You’d have bedhead too if there was a spider and and an undead rat competing for  your pillow. Add a little casual theft to the equation and it’s a recipe for a bad hair day.

Ever since Thief and Wizard went on their first date 317 comics ago, blatant thievery has been a part of their relationship. Of course, like we said at the time, stealing from the party is just unfun. It’s the kind of petty PVP that results in hurled dice, slammed doors, and trolling the local game shop for a new group. But that’s only if you’re doing it wrong.

As a thought experiment, let’s give the “it’s what my character would do” crowd the benefit of the doubt. You’re a career criminal with a diagnosable case of kleptomania. You steal from anyone and everyone, and your fellow party members represent irresistible targets for your sticky little mitts. How do you go about doing justice to your character concept without annoying the bejesus out of the rest of the party?

I think that Thief offers a useful demonstration in today’s comic. She’s not skimming an extra 20% off the top. She’s not stuffing a dragon’s hoard into her bag of holding or keeping a magical artifact secret from her buddies. Instead, she borrowed a very minor magic item. She used it as a catalyst for RP. She stole in the name of fun rather than powergaming, and that makes all the difference.

This is exactly the sort of tactic that Laurel mastered back in her favorite Exalted 2e campaign. If you read her other comic, you may already be familiar with the characters in question. The larceny-prone PC and her NPC ally used pickpocketing as an ongoing competition and, later in their relationship, as a form of flirtation. The money was never the point. It was always at the service of character, and it was a dynamic that both participants enjoyed.

That’s just one example from my own experience. I’d be curious to hear if the rest of you guys have ever managed a similar trick. Have you ever found a way to make intraparty theft fun rather than infuriating? Is it possible? Is it worth the risk? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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