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

Chaosmancer

Legend
that is one problem with UA surveys, people perception change over time and with updates.

we should have gotten one last UA with EVERYTHING that was tinkered in all UAs even with last minute changes from last published UA. even if document would be 200 pages.

then with all changes in one place at one time,maybe rating would be different, maybe not.

but for now, people are very satisfied with rogue's UA changes.

As stated below, then there would never be a final document, because they would need to send out another last UA because more time will have passed and different changes would have been made.

And the thing is, the main problem seems to be that the monk got better, therefore the rogue's improvements are not nearly good enough, because they can't solo Dragons in the same manner a monk can, while Fighter's also have useful skill checks now. Which seems like a strange reason to push for the rogue to get even more improvements, before seeing how the classes shake out in actual play.
 

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Clint_L

Legend
As stated below, then there would never be a final document, because they would need to send out another last UA because more time will have passed and different changes would have been made.

And the thing is, the main problem seems to be that the monk got better, therefore the rogue's improvements are not nearly good enough, because they can't solo Dragons in the same manner a monk can, while Fighter's also have useful skill checks now. Which seems like a strange reason to push for the rogue to get even more improvements, before seeing how the classes shake out in actual play.
You are relying on some pretty contrived circumstances for that rogue and some pretty generous interpretations of stealth. If your DM is going to play 20 fire giants as idiots and interpret the rules that generously in the rogue's favour and set up some kind of unlimited time situation then...sure. Rogues would be very powerful in such a campaign.

In the game as it is actually played, UA monks are now extremely powerful and much better skirmishers than rogues, fighters and barbarians got a lot more skilled, and familiars have become ubiquitous. Rogues got a little tinkering around the edges, and their main new thing, cunning strikes, lowers their damage output, which was already unimpressive. The math is unequivocal: their DPR is low. Maybe that won't be a problem because the published rules will alter the current UA sufficiently to balance things in rogues' favour. Or maybe the published rules will make things worse. But it is not wrong to point out that based on what we know now, there's an issue.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
You are relying on some pretty contrived circumstances for that rogue and some pretty generous interpretations of stealth. If your DM is going to play 20 fire giants as idiots and interpret the rules that generously in the rogue's favour and set up some kind of unlimited time situation then...sure. Rogues would be very powerful in such a campaign.

And how am I being generous? The DC as set by the rules? The invisible condition as set by the rules? The fact that stealth does not break as long as they activate Supreme Sneak, as the rules state?

Yes, I am assuming that in a solo, 1v1 fight which a rogue should never be in, that they are able to utilize their skills at stealth and fight in the only way rogues have been able to 1v1 opponents since the PHB in 2014. I won't deny that a rogue locked in a featureless room is going to struggle much harder against a powerful opponent. That has always been true. It just wasn't an expectation before that Rogues had to solo Adult Red Dragons to be considered a viable class.

In the game as it is actually played, UA monks are now extremely powerful and much better skirmishers than rogues, fighters and barbarians got a lot more skilled, and familiars have become ubiquitous.

And here you are doing the same thing again. Monks are better skirmishers? Okay, they don't have the rogues skills. Fighters and Barbarians got better skills? Okay, good, they needed it. They aren't skirmishers with high mobility. Why should the rogue be a the best DPR, Defense, Mobility AND Utility class in the game?

And I have no idea why you think familiars are more ubiquitous. Access to Find Familiar has not changed a single bit.

Rogues got a little tinkering around the edges, and their main new thing, cunning strikes, lowers their damage output, which was already unimpressive. The math is unequivocal: their DPR is low. Maybe that won't be a problem because the published rules will alter the current UA sufficiently to balance things in rogues' favour. Or maybe the published rules will make things worse. But it is not wrong to point out that based on what we know now, there's an issue.

Rogue DPR has not dropped. In fact, I distinctly remember one poster during UA6 railing and ranting that because of disarm and trip, the rogue was not the most OP class in the game, guaranteed to ruin the game and break every single combat from level 5 until level 20. And nothing has changed since then for the rogue. In fact, it is undeniable that the Rogue in 2024 will be much stronger than it was in 2014.

What has changed? Weirdly, not much.

The Barbarian's improved skills? UA 5. So before the Rogue. So the only things that changed are

1) Fighter's got Tactical Mind, allowing them to trade healing for rolling 1d10 on a failed check. This is very nice for the fighter, giving them an effective +5 when they fail a skill. This can be used once per short rest without impacting them, and if used on something in the dungeon DOES effectively cost them healing and survivability. At the level 11 we have been talking about, it is a trade of 16 hp for turning a failure into a success. And it is only better than the rogue's skills until they get reliable talent

2) Monks got good.

And frankly, considering that second point is the one everyone keeps returning to, it seems the entire problem is that monks are now good enough to be a viable option. Maybe you think they are too good, absolutely broken... but it is really weird that we are essentially saying "Monks got good... so Rogues must be EVEN BETTER!!" Rogue DPR has always been a little low, and frankly with how Sneak Attack works, giving them an extra attack won't raise it much. Not with all their ways to get advantage and dual-wielding. Better AC? I've had Rogue off-tanks, they do a fine job with surviving, usually by not being the target of attacks in the first place. Increase sneak attack even more or give them a reaction attack? Okay the second one would be more powerful, and increase their damage... but it wouldn't let them solo an Adult Red Dragon who cancels their stealth. In fact, NONE of these changes would actually make them capable of the standard you are setting.

And frankly, to prevent power creep? I'm not going to immediately start demanding Rogues get better skills, AC and damage just because we fixed problems with two of the other classes. It isn't needed.
 

And frankly, to prevent power creep? I'm not going to immediately start demanding Rogues get better skills, AC and damage just because we fixed problems with two of the other classes. It isn't needed.
I really wonder why you admit fixing other classes' problems could be considered "needed" while Rogue being the absolute weakest class in the game isn't a problem that "need" to be fixed. All the examples you've just made clearly conveyed the situation that Rogue is facing now. It has nothing particular and nothing outstanding as a class. It has nothing that other classes can't do. It's only being "Okay" among Martials but this is a game where almost every class has its "OP" option.

Among three pure Martials that has no access to Magic, Fighters have the best damage burst with Action Surge. Monks are the best Skirmisher with all kinds of features. Barbarians are the toughest Tank with Rage, and no one could "replicate" others' core features. Those features are distinctive enough to be the "OP" option for those classes to be irreplaceable.

But Rogues are...what exactly?? What feature could be their "OP" option exclusive to Rogues that makes the class distinctive? You could say it's the "best skills" in 5e, but do they really that outstanding in 5.5e now? Or do their Skill Checks could have stronger effects that other can't have? No, they don't, and the Skill System still sucks and does little effects for most of the time.

This is a game that literally every class has their "OP" button for them to be a hero in an adventure, but what does a Rogue have? What thing could they and only they can do while other can't? Nothing! And this is definitely a pure bad designing to make a class so not-special that looks like a "a mix of everything but weaker, and without magic". More importantly, all above are based on not considering Casters and Half-Casters, while Martials are already weaker than Casters.

Lastly, I don't know do you play Rogues a lot like it's your main class, or do you just play it sometimes. Cuz I really don't understand why Rogue must be the weak one "to prevent powere creep", this is hilarious to say.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
This is a game that literally every class has their "OP" button for them to be a hero in an adventure, but what does a Rogue have? What thing could they and only they can do while other can't? Nothing! And this is definitely a pure bad designing to make a class so not-special that looks like a "a mix of everything but weaker, and without magic". More importantly, all above are based on not considering Casters and Half-Casters, while Martials are already weaker than Casters.

Skill.

No other class gains and increases skill power as fast and cheaply as Rogue.

Really

Offense: Fighter
Defense (temporary): Barbarian
Mobility: Monk

Thees no other combat role for another martial to excel at unless you add in Control, Buffs, Defending, and Healing to core martial action.
 

GrimCo

Adventurer
Rogues are second best at everything. That's their whole shtick in combat. Versatility. Fighter, barbarian and monk are each beast at their own thing. But rogue is decent in all three. Plus, skills. 4 skills with double proficiency plus reliable talent which sets their default min roll to 10 is very very good. They beat DC 20 checks by default. No other class can match it consistently.
 

The problem boils down to "the rogue was built to shine in the 'exploration' pillar of the game" but because over time many tables (and to be fair, adventure modules) have focused exclusively on combat, rogue has a design problem and needs to be "fixed."
I'd argue that the rogue was built to shine in the narrow realm of dungeon exploration. In the wilderness the ranger is better. And it's not more combat but fewer dungeons and especially mega dungeons.
In other words, the rules need to make sure to give the rogue an environment where they can shine as they were designed to do!
Or update the rogue for less artificial environments than dungeons.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Or update the rogue for less artificial environments than dungeons.
Well the rogue excels in any non-wilderness environment that is not strictly magical.

And they aren't slouches in the wild. It's just that the wild has so many "rules" or lack thereof that only Rangers and Druid who can inject rules via magic
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I really wonder why you admit fixing other classes' problems could be considered "needed" while Rogue being the absolute weakest class in the game isn't a problem that "need" to be fixed. All the examples you've just made clearly conveyed the situation that Rogue is facing now. It has nothing particular and nothing outstanding as a class. It has nothing that other classes can't do. It's only being "Okay" among Martials but this is a game where almost every class has its "OP" option.

Because these are different situations.

Monks were bad in 2014. Oh sure, you could run up and flurry four times for four stunning strikes and people called it good, but I watched multiple people analyzing the Monk and every single one of them came back with the same results. It was a garbage execution of the monk. It wasn't "okay" it was bad.

Many of those same people, doing those same analysis's looked at the Fighter and the Barbarian, and universally agreed that if you weren't in combat, those two classes could barely contribute anything. They had abysmal out-of-combat utility, to the point where I saw multiple players who would shut down and tune out if they were playing one of those classes, and we were not in combat.

These were consistent, long-running, well-established problems.

The 2014 Rogue was good. I've often considered it incredibly well-designed, and it took years for the limits of the skill system to tarnish the class for me down from being one of the best, to being just very good. The 2024 Rogue is inarguably STRONGER than the 2014 rogue. In every way. It isn't a brute force improvement, but with Weapon Mastery and Cunning Strikes, Rogues are better than ever in combat, and their skill abilities like Reliable Talent are coming online earlier. Additionally, aspects of the skill system are being refined and improved, increasing the rogue's viability with those skills.

And your argument is two-fold, first that the Rogue is "unremarkable". You don't say it is bad, you say it has nothing to offer that another class cannot also offer... which is kind of true for all classes. If you break every class down into specific abilities, there is nothing they can do that some other class cannot also do. Secondly, your entire argument rests, not that Rogues have always needed a buff, but that their buff is needed specifically because other classes received a buff. Which is a poor argument, because it simply leads to the slippery slope of always buffing the weakest class.

You can argue that the FIghter does more damage than the Rogue... but neither the fighter nor the rogue's raw DPR numbers have actually changed. The Fighter ALWAYS did more damage than the Rogue. Monk is more mobile than the Rogue? Well, Monks are often sold as a mobility option, and the biggest critique of the Monk was that they had to pay to do what the Rogue could do for free. We have simply put the monk mobility where it should have always been, not created a problem for the Rogue we need to fix, because the Rogue mobility has actually INCREASED, just not as dramatically as the Monks.

Among three pure Martials that has no access to Magic, Fighters have the best damage burst with Action Surge. Monks are the best Skirmisher with all kinds of features. Barbarians are the toughest Tank with Rage, and no one could "replicate" others' core features. Those features are distinctive enough to be the "OP" option for those classes to be irreplaceable.

But Rogues are...what exactly?? What feature could be their "OP" option exclusive to Rogues that makes the class distinctive? You could say it's the "best skills" in 5e, but do they really that outstanding in 5.5e now? Or do their Skill Checks could have stronger effects that other can't have? No, they don't, and the Skill System still sucks and does little effects for most of the time.


This is a game that literally every class has their "OP" button for them to be a hero in an adventure, but what does a Rogue have? What thing could they and only they can do while other can't? Nothing! And this is definitely a pure bad designing to make a class so not-special that looks like a "a mix of everything but weaker, and without magic". More importantly, all above are based on not considering Casters and Half-Casters, while Martials are already weaker than Casters.

I have often complained that the Barbarian is too weak, because it lacks skills and its damage output is middling. Oh, sure, GWM+PAM+Reckless technically is a very high DPR build, but it is a high DPR build for everyone and that is mathematical averages. The Barbarian's actually damage numbers fall behind the Paladin or the Fighter after level 11. Monks were often too weak to deal serious damage, and too vulnerable to stay in melee where they needed to be, forcing them to spend resources to retreat and deal less damage. Their best tactical plan was always "run to the back line where hopefully there is an isolated, weak, ranged attacker and the melee brutes can't reach me in time to save that target" Which was really no more effective than an Archer Fighter hitting the same enemy without risking juking through a melee.

As for what rogues can do, skills are still a thing they have. And if you want to declare that the Skill System sucks and doesn't accomplish anything... then who cares if the Barbarian and the Fighter are better at that sucky system that doesn't do anything? They are also a high mobility option. Yes, Monks are also a high mobility option, but Fighters are also a highly effective tank with their abilities, self-healing and AC and that doesn't put them in conflict with the Barbarian, and you've likely argued the Barbarian DPR is good, yet that doesn't interfere with the Fighter either.

But if you truly want a combat option that no other class can quite match, I'd look to status effects and control. Combine Slow with Trip and a 5th level rogue can knock an opponent prone, and reduce them to effectively moving 10 ft on their turn. Every turn, without resources, by sacrificing ~3.5 DPR (not accounting for accuracy which makes this less). With Hide, Disengage, Withdraw, Dash, and Steady Aim the Rogue will be usually attacking at Advantage (like a barbarian) but will be hard to hit or target, and the few times they can be targeted will be Uncanny Dodged. Sure, you are going to claim Monk's do it better than the rogue, but the Rogue is doing just as good or better than the Barbarian and Fighter.

Lastly, I don't know do you play Rogues a lot like it's your main class, or do you just play it sometimes. Cuz I really don't understand why Rogue must be the weak one "to prevent powere creep", this is hilarious to say.

It is simply logic. Every time I argued for the Ranger, Sorcerer, Monk, Fighter, or Barbarian to have their weaknesses shored up, it was the same response I got. "You cannot focus on improving weak classes, because then there will be a new weakest class that will need improved and you will just be constantly improving everyone's power"

This is not true, and this is why I am stating what I am saying. Rogues already got a buff, a sizeable buff. But now that Monk's no longer suck and Fighters have some skill utility, now Rogues need even more? No. Maybe after a decade of playtesting we will all be disgusted by the Rogue, but I doubt it. Rogues were good before, they got better, I see no reason that any party I've been the rogue on or have seen a rogue in would suddenly no longer have a rogue because they are underperforming. They won't underperform. They are fine.
 

The 2014 Rogue was good. I've often considered it incredibly well-designed, and it took years for the limits of the skill system to tarnish the class for me down from being one of the best, to being just very good.
I guess our biggest disagreement lies in the part of "Rogue was good". It is only good for tables without Feats, and only "feels" good to some players who only care "Oh I throw a lot of dices at a time!"

To me, and to so many players who do pay attention to "what's happening in the game" and the "boring math", Rogue was never good. It was the weakest class in 2014 and still is in 2024. Especially in 2014 where -5/+10 lived, the lack of Extra-Attack basically means a death penalty to a class who can't cast. When you're hiding and trying to get a shot that does a 20+DPR, your Ranger or Fighter or whatever Martial teammates are killing the dragon with 50~60+DPR each, with -5/+10 and advantages from your Casters.

I know this is the part where you and some players might start arguing that "B-But Rogues are for Out of Combats!", but com'on, this is a game that 80% of the contents are about combats and most official adventures are also stuffed with combats, combats, combats and combats. Is it really a good idea to design such a class in such a game? No. This is kind of an outdated designing philosophy that doesn't suits the current playstyle and the actual game.

Even if we talk about "Out of Combats", I still see no reason why two more skill proficiencies would suddenly turn Rogue into a "Out of Combats Master". Two more proficiencies only means you're only better by 10~15% of chance in passing a check than other characters who happened not taking those skills or happened not having the main stats for those skills, which normally you'd be having three teammates. The only differences lies in Expertise, which a Rogue often has to Expertise in Sleight of Hand and Thieves' Tools to make themselves useful enough, otherwise you are also not better than other characters who happen the needed stats, and still you'd be having 3~4 teammates normally.
Especially Mundane Skill Checks like Perception, Investigation, often could be rolled by all the party members in most adventures. Does the team successfully find something basically has nothing to do with the Rogue since you're not significantly good at these skills and "One Pass, Everyone Passed", rolling a N15 isn't that rare for 4~5 players.

I also don't see how could a Rogue could be count as "designed for Out of Combats" when Bards are there. Hell, Bards can do a better "Out of Combats" with JoAT, Expertise, and Spells, while doing a similar even higher DPR, safely with a Long Bow at level 6. After all they have the Valor Bard which grants them Extra-Attack while 2014 Rogue have none.

I know some may argue again "The Reliable Talent!", yeah, but, how many campaigns really reach level 11? According survery made by DNDBeyond, almost none.

So yeah, to me, and to many many players who felt the same thing and see the same thing, Rogue was never good in 2014, and still weak in 2024. You may feel good and had a great time and the DMs were allowing you to do blah-blah-blah, but the "boring math" and game desiging won't lie. What a class can do can be valued objectively through how much damage they could do and how much things they could achieve, and Skills in 5e is absolutely weak compared to spells, in an out of combats, while Rogue's damage also sucks.

Yes, Rogue is weak in 2014.
I know it might be hard to accept for some players who didn't pay much attention to the numbers, balancing, and "optimizations". I had my great time of playing Rogue too. In a great party, with a appropriate story, sure it could brings us fun, but game designing isn't about "did you had a great time", cuz you might have your fun, but not for many others. Game designing is about balacing without assuming the whole campaign is suitable or not. It's about "how to make players still having fun even if the campaign isn't specifically designed for them".
 
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