Customer Reviews: The Complete Thief's Handbook: Player's Handbook Rules Supplement, 2nd Edition (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)
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on December 1, 1999
This is by far my favorite "Complete _____'s Handbook." Nearly everything in here is essential if you want to have a real thief, and not just a bunch of stats. The kits are some of the best I've seen. Other Handbooks have outlandish or just downright worthless kits (for instance, take that Ranger kit that turns you into a tree!). In this one, however, every kit is unique, and yet believable and fun to play. For a long time, this handbook was the only information available on Thieves' Guilds. If that's what you're after, however, I'd recommend Den of Theieves, which fleshes it out even more and provides all sorts of adventure possibilities. Round this book out with new equipment and magic items, and you have a classic.
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VINE VOICEon July 12, 2000
If you have ever played or have ever wanted to play a thief character you need this book. Before I got this handbook, no one really wanted to play the thief in the group and usually was just a second character for someone. Thieves just open locks and occasionally fire their bows right?
WRONG. This book opens up many faucets of the class that I had never thought of and expands on the rest. The kits in this book really give character to your thief characters. Ever wonder why thugs were always thieves class, well check out the bandit or thug kits. I have heard complaints about the kits not having a lot benefits\hindrances (and the majority don't), but what they do offer is flair and adjusts abilities (including thief abilities as well as proficiencies) to better fit the thief's many roles.
This is also the only handbook that has any good new proficiencies. I especially liked alertness, fast talking, intimidation, and observation. I also liked the new equipment section. WOW! It has all kinds of cool stuff that would make any thief character's mouth water and don't even unbalance game play. The book is worth it just for this and the kits.
But there is more. The book also gives new info on lock picking (advanced locks, modifying checks) and on poisons and antidotes. There is a great deal of info on thieves' guilds. A LOT. Probably even more than you would want to know, but that's okay. Use what you like skip what you don't. If thieves' guilds even show up in your campaigns, I highly recommend this for DMs. The book also gives useful info on running thief based campaigns that gave me lots of ideas on how to make life in the city a little more interesting. Ever want to run a campaign solely in Greyhawk City or Waterdeep, well try it.
All in all this is a great resource for players and DMs alike.
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on September 27, 2001
If it is a single thief you want, or a whole thieves guild, this is the ONLY book you need! The character subclasses such as cutpurse give such a depth into the game. I have used this to develope a guide run city, with 150+ guide members, from all of the subclasses listed in the book. It gives such depth! As a thief user myself it is now indispensible. Even the new item lists are superb! Get it if you use thieves at all!!!
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on February 27, 1999
I always enjoyed playing thief characters, and this book gives you something to think about. The proficiencies, equipment, guilds, kits, and personalities are all you'll ever need to have a realistic and interesting campaign. The book is slightly overdescriptive on the guild details considering it takes up half the book, though.
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on November 7, 1999
No longer a character class just limited to stealing and running. This book has a kit for all situations. New equipment, new items, and ideas for guilds, a nice spin on 1 of the basic 4 classes.
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on March 9, 1997
This book is great! It is just full of information about thieves.
I've read through it 4 or 5 times now. It covers things that
the players should know about thieves, like kits, backround, and
tools of the trade. It also covers things that DMs should know
about thieves. It goes into depth about how to create and run
an effective thieves guild and explains in great detail
each thieves kit. Over all, this is a must-have book for
all of you players AND DMs who use thief's in AD&D.
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on September 17, 1999
it is a decent book, I perticularly liked the Assassin kit( its so much better than just any character class deciding to be an assassin) and with a signature weapon no less, it makes for great Npc Villians as well as characters(depending on whether you are playing a "good"or evil setting), But anyways it is worth at least thumbing through to get some ideas from.
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on December 10, 2011
I have owned this book for many years, but I only recently looked at the character kits outlined within its pages. I had thought they would unbalance the game, terribly, so I ignored them... I was wrong. The different Rogue kits open up new role-playing vistas which could have been used by me, to greatly expand my NPC's, as well as the options for my players; these options could have widened the breadth, and depth, of my campaign in very fun, and dramatic ways. The Scout Rogue, is far from your normal, first edition Thief! He is a 'thief' who works in the wilderness, as a guide, for the highest bidder; he may work for one government for a while, but switch sides, later, as the fortunes shift, giving one side dominance over another.

Some of the detailed kits could be applied to Fighters, as well as Rogues, but the concepts are excellent. To give you an idea, a Rogue Scout, or any other type of Rogue kit, is given suggested Non-Weapon Proficiencies, which go a long way towards shaping the character's skill sets to suit his profession; they also direct how the character should spend their percentage points, within the various skill categories, to further shape the character's skill sets so that they can perform their specialized, kit role. This is really fantastic, creating virtually new, different, and fun to play, character sub-classes. This one "Complete Handbook", has sold me on the idea of collecting other copies of the series. I know they are a mixed bag, and I rely heavily on reviewers' comments when deciding which ones to acquire, but this particular book, in my opinion, is one of the very best. Cheer!
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on May 1, 2000
If you are a big D&D player who is sick of always being a fighter and wants a chalange. This is the book for you, The thief is a very fun character to play as. I mean who wouldnt want to pick pockets, and loot giant mansions full of treasure and guards without even being touched. keep in mind all of what you have in your supplies and you can loot a house without anybody noticing.
if you have any questions on how to loot a house and sneak around email me at
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on November 27, 2009
The AD&D 2nd Edition Complete Thief's Handbook is a neat guide for DMs and PCs alike who wish to flesh out the role of the thief in any party or campaign. This book includes specialized kits (subclasses of Thief), thief-oriented equipment (both magical and mundane), a very detailed section on thieves guilds, and ideas on incorporating more complex storylines involving this class.
The one gripe I had with this (as I have with 2nd Edition in general) is the lack of distinction between kits of different classes. For example, you could call yourself an Assassin and be of either the Fighter or Thief classes. There really should have been more of a separate label for such kits in each class so it is clear that when one is an "Adventurer" for example, you would know what their general class orientation is.
Overall, I recommend this book for gamers of the AD&D 2nd Edition genre who wish to flesh out and expand the role of the thief in their games.
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