Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Swords & Wizardry: Lite "Thief" Class - Written Up

+Zach Glazar and I are going to go through the over 100 suggestions for alternate titles for the Swords & Wizardry: Light "Thief" class. We'll then pick out our 10 favorites, put up a poll and let the readers of The Tavern cast their votes. The top 3 vote getters will then go through a vetting process and one of those three are what we will go with. What's the vetting process? For me it will be "beer and burgers" and bouncing the finalists off my bartender who is a retired detective. I can't speak for Zach's vetting process. It probably involves virtual reality and a distant planet ;)

Now, for those that are wondering, here's the write up for the Swords & Wizardry: Light "Thief". Remember, Swords & Wizardry: Light only covers levels 1 through 3. After that it's expected you will want to move on to Swords & Wizardry: Complete. As such, there will be a full write up of the Light "Thief" for the Complete rules (and I am leaning towards optional rules for S&W: Light that would cover progression through level 7, but that is down the line and would probably not be "official")

The Thief is a figure in the shadows, an expert in stealth and delicate tasks.
Hit Dice: 1HD at 1st Level, 2HD at 2nd level and 2HD+1 at 3rd level
Saving Throw: 15 at 1st, 14 and 2nd and 13 at 3rd
Thieves may wear only Leather Armor. They may use any weapon.
-Thieves start with either Long Sword (1d6) and Dagger (1d6-1) or Club (1d6) and Short Sword (1d6-1) and a suit of Leather Armor AC 12 [7]

Thieves have class abilities as follows:
Backstab: When attacking with surprise and from behind the thief attacks at +4 hit and x2 damage
Hear Sounds: Thieves have a 3 in 6 to hear and identify noise through closed doors
Read Normal Languages: Thieves have a 4 in 6 chance to reads normal languages
Climb Walls: Thieves have a 5 in 6 chance to climb walls and cliffs

Thief Skills: Thieves have a 1 in 6 chance to succeed at Finding / Removing traps, Opening Locks, Picking Pockets, Hiding in Shadows and Moving Silently. Dwarves have a 2 in 6 change to Find / Remove traps, Elves have a 2 in 6 chance to Hide in Shadows / Move Silently and Halflings have a 2 in 6 Chance to Open Locks

*The next bump to the thiefly skills would take place at 4th level and every third level after that when presented for the S&W: Complete rules
** The above write up is subject to revision ;)


  1. Hurry it up, then. I like voting, even on things I have no idea about

  2. I do like the simplicity of Thief skills remaining constant for the first three levels. The d6 resolution suits this well.

  3. If thieves are not the best at thief skills is at first level they become somewhat irrelevant. Does it break the system to give them 2 in 6 on all skills and the demi humans 1 in 6 in their specialty?

    Once they hit 4th the thieve skill would jump to a 50% chance. Still not great but helpful.

    Also Not sure i understand why halflings can pick locks but not hide or move silently.

  4. Observation #1: Find/Remove Traps, Open Locks, Pick Pockets should be combined into a single skill called "Delicate Tasks & Traps" for consistency with S&W Complete.

    Observation #2: Per 0e and S&W Complete and pointed out by sevenbastard, the halfling has the same bonus for hide in shadows and move silently as open locks (which should labeled as in #1 above)

    The labeling of #1 makes a little difficult to emulate 0e exactly (Greyhawk p. 11).

  5. Delicate Tasks was broken down as it's components to make the abilities self explanatory. It's the same roll, but Delicate Tasks needs an explanation, Find / Remove Traps and Picking Pockets kinda describe themselves.

    As for the Halfling Skill adjustment, I agree. It should also apply to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently

    1. Cool, sounds reasonable. Since Delicate Tasks is in S&W Complete, a short explanation is worthwhile addition.

    2. I'm already knocking at 3k words - never realized how valuable "less" was until i tried to make S&W smaller ;)

  6. I bought S&W Core to play with my kid but I'm eager to see how this turns out!


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition