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The 4e Rogue

Here's the rogue write-up from the Player's Handbook plus some "rogue powers". The thing that struck me was the number of hit points at first level and the fact that rolling for hp when you level up seems to be a thing of the past. See what you think.

What better way to get everyone excited and talking than to show off one of the class write-ups from the new Player’s Handbook? And what class more typifies the surprise round than the rogue? What follows is the opening spread for the rogue class, as well as a few of the powers available to rogue characters.

You’re going to see something called “builds” in the information that follows. Builds present themes that you can use to guide you as you select powers and other abilities. You can follow the advice of a build, or you can ignore it. It’s not a constraint, but instead provides information to help you make informed choices as you create your character. Using a class build isn’t required; builds exist to help guide your decisions through the process of character creation and each time you level up.

Rogue

"You look surprised to see me. If you’d been paying attention, you might still be alive."

CLASS TRAITS

Role: Striker. You dart in to attack, do massive damage, and then retreat to safety. You do best when teamed with a defender to flank enemies.
Power Source: Martial. Your talents depend on extensive training and constant practice, innate skill, and natural coordination.
Key Abilities: Dexterity, Strength, Charisma

Armor Training: Leather
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, hand crossbow, shuriken, sling, short sword
Bonus to Defense: +2 Reflex

Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges: 6 + Constitution modifier

Trained Skills: Stealth and Thievery plus four others. From the class skills list below, choose four more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dexterity), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dexterity), Streetwise (Cha), Thievery (Dexterity)

Build Options: Brawny rogue, trickster rogue
Class Features: First Strike, Rogue Tactics, Rogue Weapon Talent, Sneak Attack

Rogues are cunning and elusive adversaries. Rogues slip into and out of shadows on a whim, pass anywhere across the field of battle without fear of reprisal, and appear suddenly only to drive home a lethal blade.

As a rogue, you might face others’ preconceptions regarding your motivations, but your nature is your own to mold. You could be an agent fresh from the deposed king’s shattered intelligence network, an accused criminal on the lam seeking to clear your name, a wiry performer whose goals transcend the theatrical stage, a kid trying to turn around your hard-luck story, or a daredevil thrill-seeker who can’t get enough of the adrenaline rush of conflict. Or perhaps you are merely in it for the gold, after all.

With a blade up your sleeve and a concealing cloak across your shoulders, you stride forth, eyes alight with anticipation. What worldly wonders and rewards are yours for the taking?

ROGUE OVERVIEW

Characteristics: Combat advantage provides the full benefit of your powers, and a combination of skills and powers helps you gain and keep that advantage over your foes. You are a master of skills, from Stealth and Thievery to Bluff and Acrobatics.

Religion: Rogues prefer deities of the night, luck, freedom, and adventure, such as Sehanine and Avandra. Evil and chaotic evil rogues often favor Lolth or Zehir.

Races: Those with a love for secrets exchanged in shadows and change for its own sake make ideal rogues, including elves, tieflings, and halflings.

Creating a Rogue

The trickster rogue and the brawny rogue are the two rogue builds, one relying on bluffs and feints, the other on brute strength. Dexterity, Charisma, and Strength are the rogue’s most important ability scores.

Brawny Rogue
You like powers that deal plenty of damage, aided by your Strength, and also stun, immobilize, knock down, or push your foes. Your attacks use Dexterity, so keep that your highest ability score. Strength should be a close second—it increases your damage directly, and it can determine other effects of your attacks. Charisma is a good third ability score, particularly if you want to dabble in powers from the other rogue build. Select the brutal scoundrel rogue tactic, and look for powers that pack a lot of damage into every punch.

Suggested Feat: Weapon Focus (Human feat: Toughness)
Suggested Skills: Athletics, Dungeoneering, Intimidate, Stealth, Streetwise, Thievery
Suggested At-Will Powers: Piercing Strike, Riposte Strike
Suggested Encounter Power: Torturous Strike
Suggested Daily Power: Easy Target

Trickster Rogue
You like powers that deceive and misdirect your foes. You dart in and out of the fray in combat, dodging your enemies’ attacks or redirecting them to other foes. Most of your attack powers rely on Dexterity, so that should be your best ability score. Charisma is important for a few attacks, for Charisma-based skills you sometimes use in place of attacks, and for other effects that depend on successful attacks, so make Charisma your second-best score. Strength is useful if you want to choose powers intended for the other rogue build. Select the artful dodger rogue tactic. Look for powers that take advantage of your high Charisma score, as well as those that add to your trickster nature.

Suggested Feat: Backstabber (Human feat: Human Perseverance)
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Insight, Perception, Stealth, Thievery
Suggested At-Will Powers: Deft Strike, Sly Flourish
Suggested Encounter Power: Positioning Strike
Suggested Daily Power: Trick Strike

Rogue Class Features

All rogues share these class features.

First Strike
At the start of an encounter, you have combat advantage against any creatures that have not yet acted in that encounter.

Rogue Tactics
Rogues operate in a variety of ways. Some rogues use their natural charm and cunning trickery to deceive foes. Others rely on brute strength to overcome their enemies.

Choose one of the following options.

Artful Dodger: You gain a bonus to AC equal to your Charisma modifier against opportunity attacks.
Brutal Scoundrel: You gain a bonus to Sneak Attack damage equal to your Strength modifier.

The choice you make also provides bonuses to certain rogue powers. Individual powers detail the effects (if any) your Rogue Tactics selection has on them.

Rogue Weapon Talent
When you wield a shuriken, your weapon damage die increases by one size. When you wield a dagger, you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls.

Sneak Attack
Once per round, when you have combat advantage against an enemy and are using a light blade, a crossbow, or a sling, your attacks against that enemy deal extra damage. As you advance in level, your extra damage increases.

Level Sneak Attack Damage
1st–10th +2d6
11th–20th +3d6
21st–30th +5d6

Rogue Powers

Your powers are daring exploits that draw on your personal cunning, agility, and expertise. Some powers reward a high Charisma and are well suited for the trickster rogue, and others reward a high Strength and appeal to the brawny rogue, but you are free to choose any power you like.

Deft Strike
Rogue Attack 1
A final lunge brings you into an advantageous position.

At-WillMartial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee or Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a crossbow, a light blade, or a sling.
Target: One creature
Special: You can move 2 squares before the attack.
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC

Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Increase damage to 2[W] + Dexterity modifier at 21st level.


Piercing Strike
Rogue Attack 1
A needle-sharp point slips past armor and into tender flesh.

At-WillMartial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex

Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Increase damage to 2[W] + Dexterity modifier at 21st level.


Positioning Strike
Rogue Attack 1
A false stumble and a shove place the enemy exactly where you want him.

EncounterMartial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Will

Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage, and you slide the target 1 square.
Artful Dodger: You slide the target a number of squares equal to your Charisma modifier.


Torturous Strike
Rogue Attack 1
If you twist the blade in the wound just so, you can make your enemy howl in pain.

EncounterMartial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Brutal Scoundrel: You gain a bonus to the damage roll equal to your Strength modifier.


Tumble
Rogue Utility 2
You tumble out of harm’s way, dodging the opportunistic attacks of your enemies.

EncounterMartial
Move Action
Personal
Prerequisite: You must be trained in Acrobatics.

Effect: You can shift a number of squares equal to one-half your speed.


Crimson Edge
Rogue Attack 9
You deal your enemy a vicious wound that continues to bleed, and like a shark, you circle in for the kill.

DailyMartial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Fortitude

Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage, and the target takes ongoing damage equal to 5 + your Strength modifier and grants combat advantage to you (save ends both).
Miss: Half damage, and no ongoing damage.

Tags:

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 23rd, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
New rogue
I suppose the increased hit points is part of their overall plan not to make first level so life and death. But no more rolling for hit points at each level :o( I agree the existing process can lead to some unbalanced characters, but its fun!

Suggested At-Will Powers: Deft Strike, Sly Flourish
Suggested Encounter Power: Positioning Strike
Suggested Daily Power: Trick Strike

Sounds a bit like the stuff from the Nine Swords.

When its talking about damage, what does the [W] stand for?

Mike
richgreen01
Feb. 23rd, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Re: New rogue
Yeah, I think Book of Nine Swords and some of the other later 3.5 books have had quite a big influence on 4th edition.

I think the W stands for weapon damage.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 23rd, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Sneak attack damage
Not too sure why they have clumped the sneak attack damage so far apart. Would have thought they would have gone for a more gradual increase.

Mike
richgreen01
Feb. 23rd, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Sneak attack damage
1st-10th = Hero level, 11th-20th = Paragon & 21st-30th = Epic. Sneak attack damage is much lower than in 3.x too.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 28th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Sneak attack damage
Yeah, I was wondering about the sneak attack damage as well and what the implications are for how they're changing the levels system.

If a 10th level Rogue does the same amount of sneak attack damage as a 1st level Rogue (not allowing for magic weapons) it implies that the lower levels have definitely been beefed up but also that they are making allowances for the illogicality of someone struggling to kill a kobold at the start of their career and yet be able to put down an ogre with ease a year or two later.

But what will they compensate it with? New skills and these 'at-will powers'?

Andy
richgreen01
Feb. 28th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Sneak attack damage
If 3.x is anything to go by, characters will still be struggling to kill a kobold at 1st level on Monday and putting down an ogre with ease at 5th level at the weekend!

It's hard to tell what these new rogue powers will be like but PCs will need quite a few to compensate for having a much weaker sneak attack in 4e than in 3.x
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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