With a heart as elusive as their ever-changing forms, Changeling Rogues are natural-born masters of deception and stealth.
Their nimble fingers deftly pick locks and pilfer pockets, leaving no trace of their presence except for bewildered victims scratching their heads in confusion.
Changeling Rogues possess an arsenal of skills that amplify their sneaky prowess. Whether it’s an uncanny knack for disarming traps, a talent for silent infiltration, or the mastery of both ranged and melee combat, these rogues are a force to be reckoned with.
Creating a Changeling Rogue
Changelings are shapeshifters, often shifting their forms with only a thought. Most Changelings use this gift as a form of emotional or artistic expression.
Others, such as spies or grifters, see this as an invaluable tool for deception, which has caused many people to treat Changelings with more suspicion than other races.
Below is the description of a Changeling’s true form (most facial features of a Changeling’s true form are quite unnerving):
|Usually pale white or gray
|Hair (Including their Beard)
|Silvery with the occasional pink or green tint
|Black or pale white
Persona – Changelings don’t usually go into their true form for others to see, as they mainly put on disguises they call personas, which will become their identity.
Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.
Changelings have one other subrace, which comes as an alternative to the traditional Changeling race.
Changeling (UA) – Changelings described by the Unearthed Arcana are more devious than traditional Changelings, specifically with their Unsettling Visage and Divergent Persona features.
Beyond their abilities, everything stays more or less the same compared to traditional Changelings. It’ll be up to the player from this point on to make their Changelings different than the rest if that’s even a good idea!
Rogue Class Features
|1d8 per Rogue level
|HP at level 1
|8 + Constitution modifier
|HP at Higher levels
|1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Rogue level after level 1
|Hand crossbows, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords, Simple weapons
|Choose four – Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
Upon reaching level 3, you’ll be able to choose from 9 Rogue archetypes, all with different pros and cons – but you’ll have to find one that fits best with your character.
Arcane Trickster – Combine your skillful agility and stealth with magic, granting you enchantment and illusion spells.
Assassin – Your art is death, using disguises to fool your enemies, poisons to make their death accidental, and stealth to remain unseen whenever necessary.
Inquisitive – Rooting out secrets and solving mysteries is what you live for. Your eyes see intricate details everywhere, and through training, you’ve come to read and write more languages than most.
You effortlessly exterminate creatures hiding amongst their prey by using your mastery of legends and powerful equipment.
Mastermind – The Mastermind focuses on people, particularly their influence and secrets. They make unmatched spies, using their words to escape even some of the most threatening situations.
Phantom – As a Phantom, you walk the line between life and death, always eager to take lives and risk your own in the process.
While on this path, you may discover magical connections to death itself or even take knowledge from the dead and immerse yourself in their energy – becoming like a ghost.
Scout – Scouts are masters of survival and stealth, always eager to scout ahead during expeditions and clear the road if necessary.
Scouts find solace in the wilderness, among rangers and barbarians, often joining war bands and becoming their ambushers or bounty hunters.
Soulknife – You strike not with a blade but infiltrate the minds of your enemies, cutting through physical and psychic barriers. As a Soulknife, you discover vast psionic powers within you, channeling them in combination with your skills as a rogue.
Though useful, many other rogues and organizations mistrust them, as they are wary of their powerful mind-altering abilities. Many governments do, however, employ Soulknives as spies or masters of ‘persuasion.’
Swashbuckler – Swashbucklers know only the way of the sword, incorporating their charm, elegance, and speed.
You aren’t adorned in heavy armor and fight as if performing a dance. Swashbucklers are unrivaled duelists, excelling with two weapons and one-on-one combat.
Thief – Thieves are seen as common hooligans, seeking nothing more than ‘treasure’ as they like to put it.
They have exceptional agility and stealth, often using these skills to delve into ancient ruins or learn about unfamiliar languages in their search for wealth. They even use magical objects many others can’t.
Combining Rogue With Changeling
Determining Your Rogue Subclass
Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.
Optimal Changeling Subrace
Changelings have a bonus to their Charisma (2) for both races. Normal Changelings then leave it up to the player to choose one ability score to increase by 1, and UA Changelings get to increase either Dexterity or Intelligence by 1.
Charisma, even though it isn’t used as often as Dexterity, is very useful for a Rogue who wants to specialize in manipulation and deception.
The main difference between these races is that normal Changelings are more proficient with deceptive skills, while UA Changelings are better with tools.
So, if you want to become a Rogue who specializes more in tools, picking the UA Changeling will be more effective, but if you want to focus on becoming a manipulator, then choose the normal Changeling.
Note: Both races are still capable of being good with tools and manipulation; the main difference is that they have specific proficiencies.
Your Changeling Rogue Background
Your Changeling Rogue needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants to achieve.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?
Place of Birth
Think of the environment a Changeling Rogue grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually shaped their view of the world.
Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.
Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.
Characteristics and Personality Traits
(Short outline of characteristics; are they proud, violent, or angry, and how does their class affect their personality).
Changeling Rogue Examples:
- I pocket anything I see that might have some value.
- I make sure always to have a plan prepared for when things go wrong.
Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws
Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Changeling Rogue’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing.
I never target people who can’t afford to lose a few coins.
Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Changeling Rogue has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.
My ill-gotten gains will always go to support my family.
Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Changeling Rogue- their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.
I can’t resist swindling people who are more powerful than me.
Inspiration can be used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.
I can’t resist a good gamble. Even if there’s no money for it, I’ll probably just win it back if I lose any. Just trust me!
Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.
Supplies and Gear For Changeling Rogues
Rogues start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.
- (a) Rapier or (b) Shortsword
- (a) Shortbow and quiver with 20 arrows or (b) Shortsword
- (a) Burglar’s pack, (b) Dungeoneer’s pack, or (c) Explorer’s pack
- Leather armor, Thieves’ tools, and two daggers
You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.
Note: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (4d4 x 10 GP for Rogues).
Changelings are very secretive about their personal lives, but they portray other personas, making it very difficult to discover if someone is actually a Changeling. In most cases, you’ll only know by stalking them or if they tell you personally.
Changeling Rogues are even more deceptive, as they don’t only use manipulation to get what they want but threats of violence as well. Compared to other Changelings, these are by far the most dangerous manipulators.
As a Changeling Rogue, you have a decision to make. Will you or won’t you manipulate people? It’s very possible for you to backstab your entire party if you are cold-hearted enough.
In my opinion, having a Changeling Rogue in your party can make a campaign so much more interesting, especially campaigns focusing on psychology and problem-solving!
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