My gaming buddies and I are about to start up a second group to play D&D 4e with, and I'm looking for a class to replace the rogue to freshen things up a little.

The only problem is that Thievery seems to be one of the rarest skills available to other character classes. So I'm just wondering if someone could help me out and list the classes that allow a character to train in Thievery without taking an extra feat.

So which classes can train in Thievery?


5 Answers 5


A list of classes that start with thievery, ordered by ability:

  • Thief (Essentials)
    • These folks are rated the highest due to the Level 2 ability: Skill Mastery (which gives an extra success on a 20) and Dex is their primary stat. They also get rogue utilities which can enhance thievery significantly.
  • Rogue
    • Excels in thievery for the obvious reasons.
  • Assassin (Dragon 379)
  • Executioner Assassin (Dragon 394)
  • Monk (PH3)
    • Dex as primary. Can train in thievery
  • Hexblade (Essentials)
    • Dex as secondary for some builds
  • Runepriest
    • No dex focus
  • Artificer
    • Intelligence focus means dex is wasted
  • Warlock
    • No dex focus

A list of classes that start with dungeoneering, due to the feat Dungeon Experience:

  • Ranger
    • Strong wisdom secondary
  • Warden
    • Two builds have strong wisdom requirements
  • Mage
  • Wizard
    • Mage hand should be able to do "dungeoneering" checks at a distance
  • Artificer
  • Psion
    • Far hand should be able to do "dungeoneering" checks at a distance
  • Scout
  • Bard
    • No wis focus
  • Sorcerer
    • No wis focus
  • Thief
    • Completely redundant
  • Rogue
    • Completely redundant

The 3 races who get bonuses to thievery (without having an "any skill" bonus):

  • Halfling
    • fantastic feat support in general means that of the three, halflings are the most playable race
  • Kobold
    • Shifting as a minor action cannot be overrated
  • Goblin

Thievery feat support:

  • Tiefling:
    • Clever tail: your tail can make thievery checks. That's just awesome.
  • Dwarf Trapsmith:
    • Rogue, dwarf, but an obscene +4 feat bonus to finding and disabling locks and traps
  • Dungeon experience:
    • Use dungoneering instead of thievery to open locks and disable traps
  • Audacious Crow [Tribal]:
    • Drops a huge thievery bonus to the group. Useful for a themed party
  • Master of Escape:
    • Prereq: Escaped slave theme, but a huge bonus to escape checks and opening locks
  • Poisoner:
    • Gain thievery training if you're trained in dungeoneering or nature, and the ability to ignore poison resistance.
  • Grasping Magpies [Guild]:
    • Arguably a better bonus than the tribal.+2 feat bonus and +4 from aid another on thievery checks means only 2 characters need to take this to equal the entire group grabbing audacious crow

As there are 42 backgrounds that now offer thievery, I will recommend only the best:

  • Cat burglar: You add Athletics and Thievery to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Athletics and Thievery checks.
  • Con Artist: You add Bluff and Thievery to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Bluff and Thievery checks.
  • Eldrich Harlequin: You add Bluff and Thievery to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Bluff and Thievery checks.
  • Young Cutthroat: You add Intimidate and Thievery to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Intimidate and Thievery checks.
  • Amn: You add Streetwise and Thievery to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Streetwise checks and Thievery checks.
  • Cormyr (Wheloon): If you hail from the prison city of Wheloon, you add Thievery to your class skill list, gain a +2 bonus to Thievery checks, and gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against charm effects.
  • Luskan (Rogue inna box): You add Stealth and Thievery to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Stealth checks and Thievery checks.
  • Curious Archeologist: When engaging in a skill challenge to disable a trap, your first successful Thievery check grants you an extra success.


  • Artificer
  • Assassin
  • Monk
  • Runepriest
  • Warlock

General Backgrounds:

  • Burglar
  • Circus Performer
  • Curious Archeologist
  • Cutpurse
  • Early Life - Imprisoned
  • Early Life - Test Subject
  • Martial - Guild Orphan
  • Occupation - Criminal
  • Occupation - Poison Master
  • Occupation - Thief
  • Penitent
  • Recent Life - Explorer of the Ancient
  • Recent Life - Freeing Slaves
  • Recent Life - Valued Prisoner
  • Refugee
  • Saved from the Noose
  • Tomb Robber

Multiclass Feats:

  • Sneak of Shadows [Thief]
  • Monastic Adept [Monk]
  • Monastic Disciple [Monk]
  • Pact Initiate [Warlock]
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did not realize it was an option for Warlocks after all this time. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Nov 30, 2010 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ It definitely seems a little unusual, since it doesn't really go with the theme of a warlock. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 30, 2010 at 20:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Why answer your own question so quickly? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Nov 30, 2010 at 21:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Short-attention span, i guess. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 30, 2010 at 21:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's ok to ask and answer your own question \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2011 at 7:57

Look into backgrounds, introduced in Player's Handbook 2. They can allow a player to add a skill to their class's skills list.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a good point, I forgot about that. Still I'd like to know which classes start with thievery. +1 \$\endgroup\$ Nov 30, 2010 at 19:34

As far as I know, these ones: Warlock (PH1), Monk (PH3), Runepriest (PH3), Assassin (Dragon Magazine 379)

@Mark Rogers correctly mentioned the Artificer too (so I'd vote for your answer). Realized only now that questioner and answerer are the same person :D

Also, if you play an Eladrin you have an additional Skill Training in a skill of your choice.


If you want to run a "thieves" campaign without spending feats to multiclass characters to rogue or whatever, just tell your players to add Thievery to the skill list of whatever classes they choose. Then they can choose to train Thievery if they want.

If you want everyone to have training, just give them free training. It really won't break the game.

To be more official about it, use backgrounds, as others pointed out.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I forgot about the multiclass feats, nice catch!+1 \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2, 2010 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had a three-paragraph write-up that I ended up deleting because you said "without taking an extra feat." <=) \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam Dray
    Dec 2, 2010 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ lol, I forgot I said that. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2, 2010 at 19:59

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