Thursday, December 16, 2021

....on Thieves

I have never been in the party of 'there is something wrong with the thieves class' but upon reading James West's recent blog post I began to think about it.

After an initial distaste for his idea of rolling a d100 for each Thief Ability initial score, I actually came around and really liked this idea. This would create wildly different and dynamic thieves from the outset, making each one unique. I would include Hear Noise, deviating from the d6 roll (which is weird anyway since the rest are d% rolls). 

Now how to handle progression? Lookin at BECMI and BX, the thief goes up by an average of 26 points per level gain. (Side note, weird how we have that damn to hit plateau in the rules but here thieves get better every level....what gives Gary?) Anyway...

So what if we take their Dexterity score, add to their Intelligence score, and that is how many points the character gains per level to increase their Thief Ability scores. If we use an average of 11 for each score, we are just slightly below the points gained in the original system. As we likely are starting off better initial scores, we are most likely ahead of the terrible initial scores in the original game.

What are your thoughts?


  1. Who is James West and where can I read his blog post?

    1. He is a gamer and comic artist, his blog is

  2. I like it. I used to run thieves all the time as a kid and dutifully put my second [or 3rd] highest ability roll on Intelligence but to no actual advantage.

  3. I believe that "Hear Noise" has a d6-based chance because technically every PC has a 1-in-6 chance of Hear Noise; the Thief just gets a better chance. I must admit that I don't like your proposed method of skill advancement because I dislike putting too much emphasis on ability scores.

    In OD&D, basically if you have a 6 or less you have a -1, and if you have a 15 or more you have a +1. That's pretty much it and that's how I prefer, personally. I've even thought about just having people roll to see if they have a -1, +0 or +1... a bonus or penalty on 3d6 should show up about 9.25% of the time on that scale. But I'm also not especially fond of the Thief as a separate class from the Fighting Man anyway.