“Rogues are a mixed bag. Some are thugs who have learned enough tricks to get a step ahead of the other thugs. A few are mad, drive by a reckless sense of adventure. Most are quick with a smile, a blade , and a getaway. They receive various sorts of training: from a spymaster’s school, a thieves’ guild, a cult of the Black dragon, an independent operator, or an ambitious ogre mage. Rogues p[refer never to be called assassins. And you know very well what will happen if you do.“
13th Age, page 124
In my opinion, the Rogue is easily one of the most interesting and flexible classes in 13th Age. A Rogue is perfect for a player who wants to be the cleanup crew in a fight, nothing but a face character, a big damage dealer or an acrobatic madman that jumps all around the battle field. Just like the other classes, the Rogue’s section gives a brief description (as seen above), The overall play style, important ability scores with class bonus, recommended races, some background ideas and inspiration for Icon relationships.
Looking at the page that lists all these things, you may notice one thing when looking at the gear for a Rogue; daggers deal 1d8 insteald of 1d4! For the people considering a Rogue while thumbing through the character classes and getting nervous about the damage output, feel free to breathe a collective sigh of relief. It’s almost like the developers want you to enjoy playing your vision of the class, hmmmm…
Much like the Fighter, the Rogue has an array of powers that are used to augment basic attacks. Essentially, this makes you do stuff on top of damage. Powers like Evasive Strike and Tumbling Strike allow you to bounce around the battle field doing little bits of damage to every enemy. If you have a good GM and you’re facing some intelligent monsters, this also may be a good way to distract them from your allies which is fantastic. Deadly Thrust and Sure Cut help you be the cleanup crew, help you dole out some more damage and be the cleanup crew.
While on that play style of the class, I would like to highlight my favorite talent that you can take as this class: Murderous. This is one of seven class talents you can take, all of which help immensely in fitting into the type of Rogue you want to play. Murderous specifically helps a Rogue start sprinting to the end of the battle by increasing your crit range by 2 against staggered enemies. What a fantastic idea!
What’s nice about picking a Rogue, before you even build the thing, is that your Class Features are the basis of all things Rogue-y (does that sound right? Meh, works for me). You start with three Class Features: Momentum, Sneak attack and Trap Sense. Sounds pretty accurate to the tropes to me. Momentum is probably the most unique out of the three. What this does is help you maintain some degree of flow for your character. Land a hit: Gain momentum, Receive a hit: Lose momentum. Now what is momentum? Some of your powers require it to be used, such as Roll With It, which allows you to take half damage on a hit by expending your momentum. It really helps bring to life the visual part of what being a Rogue is during the chaos of combat.
In the manner that 13th Age operates as far as story telling, there are actually three class talents that can be taken that have absolutely nothing to do with combat. Okay, well one has to do with battle but it doesn’t give out damage! These are Smooth Talk, Thievery and Swashbuckle. One has the chance of changing/augmenting an Icon relationship for the remainder of the day, while another allows you to take some more background points. Swashbuckle however is the odd man out. It’s a combat power that has literally nothing to do with dealing damage; It allows you to expend your momentum to move somewhere or do something amazing that wouldn’t normally be able to do.
This means moving across terrain in an impossible way, disengaging from an enemy to engage another that’s on top of a two story building, or as the book duly states it. “…dodging between the legs of giants, vaulting on a 12 foot pole over the heads of onrushing orcs, or cutting open bags of flour just in time to make them go poof and daze several foes for a round.”
No skill checks, just pure fun an role play. On a more mechanical note, as one would imagine, Rogues don’t work well with shields, heavy armor or heavy weapons. With that in mind, the Rogue more than makes up for it with powers that come later in level such as Slick Feint and Swift Dodge, making you a much more difficult target.
Overall, the Rogue is a fantastic class for players who like to do a great many things.
Stay Metal \m/