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View Full Version : [4e] What kind of action is Thievery?



Mark Hall
2008-09-03, 11:59 PM
So, I'm playing a Wizard/Fey Pact Warlock, who trained in thievery (no one else did, and I've been wanting to play a thief).

What kind of action is Thievery, specifically Pick Pocket and Sleight of Hand? It doesn't say in the book.

Normally, most manipulations of items are minor actions; on the list of minor actions, only 1 isn't manipulating an object in some way (drop prone); drawing or sheathing weapons, drinking potions, loading crossbows, opening and closing doors, picking up, retrieving, or storing items. Only shields require something bigger... a standard action.

I think that they're minor actions, in most cases; you can pick a pocket and keep walking at normal speed (or walk and bull rush, for a bump'n'lift). However, I wanted some other opinions, in case I need to bring this up to my DM (he reads these boards, so he can freely chime in... I'm not doing anything behind his back).

Some examples:

The character unlocks and de-traps a chest. Opening it is a minor action. Could he use prestidigitation (standard action) to distract people while he helped himself to something valuably shiny?

Could he use prestidigitation in conjunction with actual sleight of hand to make it seem he had produced something from thin air (perhaps making the item invisible, a shower of sparks, and slipping it out of his sleeve or pouch)?

And, since he's fey pact, an important ancillary question: If you're invisible, do you get a bonus to pick a pocket during combat? Maybe equal to the usual penalty applied to total concealment (so instead of a -10 you have a -5... -10, with a +5 to the check because the person can't see that you're stealing from them)?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-04, 12:35 AM
Picking Locks and Picking Pockets are both substantial actions which require time and effort. I'd say they're Standard Actions (actually, that's what it says in the PHB - read the gray boxes again), since they require rolls while all the listed Minor actions do not. Plus, this prevents Rogues from burning 3 Pick Pocket attempts a round (or picking locks!).

1) Distractions: I suppose he could distract while opening a chest, but the type of distraction determines how effective it is. Picking a lock is not a subtle action, so if people are watching him, they'll probably notice that he was picking the lock.

2) Sleight of Hand: Of course.

3) Pick Pocket in Combat: normally, picking pockets in Combat imposes a -10 penalty on your check, probably because your enemy is extra alert and focused on you. I would allow an Invisible Thief to ignore that -10 penalty if the target failed the Perception v. Stealth check.

Also: Fun Uses of Cantrips for Thieves!
1) Use Prestidigitation to turn a small object invisible (Standard, 10 foot range) and then Mage Hand (Minor) it to you (Move, 20 foot range). Great for stealing apples off of carts, and keys off of jailers' desks!
2) Ghost Sound around corners to convince guards to check somewhere you're not

I'm sure they're more :smallbiggrin:

Muyten
2008-09-04, 12:40 AM
Actually it does say in the book on page 189 that both of those are standard actions of course a rogue with the Quick Fingers Power can make both as a minor action.

Mark Hall
2008-09-04, 01:01 AM
I have no idea how I missed that. I think a wizard used Prestidigitation to turn those words temporarily invisible, or perhaps just colored those areas of the page grey (which, incidentally, sounds like a great way to stop someone from casting a ritual... color the entire sheet of parchment black).

Knaight
2008-09-04, 07:55 AM
...half way through the ritual.

Hzurr
2008-09-04, 10:45 AM
*Mark's DM pokes head in*

...

*sigh* Mark, are you already planning on stealing from the party?

I guess the other people have already answered what kind of action things are, but just thinking about the "using prestidigitation" to distract thing, I'd say that it would be a bluff check whose success resulted in a penalty to perception against your thievery. Hmm...that might be more complicated than it needs to be.

Also, I'd agree with oracle_hunter that being invisible allows you to ignore the -10 penalty to picking pockets in combat, but I'd add that a failed attempt would result in the target being able to take an AoO against you (with the normal -5 against an invisible character)

-Edit-
Ah yes, let us not forget the ever powerful sharpie marker, bane of ritual casters everywhere!

Mark Hall
2008-09-04, 11:33 AM
*Mark's DM pokes head in*

...

*sigh* Mark, are you already planning on stealing from the party?

Planning? Are you forgetting my antique mirror?


I guess the other people have already answered what kind of action things are, but just thinking about the "using prestidigitation" to distract thing, I'd say that it would be a bluff check whose success resulted in a penalty to perception against your thievery. Hmm...that might be more complicated than it needs to be.

Damn bluff checks... I may actually have better chances against their Will...


Ah yes, let us not forget the ever powerful sharpie marker, bane of ritual casters everywhere!

And map grids. ;-)

Hzurr
2008-09-04, 11:45 AM
And map grids. ;-)

In my defense, those were whiteboard markers, and mapmakers who make gamemats that aren't compatable with the universal "draw, then erase" type makers should be shot. Hmm...that reminds me, I should go out and buy a new grid before the game.

Also, what exactly are you planning to do with that mirror? I'd completely forgotten about it.

Mark Hall
2008-09-04, 11:51 AM
In my defense, those were whiteboard markers, and mapmakers who make gamemats that aren't compatable with the universal "draw, then erase" type makers should be shot. Hmm...that reminds me, I should go out and buy a new grid before the game.

Also, what exactly are you planning to do with that mirror? I'd completely forgotten about it.

Not sure. If it's valuable as an arcane reagent, I may use it as such, if necessary. Otherwise, I'll sell it or trade it at some point.

Besides, you know Jorun. Having it simply proves that he is smarter than other people.