Thoughts on the Rogue

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Designing the Rogue

I didn’t want a Rogue class or a Thief class in Unchained Heroes. I originally wanted a “Shadow” in Unchained Heroes. Who doesn’t want to play a mystical assassin-like character? I was head set on that  idea. I told myself, “I would not have the typical Rogue. I would be different.” I had that idea for some time, but reality started to rear its head. Shadows were too much of a specialist and I needed more “generic” classes in the game that would fit the common mold of people in a game universe. I had to put in the Rogue.

That is not to say that Rogues are a pushover or just “common” in Unchained Heroes. The Rogue Class is a staple of every RPG and I realized there was a good reason for them. I needed to include them for all those people that are not looking for a “fancy flashy magic-using stealthy assassin.” Not everyone wants to be a special assassin of a mystical order. We needed a plain old Rogue, the kind of person that makes something out of life by their wits and their sword arm. The only real question that remained was are they going to be played with the thief bent or the roguish tone?

I chose the Rogue tone, since a Thief can get pigeon-holed into being a nasty underhanded individual. As a Rogue, I felt the players could be a lovable scoundrel, daring thief, dashing swashbuckler, quick-thinking scout, or a wide-eyed adventurer. What’s in a name? Everything.

The feel of the Rogue had everything I needed in a class. It gives a player license to do as they will. They can choose to be a person that cares nothing for authority, an adventurer using their special talents to acquire great wealth, or a ranger type character. With so many playstyles, I was able to draw from many different inspirations. The abilities were narrowed down to a point where it was logical that the abilities would apply to any character concept. I felt, within the Rogue mindset, they would fit anything a player could think up. In the end, I even added a little bit more with the apothecary tone, and I think in future supplements I will be able to do so to even a greater degree, without infringing on the Alchemist too much.

Reactions to the Rogue

Everyone has wanted to play a Rogue, and our professional Rogue, has played one enough times that I have lost count. Their abilities flow together well and they perform their role well, no matter how you approach the class. I have had “shooty” Rogues with bows, “shooty” Rogues with guns, “Stabby” Rogues with daggers, “Stabby” Rogues with daggers that also threw daggers, Rogues that stayed on the good side of the law, Rogues that walked the knife’s edge of the law, and Rogues that could care less about the law.

There have been a lot of Rogues and they have been some of our most memorable characters even if they appeared for only a short period in a campaign. It’s pretty easy to say that the Rogues have been a fan favorite for most and the go-to character for others. I am interested to see how other people that play Unchained Heroes will use the poisons and abilities the Rogues have available to them. The poisons have not been used very often in recent versions. In all fairness, the poisons went from overpowered to mediocre. The fact they are relatively unused could be due to that fact. Poisons were once a staple of every Rogue’s ability list, but now there are so many different things to do, they get picked up as a filler rather than a staple.

Other players that have been in an adventuring group with a Rogue, are appreciative that they are in their party. The Rogues have always made excellent scouts for the groups and their scouting missions have given us a few laughs. Two instances that particularly stick out in my mind were: an island full of zombies chased our halfling Rogue across the island as he ran for dear life to his boat and our heiress/rogue/general went one-on-one versus a horse riding leader of the opposing army. She bested him in single combat in front of two armies to save much bloodshed. After that particular instance, there was a lot of talk about a Dread Knight vs Rogue potential matchup forming between two of our players. It was a mini-rivalry that lasted for some time.

Overall, Rogues have been great and I could not have asked for a better way for them to play out. Players have reacted very well to the Rogues. They have been the most widely chosen for both one-off and grand campaign stories. I can’t wait to see what the players have in store for them next. This wraps our “Thought” series. I hope you liked them all.

 

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