Origins Dual Weapon Rogue Guide


2. Skills and Characteristic Abilities

Rogues get new skills every two levels while other classes get new skills every three levels. Core skills are mostly obvious, but I’ll illustrate it thusly:

One point is invested in the Stealing skill tree to unlock the second half of the Crime Wave quest line (which is only available when specifically The Warden has at least one point of Stealing).

There are a plethora of skills and abilities a typical rogue might include in his/her repertoire. Not all of them are specific to the rogue class, but they are in character, you might say. Discobird goes into detail about most of the rogue-related skills and abilities, if you want to know the math behind the mechanics.


2.1. Lockpicking

The success of picking a lock is deterministic, meaning that it goes by a simple formula; there is no randomness to it. Each point in a rogue’s Deft Hands tree increases your Lockpicking score by 10 points. Each point of Cunning above 10 increases your Lockpicking score by 1 point. Trap disarming goes by the same scoring system.

In order to pick every lock in the game, you need at least a Lockpicking score of 60. So, if you want to have that, the amount of Cunning you need after attribute bonuses would be:

Lockpicking Talent Cunning Needed
None 70
Deft Hands (Rank 1) 60
Improved Tools (Rank 2) 50
Mechanical Expertise (Rank 3) 40
Device Mastery (Rank 4) 30


2.2 Poisons

In order to save skill points for other priorities early on, I recommend having one of your party members invest down the Poison Making skill tree instead of doing it yourself. Using any level of poison only requires one point in Poison Making.

There are two types of poisons, bombs and weapon coatings.


2.2.1. Bombs (Grenades)

Bombs all require Poison Making (Rank 2) in order to create, although you’ll loot some ready-made ones in your travels as well. All of them do a non-scaling 80 damage in an area of effect with the potential for friendly fire at any difficulty above Easy. Each type of bomb has a 20 second cooldown, but each type of bomb doesn’t share the same cooldown, meaning that you can throw one of each.

Grenade Splash Damage
Acid Flask 80 Nature damage
Fire Bomb 80 Fire damage
Freeze Bomb 80 Frost damage
Shock Bomb 80 Lightning damage
Soulrot Bomb 80 Spirit damage

Because of the relatively short throwing range of bombs, these items work well in conjunction with rogue Stealth. Throwing a bomb does not break Stealth if you have at least rank 2, aptly named Stealthy Item Use.

Bomb (Grenade) throwing range is quite short.


2.2.2. Weapon Coatings

Although it can get somewhat expensive to use frequently, all the different weapon coatings can stack with each other, allowing you to bump up your damage nontrivially and tack on ancillary effects to successful hits for a short period of time (coatings last 1 minute).

Tier 1 Poisons Damage Per Hit Additional Effects
Deathroot Extract 1 Nature 10% chance of stun for 3s
Venom 1 Nature 10% chance of -40 movement speed for 11s
Tier 2 Poisons Damage Per Hit Additional Effects
Concentrated Deathroot Extract 2 Nature 15% chance of stun for 4 seconds
Concentrated Venom 2 Nature 15% chance of -40 movement speed for 12s
Crow Poison 3 Nature 10% chance of stun for 6s
Tier 3 Poisons Damage Per Hit Additional Effects
Acidic Coating 2 Nature
Adder's Kiss 3 Nature 20% chance of -40 movement speed for 13s
Concentrated Crow Poison 6 Nature 15% chance of stun for 7 seconds
Demonic Poison 5 Spirit
Flame Coating 2 Fire
Fleshrot 3 Nature 20% chance of -40 movement speed for 13s
Freezing Coating 2 Frost
Magebane 5 mana drain per hit
Shock Coating 3 Electricity
Soldier's Bane 5 stamina drain per hit
Soulrot Coating 2 Spirit
Tier 4 Poisons Damage Per Hit Additional Effects
Concentrated Demonic Poison 10 Spirit
Concentrated Magebane 10 mana drain per hit
Concentrated Soldier's Bane 10 stamina drain per hit
Quiet Death 10 Nature 55% chance to instantly kill non-elite target at equal to or less than 20% of their total health

You can also combine effects like the stun from (Concentrated) Deathroot Extract, (Concentrated) Crow Poison, and Paralyze weapon runes to proc Coup De Grace frequently for free criticals without having to worry about positioning.


2.3. Stealing

Although there is not a whole lot of profit to be made from Stealing from everyone you can lay your hands on, I found Stealing to be an excellent means of health potion and injury kit acquisition without having to focus too much on Herbalism.

Furthermore, at least one point in Stealing invested by The Warden is required to open up part of the Crime Wave quest line.

There is a measure of randomness to the success of Stealing.

  • Each point of Cunning above 10 contributes 1 point to your Stealing score.
  • Each rank of the Stealing skill and Stealth talent increases your score by 5. Yes, when you’re sight unseen, you have a higher chance of successfully lifting something.
  • You need Stealing (Rank 4) in order to attempt to steal while in combat.

That score is then randomized from 80 to 120% of that value before being compared to your victim’s score, which is based off of their mental resistance, rank, and game difficulty.

DAWiki lists how much Cunning/Stealing/Stealth you need to rob certain high profit targets blind. Note that Stealing may affect how npcs treat you in the game to a certain extent. For example, robbing the Dalish elves before you get in their good graces (if at all) will put them off in a big way.

Stealing has a 10 second cooldown. If that irritates the crap out of you like it does me, you could use a mod to reduce that cooldown.


2.4. Stealth

I have found Stealth to be a valuable ability to invest in for a variety of tactical reasons:

  • Stealth allows you to lead your party around an environment controlling your own character while not forcing you into the position of being the first target that enemies see. When you enter combat by entering in combat range of enemies, your party will stop outside of this range, allowing you to take your time to detect/disarm traps prior to engaging in combat and set up your positioning before directing your party to engage.
  • It allows you to come within throw range of an enemy group without being detected, allowing you to get off an early salvo of bombs.
  • Combat Stealth allows your Stealth ability to activate while in combat, effectively dropping your aggro. This powerful save is on a mere 10 second cooldown.
Stealth Rank Description
Stealth (Rank 1) The rogue has learned to fade from view, although perceptive enemies may not be fooled. Taking any action beyond movement, including engaging in combat or using items, will still attract attention. If the rogue initiates combat while still stealthed, the first strike is an automatic critical hit or backstab.
Stealthy Item Use (Rank 2) The rogue has learned how to use items while sneaking.
Combat Stealth (Rank 3) The rogue is stealthy enough to try sneaking during combat, although at a significant penalty.
Master Stealth (Rank 4) The rogue has mastered the art of stealth, gaining significant bonuses on all stealth checks. (Required to stealth vs elites)

Success in stealthing follows a few basic rules that Discobird created a simply chart to illustrate:

In Combat? Enemies in 20m? Have Combat Stealth? Stealth rank > Highest creature rank? Result
N - - - Success
Y N - - Success
Y Y N - Failure
Y Y Y N Failure
Y Y Y Y Success

Stealth rank = the number of points you have in the Stealth tree
Creature rank = 1 for whites, 2 for yellows, 3 for bosses, and 4 for elite bosses


2.5. Traps

Laying traps can be quite useful when you know or can control how enemies come at you. Difficult ambush encounters can suddenly become significantly less difficult when you can take enemies out of play before they even come within casting/shooting range. As with Poison Making, I recommend that you foist deep skill investment in this tree on a party member and only take the one point necessary to lay any tier trap. This synergizes well with Stealth, as laying a trap doesn't take you out of stealth.

Tier 1 Traps Effect
Small Caltrop Trap A small field of spiked balls that inflict -40% movement speed and 8 physical damage every 2 seconds to creatures in the area. Friendly fire possible.
Small Claw Trap This trap deals 100 physical damage to whoever triggers it, leaving them unable to move for 15 seconds unless they pass a physical resistance check.
Small Shrapnel Trap When triggered, this trap explodes with shrapnel, dealing 60 physical damage to nearby creatures. Friendly fire possible.
Spring Trap The trap knocks down whomever triggers it. Used for the quest Traps are a Girl's Best Friend.
Tier 2 Traps Effect
Large Caltrop Trap A large field of spiked balls that inflict -40% movement speed and 8 physical damage every 2 seconds to creatures in the area. Friendly fire possible.
Large Claw Trap This trap deals 150 physical damage to whoever triggers it, leaving them unable to move for 15 seconds unless they pass a physical resistance check.
Large Shrapnel Trap When triggered, this trap explodes with shrapnel, dealing 80 physical damage to nearby creatures. Friendly fire possible.
Mild Choking Powder Trap When triggered, this trap releases a small burst of choking powder, disorienting nearby targets, which inflicts -5 attack, -5 defense and -40% movement speed for 10 seconds. Friendly fire possible.
Mild Lure This lure distracts any enemy within a small radius unless it passes a mental resistance check. Once distracted, the enemy must pass a physical resistance check or be stunned for 10 seconds as well. The lure disappears after stunning one enemy.
Mild Sleeping Gas Trap When triggered, this trap releases a small burst of sleeping powder, causing creatures in the area to fall asleep for 10 seconds unless they pass a physical resistance check. Friendly fire possible.
Small Grease Trap When triggered, this trap releases a small grease slick that causes -50% movement speed to creatures who enter the area and causes them to fall unless they pass a physical resistance check. Friendly fire possible.
Tier 3 Traps Effect
Acidic Trap When triggered, this trap explodes with acid, dealing 100 nature damage to those nearby. Friendly fire possible.
Choking Powder Trap When triggered, this trap releases a large burst of choking powder, disorienting nearby targets, which inflicts -5 attack, -5 defense and -40% movement speed for 20 seconds. Friendly fire possible.
Fire Trap When triggered, this trap explodes with flame, dealing 100 fire damage to those nearby. Friendly fire possible.
Freeze Trap When triggered, this trap explodes with frost, dealing 100 cold damage to those nearby. Friendly fire possible.
Interesting Lure Trap his lure distracts any enemy within a large radius unless it passes a mental resistance check. Once distracted, the enemy must pass a physical resistance check or be stunned for 20 seconds as well. The lure disappears after stunning one enemy.
Large Grease Trap When triggered, this trap releases a large grease slick that causes -50% movement speed to creatures who enter the area and causes them to fall unless they pass a physical resistance check. Friendly fire possible.
Poisoned Caltrop Trap A large field of spiked balls covered in poison that inflict -40% movement speed and deal 8 physical and 8 nature damage every 2 seconds to creatures in the area. Friendly fire possible.
Shock Trap When triggered, this trap explodes with lightning, dealing 100 electricity damage to those nearby. Friendly fire possible.
Sleeping Gas Trap When triggered, this trap releases a large burst of sleeping powder, causing creatures in the area to fall asleep for 10 seconds unless they pass a physical resistance check. Friendly fire possible.
Soulrot Trap When triggered, this trap explodes with soulrot acid, dealing 100 spirit damage to those nearby. Friendly fire possible.
Tier 4 Traps Effect
Acidic Grease Trap When triggered, this trap releases a large acidic grease slick that inflicts 4 nature damage every second and -50% movement speed to creatures who enter the area and causes them to fall unless they pass a Physical Resistance Check. Friendly Fire Possible.
Choking Powder Cloud Trap When triggered, this trap releases a lingering cloud of choking powder for 20 seconds, disorienting affected targets, which inflicts -5 attack, -5 defense and -40% movement speed on all creatures in the area. Friendly fire possible.
Overpowering Lure This lure distracts any enemy within a large radius unless it passes a mental resistance check. Once distracted, the enemy must pass a physical resistance check or be stunned for 20 seconds as well. The lure lingers for 10 seconds after stunning one enemy.
Sleeping Gas Cloud Trap When triggered, this trap releases a lingering cloud of sleeping powder. Creatures entering the cloud fall asleep for 20 seconds unless they pass a physical resistance check. Friendly fire possible.

Disarming trap calculation works just like lockpicking. In fact, the highest disarmable trap requires a Lockpicking score of 60, just like the highest pickable lock. See Lockpicking. Disarming a trap can be done while in combat, and neither laying nor disarming traps break Stealth, allowing you to set up/secure a battlefield before sending the rest of your party in.


2.6. Coercion

Only The Warden can invest in Coercion, and it opens up some dialogue options, so it’s an excellent choice for achieving a fuller Dragon Age experience.

The highest Coercion check in the game requires 100 Coercion score. Each point in the Coercion skill tree gives +25 Coercion score. Each point of Cunning above 10 adds 1 point to your Coercion score. So the amount of Cunning needed to pass the hardest Coercion check looks like this:

Coercion Rank Cunning Required
None 110
Coercion (Rank 1) 85
Coercion (Rank 2) 60
Coercion (Rank 3) 35
Coercion (Rank 4) 0

Keep in mind that the highest Coercion checks don't necessarily happen only in the latter portion of the game so invest as needed even if you're going for a Cunning build.