Prestidigitation

The prestidigitation skill is the art of performing magic “tricks” that are obviously make-believe (and therefore non-threatening). This is stage magic used for entertainment purposes. Also known as sleight of hand, this skill emphasizes facility with quick hand movements and distracting patterns. All of a close-work magician’s tricks — everything from pulling ceramic bits from children’s ears to changing cloth to a bird in the twinkling of an eye — is part of this skill. Illusionists are particularly adept with prestidigitation and it is quite easy for them to slip real magic in amongst the entertainment. Other wizards can do so too when given the opportunity.

Those who are skilled in this art can also make small objects move around from hand to pocket to shoe to someone else’s pocket with ease. Thus, small objects can be made to “disappear” or can be planted on someone else, if the person is close enough. The prestidigitator has the same chance as an average thief of his level has to pick pockets to utilize this particular aspect of the skill.

Prestidigitation can be used to earn a few coins from those who have the leisure and desire for entertainment. It can also be used as a cover to disguise the casting of real magic. Finally, if confronted by those who suspect he is a wizard, a mage could do worse than to laugh and pull out his bag of “tricks” to prove his innocence.

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