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

coolAlias

Explorer
Here are some things that can provide an extra (usually reaction-based) Sneak Attack opportunity:
  • Attacks of Opportunity (very DM / tactics dependent)
  • Sentinel feat for more reliable AoO plus when an ally is attacked instead of you
  • Mage Slayer feat grants AoO against spellcasters within 5 feet
  • Readying an Attack allows extra SA opportunity when hasted
  • Battlemaster "Commander's Strike" maneuver from an ally
  • Battlemaster "Riposte" maneuver gained via multiclassing or Martial Adept feat, enemy must attack you and miss
  • Thief's Reflexes (Thief archetype only at level 17) grants two turns on the first round of combat unless you are surprised
  • Orcish Fury feat when you're dropped to 0 hp but not killed outright (XGtE)
  • Hydra :p
Are there any I'm missing?

From this list, it seems clear that the vast majority of reaction-based SA opportunities require either a feat investment or resource expenditure (superiority die or spells).

The feat-based reaction opportunities are also situational, some more than others, so that it is unlikely to occur every round (but potentially could with good positioning and tactics for e.g. Sentinel).

Rogues must also consider that they only have 1 reaction per round, so all of the above compete with Uncanny Dodge and any other reaction-based features the rogue might have access to. The only one that does not require the character's reaction is Thief's Reflexes, and that only comes online at 17th level.

What all that says to me is that granting a reliable second SA each round, especially one that does not use the character's reaction, is something that should only be done with extreme caution, lots of play-testing, and player feedback.

That said, it's your table - do whatever you want. ;)
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
Read every post in the thread. Then maybe you will be able to contribute in a meaningful way. If you are still under the delusion that the OP was about granting a second SA, you are woefully ignorant.
I have read them, and they just made me cringe. I called out your logic on buffing rogues damage when you hate minmaxing, and you have yet to answer that.
For the umpteenth time:

Rogues already get a second Sneak Attack each round as soon as they can grab a second (re)action.

If you can't see that, you are only revealing your own ignorance. Please consider who might be the clown here before you call other posters names.

Have a nice day
Of course i can see that, but you are asking for the 2nd sneak attack to be more reliable. I dont think many people will agree to that. That 2nd sneak attack is a bonus, not a staple.
Yeesh, why the tone? I basically even agree with the gist of what you're saying but being that hostile doesn't help your case any.
I am blunt, i admit that. But people hate to hear the truth, that's for sure. They hate to know they are wrong. They dont understand balance, yet give stupid suggestions. In the case of @CapnZapp , one of the most moronic statements is 'Expertise is not important because DCs are low'. Thats like saying high attack modifiers are not important because ACs are low anyway, or just roll high. If you can't see the stupidity in that statement, you have no hope.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I have read them, and they just made me cringe. I called out your logic on buffing rogues damage when you hate minmaxing, and you have yet to answer that.
Fortunately for me, I don't have to justify anything to you about my reasons, beliefs, etc. The logic is right there in the OP, so you can figure it out from there. If from that and the posts in the thread, you can't figure it out, well... that is just something you will have to deal with I suppose. You will not be receiving any further responses from me. Good-bye and best of luck in your game! :)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Here are some things that can provide an extra (usually reaction-based) Sneak Attack opportunity:
  • Attacks of Opportunity (very DM / tactics dependent)
  • Sentinel feat for more reliable AoO plus when an ally is attacked instead of you
  • Mage Slayer feat grants AoO against spellcasters within 5 feet
  • Readying an Attack allows extra SA opportunity when hasted
  • Battlemaster "Commander's Strike" maneuver from an ally
  • Battlemaster "Riposte" maneuver gained via multiclassing or Martial Adept feat, enemy must attack you and miss
  • Thief's Reflexes (Thief archetype only at level 17) grants two turns on the first round of combat unless you are surprised
  • Orcish Fury feat when you're dropped to 0 hp but not killed outright (XGtE)
  • Hydra
Are there any I'm missing?

From this list, it seems clear that the vast majority of reaction-based SA opportunities require either a feat investment or resource expenditure (superiority die or spells).

The feat-based reaction opportunities are also situational, some more than others, so that it is unlikely to occur every round (but potentially could with good positioning and tactics for e.g. Sentinel).

Rogues must also consider that they only have 1 reaction per round, so all of the above compete with Uncanny Dodge and any other reaction-based features the rogue might have access to. The only one that does not require the character's reaction is Thief's Reflexes, and that only comes online at 17th level.

What all that says to me is that granting a reliable second SA each round, especially one that does not use the character's reaction, is something that should only be done with extreme caution, lots of play-testing, and player feedback.

That said, it's your table - do whatever you want. ;)
What this tells me is instead:

From a new player's perspective Rogues are weirdly un-5E-like in that they really reward system mastery in a way more associated with, say, 3E.

Just grokking the difference between "turn" and "round" is a big ask.

So imagine how much friendlier the game becomes with a 2nd SA feat!


In other words, arguing such a feat shortchanges the system mastery you otherwise need to set up that 2nd SA might have worked in d20.

In the context of 5th edition, all it does is reinforce my point!
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
That 2nd sneak attack is a bonus, not a staple.
Since you seem to appreciate bluntness:

You Sir are a piss-poor min-maxer if you think the 2nd SA is a "bonus".

It makes me think of how WotC tried to present the bonus action as a "bonus" you don't have unless you have it.

We all know how that went. (To spell it out, every minmaxer makes sure to have at least one useful bonus action to take each round)

Having said that, I will start using the report button unless you tone down your confrontational style. This post should be seen as an exception, not an escalation.
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
On the contrary, experise is awesome. Extremely high bonuses are over-rated. I take expertise in a proficiency with a poor ability modifier to get a great bonus instead of a needlessly high bonus.
I get what you mean, but extremely high bonuses are not overrated because of one thing: Reliable Talent. Once you get that, having a very high bonus would almost guarantee that you never fail a skill check in that particular skill unless the DC is 25+.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
You abhor min/maxing, yet you want Rogues to have Extra Attack? And the title is 'Unnerf' Rogues, which could also mean, 'Buff Roags plz?'
I think that this thread was created in the context of the OP's houserules, - particularly those discussed in a different thread in which they made the Rogue considerably less special and unique in the other pillars of the game.
Hence this thread to improve their combat capability to balance the loss for the Rogue in the Exploration and Social aspects.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I think that this thread was created in the context of the OP's houserules, - particularly those discussed in a different thread in which they made the Rogue considerably less special and unique in the other pillars of the game.
Hence this thread to improve their combat capability to balance the loss for the Rogue in the Exploration and Social aspects.
Our table is combat heavy due to the nature of the campaign. We have a good amount of exploration and social still, but maybe not as much as other tables. We've already added more "options" for a rogue in combat via Cunning Action, and the Second Strike (using reaction) grants the second possible attack provided the first misses. This yields a second change for the SA to land, without adding damage for a simple straight second attack via Extra Attack. Also, the cost of using reaction makes the player choose between offense and defense, which personally I like a lot.

As for the other threads the nutshell result is this:

We removed expertise as a number boost. It now grants advantage. Any feature which grants "double proficiency bonus" now grants advantage instead.
Rogues (at 11th) and Bards (at 16th) get two more skill selections for expertise.
Bards begin with 4 skills instead of 3 for their class.
As stated earlier, Rogues have seven options for Cunning Action instead of four.

I am working on how to use Cunning Action or some new feature to give rogues alternative abilities for other exploration and social aspects.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
What this tells me is instead:

From a new player's perspective Rogues are weirdly un-5E-like in that they really reward system mastery in a way more associated with, say, 3E.

Just grokking the difference between "turn" and "round" is a big ask.

So imagine how much friendlier the game becomes with a 2nd SA feat!


In other words, arguing such a feat shortchanges the system mastery you otherwise need to set up that 2nd SA might have worked in d20.

In the context of 5th edition, all it does is reinforce my point!
That's certainly a valid perspective, and I totally agree the turn vs round distinction is unintuitive.

But Sneak Attack itself is already a somewhat unintuitive ability. I have a player that I've explained it to multiple times and still they struggle with understanding when their attack qualifies for the extra damage. This is in contrast to most 5e abilities that either just work every time or use the standard d20 resolution mechanic.

The opposing valid perspective is that the 5e rogue is fine without ever getting a 2nd SA, and most of them never do, in my experience. A feat is a significant investment, let alone the multiple feats that would be needed to maximize off-turn SA potential.

If rogues at your table aren't keeping up in combat and the players are unhappy, go for it and see how it plays out.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
As an aside, one of the biggest issues I have with SA is that it is universal. I preferred the old-school back-stab and don't really feel SA working against all creatures is right. However, that discussion has already been done so I am trying to rehash it; just an aside.
 

Kinematics

Explorer
We removed expertise as a number boost. It now grants advantage. Any feature which grants "double proficiency bonus" now grants advantage instead.
Hmm. That's a rather interesting idea. And it fits in well with the idea of bounded accuracy.

The flat addition to the roll from double proficiency breaks higher difficulty caps. A level 10 rogue could have +13 Stealth, which could potentially put the total roll over 30. That's outside the bounds of what almost anyone else could get with Perception, and breaks the idea of "this is the range you can achieve at this level" semantics that you get with most skills for most classes.

It sort of breaks the contract that most contested skills would have, compared to the attack vs AC design that specifically worked to avoid that. Stealth vs Perception, Insight vs Deception, Athletics vs Acrobatics, etc. Using advantage puts it in the same design space as the combat roll mechanics, which I think almost everyone agrees is an improvement over the piecemeal bonuses of earlier editions. You can still have circumstantial bonuses (eg: partial cover), but flat bonuses to skills should be as rare as flat bonuses on weapons or armor.

It helps avoid the issue of escalating DCs just to keep the expertise characters in check, which can be impractical for non-expertise characters to even achieve.

I like it.

As a corollary to how offense vs defense works, in terms of bonus rarity, I might consider a similar disparity in "offensive" vs "defensive" skill bonuses attached to gear. EG: A bonus to Perception would be easier to find than a bonus to Stealth. But that's just a side thought, and would require digging into what's even available.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Hmm. That's a rather interesting idea. And it fits in well with the idea of bounded accuracy.

The flat addition to the roll from double proficiency breaks higher difficulty caps. A level 10 rogue could have +13 Stealth, which could potentially put the total roll over 30. That's outside the bounds of what almost anyone else could get with Perception, and breaks the idea of "this is the range you can achieve at this level" semantics that you get with most skills for most classes.

It sort of breaks the contract that most contested skills would have, compared to the attack vs AC design that specifically worked to avoid that. Stealth vs Perception, Insight vs Deception, Athletics vs Acrobatics, etc. Using advantage puts it in the same design space as the combat roll mechanics, which I think almost everyone agrees is an improvement over the piecemeal bonuses of earlier editions. You can still have circumstantial bonuses (eg: partial cover), but flat bonuses to skills should be as rare as flat bonuses on weapons or armor.

It helps avoid the issue of escalating DCs just to keep the expertise characters in check, which can be impractical for non-expertise characters to even achieve.

I like it.

As a corollary to how offense vs defense works, in terms of bonus rarity, I might consider a similar disparity in "offensive" vs "defensive" skill bonuses attached to gear. EG: A bonus to Perception would be easier to find than a bonus to Stealth. But that's just a side thought, and would require digging into what's even available.
Yep, that is all pretty much why we went to it. It wasn't universally accepted at first. I liked it (as one of the rogue players), but the other player didn't--he missed his Stealth +10 (at 4th level, FYI).

It wasn't until I showed him the math. +10 with no advantage averages 20.5 (simple enough), +7 with advantage averages 20.835. So, the "typical result" is the same as what he would otherwise do, but now his range is 8 to 27 instead of 11 to 30, giving monsters a slightly better chance to notice him.

Also, he will typically perform better than others who have the same bonuses, so expertise still serves as a benefit without potentially being overkill.

Anyway, I hope it helps spark more creativity!
 

Esker

Exploree
It wasn't until I showed him the math. +10 with no advantage averages 20.5 (simple enough), +7 with advantage averages 20.835. So, the "typical result" is the same as what he would otherwise do, but now his range is 8 to 27 instead of 11 to 30, giving monsters a slightly better chance to notice him.
Not to reopen this whole can of worms, but you've given monsters a worse chance to notice him. Unless they have passive perception of 11 or less, or 25 or more, which is... not many (well, some have 10 or 11, I guess).

 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Not to reopen this whole can of worms, but you've given monsters a worse chance to notice him. Unless they have passive perception of 11 or less, or 25 or more, which is... not many (well, some have 10 or 11, I guess).
Yeah, I really don't want to and you are right, but I hope you consider the whole picture...

You should think about what it accomplishes. It makes expertise more valuable at lower levels since advantage is worth more than a flat bonus when proficiency is lower. It makes expertise not as useful at the highest levels because advantage is worse than a flat +6 bonus.

That is why I find peoples' difficultly liking this idea, it actually makes expertise worth more for most of the levels many people play in. Also, since it doesn't inflate floors and ceilings, it at least gives a chance for success against it, as where before a nat 20 + perception simply couldn't reach his total if he rolled well.

To continue with the example, he has +7 by our house-rule and +10 RAW. If his roll was 13, that is 20 versus 23. If the target has no proficiency in perception and only a +1 WIS mod, that is a 10% chance to notice him (19 or 20) vs. 0% since a 20 + 1 would not hit the 23 of his roll.

That's the issue with inflating numbers. It is also nice because the really high DCs are still hard to hit, even if only a little below RAW. The same character has a 27.75% to hit DC 25, but 30% RAW. A DC 30 would be impossible, but for RAW he has a 5% chance still. Sorry, but I am okay with a lower level character not having a chance to hit DC 30 quiet yet.

So far, any way, it works great for us. If I see any problems arising, I'll rehash it with the group then. Now, I REALLY have to get to sleep before our 12+ hour session tomorrow. :)
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
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?
I wouldn't say it's crazy per se but I would say rogues, generally speaking, don't need Extra Attack to be balanced versus the classes you listed. Expertise is dope, reliable talent is dope, evasion is dope, uncanny dodge is dope, most rogue archetype abilities are pretty solid. That said, it doesn't make a lot of sense that the Rogue Archetypes Scout and Swashbuckler don't ever award an Extra Attack, even a conditional Extra Attack. There are numerous Warlock, Sorcerer, and Wizard builds that excel best outside of combat, so I am fine with Rogues shining best outside of combat as well.

Not sure if you remember 3.5/have played 3.5 but Rogues were terribad, esp. in combat, and relegated solely to the position of skill monkey, an even less desirable party role than "heal bot". The problem was that undead, constructs, elementals, plants, and so on were all immune to sneak attack (as well as, annoyingly for everyone, critical hits). Allowing Rogues to Sneak Attack anything (with anything, by the way, don't say nowhere in the rules a rogue can't sneak attack with a greatsword if he's proficient with it from a one level dip into fighter or whatever else) was the huge, major unnerf they needed to be playable in this edition, and they got it.

However, having mentioned Sorcerers and Wizards (and for that matter, Clerics and Druids; all the full casting classes) Extra Attack would push Rogues towards parity with them, but they'd still be weaker overall than the full casting classes, just like Barbarians, Fighters, Monks, Rangers, and (probably) Paladins & Warlocks too.
 

Kinematics

Explorer
@dnd4vr - The only problem, that someone pointed out to me, was that it conflicts with how the Enhance Ability spell works. Since Expertise now simply gives advantage, now anyone with the spell can give themselves Expertise in whatever category they want, rather than it being two separate bonuses that could potentially stack.

The question then becomes how often that comes up, how much that may seem to devalue the rogue's or bard's class feature, and whether it's fair given the spell slot cost. You may want to look into how Enhance Ability is applied. I had a meandering thought of changing the spell so that it sets a skill floor, instead of giving advantage, with the floor being 2x the spellcaster's magic ability mod. Though that then stumbles into Reliable Talent, and the whole train continues.

Allowing Rogues to Sneak Attack anything (with anything, by the way, don't say nowhere in the rules a rogue can't sneak attack with a greatsword if he's proficient with it from a one level dip into fighter or whatever else) was the huge, major unnerf they needed to be playable in this edition, and they got it.
Quick correction: A rogue can only sneak attack with a finesse or ranged weapon.
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
I can't find that in the rules. Correction: I couldn't find that in the rules until now. Surprising how easy it always is to miss the last sentence in a paragraph.

Edit: Random forum question. Is giving XP not a thing anymore? I wanted to give Kinematics XP for correcting me, butdont' see any such button.
 

Kinematics

Explorer
Edit: Random forum question. Is giving XP not a thing anymore? I wanted to give Kinematics XP for correcting me, butdont' see any such button.
XP was a reskin of the "like" feature, so using the like button is the current equivalent. Hopefully Morrus will also listen to my suggestion to add variants for Informative or Insightful and such (since the new forum has that as a basic built-in feature), as that would be more appropriate for something like this.
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
Me and the entire table of PCs all read that exact same paragraph describing the Sneak Attack feature on page 96 when we were seeing if the Tiefling Fighter 1/Rogue 9 could sneak attack with his bastard sword of life stealing, and not a one of us caught that last sentence of the first paragraph. Weird, but it's why I was so sure.

Oh well. Rule of cool. The Rogue in question is not a PC anymore, so no harm, no foul that he made a devastating sneak attack or two with his bastard sword of life stealing on the Froghemoth that was eating the party's river boat and every one on it.

* There isn't, strictly speaking, such a thing as a "bastard sword"in D&D 5E (that I know of), but with Longswords being given the Versatile property, there's no reason not to think of any given longsword as a bastard sword.
 

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