Lighthouse for the Blind
“Marek, always helpful, said that the UnderTyr
catacombs are supposed to be haunted. Think I’ll go make some inquiries about where a ‘heretic’ like me can get some
holy earth. Always go prepared….”
―Janos, human rogue
Dark Sun offers a world of intrigue, manipulation,
secret deals, and subtle treachery—in short, a rogue’s
playground. Rather than eking out their living at the
borders of society, many Athasian rogues dominate the
action in many of the most powerful political factions in
the Seven Cities: the Noble Houses, the templars, and the
Merchant Houses. Often rogues themselves, the wealthy
and powerful deploy lesser rogues as pawns in their
endless games of acquisition, espionage, and deceit.
Individual rogues run the gamut of Athasian society,
from the street rats of the cities to the vagabonds of the
outlands, to the prosperous and respectable dune traders,
to the low‐ranking templars that search their caravans at
the gates. Accomplished rogues are often sought by the
nobility as agents, and can earn both wealth and honor in
such positions—or earn a quick death should they be
caught contemplating treachery against their masters.
Making a Rogue
A rogue can’t stand up face to face with a mul warrior
as well as a fighter or gladiator can. With his cunning and
your various skills, however, he excels at taking the
slightest opportunity and turning to his advantage. His
ability to slip under the notice of an observer makes him a
capable lone hunter, but his greatest strength are found
through interaction with allies and foes, inside or outside,
a battle—he can use his enemy`s slightest distraction to
deliver a lethal blow, or ensure his party`s safe passage
through a templar patrol.
Races: Elves, half‐elves, and humans take to the
rogue’s skills and lifestyle with the greatest ease.
Halflings, dwarves, and muls, while not commonly
rogues, adapt to the class remarkably well when they take
to it. Thri‐kreen, pterrans, and aarakocra are usually quite
adverse to the rogue class, and tend to do poorly. Halfgiant
rogues are unheard of except as fictional figures in
comical tales around the fireside.
Alignment: Athasian rogues follow opportunity
rather than ideals, but as many of them are lawful as
chaotic. Lawful rogues tend to seek security and
advancement in the service of nobles or in the ranks of the
Class Skills: Use Psionic Device is a class skill for
Athasian rogues. Swim is a cross‐class skill for Athasian
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: In addition to those
presented on the Player’s Handbook, Athasian rogues are
proficient with the bard’s friend, blowgun, garrote, small
macahuitl, tonfa, widow’s knife, and wrist razor.
Special Abilities: In addition to those presented on
the Player’s Handbook, Athasian rogues may choose from
the following abilities.
Dune Trader: You gain +4 competence bonus to
Diplomacy checks with regard to buying or selling goods.
Furthermore, Speak Language becomes a class skill.
False Vulnerability (Ex): While lying prone, you are not
as helpless as you appear. Opponents do not get +4 to hit
you while you are prone, and you can “kip up,” or leap
from a prone position as a free action. You do not provoke
an attack of opportunity when standing up. If this ability
is used with a feint action, you get a +4 circumstance
bonus to your opposed Bluff roll.
Looter’s Luck (Ex): You can use your Appraise skill to
instinctively identify the most valuable item in a pile of
loot as a move action. The DC for this accomplishment is
DC 10 + the number of items in the selection. If you
cannot see the items that you are choosing from (e.g. you
are trying to pickpocket someone), then a full‐round
action is required, and the DC rises to 15 + the number of
Notoriety: The fame of your exploits precedes you in
the Seven Cities; you gain +4 to all Intimidate and Bluff
checks. Adventurers seek your fellowship; you receive a
+4 to your Leadership score if you have the Leadership
Silver Tongue (Ex): Your constant dealing with others
gives you a keen sense of how to make them believe your
lies. You may attempt a retry of the Bluff skill, but with a
–5 penalty. This ability also gives you a +2 bonus to your
Playing a Rogue
Rogues run the gamut of society. Athasian rogues
range from gutter snipes who prey upon the merchants
and free citizens of the cities to vagabonds who steal what
they can from passing caravans or merchant trains. At
their best, rogues can be in the employ of the nobility,
plying their trade by contract in the name of a royal
household, or they can be men or women of principle and
honor who steal only from the corrupt and wealthy.
There is no thieves’ guild on Athasian cities. However,
most Athasians rogues attempt to attract a patron. A
patron is a noble or senior templar who will sponsor the
rogue and protect him under his house and name. The
rogue is then expected to perform certain tasks for his
new master in return—including theft, spying, and even
You might adventure because you desire excitement.
Someone with your smarts get bored with ordinary
pursuits. Alternatively, you might have set off a life of
adventure after your big heist or some political
manipulation gone wrong. For some reason, you have to
keep moving, and a life of adventure offers you a regular
change of scenery.
All seek to exercise their abilities to grow to even
greater levels of power. You are clever enough to know
that there’s always more to learn. Although you tend to
be (dangerously) self‐reliant, you understand the value of
having “friends” and allies in your pursuits, so try to not
entangle them in your web of lies and trickery until you
no longer need them.
Although they are as superstitious as the next
Athasian, rogues are not known for their devotion or
piety. Chaotic rogues tend to get along best with religions
associated with elemental air.
Rogues enjoy working with members of other classes
so long as their own skills and are valued and treated
with respect. On Athas, rogue is as honorable a profession
as any other, and more honorable than some (such as
wizard), and they mark for enmity anyone who describes
them as a common thief.
You are at your best when you catch foes unaware.
Use your skills to hide yourself so that you can employ
surprise tactics. In melee, move into flanking position or
use the Bluff skill to feint in combat and drop a powerful
You should assign your various skills points according
to your role in your adventuring group. If the group
already has someone who is good at finding traps and
sneaking about, boost your ranks in social skills such as
Diplomacy and Gather Information. High bonuses in
Bluff and Move Silently are a must if you’re going to use
your sneak attacks often.
You have many good options for feats, but be sure to
take Combat Expertise and Improved Feint to get the
most out of your sneak attacks. If you are interested in
having a lot of feats, it might be worthwhile to take a level
of psychic warrior, since the first level of psychic warrior
gives you proficiency with all types of armor, a bonus feat
you could use for Combat Expertise or Improved Feint,
and a psionic power you could use to boost your rogue
skills. If you are the social type, consider becoming a dune
trader (page 90).
Rogues on Athas
“Going on personal experience, my one piece of advice to
you is this–never trust anything with pointy ears. It’ll
either cheat you or try to eat you.”
―Marek, human trader
The rogue class gives a player a chance to play the
archetypical trickster or scoundrel. Rogues also make
great villains. By manipulating NPCs and situations the
PCs encounter, or by being employed by a rival noble, an
evil rogue can operate behind the scenes and trick the
adventurers to his own ends.
The way a rogue behaves depends largely on his sense
of morality. Some think nothing of adopting false
identities or working as assassins for their noble patrons
in exchange for silver, relying on their skills and charms
to get through anything. A few other rogues find
themselves driven to use their powers to help people.
The human Ramphion is the current leader of the
Balican Veiled Alliance and has held the position for
thirteen years, managing to rise to his title through sheer
force of personality and charisma albeit not being able to
cast even the simplest of cantrips. All trade lords are
accomplished rogues. Master Sintha Valex is one of those,
owner of large warehouses in Tyr. Frequently small
quantities of the raw material are “seeming lost” in the
warehouse, and end up being sold by Sintha to outgoing
caravans to be sold in other cities of the Tablelands.
Rogues don’t organize together, but they often linger
around the same places, such as the Bard’s Quarter, the
Elven Quarter, or Merchant House’s Emporiums. A rogue
joining an organization probably has a specific goal (or
target) in mind and rakes a position that best allows him
to attain it. A long‐term commitment to such a group
rarely appeals to a rogue.
Rogues make a good job about hiding their true
motives and identities. Individuals who know about a
rogue’s true colors begin with an attitude one step more
hostile than normal. Lawful clerics and templars in
particular look poorly upon rogues, as does anyone who
puts importance in forthrightness.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can
research rogues to learn more about them. When a
character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the
following, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 10: Rogues are opportunists and tricksters. They
employ deception and quick reflexes to get what they
DC 15: Rogues don’t fight fair, if they fight at all, and
their tongues are just as dangerous as their poisonous
DC 20: Rogues are adept at striking at vital spots
when their targets are distracted, and their reflexes are
quick enough to dodge most magical attacks.