Here’s the Heroic Scoundrel class:
Download: Essentials Scoundrel (Rogue) v.1

I would have previewed this class but the turnaround was too fast. I had been playing around with a “Trickster” Rogue class that was Intelligence-based instead of a more typical Dexterity/Charisma Rogue, but it clashed with the core Rogue aesthetic.

So I switched it the Trickster back to Dexterity/Charisma and everything else fell into place almost immediately. Go figure.

The biggest changes are admittedly to the Sneak Attack class feature — here presented as a No action, once-per-turn power. I think this should help clear up problems with interpreting and using Sneak Attack. Some things just need to be spelled out in the power format.

Sneak Attack [Martial]
No action * At-will * Special
Requirement: You must have combat advantage with the triggering attack.
Trigger: You hit an enemy within 5 squares with a weapon attack.
Effect: The triggering attack deals 2d6 extra damage.
Level 11: 3d6 extra damage.
Level 21: 5d6 extra damage.
Special: You can use this power only once per turn.

This works *almost* the same as the original feature. As presented in the Player’s Handbook, Sneak Attack had a per-round limitation — as I understand it, this was changed to a per-turn limitation in the Class Compendium, or maybe even earlier.

A number of features and powers that had their restrictions lifted — Bait and Switch, the class’s “schtick,” can be used in melee or at range, but is best used against an adjacent target. The best way to use the power is with a ranged weapon against an adjacent target, provoking an opportunity attack in the process.

See, the Scoundrel teases the line — great defense bonus against Opportunity Attacks which turns into a fantastic means of gaining combat advantage later — and better in my opinion, than the movement powers of the Essentials Thief.

All of the Scoundrel’s utility powers are immediate reactions, the better to respond to an evolving battlefield. King’s Castle was reworked to make it work a little bit more like actual “castling” in Chess. I hope someone appreciates that little design humor.

Overall, I’m proud with how this class turned out. It says “Rogue” to me a lot more than all the random bits that other iterations have squeezed out — this class is versatile, cunning, and dangerous. Hybrid controllers are lots of fun to make and play.

Enjoy the Scoundrel, and as always — play at your own risk.