Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The PHB establishes the following DCs for monster knowledge rolls:

15 - Name, type and keywords 20 - Powers 25 - Resistances and vulnerabilities

Where do you list auras and traits? Do you treat them as powers, or do you treat them as resistances and vulnerabilities?

I've been doing the latter, but I find myself wondering if I'm short-changing my players on this bit, or worse yet, whether I'm giving them too much information when they roll well.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Updated Monster Knowledge Checks say Powers on Hard DC

The current online compendium entry for Monster Knowledge Checks states:

DC: The DM sets the DC using the Difficulty Class by Level table, selecting the moderate DC for the monster’s level instead of the level of the character making the check.

Success: The character identifies the monster and knows its origin, type, typical temperament, and keywords. If the character meets or exceeds the hard DC for the monster’s level, he or she also knows the monster’s resistances and vulnerabilities, as well as what its powers do.

Traits are a subcategory of keyword, if I'm not mistaken, so you would know traits on a Medium DC check along with the other basic information. Traits include movement modes (eg: Earth Walk) and whether or not a creature is a Mount, for example.

Although the entry for Aura doesn't say anything about powers, the entry for Aura is under the category of Powers which suggests that Auras are powers and players would know about Auras when they learn about powers on a successful hard DC knowledge check.

Note, however, that the DCs are not the fixed values you listed but variable, depending on the monster's level. The Skill Check Difficulty ClassDDI table has Hard DCs range from 19 to 42 for monsters level 1 to 30.

share|improve this answer
Actually, by "traits", I just meant the new Traits section in the MM3 stat block format, which has traits and auras only. Movement modes and such, yeah, I give those away with the same DC as name, type and keywords, if and when the players actually want to know them. However, the big thing here is that, now, there are only two buckets of answers, whereas once we had three. I did not know this. Thus, I'm going to bundle all the info for traits and auras in the powers bucket, because it makes sense. Accepting, then, with thanks for the clarifications. – João Mendes Feb 13 '13 at 5:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.