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Against the Shadow  |  Other Rules  |  Rogue Techniques
Rogue Techniques

Rogue Techniques

    All around Eredane, especially during the Last Age, roguish types prosper. Misery spreads in Erenland, and all one can do to survive sometimes involves committing a larceny or extortion, or other illicit acts.
    Unlike the fighters of Eredane, who developed cultural techniques reflecting their people’s way of fighting, thieves always were a cosmopolitan lot. They too built different traditions, but traditions that reflected each individual’s style.
    There are different styles scattered all across Eredane, for those willing to learn them. Many resistance fighters, although not thieves themselves, found the use of such techniques invaluable in their struggle against the Shadow. This is because the underworld has always needed secrecy for its activities to prosper, and such an heritage is now precious for all those who oppose the Dark Lord.
    The mechanics are similar to those introduced in Steel & Shadow for the Cultural Fighting Techniques (page 12).
    Each rogue style is accessed through its name-like Initiate feat. The prerequisites for the Feats are the matching skill at +5. One needs not have levels in the rogue class to gain access to such styles, although learning them might require the character to perform some acts of larceny.

  • Thug Initiate Feat: Prerequisite: Intimidation +5
  • Silver Tongue Initiate Feat: Prerequisite: Bluff +5
  • Urban Thief Initiate Feat: Prerequisite: Hide or Move Silently +5
  • Sailor Initiate Feat: Prerequisite: Profession (sailor) +5
  • Brigand Initiate Feat: Prerequisite: Survival +5
  • Fugitive Initiate Feat: Prerequisite:Escape Artist +5

    As for cultural fighting techniques, in addition to the appropriate Initiate feat, the PC must find someone to train him (any PC or NPC that knows the technique to be learnt), spend a month and an amount of XP, just like as per the Steel & Shadow rules (same table).
    Note that a PC can learn fighting techniques too, but a character can never learn more than 10 techniques (this includes both cultural fighting and rogue techniques, so a character who mastered 5 fighting techniques and 5 rogue techniques cannot learn any more fighting or rogue technique).
    Once a character learns a rogue technique, he may not learn another until he gains improvement in the related skill. Thus, a PC who has a skill at +5 (mastering 1 technique) could not learn another technique until he gains +6 to the skill (which brings some interesting problems if the skill is not a class skill in terms of character advancement).

Brigand Techniques

Healer’s Hands
Your dextrous hands can bind wounds quickly and efficiently.
Benefit: You gain a +4 competence bonus to Heal checks when applying first aid. Furthermore, when stabilizing a character by applying first aid, you can also bring that character back up to 0 hp by making a heal check against a DC equal to 15+ the number of hit points the character is below 0.

Hunter’s Wealth
You have a gift for finding plenty even in the harshest conditions.
Benefit: You gain a +4 competence bonus to Survival checks when hunting and foraging. Furthermore, you can move at normal overland speed while hunting and foraging.

Far Runner
You are used to travel long distances while running.
Benefit: you do not become flat-footed when using the run action. Furthermore, you can hustle overland for a number of hours equal to your Constitution modifier before you begin to take nonlethal damage. After hustling, you must move at walk for the same number of hours before hustling again. You cannot hustle while fatigued or exhausted.

You know the almost forgotten art of making weapons from stone or wood.
Benefit: You gain the Craft (stoneworking) as a class skill. You may make a Craft (stoneworking) check to quickly create light weapons of flint and wood. With half an hour of work you can creat: a dagger, a hand axe, or 10 arrows. These weapons work as normal, but break when the character rolls a natural 1 or confirms on a critical hit.

Armoured Stealth
Even in armour, your tread makes no more sound than that of a panther. This is accomplished through a mixture of native sneakiness and cunningly padding, oiling and blackening the armour.
Benefit: Whenever you are wearing light armour that you have personally prepared, you do not apply its armour check penalty (if any) to Move silently or Hide checks. To prepare light armour for stealth requires one hour and materials worth 5 vp initially, then ten minutes per day in maintenance time.

Farmer’s Son
You once stood vigil on crops and herds throughout the lonely nights of winter
Benefit: Any time you fail a Fortitude save against an environmental effect or forced march that causes fatigue, exhaustion, or nonlethal damage, you may immediately re-roll the saving throw. You must take the result of the second roll.

You have learned to get out of the way of danger like a sneak-thief.
Benefit: You gain the Evasion class feature. You gain no benefit if you already had it from the rogue class.

Fugitive Techniques

Badge of Bondage
Your experiences as a slave or prisoner have made you more resistant to torture and mental manipulation.
Benefit: +1 bonus to Fort and Will saves, +2 to Sense Motive checks to determine if you are being tricked.

Judge of Character
You are a sound judge of character.
Benefit: When making a Sense Motive check to get a hunch regarding someone’s trustworthiness, you gain a +5 bonus. You also gain this bonus when making a Spot check opposed by the Disguise check of someone pretending to be someone they are not.

Archer’s Bane
You are expert at dodging arrows and other ranged weapons, particularly those hurled or shot great distances, taking advantage of the missile’s flight time to ensure you are not in its path.
Benefit: You get a +1 dodge bonus against all ranged weapons for each range increment the weapon must be shot or thrown to reach you. This bonus is doubled if you are fighting defensively.

Sleep Mastery
You have almost total control of your body’s sleep patterns and your waking and sleeping habits.
Benefit: You need only sleep for six hours a night to awaken fully rested. Up to once per week, you may spend one full night without any sleep, with no penalties, so long as you get at least twelve hours of sleep the following night. In addition, you may make Listen checks as though you were awake if any untoward sound occurs as you sleep, and if you succeed at such a Listen check you may become fully awake as a free action. Finally you gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws against spells, supernatural effects, drugs and poisons that would cause you to sleep or prevent you from waking.

Leave no Trace
You have learnt to fade like a shadow and cannot be tracked by normal means.
Benefit: You have learnt to hide your tracks well, and gain a +5 bonus to your skill check for the purposes of hiding your tracks. This works as well in the wilderness as in an urban setting. Up to once per week, you benefit from the effects of a Pass Without Trace spell, with the additional effect that you cannot be tracked by scent.

Knife Trick
You can do surprising things with a knife.
Benefit: Whenever you draw a light weapon, you may make a Bluff check to feint in combat as part of that action. See the Bluff skill in the PHB for details on feinting in combat.
Normal: Feinting in combat is a standard action.

Escape Artist
You learnt how to free yourself from most bonds.
Benefit: you gain a +2 bonus to any Escape Artist and Open Lock skill checks. When struggling to remove bonds using the Open Lock skill you do not suffer from a circumstance penalty for using simple tools.

Sailor Techniques

Eyes on the Horizon
Your eyes naturally scan the horizon for any signs of life.
Benefit: You are naturally adept at spotting movement. If your Spot check beats an ambusher’s Hide check by more than 5, you have time to warn allies within 30 ft about the ambush, effectively negating the ambusher’s surprise round.

Survival at Sea
You can keep your crew alive on the longest voyages.
Benefit: you gain a +4 competence bonus to all Survival checks made while at sea. Further, when you make a Survival skill check to forage for sustenance while at sea, you gather food and water for one other person for every point by which your check result exceeds 10.
Normal: you gather enough food and water ofr one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.

You know the simple magic that calls the wind.
Benefit: you may sacrifice 1 spell energy per day to create favorable winds. During that day, any boat or ship that you travel on increases its daily movement rate by 5 miles per additional spell energy point sacrificed.

The rugged, salt-sprayed coasts are your home.
Benefit: You gain +1 to attacks and damage for underwater combat, can move across mud and wet sand and through up to knee-deep water without a reduction in speed, and gain +5 to balance checks on wet, slippery or rough rocks, or on the deck or rigging of a ship.

Ghost Captain
You have been trained in how to keep still and silent in the foggy waters, and have used this talent to avoid the notice of enemies more than once.
Benefit: You are adept at maximising how well you are shielded by obscurements. When you have concealment and are attacked, you may force the opponent to re-roll the concealment miss chance and take the worse result. If the opponent has Blindfight, the two feats negate each other; roll the miss chance only once. In conditions of concealment caused by darkness or fog, you get +2 to Move Silently checks. If you are attempting to hide a boat on the water from sight, you may ignore half it's size penalty.

Master of the Waves
Your experience as a sailor gives you an edge in naval combat. You know how to make the most out of any wind, predict where your target will next appear, and can anticipate problems long before they occur.
Benefit: You may predict the course of any ship by looking at it and making a Profession (sailor) check (DC20). You gain a +1 bonus to any Profession (sailor) skill check required when commanding a ship to perform nautical maneuvers.

No Prisoners
You slay your foes so brutally, their allies fear you.
Benefit: each time you drop a foe in melee, all other opponents of lower to equal level gain a –1 to AC and attacks against you. These penalties last for the remainder of the current combat and they stack (max –5).

Silver Tongue Techniques

You can drink others under the table and are never too drunk to fight.
Benefit: You suffer no penalties for drunkenness, however much alcohol you drink. Furthermore you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to all Bluff and Gather Information checks related to your drinking companions after at least two hours of heavy drinking. In addition, after a night of wenching, drinking, or other partying, you heal normally as though you had had a full night’s rest.

Striking Cobra
You can make surprise attacks even when your opponents are aware of your presence, using your body language to convince them you are no threat, then attacking with the speed and suddenness of a striking cobra.
Benefit: So long as combat has not yet begun, you may attempt a Bluff check opposed by your opponent’s Sense Motive checks. If you succeed, they are surprised and you may make a round of surprise attacks against them, though they may attempt Will saves (DC 10 +1/2 your BAB + your Charisma modifier) to avoid being flat-footed during the surprise and subsequent rounds. An opponent who had readied an action will lose that action if he does not beat your Bluff check with his Sense Motive check.

While the Last Age is characterised by isolation and paranoia, there are a few places that see a brisk trade and visitors from many lands.
Benefit: you gain access to one more language at basic level, and you are considered fluent in all the languages that you learnt at character creation, whatever their level was at this time.

The River Remembers
You've memorised a staggering array of bargeman's shanties, ancient tales, bawdy stories and legends collected by gnomes over the ages.
Benefit: You may use ranks in any Perform skill (eg, Perform (singing) or Perform (dancing)) as any other Perform skill with no penalty. That is, rather than the nine listed subskills of Perform, you need only one Perform skill to be an all-around entertainer. You get +1 to all Knowledge skill checks, and +2 to all Perform checks .

Silver Tongue
You seem to always find a good excuse to get out of harm’s way.
Benefit: you gain a +2 competence bonus to all Bluff or Diplomacy checks. This bonus is doubled if the check is made to allow you to gain the benefit of doubt, OR for bribery purposes.

Eyes for a Mark
You are skilled at spotting another person’s characteristics.
Benefit: you may make a Sense Motive check against any humanoid target within 30 ft. The target may oppose by making a special Bluff check, modified by its HD. If you win the opposed check, you may learn one piece of information about the target for every five points by which you succeed.

Feign Death
You can make others believe you are dead.
Benefit: In reaction to an opponent successfully dealing damage to you, you may make a Bluff check to appear unconscious or dead. Opponents may make an opposed Sense Motive check to see through your ruse. If your Bluff is successful, your opponents are considered flat-footed with regard to your next attack.

Thug Techniques

You are an expert brawler or martial artist, often knocking out or even killing an opponent with a single punch.
Benefit: You deal 1d6 points of damage with an unarmed strike. You may elect to inflict either lethal or nonlethal damage with no penalty.

Crushing Grip
The mighty thews of your hand and arm can crush a man’s limb or neck in moments if you can but get a grip on him.
Benefit: If you manage to grapple an opponent and inflict damage on him, you may choose to inflict some (maximum of 4 points) of the rolled damage as damage to either his Constitution, Dexterity, or Strength, at your choice. He gets a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + your Strength bonus +1/2 your BAB) for half damage. Crushing Grip may be continued from round to round, so long as you are grappling your opponent and inflicting damage upon him.

Menacing Aura
You project a constant, imposing aura of menace that gives many of your opponents pause before they even get a chance to attack you.
Benefit: You may make a demoralize opponent attempt as a free action against any opponent who makes eye contact with you, whether or not it is your turn to act. You may do this against one opponent of your choice each round.

Disabling Strike
Your attacks can hinder your foes. This technique allows a PC to act as a "legbreaker" extortionist, and also has some use for "real" combat (ie, blinding).
Benefit: any time you hit with a critical attack, instead of dealing damage, you may rather select one of the following effects:

  • arm strike: the target gains a –2 circumstance penalty to hit rolls;
  • leg strike: target loses his Dex bonus to AC and his base movement is reduced by 10 ft
  • head strike: the target is blinded by blood

Each of these effects lasts for 1d4 rounds.

Master Extortionist
You know the right words to scare people.
Benefit: You gain a +4 competence bonus to all Intimidation checks.

Hard to Surprise
Your style of combat makes you a constantly moving target and impossible to pin down.
Benefit: You cannot be flanked except by rogues and barbarians six or more levels higher than you.

Warning Shot
Your prowess with a weapon can demoralize your opponent. By performing some nonlethal act, you can make your opponent think twice about fighting you.
Benefit: as a standard action, you may make a melee attack against an opponent at your highest BAB. If successful, instead of dealing damage normally, you may make a special Intimidate check as a free action. If successfully intimidated, the target becomes shaken for the remainder of combat. A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.

Urban Thief Techniques

Bandit’s Touch
You have learned that it is as easy to cut purses as it is to cut flesh.
Benefit: To take something from another creature, you only need to make a DC 15 Sleight of Hand check to obtain it. The DC for the target to detect the theft with an opposed Spot check remains unchanged. Additionally, you may use a Sleight of Hand check instead of a Bluff check to feint in combat.

Concealed Carry
You are particularly skilled at secreting weapons about your person.
Benefit: you gain a +6 bonus to Sleight of Hand checks made in an attempt to hide light or one-handed melee weapon in your clothing.

Out of Nowhere
You can draw weapons with quicksilver speed.
Benefit: you can draw any weapon, even a hidden one, as a free action. Additionally, you may pick up a weapon in his own square as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Eyes of the Cat
You see more clearly in the dark than many men can in full daylight.
Benefit: You gain low-light vision. That is, you can see outdoors twice as well as ordinary humans by starlight, moonlight, torchlight or other conditions of poor illumintation. You can even distinguish colour and detail under these low-light conditions. If you already have low-light vision, you gain no further benefit from this technique (which is only useful to humans).

Silent Death
You dislike armour and are significantly more effective without it.
Benefit: Whenever you are unarmored and carrying at most 20 pounds of gear in total, you gain an extra +1 die to your sneak attack damage, +1 to AC (dodge bonus), and a +1 circumstance bonus to all Hide and Move silently checks.

Crowd Slipping
You can move quickly through crowds.
Benefit: You can move at full normal speed through thick crowds. You can take a double move action if the crowd is not packed completely shoulder-to-shoulder. You cannot run through a crowd unless you succeed on a Tumble check (DC 15 for a dispersed group, DC 20 for closely spaced, DC 30 for shoulder-to-shoulder). If the crowd actively aids or opposes your movement, you gain a –5 or +5 circumstance modifier.
Normal: You move through a crowd at half your normal movement rate and cannot run.

Shadow Cloak
You can help another creature to hide.
Benefit: You can give a creature within 5 feet of you an improved chance to succeed on a Hide check. The creature cannot attempt to move while hiding and cannot be more than one size category larger than you. It uses your ranks in Hide instead of its own, but it applies its own Dexterity modifier, size modifier, and armor check penalty to the attempt.Helping another creature hide is a standard action.


    The following techniques were inspired by feats found in Age of Legend, a DawnForge supplement by FFG: Healer’s Hands, Hunter’s Wealth, Far Runner, Stoneknapper, Farmer’s Son, Eyes on the Horizon, Survival at Sea (Touch of the Reach), Windweaver, Eyes for a Mark (ability of the Swindler PrC), Bandit’s Touch, Concealed Carry, Out of Nowhere (Improved Quick Draw).
    The following techniques were inspired by feats found in the Conan d20 OGL by Mongoose Publishing: Armoured Stealth, Archer’s Bane, Sleep Mastery, Carouser, Striking Cobra, Brawl, Crushing Grip, Menacing Aura, Eyes of the Cat, Silent Death.
    The following techniques were inspired by feats found in the supplement "Pirate Isles" for the Conan d20 OGL by Mongoose Publishing: Escape Artist (Unfettered feat), Master of the Waves.
    The following techniques were inspired by feats found in the supplement "Road of Kings" for the Conan d20 OGL by Mongoose Publishing: No Prisoners, Feign Death, Disabling Strike, Warning Shot.
    The following techniques were inspired by feats found in the Black Company Campaign Setting by Green Ronin Publishing: Judge of Character, Knife Trick.
    The following techniques were inspired by feats found in the Book of Roguish Luck by Malhavoc Press: Hard to Surprise (Spinning combat), Crowd Slipping, Shadow Cloak.

    The following techniques were inspired by Dirigible in the thread called "Regional Feats": Evasion, Badge of Bondage, Brinefooted, Ghost Captain (Ghost rafter), Cosmopolitan, The River Remembers.

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