OSR: Class: Thieves

So Fighters get to fight really, really well. Better than anyone. They also get camp followers.
And Knights get to fight but, more importantly, they start in the Second Estate.
And Wizard get to be wizards, and everyone knows that's just awesome.

What do Thieves get? How can I make rolling up a Thief in the GLOG system as cool as rolling up a Wizard?

1508, Tianhua Xu

Class: Thief

Starting Equipment: leather armour, lockpicks, dagger
Starting Skill: see below. You also gain the Locksmith and Pickpocket skills when you take your first Thief template.

A: Always Prepared, the Heist
B: Sharp as a Knife, Lucky
C: Opportunist
D: Very Lucky, Great Escape

You gain +1 Stealth for each Thief template you possess.

Always Prepared
In town, you may spend any amount of money to buy an Unlabeled Package. When the package is unwrapped, you declare what it contains, as long as the contents comprise the appropriate number of Inventory Slots, don’t cost more than you originally paid, and are available in town. You can put multiple items inside a large Unlabeled Package, including smaller Unlabeled Packages. You can have no more than two Unlabeled Packages at a time.

The Heist
Once per adventure or dungeon or campaign arc, you can gain 10% bonus XP for any one valuable item you personally stole. It has to pass through your hands, or you have to be the one masterminding the theft. Unguarded or abandoned treasure does not count (unless there are traps). For example, a gem worth 1,000gp would give you 100 extra XP. If the bonus XP would cause you to gain a Level, you instead gain the exact amount needed to gain the level.

Once per day you can reroll one of your d20 rolls, or a single Skill test.

Whenever you get a situational bonus to an Attack roll (surprise, elevation, etc) you deal an additional +1d6 Damage.

Very Lucky
You get an additional use of your Lucky ability once per day. An adjacent ally can use one of your rerolls, provided you could have plausibly assisted them.

Great Escape

Once per day, you can automatically escape from something that is restraining you and that you could plausibly escape from. This includes grapples, lynchings, and awkward social situations, but not sealed coffins.

Mechanical Notes on the Thief

My version of the Thief is almost identical to Arnold K's. I think I just changed the wording on a few entries. The Heist is a new ability but it's also fairly minor. It encourages thinking about your character as a heist-master, and that's useful.

What do Thieves do? They sneak and scout. Thieves are smarter than you and luckier than you. That's the main benefit of this class. The Fighter supports fighting. The Thief supports being really, really cunning. Unlabeled Packages and Heists reward good schemes.

Side Note: you could easily have a Barbarian 2 Thief 2 for a surprisingly cunning smash-and-grab artist. Less this and more this. Or try Cleric 2 Thief 2 for a professional relic thief.

What did you say? Repeat if you can. Roman Kupriyanov.

What Did You Do?

This class does not have any gender restrictions, but some of the skills below have separate tables. It's less about who you are and more what you did, and how you dealt with the consequences. Obviously, you don't dress like a thief. Your armour is standard military gear or a home-made equivalent. Your Estate will vary depending on your result background and inclination.

Starting Skill: 1. Bandit, 2. Scum, 3. Soldier, 4. Farmer, 5. Frontier, 6. Unusual

1. You were part of a band of wild mercenaries, dispersed by the actions of a noble lord and his army. Start with a bow and 20 arrows.
2. You specialized in ambushing merchants and their caravans. Start with a red silk cloak, a fur hat, and 5sp.
3. You roamed the world, free of both morality and the law. You start with the "Foreign Parts" skill. Make up 1d6 ludicrous lies.
4. Your band focused on the highest-value knights and their treasure. Start with 1gp and intimate knowledge of how to get a dagger through plate armour. If you are ever caught by a certain lord or his vassals, you will die a truly horrific death.
5. After acquiring 100gp, your fellow bandits agreed to split the treasure in a very odd way. You start with 1gp, the "Logic" skill, and a strong distrust of other outlaws.
6. You lived in the wilderness, retreating to inhospitable areas when threatened. You are instantly alert if woken. You can also pick out a good line of march over any terrain. Start with a floppy waterproof hat.

You gain the skill listed, not the "Scum" skill (which isn't a real skill anyway).

1. You sold your body, or assisted others in the same trade. Start with the "Prostitute" profession and skill and a makeup (disguise) kit.

2. You sold false relics, fake indulgences, counterfeit herbs, broken magic items, or other trinkets of dubious value. Start with the "Vagabond" skill and 3 trinkets worth 1sp each (to the credulous) or nothing (to the wary and skeptical).
3. You were the one the watchmen hunted for and feared. In a great city, you robbed and maimed by cover of darkness, attacking travelers, priests, and nobles alike. Start with 5sp and the "Street Rat" skill.
4. You were once a good and diligent worker, but greed, a secret vice, or unfortunate circumstances drew you to a life of crime. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill and item listed.
5. There was no lie you wouldn't tell, no slander you wouldn't spread. Make up 1 rumour about each other PC. Players may vote (secretly or openly) on which rumour is true. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill listed.
6. You are veryvery, eccentric. You don't consider yourself a thief - it's merely that most of Creation belongs to you, or should be organized in a better way. Start with as many items as you can write down starting now before the GM can roll a 6 on a d6. Items worth more than 1gp will be rejected. You gain no skill.

1. You were recruited for a distant war but were caught looting, against your lord's express command. Sentenced to be hanged, you escaped and fled, leaving your looted treasure behind. Start with a bow and 20 arrows.
2. You served as a mercenary and performed some daring looting operations in locked fortresses and churches. Start with 30' of rope and a grappling hook.
3. You were a sapper and a tunnel rat, but gave up that dangerous profession for life outside the law. Start with a shovel and absolutely no fear of enclosed spaces.
4. When the War ended, your pay was half of what you'd been promised. You turned to petty crime in revenge. Start with 5sp and a club.
5. You were recruited for a distant and ill-favoured war, but you faked your own death and fled to a distant town. You hope to begin your life anew. Start 2cp and a travelling cloak.
6. You worked as a kidnapper, targeting valuable nobles or citizens displaced by the war. Your trade made you many enemies. Start with manacles and 1gp.

1. You followed your husband or lover to war but returned alone. You picked up a few useful skills along the way and don't intend to return to your former life. Start with a handcart and a second dagger.
2. You were born and raised in a soldier's camp and have never know another life. You fear neither the law nor the Church. Start with 3 wineskins and absolutely shocking language.
3. You were part of a mercenary company and a respectable brawler, fence, and leader. Start with 1d4 camp followers.
4. You know exactly how to slit someone's throat so that they don't make a sound, and six different places to stab someone in the back. When attacking a totally surprised target, add +1 damage.
5. During the siege of your city, you robbed the dead and the dying and escaped with a vast treasure hoard. One of your companions betrayed you and left you for dead. Also, roll at least once on this table. You start with a gem worth 1gp.
6. You saw the war as an opportunity to profit. Start with 1 camp follower. No matter your Estate, you can read and write.

1. Your lord forced you into a life of unjust service, either on his estates or in a War. You were eventually able to escape. You start with 3 extra rations. Roll on this table to accumulate other wrongs and grievances.
2. You stole something so minor and inconsequential it is hardly worth mentioning, save that the guilt haunts you to this day. d6: 1. candle stub, 2. eggs, 3. loaf of bread, 4. flowers, 5. bit of ribbon, 6. cup of beer. You can steal anything and commit any crime provided it does not resemble the object of your guilt. Gain a +2 Save vs Fear, but Save vs Fear with a -4 penalty if confronted with something that resembles your guilt-causing object.
3. You are the [d10+4]th child of a poor farmer. You needed to leave or risk starvation. Expect terrible letters from home. If all your older siblings die you can inherit the farm.
4. You believe you are cursed. One year, your crops withered, your friends turned against you, your cattle melted, and your house burned down. You were expelled from your village. Start with the ability to sense magic (as a wizard).
5. While pretending to be an simple farmer, you are in fact the agent of another power. You might work for a noble, a bishop, a cult, or a rich merchant. You can read and write. Instead of the "Farmer" skill, start with the "Spy" skill.
6. You abandoned your family and land to seek wealth, glory, or a better position. Start with 2 extra rations and a lingering sense of guilt.

1. You lived in a lawless border region. Your lord changed every few years. Castles were demolished and rebuilt. Farms were plundered. Start with a horse and a good eye for the weather.
2. The region where you grew up was so poor iron and worked leather were rarities. Start with a complete ignorance of civilization. Anything more complicated than a saddle fascinates you and marks you as a near-savage. Rather than +10% bonus XP for spending money on purely frivolous things, you gain +15%.
3. You belonged to a clan of wreckers. Start with the False Light cantrip (see below) and the ability to swim.
4. You lived among a clan of cattle-thieves, fence-breakers, and rustlers. You can instantly assess the health and market value of any domesticated animal. You are missing two fingers from your left hand, marking you as an outlaw (in whatever region you came from).
5. You were hired by a village to protect them when their lord could not or would not. If you betrayed the village, start with 1gp (in loose coins and trinkets). If you helped them, start with 1 extra ration and a goat.
6. You lived in the high wilderness, robbing anyone who passed into your territory. Start with a bow, 20 arrows, and a deep-seated fear of druids.

You gain the skill listed, not the "Unusual" skill (which isn't a real skill anyway).
1. You were an apprentice to a wizard, but he considered you talentless and cast you out. Start with 1 random cantrip from a random wizard school and the "Literature" skill. You can read and write.
2. A divine vision commanded you to abandon your past life and roam the world. There is a 1-in-10 chance this divine vision was actually true. Otherwise, it was caused by poor diet, evil spirits, or your own overactive imagination. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill and item listed.
3. The life of an outlaw attracted you for unusual reasons. Start with the "Poet" skill. You can read and write.
4. You were struck by lightning once and survived. Gain a +2 bonus to Charisma when interacting with water or lightning elementals. You have no idea this bonus exists. You may be struck by lightning again, if circumstances permit it. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill and item listed.
5. You committed a terrible crime, but thanks to the intercession of a traveling Paladin, you were exiled instead of being executed. Start with the "Farmer" skill and strong feelings about religion.
6. Theft can never be secure if witnesses remain. Start with the "Poisoner" skill and 3 vials of poison (d6).
The Alpine, TheMichaelMacrae

Cantrip: Wrecker
You can only learn and cast this cantrip if you were raised in a wrecker clan. It does not require any magic dice or other magical aptitude. You can cast it once per night, and only at night, targeting a lantern or torch. Any sentient creature who sees the light of the lantern, at any distance, must Save or believe it is the light of a ship, safe at harbour. If there is no possible reason for the light to come from a ship (you cast it underground, miles from a river), anyone affected may make a new Save every minute. If a creature does not know what a ship is, the spell provides a helpful but deeply confusing mental image. The cantrip ends at dawn or when the light is extinguished.


  1. How is a skill improved? You thieves are better at improving skills by testing them, but how is that done?

    1. I have tested three different systems and chucked them all out. I'm going to edit the entry.
      Old version (for reference): "Sharp as a Knife; When you tests skills to improve them, you may treat your Intelligence as if it were 16. This ability doesn’t apply to knowledge skills like History or Literature."