There is a large volume of information on using skills in 4e D&D. The basic assumption is that the character using the skill is trained and the rules reflect this.

My question is, what about when the character is not trained? Besides not having the extra points for being trained, what are the rules for handling the usage of an untrained skill?

Is there a clear-cut point where the character can not use the Untrained skill?

//* Clarification *//

I know of one example - Arcana Skill. If you are not trained in this you can not do a Detect Magic. Are there others? Maybe even a list somewhere?


1 Answer 1


Being trained gives you access to options for certain skills. Aside from these there is no difference in what you can do untrained compared to trained, assuming you can make the required DC skill check (clearly easier to do if you are trained).

Trained only abilities:

  • Acrobatics - Reduce falling damage
  • Arcana - Detect Magic, Monster Knowledge
  • Dungeoneering - Monster Knowledge
  • Nature - Monster Knowledge
  • Religion - Monster Knowledge
  • Thievery - DM Option to declare certain tasks so specialized as to require training.
  • \$\begingroup\$ In regards to Thievery...I remember something like you couldn't use Thievery to disarm traps unless you were trained. Also I don't know if you can use thieve's tools untrained. \$\endgroup\$
    – rleahcim
    Feb 23, 2011 at 17:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rleahcim - There is no trained requirement on the use of Thieves' tools, nor to disable traps (unless the DM decides otherwise on a particular case per my note above). \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Feb 23, 2011 at 17:07

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