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Inspired by the various Thief games from Looking Glass Studios that have been part of my favourite computer games of all time. I really should have started designing a boardgame about them well before now. Note - this is a fan work, inspired by the computer games. I won't be using any artwork from the computer game for this miniatures/board game. I will have some linked on this site however as reference and inspiration material.


A primarily two player game. One player is the owner of the mansion, the other is the thief. The owner spends resources to set up the mansion, and the thief tries to steal the treasured item. The behaviour of the guards in the mansion are mostly automated responses. If more than two players - then the additional players are additional thieves.


The world of Thief is a steampunk setting. There are gas, coal, steam and some electrical powered machines. There is also some magic.


Key concepts

  • LOS - Line of Sight/Line of Sound. A straight line measurement between the closest guard (human or other) and the thief character. If detection is visual, the line must also pass through the FOV (field of view) of the detecting character. By default the FOV is a 90 degree arc at the front of the figure (if using a square based figure, measure a line out from the corners diagonally).
  • Lighting - How well lit a figure is. Where light from the various light sources falls will be either illustrated on the board pieces, with the light source pieces or possibly interactively with LEDs and a partially 3D board. The base of a figure will be divided into sixteenths so the percentage lit can be determined.
  • Sound - Speed of a figure, the surface they are on, any action they do and ambient noises are all taken into account to work out the noise of a figure.
  • Simultaneous - Simultaneous movement of all figures is fairly important in this kind of game to create the right level of accuracy and tension. Non-visible figures need not move at the same time as the visible ones to speed up the game. But the visible figures should have a start and an end marker for their moves - the path between those two markers is divided into phases and looked at for any points they may be able to detect something.
    • Free Will - This needs a bit more explaining.—Guards follow pre-plotted paths and act or react to their environment according to automatic rules unless they enter “pursuit mode” at which point they can be moved in the same manner as a thief.—Thieves plot their paths each turn, but may have their action for a turn be free willed. The only exception to the turn plotting is if they are surprised (see Surprise).
  • D6 - all dice rolls use a standard cube die. There is usually a target number or difficulty that must be equalled or exceeded by a die to create a success. The number of these successes is often relevant —i.e. when sneaking, and a thief with a Sneak of 3 rolls 3 dice resulting in a 5,6,2 they have achieved 2 successes over the difficulty of the task (which is 5) and may therefore move 1 (number of successes x 0.5“).”

Turn Order

One Turn (One Turn consists of 6 Phases)

End of Turn

Owner's resources

Thief's resources

Game Files

[n/a: No match]

ruler.gif- 300 DPI ruler in inches for measuring light and figure movement
Light counter generator - input what resolution and an 8 ringed counter is generated. It's for an electric light and is 8 inches in radius. To use it in a game, just print it out and cut it up as required.

games/board/thiefgame.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/24 15:49 by