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The check being made secretly is more of a guideline than a rule. In every game I've played, the player has rolled. As you can see from the second quote you gave, the only time the character doesn't know if they've succeeded or not, is when they are "attempting some sort of sabotage". This is the only time the GM needs to make the roll.


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Shorter Answer It should be a trap because it's a externally placed (I assume) one-shot effect on an otherwise permanent magic item, but this doesn't really matter because the base DC ends up the same regardless of whether the item is built as a trap or as a cursed magic item due to the nature of the relevant formulae (specifically, they are actually the ...



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