Monday, January 25, 2021

Maybe the Thief is Intentionally Bad

I was thinking about how thieves are bad, and then I remembered that they originated in Supplement 1, which was remarkable to me for its adversarial tone and the fact that it cared a lot about alignment.  Thieves were required to be Chaotic or Neutral, and Supplement 1 was all about giving nice things to Lawful paladins and making life hard for Chaotic characters.

Maybe the thief being bad is Working As Intended, WONTFIX.  Maybe it's just a big codified middle finger to people who play Chaotic, and we've all collectively forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. After spending loads of time trying to balance Thief in ACK and creating 5 different versions of it, I decided that default thief is the best. It happened due to a shift in my perspective on the procedure of dungeon exploration after I read an article on disarming traps with player skill rather than dice rolling. I think this is the key to understanding Thief.
    It is indeed a weak class, but not because of some moralistic design. To modern (mmo) players it can be explained as an 'expert' class. A higher difficulty setting. An opportunity to demonstrate your high skill at game. Starting out as an undergdog, relying on your cunning and game world knowledge and outliving the characters of other players who rely on purely mechanical stuff like hitpoints, or flashy special abilities or higher armor class, which is a sign of reactive position towards gameplay - being given a "win" button.
    Thief is like weak hand in poker. Same is true for low random stats, low random hitpoints or almost no money on first level. So what some individual fighter is better than you in combat, it doesn't really matter in a game where you can have hirelings and eventually run an organized crime ring and have a whole army of thugs.