When cloning an object in Disgaia 3 by killing a clone of a character using the Paw Stick, it supposedly steals one item at a 20% rate. If you only equip the clone with one item (out of 4 slots), will that 20% chance ever "hit an empty slot" and be wasted? Or is it that "if it works, it will hit one equipped item, guaranteed?" I ask because it's usually a powerful item you want to clone, and keeping 4 copies of it (or holding off combining things and leaving it in 1/4ths) makes the process much slower.
This forum discussion seems to indicate that first the "steal percentage" is checked, and then a random item to be stolen is picked (meaning you can't waste an attempt on an empty slot).