D&D 5E Rogues: Weak, Just Right, or Overpowered?

How powerful are Rogues?

  • Too Weak

    Votes: 5 20.8%
  • Too Powerful

    Votes: 8 33.3%
  • Just Right

    Votes: 11 45.8%

cmbarona

First Post
I've been playing a Rogue since the beginning of the playtest, so I realize I'm not impartial here. I've seen the effectiveness of their sneak attack go up and down, and a number of class features come and go. So, where do you think they stand now?

The question came up in my most recent game, especially after hearing about the Cunning Action ability (we don't play too often). My compatriots believe the Rogue is overpowered, but I would argue they are just about right. Admittedly the Cunning Action is a bit much, but other than that they don't seem too bad for me.
 

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I only played in the first playtest packet, when they were really weak.

Now their AC tends to break bonded accuracy (because it scales through Dex increases, when most other PCs' don't, so monster attack bonuses have to scale with other PCs). This isn't a rogue issue; rangers experience this too, and monks probably bend the system even more (why does WotC think Dex + Wis boosts AC is a good idea; you start weak and end up very strong?).

But that's not based on playtesting, just paper.
 

Argyle King

Legend
So far, they seem alright to me. Being able to be more mobile certainly fits with the theme of the class. While it gives rogues options that other classes do not have, all of those extra options are things I do expect a rogue to have.

I voted "just right," but it's a bit difficult for me to say exactly how I feel in the end because some of the other classes vary greatly. Likewise, some of the character options vary greatly when it comes to power. As I'm not currently sure what the baseline amount of power is supposed to be in 5th Edition, I'm hard pressed to offer more of an opinion. Though, during the playtests I've done over the past few weeks, the rogue seems about right to me.
 




Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Slightly overpowered early, underpowered past about 6th level.

We're only 3rd level, so I guess we're in the slightly overpowered part of it. Right now he 1) does the most damage often (he sneak attacks every round, and if he chooses assassination can crit two rounds as well), 2) is very difficult to hit (high AC and with essentially spring attack every round he's never next to a foe anyway), and 3) best at non-combat activities (expertise). The only thing the rogue isn't doing well at the moment is having the most hit points, and that's partially a factor of simple luck when rolling each new level (the wizard rolled max hit points every level, and has a Con bonus, so happens to have fighter-level hit points).
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
I clicked too weak, for three reasons, but that's not quite right for the problems that I have with the current implementation of the Rogue.

1. Niche. The rogue's niche of skill-monkey (something that makes the niche enjoyable to play, for me at least) is currently not doing well. Once the Bard hits level 3 (and Expertise kicks in), Bardic Knowledge makes them a better skill monkey that the Rogue (and with no limit on skill selection).

2. Builds. Currently, the play test only allows Dexterity builds. Previous packets have been more diverse, and I expect the diversity to return, but the range of effective available builds is lower here than it has been previously (where strength and charisma builds were actively supported), and that makes the rogue less compelling to play (again, for me).

3. Backgrounds. The implementation of extra skills in the Rogue (and Ranger and Bard) is flavourless. I'd prefer to see the extra skills come in the form of a second background (possibly chosen from a limited list, if restrictions are needed). That was in the very first test pack, and it helped make compelling stories. If re-implemented, it would allow (a) all classes only to grant one skill, except with a specific class ability and (b) the rogue to have an extra background as a class ability, perhaps not at first level to avoid the problem of 1-level dips.

None of these, essentially, are about combat. I expect the rouge to be a bit behind in combat, and to need to work to be effective (through sneak attack). But I'd like to see the rogue strengthened out-of-combat, and to be more dynamic in the other pillars of the game.

(In terms of play, I've not sensed particular strengths or weaknesses in combat, but we've not done much levelling -- mostly one-offs at various levels.)
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I clicked too weak, for three reasons, but that's not quite right for the problems that I have with the current implementation of the Rogue.

1. Niche. The rogue's niche of skill-monkey (something that makes the niche enjoyable to play, for me at least) is currently not doing well. Once the Bard hits level 3 (and Expertise kicks in), Bardic Knowledge makes them a better skill monkey that the Rogue (and with no limit on skill selection).

Well, that depends on the Rogue. A Rogue that chooses thievery instead of assassination, you get bonuses to some others at 3rd level. And then at 11th level you get reliable talent.

But I agree they are similar in skill proficiency, and if you want the Rogue to be clearly superior to the Bard in that, then I can see the objection. For me, I am fine with both the Bard and the Rogue being roughly equal in skill proficiency.
 

Salamandyr

Adventurer
I haven't been super happy with the rogue. It's not bad, but it could be better. For one thing, I don't like his combat function to revolve around sneak attack. I want to be able to play the rogue more as a fencer, or lone duellist. As I told their survey, if I can't model a reasonable facsimile of the Gray Mouser using the rogue class alone, they've failed.

Also, I think the rogue, and even more the bard, is too weak in the hit point department, relative to the cleric, the druid, and the mage. I don't see any reason why a rogue, who is expected to get into melee should have equal or fewere hit points than a caster.

The bard's even worse in that department, since they have a build entirely built around being a melee combatant.
 

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