Specialization Skill Mastery states

When attempting a skill check with a skill in which you have the Skill Focus feat, you can take 10 even if stress or distractions would normally prevent you from doing so.

Trick attack doesn't have any unique language regarding its check:

Just before making your attack, attempt a Bluff, Intimidate, or Stealth check (or a check associated with your specialization) with a DC equal to 20 + your target’s CR.

So what I'm seeing is that once an Operative hits level 7, they basically never need worry about Trick Attack checks again. 7 skill ranks + 3 proficiency + 3 edge bonus +4 specialization (TA specific) = +17. So without any stat bonuses, a take-10 allows you to hit a CR equal to your level. Each point of stat bonus, and each point of Operative's Edge beyond +3 lets you hit a CR above your level, which means, unless your GM regularly throws party-level +5 CR enemies at you, a take-10 never misses. (Edit: this varies by specialization, as some do not give the +4, just the non-dex-skill-based ones)

Rules as written, I don't see any reason to not allow this, but it does seem odd to effectively negate the check past level 7. Is there any reason that I'm missing that RAW would not work this way?


The Operative's Specialization Skill Mastery applies to Trick Attack

This has been confirmed directly by the lead Starfinder developer (Owen K.C. Stephens) on the Paizo forums (at this link). So you are correct that in most cases, at level 7 an operative no longer needs to roll Trick Attack skill checks vs. typical enemies.

The dev's quote is cut and dry:

Specialization skill mastery allows you to take 10 with the related skills in combat.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. It's a bit hard to navigate the Paizo forums for answers, if they aren't put on the FAQ. \$\endgroup\$ – Knight Porter Oct 31 '18 at 0:01

No, it does not apply to Trick Attack if you're already engaged in combat

Unless you have an ability that states otherwise, you cannot take 10 during a combat encounter. Also, you can’t take 10 when the GM rules that a situation is too hectic or that you are distracted, and taking 10 is almost never an option for a check that requires some sort of crucial effect as a key part of the adventure’s story.

AONSRD Rules -> Skill -> Skill Checks

An important note about the feat you listed is that it does not specify combat as a situation that you are allowed to take 10 in. Since the feat does not specifically state that you can take 10 in combat, the rule on taking 10 in combat applies and prevents taking 10.

If you are outside of combat and make an attack to initiate combat (acting before initiative is rolled), one could argue that the Specialization Skill Mastery feat can apply to such an attack. Once you are in combat, the RAW clearly states that an effect must explicitly override in-combat status to allow you to take 10.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Edit: I suppose the "also" in your quoted text there is key. Combat is a separate hindrance from distraction. \$\endgroup\$ – Knight Porter Oct 29 '18 at 22:43

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