>Fantasy Archetypes: The Thief

>I’m excited about the new product from Wizards, D&D Essentials. Here’s why.

Essentials features new builds for 4e, still compatible with what has come before, but distinctly different. Most spectacular of these changes, in my mind, are the new Rogue and Fighter variants. Based on the previews I’ve seen so far, I’m especially fond of the new rogue – dubbed, “Thief.”

Since I love showing how to try different ideas using Mutants and Masterminds, I thought I’d take a look today at how we’d design a character to play like the thief – a fast moving, agile, occasionally hard hitting, agile trickster of a swordsman (or dagger master, I have yet to decide).

With a shortbow for ranged attacks. I’m SO glad that the rogue is getting this back in 4e, I have to nod to it here.

No, not that thief. . .

First, a few words about his history. We’ll need a name for our archetypical rogue; let’s call him . . . Thief. That’s a nice name for a thief, right?

I’m kidding, but since this is meant to be an archetype I can afford to leave his character a bit underdeveloped.

Our Thief is a dashing youngish human from an urban population, who lived by his wits for the earliest years of his life. As such, he’s developed a number of skills and tricks of the trade that would make him a valuable addition to any adventuring party. Unlike Aladdin, he was never lucky enough to meet Robin Williams.

Actually, running with the joke I made earlier, let’s go ahead and make this thief an Elf. I start working from the following concept: “Elven Thief,” and build towards that. I decide that my elf will have the following traits granted by his racial heritage:

Abilities: Awareness +1, Dexterity+1, Agility +1
Skills: Perception 2, Insight 2
Powers: Enhanced Advantage (Luck 2), Limited: Only attack rolls 
Low-light vision
Elven Grace: Speed 1, Improved Initiative

This gives me a 12 point racial template loosely based on the Elf of D&D 4e, but adapted slightly with my particular character in mind. This elf was raised by humans (in a city no less), so he doesn’t have much in the way of his races natural affinity for the wilderness. He’s quick on his feet, and quicker thinking. He also has his people’s natural gift for accuracy – Luck let’s him reroll the dice if he gets a bad number and hopefully get a higher one.

The finished archetype looks like this:

Thief: PL 6, 90 pp
Tradeoffs: Close Combat +2, -2 Damage, +2 Defenses, -2 Toughness

Abilities: 28 pp
Strength 0, Stamina 2, Dexterity 1, Agility 4,
Awareness 2, Intellect 1, Fighting 4, Presence 0

Advantages: 8
Jack of All Trades, Luck 2 (Limited: Only attack rolls)
, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, All Out Attack, Move-By Action, Defensive Roll 2, Improved Critical 1 (Daggers), Improved Critical 2 (Shortbow)

Shortbow: Ranged Damage 4

AE: Daggers: Strength-Based Damage 2, Improved Critical 2

: 29 pp
Athletics 8, Acrobatics 6, Perception 8, Insight 6, Close Combat (Daggers) 2, Ranged Combat (Shortbow) 7, Expertise: Streetwise 4, Persuasion 8, Sleight of Hand 9,

“Powers”: 10 pp
Elven Traits: 4 pp
Enhanced Advantage (Luck 2), Limited: Only attack rolls
Low-light vision
Elven Grace: Speed 1, Enhanced Advantage: Improved Initiative

The Way of the Streets: (Rogue Training): 6 ppAffliction 4 (Vulnerable): Action +2 (Free), Linked (To movement) Flat +1 point, No Attack Roll +1, Flaws: -2 (degree only), Check Required -1 (Acrobatics): 2/rank +1: 5 pp

Evasive: Concealment 2 (Normal Vision): Flawed: Partial -1, Limited: Must Move. 1 pp

Defenses: 15
Dodge 7, Parry 8, Toughness 4, Will 6, Fortitude 6

 And there you have it! Next time I’ll do a design journal where I’ll talk a bit about what all that means for those who aren’t M&M veterans. See you next entry, and DFTBA.


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