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Volthawk
2010-03-31, 01:02 PM
I have a question.

What would a Masterwork Tool (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#toolMasterwork) be for UMD?

Mark Hall
2010-03-31, 01:03 PM
Dice, because you need to be lucky?
Ouija board for guessing command words?

Ganurath
2010-03-31, 01:05 PM
A manual on the basic functions of the more common varieties of magic item. How to properly aim a wand, the state of mind needed to cast from a divine scroll as opposed to arcane, et cetera. You'd probably need to study it in your downtime if you want to benefit from it on the field, when you don't have time to flip through and read instructions.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-31, 01:06 PM
A magic 8-ball with random yet common command words in various languages.

Asbestos
2010-03-31, 01:08 PM
A book entitled "How to Win Friends and Influence Magic Items".

I was never able to wrap my brain around the concept that a particularly charismatic rogue could figure out how to use a magical item or scroll that a dedicated Wizard (when casting divine stuff) or Cleric (when casting arcane stuff) was incapable of using or how said rogue could trick a magic item, that will not work for certain races/genders/classes/alignments, into working for them.

Volthawk
2010-03-31, 01:10 PM
A book entitled "How to Win Friends and Influence Magic Items".

I was never able to wrap my brain around the concept that a particularly charismatic rogue could figure out how to use a magical item or scroll that a dedicated Wizard (when casting divine stuff) or Cleric (when casting arcane stuff) was incapable of using or how said rogue could trick a magic item, that will not work for certain races/genders/classes/alignments, into working for them.

Well, it's an Artificer, so...

Person_Man
2010-03-31, 01:11 PM
List of common passwords - like this (http://boingboing.net/2009/01/02/top-500-worst-passwo.html).

Yukitsu
2010-03-31, 01:27 PM
No, there shouldn't be.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-31, 01:29 PM
No, there shouldn't be.

Except there is. There's a tool for every skill, you just need to justify it.

Volthawk
2010-03-31, 01:30 PM
Except there is. There's a tool for every skill, you just need to justify it.

DM said it's OK, I just need to tell him what it'll be.

Yukitsu
2010-03-31, 01:30 PM
Except there is. There's a tool for every skill, you just need to justify it.

Actually that's backwards...

Ravens_cry
2010-03-31, 01:32 PM
I heartily reccomend Ulysses Malfoy Dionysus seminal work,

A Novices Treatise on the Activation and Use of Magic Items Both Arcane and Divine For the Mad and Deficient in the Mental Sphere
~
Instruction and Useful Knowledge for They Not Trained in The Arts Mystic and Other Common Folk

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-31, 01:32 PM
Actually that's backwards...

Explain. I'm not following.

Yukitsu
2010-03-31, 01:33 PM
Explain. I'm not following.

There's a skill for every tool, you just need to justify it. I haven't seen any text anywhere stating that the inverse is meant to be true.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-31, 01:36 PM
There's a skill for every tool, you just need to justify it. I haven't seen any text anywhere stating that the inverse is meant to be true.


Tool, Masterwork
This well-made item is the perfect tool for the job. It grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a related skill check (if any). Bonuses provided by multiple masterwork items used toward the same skill check do not stack.


Unspecified, completely mutable by RAW, and just needs the DM to approve it.


How much of a difference does a +2 bonus make by the mid-levels, when UMD becomes a veritable weapon? Not much. Where is the point in denying them this at those levels? There isn't one.

Sliver
2010-03-31, 01:37 PM
Did you try saying please? I'd give a +2 to UMD for that

TheMadLinguist
2010-03-31, 01:44 PM
Aromatherapy wand grip

Magnetic shoe insoles

Feng Shui-compliant variational flux hairbands

Command word flash cards

Glasses with specially-tinted lenses that make it easier to see faint glimmers of magical energy

A very small thneed.

Yukitsu
2010-03-31, 01:53 PM
Unspecified, completely mutable by RAW, and just needs the DM to approve it.


How much of a difference does a +2 bonus make by the mid-levels, when UMD becomes a veritable weapon? Not much. Where is the point in denying them this at those levels? There isn't one.

Yes, as stated, that means there is a skill for the tool, not the inverse.

A +2 doesn't mean much mid levels, but for 150, it's incredibly good at the early levels.

sofawall
2010-03-31, 02:20 PM
Leather Jacket - Fonz has one, doesn't he? And we all know his skills of turning things on... :smallwink:

Codpiece - Just because it's awesome.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-31, 02:29 PM
I don't think the skill uses tools, it should probably require the use of tools before masterwork tools give any benefit.

Gametime
2010-03-31, 02:29 PM
Room full of monkeys. If enough of them can eventually reproduce Hamlet, it should be child's play for them to guess the correct activation word or action!

Optimator
2010-03-31, 03:15 PM
A soothing wrist charm. It's faint jingling loosens the mind.

Riffington
2010-03-31, 03:39 PM
A mad gnome's laboratory

Volthawk
2010-03-31, 03:40 PM
A mad gnome's laboratory

Which weighs 1lb?

Deth Muncher
2010-03-31, 03:45 PM
This. (http://www.thinkgeek.com/books/c289/) But, y'know, more magic.

Cieyrin
2010-03-31, 03:48 PM
You obviously need your very own Hitchhiker's Guide to the Planes. Should probably provide you with the bonus to UMD, as well as probably other Knowledges, like Arcana and the Planes.

subject42
2010-03-31, 03:50 PM
Which weighs 1lb?

A permanently reduced gnome's mithril laboratory.

Kurald Galain
2010-03-31, 03:53 PM
I don't think the skill uses tools, it should probably require the use of tools before masterwork tools give any benefit.

This.

But, unofficially? I endorse the roomful of monkeys.

nekomata2
2010-03-31, 04:18 PM
I agree with the book idea. Even something as simple as common words and/or alphabets in obscure languages stands a chance of being useful.

Darkmatter
2010-03-31, 04:59 PM
I don't think the skill uses tools, it should probably require the use of tools before masterwork tools give any benefit.

Not at all. The whole point of having tools in the real world is to be better at skills. You don't need tools to see a small object, but magnifying glasses help. You don't need tools to swim fast, but flippers help. This is what the "masterwork tool" is supposed to replicate in the game world. Just because some skills (like "use rope" for example) cannot be used without a tool doesn't mean they are the only ones that can be better performed with one.

More on topic, I like the idea of a magically active compass-like device that gives you "warmer" or "colder" readings when you're trying to activate a magic item.

Kurald Galain
2010-03-31, 05:12 PM
Not at all. The whole point of having tools in the real world is to be better at skills. You don't need tools to see a small object, but magnifying glasses help. You don't need tools to swim fast, but flippers help. This is what the "masterwork tool" is supposed to replicate in the game world. Just because some skills (like "use rope" for example) cannot be used without a tool doesn't mean they are the only ones that can be better performed with one.
While that sounds not unreasonable, you have to admit that RAW doesn't actually say so, and that the other interpretation (that skills which don't use tools also don't have masterwork tools) is equally valid.

As a related issue: whenever the MW tool for anything is asserted to be any kind of reference book or any kind of laboratory equipment, using the skill would logically take several rounds. How many seconds does it take you to find something in a paper encyclopedia?

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-31, 05:13 PM
While that sounds not unreasonable, you have to admit that RAW doesn't actually say so, and that the other interpretation (that skills which don't use tools also don't have masterwork tools) is equally valid.

As a related issue: whenever the MW tool for anything is asserted to be any kind of reference book or any kind of laboratory equipment, using the skill would logically take several rounds. How many seconds does it take you to find something in a paper encyclopedia?

Hence why I always suggest a Pokedex for the Knowledge tools.

Irreverent Fool
2010-03-31, 08:37 PM
Not at all. The whole point of having tools in the real world is to be better at skills. You don't need tools to see a small object, but magnifying glasses help. You don't need tools to swim fast, but flippers help. This is what the "masterwork tool" is supposed to replicate in the game world. Just because some skills (like "use rope" for example) cannot be used without a tool doesn't mean they are the only ones that can be better performed with one.

I hereby declare masterwork flippers to be the tool that grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Use Magic Device checks.

Why? Because the magic devices are making fun of you, that's why.

Edit: Alternatively, deely-boppers.

obnoxious
sig

Strategos
2010-03-31, 08:54 PM
I have a question.

What would a Masterwork Tool (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#toolMasterwork) be for UMD?

How about a Shamble (http://wiki.lspace.org/wiki/Shamble) normally they're made up from string, something live and whatever you've got lying around in your pockets, so buy the tool and always make sure you have say an egg some string a bunch of stuff in your pockets to use as it.

mucat
2010-03-31, 09:06 PM
If I were DMing, I'm not sure I would allow masterwork tools for UMD at all (in part because they amount to a "+2 to almost everything you do" for artificers, who are already a very powerful class.)

If I did allow them, one possible form would be a pair of gloves made out of some magically-sensitive material; as you try to activate the item, you can feel the changing magic fluxes in your fingertips, and use that as feedback to whether you're doing it right. A pair of goggles with magically-sensitive lenses would work along similar lines. In both cases, they don't let you detect magic at will (unless they're enchanted to do that as well) because they detect changes in the item's aura as you try to activate it, not the unchanging aura of a magic item just sitting there.

Curmudgeon
2010-03-31, 09:09 PM
All tools have to be usable without increasing the time for the skill. Since Use Magic Device takes no time itself, and device activation can be as quick as a free or swift action, the tool can't be cumbersome. A reference book isn't an appropriate tool for UMD (but would be for Gather Information, which takes hours). So something like a square of silk would be my call. Rubbing silk on something can generate static electricity, which seems like a helpful addition if you're trying to get a device to start working.

Riffington
2010-03-31, 09:12 PM
Which weighs 1lb?

Mmm, probably closer to the alchemists' lab (which is 40 lb and 500 gp). The generic "1 lb 50 gp tool" is just a starting point; the DM should decide whether/what kind of tool exists for certain skills. Not all prices are (or should be) the same.



All tools have to be usable without increasing the time for the skill.
What is the support for this? Climber's kit probably takes longer to use than most walls take to climb... same is likely true for appraise and scales.

Yukitsu
2010-03-31, 09:16 PM
Well if your DM already allowed it, I suggest a bottle of placebos. So long as you don't know what you're taking, they give you the confidence to activate them better.

Curmudgeon
2010-03-31, 09:40 PM
What is the support for this?
Tool, Masterwork

This well-made item is the perfect tool for the job. It grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a related skill check (if any). The tool's description does not include any mention of change in the skill use time.
Action: None. The Use Magic Device check is made as part of the action (if any) required to activate the magic item. Absent any exception noted for the MW tool, we have to follow the existing rules, and UMD takes only the time required for device activation -- nothing more.

Lamech
2010-03-31, 09:45 PM
A fancy hat. Its totally, a fancy hat. Or some U-235. If you want to be serious its a crystal/gem or an extra fancy spell component pouch.

DragoonWraith
2010-03-31, 10:08 PM
While that sounds not unreasonable, you have to admit that RAW doesn't actually say so, and that the other interpretation (that skills which don't use tools also don't have masterwork tools) is equally valid.
I disagree. RAW says that Masterwork Tools are available for what ever skill you might want them in. A special sheath for Iajutsu checks. A piece of leather to bite down on for Autohypnosis. Whatever. RAW doesn't specify what they are, just that you should be able to get one.

Skillmonkeys don't need the nerf. Seriously. The guy worried about artificers, OK, that I can see - but Artificers are not going to be stopped by not having a masterwork tool, at all, since they'll have a better magical competence bonus to UMD pretty quickly anyway. Plus they'll set up their abilities for it. A Rogue doesn't always have that luxury.

Yukitsu
2010-03-31, 10:14 PM
I disagree. RAW says that Masterwork Tools are available for what ever skill you might want them in. A special sheath for Iajutsu checks. A piece of leather to bite down on for Autohypnosis. Whatever. RAW doesn't specify what they are, just that you should be able to get one.


No, no it doesn't. It states that every tool has a skill. Not that every skill has a tool.

Irreverent Fool
2010-04-01, 12:04 AM
No, no it doesn't. It states that every tool has a skill. Not that every skill has a tool.

I fail to see how this is relevant to the OP's question.

I stand by flippers or deely-boppers.

(Though the magically-sensitive gloves makes sense. Isn't there some sort of material mentioned somewhere that fulfills this?)

obnoxious
sig

Kurald Galain
2010-04-01, 03:27 AM
I disagree. RAW says that Masterwork Tools are available for what ever skill you might want them in.

Please provide an URL or PHB page number for that statement.

Volthawk
2010-04-01, 03:42 AM
I went for the gloves, and the DM said it was OK. Thanks for the help (I couldn't think of anything).

Riffington
2010-04-01, 05:01 AM
The tool's description does not include any mention of change in the skill use time. Absent any exception noted for the MW tool, we have to follow the existing rules, and UMD takes only the time required for device activation -- nothing more.

That is all true (unless the DM actually bothers to invent a MW tool, in which case she obviously needs to invent rules for its use).

However, unpacking a tool is still a different action (or set of actions) than using the skill. There is no requirement that unpacking it be included in the skill action.

Longcat
2010-04-01, 05:07 AM
Personally, I think the item should be called:

The Magic Item Compendium

Killer Angel
2010-04-01, 05:30 AM
A book of standard magical phrases, with a page (as in the dictionary) showing the right pronuntiation of the magical letters.
Also, it's possible to have a masterwork-made grip for wands, that helps in keeping your fingers in the right position to wave the item.

Ormur
2010-04-01, 09:42 AM
All tools have to be usable without increasing the time for the skill.

Libraries are includes as tools for bonuses on knowledge skills in the SBG and they cost more than MW tools and referencing the books certainly takes more time than the "usually none" stated in the SRD for knowledge checks. Different skills require different tools and the "(if any)" clause in the tools section seems to introduce some uncertainty. The tools usually require some extra effort to use but how much depends on the skill in question. I'm not saying a simple masterwork UMD tool that take no extra time to use would be unreasonable but that it's not a given, it could be a 500 gp UMD laboratory.

Ormagoden
2010-04-01, 10:01 AM
This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrolabe) except instead of stars is magical words and information. /thread

Darkfire
2010-04-01, 10:27 AM
Personally, I think the item should be called:
The Magic Item Compendium
Perfect.

Honestly, it's down to the player's ingenuity to come up with a feasible mundane tool and up to the DM whether or not the bonus it provides is realistically applicable in a given situation/time-frame. A reference book cannot be quickly referred to in combat but, if you had access to whatever device you're trying to activate plus the book and had an hour or so to read and experiment, it would be reasonable to give the bonus.

ericgrau
2010-04-01, 10:45 AM
Except there is. There's a tool for every skill, you just need to justify it.

Nononono. There can be, doesn't mean there is one for every skill. But it's true that if you can justify it then you've got your tool.

Darkfire
2010-04-01, 10:52 AM
Nononono. There can be, doesn't mean there is one for every skill. But it's true that if you can justify it then you've got your tool.
And if you can't, pay the extra 350gp and get a magical widget that does the same thing.

ericgrau
2010-04-01, 10:56 AM
Ha, that's subject to DM approval and a known source of abuse.

Besides that, yes, a +2 makes a difference. It's hard to pump UMD at low levels and being able to use wands reliably 2 levels earlier is a big deal. And then to start using scrolls reliably. At higher levels you can use spells 1 level higher, also huge. Or the higher level scrolls are too expensive and you don't bother increasing UMD anyway, in which case it doesn't matter either way.

BadJuJu
2010-04-01, 10:57 AM
All tools have to be usable without increasing the time for the skill. Since Use Magic Device takes no time itself, and device activation can be as quick as a free or swift action, the tool can't be cumbersome. A reference book isn't an appropriate tool for UMD (but would be for Gather Information, which takes hours). So something like a square of silk would be my call. Rubbing silk on something can generate static electricity, which seems like a helpful addition if you're trying to get a device to start working.

Maybe you have been studying the refrence book in your free time?

Ernir
2010-04-01, 11:41 AM
Silk/Displacer beast hide/Dragonskin gloves, makes it easier to connect to the magical energies of magical items.
A custom wandgrip for you, and a mechanism for auto-scroll-unfurling.

Your lucky underpants?

Maybe you have been studying the refrence book in your free time?

The way I read it, the tool is a piece of equipment, something that doesn't work unless you have it on hand. (That is, if you lose the tool, you lose the bonus.) A studied book wouldn't really work that way.

DragoonWraith
2010-04-01, 12:00 PM
No, no it doesn't. It states that every tool has a skill. Not that every skill has a tool.
Which means that if you make up a tool that makes sense for a given skill, it should give you +2 to it. It's effectively the same thing.

Unless you care to prove that a UMD MW Tool is actually, literally impossible.

Mastikator
2010-04-01, 12:03 PM
A book entitled "How to Win Friends and Influence Magic Items".

I was never able to wrap my brain around the concept that a particularly charismatic rogue could figure out how to use a magical item or scroll that a dedicated Wizard (when casting divine stuff) or Cleric (when casting arcane stuff) was incapable of using or how said rogue could trick a magic item, that will not work for certain races/genders/classes/alignments, into working for them.

Same question could be asked on why sorcerers base their magic on charisma.

AtwasAwamps
2010-04-01, 12:03 PM
A pixie wizard.

Telonius
2010-04-01, 12:06 PM
One of these (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_remote).

Otodetu
2010-04-01, 01:34 PM
Well if your DM already allowed it, I suggest a bottle of placebos. So long as you don't know what you're taking, they give you the confidence to activate them better.

Yea, it's labeled as magical residue soda, but is really just a carbonated brew making the user think they are better at using random magical devices...

Uses the same rules as a first aid kit or disguise kit i guess ala 10 uses.

Curmudgeon
2010-04-01, 03:26 PM
Libraries are includes as tools for bonuses on knowledge skills in the SBG
No, they are not.
In general, a book lot costs 1,000 gp and provides a +2 circumstance bonus on a specific Knowledge check, such as Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (religion). (The Library is just where you keep the book lot.) Book lots are not tools; that term is never used for them. They provide a different circumstance bonus.
Circumstance bonuses stack with all other bonuses, including other circumstance bonuses, unless they arise from essentially the same source.

Riffington
2010-04-01, 08:16 PM
Which means that if you make up a tool that makes sense for a given skill, it should give you +2 to it. It's effectively the same thing.

Unless you care to prove that a UMD MW Tool is actually, literally impossible.

What is the cost in gp and research of making up a tool that makes sense for a given skill?

(It is likely that if no such skill exists for UMD in your gameworld and you manage to invent one, you'll more than recoup your research costs.)

2xMachina
2010-04-03, 04:35 AM
A handbook/cheat-sheet. Or Help call line.

What better way than to be guided though it?

Umm, I cannot log intouse my computermagic item. Don't know the Lost my password.

Oh, just reset it. Follow this steps:...

mostlyharmful
2010-04-03, 04:57 AM
A handbook/cheat-sheet. Or Help call line.

What better way than to be guided though it?

Umm, I cannot log intouse my computermagic item. Don't know the Lost my password.

Oh, just reset it. Follow this steps:...

Trouble is that'll either take far FAR more time to make it work than it would have without the tool and it fails to be useful in 99% of UMD uses (time pressure) or why hasn't this guy memorized the following steps for a perpetual +2 to the skillcheck and then sold the manuel?

magic9mushroom
2010-04-03, 05:22 AM
A Dalek's plunger.

Airos
2010-04-03, 06:21 AM
How about a dull gray Ioun Stone? They were in the 3.0 dmg, and I believe they cost 50gp.

Since they're semi-listed in the Expanded Psionics Handbook has having "just enough residual energy for 1 power point", perhaps via a special ritual they can be attuned to providing a subtle hint via psychic/telepathic/empathic energy when using the skill. Bump up the cost to 150gp for the various components needed for the special ritual.

2xMachina
2010-04-03, 12:18 PM
Trouble is that'll either take far FAR more time to make it work than it would have without the tool and it fails to be useful in 99% of UMD uses (time pressure) or why hasn't this guy memorized the following steps for a perpetual +2 to the skillcheck and then sold the manuel?

Well, during tests, I like to use a sort of "cheat sheet" during open book exams. (legal BTW, if for some reason you're influenced by the name).

In my exp, open book exams tend to be time pressure type. You can definitely get it right, provided you've the time to find, look and compare your examples. A single sheet detailing important formulas, and knowing where to find the relevant related examples helps you go from "Oh ****, I'm running out of time", to "Whew, just in time".

As for not memorizing. Sometimes, the formula is complex like heck, and memorizing all of them will take up more brain space than you've got to spare.