The best balance fix I have seen to date (fighter, rogue, and monk)...

So, after a lot of conversation, a lot of math, and the like, a few things have become apparent: Sneak Attack and Deadly Strike feel too alike; all the martial classes feel underpowered compared to the fighter. Now, almost everyone still wants the fighter to be the single target DPR king. As a result of all this discussion a lot of ideas have been bandied about. I think one deserves its own thread, because numerically speaking it works pretty well (and helps to deflate instead of inflate some of the damage numbers we have been seeing).

Leave Sneak Attack as is.
Leave Flurry of Blows as is.
Change Deadly Strike to read: Any time you hit with an attack, you may roll any Expertise Dice you have and add the highest result to your damage roll. 

As a fighter gets multiple attacks, and you can add at least one die of deadly strike to each attack, the fighter's DPR will still be higher than the Monk or Rogue. At level 10, assuming an 80% hit rate, a Monk will have a DPR of 25 with his fists. A fighter with a greatsword will have a DPR of 32. A rogue (with a hit rate of only 75% due to its lower attack bonus) will have a DPR of 21. (All those numbers are rounded off.) The rogue still seems a little low. However, the rogue will be dealing the single largest numbers when he hits. So, at least his pattern is more spikey, and Sneak Attack will feel unique; one of the biggest problems right now is that it does not feel unique. The monk vs. fighter numbers seem fair (considering what the monk gets and the fighter does not). 

I think that is a great start. We still need to find some other way to give the rogue a minor boost. I would suggest that whenever the rogue hits with a Sneak Attack the target hit grants advantage to anyone attacking it until the start of the Rogue's next turn. That way the rogue will have the spikiest damage, the lowest DPR, and he will make up for his low DPR by adding a status effect that helps the group. Meanwhile, the status effect will encourage the group to attack the target, which will tend to keep them adjecent to the target, which in turn will allow the rogue to sneak attack again the following round; this means that he is really helping the group in order to help himself and that feels pretty rogue-like to me. This will keep the rogue feeling useful despite having the lowest DPR mathematically... and let us not forget Skill Mastery!

 

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!

Another kind of random and situational idea could be that if a sneak attack is made with a poison or magical substance(such as dust of dryness), the poison or sustance is more effective or harder to resist/make a save from.  Just a thought...
I would rather keep poisons to the assassin myself...

Another point of interest: the best possible DPR that a 10th level wizard can put out in 11 rounds of daily nova is 300 (all magic missile). Given this model, in 11 rounds a fighter will deal about 352 points of damage. A monk would deal 275 points of damage. A rogue would deal 187 points of damage. Anything past the 11th round and everyone would be dealing a lot more damage than the wizard. Again, considering the fact that the rogue has the same HP as the wizard right now, I think the rogue's survivability needs a significant boost. 


That being said, with a more AoE based spell list (2 5th level magic missiles, 2 ice storms, 2 fireballs, 2 scorching rays, and 2 1st level magic missiles) a wizard’s damage will change to 567 points spread out amongst various monsters or 239.75 points of damage to any given single target. If a wizard uses any of its magic for utility, defense, or control, those numbers drop further. Unlike the rogue, monk, or fighter it cannot swap out damage for utility on the spot—it must do so at the start of the day.


So, as long as rogues get a significant boost to survivability as well, and a target hit by Sneak Attack grants advantage as per my above post, then I subjectively think these numbers are fair. 

I would rather keep poisons to the assassin myself...

Good point.  That sort of fluff would be more appropriate to the assassin...

I am looking for any idea that could be used, and it is kind of difficult.  Sneak attack is a crutch that keeps the rogue afloat in combat situations and skill mastery is the rogue's one true saving grace.

Only other technique I can think of is some sort of maneuver that fakes an enemy out, causing the enemy to drop its guard, and provoke an attack of opportunity...
I hope WoTC takes note.   Your work fascinates me.   

What would happen if you did a simulation of a very short combat that only takes about 4 rounds?   Fighter gets to go all out with "at will" and expertise dice...same for rogue and monk.   Wizard does 3 "at will spells" and 1 higher damage spell slot. (to conserve spells for many more combats during the day)...Same for Cleric (3 at wills and 1 higher damage spell slot).

Can your math account for comparing melee PCs who have lots of "at will" power (apples) vs. spellcasters who have their power in limited resources (oranges)?

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

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

The rogue can be boosted by bringing back some class features for the schemes perhaps.  Granting them a free extra expertise die if they sneak attack in a surprise round might be cool.  Maybe each scheme could grant an extra expertise die in certain limited circumstances e.g. acrobat when using spring attack etc.

I hope WoTC takes note.   Your work fascinates me.   

What would happen if you did a simulation of a very short combat that only takes about 4 rounds?   Fighter gets to go all out with "at will" and expertise dice...same for rogue and monk.   Wizard does 3 "at will spells" and 1 higher damage spell slot. (to conserve spells for many more combats during the day)...Same for Cleric (3 at wills and 1 higher damage spell slot).



That isn't a great way to calculate things. In practice, I think a wizard has enough spells to use them far more frequently than once every four rounds. He can probably cast a daily spell as often as once every second round... or more.

Can your math account for comparing melee PCs who have lots of "at will" power (apples) vs. spellcasters who have their power in limited resources (oranges)?



Sort of, yea. First you need to figure out how many rounds you expect a group to go through per day. Then you calculate the damage total for wizards vs. an at-will class. Things are fairly balanced right now for a 16-20 round day (which is about what I expect, to be honest). 

So, anyway… a slight nerf to Deadly Strike and a slight boost to Sneak Attack seem to fix things. Would everyone reading this thread be happy with the changes proposed?

I've been toying around with the rogue more and more after making that brainstorm class, and I keep looking back at the maneuvers. I'd probably like them more if there were specific maneuvers for each class, with no overlap.

Now, I've believed from the start that rogues should have the lowest damage by default, but when attacking with advanatge, it should be the highest, especially given the lower weapon attack, to reinforce their ability to be deadly when they get the drop on the enemy.
 
In terms of progressions and whatnot, I would prefer the rogue to start with 2d6 SA and have it increase by 1d6 at 3rd, 5th, and so on. If maneuvers stay, I'd keep them seperate and start with 1d4, then increase by 1d4 at 4th, 7th, and 10th. Unfortunately, I get stuck here because I feel rogue maneuvers would be cooler if they keyed off SA (either sacrificing a few SA dice to get a status effect or increasing it to d8's if both advantage attacks hit, which I think would be a good idea, or adding the maneuver dice instead of boosting the dice). Incorporating a status effect might be tough with maneuvers, so maybe they could be seperated into another tree of abilities.

Oftentimes when I see maneuvers, I think of defensive options. Ways of getting advantage more often or more easily. Hmm...what if there was a maneuver that boosted AC on an OA and provided advantage on a miss? Maybe that would be viable, but like I said, I'm having trouble using the maneuver dice. I think "ally within reach" is kind of a SA cop-out, but if more methods were put in for the rogue to gain advantage, it might create more incentive to keep taking levels in the class instead of dipping into fighter for deadly strike (which I can see happening if things stay as is).


I guess that's what I have for now: Maneuvers to expand the use of SA, maneuvers (or another name) to get advantage more often, that's what I'm getting at. I'll probably think of more.
Taking the highest damage die would be alot more balanced than what we have right now. Fighters adding 3-30 points of damage to a melee attack is just ridiculous.

I hope WoTC takes note.   Your work fascinates me.   

What would happen if you did a simulation of a very short combat that only takes about 4 rounds?   Fighter gets to go all out with "at will" and expertise dice...same for rogue and monk.   Wizard does 3 "at will spells" and 1 higher damage spell slot. (to conserve spells for many more combats during the day)...Same for Cleric (3 at wills and 1 higher damage spell slot).



That isn't a great way to calculate things. In practice, I think a wizard has enough spells to use them far more frequently than once every four rounds. He can probably cast a daily spell as often as once every second round... or more.

Can your math account for comparing melee PCs who have lots of "at will" power (apples) vs. spellcasters who have their power in limited resources (oranges)?



Sort of, yea. First you need to figure out how many rounds you expect a group to go through per day. Then you calculate the damage total for wizards vs. an at-will class. Things are fairly balanced right now for a 16-20 round day (which is about what I expect, to be honest). 

So, anyway… a slight nerf to Deadly Strike and a slight boost to Sneak Attack seem to fix things. Would everyone reading this thread be happy with the changes proposed?




I like it.  I also like seeing the balance point that you describe.  If groups can go for about 20 rounds or about seven 3 round combat encounters, I think that spellcasters will be able to perform well for that period.  

It still might be hard to really calculate how powerful (more or less than a fighter) a wizard will be over that 20 rounds since many times, a wizard will not use a spell that deals damage directly (illusion spells that could cause one or more foe to drop down an imaginary pit or stand back from an imaginary fire, a color spray that makes a number of foes run away, or a mirror image or shield spell that may just give the Wizard a few more rounds before getting hacked to death).   Taking this into consideration, I will still vote that Wizards should get more spell slots than the current playtest package allows.

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

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 


It still might be hard to really calculate how powerful (more or less than a fighter) a wizard will be over that 20 rounds since many times, a wizard will not use a spell that deals damage directly (illusion spells that could cause one or more foe to drop down an imaginary pit or stand back from an imaginary fire, a color spray that makes a number of foes run away, or a mirror image or shield spell that may just give the Wizard a few more rounds before getting hacked to death).   Taking this into consideration, I will still vote that Wizards should get more spell slots than the current playtest package allows.



It is 100% true that this calculates only the balance of damage potentials. Ultimately, what broke wizards in 3e was not damage. It was the ability to force a rest at will, via spells that allowed you to rest in any environment; it was the ability to cast spells that made you as robust and hard to damage as a melee combatant; it was the ability to summon in combatants that were as effective as a fighter in and of themselves; it was the ability to achieve the end goal of a combat (the death or surrender of your foes) without needing to damage them. Thankfully, I have not seen any spells that allow that as of yet. The wizard does, however, have some very powerful spells that do things other than damage. Real, in game, play testing is needed to ensure that those spells remain balanced. 

That being said, I do not agree that wizards should get more spell slots than the current play test package allows. I think wizards are currently at a sweet spot. As is, people are already finding spell combos that seem to be very effective at dealing with foes. I don't know that a fighter has been obviated as of yet. I don't think he has. But, balance is very neck and neck. I think fighter damage per round can handle a 6 point nerf per round (which is what the above suggestion does). Couple that with giving the wizard even more spells, however, and I think the wizard will be clearly outclassing the fighter. Balance between the wizard and the other martial classes is already very tight. I would say it clearly outshines the rogue (who needs a big boost in survivability, and some sort of boost in overall tactical effectiveness in combat). Hell, as I already noted, a wizard can already use a daily spell more than once every other round! Giving them even more spell slots, in addition to their at-will spells and signature spell slot, is a HUGE mistake! Your suggestion would overpower the wizard…


As always Dave you do good work.  Love the suggestion of highest die only!  Now we just need more maneuvers.  Devs!  Take note!  Devs!
That suggestion was actually Paul6's. I don't want to take credit for his idea! This thread is more of a compilation of the best ideas I have seen so far (with the math that explains why I think they are good ideas). But thank you!
Well then good job Paul6.  I love it!  But Dave you still good work grinding out the math for us mathless and you seem to generally keep a reasonable and level-headed approach to discussions on these threads.  So still good job Dave!

So, after a lot of conversation, a lot of math, and the like, a few things have become apparent: Sneak Attack and Deadly Strike feel too alike; all the martial classes feel underpowered compared to the fighter. Now, almost everyone still wants the fighter to be the single target DPR king. As a result of all this discussion a lot of ideas have been bandied about. I think one deserves its own thread, because numerically speaking it works pretty well (and helps to deflate instead of inflate some of the damage numbers we have been seeing).

Leave Sneak Attack as is.
Leave Flurry of Blows as is.
Change Deadly Strike to read: Any time you hit with an attack, you may roll any Expertise Dice you have and add the highest result to your damage roll. 

As a fighter gets multiple attacks, and you can add at least one die of deadly strike to each attack, the fighter's DPR will still be higher than the Monk or Rogue. At level 10, assuming an 80% hit rate, a Monk will have a DPR of 25 with his fists. A fighter with a greatsword will have a DPR of 32. A rogue (with a hit rate of only 75% due to its lower attack bonus) will have a DPR of 17. (All those numbers are rounded off.) The rogue still seems a little low. However, the rogue will be dealing the single largest numbers when he hits. So, at least his pattern is more spikey, and Sneak Attack will feel unique; one of the biggest problems right now is that it does not feel unique. The monk vs. fighter numbers seem fair (considering what the monk gets and the fighter does not). 

I think that is a great start. We still need to find some other way to give the rogue a minor boost. I would suggest that whenever the rogue hits with a Sneak Attack the target hit grants advantage to anyone attacking it until the start of the Rogue's next turn. That way the rogue will have the spikiest damage, the lowest DPR, and he will make up for his low DPR by adding a status effect that helps the group. Meanwhile, the status effect will encourage the group to attack the target, which will tend to keep them adjecent to the target, which in turn will allow the rogue to sneak attack again the following round; this means that he is really helping the group in order to help himself and that feels pretty rogue-like to me. This will keep the rogue feeling useful despite having the lowest DPR mathematically... and let us not forget Skill Mastery!

 




Much better, the current deadly strike is a little too deadly in my opinion, it really be-littles strength and weapon choice at high levels and shifts the balance between classes and maneuvers.

with a change like that i'd want to see them try out the newer idea of using more than 1 die adds effects, like how the monk step of the wind or whatever its called now can let them run on a wall or water if they use extras.
Pure mathimatical computations are nice and all. They don't show reality during play though.

Fighter damage is unconditional. You hit, you damage. Resistances may play a role in reducing overall damage. Resistances are overcome by materials. These defenses are more uncommon as well.

Monk damage is unconditional. You just have to make more attack rolls. Monk seems to be able to overcome physical type resistances with Ki. So it's built into the class.

Rogue damage is conditional. You have to be in the right position or right combat situation or prepare the situation to deal sneak attack damage. Even then, it's always lower than fighter. Conditional damage typically is equal or higher than unconditional damage.  This formula does not apply. Damage is also resistable in some cases, overcome the same way as fighter.

Wizard damage is conditional but also diverse. Many common effects can prevent, modify or negate specific spell damage but they are often just as vulnerable to others.

As a GM, I would feel irresponsible if I let you dominate every encounter with Magic Missile for 10 levels. For instance. 300 damage of magic missile in 11 rounds can be completely negated with a level 1 shield spell or brooch of shielding. High level enemies typically have this kind of protection readily available. If you were to think an army of level 1 wizards could defeat a powerful enemy by casting 1000 magic missiles I wouldn't want to play in your campaign. Now minor enemies/minions typically don't have maximum protection and magic missile is great for them. I'm just saying being diverse and well prepared for situations is what makes a good wizard good most of the time and bad wizards good half the time.

Wizards should prepare spells based on a situation to maximize their potential against a specific enemy. If they're going against a spell caster, a wizard is better off having dispel magics and protection spells of their own to maximize a party's effectiveness. Or fire spells against frost creatures and vice versa. Wizards can and will dominate damage in certain situations if prepared. A magic missile shooter is going to get ruined. Your example of "maximum potential" is silly and would happen once in 100 game sessions.
I think you missed the point Kayas, and failed to interact with the thread. Nobody said that magic missile is a problem. Also, nobody said that it is going to be a likely spell list. That was not the point. As for the rest of your post, it doesn't really interact with anything one way or the other. All it does is reinforce the logic behind making a change like this in the first place...
I just want to note, I made a mistake calculating the rogue's DPR. I don't know what I did, but its DPR (with a Katana) should actually be 21.4. So, yea... once again, this change seems to bring things far closer to parity!
As a side note a katana being a japanese weapon, I don't see why a rogue should ever be enttled to use it. It is a samurai weapon as we all know and a samurai is much more a figter than a rogue. Unless you play in an oriental campain, there shouldn't be any katana, sai, shuriken and the like. The equivalent of the katana is the bastard sword and I don't remember seeing a rogue using a bastard sword in any edition so far.
I happen to agree. I was just calculating things given the rules as they exist so far.
Now a ninjato and a rapier ... them are very roguish 

Oh and maybe ninjas are realistically fighters too...  
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

with a change like that i'd want to see them try out the newer idea of using more than 1 die adds effects, like how the monk step of the wind or whatever its called now can let them run on a wall or water if they use extras.



What like every extra dice they use makes a critical happen on -1 of 20. Like:

#          Critical
Dice        Dice
Added     Roll
1             20
2          19-20
3          18-20
4          17-20
5          16-20
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

 


Here is a crazy idea no one will get behind but I want to suggest and defend it for the sake of an argument. Drop the Rogue as a class entirely. Make it a subcategory of fighters, adding in the abilities of a rogue as a sub feature that emphasis stealth and the like, throw in ranged abilities like a ranger or some natural knowledge and I see a character forming not dissimilar to my Skyrim character.


Now I know what most of you are going to say, obviously, no. This fixes the problem, but creates another one. It’s obviously not meant to take terribly seriously, but as a thought experiment.


I think Cyber Dave makes a great point in his first post. I really hope that WotC takes note of the first 5 posts, it should be also noted I am aware of what the sixth post says, but I was thinking along similar lines prior to reading it, and they state it the best, and I see no reason to not say it else wise, while still recognizing it was already done first.


Reading onward from there I have the idea of giving rogues a wider crit range but lower attack (as they already have), with higher critical damage. To help fuel this idea. Some flavor text about how rogues are more adapt at taking their time to find the weak spot and fast enough to exploit it; so increase the number of critical hits to 19-20 at first level and 18-20 at 6th level (or something). Also increase damage done on crits to be max damage (as per usual) but with either roll for damage as usual and add on top of the max or add like 3d6s at first level and 1d6 ever 3 levels (starting at 3rd level to a max of 6d6s and 9th level) or something like that.


Okay on to page 2 of the discussion. Ah yes the amount of rounds per day, that worries me, but then again the monsters are weak right now. It seems like I would like to see it stretched out to maybe 50? Is that asking too much? That’s 5 minutes in game time towards combat encounters and the other 23 hours devoted to everything else. Is this all based off an average armor class for the enemy too?


Do you think WIZARDS of the Coast are biased towards WIZARDS? I know just a little fun there.


Later levels might hurt wizards in terms of staying at a balanced level with fighters; post-level 10 spells should just be since you get them in addition the spells you already have something. I was thinking of saying using them as a combo (like grease with fire kind of mentality) or as more powerful versions of weaker spells which then should be dropped out of the spell book since you have more powerful ones, or just fatten out to have more number of spells, so you can cast nothing but higher leveled spells (1st spell slot up) instead of 0level like magic missile every round instead I’m not sure I don’t play wizards much maybe I shouldn’t say. It just seems like without replacing the old, they’ll just start going exponential. If fighters get more attacks to balance it (not just more powerful ones, but more of them) I think those two would balance out then, maybe add some more of the fantastical elements to fighters in terms of magic a bit of cold a bit of poison a bit of lighting etc. Hmmm.


A rogue needs to stay out of combat, hit and run tactics, ranged weapon tactics, something, if survivability is only marginally above a wizard. Make the rogue more like a wizard then, just martial powers, if you have to dabble in demon worship go for it, doesn’t matter (or does it matter a lot), just make it playable balanced (with good reasoning as to why behind it, example of demons above). So the rogue has to have the utility of the wizard, to disappear into thin air, or make an entirely new mechanic. I am thinking of the V.A.T.S. aiming system here from Fallout 3, what if each body part had a hit point number associated with it (regardless of overall hit points if you rolled for the monsters health, use averages). Are you still with me? It could also be in addition to the facing mechanic they want to implement over from the unearthed arcana to add more tactical combat maneuvers. Rogues could target specific body parts instead of the whole body, it would take lots of work, might be better suited to a different RPG, but hey it’s an idea. Each with their own armor class and Hit points, rogues could take out the legs of a foe making it so they can’t move, or take out the arms, so they can’t attack or taking out the head so they can’t breathe, or think. You could make it into its own little mini game where the rogue just takes shots at the monster’s or dude’s head rolling dice to see if it was accurate enough to pierce the head and slay it out right. With a high miss rate, eventually like 18-20 on a roll, you hit, knock him dead, instantly. I don’t think it will go over well, but I’m exploring ideas here for possible solutions.


Human wizards should be able to switch out their spells every 12 hours. (What is unspent can be switched, what has been spent can’t). I had a good laugh with that one. Magic Missile is very powerful in this current build. Yay! Page 3 Now, almost time to post his bad mamma. Page 3 is full of familiar faces; I’ve seen in months past, how great to get their two cents, yay! Short page.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

At first I was underwhelmed by rogues in the latest packet, but I have warmed to the changes since then.

Everyone is applying the 4e aproach to class design to the new system, but they are not the same. Fighters fight; they use big weapons and hit things hard. Obviously they are supposed to be undeniably the best at that tactic.

Rogues do less damage; so do clerics and wizards with their at-wills. They are supposed to use different tactics to solve problems than a fighter uses. Sometimes a direct conventional fight is the best answer or the only option, and in those situations the fighter shines. But sometimes one Fly spell or Charm Person makes a challenge trivial too.

Not every class needs to be just as useful in a conventional combat encounter. They shouldn't all be useless, but it is fine for some classes to be better than others in some situations. If those situations seem ubiquitous, maybe you are trying the wrong tactics to solve each situation.
At first I was underwhelmed by rogues in the latest packet, but I have warmed to the changes since then.

Everyone is applying the 4e aproach to class design to the new system, but they are not the same. Fighters fight; they use big weapons and hit things hard. Obviously they are supposed to be undeniably the best at that tactic.

Rogues do less damage; so do clerics and wizards with their at-wills. They are supposed to use different tactics to solve problems than a fighter uses. Sometimes a direct conventional fight is the best answer or the only option, and in those situations the fighter shines. But sometimes one Fly spell or Charm Person makes a challenge trivial too.

Not every class needs to be just as useful in a conventional combat encounter. They shouldn't all be useless, but it is fine for some classes to be better than others in some situations. If those situations seem ubiquitous, maybe you are trying the wrong tactics to solve each situation.



I tend to agree with you.   I think "Strikers" in general were not a great concept in 4e.   Also, part of what I like about D&DNext is that it seems to be giving more weight to exploration and interaction so that there really is more balance between the pillars.  Although, I do like the idea of giving the rogue a sneak attack that means more than just a weaker version of deadly strike.  

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

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Wizards, give this man a job!
At first I was underwhelmed by rogues in the latest packet, but I have warmed to the changes since then.

Everyone is applying the 4e aproach to class design to the new system, but they are not the same. Fighters fight; they use big weapons and hit things hard. Obviously they are supposed to be undeniably the best at that tactic.

Rogues do less damage; so do clerics and wizards with their at-wills. They are supposed to use different tactics to solve problems than a fighter uses. Sometimes a direct conventional fight is the best answer or the only option, and in those situations the fighter shines. But sometimes one Fly spell or Charm Person makes a challenge trivial too.

Not every class needs to be just as useful in a conventional combat encounter. They shouldn't all be useless, but it is fine for some classes to be better than others in some situations. If those situations seem ubiquitous, maybe you are trying the wrong tactics to solve each situation.



Yea, fighters are across the board better in combat, no matter what tactics you use. Outside of combat rogues have a slight edge but nowhere near to the extent that fighters have an edge in combat. I don't mind one class being slightly better at one area of the game than another, assuming that overall the two classes balance against each other. Right now, the rogue does not balance against other classes overall.
Yea, fighter's are across the board better in combat, no matter what tactics you use. Outside of combat rogues have a slight edge but nowhere near to the extent that fighter's have an edge in combat. I don't mind one class being slightly better at one area of the game than another, assuming that overall the two classes balance against each other. Right now, the rogue does not balance against other classes overall. 


I don't think this is the case since it says that only rogues are trained in the use of thieves tools and you have to have thieves tools to open locks and remove traps. Without a rogue there is no way around those obstacles without making a lot of noise breaking doors or just letting the fighter walk into all the traps.

The problem is with encounter design. People are too used to 4e where an adventure was just three rooms with monsters in them. Rogues are not afforded a lot of opportunties to break those encounters. Making adventurers that can be aproached in multiple ways, is key in helping rogues find their place.

I do think there is an issue with stealth though. Rogues are supposed to be stealthy but as long as the dwarf in plate is hanging around, they never get to do much with it. Rogues need a way to help their whole group be more stealthy. That opens a lot of potential options to make encounters much easier with a rogue around. 

Yea, fighter's are across the board better in combat, no matter what tactics you use. Outside of combat rogues have a slight edge but nowhere near to the extent that fighter's have an edge in combat. I don't mind one class being slightly better at one area of the game than another, assuming that overall the two classes balance against each other. Right now, the rogue does not balance against other classes overall. 

 
I don't think this is the case since it says that only rogues are trained in the use of thieves tools and you have to have thieves tools to open locks and remove traps. Without a rogue there is no way around those obstacles without making a lot of noise breaking doors or just letting the fighter walk into all the traps.



That isn't good design. That is broken design. Right now, anyone can choose the thief background. Anyone who does will effectively only get two trained skills instead of three (as disable device is useless without proficiency in thieves tools). Once multiclassing is available, assuming the game stays the way it is, if that trait is easily available via multiclassing nobody who understands the math behind the game will ever choose to play the rogue class. You will be able to build a character who fits that role more effectively by dipping into the rogue class, and primarily building your character with other classes. That is assuming that they don't add that trait to the thief background, as something needs to be done about that useless skill. Nobody should be penalized for picking the thief background, and right now everyone who does not choose the rogue class effectively is. 

In the meantime, given the current state of the game, the rogue class gets relegated to a disable device bot. You are hands down inferior at every aspect of combat, so every time the group gets into a fight (which, in my experience, even in RP heavy games, tends to be quite often) you will feel like a second rate character who cannot contribute in any unique way. Even outside of combat, often the fighter will be able to use Mighty Exertion in a way that allows him to shine brighter than you (though overall you will usually be more effective). The only time you will really get a chance to shine for sure is when you come to a door at the fighter cannot just kick in with Mighty Exertion (and, by cannot I mean that a Strength check is not even allowed, because if a Strength check is allowed the fighter will have a statistically good chance of making the check even if it is of a Godly 25 DC), or when you come to a trap that the group cannot find some way of creatively setting off without hurting the group. (You will also get a chance to shine when you just want to sneak around, but by doing so you can't really help the group, except, perhaps, by scouting for them.) Basically, the DM has to throw challenges specifically geared towards your character, that only your character can find any way of overcoming, to give you any chance to shine. So, for 9/10th of the game you feel like a useless character, and for 1/10th of the game everyone else feels like a useless character... but only for a couple of seconds; then you go back to being the useless character. That is terrible game design. 

It also still leaves the rogue being, overall, underpowered. It is just that, despite being overall underpowered, there is one area of the game where a DM can create a challenge that only a rogue can overcome. That area of the game is also very acute, and does not, overall, make up for the rogue's ineffective design. It just forces someone to play the rogue, and for most of the game, very likely, not enjoy the experience. Yes, some people won't care. But many of us, including many of us who are huge rogue fans, that is not the case. Rogues are my favorite character archetype. I would not play a rogue given the current ruleset. And, for the most part, I too care more about narrative than anything else. I merely happen to be a little more attuned to the imbalance than you seem to be.   

The problem is with encounter design. People are too used to 4e where an adventure was just three rooms with monsters in them. Rogues are not afforded a lot of opportunties to break those encounters. Making adventurers that can be aproached in multiple ways, is key in helping rogues find their place.



I am actually not "too used to 4e adventure design." I really disliked 4e adventure design. I far prefer WFRPG 3e for its open sandbox/multiple methods of dealing with a problem adventure design. My opinion still holds. Even with multiple methods of dealing with a problem, there will be too few opportunities for a rogue to really shine given the current state of the classes. The rogue’s benefits are lopsided compared to its drawbacks. I don't need it to be as good as the fighter in combat, but given the current state of the game it needs to have a few unique tricks that it can pull out to, at least momentary, shine even in combat. Once that happens, and the rogue can momentarily shine in combat just like the fighter can momentarily shine out of combat, I will be content. 

I do think there is an issue with stealth though. Rogues are supposed to be stealthy but as long as the dwarf in plate is hanging around, they never get to do much with it. Rogues need a way to help their whole group be more stealthy. That opens a lot of potential options to make encounters much easier with a rogue around. 



What rogues need is for the drastic imbalance in combat to be reduced slightly. Right now they are strong out of combat. That is how it should be. Right now, even out of combat, other classes can often shine brighter than the rogue. Overall the rogue will be more effective, but other classes can contribute in very real, and very unique, ways. The rogue should be able to say the same in combat. Being better in one area of the game doesn't mean that you should be so much better than any given class does not get a chance to shine in such an encounter at all, mechanically speaking. 

Of course, the real problem, I think, is that the fighter is just a little overpowered in combat at the moment. Between the best armor, the best HP, the best weapons, the second best damage bonus (the monk's is a little better), and two attacks a round, he has too much going for him. What they need to do is make it so that Deadly Strike only allows you to add the best damage roll of your expertise dice, not all of your expertise dice, to any single attack. If they do that the fighter's DPR will still be the best of any class. But hey, that is ok. The discrepancy just won't be as big. Meanwhile, I think that the rogue's sneak attack should also be given a slight boost, but not in terms of damage. Rather, I think that any creature struck by the sneak attack should grant advantage to anyone that attacks it until the start of the rogue's next turn. That slight boost keeps the rogue feeling unique, sneaky, helps the whole group, and will tend to keep other characters close to the target that the rogue is attacking (which in turn helps him get sneak attack more often), but will not make the rogue feel like the primary combat character in the group.  


Right now, anyone can choose the thief background. Anyone who does will effectively only get two trained skills instead of three (as disable device is useless without proficiency in thieves tools)....In the meantime, given the current state of the game, the rogue class gets relegated to a disable device bot.

I will admit this is a serious problem. TBH I hate skills as a game mechanic altogether. If I have high dexterity and low strength I will take dex skills and not strength skills. Soon my dex skills are nearly auto-pass and my strength skills are near auto-fail. It is min-maxxing written directly into the game. Rogues take this flawed design to new levels by being EVEN BETTER at skills, but only the skills related to being a thief, which is just more min-maxxing. This is retarded. 

But it doesn't dispell my point that rogues have a use to the party. It may be a poorly implemented use, but you do need a disarm bot, and that is what rogues do well.

What I would like to see is more failure mitigation in rogues. If they fail a stealth check to sneak past guards, or fail a trap disarm roll, they should get abilities that make those failures less dire than if it happened to someone else. These would make rogues take more risks, which rogues would have more fun with. I never see rogues try to pick pocket or break into the kings castle becuase they don't want their character out of the game do to one bad roll. Let thieves be thieves without skill checks becoming Save or Jail.

You are hands down inferior at every aspect of combat, so every time the group gets into a fight (which, in my experience, even in RP heavy games, tends to be quite often) you will feel like a second rate character who cannot contribute in any unique way.



Their HP and AC is not all that much less, factoring in Dex and Con and sneak attack, in practice, is pretty indistinquishable from Deadly Strike with how easy it is to apply. The elephant in the room, of course, is fighters getting an extra attack at level 6. Yeap. Seeing as how rangers entirely broke 4e almost solely because they had two attacks round, I can only surmise that either the designers never played 4e, which seems unlikely, or they deliberately decided to make fighters vastly outperform rogues.

Lets have a little faith. Class imbalance is the result of unforseen build exploitations or mechanics being more powerful in practice than intended. This mechanic makes fighters twice as powerful. It is obvious and designed to be that way, so lets not pretend we spotted something the designers hadn't noticed.

Even outside of combat, often the fighter will be able to use Mighty Exertion in a way that allows him to shine brighter than you (though overall you will usually be more effective).


Mighty Exertion means kicking down the door. This will logically alert many encounters of your presence. A smart DM will make this tacticly unwise in most cicumstances. 

I am actually not "too used to 4e adventure design." I really disliked 4e adventure design. I far prefer WFRPG 3e for its open sandbox/multiple methods of dealing with a problem adventure design.  

 
This goes back to my point about failure mitigation. Giving rogues lots of abilities to solve problems is useless if they are too afraid to use them, or if they all involve solo adventuring. I really think that if you implement failure mitigation to encourage rogues to be bigger risk takers, and some mechanic to allow them to bring the dwarf in plate along on their stealth operations, they will be a valued addition to any party as more than just a disable device bot.

Of course, the real problem, I think, is that the fighter is just a little overpowered in combat at the moment. Between the best armor, the best HP, the best weapons, the second best damage bonus (the monk's is a little better), and two attacks a round, he has too much going for him.


Again they have a lot going for them in any sustained direct conventional combat encounter. And this is do almost entirely by the extra attack at level 6 and not much else. I have seen entire encounters trivialised by a single Sleep spell or Fireball, so lets not get worked up over fighters being good at something.

Rogues have a use to the party and while it may be trickier to for them to shine than a fighter, that just means the GM has his work cut out for him and needs to make his adventures more sandboxxy. 

No, sorry, rogues do not have a lot going for them in any sustained direct conventional combat encounter. Every single ability they have is a fighter ability but worse. That is not "allot going for them." They need some manner in which they can shine; that is to say, some unique manner. If deadly strike did what I suggest then the rogue would. They would still have the lowest DPR. At 10th level a rogue would have a DPR of 21, a Monk would have a DPR of 25 (but is a little worse at skill use), and a fighter would have a DPR of up to 32. They could opt for a slightly lower DPR (but still outperform everyone else) if they choose to go sword and board instead of two-handed sword, and they also open up some other tactical abilities in return. Similarly, they can choose to slightly lower their melee DPR, but still outperform everyone else, but gain significant ranged abilities. But, while the rogue might still have the lowest DPR, its DPR would be the spikiest (single largest number hits), and their forte would be giving advantage to the rest of the group. That would be fun. Meanwhile, outside of combat, everyone already compares to each other in a fairly balanced manner. 

And no, I am not "going to cut the game designers some slack." I hope nobody else does either (and I am willing to bet that nobody did in the last feedback report given what Mike said he is going to be doing to the rogue in one of his latest articles). The point of this process is to let them know how we like the current rules so that they can gear them towards our tastes. I hate the current state of the rogue. If they are released looking like this, I won’t be buying this game. 

Letting fighters attack twice a round not only deals double basic damage, but also lets them spread their damage among multiple targets with great versatility and doubles the odds of using their expertise dice. I'm not defending it. It puts fighters on a high pedestal to reach.

My argument was not defending it, I am merely saying that something this overt and slanted can't be an accident. The purpose of our feedback is to give them insight into things they may have missed. They obviously want fighters to humiliate every other class in conventional combat. That is clearly design intention.

So lets not waste time trying to figure out why rogues don't do as much damage. They obviously aren't meant to. We need to stop trying to make rogues catch up to fighters in stab-stab and instead try to figure out what they do bring to the party and determine if they have the tools to pull that off.

Yea, everyone has said they want fighters to be the kings of damage. That is fine. I want that too. That doesn't mean we are all ok with the current disparity. Showing how big the disparity currently is, and then showing a smart way to reduce it while sticking to the design goals, is not a waste of time. The disparity is too big. End of story. And, as I said, the idea proposed with my original post (which is not my own, by the way) is the best fix I have seen on these boards to date. It keeps a fighter's multiple attacks. It keeps fighters as the kings of DPR, rogues as the kings of skill use, and monks somewhere in between. But, it reduces the disparity in combat ability to something along the same lines as the current disparity between skill use. 


And no, I don’t think the current disparity is something that is here to stay. It didn’t exist before this playtest packet, and we know that they are planning to add some changes that will reduce it as of the next playtest packet (as a result of the feedback we have given them about the rogue, fighter, and monk) because Mike Mearls has said so.

I think that anybody should be able to pick locks with thieves tools but with disadvantage.  Given the high DC of most locks that is quite a tough call.  And somebody trained in thieves tools should be able to pick a lock with disadvantage using suitable improvised tools, which, alongside skill mastery should mean that rogues can still pick most standard locks with some sort of equipment.  I'd probably rule that adding mastery to a roll with disadvantage means you have to roll twice and take the lowest expertise die roll too, although if you spend more than one expertise die that could get messy.
Personally I like rogues who arent thieves. Why is hide bound tradition requiring I be a thief. (that was an issue in 4e)... did they sort of inverse it in 5e all thieves with any competance are automatically rogues?
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I tried two different versions of the rogue to try. One with maneuvers, one without, and I think the one with maneuvers may work best if one thing is observed: All the classes get d6's for expertise dice. Sneak Attack wasn't made a maneuver, though; it was kept seperate. And the second has skill mastery, but I changed it so that you gain a number of skill rerolls a day. As you get higher in level and better in skills, this ability gets even better, but I can't see being too broken even at low levels (leastways, I hope not).

Here's the link, if anyone wants to see:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...(brainstorming_the_class)
I agree with the concern CyberDave is citing in this thread but think this is the wrong way of going about fixing it.

As a core conceptual issue, Expertise and Maneuvers are a cool combination because they give the fighter major tactical considerations every round. As such, they're most effective when all the fighter's power is bound into those tactical choices. If Deadly Strike is 50% or 80% of the fighter's potential damage, and it's also his major source of extra defensive capacity and mobility, allocating those dice every round is an interesting choice. (BTW, this is one reason I don't like the way they moved dice recharge to the end of your turn and don't like the idea of making Parry a non-maneuver power.) If most of a fighter's offensive power comes from other stuff, then expertise dice become just a fiddly thing you have to keep track of.

I'd MUCH rather see them remove that extra attack than see them tone down Deadly Strike this severely. That second attack helps with some basic math concerns (like weapon/ability damage becoming less relevant as expertise dice scale up), but it has a negative impact on the class's flexibility. Now, powers like Glancing Blow and Whirlwind Attack are less useful, because EVERY fighter gets at least two chances to hit and/or two targets to strike at each turn. 

There are also lots of weird consequences here. First, this change makes Volley and Whirlwind Attack much better options than DS for total damage - so all the sudden, the fighter goes from being king of single-target damage to being an AOE attacker, trying to hit multiple enemies every round. Second, it means that if and when they add back in maneuvers that knock down, disarm, and push around enemies, the default attack will probably be to use one die for DS and the other(s) for those other effects. 

Here's an alternate solution: Get rid of the second attack. Boost the power of maneuvers like Glancing Blow and Whirlwind Attack so that you can use them with multiple dice. If fighter damage is still too weak, boost his expertise dice by one die level: 1d6 at level 1, 3d12 at level 10. (If this makes weapon choice seem irrelevant, fix that by adding weapon specialization options that differentiate weapon choices by more than just their die type.) And hey, give the fighter more maneuvers. I'd start with DS and Parry plus one choice, and give extra maneuvers two out of every three levels (so at 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10). That way, a level 10 fighter has nine total maneuvers at his disposal - hardly a paralyzing selection, I'd wager, especially when a decent number of them will probably be defensive and/or conditional.

(We should also note that this may be largely a moot point already... Mike Mearls has already said that they're boosting spell damage, making cantrip damage scale, and turning Parry into a fighter class feature next time around, so it sounds like they're keeping the current scaling damage model and mostly adapting other classes to fit.)


I'd MUCH rather see them remove that extra attack than see them tone down Deadly Strike this severely. That second attack helps with some basic math concerns (like weapon/ability damage becoming less relevant as expertise dice scale up), but it has a negative impact on the class's flexibility. Now, powers like Glancing Blow and Whirlwind Attack are less useful, because EVERY fighter gets at least two chances to hit and/or two targets to strike at each turn. 

There are also lots of weird consequences here. First, this change makes Volley and Whirlwind Attack much better options than DS for total damage - so all the sudden, the fighter goes from being king of single-target damage to being an AOE attacker, trying to hit multiple enemies every round. Second, it means that if and when they add back in maneuvers that knock down, disarm, and push around enemies, the default attack will probably be to use one die for DS and the other(s) for those other effects.



Let me get this straight, first you complain that two attacks a round make powers like whirlwind less useful, and then you complain that the proposed fix makes whirwind more useful? All right...

Look, given my proposed fix using two attacks against one target with DS on both attacks is still more effective than whirwind attack. You are wrong that the consequence would make volley or whirwind attack "much better options than DS" for total damage. One die of DS adds a bonus to damage. One die of whirwind lets you maybe roll one ED die against a different foe. The two damage bonuses are the same, but DS lets you stack more damage against a single target foe. With two attacks a round it is still better for you to use at least two of your ED on DS (unless you are surrounded by a horde of low HP creatures, in which case whirwind/volley are supposed to be the better options). The only consequence is that you will have to really think about what you want to spend your 3rd DS die on once you get it. Do you want to use it to improve your chance of rolling well with DS dice or do you want to use it to for another maneuver. The choice will be very real with no clear superior option. And, I think that is a good thing. One of the complaints people have right now is that fighters don't end up using their other maneuvers enough. My proposed fix will also fix that.  

And, two attacks does not reduce the value of whirlwind or volley when you are fighting 3+ foes. Two attacks lets you hit two foes. If you need to hit more targets than that, whirlwind and volley become your go-to options. 

Here's an alternate solution: Get rid of the second attack. Boost the power of maneuvers like Glancing Blow and Whirlwind Attack so that you can use them with multiple dice. If fighter damage is still too weak, boost his expertise dice by one die level: 1d6 at level 1, 3d12 at level 10. (If this makes weapon choice seem irrelevant, fix that by adding weapon specialization options that differentiate weapon choices by more than just their die type.) And hey, give the fighter more maneuvers. I'd start with DS and Parry plus one choice, and give extra maneuvers two out of every three levels (so at 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10). That way, a level 10 fighter has nine total maneuvers at his disposal - hardly a paralyzing selection, I'd wager, especially when a decent number of them will probably be defensive and/or conditional.



I hate it. It doesn't fix anything. Rogues will still be dealing damage via the same model as fighters, but worse. Fighters still won't be given a good reason to use anything but DS, except in very situational moments of combat. All in all, it is one of the worst fixes I have seen. Me and you will have to agree to disagree, because I think that the version I posted with my first post (which was actually suggested by someone else originally) is a much more elegant fix. It fixes the math, creates difference between the damage dealing models of the rogue and fighter, gives fighters more reasons to use one ED on something other than damage a round, and increases the value of a higher damage die weapon for the fighter. I see absolutely everything it is doing as a good thing...


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