13 thoughts on “How’s this for a Thief move:”

  1. Fair question. Mechanically, it lets a more Grifter-type Thief (which sadly doesn’t have much mechanical support as-is) to essentially use their Charisma rather than Dexterity for Tricks of the Trade, to fleece people by distracting them.

    Also, it gives the player the option of taking what they can get even in failure, which is very Thief-y. If you roll 7-9 on Parley, but can’t (or don’t want to) produce concrete proof of your promise as per that result’s requirements, you can still pick your mark’s pockets even though you didn’t manage to convince them to do what you were asking them to do.

    In the fiction, this may even have been your aim all along–your mark was so focused on your obvious fast-talking that they weren’t paying attention to your nimble fingers. Hence the name of the move. 🙂

  2. Wait, I’m missing something here. So the move lets the Thief make a Parley more, then allows them to switch to a 7-9 result from the Tricks of the Trade move, if they don’t want to accept their 7-9 result from Parley? That doesn’t sound right.

  3. No, no, it lets them keep both results. To split them up:

    On a 7-9 for Parley, you won’t necessarily get what you want–if you can’t or won’t offer the requisite proof that the NPC requires, they don’t do what you asked them to do.

    However, with this move you can still take a 7-9 result on Tricks of the Trade in that situation–meaning that you pick their pockets, but incur some downside like suspicion, which might be an acceptable consolation prize.

    You can do the latter regardless of whether you choose to fulfill your end of the bargain you set up with the former. Hope it makes sense now?

  4. I’m super on board with this move. It’s got a real sleazy feel to it that I’ve sorely missed while playing DW. If I can get some moves that make me a better liar I’m so in.

  5. OK. That makes sense now. You get the result of both moves, you were just assuming the player chose to not offer something to secure the NPCs help for the Parley part. Gotcha.

    I still don’t particularly like it, as I feel you’re giving the player too much with too little risk. If the player rolls a 6-, does the GM get to make two GM Moves? If not, why not? The player is getting the benefits of both moves if they succeed, right?

    If your goal is to allow the Thief to be more of a con-based grifter, then why not just make a move that allows the Thief to use CHA instead of DEX for Tricks of the Trade when engaging their target with verbal misdirection? Like this:

    Silvered Forked Tongue

    When you engage someone with banter, double-speak, a sob story, or some other verbal distraction while you pick their pockets, you may use CHA for your Tricks of the Trade move.

    Also, not so seem combative, Shawn O’Hara but what exactly is missing from DW as written? If you want your Thief to be a better liar, then just play them as a consummate liar.I fail to see what mechanics are missing.

  6. I actually like that a little better than what I wrote. Hadn’t thought of the low risk factor. I might suggest keeping it as written and making you declare your intent first, though, as I like the double-your-fun vibe.

    As for what’s missing, the problem is that the Thief has a Bond of “X and I have a con running” and no moves about running cons. The class as-written is really more of a stealth-focused assassin than a seedy underworld mover and shaker, least of all a seedy underworld mover and shaker disguised as a nice gentleman you should totally trust all your money with.

    Meanwhile, the Bard has things like Charming and Open and, to a lesser extent, other moves like Bardic Lore, making that class a much better grifter. Mind you, I don’t have a problem with the Bard being a good con-artist; I just think that a Thief should also be a good con-artist, and as it stands it isn’t.

  7. I kind of see what Shawn is saying. I don’t personally care for the Thief as written either. It does, lack. The problem though is more in how most games approach the archetype. Of any class, the “Thief” or “Rogue” archetype has the hardest time being pigeon-holed into a single ‘class’. There are more archetypical “Flavors” of thieves than in most classes combined.

    As to the ability in the OP, I like it. It works well for a specific type of grifter. I’d make it a 6-10 advanced move though. Perhaps after taking a 2-5 advanced move dedicated to improving Tricks of the Trade.

    I don’t quite see the argument about gaining a new bonus to an existing move since there are already advanced moves that add additional bonuses or outcomes on a successful use of a move.

  8. I’m not saying you’re wrong. But there’s a reason the DW Thief is called a Thief rather than a Rogue. They are the backstabbing, stealing, poison-using character they were in original D&D. Saying “But my Thief should have mechanics to be a better grifter” is exactly the same as any other class saying the same thing. The DW Thief is not meant to be a grifter, because the Thief class was not a grifter back in red box D&D days. DW is specifically trying to capture that style of D&D.

    All that being said, I understand that “Thief” now means more than just steal/stab/skulk to players. So I have no problem expanding the class into a grifter type role. But that doesn’t need to be done only through mechanics.

    Also, as the OP did not indicate what power level this move is (starting move, 2-5 advance, or 6-10 advance) I am assuming it is a starting move. Hence my worry it is overpowered.

  9. ‘Twas definitely not meant as a starting move. Seems an odd assumption to make, given that it branches off of a preexisting starting move, but: my fault for not specifying.

    I like Lord Khaalis’s suggestion of it being a 6-10 advance, with the lower slots kept for one or two other Tricks of the Trade advances.

    Definitions of thieves vs. rogues and the sanctity of creator intent is a completely different can of worms, so I’ll just leave the rest of that discussion alone. 🙂

  10. Didn’t mean to hijack this thread with a discussion of what thief/rogue means. As you said, James Etheridge , we’ll just leave that over there.

    The move is much less problematic for me now that it is a Level 6 to 10 Advance. Moves gained from Advances are allowed to be better, so the “two for one” aspect of the move bothers me less.

    For me though, the move is still to mechanical and doesn’t really follow the spirit of the “to do it, you have to do it” rule all AW-based games share. Parlay can cover so many types of social interactions other than grifting someone, that the blanket trigger of “when you successfully Parlay with someone” is too broad for what you intend to move to be. There is no fictional trigger requiring the character to deceive their target.

    And that is what you intend this move to be, right? Active deceit? The Thief is misdirecting the target with some sort of verbal distraction (bluff, fast talk, whatever) so that they can pick their pockets more easily. OK. Cool. But not only have you not written that into the trigger of the move, I don’t think Parlay is the right move to trigger this effect.

    Parlay requires the character to have some leverage over their target to manipulate them into doing whatg they want. This could be honest manipulation, such as “Holy shit you guys! There’s a warpack of Gnolls coming and you all should really barricade yourselves in that church unless you want to die!” Or it could be a lie, such as “Why of course I’ll give you these five gold pieces if you tell me the watch schedule for the Archmage’s tower. No, really I will. Trust me.” The point is, to Parlay, the character needs something the target wants/doesn’t want to dangle over their head. Information, gold, a threat, a secret, something.

    I don’t see how having leverage over a target to manipulate them fits in with your move. I think you want a move that represents the Thief engaging the target in conversation, and then using that as a distraction to fleece them. That’s what you’re going for, right? If that’s the case, I don’t think Parley works.

Comments are closed.