I am working on a game and one of the Classes in it is "Rogue". (Original, I know.) I'm trying to find a term that accurately describes and can serve as a name for one of the Subclasses. (Preferably a single-word term, if possible.)


The term ideally needs to describe somebody who excels at 1) following a target, 2) breaking into locations, and 3) collecting information without being caught. It should ideally be able to work as an adjective if at all possible, but an attributive noun could work (with some leniency for other nouns, but if possible, please avoid as such), potentially; however, the term should not imply an occupational aspect to the behaviour (such as "Spy" or "Investigator"). It shouldn't be inherently a very negative term either, as is the case with "stalker" or "prowler". It shouldn't imply theft such as with "thief", "burglar", or "robber". I'd prefer one word, but a two-word option could work as well, but please, nothing larger than that.

My Effort

Due to personal reasons, my first thought was "Stalker", but that word conveys too heavy of a connotation. My second thought was "Lurker", but it had a similar issue, alongside the fact it doesn't imply most of the conditions. I tried "Trespasser" but that feels too heavy on the Breaking & Entering side with little implication of following a target. "Scout" doesn't work because it is too generalized (ignoring occupational implications, of course).


I know I am asking for a tough answer. If you can help me, I'd appreciate it. I'm still trying on my own to find a good word, but if anyone can suggest something that helps, I'd be so grateful! I know this comes across as super picky, but I tried to be specific so not to waste anyone's time. Please and thank you!

  • 1
    Just thought I'd mention that a person in the police or private detective business who follows someone around is a "tail".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 1:55
  • Wouldn't work due to 1) professional implication and 2) it implies only the "following" aspect. That said, thank you still. Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 2:10
  • There probably are some other terms that are used in detective novels, but I don't read those much.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 2:27
  • You have a lot of criteria for the word you want. So many constraints may exclude any possible candidate word. Your description sounded like 'spy' to me, but you dismiss that as an occupation. I think that means you want this as an optional attribute rather than an essential part. However, if this is a class of person (and the person can't be of another class and must be of some class) then 'spy' would be fine. I mean don't spies have day jobs as their cover?
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 16:32
  • Super picky is actually a good thing when you're asking here. The narrower you can make your criteria, the better, so that your question actually has a chance of having a "correct" answer rather than just a lot of ideas or suggestions. So thanks for that.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 18:00

3 Answers 3


A possible word is shadow, which can be used as a noun, verb, or adjective, and which has many different senses. Overall, it has a neutral meaning, and, even though it can be, it's not inherently associated with a profession or seen as something negative.

  • This is like a nicer version of 'stalker'.
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 16:28
  • Ooh... I like this. Shadow gives a bunch of implications, can suggest following, discreet information-gathering, and the ability to access locations you normally couldn't access. I want to see what other people suggest, but between this and Hellion's answer, I may be stuck picking from one of these two. I like both of your suggestions as they both work! I'm kind of leaning towards yours though now that I read it! :) Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 19:28

I have a few possibilities for you:

  • espionage artist: does everything a spy can do, but isn't a spy by trade.
  • reconnaissance artist: a person skilled in techniques of observational information-gathering.
  • information exfiltrator: specializes in locating and extracting critical data from hostile locations.
  • I may be able to make use of "Exfiltrator". I'd like to hear other thoughts though. This word on paper is a perfect match, but it's not common enough that I think people would understand it right away; however, there's a reason I didn't mark "It must be a common term," as a criteria. If other answers don't work better, I may select this as my answer. The only problem is it lacks the implication of following someone. Still, a strong answer! Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 19:25

Your request for an adjective leads me to

stealthy, adjective
\ˈstel-thē \
stealthier; stealthiest
1 : slow, deliberate, and secret in action or character
2a : intended to escape observation : FURTIVE

If you were looking for a noun, you could go a little more occupational with covert operative, though that sounds governmenty and formal.

  • Stealthy works to describe part of the type, but doesn't seem to imply the B&E portion. That said, I am not opposed to it. I will edit my OP to allow for a little more flexibility in regards to nouns, but covert operative won't work as it needs to exclude outright jobs for what I'm going for, as the OP mentioned. Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 19:21

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