Rogues share little in common with each other. Some are stealthy thieves. Others are silver-tongued tricksters. Still others are scouts, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. What they share is versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness. In general, rogues are skilled at getting what others don’t want them to get: entrance into a locked treasure vault, safe passage past a deadly trap, secret battle plans, a guard’s trust, or some random person’s pocket money.

Rogues are highly skilled, and they can concentrate on developing any of several categories of skills. While not equal to members of many other classes in combat, a rogue knows how to hit where it hurts, and she can dish out a lot of damage with a sneak attack. Rogues also have a sixth sense when it comes to avoiding danger.

Some rogues are officially inducted into an organized fellowship of rogues or “guild of thieves”. Some are self-taught; others learned their skills from independent mentors. Often, an experienced rogue needs an assistant for scams, second-story jobs, or just for watching her back. She recruits a likely youngster, who then learns the skills of the trade on the job. Eventually, the trainee is ready to move on, perhaps because the mentor has run afoul of the law, or perhaps because the trainee has double-crossed her mentor and needs some “space”.

Rogues do not see each other as fellows unless they happen to be members of the same guild or students of the same mentor. In fact, rogues trust other rogues less than they trust anyone else. They’re no fools.

The rogue’s role in a group can vary dramatically based on her skill selection—from charismatic con artist to cunning burglar to agile combatant—but most rogues share certain aspects. They aren’t capable of prolonged melee combat, so they focus on opportunistic sneak attacks or ranged attacks. Thanks to their trap sense ability, rogues also make excellent scouts.

Rogues belong to the rogue class group. (See the Character Advancement page for more information about class groups.)

Starting Wealth

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

Attacks & Saving Throws

The rogue has a Medium base attack bonus, a Good Reflex saving throw bonus, and Poor Fortitude and Will save bonuses. (See Table: Attack & Save Bonuses By Level, on the Classes page.)

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A rogue is proficient with basic weapons and unarmed attacks, as well as any two of the following weapon groups:

(See the Weapons page for more information about weapons and weapon groups.)

Rogues are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

(A character who does not begin as a rogue at 1st character level does not gain these proficiencies.)

Class Features

A rogue has the following special abilities.

Combat Tactics

At 1st level, the rogue gains a +1 bonus to damage rolls any time her target’s Armor Class is reduced due to a combat disadvantage (being attacked by surprise, moving across a slippery surface, fighting in poorly-lit area, etc.). This bonus increases by +1 every 4 levels after the 1st. Combat tactics applies to ranged attacks only if the target is within 30 feet of the rogue.

Delver’s Knowledge

A rogue gains a +1 competence bonus per two rogue levels he has, on all Knowledge? (dungeoneering) checks, and all Knowledge? (engineering) checks concerning traps and other dungeon constructions or features (but not other engineering topics, such as siege weapons).

This does not necessarily represent specific knowledge of the details of any particular dungeon, trap construction, or underground-dwelling creature; rather, this ability represents a general understanding of dungeons and other subterranean adventuring locales, and the features and life-forms common among them.

This ability allows the character to make untrained Knowledge checks with any DC, not only DC 10, on applicable topics.

Device Lore

A rogue may make a special device lore check, with a bonus equal to his rogue level + his Intelligence modifier, to see whether he can comprehend the nature and workings of a trap, and come up with ideas on how to disable it, or understand how to bypass it. (Device lore also applies to mechanisms and devices that are not traps.) (If the rogue has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge? (engineering), he gains a +2 bonus on device lore checks concerning mechanical traps, but not magical ones.)

It takes one round to make a device lore check. A rogue may take 10 or take 20 on the check; the normal rules for taking 10 and taking 20 apply.

Succeeding On The Check: A successful device lore check will not allow the rogue to disable or bypass the trap, only reveal methods for doing so. A successful Disable Device? check is still needed in order to disable a device. (Bypassing a trap or other device may involve the use of other skills or abilities, or no skill checks at all, depending on the specific nature of the device and other aspects of the situation.)

Difficulty Class For Device Lore Checks: The Difficulty Class for the device lore check depends on the type and complexity of the device or trap, as shown on Table: Device Lore.

For every 5 points by which the device lore check result beats the Difficulty Class of the device, it reveals another method for disabling or bypassing the trap. Higher check results reveal superior (quicker, more efficient, etc.) methods.

Untrained Device Lore Checks: A character without the device lore ability may make an “untrained” version of this check (which is just an Intelligence check), but only for devices of moderate or lower complexity (device lore check DC of 15 or less).

Bonus On Search Checks: A character with the device lore ability also gains a +2 competence bonus on Search? checks to discover relatively small mechanical traps and devices such as poisoned needles, spring blades, and the like. This bonus increases to +4 at 10th level.

Sudden Strike

Starting at 1st level, a rogue can make devastating melee attacks against an opponent who is unaware of him. The first melee attack that the rogue makes in a round when his opponent is unaware of him (such as when the rogue has used Stealth? to sneak up on an opponent, or when the rogue is invisible and his opponent has not detected his presence) deals double damage. At 6th level, the rogue deals triple damage with a sudden strike; at 11th level, quadruple damage; at 16th level, quintuple damage.

Sudden Strikes Are Critical Hits: A sudden strike is treated as a critical hit for the purposes of immunity, for any ability that activates on a critical hit also activates on a sudden strike, etc. (Of course, if the rogue confirms a critical hit on a sudden strike attack, the damage multipliers stack, as per normal rules for stacking damage multipliers.) Thus, creatures who are immune to critical hits, such as elementals and incorporeal creatures, are also immune to the extra damage from a sudden strike.

Circumstances Necessary For A Sudden Strike: A rogue must be able to see his opponent, and must be able to reach his opponent’s vital organs or parts, in order to make a sudden strike against that opponent.

Examples: A Medium-sized rogue, standing on the ground, could not make a sudden strike against a dragon hovering directly above him, a storm giant, or a 20-foot-tall mechanical construct, even if he could make normal melee attacks against these opponents. The rogue would have to fly or climb up to a closer striking distance, leap onto the creature from a nearby structure, teleport onto the creature’s back, or otherwise get into appropriate striking position. In general, a rogue must have special positioning to make a sudden strike against an opponent more than one size larger than he is.

Sudden Strike Vs. Uncanny Dodge: A rogue cannot use sudden strike against an opponent with improved uncanny dodge, unless the rogue’s class level is at least four higher than his opponent’s level in the class which grants improved uncanny dodge.

Sudden Strike, Grappling, & Called Shots: A rogue whose sudden strike deals at least triple damage (i.e., a rogue of 6th level or above) only needs to win a grapple check by 5 or more in order to make a called shot while grappling (instead of having to win the check by 10 or more, as normal). (See Combat, section 5.4.4, “Activity in a Grapple”, for more information about making called shots while grappling.)

Rogue Talents

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

A complete listing of rogue talents can be found on the Rogue Talents page.

Bonus feats

A rogue may also select a bonus feat in place of any rogue talent or advanced rogue talent. (She must still qualify for any feat she selects as a bonus feat.) A rogue may select from any of the following feats:

Trap Sense

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. She also gains the same bonus on Spot and Listen? checks to perceive the presence and effects of magical traps. (See the Spot and Listen? skill descriptions for details.) These bonuses increase by +1 at every 3rd level thereafter, to a maximum of +6 at 18th level. Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Uncanny Dodge

At 4th level, a rogue can react to attacks from all sides as easily as from one. She can no longer be flanked.

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

Improved Uncanny Dodge

At 7th level, a rogue gains the ability to react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity, dodge, and shield bonuses to AC even when she’s not expecting an attack. (She still loses theses bonuses if she’s unable to react to an attack.)

Quick Learner

At 19th level, a rogue can pick up a new technique or trick just by seeing it done. Whenever a rogue witnesses a feat, skill trick, or rogue talent used by another character, the rogue can make an Intelligence check (DC equal to the minimum character level at which the ability can be acquired).

If the check succeeds, the rogue instantly gains the ability. If the check fails, the rogue may try to learn the ability again as often as she wishes (but must see it used again in order to retry the check to learn it). The rogue does not have to meet the prerequisites for an ability gained in this way (with the exception of prerequisites that require levels in a particular class or class group).

The rogue retains abilities gained in this way for the rest of the day (until she rests). She can simultaneously retain a number of abilities gained in this way equal to her Intelligence bonus (minimum 1). The rogue can forget a previously learned ability in order to learn a new one.