Knife-Thrower Rogue (v1)

There are some who say that a sharp wit beats a sharp knife – the former can fly much further. There are some who say such things, yes, but not generally while in the same room as a connoisseur of flying blades. A well-flung knife can cut through expectations as well as skin, and winning at darts is only the least impressive of feats that the masters can pull off.

 

Read on for more of the Knife-Thrower Rogue!

Knife-Thrower Rogue

You can also find the PDF version here.

 

Throwing knives are one of the staples of fantasy – nearly every fantasy world has its fair share of daring dagger flingers and sophisticated knife throwers. But 5e has never really lent itself to knife-throwing as a viable playstyle, due to a large variety of reasons. And that’s where this subclass comes in – not to make knife throwing a powerful choice, necessarily… just to make it playable.

 

FEATURES:

  • No knives? No problem! Use both darts and certain improvised weapons with your subclass features!
  • Instead of frontloading damage on a single attack, use Sneak Attack dice as bonus action knife throws!
  • Nice job pin-cushioning that goblin, friend… but where are you keeping your extra knives? No need to, when you can simply dart in and retrieve your thrown weapons with ease!
  • Now that’s a knife! Deal extra damage with knives, and bypass resistance against nonmagical weapons with sheer skill!
  • Call your shots… blind, scar, bleed, and silence your foes with expert throws!
  • And finally, you don’t take crit from anybody, except 19’s and 20’s!

 

DESIGN NOTES:

  • I’m actually planning on putting out a full review of the creation process for this subclass soon after its posted, so check that out for more!
  • To summarize: thrown weapons are much beloved by many who play D&D, but 5e does not currently have any real viable options for making a knife throwing character viable in a party setting.
  • Part of this is just logic – anyone reliant on expensive and bulky ammo for their ranged attacks is just going to have a bad time, period. Good luck getting the knives you threw at the lava monster back. This is why I added Acrobatic Retrieval. It doesn’t let you magically save your knives from destruction, but it does allow you to go pick them all up really quick if need be.
  • And secondly, daggers just don’t do good damage! Compared to any other ranged weapon, daggers have both inferior range and inferior damage. This is something I’ve aimed to fix with Death’s Edge and Butcher’s Critical. Both up the damage on knives significantly… but hopefully not too significantly.
  • Lastly, of course, are called shots. They’re usually an annoyance to DMs who are asked to adjudicate on the specific penalties and modifiers for such weirdly particular attacks. But, simultaneously, called shots are the bread-and-butter of knife throwers – their whole thing is insane accuracy, so they have to have it. Hopefully Count on the Shot is balanced well enough that it can stand in for a broader “called shot” mechanic for those who want it.

 

Thanks for reading!

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