D&D 5e: Firbolg Rogue Guide
D&D 5e: Firbolg Rogue Guide
Just how does an 8-foot tall, 350-pound half-giant hide in a bush that only comes up to their ankles? A Firbolg Rogue asks that question and leaves the answer to you. Unconventional but effective, while Firbolg probably isn’t the first race that comes to mind when you think sneaky, the combo might just surprise you with its strength. This guide breaks it down for you:
How to Make a Firbolg Rogue
The Rogue is built around one main stat. Dexterity, and can benefit from splashes of Con, Cha, and sometimes Int for skill checks. So let’s take a look at the Firbolg racial stat distribution and … ah. Hm.
Firbolg gain bonuses to Str, and Wis. Neither of these is useful for Rogues. So if you’re taking this class/race combination, make sure your GM is fine with alternative racial ability scores, and max out your Dex as soon as you can.
Weapons don’t tend to matter for Rogues, who gain most of their damage from the Sneak Attack feature, which is weapon agnostic as long as you’re using anything on the Rogue proficiency list. Light Armor is your limit, so dealing with low AC is a thing, and HP totals are middling.
When it comes to skill choice, the world is your oyster. If you can, talk to your party and GM to work out what’s going to be useful and fill in the gaps because a truly Rogue can be good at all the skills. Though with this particular combination, we’d recommend at least picking up Diplomacy. You’ll see why later.
How to Play a Firbolg Rogue
In combat, Rogues can be surprisingly simplistic classes to pilot. The standard turn sequence will look like finding a target, making one attack, hopefully with Advantage, then rolling an absolute pile of damage dice if you land your hit.
As a Rogue, the most significant decision point for you is deciding on your combat style, which is split between Archery and Melee.
Archery Rogues take the least effort. Ranged attacks make it easier to stay away from enemies and mean your limited HP pool and low AC is less of a liability. Melee Rogues increase their personal risk, trading in safety for the option of a secondary melee attack to help land that sweet, sweet Sneak Attack, and can always duck away again using Cunning Action, from level 2.
The Firbolg supplements the Rogue’s natural abilities with some sneaking of their own. A one-turn invisibility button is awesome, as are the Firbolg racial spells, both of which fit the archetype.
Good subclasses for this build might include the Arcane Trickster, which supplements the Firbolg’s magical powers with more of their own. The Scout is a fantastic outdoor Rogue, which can almost out-Ranger the Ranger and is near-impossible to ambush.
Finally, a Soulknife gains some nice boosts to skill use and has versatile, built-in weapons that are always on hand. Literally.
The Rogue is also equipped to be one of the best out-of-combat characters. The class has access to a truly absurd amount of skills, as well as Expertise, all at level 1, meaning a Rogue can be built to tackle any non-combat challenge with ease.
Rogues are particularly comfortable as the Face of the party, stacking social bonuses so they can sweet-talk everyone they meet. Knowledge or exploratory skills are also good options, especially Perception and Survival, backed up by Expertise.
Choosing Firbolg also offers something unique for the Rogue. The ability to speak to animals and plants. Giving the party Face, who has instant access to Expertise for the Diplomacy skill, more targets to talk to, even out in the wilderness, is incredibly powerful, and in my opinion one of the biggest reasons to run this particular combination.
How to Roleplay as a Firbolg Rogue
Firbolg originate deep within Celtic legend, letting you lunge headfirst into your best (or worst) Scottish or Irish accent.
We’ve already mentioned how the Firbolg can speak to animals and plant life, which is invaluable for someone who acts as the frontman in social situations and can also be surprisingly handy when you’re sneaking around. Dungeons are full of rats and other gribblies. Add that to the fact that you gain Advantage on any Charisma checks, and you can easily gain Expertise in your social skills, and it’s very easy to become a Disney princess and sweet talk every furry creature you find.
It is worth pointing out that your new friends can’t speak back unless you find some way of doing that, so in a more social campaign, your character might appreciate splashing Druid or picking up the Magic Initiate feat to grab Speak with Animals (also found on the Bard spell list) just for this.
The Rogue is traditionally a character built around urban escapades, but nothing is saying this is set in stone. There are definitely some interesting interactions between a race that usually keeps to themselves and a class that loves to socialize.
If you’re looking for some easy inspiration, Celtic and Nordic myths are packed with warrior poets and guile heroes that add a touch of swagger to their swordplay. Add your own little twist for something that’s sure to be fun to run, no matter what table you’re sitting at.