Best Rogue Book?

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Hey you clever people,

I'm in a game with a large number of players and a new DM (yeah, I know...) and I am playing a pregenerated rogue. I don't know rogues very well so I thought I'd ask you advice so I don't overlook something. I have good but not amazing rogue-appropriate stats (Dex, Int, Con) and my feats are Stealthy and Weapon Finesse. I don't want to ask the DM to retcon any of that.

My primary goal is stealth - I want to find danger before it finds me and my allies. This means good stealth and perception, ability to spot and disarm traps, and perhaps the ability to take out lone sentries. Combat skill is not a high priority but I don't want to shun it completely. Escapability and survivability are my main combat priorities. 

My question is - given the situation, I don't want to overwhelm the DM and outshine my fellow players with lots of crazy classes and rules, so can you suggest one book outside the PHB and DMG that I should ask for permission to use? I am thinking perhaps Complete Adventurer for Dungeon Delver.

Thanks!    
Complete Adventurer and/or Complete Scoundrel would be your best bets.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
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When she meets CJ's mom?
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I guess I'd also go with the Complete Adventurer although there are classes in other books I'd consider.
 
Tome of Battle
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Tome of Battle


Normally I would say this emphatically (and twice on Sunday). The only reason I hesitate is "New DM" with "pregen characters" - suddenly pulling something that gamechanging might not be all that wise.

Of course, the parts you'd need on a straight rogue are minor: mostly a handful of Shadow Hand maneuvers (so maybe a handful of martial studies, a martial stance, and a few magic items would work even if you don't dip into swordsage). This might make its impact a bit more manageable, and if you can do THAT, then you've got one of the best books in D&D for nonspellcasters.

If the TOB is not an option, pick Scoundrel or Adventurer.  Dungeonscape provides you with the Factotum, which is kind of like a super-rogue that can also pass (for a short while) in other people's jobs as well. If Multiclassing's an option, that's a good call.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I would vote Complete Scoundrel. That will give you feats and equipment that won't overwhelm your DM.
My second vote would be for Complete Adventurer. It's not as broad as CS but is a lot better of keeping characters power at around their level than these other options.
Dungonescape has a lot of bizarre options and is going to give you a breadth of tactics FAR more than what a new DM will ever throw at you.
Tome of Battle does for the unprepared DM like the invention of the machine gun did to 19th century battle tactics. It's fine if that's the new standard you hold yourself to, but isn't exactly what the game is built around.
He's playing a rogue. Rogue as in dramatically inferior to paladins, and probabably even monks in such a limited environment. He needs all the help he can get.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Tome of Battle does for the unprepared DM like the invention of the machine gun did to 19th century battle tactics. It's fine if that's the new standard you hold yourself to, but isn't exactly what the game is built around.


A better example would probably be the pike square. The last Duke of Burgundy brought in what was thought to be the pinnacle of warfare at the time - fully armored mounted knights - on an invasion into Switzerland. However, the simple effectiveness of the pike square - a formation that soundly defeated the Duke - changed the face of European warfare by showing that large infantry armies were the way to go. They never completely dropped the cavalry, but no longer were they stuck depending entirely upon it. Armies became flexible and diverse rather than rigid and aristocratic.

Or, to be brief, the Tome puts melee roughly where it probably should have been right out of the get go.


He's playing a rogue. Rogue as in dramatically inferior to paladins, and probabably even monks in such a limited environment. He needs all the help he can get.


I was more concerned about the "new DM" bringing about a backlash rather than the rogue himself.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I like the complete adventurer and scoundrel, but I want to throw an alternative out there. Arms and equipment guide or dungeonscape. Both books are packed with neat rouge like items and tools. Plus its got stuff for the other players, so they will love that you brought them.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"


Human Rogue 1 / Wizard 19 w Able Learner feat
Standard build, pick mostly sneaky stuff
... and just a hint of the juicy bits.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

If you're at all interested in doming something like Wiz/Rogue combo, consider doing it with Complete Scoundrel, the Unseen Seer does just what you suggest. It's an uberstealth (IE magic user/rogue) character that also concentrates on perception and divination.

It progresses Base attack bonus better than Arcane Trixter and has easier requirements to reach. The spellcasting's as good with some neat tricks to make it better in some ways, and the sneak attack is only one die less. 
Jumping on the bandwagon and saying Complete Scoundrel is the best book for you.

Why?


  1. Equipment.  There's a lot of fun gear for rogue-types, and the mundane equipment section is especially choice.  Probably tied with Dungeonscape for the most useful mundane equipment for the handy rogue.

  2. Skill tricks.  They are insanely useful.  Put those 8 skill points/level to work!  Spot invisible enemies to target with flour pouches, make your attacks as touch attacks, attack someone without them noticing, climb while leaving your hands free, perform crazy tumble tricks - these are just a few of the things skill tricks let you do.  Seriously, they're a real boon to the roguish types, and they're a lot of fun.  (Basically, they're expanded uses of skills that you can use 1/encounter by spending two skill points to learn them.  There are quite a few of them, and it's worth reading through them all.)

  3. The Uncanny Trickster prestige class.  It's probably my favorite non-casting prestige class for a rogue.  It gives you 8 SP/level, all skills as class skills, and progresses your actual rogue levels by two - so you'll go up in sneak die, gain new rogue special abilities, etc.  It also gives you three bonus skill tricks, and lets you use some of your skill tricks twice an encounter.  It's not crazy but it's super easy to qualify for and basically acts like rogue+ for you.

  4. Unseen Seer and Combat Trapsmith, for two different takes on roguish prestige classes if you're going for a different sort of rogue.  The former is a much classier version of the arcane trickster.  The latter lets you set traps in combat.  The Combat Trapsmith's got some flaws - the DCs don't scale as well as they should, it requires craft (alchemy) to set many of your traps and yet doesn't let you create alchemical items, and the fact that you can only set them at ground level annoys me - but it's still a supremely cool concept, and the trap list is quite nice.


Dungeonscape is a close second - factotums usually make better rogues than the actual rogue class, it also has cool mundane items, and Dungeonscape's Trapsmith class is almost certainly strictly better than CSco's Combat Trapsmith thanks to its spells, even if I like the Combat Trapsmith more.  But there's more player content in general in Complete Scoundrel, and skill tricks are just too good to pass up.
If ToB is off the table, and just replacing rogue with rogue-that-actually-works is not an option either, then I must suggest Magic Item Compendium. Make it so you're actually capable of doing even just a few things. Remember to max UMD.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Ooo, slick pick EA. It's like Spell Compendium, but for everyone.
I wonder what a Single book Nanobots build, would look like?

It would be sneaky.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

OK, I'm approaching second level and I opened Complete Scoundrel to take a look....I don't see Unseen Seer. Isn't that in Complete Mage?
Unseen Seer is in the Complete Mage.

Personally, I'd also make some alterations to the Arcane Trickster class which really should have been done when it was promoted in 3.5.
Yeah, my bad. I don't know what I was thinking when I referenced that prc in the wrong book. Doh.