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Mastering the Art of the Kobold Rogue in D&D 5e: A Beginner’s Guide

Welcome adventurers! Whether you’re a seasoned dungeon delver or a newcomer to the world of Dungeons & Dragons, creating a Kobold Rogue can be an exciting and rewarding experience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to build an effective and engaging Kobold Rogue in D&D 5e, share some tips and tricks, and ensure you get the most out of your character.

Why Choose a Kobold Rogue?

Kobolds are often overlooked due to their diminutive size and somewhat mischievous nature. However, these traits make them excellent Rogues. With their natural stealth, agility, and cunning, Kobolds can slip through shadows and strike with precision. Plus, their pack tactics ability can give them a significant edge in combat, making them a formidable force when played correctly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Kobold Rogue

1. Understanding Kobold Racial Traits

Before diving into the specifics of the Rogue class, it’s essential to understand the racial traits of Kobolds that will influence your build:

  • Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength. This makes them naturally agile but physically weak.
  • Darkvision: Kobolds can see in the dark up to 60 feet, perfect for a Rogue who thrives in shadows.
  • Grovel, Cower, and Beg: As an action, you can distract foes, granting your allies advantage on attack rolls against enemies within 10 feet.
  • Pack Tactics: You have advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity: Disadvantage on attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks when you or your target are in direct sunlight.

2. Choosing the Rogue Class

The Rogue class offers a variety of skills and abilities that synergize well with the Kobold’s natural traits. When choosing your Rogue subclass, consider the following:

  • Thief: Focuses on agility and quick reflexes, ideal for a Kobold’s dexterous nature.
  • Assassin: Specializes in dealing massive damage with surprise attacks, perfect for a sneaky Kobold.
  • Arcane Trickster: Combines magic with stealth, providing versatility in and out of combat.

3. Selecting Skills and Abilities

As a Rogue, you will have access to a wide range of skills. Focus on those that complement your Kobold’s strengths:

  • Stealth: Essential for any Rogue, especially one with a natural inclination towards sneaking.
  • Acrobatics: Useful for navigating tricky terrain and avoiding traps.
  • Sleight of Hand: Perfect for picking pockets and handling delicate tasks.
  • Perception: Helps you spot hidden threats and opportunities.

4. Equipping Your Kobold Rogue

Choosing the right equipment is crucial for maximizing your effectiveness in and out of combat:

  • Weapons: Opt for light, finesse weapons like daggers and short swords to take advantage of your high Dexterity.
  • Armor: Light armor like leather or studded leather will provide decent protection without hindering your stealth.
  • Tools: Thieves’ tools are a must for disarming traps and picking locks.

Tips and Tricks for Playing a Kobold Rogue

1. Utilize Pack Tactics

Take advantage of your Pack Tactics ability by staying close to your allies during combat. This will often grant you advantage on your attack rolls, increasing your chances of landing critical hits.

2. Embrace Stealth

Always look for opportunities to hide and surprise your enemies. Use your environment to your advantage, and don’t be afraid to retreat and reposition if things get too dangerous.

3. Leverage Your Cunning Action

Your Cunning Action ability allows you to Dash, Disengage, or Hide as a bonus action. This can be a lifesaver in combat, allowing you to escape sticky situations or set up for a devastating sneak attack.

4. Plan for Sunlight Sensitivity

Be mindful of your Sunlight Sensitivity. Whenever possible, try to engage enemies indoors, underground, or at night to avoid the penalties associated with direct sunlight.


Building a Kobold Rogue in D&D 5e offers a unique and rewarding experience, blending stealth, cunning, and teamwork. By understanding your racial traits, selecting the right subclass, and leveraging your skills and abilities, you can create a character that stands out and excels in any adventure. Happy adventuring!

Author: Nicholas White