I'm focusing on clarifying this question for the 5th edition.

Due to wordings like the Bardic Inspiration, it seemed clear to me that rolls should be out in the open, they should not be hidden. However, I can also see the argument where the DM rolls in secret, but then announces a fake number (maybe he rolled a 5, but he announces he rolled a 17).

You can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the GM determines whether the Attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails.

The other question's answers seem mostly focused on 3.5e, so I'm asking for RAW guidance, are DMs supposed to roll in the open, or in secret (with fumbling if necessary)? Is this mentioned in any book?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Wait, I'm confused. Why would this rule for Bardic Inspiration imply that your DM has to roll in the open? Nowhere does it say that you need to know what number was rolled? \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Oct 25, 2018 at 11:26
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik because otherwise there would be no difference between using Bardic dice before or after the roll. The description would simply say "you decide to use this before you know the outcome" \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Oct 25, 2018 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ That won't really change the result, no, but reactions are always listed as "you can use this when X". It seems a bit pointless to say "You can use this before or after the roll, but before hits are determined", if it comes down to the same thing anyway. If you could see the roll, you wouldn't even need the DM to determine success or failure because you could fairly easily figure it out yourself just from looking at the dice and guestimating the monster's bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Oct 25, 2018 at 11:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik I think that is the point of things like bardic inspiration, otherwise it is just a guess, which is a terrible use for a limited class feature. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Oct 25, 2018 at 11:54
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Related on Does combat inspiration require the DM to announce attack roll totals? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Oct 25, 2018 at 12:16


Browse other questions tagged .