||Rogues in games are the surprising members of any adventuring party. You don't generally think of the rogue as the good guy, but instead the guy who came along for the money. For that reason I have generally avoided playing rogues, in the fear that I would find them boring, and slightly one-dimensional. Little Red Goblin Games saw this interesting class and how under-used it was - and released a module for it!
The Rogue's Gallery is all about the the rogue class in Pathfinder RPG and gives it a lot of love. With a massive pile of new feats, Equipment, skill uses, rogue talents and new prestige and alternate classes - you have loads to play with! It also helps with a good section showing that there is more to a rogue than the money-grabbing roleplaying angle.
I would start by saying the artwork through the book is great. The book is brilliantly laid out and shows a real touch of quality to it. It really has that great first impression when I read through the book and can really make you appreciate what you are reading so much more.
They start the book with a very, very important point. Good is not nice. It explains that the rogue can be a chaotic good character, doesn't mean he won't be arrogant, rude, independent rule-breaker! With the four general archetypes you can look at it will certainly help get the character-storming session going to help you make a rather interesting character! I think they could have gone into this more - the four archetypes only fill one page after all!
The next section moves onto Rogue talents. It also introduces trick talents. What makes them unique is that you can only use these once during a given combat. A trick generally only works once then the enemy is prepared for it! They are all interesting little things that can really help a rogue pull off an excellent combo or get them out of a terrible situation, but don't feel overpowered at all. I particularly like "Living on a Prayer" and would love to build a rogue that uses that alone! With sixteen rogue talents in there - you have a lot more choice as well to build upon.
Then we move into new skill uses. Finally, I can get a bit more swashbuckling with my rogue with being able to use "Use Rope" skill to swing from a rope! I can use that escape artist check to get my enemies to be flat-footed! Brilliant! That is something that put me off rogues quite a fair bit. Either you MUST attack before they do to catch them flat-footed or hope you can get a flank and they don't hit hard. But imagine if you can stand behind the paladin tank and create your enemy flat footed to then dash around next round and get your sneak attack in! Yeah! Suddenly rogues look really cool to me!
The feats I am still umming and erring over. I really like them, but they seem really powerful at higher levels. Then again that is when rogues can really suffer in power compared to other classes. With nine new feats to choose from though, plus another five teamwork feats as well, you can really get some great combinations kicking off and getting a real flavour for the kind of rogue you are building. Without really building a few more higher level rogue builds and actually playing a few of them as well, I can't really make up my mind about them. I owuld hate to include this other great supplement into our higher level game and suddenly feel the balance really topple.
An interesting concept brought up in the book is the idea of Morale damage - where your rogue can force a creature's will to fight to eventually snap which forces them to yield. Not only do I love the idea of creatures actually giving up rather than ALWAYS fighting to the death - but it makes it clear that the party's experience shouldn't be penalised for achieving this - moreover they should get the normal experience for doing so! Well done LRGG! Pathfinder than get really hack n slash when it wants to - so reminding players they don't have to kill every single thing they come across is brilliant.
The alternate class is another great idea - encouraging players not just to view their rogue as some kind of in for the money one-dimensional creature but instead beyond that and something more exciting. I won't go into too much detail about the prestige classes and alternate classes here - you should buy the book and have a read for yourself! Suffice to say, I think they are superb and are really winning me over to the rogue side.
Finally we have a huge host of equipment to go through. All of them still aimed of our little sneaky friend but some are certainly usable by other classes who have a certain affinity to sneakiness (ranger, I am looking at you). The magic items are brilliant ideas that aren't necessarily brilliant in improving your combat skills but they help you avoid a lot of the nastiness to start with - especially ghostlight powder.
Finally a wonderful section called "Circus of Krineska". This is a wonderful piece of Lore to include in any game setting as well as a brilliant plot hook for anyone who is planning to play a rogue (or a similar class) and wants a background filled with trouble! Further it has a brand new god to include in your games with a great introduction as to why she should be feared!
Overall this is a brilliant little supplement with plenty to keep you interested and amused. I am pretty sure now I am going to have to try playing a rogue using some of the items from this supplement and not only will I be able to show players that rogues are all just about the money and not about the characterisation but also have some excellent tricks up my sleeve and a whole world of trouble following at my feet!
[4 of 5 Stars!]