A Thief FAQ
This is intended as a general guide to playing a thief and how obtaining skills works. It is not a definitive guide, and is free to be changed by more experienced players.
((Klaak: While I have modified this Thief Guide extensively, my modifications are not comprehensive. The initial version of this guide was written in 2008 according to the dates at the bottom, and thieves have seen (if memory serves) at least two revamps since that time. Most of my additions to this guide have been to correct inaccuracies, some of which were caused by the revamps, and others that were not. I have avoided commenting on anything that I don't have extensive personal experience with (like trappers and many things about thugs), as well as things just just didn't seem to me like they needed any additions. I have not said anything about the new trapper skills. Also, because of some skills being moved around, like many trapper skills being moved to General Skills, I've pretty much just added my comments to things already written for the purpose of correction. I have not (and probably never will) taken the time to re-order skills and put them all in their proper groupings, etc... I will, however, put a comprehensive list of thief skills, in order by level in their appropriate paths with point cost included just before the discussion of skills begins))
Thieves are a unique class. Like bards, they fall outside of the tank/nuke/heal/support character range and fall somewhere under the vague 'utility' category. It isn't in a thief's job description to take someone toe to toe, raid/retrieve or anything like that even if you will be expected to at least attempt some of these things.
No, not many people would argue with this job description:
To Ruin Someone's Day.
How a player goes about this is up to the player, what they are experimenting with, what gear they are wearing, what preps they have on hand and what scrolls they plan to use. Whether you're griefing, stealing rare items for yourself, that you may still not be able to make as much use of as the original owner, or attempting to kill someone, your best advantage is that of surprise. And this doesn't always fall under the use of hide, there are other ways to accomplish this even against assassins and duergar.
Thieves are special about how they learn their skills. They work like thus:
Some guilds have payment requirements to get into. They tend to be the most convenient ones to get into also. Don't worry, you can still practice past level 15, you just need a new hometown probably or have to get used to walking as far as an orc does every time.
Every 5 levels, the game gives you 'thief points'. You'll know you have 'thief points' when the guildmaster either offers to teach you a skill 'in a few titles' or offers to teach you the next skill in their given path right now. If you get no such offer at all, you don't have enough thief points to learn the skill the guildmaster would offer you. You can still check other guilds with other paths to see if you have any thief points at all if you're curious. You still need to be a minimum title to learn each skill regardless of how many thief points you have. You will get thief points at the same levels you'll get a train up to level 50. There is no special exception for 51.
((Klaak: With thief revamp, you earn 2 thief points every single level through 41. At 42 you earn 18, and no more after that. This gives you a total of 100 thief points. Taking the edge 'Devious Veratility' will give you an extra 10 thief points, and it can be taken multiple times. However, it's the most costly thief edge, the edge point cost increases each time you take it, has a prerequisite of 2k Imm XP, and must be at least level 42 or 43 (not sure which). If you save up all your edge points, you can definitely take this edge twice for a total of 120 thief points (enough to be a full poisoner AND full trapper with one point left over). According to an Imm, it's entirely conceivable to take this edge three times, but so far, no one has ever done it.))
Rumors persist of extra thief points being given as a reward, in a similar fashion to shifter quest forms, warrior legacies on non-warriors and various imm-gifted edges. It hasn't been confirmed with any certainty except mentioned by two or three thief players but it's entirely within the realm of possibility the imms will grant you thief points for exceptional RP. Likely the route that makes the most sense for this is worshipping Qaledus or to a lesser extent, Trabryn or Jullias who are also both thieves by profession but Jullias is near impossible to find and harder to get his attention than Drokalanatym or Zulghinlour or Valguarnera or a dormant imm, and with good reason. In other words Jullias = RP masochism and not something a new player should try.
((Lumikant: I've heard IC from kingpins that they've gotten bonus thief points for becoming kingpin))
((Meeko-- Confirmed untrue. Kingpin of Galadon receives shopkeeps favors, cityties, and guild protection. No thief points.))
((Klaak: Thief points have definitely been given out as RP rewards and as Role Contest rewards. Several PBFs have Imm comments that mention awarding thief points. No thief points for becoming Kingpin or any other guild leader.))
One final note before launching into this, if you're doing this to decide what class to play that would be interesting, and leveling means anything at all to you, for god sakes don't pick this class unless you know you can make some friends who will take you over other people. For one, the thief only tanks half-decently to 30 and only if you wear decent amounts of HP gear and have 23 dex. For another, unless you're a thug, your only source of damage is dual wield and enhanced damage... at level 25. And circle stab at 15 and for certain paths precision strike at 24 turns circle stab into a poor man's feint with extra bonuses. And maybe disarm for certain mobs that need to lose their weapon like Calandryl or the silver spirits. That's not enough to get you into groups up toward hero unless you're decked out in gear that your allies won't simply kill you for. Many thieves level sit at 35 even today (and prior to today they had no reason to pass that level because their last skill came at 30 or so) because heroing is an exercise in finding the right two man group that a) can tank b) can do damage without your help and c) may end up taking you either because you're their friend or they have no other choice. Closer to hero you pretty much become the most useless character for leveling groups, and you aren't that great to begin with (slightly above lowbie mages who can't tank). If you think you can finagle a way through these difficulties, or one of the path offers interesting alternatives to mage classes or warrior specs or assassins, then go ahead. But don't be surprise if you delete before hero. Thugs are the exception to all this, they can be used as mini axe specs as a 3rd in leveling groups, with third attack and circle stab and some massive damroll.
((Klaak: This is only partly true, depending on what combination of thief path and general thief skills you choose. With Shield Block being taken out of the Trapper path and placed into the General Thief Skills, any thief path can now be a decent tank with Dodge, Parry, AND Shield Block. Also, Weapon Nick with Neurological Poison gives poisoner thieves a small boost up in leveling usefulness, since Neurological poison often gives a Slow effect. This makes is the most useful poison against NPCs for leveling purposes.))
But first thing's first:
Human: No experience penalty. They learn extremely fast, which is very VERY nice considering you're going to have it rough ranking past 35 unless you made some very nice friends. There is also a chance you may not have any interest in going past 40 if you only took a single thief path and this is your first, second or third thief, or you're just going to do some levelsitting. They have no vulns, and as far as thieves go have middle-of-the-road HP. You would also take this race for the PK range as you'd have alot of lower levelled foes with high exp penalties and less often will you have foes 5+ levels ahead of you. Distention removes this advantage, as it always does, after a decent period of time, but the HP differential between a level 30 human thief and even most giant warriors is huge, enough for backstab to end a fight before it starts. Humans must wear glowing items to substitute infravision, and given how big gear is to a thief this can be problematic at times while you sacrifice gear slots for useless glowing items at low levels.
Half-Elf/Drow: You would pretty much only take these for role reasons. The stat changes are negligible shifts of +1/-1 to different stats, and you get a partial metal vuln and inability to use metal pretty much only for the sake of infravision. Quiet movement is a respectable substitute for double back, and while players generally shouldn't be using them anyway, negate chase triggers. Taking these races is purely a matter of preference and there's a reason you don't see that many, most roles that these would make sense for Human is just better.
Elf/D-elf: You would take these races for the int and the excellent dex. The auto-sneak is very nice (and works while fleeing, as good or better than quiet movement in these instances) and d-elf thieves have faerie fire, which is useful in rare situations or with certain racial edges. In general though, you need to have a damn good reason or really hate skill spam to take these races over human as these thieves are as fragile as mages. They also have access to higher level foes earlier, the only perk to this being access to stealing their inventory earlier.
Arial: Excellent choice for a thief. The drowning vuln should never become an issue unless you choose to start a fight where the opponent has access to these attacks. Permanent flight makes you the best race to take on and utterly infuriate other thieves as you never have to worry about cheap shot which is the biggest money skill for thieves interested in sealing kills. The dex and int are godly, and the lightning vuln, like the drowning vuln, only comes into play if you fight duergar anti-paladins or people wielding electric weapons. Ancient Hide of the Blue Dragon automatically occupies the <worn on body> gear slot on these thieves. You cannot use spike-toed boots, certain headgear and to a lesser extent, most robes, but the trade-off is that the arial gear you would get probably has the stats you would be using in those slots anyway. Arial advantages and stats are neck and neck with human for the best thief, and if there is any difficulty in choosing between the two, the permanent flight probably seals it unless you are planning around getting and keeping spike-toed boots the majority of your life.
Felar: The first of the black-sheep thief races. Felar thieves are nerfed in every way from the low int to the inability to dual wield. Their only perk is being able to be moderately dangerous using a spear, which many classes learn anyway and those that don't probably aren't worried about your damage output because of your shit strength. Thieves don't use staffs either, which along with spears are the only reason to play felar anything. (except the inherents on shapeshifters). You have nasty fire and drowning vulns for no real advantage, and can't use spike-toed boots either. Only take this if you have a damn good reason.
Duergar: The second of the black-sheep thief races. Why you would take a wrath/whitesteel vuln and 16 int just to not have to practice/type 'detect hidden' is beyond me but some people like the extra strength the race offers. Horrible choice for a thief IMHO, but at least you have some HP and can tank and full loot. The only reason to use this race is if you're used to using it for warriors and AP's, in which case you won't mind the shit skill percentages or extra days of spam practice.
Gnome/Svirfnebli: Gnome/Svirfnebli instantly sacrifice the 23 dex that make thieves decent tanks. Svirfnebli also take a 2 point hit to max intelligence (but the gnomes are as good as arials for skill spam practice). Svirfnebli may well be worth the blunt vuln because you can become near unbashable (which is also a bad thing if you plan on using blackjack or poisons with any frequency) and see both invis and hidden which essentially makes you a duergar AP with a brand new skill set and nice inherents such as stoneskin. Your lore with both these races is 100% which makes practicing appraise moot, unless you intentionally go pickpocket. Gnomes have lots of trains which translates to HP bonuses just like shifters. Svirfnebli and gnomes are probably very good options for experienced players who know some scrolls they want to try out, but new players are probably still going to get owned as them. (To be fair, newbies get owned as anything anyway and usually refuse advice on what to play unless they ask the vague yet infamous "What is the best X?" post...)
((Klaak: General Thief skills have no prerequisite skill. All other paths have a prerequisite of the previous skill in the path, before you can learn the next skill in the path. For example, in order to learn Deft Touch from the Pickpocket path, you must first learn Plant, then Discerning Gaze, then eye of Avarice, and then you can learn Deft Touch. For each skill you must STUDY the skill, AND PRACTICE it, before the next skill in the path will become available. You do not need to meet a certain percentage, though, to unlock the next skill in the path, as long as you spend at least one practice session on the skill. So If you had an Int of 14, and spent one practice session on Plant after studying it, then Discerning Gaze would become available to you, as long as you also meet the level requirement and spend the thief points for it. This is what I recommend for perfecting Warning Skill along the Pickpocket path. Ensure that your Int is about a 17 or lower, and spend only one practice session on Deft Touch (as well as basic Steal) to ensure abundant failures when practicing steal, and abundant opportunities for Warning Skill to fire.))
General Thief Skills (any guild)
Level 13: Gentle Walk............3..........N/A
Level 14: Knife.....................8..........N/A
Level 15: Bribe Mercenary.......1..........N/A
Level 16: Covert....................2........N/A
Level 17: Blackjack.................8........N/A
Level 19: Disengage...............2........N/A
Level 20: Shield Block............10.......N/A
Level 21: Climb.....................2........N/A
Level 22: Doubleback..............2........N/A
Level 23: Precision Strike........5........N/A
Level 24: Thief Waylay............3........N/A
Level 25: Cheap Shot..............14.......N/A
Level 26: Weapon Trip.............4........N/A
Level 27: Improved Hide.........4........N/A
Level 28: Grease Weapon.........4........N/A
Level 32: Grapple...................2........N/A
Level 33: Isolate....................4........N/A
Level 34: Separate..................6........N/A
Level 35: Dual Backstab...........5........N/A
Level 37: Shadow Disappear......2........N/A
Locksmith Skills (Darsylon)
Level 34: Advanced Picklock.......8........8
Level 40: Locksmith...................6........14
Pickpocket Skills (Galadon, Udgaard)
Level 12: Plant.......................6........6
Level 15: Discerning Gaze.........4........10
Level 19: Eye of Avarice..........4........14
Level 21: Deft Touch................6........20
Level 23: Cutpurse..................2........22
Level 25: Appraise..................2........24
Level 25: Combat Steal............2........26
Level 26: Warning Skill.............4........30
Level 29: Container Stealing......2........32
Level 33: Acrobatics................12.......44
Level 36: Counterfeit...............2........46
Level 38: Fence.......................2........48
Thug Skills (Dagdan, Tir-Talath, Northern Mountains)
Level 12: Push...........................2........2
Level 14: Kidney Shot...................4........6
Level 17: Gouge..........................8........14
Level 21: Weapon Butt Blackjack.....6........20
Level 26: Parting Block.................8........28
Level 28: Payment of the Coward....4........32
Level 29: Sucker Hit....................4........36
Level 30: Gut Shot......................4........40
Level 31: Death Strike..................2........42
Level 35: Third Attack..................6........48
Level 36: Strike on the Abandoned...2........50
Level 38: Earclap........................2........52
Level 42: Prey on the Weak...........4........56
Binder Skills (Hamsah Mu'tazz, Seantryn Modan, Barovia)
Level 12: Nimble Fingers..........8........8
Level 21: Bind Legs................6........14
Level 23: Garrotte..................4........18
Level 26: Gag........................6........24
Level 28: Blindfold.................6........30
Level 29: Bind Hands..............6........36
Level 31: Sleeping Disarm.......6........42
Level 33: Tie.........................6........48
Level 34: Truss......................6........54
Level 36: Drag......................2........56
Level 38: Shadow Drag............2........58
Poisoner Skills (Voralian City, Hillcrest, Evermoon Hollow)
Level 10: Envenom...................8........8
Level 12: Apply......................14.......22
Level 12: Concoct Poison...........0........22
Level 12: Food Poison...............0........22
Level 12: Emetic Poison............0........22
Level 14: Concoct Antidote.........2........24
Level 14: Drink Poison.............4........28
Level 17: Inhaled Poison...........4........32
Level 19: Knock-out Poison........4........36
Level 23: Weapon Poison...........4........40
Level 23: Neurological Poison.....4........44
Level 30: Fear Poison...............4........48
Level 33: Contact Poison............4........52
Level 35: Weapon Nick...............4........56
Level 36: Mind Control Poison......4........60
Level 30: Forgiving Cruor...........1........61
Level 42: Grenade Missile..........2........63
Trapper Skills (Blackclaw, Arial City, Upper Cragstone)
Level 10: Bag of Tricks.............10........10
Level 12: Smoke Bomb..............2........12
Level 13: Stench Cloud..............3........15
Level 17: Detect Traps..............14........29
Level 16: Physical Trap.............0........29
Level 16: Glowing Trap..............0........29
Level 26: Knock-out Trap...........4........33
Level 26: Blister Agent..............2........35
Level 29: Abrasive Powder.........3........38
Level 31: Direction Trap............4........42
Level 35: Damage Trap.............4........46
Level 39: Burst Trap.................4........50
Level 42: Pepper Dust..............6........56
Mystic Skills (Arkham)
Level 1: Scrolls......................4........4
Level 13: Arcane Lore.............7........11
Level 20: Glimpse...................1........12
Level 27: Veil of Secrecy..........4........16
Level 29: Lore of the Ages........6........22
Level 32: Veil of Souls.............3........25
Level 35: Infiltrate..................2........27
Level 38: Hypnotize.................7........34
Level 41: Arcane Vision............2........36
Contrary to what the casual observer thinks of when the thief class comes to mind, in my opinion THUG is the gold standard of thieves, not pickpockets. They are closest to what thieves were prior to the revamp years ago, and are the path that all other paths should be weighed against as far as effectiveness in dealing with people and what you can do. Unfortunately, like any thief, thug has alot of situationally limited use skills, and two of these, death strike/strike on the abandoned, you don't tank well enough to use effectively. They are effectively situational parting blows. Still, thugs pretty much play closely to warriors in terms of raw killing power, however they shouldn't be compared to warriors they should be compared to assassins. Also nowhere is the value of a victim's weapon attack vulns more apparent than the thug path (except possibly assassins and assassinate) because as a thug thief your gear slots are at a premium and you need a certain amount of extra HP as well as warrior gear. You can stack 50 damroll on your thief, and probably steamroll two or three unprepared players doing so, but you'll be the easiest dude to kill ever sporting 50 damroll. Your mileage may vary.
Thugs can get higher PK body counts per hour than assassins hands down if both the assassin and thug are geared equally well in gear of their choice. The assassin can kill a wider variety of classes/decked people than the thug can (for reasons other than assassinate/martial trance). Likewise there are certain classes and people that thug is excellent against that the assassin is much less so.
The thug excels at starting a fight. (Backstab, earclap, gut shot, trip) the assassin excels at finishing it. (thugs only have cheap shot and parting block, assassins have numerous kicks to get around lag protection and throw)
Thugs can do more damage faster than an assassin. Likewise an assassin favors a longer fight because of their high-damage-and-potent-debuffs.
Thugs and assassins are both equally shitty at putting people to sleep. Weapon butt blackjack and strangle both suck. That being said, once the opponent is put down, steal is more useful than blindness dust and poison smoke in the general case.
Assassins can't hide during combat. Thieves can, and ought to.
Assassins can tank in ranking, thugs can't past level 25 or 30 without a muter.
Money skills on thug:
Knife (and to a certain extent, it's sister skill push to squeeze extra damage out of knife, the solo ranking tool of desperate thieves everywhere with a vuln attack knife on a mob)
Cheap Shot One of the most expensive thief skills, period. No longer has the potential to perma-lag as it once did but it's fairly close. This skill makes spike-toed boots coveted as those boots turn your cheap shot from a blunt kick to piercing damage and give it a reasonably good multiplier. You will compete with assassins for these boots, and if you're full thug, should usually win if you use backstab/knife correctly prior to trying to trip them to death while wielding a mace. Synergizes also with the extremely rare hero level earthbind scrolls, which generally aren't obtainable solo by thugs.
Parting Block Though it's nowhere near entwine, occasionally you get lucky. Rumors circulate success rate is related to strength differential but never confirmed.
((Klaak: Parting Block is the poor man's version of Cutoff for pole specs. Like Cutoff, Parting Block also gives one round lag to your victim when you successfully block them. It doesn't work as often as Cutoff, but when combined with trip (or weapon trip) and cheap shot, this is probably the closest you can come to perma-lagging someone as a thief. And it's pretty darned close of executed correctly (i.e. Don't enter in any other commands between your trip or weapon trip commands).))
((Klaak: Weapon Trip Although this is a General Thief Skill, and not specifically thug path, any thug who wants the best chance to seal his kill should take this. You can weapon trip for more damage than you get from a normal trip, with equal lag and just as reliably. Flying opponents can be weapon tripped also, but receive only one round lag. Combine this with Cheap Shot, however, and you're back to normal lag. With Parting Block occasionally kicking in, you'll be awfully darned close to perma-lagging your victim.))
Gut shot It's use is not for replacing backstab like the helpfile implies, though you can use it for that. It's better used toward the end of the fight to apply bleeding reliably.
Sucker hit Better than serpent strike, as good as jab/backhand for ranking, it's a damn shame you get it so god damn late.
Grapple/Separate Grapple is good on it's own but these skills warrant listing together as they synergize. Grapple is fun if you get disarmed and aren't too beat up initially, it also is a way to get weapons out of the hands of people whose weapon you aren't skilled in. Separate+grapple prawns Tribunal who rely on manacles and special guards, especially ones with shit melee if you're willing to get flagged trying to kill them or be especially quick and prepped if you're already flagged. Reasonably useful on necromancers with armies too and somewhat useful on druids.
Earclap Outright kills your run of the mill bard and non-shifter mages, unless they are wearing a helmet for some stupid reason. Most get better benefits from non-helmets and don't encounter cranial or this skill enough for it to matter, surprises the hell out of these classes the first time you use it if you creep up on them right, and it seals the fate of servitorless conjies when you're solo.
This path is the second most lethal for PK. Binders kill in a similar manner to necromancers and assassins. Ideally you're going to make your victim useless, and then unload as much damage as possible before the bindings fall off. And they will fall off, the higher your opponent's dexterity is after they are applied the more likely they will fall off in combat. Binders have the potential to easily kill most classes except communers, barring the use of certain scrolls. Binder is also a path the writer of this FAQ has not had the chance to play with yet, and only have limited experience fighting or being bound by them. As such, I can't comment accurately on their money skills yet and will leave it to another player who may credit themselves accordingly.
Suffice to say, shadow drag and drag can make for some hilarious and extremely cheap kills, many involving dragging people into lockable rooms, or onto the water and stealing their boat. People who are tied and trussed cannot move at all but the effect lasts somewhere around 6 ticks. Once you fail a binding on a slept person, you cannot re-try it and must continue tying them up without it.
(Llohuir: I would not recommend trying out poisoner for new players. It is a complex and expensive path to learn. The killing is slow and ardous with lots of effort in careful planning and timing on victims. More often, people just flee and quaff. Not sure how the new quaff/drink poison application work. Would be awesome if poisons can be applied to potions!)
((Klaak: Can still do SUGGEST QUAFF <potion> via Mind Control. Just can't poison a potion, sadly...))
The third most lethal thief path. Also one of the most mysterious, and frustrating to get a grasp on. However, poisoners can be among some of the most rewarding thief classes outside of combat involving raw damage. In the hands of a first-time user, this path is near useless. Poisoners kill similar to shamen, your opponent will not die until they get overconfident and ignore the effects of your poisons. They are very much utility thieves and have little melee power at their disposal. For the exploration savvy player (i.e. usually the players who would already kill more people using scrolls in conjunction with thugs) mind control poison offers some lateral thinking players some cruel and unusual methods of maladiction. The most common trick that hasn't been nerfed yet is to use mind control poison to force people to eat blowfish fillets until they paralyze them, and then try to deal enough damage through the opponent's melee and the newfound damage reduction to kill them. SUGGEST can be used for several other miscellaneous mischief even without potentially lethal pills/food from various area explores besides directly killing people but I'll leave these as an exercise to the resourceful reader. Mind control is not an efficient method to apply poisons by other methods, you may as well use grenades for that. All poisons are resisted by dwarves/duergar, svirfnebli/gnomes, orcs and anyone wearing the Hide of the Ancient Green Dragon as well as explorer rangers with the resilience skill. Rumors are unconfirmed that applying poison from weapons depends on the dex differential between you and the opponent. You cannot poison potions despite the recent mechanical change to quaff/drink commands to be one and the same.
((Klaak: If combined with scrolls, this path can be exceedingly deadly. High level Knock-Out poisons can last 10 hours (11 ticks), and Inhaled KO poison is probably the most reliable KO method across any class. Even more reliable than Lullaby for Bards (though lacking their area-sleep effect) or Sleep Spell for necromancers. This is, of course, assuming that the target is not poison resistant. Even then it's still very reliable. Just less so than without the resistance. Without taking the Devious Versatility edge, best PK combination of skills for a poisoner thief would be full poison path, binder path up to Bind Legs, Gentle Walk (helps IMMENSELY with getting ingredients and other potent gear solo), Knife, Scrolls, and Arcane Lore.
KO with inhaled poison for 10 hours (11 ticks), then immediately recite a famish scroll on victim to begin their movement and mana draining each tick due to starvation. Follow up with plague scroll and crimson scourge scroll. They now have around 8 or 9 ticks of movement and mana drain from 3 soruces (starvation, plague, crimson scourge). Make sure you keep track of how many hours remain on KO. Experiment with your ingredients before hand to learn exactly how long each one will last. Be sure to steal their potions so they can't escape that way. Continue to stack plague scrolls if you like. When you get down to 6 or 7 ticks left on KO, use bind legs. This should give you enough time to retry once if you fail, and not have the binding fall off on its own before they wake if you succeed first try. Soon as you bind legs, use Inhaled Mind Control, and Inhaled Fear poison. Check to make sure that your weapon has Neurological poison. At this point, if you see them get a blank look on their face, that's the Forget effect of Mind Control. If you see that, and they already have bound legs, and fear poison, this is your best time to strike. Open with Emetic Granade. If the Forget effect of Mind Control hasn't kicked in yet, then wait until the last tick before they wake, and open with an Emetic Granade.
This is where the real fun begins. Damage from an Emetic Granade should be hard enough to trigger Fear Poison and force them to flee instantly, before they can even get in a hit on you (Unless it's a minotaur or someone with Aristaea to counter fear effects), and before the bindings have a chance to fall off from combat. This is where the Bind Legs comes in. When your victim tries to walk with Bind Legs, it drains their movement extremely fast. If they had any movement left after the famish, plague, and crimson scourge, that remaining movement is going to get used up almost immediately. With Fear Poison, your victim cannot initiate combat in any way. Now you run in and Knife, causing them to again flee instantly. Since the fleeing is taking place instantly on the hit, the bindings will not have time to fall off. Just keep knifing and making them flee until all movement is gone. If your foe had the Forget effect, they cannot use any of their own abilities to escape. Only run which will just drain their movement faster. Once all their movement is gone, you can either let them sit there and die slowly and painfully to vomiting, hunger, thirst, plague, and crimson scourge (especially if your victim is not a mage or priest who might still have enough mana left to recall/teleport), or you can engage them in toe-to-toe combat, knowing that they cannot flee due to -movement. If you choose to engage in combat, Mind Control poison can be used to SUGGEST TD (TD is the short for THROWDOWN) to disarm your foe if the weapon (and shield) is not stuck to their hand(s). Hopefully, they'll still have the Forget effect from Mind Control, or that it has now kicked in. If so, you probably have this fight in the bag. From here, standard combat rules apply.
An alternative way to start this whole sequence (if you're brave enough to tangle with them head on for a few rounds) is to ambush your foe with an Emetic Granade right from the start, instead of beginning with KO. After landing the poison, use Weapon Nick to deliver Neurological poison. Then flee and return quickly (thanks Rogues Awareness skill) to KO for 10 hours (11 ticks). Since they already have Emetic Poison now, there's no need for a famish scroll, unless you want the -str that goes with it. Follow up with plague, crimson, etc... as described above. The advantage to this method is your victim will be taking damage from wretching, thirst, and hunger right from the get-go, instead of just hunger. That's more mana and movement drain, in addition to damage. Also with every wretching, there is a chance they will fumble their weapon or other held item, even while asleep. Secondly, it gives you a chance to deliver Neurological poison, which frequently causes a Slow effect, blindness (can't get potions from containers), confusion (makes it tough to run if they are near a cabal or other "safe" place), and occasionally even short term paralysis (a paralyzed victim will still flee from fear effects, just like with Wimpy while paralyzed). Neurological poison also makes spell casting and communing tougher (You become distracted from your task, or can't focus. Something like that). ))
Skills of note for poisoners
First has it's uses with similarly keyworded items and the pickpocket skill 'plant' (to be honest if you're a first time player, 'plant' is key to initiating alot of mischief, taking this into consideration and the nature/success rate of alot of early pickpocket path skills, pickpocket is a natural hybrid for a poisoner intent on not directly killing people until level 40). Nothing you do with either skill breaks any laws either.
Llohuir: This poison causes victims to take moderate damage but at an alarming rate (somewhat like immolation or advanced starvation and thirst). Vomitting and dehydration. Can't regen movement, mana too (I think). I believe there are other effects at higher levels which I have never found out. Being a victim, you can't sleep it off, can't drink it off, less a poisoner's antidote, a healing sleep, or more a potent form of healing. Not sure laying of hands helps.
((Klaak: It no longer works like immolate, sadly. It's been toned down to hourly effects only. It still causes violet wretching for damage with a chance to fumble your weapon or other held item, and subsequently starvation and thirst.))
Llohuir: Depends on thief's level, skills and poison ingredient levels. I have victims telling me it last 15 hours even! Not sure if can stack. (It does stack I had an unfortunate accident with a bard and a poisoned beer i drank from 4 times 78 hours of emetic poison Tesline)
((Klaak: With a strong ingredient, and a freshly concocted poison or granade, duration could be a good 35 hours on a single dose.))
A more resourceful player could figure out a use for this with food or drink poison. I got nothing. But KO poison is the longest duration sleep skill that isn't the sleep spell or certain bard songs. It usually offers around 3-5 ticks of sleep duration. It can't be applied to people in combat, and follows similar restrictions to blackjack but is resisted by different factors from blackjack. Consider mixing multiple vials of the stuff before attempting to KO someone aggressively, and always keep a single vial on hand for defensive purposes. They crumble after a while, but you rarely have time to concoct during combat, and only a tiny bit of time during the sleep duration.
Llohuir: Using higher-level of ingredients with proficient skills (>90%?), victims can be knocked out for longer periods. 8 hours? When poisoners first came on the scene, I was knocked out for 12 hours! Not sure if it had been nerfed.
((Klaak: High level ingredients for this are easy to find and acquire. It isn't the level of the ingredient itself, but the level of the resulting poison. There is a level 24 ingredient that, all by itself, results in a level 52 KO poison. There's a level 35 ingredient that results in a level 60 KO poison (With my first poisoner, it made a level 72 KO poison, but by my fourth poisoner thief, it had been toned down to level 60. So whenever you concoct ANY kind of poison, always pay attention to the level of the resulting poison, rather than the level of the ingredient(s).) Inhaled KO poison also seems to be the most reliable method to knock someone out in the entire game once you have perfected Apply skill and Inhaled Poison skill.))
With this and ko poison, who needs disarm? The only drawback to this poison is that picking up the weapon in question during combat is a pointless threat to your own life. Alternatives are saccing it or letting your opponent waste time fumbling with it. You also should make sure to steal all your opponent's spare weaponry or greasing the one in his hands was a pointless waste of time (Llohuir: no, I do not think this skill is a waste of time).
Llohuir: Very effect against melee opponents. High success rate and kicks in pretty often (1 in 4-5 rounds). Usually applied once or twice while victim is knocked out with 2 rounds lag.
((Klaak: This is no longer a mandatory part of the poisoner path. It is now a General Thief Skill. However, its value has not diminished.))
This poison shines in the Galadon Arena and during cabal raids. What it does is prevent your opponent from resting, causes them to have a high chance to flee anytime they take moderate amounts of damage. Synergizes with knife, but if you use this tactic on your opponent, they will bug out and quaff a return or teleport from their knapsack, or worse if it's a berserker rager, bloodthirst negates this poison. At the very least you will be forced to chase your opponent down on foot, not a pleasant prospect if they are flying. It prevents some area attacks, particularly offensive bard songs, and it also prevents targetted offensive assaults of any kind, but it does not for instance prevent someone from using a skill without a target, such as bash. You still have to decide what you're going to do if they don't flee from the knife. Usable to solo rank, if you do enough damage with push/knife and apply it via inhalation, and the mob in question doesn't flee into some guild or something. Ranking this way costs alot of MV though, and is not condusive to groups who will get tired of watching you chase the mob around. I guess it's also one way for warriors to practice parting blow and for you to practice parting block, but that makes for a real crap thief hybrid if you have both those skills.
Llohuir: Very very annoying poison. Groupmates hate it while ranking, or unless someone is tanking the mob in a room which flees pretty often. However it is very effective in annoying victims, especially when you are being targeted. (not proven: makes them slower in executing commands or perhaps chances of spell failure)
((Klaak: VERY deadly when combined with the Forget effect from Mind Control poison, Knife, and Bind Legs, as mentioned above. Also causes non-progging agro NPCs to cease being aggro (a progging agro NPC is one that will make you yell when you enter the room -- like dark-elf patrollers) and stop tracking. It will also cause any victim PC or NPC to randomly yell in fear and paranoia. When this happens, there is a chance that you run screaming from the room, even when you're not in combat, and you might even "cast your useless weapon aside" in your panick. NPCs will do both of these things also. This poison is absolutely ROCKS for defending during a cabal raid. Whip up some fear grenades, and coat your weapons with fear poison. Enemies will find it 100% impossible to raid while affected by fear poison, except, possibly a bloodthirsting rager. I haven't tested this possibility yet.))
Pretty long. I think my victim told me about 10-12 hours.
((Klaak: Depends on the level of the resulting poison. Some can last a good 24 hours or more.))
Has random effects. Sometimes blindness, freezing up, walking in the wrong direction. Messes mind and actions up.
((Klaak: Possible effects = Slow, Blindness, paralysis, confusion (walking the wrong direction or attacking the wrong target when trying to direct an attack), difficulty casting or communing, especially with recall and teleport.))
((Klaak: Depends on the level of the resulting poison.))
Mind control poison
I covered most of it above but I should note that this poison can be applied for one round of lag without starting combat via the inhaled method. If you're quick, you can SUGGEST to the opponent before they bash your face in.
Llohuir: Has frequent forget effects. Imagine using with fear! The victim is just sitting duck and wondering why he couldn't pull off a bash. Susceptible to suggestions which can cause a lot of mayhem. Myriad of creative ways to kill off opponents. IMPs may have toned down the 'player-system' commands eg trustall, nofollow player, etc.
((Klaak: This poison alone makes poisoners a very potent path. Aside from the PK options discussed above, you can plant a potion or pill of Power Word Kill on your victim (if you have plant) or just give it to them (if you don't have plant and they don't have NoGive turned on), then SUGGEST QUAFF VIAL so that they PWK themselves. Effective kill, but I don't think you get credit for the PK. So this method is really only good if you just want to loot something that victim has, and don't really care about the PK credit. You're probably also going to get a mega-bitchfest afterward from your pissed off victim because of such a cheap kill. Village thieves who use this trick will probably get Thror's hammer up their arses using magic to kill their foe. On the non-pk side of things, Mind Control poison will get you just about any item you might want. There are some NPCs that are immune to SUGGEST, but most are not. Some will resist for a long time, but if you keep trying, eventually they will succumb, and simply hand over their items. This is the biggest reason I suggest Gentle Walk for poisoners. Many of these NPCs are aggressive, but if you can Gentle Walk up to them, you can Mind Control them and they stop being aggressive (Unless they prog-aggro upon entering the room, thereby causing a yell. Those types of NPCs bypass Gentle Walk anyway when you approach them, though they are still susceptible to Gentle Walk when they track you and enter the room) until the poison wears off. Mind Control will also cause a tracking NPC to stop tracking you,
Marginally useful without weapon nick. In other words poisoning your group mates weaponry with fear poison as a defensive measure will annoy the shit out of them extremely quickly when the mobs start fleeing. It's marginally useful to poison their weapons with neurological poison if they want to let you take five seconds to do so, but it does nothing to mobs. Weapon poison rarely applies without weapon nick which is two rounds of lag, so you have to really need to apply the poison and not have the grenade skill for this skill to make sense to use. Even then there's probably better things you can be doing in combat or prior to combat, such as making sure grease weapon took... but if you're desperate you can use this skill to weapon nick someone with fear poison and then flee. I guess.
Llohuir: Most common way of poisoning a target. Can weapon poison for group/cabal mates. Extremely useful for raids.
((Klaak: Using Weapon Nick to deliver poison tends to be more reliable than using a grenade to deliver it.)
Ynthok called this 'terrorist activities'. Basically the most humorous purpose of this skill is to emetic poison or mind control poison relatively decent gear and fuck with lowbies by leaving it in market square. Entirely lethal, totally a griefer move and god damn hilarious. It's easier to use this method to fool people into poisoning themselves than to use food or drink poison with a keyword similar to their food/drink in their inventory. Can be done entirely out of PK range. I'm not sure how useful this is or isn't with the pickpocket counterfeit skill but if you've gone that far up pickpocket without getting grenade and you have this skill pre-hero, you've probably screwed your thief.
I haven't had the chance to play with this skill yet. It is NOT an area assault. The grenade can be used to cause mediocre damage and apply all of the poisons in a direct fashion. Naturally you'd use emetic poison as an uber poison attack or mini-plague, or use it to apply neurological poison without having to use weapon nick or count on your opponent being retarded. The other use for this skill is to use high level trap ingredients for massive direct damage. I'm not sure on the lag on this skill but you can do a log board search for 'Gaspar' I guess (http://www.qhcf.net/phorum/read.php?3,616456,616490#msg-616490) or go to 'search' on the upper right hand corner of phorum and change to search archived log board for 'grenade' this will ensure you find logs featuring full fledged poisoners. This skill can be done in combat or to start combat, making it a versatile skill on paper, and in my experience it's probably the reason you would go poisoner and start to venture outside the 'utility' role. This skill also probably starts to make poisoners viable during cabal raids, emetic grenades alone would be a massive help in that department, and with enough of the right trap ingredients you may actually do enough damage to kill an outer or inner. There is of course a chance the victim resists the poison, so multiple grenades of whatever type you plan to use are very much advised. emetic grenades will be cheap and plentiful.
Llohuir: It has to be targeted and does affect victim's group. Has a small chance of backfiring into oneself/one's group if thrown wrongly. Does considerable damage (at least mine did) with chances of the said poison applying on victims. Very, very effective in pk-ing at higher levels.
((Klaak: There is a very small chance that a launched grenade could explode violently, turning into an area attack instead of just hitting the targeted victim. Pretty awesome when you're defending at your inner alone, and your Fear Grenade explodes violently, effectively ending the raid. Or a Mind Control Grenade that soon afflicts the whole raiding party with a Forget effect. But sadly, this sort of thing doesn't happen very often. I think I've only witnessed the area effect happen twice across the entire lifespan of four poisoners. If you are already in combat with someone, you do not have to keep targeting them. You can just LAUNCH <specify the grenade in your inventory> and it will automatically target the foe you're currently fighting. I have only used it with trap ingredients a few times, and resulted with less damage than with poison ingredients. Maybe I was just using weak trap ingredients. Typical damage I saw was upper case DEMOLISHES, sometimes a MANGLE or MASSACRE, and once in a while, and upper case DEVASTATES. Knock out Grenades can be used on fighting victims, and you can even use a KO grenade to knock out the enemy you are currently fighting, then follow up with the strategy I outlined at the beginning of poisoners. Expect a shorter duration from grenade, though. So apply fear poison and Mind Control right away to prevent them from restarting the fight if they wake up faster than you were hoping. Great way to self-rescue when in a pinch. This is also the best way to deliver Emetic poison, though again, I think grenade reduces duration. I could be mistaken about that, but I don't think I am. Launch accuracy is strongly based on your Grenade skill percent, and possibly linked to your dex, though I have not confirmed the dex part.))
Pickpocket: This thief doesn't get any kills except for the occasional gang. Nevertheless pickpocket thieves can be fun as hell, and are the only thief which can pull off non-PK 'perfect crimes' that leaves absolutely no evidence for Tribunal to catch you if you're smart. The downside to this is that your only real levelling skill is circle stab and precision strike and you still have to actually level into the range of people that are actually holding said gear. (level 35ish and up to hero, unless of course you pass by a lowbie PKer bash spec giant/duergar/orc who is decked) Pickpockets can steal from the shadows if their deft touch skill is high enough, somewhere around 85%. Players think it a huge pain in the ass to have to wear containers, and you pretty much will piss more people off than you could by killing them, especially PKers. If you're smart and quick, planting your 'hot' goods that were stolen in a protected city, on a mob, especially a hidden one, will exonerate you from any flags unless the tribunal is an asshole and places the flag on assumption alone. It's a combination of RP, reflexes, skill percentages and luck for this to work, but you can clean someone out without any repercussion unless they are in a guild. Even early pickpocket skills can negate the work of an entire raid, just snatch your cabal item right after the cabal guardian dies, and never appear to actually defend in the first place so you don't give away your presence.
Bread and butter skills for pickpocket:
Plant: This skill is actually more useful for poisoners than it is for pickpockets in the realm of planting poisoned food/drink/gear, but you can attempt to fake some crimes on a particularly stupid tribunal or something I guess if you get creative with this. You can also use it with the pen skill if you want to be cute. Suffice to say, for certain thieves this skill is gold, but it's all in good fun for a pickpocket. You also need this skill to practice steal pretty much.
Deft Touch/Warning Skill: These two skills make you better at stealing, or protect you from getting caught for fucking it up. Honestly your steal success rate will be so high if you perfect steal and deft touch, that you may not need this skill on a hybrid thief that is going to go completely all the way up another path. Practicing deft touch high enough will give you a chance not to step out of the shadows when stealing. Considering steal has a two round lag, this is going to be invaluable unless someone takes the edge that causes them to react violently to a failed steal in which case warning skill becomes invaluable.
((Klaak: Just practicing hide, sneak, and steal up to 100% will allow you to steal from the shadows without stepping out the majority of the time, even on a failed steal, though it will still happen. If you perfect Deft Touch on top of perfect hide, sneak, and steal, you will basically never, ever step out, even on a failed steal. It might still happen one in a thousand times. If you perfect warning skill, you can actually steal at the Eternal Star and not get caught. Perfect steal plus perfect Deft Touch will still have many failed steals at the Inn, but warning skill will prevent you from getting noticed by the bouncers most of the time. If you keep trying, eventually you'll get through and manage to snag the item you wanted. It's still very risky though. I strongly recommend having Gentle Walk here so that if you DO fail, you can flee, gentlewalk, and walk past the pissed off bouncer to try again, if you should feel the urge. If you have already perfected steal and Deft Touch, trying to perfect Warning Skill will be an exercise in futility, since you will rarely fail, unless you're at the Inn. But if you're trying to steal a lot there, you'll probably get banned from the Inn before you finish your practice. Instead, I suggest ensuring that your Int stat is around 17 or 18, and only putting one practice session into steal and deft touch each, then practice Warning Skill in whatever fashion you normally would practice a skill. Now every time you try to steal ANYWHERE, you will fail more often than succeed, and have plenty of chance to perfect Warning Skill before Steel and Deft Touch are perfected. Using this method, try to ensure that basic Steal perfects before Deft Touch. For some reason, if Deft Touch perfects first, you'll have an incredibly hard time getting steal to 100%. I don't understand why, but it frustrated the hell out of me with Tellik.))
Blackjack: Your blackjack doesn't last as long as a binder's. Furthermore if you do what the hell you're supposed to, it doesn't need to. Clean out the most valuable items from your victim's inventory, if you have time steal their potions, and if you want to be a cock steal some coins, but otherwise get the hell out. At the low levels it only lasts two ticks.
((Klaak: Blackjack is now a General Thief Skill, and lasts 3 ticks. <bCutpurse:</b> Fun way to steal lots of coin from someone who is carrying a lot. A little risky if your victim is awake. If they are sleeping, it works perfectly about 99% - 100% of the time. As your foe runs away counting themselves lucky that you didn't steal everything they had, every step they take, or almost every step they take, will result in random quantities of each coin denomination leaving their purse and landing on the ground for you to walk behind them and pick up. Of course, other people can pick it up to, so stay close on their heels, and hope they don't head straight into a guild or cabal, or teleport/recall. If you try this while they are awake, there is a much greater chance for you to miss and cause a small amount of damage to your victim, which then initiates combat and causes a yell.))
Appraise: Don't bother practicing the lore skill if you're going to get this. It works fine at 75%. Pretty much a skill based version of identify.
Container Stealing: This works on containers in inventory or worn. A way to make your thefts even more discreet.
Acrobatics: For a while, combining this skill with cheap shot made mini levelsitting PK monsters. But seriously, trying to take this skill and cheap shot pretty much precludes you from third attack. Still, this is the thief's bash protection, making this skill pretty notable. But it's pretty far up a utility path as well, so most thieves won't have this if they plan to hero or are worth their salt. It does give non-arials a non-flight potion counter to cheap shot from other thieves, and will save a pickpocket's bacon during a fucked up steal.
Shadowdisappear: This skill is really only useful against people who can't see hidden. But it's an alternative to eating a parting blow or cutoff. You can resume stealing after disappearing like this, unless your opponent knows you did this and fogs you out.
((Klaak: This is now a General Thief Skill. Can be a useful means of self-rescue, both against PCs and NPCs. Drawbacks: It only works in places where you can hide, and only works if none of the enemies aiming at you can see hidden. I once tried to shadowdisappear when a Scion tiger attacked me, since I knew it would pounce if I tried to flee. I didn't realize until then that Nightwalkers can detect hidden, so before I could recover from the lag of using the skill, the Nightwalker would re-initiate combat, and the tiger would attack again. Thank the gambler at the Inn for orbs of travel...))
Doubleback: The poor man's replacement for quiet movement skill half-elves get. Still a nice skill.
((Klaak: This is now a General Thief Skill.))
Fence: When you can't find a merchant for your sweet rare gear and don't give a fuck what happens to it, fence it instead of saccing it. That being said, you'll get far less gold than if you sold it.
Guild Protection: Do what will piss off every bloodthirsty player you jack gear from, run into your guild as if it were a cabal. Unfortunately by the time you get this skill your victims can generally kill your guildguard with minimal effort, so this is only really exceptionally useful for mischief if a tribunal is around.
((Klaak: This skill is now only available to Thiefguild leaders. They gain it automatically upon gaining the position.))
City ties: Congratulations, you have poor man's locate mark for your town only, and you're so friggin' far up this path you have nothing to kill them with once you do find them. About the only thing this is useful for is replacing clairvoyance so you can tell your cabal to go gank people, but if you're a pickpocket and in a cabal you must be a more resourceful player than most veterans in CF... or have saved your cabal item numerous times from inevitable conquering.
((Klaak: This skill is now only available to Thiefguild leaders. They gain it automatically upon gaining the position.))
Improved Hide: Hide becomes poor man's camo pretty much. Enjoy opening doors while hidden, or convincing people you're an Outlander or some crap.
((Klaak: This is now a General Thief Skill.))
Advanced Picklock: some difficult locks become less difficult. Some locks can't be picked without this skill. Unpickable or magic locks remain unpickable. Unless you keep buying trash lock picks, not a huge deal. This skill won't suddenly make you viable for exploring.
((Klaak: This is now the first skill in the Locksmith path. I have found this extremely useful. There are many doors now that can only be picked with Advanced Picklock. Many that used to be pickable without this skill have been changed to require it. So it's more useful now than it used to be. Ironically, the Pickpocket path is no longer the best path for acquiring fast coin. Advanced Picklock is the best way to achieve the statues of Wealthiest Thief in Thera. This skill alone, and some creative thinking will be sufficient for the area knowledgeable thief. But for the greatest ease of all, combine Advanced Picklock with the Poisoner Path.
Trapper: Quite possibly the most funky or useless path to play depending on who you ask. Your traps have high failure rates, but long durations when they work (except knock-out traps). Your traps also all double as a poor man's snare, since they sure as hell don't tell you when someone stumbles into them like a ranger's snare does. The incurable blindness and broken bones are nice, I guess. Seriously, you want to see how trappers fight and how bad they are, log search Maethron the Tribunal provost thief trapper. The ONLY thing that guy had going for him was permahasted lieutenants, circle stab, manacles, and that his traps were mildly annoying to raiders but hardly fight turning. This path is a utility path in much the same way as poisoner and pickpocket, half it's skills have nothing to do with traps. You don't even start traps until the last half of this path. This path probably needs to be deleted from the game, or revamped with a ton of edges.
(Enigmatic: I managed some nasty traps with a few trappers so far, mostly uncaballed. Tribunal trappers are totally useless since anyone in your PK range hits them when they walk through them. While mostly annoying, if the trapper has it in their mind to kill someone, I'm almost certain that it's not too hard. Traps were revamped not even too long ago. Mastered trap skill give you the chance to set at least three trio-sets of traps at a time. I've never seen a glowing or damage trap miss, just depends on if their effects kick up, which at hero is almost always a definate. Traps and poisons can be just picked up from about anywhere, and cheap ingredients are easy to find. Durations are mildly silly for some traps. Even a non-murderous thief can appreciate bone shattering someone's weapon off without touching them and finding the person unconcious for almost nine hours, only to get backstabbed and flee into the numerous traps the thief's been setting for the eight hours of waiting. Burst Damage Traps cause people to scream. Poor man's snare or not, if you're in the same area, you know about it.)
Skills that have nothing to do with traps:
Thief waylay: Has it's uses, I guess. Your opponent can't move, unless you wander off. If you start combat though, you're still a thief with second attack and dual wield versus someone who is about to bash your ass down. Steal all you like, but they'll still yell when you fail.
(Engimatic: Have to agree. useless. But, trappers being thieves with just shield block, second attack, and dual wield has a better effect when the person you're stabbing is bone shattered, impaled, and immolated.)
((Klaak: Thief revamp has this as a General Thief skill now. This is actually a good skill, especially combined with the Binder path. Waylay first, then while they are paralyzed by the waylay, Garrotte them. The paralysis will last a short while even after they are knocked out. Use that moment to gag them before they can call for help. Commence having your way with them, with no fear of interference.))
Shield block: Yes, trappers can tank. Whoopty fucking doo. Why do they have this skill?
(Enigmatic: I solo ranked some hero levels. Shield block was a life saver. However, otherwise totally useless in grouping, and I'm not sure it makes much of a difference for PK.)
((Klaak: This is now a General Thief Skill))
Gentlewalk: Pass by aggro mobs. So you're an explorer ranger-lite now.
(Enigmatic: Gentlewalk is dead useful if you gather all of your traps. Also great for taking out ranking groups in areas with aggro mobs. Can gentlewalk after you've attacked a mob and there's a very, very good chance they'll not attack you again.)
((Klaak: This is now a General Thief skill. SUPER AWESOME skill. I highly recommend this skill for all thieves, unless you're trying to pull off the full poison/full trap combination (which only leaves 1 point for non-path skills). When I first started using this skill, once you got it to 100%, you could walk up to an aggro NPC and sleep, talk, do whatever, and just sit there endlessly without being attacked. It has been toned down a bit now, so that the longer you stay there, the more likely it is that the NPC will notice you and attack. Difference in level between you and the NPC seems to have an effect on this as well. However, at 100%, it still gives you ample time to walk in and out at the very least, or walk, grab something/pick a lock, and leave. For poisoners, you have plenty of time to walk in, mind control the NPC so it is no longer aggro, and then have your way with it. This skill turns any thief into a super explorer.))
Combat steal: Steal in combat. Why the fuck don't pickpockets have this skill to use with acrobatics?
(Enigmatic: Only uses I found for combat stealing are when knockout traps take down a conjie, necromancer, scion with a nightwalker, or a magistrate with guards. You can fight whatever pet they have, kill it, and clean them out at the same time. Never worth mastering.)
((Klaak: You got your wish! This is now a Pickpocket skill.))
Disengage: Has some potentially interesting uses. Such ass flee;knife without the flee and eat parting blows part. Apply poisons normally unable to be done in combat (i.e. uber shadow disappear) etc.
(Enigmatic: Disengage for a caballed trapper is priceless, since you can disengage at the Inners of a cabal and drop a few traps in the room. People come to defend, they get a nasty suprise, and the traps also trigger on the Inner mobs. Works the same way when someone tries to rush your ranking group.)
((Klaak: This is now a General Thief Skill. Also, you cannot disengage while someone is aiming at you. You can only disengage when you are not tanking. Personally, I much prefer Shadow Disappear, which can be done while tanking, whereas this one cannot. Advantage of disengage is that it happens instantly and you get the lag afterward, contrasted with shadow disappear where you have one round of set up before it fires, and another round of lag after it fires. Also, disengage can be done in places where you cannot hide. So even if you are not tanking, you cannot shadow disappear on the water, but you CAN disengage.))
Weapon Trip: (Enigmatic: Walking in and tripping someone who's flying, after they've been immolated by a trap? Priceless confusion.)
((Klaak: This is now a General Thief Skill.))
In General, this is the path you don't want to tell anyone that you have. It isn't taken all that often except for scrolls and possibly Arcane Lore, so people don't generally assume that you have many of these skills. With Veil of Secrecy, Lore of the Ages, and Veil of Souls, if they know you have them, they will either find a way to circumvent them, or will simply not believe you when you claim innocence. Be very careful who you allow to know that you have these skills.
Scrolls: Pretty useful for thieves. Scrolls of return are super cheap, scrolls that give detect invis, detect good, and detect evil from Udgaard are much lighter than diluted venom potions and give a longer lasting detect invis. Many other highly useful scrolls abound for the resourceful and exploring thief.
Arcane Lore: Allows a thief to use scrolls with the same failure rate as a mage with the same skill level and same Int. In order words, 100% Scrolls +100% Arcane lore will allow the thief to use scrolls equal to a mage with 100% Scrolls and the same level Int as the thief. You'll waste a lot less scrolls with this skill than you would otherwise. If you want to beef it up more, take the Arcane Literacy edge. Works sort of like Warning Skill but for scrolls instead. If you mispronounce a syllable when reciting, Arcane Literacy edge will give you a (pretty good) chance to save the scroll, instead of losing it, so that you can try again. Arcane Lore with Arcane Literacy edge = VERY few wasted scrolls.
Glimpse: Handy little skill for exploring. Not much use otherwise. Let's you see the contents of a locked container without even opening it. Very useful when you find a chest or something that's unpickable (even with advanced picklock), and you don't know where the key is for it. Glimpse inside (Allows the use of Legendary Awareness also.) and see if the contents are worth the bother of finding the key.
Veil of Secrecy: This skill meshes extremely well with the Pickpocket path. Not only does it prevent other thieves from Peeking at your inventory, and Conjurers from using Sight Theft on you, it also prevents any items in your possession from being located via Locate Object and all its various cross-class flavors. I've used this before to rob on-duty Magistrates and get away with it. They will ask, "Did you just steal my really cool item?" To which you reply with perfect innocence, "Of course not! I'm not that stupid to rob a Magistrate who's on duty. What kind of idiot do you take me for, anyway?" Thinking they're going to catch you in your lie, they either try to locate the item themselves, or ask someone else to do it for them. When the item cannot be located after a good half hour of trying, they give up and walk away scratching their head and wondering why their item spontaneously poofed on them.
Lore of the Ages: This is an extra dodge skill vs. magical weapons. The more rare the magical weapon, the better it works. It also allows you to avoid the progs from progging magical weapons, and the progs from the Unholy Weapons of Anti-paladins. If you have perfect dodge, parry, and have taken and mastered shield block, 100% Lore of the Ages will turn you into a super tank against qualifying enemy weapons. I first experienced this in Hell against a super tough with a shocking weapon, when I was an arial thief. Our half-drow spear spec with metabolic quickening and various other protections was having a rough time tanking the NPC, so I decided to try. Much to the utter amazement of the party (and myself), I vastly out-tanked the spear spec against the legendary weapon being wielded by the NPC, and (at least at the start) I had almost no improvements in Lore of the Ages. That might have even been the first time I had seen an improvement in actual combat (I didn't tank much otherwise, and this was a non-pk character).
Veil of Souls: This is one of those skills that can really save your bacon as well. Unfortunately, the last time I played a Mystic thief was back when the In-game help file was far less specific about what this skill actually does. At the time, I thought it only concealed the (Gold Aura)/(Red Aura)/(Orderly Aura)/(Chaotic Aura) from those who might wish to know such things. Since I was playing a neutral, non-pk thief, it didn't seem like that big of a deal and I rarely used it. According to the current help file, though, it also protects against magical means of locating the thief favored by conjures and their extra-planar minions. This sounds to me like protection from nightgaunts, which I did hear rumored IC some time ago as well. This assessment is further strengthened by the help file stating that it also offers protection against the druidic Hunt, which works similarly to a nightgaunt. I'm not certain exactly what type of protection it gives against each of these things, though.
Infiltrate: Pretty useful lock pick skill. This is the form of lock picking used by the Djin, Janni, and Efreet familiars of conjurers. All by itself, it seems to work more reliably than the basic lock pick skill. It can be used while hidden without stepping out, and can even be used while fighting. If you also learn Advanced Picklock, then this skill can also be used to open locks not pickable by anyone lacking Advanced Picklock. It requires no physical tools, so there is no longer any need to fuss about finding the best lockpick around. Biggest drawback to this skill, if it still works the way it did when I last played a Mystic thief, is that it has 3 rounds lag (if memory serves). I suspect that this skill utilizes your Int stat instead of Dexterity, though I have no confirmation on that)
Hypnotize: This is kind of an interesting ability, though I hope its usefulness has been improved since I last used it. You can hypnotize someone with one of the following options: Lethargy, Vertigo, Cowardice, Despair, and Nausea. Back when I had it, I noticed no effects from Nausea, though the word would imply vomiting. I never did figure out what Nausea was supposed to do. Lethargy gave a Slow effect that lasted a number of rounds just shy of 2 ticks. Very mildly useful at best. I THINK Vertigo gives a Confuse effect, but I could be wrong about that. Cowardice is like poor man's fear poison, with a much shorter duration. I suspect that Despair gives a morale penalty. The biggest problem with this skill, is that (at least when I had it) none of these effects show up in the victim's affects list. The only way I was able to gauge duration at all was with the fear effect preventing combat initiation by the person who was helping me research the skill. I'm hoping this has been beefed up since that time, because 7 points was a huge waste on this skill back then. Once I figured out how little this skill was doing, I stopped using it altogether. If someone has used this skill more recently and has researched it thoroughly, please shed some light on it.
Arcane Vision: Combination Detect Magic and Detect Invis. I never had this skill personally, so I am uncertain what kind of duration it has. Pretty good skill, though, otherwise. Saves you the gold of buying detection scrolls, you don't have to carry the extra weight of detection preps anymore, and you don't have to use up a neck slot for the amulet of clarity either. A bargain to be sure at a measly 2 points (after taking the whole rest of the path, of course!). If this is your primary reason for taking the path, don't do it. If the other skills don't interest you, don't waste your points on them just for this. Just use scrolls or potions for your detection needs unless the entire Mystic Path appeals to you.--Klaak))
Misc. Info opportunities t Isildur posted some number crunching on thieves for the highest skills they had in PBF's but they may not make sense to a newer player at first glance. If you're curious just how much leeway you have with thief points, one full thug path thief I had got up to knock-out poison at level 50. Another one I had took opportunities t blackjack from the binder path which pretty much shifted all of his thug skills up to a 5 level period. So, sucker hit got shifted to 30, separate and third attack got shifted to 35, SOTA would have shifted to 40 and possibly Earclap could be practiced at 40 but it's entirely possible it would have waited till 45. However let it be noted thug plays a hell of alot differently when you have a real blackjack skill available to you instead of weaponbutt, so YMMV. One thief went up to fear poison, then took cheap shot at 35 and then at 40 could only go up to blackjack in binder path. You can do searches on the official sites and PBFs for the thief class to see what skills they had. Any thieves that made it to 31 and didn't ignore secondary paths would be of special interest, and you can also converse with various thieves in-game. More knowledgeable ones will be willing to discuss potential choices if they are part of your guild. Another incentive to pay to get into a guild.
((Klaak: Most if not all of the above paragraph is now inaccurate after thieves have received two revamps--One revamp that rearranged skills as I've mentioned numerous times above, including some that I have not mentioned like trappers losing all of the trap-irrelevant skills and gaining many new skills instead. Also included in that revamp was making thief points visible. Typing STUDY at any thief guildmaster will now show you how many thief points you have available, as well as the thief skills available for you to learn at that guild and what they each cost. Then there was another revamp that readjusted the thief point value of several skills in the General Thief Skills, and the Mystic Path. For someone who wants to plan out their thief accurately in advance, go to the official Carrion Fields forums, click "search", then "Use Advanced search form." In the search field, type Thief Spreadsheet, then click the circle for AND instead of OR. Choose Gameplay as the forum to search. Choose the post titled Thief Spreadsheet. From the post, you can download Tac's Open Office spreadsheet with all the thief skills and their point values. Just check off the skills you want, and the spreadsheet totals them up for you. Since Tac wrote that spreadsheet, thief point values have been adjusted somewhat, so refer to the point values I listed above. These are the updated, current thief point values. To update the spreadsheet, just replace the previous value with the new one, save it, and then get your thief on!))
Anyone is free to edit any part of this guide or add conjecture under their own name including debating my opinions.