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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Default A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    A Most Sincere Introduction
    Hey, you! Do you like stabbing people in the throat? How about shooting people in their kidney and/or spleen? Do you enjoy lying, cheating, stealing, sneaking, looting or larceny? If you answered yes to any of these questions you would make a great rogue! And you’re probably a sociopath, so let me show you how to be the best sociopath you can be!
    As a rouge your jobs include, but are not limited to, stabbing people, stealing things and scouting ahead to see who there is to stab and what there is to steal. You can also make a great face for your party if you enjoy lying to people and making them feel really nice and safe right before you stab them. Choose to stab from a distance or stab up close and personal if you enjoy the feel of warm blood trickling down your stabbing hand. Obligatory rainbow guide!!!

    Gold (let’s be real though, it’s orange) – Everything you could want for making your enemies bleed as much as possible when you stab them or making it easier to stab them in the first place.
    Sky Blue – As in sky is the limit with this ability. Or something like that.
    Green – Better than purple, but not quite as good as blue. Exactly where green should be.
    Purple – Likely won’t help you stab anything, but might make you feel better about yourself. Pansy.
    Black – Whoa, that’s racist.
    Red – AKA the Jar-Jar award – given to things that should never have existed to begin with.

    Ability Scores
    Str – Strength based rogues are technically an option, I guess… since sneak attack doesn’t require you to use Dex for your stabby stabby. RAW it only requires that you use a finesse or ranged weapon, not that you use Dex for the attack. I can see only two reasons to ever go Str over Dex: 1) You have a specific multi-class stabbing option in mind and want/need Str for it (Barbarian/Rogue comes to mind, or as I like to call it – Stabby McAngrypants) or 2) You want to make your rogue a beefcake for flavor reasons. (mmm… flavored beefcake…)

    Dex – Most of the time you are going to want this as high as possible and max it out ASAP. Let’s look at all the different boons that having a +5 Dex modifier will win you:
    +5 to AC – Be the stabber, not the stabee!
    +5 to Initiative – Stab them before they stab you!
    +5 to Hit – Stab successfully more often!
    +5 to Damage – Stronger stabs!
    +5 to Stealth – Subtler stabs!
    +5 to Sleight of Hand – Metaphorically stab people in the purse!
    +5 to Acrobatics – Stab… uhh… acrobats?
    +5 to other Dex checks – Stab lock picks into chests!
    +5 to Dexterity Saves – A fairly common save.

    Con – This is a stat that literally everyone likes to have. You need a high constitution so that you don’t throw up after seeing peoples insides spill all over the battlefield when you stab them. And for more HP. That’s good too.

    Int – This is an OK stat for Arcane Trickster as it will determine your save DC, but aside from buffing the Int-based skill checks and saves (which aren’t very common) it doesn’t help you stab people. Even on a trickster many of the spells you’re likely to take don’t revolve around save DCs and don’t add bonuses based on your spellcasting modifier, so it’s not a high priority.

    Wis – A good stat due to the bonuses to Perception and Wisdom saves. The other skill bonuses it gives you can be good (except for Medicine) but are more for character flavor than anything else.

    Cha – This is the stat you take if you want to be a dashing swordsman (or bowman, I guess), called a Swashbuckler in 5e. Bonuses to the Cha-based skills are useful if you’re going to try and smooth talk your way into secure areas (to stab people) or out of sticky situations (caught stabbing people). If you want to be your party’s face put some points here.

    TLDR - Dump Str, max out Dex, get a decent (14-16) Con, and then put everything you have leftover at character creation into whichever one of the mental stats you like the most for flavor. Get feats with your ASIs after you max Dex.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Default Racial Profiling with Skill

    Races
    All races can stab people and stab them well if done right. But WotC made some races stab more equally than others.

    Aarakocra – +2 to Dex and innate flight? Epic. Death from above!

    Changeling – Shapechange is broken as an at-will racial ability. Combo that with +1 Dex and +1 Cha and you’ve got a super sexy stabbing machine.

    Elf - +2 Dex, Darkvision and proficiency in perception as the base are dreamy bonuses for a rouge. On top of that you get a subclass, any of which can be pretty great. Take High Elf if your DM allows the cantrips from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide for a not insignificant damage boost on your already impressive stabbing (Longbow proficiency is nice, too – also on Wood Elf). A good option for Arcane Tricksters regardless. Take Wood Elf if you want to move a little quicker and hide a little better. Drow’s light sensitivity can be a major flaw, so be careful with them. That said the Darkness racial ability combos extremely well once you get your blindsense class skill.

    Genasi – Air Genasi is the only one to consider in terms of power due to the +1 to Dex. Though the levitation is not as nice as the Aarakocra’s flight you’ll still be able to scream death from above and the Genasi’s +2 Con is much nicer than the +1 Wis given to the bird people.

    Gnome – Forest and Deep Gnomes both make for good rogues, especially Arcane Tricksters. They both get some nice features to protect against spells and darkvision (though the Deep Gnome’s is twice as nice). To top it off you can make gnome puns all day long.

    Halfling – who doesn’t want to see a crazed little person running around stabbing things? +2 Dex and lucky are very nice base features. I recommend going with the lightfoot subrace so that you can literally hide behind your meat shields. The +1 Cha is nice for the face types, too.

    Half-Elf – +2 to Cha is great for face-types and the +1 to any two others should go into Dex and Con. On top of that you get darkvision and two free skills (especially good due to Reliable Talent).

    Variant Human – Regular human is fairly lack-luster, but if your DM allows for the variant… things get interesting – especially at low levels. See the feats section for more info.

    Feral Tiefling - +2 Dex in place of the regular tiefling's +2 Cha. Much better for stabbing. Plus if your DM is allowing for the trades I recommend swapping out your Infernal Legacy for some wings.

    Shifter – Not really that great, but you can get a +1 Dex +1 Con or a +2 Dex, so I felt I had to mention it.

    Skills
    Obtaining maximum stabbing potential doesn’t really necessitate any skills except maybe stealth. So have some fun with your skills! You have access to a lot of them so you can decide exactly what kind of stabbing maniac you want to be.

    Acrobatics (Dex) – Not too important unless you’re planning on doing a balancing act on top of some building as you watch over a sleeping city, silently protecting them throughout the night like a batman who stabs people. The +5 you get to this from maxing out your Dex will likely be plenty if you don’t go that route. It will help you avoid being grappled, but there are other better ways of doing that if your DM likes to wrastle.

    Animal Handling* (Wis) – You’re a reclusive curmudgeon who lives on a farm and loves his animals (which are more like pets than anything) more than his own life. Coming up with reasons as to why you are reclusive and why you like to stab things can make for fun backstory.

    Arcana* (Int) – You have always had an interest in magic items and spells, but since you were never able to develop any magical talent yourself (or only minimal if you’re a trickster) you have spent your life studying magic and treasure hunting for magic items – and you’re will to stab as much as it takes to get them.

    Athletics (Str) – If you are going to spec yourself to take the shield master feat this is pretty much mandatory, otherwise its good for avoiding grapple, climbing and jumping. All things that rogues find themselves doing from time to time.

    Deception (Cha) – For the lying backstabber. It shouldn’t be too difficult to see the advantage of proficiency with this skill for most rogues, since we tend to be a dishonest bunch. Deception is beneficial not just for fabricating lies, but also for concealing the truth – Poker anyone? Lie, cheat and, if those fail, stab your way to a winning hand!

    History* (Int) – University professor by day, fedora-wearing archeologist adventurer by night. Your smart and sexy rogue relies on his trusty whip to stab people during combat and will only rarely reach for the hand crossbow he keeps loaded at his side. You know, if he isn’t feeling well that day or something.

    Insight (Wis) – If you’re in a thieves’ guild (and if you’re not, really…) you can bet that there will be plenty of people lying to you on a regular basis. You have been able to survive so long among the lying jerks because you see through their BS (stands for backstabbing). Discover who is going to betray you before they even know it themselves. Can be quite useful, but depends on how often your DM calls for a check – they may just have you make your own assumptions.

    Intimidation (Cha) – Threaten to stab people and get them to do what you want them to. Casting disguise self or using a disguise kit works well with this if you don’t want to suffer any potential negative consequences after implying that you’ll cut out someone’s throat if they don’t tell you what you want to know. Keep in mind that this can backfire – the one making threats is likely the first one targeted if a fight starts.

    Investigation (Int) – Get to the bottom of mysteries. Find the best shop to sell your loot. Track down the guy who stole your stuff (or the guy whose stuff you want to steal) and stab him. As with most things this skill’s strength is variable depending on how often your DM has you roll it. This skill would go well on a street-smart character – either a debonair detective for the local guard or an agent for the city’s crime family. Either way, you’ll be able to find plenty of people to stab.

    Medicine* (Wis) – I think Wizards of the Coast did a great job making almost everything in 5th edition. There are a very small number of exceptions to that and the Medicine skill is one of them. This skill should have been replaced with the healing kit having a related proficiency that comes with some bonuses or something to that effect. There is virtually no reason to ever take this skill since the only use for it is to stabilize a dying creature (which anyone can do automatically with a healing kit) or to identify an illness (highly unlikely this will be necessary – just cure it). That said flavor often prevails in D&D (as it often should) and taking medicine on a rogue who doesn’t like to kill anyone and always checks and makes sure opponents that he stabs are still alive is an example of how this skill could make sense for your character… I guess…

    Nature* (Int) – <Sigh> I’m running out of ideas for skills that don’t really make sense on your average rogue… Especially since Animal Handling has a decent bit of flavor cross-over with this… Maybe you’re a drow who was exiled from the underdark at a young age for showing too much compassion to the animals that your kind had enslaved. Forced to live on the surface for years and not welcome in most civilized areas you have learned to fend for yourself. This character makes more sense with Survival, but I guess Nature fits, too, right?

    Perception (Wis) – This is the only skill that I consider absolutely necessary. Perception is such a common check in most games that the only reason for a rogue not to take proficiency in it is if you are specifically making a character who is unobservant as a flaw. I also recommend getting expertise in this so that at level 11 the lowest perception check you will be able to roll is a 17 (assuming a -1 Wis modifier) – and it only goes up from there. After all you don’t want to miss an opportunity to stab someone because you weren’t paying attention.

    Performance (Cha) –This doesn’t have too many practical in-game applications, but as far as flavor goes it can be a lot of fun. If you want to do anything with instruments you’ll likely have to take the right background to get it. Otherwise try juggling your daggers right before stabbing people with them. Join a traveling troop of entertainers as a cover for roaming the countryside and robbing people.

    Persuasion (Cha) – If you want to get your way without having to stab people (wuss) or threaten to stab people (sissy) then this skill will help you do that. But seriously, it’s a great proficiency to pick up if you’re the party face. If you’re shy or just don’t like to talk much then it will probably be wasted.

    Religion* (Int) – You’ll have to find a deity that doesn’t frown upon stabbing people, but that’s not terribly difficult. Maybe even invent your own deity that specifically encourages stabbing and start a church for it! Oh, man that would be awesome! Dibbs on that character!

    Sleight of Hand (Dex) – For the sneak-thief type rogues who enjoy ill-gotten gains and trickery. Be on the winning side of a game of three card monte for once.

    Stealth (Dex) – This pretty much comes standard on the majority of rogues. Sneak around, hide from enemies, and attack from the shadows. When someone says rogue most people think stealth (and stabbing).

    Survival* (Wis) – Nope. I’m done. I give up on making ridiculous character concepts based around skills that aren’t on the rogue list. I hope you enjoy the tragedy of the fact that I gave up on the last skill and the irony of what that skill is.

    * – Not a class skill for Rogues. You would need to get this from somewhere else (Race, background, etc.)
    Last edited by Cuddlebot5000; 2016-01-19 at 11:08 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Default Super-type, Sub-type and nothing in between

    Class Features
    The ones that all rogues get. Using these gifts well is what will allow you to stab to your hearts content, regardless of which archetype you choose.

    Expertise – Solid from level 1 and gets sickening once you have Reliable Talent and your proficiency bonus is high. The versatility here is awesome as it allows you to tailor you rogue to the exact kind of scoundrel you want them to be. With the Expertise/Reliable Talent combo you can turn a skill with a negative modifier into a skill that you are incapable of rolling less than a 20 on at later levels.

    Sneak Attack – Here it is. The baseline of your stabbing prowess. Not much to talk about on the ability itself other than ways to gain it (it’s not that difficult). The simplest and, in my experience, most common way to gain sneak attack on a target is to have an ally next to them – either fire arrows at targets currently fighting your friends or wait for you melee buddies to go in and then make with the stabby-stabby as a follow-up. Being hidden from your opponent causes advantage on your attack, which will proc sneak attack, but the rules for how exactly stealth works during combat are vague and largely up to DM discretion, so talk it out before you start so that nobody gets stabbed over any given ruling. Other ways to proc sneak attack/gain advantage on attack rolls include, but are not limited to: the Assassin’s Assassinate ability, the Arcane Trickster’s Versatile Trickster ability, and the Swashbuckler’s Rakish Audacity (or Toujour l’Audace if you’re pompous).

    Thieves' Cant – Mostly flavor, but if you’re part of a thieves’ guild or something similar that can be a lot of fun. Advice for DMs – have a rogue PC contacted by someone using thieves’ cant for a secret mission, have them notice two people communicating with it across the bar or have a city’s leader send out a thieves’ cant message during a speech that they give. Lots of potential with this, but as I said earlier it’s a tool to enhance the roleplay experience and does nothing to aid in your stabbing exploits.

    Cunning Action – Most rogues are likely to use this ability constantly. The Archer rogue will want to use their bonus action to hide and then stab (or stab then hide, depending on the situation) to get advantage on attacks and stay out of harm’s way. Single weapon melee rogues can go in make with the stabby, then use disengage and move away. If you’re a dual wielding rogue you have got a choice to make – take your second weapon attack (which is a bonus action) or use cunning action to get away – you can’t do both. Dashing as a bonus action can get you from one side of a fairly large combat area to the other with relative ease, making it less likely you’ll have to sacrifice attacks. Swashbucklers can exploit this more than the others thanks to their Fancy Footwork feature.

    Uncanny Dodge – Not too bad a use of your reaction, but you shouldn’t be utilizing it much. It’s better to try and attack somehow with it, as sneak attack damage can proc one per turn, not per round.

    Evasion – Nice to have, but nothing to it as far as decisions or strategy goes.

    Extra ASI (Level 10) – Lovely. Rogues have some pretty slick options when it comes to feats, so if your DM allows them this opens up a lot of potential and versatility. See the feats section for more. Still nice just as an ASI, but nothing to stab someone over.

    Reliable Talent – As stated above this can turn skill checks that are mediocre at best into god-like talents, especially in conjunction with expertise. It’s based on the abilities that you are proficient in, so see the skills section for more on which ones to choose. Actually don’t… The skills section is stupid.

    Blindsense – This is unlikely to come into play unless you make it happen. Making it happen can be highly advantageous, though. If you are an Arcane Trickster I recommend taking darkness as one of your any-school spells once you get this ability. You know where your opponents are, but they can’t see you. You can also do this with your racial casting ability if you are a Drow.

    Slippery Mind – Very nice to be proficient with Wisdom saves, but nothing to talk about mechanically.

    Elusive – Nobody ever has advantage against you. Nice, but again, nothing to discuss.

    Stroke of Luck – Not the worst capstone in the game, but not the best, either. Most of your stabs should be hitting with a +5 Dex and a +6 Proficiency bonus. Not to mention anything from all the magical gear you have by the time you’re level 20… I’ve never gotten to this point in a campaign, so I’m just speculating here, but I imagine you’d want to save this ability until things are looking pretty bad and you really need that success, or if you are nearing the end of a fight and you know you’ll be able to rest after.

    Archetypes
    I won’t be talking about Mastermind because for the most part it sucks and this guide is too long already. The same general concept can be accomplished with any other archetype and you’ll be better at pretty much everything that matters.

    Assassin
    You kill things quickly and efficiently (assuming you get the drop on them). The assassinate ability is a good early boost to your damage and you get Death Strike later to keep your assassination potential ridiculous.

    Bonus Proficiencies – Disguise kit and poisoner’s kit proficiencies are great flavor for an assassin. Unfortunately as far as actual game mechanics go you don’t gain much from this unless your DM lets you have fun with obscure things like this.

    Assassinate – Advantage on attacks when you win initiative and auto-critical hits when you surprise your opponents (be careful here, winning initiative is not the same as surprising someone). Power-wise – Awesome damage increase, albeit somewhat situational. Flavor-wise – you feel like a BAMF when you sneak up on someone and shove a dagger up under their ribcage, killing them instantly. If your DM is cool and if you’re stealthy enough you can even try to muffle the screams of your victims so they don’t alert their allies, allowing you to proc this more than once in an encounter if you’re, say, attacking a bandit camp at night.

    Infiltration Expertise – This is SO cool for flavor. The Power of this ability depends largely on your creativity and guile. Clerics are traveling from all over to meet in the capital. Stab one of them on the road and take their place. Or just fabricate the existence of a town that you hail from and see if you can get in that way. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. I love RP-heavy abilities like this.

    Impostor – Same deal as Infiltration Expertise. So much RP potential it makes my pants tight.

    Death Strike – DC 19 Con save or take double damage from an attack that is already a guaranteed critical. Insane damage if you can manage to surprise someone, which shouldn’t be too hard since you have proficiency in stealth, have taken expertise and have 20 Dex by this point (27 minimum roll for stealth). Just don’t let your party screw it up. A major downside of this is that a lot of the big bads that you will be stabbing at this level have large con saves or can ignore failed saves completely, making your extra damage mean less.

    Thief
    The reason to choose this archetype is for the flavor (which I find somewhat awkward) and for Thieves’ reflexes, which doesn’t come until level and 17 - pretty late in the game.

    Fast Hands – You'll have to specifically plan to use this guy, but you can do some pretty tricksy things with it. Read through the items section of the PHB for roguish inspiration (or some of the responses to this guide)

    Second-Story Work – You can get really good at climbing and jumping. But, really, how good are climbing and jumping? Especially when you can just take proficiency in Athletics and you'll be rocking both.

    Supreme Sneak – At level 9 you get advantage on stealth checks if you move at half speed. I’m underwhelmed by this, too, since those with proficiency in stealth will have a +13 to it by this point and with Reliable Talent they’ll have a minimum roll of 23 for stealth in 2 levels.

    Use Magic Device – The vast majority of the magic items in the DMG do not require anything class or race specific to attune to them. And the ones that do you generally aren't going to be using because they do nothing for you - either they boost a class ability you don't have or you wouldn't be able to stab as well if using them (what kind of rogue takes a staff into combat?). There's also a good chance someone else in your party will want to use any given thingy that you find.

    Thieves’ Reflexes – The best ability the Thief gets. Again, as far as flavor goes it doesn’t fit terribly well. – another thing that makes sense for rogue in general, but not so much as a specifically thief-like ability. Really good ability, though.

    Arcane Trickster
    Stab people with spells!!! And a significant damage boost if your DM allows the cantrips from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide! I personally love casting spells, so I’m a bit biased toward this archetype, but go read through the spells section which is specifically for tricksters. They don’t have the burst damage that Assassin has (or even thief at later levels), but they have so much more versatility. It’s also nice that they get a steady influx of power via spellcasting instead of getting it all in big chunks that center around specific abilities.

    Spellcasting – See the spells section for more details, but this is the reason you make a trickster, the other abilities are icing. Or maybe gravy, depending on what you’re eating. If I had a rating above gold this would earn it.

    Mage Hand Legerdemain – Have some fun picking pockets from a distance. Even if you get caught you might not get caught. Also, opening chests/disarming traps from a distance is a nice safety feature.

    Magical Ambush – Most of the spells you’ll take won’t have opponents make save DCs. And most of the time when you get the drop on your enemies you won’t want to lead with a spell with the potential exception of a suggestion.

    Versatile Trickster – You can now proc sneak attack reliably even when you’re by yourself. Not super helpful because it isn’t hard to proc anyway… but the added advantage can be nice if you aren’t using your bonus action for something else already (which there’s a decent chance you are).

    Spell Thief – Have an opponent make a DC 14+ (depending on your Int) save on their spellcasting ability or lose a spell. If it’s a low-level spell you can cast it for the next 8 hours with your spell slots. This will cost you a reaction and will likely have no effect since there are better options than maxing your Int - even for a trickster. Plus the save is against the opponent’s spellcasting stat which they are likely proficient in, with a high modifier. By level 17 you should have better uses for your reaction. The best use for this that I can think of is having one of your allies cast a spell that they want to give you the ability to cast for the next 8 hours and failing that save intentionally. Even then – not very good.

    Swashbuckler
    I’ll be commenting on the Swashbuckler from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide rather than the UA: Waterborn Adventures since it is the official version - more balanced. Swashbucklers make the best dual stabbing rogues and are the only archetype to have abilities that directly get better with a higher charisma. Their damage is comparable to a thief’s at low levels, but they are much easier to use, much safer and have more utility.

    Fancy Footwork – This is what makes Swashbucklers the best at dual stabbing, since you don’t need to use your bonus action on disengaging. Two swings means two chances to land that sneak attack damage, which is a big deal. If other archetypes want to dual wield they have to remain in melee or take OAs. Neither of which you really want to do.

    Rakish Audacity – A two-parter. +Cha to initiative roles is nice. The second part makes it even easier to proc your sneak attack stabs.

    Panache –It has two uses – in combat and out. When used against a non-hostile creature it is an at-will charm person that likely has a higher DC than the spell at level 9 and will definitely have a higher DC after you get reliable talent (assuming you spec for it – why wouldn’t you?). If used against a hostile creature it has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets that are not you until it is attacked by someone else. This is unlikely to be a good use of your action, since just stabbing someone is better. If your DM allows the use of the completely and utterly broken UA:Waterborn version of this skill then use it and use it often.

    Elegant Maneuver –Advantage on two checks that are right up rogue-alley. Not the strongest level 13 ability, but still definitely useful.

    Master Duelist – Pretty much just raw power. Potentially turn a miss into a hit. Combined with Stroke of Luck at 20 you probably won’t ever miss again.
    Last edited by Cuddlebot5000; 2016-01-19 at 11:22 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Default Great strength of Feats

    Feats
    I will not be commenting on any feats that do not add to the rogue’s power unless I really like the flavor that it adds. For example – Dual wielder is on the list because of the power it offers, Grappler is on the list because of the flavor it offers and Heavy Armor Master is not on the list because if you devote enough feats to take this on a rogue then you are obviously way better at roleplaying games than I am.

    Alert – Main reason to take this is for the +5 to initiative, the other stuff barely even counts as gravy. I see a lot of people recommending this feat to assassins, but I think it’s a bit overrated even for them. As I pointed out earlier – winning initiative and surprising your opponent are not the same thing. You only get the auto-critical hit if they are surprised. Merely winning initiative as an assassin just means you’ll have advantage on your first attack. Whoopee, it’s not worth a feat to maybe gain that advantage.

    Athlete – Not a great feat. Main reason to take it is if you have an odd number for your Dex and want to get the extra sides with this feat instead of putting one point into something other than Dex.

    Actor – Mainly for Cha-focused rogues. Lots of RP potential here and part of one of my favorite combo in the game – Actor, Disguise Self and charm spells. Can be very powerful if you use it well.

    Crossbow Expert – Stab twice with a hand crossbow in one round. You have to give up your cunning action to stab the second time, but if you missed the first it’s worth it. A solid way to increase the chances you’ll proc sneak attack.

    Dual Wielder Stabber – Not a bad option for dual wielding rogues, but there are also some options out there that offer more power.

    Dungeon Delver – Mainly for flavor if you want to make a delve-savvy type of character. The power it offers is minimal.

    Grappler – This is not the best use of a feat and grappling your opponent is probably not the best way to kill them, but it sure is fun to gab ahold of someone and not stop stabbing them until they stop moving (maybe not even then).

    Inspiring Leader – Great option for both power and flavor for party faces. Tell your party exactly how well you plan on stabbing the enemies that you are about to face. Describe in vivid detail the blood spatter as you cut across their… wait, what? Most people don’t find that kind of thing inspirational? Screw you, DM!

    Keen Mind – Not a great feat, but if you have an odd number in your Int and want the extra flavor I can understand that.

    Linguist – Same as Keen Mind.

    Lucky – No flavor to speak of here, jut raw power. Kind of a ridiculous amount of it, too. A level 20 swashbuckler with this feat should never miss a stab.

    Mage Slayer – Most rogues don’t want to stay in melee, but some do. And a rogue who hates spellcasters and stabs them first in fights seems like a fun concept to me.

    Magic Initiate – Lots of options with this. You can go the utility route with the Cleric list and grab guidance for skill checks and a heal spell in case of emergencies. Druid also has access to guidance and Goodberry is a spell that you never really need to cast more than once a day (for those penny-pinchers who don’t want to pay for rations). Going warlock allows for the biggest damage boost between Hex and the melee cantrips from Sword Coast. Other good options include picking up a familiar, getting bless for the extra to-hit, or taking any other spell you think sounds like fun.

    Martial Adept – Only getting to use one superiority die per short rest isn’t that great, but the maneuvers offer some pretty slick options. The best, in my opinion, is riposte so you can try and get double the stabbing on one opponent.

    Mobile - Decent for people who aren’t swashbucklers. Somewhat wasted if you are. Shouldn’t be a high priority.

    Mounted Combatant – Stab from horseback! Assuming you’re fighting medium or smaller creatures you’ll always have advantage, which means always sneak attacking… but that’s not hard to do without this…

    Observant – Same as Linguist.

    Resilient – The only thing you’re likely to want to take this for is Con since you get Dex naturally and Wis eventually as well. If you do take it plan ahead and have an odd score beforehand. Makes the most sense on Tricksters who want to maintain concentration.

    Ritual Caster – Only take if you don’t have a wizard in the party. Even then… Not an awesome pickup.

    Savage Attacker – Only applies to weapon damage, not Stab Attack damage. Meh.

    Sentinel – Sexy feat if you’ve got the naranjas to stay in melee. Combos well if you have a party member who can cast greater invisibility or if you’re a trickster and you can yourself (though that won’t happen until high levels).

    Sharp Shooter – If you’re stabbing from a distance you’ll want to pick this up at some point. Great damage boost, especially for low AC targets.

    Skilled – Synergizes well with reliable talent… But skills don’t help you kill things.

    Skulker – Another solid choice for the ranged stabber. If you’re a wood elf there is some overlap here, but it’s still appealing.

    Tough – Who doesn’t want more HP? People who want to kill people faster, that’s who.

    War Caster – If you have the sentinel feat and can convince your DM to allow you to cast Booming Blade or Green-Flame Blade this is more appealing (RAW this combo does not work). Otherwise it’s only a potential late-game pickup for tricksters.
    Last edited by Cuddlebot5000; 2016-01-13 at 06:16 PM.

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    Default How to stab someone with magic!

    Spells
    General guidelines for spells – take spells that require a save sparingly - especially if you aren't taking a lot of Int. Keep in mind that each time you gain a level you can swap out a spell for another (excluding cantrips). This benefit is not restricted to spells of the same level, meaning you can swap that 1st level spell that you thought would be really good but it turns out you never use for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th level spell (assuming you're high enough level of course). There aren’t a ton of amazing options, but the amazing options that are there are worth their weight in erections, especially the 3rd and 4th level spells.

    Cantrips
    Booming Blade – Christmas came early my roguish compatriots. At least for those of you who enjoy being in melee. Go in, stab them with this (it will still proc sneak attack) use your cunning action to disengage and move away. If they follow you they take extra damage. And as with most damage cantrips it scales with your character level. Were this cantrip a woman I would take it in a roguish and manly fashion.

    Chill Touch – Not worth it very often, but if you’re fighting a troll or something else that gains HP easily it can be nice. Even so, this is a spell better left to someone who is not you.

    Friends – I love casting disguise self and then using mood-affecting magic on people. Get them angry at some random dude who doesn’t exist or an NPC that you don’t like.

    Green-Flame Blade – Booming Blade, but with fire damage and a secondary target taking damage instead of the movement thing. Careful with this because some DMs (screw you, Kevin!) may rule that if there isn’t another enemy nearby you have to have the secondary effect go somewhere – meaning YOU take that damage. Still super sexy since rogues don’t have any form of multi-target damage except this.

    Light – The name says it all. If you don’t have darkvision this is a good idea. Not terrible even if you do, since someone in your party probably doesn’t. I find it funny to shoot an enemy with an arrow that has light cast on it. Maybe I’m just sadistic, though…

    Mage Hand – You can do some fun things with this as an Arcane Trickster. Stealing from people with little chance of being caught. Disarming traps from afar. And eventually gaining advantage on all your attacks. You have this automatically as a trickster and if you didn’t you should take it.

    Message – I always think that I’ll use this spell, but then I never do…

    Minor Illusion – Lots of potential with this one. Especially with a lenient DM. Though if your DM is a **** (Kevin) you won’t get much mileage out of it.

    PrestidigitationThe standard multi-purpose I’m-a-cool-wizard-look-at-me spell.

    True Strike – There is one very situational case that this would be useful for you and that is if you are fighting something and have disadvantage on the attack roll and have none of the other numerous ways of gaining advantage against it to cancel out the disadvantage. Two attack rolls with the potential of hitting once vs two attack rolls with the potential of hitting twice. It makes absolutely zero sense on anyone but a rogue and I still give it a Jar-Jar for us.


    1st Level (Enchantment/Illusion) –
    Charm Person – A version of Friends that lasts longer, but they get a save, which sucks.

    Colorspray – Not a great spell even if you could cast it at level 1, when it would be most effective. Skip.

    Disguise Self – Mmm… lovely ability for a rogue. Combo it with mind-altering magic for funny and affective shenanigans.

    Silent Image – An improved minor illusion! Not too bad.

    Sleep – It’s a good spell for a primary caster. But since you only access it at level 3 and it starts losing its usefulness pretty soon after (especially since you won’t be casting it at higher levels) it’s not great.

    Tasha’s Hideous Laughter – If you actually have a decent Int this can be a decent spell. Otherwise you want to try and stay away from save-based spells.

    1st Level (Any) –
    Featherfall – For those of you worried about falling.

    Find Familiar – Sexy sexy sex sex! Familiars are amazeballs in 5e. You can use them to scout, as a lookout or even to give you advantage on your attack rolls in combat! That’s right the familiar can use the help action during combat to give you advantage. Caution: DMs who are horrible people (Kevin) will likely target your familiar and kill it, even if any rational enemy would attack the person stabbing it before worrying about slaughtering a helpless owl… I miss you, Athena!!!

    Mage Armor – Gets you AC higher than studded leather can get it without being magical. But uses a spell slot. Worth it? I’ll let you decide.

    Absorb Elements – Pretty good use of a reaction since it defensive and offensive. Fairly situational, though.

    Shield - +5 to AC is good for a reaction, but I think your spell slot and your reaction are better spent elsewhere.

    2nd Level (Enchantment/Illusion) –
    Blur – Not terrible, but outclassed in just about every way by Mirror Image.

    Hold
    Person – Save DC spell. And restricted to humanoids.

    Invisibility
    – What’s not to like about turning invisible?

    Mirror
    Image – Which one of the four versions of me is the one that actually stabbed you? Muahahahaha. The fact that this doesn’t require concentration really makes the ability.

    Phantasmal
    Force – Save DC. Though, it is an Int save, which makes it slightly more appealing. I still don’t recommend it. Though, if you’re fighting by yourself a cool DM (not Kevin) may allow an illusion of another creature fighting count for procing sneak attack.

    Suggestion
    – The only save DC spell that I actually recommend that you take. It is such a big advantage to turn someone from the opposing team over to your side I can’t not recommend it. Especially since you’re just going to stab them when it’s all over anyway.

    2nd Level (Any) –
    Magic Weapon – Good if your DM doesn’t like to give you magic items (I seriously @!#$%&* hate you, Kevin).

    Darkness
    – It’s an ok spell until you get blindsense. Then it is a fun and effective way to help you stab things.

    Misty
    Step – Not amazing since you can already bonus action dash, but the fact that it is teleportation instead of regular movement has some advantages still.

    Levitate
    – Slowly descend on someone from above, stab them in the head and float back up. Hilarious.

    3rd Level (Enchantment/Illusion) –
    Well, 3rd level wizard spells don’t offer much from these schools… But here is what you’re working with.
    Fear – The fact that you can make a lot of creatures roll a save redeems the fact that it is a save DC spell somewhat. Not a ton.

    Hypnotic
    Pattern – Kind of funny if it works. But it probably won’t work.

    Major
    Image – Mess with people’s heads and do it well.

    Phantom
    Steed – Horsey! If you took the Mounted Combatant feat this would go well with it. Don’t recommend either, though, really…

    3rd Level (Any) –
    Haste – This spell is so darn good on you some people think its better not to take it because it makes you too good (which is kind of silly for a lot of reasons, but still!). Use the extra action to attack on your turn (this will allow you to bonus action attack with an off-hand if you are a dual-stabber) then use your regular action to ready an attack to strike on another's turn when something else happens (I will attack them when my ally attacks them, I will attack them when they attack, etc.). Sneak Attack damage can proc once a turn, so this will effectively double your damage potential. Not to mention the added speed, bonus to AC and advantage on Dex saves.

    4th Level (Enchantment/Illusion) –
    Greater Invisibility – Advantage on every attack you make. Disadvantage on attacks against you (if they even target the right square). If you have the sentinel feat this becomes even friggin' sexier since your enemies will probably be attacking your allies and not you.

    Hallucinatory Terrain – Can be kind of fun if you’re creative, which I am not.

    4th Level (Any) –
    Arcane Eye – For scouting.

    Dimension Door – For teleporting short distances (can you tell I’m getting bored with telling you what to do?)

    EDIT: Thanks to everyone who has been reading & commenting. For those who have asked - Yes, I will be doing a multi-class section. I will also be including a strategy section and cleaning up the spells a good bit since (as I'm sure you can see) I was getting kind of tired of writing by that point.

    EDIT: I've updated a few things in the guide - special thanks to SharkForce, Corran and Flashy for the excellent advice. Spell section still needs a little work and the last section is still to come (we'll see if I'm ever motivated enough to finish).
    Last edited by Cuddlebot5000; 2016-01-19 at 11:48 AM.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Reserved #5

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Sorry f I'm posting too soon, but are you going to rate the mastermind from SCAG?
    Nice guide though, its cool to have more than just one. If I'm making a character and want advice, I like to be able to look at at least 2 different guides.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Also kudos on the thread title, I approve.
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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Thanks for the new take. Definitely worth the read and consideration.

    Its also worthwhile to look at expertise exploits too.
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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    I don't know if this is something people commonly do, but have you thought about adding a multiclassing section to this guide?

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Now I have the Offspring stuck in my head...
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    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddlebot5000 View Post
    Changeling – Shapechange is broken as an at-will racial ability. Combo that with +1 Dex and +1 Cha and you’ve got a super sexy stabbing machine.
    Shapechange would be broken as at-will racial ability, that's why Changeling's racial ability ShapechangeR works as physical version of Disguise Self that doesn't change your stats or equipment. Still useful, but far from broken

    http://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/02/04/...gs-shapeshift/

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddlebot5000 View Post
    Athletics (Str) – Jumping and climbing are things that some rogues will often do in order to break into places and stab the unsuspecting. Combined with the Thief Archetype’s Second-Story Work feature you can be extremely good at jumping and climbing to get through that open window on the third floor. If you want to grapple your opponents and stab them until they stop moving this is how you do it. Or you can just invent parkour in your realm. Be an entertainer of the masses with your impressive skills and be the cause of countless injuries that stupid people get because they think they can do the same stuff – after all, you make it look so easy.
    Athletics deserves better...you can shove opponent prone and then stab him for sneak attack damage while he's down. Needs multiclass for Extra attack, TWF or Shield Expert to do that in one turn, or a way to keep him down for a longer period of time.
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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Str should be gold, I've played a Strouge. Take shield master and moderately armored (v human works best for this) and expertise in athletics and that's great battlefield control and auto advantage.

    You make a better fighter than the fighter what with cunning action and uncanny dodge (later being a shield block technique).

    With expertise you can have low scores and still be good at skills

    Edit: gold
    Last edited by SpawnOfMorbo; 2016-01-13 at 10:02 PM.

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    i feel like you are undervaluing the thief's fast hands ability. dump a bag of marbles on the floor. lay out caltrops to stab pursuers in their feet. use a healing kit to stabilise an ally (or heal them if you have the healer feat, which deserves special mention). arm an animal trap. trigger an existing trap in an enemy's square. loot an enemy quickly when you need to run away. lock a door behind you as you're running away. now, i'm not saying it is worth sky blue or anything. but it is actually pretty good, if you plan for it.

    for spells, it feels a bit weird to be suggestng enlarge/reduce to a rogue, but reduce can let you sneak into tight spaces.


    at third level, gaseous form is a great option for getting into places you shouldn't be able to reach as well. and of course, fly.

    at 4th level, leomund's secret chest can be used in downtime and doesn't compete with greater invisibility, making it another option for one of your limited selections (note that your limited selections don't need to stay at the same level). now, whether it is good enough to compete with polymorph, that's another question entirely.

    lastly, i feel like one particular use of haste deserves an extra mention: with haste up, a rogue can use the extra haste action to attack, which then allows most bonus action attacks (two-weapon fighting and crossbow expert both work) and your regular action to ready an attack. this is of critical importance because when you ready an attack, you can ready it to go off on a different turn... and sneak attack is once per turn, *not* once per round. certainly, there are many things you can do with haste, but this particular use makes enough of a difference that i feel it bears specifically mentioning. you can get super-stabs twice per round instead of once per round, and that is a big deal for a rogue in combat.

    (also, i do think you should make a multiclassing section, rogues multiclass very well).

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    DMs who are horrible people (Kevin) will likely target your familiar and kill it, even if any rational enemy would attack the person stabbing it before worrying about slaughtering a helpless owl… I miss you, Athena!!!
    A familiar who is reduced to 0 HP doesn't die, they just disappear and return to where they came from. You can summon them back.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Agreed on the Thief, fast hands is absolutely amazing for "use an item".

    Also it seems as if you haven't played the Arcane Trickster, yeah they get some cool spell schools but their limited spells per days hurts them badly. Magical Ambush is great due to the extra spells you can learn, and is a great multiclass point.

    Also the assasin should be red. It relies on way to many maybes to be worth it. Blue in a role play/splinter cell game but in the average game... It turns into a steaming pile of "meh".

    Actually the guy I linked to below is pretty spot on when it comes to the rogue and you should take a look at his guide.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...5E-Rogue-Guide

    I've played a lot of Rogue and I'm sorry to say that OP guide only scratches the surface of how to build and use rogues.

    The fact that you don't have acrobatics gold, you main defense against being grabbed, proned, and other not so nice things is pretty telling.

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    Cannot comment on everything, but here are some thoughts.

    Halflings should be gold, just like elves and humans. Everything a halfling gets, fits the rogue perfectly. From the stat boosts, all the way up to advantage on saves against fear effects (disadvantage from fear effects essentially blocks your sneak attack, having a racial feauture as an extra layer of protection against such effects is going to be handy in those boss fights when your party will be needing you the most. Also, the natural stealthy racial feature of the lightfoot halfling can be very useful, but I wont go into much detail about that as many DMs rule it in different ways (thus exploiting this feature with cunning action is not a guarantee for every-turn advantage madness).

    Halfelves should be probably be green, rather than sky blue, and arakokra should probably be sky blue or even green (at will flight is really good, but it is not a real difference maker, nor is it an all-win tactics - I also should say that I consider gold to be a perfect match, pretty much what humans, elves and halflings are). Also, I think there should be some mentioning of the scag tieflings that get the +2 to dex (along with the rest useful tiefling traits - I think the winged tiefling gets +2 to dex).

    As far as abilities go, int should have two different ratings, one for AT, and one for the other archtypes. It should be black for archtypes other than AT (as it contributes to fewer and less important things than wis and cha - assuming face or assassin), and it should be purple or green for AT (probably green).

    Acrobatics should indeed be gold, it is just one of those skills that you MUST have, and will definitely pick, just like stealth and perception. The only reason that you might not take acrobatics, is if you plan for a rogue build that revolves around actually using athletics in combat, to grapple, shove, or sth in these lines. Either way, your anti-grappling (among other uses) skill has to be gold. There is not a single rogue build that wants to be considered optimized, that will miss on both athletics and acrobatics (same goes for perception and stealth). So to sum up, athletics is gold if you planned a build around it, otherwise acrobatics is gold. And if athletics is not gold because you did not plan your build around it, then it is green, as it is still a useful skill that cannot always be replaced by acrobatics for certain (and in many cases very important) skill checks.

    The assassin's features infiltration expertise and impostor, should be black imo. They are very DM/ campaign dependent, and if you want to create an asassin who goes about these kind of stuff, you can do it in other ways, sooner, and more effectively. Assassinate relies too much on initiative (to the point that it hurts, it feels wrong, and it kind of makes alert a feat tax for assassins, one they should not have to even pay in the first place imo), but you get it really early, possibly allowing you to mc out, so a sky blue rating is on point imo.


    Also, thanks for the guide!

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Use Magic Device seems really strong until you realize that most of the magic items in the DMG are already available to anyone. Only ~40 or so have race, class or spellcasting restrictions of any kind at all. Of this small subset a thief still can't actually use several because they interact with class features the thief still doesn't have. Rods of the Pact Keeper and so on. Even then, you're still not going to see more than a few since most items with restrictions are either rare or very rare. So if you're in a game that's high enough magic that you're going to see more than a small handful of powerful magic items AND any of them have race or class requirements AND there's no one else in the party who meets the requirements AND you still care enough about the item to use it then yes, you've essentially activated a magic item that you wouldn't have otherwise been able to use. It's pretty game dependent for a feature you've rated as sky blue. In the vast majority of cases it's going to be a fiendishly situational ability.

    To put it another way the Arcane Trickster gets much of the benefit of Use Magic Device at 3rd level when it gets the spellcasting feature.
    Last edited by Flashy; 2016-01-14 at 05:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    are you going to rate the mastermind from SCAG?
    Not terribly interested in it as I mentioned at the beginning of the Archetypes section. I didn't want to give it a red rating because its not a stupid class option; I just feel as though the abilities do not give you nearly the same power that any of the other options give you and if you want to play a master-mind type character you just need to roleplay it. Any other option can be more of a mastermind than the Mastermind option simply through RP.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Shapechange would be broken as at-will racial ability, that's why Changeling's racial ability ShapechangeR works as physical version of Disguise Self that doesn't change your stats or equipment. Still useful, but far from broken
    I was not suggesting that you get any benefit other than appearance. I consider the ability to change your appearance at will from level 1 broken. Not for combat, but as an assassin or a burglar, for example? Holy crap on a cracker, what could possibly be more advantageous? Be anyone. The curator or the museum that you want to rob. The King's cup bearer. Anyone's own mother. How do you defend against your mother? You don't. You die when your mother is actually an assassin sent to kill you. No other way about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Athletics deserves better...you can shove opponent prone and then stab him for sneak attack damage while he's down. Needs multiclass for Extra attack, TWF or Shield Expert to do that in one turn, or a way to keep him down for a longer period of time.
    To multiclass to the point of extra attack you're straying a good bit from straight rogue, which is what this guide is for (Multiclass section coming soon). To get shield expert you would need to pick up the proficiency somehow. Either by way of moderately armored or, again, by multiclassing. I don't think the ability to shove as a bonus action is worth taking two feats as a straight rogue.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpawnOfMorbo View Post
    Str should be gold, I've played a Strouge. Take shield master and moderately armored (v human works best for this) and expertise in athletics and that's great battlefield control and auto advantage.
    This sounds like a very fun character to play! But in order for Str to be worth it you would have to do something very specific like this, whereas the vast majority of the time Dex is the way to go. I do mention in the strength section that you can make specific builds work well with Str.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    i feel like you are undervaluing the thief's fast hands ability. dump a bag of marbles on the floor. lay out caltrops to stab pursuers in their feet. use a healing kit to stabilise an ally (or heal them if you have the healer feat, which deserves special mention). arm an animal trap. trigger an existing trap in an enemy's square. loot an enemy quickly when you need to run away. lock a door behind you as you're running away. now, i'm not saying it is worth sky blue or anything. but it is actually pretty good, if you plan for it.
    You make some good points that I had not considered. I will likely up the rating in a future update.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    or spells, it feels a bit weird to be suggestng enlarge/reduce to a rogue, but reduce can let you sneak into tight spaces.


    at third level, gaseous form is a great option for getting into places you shouldn't be able to reach as well. and of course, fly.

    at 4th level, leomund's secret chest can be used in downtime and doesn't compete with greater invisibility, making it another option for one of your limited selections (note that your limited selections don't need to stay at the same level). now, whether it is good enough to compete with polymorph, that's another question entirely.
    I need to do a lot more with the spells section in general... I was getting tired of writing at that point. Thanks for the suggestions, though!

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    lastly, i feel like one particular use of haste deserves an extra mention: with haste up, a rogue can use the extra haste action to attack, which then allows most bonus action attacks (two-weapon fighting and crossbow expert both work) and your regular action to ready an attack. this is of critical importance because when you ready an attack, you can ready it to go off on a different turn... and sneak attack is once per turn, *not* once per round. certainly, there are many things you can do with haste, but this particular use makes enough of a difference that i feel it bears specifically mentioning. you can get super-stabs twice per round instead of once per round, and that is a big deal for a rogue in combat.
    I completely agree! Well, except for the part where I think you're saying that Haste gives you a second bonus action - it doesn't do that. Maybe I'm reading your meaning wrong. But otherwise you've got the right idea. As I said I got lazy with the spell section and I definitely need to comment on Haste more than saying "it helps a lot" like a chump.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strill View Post
    A familiar who is reduced to 0 HP doesn't die, they just disappear and return to where they came from. You can summon them back.
    Correct. But it will take a 1 hour ritual and 10 gp to bring them back, so they're done for that combat and maybe longer if you don't have the supplies/can't find the time to cast. The "I miss you Athena" line was just for comedic effect. I tend to think I'm funnier than I actually am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Halflings should be gold, just like elves and humans. Everything a halfling gets, fits the rogue perfectly. From the stat boosts, all the way up to advantage on saves against fear effects (disadvantage from fear effects essentially blocks your sneak attack, having a racial feauture as an extra layer of protection against such effects is going to be handy in those boss fights when your party will be needing you the most. Also, the natural stealthy racial feature of the lightfoot halfling can be very useful, but I wont go into much detail about that as many DMs rule it in different ways (thus exploiting this feature with cunning action is not a guarantee for every-turn advantage madness).
    You make a lot of good points and you have at least convinced me to up their rating to sky blue, if not gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    arakokra should probably be sky blue or even green (at will flight is really good, but it is not a real difference maker, nor is it an all-win tactics - I also should say that I consider gold to be a perfect match, pretty much what humans, elves and halflings are).
    I disagree with you on this point. Flight is an ability worthy of a third-level spell and using up concentration. To have it at-will from level 1? Insane. Especially with as mobile as rogues are when they're limited to horizontal movement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Also, I think there should be some mentioning of the scag tieflings that get the +2 to dex (along with the rest useful tiefling traits - I think the winged tiefling gets +2 to dex).
    I didn't realize this was a thing. I'll take a look and likely update for it, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    As far as abilities go, int should have two different ratings, one for AT, and one for the other archtypes. It should be black for archtypes other than AT (as it contributes to fewer and less important things than wis and cha - assuming face or assassin), and it should be purple or green for AT (probably green).
    I considered doing different ratings depending on different factors. And if I had you are spot on. But when I started doing that I just couldn't stop and ending up giving most abilities 2-3 different ratings, which started to defeat the purpose of a quick and easy guide. One of the things that I like the most about playing rogues is how your skills build on each other and what is worthless in one build can be really good for another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Acrobatics should indeed be gold, it is just one of those skills that you MUST have, and will definitely pick, just like stealth and perception. The only reason that you might not take acrobatics, is if you plan for a rogue build that revolves around actually using athletics in combat, to grapple, shove, or sth in these lines. Either way, your anti-grappling (among other uses) skill has to be gold. There is not a single rogue build that wants to be considered optimized, that will miss on both athletics and acrobatics (same goes for perception and stealth). So to sum up, athletics is gold if you planned a build around it, otherwise acrobatics is gold. And if athletics is not gold because you did not plan your build around it, then it is green, as it is still a useful skill that cannot always be replaced by acrobatics for certain (and in many cases very important) skill checks.
    A lot of people seem to be saying this or something similar... I've played rogues. I've DM'd for rogues. I never seem to use or make them use Acrobatics very often. Maybe it's the groups that I play with or just the way that I play rogues. Grappling doesn't happen terribly often with us and there are other defenses against it (like innate flight ). But enough people have told me that I'm wrong on this for me to at least consider upping the rating. Thanks for your input!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashy View Post
    Use Magic Device seems really strong until you realize that most of the magic items in the DMG are already available to anyone. Only ~40 or so have race, class or spellcasting restrictions of any kind at all. Of this small subset a thief still can't actually use several because they interact with class features the thief still doesn't have. Rods of the Pact Keeper and so on. Even then, you're still not going to see more than a few since most items with restrictions are either rare or very rare. So if you're in a game that's high enough magic that you're going to see more than a small handful of powerful magic items AND any of them have race or class requirements AND there's no one else in the party who meets the requirements AND you still care enough about the item to use it then yes, you've essentially activated a magic item that you wouldn't have otherwise been able to use. It's pretty game dependent for a feature you've rated as sky blue. In the vast majority of cases it's going to be a fiendishly situational ability.

    To put it another way the Arcane Trickster gets much of the benefit of Use Magic Device at 3rd level when it gets the spellcasting feature.
    Some excellent points I hadn't considered. Guess I'm still not fully out of the 3.5 mindset yet. I'll look into this and possibly change my ratings accordingly. Thanks for the comment!
    Last edited by Cuddlebot5000; 2016-01-14 at 05:21 AM.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Hi all, Hi OP, thanks for the thread.

    Interesting guide. There are a few points where our opinions differ though...

    1. STR & Athletics. You put both at a bad rating, while stressing the efficiency and fun factor of Grapple / Prone and need of mobility for the Rogue. It also serves the Rogue to avoid suffering these kind of effects. These should be twice-rated : Purple for most Rogue, Sky Blue for STR-based Rogues (which are a niche, no doubt here).

    2. INT & Arcane Trickster : you say INT is not important since you'll take non-save spells, then you analyse AT Arcane Ambush as basically useless.
    In my opinion, this is considering the abilities "in reverse"! It's thanks to the combination of decent/good INT (16+) and Arcane Ambush that the AT can actually use decent save spells.
    Meaning that spells such as Blindness, Bestow Curse of even Fireball can be used.
    Also, Versatile Trickster works with all "attack rolls", including spell attack rolls. Granted, you're supposed to use it for Sneak Attack but you may also use it with spells.

    So, while your advice on spell choices are the most obvious and easy to play, playing an "offensive" spellcaster with INT is doable also.
    (This becomes especially true for a Rogue/Wizard multiclass obviously). So I'd suggest rating INT and Ritual Caster (for AT only), as well as all AT abilities, at least one level higher.

    Thief archetype : some already commented on the fact that you probably underestimate its abilities.
    Not every DM will allow Aarakocra.
    As for AT, "Especially when compared to the Trickster who can get better bonuses than these from using spells… " means that the AT would sacrifice one of the few spell known and slots he has on Jump, Longstrider, Spider Climb, Levitate or Fly? Apart from Fly who can be nice to know (although competes with Haste on slots) for emergencies, it seems to me that there are too many good lvl1 / 2 spells to choose from to learn these as a priority.

    So, basically, this comparison doesn't hold: Thief's focus is agility/utility and he provides a real added value on this aspect.

    Thanks for reading :)

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    And +Str/+Other (specifically Con) can go Strogue easily.
    Spoiler: Goliath
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    Vincent the Folk Hero Goliath Rogue

    Str: 16
    Dex:14
    Con:14
    Int: 8
    Wis: 12
    Cha: 12

    HP: 10
    Initiative: 2
    Move: 30
    AC: 14 (12 + 2)

    Skills: Athletics (7)(E), Sleight of Hand (4), Animal Handling (3), Insight (5)(E), Perception (3), Survival (3). Performance (3).

    As a rogue you will be hit and run tactics, so your AC isn't as important as other martial's AC. You have decent UP and a safety net, as a reaction you can reduce an attack by 1d12+Con mod 1/rest. Though it doesn't synergize with Uncanny Dodge, it will help you GET to uncanny dodge.

    The first feat you want to take is moderately armored IF AC is important in your games. Of AC isn't that important then I would take mobile.

    You use all the tactics of a normal rogue, always use two daggers and always be flexible.


    However I prefer the Mountain Dwarf and Half-Orc Strouges, I'll optimize a bit on this one since I showed the unoptimised version above as a goliath (which by the way, if you take expertise in stealth the goliath becomes hilariously great at hiding, like shaggy from Scooby doo hiding behind a pole that should be way too small good).

    Spoiler: M. Dwarf
    Show

    Jocelyn the Sage M. Dwarf Rogue 1

    Jocelyn was raised to be a scholar but during her studies she read detective books and fantasized about being the world's greatest Dwarven detective. In her spare time she would work out and investigate claims by people... Usually to their annoyance like the "case of the missing 5 fist potato stew" which turned out to have just been misplaced... Though Jocelyn, to this day, claims that a Lich had something to do with it.

    Str: 16
    Dex: 14
    Con: 16
    Int: 10
    Wis: 12
    Cha: 8

    HP: 11
    AC: 16 (medium armor +2 dex)
    Initiative: +2

    Skills: Athletics (7)(E), Arcana (3), History (2), Investigation (4)(E), Insight (3), Perception (3)

    Dwarf traits are pretty solid. Yeah you are kinda on the slow side but on the positive... If you ever do find any loot you won't be weighed down.

    Again you should be using two daggers, being mobile, and adjusting your tactics round by round.

    For this build I would take Mobile but then again I typically always take mobile on a rogue.

    Next round of expertise goes to mental skills.


    Using this template, any strength boost race can go into Strogue. Even the half-elf can do a decent Strouge. I do however encourage people to use the Earth Genasi, non-detect can work wonders.

    It doesn't take a lot of optimization, just thinking outside the box and not letting yourself be caught up by rogue stereotypes.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    wasn't suggesting that haste gives an extra bonus action. was saying that the extra regular action can be used to make an attack action, and the trigger for most bonus action attacks require that you make an attack action.

    so, for example, you can use the haste action to attack, your bonus action to make an off-hand attack (or attack with crossbow expert), and your regular action to ready an attack. because getting to make 2 attacks on your turn makes it much more likely that you're going to land your sneak attack damage, which is a pretty important component of keeping your average DPR up (getting two chances to hit, that is). and of course, if you do hit and don't need the second attack on your turn, you can hide instead and get advantage on your reaction attack.

    but it seems like you have a good grasp of that, i was just saying that i think it's an important enough use of haste that it should be spelled out explicitly. the people you're presumably making this rogue guide for are the ones who probably won't automatically recognize that synergy between haste and rogues.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Haste isn't a great spell for the rogue. Most of their damage comes from sneak attack, which if you are using with two daggers like a good rogue, you already have a bonus action attack. You also already can dash as part of a bonus action.

    In pretty sure they made the rogue, made haste, and then remade the rogue to be a class based on the spell haste.

    Readying an attack is playing relatively instead of actively and unless you have a nice DM (re: lienent) reactions dont/won't always go off a lot.

    I was always a fan of the sentinel + mobile combination on a Halfling rogue that is hidden behind an ally in the ally's space) or hidden behind another creature. Throw in Skulker for maximum fun.
    Last edited by SpawnOfMorbo; 2016-01-14 at 10:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpawnOfMorbo View Post
    Haste isn't a great spell for the rogue. Most of their damage comes from sneak attack, which if you are using with two daggers like a good rogue, you already have a bonus action attack. You also already can dash as part of a bonus action.

    In pretty sure they made the rogue, made haste, and then remade the rogue to be a class based on the spell haste.

    Readying an attack is playing relatively instead of actively and unless you have a nice DM (re: lienent) reactions dont/won't always go off a lot.

    I was always a fan of the sentinel + mobile combination on a Halfling rogue that is hidden behind an ally in the ally's space) or hidden behind another creature. Throw in Skulker for maximum fun.
    haste is an amazing spell for rogues. it doesn't give you a bonus action attack. it gives you an extra regular action, which you can use to make an attack action (but limited to one attack during that attack action).

    which means you can make two attacks (one regular from haste action, one from bonus action) and ready an attack for when your turn ends. considering you can ready an action for "whenever <target> does anything" or even "when anyone else does something", you can almost guarantee getting your second sneak attack chance in.

    frankly, i think rogue might be the single class that benefits the most from haste, because it has a pretty good chance of doubling their already respectable damage. who cares if you don't need the bonus action dash. most of it is at least useful, and the extra attack action is absolutely amazing for them.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    haste is an amazing spell for rogues. it doesn't give you a bonus action attack. it gives you an extra regular action, which you can use to make an attack action (but limited to one attack during that attack action).

    which means you can make two attacks (one regular from haste action, one from bonus action) and ready an attack for when your turn ends. considering you can ready an action for "whenever <target> does anything" or even "when anyone else does something", you can almost guarantee getting your second sneak attack chance in.

    frankly, i think rogue might be the single class that benefits the most from haste, because it has a pretty good chance of doubling their already respectable damage. who cares if you don't need the bonus action dash. most of it is at least useful, and the extra attack action is absolutely amazing for them.
    You aren't gaining anything from haste that you can't already do. You can already *do massive damage* and you can already do everything else Haste gives you an action to do.

    Relying on the DM to give you damage (from ready action) isn't a very reliable way to do damage. Plus you don't really need that damage as you do good levels of damage.

    The issue is that you just aren't gaining anything from haste.

    Haste is decent, sure, but there are better spells for the Rogue in actual play.

    Haste is a decent *want* spell but practically (in real games) it just doesn't live up to the hype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpawnOfMorbo View Post
    You aren't gaining anything from haste that you can't already do. You can already *do massive damage* and you can already do everything else Haste gives you an action to do.

    Relying on the DM to give you damage (from ready action) isn't a very reliable way to do damage. Plus you don't really need that damage as you do good levels of damage.

    The issue is that you just aren't gaining anything from haste.

    Haste is decent, sure, but there are better spells for the Rogue in actual play.

    Haste is a decent *want* spell but practically (in real games) it just doesn't live up to the hype.
    you don't do massive damage as a typical rogue. you do decent damage. less than a fighter or especially barbarian, for example (with the exception of level 3, when you've got an extra sneak attack die but nobody else has got their second attack yet). haste basically doubles your damage, which does indeed make it massive, probably putting your damage higher than almost anyone else (a battlemaster spamming both action surges in a single fight and all superiority dice can probably pull ahead, but that's probably about it unless we're assuming perfect scenarios like tightly packed enemies vs a hunter spamming lightning arrow + volley).

    and you're not relying on the DM to give you damage. if someone acts at all, you take your readied attack. if your DM has the enemies psychically know that you're waiting for them to act all the time and simply refuse to do so, then you've gained a no-save crowd control that denies enemies all actions. also, your DM is a metagaming ass.

    haste nearly doubles your damage on a rogue. that is far more than anyone else is gaining from it. it takes you from being decent at dealing damage, to being amazing.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    With a thousand lies and a good rogue guide, stab em right between the eyes stab em right between the eyes

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    you don't do massive damage as a typical rogue. you do decent damage. less than a fighter or especially barbarian, for example (with the exception of level 3, when you've got an extra sneak attack die but nobody else has got their second attack yet). haste basically doubles your damage, which does indeed make it massive, probably putting your damage higher than almost anyone else (a battlemaster spamming both action surges in a single fight and all superiority dice can probably pull ahead, but that's probably about it unless we're assuming perfect scenarios like tightly packed enemies vs a hunter spamming lightning arrow + volley).

    and you're not relying on the DM to give you damage. if someone acts at all, you take your readied attack. if your DM has the enemies psychically know that you're waiting for them to act all the time and simply refuse to do so, then you've gained a no-save crowd control that denies enemies all actions. also, your DM is a metagaming ass.

    haste nearly doubles your damage on a rogue. that is far more than anyone else is gaining from it. it takes you from being decent at dealing damage, to being amazing.
    The DM has to ok your ready action. There are examples in the book, but just saying "if anyone acts" is a bit... Munchan-y. DMs don't typically reward munchins.

    Haste *potentially* doubles your damage output, something you don't need.

    Doubling your damage output will put a target on your back, both in and out of game. You will be seen as a munchin out of game and in game you can get a nickname "patient pete" or whatever and enemies will learn about your fighting style. Then the enemies will plan for your fighting style.

    Anything that stops sneak attack will stop this. This is basic tactics that a DM should employ from time to time anyways (but people get lazy or follow published adventures way to strictly).

    I don't think a 3rd level slot is worth a huge maybe and being branded a munchin.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    I think that readying an action for when "anything happens" is definitely munchkinly and only seems like the kind of thing that I would say if Kevin were my DM and I was getting ticked, but I think it is more than reasonable to ready an action for when an opponent attacks or moves. I imagine it as waiting for your enemy to drop their guard and taking advantage of it. Exactly what sneak attack is supposed to be, so nothing munchkinly there. As for not wanting to do more damage because it will put a target on your back... that's basically saying that haste sucks because it is too good which doesn't make sense in this context. It doesn't ruin the game for you, other players or the DM. Its a strategy that (as you said) can be countered and/or outshone by others.

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    Default Re: A Thousand Lies and a Good Disguise - A Rogue Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddlebot5000 View Post
    I think that readying an action for when "anything happens" is definitely munchkinly and only seems like the kind of thing that I would say if Kevin were my DM and I was getting ticked, but I think it is more than reasonable to ready an action for when an opponent attacks or moves. I imagine it as waiting for your enemy to drop their guard and taking advantage of it. Exactly what sneak attack is supposed to be, so nothing munchkinly there. As for not wanting to do more damage because it will put a target on your back... that's basically saying that haste sucks because it is too good which doesn't make sense in this context. It doesn't ruin the game for you, other players or the DM. Its a strategy that (as you said) can be countered and/or outshone by others.
    That is still quite munchin, though I still would slap haste on a Barbarian, Bard, or whomever else (though for the Fighter, enlarge person is the better spell).

    The target thing... You are basically using a tactic that is unneeded and the only result is that people (in game) learn your tactic and will plan to take you out before moving on to the other players. They know that you are the biggest threat so will focus fire. The rogue can only uncanny dodge 1/round and doesn't have the best HP or AC (until later levels or you optimize). Rogues aren't really set up to be the focus of attention where as classes like the Fighter, Barbarian, Paladins, and Clerics are.

    It isn't about haste being too good, its about haste not being worth the fallout from using it.

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