The time thief does just what her name suggests—she steals bits of time. Mostly she steals boring, unneeded time from her own future, saving tiny split-seconds she can use to make her life easier in the present. As her powers grow, the time thief can learn to manipulate bigger slices of time, giving her more options to enhance her actions or even alter the timeline of enemies and allies alike. Most of the time thief’s effects are subtle to outside observers, seeming to be more good fortune and preternatural speed than control over time. But it’s clear to anyone who seen a time thief dash past a charging horse, leap onto a narrow ledge, and flip over a guard’s crossbow bolt that a time thief has some kind of temporal power.
Indeed, while the powers of the time thief are very similar to magic, they are neither arcane nor divine in nature. A time thief develops a natural power to alter time, more akin to a dragon’s breath or the ability of fey than to mortal spellcasting. Rather than gathering and shaping magical energy, the time thief can take, save, change, and deal out slices of time itself. For most time thieves, this is a natural talent discovered at an early age (often at some time of great stress), and honed through years of practice. (For alternate interpretations of how a time thief might learn her abilities, see the “Time Thieves in Your Campaign” section.)
Unsurprisingly, many time thieves do end up with lives focused on larceny and stealth. The ability to slow, alter, and even reverse time is a powerful incentive to take risks, and flaunting the law is a seductive risk that drives many time thieves. This need not be done as a malicious act—many time thieves see their powers as a way to place checks on the power of tyrants, offer unseen aid to the downtrodden, and re-balance the scales in favor of the unfortunate. Although some use their abilities to brazenly take the things they desire simply because of the sheer thrill of being able to do so, even the most self-centered time thief is unlikely to cause direct harm to downtrodden individuals (though they often have no problem merely ignoring the plights of the world’s unfortunate ones).
Role: The time thief is an unusual class. It doesn’t excel at dealing or taking damage in combat, draw on either arcane or divine spells, or summon companions or familiars to assist it. In many ways, this is an intentional design choice. Because the time thief doesn’t fill any of the common roles of a Pathfinder RPG player character, it doesn’t overlap any either. While a time thief can act like a rogue (almost a necessity for a class with “thief” in the title), for the most part its unique abilities fall outside the realm of most classes. This both makes it a new challenge for players who may feel unchallenged by the existing base classes, and allows a character to work with a group of more traditional characters without being forced to share their specialties.
Hit Die: d8.
The time thief’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the time thief.
A mote is a tiny split-second of time that a time thief steals from her own future. The motes taken are inconsequential slivers of continuance that even the time thief will not notice being missing from her activities. However, a time thief can use these motes to affect her present timeline, allowing her to re-try actions and slow down time around her so she can act more carefully and alertly in fast-moving situations.
Each day, the time thief has a pool of motes equal three plus her class level. Once a round, as a free action, a time thief can expend a mote to do any one of the following things:
At 3rd level, a time thief gains the ability to add the bonus from spending a mote of time to a single damage roll, or to her armor class (as a dodge bonus) until the beginning of her next turn.
At 7th level, the time thief may spend a mote to reduce the duration of any negative condition or effect she is suffering. By accelerating the speed with which only the negative influences on her travel through time, the time thief can reduce the duration of any one condition, affliction, or spell effect by 1d6 rounds (to a minimum of 0). This increased to a 2d6 round reduction at 15th level.
At 19th level, the time thief may use a mote to grant any ally within 60 feet that she can see an additional move action on that ally’s next turn.
A time thief may gain additional options for use of a mote by taking temporal talents, though she is still restricted to spending motes only once each round.
As a time thief gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level, a time thief gains one temporal talent. She gains an additional temporal talent every even level except 20. A time thief cannot select an individual talent more than once.
Talents marked with an asterisk require a time thief to spend motes, which she may do only once per round. The evasion talent is not marked with an asterisk because its use does not require the use of a mote, despite the fact that it does allow a time thief to spend a mote to enhance its effect.
Evasion (Ex): The time thief can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the time thief is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless time thief does not gain the benefit of evasion. A time thief with this talent may also choose to spend a mote when making a Reflex save. If she does so, she takes no damage on a successful saving throw, and only half damage even if she misses her save. A time thief must decide to spend a mote prior to making the Reflex saving throw roll.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A time thief with this talent can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more levels in a class that grants sneak attack than the time thief’s class level. If a character already has uncanny dodge from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level in a class that grants sneak attack required to flank the character.
A time thief must already have uncanny dodge from some source before selecting this talent.
Old Wounds* (Su): As a standard action, the time thief can channel time into a wound, causing it to experience rapid healing, as if many days had passed. The time thief may spend a mote to heal her own wounds, or the wounds of an ally touched. The wounds heal for 1d8 damage +1 per class level of the time thief.
Steady Hand* (Su): The time thief can rewind time by small amounts to erase any minor mistakes she makes as a result of distraction around her. By spending a mote, the time thief may use skills reliably even under adverse conditions. Once she spends the mote, she may take 10 on any single skill check made before the end of her next round, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.
Steal Fate* (Su): As a standard action, the time thief can attempt to steal a crucial moment from a target’s future, reducing the chance the target will enjoy a happy and prosperous future. The time thief spends a mote to make a melee touch attack that deals no damage. This may be done in place of an attack taken as part of a full attack action. If hit, the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the time thief’s level + the time thief’s Charisma modifier) or suffer a penalty to all attack and damage rolls, skill checks, and saving throws. This effect lasts for 5 minutes for every level of time thief the attacker has. The penalty suffered is equal to –1, and increases to –2 at 8th level, and –3 at 16th level.
Steal Time* (Su): With this talent, a time thief can steal time from a target. The time thief spends a mote as an immediate reaction after damaging a target with a melee attack. The target must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the time thief’s level + the time thief’s Charisma modifier) or be staggered for one round per two class levels of the time thief. While one or more targets are staggered by the time thief’s use of this ability, she gains a +1 bonus to all attack, damage, and skill rolls as she uses the stolen time to carefully plan each action she takes.
Trapfinding (Ex): The time thief adds 1/2 her class level (minimum +1) to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks. She can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.
Trap Spotter (Ex): Whenever a time thief with this talent comes within 10 feet of a trap, she receives an immediate Perception skill check to notice the trap. This check should be made in secret by the GM.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A time thief with this talent can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat?footed, even if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A time thief with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.
At 5th level, the time thief gains the ability to control aevum—distinct moments of important time, stolen from the future and used to power the time thief’s abilities. Unlike a mote, which is a very minor split second of time, an aevum is a more noteworthy moment, a crucial instance when something important happened. While a time thief has a ready supply of motes to spend on minor effects, aevum represent more major manipulations of time and are thereby a rarer commodity.
When first gained, the time thief must select a single power from the list below, and has a single aevum per day to spend. She gains additional aevum powers at 9th, 13th, and 17th level, and also increases her daily aevum pool by +1 at each of the levels. Spending an aevum is a standard action unless the ability description says otherwise.
Bolt Time (Su): By spending an aevum, the time thief can accelerate her movements to a speed that allows her to easily see and react to the movement of a crossbow bolt or other projectile as it flies toward a target. The time thief remains in bolt time for one round per class level. This ability counts as a haste effect. While in bolt time, the time thief gains the following benefits:
Entropy (Su): The time thief can force a target to suddenly feel the effects of aging, which damages and weakens it. She spends an aevum and makes a ranged touch attack as a standard action against any target she can see within 100 ft. + 10 ft./time thief level*. If she hits the target, it takes 1d8 points of damage per class level of the time thief (to a maximum of 15d8). This damage bypasses hardness and DR.
Personal Time (Su): The time thief can take risky actions and, if things go badly, simply reverse her personal timeline to before she made the effort. At the beginning of her turn, the time thief spends an aevum as a free action. She then takes one normal round of actions, with all results noted temporarily. After her round of activity, before the next creature’s turn begins, the time thief must decide if she is going to keep the round of activity she just took, or rewind herself.
If she keeps the round of activity, any changes made to any character during her turn become permanent. If she decides to reverse her timeline, she goes back to the moment she spent the aevum, and all changes that occurred during her round are erased from all creatures and items. The time thief is left with a standard action, but is considered to have spent an aevum and made use of her move action already. No one but the time thief remembers actions that took place during a round of time she reverses, and only divination spells of 6th level or higher can reveal such events. If a time thief is killed or knocked unconscious during a round of personal time, she automatically reverses back to the beginning of her turn.
Shatter Time (Su): The time thief can break up the bigger, more important moments of stolen time under her control into smaller, more easily manipulated pieces. By spending an aevum, the time thief can recharge her daily uses of motes. She regains a number of motes of time equal to 1d4 + her Charisma modifier. This cannot increase the number of motes available to above her daily mote total.
Temporal Stasis (Sp): Once per day, the time thief can spend an aevum to attempt to inflict temporal stasis (as the spell of the same name) on one touched creature. The time thief uses her class level as her caster level for this ability. If the time thief’s initial touch attack fails, she can attempt this again as a standard action until she succeeds or six rounds pass. Once she successfully touches a target she loses the ability to try again, even if the target makes its Fortitude save.
A time thief must be at least 17th level to select this aevum ability.
Time Cross (Su): The time thief can focus her timeline-stealing powers on a target, and steal from it a moment of success. She spends an aevum to make a ranged touch attack against any target she can see within 100 ft. + 10 ft./time thief level. If the time thief misses with this ranged attack she can try again (with each new attempt being its own standard action) for up to one minute per level. Once a target is hit, as an immediate reaction, the time thief can force the target to re-roll a single attack roll, damage roll, skill check, or saving throw she is aware of that occurs while the time cross is active (a time period equal to one minute per time thief level). The target must take the result of the second roll. After the target re-rolls once, the ability is discharged regardless of the outcome of the re-roll.
Time Stop (Sp): Once per day, the time thief can spend an aevum to create a time stop effect (as the spell of the same name) on herself. A time thief must be at least 17th level to select this aevum ability.
Beginning at 10th level, a time thief adds the following advanced temporal talents to her choices when picking a new temporal talent. Many advanced talents require a time thief to spend two of her daily uses of her mote of time ability. This still qualifies as spending a mote once during her turn, even though multiple motes are spent.
Back to the Future (Su): The time thief can spend two motes to fling herself briefly into the future to observe the results of proposed acts or decisions in her present. Since the time thief is only in her future for a moment, she is not certain to receive meaningful information. The base chance for receiving meaningful information is 70% + 1% per class level. This roll is made secretly by the GM. If the ability succeeds, the time thief gets one of the following four results:
If the ability fails, the time thief gets the “nothing” result. There is no way to tell if a “nothing” result is the consequence of an action with no particular results or a failed use of this ability. This ability can see into the future only about ten minutes per level of the time thief, so anything that might happen after that does not affect the result. Thus, the result might not take into account the long?term consequences of a contemplated action. All efforts to use this ability by the same person about the same topic use the same die result as the first use of the ability.
Butterfly Effect (Su): As a reaction, the time thief can make minor changes in her past, which creates a cascade of minor changes in the timeline to generate brief favorable circumstances for an ally in her present. The time thief can spend two motes to add a bonus to one attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw made by an ally within 30 feet. The roll must represent a single action that occurs entirely within a single round. (A time thief could use a mote to add a bonus to an ally’s Acrobatics check to leap over a chasm, but not to his Craft check made to determine how much progress was made after a day of work.) The bonus gained is equal to +2d4. This increased to +3d4 at 16th level. The time thief can decide to add this bonus immediately after seeing the result of the original die roll.
Déjà Vu (Su): By spending two motes, a time thief can draw information from her future or past, allowing her to instantly gain the benefits of considerable study and reflection. She can even peer briefly into the future to see how others react to her various attempts at negotiation or subterfuge. The time thief can make a single Intelligence-, Wisdom- or Charisma-based skill check with a result equal to 20 + her total skill bonus.
A time thief must take steady hand before she can take déjà vu.
Retroactive (Su): By spending two motes, a time thief can attempt the same physical action over and over, hopping back to her starting point each time if things don’t work out for her. The time thief can make a single Strength-, Dexterity- or Constitution-based skill check with a result equal to 20 + her total skill bonus.
A time thief must take steady hand before she can take retroactive.
Time After Time (Su): The time thief gains advanced ability to manipulate time. The time thief may now spend motes twice per round, if she wishes.
Time Bandit (Su): The time thief’s access to motes increases. The time thief can spend an additional number of motes per day equal to her Charisma bonus. This talent may be taken more than once, adding the same number of additional motes per day each time it is selected.
Time to Kill (Su): The time thief spends two motes to set up a perfect weapon blow. The next attack the time thief makes before the end of her next turn gains sneak attack dice equal to one-third the time thief’s level. The time thief does not need to be flanking a target or have the target be denied its Dexterity bonus to AC to use these sneak attack dice, but creatures immune to sneak attacks still suffer no extra damage from this attack.
Time Runner (Su): The time thief can move briefly through time, taking an action that does not exist in the normal sequence of reality. The time thief spends two motes to gain an additional move action. The time thief does not set off traps during this move action (though she may cause them to be triggered if, at the end of her run, the proper triggering situation still exists). She does not provoke attacks of opportunity during this move action, nor may other characters make Perception checks to notice the time thief during this move action. After the move action time catches up to the time thief, allowing triggered traps to go off and other creatures to immediately notice the time thief where she now stands.
The ultimate expression of the time thief’s power is the ability to eliminate time and age from her personal time line. The time thief no longer ages physically, preventing her from dying of age or suffering any reduction to her ability scores due to age. If she is older than middle age for her race she reverts to a physical form at the prime of her health, gaining back any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution lost due to aging. She is now immune to age effects.
Additionally, the time thief’s daily pool of aevum increases by an amount equal to her Charisma bonus, and can spending aevum now counts as a move action (unless a power specifies otherwise). The time thief can spend a maximum of two aevum in a single round.
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have time thief as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.
When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.
Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.
Beyond the mechanical issues of a time thief, a GM must also decide how to represent them in a game world. In keeping with the flavor text of this product, one use for the time thief is to have it represent a new and exotic option for characters that hail from lands distant from the campaign’s central geography. Adding new classes (as player or NPC options) that operate differently from what players are used to can help emphasize the foreign, alien aspect of a far away land. If a campaign mostly takes place in lands of knights and yeomen, time thieves probably come from the realms of the monk, fakir, eunuch, or samurai.
The social role of a time thief is up to the GM to decide, but they are essentially anti-monks. Whereas monks represent law, order, and devotion to self-improvement, the time thief thrives on chaos, coincidence, and changing the rest of the universe to better fit her personal needs. As time thieves are encouraged to be risk takers, they fall easily into the roles of rebels against unjust authority, thrill-seekers, and career criminal. How locals treat time thieves is likely to be based on how well their abilities are understood. To an outside observer, much of what a time thief does is going to look like nothing but good luck and amazing timing. In a culture where the existence of time-manipulating rascals is well known, any person who has an especially lucky turn of events may be viewed with suspicion (especially by gamblers and the authorities).
Even a heroic time thief does not need to be a Robin Hood type of local benefactor, though it plays that part very well. Rather than being brigands of chronology, time thieves could be recast as guardians of time, making sure that events play out the way they are “supposed” to. They might be associated with a god of time and history, taking the role paladins occupy for gods of good and justice. On the other hand, their role could be more clandestine—a cabal of hidden time-manipulators who battle behind the scenes to ensure time is undisturbed by fate-eating demons or chronal necromancers who wish to resurrect dead timelines. Such an organization could easily become patron to a group of adventures, guiding player characters to face threats that time guardians have defeated over and over in replayed histories.
Finally, the ability of time thieves could be as well understood and taught as the combat abilities of fighters and monks. Academies might exist, taking in students who wished to learn the strange art of time-twisting the same way others teach the wizardly and clerical arts. This option removes much of the sense of mystery from a time thief, but in some campaigns that might be the best (and most realistic) option. In games of this type, a time thief is seen as being similar to the monk or bard—someone with odd abilities that are neither more nor less amazing than sorcerers and druids, though in all likelihood they will be somewhat less common.