Rogues are the iconic masters of stealth and subterfuge, with access to both a number of powerful set class features (primarily relating to traps, evasion, and sneak attacks) and a flexible set of customizable talents. While this gives them a wide range of options, it can also lead to characters with specific sneak, criminal, or adventurer concepts having abilities they don’t need, such as a wilderness scout being a master of urban traps, or an entirely scholarly researcher and archaeologist gaining a huge number of sneak attack dice. Rogues are supposed to be masters of picking up tricks of the trade, but half their class abilities are static bonuses with little customization.
The Genius Guide to the Talented Rogue rewrites the classic rogue class to use a system of edges and talents, rather than static class abilities alternating with talents. Edges represent the “core” features of each rogue, areas of study so intense and specialized that no rogue can master all of them, while the classic talent system has been expanded to include any rogue-like ability a character could reasonable pick up at any time with study. This allows the rogue, ninja, and all their archetypes to be covered by a single class that is far more flexible than the versions in the core rules, without allowing overpowered combinations.
To make this system as flexible as possible, and to keep players and GMs from constantly having to check multiple sources for talents, this product includes talents, advanced talents, archetypes, the assassin, and the ninja alternate class for its abilities (as well as including new talents to expand its breadth). Because some abilities (such as a ki pool) are not appropriate for every campaign, and some GMs dislike allowing abilities from multiple archetypes to be taken by a single character, when an ability is adapted from another class or an archetype, the name of that source is given as a descriptor.