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D&D 5E Sniper Rogue?

ECMO3

Hero
Now, I will start out by saying that the Assassin and the Inquisitive both do a good job of helping you be a sniper, but neither feels like a character specialized in that strategy, to me.

Which makes me wonder, what would? The assassin crits more and has advantage when getting the drop, which is easy to do with hundreds of feet of range and exceptional stealth, but the rest of the subclass is about social infiltration, more or less.

The Inquisitive lets you reliably sneak attack regardless of circumstance, allowing you more freedom in your tactics from round to round, once you've set that up, but it's actually a fairly small boon most of the time.

The Scout....exists, I guess. You can get away from people a bit easier, after they've whomped on you, if you didn't use your reaction to mitigate damage with uncanny dodge.

So, I don't think that rogues need much damage boost, but a sniper isn't dual wielding, and will probably never get reaction attacks, so I do think that a mild damage increase is possible, here.

Also, in terms of the story of a subclass, I see two possibilities. First, the rogue's alternative to the fighter's Gunslinger. Proficiency with guns, reload as a bonus action, etc. The second is the Deepwood Sniper concept. Basically an alternate Scout, gets proficiency but not automatic expertise in Survival and Nature, then sniper stuff and maybe some climbing related stuff, ability to ignore partial cover.

The gunfighter would be less focused on long range, and have some features that speak to fast draw type stuff, while the Deepwood sniper would be more about stealth and long range.

Here are some quick thoughts for mechanics that could work. The subclass wouldn't get all of these, they're just a list of ideas.

  • Pick Your Target - the sniper gets to choose a target and focus on them, similar to the inquisitive.
  • Shot on The Run - you can use Steady Aim even if you move. Later, you can move full speed without a stealth penalty.
  • Use The Terrain - you can attempt to hide while only lightly obscured by features of the terrain that would be difficult terrain.
  • Lethal Aim - When you hit with advantage on a ranged weapon attack, you gain one or more of;
    • Reroll 1s and 2s on the damage dice
    • reduce the target to 0hp if the damage would reduce them to a number of HP equal to your Rogue Level + your dex or lower
    • Your Sneak Attack damage dice become d8s instead of d6s
  • You can make a ranged weapon attack as as a reaction as if you'd taken the readied action if;
    • A creature you have studied (or marked for death or whatever) moves more than 10ft or draws a weapon or spellcasting focus item while within the short range of a ranged weapon you are weilding
    • A creature makes a ranged attack against you or an ally of yours within 30ft of you
    • A hidden or invisible creature comes out of hiding or becomes visible due to casting a spell or making an attack
  • You crit on a 19 or 20, either against targets you've marked, or with specific weapons, or when you make an attack that qualifies for sneak attack?
  • A slightly more "tinker" aspect could be gained by being able to build specialised ranged weapons with greater range, repeating mechanisms, etc.
  • A pool of trick shot dice, or an at-will version that packs less punch (no extra damage). Maybe reduce SA damage for secondary effects, but I've never seen any version of that be satisfying.

Any other ideas? Know of any 3pp rogue subclasses that already do this?
Arcane Trickster subclass with the Fey touched feat and Hex does a really good job of this already. Take minor illusion to create your own hiding places to snipe from.

With Tasha's stead aim sniper Rogues can get advantage (and sneak attack) really often. Sometimes enemies will get smart and move behind cover, but otherwise you can snipe them at will with SA. Steady aim certainly tilted the game more towards the snipers, so I don't think they need more.

As far as what is above: I think shoot on the run, use the terrain, lethal aim and the ranged AOO are way OP as subclass features IMO. I think trick-shot dice should be more of a fighter thing, not appropriate in a Rogue IMO unless taken as a feat, similarly tinker sounds more like an artificer.

The one that is ok is you crit on a 19 or 20, although I think that should be the 9th level ability. How about this as a framework:

Expertise in stealth and proficiency in heavy crossbow and longbow at 3rd level. Ignores loading with crossbows.
Crit on a 19 or 20 when using a Bow or Crossbow at 9th level
Ambush master at 13th level (equivalent to the scout subclass.)
Sudden Strike at 17th level (equivalent to the scout subclass) but only when using a bow or crossbow.
 
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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I've actually already created a homebrew Rogue subclass called the Sniper (I also did an Archer Fighter subclass to go with the same general theme).

At level 3, I gave them proficiency with all martial weapons that are ranged (including firearms), as well as giving them a feature that grants them critical hits on a roll of a natural 19-20 with Ranged Weapon Attacks. Finally, they get a minor benefit that grants them advantage on attack rolls against creatures that are incapable of moving (such as through being grappled).

At level 9, when a sniper is hiding, they count as Invisible until they make an attack roll or cast a spell.

At level 13, they can make opportunity attacks using ranged weapons when someone moves within 10 feet of them.

Finally, at level 17, when a Sniper attacks with a ranged weapon and they attack at advantage, they can choose to make two attacks with the ranged weapon instead of rolling one attack at advantage. Then, as long as the attack(s) would normally trigger Sneak Attack (through an enemy of the target being within 5 feet of the creature, an additional effect that grants advantage to hit, or similar trigger), Sneak Attack can be applied to any of the two attacks that hit.

Any thoughts?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've actually already created a homebrew Rogue subclass called the Sniper (I also did an Archer Fighter subclass to go with the same general theme).

At level 3, I gave them proficiency with all martial weapons that are ranged (including firearms), as well as giving them a feature that grants them critical hits on a roll of a natural 19-20 with Ranged Weapon Attacks. Finally, they get a minor benefit that grants them advantage on attack rolls against creatures that are incapable of moving (such as through being grappled).

At level 9, when a sniper is hiding, they count as Invisible until they make an attack roll or cast a spell.

At level 13, they can make opportunity attacks using ranged weapons when someone moves within 10 feet of them.

Finally, at level 17, when a Sniper attacks with a ranged weapon and they attack at advantage, they can choose to make two attacks with the ranged weapon instead of rolling one attack at advantage. Then, as long as the attack(s) would normally trigger Sneak Attack (through an enemy of the target being within 5 feet of the creature, an additional effect that grants advantage to hit, or similar trigger), Sneak Attack can be applied to any of the two attacks that hit.

Any thoughts?
I like that a lot. The level 13 ability is a good way to make reaction attacks happen, though I think it's still too limited compared to what melee rogues can do with a feat or two. Perhaps a sniper feat that competes with the other ranged feats or a variant of sharpshooter.

Anyway, ranged attacks aren't so powerful that ranged rogues should just basically never get opportunities for ranged reaction attacks while melee rogues can get them pretty often.
Arcane Trickster subclass with the Fey touched feat and Hex does a really good job of this already. Take minor illusion to create your own hiding places to snipe from.
I don't know why I always hit this wall here, but nowhere else I talk about games. The salient point is niether "how powerful can we make a ranged rogue" nor is it "does the game have a build that accomplishes most of the goals, more or less, that we can kludge into mostly working?"

The point is to explore the idea of a Sniper rogue, and/or a tinker/gunfighter rogue.
With Tasha's stead aim sniper Rogues can get advantage (and sneak attack) really often. Sometimes enemies will get smart and move behind cover, but otherwise you can snipe them at will with SA. Steady aim certainly tilted the game more towards the snipers, so I don't think they need more.
Steady aim helps them have advantage a little more often, while still costing the same action economy that they'd otherwise use to get advantage. It's not some huge boon.
As far as what is above: I think shoot on the run, use the terrain, lethal aim and the ranged AOO are way OP as subclass features IMO.
I'm...flummoxed by this. Shot On The Run is a fairly small boon. I wouldn't even let it be the only level 3 benefit. Use The Terrain is, at best, equal to the wood elf's ability to try to hide in natural terrain. Lethal Aim, you may have missed the "one or more" thing? The suggestion isn't to give them all of that.
I think trick-shot dice should be more of a fighter thing, not appropriate in a Rogue IMO unless taken as a feat, similarly tinker sounds more like an artificer.
I don't consider "an existing class has a thematically similar thing already" to be a compelling basis for criticism of an idea. Not every concept that has dice you spend to do a cool thing needs to be fighter, and not every inventor or builder needs to be an artificer (or magical at all).
The one that is ok is you crit on a 19 or 20, although I think that should be the 9th level ability. How about this as a framework:

Expertise in stealth and proficiency in heavy crossbow and longbow at 3rd level. Ignores loading with crossbows.
Crit on a 19 or 20 when using a Bow or Crossbow at 9th level
Ambush master at 13th level (equivalent to the scout subclass.)
Sudden Strike at 17th level (equivalent to the scout subclass) but only when using a bow or crossbow.
I think we see balance very differently. That level 3 is...much less than most rogue subclasses get. The idea of giving them the same level 17 as the scout but more limited is just....no, thanks.

I do think those can be built on, but I think you and I are just on too different tracks in terms of how we see the power level of rogues, and what kind of stuff should be in the game.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I wanted to circle back around to these ideas.
I love the idea of a gunner rogue. The deepwood idea I don’t think it’s conceptually different enough from the scout for my taste. What about if the Gunner got a choice of fighting styles at 3rd level though? Sniper to ignore long range penalty with muskets (or two-handed firearms if you want to make it compatible with modern and scifi firearms and/or homebrew firearms) and dragoon to ignore melee range penalty and loading property with pistols (or one-handed firearms)?
I like the idea of splitting things up within the gunner (don't love that name, but Gunslinger is taken) with two fighting styles, but I'd probably broaden it out to ranged weapon attacks in general, but make sure that it's really nice for crossbow and gun users.


I've actually already created a homebrew Rogue subclass called the Sniper (I also did an Archer Fighter subclass to go with the same general theme).

At level 3, I gave them proficiency with all martial weapons that are ranged (including firearms), as well as giving them a feature that grants them critical hits on a roll of a natural 19-20 with Ranged Weapon Attacks. Finally, they get a minor benefit that grants them advantage on attack rolls against creatures that are incapable of moving (such as through being grappled).

At level 9, when a sniper is hiding, they count as Invisible until they make an attack roll or cast a spell.

At level 13, they can make opportunity attacks using ranged weapons when someone moves within 10 feet of them.

Finally, at level 17, when a Sniper attacks with a ranged weapon and they attack at advantage, they can choose to make two attacks with the ranged weapon instead of rolling one attack at advantage. Then, as long as the attack(s) would normally trigger Sneak Attack (through an enemy of the target being within 5 feet of the creature, an additional effect that grants advantage to hit, or similar trigger), Sneak Attack can be applied to any of the two attacks that hit.

Any thoughts?

What if at level 17 they can make a ranged weapon attack as part of the same reaction they use for Uncanny Dodge, or any other reaction they take that does not already involve an attack?

Either that, or perhaps a really strong focus effect. Remember that Thief gets a whole extra turn every round, so 17 can be biiiig if there is a good thematic fit. I feel like something comparable to the Assassin is in order here. Something that spikes damage out of the park. Maybe lose the need to not move when using Steady Aim at 9 or 13, and at 17 you can make an additional attack as part of the attack action any time you kill or crit a target, and the second attack can deal sneak attack damage even if you already have that turn?

The Dragoon and Sniper could still be two subclasses, though, as well. Or make like some other subclasses and have essentially two (or three) paths within the subclass. Dragoon, Sniper, and Pistolier.

A way to have trick shots without having special dice might be to basically do like Open Hand Monk, and say that when you focus on a target, you can do one of these 3 things when you hit with a ranged weapon attack once per turn. Each [Deadeye?] specialization adds a passive benefit at 3, and you can do the 3 trick shots. That plus proficiency with all ranged weapons should fill out level 3 about equal to Arcane Trickster or Swashbuckler.

Level 3, You gain proficiency with all ranged weapons, including firearms if they are allowed in the campaign. You ignore the loading property of any ranged weapon you use, and if a weapon has a Reload property, as in the DMG, you can reload that weapon as a bonus action.

When you hit with a ranged weapon attack and deal Sneak Attack damage, you can also apply one of the following effects. [DC calculation text]
  • The target must make a strength saving throw against you Deadeye DC or drop an item they are carrying.
  • The target must make a desterity saving throw or their speed is halved. They can save against the effect again on their turn. If they succeed, the effect ends.
  • If the attack was made with advantage, you reroll any 1s on the damage dice.

Specializations: (these are too powerful right now. I'd rather narrow them down than build on weak features)
  • Dragoon - Your movement or that of a mount you are riding increases by 5ft, and you or your mount can ignore difficult terrain by making an Acrobatics check. You ignore a number of feet of difficult terrain equal to the result of the check.
  • Sniper - You can take the Steady Aim action even if you move on your turn. If you take it and do not move, or take it and attack while prone, your attack ignores the long range of your weapon.
  • Pistolier - You can reload a onehanded ranged weapon without having a free hand, regardless of whether it has the loading or reload properties. Your ranged weapon attacks do not suffer disadvantage when a hostile creature is within 5ft of you.
Level 9 should be something less combat related, 13 can be crit on a 19, and then 17 is extra damage when you crit?

Maybe it should be a couple subclasses after all. I really like the idea of the pistolier being a showoff and having like performance and deception, and being able to feint, attack as a reaction when initiative is rolled or they fail a deception check, and have the reload without a free hand and reload weapons with the reload property some firearms have in the DMG as an object interaction. That doesn't fit the Dragoon or the Sniper, though.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I wanted to circle back around to these ideas.

I like the idea of splitting things up within the gunner (don't love that name, but Gunslinger is taken) with two fighting styles, but I'd probably broaden it out to ranged weapon attacks in general, but make sure that it's really nice for crossbow and gun users.
If you’re going to broaden it out to ranged weapons in general, I’d suggest the name Marksman.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'll have to give it more thought. I already want to make a rogue subclass that's an inventor, and tbh I think the gunslinger from Critical Role thematically fits the rogue better than the fighter anyway. Especially since the Battlemaster is a better gunslinger than the gunslinger.

The scoundrel-esque Pistolier or Pistolaro, the tinkering Gunsmith, the fast and optionally mounted Dragoon, and the "how i would have done the Scout because IMO the Scout is kinda terrible" Deepwood Sniper, all have enough thematic depth to make a subclass. The real question is, do I want to make them rogues, or stick with my earlier Archer class?
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I'll have to give it more thought. I already want to make a rogue subclass that's an inventor, and tbh I think the gunslinger from Critical Role thematically fits the rogue better than the fighter anyway. Especially since the Battlemaster is a better gunslinger than the gunslinger.

The scoundrel-esque Pistolier or Pistolaro, the tinkering Gunsmith, the fast and optionally mounted Dragoon, and the "how i would have done the Scout because IMO the Scout is kinda terrible" Deepwood Sniper, all have enough thematic depth to make a subclass. The real question is, do I want to make them rogues, or stick with my earlier Archer class?
I think if you’re going to be making several subclasses all themed around use of ranged weapons, they might be better off as part of a custom class that maybe shares some rogue DNA than to try to make them all fit under the rogue class.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think if you’re going to be making several subclasses all themed around use of ranged weapons, they might be better off as part of a custom class that maybe shares some rogue DNA than to try to make them all fit under the rogue class.
Yeah, I think you're right. I think I may go over my ideas and figure out what it is that I want to actually be a rogue, and put the rest in my Archer class. The dragoon is already basically a thing in that class, with much more room to really flesh out using a mount and also having features that are useful without a mount.
Warlocks make pretty good snipers, if they want to invest in the proper invocations. The Hunter is pretty good at it too.
Oh how I wish I could reasonably mix Warlock and Artillerist Artficer without rolling really good stats. Both are really good arcane snipers, but together?!

Hunter's only weakness is not being able to swap out their 3rd level feature. Treat it like a stance or something. Although, honestly, cannibalizing the Hunter wouldn't be a terrible way to fix the Ranger's problems without adding more spellcasting. Basically add the Hunter's features to Favored Enemy. Done.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I'm...flummoxed by this. Shot On The Run is a fairly small boon. I wouldn't even let it be the only level 3 benefit. Use The Terrain is, at best, equal to the wood elf's ability to try to hide in natural terrain. Lethal Aim, you may have missed the "one or more" thing? The suggestion isn't to give them all of that.

Shoot on the Run: Shoot on the run allows at will advantage with no movement penalty. If you want shoot on the run to be balanced, make it similar to Rakish audacity or Insightful fighting - allow SA without meeting other restrictions but do not allow advantage. Why should a sniper get advantage while moving when your swashbuckler doesn't?
As currently written it is OP for two reasons

1. It lets you cancel disadvantage at will with no opportunity cost. Under the current rules, SA can be completely eliminated with disadvantage even for swashbucklers or inquisitives. Take dodge as an action (or BA if you can) and the Rogue can not SA. A Rogue needs to go invisible, take 0 movement or get help from someone else to cancel disadvantage and make SA even possible again, and then he needs to meet the other requirements. This would completely eliminate that as a defense against SA.

2. Advantage greatly increases your hit percentage and nearly doubles your chance of landing a crit. This will outrun every other Rogue build in damage because you will be hitting and critting more. This is far more powerful than rakish audacity or insightful fighting.

For example - At 3rd level a Rogue with a Light crossbow who gets SA every turn but not advantage is doing 8.55 per turn against a 15 AC foe. This includes misses and crits. Using shoot on the run this same character would average 12.6 per turn. That is a full 35% more damage over another Rogue. This is the same exact same damage an assassin would get through assasinate against creatures he beats in initiative. The difference is assasinate is limited to the first turn of combat and only against foes you roll higher than. You are basically giving assasinate as a bonus action every turn of combat against any foe.

Use Terrain: As worded, use terrain is substantially less restrictive than the wood elf ability, more over that is a feature that should be limited to that race. Racial traits like Mask of the Wild, nimble and Relentless endurance are unique to those races and offering them elsewhere leads to OP builds IMO. By giving this to the Rogue you can get this and then pick another race and get a different racial feature on top of that.

Lethal Aim: You are granting substantial damage bonuses through SA and on top of that rerolling 1s or 2s. I don't think this belongs in a subclass at all and none of the other Rogue subclasses bring nearly this much extra damage to bear. The 1s and 2s can be (and are) part of a feat, the d8 SA and instant 0 hps should not be part of any build IMO.

Mathematically this is WAY OP. At 7th level using a light crossbow this character would be doing an about 7.75 dpr more than a swashbuckler with a Rapier. This is equivalent to being 11th level in terms of SA damage. At 13th level lethal aim DPR is more than a 20th level Rogue's standard SA. On top of the fact he is way ahead in damage he also has an insta-kill option as a rider well. Note these numbers only consider this ability, they do not consider crits on a 19 or any of the other suggested abilities.


I think we see balance very differently. That level 3 is...much less than most rogue subclasses get. The idea of giving them the same level 17 as the scout but more limited is just....no, thanks.
Please articulate which subclasses get substantially better abilities than what I suggested. Here are comparisons between what I suggested and some comparable subclasses at 3rd level:

I would give expertise in 1 skill (stealth), proficiencies in the two best ranged SA weapons, including the only d10 SA weapon and a third of the crossbow expert feat.

Other subclasses at level 3:
1. Scout: gets expertise in 2 skills (skills which are not as good as stealth) and half of their movement as a reaction
2. Thief: gets to use a BA for thieves tools or use an object and climbing and jumping movement
3. Phantom: gets a skill/tool proficiency they can change day-by-day and an extra 3.5 damage on a second target when they SA, limited to twice a day
4. Swashbuckler: gets an easier way to SA in melee, a MAD bonus to their initiative and a nerfed half of the mobile feat.
5. Inquisitive: gets to attempt to use a bonus action to make SA easier and gets to use search as a bonus action.

Which of these do you think is more than what I suggested? Which of any Rogue subclass features other than AT are more powerful than the 3rd-level feature I suggested?

Here is a comparison at 9th level as well:
I gave this class a crit on a 19 or 20 which at this level raises average damage on an SA by about 2.2 points per turn, or about 4 per turn if you have advantage. If you need a 20 to hit it nearly doubles the average damage an enemy will actually take. Also this on top of the damage boost from using a heavy crossbow due to the 3rd level ability

Other subclasses at level 9:
1. Scout: Gets a 10 foot increase in movement and a swim and climb speed
2. Thief: Gets advantage on stealth if he moves less than half his move (comparable to the expertise I gave sniper at 3rd)
3. Phantom: gets 5 soul trinkets that can give advantage on con saves until used. They can be used for divination purposes or to give an extra 10.5 damage to a second creature on an SA (limited to 5 uses a day)
4. Swashbuckler: gets the ability to cause disadvantage or charm as an action using a contested persuasion check.
5. Inquisitive: Gets advantage on perception and investigation if they move less than half their movement

The 13th and 17th level features I mentioned are taken directly from the scout, so those are balanced.

I do think those can be built on, but I think you and I are just on too different tracks in terms of how we see the power level of rogues, and what kind of stuff should be in the game.
Maybe, but my track is underpinned by math.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Shoot on the Run: Shoot on the run allows at will advantage with no movement penalty. If you want shoot on the run to be balanced, make it similar to Rakish audacity or Insightful fighting - allow SA without meeting other restrictions but do not allow advantage. Why should a sniper get advantage while moving when your swashbuckler doesn't?
As currently written it is OP for two reasons

1. It lets you cancel disadvantage at will with no opportunity cost. Under the current rules, SA can be completely eliminated with disadvantage even for swashbucklers or inquisitives. Take dodge as an action (or BA if you can) and the Rogue can not SA. A Rogue needs to go invisible, take 0 movement or get help from someone else to cancel disadvantage and make SA even possible again, and then he needs to meet the other requirements. This would completely eliminate that as a defense against SA.

2. Advantage greatly increases your hit percentage and nearly doubles your chance of landing a crit. This will outrun every other Rogue build in damage because you will be hitting and critting more. This is far more powerful than rakish audacity or insightful fighting.

For example - At 3rd level a Rogue with a Light crossbow who gets SA every turn but not advantage is doing 8.55 per turn against a 15 AC foe. This includes misses and crits. Using shoot on the run this same character would average 12.6 per turn. That is a full 35% more damage over another Rogue. This is the same exact same damage an assassin would get through assasinate against creatures he beats in initiative. The difference is assasinate is limited to the first turn of combat and only against foes you roll higher than. You are basically giving assasinate as a bonus action every turn of combat against any foe.

Use Terrain: As worded, use terrain is substantially less restrictive than the wood elf ability, more over that is a feature that should be limited to that race. Racial traits like Mask of the Wild, nimble and Relentless endurance are unique to those races and offering them elsewhere leads to OP builds IMO. By giving this to the Rogue you can get this and then pick another race and get a different racial feature on top of that.

Lethal Aim: You are granting substantial damage bonuses through SA and on top of that rerolling 1s or 2s. I don't think this belongs in a subclass at all and none of the other Rogue subclasses bring nearly this much extra damage to bear. The 1s and 2s can be (and are) part of a feat, the d8 SA and instant 0 hps should not be part of any build IMO.

Mathematically this is WAY OP. At 7th level using a light crossbow this character would be doing an about 7.75 dpr more than a swashbuckler with a Rapier. This is equivalent to being 11th level in terms of SA damage. At 13th level lethal aim DPR is more than a 20th level Rogue's standard SA. On top of the fact he is way ahead in damage he also has an insta-kill option as a rider well. Note these numbers only consider this ability, they do not consider crits on a 19 or any of the other suggested abilities.



Please articulate which subclasses get substantially better abilities than what I suggested. Here are comparisons between what I suggested and some comparable subclasses at 3rd level:

I would give expertise in 1 skill (stealth), proficiencies in the two best ranged SA weapons, including the only d10 SA weapon and a third of the crossbow expert feat.

Other subclasses at level 3:
1. Scout: gets expertise in 2 skills (skills which are not as good as stealth) and half of their movement as a reaction
2. Thief: gets to use a BA for thieves tools or use an object and climbing and jumping movement
3. Phantom: gets a skill/tool proficiency they can change day-by-day and an extra 3.5 damage on a second target when they SA, limited to twice a day
4. Swashbuckler: gets an easier way to SA in melee, a MAD bonus to their initiative and a nerfed half of the mobile feat.
5. Inquisitive: gets to attempt to use a bonus action to make SA easier and gets to use search as a bonus action.

Which of these do you think is more than what I suggested? Which of any Rogue subclass features other than AT are more powerful than the 3rd-level feature I suggested?

Here is a comparison at 9th level as well:
I gave this class a crit on a 19 or 20 which at this level raises average damage on an SA by about 2.2 points per turn, or about 4 per turn if you have advantage. If you need a 20 to hit it nearly doubles the average damage an enemy will actually take. Also this on top of the damage boost from using a heavy crossbow due to the 3rd level ability

Other subclasses at level 9:
1. Scout: Gets a 10 foot increase in movement and a swim and climb speed
2. Thief: Gets advantage on stealth if he moves less than half his move (comparable to the expertise I gave sniper at 3rd)
3. Phantom: gets 5 soul trinkets that can give advantage on con saves until used. They can be used for divination purposes or to give an extra 10.5 damage to a second creature on an SA (limited to 5 uses a day)
4. Swashbuckler: gets the ability to cause disadvantage or charm as an action using a contested persuasion check.
5. Inquisitive: Gets advantage on perception and investigation if they move less than half their movement

The 13th and 17th level features I mentioned are taken directly from the scout, so those are balanced.


Maybe, but my track is underpinned by math.
This comes across like you’re taking it personal that I don’t like your suggestions.

I’m good.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Shoot on the Run: Shoot on the run allows at will advantage with no movement penalty. If you want shoot on the run to be balanced, make it similar to Rakish audacity or Insightful fighting - allow SA without meeting other restrictions but do not allow advantage. Why should a sniper get advantage while moving when your swashbuckler doesn't?
The swashbuckler can attack as a bonus action, and can move in and out of melee without opportunity attacks. A Swashbuckler with Magic Initiate can use Booming Blade to kite without any consequence. Swashbucklers are fine.
As currently written it is OP for two reasons

1. It lets you cancel disadvantage at will with no opportunity cost.
BS. A BA is a bigger opportunity cost for a rogue than for anyone else. Between Hide and Steady Aim, most rogues have advantage most of the time anyway.
Under the current rules, SA can be completely eliminated with disadvantage even for swashbucklers or inquisitives. Take dodge as an action (or BA if you can) and the Rogue can not SA. A Rogue needs to go invisible, take 0 movement or get help from someone else to cancel disadvantage and make SA even possible again, and then he needs to meet the other requirements. This would completely eliminate that as a defense against SA.

2. Advantage greatly increases your hit percentage and nearly doubles your chance of landing a crit. This will outrun every other Rogue build in damage because you will be hitting and critting more. This is far more powerful than rakish audacity or insightful fighting.
This isn’t advantage, it is being more mobile while getting advantage just as often as other rogues.
For example - At 3rd level a Rogue with a Light crossbow who gets SA every turn but not advantage is doing 8.55 per turn against a 15 AC foe. This includes misses and crits. Using shoot on the run this same character would average 12.6 per turn. That is a full 35% more damage over another Rogue. This is the same exact same damage an assassin would get through assasinate against creatures he beats in initiative. The difference is assasinate is limited to the first turn of combat and only against foes you roll higher than. You are basically giving assasinate as a bonus action every turn of combat against any foe.
Most rogues have advantage on most attacks. Melee rogues usually make two attacks, which is slightly better than advantage, most rounds, and often get to do so with advantage. There isn’t meant to be any “defense” against Sneak Attack. It’s meant to go off every round.

The only difference between the sniper and an actual light crossbow (why not hand crossbow?) rogue is that the sniper is more mobile, because the other rogue is using Steady Aim when they can’t use their BA to hide for advantage.
Use Terrain: As worded, use terrain is substantially less restrictive than the wood elf ability, more over that is a feature that should be limited to that race. Racial traits like Mask of the Wild, nimble and Relentless endurance are unique to those races and offering them elsewhere leads to OP builds IMO. By giving this to the Rogue you can get this and then pick another race and get a different racial feature on top of that.
First of all, responding to a loosely worded suggestion by picking apart its exact wording comes across like you just want to nitpick. Second, no, it isn’t. Lastly, there are already other features that give “try to hide when lightly obscured by XYZ”. It is not a unique feature. The whole idea that having a features similar to a wood elf feature and also another race is somehow OP is just nonsensical. It lacks any basis, and muddies up what “OP” even means.
Lethal Aim: You are granting substantial damage bonuses through SA and on top of that rerolling 1s or 2s. I don't think this belongs in a subclass at all and none of the other Rogue subclasses bring nearly this much extra damage to bear. The 1s and 2s can be (and are) part of a feat, the d8 SA and instant 0 hps should not be part of any build IMO.

Mathematically this is WAY OP.
No, it isn’t. For the third time, now, that feature lists multiple different options, not a package. I said that in the first post, and in my initial reply to you.
Please articulate which subclasses get substantially better abilities than what I suggested. Here are comparisons between what I suggested and some comparable subclasses at 3rd level:
Why are you responding to some mild criticism by getting weirdly formal and defensive?
I would give expertise in 1 skill (stealth), proficiencies in the two best ranged SA weapons, including the only d10 SA weapon and a third of the crossbow expert feat.
Rogues don’t need extra expertises, that’s boring. Proficiency in two weapons I could get with a level of Fighter that would also give me Archery and Second Wind. And the least power-changing “third” of crossbow expert, a feat snipers would frequently take anyway.
Other subclasses at level 3:
1. Scout: gets expertise in 2 skills (skills which are not as good as stealth) and half of their movement as a reaction
2. Thief: gets to use a BA for thieves tools or use an object and climbing and jumping movement
3. Phantom: gets a skill/tool proficiency they can change day-by-day and an extra 3.5 damage on a second target when they SA, limited to twice a day
4. Swashbuckler: gets an easier way to SA in melee, a MAD bonus to their initiative and a nerfed half of the mobile feat.
5. Inquisitive: gets to attempt to use a bonus action to make SA easier and gets to use search as a bonus action.

Which of these do you think is more than what I suggested? Which of any Rogue subclass features other than AT are more powerful than the 3rd-level feature I suggested?
Assassin, Thief, Swashbuckler, Phantom, Inquisitive, Mastermind.
Here is a comparison at 9th level as well:
I gave this class a crit on a 19 or 20 which at this level raises average damage on an SA by about 2.2 points per turn, or about 4 per turn if you have advantage. If you need a 20 to hit it nearly doubles the average damage an enemy will actually take. Also this on top of the damage boost from using a heavy crossbow due to the 3rd level ability
You are overvaluing this. It’s good, it’s not gamechanging.
The 13th and 17th level features I mentioned are taken directly from the scout, so those are balanced.
And boring, because they’re boring on the scout. The Thief gets an extra entire turn in round 1 or every combat.
 

ECMO3

Hero
The swashbuckler can attack as a bonus action, and can move in and out of melee without opportunity attacks. A Swashbuckler with Magic Initiate can use Booming Blade to kite without any consequence. Swashbucklers are fine.
A swashbuckler is the 2nd most powerful subclass but compared to this ability it is very limited. Moreover a swashbuckler has to move into melee range and suffer the potential of being attacked in melee with a ready action to do this.

A swashbuckler who attacks has to use a light weapon and he also has to have enough movement to get into melee or he can't take that bonus action attack at all.

A swashbuckler with booming blade is using a feat to boost his damage, not a subclass ability and he can't use two weapon fighting if he does that. If we are comparing feats vs feats a swashbuckler with booming blade kiting in and out against a 15AC foe is averaging 15.1 damage per turn (not counting movement damage) and he has to be within 5 feet to do it. A sniper with fire on the move who takes elven accuracy is doing 19.0 per turn against the same DC15 foe and he can do it anywhere within 80 feet. If he is not an elf and takes sharpshooter instead of EA he does average 17.6 per turn to anyone within 320 feet. So he is outdamaging a swashbuckler who is optimized for damage and he is doing it from anywhere on the battlefield.

Finally a Swashbuckler needs to invest in charisma to make the most of his subclass feats, while the sniper would not, making it easier to optimize damage.

Put this together and the character with this feature does more damage, has more opportunities because there are larger area he can attack from, he is more survivable because he can push other stats like constitution and he is less vulnerable because he does not have to go into melee range at all.

BS. A BA is a bigger opportunity cost for a rogue than for anyone else. Between Hide and Steady Aim, most rogues have advantage most of the time anyway.
Hide is not automatic, you have to both find cover and pass a stealth check to suceed. Steady aim is automatic, and it is very powerful as I mentioned above in my original post. Steady Aim brings any ranged Rogue up to near the damage potential of the swashbuckler.


This isn’t advantage, it is being more mobile while getting advantage just as often as other rogues.
No you are getting advantage more often because you can move. Guy moves behind a wall and you can move to target him and still get advantage. No other Rogue subclass at all can get advantage as a bonus action on the move. None. Not in melee, not when using missiles.

Heck the inquisitor needs to actually pass an opposed check to get his "auto sneak attack" and if he passes it he still does not get advantage on top of that.

This does not compare to those abilities it is WAY better. I understand the reasoning for it, but like insightful strike and rakish audacity it should be SA only, not full up advantage. It should be balanced with those abilities, not way better than them.

Most rogues have advantage on most attacks. Melee rogues usually make two attacks, which is slightly better than advantage, most rounds, and often get to do so with advantage. There isn’t meant to be any “defense” against Sneak Attack. It’s meant to go off every round.
Your math is wrong. TWF with two d6 weapons for a Rogue is is slightly worse than advantage at most levels and most ACs. To start with you have to use light weapons which are d6 instead of d8 and you don't get your ability damage on the second attack. Disregarding crits, this means your base weapon damage is 2.5 higher if you hit with both dice, if you hit with only 1 die your damage is 1-6 worse than a Rogue who rolled the same two dice with advantage and a d8 weapon. That is without crits. When you figure in crits, advantage is better overall because it doubles damage dice regardless of which roll is a 20. If you roll with advantage, you take the highest die, meaning if one of them is a 20 and the other is a normal hit you crit with your SA. If you do TWF and you hit with your action you would use SA at that time. If then go on to crit with your bonus attack you do not get any crit dice for your SA. Numerically as an example against a 15AC foe a 5th level Rogue with an 18 dex will average 17.4 damage per turn using TWF and no advantage with 2 short swords. The same Rogue using a d8 weapon with advantage every turn will average 18.1 damage per turn. Having advantage is slightly better due to the interplay between the rolls and crits and the higher base damage.

Aside from the slight advantage in damage, if they make two attacks they need to stay in melee unless they are a swashbuckler or suffer a reaction attack and they risk a melee reaction attack even if they are a swashbuckler simply by moving into melee range.

Further two attacks is only better than advantage if you meet your sneak attack requirements. If you are a melee Rogue and you win initiative and move and you are not a swashbuckler or inquisitive you are screwed out of SA, not so for your character here. As I alluded to earlier., sneak attack can be stopped cold with dodge and that melee TWF Rogue does not get it back at all unless he makes his movement 0 (even if he is a swashbuckler) and that means he has to start his turn in melee range. Your character can still get SA in these circumstances.

Sneak attack and advantage are two different things. Sneak attack is meant to be available most of the time. Advantage is not. If this was an ability that let the sniper target someone with SA even if you did not have an enemy within 5 feet it would be fine. And if the sniper doesn't need to move then he can take steady aim like any other Rogue.



The only difference between the sniper and an actual light crossbow (why not hand crossbow?) rogue is that the sniper is more mobile, because the other rogue is using Steady Aim when they can’t use their BA to hide for advantage.
Light crossbow does more damage than the hand crossbow and Rogue can not automatically use BA hide for advantage. To start with you need to be obscured to TRY to hide and when you make that attempt you need to pass a stealth check. And if you fail that check you can't get advantage.

There is no other Rogue ability that provides advantage when you move on demand. No other ability is close.

Not only you can move anywhere to eliminat cover so not only are you giving advantage you are also taking away cover restrictions at the same time.

A normal Rogue takes steady aim and shoots the first turn. The fighter rushes up and attack the enemy. Now the Rogue "can" take steady aim again but he suffers a cover penalty. Your guy just moves to eliminate the cover and still gets advantage. This is a common example, it is even worse if the enemy runs behind a wall or something.


First of all, responding to a loosely worded suggestion by picking apart its exact wording comes across like you just want to nitpick. Second, no, it isn’t. Lastly, there are already other features that give “try to hide when lightly obscured by XYZ”. It is not a unique feature. The whole idea that having a features similar to a wood elf feature and also another race is somehow OP is just nonsensical. It lacks any basis, and muddies up what “OP” even means.
The mechanic between "terrain" and "lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena." is completely different. Terrain is everywhere, natural phenomena is not.


No, it isn’t. For the third time, now, that feature lists multiple different options, not a package. I said that in the first post, and in my initial reply to you.
My understanding is lethal aim is one ability and that one ability includes rerolling 1s and 2s, d8 SA dice and the take someone to zero. If I have that wrong I appologize. That said giving him just d8SA dice alone would be OP as would rerolling more than 1 or 2 on a single roll. If we just look at the d8 SA damage, that is an extra SA dice every 6 levels.

Why are you responding to some mild criticism by getting weirdly formal and defensive?
I am an engineer. I think of things like this in terms of math, not emotions. Math by its nature is formal. You claimed regarding my suggestion - "That level 3 is...much less than most rogue subclasses get."

I asked for an example of which Rogues get much more at level 3 and you have not provided any. I am simply asking you to support your claim. I provided examples to back up mine.

There are 9 Rogue subclasses, if what I proposed (proficiency and expertise, part of a feat and 2 weapons), is "much less then most Rogue subclasses get" then there should be at least 5 subclasses that get much more at level 3. I am asking for examples of those.

Rogues don’t need extra expertises, that’s boring.
There are 9 Rogue subclasses. Fully six of them give extra proficiencies, expertise or bonuses on skill checks at level 3.
I am balancing against subclasses that actually exist. That is the concept of balance. It may be "boring" but it is balanced.

Proficiency in two weapons I could get with a level of Fighter that would also give me Archery and Second Wind. And the least power-changing “third” of crossbow expert, a feat snipers would frequently take anyway.
Great then why not do that if that is the Rogue you want to build? What I proposed is balanced with other Rogue subclass features, not with a potential multiclass into a martial character.


You are overvaluing this. It’s good, it’s not gamechanging.

If you are talking about the ability to crit on a 19 at 9th level. Yes it is good, probably middle of the pack as far as 9th-level Rogue abilities. That is the idea of balance.

And boring, because they’re boring on the scout. The Thief gets an extra entire turn in round 1 or every combat.
Boring and balanced. I picked them because they are "balanced" and fit the theme you are looking for. The thief gets an extra turn at 17th level, and that is the best 17th level feature of any Rogue subclass. However that did not seem in line with the theme of a sniper to me.

To be honest though I criticized Shoot on the Run and at lower levels it is way over other Rogue abilities IMO, but that would be good at 17th level as an alternative to Sudden Strike or Lightning Reflexes and I would let it be used without requiring your BA.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
sniper with fire on the move who takes elven accuracy
I stopped reading here.

You’re now assuming extremely specific builds in order to boost the numbers as wildly as you can, because the base argument you’re making isn’t compelling. Not to mention silly crap like acting like Swashbucklers will commonly be attacked with ready action attacks! 😂 I mean…come on!

And you surely realize that a swashbuckler with Booming Blade (a very common thing, both in MC builds and single class builds) switches between bonus action attack and Booming Blade attacks based on having advantage or not, right? Like it’s pretty basic rogue tactics.

Anyway, I’ve had quite enough of this. Have fun.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The mechanic between "terrain" and "lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena." is completely different. Terrain is everywhere, natural phenomena is not.
Okay wait I caught this while scrolling back up to see if anyone else replied to the thread.

It’s hard to parse, I’m guessing maybe autocorrect or soemthing? But to address the seeming point here…read it again. Difficult terrain. Not terrain, “difficult terrain”.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I stopped reading here.

You’re now assuming extremely specific builds in order to boost the numbers as wildly as you can, because the base argument you’re making isn’t compelling. Not to mention silly crap like acting like Swashbucklers will commonly be attacked with ready action attacks! 😂 I mean…come on!

And you surely realize that a swashbuckler with Booming Blade (a very common thing, both in MC builds and single class builds) switches between bonus action attack and Booming Blade attacks based on having advantage or not, right? Like it’s pretty basic rogue tactics.

Anyway, I’ve had quite enough of this. Have fun.
You are the one who brought up feats, not me. You mentioned a "specific build" to defend your position on swashbucklers being better at damage than your proposed character.

Yes a swashbucker can get magic initiate with booming blade and it is a good feat for that class/subclass combination, but then so is elven accuracy and EA is quite common on ranged Rogues already without the extra synergy it would get from "shoot on the run".

I play more Rogues than any other type of character. Swashbucklers get attacked all the time in melee. not every turn but just about every fight. Ranged Rogues do not get attacked in melee nearly as much. And yes swashbucklers get both attacked and grappled on reaction attacks in the games I play. None of the DMs I game with play intelligent enemies stupidly.

The bottom line is several of your proposed subclass abilities are as a point of fact mathematically superior to the abilities offered by other Rogue classes.

If you like it play with it, but it does not change the fact it is substantially more powerful than other Rogue subclasses. Nor does it change the fact the homebrew I offered is actually well balanced with other subclasses and leans into the theme of a sniper Rogue.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You are the one who brought up feats, not me. You mentioned a "specific build" to defend your position on swashbucklers being better at damage than your proposed character.

Yes a swashbucker can get magic initiate with booming blade and it is a good feat for that class/subclass combination, but then so is elven accuracy and EA is quite common on ranged Rogues already without the extra synergy it would get from "shoot on the run".

I play more Rogues than any other type of character. Swashbucklers get attacked all the time in melee. not every turn but just about every fight. Ranged Rogues do not get attacked in melee nearly as much. And yes swashbucklers get both attacked and grappled on reaction attacks in the games I play. None of the DMs I game with play intelligent enemies stupidly.

The bottom line is several of your proposed subclass abilities are as a point of fact mathematically superior to the abilities offered by other Rogue classes.

If you like it play with it, but it does not change the fact it is substantially more powerful than other Rogue subclasses. Nor does it change the fact the homebrew I offered is actually well balanced with other subclasses and leans into the theme of a sniper Rogue.
Yeah, no. Elf rogues with EA aren’t that common, no more common than melee rogues with magic initiate or another source of booming blade (multiclass or high elf, for instance). I’d wager melee rogue with booming blade is more common, in fact, since it doesn’t require a specific race.

And no, the options I posited are not mathematically superior to what is already published. They’re on the high end of the PHB, at most, but still probably lower than Arcane Trickster. About on par with Phantom or Swashbuckler.

Yours is on par with scout, which is on the lower end of the power curve for rogues. Probably a little better than scout, but half of it is just the scout, again. As an alternate scout, it’s fine.

Heck you badly misread some of the options I suggested, nitpicked the wording of another, and called others OP because you think they infringe on the niche of another option. Oh, and it’s “Shot On The Run”, not “Shoot On The Run”. Not trying to be mean, here, I just want to point out why I have found this interaction more aggravating than helpful.
 

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