So, as far as I can tell, there's really no real practical difference between 30 steal and 300 steal. This bothered me for two reasons: 1) All of my characters end up being master pickpockets, even if I didn't build them that way 2) It makes the game easier than it should be, despite using mods that increase difficulty. So, I did some fiddling, and realized a simple way to balance it (balanced insofar you have to invest into it to use it). A) Increase the size of all items significantly (I used weight as a general guide and used f2wedit) All items with 0 weight: size = 5 All items with 1 - 4 weight: size = weight * 15 All items with 5+ weight: size = 100 (just to keep things simple because there's a lot of items to edit) Some items with 0 weight, I changed to have a weight of 1 (like drugs) Some items with a weight of 1, changed to 0 (pieces of paper and keys). Increase the max size of most containers by a factor of 2 to 15 (depending on how I felt about it). B) Reduced the level requirement of the Pickpocketing perk to level 3 (using sfall): perks.ini  ;Pickpocket Level=3 So... pickpocketing is now pretty much impossible unless you put points into the skill and get the perk, which can be done at level 3 if you tag the skill. I haven't seen this approach posted anywhere, so I thought I'd share the info. The edits took me about 35 minutes. I started a new fallout 2 game and the change really hit home when my non-stealing character was rescuing smiley. Usually, the smart thing to do is to pickpocket the 10 gecko hides off him, rescue him for the exp, get the gecko skinning perk, and choose Sulik as the reward. Win, win, win, and win.. But now I couldn't exploit this encounter (well, I could have if I invested in steal)... I had to choose. Which was cool. What I ended up doing was something I never tried before: I brought him to the entrance of the toxic caves, where he proceeded to thank me and tell me he's got it from here. And then I turned around and nailed him with a plant spike aimed at his balls. Crit knockdown (thanks to finesse). Then another aimed at his head (another crit) knocking him unconscious. I looted him and left him on the cave floor naked at the entrance. I then went back to Klamath in my new leather armor to get my reward for rescuing Smiley. He was there, none too pleased, but won't attack as long as I never talk to him again. So, no gecko skinning perk or 1-6% outdoorsman for me, but it's a fair trade for the 10 golden hides and the leather armor... and sulik takes care of outdoorsman anyways.