Friday, December 20, 2013

Thieves in DF Felltower

Ultimately here is what I did with the Thief template in my GURPS DF game.

Use Thief as written, except:

- Remove Filch (saves 2 points)

- Remove Smuggling (saves 2 points)

- Remove Shadowing (saves 2 points)

- Move Perfect Balance from a required Advantage to an Optional Advantage

- Reduce Urban Survival from Per+1 [2] to Per [1]

Put the 22 points from this into:

- 20 more points of Advantages (total 50)

- raise the Melee Weapon skill from DX-1 [1] to DX [2].

- raise the ranged weapon skill from DX-1 [1] to DX [2].

Also, although I normally restrict new PCs to just the abilities on the template itself, for the Thief I do allow unrestricted purchase of any Power-Ups. While I like the idea of a restricted startup set and Power-Ups as those first new things you get to learn, many of the Thief Power-Ups are too important to a Thief's success right out of the gate.

And don't forget, in DF, picking locks and removing traps are both DX-based tasks, not the more realistic IQ-based task it is in Basic Set.


  1. Aaah, I was wondering why GCA was telling me that lockpick and traps were both IQ when I kept reading about High Manual Dexterity adding to them. That makes more sense now.

    1. Yeah, they're based on IQ. But you float the roll over to DX for most tasks in DF, and Per to spot things.

      There is a way to tell GCA to do multiple lines showing your IQ, Per, and DX-based Traps and Lockpicking. I'll see if I can't find the thread explaining it and link to it.

    2. Ah, cool! Sorry, still a major GURPS / GCA noob.

  2. My big trouble with DF thieves is that my players expect them to do a lot of damage like they do in MMOs and That Other Game but they're entirely specialists will very little combat utility. I've leaned players toward sneaky damage dealers like the Assassin, Ninja or Swashbuckler but they're not 100% replacements for a thief's skill set.

    1. My problem has just been memories of games where people who didn't specialize in combat could compete with those who could to a degree. Or at least hold their own. In DF, what is utter fodder to a Knight can often kill a Thief dead without a problem. That's really the issue for me - it's not realizing the disparity of combat power. To play a thief you really need to embrace that and emphasize what you do better.

    2. Even with backstab they're still pretty inconsequential? Or is it just that they are very fragile glass.... not cannons, but maybe handguns?

    3. In DF, a handgun. Even a well-made thief doing a backstab isn't going to compare much to a Weapon Master Knight with high strength bashing something from the front. The Assassin will do better than the thief, but still not as good as the Knight.

      The thief can really make one guy's day really bad, but it's comparing a commando to a Main Battle Tank.

      With a thief and backstabbing, the trick is to get good enough to pull it off and use it with care and in conjunction with others. If you try to one-shot things and be the Boss Monster Slayer, you're in the wrong job.

    4. Makes sense. Just gotta remember... thieves are for other things, NOT super crazy damage dealers. Duly noted.


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