Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

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Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby Zapp » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:59 am

Just wanted to comfirm I wasn't missing something important here:

The area of lock picking (and pick pocketing for that matter) is most cursorily handled by the pnp game, right? I mean, there's a focus called lock-picking, and there's a lock-picking tool to be had, but what else?

There aren't any discussion about what kinds of locks you could expect or their TNs. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that there exists a Dexterity focus, you're left to deduce on your own that you're supposed to make Dexterity tests to resolve any lockpicking activity. There isn't anything to say that you even need lockpicking tools! I can't find any attempt at all to emulate how important lockpicking tends to be in crpgs (like Dragon Age Origins), with all the loot you usually miss out on if you don't attempt to steal from locked containers (doors, chests etc).

Not saying this bare-bones approach is wrong; I have plenty of other fantasy rpgs to cover all bases; just that I'd like to know if there's more details anywhere that I've missed... For a complete newb it must be completely mystifying what you're supposed to do when your player tells you "I try pick that lock"...

Ideally, you'd want to take at least a rudimentary stab at making the process a bit more involving - and not simply something where failure just stops your adventure cold. Doesn't need to be anything as elaborate as the lock-picking minigame of Skyrim, but still...

And what's with the placement of the Lock-Picking focus under Dexterity?! I thought you would need lots of Cunning to be a master lockpicker...? (Cunning in Dragon Age being much more than the book-smarts of an "Intelligence" stat, after all)
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby MacGrein » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:15 am

Lockpicking is about sensibility on "touch" while managing lock-picking tiny tools. It's mostly Dexterity-based, but thinking about Cunning, it's the same as Perception...
I do this in my table:
Pick a lock with the Lockpick Tool - Test: DES (lockpicking) TN 12/15/18 (simple / good-quality lock / complex lock)
Success: Locked no more.
Failure: Lockpick Tool broken
Critical Failure: Lock Crippled, impossible to try again

With the tool, you need to have it in order do lockpick things. You broke one, you need another tool!
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby shonuff » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:27 am

MacGrein wrote:Success: Locked no more.
Failure: Lockpick Tool broken
Critical Failure: Lock Crippled, impossible to try again


Something like this, but I would add another degree of failure, where nothing happens:
Success: Lock opens
Failure w/ Dragon Die result of 3-6: Nothing happens
Failure w/ Dragon Die result of 2: Tool breaks
Failure w/ Dragon Die result of 1: Lock crippled

Improvised tool would provide a -2 modifier.

What I'm wondering about is how to treat unskilled attempts.
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby Admiral Yacob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:37 am

i have a tough time understanding why lockpicking should be treated any differently from any other skill, and thus need its own explanation. Not trying to criticize, I'm just curious. I have played several other games where the idea of picking locks or disabling traps or picking pockets all fall under a regular skill and thus follow the same rules as a regular skill. The only exception I would make is to provide a bonus if the people have the exact, correct tools (lock picks of a decent quality) or a penalty if they are making use of what they can find and it cannot be attempted without any tools at all. The same applies in my mind for Heal checks.

Assign a TN to the lock based on the quality (Page 18 of the Game Masters Guide Set 1) have the player roll. If they fail, the lock doesn't open and they waste x amount of time. Alternatively you could add potential negative consequences as suggested by Shonuff and MacGrein.

Another option for very complex locks or something with multiple mechanisms that could reset (not an average lock but extremely high quality and large scale ones), use an Advanced Test with each test taking x amount of time and after y amount of attempts the lock has completely reset itself. Again, feel free to add negative consequences if you are interested.
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby MacGrein » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:55 am

I prefer the simple way with it's irreversible failures, cause my players ALWAYS manage to open a chest.
Firstly, they try to lockpick. Then another rogue comes and try again. Then the Avvarian warrior crushes the lock. The mage then finishes off with anything destructible...

I'll put a Mimic any day soon... they'll see!

Whatever, I'll use this:
Success ....................... Lockpicked
Failure ........................ Tool broken
Failure w/ any 1 on Dice .... Tool broken and Lock crippled
Failure w/ 1,1,1 on Dice .... Tool broken, Lock crippled and shards fly onto the PC's eye (3d6 Piercing Damage)

Lockpicking is a deadly art...
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby Zapp » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:17 am

Admiral Yacob wrote:i have a tough time understanding why lockpicking should be treated any differently from any other skill, and thus need its own explanation. Not trying to criticize, I'm just curious.


Have you seen the section on traps and poisons in box set 2? It really feels odd to think with such elaborate rules about such things that there should be virtually nothing (except the barest bone in form of a focus) on lockpicking...?

Especially since the game has its roots in a CRPG, where locked crates are bountiful... :wink:
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby MacGrein » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:08 am

Man ...
If there's no official content and rules about something, JUST F*cking DO IT!
Let's make a PDF about Traps, another for Chests and another for Trap Spellbooks!
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby shonuff » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:14 pm

Actually, on second thought, it becomes a bit more complicated. The tools in player's guide are probably far more complicated than just a lockpick. There's no way a lockpick would cost the 10 or 15 SP listed (away from my guide right now, so this whole post is a big IIRC). So maybe instead, an improvised lockpick would be at a -2, only a lockpick would be no bonus, and the toolset in the players' guide would give a +2.

Then, if there were a critical failure, I wouldn't rule that the entire toolset was destroyed, but only the lockpick, which could probably be replaced for like 5 CP.
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby Loswaith » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:26 pm

Though its quite possible the cost is intentional. To make a lock pick given medievil forging techniques would be reasonably difficuilt to achieve something that is reasonably thin, strong and somewhat flexable.
Add to that the nefarious nature for their use, could all add to the price of them.

Though I suspect the lock picking mechanics are more treated like any other task attempt (as in determined by how the GM wants to handle it), and it is assumed you have the tools to attempt said task.

While for traps it has more rules for crafting and using them as opposed to simply just the detection and disarming of them (though if your going to include rules for traps, you may as well cover detecting or disarming them while you are at it).
Traps also tend to be a bit more complex in that they have effects if they go off. The only real 'effect' a lock has is binary; locked or unlocked.

I usualy make lock picking an extended test, and each test taking about a minute (though it can be rushed, incuring a higher TN, but tests being per round).
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby MacGrein » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:49 am

15sp for a Lockpick Toolkit is far, if not too cheap... My rogues just love to sneak tru things and throw a party of unlocked chests together silver anc cooper pieces!
This will give 'em something to think about...

I use too a Trap-Disarming Toolkit at 30sp, which works the same way the lockpick
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby shonuff » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:24 am

Loswaith wrote:Though its quite possible the cost is intentional. To make a lock pick given medievil forging techniques would be reasonably difficuilt to achieve something that is reasonably thin, strong and somewhat flexable.
Add to that the nefarious nature for their use, could all add to the price of them.


I don't know. DA seems to me to be set in an equivalent period to the 14th/15th century, as there is heavy plate and cannons. The nefarious nature could explain some of the price hike, but IMO, there is also enough of a legitimate need that it could be explained.

MacGrein wrote:15sp for a Lockpick Toolkit is far, if not too cheap... My rogues just love to sneak tru things and throw a party of unlocked chests together silver anc cooper pieces!
This will give 'em something to think about...

I use too a Trap-Disarming Toolkit at 30sp, which works the same way the lockpick


IMO, it just seems to be that it seems a high price given the economy of the world. I think a regular set of lock picks would be under 5SP, not the price of a set of leather armor. If it were a set of everything a locksmith would need... then yeah, I could see it being somewhat pricey, but I don't see a locksmith's set being offered as adventurer fare.
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Re: Lockpicking in (Dragon) AGE

Postby Etarnon » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:35 pm

Seems to me not a lot are sold so charge more.
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