5E [GUIDE] I Fought the Law and Won: The Rogue Guide

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
I just checked back and caught that Insightful Fighting can be activated at any range, so that does make it a lot more useful. Bumps the archetype up to black as well overall, I'd say.
 

mellored

Explorer
Just to put some math behind it.

+2 wis + 2 skill + 2 expertise = +6, with minimum roll of 8
vs a 10 Cha enemy

= 91.60% chance of success. (93.45% if you win ties. I don't remember).

At level 20 (including min 10), vs a 14 Cha enemy, it's 98.95%.
 

Kevtron

Visitor
Yea, pick one or the other.
The more warlock, the better booming blade is, since it auto-scales.
The more rogue, the better multi-attack is, since you scale by sneak attack.\
This part isn't true. Cantrips like this scale with character level, not class level (https://www.sageadvice.eu/2014/11/04/eldritch-blast-scale/), so you can still have a high Booming Blade even with only a couple levels in Warlock.

Though how much to dip into Warlock is my current debate as well. I'm thinking on dropping into Warlock from Swashbuckler for only 3 levels. That would give Booming Blade, Hex, 2 Invocations (thinking Mask of Many Faces & Misty Vision for some serious deceptive fun~), access to 2nd level spells (Invis and Suggestion^^), and a weapon out of thin air if I need it. Level 5 would give Thirsting Blade, but since you can't use it with Booming I'm not sure it's worth the loss of more Sneak Attack dice as well as Slippery Mind.
 

the_redbeard

Explorer
Xanathar's updates are up. Scout is good (very good at higher levels). Inquisitive is not.

Also the few new spells Arcane Tricksters get access to are meh for the most part.
Curious about how multi-classing Sorcerer would be with the Shadow Magic origin. At 1st level, you get 120' dark vision so become a better party scout. At 3rd level you get a reliable way to gain Advantage and Sneak Attack with magical darkness that you can see through. Plus cantrips like Booming Blade, Minor Illusion, Mage Hand, Friends and 1st level spells like Shield and Disguise Self. All handy for a rogue.

(AL players wouldn't be able to be a Shadow Sorcerer and still get Booming Blade, but we're not all AL players.)
 

Kevtron

Visitor
Find Familiar: Conjuration; 1 hour; V,S,M*. No reason to take any other spell with your free choice at this level. All the advantage you could ever want is there for the taking, via the familiar's Help action that requires none of your own actions. (The Owl's Flyby is especially good for that.) And then there's the also-awesome-for-scouting ability to see and hear through your familiar up to 100 feet away.
Something I've found in my further readings that's important to keep in mind, is that due to the familiar rolling it's own initiative it's not actually "all the advantage you could ever want" since their help action gives advantage to the next player, which may not be you.

https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/854020028949086208
If you use the attack-aiding option in Help, the next ally who attacks the target gets the benefit.
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
Something I've found in my further readings that's important to keep in mind, is that due to the familiar rolling it's own initiative it's not actually "all the advantage you could ever want" since their help action gives advantage to the next player, which may not be you.

https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/854020028949086208
The Rogue can Ready their action for when the familiar uses Help, however. Thus getting the advantage from it that way.
 

Kevtron

Visitor
The Rogue can Ready their action for when the familiar uses Help, however. Thus getting the advantage from it that way.
quite true. There are definitely ways to get it still, but in this case you'd be giving up Cunning Action to hide or dash, and using your reaction for this. I think that's rather a fair trade for always-on advantage personally.

I also don't have a problem just giving it to my teammates either ^^
 

Kevtron

Visitor
Why would you be giving up your Cunning Action?
Sorry. I meant giving up using it after your attack. You could of course still dash, and then ready the attack for the familiar.

Though it still would be using your reaction of course.
 

taj1994

Visitor
Now that Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is out, I'm wondering about how you would rank the gith and the other subraces added by the book. It adds:

  • nine tiefling subraces (Asmodeus*, Baalzebul, Dispater, Fierna, Glasya, Levistus, Mammon, Mephistopheles, Zariel)
  • three elf subraces (eladrin, sea elf, and shadar-kai)
  • duergar**
  • gith (githyanki and githzerai)
  • deep gnome**

*This subrace is the same as the standard tiefling from the Player's Handbook
**These are the same as the ones added by the Elemental Evil Player's Companion (deep gnome), and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (deep gnome and duergar). I'm just including them here because they're in the book
 
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Oliver Xu

Visitor
"This classical dueling setup is ONLY possible if you took the Dual Wielder feat, which I find patently ridiculous."

Aren’t we creative at cursing! Don’t do that here.
 
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FieserMoep

Visitor
Mind if I ask what the reasoning behind ranking Wood Elf Magic so low was?
I get that there is always opportunity cost to keep in mind but to me it seems quite good to have access to a druid Cantrip like Guidance that could boost our Skills even more. Longstrider is certainly a niche but Pass Without Trace seems to be super useful to me for that critical Stealth check or to take your party with you? Or is it just so bad because of the one use per day?
 

Maezor

Visitor
The Skulker feat is red? Really?? You don't think negating disadvantage on Perception rolls in dim light is even worth a mention here? You do realize that people with darkvision are at disadvantage on all Perception rolls in the dark, right? You must be playing a very different game than I am. Expertise and Reliable Talent mitigate the problem somewhat, but being forced to choose between disadvantage on Perception rolls or a torch is not awesome for a rogue. Perhaps your DM ignores this rule, but I'm assuming that your guide is based on RAW. I like the rest of the guide, but your analysis of Skulker is ... not good.
 
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Gladius Legis

Adventurer
The Skulker feat is red? Really?? You don't think negating disadvantage on Perception rolls in dim light is even worth a mention here?
No. I don't. Expertise and later Reliable Talent, as you said, take care of that, for one. Or if you're a Rogue that's going to take Alert (i.e. Assassin, Scout), that takes care of it too and is also much more useful all around with the initiative boost.

And even not accounting for those, there's just much better things you can spend your ASI on.
 

vostygg

Visitor
I was looking over your Swashbuckler build, and I wanted to point out that DPR for Rapier + Booming Blade lags behind DPR for dual wielding shortswords at every level. If you're choosing it, you are doing so for the added control effect and nothing more. Here's a breakdown, assuming a base hit probability of 60%. TWF benefits from the increased chance to land sneak attacks and to crit with sneak attacks. Booming Blade DPR factors out situational damage from moving (the assumption is that most creatures will elect not to move).


------------------
Rogue 20 TWF - DPR
------------------

Level 1: 9.63
Level 2: 9.63
Level 3: 12.91
Level 4: 13.51
Level 5: 16.79
Level 6: 16.79
Level 7: 20.08
Level 8: 20.67
Level 9: 23.96
Level 10: 23.96
Level 11: 27.24
Level 12: 27.24
Level 13: 30.52
Level 14: 30.52
Level 15: 33.80
Level 16: 33.80
Level 17: 37.08
Level 18: 37.08
Level 19: 40.36
Level 20: 40.36

----------------------------
Rogue 20 Booming Blade - DPR
----------------------------

Level 1: 7.00
Level 2: 7.00
Level 3: 9.28
Level 4: 9.88
Level 5: 15.08
Level 6: 15.08
Level 7: 17.35
Level 8: 17.95
Level 9: 19.63
Level 10: 19.63
Level 11: 24.83
Level 12: 24.83
Level 13: 27.10
Level 14: 27.10
Level 15: 29.38
Level 16: 29.38
Level 17: 34.58
Level 18: 34.58
Level 19: 36.85
Level 20: 36.85
 
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Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
TWF benefits from the increased chance to land sneak attacks and to crit with sneak attacks.
Can you tell us your methodology for crits for this table? Because that statement above does not seem possible within the rules whihc makes me question your entire table.

You can't roll both your Attack action, take your Bonus Attack action, and then determine which to apply your sneak attack. Roll your attack, if it hits decide to add SA or not, and then roll damage. There seems no way to crit hunt SA with TWF.
 

Esker

Explorer
Can you tell us your methodology for crits for this table? Because that statement above does not seem possible within the rules whihc makes me question your entire table.
Yeah, I get slightly lower numbers for TWF, I'm guessing because of the crit calculation. I also get slightly higher numbers for BB starting at Level 9; I'm not sure what that's about. The bottom line still holds that TWF yields slightly higher DPR at all levels if you ignore the possibility of BB's secondary damage, significantly so in Tier 1, but by the time BB starts to scale, the gap is pretty small as a share of the average damage; small enough that IMO the combination of the control effect and being able to do something else with your bonus action is well worth it.

Example

TWF (level 5)
Main Hand (base damage): (1d6 + 4) * 0.6 = 4.5
Main Hand (crit damage) : 1d6 * 0.05 = 0.175
Off Hand (base damage) : 1d6 * 0.6 = 2.1
Off Hand (crit damage) : 1d5 * 0.05 = 0.175
Sneak Attack (base) : 3d6 * (1 - 0.4*0.4) = 8.82
Sneak Attack (crit) : 3d6 * (0.05 + 0.4 * 0.05) = 0.735

Total: = 16.51
 
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vostygg

Visitor
Yeah, I get slightly lower numbers for TWF, I'm guessing because of the crit calculation. I also get slightly higher numbers for BB starting at Level 9; I'm not sure what that's about. The bottom line still holds that TWF yields slightly higher DPR at all levels if you ignore the possibility of BB's secondary damage, significantly so in Tier 1, but by the time BB starts to scale, the gap is pretty small as a share of the average damage; small enough that IMO the combination of the control effect and being able to do something else with your bonus action is well worth it.

Example

TWF (level 5)
Main Hand (base damage): (1d6 + 4) * 0.6 = 4.5
Main Hand (crit damage) : 1d6 * 0.05 = 0.175
Off Hand (base damage) : 1d6 * 0.6 = 2.1
Off Hand (crit damage) : 1d5 * 0.05 = 0.175
Sneak Attack (base) : 3d6 * (1 - 0.4*0.4) = 8.82
Sneak Attack (crit) : 3d6 * (0.05 + 0.4 * 0.05) = 0.735

Total: = 16.51
Thanks for cross-checking my work, @Esker

I actually agree with your computation for sneak attack crit damage, since it corresponds with the observation @Blue made, which is that most people are likely to apply Sneak Attack damage the first time they hit. When I adjust my math to use your computation instead of the one I was using (i.e. 3d6 * (1 - 0.05 * 0.05), this is what I get:

------------------
Rogue 20 TWF - DPR
------------------

Level 1: 9.54
Level 2: 9.54
Level 3: 12.72
Level 4: 13.32
Level 5: 16.51
Level 6: 16.51
Level 7: 19.69
Level 8: 20.29
Level 9: 23.47
Level 10: 23.47
Level 11: 26.66
Level 12: 26.66
Level 13: 29.85
Level 14: 29.85
Level 15: 33.03
Level 16: 33.03
Level 17: 36.21
Level 18: 36.21
Level 19: 39.40
Level 20: 39.40


I also looked over my math for the Booming Blade DPR and realize that I had a copy-paste error. Here is the updated table, which very likely corresponds with what you were seeing:

----------------------------
Rogue 20 Booming Blade - DPR
----------------------------

Level 1: 7.00
Level 2: 7.00
Level 3: 9.27
Level 4: 9.88
Level 5: 15.08
Level 6: 15.08
Level 7: 17.35
Level 8: 17.95
Level 9: 20.23
Level 10: 20.23
Level 11: 25.43
Level 12: 25.43
Level 13: 27.70
Level 14: 27.70
Level 15: 29.98
Level 16: 29.98
Level 17: 35.18
Level 18: 35.18
Level 19: 37.45
Level 20: 37.45


As you state, even with these corrections, TWF comes out on top of Booming Blade at every level, which is the only point I was trying to make. It is up to individual Swashbuckler players to determine whether the loss of DPR is worth the additional control effect or situational damage that Booming Blade provides. Here is the DPR differential in favor of TWF broken down by level, again assuming a 60% hit probability:

Level 1: +2.54
Level 2: +2.54
Level 3: +3.45
Level 4: +3.44
Level 5: +1.43
Level 6: +1.43
Level 7: +2.34
Level 8: +2.34
Level 9: +3.24
Level 10: +3.24
Level 11: +1.23
Level 12: +1.23
Level 13: +2.15
Level 14: +2.15
Level 15: +3.05
Level 16: +3.05
Level 17: +1.03
Level 18: +1.03
Level 19: +1.95
Level 20: +1.95

Average: +2.24
 
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vostygg

Visitor
You can't roll both your Attack action, take your Bonus Attack action, and then determine which to apply your sneak attack. Roll your attack, if it hits decide to add SA or not, and then roll damage. There seems no way to crit hunt SA with TWF.
This observation is accurate. There is a way to compute the crit chance to account for this as covered by @Esker.

Assuming there are two attacks, a1 and a2:

critProb(a1|a2) = critProb(a1) + (missProb(a1) * critProb(a2))

If there were three attacks, it would look like this:

critProb(a1|a2|a3) = critProb(a1) + (missProb(a1) * (critProb(a2) + (missProb(a2) * critProb(a3))))


And so on. This math assumes that you will apply your Sneak Attack damage the first time you get a hit, which is pretty accurate based on my experiences.

Also, I stand by my statement that TWF benefits from increased chance to land sneak attacks and to crit with sneak attacks. That is the only reason why it comes out ahead of Booming Blade starting at 5th level. Making multiple attack attacks absolutely increases your chance to land a sneak attack, and it also absolutely increases your chances to land a critical hit with your sneak attack: critProb(a1) + (missProb(a1) * critProb(a2)) is always greater than critProb(a1).
 
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