My current views: Rogues and Druids

I admit, its been a while since I looked at the playtest packets. I looked at the first (or second?) one and reported my opinions. I've just downloaded and read through (most) of the latest iteration, and I have to see things are looking up!

I'm  glad they moved the 'expertise dice' mechanic over to the fighter specifically, and gave the rogue back his sneak attack. At last the two classes are different again, without the rogue just being a 'fighter-that-can't-wear armour-and-does-the-same-damage-but-in-more-restrictive-conditions' class!

That said, the rogue still needs a bit of work I think. I *think* I get the new scheme and sneak attack mechanics and the way they fit with the advantage/disadvantage system. But I'm not entirely sure. And any set of rules that make me read them several times over and still think "hmmm, not quite sure I get it"...well, it needs a bit of re-working (I like to think its not just me being thick!).

Its just the way the whole "Isolated strike"/"Backstab" method of gaining advantage mixes with the whole sneak attack that gives you disadvantage and combines together. (Plus, I can see the "Isolated strike" being the cause of some player battlefield arguments!).

As for the druid. I always had a soft spot for druids. The way they played a dual role, casting spells yet being able to shift into a combat form and join the melee if necessary. The wildshape ability has always been the iconic ability of druids for me, but the latest druid rules just felt a bit...lacklustre.

Perhaps its the way the wildshape was quite limited in its uses and didn't really seem to scale. Perhaps I've just been biased by the way druids operate in DDO!

I would elaborate more, but I have to think about it and now I have to go!




 
Let me first state I have not had a chance to playtest the rogue or druid but reading the current rules I like most of what i saw except for the concept of balanceing damage potential.  For example the Druid has a +2 combat max modifier and a +5 caster modifier.  A druid also has the cantrip Shil. that can be used often and basically allows the druid to use the caster mod and get a damage increase like the fighters deadly attacks.  Is the goal for balancing to give every class a way to get the same basic +5 and "roll damage 5 times".  if so then the rogue does not have a means to be able to do this since it is the only +3 without spells.  I think cantrips bonus to damage by adding damage dice for high levels should be removed on cantrips.  I would be okay with a +1-+5 increase to replace each die.  casters have plenty of other spells and abilities to make up for the damage and they should not be as good as a fighter for every attack.

Now the rogues sneak attack seems a bit overpowered to me.  So a rogue can basically use sneak attack every round if they want.  I understand the disadvantage roll is supose to help prevent rogues using it all the time.  I know there are also a lot of feats that give characters ways to give advantage that will give rogues multiple opportunities to cancel this disadvantage. I think this needs some work.  One idea might be to give rogues the called shot feet and give them a close combat ability as well.  Then when they give up a turn preping a strike they can automatically crit.  The sneak attack ability can just be additional crit damage 1d8 up to 4d8 (non maxed).   Thus a rogue is sacraficing a turn to crit and do additional damage in one strike. 


    
From my interpretatin of the rules, if the rogue has any form of disadvantage, blind/darkness, long range, being drunk, etc, then he has disadvantage and cannot use sneak attack, regardless if he cancels the effects using Isolated Strike or Backstab, as he would still have disadvantage, just that the effects are canceled out.

My current playtest group contains both a rogue (mine) and a druid. I am in the camp that cantrips shouldn't be as strong as regular attacks. Cantrips largely have better accuracy due to save scaling which counters the lack of ability modifier. Now this isn't a problem for the first few levels but when we level up a few times into the 10+ range I can see a problem with the Druid's cantrip hitting as hard as the sword and board fighter's regular attacks, when he isn't wildshaped or casting more powerful spells. Daily resources can be stronger than at-will/encounter resources, but those classes that rely on daily abilities cannot have at-wills that then equal the at-will of fighters.
As for the druid. I always had a soft spot for druids. The way they played a dual role, casting spells yet being able to shift into a combat form and join the melee if necessary. The wildshape ability has always been the iconic ability of druids for me, but the latest druid rules just felt a bit...lacklustre.

Perhaps its the way the wildshape was quite limited in its uses and didn't really seem to scale. Perhaps I've just been biased by the way druids operate in DDO! 

I too have always been a fan of the Druid. The current druid is good it can cast and shapechange originally the druid ould only shapechane 3/day at 7th level so being able to from 1st and 3/day by 6th seems good.

Sign In to post comments