Signaling for her companions to wait, a halfling creeps forward through the dungeon hall.
She presses an ear to the door, then pulls out a set of tools and picks the lock in the blink of an eye.
Then she disappears into the shadows as her fighter friend moves forward to kick the door open.
A human lurks in the shadows of an alley while his accomplice prepares for her part in the ambush.
When their target—a notorious slaver—passes the alleyway, the accomplice cries out, the slaver comes to investigate, and the assassin’s blade cuts his throat before he can make a sound.
Suppressing a giggle, a gnome waggles her fingers and magically lifts the key ring from the guard’s belt.
In a moment, the keys are in her hand, the cell door is open, and she and her companions are free to make their escape.
Rogues rely on skill, stealth, and their foes’ vulnerabilities to get the upper hand in any situation.
They have a knack for finding the solution to just about any problem, demonstrating a resourcefulness and versatility that is the cornerstone of any successful adventuring party.
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, I 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 wererats—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.
You can make a rogue quickly by following these suggestions. First. Dexterity should be your highest ability score.
Make Intelligence your next-highest if you want to excel at Investigation or plan to take up the Arcane Trickster archetype.
Choose Charisma instead if you plan to emphasize deception and social interaction. Second, choose the charlatan background.
As a rogue, you have the following class features.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per rogue level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per rogue level after 1st
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Tools: Thieves’ tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity. Intelligence
Skills: Choose four from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception. Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Perform ance. Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a rapier or (b) a shortsword
- (a) a shortbow and quiver of 20 arrows or (b) a shortsword
- (a) a burglar’s pack, (b) a dungeoneer’s pack, or (c) an explorer’s pack
- Leather armor, two daggers, and thieves’ tools
At 1st level, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with
Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen
At 6th level, you can choose two more of your proficiencies (in skills or with thieves’ tools) to gain this benefit.
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.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 levels 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 seem ingly normal conversation.
Only another creature that knows thieves’ cant understands such messages. It 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.
Starting at 2nd level, your quick thinking and agility allow you to move and act quickly. You can take a bonus action on each of your turns in combat. This action can be used only to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you emulate in the exercise of your rogue abilities: Thief, Assassin, or Arcane Trickster, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your archetype choice grants you features at 3rd level and then again at 9th, 13th, and 17th level.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 10th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Starting at 5th level, when an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to halve the attack’s damage against you.
Beginning at 7th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or an ice storm spell.
When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
By 11th level, you have refined your chosen skills until they approach perfection. Whenever you make an ability check that lets you add your proficiency bonus, you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.
Starting at 14th level, if you are able to hear, you are aware of the location of any hidden or invisible creature within 10 feet of you.
By 15th level, you have acquired greater mental strength. You gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws.
Beginning at 18th level, you are so evasive that attackers rarely gain the upper hand against you. No attack roll has advantage against you while you aren’t incapacitated.
Stroke of Luck
At 20th level, you have an uncanny knack for succeeding when you need to. If your attack misses a target within range, you can turn the miss into a hit.
Alternatively, if you fail an ability check, you can treat the d20 roll as a 20. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Rogues have many features in common, including their emphasis on perfecting their skills, their precise and deadly approach to combat, and their increasingly quick reflexes.
But different rogues steer those talents in varying directions, embodied by the rogue archetypes.
Your choice of archetype is a reflection of your focus—not necessarily an indication of your chosen profession, but a description of your preferred techniques.
You hone your skills in the larcenous arts. Burglars, bandits, cutpurses, and other criminals typically follow this archetype, but so do rogues who prefer to think of themselves as professional treasure seekers, explorers, delvers, and investigators.
In addition to improving your agility and stealth, you learn skills useful for delving into ancient ruins, reading unfamiliar languages, and using magic items you normally couldn’t employ.
Starting at 3rd level, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check, use your thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or take the Use an Object action.
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to climb faster than normal; climbing no longer costs you extra movement.
In addition, when you make a running jump, the distance you cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Dexterity modifier.
Starting at 9th level, you have advantage on a Dexterity (Stealth) check if you move no more than half your speed on the same turn.
Use Magic Device
By 13th level, you have learned enough about the workings of magic that you can improvise the use of items even when they are not intended for you. You ignore all class, race, and level requirements on the use of magic items.
When you reach 17th level, you have become adept at laying am bushes and quickly escaping danger.
You can take two turns during the first round of any combat.
You take your first turn at your norm al initiative and your second turn at your initiative minus 10. You can’t use this feature when you are surprised.
You focus your training on the grim art of death. Those who adhere to this archetype are diverse: hired killers, spies, bounty hunters, and even specially anointed priests trained to exterminate the enemies of their deity. Stealth, poison, and disguise help you eliminate your foes with deadly efficiency.
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the disguise kit and the poisoner’s kit.
Starting at 3rd level, you are at your deadliest when you get the drop on your enemies.
You have advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn in the com bat yet.
In addition, any hit you score against a creature that is surprised is a critical hit.
Starting at 9th level, you can unfailingly create false identities for yourself. You must spend seven days and 25 gp to establish the history, profession, and affiliations for an identity. You can’t establish an identity that belongs to someone else.
For example, you might acquire appropriate clothing, letters of introduction, and official-looking certification to establish yourself as a member of a trading house from a remote city so you can insinuate yourself into the company of other wealthy merchants.
Thereafter, if you adopt the new identity as a disguise, other creatures believe you to be that person until given an obvious reason not to.
At 13th level, you gain the ability to unerringly mimic another person’s speech, writing, and behavior.
You must spend at least three hours studying these three components of the person’s behavior, listening to speech, examining handwriting, and observing mannerisms.
Your ruse is indiscernible to the casual observer. If a wary creature suspects something is amiss, you have advantage on any Charisma (D eception) check you make to avoid detection.
Starting at 17th level, you become a master of instant death. When you attack and hit a creature that is surprised, it must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency bonus). On a failed save, double the damage of your
attack against the creature.
Some rogues enhance their fine-honed skills of stealth and agility with magic, learning tricks of enchantment and illusion. These rogues include pickpockets and burglars, but also pranksters, mischief-makers, and a significant number of adventurers.
When you reach 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the wizard spell list.
Cantrips. You learn three cantrips: mage hand and two other cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn another wizard cantrip of your choice at 10th level.
Spell Slots. The Arcane Trickster Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher.
To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
For example, if you know the 1st-level spell charm person and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast charm person using either slot.
Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You know three 1st-level wizard spells of your choice, two of which you must choose from the enchantment and illusion spells on the wizard spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Arcane Trickster Spellcasting table shows when you learn m ore wizard spells of 1st level or higher.
Each of these spells must be an enchantment or illusion spell of your choice, and must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
The spells you learn at 8th, 14th, and 20th level can come from any school of magic.
Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the wizard spells you know with another spell of your choice from the wizard spell list.
The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots, and it must be an enchantment or illusion spell, unless you’re replacing the spell you gained at 8th, 14th, or 20th level.
Spellcasting Ability. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your wizard spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization.
You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability.
In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a wizard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Mage Hand Legerdemain
Starting at 3rd level, when you cast mage hand, you can make the spectral hand invisible, and you can perform the following additional tasks with it:
You can perform one of these tasks without being noticed by a creature if you succeed on a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check contested by the creature’s Wisdom (Perception) check.
In addition, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to control the hand.
Starting at 9th level, if you are hidden from a creature when you cast a spell on it, the creature has disadvantage on any saving throw it makes against the spell this turn.
At 13th level, you gain the ability to distract targets with your mage hand.
As a bonus action on your turn, you can designate a creature within 5 feet of the spectral hand created by the spell.
Doing so gives you advantage on attack rolls against that creature until the end of the turn.
At 17th level, you gain the ability to magically steal the knowledge of how to cast a spell from another spellcaster.
Immediately after a creature casts a spell that targets you or includes you in its area of effect, you can use your reaction to force the creature to make a saving throw with its spellcasting ability modifier.
The DC equals your spell save DC. On a failed save, you negate the spell’s effect against you, and you steal the knowledge of the spell if it is at least 1st level and of a level you can cast (it doesn’t need to be a wizard spell).
For the next 8 hours, you know the spell and can cast it using your spell slots. The creature can’t cast that spell until the 8 hours have passed.Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.