Hi everyone. I'm new to this group, although certainly not new to AD&D 2nd edition. I DM a world of my own creation, and I wanted to get some outside opinions on a couple issues that have arisen in the course of the game.
1. One of my players wants to retire his elf bladesinger character and replace it with a fighter/mage/thief, using the Sha'ir kit (from Al-Qadim) for the mage class. I never even heard of the Sha'ir kit until he brought it up to me, so I wanted to look at their abilities before I approved of it. After looking it over, I decided to let him have it, although I still have some concerns about how it will affect gameplay. My biggest concern is that (if I did the calculations correctly) an 8th level sha'ir could have access to 8th level wizard spells, which an ordinary wizard would not be able to get until 16th level! My friend pointed out that while this is true, there are a lot of restrictions to balance that out, including: being required see the spell first before he can request it, the low chance of receiving a higher level spell, the long period of time needed to obtain it, and the short period of time in which he would have to use it. I'm hoping that these restrictions are enough to balance out their ability to obtain an incredibly wide selection of spells without memorization. Has anyone else played with a sha'ir in their campaign, and if so, how did it affect your game? Did they seem too powerful to you?
2. My players and I have disagreed before about how the thief ability to hide in shadows works. In the 2nd edition players handbook, it says: "A thief can hide this way only when no one is looking at him; he remains hidden only as long as he remains virtually motionless....The DM rolls the dice and keeps the result secret, but the thief always thinks he is hidden." My players have interpretted that to mean that while the thief himself/herself does not know if the hide in shadows attempt succeeded, the other characters can look at the thief and tell him/her if it's working, thus allowing the thief to keep rolling again until successful. I think this is wrong because simply knowing that the thief is there trying to hide in shadows would make the other characters unable to judge how obvious it would be to someone who did not know. And, it terms of game balance, it makes the thief ability somewhat meaningless since the thief can simply try again and again until successful. What do the rest of you think?