A few questions in regards to Disable Device:

Check: When disarming a trap or other device, the Disable Device check is made secretly, so that you don't necessarily know whether you've succeeded.

So the GM would do the role for the PC?, the PC is not aware of the roll result and obviously not the traps DC.

The DC depends on how tricky the device is. 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 trigger it. If you're attempting some sort of sabotage, you think the device is disabled, but it still works normally.

Following the train of thought the PC is unaware of success or failure, How does the PC know if they should try again or not? Obviously if the player fails by 5 or more the trap goes BOOM!! thats a rather good indication of failure. If successful or failing by 4 or less nothing will happen?


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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ We also usually have the player roll the check. The difference is that the player isn't told the DC, so they don't know if they succeeded or failed. They only time the DM rolls is if the player is completely unaware the trap exists. \$\endgroup\$ – BBlake Dec 12 '14 at 15:21

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