Kits, resources, tools question

I’m looking for some clarification on the rules for kits, resources, and tools. I understand the rules this way: Kits are needed for practical skill tests on specific skills. Without them the difficulty raises one step. Resources can be expended to add another die for the skill test. Tools provide benefits by either bonus momentum, re-rolls, or reduced difficulty.

With tools, does the player get to pick the benefit of the tool or is the benefit specific to the tool purchased? If the latter, is this decided at purchase, by the GM, or somewhere in the rule book I’m missing?

Thieves kits seem to work slightly different. All thieves kits are labeled as tools not kits. They seem to be required to pick locks since there is a trait in the Thief supplement where you can pick locks without a thieves kit. So, instead of it preventing the difficulty from being raised by one it is required to attempt the skill check. They come with three resources like a kit, according to the thief supplement, but aren’t labeled as a kit.

So, with the thieves kit, do they function as a kit or a tool or both? Can a generic thieves kit be used to reduce the difficulty of a lock, bonus momentum, and extra dice or just one of the three? Is this possibly a characteristic of a specific theives kit you purchase such as “thieves kit of extra dice” or “thieves kit of reduced difficutly”?

Any assistance would be much appreciated.


The nomenclature is somewhat confusing. There are items called “kits” like “thief’s kit” and “survival kit”, but they are Tools. That’s unfortunate naming to say the least, but the name of the item is not important, just the type.

  • Kits prevent a Difficulty increase (e.g. healer’s bag)
  • Facilities and Libraries are the same as Kits, only fixed in place
  • Resources are spent and add +1d20 per resource (e.g. incense)
  • Tools provide various benefits: Bonus Momentum, reduced Difficulty or re-rolls (e.g. fishing gear)

Thief’s kits in particular are not just one item. They also contain Essentials, which are Resources you can use on other stuff. But what is the Trait that allows you to pick locks without thief’s tools?

I’d say that the description or the nature of the tool or how the player uses it dictates what benefits a tool provides. I always ask myself the following questions (in that order):

  1. Does the tool make the job more secure? If yes, grant re-rolls (1 or more).
  2. Does the tool increase the scope of the success? If yes, add Bonus Momentum.
  3. Does the tool make the job easier? If yes, it reduces Difficulty. Since you could argue that every tool should make a job easier, this is my default choice.

Here are some examples that hopefully make the meaning of the questions clear:

  • Example: The character uses a grappling hook to jump from one ship to another.

    1. Does the tool make the job more secure? Not really, maybe a little.
    2. Does the tool increase the scope of the success? No.
    3. Does the tool make the job easier? Certainly!
    • So in this situation, a grappling hook would reduce the Difficulty.
  • Example: The character uses a musical instrument to entertain a crowd.

    1. Does the tool make the job more secure? No.
    2. Does the tool increase the scope of the success? Yes, everybody loves good music.
    3. Does the tool make the job easier? Not if your are a good entertainer.
    • In this case, the instrument would grant Bonus Momentum.
  • Example: The character brews some alchemical concoctions. Luckily, they are using a test kit.

    1. Does the tool make the job more secure? Yes, the test kit can prevent accidental explosions.
    2. Does the tool increase the scope of the success? No.
    3. Does the tool make the job easier? Not directly.
    • Here the test kit would provide a re-roll, which you could e.g. use to re-roll a Complication.

I realize that this is not always clear-cut, but this is a guideline that I use for my games. And there are certainly situations where you could argue that multiple houses could be possible. If that’s the case, I let the player decide.


Thanks for the in depth response. To sum up what you are saying about tools: you as the gm decide on the spot what benefits they give at the time they are used?

The talent that allows you to work without thieves tools is “jury rigger” page 17 of “Conan the thief”.

The problem with the Thief’s kit is more than just the name. It comes with three resources, according to thief supplement, like a kit but is categorized as a tool. This along with it being named a kit makes its qualities ambiguous from the rules ie does it give bonuses like a tool or prevent increased difficulty like a kit? I wish they would have just went with two separate items, a thieves kit and thieves tools.

Yes, the GM decides on the benefits. I don’t know if it’s according to the rules, but that’s how I play it.

The Jury Rigger talent actually only refers to “thieve’s tools”, not the “thief’s kit”. I would assume thieve’s tools include lock picks and so on. Without lock picks, you can’t even attempt to pick a lock. So with Jury Rigger, you can use a tooth pick.

Presumably, since the thief’s kit contains other stuff like resources, it also contains various thieve’s tools like lock picks.

Think of the thief’s kit as a bundle of various items. The kit itself is a tool, not a kit :roll_eyes:, but you also get some resources with it.

The whole system is a little weird. They should have just eliminated the “kit” category and treated everything as a tool. A tool already does 3 things, so why not 4?

If you assume that “Thieves tools” only refers to the Thievery skill “tool kit” and not the “Thief’s kit” classified as a tool (confusing myself here) then that creates more confusion for me. Since a thief’s kit is one use only, I was assuming the thief tool kit was the same thing but gave unlimited uses. It’s down side being its higher cost and greater weight.

The thieves’ kit is described on page 18 of thief supplement as having lockpicks and three resources plus some other stuff as needed. The jury rigger trait says you have to have the thieves tools to pick a lock. If that only refers to the thievery “tool kit” then why would you have to have one and not the other to pick a lock? It seems to be implied or stated that they both have lock picks. They really need to issue some clarification on the kit, resources, and tools rules especially pertaining to thieves’ kits.

I agree that the terminology is confusing, and this is compounded in the case of thieves’ tools/kits by listing two seperate items with different qualities and prices, then further by the supplementary information in Conan the Thief. As that version seems to have the most detail, I tend to go with that in my games, although I can’t seem to find a price listing for it. The other thing I am unclear about is lockpicks. In Thief, it says that a thieves’ kit contains lockpicks. Are they considered to be one of the three Rescources or “Essentials” then? It seems unreasonable to me that lockpicks are expended with each use like regular resources. The thing I do like about thieves’ kits as per Conan the Thief, is how the exact Essentials don’t need to be specified until they are used. This to me is right in line with the narrative/cinematic quality of 2d20.


I like that idea. I’m going to reread the rules letting the thief supplement be the overriding ruleset and come up with my own house rules until some clarification is released.

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You have to have Lockpicks to attempt opening a lock. Thief’s kit contains locpicks which are a physical permanent tool (unless broken via complication or taken from you when captured) and 3 resources (3d20), which you can add to a skill test attempt. Paying for Upkeep replenishes your Kits, including those 3 resource d20s.

As a GM, I would say that if you somehow lose the Lockpicks, you lose the resource dice during Upkeep.

If you’ve played Forbidden Lands rpg, think of the bonus d20s as Gear Dice.

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The “Thief’s Kit” in the core rulebook, which has lockpicks as an item according to the thief’s supplement, is a one use item. Do you think maybe that is a misprint? Or maybe the thief’s skill “Toolkit” is just the permanent version of the “Thief’s Kit”?

It’s hard to know whether it is a misprint or what. It is clearly ambiguous, like much in the CRB.

As for the lockpicks being a permanent part of the kit, as rschweik suggests, yeah I think that would make absolutely perfect sense, but I can’t see that anywhere in the rules. Also, the Resources/Essentials don’t just grant bonus d20s. They are much more powerful than that as you can use them on the fly to create impromptu effects, for example if you are running down an alleyway and suddenly get the idea that it would be cool to have a handle of marbles or caltrops or whatever to throw back at your pursuers, hey presto, you’ve got it, just by expending an Essential; or it could be grease to help you escape your restraints when you get thrown in prison; or a smoke bomb to conceal your escape — you don’t have to decide until the moment you need it, which I think is pretty cool!


I don’t really believe that part is ambiguous in the CRB. If the Thief’s Kit is one use and it contains lock picks then obviously they did not mean for those lock picks to be permanent items.

Also, the resources that come with “kits” are replenished during carousing. The “Thief’s Kit” is a tool not a kit. I guess we would have to assume its resources are replenished because you have to buy a new tool, since it is single use.

I like how the thief’s kit is described in the Thief’s Supplement very much. If they would have covered the Thievery Skill Tool Kit with just one sentence it could have alleviated a lot of confusion.

Since Modiphius staff is obviously still reading these forums, based on the recent locking of a thread, think we could get someone to take the time to address the ambiguities in the rules that have been brought up in this thread?


Ask about official FAQ and official Errata.
We never got official errata in PDF format.

For any other doubts, somebody on Facebook just posted a link on information which once was in the G+ Community (when those working for Modiphius at that time kindly spent time answering people).

Not everything which is in that folder is from Conan RPG’s Authors (and I do not even know how much relevant information on your question is there), but it may help sometimes.

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Thank you. I’ll take a look at it.

@Modiphius-Sam I see you. Think we could get some answers to the rules questions everyone has been asking? If not, maybe an explanation as to why there has been no rules support on the forums and no errata provided.

Maybe you need to chill a bit. Modiphius employees will read and answer any threads as they see fit. It does not help to demand answers and explanations.

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It hasn’t helped to ask the questions and wait for an answer either. Maybe you need to let Modiphius speak for themselves.