all rogue dnd party

Single-Class DnD Parties: Oops All Rogues


We’re taking a look at building single-class parties. Building a party around a single class presents unique challenges often due individual classes’ limited capabilities. DnD is fundamentally a game about a party of diverse characters pooling their abilities to become more than the sum of their parts. The single-class party flips that on its head, introducing fun new challenges.

With lots of skills and stealth to spare, an all-Rogue party can be a fun way to explore concepts like a thieves’ guild, an assassin’s guild, a group of bandits, or a merry band of noble, swashbuckling rebels.

The Rules

  • No multiclassing
  • 4 party members
  • Must attempt to cover all party roles

Strengths and Weaknesses of the All-Rogue Party

Rogues have more skills than any other class, they’re surprisingly durable thanks to their high Dexterity saves and Uncanny Dodge, and Cunning Action means that they’re often hard to target and can readily gain Advantage on attacks. With Expertise, relatively low ability scores don’t significantly inhibit skill-based roles. Aside from a near total lack of ability to do magic, the Rogue is a great class for a single-class party.

However, Rogues have extremely fixed damage progression. A Rogue with no subclass features or feats will sit consistently in the middle of the Target DPR range, never quite reaching High DPR. We can boost the Rogue’s DPR with feats, subclass features, and Opportunity Attacks, but it’s harder to force Opportunity Attacks or attack outside of our turn without non-Rogue allies. Despite their conceptual place as a Striker, the Rogue’s actual DPR isn’t especially impressive without some work.

Relying on Cunning Action can also make combat work in very strange ways. If the party leans into hiding with Cunning Action, you’re essentially playing Russian Roulette. The first person to roll poorly on Stealth is going to get dogpiled by every monster in sight, likely resulting in their immediate death. Once Reliant Talent comes online, this issues goes away and the party becomes a group of undetectable snipers, turning D&D into a weird, turn-based sniper simulator.

The Party

Member 1: Fairy Arcane Trickster Rogue

Our only caster, the Arcane Trickster has to carry a lot of responsibility. We’re the only one with any hope to serve as a Blaster, a Controller, or a Utility Caster, so we’ll cover those roles to the best of our ability with our limited number of spells known. Fairy’s ability to cast both Faerie Fire and Enlarge/Reduce gives us some great Support options, too.

In combat, using spells offensively will still be rare, but we might use options like Hypnotic pattern to thin herds, especially once we get Magical Ambush.

Since they need Intelligence for our spells, our Arcane Trickster is a natural Scholar. Use Expertise to close the gap between our 14-ish Intelligence and a smarter character.

Member 2: Phantom Rogue

Wails from the Grave can boost our damage output by almost half, which is huge in a party that has few ways to boost their damage output. Hitting is crucial, so either use Cunning Action to hide or use Two-Weapon Fighting so that you get a second attack.

With the easiest roles in the party, our Phantom Rogue gets saddled with the hardest single role for the Rogue: Healer. We can do this with the Gift of the Gem Dragon feat, the Healer feat, and the Aasimar race. Healer provides the most healing, so we’ll make that our go-to choice. We still can’t do a thing about status conditions, unfortunately.

Member 3: Scout Rogue

In a party of characters who can fill the Scout role, our Scout Rogue is our best Scout character. (Look, I named the role before we had a Scout subclass). We’ll have them focus on Stealth, Perception, and Investigation. We get proficiency in Nature for free, but that doesn’t make us a Scholar.

In combat, we’re all about hit-and-run tactics and sniping. We want to be highly mobile, draw melee enemies away from allies, and move to target vulnerable enemies. If we’re feeling brave, we can combine Cunning Action with Elven Accuracy and Sharpshooter to boost our damage output.

Member 4: Swashbuckler Rogue

Built to face enemies in single combat, our swashbuckler is our best option for a Defender. Building our swashbuckler as something durable like a hill dwarf will help them stay on the front lines for extended periods as the rest of the party darts in and out of combat.

The Swashbuckler’s dependence on Charisma also makes them an ideal Face, so we’ll focus their skills on Charisma-based skills and Insight.

The Report Card

We just barely managed to cover every role, but it’s definitely a stretch for some of them.

Utility Caster1

Biggest Strength

Tons of skills, plus Expertise. We don’t get spells like Enhance Ability or Guidance, but between Expertise and Reliable Talent we’re almost untouchable on any skill-based role.

Biggest Weakness

Damage. We do plenty of damage, but we can only do it in one way. If we run into enemies that are resistant to piercing damage, we’re in trouble. Fortunately, resistance to magic piercing damage essentially doesn’t exist. But if we can’t out-stealth our enemies, our damage output drops catastrophically.

We also can’t do anything about negative status conditions, which can quickly become a problem.


An all-rogue party would be a lot of fun, and if you can manage the lack of a magical healing, it offers some exciting challenges that I would love to experience at a table. I might try to sneak in a Trickery Domain Cleric, but I would be happy with just rogues, too.

If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to check out the other articles in the series:

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