When you use a skill, you make a skill check to see how well you do. The higher the result on your skill check, the better you do. Based on the circumstances, your result must match or beat a particular number to use the skill successfully. The harder the task, the higher the number you need to roll.
A number of circumstances can affect your check. If you're free to work without distractions, you can make a careful attempt and avoid simple mistakes. If you have lots of time, you can try over and over again, assuring that you do your best. If others help you, you may succeed where otherwise you would fail.
A skill check takes into account your training (skill rank), natural talent (ability modifier), and luck (the die roll). It may also take into account your race's knack for doing certain things (racial bonus) or what armor you are wearing (armor check penalty), among other things. (For instance, a character that has the Skill Focus feat related to a certain skill gets a +2 bonus on all checks involving that skill)
To make a skill check, roll 1d20 and add your skill modifier for that skill. The skill modifier incorporates your rank with that skill, your ability modifier for that skill's key ability, and any other miscellaneous modifiers you have, including racial bonuses and any armor check penalty. The higher the result, the better. A natural 20 is not an automatic success, and a natural 1 is not an automatic failure (as is the case in the combat rules).
A roll against a skill check that makes the skill DC is success. A roll at least 10 above the required DC is a great success. A roll of 20 or more above the target DC is a perfect success.
Some checks are made against a Difficulty Class (DC). The DC is a number set by the DM (using the skill rules as a guideline) that you must score as a result on your skill check to succeed. For example, climbing the outer wall of a ruined tower may have a DC of 15. To climb the wall, you must get a result of 15 or better on a Climb check. A Climb check is 1d20 plus Climb ranks (if any) plus Strength modifier plus any other modifiers.
Some skill checks are opposed checks. They are made against a randomized number, which is usually another character's skill check result. For example, to sneak up on a guard, you need to beat the guard's Listen check result with your Move Silently check result. You make a Move Silently check, and the DM makes a Listen check for the guard. Whoever gets the higher result wins the contest.
Example Opposed Checks
Task Skill (Key Ability) Opposing Skill (Key Ability)
Sneak up behind someone Move Silently (Dex) Listen (Wis)
Con someone Bluff (Cha) Sense Motive (Wis)
Hide from someone Hide (Dex) Spot (Wis)
Tie a prisoner securely Use Rope (Dex) Escape Artist (Dex)
Win a horserace Ride (Dex) Ride (Dex)
Pass as someone else Disguise (Cha) Spot (Wis)
Steal a coin pouch Pick Pockets (Dex) Spot (Wis)
Create a false map Forgery (Int) Forgery (Int)
For ties on opposed checks, the character with the higher key ability score wins. For instance, in a Move Silently against Listen check that results in a tie, the sneaker's Dexterity would be compared to the listener's Wisdom. If these scores are the same, flip a coin.
In general, you can try a skill check again if you fail, and can keep trying indefinitely. Some skills, however, have consequences of failure that must be taken into account. Some skills are virtually, useless once a check has failed on an attempt to accomplish a particular task. For most skills, when a character has succeeded once at a given task, additional successes are meaningless.
For example, if Lidda the rogue misses an Open Lock check, she can try again and keep trying. If, however, a trap in the lock goes off if she misses an open Lock Check by 5 or more, then failing has its own penalties.
Similarly, if Lidda misses a climb check, she can keep trying„ but if she misses by 5 or more, she falls (after which she can get up and try again).
If Tordek has negative hit points and is dying, Lidda can make an untrained Heal check to stabilize him. If the check fails, Tordek probably loses another hit point, but Lidda can try again in the next round.
If a skill carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20 and assume that you go at it long enough to succeed eventually (see Checks without Rolls).
Untrained Skill Checks
Generally, if you attempt to use a skill you don't possess, you make a skill check as normal. Your skill modifier doesn't have your skill rank added in because you don't have any ranks in the skill. You do get other modifiers added into the skill modifier, though, such as the ability modifier for the skill's key ability
Many skills can only be used if you are trained in the skill. If you don't have Spellcraft, for example, regardless of your class, ability scores, and experience level, you just don't know enough about magic even to attempt to identify a spell. Skills that cannot be used untrained are marked on the skills table.
For example, Krusk the barbarian's 4 ranks in Climb make his Climb check results 4 points higher than they otherwise would be, but even Devis the bard, with no Climb ranks, can make a Climb check. Devis only has a skill modifier of 0 (+1 for his Strength and ‑1 for his armor), but he can give it a try. However, Devis's ranks in Use Magic Device let him do something that he otherwise couldn't do at all, such as use a magic item as if he had a particular spell on his class spell list that he actually doesn't have. Krusk, with no ranks in the skill, can't make a Use Magic Device check even at a penalty.
Favorable and Unfavorable Conditions
Some situations may make a skill easier or harder to use, resulting in a bonus or penalty added into the skill modifier for the skill check or a change to the DC of the skill check. It's one thing for Krusk, with his Wilderness Lore skill, to hunt down enough food to eat while he's camping for the day in the middle of a rich forest, but foraging for food while traveling across barren desert is an entirely different matter.
The DM can alter the odds of success in four ways to take into account exceptional circumstances:
1. Give the skill user a +2 circumstance bonus to represent circumstances that improve performance, such as having the perfect tool for the job, getting help from another character (see Combining Skill Attempts), or possessing unusually accurate information.
2. Give the skill user a ‑2 circumstance penalty to represent conditions that hamper performance, such as being forced to use improvised tools or having misleading information.
3. Reduce the DC by 2 to represent circumstances that make the task easier, such as having a friendly audience or doing work that can be sub-par.
4. Increase the DC by 2 to represent circumstances that make the task harder, such as having a hostile audience or doing work that must be flawless.
Conditions that affect your ability to perform the skill change your skill modifier. Conditions that modify how well you have to perform the skill to succeed change the DC. A bonus to your skill modifier and a reduction in the check’s DC has the same result: they create a better chance that you will succeed. But they represent different circumstances, and sometimes that difference is important.
For example, Devis the bard wants to entertain a band of dwarves who are staying at the same inn where he and his party are staying. Before playing his lute, Devis listens to the dwarves' drinking songs so he can judge their mood. Doing so improves his performance, giving him a +2 to the skill modifier for his check. He rolls a 6 and adds +8 for his skill modifier (4 ranks, +2 Charisma modifier, and +2 for his impromptu research). His result is 14. The DM sets the DC at 15. The dwarves are in a good mood because they have recently won a skirmish with orc bandits, so the DM reduces the DC to 13. (Devis's performance isn't better just because the dwarves are in a good mood, so Devis doesn't get a bonus to add into his skill modifier. Instead, the DC goes down.) The leader of the dwarven band, however, has heard that a half‑elf spy works for the bandits, and he's suspicious of Devis. The DC to entertain him is higher than normal: 17 instead of 15. Devis's skill check (14) is high enough to entertain the dwarves (DC 13) but not their leader (DC 17). The dwarves applaud Devis and offer to buy him drinks, but their leader eyes him suspiciously.
Time and Skill Checks
Using a skill might take around, take no time, or take several rounds or even longer. Most skill uses are standard actions, move equivalent actions, or full‑round actions. Types of actions define how long activities take to perform within the framework of a combat round (6 seconds) and how movement is treated with respect to the activity (see Action Types). Some skill checks are instant and represent reactions to an event, or are included as part of an action. These skill checks are not actions. Other skill checks represent part of movement. The distance you jump when making a jump check, for example, is part of your movement. Some skills take more than a round to use, and the skill, descriptions often specify how long these skills take to use.
Practically Impassible Tasks
Sometimes you want to do something that seems practically impossible. In general, to do something that's practically impossible requires that you have at least rank 10 in the skill and entails a penalty of ‑20 on your roll or +20 on the DC (which amounts to about the same thing).
Practically impossible tasks are hard to delineate ahead of time, they're the accomplishments that represent incredible, almost logic defying skill and luck. Picking a lock by giving it a single, swift kick; swimming up a waterfall; or softening a demon's heart with a song are potential examples of practically impossible tasks.
The DM decides what is actually impossible and what is merely, practically impossible. Just remember that characters with very high skill modifiers are capable of accomplishing incredible, almost unbelievable tasks, just as characters with very high combat bonuses are.
If you have at least rank 10 in a skill and beat your DC by 20 or, more on a normal skill check, you've completed the task impossibly well. For example, Devis the bard has reached 10th level and has rank 13 in Perform. He has increased his Charisma score by 2 points (once at 4th level and again at 8th level), so he now, has an ability modifier of +3, giving him a total skill modifier of +16. He goes on stage in front of a receptive audience, so the DM assigns a DC of 15 to the skill check. Devis's player rolls a 19 on; 1d20 and adds the +16 skill modifier for a result of 35 the audience likes the performance so much that Devis is considered a star, and from now on whenever he performs in front of this audience he can command and get twice the usual fee for his services.
Checks without Rolls
A skill check represents an attempt to accomplish some goal, usually with some sort of time pressure or distraction. Sometimes, though, you can use a skill under more favorable conditions and eliminate the luck factor.
Taking 10: When you are not in a rush, and not being threatened or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats make it impossible for a character to take 10.
For example, Krusk the barbarian has a Climb skill modifier of +6 (4 ranks, +3 Strength modifier, ‑1 penalty for wearing studded leather armor). The steep, rocky slope he's climbing has a DC of 10. With a little care, he can take 10 and succeed automatically. But partway up the slope, a goblin scout begins pelting him with sling stones. Krusk needs to make a Climb check to get up to the goblin, and this time he can't simply take 10. If he rolls 4 or higher on 1d20 he succeeds.
Taking 20: When you have plenty of time (generally 2 minutes for a skill that can normally be checked in 1 round, one full‑round action, or one standard action), and when the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, eventually you will get a 20 if you roll long enough. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had, rolled a 20. Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right. Taking 20 takes about twenty times as long as making a single check would take.
For example, Krusk comes to a cliff face. He attempts to take 10 for a result of 16 (10 plus his +6 skill bonus), but the DC is 20, and the DM tells him that he fails to make progress up the cliff. (His check is at least high enough that he does not fall.) Krusk cannot take 20 because there is a penalty associated with failure (falling, in this case). He can try over and over, and eventually he may succeed, but he might fall one or more times in the process. Later, Krusk finds a cave in the cliff and searches it. The DM sees in the Search skill description that each 5‑foot‑square area takes a full‑round action to search (and she secretly assigns a DC of 15 to the attempt), She estimates that the floors, walls, and ceiling of the cave make up about twenty 5‑foot squares, so she tells Krusk's player that it takes 2 minutes to search the whole cave. Krusk's player gets a result of 12 on 1d20, adds no skill ranks because Krusk doesn't have the Search skill, and adds ‑1 because that's Krusk's intelligence modifier. His roll fails. Now he declares that he is going to search the cavern high and low, taking as long as it takes. The DM takes the original time of 2 minutes and multiplies it by 20, for 40 minutes. That's how long it takes for Krusk to search the whole cave in exacting detail. Now Krusk's player treats his roll as if it were 20, for a result of 19. That's good enough to beat the DC of 15, and Krusk finds an old, bronze key discarded under a loose rock.
Ability Checks and Caster Level Checks
The normal take 10 rules apply for ability checks that are routine untrained skill checks (such as jumping but not disguising yourself) or when there is no skill associated with the check (such a breaking down a door). The normal take 20 rules apply to all ability checks. Neither rule applies to caster level checks (as when casting dispel magic).
Combining Skill Attempts
When more than one character tries the same skill at the same time and for the same purpose, their efforts may overlap.
Individual Events: Often, several characters attempt some action and each succeeds or fails on her own. For example, Krusk, the half‑orc barbarian, and each of his friends need to climb a slope if they're all to get to the top. Regardless of Krusk's roll, the other characters need successful checks, too. Every character makes a skill check.
Cooperation: Sometimes the individual PCs are essentially reacting to the same situation, but they can work together and help each other out. In this case, one character is considered the leader of the effort and makes a skill check while each helper makes a skill check against DC 10. (You can't take 10 on this check.) For each helper who succeeds, the leader gets a +2 circumstance bonus (as per the rule for favorable conditions). In many cases, a character's help won't be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once. The DM limits cooperation as she see fit for the given conditions.
For instance, if Krusk has been badly wounded and is dying, Jozan can try a Heal check to keep him from losing more hit points. One other character can help Jozan. If the other character makes a Heal check against DC 10, then Jozan gets a +2 circumstance bonus on the Heal check he makes to help Krusk. The DM rules that two characters couldn't help Jozan at the same time because a third person would just get in the way.
Skill Synergy: It's also possible for a character to have two skills that work well together, such as someone with Handle Animal also having Animal Empathy. In general, having 5 or more‑ranks‑in one skill gives you a +2 synergy bonus on skill checks with its synergistic skills, as noted in the skill description.
Sometimes you try to do something to which no specific skill really applies. In these cases, you make an ability check. An ability check is the roll of 1d20 plus the appropriate ability modifier. Essentially, you're making an untrained skill check. The DM assigns a Difficulty Class, or sets up an opposed check when two characters are engaged in a contest using one ability score or another. The initiative check in combat, for example, is essentially a Dexterity check. The character that rolls highest goes first.
In some cases, an action is a straight test of one's ability with no luck involved. Just as you wouldn't make a height check to see who is taller, you don't make a Strength check to see who is stronger. When two characters arm wrestle, for example, the stronger character simply wins. In the case of identical scores, flip a coin.
Example Ability Checks
Task Key Ability
Breaking open a jammed or locked door Strength
Threading a needle Dexterity
Holding one's breath Constitution
Navigating a maze Intelligence
Remembering to lock a door Wisdom
Getting oneself singled out in a crowd Charisma
Breaking Open Doors: A common use of Strength is to break open doors. For example, Krusk approaches a locked door. He tries his Strength against it. He takes 10, adds +3 for his Strength, and gets a 13. The DM says that the door holds. (The player doesn't know that the door's DC is 15.) Krusk's player can keep making checks. He needs a roll o£ 12 or higher to get a result of 15 or higher. If he can devote sufficient time, he can take 20, for a total of 23, and plow through the door.
Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses and size penalties on these checks: Fine ‑16, Diminutive ‑12, Tiny ‑8, Small ‑4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16.
A portable ram (page 109) improves a character's chance of breaking open a door.
Example Door DCs
10 or lower A door just about anyone can break open. .
11 to 15 A door that a strong person could break with one try and an average person might break
with one try.
13 Typical DC for a simple wooden door.
16 to 20 A door that almost anyone could break, given time.
18 Typical DC for a good wooden door.
21 to 25 A door that only a strong or very strong person has a hope of breaking, and probably not
on the first try.
23 Typical DC for a strong wooden door.
25 Typical DC for an iron‑barred wooden door.
26 or higher A door that only an exceptionally strong person has a hope of breaking.
28 Typical DC for an iron door.
+5 Hold portal (increases DC by 5).
+10 Arcane lock (increases DC by 10, not cumulative with Hold Portal).
Combined Skill Summary List
Skill Ability trained Bbn Brd Clr Drd Ftr Mnk Pal Rgr Rog Sor Wiz
Alchemy Int No c O c c c c c c c O O
Animal Empathy Cha No x x x O x x x O x x x
Appraise Int Yes c O c c c c c c O c c
Autohypnosis Wis No x x x x x x x x x x x
Balance Dex* Yes c O c c c O c c O c c
Bluff Cha Yes c O c c c c c c O c c
Climb Str* Yes O O c c O O c O O c c
Concentration Con Yes c O O O c O O O c O O
Craft Int Yes O O O O O O O O O O O
Decipher Script Int No x O x x x x x x O x x
Diplomacy Cha Yes c O O O c O O c O c c
Disable Device Int No c c c c c c c c O c c
Disguise Cha Yes c O c c c c c c O c c
Escape Artist Dex* Yes c O c c c O c c O c c
Forgery Int Yes c c c c c c c c O c c
Gather information Cha Yes c O c c c c c c O c c
Handle Animal Cha No O c c O O c O O c c c
Heal Wis Yes c c O O c c O O c c c
Hide Dex* Yes c O c c c O c O O c c
Hypnosis Cha No c c c c c O c c c O O
Innuendo Wis No c c c c c c c c O c c
Intimidate Cha Yes O c c c c c c c O c c
Intuit Direction Wis No O O c O c c c O O c c
Jump Str* Yes O O c c O O c O O c c
Knowledge (Arcana) Int No c O O c c O c c c O O
Knowledge (Nature) Int No c O c O c c c O c c O
Knowledge (Psionics) Int No c c c c c c c c c c c
Knowledge (Religion) Int No c O O c c c O c c c O
Knowledge (All Skills) Int No c O c c c c c c c c O
Listen Wis Yes O O c c c O c O O c c
Literacy Na No c O c c c c c c c c c
Mimic Voice Cha Yes c c c c c c c c c c c
Move Silently Dex* Yes c O c c c O c O O c c
Open Lock Dex No c c c c c c c c O c c
Perform Cha Yes c O c c c O c c O c c
Pick Pocket Dex* No c O c c c c c c O c c
Psicraft Int No c c c c c c c c c c c
Profession Wis No c O O O c O O O O O O
Read Lips Int No x x x x x x x x O x x
Remote View Int Yes x x x x x x x x x x x
Ride Dex Yes O c c c O c O O c c c
Ritual Casting Con No x O O O x x c c x O O
Scry Int Yes x O O O x x x x x O O
Search Int Yes c c c c c c c O O c c
Sense Motive Wis Yes c O c c c c c c O c c
Speak Language None No c O c c c c c c c c c
Spellcraft Int No c O O O c c c c c O O
Spot Wis Yes c c c c c c c O O c c
Stabilize Self Con No x x x x x x x x x x x
Swim Str Yes O O c O O O c O O c c
Tumble Dex* No c O c c c O c c O c c
Urban Lore Wis Yes c O c c c c c c O c c
Use Magic Device Cha No x O x x x x x x O x x
Use Psionic Device Cha No x c x x x x x x c x x
Use Rope Dex Yes c c c c c c c O O c c
Wilderness Lore Wis Yes O c c O c c c O c c c
*Armor check penalty applies to these roles
O This skill is open to this class
x This skill is exclusive to a class and cannot be learned
c This is a cross class skill
Psionic Character Skills
Skill Ability trained Egoist Nomad Savant Shaper Seer TPath Warrior
Alchemy Int No c c c O c c c
Animal Empathy Cha No x x x x x O x
Appraise Int Yes c c c O c c c
Autohypnosis Wis No O c O c c c O
Balance Dex* Yes O c c c c c O
Bluff Cha Yes c c c c c O c
Climb Str* Yes O O c c O c O
Concentration Con Yes O O O O c O O
Craft Int Yes c c c O c c c
Decipher Script Int No x x x x x x x
Diplomacy Cha Yes c c c c c O c
Disable Device Int No c c O c c c c
Disguise Cha Yes c c c O c c c
Escape Artist Dex* Yes c O c c c c c
Forgery Int Yes c c c c c c c
Gather Information Cha Yes c c c c O O c
Handle Animal Cha No c c c c c c c
Heal Wis Yes c c c c c c c
Hide Dex* Yes c c c c c c c
Hypnosis Cha No c c c c c O c
Innuendo Wis No c c c c c c c
Intimidate Cha Yes c c c c c c c
Intuit Direction Wis No c O c c O c c
Jump Str* Yes O O c c c c O
Knowledge (Psionics) Int No O O O O O O c
Knowledge (Other) Int No c c c c c c c
Listen Wis Yes c c c c O c c
Literacy Na No c c c c c c c
Mimic Voice Cha Yes c c c c c c c
Move Silently Dex* Yes c c c c c c c
Open Lock Dex No c c O c c c c
Perform Cha Yes c c c O c c c
Pick Pocket Dex* No c c O c c c c
Profession Wis No c c c c c c c
Psicraft Int No O O O O O O c
Read Lips Int No x x x x x x x
Remote View Int Yes c O O O O O x
Ride Dex Yes c O c c c c c
Ritual Casting Con No x x x x x x x
Scry Int Yes x x x x x x x
Search Int Yes c c O c c c c
Sense Motive Wis Yes c c c c O O c
Speak Language None No c c c c c c c
Spellcraft Int No c c c c c c c
Spot Wis Yes c c c c O c c
Stabilize Self Con No O c c c c c O
Swim Str Yes O O c c c c O
Tumble Dex* No c c c c c c O
Urban Lore Wis Yes c c c c c c c
Use Magic Device Cha No x x x x x x x
Use Psionic Device Cha No x x x x x x O
Use Rope Dex Yes c O c c c c c
Wilderness Lore Wis Yes c c c c c c c
*Armor check penalty applies to these roles
O This skill is open to this class
x This skill is exclusive to a class and cannot be learned
c This is a cross class skill
Alchemy (Int; Trained Only)
Alchemists combine strange ingredients in secret ways to make marvelous substances.
Check: You can make alchemical items. Some items you can make are found in the item descriptions in Chapter 7: Equipment and listed on the Special and Superior Items Table. To determine how much time and material it takes to make an alchemical item, use the DCs listed below and the rules for making things found in the Craft skill description.
The DM may allow an alchemist to perform other tasks related to alchemy, such as identifying an unknown substance or a poison.
Doing so takes 1 hour.
Task DC Notes
Identify substance 25 Costs 1 gp per attempt (or 20 gp to take 20)
Identify potion 25 Costs 1 gp per attempt (or 20 gp to take 20)
Make acid 15 See Craft skill
Identify poison (after casting detect poison) 20 See detect poison (page 193)
Make alchemist's fire, smokestick, or tindertwig 20 See Craft skill
Make antitoxin, sunrod, tanglefoot bag,
or thunderstone 25 See Craft skill
Retry: Yes, but in the case of making items, each failure ruins half the raw materials needed, and you have to pay half the raw material cost again. For identifying substances or potions, each failure consumes the cost per attempt.
Special: You must have alchemical equipment to make an item or identify it. If you are working in a city, you can buy what you need as part of the raw materials cost to make the item, but alchemical equipment is difficult or impossible to come by in some places. For identifying items, the cost represents additional supplies you must buy. Purchasing and maintaining an alchemist's lab grants a +2 circumstance bonus to Alchemy checks (from the favorable condition of having the perfect tools for the job) but does not affect the cost of any items made using the skill.
Gnomes get a +2 racial bonus on Alchemy checks because a gnome’s sensitive nose allows him to monitor alchemical processes by smell.
Animal Empathy (Cha; Trained Only; Druid, Ranger Only)
Use this skill to keep a guard dog from barking at you, to get a wild bird to land on your outstretched hand, or to keep an owlbear calm, while you back off.
Check: You can improve the attitude of an animal with a successful check. (Your DM has information in the DMG about attitudes, including the DCs to change them.) To use the skill, you and the animal must be able to study each other, noting each other's body language, vocalizations, and general demeanor, This, means that you must be within 30 feet under normal conditions.
Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time,
This skill works on animals (such as bears and giant lizards); you can use it with a ‑4 penalty on beasts (such as ow1hears) and magi cal beasts (such as blink dogs).
Retry: As with attempts to influence people, retries on the same animal generally don't work (or don't work any better), whether you have succeeded or not.
Use this skill to tell an antique from old junk, a sword that's old and fancy from an elven heirloom, and high‑duality jewelry from cheap stuff made to look good.
Check: You can appraise common or well‑known objects within 10% of their value (DC 12). Failure means you estimate the value at 50% to 150% of actual value. The DM secretly rolls 2d6+3, multiplies by 10%, multiplies the actual value by that percentage and, tells you that value for the item. (Fox a common or well‑known, item, your chance of estimating the value within 10% is fairly high even if you fail the check- in such a case, you made a lucky guess.)
Rare or exotic items require a successful check against DC 15, 20, or higher. If successful, you estimate the value at 70% to 130% of its actual value. The DM secretly rolls 2d4+5, multiplies by 10%, multiplies the actual value by that percentage, and tells you that value for the item. Failure means you cannot estimate the item's value.
A magnifying glass gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Appraise checks involving any item that is small or highly detailed, such as a gem. A merchant's scale gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Appraise checks involving any items that are valued by weight, including anything made of precious metals. These bonuses stack.
Appraising an item takes 1 minute.
Retry: Not on the same object, regardless of success.
Special: If you are making the check untrained, for common items, failure means no estimate, and for rare items, success means an estimate of 50% to 150% (2d6+3 times 10%).
Dwarves have a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to rare or exotic items because they are familiar with valuable items of all kinds (especially those made of stone or metal).
Autohypnosis (Wis; Trained Only; Psion, Psychic Warrior Only)
You have trained your mind to resist certain injuries and threats, as well as gain a few select benefits.
Check: The DC and effect depend on the task you attempt.
15 Resist fear
13 Ignore caltrop wound
Poison's DC Tolerate poison
Resist Fear: In response to a fear effect, you can make Autohypnosis check on your next round even if overcome by fear. A successful check grants you another saving throw with a +4 morale bonus to resist the fear effect.
Memorize: You can attempt to memorize a long string of numbers, a long passage of verse, or other particularly difficult piece of information (but you can't memorize magical spells or similarly exotic scripts). Each success check allows you to memorize up to 800 words (or strange sigils or numbers that would fill one piece of regular parchment, though multiple checks allow you to remember multiples of 800). You always retain this information; however, you can only recall it with another success Autohypnosis check.
Ignore Caltrop Wound: If you are wounded by stepping on a caltrop, your speed is reduced to one‑half of normal. A successful Autohypnosis check removes this movement penalty for a period of 10 minutes. The wound doesn't go away‑it is just ignored through self‑persuasion.
Tolerate Poison: In response to being poisoned, you can make an Autohypnosis check on your next action. A successful check grants you a +4 morale bonus on your saving throw to resist the poison's secondary damage.
Willpower: If reduced to 0 hit points (staggered), you may make an Autohypnosis check. If successful, you can take a normal action while at 0 hit points without taking 1 point of damage. You must make a check for each strenuous action you take. A failed willpower check carries no penalties other than failure‑you can choose not to take that strenuous action. If you do so anyway, you drop to ‑1 hit points.
Retry: See above.
Balance (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
You can keep your balance while walking on a tightrope, a narrow beam, a ledge, or an uneven floor.
Check: You can walk on a precarious surface as a move‑equivalent action. A successful check lets you move at half your speed along the surface for 1 round. A failure means that you can't move for 1 round. Failure by 5 or more means that you fall. The difficulty varies with the surface:
Surface DC Surface DC
7‑12 inches wide 10 Uneven floor 10
2‑6 inches wide 15 Surface angled +5*
Less than 2 inches wide 20 Surface slippery +5*
*Cumulative; if both apply, use both.
Being Attacked while Walking a Tightrope: Attacks against you are made as if you were off balance. They gain a +2 attack bonus, and you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC, if any. If you have 5 of more ranks in Balance, then you can retain your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) in the face of attacks. If you take damage, you must make a check again to stay on the tightrope.
Accelerated Movement: You try to can walk a precarious surface more quickly than normal. If you accept a ‑5 penalty, you can move your full speed as a move‑equivalent action. (Moving twice your speed in a round requires two checks.)
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Balance checks.
You can make the outrageous or the untrue seem plausible. The skill encompasses acting, conning, fast talking, misdirection, prevarication, and misleading body language. Use a bluff to sow temporary confusion, get someone to turn his head to look where you point, or simply look innocuous.
Check: A Bluff check is opposed by the target's Sense Motive check. Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome of a bluff. Two circumstances can weigh against you: The bluff is hard to believe, or the action that the target is to take goes against the target's self‑interest, nature, personality, orders, etc. If it's important, the DM can distinguish between a bluff that fails because the target doesn't believe it and one that fails because it just asks too much of the target. For instance, if the target gets a +10 bonus because the bluff demands something risky of the target, and the Sense Motive check succeeds by 10 or less, then the target didn't so much see through the bluff as prove reluctant to go along with it. If the target succeeds by 11 or more, he has seen through the bluff (and would have done so even if it had not entailed any demand on him).
A successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as you wish, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less) or believes something that you want him to believe. Bluff, however, is not a suggestion spell. For example, you could use a bluff to put someone off guard by telling him his shoes are untied. At best, such a bluff would make the target glance down at his shoes. It would not cause the target to ignore you and fiddle with his shoes.
A bluff requires interaction between the character and the target. Creatures unaware of the character cannot be bluffed. A bluff always takes at least 1 round (and is at least a full‑round action) but can take much longer if you try something elaborate.
Feinting in Combat: You can also use Bluff to mislead an opponent in combat so that he can't dodge your attack effectively. Doing so is a miscellaneous standard action that does not draw an attack of opportunity. If you are successful, the next attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any).
Feinting in this way against a non-humanoid is difficult because it's harder to read a strange creature's body language; you suffer a ‑4 penalty. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2) it's even harder; you suffer a‑8 penalty. Against, a non-intelligent creature, it's impossible.
Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to help you hide. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you.
Example Circumstances Modifier
The target wants to believe you. -5
"These emeralds aren't stolen. I'm just desperate for coin right
now, so I'm offering them to you cheap."
The bluff is believable and doesn't affect the target much. +0
"I don't know what you're talking about, sir. I'm just a simple
peasant girl here for the fair."
The bluff is a little hard to believe or puts the target at some risk +5
"You orcs want to fight? I'll take you all on myself. I don't
need my friends' help. Just don't get your blood all over my
The bluff is hard to believe or entails a large risk for the target. +10
"This diadem doesn't belong to the duchess. It just looks like
hers. Trust me, I wouldn't sell you jewelry that would get
you hanged, would I?"
The bluff is way out there; it's almost too incredible to consider. +15
"You might find this hard to believe, but I'm actually a
lammasu who's been polymorphed into halfling form by an
evil sorcerer. You know we lammasu are trustworthy, so you
can believe me."
Retry: Generally, a failed Bluff check makes the target too suspicious for a bluffer to try another one in the same circumstances. Far feinting in combat, you may retry freely.
Special: Having 5 or more ranks in Bluff gives you a +2 synergy bonus on Intimidate and Pick Pocket checks and a +2 synergy bonus on an innuendo check to transmit a message. Also, if you have 5 or more ranks of Bluff, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Disguise checks when you know that you're being observed and you try to act in character.
A ranger gains a bonus on Bluff checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.
Climb (Str; Armor Check Penalty)
Use this skill to scale a cliff, to get to the window on the second story of a wizard's tower, or to climb out of a pit after falling through a trapdoor.
Check: With each successful, Climb check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope or a wall or other steep incline (or even a ceiling with handholds.) You can move half that far, one‑fourth of your speed, as a miscellaneous move equivalent action. A slope is considered to be any incline of less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline of 60 degrees or steeper.
A failed Climb check means that you make no progress, and a check that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.
A climber's kit gives a +2 circumstance bonus to climb checks.
The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb.
DC Example Wall or Surface
0 A slope too steep to walk up, A knotted rope with a wall to brace against
5 A rope with a wall to brace against, or a knotted rope, or a rope affected by a rope trick spell.
10 A surface with ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a very rough wall or a ship's rigging.
Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a very rough
natural rock surface or a tree. An unknotted rope.
20 An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical wall in a dungeon
25 A rough surface, such as a natural rock wall or a brick wall.
25 Overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds. A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface
cannot be climbed.
‑10* Climbing a chimney (artificial or natural) or other location where one can brace against two
opposite walls (reduces DC by 10). Climbing a corner where you can brace against perpendicular
walls (reduces DC by 5).
+5* Surface is slippery (increases DC by 5).
*These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.
Since you can't move to avoid a blow while climbing, enemies can attack you as if you were stunned: An attacker gets a +2 bonus, and you lose any Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, You also can't use a shield
Any time you take damage while climbing; make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall from your current height and sustain the appropriate falling damage.
Accelerated Climbing: You try to climb more quickly than normal. As a miscellaneous full‑round action, you can attempt to cover your full speed in climbing distance, but you suffer a ‑5 penalty on climb checks and you must make two checks each round. Each successful check allows you to climb a distance equal to one‑half your speed. By accepting the ‑5 penalty, you can move this far as a move‑equivalent action rather than as a full ‑round action.
Making Your Own Handholds and Footholds: You can make your own handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so takes 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per 3 feet. As with any surface with .handholds and footholds, a wall with pitons in it has a DC of 15, in the same way, a climber with a handaxe or similar implement can cut holds in an ice wall.
Catching Yourself When Falling: it's practically impossible to catch yourself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC = wall's DC + 20) to do so. A slope is a lot easier is catch yourself on (DC = slope's DC + 10).
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Use Rope gets a +2 synergy bonus on checks to climb a rope, a knotted rope, or a rope and wall combination.
Someone using a rope can haul a character upward (or lower the Character) through sheer strength. Use double your maximum load to determine how much a character can lift.
Halflings get a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks because they are agile and surefooted.
You are particularly good at focusing your mind.
Check: You can make a concentration check to cast a spell, despite distractions, such as taking damage, getting hit by an unfriendly spell, and so on. You can also use this skill to maintain concentration in the face of other distractions or on other things besides spells, such as eavesdropping on a conversation despite distractions from other people.
The table below summarizes various types of distractions that can cause you to make a Concentration check while casting a spell. "Spell level" refers to the level of the spell you're trying to cast.
10 + damage dealt Injury or failed saving throw during the casting of a spell (for spells with a
+ spell level casting time of 1 full round or more) or injury by an attack of opportunity or
readied attack made in response to the spell being cast (for spells, with a casting
time of 1 action).
10 + damage dealt Injury or a failed saving throw during the manifestation (for powers with a
+ Power level manifesting time of 1 full round or more) or injury by an attack of opportunity
or readied attack made in response to the power being manifested (for powers
with a manifesting time of 1 action).
10 + half of continuous Suffering continuous damage (such as, from Melf's acid arrow).
damage last dealt
+ spell/power level
10 + damage dealt Damaged by spell or Psionic Power
+ spell level
Distracting spell's save Distracted by non-damaging spell, (If the spell allows no save, use the save DC
DC + spell level it would have if it did allow a save.)
Distracting power's save Distracted by non-damaging power. (If the power allows no save, use the DC it
DC + power level would have if it did allow a save.
20 + spell/power level Grappling or pinned. (Can only cast spells without somatic components and
whose material component is in hand.)
10 + spell/power level Vigorous motion (on a moving mount, bouncy wagon ride, small boat in rough
water, below decks in a storm tossed ship)
15 + spell/power level Violent motion (galloping horse, very rough wagon ride, small boat in rapids,
on deck of storm‑tossed ship).
20 + spell level Affected by earthquake spell.
20 + power level Affected by improved telekinesis.
5 + spell/power level Weather is a high wind carrying blinding rain or sleet.
10 + spell/power level Weather is wind‑driven hail, dust, or debris.
Distracting spell's save Weather caused by spell, such as storm of vengeance (same as distracted by
DC + spell level non-damaging spell).
15 + spell level Casting defensively (so as not to provoke attacks of opportunity).
15 + power level Manifesting defensively (so as not to provoke attacks of opportunity).
15 Caster entangled by a net, snare, tangle foot bag, or power or spell that similarly
entangles the manifester.
Retry: Yes, though a success doesn't cancel the effects of a previous failure, which almost always is the loss of the spell being cast or the disruption of a spell being concentrated on.
Special: A character with the‑ Combat Casting feat gets a +4 bonus to Concentration checks made to cast a spell while on the defensive.
You are trained in a craft, trade, or art, such as armorsmithing, basketweaving, bookbinding, bowmaking, blacksmithing, calligraphy, carpentry, cobbling, gemcutting, leatherworking, locksmithing, painting, pottery, sculpture, shipmaking, stonemasonry, trapmaking, weaponsmithing, or weaving.
Craft is actually a number of separate skills. For instance, you could have the skill Craft (trapmaking). Your ranks in that skill don't affect any, checks you happen to make for pottery or leather working, for example. You could have several Craft skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased as a separate skill.
A Craft skill is specifically focused on creating something; if it is not, it is a Profession.
Check: You can practice your trade and make a decent living, earning about half your check result in gold pieces per handcount of dedicated work. You know how to use the tools of your trade, how to perform the craft's daily tasks, how to‑supervise untrained helpers, and how to handle common problems. (Untrained laborers and assistants earn an average of 1 silver piece per day)
However, the basic function of the Craft skill is to allow you to make an item of the appropriate Type. The DC depends on the difficulty of the item created. The DC, your check results, and the price of the item determine how long it takes to make the item. The item's finished price also determines the cost of raw materials. (In the game world, it is the skill level required, the time required, and the raw materials required that determine an item's price. That's why the item's price and DC determine how long it takes to make the item, and the cost of the raw materials.)
In some cases, the fabricate spell can be used to achieve the results of a Craft check without your needing to make the check. However, you must make an appropriate Craft check when using the spell to make articles requiring a high degree of craftsmanship (jewelry, swords, glass, crystal, etc.).
A Craft check related to woodworking in conjunction with the casting of the ironwood spell enables you to make wooden items that have the strength of steel.
When casting the spell minor creation, you must succeed at an appropriate Craft check to make a complex item, such as a Craft (bowmaking) check to make straight arrow shafts.
All crafts require artisan's tools to give the best chance of success; if improvised tools are used instead, the check is made with a ‑2 circumstance penalty. On the other hand, masterwork artisan's tools provide a +2 circumstance bonus.
To determine how much time and money it takes to make an item:
1. Find the item's price or have the DM set the price for an item. Put the price in silver pieces (1 gp ‑10 sp).
2. Find the DC listed here or have the DM set one.
3. Pay one‑third the item's price in raw materials.
4. Make a skill check representing one handcount's work.
If the check succeeds, multiply the check result by the DC. If the result x the DC equals the price of the item in sp, then you have completed the item. (If the result x the DC equals double or triple the price of the item in silver pieces, then you've completed the task in one‑half or one‑third the time, and so on.) If the result x the DC doesn't equal the price, then it represents progress you've made this handcount. Record the result and make a check for the next handcount. Each handcount you make more progress until your total reaches the price of the item in silver pieces.
If you fail the check, you make no progress this handcount. If you fail by 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.
Progress by the Day: You can make checks by the day instead of by the handcount, in which case your progress (result x DC) is in copper pieces instead of silver pieces.
Creating Masterwork Item: You can make a masterwork item (an item that conveys a bonus to its use through its exceptional craftsmanship, not through being magical). To create a masterwork version of an item on the table below, you create the masterwork component as if it were a separate item in addition to the standard item. The masterwork component has its own price (300 gp for a weapon or 150 gp for a suit of armor) and DC (20). Once both the standard component and the masterwork component are completed, the masterwork item is finished. (Note: The price you pay for the masterwork component is one‑third of the given amount, just as it is for the price in raw materials.)
Repairing Items: Generally, you can repair an item at the same DC that it takes to make it in the first place. The cost of repairing an item is one‑fifth the item's price.
Item Craft DC
Armor, shield Armorsmith 10 + AC bonus
Longbow, shortbow Bowmaking 12
Composite longbow, composite shortbow Bowmaking 15
Mighty bow Bowmaking 15 +2/Str bonus
Crossbow Weaponsmith 15
Simple melee or thrown weapon Weaponsmith 72
Martial melee or thrown weapon Weaponsmith 15
Exotic melee or thrown weapon Weaponsmith 18
Very simple item (wooden spoon) Varies 5
Typical item (iron pot) Varies 10
High‑quality item (bell) Varies 15
Complex or superior item (lock) Varies 20
Paper (100 sheets) Bookbinding 12
Papyrus (100 sheets) Bookbinding 10
Parchment (100 sheets). Bookbinding 10
Spellbook Bookbinding 15
Magic rune (with Inscribe Rune feat) varies 20 + spell level
Magic tattoo (with create magic tattoo spell) Calligraphy 10, 15, or 20
Retry: Yes, but each time you miss by 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.
Special: Dwarves have a +2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal, because dwarves are especially capable with stonework and metalwork.
See Appendix One: Poison and Traps for details on Craft (Poisonmaking) and Craft (Trapmaking).
Decipher Script (Int; Trained Only; Bard, Rogue Only)
Use this skill to piece together the meaning of ancient rune carved into the wall of an abandoned temple, to get the gist of an intercepted letter written in an infernal language, to follow the directions on a treasure map written in a forgotten alphabet, or to interpret the mysterious glyphs painted on a cave wall.
Check: You can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard texts, and 30 or higher for intricate, exotic, or very old writing.
If the check succeeds, you understand the general content of a piece of writing, reading about one single page of text (or its equivalent) in 1 minute. If the, check, fails, the DM makes a Wisdom check (DC 5) for you to see if you avoid drawing a false conclusion about the text. (Success means that you do not draw a false conclusion; failure means that you do.)
The DM secretly makes both the skill check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check so you can't tell whether the conclusion you draw is true or false.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls.
Use this skill to persuade the chamberlain to let you see the king, to negotiate peace between feuding barbarian tribes, or to convince the ogre mages that have captured you that they should ransom you back to your friends instead of twisting your limbs off one by one. Diplomacy includes etiquette, social, grace, tact, subtlety, and a way with words. A skilled character knows the formal and informal rules of conduct, social expectations, proper forms of address, and so on. This skill represents the ability to give others the right impression of oneself, to negotiate effectively, and; to influence others.
Check: You can change others' attitudes with a successful check. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks to see who gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve cases when two advocates or diplomats plead opposite cases in a hearing before a third party.
Retry: Generally, retries do not work. Even if the initial check succeeds, the other character can only be persuaded so far, and a retry may do more harm than good. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly committed to his position and a retry is futile.
Special: Charisma checks to influence NPCs are generally untrained Diplomacy checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff or Sense Motive, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Diplomacy checks. These bonuses stack.
Disable Device (Int; Trained Only)
Use this skill to disarm a trap, jam a lock (in either the open or closed position), or rig a wagon wheel to fall off. You can examine a fairly simple or fairly small mechanical device and disable it. The effort requires at least a simple tool of the appropriate sort (a pick, pry bar, saw, file, etc.). Attempting a Disable Device check without a set of thieves' tools carries a ‑2 circumstance penalty, even if a simple tool is employed. The use of masterwork thieves' tools enables you to make the check with a +2 circumstance bonus.
Check: The DM makes the Disable Device check so that you don't necessarily know whether you've succeeded. The amount of time needed to make a check and the DC for the check depend on how tricky the device is. Disabling a simple device takes 1 round (and is at least a full round action). Intricate or complex devices require 2d4 rounds. You also can rig simple devices such as saddles or wagon wheels to work normally for a while and then fail or fall off some time later (usually after 1d4 rounds or minutes of use
Disabling (or rigging or jamming) a fairly simple device has a DC of 10. More intricate and complex devices have a higher DC. The DM rolls the check. If the check succeeds, you disable the device. If the check fails by up to 4, you have failed but can try again. If you fail by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If it's a trap, you spring it. If it's some sort of sabotage, you think the device is disabled, but it still works normally.
Device Time DC* Example
Simple 1 round 10 Jam a lock
Tricky 1d4 rounds 15 Sabotage a wagon wheel
Difficult 2d4 rounds 20 Disarm a trap, reset a trap
Wicked 2d4 rounds 25 Disarm a complex trap or magic rune, cleverly sabotage a clockwork
*If the character attempts to leave behind no trace of the tampering, add 5 to the DC.
Retry: Yes, though you must be aware that you have failed in order to try again.
Special: Rogues (and only rogues) can disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the magic used to create it. For instance, disarming a trap set by the casting of explosive runes has a DC of 28 because explosive runes is a 3rd‑level spell.
The spells fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol, and teleportation circle also create traps that a rogue can disarm with a Disable Device check. Spike growth and spike stones, however, create magic traps against which Disable Device checks do not succeed. See the individual spell descriptions for details.
A rogue who beats a trap's DC by, 10 or more can generally study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (along with his companions without disarming it.
Use this skill to change your appearance or someone else's. The effort requires at least a few props, some makeup, and 1d3x10 minutes of work. The use of a disguise kit provides a +2 circumstance bonus to a Disguise check. A disguise can include an apparent change of height or weight of no more than one‑tenth the original. You can also impersonate people, either individuals or types, so that, for example, you might, with little or no actual disguise, make yourself seem like a traveler given if you're a local.
Check: Your Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is, and it is opposed by others' Spot check results. Make one Disguise check even if several people make Spot checks. The DM makes your Disguise check secretly so that you're not sure how good it is.
If you don't draw any attention to yourself, however, others do not get to make Spot checks. If you come to the attention of people who are suspicious (such as a guard who is watching commoners walking through a city gate), the DM can assume that such observers are taking 10 on their Spot checks.
The effectiveness of your disguise depends in part on how much you're attempting to change your appearance:
Minor details only +5
Disguised as different sex -2
Disguised as different race ‑2
Disguised as different age category ‑2*
Disguised as specific class -2
*Per step of difference between character's actual‑age category and disguised age category (young [younger than adulthood], adulthood, middle age, old, venerable).
If you are impersonating a particular individual, those who know what that person looks like get a bonus on their Spot, checks (and are automatically considered to be suspicious of you, so opposed checks are always invoked).
Recognizes on sight +4
Friends or associates +6
Close friends +8
Usually, an individual makes a check for detection immediately upon meeting you and each hour thereafter. If you casually meet many different creatures, each for a short time, check once per day or hour, using an average spot bonus for the group. For example, if a character is trying to pass for a merchant at a bazaar, the DM can make one Spot check per hour for the people she encounters using a +1 bonus on the check to represent the average of the crowd (most people with no Spot ranks and a few with good Spot skills).
Retry: A character may try to redo a failed disguise, but once others know that a disguise was attempted they'll be more suspicious.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks of Bluff, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Disguise checks when you know that you're being observed and you try to act in character.
Magic that alters the recipient's form, such as alter self, change self, polymorph other, or shapechange, grants the disguised individual a +10 bonus on her Disguise check (see the individual spell descriptions). You must succeed at a Disguise check with a +10 bonus to duplicate the appearance of a specific individual using, the veil spell. Divination magic that sees through illusions, such as true seeing, does not see through a mundane disguise, but can see through the magical component of a magically enhanced one.
You must make a Disguise check when you cast a Simulacrum spell to determine how good the likeness is.
Escape Artist (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
Use this skill to slip bonds or manacles, wriggle through tight spaces, or escape the grip of a monster that ensnares you, such as a roper.
Check: Making a check to escape from, being bound up by ropes, manacles, or other restraints (except a grappler) requires 1 minute of work. Escaping a net or entangle spell is a full‑round action. Squeezing through a tight space takes at least 1 minute, maybe longer, depending on how long the space is.
Ropes Binder’s Use Rope check at +10
Net, animate rope spell, command plants spell, control plants spell, 20
or entangle spell
Snare spell 23
Tight space 30
Masterwork manacles 35
Grappler Grappler’s grapple check
Ropes: Your Escape Artist check is opposed by the binder's Use Rope check. Since it's easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the‑binder gets a special +10 bonus on her check.
Manacles and Masterwork Manacles: Manacles have a DC set by their construction.
Net or Spell: Escaping from a net or an animate rope, command plants, control plants, or entangle spell is a full‑round action.
Tight Space: This is the DC for getting through a space where one's head fits but one's shoulders don't. If the space is long, such as in a chimney, the DM may call for multiple cheeks. You can't fit through a space that your head does not fit through.
Grappler: You can make an Escape Artist check opposed by your enemy's grapple check to get out of a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that you're just being grappled). Doing so is a standard action, so if you escape the grapple you can move in the same round. See "Wriggle Free" under Other Grappling Options.
Retry: You can make another check after a failed check if you're squeezing your way through a tight space, making multiple checks. If the situation permits, you can make additional checks or even take 20 as long as you're not being actively opposed.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks of Use Rope gets a +2 synergy bonus on Escape Artist checks when escaping from rope bonds.
Use this skill to fake a written order from the duchess instructing a jailer to release prisoners, to create an authentic‑looking treasure map, or to detect forgeries that others try to pass off.
Check: Forgery requires writing materials appropriate to the document being forged, enough light to write by, wax for seals (if appropriate), and some time. Forging a very short and simple document takes about 1 minute. Longer or more complex documents take 1d4 minutes per page. To forge a document on which the handwriting is not specific to a person (military orders, a government decree, a business ledger, or the like), the character needs only to have seen a similar document before and gains a +8 bonus on the roll. To forge a signature, an autograph of that person to copy is needed, and the character gains a +4 bonus on the roll. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of that person's handwriting is needed.
The DM makes your check secretly so you're not sure how good your forgery is. As with Disguise, you don't even need to make a check until someone examines the work. This Forgery check is opposed by the person who examines the document to check its Authenticity. That person makes a Forgery check opposed to the forger's. The reader gains bonuses or penalties to his or her check as described in the table below.
Condition Check Modifier:
Type of document unknown to reader -2
Type of document somewhat known to reader +0
Type of document well known to reader +2
Handwriting not known to reader -2
Handwriting somewhat known to reader +0
Handwriting intimately known to reader +2
Reader only casually reviews the document -2
Make a false magic scroll or spellbook +5 to Forgery DC
As with Bluff, a document that contradicts procedure, orders, or, previous knowledge or one that requires sacrifice on the part of the person checking the document can increase that character's suspicion (and thus create favorable circumstances for the, checker's opposing Forgery check).
Retry: Usually, no. A retry is never possible after a particular reader detects a particular forgery. But the document created by the forger might still fool someone else. The result of a Forgery check for a particular document must be used for every instance of a different reader examining the document. No reader can attempt to detect a particular forgery more than once; if that one opposed check goes in favor of the forger, then the reader can't try using his own skill again, even if he's suspicious about the document.
Special: To forge documents and detect forgeries, one must be able to read and write the language in question. (The skill is language‑dependent.)
Gather Information (Cha)
Use this skill for making contacts in an area, finding out local gossip, rumor mongering and collecting general information.
Check: By succeeding at a skill check (DC 10), given an evening with a few gold pieces to use for making friends by buying drink and such, you can get a general idea of what the major news items are in a city, assuming no obvious reasons exist why the information would be withheld (such as if you are an elf hanging out in an orc city, or if you can't speak the local language). The higher the check result, the better the information.
If you want to find out about a specific rumor ("Which way to the ruined temple?"), specific item ("What can you tell me about that pretty sword the captain of the guard walks around with?"), obtain a map, or do something else along those lines, the DC is 15 to 25 or higher.
Retry: Yes, but it takes an evening or so for each check, and characters may draw attention to themselves if they repeatedly pursue a certain type of information.
Handle Animal (Cha; Trained Only)
Use this skill to drive a team of horses pulling a wagon over rough terrain, to teach a dog to guard, to raise an owlbear chick as a devoted pet, or to teach a tyrannosaur to "speak" on your command.
Check: The time required to get an effect and the DC depend on what you are trying to do.
Task Time DC
Handle a domestic animal Varies 10
"Push" a domestic animal Varies 15
Teach an animal tasks 2 months 15
Teach an animal unusual tasks 2 months 20
Rear a wild animal 1 year 15 + HD of animal
Rear a beast 1 year 20 + H D of beast
Train a wild animal 2 months 20 + H D of animal
Train a beast 2 months 25 + H D of beast
Time: For a task with a specific time frame, you must spend half this‑time (at the rate of 3 hours per day per animal being handled) working toward completion of the task before you make the skill check. If the check fails, you can't teach, rear, or train that animal. If the check succeeds, you must invest the remainder of the time before the teaching, rearing, or training is complete. If the time is interrupted or the task is not followed through to completion, any further attempts to teach, rear, or train the same animal automatically fail.
Handle a Domestic Animal: This means to command a trained dog, to drive beasts of labor, to tend to tired horses, and so forth.
"Push" a Domestic Animal: To push a domestic animal means to get more out of it than it usually gives, such as commanding a poorly trained dog or driving draft animals for extra effort.
Teach an Animal Tasks: This means to teach a domestic animal some tricks. You can train one type of animal per rank (chosen when the ranks are purchased) to obey commands and perform simple tricks. Animals commonly trained include dogs, horses, mules, oxen, falcons, and pigeons. You can work with up to three animals at one time, and you can teach them general tasks such as guarding, attacking, carrying riders, performing heavy labor, hunting and tracking, or fighting beside troops. An animal can be trained for one general purpose only.
Teach an Animal Unusual Tasks: This is similar to teaching an animal tasks, except that the tasks can be something unusual for that breed of animal, such as training a dog to be a riding animal. Alternatively, you can use this aspect of Handle Animal to train an animal to perform specialized tricks, such as teaching a horse to rear on command or come when whistled for or teaching a falcon to pluck objects from someone's grasp. Training a mount to air walk counts as teaching it an unusual task.
You can teach simple tricks ("Sit," "Stay," etc.) to an animal that is the subject of an animal friendship spell without needing to make a skill check, but a complex trick, such as accepting a rider, requires the Handle Animal skill.
Rear a Wild Animal or a Beast: To rear an animal or beast means to wise a wild creature from infancy so that it is domesticated. A handler can rear up to three creatures o£ the same type at once. A successfully domesticated animal or beast can be taught tricks at the same time that it's being raised, or can be taught as a domesticated animal later.
Train a Wild Animal and Train a Beast mean train a wild creature to do certain tricks, but only at the character's command. The creature is still wild, though usually controllable.
Retry: For handling and pushing domestic animals, yes. For training and rearing, no.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks of Animal Empathy gets a +2 synergy bonus on Handle Animal checks with animals. A character must have 9 or more ranks of Animal Empathy to get the same +2 synergy bonus on Handle Animal checks with beasts.
A character with 5 or more ranks of Handle Animal gets a +2 synergy bonus on Ride checks.
An untrained character can use a Charisma check to handle and push‑animals.
Use this skill to keep a badly wounded friend from dying, to help others recover faster from wounds, to keep your friend from succumbing to a wyvern's sting, or to treat disease.
Check: The DC and effect depend on the task you attempt
First aid 15
Long term care 15
Treat caltrop wound 15
Treat poison Poison's DC
Treat disease Disease's DC
First Aid: First aid usually means saving a dying character. If a character has negative hit points and is losing hit points (at 1 per round, 1 per hour, or 1 per day), you can make her stable. The character regains no hit points, but she does stop losing them. The check is a standard action.
Long‑term Care: Providing long‑term care means treating a, wounded person for a day or more. If successful, you let the patient recover hit points or ability score points (lost to temporary damage) at twice the normal rate: 2 hit points per level for each day of light activity, 3 hit points per level for each day of complete rest, and 2 ability score points per day. You can tend up to six patients at a time. You need a few items and supplies (bandages, salves, and so on) that are easy to come by in settled lands.
Giving long‑term care counts as light activity for the healer. You cannot give long‑term care to yourself.
A healer's kit gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Heal.
Treat Wound from Caltrop Spike Growth, or Spike Stones: A creature wounded by stepping on a caltrop has its speed reduced to one‑half of normal. A successful Heal check removes this movement penalty. Treating a caltrop wound is a standard action.
A creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell must succeed at a Reflex save or take injuries that slow his speed by one third. Another character can remove this penalty by taking 10 minutes to dress the victim's injuries and succeeding at a Heal check against the spell's save DC.
Treat Poison: To treat poison means to tend a single character who has been poisoned and who is going to take more damage from the poison (or suffer some other effect). Every time the poisoned character makes a saving throw against the poison, you make a Heal check. The poisoned character uses your result in place of her saving throw if your result is higher.
Treat Disease: To treat a disease means to tend a diseased character. Every time the diseased character makes a saving throw against disease effects, you make a Heal check. The diseased character uses your result in place of his or her saving throw if your Heal result is higher.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Profession (herbalist) you get a +2 synergy bonus on Heal checks.
Hide (Dex, Armor Check Penalty)
Use this skill to sink back into the shadows and proceed unseen, to approach a wizard's tower under cover of brush, or to tail someone through a busy street without being noticed.
Check: Your Hide check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see you. You can move up to one‑half your normal speed and hide at no penalty. At more than one‑half and up to your full speed, you suffer a ‑5 penalty. It's practically impossible (‑20 penalty) to hide while running or charging.
For example, Lidda has a speed of 20 feet. If she doesn't want to take a penalty on her Hide check, she can move only 10 feet as a move equivalent action (and thus 20 feet in a round).
Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses and size penalties on Hide checks: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large ‑4, Huge‑8, Gargantuan‑12, Colossal‑16.
If people are observing you, even casually, you can’t hide. You can run around a corner or something so that you're out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where you went. If your observers are momentarily distracted (as by a Bluff check) though, you can attempt to hide. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Hide check if you can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot per rank you have in Hide). This check, however, is at ‑10 because you have to move fast.
Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use Bluff to help you, hide. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you.
Hypnosis (Cha; Trained Only)
You have studied the hidden workings of the human mind and can unlock its secrets.
Check: You can use hypnosis to induce a deep, calming trance in your subject. The effects of a hypnotic trance are identical to those created by the hypnotism spell. Unlike the spell, however, the skill allows you to hypnotize only one target at a time, who does not receive the -2 penalty to her Will save. Each attempt to use hypnosis requires 1 hour. If the target is unwilling, you must first succeed at a Bluff check to disguise your intent.
A Hypnosis check is opposed by the target's Will save. Loud or distracting surroundings grant a +2 circumstance modifier to the target's Will save. Willing targets can voluntarily choose not to make their saving throw.
Once the target is hypnotized, you can either plant a suggestion (as per the hypnotism spell) or aid the recovery of a target who suffers from the effects of a failed Madness save.
Retry: Generally, you cannot retry a Hypnosis check against an unwilling target; the target becomes too suspicious to cooperate. If attempting to hypnotize a willing target, you may retry freely. Retries are a vital component in the process of helping targets recover from Madness effects, in fact.
Innuendo (Wis; Trained Only)
You know how to give and understand secret messages while appearing to be speaking about other Things. Two rogues, for example, might seem to be talking about bakery goods when they're really planning how to break into the evil wizard's laboratory.
Check: You can get a message across to another character with the innuendo skill. The DC for a basic message is 10. The DC is 15 or 20 for complex messages, especially those that rely on getting across new information. Also, the character can try to discern the hidden message in a conversation between two other characters that are using this skill. The DC is the skill check of the character using innuendo, and for each piece of information that the eavesdropper is missing, that character suffers a ‑2 penalty on the check. For example, if a character eavesdrops on people planning to assassinate a visiting diplomat, the eavesdropper suffers a ‑2 penalty if he doesn't know about the diplomat. Whether trying to send or intercept a message, a failure by 5 or more points means that some false information has been implied or inferred.
The DM makes your Innuendo check secretly so that you don't necessarily know whether you were successful.
Retry: Generally, retries are allowed when trying to send a message, but not when receiving or intercepting one. Each retry carries the chance of miscommunication.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 synergy bonus on your check to transmit (but not receive) a message. If you have 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive, you get a +2 synergy bonus on your check to receive or intercept (but not transmit) a message.
Use this skill to get a bully to back down or to make a prisoner give you the information you want. Intimidation includes verbal threats and body language.
Check: You can change others behavior with a successful check. The DC is typically 10 + the target's Hit Dice. Any bonuses that a target may have on saving throws against fear increase the DC.
Retry: Generally, retries do not work. Even if the initial check succeeds, the other character can only be intimidated so far, and a retry doesn't help. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly resolved to resist the intimidator, and a retry is futile.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 synergy bonus on intimidate checks.
Intuit Direction (Wis; Trained Only)
You have an innate sense of direction.
Check: By concentrating for 1 minute, you can determine where true north lies in relation to yourself (DC 15). If the check fails, you cannot determine direction. On a natural roll of 1, you err and mistakenly identify a random direction as true north.
The DM makes your check secretly so that you don't know whether you rolled a successful result or a 1.
Retry: You can use Intuit Direction once per day. The roll represents how sensitive to direction you are that day.
Special: Untrained characters can't use an innate sense of direction, but they could determine direction by finding clues.
Jump (Str, Armor Check Penalty)
Use this skill to leap over pits, vault low fences, or reach a tree's lowest branches.
Check: You jump a minimum distance plus an additional distance depending on the amount by which your jump check result exceeds 10. The maximum distance of any jump is a function of your height.
Type of Jump Distance Additional Distance Distance
Running jump 5 ft. +1 ft./1 point above 10 Height x 6
Standing jump 3 ft. +1 ft./2 points above 10 Height x 2
Running high jump 2 ft. +1 ft./4 points above 10 Height x 1½
Standing high jump 2 ft. +1 ft./8 points above 10 Height
Jump back 1 ft. +l ft./8 points above 10 Height
*You must move 20 feet before jumping. A character can't take a running jump in heavy armor.
The distances listed are for characters with speeds of 30 feet. If you have a lower speed (from armor, encumbrance, or weight carried, for instance) reduce the distance jumped proportionally. If you have a higher speed (because you're a barbarian or an experienced monk, for instance) increase the distance jumped proportionally.
For example, Krusk the barbarian has a jump skill modifier of +2 (no ranks, +3 Strength bonus, ‑1 armor check penalty) and a base speed of 40 feet. He attempts a running jump across a 10 foot wide chasm, and his player rolls an 11 for a result of 13. That's 3 over 10, so he clears 3 feet more than the minimum distance, or 8 feet. Also, his base speed is one‑third higher than normal (40 feet instead of 30 feet), so his jumping distance is likewise one third greater. Adding one third of 8 feet yields another 2 feet, 8 inches, for a total of 10 feet, 8 inches. Krusk clears the chasm by 8 inches.
Distance moved by jumping is counted against maximum movement in a round normally. For example, Krusk runs 20 feet toward the chasm, leaps 10 feet over it, and then moves an additional 10 feet to be next to a hobgoblin. He can now attack the hobgoblin since he can move 40 feet and make an attack in the same round.
If you intentionally jump down from a height, you might take less damage than if you just fall. If you succeed at a Jump check (DC 15), you take damage as if you had fallen 10 feet less than you actually did.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble you get a +2 synergy bonus on jump checks.
The spell expeditious retreat doubles both your speed and your maximum jumping distances. These increases count as enhancement bonuses.
The subject of a jump spell gets a +30 bonus on jump checks and does not have the usual maximums far jumping distance. For leaps of maximum horizontal distance, the jump reaches its peak (one fourth the horizontal distance) at the halfway point.
A character who has the Run feat and who makes a running jump increases the distance or height he clears by one‑fourth, but not past the maximum.
Halflings get a +2 racial bonus on jump checks because they are agile and athletic.
Knowledge (Int; Trained Only)
Like the Craft and Profession skills, Knowledge actually encompasses a number of unrelated skills. Knowledge represents a study of some body of lore, possibly an academic or even scientific discipline. Below are typical fields of study. With your DM's approval you can invent new areas of knowledge.
Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols cryptic phrases)
Architecture and engineering. (Buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications)
Geography (lands, terrain, climate, people, customs)
History (royalty, wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)
Local (legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws, and traditions)
Nature (plants and animals, seasons and cycles, weather)
Nobility and royalty (lineages, heraldry, customs, family trees, mottoes, personalities, laws)
The planes (the Inner, Outer, Astral, and Ethereal Planes, inhabitants, magic related to the planes)
Religion (gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic tradition holy symbols)
Check: Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
Retry: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn't let you know something you never learned in the first place.
Special: An untrained Knowledge check is simply an intelligence check. Without actual training, a character only knows common knowledge.
If you have 5 or more ranks of Autohypnosis, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Knowledge (Psionics) checks.
Use this skill to hear approaching enemies, to detect someone sneaking up on you from behind, or to eavesdrop on someone else's conversation.
Check: Make a Listen check against a DC that reflects how quiet the noise is that you might hear or against an opposed Move Silently check.
The DM may make the Listen check so that you don't know whether not hearing anything means that nothing is there or that you rolled low.
0 People talking
5 A person in medium armor walking at allow pace (10 ft./round) trying not to make noise.
10 An unarmored person walking at a slow pace (15 ft./round) trying not to make any noise
15 A 1st‑level rogue using Move Silently within 10 ft of the listener.
25 A cat stalking
30 An owl gliding in for a kill
+1 Per 10 ft. from the listener
+5 Through a door
+15 Through a stone wall
In the case of people trying to be quiet, the listed DCs could be replaced by Move Silently checks, in which case the listed DC would be the average result (or close to it). For instance, the "25" listed for a cat stalking means that a cat probably has about a +15 Move Silently skill modifier. (Assuming an average roll of 10 on 1d20, the skill check result would be 25.)
Retry: You can make a Listen check every time you have a chance to hear something in a reactive manner. As a full‑round action you may try to hear something you failed to hear previously.
Special: When several characters are listening to the same thing, the DM can make a single 1d20 roll and use it for all the listeners’ skill checks
The subject of a hypnotism spell suffers a ‑4 penalty on Listen checks.
The subject of a bard's fascinate ability suffers a ‑4 penalty on Listen checks.
A character with the Alertness feat gets a +2 synergy bonus on Listen checks.
A ranger gains a bonus on Listen checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.
Elves, gnomes, and halflings have a +2 racial bonus on Listen checks thanks to their keen ears.
Half‑elves have a +1 racial bonus on Listen checks. Their hearing is good because of their elven heritage, but not as keen as that of a full elf.
The Literacy skill doesn't work like a standard skill.
You start at 1st level knowing how to read and write your native form.
Instead of buying a rank in Literacy, you choose a new form with which you are familiar.
You don’t make Literacy checks. You either know a written form or you don't.
A literate character can read and write in any system with which she is familiar. Each system is a separate skill.
Retry: Not applicable. (There are no Literacy checks to fail.)
Special: All characters are assumed to be literate in their native language with the exception of Barbarians. If a character chooses to forgo such literacy, they acquire an additional 2 skill points as a one time bonus. A Bard receives only 1 bonus skill point. As barbarians do not start out with literacy, they may not gain additional skill points from illiteracy.
Intelligence bonus points used for languages may be used for literacy on a 2 for 1 basis by all classes except the Barbarian.
Mimic Voice (Cha)
Use this skill to repeat any phrase or short sentence in a spoken language you hear. You must have the proper vocal organs to make the required sounds.
Check: Your Mimic Voice check determines how well you reproduce the intonation, dialect, and general quality of any voice you hear. It is opposed by the targets' Listen check results. You only have to make one check, but each opponent makes a separate opposed Listen check. The DM makes your Mimic Voice check so you're not sure how good it is. You do not have to speak the language of your target, but the following modifiers apply.
Voice Reproduced Modifier
Unknown language -4
Different gender -2
Different race -2
Different creature type -4
Different age -2*
* This modifier is applied for each step of difference between your age category and the age category of the person you are trying to mimic (child, adult, middle age, old, and venerable).
These modifiers stack. So, if you are a male human and you attempt to mimic a non-humanoid female creature one category older than you, speaking in a language that is unknown to you, you suffer a -14 circumstance penalty on the skill check.
If you are attempting to reproduce the voice of a particular individual, those who know the person get the following circumstance bonuses on their Listen checks.
Passing familiarity with voice +4
Friends or associates +6
Close friends +8
Usually, an opponent makes a Listen check upon first hearing your character and every round thereafter as long as you continue speaking. If you are casually interacting with many different individuals, the DM should make a check once an hour or day, using an average Listen check for each group.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you receive a +2 synergy bonus on Mimic Voice checks. If you have 5 or more ranks in Disguise and have made a successful Disguise check, you also get a +2 synergy bonus. These bonuses stack. You cannot use this skill to reproduce verbal spell components or other magical vocal abilities, such as a siren's song or banshee's wail.
Move Silently (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
You can use this skill to sneak up behind an enemy or to slink away without being noticed
Check: Your Move Silently check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear you. You can move up to one half your normal speed at no penalty. At more than one‑half and up to your full speed, you suffer a ‑5 penalty. It's practically impossible (‑20 penalty) to move silently while running or charging.
Special: The master of a cat familiar or an owl familiar (see Familiars) gains a +2 bonus on Move Silently checks.
Halflings get a +2 racial bonus on Move Silently checks because, they are nimble.
Open Lock (Dex; Trained Only)
You can pick padlocks, finesse combination locks, and solve puzzle locks. The effort requires at least a simple tool of the appropriate sort (a pick, pry bar, blank key, wire, etc.). Attempting an Open Lock check without a set of thieves' tools carries a ‑2 circumstance penalty, even if a simple tool is employed. The use of masterwork thieves' tools enables you to make the check with a +2 circumstance bonus.
Check: Opening a lock entails 1 round of work and a successful check. (It is a full‑round action.)
Lock DC Lock DC
Very simple lock 20 Average lock 25
Good lock 30 Amazing lock 40
Special: Untrained characters cannot pick locks, but they might successfully force them open (see Breaking Items).
You are skilled in several types of artistic expression and know how to put on a show. Possible Perform types include ballad, buffoonery, chant, comedy, dance, drama, drums, epic, flute, harp, juggling, limericks, lute, mandolin, melody, mime, ode, pan pipes, recorder, shalm, storytelling, and trumpet. (The DM may authorize other types.) You are capable of one form of performance per rank.
Check: You can impress audiences with your talent and skill.
10 Routine performance. Trying to earn money by playing in public is essentially begging. You earn
15 Enjoyable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d10 sp/day.
20 Great performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d10 sp/day. With time, you may be invited
to join a professional troupe and may develop a regional reputation.
25 Memorable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d6 gp/day. With time you may come
to the attention of noble patrons and develop a national reputation.
30 Extraordinary performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d6 gp/day. With time, you may
draw attention from distant potential patrons or even from extra-planar beings.
A masterwork musical instrument gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Perform checks that involve the use of the instrument.
Retry: Retries are allowed, but they don't negate previous failures, and an audience that has been unimpressed in the past is going to be prejudiced against future performances. (Increase the DC by 2 for each previous failure.)
Special: A bard must have at least 3 ranks in Perform to inspire courage in his allies, use his countersong ability, or use his fascinate ability. A bard needs 6 ranks in Perform to inspire competence, 9 ranks to use his suggestion ability, and 12 ranks to inspire greatness. See "Bardic Music" in the bard class description.
In addition to using the Perform skill, a character could entertain people with tumbling, tightrope walking, and spells (especially illusions).
Pick Pocket (Dex; Trained Only; Armor Check Penalty)
You can cut or lift a purse and hide it on your person, palm an unattended object, or perform some feat of legerdemain with an object no larger than a hat or a loaf of bread.
Check: A check against DC 10 lets you palm a coin‑sized, unattended object. Minor feats of legerdemain, such as making a coin disappear, are also DC 10 unless an observer is determined to note where the item went.
When performing this skill under close observation, your skill check is opposed by the observer's Spot check. The observer's check doesn't prevent you from performing the action, just from doing it unnoticed.
If you try to take something from another creature you must make a skill check against DC 20. The opponent makes a Spot check to detect the attempt. The opponent detects the attempt if her check result beats your check result, regardless of whether you got the item.
10 Palm a coin‑sized object, make a coin disappear
20 Lift a small object from a person
Retry: A second Pick Pocket attempt against the same target, or when being watched by the same observer, has a DC +10 higher than the first skill check if the first check failed or if the attempt was noticed.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Pick Pocket checks.
Concealed Weapons: In general, a Pick Pocket check to hide a weapon is opposed by someone else's Spot check (if you're being casually observed) or Search check (if you're being frisked). Under these circumstances, a Search check gets a +4 bonus because it's usually not too hard to find a weapon when you're frisking someone. Additional modifiers may also apply to both checks, as given on the table at top right.
Untrained Concealment Attempts: The Pick Pocket skill cannot be used untrained. If a character without that skill tries to conceal a weapon, it's no longer an opposed check. Instead, anyone observing the character with the concealed weapon gets a Spot check, and anyone frisking that character gets a Search check. The base DC for each Spot or Search check is 10, and all the modifiers on the table apply, including those that would normally modify the Pick Pocket check. Simply change the signs of any applicable Pick Pocket modifiers listed above and apply them to the base DC of the Search or Spot check instead.
-4 For each size category of the weapon greater than Small
+4 Tiny weapon
+2 You're wearing a cloak, coat, or other heavy clothing
+4 You have a concealable scabbard or other pockets/straps that aid in concealment
+6 The weapon is concealed inside something specially designed for this purpose
+0 You want to be able to draw the weapon normally as a standard action
-2 You want to be able to draw the weapon as part of a move-equivalent action
-4 You want to be able to draw the weapon as a free action with the Quick Draw feat
-1 Per 10 feet of distance between observer and observed
-5 Spotter distracted
Profession (Wis; Trained Only)
You are trained in a livelihood or a professional role, such as apothecary, boater, bookkeeper, brewer, cook, driver, farmer, fisher, guide, herbalist, herdsman, innkeeper, lumberjack, miller, miner, porter, rancher, sailor, scribe, siege engineer, stablehand, tanner, teamster, woodcutter, and so forth.
Like Craft, Profession is actually a number of separate skills. For instance, you could have the skill Profession (cook). Your ranks in that skill don't affect any checks you happen to make for milling or mining. You could have several Profession skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased as a separate skill.
While a Craft skill represents skill in creating or making an item, a Profession skill represents an aptitude in a vocation requiring broader range of less specific knowledge. To draw a modern analogy, if an occupation is a service industry, it's probably a Profession skill. If it's in the manufacturing sector, it's probably a Craft skill.
Check: You can practice your trade and make a decent living, earning about half your check result in gold pieces per handcount of dedicated work. You know how to use the tools of your trade, how to perform the profession's daily tasks, how to supervise untrained helpers, and how to handle common problems. For example, a sailor knows how to tie several basic knots, how to tend and repair sails, and how to stand a deck watch at sea. The DM sets DCs for specialized tasks.
An attempt to use a Profession skill to earn an income cannot be retried. You are stuck with whatever handcountly wage your check result brought you. (Another check maybe made after a handcount to determine a new income for the next period of time.) An attempt to accomplish some specific task can usually be retried.
Special: Untrained laborers and assistants earn an average of 1 silver piece per day.
Psicraft (Int; Trained Only)
Use this skill to identify psionic powers as they manifest or psionic effects already in place.
Check: You can identify psionic powers and psionic effects.
15 + power level Identify a power as it manifests. (You must sense the power's display, or see
some visible effect, to identify a power.) No retry.
15 + power level Learn a power from a power stone. No retry for that power until you gain at
least 1 rank in Psicraft (even if you find another source to try to learn the same
20 + power level Identify a power that's already in place and in effect. (You must be able to see
or detect the effects of the power.) No retry.
20 + power level Identify materials created or shaped by Psionics, such as noting that a
particular object was created using a Metacreativity power. No retry.
30 or higher Understand a strange or unique psionic effect, such as the effects of a
psionically resonant mineral vein. No retry.
Additionally, certain powers allow you to gain information about psionics provided that you make a Psicraft check as detailed in the psionic power description.
Retry: See above.
Special: A psion gets a +2 bonus when dealing with a power or effect from his primary discipline.
If you have 5 or more ranks of Use Psionic Device, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Psicraft checks to decipher powers encoded in power stones.
Read Lips (Int: Trained Only; Rogue Only)
You can understand what others are saying by watching their lips.
Check: You must be within 30 feet of the speaker and be able to see her speak. You must be able to understand the speaker's language. (Use of this skill is language dependent.) The base DC=15, and it is higher for complex speech or an inarticulate speaker. You have to concentrate on reading lips for a full minute before making the skill check, and you can’t perform some other actions during this minute. You can move at half speed but not any faster, and you must maintain a line of sight to the lips being read. If the check succeeds, you can understand the general content a minute's worth of speaking, but you usually still miss text details.
If the check fails, you can't read the speaker's lips. If the check fails by 5 or more, you draw some incorrect conclusion about the speech. The DM rolls your check so you don't know whether you succeeded or missed by 5.
Retry: The skill can be used once per minute.
Remote View (Int; Psion Only)
Use this skill to spy on someone with the remote viewing power.
Check: You can't use this skill without some psionic means to remote view, such as the remote viewing power or an appropriate psionic item. Use of this skill is described in association with that power. The remote viewing power allows you to spy on others, and this skill just lets you do it better. This skill also improves your chance to notice when you're being viewed remotely by another, or to block being viewed by another, as described under the remote viewing and remote view trap powers.
Special: Characters with the Scry skill get a bonus equal to their Scry base rank to Remote View checks, and vice versa.
You can ride a particular type of mount (usually a horse, but possibly a different mount). When you select this skill, choose the type of mount you are familiar with. For this purpose, "horses" include mules, donkeys, and ponies. If you use the skill with a different mount (such as riding a giant lizard when you're used, to riding horses), your rank is reduced by 2 (but not below 0). If you use this skill with a very different mount (such as riding a griffon when you're used to riding horses), your rank is reduced by 5 (but not below 0).
Check: Typical riding actions don't require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount from a mount without a problem. Mounting or dismounting is a move equivalent action. Some tasks require checks:
Riding Task DC Riding Task DC
Guide with knees 5 Leap 15
Stay in saddle 5 Control mount in battle 20
Fight with warhorse 10 Fast mount or dismount 20*
Cover 15 *Armor check penalty applies.
Soft fall 15
Guide with Knees: You can react instantly to guide your mount with your knees so that you can use both hands in combat. Make the check at the start of your round. If you fail, you can only use one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount.
Stay in Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when you take damage.
Fight With Warhorse: If you direct your war trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally.
Cover: You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as one‑half cover. You can't attack or cast spells, while using your mount as cover. If you fail, you don't get the cover benefit.
Soft Fall: you react instantly to try to take no damage when you fall off a mount, such as when it is killed or when it falls. If you fail, you take d6 points of falling damage.
Leap: You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. Use your Ride skill modifier or the mount's jump skill modifier (whichever is lower) to see how far the mount can jump. The DC (15) is what you need to roll to stay on the mount when it leaps.
Control Mount in Battle: As a move‑equivalent action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, or heavy horse while in combat. If you fail, you can do nothing else that round, you do not need to roll for warhorses or warponies.
Fast Mount or Dismount: You can mount or dismount as a free action. If you fail the check, mounting or dismounting is a move equivalent action. (You can't attempt a fast mount or dismount unless you can perform the mount or dismount as a move equivalent action this round.)
If you are riding bareback, you suffer a ‑5 penalty on Ride checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Handle Animal, you get a +2 Synergy bonus to Ride checks.
If your mount has a military saddle, it gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Ride checks related to staying in the saddle.
The Ride skill is a prerequisite for the feats Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery, Trample, Ride‑By Attack, and Spirited Charge.
Ritual Casting (Con; Trained Only; Armor Check Penalty; Spellcasters only)
You have learned to endure the rigors that are required to perform rituals. You can handle the long duration of the casting required to draw in extra magical power.
Check: You can attempt to cast augmented and combined ritual casting spells that require an hour or more of casting. Each hour, or portion thereafter, requires a Ritual Casting check against a DC of 10 + spell level. Each check after the first one increases the DC by one until the end of the casting. A failed Ritual Casting check results in a loss of control over the magical powers being harnessed. See augmented and combined ritual casting sections for results of the failure.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks of Concentration, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Ritual Casting checks. This skill is cross‑class for paladins and rangers.
Scry (Int; Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard Only)
Use this skill to spy on someone with a scrying spell or a crystal ball or to perform some divinations.
Check: You can't use this skill without some magical means to Scry, such as the scrying spell, the greater scrying spell, the vision spell, or a crystal ball. Use of this skill is described in association with those spells and items. These items allow you to spy on others, and this skill just lets you do it better. This skill also improves your chance to notice when you're being scried as detailed in the descriptions of the arcane eye and detect scrying spells.
Special: Although this skill is exclusive to certain classes, it can be used untrained. This means that a character with no ranks in
Scry, and who is not allowed to buy ranks in this skill, can still make an Intelligence check to notice when he is being scried.
You can find secret doors, simple traps, hidden compartments, and other details not readily apparent. The Spot skill lets you notice something, such as a hiding rogue. The Search skill lets a character discern some small detail or irregularity through active effort.
Search does not allow you to find complex traps unless you are a rogue (see the "Special" section below).
Check: You generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched. It takes 1 round to search a 5 foot by 5 foot area or a volume of goods 5 feet on a side; doing so is a full‑round action.
Ransack a chest full of junk to find a certain item 10
Notice a typical secret door or a simple trap 20
Find a difficult non-magical trap not of stone (rogue only)* 21+
Find a magic trap (rogue only) * 25+ level of the spell used to create it
Notice a well‑hidden secret door 30
*Even dwarves who are not rogues can use Search trap is built into or out of stone. .
Special: Elves get a +2 racial bonus on Search checks, and half-elves get a +1 racial bonus. An elf (but not a half‑elf) that simply passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door can make a Search check to find that door.
Active Abjuration spells within 10 feet of each other for 24 fours or more create barely visible energy fluctuations. These fluctuations give characters a +4 bonus to Search checks to locate such Abjuration spells.
While anyone can use Search to find a trap whose DC is 20 or less, only a rogue can use Search to locate traps with higher DCs. (Exception: The spell find traps temporarily enables a cleric to use his Search skill as if he were a rogue.) Finding a non-magical trap has a DC of at least 20, and the DC is higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 plus the level of the spell used to create it. Identifying the location of a snare spell has a DC of 23.
The spells explosive runes, fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol, and teleportation circle create magic traps that a rogue can find by making a Search check and then attempt to disarm by using Disable Device. Spike growth and spike stones, however, create magic traps that can be found using Search, but, against which Disable Device checks do not succeed.
A dwarf, even one that is not a rogue, can use the Search skill to find a difficult trap (those with DCs above 20) if the trap is built into or out of stone. They gain a +2 racial bonus to do so from their stonecunning ability.
Special: A character that does not have the Track feat can use the Search skill to find tracks, but can only follow tracks if the DC is 10 or less.
Sense Motive (Wis)
Use this skill to tell when someone is bluffing you. This skill represents sensitivity to the body language, speech habits, and mannerisms of others.
Check: A successful check allows you to avoid being bluffed (see the Bluff skill). You can also use the skill to tell when something is up (something odd is going on that you were unaware of) or to assess someone's trustworthiness. Trying to gain information with this skill takes at least 1 minute and you could spend a whole evening trying to get a sense of the people around you.
Sense Motive Task DC
Sense enchantment 25
Hunch: This use of the skill essentially means making a gut assessment of the social situation. You can get the feeling from another's behavior that something is wrong, such as when you're talking to an impostor. Alternatively, you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.
Sense Enchantment: You can tell that someone's behavior is being influenced by an enchantment effect (by definition, a mind affecting effect) such as charm person, even if that person isn't aware of it herself.
Retry: No, though you may make a Sense Motive check for each bluff made on you.
Special: A ranger gains a bonus on Sense Motive checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.
Speak Language (None; Trained Only)
The Speak Language skill doesn't work like a standard skill.
You start at 1st level knowing one or two languages (according to your race), plus an additional number of languages equal to your intelligence bonus.
Instead of buying a rank in Speak Language, you choose a new language that you can speak.
You don’t make Speak Language checks. You either know a language or you don't.
A literate character can read and write in any system with which she is familiar. Each system is a separate skill.
Retry: Not applicable. (There are no Speak Language checks to fail.)
Spellcraft (Int; Trained Only)
Use this skill to identify spells as they are cast or spells already in place.
Check: You can identify spells and magic effects.
15 When using read magic, identify a glyph of warding.
15 + spell level Identify a spell being cast. (You must see or hear the spell's verbal or somatic
components.) No retry.
15 + spell level Learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll. (Wizard only.) No retry for that spell until you
gain at least 1 rank in Spellcraft (even if you find another source to try to learn the spell
15 + spell level Prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook. (Wizard one.) One try per day.
15 + spell level When casting detect magic, determine the school of magic involved in the aura of a
single item or creature you can see. (If the aura is not a spell effect, the DC is 15 + half
15 + spell level Identify spell held in an inscribed rune
19 When using read magic, identify a symbol.
20 + spell level Identify a spell that's already in place and in effect. (You must be able to see or detect the
effects of the spell.) No retry.
20 + spell level Identify materials created or shaped by magic, such as noting that an iron wall is the
result of a wall of iron spell. No retry.
20 + spell level Decipher a written spell (such as a scroll) without using read magic. One try per day.
20 Draw a diagram to augment casting dimensional anchor on a summoned creature. Takes
10 minutes. No retry. The DM makes this check.
20 Reveal all powers of a self-identifying magic item
20 Recognize if a material is of magical crafting quality
25 Determine exact borders of a wild magic area (requires 3 rounds of study)
25 Identify if a raw material has been prepared for magical crafting
25 + highest Master a foreign spell book's notations
spell in book
30 or higher Understand a strange or unique magical effect, such as the effects of a magic stream. No
Additionally, certain spells allow you to gain information about magic provided that you make a Spellcraft check as detailed in the spell description
Retry: See above.
Special: A specialist wizard gets a +2 bonus when dealing with a spell or effect from his specialized school. He suffers a ‑5 penalty when dealing with a spell or effect from a prohibited school (and some tasks, such as learning a prohibited spell, are just impossible).
If you have 5 or more ranks of Use Magic Device, you get a +2 synergy bonus to Spellcraft checks to decipher spells on scrolls
Use this skill to notice bandits waiting in ambush, to see a rogue lurking in the shadows, or to see the giant centipede in the pile of trash.
Check: The Spot skill is used primarily to detect characters or creatures that are hiding. Typically, Spot is opposed by the Hide check of the creature trying not to be seen. Sometimes a creature isn't intentionally hiding but is still difficult to see, so a successful Spot check is necessary to notice it.
A Spot check result of greater than 20 can generally let you become aware of an invisible creature near you (though you cannot actually see it).
Spot is also used to detect someone in disguise (see the Disguise skill).
Per 10 feet of distance ‑1
Spotter distracted ‑5
Retry: You can make a Spot check every time you have an opportunity to notice something in a reactive manner. As a full round action, you may attempt to spot something that you failed spot previously.
Special: The subject of a hypnotism spell suffers a ‑4 penalty on Spot checks.
The target of a bard's fascinate ability suffers a ‑4 penalty on Spot checks.
A character with the Alertness feat gets a +2 synergy bonus on Spot checks.
A ranger gains a bonus on Spot checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.
Elves get a +2 racial bonus on spot checks, because of their keen senses.
Half‑elves get a +1 racial bonus on spot checks. Their senses are good, but not as keen as those of a full elf.
Stabilize Self (Con; Trained Only; Psion, Psychic Warrior Only)
Use this skill to keep from succumbing to a mortal wound.
Check: You can attempt to subconsciously prevent yourself from dying. If you have negative hit points and are losing hit points (at 1 per round, 1 per hour, or 1 per day), you can substitute a Stabilize Self check (DC 15) for your first normal stabilization roll to become stable. If successful, you regain no hit points, but you do stop losing them. If your first Stabilize Self check is unsuccessful, you go back to making normal stabilization checks each round.
Using this skill, a land based creature can swim, dive, navigate underwater obstacles, and so on.
Check: A successful Swim check allows you to swim one quarter of your speed as a move equivalent action or one half your speed as a full round action. Roll once per round. If you fail, you make no progress through the water if you fail by 5 or more, you go underwater and start to drown. The Dungeon Master's Guide has rules for drowning.
If you are underwater (whether drowning or swimming under water intentionally), you suffer a cumulative ‑1 penalty to your Swim check for each consecutive round you've been underwater.
The DC for the Swim check depends on the water:
Calm water 10
Rough water 15
Stormy water 20
Each hour that you swim, make a Swim check against DC 20 take 1d6 points of subdual damage from fatigue.
Special: Instead of an armor check penalty, you suffer a penalty of -1 for each 5 pounds of gear you are carrying or wearing.
Tumble (Dex; Trained Only; Armor Check Penalty)
You can dive, roll, somersault, flip, and so on. You can't use this skill if your speed has been reduced by armor, excess equipment, or loot
Check: You can land softly when you fall or tumble past opponents. You can also, tumble to entertain an audience (as with the perform skill).
15 Treat a fall as if it were 10 feet shorter when determining damage.
15 Tumble up to 20 feet (as part of normal movement), suffering no attacks of opportunity while
doing so. Failure means you tumble 20 feet but still suffer attacks of opportunity normally.
25 Tumble up to 20 feet (as part of normal movement), suffering no attacks of opportunity while
doing so and moving through areas occupied by enemies (over, under, or around them). Failure
means you tumble 20 feet and can move through enemy occupied areas but suffer attacks of
-2 Bad lighting (torches or similar light sources)
-2 Dusty or uneven floor
-2 Light debris (occasional pebbles or trash)
-4 Wet floor
-4 Crumbling floor
-4 Moderate debris (strewn across floor)
-4 Tumble begins or ends in darkness
-6 Unworked stone/natural cavern
-6 Standing water/deep puddles
-6 Heavy debris (trash pit, for example)
-6 Pitch black
Retry: An audience, once it has judged a tumbler as uninteresting, is not receptive to repeat performances. You can try to reduce damage from a fall as an instant reaction once per fall. You can attempt to tumble as part of movement once per round.
Special: A character with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +3 dodge AC bonus when executing the fight defensively standard or full round action instead of a +2 dodge AC bonus.
A character with 5 or more ranks in Tumble gains a +6 dodge AC bonus when executing the total defense standard action instead of a +4 dodge AC bonus.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Jump, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Tumble checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble you get a +2 synergy bonus on Balance checks.
If an opponent attempts to tumble past a defender, the defender may attempt to counter tumble, provided they have the Tumble skill. The DC of the counter tumble must exceed the DC of the base check as well as being beating the tumble check of the opponent.
Urban Lore (Wis)
Use this skill to survive in the urban jungle. You are a skilled scavenger of the streets, capable of finding the essentials of life in any city or urban environment.
Check: You can keep yourself safe in a city or town without relying on others to help you.
DC 10: Scrounge enough food and water to stay alive; find a reasonably safe place to sleep on the streets.
DC 15: Determine if an abandoned building is safe or is likely to collapse or to be inhabited by monsters.
DC 20: Recognize signs of underworld factions; know whose turf you're on. A successful check against this DC also grants you a +2 synergy bonus to Gather Information checks in this specific area or neighborhood.
Retry: You may try to find food and shelter once per day. You may attempt to gain the +2 synergy bonus on Gather Information checks only once per use of the Gather Information skill.
Special: This skill is the urban counterpart to Wilderness Lore. Rangers who take Urban Lore as a class skill must make Wilderness Lore a cross-class skill, and such rangers gain the Shadow feat in place of Track. You must make this decision when you take your first level of ranger.
Use Magic Device (Cha; Trained Only; Bard, Rogue Only)
Use this skill to activate magic devices, including scrolls and wands that otherwise you could not activate.
Check: You can use this skill to read a spell or to activate a magic item. This skill lets you use a magic item as if you had the spell ability or class features of another class, as if you were a different race, or as if you were a different alignment.
When you're attempting to activate a magic item using this skill, you do so as a standard action. However, the checks you make to determine whether you are successful at emulating, the desired factors to successfully perform the activation are instant. They take no time by themselves and are included in the activate magic item standard action. You make emulation checks each time you activate a device, such as a wand. If you are using the check to emulate an alignment or some other quality in an ongoing manner (such as to emulate neutral evil to prevent yourself from being damaged by a book of vile darkness you are carrying when you are not evil), you need to make the relevant emulation checks once per hour.
You must consciously choose what to emulate. That is, you have to know what you are trying to emulate when you make an emulation check.
Use Magic Device Task DC
Decipher a written spell 25 + spell level
Emulate spell ability 20
Emulate class feature 20
Emulate ability score 25
Emulate race 25
Emulate alignment 30
Activate blindly 25
Decipher a Written Spell: This works just like deciphering a written spell with the Spellcraft skill, except that the DC is 5 points higher.
Emulate Spell Ability: This use of the skill allows you to use a magic item as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list. To cast a spell from a scroll or use a wand, you have to have a particular spell on your class spell list. By using the skill this way, you can use such an item as if you did have the spell on your class spell list. Your effective caster level is your result minus 20. (It's okay to have a caster level of 0.) For wands, it doesn't matter what caster level you are, but it does matter for scrolls. If your effective level is lower than the caster level, you may have a difficult time using a scroll successfully.
This skill does not let you cast the spell. It only lets you cast it from a scroll or wand as if the spell were on your class list. Note: if you are casting it from a scroll, you have to decipher it first.
Emulate Class Feature: Sometimes you need to use a class feature to activate a magic item. Your effective level in the emulated class equals your result minus 20. For example, Lidda finds a magic chalice that turns regular water into holy water when a cleric or experienced paladin channels positive energy into it as if turning undead. She attempts to activate the item by emulating the cleric's undead turning power. Her effective cleric level is her result minus 20. Since a cleric can turn undead at 1st level, she needs a result of 21 or higher on her Use Magic Device check.
This skill does not let you use the class feature of another class. It just lets you activate magic items as if you had the class feature.
If the class whose feature you are emulating has an alignment requirement, you must meet it, either honestly or by emulating an appropriate alignment as a separate check (see below).
Emulate Ability Score: To cast a spell from a scroll, you need a high ability score in the appropriate ability (Intelligence for wizard spells, Wisdom for divine spells, and Charisma for sorcerer or bard spells). Your effective ability score (appropriate to the class you're emulating when you try to cast the spell from the scroll) is your result minus 15. If you already have a high enough score in the appropriate ability, you don’t need to make this check.
Emulate Race: Some magic items work only for certain races, or work better for those of certain races. You can use such an item as if you were a race of your choice. For example, Lidda, a halfling, could attempt to use a +3 dwarven throwing hammer. If she failed her Use Magic Device check, the hammer would work for her normally as a halfling, but if she succeeded, it would work for her as if she were a dwarf. You can emulate only one race at a time.
Emulate Alignment: Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on your alignment. You can use these items as if you were of an alignment of your choice. For example, the book of vile darkness damages non-evil characters that touch it. Lidda could emulate an evil alignment so she could handle the book of vile darkness safely. You can emulate only one alignment a time.
Activate Blindly: Some magic items are activated by special words, thoughts, or actions. You can activate such items as if you were using the activation word, thought, or action even if you're not and even if you don't know it. You do have to use something equivalent. You have to speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate. You get a special +2 bonus if you've activated the item at least once before.
If you fail by 10 or more, you suffer a mishap. A mishap means that magical energy gets released but it doesn't do what you wanted it to do. The DM determines the result of a mishap, as with scroll mishaps. The default mishaps are that the item affects the wrong target or that uncontrolled magical energy gets released, dealing 2d6 points of damage to you. Note: This mishap is in addition to the chance for a mishap that you normally run when you cast a spell from a scroll and the spell's caster level is higher than your level.
Retry: Yes, but if you ever roll a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and you fail, then you can’t try to activate it again for a day.
Special: You cannot take 10 with this skill. Magic is too unpredictable for you to use this skill reliably. If you have 5 or more ranks in Spellcraft, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls. If you have 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls. These bonuses stack.
Use Psionic Device (Cha; Trained Only; Bard, Rogue, Psychic Warrior Only)
Use this skill to activate psionic devices, including power stones (chunks of crystal that store specific powers) and dorjes ("psionic wands"), that otherwise you could not activate.
Check: You can use this skill to decipher a power encoded in a power stone or to activate a psionic item. This skill lets you use a psionic item as if you had the appropriate psionic power or feat. It doesn't allow you to use psionic items that require paying power points to operate.
When you're attempting to activate a psionic item using this skill, you do so as a standard action. The checks that you make to determine whether you are successful at emulating the desired factors to successfully perform the activation are instant, however. They take no time by themselves and are included in the activate psionic item standard action.
You make emulation checks each time you activate a device such as a dorje. If you are using the check to emulate a quality in an ongoing manner, you need to make the relevant emulation checks once per hour.
You must consciously choose what to emulate. That is, you have to know what it is you are trying to emulate when you make an emulation check.
Note: In cases described below in which effective level important, it is okay to have an effective level of 0.
25 + power level Contact power stone
20 Emulate psionic power
20 Emulate psionic feat
25 Emulate psionic class feature
25 Emulate ability score
30 Emulate alignment
25 Activate blindly
Contact Power Stone: This works just like learning a power from a power stone with the Psicraft skill, except that the DC is higher.
Emulate Psionic Power: This use of the skill allows you use a psionic item as if you had a particular power on your class power list. To activate a power stone (an object that stores a specific power) or use a dorje, you must have a particular power on your class power list. By using the skill this way, you can use such an item as if you did have the power on your list. Your effective manifester level is your result minus 20. For dorjes, it doesn't matter what manifester level you are, but it does matter for power stones. If your effective level is lower than the manifester level, you might fail to manifest the power.
The emulation ability works much like the Use Magic Device skill, except that works with psionic items. It does not let you manifest the power. It only lets you use it from a power stone or dorje if the power were on your class list. Note: If you are manifesting it from a power stone, you have to contact it first
Emulate Psionic Feat: Sometimes you need to have a specific psionic feat to activate a psionic item. This skill does not let you use that feat. It just lets you activate psionic items as if you had it.
Emulate Psionic Class Feature: Sometimes you need to use psionic class feature to activate a psionic item. Your effective level in the emulated class is your result minus 20.
This skill does not let you use another class's class feature. It just lets you activate psionic items as if you had it. If the class whose feature you are emulating has an alignment requirement, you must meet it, either honestly or emulating an appropriate alignment as a separate check.
Emulate Ability Score: To manifest a power of a particular discipline from a power stone, you need a high score in the key ability. Your effective ability score is your result minus 15.
Emulate Alignment: It is possible that some items have positive or negative effects based on your alignment. You can use these items as if you were of an alignment of your choice. You can emulate only one alignment at a time.
Activate Blindly: Some psionic items are activated by special thoughts or actions. You can activate such items as if you were using the command thought or action even if your not and even if you don't know it. You do have to use something equivalent. You have to concentrate, wave the item around, or otherwise try to get it to activate. You get a +2 bonus if you've activated the item at least once before.
If you fail by 10 or more, you suffer brainburn. Note: This brainburn is in addition to the chance for brainburn that you normally run when you manifest power from a power stone and the power's manifester level is higher than your level.
Retry: Yes, but if you ever roll a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and you fail, then you can't try to activate it again for a day.
Special: You cannot take 10 with this skill. Psionics is too mentally draining to emulate reliably. If you have 5 or more ranks in Psicraft, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Use Psionic Device checks related to power stones.
Use Rope (Dex)
With this skill, you can make firm knots, undo tricky knots, and bind prisoners with ropes.
Check: Most tasks with a rope are relatively simple.
10 Tie a firm knot
15 Tie a special knot, such as one that slips, slides slowly, or loosens with a tug
15 Tie a rope around oneself one‑handed
15 Splice two ropes together (takes 5 minutes)
When you bind another character with a rope, any Escape Artist check that the bound character makes is opposed by your Use
Rope check. You get a special +10 bonus on the check because it is easier to bind someone than to escape from being tied up. You don't even make your Use Rope check someone tries to escape.
Special: A silk rope gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Use Rope checks if you cast an animate rope spell on a rope, you get a +2 circumstance bonus to any Use Rope checks you make when using the rope. These bonuses stack.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Escape Artist, you get a +2 synergy bonus on checks to bind someone.
Wilderness Lore (Wis)
Use this skill to hunt wild game, guide a party safely through frozen wastelands, identify signs that owlbears live nearby, or avoid quicksand and other natural hazards.
Check: You can keep yourself and others safe and fed in the wild.
10 Get along in the wild. Move up to one half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.
15 Gain +2 on all Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving up to one‑half your overland speed, or gain +4 if stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which the check result exceeds
15 Avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand.
Retry: For getting along in the wild or for gaining the Fortitude save bonus, you make a check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until the next check is made. To avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards, you make a check whenever the situation calls for one. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a specific natural hazard are not allowed.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks of Intuit Direction, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Wilderness Lore checks to avoid getting lost.
A ranger gains a bonus on Wilderness Lore checks when using this skill to gain information about a favored enemy.
Appendix One: Poisons and Traps
A Primer On Poisons
A surreptitious dose of poison can bring an enemy down without the risk of a prolonged battle. Assassins routinely make use of poisonous concoctions, and even some rogues and bards are willing to accept the risks involved in using such substances. But poisons are not always readily available; even where they are legal, their purchase often brings unwelcome scrutiny. Thus, it behooves those who would make frequent use of poisons to brew their own.
Refining raw materials into effective poisons requires both patience and care. A special subcategory of the Craft skill, Craft (poisonmaking), provides the necessary expertise. DCs to create usable poisons are given in the table below. Making poisons with the Craft (poisonmaking) skill follows the rules for making items with the Craft skill, with the following exceptions.
1. The cost of raw materials varies widely depending on whether the character has access to the active ingredient (that is the venom or plant that actually provides the poison). If a supply is readily available, the raw materials cost one sixth of the market price, not one-third. Otherwise, the raw materials cost at least three-quarters of the market price assuming that the substance in question is for sale at all.
2. To figure out how much poison you're able to create in a week, make a Craft (poisonmaking) check at the end of the week. If the check is successful, multiply the check result by the DC for the check. That result is how many gp worth of poison you created that week. When your total gp created equals or exceeds the market price of one dose of the poison, that dose is finished. (You may sometimes be able to create more than one dose in a week, depending on your check result and the market price of the poison.) If you fail the check, you make no progress that week, and if you fail the check by a margin of 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to buy them again.
Craft (Poisonmaking) DCs
Save DC to Market Price
Poison Type DC Create per Dose
Arsenic Ingested 13 15 120
Black adder venom Injury 12 15 120
Black lotus extract Contact 20 35 4,500*
Bloodroot Injury 12 15 100
Blue whinnis Injury 14 15 120
Burnt othur fumes Inhaled 18 25 2,100
Carrion crawler brain juice Contact 13 15 200
Dark reaver powder Ingested 18 25 300
Deathblade Injury 20 25 1,800
Dragon bile Contact 26 30 1,500
Giant wasp poison Injury 18 20 210
Greenblood oil Injury 13 15 100
Id moss Ingested 14 15 125
Insanity mist Inhaled 15 20 1,500
Large scorpion venom Injury 18 20 200
Lich dust Ingested 17 20 250
Malyss root paste Contact 16 20 500
Medium-size spider venom Injury 14 15 150
Nitharit Contact 13 20 650
Oil oftaggit Ingested 15 15 90
Purple worm poison Injury 24 20 700
Sassone leaf residue Contact 16 20 300
Shadow essence Injury 17 20 250
Small centipede poison Injury 11 15 90
Striped toadstool Ingested 11 15 180
Terinav root Contact 16 25 750
Ungol dust Inhaled 15 20 1,000
Wyvern poison Injury 17 25 3,000
Step One: Figure out the Concept
This step drives all the other decisions you're going to make. It's the most important, but also the simplest step: just decide what you want the trap to do.
Types of Traps: A trap can be either mechanical or magical. Mechanical traps include pits, arrow traps, falling blocks, water-filled rooms, whirling blades, and anything else that depends on a mechanism to operate. Magic traps are further divided into spell and magic device categories. Spell traps are simply spells that themselves function as traps, such as fire trap or glyph of warding. Magic device traps initiate spell effects when activated, just as wands, rods, rings, or other magic items do. The rules for cost, CR, and construction differ depending on the type of trap you intend to make.
Elements of a Trap: All traps-mechanical or magical must have the following elements: trigger, reset, Search DC, Disable Device DC, attack bonus (or saving throw or onset delay), damage/effect, and Challenge Rating. Some of these elements may be more or less important than others, and some traps may also include optional elements, such as poison or a bypass.
Step Two: Determine the Trigger and Reset
Now that you have a general idea of what you want your trap to do, you can start defining the specifics. The choices you make here may result in adjustments to the CR and cost of the trap. Keep a running total of these adjustments; you'll need them in Step 4.
Trigger: The trigger element determines how the trap is sprung. Each trigger type is described in detail below.
Location: A location trigger springs a trap when someone stands in a particular square. For example, a covered pit trap typically activates when a creature steps on a certain spot. This is the most common type of trigger for mechanical traps.
Proximity: This trigger activates the trap when a creature approaches within a certain distance of it. A proximity trigger differs from a location trigger in that the creature need not be standing in a particular square. Creatures that are flying can spring a trap with a proximity trigger but not one with a location trigger. Mechanical proximity triggers are extremely sensitive to the slightest change it the air. This, of course, makes them useful only in places such as crypts, where the air is unusually still.
The alarm spell functions as a proximity trigger for magic device traps. You can voluntarily reduce the area of the spell to make it cover a smaller area.
Some magic device traps have special proximity triggers that activate only when certain kinds of creatures approach. To build such a trigger, add an appropriate spell (usually a divination) to the trap so that it can differentiate among approaching creatures. For example, a detect good spell can serve as a proximity trigger on an evil altar, springing the attached trap only when someone of good alignment gets close enough to it.
Sound: This magic trigger springs the trap when it detects any sound. A sound trigger functions like an ear and has a +15 bonus on Listen checks. Silent movement, magical silence, and other effects that would negate hearing defeat it. To build a sound trigger, add clairaudience the trap you're building.
Visual: This magic trigger works like an actual eye, springing the trap whenever it "sees" something. To incorporate a visual trigger into your trap, add one of the spells listed on the following table. Sight range and the Spot bonus conferred depend on the spell chosen, as shown by the tables below.
If you want the trap to "see" in the dark, you must either choose the true seeing option or add darkvision to the trap as well. (Darkvision limits the trap's sight range in the dark to 60 feet.) If invisibility, disguises, or illusions can fool the spell being used, they can fool the visual trigger as well.
Touch: A touch trigger, which springs the trap when touched, is generally the simplest kind to construct. This trigger may be physically attached to the part of the mechanism that deals the damage (such as a needle that springs out of a lock), or it may not. You can make a magic touch trigger by adding alarm to the trap and reducing the spell's area to cover only the trigger spot.
Timed: This trigger periodically springs the trap after a certain duration has passed. A sharpened pendulum that sweeps across a hallway every 4 rounds is an example of a timed trigger.
Spell: All spell traps have this type of trigger. The appropriate spell descriptions in the Player's Handbook explain the trigger conditions for each of these traps.
Reset: A reset element is simply the set of conditions under which a trap becomes ready to trigger again. The available types are explained below.
No Reset: Short of completely rebuilding the trap, there's no way to trigger it more than once. Spell traps have the no reset element.
Repair Reset: To get the trap functioning again, you must repair it.
Manual Reset: Resetting the trap requires someone to move the parts back into place. It's the standard reset for most mechanical traps.
Automatic Reset: The trap resets itself, either immediately or after a timed interval. Magic device traps get this feature at no cost.
Bypass (Optional Element): If you plan to move past a trap yourself, it's a good idea to build in a bypass mechanism-something that temporarily disarms the trap. Bypass elements are typically used only with mechanical traps; spell traps usually have built in allowances for the caster to bypass them. The check DCs given below are minimums; raising them alters the base cost as shown on the table.
Lock: A lock bypass requires an Open Lock check (DC 30) to open.
Hidden Switch: A hidden switch requires a Search check (DC 25) to locate.
Hidden Lock: A hidden lock combines the features above, requiring a Search check (DC 25) to locate and an Open Lock check (DC 30) to open.
Step Three: Figure out the Numbers
Now that you've figured out the trigger, reset, and bypass elements, it's time to define the trap itself. You need DCs for Search and Disable Device, plus attack/saving throw and damage/effect information. Keep your list of cost and CR adjustments running; many of these elements also change those factors.
Search and Disable Device DCs: The builder sets the Search and Disable Device DCs for mechanical trap. For a magic trap, the values depend on the highest-level spell used.
Mechanical Trap: The base DC for both Search and Disable Device checks is 20. Raising or lowering either of these affects the base cost and CR as shown on the table.
Magic Trap: The DC for both Search and Disable Device checks is equal to 25 + spell level of the highest-level spell used. Only characters with the traps ability can attempt either check. These values do not affect the trap's cost or CR.
Attacks/Saving Throws: A trap usually either makes an attack roll or forces a saving throw to avoid it. Consult one or more of following sections to determine which option is appropriate fore your trap, based on its type.
Occasionally, a trap uses both of these options, or neither.
Pits: These are holes (covered or not) that characters can fall into and take damage. A pit needs no attack roll, but a successful Reflex save (DC set by the builder) avoids it. Other save-dependent mechanical traps also fall into this category.
Ranged Attack Traps: These traps fling darts, arrows spears, or the like at whoever activated the trap. The builder sets the attack bonus.
Melee Attack Traps: These traps include sharp blade that emerge from walls and stone blocks that fall from ceilings. Once again, the builder sets the attack bonus.
Damage/Effect: The effect of a trap is simply what happens to those who spring it. Usually this takes the form of either damage or a spell effect, but some traps have special effects. If your trap does hit point damage, calculate the average damage for a successful hit and round that value to the nearest multiple of 7. (Damage from poisons and pit spikes does not count toward this value, but mighty damage and extra damage from multiple attacks does. For example, if a trap fires 1d4 darts at each target, the average damage is the average number of darts x the average damage per dart, rounded to the nearest multiple of 7, or 2.5 darts x 2.5 points of damage = 6.25 points, which rounds to 7.) Consult the table to determine the CR bonus.
Pits: Falling into a pit deals 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet of depth.
Ranged Attack Traps: These traps deal whatever damage their ammunition would normally inflict to the target. A trap that fires longbow arrows, for example, deals 1d8 points of damage per hit. You can also build mighty traps that deal extra damage. For example, a mighty (+4 Str bonus) ranged attack trap that fires short spears could deal up to 1d8+4 points of damage per successful hit.
Melee Attack Traps: These traps deal the same damage as the melee weapons they "wield." In the case of a falling stone block, you can assign any bludgeoning damage you like, but remember that whoever resets the trap has to lift that stone back into place. You can also build mighty traps that deal extra damage.
Spell Traps: Spell traps produce the spell's effect as described in the appropriate spell. Like all spells, each spell-based trap that allows a saving throw has a save DC equal to 10 + spell level + caster's relevant ability modifier.
Magic Device Traps: These traps produce the effects of any spells included, as described in the appropriate spells. If the spell in a magic device trap allows a saving throw at all, its save DC equals 10 + spell level x 1.5. Some spells make attack rolls instead.
Special: Some traps have miscellaneous features that produce special effects, such as drowning for a water trap or ability damage for poison. Saving throws and damage depend on the poison or are set by the builder, as appropriate.
Miscellaneous Trap Features: Some traps include optional features that can make them considerably more deadly. The most common such features are listed below.
Alchemical Device: Mechanical traps may incorporate alchemical devices or other special substances or items, such as tanglefoot bags, alchemist's fire, thunderstones, and the like. Some such items mimic spell effects. For example, the effect of a tanglefoot bag is similar to that of an entangle spell, and the effect of a thunderstone is similar to that of a deafness spell. If the item mimics a spell effect, it increases the CR as shown on the table.
Gas: With a gas trap, the danger is in the inhaled poison it delivers. Traps employing gas usually have the never-miss and onset delay features.
Never-Miss: When the entire dungeon wall moves to crush you, your quick reflexes won't help, since the wall can't possibly miss. A trap with this feature has neither an attack bonus nor a saving throw to avoid, but it does have an onset delay (see below). Most water and gas traps are also never-miss.
Multiple-Target: Traps with this feature can affect more than one character.
Onset Delay: An onset delay is the amount of time between when the trap is sprung and when it inflicts damage. A never-miss trap always has an onset delay.
Poison: Traps that employ poison are deadlier than their non-poisonous counterparts, so they have correspondingly higher CRs. To determine the CR modifier for a given poison, consult the table. Only injury, contact, and inhaled poisons are suitable for traps; ingested types are not. Some traps (such as a table covered with contact poison) simply deal the poison's damage. Others, such as poisoned arrows, deliver ranged or melee attacks as well.
Pit Spikes: Treat spikes at the bottom of a pit as daggers, each with a +10 attack bonus. The damage bonus for each spike is +1 per 10 feet of pit depth (to a maximum of +5). Each character that falls into the pit is attacked by 1d4 spikes. Pit spikes do not add to the average damage of the trap (see above), nor do their damage bonuses constitute mighty damage.
Pit Bottom: If there's something other than spikes at the bottom of a pit, it's best to treat that as a separate trap (see multiple traps, below) with a location trigger that activates on any significant impact, such as a falling character. Possibilities for pit bottom traps include acid, monsters, or water (which reduces the falling damage).
Touch Attack: This feature applies to any trap that needs only a successful touch attack (melee or ranged) to hit.
Water: Any trap that involves a danger of drowning (such as a locked room filling with water or a patch of quicksand that characters can fall into) is in this category. Traps employing water usually have the never-miss and onset delay features (see above).
Repairing and Resetting Mechanical Traps: Repairing a trap requires a Craft (trapmaking) check against a DC equal to the one for building it in the first place. The cost for raw materials is one-fifth of the trap's original market price. To calculate how long it takes to fix a trap, use the same calculations you would for building it, but substitute the cost of the raw materials required for repair for the market price. Resetting a trap usually takes only a minute or so-you just have to lever the trapdoor back into place, reload the crossbow behind the wall, or push the poisoned needle back into the lock. For a trap with a more difficult reset the DM should set the time and manpower required.
CR for the Trap: To calculate the CR for a trap, add all the CR modifiers collected to the base CR value for the trap type.
Mechanical Trap: The base CR for a mechanical trap is 0. If your final CR is 0 or below, add features until you get a CR of 1 or better.
Magic Trap: For a spell or magic device trap, the base CR is 1. Only the highest-level spell used modifies the CR.
Multiple Traps: If a trap is really two or more connected traps that affect approximately the same area, determine the CR of each one separately.
Multiple Dependent Traps: If one trap depends on the success of the other (that is, you can avoid the second trap altogether by not falling victim to the first), they must be treated as two separate traps.
Multiple Independent Traps: If two or more traps act independently (that is, neither depends on the success of the other to activate), use their CRs to determine their combined Encounter Level as though they were monsters. The resulting Encounter Level is the CR for the combined traps.
Step Four: Figure out the Cost
Cost depends on the type of trap. Calculations are given below for the three basic types.
Mechanical Trap: The base cost of a mechanical trap is 1,000 gp. Apply all the modifiers from the table for the various features you've added to the trap to get the modified base cost. The market price is the modified base cost x the Challenge Rating + extra costs. The minimum market price for mechanical trap is 100 gp per +1 CR.
After you've multiplied the modified base cost by the Challenge Rating, add the price of any poison or alchemical devices you incorporated into the trap. If the trap uses one of these elements and has an automatic reset multiply the poison or alchemical device cost by 20 to ensure an adequate supply.
Multiple Traps: If a trap is really two or more connected traps, determine the market price of each separately, then add those values together. This holds for both dependent and independent traps.
Magic Device Trap: A one-shot magic device trap costs 50 gp x caster lever x spell level + extra costs plus 4 XP x caster level x spell level. Magic traps with the automatic reset feature cost 500 gp x caster level x spell level + extra costs plus 40 XP x caster level x spell level. If the trap uses more than one spell (for instance, a sound or visual trigger spell in addition to the main spell effect), you must pay for them all (except alarm, which is free).
These costs assume that you are casting the necessary spells yourself. If you are hiring an NPC spellcaster to cast them you must add the cost of paying for the spell casting as well.
Magic device traps take one day to build per 500 gp cost
Spell Trap: A spell trap has a cost only if you hire an NPC spellcaster to cast it.
Step Five: Craft the Trap
Now that you're finished with the design, it's time to build the trap. Depending upon the components, this may requite purchasing raw materials, using the Craft (trapmaking) skill casting spells, or some combination of these steps.
Mechanical Traps: Building a mechanical trap is a three-step process. You must first calculate the DC for the Craft (trapmaking) check, then purchase the raw materials, and finally make a Craft (trapmaking) check every week until the construction is finished.
The Craft Check DC: The base DC for the Craft (trap making) check depends on the CR of the trap, as given in the table.
Add any modifiers from the second part of the table to the base value obtained in the first part. The result is the Craft (trapmaking) DC.
Buying Raw Materials: Raw materials (including weapons, poison, and incidental items) typically cost a total of one-third of the trap's market price. At the DM's discretion, however, unusual traps may require raw materials that aren't available where the trap is being constructed. This forces the builder to either undertake a journey to obtain them or pay a higher cost. For example, giant scorpion venom may not be readily available to a character who's fortifying a polar ice castle.
Making the Checks: To figure out how much progress you make on the trap each week, make a Craft (trapmaking) check. If it is successful, multiply the check result by the DC for the check. The result is how many gp worth of work you accomplished that week. When your total gp completed equals or exceeds the market price of the trap, it's finished. If you fail the check, you make no progress that week, and if you fail the check by a margin of 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to buy them again.
Check Modifiers: You need artisan's tools to build a proper trap. Using improvised tools imposes a -2 circumstance penalty on the Craft (trapmaking) check, but masterwork artisan's tools provide a +2 circumstance bonus. In addition, dwarves get a +2 racial bonus on Craft (trapmaking) checks for building traps that involve stone or metal.
Assistance: If the trap requires construction work, it helps to have another set of hands available, even if they're unskilled. Unless the trap is so small that only one person can effectively work on it at a time, the help of one or more assistants speeds the work along. As long as you have the optimal number of assistants (DM's decision as to how many that is) helping you, you accomplish double the gp equivalent of work each week that you could have alone.
Magic Traps: Building a magic trap is a simpler process than constructing a mechanical one. Costs are as noted in Step 4, above.
Magic Device Traps: Building these traps doesn't involve the Craft (trapmaking) skill at all. Instead, it requires the Craft Wondrous Item feat-magic device traps are, after all, essentially stationary wondrous items, though they cost more to create than wondrous items do. If you have that feat and can cast the spells required to build the trap, success is automatic. The time required is one day per 500 gp spent on raw materials.
Spell Traps: All you need to do to place this trap is actually cast the spell. No other checks are required.
You can use the rules for magic device traps to construct items that help you rather than hurt you. Build such a device just as you would a magic trap, but use a helpful spell rather than a harmful one.
For example, Mialee could build a sickbed that improves the Constitution of anyone who lies in it. It's a location-trigger, automatic-reset, magic "trap" that casts endurance on anyone who lies down on it. Endurance is a 2nd-level spell, so the device costs Mialee 500 gp x 3 x 2 = 3,000 gp in raw materials and 40 XP x 3 x 2=240 XP. It takes her six days (one per 500 gp of cost) to craft the magic bed. If a spy wanted to sabotage such a device, the DC for the Disable Device check would be 27 (25 + 2).
Beneficial devices have no CRs because they aren't challenges. It's certainly fair for the DM to mandate that they be stationary, though this is not absolutely necessary.
What Disabling a Device Means
So you've made your Disable Device check against a trap. What does that do to it? It depends on the amount by which you beat the DC. Check the paragraph below that corresponds to your margin of success for the results.
0-3: The next time the trigger would spring the trap, it doesn't. After that, however, the trigger operates normally, and another Disable Device check is required to disarm it again.
4-6: You messed it up. It won't work again until it's reset. If it's a trap that resets automatically, use the next result below.
7-9: You really broke it. It won't go off again until someone repairs it using the Craft (trapmaking) skill. This repair costs 1d8 x 10% of the trap's total construction cost. If you don't wish to destroy the trap mechanism, you can voluntarily reduce the repair cost required.
10+: You can either break the trap as above or add a bypass element. This latter option enables you to either get past the trap without triggering it or avoid its effect. For example, you could disable a narrow path through the pressure plates that trigger poison darts from the wall, or note the tiny niche in the wall that provides refuge from the rolling boulder.
Base Cost and CR Modifiers for Mechanical Traps
Feature Base Cost Modifier CR Modifier
Location - -
Proximity (mechanical) +1,000 gp -
Touch - -
Touch (attached) -100 gp -
Timed +1,000 gp -
No reset -500 gp -
Repair -200 gp -
Manual - -
Automatic +500 gp (or 0 if used with timed trigger) -
Lock +100 gp + 200 gp/+5 increase above 30 -
to Open Lock DC
Hidden Switch +200 gp + 200 gp/+5 increase above 25 -
to Search DC
Hidden Lock +300 gp + 200 gp/+5 increase above 30 -
to Open Lock DC, +200 gp/+5 increase
above 25 to Search DC
15 or below -100 gp/-1 decrease below 20 -1
16-19 -100 gp/-1 decrease below 20 -
20 - -
21-24 +200 gp/+1 increase above 20 -
25-29 +200 gp/+1 increase above 20 +1
30+ +200 gp/+1 increase above 20 +2
Disable Device DC
15 or below -100 gp/-1 decrease below 20 -1
16-19 -100 gp/-1 decrease below 20 -
20 - -
21-24 +200 gp/+1 increase above 20 -
25-29 +200 gp/+l increase above 20 +1
30+ +200 gp/+l increase above 20 +2
Pit or Other Save-Dependent Trap
Reflex Save (DC<20) -100 gp/-1 decrease below 20 -1 /-5 decrease below 20
Reflex Save (DC 20) - -
Reflex Save (DC 21+) +300 gp/+1 increase above 20 +1/+5 increase above 20
Ranged Attack Trap
Attack bonus <+10 -100 gp/-1 decrease below +10 -1 /-5 decrease below +10
Attack bonus +10 - -
Attack bonus >+10 +200 gp/+1 increase above +10 +1 /+5 increase above +10
Mighty damage +100 gp/+l damage (max +4) -
Melee Attack Trap
Attack bonus <+10 -100 gp/-l decrease below +10 -1 /-5 decrease below +10
Attack bonus +10 - -
Attack bonus >+10 +200 gp/+1 increase above +10 +1 /+5 increase above +10
Mighty damage +100 gp/+l damage (max +8) -
Average damage - +1/7 points of average damage* Miscellaneous Features
Alchemical device - Spell level of spell effect mimicked
Gas - -
Never-miss +1,000 gp -
Multiple target - +1 (or 0 if never-miss)
Onset delay (1 round) - +3
Onset delay (2 rounds) - +2
Onset delay (3 rounds) - +1
Onset delay (4+ rounds) - -1
Poison - CR of poison used**
Pit spikes - +1
Touch attack - +1
Water - +5
Extra Costs (Added to Modified Base Cost)
Poison Cost of poison used ** (x20 if automatic reset)
Alchemical device Cost of item (x20 if automatic reset)
*Rounded to the nearest multiple of 7 (round up for an average that lies exactly between two numbers). For example, a trap that deals 2d8 points of damage (an average of 9 points) rounds down to 7, while one that does 3d6 points of damage (an average of 10.5) rounds up to 14.
** See sub-table
Spell Sight Range Spot Bonus
Arcane Eye Line of sight (unlimited range) +20
Clairvoyance One preselected location +15
True Seeing Line of sight (up to 120 ft.) +30
Raw Materials Cost and CR Modifiers for Magic Device Traps
Feature Cost Modifier* XP Cost Modifier** CR Modifier
Highest-level spell (one-shot) 50 gp x CL x SL 4 XP x CL x SL SL or +1/7 points of average
damage per round*
Highest-level spell (auto reset) 500 gp x CL x SL 40 XP x CL x SL SL or +1/7 points of average
damage per round*
Alarm - - -
Other spell effect (one-shot) 50 gp x CL x SL 4 XP x CL x SL -
Other spell effect (auto reset) 500 gp x CL x SL 40 XP x CL x SL -
Extra Costs (Added to Raw Materials Cost)
Material Components Cost of all material components used (x100 if automatic reset)
XP Costs 5 x XP cost (x100 if automatic reset)
CL= Caster Level
SL= Spell Level
*Rounded to the nearest multiple of 7 (round up for an average that lies exactly between two numbers). For example, a trap that deals 2d8 points of damage (an average of 9 points) rounds down to 7, while one that does 3d6 points of damage (an average of 10.5) rounds up to 14.
**These formulas are correct.
CR Modifiers By Poison Type
Poison Type CR Modifier
Black adder venom +1
Black lotus extract +8
Blue whinnis +1
Burnt othur fumes +6
Carrion crawler brain juice +1
Dragon bile +6
Giant wasp poison +3
Greenblood oil +1
Insanity mist +4
Large scorpion venom +3
Malyss root paste +3
Medium-size spider venom +2
Purple worm poison +4
Sassone leaf residue +3
Shadow essence +3
Small centipede poison +1
Terinav root +5
Ungol dust +3
Wyvern poison +5
Craft (Trapmaking) DCs
Trap Base Craft (Trapmaking)
Additional Modifier to Craft
Components (Trapmaking) DC
Proximity trigger +5
Automatic reset +5