Decipher Script–Forgery

Decipher Script


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 about one page long (or the equivalent). If the check fails, make a DC 5 Wisdom check 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.)

Both the Decipher Script check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check are made secretly so that you cannot tell whether the conclusion you draw is true or false.

Action: Deciphering the equivalent of a single page of script takes 1 minute (ten consecutive full-round actions).

Try Again: No.

Special: A character with the Diligent feat gets a +2 bonus on Decipher Script checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script (INT), you get a +2 bonus on Use Magic Device checks involving scrolls.



Check: You can change the attitudes of others (nonplayer characters) with a successful Diplomacy check; see the Influencing NPC Attitudes sidebar, below, for basic DCs. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks, and the winner gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve situations when two advocates or diplomats plead opposite cases in a hearing before a third party.

Action: Changing others’ attitudes with Diplomacy usually takes at least 1 full minute (10 consecutive full-round actions). In some situations, this time, requirement may greatly increase. A rushed Diplomacy check can be made as a full-round action, but you take a –10 penalty on the check.

Try Again: Optional, but not recommended because retries usually do not work. Even if the initial Diplomacy check succeeds, the other character can be persuaded only 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: A half-elf has a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks.

If you have the Negotiator feat, you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff (CHA), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), or Sense Motive (WIS), you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.

Influencing NPC Attitudes

Use the table below to determine the effectiveness of Diplomacy checks (or Charisma checks) made to influence the attitude of a nonplayer character, or wild empathy checks made to influence the attitude of an animal or magical beast.


Initial Attitude ————— New Attitude (DC to achieve)—————
Hostile Unfriendly Indifferent Friendly Helpful
Hostile Less than 20 20 25 35 50
Unfriendly Less than 5 5 15 25 40
Indifferent Less than 1 1 15 30
Friendly Less than 1 1 20
Helpful Less than 1 1


Attitude Means Possible Actions
Hostile Will take risks to hurt you Attack, interfere, berate, flee
Unfriendly Wishes you ill Mislead, gossip, avoid, watch suspiciously, insult
Indifferent Does not much care Socially expected interaction
Friendly Wishes you well Chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate
Helpful Will take risks to help you Protect, back up, heal, aid

Disable Device


Check: The Disable Device check is made secretly so that you do not necessarily know whether you’ve succeeded.

The DC depends on how tricky the device is. Disabling (or rigging or jamming) a fairly simple device has a DC of 10; more intricate and complex devices have higher DCs.

If the check succeeds, you disable the device. If it fails by 4 or less, you have failed but can try again. If you fail by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If the device is a trap, you spring it. If you are attempting some sabotage, you think the device is disabled, but it still works normally.

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).

Action: The amount of time needed to make a Disable Device check depends on the task, as noted above. Disabling a simple device takes 1 round and is a full-round action. An intricate or complex device requires 1d4 or 2d4 rounds.

Try Again: Varies. You can retry if you have missed the check by 4 or less though you must be aware that you have failed to try again.

Special: If you have the Nimble Fingers feat, you get a +2 bonus on Disable Device checks.

A rogue who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more can study the trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (along with her companions) without disarming it.

Restriction: Rogues (and other characters with the trapfinding class feature) can disarm magic traps. A magic trap usually has a DC of 25 + the spell level of the magic used to create it.

The spells fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol, and teleportation circle also create traps that a rogue can disarm with a successful Disable Device check. Spike growth and spike stones, however, create magic traps against which Disable Device checks do not succeed. See the specific spell descriptions for details.

Disable Device DC1 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, cleverly sabotage a clockwork device
1 If you attempt to leave behind no trace of your tampering, add 5 to the DC.

Other Ways to Beat a Trap

It is possible to ruin many traps without making a Disable Device check.

Ranged Attack Traps: Once a trap’s location is known, the obvious way to ruin it is to smash the mechanism—assuming the mechanism can be accessed. Failing that, it is possible to plug up the holes from which the projectiles emerge. Doing this prevents the trap from firing unless its ammunition does enough damage to break through the plugs.

Melee Attack Traps: These devices can be thwarted by smashing the mechanism or blocking the weapons, as noted above. Alternatively, if a character studies the trap as it triggers, he might be able to time his dodges just right to avoid damage. A character who is doing nothing but studying a trap when it first goes off gains a +4 dodge bonus against its attacks if it is triggered again within the next minute.

Pits: Disabling a pit trap usually ruins only the trapdoor, making it an uncovered pit. Filling in the pit or building a makeshift bridge across it is an application of manual labor, not the Disable Device skill. Characters could neutralize any spikes at the bottom of a pit by attacking them—they break just as daggers do.

Magic Traps: Dispel magic helps here. Someone who succeeds on a caster level check against the level of the trap’s creator suppresses the trap for 1d4 rounds. This works only with a targeted dispel magic, not the area version (see the spell description).



Check: Your Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is, and it is opposed by others’ Spot check results. If you do not draw any attention to yourself, 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), it can be assumed that such observers are taking 10 on their Spot checks.

You get only one Disguise check per use of the skill, even if several people are making Spot checks against it. The Disguise check is made secretly so that you cannot be sure how good the result is.

The effectiveness of your disguise depends in part on how much you are attempting to change your appearance.

Disguise Disguise Check Modifier
Minor details only +5
Disguised as different gender1 –2
Disguised as different race1 –2
Disguised as different age category1 –22
1These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.
2Per step of difference between your actual age category and your disguised age category. The steps are: young (younger than adulthood), adulthood, middle age, old, and venerable.


If you are impersonating a particular individual, those who know what that person looks like receive a bonus on their Spot checks according to the table below. Furthermore, they are automatically considered to be suspicious of you, so opposed checks are always called for.

Viewer’s Spot Check Bonus
Recognizes on sight +4
Friends or associates +6
Close friends +8
Intimate +10

Usually, an individual makes a Spot check to see through your disguise immediately upon meeting you and each hour after that. If you casually meet many different creatures, each for a short time, check once per day or hour, using an average Spot modifier for the group.

Action: Creating a disguise requires 1d3×10 minutes of work.

Try Again: Yes. You may try to redo a failed disguise, but once others know that a disguise was attempted, they’ll be more suspicious.

Special: Magic that alters your form, such as alter self, disguise self, polymorph, or shapechange, grants you a +10 bonus on Disguise checks (see the individual spell descriptions). You must succeed on a Disguise check with a +10 bonus to duplicate the appearance of a specific individual using the veil spell. Divination magic that allows people to see through illusions (such as true seeing) does not penetrate a mundane disguise, but it can negate 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.

If you have the Deceitful feat, you get a +2 bonus on Disguise checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff (CHA), you get a +2 bonus on Disguise checks when you know that you are being observed, and you try to act in character.

Escape Artist


Check: The table below gives the DCs to escape various forms of restraints.

Ropes: Your Escape Artist check is opposed by the binder’s Use Rope check. Since it is easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the binder gets a +10 bonus on his or her check.

Manacles and Masterwork Manacles: The DC for manacles is set by their construction.

Tight Space: The DC noted on the table is for getting through a space where your head fits but your shoulders do not. If the space is long, you may need to make multiple checks. You cannot get 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 are only grappling).

Escape Artist DC
Ropes or Binders Use Rope check at +10
Net, animate rope spell, command plants spell, control plants spell, or entangle spell 20
Snare spell 23
Manacles 30
Tight space 30
Masterwork manacles 35
Grappler Grappler’s grapple check result

Action: Making an Escape Artist check to escape from rope bindings, manacles, or other restraints (except a grappler) requires 1 minute of work. Escaping from a net or an animate rope, command plants, control plants, or entangle spell is a full-round action. Escaping from a grapple or pin is a standard action. Squeezing through a tight space takes at least 1 minute, maybe longer, depending on how long the space is.

Try Again: Varies. You can make another check after a failed check if you are 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 are not actively opposed.

Special: If you have the Agile feat, you get a +2 bonus on Escape Artist checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Escape Artist, you get a +2 bonus on Use Rope checks to bind someone.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Use Rope (DEX), you get a +2 bonus on Escape Artist checks when escaping from rope bonds.



Check: Forgery requires writing materials appropriate to the document being forged, enough light or sufficient visual acuity to see the details of what you are writing, wax for seals (if appropriate), and some time. 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), you need only to have seen a similar document before, and you gain a +8 bonus on your check. To forge a signature, you need an autograph of that person to copy, and you gain a +4 bonus on the check. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of that person’s handwriting is needed.

The Forgery check is made secretly so that you are not sure how good your forgery is. As with Disguise, you do not even need to make a check until someone examines the work. Your Forgery check is opposed by the Forgery check of the person who examines the document to check its authenticity. The examiner gains modifiers on his or her check if any of the conditions on the table below exist:

Condition Reader’s Forgery 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 well-known to reader +2
Handwriting intimately known to reader +5
Reader only casually reviews the document –2


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).

Action: Forging a very short and simple document takes about 1 minute. A longer or more complex document takes 1d4 minutes per page.

Try Again: Usually, no. A retry is never possible after a particular reader detects a particular forgery. However, 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 cannot try using his own skill again, even if he is suspicious of the document.

Special: If you have the Deceitful feat, you get a +2 bonus on Forgery checks.

Restriction: Forgery is language-dependent; thus, to forge documents and detect forgeries, you must be able to read and write the language in question. A barbarian cannot learn the Forgery skill unless he has learned to read and write.

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