Low level lockpicking help


Advice


My low level (4th) party has a problem. We have a "break in" to pull off immediately. It is a heavily guarded location with patrolling guards of our level constantly circling inside and out and deep inside an enemy encampment. We are not recognized as the enemy yet, but will be if we get caught in the middle of pulling off this theft. It is a small fortified building (think low level bank without money) with locks above DC 26. We have no rogue and the best Disable Device character has a score of +3. Add in MW lock picks and we are at +5. We are outnumbered and cannot pull off a fight to break in. We also have no wizard/sorcerer in the party.

What low level suggestions can you think of that may make it possible for us to break into a safe in the middle of a fortification without using big explosive or disruptive forces which may attract attention? We may be able to get low level items if we can purchase them inside the encampment without raising too many red flags as to what we might be up to.

We have 24 hours. Stealth is important. Help?!


It's a shame you can't Charm Person on a guard.


What class is everyone?


Dread Knight wrote:
What class is everyone?

Monk (with 1 rank in Disable device +2 Dex)

Cleric
Fighter
Fire Oracle
Ranger


Charm person, bluff, stealth kill a gaiurd and grab keys, wild shape into a critter that blends in and infiltrate, start a fire as a diversion and chopa hole in a wall, potion of gaseous form to go under a door and unlock it, get hired as gaurds, UMD a scroll of knock, dress up as girl scouts selling cookies...


Take a look at these Cleric/Oracle spells.
1st level spells
Makes a skill a class skill
2nd level spells
A solid buff
Noisy, but effective
Silence. Unfortunately doesn't combo with Shatter.
3rd level spells - Consider picking these up as scrolls.
Like Karmic Blessing, but also gives +2 and is usable for Humans.
This is pretty awesome.

There's an amazing bard spell somewhere that does everything you need, but I can't find it right now.


Java Man wrote:
Charm person, bluff, stealth kill a gaiurd and grab keys, wild shape into a critter that blends in and infiltrate, start a fire as a diversion and chopa hole in a wall, potion of gaseous form to go under a door and unlock it, get hired as gaurds, UMD a scroll of knock, dress up as girl scouts selling cookies...

I appreciate the suggestions. I'll continue with some more details.

Charm Person: No one has it. We will check for scrolls. We used Hold Person to try to steal keys from a pair of guards while we were disguised, it failed (they saved) and we got 1 key from one guard before the alarm was sounded. Dozens of armed guards arrived as we fled. The one key we got does not open the safe but will help us get near it.

Knock Scroll: We tried to acquire one and it was determined to not be available to us.

Wild Shape: not an option

Gaseous Form: Will get us to the safe but not the contents within it.

Get hired as Guards: Won't happen. We would expose ourselves as being foreigners once we start talking to hiring people. They are already looking for us. They just don't know what we look like yet. And we only have 24 hours.

Diversion of a fire: This might be our exit strategy once we have popped the safe.

Right now I have to open a safe that we cannot move that needs a key we don't have of a DC I have not yet determined how to pick (expect DC 30). I'd love to hire a rogue for a one time job. This might still happen. We might try to waylay the higher level boss who has the only safe key if we can find a way to isolate him.


My Self wrote:

Take a look at these Cleric/Oracle spells.

1st level spells
Makes a skill a class skill
2nd level spells
A solid buff
Noisy, but effective
Silence. Unfortunately doesn't combo with Shatter.
3rd level spells - Consider picking these up as scrolls.
Like Karmic Blessing, but also gives +2 and is usable for Humans.
This is pretty awesome.

There's an amazing bard spell somewhere that does everything you need, but I can't find it right now.

I was not aware of Karmic blessing. This plus Cat's grace at least makes a DC 3o possible. Bestow insight might be something we could acquire as a scroll. With Guidance we might hit a 34 DC.


Perhaps if you find 64 chicken bones, you can also use Cleromancy. Gives a +1 to +4 on a check, depending on how you roll. It's a 2nd level spell.

If you are rushed and need to smash, brittle portal might help. You could cast it first, then silence the area, then bash. Also 2nd level.

Also, consider the Aid Another action.


Would bull strength and ant haul be enough to move the safe? At least long enough to get it to your hidden getaway wagon?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How heavy is the safe?
Take the whole thing with you. Ant Haul/Bull's Strength can help with that. Pop it onto a getaway wagon and hire a rogue in the next time to open it up.

If you don't need to be quiet anyway, if gunslingers exist in the campaign setting pack the seams of the safe door with gunpowder and blow the bloody doors off.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

If you don't need to be quiet anyway, if gunslingers exist in the campaign setting pack the seams of the safe door with gunpowder and blow the bloody doors off.

Seppukku wrote:
What low level suggestions can you think of that may make it possible for us to break into a safe in the middle of a fortification without using big explosive or disruptive forces which may attract attention?

Sczarni

Your best mundane option is to steal the keys from a guard. How will you do it, is totally up to you. If I were you, I would attempt a infiltration mission. You don't get many chances at doing those.


Malag wrote:
Your best mundane option is to steal the keys from a guard. How will you do it, is totally up to you. If I were you, I would attempt a infiltration mission. You don't get many chances at doing those.

Common sense... is that you? I thought you died when we first game to the forums.


It is a shame paizo changed 3.5 energy damage vs object rules. Used to be you could get some alchemist acid and take the safe's doors off at the hinges. Adamantium saw could work, but that is a pretty hefty deposit (3000 split 5 ways).

As far as flat bonuses go, you can get goggle of minute seeing for 2500 for a +5 competence bonus (stacks with tool's circumstance bonus) to disable device.

oh and as far as carrying it away, a scroll of Shrink item" is exactly what you are looking for. 1/4000th the original mass? Yeah I think that can be a manageable weight.


Java Man wrote:
Would bull strength and ant haul be enough to move the safe? At least long enough to get it to your hidden getaway wagon?

We have not seen the safe yet. I believe it is attached to the wall but that surprise will arrive when we lay eyes on it. I'm hoping it is a small strongbox on a desk personally. This seems unlikely. We need a map contained within the safe.

My Self wrote:

Perhaps if you find 64 chicken bones, you can also use Cleromancy. Gives a +1 to +4 on a check, depending on how you roll. It's a 2nd level spell.

If you are rushed and need to smash, brittle portal might help. You could cast it first, then silence the area, then bash. Also 2nd level.

Also, consider the Aid Another action.

I like this idea but the spell does not work for our specific group. It is a self only spell and the Monk can't cast it. We don't have anyone else with ranks in Disable Device so we cannot Aid Another. I will talk to Oracle into taking a rank in it at 5th so we have future options.

Malag wrote:
Your best mundane option is to steal the keys from a guard. How will you do it, is totally up to you. If I were you, I would attempt a infiltration mission. You don't get many chances at doing those.

This is very much one of those types of missions. We have the key to the main doors which we already stole from a guard on our first failed attempt. Unfortunately the guards don't have keys for the safe. Just the Boss has the safe key. At this point we want to get in, steal the map from the safe and be gone without anyone knowing we were even there. It is our preference that no one be killed from either side.


Well first thing you need is information what you're up against. If the safe is small - steal first worry later :D
If it's actually a vault..does the group count a female character in it's numbers? Seducing whoever has the key into a fun time alone in the vault might work..if you set up an ambush by the entrance beforetime so the merry target gets something heavy on his head instead of in his pants as soon as he opens the door.


Guidance will give you a +1 competency bonus to any skill roll.

Cats Grace will give you a +4 DEX which will give you an additional +2 since disable device is a DEX based skill.

Combine the Guidance and Cats Grace with taking 20 and you should not have a problem.

Shatter would work but may need a silence spell to cover the sound. After you have the loot use a mending or make whole to repair the lock.


How much time do you have on site before someone peeks in? A minute? An hour?

One option if you have the time. Have the cleric cast silence, bash the lock, retrieve map, then spend 10 minutes to cast make whole on the lock. If the lock is built into the safe, this may not work; the GM may call that you have broken both the lock and the safe door, and can only fix one with the spell.


1 - For a good story/roleplay:
Considering you have a Ranger and Monk, both of which make good scouts, along with casters who can help cover your tracks, it might be a good idea to make a recon run first. Make sure you pack for a smash and grab in case it goes south, but if you can get in and get info on the floorplan, guard routines, and safe information, you can probably prepare some illusions and specific spells to make your actual break-in go much more smoothly. GM willing, you might be able to use your detailed floorplan and guard movement journal as 'masterwork tools' for everyone's stealth and knowledge checks later. With 24 hours you should be able to make your recon run right away, come up with your plan, and prepare spells to make your break-in early in the morning before light, or just after sunset depending on when the 24 hour window starts. Also, knock out/kidnap a guard and disguise your fighter as said guard. Make sure he follows his route and you should have a good in.

2 - Mechanically straightforward considering your party:
Invisibility/Stealth to sneak in. Silent image to cover the telltale signs of a burglary in progress. Silence + shatter to crack the safe. Make whole to repair. Metamagic silent rod to keep from alerting the guards. Someone else makes a ruckus at the front door to keep the rest of the guards distracted.


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How about:
1) Create a fake map
2) Use another disguise
3) Let it be found somewhere boss will learn of it
4) Wait for boss to check map still in safe
5) Go invisible & follow
6) When safe open, grab map, push boss in, close & lock door
7) Exit with all haste

/cevah

Scarab Sages

A chime of opening is only 3000 gold, it might be possible if you all chip in and have access to buy items.

A cheaper, louder, and more fun option would be to get a tree feather token and use it as a ram on the safe.


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It sounds like a case where the entire party rolled for straight combat and no utility. Players' choices aside, who'd hire a bunch of combat mercenaries for what amounts to a covert heist? DM plot choices aside...

There are two avenues:
1: Charisma is not a party dump stat: "The Bardic Knock Spell". If you've got a high diplomacy or bluff skill in your party, and you're convincing enough, a good DM will quietly applaud the 'path less traveled'. A less good DM will simply railroad you into the grinder. You really only get once chance to simply 'ask nicely' for said map, but it's a possibility since you can at least enter the premises without raising an immediate alarm.

2: Charisma is a party dump stat. Hope that Ranger isn't just a quirky fighter and actually knows how to 'range'. Look for a back door or other path of least resistance, either inside or outside the fortification. "Fortifications" can often involve a hidden exit to the outside, or possibly a nearby cave system comes conveniently close to the basement or somesuch. If you're lucky, it'll lead you to your little vault. If you're not lucky, it'll be a sewer. If your DM is less good, you'll get railroaded into the grinder.


Where we are now:

We befriended a Merchant who has reason to dislike yet also have business with the Boss. The Monk disguised himself as the Merchants assistant with an entourage of "armed bodyguards" we went to visit the Boss on business. We were admitted into the fortification and bribed/diplomacy our way into a face to face meeting with our bodyguards remaining out of reach in the heavily defensed foyer. We got the layout of the place, guard numbers and even managed to stealthily find the secret door revealing the hidden secure room where the safe must be. The contents of the map came up as part of the business plan (while not revealing our true intent)and we were offered access to the site the map directs to for just 5000 gp. We don't have 5000gp, however we could sell off stuff to get there. We agreed to those terms and signed business contracts. We now have 24 hours to either be gone with the map or come back with 5K.

We have looked for alternate entrances. There are no sewers. They chamber pot it. Guards move in pairs so they are never isolated. All exterior and interior doors lock on the same key. We have that key but they know someone has stolen the key so are on high alert until they get new keys/locks/doors. Windows are all barred and shuttered. The foyer has murder holes and a single locked door to get outside and a single locked door to bypass.

I'm currently leaning toward a gaseous form entry, spell piling to open the safe or stealing the entire safe if that turns out to be an option and then running for the hills. I'll let you know how that goes.

Dark Archive

If you go gaseous form there is no reason to even steal it, simply have your person once inside use a scroll/wand/potion(debatable if it will work) of this and then gaseous form out. There won't be any evidence you were ever there.

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