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    Default [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    So, I've been working on a slew of archetypes for a darker campaign world. One of them is the Scoundrel for the rogue, which focuses on crippling attacks and not-so-subtle crime (ambushes, raids, etc). It's main mechanic is exchanging sneak attack dice on a sneak attack to cause a crippling effect that rides on the sneak attack. My only concern is that it could be easily abused (I think), but then again, that's sort of the point? Where rogues only get one sneak attack per round, the sneak attack needs advantage or "flanking", the crippling attack reduces the damage of the sneak attack, and the crippling effect requires a saving throw failure, I figure that may not be as much of a problem as I think. In any case, here is the archetype. Feel free to tear it apart.

    Spoiler: Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel
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    They're called by many names: thugs, brigands, bandits, scoundrels. But, you don't care. So long as you bring home the bounty, anyone hurt along the way is a loser anyway. Ambush, traps, and cheap shots are all fair game when your life is on the line. After all, there's no honor among thieves.

    Brutal Sneak Attack. When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you no longer need to use a finesse or ranged weapon to use sneak attack.

    Cripple. At 3rd level, you learn crippling strikes that ride on your sneak attacks.

    Cripples. You learn three crippling strikes of your choice, which are detailed under "Crippling Strikes" below. Crippling strikes allow you to apply affects by forgoing some of extra damage of a sneak attack. You may only apply one crippling strike on a sneak attack. If you do not have enough damage dice to forgo with sneak attack, you cannot use the crippling strike until you gain enough extra damage dice.
    You learn two additional crippling strikes at 9th level, 13th level, and 17th level.

    Saving Throws. All of crippling strikes require your target to make a saving throw to resist the crippling strike's effect. A creature without a discernable anatomy automatically succeeds its Constitution saving throw against crippling strikes. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows: Crippling Strike Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice).

    Underground Connections. At 9th level, your life as a scoundrel pays off in contacts and markets. Whenever you attempt to learn something about a humanoid creature, you may spend a day within the town or city where that creature dwells and 25 gp to learn about its history, profession, and affiliations. In addition, you can purchase any illegal mundane item, such as poison, at double its usual price in a city.

    Distraction. Starting at 13th level, you can use a bonus action to gesture distractingly toward a creature within your melee reach. The creature must make a Wisdom saving throw against your crippling strike save DC. If it fails, you have advantage on your next attack against the creature until the end of your next turn.

    Maiming Strike. At 17th level, your dirty fighting is practically an art. You may increase the duration of any crippling strike to 1 minute. At the end of your turns, the creature can repeat its saving throw against the crippling strike to resist its effect. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short rest before you can use it again.


    Spoiler: Crippling Strikes
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    The crippling strikes are presented in alphabetical order.

    Ankle Bite. If you forgo 2d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone

    Arterial Strike. If you forgo any number of d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or start bleeding. A bleeding creature takes 1d6 damage for every 1d6 of damage forgone at the start of each of your turns until a creature makes a medicine check against your crippling strike save DC, the bleeding creature reaches 0 HP, or the bleeding creature regains hit points.

    Ear Bash. If you forgo 4d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or be deafened until the end of your next turn.

    Eye Gouge. If you forgo 4d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the end of your next turn.

    Groin Strike. If you forgo 3d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or it can't take bonus actions or reactions until the end of your next turn.

    Hair Pull. If you forgo 2d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Strength saving throw or it is restrained until the end of your next turn. The creature must have a head and some significant length of hair coming from that head or it automatically succeeds its saving throw.

    Knee Cap. If you forgo 2d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Strength saving throw or the creature's speed is halved until the end of your next turn.

    Liver Strike. If you forgo 3d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the end of your next turn.

    Lung Puncture. If you forgo 5d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or start suffocating. If it takes damage again, it will run out of air. A creature's breathing is restored if a creature makes a medicine check against your crippling strike save DC or it regains hit points.

    Mouth Strike. If you forgo 3d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or be unable to speak until the end of your next turn.

    Nerve Strike. If you forgo 9d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed until the end of your next turn.

    Temple Bash. If you forgo 7d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.

    Throat Jab. If you forgo 5d6 of sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or be incapacitated until the end of your next turn.

    Wrist Strike. If you forgo 3d6 sneak attack damage, the creature must make a Strength saving throw or it is unable to use that hand until the end of your next turn. If the creature was holding something in that hand, it immediately drops it.
    Last edited by endlessxaura; 2017-12-06 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Grammar

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Nothing stands out as particularly broken at a glance. You have to be careful with brutal sneak attack as it may have unexpected interactions when multi-classing. I might play it on the safe side and limit it to one-handed weapons.

    I would also consider switching Distraction in for 3rd level as a lot of 3rd level rogue features change how you can get sneak attack -> See assassin, inquisitive, swashbuckler and even arcane trickster to some degree(Find Familiar). I think I would make it a skill check -> Deception vs insight.

    Dont have time to really dig into the crippling strikes but spells give you a decent scale of how much damage various conditions are worth.

    Ex Blindness/deafness is a 2nd level spell no concentration which none of your effects require and lasts up to a minute with a save at each turn. So eye gouge is weaker than this and falls more in line with 1st level Color spray, but maybe scales a bit better.

    A first level spells is worth about 3d8,3d10, or 4d6 single target dmg so 13.5, 16.5, 14 so right around 4d6 so what you have seems reasonable.

    Nerve Strike paralyzes as does hold person which is second level. Scorching ray does 6d6 single target damage also at second level so I think it would be reasonable to paralyze for giving up 6d6 damage rather than 9d6. The rogue can do this at will but only at level 11 so it seems fine. By then wizards have been using hold person for 6 levels.

    Monks can stun for 1 ki but it is by and far there best use of ki so lets call it 1.5 ki. For 1 ki on flurry they can do an additional 1d4-1d10 + 5 dmg ~ 7.5-10.5*1.5~11.25-15.75. Stun is clearly more powerful then blind or deaf so lets take the larger number and bump it up for 5d6.

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    That's an idea I hadn't thought of. I was basically taking the level of a spell, making it in d6, and roughly doubling it for the at-will. I think it's probably better to compare it to the damage dice instead. I'll go back through them again with that in mind.

    EDIT: I'm also not sure how every rogue archetype gives a new way to sneak attack. I certainly don't see it for Thief. As for Brutal Sneak Attack, dipping 3 in rogue to get that is a pretty heavy cost anyway. I'm not too concerned about it: you're still limited to 1/round sneak attack, so a fighter can't really abuse it with extra attack or anything. But if you see a more obvious breakage, do let me know - I might not be aware of the possibilities.
    Last edited by endlessxaura; 2017-12-06 at 07:50 PM. Reason: More thoughts

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    I am more worried with a rogue dipping fighter to use gwf style with sneak attack. Or even interactions between gwm feat or Pam and sneak attack

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    I am more worried with a rogue dipping fighter to use gwf style with sneak attack. Or even interactions between gwm feat or Pam and sneak attack
    OH! That's a super good point. I'll have to work out the math on just how powerful that option would be. I'm not too worried about GWM feat or PaM feats, though. GWM seems balanced because you take a huge penalty to hit which, after a certain amount of sneak attack, would actually do more harm to your DPR than good. PaM bonus attack is fine because you can only use sneak attack once per turn and PaM attack of opportunity is fine because you can only sneak attack on your turn.

    So if the GWF style turns out to be too strong, I'll nerf it down to one-handed non-versatile or something. Thanks for that input!

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Quote Originally Posted by endlessxaura View Post
    OH! That's a super good point. I'll have to work out the math on just how powerful that option would be. I'm not too worried about GWM feat or PaM feats, though. GWM seems balanced because you take a huge penalty to hit which, after a certain amount of sneak attack, would actually do more harm to your DPR than good. PaM bonus attack is fine because you can only use sneak attack once per turn and PaM attack of opportunity is fine because you can only sneak attack on your turn.

    So if the GWF style turns out to be too strong, I'll nerf it down to one-handed non-versatile or something. Thanks for that input!
    You can sneak attack off your turn.
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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    You can sneak attack off your turn.
    After doing some googling and looking at the rule, I see that you are correct. I still don't find it game-breaking, though.

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    So, I did the math. It turns out, Great Weapon Fighting Style doesn't add a whole lot of damage. It's a difference of .67 average on any D6. With 10d6, that's the difference of only 6.7 damage. http://anydice.com/program/dddb
    Last edited by endlessxaura; 2017-12-08 at 02:31 PM.

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Ooh, I do like the idea here of giving the Rogue "manoeuvres" they can stack on their sneak attacks, and letting them trade away damage to use it at-will is an excellent idea. I don't know how it holds up in practice, but I love it in theory and would happily try it out in a real game. Some of these options I'm not quite so fond of (why would you ever use Knee Cap instead of Ankle Bite or Hair Pull? why does Arterial Strike trigger at the start of the scoundrel's turn and not the target's? why does Hair Pull still restrain the target if you, e.g., yank the target's hair and immediately run away?), but the idea is good.

    I'm less fond of the class features:
    Underground Connections - Isn't this basically the Criminal background feature? Also, putting a price on a class feature seems weird to me (though I never use money in games so I guess it would :v). The purchasing thing also sets off red flags to me, 'cuz it takes away the GM's power to control the PCs' power level and setting.
    Distraction - This is too easy a means of generating advantage for sneak attacks. I mean, it basically just means you automatically sneak attack every round. A lot of the fun of playing a rogue is finding cool ways to generate advantage for sneak attack; I'm wary of a feature like this that just gives it to you.
    Maiming Strike - Surely this should be at the end of the target's turn, not the scoundrel's? Also, this interacts weirdly with Lung Puncture.

    I wonder if it'd be possible to realize these crippling strikes as a feat? That way the rogue could still have the fun of crippling strikes while still enjoying their Thief/Assassin/Arcane Trickster class features. Rogues live for shenanigans, and I could see my players having quite a bit of fun with these at-will one-turn status conditions.

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Some of these options I'm not quite so fond of (why would you ever use Knee Cap instead of Ankle Bite or Hair Pull? why does Arterial Strike trigger at the start of the scoundrel's turn and not the target's? why does Hair Pull still restrain the target if you, e.g., yank the target's hair and immediately run away?), but the idea is good.
    Those are pretty good points. I'll mess around with them to see where I get. I'll probably just remove Hair Pull altogether for the reason you mentioned.

    I'm less fond of the class features:
    Underground Connections - Isn't this basically the Criminal background feature? Also, putting a price on a class feature seems weird to me (though I never use money in games so I guess it would :v). The purchasing thing also sets off red flags to me, 'cuz it takes away the GM's power to control the PCs' power level and setting.
    Distraction - This is too easy a means of generating advantage for sneak attacks. I mean, it basically just means you automatically sneak attack every round. A lot of the fun of playing a rogue is finding cool ways to generate advantage for sneak attack; I'm wary of a feature like this that just gives it to you.
    Maiming Strike - Surely this should be at the end of the target's turn, not the scoundrel's? Also, this interacts weirdly with Lung Puncture.
    Underground Connections is the inverse of the Assassin feature, although it does seem discouragingly close to the Criminal background. As for buying illegal items, its still illegal and mundane, so I'm not too worried about that getting out of hand, although I respect your point. I may just allow you to make a check with advantage instead.

    Distraction is actually just Versatile Trickster from the Arcane Trickster archetype, except at melee range. I'm not sure if you're allowed to move the mage hand when you use Versatile Trickster, though. The wording seems like you may be able to - if not, this is definitely stronger. Sage Advice thinks you can: https://www.sageadvice.eu/sage-advic...mment-page-48/

    Maiming Strike does need a rewording, probably. The thing is, Crippling Strikes last until the end of your turn. It'd be weird to REDUCE the duration accidentally with Maiming Strik

    I wonder if it'd be possible to realize these crippling strikes as a feat? That way the rogue could still have the fun of crippling strikes while still enjoying their Thief/Assassin/Arcane Trickster class features. Rogues live for shenanigans, and I could see my players having quite a bit of fun with these at-will one-turn status conditions.
    Wouldn't it be weird to have a feat only usable by a single class? Derp. I think that it may be interesting, for sure. I could see a fighter doing it. But, the structure of it and the flavor of it do seem to mark it as a decidedly rogueish feature. I could see a fighter pulling some of this stuff, but I'm not sure a ranger or a barbarian would. Plus, the structure of it and the multitude of options make it more suitable as a class option, IMO. But I could see a Martial Adept-esque feature feat for this.

    As always, thanks for the suggestions. That gave me a lot of ideas for how to improve this!
    Last edited by endlessxaura; 2017-12-10 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Formatting

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    A few suggestions: Hair Pull instead of removing this simply make it a free Grapple check when you forgo the sneak dice. I would remove the hair requirement too.

    Opening the sneak attack up to any weapon does seem a bit excessive. I would suggest making it any 1 handed melee weapon.
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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    this guy rogues

    arterial strike: make it at least 2d6, and they take half the damage every turn, maybe even 1/4; as an overall note keep in mind rogue archetypes are very weak because they hit 2d6 at 3rd, are big on core class features and don't have another subclass feature until 9th
    For Ear and Eye, I'd make it until the beginning of your next turn, still supremely good and you can keep trying to blind 1 guy, but the point is you do have to try and it's a little nerf
    Groin Strike is a bit weird because so many d&d monsters don't have groins. This is OK tho
    Hair Pull is way too good
    by the way you can do all of these with ranged attacks, you might not have considered that, and ranged > melee under same conditions so this would turn into a body-part sniper under optimal play
    Reducing speed is really good because players will play around it - I'd make Knee Cap 3d6
    By the way this is really elegant because sneak scales at odd levels just like spell level and you can assign it to spikes that way
    Liver Strike is OK
    Lung Puncture is too big, even though you don't get it until level 9. Functionally hit until fail save, ally hits, drop to 0, any target; player drop to 0 abilities are pretty much completely absent. I don't know how to remedy this one
    Throat Jab, do start of next turn
    Wrist strike is fine

    Super interesting archetype! Just needs some general nerfs, and perhaps a melee restriction if that's what you're aiming for.

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Grammar/Typo nitpicks: "Crippling strikes allow you to apply affects by forgoing some of extra damage of a sneak attack."

    You need "effects" there, not "affects".

    You're missing a "the" between "some of" and "extra". Or you could word the whole thing as: "Crippling strikes allow you to apply effects by forgoing a portion of your sneak attack damage."
    -----
    "Saving Throws. All of crippling strikes require your target to make a saving throw to resist the crippling strike's effect."

    You don't need that "of" in there.
    -----
    "you may spend a day within the town or city where that creature dwells and 25 gp to learn about its history,"

    It is technically correct in that you "spend a day...and 25gp" but there's enough text in that ellipsis that the "and 25 gp" felt jarring to me. Perhaps "You may spend 25 gp over the course of a day within the town or city where that creature dwells to learn..."
    ----

    As a concept I think the cripples are great. Nice work.
    Last edited by OdinTGE; 2017-12-11 at 09:27 PM.

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    Default Re: [PEACH] Roguish Archetype: Scoundrel

    Sorry I've been slow to reply. Finals week is killing me.

    Thank you for the suggestions. I'm reworking a lot of the things that you've all mentioned, but I'll touch on the ones that I haven't heard up to this point:

    Arterial Strike. The reason I'm not too worried about its damage output is that combat typically lasts 3 rounds. Assuming you get it on the first round and forgo all of your sneak attack (essentially gambling all of it), you effectively double that damage for that encounter on average. Although, I could see how this would get out of hand in a long encounter or if you apply multiple arterial strikes on a target. I'll keep in mind, though, that 3rd level archetypes are supposed to be weak. You may have a point there.

    Ear Bash/Eye Gouge. Initially, I had thought that it'd be fine because you're gambling the damage with the save. Keeping in mind the power scale of other archetypes, I may need to rework it, as you mention.

    Ranged vs Melee. I'm not too concerned about the possibility of a body-part sniper. In fact, I think that's pretty cool! As far as balance goes, a ranged rogue is already better than a melee rogue because none of its core features depend on melee range, so I don't think it's game breaking or anything.

    Lung Puncture. Suffocation doesn't immediately drop someone to 0 when they run out of air. They have a number of rounds equal to their Constitution modifier (minimum 1) before they drop to 0. During that time, they have no other impediments. It also has other restrictions: the creature must actually need air, it must have a discernible anatomy, and the effect ends by regaining hit points. It's rare and powerful, but I don't think it's especially game-breaking. But, I may remove it for the reason you mention: 5e does try to eschew those sorts of abilities. I ought to follow suite.

    Throat Jab. Whether the effect ends at the end of your turn or the start of it is relatively irrelevant for incapacitated: they've lost their action either way. On your turn, it just prevents the creature from taking a reaction against you.

    Grammar. Thank you for pointing those out! I'll fix them next time around.

    I am working on a rework for this, so you may see another post for the Scoundrel archetype next week or so. I'm trying not to edit the original post to keep comments fresh and focused: I've noticed that if I change things, it tends to deter other commentators.

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