Thief is a new kind of game. Years in development, it's the only game that allows you to create new content - changing the setting, characters, items, or any other aspect - in a persistent way, without the need of a judge or game master. Purely by playing the game, you influence the style and content of the game so that everything gradually changes to reflect your gaming group's imagination and humour.
Thief is a table-top card game. It is collaborative yet competitive but above all it is creative. Virtually all of the cards were created by players during playtesting and then incorporated into the published version. And yet it remains a challenging game - tough to win and at times cut-throat. Stories are told but it is not an exercise in "collaborative story-telling."
The basics: each player is a thief who is trying to steal loot. Loot is hidden in buildings which are placed on a map which represents a city. The loot is protected by cards that represent obstacles blocking the way: security checkpoints or bizarre contraptions or physical impediments. To defeat the obstacle the players must use the cards at their disposal, items or skills that they can use to overcome what is in front of them and get closer to the loot.
As the players throw themselves against security defences, a cop is hot on their heels, chasing them down before they steal the loot. Getting arrested is a major setback.
During the game players will create new obstacles for their opponents to face. They will also create new items or skills they can use to help them reach the loot. These cards are not just temporary: they are put into the game forever. They might be used next game in a totally different way than expected, creating unpredictable scenarios not found in any other game.
What happens when a shrink ray meets three men with swords and an armed pet store owner? How can you use a crowbar and a shield to get over a pit full of spikes? What can you do when you find yourself on a hot-air balloon with a battering ram? Play Thief to find out!