Rogue in the City, I need help making some stealing rules


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


About to run "Curse of the Crimson Throne" and there is a rogue who wants to be able to steal from shops and merchants. Does anyone have any rules for rolling this? Or do I need to create general stats for every merchant?

I was kind hoping to find a chart that had skill level, difficulty of target your are stealing from and either % chance of success or some bonus/penalty to be added to sleight of hand rolls.


I have no homebrew stuff, but the core rules do cover this, if not at the bare basics.

PRD wrote:
If you try to take something from a creature, you must make a DC 20 Sleight of Hand check. The opponent makes a Perception check to detect the attempt, opposed by the Sleight of Hand check result you achieved when you tried to grab the item. An opponent who succeeds on this check notices the attempt, regardless of whether you got the item. You cannot use this skill to take an object from another creature during combat if the creature is aware of your presence.


This page may help. The Crime Modifier of whatever city you are in gets applied to all Sleight of Hand checks that take place in said city. If you are in a shady place, it's a lot easier to get away with stuff than if you are in some holy utopia.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Stealing from a shop is essentially an encounter, not just a couple skill checks. It might be a sinple encounter as the character levels, but its still an encounter. Talk to the player about why he wants to do this. Keep in mind maintaining wealth levels is a key balancing point in the game. If he just wants loads of money, stop him from doing this. If he wants to play out his character, set up an encounter or two with him sneaking into a shop at night to steal a little money from the till, but dont let it get to be a constant thing that takes away table time from the whole group, and the AP you are running.


It might make for interesting roleplay when the city guard is on the lookout for whoever is stealing from shops, at the same time as the perpetrator is at least partially working for/with said city guard :)


It is not just to make lots of coin. One of the reasons is to steal alchemical medical supplies so they can be used on those who cannot afford to repair themselves. Not that the occasional useful item isn't going to end up in their pockets.


if you're mugging, use a sap or be a strangler. Don't kill. You can rob them again another day. Wait by the mailbox. hehehe.

Dark Archive

KittyH wrote:

About to run "Curse of the Crimson Throne" and there is a rogue who wants to be able to steal from shops and merchants. Does anyone have any rules for rolling this? Or do I need to create general stats for every merchant?

I was kind hoping to find a chart that had skill level, difficulty of target your are stealing from and either % chance of success or some bonus/penalty to be added to sleight of hand rolls.

it sounds like a skill challenge to me. You might need to fix the DC for each of them.

what about something like this ?

1) spot the stuff. (perception or appraise DC 10?) Failed: nothing to steal. Succeess: you can continue. critical success: get a +2 for the end of the challenge
2) come closer. (bluff or stealth). success:you can continue. critical success: get a +2 for the end of the challenge. Failed, you can try again but the DC increased as the merchant become more and more suspicious.
3) get the stuff (sleight of hand or sense motive) success: you can leave with the stuff, the Challenge ends. critical success: you get one more item. Failed: you get it but you have been spoted. you need to escape
4) escape (escape artist or any other skill that can be used). Failed, you drop the stuff and run away. Critical failure. they got you: you go in jail.


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KittyH wrote:

About to run "Curse of the Crimson Throne" and there is a rogue who wants to be able to steal from shops and merchants. Does anyone have any rules for rolling this? Or do I need to create general stats for every merchant?

I was kind hoping to find a chart that had skill level, difficulty of target your are stealing from and either % chance of success or some bonus/penalty to be added to sleight of hand rolls.

I have a comprehensive ruleset for this:

Spoiler:
"Don't waste everybody's time with this s$+$." If I want to run a game about petty theft, I'll do that, and find a way to involve the entire group.


There are some valid concerns mentioned up-thread, specifically the potential for abuse by ignoring WBL and the fact that any character “going solo” effectively leaves the rest of the players literally or figuratively twiddling their thumbs while the GM and the player going solo resolves the encounter.

There are a few ways to address both –
The WBL is probably easiest as you will know what else is going out and can modify treasure accordingly. A lot of this will also vary depending on how your party splits loot in general though, so be aware of how your group divvies things and if the “solo” character plans on sharing. The other option is to attempt to artificially increase the “burn rate” of consumables to make up for the increase in income caused by the “solo” character.

The “thumb twiddling” is one of the more difficult things to address in any given game. You can outright ban it, as recommended above, or you can try to find a way to bring the other PCs in on it, depending on how much work you want to put into the side encounter. I’ve seen other players used to RP bit NPCs or manage specific sub systems used to good effect in the past, but it needs to be something both the “solo” player and the other players are comfortable with. In this case, you should be fine. In situations where the “solo” player is selling out the party for whatever reason, likely not.

Long-winded example:

As an example, and assuming you have a group of four PCs… we’ll go with the “traditional four”, though it doesn’t really matter what the actual class is of the PC.

Fighter player – bit character (shopkeep)
Cleric – bit character (customer)
Wizard – subsystem (shoplifting) & miniatures / spatial orientation marshal

DM hands the Fighter Player & Cleric player a 3x5 card with some basic info about the bit character (I would recommend will save, hp, AC, CMB, languages, diplomacy, bluff, sense motive, perception & appropriate craft/ profession skills ; sleight of hand & perform if applicable, such as if the other customer is also a thief).
Information also indicates some RP bits (ex. Shopkeeper - gruff, but friendly. Thinks Halflings are thieves, sees all dwarves as upstanding citizens, wary of magic, likes dogs. Age: early 50’s // customer – nervous, twitchy. Dared by his friends to lift something from the store and run. Uncertain if he was set up. Has money on him to spend, if questioned. Run Feat. Age: mid teens) & general description.
DM hands the Wizard character a sheet showing the types of items in the store and their location and DC to spot for Perception or Appraise skills. Notes things like “behind the counter” or “glows” or “very large & heavy”.
The DM handles the die rolls and indicates to the NPC players how they react based on the rolls so that they are not aware if the results are from a good or bad roll and has the Wizard character let them know if which items are lifted. They, in turn, may have a list of sub notes that say things like “alarm spell” or “extra dimensional mine” or “sitting atop a mimic”.

Per normal, DM narrates the scene as the Rogue enters the shop and advises results and changes in the environment (such as city guards walking by outside if noticed).

If the Rogue is caught, they can try to talk their way out or break to a possible chase scene.

I would probably use mechanics similar to those of chase scenes for various tests inside – especially the two options to try to get a result (ie bluff for a high dc vs. sleight of hand for a lower dc to swipe something from the counter).

Hope that helps.

-TimD


Tell the scumba ... er, "professional thief" ... to take Profession (burglar) and make his weekly checks. ;)


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Pupsocket wrote:
..."Don't waste everybody's time with this s!$&." If I want to run a game about petty theft, I'll do that, and find a way to involve the entire group.

You (the GM) not being able to find a way to involve the whole group isn't the player's fault.

Robbing a store takes as little or as much time as you want it to. If you really dislike it that much, the whole encounter can be boiled down to "Make a stealth check: if you beat this DC you get an item, if you don't your rogue has to pay a fine." Done. Your rogue player might be a little disappointed, but s/he still got to do the thiefy thing and all it took was one roll. If you're going to prevent skill-based classes from using their skills, I hope you warned your players before they made their characters.


Turin the Mad wrote:
Tell the scumba ... er, "professional thief" ... to take Profession (burglar) and make his weekly checks. ;)

Yeah and if he passes the check he made the houses robbed quota for the week.


Pupsocket wrote:
KittyH wrote:

About to run "Curse of the Crimson Throne" and there is a rogue who wants to be able to steal from shops and merchants. Does anyone have any rules for rolling this? Or do I need to create general stats for every merchant?

I was kind hoping to find a chart that had skill level, difficulty of target your are stealing from and either % chance of success or some bonus/penalty to be added to sleight of hand rolls.

I have a comprehensive ruleset for this:

** spoiler omitted **

Wow not helpful. The other characters wanted the rogue to help steal stuff they could hand out to people who needed. So, it wasn't the rogue wasting people's time.

Thanks for those who did help.

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