Is it possible for a creature to succeed on a Use Magic Device skill check to emulate a class feature so as to enable the creature to employ a runestaff to cast spells not on the creature's spell list?

For example, can a duskblade succeed on a Use Magic Device skill check so as to use a runestaff to cast the spell displacement?


1 Answer 1


Use Magic Device has a specific list of things you're allowed to emulate, one of which is "Emulate a Class Feature". If you wish to use the runestaff in a way your class doesn't allow, you can instead emulate the spellcasting ability of a different class.

The "Use A Wand" ability specifically allows you to use spell trigger items, not just wands. It has the same DC as "Emulate a Class Feature".

Whether you need two checks (to use a spell trigger item from a spell list you don't have with a spell that's not in the runestaff) or just one is a matter of DM discretion.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is correct, but it may be worth noting how unlikely this was to be intended, seeing how difficult WotC made off-list spellcasting in general. (Then again, maybe they didn’t, since Extra Spell arguably works from other lists.) \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 19, 2017 at 20:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this a good place to bring up Lidda and the magic chalice? (To summarize, the rules tacitly allow by example any creature that succeeds on a Use Magic Device skill check to emulate the appropriate class feature to activate a runestaff, whether or not she can cast spells at all—see PH 86. Most DMs disagree, however.) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19, 2017 at 22:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is interesting, with this method its possible to surpass some limitations from duskblade and hexblade and make then more versatile with more protection, battlefield control and scouting spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor
    Jun 20, 2017 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a side comment, psionics specifically allow for off-list acquisition via certain methods (usually the Expanded Knowledge feat), so perhaps that could be taken as RAI regarding the general concept of off-list acquisitions. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jun 20, 2017 at 19:38

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