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

Esker

Exploree
This is a nice option also, but I would probably associate a cost with it, like using your reaction to reroll the failed attack. This emphasizes if the rogue is pushing offense over defense, since giving up the reaction prevents Uncanny Dodge and Evasion.
Evasion is a passive ability, not a reaction. But I like this: you're basically giving the rogue the option of using either their bonus action or reaction for another chance at sneak attack (or, I guess, both?), which seems to fit with the rogue style of lots of different at will options.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Evasion is a passive ability, not a reaction. But I like this: you're basically giving the rogue the option of using either their bonus action or reaction for another chance at sneak attack (or, I guess, both?), which seems to fit with the rogue style of lots of different at will options.
Ha, you're right. I thought Evasion used your reaction. I set Second Strike to use reaction, preventing the use of Uncanny Dodge. So, the player's choices is offense vs. defense.

If the rogue is TWF, the have the choice of using their bonus action for TWF or Cunning Action options. We are using all seven now that I house-ruled:

Disengage. You can take the Disengage action.
Free Movement. You ignore difficult terrain until the start of your next turn.
Hide. You can take the Hide action.
Misdirect. You choose one opponent you can see, and the next attack that opponent makes against you has disadvantage.
Quick Step. You can move up to half your speed.
Take Aim. You gain advantage on your next ranged attack roll until the end of your turn.
Unbound. If you are grappled or restrained, you can make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to escape.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I would probably just create a Feat (since the problem manifests in games where other martials can take two-weapon fighting and whatnot).

This feat would give a +1 to an ability, and change the Rogue's sneak attack from once a turn to twice a round.

I see no reason to force the Rogue player go through hoops only veteran gamers manage, just to get the 2xsneak DPS the class so clearly is capable of. Another plus is, this levels the field between characters of magic rich campaigns with characters that have never even heard of a Potion of Speed.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
Sure, but it not a generally useful response to my criticism of the sneak attack design and the not-so user-friendliness of the Rogue.

Thank you for bringing these abilities to my attention, but for most players solutions at level 17 or 20 could just as well not exist at all.
I would probably just create a Feat (since the problem manifests in games where other martials can take two-weapon fighting and whatnot).

This feat would give a +1 to an ability, and change the Rogue's sneak attack from once a turn to twice a round.

I see no reason to force the Rogue player go through hoops only veteran gamers manage, just to get the 2xsneak DPS the class so clearly is capable of. Another plus is, this levels the field between characters of magic rich campaigns with characters that have never even heard of a Potion of Speed.
The issue with making changes to suit lower levels is they don't actually stop a game from reaching high levels. As a one off in a campaign that's been given a level limit such homebrew might be okay but in a regular game such changes can marginalize or overpower high level abilities.

Making suggestions based on dismissing the existence of high level abilities is a hard pass for me.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
The issue with making changes to suit lower levels is they don't actually stop a game from reaching high levels. As a one off in a campaign that's been given a level limit such homebrew might be okay but in a regular game such changes can marginalize or overpower high level abilities.

Making suggestions based on dismissing the existence of high level abilities is a hard pass for me.
Not sure what you mean?

If you mean my house rule negates or trivializes the high level abilities you think of, then I'm listening.

But if you mean to say "Rogues should generally not expect to make two sneak attacks a round until they get hold of either [ability X] or [ability Y] at high level" then I'm sorry, that's... unconvincing (Since I am not sure what you mean, I'll stop here).

Cheers
 

Ashrym

Explorer
Not sure what you mean?

If you mean my house rule negates or trivializes the high level abilities you think of, then I'm listening.

But if you mean to say "Rogues should generally not expect to make two sneak attacks a round until they get hold of either [ability X] or [ability Y] at high level" then I'm sorry, that's... unconvincing (Since I am not sure what you mean, I'll stop here).

Cheers
Your house rule in particular limits the 3 SA's some high level rogues can make back to two, and gives 2 SA's more reliably earlier than those same high level abilities. Thief, for example, loses a lot of the luster if his ability to get a second SA during the first round of combat when that's been going on for a long time every round of combat.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Your house rule in particular limits the 3 SA's some high level rogues can make back to two, and gives 2 SA's more reliably earlier than those same high level abilities. Thief, for example, loses a lot of the luster if his ability to get a second SA during the first round of combat when that's been going on for a long time every round of combat.
That first part definitely merits looking at - I'm broadly speaking from a PHB only perspective.

The second I still feel is unclear. The expectation Rogues should somehow feel grateful they get a second SA far up the levels I emphatically reject: Rogues have two SAs built-in and are weak as frak in feat-on games. Getting a 100% reliable second SA at fourth level (when most characters get their first feat) sits right by me.

That said, I'm sure there are one or three special abilities that need to be looked at, but you need to understand I'm keeping things simple here. I'm not presenting a 100% ready house rule here.

I'm making a point as simply and directly as possible:

The rules unarguably let minmaxers do 2 SAs in a round. This rules construction is needlessly convoluted and hard to master. It is very uncharacteristic of 5th edition.

Better give 2 SAs to everyone.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
I haven't done the math, but 2 SAs per round as the default seems like it would vastly favor Rogues as the top-tier DPS machine.

Why would anyone ever play a fighter?
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I haven't done the math, but 2 SAs per round as the default seems like it would vastly favor Rogues as the top-tier DPS machine.
First off, let me reclarify we're talking feat-enabled games here. Good.

Now then. I am of the firm belief Rogues should be DPS machines. Skill use is vastly overrated by a dev team that perpetuates the fantasy that the three pillars are in any way equal. Just look at any published module to instantly see that the game is maybe 80% combat and 15% exploration. The times you make a social check that actually matters can be counted on one hand, for all books together! So putting even 5% on social is generous.

Now, your question:
Why would anyone ever play a fighter?
Because you have vastly better staying power? You don't need to set up special attacks. You have the best weapons, the best armor, and the best combat feats. You also have more hit points.

Also of note: it's a group game. I know there are abilities that rely on Rogues sneaking about, but we've found that in practical play, they're close to worthless.

Nobody wants to sit on their hands while the Rogue solo-scouts the dungeon. (Plus, never split the party)

So the game is about a group of people that make noise and light.

The Rogue should work just like all the other classes: in the context of a group activity.

Giving them what they already have (a second SA) is the best suggestion to answer the OPs query.

It makes them a valuable ally. Much like a Wizard, someone worth protecting.

Without a second SA, the question I'm asking myself is:

Why would anyone ever play a rogue when you can play a fighter?

Thanks to backgrounds and flexible skill acquisition, one of the party fighters can become the swashbuckler. The secret is that skill DCs are very weak in this game. You don't need Expertise to stealth or find traps.

And you're much better at doing the 80% activity: killing monsters.

As for the subclass abilities you get at high level, they might need tweaking. At this stage however my main concern is this:

Rogues need a reason for being in the party. In games with feats, that reason is two SAs already at low level.

That's the message I'm sending out.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
First off, let me reclarify we're talking feat-enabled games here. Good.

Now then. I am of the firm belief Rogues should be DPS machines. Skill use is vastly overrated by a dev team that perpetuates the fantasy that the three pillars are in any way equal. Just look at any published module to instantly see that the game is maybe 80% combat and 15% exploration. The times you make a social check that actually matters can be counted on one hand, for all books together! So putting even 5% on social is generous.

Now, your question:

Because you have vastly better staying power? You don't need to set up special attacks. You have the best weapons, the best armor, and the best combat feats. You also have more hit points.

Also of note: it's a group game. I know there are abilities that rely on Rogues sneaking about, but we've found that in practical play, they're close to worthless.

Nobody wants to sit on their hands while the Rogue solo-scouts the dungeon. (Plus, never split the party)

So the game is about a group of people that make noise and light.

The Rogue should work just like all the other classes: in the context of a group activity.

Giving them what they already have (a second SA) is the best suggestion to answer the OPs query.

It makes them a valuable ally. Much like a Wizard, someone worth protecting.

Without a second SA, the question I'm asking myself is:

Why would anyone ever play a rogue when you can play a fighter?

Thanks to backgrounds and flexible skill acquisition, one of the party fighters can become the swashbuckler. The secret is that skill DCs are very weak in this game. You don't need Expertise to stealth or find traps.

And you're much better at doing the 80% activity: killing monsters.

As for the subclass abilities you get at high level, they might need tweaking. At this stage however my main concern is this:

Rogues need a reason for being in the party. In games with feats, that reason is two SAs already at low level.

That's the message I'm sending out.
In my experience, rogues are one of the most popular classes and deal a pretty significant amount of damage in combat. They are also a lot tankier than they used to be, with d8 HD, Uncanny Dodge, and Evasion.

Fighters are better at fighting and deal more consistent damage due to having Extra Attack, but the rogue specializes in dealing a high amount of damage all at once.

Ftr 5 no feats = 2 x (1d8 to 1d12 + 3) = 12 to 16
Rog 5 no feats = 1 x (1d6 + 3 + 3d6) = 17 (only 7 if they don't get their SA)

When you introduce GWM is when the Fighter spikes drastically, but accounting for to-hit chance mitigates it somewhat.

Anyway, while I don't personally see the need to buff rogue's damage output, I agree that making it a feat is probably the best choice. I'd try it at your table and see how it goes.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Agreed.

My solution: a feat that gives Rogues what the rules already give them, less the uncharacteristically byzantine hoops 5E makes players jump through.
So, after we do this, do we also "un-nerf" the Fighter by giving him expertise and otherwise allowing him to be the best skill monkey outside of combat?
 

Esker

Exploree
Agreed.

My solution: a feat that gives Rogues what the rules already give them, less the uncharacteristically byzantine hoops 5E makes players jump through.
You keep saying that the rules already give rogues a second sneak attack if they jump through some hoops, but I don't see how this works.

There's Haste, which if you have a wizard or sorcerer in the party willing to devote their concentration to casting it on you is great, but that comes at huge opportunity cost for them.

If you're an arcane trickster you can cast it on yourself starting at level 13, but only two combats a day, and you only get your reaction attack from the second round on, since you used your first action to cast the spell, leaving you with just the extra Haste action for that first turn. And then you're giving up uncanny dodge, making it that much more likely that your concentration gets broken.

Based on the typical 6 combat day, figuring about 3 rounds per combat, Haste is buying you 4 extra sneak attacks a day, or 22% of your rounds, from level 13-15, going up to 6, or 33% of your rounds at levels 16-18, and 8 at levels 19-20.

Otherwise you have to hope somebody procs an attack of opportunity, or take Sentinel and hope the enemies don't just focus fire on you. But how often do AoOs occur? About 1/3 of the time maybe?

Then there's commander's strike if you happen to have a Battlemaster in the party, which could plausibly be used pretty much every round. But that requires them to give up their bonus action, and one of their own attacks, and your reaction. So it's both costly and not a full second sneak attack.

Are there other options I'm forgetting?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Haste won't give another SA. It grants another attack on your turn, so you have another chance of landing the SA if your first attack misses, but you won't actually get two SA's.

I think CapnZapp was more thinking of feats that allow use of reactions to make opportunity attacks and SA on other people's turns.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Taking a 3-level dip into Fighter (Battlemaster) or the Martial Maneuver feat to get Riposte is probably the most reliable way I know of to get off-turn Sneak Attack reactions, best if you're a Swashbuckler as you then basically always qualify for SA.

I've never seen it in play, but I've thought about it as something to try if I ever get a chance to play a rogue.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Taking a 3-level dip into Fighter (Battlemaster) or the Martial Maneuver feat to get Riposte is probably the most reliable way I know of to get off-turn Sneak Attack reactions, best if you're a Swashbuckler as you then basically always qualify for SA.

I've never seen it in play, but I've thought about it as something to try if I ever get a chance to play a rogue.
I am not very familiar with Swashbuckler, how does it help?

EDIT: Never mind. I see you were simply referring to Rakish Audacity and granting SA on attacks in general.
 

Esker

Exploree
Haste won't give another SA. It grants another attack on your turn, so you have another chance of landing the SA if your first attack misses, but you won't actually get two SA's.

I think CapnZapp was more thinking of feats that allow use of reactions to make opportunity attacks and SA on other people's turns.
You can use it to get a second SA if you use your regular action to ready an attack, and your Haste action to attack. But like I said, since it uses your reaction it takes away Uncanny Dodge. (Plus you have to end your turn in position to attack)
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
So, after we do this, do we also "un-nerf" the Fighter by giving him expertise and otherwise allowing him to be the best skill monkey outside of combat?
Hot take: The thief hurt D&D by siloing combat and non-combat specialization into different classes. A unified "warrior" class merging combat and practical skills would have been better.
 

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