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Using Hexxat at a pickpocket skill level of 185 I was unable to remove anything from Gorch, the shadow vendor, or the vendor in the copper coranet. I reloaded and tried Yoshimo also to no avail. I was able to grab a minor amount of gold, a gem and a worthless scroll, but no items. It's been a long time since I have played BG2 but from what I remember that was the easiest way to get started. It is going to be much harder to gear up if I actually have to buy items.
Honestly I have no problem with it if it is a nerf, I was just wondering if I was doing something stupid preventing me from going on a shoplifting spree.