We are about to start a new campaign and I thought it would be fun to use Proficiency Dice (DMG, p. 263) instead of static proficiency bonuses. I discussed it with the players and everyone agreed that it could add a nice dynamic to the game. One of the first questions that came up though that I can't seem to find an answer for is how to handle passive perception? Obviously if they aren't proficient in perception it doesn't matter, but I have a few characters who are.

So how do I handle passive perception when using proficiency dice?


2 Answers 2


Use the vanilla proficiency to calculate passive skills.

Passive perception is there for several reasons, but mainly, to avoid rolling dice. That's why passive skills are always a 10 + modifiers. 10 is the rounded down average of a d20 (10.5 is the total average).

Proficiency dice optional rule use the dice average number closer to that proficiency number. So a proficiency of 2 corresponds to a d4 (2.5 total average).

My interpretation of this is that you don't roll for passive skills (included passive perception) you just add 10 + regular proficiency + atribute + modifiers


Passive perception is new to 5e. You have to make the choice to leave passive perception as is or have them roll whenever something interacts with their perception.

The whole point of passive perception is to help the DM interact with his players when using stealth or hidden actions on field without tipping off the players. It's pretty lame when you tell your players to constantly roll perception because it has them on edge and more often than not, they subconsciously start meta-gaming. It also makes the players feel more aware that they are in a game which breaks mood and immersion.

I think it's best to leave passive perception as is and only have them roll the perception die when they actively use it to search.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Passive perception isn't new to 5e. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 18:55

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