So DNDBeyond is calculating this character's Passive Investigation as 37, and I can't figure out how/why...

The character is a Pallid Elf Rogue (Scout) 12/ Ranger (Hunter) 5 with the observant feat and stats as indicated in the image below...

Now by my math their passive investigation should be 10+6+6+5 for a total of 27, but its reporting as 37 (which would require a nat 20 to roll); additionally, shouldn't passive perception and investigation both be the same score here? (passive insight is reporting accurately, it would seem?)

Is it doing something hanky with reliable talent perhaps? O_o

Edit: The character has no magic items, or any other non-weapon equipment, and no feats other than Observant and Elven Accuracy.

I'd included Observant in the original math: 10 - base +6 - Proficiency +6 - Expertise +5 - Observant

Which totals 27 -- even adding the +5 for Incisive Sense that brings us to 32, so I'm not sure where the 37 comes from... to make things more complex, Insight should also be 32, but only lists at 27, and Perception should only be 27, but is showing as 32.

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe D&D Beyond has a way of letting you share a character sheet, so people can look through the one you've made. I may be mistaken though \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2021 at 11:36
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 this is correct. The button is above the sheet next to the short/long rest button and the back to the character builder button. As long as we don't have the information that goes into the calculation, we can't evaluate what is happening. So we should close the question until we have the necessary information. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 29, 2021 at 11:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ What feats does this character have? Any items that could affect this? \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Apr 29, 2021 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


You must consider the bonuses from Incisive Sense and Observant

The neat thing about passive checks is that to get your base score, you just add 10 to whatever your bonus is:

10 + all modifiers that normally apply to the check

Since we have +17 in all three skills, our starting point is 27. The next rule that matters is the Advantage rule:

If the character has advantage on the check, add 5.

Since we are a Pallid elf, we have Advantage on Investigation and Insight checks:

Incisive Sense

You have advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) and Wisdom (Insight) checks.

So we add +5 to our Insight and Investigation scores. Finally, the Observant feat helps out too:

You have a +5 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Perception) and passive Intelligence (Investigation) scores.

Adding +5 to Perception and Investigation.

In total, our scores should be:

  • Passive Perception: 32 = 27 + 5 (Observant)

  • Passive Investigation: 37 = 27 + 5 (Incisive Sense) + 5 (Observant)

  • Passive Insight: 32 = 27 + 5 (Incisive Sense)

I've recreated this character in DDB, and the Passive Insight score is simply incorrect - the Advantage gained from Incisive sense is not being accounted for in the score. Fortunately, we can manually override this but clicking on the Senses block and putting the correct score in for Passive Insight:

enter image description here


At least part of the answer lies in the Observant Feat, which has as one of its advantages:

• You have a +5 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Investigation) scores.

The other booster is "Incisive Sense" from your Pallid Elf, which gives you Advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) and Wisdom (Insight) checks. Having advantage translates to getting a +5 bonus to your Passive scores.

If anything, your passive scores are then too low as from Incisive Sense you'd also expect your passive Wisdom (Insight) to be boosted by +5 over the normal amount.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Incisive Sense would bring it to 32, I'm still not sure where that 37 is coming from - thanks for the tip about advantage, I'd totally missed that! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2021 at 19:03

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