Break & Enter (sage ability)

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Break & enter is an amateur-status sage ability in the study of Burglary which provides the character with some acumen regarding the destruction of doors and windows so that they might be passed through without creating excessive noise or attention. Glass may be cut, bolts in doors removed, stones and bits of plaster excavated, frames separated from the building itself and even boards and rivets removed from the doors themselves.

The difficulty is not success, but the time it will take. A window may be damaged and cleared out in 5 to 8 rounds, if it's on the ground floor and large enough to squeeze through. Windows on the ground were often only 8 inches square for this reason. Any window larger than 4 sq.ft., even those with struts, on the other hand, does require a dexterity check to succeed in removing silently, as the pressure on the window will often result in the window spontaneously cracking and falling out, once the integrity of the window is challenged. Tools include a small hammer, a diamond “saw” and a square foot of muslin or damask.

Doors take longer. The bolts of a standard door can be dragged out in about 5-20 rounds, the die determining how “stuck” they are. A strong reinforced door may take anywhere from 60 to 90 rounds (10d4+50), to remove the rivets and bands of iron so that its bolts can then be dragged out. A dungeon door, six inches thick and with bolts that are effectively cemented in place without using a sledge hammer, will take three times as long (10d12+150 rounds) to loosen the rivets so that one of the wooden boards making the door can be wedged out so that the door may then be taken apart piece by piece. Tools include two sizes of chisel, three wedges, a small hammer and a pair of iron tongs.

Removing frames, plaster or stone from around doors or windows depends upon the age and upkeep of the building. The building must be at least ten years old and with an owner who has no military, engineering, mining or architecture experience. When frames, etc., can be done, it will usually take about half as long as the time to remove a reinforced door. It is always easiest to draw out the bolt on an ordinary door. The tools are the same as those for doors, though the tongs are used much more often.

To determine how silently the operation can be done, roll against stealth, with a base of 2d4 (full dark), -2 for an exterior urban environment, discounting appearance adjustments and adding character/observer adjustments. If anyone on either side of the door moves within that area, they will hear the character at work.