Continuing to think about Thief Skills As Surprise, this time about picking pockets, swiping stray items, or otherwise taking something without being noticed.
Any adventurer can try to take something when no one is looking as long it is not literally in someone else’s possession. For example, taking fruit from a merchant’s basket while the merchant is shouting at another customer. This is a standard surprise roll.
- Apply a -1 penalty (or shift down 1 row on the Surprise Table) if there are a lot of witnesses.
- Apply a penalty or shift down a row if the owner or a witness is exceptionally vigilant. This is cumulative with the previous penalty.
Taking an item that is being held or stowed away in someone’s pockets, or any other situation where the victim must be touched or moved, is impossible for the untrained adventurer, although potentially doable with magical aide (Sleep spell.) A trained pickpocket who is not a member of the Thief class can attempt it, but never at better than standard surprise chances.
An actual thief can pick pockets with better odds. Either add half the difference between the thief’s level and the victim’s level, rounding up, or use the Surprise Table to find the die roll.