Maneuver Mayhem

I love customizing characters.
In building a Rogue, I was reading through the Maneuver document to assure my build was the best fit for my character and came across a bit of a conundrum.

The effects for the maneuver for Sneak Attack: 

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can spend expertise dice to increase the attack’s damage against that target,
provided you have advantage against the target or it is in the reach of a creature friendly to you.
Roll all the expertise dice you spend, and add up their results.
The damage gains a bonus equal to that total.

The effects of Deadly Attack:


When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can spend expertise dice to increase the attack’s damage against that target.
Roll all the expertise dice you spend, and add up their results.
The damage gains a bonus equal to that total.


So, Deadly Attack gives the same benefit as Sneak Attack without the restriction of combat advantage.
Why then would a Rogue want Sneak Attack when Deadly Attack is available to them?

deadly strike is a fighter-exclusive maneuver.
With the addition of the monk, deadly-strike is no longer exclusive. But yeah, the rogue doesn't get it.

But it has been noticed that Sneak Attack is strictly inferior (and too inferior by some accounts). I'm sure it (and the rogue with it (and maybe the other maneuvers)) will get changed in the next packet.
My apologies, I did intend to phrase that question, Why would a player want Sneak Attack when Deadly Attack is available to them (by way of a fighter, for instance). My rogue builds tend to resemble assassins and it does seem like the rogue is no longer a strong class for such when one could conceivably (though I haven't tried just yet) build a better assassin type character using a fighter as a base.
That entirely depends on what traits you ascribe to your "assassin".

Is he uber-sneaky(tm)? Can he break into locked homes to murder people in their sleep?

Or is he just a stabby stab stab spleen-killer? With a big ol' nasty, intimidating weapon, of course...

The former is still much better portrayed as a rogue. The latter could be built around fighter, certainly.
I'm not entirely picky, although sneaking around is kind of a pre-requisite to a truer sense of an assassin. I actually have found that the Trickster Cleric makes for an intriguing assassin-like build. But to stay on topic, it seems sneak attack does need some kind of tweaking. Perhaps it should grant a bonus to both the attack roll and damage roll. In other words, for a Rogue, combat advantage gives them an even greater bonus than the average combatant.
And I will continue to contend that Sneak Attack does not need tweaking. Yes, it has a minor limit that Deadly Strike does not have. So what? That doesn't make it "patently lame and unusable" (as some folks around here continue to chirp). It still ends up doing the same bonus damage when that minor limitation is (easily) overcome. In exchange for that minor limit, the rogue is compensated with other cool stuff. Why people can't see this as fair, I just don't understand.

In general, not necessarily in this particular case, but often, it feels to me like the cries of "Sneak Attack is th3suxx0r! Makes it more powerful, we mustes!" stems from rogue fanboy players who want their own characters to pwn the battlefield. Rather than an object evaluation of all that each class brings to the table.

And this, coming from a guy who enjoys playing rogues.

But that's just my not so humble opinion...

As for your build choices, if being sneaky and highly trained are valuable draws for you, then rogue it should be. Skill Mastery and the long list of trained skills provides far more ninja/thief/assassin potential awesomeness than all the other classes combined. Plus access to thieves tools so you can more easily break into their house at night and gack them in their sleep.
And I will continue to contend that Sneak Attack does not need tweaking. Yes, it has a minor limit that Deadly Strike does not have. So what? That doesn't make it "patently lame and unusable" (as some folks around here continue to chirp). It still ends up doing the same bonus damage when that minor limitation is (easily) overcome. In exchange for that minor limit, the rogue is compensated with other cool stuff. Why people can't see this as fair, I just don't understand.

In general, not necessarily in this particular case, but often, it feels to me like the cries of "Sneak Attack is th3suxx0r! Makes it more powerful, we mustes!" stems from rogue fanboy players who want their own characters to pwn the battlefield. Rather than an object evaluation of all that each class brings to the table.

And this, coming from a guy who enjoys playing rogues.

But that's just my not so humble opinion...

As for your build choices, if being sneaky and highly trained are valuable draws for you, then rogue it should be. Skill Mastery and the long list of trained skills provides far more ninja/thief/assassin potential awesomeness than all the other classes combined. Plus access to thieves tools so you can more easily break into their house at night and gack them in their sleep.



I'm not a Rogue fanboy, I'm actually a sorcerer fanboy. Skill Mastery is way overpowered in a bounded accuracy system. A nearly impossible skill check is supposed to be a DC 25. Pulled directly from the DM's Guide:

Nearly Impossible (DC 25): Tasks of this difficulty are so challenging that only demigods and their peers can succeed without assistance

A level 10 rogue has an ability modifier of +5, skill of at least +3(probabaly higher but this rogue isn't using his best skill) and rolls 3d10 from skill masterry. Let's assume he rolls a +5, that gives him a total of +13 meaning the rogue only needs to roll a 12 on the d20 to succeed at the near ipossible. If he rolled a 10 he'd only have to roll a 7. Perhaps all the Dc's need to be rethought, but with rogue's getting such massive bonuses it will just get boring, even for the rogue, to simply auto-succeed all the time. This is also true of the fighter's might exertion, which is skill mastery for all strength based checks.

Proficiency with Thieves Tools makes no sense with the in-game logic. A rogue does not need to be a theif, one of the schemes is acrobat. Why does my acrobat circus performer know how to use theives tools, he never stole from anybody, and I never gave him disable device as a skill. But a fighter or wizard who takes the Guild Thief can't use thieves tools. Also, why do we need thieves tool to pick locks and disable devices? Locks can be beaten by a boby pin if you know how. At best Thieves Tools should give you a bonus, not limit the ability so that only rogues casn perform those tasks, that goes against every other aspect of Next's design philosophy.

That leaves the only unique Rogue ability left, at least that I think is worthwhile enough to critique, to be sneak attack. Someone on the forum made the point very clear. He said the best test for a unique class manuever is if you had multi-classed and had access to both are their times when you would choose one over the other. A Fighter/Rogue attacks without advantage, roll expertise dice for deadly strike. Attack with advantage... well roll expertise dice for either because it doesn't matter. There is no situation where sneak attack is a better choice than deadly strike. This isn't about wanting the rogue to be better than anyone else, this is about making unique class abilities a) balanced and b) unique

Currently, sneak attack is not unique and this hurts the rogue class despite any other cool abilities he may gain.
You seem to be offering a lot of assumptions and placing a lot of weight on something that is still being playtested. Like, how multiclass will even work. Or, that Skill Mastery is finished. Or, what they end up doing with thieves' tools training (which I agree will need revising). These are all still in limbo.

For impossible DCs, I've been advocating changing the XD progression to keep the dice at d6s, just increase their number. So 5d6 by 10th level, rather than 3d10. This would go a long way towards mitigating the higher end DC reach of Skill Mastery. That, combined with honing in on the DCs in general will, I believe, be cleaner.

In general, you cannot always change something in a vacuum. Changes, if made, need to sometimes be done in conjunction with other factors. Just wanting Sneak Attack to be better requires that we look at how that impacts the class overall (in its current state) and what other changes will be necessary to counter-balance the increased effectiveness. And not just to rogues, but to the other classes as well. Does it now trump Deadly Strike? If so, what do we peel back on with the rogue, or add to the fighter to compensate?
You seem to be offering a lot of assumptions and placing a lot of weight on something that is still being playtested. Like, how multiclass will even work. Or, that Skill Mastery is finished. Or, what they end up doing with thieves' tools training (which I agree will need revising). These are all still in limbo.

For impossible DCs, I've been advocating changing the XD progression to keep the dice at d6s, just increase their number. So 5d6 by 10th level, rather than 3d10. This would go a long way towards mitigating the higher end DC reach of Skill Mastery. That, combined with honing in on the DCs in general will, I believe, be cleaner.

In general, you cannot always change something in a vacuum. Changes, if made, need to sometimes be done in conjunction with other factors. Just wanting Sneak Attack to be better requires that we look at how that impacts the class overall (in its current state) and what other changes will be necessary to counter-balance the increased effectiveness. And not just to rogues, but to the other classes as well. Does it now trump Deadly Strike? If so, what do we peel back on with the rogue, or add to the fighter to compensate?



Yes, I am assuming that we will use Skill mastery as it is written and that thieves tools trainging will not change. Otherwise, I'd say they are going to change and we don't need to worry. I have to make some of these assumptions, as for multi-classing. That is simply a way to compare the two ablities, not any prescriptive of the actual multi-classing.

I've heard people saying multiple d6's instead of the dice we currently have. It might work, but I thought someone had pointed out an issue with it. Can't remember what it was, but despite that it might still be the best solution.

As for sneak attack. I think changning it to spending dice for effects is the best path. For example spend 1 die to attempt to slow the opponent for 1 round or deal that die in damage. It might be broken if the rogue is constantly working with an ally, meaning they could inflict multiple effects every round. But with decent DC's for the target and perhaps only allowing certain effects without advantage (you can slow when working with an ally or if you have advantage, but you can only attempt stun if you have advantage) It is a rough idea, and like you said things can't be done in a vaccuum, but I feel it captures the rogue's spirit and makes for a more interesting ability

So, let’s get this straight:

A rogue gets d6 hit points. A fighter gets d10.
A rogue gets basic and finesse melee weapons and all ranged weapons. A fighter gets all weapons.
A rogue gets light armor. A fighter gets all armor.
A rogue gets 5 manoeuvres by 10th level. A fighter gets 6 manoeuvres by 10th level. 
A rogue gets to add its expertise dice to damage when it has advantage or an ally is close to a target. A fighter always gets to add its expertise dice to damage.
A rogue can use its expertise dice (via Skill Mastery) to improve 8 skills. A fighter can use its expertise dice (via Mighty Exertion) to improve 6 skills/all Strength checks.
A fighter gets a second attack at 6th level (and, after a lot of damage calculations on the boards, we know that fighters have almost double the damage per round potential of rogues at level 10).
A fighter has an extra +1 to hit over the rogue.
In all these areas a fighter is hands down superior or comparable. How is a rogue superior?
A rogue gains training in thieves tools. 
A rogue gains training in 4 extra skills.

And we really still have people claiming that the rogue is balanced? Whatever. Thank god enough of us can see the problem for what it is. I have high hopes of this getting fixed. And, if it doesn't, then D&DN will fail to capitalize on my consumer tendencies. No big deal. There are other games out there after all.

From what I hear coming out of people, much like yourself, this next iteration of D&D won't cut it no matter what, because it's never going to be Rogue: the Awesoming(tm).

Yes, a lot of the "fighter gets better than rogue" stuff you listed is all direct combat. Guess what? The fighter is (and should be better) at direct combat. I know. Shocking, right? To be surprised or disappointed by that is to want to marginalize the fighter over your preferred class (lemme guess which one that might be...). You want to be a master of combat? Don't be a rogue. That's just trying to put a round peg through a square hole. Rogues aren't built around being killing machines. That's not their job. You know what is there job? To be the best at being a rogue. They do a damn good job of that, currently.

A rogue can use its expertise dice (via Skill Mastery) to improve 8 skills. A fighter can use its expertise dice (via Mighty Exertion) to improve 6 skills/all Strength checks.

I might need you to expand on this. 6 skills? You may have been trying to be too clever in the way you worded it? Because of course, the real truth is, fighters have far fewer trained skills to be good at, and can only apply their "skill maneuver" to a very narrow application: something involving raw strengthiness (something rogue's likely aren't interested in focusing on anyway, btw). Whereas, obviously, Skill Mastery makes rogues wicked good at a far, far broader set of applications as evidenced by their wide array of trade skills. To argue otherwise, and well, see my next response below.

Oh, and btw, its *a minimum of* 8 skills. Not 8, finite. Since we are breaking things down so thoroughly...

And we really still have people claiming that the rogue is balanced? Whatever. Thank god enough of us can see the problem for what it is. I have high hopes of this getting fixed. And, if it doesn't, then D&DN will fail to capitalize on my consumer tendencies. No big deal. There are other games out there after all.

I'm somewhat confident, that the devs don't buy into a lot of the grousing and melodrama that some people espouse. I just hope they don't begin to feel browbeaten by the squeaky wheel.
Ok. I am just going to put this out there simply. You are in an encounter. For simplification purposes, we are going to focus on a fighter and a rogue. The fighter approaches a creature and begins his attack with Deadly Strike. The rogue then comes up from behind, gaining his combat advantage so he uses Sneak Attack. Both players just used the same ability. The fighter, in his awesomeness with weapons just showed up the rogue's sneak attack. Fine. That's great. But that is not my point.

Now the creature dies and the fighter moves on to another creature and uses Deadly Strike elsewhere. He's cleaning up the field with his Deadly Strike and his massive Greatsword and doing his job as tank. The rogue, however, uses his maneuver to consistently look weak because he has the SAME maneuver as the fighter except he HAS to have combat advantage while the fighter can walk up to just anyone and decimate them with Deadly Strike. The fighter's version already has the advantage because it is a FIGHTER behind the attack. The rogue is lesser because he is a ROGUE, not a FIGHTER behind the attack, thus his damage will, on average, be lesser. To balance that, I believe the Rogue, who is sneaking up on the creature should get some bonus to ACTUALLY hitting. He will do less damage, but as a reward for his work, he has an easier time doing damage because he is attacking a creature from behind and not the creature's face.

In combat the rogue should and always will be second fiddle to the fighter, but that doesn't mean he has to feel like the annoying mosquito buzzing around the battlefield. He should feel like Robin does with Batman, a very near second and actually helpful to the fighter in a way that is more beneficial than just having two fighters instead of a rogue and a fighter.

The mentality has always seemed to me to work more like the fighter saying something like, "Here, I'll rush up on this guy and distract him while you slide around back and hit him where it hurts."

A rogue is nearly useless compared to the fighter when fighting side by side, but with fighter in front and the rogue stabbing the guy in the back, the two should seem invincible. The struggle should then lie in getting that rogue around to the back.

As for me, I dislike the Rogue build enough that I have been using my second favorite, the Cleric (Lightbringer), which is been a joy to play. 
Well, sure. If you're going to set the situational example up so narrowly to help prove you point, with just a fighter and rogue, then yes, he sucks in comparison. Unfortunately for your argument, that's not DnD.

When the orc rushes over to gack your wizard friend, you move in to sneak attack it (since, you know, you have an ally in reach...). There, now look. You awesomely just saved your friend. Cool. Good on ya.

Or, I dunno, what about all the constant out-of-combat stuff that happens? You know, where you are hands-down showing up the fighter with your far superior uber-skiliness? Why is that OK? Why is it OK for you to be patently better than the fighter in one of the 3 pillars, but he can't be in his?
Well, sure. If you're going to set the situational example up so narrowly to help prove you point, with just a fighter and rogue, then yes, he sucks in comparison. Unfortunately for your argument, that's not DnD.

When the orc rushes over to gack your wizard friend, you move in to sneak attack it (since, you know, you have an ally in reach...). There, now look. You awesomely just saved your friend. Cool. Good on ya.

Or, I dunno, what about all the constant out-of-combat stuff that happens? You know, where you are hands-down showing up the fighter with your far superior uber-skiliness? Why is that OK? Why is it OK for you to be patently better than the fighter in one of the 3 pillars, but he can't be in his?



I think you are still missing the core of the arguement.

What your rogue did sneak attacking te orc who attacked the wizard is the exact same thing the fighter could have done, only the fighter can do it whenever he wants. The core problem with sneak attack is not that is doesn't make the Rogue super awesome spleen killing mcspleenster, it is that the fighter does the exact same thing without the rogues penalties. For at least 3 editions some version of sneak attack has been a unique ability only the rogue could use. Now it is the slow cousin of the fighter's ability. Take away the ability for sneak attack to do damage and give it something else to do and I'd be a little happier. I'd still want to rogue closer to the fighter's damage, but we'd find other things to work with.

Make Sneak Attack Unique That's what this is about

From what I hear coming out of people, much like yourself, this next iteration of D&D won't cut it no matter what, because it's never going to be Rogue: the Awesoming(tm).



Then you have not really been reading what we wrote. I was fine with the rogue, in terms of its power level, until the last playtest packet. It still did less damage than the fighter overall. It still had lower AC. It still had less hit points. It, however, had unique and situational appeal that the fighter could not match (both in and out of combat). Sure, the fighter was a better direct combatant. But, the rogue could still do something sneaky in combat that the fighter could not. And, in return for being worse overall in combat, it was better overall out of combat. That is no longer true as of the last playtest packet. 

Yes, a lot of the "fighter gets better than rogue" stuff you listed is all direct combat. Guess what? The fighter is (and should be better) at direct combat. I know. Shocking, right? To be surprised or disappointed by that is to want to marginalize the fighter over your preferred class (lemme guess which one that might be...). You want to be a master of combat? Don't be a rogue. That's just trying to put a round peg through a square hole. Rogues aren't built around being killing machines. That's not their job. You know what is there job? To be the best at being a rogue. They do a damn good job of that, currently.



Being better in direct combat doesn't mean being strictly better in every possible way. When that happens, a player who plays a rogue is likely to dislike combat encounters because he is overshadowed so completely. Every player needs to be able to contribute in unique and meaningful ways in and out of combat. A character can be better, overall, at some particular area of the game. It cannot, however, completely overshadow another class at that area in every possible way. Right now, via mighty exertion, the fighter can contribute in unique and powerful ways out of combat (even if the rogue is better overall). The rogue, however, has no unique and powerful contribution in combat. A player should not be forced to pick a fighter in order to have any method of providing a unique and powerful contribution in combat. 

I might need you to expand on this. 6 skills? You may have been trying to be too clever in the way you worded it? Because of course, the real truth is, fighters have far fewer trained skills to be good at, and can only apply their "skill maneuver" to a very narrow application: something involving raw strengthiness (something rogue's likely aren't interested in focusing on anyway, btw). Whereas, obviously, Skill Mastery makes rogues wicked good at a far, far broader set of applications as evidenced by their wide array of trade skills. To argue otherwise, and well, see my next response below.



I wasn't being clever. The current rules make it very easy to use mighty exertion while performing a drive, ride, climb, swim, escape artist, or intimidate check (whether a fighter is trained in that check or no). It will also be useful when making any skill like check that is a flat Strength check. Yes, skill Mastery is usually better overall. But, any time one of those six skill checks or a Strength check come up, Mighty Exertion is just as good as Skill Mastery. Better if neither the rogue or the fighter is trained in the skill. So, while the rogue might be better out of combat overall, the fighter still has a unique and powerful method of shining (and can occasionally shine brighter than the rogue, even in that area of the game). 

Oh, and btw, its *a minimum of* 8 skills. Not 8, finite. Since we are breaking things down so thoroughly...



Yes, that is true. It does not, however, change my argument, or weaken it in any way. My point stands. 

I'm somewhat confident, that the devs don't buy into a lot of the grousing and melodrama that some people espouse. I just hope they don't begin to feel browbeaten by the squeaky wheel.


They have explained how their playtest process works. I am 100% sure that the rogue is currently in deep  red (as explained by Mike in one of his Legends and Lore articles). Same for sneak attack. I am 100% sure we will see a more powerful rogue combatant as of the next playtest. Too many people are upset by the rogue as it stands now. If you think otherwise you are deluding yourself. And, it is hardly melodrama to note that the rogue is currently the worst character class in the game, mechanically, overall. It is also hardly melodrama to say that the situation is distinctly unappealing. It is playtest feedback. 

Well, sure. If you're going to set the situational example up so narrowly to help prove you point, with just a fighter and rogue, then yes, he sucks in comparison. Unfortunately for your argument, that's not DnD.



It has nothing to do with situational examples. It has to do with any example that actually examines the mechanics of combat. In fact, let’s look at your example:

When the orc rushes over to gack your wizard friend, you move in to sneak attack it (since, you know, you have an ally in reach...). There, now look. You awesomely just saved your friend. Cool. Good on ya.



How did you save your friend? What mechanic allows you to sneak attack an orc before it lands a blow on your friend? Or, do you mean because you dropped the Orc it won't get to attack your friend a second time? Because, based on what you just described, this is the way it would play out mechanically: the Orc moves adjacent to your wizard ally and makes an attack. For whatever reason (it misses, or its damage was too low) your wizard ally survives the attack. You then make an attack against the orc, because you have an adjecent ally to it... assuming that, for whatever reason, one of your allies is still adjacent to the orc come your turn. 

Now lets look at what a fighter can do. A fighter stands next to the wizard. When the orc moves up and attacks, if it hits he uses protect to mitigate the orcs damage. If it doesn't hit he can use all of his ED as damage to take it down when his turn comes around. So, he is better at actually saving the wizard. Which is ok, he should be. Then, on his turn, he can use deadly strike against the Orc. Deadly Strike is every bit as good as the rogue's sneak attack. Except, it doesn't matter if the Orc has an ally adjacent to it. Basically, it is a power that is identical to sneak attack, except better, because it has no restrictions. So, if for some reason the orc no longer has an ally adjacent to it come the fighter's turn (perhaps because the wizard goes first, and retreats from the Orc on its turn) the fighter can still effectively sneak attack the orc; his sneak attack is just called deadly strike. 

So, mechanically, a fighter is far better in every possible way at participating in the scenario you just described. That rogue would have been better off playing a fighter. The rogue is better out of combat. It is ok if the fighter is better in combat. But, just like the fighter has powerful and unique ways of contributing out of combat, the rogue needs powerful and unique ways of contributing in combat. 

Or, I dunno, what about all the constant out-of-combat stuff that happens? You know, where you are hands-down showing up the fighter with your far superior uber-skiliness? Why is that OK? Why is it OK for you to be patently better than the fighter in one of the 3 pillars, but he can't be in his?



Except, you are not hands down showing up the fighter when the party needs to climb a cliff, jump around from rooftop to rooftop, drive wagons, get a spooked horse to rear and stop running, swim against a current, intimidate a foe, or break out of some bindings. Hell, even when you need to open doors, the fighter will often be able to kick in the door as effectively as you can pick the lock. Meanwhile, in combat, the fighter is hands-down showing you up. So really, the only reason you are playing a rogue is so that you can pick the locks on doors that can’t be kicked in and disable traps. That is a little too narrow of an area to shine compared to every other class in the game.

Well, sure. If you're going to set the situational example up so narrowly to help prove you point, with just a fighter and rogue, then yes, he sucks in comparison. Unfortunately for your argument, that's not DnD.



It has nothing to do with situational examples. It has to do with any example that actually examines the mechanics of combat. In fact, let’s look at your example:

When the orc rushes over to gack your wizard friend, you move in to sneak attack it (since, you know, you have an ally in reach...). There, now look. You awesomely just saved your friend. Cool. Good on ya.



How did you save your friend? What mechanic allows you to sneak attack an orc before it lands a blow on your friend? Or, do you mean because you dropped the Orc it won't get to attack your friend a second time? Because, based on what you just described, this is the way it would play out mechanically: the Orc moves adjacent to your wizard ally and makes an attack. For whatever reason (it misses, or its damage was too low) your wizard ally survives the attack. You then make an attack against the orc, because you have an adjecent ally to it... assuming that, for whatever reason, one of your allies is still adjacent to the orc come your turn. 

Now lets look at what a fighter can do. A fighter stands next to the wizard. When the orc moves up and attacks, if it hits he uses protect to mitigate the orcs damage. If it doesn't hit he can use all of his ED as damage to take it down when his turn comes around. So, he is better at actually saving the wizard. Which is ok, he should be. Then, on his turn, he can use deadly strike against the Orc. Deadly Strike is every bit as good as the rogue's sneak attack. Except, it doesn't matter if the Orc has an ally adjacent to it. Basically, it is a power that is identical to sneak attack, except better, because it has no restrictions. So, if for some reason the orc no longer has an ally adjacent to it come the fighter's turn (perhaps because the wizard goes first, and retreats from the Orc on its turn) the fighter can still effectively sneak attack the orc; his sneak attack is just called deadly strike. 

So, mechanically, a fighter is far better in every possible way at participating in the scenario you just described. That rogue would have been better off playing a fighter. The rogue is better out of combat. It is ok if the fighter is better in combat. But, just like the fighter has powerful and unique ways of contributing out of combat, the rogue needs powerful and unique ways of contributing in combat. 

Or, I dunno, what about all the constant out-of-combat stuff that happens? You know, where you are hands-down showing up the fighter with your far superior uber-skiliness? Why is that OK? Why is it OK for you to be patently better than the fighter in one of the 3 pillars, but he can't be in his?



Except, you are not hands down showing up the fighter when the party needs to climb a cliff, jump around from rooftop to rooftop, drive wagons, get a spooked horse to rear and stop running, swim against a current, intimidate a foe, or break out of some bindings. Hell, even when you need to open doors, the fighter will often be able to kick in the door as effectively as you can pick the lock. Meanwhile, in combat, the fighter is hands-down showing you up. So really, the only reason you are playing a rogue is so that you can pick the locks on doors that can’t be kicked in and disable traps. That is a little too narrow of an area to shine compared to every other class in the game.

Hammer met nail with this post
But the fighter couldn't help the wizard. He was too busy with a face full of ogre?...

The point was, a rogue can usually pick his ability to participate fruitfully in a fight without too much difficulty. Having to have an ally near a target, or somehow gaining advantage, is not terribly difficult to do at all. Or do something else constructive with your action. If you think there aren't ever going to be any rogue maneuvers, in the final product, that dispense conditions, well... I don't know what to tell you. I always assumed it to be a given. Hamstringing. Sand in the face. Distracting. All up the rogue's alley. I now realize that some of you keep getting hung up on that as a failing. But I never figured until now that it was in question. Sneak Attack is the rogue's spleen-killing maneuver. If you'd rather have a rogue deal conditions, take something of that nature once the game is further along and they've provided them. But I just can't get my head around the complaint that keeps harping on this issue at this stage of playtest.

And even as it stands now, with this iteration of rogue, I'm not seeing the woeful inferiority. Again... I've had a rogue in my game and she's doing just fine. So maybe its just because I'm coming at this from an actual, practical, tested point of view, rather than a spreadsheet and a sense of fear for what might be?
...jump around from rooftop to rooftop, drive wagons, get a spooked horse to rear and stop running, swim against a current, intimidate a foe, or break out of some bindings. Hell, even when you need to open doors, the fighter will often be able to kick in the door as effectively as you can pick the lock.

If the party needs to jump roofs, how is the fighter going to help the party? Sure, he can do it. But the wizard? Same with swimming. And how is a big tough fighter better at driving a wagon (using his strength)? Or calm a horse? Some of these examples don't make sense. See below...

The current rules make it very easy to use mighty exertion while performing a drive, ride, climb, swim, escape artist, or intimidate check (whether a fighter is trained in that check or no).

So drive and ride are strength now? Escape the others, sometimes under the right circumstances. Not always. Whereas the rogue doesn't have to figure out a way to narrowly describe their action within a single stat focus to use Skill Mastery. They are good. Every time.

Escape Artist with strength? Sure, maybe with rope. What if you are shacked in chains? I'm more inclined to think the rogue is going to figure out how to pick the lock than the fighter to burst the cuffs. Swim? Maybe initially, sure. But a long swim might move to Con. No more Mighty Exertion. Besides which, now that I think about it, a lot of what the fighter is going to get to use Mighty Exertion on are things that are fairly routine. Or that his strength along would have been adequate to handle. He usually won't need to hit really high DCs to swim, climb, etc. Lift an iron portcullis? Sure. Awesome. Fighter with Mighty Exertion to the rescue...

But the fighter couldn't help the wizard. He was too busy with a face full of ogre?...



Which means what mechanically? That the fighter is better at fighting the ogre, so it is dealing with a problem that the rogue can't, and the rogue only gets to contribute when the task is too menial for a fighter to deal with. Which really begs the question, why should anyone play the rogue at all? The answer is because only the rogue can disable traps and pick locks (on doors that the fighter can't just kick in). The problem is, that is far too much of a corner niche compared to every class in the game, and leaves the rogue feeling like a stand in for menial tasks far too often.

The point was, a rogue can usually pick his ability to participate fruitfully in a fight without too much difficulty. Having to have an ally near a target, or somehow gaining advantage, is not terribly difficult to do at all. Or do something else constructive with your action. If you think there aren't ever going to be any rogue maneuver, in the final product, that dispense conditions, well... I don't know what to tell you. I always assumed it to be a given. Hamstringing. Sand in the face. Distracting. All up the rogue's alley. I now realize that some of you keep getting hung up on that as a failing. But I never figured until now that it was in question. Sneak Attack is the rogue's spleen-killing maneuver. If you'd rather have a rogue deal conditions, take something of that nature once the game is further along and they've provided them. But I just can't get my head around the complaint that keeps harping on this issue at this stage of playtest.



The point is, Sneak Attack may not be too difficult to pull off, but it is nothing but a second class Deadly Strike. Moreover, when you couple that with the fact that the fighter gets a second attack at 6th level, the end result in the DPR department is that the rogue ca pull off about half of what a fighter can pull off. That is far too big a gap to be acceptable. It is fine if the fighter can deal more DPR per round. It is not fine for the gap to be this large. It is not fine that the rogue cannot contribute in any unique way. 

And even as it stands now, with this iteration of rogue, I'm not seeing the woeful inferiority. Again... I've had a rogue in my game and she's doing just fine. So maybe its just because I'm coming at this from an actual, practical, tested point of view, rather than a spreadsheet and a sense of fear for what might be?



No, it’s because you either have no real appreciation for math (which is pretty objective on the subject), haven't play tested things past 6th level (when the disparity truly becomes drastic), and/or don't care about imbalance to the point where you will never notice it no matter how bad it might be. 

Here is the thing, if they don't fix it, your perception aside, a lot of us won't buy into this edition. I am not interested in another imbalanced edition. Right now, the rogue is objectively inferior to the fighter in every aspect of combat, is not objectively superior to the fighter in every area of skill use, and is not superior enough at skill use for these imbalances to be subjectively accepted by many of us. 
Which means what mechanically?

OMG. Seriously? Mechanically? Everything is "mechanically" to you, isn't it? If it isn't quantified it doesn't count? DnD isn't just a string of math equations with boring talk mixed in to slow it down? The rogue excels in a different pillar. Sorry that the pillar it excels at happens to be less math-y. That's not something I can resolve. But it also doesn't make it any less real.

The fighter was busy with the ogre, because he decided to be. What does it matter? Other than you continually trying to strawman your way out of this...

The point is, Sneak Attack may not be too difficult to pull off, but it is nothing but a second class Deadly Strike.

But its not "second class", whatever that means. It does the same amount of damage. The rogue is able to deal the same amount of damage as a fighter (when using the same weapon, of course). That's not something to sneeze at.

Moreover, when you couple that with the fact that the fighter gets a second attack at 6th level, the end result in the DPR department is that the rogue ca pull off about half of what a fighter can pull off. That is far to big a gap to be acceptable. It is fine if the fighter can deal more DPR per round. It is not fine for the gap to be this large. It is not fine that the rogue cannot contribute in any unique way.

Here we go with the math again. DPR. DPR. DPR. Yes, I agree, the rogue is not a DPR machine. And isn't supposed to be. What else you got?

No, it’s because you either have no real appreciation for math (which is pretty objective on the subject), haven't play tested things past 6th level (when the disparity truly becomes drastic), and/or don't care about imbalance to the point where you will never notice it no matter how bad it might be. 

Yes. Yes. You are the only one who gets the math. Oh, wait, we are talking math again. I thought we were talking about  role-playing game. My bad. When does the formula break out for calculating all the stuff rogues can do that fighters suck at? Or does that not serve your argument?

Here is the thing, if they don't fix it, your perception aside, a lot of us won't buy into this edition. I am not interested in another imbalanced edition.

"A lot." Well, that's a huge deal. So you are saying WotC isn't pleasing *everyone*? Ohnoez! They can't even if they try. You won't buy it? OK. I'm not going to pretend everyone will. Hell, if they keep following the squeaky wheels around here and eff this thing all up, I might be right there with you...

objectively

Bzzzt. Please don't declare victories so subjectively. We can have differing opinions, but "objectively" is a bit reaching, donchathink?


My playtests are coming up with different data than yours. Why does that make mine "wrong". Objectively?

Sneak attack is situational and Deadly strike isn't.

Which is better(where X is the same value):

An ability that does X bonus damage under the right circumstances

or

An ability that does X bonus damage...

The answer is the second one because there isn't a circumstantial component that limits it.  Sneak Attack should do more damage than deadly strike...The fighter is more than reliable enough to make up for it...
Which means what mechanically?

OMG. Seriously? Mechanically? Everything is "mechanically" to you, isn't it? If it isn't quantified it doesn't count? DnD isn't just a string of math equations with boring talk mixed in to slow it down? The rogue excels in a different pillar. Sorry that the pillar it excels at happens to be less math-y. That's not something I can resolve. But it also doesn't make it any less real.

The fighter was busy with the ogre, because he decided to be. What does it matter? Other than you continually trying to strawman your way out of this...

The point is, Sneak Attack may not be too difficult to pull off, but it is nothing but a second class Deadly Strike.

But its not "second class", whatever that means. It does the same amount of damage. The rogue is able to deal the same amount of damage as a fighter (when using the same weapon, of course). That's not something to sneeze at.

Moreover, when you couple that with the fact that the fighter gets a second attack at 6th level, the end result in the DPR department is that the rogue ca pull off about half of what a fighter can pull off. That is far to big a gap to be acceptable. It is fine if the fighter can deal more DPR per round. It is not fine for the gap to be this large. It is not fine that the rogue cannot contribute in any unique way.

Here we go with the math again. DPR. DPR. DPR. Yes, I agree, the rogue is not a DPR machine. And isn't supposed to be. What else you got?

No, it’s because you either have no real appreciation for math (which is pretty objective on the subject), haven't play tested things past 6th level (when the disparity truly becomes drastic), and/or don't care about imbalance to the point where you will never notice it no matter how bad it might be. 

Yes. Yes. You are the only one who gets the math. Oh, wait, we are talking math again. I thought we were talking about  role-playing game. My bad. When does the formula break out for calculating all the stuff rogues can do that fighters suck at? Or does that not serve your argument?

Here is the thing, if they don't fix it, your perception aside, a lot of us won't buy into this edition. I am not interested in another imbalanced edition.

"A lot." Well, that's a huge deal. So you are saying WotC isn't pleasing *everyone*? Ohnoez! They can't even if they try. You won't buy it? OK. I'm not going to pretend everyone will. Hell, if they keep following the squeaky wheels around here and eff this thing all up, I might be right there with you...

objectively

Bzzzt. Please don't declare victories so subjectively. We can have differing opinions, but "objectively" is a bit reaching, donchathink?


My playtests are coming up with different data than yours. Why does that make mine "wrong". Objectively?




You are right that role-playing games are not entirely math, but that's because when it is done correctly the math doesn't matter.

If a monster had 20 AC, 500 hp, and dished out 12d12+30 damage, and we were told this is a level 1 encounter we would immediately know the math is waaaay off and no matter how you tried to role-play it no one would have fun. Cyber-Dave and many many other fans do these calculations now so that when they sit down to play the game feels correct and everybody has fun. If we are to beleive a rogue can fight on the front-line of the battle, but the math shows they should be staying out of any fight in any situation, then we have a problem. Because no matter how you try and role-play it, the person playing the rogue will probably notice that they have been delegated to only a single aspect of a multi-faceted game. Skills, skills, skills. While yes skill can function in many different settings, if that is all the rogue is good at then the person playing the rogue might not be happy. Just like the fighter only being capable in combat. People get bored and upset when the rules of the game prevent them from particiapating in the ways they expect. This isn't us whining about the rogue being bad, this is us showing that no matter what the rogue does, mechanically they are nearly useless in at least 1/3 of the game. The fact that they rule supreme outside of that 1/3 doesn't change that fact.

As for sneak attack being "second class", it means it is inferior to deadly strike. At the absolute best it does the same thing, at worst it is unusable. It's like giving someone the choice between a gun and a gun that only shoots on thursdays. Who really wants the one they can only use on a limited basis if they are both otherwise the same?

Also, what exactly can rogue's do that fighter's "suck at"? Mighty Exertion is comparable to Skill Mastery, it is not identical, but it doesn't need to be. Locks and traps? Well, we can just go with the fighter breaking down every door and walking through the traps. The areas at which the rogue truly has an edge on the fighter do not balance out the fighter's advantages. Whether or not you like the fact that Cyber-Dave is using math to point that out doesn't matter, I could have told you that after just reading the material. None of this cancels the fact that people in your playtest group are having fun, that is great, but just because they are having fun doesn't mean there aren't issues to be solved
Also, what exactly can rogue's do that fighter's "suck at"? Mighty Exertion is comparable to Skill Mastery, it is not identical, but it doesn't need to be.

This, right here, is precisely why the argument is just going to go round-and-round, never to be resolved.

So I will part with this bit of evidence and an observation:

It has become clear, by your argument (and other rogue=uberists), Sneak Attack is "terrible", "strictly inferior", or "second class", because it has a minor situational restriction that is easily overcome. Even though, when that minor restriction is negated, the maneuver does the exact same bonus damage as the fighter. (Which is quite impressive.)

Following me so far? I do not believe I'm misrepresenting this point as it has been repeatedly trotted around by multiple people here (and elsewhere on these boards).

OK. Fine. Let me concede that theory for the sake of my next point.

Yet, and this is the key by comparison, Mighty Exertion is somehow "comparable" to Skill Mastery. What?! Even though it is, by far, more restricted and situational by comparison. That's just empirical fact. Mighty Exertion is Skill Mastery's little red-headed step brother. Yet, somehow that's OK, "it doesn't need to be", to put it in your own words. Because clearly the fighter shouldn't be on par with a rogue in the skill rockin' category, right? Uh huh... Sure... Is this argument sounding at all familiar?

So it seems to me that this just another clear indicator of a point by some who are arguing from bias. And precisely why, in an earlier post somewhere, I mentioned that it usually ends up that people desperately trying to "up-fix" the rogue are usually fanboys hoping to boost their preferred class's awesomeness. Maybe not in this case specifically. But its hard not to think so when I see blatant examples like this.

Sneak Attack should mean the Rogue has Advantage.  The Rogue Rolls Two Dice to Hit and gets the the Better Roll, then insert the blade into the Kidney and twist it...
So advantage on the attack, rather than bonus damage? But because they have Sneak Attack available to them every round, are you suggesting they get advantage on all attacks?

Sort of going in an avenger/crit-fisher direction. Hmmm. Interesting...

OMG. Seriously? Mechanically? Everything is "mechanically" to you, isn't it? If it isn't quantified it doesn't count? DnD isn't just a string of math equations with boring talk mixed in to slow it down? The rogue excels in a different pillar. Sorry that the pillar it excels at happens to be less math-y. That's not something I can resolve. But it also doesn't make it any less real.


Yes, at this stage of the game, during play testing, everything is about mechanics to me. Everything is about the math. Later, once the game is finished, and I am here because I am playing and not playtesting that will change. Right now, however, I am interested only in helping to build a better game. Math and mechanics are a big part of that.


And the rogue’s pillar is not “less mathy.” Skills are not less “mathy” than combat. Their math is different, but they are still built mathematically. The rogue does excel, mathematically, at skill use. But he does not excel enough to balance out how inferior he is in combat. We have already explained why.

The fighter was busy with the ogre, because he decided to be. What does it matter? Other than you continually trying to strawman your way out of this...


Unfortunately, just because you decide something at a table that something does not necessarily turn out to be true. If the games math stops it from being true it will not be true. In this case, the fighter can choose to be busy with the ogre because he decided to be. Mechanically, he is also better at everything he decides to do in combat. Except hiding and running away… thing is, it is not very fun to hide and run away from every fight while the rest of the group actually deals with it.

And if you are going to bring named logical fallacies into this, make sure you actually understand what those named logical fallacies mean. I have not tried to "strawman" anything. In fact, based on your use of the term, I don't think you really know what the term "strawman" means (in terms of rhetorical logic, and how the strawman fallacy works). Do yourself a favor and look it up.

 But its not "second class", whatever that means. It does the same amount of damage. The rogue is able to deal the same amount of damage as a fighter (when using the same weapon, of course). That's not something to sneeze at.


 


It is strictly second class. It deals the same damage, but under a restriction. The fighter deals that damage with no restriction. That is something to sneeze at. If it will deal the same damage, it needs its restriction removed completely (and for the record I think that is a very bad idea. It will homogenize things far too much). If it is going to contain a restriction then to balance out that restriction it needs to do something different (and above and beyond) what a fighter does, as it will only do that when a rogue can meet the restrictions. The more strict the restrictions, the more powerful that different thing has to be. For example, the current restriction is not very strict. It is probably enough to say that if a rogue Sneak Attacks a target, that target grants advantage to all of a rogue’s allies until the start of its next turn. The Sneak Attack will still do the same damage as a fighter. The rogue has, however, done something in addition to what a fighter would do, and that addition is unique. If Sneak Attack only applies when a rogue has advantage, however, then that addition is not enough in and of itself. Moreover, overall, the rogue needs to be doing about 75-80% of the fighter’s damage (or the gap is too big, and the rogue will feel too underpowered in combat). The damage gap is not currently too big a deal until level 6. After level 6 the rogue is only doing about 50% of the fighter’s damage. That is FAR too small a percentage.

Here we go with the math again. DPR. DPR. DPR. Yes, I agree, the rogue is not a DPR machine. And isn't supposed to be. What else you got?


 


Unfortunately for you, sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes, and refusing to see the problem is not a strong rhetorical argument. The sentence “the rogue is not a DPR machine” is a nice catch phrase, but it doesn’t actually interact with the reality of the game’s mechanics. Nobody is saying the rogue has to be able to do the same DPR as the fighter. In fact, almost everyone has said they are content with the rogue dealing less damage, overall, than the fighter. Like you, we agree, the rogue doesn’t need to be a DPR machine (and under the game’s current paradigm should not be). The rogue is superior at skill use. It needs to pay for that with some of its in combat capability. It needs to pay for that with lower hit points, a lower attack bonus, and slightly lower DPR. The current gap, however, is far too big. And no matter how much you may want it to, your catch phrase does not change that.


Yes. Yes. You are the only one who gets the math. Oh, wait, we are talking math again. I thought we were talking about  role-playing game. My bad. When does the formula break out for calculating all the stuff rogues can do that fighters suck at? Or does that not serve your argument?


Except, we have done that. You just don’t seem to want to keep up. The fighter’s Mighty Exertion is almost identical to Skill Mastery. The difference is that it applies to all Strength checks instead of all trained skill checks. Mathematically, that works out to the fighter gaining a bonus with 6 skills and any Strength check. That includes a couple of skills which are traditionally rogue territory. The rogue gains its bonus to 8 skills (and can inflate that number with feats by a bit). That does not balance out.

"A lot." Well, that's a huge deal. So you are saying WotC isn't pleasing *everyone*? Ohnoez! They can't even if they try. You won't buy it? OK. I'm not going to pretend everyone will. Hell, if they keep following the squeaky wheels around here and eff this thing all up, I might be right there with you...


They are not going to please everyone no matter what they do. In this case, however, based on what we are seeing on the forums, far too many people are not being pleased. It is one thing to not please a fringe group. It is another thing to not please anything as large or larger than a sizable minority. Last time around, failing to do that resulted in an edition sinking. If you don’t think that a sizable minority or a majority are upset by the current rogue situation, you are deluding yourself.


Bzzzt. Please don't declare victories so subjectively. We can have differing opinions, but "objectively" is a bit reaching, donchathink?


No, I don’t. The rogue is objectively inferior to every other class in the game, mathematically speaking, and that has been proven by numerous posters over and over and over. It is objectively the worst class in the game in combat. It is superior at skill use, objectively, but the margin is not anywhere near as large as the margin in combat. Every other class in the game is objectively superior at a larger range of activities than the rogue. That is simple fact.


My playtests are coming up with different data than yours. Why does that make mine "wrong". Objectively?


The fact that yours don’t take into account objective data at all. They only take into account your subjective perceptions and holistic judgements about those impressions; that is why all of your “examples” completely ignore the mechanics that actually occur as you describe them. 



Also, what exactly can rogue's do that fighter's "suck at"? Mighty Exertion is comparable to Skill Mastery, it is not identical, but it doesn't need to be.

This, right here, is precisely why the argument is just going to go round-and-round, never to be resolved. 

So I will part with this bit of evidence and an observation:

It has become clear, by your argument (and other rogue=uberists), Sneak Attack is "terrible", "strictly inferior", or "second class", because it has a minor situational restriction that is easily overcome. Even though, when that minor restriction is negated, the maneuver does the exact same bonus damage as the fighter. (Which is quite impressive.)

Following me so far? I do not believe I'm misrepresenting this point as it has been repeatedly trotted around by multiple people here (and elsewhere on these boards).

OK. Fine. Let me concede that theory for the sake of my next point.

Yet, and this is the key by comparison, Mighty Exertion is somehow "comparable" to Skill Mastery. What?! Even though it is, by far, more restricted and situational by comparison. That's just empirical fact. Mighty Exertion is Skill Mastery's little red-headed step brother. Yet, somehow that's OK, "it doesn't need to be", to put it in your own words. Because clearly the fighter shouldn't be on par with a rogue in the skill rockin' category, right? Uh huh... Sure... Is this argument sounding at all familiar?

So it seems to me that this just another clear indicator of a point by some who are arguing from bias. And precisely why, in an earlier post somewhere, I mentioned that it usually ends up that people desperately trying to "up-fix" the rogue are usually fanboys hoping to boost their preferred class's awesomeness. Maybe not in this case specifically. But its hard not to think so when I see blatant examples like this.




Here is the thing, nobody cares if Sneak Attack is far more restrictive and situational than Deadly Strike. In fact, almost everyone wants it to be. We don't want the rogue and the fighter to be the same. In fact, we would like the rogue's pattern of damage to be different than the fighter (dealt in bursts instead of constantly dealt every round). The thing is, when that restrictive and situational moment comes to pass, we want Sneak Attack to be better than Deadly Strike. That is what the rogue gains in return for those restrictions.

That is exactly how Mighty Exertion relates to Skill Mastery. Is it more restrictive? Yes. Because the rogue is supposed to be, overall, superior at that area of the game. Does it, however, gain some benefit in return for its restrictions? Yes again. You can use it with untrained skills. See, Mighty Exertion does not read as follows: "You gain X benefit whenever you use a Strength based skill you are trained in." That would be exactly the same as, but strictly worse than, Skill Mastery. It reads, "you gain X benefit whenever you use a Strength check." It has one restriction over Skill Mastery (it only applies to Strength checks) and one benefit over Skill Mastery (it applies to any Strength check, whether the fighter is trained in a skill that applies to that Strength check or not). And thus the fighter gets a meaningful, interesting, and unique way of contributing to out of combat encounters that will occasionally allow the fighter to shine brighter than a rogue during a skill based encounter. Please let us know again, what does the rogue get that allows it to occasionally shine brighter than a fighter during a combat encounter, even if the fighter is better overall? Oh, right... nothing. 

That is why this conversation will go around and around. Because you refuse to engage with that. Because you are ok with that, and have a problem with the fact that at least many of us, maybe most of us, are not. One way or the other, however, what that empirically results in is a lack of parity, overall, between the two classes. 

It is clear that Chris Carlson just likes to argue and make others feel stupid. Rogue has always been a DPR in combat while fighters have been the uber DPR since they have very little other story purpose than to bash things. Sneak Attack has always been a Rogues primary purpose in combat. It is a shame if that is no longer their greatest combat purpose. And finally, I don't know what kinds of encounters he plays, but gaining combat advantage is not always easy.
So advantage on the attack, rather than bonus damage? But because they have Sneak Attack available to them every round, are you suggesting they get advantage on all attacks?

Sort of going in an avenger/crit-fisher direction. Hmmm. Interesting...




Rogue must have Advantage to Sneak Attack.  Rogues are not straight forward Fighters.  Fighters should do more Damage unless they create a Encounter or Daily Back Stab otherwise play a Fighter with a Thug Background..
They aren't straight forward fighters, so when the conditions for sneak attack are met, it should be powerful.  If improvements aren't made, I think you will see exactly that.  You will see many fighters with a thug background and few rogues
It is clear that Chris Carlson just likes to argue and make others feel stupid.

I can't make you feel anything. I am defending my observations on the class against a slew of rogue fanboys bent on world domination! You try being outnumbered in a thread as see how it goes...

Rogue has always been a DPR in combat while fighters have been the uber DPR since they have very little other story purpose than to bash things.

To paraphrase Inigo, I do not think DPR means what you think it means.

Sneak Attack has always been a Rogues primary purpose in combat.

Well, when it was called Backstab, in the olden days, it was nigh impossible to trigger because the target had to be completely unaware. Sneak Attack, as applied in the last few editions, was very spiky damage that had far more restrictions than this current version.

It is a shame if that is no longer their greatest combat purpose.

I don't think it is a shame that rogues no longer do the best damage. Didn't you just get saying above that it should be fighters, since that's their only shtick?

And finally, I don't know what kinds of encounters he plays, but gaining combat advantage is not always easy.

You no longer need advantage. You can also manage it by simply have an ally within reach of the target. Something much easier to do now than the Sneak Attacks of yore.
They aren't straight forward fighters, so when the conditions for sneak attack are met, it should be powerful.  If improvements aren't made, I think you will see exactly that.  You will see many fighters with a thug background and few rogues

If Sneak Attack is rewritten to do more damage than Deadly Strike, the exact opposite complaint will rise up. All of a sudden, its stupid that all fighters will need a level of rogue to compete with their spiky damage. Is that the solution?

They aren't straight forward fighters, so when the conditions for sneak attack are met, it should be powerful.  If improvements aren't made, I think you will see exactly that.  You will see many fighters with a thug background and few rogues

If Sneak Attack is rewritten to do more damage than Deadly Strike, the exact opposite complaint will rise up. All of a sudden, its stupid that all fighters will need a level of rogue to compete with their spiky damage. Is that the solution?



If a rogue's damage is spiky, and its spikes result in hits that do more damage than a fighter but happen infrequently enough that a rogue's damage, overall, will still be lower than a fighter's (by about 20-25%), then we have achieved balance.

Multiclassing is something we will have to deal with when we come to it, but the key will be to make sure that multiclassing into another class does not give you too easy access to their signature abilities. If it does, then given the current mechanics every fighter will do what you "fear" anyway. Everyone with any concept of game design who wants to play a rogue like character will play a fighter, pick the thug or thief background, maybe take a few skill related feats, and then dip one level into rogue for proficiency in thieves tools. 


By the way, speaking of “strawman” arguments, calling everyone in this thread who is a proponent of keeping the game balanced a “rogue fanboi” or “rogue uberist” is actually a strawman fallacy (as well as an ad-hominem). Like I said, you should look it up…

They aren't straight forward fighters, so when the conditions for sneak attack are met, it should be powerful.  If improvements aren't made, I think you will see exactly that.  You will see many fighters with a thug background and few rogues

If Sneak Attack is rewritten to do more damage than Deadly Strike, the exact opposite complaint will rise up. All of a sudden, its stupid that all fighters will need a level of rogue to compete with their spiky damage. Is that the solution?

I don't see that as inevitable.  I am not advocating increasing sneak attack far beyond that of deadly strike.  Doing slightly more damage than deadly strike would not break the fighter, especially if there is a progressive component added to sneak attack that increases modestly with level(really liking Kali-mada's idea now).  This would guard a bit against min/maxing, although...

It is kind of ironic that you are commenting on how the multi-class system is going to work out.  It is almost like me commenting on how classes not yet implimented will contribute to game balance.

That said, when specialization of a character becomes more possible with more advanced maneuvers and feats, then fighters that spec primarily offensively should not be left in the dust to the average rogue.  I would not approve of that.  Should a rogue that specs all out in maximizing damage(if such an option is available) do slightly superior damage in some situations to an offensively speced fighter?  Probably...because even when situational damage does send that rogue over the top(shouldn't happen most of the time though), the fighter still is better in ways that a rogue will never be. Then, again...this paragraph has little to do with the current state of the playtest and more about ideals and vision 



...then we have achieved balance ... Everyone with any concept of game design...

By the way, speaking of “strawman” arguments, calling everyone in this thread who is a proponent of keeping the game balanced a “rogue fanboi” or “rogue uberist” is actually a strawman fallacy (as well as an ad-hominem).


You mean like continually implying that anyone who doesn't agree with you just doesn't understand game design? Hmmm...

It is kind of ironic that you are commenting on how the multi-class system is going to work out.  It is almost like me commenting on how classes not yet implimented will contribute to game balance.

Yeah. Not irony at all. Actually, I was playing by your rules. You open the debate up to speculating on future rules. Not me. But I guess I'm not allowed to do so? That's a right reserved for you guys who "better understand game design", as CD would say...

...then we have achieved balance ... Everyone with any concept of game design...

By the way, speaking of “strawman” arguments, calling everyone in this thread who is a proponent of keeping the game balanced a “rogue fanboi” or “rogue uberist” is actually a strawman fallacy (as well as an ad-hominem).


You mean like continually implying that anyone who doesn't agree with you just doesn't understand game design? Hmmm...




That is not a strawman. Again, you need to look up what a strawman actually is. I don't think you understand what the term means. That, by the way, is not an ad-hominem either. I am not saying your argument fails because you don't understand what a strawman means. Your argument fails because it is illogical, and I have explained why. In this case, my comment about the way you use the term strawman is a parenthetical observation about the way you are using that term. 

At most, you can argue that the quote was an implied ad-hominem. In truth, I would argue it is not even that. It doesn't take much to understand that the ability to add X is better than the ability to add X when Y. Further, it doesn't take much to understand that 2 > 1. Taking a package that grants X and 2, and then multiclassing to get Z, results in X, 2, and Z. It is not brain science to figure out that that is better than X when Y, 1, and Z. Not being able to see that amounts to not understanding something. Saying as much isn't an ad-hominem. And, seeing as I didn't accuse anyone of that specifically, I didn't really level my argument at a particular poster instead of at a particular argument. In fact, my argument is pretty simple: X when Y, 1, and Z doesn't balance out to X, 2, and Z/2. That becomes obvious when this theoretical multiclassing gets added to the game, and someone can just dip into rogue to get all of Z. 

Still, if you think that X when Y, 1, and Z is equal to X, 2, and Z, I can understand why you took that statement as an ad-hominem. I apologize for any insult you may have felt. Still, X when Y, 1, and Z is worse than X, 2, and Z.  

Never did I claim that I understood game design better than you.  I merely stated my opinion, which is in direct contradiction to your own.  You said your piece, I said mine, and we agree to disagree.  I actually have no problem with you bringing up possible multi-class rules if you don't have a problem with me bringing up how our current classes will most likely interact with classes that are not yet released that inevitably will.

The multi-class discussion is an interesting one and one I am concerned with as well.  Back in 3rd edition, fighter/rogues were much greater than the sum of their parts due to creative min/maxing.  You could start as a rogue and get a load of skill points, go to the fighter class to bolster durability, take rogue levels periodically to up skills important to you not on the fighter list while getting sneak attack bonuses so many odd levels, getting weapon specialization, power attack, and pretty much all the great feats a fighter has to offer from taking fighter levels.  We had one player do this and specialize in the scythe which had a x4 crit modifier...anyways to the point: they need to guard against this sort of thing. The new critical rules are an improvement, but I digress...4e seemed a little better at stopping powergaming but only to an extent, not perfectly, and at the expense of player freedom.  There is still imbalance, though...

We really don't know how they are going to approach the multi-class situation.  This is perhaps a bit murkier than contemplating what unreleased classes may bring, but not outside the bounds of speculation.  I seriously hope they come up with a solution different from just get whatever you'd get from being a fighter and a level of rogue. Can't say I really know what that would be...Some sort of subclass that slides over your class like a coat?  I really don't know...
Rs06: Agreed.

Cyber-Dave: Guess what? Harp on and on about what is or isn't a "strawman" and whether it was properly applied rather than the issue of the example in the first place is... wait for it... wait for it... a strawman! But congrats on the effort to keep derailing the point!

And just because X when Y, 1, and Z is worse than X, 2, and Z, doesn't mean that it is unintentional, a bad thing, or - more importantly - far off from each other in value. I keep arguing that the limit on Sneak Attack is minimal. You would rather declare the maneuver "unplayable" or "terribly inferior", or whatever other over-the-top colorful adjectives you want to throw out. None of those drastic labels are accurate to my view. That's just chicken littling. In play, where it matters, over the course of the 3-5 rounds of play a rogue has to do something, they end up using Sneak Attack just fine. To do the same bonus damage as the top dog of fighting: the fighter.
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