Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I am a Thief, A Thieves' Guild Review Part III

In the last post I talked about the rules and now we get to what is the heart of the book, the scenarios.  

First off they explain the stat block. Yes Thieves Guild has stat blocks however they are formated to fit on one line. While a bit dense they look straight forward to read and use.

Next are three chapters of Scenarios;

Bandits and Highway Adventures
Cat Burglaries and Second Story Adventures
Armed Robbery and Pursuit Adventures.

Bandits and Highway Adventures
The initial part of the chapter explains that the players should pick a time of day and terrain in which to do their activities. The choices for time is Daylight or Night. For terrain the players can pick Clear, Woods, or Mountains. From this the referee rolls to see what is encounters. The possibilities include Farmers, Merchants, Travelers, or Warriors. The initial part concludes with a reminder that there should be the occasional encounter with the local wildlife (i.e. monsters) and that spending too much time in one area means the encounters will get tougher as guards are hired and patrols increased.

For Farmers we get a series of short tables to roll up a group of farmers. While farmer do not carry much in the way of luxury good they do have food and livestock that are useful for subsistence. Sometime the players will lucky and the farmer is heading into town to buy something and has gold.

Merchants are pre-canned encounters. The listed encounters include,
 Textile Merchant,
Master Tanner,
Silversmith and Family,
Spice Merchant,
Fur Trappers,
Drogann the Weaponsmaker,
The Coppersmith,
The Jewel Speculator (toughest and most lucrative),.

Next we get into Highway Adventures and Travellers. Another set of pre-canned encounter we have

The Escaped Prisioners
The Travelling Players (a theater group). 
The Pilgrims (wow the players are being rat bastard for these guys)
The Beggars (now we are getting low)
The Royal Herald
Jarok (dumb tough fighter with little wealth)
Animal Trainer
The Household of Lady Feanori (she is a wizard and spells are given to use in the encounter)

Last are Warrior encounters. Again pre-canned encounter that include

The Company of Fanagar the Reckless
The Company of Kulloden
Grulak's Band (Uruk-hai on the march!)
The Militia on Manuevers

On nice thing about the pre-canned encounters is that they well organized with an initial description of what the players see, a GM section, and the last section (and most important) what stuff they have.

Cat Burglaries and Second Story Adventures

These scenarios take place in the City of Haven and we learn bits and pieces of the city we read the different scenarios. Also the scenarios are also more detailed than the Bandit/Highway Adventures.

The first one is Heligor's. Heligor's is a jewelry shop on the Street of Silk Veils. The scenario is more than just about the shop itself but spend a lot of time describing the street and the people living in the area.This is important because in order to pull off the job, the players have to case the player and learn the best ways of getting in and out. To do that they need to interact with those that live nearby.

Next is Magic Books & Scrolls, It lies also in Haven on Magic Street. Like Heligors it describes the surrounding area. Again the players are expected to case the place and interact with the inhabitants to find out all they can. A complication is that Magic Street is well patrolled by the Constabulary.

 Armed Robbery and Pursuit Adventures.

 Next we get into Armed Robery and Pursuit Adventures. There only one scenario called Waylaying the Couriers. But it goes into extensive details on their stops and random encounters on the streets of Haven.

Section III

Thieves Guild I wraps up the book with a series of encounter maps with some of them keyed with interesting features. A map of the Street of Silk Veils, another map of Magic Street, A map of the courier route and building maps.

Finally there are some appendix, one dealing with character conversion from Chivalry and Sorcery, Runequest, ADnD, and Tunnels and Trolls. Then there is several pages of reference charts. A character sheet, and a large scale hex map for miniatures.

Tomorrow Part IV which will have my thoughts on Thieves Guild I.


faoladh said...

The only Thieves' Guild installment I have is number VI, the pirates volume. In it, it notes that "the combat system being used is described in Thieves' Guild V", so it seems that they changed that system after some development time. I note that armor is listed as absorbing damage rather than affecting hit chances (apparently), though monsters still have a HAC0 listed.

Hedgehobbit said...

Yes, there is a painful new armor system in TG V where armor makes you easier to hit but harder to damage [a person is platemail is "virtually stationary"]. However, by the time the revised Thieves Guild rolls around in 1984, they have reverted back to the normal HAC0 vs AC roll from before.

This does highlight the downsides to their modular approach (and other such as JG's Wilderlands). You have to get them all, in order, for them to make sense.