I have some tables available to me from AEG’s Ultimate Toolbox. I’m curious what others are doing to determine the loot results of PCs successfully pick pocketing.
the few players who picked/have henchman that are thief-type have been utterly terrified of using just about any of the skills.
Off the top of my head, I’m inclined to suspect that the NPC loot table in the secrets chapter, divided by the number of NPCs in a group could give you an idea of what an adventuring type might have.
Failing that, in raw gold you could probably get close enough by taking their monthly GP income (aka the GP threshold) and divide by 30 to get a guess of how much cash on hand they might have in a typical day, or maybe even not divide by 30 so the thief doesn’t have to make hundreds of pickpocket rolls to earn a decent amount of money.
My approach to picking pockets has always been that if you pick random peoples’ pockets in the market, you are going to make a pittance. Enough to keep you fed with decent rolls or high level, but not money worth the typical adventuring thief’s time.
Instead, we use pick pocket only when someone has a specific known item that you want to acquire discretely - a map, or a potion, or a ring, or some other small, non-coinage object.
This is my opinion as well; unless you are in a ridiculously opulent area, you’re not going to make any significant money working a crowd. Not from an adventurer’s point of view, anyway.
I would probably use a week’s worth of their monthly lifestyle cost for their cash on hand, assuming the thief targets people who are out for a market day and have not yet made their purchases. Probably a single day’s worth of lifestyle cost if they are just randomly around or have already made their purchases.
However, that’s a guide, not a rule, and it would break down very much at higher lifestyle costs; a prince is not carrying around 20,000 gp if he goes out to the market to view his people. (He’s probably wearing more than that in jewelry and clothing, though.)