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taltamir
2010-03-25, 03:53 PM
I am not entirely sure about what the rules actually mean there:


The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Spellcraft skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura; DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + half caster level for a nonspell effect.)

1. Does this allow a retry? in the spellcraft page on the SRD it says "no action required" for this usage. Others say "no retry"... this indicates to me that a. you automatically attempt to identify it without needing to explicitly say you are. b. you can retry identifying it... how often? every round?

2. is a magic item a "nonspell effect"? that is... is the DC for finding the school of a magic item with CL10 a DC20 check (15+10/2)?


If you are a specialist wizard, you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks when dealing with a spell or effect from your specialty school. You take a -5 penalty when dealing with a spell or effect from a prohibited school (and some tasks, such as learning a prohibited spell, are just impossible).
Does this apply to a familiar of a specialist wizard who is sharing his skillpoints?

Superglucose
2010-03-25, 04:03 PM
magic items have the normal aural spell check. Just look at the spell or CL used in creating the item.

Mastikator
2010-03-25, 04:08 PM
Any knowledge skill doesn't allow retry. Either you know or you don't. Since spellcraft is basically Knowledge (Spellcraft), but without the Knowledge part in its name, for some curious reason, I'd say it doesn't allow a retry. Either you know the spell being cast to use the item, or you don't know the spell.
I'd give you an autosucceed if you can cast the spell though.

taltamir
2010-03-25, 04:20 PM
magic items have the normal aural spell check. Just look at the spell or CL used in creating the item.

my question was, which of those two is it, the spell OR the CL? because they have different values.

for example, an amulet of health requires bear's endurance spell (Spell level 2, thus DC17 to identify), but has a CL of 8 (DC19 = 15+8/2)... these two values are independent of the enchantment bonus it gives (+2, +4, and +6 all have the same values for those two)

now that I think about it, I THINK the correct interpretation is to look at the CL the item has. because an item is a non spell effect which has a CL value.

taltamir
2010-03-25, 04:23 PM
Any knowledge skill doesn't allow retry. Either you know or you don't. Since spellcraft is basically Knowledge (Spellcraft), but without the Knowledge part in its name, for some curious reason, I'd say it doesn't allow a retry. Either you know the spell being cast to use the item, or you don't know the spell.
I'd give you an autosucceed if you can cast the spell though.

Spellcraft is more then just knowledge. and the table explicitly STATES Which types of attempt DO NOT a allow a retry, and this specific type of use does NOT state that.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/spellcraft.htm

Try Again
See above.

Above is a chart, half the entries say "no retries"... this specific one does NOT say "no retries" therefore it means you can retry (which kind of makes sense too, you are not trying to "recall a fact", you are examining an item until you manage to figure out which of the 8 possible schools was used to create it)

EDIT: here is the chart that was "above"
{table]Spellcraft DC|Task
13|When using read magic, identify a glyph of warding. No action required.
15 + spell level|Identify a spell being cast. (You must see or hear the spellís Verbal or somatic components.) No action required. No retry.
15 + spell level|Learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll (wizard only). No retry for that spell until you gain at least 1 rank in Spellcraft (even if you find another source to try to learn the spell from). Requires 8 hours.
15 + spell level|Prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook (wizard only). One try per day. No extra time required.
15 + spell level|When casting detect magic, determine the school of magic involved in the aura of a single item or creature you can see. (If the aura is not a spell effect, the DC is 15 + one-half caster level.) No action required.
19|When using read magic, identify a symbol. No action required.
20 + spell level|Identify a spell thatís already in place and in effect. You must be able to see or detect the effects of the spell. No action required. No retry.
20 + spell level|Identify materials created or shaped by magic, such as noting that an iron wall is the result of a wall of iron spell. No action required. No retry.
20 + spell level|Decipher a written spell (such as a scroll) without using read magic. One try per day. Requires a full-round action.
25 + spell level|After rolling a saving throw against a spell targeted on you, determine what that spell was. No action required. No retry.
25|Identify a potion. Requires 1 minute. No retry.
20|Draw a diagram to allow dimensional anchor to be cast on a magic circle spell. Requires 10 minutes. No retry. This check is made secretly so you do not know the result.
30 or higher|Understand a strange or unique magical effect, such as the effects of a magic stream. Time required varies. No retry.[/table]

so it seems pretty clear that:
unlimited retries:
1. When using read magic, identify a symbol.
2. When casting detect magic, determine the school of magic involved in the aura of a single item or creature you can see. (If the aura is not a spell effect, the DC is 15 + one-half caster level.)
3. When using read magic, identify a glyph of warding.

once per day retry:
1. Decipher a written spell (such as a scroll) without using read magic.
2. Prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook (wizard only).

No retry for that spell until you gain at least 1 rank in Spellcraft (even if you find another source to try to learn the spell from):
1. Learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll (wizard only).

No retries, ever:
the other 7 uses

Jack_Simth
2010-03-25, 04:48 PM
1. Does this allow a retry? in the spellcraft page on the SRD it says "no action required" for this usage. Others say "no retry"... this indicates to me that a. you automatically attempt to identify it without needing to explicitly say you are. b. you can retry identifying it... how often? every round?

Yes, you can retry it. How often is not clearly specified. Exactly as written, you can do the non-action as many times as you could do a non-action in a round. What's 20 * 0? Congrats, you can take 20 in the same time you can roll it once. Of course, most DM's will say "no", and limit it somehow - you might get a few that let you take 20 in 0 time, but for the most part, you'll either see DM's who say "once per round" or DM's who say "once per casting of detect magic".


2. is a magic item a "nonspell effect"? that is... is the DC for finding the school of a magic item with CL10 a DC20 check (15+10/2)?

In most cases, yes, they're a nonspell effect. In a few cases, they are a spell effect, but in the vast majority of those, unless it's a custom item, the spell effect and nonspell effect DC's will not differ by more than 1. So you don't really need to worry about it too much.


Does this apply to a familiar of a specialist wizard who is sharing his skillpoints?

No, familiar uses it's own modifiers:

For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an animal of that type or the masterís skill ranks, whichever are better. In either case, the familiar uses its own ability modifiers. Regardless of a familiarís total skill modifiers, some skills may remain beyond the familiarís ability to use.
No mention is specifically made of feats, specialties, and such, so technically the banned school penalty / specialty school bonus does not apply when the familiar makes the Spellcraft check.

Of course, your familiar will almost always have a lower INT than you, so it works out.

taltamir
2010-03-25, 05:08 PM
thank you jack.


you'll either see DM's who say "once per round" or DM's who say "once per casting of detect magic".
Some familiars have detect magic at will. So they can compensate for their low int by retrying over and over until rolling a 20. then again, its only a cantrip and its not like it actually identifies the item.


Of course, your familiar will almost always have a lower INT than you, so it works out.
So true :P... for my current wizard the familiar has int 10, the wizard in 26. the the familiar is -8 from the wizard.

unre9istered
2010-03-25, 06:25 PM
According to the Rules Compendium the Spellcraft DC to identify the school of an item is 15+CL/2.
It goes on to say you can Identify the item with a DC 25+CL/2. As far as I know that's the only place which references identifying a magic item using only detect magic.

taltamir
2010-03-25, 06:39 PM
oh wow... p82 of rules compendium has tons of ways of identifying an item without the spell...


IDENTIFYING AN ITEM
When PCs find magic items as treasure, they need to determine what the items do. The following methods are available to identify magic items.

SKILLS
Certain skills allow a creature to identify an item.

Knowledge (Arcana)
A successful DC 30 Knowledge (arcana) check means a creature learned of an item at one point during past studies. Such a success might give a hint to the itemís function or reveal every detail about it. This method is most appropriate
for legendary items or items that have a traditional shape associated with their function.

Search
Close study of an item might provide some information. A command word could be etched in tiny letters on the inside of a ring, or a feathered design might hint that an item allows its wearer to fly. In such a case, a successful DC 15 Search check reveals the clue.

Spellcraft
A creature using the detect magic spell can attempt a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + 1/2 the itemís caster level) to determine the school (or schools) of the highest-level spell (or spells) involved in the itemís creation, as well as the strength of the itemís aura (faint to overwhelming, based on its caster level). If the creature exceeds the DC for this check by 10 or more, that creature magically divines the itemís functions, its means of activation, and the number of charges remaining.

A creature can also use Spellcraft to identify potions. The DC is 25, the check takes 1 minute, and it canít be retried on a failure.

Use Magic Device
If a creature succeeds on a Use Magic Device check to activate a magic item and exceeds the DC by 5 or more, that creature magically divines the itemís functions, its means of activation, and the number of charges remaining.

BARDIC KNOWLEDGE
Although not quite as useful as the skills discussed above, a successful bardic knowledge check might reveal the backgrounds, functions, and means of activating legendary or otherwise well-known items. If the item is standard
equipment for a well-known faction or person, the DC is 20. If the item is uncommon or ancient, but many items like it are in circulation, the DC is 25. If the item is known only in legend, the DC is 30 or higher. A successful result should reveal something of the itemís history and give at least a hint about the itemís function.

SPELLS
Spells are the most reliable way to identify items.

Detect Magic
The easiest way for creatures to discern whether an object is magical is to use detect magic. The process for this is covered above in the Spellcraft skill option for identifying a magic item.

Identify
The identify spell (PH 243) determines the functions, means of activation, and number of charges remaining for any item of less than artifact power. It takes an hour to cast and has an expensive material component, but itís also a sure way to identify most magic items.

Analyze Dweomer
The analyze dweomer spell (PH 197) functions like identify, but its casting time is shorter, it has a focus rather than an expensive material component, and the caster can determine the properties of several items with one casting of the spell. This spell is the swiftest and surest way to identify many magic items.

HIRED HELP
The PCs might want to consult bards, sages, or high-level spellcasters to identify items. Such NPCs might also know some details or rumors about an itemís history. They always want something in return for this information, and they charge standard prices for spells they cast (see page 69). If an NPC can identify the item without using spells, that character might still ask for payment equivalent to the cost of casting identify (100 gp + 10 gp per level). Of course, an NPC might instead demand some service or trade.

DM EXPLANATION
It might be simpler for the DM to tell the players what an item is. This approach is particularly useful when the item provides a bonus that must be tracked on actions the PC is already taking.

TRIAL AND ERROR
The trial-and-error process usually entails a PC attempting to use the item. As long as everyone finds this to be a fun method, itís fine. If, however, the players turn it into a tedious checklist of tests, itís reasonable for the DM to rule that until a creature has determined a magic itemís powers, command
word, or other secrets in one of the manners noted above, no amount of crazy experimentation helps.

Looks like the easiest way is to beat the DC on a spellcraft check by 10. but by RAW this method allows infinite retries and take 0 time for each attempt! So this is somewhat of a problem.

question, do you round the DC up or down? that is, if the CL of an item is 5 then the DC is 25+5/2 = 17.5
if I recall my DnD rounding rules you round down to a DC27.

also, it says it cannot be retried on failure after the potion... while it looks like "cannot be retried" applies to potions only, it makes sense that it applies to all items "identified" that way.