Disable Device (Int)

Use this skill to disarm a trap, jam a lock (in either the open or closed position), or rig a wagon wheel to fall off. You can examine a fairly simple or fairly small mechanical device and disable it. 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 (page 130) carries a '2 circumstance penalty, even if a simple tool is employed. The use of masterwork thieves' tools enables you to make the check with a +2 circumstance bonus.


Your DM makes the Disable Device check for you secretly, so that you don't necessarily know whether you've succeeded. The DC depends on how tricky the device is. Disabling (or rigging or jamming) a fairly simple device has a DC of 10; more intricate and complex devices have higher DCs. If the check succeeds, you disable the device. If it fails by 4 or less, you have failed but can try again. If you fail by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If the device is a trap, you spring it. If you're attempting some sort of sabotage, you think the device is disabled, but it still works normally.

You 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).

Device Time Disable Device DC 1 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
Lock DCs
Lock DC
Very simple lock 20
Average lock 25
Good lock 30
Amazing lock 40

1 If you attempt to leave behind no trace of your tampering, add 5 to the DC.


The amount of time needed to make a Disable Device check depends on the task, as noted above. Disabling a simple device takes 1 round and is a full-round action. An intricate or complex device requires 1d4 or 2d4 rounds.

Try Again?

Varies. You can retry if you have missed the check by 4 or less, though you must be aware that you have failed in order to try again.


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

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