Hello, and welcome to another Best in Class. We’ve been doing this article for a long time now, providing new archetypes and class features for a variety of classes, and I’m quite proud of some of the things that have shown up in this article. It’s come to my attention, however, that one particular class hasn’t gotten any attention from Best in Class yet, while classes like sorcerer, wizard, and paladin have gotten double-dips. What class am I talking about? Well, it’s true that we haven’t given much attention to alchemists, inquisitors, or the ninja from Ultimate Combat, but what I’m referring to today is the rogue, an iconic class from the core rulebook that lends itself well to new archetypes. So, here are two long-overdue archetypes for roguish characters.
Note: Rogue talents marked with an askerisk (*) can be found in the Advanced Player’s Guide, and those marked with two asterisks (**) can be found in Ultimate Combat.
New Rogue Archetype
Whereas a member of the assassin prestige class represents someone who has taken extensive schooling in an assassin school, or someone who restricts their illicit activities only to killing for profit, or, in some cases, just those with a little too much pretension, a hard knife is a blade available for hire who doesn’t mind doing things that get his hands a little bit dirty. Practical, down-to-earth wetworks men, a hard knife is usually someone who wouldn’t think twice about killing his own mother, and would always rather cheat than fight fair.
Underhanded Tactics (Ex): A hard knife adds 1/2 his class level to Bluff checks made to feint an opponent in combat. This ability replaces trapfinding.
Deadly Attack (Ex): At 3rd level, a hard knife becomes better able to deliver deadly attacks against his foes. Whenever he uses sneak attack against a target who is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC (as opposed to being flanked, or something else that would allow the hard knife to use sneak attack), he may reroll any 6s, adding the new amount to the total (for example, if he had sneak attack +2d6, and got a 3 and a 6, he would add those together, to get 9, and then roll the 6 again. He receives a 4, for a total amount of sneak attack damage of 13 points of damage). This ability replaces trap sense 1 and trap sense 2.
Opportunistic Strike (Ex): At 9th level, a hard knife becomes better at attacking unsuspecting foes. Whenever he makes an attack against a target that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC against him, he gains a +2 circumstance bonus on attack and damage rolls for that attack. This counts as precision-based damage. This ability replaces trap sense 3.
Improved Deadly Attack (Ex): At 12th level, the hard knife’s deadly attack ability improves: he now rerolls a result of 5 or 6, instead of just 6s. He still adds the original result of the die to the total as well. This ability replaces trap sense 4, trap sense 5, and trap sense 6.
Rogue Talents: The following rogue talents complement the hard knife archetype: befuddling strike*, bleeding attack, offensive defense*, powerful sneak*, surprise attack, and underhanded**.
Advanced Rogue Talents: The following rogue talents complement the hard knife archetype: another day*, confounding blades**, crippling strike, deadly sneak*, knock-out blow*, and opportunist.
New Rogue Archetype
Master of Disguise
Masters of disguise use trickery and deceit to outwit their foes. They specialize in disguises, and are masters of making themselves appear as other than what they actually are. Rather than lurking in the shadows and hoping to avoid being seen, they choose instead to hide in plain sight, using their disguises to blend in and appear as though they belong, the better allowing them to slip past their targets’ defenses and accomplish their goal.
Disguise Artist (Ex): A master of disguise adds 1/2 her class level to Disguise checks and to Bluff checks made to support any disguise she is currently using (for example, she could add the bonus to a Bluff check made to explain why her voice sounds different from that of the noblewoman she is impersonating, saying she has a cold, or similar, but could not apply it to a Bluff check unrelated to a disguise, such as if she was trying to convince her associate, who knew her identity and that she was in disguise, that she had not taken more than her share of the loot. Similarly, she also could not apply the bonus to a Bluff check made to feint in combat). This ability replaces trapfinding.
Disguise Voice (Ex): At 3rd level, a master of disguise becomes adept at adjusting her voice, taking on a repertoire of voices for every occasion, and becoming a master of impersonations. She suffers no penalty for attempting to disguise herself as a different gender, and only half the normal penalties for attempting to disguise herself as a different age category. Further, if she is impersonating a specific individual, those who are familiar with that individual receive only half the normal bonus on their Perception rolls to see through the disguise. This replaces trap sense 1.
Swift Disguise (Ex): At 6th level, a master of disguise can don disguises more quickly. It takes only 1d3x5 minutes to affect a mundane disguise, instead of the usual 1d3x10 minutes. This replaces trap sense 2.
Disguise Connoisseur (Ex): At 9th level, a master of disguise becomes an expert at the techniques of disguise, allowing her to better recognize disguises in others. She adds 1/2 her class level to all Perception checks made to see through disguises (but not other Perception checks, such as to see someone hiding in shadows or to find a secret door). This replaces trap sense 3.
Costume Artist (Ex): At 12th level, a master of disguise is able to maximize the effect of costumes, make-up, props, and disguise kits in her disguises. She gains twice the normal bonus from using a disguise kit, and, additionally, gains a +2 bonus on any disguise for which she has a specially-prepared costume. Preparing a costume in this way takes 1 hour, and, depending on the costume, may cost anywhere from nothing to 100 gp to create. This replaces trap sense 4.
Appraise Disguise (Ex): At 15th level, a master of disguise is better able to ensure her disguises are convincing. As long as she has access to a mirror or another means of inspecting herself, she can make a Perception check, opposed by her own Disguise check, to see how good the disguise is. This check is not made in secret, so the master of disguise knows whether a Perception check of a similar result will see through the disguise or not. Further, if her Perception check exceeds her Disguise result by 5 or more, she is aware of that as well. Her bonus from her disguise connoisseur class feature applies to this check. This ability replaces trap sense 5.
Instant Disguise (Ex): At 18th level, a master of disguise gains the ability to don her disguises almost instantly. It now takes her only 1d3 rounds to put on a mundane disguise. This ability replaces trap sense 6.
Rogue Talents: The following rogue talents complement the master of disguise archetype: convincing lie**, honeyed words*, major magic (selecting disguise self), and quick disguise*.
Advanced Rogue Talents: The following rogue talents complement the master of disguise archetype: master of disguise* and skill mastery (Bluff and Disguise).