Reading through the Basic Rules, there is a DC Check difficulty table found on page 58:

DC Table

… but aside from the basic description of what a check is and the basic mechanics (d20 + mod/skill + any situational modifiers vs. DC) there are no guidelines for how a DM should assign DC levels to various tasks. Are there any guidelines outside of the Basic Rules that could inform 5e DMs?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie: The Starter Set rulebook doesn't have 58 pages (and the LMOP adventure barely has that many). The asker seems to have meant the basic rules PDF, which does contain that table on p. 58. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 3:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Ah, that makes more sense. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


Yes, in the Starter Set.

In the introduction section of the Lost Mines of Phandelver there is a primer section for new DMs which includes descriptions of what type of activities would make up the Easy, Moderate, and Hard DC check levels.

  • Easy (DC 10). An easy task requires a minimal level of competence or a modicum of luck to accomplish.
  • Moderate (DC 15). A moderate task requires a slightly higher level of competence to accomplish. A character with a combination of natural aptitude and specialized training can accomplish a moderate task more often than not.
  • Hard (DC 20). Hard tasks include any effort that is beyond the capabilities of most people without aid or exceptional ability. Even with aptitude and training, a character needs some amount of luck—or a lot of specialized training—to pull off a hard task.
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's also worth mentioning its advice for easier and harder tasks is to just say yes/no. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you want to include the point that one need not restrict one's self to multiples of 5 in setting DC's? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 19:15

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