My friends and I have pretty recently started playing D&D. We're playing 4th Edition Essentials and I am playing a thief character. Now, we are all still trying to figure things out a bit as we're playing but there is still something I don't understand and can't find any answer to.

When I browse forums about thieves I sometimes see people talking about rapier thieves. However, when I look in Heroes of the Fallen Lands (specifically the thief section) I can't find anything about thieves being able to wield rapiers.

Is it because we're playing Essentials and not the real 4th Edition?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Essentials is "real" it's just got classes that break the original 4e class mold of AEDU power progression \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2014 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, you can wield any weapon you want. Perhaps you mean to ask if thieves are proficient in rapiers? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ellesedil
    Oct 8, 2014 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


The Rogue: Thief class does not get automatic proficiency with the rapier, nor does any race in Heroes of the Fallen Lands.

The only way I can find to get proficiency for that class, using only that book, is to take the Weapon Proficiency: Rapier feat (from page 319).

The PHB1 Rogue doesn't get Rapier proficiency either, so this isn't an issue of using Essentials (which I wouldn't class as being "not real 4e").

  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for the answer, and i didn't mean to offend by saying "not real 4e" but used it for lack of a better term. \$\endgroup\$
    – Darion
    Oct 8, 2014 at 13:25

The problem isn't the fact that you're not playing "real 4e" meaning Essentials.

The problem is that it's not clearly spelled out how these folks are getting rapier proficiency on their Rogues.

You won't find this in HOTFL or the PHB1. Neither Scoundrels (the PHB1 rogue) nor Thieves get access to Rapier in their base class, you need to find another way.

The typical tricks are as follows:

  • Take the Gritty Sergeant or Noble Bred for War backgrounds. These each provide a single proficiency in a simple or martial weapon with which any rogue can pick up a Rapier proficiency (Dragon 366)

  • Take the Callidyrr Dragoon theme, this is not a very good theme otherwise, and should only be taken if the two backgrounds are prohibited. (Dragon 405)

  • Take the rapier weapon proficiency feat. This should be reserved as a last resort. It's a much worse option than spending your background to gain the proficiency.

Again, this proficiency is not a part of the standard equipment proficiencies for the rogue, but the char-op guides assume you know to take the background to gain access to it.


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