How to Play a Rogue in Dungeons and Dragons V3.5

This article covers the basics of creating a Rogue for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 (D&D). The Rogue is one of the four core classes in D&D and can be a key part of an adventuring party. You should be familiar with the basic rules of the game before you read it. This article only deals with the nuts and bolts of creating a character; all good characters have personality, hopes, dreams, goals, likes, dislikes, history, and so on. Creating a complete character will greatly improve your gaming experience.


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    Read About Rogues. You should read the entire entry about rogues in the Player's Handbook before the first session of D&D when you plan to play your new rogue.
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    Pick a Race. You need to pick a race for your character. Unlike the other classes, virtually any race can be made into a rogue. However, different races make different types of rogues. A Half-Orc rogue will be a thug, for example, because his below average Charisma and Intelligence make him ill-suited for social interaction and finesse. Elves and Halflings make good archery based rogues, especially Halflings. Humans make a great choice for any style of rogue.
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    Generate and Assign Your Vital Statistics (stats). There are several ways to generate stats so you should consult with the Dungeon Master (DM) first to learn what system is being used. Once you have the numbers you will use you can assign them to stats. Dexterity is usually the most important stat for a rogue. If you plan to fight in close combat then Strength and Constitution are also very important. Intelligence is important because it determines you skill points and rogues make frequent use of their skills. If you plan to use social interaction skills then a good Charisma is important.
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    Pick Your Starting Skills and Feats. This is where you really decide what kind of rogue you will be. Spy, thief, assassin, thug, and con man are all archetypes that you could base your rogue on. Pick feats and skills that fit into that idea. Hide and Move Silently let you be stealthy, Tumble lets you move about the battlefield more easily, Bluff and Diplomacy let you talk your way out of trouble. You will soon find that even with all the skill points that rogues get it is not enough to master everything. Some people master a few skills, others like to be a jack of all trades. Feats like Point Blank Shot are important for archers, Weapon Finesse may help a close combat specialist. Read and decide.
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    Buy Starting Equipment. You will need a weapon and some light armor. You should also take a look at the mundane items list as well as the tools. Rogues need a tool kit to use certain skills, such as Open Lock.
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    Know Your Role in the Party. As the rogue you will always be a support character in combat. While your sneak attack can deal impressive damage given the chance your Armor Class (AC) is low as are your Hit Points (HP). Against enemies that are immune to sneak attack you may find yourself unable to deal any damage. Always have a back up plan, such as magic items you can activate with Use Magic Device. If you fight in close combat then you need to make friends with the fighter, you will need his help to flank enemies so that you can utilize your sneak attack ability. Outside of combat you may be a scout or the voice of the party, possibly both. You may also find yourself sweeping dungeons of dangerous traps because as a rogue you are the only character able to do this.


  • Have a back up plan for combating monsters that are immune to sneak attacks.
  • During the first round of combat use a magic item to increase your defense or attacks if you fight in close combat. If you fight with archery, go ahead and attack. (If you can sneak attack, take advantage of opponent being flat footed if they haven't acted in initiative yet.)
  • Know how your skills and feats work very well.
  • If you train in the Tumble skill you will be able to avoid Attacks of Opportunity.


  • If you play a rogue without the Search and Disable Device skills needed to find and disarm traps some players may be annoyed with you. People count on the rogue to do those tasks. Spot and Listen, while not exclusive to the rogue, are usually also important.
  • You are fragile, especially in the first three levels.

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Categories: Role Playing Games