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Probably largely inspired by all the time I spent fresh out of high school playing Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, I put one of my players through a solo game in which I encouraged all the physical skills upfront. Diplomacy was forsaken for move silently, jump, swim and all that. I really wanted to capture the sneaky athlete type character.

The challenges for this type of character aren't as easy to draft up as a diverse party, I'm finding. I'd like to see how others have handled the sneak-thief.

Are there published adventures rewarding this type of character more than others? Props if it's legally open content. Extra props if it's for a solo stealthy athlete, or a team of the same. I'm not really looking for little side quests - I want a lengthy adventure that either requires or strongly encourages the athletic rogue/ninja/scout type.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

For AD&D 2nd Edition, there are the Thief's Challenge Module and Thief's Challenge II. They're designed for a single PC Thief and a DM, with the idea being that they allow a new character to 'catch-up' in XP and treasure with an existing party. (I believe they were designed to take the character from 1st level to 3rd or 4th level.)

I can't vouch for the quality of these specific adventures, but I had the Fighter's Challenge module from the same series and it seemed pretty decent. They might be worth mining for ideas if you can find them on the cheap.

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+1 I am actually looking for them for inspiration mainly so good call. What I remember of Baldur's Gate for PC though (my only AD&D XP) it might be a bit tricky to translate inspiration. Will keep my ear to the ground for them anyway though - thank you for the tip – LitheOhm Mar 27 '13 at 4:07

I don't know of specific adventures, but I can give you some advice for writing your own.

For instance, have you seen the chase rules for Pathfinder? An athletic rogue would really shine in a chase scene through a busy city environment, and it'd be dynamic and exciting too. (Pathfinder uses the d20 system so no conversion is necessary.)

Also, is this for a specific party, and if so, what level are they? Crucially, has the wizard made those fun physical skills irrelevant yet? Between Fly, Levitation, Feather Fall, Spider Climb, Silence, and Invisibility, it's tough.

Yet you can work around that kind of wizard. The obvious way is with anti-magic fields, but you have to be careful because that also negates your rogue's magic items which they may rely on. An area with Silence on it (using the Permenancy spell) can also work. Watch out for the party wizard trying Dispel Magic in that case. These methods can feel sort of artificial to the players, so be sure that the anti-wizard zone is there for a good reason (say, protecting an artifact known to be sought-after by spellcasters).

You can also cause the rogue's opportunity to shine to happen when you know the wizard is likely to be out of spells.

On designing specific challenges, I think your thoughts about video games are good ones (you mention Tenchu; thanks for bringing back many fond memories!). I'd maybe crib from the Prince of Persia series (especially Sands of Time; it's cheap these days). I hear the Thief series (from about a fifteen years ago, heh) is really good too. It'd probably be pretty easy to play through one of them and then translate it into adventuring material. Heck, just look on Youtube for a playthrough these days.

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+1 Will definitely check out the chase rules. This is not for a specific party per se, actually I have in mind the rogue one of my players has in a solo game. All said I wanted to take her from fifth level to nineteenth or so (sort of speed levelling, admittedly). Just finished playing through PoP: Warrior Within so am drawing from that too. It's just that it's not easy to directly import such ideas, from a railroading RPG video game to a looser sandbox/railroad hybrid. – LitheOhm Mar 27 '13 at 17:32

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