We're starting up a new campaign this weekend using just the 4 core classes, and it got me thinking that in the OD&D Boxed set there were just 3 core classes - thieves didn't exist yet.
What roles did thieves fill that wasn't filled prior to their introduction?
Trap Finding? A 10' pole and some cautious players will do much better than a 1st level thief will in finding traps.
Trap Disabling? Same idea. Smart players will find ways to disable or harmlessly set off traps.
Open locks? Isn't that what a hammer is for? As for locked doors, bring your crow bar.
Climb Walls? How many walls are being climbed in dungeons anyway?
Hear Noise? Make sure you have an elf in the party and you are covered.
Pick Pockets? More trouble than it's worth.
Backstab? Almost impossible to set up in the older systems.
I've grown accustomed to thieves in the party, but it's the once core class who's absence probably won't be missed.
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