DnD Next Pickpocketing

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Performing an act of pickpocketing is the baliwick of thieves everywhere. There are two stages to this process: the Sneak action, to determine how easily the character is seen, and the Filch action, which determines whether or not the thief takes coins.

  • Study Mark: There are insights that can be garnered by carefully studying a mark.
    • Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Perception). This roll is used to identify what sort of purse the mark carries, and higher rolls may reveal if there are any defenses on the purse as well.
    • Wisdom (Insight). This roll can tell you if the target is particularly distracted (giving him disadvantage on his passive Perception), on guard (giving him advantage on his passive Perception) or wary (using active Perception), useful for figuring out who the safest mark to snatch from is.
  • Filch: This is a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check. The DC for this check is equal to that of the Theft Technique you are using, based on the purse in question. Failure at this check means you do not manage to get access to the purse.
    • Being Noticed: Additionally, your Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check is compared to the mark's Perception (usually passive). If the result is lower than the mark's Perception result, they have spotted you making the attempt, whether or not it is successful.
  • Sneak (optional): This is a Dexterity (Stealth) check. This roll is compared with the mark's Perception check instead of the Sleight of Hand check. If the thief wins, his attempt remains unnoticed. If the mark wins, the attempt is detected.

Theft Techniques

  • Coin Snatch: The thief simply reaches into the open or semi-open purse and takes a pinch of the goods found within. Generally speaking, this means getting away with 1d6 coins, plus one coin or small item per point above the base DC scored.
  • Purse Slitting: Using a small, sharp blade, the thief slits the bottom of the pouch or purse, letting the goods within fall into her hands, or reaching in to gain better access than a coin snatch.
  • Strap Cutting: Again using a small, sharp blade, the thief simply cuts not the purse but the straps that bind it to the mark, making away with the entire purse.
  • Unknotting: The hardest method of all, by quickly unknotting the purse, the thief may abscond with the whole purse, but requires no blade whatsoever to accomplish.

Purse Types

Pouches & Purses
  • Purse on Straps: 5 sp
  • Leather Satchel, with Drawstrings: 3 gp
  • Pouch with Wooden Toggle Fastening: 1 gp
  • Pocket: 2 sp - 2 gp (based on clothing quality), sewn onto clothing
  • Pickpocket Defenses:
    • Chainmail Lining: 2 gp
    • Wire-bound Catch: 3 gp
    • Wire-cored Straps: 1 gp
    • Purse Bells: 1 gp
    • Thiefsnapper: 5 gp
  • Purse on Straps: Study DC 10; Coin Snatch DC 10, Purse Slit DC 15, Strap Cutting DC 10, Unknotting DC 20. A small bag that usually hangs from a belt by its straps. The easiest purse type to get into, as it has a flap that closes down over the mouth of the pouch, but nothing really seals it well.
  • Leather Satchel with Drawstrings: Study DC 5; Coin Snatch DC 20, Purse Slit DC 10, Strap Cutting DC 10, Unknotting DC 20. A simple purse that is closed by a drawstring, making it difficult to get into. Hangs from a belt like the purse on straps.
  • Pouch with Wooden Toggle Fastening: Study DC 12; Coin Snatch DC 15, Purse Slit DC 10, Strap Cutting DC 15, Unknotting DC 25. A more complicated purse that is closed by a flap that can be buttoned closed. These are worn on belts, usually threaded through belt-loops to the belt.
  • Sewn-on Pocket: Study DC 15; Coin Snatch DC 10, Purse Slit DC 20, Strap Cutting DC -, Unknotting DC -. Easily filched from, a pocket is permanently attached to garments, making them impossible to be dealt with by purse slitting. They cannot have their straps cut or unknotted (as there are none), so it is impossible to get away with the whole contents, but their mouths are notoriously difficult to secure, doubling what a coin snatch or purse slitting can escape with.
  • Open Container: Study DC 5; Coin Snatch DC 10, Purse Slit DC -, Strap Cutting DC - Unknotting DC -. Quite unsafe as a means of carrying about coin, nonetheless some folk either have no choice but to use such a vessel (a beggar with a bowl or cup), or they are simply focused on the convenience (a merchant with a jar of coppers to make change with, or a busker collecting coin on the street). If the container has a lid, the coin snatch is performed at disadvantage; if the lid is hinged, the DC increases to a 13.

Defenses Against Pick Pockets

  • Chainmail Lining: Study DC 20. The interior of the bag or pouch is lined with fine chain mail. The Purse Slitting Technique is performed at disadvantage.
  • Wire-Bound Catch: Study DC 15. The binding of the bag is wrought with thin wire instead of simple leather strapping. The Coin Snatch Technique is performed at disadvantage.
  • Wire-Cored Straps: Study DC 20. The straps of the bag are sewn around braided wire. The Strap Cutting Technique is performed at disadvantage.
  • Purse Bells: Study DC 15. The bag is sewn with small bells that ring if it is unduly jostled. The Sneak action to avoid being noticed while picking a pocket is performed at disadvantage.
  • Thiefsnappers: Study DC 20. The interior of the bag is armed with a small snapping trap. If it is not spotted, an attempt to use the Coin Snatching technique causes the trap to snap closed, inflicting 1 hp of piercing damage to the thief, as well as automatically causing the attempt to fail and be noticed. If it is discovered, it can be disarmed with a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) DC 18 check.