Tools Useful in 5e: Thieves’ Tools

Other tools : Weaving Tools, Painter, Calligraphy Tools, Jewellery Tools, Carpentry Tools, Treatment Kit, Camouflage Kit, Herbicide Kit, Glass Blow Tools, Navigator, Tanner Tools, Shoemaker Tools, Poison Set, Folder Maker Tools, Alchemist Accessories, Mason’s Tools, Board games, Do-it-yourselfer, Healer, Beer accessories, Forging tools & Kitchen utensils.

Okay, maybe this tool doesn’t have to be very useful. As far as I know, it’s the only tool the WotC has ever cared about, and it’s probably one of the most widely used. This tool is mentioned in the player’s manual, and of course in the Herblore Kit, the Poisoner’s Kit, and some others say that, but… I complained about these tools and the WotC just shrugged its shoulders when it was time to use them.

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Escape tools

Okay, let’s see what Xanathar has to say, and then, and I’m very curious, let’s go back a few paragraphs to the fact that what they said was nothing and they didn’t even try? Unless you’re a WotC employee, in which case these are Xanathar’s best tools – hire me!

Page 84 of the Xanathar Manual for all countries :

Perhaps the most commonly used tool of the adventurers, the tool of the thieves, is designed to break aluminum locks and traps. The experience of the tool will also give you general knowledge about locks and latches.
Parts. Among the stolen tools are a small file, a pick-up set, a small mirror on a metal handle, scissors with narrow blades and pliers.
History. Your knowledge of traps gives you insight when answering questions about places known for their traps.
Assessment and perception. You gain extra understanding by searching for traps, as you have learned many common signs that betray their presence.
Set the trap. Just as you can set traps, you can also set them. During a short break you can make a trap with the elements you have. The total amount of your check will be a CD for any attempt by another person to detect or disable the trap. The fall causes damage equal to the materials used in its manufacture (e.g. poison or weapons) or damage equal to half of the total amount of your cheque, depending on what the DM deems appropriate.

These tools are just… …leave me speechless. To be more specific, you can do a historical check to identify places famous for their traps. THOSE TRAPS WON’T WORK IF PEOPLE KNOW!

If the place is so well known that there is a trap at the entrance, then that trap is completely out of order. One, she won’t kill anyone who’s in this trap, and two… It’s not a trap if you know he’s there! It’s just a painful obstacle. I’m trying to come up with a situation where someone controls the story to tell me about an incredibly famous place like a trap, and I think you could say a wizard trick. Or maybe some old ruins? But can they really be so famous for their traps? The Tomb of Destruction may be famous, but what are you going to say? That’s not what DM will tell you: Oh, the first five feet have a pressure plate that projects the flames upwards to avoid the DC13. NO! They can tell you: Yeah, the grave’s pretty well sealed. Surprise.

Maybe I’m considering it, so let’s move on to the next part. You don’t like people to show understanding when looking for traps? What does that mean? I know what Insight is in seventh grade, it’s your ability to read someone. It makes me think that someone is looking at the trap and DM tells him that the trap is lying to him and that it’s not a wire trap but a plate trap…. which can be pretty funny. Make a fall with an almost obvious wire so that they do not notice the pressure plate that the ceiling drops on them. … Maybe that’s what they meant. I’m not sure about that. Maybe it’s one of the things everyone talks about all the time.

This is my attempt.

In my attempt to improve this instrument, I have done little with the instrument itself. I think it’s good that the instrument is quite limited and self-explanatory. He blows the locks and disarms the traps. That’s all I need for my flying equipment. What I need is more locks and traps for my shank tools! So I did.

For this instrument I propose a variant of inspiration for traps and locks. Let’s start with the locks.


Locks come in many variations and although we all think of standard pins and springs in a modern lock, the original locks are actually made with a piece of metal on both sides that fell off to keep the lock closed. The key is a simple metal hinge that holds the two sides of the metal together so you can remove the lock mechanism, and it wasn’t more complicated than that. Honestly, you could probably tie a rope around this locking mechanism and pull it to learn how to unlock it, it’s incredibly easy.

Speaking of simplicity: For adventurers, there are essentially two types of prosaic castles. The spring and bolt locks mentioned above – more modern locks. Spring locks are cheaper to make, but easier to break, while pin locks are more difficult to install and cost much more in gold.

Part of these locks I’ve put in place is that they have a way of breaking them. A thief who is constantly confused in the castle and simply cannot open it, can always turn to his beloved barbarian and point to Belac Le Stronk to strike at a specific spot in the castle. He was inspired by the films in which you see swordsmen kicking and cutting the lock. Or if they are chained to the sinks, they just hit them on a hard surface and break them all at once. It’s quite fun and it means that even if you don’t have the tool with you, you can always try to break the lock and block your progress.

The most exotic castles I have recorded to give you inspiration for your own games and to introduce more puzzle-based castles. These locks are disconnected from the standard and create different access barriers. Wizards won’t always trust the pin lock and can install a too complex lock that the moon needs to unlock it. Or maybe the dwarf blacksmith is an asshole and has a glass in the castle that will simply break and destroy any pickaxe that tries to enter the castle. These castles are more inspiring and exciting than… than thieves cheating on tools to see if they can open another lock.


Besides our tools, there are also traps. These pitfalls are quite common, and frankly, you should read your copy of the Dungeon Master’s Guide thoroughly. There’s some good information in there… although I’m not always very happy with the way it’s written or what they decided to put in the book.

This part of the tool is deliberately a bit sparse, because the traps are incredibly diverse and the details of hundreds of traps are simply not my idea of fun. These traps must be partisan, because a trap designed for level 5 characters can easily kill a group of level 3 characters, and the environment often dictates what traps do and how they are created. A crossbow trap is activated in the same way as a flame trap, and they do the same damage – it is the same trap that is only a reflex.

I just took some information from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, because I’ve always found these two diagrams incredibly easy to make traps and why fix something that isn’t broken? All I have added is a new section with suggestions on how to turn off the DC traps, which I am surprised they left in their office. But on the other hand, not all traps can be defused… that’s what we learn in Exotic Traps!

Exotic traps are offered to you as inspiration for your own traps, and they are not things that can disarm a thief. You can’t disarm the Orb of Destruction with flying tools, but damn it, these dangerous orbs are one of my favorite pitfalls for high-level games. I once had a trap where a ball of constant darkness was thrown through four doors. The first three Spheres of Darkness had nothing in them, the fourth contained the Atmosphere of Destruction, and the man who entered there lost an enormous piece of health, and his armor, which was incredible, was destroyed forever. They were fine… …until the Bodaks came out of the sky… Thanks, Serious Destruction!

Give me the magic.

Sometimes they’re just asked to throw away certain magical items, and even if some aren’t magical, they may be given away as magical items because of their ability to hijack the game a little. Adamantine’s buttons are mandatory for all adventurers dealing with wreck locks, as is the 3-meter pole for any adventurer dealing with traps that try to kill him on any occasion.

Escape tools

And that’s all I’ve added for Thieves Tools. It is a simple tool which I think has a very good understanding of how to use it in D&D and, frankly. I don’t mind. I like the limited use of thieves tools, because you just have to hold on to unlock the locks and turn off the traps to get a lot of effect. It’s a handy tool, and I hope my additions will give you ideas on how to make it an exciting tool for your players.

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