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Ways To Boost Use Magic Device


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


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I'm interested in effectively using UMD on my various characters. I've already done a lot of research but would like to hear of any other options for boosting its effectiveness that you know of. Class-agnostic and PFS legal options are best, but I'm still interested in hearing about class specific options too.

Here is what I know of so far:

Traits

Int mod replaces Cha mod for UMD checks from your choice of Clever Wordplay (Social) or Pragmatic Activator (Magic)

Class Skill and +1 trait bonus from your choice of Underlying Principles (Religion, Nethys), Dangerously Curious (Magic), or Arcane Archivist (Dark Archive Faction).

Feats

Deific Obedience (Magdh): +4 to all int-based skill checks. Must be using int for UMD for it to apply.

Magical Aptitude: +2, +4 at 10+ ranks. Prereq for Arcane Savant prestige class.

Skill Focus: +3, +6 at 10+ ranks.

Elongated Cranium: +2 to all int-based checks, but -1 to all cha and wis based checks. Alternatively +2 to all cha-based checks but -1 to all int and wis based checks.

Items

Circlet of Persuasion (4500g): +3 competence bonus on Cha-based checks. Doesn't work if using Int instead of Cha to make the check.

Cracked Magenta Prism Ioun Stone (800g): +2 competence bonus to skill of your choosing.

Stone of Good Luck (20000g): +1 luck bonus to saves, ability checks, and skill checks. Bonus can be increased to +2 with Fate's Favored trait.

Any of the standard ways of directly boosting Int or Cha like headbands and ioun stones.

Pathfinder Savant Prestige Class

Level 1: Take 10 on UMD checks, UMD becomes class skill, and +1 to UMD checks. Requires Magical Aptitude, one Item Creation Feat (I assume Spell Focus can substitute for this in PFS), and ability to cast 2nd level spells. Delays spellcasting progression by 1 level, but all later levels have full progression.

Level 3: Use your caster level instead of item's caster level when using scrolls if it is greater.

At level 4 and every even level thereafter UMD increases by 1.

Level 6: Can activate all magical items silently.

Class Specific

Device Talent (Investigator): Investigator talent that allows inspiration roll to benefit UMD without reducing daily uses.

Gnome Rogues have a favored class bonus that adds half a point to UMD checks.

Expert Cypher (Rogue): Rogue talent that allows rogue to avoid making minimum ability score UMD checks.

Covetous (Oracle): Oracle curse that at level 5+ adds +4 insight bonus on UMD checks.

Foresight Divination (Wizard): 3 + Int Mod times per day roll d20 as free action and can use if you wish on any check later that round. Helps either guarantee success on UMD checks or increase the likelihood of it depending on how committed you are to trying to use it that round.

Archetypes

Scrollmaster (Wizard): Wizard's int mod and feats used to set DC of scroll. Uses Wizard's caster level if greater than scroll's.

Counterfeit Mage (Rogue): +Half Level to UMD checks. At level 6+ can replace Cha mod with Dex mod for UMD.

Magician (Bard): +Half Level to UMD checks.

Empiricist (Investigator): Int modifier replaces Cha modifier for UMD checks.

Long Duration Spells

Heroism: +2 morale to skill checks, attack rolls, and ability checks for 10 minutes/level.


Dotting


Visualization of the Mind is a Personal/You spell that grants the recipient 24 hours of a +5 untyped bonus to skill checks with a single mental stat (unless the spell's secondary effect is used, ending the spell). This spell however does require soothing incense worth 200 GP and 1 hour to cast.


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This won't help for everything, but ...

You get a +2 bonus on your Use Magic Device check if you’ve activated the item in question at least once before.

This means you can get a +2 on any multi-use item simply by using it (successfully) once.


I have a few exotic options. Only some are about increasing the bonus, but the list might be interesting for a high UMD PC anyway:

Traits

Ratfolk gets a race trait called Bauble Fascination for +1 and class skill.

Feats

Hand's Autonomy allows your possessed hand to use devices while you can't take such actions.

Enlightened Noble (Scion of Magic) gives you +2 on a single check per day.

Concealment Mastery rewards you for having 7 ranks: You can now cast invisibility or undetectable alignment from an item whose construction required a level 2+ illusion spell.

Restoration Mastery does something similar once you get to 9 ranks.

Divine Deception gives you a straight +5 - but only for divine items.

Sabotage Magic Item allows you to do what the name says, with an UMD check. It might even make sense in combat, in a few cases.

Uncanny Activation increases the CL of an item if you exceed the UMD DC.

Equipment Trick (wondrous item) allows you improve the duration of effects from a chosen wondrous item.

Wretched Curator hands out a +4 bonus - but only for spells with the evil descriptor.

Favored class bonuses

Dwarf and half-occultist get small bonuses for specific UMD checks: When stone / metal is involved respective to emulate a race.


The Utility Wild Talent Skilled Kineticist, Greater allows you to add half your levels to a class skill, of which Use Magic Device is one.

Sovereign Court

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MrCharisma wrote:

This won't help for everything, but ...

You get a +2 bonus on your Use Magic Device check if you’ve activated the item in question at least once before.
This means you can get a +2 on any multi-use item simply by using it (successfully) once.

That is specifically on checks to activate blindly. It does nothing for other UMD checks.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Visualization of the Mind is a Personal/You spell that grants the recipient 24 hours of a +5 untyped bonus to skill checks with a single mental stat (unless the spell's secondary effect is used, ending the spell). This spell however does require soothing incense worth 200 GP and 1 hour to cast.

Nice. That buff would be great on an Empiricist Investigator with traits for Diplomacy and Intimidate as int based skills. 18 skills based on int getting a +5 bonus. Alternatively a prime candidate for Extend Spell for those who can cast it without UMD.


I imagine using all of these resources, not for my PC, but on a Sage archetype familiar. Int on these familiars is always master's level +5, though they have weak Natural Armor as a result.

The way I figure it, at level 3 the wizard skips making their first Wondrous Item and instead spends 1k or more on writing scrolls of Visualization of the Mind. Then each day the wizard and their familiar trade off on whatever arcane wands the party has floating around.

If I did my math right, if the wizard can secure a headband of intellect +4 by 7th level and get that on their familiar, the both of them should be able to cast 3rd level and below spells from scrolls.

From that level on the wizard and their familiar are investing in metamagic rods and feats. Soon enough you're seeing 3, maybe even 4 spells per round being cast by these 2.

Grand Lodge

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

I imagine using all of these resources, not for my PC, but on a Sage archetype familiar. Int on these familiars is always master's level +5, though they have weak Natural Armor as a result.

The way I figure it, at level 3 the wizard skips making their first Wondrous Item and instead spends 1k or more on writing scrolls of Visualization of the Mind. Then each day the wizard and their familiar trade off on whatever arcane wands the party has floating around.

If I did my math right, if the wizard can secure a headband of intellect +4 by 7th level and get that on their familiar, the both of them should be able to cast 3rd level and below spells from scrolls.

From that level on the wizard and their familiar are investing in metamagic rods and feats. Soon enough you're seeing 3, maybe even 4 spells per round being cast by these 2.

If it is a figment as well you can just get an additional +8 to UMD at level 1.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's an item, Wand Key Ring, from the ACG for 3000 gp:

Each of these rune-carved brass rings is keyed to a specific spell at creation. When using the Use Magic Device skill to activate a scroll or spell trigger item based on that spell, the bearer gains a +10 insight bonus on the skill check.


The Tap Inner Beauty spell may not last as long as heroism, just 1 min/level, but being first level cuts it some slack.

Advanced versatile performance: expanded versatility lets a bard use perform in place of UMD. Not in PFS though apparently. Once you're using perform there are other ways to buff the skill.

A four-leaf clover gives a +2 luck bonus 3/day (as a free action).

A halfling with a half-deck sacred keepsake can use divine favor to boost skill checks rather than attack/damage.


avr wrote:
A four-leaf clover gives a +2 luck bonus 3/day (as a free action).

Wow that's good, haven't seen that item before. Just for the saving throw boost I'd consider buying this around the same time as upgrading to a +2 cloak of resistance on any character. Potential UMD use is icing on the cake at that point. Yet another reason to get Fate's Favored as well.


Check out the Azlant Pendant for 3,100 gp and 1/day get a +10 insight bonus on a single skill check. [Say like UMD perhaps?]

If you do pick up the trait to swap int for cha, then the spell Tears to Wine is your friend. At 2nd level, you can get +2, +5, or +10 (by CL) on int and wis checks.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:

If you do pick up the trait to swap int for cha, then the spell Tears to Wine is your friend. At 2nd level, you can get +2, +5, or +10 (by CL) on int and wis checks.

/cevah

That spell is amazing. Too bad it isn't PFS legal, and neither is the Visualization of the Mind spell.


According to the Archives of Nethys, the Azlant Pendant is PFS legal.

/cevah

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