Thieves

Thieve skills in BX D&D are boring and bad. Thieves can’t do anything well until they get to medium-high level, at which point they can do everything well. We’re going to use the system from AD&D 2E instead, with a bit of modification.

Skills (base chance in parentheses):

  • Pick Pockets (15%)
  • Open Locks (10%)
  • Find/Remove Traps (5%)
  • Move Silently (10%)
  • Hide in Shadows (5%)
  • Detect Noise (15%)
  • Climb Walls (60%)
  • Read Languages (0%)
  • Read Lips (10%)

At first level, the thief gets 120 points to distribute to any of the above skills, spending no more than 30 in a single skill.

At each subsequent level, the thief gets 30 points to distribute to any skills, spending no more than 15 in a single skill.

Skills are also modified by the armour the user is wearing:

No armour:

  • Pick Pockets +5%
  • Move Silently +10%
  • Hide in Shadows +5%
  • Climb Walls +10%

Leather armour: no penalties

Elven chainmail:

  • Pick Pockets -20%
  • Open Locks -5%
  • Find/Remove Traps -5%
  • Move Silently -10%
  • Hide in Shadows -20%
  • Detect Noise -5%
  • Climb Walls -20%

Padded/Studded leather:

  • Pick Pockets -30%
  • Open Locks -10%
  • Find/Remove Traps -10%
  • Move Silently -20%
  • Hide in Shadows -20%
  • Detect Noise -10%
  • Climb Walls -30%

Skill explanations:

Detect Noise: Due to his training and activities, a thief is much more aware of faint sounds than most others. Listening is not automatic and must be explicitly stated. The thief and his companions must be completely silent, and the thief cannot be wearing any headgear.

Read Languages: An essential part of thieving and scouting is the ability to read maps and decipher secret notes. Part of their training time is spent learning how to puzzle out such maps and notes. Every time a thief tries to read a document (not just once per language), he must make this roll. Comprehension is tied to the skill; if a thief requires 20% to make the skill check, and they succeed, they understand roughly 20% of the language read. This roll is not needed for a language the thief is fluent or conversant with.

Read Lips: Being able to eavesdrop and gain information is of extreme value to a thief. Being able to do so without being in earshot is even better. A thief who can read lips can understand what others are saying by watching their lips, as long as they understand the language that their mark is speaking.

Thieves

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