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shared_worlds:thick_as_thieves_specialisations

Thick as Thieves RP - Specialisations : Player Character Specialisations and Professions

This page provides an overview of all specialisations and professions that are available to player characters. As the game/RP focuses on characters from the world of professional thieving, these occupations have their place primarily within the workings of a freelancer's or guild's mundane chores and missions.

For basic information on how specialisations work, see Specialisations Explained.

Work in progress.


Specialisations List (with Descriptions)

a.) SPECIALISATIONS AVAILABLE ONLY TO GUILDS

GUILD BOSS
There's this widespread romanticised ideal, this myth, floating around in people's heads almost whenever professional thieves and thief guilds are mentioned… The myth that all organisations of professional thieves are some sort of idealistic, meritocratic communes of brave and cocky rogues who have no place for the power structures of the outside, mundane world. Well, forget it ! Like in every group and every society, thieves too aren't exempt from the necessary evil that is hierarchy. Granted, the nature of most well-run thieves' guilds is rather informal and familial. But for things to work, especially if a guild is long-lived and has up to several dozen members, there needs to be some sense of order, of leadership. Of older, wiser thieves overseeing and advising the younger generations, whether they be complete rookies or already have a few years of hard-earned experience. People often ask what's the main difference between a fellowship and a guild. Aside from the larger number of members, a guild also has a more formal and official structure than the “club”-like nature of thief fellowships, and last but not least… it has a well-defined leader. Simply put, a Guild Boss. Unsurprisingly, male or female Guild Bosses are often picked among the older and more seasoned members of a guild. Just as every guild is its own little world, so does the choice of Bosses depend on a guild's overall nature and inner traditions. Some guilds have direct elections of Bosses, though under supervision of its leadership. In others, the existing leadership forms a small elective council which, together with advice from lower-ranking guild members, eventually chooses a new Boss. Either of these two election types can be held regularly or only occassionally. And some guilds are practically dynastic, “family-run businessess”, with most of their Bosses simply inheriting the leadership position. Being a Guild Boss sounds privileged and powerful, but it's a somewhat ungrateful position to be in. Whether you like it or not, you have potentially tens of people under you, with all of them looking up to you, many of them possibly not exactly being fond of your's truly… And despite that, you're expected to grind your teeth, remain charismatic and clever, and be a guild's true “head of the family” that doesn't lose his or her cool that easily. A tall order, ey ? Well, once the weight of the (thieving) world falls on your shoulders, you either buckle and learn to take it (and enjoy it !) or you don't. It can be your choice, it can be the choice of the people who expect you to not let them down… Choices, choices, and so many variables…

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: The leader of a thieves' guild, with all the privileges and responsibilities that come with the position.
Recommended combos with: Heist Planner
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

AIDE
Since ancient times, every ruler or leader of a sizable group of people, whether a nation or a band of thieves, has needed someone competent to act as his right hand man (or woman). In other words, he's needed someone to aid him - an Aide, if you will. In the civilian sphere of Melza, the Lord Mayor has several of these, though one stands out in particular, in the form of the Mayor's trustworthy chancellor. Why should the criminal underworld of Melza be any different, then, especially among the established thieves' guilds ? Such was the thinking in many of the guilds, and coupled with a naturally arising need for an auxilliary to the main guild leader, the position of Aide was gradually born. So, what does an Aide actually do on a mundane basis ? Many hold this romantic idea that he wields as much power as the Boss, or even more, and secretly works on backstabbing him behind the scenes. In actuality, while some examples like that have occassionally occured in guild history, the vast majority of Aides are effectivelly economic managers of a guild's day-to-day running. They act as overseers on whether the thieves are fed and in good morale, whether the mundane supplies are coming in, the loot is getting fenced and moving on, whether a guild's compound or safehouses haven't become revealed or compromised, and so on, and so on…

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: Deputy to a Guild Boss and main overseer of a guild's inner economic and political stability. All Cooks-quartermasters and Smugglers are his or her's direct underlings.
Recommended combos with: Gentleman Thief
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

SCRIBE
In the years and years long path towards a higher position within a guild, the Scribe of a Guild Boss is one of the culminations of a guild's “desk jockey” managerial professions. The Scribe is, in a sense, the further evolution of a Pencil-pusher or an Accountant. Functionally, the Scribe is primarily the archivist of a guild, and also the personal secretary and archivist to the Guild Boss. Also, if a guild includes at least a small library in its main compound (many guilds do), the Scribe usually acts as the librarian of the organisation. Finally, the Scribe's relation to the profession of Guild accountants and pencil-pushers is not at all accidental - technically speaking, all of the Accountants and Pencil-pushers in a guild are the Scribe's subordinates. They ultimately answer to him, then secondarily to the Guild Boss (though the latter is only in major cases or when he sends for them).

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: A Guild Boss's primary bureaucrat and record keeper. Also the archivist, librarian and main scholar of a guild. All Accountants and Pencil-pushers are his or her's direct underlings.
Recommended combos with: Pencil-pusher, Accountant
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

COUNSELLOR
Guilds are larger organisations, and owing to their size, they’re also more vulnerable to accepting strangers into their ranks, as new recruits. As much as a thieves' guild needs new members from time to time, there is also a need for a screening process. Though guilds are far more welcoming of error than more typical crime gangs, there are still limits to their patience. The counsellor’s primary duty is to screen new recruits into a guild, in order to ensure they won’t pose a threat to other members and can be relied upon as long-term associates. Recruiters can provide new apprentices if needed, but the final decision rests with the Counsellor. After also doing some consulting with a guild’s Boss, of course. If the Counsellor decides against recruiting someone, that person is simply not recruited. Furthermore, the counsellor also has the invaluable duty of providing professional advice to individual guild members. Not only established ones, but also rookies or relatively skilled but still learning thieves. It's not unusual seeing a counsellor cooperating with guild bureaucrats or with stealth and combat skill trainers, while explaining things to guild newcomers. Though this can vary from guild to guild, the general practice is to have several veterans working in conjunction to advise or instruct a guild member. More people educating, warning or explaining is seen to have greater impact than leaving it all to a single person. All guild members working as Recruiters are subordinates to the Counsellor. They ultimately answer to him, then secondarily to the Guild Boss (though the latter is only in major cases or when he sends for them).

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: Oversees the enrollment process of new members into a thieves' guild and is always ready to provide professional advice for individual guild members and even freelancers. All Recruiters are his direct underlings.
Recommended combos with: Recruiter, Dogsbody, Pencil-pusher
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

FRONT MANAGER
Obviously, not every company is that well-suited to concealing a thieving guild's operations behind its own facade. Things like shops and other small businesses are understandable, but certain other types of companies don't lend themselves too well to being a front (either for a guild itself, or just some loot fences). Antique shops, theatre troupes, brothels. Fronts don't need to be just fancy. Some are, obviously, but most tend to be low-key. Whether a front will ever be successful depends on several factors, one of the most crucial being whether they feel believable in a local context. Per logic, a theatre troupe will probably not have its domicile in the worst slum, but on some slightly better street. Particular circumstances of the business operation are also crucial, as any dubious incomes, expenses, supplying, and so on can draw supsicion if left unchecked for a longer time. A front manager's duty is to oversee that the front remains a functioning shield for shady dealings of the thieving underworld, in addition to the usual economic matters that go along with its upkeep.

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: Oversees the working of the various businesses that serve as fronts for a thieves' guild, in order to conceal it from the prying eyes of either the law or upstanding citizens. All front lead employees are his direct underlings.
Recommended combos with: Smuggler, Dogsbody, Pencil-pusher
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills


b.) SPECIALISATIONS AVAILABLE TO BOTH FREELANCERS AND GUILDS

A

ACCOUNTANT
Yes, yes, we know what you're thinking… Bureaucrats ? Why would a guild need bureaucrats ? Well, the answer is both it wouldn't and “it certainly would”. It's (usually) all a matter of size and scale.

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: Watches over the guild's finances and expenses, helps unveil corruption in a guild's ranks. All accountants are directly subordinate to a guild Scribe (if the guild has grown big enough to need one) or a guild Aide.
Recommended combos with: Aide, Scribe, Cook-quartermaster, Pencil-pusher
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

ADVENTURER
There are several romanticised notions of what a professional thief looks like (or should look like) floating around in the popular imagination of Aporueans. Few ideas are as pervasive as that of the hooded, caped, quiver and utility belt wearing hoodlum who enters one abandoned tomb, crypt, catacomb, underground temple or palace, cave, cavern and whathaveyou after another, in order to search for treasures of long-vanished cultures and ancestors. Or, if they're in the mood for more easy pickings, they'll no doubt try to infiltrate a museum, art gallery or treasury in order to nab some priceless trinkets already stored there. Either way, the Adventurer is your notorious archetype of a more roguish and generally much less scientific treasure hunter. Unlike any professional in the now-emerging field of archaeology, the Adventurer tends to care about the prized artefacts, artworks and treasures he or she is hunting down only insofar as not damaging them and getting them safely to a client or fence. How far removed is the typical, imagined version of the Adventurer from the actual thing ? Well, both “not much” and “quite a bit”. A good amount of what has already been said is wholly true, but what is generally a bit more fluid is the appearance of a thief-Adventurer. Individuals are individuals and contexts in which one performs his trade can vary all the time, so it is only expected that Adventurers also vary from each other in terms of dress, the equipment they choose and some of their attitudes and approaches to the job at hand. Furthermore, performing a museum heist is not exactly the same as navigating the subterranean ruins of s lost civilisation - different assignments and challenges require different planning and different choices. The devil is in the details. Nevertheless, Adventurers do tend to share some basic similarities in their gear and clothing choices, as well as their methods. Combinations-wise, Adventurers are predictably good choices for trainer roles, such as the Lightsneaking, Soundsneaking, Melee and Marskmanship Teacher. However, they are also excellent when combined with the Boxman and Master of Disguise professions, the duo that is closest to their heart. They also make good Gentlemen Thieves (while doing more urban jobs instead of tomb raiding) and Heist Planners (catering to one's museum/bank/gallery/whatever heisting needs).

Type: Stealth Expert, Field Agent
Specialisation in a nutshell: Lightly armed, unarmoured or lightly armoured, and carrying plenty of useful equipment, the adventure focuses on hunting down ancient treasures and artefacts, though not in as scientific a way as an archaeologist.
Recommended combos with: Heist Planner, Gentleman Thief, Boxman, Melee Teacher, Marskmanship Teacher, Master of Disguise
See also: Stealth, Combat, Burglar skills, Movement skills

ALCHEMIST
Lab rat. Some refer to them as chemists, some as magic-obsessed charlatans. Nevertheless, an alchemist can always come in handy when one dabbles in the field of useful non-organic substances and practical, “scientific magic”.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify various types of chemical compounds or magical objects, the alchemist is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Apothecarist, Feldsher, Conjurer, Bombmaker, Cook-quartermaster
See also: Artisan skills, Magic skills

APOTHECARIST
Lab rat and healer. Spending most of your working hours in a laboratory, preparing healing potions, ointments, herbal extracts, bandages and all sorts of other medicinal staples is not everyone's idea of a glamorous career in the world of professional thieving, but without the tireless work of apothecarists, running a larger thieves' guild would be borderline impossible. Never scoff at an Apothecarist or a Feldsher, you might owe them your life one day.

Type: Trader/Artisan, Healer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify various types of medicine and medical equipment, the apothecarist is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Feldsher, Cook-quartermaster, Alchemist
See also: Managerial skills, Artisan skills

ARMOURER
Most armour is loud. Particularly metal armour. Most armour is heavy. Particularly metal armour. That makes many armour types unstealthy. So, why would any professional thief even need the services of an armourer ? Well, while the armourer is definitely not a job that every thieves‘ guild needs to operate, he or she can still prove useful when recruited into the ranks of a guild. Sometimes, armour is indeed needed. Most thieves working in the field can wear types of light armour that is not too detrimental to their stealth skills, and adds a little bit of extra protection in case they’d be really forced to go toe-to-toe with various adversaries (if no stealthy option for evasion remains). Furthermore, the more management-based professions in a guild – especially the guards, who tend to wear some of the heaviest armour among guild employees – can certainly find regular use for an internally employed armourer. It can always pay off to have your own armour, helmet and shield craftsman right at home in your guild compound, always prepared to repair any dented or damaged armour type, whether light, medium or heavy. For individual or outright freelancer thieves, having Armourer as a specialisation can prove not too shabby as well, for the very same reasons. Possessing enhanced skills in mending one’s armour, even if it’s just a simple apparel derived from boiled leather, can save you a pricy visit to the nearest public armourer. Last but not least, it is not just the Bladesmith and the Poleturner that can act as Melee Teachers to thieves – every Armourer worth their salt has something to say on the subject too. Obviously, in his or her case, the focus is on explaining how to utilise one’s armour in melee combat to its fullest advantage, depending on the type of armour, the type of weapon used by the adversary to attack, and so on. Due to an obvious logical overlap, some of the best specialisation combinations for the Armourer are with the Bladesmith, Poleturner, Melee Teacher and even the Haberdasher. Among the weapon and tool crafting specialisations, the Armourer takes some of the longest time to learn and gradually master, making it a time-demanding choice of profession if one chooses it as part of his training. Nevertheless, the skills gained in the fairly lenghthy traineeship provide a sufficient payoff to the dilligent student.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify various types of armour and shields, the armourer is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Bladesmith, Poleturner, Melee Teacher
See also: Weaponry and armour, Artisan skills

ARTWORK FENCE
So, you’ve nabbed some priceless paintings, valuable sculptures, exquisite practical art, whathaveyou from the local art gallery, or public spaces of a prosperous business, or one's dearly cherished private collections, or even from a still-ongoing art symposium (!). What now ? Well, obviously, you can't just go to the nearest flea market and hope to sell it off for a fortune, not if you're a professional thief. You need to fence it somewhere. And for that, you need to go see the right kind of doctor – in this case, an Artwork Dough Fence. As the stereotypes go, Dough Fences are apparently greedy and obnoxious „numismatic nitpickers“, Jewellery Fences are careful with the unloaded loot to an annoying degree… aaand Artwork Fences are supposedly snobby and overly critical, always ready to undervalue your hard-earned loot of artistic masterpieces (though, to be fair, you will be often giving them worthless counterfeits passing for the real thing, you cheeky fiend !). Nevertheless, whether you haggle with them or not, whether you surprise them or disappoint them with your loot, they are always there, ready to assess and fence the works of fine arts (and less fine arts) that you’ve nicked. Effective specialisation combinations for the Artwork Fence include those with the Jewellery Fence and the Dough Fence, but combining Artwork Fence skillsets with those of a Pawnbroker, Gemcutter or Heist Planner can also prove useful.

Type: Fence
Specialisation in a nutshell: A fence who buys loot consisting of stolen artwork (paintings, statues, tapestries, etc.).
Recommended combos with: Dough Fence, Jewellery Fence, Gemcutter, Heist Planner, Pawnbroker
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

B

BEGGAR
You see them nearly everywhere in the cities throughout Aporue. Beggars. Huddled down in a corner somewhere, or against the outside wall of a public building… Sitting, crouching, lying on the ground (or in old boxes or even some fresh dung), in a world-weary, decrepit, tattered and smelly state. A living, clothed pile of misery and ill fortune. Beggars. They are outright ubiquitous, both hated and pitied by the average citizen (whether poor or well-off), a living reminder of how unlucky some people can become when life gifts them an undeserved fate, or how one can end up on the mean streets thanks to alcoholism, gambling and other sinful addictions that the various churches and sobriety clubs preach against. Beggars, so ubiquitous, such a mundane sight… Which means they must be all the more plain and uninteresting, little else than “part of the scenery, part of the traditional inventory and ambience of all cities”, right ? Well, wrong ! Because there are beggars and… “beggars”. The quote-unquote versions are, predictably, not exactly the real deal. In Melza and many other Aporuean cities, there are whole gangs of cunning crooks and conmen who use their own members (often involuntarily) as “pitybait” (to use their own words), posing as actual beggars and trying to earn a potent daily income from the more soft-hearted passerbys who can't tell the difference between genuine cases and scams. And in the professional theiving world, fake beggars also come into play - though in a rather different role. Honourable thieves frown upon conning people in ways that blatant and ways abusive to their own members, and in addition, they see little point in the paltry income, when they could earn much more through usual operations and other types of cons. Thus, fake beggars employed by an actual thieves' guild can best be described as a form of informants. Remember the “part of the scenery” attitude ? That's exactly what lends guild-employed beggars something of a “cloak of public invisibility”. For all intents and purposes, they are a guild's eyes and ears on the streets, squares, plazas, marketplaces, docks, and all other manner of corners and byways throughout a city. Beggars of thief guilds often form outright networks of strategically spaced and closely cooperating informants. Sounds interesting and thrilling in its own way ? Then be sure to ask your superiors for the position of Beggar. The job is not all sunshine and roses, though - sometimes, you can be harassed a bit by the City Watch or by private guards, especially if you tresspass on what is considered a “beggars be gone” property. (And another thing you need to remember is that you'll often have to cooperate closely with a fellow member of your guild - a Courier, running messages about your latest observations.) Unlike the similar specialisation of the Squealer, a Beggar doesn't necessarily have to gather verbally expressed intel from people, whether directly or by carefully eavesdropping. There are quite a few recommended specialisation combinations for the Beggar, many of which are other informant or conman types of professions. Some of the most recommended are the aforementioned Squealer, and then in particular the likes of the Master of Disguise (useful if you want to be convincing) or the Guttersnipe (useful if you want to be a sewers-and-tunnels based informant). The position of Beggar is also a good jumping off point to those Footpads or Hoydens of a guild who want to move further up in its ranks, usually towards a more specific conman profession.

Type: Field Agent, Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: A fairly multi-purpose guild informant operating in various public spaces. Can easily “blend into the city's social scenery” and work as an “early warning system”, decoy or obstacle for his fellow guildmates during recons, active heists and other larger-scale thieving operations.
Recommended combos with: Footpad/Hoyden, Squealer, Cutpurse, Guttersnipe, Thimblerigger, Dogsbody, Boxman, Master of Disguise
See also: Tricks and conmanship, Stealth, Diplomatic skills

BLADESMITH
When it comes to weapons, the vast majority of professional thieves will go for simplicity and ease of use. Though these words primarily conjure up ideas of uncomplicated blunt weapons and polearms, bladed weapons aren't actually that far off away in terms of accessibility and maintenance costs. As with all larger and more expensive weapons, you won't be seeing every thief wielding one, and that counts for bladed weapons too. However, there is a long list of honestly cheap-to-acquire and easy to use bladed weaponry, readily available to even the poorest of freelancer thieves (or poorer guild members). To no one's surprise, these weapons often come in the form of various knife, dagger and smallsword types, but also some bladed blunt weapons, such as axes and many types of maces. These weapons often come just as much from civilian backgrounds as they do from military ones. Since bladed weapons and blunt weapons with blades are in high demand virtually everywhere you turn to, blacksmith artisans who have made a living out of creating, repairing or modifying such weaponry can be found on virtually every second street. Not to be outdone, thief guilds have a long-lasting tradition of hiring or training skilled Bladesmiths of their own, in addition to Poleturners, Bowyers-fletchers or even Gunsmiths and Bombmakers. For individual or outright freelancer thieves, having Bladesmith as a specialisation can prove very useful. Possessing enhanced skills in mending one’s bladed weaponry, even if it’s just to sharpen your dagger or fix some dents on its surface, can save you a pricy visit to the nearest public bladesmith. Last but not least, it is not just the Armourer and the Poleturner that can act as Melee Teachers to thieves – every Bladesmith worth their salt has something to say on the subject too. Obviously, in his or her case, the focus of a Bladesmith Melee Teacher is firmly on the art of fencing skills and parrying skills. Due to an obvious logical overlap, some of the best specialisation combinations for the Bladesmith are with the Poleturner, Melee Teacher, Armourer and even the Haberdasher. Among the weapon and tool crafting specialisations, the Bladesmith takes a longer, but mostly medium-lenghth amount of time to learn and gradually master. This makes it a fairly time-demanding choice of profession if one chooses it as part of his or her training. Nevertheless, the skills gained in the somewhat lenghthier traineeship provide a sufficient payoff to the dilligent student.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify various types of bladed weapons, the bladesmith is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Poleturner, Armourer, Melee Teacher
See also: Weaponry and armour, Artisan skills

BOMBMAKER
Few professional thieves want to make much of a ruckus, so bombs and explosives would be one of the last things you’d expect in their arsenal. Nevertheless, freelancers and guilds alike do have a need for certain types of detonating equipment from time to time. In addition to actual bombs and detonators (items used rather sparringly), by far the most common and in demand types of explosives are the (in)famous „trick bombs“ and „trick mines“, explosives of a defensive/decoy nature. With demand for these devices being as high as it often is, it’s only natural that certain freelancers or thief guild members would create a whole cottage industry based around their production. Enter the Bombmaker as an embodiment of that chemistry-and-clockwork-savvy producer of explosive apparatuses. Some of the best specialisation combinations available to a bombmaker are the Gadgeteer and the Gunsmith, two rather obviously related professions. A less usual combination choice is with the Marksmanship Teacher, providing would-be pupils with lessons on how to throw or drop stun bombs and explosives in the most efficient ways possible, particularly in risky situations (such as trying to evade pursuers or getting detected).

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify various types of explosives or detonators, the bombmaker is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Gadgeteer, Clacker, Gunsmith, Boxman, Alchemist
See also: Weaponry and armour, Artisan skills

BOWYER-FLETCHER
At first glance, basic projectile weapons might seem rather unnecessary to anyone with thieving as his livelihood, outside of maybe thief guild employees tasked with guarding. In reality, long-term experience in several specialised fields of professional thievery and burglary (e.g. the Adventurer) has proven that carrying a ranged weapon for certain missions can prove very useful, sometimes even invaluable. Whether one uses the humble and easily concealed sling, the trusty and traditional bow and crossbow, or even new-fangled ranged arms (such as pistol crossbows, snapbows and spearguns), a missile weapon of your choice can often get you out of a hairy situation, but even more importantly, it can even serve as a tool in certain situations. Many of the more advanced projectile weapons come with varied ammunition designed for special purposes, in addition to the standard (usually combat-oriented) ammunition. Naturally, as the demand for projectile weapons is always healthy in thieving circles, it is an advantage to every thieves' guild to produce and mend their own weapons instead of relying on the black market for acquiring them. Here's where the bowyer-fletcher comes in, the major artisan specialisation for the manufacturing of ranged weaponry. (Technically, a bowyer that construct crossbows is traditionally dubbed an “atilliator”.) Making a living out of producing mechanical projectile weaponry and its ammunition can be made easier if one decides to co-adopt some focus on teaching people target practice. This makes Bowyer-fletcher and Marksmanship Teacher combinations a popular (but certainly not the only viable) choice. While the technological, resource and knowledge/skill requirements of the trade are not as high as with gunsmithing, and learning how to manufacture, repair and modify projectile arms takes generally less time to learn than bowyery and fletchery, it can be a tricky thing to get right…

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify your traditional ranged arms (bows, crossbows, slings) and their ammunition (arrows, bolts, stones), the bowyer-fletcher is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Gunsmith, Marskmanship Teacher
See also: Weaponry and armour, Artisan skills

BOXMAN
As you walk the twisting Melzan streets, you notice two men around the corner, chatting. As you pass them, you overhear their canty conversation. “Well, not just any old dab hand. I'm a boxman,” you hear one of them declare, with a smirk. His friend frowns, scratches his beard or forehead, and looks at him with an expression that betrays 'All right, I've got this…'. “Ah, I knows what you is !,” he finally smiles triumphantly. “You one o'them guys who do fist fighting in dem secret dens and places, roight ?” The previously smirking man groans loudly, rolls his eyes and turns to his less-savvy friend. “No, no… Don't you know the good old street lingo ?!” “Well, coitanly, methinks I do.” “Tut-tut, well I've just proven you wrong. A boxman is not a boxer. A boxman is good at…” “Disguising himself fur a box, innit !” “Noooo ! A boxman is good at picking locks ! So good at it that he can leave even the most skilled of locksmiths green with envy !” “Ohhhhh…”, the pal raises his eyebrows and nods in appreciation. “Haha, and now you know !”, retorts the smirker, amused and satisfied. Well, is there any better way to introduce the Boxman, aka the classic expert lockpicker ? Hardly. These men and women are one of the bread and butter professions of professional thieving (and even non-Boxmen thieves take pride in knowing how to break into or out of various spaces with a few lockpicks up their sleeves, or in their pouches, at the very least). Let's put aside old wives' tales of picking a lock with a hairpin: Lockpicking is a skill that's relatively easy to learn, but harder to master. Nevertheless, once you approach the latter, you capability and versatility as a general thief will increase greatly, and if you work hard to become a true pro, you can become one of the most valuable thieves of a non-violent specialisation. A well-trained Boxman can pull asunder the common but infuriating obsctacle that separates you and the rest of your teammates from a successfully carried out heist - a series of locks, often with no stolen or replicated key at hand. A natural professional combination for the Boxman is with the more narrowly focused and demanding-in-technique Safecracker specialisation. Other palatable crossovers on offer are with the Clacker, Gadgeteer, and last but not least, the Gentleman Thief. In addition to his regular work, the Boxman can also be valuable as a trainer of his other thievy colleagues. Whereas the Safecracker is needed as a teacher for more advanced lockpicking (including the titular safecracking), the Boxman is indispensable for teaching them the more mundane forms of outsmarting locks of all shapes and size.

Type: Field Agent, Teacher/Trainer
Specialisation in a nutshell: An expert lockpicker, to whom no (or very few) locks, padlocks or chests are a daunting prospect. Can double as a teacher of lockpicking to other thieves.
Recommended combos with: Safecracker, Gadgeteer, Clacker, Adventurer
See also: Lockpicking and trap disarming, Burglar skills

BRIGAND
You know these types… Clothed in worn-looking, incongruous, rummaged apparel, they’re usually unarmoured, with a sheathed weapon or two dangling from their old belts… You walk past them on a street, and if you trespass or upset them in any way, they give you dirty looks. Or, at their worst, they stop you, rough you up and tell you to stay out of this particular place. It’s their turf. Or the turf of the guild they work for. And you’re not welcomed, lest you uncover a heist-in-the-making, or even an already up-and-running smuggling business. Maybe you’re not as easily intimidated and you’ve come armed. Maybe you’re even a member of the police (undercover or not) and are ready to take on a few of these fops. But that’s where you might be unpleasantly surprised. Unlike Thugs, Brigands won’t hesitate to carry weapons and draw them whenever provoked. And unlike Guards or Fixers, Brigands have zero problems leaving the areas they guard and following you around the city streets and alleys. Beware. Though it is true that Brigands love fighting dirty whenever they’re pushed to the wall, their prowess in skills such as fencing are not to be underestimated. Many people even consider Brigands to be among the best “self-taught” unarmoured swordsmen - fighters that are as light-footed, agile and playful as they are unpredictable, ruthless and deadly. Though you can find Brigands among virtually all the sapient species of Aporue, the Stoatfolk (and to a lesser extent, Otterfolk) are particularly iconic as swift-bladed, smirking rogues with more than one ace up their sleeves. The specialisation is fairly useless to freelancer thieves, aside from adopting it in order to improve one's existing fighting skills.

Type: Security
Specialisation in a nutshell: Security provider for professional thieves. Need a street agent and bodyguard who can really go toe-to-toe with other armed men and bring in some expert fencing and dirty blows when needed ? Hire a Brigand, obviously. If you are content with a mostly unarmed and less fancy combatant, try a Thug instead. If you want to have a more static and guarding-focused variation, try an armed Guard or an unarmed/lightly-armed Fixer instead.
Recommended combos with: Driver, Dogsbody, Squealer, Guttersnipe, Smuggler, Melee Teacher
See also: Combat

C

CHARMER/CHARMETTE
Often, sneaking or intimidation are insufficient while trying to gain an edge in a freelancer’s or guild’s day-to-day activities and business. So, if you can’t beat them… charm them. Or persuade them. Whether male or female, a true master of street-wise psychology can always find a way to convince otherwise stubborn, savvy or irreproachable individuals to see things their way, without resorting to even the slightest bit of violence or a single coarse word. Such masters of mixing empathy and inquisitiveness are the „Charmers“ (males) and „Charmettes“ (females).

Type: Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: To a true professional thief, the arts of diplomacy, haggling, deceit and seduction should never be frowned upon. Charisma and personality can often go a long way in acquiring what you want…
Recommended combos with: Gentleman Thief, Master of Disguise, Adventurer, Squealer
See also: Tricks and conmanship, Diplomatic skills

CLACKER
One of the newest professions of the thieving world, it has nevertheless already found its footing and is bound to only further increase in importance. Though electro-mechanical calculating engines (“calcs”) and the information networks that connect them are still very rare, some early birds have already popped up throughout the more civilised parts of the known developed world. Our fair city, always trying its best to keep up with the times, is no exception. This puts a competitive strain on the thief guilds, old and new, but thankfully, given the low level of diffusiveness of calcs so far, there's no need for an extensive clacker-training programme yet. Nevertheless, it can pay off having at least one “clacking” expert within a guild, for extracting invaluable information useful for the planning of a major heist, or for tampering with the city's public records in an way that favours the low profile and survival of a guild. Due to the new-fangled nature of the clacker profession, it takes quite a bit of time to learn and it is very much a grasp-it-as-you-go-along-process, but a clacker can certainly find employ if he/she looks hard enough. Just beware of the Calc Crime Prevention and Policing Team while operating in Melza. Those Watch guys are just no fun… When it comes to profession combinations, the downside of the Clacker profession's overall newness is that one simply doesn't have too many compatible specialisations to choose from. Nevertheless, there are certain natural choices available in terms of skillsets, such as Gadgeteer, Boxman and Safecracker, and also attitude-based choices, such as the Gentleman Thief.

Type: Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: Cyberpunk this isn't, but a hacker of mechanical and electro-mechanical computers can always come in handy in this world…
Recommended combos with: Gadgeteer, Boxman, Safecracker, Gentleman Thief
See also: Burglar skills, Artisan skills

CONJURER
Let's clear up one thing right away: Thieves don't actually have any sort of wizards, sorcerors or mages. Being a savvy lot that's more knowledgeable about technology and physical skills than anything arcane, this should hardly surprise anyone. Nevertheless, magic exists in Aporue, and it can be somewhat harnessed and utilised, so it's only natural thieves would show an interest in at least some of its capabilities. Though hardly equipped with enough of a resource base and knowledgebase to work on any advanced magic, the more experimental-minded thieves have developed some tricks and practices that can be put to good use. The distilled and refined version of these magical procedures are the so-called "Seven Spells of Larceny". If the Conjurer's title sounds like something out of a circus or roadshow, that's no coincidence. A Conjurer is able to utilise said Larceny Spells in a way that compliments his own skills at stealth and sneaking, and at coning, tricking and confusing various people. Even the most cunning ones. To this end, a Conjurer needs certain natural energies for the casting of his spells. He or she gains that energy by drawing it from certain natural objects (samples of ores, herbs, etc.), or from particular special items imbued with a finite amount of that energy (e.g. amulets, pendants, charms, etc.). Combinations-wise, Conjurers are predictably good choices for trainer roles, such as the Lightsneaking, Soundsneaking and Pickpocketing Teacher. However, they are also excellent when combined with the Alchemist and Shadowblade professions, the duo that is closest to their heart. On the street-savvy spying front, Conjurers can make dependable Squealers (especially thanks to their eavesdropping spell-signs and spell-scribbles) or focus on some money-earning or artefact-acquiring conmanship as crafty Thimbleriggers.

Type: Stealth Expert, Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: A person in the thieving business who uses magic or „magic“ to assist him in his escapades and to fool or dupe his adversaries if needed.
Recommended combos with: Lightsneaking Teacher, Soundsneaking Teacher, Pickpocketing Teacher, Alchemist, Shadowblade, Thimblerigger, Squealer
See also: Artisan skills, Magic skills

COOK-QUARTERMASTER
Thieves have got to eat and drink something and though everyone has some basic knowledge of preparing meals, sometimes you need to leave culinary matters to a professional. The cook-quartermaster not only looks after his guildmates' hungry bellies, but takes care of overseeing the various supplies regularly needed by the guild. By supplies, we mean more than just food. Though the Cook-quartermaster profession might seem quaint and boring to some, any larger thieving guild that has grown beyond a mere small fellowship cannot do without a proper cook and quartermaster position. If the guild's day-to-day operations are to run flawlessly, the Cook-quartermaster is one of those staff members of the guild's management section that garners some of the most respect from many. The profession is very easily accessible and generally open to any trustworthy character. It potentially works as one of the many recommended jumping-on points for former Footpads/Hoydens in particular. Combinations-wise, whether the new bearers of the c-q position also choose to perform the tasks of a guild's Dogsbody, or opt for other management-related professions, such as artisan and trading ones (e.g. Profiteer, Haberdasher) or healing ones (e.g. Feldsher, Apothecarist), is wholly up to them.

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: Oversees the distribution of food, clothing and other common daily amenities within a guild, oversees the preparation of food within a guild. All cooks-quartermasters are directly subordinate to a guild Aide.
Recommended combos with: Pencil-pusher, Apothecarist, Feldsher, Profiteer, Dogsbody, Haberdasher
See also: Managerial skills, Artisan skills

COURIER
No large-scale thieving enterprise could survive without the regular movement of news and messages, both mundane and urgent. This is where couriers come in, tirelessly and carefully peddling depeches from one guild-allied place to the next. Couriers are true masters of getting around as fast and incospicuously as possible, whether on foot or mounted atop a living or exhaust-spewing steed. They not only take to the streets when delivering messages, but also to the proverbial “thieves' highway” - the scalable and traversable parts of the city's many rooftops. A Courier is a good choice of profession for those who have already dabbled in the Footpad/Hoyden specialisation. As footpads often have similar (but more amateurish) skills, choosing to specialise in courier skills can be a rather natural progression choice in one's professional thieving career. An even more powerful combination is that of a Courier and a Driver, as it lends an almost wholly new degree of added mobility to one's Courier-focused character. It is certainly worth a try, if you get the opportunity and feel like it… Note that, while certainly available and possible, the Courier profession is rather superfluous for freelancer characters, as it has little use outside of an organised guild (other than some of the individual skills and abilities associated with being a courier). In addition to providing messenger and communication services during specific missions (robberies, heists, recons, etc.), the Courier can offer his or her fellow thief (or thieves) message-delivering services during off-hours as well. Though this time, it's for a small fee, of course… (Don't grumble over this too much. “The money needs to be in circulation”, as a wise old Guild Boss said once…)

Type: Field Agent
Specialisation in a nutshell: A swift and skilled deliverer of the latest news, messages and intel. The steampunk version of le parkour is the courier's bread and butter.
Recommended combos with: Driver, Footpad/Hoyden, Thug, Brigand
See also: Movement skills

CUTPURSE
Also referred to by many other names, including “snatcher”, and the ever-popular “pickpocket”. What can be said about cutpurses ? Quite a few things, actually. They aren't one of the most archetypal ideas of a thief in the minds of many for nothing… Whether it's Melza or any other larger city and town in Aporue, a Cutpurse is an ubiquitous character of the thieving and criminal world, especially on the more seedier streets, lanes and pathways of these tiny urban worlds. Amateur pickpockets are the ones you either catch and tackle yourself, or at the very worst sic the nearest Patrolman on them. But you will virtually always hear them a bit, or notice them out of the corner of your eye, or at least feel them making fidgety movements while trying to nick something out of your pocket or relieve you of that nice purse you're carrying on your belt. They are amateurs, dime a'dozen street robbers, uncomplicated in their tactics or finesse. Now, the expert pickpockets… Those are the ones you reall have to be on the lookout for ! They mean business, and are not prone to clumsily giving away their illicit activities committed on unlucky fellow pedestrians, in any way, shape or form. Often, while walking or standing somewhere, you will only feel an odd, faint breeze passing next to one of your arms… Then nothing, things are back to normal. And then… After a short while, you realise your clothing is somehow lighter. Bypassers then witness the old familiar, almost stereotypical scene: Your's truly going through his or her clothes with a mounting expression of astonishment, bewilderment, shock, followed by that well-worn phrase: “Robbed ! I've been robbed ! Help, help, there's a thief on the lose !”. With the proliferation of professional thievery in many great cities of Aporue, it is not all too shocking to see commoners not even react to these regular displays of individual exasperation anymore. Somebody got pickpocketed ? Big deal, just another mundane occurence, like the first few millions of times. If this sounds good to you, it's time to practice those “quiet sneaking up on someone” techniques or “accidentally bumping into someone” maneuvers, and maybe you too will soon broaden the roster of infamous Cutpurses in Melza or elsewhere. Beware, like many of the stealthier professions, pickpocketing is something fairly easy to learn the basics of, but often hard to truly master (it takes some time, from months up to several years, if at all). An indisputably logical combination of specialisations for the Cutpurse is the position of a Pickpocketing Teacher. Some other common (but obviously not only) combinations include the Dogsbody, Footpad/Hoyden, or other related conmen, such as the Thimblerigger. Of the primarily stealth-focused professions, the most natural combination choice by far is the Shadowblade (as a Skulker is better suited for eavesdropping-focused sneakers).

Type: Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: A bona fide versatile pickpocketing specialist, pure and simple.
Recommended combos with: Pickpocketing Teacher, Dogsbody, Footpad/Hoyden, Thimblerigger, Shadowblade
See also: Tricks and conmanship, Stealth, Burglar skills

D

DOGSBODY
Among the higher-up positions within an established thieves' guild or fellowship of thieves, the Dogsbody walks a fine line between increased relevance to his superiors and being just another thief who does all sorts of chores. The Dogsbody is often (but not always) what you get when you have a Footpad or Hoyden partly follow their established trajectory. The Dogsbody can, in a nutshell, be described as a more mature and comfier variation on being a Footpad/Hoyden. However, just like that entry-level specialisation, the Dogsbody suffers from being something of a jacks-of-all-trades, master of none. While some enjoy the role of a Dogsbody and stick to it (often combined with another profession), many professional thieves opt to eventually abandon it for other professional orientations (just like their Footpad or Hoyden status earlier) once they continue with training new skills. To freelancer thieves, a wholly Dogsbody specialisation is almost useless, as they already are their own managers and caretakers in virtually everything pertaining to their livelihood. Freelancers grouped in unofficial, non-guild fellowships can find the specialisation somewhat more useful. Due to being one of the most versatile specialisations, it is no surprise that the Dogsbody has a fairly large number of recommended combinations with other professions, available to freelancers and fellowship or guild members alike. However, this number certainly isn't infinite, nor is it unlimited in scope. The majority of recommended combinations available to a Dogsbody can be summed up as a collection of managerial or security specialisations. The managerial ones include the likes of Recruiter, Cook-quartermaster, Pencil-pusher, Profiteer and Pawnbroker, while the security ones include virtually all of the four archetypes (Guard, Brigand, Fixer, Thug). The most prominent combination with a field agent specialisation is that with the Courier.

Type: Field Agent, Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: One of the most versatile occupations in a guild, a jack-of-all-trades lackey for both guild management and lower-level street work. Dogsbodies can be thought of as a more mature variation on the Footpad/Hoyden.
Recommended combos with: Courier, Recruiter, Cook-quartermaster, Pencil-pusher, Thug, Brigand, Fixer, Guard, Profiteer, Pawnbroker
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

DOUGH FENCE
So, you’ve nabbed some money, dough, boodle, the necessary, cash, rocks, gelt, lucre, whathaveyou from the local land bank, industrial bank, savings bank, exchange office, insurance firm, friendly society or one's private safe. What now ? Well, obviously, you can't just go to the nearest local and drink it all away, not if you're a professional thief. You need to fence it somewhere. And for that, you need to go see the right kind of doctor – in this case, a Dough Fence. As the stereotypes go, Artwork Fences are supposedly snobby and overly critical, Jewellery Fences are careful with the unloaded loot to an annoying degree… aaand Dough Fences are apparently greedy and obnoxious „numismatic nitpickers“, literally penny-pinching at your own expense by undervaluing your chinking loot. Nevertheless, whether you haggle with them or not, whether you surprise them or disappoint them with your loot, they are always there, ready to assess and fence the coinage and banknotes you’ve nicked. Effective specialisation combinations for the Dough Fence include those with the Jewellery Fence and the Artwork Fence, but combining Dough Fence skillsets with those of a Pawnbroker or Heist Planner can also prove useful.

Type: Fence
Specialisation in a nutshell: A fence who buys loot consisting of stolen money (in both coin and banknote form).
Recommended combos with: Jewellery Fence, Artwork Fence, Heist Planner, Pawnbroker
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

DRIVER
Everyone needs to travel, to varying degrees, in various ways. Even for professional thieves, getting around is one of the most common and crucial aspects of their everyday lives and careers. While walking remains the cheapest and most obvious method of transport to virtually everyone, there always comes a time when you can't rely on a calm stroll, a spirited jog or on your le parkour skills. Sometimes, you simply need to employ other methods of transport, with various mounts and vehicles as your people-movers of choice. While in truly advanced city states like Melza, there is already a tradition of public-funded mass transit systems for the general public (or at least part of it), most of the animal-drawn or motorised vehicles are in private hands. That includes the vehicles of professional thieves, often disguised to blend in with every other civilian vehicles, be they on wheels or floating. The question isn't “What use would thieves have for vehicles ?”. It should be rather phrased “What vehicles could be of most use to thieves ?”. Well, a little bit of everything, really. Seemingly inconspicuous vehicles used for reconaissance and smuggling, speedy vehicles with skilled drivers used for getaways, there are many potential uses… Whether powered by animal or human muscles or by one of the new-fangled steam, petrol or even electric engines, an array of two-wheeled and four-wheeled land contraptions and boats of various sizes can be found virtually in every larger grouping of professional thieves, even some of the poorer guilds. However, one element in the equation that the vehicle by itself can never replace on its own is the person who ties it all together - the Driver. Train your drivers well, or develop some Driver skills yourself, and your little fellowship or guild of thieves might gain a surprising new level of mobility, one never dreamed before. As far as specialisation combinations are concerned, a natural choice for a Driver character would be to also dabble in the Courier specialisation. (This can be particularly effective to characters who further specialise in speed and reconnaissance and come equipped with a fast method of transport, such as a courser or postal horse, a bicycle, or even a motorbike.) Due the nature of the Driver's mundane chores, he or she also offers good combinations with the likes of the Smuggler, as well as swift-footed fighters like the Thug or Brigand. Even fairly “generic” specialisations, such as a Footpad/Hoyden or a Dogsbody, can work well with a driver once you develop your own pace and approach to things. In addition to providing transportation during specific missions (robberies, heists, recons, etc.), the Driver can offer his or her fellow thief (or thieves) a lift during off-hours as well. Though this time, it's for a small fee, of course… (Don't grumble over this too much. “The money needs to be in circulation”, as a wise old Guild Boss said once…)

Type: Field Agent
Specialisation in a nutshell: The fellow or lady who helps you get around the city or its surrounding countryside in a faster way, usually via some vehicle that can carry at least one passenger. Depending on their personal skills and further degrees of specialisation, drivers can operate anything from bikes and rickshaws, horse carts, buggies and carriages, rowboats and shuttles, to motorbikes, passenger cars and vans, and steamboats and speedboats.
Recommended combos with: Courier, Dogsbody, Footpad/Hoyden, Brigand, Thug, Smuggler
See also: Mounts and vehicles, Riding and driving

F

FELDSHER
Healer of fellow professional thieves, both indoors and outdors. Not everyone's idea of a glamorous career in the world of professional thieving, but without the tireless work of feldshers, running a larger thieves' guild would be borderline impossible. Never scoff at an Apothecarist or a Feldsher, you might owe them your life one day.

Type: Trader/Artisan, Healer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you or someone needs healing and surgery, or to buy, sell, mend or modify various types of medical equipment, the feldsher is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Apothecarist, Cook-quartermaster, Dogsbody, Alchemist
See also: Managerial skills, Artisan skills

FIXER
It happened. Someone has been suspiciously prancing about or messing around on your turf. Not just anywhere. Near your secret cache, your hideout/safehouse or maybe even the guild's secret compound… We can't let that slide just like that, can we ? This is a matter of urgent security ! We… you… need to adress it somehow. Thing is, the troublemaker is far enough from our premises to make sending out a Guard too conscpicuous and impractical. And all the Brigands and Thugs and Footpads and whonot are already away, walking those mean streets, patrolling and getting into scraps elsewhere, doing their other daily chores… But we still need to send out someone to yell at him “Oi ! You there ! Hit the road, scram, skiddadle, if you know what's good for ya !”. And if he ignores even that warning, we need to give him a good kick in the behind, just so he'll remember that valuable life lesson once he's tempted to snoop around again next time. So, who ya gonna call ? The good ol' Fixer, that's who ! Broadly the same role as a Guard, but with the mobility of a Brigand and fighting skills/style of a Thug. Weaponry isn't much of a concern to fixers, as they follow the Thug philosophy of wearing no armour and using only fisticuffs, or at the very most, knuckledusters, small knives, small throwing weapons, cudgels and whatever they can find in an alley. Focusing on a fixer specialisation can be a desirable career choice for a thief guild member who'd like to eventually advance to a Guard role. The downside to being a Fixer is that most of the action is rather sporadic and that one works and lives in a relatively small radius around thief-held establishments. If one wants more armed action in the service of the guild, it is recommended that he or she try the Thug specialisation instead. The specialisation is fairly useless to freelancer thieves, aside from adopting it in order to improve one's existing fighting skills.

Type: Security
Specialisation in a nutshell: Security provider for professional thieves. If you want to arm him better and teach him some fencing and fancier tactics, try a Guard instead. If you want to have a more dynamic and reconnaissance-focused variation, try an armed Brigand or an unarmed/lightly-armed Thug instead.
Recommended combos with: Dogsbody, Guard, Melee Teacher
See also: Combat

FOOTPAD/HOYDEN
A thieves‘ guild can be thought of in many different ways: As a peculiar but honest business like any other, as a fellowship of like-minded people, as a true family with its own relationships and ties… But you can also think of it as an army – an army that always appreciates new recruits, and is always in need of footsoldiers. You can think of footpads and hoydens as exactly that (in a manner of speaking). Mostly recruited among younger people (from children to 30s-somethings), and usually among the lower social classes or among individuals down on their luck, footpads and hoydens act as the basic gofers of an organisation of thieves. Entry-level professions in a thieves‘ guild have two defining characteristics: They’re some of the most versatile specialisations available, and they usually don’t offer too much advantages in terms of one’s skills and equipment. Footpads and hoydens fit the aforementioned sentence like a glove. In their own little way, they are (almost) jacks-of-all-trades, but masters of none. Any professional thief interested in his or her own career growth usually abandons the Footpad or Hoyden status, once he/she continues with training of new skills, for other potential professional orientations. Even the most immediate natural choices of new specialisations - mostly made up of smaller “field agent” offerings - have plenty of room for one's continuing early career growth. Also, it isn't too unusual that many Footpads or Hoydens partly follow their established trajectory and become a fellowship's or guild's Dogsbodies at first (or remain in that role), as it's effectivelly something of a more mature and comfier variation on being a Footpad. To freelancer thieves, a wholly Footpad specialisation is almost useless, unless they are starting absolutely from scratch, and at a relatively young age. Freelancers grouped in unofficial, non-guild fellowships can find the specialisation somewhat more useful. The same rule of thumb also applies (broadly) to those (usually older) freelancers that have chosen Dogsbody as one of their specialisations.

Type: Field Agent
Specialisation in a nutshell: One of the most versatile occupations in a guild, a jack-of-all-trades lackey for lower-level street work and occassionally for guild management as well. Dogsbodies can be thought of as a younger variation on the Footpad and Hoyden.
Recommended combos with: Courier, Driver, Skulker, Cutpurse, Thimblerigger, Beggar, Guttersnipe
See also: Movement skills, Diplomatic skills

G

GADGETEER
Description TBA.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell:
Recommended combos with: Boxman, Safecracker, Clacker, Gunsmith, Bombmaker (maybe also Alchemist, I'll have to think it through first…)
See also: Artisan skills, Burglar skills

GEMCUTTER
Hurray, you've stolen some ice, some shiny rocks, some really hard candy (and all that other obscurantist-talk concerning stolen gems) ! Welllll… That's often not the end of your worries. Sometimes, you can't simply go after the nearest in-guild or out-guild Jewellery Fence and give him your latest loot. If the gems are too raw, or too big, or too irregular, or not polished enough, etc., etc., then you'll need to pay a visit to a Gemcutter first. Sometimes, you'll be in luck, and your Jewellery Fence is also trained as a Gemcutter. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case at most possible opportunities. A thief's life is never done… The recommended specialisation combinations for the Gemcutter are rather straightforward: The Jewellery Fence is the obvious one (if you want to make your customers happy :-D). Alchemist and Gadgeteer are two other, oddly similar but nevertheless quite different craftsman professions which you can combine with gem cutting and grinding. An Alchemist sometimes needs shards of certain gems or even powder made of them, while a gadgeteer has the occassional use for optical devices constructed from precisely fashioned and modified gems. Last but not least, there is also the Pawnbroker among the more merchantry-focused economic professions of the thieving world, ready to meld with your honest gem dealership…

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: An artisan who specialises in the modification of gemstones and jewels. Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify gems and jewels, the poleturner is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Jewellery Fence, Alchemist, Gadgeteer, Pawnbroker
See also: Managerial skills, Artisan skills

GENTLEMAN THIEF / LADY THIEF
When someone says “thief” or “professional thief”, the first thing the vast majority of people imagine is a gruffer, rather plainly clad fellow or lady. One that might not be that knowledgeable about manners and ethiquette, and though smart, might speak in a somewhat overly “two quips and the truth” argotic twang. No matter the effort and no matter the actual nature of a person, it's hard to shake off these preconceptions, as far as first impressions are concerned. What better way to avoid them then, than to train yourself as the proverbial Gentleman Thief (or Lady Thief) ? Now we're talking ! Suave, stylish, snarky and maybe even a wee bit sultry, the male or female “Gent” (to use a term common to guilds) makes even the greatest doubters and the poshest members of local society raise their eyebrows in surprise and maybe slightly nod in appreciation. Unsurprisingly, specialisation combinations ideal for this thievy profession come from an array that can be deemed somewhat… “milquetoast” (at least at face value). Conman professions such as Charmer/Charmette and Master of Disguise are rather self-explanatory as choices, but powerful combinations can be found in more managerial (Heist Planner) and field agent niches (Adventurer) as well, or even those that potentially blend the characteristics of a field worker and a teacher (Boxman, Safecracker).

Type: Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: Most professional thieves are a rather gruff and earthy bunch, both in appearance and mannerisms, but the gentleman thief is the slick exception that proves the rule.
Recommended combos with: Charmer/Charmette, Boxman, Safecracker, Master of Disguise, Heist Planner, Adventurer
See also: Diplomatic skills, Burglar skills

GUARD
The best payed, best equipped, most level-headed and most experienced security employees of any thieving guild, guards are the main infantry line of defence between a thieves' guild and the outside world. Guards are, on average, the most heavily armoured of all possible thief guild members. They frequently wear even the likes of mail and metal helmets, an otherwise rare sight in the wardrobe of thieves (as it's more practical to go lightly and not bother with armour, given the preference for avoiding any direct combat confrontations). The weaponry of guards runs the gamut from bladed weapons to polearms to blunt weapons to various projectile weapons. Focusing on a guarding specialisation can be a desirable and logical continuation of the career of a thief guild member who had previously taken up a simpler security role, such as being a Fixer. The downside to being a Guard is that most of the action is rather sporadic and that one works and lives in a relatively confined area. If one wants more armed action in the service of the guild, it is recommended that he or she try the Brigand specialisation instead. The specialisation is fairly useless to freelancer thieves, aside from adopting it in order to improve one's existing fighting skills.

Type: Security
Specialisation in a nutshell: Security provider for professional thieves. Though the area he can serve in is relatively restricted, a guard in the services of the guild is its best armed and best trained combat-oriented employee (particularly when it comes to defence of the guild's turf). If you are content with a mostly unarmed and less fancy combatant, try a Fixer instead. If you want to have a more dynamic and reconnaissance-focused variation, try an armed Brigand or an unarmed/lightly-armed Thug instead.
Recommended combos with: Fixer, Melee Teacher, Marksmanship Teacher
See also: Combat

GUNSMITH
Of all the weapons thieves might wield, firearms are certainly the least stealthy, particularly due to their noisiness. Nevertheless, some thieves aren't bothered by carrying at least some gun with them (usually small and concealed). Guards and other enforcers in need of greater firepower than usual might also appreciate a longer gun, such as a musket or rifle. Whatever the case, it can certainly be an advantage to every thieves' guild to produce and mend its own firearms instead of relying on the black market for acquiring them. Here's where the gunsmith comes in, the second major artisan specialisation for the manufacturing of ranged weaponry. Making a living out of producing chemical projectile weaponry and its ammunition can be made easier if one decides to co-adopt some focus on teaching people target practice. This makes Gunsmith and Marksmanship Teacher combinations a popular (but certainly not the only viable) choice. On the downside, due to the greater technological, resource and knowledge/skill requirements of the trade, learning how to manufacture, repair and modify firearms takes generally longer to learn than bowyery and fletchery. It is just as tricky to get right, though…

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify firearms, big and small, the gunsmith is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Bowyer-fletcher, Marskmanship Teacher
See also: Weaponry and armour, Artisan skills

GUTTERSNIPE
To many, guttersnipes are the lowest of the low even among the ranks of the city’s impoverished (and often street-dwelling) social classes. But, to people in organised crime and particularly to professional thieves, guttersnipes can be a real godsend, to the point that they deliberately train their own. How to describe an average Guttersnipe, whether a genuine one (e.g. a sewer dweller) or a professionally inclined one (e.g. a thief guild agent) ? Well, this profession is essentially based around being a subterranean scout, one who „knows the lay of the land“ in the city’s sewer and drainage system, as well as where and what to look out for while performing above-ground recon around the city’s polluted riversides and riverbeds. Guttersnipes also tend to have a fair share of near-intimate knowledge of old catacombs, crypts and other rarely-visited spaces beneath the city’s surface. Being a guttersnipe is not a walk in the park: Due to their skills requiring a near-obsessive level of knowledge and a willingness to explore every nook and cranny in even the most foul-smelling and unsavoury places, professional guttersnipes are often somewhat avoided even by their fellow thieves. As an old paraphrase of a popular idiom goes, „for a guttersnipe, it’s lonely at the bottom“. If one is looking for combining specialisations, several street-savvy ones provide the best choices. A particularly effective pair of combos is the Guttersnipe-Skulker and Guttersnipe-Squealer (both great for intel gathering), though other good choices include the Guttersnipe-Beggar, the slightly exotic Guttersnipe-Adventurer and others…

Type: Field Agent, Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: Might smell insanely, but you'll never find a person more knowledgeable about the city's sewers and ancient catacombs than the fearless guttersnipe.
Recommended combos with: Skulker, Squealer, Beggar, Footpad/Hoyden, Thug, Adventurer
See also: Burglar skills

H

HABERDASHER
While armour is not that important to most thieves, as few need it, everyone on the other hand needs good and appropriate clothing and footwear. It's not merely a matter of mundane necessity or something required for more formal occassions. Well-chosen and well-maintained clothing can help one be more stealthy or blend into a particular group of people more easily. Though every professional thief knows a thing or two about sowing and putting his apparel back in order, there come times when turning to a professional for help or advice with mending and buying new clothes and footwear is preferrable to roughing it on one's own. Enter the haberdasher. A clothier, tailor and cobbler all in one, the Haberdasher is a major artisan asset to the daily running of a guild, much like the cook-quartermaster. Though the Haberdasher is a specialisation that works best when combined with other static specialisations (whether artisan or bureaucratic), it is rather unique for being a valid recommended combination with the Master of Disguise specialisation, due to the obvious overlap between the two professions' areas of expertise. As with all artisan specialisations, the Haberdasher takes some time to learn, though it is less time-consuming and resource-consuming to master and operate than the trades of artisans specialising in equipment or weapons manufacturing.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify clothes, apparel and footwear, the haberdasher is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Armourer, Cook-quartermaster, Pencil-pusher, Feldsher, Dogsbody, Profiteer, Master of Disguise
See also: Clothing and Footwear, Managerial skills, Artisan skills

HEIST PLANNER
There comes a time when tried-and-true thieving tricks become inadequate for anything more than regular small-scale theft, such as pickpocketing or burglary. That time is usually when you prepare for your first true heist. Because heists… Heists are very different beasts compared to other types of thieving operations. There is no tried-and-true set of skills that can be utilised to master the art of the heist. As any true artform, each and every single heist is a wholly unique situation and context, never the same twice. Heists can never be learned, they can only be analysed, layed out, and if all goes well, solved. Due to this, to really prepare for a heist as best as you can, you need a true problem-solver, a professional analyst who can just as easily think out of the box as he or she can honour accepted thieving conventions. And that person is a Heist Planner. Contrary to popular belief, a Heist Planner doesn't just sit down, write or draw a few notes on a sheet of paper with a ground plan and call it a day. He or she is a constant participant in overseeing the development of the mission - from the earliest planning stages up until the succesful departure of the thieves from the location of the heist. The Heist Planner has a fair amount of overlap with other rather attractive management or trading specialisations, including higher-up specialisations such as the Aide or Scribe, or all three loot fence specialisations. Many also feel that a person with both Heist Planner and Smuggler skills can be of great use to nearly any growing and developing thieving fellowship or established guild.

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: Organising a heist always takes a true management expert - fancy the chances of becoming one ?
Recommended combos with: Aide, Scribe, Pencil-pusher, Artwork Fence, Dough Fence, Gem Fence, Pawnbroker, Smuggler
See also: Managerial skills, Burglar skills

J

JEWELLERY FENCE
So, you’ve nabbed some diamonds, rubies, opals, emeralds, whathaveyou from the local gallery, museum or even someone’s private collection or jewelbox. What now ? Well, obviously, you need to „unload the ice“ or „unload the glass“ (depending on which corner of Aporue your daily lingo comes from). And for that, you need to go see the right kind of doctor – in this case, a Jewellery Fence. As the stereotypes go, Artwork Fences are supposedly snobby and overly critical, Dough Fences are apparently greedy and obnoxious „numismatic nitpickers“… aaand Jewellery Fences have a folk reputation among thieves for being annoyingly careful and viewing nearly everything they get their hands on as fragile and easily tarnished. Nevertheless, whether you haggle with them or not, whether you surprise them or disappoint them with your loot, they are always there, ready to assess and fence the precious gems you’ve nicked. A particularly effective combination for the Jewellery Fence is the Gemcutter, a specialisation that is very closely related in terms of basic skillset, for obvious reasons. Other effective specialisation combinations for the Jewellery Fence include those with the Artwork Fence and the Dough Fence, but combining Jewellery Fence skillsets with those of a Pawnbroker, Gemcutter or Heist Planner can also prove useful.

Type: Fence
Specialisation in a nutshell: A fence who buys loot consisting of stolen gems and jewellery.
Recommended combos with: Gemcutter, Dough Fence, Artwork Fence, Heist Planner, Pawnbroker
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

L

LIGHTSNEAKING TEACHER
What is the greatest potential enemy of a professional “frontline employee” of a thieves' guild ? Not guards, not traps, not monsters and beasts, not even the occassional empty chest. The greatest potential enemies are always one's surroundings and, ironically enough, one's own slip-ups when it comes to stealth. And few slip-ups can be as deadly as when you overestimate your ability of blending in with the shadows or avoiding causing needless sounds. Practice makes perfect and a professional thief can always use more training and practice. Enter the Lightsneaking Teacher and his mantras, passed down from generation to generation: “To the virtuous people of the city, light is the sign of day, often a sunny day, and its light-filled blessing for the crops and one's mood. But to a thief, light is not good… Not always. It is often little else than a nuisance and an adversary. The shadows and one's masterry of hiding in them are the thief's one true allies while he or she is on a mission. Light sources illuminating the night - whether natural or artificial - will always be your greatest foes. Never forget: If you can avoid them, avoid them. If you can't avoid them, disable them. If you can't avoid them or disable them, vanquish them. And do it as quietly as possible - but that's something my other co-worker will teach you.” Adopting a Lightsneaking Teacher profession for oneself is a rather major committment and its own benefits might not be immediately apparent. This is a profession that requires some degree of patience, finesse and effort to improve upon, as it is easy to pick up, but very hard to master. However, once a person becomes an acknowledged and respected teacher of stealthy skills revolving around “light management” (to use a common thievy euphemism), he or she is a major asset to the well-being and development of his or her home guild. If a freelancer decides to follow this path of specialisation, he or she has to put up even more of an effort, due to smaller backing, but can work just as well with his knowledge outside of a guild, as a freelance instructor-for-hire.

Type: Teacher/Trainer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Thieving and stealth expert who teaches others how to become proficient in the art of not being seen and mastering the management of light and shadows.
Recommended combos with: Soundsneaking Teacher, Pickpocketing Teacher, Master of Disguise, Shadowblade
See also: Stealth, Visual stealth skills, Movement skills

M

MARKSMANSHIP TEACHER
Even if you are the greatest master of stealth in the entire world, odds are, you’ll get caught redhanded or wind up in a scrap with someone sooner or later. This is where it genuinely pays off to have at least some degree of ranged combat skills, even if they were just basic, throwing-related martial arts. („Martial arts“ being a bit of a generous term, one that is perhaps a bit too flattering – what with the typical fighting philosophy of the city’s mean streets being „throw or shoot anything you’ve got, as long as you bring your attacker down“…). In addition to training the focusing of one’s eyes on a target and learning how to throw small objects at various distances with various degrees of force, a Marksmanship Teacher can train any freelancer or guildsman in those much-cherished arts of defending oneself with a real shooting or throwing weapon. Whether it’s a variation on bows, crossbows, pistols, long guns, throwing stars or knives, and (last but not least) smoke bombs, the Marksmanship Teacher is ready to show you the ropes of learning how to defend yourself from anyone who’d try to „rearrange and redecorate“ your body. If you ever run into an unfortunate situation where the only way out is via a determined shooting skirmish, you’ll thank your patient and strict Marksmanship Teacher immensely. Note, however, that unlike melee skills, marksmanship skills can come in handy also outside of combat situations. Need to reach spots and spaces that would be impossible to traverse by foot ? Need to change the environment around you in subtle, hidden ways, to bolster your ability for stealthy traversing of a locale ? If yes, consider many types of projectile weapons – and particularly their more specialised types of ammunition – as your best friends. Whether its „trick arrows“, „trick bolts“, „trick darts“, „trick bullets“ or „trick bombs“, all of these special ammunition types give you a whole range of new options as a stealthy, professional thief. Aside from combat-oriented specialisations, such as the Thug and Fixer, or the Brigand and Guard, a particularly good professions combination for the Marksmanship Teacher is with the craftsman specialisations of the Bowyer-fletcher, Gunsmith and Bombmaker. A combination with these crafting-oriented specialisations can offer an interesting shift in perspective, because each type of craftsman tends to focus on marksmanship skills that are closer to his/her area of expertise. Thus, a Bowyer-fletcher Marksmanship Teacher will focus on archery skills and practice with bows, crossbows or dartguns/spearguns, a Gunsmith Marksmanship Teacher will focus on educating you about guns big and small, and a Bombmaker Marksmanship Teacher will focus on showing you the tricks of throwing or deploying stun bombs and other detonators or explosives. Keep in mind that the focus of all three of these variations concerns only types of weaponry. All three variations still teach the same basic aiming skills (bow/crossbow/gun, etc.) and throwing skills (knives, stars, etc.) in an equal way.

Type: Teacher/Trainer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Combat expert who teaches others how to become proficient in ranged combat - whether it's archery, throwing weapons or gunplay…
Recommended combos with: Bowyer-fletcher, Gunsmith, Adventurer
See also: Combat, Weaponry and armour

MASTER OF DISGUISE
It's the old theme that has fascinated many for centuries, and since the rise of cheaper printing and penny dreadfuls, the number of those captivated by it has only risen. You know what we're talking about. The art of disguise. And the people skilled in choosing and switching their clothing, their facial hair, facial expressions and gestures, and even their voices. Like with all sorts of conman skills, the ability to disguise oneself and adopt different fake identities is often seen by some as being almost akin to magic. In truth, only very few rogues and criminals throughout Aporue rely on any sort of magic to disguise their true identities from the unsuspecting public. What the vast majority of them use instead is a great degree of cunning, an obsessive attention to details others might overlook, a great knowledge of people's behaviour, tics and thinking, and last but not least, also the good sense of not overdoing one's physical as well as behavioural disguise. (Yes, there is such a thing as overdoing - it can raise others' incredulity or cause an outright alarm just as much as underplaying the disguise.) The Master of Disguise is something of a strange beast in the world of professional thieves. Unlike most, he or she isn't one who relies primarily on sneaking around unseen and unheard, but instead openly risks by relying on what can be only described as “social stealth”. Instead of the worrying about the amount of darkness around him or the footsteps he makes, like his colleagues do, the MoD prefers to be finicky about his exterior in the most complex manner possible. Complexity and details are everything to a user of disguises. Combinations-wise, Masters of Disguise are predictably good choices for trainer roles, particularly the Pickpocketing Teacher. However, they are also excellent when combined with the Beggar, Gentleman Thief and Charmer/Charmette professions, the trio that is closest to their heart. Their skillsets can also prove valuable to Shadowblades and Adventurers.

Type: Stealth Expert, Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: Sometimes, a classic approach to stealthiness will not do. In such cases, having a specialist in the art of faking one's own appearance and identity can be a major asset to any fellowship or guild of thieves.
Recommended combos with: Pickpocketing Teacher, Charmer/Charmette, Gentleman Thief, Shadowblade, Adventurer, Beggar
See also: Stealth, Burglar skills

MELEE TEACHER
Even if you are the greatest master of stealth in the entire world, odds are, you’ll get caught redhanded or wind up in a scrap with someone sooner or later. This is where it genuinely pays off to have at least some degree of close combat skills, even if they were just basic, bare-handed martial arts. („Martial arts“ being a bit of a generous term, one that is perhaps a bit too flattering – what with the typical fighting philosophy of the city’s mean streets being „kick, punch, elbow and bite, as long as you bring your attacker down“…). In addition to fisticuffs, kicks, chops, or elbow, knee and head „manuevers“, a Melee Teacher can train any freelancer or guildsman in those much-cherished arts of defending oneself with a real melee weapon. Whether it’s a variation on blades, clubs, axes, staffs, spears, and (last but not least) shields, the Melee Teacher is ready to show you the ropes of learning how to defend yourself from anyone who’d try to „rearrange and redecorate“ your body. If you ever run into an unfortunate situation where the only way out is via determined brawling, you’ll thank your patient and strict Melee Teacher immensely. Aside from combat-oriented specialisations, such as the Thug and Fixer, or the Brigand and Guard, a particularly good professions combination for the Melee Teacher is with the craftsman specialisations of the Bladesmith, Poleturner and Armourer. A combination with these crafting-oriented specialisations can offer an interesting shift in perspective, because each type of craftsman tends to focus on melee skills that are closer to his/her area of expertise. Thus, a Bladesmith Melee Teacher will focus on fencing and parrying skills, a Poleturner Melee Teacher will focus on polearms and impact weaponry, and an Armourer Melee Teacher will focus on how to utilise one’s armour and shield for self-defence and minor offensive skills. Keep in mind that the focus of all three of these variations concerns only types of weaponry. All three variations still teach the same basic, bare-handed fighting skills in an equal way. Similar divisions of teaching exist among the security specialisations, as Guards and Brigands can teach armed fighting, while Fixers and Thugs focus on teaching fighting barehanded, or only with the most minimal of weaponry.

Type: Teacher/Trainer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Combat expert who teaches others how to become proficient in close combat - whether it's hand-to-hand melee, fencing, the use of polearms or blunt weapons…
Recommended combos with: Brigand, Guard, Bladesmith, Poleturner, Armourer (I was thinking of adding Thug and Fixer too, but those are more hand to hand in terms of melee, so I don't know)
See also: Combat, Weaponry and armour

P

PAWNBROKER
Description TBA.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Trader who you can sell some of your more useless tat and older equipment to, and rebuy them later at a certain discount rate if you need to. He also sells cheap second-hand equipment. Doesn't buy or sell food or clothing.
Recommended combos with: Cook-quartermaster, Artwork Fence, Dough Fence, Gem Fence, Gemcutter, Smuggler
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

PENCIL-PUSHER
“Well, honestly, who would want to work for a guild as a measly little office rat ? Where's the fun in that ?”, asks virtually every new recruit into an official thieving organisation. Swashbuckling fun it might not be, but a guild that has grown and firmly took roots will always be in need of people who are quick and sharp with parchment, paper and writing utensils. Think of the Pencil-pusher as a springboard profession for more major administrative roles within a guild. Practice makes perfect, patience and good conduct pays off. You're grumbling that you're not much more of a higher-up, such as a Scribe, Counsellor, or even just a lowly Accountant ? Don't fret, you can get there one day, but first you need to start simple. How do you think those aforementioned higher-ups reached their positions during the guild's earlier, more amorphous days ? That's right, it wasn't exactly overnight. They had to work for it. As the guild got bigger in its membership and got more complex as an organisation, the veterans of what office work needed to be done back then were promoted based on their experience and personal qualities to more specialised office jobs, including those in the leadership. When you enter a guild and decide for the job of Pencil-pusher, you might as well be illiterate at first. But it doesn't really matter: Your colleagues will make sure that you get a good basic education, that you learn to do your job right and that you'll get a good foundation to build upon if you ever decide to move further up or in a different direction. Like with the Footpad/Hoyden and the Dogsbody, the “starting profession” nature of the Pencil-pusher makes it ideal for a whole host of combinations with other related specialisations or its own promoted cousins. You don't exactly need to continue down the bureaucratic alley during your career in the guild - you can also go for some more economically or oversight laced jobs, such as the Cook-quartermaster, the Profiteer, or the Pawnbroker, or even one of the three types of Fences. The skills attained during your Pencil-pusher days will bear fruit sooner or later.

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: General bureaucrat of a guild, the much-needed deskjockey footsoldier to the aide, scribe and accountants. All pencil-pushers are directly subordinate to a guild Scribe (if the guild has grown big enough to need one).
Recommended combos with: Accountant, Aide, Scribe, Cook-quartermaster, Profiteer, Pawnbroker
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

PICKPOCKETING TEACHER
There really isn't that much to say about the Pickpocketing Teacher - the name says it all. Any professional thief that's been doing pickpocketing for long enough and effectivelly enough can try their hand at raising the next generation of purse-and-pocket-pilferers (or, to put it in thief argot, “threepees”).

Type: Teacher/Trainer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Thieving and stealth expert who teaches others how to become proficient in the art of pickpocketing.
Recommended combos with: Cutpurse, Shadowblade, Lightsneaking Teacher, Soundsneaking Teacher
See also: Tricks and conmanship, Burglar skills

POLETURNER
When it comes to weapons, the vast majority of professional thieves will go for simplicity and ease of use. By far the most common melee weapons adhering to these principles are the manifold types of blunt impact weapons and polearms. Uncomplicated in their shapes, manufacture and maintenance, it is no wonder that these are some of the cheapest weapons that money (or a good barter deal) can buy. As with all larger and more expensive weapons, you won't be seeing every thief wielding one, and that counts for bladed weapons too. Thieves wielding halberds isn't exactly what you'd expect in most cases… However, there is a satisfyingly long list of cheap-to-acquire and easy to use polearms or blunt weaponry, readily available to even the poorest of freelancer thieves (or poorer guild members). To no one's surprise, these weapons often come in the form of various staffs, spears, poleaxes and gisarmes, hammers and mallets, clubs and cudgels, and so on, and so on. These weapons often come just as much from civilian backgrounds as they do from military ones. Since polearms and blunt weapons are in high demand virtually everywhere you turn to, poleturner artisans who have made a living out of creating, repairing or modifying such weaponry can be found on virtually every second street. Not to be outdone, thief guilds have a long-lasting tradition of hiring or training skilled Poleturners of their own, in addition to Bladesmiths, Bowyers-fletchers or even Gunsmiths and Bombmakers. For individual or outright freelancer thieves, having Poleturner as a specialisation can prove very useful. Possessing enhanced skills in mending one’s bladed weaponry, even if it’s just to replace an old shaft, or fix a part of the striking surface of the weapon, can save you a pricy visit to the nearest public poleturner. Last but not least, it is not just the Armourer and the Bladesmith that can act as Melee Teachers to thieves – every Poleturner worth their salt has something to say on the subject too. Obviously, in his or her case, the focus of a Poleturner Melee Teacher is firmly on skills related to polearm and blunt weapon wielding, so expect a lot of exercise at thrusting and swinging and parrying with a shaft or chain. Due to an obvious logical overlap, some of the best specialisation combinations for the Poleturner are with the Bladesmith, Melee Teacher, Armourer and even the Haberdasher. Among the weapon and tool crafting specialisations, the Poleturner is a profession that takes only a short to moderate amount of time to learn and gradually master. This makes it one of the more accessible and less time-demanding choices of profession, if one chooses it as part of his or her training. The skills gained in the somewhat lenghthier traineeship provide a sufficient payoff to the dilligent student.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell, mend or modify polearms of various types, the poleturner is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Armourer, Bladesmith, Melee Teacher
See also: Weaponry and armour, Artisan skills

PROFITEER
Description TBA.

Type: Trader/Artisan
Specialisation in a nutshell: Whenever you need to buy, sell or modify food, foodstuffs and drinks, the profiteer is at your disposal.
Recommended combos with: Cook-quartermaster, Haberdasher, Smuggler, Accountant, Pencil-pusher
See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

R

RECRUITER
A thieves' guild always needs manpower, even a relatively small one. The recruiter exists to bring in new adepts and new blood into the thieving family. Recruiters into thieves' guilds answer directly to a guild's Counsellor (or, if a Counsellor is not available, directly to the Guild Boss or his Aide).

Type: Guild Management
Specialisation in a nutshell: A thieves' guild always needs manpower, even a relatively small one. The recruiter exists to bring in new adepts and new blood into the thieving family. All recruiters are directly subordinate to a guild Counsellor (if the guild has grown big enough to need one). Recommended combos with: Counsellor, Aide, Pencil-pusher, Pawnbreaker, Profiteer, Dogsbody See also: Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

S

SAFECRACKER
Opening up safes and other treasuries of higher complexity is not exactly the same as unlocking a simple chest or storeroom door. Where basic lockpicking skills are usually adequate, they might prove too unrefined while attempting to figure out the mechanism of safes and other high-security encasements of the most valuable and profitable pieces of loot. Where a Boxman might become vexed and admit he's met his match, his more specialised cousin, the Safecracker, can take over. Often eschewing more typical forms of lockpicks, but carrying sound-enhancing devices and having a mind well-trained in analytical thinking, the Safecracker can pull asunder even seemingly insurmountable combination-based obsctacles that separate you and the rest of your teammates from a successfully carried out heist. A natural professional combination for the Safecracker is with the more mundane Boxman specialisation. Other palatable crossovers on offer are with the Clacker, Gadgeteer, and last but not least, the Gentleman Thief. In addition to his regular work, the Safecracker can also be valuable as a trainer of his other thievy colleagues. Whereas the Boxman can teach them the basics of lockpicking, the Safecracker is indispensable of teaching them more advanced and more specialised techniques.

Type: Field Agent, Teacher/Trainer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Being a lockpicking expert in the vein of the Boxman is just the start. For more complex and demanding burglaries and heists, you might as well hire the services of a safecracker. Recommended combos with: Boxman, Gadgeteer, Clacker, Gentleman Thief
See also: Lockpicking and trap disarming, Burglar skills

SHADOWBLADE
If the Skulker is one who specialises in absolute stealthiness without the use of any aids, and the Adventurer is one who bolsters his stealth with the use of simple tools, then the Shadowblade is a stealth expert who sits rather comfortably between these two sneaky opposites. Where an Adventurer might pull out a trick arrow from his quiver and use it to disable a trap or light source, the Shadowblade would „simply rough it“ and rely on his/her highly-trained or slightly magic-enhanced reflexes. Where a Skulker would scoff at the mere idea of carrying anything larger than a pouch of lockpicks, the Shadowblade will not shy away from bringing smaller melee weapons (usually bladed, hence the name) and simple gadgets along for a job. If they run into opponents that are hard to avoid without triggering an even greater threat, they often have a tendency to dispatch them almost in the manner of an ambush predator: At the least expected moment, “from nowhere” and tidy away the knocked out (or killed) adversary as swiftly as they took him down. They are perhaps the fastest of the stealth-focused thieves, in terms of their field work and the occassional combat. Shadowblades are, not surprisingly, something of a problematic specialisation to get down right. In a certain sense, they don't really exist as a perfectly distinct form of thief/agent, but rather combine the traits of several archetypes. They have the weaponry focus of the Adventurer (albeit different, for close combat), the concealment prowess or blending-into-a-crowd abilities of a Master of Disguise (though usually more secretive and less complex), and last but not least, the propensity to utilise magic as an additional tool to their limbs and cold steel sidearms. Combinations-wise, Shadowblades are predictably good choices for trainer roles, such as the Lightsneaking, Soundsneaking and Pickpocketing Teacher. However, they are also excellent when combined with the Conjurer and Master of Disguise professions, the duo that is closest to their heart. In a branching out to the more mundane and managerial professions, Shadowblades can also make for decent Smugglers, and among conmen, they can also be good Cutpurses with enough training.

Type: Stealth Expert, Field Agent
Specialisation in a nutshell: The master of combining sneaking skills and fast melee skills. In between the Skulker and the Adventurer.
Recommended combos with: Lightsneaking Teacher, Soundsneaking Teacher, Pickpocketing Teacher, Conjurer, Master of Disguise, Cutpurse, Smuggler
See also: Stealth, Combat, Movement skills

SKULKER
As their name implies, Skulkers are genuine specialists at stealthiness, no ifs or buts. Whereas the Adventurer might bring along some projectile and melee weaponry, the Shadowblade might rely on his movement skills and melee weapons if needed, and the Conjurer might have some magic trickery up his sleeve, the Skulker is someone who goes completely and utterly for a “back to basics” approach to stealthiness. As the practitioners of skulking among Melzan thieves say: “No extra equipment, no gimmicks, just you and your movements and senses.” Throwing aside notions of armaments, gadgetry and spells, Skulkers might seem foolhardy at face value, to other stealth trainees and stealth veterans alike. But its that exact confidence in their abilities that ensures they rarely fall into a trap or get caught, despite carrying almost no gear with them, save for their clothes and maybe a set of lockpicks. Some of the more specialised missions Skulkers excel at the most are ones related to eavesdropping or spying on others. Many people seem to doubt that Skulkers rely on little else than their months and years of patient training. They doubt it more out of an impression that Skulkers possess near-magical degrees of keen senses and self-control of their own movements, rather than a general disbelief in the probability of these being achievable via exhaustive but all the more rewarding “stealth dressage”. Nevertheless, pretty much all of the doubters tend to be proven wrong fairly quickly once they observe a Skulker in action, especially over a period of time. The downside to being a Skulker by trade is one's own uncompromising defencelesness (though some Skulkers learn some basic fisticuffs techniques), one's reliance on patience and focus at all times, and finally the fact that training to become a true Skulker… well, takes a lot of time. In fact, the most out of the five primarily stealthy specialisations favoured by professional thieves. Becoming a Skulker is not something achieved in relatively short order by a newbie in the professional thieving world. Combinations-wise, Skulkers are predictably good choices for trainer roles, such as the Lightsneaking Teacher and Soundsneaking Teacher. However, they are particularly excellent (almost unmatched) when combined with the underground-prowling Guttersnipe and street-observing Beggar professions, the duo that is closest to their heart. Other rather compatible combinations include the Squealer (eavesdropping/intel-gathering jobs) and Courier (stealthy le parkour message running). And due to the oft-early age one starts his Skulker training, also the Footpad/Hoyden option (often sharing the Squealer and Courier traits).

Type: Stealth Expert, Field Agent
Specialisation in a nutshell: Many thieves and scouts prefer to be at least lightly armed and be willing to hazard a confrontation, but the Skulker prides himself in being a true master of stealth, a complete ghost of a person. The Shadowblade is further up the scale and the Adventurer is the other end of the scale.
Recommended combos with: Lightsneaking Teacher, Soundsneaking Teacher, Guttersnipe, Beggar, Squealer, Footpad/Hoyden
See also: Stealth, Movement skills

SOUNDSNEAKING TEACHER
What is the greatest potential enemy of a professional “frontline employee” of a thieves' guild ? Not guards, not traps, not monsters and beasts, not even the occassional empty chest. The greatest potential enemies are always one's surroundings and, ironically enough, one's own slip-ups when it comes to stealth. And few slip-ups can be as deadly as when you overestimate your ability of blending in with the shadows or avoiding causing needless sounds. Practice makes perfect and a professional thief can always use more training and practice. Enter the Soundsneaking Teacher and his mantras, passed down from generation to generation: “To the virtuous people of the city, the surrounding world is a mundane hive of commotion and cacophony during the day, and at night, a treacly blend of soothing near-silence and of the slightest sounds, in which you can hear even a pin drop. But to a thief, making too much noise, especially during the dreaded night time, is very risky… Just as your own shadow can betray you in front of torches, lanterns and lamps, so too can your uncareful steps and overly fast movements give you away. Thus, even the noises made by the very movement of your body are often little else than a nuisance and an adversary. The balance between “sound screens” and silence and one's masterry of silent movement are the thief's one true allies while he or she is on a mission. Creaky wooden floors, tiled floors, metal floors, loud surfaces in general… All of these will always be your greatest foes. Never forget: If you can avoid them, avoid them. If you can't avoid them, try to use your skills or equipment as best as you can to dampen them. If you can't avoid them or dampen them, try to find a different way around or try to use your skills at moving as quietly as possible to their fullest. And do not forget to keep an eye out on hostile light sources while you're moving around quietly - but that's something my other co-worker will teach you.” Adopting a Soundsneaking Teacher profession for oneself is a rather major committment and its own benefits might not be immediately apparent. This is a profession that requires some degree of patience, finesse and effort to improve upon, as it is easy to pick up, but very hard to master. However, once a person becomes an acknowledged and respected teacher of stealthy skills revolving around “sound management” (to use a common thievy euphemism), he or she is a major asset to the well-being and development of his or her home guild. If a freelancer decides to follow this path of specialisation, he or she has to put up even more of an effort, due to smaller backing, but can work just as well with his knowledge outside of a guild, as a freelance instructor-for-hire.

Type: Teacher/Trainer
Specialisation in a nutshell: Thieving and stealth expert who teaches others how to become proficient in the art of mastering one's own noise management.
Recommended combos with: Lightsneaking Teacher, Pickpocketing Teacher, Master of Disguise, Shadowblade, Adventurer, Skulker, Conjurer
See also: Stealth, Aural stealth skills, Movement skills

SQUEALER
Professional thieving could simply not exist without professional intel provided by professional scouts. The squealers are the traditional and time-tested (if not always reliable) sources of intel, hearsay, rumours and gossip in the city. They are the extended eyes, ears and noses of a freelancer and guild affiliated with them. Though the info they provide can be depended on to be reasonably accurate most of the time, it often needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. It can always be rather pricy and require some degree of haggling to acquire. Nevertheless, info provided by a squealer might prove very interesting to any self-respecting thief who carefully plans ahead.

Type: Field Agent, Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: Informant for freelancers and guild-organised thieves alike. Hire or train squealers and pay them well and they'll happily bring you the latest gossip, rumours and overheard conversations.
Recommended combos with: Skulker, Beggar, Courier, Guttersnipe, Footpad/Hoyden, Dogsbody, Charmer/Charmette
See also: Tricks and conmanship, Diplomatic skills

SMUGGLER
Let's not beat around the bush. These people are virtually everywhere, dealing with nearly every imaginable type of goods worth smuggling. Officially, city authorities like to pretend the vast majority of trade in The City (and the income from it) is conducted legally, but this is hopelessly idealistic. Even before the founding of the local monarchy, the city state was home to illegal trade that, like its criminal underworld, formed the other side of the same coin. A shadier side, but one that became the traditional, near-equal lifeblood of the state's economy, for better and worse. Contemporary smugglers in Melza and beyond are people from a wide variety of backgrounds, from near-destitute henchmen looking to earn a bit of coin, to wealthy and unscrupulous speculators belonging to the nouveau riche. Average people, tradesmen and shopkeepers smuggle. The mobsters smuggle. The mudlarks and scamps smuggle. Dubious men for hire smuggle. Some merchants from abroad risk smuggling as well. Even the authorities often turn a blind eye to smuggling, provided there are some benefits ! And thieves are no different, having some of the better organised local smuggling networks. Of all the field occupations in a thieves' guild, smuggling might be the most perpetually dangerous business. The risk of eventually getting caught red-handed is often higher than in the case of heists, those more unpredictable endeavours. Whole departments of the local police force have been devoted to stamp out the worst of smuggling, or keep it under control. Enter you, someone brave enough (or foolhardy enough ?) to take part in this effort, an effort ill fit for anyone unable to cope with a near-constant sense of paranoia. A good smuggler trusts his instincts, a good smuggler is paranoid in just the right ways. Ask the professionals.

Type: Field Agent, Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: Without the tireless efforts of these people, traders and smuggling missions would be practically impossible. Smugglers might not be the most pleasant bunch at face value, but they are invaluable to any bigger and better connected guild. All smugglers are directly subordinate to a guild Aide.
Recommended combos with: Profiteer, Dough Fence, Artwork Fence, Gem Fence, Brigand, Driver, Shadowblade
See also: Tricks and conmanship, Managerial skills, Diplomatic skills

T

THIMBLERIGGER
A little extra income never hurts anybody. And as everyone knows, certain types of people are gullible enough to fall for a few cunning tricks involving some small-scale hazard. Those who specialise in thimbleriggery are a good source of a small, but steady and continuous income for a thieves' guild.

Type: Conman
Specialisation in a nutshell: Conman who specialises in robbing people clean of their hard-earned money via cunning gambling tricks.
Recommended combos with: Dogsbody, Footpad/Hoyden, Thug, Brigand, Pawnbroker, Squealer
See also: Tricks and conmanship, Diplomatic skills

THUG
In the world of brawling escapades, what is more archetypal than the street ruffian from a city's slums and narrows ? The rogue ready to literally pull no punches and redecorate one's facial features ? Aye, hardly anything is as archetypal as the thug. Thus, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the thugs working for thieves are little more than hired dumb muscle, deployed when one needs to teach some nosy troublemaker a (bruise-laden) lesson. However, the role and use of thugs in the thieving world (at least that of Melza) tends to be a bit more complex than just the typical “smack-pow” clichés. As a field agent and security staff member of either a fellowship or guild of thieves, a Thug is a travelled, dynamic character, patrolling the streets much in the same way a Brigand would. And though every bit as agile and mercurial a fighter, he (or she) differs from the Brigand by wearing no armour and using only very little in the way of actual weaponry. In comparative terms, the Thug as a security profession is basically a Brigand with a skillset of abilities more akin to that of the Fixer. Weaponry isn't much of a concern to Thugs, as they and the Fixers follow the combat philosophy of wearing no armour and using only fisticuffs, or at the very most, knuckledusters, small knives, small throwing weapons, cudgels and whatever they can find in an alley. Focusing on a Thug specialisation can be a desirable career choice for a thieves' guild member who'd like to eventually advance to a Brigand role. The downside to being a Thug is that, though one is never too far from a bit of action, the risks of getting injured in a tussle or going through generally exhaustive stuff might not be for everyone (hint, hint: Some might prefer the “cosier” work of a Guard or a Fixer). The specialisation is fairly useless to freelancer thieves, aside from adopting it in order to improve one's existing fighting skills.

Type: Security
Specialisation in a nutshell: Security provider for professional thieves. Need a street agent and bodyguard who can deliver the brawns and bare-handed blows when needed ? Hire a Thug, obviously. If you want to arm him better and teach him some fencing and fancier tactics, try a Brigand instead. If you want to have a more static and guarding-focused variation, try an armed Guard or an unarmed/lightly-armed Fixer instead.
Recommended combos with: Dogsbody, Driver, Squealer, Guttersnipe, Smuggler, Melee Teacher
See also: Combat


Grouping by Gameplay/Narrative Function

The specialisations listed in each category are sorted alphabetically.

Field Agents
Adventurer
Beggar
Boxman
Courier
Dogsbody
Driver
Footpad/Hoyden
Guttersnipe
Safecracker
Shadowblade
Skulker
Smuggler
Squealer

Conmen
Beggar
Clacker
Conjurer
Cutpurse
Charmer/Charmette
Gentleman Thief
Master of Disguise
Thimblerigger

Stealth Experts
Adventurer
Conjurer
Master of Disguise
Shadowblade
Skulker

Fences
Artwork Fence
Dough Fence
Jewellery Fence

Healers
Apothecarist
Feldsher

Traders/Artisans
Alchemist
Apothecarist
Armourer
Bladesmith
Bombmaker
Bowyer-fletcher
Feldsher
Gadgeteer
Gemcutter
Gunsmith
Haberdasher
Pawnbroker
Poleturner
Profiteer

Teachers/Trainers
Boxman
Lightsneaking Teacher
Marskmanship Teacher
Melee Teacher
Pickpocketing Teacher
Safecracker
Soundsneaking Teacher

Guild Management
Accountant
Aide
Cook-quartermaster
Counsellor
Dogsbody
Front Manager
Guild Boss
Heist Planner
Pencil-pusher
Recruiter
Scribe

Security
Brigand
Fixer
Guard
Thug


Who provides what services...

Alchemist - chemical compounds and magical objects
Apothecarist - medicine, herbal ingredients, medical equipment
Armourer - various types of armour and shields
Artwork Fence - buys and fences artwork loot
Bladesmith - various types of bladed weapons and certain types of blunt weapons
Bombmaker - various types of trick bombs, explosives and detonators
Boxman - lockpicking training
Bowyer-fletcher - various types of mechanical projectile arms, as well as ammo and accessories for them
Cook-quartermaster - dining and food supplies
Counsellor - oversight of recruitment into a guild and general legal/personal/professional advice for a guild member
Courier - correspondence and communications (for a fee, even for fully-fledged guild members)
Dough Fence - buys and fences monetary loot
Driver - transport within the city and its surroundings (for a fee, even for fully-fledged guild members)
Gadgeteer - various types of basic and advanced thieving gadgets (except explosives, unless also a Bombmaker)
Gemcutter - gemstones and jewellery
Guild Boss - promotions, rewards, awards
Gunsmith - various types of firearms, gun ammo and gun accessories
Haberdasher - clothing, apparel, footwear
Jewellery Fence - buys and fences gem and jewellery loot
Lightsneaking Teacher - visual sneaking training
Marksmanship Teacher - ranged/shooting training
Melee Teacher - melee/close combat training
Pawnbroker - cheap/used and rare tat, weaponry and certain types of tools
Pickpocketing Teacher - pickpocketing training
Poleturner - various types of polearms and certain types of blunt weapons
Profiteer - cheap/used and rare foodstuffs, ingredients, clothing and certain types of tools
Recruiter - recruitment into a guild
Scribe - archive and library services
Soundsneaking Teacher - aural sneaking training
Safecracker - lockpicking and safecracking training


Grouping of Specialisations by Degree of Legwork

Each grouping is sorted alphabetically.

Dynamic specialisations Static specialisations Middle-of-the-road specialisations
Adventurer Accountant Aide
Brigand Alchemist Artwork Fence
Boxman Apothecarist Clacker
Charmer/Charmette Armourer Dogsbody
Conjurer Bladesmith Dough Fence
Courier Bombmaker Feldsher
Cutpurse Bowyer-fletcher Footpad/Hoyden
Driver Cook-quartermaster Guild Boss
Gentleman Thief Counsellor Heist Planner
Guttersnipe Fixer Jewellery Fence
Master of Disguise Front Manager Lightsneaking Teacher
Recruiter Haberdasher Marksmanship Teacher
Safecracker Gadgeteer Melee Teacher
Shadowblade Gemcutter Pawnbroker
Skulker Guard Pickpocketing Teacher
Smuggler Gunsmith Profiteer
Squealer Pencil-pusher Soundsneaking Teacher
Thimblerigger Poleturner N/A
Thug Scribe N/A
19 in total 19 in total 17 in total

Grouping of Artisan Specialisations by Learning Curve

Sorted from easiest/fastest to master to most difficult/slowest to master.

Easy / Fast
Haberdasher
Poleturner
Bowyer-fletcher
Bladesmith
Armourer
Gunsmith
Bombmaker
Gadgeteer
Difficult / Slow


Source

Character Specialisations and Professions

(Last modified 4th October 2014 3:40 PM.)


See Also

shared_worlds/thick_as_thieves_specialisations.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/10 19:19 by timothyc