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D&D 1E 1e and 2e Theif skills clarifications?

StylinLP

First Post
I got to reading AD&D 1e lately and I see the DMG states something more than what the PHB states when it comes to Hide in Shadows. Seems to me you can move while Hiding in Shadows. We never played that way since 1978. Strange. TSR used to have an answers website for things like this. Where can we find clarifications of the rules these days? AD&D needed alot of that over the years I remember.

Ex: Party opens a door into a room with 2 Orcs. Melee insues. Theif starts with Hide in SHadows before he enters the room. The orcs have no idea the party even has a theif. Can the theif move in shadows around the edge of the room to get behind the orcs without being noticed and get a backstab.
 

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justanobody

First Post
dragonsfoot.org and in there forums you MIGHT find some 1st editoin errata depending on the Q&A threads.

Official Errata: Player's Handbook (ver 2.0)

Normally you would need to hide in the shadows (while no one watches you hide), and then in order to move you must both keep HIS while "move silently", otherwise the noise would make you not really hidden anymore, so they work together unless you just intend to stand still in a shadow or quiet.

Kind of like invisibility doesn't make you silent so even though you cannot be seen, you could still be heard to disrupt the illusion of being invisible or hidden....
 

Remathilis

Legend
I got to reading AD&D 1e lately and I see the DMG states something more than what the PHB states when it comes to Hide in Shadows. Seems to me you can move while Hiding in Shadows. We never played that way since 1978. Strange. TSR used to have an answers website for things like this. Where can we find clarifications of the rules these days? AD&D needed alot of that over the years I remember.

Ex: Party opens a door into a room with 2 Orcs. Melee insues. Thief starts with Hide in Shadows before he enters the room. The orcs have no idea the party even has a thief. Can the thief move in shadows around the edge of the room to get behind the orcs without being noticed and get a backstab.

According to the PHB (2e) No, a thief cannot move and remain hidden. He can, however, make multiple attempts to hide as he moves.

In your example, the thief makes his hide check in the beginning of the round. On his initiative, he moves 1/3rd of his movement (as per move silently) or his movement (if he has enough sound to mask his footfalls) and then, if he is near something he can hide in, makes a Hide check again. He can repeat this until he is in position for the backstab. If he fails a hide check, then it means one of the orcs can notice him.

The trick would be for the thief to delay his action long enough for the orcs to engage the other PCs, then move in and sneak around.

Clearly, its much easier to sneak in later editions (3e and 4e) and a lot more reliable to use magic (invisibility or elven cloaks) to sneak around, but it is possible.

As for 1e, I'm not sure on the exacts, but that's 2e's take.
 

StylinLP

First Post
Thanks for the replies. I will check out the 2.0 errata. I assume the 2.5 Skills and Powers did all that too?

My players remember that Theif not getting alot of backstabs in over the years because of the poorly worded Hide in Shadows rules. after playing Everquest and Conan online and even Dungeons & Dragons Online over the years you would think the Theif would be more usefull more often in a group. That's why I was re-examining the rules to make that class more viable.
 

TerraDave

5ever
The class was a popular one, but needs help to be really viable.

I would say to interpret both skill use and backstabbing pretty liberally.
 

justanobody

First Post
I really want to forget I own any of the 2.5 books, but I could check later today possibly if you want to know if there is a clarification in there to look for about it, if one is not in the errata.
 

StylinLP

First Post
dragonsfoot.org and in there forums you MIGHT find some 1st editoin errata depending on the Q&A threads.

Official Errata: Player's Handbook (ver 2.0)

Normally you would need to hide in the shadows (while no one watches you hide), and then in order to move you must both keep HIS while "move silently", otherwise the noise would make you not really hidden anymore, so they work together unless you just intend to stand still in a shadow or quiet.

Kind of like invisibility doesn't make you silent so even though you cannot be seen, you could still be heard to disrupt the illusion of being invisible or hidden....

I checked that link and found it is only for 3e PHB. I need the errata for 2e books. Also wasn't there a FAQ somewhere on rule explanations? I know TSR used to have one. Almost any question someone had on a rule could be answered there.
 

T. Foster

First Post
Without having the books at hand to check, I'm fairly sure they explicitly state that a thief cannot move while remaining hidden in shadows. The way we always played this was that the thief attempted to hide, remained still for at least one round, and then if there was other activity (such as combat) and nobody specifically on the look out for such things, it was assumed that nobody was watching the spot where the thief was hidden so he could move (silently, if possible) from it without automatically being noticed. While moving he would be noticed if anyone looked in that direction. At the end of his move he could attempt to hide again, requiring a new skill roll.

Note also that the hide in shadows skill specifically allows the thief to hide in areas with no natural cover, where non-thief characters would have no chance of successfully hiding. If there's cover available for the thief to hide behind he doesn't need to make a hide in shadows check.
 

justanobody

First Post
I checked that link and found it is only for 3e PHB. I need the errata for 2e books. Also wasn't there a FAQ somewhere on rule explanations? I know TSR used to have one. Almost any question someone had on a rule could be answered there.

TSR.com was swallowed by Wizards years ago. Sadly it seems not only is their site still giving VBScipt errors, but maybe they are removing all the older edition stuff from their website.

I know WotC had 2nd edition errata at one time, but unable to find it now. :(
 
Last edited:

darjr

I crit!
Official D&D Updates

I hope it has what you want.

Google is of great use for finding stuff on WotC site.

A trick is to use the 'site:wizards.com' as the first part of your search, then follow it up with what you are looking for. It seems to me that there is lots of stuff left on their web site, just the links to it seems to get lost or forgotten. Google doesn't seem to forget.

For example I just found http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/SHADOW.TXT
 


RFisher

Explorer
As I recall, the official way to resolve conflicts between books in AD&D was that the most recently published book trumped earlier books.

If there's cover available for the thief to hide behind he doesn't need to make a hide in shadows check.

To me, this is the key to being a successful 1e thief. If you can hide rather than hiding in shadows, then do so. Moving silently is good, but even if you fail to, you’re moving quietly. Try to ensure that quietly will be enough. Rolling d% is for when you’ve found yourself in a jam and your plan “didn’t survive contact with the enemy”.

Anyway, whatever the official rule, I treat HIS and MS as mutually exclusive. If they’re looking your way, do not move until they look away. If they aren’t looking your way, then move quietly/silently towards a better place to hide until they do.
 


aco175

Legend
I seem to remember allowing moving at half speed and a lot of DM interpretation on how many checks you need to make to actually get behind someone. In battle it was easier since the DM gave a bonus from all the action going on.
 

dagger

Explorer
I got to reading AD&D 1e lately and I see the DMG states something more than what the PHB states when it comes to Hide in Shadows. Seems to me you can move while Hiding in Shadows. We never played that way since 1978. Strange. TSR used to have an answers website for things like this. Where can we find clarifications of the rules these days? AD&D needed alot of that over the years I remember.

Ex: Party opens a door into a room with 2 Orcs. Melee insues. Theif starts with Hide in SHadows before he enters the room. The orcs have no idea the party even has a theif. Can the theif move in shadows around the edge of the room to get behind the orcs without being noticed and get a backstab.

We kind of run a 1e/2e hybrid (85% 1e) since everything is compatible on the fly. One of the things related to thieves, is we use the additional modifiers in the UA and we allow them to run the skills either as a 1e or 2e thief.

We have also always allowed the thief only to move at half speed and remain hidden, usually when he is alone.
 


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