Disable Device

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Description

Ability Score Used: Dexterity
Usable Untrained? No
Armor Check Penalty Applies? Yes

You are skilled at disarming traps and opening locks. In addition, this skill lets you sabotage mechanical devices, such as catapults, wagon wheels, and doors. You can even use disable device to perform more elaborate bits of sabotage, such as slowing down or speeding up a clock, so someone leaves for an appointment at the wrong time.

As with all skills, the uses below are merely suggestions, and by no means the full gamut of possible ways a skill can be used. Players and GM's are encouraged to find additional ways to use each skill.

Pick Lock

You can use disable device to pick a lock. You must be adjacent to the lock to attempt to pick it.
Action Required:

Full-round action

DC of Check:

The base DC to pick a lock varies, based on the quality of the lock. Higher quality locks are often magically enhanced, but unless the specific magical effect states otherwise, the fact that a lock is magic or mundane does not affect its DC to pick.

Quality of Lock DC to Pick
Simple 20
Average 25
Good 30
Superior 40
Peerless 50
Modifiers to Check
  • Thieves' Tools: If you do not have a set of thieves' tools, these DCs increase by +10.
  • Leave No Trace: Trying to pick a lock without leaving any traces you did it increases the DC by +5.
  • Size Disparity: For every size category difference between you and the size of the creature for whom the lock was designed, the DC to pick the lock increases by +2. Thus, a sized-small creature attempting to pick a sized-large creature's lock (or vice versa) would have the DC increased by +4, since there is a two size categories difference. Trying to pick a lock made for a race of extradimensional sprites who are size 'Fine' means you're trying to pick a lock so small you can barely find it, much less get a tool in it.
  • Defensive Lock Picking: You may attempt to pick a lock without provoking attacks of opportunity, but doing so increases the DC by 10, and an additional +2 for each enemy creature after the first. If you fail the check, you not only fail to pick the lock, you also provoke attacks of opportunity from any threatening enemies.
  • Hurry: If you beat the target DC by a large amount (and didn't take 10 or take 20), you end up picking the lock more quickly than a full round action, as detailed below. Note that you can never reduce the time to pick a lock to less than a swift action, no matter how much you beat the DC by.
If you exceed the DC by: Time to pick the lock is reduced to:
5 Standard Action
10 Move Action
15 Swift Action
Take 10? / Take 20?

Since (non-trapped) locks have no consequences for failure, you can take 10 or even take 20 on a pick lock check, if you are willing to take extra time to do so.

If you take 10 or take 20, you cannot reduce the time it takes to pick the lock, regardless of your check result; it always takes a full-round action if you take 10, and it always takes 20 rounds (2 minutes) if you take 20.

Allows Assists?

Unless the lock is at least one size category larger than normal for a creature your size (see size disparity, in the Modifiers section, above), your allies cannot assist a lock picking attempt. There simply isn't room for extra hands to get in there and help out. If the lock is large enough to allow assists, your allies must be adjacent to the lock, just like you, in order to assist. Assisting allies who do not have thieves' tools suffer a -10 penalty to their assist check.

Results of Success

The lock is unlocked.

Consequences of Failure

The lock fails to open.

Retry Allowed?

Yes, you may make additional attempts to pick a lock. You may never attempt to pick a lock more than once per round.

Provokes AOO?

Yes

Disarm Trap

You can use disable device to attempt to disarm a trap. This typically involves disabling or destroying the trigger mechanism, rendering the trap inert. Before you can disarm a trap, you must first succeed on a Perception check to find it. Most traps and their triggers are hidden. You must be adjacent to the trap in order to attempt to disarm it.

When disarming a trap, the disable device check is made secretly, so that you don't necessarily know whether you've succeeded. You announce what you wish to attempt, calculate your target DC and modifiers to the roll, and the GM rolls, chuckles menacingly, and lets you know what happens.

Action Required:

The action required to disarm a trap varies by the quality of the trap:

Quality of Trap Action to Disarm
Simple Standard Action
Average Full Round Action
Good 1d4 rounds
Superior 2d4 rounds
Peerless 2d4+5 rounds
DC of Check:

The target DC to disarm a trap is usually a Challenging DC, based on the CR of the creature who set the trap. Some creatures may create traps with higher or lower DC's than normal for their CR, if they are particularly good trappers (e.g. kobolds), or just dabblers in the art (e.g. goblins). Note that the quality of the trap does not affect the target DC; it only affects how long the trap takes to disarm.

Modifiers to Check
  • Magical Traps: Magic-based traps do not inherently have a modifier to their disarm DC's, but they can only be disarmed by a character with the Trapfinding class feature, or by someone with at least 21 ranks in Disable Device. Unless you meet at least one of these requirements, you may not even attempt to disarm a magical trap, nor may you assist an ally who is attempting to disarm a magical trap.
  • Bypass Trap: If you increase the DC by 10 before the roll, you can study the trap and its trigger, determine how it works, and allow your party (and yourself) to move past it without setting it off or disarming it. The trap remains intact and ready to spring on the next unsuspecting passers-by. You must have the Trapfinder class feature to attempt this.
  • Leave No Trace: Trying to disarm a trap without leaving any traces you did it increases the DC by +5.
  • Size Disparity: For every size category difference between you, and the size of the creature by whom the trap was designed, the DC increases by +2. Thus, a sized-small creature attempting to disarm a sized-large creature's trap (or vice versa) would have the DC increased by +4, since there is a two size categories difference. Trying to disarm a sized-titanic-plus water wheel trap might appear to be a simple task, except you need something the size of an armored galleon to jam into it.
  • Defensive Trap Disarming: You may attempt to disarm a trap without provoking attacks of opportunity, but doing so increases the DC by 10, and an additional +2 for each enemy creature after the first. If you fail the check, you not only fail to disarm the trap, you also provoke attacks of opportunity from any threatening enemies.
  • Take Your Time: You can voluntarily increase the time required to disable a trap, and thereby decrease the DC. You may increase the time take by one step on the table below, in exchange for a -5 reduction of the target DC. You cannot reduce the DC by more than -5 (one step). You must declare you are taking your time before you attempt the skill check, and before the GM rolls to see how long the disarm attempt will take. (That is, you can't use take your time to make the GM re-roll an unfavorable result.)
  • Hurry: You can attempt to reduce the time required to disable a trap by voluntarily increasing the disarm DC before you make the check. Each step faster on the time progression table below increases the total DC by +5, cumulatively. Note that you can never reduce the time to disarm a trap to less than a swift action, no matter how much you increase the DC by.
Time Increments
4d4+10 rounds
2d4+5 rounds
2d4 rounds
1d4 rounds
Full round action
Standard action
Move action
Swift action
Take 10? / Take 20?

Because there are consequences for failure (you might set off the trap), you cannot take 10 or take 20 when attempting to disarm a trap.

Even if you have some special ability which allows you to break this rule, you may not use the take your time or hurry modifiers when disarming the trap, if you choose to take 10 or take 20. If you take 10, the disarm attempt always takes the maximum listed time for the quality of trap in question, and if you take 20, disarming takes 20 times the maximum listed time for the trap.

Allows Assists?

Allies who wish to assist your disarm check must stand adjacent to the trap, just like you, and are always included in the target area of the trap, in the event it is accidentally set off. If there isn't enough room for an ally to stand adjacent to the trap, then they cannot render assistance.

Results of Success

You disarm the trap, rendering it harmless.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by less than 4, you are aware you failed to disarm the trap, but nothing bad happens. If you fail by 5 or more, or roll a natural 1 on the check, the trap is triggered. You, and any allies assisting you, are always included in the target area of a trap which is accidentally triggered by a failed disarm check.

Retry Allowed?

Yes, assuming the trap was not triggered.

Provokes AOO?

Yes

Sabotage Device

Sabotage Device covers a wide spectrum of messing with mechanical devices to cause them to behave differently than intended. You 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). This skill use also includes jamming a lock so it cannot be opened, turning road signs the wrong way, altering an alchemical clock to run faster or slower, or even altering a sextant or compass to give incorrect results.

A successful act of sabotage also includes covering up your sabotage from casual observation. Creatures who investigate a sabotaged item can detect that it has been tampered with by making a successful perception check versus a Challenging DC, based on the level or CR of the character or creature who performed the sabotage in the first place. However, such a roll requires that the creature actively look. Successful acts of sabotage cannot be detected with passive perception. Thus, only a suspicious creature, or one who has been given some indication that something might be wrong, would even get to roll. Note that the difficulty to perceive sabotage can also be increased by the creature attempting the sabotage, by increasing the DC (see Modifiers, below).

Action Required:

The action required to sabotage a device varies by the complexity of the device, or the complexity of the sabotage intended. While a compass is a simple device, it is difficult to sabotage it such that it points East instead of North, for example. The table below gives some guidelines for GM's to adjudicate the action required.

Complexity of Device Difficulty to Sabotage
Easy Average Challenging Hard Impossible
Simple Standard Action Full Round Action 1d4 rounds 2d4 rounds 2d4+5 rounds
Tricky Full Round Action 1d4 rounds 2d4 rounds 2d4+5 rounds 1d10 minutes
Complex 1d4 rounds 2d4 rounds 2d4+5 rounds 1d10 minutes 1d4 hours
Elaborate 2d4 rounds 2d4+5 rounds 1d10 minutes 1d4 hours 1d4 days
Convoluted 2d4+5 rounds 1d10 minutes 1d4 hours 1d4 days 2d6+2 days
DC of Check:

The DC to sabotage a device is also based on the complexity of the device, or how difficult the device is to alter. The difficulty to alter a device is increased if you are trying to make it behave in a way that would be extremely unlikely for it to behave. For example, altering a clock to attack nearby mice is much harder than altering the clock to run slower or faster than normal.

Complexity of Device Difficulty to Sabotage
Easy Average Challenging Hard Impossible
Simple 10 15 20 25 30
Tricky 15 20 25 30 35
Complex 20 25 30 35 40
Elaborate 25 30 35 40 45
Convoluted 30 35 40 45 50
Modifiers to Check
  • Leave No Trace: While any successful sabotage requires a Challenging DC perception check (versus the level or CR of the creature who sabotaged the device), you may increase the target DC by +10 to increase this to a Hard DC perception check. You can instead increase the DC by +20 if you wish to make it an Impossible DC perception check.
  • Size Disparity: For every size category difference between you, and the size of the creature by whom the device was designed, the DC increases by +2. Thus, a sized-small creature attempting to sabotage a sized-large creature's device (or vice versa) would have the DC increased by +4, since there is a two size categories difference.
  • Defensive Sabotage: You may attempt to sabotage a device without provoking attacks of opportunity, but doing so increases the DC by +10, and an additional +2 for each enemy creature after the first. If you fail the check, you not only fail to sabotage the device, you also provoke attacks of opportunity from any threatening enemies.
  • Take Your Time: You can voluntarily increase the time required to sabotage a device, and thereby decrease the DC. You may increase the time take by one step on the time progression table (below), in exchange for a -5 reduction of the target DC. You cannot reduce the DC by more than -5 (one step). You must declare you are taking your time before you attempt the skill check, and before the GM rolls to see how long the sabotage attempt will take. (That is, you can't use take your time to make the GM re-roll an unfavorable result.)
  • Hurry: You can attempt to reduce the time required to sabotage a device by voluntarily increasing the sabotage DC before you make the check. Each step faster on the time progression table increases the total DC by +5, cumulatively. Note that you can never reduce the time to sabotage a device to less than a swift action, no matter how much you increase the DC by.
Time Increments
4d10+10 days
2d6+2 days
1d4 days
1d4 hours
1d10 minutes
2d4+5 rounds
2d4 rounds
1d4 rounds
Full round action
Standard action
Move action
Swift action
Take 10? / Take 20?

Because there are consequences for failure (you might fail to sabotage the device but believe you succeeded), you cannot take 10 or take 20 when attempting to sabotage a device.

Even if you have some special ability which allows you to break this rule, you may not use the take your time or hurry modifiers when sabotaging the device, if you choose to take 10 or take 20. If you take 10, the sabotage attempt always takes the maximum listed time for the device in question, and if you take 20, the sabotage takes 20 times the maximum listed time for the device.

Allows Assists?

Allies who wish to assist your sabotage check must stand adjacent to the device. If there is not enough room for an ally to stand adjacent to the device, then they cannot render assistance.

Results of Success

You sabotage or alter the device to behave in a way you prefer.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by 4 or less, you are aware that the device was not successfully sabotaged. If you fail by 5 or more (or roll a natural 1), you believe the device was successfully sabotaged. In any case, failure means the device continues to behave normally, despite your efforts.

Retry Allowed?

Yes, but only if you are aware that the device was not successfully sabotaged.

Provokes AOO?

Yes

Mitigate Trap Damage (Epic)

If you are caught within a trap's area of effect when it goes off, you can attempt to mitigate the damage the trap deals to you by making a Disable Device check as an immediate action (adding your trap sense bonus, if any) in place of a saving throw. If you choose to use Disable Device to mitigate trap damage, you may no longer make a regular saving throw for the trap — you must use your Disable Device check result instead.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

Immediate action

DC of Check:

The same as the saving throw DC of the trap (if any). If the trap does not allow a save, this skill use cannot be attempted.

Modifiers to Check

If you have the Trap Sense class feature, you may add its bonus to your Disable Device check.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

If you succeed, you take half damage (or no damage if you exceed the DC by at least 10). If you choose to use mitigate trap damage, your Evasion class feature (if any) does not apply (since you didn't make a reflex save).

Consequences of Failure

You take full damage from the trap.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

No

Delay Trap Trigger (Epic)

Instead of disarming a trap, you can alter the trap's trigger such that the trap activates either a particular number of rounds from now, or when the next creature passes it. If you choose to make it go off after a set number of rounds, you must declare how many rounds in the future (starting at the top of the next round) the trap will go off, at the time you succeed in delaying the trap's trigger. Note that, if you or any of your allies are still in the area of effect, your alterations do not protect them from the trap's effects.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

as Disarm Trap

DC of Check:

+20 to the DC normally required to disarm this trap.

Modifiers to Check

as Disarm Trap

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Allies who wish to assist your delay trap trigger check must stand adjacent to the trap, just like you, and are always included in the target area of the trap, in the event it is accidentally set off. If there isn't enough room for an ally to stand adjacent to the trap, then they cannot render assistance.

The assisting ally must also have at least 21 ranks in disable device to assist.

Results of Success

The trap's trigger has been successfully modified to either go off after a set number of rounds you have declared, or when the next creature passes it.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by 4 or less, you are aware you failed to alter the trigger successfully, but nothing bad happens. If you fail by 5 or more, you trigger the trap.

Retry Allowed?

Yes, if the trap has not been triggered. If the trap was triggered, no.

Provokes AOO?

Yes