Description: Picking pockets is an art form, consisting of reaching into the coin-purse of another and grabbing whatever silver (or hopefully gold) there is. Many denizens of the Poor Quarter consider this the only way they are able to make any sort of living.
Who Can Learn It: Members of a loose organization commonly referred to as the Thieves’ Guild can train in picking pockets, as well as those few musically talented rogues that occupy the Bards’ Guild.
What It is Supposed to Do: Picking pockets is a non-violent method of making coin for the many beggars, thugs, rogues, cutpurses and other-than-honorable sorts who find the shadowed alleyways and corner-clubs of Spur and her surrounds a much more suitable hunting ground than where the wild beasts and peoples of Aradath reside and rule.
What it Does: A pickpocket takes, on each successful attempt, some portion (up to 50 coins) of the silver and/or gold that is held in the coin-purses of both PCs and NPCs.
If the target does not possess any coins, you will learn this very swiftly, as well as if you are unsuccessful. With practice, you’ll know when someone notices you, even on successful attempts.
Usefulness (Low Levels): Picking pockets at very low levels (below 15) is incredibly risky and you will find that you fumble very often (which causes the number of uses for needed to train to increase). Less skilled NPCs or PCs with very poor perception are recommended targets at this level. Usually in this range of levels, silver is about all you’ll grab from your mark’s purse if a mix of silver and gold is carried, and not often in large amounts.
Usefulness (Mid-Levels): In the mid-range levels (between 16 and 30) picking pockets can be a useful and powerful money-making tool, with a bit of luck. Many more powerful NPCs that carry coins can be picked at this range, as well as more perceptive (and hence usually richer) PCs. Within this level range, you’ll find that gold is more often picked than silver, and you’ll grab many more coins at one time than before.
Usefulness (High Levels): From level 30 onward, picking pockets can be an extremely lucrative skill. You’ll find that grabbing as much as possible (50 coins at once) occurs much more often, and it’ll mostly be gold. You can still be noticed stealing, but it is not only less frequent, but less dangerous, as you will be incredibly swift by this point, and if you are seen, chances are you can be in another part of the Spur before your mark even realizes his coin-purse is lighter.
How to Practice: Many regions of the Spur are populated by NPCs, denizens of the city, who walk around with some or all of their coin in their coin-purse. You can reach in and take all you can. If someone sees you, the very simply minded denizens of Spur will be unable to remember it was you who just stole from them if you run from the room and come back. Some exceptional areas to practice this are within any bars, clubs, casinos or hotels that you may find, as well as places where you generally find Spur’s less famous populace wandering about.
Another fine way to practice this skill, that allows you to learn, teach and socialize with your peers, is to form a practice circle, sometimes known as basket-weaving. Three or more thieves can sit and practice taking from one another while discussing the heavy hand of the government, good places to find drink and fun or regaling one another with tales of their deeds from long-past eras.
- First and foremost, picking the pockets of friendly Secians is typically a foolish idea, as even the filthiest and most drunken Spurian can get healing from a friendly Secian
- sometimes for free and sometimes for the cost of a nice gem or two. The downside of this is that some of Spur’s most heavy-pursed citizens are Secian
- Picking the pockets of members of Set’s temple can be quite foolish, as Set is the Lord of Thieves and the Shadows and He has been known to very thoroughly punish those who would cause harm to his Children (punishment comes in so many varieties).
- Picking pockets in broad daylight (especially in the Town Square area) is known to be harmful to one’s health in so many ways that it is generally not advised.
- Picking pockets of members of Spur’s Merchant Guild while they are conducting business can have some of the harshest and swiftest punishments of all. It is not unknown for the Merchant Guild to enforce an absolute EXILE of a thief known to steal from one of their members during a peddle or other event. Stealing from clients of peddles or attendees of other events is generally a bad idea as well, which can get you removed from the event.
Unconfirmed Rumors (May or May Not Be True): The less coins carried in a pocket, the less chance of successfully picking the coins you have. Also, if there is more of one type of coin (typically silver) in a mixed purse, you are more likely to grab those coins.
Notes: (May or May Not Be True):
- Only one type of coin (silver or gold) can be taken at a time from someone.
- Some important stats that greatly effect picking pockets are: Dexterity, Perception, Agility (to a small degree)
- Not all NPCs carry pickpocket-able coins, don’t be discouraged. It’s typically the regular working-class and noble-class Spurian citizens that do carry coins that can be picked.
Author: Melraath SilentPaw