Rogues are mavericks with a touch of class. Although they inhabit the greyer areas of society, they put themselves above "common" criminals and hone their skills in preparation for all sorts of glory-seeking exploits. Their grace and poise in battle is unmatched. Their durability, unfortunately, is not.
- DEXTROUS: First strike in combat, ignoring level constraints
- EVASIVE: +20% starting dodge trait
- DANGEROUS: Rogues earn -5 health per level, but start off with +40% damage
Due to his low hit points, most monsters will slay a rogue in a single blow. The Dwarf Rogue solves this problem by granting you bonus hit points by converting items. The hit points granted by the dwarf are not affected by the rogue's dangerous trait, and as a result a dwarf rogue can actually end up with above-average hit points overall.
When it comes to taking things to their extreme, the Orc Rogue is king. By stacking his expanded racial base attack with the Rogue's attack bonus, the Orc Rogue is capable of dealing truly monstrous amounts of damage. This is often further amplified by stacking other bonuses to damage, such as the extra attack booster prep. Such a total disregard for hit points will require you to find alternate means to keep your rogue alive. Normally Orc Rogues are dependent on death protection (most commonly from the CYDSTEPP glyph), but some will use boons from different deities or special items to gain hit points to survive.
The Rogue is the archetypical striker type character, meaning he attempts to deal large amounts of damage and slay enemies in as few attacks as possible. While it is certainly possible to play him as a high-durability brawler, this will require more extensive combinations of bonuses to achieve since a "stock" rogue is extremely fragile.
Against most foes, a Rogue will get a free attack due to his first strike. As a result, the typical approach with a Rogue is to cast a spell such as BURNDAYRAZ to wound an enemy, then hit them once (usually surviving within an inch of your health), and then finish them with a first strike. If you have CYDSTEPP you can get one extra attack due to death protection. Because of their large damage bonus, this is enough to kill most varieties of monsters. However, certain monsters present added difficulties to the Rogue. Monsters with death protection and first strike are very difficult for rogues to finish off, and the most common problem a rogue will face are enemies that are strong enough to kill them outright in a single blow.
Although a rogue's maximum hit points are lower than usual, their hit point regeneration is perfectly normal. Due to their very high damage output, a rogue can attack an enemy, explore to fully heal themselves, and come back to attack it again to slowly build up damage. This "regen-fighting" is a very effective way to play rogues, especially if you can find the APHEELSIK glyph. However, it first requires you to be able to survive the enemy's attack.
If you need to explore but you're at full health, look for a monster you can survive a hit from, but that takes one too many hits to kill. Attack it and 20% of the time, you'll dodge, getting a "free" high-level kill.
The Rogue benefits enormously from "prebuff" glyphs that let him power himself up before fighting. The ENDISWAL glyph allows a rogue to build up physical damage resistance and survive enemies that would normally kill him in a single blow. The CYDSTEPP glyph is the holy grail of the rogue class, allowing you to chain one free attack due to death protection. The rogue does not benefit quite so much from the BYSSEPS glyph, however, since his attack bonus is already quite high.
The Rogue gains immensely from the WEYTWUT glyph, enabling him to break through the first strike of monsters and defeat enemies such as goblins that normally present a significant challenge for him. GETINDARE glyph is not particularly helpful for the Rogue. While it can be used to increase his dodging chance, he already has first strike so its primary effect is wasted. There are better uses of mana and inventory slots.
Deities that offer bonuses to your hit points, such as the Glowing Guardian and Jehora Jeheyu are powerful choices for a rogue, though this is one of the rare classes that can perform well with any deity under the right circumstances. Any effect that boosts his base attack value is also highly valuable, so the Trisword is highly recommended. The File:Alchemist's Scroll.png Alchemist's Scroll is another item that rogues enjoy. Optimized rogue builds have the best balance of health and damage of any possible character, making this a top-tier class selection for tackling vicious dungeons.
One particularly devious build for the Rogue is to use the CYDSTEPP glyph and intentionally anger Dracul. Dracul's punishment is lower your maximum hit points, but he will not reduce them below 1 hit point. Because of this, you will always be at maximum hit points and are no longer limited by CYDSTEPP's minimum health requirement and can cast it freely. This trick is most useful when facing bosses that will 1-hit you no matter what.