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In the new Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, we are introduced to a new wizard Arcane Tradition called Chronurgy Magic, whose 14th-level feature Convergent Future says:

You can peer through possible futures and magically pull one of them into events around you, ensuring a particular outcome. When you or a creature you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can use your reaction to ignore the die roll and decide whether the number rolled is the minimum needed to succeed or one less than that number (your choice).

Say the DC for a Strength ability check is 25, and I have a +2 Strength modifier.
Does Convergent Future allow the die roll to be either 23 ("the minimum needed to succeed") or 22 ("one less than that number") even though the maximum possible on a d20 is 20?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Now I'm wondering whether "the minimum needed to succeed" takes into account modifiers at all since there are things like bless, temple of the gods, and various other possible modifiers to rolls, even proficiency bonus in some cases \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20, 2020 at 15:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2: Per a tweet by Matt Mercer, the intent seems to be to include regular modifiers on the check but to allow other modifiers to affect it afterward: "Some creatures/characters have features that can (often as a reaction) adjust a final roll (Shield spell, enemies with Parry, etc). In those rare moments, I imagine, these abilities could still affect the roll after Convergent Future takes place." Seems like it could get confusing. (Obviously that's not an official ruling, and doesn't address this question itself.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 20, 2020 at 22:34

3 Answers 3

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No

If it's not possible to succeed you don't roll the dice. For attacks, a Natural 20 is always a success, ability checks and saves (excepting Death Saves) do not auto succeed on a Natural 20.

If you want to jump to the Moon there is no chance you can actually succeed, therefore you don't even make a check. Since no check is rolled, you can't use Convergent Future to modify your roll.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 A good way to think about this is there are no successful futures to pull from, as the task is impossible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tal
    Mar 20, 2020 at 16:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am won over by your answer! It might help to cite the rule for using ability checks: "The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure." Since, essentially you're saying the opposite is true, too (ie, when there is no chance of success) \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Mar 20, 2020 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not explicitly mentioned in the rules, which is honestly a failing on the rules part. \$\endgroup\$
    – aslum
    Mar 20, 2020 at 17:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ This isn't quite true in the questioner's case. There are several ways to add to an ability check, such as using Bardic Inspiration, so it is entirely feasible to succeed at a check that you need to roll above 20 for. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 22, 2020 at 17:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, let me be clearer: the questioner's situation is DC25, modifier +2. In normal circumstances the best they can do is 22, so yes, it is unattainable. But suppose they get Bardic Inspiration - they could add a d6 to the roll, potentially getting up to 28 and passing the test. The DM can't just declare that the DC25 task was impossible, without a roll, unless they are sure that the party can't rustle up any extra bonuses. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2020 at 18:10
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No

decide … the number rolled

The number rolled can only be a number between 1 and 20. If you need more than 20 to succeed (or less than 1 to fail) then no such number exists on a 20 sided die.

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It's quite simple in theory but can get a little tangled. In many cases it depends in what order you declare.

  • However it's not possible to change the outcome to more than 20 on a d20 roll.

1, The target makes a d20 roll.

2,Target adds modifiers to the roll and sees if it succeeded or failed. (passive, from bless, inspiration, etc). Can use Portent or Lucky at this moment.

3, The Chronurgy wizard uses Convergent Future as a reaction to change the roll to "just succeeded" or "just failed, if possible within the 1-20 span.

4, The enemy can use his reaction (if he has any) to further modify the roll (if he is able to), possibly changing the outcome again. (Could use Lucky feat potentially)

Example with save:

Wizard's ally makes a Con save vs being petrified for example. The DC is 20. the Ally has +6 (+1 ability modifier, +5 Proficiency) to Con save and has Bless on him (+1d4 to save) . Rolls a 7 on d20 and 2 on d4 for 15 total and fails. Wizard uses his reaction to change the roll on the d20 to 12 and his ally succeeds. Wizard takes exhaustion.

Example with ability check:

Enemy is trying to escape the pc's, disengages, proceeds to jump across a chasm to get away. DM rolls D20 and adds modifiers (enemy has +7 to athletics let's say) and has a d10 inspiration on him. DC is 15. DM rolls a 3 and decides to use the inspiration for additional 5, bringing the total to 15, a success. The wizard changes the roll to 2 and the enemy plummets to his death at the bottom of the pit. Wizard takes exhaustion.

(Here it is a little tricky - the inspiration rule says you can add after the roll but before declaring success or failure. The Convergent rule says that you can change it after the roll (nor specifying whether or not after knowing the result). As those things aren't mutually exclusive, depends in what order you declare. If the enemy succeeded on the roll and didn't use the inspiration (rolled a 9 for 16 total and didn't use inspiration) and the wizard changed the roll to 7 (14 total), the enemy could still add his inspiration to succeed. Also if the DM in the example above rolled better on inspiration (7+), the wizard would not succeed as he can only change the d20 result and can't bring it below 1. Generally speaking as per RAW - the Convergent Future user can wait after the outcome is declared before using his ability. Using this logic, Convergent future beats Lucky feat and halfling trait in some cases, also divination wizard's portent if the enemy uses them to make you fail and you override them (every time since Portent HAS to be made BEFORE the roll). However if you succeed and they cancel your success using their abilities, you can override them with Convergent. But again, things like Shield or Entropic Ward or Parry or sometimes inspiration (in the right circumstance) can thwart it again.)

Example with attack:

Enemy is a college of swords Bard Multiclassed with Bladesinger Wizard. Has a +1 studded leather armor, ring of protection +2, dex +3 and intelligence +5. On his turn attacks our Chronurgy wizard using defensive flourish and activating bladesong. Rolls an 8 on the d10 for the flourish, bringing his AC to 31 for the turn. Our wizard, out of spells and desperate, picks a fallen comrades Vorpal sword and swings at the enemy. He is not proficient with the sword and his Strength modifier is -2. With the sword's attack bonus he has +1 on his attack roll. He would need a roll of 30 to hit. If he doesn't roll it, he can bring his roll to 20 using the Convergent future. The enemy could react using his Shield spell, but that doesn't help against nat 20 and our wizard cuts the enemy's head off in one swoop, taking exhaustion. If the enemy had a luck point he could potentially force a reroll of the 20. If our wizard had a luck point or Fortune's Favor on him, he could cancel the reroll. If our wizard rolled a 20 in the first place, the enemy could force a reroll using luck point and our wizard could then Convergent Future it back to 20.

So as you see it can get quite situational.

  • But you can never "roll" less then 1 and more than 20 even using this ability.
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