What would fix the rogue?

This thread is to compile a list of suggestions that would fix the rogue for those of us who are not currently happy with it:

1) Sneak Attack is too weak; it is just a worse version of Deadly Strike right now. When a rogue has advantage, sneak attack damage dice should be maximized; when a rogue scores a critical hit that damage should be doubled. Otherwise it can be left as is. By this means a fighter's DPR would still be superior, but once in a while a rogue could feel like there is something special about his sneak attack ability, especially when he gets the pounce on someone.

2) The rogue needs more rogue specific manoeuvres, some of which (preferably) don't amount to the rogue dealing direct damage. For example, I would like to see a power which allows a rogue to spend sneak attack damage dice to debuff foes in some shape or form; that debuff should be more powerful if it is used against an enemy who the rogue has advantage against. 

3) If the rogue is going to gain fewer manoeuvres as he levels, the rogue needs to gain more of something else. Maybe more bonuses to skills? Perhaps the rogue, at level 5, could gain training in one new skill? Otherwise, he should gain new manoeuvres at the same rate as the fighter. I would prefer it if the rogue gains manoeuvres more slowly (ending up with 2 less manoeuvres by level 20, and one less maneuver by level 10, based on current progression), but the rogue gained training in new skills (2 by level 20, and 1 by level 10). 

4) The rogue needs to gain something to balance out against the fighter's bonus attack. If the rogue gains manoeuvres at the same rate as the fighter, maybe a new skill would work. If new skills are used to balance out the rogue's slower progression in terms of manoeuvres then a new skill would be overkill. Something else would be required. Someone suggested dual wielding bonuses when two finesse weapons are used. I like that idea, though maybe those sorts of bonuses should be kept to feats. Perhaps at 5th level a rogue could get the ability to make a free skill check any time it makes an attack? That would be neat and fun! Otherwise, perhaps at 5th level the rogue could gain the ability to gain advantage twice per encounter (regained with a short rest)? Hell, perhaps at 5th level a rogue gains the ability to never “roll” less than a 5 on a skill check (if you roll 1-4 it counts as a 5). Whatever. Give us something of similar value, if not necessarily for the purposes of combat!


A combination of all of these four things would make the rogue attractive, to me, again. 


Meanwhile, what I think is fine as is: I think it is fine that the rogue has 1 less bonus to hit, weaker weapon proficiencies, weaker armor proficiencies, and less hit points. I think that his 4 extra skills and thieves’ tools proficiency balance out against those weaknesses.  

The 5e of D&D: its like a more balanced version of 2e, but with the character customization frills of 3e and 4e. I love it!

The manoeuvres will grow with time, this is just a small sample for playtesting I bet.



I think rogues should just have 1 extra expertise die at level 1, and they should start with sneak attack as a free manoeuvre. 4d10 at level 10 is a bit high though... so maybe the progression table needs to change a little bit for rogues.

Rogues should be built around being a collosal ass in some fashion. So here are my ideas:

1) Tie Sneak Attack to Visibility, make then perform a sneak roll first, and then boost the damage way up. This rewards cloak-and-dagger work and gives a real sense of accomplishment to pulling SA off.

2) Let the rogue set traps. Come on you KNOW that would be awesome.

3) Give the rogue some Avenger abilities to push monsters into said traps. Alternately, bring back avengers as these two classes would work together REALLY well in this situation.

4) Give the rogue more maneuverability.  Let them run around the battlefield and get where they need to be with little or no risk or getting swiped at.

5) Give the rogue what I call "**** gear". Gear you'd only use if you were a complete dick (which I totally am when I play rogues). Things like poison daggers, smoke bombs, blow darts that carry odd diseases, and those things Batman uses to tie up people's feet would be a nice start.
and those things Batman uses to tie up people's feet would be a nice start.


Bolas.

And yeah, stuff like that could be neat.
How many of these threads do we really need?

Really, the amount of SA damage isn't a problem--given the reduction on the Fighter's Deadly Strike and the fact that SA is somuch easier to set-up, the reduction of SA's damage only makes sense.

No, what rogues need are some unique maneuvers that allow them to to inflict and effect status/condition that's in addition to their basic weapon damage (or SA, if the have multiple dice to split between maneuvers). Something like granting advantage to friendies against the opponent struck, giving the opponent disadvantage on attacks, or causing a status/condition on the opponent, etc.

Leave straight-up damage output to the fighter, let the rogue have interesting effects that speak more to the ideas of "roguishness" and "dirty fighting", like "blinding strike", "hamstring",  "crippling blow", or whatever.


Really, the amount of SA damage isn't a problem--given the reduction on the Fighter's Deadly Strike and the fact that SA is somuch easier to set-up, the reduction of SA's damage only makes sense.



Sorry, but it does not make sense that a rogue's Sneak Attack, which requires either advantage or that an ally be adjacent to your target, deal the exact same damage as a fighter's Deadly Strike, which requires nothing. Add to that the fact that the fighter uses stronger weapons, has an extra +1 to hit, and gets a second attack at 5th level, and the damage discrepancy is just silly. Rogues are not even in the same ballpark! So yes, rogues need more Sneak Attack damage. Maximized Expertise Dice (you don't roll, you just deal the dice's maximum damage value) when you have advantage, and double that damage when you score a critical hit (while you also have advantage) would be enough of a boost to not overshadow the fighter but still make the rogue feel special/playable.  

No, what rogues need are some unique maneuvers that allow them to to inflict and effect status/condition that's in addition to their basic weapon damage (or SA, if the have multiple dice to split between maneuvers). Something like granting advantage to friendies against the opponent struck, giving the opponent disadvantage on attacks, or causing a status/condition on the opponent, etc.



They need that too. As it is, the rogue does not have nearly enough unique maneuvers to feel very different from the fighter. 

Leave straight-up damage output to the fighter, let the rogue have interesting effects that speak more to the ideas of "roguishness" and "dirty fighting", like "blinding strike", "hamstring",  "crippling blow", or whatever.



In terms of average damage per round, I am fine if the fighter has a better straight up damage value. It has, however, been traditional for the rogue to deal more damage than the fighter with single sporadic attacks. This has been the case since at least 2e. Remove the option for the rogue to do that, as they have with this playtest, and a lot of players will be upset (which is what we have seen). Ignoring that, and not giving rogues that option, is likely to drive players away from this game in droves. I know I will not purchase this game if the rogue end up being released looking the way it does now! 




Really, the amount of SA damage isn't a problem--given the reduction on the Fighter's Deadly Strike and the fact that SA is somuch easier to set-up, the reduction of SA's damage only makes sense.



Sorry, but it does not make sense that a rogue's Sneak Attack, which requires either advantage or that an ally be adjacent to your target, deal the exact same damage as a fighter's Deadly Strike, which requires nothing. Add to that the fact that the fighter uses stronger weapons, has an extra +1 to hit, and gets a second attack at 5th level, and the damage discrepancy is just silly. Rogues are not even in the same ballpark! So yes, rogues need more Sneak Attack damage. Maximized Expertise Dice (you don't roll, you just deal the dice's maximum damage value) when you have advantage, and double that damage when you score a critical hit (while you also have advantage) would be enough of a boost to not overshadow the fighter but still make the rogue feel special/playable.  


At the point that it only requires a friendly to be standing within reach of the enemy, it's not really a special circumstance that the rogue has to maneuver into or manipulate. Giving them more damage with the current SA requiments (of what little there is) is pretty much giving rogues more damage than the fighter in most attacks in many combats and allowing him to make the fighter's attacks largely superfluous. Tighter-up the SA requirements back a bit, and, sure, bigger damage would be acceptable. But with the loose reqs, it's stepping on the fighter's toes too much.



Leave straight-up damage output to the fighter, let the rogue have interesting effects that speak more to the ideas of "roguishness" and "dirty fighting", like "blinding strike", "hamstring",  "crippling blow", or whatever.



In terms of average damage per round, I am fine if the fighter has a better straight up damage value. It has, however, been traditional for the rogue to deal more damage than the fighter with single sporadic attacks. This has been the case since at least 2e. Remove the option for the rogue to do that, as they have with this playtest, and a lot of players will be upset (which is what we have seen). Ignoring that, and not giving rogues that option, is likely to drive players away from this game in droves. I know I will not purchase this game if the rogue end up being released looking the way it does now! 


Not entirely with 1e/2e... Remember that fighters got multiple attacks as the increased in level, had access to more damaging weapons and typically had highter STR modifiers, and specialization. The Thief had lower damage weapons, the backstab multiplier maxed at ×5 the thief's weapon damage and it was more limited when it applied. I'll give you 3e (mainly because I don't want to do the math to include iterative attacks and expected magic item allotment). And I can't speak for 4e. So, traditional to out-damage the fighter in sporadic bursts is iffy IMO. You could probably do in in 3e & 4e, but it's unlikely in 1e/2e & probably BXCMI (didn't feel like checking).

However, if the restrictions on SA were tightent up, I would agree with more damage on SA. However, with its current (very) loose restrictions, I'm inclined to say it'd be too much to increase the damage.

In its current state it is still just a weaker Deadly Strike. There is no way people are going to approve of that. And notice, I said maximized dice only when you have advantage, not when an ally is just standing next to your target. So, an ally is standing next to your target? You can deal your expertise dice as bonus damage. You have advantage? Those dice get maximized. So long as getting advantage doesn't become silly easy ala the last packet's thug things will balance out. On most attacks the fighter will deal a little more damage (due to a better weapon). Once in a while the rogue will deal more damage. By 5th level the fighter will get an extra attack and will jump even farther ahead of the damage curve. 


But, honestly, I am also ok with just tightening up the requirement to only happen with advantage period, and for the dice to always be maximize… at least, if as of 5th level the rogue gets something that keeps him competitive with the fighter. It is possible that otherwise the rogue will feel a little overpowered overall, at least until level 5 (when the fighter’s damage gets a boost).

How many of these threads do we really need?

Really, the amount of SA damage isn't a problem--given the reduction on the Fighter's Deadly Strike and the fact that SA is somuch easier to set-up, the reduction of SA's damage only makes sense.

No, what rogues need are some unique maneuvers that allow them to to inflict and effect status/condition that's in addition to their basic weapon damage (or SA, if the have multiple dice to split between maneuvers). Something like granting advantage to friendies against the opponent struck, giving the opponent disadvantage on attacks, or causing a status/condition on the opponent, etc.

Leave straight-up damage output to the fighter, let the rogue have interesting effects that speak more to the ideas of "roguishness" and "dirty fighting", like "blinding strike", "hamstring",  "crippling blow", or whatever.



What ou say makes sense and I like your suggestions about status effects. Fighters get big bonus to hit and damage, and ability to make multiple attacks in various ways, and get around the battlefield, and protect others. They get best ac and HPs to boot. The rogue is not the blunt instrument that the fighter is, and instead uses hit and run tactics, back stabs, and fouls up the enemies by hamstringing them, disarming them, distracting them, what ever. This would be more rogueish than just getting more damage dice.  
How about this, let's say the rogue gets the same number of specialty dice as the fighter but can only get advantage against an oppenet with an ally near by if they spend an expertise die. So, its sneak attack only when have advantage, or spend a die and get a advantage if an ally is adjacent to the enemy, allowing for a sneak attack if you have the extra die to spend. This way, if you sneak attack under tighter restrictions, you have more dice yo can spend on damage. If you attack under less optimal conditions, you have to split your dice, one going towards granting advantage, the othe towards bonus damage? 

Wuld this be a better deal? 
I'm spamming my solution...

Level 1: Backstab
Add maximum damage whenever succeeding at a Sneak Attack with which you have Advantage.


...which gives you an incentive for gaining advantage above and beyond the simple ability to use Sneak Attack, but always rewards the extra effort (since you could just tandem with a buddy and gain Sneak Attack more easily).

As written, it can be spammed as many times as you can gain advantage, and it doesn't eclipse the fighter in the long run. It's essentially an auto-crit that is repeatable if you consistently meet the situational prereqs.

 

Danny

I like it. There are other issues that would still need to be addressed (what the rogue should get in return for its slower acquisition of manoeuvres, and what the rogue ought to get at level 5 instead of a second attack—both of which I am happy to see addressed via a non-combat and/or skill focused mechanic), but I like it. 

First I want to say I like the idea of having ED be the equivilent of spells for non-casters.  So I'm not saying scrap the idea.  I'm just saying they need to really give the rogues more to complete it.

Here are my ideas.

Sneak Attack - Should be free at first level.  (Maybe give the fighter back another free manuever also to balance this)  Now to make SA work as it should again what we need to do is give them a bonus to it at intervals.

Idea 1 - At levels 3, 6, 9, ect the rogue gains a +1d6 to SA.  This is the base and then you can add ED to the damage totals.  This makes it more powerful than deadly strike again BUT you only can do it with Advantage and it should do more damage.  However the damage accumulates pretty quickly so my second idea is the one I think is better.

Idea 2 - The rogue always adds one free ED to SA.  So at level one they do 2d4 SA and level 10 they can do a max of 4d10 if they use all the dice.  Maybe at level 6 they add 2 free dice to provide them with something to match the fighters extra attack.  At first I thought doing this would be too powerful but extra attacks are huge.  The second die might work for some schemes but not others.  Maybe other rogues gain something else like a bonus skill, ect at level 6.

Solving Other Concerns - I've asked this before.  Why can't Next classes gain bonus feats?  I totally think the rogue schemes should still offer extras along the way.  Not just manuevers but stuff like Specialty feats.  The rouge is the Skill Monkey AND the Specialist.  He should be about to specialize in both skills (the feat tree) and Stealth or Ambush or other Rogue stuff.  This doesn't make them more powerful in combat but it gives rogues more options that people want.  It makes them fun not overpowered.

Backstab - I've seen this idea appearing more and more.  I think something could be done with this.
Sneak Attack shouldn't be a core mechanic for a rogue.  If you don't want to play an assassin archetype, then you don't have to.

However, and I've posted this in another thread discussing the same topic, what should be a core mechanic of the rogue is advantage.  The rogue should get a slower expertise die progression than the fighter (3/4ths probably, but maybe 2/3rds) but then get extra bonuses when they have advantage, either double the dice for maneuvers with advantage, or a second progression of "Advantage Dice" that can only be used with advantage, and bring the total dice per level above that of a fighter.

If you choose to take sneak attack, you can now hit regularly for less than the fighter, but if you gain advantage, you can hit for more. 

Accompanying this should be a number of maneuvers that make it so the rogue can get advantage more easily that other classes (though not make it guaranteed every other turn), such as Feint, which would allow you to make a bluff check instead of an attack, possibly deal some amount of damage purely from expertise dice, but gain advantage on the next turn.  There would need to be a restriction in place that you can't succeed with this on two consecutive turns, to avoid chaining feint damage every turn, but it would make the charismatic rogue more combat effective, in a way that makes sense.
What the Rogue needs: Better designers.
What if the rogue's sneak attack added bonus damage based on rogue level?   This is easy to add to the game.   It could either be +1 per level or +2 per level, playtesting needed to see which is best.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

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I like the idea of splitting SA into two seperate maneuvers. So at Lv1 you could have:

Sneak attack: Requires the enemy to be unaware of your pressence and you to be hidden. Gives out massive ammounts of damage.

Dirty blow: Something similar so what SA is now except it maybe does a bit less damage.

This way you can still stalk and murder your prey while at the still time being useful in a general combat situation.
Personally, on the topic of Deadly Strike and Sneak Attack, I find Deadly Strike too powerful at high levels and Sneak Attack a little too weak.

Right now, as pointed out by others, you can only use sneak attack with advantage or with an ally nearby, considering Deadly Strike allows you to do the exact same thing without any of these requirements I feel it needs to be changed.

However, Deady strike can get a little ridiculous. 3d10 extra damage every turn, plus the fighter is getting 2 attacks? I'll take dealing 2d8+3d10+4 (18 stat and longsword) every round. Oh, and with the new crit rules that all gets maximized and you add 6d6 to the mix... That is a lot of damage.

I think we really need to forget Deadly Strike and Sneak Attack as seperate manuevers that make the classes unique. They need to be averaged together I think. Perhaps only allowing a single die as bonus damage, or requiring both of them to have an ally adjacent. Somehow these two things need to either split completely or become one, but we can't have this wishy-washyness

Yea... I don't think Deadly Strike does too much damage at all. Having run the math on it, it is required to keep the fighter afloat compared to the wizard. You reduce it, and wizard’s are going to overshadow fighter’s again. I don’t want that anymore than I want fighter’s overshadowing rogues!

Merge it into fighter.

Barring that, make it at least an equal to Cleric in hitpoints and combat ability.  The half-thac0 thief was just a mistake that persisted way too long.
Sneak Attack Fix: Base = Deadly Strike. With ally in reach, gets better. With advantage, gets even better. With crit, gets even better.

Sneak Attack
You use cunning and guile to deliver a deadly attack against an unsuspecting foe.
Benefit: When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can spend expertise dice to increase the attack's damage against the target. If the target is in reach of a creature friendly to you, you land the crippling attack in a particuarly sensitive place while its attention is divided, causing the target to be Dazed (target's speed is halved and target cannot make Opportunity Attacks) until the start of your next turn. If you have advantage against the target, the damage dealt by your expertise dice is doubled and the target is Frightened (target gains disadvantage on all attack rolls and checks) until the start of your next turn. On a critical hit, the target is also Blinded until the start of your next turn.

Thoughts?
Why does it have to be a weapon attack?
Why does it have to be a weapon attack?

As opposed to what, a wand/spell attack with sneak attack? Weapon attack is what they had in there, and I was fine with it, as it covered ranged or melee.
Why does it have to be a weapon attack?

As opposed to what, a wand/spell attack with sneak attack?

Is there a good reason why it shouldn't be?  Or also unarmed attacks?

Unarmed attack is already a weapon attack, so that's covered (see equipment). Sneak attack with wand/spell doesn't fit the rogue concept for me, unless it is some kind of specialization tree. But to each their own. Regardless, this is sidetracking. The fix was more about making it different and interesting as compared to deadly strike.
Unarmed attack is already a weapon attack, so that's covered (see equipment).

ohcrap.   oops
Sneak attack with wand/spell doesn't fit the rogue concept for me, unless it is some kind of specialization tree.

If you can sneakattack with a crossbow, you can sneakattack with a roman candle.


I'm going to attempt a rewrite of Rogue sometime soon, just to do it.
I think the "Backstab" idea is ok but it's just more complicated things to remember. Also, I don't know how much you guys have played this system but it's HARD to get Advantage. It's not like flanking easy. This doesn't solve the problem.

I think you have to compare them to Fighter as the other melee class. Ask  yourself, what is a fighter and what is a rogue.

What is a Fighter in combat?
Consistant, above average damage.
Reliable damage.
Reliable defense.
Party Protection.

What is a Rogue in combat?
Bursty damage.
Conditional damage.
Dodge type defense which is specific to certain attacks. Lets call it anticipation defense.
Dual wielding small weapons

Now I agree that Two-Weapon fighting is practically useless. Disadvantage is such a huge impedence that it's not really worth using in it's current form. However, I have a solution.

1) Give rogues more Expertise Dice than fighters. Fighter damage maneuvers are consistant and reliable while rogues are random and conditional. Because of this difference,  rogues should be allowed more freedoms with more dice to play with. My suggested idea of a new table was posted in other posts but I'll repeat it here. I'm not saying this is the BEST new table but I think it's a good start. It allows for versatility and maneuverability in combat with burst potential on a conditional attack.

Levels 1-2: 2d4
Levels 3-4: 2d6
Levels 5-7: 2d8
Levels 8-9: 3d8
Levels 10+: 3d10

2) At level 5, give rogues an optional bonus which includes an option for a bonus to two-weapon fighting. This bonus would simply be, rogues may perform two-weapon fighting without disadvantage, but still may not gain advantage with these attacks. This allows the rogue to get an extra attack like fighters, with a lower damage die(light weapons are d4/d6/d8, fighters will likely get an extra attack at a d8,/d10/d12/2d6). Since sneak attack is dependent on the number of expertise dice you spend anyway, there's no abuse for multi-attacks on sneak attack and you're basically giving yourself an extra chance in group melee with another class to do damage. Because you can't gain advantage while dual wielding, a rogue couldn't be as effective without condition but is not useless without another melee.


By doing these two things, you allow a rogue to be able to be versitile, maneuverable and either go full offense, half offense half defense or all defense. It adds to the flavor without overpowering or overshadowing the importance and reliability of a fighter in the group. Add to it the skill bonuses and you have a balanced class with high damage potential in conditional bursts which is what a rogue should be.
I really like the concept I just saw of allowing the rogue to inflict status effects as part of the sneak attack. For example spend an additional expertise die to slow the target, or to "quiet" him (nothing above a loud croak I beleive the poster said). I would say the target gets a saving throw, just FYI. This feels roguish to me, your the guy who makes everyone's lives that much more difficult.

I've also seen some people say rogues should be more manueverable, maybe add somethings like doubling movement speed, or allowing the rogue to move through enemy spaces. These feel more exciting to me than reducing fall damage or taking less damage when making a dex save.
1) Give rogues more Expertise Dice than fighters. Fighter damage maneuvers are consistant and reliable while rogues are random and conditional. Because of this difference,  rogues should be allowed more freedoms with more dice to play with. My suggested idea of a new table was posted in other posts but I'll repeat it here. I'm not saying this is the BEST new table but I think it's a good start. It allows for versatility and maneuverability in combat with burst potential on a conditional attack.


Hey, that's an idea, except do the opposite.

Whereas fighter accumulates multiple small dice, the rogue gets one die of increasing size.
Fighter gets 3d4.  Rogue gets a d12.

I like where your head is, but I still think rogues should have at least 2 dice. Rogue defenses are basically a choice. Do I want to dodge or deflect or take my chances and pour it all into offense? Fighter armor/shield choices lets them have better overall defense, boosting what they want or helping other people out or doing damage when needed.

It's all about situation and rogue's defenses are limited to that choice based on the situation. Fighter doesn't have to make a choice because their base defense is already strong. 
Rogue defenses are basically a choice. Do I want to dodge or deflect or take my chances and pour it all into offense?

Yeah, and?

I would be happy with the rogue just getting more manoeuvres, the same amount as fighters.

I actually like this version of the rogue with expertise, I just think the manouevres and the amount there of needs work.


More dice and smaller. A Rogue getting 3d10 on his skills keep the highest is really a +7-8 bonus on all their skills. 2d4 at level 1, climbing up to 5d6 or even 6d6 at level ten. If they want a unified mechanic between rogues and fighters they are going to have to divource sneak attack form ED or give rogues a class feature to abuse sneak attack more- more damge, crits, advanatge, or something. Another option would be a drastic increase in the power level of Rogue exclusive manuveurs.

 BTW a thief backstabbing in D&D BECM was +4 to hit and double damage so thieves/rogues have had some form of extra damage in every edition of D&D.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

More dice and smaller. A Rogue getting 3d10 on his skills keep the highest is really a +7-8 bonus on all their skills. 2d4 at level 1, climbing up to 5d6 or even 6d6 at level ten. If they want a unified mechanic between rogues and fighters they are going to have to divource sneak attack form ED or give rogues a class feature to abuse sneak attack more- more damge, crits, advanatge, or something. Another option would be a drastic increase in the power level of Rogue exclusive manuveurs.

 BTW a thief backstabbing in D&D BECM was +4 to hit and double damage so thieves/rogues have had some form of extra damage in every edition of D&D.

It is a little more swingy than that. You only have a 65% chance of getting a +8 or higher bonus. You only have a 78% chance of getting a +7 or higher. It isn't a flat 7 or 8 bonus. It will usually work out to that much, statistically speaking. But, it will frequently result in less. 
Expertise dice to the rogue is just a bad idea in general. Sneak attack should be 3d6 and not rely on expertise dice. I think this is one of the places that the problems with deadly strike comes into play. Sneak attack needs to be better than deadly strike, but needs to not be over powered.
Expertise dice to the rogue is just a bad idea in general. Sneak attack should be 3d6 and not rely on expertise dice. I think this is one of the places that the problems with deadly strike comes into play. Sneak attack needs to be better than deadly strike, but needs to not be over powered.



I don't think you thought all of that out very carefully. 3d6 is much worse than Deadly Strike. In fact, you need 5d6 to be just as good as deadly strike. And, when the rogues sneak attack is just as good as deadly strike, due to its limitations, it is actually a lot worse. In fact, the rogue currently does 53% of the fighter's DPR with a sneak attack that is already just as good as deadly strike. 

And, without the ability to gain a hefty boost to skill checks, magic would greatly overshadow the rogue's primary role: disabling devices, opening locks, sneaking, and scouting ahead. 
All the crunchy number mods in the world aren't going to fix the rogue for me.  Something more fundamental has happened with this version of the rogue.  They've missed the point of what a rogue is by confining the rogue to the role of a skill monkey with a set of lockpicks.  The maneuvers don't save the rogue, they make itw orse.

My idea of a rogue, and why it needs more than a skill bonus, is here:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

A rogue isn't "better at X", a rogue "uses X differently" which leads to better outcomes under certain circumstances.  Unless you give the rogue mechanics that reflect their differences in the game world, any class can actually be a rogue, and having one is not useful to the group.  Right now, as written, you want a rogue in your group because they can pick a lock, but everything else they bring is something any other class can do.  Their only distinguishing feature is that they can succeed more often at certain skills.  I'd rather have autosuccess back, if that's all you want from a rogue.  Me, I want more from a rogue.  I want them to represent a distinct advantage to the group, as they always have.

Up to 2e, no one else had access to Thief abilities.  You wanted one along for access to that, and to have a decent scout in the party as well as trap detector, etc.

In 3.5 The thief became a rogue, and there was much rejoicing.  Still you wanted a thief in the party because they can do a sneak attack, and scout better than average, and gained combat bonuses as they leveled.  They had a host of skill access that other classes didn't.  You needed them.

in 4E, well, all my prefrred distinctions and build ideas are there, but with so many options, a rogue is optional in 4E. 

in DDN so far we have a locksmith with a variable skillset, and 4 tricks up his sleeve.  All of the same abilities are present in other classes.  A fighter with Profession (locksmith) exceeds this classes capabilities on every front.  Boring and useless class.

Suggestions:
* As suggested by others, when a rogue applies their Sneak Attack, enable the rogue to apply a condition.  The choice of conditions should vary based on the rogue scheme.  An acrobat rogue applies a 'death of a thousand cuts' Sneak Attack, causing the target to begin to take ongoing damage (save ends).  However, a thief, who is more interested in stealing than in fighting, specializes in hobbling a target so it can't give chase while he flees.  He can make his SA and the creature is also slowed.  After the attack succeeds, his next move counts as a Disengage.  The charalatan rogue however, uses Charisma to distract the target before swiping a blade at them unexpectedly.  The target could be blinded or dazed or slowed, if the rogue chose.  These are mechanical ways to emphasize the opportunistic aspect of the rogue,  Open the door to let the player choose one of 3 effects.  Add some damage and an effect.  The Assassin rogue would be the only one that could add extra damge as an option, reflecting their emphasis on actually being a murderwagon.  They still have to be gaining advantage to enact it, but it becomes worth it.

* Rogue-specific maneuvers should be called 'exploits' because the rogue exploits situations.  Here's one that adds to a rogue's feel that a fighter wouldn't have:

Exploit Opening
The rogue waits for the target to leave itself open and then strikes.
Condition: The rogue must be delaying his action, and be attacked by an enemy
Effect: The rogue may make a melee attack against a creature in response to the attack.  Roll your expertise dice, and apply the highest one as a bonus to the attack roll.  Roll damage normally.  If the rogue's attack hits, the rogue also gains the same bonus to AC against the target's attack on the rogue.

So here, the rogue waited for his opportunity, took it, and was better off for it.  Monster has a bleeding wound, rogue took a possible face smash and converts it to a win.  He can do the same next round if he wants to.  Maybe he will use his sneak attack instead. 

A charlatan type rogue is going to use Charisma to taunt and mark a target, creating the conditions that cause the monster to make a mistake and present an opening.
An acrobat evades targets, waiting for the right time and place to strike with impossible precision.
An enforcer uses fear to force opportunities to use dirty fighting tricks to disable a target in frightening ways.

etc. 

None of this is well-simulated by a simple skill selection, skill bonuses or maneuvers that are mostly shared with the fighter. 

By using a custom, rogue-scheme specific maneuver list (a la the fighter's structure), a rogue can have as many options as the fighter without being a fighter.  This puts them on par with other classes as far as choices gained per level again.  The fighter suffers two dead levels while going to 10th, the rogue would too.  That's 5e.  I can deal. 

In my book: Fixed.

First, it seems the designers are moving to using “expertise dice” as the resource pool for non-casters like “spells per day” is the resource pool for casters. Cool, no problem. Let’s stick with that then.


Second, if we’re going to accept the above, then the progression of expertise dice should be able to be different for different classes. As such, I’d suggest a change for the rogue. I’d make rogue Expertise Dice look similar to the older style. Start with 1d4 at level one, and give that +1d4 every 2 levels thereafter. This gives rogues a larger dice pool, but lower dice.


Third, I’d change sneak attack up. As a default, I’d allow it to do double expertise damage. So a level 10 rogue would be doing 5d4 x2 (25 avg) compared to a Fighter (16.5 avg).  Sneak attack would be the defacto first level maneuver for every rogue scheme.


Fourth, I’d give each schemeof rogue an automatic alternative option they could use in place of the double damage to specialize sneak attacks. At 5th level they’d get a new alternative of their choice. Things like:


Lingering:An enemy hit by your sneak attack takes damage equal to your level at the start of his turn. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to your highest expertise dice rolled in the attack.


Disabling: An enemy hit by your sneak attack is unable to move on its next turn and is unable to make opportunity attacks.


Distracting: An enemy hit by your sneak attack has disadvantage on attacks until the end of its next turn.


Assisting: An enemy hit by your sneak attack grants advantage to the next ally that attacks it.


Devastating:  Your sneak attack damage is multiplied by 3 rather than 2.


Fifth, I’d allow them to apply their two highest dice totals to their skill buffing expertise maneuver at level 10. I’d also give them an additional skill at level 10. Finally, at level 6 I’d give rogues a maneuver that allows them to spend 2 expertise dice to make a skill check in conjunction with another action in a turn.


Sixth, I’d increase their hit die to d8 if the wizard stays at d6.


I think this would fix a number of things:


It’d give expertise on the rogue its own flavor different than the Fighters while keeping the mechanic in place. It’d make Sneak Attack a larger “burst” damage than the equivalent fighter’s Deadly Strike. It also allows the rogue to have the option of doing combat effects rather than damage if they wish. Finally, it’d enhance their total skills and in how they can use skills.

Sneak Attack shouldn't be a core mechanic for a rogue.  If you don't want to play an assassin archetype, then you don't have to.




This.

Sneak attack should be worth using, but it should not be the defining trait of the class.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Merge it into fighter.

Barring that, make it at least an equal to Cleric in hitpoints and combat ability.  The half-thac0 thief was just a mistake that persisted way too long.



This.

Also, reduce the weapon restrictions. Give them more normal weapons. At most, don't give them big "heavy" weapons.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Adding poison would ne nice too, not deadly poison but blinding, slowing, confusing poisons...
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