I’ve come upon an interesting phenomenon in Skyrim that seems to be unintentional. While playing, instead of using Pickpocketing to vacuum all possible loot into my character (what seems like a clear win), I was actually making a decision!
If we break this down, the choice of whether or not to pickpocket in Skyrim comes down to basically 3 factors:
- Is the risk too high? (Won’t pickpocket if consequences are too expensive/likely)
- Is the reward sufficient? (Will pickpocket if loot is juicy enough)
- Am I trying to max out my character? (Must pickpocket)
The main “official” risk of pickpocketing is that if you get caught, you’ll get a bounty placed on your head. As we should all know by now, gold is no object in Skyrim–so paying off a bounty is no big deal. Sometimes, your victims are nice enough to hire some thugs deliver more goods to you later (worn on their bodies), and bonus: those spoils of battle aren’t even considered stolen goods.
Besides, even if I get caught, there’s this magical thing called reloading my save that I can use to make it so it never happened! Therefore: steal all the things! Right?
Well as it turns out, and I’ve been watching me play Skyrim for 500 something odd hours, I don’t actually do that. Here’s how the thinking process for that works out:
- Knowing myself, I’d choose to reload over paying a bounty
- But reloading would disrupt my immersion and game flow…
- Therefore: Do not pickpocket
I have successfully meta’d myself into a gameplay decision.