'Feat' Rogue

Trouvere

Visitor
Yeah, I know. But consider four builds:

(1) a Rogue, who takes the usual combat supporting feats... the TWF tree, Weapon Finesse, and so on... there's the classic baseline sneak attacker

(2) a Feat Rogue who doubles up on combat feats... so equivalent to a fighter in feat load (though unable to qualify for a couple of Fighter only feats)... chances are, though, his nifty combat tricks don't work quite as often because he's a few points of BAB down on the real fighter, and he's probably a Dex build so does less base damage. He also has much less combat durability, but at least he has more and better skills than the Fighter

(3) a Feat Rogue who uses the bonus feats either to put together a simple combat role, or uses them for Improved Initiative and the like, and then uses regular feats to enhance her roguishness - a couple of Skill Focus feats, Deft Hands, Stealthy, Negotiator, a Natural Talent in a Knowledge skill, or whatever. The simple combat role's not going to be very useful, because it's not backed up with bonus d6s. To that extent, she's close to being a non-spellcasting non-singing bard. So the skills and roguishness take centre stage

(4) a Rogue who decides to focus solely on his roguishness, with the same set of regular feats as (3). He's less combat capable than (1) or (3), but he's still lumbered with an eventual 10d6 sneak attack, which doesn't fit his persona. There's nothing you can do about that, except pretend you don't have it, and act surprised when you do gut something with a single dagger stab for 40 instead of 4, then try to forget about it for the next combat. (4) just doesn't work conceptually.

I agree that the fluff for the feat rogue states that they're more martial, and you certainly can use it to build a (2). But I also maintain that without Feat Rogue you can't build any kind of (3), which is a common character archetype, because (4) is not an adequate substitute, due to that damn sneak attack.

With probably two dozen useful choices for Skill Focus and a whole slew of rogue-related +2/+2 feats available, and a handful of other feat possibilities (...although Jack of All Trades, which springs to mind, is, though in the SRD, not LEW-approved, I think?) could you clarify why you say there aren't enough roguish feats for (3) to provide a valid solution to a build type?
 
With probably two dozen useful choices for Skill Focus and a whole slew of rogue-related +2/+2 feats available, and a handful of other feat possibilities (...although Jack of All Trades, which springs to mind, is, though in the SRD, not LEW-approved, I think?) could you clarify why you say there aren't enough roguish feats for (3) to provide a valid solution to a build type?
You mean you'd want to spend all 11 bonus feats on skill focuses? Well, I could see myself approving the version where the bonus feats had to be Rogue-based, not Fighter-based, I just didn't think you wanted quite that many skill focuses.

I agree that the fluff for the feat rogue states that they're more martial, and you certainly can use it to build a (2). But I also maintain that without Feat Rogue you can't build any kind of (3), which is a common character archetype, because (4) is not an adequate substitute, due to that damn sneak attack.
You can also just not Sneak Attack. The Sneak Attack description says you 'can' do it. You can also choose not to activate it. Seriously, the 'I want to build my character with X class only, but I refuse to have Y class ability of X class on my sheet' complaint I've seen come up a few times, and it mystifies me completely. If you can't reflavour it to fit your needs (and I made a suggestion for that above, another suggestion is to call it 'Crossbow Sniper' and let it be a damage bonus due to aim), just don't use it. I think we need to consider the variant in light of its intended purpose, rather than an edge case where someone can purposefully build exactly opposite to the intended purpose, since if we allow this and anyone except your cohort uses it, you'd better bet that they're not likely to be another edge case.

The solution to making a non-combat stealth-focused Rogue is not to approve a more-combat version of the Rogue and then hope that every player will tiptoe around that by taking passive feats like Iron Will. The solution is to make a variant that is a non-combat stealth-focused Rogue. I proposed one above, and I don't really understand how your complaint can't be levied against regular Rogue and the feat Rogue too (with a vengeance because the feat Rogue isn't even trying to go in the direction we want, in fact attempting the opposite). To wit:

Although it's flavourful, having one set of special abilities does lock the build into one specific stealthy mould
The core Rogue already had one set of abilities in that place--Sneak Attack.

If there are several choices at each level, then I start to wonder just why this particular rogue variant has so many options, while a sneak attack rogue can't take any of them).
Here's where I could turn that around: "The weird thing about the feat Rogue is that I start to wonder just why this particular rogue variant has so many options, while a sneak attack rogue can't take any of them."
 
I should add, since I don't think I've said it elsewhere, one of the problems I forgot to mention about the feat Rogue is its use as a dip instead of Fighter. Sure, if you go feat Rogue 20 you lose 5 BAB, but if you were going to dip Fighter4 for feats, Barbarian1 for Rage, and then take your real fighting class, you can replace Fighter with feat Rogue and lose only 1 BAB over those 4 levels for massive other bonuses (many skills, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, etc).
 

SlagMortar

Visitor
I haven't seen anyone mention the LEW PrC "Little Sneak". It is a 10 level stealth focused PrC that gets some nifty bonuses like blindsense and some stealth bonuses. It also gets 3d6 sneak attack over the 10 levels, so it is probably not exactly what you are looking for, but has been already approved so is worth mentioning.
Edit: It also only gets 4 skill points per level, but that might be made up for by the other stealth bonuses.
 

Velmont

Visitor
You forgot 1 build of Rogue

(5) A Rogue using a shield and who use Improved Feint to gain his sneak attack. He need sneak and Improved feint.

The biggest weakness of that build is when the Rogue gain itterative attack, he cannot use his extra attack while feinting... what would you think of feat or Special Rogue ability that could allow to feint for every attack in an itterative attack (maybe with a penalty that increase for each subsequent attack on the same round.)
 

Trouvere

Visitor
Crikey. These postings are getting too long!
You mean you'd want to spend all 11 bonus feats on skill focuses? Well, I could see myself approving the version where the bonus feats had to be Rogue-based, not Fighter-based, I just didn't think you wanted quite that many skill focuses.
No, no. Not the Orsal model. The regular feats, or at least some of them.
Here's where I could turn that around: "The weird thing about the feat Rogue is that I start to wonder just why this particular rogue variant has so many options, while a sneak attack rogue can't take any of them."
'cos it's not a rogue, it's a skillful fighter! Why does the fighter get options while the rogue doesn't? Well, that's just the way the game is, and can't really be questioned. Ignore the regular rogue, and the fact that the variant bears the rogue name. The feat rogue is a fighter who's weedier because he's worked a bit on his other skills. What's confusing about that? Feat Rogue could be called Skillful Weedy Fighter, and the question goes away, but that name is horrible.

Having said that, I've been saying that the variant allows building Extra Roguey Rogue too. Ignore the particular origins of the actual 18 or 19 feats the feat rogue gets. The end result of having extra available is that a few (in fact, the 7 or 8 regular ones, not the bonus ones) are freed up to potentially develop some other capabilities, such as making Extra Roguey Rogue, because of course nearly every character except a dedicated full caster needs a few combat feats... Bards and Paladins included.

It can also be used to make the Skillful Weedy Fighter, but is that such a bad thing? Why's that an undesirable edge case, or even undesirable if it turns out to be the normal use of the variant? They both seem to me to be sensible build choices. The SWF can be built by multiclassing out of Fighter as of now, but the more roguish rogue can't, I don't think. Incidentally, it wouldn't necessarily have to be extra stealthy... just extra something... extra Bluffy, extra trap-breaky, extra Knowledge (local)y, whatever.

I don't quite understand your suggestion to just ignore the sneak attack. It's a pretty big elephant! If I'm going to pretend that class features don't exist, well, then, I'd just make a bard or cloistered cleric who never casts or sings. There has to be a more elegant way than that!
 

Trouvere

Visitor
SlagMortar said:
I haven't seen anyone mention the LEW PrC "Little Sneak". It is a 10 level stealth focused PrC that gets some nifty bonuses like blindsense and some stealth bonuses. It also gets 3d6 sneak attack over the 10 levels, so it is probably not exactly what you are looking for, but has been already approved so is worth mentioning.
Edit: It also only gets 4 skill points per level, but that might be made up for by the other stealth bonuses.
I was aware of it, but I wasn't keen on having Extra Roguey Rogue necessarily be forced into the super-stealth path.
 

orsal

LEW Judge
Trouvere said:
Crikey. These postings are getting too long!

No, no. Not the Orsal model. The regular feats, or at least some of them.
'cos it's not a rogue, it's a skillful fighter! Why does the fighter get options while the rogue doesn't?
The rogue does have lots of options. They're called skill points. More of them than any other class -- 6 per level more than the majority, including the most common and most versatile classes. That's quite a bit of customizability.
 

Trouvere

Visitor
When that initial comparison was made, it was between the rogue and Rystil's hypothetical rogue variant with no sneak attack but with various extra class features grafted in, so the skill points didn't enter into it. Then the comparison was reversed to be between the feat rogue and the regular rogue, where skill points again are the same, and then it was switched again to compare fighter and rogue, where the comparison is feats vs. sneak attack... which finally brought us to feat rogue vs fighter. The skill advantage over the fighter remains whether we're talking rogue or feat rogue, so it was specifically the sneak attack and the feats that were being compared. Maybe the obverse comparison is BAB/HP vs SP.

One of Rystil's objections (perhaps the main one?) is that you can readily frontload extra feats and skill points and whatnot in a build like Feat Rogue 4 / Fighter 16, which would net you 42 extra skill points, evasion, uncanny dodge and trapfinding, for the loss of 1 BAB and 13 HP. It does seem like a pretty good trade-off, to say the least (although other front-loading multiclassing is possible with core classes... heck, the Fighter itself is a 2-level dip ;) ) Suppose we were to houserule that, just as you can't combine Cleric with Cloistered Cleric or Ranger with Urban Ranger, or Fighter with either Thug or Sneak Attack Fighter, or Feat Rogue with Rogue, you also can't combine Feat Rogue with Fighter, because they're essentially the same thing?

Honestly, I'm not particularly invested in the Feat Rogue. It would just make a more elegant solution for the particular build I have in mind. The question that bothers me is whether there is any way to build a skillful character who doesn't have anything to do with sneak attack or intrinsic spellcasting (so not normal rogue or bard). The suggestion to just NOT use the sneak attack doesn't satisfy me, if only because there's at least the conceit that the base classes are roughly balanced as written, such that purposefully ignoring a class feature for RP purposes is a major gimping. It'd be like playing a bard and just not bothering to sing. Presumably that's why the feat rogue exists at all. I can see that the Feat Rogue is an SRD way to build a non-SA skillfull rogue mechanically, even if by name and (single line of) fluff it points in a different martial direction of a fighter with actual skills. That's an okay build, but I don't care about that - the extra feats enable the regular feats to be used for any purpose. If there were an SRD/UA variant character other than the Feat Rogue, I'd be happy with that too. I'm not so desperate to have it that I want to encourage anyone to effectively create a new base rogue class, though!

Anyway, I'm definitely beginning to repeat myself in this thread, so I'm going to bow out. I'm sure I have better things to do with my time with Christmas approaching. Can't quite figure out what.... but there we go. :uhoh:
 

orsal

LEW Judge
Trouvere said:
The skill advantage over the fighter remains whether we're talking rogue or feat rogue, so it was specifically the sneak attack and the feats that were being compared. Maybe the obverse comparison is BAB/HP vs SP.
Perhaps I misunderstood your reference to options. I understood that the issue was choice, customizability, not raw advantages. The rogue is customizable through diverse skill choices, whereas the fighter is customizable through feat choices. BAB and HP are not options.
 

rln

Visitor
Also check the Ventrid Swordsman PrC for a light armor-based fighter. I will likely be taking it for my character (Ogrin) at next level. Fighter BAB, Rogue saves, some AC- and AB management skills but nothing overpowered.

There was a bunch of feats posted in the late Dragon magazine that, when making a sneak attack, allowed you to switch some sneak damage for other things. Might be worth looking into.
 
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orsal

LEW Judge
hornedturtle said:
Generic classes aren't designed to be mixed with standard core classes -- they're offered as an option for the campaign, not for characters within the campaign. Note that (for example) you can create a standard fighter within the Warrior class, but also have the flexibility to swap class skills as you wish, use any feats for bonus feats, and swap your good save for any other save as you wish. Added flexibility with no cost. This is why the generic class rules state explicitly (see the third paragraph) "If you use these generic classes, you shouldn't also use the standard character classes (or variants of those classes)."
 
my two cents

Hi just wanted to add something : in some of my games I have alllowed players to drop a feat to add 2 skills to there class skill choices it helps alot with fighters who want to be good with a bow but not wear the heavy armor to take away their dex bonus or a cleric who worships a non fighting type god like the god of thieves maybe you could incorpate a new LEW rule to some effect that dropping a feat would give you 1.5 or 2 new class skills or should this be a propasl?? sorry just trying to help my friend Trouvere
 

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