[RPG] Is using a wand for healing viable for level 1 party


Could a party consisting of level 1 players use a wand of cure light wounds to make up for not having a cleric/healer?

The Use Magic Device skill has DC 20 for using wands, level 1 characters probably have very low skill in UMD. (The skill is not present in the beginner-box, but I suppose one could pretend the skill is available and not trained only)

Using it in combat would obviously be quite the long shot. Can you take 20 when using the wand out of combat? the rules say you can't take 10, but it seems rolling a natural 1 would prevent you to try using the wand for 24 hours which means you can't take 20 since there is a chance of negative effect?

Best Answer

UMD is actually a trained only skill, and a class skill to rogues. So no, you can not assume it is 'present and available'.

However, if one of the group has the skill, and you let the players have or find a wand of healing or similar item, they can use it.

Like you said about taking 20, I would not allow it: taking 20 means "I take so long time that it will not matter how often I try and I can't possibly fail horribly."* This in turn means, it would not be suitable to rescue someone with less than 0 HP, as they can't survive the time needed for this - a horrible outcome - and a natural 1 shuts down the wand - which can be horrible too.

Official wording for taking 20 (emphasis mine):

Taking 20: When you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, if you roll a d20 enough times, eventually you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.