Sunday, August 26, 2018

OSR: The Luck and Expertise of Thieves



I've spent the day doing two things, rereading the excellent BX Essentials PDFs from Necrotic Gnome Press and contemplating the Thief class.

I've read over numerous excellent blogposts on different solutions, while also contemplating my expectations of the class.

The base percentage chance of Thief Abilities really strike me as pretty low at low levels.

I've been contemplating two different solutions.

Solution 1 is to take a page out of HackMaster 5th Edition and introduce Luck points. Each Luck point could be spent to adjust a Saving Throw by -1, increase their AC against a single attack by -1, or if using Thief Abilities adjust an Ability roll by -5% and may be spent AFTER the roll.

E.G. Robairt the Masque has a Pick Pockets of 25%, but rolls a 35, he decides to spend 2 Luck Points to lower the roll to 25 and succeed.

A 1st level thief has 2 Luck points per day at level 1 and gains 1 Luck point per day at each level.

Solution 2 takes a page out of the GUMSHOE system. You would drop the percentage chance of each Thief Ability. The Thief would have a pool of Expertise per day. When a situation arose the Thief could choose to spend Expertise to Hide in Shadow, Hear Noise, Pick Pockets, etc. If the situation was difficult enough, the DM could even require Expertise expenditures of 2+.

E.G. Monica Renquist is trying to Hide in Shadows from several orcs coming through a passage towards her. The DM sets the Expertise at 2, which she spends and the orcs don't notice her as they pass by.

A 1st level Thief has 2 Expertise per day at level 1 and gains 1 Expertise per day at each odd level.

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