Prior to game version 1.04, it was possible to assign Stealing as an action through certain Combat Tactics configurations which was only viable for a character with Master Stealing. This functionality was removed (without documentation) in the 1.04 patch.
The loot tables for stealing seem to follow Treasure page loot rankings for the most part depending on the rank of target you are stealing from. For example, a poor peasant or servant will be considered critter/weak, while most other NPCs will fall under normal and their name will be highlighted white colored text, while elites/lieutenants will be yellow and bosses will be orange. There are some additions to the loot table, where there is a chance of getting a weapon rune or crystal and the rank of the weapon rune or crystal will correspond with the rank of the target NPC. Also Shale crystals you get from stealing are the most valuable non-unique loot you will receive from stealing. They are more expensive than Gems or Weapon Runes (other profitable stealing loot), but require The Stone Prisoner DLC.
Loot corresponds with rank but otherwise is RNG based and not pre-determined except for select few NPCs such as the Merchant (Lothering) having the Imperium Crossbow. In fact, you may want to save before stealing from an elite, that way you can reload a save if you don't get what you want.
Stealing is a very powerful skill. If you steal from every NPC you can increase your wealth by 300% or more per playthrough, while also greatly increasing your potions and limited crafting materials like Fire Crystals and Spirit Shards.
||The character is quick enough to pilfer small items from others, whether friendly or hostile, so long as they are not too alert.|
||The character has become a subtler thief, making attempts at stealing more likely to succeed.|
||The character is so quick-fingered that victims almost never notice the theft until it's too late.|
||The character is a world-class thief, able to distract and mislead the poor mark, even during combat.|
- Hardy's Belt from Quartermaster in Ostagar. (up to two times - day / night camp visit)
- Imperium Crossbow from The Unscrupulous Merchant.
- Codex entry: The Notes of Arl Foreshadow from an 'easter egg' in Summoning Sciences.
- Thorn of the Dead Gods from Lord Anwer Dace in either Aeducan Thaig or Diamond Quarter.
- Headband from Sanga, madam of The Pearl in Denerim.
- Tiara from Habren in Denerim Market District.
- Champions Shield from Vartag Gavorn (up to three times)
- The Dwarf Commoner automatically starts with one rank in this skill.
- Slim Couldry, who initiates the questline Crime Wave, will only appear after the Warden obtains the Stealing skill or Stealth talent.
- Stealing while stealthed adds the equivalent of 5 Cunning per Stealth rank
- The relevant file is skill_stealing.nss (which can be read/adjusted using the Toolset).
- Most characters can be stolen from only once, but some multiple times, if they either relocate or remain in an area which changes in some way. Examples: Murdock is a valid target in the village square before The Attack at Nightfall and (if he survives) in the chantry afterwards; Ostagar's Quartermaster can be stolen once by day and once by night (and reportedly a third time After the Joining in older game versions).
Known consequences for failed attempts:
- A soldier at Ostagar will complain to Duncan, who then rebukes his recruit.
- In Lothering, the two quests from Elder Miriam and Allison will become unavailable as they will refuse to converse with the Warden.
- Knights of Redcliffe Castle and guards of Orzammar will have their dialogue change to take on a more hostile tone. Redcliffe Knights will state that they know not what to make of the Warden, claiming that they've heard accounts of them being both a hero and a scoundrel. Orzammar Guards will state that Orzammar doesn't tolerate thieves, even from a Grey Warden.
- If he's alive, Ser Perth will claim that while the Warden is a hero to many, to him, they are also a scoundrel.
- The next time dialogue is engaged with Arl Eamon at Redcliffe, he will preempt the usual greetings to explain that he has heard rumors of the Warden's thieving, adding that he'd appreciate it if those rumors were laid to rest. He will then offer the usual round of dialogue options relevant to his part in the story.
- Greagoir will scold the Warden if he witnesses a failed attempt. This will also generate the Narrow Road random encounter with templars and conscripted mages.
- Failing to steal in the Dalish Camp may cause the clan to cease trading and speaking with the party. A rogue group of hunters led by Melora will ambush the party in Wooded Hills, a random encounter often generating while travelling between Denerim and the forest.
- Failing to steal in Denerim will generate a random encounter when traveling on the Denerim city map where a guard and sixteen soldiers recognize the Warden as a thief and attack. After this encounter, there will be another random encounter when traveling on the city map where a guard and nineteen soldiers recognize the Warden as a thief who wiped out the previous patrol and attack.
- Stealing may sometimes yield no items or money, while still displaying the success message. The 1.04 patch fixes this bug.