Editable Codex
Thief from Ultima I manual
Also known as: Brigands, Cutpurses, Rogues
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima IX

Whether they are called thieves, cutpurses, brigands, or rogues, these criminals usually go out of their way to avoid direct confrontation. They prefer to steal from people when they won't notice, or break into houses when the owners are not at home. However, a thief caught in the act is not beyond using violence to keep from losing any ill-gotten gains.

Though they have changed little throughout the Ultima series, thieves have undergone a few minor changes:

In Ultima I the thief first appeared as a playable class. A separate breed from hoods (who did not attempt to pick pockets), thieves encountered as enemies could steal any unattended piece of equipment from one's inventory. Ultima II thieves preferred to snatch miscellaneous items. In Ultima III, thieves existed alongside cutpurses and brigands, but they all would attempt to steal unattended weapons and armour from the player.

With the abolishment of the Thieves' Guild from Britannia in Ultima IV, the name "thief" disappeared for a time as well, but the scoundrels known as rogues were at least as cunning, relieving the player of loose coinage whenever possible. With the start of the Age of Enlightenment, the thief also disappeared as a playable class choice.

Thieves are usually found skulking in or close to the cities, and occasionally the dungeons. Those found at sea are usually known as pirates, but their methods are still the same.


Whilst not a profession held in the highest esteem among those charged with maintaining the public order, thieving is a trade that often serves the adventurer well. Many of the explorer’s finds are guarded by clever and devious traps that require nimble fingers and a dexterous hand. Larceny and the opening of locks comes much easier for the thief than for other mortals, for they who follow this occupation are endowed with exceptional agility.

- from The First Age of Darkness (Ultima I)

Long before the coming of Mondain, the common cutpurse was a plague to travelers in Sosaria. Lurking in alleyways, poised behind trees, and skulking in dungeon corridors, these villains are always ready to relieve innocent citizens of their valuables and their lives. 'Tis a service to your fellow Sosarian to exterminate a Thief whenever possible.

- from The First Age of Darkness (Ultima I)


An ordinary human pickpocket, the thief would rather snitch than fight. He may take something very important from you. Always check your inventory [Z] after being confronted by a thief.

- from The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II)

These are the worst of the human trash that pollute the countryside. Thieves can steal any weapon or armour that thou hadst, except for those with which though art equipped.

- from The Book of Play (Ultima III)

A stealth assassin common to the lands of the east, the thief has spread his skills and discipline to other parts of Britannia. He is rarely seen and never heard, for he keeps his identity a mystery. He may me your neighbor, your barber, or your innkeeper. The thief strikes only with the intention of infliction a mortal blow. Although favoring the shadows, thieves do not shy from direct combat and can do great damage with staves of various sort.

- from Journal (Ultima IX)

This thief of the highways fleeces the unsuspecting at sword point, and dispatches them to hide the evidence. Seek to avoid bandits where possible, yet do not fear the repercussions of combat. For, Lord British himself has written an edict against banditry. The deaths of known bandits shall go unpunished.

- from Journal (Ultima IX)

Notable examples[]