Important note: No longer keeping this particular thread updated, as it has been uploaded to the Compendium. Future updates will appear there. Please refer to the Compendium entry.
Guide: Key Rogue Skills
Welcome to the Continuing Rogue Skill Guide. Impaqt and cforce asked me, Eberron's resident Dancing Rogue, to pick up the guide going into Mod 9. I hope I can do half as good a job as they did when they were maintaining it!
Just as before, if you have confirmed information, or just a question, feel free to post it here or send me a PM. The format for confirmed information needs to be lifted from your combat log, and include:
This sidesteps such issues as forgetting to put on gear, having a buff wear out at the last second, etc.
The easiest way I've found to gather this data, given that things tend to get a little busy mid-quest, and we don't all sit with pen and paper next to our computers, is just make sure the roll is showing, and take a screenshot. You can always come back after the quest, look at the screenie, then send the info.
Impaqt's edition can be found here.
The Original Guide can be found here
If your having trouble hitting the marks you want, then check this thread for a list of how to optomize all your Rogue Skills!
This guide is a consolidation of answers to some frequently asked questions about the 'big 4' rogue skills (Disable/Open/Search/Spot), including:
- How can I boost my skills?
- How high do Trap/Secret Door/Lock DC's go?
...and other assorted questions that frequently come up in the rogue forum.
What I *won't* try to do here is exhaustively document the DC of every trap, door, and lock at different difficulty levels; that's simply too hard to keep up-to-date when those values occasionally change!
I try to keep most of what is presented here as 'just the facts', but will include a few editorial comments, which I will call out to distinguish from the factual data. Editorial comments will be in italics.
I won't get into build recommendations too much here, but I will give this one -- if you're a pure rogue, keep max ranks in Disable Device, Open Locks, Search, and Spot (level+3 ranks). If you're a multiclass, you may be doing some optimization and let a few skills lag behind, but I'd recommend trying to keep close to maxed as a multi-class, too. When people let one of these four skills fall behind, it is typically Spot that is the first to go -- with repeated runs through quests, rote memorization of trap locations can sometimes (but not always!) be substituted for a high Spot score.
SableShadow's Note: I'm a big believer in keeping Spot ranks maxed.
Impaqt's Note: While Spot is a Reasonable skill to let slide a bit, I prefer Open Lock. The Open Lock marks in the game can easily be acheived without max ranks. Especially on a high dex build.
Current max ranks for lvl 16 character: 19.
Note: Only the highest item bonus of a particular type will apply amongst items you have equipped.
Randomly generated items give +1/3/5/7/10/11/13/15 to any skill. Some named items also give a small "Luck" bonus, which will stack with an item bonus.
See this thread for a detailed inventory of known static/unique items in the game, and where they can be found.
Some Highlights from that thread for rogues would be:
Stone of Good Luck: +1 Luck Bonus to all Skills
Voice of the Master: +1 Luck Bonus to all Skills
Head of Good Fortune: +2 Luck Bonus to all Skills
Ventilated Bracers: +3 to Disable Device (Stacks with other items)
It's reasonable to assume that you can find/buy a +15 item for nearly any skill on your way to level 16, with sufficient time spent browsing the auction house. So, for those following along at home, we've got a base of 34 points -- 19 ranks + 15 item bonus -- that will be relatively achievable by nearly any rogue build.
Always use the best tools you can...assuming you're in quests of your level or higher. +5 Tools drop at the cap so often that people typically don't even bother putting them on the auction house; there's just no real market for them. Keep a couple stacks of the highest level tools you have on your character, slap one more in the bank "just in case", and you're very unlikely to ever run out.
As an alternative, work your Free Agent Favor; that gives you access to tools up to +4 that you might not otherwise get as drops in your level range.
Rusty Thieves' Tools: no bonus
Thieves' Tools: +1 Open and Disable**
Masterwork Thieves' Tools: +2 Open and Disable**
+1 Thieves' Tools: +3 Open and Disable***
+2 Thieves' Tools: +4 Open and Disable***
+3 Thieves' Tools: +5 Open and Disable****
+4 Thieves' Tools: +6 Open and Disable****
+5 Thieves' Tools: +7 Open and Disable
** - purchasable from a vendor
*** - purchasable from Free Agents rep at first rank
**** - purchasable from Free Agents rep at second rank
Add in an unlimited supply of Heroism potions (easy enough to afford by level 16), and you're working with a base of 43/36 before making build decisions.
Here's where things start getting interesting, with different builds going in different directions. Simply having max ranks, upgrading your equipment when you can, and getting Free Agent Favor/Heroism potions will enable you to be sucessful with 90% of the game's content on Normal. To expect to have success on Elite, some additional investment will need to be made in the form of feats, enhancements, good ability scores, and buffs from other players.
All feats stack.
Nimble Fingers - +2 Open, +2 Disable
Alertness - +2 Spot (and Listen)
Skill Focus: "*" - +3 to * (Disable/Open/Search/Spot)
Lesser Mark of Warding: Race Required-Dwarf. +2 Search + Opens up Dwarven Search Enhancments
Skill Mastery (Rogue Feat): +1 to all skill ranks
Class Enhancements stack with Race enhancements, but not with other Class enhancements. In fact, you generally can't take similar enhancements from two different classes - for example, the Rogue Skill Seach enhancement, when taken, will prevent you from selecting the Ranger Skill Search enhancement.
Rogue/Skill [Disable/Open/Search/Spot] I/II/III/IV - +1/2/3/4 to Disable, Open, Search, or Spot
Rogue/Skill Boost I/II/III/IV - +2/3/4/5 to all skills (but unlikely to be used for Spot), 20 seconds, 5/rest(Does Not stack with Human Versatility)
Rogue/Way of the Mechanic - +2 to Disable/Open/Search/Spot (and Repair)
Ranger/Skill [Search/Spot] I/II/III/IV - +1/2/3/4 to Spot or Search
Ranger/Skill Boost I/II/III/IV - +2/3/4/5 to all skills (but unlikely to be used for Spot), 20 seconds, 5/rest
Drow/Skill [Search/Spot] I/II/III/IV - +1/2/3/4 to Search and/or Spot
Dwarf/Skill Search I/II/III/IV - +1/2/3/4 to Search
Elf/Skill [Search/Spot] I/II/III/IV - +1/2/3/4 to Search and/or Spot
Human/Human Versatility I/II/III/IV - +2/3/4/5 to all skills (but unlikely to be used for Spot), 20 seconds, 5/rest(DOes not stack with Rogue Skill Boost)
Int modifier: +modifier to Disable, Search
Dex modifier: +modifier to Open
Wis modifier: +modifier to Spot
Innate Racial Bonuses
Drow: +2 Search and Spot
Elf: +2 Search and Spot
Dwarf: +2 Search
(In most cases these will come from outside sources.)
Bard/Inspire Competence: +2 all skills (never self-applicable)
Morale bonuses (do not stack with each other):
Heroism/Good Hope: +2 all skills (note that Heroism is 'assumed' above form a potion as a starting base)
Greater Heroism: +4 all skills
Cleric/ Prayer Spell. Does Not Stack w/ Other Luck bonus' Also Available Via Scroll.
High Water Marks
How high do DC's go? This frequently changes, and all the numbers here should be taken as "what the community currently thinks they are", and not absolute gospel. While I keep track of new observations that folks post on the forums (as well as my own experiences), there's no guarantee that some of these haven't been changed, nor that people haven't occasionally made mistakes while gathering data. But, to my knowledge, it represents the best data the community has on the different values.
Editorial: This trap guards a single chest, and has DCs on Elite that are silly-high enough that your party won't expect you to be able to disarm it -- all they lose is a chest, and the DCs are simply too high for all but the most trap-optimized builds to achieve.
Disable Device:75-76 DC.
Search: <= 52 DC Has been found after recent update with as low as a 52 Search.
Disable Device: somewhere greater than a 57 modifier for 0% chance of blowing traps. Foundation of Discord trap with DC at least 62, possibly higher.*** Confirmed FAILURE on Rainbow in the Dard ELite Lightning Traps by the Optional Chest on a Roll of 65 (64+1)***
Open Locks: +39-48 modifier. Locked door in Fleshmaker's Lab, has been failed on a total 58, and succeeded on a total 68.
Search<44? (traps)/ 45-48 (secret doors) VoN 4 secret door has been reported as 45-48 DC on Elite. Second highest trap (after Cabal) in Gianthold has not been discussed veyr much, but SableShadow has been steadily pushing the envelope and hasn't run into trouble with a Search of 44.
Spot: >>39 39 Was not enough to spot traps in Rainbow in the Dark on Hard.
* - I use 'modifier' rather than 'skill' on Open and Disable because the Tools contribution will not be reflected on your character sheet when you look at your skill tab, but will only be added into the modifier at the time of the die roll. Note that also due to the die rolls, I've cited modifiers below the DC's -- in the case of open locks, you can reroll until you get a 20. In the case of disable device, you can reroll until you get (DC - 5) or lower, at which point the trap blows, so a modifier 5 under the DC will always get you the trap eventually. Slightly off-topic, but important to know: you will use whichever tools are "first" - ie, top left corner, first inventory tab is your 'first inventory slot'.
Must you meet all of these DC's with your build? No. These numbers are listed more as a reference to know when to quit raising a score!
Can you decide to try and build with getting 100% success on all these DCs? It's certainly possible with some builds, but requires a heavy feat and enhancement commitment. Like every build decision, it's a trade-off. What I'd suggest is to look for which ways you can most efficiently raise your scores with enhancements. The most action-point-efficient ways are with Rogue Skills Boost and Way of the Mechanic. (Although Way of the Mechanic comes with a fair amount of prereqs -- you may be taking most of them already!) Early levels of skill-specific enhancements are cheap, but by the time you get to level IV, getting another +1 to all 4 scores requires 16 AP, a *huge* cost! As with any build, decide what your goals are, and what tradeoffs you want to make to achieve those goals.
A common refrain on the Rogue forums is, "you should build your rogue with at least 14 INT," but I disagree with conventional wisdom on this point. I'd certainly recommend building your rogue to have good skills relative to the "Everything Else" DCs listed above. Higher INT is *one* way to do that, but not the only way! For example, I can imagine a hypothetical Dwarven Rogue who start with (gasp) INT 8! He takes 17 ranks of the 'big 4', Skill Focus: Search, Skill Focus: Disable, Nimble Fingers, Rogue Skill Search IV, Rogue Skill Disable IV, Rogue Skill Boost IV, Way of the Mechanic, and Dwarven Skill Search IV. For search, starting with the 30 'assumed' from above, he's got an additional +17 (counting the boost, and the -1 INT penalty) for 47 total. For disable, he's got the 38 'assumed' from above, and an additional +15 (again, counting the boost and the -1 INT penalty), for +53 total. Only a Greater Heroism and Rabbit Gloves away from safely handling all content except the Cabal Trap, with an INT of 8? Now, would I want to play a build like this? Nope. Point is, don't simply start with a high INT because folks say you should; start with the combination of INT, feats, and enhancements you need to be comfortable with your skills.