Questions tagged [skills]

For questions about skills: abilities of characters that describe their capabilities in a range of areas, that typically progress with level.

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What are the conditions for a Bon Mot retort?

The Bon Mot skill feat imposes a minute long status penalty on a foe with a successful Diplomacy check. This penalty can be ended in the following circumstance: The target can end the effect early ...
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8 votes
1 answer
298 views

Medicine and Stabilizing

While I won't question my DM because it is his game and he is running it his own way, I was curious on one of the rulings that was made and wanted to see what the official rules on it were. We are ...
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3 votes
2 answers
481 views

Herbalism Kit Activity: Identify Poison - Applicability

In Xanathar's Guide to Everything near the bottom of the first column on page 82 is a table for Herbalism Kit Activities. One of the Activities is named "Identify poison" and requires a DC ...
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2 votes
4 answers
466 views

What percentage of Call of Cthulhu characters start drowning on average?

In Call of Cthulhu 7e, it is possible to call for a swimming check that can result in drowning. Assume that 80% of characters have a 20 in swim, and 20% of characters have a 60 in swim. Assume that ...
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10 votes
2 answers
204 views

Can Assured Identification be used to identify items with traits you are trained in (not expert) once you have the feat?

This skill feat states: Prerequisites: expert in Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or expert in Religion. You rarely misidentify an item. When using Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion checks to Identify ...
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2 votes
3 answers
211 views

A mechanic to resolve multi-stage, multi-participant tasks

Sometimes the party wants to complete a multi-part task where the performance of one of them on one part can help or hinder the performance of another one on a different part. They have a common goal,...
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29 votes
10 answers
6k views

Was this the right call? Player rolled a great Intimidation check on an enemy that wouldn't normally be intimidated

In one of my last sessions, my players were about to begin their battle with the big bad of the story arc: a Hag who had taken over the body of the village herbalist and was quietly poisoning the ...
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  • 315
16 votes
4 answers
2k views

What does it mean in-game to be better at Deception than Persuasion?

Recently in-game I found myself moderating an 'off-screen' encounter between two NPCs; one an intelligent animal companion (winter wolf) of one of the PCs, and the other a Rakshasa who had no ...
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5 votes
2 answers
930 views

Can you stack passive wisdom boosts?

I am currently putting together a dhampir blood hunter character and I noticed something interesting, which I would like to verify the RAW about: The Order of the Lycan, Heightened Senses is described ...
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  • 5,347
8 votes
1 answer
91 views

Training in the Dojo

I have scanned the 4th edition rules for the fifth time by now, and I still can't seem to find what I am seeking. I know, that it takes a measure of weeks (typically two to four) to train an animal to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
313 views

Can you use the Sleight of Hand skill to stack the Deck of Many Things?

As I understand the Deck of Many Things, you must intentionally draw a card while stating how many cards you wish to draw. Does this preclude merely looking at the cards? And if you can look at the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
155 views

How can I improve my chances at probing minds?

Sooner or later my warlock will need to probe minds again with Detect Thoughts and will end up matching wits with a Sicilian the target in a contested intelligence check. Either way, the target knows ...
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4 votes
1 answer
191 views

Balancing a conflict resolution system favouring players picking a spread of skills and attributes in a challenge, while rewarding some over others?

Introduction I'm hoping I can draw on the Game Designer experience of this stack to help be make a decision on a dice-based conflict resolution system I'm designing for an RPG that I've been ...
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25 votes
7 answers
3k views

How can I prevent the rogue from placing items in my character's backpack?

We've a rogue in the party with proficiency and magic items assisting their Sleight of Hand. With a +12 and always having advantage, they roll, on average, a 25. They have gotten to enjoy stealing ...
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20 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I implement a "passive stealth" that is mathematically equivalent to rolling stealth vs. passive perception?

I think the metagaming problem with rolling for stealth is fairly well-known: once the player rolls for stealth at the start of their sneaking, they know how high they rolled and might, consciously or ...
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5 votes
2 answers
329 views

Can you use your passive perception while actively doing something else? [duplicate]

Say a player with a 16 passive perception is busy talking, fighting or even picking a lock, would they be able to passively perceive someone coming behind them or walking away from them?
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5 votes
1 answer
145 views

Are spot enhancements inferior to hide enhancements?

I have been searching ways (with spells and items) to enhance the spot check and ways to enhance the hide check (with spells and items). We have a PC in our campaign maxing out his spot and another ...
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47 votes
12 answers
7k views

What to do when a player roleplays an extremely persuasive argument, but flubs their Persuasion check?

I have been the DM of a wonderful group of Stack Exchange friends playing an urban fantasy campaign of D&D 5e for some time now, and a question came up in our group Discord that has got me ...
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  • 638
10 votes
3 answers
799 views

How to handle the Soulknife Rogue's Psi Bolstered Knack if the DM doesn't do clear-cut successes and failures on skill checks?

The Soulknife Rogue has the following ability: Psi-Bolstered Knack. When your nonpsionic training fails you, your psionic power can help: if you fail an ability check using a skill or tool with which ...
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5 votes
1 answer
101 views

Can every character apply untrained skills without limitation?

With 'trained only' skills it is obvious, but I am not sure whether everybody can use all other skills even without being an expert in it. Let us take as an example the 'Palming an object' action ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

How much is darkvision worth compared to a skill pick?

In evaluating homebrew races for how balanced they are, you often have to compare features against each other. One recommended approach that has been used several times for this is the Detect Balance ...
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5 votes
4 answers
248 views

Are Multiple Party Members Automatically "Helping" with Passive Skills?

Inspired by this question: Can the Help action raise a passive skill? and to grab the relevant section for Passive Skills A passive check is a special kind of ability check that doesn’t involve any ...
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4 votes
3 answers
262 views

Can the Help action raise a passive skill?

Other threads have (more or less) established that the passive versions of skills (there are only three in RAW) define a baseline result. RAW says that advantage grants a +5 to passive skills. The ...
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5 votes
1 answer
75 views

What skill(s) to use to craft and place explosives?

What skill(s) to use to craft and place explosives? Is that a new intelligence - Knowledge skill I would need to create or is it an existing one?
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is a weapon proficiency also a skill proficiency, or are the two things completely distinct from each other?

A simple question to answer, I thought, but so far I've been unable to find a reference that really clarifies it. The context for it is the Skill Expert feat in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Part of ...
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6 votes
1 answer
214 views

What are the consequences of using Fate Accelerated approaches for magic, but skills from the Core book elsewhere?

Some time in the future I want to run a game of FATE, with magic, but reading through the example characters used in the Core SRD, but it looked like it might be smoother to base the magic 'system' (...
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4 votes
1 answer
199 views

How can you improve your skill checks in Starfinder?

I am currently in the campaign with two other players. Our party consists of an Operative, a Soldier, and a Solarian. Due to the way skill points are distributed in this game, the Operative is ...
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  • 5,026
8 votes
2 answers
193 views

Can a druid in animal form use Handle Animal?

My new 1st level druid likes to use the spell "Aspect of the Wolf" for combat. Now the question arose whether he can use Handle Animal in wolf form to use the Attack trick on his riding dog ...
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  • 5,040
4 votes
1 answer
659 views

How to identify magic items?

When using the Detect Magic spell to determine the properties of a magic item, do you have to succeed on the Knowledge arcana check in the third round of Detect Magic before you use the spellcraft ...
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  • 8,660
4 votes
1 answer
116 views

Can Use Magic Device be used to bypass the spell on spell list portion for recharging staves?

According to the rules for magic staves: Each morning, when a spellcaster prepares spells or regains spell slots, he can also imbue one staff with a portion of his power so long as one or more of the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
332 views

What is the lowest modifier you can have on a skill check (while staying within official rules)?

I was watching some Critical Role last night, and one of the players had a -3 modifier to Insight (his Wisdom score of 7 didn't help). And that made me wonder: What would be the lowest modifier you ...
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  • 231
6 votes
1 answer
273 views

When "pushing" an animal, how long will it perform the trick it doesn't know?

Here is the text for "'Push' an Animal" for the Handle Animal skill: To push an animal means to get it to perform a task or trick that it doesn’t know but is physically capable of ...
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21 votes
3 answers
4k views

Does taking 10 increase the time it takes to perform an action?

My GM says that, when you take 20, your action takes 20x the normal time, with which I agree. However, they also claim that it takes 10x the listed time if I choose to take 10. I explicitly asked ...
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3 votes
4 answers
954 views

What is the likelihood that my players can succeed in this escape the city scene?

First-time DM running Curse of Strahd for 6 first-time players. In our upcoming session, I'm going to have Strahd appear in the sky and demand that the citizens of a town bring him an NPC he has been ...
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9 votes
1 answer
624 views

Where was the computer skill split up into operation, programming and hacking?

I just joined a MechWarrior group that uses the old 3rd edition books. I was handed a PreGen from the core book (The Federated Suns Technician)1, which lists the "Computer" skill. However, ...
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5 votes
2 answers
260 views

Invisible structures and floors

I’m preparing a puzzle tower for my players, with a twist. It’s one empty room that goes up four or five stories, but one wall is entirely a mirror that shows stairs, walkways, doors, etc that are ...
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  • 111
6 votes
1 answer
601 views

What sort of questions can I ask/answer with an Underworld Lore roll?

been a while since I've been here last, but this question is a tad important. I started playing in a Pathfinder 2e campaign a couple months ago with my character having the Criminal background. As ...
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  • 3,166
11 votes
1 answer
405 views

Can you increase the DC and healing of Treat Wounds with Natural Medicine?

I noticed a strange skill interaction while trying to make a build for a Primal witch. The Treat Wounds skill action specifies that the DC and amount healed by the skill check can be increased based ...
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  • 478
6 votes
3 answers
851 views

Is the DC table applied to characters with or without proficiency?

In the PHB there is a section on typical difficulty classes: Difficulty DC Very easy 5 Easy 10 Medium 15 Hard 20 Very hard 25 Almost impossible 30 Just looking at the numbers, I would say that ...
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16 votes
4 answers
2k views

What check determines if a whip successfully latches onto a tree branch?

If a PC wants to use his whip to wrap around a tree branch and then swing on it, like Indiana Jones, what check would that require? Would it require an attack roll?
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1 vote
1 answer
69 views

How does the 5th (and higher) level Unchained Rogue Skill unlock for the Intimidate skill would interact with the Taunt feat?

How does the 5th (and higher) level Unchained Rogue Skill unlock for the Intimidate skill would interact with the Taunt feat? All of the likely interpretations lead to weird results, a) If you rule ...
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  • 8,660
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are there rules for "doubletalk" (i.e. a character conveying a message to allies while hiding that message from enemies)?

Do the rules specify how an action like doubletalk (or something like it) works? By "doubletalk", I am referring to a character conveying a message to allies while hiding that message from ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can a 6th level rogue select Investigation for their Expertise feature even if their Intelligence modifier is +0?

So I started playing d&d a while ago, but when I was building my first character ever I didn’t completely know what I was doing so I assigned my rolls to abilities I didn’t totally need to have ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

If an ability says characters can tell that something is not real with a successful ability check, do characters automatically attempt the check?

If an ability says a character (or creature) can tell that something is real with a successful ability check, does the character automatically attempt the check? Or does it require an active choice on ...
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  • 1,547
9 votes
3 answers
648 views

Is the Help action an example of, or an exception to, Working Together?

The Help action is described in Chapter 9 of the PHB (emphasis mine): You can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains ...
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1 vote
0 answers
102 views

Homebrew: Divorcing Skills from Attributes in 5e [duplicate]

I was reading this article/post, and wondered about changing the standard 5e attributes to something that makes more sense. Some hours later, I dug my way out of that rabbit hole with the realization ...
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  • 5,123
2 votes
0 answers
169 views

Rules for learning new skills in D&D [duplicate]

Are there any rlues for learning new skills and abilities? I wonder if a character can teach his skills other party members. Let me present some examples: Let's say I am playing as wizard and I want ...
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  • 611
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can a Rogue find an undetectable Trap?

While the title seems to already anwser the question on it's own (there's no way you can detect something undetectable), should that really be the case? Let's check three examples: Collapsing Floor ...
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  • 559
14 votes
5 answers
2k views

When performing a group check, is it better to have an even number of creatures?

The rules for group checks say: To make a group ability check, everyone in the group makes the ability check. If at least half the group succeeds, the whole group succeeds. So, for groups of 1 and 2,...
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  • 189k
31 votes
6 answers
4k views

Should a sneaking group use group checks?

I always considered sneaking to be a per character check, because I have a hard time imagining a paladin in shiny, heavy and loud armor sneaking silently, just because a rogue with stealth expertise ...
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