There's a school of thought within the OSR that holds that all D&D characters are rogues, and that the introduction of the Thief class was the beginning of the slippery slope to class 'role protection', and ultimately to the detriment of the game. OK, then. Why not gank the thief archetype and divvy up his stuff (notably thiefly skills) up among the remaining classes?
Here are my half-formed thoughts on the matter:
Standard Dungeoneering Skills (retained as is)
|Hear Noise||1 in 6|
|Find Traps||1(+Int) in 6|
|Find Secret Doors||1(+Int) in 6|
|Open Doors||2(+Str) in 6|
|Surprise||2 in 6|
New Universal Skills
|Pick Pockets||0 in 6|
|Move Silently||0 in 6|
|Hide in Shadows||0 in 6|
|Pick Locks||0 in 6|
|Remove Traps||0 in 6|
All characters add +1 in 6 chance to any two of these skills at each level gained.
Above 5 in 6 you have the "5+1, 5+2..." house rule (note: I'm afraid the originator of this escapes me, but the rule basically allowed a 2nd roll at "+n in 6" if the first die came up a 6). Possible skill level maxes out at 5+5 (~97% success rate). There are no sure things in the dungeon...
They keep their special racial rules.
|Dorfs||Detect Slopes/New Construction/etc||2 in 6|
|Ratlings||Hide in Woodlands||5 in 6|
|Elves||Hear and Sniff Secret Door||+1 in 6|
Why have I bothered with this? Well, it lets your Fafhrd or Grey Mouser types mcgyver things, root through other peoples' pockets and lurk in the shadows all noir-like without the players and DM having to resort to games of "mother may I". Conan and Kull get to sneak up on the villain, rather than blundering about like heavy-footed fools. Gord? He's a fighter type in Elvish Chain who uses Akrasia's weapon schools house rule. ;)
Backstab? Thanks to your newfound ghost-footed 1337 ninja sneaking skills you probably have surprise. Make the first hit count!
Thoughts? Objections? Contempt for my mechanics fetishism in a player-skill game?
(picture credit: Jollyjack)