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Thief Modes of Play: Final rules to suggested styles of play

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Author Topic: Thief Modes of Play: Final rules to suggested styles of play

Posts: 1356
From: Massachusetts
Registered: FEB 2000

posted 11-22-2000 11:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GMan
As a forum, we've developed quite a few distinct styles of play:

Ghost (Clayman)
Perfect Thief (Clay again)
Ironman (Squid)
Titanium man (Iron's harder older brother)
Master Thief (PeterSmith)
Ultimate Thief (BmanRogue)
CushyTrumpet Mode (Buglesoft)
Assorted "Silly" Mode

---> Supreme Ghost (Sneak) <---- [appended to thread by Peter Smith]

Developing the rules to these modes has been a long and somewhat collective process, and many of the finer points of each mode are strewn throughout various posts.

This chain is an attempt to collect and organize them for one-stop reference. In this chain, the innovators themselves give a brief write-up on the basics and nuances of their own playing modes.

We've also tacked on some wacky modes at the end, just for kicks.

Thanks to everyone who contributed.

[This message has been edited by GMan (edited 11-29-2000).]


Posts: 2714
From: Knoxville, TN
Registered: JUN 1999

posted 11-23-2000 07:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for clayman
Ghost Mode Official Rules :

1.) Expert difficulty only

2.) No damage taken or received in the final stats. Damage from falls, machinery, lava etc. is allowed but frowned upon, as is the use of potions.

3.) No alerts of any AI are allowed. This includes undead, fire elementals, spiders, bots etc, all human and non-human encounters in the game. Rats are excluded due to their lack of reaction to Garrett. Watchers that go "yellow" bust the Ghost. Bots that freeze/pivot/search bust the Ghost. If a human grumbles, shifts in place and goes back to "relaxed", you are clean.

4.) No property damage allowed, no banners cut, no things burnt or destroyed. No broken glass.

5.) No loot cheats or walkthroughs allowed. A point of honor that cannot be enforced.

6.) Doors re-shut, torches re-lit, keys returned, etc. are are not necessary unless you just want to....or the condition requires it to avoid a bust.

7.) There is no time requirement, no Ironman type requirements etc., just finish the mission clean, damage free and alert free.

8.) No alerts means no distractions, noisemakers, artificial diversions that cause an AI to search for you, even if it is away from where you are. No Garrett/artifically induced suicides of AI or melees that intentionally cause AI to attack each other. No use of frog eggs allowed.

Amendment #1 : Any mission requirement that demands that the player break one of the rules above is OK to complete. For instance, like in Return to the Cathedral in Thief Dark/Gold, there is a requirement to kill all Haunts in the mission. As long as you do this without alerting other AI or breaking any other rule, it OK, have some a little. Same will apply to any similar situation in T2.

Amendment #2 - The techniques of "Banner Transmigration" and "Nudging" are grudgingly allowed under the Ghost rules.

Amendment #3 - The use of the "Banner Transmigration" and "Nudging" techniques, as well as the use of speed, inviso, and slowfall potions are considered last resorts and should be reported when posting results. Version/release of the game should also be reported since there are sometimes significant differences in gameplay between versions.

Perfect Thief Mode is defined as completing the above requirements and also obtaining the maximum loot for the particular mission.


"It's a hell of a thing, killin' a man. You take away all he's got, and all he's ever gonna have." - William Munny, Unforgiven


Posts: 937
From: Broomfield, CO
Registered: APR 2000

posted 11-23-2000 08:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Buglesoft
CushyTrumpet mode Official Rules:

1) Play the entire game from start to finish without quitting the game (see ammendments below). In TDP and TG, start at Baffords and keep playing through Maw. In T2, Interference through Soulforge.

2) No saving!! (see ammendments below) Some have suggested doing a quick save at the beginning of a mission in case some disaster befalls you (power outage, machine locks up, etc.). This is frowned upon, but acceptable.

3) If you fail a mission, you must start at the beginning of the game (Baffords or Interference), not just the mission.

4) If you need to take a break (work, eat, sleep, etc.), Garrett keeps playing. Find a dark corner and leave the game running.

5) Do not give Garrett any breaks in between missions. Once you finish a mission, read the stats, watch the trailer, whatever, but start the next mission immediately!

5) Any style of play that does not conflict with any of these rules is acceptable.

- If you encounter the typical slowdown in the larger missions in T2 and it becomes unplayable, you are allowed to save, reboot your machine, and restart from where you saved.

Good Luck!!


Posts: 412
From: Atlanta
Registered: MAR 2000

posted 11-24-2000 12:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Squid
Hi! Anyone miss me? I've been gone for awhile, but I should be back. I've been working on a D&D tournament for my local gaming store, and that's taken up most of my free time. However, I'm done with it, so now I'm here.

If I remember correctly, I was the originator of IronMan mode and was effectively the creator of Titanium mode. So, I guess I'll present the rules.

1) All objectives must be completed.
2) No saves are allowed during the middle of a mission. You are allowed to save at the start of a mission.
3) If you die, you must restart the mission from the beginning.
4) If you must leave your computer for some reason, (example, sleeping,) you may save the game and pick up where you left off when you return.

Other than that, you may play IronMan with any other style. Titanium is a bit more complicated.

1) All objectives must be completed.
2) No saves are allowed during the middle of a mission.
3) You may save once at the beginning of a mission in case of catastrophic failure of your computer, not your playing skill!
4) If you die, you may restart the game FROM THE FIRST LEVEL ONLY. You may NOT use your catastrophic save for this purpose; only for returning to the game from a system crash or other such failure.
5) If you are going to stop playing for a significant period of time, say, an hour or more, you may save the game and when you return to it, you may restart from that save. If you were to die afterwards, see rule 4.

I think that's about it. Good to read everyone again!


I speak to you now of the fall of giants, the passing of ages, the burial of heroes, the death of kings.


Posts: 73
From: USA
Registered: OCT 2000

posted 11-24-2000 01:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BmanRogue
Thank you GMan for including "Ultimate" in this thread.

Ultimate Thief Mode: Official Rules

This mode is designed to apply "reality" to you (Garrett) during the first attempt of a Mission. If I may paraphrase, "I (as Garrett) regret that I have but one life to give..." Your goals in this mode are as follows:

1) Play on Expert Difficulty only

2) Meet all of the objectives

3) Complete the Mission with Zero saves
===(you may only save to sleep or seek medicle attention - no reloads)==

4) Ultimate can only be achieved your FIRST time thru a Mission. If you die, you fail.

5) As a point of honor, no walkthroughs or other cheats may be employed.

FYI- For those of you that are looking for something even more challenging... Ultimate may be combined with other Modes such as Ghost, Master, MaxLoot, Lytha, Perfect,, ad nausium.

Peter Smith

Posts: 581
From: San Diego, CA and Los Alamos, NM
Registered: FEB 2000

posted 11-27-2000 12:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Peter Smith
Master Thief mode.

The requirements of Master Thief are:

Play in Expert skill

Get 100% of the loot (the primary objective).

No damage whatsoever to yourself

No killing or other induced death is allowed of any humanoid AI (guards, ratmen, bugbeasts)

Disallowed induced deaths include suicides, frogbeast eggs, and leading into traps

No alerts are allowed of any humanoid AI (see exception below under Standards)

The blackjack is the only weapon to be used against humanoid AI

A knockout does not count as an alert if the KO'ed AI does not see you.

Property damage is acceptable, so long as you don't get caught in the act

No bodies, unconscious or dead, can be discovered by the AI

The goals of Master Thief are:

Complete the mission in Ghost Mode if at all possible (that would be Perfect Thief)

No alerts of any AI if it is possible to avoid them (see below)

Minimize damage to others (report all damage points in stats)

Standards of play are as follows:

It is much preferred to BJ humanoid AI without alerting them than to alert them and run away. This prevents them from "catching" you.

If you must BJ an AI, he/she should not be alerted first, and that act cannot be observed by and cause other AI's to go into alert.

Exception: if there is no possible way to BJ a humanoid AI without alerting him first (e.g., the front door guard at Angel Watch in Life of the Party), then that alert is OK provided it does not spread to other AI. All such alerts must be reported.

The Nudge is acceptable tactic and preferred over BJ'ing an AI.

For AI that cannot be blackjacked (spiders, fire elementals, undead, burricks) it is much preferred to alert them and run away than to fight them. Those alerts should be noted. Example: in Lost City, TDP, plowing through the four burricks to get the loot in the library.

Gas arrows and gas mines are discouraged (they are too easy). Count one damage point for each use even though the computer doesn't list the damage.

The use of chemicals, including slow fall and invisibility potions, is disouraged (too easy). If a chemical is needed, report it in your write-up.

For non-humanoid AI, if you cannot avoid them by running, and you cannot get the loot any other way, it is OK to kill them. Those kills are counted against you in the damage score. Example: spiders guarding loot in Escape.

In Thief II, it is acceptable to disable Bots but it is not acceptable to destroy them. However, like any other damage to AI, disabling Bots is to be done only as a last resort because this action prevents the primary objective, Perfect Thief, from being achieved.

Deviations from ideal play should be reported in your write-up, including use of chemicals, gas, alerts, and disabling bots.

See Zen and the Art of Imperfect Thief for more details and discussion.


Posts: 2714
From: Knoxville, TN
Registered: JUN 1999

posted 11-27-2000 08:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for clayman
I think everyone should go in and clean up their posts to remove anything conversational or extraneous, and also remove all non-critical posts. Then the topic should be closed by Mouser and archived so as to be a true "reference" topic; subsequent commentary by anyone would need to be in a different topic. Just my 2 cents, GMan, this is your deal.


"It's a hell of a thing, killin' a man. You take away all he's got, and all he's ever gonna have." - William Munny, Unforgiven


Posts: 341
From: Milwaukee, WI
Registered: AUG 2000

posted 11-27-2000 11:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Spuds
didn't we forget the good old fashioned 'Tourist Mode'?


Posts: 34
From: Colorado
Registered: NOV 2000

posted 11-27-2000 06:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Vesper
Thanks for putting these all in one spot, Great idea.... I tried to figure out all the modes from lots of searches and got lost in all the post.

I am STILL curious about the MadPsycho Mode and other kooky or not so Tuff modes that might be more befitting of a Novice Taffer as myself. Can they be listed elsewhere? Or maybe included as a subset here?

Don't forget to delete this post.


Posts: 231
From: ohio
Registered: MAY 2000

posted 11-27-2000 07:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ricknmel
I say we put all the "wierd" modes (for lack of better term) into one post at the end of this string. I also think we should include the standard form of posting results as someone mentioned earlier. (can't remember who, and it's gone now)
Thats my 2 cents

this post will self destruct when the time is right

Life gives you but one chance...............Thief gives you as many as you want.


Posts: 2714
From: Knoxville, TN
Registered: JUN 1999

posted 11-27-2000 07:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for clayman
OK, I agree to a postscript entry with the caveat that they are presented as half-humorous methods of don't try these at home.


"It's a hell of a thing, killin' a man. You take away all he's got, and all he's ever gonna have." - William Munny, Unforgiven


Posts: 34
From: Colorado
Registered: NOV 2000

posted 11-29-2000 12:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Vesper
Oh wow, now I don't feel so inadaquate! By including these other modes I can feel like I might belong.
I just got my first Max Loot Saturday playing Death of Garrett.

Please be sure to add more details details:

Speed sounds fun!, but is it played on Normal only to get the quickest time? Do you just get the loot or do you get all the objectives done also to get the mission complete screen?

Is Max Loot on any level, normal, hard, or expert?

Will other modes created in the future be able to be added to the archive? Possibly by a vote or something?

Thanks......Vesper.... destroy this message after it's usefullness is over.


Posts: 1356
From: Massachusetts
Registered: FEB 2000

posted 11-29-2000 10:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GMan
OK, Clayman, would you like to use your wit to include brief sketches of wacky modes? Mad Psycho, Speed, and whatever else comes to mind. Max loot is one that's simple, but it's one of the more serious modes. I'll leave it to you.


Posts: 3623
From: Menlo Park Ca USA
Registered: NOV 1999

posted 11-29-2000 11:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for screech
Macheavelli Mode:

Similar to Master Thief except you cannot save during level, except at very begining.

It is preferrable to ghost and to KO without being detected. No direct killing of anything allowed. Non Humanoid AI can be lured to duke it out with humanoid and vis a versa.

No damage to self. Max loot not necessary.

Ghoster extraordinaire

Posts: quite a few
From: Austin, Texas
Registered: DEC 1999

Appended by Peter Smith 8-15-2002 7:30 PM †

Supreme Ghost

Completely Unseen and Unheard


This Thief is the absolute best there is. He is faceless, he could be anyone. No one has ever gotten a fingerprint, a footprint, not even a whiff of him. Even the Keepers are oblivious to him. He carries out his work with meticulous detail, leaves no evidence at all that he was there. He has quite a large self image but cares nothing about gaining a reputation. In fact, he wants to remain anonymous. But at the same time, he enters a mission with a heightened sense of paranoia. Nothing can go wrong, he will settle for no error or slip ups in his execution of the job. He is a Paranoid Perfectionist while working, nothing out of place or amiss when he is finished. Not even the Allusion of a Thought in anyones mind that he was there. He is also discriminating, some missions he might not take because he might leave a trail, clue or hint of something. People are wondering how these things happen or get stolen and who is doing it and how. But no one knows anything or has a clue.

Supreme Ghost Rules:

1. Expert Skill: or the highest skill level available in the mission.

2. Complete all objectives.

3. No Damage Given or Taken: No falls or incidental damage from lava, loss of health from being underwater too long, etc.

4. No Alerts of any kind from any AI or Device: No first alerts, no comments at all from AI. A single chirp from a Watcher, ďMusta Been RatsÖĒ, zombies groaning, etc are a bust. All AI and devices must remain in their normal state and not react to anything you do or initiate in the game. AI walking around and muttering to themselves or having a conversation with another AI are fine.

5. Inventory and Weapons: You can not purchase weapons and inventory items from the store at loadout. This thief doesnít even go to the store to chance being seen and identified purchasing said items. Use nothing that would leave a trace or remnant of evidence. No Potions can be used at all. Rope Arrows and Scouting Orbs can be used but they must be retrieved.

6. No Dousing of Torches and No Moss Arrow Use is Allowed: Turning off electric lights, snuffing candles, or removing any light source including Mushrooms is also Not Allowed.

7. Put Everything Back: Doors closed and relocked if they are relockable, chests and gates closed if closable; keys returned, books/scrolls/letters returned to their original place. If items are picked off a patrolling AI, drop them back on the original patrol route or at their feet if they are a stationary AI. If the item was acquired from a niche or other similar place you canít get it back into, drop the item on the floor below it or the nearest logical place. You cannot stack boxes to gain access to an area when your stack is on the patrol path of an AI. If it can be done in a shadowed area off a patrol path or even in direct light where no one is patrolling, that is fine. But all boxes used must be put back in their original location.

8. No Turning off of Watchers, or other Security Systems.

9. No Triggering of Traps that cause Alerts or leave evidence of a Thiefís passage.

10. No Property Damage of any kind: No Door Bashing, Banner Slashing, Crate/Barrel Breaking, Blowing up Mechs or Watchers. Lockpicking that creates infintessimal degradation of the lock mechanism is OK.

11. No Exploitation of the Dark Engine: No Nudging, Banner Transmigration, Hooking of AI with boxes, Barrel Polka Dancing or anything that takes advantage of quirks in the Thief Dark Engine for gameplay advantage.

12. No knockouts or killings of any kind allowed: whether by blackjack, gas arrows, Hammers, Maces, or any weapons or items at all, whether they show up in the stats or not. No induced melees.

13. Keep a Clean Inventory: Donít pick up what you donít need and return what is not usable.

14. Objectives Prevail over the Rules: If a game Objective calls for you to do something that goes against the rules, the Objectives prevail as long as you can do it with no alerts and in keeping with the other above rules. Situations such as these must be reported in the mission write-up.

15. Perfect Supreme Ghost: is defined as completion of the mission by the above rules and also getting all available loot in the mission.

16. Have Fun: and donít take your frustrations out on this Modeís creators, you arenít going to win every time! In Fact, we bet you will win less.

All times are PST (US)

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