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Larceny is a broad Skill that covers everything from picking locks to concealing stolen goods and everything in between. Most characters obtain this Skill the hard way, by committing crimes and often paying the price for their mistakes. Some individuals such as government agents and members of the military receive formal training in bypassing security systems and stealing valuable assets.
- Possessed by: Burglars, commandos, government agents, private eyes
- Specialties: Concealing Stolen Goods, Lock-picking, Pick-pocketing, Security Systems, Safe-cracking
General Roll Results
- Dramatic Failure: Not only does your character fail his attempted action, he reveals himself in the process. He might trip an alarm, wake a guard dog or be spotted with his hand in another person's pocket.
- Failure: Your character doesn't complete his intended action. His attempt at picking a mark's pocket comes up empty, or the lock he works on refuses to cooperate.
- Success: Your character completes his action without arousing any notice or suspicion. He pockets the stolen wallet, slips inside the dark building or plucks the diamond from the nest of laser beams without anyone the wiser.
- Exceptional Success: Your character not only completes his action, he does so with exceptional speed and grace, saving precious seconds when time is of the essence. A lock pops open with a simple flick of the wrist, or a security system goes offline with a few quick strokes on the keypad.
Bypass Security System
- Dice Pool: Dexterity + Larceny + equipment
- Action: Extended (5-15 successes, depending on the complexity of the system; each roll represents a Turn -- three seconds -- of work)
- Suggested Equipment: Electronics toolkit (+1), mirrors, conductive tape and aerosol spray (+1), alarm schematics (+2), portable decryption gear (+3)
- Possible Penalties: Lack of tools (-1 to -5), unfamiliarity with system (-1), state-of-the-art system (-2), charging guard dogs (-2), darkness (-3)
Bypassing a security system can be as simple as shorting out two contacts on a window frame, or as complex as opening a junction box and making major modifications to a sophisticated circuit board, all in a matter of seconds.
The task is an extended action, with the required number of successes depending on the complexity of the system in question. A basic alarm might demand five, while a standard home-security system might require as many as 10. Sophisticated corporate or government security systems might require 15 or more successes to disarm, at the Storyteller's discretion. Using specialized tools can add modifiers to the roll.
Most home and corporate alarm systems have a warning period of 30 or 45 seconds to allow for an authorized user to disarm the system before triggering an alarm. Thus, a would-be burglar only has 10 or 15 turns to locate and disarm the system before the alarm goes off.
- Dramatic Failure: Your character not only fails to disarm the system, he accidentally sets it off early. In the case of sophisticated alarm systems, this might be a silent alarm that alerts authorities without tipping off the intruder.
- Failure: Your character fails to make any headway in disarming the security system. Is it the red wire or the yellow one?
- Success: Your character makes progress in disarming the system (apply successes rolled toward the total needed).
- Exceptional Success: Your character is well on his way to bypassing the system.
- Example: Al-Adin picks the lock on the councilman's back door and slips inside. The house's security system beeps a warning and Al-Adin heads for the main junction box in the basement. It takes three turns to dash down the stairs and find the box, leaving only seven turns before the alarm activates. Al-Adin's Dexterity is 4 and his Larceny is 2, and he has a set of electronics tools that give him a +1 modifier. A standard home-security system requires 10 successes to disarm, and the first roll is 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 8, 9 -- three successes earned, seven to go. The second roll earns no successes. The third roll is 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9 -- three more successes that bring his total to six. The fourth roll is 1, 2, 4, 7, 7, 8, 9 -- two successes. With time running out, the fifth roll is 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 8, 9 -- two successes and enough to disarm the system, six seconds (two turns) before the alarm activates.
- Dice Pool: Dexterity + Larceny + equipment
- Action: Extended (2-12+ successes required, depending on the sophistication of the lock; one roll represents one turn -- three seconds -- of work)
- Suggested Equipment: Prybar (+1), basic lockpicks (+1), lockpick gun (+2), electronic keypad decryptor (+3)
- Possible Penalties: Lack of tools (-1 to -5), darkness (-3), someone approaching (-2)
Picking a lock is one of the most common applications of Larceny, and requires nothing more than a basic set of tools, a steady hand and a few moments' concentration. The task is an extended action, requiring a number of successes based on the toughness and sophistication of the lock. A suitcase or diary lock might require two or three successes, while a padlock or a house lock might demand anywhere from four to seven. Combination locks could require anywhere from eight to 12. Using specialized lockpicking tools (as opposed to improvised picks) can add a bonus to the roll.
- Dramatic Failure: Not only has your character failed to make any progress with the lock, a mishap causes him to break one or more tools. Any previous successes earned are lost. He may start again from scratch with the Storyteller's permission.
- Failure: Your character makes no headway against the lock.
- Success: Your character makes progress toward picking the lock (apply successes toward the total needed).
- Exceptional Success: Your character is well on his way to picking the lock.
- Example: Once inside the house, Avis finds the councilman's study and locates his wall safe. The safe has a basic combination lock requiring eight successes to pick. Avis' Dexterity is 4 and her Larceny is 2, and she has a set of safecracking tools that add a +1 modifier. The first roll is 1, 2, 6, 8, 8, 8, 9 Ñ she is halfway there with four successes. The second roll is 1, 2, 3, 8, 8, 8, 9. The last tumbler clicks into place and the small door swings open after only two turns (six seconds).
Sleight of Hand
- Dice Pool: Dexterity + Larceny + equipment versus Wits + Composure or Wits + Larceny
- Action: Contested
- Suggested Equipment: Crowded area (+1), few possible observers (+1), timely distraction (+1 to +3), partner to whom to transfer an item (+2)
- Possible Penalties: Subject wears tight clothes (-1), security system (-3 to -5), public attention on item (-3)
Your character picks a pocket. Palms an item. Slips something inside his clothing or bag -- all without being noticed, or so he hopes. Your character could develop this skill for unscrupulous reasons, or because he's a magician or performer. Or maybe he runs an ÒhonestÓ shell game on the street. Regardless of the rationale, your character can take things or move things without attracting attention.They typically need to be Size 1 or less -- he can't make a piano disappear with a flick of the wrist. But he might make an artifact disappear from a museum showing with the right timing and a convenient distraction.
Roll your character's Dexterity + Larceny + equipment versus a victim or possible observer's Wits + Composure or Wits + Larceny (whichever makes for the larger pool). The Storyteller decides how many people could be possible observers, or just makes a single collective roll for a crowd. If you get the most successes, your character grabs, produces or hides something. If the victim or observer gets as many or more successes, she's wise to your character's efforts. She could call foul, call for the police or call your character out privately and insist on a cut of whatever scheme he's running.
- Dramatic Failure: Your character utterly bungles the effort. He attracts everyone's attention. He trips, manhandles his intended victim or sets off an alarm.
- Failure: The effort to grab, move or hide something goes incomplete. The item remains where it was or is still exposed in your character's hands. The Storyteller could allow one or more Successive Attempts before your character draws attention to himself.
- Success: Your character steals, palms or moves an item as planned, without notice.
- Exceptional Success: The item disappears with none the wiser. Your character's effort is so seamless, in fact,that turns, minutes or hours pass before anyone notices that something is missing or has been relocated. The Storyteller decides how much time is appropriate based on the general attention dedicated to the item in question.
- Required By: Anonymity, Phantom Tong
- Used By: Alter Integrity, Artifice, Contests and Games Rules, Fever Gifts, Goblin Contracts, Grotto Gifts, Inconspicuous Object, Lock Picks, Loosen the Threads, Reflections, Separation, Tactics, Technology Gifts, Telekinesis, Transfer AnchorCharacteristics
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