A rogue or a thief character has played pivotal roles in various genres of fantasy and science fiction, the one character that lives in the seedier or darker underbelly of society that works hard for their coin and proud of their skills. Having a rogue enter an adventuring troupe has always been an in lieu to treasure finding, spelunking, trapfinding, and the ability to take tactical advantage with backstabbing. Rogues are the quintessential thief trope, I love the variations of playing a Rogue character that players have done from swashbucklers to spies, assassins to expert thieves, and even ghostly shadow walkers to combat scouts.

Rogue Archetype – Ghost

You stalk your target, hidden behind shadow while using the city streets to your advantage. He passes through an empty alley, you believe that the opportunity has presented itself. You follow him and find the alleyway empty and silent. You kneel down on the cold and wet street, surveying any traces of your target’s passage. He was close. You follow the trail to a wall. 

A ghost archtype rogue, Image by Wizards of the Coast
A ghost archtype rogue, Image by Wizards of the Coast

The Ghost Archetype for a Rogue is one who has adapted the cold and dark energies from the Shadowfell, gaining the ability to slip between shadows, become incorporeal, and even the ability to walk in the realm of ghosts and spirits. Some deemed these rogues as Ghosts given their particular abilities and traits, some of these talented individuals sometimes become detached from the world and later become ghosts themselves.

Ghost Step
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to teleport short distances, travelling briefly through the Shadowfell. You gain the ability to use misty step as a bonus action without providing material components. You can use this feature three times until you finish a short or long rest.

Ghostly Strike
Starting at 3rd level, you catch your foes off-guard when you vanish and reappear from your ghostly steps. Whenever you use your Ghost Step feature to appear adjacent to a non-friendly creature, you gain advantage on your next attack roll. A creature hit from this attack cannot use any reactions until the end of the target’s next turn.

Phantom Jaunt
At 9th level, you no longer step through mist and fade, you now open a shadowy doorway to a destination you can see. Your Ghost Step feature changes and instead you can expend all three uses to cast dimension door as a bonus action without providing material components. Your Ghostly Strike feature applies when you use this feature as well.

Ghost Walk
Starting at 13th level, you can enter the Ethereal Plane for a short time. Using an action, you enter into the Ethereal Plane like the etherealness spell but for a duration of 1 minute.

Phantom Blade
Starting at 17th level, you learn to phase yourself through objects and hazards. You can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain, taking 1d10 force damage if you end your turn inside an object. You can expend one of your Ghostly Step charges to have your weapon become coated in ectoplasmic energy, making your next attack deal necrotic damage instead.


 Rogue Archetype – Scout (Skirmisher)

Deep within the verdant woods, perched high above the trees, you survey the moving caravan. The travellers have not seen you since they entered your tribe’s territory, unaware of your presence. Your bow with arrow drawn, always ready to strike those who dare to harm these woods. You are the silent protectors, masters of your terrain, and ever vigilant. 

A scout perched on a treetop, Image by Wizards of the Coast
A scout perched on a treetop, Image by Wizards of the Coast

The Scout archetype combines the wilderness expertise of a Ranger with the ability to make precise strikes while on the move for guerilla tactics. Scouts are adept at hiding and remain hidden even while combating their enemies, using their momentum to carry their surgical strikes.

Additional Proficiency
Starting at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with Nature and Survival skills.

Lay of the Land
At 3rd level, you can spend some time to become familiar with the terrain to allow you ease of movement. By spending 1o minutes, you study the land and the terrain to familiarize yourself with it to gain the following benefits:

  • You ignore difficult terrain and difficult terrain doesn’t slow down your allies.
  • You and your group cannot become lost except by magical means
  • While tracking creatures in this terrain, you know their size, numbers, and how long ago they had passed an area

Guerilla Fighter
At 9th level, you learn to move swiftly while stealthed to launch surprise attacks on your foes. You can move at your full movement speed while hidden. Additionally, during the start of  your turn, you can pick a creature you are hidden from. You remain hidden from that creature during your turn, regardless of your actions or the actions of other creatures. As a bonus action at the end of your turn, you can make a Dexterity (Stealth) check to hide again if you fulfill the conditions needed to hide.  Otherwise, creatures are aware of you at the end of your turn.

At 13th level, you are always ready to strike your foes. You have advantage on initiative rolls.

At 17th level, you have learned to trade precision for mobility, making you a terrifying menace for your foes. Whenever you meet the conditions for a Sneak Attack, you made trade a number of Sneak attack die and gain a +1 bonus to your Armor Class equal to the number of expended die (maximum of a +3 bonus to AC) until the start of your next turn.

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