A number* of GURPS bloggers have been talking about the Dungeon Fantasy Thief template recently. In a couple cases, trying to make it a little bit more useful and less replaceable. The issue really is that, in GURPS, anyone can try the thief's skills, many of them are easily replaced with other means, and some professions do much of the same things almost as well as the thief and many things better. Making them a bit better would make them a bit more fun, which is the real thing I'm after.
After reading Patrick Halter's latest proposal, I decided I'd try to make one up using a mix of my suggestions and his. Here is my result.
I went with Patrick Halter's suggestion to simply cut the skills I wasn't using anyway - Filch, Shadowing, and Smuggling - instead of merging the points spent.
I also went with dropping Urban Survival down a point, from 2 to 1. I think that's fine, but I'd rather not make it optional.
I left Sleight of Hand alone for now.
Together those net back 7 points, of which I'm putting 5 into discretionary advantages and 2 into Background skills. I didn't put more into Lockpicking, since putting them into Background still allows for that but doesn't lock me in to improving something that's already good.
I'm also allowing free purchase of any Power-Ups right from the start.
Just for grins, even though I personally think Perfect Balance is really useful, I've made a thief without it.
I didn't buy any gear for this guy, or write up his quirks. I'd play him though, he seems like a fun guy. I went with "make him good but fun" so if he seems like he's less than utterly munchkinned or min-maxed, well, I find that usually reduces the fun of the guy.
Sneaky the Thief II
ST 11 
DX 15 
IQ 13 
HT 11 
Per 14 
Basic Lift 24
Basic Speed 6 [-10]
Basic Move 7 
Ground Move 7
Water Move 1
TL: 3 
Languages: Common (Native) .
High Manual Dexterity (2) 
Night Vision (9) 
Sensitive Touch 
Silence (2) 
Honest Face 
Code of Honor (Pirate's) [-5]
Compulsive Gambling (12 or less) [-5]
Cowardice (12 or less) [-10]
Greed (12 or less) [-15]
Sense of Duty (Adventuring companions) [-5]
_Unused Quirk 1 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 2 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 3 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 4 [-1]
_Unused Quirk 5 [-1]
Thief (Dungeon Fantasy) 
Acrobatics DX/H - DX-2 13 
Brawling DX/E - DX+0 15 
Carousing HT/E - HT+0 11 
Cartography/TL3 IQ/A - IQ-1 12 
Climbing DX/A - DX+2 17 
includes: +3 from 'Flexibility'
Connoisseur (Wine) IQ/A - IQ-1 12 
Crossbow DX/E - DX+0 15 
Escape DX/H - DX+1 16 
includes: +3 from 'Flexibility'
Fast-Draw (Knife) DX/E - DX+0 15 
Fast-Draw (Sword) DX/E - DX+0 15 
Forced Entry DX/E - DX+0 15 
Gambling IQ/A - IQ-1 12 
Gesture IQ/E - IQ+0 13 
Holdout IQ/A - IQ+0 13 
Knife DX/E - DX+0 15 
Lockpicking/TL3 IQ/A - IQ+1 14 
DX-based roll is 18 (including +2 from High Manual Dexterity)
Merchant IQ/A - IQ-1 12 
Observation Per/A - Per-1 13 
Pickpocket DX/H - DX-1 14 
Poisons/TL3 IQ/H - IQ+0 13 
Saber DX/A - DX-1 14 
Search Per/A - Per+0 14 
18 by touch including +4 from Sensitive Touch
Sleight of Hand DX/H - DX-2 13 
Stealth DX/A - DX+3 18 
20 vs. hearing, 22 vs. hearing when motionless
Streetwise IQ/A - IQ+0 13 
Swimming HT/A - HT-1 11 
Traps/TL3 IQ/A - IQ+2 15 
DX-based roll is 19 (including +2 from High Manual Dexterity)
Per-based roll is 16 (20 by touch with +4 from Sensitive Touch)
Urban Survival Per/A - Per-1 13 
Stats  Ads  Disads [-40] Quirks [-5] Skills  = Total 
As you can see:
- Why II? Because Sneaky the Thief was the NPC thief I had accompany the party in our playtest of DFA1. He was meant as a PC, but no one picked him. In any case, I already had a file for "Sneaky the Thief."
- I upped Traps a little with my discretionary points. He's one level away from qualifying for Trap Sense.
- Made him capable of mapping.
- I put 4 points in Poisons, because that'll let him quadruple up on cheap poisons for backstabs, and I make people roll Poisons sometimes in conjunction with trap disarmament.
- Those 9 points in Night Vision? Yeah, I'm still not sure that is a good idea, since it's not enough to see in the dark. I might have gone for 3 points in Night Vision (enough to eliminate the penalties out to the limits of torchlight) and used the other 6 points for another level of Perception with change left over, or perhaps a third level of High Manual Dexterity.
- Luck is something all my guys have. Face it. I don't like to play without a do-over and I'm willing to pay for the privilege.
- Honest Face? I love that one. I had to take it.
- I made him able to swim, because I don't like falling for my own pranks.
- He's only a short 8 point hop away from Nondectection, if magic detection is common, and 1 point away from Sure Grasp, if it turns out climbing is important.
All in all, he looks pretty fun. He's still no fighter, but he's not pretending to be. I do think he's a pretty good sneak-ahead-and-look guy this way. He won't sneak-and-kill, just sneak-and-report or sneak-and-steal. Given actual need in play for non-magical, quiet lockpicking and trap removal (not just "Dispel Magic or the barbarian just sets it off"), he's going to be handy at those, too. I'd give him a spin in play to see how he does.
In any case, this is one way a thief from such a modified template might look.
* Which would be three. Mark Langsdorf, Patrick Halter, and myself.