The Gold Road Chapter – which includes the Scribing system – and Update 42 is now available to test on the PTS! You can read the latest patch notes here:
Maintenance for the week of April 22:
• [COMPLETE] PC/Mac: NA and EU megaservers for patch maintenance – April 22, 4:00AM EDT (08:00 UTC) - 9:00AM EDT (13:00 UTC)
• Xbox: NA and EU megaservers for patch maintenance – April 24, 6:00AM EDT (10:00 UTC) - 12:00PM EDT (16:00 UTC)
• PlayStation®: NA and EU megaservers for patch maintenance – April 24, 6:00AM EDT (10:00 UTC) - 12:00PM EDT (16:00 UTC)

Update 1.6: Justice, Legerdemain, and Bounties

I’ve picked up some good information on what I consider to be ESO’s best update yet from playing extensively on the PTS, so I thought I’d share it, along with some recommendations. Let me know what you think.


With the arrival of the Justice System, characters will have the opportunity to train in the new skill line Legerdemain, in the World skill section. This skill line generally doesn’t affect game balance, aside from training the ability to move while crouched while using less stamina. All other abilities specifically affect only the character’s abilities to effectively steal and profit from their underworld activities.

On the PTS, Legerdemain levels up to 20, and allows characters to train in the following 5 passives with 4 skill points possible in each passive:

1. Improved Hiding: Reduces the stamina cost of sneaking. Unlocked on the character’s first successful crime, which also unlocks the Legerdemain skill line, the first point spent in this passive gives a reduction of 10% stamina spent while sneaking.

2. Light Fingers: Increases the chance to pickpocket. Unlocked at Legerdemain rank 2, the first skill point in this passive increases pickpocketing chances by 10%.

3. Trafficker: Increase the number of daily fence interactions. Unlocked at Legerdemain rank 3, the first skill point in this passive increases the number of times you can sell or launder items by 120%. Originally you can only perform 50 of each type of transaction per day.

4. Locksmith: Improves the chance to force locks. Unlocked at Legerdemain rank 5 (that’s right, I didn’t accidentally skip a number), the first point in this passive increases your chance to force locks by 10%.

5. Kickback: Reduces the amount of bounties willingly paid to fences or guards. Unlocked at Legerdemain rank 6, the first point in this passive reduces the amount of gold you have to pay the fence or guards to clear your bounty by 10%. Achievement and dye hunters may wish to delay putting points into this passive until they’ve earned the Felonious Recompense achievement, earned upon paying 100,000 gold to either the Fence or the Guard. Combinations of gold spent to both do not count. Each has its own counter. The dye associated with this achievement is Shadowfoot Gray, and is currently the only dye available in the Justice System.

Leveling Legerdemain

As mentioned above, the Legerdemain skill line is unlocked upon the character’s first successful crime. At that point, Rank 1, it currently takes 40 points to progress to Rank 2, and each successive rank requires an additional 20 points to progress (i.e., Rank 2 contains 60 points, Rank 3 contains 80 points, and so on).

Points are earned by successfully picking pockets, unlocking chests and safeboxes, and selling or laundering items at the Fence. Keep in mind that if you have a stack of 5 items to sell or launder, that stack will use 5 of your allowed transactions. Selling and laundering earn the character 1 point per item, regardless of the item’s quality (I’ve stolen purple-quality items on the PTS, but have yet to see a gold-quality item). Pickpocketing earns the character increased points based on the target’s difficulty (currently 1, 2, and 4 points for Easy, Medium and Hard targets, respectively). Lockpicking uses a similar scale, granting 1, 2, 4, and 8 points for Simple, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master difficulties, respectively.


The character has a base chance to pickpocket any acceptable target, and what I’ll call a “distracted” chance, indicating the target is distracted, giving the character a higher chance of successfully pickpocketing. The base chance is shown in black numbers when the character is in position, and the “distracted” chance is shown in green numbers. “Distracted” chances are generally 20% higher than base chances. Spending points in the Light Fingers passive improves the character’s chances by 10% per point spent (at least up to 2 points, since my PTS character was deleted by the time I reached Legerdemain Rank 10).

Easy targets start at 50%/75%, Medium targets at start at 40%/60%, and Hard targets at start at 30%/50%. Most targets can normally be pickpocketed 3 times before their pockets are empty Each successful pickpocket on the same target reduces the character’s chances, but does not earn the character more than the points as listed above. Success chances of pickpocketing Easy, Medium, and Hard targets are reduced by 5%, 10%, and 15%, respectively, for each successive successful pickpocket.


For those hoping to collect bounties on other characters, or who had hoped to be able to kill characters who break the law, PVP has not been implemented with the Justice System at this time. Instead, characters must work out their bounties with either the Fence or the Guard. If a character is caught by the guards (who, by the way, are UNKILLABLE, as your tooltips will tell you when you first mouseover one), he is given the option to pay his bounty or flee. If he pays, all is forgiven, he’s out some gold, and all of the stolen items he’s carrying with him. If he flees, the guard (and any other guards in range) will attack until he escapes or dies. Fleeing also gives the character additional bounty.

Items marked stolen cannot be placed in a character’s bank, and cannot be sold to anyone other than the Fence (and the Fence will buy only stolen goods). But items (such as ingots) used to make gear become “clean” once used, so you won’t craft stolen items using stolen goods.

Keep in mind that paying a bounty to a guard will cause the character to lose all stolen goods he possesses, while paying a bounty to the Fence will not.

Bounty is shown in the bottom-right of the screen as a circular console with a dagger in the middle (it doesn’t show when there is no bounty). When the character is caught committing a crime by citizens, they will announce that they know his bad intentions, and the bounty console will appear. Bounty is shown as a fixed-price bounty (in white) and an active-search bounty (in red). The red decays rapidly over time, while the white decays slowly. I’ve done some calculations, but have been unable to find the exact rate of decay, but it reduces by a certain amount once every 3 minutes. Most often, my bounties have decayed at approximately 20g per 3 minutes, give or take a bit. The nice thing about bounty decay is that it continues when you’ve logged off. So, if you really don’t have the gold to pay it off, or don’t want to chance losing that epic item you’ve stolen while you have an active bounty, you can log off in a safe area, and return later bounty-free.

As I said, these are some of the best changes yet in ESO, and kudos to ZOS for bringing them to us. I can’t wait to play 1.6 on live. If this was helpful, let me know. If you gained some different insights, I’d be interested to read them. Thanks.

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