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
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
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
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
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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