Skill Mastery Rogue Talent and Use Magic Device


Rules Questions


Use Magic Device says:

Special--

You cannot take 10 with this skill

Skill Mastery Says:

Benefit: The rogue becomes so confident in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. Upon gaining this ability, she selects a number of skills equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

So, does Skill Mastery trump the UMD wording and allow me to take 10 on UMD, or that not allowed?

Liberty's Edge

Yes, the specific wording of Skill Mastery trumps the general wording of the UMD skill.


Another way to interpret it:

No, skill mastery specifically only allows you to ignore "stress and distractions" when taking 10. Nowhere does it actually grant the ability to take 10. Therefore, no taking 10 with UMD and Skill Mastery.

Which interpretation you want to go with depends on how broadly you want to interpret the words "she may take 10 even if" in skill mastery.

In my game, I'd probably allow them to work together, if only because Rogues need all the love they can get.


I'm leaning towards agreeing with you, but the problem I have is actually with one part of the specific wording of the rogue talent:

"she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so ."

It's not "stress and/or distractions" that prevents one from taking 10 on Use Magic Device. It's a special quality of the skill itself that normally prevents one from taking 10 on UMD. See?


Ninjaed! ;-)


Great minds think alike. :P


The rules are sufficiently grey here that I favor the interpretation that makes the rogue, one of the weaker character classes out there, more powerful. So I say Skill Mastery works with UMD.

Ken


I'm inclined to agree with Ken. Yeah, you could argue that the skill says you can't ever take 10 with it, but the two rules conflict and rogues are generally accepted to need a boost.


Cool, I wanted to do this combo with an NPC in one of my games, so it's good to get some agreement from others (want to be fair and all that).


You could just work out taking a 1 level dip into Pathfinder Savant if you don't want to dip into grey-areas of the rules. It specifically allows you to take 10 on UMD checks.


Yes you definitely can use skill mastery to take 10 on Use Magic Device. Just read the description for Skill Mastery...

When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

It doesn't say "...she can take 10 if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so". it says "...she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so".

If an ability said "The character is very familiar with legal contracts. She receives a +5 bonus to forge legal contracts even if in an unknown language". Would you assume she can't take the +5 bonus if its in a language she knows?

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