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D&D 3E
[[a question ]] 
8th-Nov-2005 12:14 am
I haven't been able to find it anywhere, does anyone know where I can find how long a skill check takes, approximately? For example, a open lock check on an amazing lock or around that grade (DC 40), would take longer than a simple lock, etc...
Thank for all your help in advance, this information will come in handy before I run next.
Comments 
8th-Nov-2005 06:45 am (UTC) - My group assumes 5 rounds;
since none of us have expereince picking locks, we just decided since hollywood makes it only take 3 seconds, it must take about 30 in reality.. Then either they pass (roll a 40) or they fail (don't roll a 40).

We only make it one check tho obviously.
8th-Nov-2005 07:19 am (UTC)
According to the Open Lock skill description, this is always a full-round action. I guess you're supposed to assume that the DC increases aren't just for the complexity of the lock, but also for doing it in that alloted time frame. For my groups, if anyone wanted to be sure to get the lock open (and it was possible given their skill bonus), I would let them take 10 or even 20. But then you're talking about the rogue sitting on his butt, tinkering for hours.
8th-Nov-2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
According to the Open Lock skill description, this is always a full-round action. I guess you're supposed to assume that the DC increases aren't just for the complexity of the lock, but also for doing it in that alloted time frame.

Yea, that makes a bit of sense. Simply in the sense it's not too feasable for a prolific theif to be sitting at a lock for a massive amount of time, leaving them vulnerable to getting caught.


Thanks again for your suggestions, everyone.
8th-Nov-2005 12:42 pm (UTC)
It's a full round action, so it takes a full round no matter what the complexity of the lock is.

If you allow take 20, then it takes 20 minutes.
8th-Nov-2005 01:14 pm (UTC)
yea, I allow take 20, although in the situation I'm hoping to get them in that'd be pretty funny option to see them take.
8th-Nov-2005 01:41 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I feel like a killjoy with the rules corrections...

but taking 20 doesn't take 20 minutes all the time. It takes 20 times the normal duration. So, 20 full round actions--or, about 3 1/2 minutes.

Yes, that is remarkably short for picking a lock.
8th-Nov-2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
I dunno. I saw a guy do it in the Army once and it took about a minute. This was the "pick" and tension wire type deal on a fairly modern lock. Once he got in there it was fairly quick.
8th-Nov-2005 01:51 pm (UTC)
Your'e right about take 20 not taking 20 minutes, yes. I realized that after I hit post..!
8th-Nov-2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
Depends on how you pick the lock. I'm no expert, but I can bypass a simple lock (say, the standard one on a bathroom door, or using the credit card trick) in 10 seconds or less most of the time. Sometimes the carding trick takes more like 30, if you have to fight to get it into the doorjamb.

I know locksmiths who are quite skilled at it, and can pick most locks fairly rapidly. I even know one who was able to duplicate a car key, simply by looking at the one that was locked in the car, on the first try. Took him all of about a minute to eyeball it, grind it, and unlock the door.

6-12 seconds (1-2 rounds, if they fail the first time and try again) for a skilled lockpicker doesn't seem all that farfected to me.
8th-Nov-2005 03:30 pm (UTC)
Skill checks usually take a standard action. Psasive skills (Sense Motive, Listen, Spot) can be free, some are combined with other actions (Move Silently, Climb, jump are part of a Move action, Concentration as part of a spell-casting/spell-like ability action), and complex skills take a full round (Search, Open Locks, Surivival for tracking). Social skills take 1 minute.

Few skills take significantly longer than that. And the SRD/PHB usually lists how long activities take.

Look here. Action lengths are listed in the descriptions.
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