Per the question, how does the thief open locks, initiated at Rather Gamey, then covered by Telecanter, Zak S, and Roger, I've written a table for locks, and have another idea for a way to make it more like a game.
I've created a "roll all the dice table" for locks, to go along with my "roll all the dice table" for keys.
I really liked the discussion regarding BURP & guessing, but dislike the whole thieves only get one card that once they use is gone forever idea. Rogers comment got me thinking about lock mini-games and what would be fun for a thief, but was something any player could do.
An Example from the table! Rolls were d4:4, d6:4, d8:7, d10:9, d100:80, d12:6, d20:19
You find a Storm Arch Steelpin lock made from Bronze with six Tumbler Pins
Hidden DM Info, The lock has 10 guesses, and the pins are
Roll all the dice!
Describe the lock name!
Determine each tumbler pin's action required to open ("set"). Write this down and keep it hidden. Any player may attempt to disarm the lock. Have the player make his guess for the first tumbler. Let him know the status of the first pin. It's set if the player guessed correctly, it's stiff if the player missed the correction option by one, and it's jammed if they missed the correct option by more than one. The player can retry if the lock is stiff, and can try to guess the next tumbler pin if the current tumbler pin is set.
Thieves: A thief can unjam tumbler pins. A thief can unjam a number of pins in a lock equal to the thief's level. Lockpicks allow the thief one extra unjammed pin. Masterwork lockpicks allow two extra unjammed pins. After this limit is reached, the thief may attempt to unjam pins by rolling his open locks percentage.
Guess limit: After the number of guesses reaches the guess limit (i.e. if the limit is 4, after the fourth guess) all pins in the lock (including any already set) jam. If every pin is then unjammed by a thief, the whole lock resets and the guess limit starts over.
Each guess and each pin that is unjammed takes 1 round.
Once the tumbler pin is jammed, if the thief is out of auto-unjams, and fails his open locks roll to unjam a lock, the lock is Joskeyed and can no longer be opened.
Traps: Roll the D4, D6 and D100. Traps work *just* like locks, except in reverse. Jamming a pin allows you to move onto the next, and setting a pin requires you to 'unset' the pin (which works like unjamming the lock). If you hit the guess limit, the trap is triggered.
Modifying: Certain high level traps and locks will have 8 options, using the BURP actions above, each with a hard and soft technique. If the wrong technique is used on the tumbler pin, the pin jams. (i.e. the pin requires a soft undulate in order to set the pin. A hard rake is tried. Even though rake would normally make the lock stiff, it jams because any hard technique jams the pin.)
You may also make the table circular, this makes Bump and Probe less extreme options. Circular means that probe is next to bump and rake and bump is next to undulate and probe in the listing, meaning each option is jammed by only one other option.
And now the table! Remember, roll the dice only once - read the die multiple times for each table! Read the d8+d10 table, by finding the number shown on the D8 and then finding the number on the d10. The name of the lock is made by reading table Name 1 and Name 2, using data from Name Fill to fill in the second name. They 8 d10 options in name 1 table are arranged by theme, so if you have a specific theme, you can ignore the d8 result and just pick the one you want.
|This is the number of tumblers||This is the guess limit, set to the number of tumblers + this roll.|
|Name 1:d8+d10||Material Constructed From: d6+d8|
|1. (No Entry) |
|Name 2 D20||Name Fill D12|
| ||Read the name fill as either the number on the die (#), the word (W) or the letter (L) |
|Tumbler Type: D100|
Notes: Tumblers and guesses cannot be reduced below 1, and tumblers cannot be increased beyond six.