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Old 11-27-2022, 01:22 PM   #1
Dalin
 
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Default Thieves

While I patiently (not!) wait for the release of Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Thieves, I'm curious how others have built interesting thieves for DFRPG. What makes a thief shine in an adventure? Are there combinations of advantages and skills that are particularly awesome? Has anyone modified the thief template or added abilities to give them more oomph?

I'm considering allowing some elements from DF12: Ninja or even allowing thieves to purchase the 50 point ninja lens. I would probably change the window dressing a bit (black PJs optional).

Has anyone run a party of all thieves? (Adventurers, p.39: "A party won't live long without one thief, and may consist entirely of thieves.")
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:10 PM   #2
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The closest I've ever come to running a game with fun and satisfying thieves required rewriting the AD&D skill system to (1) have broader skills, like Detect and Savvy (somewhat like DFRPG's Serendipity), and (2) have different probability curves based on dice pools with thresholds, kind of like Shadowrun.

As far as RAW thieves go, I don't think DFRPG thieves are there, nor *D&D thieves either. DFRPG thieves spend a ton of points on DX and IQ and Perfect Balance, but aren't set up to get a lot of return on that investment. I've tinkered with fixing the Thief profession by adding Extra Attack and Very Wealthy to the list of optional advantages, which would let you model things like assassins and deep-cover spymasters, plus dropping DX to 12 and IQ to 11 to free up 100 points that you could use for advantages or skills (max +10). That would give Thief a real feeling of "nonmagical expert" in whatever two or three fields you choose to specialize in.

But I don't think the RAW thief is compelling, compared to the alternatives. I can't think of a single criminal character concept who wouldn't be better off as either a Bard, Martial Artist, or Swashbuckler than a Thief. E.g. a bounty hunter who lives and dies by his traps--that can be a high-Per Gnomish bard with Keen Senses and Wisdom who puts some Quirk points in Traps skill. Same concept, more and better options.

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Old 11-27-2022, 08:08 PM   #3
restlessgriffin
 
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Default Re: Thieves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
While I patiently (not!) wait for the release of Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Thieves, I'm curious how others have built interesting thieves for DFRPG. What makes a thief shine in an adventure? Are there combinations of advantages and skills that are particularly awesome? Has anyone modified the thief template or added abilities to give them more oomph?

I'm considering allowing some elements from DF12: Ninja or even allowing thieves to purchase the 50 point ninja lens. I would probably change the window dressing a bit (black PJs optional).

Has anyone run a party of all thieves? (Adventurers, p.39: "A party won't live long without one thief, and may consist entirely of thieves.")
Yeah, I think you'd need to go the Ninja route or do a primary/secondary build. Say Thief/Swashbuckler, Thief/Wizard, Thief/Bard (though this really hurts thieves stealth), Thief/Scout (see Ninja to some extent), ...
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:40 PM   #4
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Thieves

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
While I patiently (not!) wait for the release of Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Thieves.
Heh.

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
What makes a thief shine in an adventure?
In my opinion letting them use some of those skills they have. Backstabbery is good and all, but let them use Merchant or Shadowing or Filch. So many random skills needed to do what their archetype demands makes them a bit lackluster in other areas.

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Are there combinations of advantages and skills that are particularly awesome?
Scholar-Thieves tend to make the best treasure hunters. Really shores up some issues with both templates in a way that make them really awesome.

Easy to learn spells like Climbing or Haste can really make a thief dangerous - especially if they get a chance to cast a bunch and set up the terrain in combat.

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Has anyone modified the thief template or added abilities to give them more oomph?
Some of the rules in DFD: Thieves are right from my table. Things like expanded Perfect Balance, the Deathblow power-up, the Mastermind variation of thief.

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I'm considering allowing some elements from DF12: Ninja or even allowing thieves to purchase the 50 point ninja lens. I would probably change the window dressing a bit (black PJs optional).
Yeah, nothing wrong with that.

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Has anyone run a party of all thieves? (Adventurers, p.39: "A party won't live long without one thief, and may consist entirely of thieves.")
Yes. For the playtest everyone played a different archetype and it actually went over quite well. The best combatant was the cutthroat, but he'd maxed out his Striking ST and was just about invisible with his high Stealth.
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:55 PM   #5
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The Thief template: effective or lame? There's a good consideration of the topic at the No School Grognard blog, looking at thieves in both DF and D&D. (Verdict: The profession is easily overshadowed by its peers. One commenter summarized it succinctly: "So yeah, the DF thief is a good model of the old school thief, and the old school thief sucked.")

I took up the topic in an article of my own, suggesting ways to power up DF and DFRPG thieves primarily by supercharging their skills through additional talents. (DF has a fair selection of talents of interest to thieves, but DFRPG offers few.)

My article, nearly five years old, holds up well, I think. But: Its advice is to fix the thief "problem" by doubling down on thieves' main feature, high skill levels. Some players might want to take the opposite route: not going deeper into skills, but instead broader into new advantages and abilities.

I think the GM can best help with that by being extra generous in letting a thief dip into other professions' abilities (as long as it's not stepping on another player's fun), as comments above wisely suggest. Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Thieves should also be a help here, with new thief-focused advantages. (Lots of them. Maybe. There were many hammered out in playtesting, but I don't know how many will be in the final book.)

In the end, my own experience is that whether or not the thief profession is "effective", it's fun, and that's what counts. But, yeah, that fun suffers if the player feels the thief's too overshadowed by other PCs. So this thread is a welcome one.

(And to answer an OP question: No, I haven't played in, or heard of, a party of all thieves, beyond the truth of every dungeoneering party existing as a band of treasure-robbing "thieves". A party of all pure thieves does sound fun, though.)
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Old 11-27-2022, 10:18 PM   #6
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The draft I submitted had 11 new combat power-ups, 18 new perks, and 33 new thief only power-ups. It was about 28,000 words upon final submission and that's about 33 pages of content not including the index, front page, etc.
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Old 11-27-2022, 11:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
Some of the rules in DFD: Thieves are right from my table. Things like expanded Perfect Balance, the Deathblow power-up, the Mastermind variation of thief.
Oh, I have to hear how Perfect Balance is expanded. I always sub Luck for it since, as is, Perfect Balance is overpriced IME.
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Old 11-28-2022, 04:32 AM   #8
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Oh, I have to hear how Perfect Balance is expanded. I always sub Luck for it since, as is, Perfect Balance is overpriced IME.
There are three options available for GMs in a box toward the end.
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:03 AM   #9
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The draft I submitted had 11 new combat power-ups, 18 new perks, and 33 new thief only power-ups. It was about 28,000 words upon final submission and that's about 33 pages of content not including the index, front page, etc.
Any options for archtypes being half thief and half something else for an all thief group with abilities from Wizard, Cleric, Knight, etc.
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:10 AM   #10
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Any options for archtypes being half thief and half something else for an all thief group with abilities from Wizard, Cleric, Knight, etc.
The lenses from DF3 were repeated along with a few from other books. There are 5 new templates: Bandit, Cat Burglar, Cutthroat, Mastermind, and Spell-Thief. Each template has at least 3 archetype paths for those templates, "architect" or "plotter" for Mastermind. The original template is also reprinted.
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