Decipher Script (INT; Trained only)

(Player's Handbook v.3.5 variant, p. 71)


Use this skill to piece together the meaning of ancient runes carved into the wall of an abandoned temple, to get the gist of an intercepted letter written in the Infernal language, to follow the directions on a treasure map written in a forgotten alphabet, or to interpret the mysterious glyphs painted on a cave wall.


You can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard texts, and 30 or higher for intricate, exotic, or very old writing.

If the check succeeds, you understand the general content of a piece of writing about one page long (or the equivalent). If the check fails, the DM makes a DC 5 Wisdom check for your to see if you avoid drawing a false conclusion about the text. (Success means that you do not draw a false conclusion; failure means that you do.)

The DM secretly makes both the Decipher Script check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check, so that you can?t tell whether the conclusion you draw is true or false.


Deciphering the equivalent of a single page of script takes 1 minute (ten consecutive full-round actions).

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A character with the Diligent feat gets a +2 bonus on Decipher Script checks.


If you have 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script, you get a +2 bonus on Use Magic Device checks involving scrolls.

Required for feats

Feat name