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

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
The funny thing is in the original first two editions Dex was the week stat and strength was the god that.

3e boosted the numbers on initiative, AC, and ranged attack bonus from Dex. And they gave it range damaged bonus and a gated way to get Dex into melee.

The funny part is none of this really helped swashbucklers, duelist, and two wielders. Melee Dex fighting sucks unless you're exploiting a class feature. Fair DEX based Melee is bad You had to cheat it with sneak attack or martial arts.

None of that matches the fiction of dreaded pirate captains, deadly samurai in robes, noble fencers, brave half naked gladiators, business suit blademasters, or assassin guild hitters.
The reality is that Dex should have always been the "to hit" stat. Strength "to hit" only makes sense (to me? I can't be the only one) when you think about punching through armor, but AC is this bizarre hybrid of armor and non-armor defenses mashed up together like Frankenstein's creature.

But that makes Strength fairly weak, and so it was given this larger share of the pie. Which keeps running into "but what about the agile, skilled, but not strong archetype?". Thing is, it really doesn't exist. Swordsmen of any caliber are going to need to be strong, because even swinging a 2 pound piece of metal around like mad takes a toll on you. Anyone who climbs for a living has great upper body and gripping strength. The slender, weak, artful dodger is largely fictional, and it's perfectly legitimate to imagine a Rogue as being quite strong.

The issue is, most people thing Strength = bulk, and looking at any professional athlete, you realize that's not true. A man who can throw a javelin 98.4 meters is 6' 1" 190 lbs., while the man who can lift 1,185 pounds is just as tall, but has an extra 110 pounds of muscle.

The muscles being used for various athletic feats vary, but the idea that none of these swashbuckler duelist samurai would be physically weak is ridiculous.

But D&Disms aren't going anywhere, the game will continue to support little Halfling girls who barely top 3' in height with 20 Dex with level of Monk being just as hard to hit and nearly as damaging as 8' 6" Goliath Barbarians.

Based on this, I don't see any real advantage to placing the Rogue in a category where they have to be inferior warriors just because they focus more on skills than heavy weapons and armor- they already lack the staying power of a Fighter who can recover from life-threatening injuries by napping for a few hours and just using their Second Wind, lol, no healing surges required!

Would I prefer that any good fighting character have to invest in Strength and Dexterity? Absolutely. But that's not where D&D is, nor is it likely to be where it's going, when you can become a magical swordsman by using Charisma to wield a weapon you manifested from the aether a few seconds ago.

If we can let bards, wizards, and warlocks become reasonable melee combatants, there's no reason the rogue needs to be a second stringer the way they were in editions past.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
my biggest point of confusion in your argument is that you seem to hold absolutely no value for anything on the mechanical side of things, why are the choices of numbers and requirements that armour and shields have any less meaningful than the numbers and requirements of your weapon? or your casting modifier?

Because I think particularly with respect to shields it is meaningless complexity for no reason.

I mean could we just as easily give Bucklers a +3, Shields a +2 and Tower Shields a +1, those numbers being reflective of the ease with which you can swing them around to block a shot? So the bigger shield gets a lower bonus? That seems as legitimate as the reverse.

Why is it the larger shield needs the higher bonus or a different bonus at all? To me it just seems like you are giving people more numbers to play with, not more meaningful character building choices. This is especially true if you put a strength requirement on one of them thereby restricting what type of shield a PC can use.

or any other build decision we make for our characters? if aesthetics and themes are all that matter why are there pages and pages of mechanics and numbers and options.

There are far less than there were in most previous editions and that is a very good thing IMO. I think there could be some more consolidation (the earlier example of Longsword/Rapier/Scimitar being one) but I think more complexity will result in less fun for most people at the table as well as higher barrier to new players..


the idea that 'it's easier' to say there's only one polearm statblock that is applied to all of them is to me the fallacy of simplicity, that it doesn't make the game better that we crush all these options into being part of a single identical one.

Not when the numbers you are inventing are arbitrary to begin with. There is no evidence that being hit with a Glaive is any more deadly than being chopped with a Halberd or a Pole Axe.

If we are going to start making up different numbers what are we using as the basis for these different numbers? The fallacy is the idea that we should be enumerating these differently.

By some accounts the reason we got different numbers for different weapons in 1E to start with is that they needed to come up for uses of all the dice they were shipping with the game - so daggers 1d4 and longswords 1d8.
 



Chaosmancer

Legend
5e because it had a goal of being very simple, Did not have the mechanics to allow for swashbuckling to be allowed in the system.. and the designers just didn't care about them the idea enough to support it.

Actually what happened was all the designers were replaced by Zoidberg, but he couldn't type with his giant crab claws.

Why do you keep insisting that you can read the designers minds, that you KNOW that they just didn't care enough about swashbuckling to do it the right way, and so they decided to do it the wrong way. Otherwise known as "disagreeing with Minigiant"

I mean we're still there.

There is fighting style for For heavy weapons and light weapons and versatile weapons and soon thrown weapons and unearned combat.

But a no fighting style for finesse weapons.

You are wrong. There is no fighting style for Versatile Weapons. There is a fighting style for 1-handed weapons that does not work with dual-wielding. Like... if a guy in a black face mask and cloak held a single rapier and fought with it like a fencing foil.

And what do you know, all Finesse weapons are either covered under this "dueling" style, or they are light enough to be dual-wielded which is the OTHER swashbuckling style, you know, like a pirate with a pistol.

Almost like there is support for these things...
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think it was less that and more TSR, WOTC, and 90% of fantasy game companies failing to support Duelists as fighters over and over.

Finesse Weapon Fighting: When wielding a Finesse Melee weapon with one hand, you gain a bonus to damage rolls with that Melee Weapon equal to your Charisma modifier.

Canny Defense: While you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Intelligence modifier.

Swashbucklers was always a more ability intensive combat style as you purposely opted to really on dodging and accuracy than heavier weapons and armor. The archetype has always a fighter that is agile, suave, and witty.

Either useless because MAD (as a fighter I am going to end up taking Dex, Con, Cha and Int?) or for the Finesse Weapon Fighting ludicrously overpowered. The Dueling Style is a +2 to rapiers right now. Every single sword-and-board fighter is going to immediately try and figure out if they can instead get a +4 or +5 to every single hit, which is an insane buff over every single other fighting style.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
It's 85 y old depiction you took as counterpoint to my argument why swashbucklers don't work in quasi medieval fantasy setting. Every "historic" movie from that era looks like swashbuckling portray, cause they use, surprise surprise, swordsmanship techniques from fencing, which was based on 18/19 century fighting style. If you wanna take Robin Hood as an example, none of the new movies depict him like swashbuckler. Swashbuckler is anachronism in d&d.

1718931915095.jpeg


Let us see here... Japanese style Tetsubo (1185 CE-1333 CE), Viking Style handaxe (800 CE to 1050 CE), Lance (1300's to 1400's), Basket-hilted Rapier (1500's to 1600's), Flintlock pistol/ Rifle (1600's to late 1800's)

So, a 1700's fighting style is late for DnD, sure... but considering the DnD weapon table alone covers half the globe and a thousand years of history... I don't think being on the later end of that is a problem.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
That's my point.

The Swashbuckler subclass is a kludge to incentive single handed Finesse weapons and light armor

Which is why the vast majority of Swashbucklers I know dual-wielded to get the most chance of sneak attack and to break away from fights. Because it was designed to encourage ROGUES to use finesse weapons and light armor.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Because I think particularly with respect to shields it is meaningless complexity for no reason.

I mean could we just as easily give Bucklers a +3, Shields a +2 and Tower Shields a +1, those numbers being reflective of the ease with which you can swing them around to block a shot? So the bigger shield gets a lower bonus? That seems as legitimate as the reverse.

Why is it the larger shield needs the higher bonus or a different bonus at all? To me it just seems like you are giving people more numbers to play with, not more meaningful character building choices. This is especially true if you put a strength requirement on one of them thereby restricting what type of shield a PC can use.



There are far less than there were in most previous editions and that is a very good thing IMO. I think there could be some more consolidation (the earlier example of Longsword/Rapier/Scimitar being one) but I think more complexity will result in less fun for most people at the table as well as higher barrier to new players..




Not when the numbers you are inventing are arbitrary to begin with. There is no evidence that being hit with a Glaive is any more deadly than being chopped with a Halberd or a Pole Axe.

If we are going to start making up different numbers what are we using as the basis for these different numbers? The fallacy is the idea that we should be enumerating these differently.

By some accounts the reason we got different numbers for different weapons in 1E to start with is that they needed to come up for uses of all the dice they were shipping with the game - so daggers 1d4 and longswords 1d8.
What about making shields Str-locked? Anyone can use a buckler for +1 AC, you need 15 Str to use a regular shield for +2 AC, and 17 Str to use a tower shield for +3 AC ?
 

ECMO3

Hero
You know after thinking about, Two Weapon Fighting, I think a fighter with a 20 dex and 8 strength is probably going to more damage than a fighter with a 20 strength and 8 dex when you consider initiative.

The fighter with a higher dex is going to do less damage per attack action but he will average more turns and more attack actions per fight, so while he might do less damage per turn if he doesn't optimize I think he will probably still do more damage total in the majority of cases.
 

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