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Yehomer
2008-12-27, 03:56 PM
As the title says, I want to build a dual wielding, sneak attacking rogue. A few general questions I need your advise on:
1) Should I rely more about flanking from my tank, or on feints?
2) Is the Invisible blade Prestige class worth it? I think that having feint as a free action is excellent, but the requites of Point Blank Shot and Far Shot, while having no class features to enhance them, makes it a waste of two feats.
3) Also, if I take it, can I feint several times during a full attack?
4) Are there any feats that make my sneak attack deal more damage?
5) Any other advise to optimize would be welcomed

Adumbration
2008-12-27, 04:04 PM
I would suggest that you go for completely Dex-dependant character. Get the Two-weapon Fighting line, naturally, Martial Study and Martial Stance for Assassin's Stance (+2d6 sneak attack) and Shadow Blade. Also get Weapon Finesse, and you'll have Dex to both attack and damage.

I know, this takes a lot of feats.... Hope you have flaws available.

Shadow_Elf
2008-12-27, 04:06 PM
I don't play 3.Xe, but I believe you can take a one-level dip into assassin for +1d6 Sneak Attack, Poison Use, Arcane Spells and Death Attack. That might help you.

monty
2008-12-27, 04:06 PM
Since this will probably be a feat-heavy build, a level or two in fighter will be worth your time.

Spiryt
2008-12-27, 04:08 PM
Also get Weapon Finesse, and you'll have Dex to both attack and damage.


Care to explain? :smallconfused:

Anyway, I believe that Feint won't be useful to you.


the next melee attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any)

and


With the Improved Feint feat, you can attempt a feint as a move action instead of as a standard action.

So it isn't usable with multiple attacks from Full Round action.

monty
2008-12-27, 04:25 PM
Anyway, I believe that Feint won't be useful to you.
and
So it isn't usable with multiple attacks from Full Round action.

Invisible Blade gets feint as a free action at 5th level.

Adumbration
2008-12-27, 04:29 PM
Care to explain? :smallconfused:


Shadow Blade, from Tome of Battle, gives Dexterity to damage while in a shadow blade stance and with a shadow blade weapon - one of which is a short sword, if I remember correct.

Air goblin from Unearthed Arcana is a good race for this for it's +4 Dexterity.

Eldariel
2008-12-27, 04:30 PM
Feint isn't much good for you. As a consequence, Invisible Blade becomes kinda meh with the lower skillpoints, and the inability to effectively deploy the Uncanny Feint (errata is that it's usable once per round only). Also, the prerequisites are fairly steep.

Your primary means of generating Sneak Attack opportunity should be being unseen (make heavy use of Magic; you've got Use Magic Device in class, use Wands), either through Magic or Hide + Hide in Plain Sight, and flanking. Since you want to take full attacks, do Flank a lot. Also, definitely pick up Darkstalker [Lords of Madness] so you can use Invisibility against creatures with non-standard senses too.

Your attack bonus will be relatively poor, so flanking + invisibility bonuses are of huge benefit for hitting (Invisibility adds +2 in addition to making opponent Flat-Footed). Later on, you can use Wand of Divine Power (but it's a level 4 spell, so it takes a while) to pretty much solve your attack bonus problems, but you kinda need Quick Draw to go with Wands in order to avoid having to spend actions drawing them. Still, this also allows for Swift Action Wands like Wand of Lion's Pounce and the like; you can draw them for free, use them as Swift Action, then draw Daggers and make a Pouncing Charge. As a bonus, you can make full thrown two-handed attack with Daggers thans to Quick Draw. May be worth it to get Returning Daggers as your primary weapons so that you can keep fighting in melee with the enchanted Daggers after the full thrown attack.


Anyways, yea, Weapon Finesse + Shadow Blade with a two-level Swordsage dip (picking Assassin's Stance as your second stance [available on level 9] to avoid losing Sneak Attack progression; first could be pretty much anything else) gets you a nice Dex-focus. Then just TWF-feats, probably Quick Draw (greatly increases your options), Craven, Darkstalker and you're good to go. Max Hide, Move Silently, Use Magic Device and the rest don't matter that much (I'd probably pick from the list of Spot, Listen, Sense Motive, Bluff, Diplomacy, Search, Disable Device, Open Lock, Tumble, Sleight of Hand and Knowledges, depending on your stats and whether you care more about defensive or offensive skills).

RTGoodman
2008-12-27, 04:40 PM
I'm too lazy to go searching for it, but I'm PRETTY sure that the errata for Complete Warrior (or whatever book Invisible Blade is in) got rid of feinting as a free action and made it a swift action once per round or something like that.

I suggest maybe the TWF chain, plus a three-level dip in CWar's Swashbuckler (for Weapon Finesse for free, more HP, and Int to damage at 3rd level) and then the Daring Outlaw feat (which stacks Rogue and Swashbuckler levels for SA, grace, dodge bonus, and maybe something else). It'll also give you a boost to Fort saves and BAB (since Swashbuckler's a full-BAB class).

After that, maybe use a feat or two for grabbing some ToB stuff if it's allowed (including Shadow Blade for Dex to Damage, though that requires three feats), or just stick with Rogue 17/Swashbuckler 3. Oh, and maybe pick up the Craven feat (HoB, I think), which gives you a bonus to sneak attack damage equal to your level. That's a LOT of extra damage if you're TWFing.


EDIT: As far as getting SA more often, maybe see about getting a ring of greater blinking or some other kind of item that'll give you SA all the time. If not, just hope for some flanking and stuff like that.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-27, 05:30 PM
1) Should I rely more about flanking from my tank, or on feints? Get a flanking partner. You'll both benefit.

2) Is the Invisible blade Prestige class worth it? No.

3) Also, if I take it, can I feint several times during a full attack? No, just once. You need to read the Complete Warrior Errata:
The invisible blade can use his uncanny feint ability once per round.

4) Are there any feats that make my sneak attack deal more damage? Yes. Craven (from Champions of Ruin) adds 1 point of damage per character level to all your sneak attacks. You can also multiply Craven bonus damage on a critical sneak attack.
Sometimes you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results. Note: When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage.

Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weapon’s normal damage are never multiplied.

5) Any other advise to optimize would be welcomed 1) Use weapons that work best for you. Don't use daggers or dual shortswords. The rapier is the best main hand weapon for a Rogue. A shortsword is probably your best bet for an off hand weapon unless you pick up other weapon proficiencies by multiclassing.

2) Do some analysis before choosing feats. For instance, Deadly Precision (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicFeats.htm#deadlyPrecision) (reroll 1s on sneak dice) may look attractive to you, but the analysis doesn't agree. DP boosts a 1 to (on average) 3.5. But that's only 1/6th of your sneak attack dice, of which you get 1 every 2 Rogue levels: the net improvement of +0.21 points of damage per Rogue level is only 1/5 as good as Craven. Analysis shows that you shouldn't go for dual weapons and Weapon Focus: you can't use the best main hand weapon (rapier) in your off hand without big penalties, and you'll lose most of what Weapon Focus gains you by going for dual sub-optimal weapons. Ditto for Improved Critical. There are lots of feats, but Rogues get precious few of them; choose wisely.

3) Feats are precious to a Rogue, so buy feats whenever you can. Bracers of Striking (Magic of Faerűn) cost only 1,310 gp and grant you the Improved Unarmed Strike feat. That opens up lots of options, such as tripping or disarming (since your unarmed strikes now normally don't provoke attacks of opportunity), or the Snap Kick feat (Tome of Battle). (Later, when you can afford it, a Fanged Ring (Dragon Magic) is a superior alternative to Bracers of Striking.) You can buy Mobility as an armor enhancement instead of a feat.

4) Get more gp, because you need more equipment than any other character class. Don't try to scrape by on just your fair share of party acquisitions. I seriously do not recommend stealing from party members, but if you're off scouting by yourself, taking all the risks, there's no requirement for you to share everything you find. Also, make lots of money on the side. Whenever your Wizard is scribing spells, your Cleric praying, or your martial types training with weapons, you should be acquiring more wealth and gear. Also Heward's Fortifying Bedroll (Complete Mage) grants 8 hours rest in 1 hour. Get one and use it. You've got 7 extra hours each night, and the skills to make that time profitable.

5) Don't let your emphasis on dual-wielding in melee get in the way of using ranged attacks when they're superior. At the start of every combat you'll probably not be surprised, because you maximize your Spot skill (you do do this, right?). So you can attack once in the surprise round, and flat-footed opponents are vulnerable to sneak attack. In the first full round of combat you can make a full attack and add sneak attack to any opponents who are still flat-footed; your high DEX means good initiative, and a ranged weapon lets you choose an enemy who hasn't acted yet. This means with a ranged weapon you'll deal 1 standard attack, plus one full attack, and add sneak attack damage on all of these -- a huge advantage for you. But if you spend the surprise round closing for melee that's a guaranteed loss of sneak attack. Plus you'll have gotten to melee reach of some enemy without knowing their initiative for the first full round. If they have better initiative they can make a full attack against you, and if you're still alive on your turn they won't be flat-footed. You should only switch to dual-wielding for melee after the first full round of most combats.

6) Rogue is an excellent core class up through level 19, but you can get decent multiclassing mileage because Craven improves sneak attack damage for all character levels. Some options:
One level of Thief-Acrobat (Complete Adventurer) gives you Kip Up (free stand from prone without AoO).
The Sacred Outlaw feat (Dragon # 357) combines Rogue and Cleric levels for undead turning and sneak attack dice. The Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric) has 6 skill points/level, so that's a good fit.
One level of Shadowdancer gives the awesome Supernatural Hide in Plain Sight, which can let you (try to) make a full melee attack against someone, and Hide on every swing (but with a -20 penalty). Entry to Shadowdancer is really expensive though. Only do this if you can justify the cost. Buy Mobility as an armor enhancement. After one level of Shadowdancer your next feat should be Spring Attack, since you've now paid for all the prerequisites. Shadowdancer plus Spring Attack is just enough return to justify all the prerequisites, with Mobility paid for with gp instead of a feat.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-12-27, 05:56 PM
As the title says, I want to build a dual wielding, sneak attacking rogue. A few general questions I need your advise on:
1) Should I rely more about flanking from my tank, or on feints? Why bother on using an either/or situation? Why not be able to do both?

2) Is the Invisible blade Prestige class worth it? I think that having feint as a free action is excellent, but the requites of Point Blank Shot and Far Shot, while having no class features to enhance them, makes it a waste of two feats. Invisible Blade is a very good choice for what you are wanting to do. Since you can feint as a free action, then yes, you can feint multiple times for multiple sneak attacks for your progression. Had it said Swift, then you would have been SOL.

3) Also, if I take it, can I feint several times during a full attack?If you take all 5 levels, then yes.

4) Are there any feats that make my sneak attack deal more damage? Several, but probably not as optimized as other methods of adding damage
[/quote]5) Any other advise to optimize would be welcomed[/QUOTE]

1 level Dip in Swordsage twice. Once at 2nd, then once at 8th. You get the following:

At 1st
1) Discipline Focus (Shadow Hand). You now have Weapon Focus in Kukri and daggers, which is a prerequsite for the Invisible Blade class
2) Shadow Hand Stance: Island of Blades, which greatly increases your flanking flexability.
3) Pick up, as a Feat, Shadow Blade, which lets you use your Dex stat to calculate damage instead of Str (probably worth at LEAST 2d6 damage on average)

Then after 8th, you take your 2nd level in Swordsage, and you get:

Assassin's Stance. +2d6 sneak attack (not usable in conjunction with Island of Blades, but still viable otherwise).

So your build would look like:

Strongheart Halfling Rogue1/Swordsage1/Rogue3/Invisible Blade5/Swordsage1/Rogue9

Feats would look like:

1: Point Blank Shot, Far Shot (racial bonus)
2: Weapon Focus (swordsage bonus)
3: Weapon Finesse
6: Shadow Blade

So, to compile this:

Rogue13/Swordsage2/Invisible Blade5

You get:
Dex to Damage
10d6 sneak attack (7 from Rogue, +3 from Invisible Blade)
+2d6 sneak attack if you're not using Island of Blades to flank easier (total +12d6

Power breaks:

Level 2 lets you start flanking easier, letting you apply sneak attack more frequently.

Level 6 is when you truly start hitting your stride. You've got 3d6 SA, Dex to damage, and is quickly progressing through Invisible Blade

Level 10 is when you start not worrying about Island of Blades anymore. Fortunately, at level 11, you get Assassin's Stance, which pretty much replaces Island of Blades vs many of your opponents (except those with Uncanny Dodge but NOT Improved Uncanny Dodge)

From there, it's just a power grind. More sneak attack and more skills.

monty
2008-12-27, 06:03 PM
Invisible Blade is a very good choice for what you are wanting to do. Since you can feint as a free action, then yes, you can feint multiple times for multiple sneak attacks for your progression. Had it said Swift, then you would have been SOL.

Except that the errata changed it to 1/round, as has been pointed out multiple times in this thread (including the post immediately before yours).

Eldariel
2008-12-27, 06:11 PM
5) Don't let your emphasis on dual-wielding in melee get in the way of using ranged attacks when they're superior.

An additional reason to pick Quick Draw. Not only does it allow you to not have to wield your ranged weapon in the start, it allows a seamless transition into melee without wasting actions and full attacks. It should extend to Wands, which would likewise allow a the Pounce on the first round of combat. Also, since your damage pretty much comes from Sneak Attack anyways, the weapon you're using hardly matters so you can carry a few around and just switch on fly to whichever best applies to that sitiuation.

As an addition, the small Swordsage dip also gets you Sudden Leap for immediate movement (also allows you to make an attack with both weapons after movement).

An additional limiting factor on the weapons is Shadow Blade. Using Short Swords is a small price to pay for Dex to damage in a TWF build. Also, the free Weapon Focus from Shadow Hand is very handy in this regard.


The principal problem with Invisible Blade is the drop in skillpoints. Rogue is awesome with all the skills it gets, Invisible Blade cuts into that. Also, the prerequisite feats are pretty huge when you simply can't afford prerequisites. I'd stay clear of it outside specialized builds.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-27, 06:17 PM
Why bother on using an either/or situation? Why not be able to do both? It never was an either/or question; Yehomer asked which to rely on more.

It really does help to read before replying. :smalltongue:

- - - - - - - -


An additional reason to pick Quick Draw. Not only does it allow you to not have to wield your ranged weapon in the start, it allows a seamless transition into melee without wasting actions and full attacks. While Quick Draw is essential for some options, like throwing daggers/darts/any thrown weapon that doesn't count as ammunition, it isn't the best use of a feat most of the time.
If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may draw a weapon as a free action combined with a regular move. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may draw a weapon as a free action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw two light or one-handed weapons in the time it would normally take you to draw one. If you're closing for melee you can draw both weapons on the way. If you've unexpectedly gotten into melee you can either step back 5' and continue with ranged attacks, or withdraw because you have legitimate concern about a tactically superior enemy -- after all, they snuck up on a Rogue!

Seriously, there are lots of feats out there, but few feat slots for a Rogue. You've got to get a lot of return out of each one to justify choosing it over all the alternatives. I don't think you can justify Quick Draw for most Rogues.

Yehomer
2008-12-27, 06:51 PM
Thanks for all the quick replies :D
I'm too drunk and it's too late now for me to say all the things I want, and I won't have an intenet for two weeks now, so let me just say thanks again for all your posts, and if you've got any more ideas - keep them coming!

SurlySeraph
2008-12-27, 07:02 PM
Most everything you'll want has been mentioned already. One thing I'll bring up, though is the feat Telling Blow, from PHBII. It lets you deal your sneak attack damage whenever you get a critical hit. That plus a pair of Keen kukris works great even when you're not flanking. I've had different rulings on whether you get the sneak attack damage on a critical from this feat twice if you're already sneak attacking, and I don't know if there's an official ruling. If you can convince the DM that you do, great.

Eldariel
2008-12-27, 07:07 PM
By RAW you don't, which is why it's not worth one of your precious feats. If you do convince your GM to allow double SA on Crit thanks to the feat though, it becomes much better and almost worth considering. Add Craven, To Hit-boosters and you're golden.

EDIT: Oh yeah, one thing you'll definitely want: Dungeonscape offers an alternative class feature named "Penetrating Strike" for Rogue on level 3. It allows you to exchange Trap Sense (read: crap) for the ability to Sneak Attack normally immune creatures for ˝ damage when flanking (read: gold). Every Rogue should have that, period. With Swordsage-dip, you even get the maneuver "Distracting Ember" which allows you to always generate Flanking position at whim; very handy.

Yes, you're still disadvantaged against Golems, Undead, Oozes, Plants, Elementals and guys with Fortifications or Heart of X, but you aren't totally useless! And seeing that that's a pretty long list, you can just imagine how bad it is normally (even with UMD to bypass some of those; having to get Grave Strike and Golem Strike Wand sucks up resources). Also note that it doesn't work against creatures that cannot be flanked. However, with Darkstalker, you can SA almost everything (creatures with Improved Uncanny Dodge and enough levels are an exception).

EDIT#2: Few more things that occured to me:

1) You may want a Swashbuckler-dip. That would get you Weapon Finesse for free, and Int to damage on level 3. With Daring Outlaw, you'd get standard Sneak Attack progression from those levels (and even better Reflex-saves, I suppose), so you'd split even on feats, losing a bunch of skills for Int to damage (huge for two-weapon fighters), some Fort-save improvements and full BAB for 3 levels. This would give you final builds of:

Rogue 15/Swashbuckler 3/Swordsage 2
Rogue 18/Swordsage 2
and Rogue 17/Swashbuckler 3

It's nice that all of those are completely within favored class-rules if your group uses them as long as your FC is Rogue.

2) Race...don't underestimate the feat. If your game doesn't allow flaws, I'll go as far as to say that you need the feat as TWF Rogues are ridiculously featstarved. With flaws, it's still great. Other than feat, you want bonuses in Hide, skills and Dex. Especially Dexterity-bonus would come in handy here as it gives you To Hit (both, ranged and melee), qualifies you for TWF, gives you AC, saves, Initiative and damage. Int-bonus simply for the skillpoints is second in importance. The biggest penalty to avoid is Con although Cha would be slightly annoying too (likely doable though as you don't want THAT high Cha so you can simply put more points into it to get a positive modifier). Finally, 30' movement speed is a huge bonus, as is Darkvision (especially for low levels).

This gives a list of the following:

Human: Feat and extra skillpoint per level, it's only missing the Hide-bonuses and Dex. Human is always a solid choice.

Gray Elf: Dex and Int-bonus with Con-penalty along with skill bonuses for perception and some handy proficiencies for low levels. Also, immunities to some Will-save crap (easily your worst save). If you have scores to deal with the Con-penalty, this is a solid Core-choice, although mind the favored class (if you play with FC rules, this is a no-go). Fire Elf is an arguable improvement (you dump Cha instead of Str, which sucks, but gain Fire Resistance which is nice), but outside Core there're much better choices available anyways.

Goblin: Bonus to Dex althought penalty to two stats. Still, Darkvision, Small with 30' movement (!!), Move Silently bonus and Favored Class: Rogue makes for a great combo. Air Goblin is strictly better outside core races for you (since you won't ever use Ride); it also has the wonderful "Breathless"-quality, which immunitizes you against some Fort-save targeting things and among others allows you to live anywhere the hell you please (regardless of whether oxygen is available).

Strongheart Halfling: Feat, Dex bonus, Throwing bonus, Small, Listen+Move Silently bonus, correct Favored Class. The problem is the 20' movement speed and lack of Darkvision. If you can access the magic to mitigate those issues, this is a great race, although the lack of bonus skillpoints is bit annoying.

Whisper Gnome: Bonus to Dex and Con, but with Cha-penalty. It's ok. Small, 30' movement, Darkvision, bonuses to Hide, Move Silently, Spot and Listen, and a bunch of great spell-likes (daily Silence being the kicker, both, to hide yourself and to screw low level casters). And correct Favored Class. If it had the Feat, it'd be perfect. Without it, it's close enough.

Lesser Tiefling: Dex and Int-bonuses with Cha penalty (bleh, ok), racial Hide and Bluff bonuses (decent, no Move Silently though), racial daily Darkness and some energy resistances (great! Fire, Cold, Electricity; most environments are safe for you). Without feat, small size and more notable Hide-bonus though, they have issues with Whisper Gnome. Also, the ability to be banished is an unpleasant addition with your Will-saves.



Short:
Human: Feat, skills
Gray Elf (only to be considered if limited to Core choices or wanting an Elf): Dex, skills
Strongheart Halfling: Feat, Dex/Hide, 20'
Air Goblin: Dex++/Hide, Darkvision
Whisper Gnome: Dex/Hide, Darkvision
Lesser Tiefling: Dex, skills, Darkvision

Tough decision overall. Go with your heart. The listed races (and attributes) are the most important ones though.


Feats would probably be something like:

1. Weapon Finesse
2. Two-Weapon Fighting
3. Darkstalker
4. Craven
5. Shadow Blade
6. Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
7. Quick Draw
8. Greater Two-Weapon Fighting

With or without Daring Outlaw (since Swashbuckler gives Finesse as bonus, you'll end up ±0 with Swashbuckler and Daring Outlaw). With Improved and Greater Two-Weapon Fighting rolled into standard TWF, life gets much better and you'll have feats to pull the build off for real. You'll even have open feats to take "useful" feats.

olentu
2008-12-27, 07:18 PM
I would suggest considering Staggering Strike from Complete Adventurer. While it does not increase damage it can apply a round of the staggered condition to creatures you hit with a melee sneak attack although they get a save that I think is equal to the damage dealt.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-27, 08:24 PM
One thing I'll bring up, though is the feat Telling Blow, from PHBII. It lets you deal your sneak attack damage whenever you get a critical hit. ... I've had different rulings on whether you get the sneak attack damage on a critical from this feat twice if you're already sneak attacking, and I don't know if there's an official ruling. You don't get sneak attack damage twice from Telling Blow on a critical sneak attack -- any more than you get it twice if you're flanking someone who's also flatfooted.
When a rogue with the Telling Blow feat (PHB II 83) deals a critical hit against a flat-footed enemy, does she add her sneak attack damage twice?
No. The feat simply adds another criteria that “activates” your sneak attack or skirmish damage; it doesn’t allow either of those values to be added twice.

- - - - - - - -


Feats would probably be something like:

1. Weapon Finesse That doesn't work.
Weapon Finesse [General]

Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1.

Eldariel
2008-12-27, 08:31 PM
That doesn't work.

I was listing priorities (hence the "1. - 2. - 3." as opposed to actual levels when you get the feats). While you can't pick it first, it's still the first priority for you as without it, you're really stuck to ranged attacks and the TWF rogue just plain does not work without it. Although I suppose that list would work as a picking order too, aside from that.

AmberVael
2008-12-27, 08:38 PM
Flick of the Wrist could actually be pretty handy for this. If you're unable to get into a flanking situation, you should also take a peek at the Palm Dagger Sleight of Hand rules in Complete Warrior- not always useful, especially for a Dual Wielder, but the fact that it is only a skill point investment and means the ability to sneak attack someone without doing it while they're unaware OR flanked means it is another option.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-27, 08:55 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention skill tricks (Complete Scoundrel). For a minor additional investment of skill points you can do some fairly useful things. For example, Acrobatic Backstab pretty much guarantees one solo sneak attack per encounter.

Eldariel
2008-12-27, 09:03 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention skill tricks (Complete Scoundrel). For a minor additional investment of skill points you can do some fairly useful things. For example, Acrobatic Backstab pretty much guarantees one solo sneak attack per encounter.

A very good point; Flick of the Wrist is yet another thing that should've been a skill trick instead of a feat. A pity they didn't think of skill tricks before C. Scoundrel; would be cool to have an array as large as 3.5 feat array to choose from. Anyways, a Rogue of this fashion would probably like Sudden Draw, Mosquito Bite, Hidden Blade, Acrobatic, Clarity of Vision, Back On Your Feet, Twisted Charge, Second Impression, Social Recovery and Timely Misdirection - they all contribute to some degree and are a relatively painless investment (of course, you can't get all those, but few choice ones from the list for what interests you the most).

Mr Pants
2008-12-27, 09:13 PM
1: I've found that flanking is usually a lot better than feinting. It doesn't use an action and helps out your buddy and you.
2: Nah.
3: According to the book: yes. According to the errata: no.
4: Craven, Shadowblade, Martial Stance (Assassin's Stance)
5: I would also recommend the Dark template from Tome of Magic (p158). It gets you the supernatural hide in plain sight in all situations except broad daylight and a +8 to hide and +6 move silently. It's a great alternative to Shadowdancer because it can be used at 2nd level and doesn't have any annoying prerequisites.

Use the whisper gnome for your race for a ridiculous bonus to hide and move silently and you can effectively attack and then immediately hide, even at the -20. This also helps in general thievery to get you more gold for your magic items. Cloaks and boots of Elvenkind are your friend.

I'd do something like:
Dark Whisper Gnome Rogue 19/Swordsage 1
Swordsage dips to save feats that could have been used to get Martial Study and Martial Stance.

Eldariel
2008-12-27, 09:21 PM
You need SS2 for Assassin's Stance. Since you won't otherwise have the feats for it, I'd go with that rather than Rogue 19. Also, you get Wis to AC and some higher level maneuvers along with better Will-saves (all nice boons).

In fact, I realized that with Swashbuckler 3/Swordsage 2/Rogue 15-build, you may actually succeed non-Reflex saves at some point! Make it a Whisper Gnome and you have that racial Con-bonus too for actually decent Fort-saves.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-12-27, 09:36 PM
Cloaks and boots of Elvenkind are your friend.

I'd do something like:
Dark Whisper Gnome Rogue 19/Swordsage 1
Swordsage dips to save feats that could have been used to get Martial Study and Martial Stance.

Cloak and boots of elvenkind are obsolete. +1 Mithral Chain Shirt Shadowed Silent Moves is in every way superior. Since Swordsage's Wis bonus to AC specifically stacks with Light Armor, there's no reason to blow two slots when you can get the same thing without blowing slots.

Paul H
2008-12-27, 10:16 PM
Hi

Not sure if this helps - but what about a Rogue/Beguier combi? All the spells you need are on the Beguiler list.

Legion of Sentinels is an area effect spell that conjures many shadowy warriors that grant you (and eachother) flanking bonuses. (The warriors just make Attacks of Opportunity). Just cast & move in. Spells like Gtr Invis, Knock, Silence are also there...

Good skill points, sneaky skills, & Int based spont spellcasting. Oh - and disables traps like rogues.

Rogue 3/Beguiler 6 with Spell Hand (CA) feat meets the prereqs for Arcane Trickster, though I'm sure there's a better PrC out there for Rogue/Beguiler mixes.

Cheers
Paul H

arguskos
2008-12-27, 10:25 PM
Cloak and boots of elvenkind are obsolete. +1 Mithral Chain Shirt Shadowed Silent Moves is in every way superior. Since Swordsage's Wis bonus to AC specifically stacks with Light Armor, there's no reason to blow two slots when you can get the same thing without blowing slots.
...this statement makes me feel sad inside, and I don't know why. It's good advice, but something inside me just sorta weeps when I read it. Sorry to single you out Shneekey, nothing wrong with what you said, but I guess I mourn the days where Boots of Elvenkind meant something. :smallfrown:

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-12-27, 10:30 PM
...this statement makes me feel sad inside, and I don't know why. It's good advice, but something inside me just sorta weeps when I read it. Sorry to single you out Shneekey, nothing wrong with what you said, but I guess I mourn the days where Boots of Elvenkind meant something. :smallfrown:

Yea, that was back when they were actually useful. In 2e, they were vitally important for anyone NOT a Rogue, Bard, or Monk to have a reasonable chance of evading encounters. Now it's just a +5 skill check...

arguskos
2008-12-27, 10:37 PM
Yea, that was back when they were actually useful. In 2e, they were vitally important for anyone NOT a Rogue, Bard, or Monk to have a reasonable chance of evading encounters. Now it's just a +5 skill check...
I think this may be the thing I hate most about the newer D&D editions (3.0 forward): the classic items no longer matter.

A holy avenger is only meh. Boots/Cloak of Elvenkind? Bah, just some ****ty skill item. Vorpal? BOOOOORING (and bad to boot)!

I liked the classic items, like the Cloak of Elvenkind, the Robe of the Archmagi, the holy avenger, the vorpal sword, all that jazz. They had a flavor and a feel, and made me smile. *sigh* I guess that time has ended. :smallsigh:


Also, yeah, sorry about the thread-jack. I'll stop that now. :smallcool:

Curmudgeon
2008-12-27, 10:39 PM
I would also recommend the Dark template from Tome of Magic (p158). It gets you the supernatural hide in plain sight
Uh, big correction; Dark Creature template grants only an Extraordinary version of Hide in Plain Sight; see page 161. All Extraordinary versions of HiPS take care of only the Hide requirement to not be observed; the Supernatural versions (Assassin and Shadowdancer) also remove the Hide need for cover/concealment.

jcsw
2008-12-27, 10:44 PM
5: I would also recommend the Dark template from Tome of Magic (p158). It gets you the supernatural hide in plain sight in all situations except broad daylight and a +8 to hide and +6 move silently. It's a great alternative to Shadowdancer because it can be used at 2nd level and doesn't have any annoying prerequisites.


Or depending on what level you start the game, there's an item in the same book which gives you the template without costing the level. A bit pricey but well worth the cost)

Curmudgeon
2008-12-27, 11:38 PM
If you get some Extraordinary HiPS, a useful strategy to make it work for you is Darkness/Deeper Darkness (provides concealment) plus Ebon Eyes so the concealment won't keep you from making sneak attacks. Get a Cleric to cast Deeper Darkness (which lasts for days) on one of your sword tips: concealment as soon as you draw your blade.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-12-27, 11:42 PM
If you get some Extraordinary HiPS, a useful strategy to make it work for you is Darkness/Deeper Darkness (provides concealment) plus Ebon Eyes so the concealment won't keep you from making sneak attacks. Get a Cleric to cast Deeper Darkness (which lasts for days) on one of your sword tips: concealment as soon as you draw your blade.

Or just a two-level dip in Warlock. Darkness and Devil's Sight. Plus you also get to sneak attack with eldrich blast. Flat Footed + Ranged Touch Attack = AC 10 (+ size and deflection mods).

Granted, full attack in melee is more damage output, but sometimes you either don't want to or are unable to close properly.

Keld Denar
2008-12-28, 12:18 AM
For a melee rogue, I'd actually consider more Swashbuckler levels than Rogue levels, since your SA stays the same, but your BAB and HP go up. Granted, your skill points and rogue special abilities go down, but thats a sacrifice you have to decide is better for your character's combat potential.

Try, Human

Swashbuckler1 Weapon Finesse (B), Two Weapon Fighting, Able Learner (H)
Rogue1
Swashbuckler2 Craven
Swashbuckler3
Rogue2
Rogue3 Daring Outlaw
Swordsage1 (Distracting Ember, Invis Boost, Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Island of Blades stance)
Swashbuckler4
Swordsage2 (Pouncing Charge? Assassin's Stance) Shadow Blade
Swashbuckler5
Swashbuckler6
Swashbuckler7 Improved TWF
Swashbuckler8
Swashbuckler9
Swashbuckler10 Greater TWF
Swashbuckler11
Swashbuckler12
Swashbuckler13 Staggering Strike?
Swashbuckler14
Swashbuckler15

And that brings you to 20. I'd probably go human. Able Learner is pretty nice if you want to keep your stealth or other roguey skills up, and human gives you both Able Learner and the extra skillpoints to do it. Also the fact that rogue3 and swordsage2 won't give you an exp penalty late in life, or early if you stack your levels different (provided your DM actually PLAYS with them). Finishes with 18/20 BAB, which is much better than any of the more rogue heavy combos finish, especially when dipping swordsage.

Lots of other good feats I wish I could fit in. If you can take flaws, do it, and nab Darkstalker and maybe something like Quick Reconoiter if you want to make lots of spot/listen checks.

Hope this helps. Remember, ToB makes everything better!

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 12:25 AM
Hope this helps. Remember, ToB makes everything better! Well, except for the severe multiclassing XP loss. As soon as you add the first Swordsage level you'll be taking 20% off the top of all the experience you earn.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-12-28, 12:27 AM
Well, except for the severe multiclassing XP loss. As soon as you add the first Swordsage level you'll be taking 20% off the top of all the experience you earn.

Not true. He did say 'human', after all. So at that point, he declares Swordsage as the class to ignore. Rogue and Swashbuckler are both level 3 at this point, so no xp penalties

Then later on, he selects Swashbuckler as the one to ignore, because Swordsage and Rogue are within 1 level of each other.

No xp penalties. Sorry.

ericgrau
2008-12-28, 01:05 AM
Lots of good points. Just want to add a couple quick things. Be sure to protect yourself somehow. With a d6 HD and light armor you need invisibility (or a substitute like supernatural HiPS) or you'll get hammered in melee. That and be sure to make up for your low AB (someone already mentioned some tips for this) or you'll be getting a lot less damage than you'd expect after you don't hit so often.

Eloel
2008-12-28, 01:29 AM
As the title says, I want to build a dual wielding, sneak attacking rogue. A few general questions I need your advise on:
1) Should I rely more about flanking from my tank, or on feints?
2) Is the Invisible blade Prestige class worth it? I think that having feint as a free action is excellent, but the requites of Point Blank Shot and Far Shot, while having no class features to enhance them, makes it a waste of two feats.
3) Also, if I take it, can I feint several times during a full attack?
4) Are there any feats that make my sneak attack deal more damage?
5) Any other advise to optimize would be welcomed

Dual-wield shurikens/darts, go Master Thrower, get a small race, use the 5th level MT ability that makes all your attacks touch attacks, I'd recommend getting Ninja instead of Rogue, for being invisible/ethereal, granting you Sudden Strike many times every day. Get a big bunch of Potion of Invisibilities (or a cloak/amulet/whatever of invisibility-at-will)
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheets/view.php?id=99120
Here's a link to my recent build using these advices

I_Got_This_Name
2008-12-28, 02:27 AM
As a rogue, your goal in combat is to get sneak attack as many times per round as is possible, and do as much damage per sneak attack as possible.

Straight rogue is a solid choice; while you don't have to give up sneak attack if you dip swordsage right, you are still giving up some of your skill points.

If you're not dead-set on melee, you can use flasks of acid/alchemists fire/more exotic things. This gets you touch attacks for practically free (a Wand of Wraithstrike costs 90 gp per charge; acid is cheaper until you're throwing 9/round). The downside is that getting sneak attack with ranged attacks is harder, since you can't flank. Once you can get one, a Ring of Blinking is the best way to get it for a ranged attacker. Get creative, though; Fog Cloud or even Obscuring Mist can allow you to hide to attack again the next round; the only cost is that you are only making full attacks every other round.

If you're going for melee, you need magical defenses in wands and scrolls, or more permanent items, as soon as you can afford them; without them, you cannot survive the full attack of most monsters. Mirror Image is always good, and Blur and Displacement are a nice pair, although in most cases Greater Invisibility is better than Displacement. Range takes care of most of this with blink, but that gives you a miss change (but not concealment, so you can still get SA). The upshot of melee is that you get flanking.

I don't really recommend rogues as melee characters, though, because a rogue's power is that they can unleash enormous amounts of damage on a full attack, and it's far too easy to keep melee characters from full attacking. Maybe the exotic heavily multiclassed builds do that better.

For feats, both of these need two-weapon fighting; at level 3, you need to decide how to specialize. Getting good at range costs two feats, but you don't really need them (Point Blank Shot isn't that helpful, but its a prereq for Rapid Shot, which gives you a third attack, which is more useful, since you're getting touch attacks); getting good at melee just wants Weapon Finnesse. You can have all of these by 6th level, if human. Skill Focus (Use Magic Device) is also a solid low-end choice, although it pushes finishing your feat trees back to 9th level, when you want Improved TWF.

Quick draw is a trap; because of the way the skill is written, it isn't actually harder to Sleight-of-hand draw concealed weapons as a free action than otherwise.

My recommendations, through level 9:
Single-classed rogue
1: TWF
Human: Point Blank Shot
3: Rapid Shot or Weapon Finesse
6: Weapon Finesse or Rapid Shot
9: Improved TWF

If you decide to go pure ranged, drop Weapon Finesse for Precise Shot, and have your melee ally pick up energy resistance to whatever kind you're throwing.

Always keep UMD and your stealths, and at least one perception skill maxed. Tumble is good too; you have it as a class skill, so use it. Get wands of Gravestrike and Golemstrike.

Using TWF and Rapid Shot together gives you a -4 penalty to hit, which is pretty hefty at first glance, although the fact that you're making touch attacks makes up for it, especially if you're making sneak attacks (strike from ambush, re-hide or turn invisible, use a Ring of Blinking) against enemies denied dex to AC (basically, they only get size, deflection, and strange-type AC bonuses). If you get Weapon Finesse, you can almost hold your own in melee; you're not making touch attacks anymore (without a Wand of Wraithstrike), and you have to move up on the first round, putting you in the worst place possible: you have made one sneak attack on a monster, and are vulnerable and in melee with it on its turn, setting up for a full sneak attack.

If you're using ToB, probably the best maneuver for you is Sudden Leap, since it allows you to move and full attack in the same turn. You probably want it in an item, although a 2-level dip in Swordsage once you are at least 6th level (in other classes) is also good (you can stagger this, taking the first level early, probably as your 5th character level to get 2nd level maneuvers, and the second level as your 8th character level); take Assassin's Stance as your second stance if you do that (so that you gain SA dice on the deal), and also take Cloak of Deception. Strikes that don't give full attacks are bad; stay away from those. Since you're human, you can leave Swordsage behind there.

At level 1 this build is a pretty standard rogue. At level 3 you start throwing acid in every fight. With Rapid Shot first, at level 3 you're making 3 attacks per round for 3d6 damage each. At level 5 your flasks do 4d6 damage each (5d6 if you use Alchemist's Fire for the lingering damage), and your wizard buddy learns to cast Haste (if you have one, otherwise get scrolls), so in major battles you are dealing 16d6 damage per round, and in others you're dealing 12d6; you should probably have something that lets you get total concealment when its important here (even if it's a few Scrolls of Greater Invisibility; if you started Swordsage early, use Cloak of Deception; that way you don't need to move to hide, and so can drop full volleys every round). At level 9 you have iterative attacks in both hands, and you should have bought or found a Ring of Blinking, bumping you to 30d6 damage per round, without Haste or Assassin's Stance (The former adds 6d6, the latter adds 5d6, together they add 12d6).

You may also want to consider bringing holy water, along with your acid; the damage boost is minimal, but many outsiders are acid and fire resistant.

Eldariel
2008-12-28, 07:14 AM
For a melee rogue, I'd actually consider more Swashbuckler levels than Rogue levels, since your SA stays the same, but your BAB and HP go up. Granted, your skill points and rogue special abilities go down, but thats a sacrifice you have to decide is better for your character's combat potential.

Try, Human

Swashbuckler1 Weapon Finesse (B), Two Weapon Fighting, Able Learner (H)
Rogue1
Swashbuckler2 Craven
Swashbuckler3
Rogue2
Rogue3 Daring Outlaw
Swordsage1 (Distracting Ember, Invis Boost, Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Island of Blades stance)
Swashbuckler4
Swordsage2 (Pouncing Charge? Assassin's Stance) Shadow Blade
Swashbuckler5
Swashbuckler6
Swashbuckler7 Improved TWF
Swashbuckler8
Swashbuckler9
Swashbuckler10 Greater TWF
Swashbuckler11
Swashbuckler12
Swashbuckler13 Staggering Strike?
Swashbuckler14
Swashbuckler15

And that brings you to 20. I'd probably go human. Able Learner is pretty nice if you want to keep your stealth or other roguey skills up, and human gives you both Able Learner and the extra skillpoints to do it. Also the fact that rogue3 and swordsage2 won't give you an exp penalty late in life, or early if you stack your levels different (provided your DM actually PLAYS with them). Finishes with 18/20 BAB, which is much better than any of the more rogue heavy combos finish, especially when dipping swordsage.

Lots of other good feats I wish I could fit in. If you can take flaws, do it, and nab Darkstalker and maybe something like Quick Reconoiter if you want to make lots of spot/listen checks.

Hope this helps. Remember, ToB makes everything better!

That's a Swashbuckler, not a Rogue. Without Rogue skillpoints, you really become little more than a skilled Fighter. I'd definitely rather go Swashbuckler 3/Swordsage 2/Rogue 15. You only lose two HD sizes (just go for 16 Con and you'll be ok), and get 4 more skills per level. I'd actually consider not taking Swashbuckler-levels at all simply because the loss of skills is huge. Still, Int to damage and Fort-saves do kick ass.

TempusCCK
2008-12-28, 07:20 AM
I highly recommend Swash3/Rogue X/whatever X.

After Swashbuckler 3, everything that's worthwhile about the class is continued via Daring Outlaw, the extra hitpoints and BAB aren't really worth it to me, considering as a sneak-attacker you're already going to be jacking up Tumble and Hide, and from there it's only a short step to avoiding combat skillfully via those skills.

But try and take Rogue first level if you can, 32 skill points from a single class is just plain tasty, and that's assuming you don't have an INT bonus, which for the daring outlaw build, you should. Also, insanely fun to play high INT characters.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 08:05 AM
Not true. He did say 'human', after all. So at that point, he declares Swordsage as the class to ignore. Rogue and Swashbuckler are both level 3 at this point, so no xp penalties That's got no connection to the RAW.
Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass human takes an experience point penalty, his or her highest-level class does not count. There is no option to "declare" a class to ignore. Keld Denar's sneak attacking Swashbuckler build is severely crippled by XP penalties.

Eldariel
2008-12-28, 08:23 AM
That's got no connection to the RAW. There is no option to "declare" a class to ignore. Keld Denar's sneak attacking Swashbuckler build is severely crippled by XP penalties.

At one point (on level 7). If he switches Swordsage and Rogue-levels around, there is none. In the end, it's Rogue 3/Swordsage 2/Swashbuckler 15, which certainly has no XP penalties with Swashbuckler as the favored class.

Lycar
2008-12-28, 09:32 AM
Get creative, though; Fog Cloud or even Obscuring Mist can allow you to hide to attack again the next round; the only cost is that you are only making full attacks every other round.

No, this will cost you the ability to make sneak attacks at all, since your opponents will have concealment, and that flat out negates sneak attacks.

That's why you should always remember to bring a couple of smokesticks. One of the few items that never lose utility. :smallbiggrin:

Lycar

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 09:48 AM
There's at least the option of magic to let you see through various types of concealment and thus still make sneak attacks. For Darkness there's Ebon Eyes. For fog there's a Cloud Cloak (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fw/20050311a).

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-12-28, 11:15 AM
That's got no connection to the RAW. There is no option to "declare" a class to ignore. Keld Denar's sneak attacking Swashbuckler build is severely crippled by XP penalties.

1) Try reading the PhB, which says a human can choose which class to ignore

2) Even if you take your interpretation to be correct, the build is not 'crippled by xp penalties', because they are only in effect for 3 levels, because as soon as he takes Swashbuckler4, it becomes the highest level class, and as soon as he takes Swordsage2, it comes within one level of Rogue. So, no xp penalties would apply.

Kantur
2008-12-28, 11:22 AM
1) Try reading the PhB, which says a human can choose which class to ignore

I just have, it clearly says the highest level class does not count (Page 14 of the 3.5 PHB, and (Having checked a friend's copy) page 14 of the 3.0 PHB). Unless you have a page reference to what you're saying?

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 11:27 AM
1) Try reading the PhB, which says a human can choose which class to ignore Since I quoted the actual part of the rules we're in contention over, I would have thought it obvious that I had indeed read the book. :smallannoyed:

Care to take your own advice? :smallwink:

Person_Man
2008-12-28, 03:02 PM
As the title says, I want to build a dual wielding, sneak attacking rogue. A few general questions I need your advise on:
1) Should I rely more about flanking from my tank, or on feints?

Feinting is a ridiculously poor way to qualify for Sneak Attack. Here is a list of better ways:

Ways to qualify for Sneak Attack include:

1) Win Initiative: A Flat Footed enemy loses their Dex bonus until they act.

2) Flanking: Have someone summon a lot of weak creatures.

3) More Flanking: Invest in Handle Animal. Buy a lot of dogs. They're cheap.

4) Still More Flanking: Invest in Tumble, get behind your enemies, have your party's meatshield fight in front of them.

5) Yet More Flanking: Adaptable Flanker feat (PHBII), reach weapon, armor spikes or spiked gauntlets.

6) Armor Lock: 1st level spell from Complete Scoundrel that works on enemies wearing armor. Buy a wand.

7) Greater Invisibility: Once your party hits level 7ish, there's really no reason someone in your group shouldn't cast this on you at the start of every combat.

8) Ring of Blinking: If you're party members are jerks and refuse to cast Greater Invisibility on you, use this item instead. Pick up the Pierce Magical Concealment feat (Complete Arcane) to ignore your 20% miss chance.

9) Skill Tricks: Again, check out the Complete Scoundrel. Skill Tricks can be very useful (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88633).

10) Fear: If your enemy is Cowering, he loses his Dex bonus. There are a large variety of ways to get and use Fear effects, and a variety of ways to corner or immobilize him.

11) Stun: If your enemy is stunned, he loses his Dex bonus. Work with the Monk in your party, or ask the caster to use spells with this effect.

12) Blind: If your enemy is blind, he loses his Dex bonus. There are spells and alchemical items that do this.

13) Helpless: There are a variety of spells and a few effects that render your foe paralyzed or otherwise helpless. A Rogue's Coup de Grace almost never fails.

14) Hide in Plain Site: There are many ways to get this. My favorite is a dip into Warlock let's you Hide in Plain Site (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57352) every round as a Swift action. This means that any enemy who fails their Spot check is denied their Dex bonus against your next attack. Not efficient if you want to make full attacks, but helpful nonetheless.

15) Grappling: An opponent who is grappled loses their Dex bonus to everyone except the grappler, another way to tag team with your party members.

16) Net, Razor Net, Lasso: Each of these is a touch attack that imposes a -4 penalty on Dex. Penalties from different sources stack. Enemies with 0 Dex count as being paralyzed. I wouldn't even bother with taking the Exotic Weapon feats, because touch attacks are easy, so the -4 penalty to hit is palatable.

17) Feint: This is a retarded waste of an action in most cases. But it works well at low levels if you're not using TWF, and if you're an Invisible Blade with the Surprising Riposte feat (Drow of the Underdark), it works for a full attack.

18) Telling Blow (PHBII): When you crit, you also deal Sneak Attack. I'm not a fan of this method. It doesn't double your Sneak Attack if you flank and crit, WotC has made it clear that it just let's you qualify. So at best 30% of your attacks get Sneak Attack. There are many better uses for your feats, IMO.



2) Is the Invisible blade Prestige class worth it?

No. There are much better PrC. Even strait Rogue is respectable once you get the special abilities.



3) Also, if I take it, can I feint several times during a full attack?

Only if you take the Surprising Riposte feat, and even then its questionable.


[QUOTE=Yehomer;5549261]
4) Are there any feats that make my sneak attack deal more damage?[quote]

And here's a list of Sneak Attack feats (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66915).

Lycar
2008-12-28, 04:17 PM
There's at least the option of magic to let you see through various types of concealment and thus still make sneak attacks. For Darkness there's Ebon Eyes. For fog there's a Cloud Cloak (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fw/20050311a).

Uh ok. If you are willing to shell out the 31,500 gp for something that blocks the cloak slot just to this one thing... sure... :smallconfused:

Provided, of course, the item does exist in your GMs world to begin with.

Which you should never assume without asking first.

What is more crippling is that insufficient illumination also hinders a rogue's sneak attack. That can become a real liability indoors/underground. Fortunately, Goggles of Night solve that, even though 12.000 gp is still pretty steep.

Or one can just wear a Miner's Helmet. You know, with a coin or whatever with Continual Light on it in a small compartment at the front of the helmet. See what you stab. Just don't forget to close the shutter if you try to hide...

Lycar

I_Got_This_Name
2008-12-28, 04:25 PM
No, this will cost you the ability to make sneak attacks at all, since your opponents will have concealment, and that flat out negates sneak attacks.

That's why you should always remember to bring a couple of smokesticks. One of the few items that never lose utility. :smallbiggrin:

Lycar

Drop the cloud somewhere away from the enemy, run into it, hide, and skulk out. That gets you sneak attack. Depending on interpretation, you might even be able to hide in the edge of the cloud and still make sneak attacks.

If they're hiding in the mist, then you can't make sneak attacks against them, but you can position yourself so that they can't see you, either. If nobody tries to melee them in the mist, then they are, effectively, removed from the fight until they decide to leave the mist, which is fine for you; hiding in the mist is tactically equivalent to hiding anywhere else.

Switching to use a smokestick is probably a better choice, since it gives you a smaller, more controlled cloud to hide in, and is significantly cheaper than a Fog Cloud scroll.

Lycar
2008-12-28, 05:58 PM
If they're hiding in the mist, then you can't make sneak attacks against them, but you can position yourself so that they can't see you, either. If nobody tries to melee them in the mist, then they are, effectively, removed from the fight until they decide to leave the mist, which is fine for you; hiding in the mist is tactically equivalent to hiding anywhere else.

Also this is what a group of rogues you happen to be fighting ought to do once you pop some smoke. It is just that, let us say, not every GM plays it that way. Really, they should withdraw, hide, and get the jump on the PCs again. Or not if they are wary now and make their spot checks. Too bad that a few levels into the game, everybody who doesn't have Spot as a class skill is pretty much left out in the cold on that one.

Back to the topic of TWF: As you don't use a shield, you hurt for AC. So getting Combat Expertise might be worth considering, especially in combination with Deadly Defense (whenever you fight defensivly or use at least 2 points of Cmbt. Exp., you add 1d6 to all your damage rolls).

Skill tricks have already be mentioned: Group Fakeout allows you to use your Bluff against multiple enemies once an encounter. It imposes a -2 on the skill check for each additional enemy but with enough attacks and Bluff as a Swift action you can go 'Sneak attack for you! And you! And you too!' :smallbiggrin:

Don't forget that Bluff has more uses out of combat anyway. It can really help you if you get seperated from your flanking buddies for whatever reason (ever had your rogue bullrushed out of a flanking position and subsequently surrounded? Quite fun if live for those 'Oh my god, I've only got 14 hp left, GET ME OUT OF HERE' situations. Tumble is your friend there too!).

Let us not forget that Quickdraw allows the throwing of thrown weapons at your full number of attacks. And alchemists fire (or acid) is a ranged touch attack, dealing continuous damage for 2 turns. This is a valid tactic to mess up enemy spellcasters since it forces them to make Concentration checks. And with 2 or 3 loads of fire/acid in their face, those checks suddenly become non-trivial...

Lycar

Eldariel
2008-12-28, 06:04 PM
Back to the topic of TWF: As you don't use a shield, you hurt for AC. So getting Combat Expertise might be worth considering, especially in combination with Deadly Defense (whenever you fight defensivly or use at least 2 points of Cmbt. Exp., you add 1d6 to all your damage rolls).

Unfortunately, your attack bonus is too low for this, at least until you get Divine Power Wands (and really, even after). You already have penalties and non-full BAB; you don't need ANY voluntary penalties.


Let us not forget that Quickdraw allows the throwing of thrown weapons at your full number of attacks. And alchemists fire (or acid) is a ranged touch attack, dealing continuous damage for 2 turns. This is a valid tactic to mess up enemy spellcasters since it forces them to make Concentration checks. And with 2 or 3 loads of fire/acid in their face, those checks suddenly become non-trivial...

Lycar

More relevantly, you can make Sneak Attacks as Touch with such stuff (and Wands and so on).

Paul H
2008-12-28, 09:43 PM
Hi

Much talk about clouds & smokesticks. The answer is simply Legion of Sentinels. (PHBII). If you can't cast it yourself (from a wand perhaps), then team up with a Beguiler, or ask your Sorceror/Wizard type to stock up on them.

Legion of Sentinels

Illusion (Shadow)
Level: Beguiler 3, sorceror/wizard 3
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25ft + 5ft/2 levels)
Area: 10-ft radius emanation centred on a point in space
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

A phalanx of spectral swordfighters appears. Their blades are drawn, and they stand ready to strike.

A ghostly, incorporeal swordfighter appears in each square covered by this spell's area. A swordfighter can share a space with another creature or object. Each swordfighter threatens the squares adjacent to it and can make one attack of opportunity per round. The swordfighters do not hinder movement, block terrain, or block line of effect. They can flank an opponent with eachother and with your allies.

Each swordfighter has hit points equal to twice your caster level and an Armour Class of 25. It makes saving throws or checks equal to your caster level.

Material Component: A pewter swordfighter miniature figurine.

My Note:
Damage as listed in 'spell index' is "D8 damage +1/3 levels (max+5)

Hope this helps
Paul H

Lycar
2008-12-29, 02:18 PM
Unfortunately, your attack bonus is too low for this, at least until you get Divine Power Wands (and really, even after). You already have penalties and non-full BAB; you don't need ANY voluntary penalties.

BAB? That is 1 less BAB per 4 levels. For the levels most games play at, that is is 2-3 points less then a fighter. Except nobody plays fighters anymore these days... And gishes aren't full BAB either. ToB classes maybe. But even then, the BAB isn't the deciding factor.

Rogues are about skill, about effort. Be it a carefully set up scam pay off or a carefully set up flank result in extra damage, what fighters do with raw power, rogues do with skill and diligence.

Rogues are situational. Sometimes they can end a foe with just one well-placed strike while the fighter type was keeping him buisy and providing a flank. Sometimes, a rogue is better off being the flanking buddy of the fighter and Aid Another him, so that fighter's Power Attack feat actually means something.

Just like, you know, some mages can end an encounter with one spell and others just make it easier for the rest of the party to do their jobs.

This game is still about cooperation. A rogue IS NOT supposed to be the be-all end-all in melee combat. That is supposedly the job of the fighter. Warblade & co these days. But the rogue can always help. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

And if you face something that you absolutely DON't WANT to be hit by, level draining undead for example, then you WANT to Combat Expertise for maximum protection. And if you still manage a hit, and it does extra damage (Deadly Defense is no precision damage, it applies to ALL hits!) that is just sweet.

Of course, depending on what you want to do, there are other feats that are better for you. Much better even. But it is an option.


More relevantly, you can make Sneak Attacks as Touch with such stuff (and Wands and so on).

Sneak attacks are an added bonus, the main function is to force spellcasters to make Concentrate checks.

Lycar

Eldariel
2008-12-29, 03:47 PM
Lycar: None of that changes the fact that between losing those 2-3 points of BAB and -2 to TWF, you don't have the attack bonus to make effective use of Combat Expertise, not to mention you don't have that high AC either so your primary defense should be not being targetable, and having miss chance rather than dropping your offense for defense.

A single-weapon fighting Rogue could probably use Combat Expertise and even Deadly Defense (albeit to a lesser efficiency), but a two-weapon fighter would need some vast attack bonus increases to do it effectively against CR appropriate encounters. Nothing about Rogues' sitiuationality and fluid style or skills changes that. Against those undead, you have NO business being in melee in the first place, unless you actually think you can make a dent in them. Otherwise you'll just get in the way and should be using Wands or ranged weapons instead. With Penetrating Strike though, your offense is actually relevant in melee and so, trying to drop the opponent before they drain anyone in your party again becomes the best course of action; you've got no guarantee they'd be draining YOU.

Lycar
2008-12-29, 05:00 PM
... your primary defense should be not being targetable, and having miss chance rather than dropping your offense for defense.

But that is true for everybody, not just the rogue. Only a TWF rogue has an even harder time making it work because of the TWF penalties. This is partially compensated by having more attacks, and thus chances to hit.

Think of Deadly Defense as a sort of Power Attack: For a -2 to hit you get an average of 3.5 extra damage for a hit. That is just slightly worse then a Power Attack with a two-handed weapon! Except you also add to your defense.


A single-weapon fighting Rogue could probably use Combat Expertise and even Deadly Defense (albeit to a lesser efficiency), but a two-weapon fighter would need some vast attack bonus increases to do it effectively against CR appropriate encounters.

That vastly depends on what your GM considers to be a 'CR appropriate challenge': Does he just flip to the page with 'Monsters by CR' tables and says 'Okay, today you are fighting.. Ettins.'? Or does he actually take some time and effort and makes, for example, an encounter consisting of a bunch of lower HD types with some beefed up lieutnant types thrown in as leaders? Maybe in a strategically advantageous position?

Are you just fighting one big creature? If it is big, chances are it is comparativly easy to hit. Then you need to maximise damage output. Every wee bit helps in the end.

Oh yeah, about encounters, how would you rate this:

Underground cavern, out of a tunnel opens up into a chamber roughly 100' deep and 60' wide at the far end, sloping upwards at an angle steep enough to count as rough terrain.

Hobgoblins have errected walls along the slope, effectivly making the middle 10' feet a ramp upwards between high walls.

Walls left and right are manned by 6-8 hobgoblin skirmishers and archers, effectivly 1st lv warriors, lead by a single 3rd lv. fighter.

Also they have two (or four) giant (about 5' diameter) balls of hey/straw/plant matter on the upper part of the ramp, ready to light them on fire and roll them down on anyone trying to come up the ramp (total lenght of ramp 60' or so).

Something like a DC 15 reflex save to avoid them, otherwise being bull-rushed or overrun and taking damage from collision and fire.

Meanwhile, skirmishers throw javelins, archers shoot arrows, leader commands them to toss smoke sticks at identified caster types to break LOS or LOE.

They can also effectivly Grease the ramp by pouring oil onto it, making it even harder to get up there.

While they are delaying any intruders, a messenger runs for their main camp to rally reinforcements.

So what do you say, for what kinds of party is this a nice figth, a potential desaster or just a speed bump?

What if they have a single ballista firing down the ramp?

What if they don't have the balls but a closed gate?

Maybe they use Plunging Shot from Heroes of Battle?

And assuming your batman wizard's player couldn't make the session, how would you go about dismantling this encounter? :smallwink:

Lycar

Keld Denar
2008-12-29, 05:03 PM
Well, except for the severe multiclassing XP loss. As soon as you add the first Swordsage level you'll be taking 20% off the top of all the experience you earn.

Well, the last sentance of the paragraph I wrote right before the one you quoted said "If your DM actually plays with MC penalties."

There isn't much way that you can get SS2 while still qualifing for Daring Outlaw ASAP and getting your IL to the right levels so that you can have an IL of 3 for your first level to get the Improved Invis boost, and IL of 5 at SS2 to take Assassin's Stance and any other goodies you want. But seriously, who actually plays with multiclass penalties?

And Eldariel, I interpreted him to want more of the duelwield and the SA and more of the rogue. More Swash gives you better BAB, better HP, and a better fort save save, which is more important. Better BAB means you get further into the TWF tree faster, and more likely chances to hit when you do start swinging. Same SA, higher chance to hit makes for a better SA rogue to me. Rogue being a relative term, of course...

Eldariel
2008-12-29, 05:24 PM
But that is true for everybody, not just the rogue. Only a TWF rogue has an even harder time making it work because of the TWF penalties. This is partially compensated by having more attacks, and thus chances to hit.

The point is that TWF Rogue doesn't have the attack bonus to give away. Characters with full BAB and no -2 to attacks have a much better chance to afford that while still being relevant.


Think of Deadly Defense as a sort of Power Attack: For a -2 to hit you get an average of 3.5 extra damage for a hit. That is just slightly worse then a Power Attack with a two-handed weapon! Except you also add to your defense.

Yea, I know, but it's two feats for 1d6 extra damage; not worth it. And even if they could use it, TWF Rogues wouldn't take Power Attack. That -4 to attacks make PA even less effective than Combat Expertise (since you need to hit to get any mileage out of it). Yes, you could get some fringe benefits out of it, but those fringe benefits aren't worth a feat unless you literally can expect to always fight against CR 1 opponents with 10 AC that you'll hit anyways and can use Combat Expertise to make 'em need 20. But that's not a very interesting campaign anyways.


That vastly depends on what your GM considers to be a 'CR appropriate challenge': Does he just flip to the page with 'Monsters by CR' tables and says 'Okay, today you are fighting.. Ettins.'? Or does he actually take some time and effort and makes, for example, an encounter consisting of a bunch of lower HD types with some beefed up lieutnant types thrown in as leaders? Maybe in a strategically advantageous position?

Are you just fighting one big creature? If it is big, chances are it is comparativly easy to hit. Then you need to maximise damage output. Every wee bit helps in the end.

Yes, which is why you don't want Combat Expertise. Strategically more interesting encounters tend to just further highlight the problems with sitiuational feats.


Underground cavern, out of a tunnel opens up into a chamber roughly 100' deep and 60' wide at the far end, sloping upwards at an angle steep enough to count as rough terrain.

Hobgoblins have errected walls along the slope, effectivly making the middle 10' feet a ramp upwards between high walls.

Walls left and right are manned by 6-8 hobgoblin skirmishers and archers, effectivly 1st lv warriors, lead by a single 3rd lv. fighter.

Also they have two (or four) giant (about 5' diameter) balls of hey/straw/plant matter on the upper part of the ramp, ready to light them on fire and roll them down on anyone trying to come up the ramp (total lenght of ramp 60' or so).

Something like a DC 15 reflex save to avoid them, otherwise being bull-rushed or overrun and taking damage from collision and fire.

Meanwhile, skirmishers throw javelins, archers shoot arrows, leader commands them to toss smoke sticks at identified caster types to break LOS or LOE.

They can also effectivly Grease the ramp by pouring oil onto it, making it even harder to get up there.

While they are delaying any intruders, a messenger runs for their main camp to rally reinforcements.

So what do you say, for what kinds of party is this a nice figth, a potential desaster or just a speed bump?

What if they have a single ballista firing down the ramp?

What if they don't have the balls but a closed gate?

Maybe they use Plunging Shot from Heroes of Battle?

And assuming your batman wizard's player couldn't make the session, how would you go about dismantling this encounter? :smallwink:

It's around CR6; ~5 from the opponents (6-8 CR ˝s and 1 CR 3) and 1 from the environment. How I would go about dismantling that encounter would entirely depend on my party, whether I have advance warning, what I'm looking for inside (if it's just an item, I'd probably strive to bypass the encounter either through Invisibility/Silence or just a sneaky Rogue).

If I expected to actually have to fight it out though, I'd first and foremost want advance warning, preferably without them actually knowing when we're coming. Optimally, someone would sneak in Invisible. Invisible Wizard casting Sleep, Cause Fear, Grease or similar could be used to try and disable the Skirmishers for long enough to rush in.


Obviously, a full melee party would be the worst off. The more ranged firepower the party has, the better. A party of sneaky casters would have the easiest time. Having to deal with the rocks would be a problem. Grease could be used to either cause them to make the area difficult to access. Alternatively, flaming arrows could be employed to set them on fire before trying to scale the hill to burn them out before actually approaching the place (just shoot a bunch of arrows and pull back while they burn down).

Of course, the classic "Invisible Rogue assassinates the leader" could be very functional. Just plain rushing the encounter would end up in a disaster. Also, I'd run it for around level 3 party, depending on how resourceful my players were (for my players, level 3 would be fine).


EDIT:

Keld: Well, he said he wanted a dual-wielding Rogue. Daring Swordsage is a fine dual-wielder, but not much of a Rogue.

Keld Denar
2008-12-29, 06:10 PM
EDIT:

Keld: Well, he said he wanted a dual-wielding Rogue. Daring Swordsage is a fine dual-wielder, but not much of a Rogue.

Maybe the OP didn't know exactly what he wanted. Maybe by "rogue" he just wanted as much SA as possible, and doesn't really care about skills. My build delivers that. If he wants lots of skills, then probably straight rogue, possibly with Changling Rogue racial subs would be better. Or maybe he wants to utilize Crippling Strike to stack on str damage, in which case, a build in the middle would probably be best, maybe a Rogue10/Swash8/SS2 which ends with 16/20 BAB for that 4th main hand attack. 7 attacks per round with 2ish strength damage per hit (depending upon Savvy Rogue or not) would be pretty effective as well, but not quite as melee oriented as a build with more Swash and less Rogue. Since the OP has been absent since about the 6th post, and I'm STILL about 300 xp short of that first level of Mindbender IRL, we can only post builds and ideas and hope we help. Depending on what the OP qualifies as "roguey" my build is just as roguey as yours.

Eldariel
2008-12-29, 06:20 PM
I think we should simply settle to suggesting:

Two-Weapon Sneak Attack Fighter with ToB: Swashbuckler 15/Swordsage 2/Rogue 3
Two-Weapon Sneak Attack Fighter without ToB: Swashbuckler 17/Rogue 3
Skilled Two-Weapon Sneak Attacker with ToB: Rogue 15/Swordsage 2/Swashbuckler 3
Skilled Two-Weapon Sneak Attacker without ToB: Rogue 17/Swashbuckler 3
Skill Monkey Sneak Attacker with ToB: Rogue 18/Swordsage 2
Skill Monkey Sneak Attacker without ToB: Rogue 20

Keld Denar
2008-12-29, 08:48 PM
Skilled Two-Weapon Sneak Attacker without ToB: Rogue 17/Swordsage 3


I hope you mean Swashbuckler3... :P Sorry

And Rogue4/Swashbuckler16 is pretty good too. Keeps the 19/20 BAB, and picks up Uncanny Dodge or one of the ACFs that you can trade with it.

Eldariel
2008-12-29, 08:52 PM
I hope you mean Swashbuckler3... :P Sorry

What? That never happened :smalltongue:


And Rogue4/Swashbuckler16 is pretty good too. Keeps the 19/20 BAB, and picks up Uncanny Dodge or one of the ACFs that you can trade with it.

Yea, small tweaking can be done in any of those builds. An extra Swordsage- or Rogue-level is unlike to hurt anyone, as long as it doesn't drop your BAB. Also, the middle-of-the-road variants like Rogue 8/Swashbuckler 12 and the other way around are worth considering too. For simplicity's sake, I think it's not worth it to list every viable iteration of the combo. The given should serve well enough.

Samakain
2008-12-29, 09:35 PM
Playing one of these now actually, and i could read the rest of the thread to check if my suggestion had been given before, but that would ignore my abject laziness.

building i went for was a ToB build, 12 rogue, 8 sword sage. Concentrate solely on Tiger claw and Shadowhand Maneuvers and you'll be carving it up soon enough. use your feats for shadow blade and the TWF line. I threw in quick draw at 18th level for some ranged weapon versatility

if your not going for a ToB build then swashbuckler always adds some class to a rogue whose int is never all that low to begin with. Failing that a dip into warlock if you don't mind a bit of arcane cheese is always handy.

Sadly 3.5 seems lacking in Rogue-based PrC's bar Arcane Tricksters and a few others which seem to be made entirely out of suck and fail :).

monty
2008-12-29, 09:37 PM
building i went for was a ToB build, 12 rogue, 8 sword sage.

Rogue 12 is pretty much a dead level (+1 trap sense?). I'd have taken Swordsage 9 instead.