D&D 5E Thievery in 5e - still relevant?

I never understand comments like this.

5e works for me. If the changes coming in 2024 don't work for me, then the current 5e still does.

And I have more than enough material for 5e plus stuff from prior editions, 3rd parties and my own stuff to last several life times of gaming.
Yes, but have you considered that if an evil genie grants you eternal life, you will eventually run out of gaming material?

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The published modules (which are just about all full-campaign adventure paths) don't go in for downtime as an element of play at all; the table - be it the players, DM, or both - has to force it in somehow.

And spending money is very much a downtime activity.

Other than xp-for-gp (the advancement rate in the WotC editions is already way too fast!) that's a lot of "add in"s; and while I could do them I'd prefer they be done in the official rules such that everyone can see - and thus have cause to at least give these things some thought, even if by individual choice they don't get featured in every campaign.

Agreed. 3e went way overboard on this.

Pendulum swung too far the other way, I think.

That came from DMs and players reading rules that said a class could do something as implying other classes could not, rather than the (I think intended) idea that anyone can still try this but this class is much better at it.

To a point I agree, but even a fighter can get its AC from bracers and dex rather than clanky armour, and thus be at least somewhat quiet. A true heist-based campaign (like, say, trying to roleplay something akin to the Gentlemen Bastards series) would require some serious pruning of the spell lists, however.

It comes down to the game assuming the only roleplayed activity happens in the field, and that downtime is irrelevant. Fine for hard-line APs, not so great for anything bigger.
Point of order: 5e does not have bracers of armor. It only has bracers of defense, which add +2 and do not work if you have a shield.

Thievery and thieves in general are simply not part of 5E D&D, and they have not been part of the game after 2E.

The Thief Archetype really comes into the pubic eye in at the start of the 20th century...with the real life string of thieves: The Confidence Man(it's where we even get Con Man from....). Lots of shady, if not outright evil, people that would lie, cheat and steal. And the Robbers, most of whom are infamous: Jesse James, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde and Butch Cassidy. And was still in the eye with people like Frank Abagnale(The Catch me if you can guy) and Alan Golder("The Dinnertime Bandit".

Fiction followed with Bilbo Baggins, Gord the Rogue, The Gray Mouser, Fafrd, Cugel the Clever in books. The Man with No Name in the movies and Maverick(the cowboy TV show, not the fighter pilot) on TV. By the mid 70's and into the 80's the "Outlaw" character was very popular.

But note the Thief, while not "pure evil", is right next door. The Thief DOES steal form others....and not to sugar coat it: the Thief does hurt others. While there is some tiny wiggle room for "Robin Hood" types and Thieves with some moral standards....the VAST majority of thieves operate in a Gray Area, where they do cause harm and hardship to others....often even innocent people.

And it's true most Classic Groups of Adventures in the 70/80/90 were "outside the law". While most of the adventures were some shade of "good", as adventures they often had to break laws...or worse to "do the right thing". But most adventures would walk a fairly straight line of what they would do or not do.

And then most groups had: The Thief. They were MORE then willing to cross the line...willing to do anything. They would somewhat use their thief skills "for good", BUT at the same time would always be looking for a take. They would sneak into the sheriffs safe to get that Scroll of Doom before some accidentally read it.....BUT at the same time would help themselves to any money in that safe too.

And in 2000, you see the results of the shift. It's not "thief" anymore...now it's rogue. The name makes a huge character shift to the more lovable rogue and away from the shady thief. The rogue never hurts anyone with their 'ways...except murder as that OK. But the rogue has a heart of gold. They only steal from the bad guys....and just dance around the idea that they NEVER steal from innocents. Though even the whole stealing idea is dropped quickly enough. In D&D it's fine to chop a foe in half...but wrong to rob them. The gray area is gone.

And by 5E the idea of a "thief" is long dead and buried. Rogues are happy go lucky folk that just "act cartoon shady" but don't really do anything wrong anymore. Unless the target is "really" bad somehow....then they can do a little.


Victoria Rules
Point of order: 5e does not have bracers of armor. It only has bracers of defense, which add +2 and do not work if you have a shield.
Same as 1e; and I've seen some characters reach hella good ACs with bracers, a good ring of protection, and dexterity.

Same as 1e; and I've seen some characters reach hella good ACs with bracers, a good ring of protection, and dexterity.
You could reach “equal to nonmagical plate without a shield” if you spent 2/3 of you attuned slots and maxed out dex, but frankly @Micah Sweet is correct that the real answer here is homebrew.

But that means both communicating the need to players, homebrewing the item, and insuring it’s available just to make that style of play possible. If you don’t, 5e players will probably assume it’s simpky not an option and not ask about options for making it work.

For what it’s worth, this isn’t the only reason to add bracers of armor, just one of several.

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