Thieves are rogues who can open locks, steal items, hide in shadows, find and disarm traps. Given their skillset, thieves can't be lawful good. However, you'll run into many situations in game that require these thieving skills, making a thief party member essential for almost every playthrough.
Thieves can't wear any metal helmets, they wear leather or studded leather armor and can only use bucklers as shields to protect themselves. Their array of weapons consists of lightweight weapons such as long swords, short swords, katana, scimitars / wakizashi / ninjatō, daggers, throwing daggers, clubs, quarterstaves, light crossbows, shortbows, darts and slings. All of the above restrictions can be later overcome by the Use Any Item high level ability, which grant rogues access to almost all items.
All races can become a thief as a profession.
Ability scores tableEdit
|Character Ability Score||Minimum Score||Shadowdancer^^|
During character creation, rolls below the minimum value for the class will be increased to that value. This table uses the values for Humans, other Races have modified ability scores.
*Prime Requisites for Dual-classing.
^^ The Shadowdancer class kit has a different set of minimum ability scores, and has Strength and Charisma as prime requisites for Dual-classing in addition to Dexterity.
A thief gains a fixed +25 thieving skill points (numbers vary among kits) upon level up. Starting stats and subsequent play values in various thief skills are further modified by dexterity and race. At no time may you put more than 250 skill points into a skill. Therefore the only way to raise the base skill higher is by raising dexterity after 250 points have been invested into that skill. Different potions and items may be stacked up to a bonus cap of 30 to each skill. Some thieving skills have no benefit over 100 points.
|Race||Open Locks||Pick Pockets||Move Silently||Hide In Shadows||Stealth||Find Traps||Detect Illusion||Set Traps||Total||Total|
Pick Pockets Edit
A thief can steal items from characters. The chance to steal an item depends on the percentage and receives a penalty based on the weight/value of the item and the level of the target, so will often require a Pick Pockets skill well over a hundred points to steal more valuable items. May reach a base of to 295 with skill points followed by raising dexterity bonuses, and up to 325 with potions and items. 250 has been observed to have a slight chance of failure on some targets that can also be stolen from.
Not all items are stealable:
Every item entry on a creature has a set of flags as seen in game file inspectors such as Near Infinity, having either the "Not stealable" or "Undroppable" flag will prevent the stealing, while "Stolen" prevents from being sold to most vendors, also not having the "Droppable" flag on the item's own file set will prevent the item from being stealable.
The HELMET, ARMOR, SHIELD, and BOOTS slots cannot be stolen from by default; the SUMMONED slot (for magically created weapons) and the FIST slot are also restricted from being stolen from by default; the currently selected weapon/ammo cannot be stolen (hardcoded behavior), but all other weapon/ammo slots are fair game.
|Magically created weapon||–|
1 Impossible for the currently equipped weapon, alongside the active quiver if a ranged one; in Near Infinity marked with an asterisk [
|1 – 5||10||25||250||1000|
|6 – 10||17||40||400||1,750|
|16 – 40||32||15||1,550||3,250|
A thief can lockpick locks from doors and containers to open them. The chance to open a door/container depends on the difficulty of the lock and works on a threshold system - if you're within 5 points of the target lock's difficulty you have a 50% chance of bashing it successfully, while if you're equal to or greater than the lock's difficulty, it's guaranteed. Does not benefit from scores higher than 100.
Find / Disarm TrapsEdit
A thief can find traps if they activate their find traps mode. Any found traps can then be disarmed if the find/disarm trap percentage is high enough. There is no benefit to increasing this score higher than 100.
Skill usage experienceEdit
The original Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn introduces experience for these two skills: whenever thieves open a lock or disarm a trap, they gain a certain amount of experience, increasing with their level. This system is carried over into the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, though with drastically reduced numbers, due to the level cap; see the table to the right.
DISARM_TRAP" for the opening locks experience and "
PICK_LOCK" for traps; the experience that's actually gained in-game is shown correctly in the table to the right.
Move Silently / Hide In Shadows Edit
Hide In Shadows acts as the capability to hide, success rate of merging into shadows and it's easier in dark areas that shade the thief's sprite, while harder in lit ones. Move Silently is checked once a round to see if a thief is able to remain hidden, enemies being around don't seem to matter for Move Silently, nor does moving around.
All thieves can use this special ability, so long as they wear studded leather armor or less. The chance to successfully hide-in-shadows depends primarily on a thief's invested skill points into the skill, including dexterity modifier and thieving equipment that may provide bonuses such as Boots of Stealth, as well as time of day and whether the thief is standing in a shadow. Significant penalties occur when attempting to hide during daylight hours or while not in shadows. May reach a base of to 285 with skill points followed by raising dexterity bonuses, and up to 315 with potions and items. 250 has been observed to fail on some attempts when nearby npc/monsters have been facing the character.
- Contrary to in-game description, it’s not the enemies’ eyesight that prevents you from hiding in shadows, it’s YOUR sight, which means, a blinded thief is able to HIS anytime, as long as no enemies are present within the extremely narrowed sight, the same goes for Set Traps
- You may only HIS once per round, but it takes as long as 10 to 16 seconds between “Leaving Shadows” and the thief actually reveals oneself provided no breaking action is preformed, which is more than enough time to wait for the HIS button to replenish itself, so if you use the corner/blindness and make the timing right, you’ll be able to HIS again right after backstabbing
- Increasing moment speed via Boots of Speed, Oil of Speed, Haste spells helps a lot to leave enemies quickly out of thief’s sight
Thieves may attempt to dispel non-friendly illusion spells within 30 ft whenever their Find Traps skill is active. Does not receive any modifier from a thief's dexterity score. Does not benefit from scores higher than 100.
- Detect Illusion can penetrate hostile illusions protected by Spell Immunity: Divination where True Seeing fails
Set Traps Edit
Allows thief to lay a trap when outside an enemy's line of sight, also required to use traps gained by high level thief abilities. Laid traps are triggered by enemies within a fireball spell range. A maximum of 7 traps can be set in one map area. Thieves with a set snare score lower than 100 have a chance of being hurt by their own trap if they fail to set it. Does not benefit from scores higher than 100.
All melee attacks from concealment receive a -4 bonus to THAC0, but when thieves are invisible, either by Hide in Shadows or magical & item means, they can also execute a backstab by positioning themselves within roughly 90 degree arc behind an enemy then attack with fists or wielding long swords, short swords, katana, scimitars / wakizashi / ninjatō, daggers, clubs, or quarterstaves, backstabs inflict significantly more damage than a normal hit, but will break thief's invisibility.
Non-thief weapons gained through multiclassing or the Use Any Item high level ability, such as bastard swords and warhammers, are unsuitable for backstabbing thus do not receive any damage bonus, but the magical summoned melee weapons such as Shillelagh, Flame Blade, Black Blade of Disaster can be used as they are all within thief's melee weapon array.
A thief able to wear armor heavier than studded leather, either through multiclassing or the Use Any Item high level ability, may not attempt to Hide in Shadows, but may still backstab if under the effects of Invisibility and all other backstab conditions are met.
Total Backstabbing damage is [(weapon physical damage + proficiency bonus + style bonus + kit bonus + spell bonus + item bonus) x backstab multiplier + strength bonus] x critical hit multiplier
Keep in mind that some enemy types are immune to backstabbing, some are immune to critical hits, and few are immune to Time Stop.
Backstab multiplier / Level
- The highest damaging backstabing weapons are Staff of the Ram and Black Blade of Disaster
- You may constantly backstab under the effects of Mislead as long as the image isn’t dispelled
To accomplish one's goals, for good or ill, the Thief is a skilled pilferer. Cunning, nimbleness, and stealth are a thief's hallmarks. Whether a thief turns talent against innocent passersby and wealthy merchants or oppressors and monsters is a choice for the Thief to make.
- May not wear armor heavier than studded leather
- May not equip shields larger than bucklers
- May only use the following weapons: long sword, short sword, katana, scimitar, dagger, club, quarterstaff, light crossbow, shortbow, dart, sling
- May only become Proficient (one slot) in any weapon class
- May only become Proficient (one slot) in any fighting style
- May distribute 25 points per level (40 at level 1) in thieving abilities: Open Locks, Pick Pockets, Find Traps, Move Silently, Hide In Shadows, Detect Illusion, Set Traps
- Starts with base scores of 10% in Open Locks, 5% in Find Traps, 15% in Pick Pockets, 10% in Move Silently, and 5% in Hide In Shadows
- May backstab for increased damage: Lv1-4:x2 Lv5-8:x3 Lv9-12:x4 Lv13+:x5
- May use the Set Snare ability once per day. Gains one use at level 1 and an additional use every 5 levels thereafter. Set a trap in the chosen location when no hostile creatures are in sight. Traps grow more powerful with the Thief's level and can only be triggered by enemies.
- 1st level: Deals 2d8+5 missile damage
- 11th level: Deals 2d8+5 missile damage and additionally deals 2d6 poison damage per round for the next 3 rounds
- 16th level: Deals 3d8+5 missile damage and 4d8+2 fire damage
- 21st level: Deals 3d8+5 missile damage and 20 poison damage with no save, slays target if a Save vs. Death with a +4 bonus is failed
- Alignment restricted to any except lawful good
- Hit Die: d6
- Prime Requisites For Dual-Classing: Dexterity
Assassins are killers trained in discreet and efficient murder, relying on anonymity and surprise to perform their tasks.
- -1 bonus to THAC0 and +1 bonus to damage rolls
- Backstab ability reaches x6 (at Lv17) and x7 (at Lv21) multiplier instead of capping at x5.
- May use the Poison Weapon ability. Gains one use at level 1 and an additional use every 4 levels thereafter
- May only distribute 15 skill points per level among thieving skills
- Poison Weapon applies poison to any attacks, including Arrow of Detonation, the Fire Seeds spread. Even though this ability has been severely nerfed in EE, it remains as a valuable option
- Assassin dual-classers arguably have the highest backstab damage potential in game, take the following extreme cases as comparisons:
- Assassin (24) > Cleric: [(22 Staff of the Ram & Righteous Magic + 0 proficiency + 1 style + 1 kit + 2 Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise) x 7] = 182 max
- Kensai (24) > Thief: [(22 Staff of the Ram & Kai + 5 proficiency + 1 style + 8 kit + 2 Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise) x 5] = 190 max
- Assassin (24) > Fighter: [(18 Staff of the Ram average + 5 proficiency + 1 style + 1 kit + 2 Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise) x 7] = 189 average
- Keep in mind that what's shown above doesn't include bonus from many spells, strength or critical hits
- Although backstabbing multiplier looks astonishing, in practical use it is very meaningless. Most of the Monsters will be killed in single strikes with backstab multiplier x5 already. If not, they are likely to be immune to backstabs anyway.
- Unlike common concepts, this class kit shows the best synergy when dual-classed into mage because of poisoned weapon and Melf's Minute Meteors.
This is a hunter of men, skilled in tracking quarry and bringing them back alive - whether for lawful authorities or underworld masters. Bounty Hunters are specially trained at their task and make fearsome opponents. They have honed their trap-making abilities well beyond that of the average Thief.
- +15 bonus to Set Traps
- May use the Set Special Snare ability once per day in addition to the normal Thief's Set Snare. Gains one use at level 1 and an additional use every 5 levels thereafter. Set a trap in the chosen location when no hostile creatures are in sight. Traps grow more powerful with the Bounty Hunter's level and can only be triggered by enemies
1st level: Deals 3d8+5 missile damage and slows target for 5 rounds if a Save vs. Spell with a -4 penalty is failed
11th level: Deals 4d8+5 missile damage and holds target for 5 rounds if a Save vs. Spell with a -1 penalty is failed
16th level: Erects an Otiluke's Resilient Sphere around the target for 7 rounds if a Save vs. Spell is failed
21st level: Mazes the target, no save
- May only distribute 20 skill points per level among thieving skills
- Bounty Hunter’s special traps can be thrown upon enemies as long as they’re not in the thief’s eyesight
- Temporary companion Yoshimo is a bounty hunter
- Special traps eventually lose their usefulness bit by bit due to high ability traps in later games.
Swashbucklers are part acrobat, part swordman, and part wit: the epitome of charm and grace.
- -1 bonus to Armor Class at 1st level, plus an additional -1 bonus every 5 levels
- -1 bonus to THAC0 and +1 bonus to damage rolls every 5 levels
- May Specialize (two slots, -1 THAC0 bonus, +2 damage rolls bonus, but does not gain extra 1/2 APR) in any melee weapons available to Thieves
- May place 3 slots into Two-Weapon style
- Gains the Whirlwind Attack HLA from the warrior pool in place of Assassination
- May not use Backstab ability
- Though have no backstab multiplier for attacks from back when invisible, swashbucklers still receives -4 THAC0 bonus for attacking from the invisibility state
- Best suggested weapons are Ninjatō of the Scarlet Brotherhood and Belm as explained on Swashbuckler specific page.
Shadowdancer (EE only)Edit
Shadowdancers can harness the power of magic to increase their stealth abilities. Enigmatic and dangerous, these uniquely skilled Thieves are able to blend seamlessly into the shadows in ways that a normal Thief cannot, striking without warning - sometimes with supernatural speed.
- +10 bonus to Hide In Shadows and Move Silently
- Hide In Plain Sight: A Shadowdancer may hide in shadows even while being observed
- May cast Shadowstep once per day. Gains one use at level 5 and an additional use every 5 levels thereafter. Step into the Shadow Plane and move for 7 seconds while others are frozen in time. The Shadowdancer cannot attack, cast spells, or use items while in the Shadow Plane and cannot use thief skills except Find Traps/Detect Illusion, Hide In Shadows. Items stolen from chests while shadowstepping will not raise any alarms.
- Slippery Mind: -1 bonus to Saving Throws
- Shadow Form (High Level Ability): Temporarily transposes some of the user's tissue with shadow-material, making the subject partially incorporeal. For the next 5 rounds, all physical attacks directed against the Shadowdancer only deal 50% of their normal damage. During this time, the Shadowdancer is also under the effects of Improved Invisibility and cannot be directly targeted by spells
- Shadow Maze (High Level Ability): Opens a temporary gateway to a small pocket within the Plane of Shadow. All enemies within 10 feet of the Shadowdancer must make a Save vs. Spell at a +4 penalty or become trapped inside a shadowy labyrinth as per the Maze spell
- Shadow Twin (High Level Ability): Creates an almost exact duplicate of the Shadowdancer for 2 turns. The duplicate is created at 60% of the level at which the Shadowdancer is currently on. It has all the abilities that the Shadowdancer would have at that level. It also has 60% of the Hit Points of the Shadowdancer. The duplicate is fully under the control of the Shadowdancer
- Alignment restricted to any non-lawful
- Backstab multiplier is one less than an unkitted Thief, cannot backstab until level 5: Lv1-4:x1 Lv5-8:x2 Lv9-12:x3 Lv13+:x4
- May only distribute 20 skill points per level (30 at level 1) among thieving skills
- May not use Set Snare ability, may not use Set Spike Trap, Set Exploding Trap, Set Time Trap HLAs
- Has three Prime Requisites For Dual-Classing: Strength, Dexterity (already has a min. requirement of 15) and Charisma
- You may have only one clone of Shadow Twin, but the clone can duplicate itself, so does clone’s clone, provided the shadowdancer has picked this HLA enough times. The subsequent clones are getting weaker and may not use weapon or items like the first “official” clone, but they are still able to activate the shadowdancer's special abilities, HLAs
Thieves start to get HLA at level 24 and each level after, single class thieves will have 17 in total at level 40
- Assassination (Except Swashbuckler)
- Avoid Death
- Greater Evasion, requires evasion already selected.
- Scribe Scrolls, use any item is a requirement.
- Set Spike Trap (Except Shadowdancer)
- Set Exploding Trap (Except Shadowdancer)
- Set Time Trap (Except Shadowdancer)
- Use Any Item
- Whirlwind, (Swashbuckler only)
- Shadow Form (Shadowdancer only)
- Shadow Maze (Shadowdancer only)
- Shadow Twin (Shadowdancer only)
Table for experience, hit dice and weapon proficiencyEdit
|No. of HLA|
This icon indicates content from the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition campaign.
The Black Pits (2012)
This icon indicates content from the Black Pits campaign in the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal campaign.
Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition – Shadows of Amn (2013)
This icon indicates content from the Shadows of Amn campaign of the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.
This icon indicates content from the Black Pits II: Gladiators of Thay campaign in the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.
|T Indicates the base Thief kit.|
A Indicates the Assassin kit.
B Indicates the Bounty Hunter kit.
S Indicates the Shadowdancer kit.
Class exclusive itemsEdit
Class Group exclusive itemsEdit
- According to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition ruleset sourcebook Player's Option: Skills & Powers, half-orcs would have a Find Traps skill five points higher than humans, which is equal for both in the Baldur's Gate series. Also would all races have a base value of ten points in Detect Illusion opposed to zero in the series, to which half-elves receive a bonus and half-orcs a penalty of five each – while dwarves and gnomes have the correct modifications to this in Baldur's Gate, those former two races miss them.
A "bugfix" for this can be installed with the unofficial mod Rogue Rebalancing.
- The Move Silently skill uses wrong values for elves, half-elves and halflings in the original Baldur's Gate II: all three races have it set five points too high. This is fixed in the Enhanced Editions.This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal campaign.
- Special thanks to kjeron, for the explanation of mechanics on stealing!
Gameplay (community) Edit
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