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Training and Requirements


Joining the guild

This is tough in the Crossing, tougher in Haven. Guild locations are a secret, and not easy to find. If this is your first character, you may wish to play a different guild, as brand new players rarely find the the Crossing guild in less than a week. There are multiple guilds in Haven, although most are slightly easier to find, but finding the right one is the trick. There are requirements in five of the six stats, but Kalag, the Crossing guildleader, will train you for about the same price and TDP cost as the trainers.

The Basics

As far as stats go, all of them are important. Agility and Reflex are where you should load up (if you plan on it), and Strength and Stamina are important for combat. Don't neglect your mentals, however, as we need all the experience we can get to stay a step ahead of the law. Thieves are Survival Primary, with Weapons and Lore secondary. We take the hit on armor, but unlike most of the other guilds, our other tertiary, Magic, doesn't hurt too badly. There is one useful skill there (Magical Devices), but in general, your tertiaries will train themselves. Some of the requirements are tough at low levels, especially stealing, but, generally, older thieves are happy to teach you stealing. Obviously, Hiding, Stalking, Lockpicking, Disarming, Stealing, Backstab, and Evasion are your best friends here. As far as Lore goes, these requirements are up to individual taste. Mech Lore is required, and useful at later levels for our creation abilities, and Appraisal is recommended. Scholarship will train itself well beyond your requirements, as you really should be taking classes whenever you can as a young thief. One of the strongest attributes of the thieves' guild is gained when you join: access to the backstab skill. Train it in rats by hiding, and sneaking up on them, then ambushing them at melee range. Only Light Edged and Medium Edged weapons may backstab! Heavy Edged, Blunt weapons, and Ranged weapons cannot successfully backstab under any circumstances. You will not reap the benefits of backstab until you progress to goblins, and even then, don't use it around people who don't know you are an upstanding citizen, but when used tactfully, a well-placed backstab is both sword and shield.

Primary Skills
Survival

The thieves' pride and joy, this skill set has all kinds of goodies for us. Keep in mind that only Hiding, Stalking, Stealing, Lockpicking, Disarming Traps, Evasion, Backstab, Climbing, Escaping, and Perception help in circling, but First Aid and Swimming are useful.

Hiding and Stalking are essential. Hiding is sitting still in a hiding place, and stalking is advancing on enemies, following people, and moving about while hidden. These are absolutely among the most important skills, and are also the easiest to work. Hide and unhide repeatedly to work hiding, and move from room to room in town to work Stalking. They are both useful and needed in combat to backstab. There are minimums you have to have to circle, but I recommend having twice the minimum for your circle in order to make them effective.

Backstab is where our damage comes in. Backstab allows a thief to strike from hiding in melee to deal significantly more damage than he normally would. Only light edged and medium edged weapons can backstab, and once again, it must be from hiding. Since you can't hide in melee, I'd recommend advancing on opponent and hiding right away. You need some good stalking, hiding, and melee weapon skills for this to work.

Stealing is what gives us our name and identity. If they can't protect it, they shouldn't carry it. In the guildhall there is an 'open pockets' policy, meaning, if you bring coin in with you, you won't leave with it, but you are welcome to attempt to force this restriction on others. Good skill for a class until you get some ranks.

Evasion: Another combat skill, this one is our primary defensive. Barbarians and paladins may be capable of taking the hits till the sun goes down, but thieves prefer to just not get hit at all. This one can be worked by joining fair (no backstabbing) melee combat.

Lockpicking is pretty self-explanatory. It lets you pick locks. Work it by...picking locks. You'll need a lockpick. The command is pick <box type> with my lockpick. Good for a class until you get into goblins, as rats don't drop boxes.

Disarming traps is also pretty self-explanatory. There are several uses of this skill... disarm <box type> identify allows you to scan the box for traps, gives you a difficulty rating, and describes the trap. disarm <box type> mark inscribes a mark on the box, detailing the trap type and location. This is only useful to train the skill. disarm <box type> should be used third, and this disarms the trap. You can also disarm <box type> quickly or carefully. Occasionally, you will get a multiple-trapped box, meaning there is at least a second trap you don't see until the first is disabled. The game will tell you if this is the case after you disarm the first trap. There is a thief ability that goes with disarm.

Climbing is a gimme skill, which covers one of your broad survival requirements and adds points to your total.

Perception is another gimme for thieves. Sitting in the guildhall will train your perception as people practice hiding and stealing.

Escaping allows you to escape unsavory situations. Run-ins with the guards, hard to navigate mud, etc. are all covered by this skill. Practice it by getting stuck in mud and digging the mud, then leaving.

Secondary Skills
Lore

Thieves are pretty good at knowing what needs to get done, and knowing how to do it. We aren't scholarly, by any stretch, but we pick stuff up, and know what's going on.

Mechanical Lore is required for advancing, and is easily trained by scraping your pelts and skins. Some other ways to train it are to forage and then braid grass or vines, crush herbs, or fold origami, which can be bought in Leth Deriel, among other places. It is useful for several thief abilities.

Appraisal is useful, but not required, as it gives thieves the ability to know the value of what we...find. Enough said.

Scholarship is going to be essential, and easy. Young thieves should constantly bug older thieves for classes in the things that are hard to train.

Teaching is a popular choice, and recommended. Our guild survives only because of our loyalty to it and to each other. It won't do if our brethren get caught and continually accused of pilfering what they find in the streets. So do yourself and your guild members a favor and get teaching, to teach the younger thieves what's what as you progress.

Music Lore is optional. You only need four lore skills until higher circles, and it requires quite a bit of time and money. However, since we are reviled for some reason, we often pose as other guilds. Posing as a bard is a whole lot easier if you can pull out an instrument and play it.

Weapons

A thief needs to be able to hit hard and fast, in order to utilize his abilities to the maximum. For melee weapons you have two viable options: Light Edged and Medium Edged, but ranged weapons have a little more variety.

Light Edged are quicker, easier to hit with, and possess more finesse, meaning that you can easily get good balance and good position using a light edged weapon over a medium edged. Their main drawback is the lack of true ooompf behind a blow. The single-second round times on most attacks are charming, and the backstabbing is great if you can get back to missile range and hidden before the stun wears off.

Medium Edged pack a bigger punch, at the cost of a little balance and roundtime. They tire you out slightly faster, so if you don't plan on putting many points into stamina, I would avoid them. The roundtimes are slightly higher, and the backstab roundtime gives opponents to get an attack off if you don't stun them. However, sabres can truly show the backstab ability's potential at lower circles, often killing in two or three backstabs.

Light Crossbow is the weapon of choice for many, as it packs a punch like a ton of bricks. An excellent tactic is to load one up, and walk around, firing once at the first thing you see, then pulling out a blade for the finish. The disadvantage is that the loading roundtime is quite high. Heavy crossbows have the same advantages and disadvantages, only on a larger scale. It takes an astronomical amount of time to load, and by the time you do, you're likely in melee anyways.

Shortbows are good as they have very low roundtimes, at the cost of the high damage. They are good if you plan on sitting back and taking potshots while your friends distract the enemies, without giving away your outstanding citizenship.

Longbows Longbows make some of the mid-circle thief abilities redundant, but it may be possible to get a successful longbow thief.

Multiple Opponent and Parry are useful, but parry becomes merely a circle requirement, since attacks you can't evade aren't going to be easily parried either.

Tertiary Skills
Armor

Armor is a thief's biggest failing, and yet a strength. Thieves have a hard time advancing their armor, but they can work leather hindrance down significantly more than most guilds, allowing them to utilize their superior evasion abilities.

Light/Heavy Plate is a bad option. It will give huge hindrances to your sneaky, pretty much destroy your evasion, and won't let you utilize your abilities. Thieves are better off unarmored.

Heavy Chain is likewise a bad option for the same reasons. It isn't as bad as plate, but it still isn't worth using.

Light Chain is a reasonable option for thieves, as it provides good damage resistance that far surpasses leather. However, keep in mind that you can't train the hindrances as low as leather hindrance.

Leather is probably your best option. It provides minimal damage reduction, but allows your hiding, stalking, and evasion their highest capacity short of unarmored. When you find the guild, you can generally ask around until you find someone willing to give you a nice suit, or to get you a coat from rock trolls.

Shields are very useful and can be gotten free by asking anyone in the guildhall.

Magic

Magic? Our abilities don't rely on this skill group.
Magical Devices: When you have some money in the bank, get a sandalwood fan, which cost about 7.5 gold kronars each, and tap it. This should mind lock you extraordinarily quickly. Aside from the fans, thieves are unable to use runestones or any other magical item. Training this ability allows you to use things such as invisibility rings.

A few parting words...

If you are a thief, there are certain things you should know. Most guilds believe we are honorless thugs. This is highly fictitious. We may have a different code of honor than the paladins preach, but honor we have. With that in mind, never kill when wounding will do, and never wound unless you deem it necessary. Avoid striking the first blow. As far as stealing goes, within the guildhall, all are fair game. Outside the guildhall, never steal from an Empath. Under any circumstances. If you don't believe in the honor among thieves, and there are some that don't, then keep in mind that almost anyone who sees you stealing from an empath will kill you if possible. And elder thieves are pretty firm in their belief that it is wrong. Empaths do us a great service due to their own kindness. Do not betray that. The guild is secret. Never betray its whereabouts. Do not betray your fellow thieves to the masses. A general warning...we are very concerned about our image. Kalag will send NPCs out for you in the event that your reputation becomes a stain on that image. And they will come randomly, with elevating levels of frequency, until either you walk the starry road, leave the city, or otherwise find a way to salvage your reputation.