Some stray thoughts on going Rogue

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

Well, first of all, you obviously want one of your highest scores to be Dexterity, since so many of a rogue's abilities are tied to that. In Advanced Dungeons And Dragons, Dexterity was a Thief's prerequisite score, meaning that Thieves with low Dexterity scores were limited in their ability to advance in the class (Thief was the precursor to Rogue; it seems that the powers-that-be felt like making the class a bit broader than its Gray Mouser roots). Obviously, 3.x D&D no longer features prerequisite scores, but the Rogue's aptitude for locks and traps makes Dexterity a must.

And yet it's not the only attribute you'll want to look at if you're thinking of going Rogue: consider that a Rogue is the game's "skill monkey," with the highest number of skill points per level of any class (8 + the character's Intelligence bonus!), and that some of a Rogue's most unique abilities benefit from a high Intelligence score. Search and Disable Device, for instance, are both Intelligence-based skills and only Rogues have the ability to find traps with Search difficulties greater than 20 and only Rogues may disable magical traps (both a function of the Rogue's Trapfinding class ability). A dumb Rogue simply isn't going to make it far in the world--its a class for the highly intelligent; a dumb Rogue is something of an oxymoron, unless one is trying for a "flavor" heavy character by deliberately handicapping oneself.

Depending on how your Dungeon Master is handling character generation, I'd actually consider (if you have to choose) assigning a higher score to Intelligence than to Dexterity. Those Rogue skills are just to awesome to pass up, and Trapfinding is likely to be a Rogue's primary purpose in any standard dungeon crawl scenarios; it's also likely to be a lifesaving one at low levels when a single trap might easily TPK a poorly-rolling group.

There's not an obvious good choice dump stat for Rogues, and your choice on this point is likely to determine what kind of Rogue you really are. Wisdom is a poor choice given that Spot and Listen are Wisdom-based. A low Charisma may impede opportunities to use skills like Bluff, Disguise and Use Magic Device. That leaves Constitution and Strength as choices, but a Rogue who's low on those scores is probably not going to be able to take as much advantage of Sneak Attacks, one of the Rogue's defining abilities (he can still try, but low Strength is going to keep him from doing much damage and low Constitution is going to make him an easily-wasted target).

Rogues are fun, and certainly one of my favorite classes--if not my favorite outright--for their versatility. I can't speak to what Wizards has done to them in Fourth Edition, but in 3.x they're definitely worth a go.

And for those who thought this would be a post about something else... yeah, I'm a joker.

10 comments:

Leanright,  Monday, November 23, 2009 at 12:59:00 PM EST  

Speaking of Rogue, the book has arrived. Hopefully sometime this week, I will get it sent out.

I hope you're as excited as I am!

Almaz,  Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:36:00 PM EST  

This post isn't about not wearing underwear. False advertising.

Eric Monday, November 23, 2009 at 2:28:00 PM EST  

Beer, Dave, don't forget the beer. I don't even crack the book's cover without beer and money.

:)

Leanright,  Monday, November 23, 2009 at 3:27:00 PM EST  

Yes Eric....Beer too. I know where your priorities are. Clearly:)

Leanright,  Monday, November 23, 2009 at 5:16:00 PM EST  

As luck would have it, the package will be leaving my office today via Fed Ex.

Feel free to check your email for some details.

(by the way...she is SOOOO much prettier than Joe Biden)

Leanright,  Monday, November 23, 2009 at 7:16:00 PM EST  

There could be debate for WEEKS on that one!

But let's not, mmmmkay?

Eric Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 12:24:00 AM EST  

That debate would only last weeks if you began it by giving Palin an IQ test and forgot to time it.

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