The Thief

Having rewritten the executioner, I've more-or-less committed myself to also rewriting the thief. Here are the objectives of this rewrite.


Class Statistics

Hit Die: 1d4+4/level.

Skill Groups: Agility, Athletics, Robbery, Social, Stealth, Theatrics.

Skill Points/Level: 12 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level).

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Base Defense Bonus

Sneak Attack

Special

Defense Feat Mastery

Finesse Feat Mastery

Social Feat Mastery

Other Feat Mastery

1

+0

+1

1d6

Skill expertise

1

2

2

+1

+2

1d6

 

1

2

3

+2

+3

1d6

Danger sense

2

1

3

4

+3

+4

1d6

Scoundrel pool, scoundrel's senses, beguilement

2

1

3

5

+3

+5

1d6

Trickster ability

3

2

4

1

6

+4

+5

1d6

Bonus feat

3

2

4

1

7

+5

+6

1d6

Trickster ability

4

3

5

2

8

+6

+7

2d6

 

4

3

5

2

9

+6

+8

2d6

Trickster ability

5

4

6

3

10

+7

+9

2d6

Whispered suggestions

5

4

6

3

11

+8

+10

2d6

Greater trickster ability

6

5

7

4

12

+9

+10

2d6

Improved danger sense

6

5

7

4

13

+9

+11

2d6

Greater trickster ability

7

6

8

5

14

+10

+12

2d6

Bonus feat

7

6

8

5

15

+11

+13

2d6

Greater trickster ability

8

7

9

6

16

+12

+14

3d6

 

8

7

9

6

17

+12

+15

3d6

Supreme trickster ability

9

8

10

7

18

+13

+15

3d6

Enthralment

9

8

10

7

19

+14

+16

3d6

Supreme trickster ability

9

8

10

7

20

+15

+17

3d6

Lord of lies

9

8

10

7

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Thieves are proficient with all simple weapons and light martial weapons, and with light armour.

Skill Expertise

As a thief, the maximum number of ranks you can have in a skill is equal to your thief level + 5 or your total character level + 3, whichever is greater.

Sneak Attack

You gain a base +1d6 points of sneak attack damage at 1st level. This increases to +2d6 points at 8th level, and +3d6 at 16th level.

You can gain further sneak attack damage dice by spending scoundrel tokens (see below). For every 4 tokens you spend, you gain a further +1d6 points of sneak attack damage on all your eligible attacks for 1 round. The maximum number of tokens you can spend is equal to your thief level. You must still meet the usual requirements for dealing sneak attack damage.

Danger Sense

You can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier on opposed Listen, Sense Motive and Spot rolls against opponents within 10 feet. While you may not necessarily have the eyes of a hawk or the ears of a fox, you have an uncanny ability to know when danger is present.

Scoundrel Pool

Your years of living by your wits have given you a sixth sense when it comes to fast-talk and self-preservation. At 4th level, you gain a pool of tokens that represents your general instincts, luck and experience at dealing with dangerous situations. The maximum number of unspent tokens you can have is equal to your thief level + 10. You start play with a full token pool.

Unlike the other Iron Heroes classes, your token-based abilities are generally usable at any time, so keep track of the tokens you spend out of combat. You refill your token pool after each combat encounter, and also after 8 hours of complete rest. In addition, you can use your scoundrel's senses (see below) to regain tokens in the middle of an encounter.

An encounter must involve some potential element of risk, no matter how small, for you to regain tokens. A risk-free fight or one with a predetermined outcome fails to provide you with the adrenalin rush you desire; or perhaps the fates don't look kindly on those who would take them for granted. You cannot gain tokens from such a fight.

Scoundrel's Senses

You can spend an action to regain scoundrel tokens during an encounter. The number of tokens you gain is equal to 1/2 your thief level, plus an additional amount depending on the type of action taken.

Action Type

Additional Tokens Gained

Free

-5

Move

-2

Standard

+0

Full round

+5

The minimum number of tokens you can gain in a round is 0. You can only spend an action to regain tokens once per round.

Beguilement

You gain this ability at 4th level. You ply your target with silver-tongued flattery, lulling them into a false sense of security. Or you subtly trace hypnotic patterns with your hands, dulling their senses. Or you spin a brilliant line of bafflegab, leaving them dazed and unable to react. One way or another, you can pull the wool over people's eyes without their even knowing it.

You can use this ability whenever you make a Bluff check out of combat. By spending 1 scoundrel token and accepting a -10 penalty on your check, you inflict a -2 penalty to your target's Will saves and Wisdom-based skill checks if you succeed. This effect lasts as long as you are interacting nonviolently with your target, and for 1 minute afterwards, to a maximum duration of 10 minutes. You further gain a +5 bonus to Diplomacy checks you make against your target while this effect is active. The effect is negated if anyone attacks your target.

Multiple uses of beguilement against the same target attract a cumulative -5 penalty to your Bluff check. This ability counts as a mind-influencing, charm effect, so certain magical spells and effects may be able to counter it.

Trickster Abilities

At 5th, 7th and 9th level, you can choose a trickster ability. The possible abilities are listed below. You can only choose any given ability once.

Instil Uncertainty: Your skill at fast talk knows no bounds; or you have learned special tricks to befuddle enemies in combat; or your well-chosen words create a sense of uncertainty and doubt in the minds of your opponents. Regardless of the details, you can create an opening by which to escape or press home your advantage. By spending 4 scoundrel tokens you can use the conversational paralysis Bluff skill challenge in combat, at an additional -5 penalty (for a total of -10). This requires a move action, and your target can oppose your check with either a Will save or a Sense Motive check. Success indicates that you daze your target for 1 round. You cannot extend the duration beyond 1 round.

Multiple uses of instil uncertainty against the same target in the one encounter attract a cumulative -5 penalty to your Bluff check.

Uncanny Dodge: By spending 4 scoundrel tokens at the start of an encounter, you can retain your active bonus to defense while flat-footed. You choose whether to use this ability before anyone has acted, but after surprise and initiative have been determined.

Elusive Target: You are surprisingly difficult to hit in combat. If an attack hits you, you can spend scoundrel tokens to gain a retroactive bonus to defense, at 2 tokens per +1 active bonus. You can spend up to 10 tokens in this way, to gain a maximum +5 active bonus to defense. If your increased defense is better than your opponent's attack roll, the attack misses. You can decide whether to use this ability after seeing the result of your opponent's attack roll. You can only use this ability once per round.

Fortune's Favour: Once per encounter, you can reroll an attack roll, base attack check, skill check or saving throw. You must take the result of the reroll, even if it's worse than the original roll. You must have at least 2 unspent tokens to use this ability, and you lose half the tokens in your pool immediately you choose to use it. You can only reroll a given roll once.

You can use this ability out of combat, but only in life-threatening situations. You can use this ability out of combat once per day.

Fortuitous Strike: Although your martial skills are usually outshone by those of others, every now and then you can land an outrageous hit. By spending tokens, you can gain a retroactive bonus to an attack roll, at 2 tokens per +1 bonus to your attack. You can spend up to 10 tokens in this way, to gain a maximum +5 bonus. You can decide whether to use this ability after seeing the result of your original roll.

Fleeting Shadow: You can move at full speed while using the Hide and Move Silently skills without taking a -5 penalty. Using this ability costs 1 token per round.

Knavish Trickery: When using the negate defense skill challenge, you can gain a +1 bonus to your skill check for every token you spend, to a maximum bonus of +5. You can use this ability once per round.

Bonus Feats

At 6th and 14th level you gain a bonus feat, which must come from either the Defense or Social categories. You must still meet the usual prerequisites for the feat.

Whispered Suggestions

You gain this ability at 10th level. Your powers of mental manipulation can have a strong influence on the weak-minded. While using your beguilement ability, you can spend 5 scoundrel tokens to implant a subliminal command in your target's mind. If your Bluff check is successful, your target must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your thief level + your Charisma modifier + additional tokens spent). If they fail, they must follow your order. You can spend up to 10 additional tokens to increase the save DC, beyond the 5 needed to use whispered suggestions and the 1 needed to use beguilement.

Your command must be worded in a way that makes the suggested course of action sound reasonable. Asking the target to do some obviously harmful act has no effect. The suggested activity can take up to 1 hour to complete per thief level you have. If the activity can be completed in a shorter time, the effect ends when the target finishes what they were told to do. You can instead specify conditions that will trigger a special activity during the duration. For example, you might suggest to a guard that they should open the gates to the first one-eyed beggar who comes along. If the condition is not met before the duration expires, the activity is not performed.

This ability counts as a mind-influencing, compulsion effect, so certain magical spells and effects may be able to counter it.

Greater Trickster Abilities

At 11th, 13th and 15th level, you can choose a greater trickster ability. The possible abilities are listed below. You can only choose any given ability once. You can only use one greater trickster ability per round, but you can also use a trickster ability in the same round.

Intensify Uncertainty: You must also have the instil uncertainty trickster ability to take this ability. When you attempt to befuddle a target, you can gain a +1 bonus to your Bluff check for every 2 additional tokens spent. You can spend up to 10 additional tokens in this way to gain a maximum +5 bonus.

Luck of the Devil: Once per encounter, you can reroll an attack roll, base attack check, skill check or saving throw with a +4 bonus. You must take the result of the reroll, even if it's worse than the original roll. You must have at least 6 unspent tokens to use this ability, and you lose half the tokens in your pool immediately you choose to use it. You can only reroll a given roll once, even if you also have fortune's favour.

You can use this ability out of combat, but only in life-threatening situations. You can use this ability out of combat once per day.

Skill Mastery: Choose 3 skills that you have ranks in. You can take 10 on these skills even if stress and distractions would normally prevent you doing so. Each attempt to take 10 in a stressful situation costs you 1 token.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: By spending tokens, you can prevent foes who flank you from gaining the benefits of flanking. The first use of this ability in a round costs 2 tokens. Each subsequent use in the same round costs a cumulative 2 tokens, so the 2nd use costs 4 tokens, the 3rd costs 6, and so on. This ability has no effect if your attacker's base attack bonus is 5 or more points higher than your base defense bonus.

Tenacious Spirit: You can withstand harmful effects with a tenacity that confounds your foes. After finding out the result of a saving throw you make, you can gain a retroactive bonus to the result by spending tokens. You gain a +1 bonus per 2 tokens spent, to a maximum bonus of +5. If the increased result is equal to or higher than the save DC, you succeed in making your save.

Hide in Plain Sight: By spending 4 tokens, you can create a distraction to hide as a free action, instead of a move action.

Hollow Mastery: You can convince an opponent that your combat skill is greater than it truly is. Spend 5 tokens and make a Bluff check as a standard action, opposed by your foe's base attack check or Sense Motive check. If you succeed, you gain a +2 active bonus to defense against that opponent for a number of rounds equal to 2 + your Charisma modifier.

Improved Danger Sense

You gain this ability at 12th level. You are now even more able to detect threats to your wellbeing. The range of your danger sense increases to 30 feet.

Supreme Trickster Abilities

At 17th and 19th level, you can choose a supreme trickster ability. The possible abilities are listed below. You can only choose any given ability once. You can only use one supreme trickster ability per round, but you can also use a trickster ability and a greater trickster ability in the same round.

Capricious Blessing: Sometimes, your ability to wriggle out of tight situations astounds even yourself. Once per encounter, when making an attack roll, base attack check, skill check or saving throw, you can use your highest ability modifier in place of the ability modifier you would normally use. For example, you could roll a Will save using your Dexterity modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier, a Climb check using your Charisma modifier instead of your Strength modifier, or a base attack check using your Intelligence modifier instead of your Strength or Dexterity modifier. This costs 10 tokens.

You can use this ability out of combat, but only in life-threatening situations. You can use this ability out of combat once per day.

Hide From Mind: You can convince someone through the sweetness of your words that you are beneath their notice, or your hypnotic suggestions cause them to overlook your presence. You can only use this ability on someone under the effect of your beguilement. As a free action, you spend 10 tokens and your target makes a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your thief level + your Charisma modifier + additional tokens spent). You can spend up to 10 additional tokens to increase the DC of the save. Failing the save indicates your target no longer perceives you at all: you have dropped below the threshold of their senses. You cannot be seen, heard or smelled; even if your target possesses extraordinary or supernatural abilities such as blindsense, blindsight, scent and tremorsense, they fail to detect or locate you. However, if there is reason to believe you are present, your target can attempt to find or strike you.

This effect lasts for up to one hour, or until you attack your target. Note that other creatures will still be able to perceive you as normal; the benefits of this ability only apply to the creature you have beguiled. You can end the effect prematurely.

Instil Absolute Uncertainty: You must also have the instil uncertainty ability to take this ability. If you manage to instil uncertainty in your target, as a free action you can choose to stun them by spending 5 tokens. Your target makes a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your thief level + your Charisma modifier + additional tokens spent). Failing the save indicates they are stunned for 1 round; otherwise they are dazed as normal. You can spend up to 10 additional tokens to increase the difficulty of the save, beyond the 5 needed to use this ability and the 4 needed to use instil uncertainty.

Indomitable Will: You can fight with the fury and desperation of a cornered rat when things look bleak. Once per encounter, you can gain a +5 morale bonus to attacks, 20 temporary hit points, and a +2 morale bonus to Will saves, for a number of rounds equal to 2 + your Charisma modifier (minimum 1 round). You must have at least 10 unspent tokens to use this ability, and you lose all the tokens in your pool immediately you choose to use it.

Stroke of Fate: Once per encounter, you can gain a +10 bonus to one attack roll, base attack check, skill check or saving throw, or a +10 bonus to your defense against one attack. You must have at least 10 unspent tokens to use this ability, and you lose all the tokens in your pool immediately you choose to use it. You cannot combine this with other thief abilities that grant you bonuses to your roll or your defense.

You can use this ability out of combat, but only in life-threatening situations. You can use this ability out of combat once per day.

Enthralment

You gain this ability at 18th level. Spend 4 tokens and make either a Diplomacy, Intimidate or Perform check as a full-round action at a -5 penalty. All opponents within 30 feet with fewer HD/levels than you oppose your result with a Will save, Intimidate check or Sense Motive check. Those who fail are fascinated for as long as you continue to speak or perform, and for 2 rounds afterwards. You can fascinate your subjects for a maximum number of rounds equal to your Charisma score. Extending the effect requires a full round action on your part each round. If any fascinated creature is attacked, it breaks the effect for all of them.

Repeated attempts to fascinate a given creature, whether successful or not, grant a cumulative +5 bonus to their roll to resist the effect. This ability counts as a mind-influencing, charm effect, so certain magical spells and effects may be able to counter it.

Lord of Lies

You gain this ability at 20th level. Your powers of mental manipulation can prove fatal to those unprepared for it. When you use your beguilement ability, you can attempt to dominate your target's will completely by spending 10 additional tokens. If your Bluff check is successful, your target must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your thief level + your Charisma modifier + additional tokens spent). Failure indicates that they are compelled to follow any commands you give them; in effect, you have gained a faithful slave. This condition lasts for up to one hour, although you can choose to free your target before then. You can spend up to 10 additional tokens to increase the save DC, beyond the 10 needed to use lord of lies and the 1 needed to use beguilement.

Your target's subconscious attempts to fight against the effect even if their conscious mind follows your orders. Obviously self-destructive orders will not be carried out, and if the target is forced to take actions against their nature, they receive a new saving throw with a +2 bonus. Your target remembers everything, including the fact that they were dominated, which may influence their reaction to you afterwards. Among other things, repeated attempts to dominate a given creature (whether successful or not) grant a cumulative +5 bonus to the saving throw.

This ability counts as a mind-influencing, compulsion effect, so certain magical spells and effects may be able to counter it.

Thief Strategy

The thief presented here can be used to play a great variety of different characters, but they all share one thing in common: an aversion to straight-up combat against tough opponents. You are an infiltrator, or a spy, or a courtier, or a burglar; you are not a melee brute. If you're playing a thief, remember that you do not have a relatively good attack bonus, lots of hit points, or abilities to let you go on the offensive. You do have sneak attack, but unless you spend tokens, you're unlikely to match the other characters in your party for damage output. In any case, the token costs involved mean that buying sneak attack dice every round is not usually your best option.

Your greatest strengths are to be found out of combat. You have far more skill points than most other characters, and several skill groups to spend them on. Not only are you thus extremely versatile, but you also have several potent abilities with which to charm and befuddle unsuspecting targets. You should take advantage of this as much as possible no locked door is a bar to you, nor is a scowling guard. Depending on your chosen trickster abilities, you could sneak past the guard with ease, or convince him to leave you alone; either way, you avoid having to deal with the unpleasantness of weapons. In this way, you can help your party as well as yourself by not wasting your resources on unimportant or unnecessary fights as long as you don't spend too many tokens doing it. You might even be able to sweet-talk some of your foes into becoming valuable allies!

Sooner or later, however, chances are you'll find yourself in combat. Your best tactic is to stay at the fringes of the fight and not challenge the enemy head-on. You can hide in the shadows and snipe (thus gaining sneak attack damage into the bargain), or pick off isolated or badly injured opponents. If you do get targeted by the other side, your special abilities will be a great help in keeping you alive: your foes will find you have the devil's own luck, as you evade their blows and make hits you shouldn't have a chance of making. You shouldn't let this go to your head, though; a sustained assault can run you out of tokens, and then you might be in trouble. Instead, you should take advantage of any lull in the fighting to slip away and get back to doing what you do best.


Last updated: 22 May 2006

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