The Stealing skill encompasses a wide variety of theft-related skills. These include robbing coins from the pockets of characters (both PC and NPC), shoplifting, and stealing gems from players' open containers. Stealing and stalking are the two skills checked for the Slip ability. The skill also has a few more esoteric applications, almost all of which are considered game secrets.
The Elanthian justice system understandably treats these acts as criminal offenses. Stealing from NPCs carries the charge of Pickpocketing, and is the lightest of the stealing offenses. More serious charges of are those of Pilfering from shops and "Felony Stealing", which is stealing from another player character.
Stealing from shops will result in the gain of Stalking and Hiding experience. Classes are also a viable way to learn the skill with little to no risk. Stealing from other player characters has a hefty timer on learning and even then teaches very little of the skill.
Stealing from Player Characters
Coins and gems on a player can be stolen by a skilled thief. There are a few restrictions though:
- Total of coins carried by a non guilded Thief must be greater than 3 silvers worth. A guilded thief is not restricted by amount when stealing from another guilded thief.
- Gem must be in an open container and that container can not be in any other container.
- You must have sufficiently high stealing skill in order to grab gems, general consensus is aprox. 100 ranks.
- Gems maybe stolen by a guilded Thief even if your coins are under the 3 silver protection
- Stealing from another player character comes with an approach timer. There is a way around this with the use of a certain khri. If you cannot get by the approach timer, its entirely possible your mark will get away before you make your grab.
- (future) Boxes have been discussed as being able to be stolen.
A general <steal (player)> command will try and grab for gems first, if there are any available to be stolen, then try for coins if there are no gems. A clever person can protect all the coins they are carrying by having an open gem pouch full of glass pebbles. In response, someone with enough stealing skill is able to choose between coins or gems when they steal from a player. The syntax for this is <steal (player) coin> or <steal (player) gem>.
Stealing from PCs will result in being locked PvP open for 4 hours.
(future) This has been talked about. The idea is for players to both steal and be stolen from by NPC type creatures.
Currently, it is possible to steal from a handful NPCs, such as the old blind beggar, grizzled old war veteran, and wandering minstrel in the Crossing. In Shard, there are the juggler and flower peddler. In Riverhaven, you can steal from Jackwater, old Maisie, the Halfling Sailor, and the young fishmonger (although the fishmonger never carries any coins). After stealing from an NPC a certain number of times (a number that varies depending on your skill level), a 15 minute timer begins, during which if you try to steal from the NPC again, you will most likely be caught. Stealing from the NPC before this timer has been completed resets the timer.
Stealing from shops is one of the more rewarding ways to learn the stealing skill. A new player with 0 ranks in stealing may start stealing in shops. They will just need to be a lot more careful than the established thieves. There is a cool down timer on shops that you have stolen in. Once you have hit a shop, the shopkeeper will be keeping a closer eye on you for approximately 1 hour afterward, so move on to another shop. While multiple grabs in the same shop is possible, it is not recommended for lower skilled thieves.
Stealing for Profit
Stealing for profit is one of the harder things to do and the chances of anyone with less than high Aficionado(150-199) to low Adept(200-299) are very slim, and there is no promise you'll make a lot of coins. Like everything else patience will see your profits rise over time. To steal for profit one must go to places where there isn't much stealing and pawning of stolen goods going on. It is possible to do this, its just very difficult to do at low levels.
Paladins are not permitted to learn Stealing. They will suffer guild-specific penalties, including loss of soul state and inability to circle, if they somehow learn the skill for any reason. To unlearn any experience that may have been learned, a Paladin needs to go to Chadatru's altar in Theren Keep and REPENT then PRAY.
Traders caught stealing will suffer a penalty to contract values in the associated province for a period of time.
Stealing is seldom counted for guilds' survival requirements.
Agility and Discipline boosters will help with stealing. If one has more hiding than stealing, it will provide a small bonus to stealing while hidden; if not then it's best to steal while unhidden. Thieves get bonuses from Urban Bonus and Confidence.
Defending Against Stealing
Prior to changes in 2007, Stealing was the skill used to determine how difficult a player was to successfully steal from. Perception was used to determine if the would-be victim noticed the attempt. It was conceivable that a character with high Stealing and low Perception would be difficult to steal from but would hardly ever notice an attempt, and that a character with high Perception and low Stealing would be easy to steal from but would almost assuredly catch the thief in the grab.
Many of these measures seem to have been implemented to give Thieves Guild members a larger advantage over other player characters in conducting these sorts of crimes. For a period in the early 2000s, other guilds' abilities were sometimes viewed as more beneficial overall to a life of crime than the Thieves Guild's. This was especially true of Moon Mages, who have many magical abilities that allow them to be stealthy and elusive.
Testing needed - A player with 220 perception and 330 stealing can mark as an extremely difficult target to a thief with approximately 350 stealing. This hints that perception alone isn't the sole check of stealing difficulty, though it is undoubtly of much greater importance than before.
Secondary Pool Messaging
Before the experience changes in 2009 Stealing had a secondary pool that drained into the primary pool over time. The guild-specific messaging for filling each pool was:
- Cleric: You believe you've learned all you can for the moment about pleasing Damaris.
- Empath: You feel that for the moment you've learned all you can about harming shopkeepers.
- Moon Mage (non-Tezirite): You feel that for the moment you've learned all you can about acting like a Tezirite.
- Ranger: You feel that for the moment you've learned all you can about undermining the corrupt order of society.
- Thief: You feel that for the moment you've learned all you can about knocking over shops.
- Warrior Mage: You've learned all you can about saving people from their coins.