Lockpicking

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Lockpicking is both the name of a non-combat skill and an associated activity.

As the name implies, Lockpicking is all about finding locks and defeating them in order to access what may be on the other side. The activity encompasses picking both mechanical and electronic locks.

Requirements

Depending on the type of lock that needs to be picked, you will need:


Picking locks

The main purpose for this skill is to defeat locks fitted on various locked containers if one does not possess a compatible key, without resorting to brute force methods. Because containers are very often filled with loot, of a potentially high value, it may be worth investing in this skill.

Two types of locks exist: mechanical locks, which require mechanical lockpicking tools of some kind, and electronic locks, which require dedicated hacking tools. It is also possible to attempt picking a container trap, which counts as a mechanical lock, but will be explained in its own section.

It is important to note that if a lock of any kind has received damage from brute forcing, it will no longer accept keys/keycards and it cannot be lockpicked anymore, due to being bent out of shape, obstructed, or some other form of damage making normal use impossible.

Picking mechanical locks

Caution: This section makes use of Unicode 12.0 symbols and may not display correctly on all browsers or devices.

To pick a mechanical lock, you need a Lockpicking kit and a mechanical lock to defeat. The actual lockpicking process is conceptualized through a minigame, which is a variant of the Mastermind board game, with the GM as codemaker, and the players as codebreakers.

A code is composed of four symbols, each of which can be one of six different types. They can be conceptualized as numbers (123456), letters symbolizing their colors (RGBYOP), or by directly using emoji (πŸ”΄πŸ”΅πŸŸ’πŸŸ‘πŸŸ πŸŸ£).

When a player intends to start picking a mechanical lock, the GM must randomly determine the lock's correct combination in secret by rolling 4d6, and referring to the table below:

Number Letter Emoji Color Discord code
1 R πŸ”΄ Red  :red_circle:
2 G πŸ”΅ Blue  :blue_circle:
3 B 🟒 Green  :green_circle:
4 Y 🟑 Yellow  :yellow_circle:
5 O 🟠 Orange  :orange_circle:
6 P 🟣 Purple  :purple_circle:

For example, if the GM rolls 4d6 and gets 4, 1, 5 and 5, the correct combination is, depending on the method used: 4155, YROO, or πŸŸ‘πŸ”΄πŸŸ πŸŸ .

Once the GM has secretly determined the correct combination, they may invite the player to start making guesses. Each guess costs 1 use of a lockpicking kit. After the player has made a guess, the GM compares it with the correct combination, and may return the following responses:

  • The GM says "Match X/4", where X is the number of symbols with correct color and position. (Match 4/4 suggests a 100% correct guess and therefore an unlock.)
  • The GM says "Mismatch X/4", where X is the number of symbols with correct color but incorrect position. (Mismatch 4/4 suggests that all four colors in the guess are correct, but in the wrong order.)

Example: Paulie attempts lockpicking a mechanical lock on a metallic container, looking to uncover the loot within. The GM secretly determines that the correct combination is πŸŸ‘πŸ”΄πŸŸ πŸŸ  (4155 / YROO). Paulie's first guess is πŸ”΄πŸ”΅πŸŸ‘πŸŸ£ (1246 / RBYP); there are 2 correct colors, but they are both in incorrect positions, so the GM responds "Mismatch 2/4". It is now up to Paulie to use the information returned and keep making guesses, until he can get to the correct combination and finally get to what's inside the container.

Depending on the character's skill level, they may benefit from certain bonuses, intended to make it easier to guess the correct answers. See this section for more details.

Picking electronic locks

To pick an electronic lock, you need a Hacking tool and an electronic lock to defeat. The actual lockpicking process is conceptualized through a minigame, which is a type of word unscrambling minigame.

The GM must first randomly generate 4 words using the &words command in secret, then use a word scrambling tool to scramble the letters in all four words. The scrambled words are now joined together, forming a letter salad, and presented to the player.

The player must use the letters in the word salad to form at least one of the 4 original words. Each guess costs 1 use from the hacking tool. If one of the original four words is correctly guessed, the lock is disengaged.

Step-by-step example:

  • Paulie finds a second metallic container, but this one is fitted with an electronic lock. He lacks the correct keycard, but has a few hacking tools, so he attempts using it to try and get it open.
  • The GM secretly generates four words using &words four times, and gets: sample shops cylinder canyon
  • Using a word scrambling tool, the GM scrambles these four words together, then removes all the spaces, giving the letter salad: ymopcealrspisslhnancdeyon.
  • The letter salad is shown to the player. Paulie must then guess one of the four original words.

Depending on the character's skill level, they may benefit from certain bonuses, intended to make it easier to guess the correct answers. See this section for more details.

Dealing with container traps

Certain containers are fitted with traps, designed to keep potential thieves from messing with the container. They are designed to activate if damage is done to the container frame or to the lock itself, in order to prevent brute forcing, but it is also possible to trigger them while lockpicking.

If a character attempts picking the lock on a trapped container, regardless of the type of lock, they must roll a 2d6 after each incorrect guess; the result must be over a certain value, determined by skill level, in order to avoid triggering the trap.

Successfully picking the lock on a trapped container does not disable the trap, but merely renders it temporarily safe while your character loots its contents.

Fortunately, it is also possible to attempt picking the trap itself, in order to disable it and make it safe to pick the container lock. Trap picking is considered the same as picking a mechanical lock, and therefore requires a lockpicking kit; it is, however, more difficult, requiring the player to guess a sequence of six symbols instead of four. As such, the GM must randomly and secretly determine the correct combination by rolling 6d6. It otherwise works the same way as the regular lockpicking minigame.

Skeleton keys

If your character meets certain skill level requirements, they may also have the ability to craft skeleton keys. See here for the crafting recipes.


Lockpicking skill levels

Skill Points are granted at various rates:

  • Successfully picking a mechanical lock or an electronic lock grants 1 Skill Point.
  • Successfully picking a trap grants 2 Skill Points.
  • Using a skeleton key on a mechanical lock grants 1 Skill Point.
Skill level SP Effects
Unskilled 0 Mechanical locks: No bonuses
Electronic locks: No bonuses
Basic 10 Mechanical locks: One of the correct colors (but not its correct position) is given as a hint.
Electronic locks: The correct first letter of 2 original words is revealed.
Unlocks the ability to make skeleton keys using Recipe #1.
Skilled 25 Mechanical locks: Two of the correct colors (but not position) are given as a hint.
Electronic locks: The correct first letter of all 4 original words is revealed.
Unlocks the ability to make skeleton keys using Recipe #2.
Expert 50 Mechanical locks: The first correct color and position is given away, and another color (but not its correct position) are given as a hint.
Electronic locks: The correct first and last letters of all 4 original words are revealed.
Master 100 Mechanical locks: The first two correct colors and position are given away.
Electronic locks: The correct first and last letters, and the length (amount of letters) of all 4 original words are revealed.