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Image used by permission of Yama Orce.

Life is an endless adventure for those who live by their wits. Ever just one step ahead of danger, rogues bank on their cunning, skill, and charm to bend fate to their favor. Never knowing what to expect, they prepare for everything, becoming masters of a wide variety of skills, training themselves to be adept manipulators, agile acrobats, shadowy stalkers, or masters of any of dozens of other professions or talents. Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many rogues favor cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilization, some embrace lives on the road, journeying far, meeting exotic people, and facing fantastic danger in pursuit of equally fantastic riches. In the end, any who desire to shape their fates and live life on their own terms might come to be called rogues.

Role: Rogues excel at moving about unseen and catching foes unaware, and tend to avoid head-to-head combat. Their varied skills and abilities allow them to be highly versatile, with great variations in expertise existing between different rogues. Most, however, excel in overcoming hindrances of all types, from unlocking doors and disarming traps to outwitting magical hazards and conning dull-witted opponents.

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The rogue's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Table: Rogue
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Evasion, rogue talent
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Sneak attack +2d6, trap sense +1
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Rogue talent, uncanny dodge
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sneak attack +3d6
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Rogue talent, trap sense +2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sneak attack +4d6
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Improved uncanny dodge, rogue talent
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Sneak attack +5d6, trap sense +3
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Advanced talents, rogue talent
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Sneak attack +6d6
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Rogue talent, trap sense +4
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sneak attack +7d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Rogue talent
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Sneak attack +8d6, trap sense +5
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Rogue talent
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sneak attack +9d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Rogue talent, trap sense +6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Sneak attack +10d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Master strike, rogue talent

Class Features

The following are class features of the rogue.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Rogues are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Sneak Attack

If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

See Precision Damage & Critical Hits FAQ for more information.

Precision Damage & Critical Hits

Precision Damage

Precision damage (such as that dealt by a rogue's sneak attack ability) applies to more creatures than it did in previous editions of the game.

Some may balk at this but it can easily be imagined or explained as the rogue having found a weak point in the undead's "body" (such as a zombie's head) or even finding a crack or flaw in a construct's "body."

There is some degree of confusion as to what should separate a "critical hit" from a "precision-based attack" but in any event, in some cases they are treated differently.

Critical Hits

The following creature types (or subtypes) have immunity to critical hits (that is, they do not take any additional damage from critical hits):

  • Aeon (subtype): "Immunity to cold, poison, and critical hits."
  • Elemental (subtype): Elementals are "not subject to critical hits or flanking. Does not take additional damage from precision-based attacks, such as sneak attack."
  • Incorporeal (subtype): "An incorporeal creature is immune to critical hits (unless the attacks are made using a weapon with the ghost touch special weapon quality.)"
  • Ooze (Type): <Oozes are...> "not subject to critical hits or flanking. Does not take additional damage from precision-based attacks (such as sneak attack.)"
  • Protean (subtype): (50% chance to ignore, see below*)
  • Swarm (Type): "A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits."

Precision-Based Damage (like Sneak Attack)

The following creature types (or subtypes) do not take additional damage from precision-based attacks (such as sneak attack):

  • Elemental (subtype): "<An elemental...> does not take additional damage from precision-based attacks (such as sneak attack.)"
  • Incorporeal (subtype): "An incorporeal creature is immune to precision-based damage (such as sneak attack damage) unless the attacks are made using a weapon with the ghost touch special weapon quality."
  • Ooze (Type): "<An ooze is...> does not take additional damage from precision-based attacks (such as sneak attack.)"
  • Protean (subtype): (50% chance to ignore, see below*)

Creatures Immune to Flanking

Opponents do not gain any special flanking bonuses against the following creature types (or subtypes):

  • Ooze (Type): "<An ooze is...> not subject to ... flanking."
  • Swarm (Type): "A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to flanking."
  • Elemental (subtype): "<Elementals are...> not subject to flanking."

*Special: Proteans have a special ability called "Amorphous Anatomy" which might protect them: "<Amorphous Anatomy> grants <a protean> a 50% chance to ignore additional damage caused by critical hits and sneak attacks,"


A rogue adds 1/2 her level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks (minimum +1). A rogue can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.

Evasion (Ex)

At 2nd level and higher, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Rogue Talents

As a rogue gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level, a rogue gains one rogue talent. She gains an additional rogue talent for every 2 levels of rogue attained after 2nd level. A rogue cannot select an individual talent more than once.

Talents marked with an asterisk add effects to a rogue's sneak attack. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual attack and the decision must be made before the attack roll is made.

A rogue cannot choose a ninja trick with the same name as a rogue talent.

  • A complete listing of rogue talents can be found here: Rogue Talents

Advanced Talents

At 10th level, and every two levels thereafter, a rogue can choose one of the following advanced talents in place of a rogue talent.

Trap Sense (Ex)

At 3rd level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level. Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A rogue with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against her.

If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

A rogue of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked.

This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does.

If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Master Strike (Ex)

Upon reaching 20th level, a rogue becomes incredibly deadly when dealing sneak attack damage. Each time the rogue deals sneak attack damage, she can choose one of the following three effects:

The target can be...

  • put to sleep for 1d4 hours
  • paralyzed for 2d6 rounds, or
  • slain

Regardless of the effect chosen, the target receives a Fortitude save to negate the additional effect. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the rogue's level + the rogue's Intelligence modifier. Once a creature has been the target of a master strike, regardless of whether or not the save is made, that creature is immune to that rogue's master strike for 24 hours. Creatures that are immune to sneak attack damage are also immune to this ability.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have fighters as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

Table: Alternate Favored Class Bonuses
Race Bonus Source
Dwarf Add a +1/2 bonus on Disable Device checks regarding stone traps and a +1/2 bonus to trap sense regarding stone traps. APG
Gnome Gnome rogues gain a +1 bonus on Disable Device and Use Magic Device checks related to glyphs, symbols, scrolls, and other magical writings each time they gain a level of rogue. APG
Half-Elf Add a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and Diplomacy checks to gather information. APG
Halfling Choose a weapon from the following list: sling, dagger, or any weapon with “halfling” in its name. Add a +1/2 circumstance bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls with that weapon (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus. APG
Human The human gains +1/6 of a new rogue talent. APG
3rd Party Publishers
Jon Brazer Enterprises
Dhampir Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks and Perception checks made in dim light or darkness. JBE:BoHRC
Drow Add a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and pass secret messages. JBE:BoHRC
Duergar Add a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and Intimidate checks. JBE:BoHRC
Fetchling Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth and Sleight of Hand checks made while in dim light or darkness. JBE:BoHRC
Hobgoblin Reduce the penalty for not being proficient with one weapon by 1. When the nonproficiency penalty for a weapon becomes 0 because of this ability, the rogue is treated as having the appropriate Martial or Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for that weapon. JBE:BoHRC
Orc Add +1/2 to damage rolls when the rogue is at or below 0 hit points. JBE:BoHRC
Ratfolk Add a +1/2 bonus on Escape Artist and Slight of Hand checks. JBE:BoHRC
Tiefling Add +1/2 to sneak attack damage dealt to creatures with the outsider type. JBE:BoHRC
Wayang Add +1 to the rogue’s CMD when resisting a disarm or steal attempt. JBE:BoHRC
Super Genius Games
Lapith +1 ft. to the maximum range you can use sneak attack. (+5 feet to maximum sneak attack range for every five times you select this option.) SGG:HHO
Piper Add +1/2 level to all Sense Motive and Use Magic Device checks. (+1 to these checks for every two times you select this option.) SGG:HHO

Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

By their nature, rogues are varied and versatile. There are rogues who haunt the city, those who stalk the forest, and those who serve as agents of law. Wherever there is space for someone to make her mark with agility and wit, the rogue is there, using her wide range of skills and abilities to make a place for herself, whether openly or through cunning and subterfuge. And where a rogue's natural cunning and quick thinking aren't enough to win the day, well—there's always the option of a knife in the back.

The following themes represent some of the most popular and effective roguish Archetypes. Each archetype comes with one or more class features that must be taken. In addition, each archetype includes a number of new rogue talent suggestions that, while not mandatory, help to flesh out the character.

Table: Archetypes / Alternate Class Features
Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Changed or Replaced
Class Skills Skill Ranks per Level Weapon & Armor Sneak Attack Trapfinding Evasion Rogue Talent Advanced Talents Trap Sense Uncanny Dodge Improved Uncanny Dodge Master Strike Guile Pool (from Glory Rogue) Ambush (from Glory Rogue)
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Acrobat                           X                         X          
Bandit                                                       X        
Burglar                                                       X
Carnivalist C     X C C C C C C C C C     X X X                 X          
Chameleon                           X                         X          
Charlatan                           X                         X          
Counterfeit Mage



Cutpurse                           X                         X          
Driver                           X                         X          
Investigator                           X                                    
Knife Master                           X                         X          
Pirate                           X   X                     X          
Poisoner                           X                         X          
Rake                           X                         X          
Roof Runner                           X                         X          
Sanctified Rogue                                                       X X      
Scout                                                       X X      
Scroll Scoundrel                               X       X             X X X      
Smuggler                           X X                       X          
Sniper                           X                         X          
Spy                           X                         X          
Survivalist                           X                         X          
Swashbuckler                           X                         X          
Thug                           X                         X          
Trapsmith                                                       X X      
Underground Chemist                             X   X                 C  

Racial Archetypes - The following class archetypes are available to members of the listed race.
Cat Burglar (Catfolk)                                                       X X      
Deadly Courtesan (Vishkanya) C                             X                     X   X      
Eldritch Raider (Gillman) C                             X                     X          
Filcher (Halfling)                             X                       X X X      
Kitsune Trickster (Kitsune)                           X                         X          
Skulking Slayer (Half-orc) C   C                     X                         X          
Snare Setter (Kobold)       X X   X   X   X   X X                               X    
Swordmaster (Tengu) C                                                   X          
3rd Party Publishers
4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
Spell Resistance                             X                                  
Drop Dead Studios
Chemist   C C C C C C C C C C C C X                         X         X
Dungeon Runner                                                               X
Fence   C                       X                         X         X
Glory Rogue     C                                                       C C
Imperial Flanker   C C                     X                         X         X
Mageslayer                                                       X X      
Medic C     X X X X X X X X X X X                         X         X
Pet Trainer C C                                                         X  
Stalker   C                                                            
Street Magician C C                       X                         X X X      
Street Urchin C                                                   X         X
True Professional C   C X X X X X X X X X X                                 X   X
Urban Ninja                             X                               X  
Weapon Expert   C C X X X X X X X X X X X                         X     X   X
Radiance House
Untouchable C     X X X X X X X X X X                                      
Rite Publishing
Bakuto                           X                         X          
Kyodai X X X                     X                         X          
Super Genius Games
Blacksnake       X   X   X   X   X                             X          
Cloakfighter       X   X   X   X   X                             X          
Harrier       X   X   X   X   X                             X          
Physical Exemplar       X   X   X   X   X                             X          
Spellhammer       X   X   X   X   X                             X          
Weapon Champion       X   X   X   X   X                             X          
Youxia       X   X   X   X   X                             X          
X=replaced, (X)=optional replacement, C=changed, 1=archetype package 1, 2=archetype package 2