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1.10 Thieves' Skills

A number of skills supplied with a base distribution of Argo will be of special interest to light-fingered characters, including uncoded skills such as Disguise, Fast-Talk, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth. In addition, three coded skills pertain to the thiefly arts: Concealment, Pickpocket, and Locksmith. The Perception and Locksmith skills, which are useful both for thieves and those opposing them, also have coded effects. These five skills are discussed here.

Note that the coded thieves' skills often `break the rules' of normal MUCK security, allowing you to take things that don't belong to you and use exits that would normally be locked against you. For this reason, they can usually be used only in IC areas.

All three coded thieves' skills are invoked with the +use command:

+use <skill> vs|at|on <target>

Concealment: the Concealment skill (base INT, Intelligence Rating 9) lets you hide a target object, which can be a player (including yourself). To conceal an object, type +use concealment on <target>.

If you fail your roll, you were unable to hide the target object, and it remains unaffected. If you make your roll, the amount by which you succeeded is recorded, and used as a measure of how well hidden it is. When an object is successfully hidden, it cannot be seen by players in the room (including yourself). A hidden object remains hidden until either it leaves the room in which it was hidden or is discovered using the +search command. (Properties set on the room by staff members may modify your chances to hide.)

The +search command lets you search a room, player, or other object. (Syntax +search [<target>]. If <target> is omitted, the target is assumed to be the room you are in.) The chance for success is based on the Concealment skill: people who know how to hide things know best how to find things. The Perception skill is also used as a positive modifier for searches: if you have Perception 2, all your searches will be made at +2. If a player makes a successful +search roll, he or she has a chance to find objects hidden on or in the search target. A searching player will find the object if he makes his search roll by more than you made your roll when hiding the target object. (Objects that are invisible, rather than simply hidden, may also be found with +search, but there is a -8 modifier to the chance to find.)

Pickpocket: Players with the Pickpocket skill (base DEX, Intelligence Rating 8) can surreptitiously take money from other players. If successful, you take some or all of your target's carried money. The defense against pickpocketing is a roll to notice the the theft, based on Intelligence. Again, the Perception skill acts as a positive modifier. (You don't have to carry all of your money on your person: see The Argo Monetary System.)

Lockpicking: Players with the Lockpicking skill (base DEX, Intelligence Rating 8) have a chance (their DEX plus their Lockpicking skill) to open locked IC doors. In order to use the skill, you must have a lock pick (an object of class `lockpicks'). Picked locks reset themselves after 30 turns.

Locksmith: The Locksmith skill (base Craft skill, Intelligence Rating 8) can be used to install or fix locks (objects of class `locks'). A door with a good lock is harder to pick (its lock value is applied as a negative modifier to lockpicking rolls). Locksmiths can also fix broken locks. You must have Locksmith Tools to use the skill; you must have a lock in order to install it.

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