First Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons™ Character Creation
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AD&D Character Class:  Thief-Acrobat
  Unique in its design, the thief-acrobat begins as a thief, and for the first five levels is a thief with all of the abilities and limitations of that class.  Before reaching level 6, the character decides that he wishes to become a thief-acrobat.  At that point, he must have a dexterity of at least 16 and a strength of 15, with no score below 6; a thief-acrobat with both strength and dexterity of at least 16 gains a 10% bonus on his experience.  Since they begin as thieves, they have the same restrictions on alignment:  rarely allowed to be good, and never allowed to be lawful good.  They continue to gain d6 hit points per level, use the same weapons plus a couple more, and the same armor.  They begin with the same "thief skills":  picking pockets, opening locks, finding and removing traps, moving silently, hiding in shadows, hearing noise, climbing walls, backstabbing, Thieves' Cant, and reading languages.  They cannot read magical writings or cast spells from scrolls.

  On becoming a thief-acrobat, the character no longer improves his abilities at pockets, locks, or traps.  It is clear that the character continues to improve his ability to climb walls.  It is unclear but reasonable to infer that the character also continues to improve his abilities to move silently, hide in shadows, hear noise, and read languages (other than magic); some DM's may prefer to hold these skills at level 5.

  Several new acrobatic skills are gained during the extensive training program through which the character becomes a thief acrobat.  These abilities improve with level.

  Tightrope walking allows the character a 75% chance to cross 60' on a rope or other narrow bridge at up to a 45 degree angle.

  Pole vaulting allows the character to overcome obstacles, starting at 9', using a running start and a pole.

  At level 6, the character can jump 4' up or 9' forward on a run; from standing, he can jump 5' forward.

  He can use tumbling to attack (6%) or evade (10%) an opponent.  Tumbling can also be used to absorb damage from a fall, with an initial 25% chance to fall 10'.

  The use of these abilities involves certain restrictions.  The amount of weight the character can carry is limited; 45 pounds worn and an additional 10 pounds carried is the initial limit, which gradually increases to 70 pounds worn and 400 pounds carried.

  The thief-acrobat is treated as a thief in all ways by other thieves.  He may be a member of a guild, and may be head of such a guild.  At level 10 he can create a fortress in or near a city, and attract 4d6 thieves by founding a guild.  If there is already a guild in the city (nearly always the case), there will be a guild war as a fight to the death between the two guilds.

  Thief-acrobats wearing no armor gain the specific bonuses on skills as thieves, and they may wear studded leather, padded armor, or elfin chain mail, but will not be permitted any dexterity bonuses on their skills, and will take a penalty on them as well.  Shield use is not permitted.  Weapons which are large, complex, or require loose pieces are not allowed; this leaves about a dozen weapons, several of them sword variants.  The lasso and the staff are added to those available to the thief.

  Advancement table:

Second-Story Thief
Cat Burglar
Master Cat Burglar
Master Thief-Acrobat
  250,000 experience points are required per level past the twelfth.

Most races who may be thieves may be thief-acrobats other than Vikings, including Occidental and Krynn Humans; all Dwarfs; Gnomes other than Krynn Tinker Gnomes; Elves other than Silvanesti, Dargonesti, or Dimernesti; all Half-elves; Halflings including Kender; Half-orcs; and Irda.

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