The Ranger's Favored Enemy feature gives Advantage to Intelligence checks when trying to remember information about your enemy. Does that count when making an Intelligence (History) check, for example?

My instinct says yes, but to my surprise the majority opinion seems to be that it only counts when making pure Intelligence checks.

  • Are not all skills checks Ability Checks by RAW?

  • Does the Favored Enemy apply when using the skills associated with Intelligence?

  • \$\begingroup\$ From whom did you hear this "majority opinion?" At your table, or on a discussion forum? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 31 '16 at 13:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for the late answer. It's what I read while researching on the internet, from various discussion forums \$\endgroup\$ – Nareshkendel Nov 11 '16 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for clearing that up, you may wish to edit your question to point out that source ... but as you've accepted a good answer, maybe not needed. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 13 '16 at 1:02

Yes. Because skill checks are ability checks.

See pp. 173-174 of the PHB, specifically the delineation of the "three main rolls of the game--the ability check, the saving throw, and the attack roll" and the following description of skills:

Each ability covers a broad range of capabilities, including skills that a character or a monster can be proficient in. (Emphasis mine)

Any History check is an Intelligence check: it's an Intelligence check in which you might be proficient, and covers a small subset of Intelligence.

An authoritative clarification on this matter came in The Ability Check, one of Jeremy Crawford's Sage Advice articles:

Whenever the rules say you’re making a check using one of the six ability scores, you’re making an ability check. This is true whether or not the check involves a skill. A Strength check, a Dexterity check, a Charisma (Persuasion) check, a Wisdom (Perception) check—those are all examples of ability checks.


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