Slight Of Hand

Key Attibute: Dexterity

Legerdemain is an active skill involving distraction, deception, and dexterity. With it you can trick people in combat, lighten pockets, poison drinks, conceal weapons on your person, and perform other feats of misdirection. Those with advanced skill in legerdemain can throw their voices, make large objects or people seemingly vanish, and even swipe attended objects without the target noticing.

Untrained Ability

Feint in Combat
You can feint in combat, and if successful gain an opening for a potentially more damaging strike. To feint, make a Slight of Hand check opposed by your target’s Sense Motive check, but in this case, the target may add its base attack bonus to the roll along with any other applicable modifiers. If your Slight of Hand check result exceeds this special Sense Motive check result, your target is denied its Dexterity bonus to Defense (if any) for the next melee attack you make against it. This attack must be made on or before your next turn.

Feinting in this way against a nonhumanoid is difficult because it’s harder to read a strange creature’s body language; you take a -4 penalty on your Slight of Hand check. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2) it’s even harder; you take a -8 penalty. Against a nonintelligent creature, it’s impossible.

Feinting in combat does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Rank 1 Ability

Conceal Object
You can actually hide small actions while under scrutiny so that no one is the wiser. In general, you can adjust your work so that it is not noticed by observers' senses of sight or touch. You could hide that you were picking a lock from someone watching you or hide that you had a dagger in an inappropriate place until you felt like pointing the threat out. There are limitations, of course. You can not conceal actions on an object that someone else is holding and paying attention to, so you could not conceal an attempt to steal a sword pointed at you. There are lots of other example uses for this ability, however, and you can find them in the sidebar.

Using this ability increases the length of time the action you are attempting to hide would normally take, as you must wait for proper timing and direct their attention in just the right way. A swift or immediate action would become a standard action, a move or standard action would become a full-round action, a full-round action would become a 1 round action, and any action longer than 1 round would simply double in length. Aside from this increase, however, this ability requires no action of its own; the check is simply made in addition to the action taking place.

The result of this check is added to the base DC for a witness to notice the attempt with a notice check. Your check is modified by the size of the object you are attempting to hide your action on as well as if you attempt to rush the hiding, as indicated in the table above. Your check result has no impact on the success or failure of the action that you are trying to hide, and onlookers can spot both failed attempts and successful ones. Most attempts will be successful, if only because most onlookers will use passive perception and your active check should generally exceed theirs. Repeated attempts are likely to draw suspicion, however, as the delay is more noticeable than the hidden action. Additionally, some extremely perceptive individuals might see through even your best tricks without trying. Care should be exercised with this ability if you don't intend to get caught at it.

Note: Some sensory blocking is just not covered here. You can hide a call for help with a well timed cough, but that's just a timing concern. You can hide a smell with a stronger one, but that's just a matter of being prepared. And while attempting to hide the taste of a poison with a stronger taste might require you to conceal the addition with this skill ability, the actual covering of the taste has little to do with your skill. These sorts of sensory experience concealment are not the sorts of things that require training and experience, and are not covered by this skill as a result.

Base DC: None. Your check result is added to the base Perception DC for someone to notice the action you are attempting to hide. Modify your check result with the above table.

Rank 2 Ability

Pick Pockets
If you are not involved in a fight with a target and they are not actively keeping you at a distance, you can attempt to take an item that they are not wielding from them. This type of disarm attempt is called a pickpocket attempt, and does not provoke an attack of opportunity when you attempt it. You do not make opposed rolls against the target for the item. Instead you make a touch attack against your target, who is likely considered flatfooted. The item adds a size bonus to this Defense, however, as you're aiming for a rather small target. In most cases you can just call this size bonus a +4 and not worry about it (which sets the Touch Defense to 14 if you really don't want to worry about it). You do still get the +4 bonus to the roll if the object is poorly secured or easy to cut free. If you succeed on the disarm attempt, you have successfully cut the object free from its previous possessor, and taken it into your hand (or dropped it if you prefer).

You may only use your unarmed hands, a small knife, or a similar sized blade to assist you as other blades are too large to be effectively hidden. You can still disarm items from a person with other weapons, but their more obvious nature means you probably start a fight by doing so and should be using the regular grabbing an item rules.

The success or failure of the disarm attempt doesn’t impact whether the target notices the attempt, however, and it’s very possible for them to catch you in the act. To avoid this unpleasant circumstance, you may make a Slight of Hand check, opposed by their [[[Perception]] check, to hide your attempt. If your attempt is successfully hidden, the target remains unaware of the attempt. This would allow you to rob them further if you wanted. If your attempt to hide the pickpocketing fails, your attempt provokes an attack of opportunity from the target. This means that they're trying to keep you at a distance, and you will be unable to pickpocket them further. The regular disarm and combat rules pick up here nicely.

Rank 4 Ability

Improved Feint
A little sleight of hand goes a long way on the battlefield. Your practice has made your feints faster and harder to predict. If you are using the SRD feinting rules, you can feint as a move-equivalent action and need not strike the target this round. If you wait until next round to attack the target, you may not move more than 5’ before making the attack and they are only flat-footed against your next attack even if you take a full attack action.

Rank 6 Ability

Plant Evidence
Instead of concealing that you’re taking something from another person, you can hide that you’re planting incriminating evidence on them instead. You can attempt to conceal an object on an unwilling, non-helpless, and unaware target. Planting something on a person is resolved as a pickpocket attempt, and follows that procedure. This otherwise functions as a use of conceal action.

Rank 7 Ability

You can throw your voice so that it appears to come from someone or somewhere other than yourself. This ability has limits, your voice can not come out of thin air with this ability; you must pick an object to act as a source. This is a standard action, and you must succeed on a Legerdemain check with a DC of 10 + the distance (in feet) from you to the object you wish your voice to come from. If you remain stationary and do not change targets, you do not need to make any further checks. If you move or wish to send your voice from a different place, you must make a new check.

A successful check does not mean that no one can trace you back to the source. A successful perception check against your check result +5 allows a listener to hear through your trick and locate the source of your voice.

Base DC: 10 + distance to object
Success: Sets the DC, your result +5, to hear through your ruse.

Rank 8 Ability

Disappearing Pig Trick
You suffer penalties for attempting to conceal items or actions on items as if they were 1 size category smaller than they actually are. This can be useful for quickly shifting a friend out of sight of the guards or looting greatswords from barbarian chieftains, among other things. Hiding objects this large after the move may prove problematic, but as long as you can move them out of sight or just convince people that you’re not doing it there shouldn’t be any issues.

Possibly more useful, however, is that you can also conceal actions taken on objects that are being wielded and actively paid attention to by someone else. You can swap someone’s short sword with a rubber chicken mid-fight or exchange their potion of cure serious wounds with a nasty poison, if you want. You suffer a -5 penalty to your check when attempting to work on these objects, but your check result does not impact the success or failure of your action. Such an attempt would be resolved as either a disarm or a pickpocketing attempt, depending on the current hostility level. This otherwise follows all the rules of conceal action.

Rank 10 Ability

Faster Than the False Eye
Tremorsense, blindsense, blindsight, and scent are strong enough as to be almost cheating. Luckily, you can cheat right back. Your concealed actions and objects show poorly against these senses, at least for a time. Against all of these senses, your concealed actions show poorly. Concealed objects that are touching you also show poorly against these senses. When a concealed object is no longer touching you, because it was shifted or dropped, it continues to show poorly for 5 rounds.

Rank 12 Ability

I Can Work With That
There aren't a lot of things that you find difficult to work with. You suffer penalties for attempting to conceal items or actions on items as if they were 2 size categories smaller than they actually are. You no longer suffer a penalty when you attempt to conceal an action on an object that is being wielded and actively watched.

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