Thursday, September 8, 2011

I think the thief is hated because he got way better in 3E.

So, in essence, to the OSR antithief lobby, I guess they seem like collaborators ? 

Really, although I dislike the way they did it (the skill system is a bolt on kludge, and very finicky to keep track of), 3E does make useful thieves that are about as usefully unrealistic/heroically exaggerated as the other classes from level one; which, as I've noted, is one hell of an improvement. 

In fact, I like playing thieves in 3E (and 3.5); but then, I also think that in many ways, 3E is the logical goal of the style of gaming that D&D got its base from:  hard core miniature and board gaming players; which includes me...and Gygax and arneson, FWIW.  My main complaint is that unless one plays it all the time, the rules get foggy in ones head, and rules spotting and searching really starts to get in the way of play.  Kind of like Star fleet battles, advanced squad leader, and vi. ( I pretty much had to give up playing SFB when I went into grad school, because there wasn't room for both.....not time, room. As in, my hard drive was over full. )

That said, the best parts of 3E for the thief are really twofold: feats, and not starting off as a bumbling fool.  The implementation of skills is lacking, but on the whole, it makes thieves (excuse me: Rogues) quite effective out the gate -sure they have corresponding gaps, but that's what being a specialist is all about.   And feats are one of the big things I like best about 3E. Really, I think that but for feat bloat, the feat system could absorb the skill system, and give a very nice system for  customizing classes. Wonder what that could offer to a rules lite or )D&D sensibility style set of rules.

Okay, that's enough for tonight.  BTW, hello to the new readers and commenters !  Nice to get an anonymous comment that isn't tying to sell me viagra.... ;)


Anonymous said...

Well, although grognard types may not like the modern thief/rogue, that is not really the reason the class is hated. It's more because it introduced a bunch of skills, and made it seem like other classes couldn't do those things. Formerly, ALL adventurers did the things a thief does, or at least felt like they could try them. Also, the presence of a thief makes DMs feel like they must add various traps of the "disableable" sort. If you go back to original D&D traps tended to mean things like dungeon oddities to throw off mappers, etc.

Peter K. said...

I've been working on a rules lite version of 3.x (very vaguely bed on Microlite20), and actually wend for a philosophy along these lines vis-a-vis skills: Skills were treated as feats and there were fewer, more universal skills. You could be Trained (skill = 1/2 level) or Expert (Skill = level) and have a Knack (+4 ranks).

A couple issues I ran into though were (as you mention) feat bloat, and the irrelevance of classes.

Admittedly I did get a fairly exhaustive list of feats online, but even after culling all the ones that were just "add a +x bonus in y case", there were still a heck of a lot of them.

As far as classes, well when you have classes based primarily on skills, you start to wonder what the point of having a class is. Why group some skills and not others? Why not just go classless?

Which is great except that I'd just started falling in love with the idea of class-like archetypes again.

C'est la vie.

Peter K. said...

Rereading my old post it strikes me apparently I never learned to spell. Should read:

I've been working on a rules lite version of 3.x (very vaguely based on Microlite20), and actually went for a philosophy along these lines vis-a-vis skills...