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.
Unchained: While much of the unchained rogue will be familiar to those who have played the original rogue, there are a number of new class features that greatly enhance the power and flexibility of the rogue. Chief among these is the debilitating injury class feature. A rogue with this ability can severely hamper her foes, giving her a much-needed boost to her offense or defense, depending on the situation. In addition, with finesse training, the rogue now gains Weapon Finesse for free at 1st level. This ability also lets her add her Dexterity to damage rolls with one weapon starting at 3rd level. Finally, the rogue’s edge ability ties into a new system called skill unlocks. With this feature, the unchained rogue can master a small set of chosen skills, outperforming all those characters without access to such talents.
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.
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).
The following are the class features of the unchained rogue.
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 2 rogue levels thereafter. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. This additional damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit.
With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (such as a sap, unarmed strike, or whip), 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.
At 1st level, a rogue gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. In addition, starting at 3rd level, she can select any one type of weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse (such as rapiers or daggers). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Whenever she makes a successful melee attack with the selected weapon, she adds her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength modifier to the damage roll. If any effect would prevent the rogue from adding her Strength modifier to the damage roll, she does not add her Dexterity modifier. The rogue can select a second weapon at 11th level and a third at 19th level.
At 2nd level, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she succeeds at a 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.
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.
A rogue cannot choose a ninja trick with the same name as a rogue talent.
- A complete listing of unchained rogue talents can be found here: Unchained Rogue Talents
At 3rd level, a rogue gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. In addition, she gains a +1 bonus on Perception checks to avoid being surprised by a foe. These bonuses increase by 1 every 3 rogue levels thereafter (to a maximum of +6 at 18th level). This ability counts as trap sense for the purpose of any feat or class prerequisite, and can be replaced by any archetype class feature that replaces trap sense. The bonuses gained from this ability stack with those gained from trap sense (from another class).
At 4th level, whenever a rogue deals sneak attack damage to a foe, she can also debilitate the target of her attack, causing it to take a penalty for 1 round (this is in addition to any penalty caused by a rogue talent or other special ability). The rogue can choose to apply any one of the following penalties when the damage is dealt.
Bewildered: The target becomes bewildered, taking a –2 penalty to AC. The target takes an additional –2 penalty to AC against all attacks made by the rogue. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalty to AC against attacks made by the rogue increases by –2 (to a total maximum of –8).
Disoriented: The target takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls. In addition, the target takes an additional –2 penalty on all attack rolls it makes against the rogue. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalty on attack rolls made against the rogue increases by –2 (to a total maximum of –8).
Hampered: All of the target’s speeds are reduced by half (to a minimum of 5 feet). In addition, the target cannot take a 5-foot step.
These penalties do not stack with themselves, but additional attacks that deal sneak attack damage extend the duration by 1 round. A creature cannot suffer from more than one penalty from this ability at a time. If a new penalty is applied, the old penalty immediately ends. Any form of healing applied to a target suffering from one of these penalties also removes the penalty.
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 Dexterity 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 against her.
If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
At 5th level, a rogue has mastered a single skill beyond that skill’s normal boundaries, gaining results that others can only dream about. She gains the skill unlock powers for that skill as appropriate for her number of ranks in that skill. At 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, she chooses an additional skill and gains skill unlock powers for that skill as well.
At 8th level, a rogue can no longer be flanked.
At 10th level and every 2 levels thereafter, a rogue can choose one of the following advanced talents in place of a rogue talent.
At 20th level, an 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 can attempt 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 Dexterity modifier. Once a creature has been the target of a master strike, regardless of whether or not the save is successful, 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.
The following rogue talents can be used without modification.
Rogue Talents: Assault leader, black market connections, canny observer, cunning trigger, deft palm, distracting attack*, fast getaway, firearm training, getaway artist, grit, iron guts, ninja trick, positioning attack, quick disguise, quick trapsmith, rope master, strong impression, strong stroke, survivalist, swift poison, underhanded, wall scramble.
Advanced Rogue Talents: Another day, confounding blades*, deadly cocktail, familiar, fast tumble, frugal trapsmith, getaway master, hide in plain sight, hunter’s surprise, knock-out blow, redirect attack, rumormonger, stealthy sniper, unwitting ally, weapon snatcher.
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, unchained 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 unchained rogue 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.
|Archetype / Alternate Class Feature||Class Features Changed or Replaced|
|Class Skills||Skill Ranks per Level||Weapon & Armor||Finesse Training||Sneak|
|Danger Sense||Debilitating Injury||Uncanny Dodge||Rogue’s Edge||Improved Uncanny Dodge||Master Strike|
|Note: Most of the the core rogue‘s existing archetypes will also work with the unchained rogue.|
|3rd Party Publishers|
|Note: Most of the the core rogue‘s existing archetypes will also work with the unchained rogue.|
|Everyman Gaming, LLC.|
|(The following archetypes further modify the Unchained Ninja alternate class:)|
X=replaced, (X)=optional replacement, C=changed
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Unchained © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Ross Beyers, Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Robert Emerson, Tim Hitchcock, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Thomas M. Reid, Robert Schwalb, Mark Seifter, and Russ Taylor.