Dwarf Rogues are masters of subterfuge; using their nimble fingers and eyes that pierce through the darkness, they tread the path of skilled Rogues, dancing through danger with a mischievous grin upon their faces.
Their heritage grants them natural resilience, and their sturdy build shrugs off blows that would fell lesser adventurers.
Equipped with an assortment of deadly daggers, traps, and gadgets, Dwarf Rogues are masters of surprise attacks.
Even though they have the methods of a thief, Dwarf Rogues are extremely loyal, often forging bonds that last a lifetime.
Creating a Dwarf Rogue
Dwarfs are mostly found in their vast cities carved deep into the roots of mountains. Echoing sounds of picks and hammers can be heard in their blazing forges and cavernous mines, a tradition burning as hot as their hatred for goblins and orcs – a common thread uniting all dwarfs.
|Skin||Deep brown, Light brown, Deep tan, Pale brown tinged with red|
|Hair (Including their Beard)||Black, Gray, Brown, and sometimes Red (paler dwarfs)|
Their hair is long and simple in style – yet their beards are carefully groomed and often styled
|Eyes||Gray, Blue, Green, Red, Opal, Brown|
|Nose||Human-like noses, Large noses|
|Mouth||Smaller human-like teeth|
Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.
Dwarfs have 4 distinct subraces, 2 of which populate most of the world, the rest being much rarer.
Hill Dwarf – Hill Dwarfs have keen senses, remarkable resilience, and deep intuition.
Mountain Dwarf – Mountain Dwarfs are hardy and strong, familiar with a difficult life in rough terrain. They are also taller than most dwarfs, tending to have a lighter appearance as well.
Gray Dwarf (Duergar) – Gray Dwarfs live deep underground in the Underdark. They are vicious and stealthy and also have deep connections to the slave trade.
They’ll regularly go up to the surface to raid, taking their captives down to the Underdark to be sold as slaves to other races. Unlike most dwarfs, Gray Dwarfs possess innate magical abilities, like temporarily growing to a giant size or becoming invisible.
Mark of Warding Dwarf – These dwarfs are masters at protection, especially when it means protecting something valuable or precious.
They have mystical abilities allowing them to weave wards and place intricate locks – they even understand many locks and have no problem figuring out how to unlock certain locks, be it with magic or normal tools.
Rogue Class Features
|Hit Dice||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|
|Weapons||Hand crossbows, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords, Simple weapons|
|Saving Throws||Dexterity, Intelligence|
|Skills||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 Class With Race
Determining Your 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.
|Arcane Trickster||Face/Support/Utility Caster|
Dwarfs only have a handful of subraces, which don’t give them too many options regarding ability score increase.
Rogues are tricky, focusing primarily on Dexterity for normal Rogues and Intelligence only when becoming an Arcane Trickster. Rogues should also focus on Wisdom or Charisma, depending on which skills they took and what their role is in their party.
If you want to become an ordinary Rogue being a Hill Dwarf, where the Mark of Warding Dwarf works best if you want to be an Arcane Trickster.
Note: If you’re a Face (role), you should definitely go for Charisma, whereas if you’re in need of Insight and Perception, Wisdom will work better.
Your Dwarf 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 Dwarf 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
Dwarf Rogues are stout infiltrators who can take many roles, such as becoming hardy assassins, nimble thieves, or skilled manipulators.
Their weapon skills and tough lives make them good candidates, but their stout figure could be a drawback if they need to quickly slip through tight spaces.
Dwarf Rogue Druid Examples:
- I ignore the risks in a situation. Never tell me the odds.
- I make sure to always have a plan prepared for when things go wrong.
Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws
Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Dwarf Rogue’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).
I never target people who can’t afford to lose a few coins.
Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Dwarf 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.
Most of my ill-gotten gains go to support my struggling family.
Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Dwarf Rogue – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.
I can’t resist swindling people who are more powerful than me.
Inspiration is used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.
I cannot let an insult or threat of violence pass without punishing those who made it.
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
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) A rapier or (b) A shortsword
- (a) A shortbow and quiver containing 20 arrows or (b) A shortsword
- (a) Burglar’s pack, (b) Dungeoneer’s pack, or (c) Explorer’s pack
- Leather armor, two daggers, and thieves’ tools
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).
Dwarfs Rogues aren’t too uncommon, as there are some Dwarfs who prefer agile assassination or stealth over methods used by Barbarians, Paladins, or Fighters.
Those who become Rogues make excellent Faces or Strikers, as they excel at assassination, persuasion, and duels.
If your party is in need of a stubborn, ale-addicted assassin, then look no further than the Dwarf Rogue!
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