[0.9] Rogues - Changes to backstab damage and archery

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
Let me start out by saying, I'm not a rules guy. So please bear with me. :)

Personally for the cost that it is, what about changing backstab damage to x3 rather than x2? I feel like rogues don't get an opportunity to do half as much back attacking from what I've seen than a fighter, so it makes it much more costly for less overall damage. By changing it to x3 (especially with scaled down damage), it really encourages them to do what they are suppose to be doing.

I also would like to suggest making archery damage scale at x2 rather than x1.5 with backstabs. I like options, and this way a rogue archer is much more viable instead of having to create a fighter archer for the same damage. Options and customizations are good and I don't think this change puts rogue archers above fighter archers in this system.
 

Saephis

Squire
RE: Archery

With the current rules-as-proposed, I suspect most "efficient" archery builds will be going Scout, to maximize Weapon Proficiency and Backstab damage to Archery output.

RE: Backstabs themselves, I've seen a fair amount of difference between the different people to play Rogues, and even other classes around them. Rogues thrive in Backstab scenarios when there's multiple targets, and those targets all prove more favorable to face than the rogue-in-question. That's often another rogue who may hit harder, a fighter who's drilling that target for damage, regardless of direction, or a scholar who the target's trying to keep defenses up against. Even then, this requires a high amount of movement, "strafing runs" (in essence) and coordination with others, even if that coordination is "Go get 'em, we'll be loud up here."
 

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
Absolutely, I don't disagree saephis about movement, but those rogues usually get 1-2 hit as they run behind, where a good fighter can usually get the same if not more hit from the front. I want those back attacks to hurt.
 

Ruki

Scholar
As a rogue, I would love it to be x3. Plus, it would help them be a bit more bursty since we would usually only get off 1-3 back attacks off at a time.
 

Saephis

Squire
Personally, I'd rather give Rogues +.5 damage per BS from any direction, +1 per BS from range, and x2 melee back

This would likely result in more high level rogues, at least, I bet.
 

Draven

Count
This would likely result in more high level rogues, at least, I bet.

I agree, and I think it gives a benefit that doesn't risk damage bloat nearly as much as just giving them X3 from the back.
 
A few thoughts.

First, in my experience, rogues get their behind damage more often than you might think, ESPECIALLY in the heat of a wave battle where the ratio of PCs to NPCs is usually about 3:1 (and usually no worse than 2:1). I know from experience when getting flanked, having to choose between showing your back to the fighter or to the rogue (let alone if you are being flanked by 2 rogues... ugh) is pretty much Sophie's Choice. I will, however, acknowledge that rogues tend to have much more difficulty getting rear damage in most modules.

Second, while I've only seen a few people take advantage of it, the current rules for rogues and ranged damage makes them particularly skillful with thrown weapons. Thrown weapons get the +1 per BS, allowing for some pretty significant damage, even from the front. Combine that with some alchemy (which rogues get very inexpensively) and it is very easy for rogues to carry about a dozen incredibly lethal throwing daggers, which can be thrown much more quickly than archery and can potentially carry nasty debilitating carriers. Personally, based on traditional depiction, I think it is wonderful that rogues are basically the optimal choice to use thrown weapons.

Third, even if I didn't think x3 BS and x2 BS archer was too powerful for rogues (and I do), I think it would be unreasonably powerful for scouts, who already bridge the gap between fighter and rogue remarkably well (in a balanced way, in my opinion, but definitely skirting the edge of too good).

-MS
 
It is Sophie's Choice because it is the devil you know vs. the devil you don't know. You know the fighter is dealing X damage. X is significant. You know that an individual dealing low damage is trying to flank you and you suspect that the Y damage you are about to receive is very high. But until you receive it, you don't know how high (this assumes the average NPC has never fought the rogue before, which should be the case in 90%+ of fights). If Y proves to be as high as you fear (odds are good that it is), you are taking a horrific beating whichever way you face (just even worse from the rogue). Heck, as odd as it seems, part of the value of a rogue is simply the fact that the NPC doesn't know how big the damage is until it is too late (I've always been tempted to make a fighter that intentionally underswings with 2s, just to convince enemies I was a rogue).

-MS

Also, serious, the choice between "die fast" and "die faster" pretty much sucks either way.
 
But rather than discuss complex concepts, lets frame this in simple terms.

In a game paradigm (2.0) where 10 damage is pretty much the maximum one-handed static in-front damage anyone expects to see, 20 static rear damage is a darn big number.

-MS
 

Thorgrim

Artisan
I'm all for making rogues better but I don't think just upping damage is going to do that. There are still going to be fights they are useful in, and fights they won't be regardless of their backstab damage modifier. What I would like to see is abilities that give them more flexibility and options when fighting from the front. I think this is a better approach than just continuing to make them more and more powerful when attacking from behind and makes the class far more versatile.

One idea I had was making the backstab modifier and the ability to assassinate/terminate apply to unarmed opponents from any direction. This makes them better caster killers which they are supposed to be, and also gives them an avenue to take on fighters by using disarm.

What about giving them a physical attack from any angle that slows an opponent, or an attack that reduces their opponent's maximum body until they receive first aid?

Another thought I had was giving rogues an improved riposte much like the improved parry that was discussed in the fighter thread that allows rogues to return elemental/gas/spell attacks in addition to weapon attacks which makes them better at taking out ranged casters.

As far as archery, I don't think their damage modifier should be larger than fighters. It should at best be the same but if it's the same I think rogues clearly become the superior archer because they have access to dodge which is far better than any equivalent skill a fighter archer would get.
 

Gilwing

Administrator
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Owner
Absolutely, I don't disagree saephis about movement, but those rogues usually get 1-2 hit as they run behind, where a good fighter can usually get the same if not more hit from the front. I want those back attacks to hurt.
This is the problem. A good rogue won't go into the back lines. They will fight a long side a group and help "pivot" the person they are fighting and then get a couple shots in, if the npc turns to fight the rogue then the others have a free back to hit. The rogue should still be in close range to his/her group so if things get crazy they can break off
 

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
I still believe that big number is necessary, even with the new scaling. You pivot the rogue into playing as they should be intended, especially with the debatable nerfs to waylay. I think it should be playtested at least and see, I could be wrong.
 
Effectively it has been playtested, for years. Rogues swinging 30+ is part of the damage inflation problem. In a very real sense, they were the first problem. There was a time when rogues were incredibly popular because they could break the 30 damage barrier and fighters couldn't. Eventually levels and MIs got high enough to allow fighters to break that threshold. But, until then, big damage from rogues dominated the battlefield, which pretty much initiated the body bloat for NPCs (which is now rampant). Your initial proposal basically means that nothing is changed and rogue damage must be statted for.

-MS
 
I'm all for making rogues better but I don't think just upping damage is going to do that. There are still going to be fights they are useful in, and fights they won't be regardless of their backstab damage modifier. What I would like to see is abilities that give them more flexibility and options when fighting from the front. I think this is a better approach than just continuing to make them more and more powerful when attacking from behind and makes the class far more versatile.

I agree. The idea I have floated a few times over the years, and that I still think would work wonderfully, is to switch all of the rogue powerful blow abilities to curse effects. Thus, disarm, shatter, and stun limb all become fighter abilities and rogues pay increased costs for them (more than templars, but probably less than scholars). Remove terminate and assassinate completely (if rogues want a big damage hit beyond BS/BA, they now need to buy slays).

In replacement, rogues would get weakness, silence, destruction, paralysis, and death as powerful blow attacks. Death is similar enough to terminate that both don't need to exist. Destruction in combination with backstabs should more than make up for the loss of assassinates.

More importantly, these abilities are more versatile. Weakness lets a rogue go toe to toe with a fighter (a few times per day) without being obliterated. Silence allows a rogue to stop a caster with a single strike. And paralysis is just a good knock-out power (that can hit from the front, unlike waylay).

These abilities make rogues very flexible and are all thematically appropriate (we tend to think of rogues as cutting throats [silence], hitting pressure points [paralysis and destruction], slicing tendons [weakness] or delivering one hit kills [death]).

As an added benefit, it means that fighter abilities become more unique. Fighters are no longer sharing mostly the same set of abilities with a whole different class. Now the ability to disarm, shatter, stun limb, or slay is uniquely fighter, making that class more enticing.

-MS
 

Draven

Count
I'm cool with it, though I think it would require the removal of Stun Limb, and some Fighters would be against that.
 

Avaran

Baron
In replacement, rogues would get weakness, silence, destruction, paralysis, and death as powerful blow attacks.

This would have the potential to make Rogues very good against Fighters, which they are not supposed to be. I feel like it would be a balance nightmare and you'd put even more pressure on Fighters of every level range to buy defenses against these attacks (assuming they are weapon delivery only and not Elemental or Poison delivery, which would pretty much put the last nail in the Fighter coffin) to even hope to start having a chance against Rogues.

One idea I had was making the backstab modifier and the ability to assassinate/terminate apply to unarmed opponents from any direction.

I actually kinda like this idea.

I'm cool with it, though I think it would require the removal of Stun Limb, and some Fighters would be against that.

Sorry, I'm not following. What would necessitate the removal of Stun Limb for Fighters? (I would most definitely be against that. It's one of our most flexible and cheaper take-out effects that affects pretty much everything.)
 

Thorcanine

Newbie
The only thing I can see as an issue with giving the Rogues Curse Effects to make skills be uniquely fighter, Is your now just switching it to being Earth Casters and Rogues have the same type of abilities.
Which would push Earth Casters further into being primarily Heal Bots since you can now get all the effects of Curse from another class type. So why would someone include an Earth Caster in their group that specializes in Curses if they can just bring a Rogue to do the same effects and find a Earth Caster with only Healing and Protectives
 
The only thing I can see as an issue with giving the Rogues Curse Effects to make skills be uniquely fighter, Is your now just switching it to being Earth Casters and Rogues have the same type of abilities.
Which would push Earth Casters further into being primarily Heal Bots since you can now get all the effects of Curse from another class type. So why would someone include an Earth Caster in their group that specializes in Curses if they can just bring a Rogue to do the same effects and find a Earth Caster with only Healing and Protectives

That argument doesn't hold water. Assume that rogues get access to weakness as often as disarm (just for discussion purposes, since disarm is the most accessible fighter powerful blow ability). That means that a 100 build rogue has at most 6 weakness strikes per day. A 100 build (technically 107) earth caster has 4 spells of 3rd level. However, that caster can also place extra weakness spells in higher level slots, meaning the caster can potentially memorize a lot more. And this assumes a column. If the caster bought in a pyramid, that same 100 build caster could have 7 spells of 3rd level (and a whole bunch more 4th level spells that might also be devoted to weakness). Furthermore, the powerful blow is blocked by a shield, a weapon, and a 2nd level spell. The spells are only blocked by a 5th level spell.

And that is the best case scenario for the rogue. Silence, being a more powerful effect, would presumably be limited like slay, or maybe even like stun limb (I'll be generous and compare it to slay). That means the rogue only has 3 per day, while a column caster or a pyramid caster has 4 of that slot per day. Assuming both paralysis and destruction are at the rate comparable to stun limb, only 2 per day for those at most, while the pyramid caster again can get 4 of that slot. And, death is 1 for rogue compared to 4 for caster.

Simply put, between less total availability at any given level and the significantly higher difficulty of hitting with a powerful blow (compared to a spell), rogues will not be meaningfully stepping on the toes of earth casters any more than fighters / rogues are currently seen to be stepping on the toes of casters with disarms / shatters (nobody I know of thinks they are).

-MS
 
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