Friday, March 23, 2012

Failing An Open Locks Roll

I very recently had the opportunity to watch a professional locksmith attempt to open a common door lock with internal workings that had been worn over time and daily use. I learned something interesting. Even the professionals can run into obstacles that prevent their basic tools from doing the job.

This fellow had a basic set of picks that could easily be carried in a pocket, boot, or fold of a cloak.
His attempts were thwarted by the erosion of the tumblers and other parts inside the cylinder. After about 10 minutes of trying the methods available with the tools at hand he resorted to the next best option.

He brought in a heavy duty hand drill and bored into the cylinder until a hammer and screwdriver would let him pop the mechanism free.

So the next time a player complains that their thief character should be able to just walk up to any common lock and easily defeat the challenge, remember, it isn't always as easy as it appears.

Fortunately for the locksmith I was observing, he had a van full of different tools available. It is unlikely an adventuring sort will have a wagon devoted to carrying tools for opening locks. That's what the brutes with heavy armor are for.

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