What if Greyhawk...but good?I've begun editing Marcia's OD&D retroclone Fantastic Medieval Campaigns. Since the aim of her project is not clarification or interpretation, but rather fidelity to the original text, we have been having a fair amount of conversations about the game's exasperating idiosyncrasies. One such conversation turned to the possibility of presenting an alternate universe take of Supplement I: Greyhawk that is actually, well, good. In particular, how to design a thief class that does not take away from the core locus of play in OD&D to the extent that the version released in our timeline does, while still retaining a design sensibility that doesn't feel out of place in the 1974 context. This is my take on such a challenge that emerged from our conversations.
|Art by Dave Trampier|
3) Thieves may be awarded experience above a 1 to 1 basis.
4) Thieves may be awarded experience above what is required to increase them by one level in a session.
With that in mind, I removed abilities that would ostensibly make thieves "better" at thieving than other character types (though thieves are, notoriously, awful at thieving as written in the original rules). With that in mind, given that every character ought to be a "thief", I also think it applicable to allow backstab bonuses for all characters. Instead, thieves are rather rewarded more, and thus incentivized more, for thieving. They are thieves not be virtue of ability, but by desire.