Thursday, December 15, 2011

Working on professional abilities for thieves

Currently I am working on the professional abilities for thieves. Thieves will enjoy various (mostly non-statistical) advantages over the course of their level progression. Here we go:

  • search for traps, secret doors, etc. automatically with every move at level 1 if thief is the main profession, do so only 30% of the time if chosen as a secondary profession while multi-classing
  • increase the carrying capacity for small items (those of small size or less or of a weight of 10 stones or less) by 90% at level 3 (thieves are good at pilfering lots of small goods)
  • move at only 80% energy cost starting at level 6
  • increase the damage multiplier on critical hits while backstabbing by +2 at level 10
  • summon a gang of followers at level 15 (which will cost 1 point of charisma permanently)
  • receive double the usual DV bonus from the dodge skill at level 21
  • +20 to speed at level 28
  • as a treasure seeker double the amount of treasure found in dungeons at level 36
  • become invisible when adjacent to walls at level 50
  • be able to teleport by spending 80% of your power point total at level 75
  • +30 DV at level 100

(I'm not yet done implementing all that stuff since the non-statistical benefits need some more effort - especially the summoning stuff that has not yet been a part of JADE but which in turn will allow summoner monsters, etc.)


  1. Im suprised there arent stealth/pickpocket/lock bonuses but it looks good anyway - various abilities (summons, teleport, DV, stab, Invi) might create interesting gameplay with this class(even only this single one). Considering very powerfull 1,3,6 level bonuses, i predict it very popular amongst initiate characters - maybe give it a little drawback:

    As a thief you shouldnt have positive fame and NPC should see you more suspicious - minus one point per level to Charisma? Inreased prizes in shops? Monsters spawn with less probability to be friendly/neutral ( to force ppl use their stealing abilities) ?

    As for summons - to find this skill usefull, their power/types/number should change with character (spellcasting/level/charisma checks?)

    75 level bonus looks pretty controversial for me - considering fighter themed characters shouldnt worry about PP they could teleport indefinitely unless you define minimum PP to do this or some ammount of turns ( := 100-Charlevel) one can use this ability.

    This is only my point of view so dont hurry and wait for more comments/suggestions :)

  2. That's an interesting view on the teleport bit flashdoom, and I'd agree. If you want't to make a thief/mage hybrid character then using this skill (despite being obsolete due to being able to cast teleport by mage, but that's another thing) seems a bit off.

    Thomas, would you consider redesigning it as something along: "Shadowstep: be able to step through shadows and teleport withing X squares. Can be used once every Y turns"?

  3. Are you considering any abilities that would be available to specific multi-class combinations?

    In fact, since multi-classing is available in JADE, I wander if you need quite so many base classes as ADOM. I mean, what is a paladin if not a multi-classed cleric/fighter?

  4. I second risu's shadow step idea. Doesn't make much sense for wiz/thief hybrid to spend 150pp (or more) on teleport.
    Thieve definitely shouldn't suffer charisma negative. Look at all the charming thieves; Robin Hood, Ali Babba,... others

  5. A high level thief is indeed the hero of commoners. How about starting at level X there would be a chance of getting free simple stuff from them by just chatting with them so that you could focus on robbing the rich? I also agree that you should enhance a thieves stealing capabilities as a professional ability.

    Also I have to say that I'm not a fan of simple attribute bonuses on high levels. Especially level 100 abilities should be very interesting in order to be sought after. It's just not worth gaining 25 levels (a ton of xp on high levels) to gain a bonus like that. How about the ability of stealing your opponent's equipment while fighting them, which has been mentioned earlier? I really like the idea since it suits thieves, it's quite powerful and even funny.

    Overall the abilities should reflect the essence of thieves (as in all professions): they steal stuff, are stealthy and fight dirty. Hope you find this helpful.

  6. I can't help but think 80% movement is very powerful at level 6 - remember that in ADOM seven leagues boots were highly regarded just because of the usefulness of being able to run from trouble so quickly. Suggesting that we swap 6 and 21, so it's
    Level 6 - Double DV bonus from dodge
    Level 21 - Movement speed 80%

    I like the idea of teleport at level 75 - it's not overpowered at all because you have to earn 75 levels of thief to get it - but 80% pp is a little unfair to mage/cleric/thief hybrids. Suggesting that class powers like this follow a "once or twice per day" rule or something like that.

    This is great otherwise. Overall I think it's quite balance because thieves are quite fragile (I struggled to keep thieves alive in ADOM compared to fighters etc!)

  7. In general, it seems the JADE thief has gotten some excellent training in agility over the ADOM thief, who was strange in that regard - on one hand, they had Alertness and the level 40 speed power, on the other hand, no Dodge. Their overall kit seemed themed around the dirty fighter who sneaks up behind you in a back alley and messes your shit up.

    Whereas class powers like increased Dodging capabilities - which mostly benefit you in an honest fight - and the summoning of followers seem to be more akin to the Robin Hood type. Which, I feel, is a different kind of thief. (Robin Hood being a Nobleman, with skills more akin to an ADOM Archer or Ranger.) The summon feels underwhelming to me anyway. If it's usable in dungeons, it breaks immersion, harshly. If it's usable in urban areas only, it's underwhelming.

    I would replace it with something like: "At level 15, other outlaws start to recognize you as one of their own. They will rarely attack you on sight, and might be easily swayed to join you for some gold and the chance to make a killing." Charisma being the decisive factor in how much you need gold to win them over as opposed to promises of profit. Basically, the druid's neutral animals combined with a bard's music - with the entrancing melodies replaced by the beautiful sound of cold hard cash.

    Eventually, this ability might be the prerequisite for your thief to start a gang in a larger town, obtaining territory and ousting the rival gangs. A high level thief would eventually rule the underworld.

  8. First of all, why do all people before me say that "80% total PP is unfair!11". It IS fair, you don't have to use it if you don't want to, and should get yourself an honestly earned spellbook of teleport if you want to cast it as a wizard/cleric/etc and not as Thief.
    Fast movement at level 6 is maybe a little overpowered - to avoid dipping in thief for 6 levels maybe it's better to switch it with 10th level ability, to encourage stealthy-stabby gameplay at early levels.
    I always hated summons that burn stats, because AI is doubtful, and stat burning hurts. Maybe worth changing it to cooldown, like "once per week you can summon..", to encourage the use of this ability.
    Why not tenfold pickpocket money instead of lvl36 ability? Or giving a chance to find rare/unique items? Having tons of money by going around doesn't seem like every thief players' dream.

  9. As for movement and teleport: 800 energy points movement was a level 12 class power in ADOM, and a very good one at that. But the ADOM thief was one of the weakest classes, since it could not do spells, and had nothing in either melee or ranged to set it apart (No Find Weakness, Dodge or Archery). Giving a JADE thief faster movement right away would help remedy this - faster movement being a great boon to hit-and-run ranged combat. Which is rather unfair against melee opponents, and therefore right up a thief's alley.

    As for the teleporting ability - level 75 seems astronomical to me. In ADOM, a level 75 thief - if one existed - would be very, very likely to have a great number of spells available, including Teleport. So the danger, to me, would be that the ability feels redundant, since spell Teleport would be so hilariously cheap in comparison. But then, we have no guarantee that spells are so easily available in JADE. It might well be that you have to actually train as a spellcaster to learn them. In that case, multiclassing would become the optimal choice thanks to the sheer power of spells, and thieves going all the way up to level 75 just to get an ability that's way worse than a spell becomes excessively unlikely.

    Come to think of it - having abilities spaced out like this might be a problem in and of itself. I don't think I'd take more than 36 levels of this thief (even that is assuming I'm greedy enough for treasure). 14 more levels to get a stunted invisibility, and 25 levels on top of that to get an extremely expensive Teleport? That's 39 levels to kind of get two spells. If a JADE wizard doesn't get a hundred times better - and more - stuff in 39 levels, JADE wizards must suck really, really hard. I suspect that no combination of level 75 and level 100 abilities is ever going to be worth taking 50 levels to get both, which makes the level range past 50 completely redundant.

    The only solution would be to space abilities much more evenly - but then there might not be enough to carry all the way to 100. I think it's a very strange decision to both double the level range AND introduce multiclassing, the more I think about it.

  10. Invisibility at 50 lvl?isn't that too late?Also,would love to see more assasin-ish\ninja stuff(One-hit KO,gun powder,that,when thrown on the floor blinds\stuns enemies,instant jumps behind the enemy,shurikens,wall-crawling affinity,blindfolded combat and so on :) )

  11. Remember that there's a good chance assassins will find their way into the game sometime soon :)

  12. When you say "increase the damage multiplier on critical hits while backstabbing by +2 at level 10," is that meant to say a 3x multiplier would become a 5x multiplier? Because that seems pretty extreme.

  13. Backstabbing was pretty extreme in ADOM too, but it also takes some effort to set up. You get one Backstabbing hit at most, and the text seems to indicate a critical hit is not guaranteed.

  14. These are all pretty sweet and nicely thematic and I like them a whole lot, but why no abilities that actually relate to stealing things? I wouldn't expect all the abilities to be related to stealing, but it would be nice to have thieves have at least one ability that would make them better at stealing.

  15. I second rho's comment and would like to add that since you said monster inventories would be a huge part in JADE, it would be wasted opportunity to NOT showcase that by omitting a thief ability that allows you to mess with it - maybe allow one inventory manipulation on unaware opponents with 100% success, so you could possibly grab that needed potion of healing off a mob. Or even better, place something harmful into the monster's inventory...

    Yeah, yeah, too much mine planting in Fallout 3, I know :)

  16. BTW, levels are unlimited in JADE. You can advance forever. Although things do tend to get costly at some point... great suggesstions anyways. I'm adapting the abilities. Blog post upcoming tonight.

  17. I think focusing more on dynamically incrementing character skills would offer some sort of solution to a few of the problems people are envisioning for the current skill trees. What I mean by dynamic is something that keeps improving with every level and not just certain levels. Every class could in my view be given many skills that keep increasing steadily over the whole course of the game, e.g. for this thief class that's stuff like skill at pickpocketing, hiding, backstabbing etc. Maybe you could convert some of the suggested one-time benefits into something that develops over time and keeps getting better and better, e.g. a thief could summon at first just one follower/helper and one more with every X levels.

    One of the advantages would be that, especially for multi-class characters, you'd slowly develop a feeling of really "being a thief" or "being a fighter". With every level gained you'd gradually and subtly start feeling more and more the effects of the path you've chosen. Maybe this would also eliminate some potential issues with balancing/ordering the suggested skills, always make it attractive to level up, and no longer needing to have a special penalty for non-main-class skills.