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Thief Abilities as Skillsby Håvard
I'd group the Thief abilities into the following skills:
- Notice (Wis) - replaces Find Traps and Detect Noise, but can also be used to notice other things such as hidden doors. Elves Also get this skill for free at 1st level.
- Remove Traps (Dex)
- Pick Pockets (Dex) - When attempting to pick the pockets of a higher level NPC or PC, the Thief suffers a -1 per level that exceeds the level of the Thief.
- Stealth (Dex) - replaces Move Silently and Hide in Shadows. Halflings also get this for free replacing their Hide in Woodlands ability.
- Climb (Dex) - replaces Climb Walls
- Open Locks (Dex)
- Read Languages (Int) - Thieves get this at 4th level
Thieves get all of these skills for free at 1st level except Read Languages which they get for free at 4th level. I might also allow them to drop some of these skills and replace them with other General Skills at their choice.
Other classes will also be allowed to select these skills now.
At Higher Levels
- Whenever characters gain new General Skill slots (every 4th level), Thieves gain an additional Skill Slot that must be used to gain a +1 bonus to one of the Thief Skills they already have.
- If selecting the Rogue Class Option (ie not the Guild Master) at 9th level, Thieves get the following new abilities:
- Detect Invisble - with a successful Notice check, Thieves can ignore any penalties to hit an invisible opponent.
- Trap Master - at this time, the player no longer needs to declare that he is checking for traps. Any time he walks by an area with a trap, he may make a Remove Traps roll to remove it. If he fails and the trap is set off, he is immune to the effects, though his companions might not be.
- Invisible - once per day, the character may roll a Stealth check to become invisible as per the spell.
- Scale Surfaces - with a successful Climb check, the Thief may move across any surface at normal speed.
- Knock - once per day with a successful Open Lock check, the Thief may cast the Knock Spell
- Deep Pockets - once per day, on a successful Pick Pickets check, the Thief may produce one small mundane item or 50 GP.
- At 10th Level, the Thief may use his Read Languages skill to read magical scrolls. On a roll of 19-20 on the check however, the magical effect backfires.
My alternate General Skill Mechanics could be used for both General Skills and Thief Skills under this system to balance out some of the differences a bit:
LEVEL RANGE -- d20 Bonus
Unskilled -- +1
1st-3rd level -- +6
4-14th level -- +10
15-25th level -- +12
26th+36th level -- +14
Under this system you roll below the level bonus from the chart above modified with your ability score adjustment bonus. This would still give a low level Thief a greater chance of succeeding than under the standard rules, but would reduce the differences between a DX10 Thief and a DX18 Thief.