Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Rogues
I just received my copy of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything in the mail. I’m pretty excited by the new character-building possibilities opened up by this book, and I thought I’d share some of my ideas for the rogue class.
Jeremy Crawford has described this rogue option as a Sherlock Holmes type character for Dungeons & Dragons, but I see so many other possibilities. An investigative journalist is not too far from a private investigator (Sherlock’s assistant, Watson, is a journalist) and I think this option could easily help make a journalist (or a herald if you want them to sound more medieval?) looking for a scoop, hoping to uncover what’s really going on. The inquisitive could also be thought of as a vigilante – someone who investigates evil plots and takes justice into their own hands.
Then I was thinking, what if the inquisitive represented the shadow side of a supposedly holy religious organisation, tasked with investigating and executing heretics? (If I took this angle I’d also want them to have their own unorthodox beliefs or practises that they were trying to hide from their peers.) The religious angle got me thinking that the inquisitive could also represent a worshipper of Vecna, who is searching for secrets and keeping them closely guarded.
Lastly, I reckon the inquisitive could be effectively used to make an X-Files agent. If any dungeon masters are prepared to run an X-Files adventure based in Neverwinter, please sign me up! I’d imagine it could involve investigating the activity of mind flayers, aboleths and Lovecraftian aliens…
My local context in Melbourne, Australia has a lot of examples of historical figures who might fit the scout profile. Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were Aboriginal trackers from Tasmania who fought a guerrilla war against the colonial authorities after executing some whalers who has murdered their relatives, and I could see the scout being used to represent figures like them. The scout could also represent a bushranger (in other places you’d probably just call them bandits) like Captain Moonlite or Ned Kelly, raiding farmers and merchants and maybe even riding into town for an occasional bank job. (Maybe your own local context has some stories you could draw on to create a character like this?)
Another way I could see myself using the scout option is to make an eco-terrorist character: someone who’s natural environment may be threatened by some kind of industry like logging or mining. I’m picturing a bugbear scout, or perhaps a lizardfolk or firbolg, armed with bottles of alchemist’s fire, who does lightning-quick attacks on the industrial enterprises that threaten their homeland.