Case Building (sage ability)
Case Building is an amateur-status sage ability in the study of Burglary that provides the character with a unique eye regarding the design and layout not only of singular buildings, but of town and city blocks, street fronts and layout. Thus, the would-be thief may feel a particular property calls out to be entered, with conveniently placed balconies, ledges or rooftops easily accessible by rope and ladder.
While the probable location of kitchen, workshop, bedroom and internal stairwells will be obvious, regardless of the size of the building (treat fortifications and the like as several buildings) the character should want to spend a week observing every detail of the building’s daily schedule. It is possible therefore to learn who lives there, who visits, who delivers, the usual time of departure and arrival, even what room persons are likely to be in at a given time of the day. Likewise, the passing of the sun will reveal the street itself, who is present, the lines of sight, hiding places, how shadows are cast at different times of day, and routes in and out of the neighbourhood.
Further examination is up to the player. They may slip into the building in broad daylight, or determine a way in at night, verifying the interior of the house, locating probable valuables while actually stealing nothing. This depends on the character’s stealth skill and what is actually learned by watching the building’s exterior (information provided by the DM). After spending a week, it should be noted that the character with this skill ought to be able to spend 3-12 rounds inside the building without effort or the need to roll die, provided they do not actually attempt any theft. They must be free of armour, however, and will only be able to move up to 3 hexes per round as they listen for and avoid anyone moving about.
Additionally, the character will have the ability to create a momentary persona that has a chance of encouraging one of the residents (the player’s choice of person and moment in time) to actually show the character the house. In game terms, the character should have a possible persona actually provided for them by the DM, based on who has been seen visiting or delivering to the residence. The player should then make a charisma check, with a +1 bonus per level in favour of success. For example, a 5th level thief with a 12 charisma would effectively roll against a 17 charisma with regards to the check. If successful, the character should be shown the entire house to which the resident would normally have access.
All information thus gathered should tell the player where locks would be located, the placement of furniture, what furniture is locked, who sleeps where, what time they sleep, even how well they sleep, as the character may have taken some time to hang outside the window one evening and listen in. Additional information may be provided by other sage abilities.