DND Rogue (Sneaky Good Guide for Players & DMs)

This guide is your one-stop resource for all things DND Rogue.

Let’s sneak into the shadowy underworld of rogues and uncover the secrets that make them the masters of deception, agility, and precision.

What Is a DND Rogue?

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DND Rogue sneaking through an enemy castle at night, intense close-up
I made this image with AI – DND Rogue

A DND Rogue is a versatile and cunning character class in Dungeons & Dragons.

Rogues excel in stealth, dexterity, and a variety of specialized skills.

They are the masters of surprise, striking from the shadows with devastating sneak attacks. Rogues are often seen as the eyes and ears of the party, gathering crucial information and performing critical tasks that require a delicate touch.

Rogues thrive in situations where subtlety and precision are key.

They can disarm traps, pick locks, and blend into the shadows effortlessly.

Their unique abilities make them indispensable in a well-rounded adventuring party. Whether you’re sneaking into a heavily guarded fortress or gathering intelligence on a dangerous foe, the rogue is your go-to class.

DND Rogue Chart

Here’s a comprehensive chart that outlines the progression of a rogue from levels 1 to 20, including proficiency bonuses, sneak attack damage, and key features.

LevelProficiency BonusSneak AttackFeatures
1+21d6Expertise, Sneak Attack, Thieves’ Cant
2+21d6Cunning Action
3+22d6Roguish Archetype
4+22d6Ability Score Improvement
5+33d6Uncanny Dodge
6+33d6Expertise
7+34d6Evasion
8+34d6Ability Score Improvement
9+45d6Roguish Archetype Feature
10+45d6Ability Score Improvement
11+46d6Reliable Talent
12+46d6Ability Score Improvement
13+57d6Roguish Archetype Feature
14+57d6Blindsense
15+58d6Slippery Mind
16+58d6Ability Score Improvement
17+69d6Roguish Archetype Feature
18+69d6Elusive
19+610d6Ability Score Improvement
20+610d6Stroke of Luck

DND Rogue Features Explained

Let’s explore each one of the rogue’s main features.

Expertise

At 1st level, rogues gain Expertise, allowing them to double their proficiency bonus for any two skill checks. This makes them exceptionally skilled in tasks like stealth, acrobatics, or thieves’ tools. At 6th level, they can choose two more skills to gain Expertise in, enhancing their versatility.

Sneak Attack

Sneak Attack is the rogue’s signature move.

Starting at 1st level, rogues deal extra damage when they hit a target that they have advantage against or if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet. This extra damage increases as the rogue levels up, making them deadly in combat.

Thieves’ Cant

Thieves’ Cant is a secret language known only to rogues and other criminal elements.

It allows them to convey hidden messages and understand the secret jargon of the underworld. This feature is perfect for gathering information and communicating discreetly.

Cunning Action

At 2nd level, rogues gain Cunning Action, allowing them to take a bonus action to Dash, Disengage, or Hide. This increases their mobility and ability to avoid danger, making them slippery opponents in combat.

Uncanny Dodge

At 5th level, rogues can use their reaction to halve the damage from an attack they can see. This defensive ability makes them more durable, allowing them to survive longer in battle.

Evasion

At 7th level, rogues gain Evasion. When subjected to an effect that requires a Dexterity saving throw, they take no damage on a successful save and only half damage on a failed save. This makes them incredibly resilient against area-of-effect attacks.

Reliable Talent

Starting at 11th level, rogues are so skilled that they can treat any roll of 9 or lower on a skill check as a 10. This ensures they always perform reliably in their areas of expertise.

Blindsense

At 14th level, rogues gain Blindsense, allowing them to detect hidden or invisible creatures within 10 feet. This makes it nearly impossible for enemies to sneak up on them.

Slippery Mind

At 15th level, rogues develop Slippery Mind, giving them proficiency in Wisdom saving throws. This boosts their mental resilience against mind-controlling effects.

Elusive

Starting at 18th level, rogues are so evasive that no attack roll has advantage against them unless they are incapacitated. This makes them nearly untouchable in combat.

Stroke of Luck

At 20th level, rogues gain Stroke of Luck. Once per short or long rest, they can turn a missed attack roll into a hit or a failed ability check into a 20. This ultimate ability ensures they can always succeed when it matters most.

DND Rogue Classes & Archetypes

There are many different kinds of DND Rogues you can play in DND.

Thief

The Thief archetype focuses on agility and sleight of hand.

Thieves excel at tasks like climbing, jumping, and stealing. They gain abilities like Fast Hands, allowing them to use their Cunning Action for sleight of hand checks, and Second-Story Work, improving their climbing abilities.

Assassin

Assassins are masters of infiltration and execution.

They gain proficiency with disguise and poison kits. Their Assassinate ability grants them advantage on attack rolls against creatures that haven’t taken a turn in combat, and any hit they score against a surprised creature is a critical hit.

Arcane Trickster

Arcane Tricksters blend magic and thievery.

They gain spellcasting abilities, focusing on enchantment and illusion spells. With Mage Hand Legerdemain, they can use their Mage Hand for more intricate tasks, like picking locks or stealing items.

Mastermind

Masterminds are strategists and manipulators. They gain proficiency with the disguise kit and forgery kit, and can use the Help action as a bonus action. Their Master of Tactics ability allows them to grant allies advantage on attack rolls.

Swashbuckler

Swashbucklers are smooth-talking duelists who shine in one-on-one battles.

They gain the Fancy Footwork ability, allowing them to avoid opportunity attacks from creatures they attack. Their Rakish Audacity adds their Charisma modifier to their initiative rolls.

Scout

Scouts are wilderness experts and skirmishers.

They gain proficiency in Nature and Survival, and their Skirmisher ability allows them to move up to half their speed as a reaction when an enemy ends its turn within 5 feet of them. Survivalist grants them expertise in Nature and Survival.

Soulknife

Soulknives are rogues who harness the power of psionics.

They manifest psychic blades that can be used in melee and thrown attacks. Their abilities include Psi-Bolstered Knack, which allows them to enhance their skills with psionic energy, and Psychic Veil, which lets them become invisible.

Phantom

Phantoms are rogues with a connection to the spiritual realm.

They can harness the power of souls to gain special abilities. Their features include Whispers of the Dead, which allows them to gain proficiency in a skill or tool temporarily, and Wails from the Grave, which deals extra necrotic damage to a second creature when they hit with a Sneak Attack.

Homebrewed Rogue Subclasses

If you’re looking to spice up your campaign, consider introducing some homebrewed rogue subclasses.

Here are a couple of ideas:

Shadow Dancer

A rogue who can manipulate shadows to create illusions and teleport short distances.

  • Shadow Step: Allows the rogue to teleport between shadows.
  • Illusory Double: Creates a shadow duplicate to confuse enemies.

Gadgeteer

A rogue who uses mechanical devices and alchemical gadgets.

  • Mechanical Spider: A small device that can scout and deliver poisons.
  • Flash Bomb: Temporarily blinds and disorients enemies.

Rogue Pros and Cons

Rogues are versatile and skilled, but they have their strengths and weaknesses.

Pros:

  • High damage output with Sneak Attack
  • Excellent skills and versatility with Expertise
  • Great mobility with Cunning Action
  • Strong defense with Uncanny Dodge and Evasion

Cons:

  • Low hit points compared to other classes
  • Reliance on Dexterity for attacks and defense
  • Can struggle against heavily armored foes
  • Limited spellcasting abilities (except Arcane Trickster)

Rogue Backstories

Creating a compelling backstory for your rogue can add depth to your character and enhance your roleplaying experience.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. The Orphan Thief – Raised on the streets, you learned to steal to survive. Now, you’re looking for something more in life.
  2. The Exiled Noble – Once a member of the nobility, you were framed for a crime you didn’t commit. Now, you seek revenge.
  3. The Reformed Criminal – After years of crime, you’ve turned over a new leaf. You’re now using your skills for good.
  4. The Spy – Trained by a secret organization, you’re on a mission to uncover a dark conspiracy.
  5. The Treasure Hunter – Driven by a thirst for adventure, you’re always on the hunt for the next big score.

Rogue Names (20 Creative Ideas)

Choosing the right name for your rogue can set the tone for your character.

Here are 20 ideas to inspire you:

  1. Shadow
  2. Raven
  3. Viper
  4. Thorne
  5. Blade
  6. Whisper
  7. Ember
  8. Zephyr
  9. Nyx
  10. Kestrel
  11. Seraph
  12. Vesper
  13. Jinx
  14. Ash
  15. Draven
  16. Sable
  17. Talon
  18. Wraith
  19. Luna
  20. Onyx

The Best Rogue Builds

Building an effective rogue involves optimizing your abilities and choosing the right equipment.

Here are some top builds:

The Assassin

  • Focus: Dexterity and Constitution
  • Feats: Alert (to ensure you always go first in combat)
  • Weapons: Rapier for high damage
  • Skills: Stealth, Disguise Kit
  • Tactics: Surprise and critical hits, aim to eliminate high-priority targets quickly.

The Arcane Trickster

  • Focus: Dexterity and Intelligence
  • Feats: Magic Initiate (to gain additional spells)
  • Weapons: Shortbow for ranged attacks
  • Skills: Stealth, Arcana, Sleight of Hand
  • Tactics: Use enchantment and illusion spells to control the battlefield, stay at range.

The Swashbuckler

  • Focus: Dexterity and Charisma
  • Feats: Duelist fighting style for increased damage
  • Weapons: Rapier and a Dagger
  • Skills: Acrobatics, Persuasion
  • Tactics: Engage in one-on-one combat, use Fancy Footwork to avoid opportunity attacks.

The Soulknife

  • Focus: Dexterity and Intelligence
  • Feats: Telekinetic (to enhance psionic abilities)
  • Weapons: Psychic Blades
  • Skills: Stealth, Insight
  • Tactics: Use psionic energy to enhance skills and attacks, remain versatile in both melee and ranged combat.

The Phantom

  • Focus: Dexterity and Wisdom
  • Feats: Observant (to boost perception)
  • Weapons: Shortbow, Dagger
  • Skills: Stealth, Religion
  • Tactics: Utilize Whispers of the Dead to gain necessary skills, focus on dealing necrotic damage to multiple enemies.

What Equipment Do Rogues Start a DND Campaign With?

The Player’s Handbook provides a standard set of equipment for rogues, ensuring they are ready for both combat and stealth.

Here’s a detailed look at what equipment rogues typically start with in a DND campaign.

Weapon Choices

Rogues begin with a choice of weapons tailored to their stealthy and agile nature:

  • Rapier or Shortsword: Rapiers deal 1d8 piercing damage and have the finesse property, making them ideal for rogues who rely on Dexterity. Shortswords deal 1d6 piercing damage and are both finesse and light weapons, allowing for dual-wielding.
  • Shortbow and Quiver of 20 Arrows: The shortbow deals 1d6 piercing damage with a range of 80/320 feet. This gives the rogue a reliable ranged option for attacking from a distance while staying hidden.

Armor

DND Rogues start with light armor, balancing protection and stealth:

  • Leather Armor: Provides an AC of 11 + Dexterity modifier. It’s lightweight and doesn’t hinder the rogue’s mobility or stealth capabilities.

Tools and Packs

Rogues are equipped with tools and packs that enhance their utility.

The following are taken from the DND Player’s Handbook.

  • Burglar’s Pack or Dungeoneer’s Pack or Explorer’s Pack:
    • Burglar’s Pack: Contains items such as a “backpack, a bag of 1,000 ball bearings, 10 feet of string, a bell, 5 candles, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, a hooded lantern, 2 flasks of oil, 5 days rations, a tinderbox, and a waterskin.” (Source: DND Player’s Handbook)
    • Dungeoneer’s Pack: Includes a “backpack, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, 10 torches, a tinderbox, 10 days of rations, and a waterskin, along with 50 feet of hempen rope.” (Source: DND Player’s Handbook)
    • Explorer’s Pack: Comes with a “backpack, a bedroll, a mess kit, a tinderbox, 10 torches, 10 days of rations, and a waterskin, plus 50 feet of hempen rope.”(Source: DND Player’s Handbook)

Tools of the Trade

DND Rogues begin with essential tools that allow them to perform their signature skills:

  • Thieves’ Tools: These are crucial for any rogue, containing tools like lock picks, small files, and other items necessary for picking locks and disarming traps. Proficiency with these tools is essential for performing many rogue-specific tasks.

Additional Equipment

DND Rogues also start with a few additional items that enhance their versatility:

  • Two Daggers: Each dagger deals 1d4 piercing damage and can be used for melee or thrown attacks. They have the finesse and light properties, making them suitable for close combat and backup weapons.
  • Thieves’ Cant Knowledge: While not a physical item, rogues start with the knowledge of Thieves’ Cant, a secret language used to convey hidden messages and understand the jargon of the underworld.

Optional Starting Gold

Instead of taking the standard equipment, rogues can choose to roll for starting gold to purchase their own gear. The starting gold for rogues is 4d4 x 10 gp.

This option allows for more customization based on the player’s preference for their rogue’s starting equipment.

By starting with this diverse array of equipment, rogues are well-prepared to engage in stealth, combat, and various other activities crucial to their role in an adventuring party.

DND Rogue Weapons

Rogues rely on agility and precision, making their weapon choices critical for maximizing effectiveness.

Check out some of the best weapons for DND rogues:

Light Weapons

Rogues often use light weapons due to their proficiency and the ability to dual-wield.

  • Dagger: A staple for any rogue, daggers are versatile and can be thrown. They deal 1d4 piercing damage and have the finesse and light properties, making them ideal for sneak attacks.
  • Shortsword: Another common choice, shortswords deal 1d6 piercing damage and also have finesse and light properties. They are perfect for dual-wielding with a dagger.

Ranged Weapons

Rogues benefit from having ranged options to stay out of direct combat when necessary.

  • Shortbow: A lightweight option that deals 1d6 piercing damage with a range of 80/320 feet. It’s great for keeping your distance while still delivering sneak attacks.
  • Hand Crossbow: This weapon deals 1d6 piercing damage and has a range of 30/120 feet. It allows for quick, precise shots and is easily concealable.

Versatile Weapons

Some DND rogues prefer versatile weapons for flexibility in combat.

  • Rapier: A popular choice for its higher damage output, dealing 1d8 piercing damage. It has the finesse property, allowing the rogue to use their Dexterity for attack and damage rolls.
  • Whip: An unconventional but useful weapon, the whip deals 1d4 slashing damage and has reach. It can be effective for keeping enemies at bay while setting up sneak attacks.

Unique and Exotic Weapons

For those looking to add flavor to their rogue’s arsenal, consider these options:

  • Boomerang: A thrown weapon that returns to the thrower, dealing 1d4 bludgeoning damage. It’s great for a roguish flair.
  • Garrote: A silent weapon used for strangling opponents, often used in stealth kills. It adds a dramatic and lethal touch to a rogue’s toolkit.

DND Rogue Magic Spells

While DND rogues are not primary spellcasters, some subclasses like the Arcane Trickster gain access to a limited selection of spells.

Here are some key spells for rogues:

Cantrips

  • Mage Hand: A versatile spell that allows rogues to manipulate objects at a distance, perfect for disarming traps or picking pockets from afar.
  • Minor Illusion: Useful for creating distractions or hiding, this spell can create a sound or image to mislead enemies.
  • Prestidigitation: A handy spell for creating small magical effects, such as lighting candles, cleaning objects, or creating small illusions.

1st-Level Spells

  • Disguise Self: This spell allows a rogue to change their appearance, making it easier to infiltrate or escape from dangerous situations.
  • Charm Person: Useful for social encounters, this spell can turn an enemy into a temporary ally, aiding in information gathering or escaping conflict.
  • Silent Image: Creates a visual illusion that can be used to mislead enemies or create cover.

2nd-Level Spells

  • Invisibility: Makes the rogue invisible for up to an hour, allowing for unparalleled stealth and escape opportunities.
  • Mirror Image: Creates illusory duplicates of the rogue, providing protection by making it harder for enemies to land a hit.
  • Misty Step: A bonus action teleportation spell that can be used to quickly move out of danger or reposition for a sneak attack.

3rd-Level Spells

  • Fly: Grants the rogue the ability to fly, opening up new avenues for exploration and escape.
  • Major Image: An upgraded version of Silent Image, creating larger and more convincing illusions.
  • Counterspell: Allows the rogue to interrupt and negate enemy spells, providing a significant tactical advantage.

Rogue Magic Items

Magic items can significantly enhance a rogue’s capabilities, providing them with additional tools for stealth, combat, and utility.

Here are some essential DND Rogue magic items:

Cloaks and Boots

  • Cloak of Elvenkind: This cloak provides advantage on Stealth checks and makes it harder for enemies to detect the rogue. Its magic blends the wearer into the surroundings, perfect for sneaky escapades.
  • Boots of Elvenkind: These boots grant advantage on Stealth checks involving movement, allowing the rogue to move silently and avoid detection.

Rings and Amulets

  • Ring of Invisibility: This ring allows the rogue to turn invisible at will, providing unparalleled opportunities for stealth and surprise attacks.
  • Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location: This amulet protects the rogue from being located or detected by divination magic, ensuring they remain hidden from magical surveillance.

Tools and Instruments

  • Gloves of Thievery: These gloves grant a +5 bonus to Sleight of Hand checks and Dexterity checks made to pick locks, enhancing the rogue’s thieving abilities.
  • Bag of Holding: A classic adventurer’s item, this bag can hold a vast amount of loot and gear without encumbering the rogue, perfect for carrying stolen goods or essential equipment.

Weapons and Armor

  • Cloak of Protection: Provides a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws, enhancing the rogue’s defenses without sacrificing mobility or stealth.
  • Armor of Shadows: Grants the rogue an additional bonus to Stealth checks and can provide magical armor without the need for wearing physical armor, keeping the rogue light and agile.

Utility Items

  • Portable Hole: This item creates a hole in the ground that can be used to hide objects, people, or the rogue themselves. It’s useful for quick escapes or hiding valuable items.
  • Rope of Climbing: This magical rope can move and attach itself to surfaces, aiding the rogue in climbing and infiltration missions.

Consumables

  • Potion of Invisibility: Grants invisibility for 1 hour or until the rogue attacks or casts a spell. It’s a useful item for critical moments when stealth is paramount.
  • Dust of Disappearance: When thrown into the air, this dust turns all creatures and objects within 10 feet invisible for 2d4 minutes, allowing for group stealth operations or sudden escapes.

Special Items

  • Eyes of the Eagle: These lenses grant advantage on Perception checks involving sight and allow the rogue to see clearly at a distance, enhancing their ability to scout and spot hidden threats.
  • Winged Boots: These boots grant a fly speed equal to the rogue’s walking speed for up to 4 hours, divided as the rogue wishes. Perfect for aerial infiltration and escape.

Thieves’ Tools

  • Magical Thieves’ Tools: These enchanted tools provide a bonus to lockpicking and disarming traps, ensuring the rogue can bypass even the most complex security measures.
  • Chime of Opening: This chime can be struck to automatically open locked doors, gates, or chests. It can be used multiple times, making it a reliable tool for any rogue.

Roleplaying Tips for Players

DND Rogues are more than just their skills and abilities.

Try these ten tips for bringing your rogue to life:

  1. Embrace your rogue’s backstory. Use it to inform your decisions and interactions.
  2. Play up your rogue’s cunning and resourcefulness. Always look for creative solutions to problems.
  3. Use your skills to gather information and uncover secrets. Be the party’s eyes and ears.
  4. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Rogues thrive on daring exploits and bold moves.
  5. Interact with NPCs in a way that reflects your rogue’s personality. Whether charming, intimidating, or deceptive, make your mark.
  6. Stay true to your rogue’s alignment. Whether good or evil, let it guide your actions.
  7. Develop relationships with other party members. Trust and loyalty can be as valuable as any skill.
  8. Use Thieves’ Cant creatively. Communicate secret messages to allies or gather intel from the underworld.
  9. Think ahead. Plan your actions and contingencies to stay one step ahead of your enemies.
  10. Embrace the rogue’s versatility. Adapt to different situations and use your wide range of skills to your advantage.

Check out this good video about how to play a DND Rogue:

YouTube Video by XP to Level 3 – DND Rogue

DM Guide to Using Rogues in a Campaign

As a DM, incorporating rogues into your campaign can add depth and excitement.

DM Tips

  • Create opportunities for rogues to use their skills. Include traps, locks, and secret passages in your dungeons. This keeps the rogue engaged and allows them to shine.
  • Encourage roleplaying by involving rogues in espionage and heist scenarios. Craft missions where their stealth and deception skills are crucial to success.
  • Balance encounters to challenge rogues without overwhelming them. Consider their lower hit points and reliance on Dexterity. Use ambushes and traps that test their evasion skills.
  • Reward creativity. Allow rogues to come up with clever solutions and reward them for thinking outside the box. For example, if a rogue uses Thieves’ Cant to gather critical information from an NPC, provide them with valuable intel.
  • Use rogues as plot devices. NPC rogues can serve as rivals, allies, or sources of information. An NPC rogue might offer to exchange secrets for a favor, creating a web of intrigue.
  • Incorporate moral dilemmas. Challenge the rogue’s ethics by presenting situations where they must choose between personal gain and the greater good.
  • Highlight the rogue’s backstory. Introduce elements from the rogue’s past, such as old enemies, lost loves, or former partners in crime. This makes the rogue’s journey more personal and engaging.
  • Vary the rogue’s challenges. Not every problem should be solvable with a lockpick or a dagger. Include puzzles, social encounters, and moral choices that test the rogue’s adaptability.
  • Encourage teamwork. Design scenarios where the rogue’s skills complement the abilities of other party members. For instance, a rogue might disable traps while a barbarian guards the rear.
  • Keep the rogue’s player informed. Provide hints and clues that allow the rogue to make informed decisions. This keeps the player engaged and ensures they feel involved in the story.

Examples and Scenarios

I added these practical examples and scenarios to help you visualize how to use a DND rogue effectively in-game.

Example of a Stealth Mission

Imagine your rogue, Shadow, has been tasked with stealing a valuable artifact from a heavily guarded mansion. The mansion is protected by a variety of traps, guards, and locked doors.

Here’s how Shadow can use their abilities to navigate this challenge.

  1. Approaching the Mansion: Shadow uses their Stealth skill to approach the mansion unnoticed. Rolling a high Stealth check, they avoid the patrolling guards and find an entrance through a second-story window using their Second-Story Work ability.
  2. Disarming Traps: Inside, Shadow encounters a hallway filled with traps. Using their Expertise in Thieves’ Tools, they disarm each trap efficiently, avoiding potential damage and alarms.
  3. Sneaking Past Guards: Shadow spots a group of guards in the next room. Activating Cunning Action, they use their bonus action to Hide in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment to slip past undetected.
  4. Unlocking the Vault: Reaching the vault door, Shadow uses their Thieves’ Tools proficiency again to pick the complex lock. A successful check grants them access to the treasure room.
  5. Stealing the Artifact: Shadow spots the artifact on a pedestal. Carefully, they use their Mage Hand Legerdemain (if they are an Arcane Trickster) to lift the artifact without triggering any alarms.
  6. Escape: With the artifact in hand, Shadow retraces their steps, using Stealth to avoid detection and Cunning Action to Dash out of the mansion before the guards realize what’s happened.

Combat Strategy

In a combat scenario, Shadow the rogue can maximize their Sneak Attack damage through strategic positioning and teamwork.

  1. Initiative and Positioning: Shadow rolls high on initiative thanks to their high Dexterity and potentially the Alert feat. They start by positioning themselves behind cover, within range to strike but hidden from immediate view.
  2. Coordinating with Allies: Shadow waits for an ally, like a fighter or barbarian, to engage the enemy in melee combat. This creates a situation where Shadow can easily gain advantage for their Sneak Attack.
  3. Sneak Attack: On their turn, Shadow uses their movement to get within melee range or stays at a distance with a shortbow. They then make an attack against an enemy who is either flanked by their ally or whom Shadow has advantage against. The successful hit triggers the Sneak Attack, adding significant damage to the attack.
  4. Cunning Action: After attacking, Shadow uses their bonus action (Cunning Action) to Disengage, Hide, or Dash, ensuring they remain out of harm’s way or set up for another Sneak Attack in subsequent turns.
  5. Uncanny Dodge and Evasion: If Shadow is attacked, they can use Uncanny Dodge to halve the damage or Evasion to avoid area effects, maintaining their health and combat effectiveness.

Can Rogues in DND Have Pets?

Yes, rogues in Dungeons & Dragons can have pets.

While not a standard feature of the rogue class, having a pet can add a unique and flavorful aspect to a rogue’s character. Pets can serve various roles, from companions to spies, adding depth and versatility to the rogue’s abilities.

Here’s how rogues can incorporate pets into their adventures.

Choosing a Pet

When selecting a pet for a rogue, consider the pet’s abilities and how they complement the rogue’s skills.

Some suitable options include:

  • Familiar (Arcane Trickster): Rogues with the Arcane Trickster archetype can cast the spell Find Familiar. Familiars like owls, cats, or spiders can scout ahead, deliver touch spells, or provide advantage on attacks through the Help action.
  • Small and Sneaky Animals: Creatures such as cats, ferrets, or rats can fit the rogue’s stealthy nature. They can scout ahead, retrieve small items, or cause distractions.
  • Exotic Pets: With the DM’s approval, a rogue might have a more exotic pet like a small snake or a trained bird. These pets can add unique abilities and flavor to the character.

How Pets Can Enhance a Rogue’s Abilities

Pets can provide several benefits to a rogue, enhancing their abilities both in and out of combat:

  • Scouting and Surveillance: Pets can scout ahead for dangers, find hidden paths, or locate traps. For example, a cat can slip through tight spaces to explore areas the rogue cannot reach.
  • Distractions and Diversions: A pet can create a distraction, allowing the rogue to sneak past guards or set up a perfect Sneak Attack. For example, a bird can squawk and draw attention away from the rogue.
  • Retrieving Items: Pets can retrieve small items or deliver messages. This can be particularly useful in heists or missions requiring subtlety.
  • Combat Assistance: Some pets can assist in combat by using the Help action to grant the rogue advantage on attack rolls or by directly attacking foes.

Roleplaying with Pets

Incorporating a pet into a rogue’s story can add depth and personality to the character:

  • Backstory Connection: Consider how the rogue acquired their pet. Did they rescue it during an adventure? Is it a gift from a mentor? This backstory can enhance the bond between the rogue and their pet.
  • Training and Tricks: Roleplay the training process, teaching the pet various tricks or commands. This can add a fun dynamic to gameplay.
  • Pet’s Personality: Give the pet its own personality and quirks. This can lead to interesting interactions and moments during the campaign.

Example: Arcane Trickster with a Familiar

An Arcane Trickster rogue might summon a familiar using the Find Familiar spell. Here’s how they might use it:

  1. Scouting: The familiar, an owl, flies ahead to scout an enemy camp. The rogue uses the owl’s keen senses to gather information on guard positions and potential entry points.
  2. Combat Support: In combat, the owl uses the Help action to grant the rogue advantage on their next attack roll, setting up a powerful Sneak Attack.
  3. Retrieving Items: The familiar retrieves a key from a sleeping guard, allowing the rogue to unlock a crucial door without being detected.

Example: Rogue with a Ferret

A DND rogue with a ferret pet can use it in various ways:

  1. Scouting: The ferret can slip through small openings to explore hidden areas and report back any dangers or loot.
  2. Creating Distractions: The ferret can cause a commotion in another part of the room, drawing the attention of guards and allowing the rogue to move unnoticed.
  3. Retrieving Items: The ferret can fetch small objects, such as keys or scrolls, that are out of the rogue’s reach.

DM Considerations

If a rogue player wishes to have a pet, the DM should consider the following:

  • Balance: Ensure the pet’s abilities do not overshadow the rogue’s or other players’ abilities. Balance the pet’s usefulness with the overall game.
  • Narrative Integration: Incorporate the pet into the campaign’s story. Give it moments to shine and be part of the narrative.
  • Rules and Limitations: Set clear rules and limitations for the pet’s abilities. This prevents any potential overuse or abuse of the pet’s powers.

Rogue FAQs

How Do I Maximize My Rogue’s Sneak Attack?

To maximize Sneak Attack, always seek advantage on your attacks. Use stealth to surprise enemies or coordinate with allies to flank foes. Choose feats like Elven Accuracy to increase your chances of landing critical hits.

Can Rogues Use Heavy Armor?

DND Rogues typically avoid heavy armor due to its penalties to stealth and mobility. Stick to light armor like leather or studded leather to maintain your Dexterity bonus and stealth abilities.

What Skills Are Best for Rogues?

Focus on skills that complement your rogue’s abilities. Stealth, Acrobatics, and Perception are essential. Thieves’ tools proficiency is also crucial for disarming traps and picking locks.

How Can I Make My Rogue More Durable?

Invest in Constitution to increase your hit points. Take feats like Tough or Resilient to improve your survivability. Utilize Uncanny Dodge and Evasion to mitigate damage in combat.

What Are the Best Magic Items for Rogues?

Look for items that enhance your Dexterity and stealth abilities.

Cloak of Elvenkind, Boots of Elvenkind, and Gloves of Thievery are excellent choices. Magic weapons that increase your attack and damage rolls are also valuable.

Can Rogues Be Good Aligned?

Absolutely. While many DND rogues have a shady past, they can choose to use their skills for good. A rogue with a strong moral code can be a valuable ally in any adventuring party.

What Is the Best Race for a Rogue?

Races with bonuses to Dexterity, such as Elves, Halflings, and Tabaxi, make excellent rogues. Consider racial traits that enhance stealth and mobility, like the Halfling’s Lucky trait or the Tabaxi’s Feline Agility.

How Do Rogues Interact with Other Classes?

Rogues complement other classes well, providing skills and abilities that fill gaps in the party’s capabilities. They can scout ahead for dangers, disarm traps, and provide high damage output in combat.

Final Thoughts: DND Rouges

Use this guide to explore the full potential of the rogue class, whether you’re a player looking to perfect your build or a DM aiming to incorporate cunning characters into your campaign.

Thanks for reading! Check out our other character guides below.

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Sources

DND Player’s Handbook

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