Abilities of characters that typically, but not always, apply to a wider setting than simply combat.

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34
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3answers
1k views

Why is Survival not a class skill for animals?

Question in title. Seems odd that an animal isn't naturally inclined to get bonuses to Survival, which typically involves dealing with the wilds and it's associated difficulties (an animal's natural ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

Does 5th edition have the equivalent of Taking 20?

In 3rd edition D&D there was the option to Take 10 or Take 20 on a skill check. Does an equivalent rule exist in 5th edition? If the answer is no, have you tried houseruling it in, and what ...
25
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6answers
4k views

How to improve the Diplomacy skill mechanic in D&D 3.Xe and Pathfinder?

In D&D 3rd Edition, 3.5 Edition, and even Pathfinder, it is ridiculously easy as a player to purposely or inadvertently break the skill system, especially with Diplomacy. For example: A level 5 ...
24
votes
10answers
617 views

What is the best way to do search, or spot test when players knowing the result of their roll will colour their perception of the result?

What is the best way to do search or spot tests when knowing the outcome of the roll will colour the players' perception of the result? For example: a Paladin uses Sense Motive to detect lies from a ...
23
votes
11answers
893 views

Dealing with skill rerolls by several players

I could use some advice as a GM on how to handle rolls which get repeated by several players one after the other. Example 1 The PCs stand in front of a locked door and try to force it open. The ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

It seems like every skill check should always be made with advantage due to the 'Working Together' rules. Is this accurate?

My group just started playing 5th last night, and we immediately ran into issues with the 'Working Together'/'Skill Assist'/'Skill Help' rules. By the rules it seems like nearly every single skill ...
23
votes
5answers
632 views

Preventing character skill from impeding player enjoyment

Let's consider a player, whom we shall call Bob. Bob loves exciting gunfights and is a big John Woo fan. So he makes up "Shooty McShootenstein," who is a master with a gun. One thing that Bob is not ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I make monster knowledge checks fun?

By now most players know, or should know, that a monster knowledge check can make all the difference when you’re fighting a monster for the very first time. But how can we make them both fun and not ...
19
votes
4answers
756 views

Can a sleeping character Hide?

Hiding requires an opposed roll. Can a sleeping character hide at all? If they do so, do they roll Hide when they go to sleep (for hiding their sleeping spot, etc.), or do they make an opposed roll ...
19
votes
9answers
672 views

What game systems determine skill levels only through use?

Is there a table top game similar to the video game Dungeon Siege where you don't really pick a class but what you become depends on what you do? You cast magic your magic skill increases, you beat ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

When can you use a skill if you're not trained?

This has been argued over a lot in my group: There was this one time when the Fighter wanted to use his Arcana score to "remember something he has seen before in a previous adventure" when he faced ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

How can acrobatics be used to move through an enemy occupied square?

According to the AcrobaticsDDI skill you can use an Acrobatic Stunt to "somersault over an opponent", amongst other things . It gives a base DC of 15, and "the DM sets the DC based on the complexity ...
16
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9answers
3k views

Can you intentionally fail a skill check?

This comes up to me in the context of the 3.x/PF/d20 Fly skill, even when I simply read about it: Can you intentionally fail a Fly skill check, or any other skill check for that matter, if you, or ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens if I get the same skill from both my background and my class?

I made a trickster cleric with spy background. This caused an overlap of stealth and disguise. (Further compounded by me wanting to take hide in shadow ... which again granted me stealth.) What ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Re-roll a failed exploration roll?

Can you re-roll a failed check in exploration? Beginner DM here btw :) For example:- A character tries to squeeze through a gap, either rolling a strength or Dex skill check. If they fail, can they ...
15
votes
2answers
10k views

How can you gain proficiency in a skill after level 1?

I have been reading the Basic Rules a couple times, but could not find any way to gain proficiency in skills past level 1. For example, if I create a Rogue, I may chose 4 skills among 11: ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

When should I allow Intimidate checks to rout enemies in 4e?

I know that in 4th edition, you're allowed to make an Intimidate check against a bloodied enemy to send it running. As far as I've seen in the rules, there doesn't seem to be any real limitation ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Can a PC use his Charisma to influence other PCs in D&D 3.5?

Checking the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook rules, the rules are explicit that the Diplomacy skill cannot be used to influence other PCs, only NPCs. But I see no such restrictions for Intimidate or ...
15
votes
8answers
473 views

Should Merits be given as rewards when the accomplishments match?

As a storyteller, are merits acquired only through experience after character creation, or do you reward your players with them for accomplishing their goals? Suppose a situation like the following ...
15
votes
6answers
731 views

How to use social skills versus player characters

If the game system in use supports a mechanical modelling of social knack (like D&D's Bluff, Intimidate and Diplomacy skills), and the player who is subject of the social attack doesn't play his ...
15
votes
5answers
15k views

Build Advice For Pathfinder Oracle

I've made an Oracle, 1st level, Mystery of Lore, Haunted Curse, and I took Sidestep Secret as my first revelation. I'm trying to decide if I should focus on melee combat and take relevant feats for ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Should players be told to make a listen check when an enemy is sneaking about?

If players sneak around enemy NPCs the NPCs make a listen check. But what about when an enemy NPC is sneaking up on players? Do you tell all the players to make a Listen check? And if yes, how do you ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

How many doses of poison does the Craft (alchemy) skill check produce if completed?

I can find no reference in published Pathfinder material to how many doses a completed Craft (alchemy) skill would yield as a result. It seems to me that only 1 dose would be of very limited use ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I deal with players that pick very situational skills for a Campaign?

Well, luckily I don't have Power Gamers, in my game table, they all like to tailor skills according to the character background; however in many situation this makes them pick skills that are rarely ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Do Class Skill Bonuses Count as Ranks?

In Pathfinder do class skill bonuses count as ranks, especially for the purpose of prestige classing, or are they a generic bonus? If they are a bonus, how should I adjust the required ranks for ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What kind of rulings predated ability or skill checks in old school D&D?

As I grow more weary of 4E and more nostalgic for my days playing 2E, I'm spending more and more time reading the old rules and the retroclones. I'm having a great time. One of the things that I ...
13
votes
1answer
736 views

Which skills can be used passively?

I understand how Insight and Perception can be used passively: for the DM to determine if an enemy Deception or Stealth attempt is successful without alerting the players that someone is deceiving or ...
13
votes
4answers
771 views

Is a Bluff check necessary when telling the truth?

Backstory During a session recently played, an NPC asked my character a question. I answered the question. The DM, after hearing a die roll, told me to roll a bluff check. I told him I wasn't lying. ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

How does an opposed (stealth) check work?

I was reading the Players Handbook 1 and I don't understand how the opposed check works, especially in context of a stealth check.
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Does passive perception supersede active perception? [duplicate]

If a player makes an active perception check and it is lower than their passive perception, should we use the passive perception instead? Background: During our weekly game yesterday the party scout ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Alternatives to Pass-Fail skill challenges in D&D 4e

Non-Combat encounters should be fun, not frustrating! I'm a veteran (AD&D) DM running D&D 4e, and my first-time players really enjoy the game I'm running for them. Though, the skill-challenge ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Why take Linguistics if you can cast Comprehend Languages?

Given the nature of the spell Comprehend Languages in Pathfinder, is there any particular advantage to taking Linguistics for a character who can cast it? Especially given the chance of severe (or ...
12
votes
7answers
910 views

Anyone have write-ups (or alternatives) for “missing” skills in D&D 4E?

I decided that my urban campaign setting for 4E would be better off if characters had some "mundane skills and knowledge." One solution is adding the Knowledge, Craft, and Profession skills back in ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do some classes mention the same skill in both Trained and Class skills?

Consider this example from the Rogue class traits: Trained Skills: Stealth and Thievery. From the class skills list below, choose four more trained skills at 1st level. ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct way to calculate the Knowledge DC to identify a creature?

Something that has always confused me about the Knowledge skill in D&D 3.5 is that identifying a monster with advancement is more difficult only because the HD increase. The DC of the knowledge ...
12
votes
2answers
434 views

Inhuman Strength vs. +5 Might

I have been reading Your Story and Our World, trying to figure certain things out. One of the things I am stumped over is how stats work in this system. I am not sure if this is intentional or not, ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I Intimidate (demoralize foe) as a Move or Swift action?

I would like to make Intimidate a major part of my PC's fighting style. I think it's cool, and themey; I don't like the fact that it takes a Standard action, though. Is there any way to speed it up a ...
12
votes
1answer
786 views

Skill checks, can they go negative?

Example: Attempting to snipe with no perks means I get a -20 to my stealth check. When I roll the d20, can the result be negative, or is 0 the absolute minimum?
12
votes
2answers
720 views

Replacing skills with approaches and vice versa

One of the most noticeable differences between Fate Core and FAE is that FAE replaces skills with approaches. This is really great for forcing characterization and getting games running quickly, but ...
12
votes
1answer
778 views

Do ranks gained in a class count for purposes of enabling class skill bonus in another class?

In Pathfinder class skills get a +3 bonus, as long as the character has one rank in a skill. Can this effect be activated by taking a rank in a skill while leveling up another class? For example, a ...
12
votes
4answers
304 views

Are there maneuver options for non-combat skills?

My GURPS GM complains that the PCs put a point or two in most skills, except for combat skills which get 10-20% of our character points. Aside from the fact that he asks us to make more combat checks ...
11
votes
6answers
944 views

Aced d4s vs skill development in Savage Worlds

Is there errata covering aced rolls when skills are at low levels vs higher? I've heard of players staying at rudimentary skill in order to reward themselves with aced rolls more frequently than ...
11
votes
9answers
885 views

System recommendation: Dynamic, engaging, and realistic skill rolls

Our group has been taking issue with traditional systems for rolling and resolving skill checks/skill encounters, and we were wondering if there are more dynamic and realistic options out there. Most ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

What determines max skill rank?

So, I bought the book, read it, but I have a question, and just to be sure: The max level from an skill in rank can't be more than your level, so, a starting character can only have a skill on level ...
11
votes
3answers
575 views

Is there, in D&D 3.5, a standard/canonical ruling for skill in astronomy/knowledge(astronomy)?

Question see title; further explanation: what I mean is especially in relation to identifying time (of month, year) and location/heading based on the location of celestial objects and, say, a standard ...
11
votes
5answers
980 views

What skill to use to determine cause of death and analyse wounds?

When running Pathfinder one of the players wanted his character to investigate how a walking corpse had originally died. This obviously calls for some skill check, as the task if far from easy (the ...
11
votes
2answers
477 views

How often should the players roll Bluff when interacting with NPCs

My party had secretly infiltrated a stronghold and we were Disguised (using magic) as the leadership of the place after eliminating the real leadership. While rifling through the head honchos stuff ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is/are the basic mathematical models for skill-check based systems?

It seems that there is some model-agnostic thinking around skill-check based systems, and I'm interested in finding out what designers use to model them. Ignoring the dice for a moment, and stating ...
11
votes
2answers
744 views

What rules govern group skill checks?

A number of published adventures mention rolling a "group stealth check" and other group checks where, theoretically, a proportion of the players try to beat the DC. Are there formal rules for this, ...
11
votes
2answers
499 views

Is this how to hide?

I know that Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 is a pretty lousy stealth simulator--which is probably why I've not seen a lot of folks try to play characters that hide--, but I want to clarify the hiding rules ...