Hunters in Shadow

Nathaniel Hedington, Blogger

Right, keep an eye on your pockets, friend. Here in the Guild they won’t take all your money, but you may find yourself short a few silvers. One time I saw an adventurer come back from a dungeon, heavy with loot. He took a shortcut through the rogue’s section of the bar, ended up buying three rounds for them, not that he knew it until he’d gone to bed that night and counted his coins. 


Why keep them around? Well rogues are downright handy, I’d say necessary, for a proper adventuring party. Sure, a lot of them are thieves in some respect, but sometimes a thief is just what you need. The key is steering their pickpocketing fingers away from you! Most adventuring rogues don’t steal from their party members anyway, the few that do tend to find their companions less helpful, and that can be fatal to an adventurer. 


Rogues come in a whole host of stripes, but there are three main archetypes that you should know. First you have your standard Thieves. Thieves are what most folks think of when they think of rogues, sneaky, skillful folk up jumping rooftop to rooftop, opening safes and taking gold from vaults. Thieves can be downright necessary in a long dungeon crawl where any door might explode or any tile could be a pressure plate, and having someone who can pick locks and disable traps is the difference between seeing gold and seeing red.


Next you’ve got Assassins. Don’t let the name fool you, there’s a lot more to an Assassin than slipping a drop of nightshade extract into a fool’s food. Assassins are extremely deadly when they can get a drop on their opponents, and their abilities of infiltration and mimicry means they can get real close when they want to before a target knows what’s happening. I once heard of a local temple hiring an Assassin to track down a circle of necromancers. Yeah it was Elkon, the half-elf over there in the corner throwing knives at the board. Anyways, a week later the clerics got a note with an address and Elkon’s mark. When the clerics and town guard broke into the place they found Elkon had killed the three head necromancers and poisoned the rest so badly they could barely stand. Definitely not someone you want coming after you!


The last group of rogues to keep an eye on are known as Arcane Tricksters. Now these can be just as quick and skillful as any other Rogue, but Arcane Tricksters turn to magic to enhance their abilities beyond what’s normally possible. They’re also often mischief makers. If you ever see a coin pouch floating through the air, you can bet it’s floating straight to an Arcane Trickster. Don’t sell them short though, they can bring a whole lot of arcane firepower to bear when the time is right.


Right, Oi! Fingers out of my pockets before I chop ‘em off! C’mon, let’s hurry before we end up buying this lot any more drinks. Out here onto the patio. This is where the Rangers like to hang out. Rangers are an interesting bunch. Like Druids, they tend not to come to cities, the ones you see around here tend to be younger Rangers who haven’t adopted a piece of wilderness to protect. Rangers often are experts of fighting a chosen type of foe, their favored enemy. Getting a Ranger who is specialized in fighting the kinds of enemies you are up against can be a major boon. They also get a few spells that can be handy in a fight or on the trail, and many are expert trackers. There are a couple different types of Rangers to be aware of.


Take Aela over there for instance. The Northerner human, the redhead wearing leather armor. Her specialty is that of the Hunter. Hunters specialize at hunting either large game or many enemies. Aela specifically is a giant killer, if memory serves. The other specialty is Beast Master, those lot are a bunch of fun, and is why you see so many animals out here. Beast Masters have a special connection with their animal companions. A lot of them tend to pick wolves or other animals that can help them track. I once heard of a halfling that chose a riding dog as his companion though, they became a bit of a wilderness cavalier!


Alright, after we pet all the dogs, let’s swing past the chapel, I’ve got a friend in there I need to see. Now then, who’s a good boy! Who’s a good boy! Yes you are!