Hot answers tagged

58

They don't actually need it. I realize this is radical, but bear with me. We need to not expect them to be masters of wilderness survival --in all honesty, they aren't. Animals die in the wild all the time. They starve, they freeze, they get lost, they fall in caves and can't get out. That said, they're actually not awful at Survival and the way they're ...


45

If there is no time pressure, rerolling is probably OK. The penalty for failure in this case is that you spend extra time doing it. The more important question is "Was the roll even necessary?" This actually brings us back to one of the key points in the advice for DM in the game manual. It looks like a throw away line, but it's a good guide for when to ...


34

10 yes (sort of), 20 no. Taking 20 was not a thing in 4th edition, and is similarly absent from 5th. Taking 10 however is sort of a thing in 5th, but it's not implemented the way you might think it should be. Basically, the way "taking 10" works in 5e is that every ability (And by extension, skill), has a "passive" score (Basic Rules v2 page 59). This is ...


32

Broadly speaking, manipulation-related skill check shouldn't be used on players. One of the important tenets of D&D is the idea of player agency, where you always have control of what your character thinks, feels, and does. There are some exceptions to this rule (like mind-altering magic), but the only time your character should feel intimidated is ...


31

The Player's Handbook and Player's Basic Rules state you just take the skill of your choice in place of the duplicate: If a character would gain the same proficiency from two different sources, he or she can choose a different proficiency of the same kind (skill or tool) instead. (PBR, p. 36; PHB, p. 126)


30

Give bonus skill points for a good backstory! If someone writes up a good backstory, and the character should logically have certain skills from that backstory, that aren’t actually useful (or, at least, unlikely to be useful) in the campaign, turn those skills into rewards for writing a good backstory. That’s a great story of how a former ...


30

You can always use a skill you're untrained in, and you can use it in any way not marked as (Trained Only). Being trained means higher numbers, and unlocking the trained only applications of the skill. Consider Athletics and Acrobatics: nobody needs training to be able to jump, climb, swim or balance. (At least, adventurers are assumed to be minimally ...


30

This is how skills are supposed to work! If you are in a situation where there is only one person doing something, and they are rolling a single skill check, then yes, this is how it's supposed to work. Giving help is a natural thing and should be used in situations like this. There is no reason to prevent it unless the task is clearly something that's not ...


28

To answer your question with a question: Would you use Animal Handling on a human infant or a human toddler? If your DM does allow use of Animal Handling, the time where that skill is applicable would be very short. Dragons are by nature very intelligent beasts. This possibly related discussion on Animal Handling is provided with a caveat: Animal ...


27

I'm often unable to find where my cat is sleeping, so I'd say yes, sleeping characters can still be hidden. I'd say have the character make a single hide check when they go to sleep to establish a DC (you should probably throw in a negative circumstance modifier since they won't be able to adapt to circumstances like an active, conscious hider would). ...


26

First of all, it's a Knowledge check Don't lose sight of the fact that the player asked to make a Knowledge check because he or she wants information. There's no way around that. Don't worry about that information breaking the flow. If the player doesn't want to break the flow by getting that information, he or she would not be requesting the check. Tease ...


26

Your total bonus column is your total bonus column, and it's comprised of your Ranks, your Ability Modifier, and any other modifiers you might have. So your first option is the right one - Ranks describes the number of skill points you explicitly put into that skill. Anything else is your "total skill modifier", not the number of Ranks.


26

You have two good options here: Roll for them Don't have them take 10, as this gives them a statistically worse chance of succeeding than rolling. Also be sure you know exactly how much each character adds to Spot, Listen, Sense Motive, Search and whatever other checks you are handling this way. It is likely that characters who care about these rolls add ...


24

That's actually not even a house rule — it's by the book. See pages 179-180 of the Player's Handbook, which discuss monster knowledge checks. On page 180: Monster Knowledge: No action required — either you know the answer or you don't.


24

The very first line of the skill description reads (roughly translated, I don't own an english book) You use the spot skill to find characters or creatures that are trying to hide. So yes, if the moon was a living being actively trying to hide, you would get a huge negative modifier. As the moon is not actively hiding, because it's just a mass of rock, ...


23

This exact setup happens all the time in movies, so let's examine how they handle it. If they are the only character, then as a GM, completely tune the story to them. They shouldn't have to do hacking, or at best they have to shoot their way in to where the Russian hacker who already knows stuff is. James Bond doesn't use keyboards. Avoid his minimums ...


23

Do they actually need to roll? No, seriously, why are they rolling dice to do this?... You can have automatic successes if the character's skill is high enough. This would solve the vast majority of the problems you seem to have. Second, some things will not be possible unless you have a high skill enough. I might know kung fu but that does not help me ...


22

A few games resolve this situation by dealing with it explicitly in the rules, and building the check system to accomodate how it handles this situation. The most notable one is Burning Wheel and its Let It Ride rule: The result of one test stands for the duration of the situation. When in a situation like this, the success or failure of the attempt ...


22

Yup, you halve-and-add your proficiency bonus to even passive checks. Jack of all Trades. ...add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn't already include your proficiency bonus. (PHB p.54, emphasis mine) Combined with Passive Checks. A passive check is a special kind of ability check.... Here's how ...


21

Passive Investigation could be a way to determine whether to feed players information that their character might pick up on, but the player might not think to explicitly ask. Note that a passive check can be against a DC, rather than an opposed roll. Some examples: From the angle of the body, it looks like the Mayor didn't fall... She was pushed! That ...


21

Skill descriptions can be found starting on page 175 of the PHB under the heading Using Each Ability.


21

Doing it right The Tarrasque's Jump check is not particularly great as it hasn't bothered to put skill ranks into it, just its Strength modifier of 17. It is even negatively impacted by its slow speed, for a total of +11. If it rushes though, it gains a bonus of ((150-30)/10)*4 = 48 instead of a penalty, a great improvement. The total effective Jump skill ...


21

There is no “should” or subjective judgement necessary here. This kind of thing is explicitly what advantage is for (PHB, p. 173): The DM can also decide that circumstances influence a roll in one direction or the other and grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result. Having a book about the information you're making a skill check to recall or ...


21

It is a success (assuming a regular difficulty check). From the top of Page 90 of the 7th edition core rulebook: If the dice roll required for success is 50 or over and the dice read 100, a fumble has occurred. If the dice roll required for success is below 50 and the dice read 96—100, a fumble has occurred.


20

Yes. Craft is actually a number of separate skills. So if you have the class bonus for craft you have it for all the skills in the craft "family".


20

these class skill lists are redundant with the granted skills for several reasons. Hybrid characters. Instead of creating separate class skills lists for hybrids, they just use the same skill lists and then you just don't get the automatic training. Multiclass feats. Often these feats give you the opportunity train one skill off the class you're MCing ...


20

Unlike Diplomacy, Intimidate and Bluff both have well-defined mechanical uses outside of open-ended persuasion. For instance, Bluff can be used as part of a Feint action in combat. If player-versus-player actions are allowed in game, then those uses of the skills are allowed by RAW. That is, in my opinion, why you do not see an explicit rule against the ...


20

Yes. Proficiency isn't tied to anything except your character level (i.e if you multiclass for example Rogue 3 / Cleric 2, your character level is 5, which means your proficiency bonus is +3). Your proficiency bonus increases everything you're proficient in, full stop. This applies to attacks with weapons you're proficient with, saving throws you're ...


20

You have a few misunderstandings, which explains the discrepancies that you see. To begin, Seoni does not have the ranks you think she has. The bonuses listed for her account for all bonuses to those skills, not just ranks. Namely, her lizard familiar gives +3 to Climb, which accounts for the entirety of the +3 bonus listed for her, so she has zero ranks in ...


19

No, they do not. Skill ranks refer only to the number of well, ranks that you've put into the skill. I can't find an exact reference to back that up, but they make a big deal when referring to ranks vs bonuses: Each level, your character gains a number of skill ranks dependent upon your class plus your Intelligence modifier. Investing a rank in ...



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