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In the Echo Knight subclass it states that the Echo "uses your saving throw bonus for [saving throws]", but says nothing about being able to make ability checks with the Echo. I'm primarily concerned about ability checks like stealth and acrobatics/athletics, things you might want to make in the course of combat or while using the Echo as a scout before combat (like with the Echo Avatar feature); I don't plan on letting the Echo make separate knowledge checks to recall information.

So, does the Echo have the ability to make ability checks, and if it does, what bonuses does it have to those abilities?

So for example: If the Echo Knight PC wants to send their Echo into a room in a dungeon to scout out ahead, can the Echo attempt to be stealthy in order to avoid detection and make a stealth check, or is the DC to spot the Echo simply what the DC would be to notice a regular person simply walk into said room (probably DC 10 vs a creature's passive perception)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "can the echo make ability checks?" Do you mean "Can it attempt things that require ability checks?" Or "Does it have its own ability scores?" Or something else? \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jun 1 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells I added an example that should hopefully clear up what I'm asking \$\endgroup\$ – witch'sFISTS Jun 1 at 19:56
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Not really

The skills are:


Strength

Athletics

The echo does not need (nor can it) climb or jump or swim, etc. It simply is moved 30 feet at a time by the knight. No check is required for this.

The echo is not granted the ability to lift or carry or drag objects so no check is able to be made.

When grappling or shoving, the rules say that it is the knight that is making the attack/grapple/shove check, not the echo.


Dexterity

Acrobatics

As above, the echo does not need to attempt to maintain balance or swing from ropes, etc. It simply is moved 30 feet at a time by the knight. No check is required for this. In addition, it is immune to all conditions so it would never need to make an acrobatics check to escape a grapple.

Sleight of Hand

The echo is not granted the ability to pick pocket (a la Arcane Trickster Rogue's ability Mage Hand Legerdemain) or manipulate the environment in any way.

Stealth

The echo, as above, is simply moved by the knight. It does not possess the ability to move of its own accord and so it can't move stealthily or attempt to hide. Moreover, since the knight is the creature making the attack, the rules for unseen attackers, etc apply with regard to the knight, not to the echo. This can get weird, depending on how you interpret the rules (this closed question is relevant).


Intelligence

The knight would be the one to make any of these checks because the knight has the knowledge and ability to reason, not the echo: Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, Religion.


Wisdom

Animal Handling

The knight would be the one to make any such check because the echo can't manipulate the environment.

Insight

The knight would be the one to make any such check because the echo can't reason.

Medicine

The knight would be the one to make any such check because the echo can't reason and the knowledge would reside with the knight.

Perception

The knight would be the one to make any such check, even after it gets the feature Echo Avatar at level 7 because the rules clearly say "You [the knight] can see through your echo's eyes and hear through its ears."

Survival

The knight would be the one to make any such check. The echo can't track or reason, doesn't need food/water, etc.


Charisma

Deception

The echo does not possess the ability to speak. It is possible to imagine a situation where the echo is used as a decoy of some sort (call it a passive deception). But as the echo is created by (and an image of) the knight, the onus would be on the knight to change its appearance to look like whatever it wanted the decoy to look like and therefore, as a DM, I would still require the check from the knight, not the image.

Intimidation

Similar to Deception but with the added caveat that, if a knight were to, say, try and intimidate a creature by making that creature think that it was outnumbered by more than one knight, I might rule that the echo's presence helped in some way but it would still be the knight that makes the check.

Performance

Similar to Intimidation or Deception.

Persuasion

Similar to all the other Charisma-based checks.


Given the limited capabilities the echo has (which is to say none that the knight doesn't take itself) I can't think of a situation where the echo would be required to or capable of making an ability check on its own.

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Only creatures have ability scores, only creatures can make ability checks

From the basic rules:

Six abilities provide a quick description of every creature's physical and mental characteristics

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Each of a creature's abilities has a score

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An ability check tests a character's or monster's innate talent and training in an effort to overcome a challenge.

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Every task that a character or monster might attempt in the game is covered by one of the six abilities.

Object stat blocks do not contain ability scores. Here is the profile for Rope:

Rope, Hempen (50 feet)

Type: Adventuring Gear Cost: 1 gp Weight: 10 lbs

Rope, has 2 hit points and can be burst with a DC 17 Strength check.

As you can see, no ability scores are listed.

When a character uses an object to be stealthy, they are still making a stealth check

If the Echo Knight PC wants to send their Echo into a room in a dungeon to scout out ahead, the Echo Knight can attempt to be stealthy in order to avoid detection. This would usually involve making a stealth check, and contesting it by the passive perception of any enemies that could otherwise detect it. Bonuses and penalties are applied by the DM (eg dim light, being out in the open, etc).

Eg:

  • Echo Knight: "I manifest my echo and activate echo avatar, and have it steathily phase through the door into the next room"
  • DM: "Ok, roll a stealth check for me"
  • Echo Knight rolls stealth: "14"
  • DM checks the passive perception of those in the room (highest is 12)
  • DM: "You move your echo through the door smoothly and quietly, you see 3 goblins entranced in a game of what appears to be poker, played with crude hand-drawn cards"
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