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The Rogue is a much debated class but I believe it is a "must" pick for all party make-ups. This class is useful in that it can identify items, disarm traps, find secret locations, pick locks, hide in the shadows to avoid party damage and most importantly instantly kill an opponent without having the opposition make a "magic" savings throw. For this character you should really consider races like Humans, Hobbits, Dwarves and Barbarians. Here are the racial modifiers in order of preference:

1) Hobbits get Small (-1 AC) and Skilled (+5% on Open Locks).
2) Barbarians get +1 toHit with Melee weapons and Slaughter (1% on Critical Hit skill).
3) Dwarves get +1 toHit with Melee weapons and get Resiliant (-1 SV).
4) Humans get Promising (+1 to a random stat every 5th level).

There's something you need to keep in mind when first creating your Rogue; is your party going to be magic dependent or skill dependent? My philosophy is that later on in the game, each character pulls their own weight and so I choose "skill" over "magic." But, every person's play-style is different so I'll write the following to explain what I'm hinting at here...

Race-wise, Hobbits and Humans are going to be able to utilize their skills the most throughout the game. When either of these two races advance in levels, if their Main Stats (DX and LK) are raised during leveling, then their skill modifiers get an extra boost (like Open Locks, Identify, etc). This can really help out in the beginning of the game when you're faced with traps and locked chests and you're exploring with a novice Magic-User team. On the other hand, if you're looking for some damage dealers, then the Barbarian and Dwarf will do the trick with their racial attack modifiers and strength bonuses. The key to a Barbarian or Dwarf is to get your DX up early so that they can "Hide In Shadows." If you're unable to do this, then this character wastes a turn trying to hide because of their low % and becomes a burden by being spotted all the time...

My ultimate choices here are Hobbit for the balanced party and Barbarian for the party that needs an extra "melee" hitter (or that maybe lacking a Hunter). The Rogue should always be hiding on the first turn and then attacking on the second turn (based on what you're faced up against). The only way this class can "critical hit" is if they are hiding. Once hidden, they are immune to all spells that would hurt the party and are ignored by opposing NPCs.

Lastly, this character's role is to alert the party of what's in front of them and inform the player of where hidden passages are located through a class-only skill called Perception. These skills are given right off the bat and so, early in the game as your plugging away in the dungeons and forests you should be getting clues from your Rogue on false walls or things that will effect your party by merely having this character in your group.

So, how should you progress a Rogue? Below are some notes:

Main Stats: DX - Dexterity and LK - Luck
Dexterity is the modifier that allows you to "critically hit" monsters, attack first in combat rounds and maintain a relatively "low" natural armor class (AC) score. Luck is going to give you the added bonus needed to identify items, be able to perceive things in your surroundings and disarm traps.

Note: You have a potential of reaching a maximum score of 25 in both of these areas until all of your other stats are at 18 before these stats will raise any further.

Sub-Stats: Strength and Constitution
Although not required, strength is going to give you the added bonus to do damage when you're not so lucky at critically hitting and constitution, if obtained early, is going to give you a bonus per level in the amount of hit points that you obtain.

Note: These scores will max out at 18 until both of your Main Stats are at a score of 25 (or above). Only then will you be able to raise these scores above 18...

Leveling: The game raises all your Non-Main Stats to 18 until your Main Stats (DX/LK) are at or above a score of 25. Once these two tiers are hit, then your other stat-scores can be progressed.

Note: Keep in mind that you have an opportunity of Rolling an 18 for ANY stat (or combination of) when you create your character!!! For the Rogue, your CN, LK and DX scores are the most important during character creation because they will determine how many hit points you get per level and also what your starting skill % will be.

Hit Points per Level: 1d8
You really want a constitution score above 14 so that you can get the added hit point modifier. A constitution of 16 is going to net you 10 points per level while a consitution score of 18 is going to net you a maximum of 12.

Note: Save your game outside of the Training Hall before progressing your character. A Rogue with a CN of 18 is going to get 12 Hit Points per level (1d8+4). When I created my Rogue, she had a CN of 16 and was getting about 10 points per level.

Bonuses w/ Constitution: You get a bonus of +1 HPs for every point above 14. So, if you have a CON of 18, then you will get 1d8 + 4 per level for a maximum total of 12 HPs per level. Like previously mentioned, you can't raise this score until your two Main Stats are at/above 25.

Bonuses w/Strength: In the traditional Bard's Tale game, strength affects the damage you'll do with melee weapons. At a ST of 6 points you do -2 damage, at 20 you do +10 damage. Most weapons are melee, so this attribute is useful for all character builds, except pure bow-users. Below is a ST table for reference, it seems that this applies to ALL classes. I would also Keep in mind that strength ONLY effects the amount of damage that you do with melee weapons:

Strength Table

4: -3 Damage
5: -3 Damage
6: -2 Damage
7: -2 Damage
8: -1 Damage
9: -1 Damage

10: Normal Damage
11: +1 Damage
12: +2 Damage
13: +3 Damage
14: +4 Damage
15: +5 Damage
16: +6 Damage
17: +7 Damage
18: +8 Damage
19: +9 Damage
20: +10 Damage

When Rogues go up a level:
Identify: This skill improves 4% with +1% per point of LK over 14 (maximum 99%)
Open Locks: This skill improves 4% with +1% per point of DX over 14 (maximum 99%)
Perception: This skill improves 4% with +1% per point of LK over 14 (maximum 99%)
Hide in Shadows: This skill improves 4% with +1% per point of DX over 14 (maximum 99%)
Disarm Traps: This skill improves 4% with +1% per point of LK over 14 (maximum 99%)
Critical Hit: This score improves by 4% +1% per point of DX over 14 (for a maximum of 99%).

Note: Rogues can start with a potential 8% chance of Disarm Traps and a 8% chance of Hiding in Shadows.

Update: Brand new!!! Skills improve a flat 4% per level plus your stat modifier. So for example, if DX = 16, then Hide in Shadows goes up 4 + 2 = 6% per level.

Gear / Armor / Weapons:
Rogues can wear Robes, Gowns, Leather Armor and Cuir Boulli Armor (Padded / Hardened / Studded). Rogues cannot wear any kind of "metal" armor pieces.

  • Head: A "Leather Cap" is all that stands in the way of a good concussion. This item on its own gives an AC bonus of 1 but if you’re able to find a Padded or Hardened Leather Cap then you’re getting an AC bonus of 2 and 3 (respectfully).

  • Hands: Keep an eye out for Leather Gloves or Cuir Boulli Gloves. Cuir Boulli is the best non-metal armor in the game. You are more likely to stumble across "padded" (which gives an extra AC bonus) so keep an eye out for that early on in the game...

  • Chest: This character starts out with Leather Armor already but you're going to want to look for Curi Boulli Armor that is "boiled" leather and drops from random monsters and is found in chests. Padded gives an AC bonus of 1, Hardened gives an AC bonus of 2 and Studded gives an AC bonus of 3 (and so forth). I'd recommend that when you finally find a piece of "Hardened Cuir Boulli Armor" you go ahead and apply a Bronze Rune to it, this will give the armor a SV bonus of 1.

  • Shields: There are only two shields that this class can use; a Buckler and a Tarasz Leather Shield. Bronze shields are metal and will have bonus name-tags of Bronze, Iron and Steel while the Tarasz Leather Shield will have Padded, Hardened and Studded. All of these name tags give AC bonuses...

  • Back: Look for an "Elf Cloak." This item will give you an AC modifier of 2. The first one you find, you really should give to your Rogue.

  • Weapons (Melee): The best starter item is a Spear and does 1d8 points of damage. You could purchase an Axe, which does 1d6+2 damage but the Spear allows any character in the back row (character slots 5-7) to attack a monster that is in the 10' - 20' range without getting hit via “melee.” First thing is first, sell your “starter” Short Sword and equip a Spear to get started and as tempting as this may seem, stay away from ranged items. If you’re able to finish the “Herb” quest at an early stage, then you’ll get a “Poison Blade” which will DOT (damage over time) an opponent that is hit. This is really your first introduction to Rogue only weapons and you should be able to hide effectively in the shadows once you get it. If you don't have a Rogue in your party, then sell this item for 500 gold to a vendor (any).

At about level 6-10 when you start exploring areas like the Crypts, dungeons of the Abandoned Tower, Savages Crossing, try and get your hands on a Thief Dagger that does 5d10+20 and toHit +2. This is, so far, the best item reported for this class and can be used in coordination with a shield. Since the "Thief Dagger" is considered a named item, this item cannot be enchanted with any kind of Runes for bonus.

  • Weapons (Ranged): If you're dead-set on giving your Rogue a ranged weapon, then the ideal secondary item is a throwing star. You can purchase a "Deathstar" from the starting store for about 400 gold and this item does 2d8 damage and doesn't require any ammunition. If you’re hidden and attack with this item, in theory, you should be able to critical hit an opponent without having to go their full distance. Later keep an eye out for an Elvenbow (Bronze, Iron, Steel, etc) and this will do even more damage but you’ll never critical hit with this item and so that is why I suggest you STAY AWAY FROM BOWS completely... Later, when your skills are more developed you won't be needing a ranged item at all and I would strongly suggest avoiding this weapon type altogether.

  • Other Items: Healing Balms, Healing Potions, Fairylights and Lanterns all make great items. You're always going to want to carry around a "Lockpick #10" that can be used before picking a lock on a chest and will reveal an extra word in the deciphering opportunity. I would also give my Rogue the starting trinket (Bandits Brassard) to give them an extra -1 AC once you defeat the Veteran in the Ruin Camps.

Battle Tips:
First, every turn you get is crucial to the effectiveness of this class. I’m going to outline some typical battle behaviors for the Rogue and show you how you should be using them in battle… Keep in mind, these are just outline battles but the function description remains the same for what your Rogue should be doing.

  • Battling Magic Users (Any):

Most casters that you go up against in the game will be 20’ to 90’ feet away from you, will never advance to melee range (but will advance to the 30’ range) and most importantly can cast spells that will either single out a party member (distances up to 70’) or hit the entire party from being within the ranges of 20’ to 30’ feet.

Scenario: Let’s say you’re squaring off against 2 Orc Shamans that are in the 40’ range who are defended by 5 Orc Warriors that are within melee distance (10’) of the party. You’re not going to be able to get to those Shamans until you kill the warriors, so have all of the melee characters attack the Orc Warriors, have a Mage cast “Absorb Magic” and have the other Mage cast a debuff or area effect against the Warriors, then have the Rogue “hide in shadows” as their attack choice. From the opposition, there’s a pretty good chance that in the first round the Orc Shamans are going to do one of two things; since they can’t attack the party with their magic spells from the 40’ foot range they’re either going to “advance” and close the gap between the party OR they are going to sit there and wait for you to get within 30’ feet before blasting everyone with Battle Strike… Let’s say the Orc Shamans are somewhat smart and choose to advance in the first turn while the Warriors all decide to take a crack at your eager loot happy skulls… While the party is busy swiping and casting away, the Rogue by turn #2 now has a 20’ distance between the Shamans. The Shamans don’t even know that the Rogue is there and so any attack attempts against this character will be ignored. Round #2, hide again. As the Rogue is making an attempt to hide again, the party during this turn period should be wiping out what’s left of the Orcs Warriors and is probably going to have to deal with the Shamans casting Battle Strike, since our Shamans are “smart” only 6 of the 7 party members are going to be able to resist the spell attack. Since the party casted “Absorb Magic” in the first round, there’s only minor damage being delivered with the majority of the party members “resisting” the spell attack.


You should have your Mages try and cast either an area effect spell or a long distance spell like Ray of Fire (30’) or Spectre Touch (70’). It’s now turn #3, I know you want to advance the party, but have the Rogue take a swing at the Orcs instead… If successful, you’ll now only have to deal with 1 Orc Shaman rather than 2 from a 30’ feet range (which would double the Battle Strike damage against the party). If successful, your Rogue took out one of the Shaman and now you’re charging against the lonely Shaman who is either healing himself or casting an ill-fated Battle Strike before being overwhelmed by the advancing party.

  • Battling Melee Combatants (Close-Up):

Your Rogue excels at taking out monsters that have a lot of hit points and are highly resistant to Magic Spells. A lot of the more complex monsters or named bosses are going to be able to resist the Magician spell “Coup De Grace” (which can only be used at the 10’ range). Hint: Your Rogue can hide and advance on monsters that unknowingly realize the Rogue is there. While your Rogue is hiding, monsters will ignore this character and not attack it. In most circumstances, you’re going to be faced with monsters that either “sit” there and attack from afar or advance on you. Having your Rogue hide (first) before this turn of events can make the difference as your advancing or defending yourself against monsters…

Scenario: You’re faced with 2 Rock Trolls and 10 Wargs… You should know that no Warrior, Paladin or Monk is going to be able to kill a Rock Troll in the first round with damage only. It takes about 2.5 turns to kill monsters like these with a balanced party… The good thing is, that monsters like this have a low THACO and so are somewhat easy to hit and make a lot of misses. If you cast Freeze Foe on them, it makes it even easier to hit them and do damage. However, the party is obviously overwhelmed and if you don’t get hit by the mobbing Wargs, then one hit from a Rock Troll (in the first round) is instant death to any unlucky party member that is in the way. So, in Round #1 have all of the melee classes attack the Wargs, with the lone Hunter attacking the Rock Trolls and the Bard gets scared and uses a Horn (I’d save it and have the Bard either attack via melee/range against the Wargs), the Rogue hides and one of the Magic Users casts Battle Strike, Electrify or Dragon’s Breath (etc) against the Wargs while the other casts either Disrupting Winds (against all monsters) or Freeze Foe (against the Trolls). The reasoning for these choices are; you’re going to do area damage against the Wargs and you have a pretty good chance of the casters attacking first before anyone/anything else. If this happens, then when the melee classes get their turn last, they’ll be dealing with monsters that have 2/3rds the hit points that they started out with… In most scenarios, this reduction in hit points will allow your melee classes to kill the damaged mob.

The battle results are the Rock Trolls attack first and miss, the Hunter misses against the Trolls, the Bard and Magic User #1 blasts away at the Wargs while Magic User #2 debuffs the Trolls. In the end, the Wargs are reduced to from 10 to 7 with all the melee classes taking minimal damage. Round # 2, melee classes attack the Wargs (including the Bard), Hunter attacks the Trolls, Rogue attacks the Trolls and Mage #1 continues with area effect while Mage #2 casts group heals or single heals against anyone that took too much damage (if you have a seasoned party cast Restoration). The Hunter finally hits his target and so does the Rogue, the melee classes swing at the Wargs with the Magic User #1 dwindling their hit points… Mage #2 heals some of the party of the members and we’re left with 2 dead Rock Trolls and 2 Wargs badly wounded. Round #3 everyone attacks what’s left of the Warg pack while the Mages heal. You win the battle and go on your merry way…

  • Battling Melee Combatants (Far Away):

In Round # 1 you should always hide the Rogue and have all other characters perform their normal attack routine. Why advance on melee monsters when they will come right to you? If you time it right, you’ll get a few free attack rounds from the Rogue first and then from the whole party. Here’s what I mean…

Scenario: The party is faced with 8 Liberators at a distance of 40’ feet. Round #1, Paladin defends, Warrior defends, Hunter defends, Bard defends, Rogue hides, Magic Users either cast debuffs or defend. The Liberators advance to the 30’ foot range. Round #2, even though the distance is now 30’ go ahead and have your Rogue attack from the 20’ range. The chances that the Liberators will advance “first” before your Rogue’s attack are very high… The Liberators advance first and the Rogue attacks and critically hits one of the Liberators brining their total to 7. The Rogue is now hanging out with the party. Round #3, all melee party members defend (you could have a Bard use a Horn but since this opponent is considered “common” I wouldn’t waste the charge), the Rogue hides again and the Magic Users either cast more debuffs or cast spells like Battle Strike or Dragon’s Breath. The Liberators take damage as they continue to advance on the party… Round #4, the distance is now 20’, have all Melee party members attack along with the Rogue who is at the 20’ range and have the Magic Users hold off and defend (save spell points). The Liberators advance to the 10’ range, the Warrior and Paladin in the group hit doing X times damage, killing two of the Liberators, your Rogue critically hits another and the Hunter critically hits taking out another and the Bard hits doing minimal damage. You’re now left with 3 Liberators, all wounded and they haven’t even had a chance to attack the party yet… Round #5, finish them off with the 4 melee characters, have the Rogue hide in shadows again (in case you don’t finish off all of the combatants) or if they are wielding a Spear have the Rogue attack while the mages either attack with “thrown weapons” or defend and save on spell points. The Liberators are all dead and the party now rejoices by plundering their pockets…

Final Notes:
I’d always have a party make-up of 4 melee classes, 1 Rogue and 2 magic users. Your Rogue is effective in the #5 spot, that way if one of your melee classes becomes incapacitated or dead, they are acting as a buffer between the attacking monster/s and casters as they move up a slot. If your Rogue is somewhat “weak” having them “hidden” in the 5th character slot (that now got moved up to 4th) prevents them from being attacked and monsters can only hit characters in the 1st – 3rd slots. Keep the Rogue hidden until the battle is over or the number of monsters is dwindled so you don’t chance the Rogue attacking and now becoming a target to melee hungry monsters. Some players will opt to have their Rogue in the 4th slot and a character like a Bard in the 5th position, but with the Rogue’s low hit points, why chance the Rogue getting hit before their able to execute their “hide in shadows” turn? A Bard is a “defense” character and can take the hit so your better off putting the Rogue class in the back row and out of harms way to let the poor Bard square off against the attackers... Heck, it gives them something to sing about anyways.

In conclusion, as you can see from the skill table above, Dexterity and Luck play a critical role in the effectiveness of the Rogue's ability to actually "do" something. Character creation, and rolling the right stats in the beginning is the key component to any character but more critical in the “advancement” of a Rogue. You can argue about Strength, but I consider it a measure of damage when hitting a single target. I believe it is important because you’ll want strength bonuses for maximum damage output when you DON’T critical hit against an NPC target that you’re trying to do away with. Remember that the Rogue’s primary role in Silversword is to “hide in shadows” and then critical hit an opponent that is either too far away from the party or has too many hit points to deal with via multiple rounds that is within attack range. The ability for this character to instantly kill a monster and not be attacked at all is crucial and the skill set that the character possesses is invaluable when adventuring…

Happy hiding!