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Rogue locked in a cell


Rules Questions


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If your rogue is locked in a cell with no equipment but rough sack clothing can she pick the lock and if so what is the DC? Since they have no access to tools at all can they?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, let's see here. They won't be using a simple lock for a jail cell. Possibly a Good lock, but most likely a Superior lock.

If it's a good lock, the DC is at least 40.

If it's a superior lock, it's at least 50.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not having a tool increases the DC by 10, btw. But yes, they can still try.

However...the rogue won't be leaving anytime soon, assuming even barely competent guards.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Try stealth in the dark and more important esccape artist to slip through the bars!


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By RAW a character with ranks in disable device can attempt to pick a lock without tools. Some GMs might rule that you need at least an improvised lockpick (some short, stiff wire perhaps) but that's not RAW.

PRD wrote:
Your training allows you to slip bonds and escape from grapples

Escape Artist does allow you to squeeze through "tight spaces" but your head has to fit through the space. So if the bars are closer than your head, you can't use Escape Artist.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

By RAW a character with ranks in disable device can attempt to pick a lock without tools. Some GMs might rule that you need at least an improvised lockpick (some short, stiff wire perhaps) but that's not RAW.

PRD wrote:
Your training allows you to slip bonds and escape from grapples
Escape Artist does allow you to squeeze through "tight spaces" but your head has to fit through the space. So if the bars are closer than your head, you can't use Escape Artist.

That’s the way I read it too. By RAW you can pick a lock with nothing but your digits with a +10 to the DC.

Open Locks

The DC to open a lock depends on the lock's quality: simple (DC 20), average (DC 25), good (DC 30), or superior (DC 40).

If you do not have a set of thieves’ tools, these DCs increase by 10.

Since you can take 20 on the check there are many PCs that can pick an average lock even by level 8 with no tools at all.


i am guessing that you did not hide a lockpick "on your person" before being locked up.

Shadow Lodge

Bite off your pinkie and pick the lock with the bone.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Why would jail cells have superior locks? Maybe the super-secure escape-proof ones, but your average sheriff's gaol is probably going to have simple or average locks.

Remember, these things aren't meant to keep in 8th-level rogues. They're meant to keep in the village drunk or Bob the Farmer when he gets belligerent.

Cheliax

Cheapy wrote:

Not having a tool increases the DC by 10, btw. But yes, they can still try.

However...the rogue won't be leaving anytime soon, assuming even barely competent guards.

Does that +10 DC stack with the -2 circumstance penalty from this?

Quote:
Thieves' Tools: This kit contains lockpicks and other tools you need to use the Disable Device skill. Without these tools, you must use improvised tools, and you take a –2 circumstance penalty on Disable Device checks.

Andoran

I read that to mean that with improvised tools (some wire or thin bone or other thieves tool-ish items) you can pick against the normal DC with a -2 penalty. If you really have nothing at all but your bare hands though, the DC is 10 higher.

Cheliax

The Sweater Golem wrote:

I read that to mean that with improvised tools (some wire or thin bone or other thieves tool-ish items) you can pick against the normal DC with a -2 penalty. If you really have nothing at all but your bare hands though, the DC is 10 higher.

I read it as stacking myself. (at least for locks since they call out the higher DC). without a set of thieves tools, you are using things like splinters of wood pulled from the bed, pieces of hay, etc, thus improvised tools.

I view all rogues as a kind of Macgyver. With disable device, they are never really without tools.

the better use would be to make use out of this line from Disable Device:

Quote:
You also can rig simple devices such as saddles or wagon wheels to work normally for a while and then fail or fall off some time later (usually after 1d4 rounds or minutes of use).

And just rig the door to fall off. Does not matter if it is locked then, and the door hinges are, at best, tricky devices (DC 15 to disable).

(Mostly just joking around, but I have seen it tried).

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think if you play a small character you can slip through the bars of normal cells with a high escape artist skill.

Depending on the situation with a medium character too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hayato Ken wrote:

I think if you play a small character you can slip through the bars of normal cells with a high escape artist skill.

Depending on the situation with a medium character too.

You really think they'd put them in a cell where the gap is big enough for them to get through?


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I don't think it is unreasonable to allow a high-level rogue to squeeze through spaces that their head normally wouldn't allow.

I'd make it an extremely high DC or something, but I see it as compatible with "My wizard waggles his fingers, says the word Fart, and the house blows up"

The Rogue has the capacity for as much study of escape artistry as any wizard has for the arcane. Let's not restrict non-magical classes to non-fantastic feats.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:

I think if you play a small character you can slip through the bars of normal cells with a high escape artist skill.

Depending on the situation with a medium character too.

You really think they'd put them in a cell where the gap is big enough for them to get through?

No, they would put them in a cell where they don´t expect them to get out.

But because you are a high level char with amazing skills, or perhaps your favorite bard who knows grease, you can squeeze through there, somehow, and other people wouldn´t believe their eyes watching you.

Just like Facet of a Shard said, some skills can do the unexpected sometimes.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

The DC for a tight space (head fits but shoulders don't) is DC 30, the same as in the 3.5e SRD.

The SRD Escape Artist check for getting through a space where your head doesn't fit is DC 80, but that's for as small as 2" x 2".

I could see a GM adjudicating values in-between. I'll ballpark my head as 5"x8" which means a 5" opening is about DC 30.

2"x2" is DC 80 per the SRD, which is what Pathfinder is based on, which means a 2" opening is about DC 80.

Now, a standard cell probably has roughly 4" spaces between bars, so I'd probably make it DC40-45, or for a cell with 3" space DC65-70 for a medium creature.


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What self-respecting Rogue doesn't have a sliver of adamantine hidden inside his own flesh that he can use his fingernails/teeth to claw out? Jeesh. Once you bite your arm open and get the adamantine, no lock (or even bars) is gonna stand in your way if you have a lil time.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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Depends on what's for dinner....

Osirion

...Or, said Rogue could wait for year or so...use his fingernails as lockpicks.

:D

-Uriel


These are all useful ideas but the rules for Disable Device is what troubles me. It seems to be possible if the DC isn’t greater than their Disable Device skill. So if you have a rogue with a +25 to his roll he can take 20 and pick an average lock with nothing but two minutes worth of free time. All you have in a cell is free time.


Unless Bubba the 7 foot half orc is in there with you, and he wants "company"...

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think that you can without improvised tools as under thieves' tools it says "Without these tools, you must use improvised tools, and you take a –2 circumstance penalty on Disable Device checks." On top of that I would probably rule that the penalties stack as for thieves' tools it says that they get a -2 penalty on disable device versus without thieves' tools to pick a lock the DC increases by 10.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Russell Akred wrote:
These are all useful ideas but the rules for Disable Device is what troubles me. It seems to be possible if the DC isn’t greater than their Disable Device skill. So if you have a rogue with a +25 to his roll he can take 20 and pick an average lock with nothing but two minutes worth of free time. All you have in a cell is free time.

Yes, provided they have access to the lock.

It's possible to design a door that can only be opened from one side, or can only be opened or closed remotely. (A grating that lowers into place, for example).

If there's no way for the rogue to reach the device or lock, there's no way for the rogue to disable/unlock it.


It would also have to be a very clean cell if it doesn't have something that could be used as an improvised pick.

A sliver of wood or bone, a peice of wire, really anything small and semi-rigid could work, technically you could even do so with clothes if you could wad the cloth up solidly enough in the tumblers... I suppose..

Naked in a hermetically sealed cell with no debris and shaved bald?

That's gotta be a circumstance penalty. XP


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Russell Akred wrote:

That’s the way I read it too. By RAW you can pick a lock with nothing but your digits with a +10 to the DC.

Open Locks

The DC to open a lock depends on the lock's quality: simple (DC 20), average (DC 25), good (DC 30), or superior (DC 40).

If you do not have a set of thieves’ tools, these DCs increase by 10.

Since you can take 20 on the check there are many PCs that can pick an average lock even by level 8 with no tools at all.

Why not apply common sense rather than RAW? I'd say that picking a lock requires some small bit (I'd think preferably metal) to tease the tumblers in the lock into position to open them. Exactly how would a character without a wire, small twig, even piece of straw have ANY ability to pick a lock. RAW should not, IMO, override common sense.

Although, medieval locks (as I little as I understand them) certainly do not have the fine precision found in modern locks. Still, I'd think you'd need something smaller, finer and more 'exacting' than a finger. :-)

Facet of a Shard wrote:

I don't think it is unreasonable to allow a high-level rogue to squeeze through spaces that their head normally wouldn't allow.

I'd make it an extremely high DC or something, but I see it as compatible with "My wizard waggles his fingers, says the word Fart, and the house blows up"

The Rogue has the capacity for as much study of escape artistry as any wizard has for the arcane. Let's not restrict non-magical classes to non-fantastic feats.

Err... What? I'm all for fantasy but how exactly do you explain that in any way within the scope of the game?

I *might* allow them to do that, but they'd be crushing their skull to do so, which would have a 'few' other complications to say the least. ;-)

Now there could certainly be other explanations for escaping the bars, but to me 'somehow squeezing their too large melon through the bars was how they did it' is way too much of a stretch for me. Sometimes no matter how many ranks you have in a skill, you just can't succeed. ;-) Time to try bribing the dog with the key. :-D

Take care,

Harry


There are times when a GM can say that you just can't do something. The GM isn't stuck with the RAW when it doesn't make sense. If you have nothing, like the hermetically sealed room mentioned above, then the GM should say no. If you have anything that can reasonably be used, then there should be a chance.

That being said, even a simple lock at DC 30 is a tough one for low level characters without any tools. Taking 20 takes 2 minutes, which you may or may not have. It also may not be the most silent of actions so a guard might still notice. Someone with the disable device skill might be able to figure out how to use materials around them to act as improvised tools. Maybe he uses part of his belt buckle. Maybe he catches a rat and uses it's bones. Maybe he figures out how to deal with the lock by moving the latch back. Maybe he just jams something flat into the lock and turns, like some people do with screwdrivers.

There are lots of options for the creative rogue.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Russell Akred wrote:
If your rogue is locked in a cell with no equipment but rough sack clothing can she pick the lock and if so what is the DC? Since they have no access to tools at all can they?

That means your rogue is an incompetent boob who couldn't hide a single lockpick on his person and deserves his fate. The rule is quite simple, you want to hide something, the best way to do it is to leave another one for the rubes to find. The other reason is that you're stuck with a GM who's determined to leave you no option for one reason or another.


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Just also adding this, Taking 20 assumes the character achieves every possible result until they succeed, it is explained under RAW that you CANNOT take 20 on any test that has ANY harmful reprecussions (such as Disabling A Trap)

ALSO, 20 is NOT an automatic success and 1 is NOT an automatic failure, the rule of 20 and 1 only applies to ATTACK ROLLS and SAVES, a character with an exceptionally high skill (lets assume STEALTH) doesnt automatically get spotted on a roll of a 1. They just do poorly at it. Certain skills list 'if you fail the test by x' circumstances, and ONLY in those circumstances is the test an outright failure. Otherwise you just did poorly at it.

If that 20 DOES NOT (plus your skill modifier and other modifiers) beat the target DC you do NOT pass the skill test.

SO if the Rogue was picking a DC 30 lock with no tools (making it essentially DC 40) and he had LESS than +20 to the roll he CANNOT escape period even if he had access to the lock. (Roll of 20 plus 20 for skill = 40) anything less is a FAIL.

Taking 20 assumes you rolled a 20 after 20 tries (ranging from rolling a 1 all the way to 20), it does not automatically succeed, you treat your skill roll as if you had rolled a 20, if this is not sufficient to beat the DC of any test then you simply cannot pass the test


If 20 was a success I would just use my athletics skill to jump to other cities.


ID-TheDemonOfElru wrote:


Just also adding this, Taking 20 assumes the character achieves every possible result until they succeed, it is explained under RAW that you CANNOT take 20 on any test that has ANY harmful reprecussions (such as Disabling A Trap)

ALSO, 20 is NOT an automatic success and 1 is NOT an automatic failure, the rule of 20 and 1 only applies to ATTACK ROLLS and SAVES, a character with an exceptionally high skill (lets assume STEALTH) doesnt automatically get spotted on a roll of a 1. They just do poorly at it. Certain skills list 'if you fail the test by x' circumstances, and ONLY in those circumstances is the test an outright failure. Otherwise you just did poorly at it.

If that 20 DOES NOT (plus your skill modifier and other modifiers) beat the target DC you do NOT pass the skill test.

SO if the Rogue was picking a DC 30 lock with no tools (making it essentially DC 40) and he had LESS than +20 to the roll he CANNOT escape period even if he had access to the lock. (Roll of 20 plus 20 for skill = 40) anything less is a FAIL.

Taking 20 assumes you rolled a 20 after 20 tries (ranging from rolling a 1 all the way to 20), it does not automatically succeed, you treat your skill roll as if you had rolled a 20, if this is not sufficient to beat the DC of any test then you simply cannot pass the test

Since we're talking about opening a lock, the skill explicitly states that you can Take 20.

Level 1: 1 Rank +3 Class Skill +3 Dex +3 Skill Focus = DC 30 if you Take 20. Of course, that doesn't account for the -2 for not having equipment but that means that a Human with Deft Hands can do this at Level 1 or another character at Level 3.


are they still making those cells with only bars and a cheap lock where you're around?

If it's a solid door with a narrow slit for food and two locking mechanisms (one with lock, and one that only opens from the outside), then good luck!
I would go with disable device and a strength check to break the door from its hinges.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That´s why ninjas get "ghost step" at some point.


Unless we are talking about a basic iron-bar cell with a normal lock on it, most decent prisons can easily afford or should have above average quality locks (at least DC 30) and even then, the rogues DC would jump to DC 40.

A level 1 Rogue with +1 (rank), +3 (trained skill), +3 (skill focus) and +3 (dex 16) and NO TOOLS whatsoever (-10) taking a 20 would only achieve a result of 20. (You need a rudimentry tool to get -2, no tools means you suffer a -10).
A Rogue would in this example, stripped of all their convieveable gear (and not having smuggled a lockpick in some orifice) would need to find +5 somewhere to open even an AVERAGE lock on their cell. And it only gets worse from there with better locks.

So a Level 1 Rogue with the above attributes/skills/feats would have a net bonus of +10. Even taking 20 his result becomes 30. Though do rememeber taking 20 assumes you roll every possible result till you succeed, I doubt the Rogues fingers would be in good shape if he tried to pick the lock 20 times in a row with serious effort. (If it was even convieveably possible to begin with)

Simple Lock DC 20 (+10 without tools) = DC 30
The Rogue in the above example would need to roll 30 to escape.

Average Lock DC 25 (+10 without tools) = DC 35
The Rogue in the above example would need to roll 35 to escape.

Good Lock DC 30 (+10 without tools) = DC 40
The Rogue in the above example would need to roll 40 to escape.

Superior Lock DC 40 (+10 without tools) = DC 50
The Rogue in the above example would need to roll 50 to escape.

20's not an automatic success at picking locks, you just treat the result as if you had rolled 20. Yes you CAN take 20 to Disable Device when it comes to opening a lock, but it should be common sense that a gamesmaster would rule that you cannot take 20 bare fingered, as you would destroy your fingers by forcefuly jamming them in the lock and trying to turn something. Most keys by their very nature are smaller than fingers and thinner too, and the opening on the locks is much too small to force fingers inside. It should just be plain impossible.


The skill falls under disable device. If you want to justify a rogues ability to open a door without a tool you simply rule he managed to open the door by another means; say by removing the hinges, or found a flaw in the mechanics, removing the stones around the bolt, etc. You don't have to take things literally.

However, if a door is specifically barred on the other side, we don;t even have a lock to worry about and that make it a better cell.

On a unrelated note, I was reading the Rules Cyclopedia for D&D and in the open locks description it stated that a thief that failed their open locks could not try to open that lock again (ever); it being beyond his ability.(Or at least until he gained another level in thief).


The story would have to be changed to keep a character with a high Disable Device from getting out. They can reach through the bars to pick the lock or slip the hinges. Just sounds like with as wide open as the skill is presented that a eighth level rogue with eighteen dexterity and maxed out Disable Device and no tools could break out of a Mayberry style jail cell with a take twenty.

Taldor

Russell Akred wrote:
Just sounds like with as wide open as the skill is presented that a eighth level rogue with eighteen dexterity and maxed out Disable Device and no tools could break out of a Mayberry style jail cell with a take twenty.

Which is reasonable. A levle 8 character is pretty bad-assed compared to the 99% around him. He should be able to bust out of the cell with a few precise taps on the lock, sneak across the open station and stab Barney with a piece of Otis' shattered radius. All while Andy and Aunt Bea watch, horrified.

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