OneDnD D&D One Changes to the Rogue...

Cyber-Dave

Explorer
Having posted about this subject previously, I was disheartened at how many 5e players think they understand their game without really understanding how the rules of this game actually work. As such, it bears discussing just what the One playtest has changed. I’m going to open that discussion specifically in regards to the rogue. I am not discussing what should be changed here. I jumped the gun by trying to talk about that before discussing what HAS changed. The following discussion is illustrative, not exhaustive.

First, the old rules for Sneak Attack stated:

“Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon. You don't need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn't incapacitated, and you don't have disadvantage on the attack roll. The amount of the extra damage increases as you gain levels in this class, as shown in the Sneak Attack column of the Rogue table.”

The new rules for Sneak Attack state:

“You know how to turn a subtle attack into a deadly one. Once on each of your turns when you take the Attack Action, you can deal extra damage to one creature you hit with an Attack Roll if you’re attacking with a Finesse Weapon or a Ranged Weapon and if at least one of the following requirements is met:

“Advantage. You have Advantage on the Attack Roll.

“Ally Adjacent to Target. At least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the target, the ally isn’t Incapacitated, and you don’t have Disadvantage on the Attack Roll.

“To determine the extra damage, roll a number of d6s equal to half your Rogue level (round up), and add the dice together (the Rogue table shows the number of Sneak Attack dice you get at each Rogue level). The extra damage’s type is the same as the weapon’s Damage Type.”

There are two big nerfs here:

First, they are proposing that the rogue can ONLY sneak attack on ITS turn, not once per ANY turn. That means rogues will no longer be able to sneak attack once per round using any attack that can be made as a reaction. That will drop the potential number of times that a rogue can sneak attack per round from 2 down to 1. That almost halves a rogue’s peak damage per round in D&D One.

Note: a turn and a round are not the same thing. A turn describes the action economy of a specific creature’s turn. A round describes the combined action economy of one turn performed by every creature in the encounter. A rogue in 5e could sneak attack once per turn. Every creature has one reaction per round. A number of events can be used to turn that reaction into an attack on another creature’s turn.

The game also makes one other major change to sneak attack: it can only be applied when you take the attack action, not make an attack. Any ability or feature that let you make an attack using something other than an attack action is no longer capable of benefiting from sneak attack whether it is made on your turn or not. That means that spells like booming blade cannot be used to make sneak attacks anymore.

Originally, 5e provided the following rules for hiding.

“The DM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding. When you try to hide, make a Dexterity (Stealth) check. Until you are discovered or you stop hiding, that check's total is contested by the Wisdom (Perception) check of any creature that actively searches for signs of your presence.

“You can't hide from a creature that can see you clearly, and you give away your position if you make noise, such as shouting a warning or knocking over a vase.

“An invisible creature can always try to hide. Signs of its passage might still be noticed, and it does have to stay quiet.

“In combat, most creatures stay alert for signs of danger all around, so if you come out of hiding and approach a creature, it usually sees you. However, under certain circumstances, the DM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted, allowing you to gain advantage on an attack roll before you are seen.”

The new rules for hiding are as follows:

“With the Hide Action, you try to conceal yourself. To do so, you must make a DC 15 Dexterity

Check (Stealth) while you’re Heavily Obscured or behind Three-Quarters Cover or Total Cover, and you must be out of any visible enemy’s line of sight; if you can see a creature, you can discern whether it can see you. On a successful check, you are Hidden. Make note of your check’s total, which becomes the DC for a creature to find you with a Wisdom Check (Perception).”

Under “Hidden,” the game also informs you of the following:

“Ending the Condition. The Condition ends on you immediately after any of the following occurrences: you make a sound louder than a whisper, an enemy finds you, you make an Attack Roll, you cast a Spell with a verbal component, or you aren’t Heavily Obscured or behind any Cover.”

This is what changes: beyond the fact that a DM can always do whatever they want, the game doesn’t bother to highlight this specifically in regards to hiding. Instead, it just says that when you are not Heavily Obscured or behind any Cover, you always lose hidden. The game makes no effort to inform its players that, even in combat, a DM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted. All it says is that you lose the hidden condition the moment you lose Heavy Obscurement or some Cover. Any DM who runs the game by the rules as written will thus never allow a character to run from cover to cover or to sneak up on a foe who is focused on one of your allies. Whether this change affects your specific table will depend on your DM. It won’t affect mine. The probability of a DM using their narrative license to allow logical corner cases, however, will dimmish due to the lack of the textual focus on such corner cases existing and being a justified request on the part of the player. Any players who exist in communities with multiple DMs (which some of mine do) will likely form opinions about the viability of such efforts on the basis of the behavior of multiple DMs.

Additionally, where 5e explicitly brings attention to the fact that being invisible does not mean you are hidden, and creatures can notice signs of your passage (visually) or hear you, thus granting you only one benefit when you are invisible—the mechanical bonuses of the condition described elsewhere in the text—One does no such thing. In fact, the mechanical benefits it ascribes to both the Invisible and Hidden condition are identical, except that the Hidden condition has the caveat of the listed loss conditions, and is thus much easier to lose. 5e thus presents being “hidden” as something beyond being invisible. While some DMs may continue to treat “hidden” as such given the One rules, its actual text presents invisibility as being a superior version to being hidden, though one which logically—by nothing more than inference rather than explicit text—doesn’t prevent a creature from hearing you unless you make an effort to be hidden.

Finally, regardless of DM interpretation, the hidden rules also feature another major change (which is neither a nerf nor a buff, but jut a change). All stealth checks are essentially made against a "passive perception" of 15, or, more accurately, it looks like passive perception is disappearing in favor of a fixed DC 15 to successfully become hidden regardless of a creature's perception score. It should be noted, however, that this is a nerf against any character build with a high passive perception. To find any successfully hidden creature, you must now make active checks.
That being said, melee rogues will receive one minor contextual buff. Melee rogues will now be able to dual wield without using their bonus action. That means they will be able to make an offhand attack (for +one die of damage and two chances to lay down a sneak attack) in addition to using their cunning action.

Like this or not, these are the major changes between the 5e rogue and the One rogue. Whether you like these changes or not is what you should be providing feedback about on October 20th, but these are the changes they are proposing regardless of your feedback about these changes.
 
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This is what changes: beyond the fact that a DM can always do whatever they want, the game doesn’t bother to highlight this specifically in regards to hiding. Instead, it just says that when you are not Heavily Obscured or behind any Cover, you always lose hidden. The game makes no effort to inform its players that, even in combat, a DM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted.
That is not much of a change the old rules say :
You can't hide from a creature that can see you clearly, and you give away your position if you make noise
So if you got out your cover and a creature could see you you where no longer hidden.

There is the line :
In combat, most creatures stay alert for signs of danger all around, so if you come out of hiding and approach a creature, it usually sees you. However, under certain circumstances, the GM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted, allowing you to gain advantage on an attack roll before you are seen.

So it was totally DM fiat.
In most games I have seen or played this meant that another character had to use their action to create a distraction.
So this usually only came up in the setup leading to the combat, I keep the guard talking while the rogue sneaks around behind him.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
This may not apply to the Rogue specifically, but they are doubling down on Jeremy Crawford's interpretation of Invisibility: namely that even if you have something like Blidesight or See Invisibility, you still suffer Disadvantage to your attack rolls and they have advantage to attack rolls against you. This benefit is a separate line item from the 'unseen' benefit of the Invisible condition.

I always maintained that this was not the RAI, despite Crawford's insistence, and merely cover for their poor wording of the spell/condition. Not so here. Even if someone has Blindsight/See Invisibility up, you still gain the benefits of the Blur spell (more than that, as Blur does not grant advantage on Attack Rolls). Given this, Blindsight/See Invisibility loose much of their swagger, particularly See Invisibility (Blindsight still has other uses, such Darkness). It might also be appropriate to make Blur a first level spell.
 

Sir Brennen

Legend
Regarding the "loss" of Sneak Attacks - I think this is a wash because of the changes to dual weapon wielding. Now you get the off-hand attack as part of the Attack action. It no longer uses up your Bonus action. This is huge for a Rogue, who can get in two attacks to increase the odds of Sneak Attack damage every round, and still use their bonus action to do something like Disengage. Of course, it makes dual wielding pretty much the default option for Rogues.
 

Cyber-Dave

Explorer
Regarding the "loss" of Sneak Attacks - I think this is a wash because of the changes to dual weapon wielding. Now you get the off-hand attack as part of the Attack action. It no longer uses up your Bonus action. This is huge for a Rogue, who can get in two attacks to increase the odds of Sneak Attack damage every round, and still use their bonus action to do something like Disengage. Of course, it makes dual wielding pretty much the default option for Rogues.

Statements like this one belie a fundamental lack of understanding regarding the math of the game. Having an extra bonus action with which to hide, dash, or disengage is nowhere near a wash to the loss of 10d6 plus your ability modifier damage (endgame), and when you break down the loss, that is the difference across the two editions.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Regarding the "loss" of Sneak Attacks - I think this is a wash because of the changes to dual weapon wielding. Now you get the off-hand attack as part of the Attack action. It no longer uses up your Bonus action. This is huge for a Rogue, who can get in two attacks to increase the odds of Sneak Attack damage every round, and still use their bonus action to do something like Disengage. Of course, it makes dual wielding pretty much the default option for Rogues.
The main thing this does is make melee rogues more attractive; ranged rogues already got two chances with hide/shoot, and then again with Steady Aim in Tasha’s.

And even then melee rogues already had the option of rolling twice; this just makes that option more attractive.

Although, since it’s two rolls and not advantage it’s still not as attractive as ranged. Even at 13th level (yay?) subtle strikes doesn’t give you sneak attack against a solitary opponent.

Edit: don’t get me wrong I love the new dual wield rules. I just would much rather get sneak attacks on reactions. It in no way compensates.
 

Cyber-Dave

Explorer
The main thing this does is make melee rogues more attractive; ranged rogues already got two chances with hide/shoot, and then again with Steady Aim in Tasha’s.

And even then melee rogues already had the option of rolling twice; this just makes that option more attractive.

Although, since it’s two rolls and not advantage it’s still not as attractive as ranged. Even at 13th level (yay?) subtle strikes doesn’t give you sneak attack against a solitary opponent.

Edit: don’t get me wrong I love the new dual wield rules. I just would much rather get sneak attacks on reactions. It in no way compensates.
1000 times, this!
 

Statements like this one belie a fundamental lack of understanding regarding the math of the game. Having an extra bonus action with which to hide, dash, or disengage is nowhere near a wash to the loss of 10d6 plus your ability modifier damage (endgame), and when you break down the loss, that is the difference across the two editions.
When your argument relies on something being a nerf to a 19th+ level Rogue who somehow is getting a sneak attack qualifying reaction attack consistently, you probably need to rethink your argument a little. If that's what your D&D experiences mostly look like I think most people will vouch that it is an atypical gameplay experience.

Yeah, it's a bummer losing the reaction sneak, but making good and consistent use of that (or even knowing it was even a thing) seems like mostly the province of powergamers. I'll gladly trade it for being able to disengage or dash after every dual attack.
 

Cyber-Dave

Explorer
When your argument relies on something being a nerf to a 19th+ level Rogue who somehow is getting a sneak attack qualifying reaction attack consistently, you probably need to rethink your argument a little. If that's what your D&D experiences mostly look like I think most people will vouch that it is an atypical gameplay experience.

Yeah, it's a bummer losing the reaction sneak, but making good and consistent use of that (or even knowing it was even a thing) seems like mostly the province of powergamers. I'll gladly trade it for being able to disengage or dash after every dual attack.
Again, the only thing you are proving is that you don’t understand the rules or the math of the game you are playing. My argument doesn’t rely on a 19th or 20th level rogue. My phrasing was a shorthand designed to bring attention to the relational growth of what rogues have lost. At any level relative to their threat, they have lost the equivalent of an endgame rogue’s 10d6 potential damage bonus. (I shouldn’t have said ability modifier earlier. That isn’t actually altered. It was a Freudian slip.) The fact that at 1st level the actual number is smaller, as are the HP totals of the foes you face, is immaterial.

Bill Zebub has the right of this. What the rogue gains in One is virtually nothing. Everything they can do in One, they could do in 5e. One just makes one specific trick a little easier to pull off. The net effect will be negligible. The two weapon fighting change is nice, but it in no way comes close to mitigating the rogue’s loss of peak performance. What One takes away cannot be replicated by any means. It is gone. Anyone who claims that the two are a wash has zero understanding of the math running this game’s engine.

Put another way, if you assume that the rogue will always use its bonus action for cunning action and only two weapon fight if it doesn’t cost a bonus action, you are literally claiming that gaining one extra attack per round with a damage of 1d4 to 1d6 is equal to being able to apply an extra 1d6 to 10d6 damage to an existing attack. You are saying that 1d4-1d6=1d6-10d6. The level of mathematic blindness required to make that claim is stunning, and one shouldn’t need to be called a “power gamer” to realize that.

(To be clear, you also don’t gain an increased potential to deal sneak attack damage, for a rogue can use their bonus action to gain advantage every round on their turn and thus have the same probability of dealing sneak attack on their turn as is. In fact, in One, a rogue has a LOWER probability of dealing sneak attack, for assuming that they manage one attack with a reaction—which can be reliably achieved with group support—the rogue has gone from three attack rolls per round that between them can deal up to two sneak attacks to three attack rolls per round that between them can deal one sneak attack, all so that they can deal an extra 1d4 to 1d6 in the face of their loss of 1d6 to 10d6… if they are a melee rogue, as otherwise, it’s just a pure loss with no gain.

In case you are not following, in 5e as is, if you miss with both attacks on your turn, you can still potentially manage a sneak attack with your reaction. In One, you can’t. That means that a rogue has a higher probability of landing a sneak attack in 5e than One. Before you try and claim that an attack is better than a melee attack roll gained from reliable advantage, yes, a melee rogue could potentially manage advantage and two attacks for up to four attack rolls, but situationally, it’s virtually impossible to do, and theoretically, a typical 5e rogue could still do it without using cunning action thus gaining 5 attacks with two applications of sneak attack to the One rogue’s 5 attacks with one application. They can only reliably, however, manage the same number of attack rolls as the original 5e rogue—two per turn.)
 
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First, they are proposing that the rogue can ONLY sneak attack on ITS turn, not once per ANY turn. That means rogues will no longer be able to sneak attack once per round using any attack that can be made as a reaction. That will drop the potential number of times that a rogue can sneak attack per round from 2 down to 1. That almost halves a rogue’s peak damage per round in D&D One.

Note: a turn and a round are not the same thing. A turn describes the action economy of a specific creature’s turn. A round describes the combined action economy of one turn performed by every creature in the encounter. A rogue in 5e could sneak attack once per turn. Every creature has one reaction per round. A number of events can be used to turn that reaction into an attack on another creature’s turn.

A level 20 playtest rogue does a average of 38.17 Damage per round. ( not using any feats)
The 5e fighter using feats from the playtest can only beat that constantly By getting the Pole arm Master and great weapon fighter feats getting the fighter to a DPR of 40.83 at level 20.

So a question we can be asking is do we want a Rogue with no further investment do close to the same damage as a damage dealing focused fighter ?
 

Cyber-Dave

Explorer
A level 20 playtest rogue does a average of 38.17 Damage per round. ( not using any feats)
The 5e fighter using feats from the playtest can only beat that constantly By getting the Pole arm Master and great weapon fighter feats getting the fighter to a DPR of 40.83 at level 20.

So a question we can be asking is do we want a Rogue with no further investment do close to the same damage as a damage dealing focused fighter ?
It’s a false-flag question (a term I’m admittedly using rather loosely), and one that will hurt the game. Not only are your mathematical calculations off, but in the end, what the two can do without feats doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what completed builds will be able to do. In 5e, the rogue is already one of the weaker classes based on what you can make with it compared to what other classes can be used to make. Such heavy handed nerfs as those seen in One will render it worthless to anyone who cares about class balance. That is something nobody should want.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Statements like this one belie a fundamental lack of understanding regarding the math of the game. Having an extra bonus action with which to hide, dash, or disengage is nowhere near a wash to the loss of 10d6 plus your ability modifier damage (endgame), and when you break down the loss, that is the difference across the two editions.
Mod Note:

I understand what you’re trying to say here (and subsequently), but your word choice comes off as a little brusque.

It may be more persuasive and less provocative to show the underlying math and let others decide if they’re willing to sacrifice some big damage potential for better odds of doing other things, etc. As the saying goes, “Showin’s better’n tellin’.”
 

Cyber-Dave

Explorer
Mod Note:

I understand what you’re trying to say here (and subsequently), but your word choice comes off as a little brusque.

It may be more persuasive and less provocative to show the underlying math and let others decide if they’re willing to sacrifice some big damage potential for better odds of doing other things, etc. As the saying goes, “Showin’s better’n tellin’.”
Fair.
 

aco175

Legend
These changes will not affect my table since we already do most of this. Rogues only had one Sneak Attack per round and not on other peoples turn unless they had not used it , but that only came up once or twice in 7 years. The Booming Blade combo was never used either and if so good then likely needed to be nerfed. 2 weapon fighting always allowed a second chance to get SA in

The hiding rules were always some up to the DM and it was always a bit cheesy to have a rogue hide behind a corner and jump out each round or a halfling to hide behind the fighter and jump out. The Steady Aim ability took care of most of it.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
In 5e, the rogue is already one of the weaker classes based on what you can make with it compared to what other classes can be used to make. Such heavy handed nerfs as those seen in One will render it worthless to anyone who cares about class balance. That is something nobody should want.
I prefer the Rogue changes I've seen in D&D One to what is in current 5e. I will miss using rogue levels to be able to add on high damage opportunity attacks for 'tank' characters, but ultimately lowering the net difference between 'normal' and 'highly optimized' rogues is more important to maintaining class balance.

Note: I actually have played 5e with heavy variant human feat builds and in games without feats altogether. I much prefer the balance of the game without having early powerful feats making the benefits of optimizing so large.

I've found rogues are routinely one of my favorite classes to play and the D&D One changes only serves to upgrade rogues as I normally play them. Being able to TWF and cunning action is such a big bonus that it cannot be understated, especially in the most seen tier 1 and tier 2 play.
 

The Booming Blade combo was never used either and if so good then likely needed to be nerfed.
Booming Blade sneak attack is a lot of fun, and is the best thing Arcane Tricksters have going for them before level 7+ when the subclass starts to actually get enough spells to justify itself. The "cheese" factor is severely limited by the fact that you can't make an offhand attack with a Booming Blade attack. Also by the fact that, at any table that isn't RAW to the point of zero flavor or immersion, a silent, stealthy Rogue often takes a major risk doing THUNDER damage.

If there is a problem it is less the combination of Booming Blade and Sneak Attack per se and more that Booming Blade and anything simply gets too good at very high levels, with that much rider damage on top of any melee attack which may well be made with a magical weapon and all sorts of other buffs and riders.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Booming Blade sneak attack is a lot of fun, and is the best thing Arcane Tricksters have going for them before level 7+ when the subclass starts to actually get enough spells to justify itself. The "cheese" factor is severely limited by the fact that you can't make an offhand attack with a Booming Blade attack. Also by the fact that, at any table that isn't RAW to the point of zero flavor or immersion, a silent, stealthy Rogue often takes a major risk doing THUNDER damage.

If there is a problem it is less the combination of Booming Blade and Sneak Attack per se and more that Booming Blade and anything simply gets too good at very high levels, with that much rider damage on top of any melee attack which may well be made with a magical weapon and all sorts of other buffs and riders.
There are few builds more broken than an elven swashbuckler rogue with booming blade and trivantage at a table that uses the optional flanking rule.
 




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