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The Dungeon Delver feat states that you have advantage to notice secret doors. According to the rules for passive checks (pg. 175 of the PHB), you are automatically given 10+relevant base score and if you have advantage you get an additional +5 bonus to the passive score.

The Observant feat states that your passive perception and investigation scores have a +5 bonus.

Does this mean that a character with both of these feats uses a passive score of 20 + Wis mod + possible proficiency when checking for secret doors? Or does something prevent these two feats from interacting in that manner?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean +10? \$\endgroup\$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Jan 4 '17 at 2:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Xavon_Wrentaile can you be more specific with what you're referencing to? \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jan 4 '17 at 2:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ You said each feat gives a +5 bonus, and then asked if you get the total +20 bonus. Admittedly I'm more 3.5E than 5E, but I still thought +5 + +5 = +10... \$\endgroup\$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Jan 4 '17 at 3:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Xavon_Wrentaile I should clarify. A passive check assumes you rolled a 10, so it's already got a +10 included. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jan 4 '17 at 4:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I, too, was confused by your wording there. You might want to edit it so that it's clear that they are taking a 20+wis, not that there's a roll with a +20 bonus. \$\endgroup\$ – Icyfire Jan 4 '17 at 5:39
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Nothing prevents this.

Multiple instances of advantage don't stack. But that's not what's happening here. Observant increases your passive perception and investigation by +5, period. This means it can be affected by advantage.

So Dungeon Delver grants you advantage (+5 to passive), effectively resulting in a +10 passive bonus overall.

So your base perception would be, when searching for secret doors passively, 20 + WIS.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ And now we have one of those strange situations where the passive score is higher than the average active roll. I.e. the character is better at the task only when not focusing their attention on it. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Jan 4 '17 at 6:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I consider an active check to be the character trying to focus on something specific. A low roll on an active check means they focused on something to the exclusion of all else. To relate this to real life, consider that photographers get caught in the glass when they're filming disasters, and sometimes fail to notice it's coming straight for them. Despite their passive perception to the danger being much higher (like, they wouldn't accidentally stand on the racetrack), they were actively perceiving the event to their own detriment and stood in the path of danger. Does that help? \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jan 4 '17 at 7:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Character has spent 2 feats, to gain effective automatic roll of 20, without even needing to declare an action. However, it is only for one very specific task. I would expect such a character to also have high Wis and proficiency with Perception, so all secret doors in an adventure that are detectable by simply looking for them should be automatically discovered by that character. Seems fair enough to me, that's quite an investment for such a small corner of the game. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Slater Jan 4 '17 at 8:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater At the same time, those two feats do a bit more than just allow him to see doors. \$\endgroup\$ – Patrick vD Jan 10 '17 at 18:34

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