1
\$\begingroup\$

I'm a Dungeon Master, and I can't figure out how passive wisdom works. In the Player's Handbook it says:

A passive check is a special type of check that dose not use any dice rolls.

That is good to know, but it does not say how you determine if something is a failure or a success!

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    May 13 '20 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you talking about passive Wisdom checks in general, or do you mean passive Wisdom (Perception) checks/scores specifically? (It doesn't change the answer to how to determine whether it's a success, though.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 13 '20 at 21:34
1
\$\begingroup\$

Just like a regular active check, the passive check has a Difficulty Class (DC) to beat.

Let's say an enemy is hiding with a Stealth check of 15. Your players with 16 (or more) Passive Perception automatically detect the creature, they are aware enough to hear its breathing or notice its disguise. Same thing for a hidden trap.

Passive Insight against NPC Deception checks is also common in many tables. Basically, the passive check has to beat the DC of whatever it is against.

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

You succeed on a passive check the same way as with normal checks, if your result is equal or higher than the checks' DC.

Specifically, the rules which define passive checks (PHB p. 176) don't specify how success or failure works because they are the same. Or, the success/failure condition is the same, because the rules don't change them.

Either way, you succeed on a passive ability check if your result is equal or higher than the DC you are making it against. The only difference is that instead of your result being the result of a d20 roll plus your modifier, it equals your static score (which is 10 + said modifier).

Obviously replace DC with the appropriate check result if you are using it in a contest, such as a creatures Dexterity (Stealth) check against other creatures passive Wisdom (Perception) checks when hiding.

\$\endgroup\$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .