Dungeons & Dragons
Hit Die: d8
Primary Ability: Dexterity
Saving Throw Proficiencies: Dexterity & Intelligence
Skill Proficiencies: Choose four from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
Armor and Weapon Proficiencies: Light armor, simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
There are those whose abilities lie not with sword or the Art of magic, but with quiet motion, dexterous action, and stealth. Such talents often lead to illegal endeavors, which plague most major cities, but can be placed to good use in dealing with dangerous monsters and lost treasure.
Most large cities in the Realms have a number of thieves’ dens that compete with one another. A few places, such as Baldur’s Gate, have an organized group of rogues that controls all such activity. Most thieves’ dens are secret gathering spots, often beneath the city, and move after they’re discovered.
The city of Waterdeep had once been home to the most powerful guild of thieves in the North: the Shadow Thieves. The Lords of Waterdeep smashed that guild, forcing its leaders to flee the city (the group still operates out of Amn). There are still thieves and even assassins in Waterdeep, but they are broken into innumerable small groups or operate alone.
The most common respite for such robbers is what they call the Honest Trade—adventuring, where roguish abilities may be used without censure and are later lionized in song and legend. Many thieves take to this life, adhering to a code that keeps them out of trouble in civilized areas but still keeps them rich; they vow to burglarize ancient tombs and monstrous lairs instead of the homes and businesses of the wealthy in civilized lands.
Skill and Precision
Rogues devote as much effort to mastering the use of a variety of skills as they do to perfecting their combat abilities, giving them a broad expertise that few other characters can match. Many rogues focus on stealth and deception, while others refine the skills that help them in a dungeon environment, such as climbing, finding and disarming traps, and opening locks.
When it comes to combat, rogues prioritize cunning over brute strength. A rogue would rather make one precise strike, placing it exactly where the attack will hurt the target most, than wear an opponent down with a barrage of attacks. Rogues have an almost supernatural knack for avoiding danger, and a few learn magical tricks to supplement their other abilities.
A Shady Living
Every town and city has its share of rogues. Most of them live up to the worst stereotypes of the class, making a living as burglars, assassins, cutpurses, and con artists. Often, these scoundrels are organized into thieves’ guilds or crime families. Plenty of rogues operate independently, but even they sometimes recruit apprentices to help them in their scams
and heists. A few rogues make an honest living as locksmiths, investigators, or exterminators, which can be a dangerous job in a world where dire rats—and were rats—haunt the sewers.
As adventurers, rogues fall on both sides of the law. Some are hardened criminals who decide to seek their fortune in treasure hoards, while others take up a life of adventure to escape from the law. Some have learned and perfected their skills with the explicit purpose of infiltrating ancient ruins and hidden crypts in search of treasure.
Creating a Rogue
As you create your rogue character, consider the character’s relationship to the law. Do you have a criminal past—or present? Are you on the run from the law or from an angry thieves’ guild master? Or did you leave your guild in search of bigger risks and bigger rewards? Is it greed that drives you in your adventures. or some other desire or ideal?
What was the trigger that led you away from your previous life? Did a great con or heist gone terribly wrong cause you to reevaluate your career? Maybe you were lucky and a successful robbery gave you the coin you needed to escape the squalor of your life.
Did wanderlust finally call you away from your home? Perhaps you suddenly found yourself cut off from your family or your mentor, and you had to find a new means of support. Or maybe you made a new friend—another member of your adventuring party—who showed you new possibilities for earning a living and employing your particular talents.
At 1st leveI, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with thieves’ tooIs. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.
Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon, such as a rapier or a shortbow.
You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll. The amount of the extra damage increases as you gain leveis in this class, as shown in the Sneak Attack column of the Rogue table.
During your rogue training you learned thieves’ cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves’ cant understands such messages. lt takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly.
In addition, you understand a set of secret signs and symbols used to convey short, simple messages, such as whether an area is dangerous or the territory of a thieves’ guild, whether loot is nearby, or whether the people in an area are easy marks or will provide a safe house for thieves on the run.