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Fiddling with Thief Abilities

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:34 am
by Hernes Son
Forgive me if this has come up before, but...

Thinking about ditching the %-based Thief skills, and instead doing them as Ability Rolls.

Essentially, the same description of each Skill, but having them rolled on the Ability Roll table, using DEX for most of them (STR for Climb, and CON for Listen).

My idea then would be that the Thief gets a +1 every three levels to those skills. And as always, the idea would be that the Thief's skill is greater than an untrained regular Joe. So anyone could make a STR Ability Roll to climb a tree, or rocky slope, but only a trained Thief could use STR plus his Climb Walls skill to scale a sheer castle/dungeon wall.

This is just a thought off the top of my head while I was working out tonight, and thinking about yesterday's game.

Any feedback or suggestions?

Re: Fiddling with Thief Abilities

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:49 am
by Metroknight
Specifically about thieves skills, I don't think it has or has not recently that I can remember.

Since you want to shift to the d20 rolls, here is my suggestion:

Read the thieves option supplement to see what the skills are based on ... ent-r2.pdf
then convert the racial mods from % to +/- modifiers. Now read the secondary skills supplement ... ent-r1.pdf and place the thieves skills in the thief section with them based on the appropiate attribute. Now you have your skills you wish to use as d20 based. They supply a way to advance skills in that supplement also. Most of your work is already done for you.

Have fun and good luck with your game.

Re: Fiddling with Thief Abilities

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:25 am
by Dimirag
The mayor impact will be the base chance of success, but if you don't mind that go ahead, or give a modifier to each skill, otherwise climbing will suffer the most.

It also lets you add any "class skill" just use the level and the modifier you want to give for a specific class. You can also use half level for things that are more "common" and allowed for every class.

If you want a direct d20 resolution system for thieves here is another option.

Re: Fiddling with Thief Abilities

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:37 pm
by artikid
I'd also like to point out the X-in-6 supplement I wrote for the showcase.
It's a kind of universal system based on the venerable Old School mechanic of rolling X or less on a d6: ... cks-r3.pdf

Re: Fiddling with Thief Abilities

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:48 pm
by Maliki
I had thought of using ability rolls as well (I'm not a fan of % systems). My thought was to give thieves a flat +4 bonus(plus racial and ability modifiers converted from the thieves supplement) when using an ability. Even with modifiers a natural 1 is always a failure. This gives them a much needed (IMHO) boost at low levels, but really not much of an impact at higher level. Better in some cases a bit worse in others.

Re: Fiddling with Thief Abilities

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:38 pm
by Dimirag
One thing to consider is that of Hearing rolls, everyone can make them (at least while listening through a door) but no ability modifier is used, so, if they are used with thieves then the same should be done with the other classes, and one must try to not end up giving less chances to a thief than to the other classes.

Same happens with climbing, a low strength thief will suffer a penalty because strength is not a requirement of his class.

If I would do the change I would remove the Hear skill and replace it with a level bonus on the d6 or with an increasing range (like in Iron Falcon and older games) and use all the remaining skills with dexterity, making thieves able to climb by coordination and speed rather than by sheer muscle.

One option I though a really long time ago was that these rolls are made at a percentage value equal to that of the relevant ability (giving a 3-18% with 9% being the median) thieves and classes with class skills have a starting bonus (+5% minimum) making them better at those things, and then the bonus increased at higher levels.

Now, using that to make d20 rolls for non-class skills it will take a 4+Modifier or less, which translates as a 17+ on d20 + Ability modifier (same as the optional rule).

A thief with a -3 in an ability should be better than a non thief with an +3 on the same ability (to avoid thieves less skilled that non thieves).

A non-thieve with 4+3 requires a 7 or less, 7 or less means 10 or less for the thieve (the one with the -3 on the ability)
So... a thief would have to gain a starting +6 skill bonus just to not fall behind of non trained characters with better genes.

Re: Fiddling with Thief Abilities

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:10 pm
by Hernes Son
Great ideas, all! Thanks!