Dragon 389 - Ampersand Special: The Essential Classes, Rogue Preview

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Dragon 389
Ampersand Special
The Essential Classes: Rogue Preview

By Bill Slavicsek

It's that time of the week again!  This week on Ampersand Special, Bill discusses the Thief kit for the Rogue that appears in Heroes of the Fallen Lands!  Once again, he starts off by stressing how it isn't a new edition nor a new game, and not replacing any old books, but rather a different route into the game.

That said, let's look at the Thief.  It's nearly identical to the Knight, only Roguish.  Rather than normal attack powers, the Rogue uses Tricks, which are move action utilities that allow him or her to gain combat advantage from a given circumstance and also a secondary effect (such as additional Charisma modifier damage on a roll against an enemy you don't have CA against).  When you have Combat Advantage you can use Sneak Attack for your striker spike as normal.  You can also up the ante when you have Combat Advantage with Backstab, an encounter power similar to the Knight's Power Strike which not only increases your damage output, but also increases your accuracy with the attack.

Like other Rogues, Thieves get First Strike and Weapon Finesse.  They also get other features yet unveiled.  Next week: The Slayer!

Talk about this Ampersand Special here.
389_ampersand_7-30.jpg

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Sneak attack once per turn?  Wow that is broken.
Sneak attack once per turn?  Wow that is broken.



Yeah, I'm hoping that's a typo.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Its in the magazine too.
Not that broken.
How many attacks do you get a round when you have CA?
Maybe 1 extra from the warlord. Maybe not.
Viva La "what ever version of D&D you are playing right now!"
There is also opportunity actions.
True.
Viva La "what ever version of D&D you are playing right now!"
It took me a moment to catch on to what was wrong with "once per turn."  Now I get it, considering "until the end of your next turn" exists.

So, it looks like they're letting rogues use sneak attack with OA's and free attacks outside of their own turn now.  Nice.  I wonder if that's going to make it to print, given the current options (as stated above) with the warlord.

Backstab looks pretty good, and since its all plus with no setback, it's powerful for multiclass rogues too. Yay for backstab with an execution axe.
Sneak attack once per turn?  Wow that is broken.

Can you jog my memory what the different between "round" and "turn" would be in this context?
According to Mike Mearls, the SA/turn is probably not a typo:

www.enworld.org/forum/5263927-post23.htm...

www.enworld.org/forum/5263929-post24.htm...
Can you jog my memory what the different between "round" and "turn" would be in this context?

You have a turn, and then your ally has a separate turn, and then an enemy has another turn, and then another enemy has another turn, and then another ally has another turn, etc. There are many, many turns per round. If the Rogue makes any attacks outside of its own turn, then it'll now be able to take advantage of Sneak Attack more than once per round.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
This makes me wonder if all MBAs will now be pegged to a stat of your choice (highest?).

Short bow gets added to profs & SA. Yay.

Hand Crossbows (not Crossbows) for SA. There may be a little wailing and gnashing of teeth.

No shuriken prof. [Shrug]

And the art... [shudder] You know how people misspell Rogue as Rouge? The art is too much "Candy Says" for my tastes.
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
But seriously, don't worry. Essentials is completely compatible with 4th ed. Its just that, y'know, everything's more powerful in 4.5e... I mean in Essentials which is definitely not a new edition.
But seriously, don't worry. Essentials is completely compatible with 4th ed. Its just that, y'know, everything's more powerful in 4.5e... I mean in Essentials which is definitely not a new edition.

Yeah, that Knight is Super-powerful! It even has an Aura at first level!

The Thief is nice, and with a Warlord one can turn out a respectable amount of rapier damage from out-of-turn attacks. Assuming you can keep the Thief's CA. And the Warlord isn't using their actions to piece the Thief back together after monster retribution. Or to give another character an attack.

If anything, the big winners of the SA change at the first couple tiers are Riposte Strike primary-class Rogues & HBO leveragers (primary-class Rogues or Hybrids). And as everyone knows, Opportunity Attacks grow on trees.  [Cough]
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
According to Mike Mearls, the SA/turn is probably not a typo:

www.enworld.org/forum/5263927-post23.htm...

www.enworld.org/forum/5263929-post24.htm...



Shouldn't he be able to say 'it is' or 'it isn't' rather than 'I believe'?  Shouldn't he know?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

Shouldn't he be able to say 'it is' or 'it isn't' rather than 'I believe'?  Shouldn't he know?

He doesn't want to confirm or deny, since somebody down the line just before printing can change it, then we'll all point fingers at him and light torches and stuff.
And the art... [shudder] You know how people misspell Rogue as Rouge? The art is too much "Candy Says" for my tastes.

Inexplicably, the version of that image in the art gallery looks considerably better. Like she hasn't just overdosed on a number of illicit substances. :P


Shouldn't he be able to say 'it is' or 'it isn't' rather than 'I believe'?  Shouldn't he know?

He doesn't want to confirm or deny, since somebody down the line just before printing can change it, then we'll all point fingers at him and light torches and stuff.



Okay, I can buy that.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Yeah, that Knight is Super-powerful! It even has an Aura at first level!

Actually, it is. Everyone in the Char Ops forums are having a field day with how broken it is for an entire classes attacks to be nothing but MBAs. I've seen Warlock builds that were quite powerful due to their use of MBAs.
And the art... [shudder] You know how people misspell Rogue as Rouge? The art is too much "Candy Says" for my tastes.

Inexplicably, the version of that image in the art gallery looks considerably better. Like she hasn't just overdosed on a number of illicit substances. :P

Sister Ray DOES look a look more passable naturalistic! The differences are weird.

She still doesn't know how to hold her off-hand dagger. Maybe she's more used to syringes? She's holding the dagger with her pinky and jamming the tips of her fingers against the handle to brace it against her palm. Or they are creepy-long fingers.

Enough criticism. My apologies to West Clendinning.
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
Yeah, that Knight is Super-powerful! It even has an Aura at first level!

Actually, it is. Everyone in the Char Ops forums are having a field day with how broken it is for an entire classes attacks to be nothing but MBAs. I've seen Warlock builds that were quite powerful due to their use of MBAs.

[Sorry for the double-post]

I know about the CharOp thread for Fighters, because I posted in it. The consensus was that (depending on the Battle Guardian and other unexplained features), the Knight could either be nice, average or BELOW average. There was no evidence that anyone thought the knight was seriously over-powered in any way. You can do tricks with Melee Training & pumping up a single stat to make stuff like DEX-based Deft Blade folks, or CON-based Mace people, etc. This is pretty one-dimensional, and was seen more as a curiosity than a DPR King candidate. Wow, you can use Master's Blade. Wow, you can use Bracers of Mighty Striking. Amazing.

Half-Elves could exploit (no pun intended) Eldritch Strike as their Half-Elf thingy and White Lotus Master Ripost at Paragon tier. Just pump CON and retrain Melee Training for you-know-what at Paragon. This build would assume that the wording of Eldritch Strike would forever keep "counts as" instead of "can be used in place of". This build also assumes that Battle Guardian doesn't mark creeps and they just have to be in the Aura for defender punishment. So it may not even work! And the author admits that it's not crazy broken! You trade the Immediate (or whatever) from defender punishment gained by the creep attacking someone else... for repeating Eldritch Strike against the creep. Fun Catch-22, but hardly broken... and it may not even work!

Other than obvious stuff like Deft Blade, Rogues are in similar territory. Sure, you can SA on every turn, but you need a bunch of Warlords or Action Points or OAs to make it crazy effective. (Assuming you can reliably get CA!) How frequently will all that happen?
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
Sweet!  Finally the Rogue class the way it was meant to be!! Shortbow is back! I love the flavor text and the movement capabilities.  Extra 3d6 per TURN is NOT broken for a striker.  I'm lovin' me some essentials right now...

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

I love me some movement effects.

hopefully, they will get some interesting non-at-will and augment basic attacks type stuff.

....

because it gets rather old after a bit.

....

also, I like my martial dailys.
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