Thieving

By: Simple013
Special Thanks to: AChaudry, ambo100, Common Sense, Cxkslei, Eman, Kuittaa, N1k, Neo Avatars, Patou, Pudd In, Queen Skilla, Thomas154321, Yuanrang
Original Guide by: folodabusido

Many of those entering the wondrous world of RuneScape members will be confronted with an extra option when right-clicking an NPC and wonder what this "pick-pocket man" is all about. To put it very simply: It is one of those "member only" skills those in F2p loath and those in P2p cherish. Thieving: Another skill to try your hand at, and one that can be most profitable if trained correctly and with vigor.

Within this guide we will look at several aspects of this skill, starting with what is for most the all important thing: How to level fast in order to get to level 53 to start Desert Treasure or even more than that to get safely past the traps during Underground Pass.

But there are more aspects to the skill than meets the eye. Thieving can be helpful in a number of other skills, like Magic, Farming and even Crafting. Then there is this Mini Game called Pyramid Plunder, where you can hone your Thieving skills to perfection.


Starting Out

In the early stages of your thieving career there are a few things you need to know before even attempting to start it:

  • Thieving is hard on your nerves
  • Thieving can be annoying
  • Thieving has a number of specific Random Events connected with it
  • Thieving needs food, and lots of it

To start with the first two points: Thieving is hard on your nerves and, because of failure, annoying. Invariably you will fail in your attempts to clean out the pockets of the lowliest Man. And they will retaliate by stunning you, causing you to lose Life Points and at the same time prevent you from stealing the man's wallet immediately after: The 'you are stunned' remark in your chat screen is something you will come to loath.

The Random Events you can expect are most of those common to the game with an added 2 extras: the Pillory when thieving from NPCs and stalls, and a Poison Gas Cloud when thieving chests.

Food, next to patience, is probably the second most important thing in your career of successful thief. You will go through inordinate amounts of it, but luckily you can even get that free of charge as one of your later targets will be the Bakers Stall in the fair city of East Ardougne, the Capital of Thieves.

Why Capital of Thieves? Plain and simple: You can stay here for close to your entire journey to that elusive Skill Cape.

Equipment & Things

Where you to ask what equipment to use when thieving there are a few possible answers, all depending on the target of your effort:

If NPCs are your target there are a few things you would need: First and foremost, food. Secondly it would be wise to wield a bow, any bow will do. But, DO NOT wield arrows. That way you will never attack the target by accident. Most of the times you would need to right-click then choose the option: "Pickpocket *NPC*". As this option is right below the attack option, wielding nothing or any other weapon, and clicking the wrong option would result in you killing your target: Not the thing you wanted.

No ammo!

The clothes you wear really do not make a difference so it is up to you and your sense of fashion. As an example of what it could be:

Equip our character...Inventory

When thieving from a chest you would need a few things in your inventory: Anti-poison potion, to prevent you getting hurt by the Poison Gas Cloud. And you would need a Lock pick most of the times to gain entrance to the buildings the chests are hidden in. Depending on what chest you thieve you should have empty slots in your inventory to store the items you steal. If those are stackable, like Nature Runes or Arrow heads, one will do. If you try to thieve chests where the items are not stackable you would need as many spaces as the number of items you will get. One example of the last one is the chest on the second floor of East Ardougne Castle, amongst the Paladins. This will give you 1 raw shark, 1 adamantite ore, 1 uncut sapphire and 1000 gp: 4 inventory spots. What you wear doesn't really matter, just make sure you're not surprised by the normal random events.

Suggested inventory when thieving chests:

Inventory

The only place where you would really need armour when thieving is when you try to thieve Stalls. When the guards catch you stealing they will attack you and thus decent melee Defence is a must. It shouldn't be a big problem though. You will have a Bakers stall to thieve from should you get low on health. There is one small problem with thieving from a Stall: You will need as many free inventory spots as possible, as you will always steal items that are non-stackable (with exception to seeds of the same type, and Runes of the same type). An example of what your outfit should be like:

Equip your character...

The Road to Perfection

Levels 1-5

Starting out your choices of targets are limited, and Men and Women are really your only option. As they bring 8 exp per successful attempt you will not need to limit yourself for a very long time: You only need 49 hits to reach level 5 and that will not take more than 15 minutes.

The obvious places for these targets: Lumbridge, Varrock, Ardougne, basically every town where inhabitants roam free. Be sure to right-click the NPC and choose the "pick-pocket man" option.

Pickpocketing a man

Levels 5-20

You now have a few possible options and it is time to look at what limits your speed of leveling up. First and foremost it is the re-spawn time of the items you steal. Once you have made a successful attempt a stall will be empty for a period of time that varies, depending on a number of things. One of them is the number of people playing on a particular server, the other is how many people are thieving from the same stall.

One more thing you should keep in mind is this: On a busy server there normally are a lot of people around killing the very guards who are supposed to catch you stealing.

At level 6 there are a number of stalls you can try your luck on but only 2 of those are good for leveling: The Cake stalls and the Tea stall. Of the 3 Cake stalls available (2 in Ardougne and 1 in Keldagrim) only the 2 in Ardougne are good for leveling: Re-spawn time is, on average, on a fairly busy server, 2.5 seconds. You need to position yourself in such a way, the baker and the guards have a limited view of you. The 2 pictures below show you where, but the eastern stall offers the highest success rate.

Eastern Baker Stall:

The eastern baker stall

Western Baker Stall:

The western baker stall

The Tea stall in Varrock is a similar option with regards to spawn time. However, less people train their thieving there and you will get caught more. Ardougne is the best option available.

All other stalls with the same xp-gain per successful attempt are NOT an option: Spawn times are simply too long to gather a decent amount of exp per hour played. You will need to thieve either of these stalls 256 times to gain the necessary experience until level 20. One thing you need to keep in mind when thieving from stalls: You will need to make frequent bank trips, or drop what you steal. When thieving from Bakers stalls the advice is to bank: You will need the food later on in your career.

Levels 20-38

In a way the Baker Stall still is the best option yet an alternative now is available: The Silk Stalls. Per successful attempt it will give you 24 experience points. The spawn time is 4-5 seconds, again on an average busy server. This means the average exp gain in one hour played is comparable with the baker stall (16xp but a faster spawn time), so it is up to you to decide what to steal from.

Best spot for the south-east Silk Stall:

Silk stall

Best spot for the north Silk Stall:

Silk stall

Once you reach level 21 another option is available, and one that is the fastest way to level 99: The Activity Pyramid Plunder. If you truly are looking for the fastest way to level, skip everything in the next sections and fast-forward to the Pyramid Plunder section.

Levels 38-55

Time to practice pick-pocketing again: The Master Farmer is the best target from now on. Four of them wander the RuneScape realm and all conveniently very close to a bank. And you will need that proximity to one!

The biggest drawback of pick-pocketing a Master Farmer is the loot: Seeds, and lots of them. The sheer number of different Seeds available will make your inventory fill up very quickly. You can drop them or, better and faster, bank them. The big advantage of this target: You can left-click them.

Two out of the three available Master Farmers are good to raise your skill: The one wandering Draynor Market Square and one close to the Farming shop north of Ardougne. Martin the Master Farmer is not an option as you would need to right-click him to steal from him.

Master Farmer Ardougne:

The ardougne master farmer

Master Farmer Draynor:

Draynor village master farmer

Levels 55-99

Knights, Knights, Knights and even more Knights are now your only option (aside from the fore-mentioned Pyramid Plunder). So, how to deal with it? Your first task is to find a server with the lowest number of people playing. The second thing to do is to get one Knight trapped inside a building, preferably one with stairs. Ardougne has two buildings eminently suited for this purpose: The house north of the northern Silk Stall and the one west of the western Baker Stall.

A map of ardougne's knight locations

Luring a Knight into a house is fairly easy. Un-wield your bow, attack a Knight and have him follow you into a house. When he is inside quickly close the door, then climb the stairs, come back down again and wield your bow.

An ardougne knight

Should you have a Knight trapped inside a house without stairs you need to either log off/log on, or run outside beyond the Knights patrolling area.

Pickpocketting an ardougne knight

To reach level 99 you need to pickpocket a staggering 152,643 of them. If you wonder if you will ever make that: At level 93 you can pickpocket 1500 knights per hour. To make it a bit more bearable: This will bring you 7,632,150 gp in the process. A few tricks to make it a bit easier.

  • If you have a drawing tablet connected to your computer, use it. Change the setting of the pen so the pushing is set to left-click. Then change the in-game setting to 'one button mouse', then start clicking away. It is a lot less straining on your arm muscles.
  • The same thing holds true for playing with a mouse set to 'one button'.
  • Play with sound on, that way you can use the popping sound to generate a steady rhythm.
  • Play in an 'empty' world to avoid people from killing your target.
  • Don't forget to wield a bow without arrows equipped.
  • Keep 'run' turned on at all times

Cape of Achievement

Once you reach that elusive level 99 Members are eligible to wear the Cape of Achievement. This Cape complete with its Hood can be bought for 99,000 gp at Rogues Den from Martin Thwait. The cape gives a boost to all defensive stats of +9. Furthermore it has an "operate option" that will temporarily raise your thieving level to 100.

Equip your character (with a cape of achievement)Wearing a cape of achievement

One other thing: The cape has a unique emote that comes with it.

Thieving cape emote

When you have two or more skills at level 99, your cape will automatically be trimmed and give a +4 bonus to prayer.

Specific Random Events

As mentioned in the introduction there are two specific Random Events connected with thieving. One 'nice', one 'not so nice'. The first one, and one that can give a decent reward, is mostly encountered when pickpocketing, The Pillory. You will be teleported to a Cage, and locked-up until you find the right combination to escape again. This is what it looks like:

Locked in... a pillory?!

On the left hand side is a rotating lock that shows the shape of the key you need to choose. Should you choose the wrong key one more will be added, up to a maximum of five. If you choose the wrong key after that you will need to wait 15 seconds before you can try again. While in there you will be bombarded by NPC and, possibly, by fellow players, with rotten tomatoes. After you have made your escape you will be rewarded, this can be anything from a small amount of money, up to a half of a key.

The second random event is the one that has caught the unaware before and could be your downfall: a Poison Gas Cloud. When thieving chests you run the risk of encountering this one: You open the chest and instead of the expected loot a gas cloud escapes, poisoning you and all players in the vicinity. This poison hits just 3 but the frequency is high: Stay to make a screen-shot and you are out of 50 hp in a flash. Drink your anti-poison potion and step away from the chest until it stops.

Yikes, a poison gas cloud!

Thieving and Magic

Within the game there are a few places where you can thieve Runes. A few of them might come in handy for those with a low Runecrafting level or for those not willing to spend a large amount of money on runes.

One in particular isn't worth the trouble: Marim Magic Stall. Stay there for 20 minutes in a very busy world (2) and this is what you will get:

Marim Magic Stall
ItemTime (minutes)Experience
Fire Rune 8 -
Air Rune 5 -
Earth Rune 13 -
Total 20 2,600

Not really a good option for less than 8k thieving experience. The only good thing about it is a safe spot just south of the table: You won't get caught there. Spawn time of this stall is just under one minute on a busy server.

Ape Atoll mage stall

Chaos runes can be pickpocketed from Paladins and this could be an option both for experience and magic: Up to 450-500 Paladins per hour are a possibility at high thieving levels resulting in 900-1000 chaos runes and between 68 and 76k thieving exp and on top of that 46k-40k gp. Money wise this is the best option were you to sell the runes. Some people also choose to sell the chaos runes for TokKul in TzHaar.

Like Knights of Ardougne, Paladins can be trapped inside a house or you can try your hand at those in King Lathas' Castle.

Look at all these trapped paladins!

For most the next option is a pretty good one: The Nature Chests in East Ardougne. Two of them are available for the avid thief but the reward in experience is negligible: Only 8 exp per successful attempt. But the reward may make it well worth your while: 1 Nature rune and 3 gp per attempt. The spawn time on a busy server is 15 seconds and it could bring as much as 240 Natures per hour played. The big drawback: Less than 2k thieving exp per hour.

Both chests are on the second floor, just in different houses: One on the east side of the market. Pick the lock on the southern door to gain access to the house and climb the stairs.

Stealing from a chest

The other location is on the second floor of the first house north of the church. Again you need to pick-lock the door and if you fail it can hit you for 70 Life Points (or less, depending on your current Life Points), be sure to bring some food.

Stealing from a chest

Thieving Blood runes is another possibility. North of Ardougne on the western bank is a tower where a number of Chaos Druids live. The cellar is occupied by Giant Bats and a number of Ogres. In the midst of these Ogres are two chests for you to thieve. They give 2 Blood runes and 500 gp per successful attempt. Once successful you will be teleported to a house nearby and you will need to run back to have a go at the second chest there. The spawn time, on a busy server, of these chests is close to 2 minutes which makes it possible to thieve close to 120 Blood runes per hour. To gain entrance to the tower you will need to picklock the door (37.5 exp). Each chest will give you 250 thieving exp The total thieving exp for one hour played can be up to 17k per hour and will yield 120 Blood runes and 30k gp.

The blood rune chest!

Thieving and Farming

Thieving from Master Farmers has one big advantage for those interested in Farming. The number of seeds available is staggering. All seeds except those which are found in birds nests can be thieved from a Master Farmer. The best place to do this is Draynor Market as the bank is closest and you will need that proximity to a bank just because of the sheer number of inventory spots required to store all. Thieving exp gained can be as high as 65k per hour played.

Again a very small sample of time played and loot stolen/exp gain:

Thieving Seeds Looted
SeedType10 Minutes13 Minutes7 Minutes
Total Experience Earned 8,42812,8145,805
Cabbage Allotment 24 49 28
Onion Allotment 65 81 27
Potato Allotment 98 122 79
Strawberry Allotment 2 1 1
Sweetcorn Allotment 7 10 5
Tomato Allotment 16 23 9
Watermelon Allotment 2 1 -
Cadavaberry Bush 4 3 3
Dwellberry Bush 1 6 4
Jangerberry Bush - 6 1
Poison Ivy Bush - 1 -
Redberry Bush 8 10 3
Whiteberry Bush - 1 1
Limpwurt Flower 1 4 4
Marigold Flower 8 13 4
Nasturtium Flower 4 15 5
Rosemary Flower - 4 2
Woad Flower - 3 3
Cadantine Herb 1 - -
Guam Herb 2 5 -
Harralander Herb 1 1 1
Irit Herb 1 - -
Kwuarm Herb 1 - 2
Marrentil Herb 3 1 -
Ranaar Herb - - 1
Tarromin Herb - 1 1
Toadflax Herb 1 - -
Asgarnian Hops 15 20 8
Barley Hops 21 57 24
Hammerstone Hops 26 30 11
Jute Hops 16 46 13
Krandorian Hops 1 2 4
Wildblood Hops 1 4 -
Yanillean Hops 6 14 3
Belladonna Special 2 - 1
Mushroom Spore Special - 1 -

As you can see there are more seeds available than the number of inventory spots you have.

The trick to gain the best seeds for your farming needs is this: Keep one of each seed you need in your inventory before starting. Once you have done that you can go about your merry way and thieve to your hearts content. If you thieve a seed and have no room in your inventory, all that will happen is a remark in your chat box, explaining you do not have the space to store the seed. But you can go on thieving. It is like a failed attempt without the penalty of being stunned.

You can try to drop the seeds you don't want when being stunned after a failed attempt. The one drawback to this: The seeds you don't want are probably the most common you steal.

Use thieving this way and you will maximize both farming and thieving: You will get the seeds you want, and you won't be bothered by seeds you don't want. And you can go on picking the Farmers pockets and thus gain thieving exp

For those interested: Seeds can bring a pretty penny when sold to desperate farmers, herblorists and even merchants concentrating on seeds. A Ranarr seed can bring up to 25k.

Thieving and Crafting

Though Thieving can hardly be seen as having something to do with Crafting it is an excellent way to obtain gemstones. Rogue's Den has four wall safes to crack for the avid thieve and the reward from this, besides 10-40gp, can be gemstones. Two things could hold you back to try your luck here: You need level 50 thieving and level 50 agility. Agility is needed to be able to trade with Martin Twait, he can sell you a Stethoscope to increase your chance of looting successfully.

Rogue's den

From Sapphire all the way to Diamond are the available gems, and it is a faster way to collect the stones needed to craft amulets than hacking away at Shilo Village's Gemstone rocks. At higher thieving levels (from about 85 and up) you would be able to crack about 550-600 safes per hour played, resulting in 40-42k thieving experience. Though a limited sample was taken the following table is the distribution of the gems collected:

Stealing Gems
AttemptsSapphireEmeraldRubyDiamondTotalTime (minutes)
1,151 117 (10.17%) 83 (7.21%) 47 (4.08%) 7 (0.61%) 254 (22.07%) 119
589 52 44 19 5 120 90
399 46 28 20 2 96 40
163 19 11 8 0 38 19

When cut and made into jewelry the Crafting experience gained is shown in the next table.

Crafting Experience
ActionSapphireEmeraldRubyDiamondTotal
Maximum Total 13,455 11,412.5 7,990 1,452.5 34,310
Cutting 5,850 5,602.5 3,995 752.5
Amulet 7,605 5,810 3,995 700  -
Necklace 6,435 4,980 3,525 630  -
Ring 4,680 4,565 3,290 595  -

Pyramid Plunder

Or: How to gain inordinate amounts of experience points in the shortest possible time.

If this game is played to maximize time played versus thieving exp, the best thing to do is to avoid banking the items you thieve from the various urns, golden chests and sarcophagi.

When starting at level 21 it is possible, in theory, to reach level 22 in 5 minutes. But there are a few tricks you need to be aware of, and a decent Defence level is required to finish this safely. As Jagex states, this is a dangerous Activity and you will loose your items when you die.

There are eight different rooms in total and they require an ever increasing thieving level to enter. The thieving experience gained rises with every room.

Experience Chart
RoomSpeartrapUrn With CharmingUrn Without CharmingGold ChestDoor With LockpickDoor Without Lockpick
1 10 40 60 40 20 40
2 10 60 90 60 30 60
3 10 100 150 100 50 100
4 10 140 215 140 70 140
5 10 200 300 200 100 200
6 10 300 450 300 150 300
7 10 450 675 450 225 450
8 10 550 825 550 - -

As you can see from the table the highest amount of exp is gained when NOT using 'helpful' items like lock-pick and flute. At lower thieving levels, above 21 up to 65, it is advised to bring a lock pick to get past the doors to the next room as fast as possible.

Suggested equipment for low combat:

Depending first and foremost on your Defence level, armour is suggested for those with a low level. Higher leveled players are safe using only a legends cape or higher, Boots of Lightness and food. Both food and anti-poison can be brought noted to be un-noted later on in Pollnivneach, be sure to bring enough money.

For all levels it is advised to take Anti-poison Potion, or, if you have access to Lunar Magics, you could bring runes to cast the Cure Me spell.

A Lock-pick for low level thieves (below level 65) is a must to open the doors quickly. Yet there is a trick to this depending on how you play the game and what strategy you are going to use. Again this will be explained later on in the section dealing with strategy.

Money is needed for two things: To pay for the carpet ride and to un-note food and Anti-poison Potion.

The suggested inventory below is advised when playing the game to maximize thieving experience gain. Should your objective be to gather as many trinkets as possible you will need to leave some food in your bank to accommodate them.

Lower leveled players equipment and inventory:

Equip your character...

There is a possibility you will be attacked by fairly high leveled monsters when opening the Sarcophagus and/or Grand Gold Chest. A decent Defence is needed against them. Boots of Lightness will reduce your weight and preserve your running energy. Rings are optional and the best advice would be to take a Ring of Life to prevent you from dying inside the pyramid. If you can't obtain a skill cape, a Legends' Cape or Obsidian Cape will work just as well.

Inventory

Lower leveled, in this case also, assumes lower thieving levels, hence the Snake Charm and Lock-pick in the suggested inventory. The food is self-explanatory: It is there to keep you alive, Snake Charm will help you to thieve the urns safely. The Lock-pick is there to make the transition to the next room a bit easier. After you have reached level 65 thieving you can leave the Lock-pick in your bank (or drop it), as the exp gain warrants opening the doors without one. You will need to experiment how many Anti-poison potions you will need per inventory food.

High leveled players equipment and inventory:

Equip your character

Higher leveled players can do without the armour if their Defence level is 70 or above. This will further reduce your weight and prolong your running ability. Once you have obtained the Pharaoh's Sceptre, wield it, it allows for fast banking at Edgeville, then teleport back to the pyramid with the sceptre. There are also 2 capes that will reduce your weight (much light Boots of Lightness). Spotted Capes will reduce your weight by 2, and Spottier Capes will reduce it by 5.

Inventory

The only difference in your inventory are the 'helpful items', your thieving level should warrant leaving them at home: They take up valuable space and without them you will be about as fast as with them. The exp is far higher without.

Should you want to stay for a long time it would be wise to bring noted food and anti-poison. This can be un-noted at Pollnivneach and it allows you to play for a long time.

Warning: Traveling in the Desert can be hazardous to your health. When trekking through it and not using the carpets, adjust your equipment and inventory to allow for this: Waterskins and Desert clothing are a must.

Strategy

The trick in gaining as much experience as possible, is to reach the highest room available to you, with just enough time left to finish looting all the urns in the room, including the Grand Gold Chest. This means you need to do some research yourself: Find out how much time you need in the last room and then plan your trip.

Make your way to the room one level below your maximum, spend time to loot the urns and go to your final room with just enough time to spare to steal from all the urns in that room. That can be a bit tricky as there could be four doors you need to try. If you are lucky you hit the right door first, if unlucky it is the fourth door.

Leave the Grand Gold Chest and the Sarcophagus until the last moment, then first the Sarcophagus (no experience for that one) then the Grand Gold Chest. Once you have a Pharaoh's Sceptre skip the Sarcophagus altogether. Both of these can spring a monster on you: A Mummy from the Sarcophagus and Scarabs from the Grand Gold Chest.

The noted food can be un-noted at the General Store in Pollnivneach, a mere carpet ride away, where you can sell your gathered trinkets too. Be aware, the amount of money you will get is a fraction of the actual worth of them, compared to selling them at the Agility Pyramid to Simon Templeton.

Risks & Useful Information

  • You will get poisoned, either by the urns or the scarabs.
  • If you do not have a teleport out of there, either by Amulet of Glory or Ring of Duelling, bring a water skin: Dying of thirst is not a pretty sight.
  • Keep run turned on for as long as you can.
  • A Pharaoh's Sceptre needs to be re-charged with items you steal from the pyramid.
  • When you exit the pyramid you will always end up at the northern end.
  • If someone entered before you, look through what door he exits to the next room: that will be yours too.
  • The Pharaoh's Sceptre can only be obtained from the Grand Gold Chest or the Sarcophagus.
  • For thieving levels 41 the exp gain is around 30-40k per hour played.
  • At very high thieving levels the exp gain can be up to 200k per hour played.

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Published on: November 26, 2006 09:00 PM EST by Salmoneus
Updated on: August 24, 2011 11:55 PM EDT by Salmoneus