This is a guide to help you get inspiration to start your own criminal adventures.
You'll first want to know what kind of approach you'll take to getting into people's pockets. There are some viable options such as:
So you choose violence to help you get the gold of your targets. There are a few methods you can use for this. Important to remeber with violence is that you'll mostly be threatening, however should the need occur you should actually be able to make up for those threats, so some skill with a weapon is required. Looks are important aswell, you should try to do your best to look as intimidating as you can, noone will give their gold to a scrawny thug who looks like he couldn't even lift a brick.
You could go for the most obvious and perhaps most risky way: the way of the Highwaymen. This basicly means that you wait somewhere, a bush/shadowy corner, along the road. When a potential target (heavily armoured warriors and powerful mages are risky targets, though generally make for better loot) you leap from your hiding place and quickly take control of the situation, either by disarming the target quickly or by forcing your weapon on it. The tip of a sword/dagger on the neck/throat works well oftenly, but a dangerous looking blunderbuss can work just as well. I doubt I'll have to explain much about how this will end, you take the cash and make sure the victim isn't able to persue you/call the guards. This is a scheme that you can do with a group or alone, remember that more partners means less risk but also less loot for you!
Variations could be that you claim some toll, for a bridge for instance, and not everything your target owns. This would be less risky, as people might fall for the sense of 'legality' but it will likely reward you less aswell.
A slightly different scheme could be the way of the Protector. You'll most likely want a partner for this, just to give the scheme some credability and increase your intimidation factor. Your target is a shop or a trader, but inhabitants of an area can work just aswell. You walk up to your target and let them know that if they don't pay some protection money, they might end up with having their stock/house destroyed. This is pretty much a failsafe scheme, if you have the apropriate 'Fear-Factor'. Guards will be able to do little about donations they give to you, after you paying your weekly/monthly visit.
Wit relies on outsmarting your target. A requirement for using these kinds of schemes is that you actually have some wit, obviously.
A common scheme is the Conman. Here you dress up like a trader or seller of some sort of item. You make sure you entrust your target, a potentially buyer, that your items/goods are of higher quality than they really are or sell them shipment of goods that will never be delivered for instance. There are numerous variations on this scheme, the most important thing is that you convice your target that you are a trustworthy person. Being nice and friendly helps a lot with this.
A not so different con is a con I call the Actor. This scheme is all about the right appearance. You're going to be impersonating someone else and you'll need to look ánd sound the part so take some time on getting the right gear. Once again there are quite a lot of variations for this scheme, mostly you'll be using your character as a way to extract money from your victims, for instance impersonating a priest collecting for the poor or a member of the firebrigade fining shopowners for bad firesafety.
Using Chaos for your schemes means you create a situation where in people are completely oblivious to what's going on. While people are wandering around confused or in panic you rob them blind.
The idea of the Anarchist is making a very big public chaos. Your targets are shops, inns, homes anything that harbours something off value. Now how to go about creating chaos. There are numerous ways of creating a good distraction, for one you could start a fire somewhere, set loose some dangerous animals or throw a bomb somewhere. Whilst people are looking what's going on, running for their lives and trying to gain control of the situation you empty cash registers, safes and take granny's silver cutlery.
Skill is Wit's brother and relies more on being physically adept than brains. Instead of talking people into giving your money or threatening them you actaully TAKE it, without them knowing ofcourse. Most of these schemes rely on nimble fingers and agility. Being charismatic comes in handy aswell. Pickpocketing is the most basic way of Skill and should be mastered first.
One way using Skill is the Preformer scam. You introduce yourself to your target as some kind of entertainer, a conjurer of some sort and while you preform some easily mastered tricks (card tricks, retrieving coins from ears etc.) you pick their pockets. This is quite a bold approach, but it's relatively failsafe. People will be looking at your tricks mostly and will not realise they've been robbed untill it's too late.
This scheme is also doable with a crew, here you'll have to divide tasks. One will be the preformer and while doing his tricks the other(s) will pickpocket any bystanders.
Another way of using skill to gain your richess is the method of the Thief. Choose a building to your liking (I suggest you pick a place with some decent loot, a warehouse for instance) and you break in. The trick is however to remain hidden from sight most of the time. People will most likely call the guards on you if they see you breaking into a house, so being invisable is important. Waiting till nightfall is usually a good idea. Furthermore you'd have to be pretty adept at sneaking and picking locks. Tip: bring enough sacks and lockpicks.
Crew Schemes Edit
Most of these schemes are can be done alone, some are easier with a partner or two, but there are also some scams that require a crew to do succesfully. Bankrobberies can be done by as little as two, however more is usually better when robbing a bank for you'd need a explosives expert (if the vault is locked) a controller or two (who keeps an eye on the staff and the unlucky clients) a lookout (who makes sure there is enough time to escape before the guards arrive) and a driver (who make sure all those bags of gold, silver and copper coins get to to the safehouse).
You might wonder why fleeing deserves a special place in this guide. Well knowing to set up a good scheme doesn't necessarily means that it will go succesfully. In case a scam goes awkry it's a good idea to know what to do.
Some scams ,mostly those based on Wit and Skill, are pretty much failsafe and even if they somehow go wrong you can simply talk yourself out of it. However in most cases you'll be forced to flee or stand and face the guards/targets.
When you've decided jail isn't the best place to spend your life, you should remember that fleeing is an art. Use your knowledge of the area and make sure you never 'backtrack', going back to the crimescene. If you're pursued use your surroundings, throw things in the way of your pursuers and go to places they can't easily follow. (Running down the main street isn't a very good idea). Once you gain some distance on your pursuers you should consider going into hiding. Hiding behind a crate, wall or some vegitation is usually a good idea to loose pursuers. Once they've given up their search for you or lost track of you it's safe to come out of hiding.
Some general pointers to fleeing:
- Use corners to your advantage, don't run in a straight line.
- Sprinting is good for gaining a considerable distance, however don't waste all your energy.
- You should hide ASAP, running through the town might draw the attention off more guards.
- Hinder your pursuers, by throwing stuff in their way, crates, animals, people anything goes.
- Try avoiding running into dead ends