Rogues include those who utilize their abilities for business, personal, societal or neutral reasons, and those who strive not to use their abilities at all. Most work day jobs, and some make money using their powers.
Some mercenaries are considered rogues, but those who work with villains or commit crimes for pay are immediately labelled villains. Rogues who push too hard for political issues tend to be labelled heroes or villains.
The PRT labels those who are uninterested in either heroism or villainy "rogues".
Rogues who sign up with the PRT and stay out of trouble can receive a stipend, and - depending on the department - some protection.
Encouraging the existence of rogues was part of the next phase of the PRT's plans to integrate parahumans, after establishing heroes as relatable celebrities. They had to be careful not to trigger negative ad campaigns targeting parahumans from corporations.
Rogues were among Mannequin's favoured targets, especially those who sought to improve the world.
Since rogues tend to maintain a low profile, they have difficulty pushing for their rights as a unified group. Low-level villains tend to claim they're rogues in an attempt to get a better deal in court.
Rogues attract people looking to exploit them, or searching for an easy fight. Attacking them is an easy source of street cred, since it's a fight with a known cape, but they usually have little fighting experience.
The term "rogue" dates back to the Golden Age, when the expectation was that every parahuman would become a hero. With fewer safeguards in place, the line between exploiting new opportunities and white-collar crime was very thin.
Director Piggot told Weld that the PRT was beginning the next stage of their plans to integrate parahumans, including encouraging the existence of rogues and promoting acceptance of monstrous parahumans.
↑ 1.01.11.2Rogues are, by definition, not heroes or villains. A rogue is someone who doesn't identify with the cops and robbers game, encompassing those who utilize their abilities for business, personal, societal or neutral reasons, and those who strive not to use their abilities at all. To a reasonably strict extent, there is no 'in the field' for rogues.
I say reasonably strict because there's mercenaries like Faultline's crew, but there's pretty much a 'you fuck one goat' attitude toward mercenaries who deign to work with villains... they just get the 'villain' label slapped on them and that's that, mostly.
Rogues who sign up with the PRT and stay out of trouble can receive a stipend. They may also receive protections, but this varies by department. Rogues mostly work day jobs and some try to earn wages with unique avenues afforded by their powers, but it often puts them in an awkward spot, where there's pressure to join one side or the other, and/or they're seen as a prime target for powered thugs who want to earn street cred. For a B-list thug like Longfingers, a rogue who's working a day job providing tinker prosthetics to celebrities and movie studios is a wealthy, newsworthy target who has little combat experience and who, following ass-kicking, counts in most circles as being a 'I beat a notable cape' tickmark on one's resume. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 2.02.12.22.32.4As for the Canary situation – yeah. Rogues are put in the position of having to stay under the radar or not be considered a rogue anymore (since the definition of a rogue indicates a lack of confrontational attitude – push too hard for one issue or the other and people start to label you hero/villain), which makes it hard to step forward and stand up for themselves as a separate group. This is coupled with the fact that yeah, they are rare. (You outlined one reason – they get a raw deal – and there’s the added problem that having powers tends to draw trouble to oneself, from those who would exploit them or powered sorts spoiling for an easy fight). As a final note – I should point out that most low-end villains are liable to argue they’re ‘rogues’, hoping for a better deal/outlook. Canary’s lawyers would’ve made the same argument, and would’ve had to argue it with testimony from family and friends. So it gets to be murky ground.
Brockton Bay has only one clear-cut rogue, who hasn’t been named yet. She’ll likely feature in a while, and there’ll be more expanding on that whole dynamic then. As is, it was a setting element I wanted to touch on here & now (as I sort of did with the Dealer & tattooed ‘monsters’ in the prior interlude). -
Comment by Wildbow on Interlude 6
↑Like other serial killers, Mannequin favored certain types of people as victims. His prey of choice included rogues, those individuals seeking to make a profit from their abilities, especially those looking to better the world… and tinkers. - [ Excerpt] from Interlude 11d
↑The Elite, a villain group expanding a subtle control over the western seaboard of America, putting pressure on rogues to bring them under their thumb as performers, thinkers, designers and innovators. - Excerpt from Interlude 21.x
↑She shook her head. "I don't- I never followed any of the cape stuff."
"You're a rogue, then," I said. And an ex-member of the Birdcage, if I remember right.
"Yeah. Canary. I was a singer, until midway through twenty-ten. Indie, but I was breaking through to mainstream, some radio stuff." - Cockroaches 28.1
↑Parian. She was local, and she wasn't hero or villain. A rogue, who only used her powers for business or entertainment. She could sometimes be seen doing some promotion for a store downtown, giving life to some massive stuffed animal or a store mascot. - [ Excerpt] from
↑"She's a rogue. Fashion student with the costume and stuffed animals as a gimmick to help her build for a professional reputation and stand out. Tentative rating of Master-6, but we haven't really seen her fight, outside of the Leviathan encounter." - Sentinel 9.2
↑"When I said I was done, I meant it," Dinah said. She pushed her chair back. Her parents joined her, standing. "You want more answers, get in contact with my dad, he'll let you know my rates. They change every day."
"Not a wise business decision for a rogue starting out," Tagg said, without rising from his chair. "Offending an organization like the PRT, a young lady like you mouthing off. We could cooperate, instead." - [ Excerpt] from Cell 22.1
↑The death of Vikare marked the end of the golden age, the end of an era where becoming a superhero was the expectation for anyone and everyone with powers, and even those who decided to work in business or public affairs with their abilities were termed ‘rogues'… - Interlude 20.x
↑It was a term that first would’ve come up when superheroes were fresh & being a superhero was assumed to be the norm for powered individuals, with anyone not being a superhero being seen in a negative light, but not so negative as to warrant the title ‘villain’.
In short, it predated the realization of the societal ramifications & dangers of large numbers of superpowered individuals duking it out on the streets. - Comment on Interlude 6
↑Capes in hiding. Rogues. Deserters who had fled for safety in our hour of need. A surprising number of capes who had no costume, and who had barely used their powers at all, judging by the way it felt when I reached for their abilities. They were rogues who'd been subtle at best, or rogues who'd gone without powers altogether. - [ Excerpt] from Speck 30.4