Thief is a storytelling game for 3 to 5 players. Players come up with plans to defeat security cards they encounter when trying to steal the loot from a building.
In Thief there are five types of cards in Thief that make up three decks: Items and Options go into the Draw Deck (white back), Security cards go into the Security Deck (blue back), and Building cards make up the Building deck (green back).
Draw a Building card and place it face up in front of you. You are the defender of that building.
Draw a loot card and put it face up next to the building. The defender doesn't own that loot.
Draw 2 security cards and place them side by side face down next to the building card.
Draw 5 cards from the draw deck.
Take 2 blank cards from the pile.
Players who have played Thief before create a new Security card and shuffle it into the top half of the security deck.
Option Cards: used once and then discarded.
Items: used until they are depleted or destroyed during a break in. Discarded when you loot a building.
Blank cards: can be used at any time to create a new item or a new option. You must discard two cards to create a new card. Blank cards don't count against your hand limit.
- Determine who goes first.
- You choose which building to break into.
- Building defender looks through face down security cards, chooses which security to play, and turns it face up. You may ask for the defender to clarify any details about the security card, and it is up to them to flesh out the details.
- If a security card interacts with the building card, determine the realistic outcome. This may be that the security card is nullified.
- You play items from your hand to defeat security. As you play items, you may fill in any details about the items that aren't provided on the card, but other players may challenge you on unrealistic modifications.
- You must play at least one card, but you can play as many cards as you want.
- You cannot play cards that are disallowed by the building.
- Other players determine success by voting. If there is a tie, you may play additional cards to augment your plan. If there is still a tie, your plan fails.
- Other players determine which cards were used up or destroyed during the break in and which cards stick around.
- If you fail the break in, discard the cards you used in the plan, and play passes to the next player. At this point you may discard up to two cards and redraw up to five.
- If your plan succeeds, you may choose to continue on and face a new security card in the same building. You must keep the same hand of cards. Or you can end your turn, and you can discard up to two cards and redraw up to five.
If you defeat the last security card in the building, take the loot card and place it in front of you, separate from your building. Discard your hand and redraw up to five.
The defender of the defeated building draws a new building card and puts it face up on the table with a new loot card. They draw 3 new security cards. If this building is defeated, repeat the same process, drawing 4 cards instead.
When the draw deck is empty, shuffle the discard pile to form a new draw deck.
The player who gets three pieces of loot first wins.