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In order to make an item, an artificer needs to make UMD checks to emulate features he doesn't have, but the book does not state how much time it takes to make such a check.

Can an artificer buff his charima with, say, eagle's splendor (+4 cha infusion) for a few minutes in order to make the check easier?

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Yes, quite simply because nothing says he cannot. The artificer’s Item Creation ability defines a new use for Use Magic Device unique to that class, but nothing else about the check is called out as different from the way the skill generally works. Any and all bonuses to it apply.

Furthermore, the Eberron Campaign Setting says that he makes items using Use Magic Device checks instead of requisite spells, and references the Creating Magic Items section of Dungeon Master’s Guide page 282. In that section, the DMG states, for each type of item, that “the act of working on the [armor/weapon/potion/ring/rod/scroll/staff/wand/item]1 triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting” which means that as soon as you start working, you lose the spell, or in the case of the artificer, the UMD check must be made.

This means that literally any buff to one’s UMD check that lasts more than 1 round lasts long enough to cover the check that must be made, and therefore applies.

Finally, while the artificer is an extremely powerful class really not in any need (at all) of a boost, generally speaking the UMD check is not a problem for an artificer. You get a lot of tries and only have to make the check once for any given magic item.

  1. Literally, the DMG has a copied-and-pasted line for each item of exactly this form, except for potions and scrolls, where it is replaced with “the act of brewing” and “the act of writing,” respectively.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ But the DC for low level artificers is ridiculously high. If I make a 2k item, I need to make a UMD check at ~23 and I only get 3 tries. For a lvl 3 artificer, which is where I'm at, you have less than 50% chance to get it at each try. Buffing yourself at low levels is a good way to get around that. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 15 '15 at 14:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jean-LucNacifCoelho Yeah, fair enough I suppose. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 15 '15 at 14:29

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