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Not Just Sneaky: Quarks thoughts on the rogue

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Great Adventurer
Great Adventurer
Continuing my timewasting efforts, I'm going to move onto the rogue.

There are a couple of things I'd like to say first up. The rogue suffers an awful lot from stereotyping. The idea that you need a rogue in your party is utter nonsense. It's classic, but those are also the days when everything but the stuff you carried was trapped. Or for that matter, when skills didn't really exist and so 'being able to get past all those horrible traps' wasn't so much of a thing. The whole 'rogue is sneaky and treacherous and greedy' thing is something I despise with a passion, too, particularly when people pick the rogue just to fit in with that. For certain, the ability is called 'sneak attack', but that's something of a misnoma. What sneak attack is, which you'll see as you read it's description, is simply hitting the target in a vulnerable spot. To do that, you just need to be able to see where you're aiming and for it to be relatively still... such as when their attention is divided, or they can't dodge, or they just aren't aware of you. You could call this any number of things: targeting pressure points, aiming for arteries, or even simply gaps in the armour as opposed to ploughing through it with a regular attack. It's not even about being nimble or graceful, it's about knowing where weak spots are and exploiting them. Indeed, there's not even any reason this is dishonourable; it's simply being efficient and doing to most damage possible with an attack.
Likewise, (before unchained at least), there's no particular reason to have a dexterity focused rogue. It's again a relic of the old, historical model.
The sheer number of skills and the varied nature of rogue talents means that, at its heart, the rogue is a dabbler, able to do anything at least moderately well. And some of those abilities, like uncanny dodge and evasion, are perhaps just the result of when curiosity gets a bit much. I view the class as an upgrade from the expert, and one that's fills the same sort of role, but in a much more dangerous environment.

*Ahem* now that's out of the way, the rogue:


For a start, don't even look at the original, chained rogue. The unchained is a strict upgrade in every sense.

HD, Saves, BAB and Skills: You get lots of skills. You have the most skills out of any character in the game. You also have good reflex saves, d8s and medium BAB, so you're decent at fighting and can avoid those evocation spells that will inevitably come your way.

Weapon and armour Proficiencies: You're proficient with the basics: Light armour and simple weapons, plus a few other light weapons. If you want to hit hard or get more defence, you may need to take a feat or use racial traits. Keep in mind that only evasion doesn't work when you wear heavier armour.

Sneak Attack: One of the classic abilities. Hit a weak point to deal more damage, scaling with level. As I've already mentioned, just because it's 'sneak' doesn't mean it's sneaky or otherwise dishonourable.

Trapfinding: You get a small bonus to see traps and disable device checks, and can also disarm magic traps. A legacy ability, and in practice next to useless. Luckily practically every archetype swaps this out.

Finesse Training: Came in with unchained, and I hate it with a passion. You get weapon finesse for free and at higher levels can use your dexterity modifier to deal damage with weapons of your choice. Great job at encouraging diversity, Paizo. I have no idea how this is justified, since the accuracy is already accounted for in sneak attack. There are of yet no archetypes that swap this out, but I would suggest giving an extra rogue talent each level this comes along instead as an exchange. Or a skill focus/combat feat.

Evasion: When wearing light or no armour, making a reflex saves results in no damage. Nifty and a shame to lose if something swaps it out.

Rogue Talents: These form the bulk of your customisation with your rogue. There are a lot of options, so I'll go through them in a dedicated section. Notably, you can only take each talent once unless it says otherwise. Removing this restriction I feel helps a lot with the popular opinion that rouges need buffing.

Danger Sense: Get bonus to avoid traps and being surprised by monsters. Another legacy ability that is staggeringly bad, so again it's just as well many archetypes kill it.

Debilitating Injury: When you sneak attack, either reduce target's AC, Attack bonus or speed for a round (more sneak attacks extend the duration, only one penalty applies). Nothing swaps this out, yet, since it's an unchained ability.

Uncanny Dodge: You can't be flat footed. A nice little defence that's a shame to swap out.

Rogue's Edge: Pick a skill and get nice improved bonuses with it. Worth its own section.

improved uncanny dodge: Can't be flanked (unless it's by a high level rogue). Less useful than the lesser version, but still reasonable.

Advanced Talents: You now have access to better rogue talents.

Master Strike: When sneak attacking, target must save or die 1/day/target.


As with previous editions, if it's bold it means it's very good, italics means it's just good and ordinary means it's average or worse.

Acrobat: Replace trapfinding and danger sense for being better at acrobatics and fly (including rerolls). Of course, one ability is basically redundant unless you don't wear armour and the reroll is depressingly bad for a reroll. Also the checks aren't that bad, usually.

Bandit: Get more actions in the surprise round and can auto-frighten on a crit, as replacements for the uncanny dodges. Depends a little on how often you can ambush, but I can see this being excellent on an archer. Try combining with a level of diviner wizard?

Burglar: Be better at disarming traps and sneaking in exchange for the uncanny dodges. For being, well, a burglar, it's quite good. Otherwise, which is to say, most of the time, this won't be particularly useful compared to what you're giving up.

Carnivalist: Here's an interesting one. You get a familiar which can sneak attack, bonuses to handle animal and some of the less inspiring bardic performances. Your sneak attack is slower, you lose some rogue talents, and you lose danger sense. However, considering you've got an inherent flanking buddy, this is probably a worthwhile trade.

Cat Burglar: Catfolk only Sneak and open locks better in exchange for dodges. Yawn.

Chameleon: Lose your trappy nonsense for bonuses to stealth. But not very good bonuses. Next.

Charlatan: Lose trappy nonsense for a bonus to bluff and the nifty Rumourmonger advanced talent 7 levels early. Getting a quite good talent early is particularly useful.

Counterfeit Mage: Be better at activating magic items, especially wands. Don't really lose trapfinding and 1 rogue talent. Quite a reasonable trade.

Cutpurse: get away with failing pickpocket attempts. Nice for NPCs? You can also steal in combat using sleight of hand rather than CMB, which can be handy. Since it's replacing trapfinding and danger sense it's okay.

Dark Lurker: replace some rogue talents with blind fights and can sneak things with concealment.

Deadly Courtesan: Vishkanya only. Get bardsong-esque abilities for a rogue talent, improved uncanny and danger sense.  Odd trades, but nice.

Eldritch Raider: Gillman only. get more magic access via rogue talents and using UMD. Best when you realise that Bookish rogue is a thing, as are the wonders or quicken and empower spell-like abilities (and you can get these on 3rd level spells easily).

Driver: Be better at... moving animals around? This is somehow even worse than what it replaces. Sheesh

Eldritch Scoundrel: Get reduced sneak attack, rogue talents and skills in exchange for 6 levels of casting. It's an interesting trade. I feel it's slightly boring, but you can't deny it's good.

Escapologist: Trapfinding applies on escape artist not perception to find traps. Get extra saving throws vs mind affecting and avoid attacks using escape artist in place of uncanny dodge. Actually probably better than the replacements.

False Medium: Get bonuses to many skills in low light, and get a variety of at will cantrips/1st level illusions in low light. Lose a rouge talent and trapfinding and danger sense. It's better than what you lose, I guess.

Filcher: Halfling Only. Become very good at stealing things in combat in exchange for dodges and evasion, and at picking out what the most valuable thing someone has is. The stealing feats are kind of hilarious, and you have the potential to be very good at this.

Investegator: Swap trapfinding for auto reroll on gather information checks, and that's it.

Kidnapper: Be good at grappling in exchange for the usual two boring things. Curiously, this is actually quite good for a trade off.

Kitsune Trickster: Kitsune Only. Replace usual boring things with adding Int bonus to social skills and a few charm persons per day. Definitely one of the better trades.

Knife Master: Deal more sneak attack with daggers and get more AC against them. It's quite practical and one of the better choices for the boring builds.

Liberator: Get escape artist bonus, give friends disguise/stealth bonuses and catch-off guard in place of uncanny dodge. It's definitely an upgrade over the basic one, but not a big one.

Makeshift Scrapper: Get catch off-guard and throw anything as replacements for trapfinding. And otherwise be good with improvised weapons. As a trade off, it's quite decent.

Pirate: Actually pretty cool in a ship setting. If not, you get something better than trapfinding immediately and bonuses vs fear and mind-affecting instead of vs traps, which is good enough to make it worth it even on shore.

Poisoner: Be better at using poisons in exchange for the usual two boring things. Shame they sort of suck unless you use unchained. And are very expensive.

Rake: Can intimidate with sneak attack and gain morale bonus to bluff and diplomacy in exchange for the usual two boring things. While there are better archetypes are scaring, this is definitely a straight increase over the base rogue, and rather more useful skill bonuses.

Relic Raider: Swap the dodges for... bonuses vs haunts and curses? Wow. Useless. I guess it's a natural extension for the OHNOMORETRAPS view of the rogue.

River Rat: bonuses to swim, in undergrowth/bogs and curse/disease/poison in exchange for the usual two boring things. Technically an upgrade, but not much of one.

Roof Runner: Move over rooftops and down from rooftops more easily in exchange for the usual two boring things. About as relevant as what it replaces, which is to say, barely ever.

Sanctified Rogue: replace dodges with a +1 bonus to fort and will, and 1/day augury. Shame it's the usual two boring things, because that, unlike this, would be a worthwhile trade.

Sapper: Swap trapfinding for 10 damage/level to an object (bypassing hardness) in a very long preparation. Swap some rogue talents for... a bonus against traps again, and for an ability to make negligible money after doing a dungeon. Staggeringly bad.

Scavenger: Get technologist in exchange for trap finding. Swap dodges for bonus vs robots and making timeworn tech much more reliable. Obviously if you're in a tech based setting, this is actually very good, but otherwise rubbish.

Scout: Replace dodges with making things flat footed (and consequentially sneakable) on a charge or first attack if you move. This time, the trade's worth making; being able to reliably get sneak damage is sweet. Try combining with spring attack/fleet. Super extra good if you can pounce (try beast shape II)

Scroll Soundrel: Range of abilities. Bluff bonuses, bonuses vs recurring effects and creatures that have attacked recently. Swift action ignore hardness/DR on one attack. Lose dodges, danger sense and 2 rogue talents. Sadly too much of a mix between good and bad to ever be good all up.

Shadow Rebel: Stunningly, this is worse than the original. Bonuses to rarely used skills and swapping Lesser dodge for a 1/day 2nd level spell, and not a very good one. Yes, that scales well.

Shadow walker: Get darkvision and light/dark based spell-likes in exchange for the usual two boring things. Can reliably give yourself a scaling bonus to initiative and some skill checks in exchange for dodges. A trade I think works quite well.

Skulking Slayer: Half-orc only. A few skill changes and weapon proficiency changes. Bonus to disguise, steal/dirty tricks, bonus on sneaking charges and feinting, all in exchange for the usual boring things. Lends itself to cleave well. I'm sort of split on this, because while it utterly smashes the rogue stereotype, it plays into the half-orc one. Well, it does take advantage of the very nice half-orc cleave feats, and cleaving works well for rogues.

Smuggler: A NPC quality archetype. Be good at smuggling goods over the border. Oh goody.

Snare Setter: Kobold Only. Be good at making traps quickly in exchange for delayed sneak attack (but your traps do some sneak damage). It's definitely an NPC thing, but it can be hilariously fun.

Sniper: Hit things better from further away and sneak them more easily in exchange for the usual two boring things. Obviously if you're going to be sniping, which is really the only way to do ranged rogue that I've seen, this is how you'd do it.

Spy: Bonus to bluff and can use poison in exchange for the usual two boring things. Since it's always more relevant than the original, this is okay, but still not fabulous.

Survivalist: Effectively constant endure elements and need less food in exchange for the usual two boring things. Even in wilderness campaigns, this really isn't much of an issue at all. It's surprisingly less relevant than traps even.

Swashbuckler: Take combat trick talent twice, get another martial weapon proficiency and get bonuses vs fear in exchange for the usual two boring things. Another one that's a strict upgrade.

Swindler: Gain bonus on anything as a standard action. sleight of hand, bluff and sense motive bonuses in exchange for the usual two boring things. Dodges go for bonus on will saves and a few daily rerolls on anything. The flexibility and general use of this make it one of the better archetypes.

Swordmaster: Tengu Only. Swap danger sense for a full-round action rage-like thing. While there are some good things in here, such as pounce, the full-round action thing on a martial is quite painful.

Thug: When using intimidate to frighten people, 4 rounds shaken can be 1 round frightened. Reduce sneak attack by 1d6 to inflict sickened. in exchange for the usual two boring things. There's nothing so hilarious as causing everything to immediately run away with dazzling display with this. No save is brilliant. Since it's so fabulous at debuffing, it's one of the best archetypes.

Trapsmith: replaces dodges with more trap nonsense. Sheesh, they're rare enough, and you want to focus on them? Utter rubbish.

Underground Chemist: Curiously, doesn't interact with most other archetypes at all. Luckily it's okay. Can take discoveries as advanced rouge talents and deal more damage with splash weapons (as an alchemist does). Lose evasion and a rogue talent.

Vexing Dodger: Be better against bigger things and dirty tricks in exchange for the usual two boring things, dodges and a rogue talent. It's got its uses (such as improved dirty trick), but since it's not always useful it's not worthwhile.

Waylayer: initiative bonuses, uncanny dodge early and be good in surprise rounds. Surprise rounds are uncommon, and those bonuses tend to be ignored if they exist, so while it's nice, leave it.

Rogue Talents

These form the bulk of your customisation options. You can only take a talent once unless it says otherwise, but this, I feel, makes rogues unnecessarily weaker. Particularly for talents such as combat trick or the various magic talents which are quite valuable.

Using the same bold is very good, italics are okay and normal is bad. * indicates it modifies sneak attack. I've included the chained rogue talents as well for completeness, but some of them are redundant now.

Acrobatic Assist: Easily aid another on an acrobatics check if they do it near you. How usefulless

N Acrobatic Master: 1 ki. +20 to an acrobatics check. Useful maybe?

Acrobatic Stunt: 1/day When flanked, can make an acrobatics check to move 5 ft., meaning you might not be flanked anymore. Only ever useful if you don't have improved uncanny dodge.

Assault Leader: 1/day when you miss let a flanking friend attack once as an immediate action. Nice, but a once per day extra attack isn't fabulous.

Befuddling Strike*: Target takes -2 on attack rolls against you for 1d4 rounds. Tasty.

Black Market Connections: Can get access to more magic items in a smaller town. This is sometimes worth it when you're stuck in little backwaters, but a lot of the time it's unnecessary; your GM will either say you can't get it or it's irrelevant because you're in a big enough place.

Bleeding Attack*: Deal extra bleed damage on a sneak. A nice low level slight damage boost.

N Blood Debt. When aiding another's AC, immediate action to have it hit you. 1 ki to get willing ally to do that for you.

Bomber: Make alchemist bombs, but they deal your sneak damage. Definitely has its uses.

Bomber's Discovery: Take an alchemist's discovery that alters bombs.

Camouflage: +4 stealth in a terrain with natural foliage. It's worth considering if you ever need to scout ahead in the wilderness, but that's very definitely the only time it's worth it.

Canny Observer: +4 perception to eavesdrop or find concealed/hidden objects. Since all the best treasure is hidden, this is possibly worth your while.

Card Sharp: Can throw cards as weapons. Funny, but useless.

Certainty: Get rerolls with a skill selected with rogue's edge; taking this again applies to a different skill. Obviously this is going to be playing to your specialities already, so it's okay.

Charmer: 1/day roll diplomacy twice and take best result. Can't argue with that.

N Choking Bomb: 1 ki. Make a bomb that staggers things. Reqs poison bomb and smoke bomb. It's sort of like a stinking cloud, which is nice.

Climbing Stunt: Take -10 penalty to move at full speed while climbing. Since you need 10 ranks to get the relevant skill unlock to do this, and spend the skill unlock, this might still be worthwhile. Of course, by the time you can reliably make this check (-10 is a BIG penalty) you can probably just get that anyway if you really care.

Cloying Shades: If you use a dimension door-like ability, entangle things next to you. Of course, actually getting that would be something of an achievement. This, by comparison, is rather terrible.

Coax Information: Use bluff or diplomacy instead of intimidate to force someone to act friendly, and don't upset them afterwards if you do so. This works best for hostile creatures, or even unfriendly creatures, since the DC is often substantially lower, but otherwise just regular diplomacy or bluff should work fine.

Combat Swipe: Get improved steal as a feat and qualify for greater steal at 6th level. Saves you a feat on combat expertise (but dirty fighting is worth getting anyway to do the same thing), but it does save you from spending your single combat trick on this.

Combat Trick: Get a bonus combat feat. The sheer flexibility of this is great, and it's a huge pain you can't take it more than once.

Convincing Lie: When you lie to people, they use your bluff modifier to pass it on (or their own +2 if it's better). A very effective way to start rumours.

Cunning Trigger: Set off one of your own traps as a swift action. Better for npcs usually since PCs rarely build traps, but nifty nonetheless. Particularly for snare setter.

N Darkvision: 1 ki. Darkvision 60 ft. for 1 hour. Lots of things have this anyway, but it can be nice to not need to have light when you're doing things.

N Deadly Range: Increase range you can sneak attack from by 10 ft. Nifty for ranged rogues.

N Deflect Arrows: As the feat, if you have improved unarmed strike. It's a good feat.

Deft Palm: conceal a held weapon in plain sight, even while being observed. It's hilarious, and great for getting away with some things. Walking into a ball with a drawn dagger, for instance. No one notices for some reason.

Demand Attention: Sacrifice sneak attack to possibly force a creature to focus on you. Nice if you've got friends who'd benefit from it, but not great otherwise

Demon Lantern: Need minor magic for dancing lights. 1/day when using dancing lights, make a hypnotic pattern instead. If it were a better choice of cantrip to get this, it might be worth it. But it's not.

Developed Poison Immunity: Auto-succeed vs one poison you've survived. Terrible, unless you repeatedly fight the same creature.

Disabling Stunt: Can make disable device check on a construct to ignore its DR when sneaking for a minute. Constructs are (understandably) rare, so this will have limited use.

Disease Use: Apply filth fever to your weapon. Gross and terrible.

Distracting attack*: make a target flat footed against a target of your choice (except yourself) for a round. This is brilliant if you've got a friend who can also do this or would otherwise benefit a lot from it, but that's it.

Eerie Disappearance: Move into concealment and stealth; people don't know where you went if they fail their perception. Also intimidate any people who failed in a large area. Two birds with one stone! Sweet with Thug.

Emboldening Strike*: Gain competence bonus on saves for a round. This is stupidly, stupidly good.

Escaping stunt: Make escape artist check instead of reflex save vs entangling effects. Can also 1/day use escape artist check instead of CMD vs grapple. Always useful for any lower than full bab character to take ranks in escape artist, and grapple can be a very nasty condition.

Esoteric Scholar: Make knowledge checks untrained. Nifty, so at least you can help other people, but you have enough skill points that you really ought to just put some ranks in them.

Expert Leaper: Jump better and deliberately fall better. Um, yes, I'm sure this is very useful.

Extinguishing Strike*: put out non-magical light sources carried. Once per day attempt to dispel a magical source of light. Yay? Maybe worth it if you have darkvision, but these days, who doesn't?

Face in the crowd: Effective bonus to disguise/sleight of hand/bluff checks near other people/in a crowd. Has its uses, and all of these are at their best in crowds anyway.

False attacker: When attacking from stealth, can make a bluff check to make it seem like someone else attacked. If it works, stay hidden. Both hilarious with the havoc it could cause and just all around good.

False Friend: gain bonus on bluff checks to convince a stranger you've met before/are friends. Comic and quite reasonable.

Fast fingers: 1/day reroll sleight of hand check. Obviously useful if you tend to make these checks, but such things are rare.

Fast Getaway: After sneaking/sleight of handing, make a move action to withdraw. I'm trying to think of a time this would be useful, but can't.

Fast Pick: Pick a lock as a standard action instead of a full round. That's every bit as useless as it sounds, and the quick disable talent does the same thing better.

Fast stealth: Move at full speed while sneaking at no penalty. Obviously if you sneak a lot (*sigh* like the average, boring rogue) this is quite useful.

N Featherfall: 1 ki to take no falling damage. And there are so many other talents to do the same thing worse.

Feint from shadows: while in shadows, can feint with a ranged weapon. Of course, sniping is the way to go with a ranged rogue, and ideally they don't know where you are anyway. Seems kind of redundant, anyway.

Finesse Rogue: From chained, obviously. Weapon finesse as a bonus feat. Now redundant.

Firearm Training: Can use guns. Pro: you target touch AC. Con: It's loud and slow to reload. Only ever useful with advanced firearms where you don't need to reload so often, which is unlikely to happen.

N Flurry of stars: 1 ki. Throw 2 more shuriken in a full attack, but -2 on all. Since the sneak is you main damage source, this is nice.

Flying stunt: When charging from above, add dex to damage as a swift action. Yay?

N Forgotten Trick: 2 ki. Gain a ninja trick for round/level. Costly, but so much flexibility.

Focusing Attack*: Remove confused/shaken/sickened from yourself, a new condition each time you take this. Confusion is maybe worth it, but otherwise I'd be surprised if the -2 penalty was especially bothering you.

Follow Clues: Can use perception instead of survival to track. Tracking is something that comes up a few times in a campaign, but you ought to have at least one person who can use survival well anyway. Let them do it rather than wasting a talent.

Getaway artist: Get some more class skills in not very useful skills and get bonus to driving. Yay?

Gloom Magic: 2/day darkness that doesn't impair your own vision. Quite funny, actually, and lets you sneak easily.

Got your back: When flanking, immediate action/AoO to aid another on your friend's attack roll. Got anything else you were going to do with your swift actions? Also not clear if it's an immediate action or AoO or both to use.

Greater Gloom Magic: 1/day deeper darkness that doesn't impair your own vision. Sneak even things with darkvision (although check your party isn't impacted by this as well).

Grazing Shot: Drow only for some reason? Hit two creatures with one hand crossbow for the purposes of applying poison. Since it can be effectively half price poison, this is maybe worthwhile, but it's still very limited.

Green Tongue: Get a bonus language and can make low DC linguistics check to communicate simple concepts to monstrous humanoids/magical beasts. Might be useful, but there are better ones around.

Grig Jig: 1/day dance as a full round action to make something else do the same. DC equal to your perform(dance) check. Both hilarious and very strong.

Grit: Get a grit pool and a gunslinger deed. And now guns are slightly more useful. If you really want to use guns, you're probably better off just dipping into gunslinger.

Guileful polyglot: Gain up to 4 extra languages. Sweet if you're not using background skills (because that's a background skill), or if you want to use your background skills for other things.

Hard to fool: reroll sense motive check 1/day. Since this is comparatively passive, it's not something particularly good.

Heads up: When you make a perception check, swift or immediate action to let someone else get the same result. While you can often just speak, this does definitely let someone else act in a surprise round.

N Hidden Weapon: Level as bonus to hide weapons, draw hidden weapons as a move action. Of course, deft palm is better all up, but the bonus here is amazing.

N High Jump: Halve acrobatics DCs. Ninjas seem to get an awful lot of these, and they all stack. How high can they even jump?

Hold Breath: Hold your breath for twice as long. Wow, I'm sure that's very useful.

Honeyed Words: Reroll bluff check 1/day. Since these can be particularly important to pass, this is quite nice.

Iron Stomach: +1 vs ingested poison and +4 vs sickening/nauseating effects. It's a big bonus, but not exactly against common effects. Except maybe stinking cloud. It's good against that.

N Kamikaze: 1 ki. Give weapons and unarmed strikes the Vicious weapon quality. Yeesh, it's so bad.

N Ki Block*: Save or can't use Ki. Oh no, what will the poor little monk do now?

N Ki Charge: 1 ki. Make exploding Shuriken. Cool, but useless damage.

Ki Pool: Gain a ninja's ki pool, but without the best bit i.e. the extra attacks. Still, it can get you some ninja tricks which can be super good, and stacks with ki pools for, say, monk. P.S. if you're doing the monk dip, grab this. Well worth it.

Last Ditch Effort: After failing to disarm a trap, immediately try again with a -5 penalty. Again, traps are rare enough to make this useless, but if you have lots of traps for some reason it's nice to have a backup plan in case of the inevitable bad roll.

Lasting Poison: Poison lasts for two hits. Since poison is so stupidly expensive, this is worth it if you're using it.

Ledge Walker: can move along narrow/uneven/slippery surfaces at full speed with no penalty. Yay?

Major Magic: Get some castings of a 1st level wizard spell. The principle value in this is being able to apply Quicken/empower spell-like ability to this, and change it with bookish rogue. Quickened True Strike? Yes please. Would be nice to get more of these.

Mien of Despair: When you intimidate/feint something, it loses morale bonuses and can't benefit from them. Hilarious vs, say, barbarians.

Minor Magic: At will cantrip. Some of those are worthwhile, but with bookish rogue it can be very useful.

Multitalented: Can use other rogue talents usable 1/day an extra time. Can be great for the various reroll things.

Nimble Climber: If you fail a climb check and start falling, make a reflex save to catch yourself. And how often is it you climb again?

Ninja Trick: Take a ninja trick. This is something that needs its own look over in another guide.

Obfuscate Story: Make opposed diplomacy checks to mess up someone else's story without them noticing. Very, very strong in an intrigue centric campaign.

Obscuring Blow*: Target must save or take 20% miss chance for a few rounds. What a strong effect? Skip it.

Offensive Defence*: On a melee hit, get 1 dodge AC per sneak die for a round. WHY DOES THIS STACK!?

Papercraft Tools: Use cards to pick lock/disable traps. Good in prison? Slightly cheaper? Why would you take this?

Peerless Manoeuvre: reroll acrobatics check 1/day. Not often a life/death issue, or especially useful.

Philologist: Reroll failed linguistics checks 1/text and can't make false conclusions. Occasionally useful, but there's a reason most people don't take ranks in linguistics unless it's a background skill.

Pierce the darkness: Blindsense to 5 feet in darkness/when blinded. At least you know when something's right next to you, even if you still can't hit it. Probably not worth it.

N Poison Bomb: 1 ki. Area effect inhaled poison. Also smoke. So, so many extra uses of poison that even with how terrible poison is, it's worth it.

Poison use: Can't poison yourself accidentally. Given the expense of poison and you need very good poisons to make it worthwhile, this is worth the effort if you intend to use poison a lot.

Positioning attack: 1/day when you hit something, move up to 30 feet without provoking (so long as you're still adjacent to the creature you hit). Great for getting those hard to get flanks, and more quickly.

Powerful Sneak*: take -2 on attack rolls to reroll any 1s on a sneak attack. Scales very well, but rubbish at lower levels.

N Pressure Points*: Deal 1 str or dex damage which can be removed with a heal check. Definitely one of the best sneak modifying abilities.

Quick Disable: Halve time taken to disable device. If this is an issue, you're not doing a good job of being the sneaky thing you're trying to be.

Quick Disguise: Since disguise is at its best when it's nonmagical, this can be very useful when you're in a hurry. Disguise is definitely one of the most useful skills in the game.

Quick Scrounge: Halve time required to make perception checks. Only ever useful if you're regularly pressed for time such as because you're breaking and entering or something.

Quick Trapsmith: Basically just carry a trap around with you and set it up as a full-round action. Funny, but it needs to be simple to work.

Rapid Boost: Reroll sleight of hand checks 1/day. Since failure on this is often awkward, this might be worthwhile, but it's not a commonly used skill. Also has a weird name.

N Redirect Force: If a Combat manoeuvre wouldn't provoke, let it provoke to let the damage be a bonus on your check instead of a penalty. Oh, the dumb things you can do with this, since it basically lets you do anything you want successfully. Sure, it's dangerous, but oh! the success!

Resiliency: 1/day gain temp hp when bought below 0. Can definitely save your life.

Riding Stunt: If you're regularly riding for whatever reason, this is great for the recovery after using the very valuable cover action. While rogues don't get a lot of support for riding, this is a very good one. Sadly useless for most though.

Rogue Crawl: Don't be terrible while prone. If you find getting tripped is a problem this is something worth doing, or if you regularly need to squeeze into smaller spaces. Or I guess if you die/fall asleep a lot. It has its uses, but you can easily live without it.

N Rogue Talent: For ninjas to get rogue talents. Share and share alike?

Rope Master: Climb at full speed on a rope and tie things up better. This is just one of those ones nicer at lower levels.

Sacred Sneak Attack: Sneak damage is considered good for overcoming DR. Of course, the weapon damage will often get close to beating it anyway, but it's a tiny bit more damage.

Sacrifice Self: Make a reflex save and then halve a friend's damage. With improved evasion can save twice to let ally take no damage (and the same for yourself). There doesn't seem to be any limit to this, so I guess you could save for absolutely everyone in the party and be fine, which would be great.

Scavenger: Pick up and put away items very quickly; bonus on sleight of hand vs stunned/disabled foes. Excellent for disarming rogues, or just people who don't like their friends knowing what they got.

Set Up: Sacrifice sneak damage to let a friend count as flanking for their next attack. Yay? There are talents to just let you flank more easily anyway.

N Shadow Clone: 1 ki. Mirror image, as the spell. This is definitely one of the best defence spells around, so it's definitely worth getting.

Shadow Duplicate: 50% miss chance vs one attack for a few rounds. Nice, but so few uses make it hard to justify.

Shadow's Chill*: Need racial cold resistance. Some of the sneak damage is cold damage. Not only is this hard to get, but it's also terrible.

Shove Aside: Take -4 on reflex save to give friend +4, and lose evasion. Sacrifice self is better to do something very similar, and better.

Sleight of hand stunt: when something provokes by firing a ranged weapon, can steal the projectile as an AoO. Seriously, what self-respecting archer type ever gets into this situation? Maybe with step-up this would be useful.

N Slow Metabolism: Hold breath for twice as long and time between poison saves is halved. just plain better than hold breath for the same thing, but the poison effect is nifty, giving someone time to fix you up. As a PC, you get poisoned, not do it.

Slow Reactions*: Target can't make AoOs for a round. This opens up a lot of opportunities, and otherwise makes the rest of your party happy.

N Smoke bomb: 1 ki. Make a cloud of smoke. Only good in that it gets you other, better things.

Snap Shot: Auto nat 20 initiative in a surprise round if you take the attack action with a ranged weapon. I was going to go "this is awesome for bandit", but it doesn't work well with taking more actions in a surprise round. Shame, but it's still cool if you're doing that.

N Snatch Arrows: As the feat. I guess it's an extra attack per round, so it might be worth it. Pre-reqs are getting tough for it now.

Sneaky Manoeuvre: When Sneak attacking, take -2 on attack roll to make a combat manoeuvre as a swift action if it hits. Some pretty good ones, too.

Sniper's Eye: Can sneak things with ranged weapons when they have concealment (but not total concealment). It's definitely worth it if you're a ranged rogue.

Stand up: Get up from prone as a swift action or a free action that provokes. Not especially relevant.

Steal the story: Can make opposed diplomacy check to change someone's story so they look dumb, giving them a penalty on diplomacy/intimidate checks. Entertaining, but best in an intrigue focused game.

Stem the Flow: Forgo 3d6 sneak to stop something channeling for a few rounds. That's right, stop channeling. It's rare to ever see channeling in combat, so don't even bother.

Strong Impression: Add Str to Cha for intimidate. Since @#$!ing unchained makes strength pointless, this is also fairly bad, but if you're going for the numerous archetypes that are good at intimidation, this is something worth nabbing.

Strong Stroke: Reroll all swim checks and take the best result. Swimming isn't common, but it's the best of the various rogue talents based around not just walking, so it can be italiced.

N Style Master: Gain a style feat you qualify for. Hint: Kobold style is good. See the monk page, but keep in mind most of them require improved unarmed strike.

N Sudden Disguise: 1 ki. Quickened disguise self for min/level. Shame it's magical, but take what you can get. Quick is good, it frees up a slot for something nice and means you don't need to spend your valuable major magic on it.

Surprise Attack: All opponents are flat footed during the surprise round, even if they've already acted, and get small bonus to sneak damage. If you're going to surprise stuff, definitely worth, but otherwise pointless. It's often hard to surprise anyway.

Survivalist: Add heal and survival as class skills. Yay? Heal isn't especially useful and while survival is, you probably have someone who's better at it anyway.

Swift Poison: Poison something as a move action instead of a standard. Double the number of poisoned hits you can deal, so quite nice as a poisoner thing. But poison still isn't very useful.

Swift Tracker: Track things faster with reduced penalties. A ranger thing you can pretend to do. On the other hand, you can get it 6 levels earlier and laugh at actual rangers.

Swimming Stunt: Sacrifice sneak damage underwater for a chance to make something lose its breath more easily. And why are you underwater without magic to let you breathe again?

Terrain Mastery: Do better in a terrain type, including, most usefully for you, +2 initiative. Basically the ranger favoured terrain, but it doesn't get better with levels.

Trap Spotter: Get a check to spot a trap when you get close. This is actually the only useful trap thing that rogues get, and it's not even 'compulsory' like trapfinding or danger sense.

Umbral Gear: Make shadows into various thiefy items. This is cool, and actually really useful.

N Unarmed Combat Training: Get improved unarmed strike as a bonus feat. Personally I'd dip brawler or monk instead, but I guess it saves you a feat.

Underhanded: When you use a concealed weapon in a surprise round, deal max sneak damage. Please, please combine this with pounce so you can full attack in the surprise round. It's so hugely circumstantial, but worth every bit of it.

Underhanded Trick: Get improved dirty trick for free, and can take greater dirty trick at 6th. Blinding always lasts for at least a round. These are the best combat manoeuvres, flat out.

N Undetected Sabotage: When you use disable device to sabotage or disable something, stealth to make it undetectable (unless they beat the stealth check of course). Great for infiltrations, but somehow I can't see it being in regular use.

N Vanishing Trick: 1 ki. Swift action invisible for round/level. This is just so good for sneaking or getting away once you're done. So, so good.

N Ventriloquism: 1 ki. Swift action throw your voice for min/level. It's a nifty little spell.

N Wall Climber: gain 20 ft. climb speed on vertical surfaces. Of all the climbing things, including skill unlocks, this is one of the best around.

Wall Scramble: Always roll twice on climb checks and take best. One of the better moving around feats.

Weapon Training: Get +1 to hit with one weapon. Yay. Delightfully dull, and only ever worth it for getting dazzling display with something like Thug.

Wild Magic: 3/day use a 0 level druid spell. Or you could take minor magic and get something similar an infinite number of times.

Without a trace: Can try and hide if you make a reflex save as an immediate action. The requirements and penalties are harsh enough to make this a poor choice.

Advanced Talents

N Advanced Talents: For ninjas to get rogue advanced talents. Sharing is caring.

Aligned Disguise: Requires a disguise self spell-like. You also change your alignment aura when you use it.

Another Day: if you'd be reduced to 0 by a melee attack, take a 5-foot step out of reach as an immediate action to avoid damage. Always nice to not be dead.

N Assassinate: study for a round, then save or die on a sneak attack if it doesn't have dex to AC. Fails if target knows you're a threat. Save or dies are always nice, even if they're a little tough to pull off.

N Blinding bomb: 1 ki. Save or be blinded by smoke. Can still choke things, but can't poison. Still, blinding is a nice effect for a sneak attacker.

Blinding Strike: Permanently blind things if they fail a save on a crit. Requires level 15 and obscuring blow. This is really the only reason you'd take the terrible, terrible obscuring blow. The DC's not that great though.

Confounding blades*: target can't make AoOs for 1d4+1 rounds. Slow reactions, its prerequisite, is probably good enough.

Crippling Strike*: Deal 2 strength damage on every sneak. Either weaken something pleasantly if it's strong or just wipe out things without strength.

Cutting edge: Get two more skill unlocks. There are some pretty good things in there.

Dance of Disorienting Shadows: Use perform dance instead of CMB for repositions. I'm surprised that it's as high as this, considering you can use sleight of hand to steal so easily. However, it is very useful for rogues.

Deadly Cocktail: Apply 2 doses of poison at the same time, which can increase the DC by 2 and give it a longer duration. Poison is now slightly useful, but still expensive.

Deadly Shuriken: Combine all attacks into one with a shuriken. Only extra damage is a 1d6 for each hit as opposed to the normal 1d2 of a shuriken. Also sneak &c doesn't apply, so I don't know what the point of this is. Using fewer shuriken?

Deadly Sneak*: As powerful sneak, but also reroll 2s. Unlike its original, I'm slightly less impressed, since this has a greater chance of being not so useful.

Defensive Roll: If you'd be reduced to 0 or lower by a weapon, make a reflex save vs the damage to take half. Evasion doesn't apply, but Improved Evasion might as written? Check with DM about that. Since it doesn't require an action, why not? By this stage the damage will likely be high enough to be difficult to avoid however.

Dispelling attack*: Dispel magic targeting lowest level effect on a hit. Only good things can happen because of this.

Double Debilitation: Inflict 2 penalties with debilitating injury. So basically, it's much easier to hit and much harder to be hit by the target. Very nice.

Entanglement of Blades*: Target can't 5-ft. step. Legacy rogue talent now dealt with by debilitating strike.

N Evasion: See rogue. I'm not sure why this is quite so hard for ninjas to get. Also for whatever reason you don't need this for improved evasion, so just get that instead.

Familiar: Get a familiar. How, um, useful. I'm not totally sure why you want this.

Fast tumble: No penalty to acrobatics to go through a threatened square without provoking (effectively a +10 bonus). Not exactly exciting.

Feat: Pick any feat and get it. So flexible it's great. Although again, I don't really see any reason this shouldn't be takeable multiple times, or necessarily an advanced talent.

Frugal Trapsmith: Pay 25% less when making a trap. NPC, take this talent for me!

Getaway Master: +10 on drive checks. I'm sure this is very useful. What's a drive check again?

N Ghost step: 1 ki. Swift action to pass through walls/barriers.

Hamstring Strike*: Sacrifice all sneak damage to force a fort save; failure knocks it prone and it can't take move actions next turn. Every hit basically guarantees that you'll get there eventually, and can sometimes be easier than just tripping.

Hard to Fool: Not to be confused with the regular talent of the same name. Get a save to disbelieve an illusion immediately, and an extra save a round after. The auto save is very good.

Harrow Strike: 1/day when sneaking, draw a harrow card, deal ability damage of the appropriate type instead of sneak damage (1 ability damage per sneak die). While this is a lot of damage (bonus if you have the sap master feat), the random nature makes it impractical.

Hide in plain sight: Requires favoured terrain. In that terrain, you can hide even while being observed. This is a great ability for anyone, but especially good if you get sneak from hiding.

Hunter's Surprise: 1/day, for 1 turn a target is auto flat-footed against you. The 1 turn thing unfortunately makes this less useful, but it's worth combining with Multitalented.

Improved evasion: Success on a reflex save results in no damage, and even failing halves damage. It's a very good defence.

Improved Shadow's Chill*: All your sneak damage is cold damage. While this can hit the very few things immune to sneak damage, the prerequisites are harsh and one is utterly useless.

N Invisible Blade: 1 ki. swift action Greater invisibility. By now many things can see through this, but if it can't, you'll shred it.

N Kawarimi: 1 ki. 1/day immediate action to stealth after being attacked. Need cover or concealment to do so (unless you can otherwise just hide). Yes, it's nice, but it seems a little underwhelming for what you get somehow.

Knockout Blow*: 1/day don't deal sneak damage but target makes fort or be unconscious for 1d4 rounds, success still staggers. Try the Assassinate talent instead, which does effectively the same thing. even if it's harder to do, it's still at will.

Light Walker: Ignore difficult terrain. There's a 1st level spell and cheap item that does this, so don't blow two rogue talents on it.

Master of Disguise: 1/day standard action make disguise with a +10 bonus. The big advantage with this over magic is that it's undetectable, which is very important for a disguise.

N Master Disguise: 1 ki. Swift action disguise self, or be specific person including voice with sudden disguise. Compared to the original, this isn't especially good.

Master Tricks: Take a Master Ninja Trick. There's some nice stuff in there.

Greater Multitalented: use multitalented to get extra uses of advanced rogue talents. It's good, but a huge pain that you can't just do that anyway.

Opportunist: 1/round, make an AoO when a friend hits something. Free attacks are great!

Quick Shot: Make a ranged attack as a swift action as part of the initiative check. I think this should be an immediate action, because as written it's impossible. If so, that's a guaranteed sneak attack, which is super worthwhile, even if you have to throw a weapon.

Redirect Attack: 1/day an attack auto-misses you and hits something else instead. Needs more uses, but still sweet.

Reflexive Shadow Shield: 1/day, immediate action to get tiny cold/electricity resistance for 1 round. Urgh, it's so bad.

Rumourmonger: Spread rumours in a city with relatively easy diplomacy checks. The utility for this is nearly limitless.

See in darkness: You can see in even magical darkness. Deeper darkness &c. is now very good.

N See the Unseen: 1 ki. Swift action see invisibility. If you haven't had it made permanent yet, this can be quite effective, but someone really ought to have invisibility counters by now.

N Shadow Split: 1 ki. Illusion of yourself runs in a direction you indicate. Presumably it's a standard action so you combine it with invisibility or something. Seems kind of underwhelming.

Skill Mastery: can take 10 on some skill checks when stressed. Either you can't take 10 anyway because the skill doesn't allow it, or it doesn't matter especially.

Slippery Mind: After 1 round, get a second save against enchantments. Since by this stage enchantments are especially debilitating at this stage, this is a great defence.

Stealthy Sniper: Reduce stealth penalty after sniping to -10 (a +10 bonus). You need this if you're a ranged rogue.

Greater Terrain Mastery: Pick a terrain; your bonuses increase. Mmm, all that lovely initiative...

Thoughtful Reexamining: reroll a knowledge/sense motive/perception check 1/day. Of course, this is bad because you don't know your perception or sense motive rolls or even if you're making them necessarily, and the knowledge check is irrelevant because it doesn't matter if you know what the creature is before it dies or you can just go and look it up.

N Unarmed Combat Mastery: Deal unarmed strike damage as a monk of your level -4. Sheesh, why are you taking this over some of these other options? This is terrible by comparison.

N Unbound Steps: This one really is ninja only. 1 ki. Lets you walk through the air with light steps, subject to the same restrictions. It's one of those things that's nice to have for free, but otherwise you'd never take it. Oddly, you're better off using the various jump things (which stack so well).

Unwitting Ally: Make a bluff check as a swift action to make something count as flanking. Since this can let you sneak attack much more easily, this is great.

Weapon Snatcher: use sleight of hand to disarm things. Since it's so much easier to upgrade a skill than a CMB, this is quite valuable.

Rogue's Edge & skill unlocks:

Your mileage will vary because rogues are a versatile bunch, but the format will be "5 ranks unlock. 10 ranks unlock. 15 ranks unlock. 20 ranks unlock" Anything that's well above the norm is in italics or bold if it's so amazing it deserves special mention (although the 20 rank one doesn't count because that'll almost always be good)

Some of these, quite notably, are utterly useless for a rogue unless you multiclass and are probably only there if for whatever reason your DM lets other classes take these (which they shouldn't, because rogue should keep its special thing).

Acrobatics: Move through threatened spaces more easily. Avoid trips/falling with acrobatics and easier to avoid damage from falls. don't provoke when you stand up. Halve acrobatics DCs to jump and never fall prone after falling.

Appraise: Identify magic items even without magic. Can identify the most valuable item a creature has on it/holds as a standard action (v. low DC). Last bit is now a move action and can use appraise -10 as a will save to disbelieve figment/glamer. +2 bonus on steal/disarm to remove the most valuable item.

Bluff: Halve penalties for just failing. No penalties for just failing. Limited sort of non-detection. Full round action to use the suggestion spell.

Climb: Keep dex bonus while climbing. 10 ft. climb speed on easy surfaces. Base speed as climb speed on easy surfaces and 10 ft. on harder ones. Climb speed equal to base speed on all surfaces and +8 modifier.

Craft: Double progress. Need to fail very badly to ruin materials. Craft 7 times faster. Can make magic items (which at this stage should be regularly 3.5x faster than regular crafting)

Diplomacy: Halve time to influence a creature/gather information. Influence attitude in 1 round or make change last longer (This is effectively an at will charm monster and very easy to get!). No penalty for the quick diplomacy and duration is now days instead of hours. Duration is now weeks instead of hours.

Disable device: take cumulative penalty to get cumulative speed boost on checks. Can disarm magic traps. Can use disable device to avoid traps. Quick disarm penalties halved and allies benefit from the 15 rank ability (but you take big penalties).

Disguise: Disguise in 1d3 minutes. Disguise in 1d3 rounds or take no penalties for disguising age, gender or race. Disguise as full-round action. Disguise as standard action

Escape Artist: take -10 to halve time to make the check. escape from entangle effects and tie things up really well. Can escape from slow or paralysis effects. Can escape from practically anything as an immediate action. (note: while these abilities are very good, the DCs are very high)

Fly: Don't sacrifice movement with a 45o turn. Ascend at an angle at full speed and reduce fall damage after collision. Turn 90o without movement sacrifice and 180o with 5 ft. move sacrifice. Fly straight up at full speed (Note: these all require checks, but have lowish, static DCs)

Handle Animal: Give pets +2 will save when next to you. +2 will saves when nearby and can train in a day. Can teach to understand your speech and train in an hour. All animals/magic beasts/Vermin can understand you, and you can teach a trick in 1 minute.

Heal: Treat Deadly Wounds (TWD) heals as if a day of natural rest (2 hp/hd and 2 ability damage). TWD recovers 4 hp/hd. TWD heals 6 hp/hd and 6 ability damage. TWD heals 12 hp/hd and 12 ability damage. (Is this in addition to wisdom? Shame it's still so slow)

Intimidate: Demoralise frightens on a failed save. Demoralise panics or frightens on a failed save. Demoralise cowers or panics then frightens on a failed save. Demoralise cowers then panics on a failed save. (DC is 10 + intimidate ranks, so quite competitive)

Knowledge: Extra info when you ID a creature. +1 to some checks when you identify creature. can reroll failed checks at penalty, and bonus from before applies to more things. Always roll twice for checks.

Linguistics: sense secret messages better and bonuses vs magic traps. Can understand things better and even precisely even if you don't know the language. Can read magic writing. Can read magic writing very quickly.

Perception: Smaller penalty when asleep and have reduced distance penalties. Distance penalties even smaller and bonus to see invisible things. No penalty when asleep and reduced distance penalties. +10 bonus to see invisible things and even smaller distance penalties.

Perform: Bonus on other social skills. DC increase for emotion or language dependant effects. Caster level increase for emotion or language dependant effects. Can use perform in place of social skills.

Profession: Double income. Roll twice on checks. Check every day instead of every week. Roll twice or get at least 10.

Ride: Mount gets bonus vs fatigue/exhaustion. Spur mount to increase speed further and get reflex/ac bonus. Use ride instead of CMD to avoid being knocked off. Spur increases speed further and increases reflex/ac buff further.

Sense Motive: Gain initiative bonus. Detect thoughts with hard opposed check. Detect thoughts much more quickly and gain AC bonus. Detect thoughts very quickly and negate attacks.

Sleight of hand: Bonus to steal/disarm. Make checks quickly more easily. Make checks as a swift action. Reduce penalties for the last two.

Spellcraft: Identify items more quickly and learn spells in half time. Identify items without detect magic. Learn spells very quickly. Get bonus on caster level checks.

Stealth: Snipe penalty reduced by 10. Halve penalties for moving quickly. Deny Dex bonus to foes that you hid from. Last thing lasts slightly longer.

Survival: Reduce damage from harsh conditions. Track creatures with no track. Give yourself+friends cold or fire resist 5. Track trackless things more easily.

Swim: Get slow swim speed in easy conditions. Fast swim speed in easy conditions or slow in harder ones. No penalties for attacking underwater. Fast swim speed and +8 bonus.

Use Magic Device: Can aid another with the check. Can use item after a nat 1. Be three races or alignments at the same time. Reroll a nat 1.

Ninja Bonus!

And now, here we have the ninja. This is effectively a rogue archetype. I'll go back and add the various ninja tricks (with an N to indicate what they are) to the rogue talent list. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't just add Finesse Training, debilitating strike and Rogue's Edge to ninja as well. There are no archetypes for it, but if your DM lets you, Poison Use is Trapfinding and No Trace is Danger Sense. Although these are both already better than the originals.

And now, feature breakdown:

Basic Stuff: You get a few minor class skill changes, but notably your weapon range changes to become much better.

Poison use: Don't accidentally poison yourself. Poison isn't great, but this is luxury compared to trapfinding.

Sneak attack. See rogue.

Ki Pool: You don't want to swap this. Swift action to get another attack, or move faster, jump well or sneak well. Also use some nice class abilities.

Ninja tricks: Basically rogue talents.

No Trace: Harder to track, bonus to disguise and stealth. Actually pleasant, and all more relevant than the stupid trap stuff.

Uncanny Dodge: See rogue.

Light Steps: Full round action to move over any surface with no penalty (such as lave), even if it can't support you.

Improved Uncanny dodge. See rogue.

Master Tricks: basically advanced rogue talents.

Hidden Master: 3 ki to be totally undetectable. Sacrifice sneak damage for penalty to an ability score.


Having looked through those options available for talents and archetypes, I really do sympathise with the idea that rogue is... actually quite bad. The skills and sneak attack really are all it has going for it. It's not until the advanced talents come in that it really starts getting good. Comically, however, the ninja is reverse: most of the ninja stuff is actually quite bad at higher levels but has all the good ones at low levels.
It's hard to be an archer rogue. Even though archers can get lots of attacks, it's difficult to get sneak attack on them. You have to limit yourself to sniping from close range or getting a reliable blind/greater invisibility.
Two-weapon fighting is the popular option for many rogues for the sheer number of attacks, but cleave can work well too, or as a supplement.
Shatter defences is a very good feat for rogues. Combine it with cornugon smash and just sneak attack all the time.
Kobold Groundling and improved trip make for an effective way to get sneaks.
Never forget that rogues have the best social options in the game! Well, they did until vigilantes came along.
If you're multiclassing, don't forget to look at Accomplished Sneak Attacker to boost your sneak attack a little bit.
Dastardly Finish is brutally effective combined with intimidation unlock.
Sap Master is a good way to deal absurd damage, if you don't mind it being non lethal.
When advanced talents come in, it's worth nabbing Extra Rogue Talent.

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