Single-weapon rogue with parry

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Gonagul
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 5:31 am

Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gonagul » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:33 am

I want the style 8-) of a single-weapon rapier rogue.

Thought it might be neat to have a combat character that was flexible enough tactics-wise to fight in whatever way I'm in the mood for that night. So was thinking about maybe some sort of 24rog/6rng archer path build. Can kite, can trap, can grenade, can hit and run-- and can also maybe stand toe-to-toe in parry mode?

Am I going to have a terrible time giving up TWF?

Does rog/ranger get required BAB for full parry bonuses?

Can GSF: Transmutation be squeezed in?

Would max parry ultimately be a crappy use of skill points? I've admittedly never used parry, and don't know what skills it might ultimately replace.

Thanks for any help

Itikar
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:36 pm

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Itikar » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:11 am

Gonagul wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:33 am
I want the style 8-) of a single-weapon rapier rogue.

Thought it might be neat to have a combat character that was flexible enough tactics-wise to fight in whatever way I'm in the mood for that night. So was thinking about maybe some sort of 24rog/6rng archer path build. Can kite, can trap, can grenade, can hit and run-- and can also maybe stand toe-to-toe in parry mode?
It's actually a very nice idea, but it is a bit tight with feats. You will probably have to choose whether to privilege archery or melee with your feat picks. Also, I would go for 25 rogue / 5 ranger, since level 25 rogue has an extra sneak attack die. Your mileage may vary though, ranger 6 gives you animal language and that is cool too for rp.

Am I going to have a terrible time giving up TWF?
You are going to be all right, really, even if probably rogue with shield, fencing buckler specifically is more optimal, if anything because it gives you an extra gear slot and frees up 30 skill points.
Does rog/ranger get required BAB for full parry bonuses?
Yes, you need to take 4 ranger levels pre-epic, so that you will get 21 base attack bonus at level 29, which will unlock the +6 armor class from parry.
Can GSF: Transmutation be squeezed in?
Your feats will be tight, but if you can fit it in, why not.
Would max parry ultimately be a crappy use of skill points? I've admittedly never used parry, and don't know what skills it might ultimately replace.
If you care only for the armor class bonus a shield may be more optimal, but let's be honest, a one-hander fighter looks cooler. :P Ultimately if you do not need any extra skills it will be all right.

Parry by itself can have niche uses but it is ultimately not very worth it, since you can parry maximum 3 attacks per round, and especially against groups the parried attack is random, so you cannot riposte a single enemy at once. In some pvp contexts it is nice, but it requires heavy gear and feat investment, and people will just stop attacking you or will pop true strike. Incidentally adamantine bracer of avoidance, a popular gear piece among dexers, has a +6 to parry.

The bottom line is: if you like the style of it, do it.

Gonagul
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 5:31 am

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gonagul » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:53 pm

Thanks for the feedback Itikar! A rapier and buckler still looks pretty sweet to me-- and I totally forgot about missing out on off-hand item stats.

Additionally, it seems (correct me if I'm wrong!) like I'd need 7 levels of ranger to get GSF: Transmutation since ranger doesn't get level 1 spells til level 6, so guess that's out too.

That in mind I might go with the 24/6 rogue-fighter cookie-cutter on the wiki and sub out the TWF feats for archery feats. This is what I ended up with going that route:

Human 24/6

STR: 10
DEX: 18 (20 w/ gift)
CON: 14
WIS: 8
INT: 14 (16 w/ gift)
CHA: 8

Human: (Quick to Master)
01: Rogue(1): Expertise, Improved Expertise
02: Rogue(2): {Evasion, Weapon Finesse}
03: Rogue(3): WF: 1h-Edged, {Uncanny Dodge I}
04: Fighter(1): DEX+1, WF: Missile, (DEX=21)
05: Fighter(2): Point Blank Shot
06: Fighter(3): Rapid Shot
07: Fighter(4): Weapon Specialization: 1h-Edged
08: Rogue(4): DEX+1, (DEX=22)
09: Rogue(5): Blind Fight
10: Rogue(6)
11: Rogue(7)
12: Rogue(8): DEX+1, Improved Critical: 1h-Edged, (DEX=23)
13: Rogue(9)
14: Rogue(10): Crippling Strike
15: Rogue(11): Toughness
16: Rogue(12): DEX+1, (DEX=24)
17: Rogue(13): Improved Evasion
18: Rogue(14): Called Shot
19: Rogue(15)
20: Rogue(16): DEX+1, Defensive Roll, (DEX=25)
21: Rogue(17): Epic Weapon Focus: 1h-Edged
22: Rogue(18)
23: Rogue(19): Blinding Speed
24:Fighter(5): DEX+1, Epic Weapon Specialization: 1h-Edged, (DEX=26)
25: Rogue(20)
26: Rogue(21)
27: Rogue(22): Epic Dodge
28: Rogue(23): DEX+1, (DEX=27)
29: Fighter(6): Armor Skin
30: Rogue(24): Epic Skill Focus: Hide/MS, Epic Skill Focus: Discipline

Disarm Trap 33, Discipline 32, Heal 33, Hide 33, Lore 33, Move Silently 33, Tumble 30, UMD 16,
Search 33, Set Trap 33, Spellcraft 16, Appraise 11, Open Lock 5


Some more questions though:

Is there a way to get the 5th fighter level pre-epics to grab Weapon Specialization: Missile, while also preserving the rest of my epic feats and losing Toughness? (edit: Take Fighter 4th level at character level 9?)

Would it be worth it to place my last ability point into something besides Dex since I'm not taking Great Dexterity? Maybe Int to potentially gear easier for Lore/Spellcraft breaking points?

Thanks!
Last edited by Gonagul on Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gouge Away
Posts: 425
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:38 am

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gouge Away » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:49 pm

I had a similar rogue but it was 2H with archer dip instead of fighter. Worked really well since you can take ambi & 2 weapon fighting instead of favored enemy feats and then you also get tracking and not leaving tracks and ranger armors to wear. And, you get point blank shot & rapid shot as an archer for free. I know you're looking for 1H build but that had versatility to go between 2H, 1H with shield and sling and shield and did well with each.

Then main thing you give up is weapon specialization which hurts most when you can't sneak attack, but you don't notice its absence when you can.

Gonagul
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 5:31 am

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gonagul » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:06 pm

That sounds awesome! Single-weapon *style* would be great, but flexibility to switch around playstyles is my main goal. I should tinker with the builder more-- was your build similar enough to the wiki 25/5 rogue-ranger build that I could use it as a template? Having craft ammunition along with track/trackless would be super handy.

edit: wow, just realized craft ammo no longer requires archer path, that's so convenient

Gouge Away
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:38 am

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gouge Away » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:24 pm

I think this is what I did.. (this was on non human so human would get one more feat too)

1 expertise
3 wf: edge
6 wf: missile
9 blind fight
12 imp expertise
15 (14 rogue, 1 ranger) ambidexterity (take archer path for point blank & rapid shot)
15 (14 rogue, 1 ranger) 2 weapon fighting (bonus ranger feat)
18 (15 rogue, 3 ranger) improved 2 weapon fighting*
21 (17 rogue 4 ranger) epic edge focus
24 epic missile focus
27 epic dodge
30 (25 rogue 5 ranger) epic prowess (bonus ranger feat)
30 (25 rogue 5 ranger) armor skin
(bonus rogue feats blinding speed & ESF hide)

* can’t take improved two weapon on a ranger level plan accordingly

I mostly wanted ranger perks and needed craft ammo at the time which is no longer an issue. There may be more ideal ways to go about it but it worked for me.

Itikar
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:36 pm

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Itikar » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:50 pm

Gonagul wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:53 pm
Is there a way to get the 5th fighter level pre-epics to grab Weapon Specialization: Missile, while also preserving the rest of my epic feats and losing Toughness? (edit: Take Fighter 4th level at character level 9?)
Double specialization seems overkill here, personally. I would take knockdown however, so that if you are in melee you can still trigger a sneak attack. Or in pvp you can sneak attack / kd targets with high dodge ac, like divine shielders.
Would it be worth it to place my last ability point into something besides Dex since I'm not taking Great Dexterity? Maybe Int to potentially gear easier for Lore/Spellcraft breaking points?
I would either start with 17 dexterity, and put the points elsewhere (strength for carrying loot? Con for one less gear point to put there?) or get great dexterity instead of epic skill focus discipline.

By itself, though, it is difficult to gear for +12 dex, whereas +11 or +10 are doable easily, so maybe ending at 27 dexterity is not without merit either, truth be told.

Gonagul
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 5:31 am

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gonagul » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:10 am

So I take it Knockdown is still super potent after the changes a year or so back? Considering that and my feat allotment, I'm re-imagining use cases and thinking about leaning into maintaining range a lot more while also having solid tools in melee. I guess this does screw with the original aesthetic idea, but looks very fun and potent all the same. After going over options with ranger, I think I'm still more interested in the fighter/rogue especially with craft ammunition being given to non-archer paths now:

Human 24/6

STR: 10
DEX: 18 (20 w/ gift)
CON: 14
WIS: 8
INT: 14 (16 w/ gift)
CHA: 8

Human: (Quick to Master)
01: Rogue(1): Expertise, Improved Expertise
02: Rogue(2): {Evasion, Weapon Finesse}
03: Rogue(3): WF: 1h-Edged, {Uncanny Dodge I}
04: Fighter(1): DEX+1, WF: Missile, (DEX=21)
05: Fighter(2): Point Blank Shot
06: Fighter(3): Rapid Shot
07: Rogue(4)
08: Rogue(5): DEX+1, (DEX=22)
09: Fighter(5): Knockdown, Weapon Specialization: Missile
10: Rogue(6)
11: Rogue(7)
12: Rogue(8): DEX+1, Blind Fight, (DEX=23)
13: Rogue(9)
14: Rogue(10): Crippling Strike
15: Rogue(11): Improved Critical: 1h-Edged
16: Rogue(12): DEX+1, (DEX=24)
17: Rogue(13): Improved Evasion
18: Rogue(14): Called Shot
19: Rogue(15)
20: Rogue(16): DEX+1, Defensive Roll, (DEX=25)
21: Rogue(17): Epic Weapon Focus: Missile
22: Rogue(18)
23: Rogue(19): Blinding Speed
24:Fighter(5): DEX+1, Epic Weapon Specialization: Missile, (DEX=26)
25: Rogue(20)
26: Rogue(21)
27: Rogue(22): Epic Dodge
28: Rogue(23): DEX+1, (DEX=27)
29: Fighter(6): Armor Skin
30: Rogue(24): Epic Skill Focus: Hide/MS, Epic Skill Focus: Discipline

Disarm Trap 33, Discipline 32, Heal 15, Hide 33, Lore 33, Move Silently 33, Tumble 30, UMD 16,
Search 33, Set Trap 33, Spot 33, Spellcraft 16, Open Lock 1


Improved Critical: 1h-Edged seems like more bang for the buck with rapier over putting it on missile (going shortbow), though I wonder if it's really all that great without specialization damage? Maybe I should still slot in 1h-edged specialization instead of it. Or perhaps either is still too diluting and Imp crit: missile would be best. Just seems like a good nice-to-have when combined with crippling strike and knockdown for melee PVE QOL.

And your Dex comment is making me think that 27 dex might be the way to go-- I really hate getting caught by a knockdown.

Itikar
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:36 pm

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Itikar » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:52 pm

Gonagul wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:10 am
Improved Critical: 1h-Edged seems like more bang for the buck with rapier over putting it on missile (going shortbow), though I wonder if it's really all that great without specialization damage? Maybe I should still slot in 1h-edged specialization instead of it. Or perhaps either is still too diluting and Imp crit: missile would be best. Just seems like a good nice-to-have when combined with crippling strike and knockdown for melee PVE QOL.
Improved critical missile would be more logical, but overall keep in mind that with 24 levels of rogue your damage will come from sneak attack, not from one-handed criticals with 10 strength and no specialization. Personally I would take either improved critical missile or toughness.

Other than that the build seems solid.

As for ranger, consider that tracking, trackless step, rapid reload and about 20 extra skill points compared to fighter (25/5 split) are not bad things either. Not to mention you will be able to access ranger gear.

Gonagul
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 5:31 am

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gonagul » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:42 pm

So what kind of gearing would work for this guy? Only things I know I should probably get are Masterly Damask Rapier, Ashwood Shortbow, and Fencing Buckler.

Far as armor I'm guessing, with 16 umd: Fine elven boots, displacer beast cloak, enchanted fine silk shirt, encircling scale, and adamantite helmet (or should it be SR helm?)

Not sure how much dex I need to max it out, but figure I'm looking for some combination of dex/con/str.
As far as skills I'll already have enough lore for 6th level spells from ranks + int mod. I'll need 1 or 6 more spellcraft. Then I suppose as much disc, hide, ms, and uni saves as I can squeeze on? Never have been sure what can be feasibly dweomered.

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ReverentBlade
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Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by ReverentBlade » Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:23 am

I play this. Its viable and thoroughly "okay". Far cry from top-tier but functional. I went in only the 30 needed parry and don't gear for it. The missing APR from TWF and the missing goodies from the gear slot are noticeable. Your secret weapon is the ability to flex into archery.

Gouge Away
Posts: 425
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:38 am

Re: Single-weapon rogue with parry

Post by Gouge Away » Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:59 pm

And truth be told any rogue will have the dex to be a decent archer without a single feat invested. The +3 from EWF helps but even without a missile feat you still get decent AB. Rapid shot and making your own ammo are both really nice but if you want to be a 2-handed rogue who also used a sling all you need to do is pick up a sling.

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