The Phantom Rogue in DnD 5e: Master of Deception and Shadows

The Phantom Rogue subclass is a subclass for the Rogue class in DnD 5e. It allows the rogue to tap into the power of death and the afterlife, granting them unique abilities such as ghostly movement, communication with the dead, and the ability to inflict psychic damage.

The Phantom Rogue subclass offers several customizable features at certain levels, allowing players to tailor their abilities to their play style.

At the 17th level, the subclass offers the powerful Death Knell ability, which grants temporary hit points and an advantage against a target with maximum hit points that fails a saving throw, and reduces their maximum hit points if they are killed.

Overall, the Phantom Rogue subclass is a flavorful and versatile option for players looking to explore themes of death and the afterlife in their gameplay.

List of skills that Phantom Rogues are proficient

Phantom Rogues are proficient in several skills that allow them to be versatile and adaptable in different situations. These skills include:


This skill represents a Phantom Rogue’s ability to perform feats of agility and grace, such as jumping, tumbling, and balancing.

A Phantom Rogue proficient in Acrobatics can use this skill to avoid or escape from danger, climb difficult terrain, or perform impressive acrobatic maneuvers to impress NPCs or intimidate enemies.


This skill represents Phantom Rogue’s ability to lie and manipulate others, either through words or actions. A Phantom Rogue proficient in Deception can use this skill to deceive NPCs or enemies, gain information, or persuade others to do what they want.


This skill represents a Phantom Rogue’s ability to use threats or displays of force to influence others. A Phantom Rogue proficient in Intimidation can use this skill to scare or intimidate NPCs or enemies, gain information, or persuade others to do what they want.


This skill represents a Phantom Rogue’s ability to gather information, analyze clues, and uncover hidden details. A Phantom Rogue proficient in Investigation can use this skill to solve mysteries, find hidden items or passages, or gather information about NPCs or enemies.


This skill represents a Phantom Rogue’s ability to use their senses to notice details and detect potential dangers. A Phantom Rogue proficient in Perception can use this skill to spot hidden enemies, traps, or treasure, or to notice important details that may be overlooked by others.


This skill represents a Phantom Rogue’s ability to move silently and remain hidden from others. A Phantom Rogue proficient in Stealth can use this skill to sneak past enemies or NPCs undetected, remain hidden during a battle or heist, or gain the element of surprise in an attack.

Phantom Rogue Customizable Features

The Phantom Rogue subclass in DnD 5e offers three customizable features that allow players to further personalize their character.

These features are available at the 3rd, 9th, and 13th levels, and each feature presents two distinct options. Here is a breakdown of the two options for each customizable feature:

Whispers of the Dead

The first option is gaining proficiency in one skill or language of the player’s choice. This can be particularly useful for filling gaps in the character’s skill set or allowing them to better communicate with certain creatures in the game.

Phantom Rogue Customizable Features

The second option is using a reaction to roll a d4 and add the result to an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw. This can be an excellent way to turn the tide of a particularly difficult encounter or challenge.

Ghost Walk

The first option is becoming invisible and gaining a bonus to movement speed for a limited time. This can be useful for escaping danger, setting up surprise attacks, or maneuvering through a difficult area.

The second option is moving through solid objects, such as walls or doors, for a limited time. This can be a valuable tool for exploration or surprise attacks.

Tokens of the Departed

The first option is gaining temporary hit points or dealing extra damage by using the possessions of deceased creatures. This can be a powerful ability that allows the player to gain an edge in combat or overcome a particularly difficult enemy.

The second option is using a bonus action to retrieve an item from a deceased creature’s body, without the need for a check. This can be a useful way to quickly gather useful items or information from fallen enemies.

Ghost Step

The first option is teleporting a short distance or becoming incorporeal for a limited time. This can be an excellent way to avoid attacks, move quickly through an area, or surprise enemies.

The second option is becoming ethereal and moving through objects for a limited time. This can be useful for exploration or bypassing obstacles.

Ghostly Gaze

The first option is gaining dark vision or the ability to see through solid objects. This can be a valuable tool for scouting or detecting hidden enemies.

The second option is using an action to frighten creatures within 30 feet. This can be useful for controlling the battlefield or creating an opening for the player’s allies.

Wails from the Grave: The first option is dealing psychic damage or charming creatures within range. This can be a powerful way to damage enemies or sway their allegiance.

The second option is using a reaction to cause a missed attack to hit another target. This can be a useful way to redirect attacks or protect allies

List of Magic Items That Can Be Useful for Phantom Rogues

Here is a List of magic items that will help phantom rogues in combat:

  1. Horn of Silent Alarm: This horn can be sounded silently to alert allies within 600 feet.
  2. Ioun Stone (Mastery): This magical stone grants the wearer proficiency in any skill or tool of their choice.
  3. Masquerade Tattoo: This magical tattoo allows the wearer to change their appearance at will.
  4. Blood Fury Tattoo: This magical tattoo gives the wearer increased speed, strength, and the ability to deal extra damage.
  5. Cloak of Elvenkind: This cloak gives the wearer advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks and allows them to move silently.
  6. Eyes of the Eagle: These lenses grant the wearer advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
  7. Sword of Wounding: This sword deals extra damage over time to any creature it wounds.
  8. Slippers of Spider Climbing: These slippers allow the wearer to climb any surface, even upside down.
  9. Amulet of Health: This amulet grants the wearer an additional 19 hit points and increases their Constitution score by 4.
  10. Manual of Quickness of Action: This manual permanently increases the wearer’s Dexterity score by 2 (to a maximum of 30).
  11. Cloak of Invisibility: This cloak grants the wearer the ability to become invisible at will.

Phantom Rogue Races

The Phantom Rogue subclass in DnD 5e can be played by any race that is allowed in the game. However, some races may offer unique benefits or thematic connections to the subclass.

Phantom Rogue Races

Here is a closer look at some of the races that could be a good fit for a Phantom Rogue character:


Humans are a versatile race that can excel in any class, including the Phantom Rogue. Their bonus feat and additional skill proficiency make them well-suited for the subclass’s skill-based abilities, such as Whispers of the Dead.

Additionally, the variant human’s bonus feat can be used to further customize the character’s abilities.

Deep Gnome

Deep Gnomes have a natural inclination towards illusion and enchantment magic, which could complement the Phantom Rogue’s trickery and deception abilities. Their Superior Darkvision also allows them to see in complete darkness, which could be useful in many stealthy situations.


Elves are a graceful and intelligent race that can make for excellent Phantom Rogues. Their Dexterity bonus and proficiency in Perception and the longbow make them skilled at ranged combat, while their Fey Ancestry trait makes them resistant to charm and sleep spells.

The Eladrin subrace, in particular, could be a thematic fit for the subclass, with their ability to teleport and their ties to the Feywild.


Half-Elves are a hybrid race that can inherit the best traits of both humans and elves. They receive bonuses to Charisma and two other ability scores of their choice, making them flexible and adaptable.

Their Skill Versatility trait also allows them to gain proficiency in any two skills of their choice, which can complement the Phantom Rogue’s skill-based abilities.


Satyrs are known for their love of music and revelry, but they also have innate magical abilities that could be useful for a Phantom Rogue. Their Magic Resistance grants them an advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

While their Fey Step allows them to teleport short distances. The Satyr’s ability to play a musical instrument proficiently could also be used to distract or charm opponents.


Tieflings are a race descended from fiends, with a natural aptitude for deception and subterfuge. Their Charisma bonus and Infernal Legacy trait, which grants them access to the Thaumaturgy cantrip and a 1st-level spell, make them suited for the Phantom Rogue’s more charismatic abilities.

The Mephistopheles subrace, in particular, can grant access to the Mage Hand cantrip and the ability to cast Burning Hands as a 2nd-level spell.


Aasimar are a race descended from celestial beings, with a natural inclination towards good and righteous behavior. While this may seem at odds with the Phantom Rogue’s more morally ambiguous nature, the race’s abilities can still be useful.

Their Wisdom and Charisma bonuses make them skilled at social interactions, while their Celestial Legacy trait grants them access to the Light cantrip and a 1st-level spell.


Kenku is a bird-like race with a natural aptitude for stealth and thievery. Their Dexterity bonus and Expert Forgery trait, which grants them proficiency with forger’s tools, can make them skilled Phantom Rogues.

Their Mimicry trait, which allows them to mimic any sound they have heard, can also be useful for infiltrating enemy territory or gathering information.


The natural stealth and physical prowess of the Bugbear make it a great option for a Phantom Rogue. The Long-Limbed trait allows them to make attacks from a greater distance, while Sneaky allows them to move quietly and with greater speed.

The Surprise Attack feature also fits well with the Phantom Rogue’s playstyle.



Kobolds may not be the most physically imposing race, but they make up for it with their cunning and transmitting abilities. Their Pack Tactics allows them to gain an advantage on attack rolls when an ally is within 5 feet of their target, which could be useful when flanking opponents.

The Grovel, Cower, and Beg abilities also fit well with the Phantom Rogue’s playstyle of trickery and deception.

Phantom Rogue Feats

Feats are a great way to customize your Phantom Rogue in DnD 5e and give them additional abilities and bonuses. Here are five feats that could be particularly useful for a Phantom Rogue:

Dual Wielder

Dual Wielding can be a great way to increase your damage output as a Phantom Rogue. With this feat, you can wield a weapon in each hand, which allows you to make an additional attack with your off-hand weapon as a bonus action.

You also gain a +1 bonus to AC while wielding two weapons at once.


Alertness is a great feat for any rogue, and it’s no different for the Phantom Rogue. With Alert, you gain a +5 bonus to initiative rolls, which means you’ll be able to act quickly and get the jump on your enemies.

You also cannot be surprised, which is a huge advantage in any situation where you might be caught off guard.


The Phantom Rogue’s ability to deal extra damage on critical hits makes the Piercer feat an attractive option. With this feat, you can re-roll one of the damage dice when you score a critical hit with a piercing weapon, and you gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls with piercing weapons.

This can be a great way to increase your damage output and take down enemies more quickly

Dungeon Delver

As a Phantom Rogue, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in dark and dangerous places. Dungeon Delver is a feat that can help you navigate these environments more easily.

Phantom Rogue Feats

With this feat, you gain an advantage on Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Investigation) checks made to detect traps and secret doors. You also have resistance to damage dealt by traps.


Mobility is key for any Phantom Rogue, and Mobile is a feat that can help you move around the battlefield with ease. With this feat, your speed increases by 10 feet, and you can move through difficult terrain without penalty.

You also gain the ability to move away from an enemy you’ve attacked without provoking an opportunity attack.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Phantom Rogue 5e

Advantages Disadvantages
Versatile and flexible playstyle, able to adapt to different situations with customizable features and skillsRelatively low hit points and defenses, making the Phantom Rogue vulnerable in combat
High mobility and stealth abilities, allowing for effective exploration and sneakingLimited spellcasting abilities compared to other classes, with only a few spells available through subclass features
Strong in combat with access to Sneak Attack and other abilities, as well as options for ranged and melee attacksHighly dependent on Dexterity for combat effectiveness, leaving other ability scores weaker in comparison
Unique flavor and theme as a ghostly rogue, adding depth to roleplaying opportunitiesSome of the customizable features may not be as useful in certain campaigns or playstyles, leading to potentially wasted choices

Phantom Rogue Subclass’s Role in Multiclassing

The Phantom Rogue subclass can complement a variety of other classes in multiclassing builds, adding versatility and unique abilities to the character’s toolkit. Here are some examples of effective multiclassing combinations with the Phantom Rogue subclass:


By multiclassing into Warlock, the Phantom Rogue gains access to spells, invocations, and other abilities that can enhance their combat and stealth abilities.

The Warlock’s Pact of the Blade can provide the Phantom Rogue with a powerful weapon for sneak attacks, and spells like Hex can add extra damage to their attacks.

Additionally, the Warlock’s Eldritch Sight invocation allows the Phantom Rogue to see through magical darkness, giving them an advantage in stealthy situations.


Multiclassing into Wizard gives the Phantom Rogue access to a wide range of spells in DnD 5e that can complement their rogue abilities.

Spells like Invisibility, Misty Step, and Fly can enhance their mobility and stealth, while spells like Detect Magic and Identify can help them uncover hidden traps and secrets.

Phantom Rogue Subclass's Role in Multiclassing

Additionally, the Wizard’s Arcane Recovery ability allows the Phantom Rogue to regain some of their spell slots during a short rest.


Multiclassing into Fighter provides the Phantom Rogue with extra combat abilities and durability. The Fighter’s Action Surge ability allows the Phantom Rogue to take extra action in combat, potentially allowing them to get off multiple sneak attacks in a single turn.

Additionally, the Fighter’s Second Wind ability and access to heavy armor can make the Phantom Rogue more resilient in combat.


Multiclassing into Cleric gives the Phantom Rogue access to spells and abilities that can support their party and provide healing. Spells like Bless and Aid can enhance their allies’ combat abilities, while Cure Wounds and Healing Word can keep the party healthy.

Additionally, the Cleric’s Channel Divinity abilities can provide a variety of helpful effects, such as Turn Undead to repel undead enemies.

List of Recommended Equipment for Phantom Rogues

As a Rogue, the Phantom Rogue subclass in DnD 5e has access to a wide range of equipment to aid them in their adventures. Some recommended equipment for Phantom Rogues includes:

  • Light Armor: such as Leather Armor or Studded Leather Armor to maintain their agility and mobility.
  • Finesse Weapons: such as a Rapier or Shortsword, to maximize the Rogue’s Sneak Attack potential.
  • Ranged Weapons: such as a Shortbow or Crossbow, to take advantage of their Cunning Action to hide and make ranged attacks.
  • Thieves’ Tools: to unlock doors, and disarm traps, and pickpockets.
  • Potions of Invisibility: to further enhance their ability to move stealthily and avoid detection.

Tips for Playing a Phantom Rogue in DnD 5e

Playing a Phantom Rogue can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Phantom Rogue character:

Lean into your strengths

As a Phantom Rogue, you excel at stealth, deception, and mobility. Use these abilities to your advantage in combat and exploration. Look for opportunities to sneak up on enemies or avoid confrontations altogether. Use your bonus action to Dash, Disengage, or Hide as needed.

Choose your customizable features wisely

The Phantom Rogue subclass offers several customizable features at various levels in DnD 5e. Take the time to consider which options best suit your play style and the needs of your party.

Will you benefit more from extra damage or increased mobility? Would you prefer to gain dark vision or the ability to see through solid objects? Tailor your choices to fit your character’s unique skills and strengths.

Invest in the right equipment

A Phantom Rogue’s equipment can make a big difference in combat and exploration. Focus on lightweight, non-restrictive armor that won’t hinder your mobility.

Tips for Playing a Phantom Rogue in DnD 5e

Consider investing in items that boost your stealth or perception, such as a Cloak of Elvenkind or Eyes of the Eagle. Don’t forget to stock up on useful consumables like healing potions or poisons.

Collaborate with your party

While the Phantom Rogue excels at solo activities, you are still part of a team. Work with your party members to achieve your goals and support each other in combat. Use your abilities to scout ahead, disarm traps, or distract enemies while your allies attack from a distance.

Communicate openly and regularly to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Embrace your character’s backstory and motivations

A Phantom Rogue is more than just a collection of stats and abilities. Take the time to develop your character’s backstory and motivations, and use them to inform your roleplaying decisions.

Are you driven by a desire for revenge or a need to protect the innocent? Do you have a particular code of honor or a set of personal values? Use these elements to create a well-rounded and engaging character that your fellow players will enjoy interacting with.


In DnD 5e the Phantom Rogue subclass is a versatile and interesting option for players looking to create a sneaky, shadowy character in their Dungeons and Dragons games.

With unique abilities such as Whispers of the Dead and Ghost Walk, the Phantom Rogue offers a lot of options for both combat and exploration.

Players who choose this subclass can also benefit from multiclassing with other classes, such as the Fighter or Warlock, to further enhance their abilities.

By utilizing the right equipment and magic items, and employing effective strategies in combat and exploration, a Phantom Rogue can become a formidable and exciting character to play.

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