SubjectRe: [dq] Thief
FromJacqui Smith
DateFri, 04 Mar 2005 09:34:09 +1300
At 20:53 2/03/05, you wrote:
>Perhaps this one would be better split into Types of Thieves with a
> > range of abilities that can be done skillfully for each type. E.g.
> > Burglars get Climbing, Escapology, Picking locks, Memory, traps, etc.
> > Pick Pockets get Pickpocket, Blending, Team work, distraction etc.
> > Muggers/ highwaymen get Mugging hiding Intimidation, etc.

This does sound like a positive approach... especially if we include Tomb 
Robbers in there... which is what most adventurers have the thief skill 
for, to be honest. Or you could call them Dungeoneers to be more inclusive 
of other types of the frequently trapped and locked underground complexes 
that adventurers frequent.

It would be feasible to use a similar approach to spy I think.

For my 5sp worth on the new thief and spy skills....

On the plus side...
They provide a structure for doing things like cyphering which is not 
covered in the current rules.
They allow for different types of spies and thieves. Dungeoneers don't have 
to be pick-pockets.

On the minus side...
That structure is not as robust as the current structure.
Low-level characters are unable to attempt the broad range of subskills 
they can in the current rules.

I can also see the need for more counter-spy and anti-thief skills.... the 
sorts of things developed by palace guards and city guards respectively. It 
may be possible to cover these within the structure of Spy and Thief, but I 
don't see it yet.

Jacqui


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SubjectRe: [dq] Thief
FromErrol Cavit
DateFri, 4 Mar 2005 11:06:14 +1300
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jacqui Smith [mailto:flamis@ihug.co.nz]
> Sent: Friday, 4 March 2005 9:34 a.m.
> To: dq@dq.sf.org.nz
> Subject: Re: [dq] Thief
> 
> 
> At 20:53 2/03/05, you wrote:
> >Perhaps this one would be better split into Types of Thieves with a
> > > range of abilities that can be done skillfully for each type. E.g.
> > > Burglars get Climbing, Escapology, Picking locks, Memory, 
> traps, etc.
> > > Pick Pockets get Pickpocket, Blending, Team work, distraction etc.
> > > Muggers/ highwaymen get Mugging hiding Intimidation, etc.
> 
> This does sound like a positive approach... especially if we 
> include Tomb 
> Robbers in there... which is what most adventurers have the 
> thief skill 
> for, to be honest. 

As it's hard to use the skill as written for much else, this is partially
self-fulfilling. I'd rather move past this stage.


Or you could call them Dungeoneers to be 
> more inclusive 
> of other types of the frequently trapped and locked 
> underground complexes 
> that adventurers frequent.
> 

What (sub)skills to you think a 'Dungeoneers' needs that aren't covered in
'Burglar'? I'm struggling to think of enough to warrant a whole 'nother
type.

I'm not convinced of the benefits of grouping together _Thief_ skills. As
they are nearly always 'active', the details of the subskills can be tracked
by the player, not the GM. If it is a situation that isn't being roleplayed
in detail, then overall rank is probably enough of a guide for the GM, and
as others have said, if a specific ability is required the GM can ask.

Note the same comments don't always apply to Spy.

> It would be feasible to use a similar approach to spy I think.
> 
> For my 5sp worth on the new thief and spy skills....
> 
> On the plus side...
> They provide a structure for doing things like cyphering which is not 
> covered in the current rules.
> They allow for different types of spies and thieves. 
> Dungeoneers don't have 
> to be pick-pockets.
> 
> On the minus side...
> That structure is not as robust as the current structure.

What do you mean by 'robust'?


> Low-level characters are unable to attempt the broad range of 
> subskills 
> they can in the current rules.

This my be a irritant (probably minor) for low-level thieves/spies, but is
it bad for the game? Or even unrealistic? Just because some characters can't
do as many things doesn't mean its a bad idea. I'm much happier with the
idea that my character is a certain type of covert operator than having a
set bunch of stereotypical dungeon-basher skills (plus add-ons I've never
used like Pickpocket).



> 
> I can also see the need for more counter-spy and anti-thief 
> skills.... the 
> sorts of things developed by palace guards and city guards 
> respectively. It 
> may be possible to cover these within the structure of Spy 
> and Thief, but I 
> don't see it yet.
> 

Good point, the current Spy ability 'counterspy' doesn't really cover this
well. Although I would expect a good Palace Guard officer to be a Spy.
To throw a couple of ideas out there: Artisan - Guard (for senior NCOs and
officers)? Does it fit in Mil Sci?

Then again, do we need to provide a full-on career path for every NPC? GMs
can give alert guards better chances of spotting PCs doing stuff than random
conscript at end of shift - is a formal structure needed?

Cheers
Errol

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<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; -----Original Message-----</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; From: Jacqui Smith [<A =
HREF=3D"mailto:flamis@ihug.co.nz">mailto:flamis@ihug.co.nz</A>]</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; Sent: Friday, 4 March 2005 9:34 a.m.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; To: dq@dq.sf.org.nz</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; Subject: Re: [dq] Thief</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; At 20:53 2/03/05, you wrote:</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; &gt;Perhaps this one would be better split into =
Types of Thieves with a</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; &gt; &gt; range of abilities that can be done =
skillfully for each type. E.g.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; &gt; &gt; Burglars get Climbing, Escapology, =
Picking locks, Memory, </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; traps, etc.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; &gt; &gt; Pick Pockets get Pickpocket, =
Blending, Team work, distraction etc.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; &gt; &gt; Muggers/ highwaymen get Mugging =
hiding Intimidation, etc.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; This does sound like a positive approach... =
especially if we </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; include Tomb </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; Robbers in there... which is what most =
adventurers have the </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; thief skill </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; for, to be honest. </FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>As it's hard to use the skill as written for much =
else, this is partially self-fulfilling. I'd rather move past this =
stage.</FONT></P>
<BR>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Or you could call them Dungeoneers to be </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; more inclusive </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; of other types of the frequently trapped and =
locked </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; underground complexes </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; that adventurers frequent.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>What (sub)skills to you think a 'Dungeoneers' needs =
that aren't covered in 'Burglar'? I'm struggling to think of enough to =
warrant a whole 'nother type.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>I'm not convinced of the benefits of grouping =
together _Thief_ skills. As they are nearly always 'active', the =
details of the subskills can be tracked by the player, not the GM. If =
it is a situation that isn't being roleplayed in detail, then overall =
rank is probably enough of a guide for the GM, and as others have said, =
if a specific ability is required the GM can ask.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Note the same comments don't always apply to =
Spy.</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; It would be feasible to use a similar approach =
to spy I think.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; For my 5sp worth on the new thief and spy =
skills....</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; On the plus side...</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; They provide a structure for doing things like =
cyphering which is not </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; covered in the current rules.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; They allow for different types of spies and =
thieves. </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; Dungeoneers don't have </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; to be pick-pockets.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; On the minus side...</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; That structure is not as robust as the current =
structure.</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>What do you mean by 'robust'?</FONT>
</P>
<BR>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; Low-level characters are unable to attempt the =
broad range of </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; subskills </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; they can in the current rules.</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>This my be a irritant (probably minor) for low-level =
thieves/spies, but is it bad for the game? Or even unrealistic? Just =
because some characters can't do as many things doesn't mean its a bad =
idea. I'm much happier with the idea that my character is a certain =
type of covert operator than having a set bunch of stereotypical =
dungeon-basher skills (plus add-ons I've never used like =
Pickpocket).</FONT></P>
<BR>
<BR>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; I can also see the need for more counter-spy =
and anti-thief </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; skills.... the </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; sorts of things developed by palace guards and =
city guards </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; respectively. It </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; may be possible to cover these within the =
structure of Spy </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; and Thief, but I </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; don't see it yet.</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>&gt; </FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Good point, the current Spy ability 'counterspy' =
doesn't really cover this well. Although I would expect a good Palace =
Guard officer to be a Spy.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>To throw a couple of ideas out there: Artisan - Guard =
(for senior NCOs and officers)? Does it fit in Mil Sci?</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Then again, do we need to provide a full-on career =
path for every NPC? GMs can give alert guards better chances of =
spotting PCs doing stuff than random conscript at end of shift - is a =
formal structure needed?</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Cheers</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=3D2>Errol</FONT>
</P>

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SubjectRe: [dq] Thief
FromMartin Dickson
DateFri, 04 Mar 2005 12:13:59 +1300
Errol Cavit wrote:

> To throw a couple of ideas out there: Artisan - Guard (for senior NCOs 
> and officers)? Does it fit in Mil Sci?
>
Guard is not a good fit with Artisan. They do not create / sell products 
(e.g. carpenter) or provide easily quantifiable end consumer services 
(e.g. provide a better haircut).  The "Yield" benefit might arguably be 
of use to a Thief-taker... but again, not really that appropriate. :-)

Low ranks in Mil Sci may well be desirable.

> Then again, do we need to provide a full-on career path for every NPC?
>
No.  DQ has skills not careers.  If you want an NPC to be a Tavern 
Keeper then you select for them a number of appropriate skills; Merchant 
+ Artisan: Brewer + Weapon: Club, etc.  We do not need a Tavern Keeper 
"skill".

> GMs can give alert guards better chances of spotting PCs doing stuff 
> than random conscript at end of shift - is a formal structure needed?
>
Current skills should cover this.

Cheers,
Martin

-- 
Martin Dickson                           ph:  +64 9 3730400 x5115
User Experience Engineer                 fax: +64 9 3730401
Strategy, Research & Architecture        email: martin.dickson@peace.com
Peace Software                           http://www.peace.com


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SubjectRe: [dq] Thief
FromCosmo
DateFri, 04 Mar 2005 15:09:26 +1300
Okay, I hate to put another spin on this debate, but I'm puzzled that people are 
concerned that low level thieves are being cheated out of a couple of abilities, 
considering how dangerously incompetent they are with the seven they receive under 
the current rules.

This a clearly facetious presentation, largely the result of the horror of starting 
to Rank the skill recently, which I admit I wouldn't have bothered doing without the 
appeal of the possibility of the more flavoursome "pick and mix" option.


(maxmin)

My Rank Zero Thief (Old School)

Very average (MD15, PC10) cutpurse Joe Nickit has just started out his 
career as a Thief. Let's see what he's learnt in the last two months...

Cunning Joe has a 6% percent chance of picking that Rank 4 lock or a 2% chance 
of cracking that tricky Rank 4 safe! He's also got a 10% chance of 
spotting the traps on them, regardless of Rank, and a 5% chance of 
disarming a horrifying Rank 5 trap. Nothing will ever be safe again!

He can "detect" if there are secret doors within 5 feet, 10% of the time 
he "spends time" looking. What happens when he flukes the roll is a bit 
Zen too. "If the GMs roll on percentile dice is equal to or less than 
the success percentage, the thief senses that at least one hidden or 
secret door is in their detection area (but is not told how many)." 
What about where they are? If you know they are there somewhere are they 
still secret? And what the hell do you do if they are? Go to the council 
for the plans?

Joe can take things off someone he's bludgeoned *unconscious*, not just 
sleepy, 95% of the time! Less if he's picked a fellow Thief, an Assassin 
or Spy! Healers should avoid Ranking Thief beyond Rank 0 to enjoy this spectacular
extra chance of bringing knocked out people around so swiftly!

He has a one in five chance of summoning up his Photographic memory, 
captured while staring at something for 4 solid minutes, within 24 
hours. After that, it lies to him 80% of the time!

While Joe has a 1% chance of climbing up a 595 foot tall building, he 
is doomed to fall from a taller structure... ...apparently even he was 
only the second storey man.

He also walks very, very, slightly more quietly.

(/maxmin)


Before all the stuffing falls out of my strawman, most of these instances wouldn't 
with markedly different with the new version, but since base chances are are the most 
malleable thing in any skill, this can easily be fixed.  To get to the point, I'd 
certainly prefer to start with 4 abilities I can actually use than 7 that practicing 
will get me killed.


Speaking to that, is it possible that basic for Thief skills (if clearly not the 
minutiae) are obvious enough that there should be a base chance for "untrained" 
people, such as people without the skill or who've not yet picked it under the 
specialization model?  Actually, that's likely raise the spectre of GURPS, so let's 
not go there...

---

Regarding the results of a sessions playtesting, while some of the specializations 
leave me a bit puzzled (particularly Mugging, Distraction, Blending, and Detect 
Escape Route) but I like the ability to choose the branch of the shady path down 
which the character walks.  I didn't mind that PC's were slightly different sorts of 
thieves, as my players opted to use the abilities they had in the appropriate 
circumstance and the passive effects, such as observing "Thiefy goin's on's", are 
more attributable to general experience and Rank than a deep understanding of the 
working of a mushroom configuration five-pin barrel lock.

The fact that base chances for a nimble, highly ranked Ranked Thief are in the high 
squllions and turned out to have been slightly toned down from the original by the 
changes, I  found alarming.  But, unsurprisingly, the challenges soon scaled to cope 
with the calibre of the competition.  Or, more correctly, the ambition of the 
adventurers...

---

Regarding the "change for change's sake" objections; if the changes actually improves 
the skill  (Which to my mind they do by expanding the options available to advanced 
thief, making Ranking a more interesting prospect than just increasing a range of 
base chances, and allowing "weekend" thieves to dabble in being sneaky without going 
the full Artful Dodger) and necessitates only minor changes to existing characters 
then "not changing for not changing's sake" seems like a less useful option.  
Remember, these are proposals and they need to be kicked around and tried out.  

IF Thief as a skill isn't very broken, it is very, very boring.  
It's a description of some highly technical endeavors represented in play in a 
totally abstract number-driven fashion with binary results, which is like a combat 
without a map, monsters, or violence.  I feel that revitalization that has been lent 
to Troubadour, Courtier, and Spy can also to applied here, even if roleplaying 
doesn't lend as much to a jimmied lock or a snatched purse as it does to a diplomatic 
address or an epic poem. But it needs help.



ben


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