Daily Archives: April 12, 2014

Lockpicks, Theives’ Tools, and Keys – Part 2

In Part 2, I present magical picks and keys. The picks, of course, can really only be used by someone with the Pick Locks skills, but the keys can be used by anyone.

Single-use Picks and Keys:

All of these items will either break or lose their magical charge once they’ve been used. This means that they’re relatively cheap and easy to make.

Beginner’s Pick:

This learner’s pick is skillfully designed to be forgiving and easy-to-use. When used on any lock of Good or less quality (see Locksmith), the Pick Locks attempt can be made four times instead of the normal three times. Weather the lock is opened successfully or not, after the four attempts, the pick is blunted and useless.

Catburglar’s Ease:

When this magical key touches a pane of glass no larger than 5’x5′ and of ordinary thickness it causes the pane to vanish for 1 Turn (10 minutes). The pane will reappear when the time has expired, no matter what is inside the frame at the time, so a Thief will have to be careful not to push his luck.

In any case, the key can be used twice before it snaps in two, so if he takes longer than ten minutes inside a location, the key can be used to make his escape.

If the window is larger than 5’x5′, the appropriate sized piece will vanish, but the window will shatter under the stress.

Crusader’s Key:

This thick, ornate key is made of gold-plated bronze and is covered in runes of divine protection and free-movement. When touched to any portcullis or gate, the key’s magic reduces the portcullis or gate’s weight to that of a wooden door for three Turns. This makes it much easier for a single person to lift such a gate. Keep in mind that complex locks or bars might continue to hinder attempts to get through.

Door to Nowhere:

This enchanted key is made of mithril and quicksilver and looks thin enough to snap with your thumb and forefinger, but it is quite strong. Made by fey who were curious of mankind, they allow for a deceptively quick get-away.

When placed in the keyhole of any door and turned, the door will become a portal to a small pocket dimension, much like the space provided by the Rope Trick spell. This pocket dimension holds up to five humanoid creatures and is a riot of bright and ever-shifting colours and light in all directions, but the floor is solid. They can stay in this space for up to one hour before being ejected through the same door in the direction in which they entered.
While the door is closed, only the handle appears to remain on the inside of dimensional space. If the door is opened from the outside, everything appears normally.

Exiting the “Door to Nowhere” requires the original door to be closed before being opened again. If the door is purposefully left open or blocked, the person inside holding the handle knows that to be the case, but not the specific nature of a blockage; one cannot see out of a “Door to Nowhere”. If there’s nothing blocking it, the door can be pulled closed from inside and opened again. If the door cannot be closed or if the door, the door frame, or both are removed, those inside are ejected into the nearest open space from where they entered the “Door to Nowhere” when time runs out. Once the bearer of a “Door to Nowhere” key leaves the pocket dimension, the spell ends: the key turns to dust, anyone left inside it is automatically ejected, the door shuts automatically and returns to its original state.

At the DM’s discretion, doors that are locked, stuck, barred, Arcane Locked, or otherwise prevented from opening, and doors that are very small, very large, or otherwise of a strange shape or composition are ineligible for a “Door to Nowhere “unless those impediments are removed or a different door is selected. In that case, the key simply doesn’t work. At the very least, when a “Door to Nowhere” is exited, the door returns to its original state, whatever that might be. So an Arcane Locked door might be opened by a Door to Nowhere key, but as soon as the spell ends, the door is once again shut and Arcane Locked.

Naturalist’s Key:

This twig that has been grown or magically bent by a Druid into the shape of a key.
The key can be put into the lock of any unlocked wooden door or chest. Doing so will warp the wood, causing it to become quite stuck. Only by destroying the wood can it be opened. The key has become a part of the wood and so cannot be removed, but it can be turned, which unsticks the door or container again. The key can be turned an unlimited times.

Forcefully removing the lock or breaking the key will cause the door or container to become permanently stuck.

If this key is used on an entirely metal door or metal chest, the door or chest is permanently stuck and the key cannot be turned.

Doors and containers that are stuck are difficult to break through. Rolls made to break them down are harder by 1.

Pick of Fortune:

Some thieves believe in luck and others believe they make their own luck. This pick has been passed down through the years by successful thieves until it was enchanted to provide a measure of that luck to whoever possess it.

So long as it is held in one hand, it can improve the chance of success for a single Thief Skill roll (except Hear Noise) by +20%. This can raise the range of success above 100%, guarenteeing success. Using this ability requires little more than a mental command and a will to succeed.

Once used, the pick becomes mundane.

Trickster’s Key:

There were once mass-produced by a Gnome thief and illusionist named Froogal Pendashawl as gifts to colleagues during parties. Most were used to confound guests trying to leave the gnome’s home at the end of night. Contests were held to see how long a party-goer could prevent a guest from leaving.

The key is made of a gold-plated copper and inscribed with a few simple runes.
When placed in a keyhole and turned, the user rolls for a d12 for a single effect:

  1. The door’s handle or doorknob, keyhole, and hinges appear to be on the opposite side (that is, left to right and vise versa).
  2. The door appears to have no handle, doorknob, or keyhole on any side.
  3. The door is invisible until someone tries to move through it or knocks on it.
  4. The door’s handle or doorknob grows a Magic Mouth and speaks a predetermined phrase up to ten words long.
  5. The door’s handle or doorknob appears to grow a mouth full of sharp teeth and tries to bite whoever tried to use it. The mouth as a THAC0 of 18 and does 1 point of illusionary damage (that is, once disbelieved, all damage incurred vanishes).
  6. The door’s handle or doorknob appears to move to a random location on the door just before being grasped.
  7. The door is Arcane Locked and has a Magic Mouth effect. The Mouth will ask the person at the door what the most embarressing thing to happen to him was. No matter what the reply is, the Arcane Lock vanishes, though the Mouth will laugh manically.
  8. When the door’s handle or doorknob is gripped, the victim must Save vs Paralysis to avoid being unable to move (and unable to let go of the door) for 1d4 rounds. His hair will stand on end comically during this period.
  9. When opened, the user is presented with a mirror image of the room behind him and himself dressed as a buffoon or jester. Of course, the mirror isn’t there and can be passed through.
  10. When opened, the user is presented with a very convincing image of being a mile above his present location. Wind, birds, clouds, and so on are very realistic. If the victim wasn’t paying attention, he might walk out before realizing his situation and think he is falling. If he fails a Save vs Spells, he’ll be unconscious for 1 Turn out of fright.
  11. When opened, the user is presented with the image of a long hallway in the same style as the door’s location and a minotaur charging down the hall at him. The image is very convincing; the sound of the minotaur’s hooves, his warcry, and the vibration of the ground beneath the victim’s feet. If the door is left open, of course, the image of the minotaur vanishes once it passes into the doorframe.
  12. The key’s user can choose an effect or come up with one of their own. The DM has the final say on any suggestions. As a general guideline, they should be non-lethal, non-damaging, and simply try to impede the opening of this particular door.

Most of these effects may be seen through or avoided with a successful Save vs Spell, but only once the illusion is interacted with. Once an illusion is seen through, triggered, or successfully bypassed (often by opening the door and walking over the threshold), the key’s effect ends.

Once used and removed from the lock, the key becomes a useless and twisted piece of copper.

Magical Lockpicks and Keys:

These items, being permanent magic items, are much more expensive to make and much rarer to find.

Giant’s Lockpick:

Named as something of a joke, a Giant’s Lockpick is a carved granite key about a foot long; far too large to fit in any conventional lock. One end is round and blunt and covered in deep notches and the other has a handle big enough to put one’s hand into.

Two times per day, when held by the handle, pointed towards a door, and a command word bellowed (usually something simple like, “OPEN!”), the stone key will increase in size and weight (about six feet long and eight hundred pounds) and become, essentially, a battering ram. It will move on its own (so the user should remember to let go) at great speed towards the targetted door and smash into it. It will smash open any door as if it has a Strength of 19.

The Giant’s Lockpick will stay in this form until a second command word is used. In the meantime, it can be picked up and used as a battering ram.

If someone is standing between the Giant’s Lockpick and the door, make an attack roll (THAC0 15) that, if it hits, deals 3d6+4 damage.

Skeleton Key:

This rare key is made by a Master Locksmith from the fingerbone of a Prince of Thieves.
It increases the user’s Pick Lock skill to 99% and will also automatically disable any lock-based mechanical trap if that roll succeeds. A lock-based mechanical trap is one that is triggered when a lock is picked, turned, or unlocked.

Once per day, turning the key in a lock will also act as a Knock spell. This can be used after the lock has already been picked or to guarantee its success.

Spy’s Scope:

This ornate key is made of green jade and features a very realistic eye painted on the handle.

The key has a peculiar Silence effect that surrounds it at a radius of about four inches. This means it can be placed in a lock completely silently.

Twice per day, when turned inside a lock, the bearer may choose to replicate the effect of a Clairvoyance spell with the ‘eye’ of the spell being the keyhole on the opposite side of the door. The ‘eye’ is invisible, has natural Darkvision, and can be mentally turned in any direction, but cannot otherwise move from that spot. Sound, however, is not trasmitted, but a character might be able to employ his Hear Noise ability at the same time.