Picking Locks

Overview

During our game it became clear that there was some confusion around picking locks. We were using Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) checks in order to resolve these. Here are the rules around picking locks and the different scenarios in which it can occur.

The Rules

  • You have thieves’ tools and you are proficient with them: you can roll a Dexterity check and add your proficiency bonus to it.
  • You have thieves’ tools and you have expertise with them: you can roll a Dexterity check and add twice your proficiency bonus to it.
  • You have thieves’ tools and you are not proficient with them: you can roll a Dexterity check and you do not add your proficiency bonus to it.
  • You don’t have thieves’ tools but with the DM’s approval you have improvised some, and you are proficient with thieves’ tools: you can roll a Dexterity check and add your proficiency bonus to it, but you have disadvantage on the roll.
  • You don’t have thieves’ tools but with the DM’s approval you have improvised some, and you have expertise with thieves’ tools: you can roll a Dexterity check and add twice your proficiency bonus to it, but you have disadvantage on the roll.
  • You don’t have thieves’ tools but with the DM’s approval you have improvised some, and you are not proficient with thieves’ tools: you can roll a Dexterity check, but you have disadvantage to the roll.
  • You don’t have thieves’ tools, nor any improvised tools: you have to find another way to open the lock.

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