plan to do that? If you build by array or point buy, you can only get up to a 15. Add another +1 or +2 from race, and you're at 16 or 17, and still need two ability score increases to hit 20. You can get a starting 18 plus 2 from race if you roll, but the odds are pretty bad, and you might get totally screwed.
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    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    And how do you plan to do that? If you build by array or point buy, you can only get up to a 15. Add another +1 or +2 from race, and you're at 16 or 17, and still need two ability score increases to hit 20. You can get a starting 18 plus 2 from race if you roll, but the odds are pretty bad, and you might get totally screwed.
    Sorry, I should have said "with Dexterity as close to 20 as possible" - I've updated the post.


    I also added the Skulker Feat. I think its a solid Feat if your DM pays close attention to different types of obscured and illumination. But I personally don't (though I probably should), I usually just say "its dark" or "you're obscured behind the trees." It also slightly overlaps with the Wild Elf Masks of the Wild ability.


    RE: Rogue/Barbarian: I really thought it was a good idea too the first time I considered it. But upon further consideration, my current opinion is that there's really not that much synergy there beyond the 1st level AC bonus. Reckless Attack requires melee attacks that use Strength (and makes it a lot easier for enemies to counter attack), and the Rogue wants to make ranged attacks using Dex. Danger Sense semi-overlaps with Evasion and a Rogue won't be failing Dex checks very often anyway. And plenty of other classes offer Extra Attack. (Though the move bonus is nice). Rage is handy, but a Rogue should be avoiding being hit altogether by staying away from counter attacks altogether. If you've decided that you're going Dwarf Str based Rogue/Barbarian because you don't care about high Dex, then yeah, its a workable build. I just don't see it as having any clear benefits over a standard Dex based Rogue.


    RE: Rogue/Warlock: As mentioned in my main post, I think its workable if your DM allows Cantrips to apply to Sneak Attack. If the DM doesn't, I'm not really seeing the benefit over a pure Rogue. You can get Disguise Self and other similar spells from Arcane Trickster, and other spells from a Feat. The Devil's Sight/Darkness trick is nifty, but there's a long list of other ways to get Advantage, and using magical Darkness without screwing your allies is tricky.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    you can get disguise self *occasionally* with an arcane trickster. with a warlock, you can do it as often as you feel like, provided you take the invocation.

    as to devil's sight/darkness, how hard it is to use will vary greatly, for starters. you can sit back as a ranged rogue very easily if you cast darkness on your area and attack from that area; instant advantage to your attacks since your enemy cannot see you. since you don't need to be right next to the rest of the party, no difficulties for them either.

    then there's the fact that it's 120 feet; 60 feet more than many creatures with darksight. which means that as a scout, you can spot many enemies long before they even have a chance to spot you.

    and you don't need to use cantrips for damage. I mean, it's definitely an option (again, if you have a high charisma the damage is remarkably similar while hex is running). you can still use the exact same thing you use with a single-classed rogue; your regular weapons.

    what's more, you don't have to be an arcane trickster (which otherwise doesn't offer a ton) to be able to use those options; you can stack thief archetype or assassin archetype (and since you can spot enemies in darkness at 120 feet even through magical darkness, setting up a *very* nasty ambush from an assassin should be extremely easy) instead of having to go arcane trickster.

    again, I'm not saying that every single rogue in existence requires a 2-3 level warlock splash to be complete. I'm saying that a 2-3 level warlock splash adds options and synergizes with rogue much better than, say, life cleric, and really should not be lumped together as if they were equal options.

    it is possible to make a strong rogue with a warlock splash. it is equally possible to make a strong rogue without a warlock splash. each one will be a bit different from the other, with their own unique strengths. neither one will be inherently better.

    unless your DM is actually crazy enough to let you use sneak attack with cantrips, that is... if that's the case, well, the rogue/warlock combination gets stupidly overpowered. for 2-3 levels, you get more chances to hit (and therefore more chances to apply your sneak attack damage), and those 2-3 levels of warlock mean that your eldritch blast with hex up and running is *already* dealing similar DPR to a regular rogue, *before* adding sneak attack in on top of it. from a damage perspective, allowing sneak attack with cantrips would break the system so that anyone who doesn't use eldritch blast would fall behind massively. perhaps if you limited it to only cantrips available to arcane tricksters, it might work... but definitely not if you just make a general rule that any cantrip can be used for sneak attack.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Person_Manís 5E Rogue Guide

    I've a feeling that a strength-based mountain dwarf rogue could be pretty playable. I could be wrong!

    You basically go around slicing stuff up with whatever is the best finesse weapon you can find (a rapier or magic whatever) and a respectable AC. Variant human could even take moderately-armoured and get a shield as well. Now you've got AC18 at first level, so you don't mind being next to monsters too much, which you'll need to be if you somehow want to use your reaction to get extra sneaks.

    Starting stats something like 16 strength, 14 dex and whatever else. So you're not amazing at dex skills but you're actually only 1 point worse than the next guy. With expertise you'd be fine.

    Javelins and throwing axes are pretty cool and you can sneak with them at range.

    The stat requirements are heavy, but a mountain dwarf gets a lot of free stats so it's less of an issue. He could have 16, 14, 16, 10, 12, 8 with point buy at level 1. You do have to live with playing a dwarf who uses a rapier. I'm personally used to that as a pathfinder dwarf paladin I played spent most of his career with a sentient chaotic good rapier who used to be a bard.

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