This is Thieves’ Guild 3: The Duke’s Dress Ball. Copyright says 1981, but this is actually the reprint from 1983. The second run of them are staple bound books with improved art and pretty high quality for a small shop in 1983. Really enjoy how the woman is really breaking the fourth wall while simultaneously lifting Prince Charming’s cash.

This one is light on rules — just reworked approaches to the thieving skills pickpocketing and lockpicking. These are pretty fine-grain, which would be annoying in a general fantasy game, but seems appropriate in a thief-centric one.

The rest of the book is dedicated to two scenarios. The first is dedicated to a wizard’s tower as a venue for a heist. It is a pretty massive one — fifteen stories and an enchanted hedge maze, populated with automatons (including that snake lady, who is the librarian). The mage is either terribly sad or terribly creepy, pining after his dead wife to the extent that one level of the tower is home to a functioning illusion of her. If threatened with violence, her shade will appear and repel spells and blades aimed at him, so maybe theirs was a powerful bond).

The second scenario involves a ball thrown at a massive 60-room estate, to which the rogues have procured an invitation. I am a sucker for a ballroom scenario and this one is particularly ambitious for the time, populating the party with a large number of NPCs (bedecked in all manner of treasures to be spirited away) and a big space in which stories can emerge naturally through play. It is a lot to manage, but honestly seems like a blast.

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