SRD3e:Use Magic Device Skill

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Use Magic Device (CHA; TRAINED ONLY; BARD, ROGUE ONLY)

Check
The character can use this skill to read a spell or to activate a magic item. This skill lets the character use a magic item as if the character had the spell ability or class features of another class, as if the character were a different race, or as if the character were a different alignment.
Table:Use Magic Device Checks
Surface DC
Decipher a written spell 25 + Spell Level
Emulate spell ability 20
Emulate class feature 20
Emulate ability score See Text
Emulate race 25
Emulate alignment 30
Activate blindly 25

When the character is attempting to activate a magic item using this skill, the character does so as a standard action. However, the checks the character makes to determine whether the character is 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. The character make emulation checks each time the character activates a device such as a wand. If the character is using the check to emulate an alignment or some other quality in an ongoing manner, the character needs to make the relevant emulation checks once per hour.

The character must consciously choose what to emulate. That is, the character has to know what the character is trying to emulate when the character makes an emulation check.

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 the character to use a magic item as if the character had a particular spell on the character's class spell list. To cast a spell from a scroll or use a wand, the character has to have a particular spell on the character's class spell list. By using the skill this way, the character can use such an item as if the character did have the spell on the character's class spell list. The character's effective caster level is the character's result minus 20. (It's okay to have a caster level of 0.) For wands, it doesn't matter what caster level the character is, but it does matter for scrolls. If the character's effective level is lower than the caster level, the character must roll to see if you use the scroll successfully.

This skill does not let the character cast the spell. It only lets the character cast it from a scroll or wand as if the spell were on the character's class list. Note: If the character is casting it from a scroll, the character has to decipher it first.

Emulate Class Feature
Sometimes the character needs to use a class feature to activate a magic item. The character's effective level in the emulated class equals the character's result minus 20.

This skill does not let the character use the class feature of another class. It just lets the character activate magic items as if the character had the class feature.
If the class whose feature the character is emulating has an alignment requirement, the character 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, the character needs a high ability score in the appropriate ability (Intelligence for wizard spells, Wisdom for divine spells, and Charisma for sorcerer or bard spells). The character's effective ability score (appropriate to the class the character is emulating when the character tries to cast the spell from the scroll) is the character's result minus 15. If the character already has a high enough score in the appropriate ability, the character doesn't need to make this check.
Emulate Race
Some magic items work only for certain races, or work better for those of certain races. The character can use such an item as if the character were a race of the character's choice. The character can emulate only one race at a time.
Emulate Alignment
Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on the character's alignment. The character can use these items as if the character was of an alignment of the character's choice.

The character can emulate only one alignment at a time.

Activate Blindly
Some magic items are activated by special words, thoughts, or actions. The character can activate such items as if the character were using the activation word, thought, or action even if the character is not and even if the character doesn't know it. The character does have to use something equivalent. The character has to speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate. The character gets a special +2 bonus if the character has activated the item at least once before.

If the character fails by 10 or more, the character suffers a mishap. A mishap means that magical energy gets released but it doesn't do what the character 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 the character. Note: This mishap is in addition to the chance for a mishap that the character normally runs when the character casts a spell from a scroll and the spell's caster level is higher than the character's level.

Retry
Yes, but if the character ever rolls a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and the character fails, then the character can't try to activate it again for a day.
Special
The character cannot take 10 with this skill. Magic is too unpredictable for the character to use this skill reliably.

If the character has 5 or more ranks in Spellcraft, the character gets a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls. If the character has 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script, the character gets a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls. These bonuses stack.



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