Tuesday 14 July 2015

Lockpicking as a skill check is dull as fuck.

The title sufficiently illustrates my thoughts on the subject - So here's my work around:

Rather than resorting to a simplistic test of abilities for picking a lock, an alternative is to play a small dice game to determine success, Assuming the character has the correct tools and time - do the following :

  • Roll 5d6, one at a time. A player may re-roll each of these die once as they roll them (apart from 1’s). They are then 'held' in place.
  • Each die represents a tumbler in the lock, rolling a 1 indicates the tumbler has 'frozen'.
  • Once all die have been rolled and are 'held', a player me re-roll 3 die of his choice, 1’s cannot be re-rolled.
  • Total the 5 dice (ignoring 6’s) the score is compared to the locks difficulty number
  • 6's indicate a 'loose tumbler' therefore not contributing to the unlocking of the mechanism.

A simple lock would have a difficulty number of 6, a sturdy lock would be 10, a reinforced castle lock 15, and technology beyond our understanding is 20. 25 is a god-lock.

Disclaimer : I understand that these rules more than likely do not follow the physics of actual lockpicking, but that is weighed against me-not-giving-a-shit and wanting a fun little dice game to replace a boring skill check and inject some drama/excitement at the table. So there.



  1. Why do the players have character sheets if their stats don't matter?

  2. This is an amazing idea...I'm a little late to the party. So now the question is how do we makes stats matter? How do we give the thief and advantage? Roll with advantage?