Skill Dice and Rogues

With skill potentially being as optional as feats and skill dice being implimented as class features, I think I just figured out one way rogues can work.

At level 1, Rogues get a single 1d6 skill dice. Every 4 levels therafter (5th, 9th, 13th,17th), they get another skill die. At level 11, the die increases to d8s.

Also at level 1, rogues make 2 choices.

First they pick their scheme. This choice gives thim +1d6 to 3 ability checks. It also givs them 1 way to get advantage to attacks (Backstab, Tumbling Strike, Isolation Strike).

Second they pick a Roguish Focus. This determines how they use their skill dice. At some other dead level, they can pick another focus.

Foci include.

Use Rogish Talent: Anytime they roll an ability check described in their scheme, they can roll their skill dice. They can replace their ability modifer with the highest result rolled.

Sneak Attack: The older one. If a rogue attacks with advantage and doesn't have disadvantage, they can add skill dice to damage.

Death Attack: Current Sneak attack except you add double skill dice. If a rogue attacks with advantage and doesn't have disadvantage, they can attack with disadvantage and roll skill dice. They addd double the result to damage.

Use Magic Device: The rogue can use a magic item that casts spells. Roll all skill dice and if the value exceeds the level of the spell the item creates, the rogue can use the item. If they roll doubles, the item is not expended.


Noncombat rogues, check.
Shrismish rogues, check.
Murder rogues, check.
Wand rogues, check.
Simple... I think it's simple.

What do you think?

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Looks pretty simple to me!

Danny

A nice workaround, and one that uses a mechanism similar to Fighter Expertise. Now that I think about it, Skill Dice being a consumable feature of the Rogue class really is an excellent idea.  I may steal it.
A couple comments:

1) What is the difference between picking a scheme and getting +1d6 to checks with 3 abilities....and the Roguish Talent focus? Are you saying the first +1d6 is in addition to the Skill Die you add later?

2) Death Attack is pretty underwhelming and a bit confusing. If you have Advantage and don't have Disadvantage, then you can attack with Disadvantage. The Advantage should cancel out the Disadvantage, and then you make a normal attack. Is that the intent? So a Sneak Attack is +SD damage with Advantage...and Death Attack is +SD x2 damage without Advantage? There has to be a clearer way of expressing and implementing that.

3) A 5th level rogue with your version of Use Magic Device could keep a scroll he cast if he rolled doubles on his 2xSD....but a mage can't? Why is a rogue better than a mage at using scrolls? Anyway, I'm not sure what "wand rogues" are. If they are defined by their use of magic items, then their primary class feature (using magic items) shouldn't be based on a die roll to activate. The spell that comes out of the item usually has a success/fail chance in it already (e.g. saving throw). They're getting doubly punished. Like if a warrior had to make a strength check to lift his sword before he attacked an enemy.

4) I love the idea of using Skill Dice and Martial Dice as currency. My current playtest group has a monk...but a hybrid monk from the last monk rules and the current rules. I love that they can "spend" a die to activate abilities...and I REALLY love that you can augment an ability by spending more dice. Like the Step of the Wind and Deflect Arrows, etc. I like that spending more dice doesn't necessarily mean "add another die", but gives the ability a whole new tier of power. Maybe try using that in your Rogue Redesign.
--Example: Spend 1 Die to make a Sneak Attack. Spend an extra Die to remove the Advantage Requirement (but you still only get +1d6 to damage). This may not be balanced...i'm just brainstorming.

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1) Focus is on top of scheme.

A Int 14 rogue attempts to disarm a trap wit Intellignece. He rolls a 11 with his d20. He rolls a 4 with his scheme. That normally gives him a 17 (11+4+2). The rogue rolls his two skill dice and get a 5 and 2. He replaces his +2 from Int with his +5 from his skill dice.

His new result is 20.

2) Death attack is the current Sneak attack. Since Skill Dice amount is half Sneak attack dice amount, I just doubled it.

3) the rogue isn't better. If he rolls bad, the item doesn't work. Rogues are just lucky and sometimes don't spend the item's power.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

1) Focus is on top of scheme.

A Int 14 rogue attempts to disarm a trap wit Intellignece. He rolls a 11 with his d20. He rolls a 4 with his scheme. That normally gives him a 17 (11+4+2). The rogue rolls his two skill dice and get a 5 and 2. He replaces his +2 from Int with his +5 from his skill dice.

His new result is 20.

2) Death attack is the current Sneak attack. Since Skill Dice amount is half Sneak attack dice amount, I just doubled it.

3) the rogue isn't better. If he rolls bad, the item doesn't work. Rogues are just lucky and sometimes don't spend the item's power.

Sorry, I just don't buy that a Rogue gets lucky and the scroll's magic isn't depleted after activation....but a mage NEVER has a chance for that to happen. The chances of rolling doubles at least once with 3 dice are pretty high.

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Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

1) Focus is on top of scheme. A Int 14 rogue attempts to disarm a trap wit Intellignece. He rolls a 11 with his d20. He rolls a 4 with his scheme. That normally gives him a 17 (11+4+2). The rogue rolls his two skill dice and get a 5 and 2. He replaces his +2 from Int with his +5 from his skill dice. His new result is 20. 2) Death attack is the current Sneak attack. Since Skill Dice amount is half Sneak attack dice amount, I just doubled it. 3) the rogue isn't better. If he rolls bad, the item doesn't work. Rogues are just lucky and sometimes don't spend the item's power.

Sorry, I just don't buy that a Rogue gets lucky and the scroll's magic isn't depleted after activation....but a mage NEVER has a chance for that to happen. The chances of rolling doubles at least once with 3 dice are pretty high.



Maybe say that if a Rogue fails to roll high enough to use the item, but rolls doubles at least, nothing happens bad or good. If they fail and do not roll doubles, the item backfires and some bad result happens.

Or if you like, just say that when the rogue rolls doubles it acts like a critical, and all the skill dice rolled are maximized, making it pretty certain he will be able to use the item, giving rogues a lucky chance to activate an item when they know they need to roll near max to succeed, and hope they get that lucky critical (roll doubles).

This replaces the "does not expend" benefit of rolling doubles.

Larry 
That would be far more acceptable, yes. Good ideas, Larry!

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Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

Doubles with the dice used.

The rogues wants to cast Cone of Cold from a scroll. He is level 10 and has 3 1d6 skill dice.
He has to roll a 5 or better one on dice just for it to work.
He has to roll 2 5s or 2 6s to not expend the scroll.

So they are not "better" as true casters can't fail.

If it is too powerful, perhaps they get a free usage but with an automatic mishap.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

How does the rogue activate a 7th-level item then? Can't roll a 7 on a d6.

Anyway, what's wrong with rolling a DC 10 Intelligence Check to activate it (like we have now)? The rogue in my party loves the way it feels. He uses it on everything...even things that AREN'T magic items...because he's dangerously curious and likes to press random buttons.
The Intelligence check method also gives a fairly even success rate over all character levels, because it's not level dependent.
(Yes, that means a level 1 rogue has a decent chance of operating a level 20 magic item. But, you could easily implement a rule that modifies the DC if the level difference between the Rogue and the item is large.)

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Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

Ramzour

Die increases to d8 at level 11 so ultimately, they can fake spells up to 8th level spells.

I don't know about a regular skill check emulating the abilty to use scrolls and wands. It would have to need to be chosen as a class feature to unlock. Or at least a feat.

Combining it with sneak attack and skills is a easy way to make it simple for creation and customization.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Here is my rewrite of Use Magic Device

Use Magic Device:
You have trained to certain magical items. You can cast spells from magic items that cast spells. You are also able to cast spells from scrolls even if you don't have them on your spell list but must decipher the scroll first. Deciphering a scroll takes a hour and a DC 15 Intelligence check.

You must make a check using your magic ability in order to cast a spell from a magical item. You may roll your skill die and add the highest result to your check. Your magic ability is the same as the class that has the spell on its list. If multiple classes have the same spell on their list, you may choose which class you are emulating and use their magic ability. The DC for casting the spell is equal to 10 + the spell's level. On a failed check, the spell is not cast but all costs associated are still consumed.

Optional: Magic Mishap.
If a rogue who fails a check to cast a spell from a magic item but rolls any doubles, may choose to treat the spell as a success. If they do so, they suffer a mishap for the Magic Mishap table.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Awesome! I have some critiques but great D&D Rogue!
Rolling to replace Ability mod? Wonky. Just roll more XD and take highest roll. Better yet, double skill die, like Death Attack does.
your roll doubles rule on magic device. Also wonky from a mechanics standpoint, but like the idea...
   

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I really do like the idea of using dice for Rogues much in the same manner as fighters. I would call them "Exploit Dice," however (Fighter Exploits and ROgue Exploits).  I've been toying with the idea of Rogues having a lot more dice than fighters, with the pool recharging more infrequently (via a long rest). The rogue would then purchase Expertise Exploits, and use them for things like this (not that I have also been fooling around with a small subset of skills, so you'll see stuff like Athletics, Acrobatics, Communications and so forth [yes, this is how I waste my time--I tweak stuff that is still being tweaked by smarter people than me). Note that, in the outline, below, I called them expertise dice, rather than exploit dice.:


Rogue Exploits:


Use expertise dice to activate/utilize the various Rogue features, below. Expertise dice are used up on a daily basis, and recharge only after a long rest.


Ace in the Hole: By spending 2 expertise dice, you can turn any failed roll into a success. By spending 3 expertise dice, you can turn any roll into a ’20.’


Athletics Mastery: When you make an Athletics check, spend 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled on the check.


Acrobatic Mastery: When you make an Acrobatics check, spend 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled on the check.


 Backstab: Once on your turn, when you make a melee attack against a target with at least one creature hostile to it within 5’, spend an expertise dice to give yourself advantage on the attack. If you hit, apply your backstab damage.


 Barrage: As an action, you may spend 1 expertise dice to make an additional ranged attack versus a second target within a 30’ cone originating from you. These attacks do not benefit from deadly strike.


Blindsense: As a reaction, you can spend 1 expertise dice to sense any creatures within 25’ of you, including hidden or invisible creatures. Only works if you are conscious and not deafened.


 Charm Mastery: When you make a Communications check to bluff or persuade, roll 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled.


Defensive Roll: If succeeding on a saving throw, you may spend 1 expertise dice to move in any direction up to your speed. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.


Distract: When a creature within 5’ of you that can see or hear you hits with an attack, you can use an expertise dice to cause the damage of the attack to be halved.


Evasion: When making a saving throw to avoid half damage from an effect, you may spend an expertise dice before making your roll. If the roll succeeds, you take no damage, and if it fails you take half damage.


Isolated Strike: Once on your turn, when you make a melee attack against a target with no other creature hostile to it within 5’, spend an expertise dice to give yourself advantage on the attack. If you hit, apply your backstab damage.


Lore Mastery: When you make a Lore check, roll 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled.


Searching Mastery: When you make a Perception check to locate hidden objects or traps, roll 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled.


Scouting Mastery: When you make a Perception check to listen or spot, roll 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled.


Skirmish: As an action, you can spend expertise dice to move up to your speed. You may strike 1-3 targets within your movement range for each expertise dice you spend (maximum of 3). These attacks cannot benefit from deadly strike.


 Superior Save: Before making a saving throw, you may spend 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the roll.


 Thieving Mastery: When you make a Stealth check to sneak or conceal an object roll 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled.


 Trap Mastery: When you make a Mechanics check to disarm traps or devices, object roll 1-2 expertise dice. Add the dice to the number rolled.


 Tumbling Strike: Once on your turn, when you make a melee attack, spend 1 expertise dice to give yourself advantage on the attack roll if you started your turn at least 20’ away from your target.


 Uncanny Dodge: When a defender attacks you with a melee or ranged attack, you may use your reaction to roll 1-2 expertise dice to avoid the attack. Add the total to your defense, then resolve the attack normally.