Stealth is used whenever a character wants to do something without being noticed. Shoplifting, picking pockets, moving quietly while staying hidden from sight, peforming sleight-of-hand tricks, and using misdirection to focus someone’s attention anywhere except the thief are all examples of Stealth. To try and be stealthy, a character rolls their Stealth die code and modifies it by Agility.
Whenever someone might notice something sneaky going on, they make a perception check. When a character wants to notice something, they roll their Perception die code and modify it by their wisdom score.
As always, the highest total wins. So, if the thief rolls higher, then he continues on, unnoticed. However, if the observer rolls higher, he catches the thief in the act (and probably calls for the guard). Ties are awarded to the observer, although players may spend a karma point to win the contest, instead.
Example of Stealth
Tenpenny Nails is a local cutpurse who is well known by the city guards and merchants alike. Tenpenny has his eye on a merchant’s safebox in the city square, and has decided that he’s going to try to snatch it right as the market closes for the evening. The DM decides that the noisy environment is counterbalanced by the fact that the merchant is closely paying attention to his safebox, and so determines that there are no modifiers to either roll.
Tenpenny has a stealth roll of 3d6 + 4. The merchant’s perception roll is 3d6 + 3. Tenpenny rolls a 16, and the merchant rolls a 14. Tenpenny carefully scoops up the safebox while the merchant is distracted, and turns to hurry away with his prize…only to run straight into the hands of the local guard who happened to roll a 20. The safebox is returned to the merchant, and Tenpenny will spend the next few days in jail.
The environment plays a big role in the success or failure of stealth attempts. Anything that makes it more difficult to see or hear gives a bonus to stealth, and anything that makes it easier to see or hear gives a bonus to perception.
Very bright light: +4 bonus to perception rolls.
Very dim light: +4 bonus to stealth rolls.
Very quiet environment: +2 bonus to perception rolls.
Very noisy environment: +2 bonus to stealth rolls.
Activity/distractions in the environment: +2 bonus to stealth rolls
Looking directly at the thief: +10 bonus to perception rolls.
Crime and Punishment
The world of Exterminis is a brutal place, and criminals make an already difficult situation much worse. Therefore, punishment for crimes is usually severe, with even minor crimes sometimes being punished with the dealth penalty. In the example above, tenpenny is much more likely to be killed by the guard on the spot (since he is already well-known to the guards). Even if he is just sentenced to jail time, he’s still likely to lose a hand.