The Deadly Art of the Assassin Rogue in Dungeons and Dragons 5e

The Assassin Rogue is a subclass in Dungeons and Dragons 5e, focused on stealth, surprise attacks, and poisons. They excel at taking down enemies quickly and quietly, with the ability to deal with a critical hit to surprised enemies.

They also have the skills to infiltrate and disguise themselves, making them a valuable asset to any adventuring party. Overall, the Assassin Rogue is a great choice for players who want to play a calculating, deadly character.

What is Rogue

In Dungeons & Dragons 5e, rogues are a versatile and skilled class that excels in a variety of areas. They are masters of stealth, thievery, and deception, and are skilled in both ranged and melee combat.

Rogues are known for their sneak attacks, which allow them to deal extra damage in combat, and their cunning actions, which grant them a variety of useful bonuses and abilities.

How to Create a Rogue

Here are the steps to create a Rogue in D&D 5E:

  • Choose a Race: Select a race for your character, such as Human, Elf, Dwarf, or Halfling.
  • Determine Ability Scores: Roll or assign ability scores to determine your character’s Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
  • Choose a Background: Pick a background that fits your character’s backstory and gives you proficiency in certain skills and tools.
  • Select a Class: Choose the Rogue class, which gives you access to sneak attacks, expertise, and other abilities.
  • Choose a Subclass: Pick a Rogue subclass such as Thief, Assassin, or Arcane Trickster.
  • Determine Starting Equipment: Roll or choose starting equipment, such as weapons, armor, and adventuring gear.
  • Assign Skill Proficiencies: Assign skill proficiencies based on your background and Rogue class features.
  • Determine Starting Hit Points: Roll or choose to start hit points for your character.
  • Assign Feats: Select feats to give your character additional abilities and bonuses.
  • Choose Spells (if applicable): If playing an Arcane Trickster, select spells to add to your character’s repertoire.

Types of Rogues

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, there is only one base class for rogues. However, within the Rogue class, there are several subclasses that allow for different playstyles and abilities.

Thief Rogue

This subclass focuses on mobility and thievery. They gain the ability to climb faster and move stealthily while doing so. They also gain the ability to use an object as a bonus action, such as using a potion or throwing a weapon.

Thief Rogue


At higher levels, they can use their thief skills to disarm traps and pick locks more easily.

Assassin Rogue

This subclass is focused on deadly and precise attacks. They gain the ability to make a surprise attack against an enemy that hasn’t acted yet in combat, giving them an advantage on the attack roll, and any hit against the surprised creature is considered a critical hit.

They also gain proficiency in the disguise kit and poisoner’s kit.

Arcane Trickster Rogue

This subclass allows for the use of magic in combination with rogue abilities. They gain a limited ability to cast spells from the wizard spell list, and their spells are focused on deception, illusions, and enchantments. They also gain the ability to pick locks and disarm traps using their mage hand.

Swashbuckler Rogue

This subclass is focused on a flashy, charming, and agile fighting style. They gain the ability to add their Charisma modifier to initiative rolls, and they can use their fancy footwork to move away from an enemy without provoking opportunity attacks.

They also gain the ability to deal extra damage and gain an advantage on attack rolls against an enemy that is alone in combat.

Inquisitive Rogue

This subclass is focused on investigation and perception. They gain proficiency in Insight and Investigation skills and gain the ability to use their insight to uncover an enemy’s weaknesses, granting them sneak attack damage even if they don’t have an advantage.

They can also use their ear for deceit to tell if someone is lying to them.

Mastermind Rogue

This subclass is focused on social manipulation and deception. They gain proficiency in the disguise kit and can use their bonus action to help an ally, granting them the advantage on their next ability check or attack roll. They can also mimic voices and accents to imitate someone else’s speech.

Weapons for Rogues in D&D 5E

Rogues can use a variety of weapons in D&D 5e, but they typically favor finesse weapons that allow them to use their Dexterity score for attack and damage rolls. Common finesse weapons for rogues include:

  • Shortsword
  • Rapier
  • Dagger
  • Scimitar
  • Whip

Rogues can also use ranged weapons such as a short bow or a hand crossbow, which can be particularly useful for sneak attacks from a distance.

Additionally, some subclasses like the Swashbuckler may have proficiency with additional weapons such as the longsword or the cutlass. Ultimately, the choice of weapon will depend on the character’s individual style and the situation they find themselves.

Class Features

Sure, here are the Class Features of the Assassin Rogue 5e subclass:


The Assassin Rogue is proficient in light armor, simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords, and thieves’ tools. In addition, they are proficient in four skills of their choice, making them versatile in a variety of situations.

Sneak Attack

This ability allows the Assassin Rogue to deal extra damage on their attacks when they have an advantage on the attack roll, or when an ally of the target is within 5 feet of the target.

This ability increases in damage as the Assassin Rogue gains levels, making it a reliable source of damage in combat.

Thieves Cant

This secret language of thieves and rogues allows the Assassin Rogue to communicate covertly with other members of the underworld. They can use this language to convey hidden messages and make deals with other shady characters.

Cunning Action

This ability allows the Assassin Rogue to take a bonus action to Dash, Disengage, or Hide. This gives them greater mobility and allows them to avoid attacks from enemies.


This feature gives the Assassin Rogue advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn in combat yet. In addition, if the attack hits, it is a critical hit, dealing double damage. This ability makes the Assassin Rogue incredibly dangerous in the first round of combat.

Infiltration Expertise

This ability allows the Assassin Rogue to create false identities and move stealthily through enemy territory. They can forge documents, disguise themselves convincingly, and gain access to restricted areas without being detected.

Assassin Rogue’s class features make them deadly in combat and versatile in social situations. Their focus on stealth and surprise attacks makes them valuable to any adventuring party.

Subclass Features

Sure, here are the Subclass Features of the Assassin Rogue:

Bonus Proficiencies

At 3rd level, the Assassin Rogue gains proficiency with the disguise kit and poisoner’s kit. This makes them even more adept at infiltrating enemy strongholds and taking out key targets.

Assassinate (Improved)

At the 9th level, the Assassin Rogue’s Assassinate feature improves. They now have an advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn in combat yet, regardless of surprise.

In addition, any hit they score against a surprised creature is automatically a critical hit, dealing double damage.


At the 13th level, the Assassin Rogue gains the ability to apply poison to their weapons and create basic poisons. This ability can make their attacks even deadlier and can be used to incapacitate enemies or create distractions.



Uncanny Dodge

At the 17th level, the Assassin Rogue gains the ability to use their reaction to halve the damage from an attacker they can see. This can make them incredibly resilient in combat, allowing them to survive attacks that would otherwise be fatal.


Also at the 17th level, the Assassin Rogue gains the ability to take no damage on a successful Dexterity saving throw, or half damage on a failed to save. This ability makes them incredibly difficult to hit with area-of-effect spells or attacks.


At the 20th level, the Assassin Rogue gains the ability to mimic the speech, writing, and behavior of a person. They can also create convincing disguises, even fooling magical detection.

This ability allows them to infiltrate even the most heavily guarded locations and take out key targets without being detected.


Feats are special abilities that can be chosen instead of an ability score improvement when a character reaches certain levels in D&D 5E. Some feats that can be useful for an Assassin Rogue include:

  • Alert: Grants a bonus to initiative rolls and prevents surprise attacks from enemies.
  • Crossbow Expert: Allows a character to make ranged attacks with a hand crossbow in close combat without disadvantage and grants a bonus action attack with a loaded hand crossbow.
  • Defensive Duelist: Allows a character to use their reaction to add their proficiency bonus to their AC against one melee attack.
  • Dual Wielder: Allows a character to wield two weapons at once and grants a bonus action attack with the off-hand weapon.
  • Mobile: Increases a character’s movement speed and allows them to move through difficult terrain without penalty. Additionally, it allows a character to make a melee attack and then move away without provoking an opportunity attack.
  • Sharpshooter: Grants a bonus to ranged attack rolls and damage, allows a character to ignore cover and long-range penalties, and allows a character to take a -5 penalty to attack rolls for a +10 bonus to damage.

These are just a few examples of the many feats available in D&D 5E, and the choice of which feats to take will depend on the player’s individual preferences and playstyle.

Rogue Assassin 5e Homebrew Fix

Change the Assassinate Feature

Some homebrew rules modify the Assassinate feature to limit its power or change its activation conditions. For example, some rules require the target to be surprised, incapacitated, or restrained to gain the critical hit bonus.

Others limit the critical hit to only the first attack against the target, or only when using a finesse weapon.

Add More Utility Features

The Assassin Rogue’s focus on combat and infiltration can make it less useful in social or exploration scenarios.

Some homebrew rules add more utility features to the subclass, such as a bonus to perception or investigation checks, the ability to mimic any voice or sound, or the ability to create temporary allies with other NPCs.

Limit or Remove the Poisoner Feature

The Poisoner feature can be controversial, as some players and DMs feel that it encourages murder and undermines the spirit of heroic adventure.

Some homebrew rules remove this feature entirely or limit it to non-lethal or non-combat situations.

Change the Subclass Flavor

Finally, some homebrew rules change the Assassin Rogue’s flavor to fit a different theme or tone. For example, some rules rebrand the subclass as a spy, ninja, or bounty hunter, and modify the features accordingly.

This can add variety and customization options for players who don’t want to play a traditional assassin.

Best Races For Assassin Rogue in DnD 5E

Sure, here is a table of the best dnd races for an Assassin Rogue:

Race Ability Score Increase Other Benefits
Variant Human +1 to two ability scores Bonus Feat at 1st level
Half-Elf +2 Charisma, +1 to two ability scores Darkvision, Fey Ancestry, Skill Versatility
Tiefling +2 Charisma, +1 Intelligence Darkvision, Infernal Legacy, Resistance to Fire damage
Drow +2 Dexterity, +1 Charisma Superior Darkvision, Sunlight Sensitivity, Drow Magic
Kenku +2 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom Expert Forgery, Mimicry, Kenku Training
Tabaxi +2 Dexterity, +1 Charisma Feline Agility, Cat’s Claws, Stealthy, Survivalist


These races all provide a boost to the Rogue’s Dexterity, which is their most important ability score for combat and skill checks. The other ability score increases can also be useful, depending on the player’s preferences and build.

In terms of other benefits, the Variant Human stands out for its bonus feat at 1st level, which can be used to gain an extra combat ability, skill proficiency, or utility feature.

Half-Elves and Tieflings both have a dark vision, which can be useful for stealth and exploration. Drow and Kenku have unique abilities that can aid in infiltration and deception, such as Drow Magic and Mimicry.

Tabaxi is particularly adept at stealth and mobility, thanks to their Feline Agility ability.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of playing an Assassin Rogue in DnD 5E:

With the Assassinate feature, an Assassin Rogue can deal extra damage on surprise attacks and critical hits, making them capable of taking down enemies quickly.Rogues have lower hit points and weaker armor than many other classes, making them vulnerable to damage in combat.
Rogues have a variety of skills and expertise in areas such as stealth, deception, and lockpicking, making them useful in a variety of situations both in and out of combat.While the Arcane Trickster subclass does grant access to spells, the selection is limited and the spellcasting ability is lower than a full caster class.
As an Arcane Trickster, an Assassin Rogue gains access to a limited number of wizard spells, which can provide additional utility and flexibility in combat and non-combat scenarios.While Assassins excel at surprise attacks and dealing high damage, they may struggle in combat scenarios where stealth and surprise are not possible or useful.

Assassin Rogue in D&d 5e Abilities

Here are some of the key abilities and features of an Assassin Rogue in D&D 5E:

Sneak Attack: This ability allows a Rogue to deal extra damage on a successful attack if they have an advantage on the attack roll, or if an ally of the Rogue is within 5 feet of the target.

Thieves’ Cant: A secret language that allows Rogues to communicate with each other covertly, using slang and coded phrases.

Expertise: At 1st level, a Rogue can choose two skills to gain expertise in, allowing them to add double their proficiency bonus to ability checks for those skills.

Cunning Action: Starting at the 2nd level, a Rogue can use a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.

Assassinate: Assassin Rogue at level 3 can surprise attack an unacted enemy, gaining an advantage on the attack roll, and a hit becomes a critical hit with maximum damage.

Uncanny Dodge: Starting at the 5th level, an Assassin Rogue can use their reaction to halve the damage of an attack they can see.

Evasion: At the 7th level, a Rogue gains the ability to dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as fireballs, taking no damage on a successful Dexterity saving throw.

Reliable Talent: At the 11th level, a Rogue can treat any roll of 9 or lower on a skill check as a 10.

Elusive: Starting at the 14th level, an Assassin Rogue is difficult to pin down, gaining the ability to move through difficult terrain without penalty and remaining hidden even when lightly obscured.

Death Strike: At the 17th level, when an Assassin Rogue hits a surprised creature with a melee attack, they can choose to maximize the damage of one of the attack’s damage dice.

Important Stats for a Rogue Assassin 5e


For a Rogue Assassin in D&D 5E, the most important stats to focus on are Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma.

Dexterity is crucial for an Assassin Rogue as it affects their accuracy in combat and their ability to sneak and perform stealth actions. It also affects their Armor Class (AC) when wearing light or no armor.

Constitution is important for an Assassin Rogue as it affects their hit points and their ability to resist poison and other forms of damage. This is especially important for an Assassin Rogue who is often in the thick of combat and needs to survive against tough opponents.

Important Stats for a Rogue Assassin 5e

Charisma is also important for an Assassin Rogue as it affects their proficiency in skills such as Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion. These skills can be useful in social situations and can help the Assassin Rogue gather information or manipulate others.

Intelligence and Wisdom can also be important for certain skills and abilities, such as Investigation and Perception, but they are generally less crucial than Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma for an Assassin Rogue.

Assassin Rogue 5e Background

An Assassin Rogue can come from a variety of backgrounds, depending on their individual story and motivations. However, some common backgrounds for an Assassin Rogue could include:
  • Criminal: The character grew up in a life of crime and learned the skills necessary to become an effective assassin.
  • Noble: The character was born into a noble family and trained in the art of assassination as a means of protecting their family’s interests.
  • Mercenary: The character was hired as a mercenary and trained in the art of assassination to complete various missions.
  • Spy: The character was trained as a spy and learned the skills of assassination to eliminate targets that posed a threat to their organization.
  • Assassin’s Guild: The character was trained by an Assassin’s Guild and became a member of their organization, taking on assassination contracts as part of their work.

These are just a few examples of possible backgrounds for an Assassin Rogue, but the possibilities are endless and can be tailored to fit the character’s unique story and motivations.


The Assassin Rogue archetype in D&D 5E can be a good choice for players who want to specialize in dealing with high amounts of damage through surprise attacks and critical hits.

With abilities like Assassinate and Infiltration Expertise, an Assassin Rogue can excel at taking out targets quickly and efficiently.

However, it may not be the best choice for players who prefer a more versatile or supportive playstyle, as the Assassin Rogue’s abilities are primarily focused on combat and stealth.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of the Assassin Rogue archetype will depend on the player’s playstyle and the specific circumstances of the campaign.


The Assassin Rogue archetype in D&D 5E can be a powerful and exciting option for players who enjoy dealing high amounts of damage through surprise attacks and critical hits.

With its abilities and skills in stealth and infiltration, an Assassin Rogue can be a valuable asset to any party in combat or espionage situations. However, its focus on combat and stealth may not appeal to players who prefer a more versatile or supportive playstyle.

Overall, the effectiveness of an Assassin Rogue will depend on the player’s preferences and the specific circumstances of the campaign.


Do rogues need Intelligence?

Intelligence can improve certain Rogue skills like Investigation, but it’s not essential. Dexterity is the primary combat ability, and Rogue subclasses such as Arcane Trickster may benefit from Intelligence. However, overall, Intelligence is not necessary for Rogue’s success.

How do Rogues fight?

Rogues fight with agility, speed, and precise attacks using finesse weapons such as rapiers and shortswords, often combined with ranged attacks.

They use their Dexterity for attack and damage rolls, and Sneak Attack for extra damage. Rogues can gain an advantage through cunning and stealth, and have access to a variety of skills to aid them in combat and beyond.

Do Rogues get invisibility?

In D&D 5e, Rogues do not get access to the Invisibility spell by default. However, they can gain access to it through various means such as multiclassing or magic items.

Additionally, the Arcane Trickster subclass for Rogues does eventually gain the ability to cast Invisibility as a spell.

Can Rogues use poison?

Yes, Rogues can use poison in D&D 5e. In fact, the Assassin subclass specifically gains proficiency with the Poisoner’s Kit at 3rd level.

However, the use of poison is subject to the DM’s discretion and the availability of poison in the game world. Using poison can also have consequences such as legal repercussions and moral dilemmas.

What is a Rogue human?

Rogue humans are adaptable characters in Dungeons and Dragons, able to excel in a wide range of professions due to their versatile nature.

They are known for their stealth, cunning, and skill with weapons and tools. Players can create a unique background and motivation for their Rogue human character, from thief to adventurer, making their personality and story up to the player to develop.

Give a Comment