Rogue Vs. Thief

Rogue Vs. Thief

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:24 pm

Interesting thread on ENworld. ... -role.html

I liked what this guy said:

Originally Posted by joethelawyer
I don't play 4e, so can't comment on that game. But with 3.x, we've houseruled away the ability of the thief to backstab during combat. He gets one, and he has to be moving silent/hiding and get surprise to get it. And it can't be in the middle of combat. After that he gets his low HP ass out of there, and maybe plays sniper from a distance.

As for those who say it makes him a useless class if he can't fight--it doesn't the way we play it. We don't have a 15 minute adventuring day. The day lasts until we are all out of hp, spells, and charged items. And I mean totally depleted. Or until the mission is completed. Whichever comes first. That prevents the wizard from stocking up on thief-clone spells because his other spells are needed so much that he would be stupid to try and mimic a thief through spells.

Plus our games are not built around combat. We may go 3 sessions without a sword being swung. A lot of RP and other stuff takes our time. Even when we do adventures, they aren't all fighting. We get xp for stuff other than fighting. Completing the mission isn't always killing the big bad guy at the end.

The thief is still a valuable class in our game. We don't even call him a rogue.

I like the idea of getting rid of the back-stab / flank attack in combat, the whole 'hiding in plain sight' thing gets a little silly. Some kind of flank attack makes sense, but it's a little "Klingon / NeckBeard" to me the way it's structured in even 3.X DnD almost more like a special superpower.

And while I'm not completely opposed to a more generic, slightly politically correct "Rogue", I miss the old Thief class which was a core part of the original game, and also significantly a major role (as a THIEF, explicitly) in the old fantasy books that I liked, such as the Original Conan (who described himself as a Thief) Cugel the Clever from the Dying Earth, and Fafhred and Grey Mouser from Fritz Leibers books.


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Re: Rogue Vs. Thief

Postby zarlor » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:32 pm

I think 4e better hit the mark for where the later incarnations of DnD have been going with the Rouge class. It's turned more into a 3 Muketeers type class, really. Not really a Thief in the 1e sense in any way, but more of a high DPS Dex-based fighter more than anything. (Important because, and let's face it, DnD gets it generally wrong by making Strength the primary stat for sheer fighting ability.)

But missing the "Thief" in 3e... seems to me you just make a Thief if you want a Thief. In other words, build the character with the skills to make that kind of character. If the system isn't flexible enough to do that (and I can see some good arguments to suggest that DnD isn't, and I'd say there are other systems that are if folks would give them a chance) then time to look at another system.... or make the rules that will fit it in... Codex Martialis anyone? ;)
Lenny Zimmermann

"A soldier uses arms merely with skill, whereas a knight uses them with virtuous intention." - Pomponio Torelli, 1596.

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Re: Rogue Vs. Thief

Postby Galloglaich » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:48 pm

Yeah I agree a swashbuckler class is probably a very good idea for DnD, then they can have a 'heavy' vs. 'light' fighter.... i agree the swashbuckler would be more appealing than a standard DnD fighter, but I never did like that and especially don't like the way it's evolved in 3.X let alone 4E, I'm reallly not impressed with the WoW / MMORPG paradigms like "Tank" "Striker" "Healer" etc. etc. I don't even begin to want to play RPGs like that. To me that is like "Medieval Times: the Game".

But DnD is a Class based system after all, and both DnD and the source literature which it was based on had a fairly well defined Thief Class (archetype) so it seems stupid to drop it altogether in favor of jerking off the munchkins. Just saying that Rogue class is open enough to sort of make your thief doesn't really wash with me, and I really don't like the way the backstab has evolved into this flank attack specialty. It's very MMORPG IMO.

The problem to me with DnD going back to 1E is that it was always sort of a mish-mash of rather highly specific (Druid, Thief, Monk) type classes and (arguably) overly generic classes like Fighter. Make a 'Fighter' be a 'tank' is some kind of concept from SCA heavy combat which morphed into a really lame meme in Computer games that quite frankly makes me want to vomit dead frogs for three hours.

I'm just trying to think out loud about how I should define such things in the Codex world, or in a theoretical new open source version of DnD which the Codex might fit into. I'm still not certain where or how to strike the balance between generic or specific DnD classes. But I feel instinctively that Nerfing / homoginizing the Thief was one of the major things that they messed up in 3.X / 4.X, it always irked me. I miss the Thief.

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