A List of Possible Thief's Tools

I had a guy email me with a request for a list of thief's tools. I guess his players were being busy little beavers and filching everything in sight, so he wanted to give them some ideas of what they might want to carry with them. Here's what I brainstormed up, in case anyone else finds it useful.

  1. thief's picks-small (like hairpins)
  2. thief's picks-large (think dental tools)
  3. crowbar (always useful!)
  4. small spade or shovel
  5. jeweler's hammers (these come in a range of sizes, along with little tiny anvils)
  6. jeweler's loupe (the magnifying glass they wear over one eye)
  7. pliers (flat, needle-nosed, crab-claw, etc.)
  8. wire-cutters (also in various sizes)
  9. tweezers (flat-nosed and needle-nosed)
  10. wire crimper (used to close wire tightly, rather than doing it loosely by hand)
  11. picks in assorted sizes
  12. a few different pairs of gloves, depending on need for sensitivity of touch versus protection
  13. various acids for melting through metal, stone, etc. (different acids are useful for different things, depending on how strong it needs to be and what it's used on)
  14. assorted gauges and types of wire
  15. string and rope
  16. some basic strips of metal, wood, leather, etc.
  17. vials, flasks, etc.
  18. small hooks, for snagging wires and such
  19. a set of saws
  20. a set of metal files (y'know, like nail files)
  21. knives, scalpels, and so on
  22. hand drill (they didn't have electric drills back then, you had to crank it yourself)
  23. nails
  24. whatever you call the thing that you pull nails out with
  25. POISON ANTIDOTES! for the commoner poisons that they might encounter on doors and things
  26. a shield or something else large to block flying things with (sometimes the easiest way to disarm a trap is to simply set it off and hide behind something)
  27. glass cutter (alchemists would have these)
  28. Many old locks were built in a somewhat standardized way. This meant that some keys would work in more than one lock. Thieves would often carry an assortment of 20 or so keys that tended to work in a wide variety of locks.

If you're going for cat burglary, then don't forget the climber's gear, such as shoe and hand claws, pitons, grappling hook, hooks and rings.

Also, thieves sometimes find cause to set up their own traps, or to re-establish the traps they've dismantled, so it's useful for them to carry all the usual trap-making tools, such as locks, poisons, needles, and such.

In general, keep in mind that smiths, dentists, doctors, jewelers, alchemists (chemists), and other such trades often share some skills or at least have delicate tools that can be useful to thieves.