Monday, September 21, 2015

A Revised Thief Class for B/X or LL

I should know better than to tamper with the core classes. By no means are they platonic ideals but the unbalanced, moldy old D&D classes seem to somehow balance in the mix of a party. And pragmatic me notices that they work more often than not. 

But...

I don't really like the pitifulness of the B/X version of the Thief. There's just something about that d4 hit die and being not all that much better at things thievish at lower levels than your party mates, that doesn't line up with the rose-tints of my AD&D memory with its ballsier thieves.

Anywho here's a not particularly earth-shattering (but perhaps sweet spot hitting) revision of the class that synthesizes elements of the first and second edition AD&D thief with the d6 skill elegance of Lamentations's Specialist. As always eager to hear from fellow gear-heads about if you'd think this works or not.

Comparison to B/X or LL Thief
  • Moves to the 16 percent jumps of a d6, which produces a bit less skill at first level. Climb Walls take a bigger hit to put it in accord with starting second ed levels.
  • Gains skill in larger jumps per level. A second level B/X Thief gains roughly 20 percent scattered across skills, this thief bumps up 32 percent with the two +1 d6 modifiers.
  • Trades in the incremental across-board bumps of the B/X Thief for the focused choice of the second edition Thief.
  • Gets the d6 hit die of AD&D.
  • Collapses Hide in Shadows with Move Quietly into Stealth
  • Starts reading MU scrolls at less of a chance of success but a level earlier.

Thief
Requirements: None
Prime Req: DEX
Hit Dice: d6
Maximum Level: None
You know what this class is about. Read Leiber. 

The Thief can not be in favor of the combination of order and weal as an alignment. She/he also knows Thieves Cant, an argot of the local language. 

The Thief can wear leather or padded armor and use any weapon (but not a shield). When attacking while hidden by Stealth behind or on the flank of a creature, the Thief may backstab at +4 to hit and double damage. At 11th level the Thief can backstab at triple damage.

All Thief skill rolls are made on a d6. A skill check is successful if it is at or lower than the skill roll. At each new level past first, the thief can distribute points to a skill as they choose. A skill may be not go higher than 6. The GM should decrease or increase the chance of success for easier or more difficult tasks. Skill descriptions are the same as btb with the exception of Stealth which covers both Hide in Shadows and Move Silently.

At level 9, the Thief becomes name level and gains name level things. At level 9 they can also begin to use Magic User scrolls.

Base Thief Skills
Climb Walls: 4
Pick Pockets: 1
Find/Remove Traps: 1
Locks: 1
Hear Noise: 2
Stealth: 1
Read Languages: 0
Read Scrolls (at Level 9): 3

Exp
Level
Hit Dice (1d6)
Bonus Skill Levels
0
1
1
0
1250
2
2
2
2500
3
3
2
5000
4
4
2
10000
5
5
2
20000
6
6
2
40000
7
7
2
80000
8
8
2
160000
9
9
2
280000
10
10
2
400000
11
+1 hp
1
520000
12
+2 hp
1
640000
13
+3 hp
1
760000
14
+4 hp
1
880000
15
+5 hp
1
1000000
16
+6 hp
1
1120000
17
+7 hp
1
1240000
18
+8 hp
1
1360000
19
+9 hp
1
1480000
20
+10 hp
1

2 comments:

  1. I like this. My thief player likes this (well the skill system anyway). I'm playing Swords & Wizardry and the player likes his backstabbing (and I like that he doesn't have a lot of hp!). We're going to try retconning the skills system onto his character sheet and see how it goes.

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  2. I really like this. I also love everything about the Lamentations class except for the name. (Reminds me too much of my corporate days.... everyone was a specialist or analyst or associate...) Not sure what I'd replace it with, but ultimately not important.

    Anyway, I dig on your thief, and might give it a try next time I run B/X or Swords & Wizardry.

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