Rogue class

Here is a draft of a new rogue class I developed recently. It uses the Gravity Sinister skills, though skill improvement is simplified into categories of untrained, trained, and mastered (which translate into chances of success on a six-sided die).

One improvement option is chosen each time a character gains a level. A character must have training in something before mastery.

Regarding experience tables, my inclination recently has been to use the fighter progression for everyone. The rogue uses the medium rationalized hit dice progression, and attack bonus is also derived from hit dice.

The omission of a separate sneak attack or backstab ability is intentional. I am thinking that surprise attacks are probably better handled independent of class in terms of effect (an extra die of damage seems reasonable), and the stealth skill grants rogues a better chance of setting up a surprise attack in any case. A separate backstab-type skill also focuses too much on damage per round type calculations for my taste.

Rules for simple and light weapons are also included with streamlined weapon properties for ease of reference at the bottom of the post.


Initial training:

  • Two weapons from the simple or light weapons lists.
  • Light armor.
  • Three skills.

Improvement options: skill training, skill mastery.


Skills are divided into basic and expert categories:

  • Basic skills: Climb, Listen, Search, Stealth
  • Expert skills: Devices, Locks, Steal

Skills that require general agility (climb, stealth, and steal) are penalized by one if wearing chain armor and two if wearing plate armor. Using a skill often takes some time and thus may require spending an exploration turn in focused application.

The climb skill allows allows the climbing of surfaces such as rough walls. Climbing a rope or ladder does not require a skill check. There is a penalty of one when attempting to climb smooth surfaces and a penalty of two when attempting to climb slippery surfaces. Climbing gear imparts a bonus of one on climb checks.

The devices skill can be used to disable or manipulate small mechanical traps and mechanisms. Failure does not trigger traps.

The steal skill allows something to be taken without being noticed. Steal can even be used in melee. On failure, the attempt is not noticed but the desired item is not acquired. Items held directly by others may be stolen, but this may not be done secretly.

Consider adding more expert skills if they fit your campaign. Some possibilities include tracking, poison-craft, herbalism, leadership, and chirurgy.

Untrained Skills

The chance of success when using an untrained basic skill is 1 in 6 for characters of any class. There is no chance of success when attempting an expert skill if untrained.

Trained Skills

The chance of success when using a trained skills is 3 in 6.

Mastered Skills

The chance of success when using a mastered skills is 5 in 6.


Simple Weapons
Weapon Properties Trained Mastered
Club bludgeon stun
Dagger throwable auto-hit after grapple
Spear reach throwable interposing
Staff two-handed, bludgeon +1 AC parry (melee)
Light Weapons
Weapon Properties Mastered
Short sword   +2 attack in formation
Short bow   +2 attack with aim
Sling unencumbering,
versatile ammo

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