There’s no substitute for talent and the Rogue 5e class in D&D has plenty of it!
Using their wit to get and disarm traps or locks, the Rogue is just a must-have for almost any group of dungeon delvers.
But possibly even significantly more than that, the Rogue’s knack for being able to take enemies by surprise and do massive damage with their Sneak Attack ability means that they can quickly dump high-threat enemies in combat.
In this in-depth guide , we’re diving to the Rogue class in D&D 5e. You’ll see most of the Rogue’s features and options along with get a great deal of tips for optimizing your character.
So grab your blackest cowl, sharpest dagger, and quietest sneaking boots…
This really is the Ultimate Class Guide to the Rogue 5e in D&D!
ROGUE 5e CLASS GUIDE FOR D&D
Being able to find and execute solutions to practical conditions that others can’t is the Rogue’s stock and trade. It may be sneaking in via a balcony window here, a curried favor there, or a well-placed arrow somewhere else.
With creativity and skill, Rogues know ways to get results.
Many of these characters are expert manipulators who weave webs of intrigue and weaponized their familiarity with how people work to a harmful effect. Others stick to the shadows before time is right in order for them to make their move. Whether this really is removing a target or quickly moving past them, it is calculated, swift, and incredible to watch.
Still, you can find other individuals who have found themselves with strange or magical abilities that other Rogues lack. Using those abilities to supplement their Roguish talents, these characters push the boundaries of what’s possible in your world.
We’ll reach the Roguish Archetypes (subclasses) in a moment.
But first, we must look at what all Rogues have in common. You would want to be mindful of the Rogue table as you level up because your class features and Sneak Attack will undoubtedly be getting used very often!
THE ROGUE TABLE
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Sneak Attack||Features|
|1||+2||1d6||Expertise, Sneak Attack, Thieves’Cant|
|4||+2||2d6||Ability Score Improvement|
|8||+3||4d6||Ability Score Improvement|
|9||+4||5d6||Roguish Archetype Feature|
|10||+4||5d6||Ability Score Improvement|
|12||+4||6d6||Ability Score Improvement|
|13||+5||7d6||Roguish Archetype Feature|
|16||+5||8d6||Ability Score Improvement|
|17||+6||9d6||Roguish Archetype Feature|
|19||+6||10d6||Ability Score Improvement|
|20||+6||10d6||Stroke of Luck|
ROGUE CLASS FEATURES
While all Rogues have their very own unique ways of operating (either permanently or otherwise), there are a few things that all of them have in common. They are the class features that all Rogues have.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Rogue level
Hit Points at 1st level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (average of 5) + your Constitution modifier per Rogue level beyond 1st
Armor: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Choose four from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
ROGUE STARTING EQUIPMENT
As well as any equipment you get from your own background, you start with the next equipment:
- A rapier OR a shortsword
- A shortbow and quiver of 20 arrows OR a shortsword
- Picking a a burglar’s pack, dungeoneer’s pack, or explorer’s pack
- Leather Armor, two daggers, and Thieves’Tools
EXPERTISE (LEVEL 1)
Proficiency is good, but being an expert is better yet!
With the Expertise feature at level 1, you decide on two skills that you will be proficient in (or one skill plus your Thieves’Tools proficiency). When you’re making an ability check that uses either of the skills you have expertise in, you’re able to double your proficiency bonus.
Better yet, you’ll get to pick two more skills because of this feature again when you hit level 6!
SNEAK ATTACK (LEVEL 1)
The capability that forms the cornerstone of nearly any Rogue build, Sneak Attack is how you can deal some truly awesome injury to your enemies.
If you’re using a finesse or ranged weapon, you are able to deal extra Sneak Attack damage (listed on the Rogue Table) on a successful attack if one of the following is true:
- You have advantage on the attack roll. (Commonly by attacking from an invisible position.)
- Another enemy of one’s target is 5 feet of them.
- You don’t have disadvantage on the attack. (Such as attacking from long range with your bow.)
In combat situations, you will desire to make sure that you take full advantage with this ability. Keeping an eye out for tactical situations and knowing the ins-and-outs of Sneak Attack will serve you well.
That’s why I also wrote this Swashbuckler 5e Using Guide in that I’d HIGHLY recommend you check out. Not only can it shed more light on precisely how this ability works, nonetheless it will also assist you to make sure that you aren’t missing chances to roll all those extra damage dice!
THIEVES’CANT (LEVEL 1)
Thieves’Cant is really a secretive language commonly known by thieves, assassins and other “underworld” types.
Consider it as a kind of double-speak when it’s being spoken. A harmless conversation about the price tag on fruit could be valuable information in Thieves’Cant about a brand new bounty for someone who’s “in the know” and can understand.
When written, seemingly meaningless symbols can be used to convey messages. They could warn of dangerous traps ahead or indicate that the certain area is under another faction’s control.
Being able to understand Thieves’Cant could add a bunch of flavor to your campaign. This is specially true if your group finds themselves navigating the webs of intrigue so common in just a city’s criminal underworld.
CUNNING ACTION (LEVEL 2)
A Rogue can’t you need to be quick on their feet – they have to also be quick-witted!
Cunning Action gives you extra choices for your bonus action. Specifically, you are able to take the DnD 5E Languages to obtain in action on your turn.
You’ll be applying this a great deal in combat to strike out with some serious damage then retreat back in the shadows.
ROGUISH ARCHETYPE (LEVEL 3)
At level 3, you will pick a Roguish Archetype for your character. They’re subclasses for Rogues that expand their abilities and better define how the type plays.
Currently, you will find 9 officially published Roguish Archetypes to select from.
We’ll cover the available subclass options in more depth later in this article.
UNCANNY DODGE (LEVEL 5)
Using your reaction, you are able to halve the damage that you take from an attack as long as you will see the one thing that’s attacking you.
While you only get one reaction per turn, deploying it for this can easily function as the difference between life and death.
Trading your ability to make an attack of opportunity this turn to instead offset the damage of an enemy critting you in the facial skin is pretty nifty!
EVASION (LEVEL 7)
At level 7, your Rogue is really nimble that they may safely avoid AoE effects like fireballs or dragons’breath attacks.
Most AoE spells allow those in the range of the result to make a saving throw and just take half damage. For the Rogue at level 7, succeeding with this saving throw ensures that you’ll take no damage.
Zip! Nada! Zilch!
Even when the dice don’t roll in your favor and you fail the save, you’ll just take half damage.
This really is an incredible ability, particularly if your DM is fond of experiencing you fight a lot of casters or dragons.
Furthermore, some traps may be rigged to unleash an AoE effect if they’re set off. This also can help you against those!
RELIABLE TALENT (LEVEL 11)
Going back to that whole “no replacement for talent” bit, at level 11 it is extremely rare that you’ll fail at abilities that you’re proficient in.
With Reliable Talent, a spin of 9 or lower for an ability check that lets you add your proficiency bonus becomes a 10.
With 10 + proficiency (doubled when you yourself have Expertise in the ability) + ability modifier, it is extremely possible that the total check of 20 is going to be considered low for you.
Only probably the most insidious of traps or observant of enemies can stand in the right path!
BLINDSENSE (LEVEL 14)
As long as you are able to hear, Blindsense lets you realize where any hidden or invisible creatures within 10 feet of you are.
This is a simple feature, but it can effortlessly thwart enemy ambushes or save you from attackers when your eyesight isn’t enough to obtain the job done.
SLIPPERY MIND (LEVEL 15)
Wisdom may not be among your Rogue’s stronger abilities, so gaining proficiency in Wisdom saves is nifty.
Especially when your DM likes to offer enemies with a penchant for enchantment effects, that extra proficiency bump can be very helpful.
ELUSIVE (LEVEL 18)
If you don’t are incapacitated, no attack against you may have advantage.
Between this feature, Uncanny Dodge, and Evasion, you’re virtually impossible to pin down in combat.
There’s not a whole lot more to say about that ability. It’s simple and insanely good.
STROKE OF LUCK (LEVEL 20)
At level 20, your Rogue gains the Stroke of Luck feature once per short or long rest.
In a pinch, you need to use this to show your missed attack into a successful hit.
Additionally, you need to use this when making an ability check. If you fail the power check, you are able to treat the d20 roll as a 20.
Having a guaranteed success in your back pocket is definitely a good position to stay!
OPTIONAL CLASS FEATURES FOR ROGUES
Along with both Roguish Archetypes presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, there’s a brand new optional feature offered to Rogues.
Check with your DM first to make sure that they’re cool with using content from TCoE in your game. (Most won’t have a problem with it, but being clear by what books are increasingly being used is a key element of a good Session Zero!)
- Personally, I enjoy the optional feature that Rogues gained. It’s added some extra “oomph” to Rogues who prefer to keep their distance.STEADY AIMIf you haven’t used any movement, you can use an advantage action to offer yourself advantage on the next attack roll on the existing turn.Your movement is reduced to 0 for the remaining of the turn, so make certain you’ve got good positioning.If you’re playing a ranged attacker, this is very helpful to you. Find an excellent vantage point where you’re unlikely to need to utilize your movement or bonus action and start sniping!THE ROGUE’S ROLE IN THE PARTYRogues largely fit at the very least two of three roles within a party:
- Striker (single target damage)
- Face (for those who are more charismatic)
- Ferret (finding treasure, disarming traps, getting past locks, etc)
- Bonus Proficiencies (Level 3): You gain proficiency with Disguise Kits and Poisoner’s kits.
- Assassinate (Level 3): Gain advantage on attack rolls against creatures that haven’t taken a change in combat yet. A lot more awesome, any hit against a surprised creature is a computerized crit!
- Infiltration Expertise (Level 9): Create flawless fake identities filled with documentation and a backstory.
- Imposter (Level 13): Study an individual for three hours to perfectly mimic their behavior, handwriting, and speech. You’ll instantly fool most observers and will have advantage on Deception checks when attempting to fool people who might suspect you.
- Death Strike (Level 17): When you hit a surprised creature, they have to create a Constitution saving throw (DC of 8 + your DEX modifier + your proficiency) or take double damage. This stacks with Sneak Attack and your Assassinate ability for some truly insane damage output.
Possibly probably the most iconic of the Roguish Archetypes, the Thief subclass offers excellent utility to any party.
Acting quickly, moving silently, and using items (even/especially the ones that aren’t intended for you) are just some of the Thief’s many talents.
- Fast Hands (Level 3): This expands the usage of your Cunning Action feature. It is now able to also be properly used to produce a sleight of hand check, disarm traps, pick locks, or use an object.
- Second-Story Work (Level 3): Climbing no longer costs you extra movement, which means you climb at your normal movement speed. You can also jump further (number of feet corresponding to your DEX modifier) if you receive a working start.
- Supreme Sneak (Level 9): If you move a maximum of 1 / 2 of your movement speed, you receive advantage on Stealth checks.
- Use Magic Device (Level 13): You are able to improvise the usage of certain magical items. This means you are able to ignore any class , race, or level requirements to utilize the item.
- Thief’s Reflexes (Level 17): You take two turns in the initial round of any combat. The first is at your normal initiative roll and the second reason is at that roll minus 10. So far as subclass capstones go, to be able to take two turns is pretty epic.
Use arcane magic to supplement your roguish ways!
You’ll primarily be pulling from the Enchantment and Illusion schools of magic this means you may get very creative with your shenanigans. Combining your agility and quick thinking with magical utility implies that it is simple to adjust to almost any situation.
- Spellcasting (Level 3): Instantly gain two first level spells and three cantrips (one of which ought to be the Mage Hand spell.) You’ll gain more spells as you level up. Your Intelligence is used as your spellcasting ability.
- Mage Hand Legerdemain (Level 3): Get tons of extra utility from Mage Hand. Not only could it be invisible, but you’ve finer control over it. This means you should use it to choose locks, disarm traps, and dig through peoples’pockets effortlessly!
- Magical Ambush (Level 9): Casting a spell against a creature that doesn’t know you’re there gives them disadvantage on the saving throw.
- Versatile Trickster (Level 13): Use your Mage Hand to distract a creature as a bonus action. Until the end of your turn, you should have advantage on attack rolls from the creature.
- Spell Thief (Level 17): If a creature casts a spell at you (either targeting you or including you in its section of effect), you are able to force them to produce a saving throw against your spell save DC. Should they fail, the spell doesn’t affect you. If it’s at least an even 1 spell (and of an even as you are able to cast), you understand the spell for another 8 hours and can cast it with your spell slots. The creature can’t cast the spell again before the 8 hours have passed!
A professional in social situations, manipulation, and intrigue, the Mastermind focuses on the folks around them to complete their goals.
While the Mastermind’s abilities won’t serve them particularly well in most dungeons, it’s a solid choice if your game focuses heavily on intrigue.
- Master of Intrigue (Level 3): You now have proficiency with disguise kits, forgery kits, and the selection of gaming set. In addition, you gain two additional languages. Pay attention to someone speak for at least one minute to pass yourself off as someone from their land (though not specifically as them.)
- Master of Tactics (Level 3): It’s simple to utilize the Help action as a bonus action. Additionally, you can do this from 30 feet away. It’s handy for giving your allies advantage on the attacks!
- Insightful Manipulator (Level 9): Spend at least one minute observing a creature outside combat. You learn if that creature has a higher or lower score than you in two of the next characteristics: Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, or Class Level.
- Misdirection (Level 13): When you have cover thanks to a different creature within 5 feet of you, you are able to redirect an attack that is supposed for you yourself to the creature that’s providing you cover.
- Soul of Deceit (Level 17): Unless you allow otherwise, your thoughts can’t be read. If you’re feeling extra crafty, create a Deception check presenting false thoughts to the one trying to read your mind. Any spell (like Zone of Truth) that will try to find out if you’re lying will show you as telling the truth. Additionally, you can’t be required to tell the truth.
Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes since the Inquisitive Rogue 5e!
You’re an expert at rooting out lies and inconsistencies. That same focus on detail allows you to very helpful for finding traps!
In combat, read your opponents’gestures to anticipate their movements and deliver decisive counters.
- Ear for Deceit (Level 3): You might never have a base roll of significantly less than 8 when utilizing your Insight skill to find out if a creature is lying.
- Eye for Detail (Level 3): Make use of a bonus action to find hidden creatures or objects with a Perception check. This can be used as an Investigation check to find clues.
- Insightful Fighting (Level 3): Make an Insight check against your opponent’s Deception as a bonus action. On successful, that you do not need advantage to land your Sneak Attack on that enemy.
- Steady Eye (Level 9): Move a maximum of half your movement speed to achieve advantage on perception and investigation checks.
- Unerring Eye (Level 13): Unless you are blinded or deafened, you should use an action to detect illusions, shapeshifters, or some other magic that is supposed to fool the senses within 30 feet of you.
- Eye for Weakness (Level 17): While utilizing your Insightful fighting against a creature, your Sneak Attack damage against that creature is increased by yet another 3d6.
A fantastic choice for Rogues who prefer to keep their distance and defeat enemies with precise shots from their bow or crossbow.
Not only may be the Scout good at navigating the wilderness, they’re fantastic skirmishers who have the ability to move quickly and secure excellent positioning to rain arrows down on the foes.
- Skirmisher (Level 3): If an enemy ends their turn within 5 feet of you, you should use your reaction to maneuver around half your movement speed away. This movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
- Survivalist (Level 3): Gain proficiency in the Nature and Survival skills. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for almost any check that uses either of these skills.
- Superior Mobility (Level 9): Your movement speed is increased by 10 feet. When you have a climbing or swimming speed, additionally they gain this increase.
- Ambush Master (Level 13): Make initiative rolls at advantage. Attacks against the initial creature you hit in the initial round of combat have advantage before the start of your next turn.
- Sudden Strike (Level 17): For the Attack action, you may make a second attack as a bonus action. This second attack can also take advantage of Sneak Attack, but can be used against an alternative target.
Avast me hearties!
While it’s impossible to deny the fun, pirate-y flavor of the archetype, it’s also an excellent option for many who wish to play a Rogue that’s more of a duelist.
By having an abundance of speed and charisma, the Swashbuckler’s abilities make for a captivating character.
- Fancy Footwork (Level 3): Whether your attack against a creature hits or not, that creature can’t make attacks of opportunity against you for the others of your turn.
- Rakish Audacity (Level 3): Gain a bonus to your initiative rolls corresponding to your Charisma modifier. Additionally, that you do not need advantage on an attack for your Sneak Attack to work if your target is the only real creature within 5 feet of you.
- Panache (Level 9): Roll Persuasion against your opponent’s Insight check. On successful against a hostile creature, the creature has disadvantage on attacks against any creature apart from you and can’t make opportunity attacks against anyone but you. On successful against a non-hostile creature, they’re charmed.
- Elegant Maneuver (Level 13): Use your bonus action to achieve advantage on another Athletics or Acrobatics check you make in the same turn.
- Master Duelist (Level 17): Once per short or long rest, you are able to reroll a missed attack with advantage this time.
The first of the two Roguish Archetypes released in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the Phantom is an incredibly macabre subclass option.
Channel the ability of death itself to help your party with assistance from your ghostly allies.
- Whispers of the Dead (Level 3): Gain a skill or tool proficiency that you never already have by the end of a quick or long rest. You have this proficiency until you use this ability again.
- Wails from the Grave (Level 3): Once you land your Sneak Attack on an enemy, this ability allows you to deal extra necrotic injury to another target.
- Tokens of the Departed (Level 9): Whenever a creature dies within 30 feet of you, you need to use your reaction to produce a Soul Trinket together with your reaction. These Soul Trinkets give you advantage on death and Constitution saves, give you extra utilization of your Wails from the Grave feature, and enable you to converse with the spirit.
- Ghost Walk (Level 13): Become like a ghost for 10 minutes. In your spectral form, you gain a flying speed of 10 feet, can move through walls, and attack rolls against you are made at disadvantage.
- Death’s Friend (Level 17): Your Wails from the Grave feature now deals necrotic injury to both the first and second targeted creatures. If you don’t have any Soul Trinkets by the end of a long rest, one appears in your hand.
The 2nd subclass introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron, the Soulknife archetype adds psionic abilities to your Rogue’s toolkit through the utilization of Psionic Energy dice.
Summon psychic blades to rip your enemies to shreds while boosting your other skills together with your psionic abilities.
- Psionic Power (Level 3): Gain your Psionic Energy dice. This resource is useful for your various psionic abilities. At this level, you’re in a position to communicate via telepathy with others and use your psionic energy to enhance your roll on a skill check that you’re proficient in.
- Psychic Blades (Level 3): Summon blades of psychic energy to deal psychic injury to your enemies. Attacking with one of these blades, you can include your ability modifier to the bonus attack’s damage, which really is a nice bonus in the event that you fancy some two-weapon fighting.
- Soul Blades (Level 9): Your Psychic Blades are now more powerful. Use Psionic Energy dice to potentially turn a missed attack into a hit or even to throw the blade and teleport to its location.
- Psychic Veil (Level 13): Once per long rest, you are able to turn invisible for an hour. You can use Psionic Energy dice to achieve this more in the event that you need.
- Rend Mind (Level 17): Once you deal Sneak Attack injury to an enemy, you are able to attempt to stun them as you overwhelm them with psychic power. Should they fail their save, they’re stunned for 1 minute or until they make the save by the end of the turn. You obtain this once per long rest, but can expend Psionic Energy dice to do it again before then.
OPTIMIZATION TIPS FOR ROGUES 5e IN D&D
For just about any campaign, I usually maintain that it’s very important to play the character that you wish to play.
However, many players have the most fun when creating and playing an identity that is optimized.
So here’s some quick tips to assist you get the most from the Rogue 5e.
Starting with the fundamentals, Druids need to target on the Wisdom score especially else. Higher Wisdom can make their spells harder to save lots of against, increase the results of many of the abilities, and make them be more efficient in nature with skills like Survival and Perception.
- Strength: Rogues rely on the speed a lot more than their strength. This will typically be your dump stat.
- Dexterity: Dexterity can be your most significant skill. Nearly everything that your Rogue does will count on having a great Dexterity score.
- Constitution: I don’t imagine many characters ever wishing they’d less hit points. If you plan on being right up in the action, you’ll want a great Constitution score. If you want ranged melee, you are able to probably break free with making this slightly less of a priority.
- Intelligence: Arcane Tricksters need Intelligence for their spells. The other Roguish Archetypes don’t gain much from Intelligence, though it is very helpful for finding traps together with your Investigate skill.
- Wisdom: Your Perception and Insight checks count on Wisdom, but this isn’t a particularly “make or break” ability for you. Inquisitive Rogues might want to invest more in this, however the Rogue’s Expertise can replace with a diminished ability score if necessary.
- Charisma: Rogues will make for a great party “face” and you will need charisma if you plan on interacting with others very often. Masterminds and Swashbucklers may wish to prioritize this directly behind Dexterity.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced new rules that remove how your chosen character race affects your stats. However, not all groups use that rule.
If you’re seeking to optimize your Rogueand aren’t utilizing the new rules from Tasha’s Cauldron, they’re some of the best choices for the character’s race.
- High Elf: Not merely do High Elves get an additional benefit to Dexterity, in addition they start the game with a totally free cantrip. If you’re considering being up in the enemy’s face, taking the Booming Blade cantrip are certain to get you some incredible mileage as it increases your damage output and scales as you level up. Not to mention, the Elven resistance to charm effects, immunity to sleep effects, and 4-hour trances signify this character can stay vigilant.
- Lightfoot Halfling: Not simply for their bonus to Dexterity, I enjoy Halfling Rogues. While any Halfling will make for a great Rogue , Lightfoot Halflings can hide behind other creatures which can be perfect for consistently being able to land your Sneak Attacks. Furthermore, rerolls with the Halfling’s “Lucky” trait are usually incredible to own up your sleeve.
- Variant Human: Variant Humans are generally a good pick for just about any class. Using the Variant Human, you are able to boost your Dexterity score while also obtaining a bonus feat at character creation. While there aren’t many feats that I would recommend taking in place of an Ability Score Increase before you’ve maxed out your Dexterity score, obtaining a free feat at level 1 is pretty sweet.
- Tabaxi: Peanut Butter meet Jelly. As you might expect from a feline race, literally everything about Tabaxi are ideal for the Rogue 5e class.
Your Rogue can have any background that you want. If you’re looking for an optimized pick, there are certainly a few solid options though.
- Criminal: The conventional Rogue background. You obtain proficiency in Deception and Stealth plus two tool kits. (Since you already have proficiency in Thieves’Tools, you are able to substitute that for a Disguise Kit or Poisoners Kit.) If you want the bonuses but don’t wish to be a criminal, you are able to take the Spy variant of the background.
- Urchin: Proficiency in Sleight of Hand and Stealth is perfect for Rogues. In addition you gain proficiency with Thieves’Tools and Disguise Kits. Much like the Criminal background, replace the Thieves’Tools proficiency with something else.
- Charlatan: Gain proficiency in Deception and Sleight of Hand in addition to with Forgery and Disguise Kits.
Druids don’t particularly get a large amount of value from the majority of the available feats. However, you will find still some options which can be worth considering.
- Alert: For just about any Rogue , being able to go early in the combat round is a massive advantage.
- Sharpshooter: If you’re playing a ranged Rogue , you’ll want Sharpshooter. Overcoming cover and long-distance penalties while also potentially stacking your bonus Sharpshooter damage together with your Sneak Attack is disgusting in the best way possible.
- Inspiring Leader: If you’re playing a Charisma-heavy Rogue , being able to give extra hit points to your allies is nifty. Swashbucklers and Masterminds should consider this, but others could have less utilization of it.
- Skilled: Gaining three more proficiencies in skills or tools of your choice combines well with Reliable Talent. I wouldn’t necessarily make a splash because of this feat, but it’s still a wise decision for Rogues.
- Dungeon Delver: If you’re playing a Dungeon Crawl type campaign, this is an excellent choice. All things considered, traps and finding secret doors are greatly your trouble to manage as the party’s Rogue.
CONCLUSION ON THE ROGUE 5e IN D&D GUIDE
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to the Rogue 5e in D&D!
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