marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

thieves and backgrounds

Contemplating the D&D thief.

Going full scale old-school, first edition:
  1. Pick Pockets
  2. Open Locks
  3. Find/Remove Traps
  4. Move Silently
  5. Hide in Shadows
  6. Detect Noise
  7. Climb Walls
  8. Read Languages
  9. Backstab
Now, giving your thief a criminal background -- 1, 4, 5, 6 would be skills useful for pickpocket -- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, for a burglar -- and 5, 6,7, and 9 for a footpad.  8 is one of those things clearly stuck on from pure fantasy, but even if you exclude that, thieves specialize.  They have an MO.  The odds of anyone actually training in all those things before beginning a career adventuring strike me as -- improbably.

A Thieves' Guild teaching them all would merely move the issue back one level.  As would an Adventurers' Guild.
Tags: backstory, role-playing games, world-building: schools

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