by Ramanan Sivaranjan on August 25, 2012
Gary Gygax introduced the world to the thief class in the first supplement to the original D&D books, Greyhawk. They of course lived on in Gygax’s magnum opus AD&D. Clearly he was unhappy with how they were being used under the loosey-goosey rules of OD&D.
Climbing Walls: This is probably the most abused thief function, although hiding in shadows vies for the distinction.
You sons of bitches. Gygax clearly wasn’t out to model spiderman when developing his thief class. To aid DMs when their players attempt to scale oil slick glass walls, the DMG includes a table–of course–that outlines how hard it is to climb up surfaces of various textures based on how slippery they are. I recently learned Gygax was an actuary, which actually explains so much about Dungeons and Dragons.
And I know you are dying to know what he has to say about hiding in shadows.
Hide In Shadows: As is plainly stated in PLAYERS HANDBOOK, this is NEVER possible under direct (or even indirect) observation. If the thief insists on trying, allow the attempt and throw dice, but don’t bother to read them, as the fool is as obvious as a coal pile in a ballroom. Likewise, if a hidden thief attempts movement while under observation, the proverbial jig is up for him or her.
I have to wonder how many times this came up in his games. I’m guessing more than once.
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