Forgive me if this has been asked before...
With the recent discussion of thief skills I took a stab at setting up my own alternative thief skill table and Pick Pockets is somewhat confusing.
What is the thought process behind it going into negatives?
At first I realized that I had always chalked it up to the -1 penalty/level the thief is than the victim... The more I thought about it though, the less I understood. RAW, a first level thief has a 20% chance of success pickpocketing a NM or 1 level/HD target. When you've reached level 12 though, and have it at a -1, then even against a 14th level target, your chance of success is 95%.
I realize that other creatures could have still higher HD, but since level caps at 14, it is unlikely that 14th level thief will ever be better than 95% (as it always fails on a 1).
Of all the thief skills, this one seems most in need of an overhaul to make it more friendly to lower level use while not needing the negatives at the top end.