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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    So I've had this lying around for a while, and I was wondering what the masterminds on the Playground thought about it. This is supposed to be an urbane, gritty rogue archetype that has a variety of flavorful abilities. Critique away!

    Pickpocket
    Often hailing from the gutters of major metropolitan cities, pickpockets are fast, mean, and will do what it takes to survive. These rogues are known for their uncanny ability to swipe trinkets off of people from right under their noses- or perhaps something more valuable, like a coin purse or a weapon…

    WEAPON SWIPING
    As a pickpocket, you have a knack for picking up the most important objects off of a person. When you take this archetype at 3rd level, you can choose to forgo the extra sneak attack dice of an attack in order to lift one relatively small object from the target of your attack. This object can be no more than half your size, cannot be currently held by the creature in question, and cannot be a permanent magic item. This can include a weapon that they have stowed. Your DM can decide what can be reasonably swiped.
    EYE FOR A MARK
    You have learned how to discern a person easily conned, and capitalize on your ability to worm promises out of them. At 7th level, you can choose to have advantage on Persuasion or Deception checks against one target of your choice for 10 minutes. During this time, you can base Persuasion and Deception checks off of your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. After you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
    GUTTERSNIPE’S SCRAP
    You are hardy and able to withstand anything the world can put your way. At 13th level, after a rest, you gain half your level (rounded down) plus your Constitution modifier in temporary hit points.
    SUPERIOR LIFTING
    You have mastered the art of stealing items off of unsuspecting people… or archliches. At 17th level, you can swipe an item out of a creature’s hands in combat by succeeding on a contested Sleight of Hand vs. Perception roll. In addition, you can now swipe permanent magic items of up to Very Rare rarity.
    Last edited by SunderedWorldDM; 2019-03-01 at 09:46 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    At first I thought Weapon Swiping was too limited to be very useful, since most NPCs don't usually use secondary weapons. But seeing it gets powered-up later alleviated most of those concerns.
    It still feels a bit too limited at level 3 since it only activates on a critical AND it's only handy in the (usually rare) conditions when an enemy has secondary weapons, potions, or wands.
    I'd recommend just letting them forgo the sneak attack dice in exchange for the steal, regardless.
    For fun, you could add a Sleight of Hand check to see if they notice you stole it. (Or maybe set a DC based on your Sleight of Hand bonus, and they roll Perception.) Note that this wouldn't impact whether it succeeds or not, but just if they know it got stolen.

    For out-of-combat, could they use this when they could make a sneak attack, just brushing up against someone instead of attacking? Though I guess that might be a normal Sleight of Hand check. (It does make sense that it only works in-combat, since you're usually focused on not getting hit.)

    For Eye for a Mark, I'd recommend having it apply to Deception as well.

    For Guttersnipe's Scrap, this feels like a short rest reset. I guess since Fighter's stuff resets at short rest, and this feels akin to some of their stuff. At level 20, it's probably at most 15 HP, so it's not a huge deal to let it reset on a short rest, or so I think.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    Weapon Swiping is completely out of the player's control, and oftentimes useless.

    Eye For A Mark seems... Okay, I suppose.

    Guttersnipe's Scrap should be short rest, since THP go away at the end of ANY rest.

    Superior Lifting is much better than Weapon Swiping... Too good, actually. Against any foe who uses a weapon, one successful attack reduces them to using their fists.

    Honestly, I'm not sure this needs to be a subclass. I think it'd work better as simply a combat option-in place of dealing damage on an attack, you may attempt a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) as contested by their Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (with them having advantage if the item being yoinked is in their hands) to snatch an item from them.

    Perhaps then allow the Thief subclass to use Fast Hands to make a Snatch attempt as well.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    I like the idea of making this a new option instead of an archetype.

    But here's an idea of synthesis:
    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Weapon Swiping is completely out of the player's control, and oftentimes useless.

    Superior Lifting is much better than Weapon Swiping... Too good, actually. Against any foe who uses a weapon, one successful attack reduces them to using their fists.
    Going on JNAProductions and what I already posted, I'd now recommend let
    Weapon Swiping: let it work on any attack, but not grab weapons from the hand (e.g., actively held)
    Superior Lifting: let it work on any item (even held), but a contested roll to pry it from them. Otherwise it really can invalidate entire characters (at least the way I see them at most tables.)

    Also, I got to thinking, and I don't think there's any metaphysical reason why an ability would work on items of certain rarity but not others. I understand the reason to want to limits its power, but, really, to a dude who has a mundane sword and a dude with a super-magic sword, stealing either leaves them swordless. The change is about the same, just a question of scale. There's also the usability concern that now you have to keep track of how rare stuff is. That's annoying bookkeeping.
    So I'd recommend scrapping that aspect.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    I would love for the creator to add his design goals to the original post.

    How I would design a pickpocket subclass is a completely different question to how I would design a subclass to meet your specific design goals, which is also a very different question from "how well did I succeed in meeting my intended design goals".

    If I were to extrapolate your goals from each feature I'd say your

    Weapon Swiping feature is intended to add stealing to your combat scenarios. If that is the goal, wouldn't either á bonus action or a reaction give the player more control. If the goal is to make the player feel like a pickpocket, a big part of that comes from the feeling of outsmarting your opponent. Think of a players smug face when he cast a particularly impactful counterspell. So stealing an object when a creature is distracted ticks both boxes. How to mechanically tell when a creature is distracted is a good design challenge. Alternatively you could go for an easier route and say "When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a creature other then yourself you can pick its pocket. As a reaction make a Dexterity (or slight of hand) check against the creature's passive perception...". Disarming is also a mechanically sound display of superior Dexterity and manipulation.

    Eye for a mark sounds like a way to make your player feel like a pickpocket during downtime in cities and other out of combat scenarios. I for one have not been in those shoes, but I can imagine that stalking is a big part of it, whether it is to steal possessions or information. I think you got it just right, although I'm not sure why specify the ability to use any ability check.

    Gutternsipe Scrap's design goal seems to be "a simply boost to durability. There are many ways to give a player more defense. Why did you pick this one? I'm curious.

    Superior Lifting sounds like an attempt to make an" I Win" button, and I'm wondering why it's so restrictive. It's baked into a combat mechanic, instead of being a "see item, get item" utility option. I'm most excited to hear your design goals for this feature, and will hold back on my opinions on it until I know exactly what you are aiming for.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-02-28 at 01:00 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    At first I thought Weapon Swiping was too limited to be very useful, since most NPCs don't usually use secondary weapons. But seeing it gets powered-up later alleviated most of those concerns.
    It still feels a bit too limited at level 3 since it only activates on a critical AND it's only handy in the (usually rare) conditions when an enemy has secondary weapons, potions, or wands.
    I'd recommend just letting them forgo the sneak attack dice in exchange for the steal, regardless.
    For fun, you could add a Sleight of Hand check to see if they notice you stole it. (Or maybe set a DC based on your Sleight of Hand bonus, and they roll Perception.) Note that this wouldn't impact whether it succeeds or not, but just if they know it got stolen.
    I thought it might be a bit overpowered if I had it be any strike, not just a critical. But now that I think about the relatively lesser utility of the swiping, I think you're right in saying that it can be on any strike.

    For out-of-combat, could they use this when they could make a sneak attack, just brushing up against someone instead of attacking? Though I guess that might be a normal Sleight of Hand check. (It does make sense that it only works in-combat, since you're usually focused on not getting hit.)
    I didn't think about that, but yes, it would probably be a typical sleight-of-hand check.

    For Eye for a Mark, I'd recommend having it apply to Deception as well.
    You're totally right! Will change.

    For Guttersnipe's Scrap, this feels like a short rest reset. I guess since Fighter's stuff resets at short rest, and this feels akin to some of their stuff. At level 20, it's probably at most 15 HP, so it's not a huge deal to let it reset on a short rest, or so I think.
    You're also right there. Will change to any rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Weapon Swiping is completely out of the player's control, and oftentimes useless.
    You're right about the first part of that, which is why I will change it to any strike.

    Eye For A Mark seems... Okay, I suppose.
    Why thank you!

    Superior Lifting is much better than Weapon Swiping... Too good, actually. Against any foe who uses a weapon, one successful attack reduces them to using their fists.
    Fair. Maybe I should make that be the effect on a critical?

    Honestly, I'm not sure this needs to be a subclass. I think it'd work better as simply a combat option-in place of dealing damage on an attack, you may attempt a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) as contested by their Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (with them having advantage if the item being yoinked is in their hands) to snatch an item from them.

    Perhaps then allow the Thief subclass to use Fast Hands to make a Snatch attempt as well.
    I see where you're coming from, but I thought it would be fun and flavorful to develop a subclass out of it. If the subclass continues to be fruitless, I'll try and convert, but I like the idea of a character built around the idea of swiping things from pockets and the urbane cutpurse archetype hat I don't feel is fully satisfied by the Thief.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I like the idea of making this a new option instead of an archetype.

    But here's an idea of synthesis:


    Going on JNAProductions and what I already posted, I'd now recommend let
    Weapon Swiping: let it work on any attack, but not grab weapons from the hand (e.g., actively held)
    Superior Lifting: let it work on any item (even held), but a contested roll to pry it from them. Otherwise it really can invalidate entire characters (at least the way I see them at most tables.)
    You're right on Weapon Swiping. I'll consider a contested roll for Superior Lifting as well...

    Also, I got to thinking, and I don't think there's any metaphysical reason why an ability would work on items of certain rarity but not others. I understand the reason to want to limits its power, but, really, to a dude who has a mundane sword and a dude with a super-magic sword, stealing either leaves them swordless. The change is about the same, just a question of scale. There's also the usability concern that now you have to keep track of how rare stuff is. That's annoying bookkeeping.
    So I'd recommend scrapping that aspect.
    That's fair, but what I want to avoid is the Pickpocket walking up and stealing the MacGuffin Apocalypse Device TM right out of the BBEG's hands, or walking up to a friendly yet powerful NPC and robbing them blind. And the DM could well declare that the Pickpocket simply can't do that, but I thought it would be be easier to stop the problem right here in design rather than have to settle it in-person at my table. In addition, if I allowed Legendary Items and Artifacts to be swiped, then the Pickpocket would acquire and possibly keep a disproportionate number of powerful magic items, and I would really have to work to avoid this quickly getting out of hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    I would love for the creator to add his design goals to the original post.

    How I would design a pickpocket subclass is a completely different question to how I would design a subclass to meet your specific design goals, which is also a very different question from "how well did I succeed in meeting my intended design goals".

    If I were to extrapolate your goals from each feature I'd say your

    Weapon Swiping feature is intended to add stealing to your combat scenarios. If that is the goal, wouldn't either á bonus action or a reaction give the player more control. If the goal is to make the player feel like a pickpocket, a big part of that comes from the feeling of outsmarting your opponent. Think of a players smug face when he cast a particularly impactful counterspell. So stealing an object when a creature is distracted ticks both boxes. How to mechanically tell when a creature is distracted is a good design challenge. Alternatively you could go for an easier route and say "When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a creature other then yourself you can pick its pocket. As a reaction make a Dexterity (or slight of hand) check against the creature's passive perception...". Disarming is also a mechanically sound display of superior Dexterity and manipulation.
    You're right- I saw that there were no good mechanics in place for doing things like stealing weapons in combat or the like. However, I'm liking the way it is now, so I'll avoid making any major changes (besides making the option applicable to any strike) to Weapon Swiping.

    Eye for a mark sounds like a way to make your player feel like a pickpocket during downtime in cities and other out of combat scenarios. I for one have not been in those shoes, but I can imagine that stalking is a big part of it, whether it is to steal possessions or information. I think you got it just right, although I'm not sure why specify the ability to use any ability check.
    I like the idea of a con man or woman choosing a target and using all of their charm and guile to deceive them or convince them of something. I think it fits in my idea of the urban urchin thief archetype well, and I'm glad you like it.

    Gutternsipe Scrap's design goal seems to be "a simply boost to durability. There are many ways to give a player more defense. Why did you pick this one? I'm curious.
    This one needs some flavor text. My rationale is that the Pickpocket has been surviving by the skin of their teeth for so long, eating rotten scraps in the rain and sleeping in the mud and getting roughed up every night, that they've grown a defense for abuse and such. I thought that temporary hit points would be the best way to get that across and ave it still be relevant. Do you have any ideas on how to make it more appropriate to my vision?

    Superior Lifting sounds like an attempt to make an" I Win" button, and I'm wondering why it's so restrictive. It's baked into a combat mechanic, instead of being a "see item, get item" utility option. I'm most excited to hear your design goals for this feature, and will hold back on my opinions on it until I know exactly what you are aiming for.
    I just wanted to expand the utility of Weapon Swiping at epic levels, not necessarily create an I Win button. There's some restrictions in place to prevent it from being an I Win button (particularly the magic item restriction), but I like the idea of someone so good at sleight of hand that they can take things right out of your hands without you noticing.

    A lot of people were wondering why I chose to make this an archetype and not a combat option. The answer is twofold: one, I feel like there's a dearth of good rules for theft in combat, and two, when I think of an urbane pickpocket (take Nott the Brave from CR as a good example), I don't see them as a Thief, or an Assassin, or a Mastermind, or a Swashbuckler, or any other current rogue archetype. None of those encompass the scrappy cutpurse I have in my head, and I thought that this would be a good option for those that also felt like there was a void in the current schema for an urban thief. Does that make my design slightly more clear?
    See that cool Teifling? Thanks, potatopeelerkin! If you want something like it, they have more avatars up for adoption in the thread with the same name...

    Hey, I have an extended signature now!

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    First note - It looks like you originally made this for a Ranger or Warlock, based on the level progression. Rogues in 5e have features on 3, 9, 13 & 17.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunderedWorldDM View Post
    WEAPON SWIPING
    As a pickpocket, you have a knack for picking up the most important objects off of a person. When you take this archetype at 3rd level, when you score a critical hit with a sneak attack, you can choose to forgo the extra sneak attack dice gained from the critical hit in order to lift one relatively small object from the target of your attack. This object can be no more than half your size, cannot be currently held by the creature in question, and cannot be a magic item of Very Rare rarity or higher. This can include a weapon that they have stowed. Your DM can decide what can be reasonably swiped.
    Don't tie things to critical hits - it's too random.
    This could be cleaned up by using the Disarm rules from the DMG or the Disarming Maneuver that Battlemasters have. You could use it with or without superiority dice. If you do, maybe you have a number of superiority dice equal to your sneak attack die.

    Actually a handful of maneuvers for random dirty fighting would work. Disarm, trip, Distract and the UA Flail feat that allows you to knock shields out of the way would work as a small collection of pickpocket maneuvers.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunderedWorldDM View Post
    EYE FOR A MARK
    You have learned how to discern a person easily conned, and capitalize on your ability to worm promises out of them. You can choose to have advantage on Persuasion checks against one target for 10 minutes. During this time, you can base Persuasion checks off of your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. After you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
    This is good, but I'd rather you just pick one and use it elsewhere in the archetype as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunderedWorldDM View Post
    GUTTERSNIPE’S SCRAP
    You are hardy and able to withstand anything the world can put your way. At 10th level, after a long rest, you gain half your level (rounded down) plus your Constitution modifier in temporary hit points.
    This could probably be generated on a short rest as well, and likely needs some other ribbon ability tacked on. Maybe the ability to just find mundane things around, like the Pathfinder's Oracle of the City can

    Quote Originally Posted by SunderedWorldDM View Post
    SUPERIOR LIFTING
    You have mastered the art of stealing items off of unsuspecting people… or archliches. At 14th level, you can choose to forgo sneak attack damage on any of your attacks in order to swipe from a creature, and you can take an item (including a magic item of below Legendary status) out of a creature’s hands.
    I like the lifting, but this is really narrow. I'd rather your 3rd level ability get slowly better over time.

    If you can't think of anything else, the Thief's 17th level ability would work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    ... does this stuff just come naturally to you? Do you even have to try anymore xD
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    Based on the comments of this thread, I'm really looking forward for the next iteration of the subclass.

    Reading over the new artificer really shows that if you want something, you can create it. Don't be afraid to cross some lines to get what you want from the subclass.

    Spending time and resources might allow you to scavange and steal various items, just as the artificer can create them at a discount.

    I feel líke mixing ruffian and dextrous manipulator might be the downfall of this subclass. Hope it all works out well.

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    Interesting ideas. The weapon swiping could be interesting. Could even steal their spell focus or weapon. Could be interesting.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: The Pickpocket: a rogue subclass (PEACH)

    I remembered that one of the NPCs from Dragon Heist has an ability quite like the first ability. Here's how I'd reword your build using that as a template...

    SWIPING
    When you take this archetype at 3rd level,you have a knack for picking up the most important objects off of a person. When you use the Attack action with a finesse weapon attack on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action. Your unarmed strikes also act as finesse weapons for you, and you can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike. When you hit a creature that is holding items with an unarmed strike, that creature must succeed a Strength Saving throw. If it fails, it drops one item of your choice it is holding. The Save DC of this is 8+Prof Bonus+Dexterity modifier.
    EYE FOR A MARK
    You have learned how to discern a person easily conned, and capitalize on your ability to worm promises out of them. At 7th level, you can choose to have advantage on Persuasion or Deception checks against one target of your choice for 10 minutes. During this time, you can base Persuasion and Deception checks off of your Intelligence or Wisdom instead of Charisma. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
    GUTTERSNIPE’S SCRAP
    You are hardy and able to withstand anything the world can put your way. At 13th level, after a rest, you gain half your level (rounded down) plus your Constitution modifier in temporary hit points.
    In addition, you are proficient with improvised weapons. Once per long rest you can take 10 minutes to scrounge up any nonmagical item of your choosing with a value of up to 10 gp per your rogue level. You cannot obtain coins, spell components, or trade goods, and the item, though fully functional, is too tattered to resell. If you scrounge a new item, any item previously obtained in this way becomes useless.

    PILFERING
    You have mastered the art of stealing items off of unsuspecting people… or archliches. At 17th level, when you use your Swiping feature, you may use 10+your Slight of Hand skill as the Save , and instead of making the target drop the item, you can steal it instead. If you steal a weapon in this way, it acts as a finesse weapon with which you are proficient with for 1 minute.
    Always looking for critique of my 5E homebrew!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    ... does this stuff just come naturally to you? Do you even have to try anymore xD
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Vogie is the sh**. I don't really have anything to contribute to the topic, just wanted to point that out.

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