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Prestidigitation

Use: Unskilled Use penalized.

Sample specializations:

Stage magic, card tricks, pick pocketing, concealing items

This is the ability to manipulate small items with slight-of-hand without attracting any attention, frequently through the use of misdirection to distract the target. Pickpockets and stage magicians commonly have high skill values in prestidigitation. Prestidigitation uses the target’s Perception for the difficulty number, or the target’s find skill if she is on the alert. Situational modifiers should be applied by the gamemaster as appropriate, some examples are provided in the following chart:

PRESTIDIGITATION CHART

Situation Modifier

Watchful target ready to catch the prestidigitator +4

Suspicious target +2

Confused or distracted target -3

Oblivious target (such as someone who’s asleep) -5

Difficult act (picking a zipped pocket, concealing a large or bulky object) +1 to +5

Easy act (palming a small object, sliding a hand into one’s own pocket unnoticed) -1 to -5

The success level of the prestidigitation total determines how well the character did. If the prestidigitator earns a minimal or average success, she successfully conceals or gains hold of the item, but is noticed by the target. If she has a good success, the item has been successfully concealed or taken without immediately alerting the target. With a superior or spectacular success, the target will remain unaware for some time about what has happened. All failed prestidigitation attempts automatically alert the target without acquiring the item. Prestidigitation may also be used in place of the trick skill in situations where the trick involves slight-of-hand. For example, a character that is cheating at cards could roll on his prestidigitation skill instead of trick.

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