Dashing between the shadows, picking the most difficult of locks, tapping a series of knocks on a tavern’s table sending a secret code to a fellow thief at the bar, rogues are quick moving and quick thinking. In this How to Build, we will go over a few aspects of what makes rouges unique as well as some races that can make great rouges.
Three early-level features of rogues are Expertise, Sneak Attack, and Cunning Action.
Rogues are good at a certain set of skills, with Expertise your rogue chooses two skills or one skill and their proficiency with thieves tools and double their proficiency bonus for those skills. Creating stupidly high modifiers for those skills.
Sneak Attack is when a rogue attacks an enemy while undetected adding additional damage to their regular damage if they hit. This can make rogues just as deadly as they are sneaky.
Cunning Action allows your rogue to use their bonus action to dash, disengage or dodge. When used tactically, Cunning Action can be extremely effective.
When building a rogue the top ability score to focus on is dexterity. The second highest score depends on what type of character you want to play. If you’re wanting to play a more detective type of rogue (think Batman), choose intelligence as your second highest ability score. If you want to play a rogue with a silver tongue, choose charisma as your second highest. The following are suggestions of which race can make great rogues.
The fearful servants of dragons, kobolds have a +2 to dexterity which is beneficial for becoming a rogue. They do have a -2 to strength which shouldn’t matter for creating a rogue. Kobolds are small in size and have darkvision making them perfect for slipping unnoticed in the shadows.
This variant of the tielfing race can be found in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Feral Tielflings have a +2 to dexterity and +1 to intelligence. This variation of tielfing also have different features besides ability bonuses. One variation is that feral tieflings have small bat-like wings with a flying speed of 30 feet if they aren’t wearing heavy armor. At later levels, feral tieflings can cast Charm Person which can be helpful in social encounters.
With a +2 to charisma and a free +1 to any ability score, changelings can be amazing rogues. One racial feature that really stands out as a great choice for creating a changeling rogue is their shapeshifting ability. Changelings can transform into any humanoid race of the same size category of the changeling race, which is medium. This can create such amazing role-play opportunities of sneaking into an area closed off to the party disguised as a guard or anyone that the changeling as seen before.
As always the biggest piece of advice I can give is to have fun and roll with the dice!
*Dungeons and Dragons and their content is the property of Wizards of the Coast. Norse Foundry makes no claim to ownership to any of the things discussed in this article, this article is a helpful opinion guide on to how to play the game.