SLEIGHT OF HAND
“Sleight of Hand” is one of the 18 skills in 5th edition D&D. It is a Dexterity skill. This is because “Sleight of Hand” also known as Prestidigitation or Legerdemain, is the set of techniques used to manipulate objects secretly. The employment of purely manual dexterity without mechanical apparatus may be distinguished as “Sleight of Hand.”
There are eight principles to the study of “Sleight of Hand.” These include:
- Palm – To hold an object in an apparently empty hand.
- Switch – To secretly exchange one object for another.
- Ditch – To secretly dispose of an unneeded object.
- Steal – To secretly obtain a needed object.
- Load – To secretly move an object to where it is needed.
- Simulation – To give the impression that something has happened that has not.
- Misdirection – To lead attention away from a secret move.
- Display – To demonstrate an object that is really another.
In this case, we are focusing on #4 which relates to stealing objects. Occasionally, Playing Characters (PCs) decide that their character wants to steal something from another character. This may be something simple like the situation in a recent episode of Constantine. John Constantine enters a police crime scene and bumps into a police officer. He apologizes, and keeps walking smiling that he’s just stolen the oficer’s identification credentials. That’s a simple action to resolve.
But what happens if the PC is just trying to steal whatever happens to be in someone’s pockets? They cut a purse, lift a pocket, or simply loot a body. Then the Dungeon Master has to come up with something on the fly. That’s what the following charts provide to Dungeon Masters who choose to use them. Enjoy.
When using the Valuable Items table, the Dungeon Master is encouraged to set the worth or value of each item based on the economy of their own campaign setting. However, if all else fails determine the value of the item by rolling 1d6 and multiplying by 100. Meaning if you roll a 6, then the item would be valued at 600 gold.
This chart is designed to provide items that may lead to further adventures and may serve as a hook. At the Dungeon Master’s discretion, these items may lead to another adventure for the characters.
|01–15||A small pouch foreign coins.|
|16–35||A gemstone, cut and polished|
|46–60||A key marked with odd runes|
|61–75||A small ring engraved with ancient glyphs.|
|76–90||A scroll case containing a treasure map.|
A small book containing several names and locations.
These are common items that just about any non-playing character might have in their pockets at any given time of the day or night. The items are not really anything wonderful or valuable, but the chart intends to have the items appear odd or different just for novelty.
|01–03||A small dagger peace-bound in a sheath|
|04–05||A single iron key with a half-moon symbol on the shaft.|
|06–10||A comb made from chicken bone|
|11–15||A holy symbol from a local temple|
|16–20||A laundry ticket for a local merchant|
|21–25||1d4 pieces of chalk shaped to look like animals|
|26–34||A small flute in the shape of a hummingbird|
|35–37||A deck of playing cards spattered with blood|
|38–45||A single bar of soap wrapped in cheesecloth|
|46–55||A glass vial marked “Perfume”|
|56–60||A healing kit wrapped in a bloody cloth|
|61–64||A small knife with a dull edge|
|65–72||A small soft cap rolled in a ball|
|73–80||A pair of spectacles|
|81–85||1d4 darts with wax capped points|
|86–90||A flask with with Elven Wine|
|91–95||A tobacco pipe and bag of Halfling Sweet Leaf|
|96||A vial of ink|
|97–99||A set of lock picking tools|
|100||A small wooden toy|
This chart is intended to award the pick pocket with something a little more interesting and useful. The items here are basically either items that would be considered treasure or minor magical items. Prices (worth) are provided for ease but the Dungeon Master can change this according to the economy of his or her own campaign.
|01–04||A silver Ring of Protection +1|
|05–09||A bloodstone carved into the likeness of a demon face worth 50 gold|
|10–13||A pearl worth 100 gold|
|14–17||A polished jade pendant worth 100 gold|
|18–21||A small black freshwater pearl worth 500 gold|
|22–25||A potion of acid resistance. Prevents the first 10 points of acid damage.|
|26–29||A transparent moonstone gem worth 70 gold|
|30–32||A small container of healing salve. 2d6 uses. Heals 1d8 per use.|
|33–34||Vial of Magic Oil. 1d4 uses. Gives a weapon a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls.|
|35||A glass vial containing Sanctuary potion. (1 use as spell)|
|36–39||A finely wrought small gold bracelet worth 50 gold|
|40||A black velvet mask with numerous citrines worth 105 gold|
|41–45||A red tiger’s eye gem worth 170 gold|
|46–49||A brass mug with jade inlays worth 300 gold|
|50–51||An Elven Silver comb with moonstone worth 150 gold|
|52–54||A small gold statuette encrusted with gemstones worth 155 gold|
|55–57||An Eyepatch with mock eye of sapphire and moonstone worth 140 gold|
|58–60||A moss agate worth 10 gold|
|61–64||A comb shaped like a dragon with red garnet eyes worth 180 gold|
|65||A magnifying glass worth 50 gold|
|66–70||A ring carved of ivory worth 20 gold|
|71–75||A small hourglass worth 25 gold|
|76–80||A silver holy symbol worth 25 gold|
|81–85||A legal deed for a ruined tower on the outside of town|
|86–90||A small chunk of Darkwood worth 100 gold|
|91–95||A fist sized Emerald worth 1000 gold|
|96||A vial of Daylight Oil. 1d6 uses. A drop sheds light as bright as full daylight in a 60-foot radius.|
|97||A small pouch filled with exotic spices worth 40 gold|
|98||A pair of loaded dice made of bone worth 5 gold|
|99||A silver vial containing ambergris worth 15 gold|
|100||A jeweled electrum ring worth 5000 gold|