Rogue vs College of Whispers Bard

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Let me start by saying I'm really comparing in the level 5-10 range.

It seems to me that the college of whispers bard can do as much (or nearly as much) damage as a rogue about one encounter per short rest. In addition they have full casting capabilities and access to a number of very good control and utility spells.

They both have expertise. They both can use short swords. They both get light armor.

So, I pose the question to you. Why would you want to be a rogue instead of a college of whispers bard in level 5-10 range?
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Lots of reasons. You don’t want to play a caster, you want to dump Charisma and invest more into Constitution or Wisdom, you like having the added maneuverability of Cunning Action, you like sneak attack, you don’t want your damage output to be reliant on a limited resource, you want to have expertise with Thieves’ Tools, you want Thieves’ Cant... And of course the obvious roleplay reasons.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Lots of reasons. You don’t want to play a caster, you want to dump Charisma and invest more into Constitution or Wisdom, you like having the added maneuverability of Cunning Action, you like sneak attack, you don’t want your damage output to be reliant on a limited resource, you want to have expertise with Thieves’ Tools, you want Thieves’ Cant... And of course the obvious roleplay reasons.
I asked why you would want to. Them are some generic reasons and mostly terrible ones IMO. So why would you want to be a rogue over a college of whispers bard in the level 5-10 range?
 

bedir than

Explorer
I asked why you would want to. Them are some generic reasons and mostly terrible ones IMO. So why would you want to be a rogue over a college of whispers bard in the level 5-10 range?
Those aren't generic, but exactly as specific as you were in the opener.
Other reasons include;
Being more difficult to damage
Extra feats
Supreme Sneak/Infiltration/Magical Ambush/etc
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Those aren't generic, but exactly as specific as you were in the opener.
Other reasons include;
Being more difficult to damage
Extra feats
Supreme Sneak/Infiltration/Magical Ambush/etc
Again generic reasons (many not even in the level range specificed). You are answering all the reasons someone might give for wanting to be one or the other. That's not what I asked. I asked what reasons you would want to be one over the other. Giving me a list of all the differences in the classes isn't answering the question. It's a personal question for you.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Again generic reasons (many not even in the level range specificed). You are answering all the reasons someone might give for wanting to be one or the other. That's not what I asked. I asked what reasons you would want to be one over the other. Giving me a list of all the differences in the classes isn't answering the question. It's a personal question for you.
Pretty weird to ask a “personal question” to everyone on a public forum, about their reasoning for a preference they may or may not have. I can’t really tell you why I, personally, right now, want to play a level 5-10 rogue over a level 5-10 whisper bard because I’m not currently considering playing either such character. I guess I’ll get back to you when and if those are ever options I’m weighing against each other? Don’t hold your breath.
 

Esker

Explorer
Four expertise skills by level 6 instead of waiting until level 10? (Six if scout) Rogues can also be better at perception/insight, since they could dump CHA, which a whispers bard can't, and make WIS their second or third best stat.

You want to be great at picking locks and disarming traps (bard can't take expertise in thieves' tools, though some Eberron races can; arcane trickster can do this at range)

Better survivability (cunning action disengage, uncanny dodge, evasion, various subclass features -- the bard spell list doesn't offer much to compete with these)

Better damage (cunning action hideif ranged, slightly more uses of the extra damage, especially if you are comparing against a whispers bard that does not really invest in CHA like a rogue can afford not to)

You like various other subclass features (the whispers bard is getting this damage as their main subclass feature, whereas rogues get in in their main class and get other things on top)
.
You expect long adventuring days and want abilities that will still be available at the end of the day.

I mean, the rogue's main things are being slippery, with three whole very good class features dedicated to that, and doing skills better than anyone else. I think the bard chassis is one of the strongest in the game, and of course is next best at skills; so if comparing all of the rogue's stuff with being a full caster, I'd usually pick being a full caster, but keep in mind you're a full caster without many spells to help yourself survive. I'm playing two rogues and a bard right now in different campaigns (though one of the rogues is multiclassed). They are all a lot of fun to play, and have a very different feel)
 

bedir than

Explorer
Again generic reasons (many not even in the level range specificed). You are answering all the reasons someone might give for wanting to be one or the other. That's not what I asked. I asked what reasons you would want to be one over the other. Giving me a list of all the differences in the classes isn't answering the question. It's a personal question for you.
Every thing I listed was in levels 6-10.

And when you open with DPR I know you aren't interested in my personal reasons for picking a class over another.
Because my reasons for picking any class have nothing to do with DPR, ever.
 

Esker

Explorer
The whispers bard is going to have a tough time in melee in tier 2, I think, and would feel pressed to use their level 10 Magical Secrets picks to pick up something like a Shield or Misty Step. A high elf or arcane trickster rogue will also have booming blade, and has a built-in way to proc the bonus damage.

Fortunately psychic blades works at range; but they're not going to be getting advantage at range nearly as often as a ranged rogue would.

Suppose you go, say, Changeling, giving you expertise in Thieves' Tools, and a 1/SR self-defense ability (though not a very strong one), and you prioritize DEX. You can have 16 DEX, 16 CHA and 14 CON to start; by 5th level you can have 18 DEX, and at 8th 20 DEX (or you could get crossbow expert with one of those, same as a rogue). That means you have 3 uses of psychic blades per short rest, which is about half the time for a typical adventuring day. And you usually won't have advantage (though you could cast Faerie Fire or something in round 1).

With a light crossbow, you're doing

0.60 * (4.5 + 0.5 * 3 * 3.5 + 4) = 8.25 damage at 5th level.

A comparable rogue, assuming they can hide about half the time and get sneak attack about 90% of the time, is doing

(0.5 * 0.60 + 0.5 * 0.84) * (4.5 + 0.9 * 3 * 3.5 + 4) = 12.9 damage at 5th level

More if they went elf/half-elf and took elven accuracy at 4th.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
Let me start by saying I'm really comparing in the level 5-10 range.

It seems to me that the college of whispers bard can do as much (or nearly as much) damage as a rogue about one encounter per short rest. In addition they have full casting capabilities and access to a number of very good control and utility spells.

They both have expertise. They both can use short swords. They both get light armor.

So, I pose the question to you. Why would you want to be a rogue instead of a college of whispers bard in level 5-10 range?
Class fantasy: At that kind of level the Bard is a definite spellcaster with several magical abilities that emphasise the fear and manipulation theme, whereas the Rogue is a highly skilled professional who relies on their mundane capabilities and dirty fighting.
The image of the character is also important in terms of their abilities: By this time both characters will have an ASI or feat and will gain another during this range. The focus on Dexterity (probably) for the Rogue may be more appealing than splitting between Charisma and Dexterity.

At that level range, traps are often getting more common and nastier, and Expertise in Thieves tools is not only starting to distinguish itself, it is seeing more use.

Adventuring days are becoming less reliable and often longer, and I like the way the Rogue just keeps on working, whereas the bard requires rests to be able to keep up its DPR. Rogues get uncanny dodge as well, making them surprisingly tough.

I can see times when I might prefer to play a Bard rather than a Rogue: I do tend towards support characters. However if playing a bard, I would probably prefer an archetype with a different class fantasy than the College of Whispers.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
"Why would you want to be a rogue instead of a college of whispers bard in level 5-10 range?"

It's not a competition that makes one better than the other. Thry bring different types of play to the table. So, I would be likely to play either - tho to be fair whispers is one of my least favorite bards except for the shadow snatcher bit.

Imo if you want DPR combat melee bard, you gotta go MC to get two pally. That way you can smite with those bard levels of spells too. No oaths to complicate things. I think I nicknamed them Shadow Singers in my campaign. Stat spread is an issue tho, but within bounds.

But that aside, I am drawn to rogues by Cunning action (its movement benefits are many), evasion and its various sub-class features from thief, scout, mastermind. Just depends on who I want "this guy* to be.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Rogue 5-10 abilities that are more worth burning bardic inspiration die to deal extra psychic damage: Uncanny Dodge, Evasion, +1 ASI @ 10th than a Bard gets, Rogue's +5d6 damage is all day long, style as noted by others already.

They are very different, and while you can get some of the rogue flavor from Criminal Background, College of Whispers bard is such a different style and headspace than any of the Rogue archetypes. There really isn't one that comes close to the College of Whisper's flavor in the Rogue chassis. Only the Assassin with their Imposter ability even get close to anything the Whisper Bard is doing.

RP-wise, I can very easily see the College of Whisper Bard being either a part of or its own type of Assassin's guild in a world that works with/rules over more "common assassins" or something like that.
 
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Again generic reasons (many not even in the level range specificed). You are answering all the reasons someone might give for wanting to be one or the other. That's not what I asked. I asked what reasons you would want to be one over the other. Giving me a list of all the differences in the classes isn't answering the question. It's a personal question for you.
"You" in the context of the question appears generic, rather than personal - other wise why are you asking?

Personally I wouldn't choose to play either - there is nothing wrong with either of them, but I prefer classes with a more direct approach.
 

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