Have you run and/or played in a 3e/3.5 game with no rogue?


I played in a Planescape game that had little or no dungeons per se, so no traps and no trapfinder. Beyond that, every game I've played otherwise had a trapfinder*.

* Rogue, Ninja, Scout, Spellthief, Beguiler, Artificer, Ranger (alt class ability), Barbarian (alt class abilities), and probably a few I'm forgetting.

log in or register to remove this ad


First Post
I don't think I ever had a party completely without a Rogue-like character (either multiclass or one of the other Rogue-ish classes) but I do know that I've never, not once had a Rogue character actually detect a trap in any of the 3.x games I've run. Traps are usually so easily absorbed that most party's just didn't worry about them and the ones that were deadly enough to worry about were too difficult to detect for any Rogue character who hadn't specifically specialized in trapfinding. Most people who played Rogues played them for the sneak-attack and either multiclassed or headed for a PrC eventually.


In the last campaign we had all spell casters. Two divine casters and two arcane casters. They managed to not only do away with the rogue/thief, they managed to do away with the fighters too. At tenth level they had enough power to come up with a series of spells that broke the game (then I got to limiting the power of things and balance it out). The series of buffs they used they termed the, "Royale with Cheese." They managed to get to use it in full effect once before i knew what was going on and I put the clamp down quickly.

dude you can't just drop a cool name like that on us and not describe the spells involved!


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
We've done it (2 clerics, a fighter, a wizard, and a bard) and it was pretty hard at times. Basically, our trapfinding was largely triggering them. Locked doors were dealt with via a prybar. It was slow going through a couple of dungeons.


First Post
I've played a number of Living Greyhawk games (i.e. the GM can't tailor encounters to you, and you may have a new party for each game) where we didn't have a rogue on the table. Sometimes it matters a lot, sometimes not at all, depending mostly on what sort of traps are in the module and whether you're required to make Search checks to find the treasure. Rogues have functions other than trapfinding, but trapfinding seems to be the only really irreplaceable one (as others have said, though, it's true that beguilers/scouts/etc can fill this role instead). Other PCs can do damage in melee (I don't know of any monsters especially vulnerable to sneak attack), and most skills can be covered sufficiently by the rest of the party. Having someone along who can open locks quickly and quietly is good, but rarely makes that much of a difference (Silence + adamantine weapon usually does the job, unless we're trying not to leave signs).

I think the time we were most severely punished for not having a rogue was when we triggered an Energy Drain x3 + Heightened Disintegrate x4 trap (EL 16ish, from memory, and it was protected against magical detection, so we didn't spot it with Arcane Sight). Fortunately most of the party had Death Ward armor and everyone made their Fort saves, but still, ow. That table was meant to be all-arcane (L15), but one player decided to bring his monk instead of his sorcerer, so we had a monk and five arcanists. The trap was right before a gauntlet of four EL 18-20 combats, and we were in hot pursuit of the bad guys, so no chance to rest - it was intended to be a difficult game.

Conversely, though, I played another game with some nasty traps with no rogue in the party - but those traps didn't have Nystul's Magic Aura on them. My sorcerer spotted the first Wail of the Banshee trap with Detect Magic, read off the Strong Necromancy aura, and volunteered to check it out because she had an auto-triggering Death Ward effect. She also asked the cleric for a Silence spell, guessing it might be Wail of the Banshee due to a divination we'd received earlier (about haunting wails guarding the door) - so that worked out well. The second trap was a spell turret, so we just bashed it to pieces with adamantine. When I ran that scenario for a friend's rogue, though, she trivialized both encounters by disarming everything.

So... YMMV. I'd always be pleased to see a rogue in the party, at any level, especially if I knew the GM used nasty custom traps. When you're meeting traps that have the same ELs as the combat encounters, just triggering them usually isn't a good option. I don't think any class is indispensable, though.
Last edited:


First Post
I played in a fairly long campaign with no real rogue PC. We usually had to recruit the help of NPCs or find other ways to deal with traps. It eventually fell to a cohort to pick locks and what not.

With a little effort, a group can survive or even thrive without a representative from any of the main roles (fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard). I prefer having a rogue, though, because that way the other characters, especially the wizard, can focus on doing what they do best.


dude you can't just drop a cool name like that on us and not describe the spells involved!

Someone has the list of spells somewhere. They kept it just in case I wasn't paying attention in the future or to abuse another unaware DM. I'll see if I can dig it up. It pretty much blew up the game.
Last edited:


Dragon Lord

Though I think the rogue gets screwed for combat, we have never run without a rogue or rogue-type with the scout being the preferred alternative to rogue. Too many traps. Too much need for scouting. Too many locks and not enough knock spells. Too much of a pain to run without a rogue.

Not to mention it limits what the DM can do. The rogue is not only good at scouting and disabling traps, but he is generally the best at finding information in towns or breaking into a house quietly and getting something we need. If we don't have a rogue along, the DM is very limited in the encounters he can design.

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases