Ability Requirement:
Dexterity 9
Prime Requisite:
Races Allowed:

Thieves come in all sizes and shapes, ready to live off the fat of the land by the easiest means possible. In some ways they are the epitome of roguishness.

The profession of thief is not honorable, yet it is not entirely dishonorable, either. Many famous folk heroes have been more than a little larcenous -- Reynard the Fox, Robin Goodfellow, and Ali Baba are but a few. At his best, the thief is a romantic hero fired by noble purpose but a little wanting in strength of character. Such a person may truly strive for good but continually run afoul of temptation.

The thief's prime requisite is Dexterity; a character must have a minimum score of 9 to qualify for the class. While high numbers in other scores (particularly Intelligence) are desirable, they are not necessary. The thief can have any alignment except lawful good. Many are at least partially neutral.

A thief with a Dexterity score of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

Thieves have a limited selection of weapons. Most of their time is spent practicing thieving skills. The allowed weapons are club, dagger, dart, hand crossbow, knife, lasso, short bow, sling, broad sword, long sword, short sword, and staff. A thief can wear leather, studded leather, padded leather, or elven chain armor. When wearing any allowed armor other than leather, the thief's abilities are penalized (see
Table 29).

To determine the initial value of each skill, start with the base scores listed on
Table 26. To these base scores, add (or subtract) any appropriate modifiers for race, Dexterity, and armor worn (given on Tables 27, 28 and 29, respectively).

The scores arrived at in the preceding paragraph do not reflect the effort a thief has spent honing his skills. To simulate this extra training, all thieves at 1st level receive 60 discretionary percentage points that they can add to their base scores. No more than 30 points can be assigned to any single skill. Other than this restriction, the player can distribute the points however he wants.

Each time the thief rises a level in experience, the player receives another 30 points to distribute. No more than 15 points per level can be assigned to a single skill, and no skill can be raised above 95 percent, including all adjustments for Dexterity, race, and armor. As an option, the DM can rule that some portion of the points earned must be applied to skills used during the course of the adventure.

In addition to the base percentages listed above, demihuman characters and characters with high or low Dexterity scores have adjustments to their base numbers. Some characters may find that, after adjustments, they have negative scores. In this case, the character must spend points raising his skill percentage to at least 1% before he can use the skill. (Some races just aren't very good at certain things!)

A thief character uses the “No Armor” column if wearing bracers of defense or a cloak without large or heavy protective clothing.

(See also
The Complete Thief's Handbook)

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