Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Campaign Design - Base Classes: Rogue

(from the Player's Handbook as modified by the Player's Guide to Rangers and Rogues)

Rogues have little in common with one another. Some are stealthy thieves. Others are silver-tongued tricksters. Still others are scouts, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. What they do share is versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness. In general, rogues are skilled at getting what others don't want them to get: Entrance into a locked treasure vault, safe passage past a deadly trap, secret battle plans, a guard's trust, or some random person's pocket money.

Abilities: Dexterity provides extra protection for the lightly armored rogue. dexterity, Intelligence, and Wisdom are important for may of the rogue's skills. A high Intelligence score gives the rogue extra skill points which can be used to expand her repertoire.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d6.
Luck Die: d10.

Class Skills
  • Skill List: The rogue's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft: Any (all skills taken individually)(Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge: Local (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform: Any (all skills taken individually)(Cha), Profession: Any (all skills taken individually)(Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

  • Note: Because the Three Worlds campaign uses the Skills by Character house rule, the list of class skills given here is only included for the sake of completeness, and is not used by characters in the campaign setting.

  • Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Intelligence modifier) x 4.

  • Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Intelligence modifier.
Class Features
  • Base Attack Bonus: Average. A rogue gains +¾ base attack bonus per class level.

  • Base Fortitude Save Bonus: Poor. A rogue gains a +⅓ base Fortitude save bonus per class level.

  • Base Reflex Save Bonus: Good. A rogue gains a +2½ base Reflex save bonus at first level, and an additional +½ base Reflex save bonus per class level.

  • Base Will Save Bonus: Poor. A rogue gains a +⅓ base Will save bonus per class level.

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Rogues are proficient with all simple weapons plus the composite shortbow, hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword, and with light armor, but not with shields.

  • Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

    The rogue’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

    Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

    With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.

    A rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

  • Trapfinding (Ex): A rogue can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and she can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A scout who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.

  • Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a scout can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. At 2nd level or higher, if a rogue makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.

  • Trap Sense (Ex): At 3rd level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

    Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

  • Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class if immobilized. If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

  • Improved Uncanny Dodge: A rogue of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

  • Special Abilities: On attaining 10th level, and at every three levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th), a rogue gains a special ability of her choice from among the following options.

    • Crippling Strike (Ex): A rogue with this ability can sneak attack opponents with such precision that her blows weaken and hamper them. An opponent damaged by one of her sneak attacks also takes 2 points of Strength damage. Ability points lost to damage return on their own at the rate of 1 point per day for each damaged ability.

    • Defensive Roll (Ex): The rogue can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. Once per day, when she would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the rogue can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the rogue must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, she takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, she takes full damage. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll - if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, she can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the rogue’s evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.

    • Dirty Fighting (Ex): The rogue is skilled at distracting, unnerving, deceiving, and otherwise upsetting her opponent with dishonorable fighting techniques that once per day she may choose to do any one of the following: Automatically succeed on a single attack roll, cause her opponent to fail a single attack roll, make a sine attack roll and then move away from the opponent, treating the square the action starts in as not threatened, or perform a single sneak attack even while the opponent is not flanked and retains his full Dexterity bonus.

    • Honed Senses (Ex): The rogue notices that others miss. once per day, the rogue may choose to use his honed senses on any one of the following skills: Appraise, Gather Information, Knowledge, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, or Spot skill checks, as well as all attempt to save against illusions. The rogue is considered to have rolled a 20 for this roll. The rogue may not use this ability after he has already rolled and failed.

    • Improved Defensive Roll (Ex): This ability is similar to defensive roll, except that instead of half damage, the rogue takes no damage at all. Since all rogues with this ability are required to already have defensive roll, they may now make two defensive rolls per day - one for zero damage and one for half damage. Prerequisite: Defensive Roll.

    • Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the rogue still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

    • Improved Slippery Mind (Ex): if a rogue with improved slippery mind is affected by any enchantment cast by a spellcaster whose caster level is less than half the character's rogue levels, the rogue succeeds automatically at her saving throw. The effects of the slippery mind special ability still apply to the enchantments of higher level casters. Prerequisites: Slippery Mind.

    • Inconspicuousness (Ex): The rogue is difficult to notice unless he is actively trying to attract attention. Unless the rogue is choosing to stand out, or unless others are specifically searching for him, the rogue is considered at all times to be hiding. The DC to spot a rogue with the inconspicuousness special ability is the rogue's Dexterity modifier + his ranks in Hide. Characters purposefully searching for the rogue see him normally, unless of course, the rogue is actively hiding. In addition, any time a spellcaster wishes to target the rogue with a Divination spell, she must first succeed a a Concentration check with a DC equal to the rogue's Intelligence modifier + his ranks in Hide.

    • Intuition (Ex): Once per session, the player of a rogue character may privately ask the DM a single in-character yes or no question. The DM must answer the question truthfully, and the player may then use this information as an in-character "hunch". This question cannot pertain to things that are randomly determined, since the DM cannot possibly know the answer in advance, but all other in-character yes or no questions are acceptable. if the question cannot be answered as it is phrased, the player may ask another until an answerable question is found.

    • Lódur's Luck (Su): The rogue is inordinately lucky - most of the time. Once per day, the rogue may turn a single unsuccessful roll into a 20. This ability may be used on any roll that required a d20. Lódur's Luck can be used to confirm a critical hit, but if used as a regular attack roll it does not create a critical threat. For every three times this ability is used, the DM may choose to turn one of the rogue's successful rolls into a 1. The DM may not use this ability on a natural 20.

    • Opportunist (Ex): Once per round, the rogue can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the rogue’s attack of opportunity for that round. Even a rogue with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

    • Roguish Charm (Ex): The rogue is very likable, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Once per day, she may choose to perform any one of the following two near-magical effects:

      First, the rogue may tell a single brief lie to one person and have it be believed unquestioningly until the rogue leaves the victim's line of sight for more than a minute. The lie must be believable to a sane person - "the sky is green" will not work, but "of course I didn't steal the jewel" would work on anyone who had not witnessed the incident directly. The lie cannot be longer than a single simple sentence.

      Second, the rogue may talk someone into doing her a favor. This task must take less than 30 minutes to perform, and cannot directly endanger the victim or his loved ones in any way. Asking to borrow money is a good example, but requesting someone to hold off angry guards is not - unless the person is so powerful in personal ability or authority that turning back the guards poses no threat whatsoever.

      These abilities can only be used on sentient creatures with whom the rogue shares a common language. They can only be used on one person at a time. Characters with higher Hit Dice than the rogue's class level may make a Will save at a DC of 10 + the rogue's Charisma modifier +the rogue's ranks in an appropriate skill (usually Bluff for the first and Diplomacy for the second). Those who make their saves are fully aware of the rogue's attempt to manipulate them. These abilities can never work on the same person twice, and the rogue must always be within the target's line of sight to attempt either ability.

    • Search Mastery (Ex): The rogue is highly proficient at finding things. In fact, the rogue is so adept that he always finds something interesting on a roll of 20 or more, whenever he looks. Naturally, what the rogue finds will not always be what he was looking for- especially if he is searching in the wrong room - but it will be interesting in some way. DMs are encouraged to use this in whatever manner best fits the game. Rogues may find coins or jewelry, clues and plot devices for this or future sessions, buts of local gossip, things of no interest to the rogue personally, but useful to some other member of the party, or anything else useful or worthy of comment. Often the information or items a rogue finds in this manner may seem irrelevant at the time and only turn out to be interesting much later on in the campaign. Coins are a good fall-back if this ability ever threatens to slow down the game, but DMs should try to make this ability as interesting and diverse as they can. Prerequisite: Search 10+ ranks.

    • Skill Mastery (Ex): The rogue becomes so certain in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. Upon gaining this ability, she selects a number of skills equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. A rogue may gain this special ability multiple times, selecting additional skills for it to apply to each time.

    • Skilled Opportunist (Ex): This functions identically to the opportunist special ability, except that the rogue may use it as many times in a round as she has attacks of opportunity. Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes, Opportunist.

    • Slippery Mind (Ex): This ability represents the rogue’s ability to wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel her. If a rogue with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

    • Feat: A rogue may gain a bonus feat in place of a special ability. The rogue must meet all of the prerequisites for the selected feat as normal.
1thSneak attack (+1d6), trapfinding
3rdSneak attack (+2d6), trap sense +1
4thUncanny dodge
5thSneak attack (+3d6)
6thTrap sense +2
7thSneak attack (+4d6)
8thImproved uncanny dodge
9thSneak attack (+5d6), trap sense +3
10thSpecial ability
11thSneak attack (+6d6)
12thTrap sense +4
13thSneak attack (+7d6), special ability
15thSneak attack (+8d6), trap sense +5
16thSpecial ability
17thSneak attack (+9d6)
18thTrap sense +6
19thSneak attack (+10d6), special ability

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