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How to make Stealing work


Stratics Veteran
One of the problems players complained about in UO was the ability to steal from other players, especially with the "Steal and bank" trick many thieves would use where they would bank an item as soon as they stole it. I think I have come up with a system that would make stealing viable and fair.

First off, thieves would be unable to place recently stolen items in their bank box as the item(s) would be flagged as too "hot" to be moved through legal channels. This prevents the steal and bank exploit many thieves in UO abused.

To prevent players from simply handing off items they have stolen to accomplices, players who receive items flagged as "hot" will be flagged criminal as well for knowingly receiving stolen goods. To prevent players from tricking others into taking stolen goods, items will show up as stolen in a secure trading window.

In order to remove the "hot" status from an item, a player must clear the item through an NPC fence. Fences will only clear items for players who are members of an NPC Theives' Guild. Fences will charge players a fee based on the value of the item to clear it. Once cleared, the item can be freely traded and banked without penalty.

A thief is only flagged a criminal for stealing of their steal attempt fails. If the steal attempt is successful, no one is alerted and the thief remains "innocent".

Stolen items that are dropped on the ground can be picked up without penalty, but are still flagged as stolen and cannot be sold, traded or banked. Players not in the thieves' guild who find stolen items can turn them into city guards for a small amount of coins and positive alignment gains.

A system like this should help to balance out stealing, adding in risk and reward for thieves.