Locks and Keys
Every item used as a lock in game will be tagged with an identifying card. This card will also contain a number sequence identifying the particular lock. Each key will also be marked with a number sequence. If you have the key with the exact number match for a lock, you can open it. The number of digits in the number sequence indicates how complex the lock is.
Skeleton keys (generic keys that can open many different locks) have a number similar to other keys. However, the number on a skeleton key will contain one or more special symbols. The symbols are the question mark
"?" and the star "*". A question mark can take the place of any digit for the purpose of matching the nummber on a lock. For example; a skeleton key with the number "123?56" could open a lock numbered "123456" or a lock numbered "123856".
A star can take the place of any number of digits. A skeleton key numbered "123*" would open any lock whose number begins with "123"; such as "123456" or
"12392345398764038496". A skeleton key numbered "12*9" could open any lock whose number begins with "12" and ends with "9", such as "123456789", "129" or "1233333333333339".
There are three things needed to pick a lock: the Lock Picking skill, 2 or more picks, and time. Given enough time, any normal lock can be picked (however, there are magical locks and trick locks that must be opened by other means). The length of the number sequence on the lock determines the amount of time required. To simulate the time it takes to pick the lock you must count off the number of digits in the lock number ten times. For example if the number on the lock is "123456" then you must count to 6 ten times (which should take about a minute).
The time required can be reduced if you have a rating of Journeyman or Master in Lock Picking and/or by having high quality tools. A rating of Journeyman reduces the number of repetitions by two. A rating of Master reduces it by five (so a master can open a lock in half the time it takes an Apprentice). Having exceptionally high quality tools reduces the number of repetitions by 2. On the other hand using improvised tools (like a pair of hairpins) will increase the number of times you need to count by 5.
An apprentice is trying to open a lock with a six-digit number using normal tools: he must count to 6 ten times (about 1-minute/60 seconds).
An apprentice is trying too open the same lock with two pieces of bent wire: he must count to 6 fifteen times (about a minute and a half/90 seconds).
A master wants to open a lock with a 20 digit number (obviously a more sophisticated lock) using his high quality lock pick set: he must count to 20 three times (10 minus 5 for being a master, minus 2 more for high quality tools = 3). This should also take about a minute.