Rogue – Butcher (v1)

Sometimes, people use hurtful words. You might call a goblin a bastard, or a lich “bitch” (bad idea). And then there’s the really hurtful things, like when the party paladin calls the party rogue a “murderer” or “serial killer” or even “psychotic butcher” just for doing their job!

And I’ll have you know, butchering is an art.


Click below for the Butcher rogue!



You can also find the PDF version here!


What does a butcher do? Generally they prepare meat, and may or may not serve as emergency surgeons in times of crisis. But what does the butcher rogue do? Cut people up while wearing dark colors, because blood is a pain to get out of cloth. Need someone to “prepare” the orc ears, bandit hands, or owlbear heads you were hired to collect? There’s no one better!



  • Cutting Efficiency. Daggers and scimitars? Think a little bigger. We’re not doing papercuts here, we’re doing battleaxe wounds. Bigger is always better.
  • Blood and Butchery. The bleeding condition isn’t just normal bleeding. It’s bleeding with pressure. Not only does it hurt and make physical activity difficult, but every hit might send a little more spurting out, and that hurts too.
  • Precision Carving. The idea is all about aim. Hit an artery and you’ve got a gushing wound. Hit the temple and the blood washes out their vision. Hit the side of the head and the ringing drowns everything out. You get the idea.
  • Murderous Intent. At a certain point, you can easily be covered in enough blood that just sort of shrugging and gesturing at someone works exactly like the fear spell.
  • Opportunistic Strikes. Basically a more refined way of saying “blood frenzy” without angering any barbarians or sharks. Both are not demographics you want to slight.
  • Lethality. It is critical to understand here that every hit is meant to be lethal, the trick is all in the follow through.



  • So, to begin, this is actually an early experiment in something I’ve been considering for a while; creating a new condition. The ultimate goal of the bleeding condition is for it to be shared across multiple classes, each with their own ways of interacting with it. This is why the base condition itself is so hollow; it’s balanced around being “disadvantage on Strength checks” plus something else. So we’ll see how that works.
  • For this class in particular, you can consider it a twin to the Ruffian rogue that I posted the week before last. Both are intended to allow for rogues with unorthodox weaponry. In the Ruffian’s case, this is aimed at a full switch to being partially Strength based. In the Butcher’s case, that distinction is open to the player to decide.
  • As far as worries go, I’ve got big and small and nothing in between. On the major side, I fear that tying too much of the subclass into the one bleeding condition concept is dangerous; if the bleeding condition doesn’t work, then the whole subclass fails. This is also a worry with any creatures without blood (which I’ve attempted to fix in the Getting Blood from a Stone sidebar).
  • The lesser concern is with the latter half of the subclass. I worry it’s too “features-light” especially with the expanded crit range for a capstone. At the same time, power-wise, it seems pretty good. But on the other hand, it could also be an issue. The later levels are when you’re more likely to come into contact with creatures that don’t bleed. So should the subclass try to give you something to deal with that? I don’t know.
  • Anyway, I like this well enough for a first draft. I think it’s playable without any major issues, so now is the perfect time to turn it over to the internet to tell me what math I’ve forgotten to do. Also, spoiler alert: I never forget to do math. I also never do math. Because I suck at it.
    • Actually I do the math very frequently, I just forget huge portions of it for seemingly no reason so come to your own conclusions.

Thanks for reading!

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