I was bored, so I decided to try to calculate what could be the highest total result one could obtain for a skill check.

Answers can include officially published material, including magic items - but no Unearthed Arcana. Wish is also not to be included.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you allowing for variant rules to be used? For example, proficiency dice (which results in a 1d12 instead of a +6 for a high level proficiency) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 2 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh? I never heard of that before. I should check it out. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Apr 2 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unearthed arcana is a no, but any official magic item is a yes. And I guess I will do that, ok. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Apr 2 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GaelL: It's an optional rule in the DMG (among other options for changes/replacements to proficiency bonuses). \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 3 at 1:13

The maximum result for a skill check is 123

The Rules

In order to maximize a skill check, we must use the following variant rules:

The Party

Our party consists of three characters:

  • A bard 15 -------------------------------------------------------- (for guidance via Magical Secrets and Bardic Inspiration)
  • A Circle of the Dreams druid 6/ Wild Magic sorcerer 6 ---- (for pass without trace, Bend Luck, and Hearth of Moonlight and Shadow)
  • A hobgoblin rogue 1/ranger 10/The Fiend warlock 6 ------- (for Expertise, Save Face, Hide in Plain Sight and Dark One's Own Luck)

The Gear

  • A luckstone
  • An Ioun Stone of mastery
  • 5 manuals of quickness of action
  • fresh mud, dirt, plants, soot, and other naturally occurring materials

The Calculation

  • Dexterity score is 30 (or a +10 modifier)
  • a Hero Point adds 1d6 (maximum 6)
  • Bardic Inspiration adds 1d12 (maximum 12)
  • Bend Luck adds 1d4 (maximum 4)
  • pass without trace adds 10
  • guidance adds 1d4 (maximum 4)
  • Hearth of Moonlight and Shadow adds 5
  • Hide in Plain Sight adds 10
  • Expertise results in doubled 1d12 (maximum of 24)
  • Dark One's Own Luck adds 1d10 (maximum 10)
  • Save Face adds 5
  • luckstone adds 1
  • Ioun Stone of mastery adds 2 (thanks to expertise)
  • Roll a 20

Grand total: 123

side note: the probability of rolling maximum on all of the involved dice is 1 in 2.764.800 or 1 in 1.417.846 with advantage

For a detailed look at how this check is performed see below:

The Check

The check will be performing is a Stealth check. Here is the procedure:

  1. The hobgoblin ("Hobby" from now on) assigns 15/14/13 to his starting Dexterity/Charisma/Wisdom and proficiency in Stealth from his background
    • Bonus so far: +3+1d12
  2. Hobby chooses Stealth for one of his Expertise options (rogue)
    • Bonus so far: +3+2*(1d12)
  3. Hobby chooses +2 Dexterity for his Ability Score Increases (ranger and warlock) leaving him with 20 Dexterity.
    • Bonus so far: +5+2*(1d12)
  4. Hobby reads 5 manuals of quickness of action.
    • Bonus so far: +10+2*(1d12)
  5. Hobby attunes to a luckstone
    • Bonus so far: +11+2*(1d12)
  6. Hobby attunes to an Ioun Stone of mastery
    • Bonus so far: +11+2*(1d12+1)
  7. The bard ("Darb" from now on) uses Bardic Inspiration on Hobby
    • Bonus so far: +11+2*(1d12+1)+1d12
  8. Darb casts guidance on Hobby
    • Bonus so far: +11+2*(1d12+1)+1d12+1d4
  9. The druid/sorcerer (Soruid from now on) pass without trace on Hobby
    • Bonus so far: +21+2*(1d12+1)+1d12+1d4
  10. Hobby creates a camouflage out of fresh mud, dirt, plants, soot, and other naturally occurring materials and presses up against a cave wall (Hide in Plain Sight)
    • Bonus so far: +31+2*(1d12+1)+1d12+1d4
  11. The party starts a short rest and Soruid uses Hearth of Moonlight and Shadow
    • Bonus so far: +36+2*(1d12+1)+1d12+1d4
  12. Hobby makes a contested Stealth check vs a Perception check greater than 119 and rolls maximum on every die
    • Result so far: 98
  13. Hobby uses Dark Ones Own Luck rolling a 10
    • Result so far: 108
  14. Soruid uses Bend Luck rolling a 4
    • Result so far: 112
  15. Hobby uses a Hero Point rolling a 6
    • Result so far: 118
  16. Hobby fails the check and uses Save Face
    • Result: 123

And that's how you hide from a nosy god.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Step 16: How is hobby failing any check with a roll of 118? The highest DC given by the game is 30 which is labelled as "nearly impossible" \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Apr 2 at 18:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @illustro That's why I made it a contested check. Someone rolled 119 on Perception. Also, adventure modules have been known to have higher DCs \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 2 at 18:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should also include the chance of the character making that contested check rolling the maximum on all of their dice when working out the chance of a 123. \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Apr 2 at 18:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro The chance is not calculable. That other character may have just used Divine Intervention, wish, or something to gain a ridiculous bonus on their next Perception check. It is not factored into my analysis \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 2 at 18:28

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