The only thing I don't like about the new rogue: problems with feint, assassination, and sneak att.

Ok, so, for the most part I love the new rogue. I love all of its schemes (including assassination). There is a comparative discrepancy in power between sneak attack and assassination, however. For assassination to work a target cannot be aware of your presence. As I understand it, when you are hidden from a target it is not aware of your presence. So, you can spend every other round hiding to maximize your damage. That should be fine. Using that will actually lower your DPR (as dice get maximized, but bonuses don't get doubled). Except, then there is a saving throw. If the creature fails the saving throw damage is also doubled. Seeing as a lot of your damage will actually be coming from bonuses, and you will sometimes fail your hide checks/won't be able to hide, I am still not bothered. Things should remain fairly well balanced overall. But if the intent was that an assassin uses this power once in a round when he opens a fight and then never uses it again for that encounter, this power needs to be clarified.


Then we get to sneak attack. If you had some way to use sneak attack once every few rounds and attack every round it would be fine. But you can't. You need to have advantage to use it. The only way you can get advantage without hiding is through feint, and that requires an action. The damage bonus you get from sneak attack is not worth giving up an action to attack. So, feint is worthless, as is sneak attack. I would suggest removing the stipulation that you must give up advantage to gain the sneak attack bonus; or else, I would just make it work like assassination but without the saving throw or else double damage component or the stipulation that a target must be unaware of your presence. Even then, using feint is a bit of a damage trap—you get better damage by attacking each round without sneak attack than feinting and using either of the above two sneak attacks. Perhaps Feint can grant advantage not only to the next attack, but to any attack until the end of your next turn? That way, your damage per round might go down. Your groups, if they choose to attack the same foe, however, would go up...

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!

How are you getting a rogue with both assassinate and sneak attack? They are both rogue talents, of which you gain one when you pick your scheme.



What in my above post gave a rogue both? I am comparing a rogue with assassinate to a rogue with feint and sneak attack. I am pointing out that while assassinate seems fairly well balanced with the rest of the game, feint and sneak attack both seem a little underpowered.



I already deleted the post before you responded. Someone in another thread had mentioned combining the two was really strong, I thought this topic was an extention of that thought from the title, before reading the whole post.
Though, I will say, sneak attack stacks together with feats very well. So, maybe all they need to do is make feint an attractive option (by, say, making it grant advantage against all attacks until the end of your next turn). Playtesting is required...
I was even more disappointed with the curren sneak attack than the last one.

I hate the idea of giving up your advantage to get sneak attack. Okay, so you're going to give up a free reroll to get what? an extra +1d6 damage? Just seems way underwhelming.

It'd be okay if you didn't have to give up your advantage to use it, but as written it's basically garbage.
With Combat Expertise damage and attack bonus rocking the house by itself, I don't see Sneak Attack as being worth the hassle. I'd take Artful Dodger over it in a heartbeat, expertise dice kick enough ass on their own. Assassination is workable, if you build for it, and since you have expertise dice to fall back on when it isn't worth it is a superior offensive choice.
...whatever

I hate the idea of giving up your advantage to get sneak attack. Okay, so you're going to give up a free reroll to get what? an extra +1d6 damage? Just seems way underwhelming.

It'd be okay if you didn't have to give up your advantage to use it, but as written it's basically garbage.



You must have read it wrong.  It allows you to add whatever damage dice you want to allocate.  So at 6th level you get 3d6 extra damage if you wish.  Not too shabby.

 

Ok, so, with feats Sneak Attack is definitely worth it. With the right feats, you can gain advantage with every attack. And, I have done the math on Sneak Attack. It is superior to advantage if you can hit easily, about the same if you are hitting 50% of the time, and worse otherwise. Basically, you should only use sneak attack on targets that you find easy to hit.   

Yeah, sneak attack looks OK to me. Next to assassinate it delivers less damage if you take every other action to set up, but because all sneak attack requires is advantage there's a much larger scope to play the field and set up situations where you simply have advantage for significant periods of time.


Assassinate jumps from the page better though. Sneak attack relies more on given circumstances and the player's use of the environment.



edit: yeah feats too. Many options there.

Sneak attack adds up to a good amount of extra damage eventually, so I can see why they would limit the attack roll. A comment I heard quite often from the last two packets was about how getting 2 dice and sneak attack damage was a little excessive. So they scaled it back to the choice between the two. Not a bad comprimise if you ask me.

That being said, I see what you are trying to get at about the reliability thing, but remember that the rogue has the exact same martial damage progression as the fighter, meaning that he rolls the same damage dice each round as the fighter, save the disparity in weapon die. Easily making it where they could sneak attack every round would put them way ahead of the fighter. Seems to me like they are aproaching it as an occasional option when you see the opportunity, rather than a spammable combat tactic. That's what I see at least.

edit: Wait, with feats they can get it every round...this might cause problems with damage and assumed/trap feat choices.
My two copper.

Yeah, sneak attack looks OK to me. Next to assassinate it delivers less damage if you take every other action to set up, but because all sneak attack requires is advantage there's a much larger scope to play the field and set up situations where you simply have advantage for significant periods of time.


Assassinate jumps from the page better though. Sneak attack relies more on given circumstances and the player's use of the environment.




It just needs the right feats... 
Sneak attack adds up to a good amount of extra damage eventually, so I can see why they would limit the attack roll. A comment I heard quite often from the last two packets was about how getting 2 dice and sneak attack damage was a little excessive. So they scaled it back to the choice between the two. Not a bad comprimise if you ask me.

That being said, I see what you are trying to get at about the reliability thing, but remember that the rogue has the exact same martial damage progression as the fighter, meaning that he rolls the same damage dice each round as the fighter, save the disparity in weapon die. Easily making it where they could sneak attack every round would put them way ahead of the fighter. Seems to me like they are aproaching it as an occasional option when you see the opportunity, rather than a spammable combat tactic. That's what I see at least.

edit: Wait, with feats they can get it every round...this might cause problems with damage and assumed/trap feat choices.




It isn't that bad. You use weapons that deal less damage than what fighters use, and the damage bonus is not as high as you think. In fact, unless you can already hit 75% of the time or more, it is smarter to just use advantage. About the only thing that saves Sneak Attack is that you can use it every round (now that I am putting it through the math cruncher). It means that the rogue specializes at dealing damage to targets he can hit easily (if he chooses Sneak Attack). That is what he does. Against harder to hit targets, however, a fighter (or a different type of rogue) is a much better choice. 

While I don't think Sneak Attack is underpowered anymore (feint still is, in my opinion), I doubt I would choose it. 

assassinate feels a lot cooler. And it's got more spike potential, which to me is what backstab is all about.
assassinate feels a lot cooler. And it's got more spike potential, which to me is what backstab is all about.



I'm more interested in the spike potential of assassinate or the defense of artful dodger, as expertise dice alone are pretty good DPR. Sure you can optimize Sneak Attack with feats, but you're really pidgeonholing yourself as you only ever get 4.
...whatever
assassinate feels a lot cooler. And it's got more spike potential, which to me is what backstab is all about.



I agree. And, I think it is odd that sneak attack requires feats to be viable while nothing else does. Still, with the right feats it is a good tool to kill low AC foes. But, low AC means low AC. You need to hit on a roll of 5 or higher for Sneak Attack to ever be worth it...
assassinate feels a lot cooler. And it's got more spike potential, which to me is what backstab is all about.



I agree. And, I think it is odd that sneak attack requires feats to be viable while nothing else does. Still, with the right feats it is a good tool to kill low AC foes. But, low AC means low AC. You need to hit on a roll of 5 or higher for Sneak Attack to ever be worth it...


The assumption would then have to be that the dreaded bounded accuracy actually works properly. If the AC array doesn't change all that much as you level then sneak attack could be ridiculously overpowered or it could be fine. If the AC array does curve upward too much and sneak attack becomes a bit of a junk option.
For assassination to work a target cannot be aware of your presence. As I understand it, when you are hidden from a target it is not aware of your presence. 



I disagree with that interpretation. When you are hidden, the enemy does not know where you are, and cannot target you, but that doesn't mean he's unaware of your presence.

If you Assassinate, then Hide, they don't forget that you've just stabbed them (or their buddy), and stand there wondering how they got this blood all over them. They would be very much aware of your presence, even if they couldn't say exactly where you are at any given moment.
For assassination to work a target cannot be aware of your presence. As I understand it, when you are hidden from a target it is not aware of your presence. 



I disagree with that interpretation. When you are hidden, the enemy does not know where you are, and cannot target you, but that doesn't mean he's unaware of your presence.

If you Assassinate, then Hide, they don't forget that you've just stabbed them (or their buddy), and stand there wondering how they got this blood all over them. They would be very much aware of your presence, even if they couldn't say exactly where you are at any given moment.


Agreed.

EDIT: While Sneak Attack has become more situational than before, Assassinate is even more situational than Sneak Attack. 
If you actually run the math, which I will post again, SA is as good or better than advantage at pretty much any accuracy level a PC is likely to encounter.  At first level, you're a 1/4 point behind at 65% accuracy but by 3rd it's basically always better.  However, it's only fairly marginally better.  Assuming 65-75% accuracy,  it varies from about +10-25% DPR, lower at high levels.  It's almost certainly better than assassinate (assassinate is better if combats are always 2 rounds and you can always sneak up on bad guys, or if you interpret "unaware" to include hidden and you can always hide for an action and they always fail their save and you can only usually sneak up on bad guys), but compared to about 25-50% defense from artful dodger (depending on how many attackers/round), it's a weak option.  Slippery might even be better, but that's harder to calculate without a solid feel for monster math.  Certainly it's never ever worth giving up an action for (although it's worth noting that just because it's only marginally better than advantage, it's still quite a lot better than no advantage AND no SA which is what you should be comparing it to when you try to figure out if it's worth giving up an attack for it.  It's just not twice as good, because you're only doubling your MDD not your W, stat mod, or MDB).  But I do think giving up advantage was too much.  














































































































































































Difference%
Accuracy0.50.550.60.650.70.750.80.50.550.60.650.70.750.8
1-1-0.7975-0.54-0.22750.140.56251.04-12%-9%-6%-2%1%5%10%
3-0.1250.261250.721.251251.8552.531253.28-1%2%6%10%14%19%24%
50.751.321.982.733.574.55.526%9%13%17%22%27%32%
80.1250.893751.82.843754.0255.343756.81%4%8%12%16%21%26%
911.95253.064.32255.747.31259.044%8%12%16%20%25%30%
110.6251.773753.124.663756.4058.3437510.482%6%9%13%18%23%28%
14-0.6250.536251.923.526255.3557.406259.68-2%2%5%9%13%18%23%
17-1.875-0.701250.722.388754.3056.468758.88-5%-2%2%5%10%14%19%
For assassination to work a target cannot be aware of your presence. As I understand it, when you are hidden from a target it is not aware of your presence. 



I disagree with that interpretation. When you are hidden, the enemy does not know where you are, and cannot target you, but that doesn't mean he's unaware of your presence.

If you Assassinate, then Hide, they don't forget that you've just stabbed them (or their buddy), and stand there wondering how they got this blood all over them. They would be very much aware of your presence, even if they couldn't say exactly where you are at any given moment.



That's true.     Even if you are invisible and silenced if a creature is told that you are in the room you can't assassinate him. 


For assassination to work a target cannot be aware of your presence. As I understand it, when you are hidden from a target it is not aware of your presence. 



I disagree with that interpretation. When you are hidden, the enemy does not know where you are, and cannot target you, but that doesn't mean he's unaware of your presence.

If you Assassinate, then Hide, they don't forget that you've just stabbed them (or their buddy), and stand there wondering how they got this blood all over them. They would be very much aware of your presence, even if they couldn't say exactly where you are at any given moment.


This is my interpretation as well.  I'd amend Assassinate to "unaware of your presence or hostile intent", though, because I definitely expect assassins to be able to gank people they walk up to in disguise.
I don't know, if you are in disguise I wouldn't say that they are aware that "you" are in the room, they think it is someone else in the room until you stab them and they become aware of the disguise; or if they still fail to recognize the disguise perhaps the shock of being stabbed by who they believe is a trusted advisor would allow you to continue assassinating them...
For assassination to work a target cannot be aware of your presence. As I understand it, when you are hidden from a target it is not aware of your presence. 



I disagree with that interpretation. When you are hidden, the enemy does not know where you are, and cannot target you, but that doesn't mean he's unaware of your presence.

If you Assassinate, then Hide, they don't forget that you've just stabbed them (or their buddy), and stand there wondering how they got this blood all over them. They would be very much aware of your presence, even if they couldn't say exactly where you are at any given moment.


This is my interpretation as well.  I'd amend Assassinate to "unaware of your presence or hostile intent", though, because I definitely expect assassins to be able to gank people they walk up to in disguise.


I'd like to see the wording changed as well, just to make it clear.

EDIT: Though I might prefer the name "Backstab" for it a bit more anyways.  Maybe not as fitting (and god forbid folks think it require you to physically stab someone in the back - that might be bad), but more of a "legacy" name.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
The section on hiding in the How to Play file supports this idea (that hiding doesn't always mean they aren't aware of you): "Ties are a special case in this contest.  If a creature is already aware of you before the contest, you fail to hide.  If [it] was not aware of you before the contest, you remain hidden in the case of a tie."

So unless you are fighting creatures who have not yet developed object permanence, you can't leap out from hiding, stab a creature, hide again, and repeat.  You can certainly try to hide to gain advantage, but you wouldn't be able to assassinate.

As for Sneak Attack, I disagree with the idea that you can only gain advantage by hiding or using feint.  If your target is: blinded, paralyzed, prone, or stunned you also have advantage.  Knocking them prone is the easiest, as one of your allies could try it every round.