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Rogue, Thug

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Most criminals try their best to avoid the law, placing stealth and a good plan above brute force and toughness. On the other hand, many criminals lack the brainpower and physical ability to sneak into a home unnoticed and carry off its owner’s valuables. Furthermore, there’s never a shortage of demand for tough, violent-minded brutes.

The Quintessential Rogue
Author Michael Mearls
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

Most criminal organisations use hired muscle to shake down merchants, deal with borrowers unwilling to make good on their payments, or provide some back-up and insurance for a robbery. While the guild rarely seeks to openly fight the town guard, it extends no such courtesy to mercenaries contracted to guard a treasure or do-gooder adventurers who do not know well enough to leave the guild alone. Thugs are simple-minded thieves who prefer a simple mugging or bar fight to what they see as the tedious hours spent planning a heist or robbery. Many thugs belong to small packs of rowdies who engage in low-level extortion schemes and neighbourhood protection rackets.

Adventuring: Few thugs have the guts needed to strap on a sword and head out to a dungeon or seek their fortune outside of the confines of the city slums. However, some thugs grow weary of their lot in life and seek to eke out something better. Others might simply be street kids who learned to fight in order to make it up through the world, and now want to turn that skill to something a but more lucrative. Thugs often downplay their past when dealing with others, seeing it as a mark of shame, while others wear it as a badge of pride that marks their toughness and resourcefulness.

Role-Playing: Most thugs are crude, obnoxious louts who prey on the weak but crumple in the face of determined resistance. Rarely does this sort of thug turn to adventuring, often finding that life as a low-ranking enforcer offers enough heads to bash and fights to pick to keep them content. Thugs who turn to adventure are often solid, dependable and tenacious, ready to apply the same grit and determination that allowed them to scratch their way up from the bottom to their quest for fame, fortune and glory.

Bonuses: Compared to other rogues, thugs are extremely adept fighters. Their base attack bonus advance is as the fighter class and they are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and shields in addition to the normal spread of rogue weapons.

Penalties: Thugs are simple-minded and often lack the talents and skills cultivated by other rogues. While they are often exposed to the same skills and abilities associated with rogues, their range of experience is much more limited. Thugs gain only half the normal skill points gained by rogues. In addition, the thug does not gain Decipher Script, Read Lips or Use Magic Device as class skills. These abilities require a level of finesse and specialisation beyond the thug’s rudimentary training.

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