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Guide to Rogue Talents in Dragon Age: Origins

by: Finn Orfano ; edited by: Aaron R. ; updated: 4/18/2012 • Leave a comment

A detailed explanation of all the talents available for the Rogue class in Dragon Age: Origins. This is practical advice without any cheats. Level and stat requirements are also listed.

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    When you gain a level in Dragon Age Origins, there will be far more options than you'll likely ever use for your character. This is because the game intends for you to specialize in certain areas, and the rogue class is no different. By focusing on certain skills and talents each time you level up, you can get the most out of your character in the game. In this guide, I'll go into detail about what each talent does, and which ones I recommend. None of this information is to be found in the game instruction manual.

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    Why Fight Fair?

    dirty fighting   Dirty Fighting

    • Requirements: 10 Dexterity

    This is one of the rogue’s base talents, but it’s almost one of the most effective ones in the game. It temporarily stuns your opponent so that you can get in several quick hits without them fighting back. I use this every time I fight. The downside to it is that there is a 25 second cool down time in between uses, so don’t waste it on peons.

    Combat Movement

    • Requirements: 4th Level, 14 Dexterity

    This talent widens the area of backstab opportunities. Instead of having to get right behind the enemy, you can actually get more to their side with this talent. It is extremely helpful to have when fighting in a crowd or in tight quarters where you may not have a lot of maneuverability. It’s a passive talent, so it’s automatically on every time you fight. Get this talent as soon as it comes available.

    Coup de Grace

    • Requirements: 8th Level, 18 Dexterity

    When your opponent is stunned or paralyzed, the rogue automatically backstabs them. When combined with Dirty Fighting, your rogue can deal out major damage to an enemy. It’s also a passive talent, so there’s nothing to activate. You should get this talent as soon as it comes available, because it’ll make your rogue do more damage than a warrior ever could with a critical hit.

    Feign Death

    • Requirements: 12th Level, 22 Dexterity

    Fake out your opponent by falling on the ground and pretending to be dead. Seems like kind of a wimp move, if you ask me, but it can be really helpful if you’re about to fall down dead for real. What this does is make your opponent move on to someone else so that you can buy yourself time to heal or get behind them for a backstab. It has a 300 second cool down time, so you won’t use it more than once in a fight.

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    Hit Them Where It Hurts

    below belt   Below the Belt

    • Requirements: 10 Dexterity

    This is a good one to use for slowing down an opponent. It’s an attack move that forces the enemy to make a physical resistance check, otherwise they will lose some defense points and have their movement reduced. It has a 15 second cool down time.

    Deadly Strike

    • Requirements: 4th Level, 14 Dexterity

    A special attack that does normal damage, but adds to your armor penetration. This is good for opponents that are tough to hit. It has a 15 second cool down time.

    Lethality

    • Requirements: 8th Level, 23 Dexterity

    This gives you a whopping 10% bonus to critical hit chances, which is very helpful. If your cunning score is higher than your strength, this talent also lets you apply your cunning bonus (instead of strength) to your damage. It’s a passive talent, so there’s nothing to activate.

    Evasion

    • Requirements: 12th Level, 35 Dexterity

    The really high dexterity requirement for this talent is because it’s so awesome. It gives you a 20% chance to dodge all physical attacks as well as a 20% chance to resist being stunned or knocked down. This talent is passive, so it’s on every time you fight. How could that not be helpful?

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    Picking Locks and Disarming Traps

    deft hands   Deft Hands

    • Requirements: 10 Cunning

    Improved Tools

    • Requirements: 4th Level, 14 Cunning

    Mechanical Expertise

    • Requirements: 8th Level, 18 Cunning

    Device Mastery

    • Requirements: 12th Level, 22 Cunning

    These talents let you pick open locks and disarm traps. They are all passive, so there’s nothing special to activate in order for them to work. While somewhat useful, I don’t think you really need Mechanical Expertise or Device Mastery just because you won’t use the talent enough to make them worthwhile. I’ve only come across a couple of things I could not open, and I have yet to find a trap that my rogue could not disarm. The high cunning requirements contribute to the success of the talent, but if your cunning is already that high then you may not need to invest in these talents at all. Personally, I think all the other talents do more for you in the game than these will.

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    Hiding from Enemies

    stealth   Stealth

    • Requirements: 10 Cunning

    This is the basic stealth option that lets your character hide in shadows to sneak around unnoticed. It’s great for scouting ahead and for getting behind opponents for backstabs. With this base stealth, you become visible as soon as you attack or use an item. It has a 10 second cool down time.

    Stealthy Item Use

    • Requirements: 4th Level, 14 Cunning

    With this talent, you can use an item and still remain in stealth mode. It’s great for throwing shock bombs and other area effect items while hidden. You should get this talent early on because you'll use it a lot.

    Combat Stealth

    • Requirements: 8th Level, 18 Cunning

    You can actually remain hidden during combat with this talent, but it greatly reduces your effectiveness. It’s more of a defensive than offensive talent, but can work well when you need it. At 8th level, you should pick up Coup de Grace before you get this one.

    Master Stealth

    • Requirements: 12th Level, 22 Cunning

    This increases your stealth abilities to prevent detection and be more effective in combat while still in stealth mode.

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    Playing Rogues in Dragon Age Origins

    I hope this information was helpful to you in understanding your rogue's abilities and what you can look forward to at later levels. Once you specialize your rogue, should you choose to do so, even more talents will come available. If you're just getting started with a rogue, be sure to read my guide on which attributes are most important. You may also want to check out my rogue combat guide for information on how to make your rogue more effective in combat. With the right combination of character attributes and talents, I really think the rogue is the best character class in Dragon Age Origins. Keep playing as one and you'll see why.