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Mastering the Art of the Gnome Rogue in D&D 5E

Welcome, adventurers! Today, we’re diving into the world of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5E) to explore one of the most exciting character builds: the Gnome Rogue. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned player looking for fresh inspiration, this guide will help you craft a gnome rogue that stands out in any campaign.

Why Choose a Gnome Rogue?

Gnomes are known for their quick wit, curiosity, and knack for tinkering. Combine these traits with the cunning and agility of a rogue, and you have a character capable of outsmarting and outmaneuvering any foe. Here’s why a gnome rogue can be an excellent choice:

  • Small but Mighty: Gnomes have a small stature, making them hard to hit and easy to hide.
  • Darkvision: Gnomes can see in dim light and darkness, giving them an edge in stealthy operations.
  • Gnome Cunning: They have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.

Building Your Gnome Rogue

Step 1: Choose Your Gnome Subrace

There are two main subraces to consider: Forest Gnome and Rock Gnome. Each has unique traits that can complement your rogue’s skills:

  • Forest Gnome: They gain the ability to speak with small animals and have a natural talent for stealth.
  • Rock Gnome: They are proficient in using artisan tools and have a knack for inventing small devices.

Step 2: Assign Ability Scores

As a rogue, your primary ability score should be Dexterity. This affects your attack rolls, damage, and AC. Here’s a suggested distribution:

  • Dexterity: Maximize this score for better stealth and combat efficiency.
  • Intelligence: Useful for investigation and trap disarming.
  • Constitution: Boost this to improve your hit points and survivability.

Step 3: Pick Your Skills

Rogues are skill monkeys, so choose skills that complement your role in the party:

  • Stealth: Essential for sneaking past enemies.
  • Sleight of Hand: Useful for pickpocketing and disarming traps.
  • Perception: Helps in spotting hidden dangers.
  • Acrobatics: Great for escaping grapples and performing tricky maneuvers.

Step 4: Select Your Equipment

Equip your gnome rogue with light armor, such as leather or studded leather, for maximum mobility. Choose weapons that benefit from your high Dexterity:

  • Rapier: High damage and finesse.
  • Shortbow: Ideal for ranged attacks.
  • Dagger: Versatile and can be thrown.

Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Starting a new character can be daunting, but these tips will help you get the most out of your gnome rogue:

  • Stay in the Shadows: Use your small size and stealth skills to stay hidden and strike when enemies least expect it.
  • Use Your Cunning Action: This allows you to dash, disengage, or hide as a bonus action, giving you incredible mobility in combat.
  • Take Advantage of Expertise: At level 1, rogues can double their proficiency bonus for certain skills. Choose skills that you will use frequently.
  • Plan Your Sneak Attacks: Your Sneak Attack feature allows you to deal extra damage when you have advantage or an ally is within 5 feet of your target. Coordinate with your party for maximum impact.


Building a gnome rogue in D&D 5E offers endless possibilities for creativity and strategy. With their unique traits and versatile skill set, gnome rogues can be a valuable asset to any adventuring party. So, gather your dice, sketch your character, and get ready to embark on an epic journey!

Happy adventuring!

Author: Matthew Hernandez