3e SRD:Disable Device Skill

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.

Disable Device (Int; Trained Only)

The effort requires at least a simple tool of the appropriate sort (a pick, pry bar, saw, file, etc.). Attempting a Disable Device check without a set of thieves' tools carries a –2 circumstance penalty, even if a simple tool is employed. The use of masterwork thieves' tools enables the character to make the check with a +2 circumstance bonus.


The DM makes the Disable Device check so that the character doesn't necessarily know whether the character has succeeded. The amount of time needed to make a check and the DC for the check depend on how tricky the device is. Disabling a simple device takes 1 round (and is at least a full-round action). Intricate or complex devices require 2d4 rounds. The character 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).

Disabling (or rigging or jamming) a fairly simple device has a DC of 10. More intricate and complex devices have a higher DC. The DM rolls the check. If the check succeeds, the character disables the device. If the check fails by up to 4, the character has failed but can try again. If the character fails by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If it's a trap, the character springs it. If it's some sort of sabotage, the character thinks the device is disabled, but it still works normally.

Device Time DC* 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

*If the character attempts to leave behind no trace of the tampering, add 5 to the DC.


Yes, though the character must be aware that the character has failed in order to try again.

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


Rogues (and only rogues) can disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the magic used to create it.

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