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d8 Sneak Attack: Hear me out

Xeviat

Explorer
I keep seeing TWFing rogue builds. It's crazy not to. If you have a 65% chance to hit, fighting with two weapons gives you an 87.5% chance to land a sneak attack (and with crits, you have a 94.5% chance of doing 1x sneak attack damage!; math based on getting a crit with your first hit).Now, I think a TWFing rogue has an interesting trade off in whether or not they use their off-hand to try to get a little extra damage in, or if they want to use it to disengage with their cunning action, but I feel like TWFing offers such a damage boost over using a single weapon that I haven't seen anything other than TWFing or handcrossbow (expert) rogues.I thought of a crazy way to incentivize going for a single rapier/light crossbow: what if your sneak attack damage was equal to your weapon's damage die?With a quick calculation, a rapier/light crossbow rogue would deal 81-92% of the damage a dual shortsword rogue will tend to deal (without factoring in advantage; the rapier rogue would benefit more from advantage since their first attack would be less likely to hit and thus be in less need of a follow-up attack). They're still dealing less damage, which would offer a trade off for having their bonus action free for other things.How do you think this would play out? How would you abuse it as a player?
 

Charlaquin

Explorer
I don’t think the rapier needs any help. It’s already one of the best melee weapon options in the game for most characters who can use it, I don’t think incentivizing one of the few classes that favor a different weapon to use the rapier too is a positive change.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
I don't have an issue with a D8 sneak attack when not dual-wielding. However I would not like to see it based on weapon die.
Partly because I allow any weapon to deliver a sneak attack, but mostly because I like to see weapons like daggers used.
 

Leatherhead

Adventurer
TWF is kind of a problem for 5e.

But if you want to level the playing field for different Rogue weapon setups (more or less), consider instead: Cunning Action can be used to grant Advantage on the Rogues next attack. Now every Rogue faces the dilemma of using their Bonus Action for damage, no matter what weapon configuration they pick.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
TWF is kind of a problem for 5e.

But if you want to level the playing field for different Rogue weapon setups (more or less), consider instead: Cunning Action can be used to grant Advantage on the Rogues next attack. Now every Rogue faces the dilemma of using their Bonus Action for damage, no matter what weapon configuration they pick.
That would be neat.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Isn't advantage on one attack the same as making 2 attacks.

For a rogue, it might be. Higher single hit damage might balance against the lower chance of landing two hits.

That might work out better than upping their per hit damage.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Outside of Tier 1, I haven't really seen rogues dual-wielding. They're either using a rapier and using Booming Blade, or are doing hide + snipe with a crossbow, or have MCed with Fighter or Ranger and have 2 attacks already.

If anything, I'd like to see more incentive for a rogue to dual-wield.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
For my own campaign, hand crossbows will not exist and rogues (and bards) will not get proficiency in the rapier. Plus, Khaalis's Light Armor Fighter variant will be an option. A player wanting to be a corsair, duelist, swashbuckler, two-handed roguish fighter or other light/no armor fighter can take that. The Rogue will be for Assassin's, Thieves, and Swindlers that sneak attack with daggers or shortswords
 

Krachek

Explorer
Feat killer’s instinct

Your sneak attack dice are now d8.
You can use your sneak attack once per turn provide you don’t have disadvantage. (As swashbuckler)
You can use sneak attack with any one handed weapon, including improvised one.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
I don't have an issue with a D8 sneak attack when not dual-wielding. However I would not like to see it based on weapon die.
Partly because I allow any weapon to deliver a sneak attack, but mostly because I like to see weapons like daggers used.
I’d even go the other way, and incentivize incisive or “cruel” weapons like the dagger, sickle, handaxe, and even club, by making them do more damage with SA. I’d go with adding proficiency bonus 1/turn to an attack that qualifies for Sneak Attack, bc it’s more interesting than larger damage die, but making them deal 1d8 when used with a free hand on attacks that qualify for SA could be fun.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
For my own campaign, hand crossbows will not exist and rogues (and bards) will not get proficiency in the rapier. Plus, Khaalis's Light Armor Fighter variant will be an option. A player wanting to be a corsair, duelist, swashbuckler, two-handed roguish fighter or other light/no armor fighter can take that. The Rogue will be for Assassin's, Thieves, and Swindlers that sneak attack with daggers or shortswords
Why no swashbuckler rogues or bards?
 

Greg K

Adventurer
Why no swashbuckler rogues or bards?
For rogues, I don't like the subclass or using sneak attack with rapiers. Someone can take the Light Fighter with the Criminal or Urchin background. Bards will serve a different role as scholars and lorekeepers for certain cultures not the roguish spellcasting minstrel. The roguish minstrel (no spells) will be handled another way.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Since I believe you could double the sneak attack damage (d6 every level instead of every other) and the Rogue would still only be reasonably balanced I feel you can do pretty much what you want with your suggestion.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Feat killer’s instinct

Your sneak attack dice are now d8.
You can use your sneak attack once per turn provide you don’t have disadvantage. (As swashbuckler)
You can use sneak attack with any one handed weapon, including improvised one.
Compared to other ASI/feats this doesn't cover the opportunity cost of not taking one of them. Looking primary in the tier 1 & 2 where most games are played - at quite high levels with more SA and less things to spend it on it could work.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
I thought of a crazy way to incentivize going for a single rapier/light crossbow: what if your sneak attack damage was equal to your weapon's damage die?With a quick calculation, a rapier/light crossbow rogue would deal 81-92% of the damage a dual shortsword rogue will tend to deal (without factoring in advantage; the rapier rogue would benefit more from advantage since their first attack would be less likely to hit and thus be in less need of a follow-up attack). They're still dealing less damage, which would offer a trade off for having their bonus action free for other things.How do you think this would play out? How would you abuse it as a player?
I wouldn't want to increase the ranged sneak attack any more, be it light crossbow or longbow from elves proficiency. That's an already potent build.

I'd go the simpler: use D8 SA with melee weapon attacks if you have a hand free. Doesn't make daggers even more sub-optimal. Works with thrown.
 
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Greg K

Adventurer
Huh. I think we may have extremely different views on player agency to determine their own character concept.
If that was in response to me, possibly. As DM, I build the setting and cosmology, therefore, I determine
  • the available races
  • the available cultures which includes such things are their subsistence patterns, political organization, the social stratification, Residence patterns, technology, religious beliefs and practices, methods of exchange/distribution, views on property ownership, views on crime and punishment, body adornment, naming customs)
  • based on the above and other factors, I decide which official backgrounds, classes, class variants (e.g. the spell-less Ranger), and/or subclasses if any are available in each culture. I also includes certain third party material as additions or in place of official version material that may fit the campaign thematically, but does not work for me mechanically). This may change the starting equipment of a character.
  • For clerics, I determine the deities, their domain(s), what the priesthoods are like (tenets, strictures, holy symbols, vestments, tailored spell lists)
    [* ] For magic, I may remove or alter spells from the PHB and include some spells from the PHB and third party sources. bits of current events,
  • and I determine the major NPCs, organizations (guilds, colleges, orders), etc as well as bits of history and current events for each culture. In some settings, this will include people (if any) that can teach magic to wizards.
Now, it is not my job to change things to include a player's favorite race, class, subclass, or spell, or any concept that they may come up with. It is the player's job to work within the above guidelines and others that I set (e.g. no evil characters, no-pre-planned multi-classing build unless another character can train you in a new class and is willing to do so). The characters may choose to have alternate beliefs about how society is organized, ownership of property, how laws are enforced, rules on marriage. That is fine, maybe they were exiled for their beliefs depending upon the culture or left on their own.
The characters can have goals (that work within the nature of the setting and cosmology) including: becoming the greatest hero of their culture, overthrowing a tyrant, starting a revolution (for good ends), becoming the leader of their tribe, clan, collecting food recipes from different cultures and then establishing an inn, finding a lost relative or love, killing some monster terrorizing the homeland (such creatures will noted in the culture notes), becoming the head of a thieve's guild, start a magic school or guild. You can even switch character goals as the campaign progresses. As long as it is possible within the setting and does not involve being evil, I will work the players. However, as a player you need to have your player convince the others to go with you which may require you helping them first.
 
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