Rogue AC & HD

Am I the only one that thinks the rogue is getting ripped off? They have the lowest AC and mage hit points. Making a melee-centric rogue is pretty damn difficult when the mage can stand to hang in melee better than the rogue.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

You know I hadn't noticed this because I assumed just like almost every other edition of D&D the rogue attacked like the cleric.

Yeah the rogue should have d8 hit dice and use the cleric attack chart.  The fact they have mage hit dice and attacks is just silly.

I also think normal leather armor should be 12+dex but that is a different topic, just part of the rogue picture.  I mean 1 point of armor that is crazy.

I do believe the reasoning might be the assassin seems to be a ranged sniper type so wouldn't need them, and the thief build is a skirmisher doing hit and run tactics.  Neither of those is a good enough reason to me for them to attack and have hit points like a mage.

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

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For once we agree. The Rogue needs to be able to stay in melee long enough to do some damage. He's already kind of bad in combat and even then better off with a bow (or halberd!), and this just makes the problem worse. Leather armor needs to be better. I suppose you can walk in, attack, then disengage, but that won't always be practical.
Part of the problem with this from my perspective is that the system is encouraging mages to take Mage Armour and a high Dexterity. That alone gives them a 15-16 AC. When combined with Shield and/or False Life, at 1st-level the mage is a more durable combatant than the rogue by a country mile. And it only gets worse as the mage gets access to even more powerful defensive spells and is more likely to have lower level slots free.

In comparison, the best a rogue can start off with (assuming point-buy), is a measly 14 AC. The nearest comparison class should be the monk who can get a 16 AC, better attack bonus and d8 HD.

They've basically turned the rogue into THE glass-cannon.

A d8, monk attack bonus progression and a +1 Dodge bonus would be nice although probably asking too much. 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

"In comparison, the best a rogue can start off with (assuming point-buy), is a measly 14 AC. The nearest comparison class should be the monk who can get a 16 AC, better attack bonus and d8 HD. "
 Just as a heads up you have can AC 15 with studded leather 13 + dex (max 2) = 15. I know its not alot but it should help a little bit with your build.


I do agree after playing a rouge that the melee oriented play style is not conducive to the Hit Die and Armor. I was thinking that rouges could have some sort "light armor experise" in which when wearing no armor or light armor they have a bonus like +1 or +2 ( like 4e improved unarmored agility). then a point buy rouge could have go light armor with a 15-16 AC.

The other armor option I thought could make a rouge cool is AC mod based on the rouge style you pick. so at/after level 3 you could get 'cunning positioning' as  a theif that give your Int mod to AC. ( smart theivies know how to position in a fight to not take a bad hit). As an Assassin get 'Dread presence' in which his meacing aura cause disadvantage on attack rolls (people are afraid of an assassin with reason). Or if disadvantage is too strong maybe give an assassin as AC bonus equal to Cha Mod?  


The D6 hit die however should stay as is, rouges shouldnt stand in combat and trade blows. Move in and sneak attack then disengage and see where your needed as the team fights. With some sort of armor bonus a D6 would be just fine.   


rouges DO however, need the attack bonused upped. It should be on par with the Barbarian's +1 to +4. They have no magic and have less supernatural effects then a monk/paldin( who get +1 to +5) yet are currently stuck hitting like a mage or druid? that seems to make little sense. The other hitting issue with the rouge is his sneak attack, this is the famous rouge move 2d6 starting damage is not outragous. if a rouge takes the chance to close into close combat with an enemy that can easily drop him with one hit ( only d6 HD) the rouge should have the damage to make that attack worth the risk.    

The other sneak attack issue is with ranged attacks. I have looked through the play test and i cant find any commonly avaible ways to get advantage on ranged attack without stealth to start. Obvious a range limit would be needed for ranged sneak attacks like 30 feet but i think they need a mechanic in the tool kit to get that ranged advantage without having to find cover then hide then hope for a hit or have to redo it all over again.( if your only attacking every 2nd or 3rd turn combat is a lot less fun)  


  

      
 
If I'm reading it right you get Sneak Attack with a bow, even at long range, as long as a party member is adjacent to the target. So again, you're much better off with a bow.

That's a good point about the attack bonus though. If anything, a Rogue should be more accurate than a Barbarian, who is basically power attacking all the time. 
I agree, the rogue is generally melee combatant, but is far too vulnerable to do so without dying every battle.  (They can use ranged abilities, and the wording on sneak attack allows for it if they attack an enemy their allies have engaged, but that isn't everyone's image of a rogue. nor is it spelled out that it is meant to function as a ranged class.)

A rogue player in our group saw this and went out of her way to make her rogue survivable.  Their damage and skill features are baked into the class, but with d6 hit points, light and medium armor, and no shields, living is where things get tough.

So, she built a pretty crazy rogue - and it works.  But it doesn't at all fit the image of a rogue. 

We're level 10.  The rogue is human, started with Str 14, Con 17, Dex 17, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 9, and for her 3 feats/stat bonuses took Heavy Armor Master (rogues start with medium, so she qualified), +1 Con and Dex, to go to 2 18s, and Toughness.  This all just barely lets the rogue live, but it works very well.  She fights with two short swords, which doesn't require the dual wield feat, has resistant 4 against slash/pierce/bludgeon, moves at full speed and takes no stealth penalty due to mithral armor, and has a respectable 18 AC and has a respectable 102 Hit Points.  (Our 16 con Barbarian has 105, with no toughness, and a 17 AC.) 

I'm not defending the current rogue, I'm pointing out that, if people are driven to build 18 con Heavy Armor rogues just to survive, we should consider giving them d8 hit points and a better attack progression.  Also, why no second attack for rogue?  Seriously?

Rogues also take half damage from most physical attacks and are all but imune to dex based spells at that level 10. 
Since most enemies have multiple attacks and rogues only have 1 reaction per round, rogues are a long long way from taking 1/2 damage from most attacks.
Yeah, let's be more accurate.  Rogues take half damage from one physical attack per turn after level 5, and are almost immune to DEX save damage beyond level 10. 


It's pretty clear that they're intended to survive by not being attacked in the first place, whether because they buggered off and hid after the attack, or they're attacking at range, or they're realizing that one attack with a few extra d6 tacked on if they hit isn't worth putting themselves in harm's way and letting the other classes handle the wetwork.  
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
Am I the only one that thinks the rogue is getting ripped off? They have the lowest AC and mage hit points. Making a melee-centric rogue is pretty damn difficult when the mage can stand to hang in melee better than the rogue.



So in other words you got a whole bunch of cool class abilities and you're now whining that you're not getting enough. Gotcha.
Wizards don't get a bonus to weapon attack rolls at all in the current packet so rogues are better.  The rogue in our group played out as pretty cool with twf, 16 dex, and non-magical leather at level 8.  Sure the fighter had to defend her a few times but I don't want the teamwork element from 4e to be washed away completely.  She felt good.

I could live with wizards on d4 hp though.
So in other words you got a whole bunch of cool class abilities and you're now whining that you're not getting enough. Gotcha.


The fact that you're still snippy over my comment is testament to your personality, not mine.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Wizards don't get a bonus to weapon attack rolls at all in the current packet so rogues are better.


Yes but with their defensive spells and comparable hit points a mage can hang in melee and cast spells far better than a rogue can hang in melee and hit things.

The problem isn't so much that wizards are comparable, it's more that rogues can't do the job they're supposed to do. Their hit points and AC are simply too low to be in melee. On top of that, a rogue's AC is almost an iconic aspect of the class. They're seen as hard to hit and yet they have the lowest potential AC of any class in the current game and hit points equal to the traditional glass-cannon, the wizard.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

If I'm reading it right you get Sneak Attack with a bow, even at long range, as long as a party member is adjacent to the target. So again, you're much better off with a bow.

That's a good point about the attack bonus though. If anything, a Rogue should be more accurate than a Barbarian, who is basically power attacking all the time. 

thank you for pointing out the ranged sneak attack. i misread that part.
this is in response mainly to Rant's post.

I am a pretty big rogue supporter, and my initial reaction to this new packet is good (I actually stopped playtesting when they made the rogue choose between advantage or sneak attack damage).  The rogue that I am planning on playing will be hidden most of the time (Thief) and primarily do range attacks.  The basic idea for rogues is to avoid being attacked in the current iteration I'm not sure that the Assassin has the ability to do this, but if your friends rogue wants to go toe to toe with the enemies I think they did it fine.  In 4e my rogue (link at the bottom of the page) spent most of her resources into survival, it seems like this is what your friend is doing.  

A rogue in its current form has dual expertise (most of any class).  Trap stills, some defensive bonus's and some extra damage (not sure how it compares other classes, but with constant advantage it might be comparable).  So the trick is finding out how to stay alive, I think your friends build is incredibly durable, not sure why it barely lives? It seems way more durable than the Barbarian.


Yes, the Rogue should be trickier to play than the Fighter, but he shouldn't be easier to kill than the Wizard. That's just not right, traditional or balanced. If that's the case, and the Wizard ends up with so much utility, and attacks from range, and deals more damage, and has AOE and save or die, and can fly at level 5, why play the Rogue at all? His only advantage would be skills, and even that would be mitigated, and not help him in combat, which is very important in most campaigns.
I don't feel the rogue is easier to kill than the wizard if done right.  Let's look at 2 example rogues.  The first one wears heavy armor (wizard can't do this) and takes toughness (granted a wizard can do this).  This rogue if it has the right armor can still stealth just about all the time when out of combat and is tough in combat.

The second rogue is a thief that does mainly range attacks, they are a lightfoot halfling and probably took the stealthy feat.  They are hidden almost all the time and might even be hiding behind the wizard taking light crossbow shots and restealthing.  

Due to the rogue's natural defensive features the first rogue is one of the toughest characters and does lethal damage on first turns and can simply assassinate sentries and should have good scouting abilities.  The second rogue (thief) will be a master scout with the stealth feat and very hard to pin down in combat with the extra action each turn to either stealth or hustle or disengage.  The rogue is a master of the scene, with scouting they should have a good idea of where the bad guys are and get the jump on them.  A great rogue is a master scoundrel and will have knowledge and good control of the situation and is rarely pinned down. 

Basically the rogues unique abilities can't be tested well in a vacuum and a rogue needs to utilize all its skills and abilities to make up for low attack bonus (rogues are one of the best classes for getting advantage, the second rogue (thief) should have it most of the time) and utilized mobility or feats for survivability.  I can also see a third option that uses the mobile feat to do hit and run attacks in a melee heavy party. 
Not a problem.  Now, whether adding unarmed damage to weapon damage might be a good fix for the monk, that's a different issue - the monk is a bit underpowered at present, and adding 1d6 to its attacks does little to keep up with the Fighter's 3-4 attacks, if using Action Surge, the Barbarian's Rage damage and damage resistance, or the Rogue's Sneak Attack. 
Yeah the rogue should have d8 hit dice and use the cleric attack chart.  The fact they have mage hit dice and attacks is just silly.

Seventeenthed, or whatever number we're up to now.

I don't feel the rogue is easier to kill than the wizard if done right.  Let's look at 2 example rogues.  The first one wears heavy armor (wizard can't do this) and takes toughness (granted a wizard can do this).  This rogue if it has the right armor can still stealth just about all the time when out of combat and is tough in combat.

The second rogue is a thief that does mainly range attacks, they are a lightfoot halfling and probably took the stealthy feat.  They are hidden almost all the time and might even be hiding behind the wizard taking light crossbow shots and restealthing.  

Due to the rogue's natural defensive features the first rogue is one of the toughest characters and does lethal damage on first turns and can simply assassinate sentries and should have good scouting abilities.  The second rogue (thief) will be a master scout with the stealth feat and very hard to pin down in combat with the extra action each turn to either stealth or hustle or disengage.  The rogue is a master of the scene, with scouting they should have a good idea of where the bad guys are and get the jump on them.  A great rogue is a master scoundrel and will have knowledge and good control of the situation and is rarely pinned down. 

Basically the rogues unique abilities can't be tested well in a vacuum and a rogue needs to utilize all its skills and abilities to make up for low attack bonus (rogues are one of the best classes for getting advantage, the second rogue (thief) should have it most of the time) and utilized mobility or feats for survivability.  I can also see a third option that uses the mobile feat to do hit and run attacks in a melee heavy party. 



A Wizard, at least a Mountain Dwarf, can also wear plate mail, not that either class really should. You can't count on mithril armor because it's too rare. Doesn't Stealth slow you down?

Halflings get few good weapons, and feats are optional. The DM might not allow them. Again, as I recall Stealth slows you down and Halflings are already speed 25.

Either way the Wizard would still be more powerful and have more options.

Can the Rogue spare the Wisdom to be good at perception? If not and there's no skill for him to train in, how can he be good at it? Wouldn't the Wizard actually be a better scout, with things like True Sight? Or Invisibility for that matter. The Wizard can fly. How's that for not getting pinned down? 

Rogues should know how to strike with precision. They should be tied with Fighters for accuracy, or even have a slight edge because they can gain advantage a little more often. 
Yea. D8 for Rogues.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, "Are you really sure?"

 

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I don't feel the rogue is easier to kill than the wizard if done right.  Let's look at 2 example rogues.  The first one wears heavy armor (wizard can't do this) and takes toughness (granted a wizard can do this).  This rogue if it has the right armor can still stealth just about all the time when out of combat and is tough in combat.



Mountain Dwarf Mage with the Heavy Armor Master feat would like to have a word with you about AC.

The second rogue is a thief that does mainly range attacks, they are a lightfoot halfling and probably took the stealthy feat.  They are hidden almost all the time and might even be hiding behind the wizard taking light crossbow shots and restealthing.  

Due to the rogue's natural defensive features the first rogue is one of the toughest characters and does lethal damage on first turns and can simply assassinate sentries and should have good scouting abilities.  The second rogue (thief) will be a master scout with the stealth feat and very hard to pin down in combat with the extra action each turn to either stealth or hustle or disengage.  The rogue is a master of the scene, with scouting they should have a good idea of where the bad guys are and get the jump on them.  A great rogue is a master scoundrel and will have knowledge and good control of the situation and is rarely pinned down. 



If you're talking about high level rogues yes they're good, Mage can still one up them by tunring invisible (out stealthing the rogue) Rogues are not masters of adgantage like they once were, only gaining advantage with by re-entering stealth since they lost their advantage generation abilities. The first rogue is not going to be wearing heavy armor though since that penalizes stealth and movement. Any first strike assassination attempt will fail against an illusionist automatically at high level.

This is more about low level though. High level AC on a rogue is the same as the fighter's. Low level they don't have those defensive abilities, have inferior AC, and the lowest HP. Levels 1-2 have no survivability compared to every other class and only thiefs get the second action as a boost, assassins must rely on using the reactions to use evasion if they ever enter melee. Given their low AC and low HP, they simply can't last more than 1 round in melee at low levels, this is from experience. I've played the previous packet's rogue, every time I had to enter melee I got dropped. The only reason I survived at range is because I could move shoot, and then get back behind cover. 

I could be wrong but I doubt dwarf wizards will be optimal for them, so I really don't count this as a serious choice, yes it means wizards can wear armor, but I don't think its a serious argument for wizards being tougher.  

As for stealth, the hide rules don't ask how much you moved that turn only if you have condition for stealth, a halfling can do this behind any medium sized character.  At third lvl a thief can attack (shooting most easily) and hide on that same turn, at forth lvl with stealthy they can do it any time there is dim light.  So a Thief rogue can have advantage for almost all their attacks and be pretty hard to pin down.

There are other options for getting AC high rather then just heavy armor (personally I think Dual Welder seems like a better way to go, possibly combine this with Fencing Master, or Mobile).  At low lvls, I would play very cautious with the rogue, sticking to range or throwing daggers, and maybe only come in for a kill, so basically in my opinion its only the 1st 2 lvls where the rogue will have trouble in melee.  Other additions were a little more friendly since you actually had feats at lvl 1.  Basically I would stay stealthed as much as a I could in early lvls and pick and choose my attacks from as safe as spot as I could.

As for the heavy armor, its possible at the right table, I know some tables (most I have played in) allow for alot of imput into magic items so, the heavy armored rogue isn't out of the question with the right magic armor. 
Dwarf is a serious and optimal choice for Wizard, if only because of the Con bonus and darkvision. You'd have better armor and weapons too. In fact he might be a better choice than Gnome! Counterintuitive, but there it is. Anyway, back on topic... 
So in other words you got a whole bunch of cool class abilities and you're now whining that you're not getting enough. Gotcha.


The fact that you're still snippy over my comment is testament to your personality, not mine.



paraphrasing you makes me snippy?  Nice frame of mind ya got there chum.
paraphrasing you makes me snippy?


Petty and vindictive also come to mind.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

You know I hadn't noticed this because I assumed just like almost every other edition of D&D the rogue attacked like the cleric.

Yeah the rogue should have d8 hit dice and use the cleric attack chart.  The fact they have mage hit dice and attacks is just silly.

I also think normal leather armor should be 12+dex but that is a different topic, just part of the rogue picture.  I mean 1 point of armor that is crazy.

I do believe the reasoning might be the assassin seems to be a ranged sniper type so wouldn't need them, and the thief build is a skirmisher doing hit and run tactics.  Neither of those is a good enough reason to me for them to attack and have hit points like a mage.





Not sure why everyone thinks the th Rogue needs to be switched to the Clerics Attack progression.  The Cleric has the same progression as the Mage and Rogue.

BTW, in the Read me First file it states "Spellcasting bonus is now just part of an attack bonus column that all classes have" which means that the Mages now have an attack bonus for all attacks not just spells.  The Classes files still has Spellcasting Bonus as the header for the Mages attack bonus.  That is wrong according to the Read Me First file.


As for armor choices, the Rogue is proficient with Light and Medium armor.  Studded Leather cost 25 GP and provides 13 AC plus a Max of 2 from Dex and it does not cause disadvantage to Stealth.  Yes, you will give up some Dex bonus but compared to most Wizards/Mages I've had at my table the AC is comparable with Mage Armor (AC13) plus Dex (usually 12-14 Dex) +1 or +2.  I've not met any players who play mages with high Dex scores.


I've kind of on the fence about the whole melee focus Rogue having a ton of hit points so I'm not sure why there's such a desire for a high hit point Rogue.  Why not just play a stealthy fighter? 


   

   


   

    

  
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Because the Rogue should be the not-quite-so-good Fighter, not "worse than the healbot".

Thief is, historically, the non-class.  D&D74's decendance from wargaming translated the Infantry/Artillery/Support paradigms easily, but it had no real idea how to open a locked door.  Thief was specifically invented just to defeat the map, and little else.

The rogue gets d6 hit dice, but it takes 1/2 damage from one attack a round, it gets huge bonuses to Dex saves, and if it is a thief it gets 1 free action that can be used to disengage or hide. That is a LOT of survivability. It is more survivable than a wizard, as its never going to run out of such survivability buffs, or have to choose to give them up to deal damage. The rogue just needs to play smart, not stick itself in the front-lines, where it will get it, and stay there. I actually really like the low HP on the rogue (and rogue is my favorite class). 

Likewise, in theory the rogue doesn't need to have the same number of attacks or attack bonus as the other martial characters. Instead, it adds a fist-full of dice to damage via sneak attack. But, the rogue does start to fall behind after about level 10 in terms of damage output. So, either they need to give the rogue a second attack or they need to increase its high level sneak attack damage. I would rather they keep the attack bonus low. I like the spikey pattern of damage dealt via a low attack bonus and a high damage spike when the rogue hits. The low damage bonus will also keep rogues looking for any method by which they can generate advantage; again, that feels VERY rogueish to me.

TL;DR: So, my 2 cents, the low HP and low attack bonus work very well to get the feel of the rogue right. But, its DPR is a little too low at higher levels, and it should either deal more sneak attack damage at higher levels or get a second attack.