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Thread: Rogue's Corner: Picking pockets

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    Rogue's Corner: Picking pockets

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    What's the best thing you've stolen from a creature that had either pockets or a purse?

    (This includes you too, GMs. I haven't gotten anything good from my PCs, but that's probably because my thieves are mostly amateurs.)
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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Thumbs up

    I don't see picking pockets done anymore. There are two big and two little reasons for this, the two big reasons for this, in my experience, are: 1) Unless the player playing the thief gets a great magic item, they aren't interested., and 2) GM's don't like thier games sidetracked.

    The two smaller reasons: 1) Everyone always has some change so the motivation to pick pocket a gem or coin is gone., and 2) Alot of the "goodly" GM's don't allow it, as strange as it might sound. As i remember one young GM stating proudly last year at a Con: They aren't thieves anymore, they are rogues. Only evil steals and i don't allow evil in my games. His rationale being that stealing was the same as taking food from an infants mouth, thereby depriving food from an infant somewhere in the gaming world

    Back in the old days, gems and a few coins were always an awesome gain. Plus there was always the risk of being caught, which was great for a DM to take the story in another direction.

    Yes, i separate the meanings of DM and GM, the latter being less flexible. I realize new-school players don't see a difference, but old-school players do.

    The best thing i ever pick pocketed was a magical tome from a wizard. I also knew that being caught was surely death, but being a thief worth my weight, i successfully stole said item and made a pretty penny for it. Hey, it's what thieves do. We steal things.

    One of the great experiences in gaming is when a thief tells the DM that he plans to steal something and the rest of the party's eyes bug out in silence waiting to see the possible consequences, if any, of said action. Good stuff! Thieves are the proverbial wildcards in DnD, for they can easily take the game in new and exciting directions. Too bad they aren't used as such much anymore. Gotta have a theif in a campaign, i always say.

    BTW, i tell all my players that if you're playing a thief, i want you to use your skills for if you don't, i'm taking them from you. This motivates them to play in character and to do what it is thieves do when opportunity presents itself. A sidenote: if a character can't prove he used all his skills at a certain level, then when he levels, the skill unused doesn't advance. This way all skills-within reason, of course-are used by the thief and therefore be explained when he levels why he has become more proficient in listed skills. Obviously, if one is adventuring in the underdark (an example, only) and there are no pocked to be picked, then the rule wouldn't apply for leveling. I didn't really want to state the obvious but there is always one reader that misses the obvious. There are exceptions to evey rule, as they say.

    Even though my thieves have successfully stolen coins, gems, and a magical tome, i was never so lucky to score a +3 ring of vampiric regeneration, a magical protection ring, or even a deck of many things. This, of course, doesn't deter them in the slightest, for there is always they great find out there for them that will change their lives for the better.

    Great thread, DMMike
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 09-19-2009 at 01:41 PM.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
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    I never liked the term thief for the class. it pigeon-holed the character. I had several thieves who didn't pick pockets because they weren't that kind of thief. Their parties never left them alone with the loot though because they figured as soon as the party turned their backs the stuff would be gone. I always felt pickpocketing was more of a chaotic thing then an evil thing I always think of Robin Hood.
    Now having said all of that I have gotten plenty of ill gotten pocket change in my time. In fact several of my parties relied on that for room and board at early levels. Probably the best I have ever had was from the local mob boss. I swear I didn't know. He liked walking around with platinum pieces to impress people with. I got 13 I think.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Thumbs up

    Truth be told, the term thief in our games for 30+ years was an out-of-game term so we never pigeon-holed the term--but i see what you are saying, shilar. It just meant, to us, anyway, that a certain character had a moral flexibility, and a certain way of rationalizing his or her actions when acting out impulses & personal motivations. Also, i also never used the term rogue in game either. To me, the rogue term was something that was changed to give it less of an edge of danger and baddy-ness for the new generation of gaming consumers.

    Personally, i don't believe i ever told a single soul in 30+ years of gaming what class my character was. Now that's limiting to character development. Of course, people would get a idea over time. I once ran a WFRP game for 5+ years and one of the party members was a thief and a highly adept assassin. In that entire time of gaming, the party never did find out what he really was. What they did know was that he was tracker, a spy for the empire, a double agent for the emperor, etc, but never did they know that he would pick up assassation jobs from his guild when in city. Good times.

    What's my point?

    Thieves--or whatever you want to call them--rule! With the right DM and player, they can add so much more depth and color to the gaming experience for everyone.

    A great thought-provoking comment, shilar.

    Again, great thread, DMMike.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    It has never been a problem in my group because the premise of the games is the players are roguish/thieves to begin with. They can swipe anything they want---just don't steal from each other less they want in OFG consequences


    Playing a thief, I never got anything worth while, so I never bothered.

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    The best I did was to steal something from one player and plant it on another. yes I was a player too, but the group didn't know that I was against them. They thought that I was just a hired guide to get them to town. The players didn't pay attention to the openning story line..."never trust an elf". Ahh good times.

    Thoth I want to play a thief in your champaign. sounds like fun.
    Q: How many Call of Cthulhu players does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: All of them, because you never, EVER split the party!

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change, and the weaponry to make the difference.

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by traesin View Post
    The best I did was to steal something from one player and plant it on another. yes I was a player too, but the group didn't know that I was against them. They thought that I was just a hired guide to get them to town. The players didn't pay attention to the openning story line..."never trust an elf". Ahh good times.

    Thoth I want to play a thief in your champaign. sounds like fun.
    Stole from one player and planted it on another? You are welcomed to play in my campaigns anytime. Love to have you, no question.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    The cool thing about the thief is that characters assume that once an item is on their character sheet, it's safe, and the thief puts holes in that theory.

    On that note, I need to start dreaming up an epic (around 10th level in my campaign) thief to keep my heroes on their toes...

    "You go to draw your enchanted flame-brand, but find that your scabbard is empty."

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Thumbs up

    !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DMMike View Post
    The cool thing about the thief is that characters assume that once an item is on their character sheet, it's safe, and the thief puts holes in that theory.
    Happened many a times in my games. Great fun!

    On that note, I need to start dreaming up an epic (around 10th level in my campaign) thief to keep my heroes on their toes... A great idea, to be sure.

    "You go to draw your enchanted flame-brand, but find that your scabbard is empty."

    Ruh roh!
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    All so very true. The part that always appealed to me about rouges was the mindset. He's not the strongest or the one with the flashy spells, nope, it's all about the skill. The whole live or die by your wits and nimble fingers attitude, gotta love it. My favorite characters in fiction were always rouge types. Robin Hood, Han Solo, Laura Croft, Green Lantern Kyle Rainer, Batman just to name a few. The idea that this regular guy with just the right skills and tools can change the world, can fight along side giants and hold his own. It pulls at something very deep in my soul(sometimes it's the part with the black streak on it)
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    Here's one for the DM.

    In my Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth game, the party did find the 3 items that they had been sent to obtain. As they were making thier way back to the town of Bissel, the Drow attacked in force and managed to take the Prison of Zagig off of the party. Do to some quick actions by the cleric Cathartic, I only got 1 of the items, but it is all that was needed. Now the party has to find the Drow's lair and retake the item back.

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    skipped ahead with no regards to read all of the posts, but picking pockets was our sole source of income at some times. Also, as part of the thief's training to level up, it usually involved picking pockets and breaking into houses.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon View Post
    one of the party members was a thief and a highly adept assassin. In that entire time of gaming, the party never did find out what he really was. What they did know was that he was tracker, a spy for the empire, a double agent for the emperor, etc, but never did they know that he would pick up assassination jobs from his guild when in city. Good times.
    HAHAHA thats me now in my friends campaign. Its much to much fun.
    I had to kill a PC to become an assassin to and they still dont know lol.

    Well i never picked something really cool only some coin. however one time i erased a circle of protection (we counted it as slight of hand) just enough to break the circle. So that the zombie dragon/giant hybrid that the evil clerics were trying to create broke free. Needless to say they succeeded and experienced what it could do first hand
    "Don't worry I have C4."

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