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    Default CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide



    CTPís Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    Despite numerous on-paper buffs, the poor Rogue did not fare as well as many of its fellow core classes during the shift from 3.5 to Pathfinder. Ultimately, the game changed around the rogue, leaving it struggling to find ways to reliably get sneak attacks in while the ranger, fighter, and paladin merrily hurled themselves into combat.

    With the arrival of Pathfinder Unchained, the rogue has received a much-needed refresh. I have yet to test an unchained rogue in actual play, so the following is largely speculation based on the mechanical changes implemented, but my first impression is optimistic; the rogue has been raised closer to the standard power level displayed by more recent classes like the alchemist, investigator, and inquisitor.

    The changes made to the rogue are almost entirely additive; that is, very little was removed or altered, and the unchained rogue mostly just gets more stuff. Therefore, an entirely new guide is largely unnecessary, and previous Pathfinder rogue guides still serve as a great foundation for feat, skill, and equipment selection, as well as racial and ability score placement concerns.

    The primary area that requires closer scrutiny is rogue talents: the unchained rogue has access to a refreshed list, as well as a few older rogue talents that were specifically marked as unchanged and still valid. For the most part, this is pretty seamless, but it is worth noting.

    Spoiler: Notes on Color Ratings
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    As is the way, colors denote the general value of options and things.
    Blue stuff is superb, and comes highly recommended.
    Green stuff is good, and worthy of consideration.
    Black stuff is okay, certainly functional. Largely inferior to green or blue options, but you wonít be hurting yourself either.
    Purple is situational, only useful in certain circumstances, or else confusing or in need of clarification. Could be effective with the right build, focus, or even campaign.
    Red stuff is garbage, either actively hampering you, or else clearly inferior to other options.


    Unchained Rogue Build Considerations

    The unchained rogue heavily favors Dex-based melee fighters and skill monkeys. You can certainly still make an archery or brute build and be no worse off than the standard rogue; indeed, youíll have access to skill unlocks and the very potent Debilitating Injury class feature. However, these builds will be unable to take full advantage of the Finesse Training feature, which provides free Weapon Finesse and eventually Dex to melee damage instead of Strength.

    Hereís the breakdown:
    Dexterity-based melee builds (TWF & skirmishers): Nothing but gravy here. Finesse Training saves them precious feats, opening up options, and Rogueís Edge offers some flavorful filler. Debilitating Injury will help your offense and defense a great deal indeed, bringing your offensive output closer to a rangerís vs. their favored enemy.

    Skill Monkeys: Finesse Training and Debilitating Injury are pretty much foolproof when it comes to making you effective in a fight. With combat feats essentially taken care of for you automatically, you are free to pick flavorful and useful skill-monkey feats and abilities to your heartís content. The illusive dream of being a better skill monkey than similar magic-using classes might be closer to a reality; youíll at least be giving the bard and alchemist a run for their money, and you donít have to worry about limited spell slots or other resources.

    Archery: Archer rogues sadly still have to deal with the same difficulties theyíve always had. Finesse Training only applies to melee attacks, so no Dex-to-damage on bows or crossbows for you; that remains a Gunslinger specialty. That said, Finesse Training gives you a nice fallback should an enemy get close, and Debilitating Injury applies to ranged sneak attacks, so in those instances you can land them, your volleys will be all the more devastating.

    Brute: Finesse Training is all but wasted on the poor Brute (or Str-based rogue). They will still enjoy Debilitating Injury (hello Power Attack!), and Rogueís Edge will help pick up any slack in the skill department.

    Unchained Rogue Class Features

    Sneak Attack:
    They snuck a buff into Sneak Attack: partial concealment no longer negates sneak attack. Shadowy illumination, light fog, foliage, the Blur spell... all of these no longer auto-negate your main combat ability. Rejoice!

    The real question is: does this update apply to other classes that get sneak attack? Ask your GM today!

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    Finesse Training:
    Weapon Finesse at level 1. No more agonizing over whether to wait for the Finesse Rogue talent, no more debating for archer rogues looking for a melee fallback option; you just get the damn feat. Even better, it improves with age. Starting at level 3, you can pick a finesse-able weapon to apply your Dex mod to damage instead of Str. Youíve now just saved on potentially several feats (Weapon Finesse, Dervish Dance or Slashing Grace and their prerequisites). Your weapon selection expands over time, but thatís largely an afterthought. Even if you canít get in a sneak attack, your regular melee attacks will at least be respectable.

    This frees up much-needed feats for Two-Weapon Fighters, and buys everyone else a bit of wiggle room. You could spring for a fancy exotic weapon proficiency, or maybe pump up defenses with less guilt.

    Itís also worth noting that this makes the rogue potentially less MAD; you could theoretically dump Strength if you wish, although this has negative repercussions on your CMB, CMD, and carrying capacity.

    Danger Sense:
    This is a minor improvement to Trap Sense, being basically the same except you now get a bonus on Perception checks to avoid being surprised by enemies. This is nice, although it makes it slightly annoying for a GM making secret checks, since they now have to remember another conditional modifier.

    Debilitating Injury:
    Many rogue talents add rider effects to sneak attacks, many of them quite nice. Now, starting at level 4, all rogues get access to a solid selection of sneak attack debuffs automatically. You have three choices:

    Bewildered: This is your offensive choice. The target of your sneak attack takes a notable hit to their AC that your allies can exploit, and the penalty is even worse against your own attacks. Assuming youíre getting flanking bonuses, this ability will put your offensive abilities in territory comparable to the scaling bonuses of fighters, paladins, or rangers against their favored enemies. By level 16, your target will be suffering a -8 penalty to AC against you, so your iterative attacks, bonus attacks from two-weapon fighting, and penalties from feats such as Power Attack or Piranha Strike become less of a concern. Archery rogues can turn their target into even more of a vulnerable pincushion. This is the single most potent offensive buff the unchained rogue receives, and itís a welcome addition indeed.

    Disoriented: This is the defensive option. If youíre fighting a low-AC enemy that hits hard, or youíre just trying to avoid getting hit, this is a great choice. The enemy suffers an attack penalty, which is even worse when trying to retaliate against you specifically. This is a solid tactical choice if you need to maneuver around; combined with feats like Mobility and youíll be next to impossible to tag with an AoO.

    Hampered: Another interesting tactical choice, this will likely be your least-used option. Itís great for preventing foes from fleeing (a cruel choice for a fear-stacking Intimidate build), and itís also a good choice to land on enemy casters, since it will prevent them from 5-foot-stepping out of threatened spaces to cast spells.

    All of these effects last for 1 round, but if you can land multiple sneak attacks in a round you can extend the duration (1 additional round per attack). Once chosen, you canít change the type of injury without resetting the duration. Itís also worth noting that any amount of healing removes these debuffs, so this ability is considerably less useful against monsters with regeneration or fast healing, as well as characters with access to quick healing like paladins, war priests, or clerics.

    Once you reach level 10, this ability gets much better, due to the awesomeness that is the Double Debilitation advanced talent.

    Master Strike:
    The save DC for your capstone is no longer INT based, bur rather DEX based. This is likely an improvement for 99% of rogues. This being a capstone ability, itís unlikely to come up very much, but itís worth noting. Unchained rogues are more DEX SAD than ever.

    Rogue Talents
    Thereís a decent amount of stuff to cover here; many talents havenít really changed, and they retain similar ratings other guides give them. Therefore, Iím only going to cover new talents, or ones that have changed significantly. If a talent isnít listed below, it hasnít changed from its original version.

    Many old rogue talents are not listed as being available to Unchained Rogues; it is suggested that older ones 'be reviewed' by the GM. Most of them should be pretty seamless/harmless to integrate.

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    Camouflage: The 1/day limit has been removed, so you can use this talent as long as you have a bit of time and are in the proper environment. Itís comparable to the Terrain Mastery talent; it gives you a bonus in potentially multiple kinds of terrain (as long as they have plants of some kind), but the bonus does not apply to as wide a range of rolls. Flavorful if youíre going for something more ranger-y.

    Certainty: Similar to Skill Mastery, save that it only applies to one of your Rogueís Edge skills and is technically early access. Itís okay on a skill-focused build, but the limited uses per day leave other options more attractive. If your GM allows older rogue talents not on the Ďofficial list,í this ability quickly becomes garbage, since many old talents allow a similar re-roll ability (usually roll twice and take the better result) for specific skills with unlimited use.

    Coax Information: A minor change here: the targetís attitude returns to its normal level rather than dropping a level lower. This makes Bluff or Diplomacy a safer option than Intimidate for the more socially-inclined rogues.

    Combat Swipe: This talent is improved in that you will have early-access qualification for the Greater Steal feat. However, you still have to use a feat known on it rather than automatically learning it, and rogues still have trouble keeping their CMB competitive.

    Esoteric Scholar: The 1/day limitation has been lifted, bringing the rogue closer to a Bard. Without Bardic Knowledge, your ability to know anything useful is still pretty limited, which keeps this talent dubiously useful.

    Expert Leaper: You now add your rogue level to Acrobatics checks to jump, a pretty handy boost to this talent.

    Hold Breath: While this is an improvement over the original, it is still inferior to the Slow Metabolism ninja trick.

    Lasting Poison: This talent has been improved from its older version; the poison now lasts for a number of additional attacks equal to your Dex modifier. If youíre friends with an alchemist or have access to cheap poison, this isnít terrible; eventually somebodyís got to roll a natural 1. However, once you get access to Crippling Strike you can start inflicting your own ability damage for free.

    Ledge Walker: The language has been changed so that the benefits also apply to slippery surfaces such as ice, or any terrain that would require Acrobatics checks to maintain balance.

    Major Magic: The increase in number of daily uses for your chosen spell actually makes this talent somewhat respectable; at the very least, it makes the prerequisites for Dispelling Attack more palatable. While thereís not a lot you can do with this you couldnít do with a wand and UMD, there are some decent options; Shield is a good choice for TWF rogues, True Strike can be clutch, illusions like Silent Image or Ventriloquism have lots of application to the creative, and donít forget the handy-in-a-pinch Vanish.

    Minor Magic: This is how this talent should have always been; your cantrip is now at-will. Detect Magic is great for the paranoid trap finder, and Mage Hand is fun for kleptos. Dispelling Attack isnít looking like such a burden to qualify for now, is it?

    Multitalented: Barring access to old rogue talents, there are only a handful of rogue talents that Multitalented applies to: Resiliency, Assault Leader, and Positioning Attack. Of these, only Resiliency is probably worth using more than once a day. I would only recommend doing this if you wanted to take Greater Multitalented later on (which has a few options worth consideration).

    Nimble Climber: The DC to catch yourself does not increase in difficulty, and instead of another Climb check you now make a Reflex save, so this is largely an improvement of this talent.

    Powerful Sneak: With debilitating injury, the attack penalty on this talent is easier to swallow, and you now re-roll 1ís instead of treating them as 2ís. This is generally an upgrade, and is certainly a more attractive option for an unchained rogue than its standard version.

    Quick Disable: This talent is unchanged, except that now it applies to picking locks as well (reducing a full-round action to a standard). If this talent winds up giving you a bonus move action in some clutch scenario, I would be honestly impressed.

    Resiliency: The temporary hp from this talent has been doubled, which doubles the life-saving potential of this talent. The limited uses per day turn me off a bit, but it can certainly be handy when needed. Itís really the only non-advanced talent worthy of combining with Multitalented.

    Rogue Crawl: Minor change: the penalties to attacks and AC while prone are reduced with this talent. An improvement, certainly.

    Stand Up: A minor change here: you can now stand up from prone as a swift action without provoking an AoO in addition to its original benefit. If you have little use for a swift action, thereís no real loss here.

    Surprise Attack: Theyíve snuck in a damage buff, which makes this slightly more attractive.

    Terrain Mastery: Thereís a bit of a pointless nerf here. The old version increased the bonus from a previously chosen terrain if you took it multiple times, but now you have to pick the Greater Terrain Mastery advanced talent if you want your bonus to increase.


    Relevant Ninja Tricks:

    Unchained rogues can pick the Ninja Trick talent to gain access to several ninja tricks. However, if the GM disallows access to older rogue talents, some of the ninja talents will be unusable without jumping through hoops (namely any ninja trick requiring ki. There is an old rogue talent that gives a rogue a ki pool, and you could also VMC with monk to acquire one as well). Below is a list of ninja tricks unchained rogues have indisputable access to by the RAW.
    Spoiler
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    Deadly Range
    Pressure Points
    Redirect Force
    Style Master
    Deflect Arrows
    Snatch Arrows
    Unarmed Combat Training
    Undetected Sabotage
    Wall Climber


    Lost Rogue Talents
    The following is a list of rogue talents unavailable to unchained rogues if your GM canít be persuaded otherwise. Note that these are lost to Pathfinder Society rogues regardless.
    Spoiler
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    Acrobatic Stunt
    Befuddling Strike
    Bomber
    Bomberís Discovery
    Card Sharp
    Charmer
    Climbing Stunt
    Convincing Lie
    Demon Lantern
    Developed Poison Immunity
    Disabling Stunt
    Disease Use
    Escaping Stunt
    Face in the Crowd
    False Friend
    Fast Fingers
    Fast Picks
    Flying Stunt
    Green Tongue
    Grig Jig
    Guileful Polyglot
    Hard to Fool
    Honeyed Words
    Ki Pool
    Last Ditch Effort
    Obfuscate Story
    Offensive Defense
    Paper craft Tools
    Peerless Maneuver
    Philologist
    Quick Scrounge
    Rapid Boost
    Riding Stunt
    Sacred Sneak Attack
    Sacrifice Self
    Scavenger
    Sleight of Hand Stunt
    Snap Shot
    Sneaky Maneuver
    Sniperís Eye
    Steal the Story
    Stealth Stunt
    Stem the Flow
    Survivalist
    Swift Tracker
    Swimming Stunt
    Underhanded
    Wall Scramble
    Wild Magic
    Without a Trace


    Advanced Talents

    Again, Iíll only be covering talents that have been altered or changed, as well as new talents.

    Spoiler
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    Cutting Edge: This gives you access to more skill unlocks. The value of this depends on the skills selected, of course, but if youíre really into skills, this isnít a terrible talent.

    Deadly Sneak: This is a rare instance of an old advanced talent becoming less powerful, in my opinion. Now, I might be off on the math here, but follow me for a second:

    This gives you a re-roll on any sneak attack dice landing on a 1 or 2 (no die can be re-rolled more than once). The old version simply upgraded any 1 or 2 to a 3. Re-rolling a 1 could result in a 1 or 2. Re-rolling a 2 could result in a 2 or 1, potentially leaving you worse off than you were before you re-rolled! The old talent brought your sneak attack damage to roughly Ďaverage or better.í The unchained version just introduces additional randomness, which probably wonít make a marked increase in your damage output.

    Does that sound right to you dice savants out there?

    Defensive Roll: The 1/day limitation has been lifted. A straight buff, this combines well with Resiliency if you went that route. Even if you didnít, this is a nice hail-Mary defensive ability for any rogue.

    Double Debilitation: This will likely be your first-pick advanced talent. You can now apply two penalties with your debilitating injury ability. The obvious picks are the AC and attack penalty, effectively debuffing your target and leaving them at a massive disadvantage to retaliate against you.

    Light Walker: The Ledge Walker prerequisite is a bit of a pain, but this is a nice ability. Sadly, by the time you get access to advanced talents, flight, freedom of movement, and other things are probably coming online, making this talent less useful. For a low-magic game, this increases your tactical mobility a great deal.

    Master of Disguise: Itís now a standard action to activate this ability, but it now has a prerequisite in the form of Quick Disguise, where before it had none. Itís an untyped bonus, though, so it could still be handy for an assassin or spy.

    Greater Multitalented: Requiring its non-advanced cousin as a prerequisite, this talent applies to a larger pool: Another Day, Hunterís Surprise, Knock-Out Blow, Master of Disguise, and Redirect Attack. Some of these advanced talents are pretty decent (Hunterís Surprise is especially useful for an archery build), so it might be attractive to some.

    Skill Mastery: While this ability is still useful for skill monkeys, they snuck in a nerf! The old version allowed you to pick 3+INT mod skills. Now you only get to pick skills up to your INT modifier. They likely did this to Ďbalance outí Rogueís Edge, but itís still a sad state of affairs for skill monkeys.

    Quick Shot: Iím a bit puzzled as to how this ability works. Shouldnít it be an immediate action instead of a swift action? This is relatively attractive to an archery rogue, if you can work out with your GM exactly how it works.

    Greater Terrain Mastery: If you picked one or more terrain masteries earlier in your career, this advanced talent allows you make the bonuses scale. Depending on the campaign, it could be worth it; +8 to initiative by level 18 is nothing to sneeze at. Best if youíre in a themed game (urban, aquatic, etc.)


    Lost Advanced Talents

    Again, barring sweet talking your GM, the following advanced talents are unavailable to unchained rogues. This list isnít nearly as long as the non-advanced talents, thankfully.

    Spoiler
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    Entanglement of Blades
    Hamstring Attack
    Hard to Fool
    Harrow Strike
    Thoughtful Reexamining


    Rogueís Edge & Skill Unlocks

    Over the course of your rogueís career, youíll gain access to the skill unlock abilities of four skills for free. Your access to these unlocks is pretty slow (you get them at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level), so youíll need to pick your skills carefully. If your GM allows it, you can potentially get more through the Signature Skill feat, and the Cutting Edge advanced talent is definitely handy if you thirst for more skill unlocks.

    Iím going to look at the skill unlocks in detail below. Iím primarily looking at them from a rogueís perspective, since they are the only ones 100% able to take them. Their utility to other sorts of characters will be a secondary consideration. This should help guide your selection for Rogueís Edge, and hopefully proves a handy resource for anybody interested in skill unlocks and the Signature Skill feat.

    Spoiler
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    Acrobatics: This is a fine first choice for a rogue seeking more mobility. It makes moving through threatened areas much quicker and less difficult. Unfortunately, the further unlocks are of questionable usefulness when magic items and spell access are taken into consideration. Unless you really pimp out your Acrobatics mod, Iím not sure if Acrobatics -10 will be better than your Reflex save, or even your CMD.

    Appraise: Ah, Appraise. Truly a maligned, under-used skill, the unlocked powers areÖ interesting. Sadly, with casters able to use Detect Magic at-will, and IDing item properties easier than ever, the rank 5 unlock is mostly useless. The rank 10 unlock has the potential for tactical use in combat; you can identify important pieces of gear on the enemy, and work to relieve them of their property. Sadly, common sense often applies here just as effectively: you donít need to know the value of a holy symbol or material component pouch, for instance, and the arch-lichís giant glowing staff is probably pretty valuable (itís glowing, after all). The Will save option at rank 15 is interesting, but probably wonít come up too often, and the rank 20 unlock is a joke.

    Bluff: An iconic rogue skill, the unlocks are sadly mostly underwhelming. Ranks 5 and 10 just reduce penalties for trying again after a failed Bluff check, but usually the consequences for failing a Bluff check are bad news. In my experience, youíve got that first shot, and you are forever marked as sketchy ever afterward should you fail. The rank 15 is a handy defense against certain divinations, and probably the most valuable asset here; it might be worthy of your level 15 Rogueís Edge selection if youíve got the ranks. The capstone unlock is cool (an Ex Suggestion!), but the save DC is likely to be laughable at this level.

    Climb: Climb has always had a pretty short lifespan of usefulness. By the time youíre level 5, youíll likely have access to Spider Climb, which renders 100% of these unlocks obsolete. This would only be worthy of consideration in a low-magic game.

    Craft: Few rogues, indeed few characters in general, have reason to bother with the Craft rules. The unlocks mostly speed up the process and save you a bit of money. The rank 20 unlock is intriguing on a greater campaign-wide scale; a level 20 commoner with the Signature Skill feat could craft a Rod of Lordly Might given enough time and resources.
    The only scenario worthy of consideration here is for rogues interested in making their own poison. The unlocks cut down on the time requirements, but it is still ultimately an expensive avenue to go down.

    Diplomacy: Diplomacy is a powerful skill in the right situations. In a more intrigue-laden, political sort of game, a social rogue would benefit a great deal from these unlocks. They largely save time, and extend the duration of attitude adjustments. Due to the nature of Pathfinder Diplomacy rules, you still can never reach true Diplomancer status, however.

    Disable Device: Rogues are already the undisputed masters of trap-handling. The unlocks just make you that much better at it. The unlocks really become useful at rank 10 and higher, so I suggest waiting a bit before taking it.

    Disguise: The main advantage of the Disguise unlocks is reducing the time required to make a disguise. The problem is that a Hat of Disguise is a standard action to activate, and is preposterously affordable. For a spy or assassin trying to infiltrate a cabal of high-level divination specialists, these unlocks might be handy (maybe). The rank 20 unlock is pretty cool, and approaches Bugs Bunny levels of wackiness. I might consider this for my capstone Rogueís Edge selection, but for 95% of the game itís mostly garbage.

    Escape Artist: These unlocks are certainly handy in clutch situations. Freedom of Movement renders most of these obsolete, but before that spell becomes common place these unlocks could save your bacon. Even late in your career, spells can be dispelled or negated, and youíll be happy to have options when misfortune strikes. This is a good early game selection that will always remain relevant.

    Fly: To be honest, every time tactical fly speed comes into play, things quickly break down into abstraction in my experience. More often than not, you figure out who has the faster fly speed, with maneuverability usually only mattering if the different fly speeds are the same. These unlocks technically make you more nimble in the skies, but I question how valuable saving 5 ft. of movement here or there while making various sorts of turns is actually going to be. Oddly, this is a rare example of the unlocks becoming less useful in a low-magic campaign.

    Handle Animal: There are guides out there that have proven the usefulness of the Handle Animal skill, and the unlocks are actually pretty great for someone genuinely interested in animal minionmancy. Itís hard to recommend this to rogues (they simply lack the tools of a druid or ranger), but for the more nature-oriented classes these unlocks are certainly worth the price of a feat.

    Heal: Rogues typically donít invest in the Heal skill, but these unlocks are worthy of consideration for the healing-inclined, particularly in the late game. The ability damage healing at rank 15 and higher can save a great deal on time, spell expenditure, and money, making this an interesting late-game pick for healers of all stripes. You still need at least an hour of downtime, but itís often better than blowing through spells or emergency scrolls. In a low or no magic game, these unlocks are especially valuable.

    Intimidate: These unlocks are a straight improvement to Intimidate, no strings attached. Anybody interested in Intimidate builds would be well served to look into these unlocks.

    Knowledge: Reminiscent of the Knowledge Devotion feat from Complete Champion, this is a handy unlock for campaigns that feature a common enemy type. Rogues are slightly less likely to take advantage of it barring access to wider Knowledge proficiencies, but bards or wizards could certainly take advantage of these unlocks, particularly at rank 10 and higher.

    Linguistics: Again, the benefits these unlocks provide are rendered mostly pointless by low-level magic. You probably wonít need the extra help against written magical traps, especially if youíre a rogue.

    Perception: Ah, the God-Skill. The main benefits of these unlocks are reducing the DC increase from distance, and reducing penalties to Perception while sleeping. Eventually you get bonuses on checks to detect invisible creatures as well. Itís hard to justify not taking this as a rogue, and any scout-type would enjoy these perks as well.

    Perform: For rogues, these unlocks do little to assist you. However, for a bard or enchanter, this is certainly worthy of consideration. If youíre playing in the higher levels (10+), then you get more bang for your buck from Signature Skill (perform) than from Spell Focus (enchantment) alone (and they stack with each other). Granted, this only applies to language-dependent or emotion spells, but that accounts for a majority of enchantments at this point, and the Perform checks should be an easy task.

    Profession: While these perks are certainly nice, income from adventuring will always outpace the Profession skill, even at the rank 15 unlock. By level 15, making a few hundred gp a week is a drop in the bucket. If youíre playing in some sort of campaign with extremely large amounts of downtime, I could see these unlocks taking the edge off the production of poison or things like scrolls or potions. For most adventuring rogues (or other classes), these unlocks just arenít enough. For a commoner or expert, though, this would definitely improve your standard of living.

    Ride: Most rogues arenít going to bother with mounts. For characters that fight mounted, such as cavaliers or paladins, these unlocks are okay. Itís mostly fiddly bonuses that would be just another thing to remember during combat; nothing especially wows me here.

    Sense Motive: Wow! Now these are some interesting unlocks. At all ranks, these give you access to cool abilities, both in and out of combat. These are great on social rogues as well as combat-focused ones, since hopefully youíll have a decent Wisdom for Perception alone. I can also see this as a flavorful and fun addition to an investigator. I wish more unlocks were like this, giving you new uses for a skill rather than improving what it already doesÖ

    Sleight of Hand: Despite being an iconic rogue skill, Sleight of Hand rarely ever sees use in my experience. These unlocks mostly just remove penalties for making checks quickly, although the first unlock at 5 ranks gives you a boost to disarm or steal combat maneuvers (not the best strategy for a rogue). You have better choices to concern yourself with.

    Spellcraft: Certain rogues might be interested in Spellcraft, and it is certainly a useful skill, especially as magic becomes a more common tactic from powerful enemies. These unlocks largely expedite the out of combat uses for the skill; while powering through a dozen spell books in a day could be fun for a wizard, itís hardly worth blowing a feat on. Keep in mind that detect magic can be used at-will, and most casters will have it prepared/known, making the rank 10 unlock pointless.

    Stealth: Another iconic rogue skill, these unlocks are worth considering. For melee rogues, the high level benefits will rarely be relevant; ideally you have a flank buddy, or spells like Greater Invisibility from allies to rely on. These are much better for archery rogues, who benefit from the rank 5 unlock from the get-go. Archers will also enjoy the higher level unlocks more than melee types. Lastly, these unlocks can Ďsaveí you a rogue talent if you donít want to take Fast Stealth, reducing the penalties for moving quickly while sneaking.

    Survival: Rogues will probably never take these, but they are worth considering for rangers or other dedicated trackers. They offer a way to foil pass without trace and trackless step, which is pretty unique. The other benefits are rendered largely moot by low level magic such as Endure Elements, but theyíre at least an interesting non-magical option. Sadly, following tracks is often little more than a poorly-disguised railroad in most games. If the GM wants you to find the bad guys or the hostages or whatever, youíll probably succeed eventually. YMMV.

    Swim: In an aquatic campaign, these unlocks will save you a bit of headache. Theyíre hardly necessary with magical options, though; if youíre playing in a low-magic nautical campaign that goes into higher levelsÖ sure?

    Use Magic Device: Itís not that these unlocks are bad, but compared to other options, these arenít really worth a feat or Rogueís Edge selection. These will possibly assist you 5% of the time you roll UMD. The rank 5 and 15 unlocks are so unlikely to be relevant that they hardly factor in.


    Final Verdict:

    As you can see, the skill unlocks are largely disappointing. If you went in hoping for new and exciting options and uses for skills, youíll be roughly 80% disappointed. Most of these reduce penalties. HowÖ fun?

    However, there are a few diamonds in the rough here. My suggestions for Rogueís Edge selection would be as follows:

    Level 5: Acrobatics, Escape Artist, or Perception / Stealth (archery) / Intimidate (social or fear stacking build) / Diplomacy (social)

    Level 10: Perception (if you havenít picked it up yet) / Sense Motive

    Level 15: Bluff (social) / Sense Motive or Escape Artist (if you havenít picked it up yet)

    Level 20: Disable Device / Disguise (social) / Your choice (if you swapped Trapfinding out for an archetype, etc.)

    In and out of combat, Sense Motive is my favorite. For the rest of your choices, pick the skills you find yourself relying on; they should help grease the gears. Disable Device makes a fine capstone to truly declare you King of Traps.

    Final Thoughts

    So, does the Unchained Rogue truly lift the rogue up from the murky border between Tier 3 and Tier 4? ÖHard to say. It primarily updates DEX-based melee rogues for competitive combat with its piers. The main problems of the rogue are still here: the constant battle to get Sneak Attack, and the irrelevance of skills in comparison to the convenience of magic.

    Thereís little reason not to use the unchained rogue over the old version (the chained rogue?), but in the long run classes like bard, alchemist, and investigator will likely outshine the poor rogue in most arenas (save trap handling).

    With the proper support though, the unchained rogue has the potential to be a terrifying damage dealer on the battlefield. As always, flanking buddies and magical support are the best ways to land those precious Sneak Attacks, and now the whole party benefits from the debuffs from Debilitating Injury. Once in position, the unchained rogue is a dangerous threat. As always, rogues benefit from thinking outside the box, utilizing your skills and stealth in creative ways; hopefully it will take less effort to stay relevant than the rogues original incarnation.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2015-06-12 at 11:19 AM.

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    Rogue is a solid T5 for me. When compared to Alchemist (or Investigator for that matter) which is a strong contender for T3 and the Ranger as a solid T4 class choice, they are not shining for me in any way. Unchained Rogue would be solid T4 (if the DC to find a trap wouldn't be the same as to disable one, making finding it that much harder for rogues than for wisdom dependant characters like rangers).

    Unchained Rogue is T4 because it can finally do something in combat and its amount of skills simply push it up in utility. But without spells they're still below Rangers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Rogue is a solid T5 for me. When compared to Alchemist (or Investigator for that matter) which is a strong contender for T3 and the Ranger as a solid T4 class choice, they are not shining for me in any way. Unchained Rogue would be solid T4 (if the DC to find a trap wouldn't be the same as to disable one, making finding it that much harder for rogues than for wisdom dependant characters like rangers).

    Unchained Rogue is T4 because it can finally do something in combat and its amount of skills simply push it up in utility. But without spells they're still below Rangers.
    Suffice to say I disagree thoroughly with this entire post, but I'd rather not derail CTP's handbook with a lengthier refutation of your numbers.

    @OP: Please keep in mind that the Unchained Rogue only loses access to the original talents in PFS. All the others are still "Rogue Talents" and even in the worst case scenario that your GM doesn't let you pick them up at-will, can be obtained via the Extra Rogue Talent feat, which does not discriminate. This gives you access to the ki pool and a few of the other missing pieces.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    Now we just need a Unchained Ninja.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    @OP: Please keep in mind that the Unchained Rogue only loses access to the original talents in PFS. All the others are still "Rogue Talents" and even in the worst case scenario that your GM doesn't let you pick them up at-will, can be obtained via the Extra Rogue Talent feat, which does not discriminate. This gives you access to the ki pool and a few of the other missing pieces.
    It doesn't say that anywhere in the SRD, which is what I'm basing all of this off of. If that's true, though, then good news for folks interested in old rogue talents!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    It doesn't say that anywhere in the SRD, which is what I'm basing all of this off of. If that's true, though, then good news for folks interested in old rogue talents!
    Good thing I have the book then

    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder Unchained
    Some feats, rage powers, rogue talents, and other rules might not work with the unchained classes, and such rules should be reviewed before being used with the new versions.
    You have to "review" them first, but there is no blanket ban (except for PFS.)

    My suggestion of using the ERT feat to pick them up was to pacify noisome GMs - again, that feat does not distinguish between "unchained rogue talents" or "non-unchained rogue talents." It simply asks "is this a rogue talent" and "do you meet the minimum rogue level to take it."


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    You could also technically sort of do that by taking the 'rogue talent' ninja trick, in a sort of weird feedback loop way. I considered putting that in the guide, but thought it was pretty shaky logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    You could also technically sort of do that by taking the 'rogue talent' ninja trick, in a sort of weird feedback loop way. I considered putting that in the guide, but thought it was pretty shaky logic.
    Yes - unfortunately, that would only give you a single outside rogue talent, because you can't take the "ninja trick" rogue talent more than once. (And of course, it wouldn't work in PFS, where the other rogue talents simply don't exist for an Unchained Rogue.)
    Last edited by Psyren; 2015-06-11 at 05:45 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    The unchained rogue has a hilarious amount of Dex SADness. Put in Counterfeit Mage and basically all you need is Dex. Maybe remember to have positive Con/Int.

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    So, if you pick up Bookish Rogue, how much would you say the Minor/Major Magic talents come out?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjaxenomorph View Post
    So, if you pick up Bookish Rogue, how much would you say the Minor/Major Magic talents come out?
    Minor gets a decent boost, because nearly any wizard spellbook you might find/buy (protip: acquire a generalist's spellbook) will have all the wizard cantrips in the game in it, letting you cycle yours all day long (provided you have 10 minutes available to do so.) For major talents, it will depend on the book you find, but you can use the feat for minors anyway and get your feat-money's worth out of it.

    I'll add to the guide's suggestions above - note that cantrips like ray of frost and acid splash, while barely worth noticing for a wizard past the very early levels, continue to stay relevant for you as you can use them to deliver sneak attacks (boosting their damage by several d6, as a touch attack at will, and even bypassing SR in the case of the latter.) That golem whose DR is too high for your dagger to penetrate could probably use some acid blobs fired into his joints for instance, provided you can stay hidden. (Shouldn't be too hard since SLAs are auto-silent.)


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    I was just thinking grabbing the party wizard/equivalent and a spellbook and saying "Oi! I'll throw gold pieces at you if you copy all of your cantrips and 1st level spells in here!". I'd be willing to by/make one from scratch.
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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    Sneak Attack:
    They snuck a buff into Sneak Attack: partial concealment no longer negates sneak attack. Shadowy illumination, light fog, foliage, the Blur spell... all of these no longer auto-negate your main combat ability. Rejoice!
    The real question is: does this update apply to other classes that get sneak attack? Ask your GM today!
    The real answer is: No. Only Unchained gets 'super' Sneak Attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    Deadly Sneak: This is a rare instance of an old advanced talent becoming less powerful, in my opinion. Now, I might be off on the math here, but follow me for a second:
    Does that sound right to you dice savants out there?
    Previous: 1/6 chance of rolling a 1 > upgrade to 3 > net +2 AND 1/6 chance of rolling a 2 > upgrade to 3 > net +1
    Net result is a +3 gain over 6 rolls > +.5 point of damage per die (for comparison, Powerful Sneak was worth +.167 damage per die)

    Unchained: 1/6 chance of rolling a 1 > reroll (avg 3.5 > net gain +2.5, AND 1/6 chance of rolling a 2 > reroll (avg 3.5) > net gain +1.5
    Net result is +4 gain over 6 rolls > +.667 point of damage per die (for comparison Un-Powerful Sneak was worth +.417 damage per die)

    Unchained is better overall, but only by 1/6 of a point per die.

    Un-Deadly does have a _small_ chance of doing worse damage (1/36 chance per die to do 1 point less), whereas Orig-Deadly could only 'do nothing' at worst (didn't roll any 1's or 2's).
    Also, Orig-Deadly was 3 times better than Powerful Sneak going from +1 over 6 rolls to +3 over 6 rolls (so it was much more "all or nothing"), whereas Un-Deadly is a weak upgrade, going from .42 to .67, or only 1.6x better (so feel free to stop at Powerful Sneak).

    Color-wise Powerful Sneak should be rated higher than Deadly Sneak.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjaxenomorph View Post
    I was just thinking grabbing the party wizard/equivalent and a spellbook and saying "Oi! I'll throw gold pieces at you if you copy all of your cantrips and 1st level spells in here!". I'd be willing to by/make one from scratch.
    That's what I meant - all the cantrips are in there already, unless you're buying a completely blank one.

    "Starting Spells (See Spellbooks below): A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from his opposed schools, if any; see Arcane Schools) plus three 1st-level spells of his choice. The wizard also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to the spellbook."

    So any low-level enemy wizard you kill will give you every (or nearly every) cantrip for free - simply ask for the book when your own party's wizard (or magus, alchemist etc) is done with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I'll add to the guide's suggestions above - note that cantrips like ray of frost and acid splash, while barely worth noticing for a wizard past the very early levels, continue to stay relevant for you as you can use them to deliver sneak attacks (boosting their damage by several d6, as a touch attack at will, and even bypassing SR in the case of the latter.) That golem whose DR is too high for your dagger to penetrate could probably use some acid blobs fired into his joints for instance, provided you can stay hidden. (Shouldn't be too hard since SLAs are auto-silent.)
    That sounds like a really cool idea - but wouldn't the Save for Minor Magic (which is 10+ the rogue's INT modifier) mean that this would quite quickly become sub-par?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muklowd View Post
    That sounds like a really cool idea - but wouldn't the Save for Minor Magic (which is 10+ the rogue's INT modifier) mean that this would quite quickly become sub-par?
    Those spells have no saving throw, so you're fine there. It's a niche trick though - if you're putting in the resources to SA with ranged attacks, you're probably better off just using a bow or throwing weapon instead.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    A lot of people seem to forget that the rogue can also get nearly as many feats as the fighter, which can fix all sorts of problems, provided you don't a different rogue talent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranthis View Post
    A lot of people seem to forget that the rogue can also get nearly as many feats as the fighter, which can fix all sorts of problems, provided you don't a different rogue talent.
    Assuming you mean "Combat Trick," they can only take that one once. There are some other specific feats they can get in place of talents, like Weapon Focus, but they still fall well short of a fighter's allotment.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Assuming you mean "Combat Trick," they can only take that one once. There are some other specific feats they can get in place of talents, like Weapon Focus, but they still fall well short of a fighter's allotment.
    Alright, thats true. I wasn't thinking about that they could only take it once, even though I knew that. My bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Assuming you mean "Combat Trick," they can only take that one once. There are some other specific feats they can get in place of talents, like Weapon Focus, but they still fall well short of a fighter's allotment.
    In fairness they get Weapon Finesse for free, as well as the equivalent "Dex to Damage" buff. They are also able, if you go for Swashbuckler, to grab a pair of Combat Feats and Weapon Focus. Not exactly a fighter's allotment but not as far off as you'd think.

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    I think it is fair to say that they can convert enough Tricks to the right feats to gain access to Shatter Defenses without too much trouble. Weapon Focus and Dazzling Display as Tricks at 2nd and 4th level leave open enough space for regular feats until level 9.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Yes - unfortunately, that would only give you a single outside rogue talent, because you can't take the "ninja trick" rogue talent more than once.
    Actually, Ultimate Combat says "A rogue can pick this talent more than once." The errata (well, the 1st to 3rd edition) does make a change, but only this:

    Page 70óIn the Rogue Talents class feature, in the Ninja Trick entry, add the following after the first sentence:

    The rogue cannot choose a ninja trick with the same name as a rogue talent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrukio View Post
    Actually, Ultimate Combat says "A rogue can pick this talent more than once." The errata (well, the 1st to 3rd edition) does make a change, but only this:

    Page 70óIn the Rogue Talents class feature, in the Ninja Trick entry, add the following after the first sentence:

    The rogue cannot choose a ninja trick with the same name as a rogue talent.
    The format is pretty much misleading and should be clarified on this.
    Using Shadow Clone as an example, you can come up with three potential readings:
    - Ninja Trick
    - Ninja Trick - Shadow Clone or Ninja Trick (Shadow Clone)
    - Shadow Clone

    The first and potentially the second option could cause a conflict with the "no duplicate tricks"-clause when used in this way.

    Basically, I agree with you there as my understanding of it is based on the second and third option, so no conflict there.

    @CTP:

    Will you keep updating this guide as new stuff comes up?

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    Well, I'm actually playing an unchained rogue in a RL game now, so I'll have some real experiences to test things. Of course, starting at level 1, I can't comment on the more interesting stuff like the new talents, skill unlocks, and debilitating injury.

    I can say, though, that getting Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat is nice. :P

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    I've played the 3.5 rogue, the PF rogue, and the unchained rogue. Ranking them in terms of within the context of their game system

    Urogue > 3.5 rogue > PF rogue

    Urogue is a solid T4 straddling the line between investigators and slayers. It's better at skills than slayers and more direct in combat than investigators. The latter is tier 3 and outclasses the rogue but no longer makes Urogue irrelevant.

    You still need to do back flips for sneak attack to be relevant, but less things shut you down and you never fall to being basically a commoner. The class is now functional, but still worthless in the highest optimized games.

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    You still need to do back flips for sneak attack to be relevant, but less things shut you down and you never fall to being basically a commoner. The class is now functional, but still worthless in the highest optimized games.
    The answer to that still is: Not really on both accounts. Youīve got multiple options to reliably get SA done and you can pick the Eldritch Scoundrel archetype for 6th level casting (wizard spell list) and climb a Tier, if you deem that necessary (which I donīt).

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    A low-level issue for melee rogues still stands: your relative squishiness coupled with the risk of melee. Flanking is one of the most consistent ways to get sneak attack, but at the low levels I've been playing at, it's often not worth the risk. With limited healing and crappy equipment, getting +1d6 to damage often isn't worth getting hit in the first place.

    I'm expecting things to get more interesting once we hit level 3 and Dex to damage kicks in.

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    A low-level issue for melee rogues still stands: your relative squishiness coupled with the risk of melee. Flanking is one of the most consistent ways to get sneak attack, but at the low levels I've been playing at, it's often not worth the risk. With limited healing and crappy equipment, getting +1d6 to damage often isn't worth getting hit in the first place.

    I'm expecting things to get more interesting once we hit level 3 and Dex to damage kicks in.
    Dirty Trick (see Underhanded trick), Kitsune Style and Cloak and Dagger Style are your friends here.
    Itīs not so bad picking up Agile Maneuvers on a Dex SAD rogue and make the blind condition stick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Dirty Trick (see Underhanded trick), Kitsune Style and Cloak and Dagger Style are your friends here.
    Itīs not so bad picking up Agile Maneuvers on a Dex SAD rogue and make the blind condition stick.
    I just don't have the feats to spend on that stuff, especially at level 1. By the time you can take most of those, you're out of the worst of the low-level risk zone, and have the hp and AC to survive more than a single round of combat.

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    Default Re: CTP's Unchained Rogue Mini-Guide

    What relative squishiness? You're going to have 1-2 less HP than a fighter but the same or higher AC. Seems kind of negligible. Damage is kind of an issue, because SA isn't even keeping up with a standard attack from a greatsword, but in terms of squishiness you shouldn't be that far off anyone else.

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