Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ten thief archetypes

Continuing the theme of the last post, here are ten archetypes for the thief class.  All are attainable using standard thief class rules and abilities; the differences are in attitude, equipment, and the class skills they use most.

  1. The burglar:  Get in, get the goods, get out, and don't let anyone see you.  The burglar makes his living breaking and entering, and prefers to avoid confrontation at almost any cost.  Stealth, climbing, and lock-picking are eminently useful.  A burglar prefers small, easily concealed weapons that won't inadvertently knock things over, and may well go unarmored.
  2. The tomb robber:  You can make a living by robbing the living, but you can make a killing robbing the dead.  You just have to avoid all the deadly traps.  A lantern and a ten-foot pole are the tomb robber's best friends...and maybe a few vials of holy water, just in case the dead take offense.  Reading languages comes in handy, too.
  3. The spy:  Secrets are a valuable commodity, sometimes even more so than gold and jewels, and the spy's trade is to find them.  A knack for getting into secure places is important, but so are the ability to read languages and decode ciphers, a glib tongue, and the talent of blending in anywhere.
  4. The tinker:  He isn't particularly larcenous by nature; he just has a steady hand and a ready grasp of mechanical things, both of which can be very useful in an adventuring career.  He probably carries a tool kit full of odd things that a professional thief wouldn't even recognize, but which he uses to great effect in defeating locks and disabling deadly contraptions. 
  5. The showman:  Show business is all about misdirection, and the same nimble fingers that are adept at picking pockets are also good for playing instruments, juggling, and sleight-of-hand.  A flashy outfit and a line of patter to keep the rubes' attention away from the real action complete the gimmick.
  6. The romantic:  Whatever else he may or may not steal, this thief is a thief of hearts, a collector of amorous experiences.  Climbing, sneaking, and opening locks are all useful for getting into the boudoirs of paramours - or in helping other star-crossed lovers to do so.  The dungeon is not exactly his natural habitat, but nothing impresses the ladies (or gentlemen, as the case may be) quite like a tale of daring adventure and the trophies to back it up. 
  7. The heroic outlaw:  A thief by necessity rather than inclination, and more courageous than most.  He didn't turn against the law; the law turned against him, and he does what he must to survive and see that justice is ultimately served.  In the meantime, trickery and subterfuge are the order of the day, and all the thiefly skills may see use in the cause. 
  8. The thug:  This thief has a real penchant for violence, but without the fighter's skills to back it up.  Instead he puts his abilities of stealth and backstabbing to good use.  A cudgel or short blade is the weapon of choice for waylaying hapless victims, and a stout coat of leather armor is an insurance policy in case the mark manages to fight back.
  9. The scout:  Another (potentially) honorable thief type, the scout is adept at using the skills of stealth in the wilderness, of detecting traps and ambushes in advance, and sometimes of stealthily sabotaging enemy plans.  A ranged weapon such as a bow or crossbow is a must, and a suit of leather armor may just save his skin if he's spotted or runs into unexpected trouble. 
  10. The acrobat: As nimble as they come, acrobats seldom wear armor or carry weapons heavier than a dagger, unless it's a quarterstaff that can be used for balancing and vaulting.  Nobody climbs a wall, walks across a chasm on a rope, or silently crosses a floor strewn with dry leaves quite as gracefully.     

No comments :

Post a Comment