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Old 07-29-2016, 05:48 AM   #1
Minuteman37
 
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Default Building a Modern Thief

I may be playing in a near future campaign where the PCs will be hired by a mega corporation to do some not so legal "stuff" and my fellow PCs seem to be focusing on the murder aspect of that no so legal stuff. I myself am wanting to build a character that specializes in the item and information procurement aspect of our job, but I really don't know where to start. I'm not one to typically make thieves, much less modern ones.

Relevant Campaign Details
TL: Early 9
Point total: 200/-50
Optional RPM available
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:56 AM   #2
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Building a Modern Thief

This is the time when GURPS Skill Categories can be worth the free download. It just lists GURPS skills arranged into a number of relevant categories. Run down the Criminal/Street, Spy, and Police lists, plus maybe Athletic, and it can serve as a checklist of things not to forget as well as some inspiration.

The modern thief will have the high-tech versions of classic thief skills, like Electronic Ops (Security) instead of Lockpicking (which they might also have). For information retrieval, you'll have to consider whether that's open source Research and Intelligence Analysis, or whether you want to get more into the Cryptography and Computer Hacking angle, and/or gather your own information in person with Observation and perhaps Stealth and Shadowing.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 07-29-2016 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:09 AM   #3
khorboth
 
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Default Re: Building a Modern Thief

I hadn't noticed Skill Categories before. That's awesome.

I would concentrate on a type of thievery. The show "Leverage" is a good source for the stereotypes:

Mastermind: Brings people together, makes the plans, watches the big picture from the base and intervenes when necessary. Probably not a good idea for a campaign unless you're running all-thieves.

Hacker: Lots of things run on computers. Data, wire transfers, security systems, etc. Maybe branch out into drones as well. Or driving. Lots of technical skills.

Grifter: The con man. Social manipulation. Why break in when you can convince the mark to give it to you? Good at cold reads, and possibly picking pockets to get more information or plant items. Mostly social skills, though.

Hitter: The smash-and-grab. This is someone who is willing to grab something and KO the guards on the way out. He doesn't have to be a dumb thug, but people will probably view him that way. Mostly combat skills with a focus on HtH

Thief: (yah, I know, it's recursive) The cat burgler. lots of climbing and stealth. Good lockpicking. probably some pickpocket. Holdout. In higher TL, some expert skill(architecture) is a good idea. Contortion and escape are helpful. At TL9, some basic computer skills are a must. Also base jumping is probably a good plan.

Any of them can dabble in the other areas, but picking a focus will probably help you decide where to spend the points.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:10 AM   #4
ericthered
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Default Re: Building a Modern Thief

If you have Action!, the infiltrator is meant for you! Even if you don't have that budget, it lists the appropriate skills.

there isn't a single kind of 'thief'. Decide on your default modus opperandi and build around that.

The skill to subvert modern security is traps. yep, traps. Its much more realistic in a modern setting than it ever was in DF. Lock picking may include some electronic lock picking skills (though not as broad as electronics operation).
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:10 AM   #5
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Building a Modern Thief

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post

Relevant Campaign Details
TL: Early 9
Point total: 200/-50
Optional RPM available
"TL9" and magic makes it a bit complicated, since the available security technology can be quite varied depending on how those are defined. One thing that is worth considering though is that the biggest hole in any good security system is the people it is supposed to let through. Social skills like Fast Talk, Sex Appeal, Carousing, Diplomacy and Psychology to find and exploit their weaknesses can be more effective than trying to find the holes in the hardware. Likewise a charm spell to convince the head of security to turn the system off is often easier than one that will cause it to fail - if nothing else one person is a much smaller area of effect than a secured building.
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Last edited by malloyd; 07-29-2016 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:36 PM   #6
cdru
 
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Default Re: Building a Modern Thief

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
"TL9" and magic makes it a bit complicated, since the available security technology can be quite varied depending on how those are defined. One thing that is worth considering though is that the biggest hole in any good security system is the people it is supposed to let through. Social skills like Fast Talk, Sex Appeal, Carousing, Diplomacy and Psychology to find and exploit their weaknesses can be more effective than trying to find the holes in the hardware. Likewise a charm spell to convince the head of security to turn the system off is often easier than one that will cause it to fail - if nothing else one person is a much smaller area of effect than a secured building.
The social route is frequently the safest one. Of course, it can be impossible if most people in building are Indomitable or are Mr. I-resist-influence-skills-like-PCs
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:06 PM   #7
Infornific
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Default Re: Building a Modern Thief

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
If you have Action!, the infiltrator is meant for you! Even if you don't have that budget, it lists the appropriate skills.

there isn't a single kind of 'thief'. Decide on your default modus opperandi and build around that.

The skill to subvert modern security is traps. yep, traps. Its much more realistic in a modern setting than it ever was in DF. Lock picking may include some electronic lock picking skills (though not as broad as electronics operation).
If you go the Action route, I created some henchmen lenses for the Action templates. Since you're at 200 the base templates might be a little rich.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:32 PM   #8
Kilmore
 
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Default Re: Building a Modern Thief

You need Contacts. I'd suggest Police (Intelligence Analysis), a lawyer (Law), and Business (Administration- for figuring out the best way to hit a corporate target!). A few Favors from local cops and crooks wouldn't hurt, either.
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