Pickpocket!

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Pickpocket!

Post  GM_ODA on Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:21 am

Hello Friends!,
Over the years, a few have requested additional rules for NWN PICKPOCKETING - this thread is intended to open the floor for discussion of the topic - although I caution you all this is not a HOT ITEM WE ARE GOING TO JUMP ONTO PROGRAMMING - this is a lower priority item and will be addressed at some point in the future when we've had enough time to think about and discuss this matter (here in this thread).

I will preface this by saying, as you know, I like a little realism in my fantasy (to help immersion you know). So I don't want to totally script this thing in a way that is contrary to reality if we can avoid it. Feel free to voice and re-voice all your favorite disliked points about PP and how you might like to see it handled. Feedback is golden.

JUST to set the tone on the thread, I will post the following useful links (Bob Arno and Apollo Robbins are EPIC level rogues in D&D terms):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG2HPtbV-80

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nftzMoYCdjU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia2b54srRZM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoUSO_Mj1TQ

basically, if you search youtube for

pickpocketing -skyrim

You will find about 40,000 video examples of just how slick a pickpocket is in real life. This is quite amazing to watch. If you like this, I strongly recommend the television show "My Bleeped Up Brain" which describes the many ways that our own nature our own brain and how it works causes our perceptions to differ from reality, sometimes our very senses deceive us.


REAL LIFE PICKPOCKETING VIDEOS - SEE THEM, UNDERSTAND THEM AND KNOW THAT IN REAL LIFE, PEOPLE ARE VICTIMIZED BY THIS EVERYDAY. Understand that to be realistic, your PC has to be (potentially) a victim of this - though all of us like to think that we are above that sort of trickery, the truth is, you and I are both human and we suffer the same human frailties. It is this that the pickpocket preys upon - simple human nature and understanding of human psychology. Your PC is the same, just as likely to become the victim of street crime as anyone.

Understand too that DMs sometimes use PP as a immersion device, as a plot tool, and for other reasons. That said the topic here should concern PC PP in Dohral, or discussion of RL PP as a reference.

As further reference here are a few links to examples of how a few other servers handle it in NWN.

http://www.amiaworld.net/about/pickpocketing.html

http://www.avlis.org/viewtopic.php?t=76791

and more

google.com/search?&q=neverwinter+nights+pickpocket+server+rules

Lets get some PLAYER feedback here please.

Be well. Game on.
GM_ODA

P.S. be aware Erin and I have already added a few PP features in a test mode. We will further be enhancing our 'hide item in object' system to include a 'search object' routine (great for captives).
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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  GM_ODA on Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:33 am

PLAYER and DM feedback please?

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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  Elgate on Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:43 am

I feel like items over a certain weight and/or size should be avoided. As an extreme example, it's going to be hard to pickpocket at entire suit of full plate armour (Although, this also brings into question how characters can go around carrying 100lb+ of stuff, including entire suits of armour and large weapons without looking like they're bulked down. I just tend to go with the 'magic bags' and 'use your imagination' explanations.)

However this does get a little tricky:

With size, while pick-pocketing a 2x4 item would likely be impossible, what about a 1x4 item, like a staff? Depending on where the staff is meant to be on the victim, it could range from impossible (Maneuvering you hand into someone's clothing, into a magic bag of holding, and slipping the staff out, all without being seen.) to difficult (Unclipping a staff from a holster on someones back.)

And then you get into OOC debates going 'hang on, you couldn't have taken it because of '....'' and then arguments breaking out, ruining RP.

Weight has a similar issue- if a heavy item is in a bag of holding, you probably wouldn't realise the pack feeling any lighter, as it reduces weight, so a sturdy thief might be able to get away with spiriting away a heavy object. If it wasn't in a bag of holding, and there is no option to play 'swapsies' and replace the item with a similarly weighted object of no worth, then someone is going to realise their pack is suddenly far lighter.

If there is a script that put it's foot down and just goes 'Nope' to pick-pocketing large and/or weighty items, then this would avoid arguments. If you really, really wanted to try and 'pickpocket' said item, then you would have to do so through player/dm consent, do a few rolls, trade items.


Another issue is how many items can one pickpocket at a time? I think the general rule is six, but everyone seems to take these rules as guidelines, so fights can still break out.

And lastly, Value. Of course it sucks if your custom made equipment with high level enchantments gets pick-pocketed. It's also annoying when someone pick-pockets a DM given item. And while these feelings are realistic- after all, pickpockets in RL would go for your most valuable items, and it can destroy lives or cause create upset. The issue is with games like this, is we play it to enjoy ourselves. So, things like this are up there with the 'permanent damage', 'kidnapping' and so on. It's something that could realistically happen, but not everyone wants to play. Maybe have it so that players can opt to allow high value items to be pick-pocketable in the same way they can opt to allow permanent damage, aging, so on?
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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  Animayhem on Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:40 am

I agree some sort of limit should be placed before anything happens. I played elsewhere were my character had really no spotting skills and got robbed blind and was a frequent target because of it. After that incident hard rules were laid down.

I understand in real life people get pickpocketed. I understand fantasy worlds have rogues and pickpocketing is part of rp so maybe items PP in fantasy different then in rl.

PP should be played responsibily. Remember although this is a game people come here to relax. Decent and dm given items hard to come by, have real rp value.

Crafting highend items difficult as well. if these are taken I would suggest maybe gold for return.

I do suggest dice rolls its only fair. Negotiations fair too.
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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  GM_ODA on Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:01 am

As a side note:

Things that are 'IN YOUR INVENTORY' (but not equipped) ... even that which is 'in a bag' as part of your PC's inventory - might be considered as pickpocketable - imagine,  an ordinary backpack / haversack, the game lets you 'put pole-arms in it' but in all earnestness, that seems absurd and the whole should be looked upon as perhaps 'strapped onto' if the item would not realistically fit in a mundane container such as a backpack. Backpacks and similar devices often have straps, pockets and other methods of containment in-built. Many D&D adventurers have discussed the carrying of gear too - and the general consensus among my old gaming troupe was, 'if gear is in my backpack it takes time to get at it, but if it is in a tied loop on the outside of my PC's pack or otherwise hooked to the PC's person, the PC can quickly access the item'. Hence we often specified which could be carried in such a way and limited the syndrome of a PC packing an arsenal of fifty weapons by dint of the fact PCs did not want to be targets of 'attacks of opportunity' while searching for / equipping another weapon.  IDK if NWN triggers that sort of thing for gear changes - does it? If not can we script/simulate it? Maybe force a moment of paralysis in any PC who changes up equipment during a combat?

Perhaps we should limit pickpocketing to gear that is some fraction of the total wt. carried by the PC - or less... maybe even giving lighter items a bonus and heavier items a penalty to PP attempts?

Also note, even now, there ARE ways to prevent an item from being stolen by a pickpocket ... HIDE the item in some other item, such as a dagger in your boot, or a gem in your helmet, etc.. The hidden item is no longer treated as an item in your inventory by the game engine, only our scripted methods can retrieve the hidden item.

More feedback on all this and related matters please!!!  Kudos to all posters!

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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  Elgate on Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:19 am

After loosing an amulet in my hair after hiding it, I'm a little wary of hiding items XD. Grace's hair is apparently a gateway to another world.
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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  GM_ODA on Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:34 am

Elgate wrote:I feel like items over a certain weight and/or size should be avoided. As an extreme example, it's going to be hard to pickpocket at entire suit of full plate armour (Although, this also brings into question how characters can go around carrying 100lb+ of stuff, including entire suits of armour and large weapons without looking like they're bulked down. I just tend to go with the 'magic bags' and 'use your imagination' explanations.)

...

Weight has a similar issue- if a heavy item is in a bag of holding, you probably wouldn't realise the pack feeling any lighter, as it reduces weight, so a sturdy thief might be able to get away with spiriting away a heavy object. If it wasn't in a bag of holding, and there is no option to play 'swapsies' and replace the item with a similarly weighted object of no worth, then someone is going to realise their pack is suddenly far lighter.

SUPERB point! 'swapsies' - oh I like it - what if we make a rogue tool that is essentially a weight-containing bag, the pickpocket can USE the object on another PC indicating the intent to 'swap' roughly equal weight on the PP attempt to further obfuscate the PP act. We might make that an EPIC only feature - I'm not sure, but that's an option too. The ROGUE PC would have to cope with carrying the bag of smaller weighted bags along with him/her, but the bonus to PP attempt or the ability to PP LARGE or MEDIUM objects could be deemed a worthwhile trade-off in some circumstances.

Elgate wrote:
If there is a script that put it's foot down and just goes 'Nope' to pick-pocketing large and/or weighty items, then this would avoid arguments. If you really, really wanted to try and 'pickpocket' said item, then you would have to do so through player/dm consent, do a few rolls, trade items.

This ties into another matter our newly proposed 'IN_EVENT' flag that will soon be a secret feature DMs can activate to make some scripts and systems act differently when used on the PC who is in an event. This might be used to trigger a DM consent for PP perhaps? I'm not sure I want to engage in PLAYER consent - it is OOC, and I don't think it helps immersion to interrupt with a 'pardon, but do you mind if my character loots some trinkets from your PC?' talk. I think of the PLAYER as having given consent by carrying said item along rather than locking it in a safe. Same as RL, if you flaunt it, someone may connive to steal it.

We presently have tools to assess the worth of a PC's carried gear, we plan to do the following using this mentioned tool:
Cause NPC ROGUES to 'size up a potential mark' based on carried gear, esp quality of equipped gear.
Cause the meta trait regarding accouterments as stored by the TOME OF SELF to be (monthly) modified by the PC's actual gear (initial entry is based on the PLAYER's accessment only).

It is possible we can make a PLAYER option on the RUNESTONE to give a PC a chance to review their gear for possible thefts (maybe WIS based?).

It is possible we could add a PP-OK vs No-PP option in the RUNESTONE-on-RUNESTONE menu, aka realism menu. Choosing the 'nerf would reduce the XP any PC with such a setting would earn from all actions.


Elgate wrote:
Another issue is how many items can one pickpocket at a time? I think the general rule is six, but everyone seems to take these rules as guidelines, so fights can still break out.

ODA requests : FEEDBACK please - input from all on this point if you would?

Elgate wrote:
And lastly, Value. Of course it sucks if your custom made equipment with high level enchantments gets pick-pocketed. It's also annoying when someone pick-pockets a DM given item. And while these feelings are realistic- after all, pickpockets in RL would go for your most valuable items, and it can destroy lives or cause create upset. The issue is with games like this, is we play it to enjoy ourselves. So, things like this are up there with the 'permanent damage', 'kidnapping' and so on. It's something that could realistically happen, but not everyone wants to play. Maybe have it so that players can opt to allow high value items to be pick-pocketable in the same way they can opt to allow permanent damage, aging, so on?

Hmmm, many of the great fictional works of 'high magic' I have read had wizards whose magic made rogues think twice before attempting to pickpocket - the Mark in such cases might have spells upon their person to alert them on such bodily trespass [QUESTION TO ERIN - CAN 'ALARM' BE CAST ON SELF?], or even to damage or aprehend or mark in some fashion any so bold as to try to PP. It is possible we need to add such spells soon so that ROGUES might hesitate to attempt such PP acts on higher level PCs? or even cause the ROGUES to get more gear to bypass such wizardry? I smell an arms race! *happy dance*

KUDOS to Elgate, excellent thinking! A new crafting feature might well include such things as "Curse the Thief!" an additional enchantment that would allow any other spell to be triggered by an act of PP on such an item. Oh such things cause that blackened and shriveled thing we DMs call a heart to go all a-flutter. Twisted Evil

Please, everyone,  keep the ideas flowing; POST YOUR THOUGHTS on these matters asap.

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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  LordSurge on Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:30 am

Requesting pocket traps.

Mechanical and/or magical items that do bad things to those with sticky fingers.

Cursed coins and the like, eager to activate and bring bad fortune to those foolish enough to take them.
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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  Hacatsu on Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:40 am

LordSurge wrote:Requesting pocket traps.

Mechanical and/or magical items that do bad things to those with sticky fingers.

Cursed coins and the like, eager to activate and bring bad fortune to those foolish enough to take them.

^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^ An excellent idea.

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Re: Pickpocket!

Post  Elgate on Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:16 am

A group of us did some mini testing to work out a bit more about the current NwN PP mechanics.

Currently, there's two rolls you need to pass. The first is a spot roll, the thief's pickpocket skill vs the victim's spot skill. The second is a DC roll, which is pickpocket vs either a standard 20 for non-hostiles and 30 for hostiles.

If you pass both rolls, you get a random item and don't get caught. The Victim receives no warning or message.
If you fail the spot, but pass the DC, you get a random item, and the victim is warned.
If you fail both, the victim is warned and thief gets nothing (usually? I got differing replies on that.)

Basically, this means anyone with over 30 pp can pickpocket anyone (so long as they don't roll a 1). Spot checks only warn the victim about the thief- it doesn't stop the item being taken.

Using the runestone (the light fingers item doesn't work), neither the thief nor the victim get any messages- the only message the thief gets is 'acquired item' and the victim receives 'lost item'. So far, I've never seen the runestone option warn 'you are being pickpocketed'.


Item size seems restricted by the mechanics anyway- you almost always get a small (1x2 or 1x1) item, or very rarely a larger item (1x3- swords, uprods- or once 2*3- Bow).

This does seem a bit OP. If someone with 20-30 pick pockets, they're guaranteed to get an item nearly everytime, and there's no easy way to get this back. I'd like to say 'threatening the thief in RP' would work, but alas, that is not always the case. There's no way to force someone to return an item mechanically, and people can choose to ignore RP or skip around it somehow. This is where most arguments break out for me.


Buuut, scripting wise:
Swapsies- swapping out an item of equal weight with a dud.
Pocket traps and curses or alarm spells- and counters Twisted Evil - to catch the unprepared thief off guard and to give the savy thief trouble. (I love the idea of a pocket mimic for some reason- something that looks like a bag or pouch full of goodies- but is a hungry mimic waiting for a snack.)
reverse pickpocket- so many uses.
What are you wearing?- the ability to spirit away rings and amulets.

And what about witnesses? Currently if you pickpocket an NPC, they just try to bash your head in. Nobody else does anything. Is it possible to script a 'Guards, guards!' response, add a crime rate to pickpockets who get caught in crowded areas (also areas with 'law' such as the city, or taverns- places where there's actually guards, or bouncers, to do stuff.)

Edit: Oh, and after seeing something in chat- maybe script it so party members within a certain distance can also spot a would be pickpocket? This way, low spot pc's can hire 'bodyguards' or travel with friends for saftey. PC's with high spot could make coin by making sure people aren't parted with their goods.
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