Panic gripped my today. There's only 6 days to go on the Kickstarter. And we haven't yet raised enough to reach our $25K bonus goal! We need more funds! What to do?
I decided to hold a brainstorm session with my most trusted advisor - me.
"Alex," I thought to myself. "We need to get more money for this crowdfunding. How can we raise more funds?"
"Well, self, we could steal them," I responded to me.
"STEAL the funds? That's a terrible idea," I thought. "I'm only a 1st level thief. Do you know how low my chances of a successful theft are?"
"Well, you're the game designer. Change the rules to give yourself a better chance. After all, Grey Mouser and Cugel never fail. Why should you?"
"Good point, Alex. I WILL make thieves better. It's long overdue. Hell, it might get people so excited they fund the product more without me having to steal anything."
"Let's try it!"
I thus present to you the revised rules for thief abilities in Heroic Fantasy Handbook.
From the Gray Mouser to Cugel the Clever, one of the most common archetypes in heroic fantasy is the thief. Thieves in heroic fantasy are bold risk-takers who infiltrate impenetrable fortresses, steal the crown jewels, and kidnap the princess on the way out.
Thieves in ACKS and other d20 retro-clones tend to be much less bold, because they are harshly penalized for failure, and fail quite often. For instance, a thief in ACKS a thief may only try to pick a particular lock, or find and remove a particular trap, once. If he fails, he may not try the same lock or trap again until he reaches a higher experience level. In order to allow thieves (and related classes) to better engage in heroic adventures, use the following rules.
ENCUMBRANCE AND THIEVERY
Thieves, and other classes which use thief skills, benefit from being light on their feet. If the character’s encumbrance is 5 stones or less, he gains a +2 bonus on proficiency throws to climb walls, hide in shadows, and move silently. If the character’s encumbrance is 2 stones or less, the bonus is increased to +4. The bonuses do not apply to hijinks.
REVISED THIEF SKILLS
Open Locks: Picking a lock requires one turn and a successful proficiency throw. (Characters with Lockpicking proficiency can pick locks in one round at a -4 penalty.) The thief may try again if the throw fails. However, if the thief ever fails the throw by 10 or more, or with a natural 1, he immediately breaks his thieves' tools. Broken thieves’ tools are useless.
Find Traps: Finding a trap requires 1 turn (per 10 square feet searched) and a successful proficiency throw. (Characters with Trap Finding proficiency can find traps in one round at a -4 penalty.) The thief may try again if the throw fails. If the thief ever fails the throw by 4 or less, he suspects a trap exists (if there actually is one), but does not know its exact nature. If the thief ever fails the throw by 10 or more, or with a natural 1, he has fumbled the search. If a trap exists, he sets it off. If no trap exists, he believes one does, but he thinks he does not know its exact nature.
Remove Traps: A thief may only remove a trap he has found, not one he just suspects to exist. Disarming a trap requires one turn and a successful proficiency throw. The thief may try again if he fails to disarm a trap. However, if a thief fails a disarming throw by 10 or more, or with a roll of a natural 1, he sets off the trap.
Pick Pockets: A thief can try to suddenly grab a worn item without regard to being noticed – doing so grants a +4 bonus to the proficiency throw, but the intended victim automatically notices regardless of whether it succeeds or not. The item may not be an item in the target’s hand (that is a disarm special maneuver).
EQUIPMENT FOR THIEVES
The following new items, found in the Equipment section (p. XX) are of benefit to thieves and related classes: adventurer’s harness, ear trumpet, padded shoes, thieves’ garb, thieves’ tools companion kit, superior thieves’ tools, and masterwork thieves’ tools.
Adventurer’s Harness: Also known as a burglar’s harness, this is a set of belts, straps, sheaths, and cases designed to securely fasten items to one’s body without hampering movement. A character wearing an adventurer’s harness can ignore 1 stone’s worth of equipment when calculating encumbrance. It cannot secure heavy items, or coins and similar items. It cannot be worn over armor heavier than chain mail. Cost: 10 gp
Ear Trumpet: A funnel-shaped tube of silver, wood, shell, or horn that, when placed in its wearer’s ear canal, raises the apparent volume of sound. A character using an ear trumpet gains a +2 bonus to proficiency throws to hear noise. The bonus does not apply to hijinks. Cost: 15gp.
Padded Shoes: A pair of soft-heeled shoes with padding designed to dampen the sound of walking. A character wearing padded shoes gains a +2 bonus to proficiency throws to move silently. Padded shoes cannot be worn when traveling across the wilderness and do not work when wet. The bonus does not apply to hijinks. Cost: 15gp.
Thieves’ Garb: A suit of clothing, including hooded cloak, tunic, leggings, gloves, and scarf, woven in a camouflaging color. Thieves’ garb is available in different colors for use in various environments – brown for hills/mountains, green for forest/jungle, grey for settlements, white for tundra, etc. When wearing thieves’ garb appropriate to the environment, a character gains a +2 bonus to any proficiency throws to hide in shadows, avoid being spotted, and evade in the wilderness. Characters wearing thieves’ garb can always hide in shadows or avoid being spotted with a throw of at least 18+ (modified by encumbrance). Thieves’ garb imposes a -2 penalty when its camouflage color is inappropriate to the environment (e.g. white garb in the jungle). The bonus and penalty do not apply to hijinks. Thieves’ garb can be worn over leather armor, but not heavier types. Cost: 25gp.
Thieves’ Tools Companion Kit: A companion set of tools to use in conjunction with the standard set of thieves’ tools, this set includes drills, pliers, scissors, rods, blocks, pads, tweezers, shims, and a magnifying glass. A thief using this kit in addition to a set of thieves’ tools gains a +2 bonus to proficiency throws to open locks, find traps, and remove traps. The bonus does not apply to hijinks. Cost: 35 gp.
Thieves' Tools, Superior: Superior thieves’ tools grant a +2 bonus to proficiency throws to Open Locks, Find Traps, and Remove Traps. If the thief rolls a natural 1 while attempting to pick a lock, the tools may make a saving throw versus Death (at 1/2 thief’s level of experience) to resist breaking (see the Adventuring chapter, p. XX). The bonus does not apply to hijinks. Cost: 200gp.
Thieves’ Tools, Masterwork: Masterwork thieves' tools grant a +4 to proficiency throws to Open Locks, Find Traps, and Remove Traps. If the thief rolls a natural 1 while attempting to pick a lock, the tools may make a saving throw versus Death (at the thief’s level) to resist breaking (see the Adventuring chapter, p. XX). The bonus does not apply to hijinks. Cost: 1,600gp.