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Thief

Life is an endless adventure for those who live by their wits. Ever just one step ahead of danger, thieves bank on their cunning, skill, and charm to bend fate to their favor. Never knowing what to expect, they prepare for everything, becoming masters of a wide variety of skills, training themselves to be adept manipulators, agile acrobats, shadowy stalkers, or masters of any of dozens of other professions or talents. Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered thieves, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many thieves favor cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilization, some embrace lives on the road, journeying far, meeting exotic people, and facing fantastic danger in pursuit of equally fantastic riches. In the end, any who desire to shape their fates and live life on their own terms might come to be called thieves.
Role: Thieves excel at moving about unseen and catching foes unaware, and tend to avoid head-to-head combat. Their varied skills and abilities allow them to be highly versatile, with great variations in expertise existing between different thieves. Most, however, excel in overcoming hindrances of all types, from unlocking doors and disarming traps to outwitting magical hazards and conning dull-witted opponents.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d8
Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gil (average 140 gil.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gil or less.
Class Skills
The thief’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points Per Level: 8 + Int modifier

Table: Thief

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
Type3/4BadGoodBad
1st+0+0+2+0Finesse Training, Mark, Trapfinding, Sneak Attack (+1d6), Limit Breaks
2nd+1+0+3+0Thief Talent, Evasion
3rd+2+1+3+1Danger Sense (+1), Finesse Training, Measure the Mark, Sneak Attack (+2d6)
4th+3+1+4+1Debilitating Injury, Thief Talent, Uncanny Dodge
5th+3+1+4+1Improved Theft (+2), Sneak Attack (+3d6), Thief’s Edge
6th+4+2+5+2Danger Sense (+2), Thief Talent
7th+5+2+5+2Skilled Liar, Sneak Attack (+4d6)
8th+6/+1+2+6+2Thief Talent, Improved Uncanny Dodge
9th+6/+1+3+6+3Danger Sense (+3), Improved Theft (+4), Distraction, Sneak Attack (+5d6)
10th+7/+2+3+7+3Thief Advanced Talent, Mug, Thief’s Edge
11th+8/+3+3+7+3Finesse Training, Ambush, Sneak Attack (+6d6)
12th+9/+4+4+8+4Danger Sense (+4), Thief Advanced Talent
13th+9/+4+4+8+4Improved Theft (+6), Skirmisher, Sneak Attack (+7d6)
14th+10/+5+4+9+4Thief Advanced Talent
15th+11/+6/+1+5+9+5Danger Sense (+5), Theft Mastery, Sneak Attack (+8d6), Thief’s Edge
16th+12/+7/+2+5+10+5Thief Advanced Talent
17th+12/+7/+2+5+10+5Improved Theft (+8), Hide in Plain Sight, Sneak Attack (+9d6)
18th+13/+8/+3+6+11+6Danger Sense (+6), Thief Advanced Talent
19th+14/+9/+4+6+11+6Finesse Training, Shadow Step, Sneak Attack (+10d6)
20th+15/+10/+5+6+12+6Thief Advanced Talent, Master Strike, Thief’s Edge

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the thief.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Thieves are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, shortbow, and shortsword. Thieves are proficient with light armor, but not with any type of shields.

Limit Breaks (Su)

At 1st level, the thief receives the Limit Breaks (Perfect Dodge and Vanish).

Perfect Dodge (Su): This Limit Break makes the thief extremely agile. Any melee or range attacks automatically misses unless a natural roll of 20 is rolled, and even then, the critical threat is unconfirmed unless another natural roll of 20 is rolled. Any spells that require a Reflex saving throw are automatically made. This lasts for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four thief levels after 1st. This limit break requires only a swift action.

Vanish (Su): This Limit Break makes the thief invisible for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four thief levels after 1st. While invisible, the thief can make attacks as normal and remain invisible. The thief also receives a + 1d6 sneak attack bonus + an additional 1d6 per four thief levels after 1st while under this Limit Break. This limit break requires only a swift action.

Sneak Attack (Ex)

If a thief can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The thief’s attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the thief flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every 2 thief levels thereafter. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. This additional damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit. With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (such as a sap, unarmed strike, or whip), a thief can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack—not even with the usual –4 penalty. The thief must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A thief cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with total concealment.

Trapfinding (Ex)

A thief adds half her level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks (minimum +1). A thief can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A thief who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.

Finesse Training (Ex)

At 1st level, a thief gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. In addition, starting at 3rd level, she can select any one type of weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse (such as rapiers or daggers). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Whenever she makes a successful melee attack with the selected weapon, she adds her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength modifier to the damage roll. If any effect would prevent the thief from adding her Strength modifier to the damage roll, she does not add her Dexterity modifier. The thief can select a second weapon at 11th level and a third at 19th level.

Mark (Ex)

At 1st level, a thief gains the ability to measure a creature’s capabilities with a look, sizing him up as a potential target for cons, robbery, or combat. The thief must spend a full-round action observing a target, and must succeed at a Perception check against a DC of 10 + the target’s character level. If she succeeds, the thief learns the target’s class, level, and ability modifiers. If the target is in disguise and its Disguise check exceeds 10 + its character level, the Perception DC is instead equal to the Disguise check. Failure at this check means the thief is not able to accurately gauge her target, while failure by 5 or more leads to false information.

Observing someone in this manner also designates that person as the thief’s mark, granting the thief a number of bonuses against them. A thief gains a +2 bonus to Perception, Bluff, Sleight of Hand, and Steal combat maneuver checks made against her mark. A thief also gains a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made against her mark. These bonuses increases to +3 at 7th level, +4 at 13th level, and +5 at 19th level.

A thief must keep her attention focused on her mark, and suffers a –2 penalty to her AC except against attacks made by her mark, and also suffers a -4 penalty to Perception checks made against anyone but her mark. Once a thief has designated a mark, she must maintain that creature as her mark each round with a free action.

Evasion (Ex)

At 2nd level, a thief can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the thief is wearing light armor, or no armor. A helpless thief (such as one who is unconscious or paralyzed) does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Thief Talents

As a thief gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level, a thief gains one thief talent. She gains an additional thief talent for every 2 levels of thief attained after 2nd level. A thief cannot select an individual talent more than once. Talents marked with an asterisk add effects to a thief’s sneak attack. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual attack, and the decision must be made before the attack roll is made.

  • A complete list of thief talents can be found here: Thief Talents

Measure the Mark (Ex)

At 3rd level, when a thief makes a Sleight of Hand check to take something from a creature, the target makes its Perception check before the thief makes her Sleight of Hand check, and the thief knows the Perception check result. She can decide whether or not to make the check based on the results of the target’s Perception check. If the thief elects not to make the check, she can make a Bluff check, opposed by the target’s Sense Motive, to prevent the target from noticing the attempt.

Danger Sense (Ex)

At 3rd level, a thief gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. In addition, she gains a +1 bonus on Perception checks to avoid being surprised by a foe. These bonuses increase by 1 every 3 thief levels thereafter (to a maximum of +6 at 18th level). This ability counts as trap sense for the purpose of any feat or class prerequisite, and can be replaced by any archetype class feature that replaces trap sense. The bonuses gained from this ability stack with those gained from trap sense (from another class).

Debilitating Injury (Ex)

At 4th level, whenever a thief deals sneak attack damage to a foe, she can also debilitate the target of her attack, causing it to take a penalty for 1 round (this is in addition to any penalty caused by a thief talent or other special ability). The thief can choose to apply any one of the following penalties when the damage is dealt.

  • Bewildered: The target becomes bewildered, taking a –2 penalty to AC. The target takes an additional –2 penalty to AC against all attacks made by the thief. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalty to AC against attacks made by the thief increases by –2 (to a maximum of –8).
  • Disoriented: The target takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls. In addition, the target takes an additional –2 penalty on all attack rolls it makes against the thief. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalty on attack rolls made against the thief increases by –2 (to a maximum of –8).
  • Hampered: All of the target’s speeds are reduced by half (to a minimum of 5 feet). In addition, the target cannot take a 5-foot step.

These penalties do not stack with themselves, but additional attacks that deal sneak attack damage extend the duration by 1 round. A creature cannot suffer from more than one penalty from this ability at a time. If a new penalty is applied, the old penalty immediately ends. Any form of healing applied to a target suffering from one of these penalties also removes the penalty.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 4th level, a thief can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Improved Theft (Ex)

At 5th level, a thief gains a +2 competence bonus on Steal combat maneuvers and any Sleight of Hand skill checks. She gains an additional +2 bonus for every four levels after 5th.

Thief’s Edge (Ex)

At 5th level, a thief has mastered a single skill beyond that skill’s normal boundaries, gaining results that others can only dream about. She gains the skill unlock powers for that skill as appropriate for her number of ranks in that skill. At 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, she chooses an additional skill and gains skill unlock powers for that skill as well.

Skilled Liar (Ex)

At 7th level, whenever a thief uses Bluff to attempt to deceive someone, she gains a bonus on the opposed roll equal to 1/2 her thief level (minimum +1).

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

A thief of 8th level can no longer be flanked; she can react to opponents on opposite sides of her as easily as she can react to a single attacker. This defense denies creatures the flanking bonus by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more thief levels than the target does.

Distraction (Ex)

At 9th level, whenever a thief is detected while using Stealth, she can immediately attempt a Bluff skill check opposed by the Sense Motive skill of the creature that spotted her. If this check succeeds, the target assumes that the noise was something innocent and disregards the detection. This only functions if the creature cannot see the thief. This ability can only be used once during a given Stealth attempt. If the same creature detects the thief’s presence again, the ability has no effect.

Mug (Ex)

At 10th level, as a standard action, a thief can make an attack and if the attack deals sneak attack damage, the thief can make a free Steal combat maneuver to take an item from the creature during combat; otherwise this ability can only be used in a surprise round before the target has acted. If the attack is successful, the target takes a –5 penalty on the Perception check to notice the theft.

Ambush (Ex)

At 11th level, a thief becomes fully practiced in the art of ambushing. When she acts in the surprise round, she can take a move action, standard action, and swift action during the surprise round, not just a move or standard action.

Thief Advanced Talents

At 10th level and every 2 levels thereafter, a thief can choose one of the following advanced talents in place of a thief talent.

Skirmisher (Ex)

At 13th level, whenever a thief moves more than 10 feet in a round and makes an attack action, the attack deals sneak attack damage as if the target was flat-footed. If the thief makes more than one attack this turn, this ability only applies to the first attack. Foes with uncanny dodge are immune to this ability.

Theft Mastery (Ex)

At 15th level, the thief can take 10 on Sleight of Hand skill checks even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex)

At 17th level, the thief can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.

Shadow Step (Su)

At 19th level, as a move action, the thief can step into the shadows and appear out of a shadow within 30 feet.

Master Strike (Ex)

Upon reaching 20th level, a thief becomes incredibly deadly when dealing sneak attack damage. Each time the thief deals sneak attack damage, she can choose one of the following three effects: the target can be put to sleep for 1d4 hours, paralyzed for 2d6 rounds, or slain. Regardless of the effect chosen, the target receives a Fortitude save to negate the additional effect. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + half of the thief’s level + her Intelligence modifier. Once a creature has been the target of a master strike, regardless of whether or not the save is made, that creature is immune to that thief’s master strike for 24 hours. Creatures that are immune to sneak attack damage are also immune to this ability.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have thief as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • Aegyl: Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using sneak attack (maximum bonus of +5). This does not stack with the Critical Focus feat.
  • Al Bhed: The thief gains +1/6 of a new thief talent.
  • Bangaa: Add a +1 bonus on the thief’s sneak attack damage rolls during the surprise round or before the target has acted in combat.
  • Burmecian: Add a +1/2 bonus on Escape Artist checks.
  • Dwarf: Add a +1/2 bonus on Disable Device checks regarding stone traps and a +1/2 bonus to trap sense regarding stone traps.
  • Elvaan: Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using sneak attack (maximum bonus of +5). This does not stack with the Critical Focus feat.
  • Galka: Add +1 to the thief’s CMD when resisting a grapple or reposition attempt.
  • Garif: Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using sneak attack (maximum bonus of +5). This does not stack with the Critical Focus feat.
  • GoblinAdd +1 to the thief’s CMD when resisting a grapple or reposition attempt.
  • GriaAdd +1 to the number of times per day the thief can cast a cantrip or 1st-level spell gained from the minor magic or major magic talent. The number of times this bonus is selected for the major magic talent cannot exceed the number of times it is selected for the minor magic talent. The thief must possess the associated thief talent to select these options.
  • Hume: The thief gains +1/6 of a new thief talent.
  • Hypello: Add a +1/2 bonus on Perception checks while in a forest or swamp.
  • Mandragora: Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using sneak attack (maximum bonus of +5). This does not stack with the Critical Focus feat.
  • Mithra: Add a +1/2 bonus on stealth checks and perception checks made in dim light or darkness.
  • Moogle: The thief gains a +1/2 bonus on Disable Device and Use Magic Device checks related to glyphs, symbols, scrolls, and other magical writings.
  • Nu Mou: The thief gains a +1/2 bonus on Disable Device and Use Magic Device checks related to glyphs, symbols, scrolls, and other magical writings.
  • Seeq: Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using sneak attack (maximum bonus of +5). This does not stack with the Critical Focus feat.
  • Tarutaru: The thief gains a +1/2 bonus on Disable Device and Use Magic Device checks related to glyphs, symbols, scrolls, and other magical writings.
  • Tonkin: Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using sneak attack (maximum bonus of +5). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus.
  • Varg: Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks.
  • Viera: The thief gains 1/6 of a new thief talent.
  • Yagudo: Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks and Perception checks made in dim light or darkness.

Archetypes