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The Thief is a 2-bit trickster put into a 32-bit job and doesn't have any particularly heroic abilities. Of course, given the level of resourcefulness and adaptability that any good criminal possesses, who really needs heroism?
The Halfling Thief benefits from the the Thief's survivor class feature, granting them extra benefit every time they use one of their potions. In addition, thieves will find one additional powerup of each kind hidden within the dungeon, meaning they have less need for improvements to attack bonus, health, and mana. However, the thief remains a highly versatile class and will perform well with any race.
The thief is one of the most well-balanced and versatile classes in the game, and is best described as a jack of all trades. What's better, you really don't have to do any work to get the most out of his class features; more powerful potions and more stats boosters are just things you'll get to benefit from naturally. However, he is not well-suited to most specialized strategies and will need to find ways to leverage all of his resources effectively to win.
Thieves are best played as hybrids that juggle spellcasting and melee combat to win.
A particularly good combination for thieves is combining the HALPMEH glyph with deities and items that boost their resistances. The higher your resistances, the more effective your hit points become. Because his mana will be used to regenerate health, this allows the thief to funnel all the advantage of his extra powerful potions into hit points. It's a very good idea to find a way to increase your damage output when playing the thief in this manner, relying on your potions and resistances for survival. The HP->Attack booster swap is strongly recommended for such a character.