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Dragon Age Origins: Rogues
Playing as a rogue in Dragon Age Origins can be a lot of fun, but it greatly helps if you know which attributes should be focused on in order to get the most out of your rogue. In this article, I’ll discuss where you should spend your most points, and how you can use the rogue’s tactical advantages to deal out massive amounts of damage to even the toughest foes. If you’re unsure about how to equip a rogue, this should help you get started.
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Race and Origin
When creating your rogue, you have three choices for race: Human, Elf, and Dwarf. Because this game is not set in the Dungeons & Dragons world, you should put aside all you know about D&D when choosing a race for your character. In this game, any race can be a rogue and there’s not really a penalty one way or the other. Although humans and dwarves get bonuses to strength and dexterity, I decided to be an elf in order to get the magic and willpower bonuses so that I wouldn’t have to spend any more points on them later.
Each race offers a choice between two character origins, and this just makes for a unique beginning to each game as you play through your ‘origin’ story. Other than giving you about an hour’s worth of unique content, your character origin choice will grant you a starting skill that helps jump-start things. Human and dwarf Nobles get Combat Training, City Elves get Coercion, Dalish Elves get Survival, and Dwarf Commoners get Stealing. I chose the Dalish Elves because they leaned more toward being a Ranger, which is what I wanted.
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Rogues should focus on the following attributes, in order of importance: Dexterity, Cunning, Willpower, Constitution, Strength and Magic.
The most important attribute for a rogue is dexterity. Not only does it help to increase your defensive ability, but it also helps determine your attack score for making a successful hit. If you are using a ranged weapon like a bow, dexterity is the only attribute which contributes to your attack score. Higher dexterity scores also increase the damage done by weapons like daggers, which is mainly what your rogue should carry. Strength should also be given a few points to help with your rogue’s damage and attack scores in case you use other weapons, but when using daggers you should have more points in dexterity than in strength.
Rogues should definitely put a few points in the cunning attribute because that will help them improve some of the rogue talents as well as increase armor penetration. It wouldn’t hurt to invest a point or two in willpower because it affects how much mana or stamina you have, and once your rogue gains higher levels you will use this to do special attacks. Some points in constitution will give your rogue more hit points, but that’s all. With a rogue, there’s really no reason to put any points in magic because you’ll get much more benefit from investing in other attributes.
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Skills and Talents
The main skill you should focus on is Combat Training and its subsequent upgrades. Since there is so much combat in this game, building up these skills will be very helpful. Another one to look at is Coercion, which lets you influence others with strength or cunning. This is very helpful at times when you can convince someone to do something for you. Once you gain more levels, you may want to look into Herbalism for making your own health potions, which can save you a lot of money, Poison Making for creating weapon enhancements, and also Trap Making.
For the rogue, talents like Dirty Fighting and Combat Movement are excellent in helping you to deal out more damage to your opponent. You should definitely invest points in these skills because you will use them every time you fight. Another good one to get is Deft Hands, because it lets you pick locks. You will encounter a lot of locked treasure chests in this game, and being able to open them will often yield some great valuables. Stealth is another skill you will use often because it allows rogues to sneak up behind an enemy and get a good backstab in before the fighting starts. It’s great for taking out spellcasters. I also think you should spend points in Dual Weapon Training so you can use two daggers, which can yield devastating results.
For more information, be sure to check out my Dragon Age: Origins rogue combat guide.