D&D 5E No Thief/Acrobat in XGTE, so... how would you do it?

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Elderbrain

Guest
How would you translate the old Thief/Acrobat class into 5e terms? I got out my 1e Unearthed
Arcana book, and here were its special abilities: Tightrope walking, pole-vaulting, jumping (high jump, standing broad jump, running broad jump), and tumbling (attack, evasion, falling).
The old book allows for others to high/broad jump, but makes the Thief/Acrobat better at it. I
know 5e has rules covering jumping and tumbling, and there's the Acrobatics skill, but I don't think
pole-vaulting was covered per se.
 

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jasper

Rotten DM
expertise in Acrobatics at first level. Advantage on jumping. Polevaulting adds length of pole plus proficiency to high jump.
 

How would you translate the old Thief/Acrobat class into 5e terms? I got out my 1e Unearthed
Arcana book, and here were its special abilities: Tightrope walking, pole-vaulting, jumping (high jump, standing broad jump, running broad jump), and tumbling (attack, evasion, falling).

Dip Champion for 'Remarkable Athlete?' no? j/k

Seriously, though, it sounds like just choosing the right background - Entertainer or come up with an actual 'Acrobat' - and proficiencies and drop Expertise on Acrobatics.



The other thing about the Thief-Acrobat is that it was a proto-PrC, you swapped to it from regular thief at some point. Creating it as an Archetype might evoke that, a bit.
 

That's pretty much what the Thief Archetype is isn't it? Just pick up Athletics and Acrobatics, don't dump Str or Dex.

I'd say pole-vaulting is something that anyone with proficiency in Athletics can do. It would allow you to add your proficiency modifier to your strength score when calculating the length of a long jump.
 

Satyrn

First Post
How would you translate the old Thief/Acrobat class into 5e terms? I got out my 1e Unearthed
Arcana book, and here were its special abilities: Tightrope walking, pole-vaulting, jumping (high jump, standing broad jump, running broad jump), and tumbling (attack, evasion, falling).
The old book allows for others to high/broad jump, but makes the Thief/Acrobat better at it. I
know 5e has rules covering jumping and tumbling, and there's the Acrobatics skill, but I don't think
pole-vaulting was covered per se.

Polevaulting is absolutely covered by the 5e rules. True, it's not spelled out anywhere with actual mechanics, but a DM ought to come up with one of the following rulings when a player says 'I wanna be able to pole vault" or something like it:

1) tack on an extra 5-10 feet to the result of a Strength(Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.
2) add polevault to the list of tools and ask for a Strength (polevault) or Dexterity (polevault) check, figuring out the distance as if a jump and add 5-10 feet to the result; or whatever value makes sense to you and the player.


When it comes to the ability check rules (skills, tools, etc) of 5e, you should be very open to expanding your rulings well beyond what is actually listed.
 

schnee

First Post
What others say, it's purposefully vague, to avoid stuff like 3E 'use rope'.

Take the Athlete or UA Acrobat feat also?
 

cbwjm

Legend
A rogue or bard with expertise in athletics and acrobatics would be the way I go. I don't think the old class is distinct enough for a subclass.
 

Alexemplar

First Post
In addition to bonuses to Athletics/Acrobatics checks and abilities similar to the Athlete feat, I'd give something like the ability to tumble as a use of Cunning action, the
ability to move through other creatures' spaces, slow fall, Improved Evasion maybe even use Jump/Spider Climb X/short rest at higher levels. Also some kind of way to the deal sneak attack damage if you moved /jumped at least X feet between attacks.

A thief/acrobat shouldn't just be nimble and acrobatic, they should be fantastically nimble and acrobatic to where they perform all kinds of crazy stunts in order to deal with challenges.
 

Waterbizkit

Explorer
1) Don't dump your strength or dexterity.

2) Play a Rogue.

3) Take expertise in Athletics and Acrobatics.

4) Take the Thief archetype at 3rd level.

5) This one is optional, take the Entertainer background and call yourself an Acrobat.

Now your a Thief-Acrobat? Or are you an Acrobat-Thief? An acrobatic thief? Maybe a thieving acrobat? I don't know, these are deeper matters that can twist the psyche. Just follow the steps and leave the rest to the gods.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
So if you wanted to make a 5e thief/acrobat, I would not use the old AD&D version as a guide, because the 5e treatment of skills is so different. Like people have said, a lot of that is pretty much just expertise in athletics and acrobatics, plus a DM willing to work with you.

So what would be good for a 5e version? Here's some ideas:
- An actual climb speed
- Extra bonuses to jump distance
- Falling damage reduction
- A tumbling ability to move through combat without OAs, and through creatures' spaces
- If you start your turn 15+ feet away from a creature, you can use Sneak Attack on melee attacks against it
- An AC bonus (perhaps scaling with level)
- Improved evasion ability? Perhaps 1/short rest, automatically succeed on a Dex save.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Make them a Rogue subclass option...as they originally were.

Gets you Rogue's, well, everything but specifically, Expertise (make Acrobatics & Athletics), Uncanny Dodge, & Evasion

Subclass features
@ 3rd: Grab Thief's Second Story Work
Grab Monk's Unarmored Defense.
@ 9th: Grab Monk's Slow Fall.
@ 13th: Grab Fighter's Remarkable Athlete
@ 17th: Grab Monk's Unarmored Movement

Done.
 



It could be a really fun subclass for the rogue. Allow them to treat the quarterstaff a rogue weapon, apply their Dex modifier to hit and damage, and use it for sneak attacks. Maybe even give them an extra 5' of reach with it. Allow them to move through opponents' spaces, jump 10' vertically without making an ability check, sub Acrobatics for any Athletics check, apply evasion/uncanny dodge to falling damage, climb at full speed, etc, etc.
 

Paraxis

Explorer
Lots of good ideas, but one of the key points of any good thief acrobat is using a quarterstaff for a weapon, so this needs to be addressed.

I don't think it is a a big deal since the staff maxes out at d8 if used with both hands, and isn't heavy so can't use GWM feat, so just talk to the DM and see if your Rogue (thief) who is an expert in athletics/acrobatics, and has the entertainer background (acrobat) can treat a quarterstaff as a finesse weapon.
 

AmerginLiath

Adventurer
As others have noted, the skill system (along with some of the rogue class abilities) already contains the abilities that the 1e T-A had in a very different sort of system (where initially the only pseudo-skill system was that bolted onto the thief chassis). Especially if one took expertise in acrobatics, that would cover the bases very well.
 

Lots of good ideas, but one of the key points of any good thief acrobat is using a quarterstaff for a weapon, so this needs to be addressed.
Rogues can already use Quarterstaves as weapons. They can use any Simple weapon, and a Thief-Acrobat isn't likely to dump Strength due to the running, jumping, climbing aspects of the concept.

I don't think it is a a big deal since the staff maxes out at d8 if used with both hands, and isn't heavy so can't use GWM feat, so just talk to the DM and see if your Rogue (thief) who is an expert in athletics/acrobatics, and has the entertainer background (acrobat) can treat a quarterstaff as a finesse weapon.
I'd find simply allowing Sneak attack with a quarterstaff less comical than making it a Finesse weapon.
- But I just flat-out removed the Finesse requirement for Sneak Attack as a houserule anyway.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Acrobat

Subclass features
3rd: A quarterstaff gains the "Finesse" property when an Acrobat wields it. They add 5' to the height of any high jump when using a staff to assist them in the jump.
An Acrobat may use Dexterity instead of Strength for Athletic's checks that involve jumping or climbing.
Advantage on ability checks or saves that involve keeping their balance or avoiding a fall.

9th: Defensive Tumbling: May move up to half their speed when they use Uncanny Dodge as they roll or flip away from danger. This movement doesn't provoke Attacks of Opportunity.
Slow Fall as Monk half their level.

13th: Offensive Tumbling: Advantage on an attack if you move at least 10' before making the attack. (You cannot end your movement in the same square you started your movement in.)

17th: Legendary Acrobatics: Your reflexes and body have been honed to a razor's edge. If you fail a Dexterity, Strength, or Constitution saving throw, you can choose to automatically make the save, and move half your speed (this movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity). This ability may not be used again until you have completed a short or long rest.
 

Pauln6

Adventurer
Acrobat

Subclass features
3rd: A quarterstaff gains the "Finesse" property when an Acrobat wields it. They add 5' to the height of any high jump when using a staff to assist them in the jump.
An Acrobat may use Dexterity instead of Strength for Athletic's checks that involve jumping or climbing.
Advantage on ability checks or saves that involve keeping their balance or avoiding a fall.

9th: Defensive Tumbling: May move up to half their speed when they use Uncanny Dodge as they roll or flip away from danger. This movement doesn't provoke Attacks of Opportunity.
Slow Fall as Monk half their level.

13th: Offensive Tumbling: Advantage on an attack if you move at least 10' before making the attack. (You cannot end your movement in the same square you started your movement in.)

17th: Legendary Acrobatics: Your reflexes and body have been honed to a razor's edge. If you fail a Dexterity, Strength, or Constitution saving throw, you can choose to automatically make the save, and move half your speed (this movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity). This ability may not be used again until you have completed a short or long rest.

Nice. The playtest included a class feature that allowed sneak attack if you moved at least 10' beforehand.
 


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