Pathfinder 2E Paizo's Stephen Radney-MacFarland Previews The Rogue Class For Pathfinder 2nd Edition!

We saw the fighter last week; today it's the turn of the rogue! Paizo's Stephen Radney-MacFarland gives the inside scoop on rogue features, and feats.


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Rogue by Wayne Reynolds



What do we know from this latest blog entry? Here's some class features:

  • Sneak Attack (1st level) -- Rogues get Sneak Attack as their first class feature. Extra d6s of damage vs. flat-footed foes (such as flanked enemies, or those who fall victim to the Surprise Attack feature).
  • Surprise Attack (1st level) -- "during the first round of combat, the rogue treats any creature that has not taken its turn yet as if it were flat-footed."
  • Debilitating Strike (9th level) -- entangle or enfeeble targets in addition to damage. Higher levels add more conditions.
  • Master Strike (19th level) -- ... culminating in Master Strike, which is an insta-kill at 19th level.
  • More skill ranks, proficiencies, and skill feats than any other class. One skill feat per level rather than every other level.
And here's some class feats a rogue can take:

  • Nimble Dodge -- +2 AC at a whim.
  • Mobility (2nd level) -- move half speed and ignore reactions like attacks of opportunity.
  • Reactive Pursuit (4th level) -- a sticky ability which allows the rogue to chase after foes who try to disengage.
  • Dead Striker (4th level) -- treat frightened creatures as flat-footed.
  • Gang Up (6th level) -- treat enemies within melee range of of your an ally as flat-footed.
  • Twist the Knife (6th level) -- if you do sneak attack damage, do ongoing bleeding damage equal to half your sneak attack dice.
  • Instant Opening (14th level) -- make a creature within 30' flat-footed until the end of your next turn.
  • Cognitive Loophole -- ignore a mental effect for a round before it takes hold.
  • Blank Slate (16th level) -- immune to detection, revelation, and scrying effects.
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Who said anything about chains? I know I didn't.

My post was specificialy in response to [MENTION=55705]NaturalZero[/MENTION]

It has specifically pointed out by the devs that there are no feat chains of the Dodge> Mobility> Spring Attack type. There are the improving ones, like Vital Strike> Improved Vital Strike> Greater Vital Strike, which just make a feat's mechanical effects better.

Well that is good... as long as this doesn't translate to "do a tiny bit more damage, do a tiny bit more damage in an annoying way, do a tiny bit more damage with your eyes closed, shatter the earth's crust with your massive damage".

Wow. I guess they're probably going to rename it from "Rogue" to what it is: "Action-Hero" or maybe "Ninja-Jedi-Batman-Genius".

All we see is combat, combat, combat, combat, combat, combat, combat, combat and combat; oh and a totally transparent attempt to hide "and extra COMBAT stuff you can add yourself" under the guise of "and extra skills and feats".

I wasn't a big fan of PF1. Definitely avoiding PF2. No point if this is the direction they are taking things. I mean, they HAVE to 'balance' the other classes to this monstrosity of a combat monster. So PF2 seems to be focused on three pillars too I guess. But PF2's three pillars are Combat, Killing and Fighting.

...sigh... Oh well...

^_^

Paul L. Ming

Isn't this kinda true with 5e though? Or D&D in general? I'll admit that PF does it to a greater degree but...
 

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Lylandra

Adventurer
I'm all for 1 sneak attack per round as limit, but giving the rogue ways to enhance this attack or to apply it more often.

And yes, I'm also sick of 8+ sneak attack/round rogues...
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Isn't this kinda true with 5e though? Or D&D in general? I'll admit that PF does it to a greater degree but...

It absolutely is - every edition and all of the variants. I was reminded of it last weekend when my usual 13th age group was down a person (a person whose character was crucial to the current story arc), so they let me run Torg Eternity instead. Other than some "rules light" one-off games (like Monster of the Week or Timewatch), we've been playing D&D variants almost exclusively as a group for going on 15 years now (3e, then 4e, then 13th Age) and the difference in the emphasis in the systems was striking. Both systems are mechanically complex, and Torg isn't a slouch in the combat mechanics department by any stretch, but the focus on combat that the F20 family of games have really comes out when you compare it to a game that doesn't have "killing monsters and taking their stuff" as the core activity that PCs are expected to partake in.
 

MarkAHart

Explorer
One thing I've found with RPGs is that you have to play them to appreciate the good (and the not so good) qualities; a read-through of the rules isn't sufficient. You actually have to see the rule elements in play and experience them. As much as I enjoy seeing previews, I'm actively trying to avoid making any value judgments until I see the rules in action. As they say, the play is the thing...
 

Arilyn

Hero
One thing I've found with RPGs is that you have to play them to appreciate the good (and the not so good) qualities; a read-through of the rules isn't sufficient. You actually have to see the rule elements in play and experience them. As much as I enjoy seeing previews, I'm actively trying to avoid making any value judgments until I see the rules in action. As they say, the play is the thing...

Yes, this is true. My first read through of 13th Age, for example, was me being really unsure about some of the mechanics, but then we played it and I quickly became a huge fan.
 

Koloth

First Post
The PF1 rogue is either the most deadly thing on the battlefield or one of the most useless, depending on if it gets a flank/sneak attack on a susceptible opponent. Hope PF2 tries to even things out a bit. Odd that the rogue is still the top skill character. Would think the bard, the class that is supposed to know all the odd crap, would be a top class for skills.

Would also like these blog entries to outline how the various classes will handle the other two modes of the game. So far, seems only the combat mode is being discussed. Or should we assume the other two modes are unimportant and can be safely ignored?
 


Markn

First Post
After what was to me a very promising-looking Fighter preview, I’m very underwhelmed with what I’m seeing here for the rogue. Sneak Attack is fine, but nothing that hasn’t come to be expected in any D&D-alike. Debilitating Strikes sound good, but 9th level is WAY too late for what seems to be the class’s main sorurce of interesting things to do in combat. Some mobility feats and some flat-footed enabling feats, which are basically just two different flavors of “make it easier to set up Sneak Attack,” so it seems like for half their careers (or in a campaign of more realistic length, 90% of their careers) their sole activity in combat will consist of attacking for a piddly amount of damage, or attacking for a more reasonable amount of damage, depending on if they can set up whatever circumstance their Feats allow them to use Sneak Attack under.

Skill Feats every level is fine, but boring. I like Skill Monkeys, but the PF1 fighter proved that “the same Feats everyone else can take, but more of them” isn’t a particularly interesting defining characteristic for a class.

I think a few things are happening here.

First, Paizo got ripped for going pretty far with the fighter. I think they consciously showed components of the Rogue that are familiar to appease the players that were freaking out about the fighter.

Second, one method of making higher level play work is to expand the feel of low level to higher level. This means powers that were traditionally given out earlier in PF1 now show up later. Assuming all classes do this, then the rogue won't suffer.

I think some of the learnings that both WotC and Paizo have learned is that too many features that cause cognitive overload at lower levels is an issue. If you can create new options without cognitive overload at low levels, then slide cognitive overload features to higher levels, you expand the game play range that most people use. I feel this is the path that PF is taking but I have no actual proof yet.

On a different not, I think there are some interesting choices for rogue players with what they have chosen to show. You can go the mobility route moving around without provoking. You can go the sticky route and move with enemies that try to move away from you. You can make it easier to get off your sneak attack with some of the new feats (no longer needing flank, etc). And all of this is before you take Ancestry and Skill feats into the equation. I think there are plenty of options and things to do.

Edit: Also, don't forget the rogue has 3 actions a round as well like the fighter. This could mean multiple attacks, or setting up a sneak attack and attempting that twice (at least I don't think SA is limited to once a round...). At any rate. The 3 action system I think heavily impacts the rogue at lower levels.
 
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Markn

First Post
I'm not a Pathfinder guy, what does "flat-footed" mean in PF?

Depends if you are asking in PF1 or PF2. In PF1, it was like an AC but without your dex bonus (and there may be more but I haven't played PF in a while).

In PF2, I believe it provides a +2 bonus to hit (it might be a -2 to AC), but either way it is a bonus of 2.
 


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