Thursday, April 21, 2011


R is for Rogues in our seventeenth installment of the Deepest Sea A-Z.

Rogues, thieves, buglers, pickpockets, scoundrels, what ever you call them, the slightly shady have long been a part of fantasy lore.  Bilbo was hired as a burglar, the Grey Mouser and Fafhard were thieves, and even Conan was often looking to enrich himself by thievery.  Having a stealthy fellow to accompany the fighters, and open locks, stab guards, and so on is always useful.

In D&D, Rogues were added early on as a core class, and have remained in the game ever since.  They have minimal hit points, can only wear leather armor, can use any weapons, and can back stab.  In addition, the rogue has an assortment of skills, which allow them to pick locks, find traps, pick pockets, and hide in shadows.  These skills are handled through a d100 roll on a chart, on which the Rogue improves as they gain levels. A major part of Rogues in classic D&D is that they are supposed to be part of a Thieves Guild, which restricts their options and freedoms.

In the Deepest Sea, those who fit the description of "Rogue" are common.  Like fighters, rogues are everywhere, in all walks of life, although they are more likely to be city dwellers than from rural areas.  Rogues often start as pickpockets and cut purses, and work their way up to adventurers when something good comes their way, or when driven out of the city.

Another source of those who fill the "rogue" category, are the clever, but not militarily skilled folks.  They are trying to rise in the world by adventuring, but do not have training with weapons, and have to use their brains instead.  These individuals take a more lawful path to rogue-hood.  Seems very fitting for most of the "rogue" skills, which are fairly general (listening and wall climbing come to mind).

NPC Rogues or randomly generated PCs have a 1/2 chance of being male, and a 1/20 chance of being nobles. 2/3 of the time they will be human (modified by location). 9/10 of the time they will be from the country in which they are currently located. 1/4 of them are 15-20 years old, 2/4 of them are 21-30, and 1/4 are 31-60. In any random adventuring party, 1/5 of the members are fighters.

Handling PCs who are rogues should be fairly easy for the DM, because if they engage in theft, they are law breakers, and law in the Deepest Sea is both harsh and swift.  Therefore the DM has a huge stick to work against any rogues that need it.  The carrot is greed, as any rogue player should be especially greedy, either for gold, or position in society.  Further levers are through the brotherhood of thieves, family, friends, and so on.

Friday, more Deepest Seas A-Z with Swords.

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