So You Wanna Be A Thief?
Jump to navigation Jump to search
(Tynian's notes: Slash posted a series of notes in 1994 about being a thief. It may be interesting from a historical perspective. The notes are taken from the notes data file, and may look a little funny)
Sender Slash~ Date Sun May 29 19:37:07 1994~ To all~ Subject So you wanna be a thief? Part I~ Text So you wanna be a thief? Thieving is fun, and can be done for success and profit. However, thieving is not the same as being a warrior, and the on line thieving help is rather poor. Here is the straight dope, as told by a Master of Smell: Skills: $$$$ BACKSTAB - Backstab lets you do double (or more) damage on your first hit. Once you have some skill, you initiated it by saying BS <mob>. If you do practice BACKSTAB, make sure you adept in at as soon as possible, even if you have for skip common. The reason is, if you miss your backstab, the mob is going to have a first hit on you, which can be quite bad if you were expecting to start with a good bit of damage against the mob. You can only backstab with a piercing weapon. At first level, this is your sub-issue dagger. Not a lot of weapons pierce. Some daggers don't pierce, and some things you wouldn't expect to pierce do, like icicles and chisels. If you lose your sub-issue dagger, you will need to beg or steal another, as there are no low-level piercing weapons in the mud. You might be able to find one in the weapons shop, but it will probably be higher level than you are. Most non-piercing weapons do more damage than piercing weapons at the same level, so a common strategy is to BS, then immediately wield your back-up weapon. This trick is also insurance against being disarmed on the first round. If you expect to PK, remember that you can't BS in a PK, as PKs must be initiated with MURDER. You also can't BS aggressive mobs easily. At higher levels with a good piercing weapon, you will be able to BS cityguards and kill them instantly. Sender Slash~ Date Sun May 29 19:38:25 1994~ To all~ Subject So you wanna be a thief? Part II~ Text $$$ PICK - This lets you pick locks in things like chests and doors. Locks have some kind of level, so don't expect that if you adept in this you will be some kind of Houdini. (At 25th level I couldn't pick the lock in mud school). However, PICK lets you go places you normally wouldn't be able to without killing some high-level monster, and get treasure with a lot less hassle. Also, the people you are going to group with will expect you to have it. PICK is also handy when the mud crashes and you are locked in somewhere without a key or a recall. You can keep PICKing something for quite some time, so you don't really need to adept in this skill right away. Don't endlessly pick a lock, though, as the mud will kick you off automatically. Every few times do some other fast action like FROWN. $$$ STEAL - Steal is pretty useless when you first get it, as you can't really use it until you get PEEK. This is because you can't steal wielded, worn, or held objects. If you want to steal from players before you get PEEK, wait until you see "<player> stops using <object>". Then steal the object, or better yet, wait until the player is asleep. Some objects are called NODROPs, and can't be stolen. This includes all potions, and certain 'cursed' weapons. Also, some mobs are smart and will hold their key or other object so you can't steal it. Some people put all their stuff in a container. You can't steal from inside a container. You can steal the whole container though just as easily. If you are worried about people stealing stuff from $you$, you can use the container trick and hold the container in your hand, or get a container like the backpack that can be worn instead of carried. Sender Slash~ Date Sun May 29 19:40:13 1994~ To all~ Subject So you wanna be a thief? Part III~ Text $$$ PEEK - Shows you the non-equipment inventory of a player or mob. This is real handy. Once you have this, you can steal all kinds of stuff from mobs and players. Like PICK, you can keep doing this almost endlessly, so there is no need to adept in this right away. Remember that the mud is set up so that in a group of mobs only a few will have the key you want, so you want to PEEK <mob> until you see "Nothing" in the inventory and then start PEEK 2.<mob> until you see "Nothing" in the inventory. Don't expect to get all the things you saw in the inventory when the mob dies. Some objects vanish when the mob dies. Other objects appear when the mob dies. This doesn't happen a lot though. $ SNEAK & HIDE - These are PK skills or for impressing your friends in town. Don't expect to sneak around mobs. $$$ DISARM - This practice is pretty important. First, it lets you disarm mobs, so they will do less damage against you. Secondly, once they are disarmed, they won't be able to disarm you. Finally, in the middle levels it is quite common for the really cool weapon you want to be in the hands of some mob that you are not able to kill. You can disarm the mob, get the weapon, and then flee. Lamias come to mind here. Some mobs have the ability to retrieve a weapon after you have disarmed them. Therefore, once you have disarmed them you want to GET or SAC the weapon immediately. DISARM is also the first thieving skill you can do while in combat, so you get something to type during a fight. This makes fighting a lot more fun. $$$$ DODGE and PARRY - Once you get these, you are set for the big time. If you can adept in both of these, you will cut your damage by about 90%. These skills are automatic, you don't have to type anything. $$$$ SECOND ATTACK and THIRD ATTACK - Once you get these, you are really set for the big time. You will start doing two or three times the damage you used to. This means the mob will only live for 1/2 as long, inflicting only half the damage upon you. $$$$ KICK - Kick is great, especially if you are really strong. Mobs don't seem to get a chance to dodge or parry a kick, so for certain mobs you will find yourself doing as much damage with kick as you are doing with your three other attacks. Sender Slash~ Date Sun May 29 19:41:03 1994~ To all~ Subject So you wanna be a thief? Part IV~ Text $$$ INFO - This displays a line on your terminal whenever a player starts, quits, raises a level, or is killed. Kind of interesting. $ INFO2 - Prevents you from typing anything for twenty seconds, then comes back with something lame like "<player> has a long sword" or "<player> is evil." You can't use this on mobs. $$ INFO3 - This lets you know whenever anybody talks anywhere in the world. This is a pretty useless skill unless people are plotting to PK you. The purpose seems to be to let you get a feel for how the other players are doing, so you can offer to rescue them for huge fees. You also start getting an echo in your ears where you hear stuff like "Lendoralin says hello" then "Lendoralin (somewhere) says 'hello' to someone". $$ BLYND - This is pretty cool, as it causes the mobs to do less damage and prevents them from retrieving their weapons. You only get to do it once per mob unless you are really lucky. Sender Slash~ Date Sun May 29 19:42:20 1994~ To all~ Subject So you wanna be a thief? Part V~ Text $$ BANDAGE - This is like cure light, but you can only do it to players that are really close to death. Also, since you can fail miserably, you don't really want to do it to a player with 1 hp. Use it on players who are dying or have enough hp to take your bandage failure. Note that you can bandage yourself. Also, if you have a lot of hit points, you can $really$ bandage yourself. At 500 hp, I could bandage myself back up to 130 hp after a really bad fight. And there is no annoying wait for 'mana' or whatever. $$$ RETRIEVE - This causes you to automatically get your weapon back if you are disarmed. This is handy, esp if you are blind or if you didn't notice that you got disarmed as messages scrolled up your screen. Don't count on it working, though. $$ ENGAGE - This skill misfires so much that it is usually to much of a pain to use. Two good uses though are 1) When you are in a group, and some which level mob is attacking your cleric or mage, you can switch to fight the mob. (However, you don't get rescue, so you better be pretty good). 2) More importantly, when fighting alone and the second mob keeps disarming you you can switch to him and disarm him. $ LANGUAGES - Since the mobs don't talk and the signs and notes are all readable, the language thing is just for talking to other players, specifically first level players. Why you would want to talk to a first level player is not known at this time. -Slash