D&D (2024) Maybe this is a bit late, but let's talk about Rogue's Niche, and What Rogue Should Be.

I've read this thread, and I am baffled what game you guys are playing.

I've played in adventurers league for quite a while, and at least two private games with sometimes three games, for a decade. I have over a decade of experience with 5e both as a player and DM, in person and online, playing from the early playtest to today. I've played a very meaningful portion of the published WOTC adventures, including DDAL adventures.

The idea that the published adventures don't include exploration as a very meaningful aspect is sheer, utter and complete nonsense!

The idea they don't include traps, climbing things, picking locks. sneaking, and all the things Rogues do well is sheer, utter and complete nonsense!

The published adventures are not hack fests which are almost entirely about combat and set pieces. In fact, relative to the edition which came before (and arguably the edition which came before that), 5e published adventures have less combat and fewer set pieces.

So, what the heck have you guys been playing? Or, I think more likely, what nonsense have you been reading about the published adventures which led you to draw the false conclusions you drew about those adventures you didn't play or read beyond a very small skewed sample?
There is a fair amount lot of exploration in many AL league (and other published adventures).
Unfortunately, particularly in AL play, there are other factors: Because the modules are designed to fit into a 2- or 4-hour slot, there generally are only a few combats and a few exploration encounters/opportunities.
The Rogue's ability to apply an ability check to many occasions, or consistent at-will damage continuously is less useful compared to classes that have resources to spend, and less limits on doing so.

In AL particularly, there is also less "party consideration" compared to a more long-running campaign, which can mean that there isn't a gap left for a rogue's niche. (Although that can apply to many characters.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
There is a fair amount lot of exploration in many AL league (and other published adventures).
Unfortunately, particularly in AL play, there are other factors: Because the modules are designed to fit into a 2- or 4-hour slot, there generally are only a few combats and a few exploration encounters/opportunities.
The Rogue's ability to apply an ability check to many occasions, or consistent at-will damage continuously is less useful compared to classes that have resources to spend, and less limits on doing so.

In AL particularly, there is also less "party consideration" compared to a more long-running campaign, which can mean that there isn't a gap left for a rogue's niche. (Although that can apply to many characters.)
You shouldn't assume one shot con games with random as standard for AL. What you describe seems closer to that than anything else.

I ran AL twice weekly at a flgs for years, each table tended to have fairly stable groups of players week after week. Sure there are stragglers who show up sporadically or just pop in to try things for a bit, but the social aspect of playing with a group has value to most people and finishing a given HC adventure is likewise generally desirable.
 
Last edited:

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The Rogue problem is part of the bigger game problem. Starting with 3E, the focus of D&D has been on flashy showy Super Hero endless combat. And the Rogue has been right in the middle.

Way back in 1/2E each class had a niche. Fighters fight, Clerics heal and deal with undead, wizards cover magical things....and the rogue would sneak around and open locks, disarm traps and climb into places.

You might notice on the list that the fighter was the only one expected to fight all the time. The cleric backed up the fighter...sometimes. And once in a while every character might fight a group of giant rats. But most of the time, nearly all the time. Only the fighter was fighting monsters and foes.

And the Rogue, like many other characters, could not really fight much anyway. They had a hard time hitting anything, and even if they did, it was only for a little damage. Backstabbing was a once in a while attack...not an add to every attack attack. And the Rogue, like most non fighter characters only had a few hit points. So a hit or two in melee would be character death for a rouge.

And in the Adventure there was always plenty for a rogue to do other then fight.

3E made the Rouge a Striker. Now their role was to stand right next to the fighter in endless combat. Rouges now had sneak attack....and anything except combat took a far back seat. And 5E is stuck here too: The Rouge is a front like skirmisher super hero all combat character....that made does a skill or two when there is nothing to fight.

The D&D Rouge has lost it's way. It is a Rouge in name only. Rouges, by there very nature are not fighters. Few Rouges in fiction are the types that "charge in and attack". So why does the D&D rouge do it?
It's more that

People want to play the 4e Rogue without making 5e run like 4e.
LME

4e more or less split the D&D fighter into 4 parts
  1. Fighter (Defender)
  2. Rogue (Striker- Finesse)
  3. Ranger (Striker- Archery/TWF/Thrown)
  4. Warlord (Leader/Support)
Ranger and Rogue were both strikers but used different weapons. They had Combat style Exclusivity. Because of this The Rogue didn't need to be a skill monkey.

When 5e recombined the Fighter, The Ranger, Rogue, and now Barbarian and Monk lost exclusivity. The Fighter now overalaps with every warrior in combat style.

And the Fighter was made into the highest damage class.
The Ranger fixed itself by regaining its spells of pre4e.
The Barbarian (despite the designers original words) is the Toughest class.
The Monk got Mobility
The Paladin got burst damage.

This left Rogues with no Combat style Exclusivity and no Top Attribute for combat.
Instead the designers made it a skills class.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I've seen my share of both kinds of AL games- people who are dedicated players who make a new character for a season of play, and a revolving door of new characters. The Yawning Portal example really only came about because I was set to run the whole thing (I was pretty much done after Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, but that was mostly an issue with a few bad apples and people exploiting AL rules in a way I did not agree with) and mentioned they were all dungeon crawls, so someone specifically made a dungeon crawling Rogue.

Outside of that, in the couple years I played AL, I saw two Rogues in actual play- they weren't a popular class in my area. Just going from memory (not counting 1 or 2 session characters), there were two Fighters (Champion and Battlemaster), two Wizards, two Warlocks, two Druids, two Sorcerers, three Rangers (and four UA Rangers for that one season they were allowed- fairly popular in my neck of the woods, which always made me wonder why they were never printed), two Paladins, one Monk, several Barbarians, a Bard and a whole heap of Clerics and multiclassed Clerics because before I started playing, there were two spells on everyone's mind- spirit guardians and fireball. When I came in and started using sleet storm and hypnotic pattern everyone wondered wth I was doing, lol, since I wasn't killing anything.

The DM's sure got annoyed with me fast though. ^-^
 

Most of my AL experience is with the local club. There are generally around 5-6 games a week at an assortment of gaming shops, with people booking to play on a "first come, first served" basis. A DM might run a series of connected adventures, but there is no guarantee that there would be the same characters there, so modules must be completed in a single session. Reserving places for the same party would be against the club's rules which are there to ensure that new players always have a game they could join.

Because the venues are shops/cafes, there is a fairly a strict time limit, and so if a party is slow on some parts of the module, the DM may decide to cut some combats or encounters from the module in order to finish on time. Even if they don't, there are rarely more short rests than long rests in the modules and so long-rest resource-based classes have a definite advantage if they're balanced around a longer adventuring day. As the only non-resource-based class, rogues really get the short end of the stick in this format.

You shouldn't assume one shot con games with random as standard for AL. What you describe seems closer to that than anything else.

I ran AL twice weekly at a flags for years, each table tended to have fairly stable groups of players week after week. Sure there are stragglers who show up sporadically or just pop in to try things for a bit, but the social aspect of playing with a group has value to most people and finishing a given HC adventure is likewise generally desirable.
I think perhaps you should practice what you preach. You know what they say about assumptions, and your ignorance of the situation doesn't excuse your behaviour when simply not making false accusations is an option.

I'm sure that your personal experience with AL was absolutely a valid way to play it, but being a little more open-minded and understanding that other people may have different experiences of similar things would probably be good for you.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Most of my AL experience is with the local club. There are generally around 5-6 games a week at an assortment of gaming shops, with people booking to play on a "first come, first served" basis. A DM might run a series of connected adventures, but there is no guarantee that there would be the same characters there, so modules must be completed in a single session. Reserving places for the same party would be against the club's rules which are there to ensure that new players always have a game they could join.

Because the venues are shops/cafes, there is a fairly a strict time limit, and so if a party is slow on some parts of the module, the DM may decide to cut some combats or encounters from the module in order to finish on time. Even if they don't, there are rarely more short rests than long rests in the modules and so long-rest resource-based classes have a definite advantage if they're balanced around a longer adventuring day. As the only non-resource-based class, rogues really get the short end of the stick in this format.


I think perhaps you should practice what you preach. You know what they say about assumptions, and your ignorance of the situation doesn't excuse your behaviour when simply not making false accusations is an option.

I'm sure that your personal experience with AL was absolutely a valid way to play it, but being a little more open-minded and understanding that other people may have different experiences of similar things would probably be good for you.
Looks like autocorrect changed FLGS to flags in my original post, but I did in the post you quoted. The extra details you've now added providing the specifics about the SoP with your"local club" almost certainly account for a lot of the con-like elements described in 111 where you blamed AL for the way that "local club's SoP impacts the rogue".

Your "local club" sounds quite a bit less open than the average FGS & I don't believe I've seen any AL documentation where wotc suggests that sort of setupas a gold standard. That makes it especially different from an FLGS that regularly has a half dozen or so tables and the sort of leaning towards more regular groups I described in 112.

Your club might be well served by getting the regular GMs together & seeing if there is anything that can be done to reduce the instability you describe as expected, it might increase the overall enjoyment
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
You're right, but Mistwell was talking about wanting an actual play example from a published adventure, and that was my experience with a Rogue and a published WotC adventure.

That's fair, and I won't say the discussion is without merit. If we determine these things are a large detriment to Rogue play, then we can look at targeted solutions.

Maybe rogues get an ability called "Case the Joint" that allows them to roll Investigation checks instead of perception checks, and use passive Investigation instead of passive perception. Now they can ignore the dim light penalty and the multiple skill issue. And that is a much more reasonable and targeted upgrade than "make them better at everything"
 

J-H

Hero
Isn't Perception for noticing things as you go along, and Investigating for finding things when you're doing a detailed study or deliberate search?
Perception is valid for "Hey, that floor tile looks wrong" as you move along, while Investigation is "The drawer in the desk is too short; there may be a false back."

I generally use Perception for traps and Investigation for loot or hidden clues.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Isn't Perception for noticing things as you go along, and Investigating for finding things when you're doing a detailed study or deliberate search?
Perception is valid for "Hey, that floor tile looks wrong" as you move along, while Investigation is "The drawer in the desk is too short; there may be a false back."

I generally use Perception for traps and Investigation for loot or hidden clues.
Yes but not everything is going to have the same DC or even be possible in both skills. Part of the problem is that some skills went away entirely & others were overmerged. perception & investigate covers search spot listen gather information (sometimes) survival/knowledge:nature(sometimes) & occasionally more esoteric corner case things like appraise among others to know why the desk has a differently colored bit of wood, decorative bits, or lolnotgonnatry. Seeing that somesthing seems "too short" & knowing what kinds of things that would indicate or how to activate the relevant bits to take advantage of it are two different skills because the best hiding places are sometimes obvious in eye catching ways
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Isn't Perception for noticing things as you go along, and Investigating for finding things when you're doing a detailed study or deliberate search?
Perception is valid for "Hey, that floor tile looks wrong" as you move along, while Investigation is "The drawer in the desk is too short; there may be a false back."

I generally use Perception for traps and Investigation for loot or hidden clues.

That is perfectly valid as well. I was just responding to the issue presented from the Sunless Citadel example.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top