Page 274 - Snakes and Ladders

20th Apr 2013, 6:00 AM
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Snakes and Ladders
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 20th Apr 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
You know, as I write this particular arc surrounding Rarity, it strikes me that the DM and the players really need to be on the same wavelength when it comes to Rogue activities. I've been in groups with many a thief, all of them lamenting the lack of opportunities to pickpocket and con people without divine (and party) retribution. But I imagine that's the result of a group (including the DM) expecting to play a band of heroes whose actions ultimately serve the greater good. A Rogue's usual motivations tend to get drowned out in that kind of environment.

If a thief's gonna be thief-y in a roleplaying game, the DM's gotta be in on it too and be supportive of that. (Other than just saying, "Uh, sure, roll a single skill check.") And, to a certain extent, so do the players - though it can make for interesting character conflict otherwise, if your group is into that sort of thing. My main point is, though, the DM's gotta be willing to go the full nine yards to make being a Rogue just as interesting an experience as being a hero.

Actually, I'm worried this is all just conjecture on my part. To you readers with far more roleplaying experience than I: Is any of what I'm saying making sense, or am I just blowing hot air?

88 Comments:

Guest 20th Apr 2013, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
In the words of Bender Bending Rodriguez:

"Guess what you're all accessories to?"
WhoWhatWhere 21st Apr 2013, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
You sir/mam are awesome.
Aegis Steadfast 21st Apr 2013, 7:54 PM edit delete reply
Aegis Steadfast
In the other words of the aforementioned bending unit: "Cheese it!"
Tempest Fennac 20th Apr 2013, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
I think what you're saying makes perfect sense. I've DMed one solo game where the player was a TN Rogue which went well, but I don't have any experience of DMing for parties where one character was a thief.
Rokas 20th Apr 2013, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Poor comic Twilight, she has no idea what's going on, yet she knows it's going to come back and bite her in the flank.

I've never played in an RPG where anyone wanted to run contrary to being generally 'good', though I've seen more than a few times where certain party members had to be restrained (with words) by the diplomancer from starting fights.
Kaze Koichi 20th Apr 2013, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
And what about evil (just curious)? Did you have assassins in your party?
Rokas 21st Apr 2013, 5:11 AM edit delete reply
Re: Kaze Koichi

Nah. In fact we had a run-in with an assassin group hiding on a rogue planet in interstellar space (sci-fi setting), and as part of the plan, nuked them.

Of course that was only after we had been betrayed by the middleman between us and the employers, sold out to an old arch-enemy, had our ship blasted halfway to scrap by her and her two allied ships, chased them down and killed them all, then made a stealth approach to the assassins' planet with the ship powered down and dropped onto it via an escape pod hastily modified to act as a landing craft, then infiltrated the base, recovered the abducted son we were sent to take, and then got the freakin' Hell out of their by stealing one of their ships.

So yeah, we don't really NEED evil characters in the party for it to get crazy. We have enough problems with interstellar assassins, android doomsday cults, psychic technophile apatasaurs (with a fondness for John Updike), and the occasional ship thrown forward in time by a malfunctioning super drive on a secret mission to nuke a system that is no longer enemies to their home empire but try telling the reptile-brained zealots that before they move in to kill everyone and start the second great apocalyptic galactic war.

Evil? We got no ROOM for evil on our crew. The closest we have is the occasional recurring character of the diplomancer's brother, who is basically a Kwisatch Haderach and annoys the Hell out of us to no end. But at least my character got to shoot him once.
Flashpoint 22nd Apr 2013, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Flashpoint
We usually have mostly good/neutral parties, but there was one time we had an evil rogue assassin join up. The thing is that he basically worked like a merc, and whoever gave out the most gold he is the one he would work for, though he never actually helped the party do anything except fighting, killing, and looting. At the end when they confronted the villain, he offered 10 times the amount the party had offered to join him in the fight. The assassin though about it and then asked the party one very important question.

"If I help you guys kill him, will I still get all that money?"

And then they killed the villain.

When the assassin was asked why he turned down such an offer he simply replied.

"For one, it would be a lot harder to fight all of you guys at once than it would to fight just him with a bunch of people as back up. Secondly I could get loads more from killing him and looting his entire lair. Third, there was no way I could actually trust him to pay me after the job was done. Things like that require payment up front."
Grrys 20th Apr 2013, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
I'm LITERALLY the only member of my group that's willing to play a good character. Then again, half of my characters are paladins, so I guess it just comes to me...
Kirby 20th Apr 2013, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
I have a lawful evil character who actually does good most of the time. Not out of any good motivation, but because people work better with her when she acts that way.

Everyone yelled at me when she wasn't mistreating all these people who were serving us, saying it was the "evil" thing to do. My response was, "It might be the 'evil' thing to do, but it's also the 'stupid' thing to do. She's not 'good', she just knows she'll have better service, and is less likely to have poison slipped in her drink, if she treats them well, as opposed to smacking them in the face every time they do something wrong.
Morathor 20th Apr 2013, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
A very sensible attitude. Intelligent evil should be more about being willing to do horrible things to accomplish your goals, rather than doing them for their own sake.
Kaze Koichi 20th Apr 2013, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
I prefer to play "smart evil" character too. I think It's easier to explain good deeds with lawful evil: "What do you mean, do bad stuff to them? It's against the law!"

There was a time when I played chaotic evil character that could use blackmail, but only when other metods, like seduction, failed. And I was nice to my allies - it was easy for me to do things that way. The ones I was cruel to? The enemies.

Here is an example. There was that kid-loving chick that invited me to her house to help her babysit some kids (and seduce me, but that's another story). Two thieves broke into the house, was spotted, and took some kids as hostages. So I draw my gun and said: "A moment you hurt this kid, two seconds later you'll have a hole in your head." I intimidated them into letting the kids go. And then I shoot them anyway (sadly, I missed).

The thing is: my CE character would shoot them even if they didn't let the kids go. But why would I admit that? I took credit for saving the kids, technically it what I did. No matter how good this deed was, I still stayed chaotic evil.

And the thieves became our servants, but that's completely different story.
Lightning Flicker 20th Apr 2013, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
I've been there sort of... The character I used to play before my most recent one was a pixie druid con artist/ thief. Except the DM only ever gave us fights. The one time we were some place where I could steal, the other players complained they were bored AND the DM didn't let me find anything actually worth stealing, nor did he give me an opportunity to con anyone. So, while I wasn't actually a Rogue, I still had that issue of my character not being able to be the thief I wanted her to be.
Aerion 20th Apr 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Most DMs do indeed expect a group of heroes, to the point where 'X Neutral' is frowned upon and 'Chaotic Good' just means you only SOMETIMES stop for red lights when chasing a criminal.

Not always, of course.
Had a game lately, one of the few games I've been in where it doesn't fall apart by 3rd level, where half the party were thieves - not Rogues, we didn't have any of those, but the kind that commits crimes of theft.
Heck, the youngest in the party (my half-elf, who was required to be younger than a certain human NPC by plot, and a 'childhood friend' of my character) were a 'troublesome duo' of sort, known throughout the town for how untrustworthy we were.
Which is why we had to come up with a plan where I go to try to fast talk them while he tries to swipe it... And while they're busy yelling at the two of us after our plan appears to fail, another party member can easily sneak in and take whatever they please.
Kaze Koichi 20th Apr 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I know a completely opposite situation. In Thieves' World campain DMed by Spoony there was Mathew the thief. He was "not that kind of thief." Anything you expected thief to do: pickpocket, check for traps, climb walls, etc - he couldn't do it. He never tell them what kind of thief he was either. Probably a combat-oriented, backstriking one.

Eventially he was killed in battle because he wasn't that kind of thief that runs away from superior enemy forces.
Oblivious 20th Apr 2013, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Oblivious
Yeah, that's a Spoony story. Haven't had problems that glaring pop-up, but it seems that lately, most of the rogues/thieves/scoundrels/ that have joined the parties that I've been involved in have been breaking the golden rule of gaming. That being, they make the game not fun.

I'm not saying that doing things that are within morally in the grey makes the game less fun, or that the thieves are just bad. Quite the contrary, as it can lead to great character development, funny stories, and a better party. The problem is when they exist just to be 'that guy.'

C'mon, you know 'that guy.'

The one that decided to pickpocket the most dangerous person in the room, while the character is drunk and the party is hiding out in a tavern after ditching the city guard.

The one that steals stuff because it's funny, with no real benefit or reward anywhere in sight, like stealing the undergarments of a female guard captain; not when she's sleeping and vulnerable, but while she's on patrol, fully armored, and under the effects of stimulants to keep her going during the long shift. (And before anyone says "obviously for blackmail or something like that," trust me, this thief was not that smart.)

Or the thief that decides to torture someone, not because it will yield valuable information, but because we have a captive for once, and nearly anything can be justified under chaotic neutral.

Bards can fall into this trap too, but I guess what I'm saying is, when you're using your skill against the party just because, or worse, to spite the party, that's where I start taking issue with it. A thief can be as morally bankrupt as all hell, so long as they aren't being downright stupid and careless about it, like steal enough liquid thermite to rip a hole in a dreadnought from an allied NPC, and hiding it among the party members, without their knowledge.

I have issues with rogues and bards, clearly.
Guest 20th Apr 2013, 8:30 PM edit delete reply
Yeah I have similar problems with rogues most of the time. It seems like whenever I play a game with someone playing a rogue or any other kind of thief they try to mess with the other players or just derail the game.

For instance one time I was playing a game with some people and the party rogue/wizard decided it would be funny to steal one of my character's (rouge/fighter) health potions at low level... and switch it with an alchemical acid. My character nearly died and he thought it was hilarious. It didn't bother me at first, but then he proceeded to constantly steal from the party even though he knew we thought it was kinda annoying. Then he tried to kill a local shopkeeper so that his followers (he had Leadership) would have a place to stay and a store to run. He then proceeded to complain when the shopkeepers son (and member of the local militia) tried to kill him, he thought it was ridiculous that the NPC had 4 levels of warrior (He was level 8). Eventually after two of my characters died in Ravenloft I made a Paladin, which the player then tried to steal the body of my dead dragon companion... I finally told him I was tired of his character's crap. He actually said he was sorry which was nice, but said that to end the bickering our characters should duel to the death. I said fine, we dueled, the rogue died.

That is still the most annoying experience I've had with a rogue player so far. Its also really annoying too because I like playing rogues, but it bothers me when people think that the only way to play a rogue is if you steal things from everyone.
JSchunx 20th Apr 2013, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
I've been rather fortunate as far as rogues go. In most of my games, their either so passive as to be almost a non-factor outside of combat, or they're actively helpful.

Or, alternately, in one of my current campaigns, my eldest brother is playing a rogue/wizard with a penchant for extreme creativity. He's quite helpful, and usually easy to corral, but he delights in finding unique ways to twist a situation to his advantage.

He also has a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. Example: He was scouting ahead, into a cave, when he spied a pair of gnolls, next to a campfire. Not speaking their language, he drew his two hand-crossbows and dropped both of them before they could even speak (it was really quite impressive). When he searched the bodies, however, he discovered that they belonged to his own faction (which did not discriminate on race). He then went to extraordinary lengths to hide his involvement, and attempted to place the blame on a member of a rival faction.
Vonadu 20th Apr 2013, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Well, sure it can be a problem if you play a petty rogue, who 9 level later limits themselves to pick-pocketing on the street and such. But when your pickpocket modifier starts getting higher,you need to thing bigger. But, say pick-pocketing the corrupt governor of his plans while the paladin attempts diplomacy, now that is worthy skill. Or pick-pocketing the bandit wizard of his spell component pouch before your allies attack. Paladins slay dragons, druids save entire realms, and bards pen epic tales, so while not as a rogue, aim bigger. Or maybe you need to have a zoolander style pickpocket off with the head of the local thieves guild to earn his respect and convince him to help you prevent a military coup which will be bad for business.

Or, in the case of social rogues, let the cons get bigger, or let them be leverage. Enemy army coming? Time to bribe the local neutral merchant guild into selling them bad grain (-1 to attack rolls due to stomach issues). Your party need a boat asap, time to "liberate" one from Honest stan's used boats.

My point is, if theify has to be thiefy, he can raise his scale and goals a little bit , or use his unique view of the world to compliment the parties goals, especially in any setting where the majority of the parties cash is gained from looting.
kriss1989 20th Apr 2013, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
kriss1989
Twilight! It's a legitimate business transaction! How dare you assume everything she does is illegal.
Lyntermas 20th Apr 2013, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
Lyntermas
Haley knows your pain, Rarity.
Seturis 20th Apr 2013, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
I like where this plot is headed.
Other Guest 20th Apr 2013, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
Yes, let's closely watch Rarity's plot.
Digo 20th Apr 2013, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
Haha!
Curb 20th Apr 2013, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
Yes, lets.
Seturis 20th Apr 2013, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
If y'all say so.
Destrustor 20th Apr 2013, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
Destrustor
I like big plotlines and I cannot lie!

Cue music.
The MunchKING 20th Apr 2013, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
My question is why single out rogues?

The GM really has to be on board with EVERYONE'S role in the game, or they won't have fun.

For Example Paladins will be in a lot of trouble in a "You have to do Evil stuff just to SURVIVE" kind of game. Wizards like their study-time and chance to make cool spells, Bards need some singing and dancing time, etc.

So yeah, while Rouges may get overlooked more often, really the argument works for any of the classes.
Raxon 20th Apr 2013, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Totally. After all, druids need their special grown up alone time with nature, and monks need time to lotus up and think on the mysteries of the universe.

And then they decide that they are hungry enough, after all, and they eat the paladin's chili.
Aegis Steadfast 20th Apr 2013, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
Aegis Steadfast
One of my first roleplay characters was a wizard who was meant to be a bit of a kleptomaniac. Unfortunatly both games she was in she was forced to live off scraps of junk that the metagaming spotlight hogging munchkins threw away.

Even when the GM of the first game threw me a bone... oh dear lord, shit hit the fan and it was set to turbo.
Chakat Firepaw 21st Apr 2013, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
Well it's not so much an issue with rogues as an issue with characters who are doing sneaking, unheroic things. The problem comes about because you end up with player/player conflict, (will you _quit_ stealing everything/conning everyone/cuckolding the duke!), that doesn't have any character/character resolution, (because the characters don't know it's going on).

It gets described as a rogue problem because it's part of the iconic vision of a rogue.
Curb 20th Apr 2013, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
I do have to agree with DMs/GMs sort of catering to the 'good' characters. I have run rogues before, and out right criminals as well, only to have to play nice and not be all Roguish. I've learned, as I run games. to work with everyone, even if the party might get a bit snippy about the Rogue swiping something now and then.

BTW, my Gathering of Harmony Rarity isn't quite a Rogue, she's a wealthy mare who happens to be an underground dueling champion. She's got a bit of a mean streak too, when it comes to certain things.
Disloyal Subject 16th Nov 2013, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
Huh... my Rarity is pretty much what the show shows; she's got a little sorcery, ad a mean hook. 'Course, she earned enough to open Carousel Boutique breaking legs for the mafia... and they still aren't happy she grew a conscience.
Digo 20th Apr 2013, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
I've played plenty of rogues, but none of them were ever the general pick-pocketing thievery kind. My rogues were always the heroic break-into-the-castle-rescue-the-princess kind who would only loot the villain because the party killed his so he won't need it where he is going. :)

Sure the money can be nice, but maybe my rogues were built with too many morals to cause a problem?

Other players have made the standard kind of rogues and I try to play along with it. Though, to be honest I only do that so I can show off what I learned watching CSI to catch them later. XD
Billy 20th Apr 2013, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
Rouges always get mishandled in most campaigns.
Guest 20th Apr 2013, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I find lots of DnD players don't know how to use makeup.
Raxon 20th Apr 2013, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
I can proudly say that I do not have this problem. My rouge skills are second to none. Going rogue is easy with the right rouge. Turning rouge is simple with some nice rogue.
Hirou 20th Apr 2013, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
'Rouges'
Come on, this was covered just a few pages ago, don't call them like this =)
Raxon 20th Apr 2013, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
I know. And I'm a little miffed I wasn't here for it. I'll clear this up.

Rogues come in many colors. Rouges only come in a few. Rogues are terrible people. Rouges are terrible at being people. Rogues have eyes. I have rouges.

I hope this clears a few things up.
Digo 21st Apr 2013, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
Us rogues aren't all terrible people. And I prefer the term "consummate acquisition adventurer"
TheStratovarian 20th Apr 2013, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
In what you say newbiespud, your very much right. A great dm, will give the rogue times to be roguish, and to be sneaky for the right reasons is something great to have. The issue is that most dm's play like sorcerers in their approach outside a module. This means a rogue can't be what they are, because the nature of what they are is a skill monkey/combat dps to the dm. However, alot of dm's flag problem rogues by stealing skills, because of the nature of those players that ruin the nature of rogues. The downside to this, is well, rogues are just considered vital for only their trap skills and perhaps diplomancer focus.

Rogue's, pardon me in many aspects, get the s*** end of the stick by most folks. Player conflicts, oh how easy they often blame the thief for anything. Trap goes wrong, because player charges ahead without checking first. Thief's fault. Anti-thief traps, check. Paladic problems, oh yes. Questionable alignment choice to help the party, yeah.

The only reason anyone takes the thief, is that they can't progress without one. The rogue is vital, beyond healer level vital when you get down to it. But dm's, and other players, well, they don't like the rogue. Heck, if players could, everyone would play the sorcerer or the healer. The roles that are vital, that you can't progress without, are your fighter, and your rogue, the healer is nice, but you can actually get by without one. Look up a low magic world, zero healers/zero wizards, and watch folks flounder because of how lacking they can't play without magic instead of smarts, strength, and tactics.

Jaded, heck yes I am about it. I would honestly do anything to get a chance to excel in my element as a rogue with what you offered newbiespud. Seriously, that mentality, of being willing to give even the rogue a chance to gleam in the dark, is insanely rare. Diamond in the rough doesn't begin to cover it. I didn't think any dm like that existed anymore. I try to be a trustworthy person, but playing a rogue, your looked on by the party so negatively, its a wonder why no one wants to play one. Warriors are a whole different matter, and their own can of worms neither here or there, but suffer the same.


I have a little story to offer. I had lost my pc to another pc's outright stupidity and antagonizing nature to my rogue (Good cleric, TN rogue) and downright uncaring nature in irking the evil cleric. (Who had a lovely soul sucking undead contigent) But I still wanted to play. This was the Redone Tomb of Horrors module. Being the only one willing to play the rogue, I decided a little revenge was in order for them just up and not even trying to get me back, but tossing me aside, as the 'good' characters showed just what kind of people they were. (Not a single person tried or considered reviving me, they could have, but none did.) The new rogue, was a dinky little dwarf, zero fighting skills, only a single light crossbow, and decked out in enough skills, i could cut and run anytime I wanted to, even robbing the party blind. Not that I did, mind you, but that I was safe from all they could do to me like last time.

The dm, seeing that things were back on track, and showing the same compassion the party did, let me play another rogue and we got inside the first part of the tomb, i made myself quite handy, the rest of the party being their usual selves. To those that know the 2nd edition and 3rd edition one, we got to the gem room. The room with the infinite wish gem that claims your soul. Smart folks, are going to wince, rogue players, will get to see, how a rogue gets revenge. The gem, twists the wish, to an evil purpose, but won't twist the wish if its evil. And I was making a very nice evil one, the depths of which people never forget what you do. Iago's twisting of the moor bad.

As the party saw things, i approached the gem, and after lying to the group, with the promise of "I'll get this blessed." to gainsay what worries they had, let them look about, as i was wording my wish. With them all out of melee and spell range, i said, "I wish, for five unnamed wishes to be claimed later, free of retribution from your magic, and my companions actions. In accordance with passage out of here, safely, to a place of my choosing and in no way to harm me in any way, shape or form from you or them as a second wish. My third wish is that the folks here are never able to escape, flee, or in any way shape or form leave so that you may claim your cost of these three wishes. In exchange for these wishes, you get the five souls of the idiots traveling with me."

A flash of light, I was gone, the party was locked forever in the tomb, and I had two wishes. I walked from the game happy, my revenge complete.

The moral, trust your rogue, and he will trust you. Treat him like crap, and get what you deserve.

To explain why I was irked so much to do this, the character was level 21, the starting level was 5, and to have to toss him out because of others didnt care enough to cast 1 spell? (This line is the edited why.)
Kaze Koichi 20th Apr 2013, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
"The roles that are vital, that you can't progress without, are your fighter, and your rogue, the healer is nice, but you can actually get by without one."

No. I don't agree with this. No! It's completely other way around. You can get without fighter. Rogue - depends on situation. But you can't go on without the healer unless DM drops half of the possible encounters from encounter table. What do you think healer role is about? Healing damage in long encounters? Bzzzz, wrong, such encounter is manageable with the paladin acting as a tank and only sometimes healing himself (while his main role is still a tank).

Healer here is to make sure everyone in a party can do whatever they should do. Because when your tank is weakened, barbarian is blinded, rogue is shaken and mage is silenced, it's hard to fight back or even stay alive. Healer is here to make sure each party member can do their role without interruption. Dismiss a healer - and a first enemy with color spray can lead to total party kill.

This page is about rogues, but let's not forget classes' roles, ok? To play a healer properly is more vital then to play rogue properly. And the worst thing players can do is to randomly choose: 'Ok, you'll be a cleric. Just do something while the rest of us be awesome, and everything shall be fine.'
Forderz 20th Apr 2013, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
Forderz
Wand of cure light wounds and wand of lesser resoration.

Problem solved.

You don't need a whole lot of in-combat healing if you roll with no healer, as the extra DPS and CC mitigate a ton of damage.
TheStratovarian 21st Apr 2013, 4:33 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
Traps, deal more damage in one go, than on average, 2-3 encounters. Exceptions of certain types withstanding, dragons and giants mainly, though greater demons fall in here too if you dont have abjurations present. There is a section actually in complete warrior for 3.5, on running a game where healing is sparse, and you dont have a cleric from the get go. Daily cure wands are possible. Vigor, is a very cheap spell that over time heals more than most cure magic set six levels later. Coupled in, low magic settings often use the armor dr ruling, and you start finding its not really that hard to deal with things, yes, undead, are a bit more scary, as is poison, but alchemical items are cheap, and so is simply waiting. Modules and impromptu sessions the same, when you get there, you get there, if it was timed and you don't get there in time, then it happens, and you have a spin-off. A single trap, late game, will kill someone, zero save, and your down 5k in gold, or Exp.

The biggest example so many haven't seen of this working, is the Heroes of the lance module. You don't have healing magic for about half the module, and its a very long one given you only get basic healing via staff too, charges. This has critters with breath weapons from the get go. Critters that are anti-fighter, anti-rogue, but in approaching the game in a smart manner, the nature of the fights are not an issue. You even deal with dragons, from a level 5 start.

The only difference to playing without a healer, is how your fight, take bows, distance, and ranged attacks that whittle folks down. Set up volleys in a dungeon, all six party members firing off bows/crossbows at one target, with teamwork, can keep a hallway clear long before most monsters can get to you. Fight smart, and it saves your hp.

Healers have it cushy now a-days. Instant cures of a same level, or 4th, free healing surge with bonuses? Even pathfinder, healing is only a challenge before you get mass cure spells facing large aoe monsters. Before then, have everyone with a cheap cure potion or two, to ensure that because you can't just mass cure them, though you can mass vigor at 3rd for what amounts to a lengthy regen effect for 15 rounds, and can buy folks a 10hp buffer to be revived from until you can get to them. In the early levels, that can save a party wipe facing a caster if you've not prepped anti element spells, or what have you. If you can prep attack spells, it just shows how little you need to worry about healing that you can up and cover the situation.

A good tank won't need more than a spell at best in a whole fight, save fighting elements, an arcane caster can cover that. High ac, dr options, even fast healing are available cheap if you dont mind racial choices. 4th edition forces the healing surge aspect, but there are tank dodges that work, and heck, good cc forces the target to not really be able to target your defender, and anyone.

Good rogues, and not in alignment, but their focus, and outlook, are far trickier, because of how much easier in a way they are to target than the rest. Rogues have one of the dirtiest tricks possible, and in a low magic world, are the deadliest person in the party. Sniping, a rogue will destroy folks through sneak attack, and poisons if they use it. The usual sneak immune are a pain, but they are there for the cleric to feel good about his turn undead uses mainly.

A rogue, is the most broken class in the game of 3.0 and 3.5 edition. A wizard, has no chance of catching them, true sight, nope, they still fail the most crucial part, they have to actually see the rogues hide/MoS check. Past a certain point on a standard gold progression, nothing save undead have any chance of possible seeing, interaction, or even fighting a rogue. That is because of life sight, the only non-hidable means a rogue can be seen. Monsters, as the game progressed, you noted got certain special visions, to effectively stop this, until lords of madness arrived, and let the rogue go back to backstabbing everything. By level 10, a rogue can run easily into the low 40's minimum for a stealth check, spot, if your lucky, with a sentinel template monster (Which has a +20 spot bonus) may get lucky enough in six or seven rounds to see them?

It comes down to balance, rogues have been getting so many hits and downgrades, to give casters a chance to shine, until 4th edition was a massive balance patch, and ensuing controversy, neither here or there.

I agree with your statement of randomly choosing, experience is vital to a class. Without experience, you panic, and when you panic, as a healer, people die. As a warrior, you make a mistake that gets someone else really hurt, as a caster, its friendly fire. As a rogue, all you do is put yourself out in a bad spot.

I agree with what you say about healers being enablers too. They do, they boost, they upgrade, they fix, and mend. A healer is someone that keeps someone up. As for mages, if your playing 3.0, or 3.5, yeah, that is a mages game. Mages are the flavor of the month for that setting. If your that worried about magic without a healer, play a drow, take mage slayer with a hybrid ranged/melee weapon, force mages to play without their only saving grace of concentration. Heck, a single silenced stone thrown at them destroys a mage without all his spells being silent. Can't cast without the V components. Put it on an arrowhead, same deal, they lose casting until they cut it out, and throw it away fifteen feet. There are many small tricks you can do to stop a mage that folks just never picked up.

Play a game without any front line, just pure casters, you may be able to do it. I won't discount it, but your not going to be able to without massive min/maxing to your equivalent taxing of your healer and many many more rests to recover spells. Or taking classes from the Book of nine swords. 4th edition, yeah, going in without a defender to limit damage and special attacks from lurkers/brutes/leaders? Your again forcing the brunt on your leader to be nothing save a healbot.

The fun of the game arrives in the balance, but the problem is, the game isn't. Rogues, warriors, still are linear in most versions. Casters aren't, save in 4th, where they are dropped to linear. But, you have one thing very much right, and why no one wants to play a rogue or a warrior.

"Just do something while the rest of us be awesome, and everything shall be fine." That line, is why no one wants to play a rogue or a warrior.
F is for Feta 22nd Apr 2013, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
Can we go back to being funny in lieu of 2000 word essays?
Kaze Koichi 22nd Apr 2013, 6:51 PM edit delete reply
@F is for Feta
What's YOUR problem?
guy 7th May 2014, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
Anyone else see the irony here?
(Haha, in this comment too, technically. D'oh!)
Sparkles 20th Apr 2013, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
Very true, very true. I once DMed for a rogue by the name of Jim who decided to sneak away with the party's XTREMELY POWERFUL ARTIFACT OF WORLDENDING DOOM because he knew it was being scryed upon. Thus, a party split occured, where I ran his "rogue story" separate from the rest of the group for a while. The amount thief-y goodness that arose from that game made for possibly the best game i've ever DMed.
Mudpony 20th Apr 2013, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
Going to go with blowing hot air.

The biggest problem I find with letting the rogue be "roguey" is that it is detrimental to party play. Most of the party isn't stealthy, so for the rogue to go off robbing means to split the party. And for pickpocketing, well, sooner or later you will get caught and that amounts to trouble. It is usually a group game, so if you want to play solo, you're going to have a bad time.

That said, the lack of opportunity to con people is not something I have ever experienced. Bluffing past things, getting out of trouble with the guard, trying to gather information (including from the underworld), whatever, these things happen all the time. Every party has its face man, and that face man tends to get the most RP opportunities of any character.

Beyond that, there's usually things like secret doors, places that climb checks can be handy, and so on, all things that tie into the rogue skill set. Plus traps, of course. And scouting ahead. And sometimes pickpocketing the occasional item. And they get to stab things in the back. So a rogue built to help the party gets to do plenty.

Basically, play a team game, and the GM will usually give you some opportunities, the same as he will give the cleric some undead to play with so he can get his smite on, rather than being the healbot the rest of the party wants ;)
kriss1989 20th Apr 2013, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
kriss1989
We're not advocating stealing from the townsfolk or your fellow PCs, we're talking about sneaking into an enemy fortress to steal a copy of his evil plans, snatching the keys to the corrup Baron's study so you can find proof of his corruption to take to the king, etc.

There are plenty of places where stealing is totally justified.
Mudpony 20th Apr 2013, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
Sneaking into the enemy fortress solo is exactly what I'm saying should not happen, unless it can be resolved in little time. Otherwise, you've just split the party.

And in defense of rogues, worth noting that this sort of thing is not exclusive to rogues. In a high tech game, you run into the same sort of problem when you have a hacker character that wants to go play in cyberspace. Magicians can pull it off as well, using magic or the astral plane. These are just not group friendly ways to play, unless the GM is really good at handling split parties or everyone can join in.

Now, breaking into the baron's study while the rest of the party keeps watch and/or occupies the baron at the party downstairs... that's fine. So is scouting the room ahead while the entire party breaks into the enemy fortress. The rogue gets to do his thing, but the party is involved. Team play yay!

And for Newbiespud's original post, he's not just talking about doing things for the benefit of the party. He's talking about the rogue's tendency to do things for personal gain while cutting out the rest of the team. For that, you need to know what your group allows. Haven't run into a group yet that cares if a few trinkets get pocketed. Start to pocket magic items though, and you'd better be sure your fellow players are fine with such things. Some groups are. Others are not.

It's a group game. Play with the group.
Newbiespud 20th Apr 2013, 9:07 PM edit delete reply
Newbiespud
I think this is going to be the nugget of wisdom I take away from this discussion. Thanks, Mudpony.
JSchunx 21st Apr 2013, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
Yup, you're absolutely right Mudpony. That's one of the things that's making my shadowrun campaign difficult. Our hacker is basically useless for anything outside of hacking, and the rest of the group has just about zero experience with hacking. What that ends up doing is making us spend the first hour doing hacking stuff (while the rest of the party reads books or just watches), then we follow up with the fighting and whatnot, wherein the hacker sits back and plays support.

In the end, I think it'd be a whole heck of a lot easier if, instead of a 'balanced' party, players instead picked a focus (like stealth or combat) and built the party around that. Which isn't to say that they'd all roll rogues for a stealth campaign, but rather that they'd create their characters with provisions for stealth skills and whatnot. Then the GM could focus on putting together appropriate challenges for a single style of play, rather than foisting several elements into a single session.
Tatsurou 21st Apr 2013, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
Actually, the group I was in - mentioned below where I played the honorable rogue - had a rather unique approach to handling 'split party' and other such situations.

We had two DMs. When the party was whole, one would control allied NPCs while the other would control the BBEG and his/her/its minions. When a party split occured, each DM would take the two parts of the group aside to play out the split. When the group got back together, the DMs would step aside and share what had happened...although sometimes not everything.

An example. In that campaign, we had discovered that a certain noble rising in power with his own country was planning to conquer the world. However, the four neighboring kingdoms trusted him, even though they really shouldn't. If we went after him directly, we'd become most wanted in the other four kingdoms. As such, the party decided to attempt some sort of smear campaign, using our witness of events to convince the four kings that he was really a bad guy.

While the Paladin was busy in each kingdom, I did my rogue thing. I snuck into each princesses bedchamber (each king had a daughter), and acquired these things:
3 pairs of panties, including the one she was actively wearing
>4 iconographs of the princess in various compromising positions

When we went to try diplomacy with the evil noble, I snuck into his meeting room. Meanwhile, diplomacy failed.

When the noble next met with delegations from all four kingdoms, he opened a drawer that was supposed to contain the treaty agreements to be signed...and out popped the panties and pictures.

The four kingdoms declared war almost immediately.

Only the DM who took me aside for these things even knew what I was planning (they both knew enough about the whole setting to let me set this up). Since in each sneak off case I had brought back some seemingly useless trinket, everyone else thought I was just browsing. Except for the other DM, everyone thought that random chance had turned against the BBEG, revealing his true nature to the ambassadors. (Random chance had turned on villains previously in that campaign, so that was believable.)

...I probably should have asked the DM how much xp I got for that in private...
redwings1340 21st Apr 2013, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
redwings1340
Hmm, I'm having a bit of trouble in my D+D game right now because we're a party of mostly diplomancers, but our DM hasn't really provided that many opportunities for diplomacy to shine, and in the rare places it does, Charm person has been a better option. Unfortunately my character, a wizard, is built to be a complete charm person/suggestion maniac, but I don't like acting along without the approval of the party, a psionic bird is even better than me at using charm person, and there's also a better diplomancer in our party. In combat I'm kind of useless, and out of combat there are others in the party who are better than me, so sometimes I wish I had picked a character that would have fit in terms of the balanced party. We don't have a healer, so I should have played a druid or cleric or something instead I think. Right now I can't help but feel that I can't do very much because my talents are being outclassed by others who are doing what I do better than I do it.
Digo 21st Apr 2013, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
Very reasonable advice there!

Yeah the best way to play is to get the entire party in on the plan.
CelestDaer 21st Apr 2013, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
I just had a thought... what if, if you're playing a high tech game, you were to use the hacker's skill level as a way to guide the rest of the group into the same hacking grounds, and keep everyone together that way? Have everyone's actions rolled with the main hacker's skill? As though, say, the Hacker were bringing his party mates in as a way to keep his mind stable, instead of risking the possibility of losing his mind to AI processes... so, grounding himself in reality...?
Kayeka 20th Apr 2013, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, what Mudpony said. I'm sure that crap sounds awesome in your mind, and it makes for an entertaining enough comic, but I'd like to point out that, while the DM made some time for the rogue's solo adventure, the rest of the party was forced to leave the room and do absolutely fuck-all for a sizeable period of time.

It's things like this that lead to the "asshole rogue", otherwise known as "that guy". The guy that insist on getting special treatment because of things that rogues are supposedly obligated to do due to their class (funny how only Paladin seems to be getting crap for that). "That guy" that constantly goes of to do his own thing, leaves the rest of the party waiting, swipes all the good stuff and then acts all smug when their schemes that may or may not screw over the rest of the party come to fruition.

"That guy" is not a good roleplayer. He's an asshole hogging the game for himself. So as soon as you have a rogue asking if he can steal something that doesn't need to be stolen, shut him down before the entire game revolves around cleaning up his crap.
The MunchKING 20th Apr 2013, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
In second Ed. AD&D the rogue actually got bonus XP for how much loot he could get away with personally.

So in systems like that, it almost is as much of a class requirement as Paladins being LG.
DracoS 21st Apr 2013, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
As you may recall during Dragonshy, Applejack and Fluttershy took over the playtime with their side session to get up the mountain, so in Friendship is Dragons it's not just the Rogue getting this treatment.

I bet the DM still doesn't have any Spiel des Jahres winners.
guy 7th May 2014, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
Though I agree that the rogue does get some special treatment, could I ask you to tone down the bile a bit? Not trying to be a jerk here, realize I may come off as obnoxious, and apologize for doing so.
tjprower 20th Apr 2013, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
Well, we had a thief in our campaign who was unaligned. He was very much so. We (One Lawful good and one neutral good Duskblades)just made it very clear to him that if he stole from party members, there would be a reckoning. Otherwise, what he chose to do was his business, since we still needed his services. And everything went pretty well. My character didn't like him too much, but that was more because he kept ribbing her with bad jokes and idle threats. She got to bean him more than once, so that kept her satiated. XD
*Sigh* 20th Apr 2013, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
I have to say Newbie, you always seem to find the best "distressed" faces in a given scene. That Twilight in the last panel has me actually laughing for a minute there.
Giggle Tail 20th Apr 2013, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
Considering I always play chaotic good characters while the rest of my group always plays some form of neutral characters, there are some conflicts every now and then between their characters' plans and my character's morals. However, seeing as I'm the one nobody listens to -and- the majority is willing to do immoral stuff for fun/results, things have a way of working themselves out.

Plus, in the case of that traitor dwarf I mentioned multiple times, I chose not to even bother arguing when they all wanted to trap his soul in a spoon (out of character, anyway. So as not to change alignments, I assumed my character was arguing against the idea and was just ultimately ignored).
Tatsurou 20th Apr 2013, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
I remember one campaign where I played the rogue. We actually found a rather interesting way around these issues.

We made my Chaotic Nuetral Rogue a childhood friend of the Lawful Good Paladin, and included a story from childhood where the Paladin saved the Rogue's life, and after that they became blood brothers. Once the adventure started, my Rogue swore an oath on their shared blood that he would not act against the party's interests, and would do what he could to keep trouble from finding them. After that, my Rogue was free to do pretty much whatever he wanted as long as he stuck to the oath.

And he did. See, I was playing an honorable Rogue...even if his honor was a bit skewed. The only one he cared about was his Blood Brother. As far as he was concerned, everyone else could go hang.
The_Grand_User 20th Apr 2013, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
I just finished running a game this very morning of the comic, in which the party has not a thief, but assassin, who did his dirty work (and so far, not found out in character, though OOC everyone is pretty sure he was the one to do it.

I sat down with the players and discussed things OOC, about what they felt like if the assassin did the occasional side job that they're characters may be opposed to.

That is important, for the players to be for it, even if their characters aren't.

(Technically there are two assassins in the party, though quite different; the one in question is amoral though ethical, while the other is to assassins what Robin Hood is to thieves).
Degulus 20th Apr 2013, 3:23 PM edit delete reply
I'm shocked at all the stories of lawful good heavy parties and DMs that cater to that to the detriment of the rogues.

I've only ever seen the exact opposite. Our DM has flat out said that if you roll a paladin then he will make it his personal goal to make sure you fall. I think joining our party would technically be considered an evil act.

We aren't good people. Death and destruction follow in our wake and even if it's only sometimes our fault we don't actually care.
Oblivion 20th Apr 2013, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
"Our DM has flat out said that if you roll a paladin then he will make it his personal goal to make sure you fall."

At least he gave a warning so I would know to leave the group. That makes him a jerk but a polite jerk at least. Most GMs like this don't bother to tell you and just drop it on you after the game begins.
Aerion 21st Apr 2013, 3:58 AM edit delete reply
I've had it as one of the various alignment-based house-rules I intend to use if I ever GM that 'Until I can come up with a less disruptive variant, Paladins can only be chosen if the entire party agrees. Personally, even then I'd only allow it under protest given how they restrict the possible NPC-interactions'
The 'cannot commit any act not entirely Good AND Lawful, nor allow anyone else to commit one to their knowledge' rule is just too disruptive.

Of course, the same goes for everyone else under the more general 'Your character has to be able to be in the party. If it isn't, there's three choices; Last-minute changes, creating a new character altogether, or leaving the game. This specifically includes, but is not limited to, Evil characters that commit actions that would compel others to stop them. This specifically excludes Evil characters that seek party consensus, and acts more as a counter-balance to the Good guys. Example: 'OOC: I'll go kill that prisoner while they aren't looking' isn't acceptable. 'Yaknow, it's not like he's got any useful info. We're wasting time dragging him around, let's just execute him - that's always the punishment anyway - and have more time left over to catch more criminals'
RinaldoLuke 20th Apr 2013, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
Makes sense to me.

I had a long running character in 2nd ed AD&D who was a multi-classed Half-Elf Rogue/Wizard who was actually a burglar. Adventuring was his cover for why he had so many odd and specialized tools. But whenever we'd get back to town, I'd immediately go about planning a heist. I'd never tell the party what I was doing, and had a cover story that I was carousing and that I must've just gone to different bars than they did.

Once the group was even hired to try and track me down and catch me. Fortunately, the PCs that had figured it out in-game decided to keep their mouths shut and rely on my "divinations" which pointed to "a halfling who had skipped town and is currently riding east on horseback." (who of course, did not exist, and was explained as being so far away that we could not catch him)
Morathor 20th Apr 2013, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
The only time I've played a rogue, it became clear to me fairly quickly that the DM did not want a rogue in the party. (I'm not even sure why he accepted the character.) The game was pretty much pure combat; I think the only skill we ever needed was Search to loot the bodies. And the battles seemed designed to prevent sneak attacking--the enemies always had the initiative, and positioned themselves to impede flanking--so I wasn't even much use in combat.

I took to pocketing jewels out of boredom. That of course didn't go over well... my final act before leaving the game was to slip the jewels into the paladin's pouch.
Kaze Koichi 20th Apr 2013, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Did you have any controlers in the party? Like druid, mage or alchemist? Someone to break enemy formation and don't let them do as they please. Because there are so many times when the party do nothing to set up their rogue for flanking. That's, like, free gift to DM: to let him do with you poor bastards whatever he wants.

I'm just saying: if the party isn't trying to act as a team, it's hardly DM's fault. Even in pure combat the party better try to use a thief how he suppose to be used, but from your words it looks like each was acting on their own.
Froborr 20th Apr 2013, 10:12 PM edit delete reply
Weird. I've been playing for a good 15 years now, and I've NEVER had a problem with rogues or met anybody who did. Then again, I've never actually been in a game with a rogue that actually stole things for a living. They were always either "fast, agile fighters who can't take hits" rogues or "dungeon-delving trap-breaking Indiana Jones-type explorer" rogues.
guy 7th May 2014, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
In a nutshell. All classes can be awesome or awful, paladin or rogue. All depends on how they're played.
HamHamJ 20th Apr 2013, 10:16 PM edit delete reply
It think there is some confusion of terms going on here.

A rogue can be a hero just fine. See: Robin Hood. You just stick to stealing from the bad guys. It can be challenging to give a rogue something to do though, especially in some systems. Trap finding usually devolves into a fairly boring chore of "I take 20 on the door. Okay now I take 20 on the floor behind the door. Okay now I...". The social skills are a more general problem, in that they are not exclusive to rogues, and making a good social challenge is a lot harder than filling a bunch of rooms with monsters.

If it's more about how to fit non-good characters into a heroic group... yeah the DM has to make some effort to keep their self-interest aligned with that of the group. This really shouldn't be that hard though.
Malroth 20th Apr 2013, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
Yeah if there was a "god" wizard in the party all the enemies would have been blinded/dazed/stunned/entangled/prone and you would be hasted, blinking and invisible at all times. it makes a huge difference especially for rogues/rangers/scouts when the enemy is so horrbly debuffed that no action they're still capable of can stop the rogue from shishkabobing them.


Playing the god wizard. "If you do things right nobody can be sure you've done anything at all"
CJT 21st Apr 2013, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
The usual rogue-types in the campaigns I play in are the "wilderness scout" or "commando" or other debatably-good types.

We did, however, have one "actually stealing stuff" set of characters. This was a lot of fun.

The key to having this work is that the DM and players have to agree in advance that there will be one or more amoral-types on board, and work out ahead of time how party dynamics and world dynamics will function with that. Unless you're playing Paranoia (or going for similarly self-destructive ends), the party members have to have motivation for working together and some degree of trust of one and other. The "blood brothers" story above was a great example of how to do that. They also have to either be in an area where law enforcement is minimal, or choose their targets wisely.

For our amoral campaign, we just went with an entirely evil(-ish) party. We were ostensibly working as a commando team on Tatooine (d20 star wars campaign). In practice, we were stealing everything we could as targets of opportunity on those missions (and creatively justifying it to our superiors). When things went south, we stole the ship we'd been assigned and started working for the mob. But we always had motivation to work together: we'd been trained as a team by our erstwhile employer, and we could steal more than way (complementary skill sets).

Fun times.
FanOfMostEverything 21st Apr 2013, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
My group and I have an understanding: all adventurers are thieves. Given the opportunity and a flimsy justification ("It's okay, they're evil!) even the virtuous paladin will grab everything that isn't nailed down or on fire, then pull up the nails and break out the decanter of endless water.

As such, when the rogues want to slip out of the party for a little "rogue-ing," I don't begrudge them that. If I had combat encounters planned, then they aren't there for them (or their the only ones there for them, but I rarely do that.) If they were needed for the plot, the party has to go find them, provided the plot advancing NPC can even wait. (Of course, I'll throw them a different quest hook, maybe have that fellow come back more desperate or dead in the future.)

The goal is to emphasize two points:
1. Please don't split the party too often, guys.
2. There is a larger world beyond your merry band. It does not revolve around you, it will not wait for you, and it has other things to do today.
Frank 21st Apr 2013, 12:53 PM edit delete reply
I once played with a good example of a terrible rouge in 3.5. My character was an incredibly parinoid Warlock, due to backstory reasons of people trying to kill him. When the rouge first joined the party his first action was to try and steal from my character.

He probably could have stolen from him with ease, however the group had just been given a bag of devouring by a high level adventurer to complete a job for him. I was left in charge of the bag as the ony semblance of a magic user in the group. So I put the bag on my belt next to two other bags.

So when the rouge went to steal from me the DM asked which bag on that side did he want to steal from, the devouring bag being one of them. It was also the one he picked. Well the rouge stuffed his hand in the pouch and the bag bit down.

Needless to say my character flipped out and using one of his warlock powers shot up into the air. The rouge followed with him. This only caused my warlock to become more frightened, I then proceeded to knock the rouge out and then land.

The party managed to keep him from being eaten by lopping his arm off but for some reason the rouges player got upset and stormed off. After he came back he was incredibly rude even after the group had patched his character up as best we could. He then walked off in a huff and never came back.

Another great example is a game my friend was running. The group was level five and they had just cleared out a bunch of goblins from a "deserted" castle. Shortly afterwards however a much larger group of goblins showed up to reclaim it. The party ran outside and hid in the forest nearby. The magic users went to sleep to regain their spells so they could attack in the middle of the night when the enemy would be asleep.

The rouge in the party decided to sneak into the castle about two hours before the rest of the party would be ready. Things did not go well for him after he botched several checks in a row. He ended up nearly getting killed a few times and alerted all the enemies making the castle impossible to retake. He also led several enemies to the party and nearly got all of them killed as well.

The reason the group need the castle was that the group was escorting refugees across the mountains and this was the only good place to escape from an oncoming blizzard. Because they couldn't find a decent location almost half of them died from sickness or exposure.

The main reason I wanted to tell this story is that playing a rouge is fine but if all you want to do as a rouge is steal, either from the party or against their interests, then it will make the group dislike you. Then when things go against you don't expect a huge amount of support from them.
Scygnus 21st Apr 2013, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
I played a game of Kingmaker as a Ninja/Warlock (why we were mixing Pathfinder and 3.5 is a long story) with the intention of starting up his own clan and summoning a demon to make them Warlocks too. I sort of... failed to mention this to the party. They knew I was a ninja though, made no secret of the fact. Thus it confuses me why they were surprised when I followed a naysayer on the enemy payroll out of our capitol town and murdered him in his sleep.

In any case, Vau ran afoul of a wizard that liked to cast Fireball in enclosed spaces, then the game crashed due to idiocy before he could return from Hell (he was going to make a deal, DM was already on board with the idea.)

After his death, the party investigated his office (he was the Spymaster) and found a lot of very strange things on his desk. Isolated areas, spell research on hiding large compounds, a list of possible sources for cursed items...

Good 'outlaw' classes don't need to pickpocket everything (though playing a character with kleptomania could be fun too) or steal from the party. They just need an agenda of their own that may or may not run contrary to the party's.
LifeShouldBeAMusical 21st Apr 2013, 3:23 PM edit delete reply
I'm in a group now that's split fifty-fifty. Half of us are loot-thirsty characters willing to bring on the slaughterhouse over whatever probably-Evil, maybe-Neutral, possibly-Good NPC crosses our path (or looks like they're loaded with loot), particularly if they're human. The other half... well, Paladin, Good Druid... you get the idea. The DM, unfortunately, tends to side with the Paladin when it comes to letting us harm innocents - unless we're too quick about it. My character was about to dangle an eight year old out a window to try and get her schoolmaster to stop trying to kill us before the rest of the party stopped me. I'm still convinced it would have worked.
Astartus 22nd Apr 2013, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
Funnily enough, in my group, it's the other way around. We have a thief in there, and I have to constantly PUSH her to do "thievey" stuff because her deity gets kinda pissed if she doesn't follow his path. It's a bit of a weird balance act between "keep her out of trouble" and "don't make her god look like a disinterested prick who doesn't care for his priests"...
Ariasa 22nd Apr 2013, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
In one of the campaigns I am playing in I am playing as a Chaotic Evil Rogue. I enslaved a dwarf child because I was bored and decided a pack mule was needed. I stole tickets from orphans to get into a carnival. Learned that we already had enough tickets to get in. at the time I was derping a bit and gave the tickets away to are sorceress to give them back to the orphans. I should of either sold the tickets to her or go back and make the orphans my slaves. We would finally have bantha fooda. Though I now am working on corrupting a few of the other party members. I am just glad we had to remove are paladin because he never showed up.
Zuche 22nd Apr 2013, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
I'm kind of torn on this one. While I accept Mudpony's observation about it being a group game and the importance of playing with the group, that group flourishes best when it's aware of each individual's answers to the question, "What do you want out of this game?"

A group can't accomodate every wish, but it should still be mindful of them. If I inform a group I'm joining that I want my character to develop a reputation as a legendary highwayman, they'd better tell me up front that they'll obstruct my goal. Or. There. Will. Be. Words.

Kayeka observes that, "while the DM made some time for the rogue's solo adventure, the rest of the party was forced to leave the room and do absolutely [nothing] for a sizeable period of time," and I disagree. A good group is perfectly capable of continuing the game on its own for short periods while the GM is conferring with one player privately. A gathering like the one shown here? Piece of cake.
NeutralDemon 22nd Apr 2013, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
Rarity knows dragons eat gems and she'll have to give some to him or kiss him
Beard 22nd Apr 2013, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
Honestly man it depends on the group of players. Rogue activities in a non rogue-y party tend to have two red flags you have to worry about.

1: They are solitary. You can't bring the clanking knight errant on your casing a house for the thieves' guild, even if the guy wouldn't rat you out for stealing from the local bishop, you dirty blasphemer you.

The problem here is that the GM has to do a lot of work just to please one player, while (in the traditional gaming format) a bunch of other players sit to the side doing nothing. This seems to be what's developing here, though I cannot blame your GM for any mistakes during this particular session outside of "he should have had more parasprites around instead of letting Twilight rules lawyer the group out of another adventure." The ideal way to work around this is to either encourage the thief to get the rest of the party in on the heist or to do "thief stuff" on the side, but neither of those are always going to be possible in every game.

2: "Thief stuff" often involves lying to the other players. Some groups can handle behind the back antics okay, some can't, and a lot think they can until everybody's got an angle going all at once and suddenly the DM is desperately trying to run four or five separate sessions while everyone's getting hurt feelings over player x's scheme working while player y's got foiled and people tripping over each other and otherwise detracting from the goal of the game, which is to be a group oriented activity.

That happened to me recently as a player and a GM. As a player I was glad to see my fellow players decide straight up "lets just not keep secrets OOCly anymore its unfair to the GM and pissing everyone off when the ship blows up."

tldr; It depends on the group you have and what they want to do. A good GM indulges a player's wants, yes, but not at the cost of the other players which is what happens a /lot/ in these situations, either because the players are at each other's throats or the GM is so overworked that he or she can't focus on the main game.
Beard 22nd Apr 2013, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
Also I know its slightly bad form to reply to myself but I forgot something: I get that there needs to be a conflict and the DM getting accidentally outwitted by Twilight is funny I'm just talking from a "If I were critiquing the DM's style." perspective.
Zuche 22nd Apr 2013, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
The solitary aspect isn't so bad if the players are given some room to act without DM supervision. It can be as simple as, "How about you four put together a plan for this quest while you wait? Back in ten!" As long as brief solo audiences are available to everyone that wants them, a limit of two audiences a night (ideally as bookends for the session) and only one per player can work for some.