Alright, I am going to need you to keep this on the down low. I don’t want this getting back to a certain lovable Dwarven “Weapon Master” with balls of stone and a heart of gold, as he can be so sensitive sometimes, but I played a Rogue in an Living Forgotten Realms adventure at my local game store last week and it was freaking fantastic. I’m not just talking about the massive amounts of damage Mr. Sultan Griss was able to drop on poor unsuspecting kobolds, although it did get me wondering if this is how these striker guys get you to fall to the dark side by giving you a little taste of the power, for free of course like some damage pimp, and then the next thing you know your force choking poor Natalie Portman for suggesting that maybe you need to remember your defender roots. What I liked about playing a Rogue was you just couldn’t swagger up to a bad guy and blow your load like some lazy out of shape porn star; you had to think about how you were going to go about getting your combat advantage, which greatly added to the game play experience. I found myself more engaged and attentive even when it wasn’t my turn, watching the battle unfold and plotting my next move. It almost made me forget that I was playing a module for the second time (what are the odds of that, I play so rarely it is like the D&D gods were mocking me). Not to mention Role-playing a rogue is also pretty badass; I mean come on who doesn’t love being a proper scoundrel.
I went with a Drow artful dodger with a pimped up melee weapon in the rapier and a dagger in the off hand. I modeled him after Salvatore’s Jarlaxe (who is about a bazillion times more interesting than Drizzt) complete with eye patch affectation. I went with a 20 Dexterity to start, as I think this type of Rogue is a build you can get away with it given your attack bonus, AC bonus, damage bonus, and initiative bonus all key off dexterity. I also opted for the Drow Cloud of Darkness racial power. Aside from being way cool thematically, I found that it came in pretty handy to get your combat advantage when you really needed it as well as a nice emergency eject button when you’re about to have your shit handed to you
One of the quirky things about skills and the mechanics of Rogues in 4th edition is that you are unlikely to have any points in your Wisdom. This means your Perception skill and by default your ability to detect traps will suck balls. Even if you put a couple of points into Wisdom you will still struggle hitting those hard DC’s. You can be a trap disarming savant but you’re more likely to walk into that pit trap than disarm it, unless of course the Elven bow ranger points it out to you first or even worse the Cleric. I think in my campaigns I might give Rogues +2 bonus to the Perception skill to better suit my view of the Rogue Archetype.