View Full Version : [3.5] Elven Rogue Combat Specialist

Tetsubo 57
2009-08-20, 08:02 AM
I can't access the WotC boards at the moment and look at the Rogue's Handbook. Anyone have a pointer to some suggestions for a combat oriented elven rogue build? Thanks.

2009-08-20, 08:08 AM
Use the cached version ( instead? That one works fine for me.

2009-08-20, 09:03 AM
Rogue/Swashbuckler with Daring Outlaw(Complete Scoundrel)?

d10, you only lose 1 point of BaB and you get Int do damage as a bonus. Go TWF and get a flanking buddy.

2009-08-20, 09:15 AM
Rogue/Swashbuckler with Daring Outlaw(complete Adventure)?
That should be Complete Scoundrel.

2009-08-20, 10:12 AM
That should be Complete Scoundrel.

Oh, right. My bad.

2009-08-20, 10:48 AM
The referenced guide is rather dated. A Rogue's main (almost only) way of dealing out enough damage to be a viable combatant is sneak attack. And a lot has changed to make sneak attack more generally useful.

The single most important feat for a Rogue who wants to engage in combat is Craven (Champions of Ruin), which adds +1 point per character level to sneak attack damage. (It also makes you more vulnerable to fear effects, so don't take it as a 1st level feat; the reward isn't enough yet to offset the liability.) Note that as this extra damage isn't from dice, it will get multiplied on a critical hit. The single most viable alternative class feature is Penetrating Strike (Dungeonscape), which trades trap sense for the ability to do 1/2 normal sneak attack damage to those normally immune, but only when you flank them. The most important spells are Grave Strike, Golem Strike, and Vine Strike (Spell Compendium), which are swift action spells to allow sneak attacking undead, constructs, and plants, respectively, for 1 round. Combine them with the single most important rule change (Rules Compendium), which makes triggering a spell from a wand take the same time as casting it, and Use Magic Device with some cheap wands becomes a way to combat many extra creatures. The most important items are the Greater Demolition and Greater Truedeath weapon augment crystals (Magic Item Compendium), which allow full sneak attack damage against constructs and undead, respectively.

None of these things are included.

Tetsubo 57
2009-08-20, 02:58 PM
Use the cached version ( instead? That one works fine for me.

Much appreciated. My Google-fu is weak.

Sinfire Titan
2009-08-20, 03:06 PM
I think the first rule of being a Rogue who gets into melee is this:


Seriously, Rilkan, Xeph, Gnome, Halfling, anything but Elf. -2 Con for a character who will be getting into melee combat=Suicide.

Tetsubo 57
2009-08-20, 03:08 PM
I think the first rule of being a Rogue who gets into melee is this:


Seriously, Rilkan, Xeph, Gnome, Halfling, anything but Elf. -2 Con for a character who will be getting into melee combat=Suicide.

I agree with you. But my friend is married to the idea. :)

Personally I'd go Human.

2009-08-20, 03:10 PM
I cut and paste this a lot, and it's been very useful to others:

Sneak Attack feats (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66915). Feat index (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/feats).

The four most important Sneak Attack feats:

Dragonfire Strike: Turns your Sneak Attack damage into energy damage, bypassing Precision Damage immunity, assuming your DM is nice about it (some argue that you must first deal the Sneak Attack damage before it becomes energy damage). Also adds +1d6 damage, which is nifty.

Staggering Strike: Enemy must Save (DC = damage) or be staggered for 1 round when you Sneak Attack them with a melee attack. Ridiculously useful against boss enemies, in that it prevents them from making a full attack or casting a full round action spells.

Craven: +1 damage per character level on every Sneak Attack. The equivalent of Power Attack without reducing your To-Hit bonus.

Darkstalker: Enemies with Tremorsense, Scent, Blindsight, etc, must still make a Spot check in order to locate you when you Hide.

Ways to Qualify for Sneak Attack:

1) Ambush: If you ambush your enemy, you get a free Surprise Round against them. A Flat Footed enemy loses their Dex bonus until they act. Remember the the Surprise Round is only a Standard Action. So you'll need Greater Manyshot (www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Greater_Manyshot_(Feat)) or Pounce (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103358) (remember that you can still Charge (www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Charge) if your actions are limited) to get a full attack.

2) Win Initiative: If you win Initiative, you enemy is still Flat Footed, and still denied their Dex bonus.

3) Flanking: Have someone summon a lot of weak creatures. Here's a good list (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5876523&postcount=16) of magic items to do just that.

4) More Flanking: Invest in Handle Animal. Buy a lot of dogs. They're cheap and easy to train.

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

6) Yet More Flanking: Adaptable Flanker feat (PHBII) allows you to flank from any square. Combine with a reach weapon, and now you can stand next to or even behind a friend and still flank an enemy.

7) Tome of Battle Flanking: Island of Blades, a Shadow Hand stance allows you to flank from any square as long as you and an ally are both adjacent to the enemy. You can get this from a one level dip into Swordsage, or by taking the Martial Study -> Martial Stance feats.

8) Dear Gods, How Much Flanking Do We Need?: Obtain Familiar + Improved Familiar, if you can cast arcane spells. Now you have a full time friend to Flank with, and he can Share Spells with you (like Alter Self and Greater Invisibility).

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

10) 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.

11) 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.

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

13) 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.

14) 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.

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

16) 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.

17) 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.

18) Grappling: An opponent who is grappled loses their Dex bonus to everyone except the grappler, another way to tag team with your party members. Or invest in Handle animal and buy mules, which are a cheap and effective Grapple partner.

19) 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. Though I would definitely invest in Spell Storing weapons, and find spells that deal Dex damage/penalties. Here's a list (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6342523&postcount=23) of ways to deal Dex damage.

20) 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.

21) 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.

22) More Tome of Battle Craziness: There are a bunch of manuevers which render your enemy Flat Footed or otherwise deny them their Dex bonus, especially in the Tiger Claw and Shadow Hand disciplines. You can also get Sneak Attack via the Assassin's Stance, which still qualifies you for the best Sneak Attack feats (Staggering Strike, Craven, etc). So in many ways a Swordsage is a better Sneak Attacker then the Rogue. (Or you can go Rogue 1/Swordsage X or Swordsage X/Nightsong Enforcer 1 so that you can use other stances).

Also, what is your ECL, books allowed, and build goals?

Sinfire Titan
2009-08-20, 03:16 PM
I agree with you. But my friend is married to the idea. :)

Personally I'd go Human.

Then show your friend the Rilkan and their Rogue Substitution level (1st level only). Then maybe ask the DM if that substitution level can be swapped for the Bardic Knack ability from the PH2.