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2008-10-11 Less Thieves

I’ve been talking about thieves in D&D before. Recently James Maliszewski wrote about the same thing saying I Still Don't Like Thieves. The best nugget was to be found in the comments:

“What if I want to be a thief?” he asked.
“Steal something” I said.

I also commented and said that thieving is a mini-game that involves only the DM and the thief player. It makes the game less interesting for others. I’m not talking about the mechanics of hiding, sniping, and sneak attack. I’m mostly referring to trap detecting and disarming, scouting, and successful skill rolls turning into automatic bottlenecks for adventures. What happens if you botch these all-or-nothing rolls? Was failure inconsequential?

That’s why I keep warning my players whenever we talk about character creation: I don’t like thieves.

James also says “I’d love to see someone come up with a new take on the Thief that addresses these concerns.”

Here’s how I’m trying to address it in M20 Hard Core:

  1. There are no skills and there is no rogue or thief class.
  2. “Better armor is heavy, noisy, and it slows you down.”

In a recent game the party was fighting on a ship (River of Darkness by Greg A. Vaughan) in the middle of the night. Anybody could swing up to the upper deck and jump down on foes. This should work only if they are wearing light armor or no armor at all.

It’s up to the DM to grant benefits to characters wearing light armor.

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