All good things...
Since I started putting this Skyrim rogue guide together I've had a lot of fun exploring the different elements and dimensions of this great game. I've enjoyed communicating with other fans of the game and hearing your input. This is going to be the final installment of the rogue (thief) class guide, as there are other games and other things I want to write about. I've tried to do my best to make these guides accurate and complete. As always if you spot a mistake or would like to politely disagree with my suggestions I would love to hear from you! So thank you for reading, now get back to playing!
It was impossible to write this section without including a few spoilers, so if you want to maintain the mystery read ahead at your own risk!
One of the longest running elements of the Elder Scrolls to make an appearance in Skyrim, is the faction system. In previous games players had the choice of joining the fighter's guild, thieves' guild, mage's guild, or dark brotherhood (plus any game specific factions as well). In Skyrim the biggest difference is the lack of a fighters' guild, which has been replaced by the Companions as well as the College of Winterhold standing in for the Mage's Guild. Since these factions give access to some of the best rogue gear around it is in your best interest to join them as soon as possible to maximize the use of the equipment. Let's look at what each faction has to offer specifically.
While it should come as no surprise that players enjoying the thief class might want to join the thieve's guild, you might be surprised by just how good the rewards for doing so are! The thieve's guild offers players some impressive armor and weapons, lots of opportunities for making money, free lockpicks and other supplies, expert level trainers in various rogue-esque skills, the ability to bride guards, fences for stolen goods, as well as the chance to play some of the most fun, and downright cool missions in the whole game! Overall I felt this was my favorite guild, and would recommend every rogue, (and most non-rogues) to join this as soon as possible.
How to join: Complete the quest A Chance Arrangement.
Gear: Nightingale's Armor and Bow, Thieve's Guild Armor, Chillrend, Guild Master's Armor, Skeleton Key
Special Notes: The theive's guild quest line begins in Riften and sends players all over the world. If you can already fast travel to most of the major cities in the world you can progress through the thieve's guild much faster than having to run/ride every where.
If you choose to join the dark brotherhood be prepared for some seriously twisted going ons. These people have issues and it shows. That said if the delightfully macabre is where your heart lies, or if you just want to get your hands on some wicked good gear, these sociopaths are worth a look. Honestly though, don't say I didn't warn you.
How to join: Complete the quest Innocence Lost and then sleep in any bed for 24 hours.
Location: Innocence Lost can be acquired from any innkeeper but the actual quest begins in Windhelm.
Gear: Shrouded Armor, Cicero's Armor, Jester's Outfit, Ancient Shrouded Armor, Shrouded Robes
Special Notes: This quest line culminates in one of the most surprising and downright cool quests ever. Well worth it if you don't mind turning to the dark side. Additionally the dark brotherhood gives the player access to Shadowmere, a special horse that is arguably the best in game.
As a rogue joining the companions is sort of a mixed bag. On the one hand they do have trainers in some rogue skills like archery and one handed weapons, but beyond that they do not offer much for rogues as they are the fighter's analogue in Skyrim. While there is certainly no harm in joining this faction, and indeed you'll miss some pretty interesting stuff if you don't, because this is a Skyrim rogue guide I have to recommend against it for rogue purists. Still, if you're interested talk to Kodlak Whitemane in Whiterun.
College of Winterhold
As you might have guessed there is virtually nothing in the College of Winterhold for rogues. You can skip this completely without missing out an any useful gear or other benefits. Completionists may still be interested though.
If you have followed this guide and completed both the thieve's guild and dark brotherhood quest lines, leveled up your enchanting and invested in the right perks, you should have everything you need to make/find the best rogue gear available. That being said there is not one specific set of gear that can meet the needs of all myriad situations rogues find themselves in. For ease of use I have split my recommendations into two categories, combat and non-combat. For combat gear choices my strategy was to pack as much damage boosting gear as possible, while putting less emphasis on things like armor and health. After all, dead enemies deal zero damage. This is not meant to be a be all end all list of gear, just what did the job the best in my opinion. Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments!
Armor: Guild Master's Armor set
Necklace: Amulet of Articulation
Ring: Any ring with an enchanted bonus to pickpocket or lockpicking
Armor: Dagger rogues use Ancient Shrouded Gloves (double sneak attack damage) archer rogues craft a nice pair of dragonscale gloves and slap a +archery enchant on them. For head pieces melee rogues the Shrouded Hood is probably your best bet while ranged rogues can exploit a small glitch and equip both the Krosis dragon mask and the Ancient Shrouded Cowl for a whopping 55% increase to bow damage! For a chest piece I used a dragonscale breastplate enchanted with increased stamina although the Nightingale breastplate is attractive as well. For boots, Ancient Shrouded Boots offer muffle and silent movement or you can enchant dragonscale boots with an increase to sneak.
Necklace: Any necklace with increase weapon damage.
Ring: Any ring enchant with increased weapon damage.
Weapons: Daedric daggers with elemental enchant of your choice, Daedric bow with elemental enchant or Nightingale Bow with same.
**Follow the guide here:**
Falc on March 16, 2013:
Guide parts 1 and 4 are missing. Can you please repost?
Pandapocalypse (author) from Upstate NY on July 28, 2012:
Excellent suggestion, thanks for sharing! These guides will be updated in the coming days to reflect the new equipment and skills in Dawnguard. Please be patient, its been a busy summer :)
evil99948 on July 26, 2012:
For people who don't upgrade smithing, use blade of woe or merhurnes razor instead of daedric.
Pandapocalypse (author) from Upstate NY on March 01, 2012:
Thanks Lynestra! If there is one thing I love even more than playing a great game it's talking, or in this case writing, about them. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my guides and hopefully found them useful as well. I look forward to reading your hubs soon :)
Lynestra on February 29, 2012:
Your guides are well thought-out and very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to put this all together in such a concise and interesting way.