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Pathfinder: Pathfinder vs D&D 3.5

 
Uh, Rogues sneak attacking with splash weapons can be done with only the PHB. I'm pretty sure this has been possible since the 3.0e PHB first came out, too...

Here's how it works. The rogue has as many of these as possible: Two weapon fighting, quick draw, rapid shot.

The rogue also has several Acid Flasks or vials of Alchemist's Fire

The Wizard or Sorcerer has as many of these as possible: Grease, Glitterdust, Blindness/Deafness.

The Wizard or Sorcerer Greases or blinds the enemies with Glitterdust or whatever.

The rogue then full attacks, drawing and throwing lots of vials of Alchemist's Fire or Acid or whatever, and uses two weapon fighting / quickdraw / rapid shot to sneak attack enemies standing on the Grease (or Blinded enemies) with, dealing lots of acid or fire damage. These attacks are resolved as Touch Attacks as well. Since the enemy is balancing/blinded/whatever, they are Denied their Dex (the whole reason you are getting Sneak Attack in the first place), so their AC is going to be very very low, so you can afford to take rapid shot / two weapon fighting / range increment penalties.

This is actually probably the only way a PHB only Rogue can get their damage numbers up as high as later, splatbook using rogues...

So yes. PHB only, Rogues get full-attack sneak attacks against monsters, groups of monsters, within 30'. This is a ranged capability that rogues in a phb-only group can do, which pathfinder intentionally removed... apparently cause a designer named Jason hates competent rogues, or rogues getting full sneak attack damage with full attack actions outside of a flank...

Of course, even if that's "working as intended" in 3.5, it is kinda odd. I mean, sneak attack is precision damage, which essentially means that you're dealing extra damage by hitting a precise weak point or opening in the opponent's defense. With that in mind, getting precision damage on a splash weapon against multiple enemies at once seems far-fetched at best, as you would need legendary accuracy, hand-eye coordination, and 3-dimensional spatial awareness to pull that sort of trick off once, let alone time after time.

Of course, that's not really an excuse to just unequivocally nerf the class into the floor either. If you remove something that allows a class to be competitive just because you don't feel it makes logical sense, you replace it with something of equal value to make up the difference.

Greyfeld: You only get precision damage against your primary target -- the splash damage isn't precision. But you get lots of attacks, so you can attack lots of enemies in a single greased area. Also, Acid damage tends to be a good damage type, and DR doesn't work on it.. so yea.

And Zuriel: No, because I didn't have to do that. I had splatbook access, and I had things like Craven and Swashbuckler and Spirit Lion Barbarian dips and Swordsage and stuff to be competent at getting full attacks and getting precision damage without requiring that 'do this if you have PHB-only' trick.

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I haven't had much experience with Pathfinder, but my understanding from what I've read is that it tries to rebalance core 3.5e, which doesn't include any of the stuff you have listed there.
How did they do with fixing unbalanced higher level spells?

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In core 3.5e, rogues were meant to not get sneak attack against large sections of monsters, and the game was balanced that way.
IMHO, it's not very "balanced" to have a class that's useful some days and useless the next.

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IMHO, it's not very "balanced" to have a class that's useful some days and useless the next.
It's not useless. It's just not at it's full potential that day. It can still do other things. Unlike a Fighter who doesn't have much to do outside of combat.

It could just be me, but it seems like every single time a 3.5 vs. Pathfinder thread comes up, the ultra-militant 3.5 enthusiasts always seem to bring up arguments involving combat potential, and list specific situations that Pathfinder doesn't support RAW as strongly as 3.5 did, usually (but not always) invoking splatbooks. Even though A) Pathfinder is designed to be 3.5 compatible and B) one of the biggest strengths of ANY pen-and-paper system is the ability to do houserules to make the game play more like your particular gaming group likes.

Oh, and I also see a lot of "so-and-so designer hates so-and-so class" or "so-and-so designer didn't like so-and-so class being viable", which is ridiculous... why the hell would a system designer want to limit their potential users, and therefore purchasers, by purposefully designing a class to be useless or weak because they "don't like it"? As soon as a thread writer devolves into personal insults or conspiracy theories, most of the logic they might have presented before falls away, since obviously their response is personal and ruled my emotions, not fact and logic. I've also seen certain posters fall back on the "imply personal insult in your post to avoid the admitting fault in their own fact-finding capabilities" move used quite a bit in threads such as these.

Specifically re: Solo:
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IMHO, it's not very "balanced" to have a class that's useful some days and useless the next.
You seem to be completely ignoring the fact that rogues get the most skill points of all the core classes, and the most class skills. Sure, their pure combat damage might be situational, but unlike the 2 + Int mod Fighter with his pathetic smattering of class skills (even more important in 3.5 with the 2-for-1 conversion for skill points spent on non-class skills), he won't be left with nothing to do when the game moves out of a combat situation. Not to mention ALL classes are useful in certain situations and not useful in others... if they could do everything, why would you need to base CR on a certain party size, since they wouldn't need a party if they could do everything themselves?

Breathe.

Done? Good.

Now, what you are saying to me is that it is alright if Rogues had their combat effectiveness toned down, because they're not a dedicated combat class, they're a skill class. Well alright. I concede that point. Rogues are primarily for skills.

How good are skills in Pathfinder? In 3.5e, skills had a slight problem of being weaker than spells. Is this true in Pathfinder as well?

Also, I am hearing that a Bard with Versatile Performance is actually better at skills than the Rogue. Thoughts on that one?

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Originally Posted by Solo View Post
Breathe.

Done? Good.

Now, what you are saying to me is that it is alright if Rogues had their combat effectiveness toned down, because they're not a dedicated combat class, they're a skill class. Well alright. I concede that point. Rogues are primarily for skills.

How good are skills in Pathfinder? In 3.5e, skills had a slight problem of being weaker than spells. Is this true in Pathfinder as well?
"Breathe?" Weird, had the same thing happen with Xcodes, where he seemed to think I was bothered or angry, when I was simply stating logical facts. I'm curious what you might think if you re-read my words imagining a normal, non-emotional tone of voice.

Anyway, skills are about equal in Pathfinder, though slightly boosted in power by combining some that you usually rolled together (like turning Hide and Move Silently into Stealth, since generally in 3.5, you would always roll both, and if one failed, it was like both failed), or rolling little-used skills into other related skills (like making Acrobatics roll Tumble, a more-often-used skill, in with Balance, a less-used skill).

They're also improved by the fact that class skills you have a rank in simply adds 3 to your roll, instead of having to spend 2 skill points to get 1 increase in a non-class skill, and having non-class skills restricted to half the skills of a class skill... therefore, you can spread your skills around without as much worry about "wasting" a skill point, and have a character have a decent chance in a non-class skill that utilizes a stat they have a decent score in, yet still allowing those skill-classes like Rogues and Bards to have an advantage in many skills that non-skill classes do not.

This is, as always, just my opinion. Which is what these threads are all about... stating your opinion, backed up with fact from your own personal experience with both systems, and letting the OP make their own choice with the information presented.

Are we really comparing rogues to spellcasting classes? Has anyone claimed that rogues are equal in power to spellcasters? How did that debate turn out in regards to 3.5e? Was it brought to an agreeable conclusion?





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