The following all count as theft:
- The snatch command
- The steal command
- The shoplift command
- The filch command
- Taking an item from a player house
Theft is pk-checked.
NPCs who catch you trying to steal something from them will attack you. However, in some areas and with some npcs there can be additional consequences.
Priest NPCs often have wards on some of their items, as do some players.
A ward is a priest ritual that has been bestowed upon an object. When stolen (or taken from a corpse), the ritual is performed on either the thief or the owner (depending on what the ritual is). They can do anything from direct damage, to paralysis, to passaging the player somewhere against their will, to shielding the owner. Note that taking a container with warded items in it will cause all the wards to fire.
You can tell whether an item is warded by looking at it; a warded item will have a line in its description saying that it "looks like it would object violently to being stolen" (if it's in someone else's inventory) or that it has a green, white, and/or red aura (if it's on a corpse or in your inventory).
Remember! Wards can kill you, so check before you steal.
Wards do not automatically succeed--there is a faith.items.scroll skillcheck.
Theft here is punished by being abandoned in the surrounding terrains. This punishment is administered by certain of the priests in the city. You do normally get an opportunity to run away before they catch you, as they "stomp towards you, cackling maniacally" before they drag you into the terrains, but sometimes they will pursue, making it much more difficult to get away in time.
If you've been caught stealing, shopkeepers may refuse to serve you. You can wait for your criminal reputation to go down on its own, or you can visit the watch house and ask for community service.
Being caught stealing here will make the shopkeepers (and Will, the vaultkeeper) refuse to serve you until you serve a jail sentence of half an hour (in-game--in real time it's around ten minutes).