Kenku Rogues are a mischievous blend of feathered thieves and masters of deception, capable of stealing your heart and gold in a single swoop.
Equipped with an arsenal of tools that would make even a locksmith jealous, the Kenku Rogue can pick locks with the grace of a hummingbird in flight. They wield blades with the elegance of a choreographed dance, ensuring that their foes fall swiftly and silently.
If you encounter a Kenku Rogue on your adventures, be wary, for their wit is as sharp as their beak, and their loyalty is as fleeting as a bird in flight.
Creating a Kenku Rogue
Kenku are haunted by an ancient crime that stole their wings, turning them flightless. Now, the flightless Kenku travel the world, often ending up as burglars or vagabonds living at the edges of human society.
Kenku suffer from their sinister reputation, which isn’t particularly unearned, yet they can prove a valuable asset to those in need of a thief or spy.
|Feathers cover their skin in colors of Russet-brown, brown, or white (they also have white markings, which Kenku use to tell each other apart)
Rarely, Kenku have Solid black or purple feathers
Note: Their legs and arms aren’t covered by feathers, resembling thin human arms and legs
|The head of a crow
|Beady eyes of Black or red
|Nostril holes on their beak
|Large, black crow-like beak
|Large talons of a crow
|A small vestigial tail with long feathers
Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.
Much like their avian brethren, the Aarakocra, Kenku don’t have any subraces. This can probably be attributed to their thin-spread numbers and poor way of life, leading to fewer communities forming.
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 Kenku
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 Kenku Subrace
Kenku start with a bonus to their Dexterity (2) and Wisdom (1) which isn’t bad if you’re making a Kenku Rogue, mostly because Rogues rely a lot on Dexterity.
Since Kenku don’t have subraces, you’ll have to make do with the stats an ordinary Kenku has.
Luckily for you, Kenku are known for becoming thieves or pickpockets, and their lore is incredibly interesting, so you have a lot to work with when creating your character’s background.
Your Kenku Rogue Background
Your Kenku 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 Kenku 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
Kenku Rogues are often seen as scum due to many of them resorting to theft, burglary, and murder to get by in society.
However, those who embrace their Rogue nature become some of the most lethal assassins and powerful tricksters.
Kenku Rogue Examples:
- When arriving at a new place, the first thing I do is note the locations of everything that’s valuable – or where such things could be hidden.
- I pocket anything I see that might have some value.
Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws
Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Kenku Rogue’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).
I’ll do anything to become wealthy.
Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Kenku 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.
Everything I have I owe to my mentor – who is a horrible person who’s probably rotting in jail somewhere.
Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Kenku Rogue- their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.
When I have to choose between money and my friends, I usually choose money.
Inspiration can be used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.
Because of your hard life as a Kenku Rogue, you have become a trained thief, but you blame society and the shortcomings of the government for all of 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 For Kenku Rogue
Rogues start with the following equipment, including 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: You can also buy equipment using your character’s starting wealth (4d4 x 10 GP for Rogues).
Kenku Rogues might be disguised as mere tricksters or harmless thieves, but deep down, they make professional spies and deadly assassins.
If you ever walk through some of the run-down parts of a town, be on the lookout for Kenku Rogues and their tricks.
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