The Players Handbook outlines how skills work. However, some splat books also list additional uses for skills. For example, Complete Adventurer outlines a use for Sense Motive which will allow you to ascertain how tough a challenge an opponent is.

Is there a single look up table for each skill? I.e.

  • Sense Motive - Complete Adventurer Page X - Assess Opponent's Strength
  • Diplomacy - Complete Adventurer Page X - Bartering
  • Listen - Races of Stone Page X - Judge distance to footsteps underground.



  • \$\begingroup\$ Intimidate - Tome of Battle - "Duel of Wills" to get bonus/penalty to Init/AR for the fight to come. There are also the Skill Tricks in Complete Scoundrel (Spot DC 20 to pinpoint invisible opponents for example). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2016 at 7:09

2 Answers 2


There is no official comprehensive list of skill uses

…And even compiling a list for personal use is made more challenging by the D&D 3.5 design goal of having each book stand on its own, referencing only the absolute minimum beyond the core rules. (This a dramatic overreaction to AD&D2E wherein one product often referenced another product and product glut led to unhappy fans.)

This means that in addition to spreading out the information across many different books, sometimes one book's way of doing something contradicts another book's way of doing something. Further, adventures in particular sometimes contain very specific skill uses, making skill uses all the more tedious to compile, and leading one to wonder if such minutia is even worth compiling. (Did you know that you can notice a spyhole from more than 5 ft. away with a successful Spot check (DC 40) but can notice the same spyhole if within 5 ft. with only a successful Spot check (DC 20)? Go ahead and check page 58 of Anauroch: The Empire of Shade for more!)

In a perfect world, such a master list would've been available on the Wizards of the Coast Web site—complete with page numbers and everything—so as to encourage folks to get all the books so they could see what their characters could do with all those numbers on their sheets. But it was not to be.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ …But, hey, if you make one anyway, let me know. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 8, 2016 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm making one now. I will link to it when I'm done. It won't be complete (given that adventures sometimes have info, and don't own all of the adventures) but it'll be a good start, and I'll allow comments so people can make edit suggestions. \$\endgroup\$
    – JoshuaD
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would a question "What are the rulebooks that add new skill uses?" be a duplicate of this one? It would help narrowing out this task (and to be honest I see Adventures' skill uses more as "published DM fiats" than a "real new skill use") \$\endgroup\$
    – Punkgeon
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 7:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JoshuaD Some of the work's done for you here. [Warning: PDF.] I've found it interesting but incomplete, excluding some of my favorites (the skill Profession (taxidermy), for instance). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2016 at 8:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ You know what, maybe I will help completing this. Thanks for the starting point, @HeyICanChan. \$\endgroup\$
    – Punkgeon
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 8:49

As there doesn't appear to be a comprehensive list out there yet, I created one:


Enjoy. :-)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Did you mean to include 3.0 books in the list? \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 5:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea. I figure there's very little harm in having them there as long as it's clear where they're coming from. As a player, I like having complete lists in front of me. \$\endgroup\$
    – JoshuaD
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 6:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman Why wouldn't Third Edition books be included if the skill uses hadn't been reprinted for 3.5? (Some of the more interesting skill uses come from when the designers were still figuring out the limits of skill uses.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 10, 2016 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I wasn't objecting, just asking if it was intended. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 11:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman My apologies. That was defensive. It's only that I am often amazed that many folks ban outright all Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition material despite the 3.5 DMG saying Third stuff's valid unless reprinted for 3.5. I didn't want JoshuaD's work to become suspect because it's inclusive rather than exclusive. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 10, 2016 at 12:22

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