Thief Action Dice

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bennedict69
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Thief Action Dice

Post by bennedict69 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:22 am

Please correct me if I'm misinterpreting this in the DCC core book, in the Thief class section, under 'Ability Dice', it states that Ability Dice can be used for attacks and Skill Checks. No other class has this. Does this mean that Thieves can use a D20(if that is their ability die) to make any and all skill checks, effectively making them trained in everything? I was assuming this was the way it worked, because otherwise, the thief class seems sort of underwhelming to most of the other classes. And if this was meant to be only for thief skills, wouldn't it state that? And is there really a need to state that you use a D20(or other action dice) for thief skills, as that is the norm? And if not, why are they the only class that states it?

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:46 am

The biggest section in the Class write up is "Thief Skills", so one might assume those are the skills that the Action Dice section is referring to...

However, the interpretation that they can perform ALL skills with a d20 is an interesting one. Given that some folks clamp down on how often a Thief can perform a backstab, thus taking away part of their utility, that interpretation would go some way toward raising their usefulness back up...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
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Kuruz, Mendicant, N • AC 8, 4 hp • R-1, F0, W0 • S9 A8 S9 P11 I16 L8
Zend, Grave Digger, L • AC 9, 3 hp • R-1, F0, W1 • S14 A6 S9 P13 I13 L6
Mercer, Outlaw, N • AC 12, 2 hp • R0, F-1, W1 • S7 A9 S6 P13 I8 L13
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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Jim Skach » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:01 am

GnomeBoy wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:46 am
The biggest section in the Class write up is "Thief Skills", so one might assume those are the skills that the Action Dice section is referring to...

However, the interpretation that they can perform ALL skills with a d20 is an interesting one. Given that some folks clamp down on how often a Thief can perform a backstab, thus taking away part of their utility, that interpretation would go some way toward raising their usefulness back up...
Now I'm interested in the discussion about how often the thief can use backstab. What are the opposing views?

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:52 am

bennedict69 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:22 am
Please correct me if I'm misinterpreting this in the DCC core book, in the Thief class section, under 'Ability Dice', it states that Ability Dice can be used for attacks and Skill Checks. No other class has this. Does this mean that Thieves can use a D20(if that is their ability die) to make any and all skill checks, effectively making them trained in everything? I was assuming this was the way it worked, because otherwise, the thief class seems sort of underwhelming to most of the other classes. And if this was meant to be only for thief skills, wouldn't it state that? And is there really a need to state that you use a D20(or other action dice) for thief skills, as that is the norm? And if not, why are they the only class that states it?
As characters achieve higher levels, they gain additional Action Dice. What those Dice can be used for is part of the class features.

A warrior can make an extra attack, but cannot both attack and try a skill check. A wizard can cast an extra spell, but cannot make two attacks.

Also, consider that, while any class can attempt a spell check, a warrior cannot do this in combat, where his Action Dice come into play.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:54 am

Jim Skach wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:01 am
Now I'm interested in the discussion about how often the thief can use backstab. What are the opposing views?
"When attacking a target from behind or when the target is otherwise unaware". Whenever this happens, the backstab happens.

A good Thief/Warrior duo has the warrior use her Deed to set up the thief for a backstab.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Jim Skach » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:31 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:54 am
Jim Skach wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:01 am
Now I'm interested in the discussion about how often the thief can use backstab. What are the opposing views?
"When attacking a target from behind or when the target is otherwise unaware". Whenever this happens, the backstab happens.

A good Thief/Warrior duo has the warrior use her Deed to set up the thief for a backstab.
I'm with you 100%. My question now is what is the other view - what is the limit on backstab?

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by BanjoJohn » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:38 am

Some Judges, including some I have experienced personally, will not allow you to use backstab with another character acting as a distraction. Or say... don't let you "backstab" with a ranged weapon, even though it is technically allowed by the rules.

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Marzio Muscedere
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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Marzio Muscedere » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:46 am

BanjoJohn wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:38 am
Some Judges, including some I have experienced personally, will not allow you to use backstab with another character acting as a distraction. Or say... don't let you "backstab" with a ranged weapon, even though it is technically allowed by the rules.
Boo on this...if a thief makes the necessary sneak check or the players come up with a great combo deed why not? I mean who doesn't want more Crits in their game. Crits are super cool...

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Jim Skach » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:51 am

I have two thieves. One of them, just out of humor during play starting talking about, like tumbling out of falls or something. Every. Time.

I had already changed the way Thief Skills work (making it a generic progression by just giving them the points and letting them allocate with no more than three on any one per level). So I just added acrobatics as a skill.

Now the thief is doing Matrix like maneuvers (with appropriate check and a description of what will happen if it fails) to get behind enemies in a surprising manner...why would I not encourage the and give backstab?

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:04 pm

BanjoJohn wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:38 am
Some Judges, including some I have experienced personally, will not allow you to use backstab with another character acting as a distraction. Or say... don't let you "backstab" with a ranged weapon, even though it is technically allowed by the rules.
Marzio and Jim are right to ridicule those judges.

But sometimes it takes a judge a while to get out of the idea that this encounter or that adventure is supposed to "go" a certain way. Eventually, if Sezrekan is kind, they will find the way.

I know that I have made bad calls at times for similar reasons.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Dehumanizer » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:30 pm

I allow thieves to backstab when (1) they are not in front of the enemy (flanking works too), and (2) the enemy is either unaware or distracted with something else, such as fighting someone else or performing an action (e.g., holding the gates open, casting spells). Action


As for thief skills, I think that table in DCC is too complex, and it doesn't relate with other difficult classes (DCs) in the game. Saving throws go up to +6, and wizards and clerics cast with their character level (CL) as bonus. So, why do thieves get crazy skill progressions? As a rule of thumb, the DCs should be 5 (easy), 10 (man's deed -- only a skilled person can normally do), 15 (feats of derring-do), and 20 (hero's work) [DCC, p. 66]. If we give more bonuses to thief skills than any other stats, we would have to increase the DCs for thieves higher than the DCs that other classes take to keep thieves activities as challenging. For example, we would have to give them DCs 20 to detect and disarm a spear trap in a dungeon, whereas we give a DC 15 for a cleric to impress the archpriest with a theological argument. This is not a "hero's work".

I rule out that if a wizard wants to identify the spell another wizard is casting, the check would be 1d20 + INT mod + CL, if a warrior wants to do so the roll would be 1d10 + INT mod, because the warrior is not trained in arcane arts. If the warrior has the occupation of being a wizard apprentice at level 0, then the character has the skill, but hasn't progressed as a wizard. So, the warrior would roll 1d20 + INT mod, and no CL modifier. DCC even mentions that normally player characters (PCs) don't progress as their CL 0 occupation, but NPCs do. It would be possible to find a level 2 blacksmith, who rolls 1d20 + INT mod +2 to identify the steel alloy "in that exotic spear head".

Hence, the thieves in my game roll 1d20 + INT mod + CL to find a trap, and 1d20 + AGI mod + CL to disarm it. CL goes for every thief skills. In order not to lose the touch that DCC gives to alignment, I rule out that some skills are known better by certain alignments. Lawful thieves (tinkers) know better how to work with mechanisms, such as locks and traps; neutral thieves (spies) are good with disguise and forgery; and chaotic thieves (assassins) are good with disguise and handling poisons. If a thief rolls a skill that his alignment is specialised with, the roll is with a higher die in the dice chain (+1d). Otherwise, if the roll is for one of these skills (lock pick, disarm traps, disguise, forgery, handle poisons) with no alignment specialisation, then the roll is done with a lower die (-1d). A lawful thief rolls 1d24 + DEX mod + CL to disarm a trap, but 1d16 + DEX mod + CL to forge a document. Other classes roll 1d10 + DEX mod without CL modifier, because they are not skilled with forgery. There is no need to write down the skills, since they are obvious related to the class.

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:31 pm

I've heard of Judges only allowing Backstab at the start of a fight, or making it harder to 're-gain' the surprise after a fight has started.

Not how I would do it, but it's out there...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com

Kuruz, Mendicant, N • AC 8, 4 hp • R-1, F0, W0 • S9 A8 S9 P11 I16 L8
Zend, Grave Digger, L • AC 9, 3 hp • R-1, F0, W1 • S14 A6 S9 P13 I13 L6
Mercer, Outlaw, N • AC 12, 2 hp • R0, F-1, W1 • S7 A9 S6 P13 I8 L13
Dejah, Ropemaker, C • AC 10, 2 hp • R0, F1, W-1 • S8 A12 S15 P7 I11 L7

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Re: Thief Action Dice

Post by Jim Skach » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:04 pm

Dehumanizer wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:30 pm
I allow thieves to backstab when (1) they are not in front of the enemy (flanking works too), and (2) the enemy is either unaware or distracted with something else, such as fighting someone else or performing an action (e.g., holding the gates open, casting spells). Action


As for thief skills, I think that table in DCC is too complex, and it doesn't relate with other difficult classes (DCs) in the game. Saving throws go up to +6, and wizards and clerics cast with their character level (CL) as bonus. So, why do thieves get crazy skill progressions? As a rule of thumb, the DCs should be 5 (easy), 10 (man's deed -- only a skilled person can normally do), 15 (feats of derring-do), and 20 (hero's work) [DCC, p. 66]. If we give more bonuses to thief skills than any other stats, we would have to increase the DCs for thieves higher than the DCs that other classes take to keep thieves activities as challenging. For example, we would have to give them DCs 20 to detect and disarm a spear trap in a dungeon, whereas we give a DC 15 for a cleric to impress the archpriest with a theological argument. This is not a "hero's work".

I rule out that if a wizard wants to identify the spell another wizard is casting, the check would be 1d20 + INT mod + CL, if a warrior wants to do so the roll would be 1d10 + INT mod, because the warrior is not trained in arcane arts. If the warrior has the occupation of being a wizard apprentice at level 0, then the character has the skill, but hasn't progressed as a wizard. So, the warrior would roll 1d20 + INT mod, and no CL modifier. DCC even mentions that normally player characters (PCs) don't progress as their CL 0 occupation, but NPCs do. It would be possible to find a level 2 blacksmith, who rolls 1d20 + INT mod +2 to identify the steel alloy "in that exotic spear head".

Hence, the thieves in my game roll 1d20 + INT mod + CL to find a trap, and 1d20 + AGI mod + CL to disarm it. CL goes for every thief skills. In order not to lose the touch that DCC gives to alignment, I rule out that some skills are known better by certain alignments. Lawful thieves (tinkers) know better how to work with mechanisms, such as locks and traps; neutral thieves (spies) are good with disguise and forgery; and chaotic thieves (assassins) are good with disguise and handling poisons. If a thief rolls a skill that his alignment is specialised with, the roll is with a higher die in the dice chain (+1d). Otherwise, if the roll is for one of these skills (lock pick, disarm traps, disguise, forgery, handle poisons) with no alignment specialisation, then the roll is done with a lower die (-1d). A lawful thief rolls 1d24 + DEX mod + CL to disarm a trap, but 1d16 + DEX mod + CL to forge a document. Other classes roll 1d10 + DEX mod without CL modifier, because they are not skilled with forgery. There is no need to write down the skills, since they are obvious related to the class.
Can I ask why you play this game?

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