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An Introduction to the Life of Crime

A man in a thick hooded cloak eyes you over before settling down across from you at your table in the tavern. He flags down the barmaid and orders a tall ale, giving her a playful slap on the rump as she walks away to fetch it. His eyes, however, watch yours as they follow the change pouch of the barmaid. He smirks for a moment, then gives you a knowing grin with a twinkle in his eyes.

"So, you think you want to become a thief, do ya? It's true that some thieves make it rich and live better than most patricians. But the hard truth of the matter is, most of ye young lads looking to pilfer a few fat purses end up with a brand on your forehead, or worse yet, dead in a gutter for choosing the wrong mark. Still, if this is what you want, who am I to turn you away without first providing a bit o' guidance to help you along your way."

He pauses for a moment, to accept his ale from the barmaid, giving her his best roguish smile before continuing on.

"Let me tell you the tale of a young thief by the name of Thaelan. You might learn a thing or two from his experiences and maybe, just maybe, live to tell a few tales of your own some day. Now grab ya an ale, and settle down. We've got some discussing ahead o' us."

A Note from the Author: I have had a number of thieves in my time here in Iridine and thus have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon for this guide. However, I felt to truly be able to provide useful insight to a brand new thief, or someone considering making one for the first time, I should go through the process again myself. Thus Thaelan was rolled for just that purpose. If you see him about the city, be kind - he's suffered much imprisonment to provide the knowledge for this guide. ;-)

Table of Contents


Day 0 - Character Creation

This primarily OOC section will go over the creation of a Pickpocketing focused character, what stats, traits, and nationalities are beneficial for one, and whether or not your preferred playing style would benefit from a 'cover' skill. For those of you that have already made your character, or may already be familiar with what stats and traits are beneficial for a thief, feel free to skip on to the next section: Day 1 - Arrival in the City.

Stats And Why They Matter

For a thief, there are a few Stats that stand out as remarkably important for your ease of playing a thief. By no means is it required to have each of these stats at a very high level, but it certainly makes matters much easier. I will also go over some secondary stats and how they may impact your play-style as a thief.

Important Stats:

  • Dexterity: Dexterity is hands down the most important stat for a pure thief. It has a significant impact on your ability to perform just about every move and having a high dexterity stat means that you will have to spend less time training to be able to achieve perfect 1s for most maneuvers. Unfortunately, unlike weapons, there is no dexterity skill to improve your stat if it is not already good. If you intend on making a pure thief, or at least someone focused on stealing, I'd reroll until you got a decent dexterity roll.
  • Speed: Having good speed means that you will be able to move between targets faster, and when necessary, run from them a little easier due to having faster theft maneuvers and retreats. While speed is not as absolutely vital for a thief, it helps greatly in evasion and efficiency.
  • Agility: Having a high agility is primarily useful for evading arrest, which is something you will be doing a lot of in the early days, and perhaps still a fair amount even as a master thief (after all, there's still a small chance of missing for a master too). While this can be boosted if you devote ranks to Combat Maneuvers and footwork specifically (as it will only count during combat), it would be easier for a pure thief to not have to devote that amount of time to a non-essential skill when their focus is not combat.

Other Stats, and their Impact:

  • Endurance: Stealing can be just as tiring as combat itself, so having a higher endurance means you'll be able to steal just that much longer. It also means you'll have that much more health points to wear down while evading arrest if you opt to go that route. Just keep in mind, outstanding warrants can and will be noticed by PC constables over time, and it severely restricts your ability to move freely without a lot of experience in Street Smarts.
  • Strength: Coin is very, very heavy. This is good, I can think of no better burden to be carrying than a sack overflowing with silver and gold. But if you lack the strength to lug it, your stealing sessions will be shorter before needing to make a discrete trip to the bank - and risking capture if you have an open warrant.
  • Willpower: Willpower plays a significant role in your ability to hide and sneak. While these do not play much of a role in the early days of a thief, they will much further down the line once you begin to master the trade. A thief who is never seen is as close to a perfect thief as I can imagine.
  • Empathy: Empathy plays a minor role in your Setups, but is not a stat to aim for at all.

I'll leave the manipulation of the character generator to you as to how to achieve those stats based on the choices for adjectives, description, and so on. But choosing words such as quick, or dextrous, or nimble might be a good start. Otherwise, check the forums on the main site for help on building a speedier more dextrous character.

Nationalities and their Impact

Now that we are aware of what stats are important to have for a thief, we can take a closer look at which Nationalities would help us achieve our goals of decent dexterity, speed, and agility. While I certainly believe that building your character around a roleplaying concept is important, for the sake of this guide, we'll address the nationalities that are best suited for a Pickpocketing based character:

  • Cinera (+25 Dex, +15 Spd, +10 Agi): Cinera is the very clear choice from a stats perspective, as it gives the largest bonus to dexterity and no penalties at all to our other important stats. The other vital factor (which eliminates two other potentials: Altene and Aestivan League) is that pickpocketing is neither a forbidden or reduced sp skill for a Cineran. Furthermore, the free trait Steady Hands, is available as a choice which would further boost our base dexterity. Or, choosing Nimble Feet, would boost our speed and agility. Finally, if you wanted to have a 'cover' skill, choosing knives as a free skill would help with that. All three freebies suit our purposes quite well, making Cinera the best option for a thief's homeland.
  • Parcines (+15 Dex, +15 Agi, +10 Spd): The Parcines is a decent alternative to Cinera in that it has bonuses for each of the important stats and no penalties to having Pickpocketing as a skill. However, the free traits and skills are lackluster by comparison with Mountain Lungs being useful for enhanced fatigue regeneration, but that's it. A thief will not be making any battlecries, unless it's "For the love of Ereal, quit beating me with your stave! I submit!"
  • Iridine - The Steps (No Bonuses): While Iridine has no bonuses or penalties to stats, the Steps characters do have a number of useful freebies for a thief looking to have a cover: You can choose any skill you want as your primary skill, then use the free skill to learn pickpocketing. Or you can learn pickpocketing as your primary, and then use the free lessons in knives or swords. Plus, being a citizen might help sway things in your favor if you get caught enough to be in danger of a branding or flogging.

Traits to Consider

Choosing the right Traits can sometimes be a rather daunting task as there are quite a few handy ones to choose from. No doubt having a thief with night vision and hunters eye could make for an interesting combination, but we're shooting for a thief with a good set of stats to start us out with and neither of those help us directly. Here are a few of the ones that do:

  • Nimble Feet (+3): Bonus to speed and agility. Two important stats for a thief rolled up into one trait, and free for a Cineran character if you choose it.
  • Steady Hands (+3): Significant bonus to dexterity. Considering that dexterity is our most important stat of all, this one should receive serious consideration. As mentioned above, it is also free for a Cineran character.
  • Presence of Mind (+2): Half stun time. This is handy for making your escape from those pesky truncheon wielding vigiles or constables and their knockaside attacks. While it does not help your stats, it could help you to escape arrest and be able to pilfer other people's belongings for just that much longer.
  • Light Sleeper (Neutral): Half standup time. This is useful for the exact same reason Presence of Mind is - evading and resisting arrest. This is especially useful if you primarily steal in Iridine as the constables in the city tend to use a lot of sweeping maneuvers. Considering it costs you nothing in points, I would say that this one is a non-negotiable.

A Cover Story

Being a thief is not an easy profession in Iridine. Nothing is more reviled than an openly known thief in the city, they almost rank up there with bandits - in fact, if you choose to be a pvp style thief, expect to be hated just as much as a bandit if not more, even if all you steal is ceramic lanterns. However, you can help to mitigate this somewhat by having a cover 'profession' to help avert some questions on how you make the coin that you're making (which hopefully will be a lot by the time we're all done here).

Learning a weapon is an obvious and easy choice and one that a lot of thieves go with. You can practice in the ludus and use scavenging or diving for pearls as your excuse for having a bit of spare coin, though if you use the latter I'd recommend taking a dip in the ocean so you'll at least smell the part. However, another option to consider is a service or crafting profession. Locksmithing is a good skill to have as a cover for a thief, all of the warriors have need for locksmiths so it's a good way to make friends with people who would potentially stab, chop, or maim you otherwise. The options are truly limitless, but unless you are very good at staying quiet and flying below the radar so to speak, having a well defined cover for your nefarious tendencies is a good idea.

Meet Thaelan

Using the above guide as a reference, this is the brand new thief character I created for the purpose of testing for this guide. Granted, I will still use my master thief as necessary to demonstrate more advanced techniques, but Thaelan is our example of the product of this guide. Below are his stats and traits for your reference:

=[Character Sheet for Thaelan]================================================

Character Background

Name: Thaelan Octavius                       Homeland : Cineran
Marital Status: Single
Citizenship Status: Foreigner
Popularity:  0

Age: 17

Physical Characteristics

Height: 5' 0"            Weight: 76 lbs.     Handed: Right
Eyes: dark brown         Hair: midnight-blackComplexion: dark olive

Health Points: 97/97     Fatigue: 61%        State: conscious

Load: 12 lbs.
Encumbrance: You are bearing a light load.

Position: standing

Attributes:
Agility:    exceptional                Appearance: slightly above average  
Charisma:   above average              Dexterity:  very good               
Empathy:    average                    Endurance:  slightly below average  
Judgement:  slightly below average     Memory:     above average           
Perception: fairly good                Reasoning:  slightly below average  
Speed:      fairly good                Strength:   slightly below average  
Willpower:  average                 

To see a list of skills and actions your character knows, type: skills
==============================================================================

=[Current Traits for Thaelan Octavius]========================================

Positive Traits
--------------------
Blade Mastery
   - Available to Cineran characters only.  Character causes a higher rate of
critical hits with bladed weapons.

Steady Hands
   - Significant bonus to dexterity.  Mutually exclusive with 'Shaky Hands'.
Value: 3

Nimble Feet
   - Bonus to Speed and Agility.  Value: 3

Negative Traits
--------------------
Intense Nightmares
   - Character recovers fatigue at a reduced rate when asleep.  Penalty to
willpower.  Character more susceptible to magic.  Value: -3

Neutral Traits
--------------------
Light Sleeper
   - Reduced roundtime for standing up.  Reduced fatigue recovery benefits for
sitting or laying down.

==============================================================================

All in all, I got lucky with a decent character roll that fulfilled all three of my stat requirements. Hopefully, your rolls will be at least as successful, but the chargen can be a very fickle creature. Now that we have created Thaelan, it's time to bring him into Iridine for a bit of mischief and mayhem.

Back to Top


Day 1 - Arrival in the City

A man in a thick hooded cloak chortles heartily to himself for a moment, as if he recalls something particularly funny before turning back to you with an amused grin on his face.

"Now ole Thaelan wasn't in for an easy time when he stepped off that boat for the first time, no sir! He had a sack full of pentaks and shekels that the merchants wouldn't take, not a sen to his name, and not a clue how to make one the honest way. So, he did what he did best and he stole what 'e needed. Problem is, he didn't have a clue on how ta do that the right way either. Good thing I came along when I did and saved em from 'imself, just like I intend to do with you."

The hooded man quietly shakes his head, before taking a long pull from his mug of ale.

"Thaelan was in a heap o' trouble before he even got out of tha harbor. He didn't move quietly, didn't mind his surroundings, and didn't pick his targets carefully - none of tha things that a good thief knows ta do by heart. So lemme tell ya how not to end up that way, and hope ya take it ta heart."

First Priorities

When you first make it into the city, you're not going to have much at your disposal to begin with. A novice thief will start out with the ability to grab items out of people's hands, sharpen coins, and palm objects - that's it. You'll have a few days rations in your sack, and a small blade, but unless you're a newbie account you won't have any coin starting out either. Since training costs money, and we're going to need a lot of training to be an effective thief, money is what needs to be handled first. Here's how:

The Legal Routes:

  • Ask the Auxilli: You're a new character without many resources available to you. Take advantage and ask the auxilli if they can lend a hand. If they give you armor, you can sell it. If they just give you coin, even better. But either way, the Auxilli is there to help ease the pain of starting anew. Just keep in mind that their primary duty is to help out new -Players-, so try not to monopolize their time much if there is someone truly new in need of their help.
  • Scavenge: The alleys just after daybreak are your best bet for scoring a fair amount of leftover loot and coin. Some people strip their kills, others are just there for the slaughter itself. Use that to your advantage and pick up whatever is left behind. Pouches can be sold at Ylsa, daggers can be sold to Ipsus, and if you're lucky some of those pouches will still be loaded down with coin.
  • Pearl Diving, Net Mending, and Other Menial Tasks: There are loads of slightly profitable but time consuming jobs out there for new characters to make a bit of coin on the side without breaking the law. Check out the Money Guide for more details.

Tip: Never, ever tell anyone your true profession. So, if you do opt to speak with the auxilli, tell them you're a knifer if you lack a proper cover skill. Every character has a knife. While the auxilli are supposed to be supportive of even pickpocketing characters, why risk it? If you plan on keeping this character, keep your knowledge of pickpocketing a secret as long as you can. The stigma for playing a criminal in TEC is very steep.

The Not So Legal Routes:

  • Steal Tools: Workers carry a variety of iron tools that can be sold to Cadmus over at Bronze Lane. The problem is, they will yell for help, or sometimes pull a constable out of the crowd and send them to beat you down and arrest you. If you want to keep your name off the books a while, this is not the route to take.
  • Learn Cut and Lift: You can use cut and lift with just a rank of training in it. It will not be pretty, it will not be efficient, traders will scream. But if you choose your location well, you can get the coin that you need without worry of getting arrested. Certain establishments have crowds at all hours - crowds with no constables, soldiers, or guards in them. Look around and put your newly learned skill to use. Just be wary of the yelling, if someone hears it, like a patrolling constable, you might have to make a run for it.

Once you've managed to put together a fair amount of coin, say around 300 denars worth, we can start the next phase of honing your rogue into a fine instrument of thievery: Training!

I thought it worthy of noting that due to a poor choice I made soon after unleashing Thaelan (quickgrabbing a servants bag for food, just because he could), my options for getting coin were limited to whatever I could manage from the harbor without running across a constable patrol since the silly thief got himself warranted right off the boat. This was good in a sense though, as it helped me test the Cut and Lift method of getting coin, combined with a bit of scavenging to get the initial bit of coin needed to learn it. I should reiterate myself, if you steal from people in the -right- locations, warrants and constables are not an issue unless you run into the PC variety of constable. I won't divulge the locations that are 'safe', you'll have to do a bit of searching on your own for that, but there are several scattered throughout the harbor. By the time I had Thaelan's lift trained up to rank 6, he was lifting more often than he was missing so it worked out rather well.

Training, Lots and Lots of Palming

Palming will be the bane of your existence as a thief, but it is by far the safest and easiest method of training. It won't earn you any coin by itself, but it won't put you at risk of any jailtime either. So grab a coke and a snack, and get ready for a few hours of tediousness (or more, your mileage may vary). A good goal to aim for at this point is being able to train your basics up to practiced, and then learn cut and lift to at least practiced as well. This may not get you perfect 1s on either move yet, but it will get you a lot closer. Depending on your dexterity, it may be enough to safely use cut and lift without risk of getting caught - which you can still do anyway in the right locations. Pick your marks and your environment carefully starting out.

Speculation aside, we need to start palming early on to achieve our goal of being able to lift pouches without any risk of being caught. The easiest way to do this is to create macros and simply use those macros instead of typing all of the commands out. For instance, create a macro for the number 1 and set it to palm sen (or whichever sharpened coin type you prefer), then set the number 2 to unpalm sen. Grab a good book, find a safe location, and mindlessly press 1 and 2 for a while. By safe location, go somewhere that is out of the way and rarely used. Piers, docks, side alleys, river walks, nobody ever bothers with those areas and you don't have to worry about any random critters attacking you. It should also be noted that your environment has a considerable impact on your ability to palm - if you have a high success in one area, try moving to a different one.

In order to reach our goal of 10/10 pickpocketing and cut and lift, we'll need a total of 123 sp - 45 to get pickpocketing to 10, 78 to get cut and lift to 10. That's doable in a few days time if you're committed to spending a bit of time on your character, and once we get our cut and lift success down to a 1, we've got a free meal ticket from that point forward. Not a bad goal at all.

An Argument for Endurance: One notable difference between Thaelan and my master thief is his severely reduced endurance. My primary thief character can steal for hours on end without breaking a sweat due to his high endurance, but Thaelan is another story entirely. Even the simple act of palming is draining to him in ways that I had not yet encountered on a thief before. So, despite my earlier assessment of endurance being at best a secondary stat, I would recommend shooting for a little higher endurance in your character roll if possible. Otherwise, try to palm while lying down (there is no penalty for doing so) and expect shorter sessions of stealing.

Finding a Teacher

So you've managed to palm your way to 123 skill points. It was tedious, I know, I just finished it myself - you've got a lot more of that ahead of you before you can master the trade though, fair warning. Now, is where our plan runs into a little snag. Unlike most combat oriented characters, you can't exactly think out for a pickpocketing trainer now can you? No thief you want to associate yourself with would respond and you'd only succeed in alerting everyone to the fact that they need to mind their coin pouches around you. You don't want to be in that situation, so don't do it. Luckily, there is an NPC teacher for pickpocketing and setups just like there is for all of those wanna be warriors out there. The problem is, his location is deemed secret, and the powers that be forbid me from giving you his name *gazes up towards the heavens, mumbling some sort of prayer about not being smited 'from afar'*

For the truly new thieves amongst us, however, I can point you in the right direction and get you in the vicinity of where you need to be. The place we're going to go to is called the Coastal Alleys, located deep in the southern portion of our favorite thieve's playground - the harbor. To get there, you need to start out from the Stone Toga Inn and follow the cobblestone road southwest, then south. So long as you stick to the cobblestone road and don't sidetrack down a side street or run off a pier, you'll eventually spot a square that looks like an alley intersection to your northwest. This, my young roguish friend, is where to begin your search: enter the alleys and look around for a parchment with a rat holding a posca glass on it, if you've found it, you're in the right spot. He, unfortunately, does not teach for free, so I do hope you heeded my advice of saving up about 300 denars for your training costs. If not, go back to scavenging, stealing, or begging for a bit and come back once you've got the coin.

There is an alternative, if you don't mind a bit of waiting around and the potential for a less than savory encounter with a fellow scoundrel. The Harbor truly is a popular destination for thieves, and as luck would have it, Thaelan ran into one on his first day there. I opted not to ask for lessons, as I had managed to procure the coin that I needed. But since I interrupted the poor lad mid-theft, I unpalmed my sen to show him that he was in good company. These random encounters are a good way to make allies if you're subtle about it, and if you're lucky someone skilled enough to teach you the trade at a much reduced price. Rumor has it that there are even more profitable maneuvers to be had if you can find the right person to learn them from…

What Lies Ahead

If you've made it this far, then you're off to a good start in your career as a thief. In my experience, cut and lift never has to be taken beyond practiced for a thief with decent enough dexterity - if you work on your pickpocketing basics, the success for it and all of your other moves will gradually reach perfection with little effort. Thus your new goal is to perfect your cut and lift by training your basic pickpocketing ever higher. With Thaelan's stats and the ranks below, he generally has a 14 success for a cut and lift - not too shabby, but still not perfect yet. I suspect that by getting my basic pickpocketing to familiar (rank 20), I will be able to use cut and lift wherever I please without any risk of being caught.

=[Actions for Skill]==========================================================

Skills/Actions           Rank                     Rank Bonus  Skill Points
-----------------------  -----------------------  ----------  ------------
Pickpocketing            10        practiced      30          0.03

Quick Grab               1         novice         25
Coin Sharpening          1         novice         25
Palm                     1         novice         25
Cut and Lift             10        practiced      45

General Skill Points:     5.0

==============================================================================

A Note on Skills: Up to this point, we really have not discussed the reason why cut and lift is our focus, so I felt that this should be addressed. The reason why we are training cut and lift is primarily because it is a silent move when done successfully - therefore when you use it, your mark will never notice that you stole from them at all. This means no shouting, no yelling, no calling for guards, which in turn means uninterrupted stealing, less jail time, and more profit for you. Quick Grab simply doesn't compare as a means of gaining money in this respect as it will get you warranted easily and often. I should also clarify, that if you miss a cut and lift, the mark will take note and yell until the point where you have a 1 success for the maneuver. From that point on they will never notice a failed roll or a successful one for that matter. Thus our goal of perfecting cut and lift - so that you aren't restricted to safe zones. At that point, the whole world becomes your playground and your choice in marks expands considerably.

At this point, you should be able to safely use cut and lift to make some coin between rounds of palming. As always, choose your location wisely. In order to provide you some guidance in that regard, there are 6 establishments in the harbor that have crowds at all hours of the day and do not have constables or soldiers in those crowds for the marks to pull on you. Three of them are uncomfortably close to highly trafficked areas like the Stone Toga Inn or the Alleys where someone might hear a trader or other mark yell if you miss your lift. One of them is just an unwise choice to utilize unless you want to make a bad first impression with the wrong group of people (Be wary of doors with moons on them). The other two, however, are perfect for our purposes - situated in low traffic areas and rarely visited by anyone but our potential victims. Find them, use them, and make the coin that you need with little worry of getting yourself arrested early on. So for now, get your cut and lift up to a perfect 1 success and then we'll move on to bigger and better marks for you to make a living from.

Back to Top


Day 7 - Broadening Horizons

The hooded man gazes off for a moment, his look thoughtful for a moment, before his gaze returns back to you.

"I suppose that was the point when I knew Thaelan might just make it 'ere in the harbor. Hell, before long he'd outgrow it and not need an old wretch like me holding his hand any longer. He was a natural thief, once he knew tha proper way of going about it. But as good as he was, he still lacked a few necessary lessons to make em a truly good thief."

A throaty chortle emanates from the hooded figure as he continues his story, "Why tha boy would lift every pouch in sight, even if it had just a sen in it. Sure, it's good practice, but it's hardly efficient. No, no tha boy hadta be taught how to use discretion and judgement in picking his marks or he'd spend all his days working for sens when he could be makin talents instead."

"You're no fool right? Ya best not be, else yer wasting my time. So let me tell ya a thing or two about setups and the way of tha streets. Ya might just thank me later for tellin ya, but in the mean time ya can thank me by getting me another ale eh?"

Supporting Skillsets

There are three truly essential skillsets for a thief: Pickpocketing, Setups, and Street Smarts. While other skillsets may come in handy, those three are absolutely must haves for any proper thief character. The problem is, a lot of the more useful stuff won't be available to you right away. Eventually, if you want to master the trade, you'll either have to join a gang or find a skilled trainer that knows a thing or two that the trainer from Day 1 - Finding a Teacher doesn't. For now though, we'll have to make due with what we have available to us, and your first couple of skills from Setups are genuinely useful for our purposes.

Setups Skills You'll Need:

  • Ear for Coin: This is the most important one from an efficiency and training standpoint. Ear for Coin will give you a good estimate on how much coin a particular mark is carrying. If they're only carrying a denar or so, let em move on by and go for the next target. If they're carrying 15-20 cents like some patricians do, try not to drool all over yourself as you're lifting the pouch from his belt. The best part is, this move is completely silent and will never be noticed by anyone. If you have time to kill in front of the Stone Toga Inn, use this technique on whoever might be standing with ya - you'll be getting valuable skill points and they'll be none the wiser about it.
  • Draw Attention: This move is useful for when you haven't quite perfected a maneuver, like cut and lift for example. If you typically have a 10 success to lift a pouch, spooking your target before you lift the pouch can often drop that success down to a 1 and remove the risk of missing entirely. Be aware though, your mark will notice you using it on them, don't use it on another player unless you want to discretely get their attention.
  • Ground Approach: A fast approach used to bypass guarding. While this isn't immediately useful for your everyday thief, as almost none of your targets will be guarded starting out, it's an excellent training move for learning setups. Use it on every mark and you'll be well on your way to mastering setups.

And One You Don't:

  • Combat Assess: This move will give you an idea of how skilled a combatant is with their weapon, or if they're even a combatant at all. It's noticeable to anyone you use it on and you'll never need it as a thief - if you plan on stealing from constables or soldiers, I assure you, they're plenty competent with their weapons. Don't bother with it for now.

As far as Street Smarts goes, you'll primarily need it for evasion and resisting arrest. And maybe a bit of mischief, after all, who doesn't like hiding underneath a table to listen in on folks who don't suspect you of being there at all. You're a rogue! Mischief and mayhem is your purpose!

Street Smarts Skills You'll Need:

  • Mimic Signpost: Primarily useful for evading the PC variety of constable (don't bother using it on an NPC, it won't work), this maneuver makes it possible for a character to not see you upon walking into a room. If you execute it properly and the lawkeeper is moving quickly, they will walk right on past you. However, be aware that if they're actively searching for you rather than attempting to give chase and use the look command, they will see you. Otherwise, this technique is a useful training tool if used in the right locations at the right time of day, in other words go experiment since I'm not allowed to give you all the answers here.. just most of em.
  • City Hiding: This is the most useful of the lot of them. Using city hiding, you can take cover behind objects or in crowds and avoid being seen at all, even by someone actually looking around the square. A lawkeeper or other do-gooder can search the area for you and eventually expose you, the number of searches required is dependent upon both your skill level and your willpower. After all, it does take significant willpower to sit perfectly still when someone is looking around for you.
  • City Sneaking: This is a more difficult technique than City Hiding, but when combined with it, this maneuver will allow you to actually move about the city completely unseen. Use your head when you do this. Sneaking into a dark empty area will be easier than sneaking into a well-lit crowded room.

New Marks, New Locations

Hopefully, you've completed the goal of getting your cut and lift success down to a 1 on every attempt, because today, my friend, we are going to venture out into the streets and areas where you will get arrested if you have not accomplished that goal. If you still miss a few lift attempts with a success higher than 1, go back and palm for a little while longer until your cut and lift success is where it needs to be. Trust me in that it will be well worth the wait.

A Note from the Author: My estimate of having a perfect 1 for lift was slightly off, at 20 ranks in basics and 15 ranks in cut and lift I was able to move out into the streets without any fear of being caught. Keep in mind, your success with lift is directly impacted by your dexterity stat. If you have a higher dexterity than Thaelan did, you may not need that many ranks. If you have a very low dexterity stat, it might require significantly more ranks.

For now, we've been picking on traders and drovers and the like that frequent our safe havens. Every now and then they'll have a cent or two in their pouches, or you might be able to lift one of those gem pouches if it isn't too heavy, but in the end we'll never end up living like kings with those kinda profits. We need a better target to lift from and there just happens to be two such kinds of marks that carry a significant amount of coin on them:

  • A Patrician: What could possibly be more satisfying than stealing from a fat, pampered patrician? Clearly he doesn't need the coin, but you do, so take it from him without even the slightest hint of guilt. While many of them carry little coin on them, some carry anywhere from 4 cents to 20 cents in their coin purse. A discerning thief will go for the more valuable marks instead of weighing himself down with sterces and sens - this is where Ear for Coin really comes in handy.
  • A Prostitute: While I myself would frown upon taking from a working girl, they do tend to be well paid for their line of 'work'. I have not stolen from prostitutes in quite some time, but so long as things have not changed much over the years, their coin purses can be just as valuable as a patrician's with a fair number of gold cents bouncing around in the prettier girl's pouches.

While prostitutes are easily found amongst the crowds of the Harbor of the Moons, patricians will require leaving our favorite hunting ground and moving to a new one. Here's where it gets complicated: patricians tend to mingle in the wealthier areas of the city, most notably the forums. The problem with the forums is that they are one of the most trafficked areas of Iridine, not to mention where Station I of the Constabulary is located (along with the jail you'll end up in if they spot you stealing). If you go this route, and I don't recommend it, be mindful of your surroundings and be prepared to run. However, I am happy to tell ya that there is another location where patricians may be found - at all times, day or night: the Colosseum. Everyone loves to watch the games, and patricians are just as bloody minded as the common folk in that regard. Keep in mind, if I know this, the constables do to and be sure that they'll patrol it from time to time looking for an unwary thief. As always, mind your surroundings, and choose when to practice the trade well - if the constables are distracted by some heretic fool at the Toga, well that my friend is opportunity calling.

Making Friends

During your time of lifting pouches from traders, no doubt you noticed a few bags, tubes, or heavier pouches that you just couldn't manage to lift. Let me reassure you, those little pouches of gems and other shiny goods can be had as well for those with a little more skill in the trade. Once you grow tired of lifting pouches from the rich (Bahahaha, who gets tired of robbing patricians, I mean really), it might be time to make friends with some like minded individuals to learn some of the things you don't currently have access to. There are three known criminal organizations in Iridine that might just do the trick:

  • The Harbor Rats: A den of thieves the likes of which there is no compare. Stealing is their sole focus and would be a good first stop for a young thief striving to become a great thief. Be careful in how you approach them, as they are as likely to toss ya out on your rear as help you if you make a poor first impression. However, word is that you can leave an offering with a certain proprietor in the Coastal Alleys to get their attention the proper way.
  • The Umbra Alati: Located in the Southern Steps, this group also has a knack for thievery but is better known for feats of acrobatics and agility as well as their penchant for ensuring that anyone unwelcome entering their territory doesn't leave it again.. at least not alive. You'll need to make friends with the people of that area of the Steps first before you can approach them.
  • The Black Centurions: Controlling the Northern Steps, the BC are known as a hardened group of former soldiers, ruffians, and rogues who will fiercely defend their territory from any intrusion but unwanted lawkeepers and vigilantes. While theft isn't their focus, having a few good thieves around is good for any criminal organization. Just like the Alati, you'll need to earn the good will of the people of the northern steps first before you should even consider approaching them.

Finally, you can hope to run across a freelance thief. There are a handful of notorious thieves out there, who might be willing to teach you a thing or two - for a price, and usually a hefty price. It is possible for a thief to make it out there entirely on his or her own, but it is not an easy path to pursue by any means. These freelancers will be your primary source of training, but there's always a risk in going that route. While an organization will have a certain amount of loyalty to you, a freelancer is loyal to himself only - therefore you never know when or if they might turn on you. Consider yourself properly warned.

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Closing Notes and Additional Resources

I hope that this guide has been useful to you and wish you the best of luck in your endeavor to play a thief character. While the risks of being a thief are high, there's nothing more satisfying than depositing armloads of coin or an extremely valuable bank vellum after a good run. If you play it safe and be smart about how you do things, a thief can be a very enjoyable and easily enriched character to play. I will say that friends help greatly in this matter, since there are a vast number of resources for stealing available only through others that already know them. I'm not allowed to go into the details, but once you've mastered them, no one will ever see you coming or leaving for that matter. My last parting gift to you in the way of knowledge, is a list of additional helpful resources for thieves. Use them well:

  • Macro Guide, coming soon
  • Hints and Tips, coming soon

Happy Hunting!

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