• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

[5E] A Rogue "unnerf" - Extra Attack

dnd4vr

Adventurer
While looking over the classes, it occured to me that Rogues are the only "battler" class (Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Monk, Ranger, and Rogue) that don't every get the Extra Attack feature. The other five classes all get it at 5th level. Is there some reason behind this? They are limited to one sneak attack per turn, so it isn't as though they could get more sneak attacks or something. I thought maybe one of their archetypes would get it at least, like College of Swords for Bards, but there wasn't anything there either.

While enough rogue nerfing has been going on, would it be crazy to unnerf them a bit and allow Extra Attack at some point? If not 5th level (like most others, except Bard), then 6th?

Thoughts, anyone?
 
Extra attack would be a significant buff to rogues, since it would increase their chance of landing at least one hit in a combat round and getting to apply sneak attack.

The rogues biggest drawback compared to most other weapon using classes is that they don't have any limited use nova abilities. If I wanted to buff rogues I'd look to add some short-rest recharge abilities rather than making them a bit better at round-by-round all-day damage.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Two-weapon fighting is very appealing to Rogues, and probably brought up in all the character optimization builds. It's the reliable way for a Rogue to get an extra attack.
Sure, but that is at the expense of their other bonus action options, and doesn't allow them to add their ability score modifier to damage.

Maybe include Extra Attack, but make the Rogue specify when they are using their Sneak Attack and if that attack misses, the Sneak Attack is gone?
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Currently, rogues usually give up their bonus action to make an off-hand attack if they need an extra chance at landing their sneak attack.

Granting them an extra attack would free up the bonus action for Cunning Action or whatever else, as well as allow ranged rogues that additional opportunity.

I don't think it would be majorly broken, but I also think it isn't necessary, especially since the rogue class features are already fantastic.

If you really want to buff them, give them a reliable way to use their reaction to attack for that sweet off-turn extra sneak attack potential.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Currently, rogues usually give up their bonus action to make an off-hand attack if they need an extra chance at landing their sneak attack.

Granting them an extra attack would free up the bonus action for Cunning Action or whatever else, as well as allow ranged rogues that additional opportunity.

I don't think it would be majorly broken, but I also think it isn't necessary, especially since the rogue class features are already fantastic.

If you really want to buff them, give them a reliable way to use their reaction to attack for that sweet off-turn extra sneak attack potential.
Allowing them a consistent way to try to sneak attack as part of their reaction would only increase the number of sneak attacks they might normally land. IMO that would be even stronger since now they could land a sneak attack on their turn and as a reaction on someone else's.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
They are limited to one sneak attack per turn, so it isn't as though they could get more sneak attacks or something.
They're indeed limited to one sneak attack per turn.

Turn, not round. You can sneak attack on your own turn and then again (using a reaction) on a monster's turn for a total of two sneak attacks each combat round.

(I am currently unaware of a way to gain more than two)

Problem is, outside of Haste, it's bloody difficult to set up consistently, even for a moderately accomplished minmaxer.

But it proves that the Rogue is indeed underpowered. In games with feats, that is. (The Rogue is probably quite good in games without feats)
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Again, the way to counter improved sneak attack potential damage is to make the rogue use the sneak attack feature as part of the attack before the roll is made. If you miss, you lose the sneak attack.

I am not looking for more ways to add potential to sneak attack, but by allowing rogues the extra attack feature at 5th and higher levels, you create more options. Perhaps the first attack is a shove to knock the target prone. If successful, the next attack is with advantage and can thus benefit from the sneak attack feature.

It also frees up the rogue to not have to rely on TWF to gain a second attack and frees up the bonus action for more uses, etc.

And yes, as you quoted me, they are limited to one per turn. I know they can get two per round via a reaction (such as an OA). We've even added a new feat, Reactive, which allows a character to make two reactions per round! (Oh, how the heavens tremble! LOL)

Off to work, I will be interested to read responses when I get home tonight.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Again, the way to counter improved sneak attack potential damage is to make the rogue use the sneak attack feature as part of the attack before the roll is made. If you miss, you lose the sneak attack.

I am not looking for more ways to add potential to sneak attack, but by allowing rogues the extra attack feature at 5th and higher levels, you create more options. Perhaps the first attack is a shove to knock the target prone. If successful, the next attack is with advantage and can thus benefit from the sneak attack feature.

It also frees up the rogue to not have to rely on TWF to gain a second attack and frees up the bonus action for more uses, etc.

And yes, as you quoted me, they are limited to one per turn. I know they can get two per round via a reaction (such as an OA). We've even added a new feat, Reactive, which allows a character to make two reactions per round! (Oh, how the heavens tremble! LOL)

Off to work, I will be interested to read responses when I get home tonight.
The issue is, the DPS from one attack per turn with Sneak Attack potential is already on par with multiple attacks, and doesn't need a fix. This change would overpower Rogues.
 

MarkB

Hero
One option you could go with is something like this:

Swift Attack
When using the Attack action you may choose to make two attacks. You may not apply Sneak Attack damage to either attack, even if you would normally be able to do so.​
That gives the rogue an option to keep up damage-wise on turns when they would be unable to make a sneak attack.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
While looking over the classes, it occured to me that Rogues are the only "battler" class (Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Monk, Ranger, and Rogue) that don't every get the Extra Attack feature.
I feel you are looking at the wrong thing. Extra attack is a method of aqpplying more damage. Sneak attack is a method of applying more damage. Hunter's Mark, Dueling Style, Ragin bonus melee damage are all methods of applying more damage. The question isn't "does the rogue have this specific feature?" it's "does the rogue fall behind in applying damage?".

If the answer is no, then adding extra attack will make them overpowered. And since it doubles chances to apply SA, it will have a large impact on expected damage.

If the answer is yes, the rogue falls behind applying damage, then some resolution should be found. Making them just like every other weapon wielder would not be my first choice, but mathematically it could be a valid one.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Explorer
I personally like how the rogue fights differently than the rest of the martials both from a fluff and crunch stand point. Fluff wise extra attack represents a high degree of weapon training and skill at arms. But to me the rogue is not very soldier like to warrant that degree of weapon mastery. Instead they take a more underhanded approach to fighting represented by sneak attack.

Crunch wise it's just nice to have multiple mechanical avenues to dealing damage. The variety is interesting and it helps keep options like two weapon fighting viable for some builds. Giving the rogue extra attack is just another step in making everything feel generic, which is generally my biggest gripe with the 4e power system.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
A subclass for rogue that gets extra attack at 6 or 7 wouldn't be the worst thing to exist but I'd want it to be more interesting than just +1 attack. Make it meaningful in some way rather than just another chance to get sneak attack in. Maybe something like a thug archetype.

Adding it to the core class feels wholly unnecessary to me.
 

Gladius Legis

Explorer
Count me in as someone who feels this is unnecessary and would make the Rogue a lot less interesting. The Rogue by default is not supposed to be a face-to-face combatant and never has been.*

* Yes, I know about the Swashbuckler. That's an exception, and a subclass with more interesting features for letting it fight face-to-face than just giving Extra Attack.
* The 4e Rogue probably could fight face-to-face, but, well, 4e.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
One option you could go with is something like this:

Swift Attack
When using the Attack action you may choose to make two attacks. You may not apply Sneak Attack damage to either attack, even if you would normally be able to do so.​
That gives the rogue an option to keep up damage-wise on turns when they would be unable to make a sneak attack.
Nice option! It accomplishes what feels right to me without overcompensating. I could allow it as a 5th-level feature, so it mimics Extra Attack.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Two-weapon fighting is very appealing to Rogues, and probably brought up in all the character optimization builds. It's the reliable way for a Rogue to get an extra attack.
I like the idea of giving rogues a different way to more reliably get SA, so they can use Cunning Action more often, but I don't really think Extra Attack is the best way. Not sure what would be a better (simple!) solution, though.

Problem is, outside of Haste, it's bloody difficult to set up consistently, even for a moderately accomplished minmaxer.

But it proves that the Rogue is indeed underpowered. In games with feats, that is. (The Rogue is probably quite good in games without feats)
Sentinel and Mage Slayer both provide extra chances for opportunity attacks. I've never had issues getting my rogues into position to take advantage of them frequently. Making enemies want to get away from you is pretty easy, since you can drop level appropriate enemies with 1-2 attacks pretty frequently. If your game doesn't involve fighting spellcasters very often, Mage Slayer drops in usefulness, but I've never seen such a game, since spellcasters are the most challenging enemies.

Even if they use their spellcasting to get away from me via teleportation, that's fine, I'll get to them again next turn, and they'll either burn another spell slot on survival rather than offense, or they'll die quicker from my OAs. Either way, I'm contributing an extremely great benefit to the team's success.

A vicious rogue subclass might be one that simply changed reaction attacks made by the rogue to always resolve before the triggering action resolves. Then Mage Slayer gets you an attack even if the enemy teleports away from you.

Of course, an archer rogue is gonna want to go Stealth mode with crossbow expert and/or skulker. There's a trade from turn to turn between stealthing and getting a second shot, but that's fine in this case. They fill in eachother's weaknesses. When you can't get stealth at all, you just shoot as much as possible, and when you can, you only use that bonus action shot as a back up for when your Advantaged stealth shot fails. Or, if you don't like such tradeoffs, you just pick between being a stealthy sniper and being artillery.

I'd also love to see a rogue subclass that is part Artificer, and gets to fill arrows with alchemical items, like arrows that deliver the damage of a vial of acid or alchemist's fire upon impact, or create a 5 ft radius obscured area, or an area of difficult terrain like a half sized web spell, or save vs blindness or deafness in an area, etc.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
One option you could go with is something like this:

Swift Attack
When using the Attack action you may choose to make two attacks. You may not apply Sneak Attack damage to either attack, even if you would normally be able to do so.​
That gives the rogue an option to keep up damage-wise on turns when they would be unable to make a sneak attack.
Something I just thought of:

With Swift Attack and TWF, would the rogue then get 3 attacks? If so, the rogue could still get a SA on the extra attack from TWF... I think a rewrite for Swift Attack would have to include no SA during your turn.
 

Esker

Exploree
Problem is, outside of Haste, it's bloody difficult to set up [a reaction attack] consistently, even for a moderately accomplished minmaxer.

But it proves that the Rogue is indeed underpowered. In games with feats, that is. (The Rogue is probably quite good in games without feats)
I wouldn't go so far as to say that the rogue is underpowered on the whole, since they get a lot of nice non-damage (and non-combat) options -- a big part of their value is in their skills! -- but it's true that in a game with feats (read: pretty much every game), they lack a path to being a top tier DPR class.

Whether they should be given a path to being a top tier DPR class is another question, since compared to the fighter, say, they have a lot more utility baked in to even the base class, so it's probably only fair that the fighter get better damage abilities.

It occurs to me, @dnd4vr, that between your dislike of expertise and your desire to give rogues extra attack, maybe what you want to do is design a roguish subclass of fighter, sort of like the EK is a wizardish subclass. That might be easier to balance than making a fighterish subclass of rogue (to the extent that the swashbuckler isn't already that).
 

Advertisement

Top