Will Mistretta, over at It's Okay; Gary Sent Us was asking several days ago why there is such a bias in the OSR against the Thief class. I'm not sure that the bias is universal: some OSR types are quite content to include the Thief class in the game, although they all have their preferred fix for what ails the D&D implementation.
My thinking, recently, is to consider every character a Thief. In fact, I might be go a step further and eliminate all of the other classes, and use a Thief class exclusively.
Extreme measures, you say? Absolutely. But what that would do is focus the spotlight, like a laserbeam, on the swords & sorcery heritage of fantasy role-playing, and impose upon the game a far darker and more gritty feel.
WTF you say? How can that possibly work, or be enjoyable, for those that want to play a fighter, cleric, magic-user, or any other non-thief class?
Of course, I don't want to preclude the excitement of swords flashing, spells flying and undead disintegrating. But what I think would be interesting if those abilities were added organically, as players discovered their place in the adventuring party, rather than each having a pre-defined role at the start of the campaign. One character might find religion and obtain clerical powers. Another might find she has an aptitude for reading magic scrolls and casting the magic therefrom. Yet another might find she has the swiftest blade and the greatest tactical mind.
I'm not really advocating a skill system here. My thinking is more along the lines that everyone begins as a Thief, and then some discover their true class at 2nd or 3rd levels. Alternatively, everyone stays a Thief, and the thiefly abilities to read languages, magic and scrolls are applied at earlier levels, allowing the players to cast spells (from scrolls) as Thieves.
Just a thought. It would certainly make magic scrolls more valuable, and would make discovering magic far more mysterious and exciting.