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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Lightbulb "Can I Take 10?" Table of sourcebook examples/mentions of taking 10

    From what I've seen, the question when and on what skills one can (or should be able to) take 10 on seems to be a bit of a grey area. The rules give a good explanation for how taking 20 works (try and try again), but little as to how to explain a character taking 10.

    I've heard explanations that taking 10 is "a single careful attempt", and that the general rule of being able to Take 10 on a check always applies unless specified otherwise; but neither of these resolves the issue reliably. "It's up to your DM" seems the be the general answer when it comes to the question whether a player can take a 10 on a skill where it isn't entirely clear if it makes sense for them to be able to do so, but I personally think it best when players have something on hand to argue their case.

    So I've decided to scour the books for pieces of "supporting evidence" regarding the use of Take 10 on selected skills outside of combat and thought I'd make a thread about it, to make the collected information available. Ideally I'd like to compile a comprehensive list by having kind people contribute what they know on the matter.

    I know there is a relevant Crystal Keep list, but it provides no references for its Take 10 info. For now, the table below will only have information regarding PHB skills, as I'm not to familiar with Truenaming, Lucid Dreaming and whatnots. Any feedback on my "supporting evidence" or just this idea in general is obviously very welcome.


    SKILL TEXT REFERENCE EXPLANATION
    Appraise N/A
    Balance Delzome's Iceforge [Adventure Description]: "More importantly, the floorís icy coating requires constant DC 15 Balance checks to avoid slipping and falling. This assumes characters are taking care and moving no faster than half their speed. Let the PCs take 10 on these Balance checks; a character with a 16 Dexterity wearing crampons with no ranks in Balance (for example) can move about at half speed in these chambers with ease." Frostburn p. 169 Self-explanatory
    Bluff Ritual of Theft Truebond Benefit [Item sorta-Template]: "You gain a +2 bonus on any Open Lock or Search check on which you take 20, and on any Bluff, Disable Device, or Sleight of Hand check on which you take 10." Dungeon Master's Guide II, p. 235 The Ritual of Theft provides no special benefit enabling one to take 10 on the related skills, meaning one can do so normally.
    Climb Taking 10 example: "Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldnít help (such as using Climb to ascend a knotted rope, or using Heal to give a wounded PC long-term care)" Player's Handbook p. 65 Speaks for itself.
    Concentration Rituals of the Eldeen Druids: "When the ritual is completed, each participant who meets the prerequisite must attempt a DC 15 Concentration check (you can't take 10 on this roll)." Player's Guide to Eberron p. 60 If you couldn't take 10 on Concentration checks this ritual description wouldn't need to specify that you couldn't do so to gain the ritual benefit. However, Concentration is a skill that is usually done to shut out distractions, so it might be tough to find a situation where taking 10 would be both useful and permissible...
    Craft Skill description: "You canít take 10 on a Craft (alchemy) check made to create a ditherbomb" Races of the Dragon p. 97 If you couldn't take 10 on Craft (alchemy) checks (which follows all the general crafting rules) this skill description wouldn't need to specify that you couldn't do so when crafting Ditherbombs
    Decipher Script Creating a personal cipher: "The DC for such a decoding attempt is 10 + your total skill modifier at the time that you create the cipher. (In effect, you ďtake 10Ē on a skill check to create the cipher, and those attempting to decode it make a Decipher Script check opposed by your take 10 result.) -Usually Secret Roll- Complete Adventurer p. 98 This is a weird piece of RAW where you are forced to take 10 on a skill check, may require further discussion.
    Diplomacy N/A One might extrapolate from Bluff, but that's about it as far as I know. Also, this skill is broken
    Disable Device Ritual of Theft Truebond Benefit [Item sorta-Template]: "You gain a +2 bonus on any Open Lock or Search check on which you take 20, and on any Bluff, Disable Device, or Sleight of Hand check on which you take 10."
    -Usually Secret Roll-
    Dungeon Master's Guide II, p. 235 The Ritual of Theft provides no special benefit enabling one to take 10 on the related skills, meaning one can do so normally.
    Disguise N/A As it is a charisma based, Bluff-synergetic skill you may argue based on bluff, but that is it.
    Escape Artist N/A It is sometimes opposed by Use Rope, which has an example below, so you may based argue on that.
    Forgery Border Guard Squads: "Border guards (and their companions, when applicable) always take 10 on their Spot and Forgery checks."-Usually Secret Roll- Explorer's Handbook, p. 44 In context, this refers to Forgery as used as an opposed check to detect a Forged document. To my knowledge, this should not represent a problem.
    Gather Information N/A It is a Charisma based skill with a knowledge Synergy, so you could potentially argue off Bluff or any given Knowledge
    Handle Animal N/A You could argue it to be the Animal Equivalent of Diplomacy, which you can argue via Bluff; but may feel threatened by that bear you're talking down from eating you.
    Heal Taking 10 example: "Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldnít help (such as using Climb to ascend a knotted rope, or using Heal to give a wounded PC long-term care)" Player's Handbook p. 65 Only mentions long-term care in this instance, doesn't cover other out-of-combat uses of heal, such as treating poisons.
    Hide Infiltration teamwork benefit Tips: "If youíre part of an infiltration team, keep in mind that you can take 10 on your Hide and Move Silently checks whenever you arenít being threatened or distracted." Dungeon Master's Guide II p. 192 The Infiltration Teamwork benefit provides no special benefit as to being able to take 10, meaning one can do so normally.
    Intimidate N/A Again a social skill you can make an argument for based on bluff
    Jump N/A It is a movement based skill like climb or swim, so you could argue based on that.
    Knowledge Magic of the Land [Feat]: "To use the feat, you must succeed on a Knowledge (nature) check (DC 15 + spell level), made as a free action while casting a spell. You can't take 10 on this check."

    Astral Caravan [Psionic Power]: For each 24 hours you travel, make a Knowledge (the planes) check against a DC set by the DM. Unless a location is particularly hard to find and well guarded, or conversely easy to find and well advertised, the average DC for an astral caravan journey should be set at 20. You cannot take 20 on this check, though you can take 10."

    Marine Skills: "The DC of the Knowledge (architecture and engineering) check to oversee the successful construction of the ship in the normal build time. You can take 10 on this check."
    Races of the Wild p. 152
    Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 77
    Stormwrack p. 86
    If you couldn't take 10 on a Knowledge check, the Magic of the Land feat wouldn't have to specify that you couldn't do so on the check required for this feat. The Astral Caravan and Ship building examples are self-explanatory and given to demonstrate the applicability of take 10 to knowledge skills in different circumstances.
    Listen Phazeuroth's Lair [Adventure Description]: "If the trap is triggered, the noise alerts Phazeuroth, who is resting in area 2 and taking 10 on his Listen check."
    -Usually Secret Roll-
    Drow of the Underdark, p. 178 I just picked this example because I like Deep Dragons.
    Move Silently Infiltration Teamwork Benefit Tips: "If youíre part of an infiltration team, keep in mind that you can take 10 on your Hide and Move Silently checks whenever you arenít being threatened or distracted." Dungeon Master's Guide II p. 192 The Infiltration Teamwork benefit provides no special benefit as to being able to take 10, meaning one can do so normally.
    Open Lock Ritual of Theft [Item sorta-Template] "You gain a +1 bonus on any Open Lock check or Search check on which you take 10." Dungeon Master's Guide II p.235 The Ritual of Theft provides no special benefit enabling one to take 10 on the related skills, meaning one can do so normally.
    Perform Heward's Hall [Magical Location]: "To gain the special ability conferred by a Hewardís hall, a character must possess at least 10 ranks in a Perform skill and must succeed on a DC 30 Perform check made as part of a public performance in the hall. The performer canít take 10 on this check." Complete Scoundrel p. 147 If you couldn't take 10 on a Perform check, this feat wouldn't have to specify that you couldn't do so on the check required for this magical location benefit. This has implications for other skills that can be used as a Perform equivalent (e.g. Tumble).
    Profession N/A Not that anyone cares...
    Ride Influences, Taking 10 and a New Feat: " So, you can take 10 when riding down a road (on your Ride check, of course) and the ground suddenly becomes very uneven, but you can't take 10 in those same circumstances with goblins firing crossbows at you." http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rs/20030225a This is from way back in the day when 3.5 was in development and one of the game designers did Q&A's about the upcoming game.
    Search Ritual of Theft [Item sorta-Template]: "You gain a +1 bonus on any Open Lock check or Search check on which you take 10." Dungeon Master's Guide II p. 235 The Ritual of Theft provides no special benefit enabling one to take 10 on the related skills, meaning one can do so normally.
    Sense Motive N/A It is opposed by Bluff, which has an example, but that is it.
    Sleight of Hand Ritual of Theft Truebond Benefit [Item sorta-Template]: "You gain a +2 bonus on any Open Lock or Search check on which you take 20, and on any Bluff, Disable Device, or Sleight of Hand check on which you take 10." Dungeon Master's Guide II, p. 235 The Ritual of Theft provides no special benefit enabling one to take 10 on the related skills, meaning one can do so normally.
    Spellcraft Magic Circle against Evil [Spell]: "You can add a special diagram (a twodimensional bounded figure with no gaps along its circumference, augmented with various magical sigils) to make the magic circle more secure. Drawing the diagram by hand takes 10 minutes and requires a DC 20 Spellcraft check. The DM makes this check secretly. If the check fails, the diagram is ineffective. You can take 10 (see page 65) when drawing the diagram if you are under no particular time pressure to complete the task. This task also takes 10 full minutes." Player's Handbook p. 249 This explicitly allows for the taking of 10 on what is explicitly a secret roll, which is good to show that taking 10 is possible on secret rolls like Disguise.
    Spot Disguise Skill description: "Your Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is, and the check is opposed by observersí Spot checks. If you donít draw any attention to yourself, others donít get to make Spot checks. If you come to the attention of observers who are suspicious, it can be assumed that such observers are taking 10 on their Spot checks." Player's Handbook p. 62 It mentions taking 10 when doing a spot to oppose a Disguise check, but this application of Spot has no mechanical difference to most other spot applications. Read Lips is usually a Secret Roll.
    Survival N/A I got nothing
    Swim Skill Description: "You canít take 10 on a Swim check in stormy water, even if you arenít otherwise being threatened or distracted." Player's Handbook p. 84 If you couldn't take 10 on a regular Swim check, the skill description wouldn't have to make an exception for stormy water. No issue.
    Tumble N/A It is a movement related skill synergistic with Balance, so you could argue of that (although falling from a roof seems rather threatening tbh), perhaps of the Perform example above.
    Use Magic Device Skill Description: "Special: You cannot take 10 with this skill." Player's Handbook p. 86 Speaks for itself
    Use Rope Fun With Prestidigitation: "Tie: You magically tie a firm knot (as though taking 10 with the Use Rope skill) in a thread, string, cord, rope, or cable up to 10 feet long." -Usually Secret Roll- Tome and Blood p. 80 3rd Edition Quote is explicit but from a 3rd Edition book

    SPECIAL: I'm thinking of including a list of ways to being able to Take 10 under stressfull situations (e.g. Skill Mastery gotten from various sources listed in the "List of Stuff", Warlock 4 or Magic Savant spell for UMD, Hardened Criminal Feat (City of Stormreach) and the Belt of Ultimate Athleticism from MIC).

    Table for non-core skills, to be filled in as convenient.

    SKILL TEXT REFERENCE EXPLANATION
    Truespeak Because saying a truename is such an idiosyncratic, exacting task, you can't take 10 or take 20 on Truespeak checks. Tome of Magic p. 195 Saying that, there are no penalties for retries so yeah...
    Last edited by Jowgen; 2014-07-20 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Changed the Opening Post to make it more useful as a reference

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Rules Compendium has a LOT on Take 10... basically, you can take 10 unless if you are using a skill that specifically calls out you can't (spellcraft is a good example), or you are in combat or some stressful event like high winds or an erupting volcano or something.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    I know the general rule (you may take 10 when not threatened/distracted) applies whenever it isn't specified otherwise, but I myself (and some others I know of) experienced situations where a DM didn't think it was plausible for a player to take 10 on a check, and asked for written evidence. I had this happen to me when I made a character who used craft poison, and I wasn't allowed to take 10 until I showed the Ditherbomb example. I know a guy who played a knowledge devotion build, and he to this day isn't allowed to take 10s on his knowledge Arcana to hit the DC 30 to identify magic items. Written examples are more powerful than general rules in my opinion, hence this list.

    specifically calls out you can't (spellcraft is a good example)
    Is this for a specific use (e.g. when used with Detect Magic) or in general? Also, would you happen to have a quote/reference on hand so I can add that?

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    As is explicitly described, you cannot ever take 10 on Use Magic Device checks:

    Special
    You cannot take 10 with this skill.

    You canít aid another on Use Magic Device checks. Only the user of the item may attempt such a check.

    If you have the Magical Aptitude feat, you get a +2 bonus on Use Magic Device checks.
    It's safe to assume that, since it is explicitly called out in this entry, it is not the case that you cannot take 10 on skill checks which don't explicitly call this out.
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    As is explicitly described, you cannot ever take 10 on Use Magic Device checks
    Warlock 4 being the single excepetion, but I've got it down as "no you can't"

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    Warlock 4 being the single excepetion, but I've got it down as "no you can't"
    Exemplar also lets you trick taking ten onto a bunch of skills, but yeah. Not really what you're after here.

    This, on the other hand, you are:
    Because saying a truename is such an idiosyncratic, exacting task, you can't take 10 or take 20 on Truespeak checks.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Exemplar also lets you trick taking ten onto a bunch of skills, but yeah. Not really what you're after here.
    Hmmm, I know there is a sage ruling against rogue skill mastery on UMD, but Examplar 'might' work depending on how it's written. Also, forgot about Magic Savant spell (Bard 2) from Complete Mage.

    I'll make a separate table for non-core skills, and fill it in as things come in, thank you

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Artificer can also take 10 on umd after a certain lvl.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    The Steady concentration feat from Races of Stone allows one to take 10 on concentration checks in all situations. Including combat.
    Last edited by Illven; 2014-06-09 at 12:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    More RAW citations (all from Player's Handbook), mostly for skills where you can't "take 10" (including one correction):
    Quote Originally Posted by Decipher Script
    The DM secretly makes both the Decipher Script check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check, so that you canít tell whether the conclusion you draw is true or false.
    The DCs are known in some cases, so if you had the "take 10" option the above rule wouldn't always hold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disable Device
    Check: Your DM makes the Disable Device check for you secretly, so that you donít necessarily know whether youíve succeeded.
    Drawing inferences from The Ritual of Theft leads to erroneous conclusions. You don't need everyone to have a capability to "take 10" for it to be mentioned; the Skill Mastery class ability will let a subset of characters do so. In this case, the core rule makes it clear that you need a special ability to "take 10", because the default is that you can't know what DC you'll make.


    Quote Originally Posted by Forgery
    Your DM makes your Forgery check secretly, so that youíre not sure how good your forgery is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Listen
    Your DM may decide to make the Listen check for you, so that you donít know whether not hearing anything means that nothing is there, or that you failed the check.
    Note that there's no restriction on "take 10" here; the restriction is that you're not notified of any failures, just successes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sense Motive
    Your DM may decide to make your Sense Motive check secretly, so that you donít necessarily know whether you were successful.
    Another case where there are some fixed DCs and a rule saying you won't know if you succeeded, so "taking 10" is not an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spot
    Your DM rolls your [Read Lips] check secretly in this case, so that you donít know whether you succeeded or missed by 5.
    This is the only use of Spot which doesn't allow "taking 10".

    Quote Originally Posted by Use Rope
    Your DM should make this check secretly, so that you donít know whether the rope will hold your weight.
    Again we've got fixed DCs and a rule which prevents you from knowing what DC you made.
    Last edited by Curmudgeon; 2014-06-09 at 02:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini476 View Post
    Exemplar also lets you trick taking ten onto a bunch of skills, but yeah. Not really what you're after here.

    This, on the other hand, you are:
    The "Can't take 20 on truespeak" one never quite made sense to me... So, I can't repeatedly try to say the phrase until it works, when there is no penalty for screwing it up? Why not? Easiest solution is to chalk it up to the designers of truespeech not knowing what they were doing.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    Warlock 4 being the single excepetion, but I've got it down as "no you can't"
    Also a bit off topic but Magic Savant (Bard2) allows for 'taking 10' on UMD if you have 10 ranks.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Drawing inferences from The Ritual of Theft leads to erroneous conclusions. You don't need everyone to have a capability to "take 10" for it to be mentioned; the Skill Mastery class ability will let a subset of characters do so. In this case, the core rule makes it clear that you need a special ability to "take 10", because the default is that you can't know what DC you'll make.
    Hmmm, I do see your point of secret rolls being at least somewhat problematic, and definitely something that a DM could use to make an argument against taking of 10 on a roll. With the ritual of theft inferences, I didn't consider this as a problem for three reasons. First, you'd think they'd mention it if the full Ritual Benefit required a special class ability to work for one of its skills; but then again, this could be an oversight. Second, there is a massive gap between when a character can get a Ritual of Theft Item (3rd level to meet skill prerequisites and WBL for Masterwork item, 6th level for Truebond feat) and when they can be expected to get Skill Mastery (Rogue 10); but that only makes it counter-intuitive.

    Third and foremost, the Spell Description of "Magic circle against Evil":

    Drawing the diagram by hand takes 10 minutes and requires a DC 20 Spellcraft check. The DM makes this check secretly. If the check fails, the diagram is ineffective. You can take 10 (see page 65) when drawing the diagram if you are under no particular time pressure to complete the task.
    It provides provides an explicit example of being able to take 10 on a skill check (Spellcraft DC 20) that the DM is supposed to roll secretly, which at the very least provides a precedent.

    EDIT: Added in the "Secret rolls" issue to the table

    In regards to Forgery, Disable Device and Use Rope; I'm currently looking at the Item description of the "Gloves of Manual Prowess" from the MIC, and am trying to see if they can be used to make an inference.

    Spending 1 or more charges grants you a competence bonus on the next Disable Device, Forgery, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, or Use Rope check you make. You must begin the check within 1 round of activating the gloves. You canít apply this bonus when you take 10 or take 20óit only applies on a check you actually roll.
    Last edited by Jowgen; 2014-06-09 at 11:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    These specific examples are extremely helpful to make a point, but you shouldn't need them for every skill. After a few examples the DM should get the idea that you can usually take a 10 no matter how dangerous failure is, as long as another danger isn't threatening you. That's the most common argument I've seen: "No, if you fail you could be in trouble so you're threatened", which applies pretty much always except when the skill check doesn't matter at all. A few counterexamples should dispel this myth, and then you shouldn't need them for every skill since the rules say you can take a 10 on anything except where it says otherwise or when you're threatened or distracted (but not by the skill itself). Once you get several examples to define what "threatened or distracted" mean, it gives you a good general rule to apply to other skills.

    This next statement isn't RAW but I'd say a pretty good rule of thumb is that if you aren't in combat then you can take a 10. Other encounters might also put the pressure on in round/initiative time and so keep you from taking a 10, but these are extremely rare. And if you aren't in round time you can take a 10. I think if you go through enough examples you'll see the same.
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    These specific examples are extremely helpful to make a point, but you shouldn't need them for every skill.
    I agree, but I think it's definitely good to have them on hand to snip any unreasonable nerfs to player skills in the bud. I've had DM's argue you can't take 10 on social skills because interaction is inherently distracting, or saying you can't take 10 on Knowledges because a first level bard shouldn't be able to remember the answer any "Tough" (DC 15) question within any given field of knowledge, and while I haven't heard the argument that you can't take 10 on secretly rolled checks, I can definitely see a DM using it. My hope is that someone going into a new D&D group, or starting a new group, can avoid a lengthy discussion with the DM by having this list on hand.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos_redefined View Post
    The "Can't take 20 on truespeak" one never quite made sense to me... So, I can't repeatedly try to say the phrase until it works, when there is no penalty for screwing it up? Why not? Easiest solution is to chalk it up to the designers of truespeech not knowing what they were doing.
    That was your first clue?
    Last edited by Erik Vale; 2014-06-10 at 02:07 AM.
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Regarding what constitutes a distraction, it's worth looking at the Concentration Entry.

    SRD20 version:
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD20 Concentration
    Check

    You must make a Concentration check whenever you might potentially be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action that requires your full attention.
    It also comes with a list of examples of things that are distractions (emphasis on examples, this is by no means exhaustive):

    Damaged during the action; Taking continuous damage during the action; distracted by nondamaging spell; vigorous motion (on a moving mount, taking a bouncy wagon ride, in a small boat in rough waer, belowdecks in a stormtossed ship); violent motion (on a galloping horse, taking a very rough wagon ride, in a small boat in rapids, on the deck of a storm-tossed ship); Extraordinarily violent motion (earthquake); Entangled; Grappling or Pinned; Weather is a high wind carrying blinding rain or sleet; Weather is wind-driven hail, dust, or debris; Weather caused by a spell, such as storm of vengeance.

    That's just some brief examples of distractions (we haven't even gotten into threats).

    The magic circle example seems to indicate that deadlines or recognition that one is working under a time limit are themselves distracting: "You can take 10 (see page 65) when drawing the diagram if you are under no particular time pressure to complete the task."


    Ultimately, unless there are explicit exceptions given, it would seem that this is something that players and DMs must discuss, with the DM as always having the final say in any given game.

    I would add that if the activity itself is inherently distracting/threatening (trying to swim in stormy waters is a key example) taking 10 is ruled out inherently.

    This can be easily extrapolated to other situations.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogonjeltz View Post
    I would add that if the activity itself is inherently distracting/threatening (trying to swim in stormy waters is a key example) taking 10 is ruled out inherently.

    This can be easily extrapolated to other situations.
    This is true, and the key is that even during or before success you are distracted. Otherwise someone might extrapolate it to "drowning is distracting" and disallow taking a 10 on a swim check even in calm water. Which clearly isn't what the skill description says. After someone fails a check you might call them distracted for further checks. So swim acts as a good counterexample to be extrapolated to other skills. When success goes without incident, the DM should allow taking a 10. Not only when failure goes without incident.
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    I agree, but I think it's definitely good to have them on hand to snip any unreasonable nerfs to player skills in the bud. I've had DM's argue you can't take 10 on social skills because interaction is inherently distracting, or saying you can't take 10 on Knowledges because a first level bard shouldn't be able to remember the answer any "Tough" (DC 15) question within any given field of knowledge, and while I haven't heard the argument that you can't take 10 on secretly rolled checks, I can definitely see a DM using it. My hope is that someone going into a new D&D group, or starting a new group, can avoid a lengthy discussion with the DM by having this list on hand.
    It seems to me that a DM who makes any of the above arguments is not particularly interested in using the "definitive RAW" on taking 10, as none of the arguments you've listed are within the RAW. As such, I'm not sure I understand how this resource will help in the instances you're suggesting it would; it seems to me that it would merely create an argument, get the DM to state out loud "it works differently than you're apparently expecting in my campaign" (which is already implied by the above arguments), or both.
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    The DCs are known in some cases, so if you had the "take 10" option the above rule wouldn't always hold.
    When are the DCs ever known for Decipher Script? Aside from the DM coming right out and saying "This is a simple message." No, you can take 10 on Decipher Script.

    And Read Lips clearly allows taking 10 by your argument, as only the roll is secret, and if you're taking 10, there is no roll.

    But really, Curmudgeon, according to your reasoning, a player is not allowed to know his own modifier for these, as it's easy to pump these things well above success on a natural 1, which means they would know they had succeeded.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau
    This is true, and the key is that even during or before success you are distracted. Otherwise someone might extrapolate it to "drowning is distracting" and disallow taking a 10 on a swim check even in calm water. Which clearly isn't what the skill description says. After someone fails a check you might call them distracted for further checks. So swim acts as a good counterexample to be extrapolated to other skills. When success goes without incident, the DM should allow taking a 10. Not only when failure goes without incident.
    Actually not exactly what I was pointing out. I was trying to help delineate some of the bounds of what is distracting or threatening. The task (attempting to swim in dangerous waters) is so fraught with risk that it actually comes with distractions attached. This runs in line with other high stress situations:

    Hewards hall performance (high stress in front of a very important audience, no take 10), attempting to craft a ditherbomb (the crafter knows how dangerous the materials are and the consequences of failure making this a stressful task, no take 10).

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    This could be a really useful list when fleshed out. I support your efforts.

    PHB2 has the Weapon Supremacy feat. Even though it requires 18 levels of fighter (or 20 of warblade), once per round, this lets the user take ten on an attack. It's a painful road to get to it, but I've heard it's worth it.

    Edit: I wanted to mention/squee that the specific language of the feat allows a critical threat if one could somehow threaten on a roll of 10. I'm almost certain this would require the use of Gestalt or some other high-power/cheesy option.
    Last edited by No brains; 2014-06-10 at 06:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    This could be a really useful list when fleshed out. I support your efforts.
    Thank you.

    I've managed to find some more examples, but I'm pretty much at the bottom of my book-barrel. Right now, I'm still missing RAW instances of taking 10 on the following 12 skills: Appraise, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Profession, Sense Motive, Survival and Tumble.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    Thank you.

    I've managed to find some more examples, but I'm pretty much at the bottom of my book-barrel. Right now, I'm still missing RAW instances of taking 10 on the following 12 skills: Appraise, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Profession, Sense Motive, Survival and Tumble.
    Glad to help!

    Swashbuckler's 13th level class feature on page 12 of Complete Warrior allows taking 10 on jump and tumble even when distracted. The implication of the ability are that taking 10 on Jump and Tumble is typically possible for anyone, but not in combat. Then again, CW isn't always spot-on with its understanding of the rules.

    Because of the 'spirit' of taking 10, I'm going to guess that it will be hard to find any way to do it with Disguise, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Sense Motive because they are most often opposed checks. It's not especially intuitive to be able to take a careful attempt when fighting against someone else's efforts.

    I'll be back with some more soon.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogonjeltz View Post
    Hewards hall performance (high stress in front of a very important audience, no take 10), attempting to craft a ditherbomb (the crafter knows how dangerous the materials are and the consequences of failure making this a stressful task, no take 10).
    This makes no sense. If this were the case, Hewards hall would be known for having the worst performances, what with the 5% rolling 1s, and no kobold would survive a career making ditherbombs. Additionally, I will point out that "stress" is not mentioned as a factor in preventing someone from taking 10. If it was, you wouldn't be able to take 10 while climbing a cliff face, and yet RAW says you are.

    And it's ridiculous for a task to somehow distract from itself.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    This makes no sense. If this were the case, Hewards hall would be known for having the worst performances, what with the 5% rolling 1s, and no kobold would survive a career making ditherbombs. Additionally, I will point out that "stress" is not mentioned as a factor in preventing someone from taking 10. If it was, you wouldn't be able to take 10 while climbing a cliff face, and yet RAW says you are.

    And it's ridiculous for a task to somehow distract from itself.
    Do remember that a natural one is only an automatic failure when dealing with saves and attack rolls. If you have a modifier of +20, even your worst performance will be better than that of an untrained peasant getting a natural 20. (And better than someone with +10 performance taking 10, of course.)
    And since you would need a +20 modifier to even be able to succeed while taking 10 to begin with, well.


    But yeah, stress doesn't quite seem to factor in as much. Of course, the reason that Heward's Hall has the clause on not taking 10 is probably because they don't want you to just be able to take 10 with a +20 modifier and auto-succeed on it - there's no fun in that, and all the Legendary Sites are written to be small adventures in themselves.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini476 View Post
    Do remember that a natural one is only an automatic failure when dealing with saves and attack rolls. If you have a modifier of +20, even your worst performance will be better than that of an untrained peasant getting a natural 20. (And better than someone with +10 performance taking 10, of course.)
    It's still horribly uneven. It's like going to see Tchaikovsky play Carnegie Hall twenty times, and getting massively different quality each time. It just doesn't make sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini476 View Post
    Of course, the reason that Heward's Hall has the clause on not taking 10 is probably because they don't want you to just be able to take 10 with a +20 modifier and auto-succeed on it - there's no fun in that, and all the Legendary Sites are written to be small adventures in themselves.
    There's a miniscule amount of additional fun in having the outcome determined by a single die roll that you have no control over. Definitely not enough to violate the Take 10 rule. It's more a case of lazy design than anything, and should be condemned as such, not held up as an example to emulate.

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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    I hate to be contrarian and hope I'm not beating a dead horse here, but once you "extrapolate from RAW" it's not RAW anymore, and if the DM wants to shoot you down, they are within rights to do so (aside from that always being within a DM's power, RAW be damned). Several of the examples given in the OP's table to me seem to involve the kind of logical acrobatics that can pretty much make a donkey into a stallion in terms of RAW, and anything involving that much effort is only going to convince some DMs (some of whom are already reasonably permissive on this matter anyway).

    Long story short, "extrapolating" and "definitive" seem to be at counter-purposes. The quotes being sourced seem to be more an exercise in extrapolation, and less a matter of "definitive."
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    also note that the "no taking 10" rule isn't fluffed in any way as due to performance anxiety. It merely is a requirement for activating the legendary site, on par with having 10 ranks, and fulfilling whatever other odd requirements the owner of the hall has for prospective performers.
    If anything the fluff seems to point more to a "give it your all, don't just give an average performance" bent on rolling vs taking 10.
    From the fact that one needs to roll a nat 20 with the minimum entrance requirements (10 ranks), to the "instilling within them the ability to push their own talents to extreme heights", the fluff points at the reading that doing reliable-but-average isn't the hall's way.
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    Default Re: Rule-lawyering: Extrapolating definitive RAW answers to "Can I take 10?" [3.5]

    Long story short, "extrapolating" and "definitive" seem to be at counter-purposes.
    It was either that or "Cite-able examples for when you feel your DM is being unreasonable in not allowing you to take 10".

    Several of the examples given in the OP's table to me seem to involve the kind of logical acrobatics that can pretty much make a donkey into a stallion in terms of RAW
    Would you be referring to the instances where "Can't take 10 on this check" is taken to mean "You can usually take 10 on this kind of check, but on this instance you can't" based on how there would otherwise be no need to mention that 10 can't be be taken? I thought it was rather straightforward.

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