Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Worst: Thieves turned up to 11

And now for something completely different.

This is the fourth in my series of the Best & Worst bits that I have had the luck (or misfortune) to read in RPG products. Normal service will resume shortly...

In 1981 David Cook and Steve Marsh's Expert D&D rule book was published.

The highest level covered is 14th, and at 14th level Thieves have 99% success in all skills except Pick Pockets which is 125% and Hear Noise which is 1-5. Awesome.

What can the future bring for 15th level+ in the forthcoming Companion Set?

Thieves will therefore gain new abilities requiring greater skill and danger. These will include the ability to climb overhangs, upside down, ventriloquism, powers of distraction, and the ability to mimic voices.


Roll on 3 years and Frank Metzner's Companion Set finally arrives. Flick through the book to find these promised gems...

Open Locks
Find Traps
Remove Traps
Pick Pockets
Move Silently
Climb Walls
Hide in Shadows
Hear Noise

From 99% down to 58%??? What the £&*$? This is the epitomy of lame.

Unbelievably even at 25th level you aren't back up to your former status - in fact you need to wait until the Master rules come out and you rise to level 36 (!!!) before you get better than you used to be in all skills than you used to be at 14th level.

That's right: the game extends the game from 14 levels to 36 levels by... making 36th level the new 14th level.

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

In the long history of nerfing, this nerfing of the Thief has to be the nerf to end all nerfs. And the saddest thing? The thief was always the worst character class in the first place.


  1. It's like, How much black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

  2. Oops "how much more black could..."