Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Original Dungeons & Dragons Thief - Variant

I have been enamoured for awhile with the idea of running an essentially white box Men & Magic campaign. When I say Men & Magic I mean that will be the framework used for player options - fighting-man, magic-user and cleric. My issue though is I love the thief class! The Greyhawk supplement offered some substantial additions to the core D&D game, and although many of those additions were useful, I value the simplicity and bare-bones ethic of the white box. The idea that thieves use a percentile for skills hasn't really gelled with me for this style of gaming, especially when most other 'checks' are resolved with the use of a d6 dice. Thus, I have taken copious inspirations from Greyhawk, but have fashioned an OD&D variant on the thief class using a d6 skill system, rather than the originally presented d100 system. The rationale was that I wanted a game that could mostly be played with just two types of dice: d20 and a d6.

The result is mostly 'by the book', but I have changed a few things:

1. Allowed thieves the use of a shield. This was forbidden in Greyhawk. When clerics and fighters can be very armoured, and thieves lack the defensive adjustment of dexterity as presented in later editions, I felt the thief needed a bit of a break.

2. Agile. This allows thieves with a dexterity of 15 or above a +1 bonus to their armour class, or for the rarer thief with 18 dexterity a +2. This is not by the book at all, but is roughly akin to the benefit granted fighting-men in Greyhawk. 

3. Casting from scrolls. As Greyhawk introduced both the thief, and their ability to cast from scrolls when reaching higher level I have included this feature. However, because I'm limiting my campaign to around 10th level I have changed the chance of miscast to 5th level spells (rather than 7th).

A link to the PDF is here

For those who don't want to click an external link I have reproduced the two pages below. Enjoy!