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Thievery artwork

Some fight for honor. Others fight for a cause. But thieves? They're motivated by one thing: precious, precious gold. The world is filled with powerful magic items and glittering gemstone. Why should they be left to gather dust in some ancient tomb? All you have to do is pick a few locks, sneak past a group of oblivious guards, disarm a trap or two, and untold riches could be yours! What marvelous treasures could await you in your adventures?

Examples of Thievery characters include:



(Thievery | Combat)

  • You can have the GM tell you all of a visible creature's weaknesses
  • Descriptions
  • learning their habits and routines
  • finding an exploitable weakness
  • studying their body language
  • Duck

    (Thievery | Combat)

  • Collaborate on how you charge this trait. Spend the charge to make an attack meant for you hit the next most logical target instead
  • Descriptions
  • leaping out of the way
  • pulling an enemy in front of you
  • ducking and covering your head
  • Examples
  • get safely out of danger
  • frame someone for your crime
  • have a drink and talk about a close call
  • Misdirection

    (Thievery | Combat)

  • If you like, enemies can't attack you as long as there are other visible targets
  • Descriptions
  • looking nonthreatening
  • drawing attention to someone else
  • hiding behind an ally
  • running away
  • Sneak Attack

    (Thievery | Combat)

  • When you attack an unsuspecting and vulnerable victim, you can defeat them however you want. If they're significantly more powerful than you, give them a brutal physical condition instead
  • Descriptions
  • knocking them over the head
  • choking them out
  • stabbing them in the back
  • slitting their throat
  • Examples
    Brutal Conditions
  • slit throat
  • broken bone
  • gouged out eyes
  • bloody amputation
  • severed arteries
  • Tumble

    (Thievery | Combat)

  • Gain the defense "Tumble ☐". Mark it when you suffer a Bad Tale that you can logically dodge. When you do, remove or suppress (whichever is more logical) a condition that restricts your movement, and you can immediately move
  • Descriptions
  • diving out of the way
  • running for safety
  • swinging away on a rope or vine
  • ducking into a ditch
  • Cloaked in Shadows

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • Gain the defense "Cloaked in Shadows ☐". Mark it when you suffer a Bad Tale while hidden or obscured. Then, you vanish; not even the GM knows where you are. On your next turn, tell the GM where you're hiding (though you can stay hidden in your new location if you like)
  • Descriptions
  • ducking into the shadows
  • taking a glancing blow from their bad aim
  • repositioning to a better spot
  • Escape

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • You can escape your current predicament and bring as many other as you like with you. The GM gives you a condition based on how you escaped. You can't use this again until you lose that condition
  • Descriptions
  • vanishing in a cloud of smoke
  • pulling a lever to reveal an escape tunnel
  • disappearing in the crowd
  • Eye for Treasure

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • When you find treasure, find 1 extra treasure
  • Descriptions
  • finding extra hidden valuables
  • getting a good price for your treasure
  • pocketing valuables
  • From the Shadows

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • Once each time while hiding, you can perform an action that would normally break stealth and reveal your location without breaking stealth. Absurdly obvious actions (jumping on a table and yelling) will reveal you as normal
  • Descriptions
  • returning to the shadows
  • doing something before anyone notices
  • waiting for the perfect moment
  • Hideout

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • You can establish an unpopulated area as your hideout. Your hideout is much harder than normal to locate. Collaborate on why it's so difficult to locate
  • Descriptions
  • establishing a false front
  • installing a hidden door
  • hiding it in a hard-to-spot alley or cul-de-sac
  • Silence and Shadow

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • If you like, everything you do is completely noiseless. Also, you can dim or extinguish a visible light source until someone takes the time to rekindle the light. You can't dim celestial bodies, such as the sun
  • Descriptions
  • landing like a cat
  • snuffing out a candle
  • using shadow-magic on a torch
  • spreading gloom
  • Stash

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • When you enter a new region, tell the GM where there's a hidden stash. If you reach the stash, it has supplies that happen to be useful for your current predicament
  • Descriptions
  • digging up buried treasure
  • looting a secret thieves' guild stash
  • hiding away supplies for later
  • Trap Finder

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • Gain the defense "Trap Finder ☐". Mark it when you suffer a Bad Tale related to traps. Also, the GM must answer honestly whenever you ask if there's anything hidden here
  • Descriptions
  • searching for hidden panels
  • relying on your acute sense of touch
  • listening for a soft "click"
  • Without a Trace

    (Thievery | Exploration)

  • If nobody has seen you for several minutes, you can vanish without a trace. Nobody knows where you are (including the GM), so you skip all of your turns. At any point, reappear anywhere that you logically could have reached during that time
  • Descriptions
  • throwing down a smoke bomb
  • disappearing into a forest
  • emerging when they least expect it
  • Black Market

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • Whenever you want, you can have safe and discreet access to criminal resources
  • Descriptions
  • hearing whispers
  • reading thieves' symbols carved into buildings
  • leveraging back alley contacts
  • Examples
  • fence
  • lookouts
  • assassins
  • thugs for hire
  • informant
  • smugglers
  • poisons
  • controlled substances
  • Everything Has a Price

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • You can spend 1 treasure to gain 1 Good Tale. If there's no one to pay when you use this, explain how a purchase you made long ago is now paying off
  • Descriptions
  • greasing palms
  • bribing officials
  • hiring a professional
  • putting a scheme into motion
  • Mastermind

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • You can orchestrate a grand plan (max 1), giving as many allies as you want a job related to your plan. Write their jobs on your character sheet. When one of them fulfills their job, check their job. Cross off a checked job to gain a free Good Tale toward executing your grand plan
  • Descriptions
  • organizing the score of a lifetime
  • tricking others to do the dirty work
  • your criminal genius
  • Examples
  • take out the guards
  • discover the pass code
  • steal the gate keys
  • stand guard
  • secure an escape route
  • Second Identity

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • Collaborate on a complete second identity for yourself
  • Descriptions
  • changing your accent
  • walking differently
  • roleplaying a completely different personality
  • Examples
    Second Identity
  • name
  • family friends
  • contacts
  • paperwork
  • home
  • reputation
  • history
  • wardrobe
  • job
  • Spy Network

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • You have an extensive spy network. Collaborate on what they're targeting. Your spy network can provide you with intimate, useful information about their target whenever you want. You can change their target, but it takes time and/or resources
  • Descriptions
  • meeting cloaked figures
  • getting a package from a drop-off zone
  • an npc slipping you a letter
  • Examples
  • a certain city
  • politicians and nobles
  • armies and troops
  • the elves
  • pirates
  • merchants
  • Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • You can reveal that someone who isn't significantly more powerful than you was secretly your minion all along
  • Descriptions
  • giving the secret signal
  • nodding at your hidden ally
  • executing your master plan
  • shouting "now!"
  • Tamper with Evidence

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • You can lose all heat you and your allies have for a crime. If you have an item that belongs to someone else, you can convincingly frame that person for the crime or event instead
  • Descriptions
  • wiping down finger prints
  • destroying clues
  • planting evidence
  • misleading investigators
  • White Lie

    (Thievery | Interaction)

  • You can convince others of lies that would normally be unbelieveable. Collaborate on what now constitutes a believable lie for you
  • Descriptions
  • telling a white lie
  • manipulating someone with your wit
  • leading them to assume the wrong thing

  • © 2023-2023




    Physical contact and adjacent spaces


    Several steps, or 3 spaces


    A room, or 5 spaces


    A building, or 10 spaces

    Very Far

    Several buildings, or 20+ spaces



    Players can spend their bolsters to increase a related roll. The GM can spend bolsters to make a PC decrease a related roll. Unspent bolsters eventually expire.

    Refer to Chapter 2 of the rules for more about increasing/decreasing rolls


    Traits that tell you to collaborate are intentionally vague and ambiguous. Work with the GM to create a balanced and thematically appropriate effect. Collaborations should be an ongoing process. For example, you may discover that an effect is too strong or weak after a few sessions, so you and the GM should rebalance the effect


    A condition is anything that temporarily affects your capabilities or status.

    Refer to Chapter 3 of the rules for more about conditions


    Defenses make you more resilient during Challenges. Defenses grant one or more boxes, which function the same as Challenge Number boxes. However, defenses have unique requirements that allow you to mark them only in specific situations


    A minion is a creature that serves another creature through a contract.

    Refer to Chapter 7 of the rules for more about minions


    A shrine is a divine conduit that allows a specific deity or set of deities to affect the mortal world.

    Refer to the Faith theme of the rules for more about shrines

    Temporary Item Trait

    A temporary item trait is any item trait that you did not spend XP to acquire. Temporary item traits come from a variety of source: magic items, potions, spells, etc. They're free and don't affect the XP cost of buying other item traits. You can't upgrade temporary item traits

    Temporary Trait

    A temporary trait is any that you did not spend XP to acquire. Temporary traits come from a variety of source: magic items, potions, spells, etc. They're free and don't affect the XP cost of buying other traits. You can't upgrade temporary traits


    Worldbuilding a collaborative process wherin the players and the GM work together to create something about the game world. One person is in charge of the worldbuilding event, and the other players support that player.

    Refer to Chapter 6 of the rules for more about world building


    A zone is an area of effect. If a trait affects a zone, collaborate on logically fitting zones that you can create with that trait, and write them into your trait. Example zones:
    Blast: An explosion that affects one space and adjacent spaces. Blast attacks can be melee or ranged.
    Cone: A 90° cone that extends out to a Close distance. Cone attacks are considered to be melee.
    Line: This is a line of spaces that extends out to a Far distance. Line attacks are considered to be ranged.


    Tavern Tales Toolkit 0.0.1-alpha-5

    Based on the Kickstarter 1.0.1 version of Tavern Tales with minor modifications


    • Metamagic has been renamed Augment and moved from Arcane traits into General traits
    Tavern Tales, the Tavern Tales logo, and any other associated artwork were orginally © 2014-2017 by Dabney Bailey, and has since been released under the Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license


    Tavern Tales KS 1.0.1 on Fandom Tavern Tales Discord