Street Smarts (book)
(Tips on Crime Prevention) Provided by the The Elanthian Lorethew Mentorship Society
Life in a big or small city these days is not free from crime. Wary citizens can use the techniques described here to safeguard their lives, money, and property from criminals or simply bad luck.
There are are a number of quick ways to lose the coins in your pocket. That money is money you are going to need, and is fairly difficult to replace at first. So you want to safeguard it.
1. Dying ......................................... 2 2. Pickpockets ................................... 3 3. Missing Items ................................. 5 4. Items left on the ground ...................... 7 5. Fraud ......................................... 9 6. Con Games .................................... 11 7. Assault ...................................... 16
Deposit any extra coins in the Bank
Death is one of the main causes of lost money.
Once you have joined a guild and purchased your initial supplies or equipment, deposit any remaining coins in the bank. The bank does not charge you for an account, and will keep it safe for you. When you need it again, simply go back to the bank and withdraw the amount you need. You will find the bank in the DIRections you use to get around town.
All the coins on you when you die are lost. Keep this in mind when you are hunting and you begin to accumulate any amount of money which you might miss.
Frankly, keeping all money that you want to actually have in the bank is a good defense against any number of things.
Be on the watch against pickpocketing
You will never know a good pickpocket has hit you until you count your money the next time you need it. And the real truth is that you could have had it stolen anytime, not just where you are then and there.
As mentioned above, keep your extra money in the bank. Bank often. And do not tarry outside the Bank, it is a known hangout for pickpockets of varying skills.
Perception will help you notice pickpockets. WATCH someone you think may be a pickpocket, it can also help. But if there is no money in your pocket, there is really nothing to worry about when someone reaches in and grabs only a handful of lint.
Be wary even while hunting, it is not just in town that your pockets can be picked. When you do accumulate enough money that you would hate to lose, walk on back to the bank and deposit it.
If you are guarding someone, you will not only guard them against attacks, but also pickpockets -- if you are observant and skilled enough to catch the thief. If you must transport large amounts of money from time to time, you could consider hiring a well qualified guard.
If you catch someone pickpocketing you and you are in town, you can go to the Guard house and accuse them. This puts them on the wanted list, and the guards will then take care of the matter. But even if the pickpocket is arrested by the guards, you will not get your coins back.
As of this writing, pickpockets can grab your coins, and very skilled ones can grab a gem from inside one of your containers. Keep your gem-holding pouch or sack closed if you are worried about thieves. But they cannot steal other things from your backpack. They can NOT take your sword, armor, mortar, or anything else from your backpack/sack. If you find that you are missing some item, chances are that you misplaced it by putting it away in something on the ground. This is preventable, and just a small bit of planning and getting into a good habit will keep your things in your possession.
Which leads to the next chapter . . .
Don't End Up With Missing Items
Sometimes by chance, other times with someone's sly premeditation (they return to in a bit to collect them), backpacks, sacks, pouches and other containers will be discarded on the ground.
For instance, if you move to put something away into the backpack on your back while one is on the ground, without specifying your own, the item will be placed into the one on the ground.
There are several handy ways to ALWAYS get things in the right place.
First, specify MY BACKPACK, MY SACK, MY POUCH, MY SHEATH, or whatever container it is when you put something away. Just get in the habit and do it with everything, always.
Second, you can STOW things. Simply designate the container you want to be used for STOWing, and then all you need to do is STOW MORTAR, instead of PUT MORTAR IN MY BACKPACK.
Weapons can also be SHEATHed in suitable sheaths and scabbards to quickly put them in the container they belong in. And DRAWn out when you want to weild them.
Prevention is worth a good deal of money in this case. And remember, that member of the Guild of Thieves next to you when you discover your blade is missing, or your mortar is gone, or that your instrument is nowhere within your reach -- that person next to you did not, and could not, take it. You very likely did not STOW it or remember to specify your own backpack or container.
Don't drop anything.
True, for a few seconds something you drop on the ground cannot be picked up by anyone else. But you never know when some freak storm might come and snatch you, or just delay your ability to pick it back up.
If you MUST drop something, do so, and then GUARD it quickly. This prevents someone from walking in and taking it.
Guard is NOT perfect, though. Once someone gets at melee with you the item can be grabbed. Other tactics can also circumvent your guard. And someone CAN get to melee at you from hiding, and you will never know it until they take the item on the ground.
Handing it to a trusted friend is still the safest thing to do.
Don't leave hunting treasure on the ground, either.
Anything that you leave on the ground and walk away from will very likely quickly disappear, either to a wind whisking it away, or to someone who happens by and takes a fancy to it. This includes your things which get left behind after you die and depart. For Novices who are still first circle, the first few deaths will not part the Novice from her equipment. But soon enough, it will, and you will die and depart, and everything on you will be on the ground where you departed. And you will be in your birthday suit in the Temple.
Avoid Fraudulent Exchanges
Remember the old Halfling saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"?
You might come across someone who wants to sell you something with JUST the qualities you are looking for, at a good price. Stop first, though, and go through these steps.
- A. Always examine the item. LOOK at it first, then APPRAISE it. You want to be able to eyeball your purchase, as well as look at it closely enough to ascertain that it does what the seller claims it does. The person may be hesitant to give you the item to appraise it, since they do not know you. Ask them to drop it on the ground and to guard it. You can then appraise the item without having to possess it. First look at it to ascertain whether it is in good condition or needs repairs. Then appraise it. The appraisal will tell you more or less what the item is worth, but more importantly, you will be able to see the qualities of the item, like the sharpness of a blade, or the amount of protection for a piece of armor.
- B. Make your purchase in an area where you cannot be pickpocketed. The bank window is a favorite place to suggest that you move to once the terms of the bargain have been agreed on. After all, you do not keep any extra money on you anyway, smart consumer that you are, and you need to withdraw it.
- C. Never give someone the coins or the item first. Never. I do not care what their story is why they must have it first. Just do not do it. If they tell you they have a debt and cannot barter the sale, inform them that they should be able to.
- D. Use BARTER to make the exchange. If you BARTER for the purchase of an item, or the exchange of items, the transfer of the money and item is made simultaneously. This prevents someone from taking your money and not giving you the item, or taking your item and not giving you the money.
Don't Be Fooled by a Con Game
Not all fraud happens in the sale or exchange of goods, however. There are just a few simple things to remember to prevent you from losing something:
- A. Never give an item to someone to appraise. If they want to appraise something, drop it on the ground, guard it, and invite them to appraise it from there. Remember, you do not have to hold something in your hands to appraise it. HOWEVER, there is a large caveat that goes with this, since a particular con game is being run specifically to get around guarded items that are placed on the ground. Read on, my friend.
- B. Do not count on GUARD to protect your investment on the ground. Let me describe the setup of a very effective scam that has left more than one person without one of their posessions.
Someone approaches you and asks to see that weapon or other valuable that you are using or wearing. You decline, and explain you do not give your things away. They smile and offer up the solution that will safeguard your item. You drop it and guard it. After all, they can still appraise it on the ground, and it will be safe that way. If you do this, they appraise it. You pick it back up, feeling pretty secure that there was no harm involved after all. BUT just as you pick it up, someone else walks in, notices it and asks about it. They might casually say something to the first person that seems they know one another, or are friends or something. And so you drop it again, and guard it so they can look at it closely. But now ... while you wait for the person to appraise the item on the ground, suddenly the first person has sneaked up out of hiding and grabs it and runs off with it. It is not protected by the usual time allotted when you drop something because of an anomaly of some sort that only comes into play when it is dropped the second time, in a row. It is not protected by the guarding, since the person has hidden and crept up to melee to get around your guard. My advise truly is to stop dropping things for anyone who asks. Tell them where they can purchase it, or relate to them the description of the item and how you feel it works. Do not drop it if you hope to keep it.
- C. Never give your possessions to someone you do not know to "watch" for you.
- D. Depart with friends, not strangers. They call them graverobbers, the people who offer to "watch" your things for you when you die and depart back to the temple, but instead take them and run. If there is a paladin in your party of sufficient ranking, (it takes 5 promotions, I think) ask them for a glyph of warding on you right before you depart. It will keep your things safe. But hurry back from the temple, these wards do not last very long! Depart in a quiet, out of the way place, with someone you can trust.
- E. The cities of the Realms have their own guards for dealing with crime. Fines for unlawful acts will be administered by the guards, not by individuals.
- F. REAL Mentors are easy to identify. Mentors are citizens of the Realms, just like you, who volunteer to help newcomers. Every Mentor can be identified by a special armband, and they are able to put on their title, "Mentor" that is visible when you look at them. Mentors do not go around yelling "If you are new, I'll help you!" Mentors can send around special messengers, however, that will notify people in town where one is to help answer questions. The Jadewater Mansion is the headquarters for the Mentorship Society.
- G. Remember: Never give an item to someone you do not know and never drop something you want to keep.
What To Do in Case of an Assault
While most people will not ever harm you, in case you do come across a situation where someone assaults you, keep your head. The best thing to do is walk away from it, and let the Guardian Mages know about the despicable actions of the assailant(s). [Think of the REPORT command as the 911 of the Realms -- it goes right to the GMs, and should only be used for emergencies. Even then, you best explain in detail what the difficulty is. "Help" is not details. "I cannot get away from this person (and you better name the person) who is attacking/assaulting me without any reason, and I told him I did not want to" is detail.]
If you are being dragged, stand up, and just walk away in another direction, and keep going, very quickly. Remember also you can simply LEAVE a group that is taking you anywhere you do not want to go.
If you are being attacked and cannot retreat, tell them to stop. If they do not stop, and you have made it clear they act without your consent, then it is time to call in a Guardian Mage.
If you exchange insults, blows, or taunts with the other person, antangonizing the situation, do not expect the Guardian Mages to look upon that as unprovoked circumstances.
Explicit and obscene speech and behaviors are just as offensive as a physical attack, and should also be handled quickly.
Violence of any sort against other citizens of the Realms does not belong here.