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D&D 5E What about the rouge?

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
For me this one is essential (although I have some problems distinguishing it clearly from the expert).

The other concepts are nice additions, but I would at least like the Rogue to not necessarily be a crook, and if also skirmisher would be just an option then even better.

The expert is the rogue built to be good at something. The trickster is a rogue to avoid normal channels.

I think all these things and more have been made with earlier rogue versions (most likely in 3E, edit: but also in 4E if you accept a default "plus Skirmisher" on top of the other concepts) or variants, and enjoyed by the players. So they are only asking for the same thing again.

But I do agree as long as the same concepts can be built in D&D Next, it doesn't matter too much whether it comes under the Rogue class umbrella. It might make sense to provide another class, or a "prestige" class that delivers more directly. Or maybe some clever rogue sub-classes and Specialities will cover the ground.

Yes. Pre-3e, the rogue was firmly a crook and expert then crook and trickster. It was clearly a class of devious and sneaky means. 3e removed the crook aspect and added expert. 4e removed expert and made the rogue a skirmisher

The strength of skills (expert), alternate skill use (trickster), focus on the Underworld (crook), and combat ability (skirmisher) and the strength of each determines what the Next rogue is and can be. Also it determines what other classes have to be,

For example if the rogue is heavy on the Underworld crook, then you need non-Underworld noncasters... unlike all noncrook adventurers are fighters. You'll need other noncrook skill classes like rangers and warlords.

I think I've been here too long, because I assumed that he had deliberately misspelled Rogue to Rouge as part of the joke. Anyway, I also find the current Rogue problematic.

Sneak attack should not be the defining Rogue feature, and the implementation is clearly going to cause trouble down the line. The principle of taking an action to gain advantage and then sneak attacking in the next available action is *not* a balanced mechanic, unless you make advantage very rare. If they want to keep this action dynamic, then they need to do it without advantage.

What I'd rather see is the Rogue more frequently gaining advantage. Their attack bonus will not be as good as the Fighter, their damage will not be as immense, but they will have advantage, and thus hit more reliably. Allow them to throw a limited amount of extra damage, or conditions in every so often and that would be more 'dirty fighting' to me.

Skill Mastery is also terrible as it stands, but agreed, that's because skills are not perfected yet and they're trying a fix to what might not be a problem. Rather than taking 10, I think I'd like to see a sort of.. escalation mechanic.. when the Rogue fails a skill check they can try again immediately, but a second failure will have some terrible outcome. I see them as risk-takers, who win most of the time, but sometimes get caught out. An example might be lockpicking - a non-Rogue who tries and fails can't open the chest, a Rogue who tries and fails tries immediately again, and if they fail this time then the lock is properly jammed (wah wah wah).


So you want the rogue to be purely trickster then?
 

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JamesonCourage

Adventurer
What I'd rather see is the Rogue more frequently gaining advantage.

Skill Mastery is also terrible as it stands, but agreed, that's because skills are not perfected yet and they're trying a fix to what might not be a problem. Rather than taking 10, I think I'd like to see a sort of.. escalation mechanic.. when the Rogue fails a skill check they can try again immediately, but a second failure will have some terrible outcome.
Sort of a "the Rogue gets advantage on skill checks, but if he fails, something bad happens" kind of thing? (But possibly without the "advantage" label, so that if he gets advantage through some method, then he can roll with advantage twice?)
 

MortalPlague

Adventurer
Rather than taking 10, I think I'd like to see a sort of.. escalation mechanic.. when the Rogue fails a skill check they can try again immediately, but a second failure will have some terrible outcome. I see them as risk-takers, who win most of the time, but sometimes get caught out. An example might be lockpicking - a non-Rogue who tries and fails can't open the chest, a Rogue who tries and fails tries immediately again, and if they fail this time then the lock is properly jammed (wah wah wah).

This sounds like a tremendous amount of fun. Honestly, part of the fun of the rogue is the highs and lows of skills; badly botching a roll can be just as much fun as ace-ing it.
 

ZombieRoboNinja

First Post
Right now, there is a grand total of one skill (Stealth) with a clear and explicit combat application. If they do a good job making other skills fun in combat, that alone would make the class far more robust.

For example, rename Bluff "Deception" and put in rules for feinting and otherwise fooling the enemy in combat. Put back in Jump and Climb and Tumble and make them as fun and dynamic in combat as they should be. Insight, Perception - all of them can and should provide clear benefits. Let me study the enemy for a round and roll an Insight check to spot their weaknesses. Swing from the chandelier and roll between the troll's legs. And so on.

Done right, these skill tricks could be class-defining and cool. Let the player choose them based on his trained skills and adjust them so that even if he
Never fails on a check thanks to skill mastery, a high success is cool enough to make the roll exciting.
 

Chris_Nightwing

First Post
So you want the rogue to be purely trickster then?

Yes, I think so, but to me expert just means more, better skills. I could see that being rolled into Rogue too (they have more skills already) by increasing their rate of skill advancement. I just think taking 10 is boring!

Sort of a "the Rogue gets advantage on skill checks, but if he fails, something bad happens" kind of thing? (But possibly without the "advantage" label, so that if he gets advantage through some method, then he can roll with advantage twice?)

Yes, deliberately avoiding the advantage label, and also making it a post-hoc decision. You may try something daring, fail, and leave it at that, or you could take that risk..

This sounds like a tremendous amount of fun. Honestly, part of the fun of the rogue is the highs and lows of skills; badly botching a roll can be just as much fun as ace-ing it.

This was the idea, fictional Rogues aren't just 'there, I did it', they take risks, they are fun!
 

kerleth

Explorer
I'm firmly in the "rogue as an expert" camp. IMO the criminal/trickster rogue can be easily represented by an expert rogue specialized in that area. I know that the word rogue and the class's history lend themselves towards playing a scoundrel, but if they have no non-sneaky non-tricky rogue options I'll be a little disappointed. The "skill guy" concept is a fun and broad area and the rogue seems the most appropriate class to explore it. Some alternatives to sneak attack would make me very happy. As far as skill mastery, I love the whole taking ten mechanic. I like how it makes the rogue feel like he really knows his field, his expertise mitigating luck and preventing him from making silly mistakes. I have mixed feelings on the part of skill mastery that allows you to ignore your ability score. Makes my ability scores feel too unimportant. Though I do like how I can play a dumb rogue who knows a whole lot about his favored subjects (low intelligence + sage background). It is similar to many people IRL and would be a fun character to play.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
I'm not quite comfortable with Skill Mastery yet, but I like the feeling the rogue has that he can do the things he's trained in without fear of failure. On the other hand, there still needs to be some tension even if it is just a little, when a rogue tries to spot a trap, disarm a trap or open a lock.

Many people have argued that maybe "Take 10" should be lowered. If it is lowered to "Take 7" then at first level, the rogue will automatically succed at only Moderate level challenges, not Hard ones like he does now. I kind of like this.

Also, I like to make my rogue player make a roll regardless of his autosuccess. If he rolls a "1" I throw a complication into the picture. This has happened in our games, and it really adds to the excitment and level of tension.
 

ZombieRoboNinja

First Post
As for the expert/trickster/etc. thing, maybe we can take a cue from the 5e fighter here.

The fighter's only distinction is that he's "really good at fighting with weapons," which is ridiculously broad. Fencers, archers, wrestlers, etc. are all fighters. How could this possibly work? As it turns out, quite nicely with Combat Superiority: you get a good attack bonus and the ability to dish out lots of damage, block lots of damage, and choose from a suite of others powers. Voila: passable archers, fencers, etc. are all possible.

Rogues, then, are "really good at applying skills, both in and out of combat." The way this works out in combat is that they use their skills to obtain combat advantage, and then deal extra damage/effects through Sneak Attack when they have it.

In other words, at their mechanical core, they are experts. But like fighters, you SHOULD be able to build a trickster or a thug or a skirmisher out of that core.

The trick will be giving the rogue flexible but explicit options to make those skills work in combat, exploration, and social situations. I imagine a list of Skill Tricks that you can choose from starting at first level.

For example, let's say you make a Noble-background, Thief-scheme rogue. You can start out with the Skill Trick "Sneaky," which would be the same as the level 1 Lurker feat. (I'd say switching the level 1 lurker feat with the rogue "thief sneaking" power would be a good move.) This makes it much easier to Sneak Attack in combat.

Meanwhile, an Acrobat-scheme rogue might start with the Tumbling Strike maneuver, which lets you roll a Tumble check to move without drawing attacks of opportunity - and lets you attack with advantage if you end your move next to an opponent you didn't start adjacent to. And a Charlatan-scheme rogue might be able to use Bluff to feint in combat, making a fake attack in order to put your opponent off balance so you can attack with advantage next round.

Then, as you level up, you pick additional Skill Tricks tied to other skills you're trained in. There wouldn't have to be a Skill Trick for every skill - Arcana, Knowledge (Local), etc. - because the schemes would give you at last 3 strong options. There could be multiple Skill Tricks associated with certain skills too. Maybe there'd be a Skill Trick to hide as a move action, or something. That way, you could pick a nice array of them as you level.

A trickster rogue could pick skill tricks based on bluff, insight, etc.; a criminal could pick skill tricks based on intimidate, etc; a skirmisher based on jump, tumble, etc.
 

VinylTap

First Post
One defining characteristic of a rogue that I'd like to see expanded is he should be able to get the most out of having the advantage. He's the risk taker, and should be able to squeeze most out of situations where things are going his way. Like an expert poker player he should able to minimize his losses when his luck is down and maximize his gains when luck is in his favor all while making it look completely effortless. Extra crit damage, backstab damage and combat debuffs etc should all be tools for a rogue.

I think its ok that a rogue does more damage when he has advantage, but i don't think it should be easy to get, and I don't think it should be his main mechanic for doing damage. Just a nice finesse feature. He's the guy who nics and cuts you till you're too exhausted to fight anymore, then he finishes you off efficiently once you're unable to defend yourself, unfair advantage is a way of life.

A lot of combat debuffs would be a great way to express a rogue alternative combat style, and he should be able to lay them while he's getting into an advantageous position to inflict maximum damage on his opponent. If a rogue is lucky enough to crit you while he has advantage over you, it should all be all but over for you, this doesn't have to be raw damage, but extremely debilitating.
 

GameDoc

Explorer
My group had only started the Caves of Chaos when the second playtest hit, so we elected to carry on with that adventure by updating the characters win the new character creation rules and using the new bestiary.

We found that along about 3rd level, the rogue could break the game for everyone else with his damage output. It was just too easy for him to gain advantage and annihilate the enemy. Everyone else felt obsolete, except the fighter who's only job was "stand there and flank so the rogue can sneak attack."

Even the guy playing the rogue was rolling his eyes at how his character was mopping up the battlefield.

Mind you, that may be because the caves are designed with a OD&D mindset that predates the modern form of sneak attack.

It may also have been the fact that the rogue was a halfling and once we got past the goblins and kobolds, he could maneuver at will through enemy spaces to get flanking advantage very easily.

Me and the other guy who trade off DMing have been discussing nerfing the damage progression of sneak attack until we get the next playtest update, just to keep things balanced.

We start Blingdenstone next session. Maybe it will be different.
 

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